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Posts Tagged ‘murder-suicides

Toms River NJ femicide/suicide post-mortem concludes strangled DYFS worker should’ve hooked up with “agencies such as ourselves”

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She “did everything right,” filed a protective order and “reported every violation,” and even moved out of a home she owned, but still her death was her fault, because she (being a state employee) didn’t hook up with “agencies such as ourselves” to develop a safety plan.  it wasn’t the county prosecutor’s fault because, well, sometimes domestic violence just “spirals out of control.”  It wasn’t her coworkers’ faults (I don’t say that it was), because they (self-report) they were concerned and talking about intervention.  it wasn’t any police officer’s fault, because bail should’ve been set higher.  It wasn’t, as far as I can tell, anyone’s fault, is the general conclusion.

It is a self-defense mechanism, and entirely human, to ask “why” when something this horrific happens.  It challenges a lot of theories (myths?) about the field of “domestic violence” and shakes up one’s confidence in authorities that were supposedly handling these problems so the rest of us could get about our lives.

Clearly it is in the interest of the stability of the social fabric (at least for those not IN such relationships currently, for whom stability basically doesn’t really exist outside the self-created kind) that said authorities should be interviewed, published, do press conferences and give an explanation.  Then the public can accept their explanation, or ease all but the most persistent of interests, and go about their business, while the police, prosecutors, judges, and others continue to go about THEIR business of issuing protective orders that don’t protect, and releasing people with clear criminal intent and identified disrect for the law, on their own “recognizance.”

Case in point, this suicidal/murdering father was known to be a check-bouncer and significantly behind on child support.  When he came up with $1,500 bail, why were no questions asked about why he could raise a bit less than that for his past-due support?  He had 3 sons.

Why would not, of all places, the coworkers at DFYS where she worked, not see that this man was seeing $$ in a relationship, even though she herself may have thought this meant “love.”  (or companionship).


Here’s the article, then my commentary/questions — below it.  This is the 3rd article I’ve posted on the Zindell/Frisco situation in Toms River, NJ.


August 17, 2009

Toms River murder-suicide highlights domestic violence cycle


{{That’s ONE spin.  I personally — from afar — think it actually highlights system failure, and inexcusable system failure, too.  What about ‘evidence-based practice in this field, in NJ?}}


Victim worked for DYFS

STAFF WRITER  “(APP.COM news — see link above)

The murder this week of 30-year-old Letizia “Lisa” Zindell “rattled the public” because the victim was both educated and knowledgeable in the cycle of domestic violence, said Mary Pettrow, associate director of Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities.

Zindell held a master’s degree in criminal justice and was about to earn her second master’s degree in social work. She worked for the state Division of Youth and Family Services.

“To think, “How can a DYFS worker be a victim of domestic violence?’ ” stunned people, Pettrow said. “There are a lot of professional women who are victims of domestic violence.”

People think domestic abuse is “just physical violence,” Pettrow said. “But often, it is much more subtle. Abusers attempt to control the important aspects of their partner’s life using intimidation or threats and other psychological and emotional tactics.

“Even if you have not been hit, the cycle of violence exists,” Pettrow continued. “There is tension, a verbal or physical assault, then contrition. It is subtle. Over a period of time, that escalates.”

That escalation took its double-deadly toll, police believe, some time after 10 p.m. Wednesday night. The man whom police believe killed Zindell, Frank Frisco Jr., had been released from jail that night about 5 p.m.

Frisco, 36, was being held on restraining order violations and child support arrears, among other fourth-degree crimes.

Zindell was discovered strangled to death Thursday afternoon in the back seat of her car, which was parked in a friend’s driveway in the Penny Layne condominium complex in the East Dover section. A short time later, police found a suicide note in her Lafayette Avenue home penned by her ex-fiance, Frisco, against whom she had a restraining order. Police found Frisco hanged to death in the detached garage.

Friends said that Frisco’s growing control issues and instability had escalated to a display of rage against Zindell in front of his and her family and friends at a party after the couple’s rehearsal dinner. The next morning, Zindell called guests to say the scheduled June 21 wedding was off.

She moved out of the home she owned, leaving him behind, and stayed with friends at the condominium complex where her body was found Thursday. She filed a restraining order against Frisco and called police every time he violated it, friends said.

He had been jailed each time and was placed as an inpatient at a local mental health facility on at least one occasion since Zindell ended the relationship hours before their scheduled June 21 wedding, authorities.

“She did everything right,” as far as restraining orders go, said Kevin Arnold, an Island Heights police officer and resident. He has known the Zindell family since she was a youth. Zindell worked with Brooke Arnold, Kevin’s wife, at DYFS.

At work, Zindell’s life was excelling. She was promoted to take Brooke Arnold’s place following Arnold’s promotion.

Prior to the breakup, Zindell’s co-workers were genuinely concerned for her.

Before Zindell called off the wedding, “We were talking about interventions,” Brooke Arnold said. “He manipulated her so she could not talk to anyone. And she is an extremely, extremely intelligent person. It makes you think if this could happen to Lisa, it could happen to anybody.”

“What is distressing is this is a typical cycle of domestic violence. . . . It just spiraled out of control,” Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said at a news conference held after the discovery of the two bodies. “The initial violations did not involve acts of tremendous violence, but consistent with what we know about domestic abuse, it often starts out with harassment that often spirals into violence, and that’s exactly what happened here.”

“She was just really well-rounded, from a good famly, and he bled her dry,” Brooke Arnold said. “Something just needs to be done about restraining orders. His bail” was too low.

“These kind of (controlling) behaviors, if not addressed, over a period of time escalate and become physical,” Pettrow said.

“Anyone who came in contact with her, loved her,” said Angela Sarantinoudis, a co-worker at DYFS. “She was personable and down to earth. She was committed to her job and clients.”

“One of the hardest things in this story, is she had the world in front of her with access to resources we deal with with clients everyday. But she was not a client,” Sarantinoudis said.

Breaking the cycle of violence without support is extremely hard, Pettrow said.

It is necessary to link up with agencies such as ours to create safety plans to break the cycle of violence,” Pettrow said.

“This is a heart-breaking tragedy for our agency as well,” Pettrow said. “Our hearts go out to her family. Help is only a phone call away. Take steps to prevent the cycle of violence before it is spiraling out of the control.”

The Providence House Hotline is 732-244-8259 or is toll free at (800) 246-8910.

All services are free and confidential.


I would like to share my dialogue on reading the post-mortems of this account:

First of all, any sense that in Ocean County, the word isn’t out about this type of crime, should be made clear:


(The Blood & Tears of Domestic Violence: A Survivor’s Revelation)(note:  she has a Victim Safety plan as well, read a few paragraphs:  http://www.DonnaSavage.com)


2008/06/28… Man who allegedly killed his wife at YMCA was under court restraint
The man who allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife Thursday night as she watched her son in a YMCA swim class had a court order forbidding
him from having any contact with her, law enforcement officials said yesterday

2007/06/02 Sat   Man in murder-suicide distraught over woman PERTH AMBOY: A man who fatally shot a woman May 26 and wounded three other people  before fatally turning the gun on himself was apparently distraught over his failed relationship with the woman,…

2007/01/22 Mon  Attack on estranged wife is foiled — Police report a phone call saves woman from assault, fire set by her husband.   …Reza forced his wife into the basement, where he held her captive and tried to sexually assault her at knifepoint, police said. But a friend’s chance phone call and the woman’s panicked screams stopped what authorities said could have been a murder-suicide.”The way this fire was starting to move . if another couple of minutes had gone by, we would’ve been dealing with a couple people (trapped by fire) in the basement,” Police Chief Joseph Clark said yesterday. (Geographic location unclear from summary)

2007/01/08 Mon  Motive for killing Ocean Gate family is unclear, police say —
…Suspected murder-suicide is Ocean County’s third in four months …motives for the killings is unclear. While one neighbor remembers hearing the husband and wife argue loudly and into the night, others described them as a happy couple. Though violent crime is a rarity in Ocean Gate, population 2,100, the deaths were the third murder-suicide in Ocean County in four months. Shellhamer, who attended the couple’s wedding, called the pair “very nice, pleasant people.” Kyle, she said, used to play in the yard with her two sons. Married last April, Peckham and… 

2007/01/07 Sun   A woman, her young son and her boyfriend were found dead inside an Ocean County home
… was released from the Somerset County Jail yesterday after posting 10 percent of $10,000 bail. Couple, boy found dead in Ocean County home. A woman, her young son and her boyfriend were found dead inside an Ocean County home yesterday in an apparent murder-suicide. Jeff Eyerly, 46, was found hanged inside the East Point Pleasant Avenue home in Ocean Gate, authorities told the Asbury Park Press of Neptune for a story posted on their Web site. The bodies of Carol Ann Peckham, 41,… 

2006/09/22 Fri  Couple shot to death in Lacey — Case apparently a murder-suicide
… went frightfully wrong. After an argument, David Walters followed his wife into the garage and shot her in the head, authorities said. He then turned the gun on himself.
Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas Kelaher called the deaths an “apparent murder-suicide.” Neither he nor Lacey Township Police Chief William Nally knew what caused the argument. David Walters did not leave a suicide note, Nally said. “Why wouldn’t he just walk away? What could be so bad that he couldn’t just walk…


2006/05/05 Fri  Shock and mourning follow Middlesex murder-suicide 
TOM HAYDON, SULEMAN DIN AND NAWAL QAROONI STAR-LEDGER STAFF Their romance started with a personal ad in a newspaper and quickly led to a wedding in a Las Vegas chapel. But their marriage was turbulent, neighbors and friends said, leading Donna Palladino to seek a restraining order against her 32-year-old husband, Joseph Palladino Jr. Less than 24 hours after he was served with the order, Palladino killed his 36-year-old estranged wife 
early Wednesday morning, stabbing her between… 

2006/05/04 Thu  MURDER-SUICIDE LEAVES THREE DEAD IN AMBOYS — Woodbridge man kills estranged wife, her mom and himself  
… Donna Palladino, who lived in Barnegat, had been staying with her mother in the South Amboy home since her father’s death.
William Beckmann’s wake was to be held yesterday and his funeral today. Both were postponed. Yesterday’s murder-suicide came less than a day after Joseph Palladino was served with a final restraining order his wife had obtained in Ocean County. The order was the result of threats her estranged husband had made against her in telephone conversations,

2004/03/29 Mon  Violent marriage ends with murder-suicide 
… STAR-LEDGER STAFF A marriage marked by domestic violence ended with a husband stabbing his wife more than two dozen times, killing her before fatally stabbing himself, Ocean County authorities said. An autopsy performed Friday, two days after the murder-suicide in Forked River, Lacey Township, showed that 37-year-old Kurt Rosenberger stabbed 33-year-old Kathleen Rosenberger 28 times, said Lt. Robert Urie, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office

2003/10/26 Sun  Couple die in apparent murder-suicide — Authorities say husband shot wife, himself in the presence of toddler granddaughter
… In this story about a murder-suicide in Elizabeth, the gender of a 2-year-old child found in the house with dead grandparents was misidentified due to incorrect information provided by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. The child was a boy, not a girl. A man with a history of domestic violence apparently shot his wife and then himself yesterday, leaving their distraught 2-year-old granddaughter trapped in their Elizabeth apartment…  ..

2000/05/16 Tue  No charges for Seton guards in abduction — Police: Inaction cost precious time in case that led to murder-suicide  
… yesterday they could not press charges against a security guard and his supervisor who apparently ignored pleas for help from a witness to last week’s abduction of a Seton Hall University student. The victim was later killed by her ex-boyfriend in a murder-suicide at his Westfield apartment. ‘We really don’t have a charge to file against them,” said Lt. Frank Brunelle of the Westfield Police Department, the agency leading the investigation. As Christopher Honrath, 24, forced Sohayla… 




Sources of commentary (per this article):

Ocean County Prosecutor comments:
“”What is distressing is this is a typical cycle of domestic violence. . . . It just spiraled out of control,” Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said at a news conference held after the discovery of the two bodies. “The initial violations did not involve acts of tremendous violence, but consistent with what we know about domestic abuse, it often starts out with harassment that often spirals into violence, and that’s exactly what happened here.”

{{note”  The initial violations did not involve acts of tremendous violence” .  notice attitude.  This is what i ran across in my own case, when I attempted to tell police, in an incident that I took violations of court orders seriously.  I also took threats to abduct seriously.  Too bad they chose not to.  I have explained to a policeman in a situation that because of the background of DV (and this was a situation that frightened me and had me trapped at home in a cul de sac situation without a vehicle to escape with) I am taking this seriously.  It was “blown off.”  This “blowing it off” response by a single policeman in my area was taken, apparently, as a declaration of “open season” for that season, and since, culminating — let’s hope — in felony child-stealing one and a half years later, as my reports of concern about that ALSO were “blown off”, shouted down, etc.

SO, . . .. 

My question, to this response:
1. Who is Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford, and what does her (press conference statement) exonerating any type of legal/judicial/ or law enforcement miscarriage mean by “it just spiraled out of control” refer to specifically? Because it seems to me that a man was put into a mental hospital, when incarceration (without bail) would’ve been more appropriate, given the “lethality indicators” in his case. That’s my opinion.

2. How could a prosecutor be unaware of the prior lethality indicators in this case — was it lack of training? Was she so young and just unaware that economic abuse is an indicator, and that the love of money might be a motivator? My take on the situation was that someone in the police/legal community WANTED this woman dead, because otherwise, they would’ve taken appropriate measures to make sure she was not killed. How did her stalker know where she lived, since she’d left her own home (per this article), etc.


Marlene Lynch Ford ’76

In June 2007, Marlene Lynch Ford was nominated by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine to be Ocean County Prosecutor, a position she still holds today. Prosecutor Ford graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in History from Georgian

Ford Court College and was the recipient of the Departmental Award for the Department of History, Economics, and Political Science. She pursued her dream of becoming a lawyer and earned her juris doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1979  {for non-locals, I believe Seton Hall is a well-known, well-respected Catholic University in NJ}.  


Prosecutor Ford practiced law in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, before a successful run for the General Assembly in 1983, becoming the youngest women (sic) ever elected to the New Jersey Legislature at the age of 29. She served two terms representing the 10th Legislative District in Ocean County. During her first term, she ensured {HOW?  By authoring them?  Pushing for their passage?  Which bills?}} that more bills were signed into law than any other first-term legislator.


During her second term, she chaired the Assembly Judiciary Committee {{INTERESTING!}}and sponsored over 75 bills that were signed into law, including the Domestic Violence Prevention Act of 1990 {{Note:  Amazing:  this is before the 1994 VAWA act was passed}} ; the Victims Rights amendment to the New Jersey Constitution; and the Ford Act, the largest tax reduction at that time in New Jersey history.


Prosecutor Ford was nominated by Governor Jim Florio to be a Superior Court judge in 1992, and she served in the family division for four years and the civil division for ten years.

PERSONAL QUALITY:  Well, the Governor liked her, obviously, or got her a judgeship.  Comments (i.e., speculation on my part):  JUDICIAL experience in the family law division.  NOT exactly (if anything like other parts of the country) a place that is tough on criminal enforcements, one might think.  I would love to see how those various cases went. . .

She was honored by New Jersey Monthly Magazine in 1992 as one of New Jersey’s Heroes for her role in expanding the rights of people to fair housing and employment, regardless of their sexual orientation. In 2006, she was promoted to presiding judge of the family division. She also served as the chair of the Committee on Model Civil Jury Charges and chair of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Outside Activities of Judiciary Personnel. (the what??) Georgian Court University awarded her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for her outstanding legislative and judicial work on behalf of the citizens of New Jersey in 2006.

Summary courtesy:


Has Prosecutor Lynch Ford had a family? 


COMMENT FROM:  Catholic Charities Providence House Domestic Violence Services Associate Director, Mary Pettrow:

The murder this week of 30-year-old Letizia “Lisa” Zindell “rattled the public” because the victim was both educated and knowledgeable in the cycle of domestic violence, said Mary Pettrow, associate director of Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities.


From what I can see, Mary Pettrow is very experienced and understands the dangers of domestic violence, AND the word was out in Ocean County, among the powers that be.  I searched, and found 11 categories of help through this Providence House listed in Ocean County alone! through Catholic Charities.  They appear to be a press go-to resource after another DV murder.  This one, in 2006 in which, of course, the neighbors and police had no idea. . .. 

Neighbors, police had no indication of domestic problems
September 22, 2006

The Asbury Park Press consulted with Mary Pettrow of Providence House for an article on the murder of a Lacey Township woman. Pettrow told the Press that domestic violence is often a progressive pattern and that “warning signs are not always apparent to outside people.”


In my attempt to look up who that was in Lacey township in 2006, I came across this Criminal Defense firm, stating that while Northern NJ has plenty of lawyers, who’s a person accused of something to turn to in Southern (incl. Ocean County) Jersey?

(NOTE:  the list of incidents above, dating back to 2000 was also found in my attempt to find out more about the 2006 this same Providence House associate director/director, had been consulted about 3 years earlier.)


Ocean County is a great place to live and practice law.  The crime rate is low, especially for serious crimes.  Many people that are facing criminal charges do not have the money for private attorneys.  As a result, there are almost no attorneys that solely practice criminal law in Ocean County.  In addition, it seems that very few attorneys who focus a majority of their practice in northern New Jersey counties venture down to the court in Toms River.  Will you get an attorney that will fight for you?

At Jack Venturi & Associates, we live and practice in Ocean County.  Our criminal defense attorneys are proud to bring a tough and aggressive style of practice to Toms River and Ocean County as we believe that defendants in Ocean County deserve quality representation without having to break the bank.

And here’s their assertions of how aggressively they will defend against “domestic abuse” (notice:  not “domestic violence”) in this Southern NJ shore area.  While it is actually domestic VIOLENCE (even in the title to this section), notice how in the text it becomes “abuse” which somehow doesn’t sound so, well, you know, ‘violent.”  NOTE:  this isn’t accidental.  NOTE:  Well-known (and well-funded) DV group out of Minnesota has a well-known “Domestic ABUSE Intervention Program”, as is a different, “Domestic Abuse Project” out of Minneapolis with a well-known author in the field (Edleson, if I”m not mistaken — which I might be).  Whether this is simply in those cases because a vowell makes a better acronym than the letter “V,” or because of ain intention to downgrade the severity of the issue in the public’s minds (i.e., in their language describing it), I cannot say, in that case at least.    But I am on alert for the terminology-switch, for sure.  This a criminal defense attorney firm (and domestic VIOLENCE is a crime — either felony, or misdemeanor) (and it sometimes escalates up to death(s)), so when that entity chooses to downgrade the term, I notice.  

New Jersey Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys

In New Jersey, a family or domestic abuse charge can be a serious offense with long-lasting and life-altering penalties. If you have been charged or are facing domestic violence charges in any court in New Jersey, you should make sure that you have the most aggressive and effective domestic violence defense lawyers on your side. At Jack Venturi & Associates, our attorneys provide criminal court and family court defense to clients in domestic abuse cases.  With offices in Toms River, New Brunswick, Eatontown & Princeton, we can represent you in any court in New Jersey.

A domestic abuse charge can affect your employment, your family, and the rest of your life. You should make sure that you come to court prepared to make the most compelling defense on your behalf. Contact Jack Venturi & Associates to meet with our attorneys and start preparing your defense today.

Click here to read about the recent success that our domestic violence defense attorneys have had in New Jersey.

We understand that every case is unique; every case is different.  Our attorneys will take the time to know you and your family and help prepare the best defense in your case. With our assistance you can be rest assured that you are entering court armed with attorneys who know how to present your side of the story. Our New Jersey domestic violence restrain[in]g order defense attorneys can assist you with any of the following charges:

  • Domestic abuse  {Good grief which is it?  This website is training applicants how to name it, I gather}
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Restraining orders: temporary restraining orders and final restraining orders
  • Child neglect
  • Domestic disputes {translation:  what the first press release after a murder calls it, case in point, see “California” – on my recent blog/  toll booth shooting initially was characterized in news as arising from a “domestic dispute,” i.e., she somehow provoked him while at her job in an enclosed toll booth.  The next report characterized it quite the opposite.}
  • Child abuse
  • Domestic disturbance

{{NOTE:  isn’t that an interesting assembly of charges that seem to come hand in hand with “domestic violence” charges?  Yet in the venue of family court, they are still convening studies (and taking federal grant money, LOTS of it) to “explicate” the context of this behavior in custody determinations, even though laws exist in many states saying that batterers don’t make good parents.  That’s probably WHY more research is “needed” to (reframe) the discussion.

We can also help you vacate a New jersey final restraining order or appeal a final restraining order that has been entered against you.

This criminal defense firm also mentions — right up front — things that many women are not told, fleeing DV into the arms of the local justice center, or agency.  They are told to file restraining orders, and make custody arrangements, and not told what is going to happen in the family law venue (which exists primarily in part to weaken consideration of crimes as crimes, I say), nor will they be reminded THIS:

Constitutional Protections for the Criminal Defendant

The United States Constitution and its subsequent amendments define the scope of governmental power and reserve certain individual rights to the people. The first 10 amendments, also called the Bill of Rights, contain basic, fundamental rights of individuals on which the government may not impinge. Many of these constitutional rights provide protection to criminal defendants in the criminal justice system. The Fourteenth Amendment extends substantive due process rights beyond just the federal system to criminal defendants in state courts where the vast majority of criminal trials occur.

The basic constitutional rights of the criminal defendant permeate every aspect of the criminal justice process. If you have been accused of a crime, whether federal, state or local, a seasoned criminal defense attorney can explain these rights to you and help you to fight for them at every step of the way.

The stage at which a woman with children is likely to be remembering these above privileges (and thank God for them) is likely to be after a custody-switch in the family law venue which violated this due process.  However, the person opposing the charges is not so likely to be unaware of these rights.

I know this is quite a bit astray from the Toms River case, except my question is, after a murder in 2006, same thing, same Providence House director quoting the same truths about the domestic violence cycle, how come someone died THEN?  (And who?) and what policy changed, if any, after that?


Per zoominfo:  Indicator the Probation Dept. might have been aware:

The Probation Association of New Jersey, Local 106 – [Cached Version]

Published on: 6/8/2001    Last Visited: 2/2/2002  

Contact: Mary Pettrow, CSW, Program DirectorProvidence House, a Program of Catholic CharitiesPO Box 104Toms River, NJ 08754732-244-6257

We were very fortunate to have representatives from the Probation Association of New Jersey volunteer their time to assist us with projects to maintain the clean and home-like appearance of the facility” stated Mary Pettrow, Director of Program Services for Providence House.If you are a victim of domestic violence, call the Providence House 24 hour hotline — 732-244-8259 or, in the 609 area, (800) 246-8910.If you are interested in volunteering, call 732-244-6257.


Looking for volunteers for domestic violence response teams
September 23, 3008

September 23, 2008 Whiting, NJ– Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities, and local police departments are seeking volunteers to assist victims of domestic abuse. These volunteers must reside in the following municipalities: Toms River, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Lavallette, Island Heights and Lakewood. Volunteers would be part of the Domestic Violence Response Teams (DVRT) located throughout Ocean County. DVRT volunteers meet with victims at the police station following a reported incident and provide supportive listening, options and referrals to help those affected by domestic violence. Volunteers are required to attend 40 hours of training over a period of 10 weeks. Ten of those hours will be spent observing cases heard in Superior and Municipal Courts. All prospective volunteers must undergo a background check and interview process, and must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid NJ drivers license, and available transportation. Interested individuals may contact Donald Horbelt, DVRT Specialist, at 732-350-2120 by November 7, 2008 for more information.


Several articles here refer to Providence House, including that Prosecutor Lynch-Ford might have known about it, as well as police chiefs, mayors, Ocean County Freeholders, and others.  So “what gives” that Ms. Zindell didn’t get to their doors yet, or feel she needed to?


Providence House thanks awareness month supporters
November 14, 2007

On behalf of Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities we wanted to share with you how grateful we are for the community support that was shown during October, which was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Specifically, on Thursday, October 25, 2007 staff, clients, and community members celebrated the journey from “victim” to “survivor” of domestic abuse. The day began at the Providence House Outreach office located on Schoolhouse Road in Whiting with a flag raising ceremony on the newly installed flagpole given to Providence House by Manchester Township. PHOTO: Mayor Michael Fressola, Mary Pettrow, Associate Director of Providence House, Police Chief William Brase, and Councilman Kenneth Vanderziel joined to raise the flag to start off the day’s events (see photo, below). The Catholic Charities outreach building has also become a satellite location of the Manchester Police Department – a partnership that will greatly benefit the community and those affected by domestic abuse in Manchester Township.

The staff of Providence House then transitioned into preparations for the thirteenth annual Celebration of Survivors event held that night from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Whiting. This annual commemoration honors all those affected by domestic violence, from clients who have worked so hard to transition from the role of victim to becoming a survivor to those who have lost their lives at the hands of someone who claimed to love them. At the beginning of the ceremony, Ms. Madelin Einbinder, representing Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch-Ford conducted the opening candle lighting. Many of the clients participated in this event either by speaking; writing a poem, or taking part in making affirmations about the positive steps they have taken in their lives. Clients of Providence House created a beautiful quilt depicting the various phases of domestic abuse and the journey to becoming a survivor, which was on display that night. The Ocean County Freeholders and the Township of Manchester gave Proclamations declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Every year at this event awards are given to particular groups or individuals that have generously supported Providence House throughout the years. This year three honorees were awarded this accolade: Dr. Peter Lewis for choosing Providence House to be an ongoing beneficiary of the “Smiles for Life” program; Verizon Wireless for its cellular phone donation program, sponsorship of the Providence House gift auction, and provision of trainings to clients on job seeking skills; and the Zonta Club of Ocean County for being actively involved in addressing violence against the elderly through the creation of the Elder Abuse Task Force. The audience was deeply moved by all of the components of this special program.

In closing, another very important occurrence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month for which the staff of Providence House was extremely grateful was the recent grant of $80,500.00 from the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders. This contribution will continue to make it possible for victims of domestic abuse and their children to receive free, confidential, and professional services through the various Providence House programs. Please let your readers know that if you or someone you know needs assistance or would like to learn more about domestic abuse, please contact the 24-hour hotline at 732.244.8259 or 1.800.246.8910.

There is also a significant article on this same web page about a parallel (??) treatment program for men, dating to 2008, Feb.

I remember a certain close to Valentine’s Day long ago, a severe and escalating incident involving guns (and a close call) was defused.  The next day, or soon after, I attempted to discuss this in the religious, joint-counseling we had been recommended to (and did) attend.  BIG . . .. BIG . . .. mistake.  They didn’t want me to bring this up, so I shut up.  I was asked (in a show of grandiose, after the incident, and public, pretense – – absent any repentance or apology or acknowledgement for how this incident had affected me, including from those counseling — to go attended a couples Sweetheart dinner and dance at the same church.  I was still in shock, and went, and entering into the ladies’ room, recognizing someone I knew whose husband knew of the incident, I collapsed.  The ladies room of this church was apparently a safer place (to me, emotionally), than the pastor’s office in the exact same hallway.  After speaking my piece to a woman, I wiped up off my face, straightened up, and went out to the event.  I have a photo from it; and look frozen.  I don’t see that its import registered — at all — with anyone employed by the church.

So, here is an article around Valentine’s Day written from the perspective of a man counseling men who have been court-ordered into treatment for Violence against, presumably, their intimate partners  From the same organization and page as the Providence House one:

From Violence to Compassion
February 14, 2008

Valentine’s Day is here – the time for expressing affection with loved ones. It seems improbable that the people we love can sometimes be the people whose hearts and bodies we hurt. Yet we know domestic violence is a reality, even on Valentine’s Day, necessitating shelters and services to protect women and children. If we really want to protect women and children we must also reach the men committing these offenses. Through court mandates, some men who have abused their partners and children enter our treatment program. Our goal is that they take responsibility for their actions so that the intergenerational cycle of abuse is stopped.When I started this work 25 years ago, we had a plan. Confront them. Lecture them about male privilege. Change their social beliefs to accept women as equals.

{{read on:  sounds like the men coming through the program helped talk them into abandoning said plan, including accepting women as equals….}}

Trouble was, as seen through the rear view mirror of time, we were replicating the power tactics we wanted them to stop. We had the “truth”, and I was going to force it on them.

{{LET’s GET HONEST, anecdotal commentary:  When I brought this up to individuals in my own case, the exact truth, and have continued bringing it, up, I found no such audience or understanding.  This is in fact the general attitude I have noticed in the family law venue, and (generally speaking) in other venues in which “experts” tell those who have actually “experienced” violence and near-death or other trauma (ongoing, often enough), how to view their own experiences — namely, to minimize them.  This is in effect telling people NOT to trust their gut and NOT to trust their own assessments of things that they actually have gone through assessing and taking legal action on.  As such, it’s condescending, and yes, we do (whether male or female) pick up on the condescension AND the power tactics.  One reason we understand this is that domestic violence IS a power tactic.  The violence part is about power, punishment, and refusal to take orders, particularly from a woman (inferior in the relationship.  Again, and unfortunately, too many “faith institutions” echo the same dynamics, including Catholics, Catholic Charities and other large institutions of various sorts.}} 


We got compliance, significantly less capital “V” violence, the violence that is against the law. But when you looked closer at the picture, we saw more small “v” violence, the emotional and verbal abuse often goes under the radar of law enforcement but is equally damaging to its victims.

The prevailing sentiment is these men are monsters with no feeling who deny, minimize, or take no responsibility for their actions. {{Welll, as to all but the first part — which I can’t speak for, not being inside the other person’s head, I CAN speak for the other parts:  deny, minimize and take no responsibility for their actions:  Yes.  This is true.  }}  My 25 years in the trenches have allowed me to learn from these men who abuse the same lesson I learned from the victims of abuse. They taught me that if humanity and compassion are goals, therapists must create an atmosphere of emotional safety in order to address the hidden shame and hurt that the men so fear. Frequently, men hide their perceived wounds behind a controlling and domineering veneer. We call these wounds “core hurts”, a term coined by Dr. Steven Stosny** in his work with men who have abused. These wounds usually originate in childhood and lead a man to believe he is unlovable, powerless, rejected, and unworthy of earning trust. The “core hurts”, hidden with accompanying shame, are actually mistaken beliefs about himself. Men who have abused hide this pain and shame from themselves and from others with a “mask”. They use the mask that many men use, but include physical and emotional violence. This mask ranges from the grandiose exuberance of exaggerated manhood to the “strong, silent type”. But behind the mask are men who use power, status, achievement, etc, to prove that they are better than others. Men notch their belts with money, cars, conquests of women, and athletic accomplishments, as demonstrations of superiority, of their definition of “manhood”. Power and winning are used in place of compassion in their relationships. Power may get compliance, but deep inside, these men know that they remain feeling unlovable. They try to manipulate “love” out of others, but they feel unlovable on the inside. When someone does express love to them, they cannot accept it because they do not feel lovable at their core. No amount of love from others will make someone who feels unlovable believe that they are worthy of love. They must do that work on themselves.

The men I have worked with have taught me that, given a welcoming sanctuary of emotional safety, inclusion, and acceptance, they have the courage to go behind the mask that hides their shame to heal their “core hurts’. An interesting thing happens as they expose these wounds and deal with the feelings of unlovablity, powerlessness, etc they were covering up. Their internal beliefs, beliefs about themselves, change. They discover their own lovability and internal power to regulate their own emotions (as opposed to their external power over others.). In the beginning of this compassion for self, they start feeling better about themselves, more worthy of love. And how does a person worthy of love treat others? Many of these men have found that they treat their partners, their children, and their co-workers with more compassion. They realize that both the capital “V” violence and the small “v” violence hurt their loved ones’ ability to trust, love, and connect. The men who do this work can hear and understand the hurt they caused others, and start to make amends.

For the men who dig in and work on themselves, their work does not stop when the treatment ends. About half the men who complete the program volunteer to come back to our “Passing It On” night where they help new group members have the courage to look inside themselves. When the men look behind this mask, the false manhood, the addictions, the aggressions, even the passive withdrawal into stonewalling, they see that they have discarded their own humanity. When the men do the work, one of the most common phrases we hear is “I got myself back”. “Myself” has been there the whole time waiting to be discovered. None of this means that these men should not be held accountable for their actions; they are totally responsible for their behavior no matter what the other person does. However, once inside treatment programs, if we want their humanity to re-emerge, we follow what these men have taught us: Create a safe place where shameful hurts can heal, and the humanity and compassion in the human spirit grows. We have seen men who have the courage to do this work change their definition of manhood to include expressions of sadness, allowance of fear, inadequacy, and imperfection. Compassion becomes a practice and self-responsibility becomes a discipline. The men start connecting with others with more humanity, more humility, and more acceptance.

Protecting women by providing shelters and supportive services is essential. So is holding the men accountable through the legal system. Most men do not come unless there are external forces. At the same time, creating a safe place for men to heal the shame and pain behind their violence will further this effort.

David J. Thomas, LCSW, LMFT, DVS
Program Supervisor, Family Growth Program of Catholic Charities, Trenton
Thomas has worked at Catholic Charities with family violence since 1977

Which brings me to the point of Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood recipients in NJ.  I thought, SURELY, the reason Ms. Zindell had to die was New Jersey somehow had missed the boat on udnerstanding that DV can be lethal, and they were also short of teaching “healthy marriages.”  But here is someone out of Trenton, who is a devotee (apparently) of Dr. Sosny, who teaches, for a fee of course a Boot camp for Smart Marriage attendees.

Dr. Stosny is offering his celebrated Boot Camp training exclusively for
Smart Marriages attendees. Participants will learn invaluable skills in
emotional regulation and dealing with chronic resentment, anger, or
emotional abuse. You are free to use the any of the materials and skills you
learn merely by attending the training. You will also have the opportunity
to become a CompassionPower associate and to use Dr. Stosny’s name, trademarks,
and website for marketing, for a small annual fee. This fee is usually $250, but for Smart Marriages
institute graduates, the fee is only $100 a year.

The CompassionPower Boot Camp consists of 3 sessions of 8 hours each. Love
without Hurt consists of 4 intensive, two-hour sessions, with 22 pages of
homework assignments.

If you do any kind of family education or intervention, you will certainly
encounter hidden emotional abuse and violence against spouses
and children. In some couples you’ll notice harshness and hostility,
but in many you will not – abusers can be charming and affable in public.
Most abuse occurs in private when a loved one, purposely or inadvertently
triggers the abuser’s sense of failure or inadequacy – as parent, spouse,
lover, or provider. This causes a sudden drop in self-value, which makes
them feel powerless and unable to see anyone else’s perspective.

 {{i.e., it wasn’t “the devil made me do it” or “she made me do it” but “my drop in self-value made me do it.”

((While there’s I bet truth to the fact that this aggression IS a reaction to the sense of lowered self-worth — I mean what kind of man with a sense of self-respect would go assault (or kill, or beat up on) his wife or girlfriend?  SO WHAT?  Why cannot we not talk about simply the self-respect that goes with understanding what laws are, and the civic duty to comply with them?  I have been through unbelievable situations without violating laws against abuse, stalking, visitation interference, child-stealing or anything of that sort.  In consequence for this level of self-restraint, and after appealing to the justice system(s) for justice, the police for enforcement, the child support system for enforcement, and the courts for protection orders, I have totally lost my sense of safety in my own neighborhoods, all expectation that child support arrears of any sort are going to come in, and with zero assistance as to either protection, victim compensation funding (although a crime was committed and income was lost — ALL income, as a matter of fact) because of this crime and no other identifiable reasons, I have gone to zero again.  this was AFTEr all the years of violence in the home.  So, I have little sympathy for organizations or programs where men, after wounding women physically and in other categories, can get an ear for licking their wounds and wounded egos in front of a ready ear.  Did SHE get this mercy somehow?  Did she get it from the men in question that had to be ordered into treatment to start with?.  What kind of racket and set of alliances is this, anyhow?))

Aggressive impulses occur automatically when people feel powerless,
but unlike most of us, abusers act out the aggression. The power-and-control
tactics for which they are known are merely attempts to keep family
members from doing something that might make them face their failure
or inadequacy as parents, spouses, lovers, or providers. That’s why
research shows that efforts to change behavior without empowering
abusers fail.

Both the Compassion Power Boot Camp and the Self Regulation:
Love Without Hurt
 add-on program feature Stosny’s empowering concept of innate
Core Value, the unique human drive to create value and maintain an inner
store of intimate, aesthetic, spiritual, moral, compassionate, and protective
experiences. The centerpiece of the program is HEALS, which is used to
treat resentment, anger, and violence. HEALS automatically raises self value
during the sudden drops that lead to abuse, by conditioning Core Value to
occur with the first signs of resentment, anger, or anxiety. The experience of
Core Value makes it possible to see other perspectives and be compassionate
to loved ones.


(Where government programs meet market niches; we’re in it.)

Searching on David J Thomas (above’s) program area, Family Growth Services, it would appear that although there’s a high overlap with the department Ms. Zindell worked in, somehow a connection was made.  Perhaps, because she wasn’t yet a “family”?  Here:

Community and Population Served by the Organization 

The Children and Family Service Division serves more than 500 abused and neglected children annually and attempts to also bring their families under the wing of its services. Its programs operate in Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, and Ocean counties. Division programs are made possible by an extensive network of more than 700 employees and 400 volunteers. Many clients are referred to Catholic Charities from the corrections system or from the state Division of Youth and Family Services.   ..Family Growth helps abusive families change violent patterns of interaction so that children can remain safely in their own home and rebuild their basic trust.



Well, that’s it for this (now long) post, for now!

Yes, we SHOULD call them “restraining order suggestions” (Certifiably Insane Protection Orders in MN; meanwhile, more “Fatherhood” in KS)

with 25 comments

[UPDATE NOTES: This post originally published over five years ago — on August 7, 2009.  For more recent focus of this blog, see more recent posts (2016, 2014) which focus on systems operations, and consolidation of economic power from outside state lines (divorce and custody remaining under state jurisdiction, as well as domestic violence prevention orders).  I am currently working on posts regarding the Greenbook Initiative (2000-2008) and involved parties, on the NCJFCJ, on IDVAAC, and the “DV cartel” as identified by its participants (centralized, coordinated, and stuck in a policy rut) on the HHS and USDOJ grants stream.   I look up nonprofit organizations functioning as social policy conduits for a small group of inter-related professionals who cut deals with each other on what to minimize, what to focus on.  These represent a much larger pattern throughout government, not just relating to domestic violence itself. Many times by the time individuals find out about the policy deals that were cut, their lives, or kids are “gone.”  If not physically, often in all the other critical aspects of life which people NOT entrenched in some of these systems may still take for granted.  For example, the ability to get to and from, and hold a job once one has been hired, or completing projects for clients inbetween police events, court hearings, and ongoing threats to one’s personal safety and particularly, financial survival (i.e., ability to sustain food, housing, transportation, etc.). This comment added 2/16/2016 //LGH]

Today’s headlines are right on topic with yesterday’s post. . . and the one referenced above….

Mr & Mrs. OUELETTEs, MINNESOTA, 2 accounts of 2,100 on the web.

(1)  Wife had order of protection against husband prior to murder-suicide

(2)  Harris man gave up guns before strangling wife, hanging himself

Well, I swore I was NOT going to blog on this today, but I fear that these are indeed possibly copy-cat murder/suicides.  It is now “out there” in the news as a possible way out of an emotionally embarrassing and humiliating situation.

Read THIS one, and then see if you can tell which parts were certifiably insane public policy, and how many warning signs people ignored.

And I’ll tell you why this one chills me, and makes me glad to be alive today.

(TOP part of post — Minnesota.  BOTTOM — Kansas.  They relate.)

Preface Commentary:

At this point, it seems to be “certifiably insane public policy” to expect women to trust, or men to respect, such restraining orders, when clearly they don’t — I already blogged on this re: the woman in Pennsylvania who fought back.

Recently, I wrote about a father accused of molesting his (teenaged) daughter who, seeing as she was only moved 2 doors down, and into the home of a man that used to be the same father’s employee (say, what???!?), within one week, Dad had killed: daughter, foster father and himself, and almost killed foster mother, too.  So THAT helpful ruling got 3 people dead and one injury.  Great going, child protective services in that region of Tennessee.

Here’s another one that slipped through the cracks somehow, and at several different points.  What “gets” me about this one is realizing several domestic violence prevention groups, nonprofits, that have been getting millions upon millions of federal dollars, over at least a decade in grants to provent violendce locally, rurally, and in Indian tribes, as well as technical assistance grants to, I guess, “get the word out.”  So far, I can see they are doing a great job with putting to gether literature that’s already on the web somewhere, positioning themselves as the experts, consulting in private with other professionals about what to do, and keeping a body count.  Which hasn’t substantially changed (per these counts) statewide in Minnesota within a decade.

So either the state is raising more suicidal or unable to handle stress people, or immature young adults who then continue the immaturity into adulthood and parenthood (referringto the fathers in this case), or something. . . . . . Or so many people are being born each day that they STILL don’t know the warning signs of danger, and are talked into minimizing them.

Let’s maybe add ONE more “lethality risk” — trusting in protection orders to start with.  That’s for the courts and for the women alike.  And encouraging a woman to do so (or continuing to present them as viable alternatives — when in fact they are panaceas too often) also places her in risk, given the facts.  Ignorance of them is NOT bliss. . . .  

When police DO respond in time, they run the risk of death themselves.  When they do NOT respond in time, typically Mom, and sometimes Dad, are killed, and sometimes more.  Or otherwise traumatized.  SO . . . . .   what else is available?


  • State:  Minnesota
  • Body Count:  2, no responding officers or bystanders killed this time.
  • Orphans:  3, ages 10 (boy), 8 & 8 (twin girls)
  • Who are they now living with?  Relatives.
  • Did they witness the murder  – – of their mother by their father, YES, the girls
  • Did they try to intervene and fail? – — YES, an 8 year old girl tried to save her mother.
  • Was 911 called? – — YES, by an 8 year old daughter?
  • Was the call heeded (it seems No), or interfered with (yes, by the father)? – – – read below.
  • Was that restraining order as written certifiably insane?  – — ABSOLUTELY.  (And it seems identical to the one I got many years ago.)
  • Does making a restrained person turn in his or her guns always save a life? – — NO.  Other weapons also can kill (apparently here, hands).
  • Or, a person not allowed to get a gun could get a friend’s (or in a recent case girlfriend’s gun).
  • Are risk assessments going to redeem lives from living in fear (or being lost)?  – – – I’m  not sure.  I’m of the current opinion, NO, unless the woman herself takes them seriously and takes serious actions not reliant on 911 to ensure safety.

So, Let’s talk about the body counts vis a vis the legal terminology:

When you think about it, and read the results, even calling these things “protection orders” makes zero sense.

They are restraint requests.  A man without restraint is ordered publically by a judge to show restraint.

WHO is to protect, in “protection order”?  The power of the state?  Does the state, like God, declare “protection” exists because it ordered this?  And is the state, in so doing, lying to the protected parties.

I think so, basically.  

Here’s a perhaps (I ALWAYS say “perhaps,” or try to} more viable protection order:

A trained, armed mother with an attitude to match, telling the man who just received the judicial order, that she is going to take the boundaries of the property seriously, and understands all laws regarding the 2nd amendment, and any contingencies.  IN other words, she needs to be more determined and more aggressive than the person who formerly attacked or threatened her.

So do the people surrounding or dealing with her on this issue.

Alternately, a “not in the same state” “county” “500 mile radius” mother, and kids.  And the kids could be told the truth about why this is happening, in age-appropriate terms but without name-calling or derogatory treatment of their father.

But of course that would screw up access visitation and National Fathers Return Days somewhat….

NOW, this is not typically the state of a woman who has gotten to the point of requesting such an order from her husband, right? The request for an order represents (to an abuser) an ESCALATION in OPPOSITION to SUBMISSION.

Wife had order of protection against husband prior to murder-suicide

HARRIS, Minn. — In rural Chisago County, houses are far apart, but neighbors are close.

Roland and Mavis Ramberg thought they knew the neighbors down the road, Doug and Candice Ouellette, who were both  38 years old.

Their grandchildren and the Ouellette’s 10-year-old son and 8-year-old twin girls were friends.

“They seemed like a nice couple,” says Mavis.

> > > Yes, we all like to think that pleasantries in social endeavors

mean the couple is nice in private.  This mentality also appears to hold true among custody evaluators and mediators — well, he/she showed self-control while in MY office, or while I was watching, therefore, that’s the standard..Therefore my formal assessment (opinion?) is that, he/she is a nice guy and the other partner is eccentric, or has personality problems (that don’t relate to or arise from the relationship? . . . ).

I have been seriously assaulted both immediately before and immediately after a social engagement in our home, like many women who have been in violent relationships.  No matter how much evidence hits the press or anywhere else about the reality of this type of dual- behavior, the communal lore (at least in the press) seems to be, denial and surprise..as if this was a new thing.  “What a nice couple.”

Define “nice.”  Define knowledge of one’s neighbors.

Then on Wednesday night, the Rambergs realized that something was clearly wrong.

>>Apparently they didn’t know about:  the prior suicide attempt resulting in a call to police, OR the restraining order situation, or the divorce.  They were still a “nice” couple.

“All I saw was squad cars, upon squad cars and helicopter,” says Roland

One of the Ouellette’s little girls had called 911. Investigators say Doug strangled Candice to death in their home, then hanged himself in an outbuilding.

“I can’t imagine anything worse than having your dad kill your mom and then kill himself,” says Chisago County Chief Deputy Bob Shoemaker.

Court documents filed in Chisago County detail the couple’s troubled marriage. In June, police were called to the Ouellette’s home for an attempted suicide.

{{This suicide attempt is characterized as  “a troubled marriage,” not a troubled man.  Well, attempted suicides ARE troubling to all involved}}

In her own words, Candice (mother) tells the court that Doug locked himself in the pole barn with guns,

held a revolver to his head and threatened to kill himself.

At that time Candice received an order for protection, an order authorities say was later terminated by the agreement both she and her husband.  {{The sentence is incomplete…}}

{{AND all the “experts” said, “Amen, So Be it.  We’re glad you reconciled.”}}

A suicide attempt should trigger a separation and mandated SOMETHING.  Fatherlessness over the decades sure has triggered a LOT of initiatives.  Why not initiatives to mandate that potential fatherlessness as demonstrated by suicide attempt should result in suicide-prevention action by the courts, et al.?  (See my past 14 years of lethality risk studies, last post)  Common sense:  In the news there are “suicide” attacks, bombs.  Wars sometimes involve suicide bombing  SO when there’s a home war, watch out!}}

{HAS SOMEONE ACTUALLY — OR WILL THEY LATER — READ THE ORDER THAT TERMINATES?  How much later? . . . that’s the trouble with getting stories out so fast — their incompleteness…}}

But at the end of June, Candice filed for divorce, with a no contact provision.

  • It looks like there was a stipulation in the paperwork
  • that allows him to go to the outbuildings during daylight hours
  • between 9 and 5 pm,” says Shoemaker.

Gee, with all the hoopla, particularly by President Obama et al., this past Father’s Day, perhaps it made him feel even worse.  That’s why I say, maybe we ought to “call it a day” on the “days.”  MOST of them. . . . . . .

til 5pm?  BUT — – – – BUT – – – – did not this attack, strangulation-murder, happen around 9:15pm (or was it just discovered then)?  How long were those girls in the home alone with their Mom’s body?

What kind of self-restraint was presumed the suicidal Dad would show in this presumptuous order?  And, why didn’t the Mom call 911 the SECOND he approached the home after 5pm?  Was it an ambush or sneak attack?  Or was she still half in “placation/mediation/well, he’s their father mode”?  And had it not yet sunk in that she had a RIGHT to self-defense and say no?  OR, it being rural, did she not have any other recourse?  Unfortunately, we do not have a brain-scan of her final thoughts.. Do those girls have some final words or cries burned into their brains, and the boy?. . .  (I can imagine why, probably, having been in those shoes.  And my order didn’t even stipulate only certain hours…)

THAT ORDER IS  – – AS WELL AS TERMINATING THE EARLIER ONE – – was  the “certifiably insane” part . . . . . The “frog in a pan of warm water” effect.  The “graduated sanctions” philosophy.  That order, whether written ‘by them’ or not, was signed by a judge, and was a piece of crap!  If any of my readers has negotiated a “mutual” agreement with someone who has attempted or threatened to attempt suicide before, and all went well, all are still alive, it worked out, please comment on my post, and give the case # too, and what county and what year.  I’d like to see something to validate the court attention-deficit process women leaving abuse are put through.  One files a protection order on the other, indicating some serious and significant differences in perspective, than are ordered to mediate, or reconcile, or just get along and put their differences aside.

AND – – I had the same thing.  Same field of endeavor from this man, and same not a REAL protection order.  It was not really safe, it was risky to do this, in our context, and obviously this one also.  At the time, it was a drastic improvement.  In retrospect, it was unfair to us, 100%, and exposed us to risk, and compromised how efficiently we could recover and rebuild/repair things that were broken.  ON THE OTHER HAND, if he hadn’t perceived he won something back, we might have been the Ouellettes. . . . .  This is why the VPC calls it “American Roulette” in reporting on these things.  However, they are focusing on the guns.  There were no guns in this murder/suicide.

The documents also reveal the couple may have been having some financial problems. Candice was working from home. Her husband was part owner of a family construction company. Friends say business had been slow.

Go figure:  She was working from home, with young children at home, and the “protection order” allowed him daily access from 9-5pm, rather than put a physical separation from their places of business and her (now) home.  

At this point, authorities don’t know yet what triggered Doug Ouellette’s final violent act. Investigators are continuing to talk with family members, while friends like the Rambergs try to understand their deep sense of loss.

  • “What triggered” is one big (and typical) assumption:  He was wound tight, he was distressed, he was depressed, he was missing his kids, he was lost at sea, he was suffering from the economy, he was a distressed Dad.  All these things wound him up, and it wasn’t his fault, he was all loaded up and ready to go, and he was TRIGGERED.  (gun analogy, eh? )  Pop!  Something that wasn’t his fault happened, and he strangled his wife.

It could never have been a cold-blooded, planned intentional event, complete with coming in after daylight, to kill his wife. . . . Tell me something — how fast can the average person on the lam from ground searchers and a helicopter that saw him dash into a ground, work up a noose, jump in it and jump off it?  In that state of affairs?  Or was it planned?  (Aug. 08/09 update — see comments!)

Suppose they hadn’t come – would he have done something to the kids too?

  • Final Violent Act.  Actually, his 2nd to final violent act.  The final one was to hang himself.

  • Talk with family members.  The same family members that didn’t know enough seriously insist on SERIOUSLY SEPARATING those two after the suicide attempt?  The same family members now in charge of the children?  The same family members that, after said attempt, didn’t become so immediately alarmed that they GOT INFORMED on such situations and spoke with him, and her, about it?  

PUBLIC COST:  Helicopter, court time, including with judges, court clerks, crime scene clean-up, investigators, etc.

“You just feel kinda crushed because what are those poor kids gonna do,” says Mavis.

Authorities say the three children were not harmed physically and are now staying with family members.

I’ll guarantee you they were harmed psychologically and emotionally, and they are in my prayers, as are my own – – read on!

In the transcript of the 911 call made by the little girl, she tells the operator that she tried to push her father away from her mother.

Doug Ouellette himself told the operator that the kids were just playing and were told to leave the phone alone.

“And then, the operator . .. and then . . . ..  and then the operator said, “OK, Sir, just remind them not to. . . . ” and the alert was dropped?  Help was dispatched?”  Our readers here should’ve been told….

If they believed the Dad, still, this would’ve been a GREAT time for a welfare drive-by, and possibly, possibly someone might’ve been saved.  The Dad, at least, would be put in prison and then, thereafter, a family court program (prompted by the fatherhood movement) would’ve helped get him back in his kids lives… so they could be in the custody of the father that murdered their mother, as is encouraged in similar situations.  WHAT did the rest of that transcript SAY, and WHY wasn’t whatever it did say put into this article?  Or was it “spiked” by the editors as compromising police response policy on 911 calls.  Given that THIS home had a prior suicide attempt AND CURRENT PROTECTION ORDER in it.  The father’s word was believed over his daughter’s although in this case she was telling the truth?  I just want to know.

Including this case in Harris, eight women in Minnesota have been murdered (so far…) in 2009 as a result of domestic violence – three were murder-suicide by an intimate partner.

In 2008, 6 of 21 domestic murders in Minnesota were murder-suicides by intimate partner. In addition there were 4 attempted suicides after the murder.

{{YES, there is always funding available to keep the body-counts, and particularly as to femicides (I happen to know) in Minnesota.  Too bad some of this funding wasn’t used for a technical initiative to put protection order data at the disposal of 911 operators, and in their faces. . . . . .  when taking calls….and reduce the count a little this time}}

Harris is about 50 miles north of the Twin Cities.

(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.) 

Fewer comments, so I’ll put my comments in quotes instead. . . .


Harris man gave up guns before strangling wife, hanging himself

Officials say a Harris, Minn., man strangled his wife in front of their kids and hung himself in a shed after running from police.

By ABBY SIMONS, Star Tribune

Last update: August 6, 2009 – 10:01 PM

LET a feminist, or a woman who’s read the risk assessments do this headline.  Right now, it sounds like, “he was a good guy — he gave up the guns, after all — but then something TRIGGERED him (possibly her?) (possibly the economy?) — and he strangled her, then hung himself.  NO, that’s not the heart of the story, though it may be the hook.  Let’s try again:

First suicide attempt, then suicide/murder in front of the kids.

No, not catchy or local enough:

Gun control doesn’t stop murder/suicide by divorcing Harris man.

No, too generic:

Better dead than divorced — her too — says Harris man, after recent suicide attempt provokes no-contact order.

No, not graphic enough:

Harris man violates no-contact order, chokes his wife, lies to police when 8 year old daughter calls 911 and attempts to stop him, then flees and finally hangs himself.

Nope, too long:

Divorce can be deadly — Divorcing rural Harris man with restraining order due to last suicide attempt, turns in guns, but later strangles wife to death, despite 8-yr old daughter’s attempt to intervene and her 911 call, then flees police and hangs himself.

Well, I’m not working the night desk for a reason, obviously.  Here’s the story.  But WHY NOT GET IMPORTANT TRUTHS (not just facts) OUT WITH THE STORY?

We’ll get the safety recipe right one of these years. . . . .  Oops, ignored lethal risks (again) this time.

The story:

Authorities say a 38-year-old rural Harris, Minn., man who killed his estranged wife and then himself Wednesday had surrendered his guns to the local sheriff’s office this summer after his wife got a restraining order against him.

NO !!!  NO!!!  Stop giving extra credit for partial compliance with restraining order!!  Later he violated and killed!  Stop! !  it went like this: – – and can we delete the emphasis on her “estranged” status?  For one, it rhymes with “deranged” and sounds strange on the tongue.  It’s not about HER, it’s about HIM!  He killed.  She tried to protect her kids and herself, and hopefully him by separation.  

“Authorities say a 38-year old rural Harris, Minn. man killed his wife, after prior suicide attempt and while a protection order was in effect (if “ineffectual”) and then himself Wednesday, even though he DID turn in his guns willingly.”

(if the source of the story IS authoritative, this would be generically true, no matter how law enforcement phrased it.}}

Candice and Douglas Ouellette were in the midst of divorcing, authorities said Thursday.

One of the couple’s 8-year-old twin daughters called 911 about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday and told a dispatcher that their father was choking their mother at the family’s home near 450th Street and Holman Avenue, said Chisago County Chief Deputy Bob Shoemaker. One of the girls struggled in vain to pull her father off [of] her mother.


The account above says a call by the girl was intercepted / talked down by her father.  I have seen this type of behavior (sudden switch of modes when a phone call was involved).

Deputies arrived to find Candice Ouellette dead, the girls unharmed and Douglas Ouellette missing, which sparked an intense search by the sheriff’s office and the Minnesota State Patrol.

A State Patrol helicopter swept the area, and the State Patrol SWAT went to Chisago County, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Andy Skoogman.

The pilot spotted Ouellette running into a pole barn on the property around 10:20 p.m. Searchers found Ouellette’s body hanging inside.

{{How much time elapsed from the pilot spotting this to the short-wave-radio or cell phone? call to the searchers on the ground.  Was HIS death preventable?  Had he prepared that noose?   Why couldn’t he have been stopped?}}

The twins [twin GIRLS] and a 10-year-old son who was staying with a friend that night are in the care of relatives.

Trouble at home

Doug Ouellette’s Facebook profile features photos of a red-faced family warming up after a day of snowmobiling, his kids on four-wheelers or Ouellette hoisting a giant fish on trip to Canada in 2007. Among his favorite quotes: “Life is good.”

(A word to the wise about facebook, then, eh?)

He is listed on the Better Business Bureau website as vice president of Coon Rapids-based Boulder Creek Builders, Inc., a family-run company.

But behind the scenes recently, things apparently were tumultuous. In June, Doug Ouellette threatened suicide, and his wife obtained an order for protection that required him, among other things, to surrender to the sheriff’s office his guns and his permit to carry a handgun.

“There was no problem turning them over,” Shoemaker said.

He was allowed on the property only during the day, and only to access his outer shop and pole barns. He was not to contact his wife other than by telephone or e-mail once a day.  {{WONDER IF THIS WAS ADHERED TO}}  {{WHERE WAS THE REST OF HIS FAMILY?}}

Shoemaker said it was unclear whether Doug Ouellette broke into the home or was let in. {{WHY NOT??}} He apparently did not leave a suicide note.

Shoemaker said the incident was the first murder-suicide in Chisago County in about 13 years.

Have they had many protection orders, and what worked about the others, if so?  Had such rulings gotten lax?

Similar and close by

But the case was the second murder-suicide in two weeks involving estranged couples just north of the Twin Cities.

On July 30, James H. Schwartzbauer, 46, of Wyoming shot and killed his estranged longtime partner, Erica Ann Wilson, 38, in the parking lot of the Circle Pines apartment complex where she lived. Schwartzbauer had been hospitalized the week before after threatening suicide.

((DID THIS CAUSE THE “estrangement” then also?  Or was it his “mature” response to that estrangement?))

((Hospitalization brings up this question:  Was he on medication?  What was the follow-up?  Was his ability to survive in life dependent upon his partner?  Did they BOTH live or only her in this apartment?  Was it male PMS, given the age difference?))

The Wyoming Police Department, with the help of family members, had removed all the guns from Schwartzbauer’s home. Anoka County sheriff’s officials were investigating where Schwartzbauer got the gun.

GEE:  Sounds like at least 3 lethality indicators there:  separation, suicide threatened, and a protection order (apparently) of some sort in place, confronting the guy.  Well, while they were investigating where he got the gun, another man murdered another woman in a similar situation — well possibly.

(From news article:)

According to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, out of 21 women murdered in the state in 2008, six were killed by intimate partners who then killed themselves.

I guess this is helpful to know.  It sure helped the two women in question and their former partner/spouses.  I’ve known these stats, or ones like it, for years.  It sure helped me to get the court’s attention, when this was in my initial reason for seeking a protection order, and subsequently in family law, after my children were stolen, I reported stalking, and also to responding police to various incidents.  My having reported this now, and produced a non-response, sure helped my sense of safety thereafter, and to this date.  I am glad agencies like these are receiving funding to keep a more accurate count than simply reading the newspapers, or say, checking on-line occasionally, might yield.  This is a valuable, life-saving public service.  For example, readers of THESE incidents now know that there were OTHERS.  

(FROM Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women website):

“While battering continues to occur in the lives of far too many women and children, thirty years of advocacy and social change work in the battered women’s movement have led to some important changes. {{FOR EXAMPLE:}} There is far more information available about domestic violence and its impact in the lives of women, children, and men, and there are now resources available to battered women and their children across the state of Minnesota and the nation.”

“MCBW strives to provide the best possible resources to battered women and to the advocates that work on their behalf. Please utilize the resources available through this website, and do not hesitate to contact the MCBW office if you have further questions or are looking for information that is not included on this site.

From me:

$2,550,332 federal FY 2000-2009, more in 2002 and 2007/2008

Minnesota is indeed a hotspot of federal funding for violence against women nonprofits.  That is a separate post.  They know much violence happens around separation, and that suicide is an indicator.  Perhaps this case (these cases) hadn’t shown up with a history of prior battering, and so warnings were not issued?


From News Article:

“Four others were murdered by partners who then tried to kill themselves but failed. While firearms have been most prevalently used in murder-suicides, 13 percent of Minnesota women murdered by an intimate partner from 1989 through 2005 were strangled.”

I told you groups were counting, and I showed you (last post?) for at least how long people with access to the internet (and looking for this information) have had access to “risk assessments” “danger assessments'” or “lethality indicators.”  Since 1989 here, 1985 my last post.  So here we are 24 years later, same indicators still not being heeded and acted appropriately on.  5 years AFTER this group started, apparently, a national Violence Against Women Act was passed, with lots of funding to stop precisely this kind of thing.  AFTER this, apparently, the family law system with its weak-ass consideration of domestic violence was developed, and possibly — possibly — influenced some of the ignorance in these matters of what to do to keep her safe.  And him.

1999, National Father’s Return Day:  Congressional testimony

In 1999, 10 years AFTER this organization began (and 5 years after the “dynamic duo” of:  VAWA and NFI (National Fatherhood Initiative), we get N.H. and other Congressmen testifying  (Washington D.C.) the public proclamation that Father’s Day ain’t good enough, we need, and right next to it, a “National Fathers Return Day” also.   Similar declaration (is it “enough” yet?) now going on in Kansas; please call to protest (INFO BELOW)**


Be it Resolved, That the Senate–

(1) recognizes that the creation of a better United States requires the active involvement of fathers in the rearing and development of their children;

((The what?  The “creation” of a better United States? — IS THIS SOME NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT and stance I MISSED SOMEWHERE IN THE LAST 20 YEARS? That resolved to replace the mandate of the Declaration of Independence {{from the oppressive regime of England, REMEMBER??}} with the Declaration of Utopia Manufacturing, Inc.?  LET ME DOUBLECHECK:

Preamble:  “We the people of these United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare (not specific!), and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”

Did you note the word “LIBERTY” and did you see the word in order to “create a more perfect Union” or was it “form” (out of what was already there…).  The word “create” in this document was reserved at least here to reference to a Creator.

Use of the word “blessings” is from a generalized belief in a God.  As does the Declaration of Independence, in:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

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

When in the course of human events, it bcomes necessary for one MARRIAGE and/or one INTIMATE PARTNERSHIP to dissolve the bands which have connected the individuals in it to one another, and to assume among the citizens of this nation, the separate and equal station to which the laws of this land (let alone nature, and nature’s God) entitle them. . . . 

Guess what? When this came to a time in my life, his and mine, I had to declare in public why and get legal help to do so.

Note:  “separate and equal.”  I don’t hear “separate and equal” in this above, 1999, resolution — or anything like it.  

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ” 

These people did NOT like being oppressed, and this Constitution and the separation from Great Britain was in order to protest that and stop being Colonized and Used.  While this continued and continues (to this day) to groups and subgroups of people within the U.S. (and outside it, by the U.S., regrettably), THIS DOCUMENT TALKS ABOUT THOSE RIGHTS. . . . .  Not designer families, which are NOT its province!

(How can one consent to what one is not informed of?)

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

“. . . all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Am I talking about anything contrary to law, bill of rights or the U.S. Constitution?  NO.  I am talking about what sure evinces a design to reduce — women, in particularly mothers who have had to or chose to divorce or separate — under absolute Despotism, egged on by speeches like these here, and enacted into laws and then followed through by tax-supported grants to make sure no Dad — when there has been a risk in particular — is REALLY fully separated from his children.  The pattern of the family courts follows resolutions like this one and results, too often, in certifiably insane protection orders like the above one, resulting in:  2 deaths, 3 orphans, and distress all round.  

Because I now realize the status quo, I have had to let go (to date) of attempting to see my own daughters, laying low lest this person has himself a “bad hair day” or incites a friend/relative to, and my relatives HAVE been incited to participate, as have strangers, in several aggressively illegal actions. 

BACK TO 1999 and “recreating the United States in the image of a few fathers’ and other “prominent” (if not logical) thinkers.”  

(2) urges each father in the United States to accept his full share of responsibility for the lives of his children, to be actively involved in rearing his children, and to encourage the emotional, academic, moral, and spiritual development of his children;

The word “his” indicates ownership.  It takes two parents, currently, to produce one child.  

This presumes that a single mother is incompetent to encourage the emotional, academic, moral and spiritual development of her children, especially with a  little outside support.  Speaking authoritatively for ONLy myself, that’s hogwash, and insulting.

It also presumes that gender alone renders a father competent to have this to give, when sometimes significant mental illness — or seriously recalcitrant criminal behavior/attitudes — says they don’t, and won’t.  (SEE COMMENT from one of Candi’s friends, now on this post 08-08-09).   

This also TOTALLY ignores the fact that some mothers remarry good men, who can help them do this.  If i were one of those 2nd husband good men, such a statement above would be insulting to me. 

(3) urges the States to hold fathers who ignore their legal responsibilities accountable for their actions and to pursue more aggressive enforcement of child support obligations;

Please spend a few minutes on my blog and read about the “SAVP” grants administered THROUGH the “OCSE” to compromise legal process in family law in order to increase “noncustodial parent” time with the children through mediation.  Then go to Center for Policy Research in Denver, CO, and find out what Drs. Pearson and Theonnes and Venohr (I believe all have Ph.D.s) have been to since 1981.

Alternately, go to nafcj.net and read about this (although it was personally, on-line and in-depth checking out NAFCJ.net claims that brought me to my present acceptance of them; plus it was the only coherent explanation for why so many public officials seem to have lost all sense of propriety to their assigned legal responsibilities in re: child support, custody, etc.)

Or, show the sources of trusted insight into these matters, as we know that top leaders have staff to support their positions.  This should be transparent to the public.


Douglas Ouellette returned. . . . . 


The Coalition’s Shellene Johnson said women are at greater danger to be killed by a partner when they attempt to leave or have just left the relationship. She said that often, protective orders alone don’t protect the woman.

“Our hope is the courts and mental health community will start recognizing that this is a significant red flag, and look into the context of what’s happening in those relationships,” she said.

MCBW’s HOPE.  Their HOPE, after 30 years of advocacy — I gather, 1979, 1989, 1999, and the latest 2009 murder/suicide — there is a HOPE that the mental health community will START recognizing that an attempted suicide is a red flag. . . .  THAT’s bright.  What’s the bill?

A relative of Doug Ouellette declined to comment. Calls to other relatives were not returned.

Abby Simons • 612-673-4921

More National Fatherhood Initiatives, this one in Kansas.

( it just keeps going, going, going as they keep killing, killing killing when she tries to separate):

LOOK:  Being informed on what’s being done with tax dollars in tough times is our responsibility as citizens, period.

I sought answers because I WANTED a coherent explanation for why so many different systems could fail a simple request to renew a restraining order and let me, and my daughters, get on with our lives.  Eliminating their Dad from their lives was never on my map — only his life-threatening and injury-causing violence, and the risk, that I might become a Candace Ouellette.

It is absolutely, absolutely clear to me that eliminating ME from my daughters’ lives was on his map, and on the maps of individuals in our particular case who opposed me, point by point by point, as I simply sought enforcement of existing court orders.

In the above Ouellette case I still find a disturbing missing piece of information — why did the searchers not intervene in time to prevent the Dad from hanging himself?  And HAD not that little 8 year old daughter called 911, might they, too, have been killed, along with their father’s belief system, apparently, that the mother did not deserve to separate from him?   Something doesn’t make sense, in that he so QUICKLY hung himself.  Any investigative reporters reading this are welcome to follow up, if possible before the next headline steals public attention.

It is time to wake up and smell the coffee — and find out who is paying which pipers to pay which tunes.

To understand why I posted this below, one needs to understand how LATE we are in this fatherhood vs. feminists game of name-calling and stereotyping.  I posted Senator Faust-Goudeau, about who I know little personally, because a colleague (see blogroll) of mine is in her state, and alerted us, and this grandiosely-worded proposed Act is apparently a current action being debated.

My response below was more a spontaneous, incredulous reaction that this talk, which appears to have been lifted nearly verbatim from a combination of documents I have read, and link to on this site (see “courts in the kitchen” blog), could be taken seriously.  Over time, I’ve tried to accommodate — lots — for understanding differences of perspective, that my thinking (between the trauma and the personal background — I’m definitely a voracious reader, mostly nonfiction, but my work life has not been based in theory, but in street-level, hands-on practice which exposes theories in different fields (particularly educational!!) for what water they do and don’t hold.

So, I didn’t go point for point and quote.  But, friends, it’s late in the game to be dismissing how powerfully entrenched and networked AND financed this “fatherhood” movement is, and its influence in the family law and many other arenas.

Here’s an Australian, male, Ph.D. talking about the Father’s Rights Movement, and 4 major points:


Do you know what these are?

We women who ARE leaving batterers or whose children ARE being subjected to molestation (and I don’t speak for others) are getting it from the President on Down and the Courts on up, while family-oriented and patriarchal faith institutions won’t support our cause (although they may dole out some charity, if we sit under the teachings we disagree with, and which have endorsed-by-silence (from the PULPIT) wife-beating as part of husband-leadership) and feminist organizations are not entirely a clear fit for us either, as mothers, although I certainly will work alongside, if not within, any organization or person, which has its head screwed on straight as to legal rights and is not on the take from other groups which are not.

No one — at all — is funding me for any research I do.  My reporting lacks finesse, but I generally do my homework.

I expect any and all elected Congressional Senators or Representatives to either do theirs, or have staff that do, and I DO want an explanation for the origins of this type of initiative at this late in the game.  Perhaps we could talk, if it’s clear the talk is not about personalities, but about principles.  

People whose lives or children are not at immediate risk, or who have not lost decades, or livelihoods to this type of (propaganda — below, I call it “tripe”) may not understand the intensity of talk from those who have.  Many times, they also do not understand the shorter timeframes, windows of opportunity we are dealing with.  We are dealing with the short lives of children’s childhood, and sometimes juggling this with unknown times of our OWN safety in cases involving prior stalking, battery, threats and claims.

My current President, for whom I voted, and whose former home state, urban area, I have a significant work history (pre-marriage), was raised by a single Mom, as was at some point, my own father.  One thing I do NOT share with my current President is having been, or been related to anyone, who was just a few years  ago, one of the 10 richest United States Senators, period.  Nor have I used any single aspect of my profile, which does have significant diversity in it,  to speak for everyone who shares one or two aspects of the same profile, and try to demand that everyone accept the same platform and adjust their entire lifestyles to accommodate it.

This fatherhood movement, talk, initiatives, grants, and so forth is doing EXACTLY like that, even when it costs lives. One system it’s draining is for battered women’s shelters, and legal help for battered women snared in the family law system, a system which I now understand was designed to do exactly that.


Oletha Faust-Goudeau

Kansas Senate Democrat
District 29 (2004 District MapDistrict Demographics)
First Term: 2009

4158 Regents Lane

Phone: 316-652-9067
Email: Oletha29th@aol.com

Business Information
Occupation: Community Act.
PO Box 20335
Wichita 67208

Below is the act.  PHONE or WRITE or EMAIL to protest (if still necessary) this act for several reasons:

1.  Similar policies are already encouraging already overentitled men to  kidnap and/or molest and/or kill youngsters, their mothers, and themselves, and sometimes bystanders, and sometimes responding police officers, in the process of getting even with their mothers.

2. Nearly every statement in this Act has already been stated in public, in the U.S. Congress, echoed by Presidents Bush, Clinton & Obama, as well as governors across the United States, and has also laws enacted to facilitate the further engagement of fathers in their families post-separation from those families (post-conception, post-divorce, post-restraining order, post-etc.) AND substantial federal grant monies to support this.

3.  Nationwide and in prominent positions, the “tripe” — and it IS tripe — that this is a recent phenomenon on which dialogue has not yet taken place, or to which the public has not paid attention — that there is a fatherhood crisis, and along with this, the absence of fathers has been in otherwise creditable institutions been EQUATED AS CAUSE for significant other social problems, which might as easily have been attributable to almost any other reasonable cause, such as illiteracy, racism in incarceration of fathers, and the premise having been that the household values are more pre-eminent than the school or other associations values in growing children.  This in effect is a misogynistic policy.

4.  The programs and grants to go along with them have undermined due process in the courts.  MOreover, the average woman is NOT told of these programs when engaging in the family court system, whereas ample documentation exists, both privately individual cases AND publically on nonprofit websites reporting on this — that noncustodial parents (mostly fathers), through programs that frequently have the word “father” or “fatherhood” in them, and often publically funded — ARE being recruited into programs offering them free legal help, mediation preparation coaching, reduced child support arrears in exchange for increased custodial time, even including fathers in prison, whereas mothers, who often then lose custodial access (sometimes COMPLETELY) to their own children through such programs, are unable to utilize these same programs or funding (including effective legal help) to children who were removed from their households.  

5.  ANYTHING which undermines due process in the courts is bad public policy and WILL be fought back against, draining significant time energy and money from the hands of the general public, and placing it into the hands of the professionals who profit from all this.  Again, ANYTHING which undermines due process in the courts – IN the courtroom —is bad public policy and subversion of our U.S. Constitution,and Bill of Rights  which exist to prevent exactly such behaviors.

The fatherhood movement PER SE seeks to make primary decisions and wield influence OUTSIDE the courtroom, and OUTSIDE open discussion and view of the bulk of the American public (i.e., “Behind closed doors” — just like abuse).  This can be seen from even, for example, the history pages of some of the major organizations (I guess I’ll have to blog that).

The family court reform movement which seeks to put this back IN the court room.  They are in DIRECT opposition to each other.  One wants prime influence to be through outside associations, alliances, conferences — and institutions.  The other wants this stopped, and wants our U.S. 14th Amendment rights to be observed.  I do not believe in compromise by “training” court-related professionals to “understand” domestic violence issues (I differ from some reform groups in this stance), because I don’t feel (see last post) that anyone of reasonably sound mind WITHOUT ulterior motives could fail to understand that a violent parent is not a good role model, no matter what gender.  OR, that the more dangerous of the genders when it comes to killing women and children, are male, not female.

IF the father’s rights groups want to continue to promote the fallacy that the violence is equal in quantity, lethality, and severity — thereby shutting off doors to escape and diffuse the situation from battered women, or mothers of molested/battered children — then they may very well get more and more of what they are saying now exists.  They MAY get more and more women fighting back, because we do have a right to defend our physical lives from hell on earth.

Moreover, in my state, at least, even a law gives a parent a right to flee from imminent harm to her children by someone convicted of domestic violence against her.  No problem — the way around that?  Law enforcement won’t enforce.

6.  Establishing “fatherhood” in this manner absolutely constitutes the establishment of a national religion, and as such is an outright and flagrant violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  No matter how prevalent this is throughout our country presently, it’s still a violation of this Amendment and should as such urgently be reversed.  

I am very curious whether this Senator is a professing Christian, and if so, while obviously that shouldn’t rule any public office, how she does or does not reconcile, as a woman, this initiative here with the recorded (in the bible, I mean), life of the Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels.  It was notable in NOT being biased against women, from what I read.  Moreover, former President Jimmy Carter has himself publically separated from his Southern Baptist Convention roots over this same issue of equality towards women.  While I’m not “ga-gag” over his new affiliation, “elders.org,” at least it is a statement.

! ! ! !


By Senator Faust-Goudeau 


AN ACT creating and implementing the fatherhood initiative program; 

relating to the duties of the department of social and rehabilitation 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas: 

Section 1.

(a) Subject to the provisions of appropriation acts, the sec- 

retary of social and rehabilitation services shall establish a fatherhood 

initiative program within the department of social and rehabilitation serv- 


The objectives of the initiative shall be to: 

(1) Promote public education concerning the financial and emotional responsibilities of fatherhood; 

MY pie chart of federal spending indicates that THE largest sector of public expense is HHS, and THE 2nd only is EDUCATION.  Therefore I recommend the latter be given a severe “time out” for having promoted and structurally modeled abusive and civil-rights-violating behaviors such that the former has bloated beyond the capacity of the general population to sustain.  Moreover, they also should either toss a coin, or duke it out (like the appointed champions of old) in a safe, enclosed place (and out of view of the public is OK, if taxes are suspended for the meantime — in fact, without their interferences, the rest of us, except the thousands in their employ, and the thousands more living off of their grants, and the professions that are enabled by the dysfunction of the educational one in particular, might be a little better off as a whole) — and come out when one has been vanquished.  

In particular, they need to decide between them — again, a coin toss would do, because promoting either one I feel is really wrong — that the U.S. Populace AND all its institutions MUST be LBGT friendly (or be accused of hate crimes), OR be misogynistic (or be accused of male-bashing, or scapegoated for any and all social ills) for railing to be father-friendly enough.  After all, how are children who live in a home with two Mommies going to bring sperm donor or surrogate father home?  

Moreover, how are adopted children to bring their fathers home.

Moreover, how are orphaned children to feel when the world assigns a general hoopla to father’s day, and far less to mothers’?

Moreover, why should a President part of whose platform was indeed that he had been raised by a single mother, be unable to put the word ‘Mother” on the family issues page of the White House?

(2) assist men in preparation for the legal, financial and emotional responsibilities of fatherhood; 

(3) promote the establishment of paternity at childbirth; 

(4) encourage fathers, regardless of marital status, to foster their emotional connection to and financial support of their children; 

(5) establish support mechanisms for fathers in their relationship with their children, regardless of their marital and financial status; 

HOW is this compatible with programs emanating out of the same dept (for which such support mechanisms ALREADY are thriving, and funded) to correlate with the “marriage promotion” funding, CFDA Code 93.086?  Let alone Abstinence Education?

(6) integrate state and local services available for families;


(7) promote, foster, encourage and otherwise support programs de- signed to educate and train young men who are both current and future 

fathers as to effective parenting skills, behaviors and attitudes. 

I.e., every male past puberty who has not had a vasectomy or been injured in his private parts to the extent of being unable to father children (or voluntarily entered the Catholic priesthood) up til what age?  Define young?  Good grief   Get a grip on yourself, Ma’am!!

Citizens and those on temporary visa a like?  Suppose such values are in direct contradiction to their cultures and nations of origin?

HOW does this initiative expect to reel in atheistic young men presently in private schools, military academies, and/or not in trouble with the law?

(b) The secretary, on or before the first day of the regular legislative session, shall report annually to the legislature: 

(1) The number of fathers and children participating in the program; 

(2) an overview of any moneys spent on the program; and 

(3) the cost-savings analysis of implementing the program by having 

children build and retain a relationship with their father

How dare any act so sweeping be presented without FIRST demonstrating that costs (to whom??) (what kind of cost?) (WHat’s the WORTH of a soul, anyhow?) would actually be saved, and have been by similar programs already saved in these matters.

And who the hell says that costs mean more than lives in these matters?  Because this national promotion of fatherhood is ALREADY getting people killed (see my blog:  “Can we call it a day?”).  What IS this, population control?

WILL THIS ANALSYSIS INCLUDE the LONGER-TERM SOCIAL Cost OF INCIDENTS when fathers, enabled by this philosophy, go kill MOm & themselves in order to re-engage with their children or otherwise proteset separation from their families? 

ANALYSIS (3) is incoherent with “overview” (2), as it implies more precise conclusions substantiated by relevant data.  And (1) (like the rest of this initiative) sounds like it is lifted STRAIGHT ouf of the access/visitation grant descriptions with a spice of the national fatherhood initiative phrasing (See http://www.hhs.fatherhood.gov or elsewhere on HHS site), which attributes “success” in such programs with how many people went through them, which overview the GAO has already showed lacks accuracy.

(c) The secretary may adopt any rules and regulations necessary to 

implement the provisions of this section. 

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.

Actually, that’s in theory only.  In theory, there’s already a Violence Against Women Act, but violence against women is still thriving.  

This interspersing of fatherhood promotion with domestic violence headlines may not seem related, but it is.  The one has weakened the other, and compromised the court’s willingness to let a woman completely separate when such activities are involved.  It appears (anecdotally) that they WILL permit total separation more likely in situations when there has NOT been significant abuse or violence reported.

A person who has researched these issues somewhat (either through my site, or others linked to on this blog), will understand clearly how the above resolution basically parrots the premises (the main ones) of this movement.  I provided the link (again) above to the 1999 statements by various congresspeople to the president on this issue.

As such, I think a short Act might be sponsored, paraphrased thus:

Anyone who talks like this, expecting to be taken seriously,  is either already owned by certain political forces, or is simply not informed enough to hold public office, OR is informed, but is pretending not to be, or otherwise should give a coherent explanation of why we should, August 2009, believe this analysis just rose up from the grassroots in its present form.  Good grief!

Sound leadership requires sound analysis by SOMEONE.  Initiatives redirecting public policy, institutions, or funds, should show better logic, originality, and in-depth thinking beyond sound-bytes or assertions of this sort.

 A woman from this state (Kansas) has already filed an international appeal for help in the matter of losing custody of her young daughter to a batterer:


On May 11,2007,  just before Mother’s Day weekend, ten mothers, one victimized child, now an adult,  leading national and state organizations filed a complaint against the United States with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. Their petition claims that U.S. courts, by frequently awarding child custody to abusers and child molesters, has failed to protect the life, liberties, security and other human rights of abused mothers and their children.  

. . . 

For more than 30 years U.S. judges have given custody or unsupervised visitation of children to abusers and molesters putting the children directly at risk,” says Dianne Post, an international attorney who authored the petition.  “These horrendous human rights violations have been brought to the attention of family court systems, and state and federal governments, to no avail. We turn now to international courts to protect the rights and safety of US children.”

The complaint details several cases with documented medical evidence of child sexual abuse, yet in each instance the father who was accused of abuse was given full custody of the children.  Several of the mothers were jailed by the courts because of their persistent efforts to protect their children from abuse, several were ordered not to speak of the abuse and not to report abuse to authorities.  Every mother was denied contact with her child for some period of time though none was ever proven to have harmed them.

“My life was completely shattered apart on that day and my childhood was destroyed,” said Jeff Hoverson, the adult child petitioner, about the day a family court judge ordered sheriff deputies to deliver him into the custody of his abuser. “It was as if I was just kidnapped. I was torn from everything I knew….I was made into a possession rather than a child.”  Hoverson endured years of trauma and fear living in his father’s home before escaping and returning to his mother at age 17.  He is haunted by years of feeling helpless to prevent his father’s night-time visits to his sisters’ bedrooms.

Studies of gender bias in the courts, conducted in the 1980’s and 90’s, found disturbing trends of courts minimizing or excusing men’s violence against women, and favoring the abusers.  In 1990 the United States Congress passed a resolution recommending the prohibition of giving joint or sole custody to abusers.  Seventeen years later, the practice continues unabated.  Ten years ago today (2007), leading national organizations were joined by  members of Congress in a protest in Washington D.C. to again raise awareness about the problems in family courts.  Today, petitioners say, the problem is systemic and widespread in family law courts across the nation.

. . .

The petition seeks a finding from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that the U.S. has violated the Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities of Man and the Charter of the Organization of American States and a statement of the steps that the U.S. must take to comply with its human rights obligations in regards to battered women and children in child custody cases.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was created in 1959 and is expressly authorized to examine allegations of human rights violations by members of the Organization of American States, which include the United States. . .

In addition to The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, other national organizations supporting the international lawsuit include:

  • National Organization for Women and the NOW Foundation,
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
  • Justice For Children,
  • National Family Court Watch Project,
  • Legal Momentum,
  • Family Violence Prevention Fund,
  • National Alliance to End Sexual Violence,
  • Domestic Violence Report,
  • Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute, and
  • the National Center on Sexual and Domestic Violence.

The petition is supported by many state organizations as well.

In December 2005, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition against the United States with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights for their failure to protect Jessica Gonzales’ three children from their abusive father, who murdered them.  Their petition, the first of its kind, asserted that domestic violence victims have the right to be protected by the state from the violent acts of their abuser.

{Note, as with Gonzales, THE QUESTION OF ENFORCEMENT COMES UP. . . .. }

or additional information contact:

Irene Weiser
Stop Family Violence
actnow ^t stopfamilyviolence.org

View the petition at http://www.StopFamilyViolence.org/468 

SUMMARY (today’s post):  The court order preceding the Ouellete suicide/murder was indeed certifiably insane.  

There are coherent reasons both those individuals died and both those little girls witnessed their mother’s murder by their father.  Some of these are policy, and as to response time, as to their individual families, I cannot answer.  I had, as I’ve said before, a similar order with even less restriction and even weaker justification for such.  This was hashed together quickly, overeen by a family court mediator, and in the aftermath of the restraining order becoming permanent.  NO ONE coached me on visitation order, although I was (wrongly) coached into offering joint legal custody when I didn’t have to, which later became a downfall and cost me my profession and those children.  I am among those mothers, not that is on the suit, but among those mothers that lost my children to a man who battered me during marriage, over many years (along with many forms of abuse).  

I then went through more years of legal abuse, which further turned upon failure to pay child support on his part, a similar tactic to what was used while we were together, to keep me from becomign too independent.  The child-stealing as well as the bounce into fmaily law venue, in my case, BOTH were at times when this household was set to prosper, and I had given NO indication of intent to separate him from the children, or from contact with the children (contrary to court claims), but had repeatedly sent a clear message, in multiple venues, that I WAS changing the dynamics of our relationship.  I refused to take orders, for the most part, that were not in writing from the court, and was fought tooth and nail — at police stations, and every where other possible point of contact, including several he created that trespassed my intentionally set boundaries.  

  What I HAD separated from in my move was taking direct orders, in particular from a man that refused to obey them himself and has (to this date) continued in contempt of all the court orders ever in our long, long, family law case.

This is long-term trauma and punishment for speaking up and out about criminal behavior by Dad (and some of his associates) towards the children, and me.  This type of behavior has marked ALL of my acquaintance with him, practically since the day we married (but not before), and to this date the standard has been set, I am not informed about the general whereabouts of my own daughters, unless I happen to get lucky, get through, or hear incidentally.  I have been eradicated from their lives lest they learn the same values I hold dear — that a woman does not sit on this earth to be a man’s slave in any form, and that she is of EQUAL LEGAL STATUS to him, and should be in marriage as well as after it.

It is my understanding that MOST of the blogs (with graphic buttons) on my post are of similar experience regarding their children and the courts, it is how we know each other.  This is a FAR more widespread social crisis than “fatherlessness” which has existed since wars began.  

What I would like to see addressed, and would like ALL of the above organizations to address (some of whom I know a bit more about than others), is not THAT the courts are doing this, but WHY they are doing this and WHO is allowing them to. It is assuredly not new.

Sorry to entwine (and what’s worse, quote and comment on!) a

  • 2009 Minnesota News headline news account, plus related MN battered women’s coalition information, with a
  • 1999 Washington D.C. address to Congress about the father crisis, compared to the
  • 1776 U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence with a related
  • 2009 Kansas, surprise, “new” proposal to enact a “Fatherhood Initiative” Bill, and from there to a
  • 2007 appeal to the Inter American Council on Human Rights (IACHR) because of a known Kansas battered Mom was on it, as reported by Stop Family Violence (2nd graphic button on my website, only unfortunately not their real logo), and the uncomfortable reminders that:



That is, however, how I often think.  Probably relates to the prior life as a musician, balancing different resonances from different singers, etc.  It feels more balanced to weave the threads, even though a single topic would pack a greater emotional punch.

Sorry for that analogy…

How can we analyze policy inbetween these leading, bleeding headlines?

with one comment


Maybe if I intersperse headlines, policy talk, and commentary I can get through another day without mourning evidence of national return to stupidity day.

Man, then about 19, begets child; mother (now in other state) age not mentioned

Separation happens; Dad gets custody, Dad remarries (in which order?)

Dad has two more children and, now 34 himself, is accused of molesting his first one, now 15.

DCFS removes daughter he is allegedly molesting from his custody — SORT of, not quite!

Pissed off, or coldly determined, Dad obtains gun — or grabs one he already owns.

Before much of anything is discovered (LEST it be discovered?)

He simply heads two doors down, kills foster Dad, attempts to kill foster mother, DOES kill his own daughter,

What a life she led with her FATHER, a STEPMOTHER, two stepsiblings, and being molested, ALLEGEDLY.

SOMEONE TALKS.  She gets out, but not safe.  Now she’s dead.  

Oh yeah, and not one to go to prison, her father also shoots himself, fatally.

Her MOM was in another state — WHY?  

Just another small, friendly, Tennessee Town.

Does anyone know her brief life well enough to tell its brief story?  Because when these things happen

at home, the theme is NOT telling anyone outside the family; collusion is the order of the day.




QUIZ — from what YEAR are the orange quotes mid-article? 


Color Code:

  • light blue — quotes the article
  • black — my comments
  • orange — quotes from a different article (speech, to be precise).


Police: Dad fatally shoots daughter, foster dad


By TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press Writer – 31 mins ago



DYERSBURG, Tenn. – Neighbors in Tennessee are asking why a teenage girl

fatally shot by her father was placed with a foster family just two doors down

after he was accused of abusing her.   

Omitted from this lead sentence — ONE WEEK after . . . . . 

I believe one of the tags on this one might be “AFTER SHE SPEAKS UP” (if it was the daughter, or her mother, or her stepmother)

This puts a CHILL on reporting abuse…


As dads disappear, the American family is becoming significantly weaker and less capable of fulfilling

its fundamental responsibility

of nurturing and socializing children and conveying values to them.

In turn, the risks to the health and well-being of America’s children

are becoming significantly higher. 


Christopher Milburn, 34, killed the 15-year-old and her foster father and

wounded her foster mother before taking his own life Sunday, authorities said.


Sounds like a virtual honor-killing of some sort..

Children growing up without fathers, research shows, are far more likely to live in poverty,

to fail in school, to experience behavioral and emotional problems,

to develop drug and alcohol problems,

to be victims of physical abuse and neglect and, tragically, to commit suicide

{{THis being a case in point, I suppose?}}

{{The order of events is reversed.  Victims of physical (and sexual) abuse are often

turning to drugs, alcohol, and other risky behaviors as a result, per a decade-long

(and basically ignored by the fatherhood movement) Kaiser/CDC study (see blogroll to right), completed the

year before THIS quote I am inserting to this recent Tennessee tragedy.}}

Neighbor Frank Hipps said Milburn was good friends with Todd Randolph, the 46-year-old foster father,

and had worked for him in the past. Hipps, who had known both men for about eight years, said he didn’t know

the details of the abuse allegations but questioned why the girl had been placed so close.


Maybe he didn’t know them so well as he thought.

Who paid WHOM to get this daughter switched only 2 doors down, instead of the Dad switched out of the neighborhood?

Dad used to work for the foster father?  Just HOW inbred was this town, exactly?


A mature 46 year old man, foster father, married, and a daughter in the home.    

Let’s do the Father/Daughter math:  34 – 15 is HOW old was he when he got a woman pregnant?

Legally old enough:  19.  Probably just out of high school.  


“That kid shouldn’t have been in that house,” he said.


I agree.  I think she should’ve been with her mother.


“This might have been preventable if she had been placed with foster parents out of the community.”


MIGHT is true, especially if he still knew where she was ….

OR for SURE if the man had been in jail for molesting his daughters, which is where child-molesters belong, at least to start.


Neither police in Dyersburg, in northwestern Tennessee, nor child services agency spokesman Rob Johnson

would elaborate on the abuse allegations other than to say the investigation began last week.



The girl, whose name was not released, had been staying with Todd and Susan Randolph

while the state Department of Children’s Services investigated, Dyersburg Police Capt. Steve Isbell said.


WHo paid WHOM to put her there?  Come’ ON! !!!  Give the girl a fresh start!


Susan Randolph, the girl’s foster mother, was released from a Memphis hospital Monday.


Frank Hipps’ wife, Tammy, said the 15-year-old was Milburn’s daughter by a previous relationship.

He was married and the couple had two younger daughters.


The court probably saw a stable TWO-parent family, it probably had at least HEARD about 

the great crisis of fatherlessness we’ve been plagued with as a nation for the past about 15 years

(This girl was born right around the time this doctrine took nationalized, Congressionally recognized wings..

She must’ve been born around 1994.  See below.  Gee, by then, my In-the-home husband had already

started assaulting me, between babies.  WHat a coincidence that, unbeknownst to me, my government

was aware of the crisis and addressing it. . . . . Oh, excuse me, not the crisis of child molestation or

domestic violence, but of FATHERLESSNESS.


The girl’s mother was living out of state


and police were waiting for her to arrive before releasing the girl’s name, Isbell said.

Police found the teenager and Todd Randolph dead at the Randolph home and Milburn about a block away,

dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


One less child molester, allegedly, OR man who didn’t trust the legal system to get the truth out of his innocence.

Guess they must do things different in Family Court in Tennessee; he’d have been FINE if he could just connect

with some PAS-theory court professional and discredit whoever was alleging the abuse.  Unless it was the girl…


Charles Wootton, 71, who lives across the street from the Randolphs, said he heard five pops. He looked out the window

and saw Randolph on the ground near the mailbox.


“My wife opened the door and walked out and seen the blood. That’s when I called 911,” he said.

Wootton said neighbors started to gather at the Randolphs’ house and a nurse performed CPR on Todd Randolph, 

who had been shot through the neck.  {{FOR THE CRIME OF . . . . . . . ??}}


Wootton said when he first looked at Susan Randolph, he thought she was dead, too.

“She told me who did it,” Wootton said.


The Randolphs have two young children who were at their grandparents’ house during the shootings, Wootton said.

Wootton had moved to the neighborhood about two weeks ago, and Todd Randolph had mowed his yard several times.

“The people around here are just about the friendliest you’ve ever met,” said Wootton. “I don’t know what happened to that guy.”





Isbell said Milburn had no criminal record in Dyersburg, a city of approximately 18,000 people about 70 miles northeast of Memphis.

Tammy Hipps said Milburn worked as a counselor at the McDowell Center for Children,

which helps at-risk and troubled children.


Well, was he falsely accused or properly accused?  

If properly, then again, let’s note here:  PERPS like places that give them access to CHILDREN, esp. troubled ones.


The shootings came just over two weeks after Jacob Levi Shaffer of Fayetteville, a small Tennessee town

near the Alabama border about.

70 miles west of Chattanooga, was accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife,

three members of her family and a neighbor boy to death on July 18.

He also is accused of beating an acquaintance to death in nearby Huntsville, Ala.


BEFORE or AFTER she became “inexplicably” “estranged”??


Perhaps stories like these are why the word “RESPONSIBLE” was added to things like, “National Fathers Return Day?”

One Congressional discussion of which I give, below:



Lieberman, Joseph[D-CT]
Begin 1999-06-17 10:13:34
End   10:21:48
Length 00:08:14


Leading off with African Americans and teen pregnancies, he relates:


Mr. President, I want to say just a few words on the jarring statistics from that report and column for my colleagues.

Of African American children born in 1996, 70 percent were born to unmarried mothers. At least 80 percent, according to the report,

can expect to spend a significant part of their childhood apart from their fathers. 

We can take some comfort and encouragement from the fact that the teen pregnancy rate has dropped in the last few years. But the numbers cited in Mr. Kelly’s column and in the report are nonetheless profoundly unsettling, especially given what we know about the impact of fatherlessness, and indicate we are in the midst of what Kelly aptly terms a “national calamity.”

It is a calamity. Of course, it is not limited to the African American community. On any given night, 4 out of 10 children in 
this country are sleeping in homes without fathers. 



(THis mental image appears to be far less vivid than the ones of SOME fathers doing horrible things when they DID or DO live

with their children..

Like beating them.  Or having sex with them.  Or beating their mothers.  Or simply refusing to work OR help around the home.  Or,

engaging in multiple sexual relationships with other women while married. Or verbally berating a mother in front of the children.  

SOME Dads are great Dads and SOME Dads are a terror.  Likewise, SOME Moms are great Moms, and SOME Moms are negligent

or bad Moms.  It is also harder for a mother to care properly for her children, or in the best manner, which she is afraid of being assaulted

over a minor issue by the Dad when he comes home.  If he does that day.  Are these senators thinking about these images when they

shudder and are aghast at a home without a Dad).

Many homes were without Dads during the World Wars I, II, Korean War, Viet Nam War, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other places 

men (and women) have been sent because men decided to make war with each other, in the name of peace and democracy and self-protection.

Some homes of law enforcement officers are now without Dads in them because their Dad responded to a domestic violence dispute, and

caught a bullet, generally also taking out the attacking father as well.  

MY Dad’s home, growing up between two of the abovementioned wars was without a Dad in it because, guess what:  His Dad (a fireman),

got tired of beating his German immigrant wife and abandoned her with three children.  He witnessed this growing up.  

He went on to become a successful scientist, raise children he did NOT beat (at least I wasn’t and I never saw my siblings taking this),

studied hard, worked hard, sent ALL children not just to, but also through college also, and left an inheritance.  And provide for, from what

I am told/understand, not only his own mother, but also a younger brother who never quite got it together, possibly related to something that

happened when he WAS with that abusive Dad, or what, I was never told.  That brother also served his country as a soldier, and died before his time,

never having married or had children.

My Dad NEVER put his children (all daughters) in contact with the abusing/beating/abandoning father, ever, in his lifetime.  

I never regretted this, that I can recall.  How can you regret something you never saw, where the only thing you knew about him was,

he beat the grandmother that I DID know (a little bit).  

However, while Sen. Lieberman was making this speech, about a decade ago, I was for the first time in a full decade of substantial

domestic violence in MY daughters’ lives, with them at an overnight, stay-away camp, a music camp, which we had managed to get 

to no thinks from the father who never left.  For two weeks, I was not going to be abused at night and was around people who actually

treated me respectfully, and I worked along side them in my profession.  We had had a real push getting up there, and were punished 

soundly for having left, but during that week and seeing the response to us getting free from abuse for only (and not entirely; there was

a dour-faced, rules-of-camp breaking midweek visit, where $20 was casually tossed at me so I might have enough gas to get back home)

I MADE UP MY MIND that this domestic violence restraining order was GOING to be filed, and I’m “out of here.”  

How ironic that i didn’t know what was being prated and pronounced in Washington, D.C. at this time.


Here’s the rest of this little 8 minute speech, in case you WOULD like the names of some of the prominent thinkers behind this

June 1999 presentation to the President of the United States, and get a glimpse inside the working of great, Constitution-respecting, minds

when left unsupervised in the Capital of our beloved country:



We can take some comfort and encouragement from the fact that the teen pregnancy rate has dropped

in the last few years. But the numbers cited in Mr. Kelly’s column and in the report are nonetheless

profoundly unsettling, especially given what we know about the impact of fatherlessness,

{{Gee, that must have been a grass-roots appeal from the teen mothers for help, or their mothers, or 

theirs sisters.  WHERE did this knowledge about the impact of fatherless come from, given the

establishment in 1994 of:  (A) The Violence Against Women Act (help some women leave, rather than

stay, in abusive, dangerous relationships) and (B) Also in 1994, the National Fatherhood Initiative.
(Should I compare months of incorporation as  nonprofit with the passage of the law?)}} 


and indicate we are

in the midst of what Kelly aptly terms a “national calamity.” It is a calamity. Of course, it is not limited to

the African American community. On any given night, 4 out of 10 children in this country are sleeping in homes without fathers.

(CONTINUED QUOTE, in different format..):

At the end of this column, Michael Kelly asks: How could this happen 

in a Nation like ours? And he wonders if anyone is paying attention. 


Well, the fact is that people are beginning to pay attention, although 

it tends to be more people at the grassroots level who are actively 

seeking solutions neighborhood by neighborhood.


{{Evidence being…..  WHO?? Time frame?  Organizations?  Written declarations by any of these?}}


The best known of these groups  {{in fact the ONLY one named here..}}



is called the National Fatherhood Initiative.



{{Possibly because of its funding? and prominence of who’s in it?}}


I think it has  made tremendous progress in recent years {{CONTEXT 1994-1999}}

in raising awareness of  father absence and its impact on our society and in mobilizing a 

national effort to promote responsible fatherhood. 


Per the HHS TAGGS search on its name:

Fiscal Year Grantee Name State Award Number Award Title CFDA Number Sum of Actions

And for column width, same search (common field:  Award# / CFDA Code) 


Fiscal Year Award Number Action Issue Date CFDA Number CFDA Program Name Award Activity Type Award Action Type Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
2008  90FB0001  09/25/2008  93086  Healthy marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood Grants  DEMONSTRATION  NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION  CHRISTHOPHER BEARD  $ 999,534 
2007  90FB0001  09/21/2007  93086  Healthy marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood Grants  DEMONSTRATION  NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION  CHRISTHOPHER BROWN  $ 999,534 
2006  90FB0001  09/25/2006  93086  Healthy marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood Grants  DEMONSTRATION  NEW  CHRISTHOPHER BROWN  $ 999,534 
2001  90XP0023  04/09/2001  93647  Social Services Research and Demonstration  SOCIAL SERVICES  NEW  HEATHER THURMAN  $ 500,000 

I’d DONE data entry before, and typing.  Do you know what the odds of someone even on no sleep, and having a sugar buzz, making THAT many

mistakes in 4 entries (fatherhood, responsible, and public, plus “Christopher” spelled wrong.  Same grant, 3rd year, “Christhopher Brown” entered a

samesex marriage, apparently and changed last name “Brown” to his partner’s name “Beard”? 

This database exists so the public can search on it.  Hmmm……  I wonder if they know to search for misspelled names…. and key terms.





AND SINCE 2000– seen below:

Funding for the “Father Organization” in this “national effort”



Bar chart: info duplicated below as table



 93.086: Healthy Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood Grants $1,999,068


However the funding for the wild oats it sowed, under this # 93.086:


(I JUST LEARNED) I believe that this code only arose (emerged naturally of course) in about 2006.  However, as of 2009,

it is still not a searchable agency code on the USASPENDING.gov.  Either in listing “all” programs, or under the agency it belongs under







Hmmm — $2 million less in California for our shelters?  (yes, yes, I realize this is federal, not state, spending).


2000-2009 NFI Funding:  (See bar chart):  Well, I guessed this may not be responsible “Spelling” on whoever entered the data,

but . . . . 




When we simply search only the word

fatherhood” under “recipient” for FY2000-2009,

we get an entirely different picture (also diff’t database):




Top 5 Known Congressional Districts where Recipients are Located Known Congressional District help link

 District of Columbia nonvoting (Eleanor Holmes Norton) $6,942,352
 Maryland 08 (Constance A. Morella / Chris Van Hollen) $2,625,112

Yes this is definitely an “up from the people” grassroots movement,

and not a DC.-down

initiative, surely.  They are just responding to (a certain sector) of their constitutents, and from Washington, acting on it.  I know straight out of

getting out of my house safe, the FIRST thing on my mind was telling Washington, I needed (well, another) father in the home, since now 

I was a “female-headed” household and my children, while this Domestic Violence Restraining order was in effect, were sleeping in a fatherless

home and in danger of (NOT) learning the rights values.  They were learning that that stuff they witnessed growing up was illegal.  And how to

leave a dangerous relationship and start to recover.  

Of course, family court was there waiting for them to go UNlearn those values, fast, and that the 14th Amendment is just a theory.



Top 10 Recipients



93647 word “fatherhood”

 Was that misspelling intentional?  I mean, it WOULD complicate a search by Award Title

Searching, CFDA 93647 (Not the CFDA actually assigned the word “fatherhood” in its description) & word “fatherhood” (“keyword in award title”):

I”ll split in 2, so it displays better:

Exact same search, different fields, so you can see grantee, principal investigators….




“It did this ALL on its own altruistic self, and I’m just reporting on it here.”

The President (is this the same one that signed that 1995 proclamation? about fatherhood?)


SEARCH ON ALL grants, with only the word “fatherhood” in the grant (not grantee) title, produced

358 records, of which here are the 1995-1999 ones:



1995  ST. BERNANDINE’S HEAD START  BALTIMORE  MD  Non-Profit Public Non-Government Organizations  90PR0002  RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD PROJECTS  93647  DEMONSTRATION  NEW  $ 85,000 


Notice the variety of recipients, including Universities (this will be useful for later “evidence-based data” resulting from grants to study the topic.


Notice that the TYPE of grants appears to be either “new” or “noncompeting.”  Hmmm.


AND NOW Sen Lieberman is reporting on this grassroots movement.



Along with a group of allies, the National Fatherhood Initiative has 

been establishing educational programs in hundreds of cities and 

towns across America.

It has pulled together bipartisan task forces in 

the Senate, the House, and among the Nation’s Governors and 




YES< there’s ONE thing that a bipartisan majority male Congress and the Nation’s (also primarily male,

if I’m not mistaken??) can unite on, and that the problem with the nation

relates to a lack of male (father) influence on young children throughout the land.


Presumably, these children that are spending, probably, the majority of their waking hours

in school, are not connecting with any decent father figures or adult males and learning from them

good values.


I wonder what the male/female ratio of teachers is in the nation’s elementary and high schools….



It has worked with us to explore public policies that 

encourage and support the efforts of fathers to become more involved 

in the lives of their children. 

Last Monday, the National Fatherhood Initiative held its annual 

(FIFTH?) national fatherhood summit here in Washington. At that summit, Gen. 

Colin Powell, and an impressive and wide-ranging group of experts 

and advocates, talked in depth about the father absence crisis in our 

cities and towns and brainstormed about what we can do to turn this 

troubling situation around. 



And Last June, 2009 President OBAMA, had a “town hall on fatherhood”

which was visited by a major representative in the Violence Against Women movement

(see last post).  15 years later, these articles are still leading, suicides (NOT by the troubled

teens, bu tby at times the fathers who troubled them….) are still happening.  Well, the

doctrine’s NOT about to change, it must because THAT murderous, suicide-committing father

HIMSELF had no father model in his life.




There are limits to what we in Government can do to meet this 

challenge and advance the cause of responsible fatherhood because, 



Because — Because — Because, “regretfully” I supposed according to this point of view,

the FOUNDING Fathers put LIMITS to government into the U.S. Constitution,** and a few

MORE also made their way into the Bill of Rights as Amendments.


(**To appreciate the link — or be tempted to read it, hover cursor over it)


I can’t WAIT til the “Equal Rights” Amendment makes it in, if it ever will.

Of course I would settle for an enforced and respected 14th Amendment:


after all, it is hard to change people’s attitudes and behaviors and 

values through legislation.


Possibly because the purpose of legislation is to express THEIR attitudes, by laws they voted on,

or their elected representatives did.  Possibly because the purpose of government is to PROTECT

the inalienable rights of citizens….


But that doesn’t mean we are powerless, 



Yes, time has shown that the federal grants systems, and initiatives, and private deliberations IS a 

way to get around the danged legislation that has made “us” (Who all agree about this fatherhood crisis)

so “powerless.”


nor does it mean we can afford not to try to lessen the impact of a 

problem that is literally eating away at our country. 


How do you know it’s a PROBLEM and not a SYMPTOM of another problem?


In recent times, we have had a great commonality of concern 

expressed in the ideological breadth of the fatherhood promotion 

effort both here in the Senate and our task force, but underscored by 

statements that the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary 

of Health and Human Services have made on this subject in recent 

years. Indeed, I think President Clinton most succinctly expressed the 

importance of this problem when he said: {{in 1995….?}}}


The single biggest social problem in our society may be the growing 

absence of fathers from their children’s homes because it contributes 

to so many other social problems. 


Again, in your opinion, supported by government-funded research with the premise already supposed.






(FOR REFERENCE:  This was the Monica Lewinsky president, right?

Well, I guess we can overlook that because he has just flown to North Korea,

with a shock of white hair and looking dignified (and leaner) to attempt to retrieve

two FEMALE journalists sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.  I hope he succeeds.

However, his signing of that 1995 Memo sentenced women here locally to some unbelievable

long-term trauma, because of its chilling effect on the 14th Amendment (and others)

and the placement of daughters and sons in the household of men who abused (or are

abusing) either them, OR previously their mothers) (case in point).

So there are some things we can and should be trying to do. I am 

pleased to note our colleagues, Senators BAYH, DOMENICI, and 

others have been working to develop a legislative proposal, which I 

think contains some very constructive and creative approaches




Yup, parTICULARLY creative with the laws, due process, and the titling of the

various grants involved.  Let alone the use of them, or the monitoring of their use

if any indeed actually takes place.





in which the Federal Government would support financially, with 

resources, some of these very promising grassroots father-promotion 



WOULD support?  WOULD support?

Check HHS’s CFDA# 93.086, “promoting responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage” for yourself on THIS site:


http://usaspending.gov (under “SPENDING” “GRANTS”)


and also encourage and enact the removal of some of the 

legal and policy barriers that deter men from an active presence in their children’s lives. 






Another thing I think we can do to help is to use the platform we 

have on the Senate floor–this people’s forum –to elevate this 

problem on the national agenda. That is why Senator GREGG and I 

have come to the floor today. I am particularly grateful for the 

cosponsorship of the Senator from New Hampshire, because he is the 

chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families.





We are joined by a very broad and bipartisan group of cosponsors which 

includes Senators BAYH, 




AKAKA. I thank them all for joining in the introduction of this special 

resolution this morning, which is to honor Father’s Day coming this 



but also to raise our discussion of the problem of absent fathers in 

our hopes for the promotion of responsible fatherhood. 


Senator GREGG indicated this resolution would declare this Sunday’s 

holiday as National Fathers Return Day and call on dads around the 

country to use this day, particularly if they are absent, to reconnect 

and rededicate themselves to their children’s lives, to understand and 

have the self-confidence to appreciate how powerful a contribution 

they can make to the well-being of the children that they have helped 

to create, and to start by spending this Fathers’ Day returning for 

part of 

the day to their children and expressing to their children the love they 

have for them and their willingness to support them. [Page: S7164] 





The statement we hope to make this morning in this resolution 

obviously will not change the hearts and minds of distant or 

disengaged fathers, but those of us who are sponsoring the resolution 

hope it will help to spur a larger national conversation about the 

importance of fatherhood and help remind those absent fathers of 

their responsibilities, yes, but also of the opportunity they have to 

change the life of their child, about the importance of their 

fatherhood, and also help remind these absent 

fathers of the value of their involvement.


We ask our colleagues to join us in supporting this resolution, and 

adopting it perhaps today but certainly before this week is out to 

make as strong a statement as possible and to move us one step 

closer to the day when every American child has the opportunity to 

have a truly happy Father’s Day because he or she will be spending it 

with their father. 

I thank the Chair. I yield the floor.

Just for a reminder:

 – Slavery Abolished. Ratified 12/6/1865. History

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,

shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Note History   

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States

and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens

of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


WELL, wordcount 5216, enough for today.







What kind of choices are THESE for women!?! 1. Marry, legally WIN custody of child from former partner, and possibly die, possibly with others. 2. Due to “unhealthy alliance (marriage?),” Get a domestic violence restraining order and possibly die. 3. DON’T seek a domestic violence restraining order, and possibly die.

leave a comment »

Or, 4. like I did

a.  Obtain a domestic violence restraining order,  in hopes NOT to die.

b.  See ex given almost immediately (Search this blog for “Access Visitation Grants” or “SAVP”) liberal, unsupervised overnight visitation.

c.  Comply with it, consistently, and try to insist he does also

d.  After warning authorities and all involved of one’s concern about abduction, (and seeking child support enforcement), have them abducted an overnight unsupervised visitation to nearly permanently (or permanently) lose contact with them.

That at least beats some of the ALTERNATE version of Choice 4 (Obtain a Restraining Order)

4.d.1  REISER:  YOU go “MIA” on an unsupervised visitation exchange of the children, and show up years later (as part of a plea bargain of DA’s with husband who murdered you, with kids present), a few (less than 6) feet under — Google “Hans Reiser,”  only a moderate tweak of too many others to categorize, where MOM was either murdered, or an attempt was made to murder her, during an exchange.  

4.d.2. CASTILLO, GONZALES, CONNOLLY, OTHERS, SOME OF THEM NOW BEFORE AN INTERNATIONAL COURT:  After warning the courts and others that you feel visitation is unwise (or he just failed to return them at the appointed time), have your children drowned, shot, hung, or gassed to death – on an overnight visitation.  Note, like some of the driving theories behind families, this is now international in scope.

4.d.2.a.  Possibly go homeless from inability to retain work after so many years in the system, and so much prolonged exposure to stress and trauma that chronic PTSD, plus the unstable job history renders one unemployable.  

(I know currently two women who became homeless after the custody switch following domestic violence, and many more who are impoverished and unemployed, but thankfully not yet homeless).  


There are endless varieties of option 4, and sequential consequences to it, none of them, for the most part, helpful for the children, or society at large, so long as the current AFCC-run, Mediation-focused, due-process eradicating family law system continues to be the next step after domestic violence restraining orders.  The venue, players, and stakes just get higher, if this be possible, than when they were originally.  And are likely to remain so until one of these 3 possible consequences follows, at which point, there simply is no more money, or press, or government program to be squeezed out of the situation, just possibly a few press headlines for the first one below:

1.  Someone is killed.

2. Someone, or both parents — and their allies — are destitute.

3. All children have turned 18.




Some readers may  wonder why the motto (top right, button) on this blog reads:

Not a private matter —

 why “family” “law” hurts us all

Just another two sunny Mondays in Sunny California

illustrate the under-publicized dangers of actually

WINNING in court:


1.  Under, “win custody and possibly die”:

Monday, 07/06/09  San Jose

No independence week for her:



Bitter Ex Loses Custody, so “Wins” with a Gun.

THEIR Daughter, Her StepDad, the Neighborhood, and everyone else involved, LOSES.

Two reported dead at San Jose townhome after shooting and hostage situation

By Mark Gomez and Lisa Fernandez 


Mercury News

  • Shortly after 8 a.m. Monday, a neighbor bleeding from a gunshot wound ran by Anthony Gallardo’s San Jose townhouse shouting that a man had shot his wife in the arm and taken her hostage.
  • A relative who asked not to be identified said Coffman was wounded in the earlobe by a gunman who had entered his home and taken his wife hostage.    Gallardo let the neighbor and a hysterical 9-year-old girl into his garage to call police.
  • The woman had recently won a drawn-out and bitter custody battle with her ex-boyfriend over the 9-year-old girl, the relative said. 
  • That was how a  5 1/2-hour standoff started in the upscale Montecito Vista townhouse development Monday. It ended when San Jose police, failing to make contact with the gunman, entered the townhouse and found the bodies of a man and woman.
  • Police declined to identify the victims but said the shooting appeared to have stemmed from “a family dispute.
  • Damon Cookson, manager of an evacuated mobile home park near the townhouse, said mobile home park residents were let back into their homes at 2:45 p.m.
  • Police had evacuated homes in the townhouse complex and a mobile home park located next door so quickly that some left their homes shoeless, without money or cell phones. Other residents were picked up by friends or relatives so they didn’t have to stand outside in the sun.

According to the “Healthy Marriages and Responsible Fatherhood” advocates, she did the right thing.  She had a man in the home and was married to her; possibly she ran across one of their ubiquitous classes and, or had a religious conversion, and  realized that having children with boyfriends (as opposed to committed and financially self-supporting, faithful spouses — like, say, Steve McNair?) was not the upright thing to do for herself, health, or her daughter.  Perhaps there was even a child support order in place on the Dad, which may or may not have contributed to the bitterness of the divorce.  THAT 9 YEAR OLD GIRL WAS IN A HETEROSEXUAL 2-PARENTS, MARRIED HOUSEHOLD.  HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES WOULD’VE HAD  NO ISSUES OR INTERVENTIONS IN PLACE FOR THIS HOUSEHOLD.


History of domestic violence, stalking, or other criminal activity, or NO history of domestic violence, stalking or other criminal activity, her attempt to pursue child support on behalf of the child, the answer is:  YES.  Being stuck in family court is rough on everyone.  Rules of evidence are weakened in this venue (See link in my last post), making hearsay accusations easier.  Psychology reigns, and there are people who profit from this.  Money trades hands for sure.  

YES, in the fathers rights vs. feminists (supposedly this is the war) climate overall, it was probably predictable, though maybe not perhaps not the timing of it.

Will people sit up and take notice, and change policies because of this death?

I doubt it.

She was married to Coffman, who texted the relative short updates all day long.  The woman was a respiratory therapist at a local hospital.

(More detailed background story, and link, on this case at bottom of today’s post)


This case was not a week old before another one in Northern California hit the press, and the late-night TV stations:

2.  Monday, 07/13/09Novato (not including multi-county Amber alert)

File Under, “Win a temporary domestic violence restraining order, and possibly die, leaving your infant with Child Protective Services,

after she experiences a nice little kidnapping.”

(Did the infant witness her mother being beat to death with a baseball bat also?)

Actually this was a SUNDAY, and the father was caught, apparently on Monday.  Good thing, being as  he was a murderer, son of a murderer, a child-stealer, his brother had a drug habit and he himself was in the family porn industry (makes one question the advisability of the match, for sure).  I wonder if Access Visitation Grants funding would’ve come into play under THIS one.  Maybe when he’s been in prison long enough, they will come after him to make contact with his daughter, after all, there IS a plague of fatherlessness, and he WAS (apparently) his little girl’s father.

Which is likely what he was thinking when he killed the Mom and kidnapped her, too.  How DARE that woman separate me from my kid and accuse me of violence!  I’ll show her what violence is!

I cannot stand to read every report on this one…


Porn King’s Son held in Baseball-Bat Beating Death


NOVATO, Calif. — A 1-year-old girl was safely recovered early Monday and her 27-year-old father in custody after he allegedly brutally beat the girl’s mother to death with a baseball bat, authorities said.

He was suspected of beating Danielle Keller several times with a baseball bat before fleeing with the girl — who was celebrating her first birthday — and threatening to kill any law enforcement agents who came into contact with him, according to police.


The baby has an age.  The murderer kidnapper father has an age.  Is there any particular reason why the Mom in this story doesn’t merit one?

Family members told KTVU that there was a history of domestic abuse and restraining order had been issued against Mitchell in both San Francisco and Marin. Keeler’s mother, Claudia Stevens, said Mitchell had stormed into her Novato home three weeks ago and threatened violence.    He also had been making threatening phone calls, she added.


…And this did not result in his IMMEDIATE arrest and incarceration for violation of restraining order WHY?

Mom didn’t know?  Courts didn’t function?  Mother still traumatized, didn’t register the importance of this?  Police were called on the violation, but didn’t do anything?  Police weren’t called? Police reported, but no one prosecuted?  No precedent that this was a danger sign existed?

3 weeks.  Hmmm.  Was the case was in family court?  Had they been to the mediator yet?  Did the mediator say to them, as the mediator did to ME (shortly after I filed domestic violence restraining order with kickout, AFTER the violence had escalated to the guns, knives, serious injury phase,putting this “family matter” at a clear domestic violence, felony, not misdemeanor)  “just peaceful communications about the (children)” — and totally failed to specify:  Place of exchange.  TIME of exchanges around holidays.  Or child support, resulting in the soon thereafter need to resort to welfare, until I could rebuild some income.)  

Excuse me.  File under,

Another needless death, another burden on California taxpayers, another traumatized little girl,

family, and neighborhood”

(I imagine it also might be filed under, don’t hook up with men involved in the porn business.  What are women, desperate these days?  Was she attracted to his testosterone?  There are down sides of too much of that, I suppose….)

This is a cruel thing to say, but I am searching about for WHY this bloodshed just doesn’t stop, no matter how many policies or laws are in place.  There HAVE to be a few consistent reasons.  Added to my concerns are, why is that our nation is raising  — or inhabited by — so many dysfunctional adults of criminal nature.  

Perhaps the problem is with the concept of the Nation (as opposed to individual families) raising them.  But, as I say sometimes, this is a family law blog, not an education blog.  Perhaps the problem is religion, as I KNOW this is a factor in many domestic violence cases.  Perhaps the problem is LACK of religion (morality / common sense // ethical behavior).  Perhaps the problem is an alienated populace — from each other as well, except within the various cliques.  Perhaps the problem is fatherhood vigilanteeism (actually, I think this is VERY close to the truth, and filed, at least in part, under religion).  Perhaps the problem is that reaction against feminism, AND against the perceived lack of religion nationwide, breeding neo-con and worse versions of what went before.

OH — PERHAPS it’s that we don’t teach women how to defend themselves, or that this is a feminine and desireable life skill.

PERHAPS it’s that we don’t teach women boundaries, and how to defend themselves.

PERHAPS it’s that WE think someone else is teaching or doing something else that, in former centuries, “we” had to do ourselves.  Like, raise and prepare food, learn to read, teach our kids to read, and so forth.


Amber Alert Novato, Search Results 48,000

Perhaps some of these will telll how she ended up with the dude…., that, for a first birthday celebration, clubbed Mama, to death with a baseball bat.  
Last week’s femicide/suicide?  
Old news:  Only 600 results

Brewer, Victoria E. & Derek Paulsen (1993, November). A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Findings on Uxoricide Risk for Women with Children Sired by Previous Partners. Homicide Studies, 3(4), 317-332.

Bunting, Helen. (2008, February 19). Women and Daughter Killed in Chile’s Latest Femicide. The Santiago Timeshttp://www.santiagotimes.cl/santiagotimes/news/feature-news/woman-and-daughter-killed-in-chile-s-latest-femicide.html 

Bunting, Helen. (2008, February 6). Femicides in Chile: 10 So Far This Year; Three in 24 Hours. Santiago Times, http://www.santiagotimes.cl/santiagotimes/news/feature-news/femicide-chile-10.html 

Bunting, Helen. (2008, January 24). Three Femicides Recorded So Far in 2008. http://www.valparaisotimes.cl/content/view/296/1/ 


And the well-known, and still not part of policy in family court matters, studies by Jacquelyn Campbell:

  • Campbell, Jacquelyn C. (2004, December). Helping Women Understand Their Risk in Situations of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(12), 1464-1477.
  • Campbell, Jacquelyn, Carolyn Block, & Robin Thompson. (1999). Femicide and Fatality Review.  Next Millennium Conference: Ending Domestic Violence. http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/184570.pdf
  • Campbell, Jacquelyn, Nancy Glass, Phyllis W. Sharps, Kathryn Laughton & Tina Bloom.  (2007, July).  Intimate Partner Homicide: Review and Implications of Research and Policy.  Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 8(3), 246-269.


Oh, Mea Culpa.  The word “femicide” is for a specialized field of study.  Maybe it’s under “homicide/suicide.”  Better also be more specific, since “homicide/suicide” would jam my software again, too large.

San Jose homicide/suicide— Google results


Was THIS one avoidable?  Answer:  YES!

“San Jose man recounts murder-suicide that left wife dead.”

Mercury News, 07-10-09 8:49am updated

The couple had long been leery of Liang and worried he could be capable of violence. A 2003 stalking charge was dismissed against Liang for threatening to kill the two of them, even though Coffman said neither he nor his wife were called as witnesses.

Ying He and Liang came to the United States from China in 1999, Coffman said. They had a baby girl in the Bay Area on June 14, 2000. Liang sent the girl to live with his wealthy parents in Guangzhou, and because Ying He had pending immigration status, she couldn’t freely travel between the countries.

In 2006, Ying He discovered her daughter and Liang were living in Southern California. She also discovered, Coffman said, that her ex-boyfriend, a gambler, was short on cash.

“They made a deal,” Coffman said. “Brandi said she’d give Nelson some money and he said he’d give her their daughter.”  {{NO CONTACT WITH MOM FOR SIX YEARS…..}}

But Liang reneged on his part of the deal, Coffman said, and disappeared with the girl. Coffman and his wife hired an attorney to find Liang and fight for full custody. After about two years, Liang and the girl surfaced again in Southern California. In March, Liang didn’t pick his daughter up from school one day, and police reports show Liang told school officials in Arcadia that he no longer wanted to care for his child. He was soon arrested and pleaded no contest to child endangerment. The girl was put in state care


Let’s get that timeline again:

2000 — baby born

Shortly thereafter — Dad sends baby away, no contact with mother.

2003 Dad found stalking and threatening to kill Mother AND her new husband.  (SOUND FAMILIAR?)  Doesn’t apparently even make the DA’s radar, although there are anti-stalking laws in California, and stalking has been listed for many years among lethality indicators. Perhaps he also had some concept of maybe extorting the new couple (in re: gambling habit?).

Also (sounds like my own case in this regard), stalking as seen as irrelevant to child’s welfare.  Dad retains custody, and this couple is not really on the map, or the child, legally speaking??

Unclear (here) whether they still thought daughter was in China (no mail or phone contact?)

2006 – child is located, and mother and new husband invest money and time attempting to get her in their household.

Father receives money in exchange for daughter, obviously they were trying to settle out of court.  Father agrees, takes money, and doesn’t turn over daughter.  Possibly the FBI should’ve been involved here?

2008?– Father, changing his mind again, abandons daughter (note:  that he sent his daughter back to China MIGHT be an indicator he didn’t want custody, right?) and the state picks her up.  It MIGHT be deduced from the court records, by “the state” that a parent who wants the daughter, and is in a stable situation, exists.  However, that parent was a mother….

2009 – April.  State figures it out, and gives child back to mother.  Child-endangering, stalking Dad still has visitation rights:

Liang still had visitation rights and weekly phone calls.


Why doesn’t that surprise me?  You still in favor of shared parenting, frequent visitation, fathers — ANY fathers — return day?  If not, find out which Congressmen (and if any women) voted for this in 1998 and 1999 in the U.S., and write them why they should re-think the resolution — what WAS that about, opting for population control by homicide/suicide??

Which tells you about family court in California:  Far be it from Family Law Judges to notice that trivialities such as sending kid back to China, where her own mother couldn’t nurture or see her for YEARS, while staying here and racking up a gambling debt, stalking and threatening to kill the mother and her new partner, and child endangerment by abandonment, should be taken into account in designing a custody/visitation order!


On Sunday, the day before the shooting, Liang called to speak with his daughter, asking her strangely specific questions about her schedule. Coffman believes Liang was casing the family for the attack.


My question:  WHEN did Coffman or his wife hear of those strangely specific questions?  Was the daughter alarmed?  DId no one catch the anomaly.  That instinct of “this is strange, isn’t it?” can save lives — in a family, even if the state misses the boat…  I suspect they hadn’t processed that information yet, and didn’t think that Liang would act so quickly.

ALWAYS play it safe!

I see we bloggers are going to have to work harder at getting the news out:  Before entering family court situations with difficult custody battles, get martial arts training — and exerrcise your second amendment rights.


ENDNOTE:  China is known for not valuing girl babies as much as boy babies.

 But the U.S. ought to have understood when children are viewed as poker chips in a high-stakes custody battle.

I think this one might be more gambling debt as much as jealousy contributing to the problems



“Wife fought off Pa. man killed in shootout.” Maybe–MAYBE, Forget the Restraining Orders, Remember 2nd Amendment? Or, toss a coin…

with 2 comments


Part II of II on “Responsible Citizenhood” is in labor.  

The waters have broken, and there is a flood of information and synthesis of concepts gushing forth on many topics, and my brain is dialating.   They will have to be posted in stages.

Translation:  I am being a Responsible Citizen (see prior posts) and exploring who is my Congress, the Constitution, who is funding whom, and finding all kinds of juicy information on whose idea was it to reinstitute a national religion called Fatherhood, funded by all of us.  I have also located a few new (to me at least) search tools How many thoughts have been provoked!

But, this (relatively) recent news alert reminded me, that Part of Responsible Citizenhood might entail learning how to handle a gun, and being willing to use it during a home invasion.  Even a home invasion by an estranged husband:


Wife fought off Pa. man killed in shootout

by Michael Rubinkam

Let’s look at this headline again.  This woman fought him off, and neither she, nor any of her offspring got killed.  If you look up the articles and read the details, she made a mistake, which, if you read below and see how WIGGLY Pa considers the “PFAs” when it comes to what they mean, is almost understandable.  But once the situation became clear, she took QUICK action to protect her children, get free, and call for help.  

This is not, folks, how it often plays out.  Who knows whether, God, fortune, or luck played a role, but we DO know this woman didn’t stop to debate, and she also didn’t panic and go dysfunctional.  May I propose that this woman listening to her INSTINCTS and acting on them may have prevented a higher body count.  LESSON ONE:  Don’t jerk around with someone who has just crossed a boundary.  Don’t second guess instinct.  And (next time) don’t compromise one INCH on an existing protective or restraining order — it sends a mixed message, and could lead to this.

May I propose something else?  I suggest that lawmakers and courts consider that women are people too, and smarten up to having us believe the fiction and play the slot games with any intimate partner who has been battering us in the home, or threatening to, etc.  May I suggest that instead of — or in addition to — DISarming him, they somehow ARM her, and if she’s not trained how to do so, get her some professional responsible training.  It could be mace, it could be pepper spray, but constitutionally, it could be a gun, too, at least in the home.  

Given the options, she has hope, luck, prayer, and walking around the neighborhood with her instincts on alert, her antennae up, and then trying to also rebuild a life.   “LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.”  Now what was that first one again?  

Detriment:  May give a whole new picture of “motherhood” to “fatherhood” people who don’t believe women should be allowed to separate, do not have equal rights, and VAWA should go back to where it came from.      

In this above statement, I omitted the comma between “fatherhood” people and who don’t believe.  This is generous on my part, because I am conceding that there could be people all excited about and promoting fatherhood who DON’T believe these things.  In fact, I don’t really believe this.  I think that what the “fatherhood” movement is about is that the genetic / gender / biological composition of a family and household (one man, one woman, both married) is more important than the character or behavior of such families.  I am not the only person who believes this.  Some data is here (hover cursor for my comment.  Note:  This dates to 2002, almost 7 years ago.      .http://www.canow.org/fam_report.pdf. 

Now, when I married, I picked someone of the opposite gender, rather than someone of the same gender and, when it came to wanting children, either adoption or a sperm donor.  This is probably because of how I like my sex, and the other versions didn’t concern me.

However, when I realized that my opposite-gender person’s main concern was my gender and household function ONLY, and not me as a person — and began physically punishing me for showing up as a person like him, and expecting to pursue some personal goals, not only the laundry/cleaning/nursing/f____ing role (in addition to supporting him in his business, and — if I wanted necessities — also working myself in and/or outside the home for pay) — I made a determination that behavior was the determinant, not gender, or a two-parent status.  The MAIN reason I did this was because we had children, and it was a damn lousy role model they were being exposed to.  The children were of my gender, and they were being taught how this one was somehow inferior and equipped with fewer rights, if any, and no boundaries or ability to say NO without taking retaliation for it.  THAT’s a lousy role model, and he got himself evicted, not after several warnings.  

I suppose you would like me to get to the story here, how THIS woman saved her life, her children’s life, but alas, not the pursuing policeman’s life, or her husband’s (although I lay that one as his responsibility — no one forced him to threaten his wife with a gun or kidnap his child, or place himself above a clear law he knew was in place upon him).


YATESVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Hobbled by a broken ankle, the estranged wife of a man killed in a shootout with Pennsylvania state troopers managed to fight him off as he threatened her with a gun before he kidnapped their 9-year-old son, the woman’s friend said.


The order of events is a little jumbled in the paragraph.  The AP wanted it out fast, I guess, and so we get this:

  • A. Her ankle was broken
  • B. She was estranged from her husband
  • C.  He was killed by PA state troopers in a shootout (i.e., he was shooting back).
  • D.  1.  She fought him off 2.  while he threatened her with a gun.
  • E. He kidnapped their 9 year old son.

Having been through a FEW of the events above (not including the shootout), let me put it, I suspect, chrono.

  • B.  Cause of broken ankle — don’t know and probably not relevant.
  • D.2 He threatened her with a gun
  • E. THEN (having been fought off), he grabs their son and dashes off (probably in a car).
  • C. State troopers, apparently, caught up with him, and I’ll gol-dang bet he shot first.  Predictably, they shot back. 
  • Thank God the state troopers had some firearms training, so HE got killed, not his wife and not the son he kidnapped, this time.

First of all, let’s deal with the grammar dishonesty (gender bias?) with B.  “She was estranged from her husband” which has an element of the truth, and distorts the actual context.  This is such common press practice in domestic violence homicide (or incident) reporting:

LEGALLY, it appears he’d acted first, and she had responded with a “protection from abuse” order.  Unless the news disagrees with the judge that is THE most relevant factor in the case, apart from this incident.  It most certainly is prime factual,  legal and emotional dynamic CONTEXT of the incident.  “She was estranged” could’ve been, she got tired of his dirty socks around home, she wanted to pursue another affair, or he did; he refused to work OR was an alcoholic, she was bored, he was using drugs or alcohol, or they had other “irreconciliable differences.”  “She was estranged” already must minimized the truth.  If a protective order was in place, and these reporters are not aware enough yet that this produces LOTS of hot news leads in the form of crime reporting, they need to review the job descriptions — or their editors do.  (To tell the truth, I didn’t notice this the first time through the story myself, although I have always thought it an odd phrase).  

B.  THEY were estranged.  or, better,

B.  “In _____ (date) (or how recent), she obtained a PFA (say it:  “protection from abuse“) order (in what court, or county), forcing him to leave the family home.

It is so typical of abusers, abuser enablers, and for that matter, the bulk of the family law system, to IGNORE THE ACTIONS and TALK ABOUT WHO “WAS” WHAT RATHER THAN WHO “DID” WHAT.  IT”S PSYCHOLOGY NOT EVIDENCE.  THIS IS NO ACCIDENT!

From the 2002 California Family Court Report (link above):  (under “Loss of Due Process”)

A. Lack of procedural and evidentiary due process,since the Family Code was 

separated from the Code of Civil Procedure and the Evidence Code in 




Alas (and the emphasis of other articles on this event) — – Mad Dad was not in a compromise mood, and shot at responding officers.  Terribly, he got a cop, too. Again — and these officers WERE brave, and they DID stop a kidnapping in process.  

That’s about a recipe for suicide by cop.  Whether or not he had thought THIS far ahead, one thing is clear:  He’d pre-meditated far enough ahead to bring a gun and point it at his wife.   

I experienced a decade of being exceedingly afraid of my husband in the home, being traumatized, and eventually being sure enough (because he talked about it often enough, fantasizing about this, and telling me, so, or otherwise bringing it up casually in conversation:  “I’ll just have to kill you.”  At this time, both our children were under 8 years old.)  This has caused economic devastation upon me, my daughters, and people associated with both him, and us.  It has wasted taxpayer funds year after year (in family law, where our case shouldn’t have been at the time) and taken almost 20 years of the prime working years of my life and trashed them repeatedly, under threats, stalkings, intimidations, sudden appearances at my home, and in general, one hell of a mess.  He is still only working part-time, if that, doesn’t pay taxes (I don’t because I don’t earn enough), he is not financially independent yet and, because of this and unfortunately, neither am I.  Our state is broke (supposedly) which is headline news, and is getting people very short-tempered in general.

I wonder, and I DO reflect — SUPPOSE I HAD FOUGHT BACK, AND NOT ONLY THAT, THREATENED BACK:  IF YOU EVER DO THIS AGAIN, YOU’LL BE MISSING A BODY PART.  OR DEAD!    And then dropped everything until I had learned self defense.

Or, I had told been less committed to my marriage vows, and dumped his ass out on the street — in other words, brought it to a head earlier.  WHY did I not do that?  (a number of reasons:  #1.  VAWA and awareness of DV laws was not commonplace.  #2.  I’d never had a similar experience where I had to set a boundary with a violent man before, and wasn’t acquainted personally with such situations.  #3.  self-defense and handling a gun is not a typical part of the public school education, and not exactly promoted, as in, exercising 2nd Amendment rights, in general.  We are not hunting our food, but buying it, for the most part (or growing it).  I was not raised in urban areas, where awareness of guns and gun violence was commonplace, but in more rural; people shot deer, or sometimes squirrels, not people!  I also wasn’t raised on TV.  

School rewards taking orders and obeying rules, at least theoretically.

And that’s not “feminine” behavior.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



Maybe the fatherhood guys are “right.”  Maybe  (from that perspective) if men are not needed to provide for and protect women,and defend them from other suitors, stalkers, or rapists, or to help them, particularly when they are more vulnerable, pregnant and raising young kids, the differences between the sexes (as to functions in life) would so blur, that, well, the drive to achieve and provide would diminish, the wheels of the economy would crumble (and a lot of faith institutions also), and life just wouldn’t have that same glow, or afterglow.

Without the primal urge, there would be no skyscrapers (9/11?) or cathedrals, and no empires, multi-national or otherwise.  Maybe.  life just wouldn’t have that zest and drama.  Newspapers would need to find other ways to sell the products, if there weren’t crises to report. 

Well, that’s a larger topic.  But it seems a natural question:  If the nuclear family ain’t what protects, and provides for its young, the only alternative is for equality of income.  NOW, Papa Obama and the majority of  Head Start, Zero to Five, Administration for Families and Children, (sorry sir to pick on you, this wasn’t your idea to start with) might be out of work.  ONLY if the ONLY way to produce income is a “job” that MUST be done outside the home, ONLY then is it essential to have the other functions of raising a family:  care, daytime feeding, and education — to be done by someone else, institutionally.  

However the people so vigorously promoting this solution ONLY (and highly suspicious of, say, the homeschooling option which is a lot more fluid, lets mothers network and find each other’s long suits, collaborate locally to find the best teachers (including some of each other, as well as hired professionals), and fire the lousy ones — now THAT’S a plus) and actually have a better understanding of who their children are, and possibly better relationships with them, not rigidly defined ones) — these people — and I coudl show you, or you could look for yourself — are THEMSELVES either inheriting wealth, or have sufficient assets to go fund ggovernment policy, publicize and drive various programs through and teach THEIR young how to own businesses and produce passive cash flow, themselves.

Then who would work in the businesses they own?  There has to be a steady population — and the majority of the population — that does NOT know how to live independently from the government, or the “employee” situation — or life would, well, it just wouldn’t work right.  Who would work the factories, produce the many, many terrific products we enjoy in this country, the material prosperity, the varities of fast foods (and agencies pronouncing that fast foods are bad for you), and all that?

(Along with the domestic violence kidnappings, suicides by cop, traumatized kids, and sometimes dead people, that go along with when this doesn’t work out so well…..).

Well, that dialogue is what I get for thinking.  It’s Monday night quarterbacking, I guess, “what-if” scenarios.  I cannot turn back the clock in my own case.  The fact is, if I hadn’t been who I was, probably the genetic and particular DNA of my two wonderful daughters (who are probably not reading this, yet), and with whom I am NOT spending any more time, would not have been born.  I have already determined (and she’s spoken with me recently) that woman number two was targeted for a certain gullibility and in a certain venue, for use to get the kids away from me.  He’s out on the loose again, troubling me, because I’ve been contacted, and her, because of what that indicates.  

HOWEVER, the rest of this post, below, shows how the local Women’s Resource Agency describes why women should keep coming, keep asking for “PFA” orders and keep playing the odds, because, it’s after all, only about ONE out of THREE cases that violates these orders, and “NOT ALL” do “WHAT HE DID.”

Well, in school, 66% is not a passing grade.  Last I heard, 70% was.  We are talking 66% success rate when the other 33% (add your decimal points later) might get killed and result in this.  We’re not talking about graduating from high school, but living out a normal lifespan, and not in terror, trauma, or having to before a child is ten, witness a homicide.  Or two.  Or being kidnapped.  About officers NOT having to make that sacrifice, and THEIR children lose a Daddy also.  How is THAT “promoting responsible fatherhood.”

I think that the time of restraining orders may have passed, and that we probably need to focus on both attitudes, cultural values and self-defense techniques (including weapons if necessary) that make it ABSOLUTELY clear that any such violation of a personal boundary in the form of a HIT will be met with equal, and to make a point, slightly greater responding force to emphasize the unacceptability of it.


I think local communities will have to figure out processes, not “states” they wish to achieve.  And this requires being realistic about restraining order and a valid understanding of what abuse IS.

I have one:  ABUSE is violating personal boundaries (and, most time, state criminal laws) in order to establish a “giving orders” situation between what should be intimate partners.  As such, it qualifies as “two-year-old” behavior and should result in the adult who has regressed to it, and thinks that 2009 is, in fact, closer to 1920 (when women finally got the vote) should be treated like the two-year-old mentality of, the world should conform to you when you don’t like it, without your submitting to some process of negotiation, compromise, or humility.  I would like to add that, as I recall this, I always wondered why our daughters didn’t go through the famous “Terrible Twos” {is this an Americdan term only?  I don’t know…}  rebellious stages. I remember this at the time also.  It could be that we weren’t dumping them off in daycare, where they needed more attention, oir it just possibly could’ve been that we had a much larger Terrible Two in the home, in the form of their father, and they knew this.

Only when it’s UNacceptable throughout society to beat women, and terrorize anyone, will this stop.  The only acceptable reasons for doing anything like this in defense of life’s essentials — and these do not include maintaining a status quo in which the abuser’s world is perfect, and his ego cannot handle rejection, the need to apologize, or occasional value conflicts.  The heart of any really good intimate relationship would do real well to closely resemble what’s written in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, which most of us (and our legislators) have apparently forgotten.

I happen to be a Christian, and my faith tells me about when this will, and will not happen.  I have had to often re-evaluate the duality (us/them) and domination (Christ came once and was humbled/crucified voluntarily, but will return in authority as king and by force put down all rebellion, bringing in world peace), and I assure you, in the many, MANY years I have been around and working (through music) in several faith institutions, the music is terrific, but within white (in particular, but not only) Protestantism, nondenominational especially, equality of women is “anathema” and these places are producing wife-beaters and wife-killers.  They do not communally or prominently acknowledge the laws of the land in their hearts, and many (those who do not ordain women, or and hate even the concept of them in leadership, let alone of gays, or lesbians) , despite sometimes sheltering a battered woman, or helping her (i’ve been helped a few times recently), they will NOT stop sheltering the doctines and attitudes that produce more batterred women, and more overentitled men.  this is behind the “fatherhood” movement, and it produces a form of social schizophrenia, in which we have a public school system where “God” is not allowed, or prayer, yet public policy where “faith-based” advice and policies are promoted.  Well, which is it, folks?

That’s all the psycho- social-analysis for this post.  What’s below (written earlier) relates more directly to this particular domestic violence double-homicide, kidnapping, assault, and tragedy which began with “she was estranged,” and a look at the neighborhood response.

What probably kept that woman and her children alive was her willingness to fight back.  What put her at risk was compromising the existing restraining order (including drop off at curb), and (possibly) her not having the means or intent to, at ALL times since it was issued, NEVER compromise it AT ALL.  ONE means might be for her husband to have understand that she understood her 2nd Amendment right to self-defense, and having it in the home, AND her willingness and intent to act on it, if even 3 yards of  a restraining order was violated.  This sends a clear message, and would put that man back in a place to reconsider whether he wants to test the limits, or can talk or plan, or manipulate his way out of obeying that order.  

The courts need to do more to communicate this necessity to women who have just separated.  They need to understand that NOW, it’s OK to take a personally aggressive stance and back it up with a willingness to act if boundaries are violated.  That IS, after all, WHY the “United States of America” is no longer a British colony, or any other colony (so far), and we might do well to keep communicating this principle to our young, boy and girl alike. Not to belabor the point, but our schools absolutely do NOT, do this at this point, and I say, intentionally so. You can’t “manage” people so well who understand their self-worth.

However Susan Autenreith may have been raised, at the crucial time, she found something within herself to say No, and stand up to this.  Having made a mistake, she didn’t condemn herself or try to talk out of the situation.  Gun meant FIGHT BACK, YELL DIRECTIONS TO HE KIDS, &  CALL FOR HELP.


How Logical Is This?

~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About that MOM?  

Let’s go chrono, OK?

Not all (female) readers have been through the process of, say,

(1) childbirth,

(2) being assaulted, threatened, intimidated, battered, and in short abused, or other situations which tell you “Danger! Danger!,”

(3) filing and getting a PFA (domestic violence restraining, or etc.) order with kickout, indicating “Danger!  Danger!” to all and “STAY AWAY!” to Dad, (and, you can’t buy guns, either, or own them), and then 

(4) IMMEDIATELY after these at least actions (applying for a temporary, filing with judge, getting it signed, serving the husband (which then in effect throws him out of the house in some manner), going to court for a hearing to have it made permanent, having it made “permanent” (i.e., facing the ex in that court hearing), and meanwhile attempting to explain this to one’s children in terms they can understand why he can’t live here anymore, then — with a restraining order in effect — typically the NEXT stop is the mediator who will then proceed to act as though there wasn’t really, any serious domestic violence (other than, meetings may be separate) and say, “OK, so long as it’s peaceful communications around the children” and then design some visitation plan any other divorcing couple might have, even the most amicable divorces.  Which appears to have happened in this place.

In 1992, Jack Straton, Ph.D. (NOMAS:  National Org. of Men Against Sexism) recommended a cooling off period.

So far, no one has figured this out, evidently.

(5) Agreeing, after this, to a custody/visitation exchange plan which basically has a split personality:  

Hey, he  was so dangerous, you had to get a judge to tell him  to stay away, and order no weapons in the home, BUT . . . .. BUT . . . . . it’s OK to give this same, by now pretty distraught or indignant/upset man access to the fruit of his loins, regularly . . . .  After all, what about a child’s right to bond with both parents?  

This, I say, gives the man, the woman, and the children a mixed message.  I have also learned (the hard way) since, the courts ALSO are getting contradictory messages (and funding) about these matters.  IS domestic violence a crime, or not a crime?  

And so we get cases like the Autenreiths, where Dad didn’t LIKE having that protective order in place, and made this clear with a 9mm.  His girlfriend helped him get a gun.  Again, his girlfriend.

WHICH BRINGS UP THIS POINT:  Telling a man to not own weapons, and get rid of any he does own, doesn’t prevent him — in the least — from grabbing one from a friend who has one (or in this case, a girlfriend buying one for him.  I believe this is called a straw purchase, and laws exist to address this, but still, it points out that generally there is a way around the law for those who intend to find one).


(How long were they separated?  How hard is it for a man with a plan to get around a piece of paper?)

in order to STOP the cycle of abuse which, without intervention, generally does one thing — escalate, until someone is killed, or more than one, 






By Andrew Scott

Pocono Record June 12, 2009

A protection-from-abuse order [“”PFA”] may be just a piece of paper unable to stop the likes of Daniel Autenrieth, the Northampton County man who threatened his wife at gunpoint, kidnapped their son and led police on a high-speed chase that ended in a fatal shootout in Tobyhanna.

{To review:  PFA, then:



The fact remains that most people with PFAs filed against them comply with those court orders and don’t do what Autenrieth did. So although PFAs aren’t absolutely guaranteed to stop someone who’s unbalanced or really intent on doing harm, people who are being physically abused or feel threatened with physical harm in relationships still should apply for PFAs.

{{Perhaps they should also buy a Lotto ticket?}}

That was the message at a Thursday press conference at Women’s Resources of Monroe County in Delaware Water Gap. Women’s Resources is part of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which provides a network of advocacy, legal, counseling, medical and other support services for domestic violence victims.

. . . 

In Pennsylvania, PFA violators can face up to six months in county jail and fines of up to $1,000, depending on the severity of the violation, said Wendy Bentzoni, a detective with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.

If a woman requests a PFA against her husband and he consents to the order’s terms

  •  Being evicted from the home he/she shares with the plaintiff/victim and having no contact with that person.
  •  Being evicted, but being allowed to have contact.
  •  Being allowed to stay in the home as long as there is no physical abuse or threat of physical abuse.

In Pennsylvania, a PFA can be in effect for any length of time up to three years, depending on what a judge rules or what the parties involved consent to in each individual case. If the defendant doesn’t violate the PFA, the order simply expires when its time is up.

In Pennsylvania, a PFA can be in effect for any length of time up to three years, depending on what a judge rules or what the parties involved consent to in each individual case. If the defendant doesn’t violate the PFA, the order simply expires when its time is up.

Of the 450 PFAs granted in Monroe County last year, more than 125 were violated by defendants, Bentzoni said.

{{OK, Let’s look at that.  Suppose it was 150.  150 violated out of 450 is 1 out of 3.  That means for every 2 that WERE kept (as far as they know — by whether or not a violation was reported or not) 1 was not.  How do you like them odds?  Your PFA has a 33.33% of being violated (in which case, see above for potential risk/fallout).  


In some cases, getting a PFA filed against an abuser can worsen the victim’s situation because the abuser sees it as the victim trying to take power away from the abuser{{WHICH IT IS INCIDENTALLY}}, she said. Desperate to retain that power over the victim, the abuser might become even more dangerous.

“Against someone with no fear of the law or jail, a PFA might not be the best action to take,” Kessler said. “In that case, we explore other options with the victim. The goal is to get the victim out of a vulnerable position.”

If the abuser is the sole breadwinner for the victim and their children, fear of losing the abuser’s financial support also might deter the victim from applying for a PFA, Kessler said.


Well, I know in my case it sure delayed getting one.  Often economic abuse can precede physical.

Economic abuse can precedes and enables the physical AND IS PRE-MEDITATED.  If the targeted person can’t afford to get away, or see how they could conceivably do so, they will take their chances staying, possibly.  What a great choice — homelessness or increasing domestic abuse.  

So, it seems to me if we want a less violent world, the most sensible thing would be focus on teaching children and young people how to become economically independent.  In a wonderful contradiction of intent, we DON’T!  The entire public schools system in the U.S.A., for the most part, consists of teaching children how to be submissive and take orders, leave the thinking up to the experts, who will grade them, and prepare them for this:  College, and Jobs.  Not, College and BUSINESSES.  Or College, and understanding the economic principles that would help them become business owners, investors, cash-stream producers, foundation producers, and independent thinkers.  How hypocritical.  

And that includes independent thinking about how to survive financially should they choose to have children, or should they not choose to have children, but set up housekeeping (and sleeping) with a partner that might become sick, injured, or — face it – incarcerated.  They should not have to go nurse off Dad, or Mom, or Big Brother the Welfare State, in this case.  The goal should NOT be lifetime jobs, but lifetime progression towards financial independence.  They cannot do this if they aren’t studying people who have accomplished this, and the basic principles of wealth.

We should also teach them not to let any partner or potential partner disarm them economically — whether it be job, or bank account, or credit, or access to transportation etc.  That any such action is aggression, and dangerous to their welfare, creating an artificial co-dependence.  They should know this going into relationships.  

Now right there, we have a SERIOUS problems.  Many world religions don’t accept this, and are not likely to.  

Well, maybe they should, in the US, then lose their tax-exempt status.  Believe me, I’ve thought of it.  Because if they are contributing to the climate of “It’s OK to dominate a woman by any means (or weapon) that comes to hand, because it makes you more of a man,” then they should have to fork over the taxes that society might need to take care of the resulting mess.

And I’ll tell you another “secret” (not a real secret) — one I’ve been thinking about more recently.  The majority of these institutions are in a co-dependent and domination relationship within their own ranks.  If they didn’t dominate and under-educate them on their own sacred scripts (men and women alike), in the US, at least, many people would not be so dependent on spiritual, social, and emotional nourishment on the weekends and maybe ONE weekday.  But that is another post, and probably, blog.  

We ought to teach, besides, reading math writing, sport and the arts (to put it roughly) the PROCESSES and VALUES OF:

Self-sufficiency, Self-defense, and self-discipline, to the point of in-depth excellence and mastery in one primary area.  With that I believe will come sufficient self-esteem not to enter into too many co-dependent relationships. 


I recommend reading John Taylor Gatto’s short book called Dumbing Us Down:  The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, in which he says, plainly, that the seven lessons he, as a teacher (and at the time NY State Teacher of the Year” actually is teaching is not “relevance” and “interrelationship” of subjects, but the exact opposite.  Specifically, in order from the chapter:  “The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher,” they are:


The next chapter is called the “psychopathic school” after which he details his efforts of getting a little girl who read beautifully out of a class of bad readers.  The girl (reading aloud beautifully) tells him how the administration had explained to her mother that she was, in reality, a “bad reader who had fantasies of being a better reader than she was.”  Then, the author relates how the principal tried the same thing on him:  how was he, a substitute to know whether or not this child could read.

MY EXPERIENCE:  This actually is at the heart of the educational AND the family law system of “experts.”  My “sin” was homeschooling the children, and having fantasies (as do many single mothers leaving abuse) that we could make a sound decision on behalf of our sons and daughter, after we’d made just about the soundest one around — LEAVING the situation!  

Consider this:

Our form of compulsory schooling was an invention of the State of Massachusetts around 1850.  It was resisted — with guns — by about 80% of the Massachusetts population, the last outpost being Barnstable on Cape Cod not surrendering its children until the area was seized by militia and children marched to school under guard.  (p. 25, 


There is more, but as I review those 7 lessons above, I can’t help thinking about the uncommon similarities between abuse — even it’s definitions — and the family law system, as well as the concept of using another abusive system to handle abuse by one person towards another in the presence of children.

Is ALL conflict bad?  No, conflict involving true self-defense, or boundary violations.

Is marriage, or an “intimate partner relationship,” a person as property contract?  A relationship as property contract?  I believe the law calls it a FIDUCIARY relationship.  As such, no one has a right to commit what in other context would be a crime, to protect loss of contact with this former sexual partner, parent of one’s children, children, or the breakdown of a relationship.

WHEN IT GETS TO THE POINT OF PFAs and RESTRAINING ORDERS, the enforcement should be thorough, immediate, clear, and strong.  The dialogue above illustrates why, in practice, it ain’t.  SO the conflicts go on, and escalate.

I have taught lots of children (and adults) in lots of venues and classrooms, and non-class situations.  There are always rules ,and in-progress negotiation about common standards, there is always a dynamic flexibility within the group, there is the matter of consensus and critical mass.

The superb choir that got me going into music was about 40 in number, and we stood in mixed quartets, holding our own parts, produced records, soloists, and in general moved mountains and kicked butt musically.  It was powerful stuff.  We rehearsed almost daily and worked to pay for some of our own needs (including uniforms, painting the room, and going to conferences).  We associated after school (and sometimes before) and in other venues than school; we ate, played, and attended concerts together.

Since then, I have sung in (and sometimes directed) choirs numbering from approximately 12 up to over 100.  The ideal size (and one of the best choirs I was in) was about 18, or very maximum 20, if they were professionals and unified.  I have had a little choir of only 11 do amazing things, because it was small enough to be responsive.

I have always thought it odd that the top ensembles are generally smaller than a typical public school classroom, and many of them not much larger than a large family, with a cousin or two.  It brings out the best when there is a unified goal that is reasonable (but still stretching limits) to the people involved.  The best choirs also were VOLUNTARY, not compulsory.  They chose challenging music (to keep the participants growing) but always taking into account that the audience might not feel so esoteric in general.  They mixed and matched, but they HAD to set a fairly high standard technically and musically – or in portrayal.

How does this relate to the Wife who Fought Back?

The system they were ensared in was too large, and is ruling and prognosticating by “the odds.”  MOST people (translation: men) do not violate the PFAs, after all, just over 125 out of 450 did in this particular area.  Therefore, the women should keep on coming, because what else could they do? It MIGHT not result in this, after all, NOT ALL men do what Mr. Autenreith did.

And we have this growing crisis of “fatherlessness”?  That’s a fatherless family, and it just made a peace officer’s kids fatherless, too.  I wonder what kind of father the nine-year old will make, should he become one.

I think the doctrine is becoming a little self-defeating, if not downright dangerous.  I mean, this is all about the children, right?  It’s all because children in single-parent families are at risk.

Well, yeah, with some vigilantes running around the place . . . . . However, if she’d been armed and determined…

I think we (Responsible Citizens) need to take a serious look at the Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher and ask, is this what we are willing to be taught, as adults, by our elected officials?  I mean, the same values ARE shared, it is the “Hidden Currriculum” overall, I’d say.  And it’s downright un-American, including “parenting classes.”  The government already had a shot at the majority of the children in this country, through the public school system.  If it were my kids, and the teachers failed, I’d go find me a new teacher and system.



This is a system that brooks no competitors.  It allows some, but scoops up any stragglers, and family law is a great place to find them, and weaken them for the snatch.


How bad Is it? ~ Skirting the Truth at Cairo, Telling it in America, Turned Down at Brown, Left to Tell after Rwanda

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

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


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

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

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

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

Well . . . . 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

~ ~ ~ ~

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

Fear/Shame/Pride-based culture or religion.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Family Values” Pundits not so upstanding themselves.


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


I give it an “F.”  See below:



Dr. Phyllis Chesler:



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

by Phyllis Chesler
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2009


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Court System:

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


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

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

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


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

Let’s Get Honest comments:

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

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

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

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


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

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







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

WIKIPEDIA:  (evidently not fully current)

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

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

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


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





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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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







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



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



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





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

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


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


Page 13 of her book





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

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


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


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

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

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

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

LOPEZ: How prevalent is “honor killing”?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What made you leave Egypt?

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

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

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

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





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


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

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




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

Who is the “loco” in “In Loco Parentis” courts, again, this time?

with 2 comments

I saw the article.  I want to say…  loudly …



Father, two boys found dead (video)

Who is the “loco” in “In Loco Parentis” courts, again, this time?


March 30, 2009 (WLS) — McLean County authorities say Michael Connolly and his two young sons have been found dead in rural Putnam County.

Nine-year-old Duncan and 7-year-old Jack were the focus of an Amber Alert issued earlier this month.”


My commentary.  9 yr old and 7 yr old Jack did NOTHING in this case but submit to court-ordered visitation with their already violent father (see restraining order), after which someone killed them and stuffed them in their father’s car.  They are (er, WERE), minors. Putting them as the subject of a sentence in this reporting just sounds dishonest.  The Subject is grammatically responsible for the action of the verb.  In this case, the dramatic “verb” is “were found.”  See “The Grammar of Male Violence” (and reporting on it).  

Yes, they “were.”  They were #1 born.  #2 into violent family #3 became the subject of a restraining order, I bet, along with their mother, who they probably witnessed being assaulted by their Dad, or the effects of it.  Bad boys.  They WERE, obviously, the sons of a woman who complied with court orders, because their Dad got them for that weekend.  Bad boys.  Next, they WERE kidnapped (in most states this is a felony crime).  Then they WERE found, dead.  

I’ve taught lots of children of this age range, and by and large, I would not call most of the little boys passive.  Typically, they are quite active.  Sometimes, I hear, enough so to require Ritalin, etc.  

OK, Suppose we don’t know WHO killed them yet.  Let’s Get Honest about REPORTING, folks.  Maybe after that, something might happen to address the dishonesty of “family court” or “restraining orders” in combination with Visitation, PERIOD.  

I am so sick of hearing stories like this.  Should I just never read the news again, and hope it’s not my kids?

My kids were stolen on an overnight visitation too. I warned the police too, and not just once.  I warned everyone that was involved.   That includes police, friends, family members (4 of whom I later learned were endorsing and approving this; there WERE no legal grounds to switch custody suddenly, so the hired thug (my ex) just did it (with help from woman#2) and not in a vacuum.  My written documentation of concern about this goes back two years before it happened.  My daughter diaried, one year in advance, and left it out plainly, in my own journal, that she’d feel more comfortable if she knew a code language.  Stupid me, I focused more on the preventing the event than the developing of such a code language).  I placed her in front of counselor experienced in DV, for a safe confidante (as the entire family was already split along the fault line of “but he’s a nice guy?” analogy, primarily). (Nice guys don’t assault pregnant wives, folks.  Not repeatedly. The action means you lost the appellation “nice” or should).  

FOLKS, IN LOCO PARENTIS IS NUTS!  The key to knowing is CARING. More about the life of the children, physical lives, physical safety, than the “rights” of the perpetrator.  That is what someone committing violence against an intimate should be called, until the behavior, attitude is changed and reparations made.  This almost never happens, so let the name STICK, and stop trying to ice over the cracks in the family cake; it shows through. 

I would like to remind the general public of something.  We have a serious problem in the Family Courts of the United States. KNOWING is driven by CARING.  Pronouncing one cares is not an indicator.  LISTENING is.

I have so experienced this I do not know myself anymore, some days.  I know that my (absent, FYI), daughters do not know me any more, and the very little I’ve seen them, they are changed, absent the buffering I provided to the shut-down of their lives.  There are so many verbal/mental/land mines they (and I, now als0) must avoid that, someone, one is really tempted to adjust personality to accommodate.

I will yell, jump, do circus tricks, if it will make a difference.  Speaking in a reasonable tone, complying with all court orders, and telling the truth as a mother’s instinct reported, did not save:  Connolly, Castillo, Freeman (Australia), or many many others.  

The courts are punishing Moms for caring.  THIS is partly now.  Damn!  !!!


The three-week-old search ended in tragedy about 100 miles south of Chicago.

[As I point out elsewhere on my blog, generic non-person, irrelevant detail nouns take on a life of their own, distracting from the central matter.  A judge, somewhere, probably listened to a mediator or custody evaluator, SOMEwhere, follow their prescriptions, per policies set in place in the late 1980s / early 1990s and funded to this day, to enforce the theology that a child without a father is a fish without water.

It is up to the larger public NOT in these courts –either as litigants or married to one, or employed by them, or having a profession sustained by them (now WHAT % of the populace does this leave unaffected?) to make itself actually not only larger (which it is), but VOCAL, and INVOLVED, and LEARNED in the vocabulary principals and players.  AND then do something appropriate.  At some point, the “at least that’s not My neighborhood, family, kids, wife, police officer, lawsuit, judicial district, etc. ”  the “it’s not my business” theology needs to be confronted.  Please help, I say.  Stop picking up the broken souls floating downstream in “social programs” and stop the breaking which is starting FAR, far closer to the top than imaginable.  


Michael Connolly, 40, failed to return the boys to their mother – his ex-wife – on Sunday, March 8.

Initially, investigators thought Connolly might be in the Chicago area where his relatives live in southwest suburban Oak Lawn.  But now, authorities say they found bodies matching the descriptions of the two missing Leroy, Illinois, brothers and cancelled the Amber Alert.

Authorities say the children’s bodies were found Sunday inside a car registered to Michael Connolly. Police happened upon the 1991 Dodge Dynasty after receiving a call about a suspicious vehicle in a secluded area. At around 6 p.m. Sunday, investigators examined the vehicle and found two deceased boys in the back seat area. The body of a man matching Michael Connolly’s description was found about 60 feet west of the car. Autopsies have been scheduled.

The sheriff has not said if there were any obvious signs of trauma or if a weapon was recovered.

On the day that the boys disappeared, there was a restraining order in place against Michael Connolly because authorities say he continued to harass his ex-wife. The two had divorced in 2007 after 13 years of marriage.

Let’s talk about this.  The restraining order folk is ONE foot of a large, virtual, giant marching across the land.  The “but kids need their Dads” (symbolized primarily by family courts) is the other large, stomping foot.  Clunk, Clunk Clunk across the land, and in circles, gradually clearing the territory of live, untraumatized people. Stomp, Stomp, Stomp down the decades.  These feet are connected at the Head.  The Head believes itself to know what’s best for the people below (who are relatively speaking, ants).  The legs above the feet are unequal, moreover one foot faces  forward, and the other backward.  This is why it is so HARD to get free from abuse.  The restraining order purports to confront, protect, and separate.  The family court purports to, and presumes this is advisable and possible, reunite, supervise, reform, and modify a relationship that JUST SPLIT.  

It’s mowing down families.  As we speak, this appears to be another one (details unclear yet)(2 adult males & 2 handguns inside, I DNK if this was DV related or not.  DK it was not the kids’ fault…..):


6 Killed In California Home Shooting

At Least 3 Of Victims Children In Murder-Suicide In Silicon Valley

Santa Clara home shooting

Santa Clara police officer stand watch outside the crime scene where six people, including at least three children, were killed and one was critically injured late Sunday night in an apparent murder-suicide at a townhome development in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday, March 30, 2009.  (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Passive tense.  The spin, obviously is on the guns, and the body count, not the criminal behavior:

Investigators are looking into whether Stewart may have targeted the facility because his estranged wife worked there, police said Monday.  [Why doesn’t this surprise me?]

McKenzie said investigators are looking at whether what he called domestic issues may have been the motive for Stewart to open fire on his defenseless victims. Investigators said multiple weapons were recovered at the scene.   [HEY!  I have and had “domestic issues.”  I never yet took up a gun to solve them. It ain’t the “domestic issues”].   

McKenzie said the woman – whom he did not name – worked at the nursing home. He said he believed that the couple was recently separated but that he did not have any other details. He was not sure if the woman was at the nursing home at the time of the shootings. “

Incidentally, re:  Heroic Nurse, yes, the nurse WAS heroic.  Not mentioned in THIS title is that a gunman was going after his ex-wife, and she happened to work in a nursing home.  It “bled” so it “led,” but a choice was made to discuss the hero rather than the “villain” in this one.  

Maybe we should just outlaw divorce (which appears to be dangerous).  Knowing this, many women would probably just not marry, or even attempt to fully intimately bond with a partner, or for that matter, their kids.  We ARE headed that way, right?  

  • “Sue Griffin … said she was an ex-wife of Stewart’s who hadn’t spoken with him since their 2001 divorce, told reporters that in the past Stewart had exhibited “violent tendencies” from time to time. 
  • “He’d get mad because of things that didn’t go his way. He never really hurt me, but he would get mad and blow up,” she said. 
  • Griffin, who divorced Stewart after 15 years of marriage, said he had been trying to reach her during the past week through family members. 
  • She said Stewart claimed to have cancer and needed to go away. But he gave no hint of the violence he had planned for this quiet Carolina town. “


Joint custody with a batterer is unsafe and impossible.  It hurts the kids.  They will sooner or later HAVE to pick a side.  It also hurts the communities surrounding these two people.  They’re SPLIT, dammit!    Make a fair judgment based on whatever brought them into court to start with, based on any criminal behaviors.  Apart from criminal behaviors, leave them alone.

Stop hiring more experts to create more names to reframe existing, graphically uncomfortable to describe behavior that, done by a stranger, would be cause for arrest.  STOP the thought crime, the behavior crimes, the NOT being dependent on social services crime (among which is  homeschooling, or being a successful single parent, I found out), and the other such like.

I think the 10 commandments are JUST fine, including not only the one the Catholics tend to omit (#2), the one the Protestants and the Catholics, generally speaking violate weekly (#4, as I recall, it’s the sabbath), and the one the state habitually violates (Honor your mother and father), along with the don’t commit adultery, perjury (“bear false witness”) and #s 1 & 10 which, if one does NOT violate, it’s hard to live a reasonable life in this republic.  The first relates to not having other Gods before this one (which is generally looked on askance around these parts) and “thou shalt not covet,” which is related.  Accordingly, we have to consume, be consumers, and raise  our children to be good little materialistic consumers, because of the economy.  This is more likelyo what (I feel) the womb to tomb concept of “public education” (etc.) is about.  How complex is that, really?

The Chicago-area family of the two missing brothers had pleaded with the boys’ father to bring them home.  

(Well — see below– the father had already made it clear his intent was to punish his ex-wife.  FYI, pleading with some in on the position to extort you (i.e.,hostages taken) doesn’t generally work.  Trust me.)

“We love the boys so much. We want them back. We want everybody back. We want our family back together,” said Joyce Connolly, Michael Connolly’s aunt.

The boys’ mother, Amy Leichtenberg, said she warned a judge her ex-husband might take off with the children.

I told him he was a flight risk. My attorney told him he was a flight risk. Nobody believed me,” said Leichtenberg.

[That was the Amber alert, coming from someone who was paying attention.]

Police had said there was reason to be worried about the boys.

“We are concerned because we’ve had some incidents in the past with Mr. Connolly that indicate he is not a stable individual and that he makes verbal threats towards himself, the children and his ex-wife,” Chief Gordon Beck, LeRoy Police Department, said during the search.

ALL of this behavior is self-explanatory in a “Conduit System” frozen in its rigidity.  Major players in the situation KNEW that this man was a risk for kid-snatching.  The fact a domestic violence restraining order was actually necessary (presumed in that it was granted), is itself a danger sign. I feel that not to jump, shout, make a stink and in short react in a Non-Numb manner is necessary at times to counter then Numb-Dumb responses of the “that’s just waht you said” mentality, driven by “children need their fathers, we are a fatherless nation, Dads Count too, and so forth” grants system driving the mentality of the court system which is driving families into the ground, sometimes more than literally, as in this case.  I happen to listen to and know women who have lost their children to batterers, and we repeat this experience so often — kids being abused, children being stolen by the father on an overnight, sometimes out of state, or in my case, in-state (meaning Amber Alert didn’t even squeak, police wouldn’t act, and judge, thereafter, refused to give a factual and legal basis for (her) decision.))  

If I’m run-on, it’s intentional, maybe to counter the Shut-Up system that continues to function in it’s blunderbuss manner to smack at families, emotionally, after someone has filed a “restraining order,” and generally after plenty of previous smacking around, intimately-speaking (“IPV”).  I am about to blow the calm and light-hearted demeanor of this blog with the severity of what’s up.  I have spent decades (two, so far) with this issue, and attempted to live my life around it, leave with my heart in my mouth, raise our daughters and work around it.  In the process, and I’m not at all the only one, I have been after abuse exposed to the worst of the worst of the system, it seems, in the highest reaches of its authority, and sometimes within my own family.


He has always told me,

cause I took the kids from him,

that I would suffer just like he did,” said Leichtenberg (Mother).

Well, he was a man of his word.

Irreconciliable differences?

with one comment

Decades after mediation became the model in divorce, and was pushed worldwide (starting in Calif., especially in the 1980s), it still has a sour taste…

Hey — Can we talk about consequences of this doctrine, yet???  This is the U.K., only last fall (Sept. 2008).  I was googling another incident, and:

Kate Hilpern, in “The Guardian” asks:

Ending it all

This week’s killing of two little girls by their father, who then killed himself, is the latest in a shocking tally of so-called ‘family wipe-outs’. What drives men, often described as devoted to their children, to carry out such crimes? And can we stop them? Kate Hilpern reports

  •  Wednesday 24 September 2008

Every six to eight weeks (and lately, more frequently) a man or a woman – usually a man – kills their partner or their children and then themselves. Most of these cases are never reported. David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, explains that, somewhere along the line, our perception of murder has become warped and “murder-suicides” don’t quite fit prevailing news values. “Most people have a view of murder – which is very much constructed by the media – as stranger-perpetrated and requiring police to try to catch those perpetrators. In fact, the clear-up [rate] for murder [is currently around] 88% and that’s because you don’t have to be a Cracker to work out who’s done it. When it comes to children, the most likely person to kill them is their parent, just as when it comes to adults, the most likely person is their partner.”

No, this wasn’t in my world view growing up, either. . .  Yours???  Theirs??

This article intelligently addresses several of the primary issues, such as what these were NOT (temporary insanity).  It WAS predictable, and probably avoidable.  It WAS about power and revenge.  Frequently, the woman was ignored.  Precursors besides clear threats, and a history of battering the woman, include often depression, and recent or long-term unemployment or unemployment.  And/or stalking.  Clear refusal to obey orders.  I personally KNOW these things (all of them), and it scares the bejeebers out of me.

What has frightened me, if possible, much, much more, is that with each return to a family court judge, there is no alarm, fright, concern, or apparent belief of the warning signs.  Instead, there is this kind of “stupor,” as in, where’s the blood?  When was the last time you were taken to the emergency room.  Was there an actual threat to kill?

No, not this time.  The point was made clear years ago, and has continued to be made clear through enforcement of minor requests as orders (or else), or taking my daughters when I attempted to set a line in the sand — or collect child support arrears.

To be taken with an ex-spouse in front of a court that refuses to believe (or review the file), and have a mutual knowing that this is not going to be taken seriously — and then to go and read the laws that say, it IS to be taken seriously — that is a very, very, frightening experience, my friends.  It interferes with daily life often enough.  How low can one lie?  Is it possible to lie below the radar of such intense stubborn refusal to comply (with court orders), such flagrant challenging of them rubber stamped publically — but not for women.

In other cases of murder suicide – which, despite the recent spate, have remained constant in terms of numbers for several decades – there is a very clear history of domestic violence. In other cases of murder suicide – which, despite the recent spate, have remained constant in terms of numbers for several decades – there is a very clear history of domestic violence. “

“Julia Pemberton’s ex-husband repeatedly warned her that he would kill her. It wasn’t that she didn’t take notice, as she told friends, family and police. Family court judges were aware of the terror. Her final 16-minute 999 call made headlines in 2004 when it was read out at the inquest into her and her 17-year-old son William’s murders, committed by her husband, who also killed himself.”


I note that the address URL for this article read “/children.mentalhealth”

Here’s a wonderful excerpt from the AFCC website talking about how the “old” terminology of criminal law was just so inappropriate, outmoded, as it were, for family law.  After all, it’s a “family,” right?

(This is from the AFCC link to the right, the history page):

“The 1980s: The Mediation Explosion”

“The Children’s Bureau of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare awarded AFCC a research grant to study the effects of mediation on custody and visitation disputes in courts in Connecticut, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. 

Interest in court-connected reconciliation counseling was diminishing, and joint custody, mediation, domestic violence and stepfamilies were becoming central issues.  The legislation boom had begun, and it was moving in a strong wave from California across the United States. Mandatory mediation and joint custody were hot topics.

AFCC’s Mediation Committee hosted three national symposia on mediation standards between 1982 and 1984.  Representatives of more than thirty organizations participated in developing the first set of Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation.  By the late 1980s, mediation of custody and visitation disputes was mandatory in jurisdictions in more than 33 states.”

I have experienced mediation 3 times.  It was a farce each time.  It also was a violation of due process, and immediately  upended the family dynamics  — and households.  I am utterly opposed to its use in DV, and the family courts are utterly adamant about it up here.  WHY, one wonders.  Streamlines the process, no messy “reviewing” of the court record, or the history of DV that perhaps led to the breakup to start with.

Perhaps there should be an automatic safety  rule, as Dads feel so disempowered, and need to act quickly to restore the balance — a cooling off period of at least 3 months, perhaps.  Perhaps.   I don’t know, but mediation will not work when the power balance includes physical violence and intimidation.  Depending on how one defines “works.”  A 32 year old man, here (above) was sure he’d win.  When he didn’t, he found another way to “win.”  We need another paradigm.

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 9, 2009 at 8:24 am

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