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ACFC Issues New Report: Family Violence in America, PBS Campaign in 300 Newspapers
May 16, 2006

Our PBS Campaign, Parental Alienation Syndrome Discussed in 300+ Newspapers

Syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker, whose columns appear in over 300 newspapers, discusses our Campaign Against PBS's Father-Bashing Breaking the Silence in her new column on Parental Alienation Syndrome--Let's not alienate parents in custody battles.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is when one parent--usually the custodial parent--tries to poison his or her children's minds and turn the children against the noncustodial parent. Parker describes Parental Alienation Syndrome as "agony for a noncustodial parent and emotional problems for children alienated from one parent," and commends a recent proclamation signed by Maine's Governor John E. Baldacci that recognizes April 25 as "Parental Alienation Awareness Day."

In my column PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net Daily, 10/20/05) I described in detail numerous examples of PAS. One of them, experienced by one of my readers, is as follows:

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"After Jim L.'s wife divorced him and moved his daughters out of state, she sent the two girls fake or altered e-mails purporting to be Jim. Afterwards, Jim's daughters refused to see him, explaining only 'you know what you've done, you know what you said, you know what you wrote.'

"Once when Jim flew to see his girls for his scheduled weekend visit, his ex-wife decided at the last minute to block the visit. Jim flew home on Sunday without having seen his girls. When he arrived at the airport back home he checked his messages and found a message from his ex-wife. On the recording his girls could be heard crying in the background. His ex-wife said:

"'Jim, the girls are here at the restaurant waiting for you to come pick them up. You said you'd meet them here for breakfast and spend the day with them, and you didn't show up. The girls are very upset. Jim, where are you?!?'"

Parker also wrote:

"Fathers who feel disenfranchised when courts award custody of their children to the mother during divorce have used PAS successfully to pressure judges to allow greater access to their children. One can hardly blame men for trying to be fathers.

"But critics claim that abusive fathers sometimes use PAS to force access where none should be granted. Mothers claim in such cases that they're trying to protect their children, not alienate them.

"This latter argument became the centerpiece last fall of a controversial PBS documentary about abused women and children, 'Breaking the Silence,' that fathers' groups attacked as unbalanced and unfair.

"No fathers were interviewed, and the cases reviewed tended to be extreme and sensational.

"Several women interviewed, for instance, said that they lost custody of their children to abusive fathers (confirmed by the children themselves) when fathers used PAS to 'prove' that the women were systematically teaching their children to hate their fathers.

"Glenn Sacks, a radio show host and columnist, called the film a 'direct assault on fatherhood,' and organized a protest on his Web site. Others - many of whom I know and respect as fellow toilers in trying to advance fatherhood - joined in.

"Sacks' campaign had an effect, and PBS ombudsman Michael Getler wrote a lengthy response agreeing that the show was unbalanced."

As we've noted, in the end PBS agreed to commission a new film to examine the issues raised by the film and our campaign in a more balanced, detailed light. To learn more, click here. The groups to which Parker refers when she writes "fellow toilers in trying to advance fatherhood" include Fathers and Families, the American Coalition for Fathers & Children, and Help Stop PAS Inc.

As for Parker's comment that "Several women interviewed, for instance, said that they lost custody of their children to abusive fathers (confirmed by the children themselves)" this "confirmation" is dubious in several cases. We revealed court findings, records and testimony show that Sadia Loeliger--portrayed as a heroic mom in the film--abused children under her care. In fact, a Tulare County Juvenile Court concluded in August of 1998 that Sadia Loeliger had committed multiple acts of abuse, and adjudged both her daughters as dependents of the Juvenile Court. To learn more, click here.

Parker concludes:

"The biggest losers in such cases, of course, are neither the mothers nor the fathers, but the children, who deserve to have unfettered access to both parents, assuming there's no abuse, without having to tote the adults' emotional baggage.

"Whether parental alienation meets the scientific standards of a 'syndrome' is a battle researchers can wage among themselves. The underlying message, meanwhile, is that there needs to be a presumption of shared custody following divorce, again, assuming no abuse.

"Life is alienating enough without the help of one's own parents."


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.

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.

ACFC Issues New Report: Family Violence in America: The Truth about Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children has just issued a new report, Family Violence in America: The Truth about Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, which explains the many ways the war on domestic violence has separated children from the fathers they love and need, and has led to "by far the most severe and alarming violation of constitutional freedoms in the United States today."

The report, penned by ACFC President Stephen Baskerville, PhD., concludes that family dissolution is creating child abuse, and that child custody disputes are a large factor both in fabricated accusations of domestic violence and actual incidents. According to the report:

"The public and policymakers have been seriously misled [about domestic violence]. Gaping inconsistencies separate what the scientific data demonstrate about family violence from current public policy. When the scientific knowledge of these problems is understood, it becomes clear that current policy is not likely to alleviate these problems. More disturbingly, by destabilizing families it is likely to be contributing to them...

"To break this circle, we call for a radical departure from existing programs and offer the following recommendations:

"Government must adhere to the Bill of Rights and other constitutional protections.

"Reform constitutionally questionable programs, such as the Violence Against Women Act, that politicize and distort law enforcement and target individuals because of their membership in groups or their political beliefs rather than their deeds.

"Statutory protection for parental rights to ensure that law enforcement programs are not commandeered to create unaccountable police actions against innocent parents, depriving them of their children without due process of law.

"A legal presumption of equal and shared legal and physical custody of children in cases of divorce, separation, and unmarried parents. By strengthening families and the bonds between parents and their children, we will be addressing the roots of family violence, including child abuse."

To read the 72 page report, click here. To contact the ACFC about the report, write to info@acfc.org or call 800-978-DADS (3237).

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. www.fathers4kids.org

Dr. Phil Trashes Dads--Again

Popular daytime TV host Dr. Phil is father-bashing again. In the past I've criticized Dr. Phil for supporting and whitewashing abusive mother Bridget Marks, who was found by five separate judges to have coached her little girls to believe that they had been sexually molested by their father. 

Marks became a cause celebre after (briefly) losing custody of her twin girls to their father, against whom she had waged a vicious parental alienation campaign. Marks had appeared on Dr. Phil during the custody battle, and Dr. Phil held a joyous reunion with her on the air in May of last year to celebrate her victory in the custody battle.

The father's side spoke for the first time publicly on His Side with Glenn Sacks--to listen or to read a transcript of the that show, go to Father's Side in Bridget Marks Custody Case Speaks Publicly for First Time, 4/5/05.  Several New York newspapers quoted from our show in their news articles.

To learn more about the Marks case, including Marks' legal team taunting me over their court victory, Marks' unkind comments for me, and my newspaper columns on the Marks case, see Bridget Marks Ruling: It's OK to Coach Little Girls Into Saying They'd Been Molested (4/7/05)

Now Dr. Phil is again on the warpath against dads, pushing the discredited "lazy husband" myth. The promo for one of his shows this week is called The Divorce Experiment and reads:

"Are you married to a man who doesn't know how good he has it? You do the cooking, the cleaning, take care of the kids, and he still takes you for granted? After seven years, Amy finds herself in a marriage where she is expected to wait on her husband hand and foot, and never voice her opinion. Her husband, Greg, is a self-proclaimed male chauvinist pig and says his wife's job is to take care of the family without questioning his role as 'king' of the house. Amy says if Greg doesn't learn to treat her like his equal and not his servant, she's going to divorce him. Dr. Phil sends in a Relationship Rescue team of strong women to teach Greg a lesson! While Amy is sent off on a special trip to build her self-esteem, Greg gets three new 'wives' who give him a dose of his own medicine as they put him through all that he demands of his wife on a daily basis. Will he finally see Amy as his equal and become a better spouse in the process?"

While it's certainly possible to find lazy husbands (and lazy wives), as I've noted in many columns and on the radio, the idea that husbands don't do their share or that "women work two jobs, men only work one" is a complete myth. In my co-authored column Are American Husbands Slackers? (Tallahassee Democrat, 3/22/06) family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"Feminist critics compare the work men and women do at home but fail to properly account for their disparate obligations outside the home. Census data shows that only 40% of married women with children under 18 work full-time, and over a quarter do not hold a job outside the home.

"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2004 Time Use Survey, men spend one and a half times as many hours working as women do, and full-time employed men still work significantly more hours than full-time employed women.

"When both work outside the home and inside the home are properly considered, it is clear that men do at least as much as women. A 2002 University of Michigan Institute for Social Research survey found that women do 11 more hours of housework a week than men but men work 14 hours a week more than women. According to the BLS, men's total time at leisure, sleeping, doing personal care activities, or socializing is a statistically meaningless 1% higher than women's. The Families and Work Institute in New York City found that fathers now provide three-fourths as much child care as mothers do--50% more than 30 years ago."

We also noted that men do the most dangerous and demanding jobs, and that men are vastly more likely than women to be killed or injured on the job. We wrote of  the "sacrifices made by men like Terry Helms, one of the 12 miners killed in the Sago Mine disaster [in January]...Terry's son Nick told the Associated Press that his father 'had endured numerous injuries in a 30-year career and hated mining because of the dangers'..'[My father] is very selfless,' Nick said. '[He] refused to quit because the job put food on the table...He gave his life in there so I could go to the movies.'"

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

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.

Another Rich, High-Living Deadbeat Goes to Jail (aka Another Low Income Dad Goes to Debtors' Prison)

From the Akron Beacon Journal article Dad who escaped procreation ban jailed on child support charges (make sure to check out the next to last paragraph):

"A judge who was forced to lift his probation condition that a deadbeat dad not father more children has sentenced the man to six months in jail for continuing to fail to pay child support.

"Sean Talty, 34, of Akron, pleaded guilty on Friday to violating terms of his five-year probation by failing to stay current on the payments.

"Medina County Common Pleas Judge James Kimbler, who sentenced Talty to probation in 2002 and modified the terms under Ohio Supreme Court order in 2004, said Talty can reduce the sentence through community service.

"Talty has fathered seven children by five women and also owes support in Butler, Summit and Wayne Counties. The Medina County case involves $30,000 he owes for three of the children by two of the women, including a former wife.

"Court records show the probation violations involve $3,600 owed for 2005 and this year and failure to get a high school equivalency degree.

"In 2004, Kimbler lifted one of his probation conditions imposed in 2002, that Talty not father any more children while on probation. The Ohio Supreme Court had ruled the sentence was overbroad because it didn't include a method for lifting the ban if Talty caught up with his payments."

A few thoughts:

1) Obviously Talty's no model citizen. However, you're not supposed to be imprisoned for debt in this country--debtors prisons were abolished a long time ago. Talty is being jailed because of failure to pay child support, but nobody questions whether his child support was commensurate with his income. This is a guy who can't even get a high school GED--it's doubtful he earns or could earn enough to pay the obligation he's being imprisoned for.

2) Why are the five women who bore Talty's children held blameless? All of these women did exactly what Talty did‑‑they had children whom they could not financially support. In fact, given the much wider range of birth control and reproductive choices that women have, these women had a much larger say in the decision to have children than Oakley did. Low income mothers get sympathy and assistance--fathers get blame and jail.

3) I've checked the top 10 most wanted deadbeat parents lists put out by the states on many different occasions, usually in preparation for an article on the war against so-called "deadbeat dads." In 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) family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"In the past few months, 'deadbeat parents' have been the targets of highly-publicized law enforcement actions in Virginia, Texas, Kentucky, and Arizona. Yet Virginia's 'Most Wanted Deadbeat Parents' list is topped by a laborer, a carnival hired hand, and a construction worker, who collectively somehow owe over a quarter million dollars in child support. Of all the parents on Texas' and Kentucky's lists, only one appears to have an education, and the most common designation for occupation is 'laborer.' Near the top of Arizona's list is a maintenance man who owes $90,223, an unemployed man of no known occupation who owes $54,298, and, best of all, a roofer who owes $240,581.

"This week Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott boasted that he had arrested one of the 'deadbeats' on his 'Most Wanted' list--Charles Silva, who owes almost $40,000 in child support. Yet it's doubtful that Silva will be writing a five figure check any time soon--Silva's occupation is 'general laborer.'  Far from being lists of well-heeled businessmen, lawyers, and accountants, the vast majority of the men on these lists do low wage and often seasonal work, and owe large sums of money which they could never hope to pay off. 

"Child support enforcement agencies are notorious for their abusive tactics towards such men..."

Finding Your N.U.T.s.--Non-negotiable Unalterable Terms
Wayne M. Levine, M.A., founder of BetterMen(R), has written a new book with sage advice and proven tools for men who want to be BetterMen(R) 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(R).  www.bettermen.org
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

Speaking of the Boy Crisis in Education (Part I)

Just after the publication of my co-authored column Resolving the Boy Crisis in Schools (Chicago Sun-Times, 5/7/06) last week I was given another reminder of it in my son's life. My son's Boy Scout troop had planned to participate in a big, week long Boy Scout campout in August. The trip sounded fantastic--a week up in the mountains in Northern California with all sorts of fun activities--hiking, archery, boating, etc. Except it turns out that the troop won't be going. The reason? Most of the boys couldn't sign up, because they were all in danger of having to go to summer school. Somehow I doubt that many Girl Scout summer trips are being cancelled for that reason...

In the column Resolving the Boy Crisis in Schools (Chicago Sun-Times, 5/7/06), we discussed a recent Chicago Board of Education report which showed that girls enjoy a 63-37% advantage over boys in gaining admittance to Chicago's eight selective-enrollment college prep high schools. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"In response, Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan and top administrators at Jones, Whitney Young and Brooks prep schools are advocating that schools consider 'gender weighting.'  Yet to balance the scales by employing admissions preferences is misguided.  What's needed instead is a rethinking of the way we educate, beginning at the earliest levels.

"Many healthy, energetic, intelligent boys are branded as behavior problems as soon as they begin school, and are punished and put on Ritalin or other drugs so they will sit still. Little thought is given to two obvious questions: how could a six or seven year-old be 'bad'? And how could so many boys need drugs to function in school? Because schools and classrooms do not fit their educational needs, many boys disengage from school long before they ever reach the prep school level.

"Many modern educational practices are counterproductive for boys. Success in school is tightly correlated with the ability to sit still, be quiet and complete paperwork and assignments which are sometimes of questionable value. A 'get tough' mentality--under which teachers give excessive homework lest they appear uncommitted or weak--has become a substitute for educators actually having a sound reason for assigning all the work they assign."

We also discussed one of my pet peeves--the way our schools (and our society) devalue and disregard the talents and contributions of men who work with their hands. We wrote:

"The deterioration of vocational education also hurts boys. US Department of Education data show that these programs suffered a sharp decline from 1982 to 1992 and never recovered. Vocational classes once started low and middle achieving boys on the path to careers as skilled tradesmen. They have now often been replaced by an asinine yet pervasive mantra that defines as successful only those who go to college and become doctors or lawyers. This mantra often disrespects  boys' blue collar fathers, who also happen to be their primary role models. In fact, to suggest that a boy pursue a career working with his hands leaves a teacher open to charges of harming students by encouraging low expectations.

I've discussed the boy crisis in education in numerous newspaper columns and on the radio. I don't know how many times I've been on a radio show and a caller has said that his or her five or six year-old boy is a "behavior problem" or was "diagnosed with ADD" and he or she was agonizing over whether or not to put him on Ritalin.

The boy crisis was also the impetus behind our highly-publicized Campaign Against 'Boys are Stupid' Products (12/14/03-3/1/04). In seven weeks our campaign drove T-shirts, hats, and other merchandise bearing the slogan "Boys are Stupid--Throw Rocks at Them" out of nearly 3,500 retail outlets worldwide. In my column Why I Launched the Campaign Against 'Boys are Stupid' Products (Los Angeles Daily News, 2/4/04) I wrote:

"The stores dropped the products after being bombarded with thousands of e-mails and phone calls, largely from the listeners and supporters of my radio talk show. Most of those taking action have been fathers who are concerned about the cultural atmosphere surrounding their boys.

"However, some of the most passionate and articulate supporters of our campaign have been the mothers and grandmothers of boys. It is mothers who generally supervise their children's educations on a day-to-day basis, and they more than anybody see boys' largely ignored struggles.

"Though our educational establishment has been slow to recognize it, boys have fallen seriously behind girls at all K-12 levels. Girls get better grades than boys and are far more likely to graduate high school and go to college. The vast majority of learning-disabled students are boys, as are students diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Nearly nine million prescriptions of Ritalin are written for American children each year--most of them for boys between the ages of six and 12.

"Boys also suffer from having few men in their lives. Modern schools, particularly at the elementary level, are often devoid of men except perhaps the janitor and the maintenance crew. And there are more boys growing up in fatherless homes than ever before.

"Add to all of these problems a boy-bashing preteen and teen culture--where clothing which insults and taunts boys is seen as acceptable and 'funny'--and it's natural that many boys feel the deck is stacked against them.

"As parents, we suffer along with our children, and like millions of mothers and fathers, my wife and I have lain awake in bed many nights worrying about our son. Perhaps this explains why the campaign has struck such a chord--over 400 newspapers and television and radio stations in seven countries have carried stories about it."

Help for Men Struggling with Relationships, Depression, Anger or Anxiety
The Men's Center Los Angeles offers individual, couple, family and group counseling with a focus on men's issues. Call them at (818) 348-9302 or go to MensCenterLosAngeles.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.

Speaking of the Boy Crisis in Education (Part II)

Part I was from my son's life, part II is from my daughter's life. My daughter's school recently instituted a new after school policy. Now instead of the kids going out to the yard to play, all students who don't go home immediately after school are corralled into the lunch area to do homework under supervision for 30 minutes.

This is a perfect example of the problems inherent in our almost all-female elementary school system. The school means well, but any group of male teachers would know that after being cooped up for almost eight hours those boys need to go out and run around. Instead, after being forced to sit all day--quite unnatural for little boys--when the bell rings they must be forced marched over to yet another half hour of sitting.

It also turns into a chore for the supervising teachers, who must stand guard over the boys for a half hour. No doubt many boys get punished because they can't sit still and do their homework after school--as if they don't already get punished enough during the day for being unable to sit still. I prefer the school National Review Washington Editor Kate O'Beirne describes in her latest book, where the students work hard and achieve, but also "have recess twice a day, play in the rain, wreck their good shoes, and...they like school."

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. This guide walks fathers through creating a child support payment record and thorough tracking of expenses made on behalf of the children.  Co-parenting can be dramatically improved when utilizing this tool because key "friction" areas--expenses, medical issues, contacts, day care information, parenting time--are addressed in advance. www.dadstimetracker.com

Father: A Child's Right
Visit www.fatherachildsright.org 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. www.fatherachildsright.org

Hero Dad Tells Story in Parents Magazine

Heroic father Joe Seldner tells of his long, hard and ultimately successful for his children in his Parents Magazine article "My Fight to Keep My Kids" (April, 2000). Joe's trial by ordeal will sound familiar to many of you:

"The nightmare began with a knock on the door. On that hot August afternoon in 1993, my wife was out shopping, and the kids, Dan, 9, and Laura, 6, were at swimming lessons with my parents, who had flown in from New Jersey. The visitor identified herself as a caseworker for Child Protective Services and told me that I had been accused of physically abusing my son. I laughed. She didn't. When I asked who would make such a ridiculous charge, she said the information was confidential. 'I'd like you to leave,' I said, barely containing my anger and incredulity. Having dropped her bombshell, she complied.

"When my wife got home, she refused to discuss the matter and referred me to her lawyer. It was clear that my accuser was the woman I had been married to for ten years. I had known our relationship was in trouble, but I'd never imagined she would do anything like this. It felt as if someone had hit me in the hack of the head with a sledgehammer.

"Two days later the sheriff's office served me with divorce papers. The following week, the caseworker came back to interview both of the kids. When she came downstairs afterward, looking a little annoyed, she declared there was nothing to the allegations. I was momentarily relieved -- but the war had just begun."

Read the full article here. To contact Joe, click here.

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

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. www.babysunprotection.com

Kidnapping is Kidnapping is Kidnapping

David L. Levy, CEO of the Children's Rights Council, had a nice letter to the editor in the Washington Times last week:

"We grieve with the parents whose Japanese children were abducted by North Korean agents ('Japan presses N. Korea to resolve abduction issue,' World, Saturday).

"Congress and the president were kind to meet with the grieving parents, but it is hypocritical for Japan to complain about the abduction of its children while American children are abducted to Japan with the approval of the Japanese government.

"Japan makes its position very clear by refusing to join the 68 other countries that are signatories to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which is designed to prevent international kidnapping.

"Walter Benda of Max Meadows, Va., has not been able to visit with his two daughters, now 17 and 15, for more than 10 years. The children, who were born in the United States, were taken by their Japanese mother when they were 6 and 4, while the family was temporarily residing near Tokyo. Mr. Benda has spent countless time in visits to Japan and has pursued the case to the Japanese Supreme Court to no avail.

"Japan treats children as if they were suitcases or pieces of furniture -- that is, as the property of the parent with custody.
"This nefarious activity in Japan starts at the top -- with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. At the time of his divorce, Mr. Koizumi got custody of their two boys. Their third child, who was unborn at the time of the divorce, was given to the mother. Mr. Koizumi has never taken the initiative to meet the son born after the divorce, and he has refused to allow the mother to have any contact with the older boys. This is from an article in the Washington Post by Kathryn Tolbert on May 19, 2001.

"Japan is a glass house, throwing stones at North Korea while hoping the world will ignore its own abysmal record of allowing the kidnapping and hiding of U.S. children.
Children's Rights Council

Canadian Court Nails Jell-O to a Wall

In my co-authored column PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net Daily, 10/20/05) family law attorney Jeff Leving and I discussed the hard struggle so many noncustodial parents face to get courts to properly address Parental Alienation Syndrome in their cases. We wrote:

"As a society we pretend that broken families are all men's fault, pay lip service to the importance of fathers, and close our eyes while millions of children are separated from the fathers they love and need. Because that's what mom wants. Because it's easier to blame everything on dad than it is to confront mom on her destructive behavior. Because trying to hold a divorcing mother accountable for her behavior is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. Because there's a high political cost to be paid for crossing mothers and none to be paid for crossing fathers."  (emphasis added)

Well, last week a Canadian court nailed Jell-O to a wall. According to the story Mother loses kids after hindering father's access:

"A divorced woman who sabotaged her children's relationship with their estranged father has been stripped of their custody in a decision by Ontario's top court which sends a message that 'parental alienation' harms children and will not be tolerated.

"'We recognize, as did the trial judge, that the remedy of granting custody to the father is a dramatic one. However, that remedy was supported by the expert evidence and by the mother's persistent, ingrained and deep-rooted inability to support the children's relationship with the father,' said three judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision this week.

"The court dismissed the appeal of the Jarvis, Ontario mother against a lower court decision last year which ordered that the primary residence of her five-year-old twin boys be switched from the mother -- who had sole physical custody of them since their birth -- to her ex-husband who resides in Hamilton.

"Calling that decision 'amply supported by the evidence,' the Appeal Court said that although the mother was 'otherwise a good parent,' her persistent 'troublesome conduct' against the children's best interests included unilaterally restricting the father to daytime visits and failing to inform him about the children's medications, or to give him their prescription drugs, so that they would return home from visits with him sicker than when they left.

"Obstructed access affects thousands of divorced parents and their children across Canada, according to a 1998 parliamentary report which urged the federal government and the provinces and territories to devise a nationwide co-coordinated response to failed parenting orders...

"The appeal court was also critical of the mother's unilateral decision -- without warning, just before the custody case went to trial -- to uproot the boys from their school and community to move to another town further away from their father. 'Moreover, the mother said that if the father moved to her new town, she would move again,' the Court of Appeal noted.

"'This conduct, in addition to many other instances of alienating conduct, was properly viewed by the trial judge as evidence of the mother's inability to support the father's relationship with the children and to consider the best interests of the children.'

"By court order, the boys now reside with their father, but live with their mother most weekends and see her for mid-week evening visits."

The case is also another example of how move-aways are used by alienating custodial parents to destroy the relationships between children and their noncustodial parents. This is one of the reasons our two defeats of move-away legislation in the California legislature (click here and here) are so important.

Tree House Solutions 
Tree House Solutions, LLC is a growing and evolving resource designed to meet the emotional and informational needs of parents who are going through divorce and those already divorced.  Tree House activities are composed of live, real time teleconferences on a weekly basis. These sessions are conducted by two highly experienced mental health practitioners, versed in high conflict divorce. Drs. Bone and Evans offer a wide spectrum of suggestions and education regarding the divorce process and co-parenting with difficult former spouses.  www.treehousesolutions.org

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. www.paternitytestflaw.com.

Double-Standard in Reporting on Male DV Victims

Dr. Charles Corry, the leader of the Equal Justice Foundation, the American Coalition for Fathers and Children affiliate in Colorado, discusses the recent murder of Clifford Evans, a Denver, Colorado male victim of domestic violence. According to Corry:

"His wife, Debra, had stabbed him to death and if you Google on Debra Evans you'll find a few brief notes, e.g., the Denver Post gives it a few short paragraphs. Typical when a woman kills a man.

"What isn't mentioned is that Debra Evans, aka Debrah  Wellington, had two prior domestic violence convictions, one in 2001 and another as far back as 1990. Presumably the 2001 conviction required her to take the standard 36-week DV treatment program. But perhaps she was one of the 50% of convicted offenders who never complete the program because it certainly didn't change her behavior.

"According to a Fox News reporter, the neighbors in the apartment building had become inured to the couple fighting, and that Clifford was always the victim. By any definition, Debra Evans is a 'batterer' but you'll never find that out from the press. It hasn't gone to trial yet but my guess is she will be the 'battered woman' then.

"But imagine if Clifford had a couple of prior DV convictions and then killed Debra? Front page, above the fold coverage would be the norm. But since Debra is the killer the case can be buried by the press."

4TRUTH IDENTITY: The Leader in Fast, Accurate DNA Tests
If you're looking for a paternity test, Paternity Fraud crusader Carnell Smith's 4TRUTH IDENTITY offers guaranteed, 100% accurate identification services in virtually every US state and in several countries. Call (404) 289-3321or click here.

Online Support for Men Going Through Divorce
Don't feel isolated, frightened, confused or alone when going through your divorce.  Get the help and support you need without leaving your home at the Ottawa Divorce Forums www.OttawaDivorce.com/forum/

Anti-Father CA Bill Pulled in Face of Huge Opposition

In the face of over 4,000 opposition calls, letters and faxes, California Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) has decided to withdraw a bill which would have granted custodial parents an almost unlimited right to move children far way from their noncustodial parents. Romero pulled SB 1482 just before today's scheduled hearing on the bill.

SB 1482 would have weakened if not abrogated the California Supreme Court's 2004 LaMusga move-away decision, which affirmed that courts have the power to restrain moves which run counter to children's best interests.

The bill was supported by a wide array of feminist groups and state-funded pro-feminist organizations, including the California National Organization for Women, the California Commission on the Status of Women, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, the Coalition for Family Equity, Haven Hills, Inc., Marin Abused Women's Services, Business and Professional Women/USA, the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles, the Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium, and others.

Opposition to the bill and unrestricted move-aways was led by the Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways, an advocacy group endorsed by over 50 mental health and family law professionals, and Mike Robinson and the California Alliance for Families and Children. Several organizations of family law and mental health professionals also opposed SB 1482,  including the California Judge's Association, the California Psychological Association, and the State Bar of California's Family Law Section.

This is the second time an attempt by misguided feminists to abrogate LaMusga has been defeated. From 1996 to 2004 move-away determinations were based on the Burgess decision, which was interpreted by California courts as conferring unlimited move-away privileges. Under Burgess the bonds between tens of thousands of children and their noncustodial parents were needlessly ruptured.

The California Supreme Court addressed the problem in the LaMusga decision in April, 2004 by making it clear that courts can prevent children from being moved when it is detrimental to their interests. Among the factors deemed important were the relationship between the child and the nonmoving parent.

In the summer of 2004 then Senate President John Burton, one of the most powerful people in California, introduced SB 730, a bill which would have granted custodial parents an almost unlimited right to move children far way from their noncustodial parents.

We organized opposition to SB 730, and thousands of you wrote and called Sacramento to oppose the bill. Our campaign gained widespread media attention and was endorsed by numerous mental health and family law professionals. Burton surprised Sacramento insiders by withdrawing the bill a few weeks later.

When SB 1482 was originally introduced in February, its language was innocuous. The bill's backers then made a sweeping, last minute amendment to the bill in order to slip it through committee on April 25 before opponents had a chance to organize. We quickly organized a deluge of calls and letters in opposition. The hearing on the bill was postponed to May 9 and then the bill was pulled.

As the Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways noted in its position letter:

"SB 1482 will make it more difficult for children of divorce to retain the loving bonds they share with both parents.

"SB 1482 specifically prohibits a parent seeking to prevent his or her children from being moved far away from citing most of the evidence that could provide a basis for restraining the move. Under this bill, nonmoving parents are prevented from citing the move's impact on their children's relationships with them or the effects on the children of losing their schools and friends. This directly abrogates current California case law, which says that the children's relationship with their nonmoving parent must be considered when deciding a relocation case."

"The LaMusga move-away case, decided by the California Supreme Court in 2004, is a good example of the way [under Burgess] custodial parents were permitted to move children far away without justification. In that case the mother sought to move her two boys from the Bay Area to Ohio because, she claimed, she wanted to attend a law school there. Apparently none of the multitude of law schools in the Bay Area sufficed. Later she moved to Arizona because, she explained, her new husband needed work. His job? Selling cars...

"Part of the problem is that current policies provide strong financial incentives for moving. California has a high child support guideline, a high cost of living, and high wages. Thus custodial parents can often live better by moving to states which have a lower cost of living, because they will still collect child support awards based on California wages and support guidelines. This is a terrible injustice to noncustodial parents, who often must stay behind to work to pay child support for children who have been moved out of their lives."

Thanks again to the thousands of you who wrote or called Sacramento in opposition to SB 1482.

Victories Cost Money

The defeat of SB 1482 once again shows that shared parenting and fatherhood advocates can win victories if we are properly organized and funded. To donate to help our campaign via PayPal or check, click here.

Victories cost money. In these battles we are going up against large, well-funded organizations like the National Organization for Women and numerous government-funded domestic violence coalitions. Too often the people on our side kid ourselves that we can compete against these organizations without funding. Again, to donate to help our campaign via PayPal or check, click here. All donations--large or small--help.

Dads, Learn to Take Charge of Your Case in Family Court
Go to www.libertybellunion.org 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, www.CEOinShorts.com 
Allred, Sacks Square off on SB 1482 on KABC in Los Angeles

I debated Gloria Allred over SB 1482, the new California move-away bill, on the Al Rantel Show on KABC AM 790 in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 3 at 7 PM PST. Allred won the 1996 Burgess case in the California Supreme Court, which gave custodial parents an almost unlimited right to move children whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted. I opened by saying that Gloria had given the people of California a "dubious gift" with Burgess, and Gloria replied that she had won an important right for custodial parents.

Gloria said that it was unfair that the LaMusga decision--currently California case law which SB 1482 threatens and which we defend--restricts parents with primary placement of children (usually mothers) from moving, while not restricting parents without primary placement (usually fathers). I replied that all parents involved are free to move wherever they want--it is the children who may not be moved if a court determines that it is against their best interests.

Gloria argued that restrictions on move-aways keep custodial parents "held hostage" in their neighborhoods, and that they should be able to "move on with their lives." I countered that both parents retain responsibilities to their children after divorce--responsibilities which are at times inconvenient or limiting. I asked if we would we argue that noncustodial parents' responsibility to pay child support holds them "hostage?"

Gloria and I have squared off on these issue on several occasions in the past, and a few of my readers felt that I was too nice to her during the debate. I think a couple of other readers understood what I was doing a little better:

"Glenn came across as articulate, reasonable, and calm. Allred seemed disjointed. The moderator seemed biased in Glenn's favor and Glenn did not unnecessarily use that to his advantage as Allred would have done if the reverse were true."

"Good debate, shows the gap between the sides. It's less about law, and more about public policy and the opinions that drive them. On her side, 'fathers need to step up to the plate,' but when we do, we are still irrelevant. Behind money, boyfriends, houses, and mom's convenience, here we are. In her eyes the mother divorces the father, and she divorces the father from the children. On our side, we can show that the application of Burgess has been a disaster...You can't convert people like Ms. Allred, but you can give them enough rope to hang themselves. You did a good job, her sexist prejudice against fathers came out loud and clear, just enough rope for tonight's show."

Glenn Discusses SB 1482 on Hot 92 Jamz in Los Angeles

I discussed SB 1482, the new California bill which will make it easier for custodial parents to move children away from noncustodial parents, with Josefa Salinas on Hot 92 Jamz FM 92.3 in Los Angeles on May 7.

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

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. www.NCFM.org

Column: Memphis Commercial Appeal, Chest-Thumping Sheriff Humiliate Hard Luck Noncustodial Parents

My recent co-authored column, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Chest-Thumping Sheriff Humiliate Hard Luck Noncustodial Parents (Tennessee Tribune, 4/27/06), discusses recent attacks on Memphis "deadbeat dads." The column details numerous examples of child support enforcement publicly humiliating innocent people. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell recently published the names and birthdays of 4,500 alleged deadbeat parents in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Tennessee's largest newspaper. Luttrell states that he took out the ads because the 9,000 parents for whom he has warrants owe their children $75 million--$8,333 per parent. One man allegedly owes $1.3 million. At the same time, Luttrell's deputies fanned out across largely black South Memphis hunting down 'deadbeats.' Both the humiliating newspaper ads and the police raids unfairly target low-income parents...

"Child support enforcement agencies are notorious for their bureaucratic bungling and incessant computer errors.  When other law enforcement officials have published 'deadbeat' parent lists similar to Luttrell's, innocent people have been vilified and subjected to public ridicule.

"For example, when the Louisville Courier-Journal published the names and addresses of 1,000 alleged child support scofflaws in July of last year on behalf of Jefferson County Attorney Irv Maze, they listed James H. Frazier as a deadbeat who owes $57,000. Unfortunately, they listed his name above the home address of James R. Frazier.

"WAVE 3 TV in Louisville reported that James R. Frazier and his wife Bertha--both of whom seethed at being publicly humiliated--had been erroneously targeted by Maze before, and had spent years fighting to straighten out the error. In fact, Maze's office had previously acknowledged its mistake--and then went ahead and published the erroneous information anyway. In fact, as of October 1--over two months later--Maze still had not corrected the error on his list of 1,000 'deadbeats' on the County Attorney's website.

"ABC 7 KGO News in San Francisco, California has followed the saga of Alex Mendez, a childless man who has been mistakenly targeted for alleged overdue child support five times in the past three years by two different counties. After embarrassing media coverage, local enforcement officials repeatedly pledged to fix the error but have failed to do so.

"The list published by the Commercial Appeal appears to have similar problems. Memphis' News Channel 3 WREG quotes a juvenile court source as saying that some of those on the list may have already paid their child support. Nicholas Burchett of WREG was shocked and angered to find his father listed as a 'deadbeat'--the man has been dead for 14 years.

"Eyewitness News-WPTY reports that the Department of Human Services lost thousands of dollars of child support paid by Hugh Jones of Memphis, leaving Jones with a $10,000 child support arrearage.  According to WPTY, DHS cashed Jones' checks six times but, despite Jones' detailed documentation, has failed to credit his account. WPTY reports that Jones 'has to continue paying his child support if he wants to remain a free man' and avoid jail, even though his 'debt' consists of money he has already paid.

"In the wake of the Louisville ads Maze wrote a column in which he claimed that his policies 'make a clear distinction between 'dead broke' and 'dead beat' among child support obligors.' As an example, Maze explained 'One parent, whose name is not on the list, but who is behind in her payments, contacted my office stating that she had been unable to find steady employment.'

"Yet child support expert Jane Spies of the National Family Justice Association discovered that although Maze says this woman was not on his published deadbeat list, in a previous interview on National Public Radio Maze spoke of the same woman, and said she 'saw her name in the newspaper' and contacted him. In other words, Maze admits that the woman was too poor to pay her child support, but he nevertheless publicly humiliated her by publishing her name and address. Many if not most of those targeted in Luttrell's raids and Commercial Appeal ads are in similar situations."

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 www.badnarik.org.

Tiger Woods' Father Remembered

Tiger Woods' father Earl died recently at age 74. Eugene Robinson wrote in the Washington Post:

"Earl Woods did much more than raise a supremely talented golfer. In an age when it's rare to read a sentence with the words 'African American' and 'father' that doesn't also include 'absent' or some other pejorative, Earl and Tiger Woods were the world's most visible, and inspiring, counterexample. 'He was the person I looked up to more than anyone,' Tiger Woods said following his father's death, and even the world's biggest cynic had to know he meant every word.

"To me, the two defining aspects of Tiger Woods's career have been his supernatural ability to make a golf ball do impossible things and his relationship with his father. Two moments stand out: The Sunday afternoon in 1997 when Tiger became the first black man ever to win the Masters and cried like a little boy in the arms of his father, who was there against doctor's orders after almost dying in heart surgery. And the Sunday afternoon in 2005 when Tiger won his fourth Masters and cried again, because Earl Woods, for the first time, had been too sick to come to the course and root him on."

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
PBS films Fathers & Families Meeting, Lobbying

A couple weeks ago we updated you on the situation regarding the PBS controversy--see An Announcement Regarding Our Campaign Against PBS's Anti-Father Breaking the Silence. We explained that "we have been in talks with the producers who are making the new film on behalf of PBS, and film crews will be filming and conducting interviews in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and other places in April. Fathers & Families members will be filmed April 27 and 28."  

According to Fathers & Families:

"About 200 men and women attended Fathers & Families' general membership meeting last Thursday, April 27, at the Copley Westin Hotel in downtown Boston. The meeting, led by Dan Hogan, was filmed by a PBS documentary film crew. In addition, reporters from several newspapers, including the Christian Science Monitor were on hand.

"Members were truly eloquent in narrating how the current system has torn their children out of their lives, doing great harm to the children in the process. A Massachusetts firefighter described how a judge has made it virtually impossible for him to be with his children now that he is a quadriplegic as a result of an accident last year. A Harvard Medical School gastroenterologist provided perhaps the most tragicomic and ironic anecdote. Despite taking life-and-death care of his patients, he described how he has been prevented from discussing his child's health and has had to defend himself against charges that he caused his son's constipation!

"The meeting culminated a day in which the PBS crew followed Ned Holstein as he patrolled the State House, meeting with legislators and aides to advocate for shared parenting. PBS also filmed interviews in the F&F office.

"The evening event drew such a large crowd that additional meeting space had to be opened up to accommodate all who wished to get in.

"Dan Hogan began by introducing the staff, consultants, interns and regular volunteers for Fathers & Families. These 15 people demonstrate that Fathers & Families is growing at a fast rate.

"Representative Colleen Garry of Dracut, the leading legislative sponsor of our shared parenting bill, received a standing ovation for her powerful speech supporting shared parenting. Kevin Thompson fired up the partisan crowd with his account of the banning of his book, Exposing the Corruption in the Massachusetts Family Courts. Jeff Parks discussed the healing powers of parental alienation groups and the role that political activism can play in the healing process. Dan Hogan, after updating us on the status of shared parenting around the country and world, called for the fathers' movement to reach out and begin a dialogue with our opponents, especially the domestic violence movement. And Ned Holstein closed the meeting by speaking movingly about what it really means to be a father.

"Thanks to all who took the time to attend. When the PBS documentary is aired, it will show that the fathers' movement is one that fills the house to overflowing. And most important, it will show that we care deeply about our children."

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks


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