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The state-of-the-art in what is best for children of divorce. Every parent, judge and family law attorney must view this video to save their children from the ravages of divorce. Click Here to Learn More.


NOW Slams Glenn Over Shared Parenting; Feminists Right about Myers

October 10, 2006

The World's Greatest Father

Get ready for a good cry. Reader John Stano sent me this incredible story, "Strongest Dad in the World," by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated:

"I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

"But compared with Dick Hoyt, I stink.

"Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars-all in the same day.

"Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

"And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

"This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"'He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. 'Put him in an institution.'

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Need Help with Family Law or Child Support? Ask Glenn

"But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. 'No way,' Dick says he was told. 'There's nothing going on in his brain.'

"'Tell him a joke,' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

"Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? 'Go Bruins!' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, 'Dad, I want to do that.'

"Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described 'porker' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. 'Then it was me who was handicapped,' Dick says. 'I was sore for two weeks.' That day changed Rick's life. 'Dad,' he typed, 'when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!'

"And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

"'No way,' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

"Then somebody said, 'Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?'

"How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.

"Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

"Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? 'No way,' he says. Dick does it purely for 'the awesome feeling' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

"This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"'No question about it,' Rick types. 'My dad is the Father of the Century.'

"And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. 'If you hadn't been in such great shape,' one doctor told him, 'you probably would've died 15 years ago.'

"So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

"Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

"That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

"'The thing I'd most like,' Rick types, 'is that my dad sits in the chair and I push him once.'"

To watch an incredible video of this father and son doing a triathlon together, click here.

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children is dedicated to creating a family law system which promotes equal rights for all parties affected by divorce. Contact the ACFC at 1-800-978-3237 or visit them on the web at www.acfc.org.

Help for Los Angeles/Orange County Dads--Because They're Your Kids, Too
If you're a dad facing a divorce or separation and you need quality legal representation in Los Angeles or Orange County, the Law Office of David Stone can help. Remember, they're your kids, too. www.help4dad.com

The Second Wives Club
The Second Wives Club is what women in blended families are looking for: Remarriage, divorce, child custody, and step-parenting discussed in a solution-oriented, mature, and intelligent way; articles and news written by thought-provoking experts and journalists; personal accounts and advice from some of life's most interesting women. www.SecondWivesClub.com

Glenn Appears on the Mike McConnell Show--Audio Available

I discussed my recent co-authored column Are Single Mothers the 'New American Family?' (World Net Daily, 9/28/06) on the nationally-syndicated Mike McConnell Show on Thursday, October 5. To listen to the 20 minute audio of the show, click here

Did You Never See Your Divorce Coming?

A magazine writer contacted me looking for men who never saw their divorces coming. I know that's the case with many of you--if you're interested in speaking with this writer about it, click here.

A Hot Election Issue in Your State?

Is there a ballot initiative or a political race in your state which is significant for our movement? If there is, let me know by clicking here. Please provide links to the issue in question and be brief.

Leving's Divorce Magazine
Leving's Divorce Magazine is the new magazine for the modern divorced man. It's available online, with articles focusing on issues such as men's reproductive rights (or lack thereof), Parental Alienation Syndrome and child support. Visit now and get a free subscription. 

Help, Resources for Dads
The National Fathers' Resource Center is a division of Fathers For Equal Rights, Inc. (FER), located in Dallas, Texas, with offices in both Dallas and Houston. In existence for over three decades, it has services and resources for dads nationwide and is one of the largest and most active fathers' rights organizations in the U.S. www.fathers4kids.org

NOW Leader Slams Glenn Over NY Daily News Column

Apparently my co-authored column NOW at 40: Group's Opposition to Shared Parenting Contradicts Its Goal of Gender Equality (New York Daily News, 7/27/06) didn't sit well with the leaders of the National Organization for Women. In the column we chastised NOW for its opposition to shared parenting. Mike McCormick, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers & Children and I wrote:

"The National Organization for Women turned 40 this summer, and formally celebrated its anniversary at its national conference in July. NOW President Kim Gandy has proudly recounted her organization's successes in opening up opportunities for women, and says they are 'never giving up the dream of full equality for all.'

"Unfortunately, on some issues--particularly in family law and child custody--NOW's policies and actions contradict its ideals of 'full equality for all.' This is most evident in the group's dogged opposition to joint custody and shared parenting."

Marcia Pappas, the President of the New York state National Organization for Women, and Irene Weiser, Executive Director of Stop Family Violence, have fired back with their op-ed Fathers' Responsibilities Before Fathers' Rights. Their arguments against shared parenting are: domestic violence; fathers are greedy and don't want to pay child support; domestic violence; mothers shouldn't be forced to share custody with their children's fathers if they don't feel like it; domestic violence; shared custody legislation applies a cookie cutter solution, as opposed to current law which gives dads only every other weekend visitation yet somehow isn't a "cookie cutter" solution; domestic violence; domestic violence; and domestic violence. Read their full column here.

Our side handed Pappas and Weiser one last Spring, and the two are sure to note it. They wrote:

"Ironically, it is members of the so called 'father's rights' groups that have engaged in scare tactics. After the mandatory joint custody legislation, A330, was defeated in the New York legislature, NY State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver received a threat from the co-director of the father's rights group of NY State, an affiliate of McCormick's national organization, implying there could be violence if joint custody legislation is not passed."

What really happened was that a member of a New York father's group wrote an asinine but completely nonthreatening letter to the legislators in Albany after Darren Mack murdered his wife back in June. Like any smart politician, Sheldon Silver, a prominent New York legislative opponent of shared parenting, played it for all it was worth, pretending to be "threatened" by the letter. Now Pappas and Weiser are also exploiting it, and I can't really say I blame them.

(Incidentally, the shared parenting bill we fought for was not "mandatory joint custody legislation"--it would've created a presumption of shared custody for fit parents).

Pappas and I have clashed on numerous occasions in the past. We dueled in a point/counterpoint in the Albany Times Union in March over A330, the New York Shared Parenting bill, and also debated on Fox News' Day Side the previous year.

During our unsuccessful Campaign in Support of New York Shared Parenting Bill (March 7, 2006 - April 25, 2006) Pappas was the opposition's main point person. After we launched the campaign in support of A330, the National Organization for Women and Stop Family Violence counterattacked, both launching action alerts and campaigns against the bill. The number of calls and letters we generated greatly dwarfed those of our opposition--see NY Assemblywoman on NY Shared Parenting Bill: Many Letters in Support, Few Opposed, for example--but we were defeated anyway.

Finally What Child Support Payers Need
Child Support obligors face a stacked deck when squaring off against CS Enforcement's army of lawyers and agents, all pitted against some beleaguered father who's working 50 hours a week to pay his child support and support his family. The burden of proving compliance with court-ordered support falls on the obligor, not the custodial parent or the enforcement agencies. Very often fathers are forced to pay money they don't really owe, or are saddled with fake arrearages and the concomitant interest and penalties.

Since the state provides a ton of free assistance to custodial parents, fathers need quality, affordable representation for these battles. Child Support Liberation's Child Support Audits and Record Management Program helps obligors challenge arrears by producing professional, top-quality self-audits which include all the necessary records in the proper form. CSARMP then conducts quarterly audits that will alert obligors to overcharges. In addition, they will maintain ongoing records of obligations, payments and interest.

CSARMP costs only $13 a month ($38 for the first month only) and can be cancelled with only 30 days notice. To learn more or to sign up, click here and here. If you have any questions, write to Michael Kennedy of Child Support Liberation by clicking here.

Parenting Plan Calendar Software
Shared Ground (R) is an easy-to-use custody calendar software program designed for divorced families to track visitation schedules. Includes a built-in percentage calculator, schedule templates, free training and excellent customer assistance. Parents, attorneys, arbitrators and mediators can generate equitable parenting plans, which is especially useful for parents seeking fair division of their children's time. FREE TRIAL SOFTWARE AVAILABLE by clicking here.

The Feminists Get One Right

In my co-authored column Brett Myers Case Obscures an Important Truth About Domestic Violence Arrests (Delaware County Daily Times [Philadelphia], 8/2/06)  I wrote:

"Spousal abuse arrests are often dubious, in part because of misguided domestic violence laws and law enforcement policies.

"Seattle police lieutenant Greg Schmidt, who created the Seattle Police Department's domestic violence investigation unit in 1994, says that the mandatory arrest laws of most states force police officers to make arrests 'in petty incidents, often where the abuse is mutual or it is unclear who the aggressor was.'

"Moreover, Schmidt asserts, the dominant aggressor doctrine instructs police to downplay who struck the first blow in a domestic incident, and discourages dual arrests, which are often an appropriate measure. Instead, officers are pressured to see men and only men as the offenders."

I pointed to the Scott Erickson case as an example, noting:

"Erickson was arrested after he called the police during an altercation with his girlfriend in July of 2002. According to the Associated Press, the Baltimore police concluded that Erickson's girlfriend Lisa Ortiz: initiated the fight by hurling objects; decided to come back twice after Erickson carried her out of the apartment; repeatedly kicked the apartment door; caused Erickson two minor injuries, one of them to his pitching arm; and herself suffered no injuries.

"Nonetheless, the police arrested Erickson under Maryland's mandatory arrest law. Afterwards Ortiz publicly stated that Erickson, who did not pursue her either time after carrying her out, 'has never been physically abusive toward me.'"

I've noted that often women involved in these incidents seek to have the charges dropped because they take responsibility for their role in the incident or believe the incident was blown way out of proportion. I have complained publicly that often prosecutors refuse to believe these women, and insist on prosecuting their husbands or boyfriends anyway. The "no drop" policies which feminists have pushed through many states legislatures mean that prosecutors often prosecute domestic violence cases whose evidence is so lacking that they would never even be considered for prosecution were it any other crime.

I've also noted that feminists counter--at times correctly--that these drop requests can at times be motivated by economic dependency, because women are unfairly made to feel guilty for nonviolently "provoking" violent men, because they're in denial about the seriousness of their husbands' or boyfriends' violence, or other reasons.

Well, last week  the feminists' vision of these cases came to life. According to the Associated Press article After wife's request, charges dropped vs. Phils' Myers:

"An abuse charge against Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Brett Myers was dismissed Thursday after his wife said she did not want her husband prosecuted for hitting her in the face during an argument near Fenway Park.

"Myers and his wife, Kim, arrived at a Boston courthouse on Thursday.

"Boston Municipal Judge Raymond Dougan accepted as fact that Myers struck his wife on June 23 but dismissed the charge -- despite the objection of prosecutors -- after Kim Myers agreed to an 'accord of satisfaction' showing she did not want the charge pursued.

"'There's no violence in our family. That night in Boston we had both been drinking,' Kim Myers told the judge. 'I was not hurt. I was not injured.'

"Authorities say the two were arguing when Brett Myers struck his wife. One witness told investigators he pulled her hair.

"Police responded to a 911 call and found Myers' wife crying and with a swollen face, prosecutors said. Officers found Myers nearby and arrested him. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Myers was booked by Boston police, and his wife posted his $200 bail.

"'There appears to be no coercion or pressure that resulted in this being filed,' Dougan said of the accord, though he acknowledged it's hard to identify coercion in domestic violence cases.

"The judge noted the couple has been in marriage counseling since shortly after the fight.

"Assistant District Attorney Susan Terrey had wanted Myers to plead guilty to assault, serve two years of probation, enter a program for spousal abusers and undergo alcohol abuse evaluation.

"Kim Myers said the counseling has helped the couple, who have two children, and she denied other physical abuse.

"'This is not something that happens on a daily basis,' she said. 'Or ever.'"

I believe that most women who claim that the domestic violence incident in which they were involved was blown out of proportion by the police and prosecutors are correct. In this case, I don't buy it for a minute. Several witnesses saw Brett Myers beating the hell out of Kim Myers on a Boston street. This wasn't a custody maneuver or a setup--this was wife-beating, and Brett Myers should have done jail time for it.

Attention California Child Support Obligors
Under the Compromise of Back Child Support Program, when money is owed to the government (not the mother), the government may compromise on back child support for up to 90% off. This law was passed in recognition of the fact that there have been many inequitable child support judgments that can no longer be appealed. We operate anywhere in California--to learn more about this program, contact family law attorney Robert Ackermann at (310) 442-8240 or at ChildsupportLA@aol.com.

Dads--Buy Your Kids Great Clothes at a Low Price Without Shopping!
Dads--Buy your kids great clothes at a low price without having to go to the store. No long lines or crowded department stores--simply shop online at Magickidsusa.com or order a catalog. Magickidsusa.com offers fast delivery service and a 100% money back guarantee. When ordering, mention your discount code MK23873-A1 for extra savings. www.magickidsusa.com

Do You Want Shared Custody of Your Kids?
Do you want shared custody of your kids? Are your kids being alienated from you? Karen Wagner, M.Ed., a nationally known expert on children of divorce, believes your children want you in their lives, and she can help you make it happen. Contact Wagner Consulting Services at 678-480-1550 or at HappyChildren@comcast.net. Services available throughout the US. www.wagnerconsultingservices.com

Bismarck Tribune Comes Out Against North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative

The Bismarck Tribune came out against the North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative in the editorial Turn down initiative on child custody (10/8/06). They're certainly entitled to their opinion, but their argument seems rather weak to me. They write:

"Commonly called 'the shared parenting initiative,' the Child Custody and Support Initiative, which will appear as Measure No. 3 on the election ballot next month, has provoked a remarkable amount of discussion around the state this year.

"The discussion has tended not to be measured and dispassionate. Many of the voices have been quite heated; much of the discussion has been severely slanted.

"North Dakota voters should reject the initiated measure for several good reasons, but afterward the discussion should resume. There are some relevant issues presented by the initiative that must be considered on their merit.

"It's just that the initiative would make bad law.

"The Tribune's editorial board has heard presentations commending the initiative and urging its defeat.

"Board members listened to both sides saying that the interests of children of divorcing parents matter greatly -- proponents of the proposal claim that to require divorcing parents to develop a shared parenting agreement and to accept 50-50 parenting (barring the provable unfitness of one of them) will benefit the children after the divorce is granted. Both parents are assumed to want to be equally involved in their children's lives.

"The phrase 'shared parenting' has a good feel to it. It feels so much better than 'custody battle' and 'embittered ex-spouses playing tug-of-war with the children.'

"The initiative's feel-good tag notwithstanding, there are flaws. There is a mechanical approach toward custody, a calculation of so much time the children must spend here, an equal period of time there. If the parents want the period to be a six-month bloc, what kind of life is that for the kids?

"The discussion of the issues raised by the initiative has most often run aground when the debate is steered toward money.

"The initiative's backers want the money paid by one spouse to the other to be strictly limited to covering the children's "basic needs," without saying explicitly what they are. The present system for calculating child support is cumbersome and doesn't uniformly work fairly, but it's better than a vague, possibly spartan notion of what a child really needs during the years growing up.

"Opponents have raised a shrill outcry that the initiative's approach toward child support would cost the state $79 million in withheld federal funds, including Temporary Aid to Needy Families.

"That may or may not be, but it misses the point. The focus should not be on whether the state rakes in money, but on how children and those who are raising them are to be supported -- with fairness to the custodial and the noncustodial parents.

"Fundamental issues need much more discussion, such as how justice is to be done to both genders in divorce, in custody and in the financial dealings between former spouses. Quite possibly, laws need to be changed. The legislative session will be a good opportunity for discussion.

"The initiated measure does not adequately address the shortcomings of the present system. It should not pass."

To comment to the Bismarck Tribune about the editorial, click go to the bottom of  this page.

I've always thought that it would have been better to leave child support out of the Initiative and focus instead on the custody aspect, and this editorial supports my point--we get sidetracked on the child support sideshow and ignore the crucial custody aspect of the debate.

Despite this, I support this Initiative, and have co-authored two columns in support of it, North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative Will Help Children of Divorce (Grand Forks Herald, 7/18/06) and North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative Helps Women, Too (Grand Forks Herald, 9/24/06).

Last week there was an interesting debate between readers of the Grand Forks Herald over the Initiative--to read the letters, see Readers React to My Column on Women and Shared Parenting.

North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative Looking for Volunteers

The North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative will be on the ballot November 7 and the Initiative's organizers are looking for volunteers willing to donate their time. This measure will undoubtedly have an affect on all 50 states if it passes. One need not be a North Dakota resident to help--those interested should contact Mitchell Sanderson at mitchell_sanderson@hotmail.com or phone (701) 331-0410.

Help for Midwest Fathers
Cordell & Cordell is one of the largest domestic relations firms for men in the Midwest, representing fathers in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Kansas, Indiana and Georgia. Men who come to Cordell & Cordell know that their interests and the interests of their children will be aggressively championed. www.cordellcordell.com

Civil War - A Father's Guide to Winning Child Custody
Joseph E. Cordell's Civil War - A Father's Guide to Winning Child Custody gives fathers clear, easy-to-understand tips on how to achieve the best results possible in a divorce. Comprehensive chapters explain every step of the divorce process, the meaning of legal terms, how courts determine custody, and how to maximize chances of victory at every stage. Cordell is the founder of Cordell & Cordell.

Wabash Man Ordered to Sit Under Sign for not Paying Support

From the Associated Press article Wabash man ordered to sit under sign for not paying support (10/4/06):

"A judge ordered that a man who has failed to pay child support must spend his days sitting in a county building's lobby under a sign reading 'I don't support my kids.'

"Wabash Circuit Judge Robert McCallen III said he imposed the sentence against Michael Booth, 33, of Wabash not as a special punishment, but to avoid adding to the overcrowding of the county jail.

"The judge cited Booth for contempt of court, but said he would release Booth from sitting under the sign once he begins working at a job or shows he is making a sufficient attempt to find one.

"Booth could not be located for comment as no home telephone number was listed in his name."

As I've discussed on numerous occasions, "deadbeat  dads" are often just deadbroke dads. To learn more, see my co-authored column Federal Child Support Enforcement Cuts Will Hurt Bureaucrats, not Children (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 12/17/05, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/16/05). It would have been nice to hear this dad's side of the story.

Still, maybe this is one of the guys who deserved his punishment. But I can't help but wonder how many times this judge has made a recalcitrant mother sit under a sign which reads "I interfere with my children's father's parenting time."

How to Stop a Dirty Divorce
Many fathers are very naive when they walk into family court, and the results can be disastrous. Family Law Attorney A.J. Comparetto's Ultimate Guide to Stopping a Dirty Divorce teaches you the Dirty Divorce tricks before they are played on you. It's a series of cassettes and videos which teaches you what judges really want to hear from you in court, how to keep your words from being twisted by attorneys, and how to keep your kids from being caught in the middle. www.divorceproblems.com.

Help for Michigan Dads
Michigan family law attorney Mindy L. Hitchcock has experience fighting for noncustodial parents against Michigan's abusive FOC. Her holistic approach to divorce gets results for her clients while avoiding the scorched earth approach to law that leaves families emotionally and financially devastated. www.Lady4Justice.com

Concerned about Financial Issues in Your Divorce?
If you're concerned about financial issues in your divorce, contact Jim DiGabriele of DiGabriele, McNulty & Co by email here or at 973-243-2600.

Column: Are Single Mothers the 'New American Family?'

My recent co-authored column, Are Single Mothers the 'New American Family?' (World Net Daily, 9/28/06), discusses what we called "the backlash against the backlash" over marriage and fatherhood. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"Call it the backlash against the backlash. Over the past decade, Americans have increasingly understood that the divorce revolution, fatherlessness and single parent households are harming our children. Now those who view the traditional family as disadvantageous to women are firing back, defending women who choose single motherhood and depicting fathers as superfluous.

"Last fall Stanford University Gender Scholar Peggy Drexler penned the highly-publicized book Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men. This month Oxford Press released Wellesley College Women's Studies Professor Rosanna Hertz's Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women Are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family.

"Certainly one can sympathize with those single mothers whose husbands or lovers abandoned or mistreated them, and who soldiered on in the raising of their children without the father those children should have had. However, Drexler and Hertz go well beyond this, openly advocating single motherhood as a lifestyle choice....

"Hertz and Drexler fail to understand how powerfully children hunger for their fathers. For example, famed athlete Bo Jackson devoted the first chapter of his autobiography Bo Knows Bo not to his many achievements, but instead to the father he didn't have. Jackson's angry, unhappy childhood was defined by his father hunger. He explained that when he wanted something, 'I could beat on other kids and steal...[but] I couldn't steal a father. I couldn't steal a father's hug when I needed one.' Jackson saw his older brother go to a penal institution, feared he would end up there as well, and longed for the discipline and strong hand a father provides.

"In Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?, award-winning journalist Jonetta Rose Barras describes her fatherless childhood as 'one long, empty night.' After her parents broke up, she explains:

"'I missed him desperately...he made me feel loved; he made me feel wanted... sometimes I sat on a bench or on the curb, like a lost, homeless child. I waited for [dad] to drive through, recognize me, and take me with him. On the bus, I searched each man's features; I did not want mistakenly to pass him.'

"Hertz, Drexler and the mothers they interviewed are equally in the dark as to the immense benefits reaped by the children who do have fathers in their lives. MSNBC anchor Tim Russert wrote the book Big Russ and Me about his father in 2004, and says he soon received an "avalanche" of letters from men and women who wanted to tell him about their own dads. Russert's current bestseller Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons was drawn from those 60,000 letters. The letter writers remembered their fathers as strong, devoted, honorable--and central to their lives. What particularly struck Russert was the overwhelming outpouring of love from women towards their fathers.

"These sentiments wouldn't surprise Nobel-Prize winning novelist Toni Morrison. When asked how she became a great writer--what books she had read and what methods she had used--she replied:

"'That is not why I am a great writer. I am a great writer because when I was a little girl and walked into the room where my father was sitting, his eyes would light up. That is why I am a great writer. That is why. There isn't any other reason.'"

Readers Respond to Newsweek

Two weeks ago I alerted you to a new anti-father Newsweek article Fighting Over the Kids: Battered spouses take aim at a controversial custody strategy [aka Why Parents Who Batter Win Custody] (Newsweek, 9/25/06). The "controversial custody strategy" referred to Parental Alienation Syndrome. PAS occurs when one parent has turned his or her children against the other parent, destroying the loving bonds the children and the target parent once enjoyed. Opponents of fathers and the shared parenting movement often portray PAS as a nonexistent fraud used by abusive fathers to win shared or sole custody. Unfortunately Newsweek bought it.

I suggested you write to Newsweek by clicking here to dispute the article. The Sackson Horde is always reliable--within a day Newsweek had received several hundred letters from you, and part of Newsweek's system crashed, apparently from being overloaded.

Today Newsweek published four letters critical of the article--they can be seen here. One of my readers, Robert Ouriel of Los Angeles, had the first letter and said it perfectly:

"Sarah Childress's story on parental alienation syndrome did a grave disservice to the issue of co-parenting and to the children of divorce ("Fighting Over the Kids," Sept. 25). She misleadingly implies that PAS is merely a spurious strategy used by spousal abusers (usually men) to gain custody. To be sure, some alleged abusers disingenuously use PAS as a ploy to gain custody, just as some ex-spouses gain custody by falsely claiming abuse. Yet, as many divorced spouses of both sexes understand, parental alienation is a very real problem. And PAS is accepted by many family courts throughout the nation, thanks in part to the efforts of Dr. Richard Warshak and others. One of the most vexing problems of custody litigation is that regretfully, custody issues continue to exist in the shadow of gender politics, rather than more properly being focused on the best interests of our children. This problem will continue to plague children of divorce as long as we continue to pretend PAS doesn't exist."

Another of my readers, Jennifer Levin of Los Angeles, was also superb:

"I hear it everywhere--on playdates, at the park, at school with my children--the sound of mothers denigrating the way their husbands parent. While moms and dads are different, neither is more important than the other. But somehow it seems we feel more comfortable criticizing the fathers. NEWSWEEK sure did with such a one-sided article about parental alienation syndrome. Whenever I read articles like this or hear those mothers at school, I always wonder if they have sons. And if they do, what are they going to think about all this when their boys are on the receiving end of these bitter battles?

Another of my readers, David K. Anderson, who participated in our Campaign Against PBS's Father-Bashing Breaking the Silence, which also dealt with an attack on PAS, wrote:

"The sad reality is that even in a simple, accusation-free divorce, I still had to 'win' shared custody. It's also sad that my children will not be able to go to college because of the way the system drains the wallet. I suppose I could have rolled over and saved us all a bunch of money. The system lacks transparency, judges are not honorable and the attorneys see this as a job. Far too much time is spent on these 'extreme' cases. Even on a good day, with simple circumstances, the system fails our children."

Today Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting--a group which often has useful information on domestic violence-related issues--issued a press release which has additional details. In my original comments on the Newsweek piece (Newsweek Bashes Dads, 9/20) I wrote:

"The centerpiece of Childress' argument is that 'according to one 2004 survey in Massachusetts by Harvard's Jay Silverman, 54 percent of custody cases involving documented spousal abuse were decided in favor of the alleged batterers.' It would be interesting to know what Silverman's definition of 'documented' was, but there certainly was not a court finding of abuse, and false accusations of domestic violence are frequently employed to separate fathers from their children."

RADAR has some important information on this study. They explain:

"The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, involved 39 women recruited as a non-representative, self-selected sample by the Battered Women's Testimony Project.

"The study clearly states that the report 'involved reliance on the self-report of participants.'...'It is important that these data be recognized as documentation of a set of issues based on reports of affected individuals (i.e., battered women referred to the project based on their dissatisfaction with family court outcomes or processes) rather than an attempt at definitive research into the prevalence and nature of the types of cases discussed.'"

"This study is a classic example of how opinion is transmogrified into science by federally-subsidized radical activists. It contains no evidence indicating that mothers are being treated unfairly by the courts."

Read the full RADAR press release here.

Expose False Allegations with Technology
Don't let the anti-male bias in criminal law victimize you. If you could be falsely accused by an angry woman, be prepared! Use technology to expose the real aggressor. DontMakeHerMad.com

New Jersey Divorce and Family Law
New Jersey family law attorney David Perry Davis, Esq. can help you through your divorce. In Pasqua v. Council (2006) Davis successfully challenged New Jersey's unconstitutional practice of failing to appoint attorneys for indigent child support obligors at enforcement hearings where they face incarceration. As a result of this suit, trial courts must apply the same standard used when a defendant requests a public defender in a criminal matter. www.dpdlaw.com

Sackson Horde Fails to Get Schwarzenegger Veto on Anti-Male Domestic Violence Bill

In recent weeks thousands of you have responded to my call to write California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in opposition to AB 2051, a bill which will perpetuate the state's harmful policy of excluding men and their children from receiving state-funded domestic violence services. Under AB 2051, only "battered women" are eligible for the shelters, hotel vouchers, counseling and legal services that state provides victims for domestic violence. Schwarzenegger signed the bill on September 30, the last day possible.

Sacramento lobbyist Michael Robinson and the California Alliance for Families and Children did heroic work on the bill over the past several months to try to make the bill gender neutral. Through his efforts many Republican legislators opposed the bill because of its exclusion of heterosexual men. Over the past two years Robinson has helped defeat several anti-father bills and helped pass SB 1082, a bill to help military parents. I very much suggest that anybody interested in furthering our movement's efforts donate to Michael and the CAFC by clicking here.

To learn more about the bill, see my co-authored columns Schwarzenegger Should Veto AB 2051 (Orange County Register, 9/20/06) and AB 2051 Moves California in Wrong Direction on Domestic Violence (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 6/1/06).

Robinson's Statement on AB 2051

Robinson and the CAFC released the following statement today:

"CAFC Executive Director and Legislative Advocate Michael Robinson spoke with the Governor's office regarding the signing of AB 2051 Cohn; Domestic Violence.

"The Governor's staff informed the CAFC that the Governor signed AB 2051 because he believed it moved DV policy in a direction of becoming more inclusive. Despite his signature, high level staff in the Governor's office confirmed that the Governor firmly believes that we should strive to address the needs of all victims of domestic violence, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. More significantly, his office indicated that they are interested in working with the Legislature, CAFC and other stakeholder groups to develop a policy that will better serve the entire population during the next legislative session.

"While some may feel that the outcome of AB 2051 was a defeat, we do not. As a result of the legislative fight CAFC waged on AB 2051, legislators and the Governor's staff told CAFC that for the first time they are better informed about the realities of DV. 

"As a result, we are encouraged that there is now wide and growing support for introducing legislation in the next session to address the needs of all victims, including straight males and their children. Equally important, many, if not all of the DV experts CAFC worked with over the last year on AB 2051 will to continue to stand with us as we move forward. In the next legislative session we plan to bring about DV reforms that produce sound social policy that works for all victims and their children."

A Telling Omission?

Can you tell what's missing in President Bush's new National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2006: A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America?

Here's the text:

"Domestic violence has no place in our society, and we have a moral obligation to help prevent it. The terrible tragedies that result from it destroy lives and insult the dignity of women, men, and children. National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity to underscore our commitment to bringing an end to violence in the home.

"A home should be a place of stability, comfort, and love. Domestic violence shatters this important foundation. My Administration is strongly committed to addressing domestic violence and helping those who have been victimized. In January, I was proud to sign legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Since I announced the Family Justice Center Initiative in 2003, we have opened 11 Family Justice Centers across the country. These centers offer services to victims and their families, including legal advice, counseling, and support. In addition, we are continuing to work with faith-based and community organizations to provide training, expertise, and funding to help deliver hope and healing to those who need it most.

"During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout the year, we are grateful for the advocates, counselors, and others who provide care to those affected by these acts of cruelty and for the law enforcement personnel and others who work to bring offenders to justice. We extend our compassion to the victims of domestic violence and urge them to seek assistance through local Family Justice Centers, faith-based and community organizations, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 800-799-SAFE. By working together, we can build an America where every home honors the value and dignity of its loved ones.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2006 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I urge all Americans to reach out to victims and help end domestic violence.

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty ninth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first."

What's missing? References specifically to women and only women as domestic violence victims. The president refers to "women, men, and children" and then only uses the genderless term "victim" afterwards.

By contrast, in 2003, for example, Bush placed all blame for domestic violence squarely on men, explaining that "women and children are facing dangers in this country, and they need strong allies." Bush praised the new "Stop Family Violence" stamp, which featured a portrait of a distraught woman, and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and others appeared in television ads warning men and only men not to commit domestic violence.

Perhaps we're making progress.

Letters From a Deadbeat Dad
Have you ever been framed as a "deadbeat dad" while you were just trying to be a father? Have you ever been forced to pay child support while being denied your basic rights? Have you ever had to explain Parental Alienation Syndrome to your own child? Have you ever heard about fighting family law battles outside the law by following principles of non-violence--and winning? Read Letters From a Deadbeat Dad by Cosmo Monkhouse.

Help for Maryland Fathers
Family law attorney Dawn Elaine Bowie works to protect parents' relationships with their children and reduce post-divorce conflict. She practices in Montgomery, Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties. Contact her at attorneydawn@marylandfamilylawfirm.com or go to www.marylandfamilylawfirm.com.

How Does Sex Discrimination Affect Men and Boys?
The National Coalition of Free Men Los Angeles is a non-profit educational & civil rights organization that looks at the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys. NCFM-LA helps provide men a unified voice on important political and social issues. www.NCFMLA.org 

This Is Useful

I recently received a "WoodGas Camp Stove" from one of my advertisers, and since my son is a Boy Scout who frequently goes on camping trips, I thought we'd try the stove out. The manufacturers claim that the stove "burns almost any fuel nature provides--including twigs, pine cones or any plant-based fuel--and provides the cleanest heat in even the remotest area." We discovered that the stove works exactly as they say it does--you get as much heat or more than from the traditional propane camping stoves, and it runs on anything you happen to find in the forest. We fried a bunch of bacon and eggs using only dried weeds, leaves and sticks. www.woodgas-stove.com.

Sorry Honey--I Guess It's Over...

Usually when a marriage is over it's your spouse who tells you, but my wife has told me nothing but I recently learned my marriage is over anyway. Why? Because gay couples in my home state of California will now file taxes as if they were married. How do I know this spells the end of my marriage? Because Randy Thomasson and the Campaign for Children and Families inform us that in signing SB 1827, a tax bill, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has "put the last nail in the coffin for marriage between a man and a woman in California." Moreover, Schwarzenegger has "Terminated [the] Last Piece of Marriage."

I don't know how I'm going to break the news to my wife--I'm sure the fact that gays will be filing their taxes differently will have a devastating effect on our family. In fact, it seems quite likely that these tax changes will also lure my teenage son into the gay lifestyle. If Randy is correct, perhaps the only thing that's kept him from doing it so far was the tax disadvantage he knew he'd face one day...

Lisa Scott Launches RealFamilyLaw.com
Shared Parenting Advocate/Family Law Attorney Lisa Scott has launched www.RealFamilyLaw.com to expose the truth about what is happening in our family law system. Lisa, the all-time leader in appearances on His Side with Glenn Sacks, says that she was "tired of having her stuff rejected by elitist bar publications and politically-correct newspapers" and decided to start her own website. www.RealFamilyLaw.com

Congressional Candidate Takes Strong Stand for Noncustodial Parents' Rights
In 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik had a strong noncustodial parents' rights platform. Badnarik is clearly aware of and sensitive to the basic problems fathers today face, particularly the sole custody norm and the denigration of noncustodial parents to "second class parent" status. Badnarik is running for Congress in 2006--to learn more, go to www.badnarik.org.

Teacher Sues Ex-Wife for False Claims of Sex Abuse

From Teacher sues ex-wife for false claims of sex abuse: Allegations he molested sons part of bitter custody dispute (Macomb Daily, 8/22/06):

"An Eastpointe school teacher has sued his ex-wife for her false accusations to police that he sexually molested their son and her son.

"Jeffrey Edwards, 33, filed a lawsuit in Macomb Circuit Court on Friday, saying his former wife, Muingo Muthui-Edwards, slandered him and deliberately inflicted emotional distress on him by telling police and social service agencies here and in Pennsylvania that he molested the two boys, aged 3 and 6.

"Eastpointe police and social service officials in the two states have determined that the assaults never occurred and have cleared Edwards of any wrongdoing.

"Edwards told The Macomb Daily on Monday that he filed the lawsuit because of the toll the made-up accusations have taken on him.

"'I've spent countless hours and money defending my reputation,' Edwards said. 'This has been a nightmare, an atrocity.'

"The couple, whose divorce was finalized in April after 13 months of marriage, are mired in a custody battle over their son. Muthui-Edwards, who moved to northeast Pennsylvania to live near her parents after the divorce, also has another son from a prior relationship.

"Because of the false allegations and Muthui-Edwards being held in contempt of court twice for failing to appear, Edwards in April gained physical custody of the boy. Muthui-Edwards now has the same visitation that Edwards had, in a decision by Judge Antonio Viviano two weeks after the divorce was granted.

"Edwards believes his ex-wife fabricated the allegations to gain custody. In the lawsuit, he calls her statements 'malicious for the purpose of bringing (Edwards) into disrepute and subjecting him to criminal prosecution.'

"The allegations first arose shortly before a custody trial was to be held in front of Viviano. Muthui-Edwards started complaining to officials in both states and to Eastpointe police late last year that the two boys said they were abused. She claimed the boys told her that Edwards touched them inappropriately. The older child also was having nightmares, and the younger child was digressing in toilet training, she told authorities.

"But investigations that included interviews of the boys and Edwards turned up no evidence of abuse. An Eastpointe police report says: 'This case has been highly scrutinized by several layers of government and all have found no merit to these claims against Jeffrey Edwards.'

"She repeated the allegations in July, and another investigation finding no wrongdoing was concluded Aug. 14..."

Read the full article here. It's nice to see a dad fighting back against a false accuser. Let's hope she ends up having to write him a big check.

Beyond all the other horrors involved, she easily could have destroyed Edwards' teaching career. Earlier this year I appeared on Geraldo at Large to discuss this issue and the Florida case where a father attacked a teacher's aid who had been accused of inappropriately touching his teenage daughter. It turns out that the charges were fabricated. During the interview I told a couple of stories about things I saw when I was a teacher. One of them happened early in my career when a male administrator took a few of the new male high school teachers aside and told us the following story. (Note: in some schools administrators often teach a class or two):

"One time I was in my office and one of my students, an 11th grade girl, came to see me. She was upset about the bad grade she was getting in my class, and wanted me to change it.

"She grew increasingly demanding and ended up threatening me that she would make a charge against me if I didn't give her the grade.

"When I still refused, she stood up, tore her shirt, started screaming 'Help, Help, he's attacking me' and ran towards the door of the office. As she made for the door I saw 25 years of hard work and devotion to my students go down the drain.

"Miraculously, there happened to be a female teacher right outside the door who had been waiting to talk to me. When the girl opened the door the female teacher stood in her way and told her that she had heard everything. It saved my career and my livelihood."

I've covered the issue of false allegations in numerous columns and on the air. To learn more, see:

Help for Seattle Fathers
The Law Offices of O. Yale Lewis III is a one-person law firm that focuses on customer care. Mr. Lewis can help you identify and focus on the outcome that you want and implement the steps necessary to get there. www.yalelewislaw.com.

Help for California Divorced Dads
The Divorced Fathers Network helps dads in Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Santa Cruz. Local chapters sponsor free weekly co-parenting classes, individual mentoring for fathers and much more. www.divorcedfathers.com.

The Secrets of Happily Married Men
How can a man achieve a long and happy marriage? If you've been checking out advice columns or seeing a therapist, you may have been looking in the wrong place. Despite all the advances in brain technology, and all of that we have learned about developmental psychology--men and women are given the same advice about solving problems. But when we ask men what works for them, we hear a different story. www.SecretsofMarriedMen.com

Wendy McElroy on Man Jailed 11 Years for Contempt of Court

Wendy McElroy of IFeminists.com has an interesting new article on the outrageous Chadwick case, wherein a man has been in jail for 11 years on a civil contempt charge. In her new column Are Civil Courts In Contempt of Justice? McElroy writes:

"Corporate lawyer H. Beatty Chadwick has passed 11 years in a Pennsylvania county jail on a contempt of civil court charge relating to his divorce.

"He 'refuses' to produce $2.5 million that may not exist. If he were in the federal system, the maximum penalty for contempt would be 18 months. As it is, Chadwick -- who has never been convicted of a crime or faced a jury -- is indefinitely imprisoned without possibility of parole.

"Has Chadwick fallen through a crack in the legal system or is he proof that family courts are out-of-control, especially regarding 'contempt of court' power?

"The 'legal crack' theory immediately confronts a problem. According to the Chicago Tribune, the case has produced a 'dozen pleas to the county courts, nine to state appeals courts, nine to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, six to the nearby federal court, four to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and two to the U.S. Supreme Court.'

"That's one massive and meticulously sustained 'crack.'

"The 'out-of-control' theory immediately confronts a question: what act of contempt could possibly elicit such draconian punishment?

"The answer begins in 1977 when Chadwick (then 39 years old) married the former Barbara Jean Crowther. She filed for divorce in late 1992. Depending on which account is credited, Chadwick is either the victim of a vindictive wife or he is domineering husband who vowed that his wife would never see a penny.

"In 1994, Barbara Chadwick informed the court that her husband had wired $2.5 million out of the country. The judge ordered Chadwick to retrieve the funds and place them in a court-controlled account until the divorce was settled. Chadwick claimed that most of the money had been lost in a foreign business deal gone bad; however, a small fraction of the money showed up in a U.S. bank under Chadwick's name. The judge ordered his imprisonment on civil contempt until the funds were produced.

"In civil proceedings, such as divorce, a charge of contempt usually occurs in two circumstances. First, a failure to attend court proceedings despite a subpoena. Second, the failure to comply with a court order. If imprisonment is ordered, the 'sentence' can last as long as the disobedience continues or until the 'contempt limitation' of the particular court system is reached; some courts have no limit. Since the prisoner is considered to 'hold the key' to his own freedom, his constitutional right to due process is not seen to apply.

"Chadwick was imprisoned in April 1995...

"A. Leo Sereni, a former president judge in Pennsylvania, was appointed to track Chadwick's money. Eighteen months and two accounting firms later, Sereni reported no trace beyond what had been discovered a decade before. Money had been transferred to Europe and a small fraction had reappeared in U.S. accounts. Sereni concluded, 'most of it...nowhere.'

"He recommended Chadwick's release, stating, 'My God -- if he had stolen $2 million, he would have been out a couple of years ago.'"

Read the full column here.

How to Win Shared Custody
If you are an active, engaged, committed, dedicated, loving parent facing a divorce, family law attorney Nicholas Palermo's The Ten Essential Elements to Winning Joint Shared Physical and Legal Custody can help you protect your relationship with your children. www.TenEssentialElements.com

Ex-Wife Who Made False Rape Claims Faces Prison

According to the U.K. Telegraph article Ex-Wife Who Made False Rape Claims Faces Prison (9/30/06):

"A woman who falsely cried rape against her former husband was facing jail yesterday after being convicted of perverting the course of justice.

"Sally Henderson, 40, a mother of two, described by the prosecution as a 'wicked liar', claimed Richard Cooke, 39, had repeatedly raped her during their year-long marriage.

"But police discovered her claims were almost identical to false allegations she had made five years earlier against a previous boyfriend, Mark Rowe, 42, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

"Lifting an order preventing her identification, Recorder David Lane, QC, said: 'The public has a right to know the identity of a person who makes such allegations and who seeks to use the system of justice for her own, unscrupulous ends.

"'These two men were put through the extreme anxiety of facing the most serious and most grave offences that can be brought against a man.'

"...Henderson reported the false rapes only after both men left her. Mr Cooke was held in a police cell for 36 hours following his arrest.

"Mr Cooke told the court: 'It was quite shocking to have three or four police officers arrest you, manhandle you and take you away for something you've never done...

"Lynne Matthews, prosecuting, said: 'Sally Henderson is a wicked liar. There is nothing more wicked that a woman can do against her husband or partner than to claim rape. But there is very little for a man to do other than say he didn't do it. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and her claims were a tissue of lies.'"

Read the full article here.

I've discussed the problem of false marital rape claims previously, including in my co-authored column Kuehl's Spousal Rape Bill Will Harm Innocent Men (Sacramento News & Review, 6/15/06). I was blasted severely in the feminist blogosphere for the column, but this UK case--two really, since Henderson had done the false accuser number on her previous boyfriend also--is an example of what can happen. In these cases the motive was apparently vindictive, but in the column I point out the tangible, post-divorce benefits false accusers can sometimes gain.

Legal Help for Fathers
If you live in Los Angeles, Riverside or Orange counties and you're facing a divorce, separation, or a child custody issue, the law firm of Oddenino & Gaule can help. www.OddLaw.net

Legal Help for Fathers in New Jersey
If you're a New Jersey father facing a divorce or separation, the law firm of Pitman, Pitman, Mindas, Grossman & Lee can help. PitmanLaw.com

Another Example of the 'Fake' Parental Alienation Syndrome

Our opponents often claim that Parental Alienation Syndrome--wherein one parent has turned his or her children against the other parent, destroying the loving bonds the children and the target parent once enjoyed--is a fake or "discredited" syndrome.

For example, when the National Organization for Women passed a resolution against PAS at its national conference in July, they labeled PAS a "defense strategy for batterers and sexual predators that purports to explain a child's estrangement from one parent, or explains away allegations against the estranged parent of abuse/sex abuse of child, by blaming the protective parent." I'm often criticized by feminists for my defense of PAS, such as the reaction to my co-authored column Protect Children from Alienation (Providence Journal, 7/7/06).

I found Amy Dickinson's "Ask Amy" advice column Daughter in law vicious in divorce interesting, particularly the second paragraph. "Sad Grandmother" wrote:

"Dear Amy:

"My son and daughter-in-law are on the verge of a divorce. I believe that when a marriage ends, both parties are at fault. A few weeks ago, my daughter-in-law came to my home to tell me about the situation, and reiterated all my son's faults.

"She's very self-righteous and has a vicious temper. The concern I have is that she is turning her children (one boy and two girls) against their father. They are more than a little afraid of her. The oldest girl has told me things about her mother, and I know that she must follow the rules or else! She lines them up in front of their father and tells them what's wrong with him. She tells them that their father doesn't love them.

"This is sad because he loves them and works long hours in his law practice to support them handsomely. His practice takes a lot of his time, but he is always home for dinner to give them his attention. However, there is never dinner for him and only a meager dinner for the kids, followed by more sweets than necessary. How should I get involved with this, if at all?"

I guess "Sad Grandmother" is also an apologist for "batterers and sexual predators."

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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