Tuesday, February 28, 2006

---VAWA protects women and children from abusive men, right?

Uhm... OK..... So who is protecting the children from the abusive women (40%)?

From the Department of Health and Human Services

This bar graphs shows that approximately two-fifths (40.8%) of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 18.8 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; 16.9 percent were abused by both their mother and father. Victims abused by a nonparental perpetrator accounted for 13.4 percent of the total.

Lets go on shall we? This is the FATALITY BY RELATIONSHIP statistics....

Come on femikooks! Dispute it! I dare ya!

---But...but... it's for the children, dontcha know!

by Phyllis Schlafly
Posted Feb 27, 2006

When our supposedly compassionate federal government pokes its nose into areas that, under our principle of federalism, should be none of its business, the result is often unintended consequences, gross injustices, and of course massive costs.

A prime example is the 1986 federal Bradley Amendment, which mandates that a child-support debt cannot be retroactively reduced or forgiven even if the debtor is unemployed, hospitalized, in prison, sent to war, dead, proved to not be the father, never allowed to see his children, or loses his job or suffers a pay cut.

The result of this incredibly rigid law is to impose a punishment that makes it impossible for any but the very rich to get out from under a Bradley debt. Thousands of fathers are sentenced to debtors' prison (a medieval practice we thought abolished in the United States centuries ago), and thousands more have their drivers license confiscated (making it extraordinarily difficult to get a job).

There is no requirement that, if and when the Bradley debt is paid, the money be spent on the children, or that the debt be based on an estimate of the child's needs, or even that the so-called children actually be children (some states require the father to pay for college tuition). The Bradley debt is misnamed "child support"; it is a court-imposed judgment to punish men and extract money from them to support some mothers and a $3 billion federal and state bureaucracy.

Take the case of Larry Souter as reported recently in the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press. He was released after spending 13 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of second-degree murder. He was then summoned to court to explain why he should not be convicted of contempt for nonpayment of his Bradley debt that kept rising during his years in prison: $23,000 in back support plus interest and penalties that raised the total to $38,082.25. The ex-wife's attorney argues that Souter should pay because she "has endured the substantial burden of raising her two children without defendant's contribution of child support."

Because the children are now adults, this case proves that the Bradley debt has nothing to do with child support. It has to do with court-ordered transfer payments from which the state gets a cut.

This case is not an anomaly. Clarence Brandley spent 10 years in prison before he was exonerated and released in 1990, whereupon the state hit him with a bill for nearly $50,000 in child support debt that accumulated while in prison.

Many other cases prove that men cannot escape the Bradley debt even if DNA proves that they are not the father. The law even forbids bankruptcy to alleviate the Bradley debt.
Three years ago, a Maine court ruled that Geoffrey Fisher no longer had to pay child support for a child that wasn't his. But Maine nevertheless demands that Fisher pay $11,450 in back child support and Maine took away his drivers license for failure to pay.

The Bradley debt makes no allowance for the growing problem of paternity fraud committed by mothers, estimated by some to be up to 30 percent of DNA-tested cases. Our compassionate government demands that a mother seeking welfare identify the father of her child and, like greedy lawyers, greedy women often target the man with the deepest pockets.

A few states have passed a recent law to end so-called child support if DNA proves a man is not the father, but that doesn't get rid of the Bradley debt accrued before DNA results came in. We haven't heard of any women being prosecuted for paternity fraud, and of course the man who was cheated doesn't get any refund.

There is no excuse for Congress and state legislatures allowing these injustices to continue. Court-ordered child support should not be final until DNA proves paternity.
Feminist defenders of the Bradley Amendment claim that the Bradley debtor could have reduced his debt by going into court and challenging the amount of support when his income decreased. That argument is legalistic cynicism taken to the extreme.Most Bradley debtors cannot afford a lawyer to advise them about and to defend their rights, yet they are up against government or government-paid lawyers; the system has built-in incentives to set the support as high as possible because collections bring bonuses to the state bureaucracy; and, according to the Los Angeles Times, roughly 70 percent of fathers in Los Angeles County are not present when the court (not biology) rules on paternity and irreducible monthly obligations are set in concrete.

President George W. Bush's initiative to promote marriage is a non-starter so long as the Bradley Amendment exists. Who would marry a man with a Bradley debt hanging over his future?

Shakespeare famously wrote, "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones." Since the author of the Bradley Amendment, former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., is still alive, he should tell his pals in the Senate to terminate his evil law before any more injustices take place.

---BTW, thanks for serving.....

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
The Betrayal of the Military Father
By Glenn Sacks

When Gary, a San Diego-based US Navy SEAL, was deployed in Afghanistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, he never dreamed that his service to his country would cost him his little son. Gary's son was not taken from him by a terrorist or a kidnapper. This 17-year Navy veteran with an unblemished military and civilian record was effectively stripped of his right to be a father by a California court.

Gary's story is not an unusual one. Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, if a parent takes a child to a new state, that new state becomes the child's presumptive residence after six months. Because a normal military deployment is six months or more, if an unhappily married military spouse moves to another state while the other spouse is deployed, by the time the deployed spouse returns the child's residence has already been switched. Since courts lean heavily in favor of a child's primary caregiver when determining custody, the spouse who moved the child is virtually certain to gain custody through the divorce proceedings in that new state.

Because of the strict restrictions on travel by active military personnel, the cost of legal representation, and the financial hardships created by child support and spousal support obligations, it is very difficult for returning service personnel to fight for their parental rights in another state. Many struggle even to see their children, much less remain a meaningful part of their lives, and the bond between the children and their noncustodial parent is often broken for years, if not permanently.

Gary has not been able to see his son, who now lives abroad, in nearly nine months. When he calls he can sometimes hear the three year-old ask "when daddy come?" and "where's daddy?" in the background but he is often prevented from speaking with him.

According to nationally-known family law attorney Jeffery Leving, author of Fathers' Rights , there are three solutions to the problems facing military fathers. First, the federal Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 needs to be amended to specifically prohibit the spouses of active duty military personnel from permanently moving children to other states without the permission either of the active duty military spouse or of a court. (The primary purpose of the Act, whose origins go back as far as the Civil War, is to protect active armed forces personnel by mandating that civil actions against them be delayed until after their return from service).

Second, California laws, which currently do little to prevent a custodial parent from moving children far away from the noncustodial parent, need to be changed to prohibit any permanent removals done against a deployed military parent's will. Third, the UCCJEA needs to be amended to state that the presumption of new residence does not apply if the children are taken in this wrongful fashion.

Gary has lost nearly $100,000 so far fighting for his son and may soon be forced to declare bankruptcy, which in turn will destroy the top secret security clearance he needs for his job. Worse yet is the emotional devastation wrought by his separation from his son and the knowledge that he may never see him again.

He says: "My love for my son cannot simply be brushed aside as the courts seem to believe it can. I can remember holding my little son's hand like it was yesterday. I can remember his cry. I hear it every time I hear another child crying." "Sometimes I wonder what I risked my life [in Afghanistan] for. I went to fight for freedom but what freedom and what rights mean anything if a man doesn't have the right to be a father to his own child?"