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In response to a post by SwedishJewfish putting Walker's exploitation of the death of a child into its proper context, as an effort to assign culpability from himself to where it doesn't belong, I was moved to "pen" the following as a comment which two readers would like to see as a stand-alone.
So, here it is below the curlicue, even though it contains hardly anything new.

Not that it's any help, but child welfare and family services and foster care are all variants of human husbandry -- the exploitation by people of their own kind to their detriment.  Now that the quantity of natural resources that can be doled out for exploitation has significantly decreased, providing "services" to human beings as if they were another exploitable resources has become attractive. Children, at any stage or age, are particularly vulnerable because the law considers them to be the property of their parents, whose property rights trump human rights unless the state perceives a challenge to its right to make life and death decisions.

When it comes to children, we're still in the world of euphemism and secrecy, a misuse of the right to privacy which serves as a shield to protect all the actors, except the children. The exploitation of "our most precious resource" is almost a given, considering that throughout EuroAmerican history in the Western hemisphere that's what resources have been for.  It's what the ex-men do:


It's all part and parcel of the dominionist attitude.  In exchange for being subservient to the deity, man gets to lay waste to the earth with abandon and that includes his own off-spring. It is not mere chance that, along with Somalia, the U.S. has failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The incorporation of slavery as a legal status continues to reverberate in our habit of letting ownership rights trump human rights.  Most people do not realize that "property rights" or the right to own property (including other people) is a sop to compensate for the fact that human rights, including the right to sustenance and to go on living, are not absolute but are conditioned on humans being subservient and "deserving" of their portion -- the message of the euphemistic "no free lunch."  The longer version of which would be that if people want to eat, they must be compliant with the culture of obedience.

That, btw, is a central point of disagreement between authoritarians and the Obama administration and it's being played out in the school lunch program.  The proposal to provide free lunches at schools to all children in districts where census data reveal a low level of income is really irksome to conservatives.   But, as happened with the student loan program transfer to the Department of Education, they haven't yet figured out how to talk about their ire that children should be started on the road to expect free lunches without seeming mean.
Strange as it may seem, "abortion" is actually a euphemism for talking about "the children of people we hate" by pretending to be concerned about their survival.  That "abortion" is a euphemism is not immediately obvious.  But, the claim to want to prevent a natural process, an impossibility, serves to obscure the real intent -- i.e. to punish women who don't behave and assert a claim over the children they are forced to produce.

If women don't reproduce with abandon, there won't be a supply of "fungible troops" and there won't be any children to exploit and abuse. Not so long ago, authoritarians used to inveigh against humanism.  They did so under the guise of religion, claiming that the elevation of human rights represents a rejection of the supremacy of the deity.  But, what they were really opposed to was the elevation of human rights over property rights.  When Dubya spoke of home ownership, he may well have had that particular form of ownership in mind, but the "ownership society" he proclaimed has broader implications.  It means that a claim to the ownership of things (material assets) trumps respect for the natural properties (speech, association, perambulation, creation) of man. It is the contemporary version of selling our birthrights for a bowl of porridge. There is no living free in that society because the resources we need to survive have been allocated as private property and we have to obey, if we want to get some.

Private property is not, btw, the problem.  The problem is that those, who claim to own a portion of God's good earth, have no obligation to share. This is not necessarily so.  We could determine that man's natural properties are unconditional and deserving of respect while material assets belong to him only on condition that he share. We are entitled to our properties, but property has to be shared.

I just want to add that the Koch Brothers' championing of Walker is entirely consistent with their history of having gotten rich by extracting free natural resources from the bowels of the earth and taking them to market for a profit. That's the process "free market" actually refers to.  The avoidance of conditions or obligations associated with that transfer (such as cleaning up after themselves) is what makes them free. Freedom from obligation is, after all, the authoritarian ideal -- to take without having to give anything in return, just as other natural predators do.  Which, given that the human brain is capable of cognition, suggests that the practitioners of human husbandry, who exploit without killing directly, are somehow deficient and incapable of living up to their potential.

Originally posted to hannah on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 04:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and House of LIGHTS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (8+ / 0-)

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:28:47 AM PDT

  •  Doesn't "husbandry" imply (6+ / 0-)

    a level of care?   Perhaps you addressed that already.  I'm a little dense this a.m.

    When I think of animal husbandry, I think of taking care of animals.  Yes, we use them, but we value the asset, rather than strip it out without replacement.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:29:53 AM PDT

    •  Animals replace themselves. (10+ / 0-)

      While the animals we keep in zoos and as pets live longer than in the wild, the objects of animal husbandry are kept until they are ready to be et.

      I will grant you that it's occurred to me that "if animals have rights, can children be far behind?"  That is, our concern for the welfare of other creatures is sometimes greater than for our own kind. Though, husbandry can be considered a kinder/gentler alternative to killing them outright, as we did when we bombed Iraq.

      Lots of lip service and euphemisms when it comes to human kind.

      People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

      by hannah on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:41:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes but the meme still works because... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuWho, Ms Tex

      .... treating humans like animals that are to be harvested one way or the other, is morally impermissible.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:30:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Combine this love of money with (13+ / 0-)

    the Religious Right's endless protection of the rule of men over their families, and horrors like this are bound to happen. As much as the RR wails about fetuses, they honestly don't care about children once they're born. They're just an exploitable resource, and if they either have no fathers, or their mothers are the "wrong sort" of woman, then, too bad for the kiddies.


  •  Thanks (6+ / 0-)

    Nice articulation of the truth, something I have come to appreciate most of all as I read things.  As in "tell it like it is."

    Call exploitation and debt slavery whatever you want.

    by jcrit on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:40:20 AM PDT

  •  Having spent a large portion of my career (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, SwedishJewfish

    in various aspects of child welfare, I respectfully take exception.  

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:43:37 AM PDT

    •  I'm not seeing either how this exploits (0+ / 0-)

      children, certainly not as a resource. At all. What does the state get out of them?

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:52:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The state does not (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PvtJarHead, SwedishJewfish, Sue B

        while it is true that where the state contracts out its child protection duties, private agencies may benefit financially depending how they run their caseloads.  The adoption and Safe Families Act was supposed to solve that, but it didn't entirely.  It's a tough problem.  Personally, I'm agin privatizing.

        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

        by marykk on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:55:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Foster care stipends and subsidized (5+ / 0-)

        adoptions provide an income stream that's not available to the birth parents.  In Minnesota, where Ms. Bachmann took in 23 girls to "foster," the state provides a payment of $600 per month for each child.  Considering that some of our seniors are expected to manage a household for themselves on less than that, it's not inconsiderable.
        Although I haven't been employed in a "child protection" system, I did serve as a volunteer guardian ad litem for more than a decade and had the opportunity of becoming familiar with children in foster care who got arrested for "shoplifting" such items as shampoo, deodorant, notebooks and pens for school, presumably because their care-givers didn't provide them and the system couldn't hold them to account for how the money was spent.
        I also had the opportunity to observe how teens, as they grew to consume more and more of the parental allocation were passed around to various family members to "foster" these "hard to manage" children because the stipend for a "relative placement" was larger.
        The exploitation of children isn't just an institutional thing.  Though, the "mental health treatment facilities" that sprang up like mushrooms in Florida in the eighties in response to mental health coverage in health insurance plans was an industrial response, albeit temporary and largely ineffective.  That is, the children weren't better off after a few months of "drug treatment" with prescription drugs, but the parents did have a respite.

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:07:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you are broad brushing here (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk, eXtina

          The vast majority foster and adoptive parents take children in for the right reasons. The stipends they recieve are not high enough to generate any financial motivation, unless they are depriving the children in their care. Do some people do this? Yes, unfortunately, but with proper screening and oversight that can be avoided. I agree that birth families should be given more support-in particular they need to be supported before they abuse or neglect their children in the first place.

          Teens can indeed be very difficult to foster. Teenage issues on top of issues of abandonment and abuse can cause even the most well modulated child to go off the rails a bit. I think that has a lot more to do with the difficulties in placing them than the fact that they consume more of their parental allocation.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"- MLK

          by SwedishJewfish on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:21:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I took this to be in reference to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kishik, hannah

      privatized child welfare, since it involves profit, and not child welfare as a whole (which I think we would all agree is vital and necessary) which is why I tend to agree with it, but I would be interested in hearing your take.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"- MLK

      by SwedishJewfish on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:54:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Privatization of public services is (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, SwedishJewfish, MKinTN, SuWho

        attractive for various reasons. Public officials are keen to be rid of responsibilities that are onerous or cause them difficulties.  Something that is not as widely appreciated as it might be is that the advent of legislation such as the Federal Tort Claims Act and state variants has deprived public officials of the immunity from liability for gross error or negligence that they used to enjoy in the performance of their offices.  If they can be held personally liable for someone's injury, the job isn't nearly as rewarding.
        On the other hand, contractors in private enterprise have long viewed the public sector's guaranteed stream of revenue with envy and are quite happy to take on onerous tasks (incarceration, waste management, waste disposal), for a cost+ contract where the + refers to a guaranteed profit, usually 10-15%. This formula has had the unintended consequence of the "enhancement" of costs because as costs rise, so does the profit. We saw the same trajectory in medical services.
        Privatization has benefits for everyone, except the recipients of services and those who pay the freight. It is the middleman's nirvana. Pay reductions do not improve services because the relationship between pay and service is not direct.

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:37:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm glad (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2thanks, kishik, Smoh, hannah

    that you turned your comment into a diary.


    "May today be as great as yesterday, and tomorrow be greater than both!" Author, Sharon B.

    by secret38b on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:46:00 AM PDT

  •  So glad you turned this into a diary (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2thanks, kishik, Smoh, dilutedviking, hannah

    thank you Hannah. Tipped, Recc'd, and hotlisted.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"- MLK

    by SwedishJewfish on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:50:49 AM PDT

  •  School lunches (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The proposal to provide free lunches at schools to all children in districts where census data reveal a low level of income is really irksome to conservatives.
    Is there a proposal to provide free lunches to all children in those neighborhoods? In our public schools each family who wants to, fills out a form to qualify for free or reduced price lunch. It's not a universal benefit at the moment.
    •  Yes, there is a proposal. (0+ / 0-)

      It present it's being run as a demonstration project in districts that have signed up and qualified and agreed to an emphasis on fresh foods, the availability of water as an option in the cafeteria and, I think, the banishment of soft-drink machines from the premises.
      You may recall a short story about a congressman wanting to have pizza classified as a vegetable.  I say "short" because it didn't stay around long.

      This is not one of my primary interests, but I did write this up

      People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

      by hannah on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:16:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kock brothers have also poisoned the children of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dilutedviking, Pandoras Box

    Corpus Christi, but will never go to jail for it.

    Depraved Indifference. But not if you can buy your own government.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

    by JayRaye on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:39:09 AM PDT

    •  PS. I used to work with children who lived in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandoras Box

      the refinery row area.

      Have pics that I took at a primary school in the area, you can see refinery in the back ground. Sadly, can't post it because of the kids in the pic. But there they are playing with that refinery in the back ground. The class rooms have no windows, so that they can lock down in case of emergency.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

      by JayRaye on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:48:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a simple problem, but the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        failure to define artificial bodies (corporations) as different from natural persons is central.  Our whole system of laws is predicated on the assumption that individual behavior is good.  So, for example, when individuals dispose of their bodily waste in the woods, just like the bears, that's considered "natural" and good.  While it seems logical to conclude that when two thousand people do the same as one person in the same place, what is good is bound to have negative consequences (e.g. hikers in the White Mountains peeing along the trails have led to the contamination of fresh-water streams so they are no longer safe to drink without getting sick), our system of laws doesn't do well dealing with the behavior of large groups (even RICO had to be a special effort) and, as the ruling in Citizens United shows, there's been little effort to take numbers of people working together into account as being significantly different from people acting alone.

        Indeed, conservatives are quite giddy about making individuals alone responsible for everything in a system (man-made bodies) that's designed to avoid liability. If anything, man-made corporations are better than what Mother Nature makes.

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:52:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This ties in with an article (0+ / 0-)

    I was reading earlier about an ex GS guy that is working for a conservative conservation group where he is trying to convince large polluting companies that it's more profitable to not completely rape the planet all at once :D

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:52:53 AM PDT

  •  Children's rights vs family rights ... (0+ / 0-)

    The insidious part of Children's Rights in this has to do with their lack of family rights.  You's think these are one and the same, but they are not.  If we enact children's rights then we begin to destroy the family under this proposal.

    As a long time activist for low income people, it came to my attention that family rights is under assault, particularly for poor families.  It has to do with the funding cycle.  Let me explain how, though it is kind of "wonky":

    Title IV, which is a fund coming out of Social Security funds is wreaking havoc for these families, mostly families in poverty.  It the funding used for CPS, adoptions and foster care.  

    What is happening with the austerity cuts cutting all services for families in need that is growing by the minute,  is replacing this money with Title IV money when families are in need.  As a matter of fact, after being cut to the bone for low income families, the disabled and elderly,and besides the Title IV funding, then CPS goes in and takes on the average of ANOTHER 1/3 of the other funding for themselves such as welfare, food stamps, medical and housing money, as well.  

    But the problem with Title IV funding are the mandates.  What they say to CPS in essence is: "The more kids you take, the more money you will make and if you return these kids home, you will LOSE all present and future funding..."  This allows CPS to go in and rip children from their families, refuse to assist the families with any help and take these children permanently.  

    The unholy alliance with this funding is further corrupted with the aid of family court.  You wonder why it is now possible to kidnap off the street and even KILL Americans with no court proceedings, no Constitutional rights?  It began in family court where no worker has to prove their accusations of abuse, they are just considered "fact" in court.  Worried that the worker, not only receiving a wage but who gets a bonus for proclaiming these accusations as fact could be lying?  Too bad, she is immune, even if she is proven to have committed perjury in court (an offense that usually sentences government workers to prison under the US Code).  Wondering how much these agencies get for lying?  They get between $6-8000 PER MONTH PER CHILD in exchange for these lies with no accountability by the law.  

    Think your state has laws against taking children because of poverty?  Most states do, but the conditions of poverty are direct legal definitions of "maltreatment and neglect".  Wonder why taken kids cannot be put with their extended families?  CPS, the courts, and their contracted agencies do not get as much funding.  Much better to take the kids, and if they don't get adopted, who cares?  The agencies will be receiving this money as long as the kid is a minor, thus taking the "less adoptable" kids of color are money in the bank.  A mother with 2 kids costs around $1200 a month for the same services and this includes medical, housing, cash for necessities, and food stamps.

    It cost literally 1000% LESS of your tax dollars to keep a child in the family and give the family services.  These agencies also know full well that keeping kids in their families is far more successful for children besides costing much much less.  Kids in foster care are actually 5-7X more likely to be even more severely neglected and abused ~ and adoptions do not fare much better for these children.  

    So what does this have to do with the UN Rights of the Child being passed?   All this would do is put all these practices above on steroids, it destroys entire families and WILL destroy the child for life from the trauma alone of losing their families much less the abuse and neglect they will face for the rest of their childhood.

    There are poverty organizations who are trying to stop this "harvesting" of low-income kids.  

    * Michigan has a campaign about water rights for low-income families.  Because they have privatised the water companies, whenever a family cannot afford the water bill, these companies come in and pour concrete down the pipes at the home. Then CPS comes and takes the kids but refuses to assist the family for help with the bill.  You can learn more about it here: Ask for Maureen Taylor

    * Washington State where I live has a movement to create waivers in those Title IV mandates.  You can learn about it here at People Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights (POWER): Ask for Monica Peabody or Washington Families United:

    *Wisconsin is also working against CPS taking poor kids and the horror it has cause.  You can ad more about them here:  Ask for Pat gowens.  

    BTW almost ALL of these organizations are run by POOR PEOPLE and need donations as they struggle every day to keep in existance for this important work that BTW is not only about poor kids but about Constitutional rights! Because as it was with Welfare Reform, the poor are always the "canary in the mine" for what can be done to the middle class.  So now, if they can do this to poor kids YOUR KIDS ARE NEXT if they so choose.  

    This is not just happening in the US, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, are notably on this track as well and the kidnapping of children in 3rd world countries is rampant with "Christian" organizations (such as the woman who runs the shopping networks who protects her $Millions with "adoption agencies" that was just held accountable for stealing children in Haiti). Whole families have been destroyed, and if you speak to the foster kids on the street fleeing foster situations that will give you nightmares for weeks, you will understand that passing this UN mandate needs some serious work first!

    Cat in Seattle  <---board member of POWER working with these folks myself

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    by mntleo2 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:09:03 AM PDT

    •  Repost as a diary. It is too important to be left (0+ / 0-)

      orphaned as an unrec'd comment.   Tacked at the end of hannah's provocative and pertinent comments on child abuse as a perverse economic good under our present economy.

      This currently under construction..

      by BeeDeeS on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:14:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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