Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Phyllis Schlafly :: Townhall.com Columnist
Family Court Injustices to Men
by Phyllis Schlafly
Did you know that a family court can order a man to reimburse the government for the welfare money, falsely labeled "child support," that was paid to the mother of a child to whom he is not related? Did you know that, if he doesn't pay, a judge can sentence him to debtor's prison without ever letting him have a jury trial?
Did you know that debtor's prisons (putting men in prison because they can't pay a debt) were abolished in the United States before we abolished slavery, but that they exist today to punish men who are too poor to pay what is falsely called "child support"?
Did you know that when corporations can't pay their debts, they can take bankruptcy, which means they pay off their debts for pennies on the dollar, but a man can never get an alleged "child support" debt forgiven or reduced, even if he is out of a job, penniless and homeless, medically incapacitated, incarcerated (justly or unjustly) or serving in our Armed Forces overseas, can't afford a lawyer, or never owed the money in the first place?
Did you know that when a woman applying for welfare handouts lies about who the father of her child is, she is never prosecuted for perjury? Did you know that judges can refuse to accept DNA evidence showing that the man she accuses is not the father?
Did you know that alleged "child support" has nothing to do with supporting a child because the mother has no obligation to spend even one dollar of it on a child, and in many cases none of the "support" money ever gets to a child because it goes to fatten the payroll of the child-support bureaucracy?
These are among the injustices that the feminists, and their docile liberal male allies, have inflicted on men. The sponsor was former Democratic Senator from New Jersey and presidential candidate Bill Bradley.
His name is affixed to the Bradley Amendment, a 1986 federal law that prohibits retroactive reduction of alleged "child support" even in any of the circumstances listed above. The Bradley law denies bankruptcy protections, overrides all statutes of limitation and forbids judicial consideration of obvious inability to pay.
Most Bradley-law victims never come to national attention because, as "Bias" author Bernard Goldberg said, mainstream media toe the feminist propaganda line, among which is the epithet "deadbeat dads." But one egregious case did make the news this summer.
Frank Hatley was in a Georgia jail for more than a year for failure to pay alleged "child support" even though a DNA test nine years ago plus a second one this year proved that he is not the father. The Aug. 21, 2001, court order, signed by Judge Dane Perkins, acknowledged that Hatley is not the father but nevertheless ordered him to continue paying and never told him he could have a court-appointed lawyer if he could not afford one.
Hatley subsequently paid the government (not the mom or child) thousands of dollars in "child support," and after he was laid off from his job unloading charcoal grills from shipping containers and reduced to living in his car, he continued making payments out of his unemployment benefits.
But he didn't pay enough to satisfy the avaricious child-support bureaucrats, so Perkins ruled Hatley in contempt and sent him to jail without any jury trial. With the help of a Legal Services lawyer, he has now been relieved from future assessments and released from jail, but (because of the Bradley Amendment) the government is demanding that Hatley continue paying at the rate of $250 a month until he pays off the $16,398 debt the government claims he accumulated earlier (even though the court then knew he was not the father).
This system is morally and constitutionally wrong, yet all the authorities say the court orders were lawful.
Another type of feminist indignity is the use in divorce cases of false allegations of child sexual abuse in order to gain child custody and the financial windfall that goes with it. Former Vancouver, Wa., police officer Ray Spencer has spent nearly 20 years in prison after being convicted of molesting his two children who are now adults and say it never happened.
The son, who was 9 years old at the time, was questioned, alone, for months until he said he had been abused in order to get the detective to leave him alone. The daughter, who was then age 5, said she talked to the detective after he gave her ice cream.
There were many other violations of due process in Spencer's trial, such as prosecutors withholding medical exams that showed no evidence of abuse and his court-appointed lawyer failing to prepare a defense, but the judge nevertheless sentenced Spencer to two life terms in prison plus 14 years. Spencer was five times denied parole because he refused to admit guilt, a customary parole practice that is maliciously designed to save face for prosecutors who prosecute innocent men.
I left this comment on site in response to a man hater, see below, spouting the most infamous of the Victim Feminist Stats.
Not a Hater: You destroy your credibility by pulling out all these Victim Feminist factoids that aren't supported by peer reviewed studies. Most of them originated in the Liz Library the propaganda warehouse of victomology's specious arguments. Given single parent females are by far the largest predatory killers of their children and perpetrators of child abuse one could then turn your argument around and state those who would abuse and kill children will also do so to their intimate partners. That argument is as fallacious as yours. The current DV industry is a self feeding female centric operation that requires a steady supply of reported victims to keep getting its funding. If the problem was finding a solution think of all the unemployment and loss of income for its parasitic apologists and hangers on. Its a human problem involving both genders and will not get resolved without changing paradigms. I use sugar free cool aid - keeps me from getting hyper. :)MJM
These are very strange times we live in. On one hand, we have the murder of a high-profile sports figure virtually ignored by mainstream media, since the apparent perpetrator was a woman; on the other, we have somebody like Cathy Young speaking out in the Boston Globe on behalf of the large – and growing – number of domestic violence victims who are male.
While a nominee for the Supreme Court gets away with expressing an obvious bigotry against white males, in San Diego County efforts are being made to correct the damage done to its citizens by that same kind of bigotry.
In the comments section here, I’ve seen readers (both male and female) express a surprising degree of hatred against men I haven’t personally witnessed in years. One man even expressed a notion I’d thought had long ago been debunked – that anyone showing any sympathy for male victims of DV must secretly be supporting the patriarchy in their efforts to systematically beat women down. Talk about old-hat conspiracy theories! I figure the guy has an org to support and needs the attention.
Another commenter (a girl this time) suggested I only need to read some feminist blog to see the evidence of the evil men do. Sorry, dear, but 57 years of living with and around actual men, (three of those years spent around Marines) tells a quite different story. Many different stories, in fact; when the feminist blog has only one, repeated time after time, often with facts altered to suit the running narrative.
At some point the idea of causing as much damage as possible to half the members of society on ideological grounds must be recognized as damaging for society as a whole. The troubles in Ireland, Protestants vs Catholics, were certainly not progressive or healing, neither were the clashes between Serbs and Croats in eastern Europe. While the current war against men has not resulted in open conflict, with bombs and active combat, there are still casualties, with deaths, physical injuries and unlawful imprisonment among them.
Dragging people with serious troubles in their relationships into a war not of their making, forcing them to become supporters of a political cause, is not only dishonest but immoral.
If you believe that the current DV industry has any kind of mandate to provide realistic help for battered women or anyone else, you need to read and comprehend this statement made by Barbara Hart, professional victim and divorce lawyer, whose lucrative legal practice was for many years run on referrals from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, until somebody noticed that might be inappropriate.
As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of male dominance, men will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against women, men will continue to be abusive.
All men benefit from the violence of batterers. There is no man who has not enjoyed the male privilege resulting from male domination reinforced by the use of physical violence . . . All women suffer as a consequence of men's violence. Battering by individual men keeps all women in line. While not every woman has experienced violence, there is no woman in this society who has not feared it, restricting her activities and her freedom to avoid it. Women are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of male violence.
This outrageous and entirely unsupportable statement was featured on many state coalition’s websites, including that of my home state of Arizona for some time. Almost any woman can negate or disprove this statement from her own experience, yet this is the basis on which most of today’s DV programs were founded, and continue to operate, using your tax dollars to do so. It is little more than a conspiracy theory, with more than a dash of hate in the mix.
Try this alternate statement:
As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of female dominance, women will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against men, women will continue to be abusive.
All women benefit from the violence of batterers. There is no woman who has not enjoyed the female privilege resulting from female domination reinforced by the use of physical violence . . . All men suffer as a consequence of women's violence. Battering by individual women keeps all men in line. While not every man has experienced violence, there is no man in this society who has not feared it, restricting his activities and his freedom to avoid it. Men are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of female violence.
In 2009, the second statement makes somewhat more sense, as in a way it depicts the direction things are headed, but it is still divisive and does not actually address the issue as experienced by the vast majority of today’s couples.
Those currently running the DV industry benefit directly from keeping the status quo. Many whose jobs are in the industry only have degrees in women’s studies, which are virtually useless in the job market, and therefore would not have jobs otherwise. Others have spent years building careers on the feminist philosophy of DV and would not last long in an industry based on DV as a human, non-gender-related, apolitical issue. Still others have simply become addicted to the power and control their positions give them over women and their families.
Consequently, they will continue to misrepresent the issue, even when that misrepresentation directly violates concepts such as gender equality and peace they claim to support.
It is true that partner abuse is an uncomfortable, complicated, subject. However, to continue to allow those claiming expertise, while only operating out of self-interest and bigotry, to manipulate and control the fates of thousands of families every year is something we cannot allow to continue. It is up to those of us who do not directly benefit from the industry-implemented war against men to point out the many weaknesses in the industry, among them the fact of little or no return on investment, or the fact that no appreciable change or progress has been made in this industry in decades, while nearly all other human services have evolved and advanced.
We owe it to ourselves and our neighbors: we need to stop hating men, as it will never be enough for those who live on our hatred, and benefit from the misery it causes. We need to realize only those with an agenda say we should hate and despise half our world, while ignoring the needs of the other half.
July 21, 2009
By David Baker
CIVIL rights campaigners Fathers 4 Justice descended on Harrow Crown Court last week posing as Guantanamo Bay prisoners - dressed in orange boiler suits with sacks over their heads.
The protesters, who champion the rights of dads in family courts, held up a sign saying 'separated dad or terrorist – both treated the same'.
They were at the court based in Hailsham Drive on Thursday last week to support a former member of the group who was handed a six month prison sentence.
Geoffrey Hibbert, 49, from Hampshire, was ordered in front of a jury after he clambered to the top of an overhead sign and unravelled banners on the M25, forcing police to close off 12 lanes on the busy motorway.
The desperate dad spent more than eight hours dangling from the sign at junction 14, near neighbouring borough Hillingdon, causing tailbacks of up to 55 miles long.
Despite claiming his actions were not dangerous and were part of a legitimate right to protest, the estranged parent was convicted of one count of causing a public nuisance and a second of endangering motorists, following a trial.
The court was told that more than £14,000 pounds of taxpayers' cash was spent on emergency services during the protest and an estimated £580,000 pounds was lost to businesses effected by the closure of the motorway.
However, spokesman Richard West, from New Fathers for Justice, said: "This trial has been a complete sham from start to finish.
"The sole motivation is political. Mr Hibbert has been made a scapegoat and in the own judge's words, sentenced to deter others."
However friends and family of the defendant criticised the activists for encouraging him to stage the protest and then "leaving him to rot."
Nephew Paul Morrison, 35, said: "Fathers for Justice was a bad influence and took advantage of him. They gave him bad advice and once he had given them publicity they left him to rot."
A tight security presence had been laid on at the hearing with members of the public issued passes to get into the court and a number of policeman sat in and outside the courtroom to deter further protests.However, once police had left the scene around nine campaigners changed into the boiler suits before waving banners outside the court.