[AKidsRight.Org] Movie update & Your FEEDBACK on reform goals.

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From: John Murtari (jmurtari@akidsright.org)
Date: Thu Sep 24 2009 - 11:48:45 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

This message contains info on:

1. Support? SYSTEM DOWN - press release & news!
2. Equal Parenting - the Canadian perspective.
3. Your FEEDBACK - How is reform doing?

1.Support? SYSTEM DOWN - press release & news!
If you can get to Atlanta this weekend, come to the Film Festival
where 'our' movie is showing (Saturday, 4pm, maps & details in  links
below).  I'll (John Murtari) be down there late on Friday and all day
Saturday.  It's always good to meet people in person, send me an email
and we can talk.

I'm one of the parents Angelo Lobo, the Producer, interviews in jail
for the Movie.  I've seen the whole film and it does a great job of
telling our story, and more importantly -- it has a BIG effect on
people who haven't been through it.  The common remark is, "I never
know that kind of stuff went on!"  He's put in a lot of work & sacrifice
into this effort -- if you're within a few hours of Atlanta -- take a
little drive down on Saturday!!!  There is convenient subway access.


(shorter version of above link)

http://www.SupportTheMovie.com/ -- Movie site w/trailers.

http:/www.pviff.com/ -- Film Festival site.

2. Equal Parenting - the Canadian perspective.

--- George Piskor <gwpiskor@sympatico.ca>

> Here's what Canadians want in equal parenting legislation as defined
> by Canadian Equal Parenting Council: http://www.canadianepc,com/
> Bill C-422:
> http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3995880&Language=e&Mode=1&File=27
> And I suspect anyone would be happy to have the Australian "gold
> standard" reforms : SPRA
> http://www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/Legislation/Act1.nsf/0/1D1968BB157D8090CA257178000B0A56?OpenDocument

You know, I read the bill and it may be a minor change, but I don't
see it as a goal.  This type of wording:

   (5) The presumptions referred to in subsection (4) are rebutted if
   it is established that the best interests of the child would be
   substantially enhanced by allocating parenting time or parental
   responsibility other than equally.

When you have time take a moment to look here:
http://www.NationalPLC.org/ and look at the core values.  There is a
strong presumption we are FIT & EQUAL parents and the only way to
overturn that is a criminal conviction with jury protection -- not
just the opinion of a single Judge about 'what is best'.What do you

- Reply from George:

> Nice to know that you have found time in your busy life to read our
> proposed Canadian legislation, prepared in large part by the
> coalition itself. Our legislation, patterned on the AU legislation,
> is based on the rebuttable presumption of equal parenting. Central
> to establishing this in law is to specifically identify est
> interests of the child(BIC) as being synonymous with equal parental
> rights, responsibilities, and benefits continuing unabated after
> divorce barring exceptional circumstances.

> To do so, we have defined prioritized and weighted factors for
> consideration in assessing BIC, as most legislation either does not
> define BIC at all, or enumerates factors without any indication
> which are mandatory, etc. This makes BIC arbitrary whether in the
> instance of definitional omission or meaningless enumeration of
> factors.

> Unlike the US, parliamentary systems do not have the intermediate
> lear and compelling evidentiary standard to limit judicial
> discretion and, for now, we have to work within the civil
> standard. Of course, the barrel whether lear and
> compelling evidentiary standard should be applied in divorce remains
> an unsettled issue in the US requiring state by state challenges to
> have it accepted in practice.

> We love nothing better than to have civil jury trials, but that
> beyond the scope of current reality.

> I highlighted in yellow where our legislation is similar to your
> goals, with the grey area being a longer term battle over parens
> patriae that needs to be fought in all western countries as the
> state-parent boundary has been progressively encroached and rolled
> back in the recent unilateral divorce era.

> Last year, we started out with the same concise goals as you
> have. By the time it was turned into legalese, it expanded
> 25-fold.That the reality of legislative drafting standards.

----- included from http://www.NationalPLC.Org/

*  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. Sound strange?,

* In our discussions with ourselves and our public actions, all should
be treated with dignity, respect and compassion. We can condemn injustice
without malice.

* We identify ourselves as 'parents' seeking reform. Our issue is
family rights and the ability to raise & nurture our own child free of
government interference. Our primary focus is NOT men's rights or women's
rights or child support reform.

----- end included text

> Last year, we started out with the same concise goals as you
> have. By the time it was turned into legalese, it expanded 25-foldnd
> that before one gets involved in consequential amendments (ripple
> effects into other legislation).That the reality of legislative
> drafting standards.

> Our starting point, comparable to the intent of your goals, was the
> following definition of equal parenting:

> 'Equal Parenting' (EP) means that:

> a) the legal rights, obligations and benefits of parenthood,
> together with continuity of relationships with grandparents and
> other family members, shall survive marriage into divorce; and

> b) parenting time will be equally shared between parents to the
> maximum practicable extent, unless other arrangements are mutually
> agreed by both parents; and

> c) the above shall constitute the rebuttable option presumed to be
> in the best interest of the child.

> Believe it or not, it took our CEPC coalition committee -composed of
> representatives from various organizations- about six months and
> three rounds of voting plus some hard feelings to agree on the
> above. The moral of the story is that EP is easy to state but
> difficult to pin down consensually. Once we had that, it took
> another three months to draft the legislation.

> I mention this to you to alert you to the possible journey ahead for
> you.  Your goals are reasonable. Getting them translated into
> realistically passable legislation is always another matter.

3. Your FEEDBACK - How is reform doing?
Some good FEEDBACK in response to our last message about different
groups and goals for Family Law reform:

--- Joe Becker <joenascar24@sbcglobal.net>

> WHAT REFORM? Massachusetts is doing NOTHING............

Well, I do agree with you -- and if anything, things are getting worse
as we seem to assume government needs more power to take care of us
and especially to take care of our children.  What about the goals for
the groups below -- what do you think -- and probably more important,
what are you willing to do?

--- Ray Lautenschlager <akron@pacegroup.org>

> Parents And Children for Equality
> http://www.pacegroup.org/
> As an organization we have continually pressed the Ohio Legislature
> to bring froth an equal parenting law so that the courts keep both
> fit parents involved in an equal legal and physical nature. That
> legislation is on line at http://www.pacegroup.org/pace_051.htm and
> currently has support from several House and Senate members.

> We have been pushing to provide parents additional resources of
> information thru our web site so that all the information that they
> need to deal will the problems of Family Court can be found easily
> for them. While we are based in Ohio, we have added a map resource
> so that parents can find help in other states and an easy method for
> other organizations to add their info to our site. This is an effort
> to boost a co-operative spirit among all groups.

> A short time a go we were heavily involved with Galluzzo V Champaign
> County, which sought to have Ohio's Custody law declared
> unconstitutional. While that effort was refused to be heard by the
> US Supreme Court, we have two new suits active that hope to do the
> same in Lautenschlager V Summit County and Evans V State of
> Ohio. Case filings for these cases as well as all the filings in
> Galluzzo are one line for viewing at
> http://www.pacegroup.org/Cases/index.html and gladly answer
> questions of anyone interested in these cases.

I read the law, and it is stronger than a lot of stuff I have seen:

        "...for equality between the parents except where clear and
        convincing evidence shows that equal legal and physical access
        would be harmful to the children..."

But I'm not sure if that is a strong enough goal that really protects
Family rights? When you have time take a moment to look here:
http://www.NationalPLC.org/ and look at the core values.  There is a
strong presumption that we are FIT & EQUAL parents and the only way to
overturn that is a criminal conviction with jury protection -- not
just the opinion of a single Judge about 'clear & convincing' and what
'harm' is?

--- "Aarde V. Atheian" <Athein@ca.rr.com>

> I'm a member and a periodic cyclical contributor to all of the top
> five organizations. All of them are doing fine. The only thing that
> needs to happen is for a Bill Gates and everybody like him to
> realize that he is a voiceless intimidated slave too late to be
> rescued. His only redemption is to make a billion dollar donation to
> our top five organizations so that the leaders at least do not get
> burned out trying to do all the work by themselves.

I know you think about this stuff. I got some good emails back, but a
lot of the proposed laws were about 'rebuttable' presumptions of equal
parenting, or maybe require the judge to find by 'clear & convincing'
evidence if equal parenting would NOT be in the child's best interest.

As long as a single person decides -- how can you get rid of bias &
prejudice?  I don't see any reform base on letting the government make
a determination of 'best interest'.

We need a 'wall' between government and family.  If you have time take
a look at the core values at http://www.NationalPLC.org/ -- what do
you think?

If we don't have an 'ideal' -- I don't think all of Bill Gates
billions are really going to make a difference???  I think you have
seen all the talk about 'rights' on the mailing lists -- well, if this
is such a valuable 'right' -- what are people willing to sacrifice to
make it a reality?  I don't get a lot of response on that.

-- Aarde's reply

> I don't think our crisis is in not being able to agree or coalesce
> around a platform. I am a member of NationalPLC.org and I agree with
> every word in your blog. I also would like to remind you that the
> Libertarian party has called for the complete withdrawal of all
> government from matters of divorce, marriage and private
> relationships. It has no business interfering with any of it. That
> would be the simplest and cheapest of all solutions.  

> Perhaps we should urge all disfranchised parents to become members
> of the Libertarian Party. We need to start something big. It only
> comes with big numbers and big money.

--- Scott Hopkins <shopk7@yahoo.com>

> I think we have a few issues to overcome as far as pushing forward:
> 1) ignorance and apathy - many people I speak with (a) don't
> understand their (and their children's) basic rights under the
> Constitution, (b) don't understand how those rights are being
> violated, and (c) are bogged down with an apathetic mindset that
> chains them to a "this is just the way it is" position.   

> 2) culture - especially when I speak to Christians about the divorce
> industry, they have ingrained in them the idea that men are supposed
> to be the providers (which in normal situations I would agree with)
> and so ought to take it like a man and pay up. I think perhaps this
> is why the church really hasn't taken any position on this (and
> maybe an unwillingness to acknowledge that the divorce rate in the
> church is the same as society as a whole). People really don't see
> it as a problem. "So you have to pay

> I like what Glenn Sacks is doing. We need to influence culture even
> more than we influence politicians. There are very few statesmen
> elected these days, men who vote for what is right because it is
> right; most are only interested in staying in office. They are
> weaklings, but that is what we have to deal with. Change the
> cultural mindset that views men with disdain and the politicians
> will follow. 

--- Dan Diebolt <dandiebolt@yahoo.com>

> There is good news in Michigan John. The FRC is merging with Fathers
> for Equal Rights of America, Inc. founded by Al Lebow in 1979 - 30
> years old this year. This gives us 501(c)(3) status and saves FERA
> for dissolution. Here was the post announcing the merger:
> FRC to Merge with FER of America Inc
> I am very happy to announce that after extensive negotiations and
> planning, we have reached an agreement to merge Fathers for Equal
> Rights of America Inc with the Fathers Rights Coalition (this
> group). Founded in 1981 by Al Lebow of Southfield Michigan, Fathers
> for Equal Rights of America Inc is believed to be one of the oldest
> fathers support and advocacy groups in the nation.
> Lebow's group has for decades served fathers in their quest to be
> equal parents to their children following a couple's separation or
> divorce. Fathers For Equal Rights of America is distinguished among
> all parental rights groups as having an uninterrupted history of
> monthly meetings for close to three decades often with standing room
> only attendance. Founded in April of 2003 by Dan Diebolt of
> Pittsfield Township Michigan, the Fathers Rights Coalition has
> provided an consistent internet presence for the discussion of
> parenting, advocacy and of family law reform issue and represents
> one of the largest and most active online communities for support
> and family law reform. The combined organizations have formed a new
> board of directors and will continue to expand their operations,
> services and projects in support of their mission to insure every
> child has the right to equal access to both parents.
> Thanks are extended to the many people who have cooperated to make
> this merge possible. More information will be made available as we
> implement our plans to merge the two organizations in the coming
> weeks and months.
> Al Lebow, Founder, Fathers for Equal Rights of America Al Lebow has
> been active in family law reform for nearly thirty years.  Al has
> devoted most of his life to issues affecting fathers and
> children.  He is nationally recognized as plain spoken source of
> common sense and wisdom for parents and children.  For over three
> decades, Al has been working to protect families from unwarranted
> government interference in family life.
> http://secure2.convio.net/acfc/media/video/cprtv/2007-CPR-TV-Show-12.wmv

--- Fran Griner <gfgriner9@yahoo.com>

> The problem is we spend one billion for Mother's Day and one million
> for Father's Day.  That would indicate that fathers are not as
> important as mothers. (Now I surely don't believe it, but a lot of
> others must.)   

--- Cheryl Carlson <carlsonalvn@yahoo.com>

> This tired lady is working overtime to pay the attorney dealing with
> appeals court. Being pro se nearly killed me with trying to study
> law while working as nurse and being to emotional about
> subject. Attorney supports my plan to sue state,referring 2
> attorneys to bar and the assessment that it was dirty deal all
> around.

> Meanwhile CPS is being investigated and I am asking lots of
> academics to get involved. Being a bit blonde is not so
> threatening..friend calls it velvet hammer. I still have complaint
> with office of civil rights in play. I am still active with
> statewide groups.

> Must keep a dignified, calm rational profile while all this is
> working through the courts..not what I would prefer.

> Thinking how cool would be to tie a helium filled balloons( can get
> one dollar tree for $1) on a flat bed semitrailer for each
> person..adult or child damaged by CPS/courts and have it go to state
> capitol each state..have banner explaining it around the balloons in
> transit. Have it go on a tour and keep adding balloons and everyone
> also sign a card for the governor of state. After speech at capitol
> release balloons with some prayer that maybe God will help since the
> governor won't...thinking of making neat photo op.

I can appreciate your exhaustion at the legal process!  CPS in this
country has become too powerful in its ability to threaten families --
you really have few protections.  What about goals for reform?  A lot
of groups were mentioned in the message -- what do you like?

---  Ramon Collins <ramon_collins@hotmail.com>

> I think that there is a message getting out there to the youth, the
> persons who being affected by the social engineering and political
> profiteering by taking the financial wealth of families and moving
> it into paying for lawyers and other family system practitioners.

> Young girls have discovered that they have no reason to wait for the
> "right man" to marry. Men are not required for having a family. They
> have a baby and then start making demands of the father, the state,
> and the systems that encourage her to be dependent while try to get
> what she wants, motherhood.  Young boys have learned over the past
> few decades that they can be the leader of their household one day,
> as their authority these days is delegated by the mother of their
> child. They deeply understand that men have become optional to the
> mother of their child, and one man is an increasingly rare option,
> so they wait and wait and find no one to trust.
> The result of these two mentalities is what we see on Jerr Springer,
> Divorce Court, and many other TV Shows that our children see: No
> Trust, No Traditional Family, and a third generation where one
> parent is missing by choices.
> I think that we my be making progress because the results of failed
> policies and untrue beliefs are now beging to leave a stench on
> society. Domestic violence is equally initiated by women as men;
> Children in single parent households without father involvement have
> a much higher rate ot school drop out, teen pregnancy, and
> involvement in the criminal justice system; generation of single
> parent households have left young adults without the gender bases
> family skills to survive with a spouse long term (Men are from Mars
> and women are from Venus is correct in understanding that we are not
> alike and everything is not interchangeable).

> If the Family Court system would disconnect from the false domestic
> violence charges and start to challenge and punish known lies under
> oath, the system would go a lot smoother. If the financial promise
> to mothers were lessened by fixing the Child Support Guidelines to
> truly reflect nearly equal lifestyles for middle class families
> rather than taking every thing dad has for a decade or more, and
> then tracking child support use under a reasonable formula, more
> families would stay together.

> The stupid excuse that if my ex buys a very lavish car with the
> support payment because the child rides in the car has got to
> stop. My child needs a college education fund too,and does not owe
> mom a better car to drive to work in. There needs to be rules on
> where MY earnings are spent. Slavery should be over.

> Progress but the next generation is going to rewrite these rules
> based on what pain these systems have caused over the last 30 years.

You mention a few minor Family Court fixed below -- but what should be
our goal?  What do you like in the goals from the other groups?  More
importantly, how much are you willing to do to change things?

--- Lewis Betcher <wildmansounds@yahoo.com>

> It's wildman & just informing we are to meet with Congress OCT
> 1st. Jeff Dick & I will be sitting in congress with over 56 rep's we
> have in our corner please feel free to bring as many you can,we are
> all fighting the same war&this war id for the future and end of all
> the troubles these broken home kid's must live....

I'd be happy to share the news of a meeting with others.  Can you give
me some details on your goals?  Any web links?  And when/where, who
people should contact.

-- Lewis' reply

> I'll forward you the F4J site where you can find all specifics..but
> its in passing our reform bill we have set for that day...Wildman

---  Clarence Maloney <ct_maloney@hotmail.com>

> Thanks for all your good work. I am on assignment in a development
> project in Afghanistan so can't do much in USA. I am already a
> member of several of the organizations. I'm trying to get
> legislators in Maryland to legislate presumptive equal parenting. It
> would be good if the Model State Legislation on Parental Rights could
> be pushed through in all the states. Let's work hard on that. I
> don't have much hope for the proposed US Constitutional Amendment,
> though it is a good proposal.

                                       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/

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