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

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Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights

Quips, Thinks and Links on the Most Essential Matters… (on a signature block)

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

From this post:

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

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

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

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

In 2016/2017, I probably would change some links, but retain the basic concepts.   (Will be repeated again, below.)
Read the rest of this entry »

For BMCC Day 1: Why VAWA, DV Groups Basically Can’t (Won’t?) Stop [Terroristic Threats, Murder, Assault, Battery, Stalking, False Imprisonment, Harrassment– Child Molestation–or other Crimes]

with one comment

Why?

Well, I have one line of reasoning — that there is a family court around basically creates an immense loophole; any police officer anywhere can just about get out of arresting domestic violence perpetrators (they could anyway) by, when children exist, simply failing to arrest, and letting it land in the family venue.  Ditto with CPS.  But even if they didn’t, they still have immense discretion to simply not arrest.  If they DO arrest, the DA’s have immense discretion not to prosecute also.

WOMEN’s JUSTICE CENTER /CENTRO de JUSTICIA PARA MUJERES

Santa Rosa, California

(a site I quote below, and refer to often enough) I see has written an October 2011 letter to:

Dear Feminist Law Professors:

I’m a women’s rights advocate who has been working for the last 20 years in the exasperating struggle to end violence against women. I’m writing because we’re stumped, and we need your help.

My opinion:  these feminist law professors and women, in many respects,  have for over a decade completely ignored the role of the family courts, and their relationship to the criminal prosecution of (see title) real-time crimes play in simply invalidating domestic violence law, child abuse law, in fact most criminal laws of any sort for women who have given birth.   And women who give birth, aka MOTHERS, represents a significant portion of women against whom violence is routine.

In this current climate, and while that off-ramp from the criminal justice system (if the reporting and prosecution even gets there), it is next to impossible for these women to get free from an abuser – with children — and stay free unless HE simply chooses not to sue for custody or further bother her.  And, if there’s a Title IV-D child support order around, even if he doesn’t want to bother her, the county can and will go after that family and those kids anyhow.   That’s My take on it.  So I would not be asking a feminist law professor for help, based on the track record and under-reporting of this scandal.  And I’ve talked to some of them (including in my area).  However, this writer has a point:

The problem is this: Modern violence-against-women laws are in place throughout most of the U.S., as are crisis centers, hotlines, counselors, and shelters. But a critical piece is missing. We don’t have anywhere near adequate enforcement of the laws. Nor do women have any legal right to enforcement of the laws, nor any legal remedy or redress when police and prosecutors fail to enforce the laws.

As such, the laws are meaningless to us.  However, it takes a while — and sometimes costs a life — to recognize this.

. . . But the daunting and particular problem for women is that these absolute discretionary powers are in the hands of law enforcement agencies that are rife with anti-women biases, structures, and traditions. Violence-against-women cases are the cases these officials are most overwhelmingly prone to ignore, ditch, dismiss, under-investigate, under-prosecute, and give sundry other forms of disregard. This disparate impact and denial of equal protection is undermining all the other monumental efforts to end violence against women.

Despite all the high flying official rhetoric to the contrary, way too many police and prosecutors don’t want to do these cases. They know they don’t have to do these cases. They know a million ways to get rid of these cases. They know nobody can hold them to account. And the Supreme Court keeps driving this impunity deeper into the heart of American law. Not surprisingly, the violence against women rages on.

We can social work these cases endlessly, but when police and prosecutors don’t do their part and put the violent perpetrators in check, the perpetrators easily turn around and undo any stability and safety we and the women have attempted to secureThe freer she gets, the angrier he becomes. Without adequate law enforcement, victims of violence against women are doomed. And then they are double doomed by the void of any legal cause to hold unresponsive police and prosecutors to account. And then, all too often, she is dead

Notice that at the end of this eloquent (and I believe, truthful) letter, she refers to the “Judicial Ghetto of Family Law.”  It is this Ghetto that has to be addressed if “violence against women” is to stop.  To date, we are still the gender that produces children, gives birth to them, no matter how nurturing Dad is.  As such, this arena, that ghetto, ALSO has to be addressed, or as an obstacle to life itself for those in it, removed:

We urgently need your help. Not in the judicial ghetto of family law where victims of violence against women are too often shunted to fend for themselves.

Why NOT?  Why should women have to fend for themselves in a biased system  — because thats where it typically goes after any civil restraining order (see VAWA, below) is put in place.   Perhaps if there’d been more “feminist law professors” who’d gone through leaving DV AS MOTHERS, this might have been handled by now.  Not saying that it wasn’t a tough uphill battle to start with.  But we mothers are certainly not ballast in this journey; just treated like it in these circles!

But in criminal law where the state itself must take responsibility for securing justice for these heinous crimes. We can’t solve this problem without you.

As a first step, please pass this on to colleagues you think would most fervently fight to create a women’s right to justice. And then consider joining in yourself.

Thank you for your concern.

Marie De Santis, Director Women’s Justice Center Centro de Justicia para Mujeres

mariecdesantis@gmail.com www.justicewomen.org

We like to believe that criminal law always applies when crimes are committed (the title lists some of the crimes which comprise “Domestic violence” and “Child abuse” and characterize the lives of people who sometimes, after years enduring these things, end up dead, or paying their abuser, which is a form of institutionalized extortion).

BUT — when a case is labeled “high-conflict” or “custody dispute” of any sort, BY LAW (apparently) it comes under the jurisdiction of a different court — which is not a real court, it’s a business enterprise.  (See this blog.  See other NON-federally-supported blogs or articles.

For example get this (“johnnypumphandle, re:  Los Angeles “Public Benefit Corporations Supported by Taxpayers”   Not only ALL the people walking through the halls — but the real estate — the halls themselves, apparently are often part of this enterprise!  Why this never occurred to me before reading these matters, I don’t know.   The family court is in a separate building from the main (Criminal) courthouse in MANY towns and cities across the county.  That alone should have caught our attention.  Now (same general idea), they are building, sometimes, “Family Justice Centers” as part of a National Alliance movement (see “One-Stop Justice Shop” posts, mine).

I reviewed this material carefully before, it takes a while to sink in.  It will NOT sink in if all you see mentally is the visual of the building and its inhabitants.  In order to “See” straight, one needs to see and be willing to think in terms of corporations, tax returns, and cash flow.  And something relating the words “taxpayer” with “tax-exempt.”  As the site says:

 We have again reminded the IRS of the same scheme being perpetrated by the Private Corporation – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation – with the same bond guarantees by the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. Taxpayers are still getting stiffed by this scam, since there is no accountability for the money and NO TAX FORMS HAVE EVER BEEN FILED!

Key in this EIN#

470942805

to This Charitable Search Site (for California) — and tell me why the Relationship Training Institute — which does business with and takes business FROM the court, evidently — is still marked “current” when no (zero, nada, zilch, nothing at all) has been filed (and uploaded) by this organization for the state of California as a charity -EVER; even though it’s filed with the IRS?  Is that cheating the citizens of California, or what?   Here they are (and here goes continuity in my post today):

Relationship Development and Domestic Violence Prevention, Training, and Consultation

The Relationship Training Institute (RTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established in 1986* by David B. Wexler, Ph.D. to provide training, consultation, treatment, and research in the field of relationship development and relationship enhancement.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2583174 05/17/2004* ACTIVE RELATIONSHIP TRAINING INSTITUTE DAVID B WEXLER

Because — in the 7 years (at least) it’s been operating in California, David B. Wexler, Ph.D.’s group has not bothered to file it’s (by law) annually required tax return with the state (NOTE — which provides the California Attorney General with a Schedule B showing names and addresses of contributors, and has to list government funding) and because the CA Corporations search site is so limited, I can’t see  from there OR its founding articles if this is a domestic (Ca originated) or “foreign” (out of state) corporation.   

On the other hand, the group California Coalition for Families and Children which incorporated in 2010 (per same site) — and is critical of the San Diego Family Court Practices — has twice received a “file your dues” letter, which you can search at the same charities link, above.  It has no EIN# because it hasn’t registered yet.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C3284403 03/09/2010 ACTIVE CALIFORNIA COALITION FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN CORPORATION SERVICE COMPANY WHICH WILL DO BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA AS CSC – LAWYERS INCORPORATING SERVICE

I believe any group that calls itself a 501(c)3 (or “4”) should fulfil the requirements of it.  However, there seems a bit of favoritism (OR, This group has no bribe to pay — below the table — for the regulatory agencies, including the OAG?); Emad G. Tadros, Ph.D., checked out the suspicious credentials of a custody evaluator, discovered a custody Mill (plus that a house cat got a diploma from the same place) and put up a website about all this, plus filed a suit, which was simply the right thing to do.  In retaliation for challenging the right of the courts to continue their fraud up on the public he was fined $86K in fees, and an attempt has been made at obtaining interest, too.   Apparently, this group has not cut a deal with anyone, and so the OAG WILL go after their nonprofit status.  Here’s the link to “San Diego Court Corruption.”

So, as to The Relationship Training Institute, I guess not filing with the state is “close enough for jazz The Office of Attorney General.”  And also close enough for an NIMH sponsored grant on Domestic Violence in the Navy, too.  If our Navy was run this waywe’d be losing a lot more wars.

RTI offers an on-going series of informative workshops and state-of-the-art training programs for mental health professionals and for the public, bringing innovative leaders and teachers to the San Diego community. RTI staff also travel throughout the world training professionals in the treatment models that we have been developing and publishing for over 25 years

So, don’t try to tell me the courts and attorney general are unaware — see its website, and see the detail on its charitable registration.  A letter has been sent to this charity, and its site claims it’s approved by the Judicial Council of California to provide CLE credits for its trainings!

(the logos of approving organizations).

Approving Organizations

APA American Psychological AssociationWDCA Board of Behavioral SciencesBRN Board of Registered Nursing     CATC Certified Addictions Treatment CounselorJudicial Council of California Administrative Office of the CourtsNAADAC Association for Addiction ProfessionalsNBCC National Board for Certified CounselorsNevada Attorney General

By the way, Dr. Wexler is listed under another one, IABMCP or something:

David B. Wexler , Ph.D., Diplomate IABMCP
Director, Relationship Training Institute, San Diego, California

International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy  (group registered in Dallas, TX in 1979, EIN has 11 numbers # 17523304719.  Usually it’s 9 or 12):

Name Taxpayer ID# Zip
INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE COUNS 17523304719 75225

The actual EIN# is 751726710 and it’s registered in Colorado as a 501(c)6 ” Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, etc. formed to improve conditions..”  It has a tiny budget and apparently exists to distribute a newsletter, per 990 (2010 ruling.), registered as a foreign nonprofit (citing the Texas org.) since 1999 and apparently is filing its reports in Colorado OK.

2010  751726710 International Academy of Behavioral Medicine Counseling and Psychother CO 1980 06 31,455 1,402 990

Dr. Wexler anyhow, is on its Advisory Council, along with a long list of mostly but not all male personages, including Deepak Chopra…

I also note that this domestic violence training is very man-friendly…  But RTI is apparently the group that does the trainings OUTSIDE the courthouse, which makes them part of the personnel bill.  The earlier article was about who pays rents on the real estate, who owns the real estate, of the courthouses themselves?  Reading on:

August 25, 2001 – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation and others. e.g. Los Angeles County Law Enforcement-Public Facilities Corporation and (too many to name or to discover). The Crusaders think that there are over a dozen of these ‘Public Benefit’ Corporations hiding in LA County. If you are aware of any of the others, drop us a line.

These companies are established as Tax exempt ‘charitable trusts’ under the Federal Statute – 501(c)(4)They direct millions of dollars but are basically unaudited. The Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation (LACCC), for example, controls projects for $632 million, but as yet has not registered with the California Department of Corporations even though they have issued outstanding securities for this amount.

They have established trust agreements with banks, lease and leaseback agreements with developers, securities agreements with underwriters, legal assistance from high powered law firms, yet they have no employees. All work is done ‘outside’ on authorization from an officer of the Company. e.g. bills are paid, rents are collected, legal services are performed by outsiders through agreements. As an exampleO’Melveny & Myers pays the fees for this Corporation.

Is this a donation? Somehow, I think O’Melveny & Myers are not providing legal services for free.

The company has offices in the LA County facilities, claims no employees, but has all of its utilities, telephone, rent, etc. paid by the County.

Who answers the phone? A county employee, doing ‘part time’ work but receiving no pay. At least the Corporation claims to have no employees.

How are bills paid? We have a letter to Henry P. Eng, an auditor , who is told that he will receive a check for $4,730 and a like amount will be charged to the rent due to the corporation in order to balance the books. You see, the Corporation has issued bonds (Certificates of Participation) recently for $115 Million to build the Antelope Valley Courthouse. The Banc of America and four other underwriters have guaranteed the purchase of all of these certificates.

So WHY do I make those claims in the Title of this post today?   Well, for one, I research TAGGS grants, and read conference brochures, and pay attention to what groups do – -and don’t — report on, including the various elephants in the room…  

I’m not the only one, either, questioning what VAWA is for, except to inspire a lot of anti-feminist backlash, give Fathers & Families (GlennSacks hounds) something to complain about, and a source of funds to set up websites and conferences (ad nauseam) to perpetuate the illusion that whatever a civil — or even criminal — domestic violence action DOES, Family Courts will not quickly UNDO, even if neither parent  asks them to!

You might want to look at this article:

VAWA Critique
In Which a Little-Known Legal Brief Plows into Hallowed Terrain

I almost felt like a traitor (though I was sure in my opinion) with this round of requests I write someone to reauthorize VAWA.  WHY? I thought.  I already know who’s collaborating with these other courts.  Well, another (non-federally funded, intentionally so) site – I like this site, too — explains:

Ever since the U.S. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in 1994, women’s advocates have rallied again and again to assure that VAWA stays authorized and funded. The steady torrent of threats against the act from antagonist men’s groups has left advocates with little inclination to question whether VAWA is truly delivering what’s needed to end the violence and secure justice for women. But a little-disseminated legal brief we came across recently rips along the fault lines and suggests that giving VAWA a thorough critique may be one of the most important steps we should be taking to advance the struggle.

“The legal brief, signed by a dozen domestic violence scholars from around the country and submitted in 2007 to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, emphatically makes the case that VAWA not only is failing to protect women, but that this failure is rooted in fundamental flaws in VAWA’s structure and administration. “VAWA is a limited remedy,” the document states, “That fails to protect women or to discharge the United State’s obligations under international law.”

(it’s going to talk about the Jessica Gonzales case, and the IACHR. However, NO — I say that these DV scholars have simply fallen asleep at the switch, or decided to look the other way, to keep their publications, etc. coming.   )

In summarizing their analysis, the brief states, “VAWA fails to accomplish four crucial things: 1) It does not provide any remedy when abuser’s or police officer’s violate victims’ rights, 2) it does not require participation of all states or monitor their progress, 3) it does not fully or adequately fund all the services that are needed, 4) it does not require states to pass or strengthen legislation around civil protective orders or the housing rights of domestic violence victims.” . . .

VAWA: “primarily a source of grants” which has not reduced domestic violence

The brief goes on to characterize VAWA as “primarily a source of grants” with non-binding terms, voluntary participation, unmonitored compliance, and which mandates nothing. And the funding is paltry. According to the brief, in 2007, the median total of VAWA grants to individual states was 4.5 million dollars. That’s less than the cost of one wing of a fighter jet allotted per state to combat violence against women.

If the core of this brief is accurate, despite the services VAWA has provided to tens of thousands of women, the message VAWA delivers to law enforcement and other public officials throughout America is disastrous. ‘You can prevent, investigate, and punish violence against women – if you feel like it. But if you’d rather not, don’t worry about it. VAWA doesn’t mandate that you do anything. And if women are upset by that, rest assured, VAWA and the courts have also made sure there’s not a darn thing women can do about it to hold you to account.

Most troubling of all, the brief finds that in the time from VAWA’s passage in 1994 to 2007 when the brief was filed, VAWA has not reduced domestic violence in the U.S., despite the U.S. government’s claims to the contrary. As stated in the brief, “Since the passage of VAWA, domestic violence rates have not been reduced in proportion to other violent crimes

This site writes their rationale:

And perhaps worse, these fundamental flaws in VAWA are not even a matter of discussion, debate, or protest among frontline women’s advocates. It’s critical for progress in ending violence against women that that discussion begin.

which they analyze as, and I can see this:

The Tie that Binds

VAWA requires that shelters and rape crisis centers that receive VAWA funding must demonstrate their cooperation with their local law enforcement agencies.

Individual states that administer the VAWA grants have implemented this requirement in various ways. But typically the shelters and crisis centers seeking VAWA grants must obtain signed operational agreements with their local law enforcement agencies. This has given law enforcement veto power over the survival of the violence against women centers, a controlling power law enforcement has not hesitated to use.

People should read this article — and a lot of this site, based in Sonoma County, California (wine country north of SF).  I notice that the Family Justice Alliance Center made sure to get a center into Sonoma County — and if I were going to donate to somewhere to stop violence (other than the time I’ve donated, here, and off-blog) it’d be to this group, responsible for the website:
Feel free to photocopy and distribute this information as long as you keep the credit and text intact.
Copyright © Marie De Santis
Women’s Justice Center,
www.justicewomen.com 

rdjustice@monitor.net

VAWA is a Federal Act of Congress first passed in 1994.  By Contrast (and to oppose its premises), the National Fatherhood Initiative is a NONPROFIT started by someone with close connections to HHS, and Washington, and now many legislators — and is not only still funded, but has permeated the structure and purpose of violence prevention, child welfare, and child abuse prevention  areas of goverment.  While VAWA (which at least went past Congress initially — the NFI did not) promotes one kind of training, NFI promotes the opposite theories.

Then the two groups get together, for example, The Greenbook Initiative and congratulation their federally-paid-behinds for being able to get along, while women continue to die after breeding and leaving abuse.  And etc.

The DOJ Defending Children Initiative:  even has an “Engaging Fathers” link:

The ILLUSION that there is protection for women and children through groups such as “Child Protection Services” is fatuous.  That’s not what they’re there for, apparently.  Nor, apparently, are the civil restraining order issuers (typically a domestic violence nonprofit of some sort, or possibly a parent might get one on his/her own) there to prosecute or punish any crime.

I heard this from a woman (grandparent) in an unidentified urban area, regarding her grandchildren’s being in the sole custody of an abusing father AFTER CPS and police had confirmed sodomy and forced copulation with the (young boy):

Hearsay #1:

There are no laws or penal codes against child abuse by a parent.  Child abuse by a parent comes under the Welfare and Institution Code (WIC).

The welfare and institution code does ONE thing — offers reunification services to the abuser.  The one and ony law mandated by legislators (in such cases) is reunification.

Since the theme is “reunification” (and really, let’s get honest — “supervised visitation” concept comes from this field, reunification), no family court has any interest in re-unifying a protective mother with her child once that child has been completely (and physically) “reunified” with the abuser father.  There are no fatherhood-promotion services for this (access/visitation concept is actually a fatherhood concept).  Supervised visitation with a sex offender (young) father and mother has resulted in child-rape INSIDE a supervised visitation facility in Trumbull County, Ohio, recently.  It has resulted in financial fraud on East and West Coast both (Genia Shockome/Karen Anderson of Amador County, PA), it has resulted in a child literally being supervised by a woman who had criminally sexually assaulted a DOG in Contra Costa County California courts (Welch v. Tippe), and — the commissioner? who made that order, as recommended by her court-crony, is I believe still on the bench — and has been, while we’re at it, on the Board of Kids’ Turn, too.  After all, it’s all about the “Kids” and what’s best for them, right?  How often do women whose children have been abused get put on supervised visitation for “alienating” the father by reporting — or allowing their kids to even report to someone else unsolicited, like a schoolteacher — real live criminal activity upon themselves?

Hearsay #2:

Child Protective Services labeled our case high-conflict which put it in custody court.  Neither the father or I had even mentioned divorce at the time.

This mother says she saw it on their report.  I’d like to see that report.  Assuming it’s true, this means that CPS knows quite well that they don’t have to prosecute anything against a parent when it comes to abuse of children; they can shunt it off to family court.

Hearsay #3 (to you — this is my case):

When my children were being stolen (abducted), and I was protesting on the basis of a valid court order giving me physical custody, an attempt was made to bring CPS in — although no abuse was being alleged!  When I pointed this out, the officers supervising the exchange — which I’d requested for personal safety — refused to enforce the court order, mocked me, and when I realized there was no recourse from this crew, I had to let my “ex-batterer” and the children’s father, drive off into the sunset with children I’d raised, and from this point forward (til today) not ONE single court order was consistently obeyed for more than a month, including visitation or phone contact with me, alternating holidays, or the children with the mother on mother’s day, all of which remained in the CUSTODY order.

In short, if I wasn’t going to voluntarily justify bringing on more (paid, public employee) professionals AFTER existing paid, public employee professionals simply refused to do their job (which I later learned — they don’t have to, even if not doing their job results in someone’s, or even three children’s, deaths.  See Castle Rock v. Gonzales).

Talk about “interlocking directorate” – – – – I also heard from a savvy investigator (mother) (noncustodial) in another state how that, literally, when a father is accused AND found guilty of abuse in one sector (for example, criminally, or child support services) this literally causes the father to be declared “incapacitated” or incompetent — making the child a “dependency” case.  The court that the mother then walks into is, in effect, a “dependency court.”  The state owns her child, and if she can’t ransom it back, too bad.  The ransom process is simply this:  the hearings go on, and on, and on and as much money is extracted from the mother, who WILL fight back, until she’s broke too, if not in spirit.  That’s the plan.  That’s not an anomaly or “burp” of the system — that IS the plan.

We have heard also of horrendous situations, and I’ve reported this, of dual electronic docketing.  (“Computerized or Con-puterized?”  Janet Phelan on Joseph Zernik reporting.  One week after she published the layperson’s explanation of this, he was picked up by police without cause and held).   We’ve heard of collected but intentionally not distributed child supportin the millions of $$ (Silva v. Garcetti (who was Los Angeles D.A., involving Richard Fine).    Even a brief look at what happened to Mr. Fine (besides getting incarcerated and disbarred) and how the California Legislature handled the fact that the entire judiciary was subject to bribery at the county level by payments to judges — from the county — in cases where — the county — was a party.  It retroactively granted immunity, and did this quickly, lest the entire judicial system get shut down.  (SBX-211) — that brief look should say, what we are dealing with is XX % crooks, and X% enablers or people who can’t themselves get out of the system because by participation, they’d be prosecuted too.  Talk about “gangs” . . . that’s a Gang.  Sometimes deals go between one jurisdiction and another, making them a little harder to catch (Gregory Pentoney)

Two other things which I’ve heard of from a non-BMCC “let’s ask the expert source” in recent times — and again, I present this as Hearsay, but it’s entirely in character for the venue — of more than one physical case file being kept.  One is shown to the litigant when she can afford it (which ain’t always), or qualifies as low-income enough to be shown it.  The other is shown and hauled out when it comes to justifying program billing — that one or both parents may be totally unaware of, occurring in their case, under their or their kids’ social security #s, and in their name.

Again, my plan is to curtail posting on this blog (I believe I’ve “said my piece” on most major points) at the end of January, and get about other aspects of life.  Oh yes, and I signed the blog up for Twitter, which should curtail the length some, like by ca. (10,000 to 14,000) – 140 characters!

I realize that conversational style isn’t communication, yet the information is urgent to present and get out.  The “end of January” date was in honor of the BMCC conference, which I plan to comment on every day it’s in session.  Ideally, you will see one post a day from here til 1/31, however, some of the material does cause vicarious trauma to report, which may affect quality of post, or my getting one out on a certain day.  While I know what I know, from study, research observation, reflection, and synthesis, expressing it is another matter.

Also, the conversing with the material style is laborious, and takes hours.  Whereas in a personal conversation, say, by phone, with interaction, I know I could convey the key FAQs, overall, in 10 minutes or less, and tell people where to find more information, should they be motivated.

So here we go:

Some people I know are headed up again to the Battered Mothers Custody Conference IX in Albany, New York again this year, where the same basic information will be presented by experts, while mothers are welcome to participate from the floor and by adding their square to the quilt, by buying books which the presenters will be selling (last year’s hot-off-the-press available in softcover and at a discount – only $59 — for conference attendees) and donate, too.   This is addressed to mothers who are probably being fleeced in the courts, have tortuous situations to handle, and some are paying child support to their child’s or their abuser, which is why they pull it together to come to this conference, seeking help and answers — from the experts.

One difference — a positive one — THIS year is the attendance of Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who also will be selling her newly revised “Mothers on Trial”  which I know incorporates some new stories, and I plan to order it on-line.

However, I also know that it’s not about to contain the information on this blog, on NAFCJ.net, or much on the AFCC, Welfare Reform (1996), and the role of the Child Support $4 billion industry in prolonging custody conflicts, for profit.  However, it will be a new presenter, and an experienced feminist who I’ll bet is not afraid to address some of the issues of Gender Apartheid (which also results in “Battered Mothers”) in front of this audience, and on which she is an expert.  Perhaps she will — as I don’t think others have — bring up the impact of religion on this situation in the family courts.  It’s there – -not talking about it would hardly make sense.

At the  bottom of this post, I am going to list the Presenters, and brief comments or links on the ones I know.  The ones I don’t, I’ll look up.  Perhaps in the next post (as this one expanded into handling a few other items).

And in this post, I’m going to charge pretty hard into the entire concept behind this conference, as I did last January, afterwards.

NB:  I attended one conference in all its years, but primarily to meet mothers I’d been blogging with; I’d already realized that it was a marketing conference.  That’s responsible behavior for people shelling out travel, hotel, and conference fees, not to mention in general.  You find out who’s saying what and evaluate it.

The Title of this year’s conference is apparently “IS WHAT WE’RE DOING WORKING”?

HUH?

 

  • We who?  (Mo Hannah, Barry Goldstein, et al.?)

  • Working for whom?*

  • Define “working” — what’s the goal here?  (Sales, Self-Promotion, Shaping Distressed Mothers’ Perceptions?)

Ask a foolish question, you will get a very foolish answer.  Act on those answers and you become a fool.  A sucker is born every minute, and I regret every minute of my own “suckerhood” which listened to domestic violence rhetoric for too long, and didn’t think to GO CHECK TAX RETURNS AND NONPROFIT FILINGS FIRST, which might’ve had a different result.  

That’s why I believe that it’s the “experts” that should be sitting around the tables in the conference and taking notes, and the women themselves that should be up on stage giving testimony, ideas — and controlling the microphones.  Then some of the questions they have might get some answers, through collective wisdom, as women tend to do — when not co-opted into the hierarchical model of relating to each other which is more characteristic of males, and of this society we live in.

The structure of this type of conference is didactic — from presenter to participant.  They are the dispensers of wisdom, women & mothers attending, the recipients.  Go forth and deliver the expert wisdom to your areas, (seek to hire us as expert witnesses in your court cases) and if it doesn’t work — next year we are going to do the same basic routine anyhow, and your feedback will NOT be front and center, if it is allowed at all.

Seriously — that’s how it goes.  And anyone with a child in a custody case has a ticking clock, if not time bomb, which is running.  We do not have time to beat around the bush and fail to address things in PRIORITY order.

So anyhow, “is what we (?) are doing working?”

Somehow this is going to be stretched out into a weekend’s worth of material?  Is there a better question to ask, such as — what can we do to either clean up or shut down the family law courts if they refuse to clean themselves out, which is unlikely?  How many experts does it take to distract a mother’s attention from who is paying her abuser and the judges that gave that kid to the abuser?  Why doesn’t this conference ever bring up child support, welfare reform, or mathematical issues, such as economics?

Or, for that matters, why are not the people who experienced abuse considered THE experts, and why are the true experts (the battered mothers) not as informed as the presenting experts on things that others figured out over 15 years ago in this field?

This is, among other things, a marketing conference, and a chance for women to sit with each other and have company in their distress.  It is NOT a place for them to actually reform the courts, or learn the most direct possible ways (if any ways are possible) to get their children back, or a crooked judge off their case.  That I can tell.

*A comment on the site says women can contribute to a quilt for missing children.   (Which somehow reminds me of a church situation — you may attend, women:  Here — serve some cookies,  greet perhaps, and of course work child care, the sermon and other important things will be piped in from our (male) minister).  . . . . now, there are presenters who are mothers on the platform, some of who I know by name, and I know those mothers are not about to rock the boat — by reporting on what you’ll find here, NAFCJ.net, Cindy Ross, Richard Fine (Emil Tadros either, for that matter) and other places.   Somehow that information isn’t worth informing Moms of, which results in Uninformed Moms, wondering why things aren’t changing.

You see, professionals (and I was one in one or two fields) know they’re not expert in other fields and so tend to defer to people presenting as the experts in a different field.  This works REAL well when mothers in panic, danger, or serious trauma go for help to DV experts who are hired (or volunteered) with agencies which do not themselves see fit to look at the larger picture AND TELL THE MOMS ABOUT IT.

Moreover, once a case — or person — moves out of their area of “expertise” — meaning, case in point for mothers, into the family law system — it becomes “not my problem” and they can, I suppose, somehow sleep with themselves at night (those who actually have functional consciences) without drugs or sedatives, by saying – it’s out of my hands now, I did my part!

Ay, there’s the rub.  It’s a win-win for the civil restraining order (DV agency) field AND for the Family Law Field, because no one “out-ed” either field’s collaboration and centralization over the years.  No one has done this much to date  because so few people follow the funding, particularly experts protesting “Child abuse, Domestic Violence” and so forth.

RE:  “IS What We’re Doing Working”

Here’s a short answer:   “ExcUUse me?   You  * #$!- ing (kidding) me, right?”

Slightly Longer answer, Fresh kill, two children (10 & 14) into someone else’s care (foster?  relatives?)  this week in California.  The woman showed up, obediently, for a family court hearing, and was murdered in cold blood, in her car.

Authorities say the man shot his wife, gave chase to police, then shot himself; they were scheduled to appear in family court for a hearing

BY JOHN ASBURY AND KEVIN PEARSON

STAFF WRITERS

kpearson@pe.com | jasbury@pe.com

Published: 04 January 2012 08:42 AM

A man at the Hemet courthouse for a child-support hearing calmly walked up to his wife’s car and fired two fatal shots, then led police on a car chase before killing himself Wednesday morning, according to witnesses and police

. . . .

Costales had no criminal record in Riverside County, and the couple had no history of domestic violence with each other, nor was there a restraining order in the case. However, Costales was accused of domestic violence in a previous divorce.

The two children now aged 10 and 14, we don’t know who their biological mother was –whether the woman slumped over in her car that day, or the former Ms. Costales:  However, they were born (do the math, see article) prior to this marriage:  2012 January minus ten, minus fourteen years.  Mr. Costales prior marriage had mutual restraining orders as of the year 2000.

‘A HORRIBLE SIGHT’

Kimberly Jones, 45, of Hemet, said she was in her car when she heard the first gunshot, which she thought was a firecracker. She looked back to see Schulz back away quickly.

Jones ducked as additional shots were fired, then ran over to find Schulz bleeding and slumped over in the driver’s seat. Jones, who is a nurse, said she tried to resuscitate the woman in the parking lot as Costales casually walked back to his car.

. . . She moved out, not him….

Schulz told the court in September that she was unemployed and receiving $550 in monthly aid. She asked for Costales to be required to make child and spousal payments and to make payments on their Honda Pilot until she could afford to get her own vehicle.

“I need hearing because of no income but aid,” Schulz wrote in court documents. “Living on my brother’s couch, looking for work daily, been unsuccessful. Children need their own home and stability.”

The age difference:  Him vs. Her — was 17 years.  We don’t know this situation, but here’s a woman who never apparently even SAID “domestic violence” — and yet still died asking for something reasonable.  Did she bring children into the relationship (was he their father?).  Did he seek a needy woman with children to make up for loss of his first wife and two sons (now adults)?

Do second wives EVER believe the record on the first wives’ court docket?

I went to look this one up at the Riverside Court, but found out that it’s not even free to view the images, and in doing so, they will know who is looking.  So much for public oversight from a safe distance!

Police closed off a portion of the courthouse parking lot, stranding about 50 people who were unable to get to their cars to leave, but the courthouse remained open. The Hemet branch of the Riverside County courts handles family law cases in addition to civil, small claims and traffic issues.

Why did she leave?  Who knows?  Was this unreported violence, nonsupport, or what?  Where are the children going to live now?  Who HAS them now?

This was a TANF case.  She was on aid — that means that only if there has been violence, or some severe extenuating systems, is she allowed some sort of diversion away from seeking child support from the father.  The county wants its programs funded.  If “aid” goes out, the County controls the collection of child support.  This was likely an administrative hearing — there seems not to be any discussion over custody or visitation.    This woman didn’t know, and now never will, what receiving welfare from anywhere in California puts one at risk of.  Had it not ended this way, it might have stretched out for years in the courts as well.

Suppose this man had not been just Mr. Costales, but Mr. DeKraii, and been in a real bad mood that day?  Who else might have died?

Hence, we have to re-think this phrase:  “Clear and Present Danger.”  It has 3 usages.

1.  In the law, unless it’s been rescinded by now — in California, a Batterer is a “Clear and present danger to the mental and physical health of the citizens of California.”  If one continues reading the law, they then talk about something like a task force at the District Attorney level.

2.  In Usage by AFCC,  “Lack of Resources” to the family courts is the “Clear and Present Danger.”

3.  I feel it’s safe to say now, clearly, and quite presently, that “the family courts are a clear and present danger to the citizens (not just parents) of the state of California.”

So much for the domestic violence industry.  It doesn’t hold water once it’s in “conciliation court.”  They just forgot to tell the mothers this, evidently.

I fully realize that’s “heresy” (but the courts themselves are based on psychological theory and clear intent to undermine the meaning of criminal law and drive business to therapists, etc.) but anyone concerned about my POST-battering relationship, POST-family law custody matters (like we say, it goes, so long as minors and two parties are all alive, until the children reach majority) — I have no criminal record and no criminal intents either.  I showed up to court hearings no matter how scared I was, and was forced to sit at the table with my ex, and from this close range, somehow “negotiate.”

People want to “reform” Family Court.  That’s crazy thinking.  It doesn’t account for the roadkill.

Although I can’t blame the average citizen, who thinks that his /her taxes are going to support something noble or good when it pays these salaries for family courts throughout the land, and more.  When the situation hits them, personally (evidence is that not all close relatives or friends figure it out, either), perhaps the 2 + 2 will = 4.    Who has it helped, and what’s the ratio of helped to roadkill, to children being tortured, children sent into foster care, parents experiencing MIA children, etc.?   That’s a system someone can supposedly MANAGE?

Here’s a summary, a post from long ago (about 1.5 years ago) which I’m amazed it still gets attention, and was today:

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

I posted this on August 17, 2009

This detailed a murder/suicide which occurred FIVE HOURS after the man posted $1,500 bail and was released.  The woman did everything right — almost.  She didn’t leave her job and the area, she didn’t evidently know to insist that if this man was released, she be notified (nor was she, apparently) in fact, perhaps she didn’t have a fast enough learning curve to understand that once provoked by resistance, some men become extremely dangerous, at which point in time, it is imperative to stay alive — and anything short of ENSURING that is risky, even putting job retention ahead of it.
I then in the blog talk back to the various circus of people saying “it spiraled out of control” and so forth, essentially failing to analyze.  THEN I go back approximately 10 years and look at DV murders in that area and in NJ, compare it to the money spent to stop domestic violence, and have to ask, HUH?
There are a few things I noticed on the re-read of my older post, which I may get out later.  For example — that the Prosecutor quoted had been Presiding Family Law Judge, and it had been a civil restraining order.
Is it possible that this very system of civil restraining orders, although they jumpstart safety, are themselves a fail-safe, which still end up with dead bodies afterwards?  How sad – in that this young? woman wasn’t a mother yet, either- – she really could’ve possibly relocated.  It is easier for a single person who doesn’t have to deal with ongoing visitation, custody orders, the children’s change of schools, etc. — to locate, than a woman with children attached.  Not that it’s easy, but it would seem LEGALLY easier.  If she wants to go, they were not married, have no property in common — what could LEGALLY prevent her from leaving?
But it’s not that way when there is a family around, in the eyes of the state.
Meanwhile:  We have a 7500 word post here, and below are the listed (possibly not the latest list, but from the website) PRESENTERS at BMCC IX.
I have to go now, but will comment another time on those that I know of.   It is not an alpha list and I notice that Jennifer Collins (who is a young woman and associated with or running “Courageous Kids” — daughter of HOlly Collins) is on their twice.
Several of these people, I have personally and sometimes several times, talked to about why there is so little tracking of AFCC, fatherhood funding and other things, in their advocacy.
2012 PRESENTERS   Bios to be added shortly

Jennifer Collins

Carly Singer

Michael Bassett, J.D.

Carol Pennington

Liora Farkovitz

Lundy Bancroft- author

Barry Goldstein – author, former attorney

Joan Zorza  – DVLeap, doesn’t blog family law matters

Kathleen Russell*

— *of Center for Judicial Excellence.  Won’t report on AFCC, barely reports on fatherhood funding, but loves high profiles.  Not a mother.

Connie Valentine  (CPPA)

Karen Anderson  (CPPA and her case is detailed in Johnnypumpandle — but this crowd simply ain’t interested.)

Phyllis Chesler  

(if there were better company I’d try and get there this year, to meet her)

Gabby Davis

Loretta Fredericks

Loretta Fredericks in my opinion should not be allowed to present.  She should be put on the spot and have women fire questions about her.  Unfortunately, so few women know ANYTHING about MPDI, Duluth Abuse Intervention Programs, Battered Women’s Justice Project, how much TAGGS says the MPDI (etc.) got (HHS funding) — or the infamous collaboration with the AFCC in “Explicating Domestic Abuse in Custody” (or similar title) which was also public funding.   She also is featured in AFCC as a presenter, i.e., on the conference circuit?   Has she influenced them to understand abuse — or vice versa.  This situation (not her personally — we’ve never spoken) PERFECTLy represents what Liz Richards of NAFCJnet has correctly (my research validates this) calls a DV expert functioning as a “heat shield” for fatherhood providers.  They lend legitimacy where there is non.

Michele Jeker

Maralee Mclean

Angela Shelton

Wendy Murphy

Jennifer Hoult

Sandy Bromley

Renee Beeker  (advocates court watch)

Joshua Pampreen

Nancy Erickson

Karin Huffer

Jason Huffer

Crystal Huffer*

*Huffers talk about and help women deal with Legal Abuse Syndrome).

Holly Collins

Jennifer Collins

Zachary Collins

Garland Waller

**Collins and Waller are central to the conference and high-profile, I believe people know about them.

 

Dara Carlin*

*Formerly DV advocate from Hawaii, then it happened to her.  Didn’t notice that the legislator she was sure was on women’s side actually had close ties to a Fatherhood Commission in Hawaii (a What?).  This was how I learned about Fatherhood Commissions, actually.  She didn’t “Get” it.  Also hadn’t noticed that AFCC was presenting — in Hawaii — on PAS, etc.

Toby Kleinman

Linda Marie Sacks

(mentioned in my 2nd “About This Blog” — how to get to the Supreme COurt citing Dr. Phil, Oprah, and a Radio show onesself was interviewed on, thereby giving the rest of mothers protesting abuse a nice reputation for not being too bright.  Seriously!)

Rita Smith*  

(NCADV Leadership.  NCADV is atop the pile of statewide Coalitions Against Domestic Violence which are state-funded, although not too much funding.  It takes fees from these organizations and sells things, has conferences, etc. Was cited positively by Women in Fatherhood, Inc. which I find interesting …..)

Eileen King  (“Justice for Children” also I think on Linda Marie Sacks case, which Supreme Court refused to hear).

Mo Therese Hannah

(self-explanatory — and running the conference, with help It says from Ms. Miller.  I don’t recoqnize the other names).

Liliane Miller

Raquel Singh

Tammy Gagnon

Louise Monroe

Chrys Ballerano


Hopefully publishing this post won’t cost me what friends or colleagues remain (which is few anyhow), but I always am favorable to truth over friendship, when the latter compromises it and so much is at stake.  This conference, unless it exposes the operational structure, financing, and purposes of the entire family law business enterprise, can probably not help mothers win their court cases, u9nderstand the situation, and will redirect their activism towards asking for more task forces.  We just got this — and not one family law spokesperson on the last one (for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence).
Perhaps they all need a year off, and to go take a starter course from H&R Block, spend some time on their state corporate and charity websites, learn how to write a FOIA, WRITE some, and look at what comes up.  NOTE:  That’s not Rocket science, doesn’t require a Ph.D. and they won’t perish if they actually learn from sources, in tead of as interpreted through people who have things to sell.
I reserve judgment (any further judgment) until I find out who the other presenters are.  Meanwhile, say some prayers for the two children of Mr. Costales and his “estranged wife” he just murdered, while she was complying with a court order in order to have enough to live on after leaving him, this past week in Hemet California — which is in Southern, CA, Riverside County.

WIth Them in Spirit Tomorrow — Pennsylvania Parents Protest Apparent Court Cronyism (12/2/2011, Lackawanna County)

with one comment

 

This information is on a public forum, so I took the liberty of copying it here — from a thread from “Scranton Political Times” “Doherty Deceit Forum

It’s a quick post, but covers topics I’ve been blogging for a long time:

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

PRESS RELEASE SENT OUT AT NOON TODAY

Second Lackawanna County Family Court Kids 4Kash Protest Set For December 2, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Scranton, Pa

The second in a series of demonstrations in what The Protesters have labeled The Lackawanna County KIDS 4 KASH Corruption Scheme will begin at 9am this Friday in front of the Family Court Building at 200 Adams Avenue. The protesters, many of whom are family court litigants, are in disbelief and outraged that President Judge Thomas Munley has not taken any action against the Court Appointed Guardian ad Litem, Attorney Danielle Ross. Unbelievably, Ross who is currently under investigation by the FBI and the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Court (AOPC) is still being assigned new cases every week.

{{WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF PARENTS SIMPLY REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE?  REFUSED TO PAY? AND THE JUDGE THEN TRIED TO INCARCERATE? }}

Their investigation of Ms. Ross was set in motion when a parent named Bruce Levine contacted Detective Michelle Mancuso from the Lackawanna County District Attorneys Office about discrepancies he found on Ross invoices for the services she claimed she provided as Guardian. As fate would have it, right about the same time, a thread directed against Ross called Kids 4 Kash was started by political activist Joseph Pilchesky on his contentious website, http://www.dohertydeceit.com. Fundamental to Pilchesky’s website is The First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech.

The site encourages antagonistic dialogue about current local and global issues that is often times abrasive. Users that post comments on topics typically remain anonymous; therefore, it provides a safe venue for other parents and litigants to share their family court horror stories and eventually their identities with one another. Several of those parents that connected with each other on the website began to turn over Ross’ invoices to the authorities, which eventually lead to the involvement of the United States Attorney General’s Office.

The FBI began their investigation with a subpoena requesting all documents involving each and every case to which Attorney Ross was appointed and a Grand Jury was convened. In days to follow, many additional subpoenas were served upon court employees including the Lackawanna Count Court Administrator, Ron MacKay. When federal agents showed up at MacKay’s office located inside the county’s main Courthouse, he was sequestered and forced to remain in the hallway while agents searched his office. After about an hour, the agents left the Court Administrator’s Office with several boxes of documents.

It is unknown at this time what the FBI confiscated from MacKay’s office. As to why they raided his office, those close to the case strongly believe that the scope of the federal investigation has broadened well beyond the alleged fraudulent billing practices of Attorney Ross. Rumors of case steering and monetary kickbacks are out there.

The status of the AOPC investigation into the Guardian ad Litem Program, as well as Home Evaluation and supervised visitation payments, is unclear at this time despite the fact that on November 2, 2011, AOPC Attorney, Michael Daley, stated in open court that it would be available two weeks ago. To date, a RTK letter that was sent to the Court requesting the report has gone unanswered. Reliable sources within Family Court speculate that there are at least two plausible reasons for the delay. On one hand, there are many who are convinced that the AOPC investigation amounts to little more than a smoke screen used to give the Court a few months to cover its tracks and get its act together. While others believe that public pressure has forced AOPC investigator, Joseph Mittleman, to hold off on finalizing the report. He states that the AOPC is obligated to look into alleged acts of attorney misconduct as well as to conducting interviews with alleged victims of Family Court corruption.

Protests will be held every Friday starting at 9am in front of Family Court. The goal is to bring forth public awareness and gain support in the effort to expose what appears to be a moneymaking racket devised by the members of the Judiciary and several Child Custody/Divorce Professionals who do business with Family Court. The individuals with whom the Court most frequently Orders Family Court litigants to consult are Guardians Danielle Ross and Brenda Kobal, Lackawanna County’s sole co-parenting coordinator, Anne Marie Termini, Kids First presenter, Chet Muklewicz, Court mediator, AnthonyLibassi, Psychologists Drs. Ronald Refice and Arnold Shivenhold, and various child visitation supervisors affiliated with the Scranton Counseling Center.

The Parties who have been forced by Order of the Court to see these providers, attend numerous appointments, whether they need to or not, and pay enormous fees (if they are not declared indigent) have a lot of unanswered questions. Until those questions are answered, the only logical conclusion is that the Court and these providers are unjustly enriching themselves not only with the millions of Federal and State Grant dollars allocated for indigent Lackawanna County Children and Families but also money from private-pay litigants.

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

 

“SHIVENHOLD” I’m fairly sure means “SCHIENVOLD”  who is AFCC leadership:

 

Here’s one filing in which Mr. Shienvold was called as Expert Witness for the Father, who wants primary physical custody of the children, and after the mother submitted to custody reports preceding a “Custody Trial” the mother then, of course, had to make special motions to actually read what was reported about her, and apparently planned to call him up and interview or cross-examine him.  The father then protest — aw heck, look at it yourself.

 

http://www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/Superior/out/a29038_05.pdf  (his name is apparently mis-spelled here, too).

 

I have already posted on the forum that Mr. Scheinvold is a primary player in the Pennsylvania Commission for Justice Initiatives, and a key AFCC person, as was at least one of their judges, and that Harhut, Termini, and (was it Ross?) were presenting in Brooklyn, 2009 together at an “NACC” association meeting on matters related to Guardianship and Domestic Violence.

 

He is ALSO the “President-Elect” of AFCC, meaning his influence will be upon more parents than just those in this area.  I hope they figure this out quickly in time for the next generation of children, that an international association with a checkered history is helping run the courthouses, but right now, most don’t seem too interested in this, they are scrambling to survive, and have not looked up to the horizons.  In other words, for control to operate freely, it’s connections to other control must remain subterranean.  AFCC is hardly “subterranean” when it’s publishing statewide model custody evaluation standards, inventing new fields of practice faster than the previous ones can be caught and complained about (Parenting Coordination) and with personnel (over 3,000 membership) including, for example, at least a few on the California Judicial Council Administrative Office of the Courts.

[AFCC]

President Elect 
Arnold T. Shienvold, Ph.D.
Harrisburg, PA

Arnold Shienvold is the founding partner of Riegler, Shienvold & Associates. Dr. Shienvold received his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Alabama and has specialized in dealing with high-conflict families since he began his practice in 1980. Dr. Shienvold is a member of the American Psychological Association and is a fellow of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association where he also serves on the custody evaluation task force. Dr. Shienvold is a past president of the Academy of Family Mediators and a past president of the Association for Conflict Resolution. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators.

The PA Adminsitrative Office of the Courts and FBI are supposedly investigating the Lackawanna County parents’ complaints, so I hope they take it upon themselves to figure out — quickly — who the Pennsylvania Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is comprised of, paid by, and answerable to.

 

  1. [PDF]

    Commission for Justice Initiatives in Pennsylvania Changing the 

    www15.brinkster.com/ncfcpgh/Report.pdf

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View as HTML
    Arnold Shienvold, Ph.D., brought great understanding of the dynamics of separation, ….. 3 Site visit by Judy Shopp April 5, 2006; Dr. Arnold Sheinvold provides 

    You’ve visited this page 5 times. Last visit: 11/30/11

I don’t know that these parents have yet accepted that a State-Level “commission for Justice Initiatives” report (2007) called “Changing the Culture of Custody” with Mr. Shienvold listed front and center as a consultant actually relates to problems they are having at the county level

 

Arnold Shienvold, Ph.D.


Dr. Shienvold is the founding partner of Riegler • Shienvold and Associates.

Education
Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Alabama. He specialized in child clinical psychology and completed his internship at the Ohio State University Hospital.

Area of Emphasis
Dr. Shienvold has specialized in dealing with high conflict families since he began his practice. He is recognized locally and nationally as an expert in the areas of custody evaluations and family mediation. In addition to his direct clinical practice in those areas, Dr. Shienvold has consulted to public and private agencies, taught and lectured at a multitude of professional conferences and schools and published papers on these topics. Dr. Shienvold continues to see individuals and couples in therapy and he has an active forensic practice. Additionally, Dr. Shienvold has served as a professional facilitator for group meetings.

 

 

Yep.  High-conflict families.  Here’s a website I found in Australia (where AFCC has active membership, FYI) which calls “High Conflict” what it is, if I may quote them.  As an added bonus, I stuck two or three comments on this post, which is a year old now.  I hope that by the time 2012 is halfpast, the people in Scranton area will figure out (accept) what they are dealing with in the Unified Family Courts per se — which is an expense-paid (by txpayers) largely immune from responsibility, self-referring, self-propagating multiple income stream and often tax-exempt cash machine for paid membership of  about 5 different organizations (all playing at monitoring each other, instead of, more commonly, referring each other and providing business referrals to make them look  more expert than they really are.  If “expert” means, learning a business-specific jargon,  and to have a greater conscience about one’s cohorts than one’s clients — then a 12 year old, for example, has already learned to speak his or her own cultural language among peers, and probably knows as much about bullying, gangs, exclusion and arbitrary standards for who is IN and who is OUT.

In order for this field to continue until each generation of Family Court professionals retires (and eventually some will die of old age, though many of the originals are still collecting royalties, probably through Kids’First type operations nationwide), it MUST continue the lie (that’s  L.I.E.) that adult parents are by and large to be treated like misbehaving children, or punished until they play along.

This has been going on SO LONG that what they are studying and conferencing about now is basically a contaminated sample (of people and personalities).  In addition to the many factors of society contributing to any parent’s “psychological profile,” is probably such things as motherless children, children in foster care because there’s an incentive to put them there, kids who run away from abuse because there was no other safe option (they do not all turn out as well as Alanna Krause of Northern California, whose father, once he got custody, sent her away at age 13 to some kind of reform camp), and a series of protective mothers who feel it necessary to flee the US, or the state — although they, too, are quite likely to be hunted down and incarcerated.

 

10 Reasons The Family Court is Not Just About Conflict

1. Family Violence is often referred as “High Conflict”, “Entrenched Conflict” to mask the severity of the situation.

Mentioned in the latest report on Family Violence in Family Courts, high conflict has often been a tool to diminish support for victims within the media and inside the courts andwritten judgments.
For Instance, a judge referred to death threats, property damage and stalking towards the mother as, “High Conflict”:

 

 

Here’s a 3-page outline from a 2007 Texas Meeting of the AAML ( a group which initials anyone with a family law case should look up themselves!)

DEALING WITH CLIENTS WHICH ARE TOO HARD TO LOVE

The presenters gratefully acknowledge the work of Arnold T. Sheinvold, Ph.D. Dr. Sheinvold is the managing partner of Riegler, Shienvold & Associates, a comprehensive psychological practice in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The materials in this presentation were developed and presented by Dr. Sheinvold {{that’s SHIENVOLD}} at the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers’ 2007 Midyear Meeting. The presenters appreciate Dr. Sheinvold’s generosity in sharing his materials with the Texas family law community.

(and lists the personality types — borderline, narcissistic, histrionic, antisocial, etc.)

 

Here’s a 2006 article (abstract, I guess) from the FAMILY COURT REVIEW — which is a publication jointly published by AFCC & Hofstra Univ. in New York, listing this psychologists among others the parents are protesting, a number of AFCC personnel, including Philip Stahl, Ph.D. which virtually guarantees there will be (more) conversation about parental alienation (one of Dr. Stahl’s favorite topics), etc.

  1. Task Force for Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluation,

  2. David A. Martindale Reporter,
  3. Lorraine Martin,
  4. William G. Austin Task Force Co-chairs,
  5. Leslie Drozd,
  6. Dianna Gould-Saltman,
  7. H. D. Kirkpatrick,
  8. Kathryn Kuehnle,
  9. Debra Kulak,
  10. Denise McColley,
  11. Arnold Sheinvold, {{per his website it’s “SHIENVOLD”}}
  12. Jeffrey Siegel,
  13. Philip M. Stahl

Article first published online: 7 DEC 2006

DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-1617.2007.129_3.x

Issue

Family Court Review

Family Court Review

Volume 45, Issue 1, pages 70–91, January 2007

Additional Information(Show All)

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

Ronald Refice

 

A Bit About How It’s Done”  (familycourtmatters Sept. 2011 post)

Here’s one of my former posts showing people samples of how to look things up — corporations, associations, just stay persistent!

Today’s Post is “all over the place” but provides a sampler of how — with as clumsy tools as various states give, the habit of searching for corporations and people who incorporate them, and then comparing boards of directors, whether they actually file tax returns or not, and whether while the press is all about justice, children, and helping resolve conflicts, a view at the nonprofit characterization many times simply categorizes the group as “Board of Trade” “Business Promotion” — which is what it is.

 

Too bad Thomas Szasz professor took up with a cult that’s been literally booted out of a country, the Church of Scientology — but think about what’s being said here:

Thomas Stephen Szasz (play/ˈsɑːs/sahss; born April 15, 1920) is a psychiatrist and academic. Since 1990[1] he has been Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in SyracuseNew York. He is a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as of scientism. His books The Myth of Mental Illness (1960) and The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement (1970) set out some of the arguments with which he is most associated.

 

I wonder how the book compares to Phyllis Chesler’s “Women & Madness”

 

His views on special treatment follow from classical liberal roots which are based on the principles that each person has the right to bodily and mental self-ownership and the right to be free from violence from others, although he criticized the “Free World” as well as the communist states for their use of psychiatry and “drogophobia”. He believes that suicide {{!??!}}, the practice of medicine, use and sale of drugs and sexual relations should be private, contractual, and outside of state jurisdiction.

In 1973, the American Humanist Association named him Humanist of the Year and in 1979 he was honored with an honorary doctorate[2] at Universidad Francisco Marroquín.

 

Who wants a CONFLICT-FREE SOCIETY?  Is this some sort of death-wish, or a wish for a sedated society?  Or a managed society, as opposed to one where leadership is not shut down (because most leaders are going to cause some conflict; in fact some of the most significant leaders around — Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Lincoln, John F. Kennedy,  and others –  (may I say Jesus Christ in this context?) — end up getting assassinated — yet their work lives on.  Most particularly, Gandhi was assassinated, but through NONViolent protest and understanding the economic system, helped get the British Empire out of India.     Maybe all of us should re-read his “moment of truth”  and get to ours, quicker, building upon what others before have actually learned — and not continually recreating from scratch as if the world has no history.

These groups are causing the conflict themselves by a number of habits:

  • It appears to be greed, dishonesty (chronic, though I can’t say all) and wishing to turn our justice system into their personal ATM and Rx-dispensary.  Psychologists can’t force-medicate people (I think), so the next best option is to become a Parent Coordinator adn get off on wrecking kids lives based on the fact that one of their parents disagrees with the other, and ignoring the fact that this might be because one is genuinely dangerous (or simply an _ _ _ hole hell-bent on punishing the other).
  • Using federal grants to assist one side of the party — and this is the fatherhood movement, sorry you honest Dads — to tip the scales.
  • Building courthouses when the rest of the country needs LESS micromanagement, not more of this kind.
Any one seeking to control language seeks to eliminate the First Amendment (typically for gain) and do so through a propaganda-driven war on the unaware.   AFCC has admitted it seeks to control language.  The associated groups do not respect the basic concept of due process — which requires no conflict of interest.

Go, Lackawanna!

I hope that protesters, besides correcting the spelling of “SHIENVOLD” (for credibility reasons), also feel free to search my site reporting on LibassiMediation being built by revising rules of court, into the custody modification form, my comparison of KIDS FIRST to KIDS TURN (California)*

And come to realize that a fifth column of psychologists, psychiatrists (adult, child, whatever) and mental health experts is basically a “Family Court Archipelago.” Even physicists have to examine their fundamental assumptions from time to time (cf. Newton, Galileo, and the recently publicized “String Theory”) not the least by at least examining evidence.  in this field — ONE NEVER HAS TO; It’s just about become THE primary field of the US Government (world’s largest contractor, and debtor) — and there are no right answers.   There is only a caste system:  Paid Expert v. Humble Subject matter).

 

 

 

*which is virtually a training ground for the California Family Court personnel (almost everyone has been on its boards, not to mention a person who was “most-wanted” or close to it as a Tax Evador — Halsey Minor (I think he’s on the Board too), plus the defenders of the high priestess of Satan against the High Priest (LaVey, and I”m using the terms loosely), operating at the time out of the same address were, it seems, Kids Turn was operating (2nd floor, 1242 market Street) and I posted that link also.

 

THE MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS, from ARACHNOID.COM/Psychology

with thanks to its author for presenting another outlook on the “experts” causing the trouble above.

The evidence-based revolution in psychology.

Copyright © 2011, Paul Lutus

For decades there has been increasing evidence that psychologists can’t reliably diagnose or treat mental illnesses, or mental illnesses aren’t objective illnesses as that term is understood, or that psychology has no testable scientific content. Psychologists’ reaction to this long-term trend has been to add more human behaviors to the “mental illness” category, in order not to lose more ground to medicine.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)5, what many call the “Bible” of psychology and its single most important guide to practice, shows this trend clearly — each new edition contains more conditions thought to merit the label “mental illness.” Here is a count of “mental illnesses” included in the DSM by year:*

Year Number of mental illnesses
1952 112
1968 163
1980 224
1987 253
1994 374

Obviously this trend might reflect an increase in our understanding of mental illness, and there might really be hundreds of legitimate mental illnesses. But let’s take a closer look at some conditions listed in the current DSM, conditions thought to require intervention by a mental health professional:

  • Stuttering
  • Spelling Disorder
  • Written Expression Disorder
  • Mathematics Disorder
  • Caffeine Intoxication/Withdrawal
  • Nicotine use/Withdrawal
  • Sibling Rivalry Disorder
  • Phase of Life Problem

Hmm. It seems if you don’t like your older brother, or can’t spell or do math very well, you aren’t just growing up, you’re suffering from a mental illness and need help from a professional. But I favor another explanation — as time passed and psychiatrists and psychologists realized they couldn’t reliably diagnose or cure real mental illnesses, they decided to repurpose themselves as academic tutors, babysitters and hired friends for wealthy patrons.*** For this strategy to work, the DSM needed to include ordinary states of being that could only justify the help of a teacher or sympathetic friend. In other words, in rewriting their profession’s guidebook, for self-serving reasons psychologists deliberately blurred the distinction between everyday problems and mental illness.

**For an account of the struggle to include just a few women in the review board, see “Backlash:  America’s Undeclared War on Women.”  For a bonus, you can also read in this book (probably available at low cost or used, or library) a chapter on Robert Bly and Warren Farrell — after he recanted his prior feminism (Warren Farrell these days wants to start a White House Council on Men and Boys, I heard).  It’s pretty funny.
*** Actually, the statement in blue may be a rational explanation for AFCC’s origins.  They quickly realized that the wealthiest patron around was the United States Government (i.e. those who fund it).  One of its founders was a prison psychologist.  Other hotshots in this in this AFCC association come from (or still work in) psychiatric hospitals.  COmbined with the wonderful reputation the legal field has for ethics and honesty (:  (:, it sounds like a dynamic duo to me:  Psychology plus lawyers, plus judges, most of who probably used to be lawyers anyhow.
profit (apart from sheer conniving and greed, the joy of “getting away with it” and being somewhat close to the top of society, without actually having to do more than rehash the catechism yearly in slightly different terms, and assign outreach coordinators and “evangelists” to connect up with people already ensconced in the judicial and psychological professions, etc.)
ONE FINAL NOTE — ACESTUDY.org
Long-term trauma and abuse (“Adverse Childhood Events”) is going to have an impact on growing children.  As such, abusing children would become literally profitable.  StoppingCourt-Ordered Abuse of Children might be contrary to the purpose of the courts from the start, which was to ensure psychologists increasing respectability, whether earned or not earned.
I don’t want to dismiss anyone’s Ph.D. lightly.  But with a Ph.D. there comes a responsibility to make sure it’s not just the same thing, Piled Higher and Deeper.  And in this particular field, it had very little foundational depth to start with.
This can be seen in the tendency to pompous declarations and mutual self-admiration among many of the associations, and in some cases (I doubt in Dr. Shienvold’s) far too many false credentials.
(That’s all I have time for on this post.)

Yet another AFCC-style wet dream… Someone needs to mop up around here. [‘Conflict Happens'[like in the Seal Beach massacre?]/High-Conflict Institute’, Publ. Nov. 16, 2011]

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This Image from Oct. 2011 AFCC Regional Training Conference (“Pdf” of full conference brochure from AFCCnet.org website~~>)Working with Violent and High-Conflict Families: A Race with No Winners” in Indianapolis added during May 2018 post update. The phrase “high conflict” (no hyphen, only) used 18 times in the brochure. For a change, the word “alienation” was used only twice…

Yet another AFCC-style wet dream… Someone needs to mop up around here. [‘Conflict Happens'[like in the Seal Beach massacre?]/High-Conflict Institute’, Publ. Nov. 16, 2011] (Case-sensitive shortlink here ends “-UD”)

(Some format & minor amount of content updates (such as the image to the right and some others and post title extension starting at the ‘[” added May 14, 2018: I had occasion to reference this post on Twitter). Almost 24,000 words, but still important basic reading though originally written barely two years into this blog:

HAVE YOU HEARD THE LATEST LANGUAGE BLIP FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY & CONCILIATION COURTS CULT?

From the “High Conflict Institute”

CONFLICT HAPPENS

 

No longer are DIVORCEs or FAMILIES “high-conflict” but “People” are.  In fact, the issues are not the issues either.

When someone comes up to you with an issue — he or she (<=the usual application) doesn’t really mean what s/he says and is not to be taken at face value (ask the forensic psychologists).  The REAL problem with family courts isn’t the family courts, and it isn’t even high-conflict families, or high conflict all by its rocky-mountain-high* self.  The REAL problem is high-conflict people.  Buy this book [“Splitting”] to know if you’re dealing with one:

AFCC 47th Annual (2010, Denver), Traversing the Trail of Alienation

<=**AFCC 47th Conference, Denver, CO, June 2010 (“Traversing the Trail of Alienation,” a trail with “Mile-High Conflict and Mountains of Emotions”)

[BELOW: Image link from 2011 broken, update provided 2018 from New Harbinger Publications 5/14/2018, of Mr. Eddy who I notice is also law professor at Pepperdine University (Conservative Christian, has a Pat Boone Center for the Family promoting marriage & relationship classes (the kind run through nonprofits that get HHS grants), etc….]. I also added image of the other author, “Walking on Eggshells” Randy Krieger.  Notice (it’s small print, but visible) “Splitting” as a book says it offers “the legal and psychological information you need.”  Coincidentally, AFCC composed (essentially, if judges are included under “legal”) of lawyers and psychologists/behavioral health practitioners, etc.). ]]

Promo for “Splitting” from New Harbinger Publications

Bill Eddy image from publications page, Click image to enlarge. Note his affiliations.

Randi Krieger, from publications page (for “Splitting” book out 2011)

 

 

 

Splitting
Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder

This book is advertised with others on alienation at the NCRC (more, below), as they are in the same professional circles.  In fact, it appears he’s on the payroll here (2018 comments: link was to Canadian Bar Association.  Search of “high-conflict” brought up just 3 articles, but not accessible without sign-up, which I didn’t at this point).  (or is “Senior Family Mediator”) as well as his own split-off “High conflict institute” (see last sentence at the link I just provided).

Books by William Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Bill Eddy provides Divorce and Family Law Mediation at NCRC as well as training for family law attorneys and other professionals at the High Conflict Institute. Please visit HCI atwww.highconflictinstitute.com for more information on Mr. Eddy’s trainings. He has written numerous books on the subjects of families and high conflict personalities, listed below.
  • High Conflict People in Legal Disputes
  • Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist
  • Understanding & Managing High Conflict Personalities (DVD Set)
  • Don’t Alienate The Kids! Raising Resilient Children While Avoiding High Conflict Divorce
  1. It’s All Your Fault!

Bill sure was ahead of his AFCC time.  While others were simply developing and lobbying for more parenting coordinator rights in Florida, Texas, and wherever — he was writing this book explaining that the Issue is not the Issue, and all the conflict in the family law venue really comes from disordered personalities in the court system.

Protect Yourself from Manipulation, False Accusations, and Abuse

Divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances. When your spouse has borderline personality disorder (BPD), narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), or is manipulative, divorcing can be especially complicated. While people with these tendencies may initially appear convincing and even charming to lawyers and judges, you know better—many of these “persuasive blamers” leverage false accusations, attempt to manipulate others, launch verbal and physical attacks, and do everything they can to get their way.

Splitting is your legal and psychological guide to safely navigating a high-conflict divorce from an unpredictable spouse. Written by Bill Eddy, a family lawyer, therapist, and divorce mediator, and Randi Kreger, coauthor of the BPD classic Stop Walking on Eggshells, this book includes all of the critical information you need to work through the process of divorce in an emotionally balanced, productive way.

I find it odd that he’s working with the author of “Stop walking on Eggshells” which someone gave me about halfway through the divorce fiasco, post-restraining order.  They meant well, but like Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He DO That” — and regardless of some truths it may have held, neither one (conveniently) mentions the custody racket, financial incentive, fatherhood funding, welfare reform or in short anything which would give me a concise narrative of why the courts don’t take death threats followed by family suicide, or a stalking combined with previous death threats and violence, seriously — and insisted on psychologizing all terms.  

People who have lived with this (and I acknowledge it exists) don’t need guides — they need out of the relationship.

Which is precisely what people working with the organization Mr. Eddy helps market through, are not going to let happen.  Nope.  If we wish to detach from a borderline personality, abuser, or simply an ex (and birth happened in there somewhere), we WILL be forced, most likely, to deal with an AFCC-devotee somewhere along the way — or most of the way along the way.

 

I have the book “Stop Walking on Eggshells” and it didn’t take to long to recognize it was an updated rebuttal of a 1970s feminist classic, (shown in 2005 version) Women and Madness (by Phyllis Chesler, PhD)

(Link expired: but see 12/31/1972 Review by Adrienne Rich.  Reading it again now (2018) with my perspective, both experientially in the American family courts (post-battering interventions, 21st century) and having read so much anti-woman, anti-mother, values-driven (garbage) from the same sources she critiqued originally in this book, I have to basically agree. (I also FYI had this book as a young woman).

It asks:

Why are so many women in therapy, on psychiatric medication, or in mental hospitals? Who decides these women are mad? Why do therapists have the power to deem a woman mentally ill when she asserts herself sexually, economically, or intellectually? Why are women pathologized, but not treated, when they exhibit a normal human response to abuse and stress – including the lifelong stress of second-class citizenship?

Phyllis Chesler confronts questions like these and persuasively argues that double standards of mental health and illness exist and that women are often punitively labeled as a function of gender, race, class, or sexual preference. Based on in-depth interviews with patients and an analysis of women’s roles in myths and history, Women and Madness is an incomparable work.

Originally published in 1972, this classic has sold over two-and-a-half million copies. Passionate and informative, with a new introduction that examines the trauma of psychiatric labeling and envisions a psychology of liberation for the ages, this special twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Women and Madness remains frighteningly up-to-date.

By now there should also be one called “Children and Madness,” for the labeling children get when they report abuse, when they are active and assertive, and when they need to be controlled after any of the above.   That’s been documented elsewhere, and comes under

Psychotropic Drug Abuse in Foster Care Costs Government Billions  :

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Written by Let's Get Honest

November 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

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

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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. . . . .

Mile-High Emotions, Abysmal Logic in (and around) Jamison’s SFWeekly articles

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With graphics like  THESE (gaggged and bound woman in a chair drawing, by Fred Noland)and the Broken-child’s arm graphics on earlier article, backlash is guaranteed, even though gag orders have become part of the Family Law weaponry against exposure.  But the article is not talking about Gag orders, although the ACLU has gotten some of them off in family law cases…

(Source:  Article “Family Courts Need Reform, say Judges, Legislators

By Peter Jamison Wednesday, Mar 23 2011

Our March 2 cover story, “Illegal Guardians,” detailed problems in the state family courts’ procedures for investigating allegations of child abuse and spousal battery in divorce proceedings — and four cases in which custody decisions led to children being placed with physically or sexually abusive parents. In one, a 9-month-old boy was murdered by his father after a judge refused the mother’s request for a protective order.

Since then, SF Weekly has spoken with two state officials who have been at the forefront of family court reform. They agreed that the problems need to be addressed, but had different ideas about where to start.

Note:  The title says “Judges and Legislators” and mentions one judge (who is not ‘reforming” but business as usual — as I’ll show — and one legislator, only).

The original one, March 2nd, had this graphic, hardly about to win friends, or encourage rational debate, seen at

California Family Courts Helping Pedophiles, Batterers Get Child Custody

I tried (you can see, on there….)…

Attempt to Trash a person after attempt to demolish reasoning failed:

Even got a piece of hate-mail on here, by someone I deduce came in the door “hating” and with a specific comment on the brain.  It being an open forum, I engaged.  Disengaging might be a little harder — but this does qualify some of the behavior on the anti-Mom side of the debate, at its most vicious when another female is doing the dirty work, posting under “Female with a Brain.”  I questioned, based on the dialogue, what she was doing with hers.  Here’s a sample — posted yesterday evening on this blog:

from “BRAIN supporters.”

You’re identity is being passed around. You thought you were careful, good for you. More than one brain able to post. You are sucm bitch who lost her kids, hate men and spend a very lonely life online. I’ll take an educated guess that you weigh around 240, dye your hair and generally live in sweats – basic trailer trash. I have your address, shall we have coffee? Its not a threat, not anything but confronting and discussing YOU who confronts everyone else seemingly anonymously.

See ya around. I heard pitbulls can bite, careful

I could, generally speaking that as, trailer-talk, designed to cut through — well, I post a lot of prose, and links, surely it can be annoying.  Same poster was mixing up identities of several others on-line, libeled one, and was warned by her about it, etc.  So, that’s why fewer posts recently – I was on the high-traffic California blog getting some information out.  Generally speaking, neutral readers will learn more from the comments (pro, con, and threatening) than the articles themselves.

(note — posted here only for an example of the level of “discourse” at street level around court decisions made in high places)

FamilyCourtMatters gest few commens, but for reference, the SFWeekly terms of use will apply, and any more talk like that of course will not be approved.  Keep your hate to yourself. I’ve already experienced stalking — this woulnd’t be the first threat either, and my appearance, gender, color (or hair color), height, weight, dress, and marital status are not relevant to whether or not someone is paying off one of your legislators, judges, or federal grants to the states program administrators.

Speaking of which….

This is my comment that may or may not be approved at the SFWeekly FOLLOWup article to the March 2nd, 2011 “California Family Courts” one that now has 1,700 comments.

The follow-up article is, essentially, another PR piece, I believe, dodging the primary issues.  However, it’s HERE:

Parental Alienation Syndrome — The Judge Just Isn’t Buying It

The Judge in question was head of the Elkins Family Law Task Force.  And (incidentally) on the Board of Directors of AFCC, an organization which absolutely has bought — or, rather, is selling — “Parental Alienation Syndrome.”  What appears to have brought it is the investigation behind investigative reporting (either that, or someone “bought” the article — a professional favor, or what?  Or is this level of denial FREE, being so common….)

In one California case we examined, the theory was successfully invoked by a pedophile father to get custody of his daughter.

Some fathers’ rights advocates and psychologists defend the legitimacy of PAS, and argue it should be included in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersSF Weekly recently interviewed Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jerilyn Borack, who served on a statewide task force that studied family-court reform, and asked whether she believed PAS should be admissible in court.

Her answer: Nope.

“I don’t think that it is” admissible, she said. “I don’t think that the psychological community will allow their people anymore to use it as a syndrome.

Should I write the Judge and ask her to verify that quote (and say, when it happened, in what context?)

Who do they think she — or for that matter, the Elkins Family Law Task force IS?  Guess no one looked to close:

I just Submitted – will it be posted?:

Mr. Jamison, have you read any of the 1600+ comment son the last post and thought about their contents?  Because most readers seem highly involved in the courts, and many have probably been thinking about this field (and studying it, and it’s various nonprofits and professionals, pro & con PAS) than you have, apparently.

Or has the entire series of articles, PR work for one theme, already been structured, and will go ahead as planned?  This article mentions a Judge Jerilyn Borack, lightly, and Mark Leno.  I spent time last night looking up Leno’s funding at maplight.org, and found out that Judge Borack is on the Board of Directors of one of THE premier PAS-promoters around, the AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) who are, virtually, the heart-throb of the family law system, and have been identified as very likely proceeding from a Los Angeles County Judges’ (slush fund) decades ago.  So at what point can “investigative reporting” protesting “PAS” be labeled, correctly, plain old “negligent”?  If you’re concerned about PAS, then find out WHO is promoting it.

Here is a link to the 2009 AFCC conference brochure, co-sponsored by the Santa Clara County Superior Court (do you think this might relate to a Santa Clara County case reporting in the last article?)

The California Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Invites You to Attend

AFCC – CA ANNUAL CONFERENCE February 6 – 8, 2009 Co-Sponsored by Santa Clara County Superior Court

Bridge Over TrOuBled WaTers

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Above the Turmoil

Addressing Conflicts Between Parties, Professionals and Paradigms”

And this is what the organization’s purpose is (self-described):”$205 single/double  (may explain why low-incomie parents, or parents devastated through years of family court litigation, perhaps, didn’t attend.

The other reason – so few advocates told them about this organization!Professionals dedicated to improving lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.”{{Note — this doens’t exactly highlight the due process and legal functions….}}

Who is AFCC?  Well, brochure describes the organization:

AFCC California Chapter

Although AFCC is a truly international organization, it began in California in 1963. Its original purpose was to provide continuing, specialized education for judicial officers, attorneys, and mental health professionals working with family court issues. Now there are over 3,600 members of AFCC in approximately 24 countries, and its headquarters are located in Madison, Wisconsin. Indeed, most AFCC activity takes place at national and international levels. California, with nearly 400 members, is one of ten U.S. states with a local chapter. The California Chapter has served an important role in the state’s training of family-law judicial officers, mediators, evaluators, counselors, and attorneys.”

 

Oh, not worth mentioning in a press release about poor custody decisions or what might have led to them …..

.ANd here’s (on this brochure) is Judge Borack, mentioned in your article:”

AFCC-CA Board of DirectorsSherrie Kibler-Sanchez, LCSW – President Diane E. Wasznicky, J.D. – President-Elect Honorable Thomas Trent Lewis – Vice President Susan Ratzkin, J.D. – TreasurerCarl F. Hoppe, Ph.D. – Secretary ***Honorable Jerilyn Borack – Past President Jeanne Ames, LMFT – Historian”


Here’s you (the article), quoting her opinion on PAS:

“asked whether she believed PAS should be admissible in court.Her answer: Nope.”I don’t think that it is” admissible,** she said. “I don’t think that the psychological community will allow their people anymore to use it as a syndrome.”

**why isn’t the word “admissible” in quotes also?  Has our Judge been misquoted, or said “I don’t think it is” in answer to some other question?

By Contrast, here’s some of the conference material — and this is typical:(I searched “alienation” on this conference agenda (it’s on most of them.  It occurred 10 times.  For example, here’s an upcoming workshop:)

“W12 Interventions with Alienated Children and their Parents: Evolution and Innovation”

This workshop will present an overview of recent research on alienation and the range of interventions being used with families with alienated children. Included is an update on the family-focused model of therapy often ordered by the Court and frequently implemented in cases of alienation. The ways in which the evolving understanding of alienation and its various components has shaped the interventions and necessitated the development of innovative interventions will be described. The factors contributing to choosing the intervention that best matches the family’s needs, and the factors associated with better outcomes will be outlined.Presenters: Steven Friedlander, Ph.D.; Marjorie Gans Walters Ph.D.; Karen Horwitz, M.A., MFT,

I can’t bold words on-line, but do you notice a certain recurring theme, and attitude there?

So, assuming you have quoted this highly-positioned judge correctly, she is talking out of both sides of her mouth.  OR, knows that –whether or not it’s admissible in a courtroom is irrelevant.  Because the intent of this organization is to run “interventions,” where possible, for “alienation.”  So what if it’s junk science, or inadmissible?  With the amount of excess characters around the courtroom (and expensive conferences where they can get together the next set of policy for each other), who cares?

NB:  California Judicial Council / AOC /CFCC also boasts a few AFCC members of this group.  They are not a neutral, “best interests of the children” organization.  They are a self-service, business-propagating trade organization that has a captive clientele, and gets government funding to add to the business they drum up.

In 2010, the conference (then only $165) was in Denver, and even bore the title of “alienation”!”

47th Annual Conference Denver, ColoradoTraversing the Trail of AlienationRocky RelationshipsMountains of EmotionMile High Conflict”

Denver is a significant locale for groups helping run the courts.  Time you found out about them (email me, I’ll send a list).  It’s becoming clear to mothers, not just fathers (who should stop complaining — they have AFCC and Fathers Rights orgs in their camp, or so they assume, already) — that these are simply PR pieces in an alternative newspaper calling attention to the organizations behind them.

ANOTHER POINT:  The graphics in both articles are going to naturally draw fire from opposing viewpoints.  I want you to be alert to the factor that this is going to HURT some mothers, individually, in a backlash which may hit home personally — or, may hurt their children in custody of someone who is tired of this type of reporting.

The gray adult hand BREAKING a child’s arm on a purple background, and this one (though I agree, gag orders happen, and as a mother, I felt gagged in my own court case– no one cares about evidence in there) — are violent, emotional, and will drag down the conversations.This is a lose/lose situation for the litigants with minor children still and open court cases — and a “win/win” for both sets of advocating nonprofits and professionals.

What was your real intent in this?  Please have a heart-to-heart somewhere.  We are blogging, and eventually, these blogs are going to make articles like this look as foolish as they are.It’s not about PAS.  That’s the excuse.  It’s also not primarily about domestic violence (sorry, but there is an overriding theme).  It’s about business for those in the business of failing to fix the family court system.  These already have been times that tried OUR souls.  Until you get to that point, I doubt anything I wrote will sink in.I’m not going to continue posting on this article as on the last one.  I will blog, though.  This tunnel vision is outrageous.

Even a site “In the Best Interests of the Child” (local, I believe, to Bay Area, and run by professionals) took the time to rehash someone else’s work on this AFCC organization:This is a good primer.  Take a look:

http://www.stopcourtorderedchildabuse.org/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/scoca/newpage.pl?h=7&p=1&v=off&l=English

Time to start asking why no one, almost, even bothers to report on this organization!

Note.  This blog (though not well-formatted) is a gold-mine of references, and points of reference for those willing to look.  I may not be investing a lot more time in it from here on, have other ideas of how to effect some court reforms, and leave it up as an FYI site (as well as record of my opinions on these things). I’ve heard that it has some judges running a little scared (I don’t see that all the Crisis in the Courts movement really has) — which tells me, it’s a little closer to the mark than some.

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

“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.
. . .
martinplaut

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