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Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family –and "Conciliation" — Courts' Operations, Practices, and History

Archive for January 2010

The Profit in Nonprofits, Phoebe Factoids and 2 men in Albany, GA

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 Surgeon Dr. John Bagnato stands outside Puntney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga.

Surgeon Dr. John Bagnato stands outside Puntney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga  {{First link, below…}}

NOT-FOR-PROFIT hospitals are actually for-profit hospitals, according to the new documentary Do No Harm. Rebecca Schanberg, who produced and directed this insightful film, tells the story of the two men who blew the whistle on Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga

Charles Rehberg, a certified public accountant, and John Bagnato, a surgeon, are two ethical, humble and honest guys who stumble across financial information showing that Putney Hospital has $2.6 billion in cash and transferred millions to offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.

. . . And I stumbled across that video on late-night TV…

ONE OF MY MORE IMPORTANT POSTS, if you “GET” this.  Why are our states broke and cutting back welfare?  No really, why? 

Didn’t we give the IRS, at the office, at our faith institution or charity, aren’t we upstanding citizens?  Aren’t we Democrats (Republicans, Independent), don’t we volunteer at the local schools?  So why are the schools, social services, and such always so broke, and the prisons so full that the Guv (CALIF) says, let’s send ‘em back to Mexico (and isn’t really kidding about that)…  Who’s kidding WhoM?

Well maybe some people got this information in high school or college, or shortly thereafter, but I didn’t.  I’ve been working for nonprofits (but much smaller ones) most of my adult professional life too.  Then after leaving abuse, I finally started seeking some help from them.  Actually, after entering the family law system, that’s when I REALLY needed nonprofit help.    . . . But it’s an almost impenetrable system at many levels

This article points to partly, why. 

OK, pay attention folks (those who want to make a difference in the family court arena — this affects why some of us remain broke, even if our family isn’t stuck in a lawsuit, or has lost someone to domestic violence, or years to investigating child abuse, etc.  This is why you can NOT leave it up to the nonprofits or the experts and get about your way hoping someone else will.  At least, so I maintain.

There may be hope if enough people will follow THIS angle of approach, and let go of the pathos element, which, though real, isn’t going to move a judge who is in a system of bribes, and should NOT move judges anyhow — they are to judge facts, evidence, and law.

Because of this format and my time, I can only post brief links.  If you have some bloodhound left in you, or can smell the trail, I most certainly am putting out footprints, and more than enough breadcrumbs on this blog to help others.  MOreover, because I am currently also dealing with renewed stalking (what else is “new” in this situation), I’m highly motivated to put up what I learn shortly after I learn it, and worry about format later, if all. 

I’ve been wanting to post about the Phoebe Factoids, Dr. John Bagnato, and CPA Charles Rehberg in Albany Georgia.  What two men who have some research skills (and a livelihood, obviously) can do.  They also later hired gold-star (and later, in prison for attempting to bribe a judge — this seems to be kind of routine, I am starting to learn) Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, who won lawsuits against tobacco and asbestos. 

They then became themselves the subject of retaliatory charges, and worse, such that they ALSO had to hire a bodyguard for the family.  Good grief!

So you might want to consider that in the next crusade to audit a large corporation…

These two men (a Dr. who simply wanted to set up a private practice, and an attorney), were also discovering, in shock, about the state of NONprofit hospitals in Georgia (and with ramifications across the United States), was not only how very, very profitable it was indeed, but how the ample profit made by nonprofits was not exactly motivating them to help the poor and needy.  IN fact a whole different standard applied there….

They used GUIDESTAR.  They researched, and kept on probing. 

Lightbulbs went off in my brain as to what’s going on in the (1) Healthy Marriage/Fatherhood/Abstinence/Access Visitation arena (themselves out of control, and still recruiting people to justify those ongoing grants) and (2) on the converse side, by now, the Domestic Violence folk, TOO! 

Especially as I was just this past week attempting to get help from one of them, whose recruitment brochure was in the courthouse.  Another recruitment brochure for the fatherhood stuff was in a local food bank, which didn’t exactly make my day — either having to go there, or finding recruitment flyers to help more women have the troubles I’ve had in the same system…

I BELIEVE that if enough INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS had the courage to audit, report, and confront, we’d to a lot more than the complaining, testifying, and expecting the system to self-correct.  Come on, folks, has that ever been the way of any government since the start of government?  And nonprofits are taking government funding (and are, obviously, tax-exempt) — this includes religious institutions, too — and are giving some of it back in the form of services.  I said SOME…..

Here are some links.  This is all over the web, and you can certainly look into it yourself also, and (I say) should.   And do this BEFORE you refer a friend or relative to the local shelter, domestic violence advocacy agency, or anything NONprofit that is recruiting people to get helped by it.  Nonprofits are not answerable to their clients (they just need warm bodies), they are answerable to their funders.  GOT THAT?  It’s still business, just a different structure.

OK (by the way, I’m not a socialist, though that’s where this article appeared):

(1)

The for-profit non-profits

Helen Redmond reviews the new documentary Do No Harm, which exposes how millions of dollars are made in “non-profit” health care.

June 17, 2009 | Issue 700

Surgeon Dr. John Bagnato stands outside Puntney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga.  (PHOTO above)

NOT-FOR-PROFIT hospitals are actually for-profit hospitals, according to the new documentary Do No Harm. Rebecca Schanberg, who produced and directed this insightful film, tells the story of the two men who blew the whistle on Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga.

{{READ the whole link….}}

Rehberg and Bagnato discover that the hospital charges the uninsured more than the insured and aggressively hounds and sues patients who can’t pay. As a result, thousands of patients have had their wages garnished, leaving many of them destitute. This is how hospital executives get rich–on the backs of poor, uninsured patients.

. . . 

And then, just like in a John Grisham novel, things get legal, ugly and scary. Rehberg walks out to the parking lot after work one night, and a vehicle pulls up and blocks his car. Two men jump out, identify themselves as FBI agents, call out his name and say that they have been investigating him. The men–who in reality were no longer with the FBI–say they work for Putney and ask him to get in their car and go to a meeting. If he cooperates, they promise the hospital won’t file a lawsuit against him.

Wisely, Rehberg doesn’t get in the car. As they leave, he’s warned, “If you’re not smart enough to do this for yourself, you should for your wife Wanda and your lovely family.” A bodyguard is hired to watch over Rehberg’s family.

Bagnato receives suspicious e-mails and phone calls from someone who hangs up every time he and his wife pick up, and the lock in his front door falls out.

The scare tactics and intimidation don’t work, and Bagnato and Rehberg hire Dickie Scruggs, the famous lawyer, who filed a class-action lawsuit against the tobacco companies and won one of the largest settlements ever.

Putney Hospital lawyers go on the offensive and file a lawsuit for $66 million against Rehberg. Next, the two men are indicted on trumped-up, ludicrous criminal charges of burglary, assault and harassing phone calls. Eventually, the charges are dismissed.

. . .

DO NO Harm exposes an aspect of the health care crisis that, until recently, few had heard of. Many assumed that non-profit hospitals operated as good Samaritans and delivered lots of free or low-cost care to the uninsured. But 85 percent of hospitals in the U.S. are non-profit, and most go after patients who don’t pay their medical bills by suing them, garnishing their wages and putting liens on their homes.

According to the documentary, in Maryland alone from 2003 until 2008, non-profits filed 132,000 lawsuits, won $100 million in judgments and put liens on 8,000 homes. It is little wonder why the majority of people who file for bankruptcy do so because of they are unable to pay their medical bills.

The class-action lawsuit that Bagnato and Rehberg filed forced a few hospitals to provide more free and discounted care to the uninsured. The tax-free status of “non-profit” hospitals that make millions in profits is now being questioned across the country.

For example, the University of Chicago Hospital receives almost $58 million in state and federal tax breaks but only provides about $10 million in charity care. A grassroots coalition in Chicago is fighting to make the hospital provide more free care to the poor and uninsured.

Bagnato and Rehberg’s persistence and courage to speak up on behalf of patients being fleeced by rich, non-profit hospital corporations should be an inspiration to all of us fighting for fundamental health care reform. We need more whistle-blowers like them.

You GOT that?

While we fight over He Said/She Said, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, etc. (and a good fight it is)  WHO Is laughing their way to the bank, in some cases, or working in nonprofits without realizing (middle level, street level, caseworker level) what is actually happening, long-term to the clients served, and where the funds are going.    Check out the IRS, and then get things AUDITED.  If you dare.  

And if you don’t dare, then the next time someone is tempted to, again, make the inane comment “why doesn’t she just leave?”  “Why can’t they just get along?”  and so on, DON’T.  How’d you like to stand up to, and “out” an in-home terrorist?  Well, maybe she doesn’t like to, either.  Maybe she’s brave, but doesn’t want family members or associates hurt.  These guys hired a bodyguard; they COULD because somehow, they still had income.  I suspect they had their families standing behind them at night..   etc.

(2)

Here’s the website to the documentary:

(from “About the Film” page):

Rebecca Schanberg

Daniel Alpert

Susanne Suffredin

Dana M. Kupper

Do No Harm tells the story of two reluctant whistleblowers in a small Georgia town who endure relentless attacks as they struggle to draw national attention to hospital corruption and the plight of the uninsured.

At the center of this story is Phoebe Putney, a non-profit hospital in Albany, Georgia whose influence is felt by most residents – everyone knows someone who works at Phoebe, owes Phoebe money, or who has been to the hospital for treatment. In 2003, Dr. John Bagnato and accountant Charles Rehberg stumble upon evidence that the hospital is overcharging uninsured and indigent patients and is using aggressive collections tactics to recover costs. Their subsequent investigation uncovers millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts and lucrative for-profit businesses under the control of the non-profit hospital – not only at Phoebe, but also at non-profit hospitals around the country. And shockingly – this is all entirely legal.

When these discoveries become public, Bagnato and Rehberg become the targets of threats and intimidation, and are eventually prosecuted by local authorities for blowing the whistle on the hospital’s practices.  With their reputations and livelihoods on the line, Bagnato and Rehberg must confront what they’re willing to sacrifice to bring about justice.

(3)  (Dec. 2005)

STARTLING REVELATIONS ABOUT THE FACTOIDS PROSECUTION: DA TO BE EMBARRASSED BY REHBERG & BAGNATO CASE

My Photo

This site tells more:

(This column will appear in the December 29, 2005 The Albany Journal)

I am now the proud possessor of all of the famous Phoebe Factoids. Some are funny. All are thought provoking. None are criminal.

On December 15th and 16th The Albany Herald devoted two straight days of front page, top of the fold coverage to the indictment and booking of Albany accountant Charles Adam Rehberg and physician Vito John Bagnato for six misdemeanor counts of harassing phone calls, one count of aggravated assault on physician John Hotz, and one count of burglary of Dr. Hotz’s home at 1614 Lynwood Lane. What the Herald and local television didn’t report at the time were the details that make this story unique in the annals of criminal prosecutions. After doing a little digging and asking a few questions, I discovered some fascinating facts about the “Phoebe Factoids” prosecution:

* The harassing phone call statute, which the local media didn’t bother to report, only includes “persons” as victims, not corporations or “offices.” The pertinent portion of the statute, (OCGA) §16-11-39.1, defines “harassing phone calls” as occurring

“if such person telephones another person repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of annoying, harassing, or molesting another person or the family of such other person;“

Yet four counts of the indictment allege that the “victim” was something other than a person: “Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital” (Count 1);; “Sullivan Group” (Count 4); “Bruce Melton Oxford Construction Company” (Count 5); and “Albany Land Company, Inc.” (Count 6). These counts are almost certain to be dismissed before trial.

 

POINTS:  This writer did some fact-checking.  It seems he knows some law, too, wh ich we all should!

Point:  The hospital is a prime employer in the area, and when they began covering the audit, (per the film, as I recall), naturally they lost significant advertising revenue.  In other words, it COST the newspaper to tell the truth re: a justice situation.

Here’s more, and I want readers who listened to the last State of the Union address (or read it), and those who are fighting to preserve music, art, library or sports in local schools, or social services for the indigent, which are all being cut (as transit FARES go up and SERVICES go down in urban and suburban areas — in other words, as with the Phoebe situation, WHO gets socked in the gut hardest?  Those who can least afford it…., obviously.  What, is someone going to kick a politician in the butt, really?  ??  Or a judge?    (Only if someone gets too close to home, after which the others associated will quickly distance themselves from the supposed aberration in the system, that one unethical bad apple in the basket of an otherwise noble enterprise….)

* All citizens have a First Amendment right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Here’s an excerpt from a FACTOID sent to Congressman Bishop’s office:

“In an editorial January 7 [2004] Albany Herald Editor Kay Read acknowledged a serious problem facing our State- the Medicaid program is $173 Million short of funds… In our opinion, the solution is obvious. Phoebe Putney … has accumulated massive cash reserves due to years of excessive profits… Phoebe alone reported almost $217 million in the bank when it filed its 2002 Federal information return… The solution to Georgia’s Medicaid budget problem is simple- reduce Medicaid payments to public hospitals with excess reserves and profits, and redirect these funds to other providers… Phoebe alone has enough excess funds to solve the entire State of Georgia Medicaid crisis!”

* One of the more obvious discrepancies between the harassing phone call statute and the allegations in the indictment is that the defendants aren’t alleged to have made telephone calls. People don’t “answer” fax machines- unless they want an ear splitting electronic sound inflicted on their brains. Sending a document via a fax line is no more a telephone call than sending an e-mail via the Internet- which also piggybacks on phone lines.

There are more links in this study, but it is ONE case study.

NOW, while I’m on the topic of nonprofit funding PROFITS, a little bird told me to (again) check TAGGS.hhs.gov for Responsible Fatherhood Funding. 

So I will!  And in future posts, I may get around to some info re: the attorney in this case, Mr. Scruggs, who Wikipedia describes thus:

Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs (born May 17, 1946) is a former A6A naval aviator, a prominent trial lawyer, one of the richest men in Mississippi, and the brother-in-law of former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Scruggs first came to the public eye after successfully suing the asbestos industry on behalf of ill shipyard workers. He later represented the state of Mississippi in the tobacco litigation of the 1990s.[1][2]

Scruggs was indicted for attempted bribery in 2007 and in 2009. He pleaded guilty in March 2008, and again in February 2009. Scruggs was sentenced to 5 years in prison on June 27, 2008 by U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers; and on February 10, 2009, Judge Glen H. Davidson sentenced him to 7 years for the second scheme, to run concurrently

Personal life

Scruggs was born in Brookhaven, Mississippi, on May 17 1946, but grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi.[1] In 1971 he married Diane Thompson, a sister of Tricia Thompson Lott, wife of Trent Lott. The sisters are close, and their families often spent holidays together.[5]

Scruggs lived in a five-million-dollar mansion in Oxford, Mississippi.[6] In 2003, he bought the upper floor of a building on Courthouse Square in Oxford in which he housed the Scruggs Law Firm.[6]

Scruggs brought a certain élan to Oxford, and politicians regularly came through on fund-raising quests, Joe Biden, Tom Daschle, Susan Collins, and Harry Reid, among them.[7]

Scruggs and his wife, Diane, were ardent supporters of the University of Mississippi, making large donations to several organizations on campus. Scruggs Hall, which currently houses the Music department, was named in their honor. The Scruggs’ name was removed from the building following Scruggs guilty plea to bribery in March 2007. The building is now called the “The Music Building.”

(Smile…..)  His son isn’t much better, but helped blowing the whistle on him.  ANYHOW, he DID get the facts out…. 

 

 

Written by Let's Get Honest

January 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Women at War.. They fight, bleed, save lives, sometimes lose their own, get raped & assaulted (incl. by their own), have PTSD, and get misdiagnosed. Sound like DV yet?

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This is so well written, NYT page A-1 and then 2-page spread with diagrams on pages 20-21, and I felt sensitively also, it almost feels wrong to pick a part to quote.  . . . . I’m posting it because, face  it, women can be tough, and they {{oops, “we”}} often do jobs outside their job description — alongside men.  [[They raise Presidents...]]

They also suffer post-traumatic stress like men (a related issue to ours here, obviously), and obviously they bleed too, and die.  And save lives.

G.I. Jane Stealthily Breaks the Combat Barrier
August 16, 2009

New York Times

by Lizette Alvarez

Regarding Iraq:

We literally could not have fought this war without women” said Dr. Nagl, who is now president of the Center for a New American Security, a military research institution in Washington.

Of the two million Americans who have fought in these wars since 23001, more than 200,000 of them, or 11 percent, have been women.

Like men, some women have come home bearing the mental and physical scars of boms and bullets, loss and killing.  Women who are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, appear to suffer rates of post-traumatic stress disorder comparable to those of men, a recent study showed. . . . . . . .

More than anything, it is seeing women under fire that has changed attitudes.

 

Other things that women at war do is sometimes get pregnant, and sent home.  THAT’s changing the face of things.  They also get raped, sometimes by their fellow-soldiers.  (I personally know of two women vets who experienced this).

This quiet change has not come seamlessly — and it has altered military culture on the battlefield in ways large and small. Women need separate bunks and bathrooms.

 They face sexual discrimination and rape, and counselors and rape kits are now common in war zones. Commanders also confront a new reality: that soldiers have sex, and some will be evacuated because they are pregnant.

Nonetheless, as soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, women have done nearly as much in battle as their male counterparts: patrolled streets with machine guns, served as gunners on vehicles, disposed of explosives, and driven trucks down bomb-ridden roads. They have proved indispensable in their ability to interact with and search Iraqi and Afghan women for weapons, a job men cannot do for cultural reasons. The Marine Corps has created revolving units — “lionesses” — dedicated to just this task.

A small number of women have even conducted raids, engaging the enemy directly in total disregard of existing policies.

 

AND, second, THIS article,

Women’s scars of War.”

Female veterans face heightened problems upon return home.

By Jessica Yadegaran, Bay Area News Group…

Well, it won’t load today.  But search that title, January 17, 2010.

When Retired Army Staff Sgt. June Moss returned from Iraq, she had to explain to her children why she coudln’t hug them.  Anty embrace longer than two seconds made her skin feel like it was on fire.  . . . .

Moss, then 32, was misdiagnosed with anxiety and depression.  She suffered for years until a doctor finally told her she had post-traumatic stress disorder, a common reaction to military combat.  Moss says that had she been a man, the diagnosis might have been swifter. 

“They probably thought, “Oh, you’re a woman.  You must have depression.”

 

When imagining a struggling war veteran, it’s likely few people picture a young woman such as Moss, who was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. But women make up 15 percent of active-duty military members, and the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that by the end of 2020, women will represent 10 percent of the nation’s veteran population.

And though military and congressional policy says women can’t participate in direct ground combat, women carry guns, and use them. They drive Humvees hit by improvised explosive devices. They interrogate, and witness bloodshed. But for women, there is a major difference. They come home to a society that for the most part doesn’t understand — or accept — that they’re serving in the line of fire.

As a result, the feelings of isolation can be even more overwhelming, especially since a woman is often one of few in her unit, says Natara Garovoy, program director of the Women’s Prevention, Outreach and Education Center for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

Fear of assault

Complicating matters, some female soldiers live in fear of being attacked by one of their own. In 2008, the VA reported that one in five women screened for military sexual trauma had been sexually harassed or assaulted by a fellow soldier.

WHERE is the safe place, at this point?  We’re talking, daily life…  This indeed does start to sound like domestic violence at home, for civilians…

Moss did little alone, whether it was burning confidential papers or taking out the trash. But she still feared for her safety, especially at night. “You already feared for your life,” Moss says, “but the thought of a soldier attacking another soldier?”

The mother of two spent eight months in 2003 as a light-wheel vehicle mechanic with the Third Infantry Division. As she drove through bustling marketplaces, often under aerial or ground fire, she clutched the steering wheel, scanning for suicide bombers. To get through those drives, she prayed.

“I was calling to God really heavily,” Moss says. “I was scared for my life every day, not knowing if I was going to come home to my children and what loss they would have to bear. So I just had to have my wits about me and believe in my training.

Back at the base, Moss struggled with her identity. She was a soldier, wife to a soldier (her now ex-husband, who was also in the Army), her family’s primary caregiver and a mechanic. Still, she tried to blend in, especially since she was the only woman in her unit. She cut her hair short. She wore boxer shorts and big T-shirts to hide her figure. She tried to be overly tough and stand up for herself, she says, particularly when male soldiers made off-color remarks or unwanted gestures.

“You just have to know when to say, ‘Stop. I don’t appreciate that,’ ” Moss says.

Reconciling identity is among the biggest issues Tia Christopher sees in her work with female veterans. As the women veterans coordinator for Swords to Plowshares’ Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Project, Christopher helps homeless and low-income women obtain medical care, housing and job training upon returning from war.

“So many of my female clients who were in Iraq put up with things, even injuries, because they don’t want to be that girl (who complains),” she says. “They soldier on and silently bear that burden. But you can lose a certain amount of your femininity.”

 

Friends, visitors — without diminishing what these women are doing, their guts, and their issues, I have to say there are some parallels in quality (if not degree?) with leaving abuse, and then going into a court system which requires the feminine submissive pose “or else” at some level; you just can’t get along….      

OR, having PTSD from BOTH the former violence, the risk to one’s kids (specially after custody switch and bait) and THEN being stuck in front of people who don’t understand you really ARE in the line of fire, and characterized, in print, according to a standard that doesn’t take into account one’s need to keep children and self alive.

I certainly can identify with swiftly changing identity. . I reFUSE to let others identify me, as much as possible, and I try not to settle into a routine persona, either, left over from former days. 

Add to this, sometimes:  Often it’s an entire career or lifestyle change as well. . . . Talk about multi-tasking!!  Domestic violence alone can lead to homelessness and death, IN it, or LEAVING it, and is a prime cause of poverty (this has been studied).  If not, the years in the family law system will help that along some….

And yet, consider:  Almost the entirety of the family law system is just that:  characterization of the parties, and their kids, and the interrelationships– particularly psychological.  That’s what it’s about.  NOT “saving lives,” but Designing Families.  (And, lining some pocketbooks, I still assert, of those who do the labeling, and decide who’s naughty & who’s nice…   for a price…)

The tactics used on women in abuse, and in POW situations have been compared, and have similarities.  And similar effects too.  You do not come out the same.  Stronger, with time, let’s hope, but NOT the same.

And it’s not a paying job, either, leaving abuse….

See also “Legal Abuse Syndrome” (Karen Huffer) who has studied this impact of the family law system on our psyches. . . .   And self-appointedfool.org.

Also see:  http://www.womenofthemilitary.com/ (I haven’t yet, but:

Kate Hoit, a female soldier, comes home from Iraq, discovers that America has a distorted view of women in the military, and makes a documentary to tell the truth of what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s military.  

 

Well, I think those are two good articles (& one documentary, I’m sure), and well worth a read

The NYT, I hear, is going to start charging for access to the on-line site, so better sooner than later.

 

Who’s Your Daddy? Er, your Mommy? er. . . . Let the Courts Order…

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This NYT article from Dec. 13th is overdue for posting.  A story of how important motherhood really IS and what lengths a mother (whether financial,  or surrogate — neither with any biological relationship) will go to protect their own.

Sounds like, here, both the people who PAID for the babies (they were twins) and the surrogate mother (no biological relationship) were happily married.  And it would seem in both cases, employed…Surrogacy is a job…

 Anyway, I presented some “teaser” information.  Check out the article (multiple links and graphics), and just ask yourself, what are the responsible fatherhood folk going to do with THIS one? 

Building a Baby, With Few Ground Rules

Uncertain Laws on Surrogacy Can Leave Custody at Issue.

Unable to have a baby of her own, Amy Kehoe became her own general contractor to manufacture one.

For Ms. Kehoe and her husband, Scott, the idea seemed like their best hope after years of infertility.

Working mostly over the Internet, Ms. Kehoe handpicked the egg donor, a pre-med student at the University of Michigan. From the Web site of California Cryobank, she chose the anonymous sperm donor, an athletic man with a 4.0 high school grade-point average.

On another Web site, surromomsonline.com, Ms. Kehoe found a gestational carrier who would deliver her baby.

Finally, she hired the fertility clinic, IVF Michigan, which put together her creation last December.

“We paid for the egg, the sperm, the in vitro fertilization,” Ms. Kehoe said as she showed off baby pictures at her home near Grand Rapids, Mich. “They wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for us.”

[[So far, so good . . . . Everything is worked out.  Looks like the courts, the police, and the parental education folk will have to go look somewhere else, as well as supervised visitation supervisors....]]

 

A month later, a police officer supervised as the Kehoes relinquished the swaddled infants in the driveway.

Bridget and Ethan are now in the custody of the surrogate who gave birth to them, Laschell Baker of Ypsilanti, Mich. Ms. Baker had obtained a court order to retrieve them after learning that Ms. Kehoe was being treated for mental illness.

“I couldn’t see living the rest of my life worrying and wondering what had happened, or what if she hadn’t taken her medicine, or what if she relapsed,” said Ms. Baker, who has four children of her own.

Now, she and her husband, Paul, plan to raise the twins.

The creation of Ethan and Bridget tested the boundaries of the field known as third-party reproduction, in which more than two people collaborate to have a baby. Five parties were involved: the egg donor, the sperm donor, Ms. Baker and the Kehoes. And two separate middlemen brokered the egg and sperm.

 

Well, that’s not my main post this afternoon….  Interesting reading, though.  I poke fun at Designer Families from the Top-Down perspective.  But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet . . . .

 

What a Family Institute tells men . . .

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While I’m on the theme of “scam artists,” and the concept of Conciliation Court (mediation, etc.) being inappropriate for certain situations, particularly where domestic violence or child abuse has already been involved, let me share with you what I found entering a certain California Law Library.

This was on a brochure about “Divorce and Family Law Related Info on the Web,” and under “California Family Law Institute” , which is described as “divorce information from a man’s perspective selling legal services and videotapes.”  Look at this man’s resume (He’s also been in the Marine Corps 1959-64, was voted “United Fathers, Custody Litigator of the Year”

(of course in the title, it’s a FAMILY institute, right, it’s for the KIDS, really). 

He was:

“First CA attorney to file suit against an abducting parent under Penal Code 278.5, for $2.5 Million (1985)”

(For those new to this blog, that’s one that I couldn’t get law enforcement, DA, or anyone to do squat about when my own children were stolen, elements involved totally matched that law.  I was focused beforehand on PREVENTING their abduction, and only found the law too late, after the fact.  When I did, I was shouted at for attempting to bring it up in one jurisdiction, and brushed aside in the other.  Here’s a man that not only got it to work but also got someone paid $2.5 million in damages (presumably).)

For those of us who may be all hot and excited about the latest commission, task force, audit, or committee who are going to be nice and fix all the problems for us, I recommend read this person’s resume for a sample, as well as (as I recommend) the AFCC presenter’s bios.  It’s WAR.  A lot of firepower is involved, and anyone who says it’s about just conflict, or miscommunication, or failure of judges to understand, is probably PART of the scam, wittingly or unwittingly — as to results, it hardly matters.  You just got punked if you don’t know what the family law system does, or is about.  Period.

I have been, so I talk.  No one likes being in that position, and since I can no longer contribute in the creative manner which I formally, normally did, this is my contribution to the general public.  Get smart, get on your dang internet, and figure things out!

There was no corresponding site on this particular law library referral (that had a few dozen links on it) that presented “the woman’s perspective” at all.  At least they were honest about “California Family Institute.”

Point 2:

Selling information is generally good business, no matter what the information is, almost. . . . .   As we are all so ignorant these days, lots of experts are needed to survive major aspects of life, and certainly one of those is a divorce.  Right?    Single mothers should master this art.  (Some day, I may).  Your time is not your own til they turn 18 — ALL Of them — and that’s whether you do, or whether you do not, retain or have custody;  so there has to be a better way… (for more on that topic see http:// self-represented fool.org).

SO, it’s about reconciliation, mediation, and why can’t we all get along?  That’s the message flowing through the family law system.  Well, here’s the message men are getting, at least in some circles.  It’s more honest, and I’ve found it explains things clearly, and in more detail — both the legal process and what’s up. 

Picture a woman with kids leaving an abusive marriage through a nonprofit agency that just sent her to a shelter, or to support groups, actually being TOLD this valuable information…  Typically, she’s not… If she had been, she might have evened the odds a little earlier in the game.

I have talked with fathers (don’t worry, I won’t name you…) bench-talking about how they coach and “work” the mediator or custody evaluator to their line of thinking, and who can help them do it.  It’s like a strategic warfare.  I wanted to leave the room when I sat around that venom (but didn’t). ..   Women, on the other hand, are told the usual line of _ _ _ _   :   to go seek help and HOPE.  Sure, that’s a plan for a life and death struggle for kids, goods, safety, and permission to leave a controlling situation….

While they coach and train women to submit and get along (no matter what), here’s what men are being told. 

This November 2009 article is of course better viewed on the original site.  I don’t appreciate giving MORE free publicity — I had to go do my own research on legal basics, and domestic violence issues both– but I think we should realize what’s up:

(from below):

Don’t plan on winning a divorce war with only superior people.  

You need to plan on winning it with superior organization and superior strategy while delivering the case to the judicial officer in better condition and in more organized fashion than the opposing counsel. 

Some of the most successful divorce lawyers in the country limit their caseload to ten or twenty divorces and charge a great deal of money for managing those ten or twenty divorce cases. 

{{AND one facet of abuse is economic.  So go figure….}}

DIVORCE IS WAR By: Michael Kelly, Santa Monica, California, November 2009 In writings covering more than a thousand years, both Sun Tzu and Carl Von Clausewitz have taught the principles and strategies necessary to win conflicts. Divorce is most definitely a conflict. There is no legal confrontation in America today with more at stake for the individual participants than a divorce. Some of the things that are at stake are as follows: 1) The children: Who gets primary custody of them, how much support do they receive, what are the visitation periods, what state or county will they live in, what school will they be educated in, what will their religion be, etc. 2) The family residence: Who gets it, is it sold, what is its evaluation, can the operating spouse afford to buy it? 3) The family business: Who gets it, what is its value and should it be sold? 4) The pension: Should it be divided now, who gets it and what is its value? 5) Spousal support: Who gets it, how much will it be, how long will it last, can the person receiving it be forced to work to reduce the amount that is received. Can the person paying support have a life also? Any person who thinks that these items are not the most hotly contested issues in a human being’s life should visit a California divorce court for one day and experience the anger, fear and intensity that fill the courtroom and halls. Divorce is not for the weak of heart, the inexperienced, the unorganized or the single practitioner. CARL VON CLAUSEWITZ Carl Von Clausewitz wrote a book entitled, “On War” 150 years ago. This book written in 1832 outlines the same strategic principles behind all successful lawyers and litigation concepts. Carl Von Clausewitz had keen insights on war. His ideas and principles have lasted more than 160 years. West Point, Sandhurst and numerous other war colleges around the world teach “his ideas”. Carl Von Clausewitz stated that war is based on two characteristics; tactics and strategies. Think for a moment if divorce was actually a war. One of the main things that must come out of a legal case memorandum (“battle plan”) will be observations (such as a list of the weaknesses and strengths of opposing counsel). Successful legal case memorandum and strategies must be planned exactly like a military campaign. Los Angeles divorce lawyers will have to learn how to attack and flank their opposition and how to defend their own positions, how and when to wage conventional warfare or switch to guerilla warfare. They will need superior research and intelligence to anticipate opposing counsel’s and opposing spouse’s moves. The true nature of divorce involves a conflict between competing primal interests of human beings. Who gets the house? Who gets the children? How much money to whom? “WHY VIEW DIVORCE AS PERSONAL CONFLICT AND WARFARE?” Some psychologists and some judicial officers will object to the application of military warfare principles to the divorce process. “It is horrible enough,” people have told us, “without extending the principles of warfare to it.” If you are of the that particular frame of mind I urge you to consider the results of the warfare principle rather than the principle itself. In observing thousands of divorces cases in the past four decades I suggest that many of the disastrous financial and psychological losses registered in divorces might have been avoided by the applications of the principles of war. The study of warfare in divorce is not just the study of how to win, it is absolutely just as important to study how not to lose a divorce. Divorce is legal warfare. If you are forced to be in divorce, it makes some significant sense to learn the principles first. THE PRINCIPLE OF FORCE “KEEP THE FORCES CONCENTRATED IN AN OVER POWERING MASS, THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEA IS ALWAYS TO BE AIMED AT AND FOR ALL AND AS FAR AS POSSIBLE.” In divorce, never forget what Von Clausewitz calls “the principle of force”. The victory usually belongs to the side with more men. “As God”, Napoleon Bonaparte is believed to have said, “is on the side of the big battalions”. The second significant principle of warfare espoused by Von Clausewitz is the “superiority of the defense.” A defensive position, carefully thought out, and strategize, is very strong and very difficult to overcome. When you examine it no other principle of life and warfare is as fundamental as the principle of force. The law of the jungle dictates that the predator eats the prey and so on… The larger predator eats the smaller prey … And so on down the food chain. The larger fish eat the smaller fish. The big company beats the small company, and, in divorce, most often the well organized large divorce firm beats the single lawyer.

 

Well folks, that’s all for today.  I gave you the link, now it’s up to you to think!

Written by Let's Get Honest

January 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

7 Principles of Scam Artists…#1 is Distraction

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My fellow-blogger quotes “Psyblog” and relates it to what’s going on in the courts.  Note:  the #1 principle is DISTRACTION.  (think “pickpocket”).

It’s time to look behind the language of the court educators to THEIR money trail and possible motivations in pitting men against women, idolizing marriage, demonizing one side or another.  The intelligent consumer (note: if you pay taxes, you ARE a “consumer” of this activity in your local state, not to mention what federal funds go right back to the state for similar activities) will want some account of what he or she “bought.”  Was it safety?  Was it a societal fix of a societal problem?  Was it justice?  (If so, when did justice go up for sale???)  What WAS it that those taxes bought? 

Did he or she “buy” a bit of conscience, leaving handlings troublesome issues up to experts?  The “it’s not my business” has cost lots of lives in the field of domestic violence. 

  I was going to blog on this, however, it is certainly distracting when another man shoots another woman in the head, because he was fired, because he was depressed, because he was angry, or because (who knows WHY or cares, the thing is, while the experts are analyzing, the folks in the homes are still bleeding.  As far as I can tell, it hasn’t stopped the experts one whit in recommending the same “come to us to be fixed” (or “helped”) line that didn’t save another life, yesterday, in a city with one of the highest homicide rates in the nation, Oakland, California (see prior blog).

I got this from “Justice4mothers.wordpress.com” and her intro is at the link, and below:

This article fits well with the principles of the current scam of trying to get parental alienation syndrome into the upcoming DSM-V. Especially applicable to those trying to push for it’s inclusion is Item #6: Need and Greed.  All of the items can be seen in the effort though.  Everyone knows that parental alienation syndrome and parental alienation has been debunked by the American Judge’s Association, the National District Attorney’s Association, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, with the latter warning family court judges not to accept claims of PAS or PA.  The American Medical Association does not recognize it, and the American Psychological Association realizes that this is a claim that comes out during custody battles, and there is no evidence that this syndrome exists in the literature.

Unlike this analysis, I now  know (as I didn’t until AFTER our local family court judge did the custody-switch thing on ME), that the NCFCJ (underlined above) is holding conferences with the AFCC (see my blog) and so forth.  Again, the answer is in the grants system, not in the he’/she terminology.

As I look at it now (every day, I am considering these things as well as daily necessities), I recall that our own separation was indeed stabilized, but somehow, SOMEWHERE, someone steered my ex to a source where he began to realize that he could simply file in family law, and keep the thing going on, and on, and on.  While this didn’t have a net profit to him, it did have the emotional profit of making life hell for me, and the girls, in retaliation for leaving.

But a LOT of people don’t realize that it’s NOT about him, and psychological analyses, it’s really, REALLY, about the money trail — as a cause.  And that is what we should really focus on, and not get “scammed” into being distracted from!

“7 Psychological Principles of Scams”

Good hustlers are excellent intuitive psychologists. Just like magicians they understand enough about how the mind works to exploit its vulnerabilities. Our fascination with hustlers is insatiable and, despite being criminals, they are frequently portrayed by Hollywood in a flattering light, in films like The Sting, Catch Me If You Can and the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy. Of course the reality is nowhere near as romantic, especially if you’ve fallen for one of the cons. Frank Stajano, a security expert at Cambridge University, has been working with Paul Wilson, a scam artist and author of BBC TV’s The Real Hustle to identify the 7 major psychological principles used in short cons to part people from their cash (Stajano & Wilson, 2009; PDF, 308K). 1. Distraction Attention is like spotlight, which means when it’s pointing in one direction it pretty much ignores everything else. Except people don’t realise how little information coming in from the outside world we actually process. Naturally you don’t notice what you don’t notice, plus the mind is designed to fill in the gaps for us. But Hustlers do know and almost every con uses some kind of distraction.

1.  Distraction

2. Social compliance

The classic study showing how compliant we are, especially when told to do things by an authority figure, was carried out by Stanley Milgram.

3. Herd principle

People are sheep: they can’t help following each other.

The classic study on conformity was conducted by Solomon Asch in the 1950s showing that people will deny evidence from their own eyes to fit in with others. In the Three-card Monte con, the crowd of shills around the game creates the herd for the mark to follow.

Online there are all kinds of tricks people can use to make others think there is a herd when actually there is only one person. The practice of ‘astroturfing’ means creating multiple online identities to fake grass-roots support for a politician. In peer-to-peer networks the multiple identities created by people trying to influence them are known as Sybils.

Whether online or offline, though, groups exert an enormous influence over us.

4. Dishonesty

Fear is the mind-killer.

Hustlers know that people are fearful and play on this fact.

5. Deception

People are easily tricked, even when they think they are being careful. Hustlers take advantage of the fact that most people go along with their expectations of what will happen in any given situation. If the hustler’s behaviour fits the situation then people will accept what they say.

One classic is ‘van dragging’ where hustlers target a warehouse from which they want to steal the goods being delivered. They hang a sign saying the door is broken and those delivering should call a number. The hustlers, hiding nearby, answer and steal all the goods from the delivery driver, all the while complaining that they’ve called the locksmith and he hasn’t turned up yet. The delivery driver often helps the hustlers load their van.

{{THINK about it — are fewer people getting killed, 15+ years after VAWA?  Are fathers more responsible, 15+ years after NFI? ??}}

6. Need and greed

Once hustlers know what people want, even if it doesn’t exist, they are in a position to manipulate them. They will play on people’s desperation; unfortunately the more desperate people are, the easier they are to con.

{{WHO can be more desperate than a family attempting to exit violence in the home?  And who would be more desperate to cover it up than those who didn’t intervene before it got to the prosecution level?}}

7. Time pressure

A classic study of how people make decisions under time pressure demonstrates what hustlers already know: when there’s no time to think people rely on short cuts and emotional responses to a situation.

{{This reminds me of a post I saw on the “reptilian” brain, and how attorneys can speak to that level of thinking in front of a jury…}}

Written by Let's Get Honest

January 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm

A man shot a woman in the head (another day, another “dispute,” another death)

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Marlon King, 45, told his acquaintances that he was going to kill himself and the woman, said Officer Jeff Thomason, a police spokesman.
On Friday afternoon, a resident on the 2500 block of 67th Avenue in East Oakland, near the Eastmont Mall, got a text message from a neighbor in a nearby house that “a suicide was imminent” there, Thomason said.

Upon arriving at the house at 2:49 p.m., officers found King critically wounded and a 46-year-old woman dead. The Alameda County coroner identified her as Aprile Moore of Oakland.
Thomason said he did not have specifics on whether King was unemployed.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/23/BAE11BML80.DTL#ixzz0dTeS8RKY
> > >

  • Man informed relatives, friends of intended murder-suicide
    By Harry Harris
    Oakland Tribune
    Posted: 01/23/2010 09:23:24 AM PST
    Updated: 01/23/2010 09:33:21 AM PST

OAKLAND — A man who fatally shot his girlfriend Friday afternoon then wounded himself was upset over losing his job earlier in the day and had called and texted friends and relatives about his intended actions, police said Saturday.

Police identified the dead woman as Aprile Moore, 46. In critical condition Saturday morning with a gunshot to the head was Marlon King, 45, who police said had been involved in a relationship with Moore at least three years.

{{WHY does this not read, “about three years” or “only three years”?  That’s a very short time to already have a domestic violence record with calls to police…}}Police said they were told King was separated from his wife.

{{Was the fact that he was violent towards his new girlfriend a “casual” or a “causal” factor in why he separated?  Does losing his wife give him the right to assault a new romance?  Did she get tired of his abuse, so he moved on?  We don’t know, do we….  Were there kids??}}

The shootings happened about 2:29 p.m. Friday at a house where King and Moore lived at in the 2500 block of 67th Avenue.
Sgt. Mike Gantt said King was depressed about losing his warehouse job at a Hayward company earlier Friday. It was not confirmed if he was fired or laid off.

{{Lose a job, shoot a woman??}}

Gantt said King had called and texted relatives and friends that he was planning to kill himself and possibly harm others.

{{So much for “relatives and friends,” including their ability to prevent DV homicide, know how to save a woman, convince her to flee, or what not.  It sounds to me like women have to get smarter somehow, and more discriminating about their men..}}But before police were summoned to the house Gantt said King fatally shot Moore in a bedroom before turning the gun on himself. Moore was pronounced dead at the scene.

{{Police cannot be everywhere, and it should be understood that they can’t always get somewhere in time.}}

Police also said the Moore and King had a history of domestic problems and that officers had been at the house several times in the past.\

=======

My Commentary:

**According to this account, Moore appears to have been a girlfriend he moved in with (or vice versa) in the process of leaving a former wife.  I wonder why his last wife was a “former” wife. …  His new, non-marital relationship had “domestic problems” ***  2nd (ff). WOMEN, WAKE UP!! 

{{I can’t speak for 2010, but I can speak for the 1990s.  Officers didn’t give me domestic violence literature, recommend I press charges, tell me I had anyRIGHT to press charges, or offer to take the man who’d just been assaulting me out of the house. Therefore, the assaults continued until I struggled my way to a nonprofit (I think) agency that told me how to file a CIVIL restraining order with kickout, which was not respected in court.  We were then funneled right to mediation, and the local friendly mediator promptly — VERY promptly — virtually undid said restraining order. . . . PERHAPS there was a better route to safety for all of us? Yet no pastor, friend, or relative was any smarter in the 1990s than they appear to be still, locally, in the 2000s. 

I guess women are just going to have to develop some smarts themselves, including being a LOT more careful about a man that has an ex-wife…  Sorry guys, but it makes sense to me… Perhaps they are just using you for (whatever is involved in a relationship}}

MORE on this incident:

OAKLAND, Calif. — An Oakland man who allegedly shot and killed a woman before turning the gun on himself is in critical condition Friday night, a police spokesman said.


Oakland police went to a home in the 2500 block of 67th Avenue at about 2:50 p.m. to conduct a welfare check after being called by a concerned neighbor, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. The neighbor had received a text message from one of the home’s occupants, saying a “suicide was imminent,” Thomason said.

{{a man of his word, at least…}}

Officers found Marlon King, 45, and a 46-year-old woman both suffering gunshot wounds in a bedroom. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and King was listed in critical condition at a local hospital, Thomason said.
Homicide investigators believed King shot and killed the woman before turning the gun on himself, according to Thomason, who said King had been depressed about his employment status. King had allegedly notified friends and family of his intentions to take his own life as well as that of the female victim, Thomason said.
He did not immediately release the relationship between King and the victim.
Anyone with information regarding the case was encouraged to call Oakland police homicide detectives at (510) 238-3821.

AND NOW YOU SEE WHY PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT THIS STUFF.  IN SEARCHING FOR THE FOLLOW-UP, NATURALLY, I GOOGLED SOME KEY TERMS FROM THE PRINT EDITION.  AND GOT THE SAME STORY, NATIONWIDE, AS WE HAVE BEEN GETTING FOR A VERY LONG TIME:

{{note:  I am not going to take valuable internet time to straighten out these links:  a similar google on your part might call up similar results).

yet more of the same thing:
 
TORONTO, ATLANTA, PHILADELPHIA, OAKLAND, OKLAHOMA (Geary, OK) . . . . Can you keep track?
 
 
Woman dead, man in hospital after apparent murder/suicide attempt …

A woman is dead and a man is in a Toronto hospital after an apparent murder, then a suicide attempt yesterday afternoon. No names have been.
www.midlandfreepress.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e… – 3 hours ago – Cached

Man, woman dead in murder-suicide | ajc.com
Jan 4, 2010 … Two people are dead after an apparent murder-suicide Sunday night in southwest Atlanta. The incident began about 9:30 p.
www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/man-woman-dead-in-266343.html – Cached

KYW Newsradio 1060 Philadelphia – Woman Hospitalized After …
Jan 23, 2010 … Woman Hospitalized After Domestic Murder-Suicide Attempt. by KYW’s Al Novack. One person is dead and a second person is clinging to life …
www.kyw1060.com/…Woman…Murder-Suicide…/6180532 – 7 hours ago – Cached
 
Geary man dead, wife wounded in murder-suicide attempt | NewsOK.com
Jan 18, 2010 … GEARY — A Geary woman is in the hospital and her husband is dead in what investigators are calling a murder-suicide attempt.
newsok.com/geary…dead…murder-suicide-attempt/…/3432906?… – Cached

Man and Woman Dead From Murder-Suicide at 7-11

Identified Created by Kimberlee Sakamoto on 1/4/2010 7:26:00 AM …

 
 

 

Get Smart, Unlearn these 7 lessons…

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Slowly, slowly, the light is beginning to dawn in why the US Government is in the business of Educating Everyone, and Healing Them, too:

Pie Chart displaying Federal Spending FY 2009

purple color DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
red color DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
light ble color DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
green color DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
orange color DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

{{Actually, the last time I checked, the Purple / Homeland security was signifying “education”….}}  See blogroll to right….

Abstinence Education, 2000-2010 (CFDA 93.235):  $433 million

 93.557: Education And Prevention Grants To Reduce Sexual Abuse Of Runaway, Homeless And Street Youth $119,938,219
93.010: Community-Based Abstinence Education (Cbae) $298,761,967

Bar chart is from the data in the below table

(Guess 2007 was a banner year, and $99 million of it to nonprofits)

93.601: Child Support Enforcement Demonstrations And Special Projects $3,904,163

Top 10 Recipients

 CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH $524,420
 Family Service Association of San Antonio, In $375,000
 CHILD AND FAMILY RESOURCE COUNCIL $374,510
 Kern County Department of Child Support Servi $275,000
 SHOALWATER BAY INDIAN TRIBE $174,821
 TEXAS OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL $150,000
 Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office $150,000
 NY STATE UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM $149,152
 STATE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONSORTIUM $138,925
 Sagamore Institute, Inc. $133,48

 

Roughly speaking, besides learning how to read, write, multiply, and not to join a gang, we also need to (AFTER or DURING the K-12 years, which are also primarily at government expense), be taught now NOT to have sex with each other, or with runaway children, but  — if someone DOES — then we also need to have projects teaching parents how to help feed and clothe the children they have begotten while, many times, in grade or high school.. . .

ANYHOW, it’s a great market niche.  INFORMATION is the HIGHEST PROFIT FIELD there is, especially downloadable, web-based, conference-holding, information mongering expertise in how to never solve a problem that was created somewhere else in the government-dominated lives that we live here.

The end result, the United States is trailing the industrial world in education its youngsters.   BUT, it’s employing a good portion of the economy in undoing the damages (supposedly) later on in life.  IN short, if someone didn’t tell me how to eat, assimilate, digest, and where to put the parts I don’t need for my body to function, I don’t know WHAT I’d do.  I’d be mentally paralyzed without advice on how to marry, how to have kids, how to stay alive during marriage, how to leave when that marriage is risky to staying a live, how to “parent” afterwards, and who the heck I “am” as a person in relationship to not only, society, my ex, my work (what’s left of it), but also in the eyes of the innumerable experts on what they don’t, personally, have to endure.  But it can certainly be tabulated and experimented upon nationwide, and perhaps with the NEXT generation, someone will get it right. . .  

Anyhow,  if you want a successful life, here’s MY advice, and it cost about $20/book (less, used, and nothing from a library). . . .

(1) UNDUMB yourself Down:

© 2000-2003 The Odysseus Group
Suite 3W  295 East 8th Street  NY, NY 10009
Phone Toll Free: 888 211-7164   Fax: 212 529-3555
E-mail:info@johntaylorgatto.com

HERE”s what a NY State Teacher of the year had to say, 4 years before the onset of VAWA or NFI (That’s “National Fatherhood Initiative” for the uninformed). . . . .

Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
By John Taylor Gatto
Reviewed by Samuel L. Blumenfeld

No one in America today is better qualified to report on the true condition of our government education system than John Taylor Gatto, the now-famous educator who spent 26 years teaching in six different schools in New York City and quit because he could no longer take part in a system that destroys lives by destroying minds

In 1990 the New York “Senate named Mr. Gatto New York City Teacher of the Year. The speech he gave at that occasion, “The Psychopathic School,” amounted to a devastating indictment of public education (reprinted in BEL, May 1991, under the title “Why Schools Don’t Educate”). In 1991 Mr. Gatto was named New York State Teacher of the Year, at which occasion he gave a speech, “The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher,” so insightful of the wrong-headedness of public education that it will probably become a classic in educational literature

These two remarkable speeches, plus several others, including one entitled “We Need Less School, Not More,” were published in book form last year.  And what a powerful book it is, only 104 pages long, readable in one or two sittings.  With Outcome-Based Education being imposed on schools across America, we will get much more school, not less, and the content of that schooling will produce far more confusion than we already have.

And here are those 7 lessons.  From my decades of experience, I’d have to agree:

In his speech, “The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher,” Gatto describes the seven lessons that are taught in all public schools by all teachers in America, whether they know it or not.  He writes:

The first lesson I teach is confusion. Everything I teach is out of context.  I teach the un-relating of everything.  I teach dis-connections….Even in the best of schools a close examination of curriculum and its sequences turns up a lack of coherence, full of internal contradictions….Confusion is thrust upon kids by too many strange adults, each working along with only the thinnest relationship with each other, pretending, for the most part, to an expertise they do not possess….In a world where home is only a ghost, because both parents work…or because something else has left everybody too confused to maintain a family relation, I teach you how to accept confusion as your destiny.

The second lesson I teach is class position….The children are numbered so that if any get away they can be returned to the right class….My job is to make them like being locked together with children who bear numbers like their own.…If I do my job well, the kids can’t even imagine themselves somewhere else, because I’ve shown them how to envy and fear the better classes and how to have contempt for the dumb classes….That’s the real lesson of any rigged competition like school.  You come to know your place.

The third lesson I teach is indifference….When the bell rings I insist they drop whatever it is we have been doing and proceed quickly to the next work station.  They must turn on and off like a light switch….Bells inoculate each undertaking with indifference.

The fourth lesson I teach is emotional dependency.  By stars and red checks, smiles and frowns, prizes, honors, and disgraces, I teach kids to surrender their will to the predestinated chain of command.

The fifth lesson I teach is intellectual dependency….It is the most important lesson, that we must wait for other people better trained than ourselves, to make the meanings of our lives….[Only], the teacher can determine what my kids must study, or rather, only the people who pay me can make those decisions, which I then enforce.  If I’m told that evolution is a fact instead of a theory, I transmit that as ordered, punishing deviants who resist what I have been told to tell them to think….Successful children do the thinking I assign them with a minimum of resistance and a decent show of enthusiasm….Bad kids fight this, of course, even though they lack the concepts to know what they are fighting, struggling to make decisions for themselves about what they will learn and when they will learn it…Fortunately there are tested procedures to break the will of those who resist; it is more difficult, naturally, if the kids have respectable parents who come to their aid, but that happens less and less in spite of the bad reputation of schools.  No middle-class parents I have ever met actually believe that their kid’s school is one of the bad ones.  No one single parent in twenty-six years of teaching.

The sixth lesson I teach is provisional self-esteem….The lesson of report cards, and tests is that children should not trust themselves or their parents but should instead rely on the evaluation of certified officials.  People need to be told what they are worth.

The seventh lesson I teach is that one can’t hide.  I teach students they are always watched, that each is under constant surveillance by myself and my colleagues….The meaning of constant surveillance and denial of privacy is that no one can be trusted, that privacy is not legitimate.

These lessons, as far as I can tell, are absolutely being duplicated in the court system as well, and throughout much of the nonprofit enterprises in the Health and Human  Services sector, let alone the Education Department.

Incidentally, Samuel L. Blumenfield had a few things to say as well…

And (from the same book), about the “Psychopathic School“:

It’s just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing.Schools were designed by Horace Mann and by Sears and Harper of the University of Chicago and by Thorndyke of Columbia Teachers College and by some other men to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.

To a very great extent schools succeed in doing this, but in a national order increasingly disintegrated, in a national order in which the only “successful” people are independent, self-reliant, confident, and individualistic (because community life which protects the dependent and the weak is dead and only networks remain), the products of schooling are, as I’ve said, irrelevant. Well-schooled people are irrelevant. They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on telephones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal, but as human beings they are useless. Useless to others and useless to themselves.

The daily misery around us is, I think, in large measure caused by the fact that, as Paul Goodman put it thirty years ago, we force children to grow up absurd. Any reform in schooling has to deal with its absurdities.

AND THIS IS TRUE OF THE COURTS AS WELL.  HOWEVER, in the MEANTIME, if you want to become:  “independent, self-reliant, confident, and individualistic,” you might have to just stoop down to the level of the obvious, and figure out, for instance, that the “name of the game” in all of this is simply marketing information to a captive audience — and sometimes, that’s literally; meaning, in prisons, or in the courts, when it comes to “mandatory parenting education.”  Mandatory is mandatory, right?That means, you don’t get out of it.

One BIG lessons women (or men) attempting to leave violence, or situations in which they and their children are treated as if they were dumb as dirt, or less than human, or are being hurt in any manner, is to STOP knocking on doors asking for help when what’s really going on behind them is simply a business model, and info-marketing.  The word “justice”  or “help” or “prevention” on the outside of something doesn’t mean that’s what inside. 

It just might be someone fishing for clients for their nonprofit, or for that matter, for their business of counseling us how to stand up, sit down, kneel, (No offence to Catholics meant), bark, beg, heel, jump, and roll over and play dead.   If this SEEMS to remind you of obedience training for a dog, well, I think you’re showing some common sense here.  It does. 

The main point is, that you don’t BITE.  And that  you don’t run loose in packs that bite . . . .

NOW — here’s a lesson to learn. 

Web-based INFO is the cheapest product with the highest profit margin anywhere.  Our government is into it, and plenty of nonprofits also.  There’s no inventory to maintain.  It’s clean, it’s sterile, and most people are not going to really require accountability for who’s producing what, and how many lives it has or has not saved.  The people that MOST need to know this are generally the ones that don’t realize these organizations even exist when they walk into a police station, family court services office, courtroom, child support office, or domestic violence advocacy agency.

(2) “Converting Expertise into a Shippable Hard Good …

… to escape the limits of a per-hour based model.”

That’s a quote from Timothy Ferriss’s “The 4-Hour Workweek,” which I found in a Fedex Kinko’s where I was habitually copying notes to the educators of my kids, and faxing to my ex, and documenting my lawsuit.  I thought I’d just read through the thing, since my OWN time was being colossally wasted in so many areas, and my OWN formula of trying to get various entities OUT of my personal life and time so I could get back to a creative profession that I  just happened to LIKE doing (as I also liked supporting, and — when they lived here — spending time with my children, even after their Dad no longer lived here, but saw them weekends regularly).   . . . .

Do yourself a favor.  Prove me wrong –waste under $30– get the book, and read these chapters: (my quote is from Chapter 9…)

Step III: A is for Automation

Chapter 8 – Outsourcing Life: Offloading the Rest and a Taste of Geoarbitrage

Chapter 9 – Income Autopilot I: Finding the Muse

Chapter 10 – Income Autopilot II: Testing the Muse

Chapter 11 – Income Autopilot III: MBA—Management By Absence

HHS is doing that.  Prosperous businesses are.  Foundations and nonprofit entities are.  Why shouldn’t we individuals that need the most help, and are seeking it from people running conferences about which social science to demonstrate what principle on the populace next? 

While we are running from nonprofit to nonprofit, and sometimes boxing ourselves up in shelters, or seeking pro bono legal help, how can we possibly, as parents, keep pace with professionals that have their slick websites generating income already, and whose market niche is essentially approximately half the US populace, i.e., people who are divorcing?  Or leaving a partner and squabbling over children they had, including some conceived under the above “Abstinence Education” programs marketed to us under former President Bush’s regime??

Once I became unhappily unemployed and without contact with my kids (regaining contact isn’t too easy without income for an attorney, and being in pro per in the courts, which I actually think is about the only way to go, IF one can learn the rules, is also like having a target on one’s forehead) and started taking a closer look at who’s running what, wherever I worked, I found this business model.  So will you!

Wikipedia is skeptical on this one:

 the book Ferriss uses the acronym DEAL for the four main chapters. [3] It stands for: Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation.Definition means to figure out what a person wants, get over fears, see past society’s “expectations,” and figure out what it will really cost to get where a person wants to go.

Elimination is about time management, or rather about not managing time. This is achieved applying the 80/20 rule to focus only on those tasks that contribute the majority of benefit. There’s a difference, Ferriss says, between efficiency and effectiveness. The book’s emphasis is on effectiveness.

Automation is about building a sustainable, automatic source of income. This includes techniques such as drop-shipping, automation, Google Adwords and Adsense, and outsourcing.

Liberation is dedicated to the successful automation of one’s lifestyle and the liberation from a geographical location and job. Incidentally, Ferriss notes that if somebody has a regular job, the order of steps will be DELA, not DEAL.

The book asserts that technology such as email, instant messaging, and Internet-enabled PDAs complicate life rather than simplify it.[4] It advocates hiring virtual assistants from developing countries such as India to free up personal time.[5]

Here’s a professional, who speaks to this field family court matters addresses, and for all I know, her materials are relevant, and good. ….  And she’s marketing them through her own publishing company.  I found this link while looking for a job in editing/writing on-line.  Being a snooper sort of person, I looked at who was wanting to hire me, and this person was in an advisory capacity:

http://claudiablack.com/contents/index.php/2.html

Hello
I’m Claudia Blackand I know first hand what it’s like to grow up in a family affected by addiction. Alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive disorders, depression, emotional abandonment, physical abandonment and family violence leave scars that can last a lifetime. The journey to healing and recovery begins with breaking the silence, letting go of denial, and the willingness to go beyond yourself to find the answers.In my books, CDs, and DVDs there is a foundation for understanding addiction, family systems, family roles and rules, and relationship dynamics and tools that will give you the opportunity to break the silence, let go of your denial, say ‘No’ to your shame, discover your self-worth and develop greater self-esteem.I am probably best known for It Will Never Happen to Me in which I offer a foundation for understanding what occurred growing up in an addictive family. You will experience validation of your history, a framework for understanding what happened and why you are where you are today, and hope for the future.    

About Claudia
Claudia Black (not the sci-fi, Farscape actress) is a renowned addiction author, speaker and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders.Since the 1970′s Claudia’s work has encompassed the impact of addiction on young and adult children. She offers models of intervention and treatment related to family violence, multi-addictions, relapse, anger, depression and women’s issues. Her writings and teachings have become a standard in the field of addictions. To read just a few of the hundreds of notes she has received from all over the world, Click Here.Claudia Black is the author of all the books and audio CDs available here as well as the educational videos and Strategies Series for professionals to use with addicted clients and families affected by addiction. Claudia publishes and distributes all her materials through her own company Mac Publishing located in Washington state.Claudia designs and presents training workshops and seminars to professional audiences in the field of family service, mental health, addiction and correctional services as well as speaking in public forums about addiction and recovery. She speaks to thousands of people every year.

 

=========

Here’s another sample from a renowned group in the family violence field.  They too, are marketing materials, and selling some of them, including trainings, etc.  They “train the trainers,” and that’s the business they are in.  Nonprofit business is STILL business. . . .

Welcome to Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs offers domestic violence training and resources based on The Duluth Model to help community activists, domestic violence workers, practitioners in the criminal and civil justice systems, human service providers, and community leaders make a direct impact on domestic violence.

Does it say they directly help those people who are domestic violence victims?  No, they train the trainers….

Here’s a sub-group of the DAIP group, above, acronym “BWJP,” or “Battered Women’s Justice Project.”  As it says, right on the label, they too, train the trainers.  Are they getting justice for battered women?  I don’t know.  I’m one.  I’m not being battered anymore, but stalking still remains an issue, and poverty from all the years of trying to stay both alive, and employed, and knowing where my kids are, and seeking pro bono legal help, and child support enforcement, and . . . .  but I’m still hunting down that justice issue.  I have not personally spoken to any woman who actually was helped by any of these programs, although such may exist.  I do know that familicide is still happening…  Perhaps I just knocked on the wrong doors, “mea culpa.”  ANYHOW, here’s what THIS group does:

Battered Women’s Justice Project

A project of Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, the Battered Women’s Justice Project is a national resource center on the most promising practices of the civil and criminal justice systems in response to domestic violence. BWJP provides information, analyses, technical assistance, and trainings for advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, policymakers, civil attorneys, and victims of domestic violence. BWJP partners with the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women to provide technical assistance and consultation on cases involving battered women charged with crimes.

BWJP is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Under grants from the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, BWJP serves as the Comprehensive Technical Assistance Provider to jurisdictions awarded Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders, and oversees a demonstration project that is developing models for military/civilian coordinated responses to domestic violence committed by service members.

 

While I’m at it, let me return to that “Center for Policy Research,” above (see the chart under “Child Support Enforcement” grants.  They too, are running trainings, demonstrations, evaluations, and what-not throughout the land, and I do mean, THROUGHOUT the land. 

The Center for Policy Research (CPR) is a private, nonprofit research agency founded in 1981 to work with public and private sector service providers to plan, develop, and test projects that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of human service agencies and the justice, health and education systems. CPR provides comprehensive consulting, facilitation and survey research services and specializes in demonstration, evaluation, and basic research dealing with a broad array of human services including:

  • Childcare and Education;
  • Child Support;
  • Child Welfare;
  • Court Services;
  • Health and Medical Issues;
  • Incarceration and Reentry;
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution;  
  • Fatherhood and Child Access;
  • Poverty; and
  • Violence and Intimate Partner Violence. 

To make contracting with CPR easier for federal government clients, CPR is a Management, Organizational and Business Improvement Services (MOBIS) and U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) contractor. . .

Wait a minute!  Remember John Taylor Gatto, who wrote[see above] in 1990 or so:

Schools were designed by Horace Mann and by Sears and Harper of the University of Chicago and by Thorndyke of Columbia Teachers College and by some other men to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.

Mr. Gatto was not trained as an “educator,” but came into education from a successful career in copywriting.  He was simply observing what was already created.  1981 was before VAWA was passed.  It was as the family law system, and the push for mediation was being developed. 

Think that training can’t be downloaded and patented on captive audiences?  Let’s talk about Moral Reconation Therapy (TM), tested in the 80s on prison populations, and later expanded for — you name it, practically ANY population:

   
     
  FULL Product catalog—click here:    
  Download    
   
   
  For information on training and products, contact CCI at 901-360-1564 or click here.    
   
   
 {{SAMHSA and NREPP are basically credibility organizations, SAMHSA being part of HHS, and NREPP, you can look up).  
   
  Criminal Justice Programs:  
  MRT Programs For:    
   
   
     
  PrisonsJails

Therapeutic Communities

Drug Courts

Female Offenders

Juveniles

Parole & Probation

Community Corrections

MRT in Schools

   
 

   
 

   
   
   
   
   Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Review Journal

MRT History

MRT Facts

MRT in Schools

   
   
     
   
     
 

 

Then, like any good deliverable, you need someone to actually deliver the goods.  In the case of MRT, which is essentially trying to make people behave who weren’t, before going through this training (think:  “Batterer’s Intervention,” “Marriage Counseling” “Parenting Education” “Therapeutic Supervised Visitation,” and so forth. . . . . . .):

Someone had to deliver it:

Such as:

Correctional Counseling, Inc. : Welcome!

Correctional Counseling, Inc. specializing in providing cognitive behavorial staff training, treatment, workbooks, and (etc.).
= = = = = =
Have you ever heard of Moral Reconation Therapy?  I hadn’t, until I sat on a bus, and saw someone who said they’d gotten this (I gather) in jail, had a workbook. . . . . .
It may not be famous, but a $$ is a $$ is a $$, and what better than reconditioning human beings.  Beats being reconditioned, for sure — and there may not be too many alternatives left in our society before long:
Either participate in conducting an experiment, or be the topic of one. 
See full size image
Cash Flow Quadrant
Kiyosaki’s book details the four quadrants, in which people could find their finances.  One could be an employee, self employed, a business owner, or an investor.  Mr. Kiyosaki advocates that the reader strive to be in the “B” and “I” quadrants.   The “E” and “S” quadrants should be avoided. 
 
“E” is Employee, which is where most people are directed.
“S” is self-employed, meaning basically, your job owns you.
 
Our government is run, primarily, by foundations and very rich people who have time for running around and restructuring society, becuase somehow, they inherited, or gained, enough wisdom in how to do this, which for the most part is NOT being shared with the rest of us.
 
In one of my next posts, I wish to take a look at the Phoebe Factoid story behind Albany, Georgia nonprofit hospitals, and the LLC called “Do No Harm.”  This model of where nonprofit money is going (overseas, lots of it), and WHAT PART of the US economy it is, is instructive in the family law arena. 
 

Written by Let's Get Honest

January 22, 2010 at 4:55 pm

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