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Vol. 8, No. 7                  The Fourteen Percenter             November 2005

A publication for parents on the wrong side of the standard possession order.

- I see my child two days out of every fourteen; That’s14%. That's not enough! -

   
Responses and Rebuttals
 
Washington Post columnist William Raspberry has written several articles lately about the importance of men in the lives of their children. A column in late September was entitled, “Poor Women's 'Magical Outlook,'”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/26/AR2005092600294.html .

               The Sherman Herald-Democrat (Texas) http://herald-democrat.com/articles/2005/10/04/letters/letters09.txt ran this comment on October 4, 2005:
 
Children are losers in custody battles
 
"A question of why for single mothers" (9- 25-05) left several questions unanswered.
Many people do not question the law that says a non-custodial parent (usually the dad) must pay 20 percent of his income for child support. Perhaps they assume the custodial parent (usually the mom) contributes 20 percent as well.
Think for a minute - What married couple spends 40 percent of their combined income on their child?
The 20 percent the divorced dad must pay is a real incentive to battle for custody - in 90 percent of custody orders, the mom "wins" (i.e. the children lose).
The automatic assumption of child support is a serious incentive to divorce. Perhaps this is why so many poor women opt for single motherhood.
Children need both parents. The automatic presumption of 50/50 shared parenting would benefit children. 50/50 shared parenting would remove the incentive to divorce as well
Don Mathis, Sherman
 
The Denver Post ran an opinion piece about the small salary given to prisoners for their thankless labor, http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_3053441 . On September 27, the Denver Post published this letter:
 
The problem with imprisoning debtors
 
Re: "Wages unfair in prisons," Sept. 23 Reggie Rivers column.
Thanks to Reggie Rivers for his revealing column about prison labor. An absurdity he didn't bring up is the number of men in prison for failure to pay child support. Several wise judges have realized the futility of incarcerating men when they are dead broke - prisoners cannot possibly pay any real form of child support.
In a future article, perhaps Rivers could explore the injustice of modern-day debtor's prisons, in which we jail parents who cannot pay the state's arbitrary amount of child support. More than money, children need both parents.
Don Mathis, Sherman, Texas
 
Request for Articles
 
The Fourteen Percenter is an international newsletter that seeks to promote equal parenting rights in the US, the UK, and worldwide. We welcome feedback, as well as any article, poem, or review relating to the child-parent bond. Send your letters to The Fourteen Percenter, 1800 W. Washington Street # 202, Sherman, TX 75092 or FourteenPercenter@yahoo.com . The editor is grateful to http://a1laminating.com/ for San Antonio printing.
 
Reconsider - Breaking the Silence
 
A new Public Broadcasting Service documentary, Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories, was broadcast on October 20, 2005
.The press release, http://www.cptv.org/pdf/BTS_pressrelease.pdf , is so full of inaccuracies and innuendoes that I fear the program itself will bring discredit to PBS and their affiliates.
Think about the noncustodial parents you know - most are probably fathers, and they probably are not violent or bad; their only fault is being male. If decent dads cannot get custody, how is it that abusers are winning custody of their children?
Are the producers not aware that in many divorces, women often use false allegations of violence in an effort to gain custody? Such abuse of the courts can only result in an ending such as in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" (see http://www.storyarts.org/library/aesops/stories/boy.html if you don't remember the moral).
The press release also attempts to discredit Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). Did you ever consider why generations of 'decent' White folk grew up suspicious of Blacks?  Could it be because they were raised that way? It is a simple thing to fool a child (and shame be upon the man or woman who does). PAS is real and the consequences are far more damaging then racial prejudice.
Perhaps PBS considers child abuse as separate from domestic violence. Believe it or not, women are more often the perpetrators of child abuse and infanticide than men. 
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services Child Maltreatment 2003: Summary of Key Findings, http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/factsheets/canstats.cfm , "Female perpetrators, who were mostly mothers, were typically younger than male perpetrators, who were mostly fathers. Women also comprised a larger percentage of all perpetrators than men: 58 percent compared to 42 percent."
In response to numerous letters and calls received by PBS stations nationwide, Columbus, Ohio, affiliate WOSU will broadcast the opposing side. Viewpoint will offer viewers a chance to express concerns surrounding the program Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories
Don Hubin, Director of the Columbus Chapter of Parents and Children for Equality (PACE, http://www.pacegroup.org/ ) and Columbus attorney Doug Dougherty, Chairman of the Family Law Committee of the Columbus Bar Association, will appear.
Viewpoint will air at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, and 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2005, in the Columbus area.
In late October, the Houston PBS station broadcast Connections, a debate on the legitimacy of Parental Alienation Syndrome and the documentary, “Breaking the Silence.” Dr. Reena Sommer, internationally recognized divorce consultant http://www.reenasommerassociates.mb.ca/ ; Andy Sperling, director of the Fathers for Equal Rights in Houston, and others clarified that Parental Alienation Syndrome is not “junk science” as portrayed in the earlier program.  
To add further discredit to “Breaking the Silence,” one of the ‘heroic moms’ in the ‘documentary’ has been found to have a long documented history of child abuse. Glenn Sacks http://www.glennsacks.com/pbs/loeliger.php reported that Sadia Loeliger, one of the central characters in “Breaking,” was portrayed as the victim of anti-mother bias in the courts.
It’s amazing that PBS and the filmmakers decided--despite repeated warnings--to nationally televise Sadia and her claims,” said Sacks. “Not only were there clear Juvenile Court findings of her abuse of Fatima (Sadia’s daughter) and also of Fatima's cousin Sara, who lived with Sadia, but we have extensive testimony from Sadia's babysitter, Sara, and several mental health professionals about Sadia's violence.”
Letters to local and national PBS stations, such as the one following, may result in other positive programming.
 
Dear Station Manager,
I have heard that a PBS special, "Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories," will be broadcast on your station. From the press release I read, this film presents a view of child abuse that is the opposite of the truth. In "Breaking the Silence," men are portrayed as monsters and child abusers. Yet most studies that I've read indicates mothers are the perpetrators of child abuse in more than 60 percent of the cases.
"Breaking the Silence" will contribute towards the problem of violence toward children, of fatherlessness, of judicial abuse; not the solution.
Please take a minute to read the poem below. "Monster Mommies," by Kristiana Colegrove, addresses the tragedy of the true perpetrators of child abuse.
I ask that you please not air "Breaking the Silence." If you feel you must air this program, please include a period of time at the end to broadcast opposing viewpoints such as mine.
Thank you. The Fourteen Percenter
 
****************************************
Monster Mommies
 
The last thing these children saw before they were killed was the first face
they saw when they were born.
It’s a treason on life.
It’s omission of the agreement
sworn in for creation.
When the baby breathes first breath you are obligated to be the soft
be the welcome be the guide into this journey, this world.

The Universe granted  precious gifts.

Children.
Our society is shocked into watching shocked into acceptance.
Court TV produces and profits.
Can’t believe the Monster Mommies get to live.
Benefits, cable, 3 meals a day.
The blood from their babies is not dry.
To claim their God “demanded” it.
That they were “depressed” to get off to get life.
 
SERIOUSLY WRONG.

How the tears keep coming long wails of grief. Wishing to wrap those kids in safety so they’d never know such fear such horror.To see our boysplay in the sunshineand feel the force of joy. It is incomprehensible how distorted that could be. To turn playtime into homicide. How many more Monster Mommies are there? I want to crush drown suffocate and starveall the Monster Mommies. Search them out whiletucking into beds closing closets kissing goodnight hiding behind Band-Aids. Search them out so they will all be gone.

 

(Kristiana Colegrove)
 
Letters to your local paper, such as this one from the Oct. 30 issue of the Sherman (TX) Herald-Democrat, http://heralddemocrat.com/articles/2005/10/30/letters/your_views/letters01.txt , can put some control on the damage inflicted by shows like “Breaking.”
 
Abusers not all men
 
On Oct. 20, a PBS documentary, “Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories,” was broadcast. This program cast a dark light on all fathers everywhere.
            “Breaking the Silence” portrayed men as monsters and child abusers. It ignored the fact that women are more often perpetrators of child abuse.
In fact, as the program aired, another TV channel broadcast stories about a regional woman who shook her child to death, and a California woman who drowned her children.
Natural birth-fathers are protectors of their children - contrary to the message in “Breaking the Silence.” Yet men are often hindered in protecting their children because the media likes to portray them as evil.
Programs such as “Breaking the Silence” will contribute toward the problem of violence toward children, of fatherlessness, and of judicial abuse.
A battered spouse, such as those in the PBS special, can opt to leave an abusive relationship. A child has no such option. People need to learn that women are more violent towards children than men. Only when we admit the problem can we do something about it. And child abuse is something we must address.
 
A letter in the same issue of the Herald-Democrat, addresses an issue of concern to all Texans:
 
Drop Divorce Incentive
 
On another subject, contrary to popular opinion, Proposition Two in the upcoming Texas election is not about the sanctity of marriage. If people were concerned about strengthening marriage, they should tell their legislators to remove the incentive to divorce.
Child support is ordered in almost every divorce, regardless if both parents work. Custody is split 86/14 in almost every divorce, regardless if both parents are fit. Most people are not aware that our Attorney General gets $1 from Washington for every $8 of child support he is ordered to collect. Income from child support is a big incentive for the state to maintain the high rate of divorce.
Fifty-fifty shared parenting, and no one pays anyone child support, should be the presumption in every custody decision. The incentive to divorce would be removed. Even if a couple decides to divorce, children will benefit from equal time with both parents.
Don Mathis, Sherman
 
Such letters may have an effect on our public officials. Or they may just elicit a denial such as this missive from the Office of the Texas Attorney General:
 

Thank you for contacting Attorney General Greg Abbott about your child support concerns. Your email has been forwarded to me for response. In the case of divorces, the Child Support Division either enforces support established in the court order or in the event support isn't covered and a party requests it be set, the office may file an intervention to establish child support. State guidelines for child support and visitation are set for the circumstance in which parties can not agree on other arrangements. In cases where special visitation is arranged, such as a 50/50 custody split, the parties and court would make a decision on the matter of child support. 

Noel Jones, Noel.Jones@cs.oag.state.tx.us , Written Inquiries Section, Office of the AG