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

Archive for April 2011

Law 101: “Black is White Law Dictionary” and “Secret Canons of Judicial Conduct” (from “Caught.net”)

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People are overwhelmed with information about father’s rights, domestic violence, psychological theory and statistics.  One thing to remember is that statistics are paid for and interpreted by (fill in the blank).  Statistics describe a “state” of affairs — but may or may not accurately describe the cause of events, or of the state of affairs.

The state of affairs in the legal system is that — it is owned — and not by the public — they simply pay for its operations.

If the Courts are a Mighty River that has Overflown its banks — and fish are floundering and being caught in it– the narratives are not about what’s in the river, but many time’s, who’s on the shore, and what’s the bait?

For example, in a river, there may be fish, and on the banks (or wading in it), there may be flyfishers, great sport.

Also, there are times the river is just too cluttered with debris, algae, it gets stagnant.  not good for salmon swimming upstream, right?  Well, this field is too cluttered with INFORMATION, not well processed.  With rigid points of view — or a generic, vague points of view, and no operational plans.

Suppose Richard Gardner’s theory doesn’t hold water?  (which it doesn’t).  What should I do to avoid losing custody when being challenged by someone with a history of abuse or criminality?  Buy a book?  how much reading before what I read actually affects a court case — my own?

Well, #1, get the outline (shouldn’t take half a year to do so, any more):

Johnnypumphandle.com

Typically, I will refer the basic site “Johnnypumphandle.com” about three to four times a week — although I don’t know how active it is, and many links no longer active.  WHY?  Because it has basic analysis pretty close, and enough case histories to show some blueprint.  It also addressses the role of nonprofits in the courts.  Fairly good outline, don’t you think? (you family law veterans out there).

Well, that site links to “caught.net” where I’ve been before.

By the time you get through there, you should realize that Fraud, Money Laundering, and sometimes Racketeering are significant issues.  That there are things called corporation front groups.  That one oif the first places to look going into a court case is at your personal judge’s 700 Disclosure — and then chec it out — by figuring out the money flow in your local county’s vendor payments, grants applications, grants distributions, and so forth.

Judges doing business with someone / some business entity in the case — have to recuse themselves, or any resulting order.  Call ‘em on it!

Also, any nonprofit advocacy group that doesn’t tell you this — regularly — drop ‘em! (and find out who’s funding THEM!  

Now here is some comic relief — but like most comedy, hits a lot of truth, right on target:

OK, from CAUGHT.net

READ THIS:

Welcome to caught.net’s
SECRET CANONS OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT

Tongue in cheek but pathetically true!

Copyright 2009 – All Rights Reserved –  Email

and, related:

Welcome to caught.net’s
BLACK IS WHITE LAW DICTIONARY

Tongue in cheek but pathetically true!

Copyright 2009 – All Rights Reserved

For example:

“Legal Analysis or Legal Reasoning:1. thinking usually independent of and unaffected by objective reality  2. the process of using legal terms to alter, create or deny reality  3. process used to maintain or assist the status quo, power structure and the resourceful and effective 4. a thought process commonly raised to the level of stupidity while maintaining the appearance of brilliance  5. sometimes called inverted intelligence.”

or

Truth:1. whatever experts say for pay  2. whatever the Judiciary decides through the use of Legal Analysis.Unenlightened:1. litigants unknowledgeable regarding our position and power.”

The real fun comes from the hyperlinks.

From the same site’s founders, a few pointers – the frame of reference is “recovery” as if from a sickness.

Actually, it’s the judicial, social (etc.) systems that are “sick” (corrupt) — like environmental toxins of our basic institutions, as I see it. However, recognizing that this is NOT all one’s imagination — and that whatever life brings, you WILL find some way (including humor, gleefully putting sand in the machinery of whoever has been railroading you (and others) in the system, etc. — or whatever — to survive and live. (For one — what’s the alternative?)

I do not seriously entertain cleaning up the entire system for all history.  However, wouldn’t it be great to clean up your own area, and teach others how to do the same?  What a legacy!  Because time is short (we get older….), another lesson I’m learning is  who to dissociate with, according to what diseased or simply useless, but soul-poisoning rhetoric they carry.  Just like it’s not good to befriend gangsters (well, at least I think not!) — it’s also important not to hang out with inactive complainers, and compliant complacent parroting people.

FYI, these come both in the traditional format of devotees of certain organizations AND in the leaders (professionals) of the organizations themselves.  Professionalism is great — it just tends to tunnel vision, that’s my problem.  It’s more like farming than hunter/gatherer way of thinking, which requires a lot of adaptability, attention to detail and a clear eye on the horizon, changing weather — AND the ability to relocate.

Anyhow, Caught.net and the pro se way founder writes:

I never received justice in any substantive way.  Oh, there was a thing here or there that gave me small smidgens of justice.  But some points need to be made here:

  • Part of my recovery was accepting I would not see the justice I expected and deserved according to our Constitution.
  • Part of my recovery was realizing that this country has, in many ways, written off our Constitution and rights of redress.
  • Part of my recovery was accepting that corrupt, lying, thieving, completely callous people remain in positions of power without correction.
  • Part of my recovery was realizing that my wrongdoers would absolutely dread having to litigate anything with me again because I gave them a serious run for their money.
  • Part of my recovery was realizing I cost my wrongdoers a LOT of money – much more than they thought they would ever spend given the fight I gave them.
  • Part of my recovery is knowing that hundreds of people a day are using this site for various reasons and are helped or informed by it.
  • Part of my recovery was deciding I was going to find a way to live and achieve some degree of enjoyment out of life despite my knowledge of the unbelievable corruption of the American system that I have knowledge of.
  • Part of my recovery was accepting I can be legally right and be rejected by a corrupt system

I would call those simple survival awarenesses.

Detox, occasionally.  If you can’t change something radical today, time out and have a good mock session — Black is White Law & Secret Judicial Canons.

And remember, keep all this “stuff” in perspective! Physical & Mental/emotional…  Stay flexible…

(George Carlin / YouTube)

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

What Steers Family Law Custody “Mistakes”? I’m glad you asked…

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“I’m glad you asked that” is a phrase we see often in “RandiJames” writing.  I’ve been posting in the form of comments, especially to the SFWeekly articles on the California Family Courts  (for over a month now), and in lieu of a real post, here’s a relevant post by a fellow-blogger.  At least, we cover some of the same topics.

MONEY is Helping Pedophiles and Batterers Get Child Custody in Family Courts, in California and Elsewhere

First, let me thank Peter Jamison for his extensive article California Family Courts Helping Pedophiles, Batterers Get Child Custody . Please, go read it. Understand that what he describes is not unique to the State of California.

I want to point out a couple of things in Jamison’s article:

….(And then RandiJames goes on to tear apart the logic in a well-known author in the PAS field, Amy Baker.  I felt that this was unfair to Dr. Baker — who is clearly out-matched when it comes to reason  and common sense — but possibly a waste of firepower to talk about psychology when the issue is, after all, money.  For example, consider:
First, let’s talk about Amy Baker who works in the New York/New Jersey area. Actually, I have talked about her plenty of times:

Amy Baker and Parental Alienation Syndrome: Is This What Scientific Research Looks Like? 

The Ever Expanding Parental Alienation Theory: Amy J. Baker’s Research Revisited 

Amy J. Baker and Parental Alienation: Behind the Veil of Ignorance 

According to Jamison’s article, Baker appears to think that parental alienation syndrome has been given a bad name because it has been misused in isolated instances. But on what evidence does she have to base such an opinion? ….

Then, she takes on Glenn Sacks’ logic (Perhaps a dubious undertaking, but at least someone did!)
Glenn Sacks, another PAS promoter quoted in Jamison’s article, states that courts are biased against fathers. Biased against fathers how? Maybe the rest of the sentence in the article was supposed to explain it:

“and are overly protective of moms and punitive of dads when handling abuse allegations”

So does he mean that family courts are biased against fathers in cases involving domestic violence? Many state gender bias taskforces have consistently found that the courts were biased against women. From where does Sacks get his information? This is the deliberate misinformation that father’s rights advocates use when speaking to the public. They use general statements like, the courts always award custody to moms, to hype up their support, without specifying or clarifying that 1. most men don’t “fight” for child custody and 2. most women are still the primary caretakers of children–thus it would make perfect sense that the majority of women “win” child custody. If the mom is “the real parent” it is usually quite obvious. Sacks also supports a presumption of joint custody in child custody cases when there is often no evidence of equal or shared parenting within the intact relationships (nor is proof required, or sought). The bias isn’t in the court’s decision making in this case, the bias is in the assumption that joint custody is always good for every child.
(Bias, my friend, is a buzzword….  It works, too — to distract from the issues)

Former judge DeAnn Salcido provides evidence of how the misogyny embedded in patriarchal thinking permeates the family court system–a system which unsurprisingly represents society’s attitudes at large:

I was basically told to be suspect of anyone claiming abuse,” she says. “I had senior judges telling me, ‘Be suspect. The dad probably has a new girlfriend, and the mom’s upset.'” The concept of parental alienation, she says, arose in private discussions “all the time” among court officials who espoused it.

And it is “professionals” like Amy Baker and spokespersons like Glen Sacks who continue to support this thinking with pseudoscience.

I thought the post was going to be about how Money helps Pedophiles & Batterers.  The discussion appears to have gotten instead  into logic and psychology vs. science — which, though obviously off, is not the underlying cause, I feel.
The same blog has, however, written plenty on the issue of the HHS involvement in custody cases, on other posts (search “OCSE” or “HHS” and find them).

READ THE COMMENTS TOO:

I’m linking to her discussion in part for the (voluminous) comments below it which DO talk a bit more about the financial issues, and after all, received a courtesy referral, which I do appreciate, at the end of the post:
Not to mention, how do you think all of this continues? Look at the universities and nonprofit agencies that support and employ these court players.  Look at the funding of these organizations. Our dear old tax dollars. See Let’s Get Honest for a wealth of money trail information.
Thanks for the link!
Here’s a sample from the comments, now that you mentioned the tax dollars:
lso Randi, remembering your fine post on Michael Hayes and the wonderful Texas Attorney General, I discovered exactly who is getting those access/visitation SUB-grants, and to an extent, how they are being used. Source: USASpending.gov.

Yes, exploring which Father’s Groups are getting how much of our (federal grants) money for which purposes is becoming REAL interesting.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^
For example, when the Indiana Child Support Services site has a direct link to Fathers & Families and is soliciting FAF to apply for grants (so they can split some of the proceeds) — why bother to open it to the competition? Just set out a red carpet for a single group: here:

“Indiana Fathers & Families – http://www.in.gov/dcs/2461.htm

The Indiana Department of Child Services, Child Support Bureau, would like to welcome you to the Indiana Fathers & Families website.

Consider this post a place-holder, a review-time.  Again, our tax $$ are paying for Fatherhood Groups, and they are also paying for Domestic Violence Groups which don’t even talk about the tax $$ paying for the fatherhood groups, although the reverse is not true.  Read any comments-heavy article with both DV and FR participants, and you’ll find references to some “expert” and a lot of psychological hitch-hikers complaining loudly about VAWA (which was an Act of Congress) and saying nothing about the National Fatherhood Initiative (founded same year by cronyism among the Executive Branch – Health & Human Services — and a violation of the principle that we do NOT have a national religion, called “office of Faith-Based Initiatives.”
I mean, Wade Horn & Don Eberly (for starters).  And the financial conflicts of interest have been detailed plenty in there — google Bill Berkowitz, for some writing on this.  Progressive watch groups report on conservatives, and Conservatives report on Progressives.  I read them both….
This results in an uneven playing field — because the DV advocates make like they don’t even KNOW that the father’s rights groups have any funding behind them — or if so, it’s so vaguely referenced, no one pays much attention.  We are hear to change that — and challenge WHY these advocacy groups result in women less informed about the organizations behind the opposition to their safety, then men are about the opposition to their getting the government to reduce their child support arrears and get their kids away from whoever reported the domestic violence (or child abuse) to start with.
Last paragraph may not make much sense unless you’ve been following these things.  Better yet, read the post, and its comments below, hanging out on RandiJames.com for a while.  I’ve got some significant news percolating and about to boil over into a post sure to expose a few more hidden agenda (hidden in plain sight on the internet, for those who know how to look).

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

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Written by Let's Get Honest

April 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Exodus Lessons @ Passover — Phyllis Chesler . . .Let’s Reflect

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What does it take to free an entire nation, men, women and the little ones, from slavery?  Besides the help of God?

I can’t think of anyone more appropriate to write on this topic — and many others — than feminist author Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who has dedicated the article below to her parents.  

I dedicate this post to my children, my daughters, and hope anything they have gone through will produce insight, reflection and above all, honesty about the world they live in, and the value of respecting others’ understanding of the Abrahamic religions as they relate to history, politics, and their places as women.

Also to a Christian woman, fairly young (30s? 40s?), a mother of several children and one still breastfeeding I met a few months ago.  At the time, she appeared in semi-shock, and very distressed.

Why?

She’d separated from violence in the home, had gotten a restraining order, for physical protection.  ….The courts (i.e., whichever judge signed the order), predictably father-friendly, shared-parenting friendly and unbelievably cruel — had put her nursing baby on a 48 hours on, 48 hours off.  She was still attending the same church as her husband and the children’s father.  In order to honor this restraining order  — and fail to acknowledge the abuse — they had her excluded  from the sanctuary, and him sitting up front, in the place of honor.  Why?  I imagine money was a factor….  Churches have to pay mortgages, and they are most definitely patriarchal.  It’s behavior like that, like covering up mistreatment of wives and playing the system of laws in our land in reverse — that has me too disgusted with churches to attend, any more.  That church has already been judged, in my eyes, and will probably have to give an account in any resurrection, for how they handled their own, in this world….

This woman, this mother, may not run across this post, but she knows who she is, and I want to remind her that if Moses’ mother found a way in terrible times, with the help of the living God (not a fake one, not just empty religious traditions), she can too.  Any God worth worshipping will see — like Moses did, like Moses’ mother did, like Pharaoh’s daughter did — what’s really going on, and can part seas, and make a way out, can prepare an Exodus from the insanity….

PASSOVER

I barely noticed Passover.  I plan to barely notice it’s Easter weekend, either — except nominally.  I don’t do “congregations” these days. Holidays without family have definitely lost their flavor, and holidays within the family were also times of trauma and pressure when we all lived under one roof.  They are times of danger, trauma, or isolation for many, or facades for others — when home is not a safe place.

However, thinking about its significance, and in light of turbulence Africa, Arabian Peninsula MidEast, I’m going to acknowledge it this year.  The center of this post is from an article by Dr. Phyllis Chesler — and she is not responsible for how I may have fleshed it out, stuck it on a family law blog, and added my own interpretations of meanings before, after and some commentary inbetween.  I do not even know all the terms used in the post, but the message seems universal, and current.

EXODUS

Exodus, and the lives of Joseph, Pharaoh, Moses — the concept of slavery and escaping it — are my tradition of faith enriched by understanding of violence in the home, and whether this intent to break a (woman’s) spirit works — or fails.  I understand, as her article discusses, marvelling at how there was no “mensch” (person of spirit, compassion, humanity and true princely FIRE) to do anything much about this abuse, and I know understand how it’s actually profitable to maintain within the United States.

Exodus is set in a regime-change for the Israelites in Egypt — and the new regime both hated and feared the descendants of Joseph and his brothers.  While appreciating their labor, they feared their fertility and determined, based on fear, to keep the upper hand.

To understand the parallels today, one has to have read the U.S. Congressional Record authorizing fatherhood legislation targeted at low-income urban black men and women.  I was shocked when I began to read and comprehend that this came from a select group of rulers who literally feared being out-reproduced, as well as fearing and hating women (feminism in particular).  It has been indeed a regime change and sea-change (Administration changes?) over here as well.  I cannot convey this in a single post, but have sensed and seen it over time.

For example, when in 2000, in Ohio, A “Commission on Fatherhood” is legislated into existence, of the six members from the state representatives and senators, fully half   “must be from legislative districts that include a county or part of a county that is among the one-third of counties in this state with the highest number per capita of households headed by females.” . . . . And when a recent population study of 4,000 women over a 27-year time span also breaks it down by race:

…The data included detail on individual men in each household, capturing what demographers call “relationship churning.” For nonresidential relationships, Dorius triangulated information from mother and child reports to establish common paternity.

She found that having children by different fathers was more common among minority women, with 59 percent of African American mothers, 35 percent of Hispanic mothers and 22 percent of white mothers with two or more children reporting multiple partner fertility. Women who were not living with a man when they gave birth and those with low income and less education were also more likely to have children by different men.

But she also found that multiple partner fertility is surprisingly common at all levels of income and education and is frequently tied to marriage and divorce rather than just single parenthood.

I have a problem with populations described as to their breeding habits:  “multiple-partner fertility” studies such as:

Copyright © 2010 Population Association of America
LAURA TACH, RONALD MINCY, and KATHRYN EDIN
Laura Tach, Department of Sociology, William James Hall, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; e-mail:….
Ronald Mincy, School of Social Work, Columbia University.
Kathryn Edin, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University.

Besides this being one class (highly educated and in positioned in universities and/or with funding to conduct such studies) studying another class, the  pre-occupation with how different races breed and at which rates, gets a little obsessive — it’s a close cousin to eugenics, and a distance offspring of what Exodus 1 talks about in the fear of the “foreign” population of slaves in the land:

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph9And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. 13So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

I see & sense the fear of too many poor people, the fear of too many brown people having too many babies {Take a look at the U.S. Congress and see what I mean}, and at its bottom line, also a severe fear of feminism and women.  Yet despite that fear, there is no fear of keeping such people in low-wage jobs (and their kids in daycare), and inadequate schools, such as these people would not send their own children to.  (etc.)…..  As if this were not enough, when they separate, they must run the gauntlet of custody and mental health evaluations.

The entire network of fatherhood grants, funding, preaching, resource centers, nonprofits and legislation speaks of this.  This is not the 70s any more and feminism must GO!  Libertarians and Tea Party, and a lot of religious groups are also poised to help it do so….  The linkage of “Patriotism” with “Patriarchal” often leaves no safe place or community for those women who love civil rights, justice, AND their God.  And staying alive.  Between the social scientists/demographers, and the religious fundamentalist “divorce is a crime” groups…

Which brings up this question:

Can Atheists Handle Religious-based Misogyny by ignoring its roots?

Progressive, liberal, secular, etc. advocates and groups really do not comprehend what fires the religious mind to kill its own, and others.  They mistrust religion and miss its strengths.  Our country has foolishly thought that the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives is some sort of social solution to stop violence and poverty — failing to realize where some of the same tax-exempt groups cause more of it, if one is a woman, or a child.   I find this very disturbing and short-sighted.  For more, see Don Eberly & origins of the “National Fatherhood Initiative.”  He was co-founder.  Wade Horn was the HHS connection.  Don Eberly was the “Office of Faith-Based” connection…

It truly takes people who have lived in these systems to change them, but moreover,  takes a readiness to accept them as they truly are — and in the case of Egypt, the Exodus accont shows a genocidal Pharaoh who feared the fertility of the same slaves who built up the infrastructure, the monuments.

Consider Moses, Consider the first Passover:

As Dr. Chesler discusses the duality (Jewish/Egyptian) of Yosef and Moshe (Joseph and Moses, obviously) and how they might have responded to their own identities, I am thinking how her own status as a Jewish feminist unafraid to confront honor killings as honor killings, to warn, and to stand in her own strengths, knowledge, faith, and experiences — to talk about these things, still relevant today.

Below the writing, I’m putting another map to show how religiously isolated Israel is in the uproar now happening across northern Africa, Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East.  This is no small matter for any woman, of faith or no faith, to consider.

Map = for reference only….

http://www.mideastweb.org/maps.htm

Drill down Map of Middle East - Middle East Maps

The Exodus’ Lessons

by Phyllis Chesler
Israel National News
April 18, 2011

http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/975/the-exodus-lessons


Time is short and the Jews are, as usual, in trouble. What does the Exodus teach us about what to do?

Yes, the Jews are in trouble both today and long ago, when we were slaves in Egypt. Apparently, Jews can be in trouble both as slaves and as citizens of our own Jewish state and as citizens of the world in an era in which a Jewish state exists. It’s like a bad Jewish joke.

In Egypt, we are literally enslaved and we cannot save ourselves. We need God to save us –and God chooses a redeemer for us. This is how we, the “Hebrews” are pulled out of “Mitzrayim.”

We have many midwives who free us from the narrow place of affliction so that we can be born as God’s people.

Moshe is not raised like all the other Hebrew slaves. In a memorable act of civil disobedience, Pharaoh’s own daughter saves the infant who cried out.

Let’s not forget, in this age where the word “mother” is almost a curse-word in the courts (and not on our current President’s radar, or vocabulary often, even when talking about families and children and parents, or for that matter his own mothers,  that the earlier act of civil disobedience was by Moshe’s mother  — who refused to kill her firstborn.  The practice of the day was oppression (slavery), and the oppressors feared the fertility of the enslaved.  So, the law of the land was genocide; the midwives disobeyed, and Pharaoh had set out the order:

And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

(EXODUS 2)

And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. 4And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.


Never underestimate a committed mother with her firstborn….  She put her life on the line to keep her son alive…disobeying a direct command from the Pharoah to all, and this command was to murder your own offspring.  Can we imagine this?  Suppose it was you — or us?  What would you do?


For such a patriarchal book to credit Moshe’s mother — and not both parents — is telling.  Both were Levites — but would the father have been so brave, or approved?  Pharoah’s daughter risked disapproval -too — did she risk her life?      Just thought I’d mention this.  Back to Dr. Chesler’s writing:

For this act of hesed, or merciful kindness, she is midrashically and rabbinically re-named “Bat’ya, because by this act she becomes God’s daughter too. Pharaoh’s daughter adopts Moshe and raises him as if he is an Egyptian prince.

Moshe is a more evolved version of Yosef: someone who is both a Jew and an Egyptian. He is a Jew who knows his way around the larger, non-Jewish world –but he is also a Jew who breaks with that world with wrenching and utter finality. Ultimately, even though he has grown up away from his Jewish family, Moshe, rather paradoxically, remains close to, even dependent upon, his Jewish brother and sister, Aaraon and Miriam.

In a sense, Moshe is also the anti-Yosef. Yosef is born and reared as a Jew and remains a Jew–but he also becomes a powerful and assimilated Egyptian. Moshe is born as a Jew but is reared mainly as an Egyptian. Yosef helps Egypt store up food against a coming famine and Moshe is part of God’s plan to “spoil” Egypt and to render her bare of food, food sources, first-borns, gold, silver, and clothing which are all given or lent to the Hebrews–or are really, all back pay for the 210 years of slavery.

Still, it is Moshe-the-Egyptian who becomes miraculously Jewish and who becomes God’s greatest intimate.

How do we know that Moshe is Egyptian royalty? Moshe has unlimited access to Pharaoh’s palace. No one stops him when he enters. One wonders if his adoptive mother Bat’ya is still there; does she accompany him to his meetings with Pharaoh?

. . . . .

Therefore, this much is clear: Moshe has not been enslaved. He has, in fact, been reared as a Prince. This is very important. He has not been broken by slavery. He is not afflicted with “kotzer ruach,” a shortness of spirit , a lack of generosity, indeed an absence of humanity which slavery and oppression causes. He is fully entitled. (We find the phrase in Vaera 6:9 and I will return to it shortly).

What kind of spirit does it take to retain humanity while enslaved?  To not let it get to destroying one’s insides, hardening them?

Perhaps Moshe was even more arrogant than Yosef–although his alleged speech impediment speaks to us of his having also been marked by trauma, loss, “differentness.” In fact, Moshe never exactly fits in anywhere except in his relationship to God and in God’s plan.

I have not been through anything like this, did not live through the Holocaust, and have not been under a law of the land that requires genocide, human sacrifice of babies, to a dictatorship, a king….But I do know trauma, loss, and the “differentness” that comes from going through the family law courts, USA (west coast, even….) and stigma that comes from having had custody switched after leaving a personal hell, abuse & violence in the home like I thought didn’t exist in the second half of the 20th century.

I take courage that it’s possible to not fit in anywhere, and still be a leader, and to change society…

In Shmot 2:11-2:12, Moshe sees, he really sees, a fellow Eyptian (an “eesh Mitzri”) beating a Hebrew slave to death. Moshe first looks around. He turns “coh v’coh,” this way and that way. Some say that he is looking to see whether any other Egyptians are there watching him before he kills the Egyptian taskmaster and buries him in the sand. Others suggest that he is looking within himself as well. Who am I? Am I an Egyptian or a Hebrew? What must I do?

(More on this question, below….)

I do not think that Moshe is afraid of another Egyptian. He is a Prince and can possibly get away with murder. I think that Moshe does not yet understand what slavery is and can do. Moshe waits–but he sees that there is “no man” there among the Hebrews, no one who will come to his brother’s aid.

On the question of Moshe’s turning “coh v’coh,” Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi of Mecklenburg,** in his Ha-ketav Veha-kabalah, notes that “Moses thought that one of the other Hebrew slaves who were standing there would rise up against the Egyptian taskmaster and would save their brother whom he was beating to death.” But he saw that there was no man.” (Ain Eeesh). Moses saw that there was no “real man,” no mensch (“gever b’govreen”) amongst them, and no one was paying attention to the distress of his brethren to try and save him.”

Now, let me turn to a few important things that are specific to the end of the story. Bo is the parasha in which God unleashes the last three plagues: locusts, darkness, and the killing of the first-born and it is the parasha in which we gain our freedom.

However, as important, we also receive our first mitzvot, or holy deeds, (12:2) not as an individual, not as a family, not even as a tribe, but as a “nation.” We are given Rosh Chodesh to observe. We begin to count, and therefore control our own time, something that slaves cannot do. We are also told to observe the first Pesach, to teach it to our children, and to remember it as a festival forever after.

Here is where we are told to do so even before we leave Egypt and certainly before we receive the Torah. In this sense, Bo is an early precursor to “Na’aseh v’ Nishma” which we say in Dvarim and partly say while standing at Sinai. “We will do, and we will then listen or hear or learn.”

Finally, most interestingly: When Moshe asks Pharaoh for permission to leave for three days to worship our God, Moshe says that everyone must come: the old people, the young people, both the sons and the daughters. Moshe understood that both daughters and sons, women and men, are crucial in God’s worship.

As we continue to wrestle with Moshe’s duality in terms of his being both a quintessential Egyptian and a quintessential Jew, let us ask: Did Moshe learn that women were crucial for worship from the fact that women were priestesses in Egypt and that many of Egypt’s multiple Gods were also Goddesses–or was Moshe prescient, did he understand that one day,  Judaism would have women Torah and Talmud scholars, women rabbinic pleaders and kashrut supervisors, women-only davenning groups and a Jewish society in which both women and men are viewed as important in Shabbos service?

Possibly Moshe remembered that his mother had saved his life.  Possibly Moshe remember that Pharaoh’s daughter had continued to save his life, too.  Perhaps he’d learned of the civil disobedience of the midwives who refused to kill all sons, who found a way to JUST NOT PARTICIPATE IN GENOCIDE OF THEIR OWN….   Bridging two traditions, he claimed the one of courage, the one whose God was not a dictator, who didn’t enslave nations to build monuments to himself…  Who knows?

What a tremendous tradition, complex to this day as, and important to understand from more than one viewpoint, including the feminine as well, which certain Protestant Evangelical what-nots still fear, as we speak…  NOW and certain others are still partially clueless as to this, despite efforts to stop abuse of women and children.

I will leave you with this question.

I want to thank Nechama Leibowitz, Rabbis Michael Shmidman and Avi Weiss, and my friend and teacher, Rivka Haut, for their ideas and support.

This learning is dedicated to the memory of my parents and grandparents. May their memories be for a blessing.

Thanks to them for you, Phyllis Chesler…

Here’s another map from “GULF/2000″  It’s too small print to read, but the complexity of religion shows how small Judaism remains in this area of the world (green vs. Orange, overall).

This map found at:  http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/images/maps/Mid_East_Religion_sm.jpg

A more simplified version shows Israel in a sea of green, representing Islam….

Arab-Israeli Conflict – Role of Religion

Map of Arab Countries (green) vs. Israel (red)

From “Israel Science and Technology Homepage”

“Map of Arab countries and Israel.  note that Israel is a tiny island in a sea of Arab countries”

I don’t want to further dilute this message, or this evening, but quoting the page, but it is worth considering — and again, as a woman, a worldwide Islamic empire is simply not a good idea.  Empires, in general, have not been too kindly to women and children, no matter who or where they are.

{{Format note — the bold print paragraphs below, read as regular type.  Cannot seem to adjust it this evening, will try again tomorrow, laptop has been acting up today.}}

http://www.science.co.il/arab-israeli-conflict-2.asp:

Many Islamist groups already declare that their aim is to re-establish one Muslim Nation (Islamic ummah) encompassing all Muslim nations, ruled by Islamic law replacing secular governments. Many Arab, as well as non-Arab countries, such as Iran and Afganisthan are examples of this trend. The mass demonstrations of support for Osama bin Laden in many Arab countries are popular expressions of support for this wish for global Islamic unity.In historical perspective, the wish of Islamists for global rule is reminiscent of the communist ideology to establish a “world nation of proletariat” (the communist slogan was “Workers of the world unite!”). It is significant that at the peak of the power of the USSR empire, the Arab countries were strong natural allies of the USSR against the West.Like any ideology that wishes to establish a totalitarian global rule, Islamic Arab-fundamentalism presents a serious threat to the community of nations, including the non-Arab Muslim nations, such as Turkish republics.While the role of Christianity as a force in shaping International affairs has decreased, the role of Islamic Empire in shaping International affairs has greatly increased as a result of several factors:

  • Expansion of the Islamic Empire as noted above
  • Strong Arab electorates in European capitals formed by Arabs who emigrated mostly from North Africa (over 6 million Arabs in France alone)
  • The need to appease Arabs because of their financial power and control of global petrol prices
  • Combination of age-old anti-Semitism (remember European collaboration with Nazi Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews!) with Arab interests in the Middle against Israel.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, people are fighting and arguing psychology, custody, and “PAS” throughout the family court system, our own idolatrous government has proclaimed “family” as a new idol (hypocrites!  How many wars, so far? Wars definitely break up families….)   and our CEO (President Obama) didn’t even mention “women” (half the population), or anything about them, as a topic in his 2011 State of the Union Address.  Whitehouse.gov barely says “mothers” in connection with “Families” on its issues page.  “father” on the other hand, is mentioned 4 times:   See:  

Strengthen Families

President Obama was raised by a single parent (which gender?  Male or female?  If Female, how come not “his mother”???)  (the “how come” probably relates to campaign financing…..)  and knows the difficulties that young people face when their fathers are absent. He is committed to responsible fatherhood, by supporting fathers (not mothers) who stand by their (ownership, much?) families and encouraging young men to work towards good jobs in promising career pathways. The President has also proposed an historic investment in providing home visits to low-income, first-time parents by trained professionals. The President and First Lady are also committed to ensuring that children have nutritious meals to eat at home and at school, so that they grow up healthy and strong.

Overentitled men are being exploited by the mental health professionals and psychologists in the “Family Court” (how many shades away from Shari’a? ????),  conflict-reduction, forced-shared-parenting, and etc.  This is absolutely distracting and weakening the entire nation, and if it doesn’t wake up — serves ‘em right, I say!  When it comes to entire nations, generally speaking, it’s leaders that will take a nation down, not the common man, the masses — who bad leaders fear and seek to manipulate, control, and particularly control the breeders among the masses, male & female.  

These leaders should take a lesson from Egypt, and remember Moses’ mother, a Levite — who were the priestly class.  But she was a woman….They should remember that gain and wealth gotten by a few hundred years of slavery will backfire….and can take down a nation — if there IS a God that hears, if there is justice, if there is a limit to evil.   It was Moses’ mother, not father, who goes on record as saving his life in a creative way, eventually leading an enslaved nation out of Egypt, and perpetuating the religion that has Israel, at this present day, surrounded by Islam….which hates it.

So Let’s remember Moses, Exodus, the Passover Lamb (scapegoat), and let’s be prepared, feet shod, looking to the future with hope and vision, but not forgetting where we came from. and who got us out of slavery (and, US, colonization/ taxation without representation…).

Let’s recognize the character of the times and the lands we (individually) live in. And that any future is going to require women, including Mothers,  of vision and courage, including courage to spare their children from insane, destructive, genocidal government policies based on the desire for glory & immortality (I’m thinking of the Pyramids..), and rooted, many times, in simple greed & paganism — excuse me, I mean, materialism….  What is all that stuff FOR?  and how much of it is really needed?    Who built  it?  Freedom is better, including freedom from debt.    Let’s remember that to worship ANY God properly, one needs women….I think about how Moshe was adopted of Pharaoh, and the religion stemming from the covenant in the wilderness talks about God adopting Israel.  The compassion in his life was framed by women, certainly….  Whereas Joseph’s own brothers, out of jealousy, sold him into slavery…

Moses/ Moshe had both worlds, could’ve chosen to stay as an adoptive prince.  But instead, he chose ethics and stood against an entire nation that dealt in unbelieveable slavery and glorification of death in pursuit of immorality.  No thanks!

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm

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