Archive for October, 2014

Behind the Times

October 24, 2014

This evening, I sat in on an instructional session from the group bully.org. I have a lot of empathy for their mission. They are trying to teach kids–while in school–to live in a different world than the one they actually live in.

Kids get bullied in school–a truth we have all known since we were kids. Major media networks are telling young women they should not vote and that beautiful women models are not intelligent enough to comment on mass shootings. Whether we talk about Ebola, National Security, Immigration, the middle-east, Obamacare or any of a hundred topics, bullying is a shameful American national passtime. All this exemplified by Gamergate, where young bullies become internet trolls, above and beyond the law and capable of destroying the lives of their targets.

We are poor role models for our kids. Not a day can go by where one gunslinging politician obscures facts fast enough to fool most of the people all the time. Somehow, we expect our kids to do as we say, not as we do. What fools we are.

There is hope for our kids, but we have to do as we say. Life is messy. Conflicts arise, but they can be resolved. The bullies do have the power to ruin our lives. It is up to us to change the paradigm. It may not be too late. But, if you ask our kids, they will tell you that we are behind the times. Seriously, check out bully.org. Good people trying to catch us up.

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When Angry Feminists Want Revenge

October 10, 2014

Repeal HB 1993

What happens when angry feminists want revenge? In general, they declare a month (October) to be a domestic violence (DV) awareness month. They say that one of every four women will experience DV in their lifetime (and leave out the part where one in every four men will be subject to the same). They declare that a woman is always the victim and they even have Vice President Joe Biden backing them up with irrational statements like, “It is never, never, never a woman’s fault.”

Having established legitimacy to their cause, they then help pass State level legislation against the men–but not the women–who cause domestic conflict to become violent. In most jurisdictions, Temporary Restraining Orders are easier to obtain than a new iPhone. Violations of TROs are usually misdemeanors and that makes angry feminists angrier. “If he’s not burning in hell, he hasn’t suffered enough!”

Current laws already lead to the dissolution of families. Pro-Bono lawyers for “victims” initiate divorce proceedings which requires the opposing party to engage a lawyer with a minimum $5,000 retainer. They engage guardian ad litems and custody evaluators who command upwards of $200 per hour for their services. They begin paperwork for the custodial parent to collect child support, a minimum $15,000 per child over 18 years while the husband is in jail or not working. It’s a comfortable arrangement for the bureaucrats; enriching the lawyers, lackeys and State agencies on the backs of fathers–a reliable source of income thanks to collection agencies.

But when an angry feminist truly wants revenge, they help enact a law that not only helps destroy families, but helps to undermine a system that lawyers, judges, guardian ad litems and custodial evaluators have worked for over half a century since family and civil courts were separated.

On June 20, 2014, a new domestic violence law was enacted in Hawaii that “makes physical abuse in the presence of a child under 14, who is a family or household member, a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.” The makers of House Bill 1993 may have had good intentions, but the consequences couldn’t be more catastrophic for families, lawyers and the system, ultimately doing more harm than good.

Over 90 people, mostly men and mostly fathers of children, have been arrested under HB 1993’s provision in the two months since it became law.

The problem with angry feminism is that the solutions they think up end up being worse than the problems they are intended to alleviate. HB 1993 is a perfect example. Let’s look at some of the things that could go wrong with a law like this.

  • a. Police Officers are people, too. They have to enter into a person’s home and “make a reasonable inquiry of witnesses or household members when physical abuse or harm is suspected and order a no-contact period of 48 hours ” That means they must determine if a misdemeanor or a felony has been committed. If it is a felony, they are required to take somebody downtown based on the allegations of the highly emotionally charged people involved.
  • b. A child must be implicated in a domestic violence dispute under HB 1993. That means the child has to testify against one parent or another. Requiring a child to testify is a last resort in family courts. How will this play out in civil court when one parent faces felony charges? Suppose that the child was not in the same room, was on the phone, on an internet Skype connection or even receiving instant messaging or text messages during the conflict. Is the child in the presence of the family dispute?
  • c. When you are talking about a felony, somebody needs to be jailed pending the verification of allegations. This will likely cause the person jailed, guilty or not, to lose his job.
  • d. The next step in the process is for the “victim” to obtain a TRO. This will likely cause the person jailed to lose his home.
  • e. The TRO will now have to include the child because of the felony and the language of the statute. The person jailed will now lose access to his children.
  • f. The Father will be in jail. He won’t have any income. No lawyers, no custody evaluators and no guardian at litems will be paid.
  • g. Think of how much control this law has given to the State over every individual’s private life under its jurisdiction to intervene in matters that should be and can be resolved within the sanctity of the family, the bastion of democratic principles in the United States.

What has the angry feminist obtained? Revenge? Is this a basis for a law?

Domestic Violence is no joke. Hundreds of thousands of people, men, women and children, are caught up in escalating domestic conflicts every year. We could be teaching our children to handle conflicts in non-violent ways. But that is not what is happening in America.

When a couple is engaged in a domestic dispute, they both become victims of their inability to handle conflict. Escalation of the conflict is often inevitable because neither party knows how to de-escalate. If children are involved or within earshot, stress can increase to where the child feels that running away or even suicide are preferable rather than endure the emotional pain.

We have opportunities to legislatively reduce the incidence of domestic violence. The first item on the agenda should be a comprehensive shared parenting initiative.

  • Remove the obstacles to separating when parents have no solution to resolving domestic conflict.
  • Remove the motive to point fingers and create unsubstantiated and unprovable allegations between intimate partners.
  • Allow parents to separate and still be a part of their children’s lives not-withstanding their faults as human beings.
  • Teach our children tolerance and conflict resolution and aim for a better, brighter future.

HB 1993 is destructive to the family and harmful to children and it should be repealed. We should learn from the failed lesson of this law by reading scientifically based evaluations of Domestic Violence such as is presented in this article, “October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month”, 10/7/2014 by Curtis Vandermolen, Member, California Executive Committee.

Repeal HB 1993. It’s a bad law. It is bad for families, bad for Hawaii and bad for American families across the nation.

I support Chris Lethem for State Senate District 12, www.chrislethem.com