New Column: Foster Care System
Disregards Fathers

June 12, 2006

New Column: New Report--Foster Care System Disregards Fathers

My latest co-authored column, New Report: Foster Care System Disregards Fathers (Boston Globe, 6/8/06) discusses one of the most egregious wrongs done to children and their dads today. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"When a mother and father are divorced or separated, and a child welfare agency removes the children from the mother's home for abuse or neglect, an offer of placement to the father, barring unfitness, should be automatic. Yet according to a new report by the Urban Institute, few fathers are able to reunite with their children, who are instead pushed into the foster care system.

"The new report, What About the Dads? Child Welfare Agencies' Efforts to Identify, Locate, and Involve Nonresident Fathers, examines the foster care systems of

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Massachusetts and three other states. The report contains a shocking finding: when fathers inform child welfare officials that they would like their children to live with them, the agencies seek to place the children with their fathers in only 8% of cases....

"What About the Dads? makes it clear that many child welfare workers treat fathers as an afterthought. The report found that even when a caseworker had been in contact with a child's father, the caseworker was still five times less likely to know basic information about the father than about the mother. And 20% of the fathers whose identity and location were known by the child welfare agencies from the opening of the case were never even contacted.

"These policies are seriously misguided. When a mother is deemed unfit to care for her children, dad shouldn't be just one option out of many. He should be first in line."

To read the complete column, click here.

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe concerning Giving fathers a chance (6/8/06), write to

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

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.

Dad Is Living the Nightmare Described in Boston Globe Foster Care Column

After the Boston Globe published Giving fathers a chance (6/8/06) I received an interesting letter from a father who said he is "living the nightmare described in the column."

I can't give out many details, but basically he got divorced, mom got custody of his daughter, the mother was abusive and the state (properly) took the girl away from the mother. After that, however, the state has refused to let this man's daughter come home to him. The girl adores her dad and there's been no finding of unfitness against the dad. However, the girl's caseworker keeps coming up with vague reasons why it's somehow not in the best interests of this child to be reunited with her father. These include gems like "she isn't ready for overnight visits yet."  And dad has fought a long, hard battle to convince the state that's it's in his daughter's best interests to come live with him.  Meanwhile his little girl's childhood is slipping away.

The story is incredibly infuriating. As I listened to the father refute the various reasons the caseworker threw up to prevent his daughter from coming home, I kept thinking who cares what this social worker thinks? Unless there's been a finding of unfitness, this girl belongs with her father.

It's amazing the way these petty demi-gods in social services think they have the right to dictate terms to fit parents as to what's best for their kids. The fate of this girl and her father is in the hands of an inexperienced, 20-something crusader to whom the system gives way too much power. What an outrage.

Leving's Divorce Magazine
The second edition of Leving's Divorce Magazine, the new magazine for the modern divorced men, is now 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.

More Hero Fathers

In my co-authored Father's Day 2005 column Not the Era of the Deadbeat Dad but the Era of the Hero Father (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 6/19/05) we put forth the concept of the "hero father." Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"Fatherhood has changed dramatically in the era of divorce and out of wedlock births, and much attention has been paid to two unfortunate products of this era--the absent father and the deadbeat dad. However, there is another type of father this era has produced, one which has received very little attention--the hero father.

"According to the Children's Rights Council, a Washington-based advocacy group, more than five million American children each year have their access to their noncustodial parents interfered with or blocked by custodial parents. Behind that statistic are legions of heroic divorced or separated fathers who fight a long, hard but generally unrecognized battle to remain a meaningful part of the lives of the children who love them and need them...

"Over the past several decades the love and devotion of millions of fathers has been tested in ways few in previous generations experienced. This Father's Day, let's honor the hero father."

In past emails I've identified numerous "hero fathers," including David Chick, Gary LaMusga, Jolly Stansby, Ron Davis, Gary S., Edgar P., John Brumbaugh and Benoit Leroux. With Father's Day coming next week, I'd like to add three more inductees into the pantheon--Daniel Sims, Joe Seldner and Vincent C.

Daniel Sims

We discussed Daniel Sims' heroics in New Report: Foster Care System Disregards Fathers (Boston Globe, 6/8/06), writing:

" one highly-publicized [child abuse] case, seven year-old Kaili Warrington-Sims was starved down to 29 pounds and imprisoned in a bedroom by her mother and her mother's live-in boyfriend before being rescued by her father, Daniel Sims. The couple had spirited the girl around New York state and then to Florida to deny Sims access. Sims struggled through a maze of bureaucratic indifference and hostility to get to his daughter. He arrived just in time--the girl would have only lived a few more weeks in her condition."

News reports of the crime noted that neighbors had reported that little Kaili spent endless hours looking out the window of the bedroom in which she was imprisoned. No doubt the girl wondered why this was being done to her, in what way she had been bad and had caused it all, and why mom and that man she lives with seemed to hate her so much. Probably she wished that a hero would come from far away and rescue her.  Because of the fatal flaws and anti-father bias of the current family law system, her hero almost arrived too late.

Joe Seldner

Joe Seldner fought a long, hard and ultimately successful for his children after being the victim of false accusations and all the cruel insanity that a vindictive woman and the family law system that serves her can create. To learn more about Seldner, click here.

Vincent C.

Vincent C. was the target of one of the most vicious Parental Alienation cases I have ever seen. I described his in my co-authored column PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net Daily, 10/20/05):

"A four year-old boy is jumping up and down with joy.

"'Daddy! Daddy!'

"Dad gets out of the car.

"'Daddy's here! Daddy's here!'

"The boy is behind a locked screen door. He tries to open it.

"'Daddy's here! Mommy, look, daddy's here!'

"Dad knows he shouldn't open the door. He waits for his ex-wife to open the door. She doesn't do it.

"'This is my visitation time,' Dad says, waving a court document.

"Mom still won't open the door.

"The boy jumps up and down, saying "daddy, daddy." He yanks on the screen door handle but still can't get it open.

"Dad looks at his little boy. He pauses, takes a deep breath, and walks back to his car.

"The little boy doesn't understand. Why won't daddy come? Why is daddy walking away from him?

"The little boy disappears inside the house.

"Dad calls the police. When the officers arrive he shows them his court documents. The officers go inside to investigate. They come out a few minutes later. 

"'Your son says he doesn't want to see you,' the officer says. 'There's nothing I can do. You'll have to deal with it in the court. I can't make him go with you if he doesn't want to.'

"Dad finally gets to see his kids three months later. The children spit on both him and their grandmother. Almost in unison they repeat 'I don't want to be here. I want to go home with mommy, I don't want to be here. I want to go home with mommy, I don't want to be here. I want to go home with mommy.'"

Vincent C. spent over $500,000 on his custody case. However, after years of battles and a ton of heartache, the courts finally decided to take action against the mother and her Parental Alienation tactics against the father. Vincent got justice, winning sole custody of his three children last year.

Remarkably, though Vincent would have been legally able (and morally justified) in cutting the mother completely out of the children's lives, he instead turned around and offered her the same 50-50 shared custody that he should have had as a matter of course right from the beginning. Ghandi could not have been more gracious and forgiving.

We had Vincent over to the house a couple months ago and his children were very happy, and very attached to dad. In fact, the same girl who had been programmed by mom to lead the three children in hating their dad spent much of the evening hugging Vincent or sitting on his lap.

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.

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.

I'm Sure This is Men's Fault, Too--Give Me a Minute to Think and I'll Figure Out How

When trying to justify our current family law system, many misguided feminists often claim that physical and/or emotional is the driving force behind most divorces. For example, when I debated feminist family law attorney Cecile Weich on the Alan Colmes Show a few years ago, she asserted that if there's divorce, it's probably because there was abuse in the marriage. As I've noted many times, feminist opposition to shared parenting always employs the bogeyman of the abusive husband. Now this interesting news from Sweden:

"According to new figures from Statistics Sweden, lesbians who enter into a formal partnership here are more likely to break up than gay men.

"On the whole, homosexual couples here divorce more often than heterosexual. According to Statistics Sweden, after 5 years, 30 percent of homosexual women couples have divorced, compared to 20 percent of men in same sex partnerships. Among heterosexual couples the figure is around 13 percent.

"Since the new partnership law was introduced here 11 years ago, only one half of one percent of new marriages have been same sex couples. Last year there were 3,300 homosexual men and women living in registered partnerships in Sweden."

The article chooses to highlight the fact that lesbians divorce more than gay men. This is indeed interesting. Even more significant, however, is the fact that Swedish lesbian marriages apparently break up more than twice as often as straight marriages do. Can we logically assume then that relationship discord is not the creation of those nasty men, but instead something endemic to all humans, regardless of gender? That when a couple splits up they should both be treated equally by the family courts, because there's no reason to assume that one is any more at fault than the other?

BTW, there is one prominent feminist who does talk sense on this issue. Martha Burk, who appeared on His Side with Glenn Sacks last year, once wrote:

"With close to half of all marriages ending in divorce, it's impossible to believe that the majority of divorcing fathers are violent, and it would be wrong to base public policy on the notion that they are."

Finding Your N.U.T.s.--Non-negotiable Unalterable Terms
Wayne M. Levine, M.A., founder of BetterMen, has written a new book with sage advice and proven tools for men who want to be BetterMen in their relationships and in their lives. Finding Your N.U.T.s offers men the truth about themselves, their relationships, their responsibilities as men, and the power they have to be BetterMen.

Tom Ellis Rides Against the Wind
Congratulations to Thomas Ellis on selling 1,000 copies of his self-published The Rantings of a Single Male: Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything. It's quite an accomplishment, given that the publishing industry gives vastly more attention to Women's Studies books than Men's Studies. Rantings describes the rise of feminism from the mid '70s to the present, through Ellis' personal experiences, and is loaded with outrageous stories.  Available at Amazon and in Bulk.

Finally What Child Support Payers Need

I've often complained that child support obligors face a stacked deck when squaring off against Child Support Enforcement. CS Enforcement has plenty 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.

I've written about these abuses in numerous columns and have sparred publicly with child support enforcement officials and their politician enablers--click here and here for a couple examples. In my co-authored column Federal Child Support Enforcement Cuts Will Hurt Bureaucrats, not Children (Las Vegas Review-Journal, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/16/05) I wrote:

"Child support enforcement agencies are notorious for their abusive well as their mind-numbing incompetence, waste, and the incessant computer errors which lead to the persecution of innocent citizens...the [child support enforcement budget] cuts will force some discipline and restraint onto an area of government which sorely needs it."

The only way I've known to advise men trapped in these situations is to get a lawyer, but it goes without saying that this is an expensive privilege not available to most obligors. Many dads, realizing that they can either pay a lawyer or pay the ex, choose to pay the money, even if they don't really owe it.

I've complained many times that the deck is unfairly stacked, and since the state provides a ton of free assistance to custodial parents, fathers should also have a way to get quality, affordable representation for these battles. Sadly, this did not exist.

Until now.

Presumably paying no attention to me, someone actually went ahead and designed the program I imagined---Michael Kennedy and Child Support Liberation.

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 by clicking here.

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 or go to
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.

My Daughter Did Something Cute--Feel Free to Ignore This Section

The boy who grew up across the street went off to Navy boot camp recently and we heard that he was struggling a bit. So my little daughter, who the boy always liked and enjoyed playing with, wrote him a letter to try to cheer him up. The letter is here.

Glenn Discusses Boy Crisis in Education on Upfront with Vicki McKenna

I discussed the Boy Crisis in education on Upfront with Vicki McKenna on News/Talk 1310 WIBA in Madison, Wisconsin on June 6.

Dad's Time Tracker - Get More Time With Your Children and Manage Your Child Support
Dad's Time Tracker helps divorced fathers collect the information necessary to get more parenting time, lower their child support, or gain custody of their children by creating a child support payment record and thorough tracking of expenses.  This tool makes co-parenting easier because key "friction" areas--expenses, medical issues, contacts, day care information, parenting time--are addressed in advance.

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.

This Police Officer Enforced Visitation

Getting visitation orders enforced is often very difficult for fathers. As the ACFC's Mike McCormick and I explained in our co-authored column 'Roe v. Wade for Men' Case Illustrates Family Law System's Inequities (Daytona Beach News-Journal, 3/31/06):

"Fathers who want to share in parenting their children face many obstacles. In a study conducted by Arizona State University psychology professor Sanford Braver and published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 40% of divorced mothers admitted that they had interfered with their ex-husband's access or visitation, and that their motives were punitive in nature and not due to safety considerations.  A study of adult children of divorce conducted by Glynnis Walker, author of Solomon's Children: Exploding the Myths of Divorce, found that 42% of children who lived solely with their mothers reported that their mothers had tried to prevent them from seeing their fathers after the divorce.

"Despite this, state and federal governments spend almost nothing on enforcing visitation and parenting time. Fathers denied access to their kids are on their own, and must wage long, costly legal battles to remain a part of their children's lives. And while prosecutions of fathers who violate child support mandates are common, prosecutions of mothers who violate visitation orders are almost nonexistent."

Fatherhood activist Robert A. Fink, M. D., President of California Parents United, Inc., recently sent me some interesting material this issue. Mike Ayers, an Albany, California, police officer, recently passed away at age 48 of malignant melanoma.  In response to the Contra Costa Times piece Mike Ayers, Albany school police officer, dies at 48 (6/02/2006) Fink wrote:

"I wanted to share with you my experience with Officer Ayers, some years ago, as an example of what it means to be a fine police officer in today's atmosphere of dwindling respect for the law.

"In 1994-97, I had the misfortune of going through a contentious divorce from a spouse who was mentally ill.  Agreements for shared parenting of our daughter were made and a court order was issued as to the protocols for such, including timeshare of the child and financial support.

"From the first day of the issuance of the final court order, my former spouse used every opportunity possible to deny me the time which was specified for me to parent our daughter (we lived in adjoining communities), and all appeals to my ex-spouse and/or her attorney to abide by the order of the court fell on deaf ears.

"In most jurisdictions, any attempt to enforce a Family Court order is frustrated by the fact that police agencies consider such issues as being 'civil matters' and, in the case of individuals who continually refuse to follow court orders of this type, all that results is a situation of multiple court appearances (costly), contempt filings, and, usually, no further action other than the proverbial 'slap on the wrist.'

"As part of an organization, California Parents United, Inc., to which I belong, I checked with various police agencies in the East Bay, and found that the vast majority (including El Cerrito, Richmond, and Contra Costa Sheriff) will not enforce court orders, even those issued by their own Superior Court.

"The Albany Police Department, however, based upon guidelines issued by the Alameda County District Attorney, has a policy of supporting the valid orders of the courts; and I finally decided to attempt such enforcement of the parenting order which had been issued by the Family Court.

"On a day when I was scheduled to pick up our daughter (then 10 years old) at her school (in Albany), I arrived at the school only to find that my ex-spouse had removed her from the classroom before dismissal time (so as to avoid the issue of my picking her up) and had taken our daughter to my ex's residence (also in Albany).  I drove to the residence and asked that my daughter join me, and my former spouse refused.

"I then called the Albany Police Department and Officer Ayers met me across the street from my ex's residence.  He examined the court papers (which I had brought with me) and then, after settling me down in my car, approached my ex's residence and asked that she release our daughter for her time with me. Again, my ex refused to obey either the court order or Officer Ayers' request. Officer Ayers than requested 'backup' in the form of another police officer and a social services worker and again made his request of my ex-wife.

Again, she refused.

"Officer Ayers then informed her that if she did not comply with the court order, he would place her under arrest for a violation of a valid court order. My ex promptly changed her mind and agreed to release our daughter to me. This event was the last time that my ex tried to obstruct court orders and, over the subsequent years, there were no further recurrences of this type of behavior. 

"I was extremely impressed by the police work which was done by Officer Ayers in this case.  He handled this matter with both efficiency and dignity, and, in no way was he disrespectful to anyone involved in a potentially highly conflicted situation.  He provided a basic 'lesson in civics' to all concerned (including our daughter, who remembers the incident vividly to this day); that lesson being that legitimate court orders need to be respected and followed; and that 'scofflaws' can be punished.

"My daughter (the same one described above) is a graduate of Albany High School.  During the years when I picked up and dropped off my daughter (I eventually became her full-time parent) at AHS, I frequently noted Officer Ayers and his engaging smile, and it was obvious that he was thought of very highly by the students and the rest of the AHS community.  Because of my experiences with this fine police officer, I had a little extra reason to smile in return.

"Mike Ayers will be missed by many."

Fink also offers some interesting observations on the way visitation is enforced (or isn't enforced) in California. He writes:

"Most jurisdictions (in California and elsewhere) view a parent (usually a mother) who obstructs timeshare/visitation orders as a person unworthy of much effort.  Most law enforcement people consider this a 'civil matter' and refuse to enforce legitimate court orders dealing with custody and timeshare. At the same time, however, they will promptly incarcerate parents (usually fathers) who are behind in their court-ordered support payments.

"Most police departments are guided by the position of the local District Attorney, and we have been fortunate, in Alameda County, California, that the D.A. apparently feels that Family Court orders should be enforced in the same way as other court orders.  This, however is not true for the majority of other counties here in the Bay Area, and I suspect elsewhere in this State.

"I think that this inconsistency should be brought to the public's attention, and that political efforts should be made to influence the election and/or retention of District Attorneys, this based upon their philosophy and policies in this area."

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.

Lisa Scott Launches
Shared Parenting Advocate/Family Law Attorney Lisa Scott has just launched 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.

White Supremacist Mother Wins Custody

From ABC in Fresno's "Custody Battle Over White Separatist Twins":

"There was a bitter custody battle Friday in a Valley courtroom with two young white supremacists at the center of it all. The twins have gained national attention for their hate-filled concerts."The parents of the Gaede twins have been in a bitter custody dispute. The girls' father thinks they are being poisoned by their mother, a self-professed white separatist.

"The battle over the twins came to a head Friday inside a Fresno courtroom.

"The father of the girls admits he hasn't been the best dad and wanted a second chance, but the judge ruled the Gaede twins would remain in the custody of their mother, the woman who manages their career as a white separatist singing group.

"They've been billed as a valuable recruiting tool for the white nationalist movement.

"Lynxe and Lamb Gaede -- the 13-year-old twins from Fresno County -- perform at white supremacist gatherings around the country. Together, they are called 'Prussian Blue' and are managed by their mother, April Gaede.

"In 2002, she admitted being part of a local group, 'The National Alliance' that distributed racist leaflets in Fresno.

"'I'm a racist ... I believe there are differences in races. Everybody's a racist. There are two kinds of people. Those who deny being racist, and then the honest folks,' said April Gaude.

"She divorced the twins' father in 1997. The divorce papers accuse him of domestic violence and drug abuse.

"But Kris Lingelser says he's a changed man, and wants custody of the girls to teach them there's a better way to live, 'I would hope that they could see a white separatist attitude, where whites and blacks and Mexicans and everybody needs to live in their own separate universe is not healthy.'

"'It's not what this country is about, it's not what I'm about. I would just hope that they could see that,' said Lingelser.

"But the judge ruled their mom, April Gaede would retain custody and could keep the girls at her new home in Montana.

"Gaede wasn't talking to the media, but last year she claimed to be raising her girls like any other parent -- according to her beliefs.

"'All children are espouse their parents beliefs. If we were Christians, they would maybe be singing Christian rock songs. But we're not. We're white nationalists and so of course, that's a part of our life and I share that part of my life with my children,' she said."  

Father: A Child's Right
Visit to find information about child custody issues related to fathers and their children's rights, as well as book reviews on parenting, custody and divorce. A fun and exciting father & son baseball component is added for enjoyment. Buy books, magazines and DVDs for your children. Learn about the Michigan Shared Parenting bill.

Time for Family Fun Without the Burning Sun
Have hours of the outdoors with our children's fun but functional sun protection. Don't let sunburn, heat or insects get in the way of lifelong memories!  Save 10% off your order with the coupon code SACKS.

Hero Quietly Did The Right Thing

According to CBS' Hero Quietly Did The Right Thing (5/30/06):

"Hiram Bingham IV was U.S. vice consul in Marseilles, France, as Hitler began leaving his imprint across Europe. Even though he wasn't supposed to, he issued thousands of U.S. visas to Jews, allowing them to escape.

"It wasn't good for his career.

"But Bingham knew what he thought was right. And he did it. Quietly, but his actions nonetheless did not go unnoticed.

"The visas issued without permission in 1940 got Bingham bounced from his job in 1941 and derailed what had been a promising career track in diplomacy for Bingham, who came from a prominent family: a father who was a senator and governor, a Tiffany heiress mother, and a grandfather and great-grandfather who were the first missionaries to Hawaii.

"CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports Bingham said little about what he had done and his own family did not realize the scope of things until after his death in 1988, when they found the records he'd kept -- hidden in the house.

"Bingham's heroism was recognized posthumously in 2002, and Tuesday, a dream came true for his children as the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a stamp in Bingham's honor.

"Elly Sherman, who was lined up with her family and other Jews outside the U.S. consulate in Marseilles, where they were saved by Bingham, doesn't need a stamp to jog her memory.

"'My mother kept this document,' said Sherman, pointing to the long-ago paperwork that allowed her family to flee as the Nazis marched forward into France.

"Sherman's family, at the time the visas were issued, had already received an order to report to a concentration camp within two days.

"And it was those two days which were the last two days that Hiram Bingham was still the vice consul in Marseilles - handing out visas to people who were not supposed to get them.

"They weren't supposed to because in 1940 it wasn't American policy to use visas to rescue Jews in danger because of the Nazis.

"In comments recorded by his granddaughter, Bingham recalled being ordered to stop.

"'My boss,' Bingham recalled, 'said 'The Germans are going to win the war. Why should we do anything to offend them?' 

"But Bingham kept writing visa after visa, saving life after life. Among the many he saved were artist Marc Chagall, philosopher Hannah Arendt -- and hundreds of Elly Shermans.

"The lesson of that day, says Sherman, is one which will continue to be passed on to the children and grandchildren in her own family.

"'The story tells itself -- basically, one should stand up to evil,' she says. 'When so many others are working hard to kill you, one man can be strong enough to do what is the right thing to do ... God, it is so wonderful!'

"'It's also a reminder. Sometimes the most effective acts of courage unfold in ways unseen.'"
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.

Help for Boston Dads
Boston family law attorney Nick Palermo is a shared custody advocate who believes that divorced dads are parents, not visitors. The Law Offices of Nicholas Palermo is a dedicated and committed trial law firm which has worked to make shared custody for all fit parents the law of the land. LAW OFFICES OF NICHOLAS PALERMO

In the Spirit of Raoul Wallenberg...

Bingham's actions remind me of the heroic Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who used diplomacy, bluffs, threats, maneuvers, bribes, and blackmail to save the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Hungary in the last days of World War II. According to this biography:

"During this time Eichmann [German SS officer Adolf Eichmann who attempted to  exterminate the whole Jewish population in Budapest] started his brutal 'death marches.' He went through with his promised deportation plan by having large numbers of Jews leave Hungary by foot. The first march started November 20, 1944, and the conditions along the 200 kilometer long road between Budapest and the Austrian border were so horrendous that even the Nazis themselves complained.

"The marching Jews could be counted in the thousands along never-ending rows of starving and tortured people. Raoul Wallenberg was in place all the time to hand out protective passes, food and medicine. He threatened and he bribed until he managed to free those with Swedish passes.

"When Eichmann's killers transported the Jews in full trains, Wallenberg intensified his rescue efforts. He even climbed the train wagons, stood on the tracks, ran along the wagon roofs, and stuck bunches of protective passes down to the people inside. The German soldiers were ordered to open fire, but were so impressed by Wallenberg's courage that they deliberately aimed too high. Wallenberg could jump down unharmed and demand that the Jews with passes should leave the train together with him.

"Raoul Wallenberg's department at the Swedish legation grew constantly and finally kept 340 persons busy. Another 700 people also lived in their building.

"Toward the end of 1944, Wallenberg moved over the river Danube from Buda to Pest where the two Jewish ghettos were situated. The minimal level of law and order that once existed was now gone. The Arrow Cross, police and German war machine shared power.

"Wallenberg searched desperately for suitable people to bribe, and found a very powerful ally in Pa'l Szalay, a high-ranking officer in the police force and an Arrow Cross member. (After the war, Szalay was the only Arrow Cross member that wasn't executed. He was set free in recognition for his cooperation with Wallenberg.)

"The second week of January 1945 Raoul Wallenberg found out that Eichmann planned a total massacre in the largest ghetto. The only one who could stop it was general August Schmidthuber who was commander-in-chief for the German troops in Hungary.

"Wallenberg's ally Szalay was sent to deliver a note to Schmidthuber explaining that Raoul Wallenberg would make sure that the general would be held personally responsible for the massacre and that he would be hanged as a war criminal after the war. The massacre was stopped at the last minute thanks to Wallenberg's action.

"Two days later, the Russians arrived and found 97,000 Jews alive in Budapest's two Jewish ghettos. In total 120,000 Jews survived the Nazi extermination in Hungary.

"According to Per Anger, Wallenberg's friend and colleague, Wallenberg must be honored with saving at least 100,000 Jews."

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Column: AB 2051 Moves California in Wrong Direction on Domestic Violence

My recent co-authored column AB 2051 Moves California in Wrong Direction on Domestic Violence, (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 6/1/06) criticizes a new California domestic violence bill which specifically excludes male victims of domestic violence and their children from DV-related services. This exclusion was made at the insistence of the California National Organization for Women and taxpayer-funded domestic violence groups.

In the column Mike McCormick, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, and I wrote:

"The California Assembly just passed a misguided bill which puts ideology over evidence by reiterating the state's mulish definition of domestic violence as something which only women suffer. Not only does Assemblymember Rebecca Cohn's AB 2051 turn a blind eye to male DV victims and their children, it may also cost the state tens of millions of dollars in lost federal grants.

"California law defines domestic violence as 'the infliction or threat of physical harm against...female intimate partners.' AB 2051 refers to domestic violence victims only as 'battered women.' By defining domestic violence as something only experienced by women, both existing law and AB 2051 exclude male victims and their children from receiving state-funded domestic violence services, including shelter, hotel arrangements, counseling and legal services."

The California Alliance for Families and Children has been fighting this bill in Sacramento, and has helped organize a petition against the bill from many of the biggest names in the domestic violence field worldwide. These professionals are appalled at the mangling of social science which this bill represents. As we note in the column:

"Over 50 domestic violence researchers and treatment providers have signed a letter to the California legislature opposing AB 2051. The signatories call on California to stop ignoring male victims and their children, and note:

"'The data is without question--domestic violence affects both men and women. The politicization of this issue must stop and services must be provided to all children and their parent victims.'"

Express Your Opposition to AB 2051

The purpose of AB 2051 is to provide funding for services for gay and lesbian victims of domestic violence. I have no quarrel with that. I oppose AB 2051 in its present form because it excludes--and makes a specific point of excluding--heterosexual men and their children. If the bill were to be amended to include male victims I would support it. Otherwise I oppose. The bill passed the Assembly on a largely party-line vote--Democrats in favor, Republicans against.

AB 2051 now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee. CAFC lobbyist Michael Robinson says that those opposing AB 2051 or seeking to have it amended should call or write the individuals below. Remember to be polite and respectful.

Senate Judiciary Committee
State Capitol
Room 2187
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone 916-651-4113
Fax 916-445-8390
Don Perata-D
Pro Tem (leader)
State Capitol
Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone 916-651-4009
Fax 916-327-1997

Senate Judiciary Committee Members

Joe Dunn-D
Committee Chair
State Capitol
Room 2080
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone 916-651-4034
Fax 916-323-2323
Bill Morrow-R
Vice Chair
State Capitol
Room 4048
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone 916-651-4038
Sheila Kuehl-D
State Capitol
Room 5108
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone 916-651-4023
Fax 916-324-4823
Martha Escutia-D
State Capitol
Room 5080
Sacramento, CA95814
Phone 916-651-4030
Fax 916-327-8755
Dick Ackerman-R
State Capitol
Room 305
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone 916-651-4033

Write a Letter to the Editor About AB 2051

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Daily Breeze, a newspaper based in the Los Angeles International Airport/Harbor area, about AB 2051 and Bill does more violence to men (6/1/06), write to

Progress on Domestic Violence

In the column we noted recent changes to the federal Violence Against Women Act:

"The federal Violence Against Women Act, which funds states' DV programs through STOP grants, was amended last year to include a requirement that DV programs be gender neutral. It was also amended to state that VAWA's title should not 'be construed to prohibit male victims of domestic violence...from receiving benefits and services.'"

This change was a major achievement on the domestic violence issue. It was engineered by David Burroughs, Esq. of the Safe Homes for Children and Families Coalition and Michael Robinson of California Alliance for Families and Children. To learn more, see A 'Great Step Forward' for Male Domestic Violence Victims as Violence Against Women Act Passes.

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Dads, Learn to Take Charge of Your Case in Family Court
Go to to take a comprehensive ONLINE course that teaches you how to handle your case - with or without a lawyer. Learn to Fight for your rights and your children -all for one-hour of a lawyer's fees. Learn to tell public about the tyranny that fathers face in these courts: Reason for Revolution: The Tyranny Against Fathers, Family, and Freedom.

Has Your Career Been Impacted by Custody Issues?
After empowering people's careers for over 20 year, I was duly initiated into family law just like you--through a 30 month, $520,000 custody suit.  I learned that a solid home-based business could be the best option, allowing one to shake the financial shackles while still experiencing a "no limits" career.  More than ever, our kids now need a free and available parent.  Be there for them... and for yourself.  Darrell W. Gurney, 

Column: HB 5267 Will Help Michigan's Children of Divorce

My recent co-authored column HB 5267 Will Help Michigan's Children of Divorce (Lansing State Journal, 5/28/06), supports a hotly contested Michigan shared parenting bill. The bill is opposed by the Michigan National Organization for Women, the Michigan State Bar's Family Law Section,  Domestic Violence Escape, Inc., and others.

DADS of Michigan, the state's American Coalition for Fathers and Children affiliate, and several other shared parenting groups are working to pass the bill. In the column ACFC Executive Director Mike McCormick and I wrote:

"Under current law, judges decide custody cases based on the 12 factors delineated in Michigan's Best Interest of the Child Test.  Both the Michigan Bar and Michigan NOW assure us that this system is effective and should not be changed. However, the 12 factors fail to place sufficient emphasis on protecting children's relationships with both parents. According to the Michigan Family Independence Agency, the most common parenting time schedule in Michigan allows children only 15% physical time with their noncustodial parents. Moreover, the custody decisions based on the factors are often subjective and arbitrary."

Just as the New York National Organization for Women defeated our Campaign in Support of New York Shared Parenting Bill in April by using scare tactics, Michigan NOW and its allies are trying to defeat the bill by equating divorced dads with wife-beaters. We wrote:

"Both Domestic Violence Escape and NOW claim that the bill will put abused women in harm's way. According to DOVE, HB 5267 'sends a clear message to battered women and children that the 'rights' of a batterer take precedence over their safety and wellbeing.' Yet under HB 5267 only fit parents are eligible for joint custody--battered mothers should and would receive sole custody.

"Unfortunately NOW, DOVE and other misguided women's advocates seem capable of recognizing only two types of divorces--ones where both spouses agree on a custody arrangement, and divorces involving domestic violence. However, the overwhelming majority of breakups fit neither profile. Instead, decent, fit parents often cannot agree on custody. In such cases, HB 5267 will ensure that children won't see one of the two people they love the most pushed to the margins of their lives."

Help Michigan Shared Parenting Activists With Their Shared Parenting Bill

HB 5267 remains in the House Committee on Family & Children Services, which has nine members, five of whom are on the fence. My friend Jim Semerad of Dads of Michigan says that people wanting to help the Michigan activists with their shared parenting bill should call and write the committee members below with their support for HB 5267. Dudley Spade is particularly important. Remember to be polite. If you have other questions, write to Semerad at

Undecided Members of the House Family & Children Committee

Representative Phone Fax Email
John Stahl (Chair) 517-373-1800 517-373-9981 Email
Dudley Spade 517-373-1706 517-373-5777 Email
Barb Vander Veen 517-373-0838 517-373-9830 Email
Brenda Clack (Vice Chair) 517-373-8808 517-373-5997 Email
Gino Polidori 517-373-0847 517-373-7538 Email

Write to the Lansing State Journal in Support of HB 5267

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Lansing State Journal regarding HB 5267 will help Mich.'s children of divorce, click here. (Note: for some reason the bylines on the LSJ's web version were messed up, though they were done correctly in the print version).
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.

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

ACFC to Hold Family Law Conference in September

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children will be holding a National Family Law Reform Conference on 9/15/06 and 9/16/06 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Alexandria, Virginia, near Washington DC.

I will be speaking there, along with Phyllis Schlafly, Michael McManus, co-founder of Marriage Savers, Dr. Stephen Baskerville and others.

To register for the conference, click here.

ACFC Executive Director Mike McCormick stresses that "this is not another preach to the choir event." He says:

"This conference will go beyond the cliches about 'ugly divorce' and 'nasty custody battle.' ACFC, with its participants and co-sponsors will provide a critical and candid look at the issue of family law and the steps needed to rein in this behemoth which threatens the stability of every family in America today.

"Conference participants and speakers are coming from every segment of our society for one purpose...To develop and implement action plans for Family Law Reform. We will hear leading scholars from fields other than those that dominate family law and family policy. You will come away with invaluable tools, contacts, and concrete steps to implement change and put family law reform at the center of your community and state agenda.

"Our issues are drawing the attention of a number of organizations and leaders from various sectors. ACFC has been working hard to build coalitions with organizations interested in our issues. This is your opportunity to meet other people and organizations interested in family law reform and shared parenting."

To register for the conference, click here.

Good News--Louisiana Legislator Sets Aside Anti-Shared Parenting Bill

I criticized HB 315, a bill to limit shared parenting in Louisiana, in my co-authored column Louisiana's HB 315 Says One Parent is Better Than Two (Shreveport Times, 5/20/06, Alexandria Town Talk, 5/11/06) and in my enewsletter last Tuesday.

On Wednesday many of you called or wrote Rep. Shirley Bowler (R-River Ridge), who authored the bill, expressing your opposition to it. Later that day Bowler announced that she "does not intend to move on this bill this session."

According to one of my readers who called Bowler's office, Bowler's Chief of Staff said she was receiving a lot of calls and letters against the bill, and that "Glenn Sacks does not fully understand HB 315." I beg to differ, of course, but I do commend Bowler for her decision to set aside the bill.

In the column Mike McCormick, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, and I wrote:

"Current Louisiana law states 'To the extent it is feasible and in the best interest of the child, physical custody of the children should be shared equally.' This is reasonable--it presumes that as long as both parents are fit and there are no extenuating circumstances, they should both share in parenting their children. HB 315 weakens the law's wise preference for two parents instead of one. Under the bill all that children receive is a vaguely defined 'as frequent and continuing contact as is feasible with each parent.' However, research establishes that shared custody is what's best for kids."

To contact Louisiana Dads, the Louisiana affiliate of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children which has fought the bill, click here. Thanks to Louisiana Dads president Nicholas James for his help.

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.

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

World Net Daily's Whistleblower Magazine Devotes June Issue to 'The War on Fathers'

World Net Daily's Whistleblower magazine has devoted its June Issue to "The War on Fathers." WND is one of the world's largest websites. The issue features Stephen Baskerville's "The Fathers' War" (about the problems faced by military fathers) and my co-authored column Resolving the Boy Crisis in Schools (Chicago Sun-Times, 5/7/06). Baskerville is the president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.

The issue also features articles by WND Managing Editor David Kupelian and Bob Just, author of the compelling column "Son of Divorce."  In addition, the issue covers the battle over the New York Shared Parenting Bill by the Coalition of Fathers and Families New York, the ACFC and the Sackson Horde.

I have in the past been critical of conservatives for preaching "family values" while refusing to defend fathers and address the problems with our family law system. I've also criticized them for focusing on side issues like gay marriage while ignoring divorce, which is the true threat to families. The June Whistleblower is another sign that conservatives are waking up. Much of the credit goes to Stephen Baskerville and the ACFC, who have forged ties with many important conservative figures, including Phyllis Schlafly.

On the other hand, as I've often said, we're not going to win this solely on conservative support--we need to make significant inroads into the left also. Since the feminists are entrenched there, it's a hard battle. That's why I've always thought that getting opinion columns published in liberal daily newspapers is important. I think our movement is making progress with the left, but it's not easy.

Are You Really the Father?
Find out the underlying flaws in the DNA paternity testing system and learn how a man with results in the 90%, 95% or even 99% positive range may not be the father. Learn what most lawyers and judges don't know about paternity testing.

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.

Massachusetts Dads Target of Governor's Grandstanding

According to Fathers & Families Executive Director Dan Hogan, Massachusetts Governor Milt Romney is grandstanding for his presidential candidacy by beating up on dads. According to Hogan:

"Yesterday, Governor Romney to great fanfare and at a large press conference released details of his bill to force dads to pay even more child support in a state that already has one of the highest rates in the country. His bill would allow the Department of Revenue to promulgate regulations governing how much dads must pay to cover the costs of covering their children through Mass Health, the state-funded health insurance program for the indigent."

Hogan is right about the high Massachusetts child support guidelines. I discussed a Sanford Braver study on this in my co-authored column New Study Shows Massachusetts' Child Support Guidelines Among Worst in Nation (Massachusetts News, 7/28/04). Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"A new study of child support has concluded that Massachusetts' guidelines are among the most poorly designed in the nation.

"The study examines the child support guidelines of seven geographically and politically diverse states, including Massachusetts. The researchers conclude that 'under current child support guidelines, the majority of custodial parents currently have higher standards of living than their matched noncustodial parents,' and that Massachusetts' guidelines represent the most 'dramatic' example of this inequity...

"After accounting for taxes and noncustodial parent expenses, Braver and Stockburger conclude that a Massachusetts custodial parent need earn only 40% of what a matched noncustodial parent earns in order to enjoy a standard of living equal to that of the noncustodial parent. By contrast, U.S. Census data shows that the median income of the category closely resembling female divorced custodial parents is far higher--85% of that of male noncustodial parents."

According to the Associated Press:

"Governor Romney says most [of the men targeted] are fathers who never married the mothers of their children. The governor says the bill is aimed at forcing these parents to take more responsibility for their children's lives."

Three problems with the above statement. One, the cost of health care is already included in child support and court orders, so in effect these fathers will be double-paying. Two, Romney is not asking mothers to pay, only fathers. Three, I object to the blame implicit in his statement that the fathers "never married the mothers of their children." It is common to blame unwed fathers for this, but reality is a lot more complicated. During a rant on His Side with Glenn Sacks a couple of years ago I said:

"Tonight we are going to discuss one of the most unfairly maligned groups of people in our society--unwed fathers. Routinely labeled irresponsible and selfish, branded as deserters and deadbeats, unwed fathers often face a difficult struggle to remain a part of their children's lives. Yes, there are some unwed fathers who don't live up to their responsibilities, and there are some who never wanted to be fathers to begin with. But there are also many other unwed fathers who do their best but are thwarted by selfish or vengeful ex-girlfriends, and by family courts which see men as wallets first and parents last.

"Society as a whole is indifferent at best to unwed fathers, and often quite hostile. I want to read you a couple of examples. Some of you may remember David Chick, the famous Englishman who risked his life by launching a traffic stopping, six day, one man protest atop a 150 foot high crane near the Tower Bridge in London late last year. It made newspapers all over the world. Chick is an unwed father, and he was protesting the English courts' refusal to enforce his visitation rights to his little daughter...Chick was attacked by many commentators because he is an unwed father.

"Columnist Andrew Grissom wrote:

"It does not seem to occur to Mr. Chick that if only he had married the mother, and had treated her with enough love for her to wish to stay married to him, he would still have unfettered access to his daughter."

"I love that--'treated her with enough love for her to wish to stay married to him'--as if all breakups are because dad is bad. Gee, Andrew, is it possible that David Chick's ex-girlfriend might have had something to do with their breakup? That maybe she, not he, could have been the problem?

"One more point Andrew--you're obviously not a father because if you've ever lived with a woman when she's pregnant and when she's going through post-partum depression--I call it post-partum insanity--you would know that these women can be just a little difficult to get along with. David Chick's girlfriend apparently dumped him when their daughter was very young, and it's quite possible that she was an intolerable you-know-what during this period.

"Another writer, David Blankenhorn, author of Fatherless America, criticized my defense of David Chick and wrote:

"'I really run out of sympathy pretty fast for these guys who impregnate a woman, don't get married, and then act as if the world has done them wrong when no one treats him like a responsible man who has made a real commitment.'

"Gee, David, we treat the unmarried mother like a responsible woman who has made a real commitment, why not the unmarried father? And did David Chick force her to become pregnant? Did he force her to carry the child to term? No, she made those decisions, but he tried to be the best father he could under difficult circumstances, and I don't know what else we could have expected him to do.

"One more point--why is it that we can wag our disapproving fingers at unwed fathers and lecture them on their responsibilities, we can force them to pay exorbitant child support and incarcerate them if they come up short, but then we act like dad is way out of line when he wants equal rights to his child? Just a bit of a double standard here David, don't you think?

"Like many unwed fathers, David Chick did the best he could with the cards he was dealt. Tonight we are going to hear the other side of the story on unwed fathers--His Side--the stories of unwed men who have tried to be fathers to their children but whose way has been blocked."

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A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother's Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Pamela Richardson, a former Vancouver broadcaster, has just released a new book A Kidnapped Mind : A Mother's Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation Syndrome. According to this Canadian National Post article:

"In A Kidnapped Mind Richardson offers her perspective on the events surrounding the suicide of her son, Dash, at the age of 16. She says her child suffered from parental alienation syndrome, and that he was turned against her by her ex-husband. The courts, she says, did nothing to help. Her purpose in writing the book is to promote awareness of the phenomenon and to press for legislative change."

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) occurs when a parent turns his or her children against the other parent after divorce or separation. PAS is committed by both mothers and fathers and is most frequently perpetrated by the custodial parent against the noncustodial parent.

As many of you know, PAS was an important part of the controversy over PBS's anti-father film Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories, which we led a campaign against last fall. The pro-feminist filmmakers asserted that PAS is "junk science" which "has been used in countless cases by abusive fathers to gain custody of their children" by accusing the mothers of PAS. In the film family law attorney Richard Ducote states that "All experts have disavowed" PAS.

However, research shows that parental alienation is a common facet of divorce or separation. For example, a longitudinal study conducted by Stanley S. Clawar and Brynne Valerie Rivlin, published by the American Bar Association in 2003, followed 700 "high conflict" divorce case over a 12-year period. Clawar and Rivlin found that elements of PAS were present in the vast majority of the cases studied.

Though feminists insist that PAS doesn't exist, I often receive letters from mothers who have been the target of the same treatment so many fathers have received--their children are poisoned against them by the other parent, and the courts do nothing about it.

To learn more about PAS, see Dr. Jayne A. Major's "Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome," Kathleen Parker's Let's not alienate parents in custody battles, and my co-authored column PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net Daily, 10/20/05). 

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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