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

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

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


His fingers wrapped like bungee hooks

Around the cyclone fence.
Face pressed grotesquely through wire mesh.
Eyes straining toward early SUVs worming to the pick-up door.
Who would come for him?
Would he have to stay and line-up forever
At the swings, at the fountain, at the restroom
Before forced naptime for the afternoon?
"Those of you whose parents did not come,
Over here with me!" a perky afternoon worker called
And into line he went from his fence vigil -
The line of leftover children, unclaimed, staying late.
After his turn on the swing, then water and the bathroom,
Music started and he lined up to collect his pallet for rest-time.
Lights dimmed and workers walked around enforcing quiet.
He rested, then slept, dreaming of an early dismissal.
In his dream, his mother came to pick him up -
Then his father - a mix-up in custody arrangements.
Suddenly he began to cry out in his daycare naptime.
A gentle childcare worker asked him what was wrong.
He tried to tell her his dreamtime dread,
Explain the vision of his divided parents
Both waiting to take him to his separate homes.
All he said in quivering voice, "I don't know where to line up!"
By Jane C. Perdue, janeperdue@yahoo.com
The Fourteen Percenter is an international newsletter that seeks to promote equal parenting rights in the US, the UK, and worldwide. We welcome feedback, as well as any article, poem, or review relating to the child-parent bond.  Send your letters to FourteenPercenter@yahoo.com . The Fourteen Percenter thanks A-1 Product Distribution for donation of their printing services. Typesetting, binding, and laminating are other services available at 2015 McCullough in San Antonio, TX. Contact 210-734-9355, 800-652-8477, or http://www.a1laminating.com/index.cfm 
Name Calling in Kentucky
The Courier-Journal of Louisville, KY, recently ran several stories about “deadbeat dads,’ then proceeded to post their names ( http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050724/NEWS01/507240388 ,
http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050801/NEWS01/50801005 ,
 ). Finally, one editor ran an excerpt of the following letter at http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050802/NEWS01/508020422 
Dear Editor,
I believe it was a wise Kentuckian who once said, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander."
How about publishing the names of the malicious mothers who refuse to let their children see their dads?          
There are more 'Genghis Moms' who violate the same divorce decree by parental alienation than there are 'Beat-dead Dads' who cannot afford to pay some court's unrealistic demand of child support.
Children need both parents! How about an article about that?
 Don Mathis, the 14%er
Fathers for Justice in Corrie Protest
The Manchester Evening News ran a story about the latest antics of F4J, http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/men/news/comments/view.html?story_id=167404 . Among the feedback was this:  
A man costumed as an alien space invader protested at the Granada Studios in support of a fictional character who was portrayed as being cheated out of time with his child by a vindictive ex-girlfriend.
The reality is - too many children are denied time with caring, loving fathers by similar vindictive ex-wives and girlfriends. By their actions, these women demonstrate they care little for their children's emotional lives.
Laws should be changed to provide penalties for such people who flout custody orders. Children need both parents! 
Don, the 14%er, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Who’s Really Screwing Up America?
The Fourteen Percenter answered J.D. Mullane’s question in the Bucks County Courier Times, http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/219-07102005-512633.html .

J.D. Mullane's article, "Who's really screwing up America?," while factual on many accounts (85 percent of all children who have behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes), is way off base when it comes to who is at fault for breaking up the home.

Consider the mother who walks away from the father with 'her' kids. This is an accepted fact of life in our society. In fact, she is rewarded for it in the form of alimony and child support.

You wrote, "Deadbeat dads encounter few social penalties..." when 'they' abandon their children. I am really at a loss to understand how a man who cannot pay child support encounters few social penalties.

Did you know the dad who financially abandons his children (even if his job is downsized, he gets sick, or his Reserve unit is activated) is made into a criminal by the laws of the land and then called names by media types like yourself? Are you aware that he can lose a variety of licenses if he cannot pay? Did you know he will be assessed interest on the arrears at an amortization schedule that is way beyond reality? Oh yeah, did I mention he can be imprisoned for failure to pay regardless of the reason?

You state, "The easiest thing for a man to do is abandon his children." No, Mr Mullane, the easiest thing for a woman to do is abandon the father of their children. And then the State will jump in and reward her for this. And then the Media will jump in and vilify the excluded ex-husband.

I am glad you quoted a few statistics about the effects of fatherlessness (i.e., 90 percent of all runaway children are from fatherless homes). The issue of fatherlessness is the problem that should be addressed.

As you state, "71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes." Yet, how many school districts have a policy that encourages the noncustodial parent to be involved in their child's academic life? How many schools invite the noncustodial parent to Open House, to PTA, to purchase his kids' school portrait?

Why is it that every state has an Attorney General who will enforce the Mom's right to collect money from the Dad, but will do nothing to ensure that Dad will get to see his kids if some Malicious Mom interferes with his period of possession?

It is obvious that the Mom who abandons her husband and pushes him out of the kids' lives encounters few social penalties.

You will not have to dig far to discover that your statement 'Government data shows many men have abandoned their children' is misleading. Check your local court records (as well as that of the Nation's) and you will see the majority of divorces are filed by women.

And the reasons they file is not for major stuff like, "He hit me" or "He's a cheater." It's usually for more mundane stuff like, "I'm just not in love anymore" or the always nebulous, "Irreconcilable differences."

Please have Mr Mullane pull his reigns in about attacking the 'Beat Dead Dad.' If he wants a real beast to whip, have him go after the 'Genghis Mom' who restricts the time the kids can spend with Dad. Children need both parents - and not just for the money.

Read – Book Blurbs
Letters from Dad, by Greg Vaughn with Fred Holmes
What began as a passion in the heart of a father of seven has led to a new men’s movement. Not since Promise Keepers has such a men’s phenomenon occurred. With 77 million baby boomers, many are asking "How do I leave something of lasting value to my children and grandchildren?" 
Letters From Dad is the book that unlocks the hearts of fathers and helps them leave a legacy of faith, hope and love. Just as God has written us a love letter called the Bible, fathers can leave treasured words of love and blessing. Men are experiencing revitalization in their marriages and relationships with their children after attending Letters From Dad seminars. Now for the first time, this remarkable live experience is available in book form. Greg Vaughn, the founder of Letters from Dad, has spent 30 years creating companies that have impacted our world for Christ. He is a two-time Emmy award-winning film producer for his educational series In Search of Heroes which has been used in over 40,000 schools and libraries throughout the world. Through his marketing and distribution center in Texas, he works with over 85,000 churches. He and his wife Carolyn have seven awesome children and live in Richardson, Texas.
See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1591453429/002-9445062-7452054?v=glance for more reviews. 
Rewrite this Letter 
Dear President Bush,
As the Violence Against Women Act comes up for another extension, I wonder how many innocent fathers have been falsely accused, had perjured protective orders served on them and then had their parental rights trampled on?
How many children have been robbed of having a father because some women want to get the upper hand in divorce proceedings and are willing to use a good law for ill purpose? How many innocent dads have found themselves in jail for wanting to see their children and spend time with them? 
What society needs is a Violence Against Spouses Act. Any act that does not honor the constitutional rights of the accused is not honorable and fails to provide equal protection under the law. 
I regard the rights of all equally. Unfortunately, the VAWA doesn't honor men's rights equally. Instead, it robs many fathers of their constitutional rights and consequently their precious parental rights in custody and visitation proceedings. 
The name of the act is sexist and gender-biased, implying that only women need protecting. Everyone needs protection against domestic violence, especially children, and this act ignores the fact that women are the major perpetrators of child abuse.
Equal protection should be for all, including the accused. We cannot destroy the rights of others without losing our own. Please allow the Violence Against Women Act to expire.
Don Mathis

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