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Two New Columns, Alec Baldwin Defamed, Chance for Readers to Respond to Dad-Basher
June 19, 2006

New Column: Why Dads Matter

My new co-authored column Why Dads Matter (Houston Chronicle & others, 6/18/06) discusses research showing fathers' importance in their children's lives. In the column Mike McCormick, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, and I wrote:

"...according to a long-term study conducted in the United States and in New Zealand and published in Child Development, a father's absence greatly increases the risk of teen pregnancy. The study found that it mattered little whether the child was rich or poor, black or white, born to a teen mother or an adult mother, or raised by parents with functional or dysfunctional marriages. What mattered was dad.

"A Journal of Marriage and Family study found that the presence of a father was five times more important in predicting teen drug use than any other sociological factor,

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including income and race. A published Harvard review of four major studies found that, accounting for all major socioeconomic factors, children without a father in the home are twice as likely to drop out of high school or repeat a grade as children who live with their fathers. A Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency study concluded that fatherlessness is so predictive of juvenile crime that, as long as there was a father in the home, children of poor and wealthy families had similar juvenile crime rates.

"Adult children of divorce realize dads are important. A published Arizona State University study found that more than two-thirds believed that, after divorce, 'living equal amounts of time with each parent is the best arrangement for children.'"

To read the whole column, click here.

To write Letters to the Editor concerning the issues discussed in the column, use the information below:

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.

New Column: Illinois Fatherhood Council Recommends New Reforms in Family Law, Child Support

My new co-authored column Illinois Fatherhood Council Recommends New Reforms in Family Law, Child Support (Chicago Sun-Times, 6/18/06) discusses the new recommendations of the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood. Family law attorney Jeff Leving is the chairman of the Council. In the column Jeff and I wrote:

"...in 2003 the legislature created the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood to identify obstacles that impede fathers' involvement in their children's lives and devise strategies to remove them. The Council's report will be released next month. Its two central recommendations involve family law and child support.

"The Council's first recommendation is to reform the family law system to eliminate anti-father gender bias and facilitate responsible father involvement...A related problem identified by the Council is the scarcity of affordable and pro-bono legal services for low-income fathers. The state represents custodial parents free of charge in child support matters, and many programs provide free legal aid to mothers. By contrast, when a father seeks to enforce his visitation rights, block a move, or dispute a questionable child support arrearage, he is on his own...

"Many Illinois fathers who can play an important and positive role in their children's lives face needless obstacles. Policies based on blaming and punishing dads may make good political sound bites, but they are counterproductive for society, and hurtful to children and the fathers they love and need. The Council believes it's time for policymakers to take a fresh look at dads."

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Sun-Times concerning Reform family law system to give dads a chance to help their kids (Chicago Sun-Times, 5/7/06), write to  letters@suntimes.com.

Leving's Divorce Magazine
The second edition of Leving's Divorce Magazine, the new magazine for the modern divorced man, 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

Hogan's Heroes Beat Back Dad-Bashing Bill

Last week we reported in Massachusetts Dads Target of Governor's Grandstanding that Massachusetts Governor Milt Romney is grandstanding for his presidential candidacy by beating up on dads. Dan Hogan, Executive Director of Massachusetts' Fathers & Families, wrote:

"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."

Now Hogan has announced that they have beaten back this bill, which has now been referred back to committee for more study--often the graveyard for bills. To learn more, see this Statehouse News Service article. Hogan and Fathers & Families founder Ned Holstein testified against the bill (click here) and did some economic modeling of the bills' effects here. Nice work, particularly given the difficulty of operating in Massachusetts, one of the worst states for divorced dads.

Added note: several months ago I expressed mild annoyance to Ned that Dan was second in command instead of being the Executive Director of F & F, because if Dan were the Executive Director I could refer to F & F in this E-newsletter as "Hogan's Heroes." A few months later Ned stepped aside and put Dan in charge of the organization. Thanks, guys...

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

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

Glenn Sacks = David Duke?

As you've all seen, I'm not one to mind getting slammed--facing incessant stupid criticism comes with the territory. Still, I'm always amazed at what passes for political discussion and debate on feminist discussion boards. Feminists can and often do make the most outrageous, defamatory and groundless assertions about yours truly, and other posters seem to accept them without question.

On www.ReclusiveLeftist.com feminist professor Hugo Schwyzer, who has been my guest on His Side with Glenn Sacks a couple times, is under attack here for lacking sufficient feminist zeal, a common theme among his critics. And, as usual, one of Hugo's enemies' main pieces of evidence is Hugo's amicable relationship with the evil Glenn Sacks. And as accustomed as I am to these attacks, this one is so over the top that it surprised even me.

The list of my crimes is so long it reminds one of the scene in Pirates of the Caribbean I where Pirate Captain Jack Sparrow is about to be hanged and some stiff British military officer reads off the long list of his crimes--a list so long that Sparrow rolls his eyes out of boredom at listening to it, wishing instead that they would just hang him and get it over with. To name a few:

"Glenn Sacks is like David Duke; he thinks women are subhuman and deserving of fewer rights than men...He is a mouthpiece for ideas which espouse hatred and he is a militant activist in legislation that hurts women & children and he is effective..."

"Glenn Sacks is a misogynist. He is blatantly anti-feminist, and not only that, anti-woman. His position...is that women and children are the property of men, and woe betide any woman who happens to wish for any kind of autonomy. He's been instrumental in communicating all sorts of rhetoric via his radio show and website to the public about 'men's rights' and 'father's rights' that have destroyed the lives of countless women and children post-divorce..."

"Glenn Sacks [is] dedicated to making it harder for rape victims to get justice."

"Glenn Sacks promotes misogyny, bigotry and hatred. He's no friend of any self- respecting man--feminist or no."

And let us not omit this classic:

"Glenn Sacks...wouldn't save you if you were drowning."

Just once I would like to see someone actually provide evidence for these assertions. I've been published over 300 times--if I were so vile, it shouldn't be hard to find something incriminating on me. But feminists have never been famous for supplying evidence to support their assertions...


Accurate Paternity Testing
There are many important reasons why people choose to have a paternity test done.  A child is entitled to the sense of belonging and identity that comes from knowing his/her parents.  An alleged father also has the right to know if a child is biologically his.  Paternity fraud in the United States is unfortunately a fairly common occurrence, affecting perhaps millions of men.  Now you can get the accurate, fast and affordable answers to your paternity questions.  Visit www.accuratepaternity.com or call 877-434-0292 to talk to a DNA testing expert or to order a confidential test today.

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. www.bettermen.org

Alec Baldwin Defamed

We have previously discussed the Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger custody battle. As I've noted, Basinger's attempts to alienate Baldwin's 10 year-old daughter from him are so bad that even his ex-mother-in-law is protesting. An article in the Irish Examiner explained:

"Kim Basinger's mother has blasted her own daughter for wrecking relations between her ex-husband Alec Baldwin and the couple's daughter.

"Baldwin recently took Basinger to court in a bid to extend his custody terms after the actress allegedly violated a court imposed settlement, and now little Ireland's grandmother is speaking out about the court battle, which has now been settled.

"Ann Basinger admits she sides with Baldwin, who she calls 'wonderful,' adding, 'My heart is sad for Ireland. She's the one that's suffering the most. All this is killing her.

"'I think Kim has tried to alienate Ireland from her father. Alec loves his daughter with all his heart. He really is a family man...Kim and I used to be close but now I don't see Ireland very often because Kim won't let me and that's because I won't take her side about everything...She's my daughter and I love her, but I hate what she's doing.'"

Earlier this week the Associated Press wrote a story about the custody battle which made headlines in hundreds of newspapers. Some examples included:

"Judge Orders Alec Baldwin To Face Psychological Examination," "Alec Baldwin To Undergo Psychiatrical Evaluation," "Alec Baldwin Must Undergo Evaluation," "Judge wants psychologist to assess Alec Baldwin,"

Also, my favorite--"Putting the Looney back in the Looney left."

All of these imply that Baldwin is the violent headcase Basinger pretends he is as part of her attempts to alienate Baldwin's daughter from him.

In journalism we say "nobody reads the retractions." Several days after the original story, the Associated Press published the following "clarification":

"In a June 10 story, The Associated Press reported that a judge wants a psychologist to evaluate actor Alec Baldwin to determine whether he is fit to see his 10-year-old daughter more often as part of an ongoing custody battle with former wife Kim Basinger.

"The story should have said Baldwin requested an evaluation as part of his request to change the conditions of the child custody order, and that a judge said an evaluator also needs to spend time with his ex-wife and child as part of the process."

In other words, Baldwin's not being dragged off to a shrink by order of concerned judges, but instead is being evaluated (along with Basinger) as part of a normal request for a custody modification. Oops...

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

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

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

Armstrong Williams Trashes Dads--And a Chance to Do Something About It

In his new column Father's Day: Current state of Fatherhood columnist/radio talk show host/author Armstrong Williams laments the decline of fatherhood. And of course he knows just who to blame:

"...we must also call attention to the cowards who father a child but never become a true dad. We need to take a hard look at why these fathers run out on their families and abandon their children. We cannot lower our standards by ignoring these dead-beat-dads and considering them the norm. We cannot overlook the problem or sweep it under a rug."

Williams co-hosts a morning show (6 am to 10 am EST) in New York City, which is also available via the internet at http://www.wwrl1600.com/. The call-in number for the show is (212) 868-0975.

It would be interesting if during the morning shows this week certain members of the Sackson Horde called the show, pretending to have a comment on whatever subject they're discussing, and then, once on the air, blasted Williams for his father-bashing column. For anyone who does it, write to me and let me know what happened. Again, the number is (212) 868-0975.

PETA did something like this recently (though bigger and better)  to the singer Beyonce over her wearing fur, and I don't see why fathers' activists can't do similar stunts.

With Friends Like These...

I've complained on numerous occasions about father-bashing "family values" conservatives and Christian conservatives, and here we go again. According to Williams' biography:

"Armstrong Williams is called 'one of the most recognizable conservative voices in America' by The Washington Post.  Williams is a pugnacious, provocative and principled voice for conservatives and Christian values in America's public debates." 

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.

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


Do I Even Need to Say This?

I'm not sure that this even needs to be said but I will say it anyway--I condemn without  qualification the crimes allegedly committed by Darren Mack in Nevada last week.

Mack was angered by his divorce and custody case. Some on the not insubstantial lunatic fringe of the fathers' rights movement see Mack as some sort of freedom fighter. Most of the commentary by other fathers' rights advocates seem to be of the "he couldn't take it any more and snapped" variety.

I don't buy it. Though everyone is focusing on Mack's attempted murder of a judge, everyone seems to forget that he first stabbed and killed his ex-wife. After murdering her, he shot the judge through the judge's third-floor office window with a sniper rifle from over 100 yards away. That's not "snapping"--that's premeditated murder.

Mack is not a good man trapped in a bad system. He is a bad guy. Because of men like him the system had to create protections for women, and unscrupulous women have misused those protections to victimize countless innocent men. Men like Mack aren't the byproducts of the system's problems--they are the problem.

Whenever a divorced dad has done something crazy and I refuse to make excuses for him, certain misguided individuals get mad at me, call me a wimpy moderate, a sellout, etc. Often the fact that I have never been divorced or dealt with the family law system in my personal life is cited as the reason that I "just don't get it." For example, I heard this type of criticism when I condemned Perry Manley here. (I will admit though that Perry Manley is a saint compared to Darren Mack).

To all the radicals out there about to descend on me over my comments on Darren Mack, I offer the counter-example of the Englishman David Chick. If the system has screwed you and you want to do something about it, have the courage to do what David Chick did. Chick was denied access to his little daughter by the girl's vindictive mother, and had been to court 25 times and spent the equivalent of $30,000 in unsuccessful attempts to get English courts to enforce his visitation rights.

Chick then launched a world famous, traffic snarling, six day, one-man protest atop a 150 foot high crane near the Tower Bridge in London in November 2003. Facing a prison sentence for his protest, Chick was acquitted by an English jury, some of whom were reportedly moved to tears by his testimony. In 2003, Chick came in second in the Evening Standard London Personality of the Year contest and was the runner-up Political Personality of the Year on a major English television station.

In September 2004, Chick struck again, climbing the London Eye, an enormous 450-foot-high ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames. Chick spent 18 hours there--one hour for every month that had passed since he had been able to see his little daughter. Nearly 20,000 people were prevented from visiting the attraction because the police closed it down during the protest. Popular still, a London jury again acquitted Chick of causing a public nuisance.

Chick succeeded in changing his case and is now a regular part of his young daughter's life. David Chick acted with humanity and courage. Darren Mack possesses neither.

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. www.dadstimetracker.com

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

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.

Update on Canadian Parental Alienation Case

In Canadian Court Nails Jell-O to a Wall I discussed the way a Canadian court accomplished the all-too-difficult of holding a divorcing mother accountable for her behavior in a Parental Alienation case. A Canadian court transferred custody from a divorced woman who had sabotaged her children's relationship with their estranged father. The court wrote:

"'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."

In this new article it becomes apparent that mom is still trying to poison the children:

"The mother maintains the boys remain deeply insecure and upset 10 months after the court ordered them to leave her home and live with their father.

"'The other day, on Tuesday, (one of the boys) was crying and saying, 'Don't give up mommy. Don't, don't give up mommy,' she said, imitating the young child's plaintive cry.

"[Judge] Lafreniere observed that the mother seemed unable to comprehend that she, by her behavior, might well be causing her children's reaction.

"The mother rejected that notion in a recent interview.

"'These children have their own minds and they know where they want to be. It has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with what they've known, what they've grown up with and what's familiar to them,' she said...

"The judge gave generous access to the mom, who has her sons two evenings a week and three out of four weekends a month. The rest of the time, they live with their dad.

"The father acknowledges that on occasion one of the boys will be a little sad when the mom drops them off, but within 30 seconds he and his brother are involved in some activity and everything is fine again.

"'When the boys are with me, they're happy. They're living for the moment and no, they're not devastated. I do everything I can to make sure they're secure and happy,' he said...

"'What I want out of all of this,' said the dad, 'is two 23-year-old boys who are happy, well adjusted and respectable.'"

The mother's rhetoric is right from the Parental Alienator's handbook--insist that the children are in dire straits with their fathers, but assure the children and the public that you are doing everything you can to liberate them. You're struggling against desperate odds in a system stacked against heroic moms like you. When the children themselves repeat the words and sentiments you put into their mouths, stand back and pretend that this is just how the kids feel, they make up their own minds, it has nothing--nothing!--to do with anything you've done.

One saw some good examples of these tactics in PBS's anti-father film Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories, which we protested. One of the mothers in the film had been found culpable of multiple acts of abuse by a California Juvenile Court, and had both her daughters adjudged as dependents of the Juvenile Court. Yet even she did the "heroic mom fighting for her children" shtick, and the film's producers with a straight face included it in the film.

Remember, too, that in the Canadian case these boys are only 5 years old. How on earth would they independently get a fully-formed image of their dad--who they were rarely allowed to see anyway--as this demonic individual?

The story also notes that during the years dad was pushed to the margins of his children's lives, he "began to volunteer in children's kindergarten class and joined their school's parent-teacher association" as a way to keep in touch with them. Dedicated Glenn Sacks readers know that this is similar to what happened in the LaMusga case decided by the California Supreme Court in 2005. In my co-authored column PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net Daily, 10/20/05) we wrote:

"Gary LaMusga's son's kindergarten teacher testified about the tactics LaMusga's ex-wife, Susan Navarro, used to try to turn his children against him. The kindergarten teacher explained that Navarro asked her to keep track of the time Gary spent volunteering in his little son's kindergarten classroom so it could be deducted from his visitation time with his son.

"According to the teacher, the LaMusga boy told her 'my dad lies in court...if you tell the judge...he could talk to you' and said that his mom had told him this. The teacher testified:

"'I finally sat down with him and told him that it was OK for him to love his daddy. I basically gave him permission to love his father. And he seemed brightened by that...'

"The teacher continued:

"'The next day that Gary had seen the kids he came to me the following morning and said, 'what did you say to him?...He was so happy. He just greeted me with open arms...we had one of the best evenings that we have had in a long time.' And I just shared with Gary at that point that I had given his son permission to love his father....I'm not sure that he was aware that he could do that.'"

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 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


Protester: 'I Live in the Same Town as My Daughter and I Can Only See Her at Specific Times'

From Dad says he's biking to Washington for equal custody rights:

"Robb MacKenzie is a corrections officer in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He is also the non-custodial father of a 12-year-old daughter, a situation he says has cost him money and valuable time with his daughter.

"MacKenzie is riding his bicycle from Lansing to Washington, D.C., in support of a measure in the Michigan Legislature that would automatically designate joint custody in divorce, separation and non-marital cases unless specific factors dictate otherwise. He plans on being in Washington by June 22, after taking part in rallies this weekend in Pittsburgh and in Columbus, Ohio.

"'I'm trying to make people aware of how unfair it is for non-custodial parents,' MacKenzie said during a stop in Adrian on Wednesday. 'We had joint custody until we went to court and that's when the money started. My lawyer told me to not even bother going back to court.'

"State Rep. Leslie Mortimer, R-Horton, is sponsoring House Bill 5267, which says, 'The court shall order joint custody unless, by clear and convincing evidence that a parent is unfit, unwilling, or unable to care for the child.' The measure was sent to the committee on Family and Children Services in October...

"I live in the same town as my daughter and I can only see her at specific times,' McKenzie said. 'She and her friends knew the route I was taking through Lansing and they waved and rang bells of support for me. I almost cried.'"

To learn more about MacKenzie's protest, go to the Dads of Michigan website here. To learn more about HB 5267, the Michigan Shared Parenting Bill, see my co-authored column HB 5267 Will Help Michigan's Children of Divorce (Lansing State Journal, 5/28/06).

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

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


Column: New Report--Foster Care System Disregards Fathers

My recent 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 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 letter@globe.com.

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

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


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.

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

The LaMusga Company
The LaMusga Company provides customized solutions to assist individuals and business owners in reaching their financial goals. The LaMusga Company is committed to helping you accomplish your long-term financial objectives.

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. 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:

"...in 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.

Online Support for Men Going Through Divorce
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Dads, Learn to Take Charge of Your Case in Family Court
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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."

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

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.

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 

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."


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.


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."  

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.

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


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.'"

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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."

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks


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