Happy birthday disenfranchised daughter, happy birthday to you, where ever you are.

I was thinking that maybe you (the electronic world) could do me a favor.  Now with social media blasting things all over for everyone to see I thought maybe if you know her you would pass along a happy birthday wish from me for my daughter.  You see, I fulfilled my “responsible father” parental duties, as defined by my government, years ago and we have no contact with each other for nigh on 20 years now.  So please, if you are blessed with knowing her do pass along my wishes for a good birthday and a happy year to follow.

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Birthday Party 1989

I suppose I should also here explain and make my apologies for her ending up a disenfranchised daughter to a beat dead, dead broke, disenfranchised dad (often referred to a “deadbeat dad” or “NCP – Non Custodial Parent”).  It certainly wasn’t my plan to be a disenfranchised dad, indeed I was actually a very involved dad and the primary care giving parent as her mother had returned to school and then work full time.   I didn’t plan my life this way, but life is the thing that happens to you while you are busy making plans.

You see, in the 1980’s we (me and her mother) believed that men and women should both share in providing for their children emotionally and financially.  Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me (and most other people out there), the system has defined “responsible fatherhood” as a father who pays his “child support” on time and in full, regardless of his ability to pay the government assessed amount or the needs of the child.  What I had been led to believe about society working “in the child’s best interest” and about fathers should be active and involved, “responsible”, I was soon to learn was not true.  I now believe only half of what I see and nothing that I hear.

In looking back I wonder if I would have been better off not trying to be an active nurturing participating father.  I could have accepted the “Standard NY Order” of every other weekend and Wednesday after school for 4 hour “visitations”.  I expect though that given the circumstances and the system that the disenfranchisement would have occurred just the same.  Indeed, I have come to learn that it is the hands-on active father who fights the hardest to be in their child’s life, and it is he who is often the one disenfranchised the most, an “inverse correlation”.  Of course, hind sight is 20-20 and nobody knew then what they know now.

I find some consolation in that I fought very hard to stay in my children’s life, over 3 years of litigation in multiple courts.  I was penalized financially for fighting “to hard”  and not accepting the “standard order” and made to pay attorneys and fees in addition to “child support”.  I was told to just “shut up and pay and you can visit your kids”.  I likened “visiting” on a regular schedule to being in jail.  I wanted more.  Alas, there was no avenue in which I would be allowed to be an active father in raising them.  The harder I fought, the worse I was penalized.  I had to define fatherhood as I saw it, not as another thought to make me be.  Unfortunately, Life isn’t fair, it was their way or nothing.

I think I did exceptionally well given I was fighting a government system with unlimited resources which was also plundering mine to pay to remove me from my children.  It was only after many years when I was ultimately arrested and suspended from work and lost all income that I capitulated.  I was bankrupt, facing incarceration, and a lifetime court order keeping me from my children or I could take a “deal”, return to work, pay my (extorted) “child support”, and rely on their custodial mothers good graces for any continued access to them.  I chose the latter as the lesser of two evils, she had no use for me.  In life you don’t always get what you want.

I did fault myself at times for “not fighting hard enough” or inversely, for not capitulating and accepting “visitor” status.  But in addition to be a father by my own heritage and definition I had to ask myself, “fatherhood at what cost”?   The entire system was designed to remove my parental right to raise my children, and so it did. I had no choice than to pay the “child support” extortion and it left me at maximum garnishment and I had to live on 35% of my income for 10 years (no bank account, no credit card, no home, no car).  When you add in the cost of “visitation” (denial of access, more false allegations and incarceration, loss of work, more jail for not paying the “support”) the cost of being a father wasn’t there, much less being a “visitor”.  My door is always open, I never denied any family member access the choice to not come to my door was not mine, and that’s cold hard fact.

When I tell people my now grown children haven’t called, emailed, or even been to “visit” me for 20 years they ask why or “who’s fault is it” (obviously I did SOMETHING to cause it).  It’s nobody’s I think, and EVERYBODY’S.  It’s “Parental Alienation” and a government system which encourages and rewards it, a system which most turn a bit of a blind eye to which is why it continues now for over 30 years.  To hide their discomfort most people will give the “maybe they’ll come back some day”, as if 20 years of acting a way will just change overnight.  Pffft is what I say back.  I certainly don’t expect them to crash my threshold, but I will stay true and never turn them away should they do so.

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2017

This is a computer selfie of me in 2017.  I used to look for an unattended camera and snap a “selfie”, this in the days before smart phones and the term “selfie”.  So more than one person has had film developed (and then digitally downloaded) to find a photo of me smiling at them.  Of course I recruited my kids as accomplices when they were old enough.  I thought perhaps they would be interested in how I look now.  Perhaps.  Their choice now.

A lot has been taken away from me by this government system, more so my children.  They took a good active involved father from two children who deserved better.  What they can’t take away is me being a DadSometimes you fight the good fight, and lose.  Such is life.  The sun will come up tomorrow and God willing you get a new day.  So in keeping with still being a Dad I say to my daughter, the doors open if you desire.  I wish you a happy birthday and a good year to follow.  Love, Dad.

 

Welcome to adulthood Gen Z: advice for boys aging into men.

As reported by Reason.com (Welcome to adulthood Gen Z) Pew research has moved up the millennials (19 to 36 years old in 2017) to welcome the next generation into adulthood under the moniker “Gen Z” (born after 1998).  Now that you’re 18 you’ve probably researched the “important” stuff, night time driving privileges and the age you can legally consume alcohol but there is some stuff that impacts men which you are probably not aware of.  So this paternalistic baby boomer card carrying member of Friends of Protection For Men and the National Coalition For Men, and a Men’s Rights Activist will give you a few pointers. At 18 you are an adult and will be treated like an adult.  Mistakes made now can have life changing and long lasting effects on your future.

MEN – Life isn’t fair, be ready for it.  You’ve probably been fed a regular dose of men are privileged and women downtrodden.  Edgar Allen Poe advised that we should believe only half of what we see and nothing that we hear.   This applies to what you have learned about men and society.  When faced with a “truth” which doesn’t apply to our actions we often accept the “truth” but figure it must be the other guy.  As you begin to navigate in the adult world you’re going to find that many of your assumptions about how things work are wrong.  Part of growing up is learning your own truth’s and what works for you in an ever changing society.  Unfortunately, some things you do have serious consequences if you are wrong.  Knowledge is power, so don’t take any one piece of advice as factual (even mine here), question everything, verify everything.

First up is Selective Service.  As a male you need to sign up for the military draft and if you fail to do so there are multiple penalties at both the state and federal level, including being charged with a felony, fined, and jailed.  The government tells us, “If a draft is ever needed, it must be as fair as possible, and that fairness depends on having as many eligible men as possible registered.”  Missing from their information is HOW IS IT FAIR THAT MEN HAVE TO REGISTER AND NOT WOMEN?  Most people will point to combat roles, indeed, it was the exclusion from combat in the volunteer military which was used to exempt women from the draft in the first place.  This is a ludicrous excuse as it takes 2 to 3 people working to keep one man in combat.  So we’ll draft  men to work in finance, planning, as quartermasters but not require women to do the same?  Now that the military has opened combat roles to women this lame excuse  has no bearing on serving.  Either EVERYBODY needs to register or NOBODY needs to register.  I would direct you to put this question onto your Congressman’s twitter or web page and ask them direct, remind them that at 18 you are now a voting member of society.  More is here at NCFM.

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Second is reproductive rights.  As a man YOU HAVE NONE!  Again, understand that MEN HAVE NO REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS!  The NYS Court of Appeals has even ruled that “a man’s right to reproduction ends at ejaculation”.   This is true even if she pokes holes in your condom or steals your sperm from a used condom in the garbage (and even if not used on her!).   If a woman gets pregnant she can abort the child against your will and has no obligation to notify you of this.  If she decides to have the child she does NOT have to notify you of that.  She can ask, and will receive, child support even for a child you did not want (no male aborting allowed) and if she hid the child from you for years and then seeks you out for child support you will be assessed back to the time of birth!  What sage advice do I have for this?  PROTECT YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES!  Short of abstinence there is no 100% effective method to protect yourself.   Women CAN, and DO, lie about their reproductive status so WEAR A CONDOM!  I suggest, “How To Avoid “Getting Screwed” When Getting Laid” by RK Hendrick, Esq. for practical suggestions.  Get it, read it, abide by it.

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Third up is False paternity.   Mommy’s baby is Daddy’s maybe.  If you are identified as the father of a child and you you accept paternity it can NOT be rescinded even if DNA testing later in life proves you are not the father.  There are many men paying child support for children that are not theirs (estimates run as high as 10%) and there are even legal instances where you can be named the father and have had no relations with the woman and are forced to pay anyway.  Women CAN, and DO lie about their reproductive status and the number of sexual partners and relations that they have.  Many are known to “Daddy shop”, naming a man who earns the most money as the father to maximize their child support even if they are not sure who the father is. The system is designed so you pay more for one child than for two so it is in a woman’s interest to have TWO baby daddy’s paying for “her” two kids instead of one paying for two.    Again, wear a condom, bring your own, and dispose of the used condom away from females. and ALWAYS get an at birth DNA test before admitting paternity!

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Fourth is Consent for sex – and false allegations of sexual abuse and rape.   Everyone understands that no means no (and this should apply to MEN also) but here are 3 areas where YES MEANS NO; Age of consent, intoxication, and her regret the next day.  It is the biased perception that all sexual abuse is perpetrated by men towards women (all women “need” protection) which has made it so that normal legal protections, the right of due process and innocent until proven guilty,  have been thrown out when men are accused of rape or sexual abuse.   This applies to criminal charges but is even worse in some institutions such as at colleges and universities and at work, especially those needing professional licensing.  Even if adjudicated “not guilty” the allegation and the negative perceptions of you will follow you throughout your life.  And, except in rare circumstances, there are virtually NO repercussions for making false allegation.

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If you get intoxicated with a female the intoxication will be determined to remove her ability to consent to sex but it will NOT remove your responsibility for having sex with her.  If equally drunk or stoned there is a very good chance you will be charged with rape because you are male.  There are even circumstances where a third party reports the “rape” of a female having drunken and/or consensual sex and the male is investigated and charged civilly.  The federal government has pressured colleges, threatening to remove funding, if they do not combat “sexual abuse” by applying “affirmative consent” rules to private sexual relations between consenting adults.   These rules have undermined due process on colleges.  The best way to protect yourself is to NOT have drunken sex.   The issue of colleges, affirmative consent, and the loss of protections for the falsely accused is reported on by Reason Magazine here.

Find out the age of consent in the jurisdiction that you are in!  And understand that there are different rules in each and every state and that also there are federal rules and criminal penalties.  As an 18 years old you will be treated and tried as an adult if you are having sexual relations with a female who is statutorily determined to be a child by age.  Sexting is a big problem as the transmittal of  “child pornography” is a federal crime, and the transmission of a photo of an underage female in her underwear to a male can be construed to be “child pornography” and you can be arrested for a felony, tried and/or coerced into pleading guilty, and have to register as a “sex offender” for the rest of your life.    You can find coverage of an individual case here and Reason Magazine has a good overview of the overreach and over reaction here.  Stop any “underage” sex and NO SEXTING!

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Regret reported as abuse will result in investigation and possibly criminal charges and civil actions.   The Duke Lacrosse case is a good example of the impact of false allegations.  People sometimes do regret the sexual situations they get themselves into, especially females, and especially if it is talked about or sent around on social media.  False allegations of rape and sexual abuse have been used by females to solicit sympathy and/or jealousy.  Allegations of sexual abuse can, and have, been made weeks and months after the incident and even if you are found to have not committed the act you can still suffer the stigma as the “Mattress girl” case shows.  Be careful not to put yourself into situations which could be construed as non consensual sex when looked at AFTER THE FACT!  You can get more information at SAVE-Stop Abusive and Violent Environments.

Fifth is Domestic violence, specifically disorderly incidents and false allegations by females.  IF YOU ARE A MAN YOU WILL BE TREATED AS THE PERPETRATOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EVEN IF IT IS MUTUAL, YOU ARE DEFENDING YOURSELF, OR YOU ARE THE VICTIM!  The fact of the matter is our response to domestic violence is a one sided affair which looks at men as perpetrators and women as victims.  What was designed as a shield to protect abused people is now a sword used regularly through false allegations.  Inversely, if you are a male victim there are almost no services available for you and most likely, if you are to report, you will end up being the one investigated.

Statutory protections and due process.  Every person is protected from assault by the penal code and if you are involved in an altercation with another person you can press charges or, in the case of a mutual disagreement or their being extenuating circumstances, decide to not press charges.  For the district attorney to prosecute they would require you to make a statement and then appear at trial.  If you declined to make a statement or appear then charges would not be pursued.  YOU decide to press charges, to make a statement, and to pursue a trial.  In cases of mutual combat between males (most often) charges would not be filed.  But remember, even in defense, most physical acts towards a female by a male will be viewed negatively and result in charges field against you.  However, the only recourse is through criminal court where you would need to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (high standard of proof).  But that’s not true for domestic “abuse”.

While domestic abuse laws used to apply only to those related by blood or marriage or those who had a child together they have now been expanded to persons in an “intimate relationship” (intimate partner).  Thus the domestic abuse laws now apply to heterosexual and same sex dating couples including teenagers which is YOU.  Worse, there is no definition of “intimate relationship” so if she says she’s in an intimate relationship with you, you will be treated as if she is even if you do not consider her so.

This is important because if you are an “intimate partner” then the domestic violence laws apply to you.  Now both criminal court AND family court have concurrent jurisdiction.  There is Mandatory Arrest for any injury and if there are injuries to both parties (such as a mutual spat) then the police have to determine the Primary Aggressor.  Being a certified police domestic violence trainer I can tell you that “Primary Aggressor” equals “arrest the man”.

You also lose control of what will be done.  Should you both say neither wants to make a statement a regarding a private matter, one will be put on file anyway (Domestic Incident Report-DIR).  Should she say it was mutual and doesn’t want to press charges, but has a mark on her, you will be arrested anyway based upon Primary Aggressor and Mandatory Arrest Laws.  If she tells the district attorney’s office that she will not make a statement and press charges, you will still be arrested, arraigned in front of a judge, and made to either post bail or spend the night in jail.  You will have to hire an attorney and show up for a trial date and submit a motion before the case is dismissed for lack of evidence.

Should a woman be mad at you for any reason she can claim to be an “intimate partner” and file for an order of protection.  As family court has concurrent jurisdiction she need not file any criminal charges as she can go direct to family court and request the order.  Temporary Orders of Protection (TOP) can be obtained based on ex parte testimony (her word alone) and for even slim allegations such as “I’m afraid of him” and “I feel threatened by him”.  Once issued you will be ordered to stay away from her, including if you go to school together, work together, or live in the same neighborhood, thus disrupting your life.  They will even seize any and all firearms that you own.

It will be months before you get into family court for a hearing on the need and validity of the TOP and unlike criminal courts high “reasonable doubt” standard it is the civil court standard of “a preponderance of evidence” (51%).  In a “he said, she said” the judge will believe her and rule favorably.  Should you inadvertently violate the TOP, even if it is found later to be without merit and thrown out, you will be charged with a misdemeanor (up to a year in jail) and a second violation is a felony!

MEN, If you are involved in a disorderly, harassing, or physical altercation of any kind DO NOT STATE YOU ARE IN AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ANYONE, and if asked state it is a casual relationship only with any participants (the other party should do the same).  If it is determined to be a “domestic incident” the police lose all of their authority to use discretion in arresting and/or filling out a report.  You BOTH lose your right to NOT press charges or file a report.  If it was physical in any way state that you were trying to retreat and defending yourself from their attack and you do not (or do as the case may be) wish charges to be pressed against them AND MAKE NO OTHER STATEMENTS WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY.  There are severe repercussions for police NOT following domestic violence protocols so they are protecting their own interests and not yours and/or your friends.

I’ll close here with a welcome to the “life isn’t fair man’s world”.  I know this is a lot to consume, and in fact there is even more wrongs you’ll suffer as a man, high suicide rates, high work death rates,  DV victimization yourself, loss of access to your children post separation/divorce and punitive “child support” payments.  You can find more on these issues at the National Coalition For Men web site.   Domestic Violence and false allegations is covered at Stop Abusive and Violent Environments or Stop Abuse For Everyone.
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You can also find more on men’s and boys rights and issues on Facebook at Friends of the Protection For MenPFM/Boys Rights and Issues, PFM/College and University, PFM Men’s Human Rights Movement,  and PFM Men’s and Boy’s Health among others.  PFM was founded by RK Hendrick, the author of “How to Avoid “getting Screwed” When getting Laid” and you can reach him there.  Feel free to join the discussion.

 

I can be reached through Facebook on the PFM sites or at the “Coalition of Fathers and Families NY” Facebook site or at NY MAN.  Information used here is based on New York State and US Laws although much of it has practical applications in all jurisdictions. This is NOT legal advice and we direct you to seek competent counsel for your specific jurisdiction and circumstance.
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The author, Lt. James Hays (Ret.) is a recently retired NYS Law Enforcement Officer of  34 years, 9 as a supervisor.  I am also a 20 year plus men/father rights activist co-founder, past President and current Treasurer of the Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc., (501c3 Educational and Advocacy Organization) and Director of the NY Men’s Action Network (Blog link), (a grass roots political action group founded in 1997.  The opinions expressed herein are those of Mr. Hays and are not necessarily the opinion of any organization or individual mentioned herein.

 

What of men’s EQUAL right to reproductive choice?

Before we jump into the morality and start to discuss the “right” of a woman to get an abortion let’s accept the fact that it is now the law of the land. Let’s add the other “reproductive rights” of women to the discussion also.  She has the right of abstinence, to use birth control of her choosing prior to sex,  the “morning after” pill the next day, the right to carry a pregnancy to  term, the right to abandon the baby in a “safe” location without question, the right to place it for adoption, and no obligation to inform the father of any of her decisions.

And of men’s reproductive rights?  Abstinence, condoms, and trust in your partner to be telling the truth about her reproductive status.  As the NYS Court of Appeals has ruled, “a man has no right to reproduction post ejaculation”.  This unequal application of rights and responsibilities of many is codified in judicial opinion.   This is evidenced in multiple court decisions which held men FINANCIALLY responsible for children even where the female sabotaged the condom by putting pin holes in it, “stole” his sperm from a discarded condom or other means, and even when it is taken by means of rape such as a recent case shows us, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/02/statutory-rape-victim-child-support/14953965/.   Men who claim they do not want the child of an unintended pregnancy are held responsible anyway, indeed, are even labelled ‘deadbeats” for not “standing up” and accepting paternity.

Recently a bill in the OK legislature has brought the issue of equal rights in reproductive choices to the forefront as the bill would require the approval of the father before a woman is allowed an abortion.  There was an immediate backlash from the left leaning women’s groups, the shout of “my body, my choice” resonating with posts spread all over social media to awake “women” to fight this “injustice”(http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2017/0214/Oklahoma-lawmakers-debate-bill-requiring-men-s-permission-for-abortion-video?cmpid=FB.).

I felt compelled to post on the CSM Article an opposing view in the form of a question: Do men have no reproductive rights?  We seem to be able to find a father when she wants child support.  So if a man says he doesn’t want to pay for a child of an unwanted pregnancy he is a “deadbeat” but if a women wants to abort that child she is exercising her rights?  A woman who has a child against a mans wishes is again exercising her rights, but a man who would ask that the pregnancy give him the child he wants he is then “forcing” her?  So we’ll just give all reproductive rights to women and disregard that their choices affect the father, the child, and society at large?  And can we say anything about responsibility for these “unwanted” pregnancies when women have so many means of birth control at their disposal?

In addition to the “my body, my choice” and the “women carry the baby” what also followed was a host of “men be responsible” comments, the “HE got HER pregnant” perspective which, ironically, failed to see the irresponsibility of women who find themselves in need of an abortion.   The argument was framed around “her rights” and “his responsibilities” and when pressed both sides of the argument dismissed a man’s reproductive rights as ending at ejaculation, where his responsibility begins for her choice.

Not a single person seems to want to address the issue of how can we say men and women have equal rights when we deny men rights which woman have.  Lost also in the discussion is RESPONSIBILITY for the decisions.  For we see a woman can give away her financial responsibility by giving the child up for adoption or even dropping it off anonymously.  A man suffering an unintended pregnancy is forced to pay for her decision.  Her choice is his being forced to 21 years of income execution, the sacrificing of his body at work without compensation.  A poor woman witt a child gets welfare, a poor man with a child gets a garnished.

Perhaps the worst part of the denial of men’s reproductive rights is the fact that most men don’t walk away from the responsibility of her choice.  Most are like Nick Olivas, our rape victim.  At 14 he was statutorily raped by a 20 year old.  Fast forward 6 years and Olivas learns he has a 6 year old child as he is served with child support papers demanding payments from the time of the child’s birth, even though he was not old enough to consent and was never informed of the existence of the child and allowed to decide to be a part of the child’s life.

Now, at 24 Olivas is trying to be a part of his child’s life stating, “I can’t leave her out there.  She deserves a Dad”.  Here he’s finding out that the state isn’t concerned with a fathers emotional support and raising his children for they consider the financial support as separate from access.  And as he is sure to find out, there are a multitude of means to collect, even incarceration into a debtor prison if he can’t pay.  But there are no avenues to help him with, much less guarantee, his time and emotional support for his child.

And what of a child’s rights?  Is there no right to both parents?  In going after Olivas for financial support the state says they are “doing it for the child”.  Really?  So why didn’t the state demand to know the father up front?  Isn’t a child the product of both parents and doesn’t a child have a right to know both sides of their family tree and both heritages?  Can someone from the state explain how it was in the child’s interest to be denied her father, his love and support, for 6 years, and then to collect retro dollars on her behalf?  I’m waiting for that response?  Why is a fathers dollars more important than his love and nurture?

In arguing for his legislation, Rep. Justin Humphrey stated he believes excluding the man out of these decisions is adding to the break down of society.  Once again a man’s rights and a child’s rights are lost in the discussion and the requirement for the mother to notify the doctor of the child’s father was more to make him responsible than to protect his rights.  His bill did do one thing, it exempted rape from the notification requirement, something we do not do for boys who are raped.

The bill was described as being opposed by “reproductive rights advocates” on unconstitutional grounds.  The regional director of planned parenthood stated that “Oklahoma should trust women to make the choices that are best for them”.  I suspect the choices are made easier when others bear the responsibility for your choices but have no choice themselves.   The article should clarify that the advocates are for a woman’s reproductive choices without regard for the father, child, or society.

But as I read the U.S. Constitution I see it guarantees God given rights to every individual equally.  And so I close with the question, What of men’s EQUAL right to reproductive choice?

 

Men in the middle

The bulk of us in the middle of the bell curve of male perspectives and issues regarding family are being shouted down by the din from the echo chambers on the right and left.  A polarized media spin which ignores the voices and opinions of men.  Regardless of liberal or conservative it is a cacophony of moral busybodies advocating for the “rights” of women while holding men responsible to pay for the choices made by others.  And unfortunately our perceptions and policies on men, father, boys, and families, are derived from the loud extreme ends and not from the needs, wants, and desires of men and boys in middle America as expressed by them.

Years back (2004) we at the Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc. (FaFNY.org) complained to the Albany (NY) Times Union about sexual bias in reporting with them having more woman’s perspectives than men’s.  Of course they denied it.  So we did a content analysis over a 30 day period where we cut over 60 articles about women’s issues with none of them negative and 5 articles about men, 3 negative.  We met with the editorial board, they again denied being biased and we then plunked the paper articles on the table in front of them in 2 piles.  The long pregnant pause set over the room.  This, we said, shows great sexual bias in reporting against men, a regurgitation of the NY Times bias against men.

“We don’t see it that way” said the mostly male editorial board, flat-out denial of the evidence before them.  Perhaps our response to their continued head in the sand denial of bias was a little extreme when we gave them the “Pretty Pig Award” for 2004 as “You can put as much lipstick on a pig as you want but at the end of the day it’s still a … pig”.  We even offered to provide little votive boxes with pink ribbons to the male editors so they could carry their testicles around with them and put them safely away while at work.  It doesn’t hurt to burn a bridge that they won’t let you cross anyway.

One would have hoped over the next 10 plus years that social media and competing news outlets would have made things better, but it hasn’t.  At best it is the same, perhaps even worse with truth second to belief.  This past year I found the same NY Times regurgitation of anti male bias in the Schenectady (NY) Gazette online edition.  I complained to the editorial board that they had more NY Times content than local news, mostly anti-male.  I posted this opinion on their web-based comments section for each anti male article but when I didn’t even receive a form response to any of my inquiries I cancelled my subscription.

Over the past few days Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/02/07/better-sex-better-health-more-money-what-men-really-get-out-marriage.html#)          Science Daily (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170207135943.htm#.WJ9qHLLgizs.facebook),                                                                                  and National Review (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444746/marriage-benefits-men-financial-health-sex-divorce-caveat?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=wolfinger) have had pieces advising men to get married for their own good.  This on the heels of a podcast by Prager University which resulted in an outpouring of negative “what planet are you on” responses by men.  All the articles are based on one recent study by a pro marriage sociologist that marriage is good for men resulting in “more sex, better health, and more money”.   Don’t be a selfish oaf going your own way they advise as there is obviously something wrong with men.  We see the echo regurgitation in multiple outlets of the “marriage” party line, even in the face of push back from men who point out the 50% divorce rate, the vast majority filed by women, which results in the destruction of many men.

This on top of a January NY Post hit piece on men, “How to make deadbeat dads do more to help out” (http://nypost.com/2016/12/21/how-to-make-deadbeat-dads-do-more-to-help-out/).   Even though the myth of the deadbeat dad was busted back in 1995 finding that the majority of men were beat dead, dead broke, and disenfranchised, they hold to the “deadbeat” label.  Recent studies have shown that the bulk of unpaid child support is due to poverty on the part of men.   Ironically the focus of the article is NOT how to get poor men out of poverty for their health and well-being, it is to try to get them to pay into federal coffers to reimburse for welfare and entitlement payments given to women.  In this day and age of “gender” equality one does wonder why we don’t hold mothers accountable for financially providing for their children and have developed a social safety net for women and children only.

In 1975 we had a divorce rate in single digits as was the rate of homes with children absent a father.  The echo chambers of right and left have pushed policies which caused a divorce rate of 50% and 40% of children living in homes absent a father.  Contrary to the din which would lay the blame on men and fathers as “abusive deadbeats who forego marriage” the result is from the negative consequences for men.  Over two-thirds of divorces are unilaterally filed by women against men, men lose custody of their children over 85% of the time, and they are then forced to pay for the children they aren’t allowed to raise.  There are no family violence programs for male victims of family violence nor are there any financial social safety nets for men.

I have been a men, boy, father, and family activist now for over 20 years with organizations like FaFNY (http://www.fafny.org/), the National Coalition For Men (http://ncfm.org/), NY Men’s Action Network (http://www.nymensactionnetwork.org/), and Friends for the Protection of Men (https://www.facebook.com/groups/protectionformen/).  Maybe it’s time you stopped telling us how to be men, fathers and families.  Maybe it’s time you stopped turning a blind eye to our problems. And maybe it’s time you stopped turning a deaf ear to our issues.  You could learn more with your mouth closed and your ears open.  That is my “Dad” advice, direct to you from my father.

A nightmare story of Mrs. Hays’s, and an ode of warning, alas take heed

I was sitting in my favorite recliner, the game on before me, and in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “what day is today?” as I drift off to sleep before the 7th inning stretch.  Time passes uncounted by me in slumber and I awake to darkness and an infomercial on the box advertising unhealthy pre processed one pot meals for lazy ones to feed their entire family with.  I’m thinking to get up and go to bed.  But isn’t this all Hallows’ eve?

Then in an instant I feel myself falling backwards, down, down, into a cauldron in a burning ring of fire.  Am I to be a one pot meal, for what or whom??  Vertigo and fear engulf me at the same time!  I land in the tepid water and it tastes sweet and I think, “well not so bad”, but then the flames grow higher, alarmingly higher.  I hear a screech, a high pitched shrill voice – then two of them!  They seem familiar, until they stop, no noise save for the sound of the fiery ring and the bubble, bubble, boil and trouble I’m in in the hot soup of the cauldron.

The silence sits eerie upon me and then slowly I hear a siren song from two obviously fair maidens.  Would I hear the third siren song?  I felt just like a child, warm in the cauldron.  I feel our hearts meet and I am thinking to get out of the cauldron but here am now bound by desire.  But which one?  Who’s love, one or both? Love, love which is a burning thing that holds me in it’s spell?  I think the taste of love is so sweet, but then the fire went wild!

I come to my senses, but is it too late?  I am the proverbial boiling frog, content in ever warming water only soon to be boiled of all flesh.  The voices go shrill again and I see it is two witches, flying in a circle, opposite each other but unaware of each I believe as both stare at me intently to the exclusion of all else.   Yet they both narrate the same ditty:

I stripped you bare of kith and kin,
I drove you mad with a constant din,
I plundered all assets that you had,
Although you were good I labelled you bad.

I promised forever, till death do us part,
And I did my best to make you depart,
Alas you’re still here for me to see,
And you shall soon learn, you are never free.

I took all you had and left you alone,
And now I am back for the meat on your bone,
I’m entitled to you, though you thought it was over,
Give it to me, or I’ll ever flyover.

Alas it was bad, I envisioned the worst.  Then I see each in rhyme, casting a curse and behind them marches an army of zombie bureaucrats, judges, and well meaning omnipotent moral busybodies to do the bidding of witches for their cut of the soup which is me in the cauldron.  I am thinking all is done for, how can one man overcome such evil in the world?

But then a stroke of luck befalls me, fate I am sure.  For each witch had not seen the other and was acting alone in her narcissistic greed.  When each saw the other and realized they weren’t getting a full cut of me, and bound by the desire of their greed and not wanting to share the meat from my bones, they turned on each other.  Flying right at each other with a evil eye look to kill, and shouting curses and chants, they both in turn neglected to see the telephone pole placed before them by fate I am sure.  The splat was a horrendous sound heard throughout the valley, but to me it was a song of freedom.

 

I now had no trouble in turning the cauldron on its side and the soup I was in put out the mighty ring of fire allowing me to escape.  I did a Scottish victory dance and zombies, being the leeches they are, would not take on a man with muscle still attached to his bones, and here they retreated.

I was marching away from the madness, happy to escape with my skin and was thinking to myself that I had succumbed to the siren song of two, alas I am now smart enough to never hear the song of the third!  I then heard a thump and my chair hit the floor and awoke me for I had apparently leaned to far back in the recliner and weight distribution slowly let my head fall down.  I sat in wonder, was it a dream or was I in another nightmarish world?

I get up to go to bed but think to myself to pass along my misadventures as an example to others.  And this advice I give to young men everywhere;  beware the siren song of the first that you see, and the second in marriage will not set you free, and heed the words of the man in black, for once in the cauldron you can’t go back, and knowing the fate of those who went before you, beware the fiery ring.

I close with the immortal wisdom of the man in black https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhWJF35Q81k

Remove the Stench from the Bench!

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The New York Men’s Action Network (NY MAN) and the Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc. has for many years asked the parents the question, “are you happy with the system as it currently exists?”  If the answer was no we would encourage people to get involved in the political process and to make sure they registered in a party, vote in the primary and again in the general election. (find general advice on party affiliation, the NYS political process, and grass roots lobbying here http://nymensactionnetwork.org/advocacy-get-active.shtml)

The question would come up on who to vote for if both candidates were equally bad and we would advise to vote out the incumbent.  Or another option would be to write in a name, any name, as a protest vote.  This was especially important when you had only one candidate running and they were bad for men, fathers and families.

In the worst of the worst of political cronyism is when the two major parties would get together and cross endorse one candidate with a Democrat in one district and a Republican in the other, thus each party ensuring their hold on a position.  And in many districts the voter advantage for one party is so high that the other party doesn’t run a candidate and so the primary is the real election.  But here, party loyalty takes hold and most candidates won’t buck their own parties leadership.

Other than for Town Justice in New York State the “rules” limit the judicial positions to a member of the Bar Association.  So we not only have a one party monopoly, it is further limited to just attorneys who are forced to work not only in the party system but also in the court system, both of which would frown on a “maverick” stepping up to buck the system and tell the truth.

But this is family court, a court of equity and one dealing with people.  How is it that attorneys are more qualified to pass judgement on individuals?  Actually one would think that those in the medical or social science fields would be equally if not more so qualified.  And why would we rule out an everyday citizen?  We use a “jury of our peers” to ensure fairness in our criminal courts so why do we exclude these protections in our most important court, the one deciding the fate of our family and of ourselves?

So what’s a person to do?

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Yes, one Doug Smith is running to remove the stench from the bench and we here at NY MAN are encouraging everyone who finds themselves with a one person “race” for Judge, or a two bad person race to write in Doug’s name.  Especially those in Saratoga County in NYS.

No more standing idly by and not voting because you don’t have a good choice or any choice at all.  If you are tired of the stench that the parties keep sending to the bench, let them know you want an open, honest election of qualified persons.

The New York Men’s Action Network has found NO race with an impartial qualified judge not beholden to the system.  As such we endorse DOUG SMITH to REMOVE THE STENCH FROM THE BENCH and ask that you write in his name for judicial positions this coming election day.  By writing in your vote for DOUG SMITH you are letting the NYS Court system that you are NOT happy with their biased and inefficient system which ;lunders family assets all the while tearing them apart.

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If you wish to talk to Doug or to comment on the “REMOVE THE STENCH FROM THE BENCH” You can reach him, FaFNY, and NY MAN online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Fathers4Kids/.

And remember VOTE for DOUG SMITH to REMOVE THE STENCH FROM THE BENCH!

TEN MYTH’S OF THE CURRENT “CHILD SUPPORT” SYSTEM

The Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc.,  “Working to Keep Fathers and Families Together”, brings you;

 

TEN MYTHS OF THE CURRENT “CHILD SUPPORT” SYSTEM

1. Child support is for the children. [False]

Currently there is NO system of accountability by the custodial parent. Many parents can, and do, spend the money for the child on personal luxury items that have no bearing on child welfare. If we really wanted the children to have the financial support shouldn’t the custodial parent have to show how the money is spent?

2. Those “deadbeat dads” who have abandoned their children should pay for them. [True, but…]

There are very few parents who abandon their children. Actually most non-custodial parents were forced into being “non custodial” against their will as over 80% of divorces are against the wishes of the other parent. Over two thirds of divorces are filed by women and yet 90% of the time women “win” custody of the children even when they wanted out of the family. In New York State there is no SHARED PARENTING statute. No matter who files, one parent or the other will be forced into being a visitor and “non custodial”. The “winner” receives full control of the finances with no accountability. The overall vast majority of non-custodial parents did not abandon their children; they were forced away from them.

3. No matter who caused the divorce the child shouldn’t have to suffer financially. [True, but…]

Over 90% of parents who have shared parenting pay their financial child support on time and in full compared to under 70% for those with just visitation. Children of divorce fare better emotionally when they have TWO involved parents in their life. If policies promoted shared parenting for children they would receive both FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FROM BOTH PARENTS. A win-win situation for all involved. If we want to ensure the child’s financial well being we need to promote both parents access to the children.

4. All that may be true for divorcing couples but, we need to get those “deadbeat dads” who are fathering these children out of wedlock and dumping them on welfare! [True, but…]

Studies have shown that over 80% of out of wedlock fathers are present in the maternity wards at the time of their children’s birth. Most acknowledge their paternity and are ready and willing to be financially and EMOTIONALLY involved in the upbringing of their child. And why aren’t these mothers equally financially responsible?

5. Fathers should accept their paternity and financial responsibilities! [True, but…]

Most fathers do accept their financial and EMOTIONAL responsibilities for their children but the system is gender biased labeling fathers as financial providers and discounting their emotional value to their children. The saying goes “mommy’s baby, daddies maybe”. Even in those cases where DNA evidence has found the man NOT to be the father HE IS HELD FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ONCE HE ACCEPTS PATERNITY OR IS MARRIED AT THE TIME OF BIRTH. DNA testing facilities report that 50% of paternity tests come back negative. FALSE PATERNITY IS ESTIMATED AS HIGH AS 18% IN BOTH MARRIED AND OUT OF WEDLOCK BIRTHS! Don’t children have a right to know who their real father is? Fathers should accept responsibility for their children and mothers should be held responsible for telling the truth when it comes to paternity! Responsible fatherhood belongs to the biological father.

6. OK, some fathers may have gotten a raw deal but there are a lot of them who just refuse to pay child support to children who need it! [False…]

The number one reason given, by both custodial and non-custodial parents alike for non payment is inability to pay.  6% of those in default in a recent government study that was released to show “the arrears problem” were found to be dead. In fact women are found to be in default of child support payments at twice the rate of men. The vast majority of default on child support is due to inability to pay not a refusal to pay!

7. The important thing is children are financially cared for to keep them out of poverty. [True, but…]

The number one indicator of child poverty is coming from a single mother household. Over 54% of children in poverty come from single mother families as compared to 11.5% of children in married households. If we want to combat child poverty we need to develop policies that discourage single parenthood.

8. If non-custodial fathers or mothers can’t afford to pay they can just get their support reduced. [False…]

Support is based on a percentage of income at a fixed point in time based on ability to earn. Once the amount is set non-custodial parents are rarely, if ever, afforded a reduction. The “Bradley Amendment” states that child support arrears can NOT be reduced no matter what the reason for the arrears! Courts have even gone so far as to “impute” income, that is add on other income or assets for inclusion in child support payments. An example of this is a non-custodial parent who moves into a relative’s residence temporarily without paying rent. The fair market value of the “rent” not paid can be added to the non-custodial parent’s income in computing child support. Non custodial parents who suffer unexpected interruptions in their income are often penalized for being “in arrears”. An example of this is Bobby Sherrill, a Lockheed Employee and divorced father who was captured in the Gulf War in Kuwait and spent 5 months as an Iraqi hostage and prisoner of war. The night after his release he was arrested for being $1425.00 in arrears in child support. Non custodial parents are penalized including loss of driving privileges, suspension of automobile registrations, loss of hunting and fishing licenses, suspension of professional licenses even if needed to produce income, posting on public “wanted” posters, turned in as “bad” credit risks and arrested and incarcerated for six months at a time even if they can prove that payments were not made due to inability to pay! These same penalties are applied even when there are no arrears and the report is in error. Child support owed continues to build while the non-custodial parent suffers the above penalties, including while incarcerated.

9. These non-custodial parents are just trying to get their child support payments reduced. [False…]

The number one complaint by non-custodial parents is that they were forced to be non- custodial against their will. Of those who have accepted the non-custodial status the number one complaint is that there is no access (visitation) enforcement. Even when it is spelled out in a court order, there are no penalties for the custodial parent who denies the non custodial parent. Complaints of being labeled a paycheck and a visitor fall way behind access enforcement and lack of time with their children. Prior to separation both parents cared for their children financially without a child support unit.

10. Overall, child support payments are based on the needs of the children. [False…]
Child support payments are based on an arbitrary “ability to earn” income of the non-custodial parent. It has no actual basis in the costs to raise a child or even in the actual expenses paid towards the child. New York does not even have a proportional offset for non custodial parents who spend more time, or spend money directly, on the care of their children. Non custodial parents are assessed 17% of their gross income (35% of net) for one child and 25% of gross income (48% of net) for two children. This assessment is the same for a non-custodial parent who spends no time whatsoever with their children and the non-custodial parent who spends 49% of the time with their children with increased direct expenses for the children. The NY Court of Appeals has even gone so far as to rule that when two parents spend equal time (50%) with the children that the “custodial” parent can be determined for the purposes of child support by who makes more money, even when the financial needs of the children are being met in both households. The guidelines are strict application regardless of circumstance.

Conclusion:

The child support system is based on the premise that after divorce/separation one parent or the other will be the sole custodian of the children and the other parent will be the financial provider. This fails to address the real world where both parents are actively involved in the child’s emotional upbringing and share in the financial responsibilities to the family. Current policies reduce the value of one parent or the other to children and in fact contribute to child poverty by promoting single parent households. Not only are these single parent households financially distressing to children but they are also emotionally damaging to children in ways that are to numerous to mention in this short hand out.

In fact the system is actually causing problems and is destroying families and is fixing no problems.

Go To www.FaFNY.org, or find us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Fathers4Kids/ for more information on this and other topics relative to “Non Custodial Parents”, children and families or to network and get help and advice from other parental rights activists.