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Child Abductor Demands That Military Dad
 Post $100,000 to See His Own Son
February 28, 2006

Child Abductor Demands That Military Dad Post $100,000 to See His Own Son

Out of the endless injustices our family law system has visited upon children and the fathers they love and need, few match the story of Gary S. and his son. In my column The Betrayal of the Military Father (Los Angeles Daily News, 5/4/03) I wrote:

"When Gary, a San Diego-based US Navy SEAL, was deployed in Afghanistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, he never dreamed that his service to his country would cost him his little son. Gary's son was not taken from him by a terrorist or a kidnapper. This 17-year Navy veteran with an unblemished military and civilian record was effectively stripped of his right to be a father by a California court.

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"Gary's story is not an unusual one. Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, if a parent takes a child to a new state, that new state becomes the child's presumptive residence after six months. Because a normal military deployment is six months or more, if an unhappily married military spouse moves to another state while the other spouse is deployed, by the time the deployed spouse returns the child's residence has already been switched. Since courts lean heavily in favor of a child's primary caregiver when determining custody, the spouse who moved the child is virtually certain to gain custody through the divorce proceedings in that new state.

"Because of the strict restrictions on travel by active military personnel, the cost of legal representation, and the financial hardships created by child support and spousal support obligations, it is very difficult for returning service personnel to fight for their parental rights in another state. Many struggle even to see their children, much less remain a meaningful part of their lives, and the bond between the children and their noncustodial parent is often broken for years, if not permanently.

"Gary has not been able to see his son, who now lives abroad, in nearly nine months. When he calls he can sometimes hear the three year-old ask 'when daddy come?' and 'where's daddy?' in the background but he is often prevented from speaking with him...

"Gary has lost nearly $100,000 so far fighting for his son and may soon be forced to declare bankruptcy, which in turn will destroy the top secret security clearance he needs for his job. Worse yet is the emotional devastation wrought by his separation from his son and the knowledge that he may never see him again. He says:

"'My love for my son cannot simply be brushed aside as the courts seem to believe it can. I can remember holding my little son's hand like it was yesterday. I can remember his cry. I hear it every time I hear another child crying.'

"'Sometimes I wonder what I risked my life [in Afghanistan] for. I went to fight for freedom but what freedom and what rights mean anything if a man doesn't have the right to be a father to his own child?'

Gary's former wife abducted his son to Israel while Gary was in Afghanistan in November of 2001. Last year a California court admitted that it erred in allowing this injustice to occur and in permitting the jurisdiction for the case to be moved to Israel. In the three years since, Gary has waged a long, hard battle to be allowed to visit his son and have his son visit him in the US.

Gary has repeatedly received excellent reviews from all relevant evaluators, psychologists, and social workers. His ex-wife's father is very wealthy and has used his fortune to finance his daughter's attempts to eliminate Gary from his son's life. Gary has had to finance everything--including trips to Israel at $5,000 each--out of his Navy SEAL salary.

Last May an Israeli judge agreed that Gary's son should visit him in the US for Christmas. The ex-wife protested and demanded a new psychological evaluation, which the judge granted. The evaluation came back firmly on Gary's side. Those familiar with our family court system already know what I'm about to write--the mom didn't allow the visit anyway.

Now Gary is fighting to have his son spend two weeks with him over this coming summer. The ex-wife is demanding that Gary put up $100,000 bond for the visit, knowing that Gary has nothing close to that amount of money. (One of the reasons he doesn't is that for many years he paid $2,150 a month in "child support" to his ex-wife to help finance her abduction of his son). In a classic case of psychological projection, the woman who abducted the child wants Gary to post the money so--guess what--Gary won't keep the boy in the U.S.

Mom is also demanding that she be allowed to come to the US to be with her son while the boy is visiting his father (so she can interfere and alienate) and (of course) is demanding that Gary pay for it. Gary is having to fight all of this out on limited funds in Israeli courts in a language (Hebrew) he doesn't speak.

Gary lost his son while he was risking his life to help wipe out Al Qaeda, the enemy of both the U.S. and Israel. Yet neither the US nor Israel has lifted a finger to help reunite Gary with the son who loves him and needs him. Thanks, soldier...

One Positive Thing

One positive thing has come out of this tragedy--after I wrote about Gary in the Los Angeles Daily News, California State Senator Bill Morrow was so outraged by my column that he began working with Sacramento lobbyist Mike Robinson and the California Alliance for Families and Children to help military dads. The result was SB 1082. The bill helps military dads, though the original language to help abduction cases like Gary's did not make it through. Schwarzenegger signed the bill in August, and its success helped give impetus to a Michigan bill to help military parents with their custody issues.

Learn More about Gary's Case

Gary has appeared on His Side with Glenn Sacks twice--Two Years into Iraq War, Little Has Been Done to Protect the Rights of Military Fathers (3/13/05) and A Hero's Service Costs Him His Right to be a Father (4/6/03). To read "Sean's Song," the Navy lullaby Gary wrote and used to sing to his little son, click here. If you'd like to write to Gary, click here.

Hero Fathers

Last Father's Day I introduced the term "hero father" to refer to fathers like Gary in my co-authored column Not the Era of the Deadbeat Dad but the Era of the Hero Father (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 6/19/05). We 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."

Other Hero Fathers I've discussed include: David Chick, Gary LaMusga, Jolly Stansby, Ron Davis, Edgar P., John Brumbaugh, and Benoit Leroux. I also discussed the Hero Father last year on Father's Day on His Side with Glenn Sacks--to listen, click here.

New Edition of Leving's Divorce Magazine Now Online
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. 

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.

A Father's Race to Reach the Hospital Where His Daughter Lay Dying

Part of our movement's problem is that some people don't seem to take fathers' love for their children very seriously. This is a result of several factors, including: the small minority of fathers who really don't care about their children; the claims of vindictive mothers who try to push fathers out of their children's lives; societal disregard for men's sentiments on such issues; and misguided feminists' misportrayals of fathers as uncaring and irresponsible.

I recently read a telling commentary on this issue--a father's heart-wrenching account of the hours after his daughter was fatally injured in an auto accident. It was written by Jim Bouton, a star pitcher for the New York Yankees during the 1960s who wrote the controversial mega-best seller Ball Four. I've always admired Bouton, and I interviewed him for a business magazine I was working for when I was in my early 20s.

Ball Four was written in 1969 but every decade Bouton has added a new epilogue--Ball Five, Ball Six and then, in 1999, Ball Four: The Final Pitch. Bouton's 31 year-old daughter Laurie was killed in a car crash in 1997--here is Bouton's account of his desperate attempt to reach the hospital where his daughter laid dying. If you can read it without a tear welling up in your eye you're a better man than I.

My father always said the worst part of seeing your kids grow up was the thought of them driving cars around God knows where. Bouton's story is every parent's worst nightmare, and it reminded me of something my father told me when I was 18 and had gone away for my freshman year of college. My mother and father received a call at 3 in the morning telling them that my uncle died. My father later told me "When the phone rang at that hour and I found out your uncle had died I was happy--I thought it was you."

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.

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

Sackson Horde Bombards Sacks-bashing Salon Blogger

Last week I mentioned midway through the enewsletter that prominent left-wing Salon blogger World O'Crap criticized my co-authored column Letterman Case Shows Problems with Restraining Orders (Albuquerque Tribune, 1/17/06), saying that I "can't actually write, although he tries really hard" and that I "hate women."

My column had made the point that the Letterman case "demonstrates a much larger though rarely discussed problem--it is far too easy to get a restraining order based on a false allegation...Many if not most domestic violence restraining orders are simply tactical maneuvers designed to gain advantage in high stakes family law proceedings."

Apparently some of my readers didn't take too kindly to World O'Crap's Sacks bashing. Dripping with sarcasm, World O'Crap writes:

"It seems that I wronged a great American a few days ago when I poked fun at Glenn Sacks...[I've been] flooded with emails telling me...that I am a jerk for having wronged Glenn Sacks, who is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most infallible human being they've ever known in their lives."

What's interesting is that there was all this furor and I had no idea that anybody had even written to this blogger until I stumbled upon the blog several days later. I guess the Horde has my back--thanks...

To write to World O'Crap, email slzoll@aol.com or click here.

World O'Crap, Gender Politics and Partisan Politics

The discussion on World O'Crap is an interesting illustration of the way gender politics overlaps with partisan politics. I've long criticized the Democrats for needlessly alienating the male vote and driving men out of the party. In my column Michael Moore, You Used to Be My Hero (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 2/8/04) I discussed my original admiration for Moore:

"Back in the days of your pro-worker documentary Roger & Me (1989), I was working construction at a power plant in the South and you were the one public figure who seemed to speak for working men. The one who questioned the right of a business to take what it wants from a community and then pull out in search of cheaper labor, leaving a trail of unemployment and broken lives behind. The one who opposed union busting and corporate plunder.

"Spending every day hanging by my hook belt off the side of a rebar skeleton 50 feet up in the air, my life seemed to be out of a Michael Moore documentary..."

After listening to years of Moore's relentless man-bashing (which I detail in the article) I came to the following conclusion:

"More importantly, is it any wonder that men, including working class men, spurn the political party you shill for? According to a recently released ABC/Washington Post poll, white men (pardon me, Michael, stupid white men) preferred Bush over an unnamed Democrat in 2004 by a staggering 33 points.

"...the biggest reason men have turned away from your party is simple--why should men support a party which doesn't support them? Why go to a party nobody invited you to? Why go where you're clearly not welcome?

"Michael, it saddens me that the beleaguered men at that power plant have lost a valuable friend and gained one more enemy. It saddens me to watch you and your party marginalize yourselves and slowly commit political suicide by spitting on those who once admired and supported you. And when your party gets trounced among male voters in 2004, I know what explanation you'll give. In fact, you've already written it in Stupid White Men: 'men are just not as smart as women.'"

My Daughter's Schoolyard Story

When I picked up my second grade daughter from school the other day she announced she was "crying a lot today." This is unusual, since my daughter is an extremely happy, energetic child. I asked her what happened and she said:

"I had a fight with my friend Daniela. She wanted my place in line and started screaming at me over and over. I cried about it during recess and I was crying about it at lunch, too. Then Daniela came over and apologized. She said she has been very upset lately. She says her parents got divorced, she doesn't get to see her dad much anymore and she misses her mom because she has to work. She says she's very sad."

No comment.

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.

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.

Impact of Fathers on Teenage Girls' Sexual Activity: Texas Sociologist,  Chris Rock Weigh In

Brad Wilcox of the Institute for American Values posted the entry Dads' Love Equals Girls Virginity on the Family Scholars Blog. Wilcox writes:

"Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas, finds that teenage girls who have high-quality relationships with their fathers are significantly more likely to remain virgins, in an article published this month in the Journal of Family Issues. Teenage boys' sexual activity, by contrast, was not affected by the quality of the relationship with their father. Mother-child relationships did not affect either boys' or girls' sexual activity. I guess those father-daughter dances really do pay off.

"His sample is teenagers with both their biological parents in the home. I'd hazard a guess that the results would have been even stronger had he included children in stepfamilies and single-parent families...

"Bottom line: Dads appear to matter more than mothers in promoting the virginity of teenage girls."

It reminds me of a Chris Rock routine. He's pushing his daughter in the baby stroller and realizes that "I'm the man in her life...everything that happens between her and men the rest of her life is going to be colored by what happens between us." To listen, click here.

Before We All Go Jumping Into Bed Together...

This story--Roseland Council president runs for Legislature--has been getting a lot of play on men's and fathers' websites and elists, and many are applauding. According to the article:

"Town Council president Dorothy Snyder doesn't like a bill that would have forced out officeholders who are behind in child support - including her husband - so she is running against the state lawmaker who proposed it.

"State Rep. Ryan Dvorak's bill would have required officeholders who are more than $15,000 in arrears to give up their offices. The Democrat said he still supports the measure, which was never given a committee hearing in the General Assembly.

"He said the idea was inspired by David Snyder - Dorothy Snyder's husband and a Roseland councilman - who in November owed more than $90,000 in child support, his ex-wife, Julianne Mayfield, told the South Bend Tribune...

"Dorothy Snyder has filed her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Dvorak's northern Indiana District 8...She said she wants to run because she is troubled over treatment of noncustodial parents in Indiana.

"'My concern is about the civil rights of noncustodial parents and the destructive effect of demonizing any group of people which is not good for children of divorce, and it is not good for families in Indiana,' she said."

I love seeing a candidate run for noncustodial parents' rights. However, the men's and fathers' websites and elists promoting Dorothy Snyder have ignored the fact that her  husband owes $90,000 in back child support. I beg to differ--I think it is appropriate to ask why the father is so far behind.

It would be wrong to assume--as most people, including feminists and chivalrous males will do--that David Snyder is a deadbeat who abandoned his kids. This is unfair--as I've written on numerous occasions, many so-called "deadbeat" parents are instead simply dead broke. In my co-authored column Virginia Declares War on Deadbroke Dads (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 8/30/05), I wrote:

"A laborer. A cashier. A carnival hired hand. A construction worker. All with children. Are they the featured men and women in a newspaper article about hard times in the state of Virginia? The hopefuls for a local job training program? The applicants for emergency relief? No--they are the 'deadbeat parents' who top the list of Virginia's 'Most Wanted' for falling behind on child support. These three men and one woman together somehow owe well over a quarter of a million dollars in back child support.

"Virginia's Division of Child Support Enforcement is stepping up its campaign against low income non-custodial parents like these by publishing newspaper ads with their photos and mug-shot-like listings of their height, weight, home city, and amount owed. Officials have justified these humiliating tactics by their contention that Virginia's unpaid child support currently totals $2.1 billion. This claim is extremely misleading.

"Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement data shows that two-thirds of those who owe child support nationwide earned less than $10,000 in the previous year. According to the largest federally funded study of divorced fathers ever conducted, unemployment, not willful neglect, is the largest cause of failure to pay child support...

"The driving force behind child support arrearages is not bad parents, but instead rigid child support systems which are mulishly impervious to the economic realities noncustodial parents face, such as layoffs, wage cuts, and work-related injuries. According to the Urban Institute, less than one in 20 non-custodial parents who suffer substantial income drops are able to get courts to reduce their child support payments. In such cases, the amounts owed mount quickly, as do interest and penalties.

"Compounding the problem is the fact that the federal Bradley amendment bars judges from retroactively forgiving child support arrearages, even when they determine that the arrearage occurred through no fault of the obligor...

"The top 'wanted parents' lists put out by most states are almost exclusively comprised of poor and working class men who do low wage and often seasonal work, and who owe fantastic sums of money which they could never hope to pay off. A person with a college degree--not to mention an accountant, lawyer, businessman or banker--is a rare find on these lists. The pot of child support gold which Virginia officials profess they'll find if they get tough on deadbeats simply does not exist."

However, at the same time, it would also be wrong to assume that David Snyder is simply a victim of the system. There are fathers who behave irresponsibly towards their children, and he might be one of them. I'd like a little more information before we all go jumping into bed together.

informs fathers about their rights during divorce litigation while providing them with concrete, practical resources to get results in the courtroom. DadsDivorce.com is a popular meeting place for fathers facing divorce.

Did Andrea Yates Kill Her Kids Because Russell Yates Wouldn't Allow Her to Put Them in Day Care?

According to the Associated Press:

"Andrea Yates once advised a fellow inmate that she could escape prosecution by pretending to be mentally ill and persuading a psychiatrist she suffered from serious disorders, according to court documents filed Thursday by prosecutors.

"Felicia Doe, who spent four days in a jail block with Yates in 2002, told prosecutors last year that Yates instructed her not to eat, not to speak properly and not to be friendly or open in front of people if she wanted to 'beat her case.'

"Yates, who is awaiting a new trial in the drowning of her young children, allegedly told Doe that if she could get the jail psychiatrist on her side, they could testify to her mental health, and they couldn't prosecute her if she was sick, according to the documents, which describe interviews with witnesses who could be called during Yates' trial...

"Doe, who could not be reached for comment, also told prosecutors that Yates disclosed details of the slayings, explaining that she locked a door so her oldest son, 7-year-old Noah, could not escape the house and describing him as crying so hard he vomited.

"'She hit his head against the bathtub several times in an effort to incapacitate him,' Doe told prosecutors.

"Another inmate, Lynnette Licantino, told prosecutors Yates said her children 'were just too much' and that her husband at the time, Russell Yates, would not let her put them in day care."

The defense disputes Roe's allegations. I don't know what to make of them--I've always been skeptical of the testimony of cellmates or jailhouse informants, and I'm not sure if this testimony is any better.

For me, the saddest part of this case was this: while a couple of the boys were being drowned, they continued to try to fight their way to the surface of the bathtub and kept saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." The little boys' only understanding of why their mother could do something like this to them was that they had done something wrong. In their last living moments they struggled to apologize.

In the aftermath of the decision Russell Yates was widely blamed for the murders. I appeared on numerous radio shows in Texas at the time defending Russell and often felt afterwards as if I were defending a murderer instead of a guy who's only "crime" was having a mentally-disturbed wife and not knowing what to do about it. The strange religious beliefs which both Russell and Andrea shared also contributed to their problems.

At the time I wrote the only opinion column to appear in a major US publication which defended Yates--In Defense of a Flawed but Decent Russell Yates (Houston Chronicle, 3/11/02). I was drawn to the Yates case through personal experience. I've never discussed this publicly, but many years ago I lived with a mentally ill woman to whom I was engaged to be married. I know a little about the confusion, denial, frustration and heartache that Russell Yates must have experienced. It's a world of shadows, where nothing works and everything you do is wrong. My experience was a trauma, his was worse than any nightmare. In the column I wrote:

""It's a shame that there's no law that can give Russell Yates his due,' writes syndicated columnist Debra Saunders. 'Russell Yates ought to be locked up instead of his wife,' says writer Cindy Hasz. Creators Syndicate's Froma Harrop sneers that he probably 'misses the obedient drudge who bore and raised his five children more than the five children.' Harsh words for Russell Yates have come from many others, particularly former O. J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark.

"What these and others forget is that it's hard to make the right decision when you don't have a lot of options. According to Andrea Yates' brother, Andrew Kennedy, Russell Yates 'did his best....He trusted the doctors and he did everything they said to do. He made sure she took her medication.'

"Psychiatrist Mohammed Saeed took Yates off the drug Haldol on June 4. Russell Yates, worried about his wife, brought her back to Dr. Saeed on June 18. The doctor said he saw no sign of psychosis and sent her home.

"Two days later, she killed their five children.

"Instead of using 20-20 hindsight, let's look at the situation as it must have appeared to Russell Yates before June 20. Mental illness is difficult for untrained people to cope with and to comprehend. Dr. Saeed had indicated that he believed that Andrea Yates was getting better, and Andrea herself has testified that she told nobody, not even her husband, about the 'voices in her head.' While Russell surely had doubts about leaving the kids with her, he didn't have a lot of choices. He couldn't quit his job to care for the kids--somebody had to put food on the table. Ending the home-schooling, a violation of both of their beliefs, might have been a severe blow to his fragile wife's self-esteem, perhaps pushing her over the edge.

"Instead, Russell made the one move he needed to make--he had his mother come in to watch the kids every day. He generally left for work at 9 am and his mother arrived at 10 am, and he thought he had the situation under control...

"He also attributed much of his wife's distress to the death of her father in March of last year. And he no doubt was in some denial, as people who are trapped in difficult situations often are. As he walked out the door to go to work on June 20, should he really have expected that his wife was waiting for him to leave so she could kill their children?"

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

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.

Business Journal Discusses Glenn's Column on the 'Daddy Tax'

The Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal did a cover story based on the central idea behind my column "The Price of Fatherhood--a Father's Reply to Ann Crittenden's 'Mothers' Manifesto' (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 1/10/02). In Dave Gardner's piece Forget the 'mommy track,' men pay a heavy 'daddy tax' as primary breadwinners (2/23/06) he writes:

"Glenn Sacks is among the voices addressing the volatility of employment-related gender issues. He cites Ann Crittenden's recent feminist classic The Price of Motherhood: Why Motherhood is the Most Important -and Least Valued-Job in America, as a source of ideas worth debating. Crittenden's book identifies a 'mommy tax,' which is being paid by many working women. This toll includes reduced job opportunities, lower salaries for mothers and a lack of appreciation.

"Sacks is among those who believe men also are quietly suffering through payment of a 'daddy tax'...According to Sacks, American men work the longest hours in the industrialized world, and account for 90 percent of overtime. This devotion to professional duty has created lost opportunities for family involvement, with complex emotional repercussions."

There was one part of the article which I could do without:

"Mary Bogart, owner of Bogart Engineering in Moscow, a civil engineering firm, comments that traditional roles played by men and women are now becoming intermixed.

"'As women, we have expected to do a balancing act and make sacrifices for the well being of our children, while men have traditionally focused on their work,' says Bogart.

"'But, men are now becoming more aware of the connection between their presence at home and the well-being of their family. You'd have to be in a cave not to see this happening.'"

In reality, men have always made sacrifices for their families, often equal or more to those made by women. When men work long hours at stressful or hazardous jobs in order to support their families, this isn't "men focusing on their work"--it's men focusing on their families.

To write to Elizabeth Zygmunt, the editor of the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal,  about the issues discussed in Forget the 'mommy track,' men pay a heavy 'daddy tax' as primary breadwinners, email EZygmunt@TimesShamrock.com.

Summers Pushed Out of Harvard Job

Lawrence Summers has been ousted as president of Harvard University after creating a huge controversy last year in attempting to explain why Harvard has few women math and science PhDs. To learn more, see Harvard Guessing Game to Replace Summers Brings Up Mostly Women  (Bloomberg, 2/22/06).

At the time of the controversy last year, I wrote:

"Harvard president Lawrence Summers is currently being mauled by outraged feminists over his speculations as to why there are more male PhDs in math and science than females. Yet few eyebrows were raised when U.K. Member of Parliament Barry Sheerman recently disparaged efforts to address the boy crisis in education by saying 'women are brighter than men...the brightest kids are coming through and they happen to be women.' Can one imagine the furor if a British MP or an American senator said 'men are brighter than women?'

"I also believe that the debate over Summers' remarks has been misframed. I'm no expert on math or science--in fact, I must surreptitiously study my 12 year-old son's math book in order to be able to help him with his homework. As a former high school teacher I would offer the uninformed guess that if you took 100 of my History or Journalism students and gave them a math test and then added up the scores, the overall male and female averages would be about the same.

"However, when discussing the number of PhDs in math and science at Harvard, the relevant question is not 'do males and females do equally well at math?' but instead 'which gender tends to congregate at the very top one half of one percent in math?'

"On most standardized tests men and women score equally overall, but the score distribution is tighter for women and wider for men. In other words, there are more male geniuses and more male idiots. Thus Summers has a point--because the distribution of male abilities is wider than that of females, it makes sense that the top one-half of one percent might be mostly male.

"Summers also speculated that part of the reason for the disparity is the enormous time commitment needed from Math and Engineering PhDs, and that fewer women than men are willing to spend their 20s and 30s buried under a 70 or 80 hour workweek. This also seems like a reasonable supposition.

"It is also noteworthy that an academic's tepid remarks on women have set off an international media storm, yet males are continually disparaged and criticized in academia with hardly a protest. To learn more about how Woman's Studies have turned our universities into hostile environments for our young men, see my columns: Why Males Don't Go to College (She Thinks, 11/13/02); Hate My Father? No Ma'am! (World Net Daily, 4/8/02); New Study Finds Myths, Misrepresentations in Women's Studies Textbooks (Cybercast News Service, 4/1/02); The Best Valentine's Day Gift for College Students: Gender Reconciliation (She Thinks, 2/13/03); and the His Side shows Poisoning Valentine's Day (2/1/04) and Former Women's Studies Professor Daphne Patai Slams Academic Feminism (7/6/03)."

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 U.S. state and in several countries. Call (404) 289-3321or click here.

The Rantings of a Single Male:
Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything
describes the rise of feminism from the mid '70s to the present, through Ellis' personal experiences and is loaded with outrageous stories.

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.

KNBC Los Angeles' Today in LA Covers New Lawsuit on Behalf of Male DV Victims

KNBC Los Angeles' Today in LA just did a nice piece on the new lawsuit filed against the State of California for refusing to offer services to male victims of domestic violence. I wrote about this case in my recent co-authored column Domestic Violence Lawsuit Will Help Secure Services for All Abuse Victims (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 12/28/05). My co-author, Marc Angelucci, is the attorney in the lawsuit and he appeared on the KNBC broadcast. We wrote:

"At the age of 11, Maegan Woods tried to stop a domestic dispute between her parents. She soon found herself staring down the barrel of her father's shotgun. She watched helplessly as the trigger was pulled. She is only alive today because the gun didn't fire--the safety was on.

"Maegan was abused and witnessed domestic violence in her home for most of her childhood. By age seven there had been knife attacks, punches, kicks, and more. It was hard to leave--the abuser was the one who earned the money, and the victim was unable to work because of a disability. On numerous occasions they looked for help to escape the abuse but were refused. Why?

"Because in Maegan's family, the abused spouse was her father, and the battering and child abuse were perpetrated by her mother.

"The California Battered Women Protection Act of 1994, codified in Health & Safety Codes Section 124250, et. seq., created funding for domestic violence shelter-based services. However, by defining domestic violence as something only experienced by women, the statutes exclude male victims from receiving state-funded domestic violence services, including shelter, hotel arrangements, counseling and legal services.

"Meagan, now 21, and her father, David Woods, are the lead plaintiffs in a new lawsuit against the State of California and numerous state agencies and state-funded domestic violence service providers. Beginning in the mid-1980s, David was violently attacked on numerous occasions by his wife Ruth, who suffers from a bi-polar disorder which, in her case, creates a propensity toward violence.

"On several occasions David decided that he and Maegan should get out of the house to escape Ruth's violence. However, with his disabling condition and inability to work, David had no money to provide for himself and his daughter. Numerous times he contacted a Sacramento domestic violence agency he had heard of in the media, WEAVE, but they always told him "we don't help men," and never offered him a referral to another facility. David tried churches and various programs, but all they could offer for men were homeless shelters with waiting lists. He found nothing for abused men and their children. David gave up and sank into a heavy depression."

In the KNBC piece Maegan said that when she was in Elementary School she would tell her teachers that her mom was hitting her dad and that she was upset about it but they would just laugh it off. Poor little girl.

Feminist attorney Marci Fukuroda of the California Women's Law Center gave KNBC the usual feminist line--that shelters are having to turn away thousands of women and children every year and that they operate on shoestring budgets and have no room for men.

For anyone who wonders if the shelters really do exclude male victims, I offer this: In 2002, while researching my column Baseball Player's Domestic Violence Arrest Demonstrates How Men are Presumed Guilty in Domestic Disputes (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 8/8/02), I posed as a male victim of domestic violence and called every domestic violence shelter in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties in order to determine if men really were denied services. My investigation found only one facility that would accept a male victim--Valley Oasis--and one other, in San Diego, which offered the possibility of placement.  Yet while domestic violence leaders like Fukuroda deny there is a need for services for male victims, several of the shelter directors and workers I  spoke with while posing as a DV victim said that much more attention and resources needs to be directed towards male victims, and expressed sympathy for their plight.

Patricia Jones, the Assistant Director of the Valley Oasis Shelter in Lancaster, CA., told KNBC that "everybody here believes that a victim is a victim. It's not about gender, it's about somebody experiencing abuse."

In the KNBC piece David Woods said "I put up with the violence because I was trying to keep her from taking the children and leaving." This is a point I've emphasized on numerous occasions. In the column on the Woods case we wrote:

"Domestic violence policies based on the woman good/man bad model kept David trapped in his violent marriage in a number of ways. The biggest reason David didn't leave Ruth was Maegan. She was frequently the target of Ruth's attacks, particularly when David wasn't around to protect her and take Ruth's blows. Domestic violence researcher Richard Gelles, whose groundbreaking work on domestic violence in the late 1970s was instrumental in bringing the issue to public consciousness, explains that current policies often trap abused fathers like David. They can't leave their wives because this would leave their children unprotected in the hands of an abuser. If they simply take their children, they can be arrested for kidnapping. Moreover, they would probably lose custody of their children in the divorce anyway, again leaving their children in harm's way.

"These cases often have tragic results. In the highly-publicized Socorro Caro murder case, Socorro often abused her husband Xavier, a prominent Northridge, California rheumatologist, and once assaulted him so badly he had to have surgery to regain his sight in one eye. Trapped and not knowing what to do or where to go, Xavier endured the abuse, once telling his wife 'one day you are going to do something that cannot be undone.' A short time later Socorro shot and killed three of their four children. Their baby survived only because Socorro ran out of bullets. She was later convicted and sentenced to death for the murders."

To watch the KNBC video, click here.

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.

The Dakapa Handbook
Tom Whelan's The Dakapa Handbook is the story of how a father's love for his children enables him to create an adventure that will forever bond them together. Order the book here

Christian Author Takes a Stand for Men
Christian writer Paul Coughlin takes aim at what he calls a "cultural prejudice that shames men for being men in No More Christian Nice Guy: When Being Nice--Instead of Good--Hurts Men, Women, and Children. The forward was written by Dr. Laura. www.nomorechristianniceguy.com.

New Column: California Supreme Court Takes Step Backward on Children's Rights

My latest co-authored column, California Supreme Court Takes Step Backward on Children's Rights (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 2/9/06), discusses the new California Supreme Court ruling in the Brown vs. Yana move-away case. In that case a custodial mother was allowed to move her then 12 year-old son 400 miles away. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"The underlying problem is that in California the legal presumption on relocations points in the wrong direction. If a parent wants to move a child far away, he or she should bear the burden of showing that the move is not detrimental to the child. In this way many frivolous, selfish, or vindictive moves would be restricted, while still allowing for legitimate ones, such as in cases of abuse, dire economic need or when noncustodial parents show little interest in their children.

"Brown vs. Yana is not an outrageous ruling, and Yana had harmed his case with slipshod legal work and erratic behavior. The decision is, however, sadly illustrative of a common mentality in family law which places a custodial parent's convenience above a child's love for his mother and father."

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Daily Breeze, a 100,000 circulation newspaper based in the Los Angeles International Airport/Harbor area, about A wrong turn on children's rights (2/9/06), write to letters@dailybreeze.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. 

Female-to-English Dictionary
Dr. Shoveen goes behind the words that women use to reveal their hidden meanings and thought processes.

Boy in CA Supreme Court Case Rebels Against Mom's Move-Away Plans, Refuses to Leave Father

In our column California Supreme Court Takes Step Backward on Children's Rights (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 2/9/06) we also noted:

"After the move the boy rebelled against his mother, at one point refusing to board a plane to go back to Las Vegas after a visit with his father. The mother, who had moved to Las Vegas because her new husband was offered a new job there, has now allowed the boy to live with his dad. Cameron told the Santa Maria Times that the new Supreme Court decision is 'bad for other kids like me who don't want to move...It's hard to leave your friends. And my dad missed all but one of my football games when I lived in Las Vegas.'"

While this turn of events certainly bolsters my view that move-aways are usually bad for children, I'm not particularly happy about it either. When mom decided to move it meant the boy would lose his dad. Now he has lost his mom instead. It would have been better for the child if mom had never moved. If we had a proper presumption against moves (as we outlined in the article), the whole situation could have been avoided.

To learn more about California move-aways and the influential LaMusga case, see my co-authored column Is a Pool More Important than a Dad? (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/4/04) and read my LaMusga radio commentary here.

I discussed how this issue would be viewed if we switched the genders in my column California NOW Takes Stand Against Working Mothers (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 2/23/04), and argued in favor of a current Wisconsin move-away bill in my co-authored piece AB 400 Will Help Wisconsin's Children of Divorce (Wisconsin State Journal, 12/3/05). I clashed with feminist law professor Carol Bruch, who authored the mother's brief in LaMusga, on PBS's Los Angeles affiliate  KCET last year--to watch, click here.

Militant Grandmas Fight for Shared Parenting

Three Sides to Every Story is an organization set up by militant grandma Bessie Hudgins to help fathers stay in their children's lives after divorce.

How Common is Paternity Fraud? (Redux)

Last week I had expressed some doubts about the new World Net Daily article Paternity fraud rampant in U.S.: 30% of those named as fathers bilked of child support unjustly which has been circulated widely on men's and fathers elists and websites. I wrote:

"Paternity fraud is a problem, but I doubt it approaches the 30% level, and the basis for the 30% claim in the article is unclear.

"There are two sources for '30%' in the article. The admirable paternity fraud crusader Carnell Smith is quoted as saying that  30 percent of the cases he sampled proved negative.  However, I don't think Carnell is saying that '30% of those named as fathers bilked of child support unjustly'--obviously the people Carnell deals are those who already have reason to be concerned over paternity issues.

"The WND article also said 'one state that examined the problem found as many as 30 percent of those paying child support were, indeed, not the biological fathers of the children being supported. The most recent comprehensive study took place in New Hampshire under the auspices of the Commission on the Status of Men.'  Perhaps the Commission studied this properly and came up with 30%, but again that seems high to me.  In my co-authored column Michigan Reform Plan Fights Rising Paternity Fraud (Detroit News, 9/25/02) I wrote:

"'Michigan Family Independence Agency statistics indicate that 30 percent of the nonmarital paternity tests performed in Michigan exclude the tested man from being the child's biological father. The American Association of Blood Banks, which evaluated 280,000 paternity tests in 1999, found similar numbers.'

"However, again we have a preselected sample--many of the people getting these paternity tests are doing so because there is a paternity issue involved."

Both Michael J. Geanoulis of the NH Commission on the Status of Men and Smith wrote to me afterwards, and it appears that my skepticism about the 30% figure was well-founded. Geanoulis writes:

"The WND article was incorrect. The NH Commission on the Status of Men (CSM) did not conduct a 'comprehensive study' as claimed in the article. See page 22 of the CSM report www.nh.gov/csm. As you will see, the CSM merely echoed the findings of www.safe-nh.org and www.paternityfraud.com.  I think it important that the record be corrected to reflect accuracy lest our efforts are compromised by CSM enemies here...."

Smith wrote:

"I did not work with the people who wrote the recent story. They must be grabbing information from online sources. You are correct in that I am not saying 30% of men

paying child support are not the fathers. No one knows the answer to that question because every man has not been tested.

"I disagree with the view that the men tested were the ones that had a reason to be concerned about paternity. Until a triggering event takes place, many if not most men were like me--I had no idea that I might not be the father.

"My family members and friends prompted me to get tested based on their belief that I was not the father. They were correct. The mother's testimony of relations with her former boyfriend, while in another state and admitting that she never revealed this material information to me.

"The root cause of paternity fraud is the mother's willful decision to be irresponsible and choosing to hide rather than reveal the fact 'there are multiple paternity candidates.'"

"I believe that more men would take a legal paternity test just to be sure, if they knew that the law rewards 'trick him by any means needed.' Especially if he knew that the mother was having unprotected relations with one or more men excluding him.

"Taking the legal DNA test is a form of insurance against paternity fraud for duped dads. Truth is a good thing and mothers should be required to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Sacks/Leving in Houston Chronicle on Gray Divorce

My co-authored column on the rise in "Gray Divorce"--Sometimes it's husbands getting dumped: Forget trophy wives, reality is another matter for most men--appeared in the Houston Chronicle Sunday. I co-authored the piece with family law attorney Jeffery M. Leving. To voice your opinion on the issue, write to the Houston Chronicle at viewpoints@chron.com. Feel free to forward me copies of your letters.

Netscape: When Wives Cheat, It's OK

According to the Netscape article You Won't Believe How Many Wives Cheat, "The modern American or European woman is just as likely to cheat on her husband as he is to cheat on her." They write:

"Those are the eyebrow-raising findings of a team of German researchers from the Hamburg-based GEWIS Institute for Social Research. Reuters reports that in a survey of 1,427 men and women between the ages of 25 and 35, fully 53 percent of women said they had been unfaithful to their partner, compared with 59 percent of men.

"Unlike most men, the reason women have affairs is primarily non-sexual. While sex is no doubt the outcome, what women are seeking when they first stray from their husbands is reassurance and understanding. In other words, they are looking for emotional intimacy...

"Some women are serial cheaters. Seventeen percent of women surveyed said they had cheated two or three times, compared with 22 percent of men. And get this: Eight percent of the women said they had cheated four or five times in the course of their marriage, but only 4 percent of men admitted to this."

I love the always present, built-in excuse for bad female behavior--"the reason women have affairs is primarily non-sexual...women [seek] reassurance and understanding. In other words, they are looking for emotional intimacy..." Their husbands aren't giving them what they need so no wonder they cheat. I discussed this phenomenon at length on the radio at Newsweek: When Wives Cheat, It's OK (7/11/04).

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A&E Reprises 'Fatal Fathers' Myth

Many of you have written to me about the A&E cable network's rerun of its anti-father documentary "Fatal Fathers." The documentary originally aired in September, 2004, and A&E is rebroadcasting it at 8 AM and 2 PM on February 21.  The central claim made by the film is that "Surprisingly, the leading cause of death among pregnant women today is murder. Their killers?--their own husbands or boyfriends."

Many of you have written to me to ask me if the above claim is true. The answer is no. To learn more, see my columns New Report on Maternal Homicide Crisis: Myth-Making and Manbashing (Lexington Herald-Leader, 1/3/05) and 'Fatal Fathers' Myth Promoted in Wake of Peterson, Hacking Cases (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 9/17/04).

Since it's just a daytime rerun and is not being promoted or hyped, I'm not going to call the Sackson Horde to action over it. However, if you'd like to comment on it to A&E, click here.

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks