Archive for June, 2008

Obama Bashes, My thoughts…

June 18, 2008

My question was, what is this “fatherhood” bill being promoted by Senator Obama (see my previous post). There are a few givens. Kowtowing to the currently feminist dominated family agendas, few legislators will have the courage to implement a program that would fundamentally change the problem of divorce and fatherless children. Such a strategy would require commitment to a shared-parenting initiative, including banning “on-demand,” “no-fault divorces” in which the divorcing parent–the one breaking the marriage contract–has the most to gain.

There are two bills in the 110th Congress. The senate bill is S. 1626. The house bill is H.R. 3395. Both of these bills will remain proposals until the new Congress is enjoined after the elections and seating of the new President in January or February 2009. There is little likelihood that these bills will be moved out of committee before they are required to be reintroduced in the 111th Congress.

The following looks at the draconian provisions I mentioned briefly in my prior post.

1. Increase funds for Fatherhood programs. Available funds for responsible fatherhood programs are contingent upon consultation with “domestic violence organizations that have demonstrated expertise working with survivors of domestic violence in developing policies, procedures, programs and training necessary to appropriately address domestic violence in families served by programs and activities funded under such grant.”

Great theme and really convincing political sound-bites that cater to divorcing women or women who are considering divorce. But, since DV is most often caused by the alleged victims, aka mothers, through child abduction, temporary restraining orders, and divorce actions, this provision makes no funds available to men who have been victimized by the system.

2. Procedures to address DV. In sum, the legislation assumes a father’s guilt of DV prior to entering a program for which monies are allotted. DV survivors will require that the father sign a “voluntary” admission acknowledging his guilt of DV prior to entering a program funded under this legislation. In addition, the bill requires the identification of instances or risks of DV as a precondition for the states receive funds.

With $25 million per state, there are many organizations out there stirring up pots of trouble and promoting violence or the image of DV so that more funds can come their way. A proposal of this magnitude should encourage participation of organizations that are not vested parties to divorce or violence in personal relationships, such as Active Parenting Now.

3. Activities promoting responsible fatherhood. Section 403(a)(2) of the Social Security Act, which can be found <a href=”http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title04/0403.htm”>here</a&gt;, is a bonus for states to reduce illegitimacy rates (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(2)(C)(ii)). The bonus is $100 million for states, up to $25 million per state, that have the largest decreases in out-of-wedlock childbearing.

The change in language from “marriage” to “marriage and healthy relationships” does not change the fact that the money goes primarily to programs that simply identify fathers as biological parents who owe child support. There is no disincentive to discourage mothers from divorcing fathers and removing them from their children’s lives.

Note to 3. 42 USC is Public Health and Welfare. <a href=”http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title42/title42.html”>Chapter 7</a> is Social Security and subchapter IV is “Grants to States for Aid and Services to Needy Families with Children and for Child-Welfare Services.” Part A is “Block Grants to States for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).” Section 603 describes the Grants to States under this law. Marriage is not mentioned in this law. The SSA version of the U.S.C. can be found <a href=”http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title04/0400.htm”>here.</a&gt;

4. Healthy Family Partnerships Grants. This provision also has nothing to do with helping fathers. This program and the money supporting it is about preventing DV and providing services (aka incentives) to victims of DV. Fathers who are victims of women who abuse this system are legion because the majority of paid workers in this program coerce, cajole, and flatter women’s sense of entitlement into seeking temporary restraining orders against men whom they themselves have coerced and cajoled into a marriage they had no intention of honoring.

Instead of decreasing violence this army of ideological workers, thinking they are following a utopian ideal of mother dominance in the family, often increase violence by initiating the government mechanism of Family Courts that disrupts and destroys family relationships; especially between a father and his child.

5. Work Participation Rate for 2-Parent Families. Currently, there is a 90% required participation rate for 2-parent families. By eliminating this onerous demand, the participation rate would be reduced to 50% in order for a state to be eligible for the grants under this bill.

I would recommend lowering the threshold for 2-parent families far below the level for single parent households. A state, a congress, or a legislator needs an incentive to promote marriage. We really need to focus on what we want; intact families, the foundation of democracy in the United States.

6. Full Distribution of Collected Child Support. While this is a common sense provision that most debtors of child support take for granted until screwed, a better provision would be to completely prohibit fees and interest on past due child support amounts.

7. Incarceration is Involuntary Unemployment. I find it helpful that this provision would require a state to consider incarceration as a period of involuntary unemployment that may qualify an incarcerated parent for a modification of his child support order. This may remove the custodial parent’s motivation to have the non-custodial parent jailed.

8. Flexibility of Child Support Payments. Another positive provision for Dads is the possibility that a child support arrearage may be forgiven or reduced where a father has no ability or little ability to pay.

I would promote an easier remedy for a father to bring action into public court where the decision could be published (personal information redacted). In such a manner, more fathers would have more guidance upon which they may reduce their own child support when hit with hard times.

Private and secret Family Courts do not allow justice. They allow special interests, such as the DV prevention advocates, aka feminists, to rule these courts with the fear of making the wrong decision in a family case. The solution for judges is fewer cases, aka shared parenting.

9. Employment Demonstration Project. Fathers would not need this project if mothers found it less financially profitable to destroy the family and take out a temporary restraining order on the father. Notwithstanding the runaway increase in false DV claims, the very existence of a TRO can cost a father his job and his ability to pay any child support.

While the idea is laudable, more can be had from a shared-parenting initiative in which incentives are removed for the mother to kick-the-bum-out.

The kicker here is that these programs have to help non-custodial parents improve relationships with their children. For a guy like me–live-beat Dad–these provisions are an incentive to stop paying timely child support and become homeless so I can see my kids again.

Advertisements

Obama Bashes Fathers, Supports Draconian Laws

June 15, 2008

The New York Times reported today that Presidential hopeful, Barrack Obama, spoke out against absent fathers in church on Father’s Day. Seemingly without a clue why fathers are being forced out of their children’s lives, Obama turned his rhetoric into support for a draconian bill that would make things far worse for non-custodial parents.

The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), would increase enforcement of child support payments and strengthen domestic violence prevention services. Most fathers pay child support and are routinely denied visitation with their children. Most DV prevention services are staffed by people who advocate divorce. This bill would continue to destroy families.

Instead, the shared parenting initiative being promoted in many states, has proven itself to keep families intact and to reduce the divorce rates. It is sad to see no hope for fathers in this Presidential election year.

Foster Kids Tell Grups, Wake Up

June 15, 2008

Perhaps Lillian Koller is right. The Honolulu Advertiser reports that DHS has found six teen foster kids (“6 missing Hawaii Foster Teens Found” 6/13/08). Ms. Koller wants to find more of these missing kids.

Foster teens have found the DHS system lacking and they make their opinions known by hiding from and refusing the services of the people who have been tasked to provide for them. Ms. Koller is a brave woman for calling attention to these children.

Why do families break apart? and How do so many kids end up in foster care? That story goes back to the strength of the families they came from. Most often, it is the father who needs help being a father to his children. And the parents need help being civil to each other. As soon as the mother gets help from divorce attorneys and domestic violence shelters, the marriage is done even if it could have been saved. The flaws of family life are exponentially exaggerated and the state is too happy to tear kids away from the people who love them most. The state would not need to take kids if parents had better access to parenting skills education.

I would ask; How many foster kids choose to be children of divorce? How many choose to have their fathers ejected from their lives? How many have decided by themselves that hating their father is in their best interests? How many mothers teach their children to hate? The answers are frightening and these foster kids are trying to tell us there’s something wrong with the system.

Children want to belong. The parent who terminates contact with the ejected parent may blackmail her child’s love. But a child who is forced to give up a part of themselves, their father, will succumb to mental health issues for years and decades into their future.

A child’s love can be taught by the love that we can give to each other, even in separation. Honesty, trustfulness, forgiveness and frequent contact with the other parent. These are but pieces of the puzzle of love that a child wants.

I am the best father that I know even denied visitation and all contact with my children–I remain the most devoted father. My wish, on this Father’s Day, is that all lost kids know that we–the fathers who brought you into this world–love you.

50 Rampaging Boys, No Fathers

June 13, 2008

Within hours, the Honolulu Star Bulletin had over 160 posts to its 6/13/08 article, “Violent Mobs of Teens Draw Calls for Safety in Kalihi.” With property damage and assaults, the incidents this week were not isolated, but are apparently, ongoing, according to some quoted in the story. Most people quoted refused to give their last names. They fear for their lives.

Passion runs high. We want to load our shotguns, jail the kids, and jail their parents for letting these kids run amok. But, that may be the problem. These kids, a few of whom are likely to be the mob leaders, are probably kids of divorce. Their fathers are likely kept away from them with temporary restraining orders that the Hawaii Family Court hands out like candy. The rest have likely been jailed and have lost their jobs over some inane violation of the TRO.

No-fault divorce and easy TROs are the likely culprit behind mobs of teens. Children without both parents fare much worse than children from intact homes. If there is a divorce, ejecting the father is bad policy. It was proven to be true in the Irish slums of New York in the 1800’s, in the riots of Chicago and the gangs of Los Angeles. Now, it’s come home to Hawaii.

A presumption of joint-custody and equal parenting time has been proven to reduce divorces in states that have adopted shared parenting initiatives. We need to push harder for these common sense laws to be adopted in our state.

Stabbing Puts Dementia Patient in Hands of DV Prosecutors

June 13, 2008

An Oahu man, 71 years old with dementia, stabbed his wife in his home recently, reports the Honolulu Advertiser on 6/13/08.  The wife was stabbed in the chest for no apparent reason. She is in stable condition. The husband won’t remember what he did. But, police arrested Marcial Aguilar for attempted murder, then downgraded the charges to second-degree assault. This man with dementia, who won’t remember what he did, is in jail with bail set at $11,000.

This is an unfortunate incident. But the prosecutors who have charged him with “allegedly” stabbing his wife are likely to be the domestic violence lawyers that dominate these types of incidents in District Court. By doing so, Mr. Aguilar will become one of the statitics of DV against women in this state, furthering the prosecutor’s ability to get additional funds from federal, state, and private advocacy groups for the prevention of domestic violence and the perpetuation of the myth that men are the sole perpetrators.

As unfortunate as the incident is, it is a medical issue, not a DV issue. Yet, you can be sure that the divorce lawyers will be jumping on this family and tearing them apart soon.

Kid’s Count Fails to Address Father-Loss

June 12, 2008

Kudos to reporter Helen Altonn of the Honolulu Star Bulletin for printing such a thorough article on the important Kid’s Count topic. (Isles’ teen and infant death rates decrease, 6/12/08.)

For all its ability to shed light on the causes of the dismal statistics, at least one statistic is not being tallied. The number of caring, loving father’s being driven out of families by no-fault divorce, easy temporary restraining orders, and primary custody to one parent. These factors alone can account for the increase in single-parent homes and the overburdened juvenile justice system.

Advocates of shared parenting legislation talk passionately in terms similar to Mr. Douglas Nelson, author of the included essay, “A Road Map for Juvenile Justice Reform.”

We Americans can realize what is happening to families across America by accepting that fathers, through no fault of their own and against their wishes, are being driven out of their homes, families, and the lives of the children they love.

Ejecting fathers from families is an ill conceived strategy that is directly connected to increases in crime. The national fatherless trend endangers young people’s emotional lives in the present and the future. The epidemic nature of father-loss wastes billions of taxpayer dollars on well-organized, but highly misguided feminists who coerce their local judiciaries into forcing men out of children’s lives.

Finally, trumping up a “bad parent” scenario is the de-facto technique where law abiding fathers are deemed to be harmful to their children, often without evidence, simply because their parenting is different than the custodial parent. Skilled, aggressive, and highly adversarial divorce lawyers have no qualms with violating our deepest-held constitutional guarantees of fair hearings in the secret and unaccountable Family Court system.

To find out more about this, visit my web site at http://www.mywiferanoffwithourkids.com/.

Children in Poverty are Often Fatherless Children

June 12, 2008

A June 11, 2008 New York Times article focuses on a Colorado study that shows a 73% increase in child poverty since 2000. New Hampshire and Delaware fell into a distant 2nd and 3rd at 47% and 43% respectively. Children across the U.S. living in poverty have grown 9% from 2000 to 2006.

<p> 

While no single factor can explain these startling numbers, the article cites an increase in single-parent households first among the many reasons for the increases. What the article does not tell you is that the cause of single-parent households is, by far, no-fault divorce.

 <p>

Fathers are being pushed out of homes by spouses who want complete control of their children. Family courts, lawyers, psychologists, and a cadre of para-professionals are helping these women. Fathers a left scrambling and searching for support services that don’t exist for men.

 <p>

These children don’t just experience the loss of financial stability of a two-parent home. They are faced with a future of emotional uncertainty. A loved one has been driven from their lives and that’s just the beginning of a complex series of behaviors that will teach them, their Dad is a sub-human.

 <p>

If any state is serious about driving down rates of poverty, they have to shift their focus away from the family destructive policies of no-fault divorce, temporary restraining orders on demand, and primary custody to one parent.

 <p>

Over time, women who divorce will fare better, economically, than the men they push out of their lives. But the cost cannot be measured only in dollars.

 <p>

Find out more on my web site at http://www.mywiferanoffwithourkids.com/.

Father’s Resources

June 11, 2008

If you have not found it already, my blog is but a subset of the good work <a href=”http://glennsacks.com/”>Glenn Sacks</a> does on his web site. In addition to my posts, make sure you check out Glenn’s web site and my home page; <a href=”http://www.mywiferanoffwithourkids.com/”>My Wife Ran Off With Our Kids</a>.com. I’ve recently updated some of the pages on Shared Parenting.

Your comments are welcome.

Woman Murderer Lives, Friend and Children Dead, Father is Alone

June 10, 2008

It’s hard to imagine a more gruesome crime than the one discussed by the AP on Monday, June 9, 2008. From Belleville, IL, 26 year old Tiffany Hall pleaded guilty to the murder of five people. This wasn’t a woman Rambo let loose in this town. This was a cold and calculating murderer who killed for no known motive.

 

Ms. Hall struck her friend on the head, cut out her fetus and let her friend bleed to death. She got rid of the body before calling the police and telling everyone the fetus was her own stillborn child. A few days later, she visited the father of her friend’s unborn child and picked up his three children under the ruse that the mother was waiting for them. That was the last he saw of his children.

 

Hall’s attorney’s refused to describe a motive or discuss any inkling of remorse. Instead, he claimed that she had unresolved mental health issues and an IQ in the mid 70’s.

 

I don’t think much about her IQ or lack of it, she was intelligent enough to know right from wrong. As for her mental health issues, it appears that she is the cause of a lot more people’s mental health issues because of her unresolved issues.

 

The reporter quotes the victim’s mother, saying she had already forgiven Hall. The father–caretaker and protector of his children who mattered more to those children than any other family members, was not quoted. My deepest sympathies to the father and to the families.

 

In my opinion, the heinous nature of this crime deserved a far more severe action. This depraved human being proved herself to committing violent actions far beyond the normal foibles of human error. It is clear that what she did was premeditated. It is likely that she revels in what she did. Many men have gone on death row for lesser crimes. It is not conceivable to treat her different than a serial killer.

Fathers More Likely to Protect Children

June 8, 2008

Incredibly sad news blazed across the headlines of the New York Times today, 6/8/08; “Brooklyn Couple Face Charges in Death of Boy, 3.” Nymeen Cheathem (30) and Lemar Martin (25) are accused of acting in a manner to injure a child. An unamed official stated that the boy had been sodomized but the facts reported do not directly support this statement. The statement is doubly strange because Mr. Martin is the one who had come running out of the house for help.

Instead, relatives of the woman had filed petitions to become guardian of the boy. Neighbors had seen the mother frequently cursing at the boy, including leaving him out in the cold with only a T-shirt; the mother yelling at the boy to stay there. Neighbors had also seen signs of abuse like bruises on his ankles and cigarrette burns on his body.

Since Ms. Cheatham had four other children in someone else’s custody, at least one other father and even her own family knew this woman was very capable of dishing out fatal doses of DV. By definition, either caretaker could be guilty of sodomy in this situation.

In general, fathers want to protect their children. I don’t believe the father was there.

Mr. Martin was not identified as the father. I don’t know if Mr. Martin was complicit in this fatal domestic violence case. He did one thing right by getting help. But I do know that, had the father been there, he would likely have spoken out more strongly against this vicious woman and this boy would probably be alive today.

In our culture of divorce and single parent homes–like ours–tragedies like this occur because of the divorce and because single parents must live with such a higher burden of stress. Putting fathers back in the lives of their children is the answer.

Visit my website at http://www.mywiferanoffwithourkids.com/ to find out how you can help.