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!

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Memo in OPPOSITION to S0309A

NYS Senator Kathy Marchionne, a “republican” working off the “1 in 5” campus hysteria, which is being debunked all across America, is fostering the same type of hysteria in NYS high schools.  Here in NY we have a domestic violence agency which only advocates for teen female victims of domestic violence as evidenced by their media campaigns which are directed at male perpetrators, with no similar campaign for female perpetrators, and relying on the “Duluth Model” which has also been debunked by many recent studies which show equal victimization rates.

“Republican” Senator Kathy Marchionne (“my” former Senator which I openly refer to as a RINO) has also pushed sexually biased legislation such as women’s equal pay legislation, which is counter to her own parties platform as that issue being “junk science”,  but in NYS it is important to pander to the “women’s vote”, even if you lose the “men’s vote”.  More on the lack of attention by democrat and republicans alike to men/father/family/children issues will be forthcoming in future posts.

For the purposes of the discussion here, as parents we should understand that this legislation will do nothing to protect our daughters and may in fact lead them to believe falsehoods which place them in harms way.  Our sons, and ironically often our daughters,  will be similarly be placed into a system that will criminalize their adolescent behavior.  I encourage all parents to cut, copy and paste this into correspondence to this, and THEIR, legislators.

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NY MAN-The New York Men’s Action Network     jh@nymensactionnetwork.org   http://www.nymensactionnetwork.org

Memo in OPPOSITION to S0309A

Senator Kathy Marchionne
919 LOB Albany, NY 122

Dear Senator;
The NY Mens Action Network, a statewide political action and grass roots lobby group is opposed to this legislation, S0309A without assurance that male victims and false allegations of abuse are addressed.
Currently the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence is working with a flawed model (the Duluth Model) which shows domestic violence as a “pattern of control by men over women”.  Current research has, however, shown that men and women have generally equal victimization and perpetration rates (see http://menwebjournal.com/NISVS.htm, and http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2005.079020).
In the area of dating violence the myth’s surrounding sexual assault are running rampant, distorting policy and legislative decisions (see http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/myths/) and these decisions are undermining our due process protections (see http://www.saveservices.org/camp/false-allegations-on-campus/, and http://www.mediaradar.org/restore_civil_rights_to_dv_laws.php).

Even though there is equal victimization rates among men and women, including teens, there is no recognition of male victims and there are no services available for men (see http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10741752.htm?683).

Until such time as there are is a recognition of male victims, equal services available for male victims, the issues of false allegations are addressed including the erosion of civil rights and due process, I oppose this legislation.

Sites for Reference include http://www.saveservices.org/, http://www.mediaradar.org/index.php, and http://www.stopabuseforeveryone.org/.
Please place this in the bill jacket and make this opposition part of the record.

Memo in OPPOSITION to S4489/A6587 No Fault Divorce Bias towards “Victims of DV”

Many years back in the days before no fault divorce was the law of the land, yet being pushed by the NYS Bar Association, The Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc. (FaFNY) and the New York Men’s Action Network (NY MAN) opposed no fault divorce unless the issues of sexual bias towards mother custody, arbitrarily high arbitrary and capricious child support awards, and the problems with false allegations of abuse (child and domestic violence) were addressed.

Eventually, no fault divorce passed, but as we know none of the issues we raised have been addressed.  Indeed, one Betty Little, Republican Senator from the Adirondack Region of NYS was in part responsible for the parliamentary maneuvers in the NYS Senate which derailed shared parenting legislation in committee.

Now, none other than Betty Little would put in a no fault divorce “repealer” for one class of people, that is “victims of domestic violence”, who would be able to declare no fault divorce null and void.  Knowing that both men and women are the victims of domestic violence in equal numbers, I can’t imagine a scenario where a victim would want to stop the process which would help free them from their abuser.   But, NYS Courts or the DV system don’t address male victims, so it is obviously pandering to “the women’s vote”, an action that will be beneficial to women only in a sexually baised system which serves females only.

And if passed I can only imagine that each and every recipient of a unilateral no fault divorce action will claim to be the victim of domestic violence as leverage in that action.  Indeed, every filer will need to file allegations of DV to protect themselves from a counter allegation.

It’s not hard to see who will benefit from this legislation, lawyers who need to address “these issues” will rack up billable hours.  And of course the politicians here would be able to point to this legislation in their pandering for the “women’s vote”.

Just another example of the NYS Legislature, the most corrupt and dysfunctional in the nation, doing unnecessary business as usual.

NY MAN has issued a memo in opposition to this legislation and is asking it be placed upon the official record in the bill jacket.  Feel free to cut, copy and paste this to these, and more importantly YOUR, legislators.   And in the process, ask them why shared parenting, which has the support of 80% of NYS population, has been stalled (and why are they in the pockets of the NYS Bar Association?).

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NY MAN-The New York Mens Action Network
jh@nymensactionnetwork.org      http://www.nymensactionnetwork.org

Memo in OPPOSITION to S4489/A6587

Senator Betty Little
310 LOB Albany, NY 12247

Assemblywoman Sandra Galef
641 LOB Albany NY 12248

Dear Senator and Assemblyman;
The NY Mens Action Network, a statewide political action and grass roots lobby group is opposed to this legislation  S4489/A6587.
This is in effect a repealer of no fault divorce which flies in the face of the intent of that legislation, which was to not force a party into into a marriage which was broken down and place the parties in a situation of continuing conflict, which is what this legislation would do.  It creates a class of protected person such that any and all non filers of a divorce action will be able to claim victim status, and at a minimum delay proceedings for adjudication of the allegations.  Perjury and false allegations of abuse already run rampant in family and supreme courts in matrimonial, custody and support matters, and are used to gain leverage.  This legislation is only bound to add to that existing problem and one can envision filers making allegations of abuse to negate the non filers possible claim. (see http://www.saveservices.org/camp/faam-2011/research-on-false-allegations-of-abuse/ and also http://www.saveservices.org/key-facts/).
The NYS Courts already have great oversight authority over individuals when a divorce action is filed, including the issuance of protective and restraining orders, and orders over the dissipation of assets.  This legislation is unnecessary, would not protect victims of domestic violence, would endanger victims of domestic violence, would contribute to an already overworked system, and foster more false allegations to gain leverage.  As such we oppose this legislation and further request that this official opposition be placed upon the record (in the bill jacket).

Skidmore decision result of public pressure, not facts

Printed at http://www.troyrecord.com/opinion/20150412/letters-to-the-editor-april-12

I highly disagree with “Charlie’s Angle: Skidmore decision best of a bad situation” in the March 31 edition of The Record. I see an institution which acted on public pressure and not on facts. Indeed, I see in Kraebel’s writing a sexual bias towards men which fosters a “believe the woman, blame the man, women are victims and men perpetrators”, attitude which makes handling of these incidents nothing more than a lynch mob which undermines our justice systems, as occurred at Skidmore.

I want to say right up front that I don’t know if it is Kiefer or the “man” who is telling the truth in the matter of an alleged sexual assault on the Skidmore campus, I have no inside information into the facts and circumstances of that one incident. But what I do know, contrary to the photo of Kiefer holding up her hands with one finger on one hand and five on the other in a Saratogian article, in reference to the “one in five” statistic referenced for sexual assault on campus, is that one in five is a lie.

The one in five statistic references one study of sexual assault on campuses which has been reputed as highly flawed and inaccurate. Not only did the study look at only two campuses it broadly categorized sexual incidents in which the parties regretted it the next day as “rape”. Further the study failed to look at both false allegations and also male victims of sexual assault. Even though the study is flawed it has been used by politicians, such as our own Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

It is written into sexual assault legislation that incapacitation by alcohol or drugs can remove a person’s ability to consent. It is also written that incapacitation by alcohol can not be used as a defense against charges of sexual abuse. This works fine when we apply the sexual bias that it is men who assault women but we now know through multiple studies that men also report many unwanted sexual encounters perpetrated by women. Further, the sexual bias inherent in this view was set aside many years ago. So how do we treat a couple who get incapacitated together, are equally unable to consent to sex, have an encounter and both regret the incident the next day? Apply sexual bias, label the man the perpetrator, run him into a one-sided campus system which will then bend to public pressure?

The campus judicial system, like most judicial systems, works on a “preponderance of evidence”, meaning that you only need 51 percent proof to find one way or the other. But, as Kraebel stated, often these cases fall down to one person’s word against the other. As we know, it is common practice for college attendees to drink and take intoxicants and engage in sex. Absent independent witnesses, it is impossible to determine if one person or the other is telling the truth. And what they are reviewing is not whether there was sexual assault, but rather did the conduct violate the school’s misconduct policy. As such, sexual bias that holds men as perpetrators and women as victims would make it so his word against hers was enough to find he violated the policy by having sex with her while she was incapacitated by alcohol. Kraebel’s doubts that Skidmore would have suspended him without evidence fails to take into account the difference in campus judicial and criminal proceedings.

Even though the criminal system requires proof beyond a shadow of a doubt to convict, to charge a person only requires that reasonable cause exist that a person committed a crime. Thus, the lack of arrest or presentation to the grand jury by the DA’s office is an indication that there was in fact no evidence of a crime. I suspect the police and DA remain silent fearing that they too will fall prey to the lynch mob which would publicly shame any not seeing things their way. We only need to go back to the Duke lacrosse team fiasco of persecution by the DA based upon false allegations to see that this in fact occurs.

Kraebel speaks to his biases when he talks of having experience in this area, but having one female relative victimized does not correlate to a fact that all victims are female. However, this bias is evident when he states that these occurrences are OK if “efforts prevent one woman from enduring what she has,” thus ignoring male victims, false allegations and the protections which are in place to protect innocent people from being charged. I suspect it is these biases which has the paper printing the “one in five lie” without fact checking, or looking for an opposing opinion.

Affirmative consent on college campuses, a cause taken up by Governor Cuomo and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, are based upon the one in five lie. Gillibrand used a story in Rolling Stone about a fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia and a “rape culture at UVA” to support affirmative consent and “one in five.” The problem was that the story fell apart under scrutiny by the Washington Post and other media outlets and an investigation by the Charlottesville Police resulting in a finding of “no evidence” to support the allegations. It has been reported that the story was made up, complete with a fictional perpetrator and faked e-mails and text messages so the “victim” could curry favor with a romantic interest to whom she reported the “incident”.

Even in the face of an obviously false story with more holes than Swiss cheese, Gillibrand stated we shouldn’t resort to “victim blaming” and that sanctions against her would be “inappropriate”. I do agree with Kraebel on one thing he said, that he “knows how hard it is for victims to recover.” Just ask the Duke lacrosse team or the UVA fraternity, or maybe the “Skidmore man” how hard it is to recover from the lynching and persecution caused by false allegations. I would ask Gillibrand how it is that ignoring false allegations and perjury isn’t “victim blaming?”

I’ll close stating, I don’t know who is telling the truth, but neither do Gillibrand, Kraebel or any of the others who gathered for the protest or covered the incident in the media. The difference is, I didn’t base my assumptions on flawed policies based upon junk science and then run a lynch mob, hanging due process, justice, and the Constitutional right to be treated innocent until PROVEN guilty.

James Hays Petersburg, NY

There is no slam dunk win for father’s rights

Like most, I got involved in the “Fathers Rights” movement way back in 1995 after getting dragged into family court myself.  As AL Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet fathers had to get together in person and meet about the issues.  The meetings had three main components to them.  First was the “pity party”, that being where everyone would share their horror stories of abuse at the hands of the courts.  Second was the “Pro Se” discussion which centered around men who had exhausted all financial resources and were fighting the court as their own attorney.  The third component was the discussion, “What are we going to do to change the system and make it fair.”

When it came to the what are we going to do to change the system ideas abounded, “dismantle family court”, “fire all the lawyers” and other ideas which would immediately make it all better were bandied about.  Even “if the legislature just passed shared parenting” was put forth as the end all for injustices in family court.  Yes, “if” this happens it will all end.  I’m sorry to say, that just isn’t so.

For many of us, the assault on parental rights opened our eyes to other injustices.  When we began to look at these issues in depth we learned that there were injustice a plenty.  The assault on parental rights, fathers, and men all occurred at the same time.  And the issues have been building since the 1970’s, fostered by policies, laws and practices put into place by both Democratic and Republican Administrations in all levels of government in all branches of government.

The issues are many and complicated.  I would direct you to the website http://www.trueequality.com/booklet/ for a nice overview of the advocacy areas we need to address.  If you review all of the issues (Mens health, Circumcision, Domestic Violence, Paternity Fraud, Selective Service, Family Courts, Education, Criminal Bias, False Accusations, Reproductive Rights and the Wage Gap Myth) you will see that the one theme that abounds is that the bulk of the problems caused for men and boys is the result of government interference in our lives unnecessarily and also with bias towards us as men.

And so here I am, 20 year an advocate for change.  I am often confronted by people going through the injustices of family court and they look at me and say, “what have you done, what have you accomplished?”  But the reality is that I, and many others advocates for families, fathers and men have actually done a lot.  Yes, it did used to be worse, and yes we are making headway daily.  Not by leaps and bounds, but by small incremental steps.  There are many who are looking for change for their own circumstance, but that isn’t how it works.  There is nothing that will fix it now, there is no slam dunk that will make it all good, right and proper.

So if you joined in the fight for a slam dunk, hope I “win” and my case is fixed, you are bound to be disappointed.  But if you are interested in equal and just laws, rules and regulations applied to all persons then you are in the right movement.  There will be no slam dunk, just a bunch of hard working, giving advocates who day in and day out work to make things better for people in little ways.

 

Next up, “What will be effective?”