Defining what we (you) (Alec Baldwin) believe? MLK Day!

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Sun Jan 18 2009 - 11:23:25 EST

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Good People & People of Faith,

This message is about goals and our willingness to be clear about what
we believe.  As part of some FEEDBACK I got a great thought worth
re-using from Richard Heybroek (

  ".. without hope there is no purpose, without the golden vision
  there is no sense of direction"

Martin Luther King (MLK) day is tomorrow. Many of us remember him and
the first efforts to break segregation in the South.  The famous
boycott of the Birmingham Bus system which had forced blacks to sit in
the back. Actually, they had to sit behind a certain row.  Even if the
back of the bus was full and there weren't any whites -- they still
had to stand.       http://www.AKidsRight.Org/civil_back.htm

   Many don't know that the first goal of the group when negotiating
   with the white City Fathers was this: Just allow the blacks to fill
   in from the back of the bus and the whites to fill in from the
   front, so all seats get filled. To ask for equal seating would have
   been "too radical", they needed to "take it slow."
Thank goodness the City Father's rejected even that humble request --
and the rest is history.  WHAT ABOUT US?  Here are a few thoughts you
may (or may not) agree with:

--- Alec Baldwin/ACFC President (Mike McCormick) interviewed on 
    CNN (Dec 2008) -

  "... I believe 50/50 custody should be the default position for men
  who WANT & EARN 50/50 custody ... West VA has a very important law
  where custody is allocated based on how the parenting duties were
  divided during the marriage... I don't want anyone to automatically
  get custody, I want QUALIFIED men who want it..." -- Baldwin

  "... shared parenting is the solution ... presumption in law that we
  aren't going to favor either parent... [combative parents] they need
  communication skills training ..." -- McCormick

--- Alec Baldwin, also author of 'A Promise to Ourselves' (page 60)

  "I believe that the default position of every family court in this
  country should be fifty-fifty physical custody of the couple's
  children.  The only exceptions should be those commonly held
  objections that include spousal and/or child abuse, drug and/or
  alcohol abuse..., or a parent's inability to provide a home for
  children for any number of economic or emotional reasons..."

--- Prof. Stephen Baskerville, author of 'Taken into Custody' 
    (page 288) - 

  'Yet ultimately it is the very nature of parenthood to declare to
  the world: "Your opinions about my children are of no consequence.
  You do not love my children, and you are not responsible for them.
  If your opinions about what is best for my children turn out to be
  wrong, it is my children and I who must live with the consequences,
  not you.  

  I am not required to conform to your opinions about what is best for
  my children, and I am not answerable to you for how I raise them."'

A Proposed Foundation ( http://www.NationalPLC.Org/ )
Take a look at what we hope is a clear (and brief) definition of
family rights.  If they 'sound like a good vision' to you please
join a growing social network of like-minded people working for
reform, The National Parent's Leadership Council (link above).

* BOTH biological parents have a right to know they have a child.
* BOTH parents are presumed FIT & EQUAL (in terms of both physical and
* legal custody of their children).  If anyone (a spouse, relative, or
* Child Protective "services") wishes to challenge that, you have a
* right to speedy trial, counsel, and the protection of a criminal
* jury and a unanimous verdict. The "state" needs to prove you were a
* demonstrated serious and intentional threat to your child's safety
* and acted with malintent.
* A child has a right to EQUAL contact with BOTH parents. A child does
* NOT have a right to pick a preferred parent. A child does NOT have a
* right to parents who always act in the child's best interest.

How do you think it works in the real world?
Think about how you would reply to these?  You have the opportunity
to answer the same questions (for Membership) at the NationalPLC.Org
web site.  I welcome your comments on a BLOG setup to address these
items:  http://www.NationalPLC.Org/blogs/scenarios/

1. A male is involved in a short-term relationship with someone and
they then drift apart. She told him she was sterile.  Should the male
be notified if a child is born?

2. A female is involved in a short-term relationship with someone who
is a doctor, their OB-GYN, and then drift apart still good
friends. During a later 'medical procedure' with this same doctor he
'takes' an extra egg from her and uses it to implant his sterile wife.
Should she be notified if a child is born?

3. Parent parks car to run into 7-11 to get groceries (less than 5
minutes), leave sleeping child in locked car.  Should they have to
justify their actions in a child protective services investigation?

4. One parent works a 50 hour week, never goes to school events, lets
TV take care of the kids, feeds them fast food (objectively, a very
POOR parent). The other parent is highly involved with the kids, loves
to spend time with them (objectively, a very GOOD parent).  Should we
give MORE time to the good parent after a divorce?

5. When a high-conflict divorce occurs and both parents appear fit
with no allegations of abuse...  A mediator in conjunction with a
custody evaluation with objective criteria should make the final
determination regarding a proper parenting schedule.

6. We have a 16 year old child who is a junior in high school. Time has
been EQUAL between the parents, but the child does not like being with
one of the parents (who objectively does have poor parenting skills).

The child wants to spend much more time living with the good parent
who objectively appears to understand how to better deal with a
teenager and they have close bond. Should this be allowed?

7. Within an EQUAL parenting schedule, the child eventually wants to
get involved in an extra-curricular activity that would reduce time
with one parent. Teachers & counselors agree the activity would be
excellent for the child.  Should a forced schedule change be made?

8. A parent is stopped, with the kids in the car, for DWI. There was no
accident. Should these be a good reason for either Social Services or
the other parent to argue this parent should have their contact with
the kids put under some type of court control/limitation?

9. A clear incident of domestic violence occurred between the
parents. One parent gave a severe slap right to the face of the other
during a heated argument. There are no incidents of either parent
harming the kids. Should we allow this parent to still be considered
FIT and have EQUAL contact with the children?

                                       John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)        http://www.AKidsRight.Org/
A Kid's Right to Both Parents!
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