Introspection on reform - some solid FEEDBACK from you!

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Tue Mar 31 2009 - 14:21:46 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

There was a lot of good FEEDBACK from the last list message. To read
the original message: 

"Family Law reform movement - time for introspection?"

For first-timers: The messages you sent in are preceded by a ">" on
the left.  If there is some back & forth, you get the last word!  If
you didn't have time to write in, someone below probably has expressed
your view.

NOTE - At the end there is a message from a parent who walked away
from his kids.  I wonder how many friends told him it was a "good
decision" to "move on". You?

--- "AdVader" <>

> I rest my case, you are unchangeable, I have unsubscribed from your
> epistles

--- "A. Clark" <>

> I read often, but never comment.  I have to say this is the best
> email you've written to date, thank you.  The tone of this email
> sits so much better with me than any in the past.

--- "Bob Norton " <> 

> No sea change is required 84% to 86% of people are for equal
> parenting.  The people stopping this are the profiteers inside the
> system.


> Experts have agreed for over ten years now that sole custody is
> child abuse.  Yet divorce judges award sole custody over 85% of the
> time making them the most prolific child abusers on the planet.

> Why? Because states receive BILLIONS of dollars annually from the
> federal government in matching funds for child support (SSA TItle
> IVd). The divorce industry has evolved into a scam to plunder the
> estates of divorcing couples using children as bait.

--- "Ned Holstein" <>

> Your local Assemblyman was not straight with you. Real reform does
> not require a sea change in public opinion. When we asked
> Massachusetts voters in 2004 whether joint physical custody should
> be the usual outcome if both parents are fit and there is an absence
> of domestic violence, we won 86 % of the vote. This is called a
> super-landslide.

> In other words, we already have public opinion on our side --
> bigtime.

> We simply need to build a movement that is larger and better funded
> -- I estimate that it only needs to be about 50% larger than it is
> now --- so that our arguments will be aired in the public
> debate. Right now we are just not heard.

> Soon we will be. And once our message is heard, we will win. The
> other side cannot beat us when our message is, "We love our kids. We
> are fit parents.  We just want to take responsibility for our kids
> and help raise them."

> That's why the other side repeatedly lies about us. They know that
> once the truth is heard, they lose and we win.

> All we have to do is keep on truckin' --keep on adding members and
> funding.  Then we win.

> Ned Holstein, MD, MS
> Chair of Board
> Fathers & Families
> Boston

I was aware of that vote, but I think it was more 'feel good' than
real substance.  To people who haven't been through it, I guess I have
"joint physical custody" right now?  My son is with me for about 9
weeks out of the year?  Do I have a right to EQUALITY?

I went to the Fathers & Families web site and read the 'mission.' -- it just doesn't
seem like it would have made a difference in what happened to me and
others.  I would love to see a link to some proposed legislation that
turns that wording into law.

There is no strong presumption of EQUALITY in time as parents; nor,
the protection of criminal jury to support any finding that I am
unfit?  I see you are a physician.  I'm sharing a copy of your message
with another MD in our group, Dr. Malcolm Hatfield, who lives in
Wisconsin -- you can read about what happened to him at:

I think the goals/precepts at the National Parents Leadership Council
web site, http://www.NationalPLC.Org/, capture the Civil Right's
nature of our cause.

What do you think?  Do they go too far?  I think this is a useful
discussion because I feel the lack of a solid goal for reform is
stopping us from being more united & effective.

Also -- the thrust of my message was the need for personal sacrifice
to demonstrate the depths of our beliefs? I absolutely agree with what
you say, that we need to show 'we love our kids' -- nothing shows what
more than sacrifice. Your thoughts?

--- Ned's reply:

> We've built the biggest and best-funded family court reform
> organization in the US -- but we need more sacrifice from our
> members, such as yours.  We have built a great deal of support for
> shared parenting legislation in Mass, and Will soon do so in other
> states.

--- Rinaldo <>

> Questions asked, questions answered:

>> [quoting the original list message]
>> * Like to share news messages where Mom kills/abuses the kids.  
>> I think it's done to show women are flawed also; although recent
>> news stories show men win hands-down when it comes to murderous
>> rampages.  I ask, "what's the point?"

> THE POINT:  More moms and non-biological father hurt children than
> biological father.  Therefore, arguments that it is too dangerous to
> leave children with dad because of their violent propensities is
> undermined.  You should read article by Glenn Sacks on this point. 
> The media constantly portrays fathers and the one's that hurt
> children and this anti-father stereotyping hurts us.

>> I've been told it's education?  Especially necessary to report the
>> excesses of the Feminazis! We need to present these facts to the
>> public so they can form a balanced opinion.  I ask, "of what?"

>> Like to share news of the foster parent that kills/abuses the kids.
>> Same arguments as above, only applied to social services!

> THE POINT: That when children are removed from homes for
> questionable reasons, they might be inflicting greater trauma on the
> child by placing them in a foster home.  Foster parents having a
> history of being violent towards children suggest that the
> government should think twice before removing a children from
> his/her home.

Yes, I see what you are saying on both of these.  But I guess it begs
the obvious response from 'them' -- "we took your kids away from you
because the Judge thought you were no good.  It wasn't in their best
interest to stay with you...."
>> Stories of corrupt judges, lawyers, and politicians.   More of
>> the same rationale?  Again, "What's the point?"

> THE POINT: Judge's are not always motivated by the best interest of
> the child.  If the extreme case is true, it is plausible that they
> support sole custody because it keeps lawyers employed.

This is the one that really bothers me.  Do you really feel that a
Judge has the authority to decide what is in your child's 'best
interest'.  Do children have some kind of 'right' to parents who
always do what is in their 'best interest?'

To me, this is the crux of the issue.  There are some pretty clear
goals on the National Parents Leadership Council home page, -- what do you think?

> * Lastly, I need help with MY kids. What can you do for ME?
> AGREED: Too many--way too many--worry about themselves and do too
> little for the cause.  Fathers4Justice in England makes it a policy
> to never champion individual cases.

One last big question for me.  The point of my message was to show the
need for personal sacrifice in our effort for reform.  What do you

--- Rinaldo's reply:

> I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said at the signing of the
> Declaration of Independence: "Gentleman, we shall all hand together
> or hang separately."   For the vast majority of separated or
> divorced fathers, they have decided to hang separately, though never
> having felt so wounded.

--- "John Kulic" <>

> John,I am willing to do what ever I have to,enable to change this
> system. Let me know and I will do it.I am so tired of the corrupt
> Judges,Lawyers,and the woman who think they have rights.I know that
> everybody will be accountable in front of God and will bowel in
> front of God and speak from their tongue,so email me and I will get
> on the band wagon.

Glad to hear what you are willing to really take action.  I'd ask you
to take a look at the following links and take the time to read what
is there and some of the history.  Then let me know how you feel,


--- Brian Downs <>

> Good Stuff.  Don't give up!                                               
> Here are some of the things I am doing: 
>  Yesterday - Drive 300 miles with two other guys to court watch in Oakland 
>      County Michigan Case                                                         
>  Elected to precinct delegate                                             
>  Attend many Republican party County meetings, County Conventions, State  
>      Party Conventions etc.                                                       
>  Ran for Family Court Judge in Nov. 2008, was on the ballot, in the news, 
>      and got 50,000 votes, put not enough to win.                                 
>  Rode bicycle from Michigan to D.C. for Equal Parenting Bike Trek and DC  
>      Festival                                                                     
>  Tomorrow I go to my own show cause hearing and may be sent to jail.(I    
>      wonder how long I can go without eating!!!)                                  
>  Never give up.  Most revolutions are sparked by only a small percentage  
>  of the population.   

Glad to see you are keeping busy!  50,000 sounds like a lot of votes,
nice job!  If you wish to share your hearing/jail story, send me some
paragraphs and I can post it on the list. People can learn from that
and your thoughts.

--- Gary Stenson <>

> ... The problem is that movements like this are too factionalized.
> I'm hoping Glenn Sacks (ACFC) can do something to bring many of
> these groups together.  There's also another group called Families
> Unite which always puts out really good info regarding CPD
> misuse/abuse.

I share your view that things are too divided, but I think what we are
missing is a clear goal we are all for?  Most groups don't make any
clear statement of what 'parental rights' should be?  When you have
time I'd appreciate your thoughts on the goals displayed here:

--- Steven <>

>  legislators hear testimony and do nothing. Government doesn't
>  work. I have been sickened after seeing this for years and years.

... I quite agree -- but, the people involved in those Civil Rights
movements of the past would have said the very same thing (and it
would have been true).  But, eventually, they had the Faith to stand
up for their rights and sacrifice for what they believed in.  Then
things changed.

Many of us aren't ready/willing for personal sacrifice for change,
then why get so worked up and frustrated about the lack of justice.
Just accept it.  The legislators are thinking the same way you are.
This 'family law reform' is a dangerous topic, I could get voted out
of office -- why risk it?  Your thoughts?

--- "kpatbrady" <>

> The ONLY way men will ever level the playing field and/or gain the
> upper hand in these repulsive gender politicized family law issues,
> is to teach our sons to put an infinite premium on what every young
> woman wants, and what only they have got.  SPERM to fertilize their
> girlfriends ultimate childhood fantasies.

> When a whole new generation of young men start holding back until
> they get their rights in writing, the Hillary Rodham Clintons of the
> world will start dropping their maiden names and gender politics.

> Teach our Boys to " JUST SAY NO TO INDISCRIMINATE $UCKING" !!  >

I guess I can't be as cynical about the chances for the future.
Imagine what blacks would have said about whites during segregation?

My message was about the necessity of personal sacrifice to
demonstrate belief.  I assume you disagree?

---  Marilyn Trevino <>

> Kiddo, your righting reflects brightly, a deep serious distaste
> for uh S P R E A D of people; so long.

> The People are plainly and quite beautifully moving swiftly,
> compared to the composition and size of the patriot net of 10 years
> ago, to  downsize this thieving government you have spent your life,
> ('cept your once a year spring time with the kids), preparing to
> "reform."

> Betcha they will be falling like flies in less than five years. 
> I suggest you rest from these rambling unintelligible fiery senseless
> assaults on whatever target fancies you in your path these many
> years and let US handle it.

--- Cheryl Carlson <>

> I so get the frustration,has been 20 mos of dealing with corruption
> in Texas on top of dealing with hurricane damage and failing
> economy.some of the people I have met are so hurt or damaged they
> will never be able to advocate or hold their heads up again.Not
> everyone is going to feel they have the power to make a
> difference,some only feel able to hold me when I cry or provide me
> with makeup tips and clothes for battle,others pray for me without
> ceasing,still others listen to me and let me vent and grieve
> redirecting me when I get wildly off track.

> I am reading the book "tipping point" by Malcolm Gladwell which is a
> must read for what we are doing..found it at 1/2 price books.Tell
> how to create a revolutionary change. Please read it.

> I don't tolerate the nattering on the reform groups, I am out to get
> the educational requirements for workers changed,reviewing
> supervisors already in place,requiring
> honesty,integrity,responsibility in CPS, getting them out of
> adoption,making them the failsafe for child mental health services,
> making them provide family services...when I am done with that they
> should be doing much more on less money. Plan on seeing Texas being
> the first state doing this...I raise goats,am a Taurus,am Swedish
> many ways can I tell you I get my way.

> to blow off stress got a bull whip,want to get very good with it..I
> don't know why...seems safer than gun.  I haven't been arrested yet
> but oh my the hassling I am getting..once the papers get to the Bar
> and I have meeting with county commissioners, put up a few
> billboards..It could get interesting.

> Peace, love and joy...this is really what we are fighting for isn't it??

--- "Connie Brauer" <>

> Nice letter.  We just came back from court yesterday in NS.  We have
> filed a lawsuit against NS and Canada for violations of our Charter
> rights.

> No defense was filed so we asked for a default judgment.  All of a
> sudden both AG's rep are there to apply for dismissal.  We filed for
> all of us.  We are still paying for a missing 22 adult man whom we
> have not seen in 4 years.

> Is he dead or alive? Don't know. Money still goes out to the ex.
> Nine judges have refused to terminate child support. Why?  Still no
> answer.  WE are risking everything for everyone.  Take care.


> I Wish Above All Things That You May Prosper and Be In Good Health"

Glad you took the time for real legal action.  I'll pass your message
on to our list.  Please try to post a copy of your legal paperwork at
your website soon so people can read it if they wish.  May give them
some ideas.

I know a lot of parents in Canada.  I think things are bad here in the
U.S., but it definitely seems worse there with government 'managing'
your family -- but we may be headed the same way.

--- John Janmaat <>

> I've pulled myself off of the list because it was mostly a rant
> about how poorly fathers who do not have custody are treated, and
> example cases as you describe below.  I joined when I was in the
> midst of a separation, with an uncooperative former partner who it
> seems would love nothing more than if I would simply disappear,
> beyond sending the cheques.  That situation has not changed.
> However, I do have to ask myself what the point is of fighting.  Who
> is going to be hurt?  I will loose money.  The mother of my children
> will loose money.  The children will be tugged, no matter how much
> we may try to shield them, by the hostility we have towards each
> other.  I right now have a difficult time even making contact with
> my children.  While I call every day, mostly I simply leave a
> message as they don't answer the phone, and their mother makes it
> their choice.  I don't see it as right, but what do I do?  The
> mother of my children has no desire to be a cooperative co-parent,
> and no legal settlement is going to change her attitude.  I can
> continue to fight, hurting myself and the people in this world I
> love most, or I can accept that most of my children's lives, and
> much of my interaction with them, is under the control of their
> mother.  If I can come to accept that - I'm still not there, but
> working on it - then perhaps at least they won't have to suffer from
> the continuing conflict between their mother and I.
> It is an unfair, unjust situation.  However, in my situation at
> least, I don't see anybody winning by continuing the fight.  It is
> incredibly painful to see myself slowly but surely fading from the
> lives of my children, lives that I was very much involved with, and
> that I very much wanted to continue being involved with.  It is
> frustrating that their mother does not do anything to continue my
> connection with my children, when most of the psychological evidence
> says that that is one of the best things she could do for the
> children.  However, I am powerless.  All I can do is be the loyal
> father, keep my children as my focus, and hope that as they age, my
> continuing presence, even if little more than a message on the
> answering machine, gives them the confidence that they never lost my
> love.  Maybe when they are on their own, they will be open to my
> returning into their lives in the way that now I am not able to.
> I think that what perhaps should be the focus of the campaigns
> should be a parallel to the women's movement.  The woman's movement
> keeps parroting the notion that there is a gender wage gap.  There
> are statistics about where the children are - single families headed
> by women vs those headed by men.  There could be surveys conduced to
> see how many men who are not the primary parent would want to be.
> Show the disparity.  There are studies that show children are best
> served by a strong relationship with both parents.  Show statistics
> on who ended the marriage - 2/3 women.  Maybe some research on
> parental alienation is needed.  There is research that looks at how
> frequently children have contact with their non-residential parent.
> Are they asked whether they would like more or less contact?  Are
> they asked why?  Is this matched with the non-resident parent, to
> ask them why they are not in contact?  There is some of this work,
> but not much.  The screaming cry baby approach does not work.
> However, maybe some fact, and in parallel with the women's movement,
> would.

Our stories are in many ways very similar. Perhaps you have a 'crutch'
in saying you don't want to fight?  I certainly have not been
'fighting' my former spouse.  As you I have continued to show my love
for Domenic in every way I can.  I tell him about the 'good times',
mom & I had together.  I don't sugar-coat here 'distaste' for me.  I
just tell him 'it happens' and that it is a product of a bad system
that does not recognize our valued right to be a parent to our own

John, the thrust of my message was the necessity of personal sacrifice
to demonstrate our belief?  What do you believe?  What are you willing
to sacrifice to make that a reality?

--- Tess <>

>  I don't think any father should risk what time he does have with
>  his child(ren).  To work for more means treading very carefully, to
>  be able to move ahead and not backward. 
>  Today's economic times are making it even harder on fathers.  If
>  they have a job, they can't risk losing it.  It allows dad to have
>  a place for his child(ren) to visit him and to afford the
>  transportation, if there is distance between him and his ex.
>  The one thing is clear, as far as our elected officials are
>  concerned, and that is numbers.
>  Dads will need to be attending the sessions involving issues
>  related to dad and his children - that is dads from all over the
>  state.  It may mean renting  buses to get dads and their supporters
>  to and from.  It means organizing for that day - starting months
>  ahead.
>  To avoid the day changed at the last minute by Congress (through
>  some manipulation of people opposed) because they know so many
>  people will be there, the organization needs to be done quietly,
>  like through a tree-phone, and not openly on a dads' site, where
>  I'm sure there are spies.
>  We also need to be able to get as many dads and supporters out to
>  demonstrate in front of the capitol and in front of their elected
>  officials when they are expected home and to have it covered by the
>  media.
>  If dads and their supporters know plenty of time ahead of time so
>  they can get their work schedule changed for these important days,
>  it can be done.  I believe a dad should keep his job and not go to
>  jail if possible.  It just seems to work against him.
>  I think a complete Wisconsin study over the past 10 years of how
>  many  mothers got the children, how much time dad got the children,
>  how much were each parent court ordered to pay for child support,
>  and did either go to jail for nonpayment? for how long?  We need a
>  complete study on this.  We also need to include how many TROs were
>  requested by each party?  How many false allegations were filed and
>  by which parent and for what?  What were the consequences?  We need
>  complete histories of all paternity and divorce custody suits.
>  If I ever won the lottery, I'd be paying for a complete study in
>  each state, and then mailing the results to every adult.  We need
>  it.  Our children need it.

Thanks for writing and many people feel as you do.  I used examples
from the past in my message; much of what you say would have been very
true of a Black father getting ready to sit in the front of a bus to
show his belief in equality.  Many of them lost their jobs, and some
had their homes burned down by the Klan -- do you think those kind of
efforts were not needed to change how people think?

You mention the need for a 'study' below.  Should there have been
studies back then to prove why a Black man should be allowed to use a
White bathroom?  Would it have mattered then, or would it matter now?

--- Tess replies:

> I believe we need the research so it can be proven with hard
> evidence the discrimination practices in our courts.  That's what
> will get the media to look at it.  If a father loses his home or
> job, he could lose the time he now gets with his children.  And
> losing a job or home would be used against him in court.  

> I do believe that dads and their supporters have to be seen in great
> numbers in demonstrations, and like showing up in great numbers when
> there is a legislative hearing on a fathers' right issue.  And like
> everyone writing and calling their governor, their representatives
> in the legislature.  Numbers are important, are crucial.  The civil
> rights movement was greatly different because it involved all
> blacks, now just a subgroup.  

> I'm not diminishing what you have done.  I hope you didn't it take
> it that way.  You had a lot of courage.

Thanks for the reply and explanation!  No offense taken.

--- Kept anonymous by me - What do you think of this?  What advice
would you have given this parent about giving up on his kids?

> ... It is not society who's opinion that you have to change, it is
> these assholes making money off this system that are the problem, 
> they don't want it changed because it affects their pocket books,
> it's all about the money! 

> I have fought for the past 10 years and spent in excess of $75,000
> dollars, my x-BFH (Bitch From Hell) has been found in contempt of
> court twice in 4 years but the judge always stays the sentence, the
> last one was 90 days in jail (the max allowed).  So, I have finally
> decided to terminate my parental rights and walk, they have agreed
> to adopt and have already dropped all child support payments.  I am
> current on my child support but I couldn't bear the thought of
> having to pay for my children and not be able to see them or talk to
> them and have to go to a therapist every 3 to 4 years for 6
> months because I made the grave mistake of marrying a BFH.  

> My son is 10 (11 in July) and is sad and depressed because of the
> issues and my daughter who is now 13(tomorrow in fact) has become
> my worst fear (the clone of my x-BFH), this all started after the
> past 4 years of little or no issues because my son wanted to spend
> more time with me and was talking about coming to live with me.  I
> do have a 3 1/2 year old daughter that I live with that misses her
> brother and sister terribly and frequently askes about them (like
> every 3-4 days).  

> I became fearful that the court would try and take her from me as
> well, that was partly the basis for my decision and the fact that my
> x-BFH and her husband make between 300-400K per year so the children
> will be financially taken care of, although they are emotionally
> screwed,  I was allowed to have a final meeting with them and
> explain my decision to them - the constant litigation and
> accusations were tearing them apart.  

> Anyway, this was how things are for now and hopefully they will come
> around when they have the right to make decisions in their own lives
> someday.  Until then I will move on with my life and try and keep
> the courts and the f%$&ing rest of the government out of my
> life.  

> P.S. I quit flying the flag the day they took my kids out of my life
> and I have not and will not fly it again.  I am a former Infantry
> Officer with the Big Red One but I will leave it up to the
> politicians to defend the country that they f^%&ed up, let the
> politicians, lawyers, psychologists, judges, guardians, their
> children, and the rest of the assholes fight and die defending
> whatever rights are left in this country!   

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation and most of all that you
decided to give up on your kids and "walk."  It's a terrible system.
I have seen first hand how they can grind you into the ground and many
parents just give up.  The pain & uncertainty are just too much.  It's
like trying to walk across a mine-field blind-folded -- they are just
waiting for a miss-step.

While I can understand what drives a parent away from their kids, and
what makes some consider suicide.  I cannot agree with your decision
to 'walk'.  It is not about the kids, it's about you and your lack of
Faith that things can get better.  You are affirming for your kids
that Dad didn't care that much - he didn't want you anymore.  What a
gift to leave for them?

You complain about your former spouse, judges and lawyers -- please,
perhaps you also live in a house of glass?  I do also, and that's why
I try to be polite about the conduct of others. I've got my own

I'm a former officer also.  You just don't walk away from your men or
your family.  Maybe you had a good thought when you said you would
'stop flying the flag' -- it certainly would not have been protected
by folks with similar ideas about life?

You are probably 'steaming' by now.  Forgive me for being blunt and
only you know the entirety of your situation.  But walking-away while
taking parting shots at the others is a combination I find hard to
understand.  Most folks might agree with you (and many might have made
the same decisions), but I have to challenge you with a different

I also acknowledge I may be totally mistaken and just making a bad
situation worse.

                                       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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