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Posts Tagged ‘Social Issues from Religious Viewpoints

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

with one comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AN EXPENSIVE REMEDY IN SEARCH OF A LEGITIMATE PROBLEM!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and she also wrote:

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

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

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

Personal:

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

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

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

and “Healthy Relationship,” this one:

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

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

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

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

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

  

Showing: 1 – 2 of 2 Recipients


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Back to TAGGS and our HM grantees)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthy Relationships California

Leucadia

CA

$2,500,000

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

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

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

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

Award Abstract

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

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

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

HM/FR GRANTEE BEHAVIORS

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

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

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

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

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

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

SO — in some detail, and FYI  —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Policy Basics — an Introduction to TANF

What Is TANF?

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

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

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

Who Is Eligible for TANF-Funded Benefits?

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

. . .

What Level of Funding Does TANF Provide to the States?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using Federal TANF Grants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments: 100-91

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

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

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

. . .

93. Bobbie Burbridge Lane

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

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

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

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

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

v. Reinholdt & Gardner et al., Appellees

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

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

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

PER CURIAM.

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

Submitted March 14, 1974.Decided May 15, 1974

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

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

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

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

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

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

From OMI site:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Includes this section:

Family Research Council

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

Federal government career

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(and he goes to accurately characterize the group):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(to be continued)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Approach

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

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

Communities & Character Councils

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

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

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

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

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

Strata Leadership, LLC.

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

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

[Photo of young-looking Caucasian guy]

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

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

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

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

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

Products — pricey!

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

Choice quote:

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

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

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

Room 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Issues in TANF Reauthorization: Building Stronger Families

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Concluding statement):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background Data and Research

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

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

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

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

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

These barriers consist of:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Little or no employment skills or education

2. Little or no prior work experience

3. Substandard housing conditions or lack of affordable housing

4. Having a child with special needs

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

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

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

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

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

More — this is not a half-bad summary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Policy Basics — an Introduction to TANF

What Is TANF?

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

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

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

Who Is Eligible for TANF-Funded Benefits?

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

. . .

What Level of Funding Does TANF Provide to the States?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using Federal TANF Grants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments: 100-91

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

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

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

. . .

93. Bobbie Burbridge Lane

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

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

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

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

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

v. Reinholdt & Gardner et al., Appellees

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

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

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

PER CURIAM.

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

Submitted March 14, 1974.Decided May 15, 1974

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

(and apparently lost).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Approach

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

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

Communities & Character Councils

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

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

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

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

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

Strata Leadership, LLC.

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

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

[Photo of young-looking Caucasian guy]

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

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

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

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

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

Products — pricey!

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

Choice quote:

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

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

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

Room 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Issues in TANF Reauthorization: Building Stronger Families

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Concluding statement):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background Data and Research

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

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

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

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

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

These barriers consist of:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Little or no employment skills or education

2. Little or no prior work experience

3. Substandard housing conditions or lack of affordable housing

4. Having a child with special needs

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

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

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

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

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

More — this is not a half-bad summary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confronting the Unsustainable Growth of Welfare Entitlements:

Principles of Reform and the Next Steps

June 24, 2010

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

They proclaimed:

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

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

Listen to this:

Reform should be based on five principles:

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

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

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

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

POINT 4, above:

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

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

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

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

Go to the actual laws:

THE LAWS IN QUESTION:

PRWORA link:

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

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

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

[Dispute over legal status

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

 

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

Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

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

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

Has sections on TANF & Child Support.

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

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

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

SEC. 7301. ASSIGNMENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD SUPPORT.

 (etc.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AND ARRA:
Wikipedia:

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

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

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

TEXT of the LAW:

(thomas.gov)

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

TITLE II (Commerce, Justice, ….)

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

. . .

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

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

. . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

with 6 comments

No, that’s not a joke.  I’m serious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karen Struening

Abstract

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

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

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

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

$4,000,000,000

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

(Federal) 

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

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

and paragraphs like this:

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

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

Child Support and Fatherhood Initiative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liz Richards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“OCSE”:  CLEAN IT UP OR SHUT IT DOWN:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

NEXT QUESTIONS:

HOW MANY FOUNDATIONS DOES IT TAKE

TO ELIMINATE THE US CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS?

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

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

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

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

CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF THE

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

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

NOT a good idea for women…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compare:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNIFICATION CONNECTION:

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

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

Then come back here.

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

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

THEY SAY:

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

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

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

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

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

Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty

Published on September 16, 2010 by Robert Rector

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 28. 2009

Maximus signs $49M Tennessee child support deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Scott Deveau, 3 Dec 2004, TheTyee.ca

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

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

 U.S.-based giant

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

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

Discriminatory Practices

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

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

2001 Prospecting Among the Poor- Welfare Privatization~ Berkowitz

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION

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

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

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

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

….

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

…CHARITABLE CHOICE:

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

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

 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of Marriage 


Benefits for Adults

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits for Children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q&A to the above presentation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is just too big and too entrenched.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOUNDATIONS AND WELFARE POLICY:

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

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

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

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

With respect and appreciation intended this season towards:

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

  • Immaculée

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

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

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

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

  • Nonie:

(Wikipedia entry).

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

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

Shari’a in the Ivy League

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The recent Nonie Darwish cancellation betrays Brunonian*  values

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

I think the answer there is self-evident….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Khalim Massoud
President
Muslims Against Sharia

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

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

Biography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CFFPP and FVPF, where the word “families” really means “fathers..” [First publ. March 3, 2010 with July 27, 2016 update, and Nov., 2017 related posts referencing this one].

with one comment

Post title (updated to identify later posts referencing this one):CFFPP and FVPF, where the word “families” really means “fathers..” [First publ. March 3, 2010 with July 27, 2016 update, and Nov., 2017 related posts referencing this one]. ( With case-sensitive, word-press generated shortlink ends “-pG”).


This background-color and box (text inside borders) is a 7/27/2016 Update

(see related post “SFFI- CFFPP – JustGive...” Published 7/26/2016; see also, same day, “Do You Know Your Social Science PolicySpeak?”

Both those posts have details on CFFPP (the second, more where it fits in the larger picture), but the “SFFI” one is more focused one of its listed “Funders” — “JustGive.org” as a substantial ($32M or so) on-line funding platform — and who THEY are related to.

FORMATTING: This short statement (post) I wrote March 3, 2010, a VERY tough time in my life personally.  I see I was not too “html-competent” at the time (it may have to do with input equipment also, which wasn’t a laptop as I recall).  Apart from that, CFFPP is a LITTLE (size-wise) nonprofit with famous people on its board (mostly unpaid) but somehow two pages of famous foundation funders also.  The corporation/tax return history of this organization reveals some oddball (although not for the field of “fatherhood practitioner” sponsoring 501©3s, I’ve learned since).  Also, several of the links to documents quoted on this page are, as happens, “Page Not Found” over at the CFFPP.org website.  Here in this update are some similar, if not necessarily, identical links:

In the “Technical Assistance Series” — on Fatherhood Promotion:   {{2017 update: both these next two links became broken sometimes between it seems July 26-27, 2016 (my posting this) and late Nov., 2017 (my revisiting this for follow-up information.) lhe website has been updated, so that’s not too surprising.  Large portions of them are quoted below, however.}}

  • Please notice  Esta Soler and Tangir Mangat, as well as Board of Directors CFFPP  — and their organizational or university affiliations — as well as Staff.  Which (unformatted) for this document is:
    • Board of Directors Esta Soler • Interim Chairperson, Family Violence Prevention Fund /Tanvir Mangat • Treasurer, Private Consultant  /Margaret Stapleton, J.D. • Secretary, National Center on Poverty Law /Adrienne Brooks • Private Consultant /Carole Doeppers • Consumer and Health Privacy Consultant /Earl S. Johnson, Ph.D. • California Health and Human Services Agency / John Rich, M.D., M.P.H. • Boston Public Health Commission / Beth Richie, Ph.D. • University of Illinois at Chicago /Gerald A. Smith • IBM /Oliver Williams, Ph.D. • University of Minnesota  {{See “IDVAAC.org”}}
    • CFFPP Staff Jacquelyn Boggess, J.D. • Senior Policy Analyst / Rebecca May • Policy Analyst /Louisa Medaris • Office Manager /David Pate, Ph.D. • Executive Director / Marguerite Roulet, Ph.D. • Research Associate Scott Sussman, J.D. • Legal Analyst
  • http://cffpp.org/publications/TA_Fthd_DomViol.pdf by Marguerite Roulet, also C. 2003, and about “two meetings held in Madison 2001 and 2002.”  Slightly different Board of Directors lineup, starting with “Wendell Primus, Ph.D.” of Center on Budget and Policy Priorities listed first, and Esta Soler, J.D. of FVPF second.

THIS report is based on two meetings held in Madison, Wisconsin in May 2001 and July 2002. The Center would like to thank the Public Welfare Foundation, the Hill-Snowdon Fund of the Tides Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, whose generous support made these meetings possible. We would also like to thank the many individuals who contributed their time and expertise to the meetings and whose on-going work to fight poverty and racism in the U.S. inspires. Thank you Abdillahi Alawy (Public Welfare Foundation), David Arizmendi (Iniciativa Frontera), Adeyemi Bandele (Men on the Move), …

“Sentence” highlit in yellow above is an incomplete sentence, missing a final word (probably direct object) after the word “inspires”.  My posts also have long but grammatically incomplete sentences — on the other hand, I don’t do this with help from major tax-exempt foundations and a significant staff including at least two people with advanced degrees (I see  (Jacquelyn Boggess — J.D. and David Pate, a Ph.D.) or even a budget for the writing.

Because now I know how to show the images, I’m going to add two pages here — the CFFPP people (first image) and the EXTENSIVE “Acknowledgements” page — both the organizations that funded the meetings, and lots of other people…//LGH:

CFFPP (%22Fathers%22 name, co2003) Fatherhd & DV TA, Page 2 CFFPP personnel ONLY viewed Jul2016

click image to enlarge as needed

CFFPP ('Fathers' in org. name|co2003) Fatherhd & DV TA, Page 3|Acknowledgmts| ONLY viewed Jul2016

click image to enlarge as needed

page 2, left, has figures in background, page 3, right is the plain text one.
CFFPP (“Fathers” in its name, co2003) Fatherhd & DV TA, Page 2 CFFPP personnel ONLY viewed Jul2016

CFFPP (‘Fathers’ in org. name|co2003) Fatherhd & DV TA, Page 3|Acknowledgmts| ONLY viewed Jul2016

[the pdf links above produce same result as clicking on the image.  Technological tweak (setting adjustment) on the image upload menu I hadn’t noticed yet, but now use regularly, making the extra “pdfs” unnecessary except where they are for files more than a page (i.e., one image) long].

Next quote (inside this 2016 update) shows Resources and References from this CFFPP “Fatherhood and DV” Document make NO reference to the multi-million-dollar HHS-backed “responsible fatherhood/ healthymarriage” grants stream which — trust me — plenty of the participating groups knew about (see http://TAGGS.hhs.gov to compare which of them may have been recipients).

I notice heavy references to “Oliver Williams” including the “IDAAV” under “resources” which (in this part) doesn’t specifically mention his name, but which he’s basically (with steering committee) been leading — for years… and probably back then, too.  NOTE:  the “IDVAAC” does NOT appear to be an independent 501©3 or registered business entity– at least not in Minnesota, where it’s been operating from:

References

Carrillo, Ricardo and Jerry Tello, eds. 1998. Family Violence and Men of Color: Healing the Wounded Male Spirit. New York: Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

Raphael, Jody. 2000. Saving Bernice: Battered Women, Welfare, and Poverty. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Williams, Oliver, Jacquelyn Boggess, and Janet Carter. 2001. “Fatherhood and Domestic Violence: Exploring the Role of Men Who Batter in the Lives of Their Children” in Sandra A. Graham-Bermann and Jeffrey L. Edleson, eds. Domestic Violence in the Lives of Children: The Future of Research, Intervention, and Social Policy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 157—187.

Williams, Oliver. 1999. “Working in Groups with African American Men Who Batter” in Larry E. Davis, ed. Working With African American Males: A Guide to Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 229-242.

Williams, Oliver. 1999. “African American Men Who Batter: Treatment Considerations and Community Response” in Robert Staples, ed. The Black Family: Essays and Studies, 6th edi- tion. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, pp. 265-279.

Resources

• Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence: a Collaborative Project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, University of Iowa School of Social Work, and Greater Hartford {{CT}} Legal Assistance—a series of policy and practice papers

Connecticut’s Evolve Program: a 26 and 52 week culturally competent, broad based, skill building, psycho-educational curriculum for male domestic violence offenders with female victims, by Denise Donnelly, Fernando Mederos, David Nyquist, Oliver Williams, and Sarah Wilson. State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, June 2000

• Men of Color Fatherhood Education and Violence Prevention Project, a joint project of the Domestic Violence Program and the Father-Friendly Initiative of the Boston Public Health Commission

National Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community ((Not mentioned — Oliver Williams’ involvement in this..I don’t know also whether the word “National” was ever in its name. See idvaac.org website))
National Latino Family and Fatherhood Institute (not mentioned — See Jerry Tello)

Basically, they (participants/conference leadership) are referring to themselves and their own work. Re: references to states of Connecticut and Massachusetts: AFCC has had a strong presence in both states for years (see my Jun/July 2016 posts for more; not necessarily legally incorporated the whole time) and Connecticut also had — starting about this time — a significant “Fatherhood Initiative of Connecticut” (i.e., statewide)

Shortly after this (and after having corporate status suspended in Illinois) CFFPP underwent a corporate name change — and address change.  This was, however, recorded on an improper EIN#, using “39” where the correct number was “36.”

p17 ONLY, IL (Form NFP112.45:113.60) Appl for Reinstatemt (not stamped %22Rec'd%22)@CFFPP's Amended FY2003 Return as EIN#394038873 (2nd digit should be %226%22) showing Req for Namchange Signed 2-24-2005 in WI (Certific of Diss:Revoc Dec1,20014 (19pp)

p17 ONLY, IL (Form NFP112.45:113.60) Appl for Reinstatemt (not stamped “Rec’d”) @CFFPP’s Amended FY2003 Return as EIN#394038873 (2nd digit should be “6”) showing Req for Namchange Signed 2-24-2005 in WI (Certific of Diss: Revoc Dec1, 20014 (19pp)

p17 ONLY, IL (Form NFP112.45:113.60) Appl for Reinstatemt (not stamped %22Rec’d%22)@CFFPP’s Amended FY2003 Return as EIN#394038873 (2nd digit should be %226%22) showing Req for Namchange Signed 2-24-2005 in WI (Certific of Diss:Revoc Dec1,20014 (19pp)

 

 

 


(End of 2016 Update Section);

March 3, 2010, post (vs. its update, above) Begins Here.

In the last post, a FVPF (Family Violence Prevention Fund) Program targeting fathers was supported by several groups, one of them “CFFP,” a name I recognized (along with most of the others). Which prompts me to finish this draft, a few days old, which began…

“I am tired and ornery today, and instead of blogging current news, I’m going to blog “vocabulary news.” Because I believe the gap between theory and practice in the courts is a vocabulary problem. Yes, you heard me right.”


There’s an established group (since 1995) called “CFFP.” For what that acronym stood for (originally) and stands for (now), read on. It doesn’t take much scrutiny to figure out that what originally said “fathers” now says “family.” On their home page, currently, is a 40 page pdf summarizing the marriage/fatherhood movement in lay terms.

Those at sea in terminology might wish to read this:
Read the rest of this entry »

Alternate Takes on Abstinence-Only Education

leave a comment »

 

I felt we needed a comic break.  Or course, good satire often hits close to home.

I also felt that I should take a break from mocking Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Education.

(1 of 4)

  • Salon.com News | Third columnist caught with hand in the Bush till

    Jan 27, 2005 Salon has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated to help promote Bush’s No Child Left Behind program to minority audiences. help push proposals, according to a report Thursday in USA Today. hired by HHS to implement the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative,
    www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/01/27/mcmanus/print.html
  • (2 of 4)

    You should also read THIS site to better understand WHY HHS “just happens” to be so happily forcing happily ever after or else down our throats.   And we are paying for it, too! 

     

    http://old.mediatransparency.org/personprofile.php?personID=89

    (3 & 4)

  • Propaganda of The Police State -Bush Orders an End to Hiring

    In 2002, Gallagher contributed to an essay promoting marriage that appeared …. to promote Bush’s No Child Left Behind law through advertising on his cable
    www.infowars.com/…/propaganda_bush_orders_end_hiring_columnists.htm
  • Writer Backing Bush Plan Had Gotten Federal Contract

    Jan 25, 2005 Bush’s push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage to promote Bush’s No Child Left Behind law through advertising We didn’t pay her to promote the president’s healthy marriage initiative at all.
    http://www.washingtonpost.comPoliticsBush AdministrationSimilar
  •  WELL, OK, here’s part of that 4th site:

    . . . Gallagher received an additional $20,000 from the Bush administration in 2002 and 2003 for writing a report, titled “Can Government Strengthen Marriage?”, for a private organization called the National Fatherhood Initiative. That report, published last year, was funded by a Justice Department grant, said NFI spokesman Vincent DiCaro. Gallagher said she was “aware vaguely” that her work was federally funded.   {{?? ???}}  {{Kind of like  being “vaguely aware” of who the father of one’s baby might be?}}In columns, television appearances and interviews with such newspapers as The Washington Post, Gallagher last year defended Bush’s proposal for a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage.

    And these same folks are still up and running strong.  Did I mention that Wade Horn, as I THINK, I recall, is among those highly involved in the origins of the AFCC?

    Wade Horn, HHS assistant secretary for children and families, said his division hired Gallagher as “a well-known national expert,” along with other specialists in the field, to help devise the president’s healthy marriage initiative. “It’s not unusual in the federal government to do that,” he said.

    The essay Gallagher drafted appeared under Horn’s byline — with the headline “Closing the Marriage Gap” — and ran in Crisis magazine, which promotes humanism rooted in Catholic Church teachings. Horn said most of the brochures written by Gallagher — such as “The Top Ten Reasons Marriage Matters” — were not used as the program evolved.

    “I don’t see any comparison between what has been alleged with Armstrong Williams and what we did with Maggie Gallagher,” said Horn, .who founded the National Fatherhood Initiative before entering government.

    Although this is a fast “intro,” some of this info shows the IN-BREEDING involved in these programs and who promotes them.  In other words, those sites are worth studying in more depth.  What we probably need nationally is a few more Wynona Wards to work on the abuse of — power — and money — in these matters.  Or, a lot more Erin Brockoviches. 

    But enough of that on Marriage, Fatherhood, etc.. . . . It’s getting “old.” 

    Accordingly this post is going after “Abstinence Education” instead. 

    The whole concept of continuous funding on almost ANYTHING pertaining to marriage, sex, fatherhood (motherhood), let alone how to balance a checkbook —  from a federal government which has Congressional members like “Hot Mike Duvall,” and a country whose governors include both former Presidents AND Governors who can’t keep their pants zipped or their own marriages together.  I mean, where does one start?  Bill Clinton?  John F. Kennedy?  FDR? 

    And so what if they could?  Are they moral in other areas of life also? 

    That said, I think that we should expect of our leaders TOTAL ethics in these two primary categories:  Money and Sex.  In their personal lives. 

    The government has NO business in my pocketbook except for the most nominal of functions of government, and it absoLUTEly should stay out of my pants, or skirts, and of my kids’, too.  Good grief.

    Again, let me go “religious” on this one (before quoting the next site, which is going to do its own take on religious conservatives) and quote the Bible, Romans, and all that. 

    Note:  If I have inadvertently missed offending a particular group in this post, I will try to catch up next one.   The “PC” gene is crawling up the back of my brain here. 

    Also please maintain a healthy perspective and realize that 2,000 years, gender, religion and culture separate me from this quote!  On the other hand, I think it nails the hypocrisy thing just fine…

    Romans 2: (the hyperlinks are to which Greek word it comes from….)

    17 Behold thou art called a Jew {{See Below at **}} and restest in the law and makest thy boast of God {{**}} 18 And knowest his will and approvest the things that are more excellent being instructed out of the law 19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind a light of them which are in darkness 20 An instructor of the foolish a teacher of babes which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law 21 Thou therefore which teachest another teachest thou not thyself thou that preachest a man should not steal dost thou steal 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery dost thou commit adultery thou that abhorrest idols dost thou commit sacrilege 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law through breaking the law dishonourest thou God 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you as it is written

    {{**case in point, where this reads “Jew,” we might as well read, here, “mental health expert”  or “licensed marriage and family therapist” or almost any other functional description which carries with it the ATTITUDE that adults who can’t get along are somehow now children that need to be taught.

    In our country, legally, adulthood is at age 18 or 21.  For some women, this is suddenly reversed when marrying the wrong person.  For BOTH divorcing parents who weren’t smart and savvy enough to work it out apart from this system entirely, (in which case wouldn’t they have been smart and savvy enough to stay together), suddenly they are become as little kids needing instruction from Der Vaterland….}}

    This quote from Romans 2, written by the apostle Paul (“Saul”) is already volatile enough — other portions of his writings have been used (AB-used?) to justify plenty of violence towards women, and Romans 1 would of course offend anyone in favor of same-sex, well, sex. 

    Anyhow, I’m not this author, who was beheaded in a Roman Prison about 2000 years ago; he paid for insulting the wrong people in power already. 

    I’m just me.  I’m female, Christian, a domestic violence SURVIVOR, and have enough respect that have finally figured out to steer clear of church buildings and those who frequent them.  Except for a good concert or so, when I’m able or in the mood.  

    The best of us on a good day have some hypocrisy, and are not thoroughly honest.  However, is it REALLY necessary to take — forcibly, through the IRS — wages from employees, funnel them through the Feds, and then force-feed back, focusing on LOW-income populations who can’t get around this (gee, how’d they become so low-income to start with?  Possibly through this system?), things like parental education, how NOT to leave a marriage, how to have a double standard of behavior based on gender, and how, when, and with whom to have sex —  when the people preaching this aren’t UNIFORMLY systematically faithful to their smart, typically intelligent if not trophy, and such wives that helped them get elected, gave them children, and so forth? ???  

    I mean, if there weren’t all this preaching, it’d be one thing.  But when there is, then I’d rather see a sermon than hear one.  ANYHOW, back to this:

    “Abstinence Education /

    George Bush”

  • Abstinence Education – Let’s talk about sex

    Aside from invading Iraq, one of George W. Bush’s favorite pet projects is pushing what is called abstinence-only education. According to Bush, the best way
    irregulartimes.com/abstinenceed.html – CachedSimilar
  • Abstinence-only education is founded upon the assumption that giving teenagers complete and accurate information about sex is dangerous. This foundation of George W. Bush’s abstinence agenda goes a long way in explaining the Republican animosity towards education in general. In abstinence-only education we see that Bush and his Republican supporters believe that knowledge is dangerous, and should be kept from people as much as possible.

    What George W. Bush never mentions is that the alternative to abstinence-only education is not some kind of hippy free love seminar in public schools. The medical community and responsible educational organizations promote an alternative called abstinence-plus. You won’t hear conservatives talking about this approach because it makes a lot of sense, and it’s easier for conservatives to sell abstinence-only programs when they’re able to keep parents frightened about unrestrained adolescent promiscuity.

    Abstinence-plus includes a strong component of information about the reasons that abstaining from sex can be an extremely wise choice for teenagers. The difference is that abstinence-plus does more than just tell teenagers not to have sex. Abstinence-plus programs also provide access to full and accurate information about sex, so that students can make intelligent decisions about having sex instead of remaining in the dark until it’s too late. It’s essential for public schools to provide students with complete sex education because if students don’t get their education at school, they’ll search for accurate information elsewhere.

    In a shocking display of naivete, George W. Bush and his Republican supporters suggest that teenagers would have sex less if only public schools did not let them know that sex exists. They ignore the fact that almost all American teenagers are skilled users of the Internet, which has plenty of information, both accurate and inaccurate. It’s the job of public schools to cut through the clutter of publicly available information, and provide an accurate presentation of it for their students. When George W. Bush insists that American public schools only be allowed to teach students about the reasons people should not have sex, he is performing a monumentally perverse act of academic censorship. That not only fails teenagers’ need for serious honesty about sex, it fails their need for an example of democratic principles in action.

    All other points aside, George W. Bush’s anti-education agenda is a dangerous idea because research shows that abstinence-only education just doesn’t work. Not too surprisingly, researchers have found that when teenagers sign pledge forms in front of their parents, promising not to have sex, they’re not really very likely to follow through. In fact, students who sign pledge forms as a part of sexual abstinence training are just as likely to have premarital sex as other students! The same is true of the students in abstinence-only programs in general. Full sexual education, on the other hand, has been shown not to act as an encouragement for students to have sex, and is shown to provide students protection from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases better than abstinence-only education does. The Bush Administration knows that abstinence-only education does not work at decreasing adolescent sexual behaviors, and actually increases students’ risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.

    That’s why George W. Bush ordered that all behavioral standards for evaluating the success of abstinence-only educational programs be eliminated. He didn’t want to the government to gather information that he knew would show abstinence-only education to be a complete failure.

    The ultimate irony is that George W. Bush is pushing abstinence-only education at the same time that he is pushing for governmental programs to be performed by religious organizations.

    Talk about total confusion!  I’ve looked at the grant system, and Catholic Charities is prominent in many of these programs.

     So, Bush’s plan includes promotion of taxpayer funding of abstinence-only programs by, among other groups, the Catholic Church. Given the scandal in the Catholic Church about long term and pervasive sexual assault of children by priests, this plan seems not only doomed to failure, but actually quite dangerous. After all, the Catholic Church, like other major religious institutions, appears to have been unable to convince its own leaders to stop having sex with children.

     How, then, are we supposed to believe that the Catholic Church is deserving of government grants in order to teach teenagers not to have sex with each other?

    Easy:   We are to “Take it on Faith.” . . . . . .

  • Abstinence-only Education | Union of Concerned Scientists

    Since his tenure as governor of Texas, President George W. Bush has made no secret of his view that sex education should teach teenagers “abstinence only”
    http://www.ucsusa.orgScientific IntegrityAbuses of ScienceCachedSimilar
  •  

    Well, on to more worthy endeavors, I was just having some fun here.

    Religion, Child-rape, cop-killing, mental illness

    with one comment

     

    Boy, those are “nice” topics for a post.  However, these are headlines, and behind them, one keeps seeing:  child molestation, inexplicable release, further crime.  Sometimes, mixed in there, is also religious conversion.

    I’m not knocking religion per se (in THIS post), but it does make you wonder:

    The Seattle cop killer had a child-rape accusation (not proved yet?), bail was met, and angered, he went heading for some police officers, and simply killed them.  Were there any warning signs?  Darn right there were…. Was there DOMESTIC violence in the background?  You judge:

    HERE:

    Clemmons’ criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. The record also stands out for the number of times he has been released from custody despite questions about the danger he posed.

    Clemmons had been in jail in Pierce County for the past several months on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child.

    He was released from custody just six days ago, even though he was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Arkansas and was staring at eight felony charges in all out of Washington state.

    Clemmons posted $15,000 with a Chehalis company called Jail Sucks Bail Bonds. The bondsman, in turn, put up $150,000, securing Clemmons’ release on the pending child-rape charge.

    He was married, but the relationship was tumultuous, with accounts of his unpredictable behavior leading to at least two confrontations with police earlier this year.

    During the confrontation in May, Clemmons punched a sheriff’s deputy in the face, according to court records. As part of that incident, he was charged with seven counts of assault and malicious mischief.

    In another instance, Clemmons was accused of gathering his wife and young relatives around at 3 or 4 in the morning and having them all undress. He told them that families need to “be naked for at least 5 minutes on Sunday,” a Pierce County sheriff’s report says.

    “The whole time Clemmons kept saying things like trust him, the world is going to end soon, and that he was Jesus,” the report says.

    As part of the child-rape investigation, the sheriff’s office interviewed Clemmons’ sister in May. She told them that “Maurice is not in his right mind and did not know how he could react when contacted by Law Enforcement,” a sheriff’s report says.

    “She stated that he was saying that the secret service was coming to get him because he had written a letter to the President. She stated his behavior has become unpredictable and erratic. She suspects he is having a mental breakdown,” the report says.

    Deputies also interviewed other family members. They reported that Clemmons had been saying he could fly and that he expected President Obama to visit to “confirm that he is Messiah in the flesh.”

    Meanwhile, we got women all over the country in jail (or being threatened with it) for one reason or another, typically trying to protect their kids from one or another version of the above characters, failing to force a kid to visit for more molestation, or not being able to afford child support payments.

    Go figure.

    Also, one wonders, with INTER- and INTRA-family crime being dismissed by family law professionals, clear and present danger though it would seem to present to the families (and the general public), how it ALSO gets missed when it ain’t intra family.

    Anyhow, perhaps I should file this one somewhere near the Garrido page.

    Four Police were shot, execution style — and little time was lost in nailing the suspect, who is now dead.  Get this:

    Here below is quote, with a brief comment between the {{  }}s.  Draw your own conclusions.

    Scroll down to watch video of Maurice Clemmons with bishop

    I am Jesus … and on the lam, Seattle cop killer Maurice Clemmons told NY bishop Bernard Jordan

    BY Helen Kennedy
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

    Originally Published:Tuesday, December 1st 2009, 5:26 PM
    Updated: Wednesday, December 2nd 2009, 1:17 AM

    Bishop Bernard Jordan in his church at 310 Riverside Drive. Jordan had two bizarre encounters Maurice Clemmons, the man who executed for police officers in a Seattle coffee shop.
    Warga/News

    Bishop Bernard Jordan in his church at 310 Riverside Drive. Jordan had two bizarre encounters Maurice Clemmons, the man who executed for police officers in a Seattle coffee shop.

    Madman Maurice Clemmons, 37, who was shot and killed by Seattle police on Tuesday
    PIERCE COUNTY SHERIFF / HANDOUT

    Madman Maurice Clemmons, 37, who was shot and killed by Seattle police on Tuesday

    Related News

    Seattle cop killer Maurice Clemmons – shot dead Tuesday by a lone patrolman – drove to New York in June to see a Manhattan minister, declaring God told him to make the trip.

    He disturbed a June 13 prayer service, trying to rush the stage and yelling, and then approached Bishop Bernard Jordan at his gala 50th birthday banquet the next day.

    “He said he was Jesus. I was kind of shocked,” Jordan told the Daily News.

    “We said, ‘If you keep talking like that, you will be locked up and put away.’ I’m not a professional in mental health, but you can always tell when someone’s nuts.”

    Clemmons, 37, told Jordan he was running from the police, who wanted him for vandalism. He said he had driven for three days to New York because “God called me.”

    The minister – who claims to be a prophet and runs a lucrative “cyber-ministry” on Riverside Drive – told him to go home and turn himself in. “I told him, ‘I am sensing strongly that this is something you should do. You should not be on the run. You should get help,'” Jordan said.

    Clemmons, a devotee of Jordan’s online chats, appears to have listened. Two weeks later, he showed up at a July 1 Seattle court hearing and was promptly arrested on charges ranging from vandalism to child rape.

    When he made bail last week, he was so angry at his imprisonment that he shot four random uniformed cops doing paperwork in a suburban Seattle coffee shop Sunday, officials said.

    {{Will we ever know whether those charges were true or not?}}

    {{NOTE:  women who confront their abusers, or the abusers of their children, face similar anger.. and sometimes pay in the same way.  So WHY do such people get out?  (See “toms river” posts, this blog).}}

    “The only motive we have is that he decided he was going to go kill police officers. He was angry about being incarcerated,” said Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.

    Patrolman Benjamin Kelly ended the manhunt for Clemmons at 2:45 a.m. when he stumbled upon the suspected killer by his broken-down stolen car.

    Clemmons refused orders to show his hands and Kelly shot him, authorities said.

    Police then began rounding up a half-dozen friends and relatives who helped the ex-con while he was on the lam.

    “We don’t think anyone helped him plan this murder, but his family has enabled him. Even after he killed four officers, they continued to try and save him,” Troyer said.

    He said they gave Clemmons medical aid, phones, cars and money and tried to help hide him. There was speculation they also made some bogus 911 calls that had police running all over town, chasing ghosts. “They are going to pay for it,” Troyer said.

    A huge memorial for the slain officers is planned Tuesday in Tacoma.

    hkennedy@nydailynews.com

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/12/01/2009-12-01_i_am_jesus_seattle_cop_killer_maurice_clemmons_told_ny_bishop_.html#ixzz0YZ3m2HMe

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

    with one comment

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Are you frightened yet? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The uncommon occurrence of a contempt of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    //

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Enough for today!

     

     

    Richmond, CA Rev. talks sense about alcohol’s role in gangrape.

    with one comment

    Yesterday, being off-line (not including a miniature and slow cell phone, without a keyboard), I reviewed some local newsprint.  In fact, lack of access to the internet has caused a variety of “bad hair” days, and some dashed off, ill-formatted posts.  I became a Mac fan, glad to learn how this works, and a real convert.  Then it went MIA, and it’s back to figuring out strange computers display/paste, etc. vagaries, on the fly.  Moroever today, as far as hair is concerned, for me it’s a bad hair day (literally) as well.  Consider yourself forewarned. 

    Domestic violence (of which sexual assault by any family member would be part of, though not the case here) and/or child abuse are definitely crimes that involve enablers, standers-by, and those who fail to report.  As we know.  The Richmond gangrape shocked everyone, and shock was appropriate, however, what indeed are our illusions about the public school system to start with? 

    While it’s appropriate to express shock at the number of passers-by that allowed this young lady to be gangraped after a homecoming dance, few articles have mentioned that she had been drinking underage, too.  While that’s NO excuse, I feel this article handled it sensitively enough.

    I haven’t posted for some days.  While there’s no shortage of topics, I looked forward to posting this article, if no other.  Someone needs to say it.  And, seeing as I tend to ramrod religion from time to time, and may in a few minutes here, I was glad to see this Rev. at least brought up the topic of, what was this 15 year old doing drinking?  What was that context?  No, that’s no excuse — she didn’t provoke this.  However, it was an element of the vulnerability here, and deserves some press.

     

    Perspective: Alcohol abuse at heart of Richmond rape case

    Rev. Alvin C. Bernstine
    Guest Commentary

    Posted: 11/15/2009 12:01:00 AM PST

    Tuesday Nov 3
     
    Please know that I do not mean to minimize the crime nor suggest that the victim’s inability to physically repel her assailants makes the crime less horrifying. I do, however, believe that more attention must given to the fact that a contributing factor to this horrifying crime was the abuse of alcohol, and possibly other substances.

    I also know that adults make bad decisions, use poor judgment and do stupid things when intoxicated, and that heavily stimulated youth on alcohol is a recipe for violent behavior.

    The lack of attention to the presence of alcohol abuse in this horrifying instance does nothing to minimize that nearly 60 percent of all high school students are drinkers of alcohol, and that in 2005 more than half of all Americans age 12 or older reported being drinkers. In one report “alcohol has been tried by 41 percent of current 8th graders, 63 percent of 10th graders, 75 percent of 12th graders, and 87 percent of college students” (Drugs and Society).

    Young people are using alcohol at alarming rates, and the use of alcohol or some psychoactive substance is present in nearly all violent crimes committed by youth.

    Alcohol diminishes the capacity to engage in moral reasoning, which radically impairs one’s ability to make judgments. In a culture where women are daily objectified, young men impaired by alcohol are not likely to control their impulses and are more prone to herd behavior in regard to women. Alcohol has been a constant among teen activities, and the use of it is a kind of rite of passage into adulthood.

    While we pursue the assailants of this brutal act, let us be mindful that there is also some irresponsible, sleazy adult, possibly a parent, who assisted in making alcohol available to youth.

    It seems that children may have engaged in a horrible crime, but some adult contributed to this damnable behavior. I pray our outcry to this crime would include efforts at educating children about substance abuse, particularly alcohol, and making adults accountable who contribute to the delinquency of minors.

    I pray more parents step up and serve as monitors for school activities, which would reduce alcohol use and curtail violent behavior among youth. If parents are afraid to attend youth functions, then we probably should not let our children attend. Our children should know that the use of alcohol among children is not something that we can tolerate.

    Rev. Bernstine is pastor of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond.

     

    Meanwhile, same incident, a career public educator moralizes on the immoral status of our educational system, in re: this same incident.  PR key — never lose a chance to moralize (I try not to, right?). . . . .   I include this link for those interested in reading the 70 comments, including those who thought the author was a “blooming idiot” and another one who blamed — what else, single parents, father absence (not of the victim, but maybe we could go blame some of the rapists, then?) and them danged immigrants.  Notice the difference in tone from what’s above:

    http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_13695043?source=rss\

    Paul White: Gang rape watchers a product of schools’ moral void

    Full story: LA Daily News

    THE refusal by dozens of students and adults to intervene in a two-hour gang rape at a Richmond, Calif.. . . .  [[(read it yourself…)]]
    What are you “standing by” in your life these days? . . . . Think about it..

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    November 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    911 + 1 + a bit about boxes from a woman who spent years in one.

    leave a comment »


    My situation continues to unfold at its own rate.

    unrelated to anything appropriate for honoring 911.  I have been thinking about the times I called 911 and didn’t get help, or of the times the police RACED to the scene of an incident and did everything right, but still were unable to save.  Or when they (as so many did on this 9/11/01) were there and gave their lives to help as many as possible escape the two huge boxes called the World Trade Towers.  

     

    As this blog is on family court matters, I still think the theme of boxes is appropriate, and particularly in regards situations of a child-stealing, kidnapping, or such.  To be stuck in a relationship is one thing, to lose one’s kids is totally another. 

     

    The first article tells some more aspects of the Dugard case, but the second one, so well written I thought, is in the voice of Colleen who was kidnapped, stored in a box, renamed, tortured (etc.)  She is alive, she escaped, has had help and healing and looks, today, beautiful from what I can see.  (this photo is not most current — see end of post).  Thank God.  (Luke 4).

    Colleen (NOT Jaycee or her daughters), shortly post-escape.  Her escape was not from a 911 call, but when one of her captors opened a mental bar, revealed that one of the threats against her leaving was in fact a lie.  She then got on a bus and went home.  An amazing story.

     

    FIRST story is about recent rescue, SECOND story (far, far below….) is about what this woman, Colleen, has to say to Jaycee Dugard, about recovery, and to the rest of us, about the types of prisons that keep kidnapped women in place.  I believe much of this information is transferable to other situations.

     

    Fasten your seat belts, this one has some unexpected twists and turns. . . . and little stylistic consistency  (readers have been warned already) as I quoted within quotes, and pasted from WOrd perfect, dragged article information from the web, and added my commentary and tried to piece at least the more recent case together from the Web.

     

    Police: Kidnap suspect fathered victim’s kids

    Demian Bulwa, Jaxon Van Derbeken, Henry K. Lee,Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writers

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    (08-27) 19:56 PDT ANTIOCH —   

    Phillip Craig Garrido was already known as an oddball who said he could channel the voice of God through a makeshift box, but on Thursday, the eccentricity took on an aura of horror.

    Eighteen years ago, authorities said, he kidnapped 11yearold Jaycee Lee Dugard on her way to catch a school bus in South Lake Tahoe. Ever since then, they said, he kept her prisoner in a squalid backyard compound near Antioch, raping her and fathering two daughters by herthe elder of whom is now 15.

    Those girls also were housed in sheds and other outbuildings in the backyard, which had been walled off so it couldnt easily be seen by neighbors or other outsiders, authorities said.

    One of the sheds where Dugard and the girls were living could only be opened from the outside, Kollar said, and rudimentary toilets and electrical hookups were set up nearby.

    None of the children have ever been to school; theyve never been to a doctor,the undersheriff said at a press conference in Placerville. “They were kept in complete isolation in this compound.”

     

    Neighborssuspicions

    Neighbors in the unincorporated, semirural area outside Antioch where the Garridos live say they always thought he was bizarre, and even suspected something fishy was going on with the girls he called his daughtersbut they thought authorities were keeping tabs on it all.

    So much for THAT line of thinking.  Compartmentalization, delegation of authorities to the authorities so the rest of us don’t have to really get to know our neighbors, watch out for them, hold them to a standard so much, and can focus on our own business.  Protection and monitoring is not our job, it’s someone else’s.

     

    Phillip Garrido is a registered sex offender, and authorities inspected his house several times over the years but never discovered the backyard compound.

    The neighbors and other acquaintances said Garrido conducted religious revivals in a tent, claimed to hear the voices of angels and God, and said he had developed a device through which he could control sound with his mind. He propounded this all in a business he calledGods Desire.

    Apparently he himself wasn’t confined to a box.

    In a telephone interview from jail with Sacramento TV station KCRA, Garrido said,In the end, this is going to be a powerful, heartwarming story.”

    Again, HOW heartwarming depends on whether one’s perspective is from outside, or inside the box.  And whose voice we are hearing.  

    One article says that the first phone call a prisoner normally makes is for the attorney, but this man called the TV station instead.

     

    Suspect did time

    Officials said Garrido served time in Nevada on kidnapping and rape convictions in the 1970s,80s and90s and was paroled after one stint in 1988 and another in June 1999. It was not immediately clear where Dugard may have been while Garrido was in custody.

    One of the rapes he was caught at, that sent him to prison, took place in a storage unit.  This man seems to be an expert at boxes, and putting women in them.

    It appears that after Garrido was “BOXED” up for this, he was sprung though, after marrying Nancy Garrido while incarcerated.  Nancy was appropriate — she had a religious background (Jehovah’s Witness) and an uncle in the box as well, apparently.  Kidnappers and rapers need love, too, right?

    Neighbors of the Garridos on Walnut Avenueand even some of his own familyconsidered Phillip Garrido strange as he proselytized to them about his messages from God and kept the females at his house from contact with outsiders.

    The House Box.

     

    Erika Pratt, 25, who stayed next door two years ago, said she was continuouslyfreaked outby Garridos behavior and that when she popped her head over the fence she saw his secret compound. There were tents, sheds and pit bulls, she said, and water hoses leading from her house next door.

    They never talked

    He had little girls and women living in that backyard, and they all looked kind of the same,Pratt said. “They never talked, and they kept to themselves.”

    Pratt said people came and went from the property, but the core group consisted of two girls about 4 years old, one girl about 11, another girl about 15 and a young woman about 25. They were all blond, she said.

    Pratt said she had called Contra Costa County sheriffs deputies to investigate, but that officerstold me they couldnt go inside because they didnt have a warrant. So they just told him theyd keep an eye on him.”

     

    So like a well-trained citizen — or, like a woman who didn’t want to offend a freaky neighbor with pit bulls — she dropped it there. Leave it to the county sheriffs.  

    My message to any future 23-years old, especially women, who see things like this going on with their neighbors — it’s OK to seek information; please care enough to follow up beyond the Sheriff’s Office and/or WITH the Sheriff’s Office if you see anything like this, or which sets of an internal alarm.  Keep seeking until some answer is found.  

    I would LOVE to see any records or hear any tapes of those calls.  Let’s all start keeping recording devices handy and, if calling the police, inform them that we, too, are recording our calls.

    You can’t just go barging in on someone’s boxes without a warrant.  

    Police said Thursday that the only people living in the yard when the Garridos were arrested were Dugard and her daughters.

    Has anyone on-line followed up on who those about-4 year old girls were, and what year it was that Ms. Pratt saw them?  Mr. Bulwa, Vanderbeken, Lee, or Fagan, who wrote this article?   Who is this Erika Pratt, she seems observant where others weren’t?

    .  Time’s Person of the Week on 7/26/02?  Of Wikipedia fame, an African-American 7 year old who, kidnapped from Philadelphia — in an attempt to extort money from her grandmother, on the belief that she’d received life insurance from the shooting of an uncle:

    No, that Erica is now only 14 years old.

    The story: Erica was held for one long night and day in the basement of an empty house, her hands and feet bound with duct tape. She chewed through the tape, kicked open a basement door and made her way to a window where she screamed until someone heard her and came to her rescue. The little girl was plucky, but also lucky. The motive for the kidnapping was not sexual but financial; her abductors asked for a $150,000 ransom, perhaps believing a false neighborhood rumor that Erica’s family had received that sum as a life insurance payment after her uncle was shot and killed last month. Police Thursday arrested James Burns and Edward Johnson in connection with the kidnapping.

    EXTORTION OF ELDERS IS ANOTHER ‘CLUE’ AND WAS A PREDECESSOR IN THE GARRIDO CASE AS WELL.

    THIS ADVICE STILL APPLIES, and is why I also suggest Mace & Self-defense classes, not Restraining Order Suggestions after Domestic Violence, which externalizes the source of safety and in practice, really consists of “hope-mongering,” at some level…

    For parents wondering if it’s safe to let their kids even leave the living room without supervision, the most reassuring part of Erica’s story is that, faced with a situation in which many adults would panic, she kept her head and saved herself. In the end, maybe the best defense you can give your kids is not a blind fear of strangers but rather instilling self-assurance and presence of mind. “I have 21 years in the Police Department,” said Philadelphia Police Inspector William Colarulo, “and I have never seen this kind of heroic act of bravery committed by a 7-year-old.” Neither have we.

    re:  “911” —

    This other Erika Pratt was taken from Southwestern Phillie, and it’s a moot point whether, had she had a cell phone, 911 would’ve stopped the event.  Once you’re gone, most kidnappers are smart enough to cut off telephone and other contacts from the outside, so when being taken hostage in ANY manner, the key is to respond like this inner-city African American young girl, whose uncle had already died (or so rumor had it) in the streets, to fight Hard, til free, and RIGHT AWAY.  She hadn’t been indoctrinated into passivity yet, I guess.  Do we REALLY want to breed out “rebel” from society?  ??

    This Erika is the ex-girlfriend of Garrido neighbor Damon Robinson, per this article:

    The house is in a ramshackle neighborhood of modest single-family homes in an unincorporated area of Antioch hit by the foreclosure crisis and job losses.

    Garrido’s next door neighbor Damon Robinson was interviewed several times by the AP, Los Angeles Times and other media. During those conversations, he revealed his ex-girlfriend, Erika Pratt, had called police in 2006 to report Garrido had children living in tents in his backyard.

    While Robinson was being interviewed by the AP and others, three members of a British media group walked onto his property without his permission.

    When Robinson asked what they were doing, a British reporter told Robinson his deadline was coming quickly and offered him $2,000 if he would quit talking to everyone else and provide them an exclusive showing of his backyard.

    The reporter flashed $100 as an apparent sign of good faith. Robinson, who acknowledged that another British outlet had also paid him, agreed. Robinson, who is unemployed, did not disclose what outlets paid him and it was not clear from the interaction.

    Robinson led the crew deep into his backyard, where a hole in his fence provided a glimpse of the shambled compound next door.

    Robinson said he would use the money for his two children and might also give some to Dugard’s daughters.

    If this story, also from neighbor Mike Rogers, holds water, perhaps Erika Pratt was right to get her behind OUT of there.  Perhaps (?) this also may relate to why CC Sherriffs were not so aggressive in follow-up?  Or if Ms. Pratt was, like at least two of the Erika Pratt’s I saw on-line, African-American, this may be why her reports didn’t hold weight?  Or was it her gender?

     

    (ROGERS) The Antioch builder told theDaily Mail that Garrido made crystal meth using household utensils and frequently invited “perverts” to his home to regale in drugs, sex and drinking. Rogers went so far as to call the Garrido home a brothel.

    He said he discussed the matter with his brother, Dean, who also lives in the neighborhood. Rogers said they agreed not to contact police explaining, “People don’t even waive to each other or say hello here. You just pay no attention to what is going on with other people. That way, you don’t get shot.”


    He now agonizes (in public) over that decision and worries that Garrido may have been pimping out Jaycee and her young daughters to strangers. “I hope to God not,” said Dean Rogers.


    (**Mr. Dean Rogers is also re-filing this information (at least acc. to report) in HIS brain as to agonizing, whereas earlier, acc. to the Rogers brother Mike, not getting shot for ratting to the police was the priority, and hence pimping out someone NOT a kidnap victim or one’s own daughters, alternatively, MIGHT be OK….)


     

    A blank stare

    Haydee Perry, 35, who lives next door, said that when Phillip Garrido helped her jumpstart her car a month ago, he had a young girl clinging to him in a manner that struck her as strange.

    She stayed close to him at all times,Perry said. “It wasnt normal behavior. She had a blank stare on her face. ***Now it seems like a cry out for help.”

    i.e., according to Ms. Perry (age 35 now) the fact was first filed in a box in her mind (face it, we all have these, or we couldn’t function in life.  WE would have to become not just ill-literate, but basically a wordless society.  One of the first things “Adam” is credited with doing in the Bible is naming all the animals.  Then here comes a woman, and he named her, too, “Eve.”  The process of calling women names has continued to this day; it’s part of how one masters any situation, is by naming it. 

     

    A fascinating book on humans vs. animals, and how they interpret situations, is called “Animals in Translation.”  Humans specialize in interpreting situations, animals that are other animal’s food are more prone to notice more detail and interpret less.  The author, who is/was autistic, tries to describe her differences between these two extremes from the perspective of autism.  

     

    This book helped me become more aware of how people who had not undergone a battering relationships of many years, or post-traumatic-stress-“disorder” (actually a pretty normal response to life-threatening situations, it’s only “disorder” once the life-threatening aspects are out of the picture and there has been time to heal and deal….) just didn’t notice fluctuations in patterns of behavior, or things that others might.  What they notice, and then wish action to be taken on (OR, wish to themselves take action on) then becomes a point of conflict with self-appointed experts on the situation, sometimes with lethal consequences.  So understanding this becomes vitally important when a person leaving the abuse is forced to continually interact and negotiate with former abusers, or people who colluded with or enabled it.  

     

    The public MUST balance its desire to deny that abuse — or women in boxes, or kidnappers who start another generation of captives and get away with this in suburban California — or their neighbor/friend/business supplier, or someone in their religious organization — might be in another context, an insane sadist and unbelievable criminal, with women helping in the process, or participating.  No matter how many “out there” headlines are read, I’d say that generally speaking, public behavior as a whole is not going to change radically.  Why?  It would — and face it, it really would — disrupt the economy severely, if citizens took policing or child protection into their own hands.  Women have been thrown in jail for doing this when the abuser was related to the children; they overstepped their authority when it came to sticking up for their kids’ right not to be traumatized, and their own, through that.  THAT is one of the most closely-sealed boxes in the family court arena, although certain groups are starting to pry some of it open in some counties, with some (although how much is yet unclear) result.

     

    How I myself got out of a battering relationship involved calling it what it was, also.  Without the vocabulary, including legal vocabulary, I believe, I’d still be in there, or in a box several feet under.  Naming and filing is a VITAL human activity; and it’s important to put what we observe OUTSIDE us in a proper place in the thinking INSIDE.  

     

    This is important as a community also.  What Ms. Perry >then< saw as “strange” and filed it away, she >now< has refiled under as a “cry for help.”   

     

    In another scenario, and the one which led to the girls and Jaycee being freed, Officer Allison Jacobs, another woman, recounted that one of Jaycee’s daughters blue eyes seemed to be trying to burn a hole in her.  (See my post on police initution~mother’s instinct, or that article for quote).  Both women in two situations noticed the girls’ eyes.. . . . GUYS — do men do this?   

     

    This whole process, in the press, may be also seen as an attempt to help the public also “file” this whole incident in its communal (?) databank for future reference (as well as a surefire way to increase readership/ratings).

     

    I think that book and topic deserves another post, and will leave it for now.

     

     

     

     

    (QUOTING NEWS ARTICLE, CONT’D.)  A Web site containing statements from Garrido and others calledVoices Revealedtalks about a turnaround that allowed himto open doors that will honor the creator and his eternal purpose for mankind.”

     

    A PANDORA’s BOX, Oh No!

     

    In which Let’s Get Honest laments that she has herein just opened the PANDORA’S BOX of what GARRIDO WAS SAYING BEFORE ARREST, WHERE HE GOT THOSE IDEAS FROM, and SOME OF HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES.  On the other hand, I’m a mother who lost my daughters — to the courts, and their father — on an overnight visitation.  Many things already make no sense to those who think that police police, judges judge, and laws are, well, upheld, who wonders why public indignation just takes a hike when a husband & wife are involved, even YEARS AFTER THEY SEPARATED!  

    LET’S GET HONEST COMMENTARY:  There are times (added to post 09-13-09) I truly wish I weren’t as curious as I am.  I just “HAD” to go and open another “Pandora’s Box,” in other words, I wanted to know what the heck “Voices Revealed” was.  

    I know that PART of my curiosity stems from simply wanting to find out WHY in this culture it took so many years for my local communities to “wake up” (if they ever did) to the fact that a husband was assaulting his wife in the home, and only ONE of them, a family violence law center, actually took action to legally put a stop to it.  I was functioning as well as most people could as a mother, worker, and amazingly, teacher & musician and quite a bit more of professional involvements, without the tools MANY people can take for granted, for example, any possibility that I would have legitimate control over how the income earned was used, or my own access to bank, transportation, credit, and free association with people in my profession, without either sabotage or punishment for doing so.  . . . . . . . So afterwards, what seemed REAL simple to me – — the fact we needed a LITTLE help didn’t mean that we needed to be placed in the back seat of life, permanently, and moreover told where the car was going.  WHen one is on the bottom, the clear place to go is UP.  FAST!  

    The other part is probably innate.  I don’t remember NOT being curious, or something of a girl, young woman, or older woman, who just wanted to know WHY, and noticed things.  When I say “innate,” I am not the first individual in the family line to either be subject to or witness, or both, beatings of a Mom in the home, and who knows whether this habit came from that environment or not?  And, at a certain point, who cares?  The question is, what to do with it.

    Anyhow, here is that “Voices Revealed” website, and one part of it that happens to make some SENSE (and has a “not affiliated” comment at the end, please note) goes as follows (quote is shown by the font & typestyle change).  

    I wouldn’t quote it if there weren’t a few important lessons to learn from it (I know I did), including pay attention, if you’re going to be gullible enough to actually read newspapers about headline stories (which, obviously, I am) to be curious enough to want to know what they were talking about.  I guess one UPside of being involved in this system and periodic, sometimes long-term unemployment, along with the desire to STOp the periodic, and sometimes long-term unemployment that comes with domestic violence by exploring ways to stop it, most of which don’t work, is finding out how a lot of systems DO work.  ANYHOW, Voices Revealed, quoting another “private educational group” in Washington, pastes on its site:

    CULTURAL TRANCE

     

    Is a condition that exists when large bodies of people have accepted something as truth.

     

    In the days of Columbus everyone knew the earth was “flat.” Today everyone knows it is not possible to produce voices for others to hear as experience clearly marked it as not possible.

     

    The reason I have taken the time to qualify my findings through the legal system is obvious.

     

    When you hear of my findings you will be experiencing a “flat world concept”

     

    Because everything we know is based on our past personal and educational experiences in life thus we have all been conditioned in a variety of ways that can build “blind spots.” It is a sensory locking out of the environment that builds a Scotoma to the truth about the world and ourselves because of our preconceived ideas.

     

    This causes us to:

    SEE what we EXPECT to SEE

    HEAR what we EXPECT to HEAR

    THINK what we EXPECT to THINK

     

    The result is we often develop scotomas to the “TRUTH.”

     

    This awareness is also about to be apply to an age old book

    That will be reading in a powerfully unique way

    It will allow us to hear what we

    Have never heard before.

     

    (Isaiah 6:9)

    9He said, “Go and tell this people: `Be ever hearing, but never understanding;

    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ N.I.V.

     

    The preceding information in its basic form** is from a private educational corporation

    (THE PACIFIC INSTITUTE, INC. Seattle, Washington)

    And is not affiliated with this project in any capacity

     

    Re;  “in its basic form”** I looked.  While I didn’t find this section (yet), I did see, below, The Pacific Institute’s fields of enterprise, and the phrase about the human mind as software which needs periodic “upgrading,”:

     

    However, the basic knowledge of how the mind works is constant from individual to individual, continent to continent. “The hardware is pretty much the same; what we are dealing with is the human software – and that, my friends, can and should be upgraded on a regular basis.” says Tice.

    If my mind is software, well, I’m constantly in a learning curve.  What frightens me as much, if not more than, the middle-aged, white-boy Phillip Garridos of this world, with their religiously compliant women in tow, trying to prove that the mind can channel external voices of this world through boxes in public, and kidnapping, imprisoning, repeatedly raping (possibly also pimping) and fathering little girls in private — and believe me, this DOES frighten me, I have daughters, and their father that parentally abducted them is a middle-aged, religious white-boy also — is ANY aged ANY color people in positions of responsibility believing that human minds should be (note passive tense) “upgraded” in time.

     

    Whenever you see passive tense in a sentence (“Minds . . . . should be upgraded”) and there is no “by whom” or adverbial “HOW” in the same sentence, be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Especially when it appears on the mission page of any company which does business with jails, educational institutions, and other agencies.


     

    Upgraded By WHOM?  There was a Dr. Who mightmare TV program about this very upgrade process.  It’s the stuff of science fiction.  

     

    1709 Harbor Ave SW
    Seattle, WA  98126-2073(Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metro Area)

     

     

    (The Tall man on the left needs no introduction.  The two on the right are the co-founders of this Pacific Institute, Inc., which Phillip Garrido’s site quotes, and which in many ways resembles at least two organizations RUNNING (and I do mean that) the court system nationwide, if not internationally.  I am going to blog on these now for sure.  One is Public Strategies, Inc. and another (similar) is “MCDRC” (I will look up proper initials in a bit here); their BUSINESS, and it is a very prosperous one, is outsourcing, evaluating, and reporting back on the many “demonstration” projects across a spectrum of government policy initiatives and arms, i.e., courts, child support, child abuse, law enforcement, jails (yes, jails), and helping low-income people (makes one wonder how some of us GOT to be low-income people, or why some communities and ethnicities, overall, tend to stay that way, with some escaping the cycle, and others not).  These are where socialization takes place by one part of society upon the other parts of society not lucky (or in some senses, immoral?) enough to be engaged in these professions, until eventually society viewed from the perspective of, say, outside itself, might start to look from a few feet above (or below) like THIS:

    Drawing Hands, 1948

     

    THE PACIFIC INSTITUTE (AND NOW MY POST IS GETTING TOO LONG..)

    Global Vision

    From the beginning, The Pacific Institute’s co-founders, Lou and Diane Tice, have held to the vision that the education they assembled would be beneficial to people all over the world. Yes, cultural differences do exist. However, the basic knowledge of how the mind works is constant from individual to individual, continent to continent. “The hardware is pretty much the same; what we are dealing with is the human software – and that, my friends, can and should be upgraded on a regular basis.” says Tice.   {{SEE MY COMMENT ABOVE}}

     

    1980 marked the beginning of a rapid expansion of The Pacific Institute beyond North America.

    Like the “fatherhood” movement, it wasn’t marketed or promoted, it just naturally “expanded.”

    Today, the Institute’s varied curricula have been translated and adapted to serve organizations in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific, as well as North America. It is an honor for The Pacific Institute to be able to serve {{to serve WHOM, exactly??}}

    as an agent for positive transformation in the world.  

    {{Transforming, or upgrading the human mind’s software? Transformation can be good, or bad.  It’s not always good! Who defines which way “positive” is, anyhow?}}

    Our Mission

    As we continue to expand our reach around the world, {{IS this Marketing, or Colonialism? I’m a little uncertain which..}}  our mission {{which as yet remains undentified…}}  continues as a standard of excellence:

     

    {{It continues “AS” a standard?  Spoken like a true educator, in other words, in vague, noble-sounding, garbled -grammar, proclamation style. . .  Thanks for explaining HOW (although not in much detail, here) your mission serves its unidentified master (servant/master, right?), but what I’m really concerned about is what IS your “mission,” kindly The Pacific Institute, sir/ma’am?}}{{If your mission is being adopted, or at least interpreted “in its basic form,” by rapist kidnappers, I definitely want to know what it is.}}

    “We affirm the right of all individuals to achieve their God-given potential. The application of our education (BY WHOM??  TO WHOM??) empowers people to recognize their ability to choose growth, personal freedom and personal excellence.

    As opposed to, say, Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, which in the US at least, are (supposedly) considered unalienable rights, and the fact that ALL men are endowed with these rights is considered “self-evident,” along with several other “self-evident truths.”  . . . . Suppose all individuals are not interested in “growth, personal freedom and personal excellence” but simply want to stay Alive, Free, and go for “happiness” instead?  Do they get to NOT choose to change the Color of their Parachute?  ???

    (i.e., compare, Declaration of Independence:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”)

    We commit ourselves to providing this education, all over the world, through all means that are just and appropriate.”

    Indeed, this institute, which began with a high school football coach and art teacher (Note:  sports and arts are typically areas cut when budgets are tight) who just wanted to help — everybody, of course.  Now, it preaches to the world, capturing also the imagination of men like Phillip Garrido.  But its clients most definitely include government entitites, acc. to the website, under “social solutions.”  {{I shudder!}}

     

    Government entities, from federal agencies to local municipalities; law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions; and the full spectrum of social service agencies all benefit from the wide range of The Pacific Institute’s services.

     

    With so many differing, and sometimes competing, agencies working from different angles – yet committed to helping those at the margins of society – it helps to be speaking the same language.

     

    i.e., The language of the educators, of Mr. & Mrs. Tice and people who think that their purpose in life truly IS, teaching the rest of the world to think, and have forgotten “all the world’s a stage” and a good deal of great literature, and instead see all the world as one Big, Fat, Market Niche.  LOOK, for “all the world’s a stage” there is the medium of the BLOG.  When it comes to captive audiences, literally in many cases, I protest!  

    Law enforcement agencies successfully implementCommand, Control & Choice™ into their officer training academies, Thought Patterns for High Performance™ for staff and non-badged personnel, as well as Investment in Excellence®

    New for 2008 is Discovering the Power in Me™, a program focused on the suddenly disabled – those individuals, their families and caregivers, whose lives have been affected by sudden, permanent injury. The Institute’s effective thinking skills education is targeted to move these individuals from recovery and rehabilitation to contribution and achievement. 

     

    I have studied several languages, and also “speak” the language of music, which is a language.  I am not in favor of Esperanto or any other form of one-world government, and I think that George Orwell and Aldous Huxley made some good points in their works of fiction, which I wish were more fiction than, as it turns out, prophesy.   A good deal of some versions of “prophecy” is simply observation of the obvious, and then speaking it aloud.  I like hanging out with people that are not “just like me.”  If I wanted someone “just like me,” what would we talk about?  Where would the growth come from?  What would life be about?  

    I do not think THIS is a good idea.  The metaphor of the Tower of Babel is appropriate here.  

    Does this language include the “old” language of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and a sense of modesty about the capacities within human nature that need restraint when it comes to “ruling” one’s fellow man?  I don’t think so.  Rather, we would all soon be playing God, or at least working for or the client of a business that is.  

     

    SCOTOMA (from “Cultural Trance” excerpt, above), unraveled: 

    The word “scotoma” (new to me, too, eh?):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotoma 

    A scotoma (Greek for darkness; plural: “scotomas” or “scotomata“) is an area or island of loss or impairment of visual acuity surrounded by a field of normal or relatively well-preserved vision.

    Every normal mammalian eye has a scotoma in its field of vision, usually termed its blind spot. This is a location with nophotoreceptors, where the retinal ganglion cell axons that comprise the optic nerve exit the retina. This location is called the optic disc. When both eyes are open, visual signals that are absent in the blind spot of one eye are provided from the opposite visual cortex for the other eye, even when the other eye is closed. The absence of visual imagery from the blindspot does not intrude intoconsciousness with one eye closed, because the corresponding visual field locations of the optic discs in the two eyes differ.
    The term scotoma is also used metaphorically in psychology to refer to an individual’s inability to perceive personality traits in themselves that are obvious to others.
    What I have some serious trouble with, regarding Mr. Garrido’s application of the quote above, despite his adeptness with language and understanding of metaphor, is in the application:

    Translation, that he has special and remarkable powers….

       

    (per:       

    POSTED BY THEMANWHOSPOKEWITHHISMIND AT 5:18 PM 66 COMMENTS

     

     

     

     

    OK, bloggers, this blog, apparently by Mr. Garrido, has had 330,000 visitors, and his about-me reveals several blogs

    My Blogs

    Team Members

    Charging the angels with error.  
    The Truth Will Set You Free  
    Voices Revealed  
    Exposed  
    Voices Revealed  

     

     

    Besides the “voicesrevealed” one, only “The Truth Will Set You Free” (also titled “boastaboutthis.blogspot.com”) has a sidebar (no posts):  

    JEREMIAH 9:24 “But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” 2 CORINTHIANS12:1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows. 3And I know that this man–whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows– 4was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. 5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

    Apparently “on earth” did not apply to the patch of ground behind the home in Antioch, or to the  

    young females boxed in there, by fear, locks, trauma, rapes and lies, if the alleged charges are an indicator.  

     

    It may be that between the activity there, and if the “meth” and drunken parties neighbors allege took place, the MEN in the situation may have indeed had some “out of body” experiences, while (well, I won’t be crude here, but a turn of phrase comes to mind).  And yes, Garrido DID have a weakness, apparently — for dominating young girls and having sex with them.  See his compulsion to explain “the origins of schizophrenia” to the world, starting in Berkeley, below…(and on one of the blogs above).  I wonder if the 330,000 visitors since 2007 relates (let’s hope) to the recent press in 2009…..And we’ll probably never know what “errors” he was going to charge the angels with.


    One begins to wonder why this person got out of jail early, and under what circumstances.  His talk isn’t as far-fetcheed as it might sound from someone coming out of jail and with a documented prior head injury as well as some pretty bad drug use and horrible behavior.  Being a musician, I occasionally pick up news articles on what “MIT” is up to next, and occasionally get things that, to some, might seem an attempt to get a “mind-reading” box.  It isn’t really, but in that view, to such a person, a sound-control-by-mind box may not be so far-fetched. . . .    Here’s an “emotion-reading prosthetic ESP device” to help autistics, and “for multiple uses”  

     

    April 4, 2006 12:20 PM PDT

    MIT group develops ‘mind-reading’ device

    By Candace Lombardi 
    Staff Writer, CNET News

    El Kaliouby is developing the ESP device for her postdoctoral project as part of the Affective Computing research group at the MIT Media Lab under Rosalind Picard. Alea Teeters, also a member of the group and the ESP project, demonstrated the device.

    The project stems from El Kaliouby’s doctoral work at the University of Cambridge, in which she developed the computational model on which the device is based. Like humans, the system determines emotional states by analyzing hierarchical combinations of subtle facial movements and gestures, such as eyebrow raising, lip pursing and head nodding.

    The ESP consists of an OQO handheld, a tiny wearable video camera, an earphone and a small vibrating device that can be worn on a belt. The camera can be attached to a baseball hat, or worn around the neck on a stand akin to a harmonica holder. . . .

    The ESP camera can be worn facing outward by the speaker, or as a self-cam by the listener. As conversation ensues, the device “mind-reads” for the wearer. When the listener, whom the camera is focused on, begins to exhibit signs of boredom, the speaker is signaled so that she can readjust her behavior to bring the listener back into the conversation.

    The device is especially useful to those with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). people with ASC often lack the ability to evaluate others’ emotions on their own. The result is that high-functioning autistics, who might otherwise fair reasonably well in the world on their own, are hampered by a tendency toward misunderstanding and boring others.

    Yes, “Boring others” (case in point!) is  a social detriment, unless one is in government, or has taken hostages in some form or another, in which case it’s a moot point.  Literally, “captive audiences” HAVE to take orders, including, to listen.  Blog readers, on the other hand, can bore easily and simply click out of this triple-sized post….

    The ESP device can prompt autistic people, who are prone to monologues or repetitive behavior, to ask questions, or give the listener a chance to participate in conversation. The hope is that with long-term use of the device as a self-teaching tool, ASC patients will eventually learn how to read for themselves the emotional responses in others.

    According to Picard, the Affective Computing group has received human subject approval . . . 

    The ESP is exciting in that the technology has multiple possibilities in terms of use.  (YES IT DOES.  (shudder).  Imagine it in the hands of a kidnapper, helping him detect the emotional state of his victim should she, say, be planning to escape!  Then it seems to me, such people would already be adept at reading such things)  

    When one starts mixing MIT with religion, it gets a little hairy. . . . . 

    (article from “The Tech” about a BCC, i.e., Boston Church of Christ.  I have some exposure to the latter, and would affirm, sounds kinda controlling to me.  At least the article is interesting…)
    Re:  Phillip Garrido’s definition of “Cultural Trance” as not believing he can make sounds come out of a box. . . . . 

    While I don’ t think that the concept of a “cultural trance” is anything too radical a concept, for example, to people in PR, marketing, or who has survived The Holocaust, or lived through a genocide, snake charmers, street preachers, drug users,  self-improvement gurus, or for that matter, those who pay high prices to attend a concert (rock, opera, whatever).  We all need some help to get through this life.  In fact, this is also where the expressive arts begin, I believe, as far back as cave paintings on a wall in France.  The expressive and performing arts are often associated with spirituality and/or religion, and serve a similar purpose.

    On an individual level, when “love” happens, the word often used is “entranced.”  It puts people, whether temporarily or long-term, in a different mode of thinking and/or reasoning.  

    A state of some entrancement or fascination  is OK, if (a) temporary and (b) voluntary, (c) multiple choice truly exists.    (The root of the word “fascinate” is the “fasces,” which refers to the unbreakable rods bound together, as well as parts of the human body.  One is BOUND to the topic, like I am to this “train of thought” on who WERE these people in Philip and Jaycee’s back yards and lives? and being quoted in the article, and how deeply bound together IS religion and child abuse, woman-using?)

    For example, for many years, America was “entranced” with the Marlboro man, who helped sell cigarettes in a manly cowboy image, and later, I gather coughed out his lungs and died from the stuff.  I myself am VERY concerned about the use of the terms “family” and “law” based on what I have experienced here as opposed to the general meanings of both those words.  When the word “court” is added, then I totally DO understand the concept, in terms of my own general awareness of the themes surrounding kings, queens, courtiers, court jesters, and other royalty.
     

    The site also indicates that he gave a demonstration in Pittsburg last month with a homemade box to provethe creator has given me the ability to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wakeup call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world.”


    Mary Thomas, accountant at J&M auto dismantlers in Pittsburg, near where Garrido set up his revival tent, said hewas always very professional and spoke the word of God whenever he talked.”

    Reader alert:  The use of the phrase “the word of God” indicates a belief in it.  How many of you caught this?  At the top of the article, it says neighbors (of whom Erika Pratt appears to be a sample) “proselytized to them about his messages from God.”  The word “proselytized” indicates a non-belief in (whatever is being preached).

    Note, the background of Nancy Garrido is Jehovah’s Witnesses, who go door to door and in public proselytizing, as part of their faith and (as I understand it), righteousness.  Proselytizing is not illegal.  Certain other activities, like boxing up women and repeatedly raping them, is.  Not all people who proselytize rape and imprison women.  Not all people who rape and imprison proselytize.  What’s Joe Public and Jane I Dont Know Which Way is Up to think? . . . . .

    I can’t answer that last statement for anyone else, but my point is simply to pay attention to language, and when things this horrible are at stake, and are reported afterwards, pay attention to who’s speaking.  The woman who called him very professional may have been part of a similar religious belief system, so to her, Garrido was one of people of this mindset.

    That said, incidentally, I”m of the “word of God” mindset, but I do not take it to criminal lengths and I tend to keep my internal radar in the ON position in general, and seek variety of input when in this arena.  I don’t think I could ever join a “church” again.


    Garrido had a printing business, making business cards for J&M and others in the area. Tiffany Tran, who runs Furniture Gallery in Brentwood, said she had seen and done business withPhil the printerfor six years, as recently as last week.

    We live in an interesting age, you can do business with people you basically don’t know very well.  OR DID SHE?

    Added 09-13-09 at 10a.m.  “Oh dear.”  (See below, where I actually looked up Garrido’s site, and posted from it.  Ms. Tran, per this site, apparently signed a declaration about Mr. Garrido  (better comprehended, if comprehension of such stuff is actually possible, by clicking on this link):

    02/24/08, Tiffany Tran, born on 7-26-73, contacted in person at her place of business named Furniture Gallery, located at 50 Snad Creek Rd., Brentwood, CA 94513, phone #(925) 516-3554. Note- When I previously attempted two separate personal contacts there I spoke with her sister Stephanie Tran, showed herthe Declaration in question, and she said that she was present when her sister signed it. She also added that she too witnessed Mr. Garrido’s demonstration and had the same to say about it as her sister did in her Declaration. 
    Respectfully submitted, 

    Ralph A. Hernandez.

    This document is to affirm that I Phillip Garrido have clearly demonstrated the ability to control sound with my mind and have developed a device for others to witness this phenomena. by using a sound generator to provide the sound, and a headphone amplification system, ( a device to focuc your hearing so as to increase the sensitivity of what one is listening to) I have produced a set of voices by effectively controlling the sound to pronounce words through my own mental powers

    FROM THE SITE “VOICESREVEALED.BLOGSPOT.COM”


    Also from this site:  Ms. Tran’s affidavit as to Mr. Garrido’s demonstration.

    Affidavit 
    Dated 5/1/08 

    Included in this package are six Declarations as Affirmations confirming several private demonstrations have taken place that allowed others to witness my freedom to speak in a tongue unknown to the medical field, scientific world and the public in general. The signatures that are located in the middle and at the bottom of each page are to confirm the statements of the entire document. Please note: many other people in the Greater Bay Area are also witnesses to this freedom generating a continued list of growth that in time will clearly become public knowledge. 

    In order to allow others the freedom to know and accept this ability does exist so they too may confirm it upon request a confidential investigation has been contracted with the following firm; 

    Aardvark Investigations & Consulting 
    Ralph A. Hernandez 
    (Retired career Peace Officer, 33+ years of Investigations experience) 
    Ralph A. Hernandez in not affiliated with this project in any other capacity

     


    A little different

    She recalled Garrido as beinga little differentand said he constantly talked about religion and showed her a device through which he claimed he could control sound with his mind.

    Which appeared to have an odd set of boxes with in itself — one for rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment (felony crimes, which he obviously knew, having been in jail for them before), another for telling people about God; no apparent contradiction there.  Detachment.  Commiting crimes in one arena didn’t cause trouble, evidently, to the other.  They were boxed up.  Many people in the field of domestic violence talk about “crimes of passion” and recommend “anger management.  My experience with (abuse) wasn’t that it was always a rage out of control thing.  Far from this, many times it appeared to be calculated, to keep (me) within my mental/emotional/psychological “box” of behaviors and places and things that were either permitted or, off-limits, i.e., outside MY particular box.  To keep one on edge, the limits often shifted, meaning, one was frequently on guard when engaging in something that MIGHT provoke, MIGHT be “off-limits” or so forth.  This man not only controlled women, but also sound, including the voice of God.

    In other words, detachment CAN be dangerous.  

    The concept of mental control is not THAT radical, I’ve seen a recent article from MIT on this, but you’ll have to look it up yourself..

    Some people have a story behind their smile, some donthe did,Tran said. “He was happygolucky, but you knew there was a story behind it.”

    Ms. Tran, if you are there, are you aware that your business card is pasted on this site as having given an affidavit as to Mr. Garrido’s special powers, and endorsed by Aardvark Private Investigations, above?


    http://voicesrevealed.blogspot.com/2008/04/report-jan-20-2008.html

    Attorney, University, & Law Enforcement Copy 
    This presentation contains six signed & notarized Declarations verifying there is new evidence concerning Schizophrenia that will affect the courts, the medical field and our institutions of higher learning worldwide.    

    IN AUGUST OF 2008 AT U. C. BERKELEY’S FREE SPEECH PARK I PUBLICLY DISCLOSED NEW INFORMATION CONCERNING THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS AND PROVIDED A LIVE DEMONSTRATION.

    (the post, by “TheManWhoSpeaksWithHisMind”, says April 14, 2008.  This report says, release date June, 2008.  The report, refers to August 2008 in past tense.  Perhaps he didn’t take his meds (or was it meth?).  Nevertheless, the blogger puts up Ms. Tran’s and several other local business cards in support, affidavit support, of his assertions.  Perhaps you might want to protect your pbulic image here.  Or make a pro/con statement regarding the blog and your association with Garrido, in addition to the interview given to one or more of  the reporters below)
       

    THE LECTURE WAS DESIGNED TO RAISE THE AWARENESS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN ORDER TO PREPARE A PLATFORM CAPABLE OF DISTRIBUTING A KNOWLEDGEABLE AWARENESS THAT WILL IN TIME PROVIDE A FOUNDATION POWERFUL ENOUGH TO UNDERMINE THE IGNORANCE THAT PREVAILS CONCERNING VOICES AND BEGIN SAVING LIVES

    This indeed sounds like a kind of garbled version of something The Pacific Institute, Inc., whose own mission statement sounds as garbled and not too much less grandiose; Mr. Garrido’s just a little more upfront that he (or his truth) is the salvation of the world, forget about Jesus, although borrowing heavily from scriptures is of course helpful in the matter.  

    (I went to elementary school when they still diagrammed sentences, in earnest.  Then I went through a violent marriage and now half my post sentences are incomplete, and the post has no style sheet either.  But still . . . . . I pay attention  to word “anomalies.” ).

    The words “Voices Revealed” plus his attempts to prove sound can come out of nowhere reads like an attempt to show that what were thought by us “flat-earth, culturally entranced, unbelievers” to be craziness (schizophrenia) might just actually be possible.  I think that MAYBE this was what he was obsessed with proving.  Somewhere, he mentions a woman who threw 3 children into the SF Bay in this context of saving lives.  I’m thinking, MAYBE, he was getting to the conclusion that actual voices (cf.  “the box”) got her to do it.  As opposed to, say, “the devil made me do it.”  And the Secretary of State actually signed the articles of Incorporation for his organization.

    What we deserve an answer for:  Why was this dude released?  and, why did they “drop” the comment that there were people in the back yard, when a sex offender was the person accused of this?  They had no problem (once this all came to light) searching the Molino’s home  in a different city, and confiscating some items:  

    Cheyvonne Molino, 35, who runs the JM Enterprises yard with her husband, Jim Molino, told the Contra Costa Times that 15 officers entered their Pleasant Hill home around 11 a.m. and searched through their personal belongings, seizing a Macintosh desktop computer as well as DVDs and VHS tapes.

     “They just came in and violated our privacy,” Molino told the newspaper. “I don’t understand why we’re now the bad guys. I mean, they never asked to see if maybe we can help them instead of coming in on me and my tenants. What about my rights?”

     Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement agencies are not required to obtain a search warrant when conducting a search of a person on probation.

    >>SO, then this statement (above) to Erika Pratt was false?

    Pratt said she had called Contra Costa County sheriffs deputies to investigate, 

     but that officers “told me they couldnt go insidebecause they didnt have a warrant

     So they just told him theyd keep an eye on him.”

    I mean, Garrido WAS on “probation” right?  So they could’ve searched without a warrant, and I’m SURE they knew it.  

     Molino said that her husband Jim — who turned 60 on Wednesday — is on court probation, but that it is unrelated to the Garrido case. She told the Contra Costa Times they are “vicitms by association.”

     Lee said the Molinos are not suspects.

     The Molinos did printing business with Garrido, who sometimes visited their wrecking yard with the two daughters police say he fathered with Dugard.

    MORAL:  Always run criminal background checks on businesses you do business with.  Then again, apparently JM auto wouldn’t have passed that, either.   

     

    Mr. Garrido wants to tell the world something about the origins of Schizophrenia.  If there is truth to the charges against him, he would definitely qualify in that category.  He is also quoted as being unable to get sexual satisfaction without dominating a woman (told to the arresting officer in about 1976), and I also note, an interview with, I believe a father or brother spoke of motorcycle accident with head injury (i.e., brain trauma) and experimentation with drugs in his (Phillip’s) youth, and that “transforming” him as well.  Head injury can indeed do this.  

    So can going through a governmental institution serviced by groups concerned with upgrading the human software as part of a worldwide positive transformation of, well, everyone.  Perhaps some of the gentlemen below could take a lookat some of the neighbors interviewed, or what’s up with Garrido & Garrido, Inc..  Again, “schizo-phrenia” refers to “split-thinking.”  

    I talk in this blog about “split personality court orders,” and they are this.  One cannot take them always both seriously.  The court says, a restraining order is just a piece of paper, make your own safey plan; then (or simultaneously) another arm of the courts says, but the children need frequent contact with their batterer parent no matter what, and parents shouldn’t have “high conflict” about this, or whatever takes place.  

    It also tells the custodial mothers, and clearly/repeatedly so, that visitation is not tied to child support, and no parent (especially mother) can literally withhold visitation because of unpaid child support.  Then, through groups like Pacific Institute, above, here, and others I post about, and which are receiving federal grants to promote healthy marriages and responsible fatherhood, and through child support offices working with incarcerated fathers, etc., they bargain to reduce child support by getting a custody order modified.  Who’s enriched?  The organizations doing this, not the kids. . . . . That’s itself “schizo” (or, simply dishonest) so no wonder people after eyars in this system, or possibly in jails also, they come out totally wired and fired up to get even and prove a point, even if it means stuff like THIS, or worse.  (Yes, when people are killed, that IS worse, although this is surely scraping the bottom of the barrel here).

    I DIDN’T withhold visitation.  MY KIDS WERE STOLEN, WHEN HE WAS THOUSANDS IN ARREARS!  Then the child support arrears was retro-actively wiped out (leaving me childless AND penniless, and them without a source of child support from either parent — from him, because he owes me, and from me, because the back was broken economically in the process of custody switch).  Another thing I can definitely say is, from afar, it appears that at least ONE is confused, quite understandably so, and this comes out as anger — towards the absent parent.  When sense is lacking, because, being deprived of accurate information on the situation, it seems anger will do.  What a waste of time, and talent.  

    So, Language is a key, and an indicator.   I am a “bear” {which causes the forbidden “conflict” at times} about language when interacting, as I’m forced to, with people who cooperated in removing the restraining order (temporary respite) situation from me, and it really does matter, folks!

    Perhaps later Jaycee may recover and tell us some of the truths of her experience, if she chooses to, and ONLY if she chooses to. 

    Chronicle staff writers Matthew Yi and Matthew B. Stannard contributed to this report. E-mail the writers at dbulwa@sfchronicle.comjvanderbeken@sfchronicle.comhlee@sfchronicle.com and kfagan@sfchronicle.com

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/27/BA4N19EJ35.DTL#ixzz0QwwPOIS1

     

    POSTED 9-12-09 (hence “911+1” ),

    and really this was the original main point.

    I simply had included the article on the Dugard case as part 1 of 2.

    This woman explains how the mental limits can be just as strong and confining as the physical.  Once a person is conditioned (first, usually by trauma, drama, threat, shock, as in kidnapping), then they can be made to believe that limits exist which are unreal.  This is then easier for the kidnapper.

    Colleen got out the moment someone told her that the ominpresent “Company” didn’t exist.  Once she realized that fear was gone, she got on a bus and went home.  however, while she believed it was still there, she was even able to visit home, and go back to horror.  

    I hope that this article will be read with appreciation and understanding by those who have NOT been abused, threatened, falsely imprisoned, or anything like it.  Try to understand how things work.  It may help you to help others, including to forgive captives for not getting free sooner, and help them when they do.  It might also help you to listen to your instinct and find out HOW to act, the next time something looks “off” in a situation.  Observation plus instinct.  We live in a world when we’re taught to let others be our instinct and give us permission to listen or not listen, judge or not judge.  These cases should help us overcome that where necessary.  At the bottom are some photos of this woman, who is beautiful and poised now, and able to help others who have been through the situation.

    September 2, 2009 6:30 AM

    Exclusive: Woman Imprisoned in Coffin for 7 Years Has Special Message for Jaycee Dugard

    Posted by Paul LaRosa

     
    NEW YORK (CBS) Whenever I hear about a story like Jaycee Lee Dugard’s – kidnapped at age 11 and held captive for 18 years, bearing two children with her kidnapper – I inevitably think of Colleen Stan because if anyone knows what Jaycee went through and is about to go through, it’s Colleen. 

    Photos: The Search For Jaycee 
    Photos: Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive 
    Photos: Inside Jaycee’s Terror Tent 

    Colleen is not as well-known as Elizabeth Smart or Patty Hearst but, if anything, her story is even more incredible. Everyone wants to know why someone like Jaycee or Elizabeth or Patty, all of whom had some apparent freedom, did not flee their kidnappers. Well, Colleen can tell them why. Her story is horrible but instructive. 

    I met Colleen in 2003 when Elizabeth Smart was found alive, and I’ve never been able to stop thinking about her. Colleen was held by a husband and wife for seven years as a slave for sex and just about anything else the couple desired but here’s the kicker – for much of that time, she lived in a coffin-sized box underneath the couple’s bed!! 

    A book was written about Colleen by a prosecutor in the case and its title fittingly is “Perfect Victim.” 

    When I met Colleen, she seemed well-adjusted. She came to the interview with her daughter, a young woman, and then calmly but articulately spun out her incredible tale. 

    Colleen was a 20-year-old hitchhiker in 1977 when she was picked up by a young couple with a child in the back seat of their car. What could be safer, she thought? But the husband, Cameron Hooker, was a sexual sadist who took Colleen to the family’s isolated trailer and raped her. The abuse got worse and worse. 

    “He liked to whip me with whips,” she told CBS News. “He had electro-shocked me. He had burned me. He had done many things.”

    Colleen explained that Hooker had warned her that, if she said a word about what was going on, his “men” would storm into the house and kill her parents and her and anyone inside the instant she opened her mouth. 

    “Because of the threats that people would come right in the house and people would be hurt,” she told Van Sant. 

    “And you believed him?” 

    “Yes, I did.” 

    Hooker’s control over Colleen was that complete. She went back to the box, and it was only because of Hooker’s wife that she was eventually rescued. Hooker’s wife went to the authorities at the behest of her minister. Hooker was eventually tried and sentenced to life in prison. His wife was never prosecuted under the theory that she too was abused and scared to death of her husband. 

    Sounds like that might have been understandable.

    Photos: The Search For Jaycee 
    Photos: Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive 
    Photos: Inside Jaycee’s Terror Tent 

    Colleen recovered after years of therapy. She is now an office manager in Northern California. I caught up with her Monday and asked her about Jaycee Dugard. Colleen said she’d been trying with no luck to get in touch with Jaycee’s mother, and had met her mother on a talk show some years ago. 
    Colleen was of course concerned about Jaycee’s state of mind. “I read that she felt guilty but she should not feel that way,” Collen said. “You can’t be with someone 18 years and not have an attachment. I hope I get the opportunity to talk to her and tell her she did nothing wrong. She did everything right. She’s alive. 

    “I want to work with these women (Jaycee, her mother and her daughters) and help them readjust,” Colleen said. “It is not easy. After being away from the world for 7 1/2 years and all of a sudden you’re thrown back in the world and it’s hard, very overwhelming. My heart just goes out to these women who come out of these situations. It’s hard to adjust to your family situation.”

     

    Hooker renamed Colleen “K” and constructed a coffin-sized box with holes in it and instructed her to climb in. He then shoved the box under the couple’s bed every night and kept her as his slave for the next 7 years. 

    Colleen felt she had no control of anything. She said he told her, “I’m in control and Colleen no longer exists. You are now K. You are my slave.” 


    Hooker wrote up a contract for Colleen that “basically said that he owned me body and soul.” 

    At one point, Hooker handed Colleen a gun. “I didn’t know if it was loaded or not and he told me ‘this is to see if you’ll do what I say,’ and he told me to put the gun in my mouth and pull the trigger, and I did,” she said. 
    Everything about this story is shocking and you might think that Colleen would do anything in her power to escape, and that is where her story intersects with Jaycee’s because people who are totally under someone else’s control – even given the opportunity to escape – do not. The brainwashing is complete. We as free individuals cannot understand it because we’ve never been in their situation. 

    Some 3 1/2 years into Colleen’s captivity – living in a box, being raped repeatedly – her abductor Cameron Hooker took her home for a visit with her family and left them with her overnight. She never said a word about what was going on with Hooker, and in fact went back with him the next day to live in the box again for another 3 ½ years. 


    CBS News Correspondent Peter Van Sant was incredulous: “Why then didn’t you tell them ‘I’ve been kidnapped, tortured?’ Why didn’t you pick up the phone and call the police and say, ‘Get here immediately. I need your help, I need your protection?’” 

    {{I have been many years outside the battering relationship I was in formerly.  I still get, from people that did nothing to intervene, and probably to make themselves feel better, and more innocent for not helping, blaming for not leaving earlier.  It is minimized, and I am supposedly “over it” even when many aspects of the abuse, in this case (no one ever went to prison in my case, unfortunately, I say) were continuing.  I try to understand their point of view, but the converse is not always true.  Victim-blaming is actually a self-solacing activity.

    I used to try to become “normal” again and to a degree this is desirable.  But there is no “past” to go back to before which one has undergone certain things.  The brain also begins to work somewhat differently at times, which is biologically normal; for example, if PTSD comes up, that can be difficult, and is disheartening, but there are things I am going to notice, and possibly respond to, that people who have not been mugged (by an intimate), stalked, or repeatedly traumatized, etc., might not.  When we are then discussing a similar situation, for example, something may be characterized as “over-reacting” but for that person, it isn’t.  . . . There are some pros and cons to aspects of how one is changed by certain experiences.  At times, I have learned to “translate” or try and understand why people may not “understand.”  Would it be ideally normal to go totally back to normal for Colleen and Jaycee, if that were possible?

    Maybe not — for one, while “normal” both of them were kidnapped.  I imagine they are a little more cautious, as are their friends and relatives, than before.  }}

     

    What most shocked Colleen when she came out of captivity was something you might not expect. She was surprised at how ungrateful everyone was. “I was shocked,” she said. “People had nice jobs and houses and had plenty but they seemed so unhappy. They wanted more. I was coming out of a situation where I had nothing, and being exposed to these people who had so much and were unappreciative of it and complaining, I thought ‘My God why don’t they see how blessed they are?’ 

    “It was overwhelming at first that people don’t take advantage of what they have. All I came home with were the clothes on my back. I had nothing. I was blessed with family and friends. 

    She received therapy from Doctor Christopher Hatcher from San Francisco, who has since died. Colleen considers him her savior. “He helped me to understand that I didn’t do anything wrong. I did everything right. People will ask you why you didn’t do this or that and they don’t know. They were not in that situation. 

    “I had a lot of support from my family but they didn’t know what to tell me so Dr. Hatcher helped me understand that people in this situation switch to survival mode. You have to do what you have to do and say to get through this situation and you shut down your emotions. I had to learn how to turn those emotions back on. 

    {{That’s beautifully said, and it’s true, too.  As we run through life and notice people whose emotions ARE shut down, it might be something to also keep in mind.  Perhaps there’s a reason they are.  Anecdotal:  Initially (and also at other times), when I would protest a form of abuse, there would be a punishment, to dominate, retaliate and establish that protesting abuse was UNacceptable.  There were other times (this is talking DV in a marital situation) when I purposely stayed calm, flat-faced, did not react, or express what I think.  My “me” went into hiding, for safety.  Then I was criticized for being emotionless.  When I say “Criticized” that means, namecalling, etc., some of it pretty nasty.  I guess he needed someone reactive in there to get a feeling of power from the abuse.  

    There is a term for this (I think more re: childhood abuse) called “DID” — Dissociating, and literature around it.  It’s a survival thing.  I did not go through anything close to what this woman did — but she survived, and looks wonderful now and is able to speak out to someone else and help (see photos, below).  

    One book (person’s story) I read (reading other’s stories at one point — this is AFTER leaving the in-house abuse situation — seemed to gave me hope), she describes and attack and said, “immediately my mind split in two.”  I remember this from one of the first most severe ones.  The attack was happening, and part of my brain was compareing the two:  “THIS — husband — THIS — husband” and trying to connect the two concepts.  They didn’t connect.  (I’d already hauled back in for trying to to out the front door and wrestled to the ground, pregnant, was being sat on and slapped across the face.  It all happened very fast.  I remember so much of it, even from many years ago).

    }}

    “I would like Jaycee to understand that (her recovery) will not happen overnight. She’ll carry around guilt, shame, anger and it will take years. I never got angry until long after (Cameron Hooker) was arrested. I did not feel safe until he was convicted because I was still afraid he would get off

    “It’s perfectly normal to go through these emotions.” 

    I asked her the question everyone always wants to know: why didn’t you escape when you had the chance? 

    People don’t understand all the threats made against me, my family. There’s a lot more to it than just walking away. When you’re sexually abused, these things solidify the fact that if you don’t do what I say, I can take your life. I thought, ‘What if he catches me when I try to escape?’ It wasn’t like I never thought about these things. I did but I never felt safe to act out on them until his wife came to me and said, ‘We have to get out of here.’” 

    Colleen is 52 years old now, and on August 9th, she celebrated the 25th anniversary of the day she was set free, enjoying a cake and celebration with her recovery group. The cake, she said, was as sweet as life is now. 

    ==========

    One of the worst things people can do to someone coming out of trauma is judge them harshly for not getting over it fast enough.  If it’s dramatic and awful enough, news headlines, mercy seems to come.  But there is so much in just daily life, “routine” assault, battery, and long-term domestic violence.  I still have family members scolding me for being “stuck in the past” (this happens to be actually a dodge attempting to derail a different conversation).  Generally speaking, if you haven’t been through it, you’re just not in a position to judge.


    Another thing not to do is go with the sympathy plus patronizing, i.e, making decisions for the person on the basis that because of her EXPERIENCE of domination and abuse, she just needs someone else to “take control” and dominate how she recovers, leaves, gets out, proiritizes WHAT area of life is most important, etc.  What happened to me was that after years of negligence, it seems (at least) that the same people who weren’t competent to name and act on “danger” when it slapped THEM in the face metaphorically (as it did me, literally), and it wasn’t just hands, there were indeed weapons, which was also known – – the experts moved on in because I happened to be in a weakened state initially.  Then I began to assert some boundaries and found this recovery resented.  Kind of like a codependent need to know the person that was needy and in abuse.  The, “She has a backbone and is utilizing it” wasn’t in the vocabulary.  This saddens me, to have to fight a similar fight, again, and with different people.

    The “experts” who aren’t can be every bit as abusive as the captors.  It is necessary for others involved to “think outside the box” also.  

     

    I rejoice that these women got out.  

     

    =========

    Photo: Colleen Stan today. 

     

    Colleen Stan at age 29, shortly after she was released. 

     

    Photo: Colleen Stan’s 20th birthday. She was abducted soon after. 

    Today’s post is a new blog page: “Lessons from Antioch” (California)

    leave a comment »

     

    The pages are full of the Dugards and the Garridos; people what answers, and collectively, it appears there’s a need to process the trauma, and put names to the “Who, What When, How and Why?” this happened.

    Click on this link:

    (As these posts get a little more personal, understand it’s not just for the blogger’s sake but for the bloggers’ hope that another perspective on these things might get heard.)

    It triggers trauma, or perhaps it’s thoughtfulness, or perhaps it’s a desire to mention what other mothers have gone through that is different, but of some similar qualities: sudden loss of access to and contact with their sons or daughters, and lack of closure, or time to recover or heal from prior abuse(s).  One can get so acclimatized to abuse, or to repeated violations of personal integrity, that this sort of “alternate reality” becomes  “normal.”  What’ I’m concerned about in this matter is future generations, and what “normal” has become for American women, both growing up and grown-up mothers.

    My own father (deceased)  I deduce was told, like many, to “man up,” shut up and step up to the plate when his (wife-beating) father abandoned the household.  Retaliation for even CRYING about the violence, let alone reporting it, was simply part of his youth.  After being locked in a closet for crying initially (so the family lore goes) he went on, and worked hard, educated himself hard, provided well, such that his own children (ALL of them) also got college educated.  I’d say did all right (that’s one adult child’s perspective only; there ARE others), but as the youngest of these, and alone in the house as his marriage disintegrated, I certainly noticed and questioned that, despite the success, he also drank hard too (bottling something else up?), married several times, and, unfortunately, never discussed or addressed any of his own family shortcomings, nor did any of our own adult family actually handle these well, other than by transmitting what I could call UNhealthy family values:  Zero dialogue on THE most important issues of life, a lifelong habit.  Scapegoating.  Tolerance of domestic violence towards, now, more than one member, and clan-like excommunication for anyone who dares to report any of the worst family secrets (and I shudder to think of the ones that haven’t yet come to surface).

    My father died suddenly and under circumstances that were not explained to me.  I learned more about him after his death from the Internet than from anyone I was related to.   He has been described alternately as a genius, and modest (a side of him we didn’t know!), and creative.  His mother was devout, and he rejected the concept and existence of God, another family value I myself later rejected, and paid dearly for over the years.  I like to think that, had he realized one of his daughters would go on to marry and be exposed to what his own mother was, I like to think he’d be turning over in his grave, but fact is, I don’t know.  I do know there was a certain sexism, not uncommon for the day and time.  And I do thank him for not following the utterly insane policy that the HHS is nowadays, deciding and enforcing that children need contact with wife-beating fathers, for the good of, I guess, the country (???) and their little lives.

    I consider refusal to address violence endorsing it.  They consider it “dwelling on the past,” even when the ostensible past was as recent as last week or last month.  They got that one down, and in order that my children should not know the truth about this family, have endorsed further criminal behavior towards them, and me, and this state, again in the name of “Family.”

    It appears that the family law venue is also in the business of telling people to shut up about both their own family secrets (retaliation on custodial parents for reporting abuse in the form of switching the kid to the accused parent!) as well as ITS own secrets, which (as family secrets tend to) includes the financial business deal driving the steamship that’s steamrolling over (well, I could go on and on with that analogy, it’s an apt one) – — that’s steamrolling over the years that SOME families might have otherwise had in peace to recover from the initial trauma, and rebuild a few lives.  Big Brother had a supposedly Better Idea for the country, you know, and so we are to sacrifice the duration of our children’s — well, til they are legally adults — and stay in the system until all the proper tolls have been paid, and “Therapeutic Jurisprudence” has run its course, replacing the former language of right, wrong, crime & punishment, and deterrents for doing it again.  

    Which deterrents Phillip Garrido had, but in the words of one of his several kidnapped for the purpose of raping women, (the 1976 woman that got him the 50 year jail sentence, that he served a few years of), it just made him a smarter and wiser criminal.

     

    However it’s not the men’s doing this so much as the institutions they create doing this, which frightens me the most, for at least my own children’s futures.  Put against this, is their spirit and, I hope, smarts.  

    And the VOLUNTARY donation of the national resources and sort of “conscience” to the federal government.  Kind of like the cycle of rain, rivers flow to the ocean, evaporation, clouds, rain, etc.  The concept is that justice and a better society will somehow rain down on us.

    I’m not holding my breath.  

     

    However, sometimes this happens when the parents may even know where they are; this happens in the “family court venue.”  

    Recent articles talk about how the girls are recovering from trauma, and that’s partly where I started in this new page.  I note a difference of perspective from the experts quoted and what i know about the trauma thing from experience.

    I end up talking about the importance of the declaration of independence, and personal defense of boundaries.  And how it MIGHT help if the public were a little less self-delusional, compartmentalized, and dissociative when it comes to US vs THEM and the role of government in kissing all our “ow-ies,” settling our squabbles, raising our young, monitoring our marriages, determining our public visions, and protecting our boundaries.

    NO, let’s get back to the foundational principles.  And add women and girls in the mix as citizens, not as items to be devoured or dominated.

    If overall, we ALL had less tolerance for unreasonable dominance, I think a lot of partnerships and society would be healthier.  You can force compliance, but you can’t force love, and when force gets into the family business, then we are REALLY in trouble.  And we are.  

    I don’t think the culprit is god or godlessness. I don’t think the culprit is men OR women.  I think the loss is of a sense of selves as individuals (socially) and a loss of language — transformational ideology throughout the internet, and our institutions.  

    As imperfect, or OK< sexist racist classist (etc.) as those colonists were in the latter 1700s, the three “charters of freedom” still shed light and common sense:

    • Declaration of Independence
    • Constitution
    • Bill of Rights.

     

    If we don’t like the middle one, we should change the oath Presidents take on assuming office.  Barring that, we should hold them and every one else in any form of government to the same standard of these 3.  “Consent of the governed” still counts.

    So I recommend we start thinking in those terms again, starting with putting some of the terms back into our heads and coming out of our mouths.  Expect a fight, in that matter, though!

    That’s all for now.  If you want  straighter talk and fewer words, get it from the street:

    http://www.thestreetspirit.org/

    On God (Dec. 2006)

    3. If God is, whence come evil things? If He is not, whence come good?
    BOETHIUS (Roman philosopher 480?-524 A.D.) The Consolation of Philosophy, translated by W.V. Cooper, 1981

    4. I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in the world. This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may.  
    MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., (U.S. clergyman and human rights activist, 1929-1968), “The Most Durable Power,” sermon, Montgomery, Alabama, 6 November 1956

    (LIFE LIBERTy and PURSUIT of HAPP(y)NESS, and in that order.  Physical, mental, or spiritual Welfare =/= happiness, but the first can sustain life.    Moral proclamations by government about how to live, how free to be, and what happiness consists of is not the government’s province, it’s ours).

     

    On poverty, who are you going to believe? A Harvard Ph.D. or a poor person?

    Poor Magazine

     

    This stereotype is that poor people can lift themselves out of poverty because, it assumes, they are responsible for their own poverty.   Linda Burnham explained in her opening, the myth in America is that “everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” This myth allows the public to discard “a whole layer of society” who can’t pull themselves up.

    Linda spoke of the American economy as both an engine of incredible wealth and an engine of poverty. This engine “creates and recreates poverty everyday in the US and all over the world.” During the war, discussions of poverty have been swept off the table. It is important to connect the war against the poor to the war abroad. Burnham mentioned that Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer, has just been awarded a contract to run the welfare system in Florida. The company, who makes huge profits off of war, will now be making huge profits off of managing Florida’s poor.** In order for a country to subjugate and dominate another population, it has to first dominate its population at home. All you have to do is look at the streets of your city to see that this is being done on an everyday basis.

    **This is why I don’t think much about the conversations on solving domestic violence.  IF it were solved, there’d be less cash flow all round, less poverty, and poverty IS an industry!

     

    Or Ask the Beat Within

    logo

    Violence And Material Madness
    by Speedy, posted May 18, 2009I think violence comes from people who has a bad life style. They don’t get the good things in life and so they get angry, so they look to robbing and stealing. That’s what gets them in here. So then, when they get in here, their whole life is starting to mess up. And when that happens, they’re in the system. Then they get even more madder because they’re missing out on a lot, so they get to more stealing.

    Some people grow up with anger, and some are taught to be mad and act bad. Like some parents say, when somebody hits you, you supposed to hit them back. But sometimes that’s not the right thing to do, so than they get in trouble for what they parents taught them. But when they get home, he or her mom says, “That a’right.” So than they keep getting’ in trouble.

    But some violent stuff mostly come from material madness, so they try to steal and stealing ain’t the right thing. You should just get a job, have some money in yo’ pocket and that’s go be you. And if that material thing is really expensive, so that’s when you save up and get that thing for yourself, so than that’s when you see you don’t have to look to stealing. When you don’t have to steal and you see that you don’t have to do that no more.

    OR:  (This issue had several letters to President Obama….)

    A Letter To The President-
    by TAE, posted May 18, 2009Dear Mr. Obama,

    I think you should make certain things that keep young black men busy for the weekends, so we could stop killing ourselves. I also think that you should start building new colleges for people who cannot afford that type of money, so they could be something in life to take care of their family, and get the majority of the tax money every year.

    I think there should be less education about African-American people and more about other cultures so people wouldn’t have to feel down all the time by hearing the word “Nigger” a lot.

    People who’s getting abused in their family should be taken care of in a shelter that provides a little bit of discipline, so they could grow up and succeed in life, and keep innocent people out of the pen.

    OR:

    Dear President
    by Richard, posted May 19, 2009How are you Mr. President? I am writing from Santa Clara juvenile hall. My name is Richard. I am facing a life sentence for kidnapping, attempted murder, carjacking, and 2nd degree robbery. I am 17 years old.

    I would like to congratulate you for becoming the 44th President of the United States of America. You inspire me to do many things. It gives me hope to become something I thought I couldn’t be in life no matter what it is. I believe in you, that you are going to make things right in this world. I know when I go to prison I can try my hardest to get my education and other things. I didn’t think I could at first, but with you as President, I have faith.

    I know I am in here and might not get out soon, but I know you will be there for those on the outside of these walls. I know you will make a change. I hope the best for you, Mr. President. Thank you for reading this, and I apologize for taking your time.

     

    Our Mission

    The Beat Within’s mission is to provide incarcerated youth with consistent opportunity to share their ideas and life experiences in a safe space that encourages literacy, self-expression, some critical thinking skills, and healthy, supportive relationships with adults and their community. Outside of the juvenile justice system, The Beat Within partners with community organizations and individuals to bring resources to youth both inside and outside of detention. We are committed to being an effective bridge between youth who are locked up and the community that aims to support their progress towards a healthy, non-violent, and productive life.

     

    Regarding recovery from violence (WHICH the Antioch/Dugard articles from today dealt with),

    from http://www.Lundy Bancroft.com:

    • Addressing the healing needs of children: There is a wide consensus that children’s recovery from exposure to domestic violence (and from divorce) depends largely on the quality of their relationship with the non-battering parent and with their siblings.20 

    Of course this statement runs entirely contrary to the bulk of the “fatherhood” premises and the entire family court venue basically doesn’t validate or practice.

    • Therefore, in addition to safety consideration, court determinations should take into account whether the batterer is likely, based on his past and current behavior, to continue to undermine the mother’s authority, interfere with mother-child relationships, or cause tensions between siblings.

    This becomes kind of irrelevant when the court itself does the same things.  My experience is that the past was considered to be a totally blank slate, and therefore any fallout was attributed to whoever it “fell” on.  Extended family influence (which I tried to bring up, and was significant) was ignored.  It was an unbelievably stereotyped reaction.  Possibly the reason I’m writing so much is from the impact of the years of being told POST-separation not to talk about this, or any other subsequent criminal behavior(s).  Oh well . . . 

    • Because children need a sense of safety in order to heal,21 juvenile and family court decisions may not want to include leaving the children in the unsupervised care of a man whose violent tendencies they have witnessed, even if they feel a strong bond of affection for him.

     

    So when it typically does, often right after the filing of a civil restraining order, or when divorce is started almost immediately after someone files a protective order, resulting in the “joint custody” “Shared parenting” mindset, then we have a serious values conflict, as I did, in the past, now almost ten years.  A move was made (locally) to extend the initial restraining order time to 5 years from 3. I know I would’ve made it had this happened.  Certain agencies, and entities, made sure this was defeated.  Now that I have time (called unemployment!), I did find out who they were in that case.  

     

    If you want straight talk on some poverty, justice, and crime policy issues, again, (although I try, there’s the verbiage issue!), try:  Street Spirit, Poor Magazine, the Beat Within (although that’s getting slicker and slicker since I first saw it),

     

    Thanks.  Happy Labor Day (USA).  Unemployment rate _ _ _ _ _???

    Labor (or rest) well, we have one more day off in America.  I gave up the concept of seeing a daughter at this time in favor of not fighting that fight until I have some income.  The lack of closure is a constant source of stress.  Closing has to be done right to be safe.  Go figure.  This is one reason I think if women leaving abuse could get a bit of space and time, they could run some great businesses.  It appears that Jaycee/Alyssa both helped her captorS S S S Ss s s s s run a business (not including any horrors she endured IF the brothel rumor was true) and educated her also-imprisoned daughters, the product of her rapes, but nonetheless her DAUGHTERS,  the best she could.  I wish her well and the family that’s now reunited with her.

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