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Victory in CA Plus New Column
September 7, 2005

Victory: Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Military Parents' Bill!

Last week California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1082, a bill which will help military parents. The bill addresses the way parents who serve are often taken advantage of in custody and family law matters while they are deployed. Also, it will help resolve the child support nightmare many mobilized reservists face.

Lobbyist Michael Robinson has asked me to thank the Sackson Horde for all the calls and letters you made in support of the bill during our campaign back in April. Working through the Military Parents Alliance, your efforts helped build support for the bill. In fact, the Senate Judiciary Committee Analysis of SB 1082 made specific note of your calls and letters. To learn more about SB 1082, see my co-authored column California's Military Reservists Need SB 1082 (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/14/05).

Special credit goes to Robinson and Stan Diorio for their fantastic work in passing this bill. The bill was sponsored by Senators Denise Moreno Ducheny (D-San Diego) and Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside).

According to Robinson, Senator Morrow was first inspired to take up this cause after he read The Betrayal of the Military Father (Los Angeles Daily News, 5/4/03). It is the story of Gary S., a San Diego-based US Navy SEAL whose little boy was permanently moved from California to the Middle East against his will while he was deployed in Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks.  To hear an interview with Gary on His Side, go to Two Years into Iraq War, Little Has Been Done to Protect the Rights of Military Fathers (3/13/05).

This is a nice victory but there is much to be done and many more battles to fight. Working with the Military Parents Alliance we are pursuing action for military parents in several states (most notably Michigan), and also at the federal level. Victories cost money--I urge all of you to donate to support our efforts by clicking here.

Arnold Schwarzenegger & My Wife

I was asked to be a part of the signing ceremony for the bill, which made my wife--a huge Arnold fan--very jealous. She has made it clear she would leave me for him if she had the chance. I can't say I'd blame her. Last week I was all set to go to Sacramento and get a picture of Arnold and I grinning and shaking hands, but Schwarzenegger decided to dispense with the signing ceremony and went ahead and signed the bill. Damn--I was looking forward to rubbing that picture in my wife's face for at least a decade or two...

New Column: Striking in the Belly of the Beast

My co-authored column, Virginia Declares War on Deadbroke Dads (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 8/30/05), criticizes the humiliating "wanted" lists of fathers behind on their child support being published in Virginia newspapers. Our article was published in Virginia's largest newspaper on the same day that newspaper published a new list. The lists contain requests for people to call the Crime Line at 1-800-LOCK-U-UP if they know of the whereabouts of one of these fathers.

As we note in the article, Nick Young, Virginia's Director of Child Support Enforcement, claims that 125,000 parents are behind on child support. Yet Young & Co. were unable to produce one alleged deadbeat--one--who actually has a white collar job. I and my co-author, family law attorney Jeff Leving, 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."

As is always the case when defending fathers behind on child support, our column is drawing a lot of hostility, and the Virginian-Pilot has printed many anti-father letters. To defend Virginia's fathers I suggest you write a Letter to the Editor of the Virginian-Pilot--click on letters@pilotonline.com

I specifically commend Roger Chesley, associate editor of the editorial page of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, for having the guts to run our piece. Newspapers are supposed to have an unbreachable wall between their advertising and editorial content, and Chesley showed editorial independence at its finest. As I told Roger, I hope it don't cost him his job.

To learn more about the lists, see Virginia's newspaper ad flushes out deadbeat parents (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 8/25/05), News ads identify deadbeat parents: Va. officials hope ads prompt them to pay up on child support (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/19/05) and Ad Shows Parents Who Are Behind in Child Support (WSLS, 8/24/05).

Child Support Injustice: Francis Borgia Speaks

In several of my newspapers columns and on His Side I have discussed the case of  Francis Borgia, a deadbroke dad who attempted suicide in a Kentucky courtroom after being sentenced to prison for two years for a fake $7,000 child support arrearage. Like so many so-called "deadbeat dads," Borgia's problem was not a refusal to pay, but instead his inability to get a downward modification on his child support after he was laid off of a good paying job. To learn more, read my co-authored column Persecuting Low Income Parents (Cincinnati Post, Kentucky Post, 8/26/05) and listen to my radio commentary on Borgia at Deadbeat Dad or Deadbroke Dad?

Borgia now works two jobs to pay his child support and fake arrearages. He leaves his home every day at 6:30 AM and returns at 11:30 PM--guaranteeing that he will have no family time, and not even enough time to get 7 hours of sleep. He says "I feel like a slave." His recent letter to me is below. Borgia can be reached at fborg65@hotmail.com.

"Dear Glenn,

Hello, First let me introduce myself. My name is Francis Borgia. I read your article on Persecuting Low Income Parents.

Will the courts ever relieve us of this torment? Probably not. I am still a 'deadbroke' Dad, only now I am dead tired. I am Dead Tired and exhausted of working 2 jobs trying to meet the courts obligations for child support. (The court ordered me to work 2 jobs or I will be put back in jail.)

I have asked to have my child support reduced because my son is now a grown man 18 years of age.  I am still waiting. I have been waiting since May. So how long does it take the state to make modifications to lower the obligations? They are real quick to point fingers and have somebody thrown in jail, but take their sweet time to make any changes when it comes to lowering the obligations. (That's the reason why I was behind in the first place.)  I have been jailed again after I got out of prison because of failure to pay child support again (mostly because I had no work). My new wife Karen bailed me out and it took everything we had to do it. A lot of the cause is my remarried ex-wife. She married a very wealthy man. She told me that she would do anything in her power to make sure that I never get to see my daughter again, and that she will do anything in her power to make sure that I live the rest of my life in prison or see me dead.

I don't know what I did to make her so bitter and angry. (Besides being broke all the time.) Now the only life I have is working 2 jobs every day and hardly ever seeing my family. What kind of life is that? I LOVE my children very much and miss them dearly. I am sure their mothers told them I don't care about them and don't love them.

I would like to see them again and be a part of their lives. (hard to do working 2 jobs. Believe me; If there is any way I could contact them I would. Well I have get to go get ready to go back to work. I wish all fathers that care for their children the best.

Francis Borgia

Uniting the Fathers Movement and Fighting Fatalism 

While one often hears a lot of fatalism within the fatherhood and shared parenting movements, the reality is that we have made substantial progress over the past year. I noted some of these accomplishments in my Father's Day column This Year Daddy Began a Comeback (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/19/05).

However, one of the biggest problems the shared parenting movement faces is its seemingly endless factionalism. It is vitally important for fatherhood and shared parenting advocates to unite politically. The American Coalition for Fathers and Children has a solid program and is the largest and strongest force representing shared parenting.

At the "Healing Our Families Conference" in Detroit, Michigan in June, attendees unanimously designated the American Coalition for Fathers and Children as the national organization promoting Shared Parenting as the core mission. With 40,000 members nationwide and affiliated organizations in nearly two dozen states, the ACFC is working to creating a family law system which promotes equal rights for all parties affected by divorce.

Recent events show that we can win victories. I urge you to join the ACFC or, if you are already a member, to renew your membership. A list of ACFC affiliates can be found here. You can join or renew by clicking here.

California NOW Pays Homage to His Side

Helen Grieco, Executive Director of the California National Organization for Women, has just launched an Internet radio show. The name? You guessed it--Her Side. Grieco, you may recall, labeled me a "A women-bashing, backlash shock-jock radio host" in a newspaper article last year about my work--see Bashing boys is, like, not OK Christian Science Monitor (3/31/04). Naturally I felt compelled to contact her and offer her some pointers--an offer which, remarkably, she accepted.

Helen's show broadcasts live (with call-ins) on www.voiceamerica.com, an internet radio service, every Thursday at 1 PM PST. To listen to archives of Helen's show, click here.

I have criticized California NOW on more occasions than I can remember. A few examples are: California NOW's Family Court Report 2002: Faulty Research, False Conclusions (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 7/11/02); California NOW Takes Stand Against Working Mothers (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 2/23/04); Preserving Paternity Fraud (Orange County Register, 10/3/02);  Fathers Bear the Brunt of Gender Bias in Family Courts (Insight magazine (8/19/02); and New California Move-Away Law Hurts Children of Divorce (Long Beach Press Telegram, 10/18/03).

Column: Persecuting Low Income Parents

As some of you may have read, Kentucky launched a new jihad against deadbroke/"deadbeat" dads recently. My co-authored column, Persecuting Low Income Parents (Cincinnati Post, Kentucky Post, 8/26/05), criticizes the campaign. To learn more, see the Associated Press' article Jefferson to publicly expose deadbeats (7/25/05), in which my co-author, family law attorney Jeff Leving, was quoted, and Child-support ad pays off in tips (Louisville Courier-Journal, 8/2/05).

Glenn Criticizes Kentucky's Humiliating 'Deadbeat Dad' Lists on Radio in Atlanta, Lexington

I criticized Kentucky's humiliating 'Deadbeat Dad' lists on the Martha Zoller Show on WDUN AM 550 in Gainesville/North Atlanta on Thursday, August 11, and on Dave Krusenklaus' "Kruser and Krew" afternoon drivetime show on WLVK AM 590 in Kentucky on Wednesday, August 10. To learn more about the lists, see my new co-authored column Persecuting Low Income Parents (Cincinnati Post, Kentucky Post, 8/26/05).

His Side on Fox News

His Side was filmed and I was interviewed for a recent Fox special about paternity fraud victim Taron James. To watch, click here.

As part of Operation Northern Watch, James carried out hazardous reconnaissance missions behind Iraqi lines aftermath of the Gulf War. He earned four service medals and three ribbons before his honorable discharge in 1994. Yet his reward for his service has been a decade of unremitting government harassment, financial deprivation, and a struggle to stay out of jail.

James was the victim of a false paternity declaration made while he was serving overseas. To learn about Taron's story, see my co-authored column Defrauded Veterans Have Mixed Emotions on Veterans Day (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 11/11/03). I told Fox of my exasperation that this case--which should have been open and shut--has dragged on so long.

The good news is that this month the paternity judgment against Taron--for a child he never knew, much less fathered--was finally, finally overturned. Congratulations to Taron, and also to Marc Angelucci, Taron's attorney.

Also congratulations to Raegan Phillips, James' longtime fiancee who has stood by him during this battle. Any man would be lucky to have such a loyal partner.

The battle against paternity fraud in California has been a long one. To learn more, see my column Paternity Fraud Victims Need Justice (Los Angeles Daily News, 3/15/02), concerning the Paternity Justice Act of 2002 (AB 2240). The bill passed the legislature but was vetoed by then Governor Gray Davis at the urging of the California National Organization for Women and other feminist groups. I blasted Davis' veto in my co-authored column Preserving Paternity Fraud (Orange County Register, 10/3/02).

We turned the tide on paternity fraud in California last year, due in large part to the work of advocates like Michael Robinson, Marc Angelucci,  Men Enabling New Solutions, the National Coalition of Free Men Los Angeles, and numerous others.  AB 252 passed and is now law. Also, in the Navarro case last summer, Second District Court of Appeal Justice Rubin spat on Los Angeles County child support enforcement, telling them that his court refused to "sully its hands" by enforcing false paternity judgments. To learn more, see the His Side show Appeal Court to LA County: 'We Won't Sully our Hands' Enforcing False Paternity Judgments (8/8/04).

The Fox show also contained some bizarre clips of arch-feminist California legislator Sheila Kuehl waxing nostalgic about two of her usual targets--tradition and fatherhood. In arguing against AB 2240 (so that men would still be compelled by the state to pay child support for children who are not theirs), Kuehl informs us that fatherhood is more than "donating genetic material," and pointed to the loving bonds between fathers and children. Yet Kuehl has done everything she could to destroy fathers in California.

For one, she has sponsored and helped pass domestic violence legislation which makes it easier for unscrupulous mothers to drive fathers out of their children's lives by false charges of domestic violence. Also, Kuehl very much opposed the LaMusga decision and our campaign to preserve it. To learn more, see my co-authored column Is a Pool More Important than a Dad? (San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Daily News, 5/4/04), and California Senate Leader Pulls Anti-Child Bill in Face of Huge Opposition (MND Newswire, 8/16/04).

On the Fox special Kuehl also defended the ancient tradition that any child born during a marriage is presumed to the child of the husband, thus allowing mothers to force divorced dads to child support for children they conceived through adulterous liaisons. Kuehl emphasized that we must stick with tradition. This touching faith in tradition is very odd coming from Kuehl, a lesbian who would have been treated very cruelly and unfairly in any traditionalist society.

Glenn Quoted in Dallas Morning News on TV Dad Bashing

I'm quoted on TV dad bashing and stay at home dads in the news story Homer, make room for real dads (Dallas Morning News, 8/17/05). The article also discussed the His Side Campaign Against Anti-Father Verizon Commercial. To learn more about TV dad bashing, see Father Knows Best? (CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, 6/19/05), in which both I and Warren Farrell appear, as well as my column Why I Launched the Campaign Against Verizon's Anti-Father Ad (Pasadena Star-News, 11/18/04).

The Dallas Morning News article also discussed CBS' new dad-mocking reality TV show Meet Mister Mom. To watch excerpts of Meet Mister Mom, click here. To comment on Meet Mister Mom, click here.

To learn more about the contributions fathers make to their families, see my co-authored column Indiana Woman's 'Housework Strike': Maybe It's Husbands Who Should Strike (Gary Post-Tribune, 11/8/02) and my column Stay-at-Home Dads: A Practical Solution to the Career Woman's Dilemma (Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/29/02).

Debtors' Prison in Michigan?

While in Kentucky fathers are being hounded and publicly humiliated for being poor, in Michigan Louie Joe Kalman is being imprisoned for it--see Debtors' prison claimed in appeal (Daily Telegram, 8/23/05). His attorney argues that the two- to four-year prison term he was given in December amounts to debtors' prison. As we've discussed before, there are many fathers who are jailed or imprisoned simply because they were unable to pay the child support amounts the state demanded.

There is another interesting element of the Kalman case--the cruel and insane policy of most states that allows child support to be charged to incarcerated men, so that when they emerge from prison they are way behind on support. In my column California Child Support Bill Will Help Newly Released Prisoners Rebuild Their Lives (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 5/9/02), I quoted Elena Ackel, senior attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, on the genius of this policy:

"The wonder of the current system is that everybody loses. The state tries to beat astronomical child support arrearages--$20,000 or $30,000 in many cases--out of dead broke, unskilled, and unemployed people who just got out of prison. Some of these people even end up back in jail because they couldn't pay the child support which accrued while they were in jail. Who benefits from this?"

Kalman is certainly no prize--he served a decade in jail for auto theft, bad checks, and attempted robbery. Still, my view of ex-convicts has always been this--I don't care about punishing them, I just want them to not commit more crimes. Also, Kalman's debt to society was repaid through his many years in prison--the punishment is supposed to end when he is released. Piling a staggering fake child support arrearage on an ex-con only guarantees that he'll slip back into crime, live on the margins of society, or, as in this case, go back to jail. Apparently most if not all of Kalman's staggering $37,345 child support debt in Lenawee County, Michigan piled up during his decade in prison.

In 2002 former Los Angeles Assemblyman Rod Wright introduced AB 2245 into the California State Assembly to solve this problem. The bill was killed in committee about a week after my column supporting it was published. Wright is one of the few politicians in the nation to pay attention to fathers' issues, and has done a lot of good work on paternity fraud and child support enforcement abuses. Wright was termed out but will be running for the legislature again next year--I will be supporting him and will let you know what you can do to help.

Feminists, Men's Activists Clash at LA Movie Screening

Feminists and men's activists clashed during a screening of the documentary "Before the Fact" at the Raleigh studios in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 17. The film is the work of filmmaker Michael J. Holland and focuses on violence in intimate relationships. Holland was arrested for shoving his wife in an argument, and accepts full responsibility for what he did. However, he contends that his wife, who he says did everything she could to provoke him, should also be called upon to examine her own behavior. It was an interesting and provocative film.

I sat on the discussion panel along with reverend Jesse Lee Peterson of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), gender studies professor Dr. Hugo Schwyzer, lobbyist Michael Robinson, and Marc Angelucci, president of the National Coalition of Free Men Los Angeles.

I clashed with Peterson, who make several wild and insulting generalizations about women, including "99% of [family] violence is coming from women." After I distanced myself from his comments he accused me of wimping out, and he and got into a brief, angry jawing match in front of everybody.

To read Schwyzer's perspective on the panel, click here. Schwyzer's depiction of the events is accurate enough within the context of (sigh) Hugo's pro-feminist blinders, but I would dispute a few points. For one, since the film focused on men's violence against women and never mentioned women's physical violence against men, it was appropriate to discuss the convincing evidence that heterosexual men are also often the victims of their female intimates' violence. To learn more about male victims of domestic violence, see my column Plaintiff in Suit Against LA DV Shelters is Right to Demand Services for Abused Men (Los Angeles Daily News, 6/12/03).

Schwyzer wrings his hands that there was such a somewhat lengthy discussion of "statistics." While I agree that it went on too long, I also believe that since feminists have so often used fallacious statistics to vilify and stigmatize men, it is appropriate and necessary for men's activists to correct the record.

Schwyzer contends that the feminists in the audience walked out in protest, though I'm not sure that that's what happened. There was a lot of commotion and the camera lights were so bright in my face that it was hard for me to see exactly what was happening. There were certainly many heated exchanges.

Schwyzer criticizes the screening for having an all-male panel with only one pro-feminist panelist. However, filmmaker Adryenn Neuenburg, who organized the event, says she invited several women's groups and feminist activists to be on the panel but they declined.

BTW, Hugo is getting married next week--I congratulate him and wish him luck.

English Fathers' Rights Protestors Go Free After Bridge Occupation

Four English fathers' rights protestors involved in a high profile bridge occupation last November walked free this week--for details, see Fathers' rights protesters walk free after Severn Bridge demo (ic Wales - United Kingdom, 8/16/05).

The popular support these protestors have is evident both in the outcome of the case and the judge's courtroom comments. The bridge protest featured the heroic Jolly Stanesby, a divorced father of one who has been involved in several daring, creative protests. Stanesby handcuffed himself to the English anti-father "Children's" Minister Margaret Hodge at a family law conference in Salford in November, 2004.

Stanesby also spent seven days on Tamar Bridge in Plymouth, England in January, 2004, refusing to come down from his freezing perch despite being told "you could die up there," and then enraging British police by cleverly eluding capture. Stanesby is a registered child care provider and is thus allowed to care for any child in England except his own, who he is barred from calling and is allowed to see only four days a month. Stanesby , who became a registered child minder in the hope he could spend more time with his five year-old daughter, also made news in 2003 as the "Ms. Doubtfire Dad." Stanesby appeared in court dressed as a woman, making the point that if he switched genders he would be treated more fairly.

To hear Stanesby on His Side, go to Nonviolent Resistance by British 'Dads Army' Rocks UK (2/15/05). I also discussed Stanesby in my Address to the 2004 Men's Rights Congress in Washington DC The Future of the American Father (6/19/04). In that speech I defended Fathers 4 Justice's tactics and called for them to be expanded into the United States.

Glenn Quoted on Geisel Statutory Rape Case

I was quoted on the Geisel statutory rape case in the story Columnist Sees Inconsistency in Punishment of Male and Female Sex Offenders (Agape Press, 8/8/05).

Militant Grandmas Fight for Shared Parenting

Three Sides to Every Story is an organization set up by militant grandma Bessie Hudgins to help fathers in their fight to stay in their children's lives after divorce or separation. Hudgins has fought a 16-year battle to keep in touch with three of her granddaughters. Her son is a divorced dad who was pushed out of his daughters' lives. Bessie can be contacted at three3sides@aol.com or at 706-882-2897.

Shared Parenting Advocate Runs for State Legislature

Shared parenting advocate Ron Grignol of Fathers for Virginia has won the Republican Party nomination for a seat in the Virginia state legislature. Grignol is campaigning against Democrat Mark Sickles for the House of Delegates in the 43rd district, and is making shared parenting one of the key issues of his campaign. If successful in the November elections, Grignol hopes to become part of the Civil Law subcommittee of the Courts of Justice Committee of the House of Delegates, which handles family law matters.

I know Ron personally, he's a good man, and a win here would be a definite victory for the fatherhood movement. Obviously only a small percentage of the 10,000+ people on this elist are in Ron's district, but there are many other ways you can help. If you're willing to donate time or money, write to Ron at ron@rongrignol.com.

Mike McCormick, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, calls Grignol a "strong, consistent advocate for family law reform and shared parenting."  David Levy, Esq., president of the Children's Rights Council, says he personally knows Ron Grignol to be a "strong shared parenting advocate who believes in father involvement with their children" and supports his candidacy.

Are You Looking to Earn Money Working from Home?

If you're tired of working long hours away from home and are interested in starting a home based business, check out www.EntrepreneurfromHome.com. Many people are earning good incomes working from the comfort of their own homes, while also being there for those special moments with their children. To learn more, go to www.EntrepreneurfromHome.com or call 1-800-705-0528. Don't your kids deserve to have a happy parent at home?

Tom Ellis' Rantings of a Single Male Sells out First Printing

Congratulations to Tom Ellis for selling out his first printing of The Rantings of a Single Male: Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything. Tom will have a new edition out soon. Rantings describes the rise of feminism from the mid '70s to the present, through Ellis' personal experiences.  Not for the faint of heart, The Rantings of a Single Male is loaded with outrageous stories. The Rantings of a Single Male is available only on Amazon.com. To learn more, click here

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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