The Problems of the Parental Rights Movement – Part Two
Over the past weeks I have been thinking more and more about why the Parental rights movement has not moved forward. I am by own admission “Old School” and damn happy with the fact that I am. I hate smart phones, tablets, and really do not care for a laptop computer (keyboard does not fix my hands). Oh, I can use them; I just prefer the comfort of my desktop and the extra features that I have available to me with it. When I leave home other than my phone which is for talking, I want to leave technology behind.
That being said, on to make a point and explain what I see as a major problem and why this has happened.
The current crop of so-called parental or fathers rights people have a definite lack of respect for history and even more resistance to look at the failure of the past and to learn from them so that this “movement” can move forward. Even after being told and having the proof handed to them that what they are calling for has failed in the past they insist that it is the way to go.
Well boys and girls it is time to sit down and listen to what the old man has to say. I am going to break this down into numerous factors why the movement is not going anywhere.
Political Correctness – Political correctness has gotten to a point where each of you is afraid to speak your mind for fear that you are going to hurt someone’s feelings by telling the truth. That is not political correctness, which is enabling the other person. You have wimped the testicles and breasticles out of yourselves. Men you have become so afraid of being a man that you need to have your man card revoked. Women, you have done the same. You have failed to stand up and have become more worried about someone else thinks of you that you have allowed yourself to become something that you are not. You have lost your own uniqueness as you have allowed others to define you in the hopes that you will be socially acceptable.
Forget what others want you to be and be yourself. It is alright to speak you mind and it is alright to step on toes. It is appropriate to tell a friend to snap out of the self pity party that they have themselves absorbed in and get their head in the game. I didn’t start the mission to change the law by asking someone to hold my hand and feel sorry for me, I buckled down and got to work. I have had people come to me asking for help that have gotten themselves so lost and self-absorbed that they are beyond help. They have made themselves unfit to parent at that point. The need their ears boxed, not their hand held. Some will tell you that they have gotten it from me when they deserved it and it made a difference in what they were doing and the outcome. Life is hard, suck it up.
Education and Technology – This might seem like a it is out of place but I want to address this.
Our education system has failed everyone less than 40 years of age. You were coddled into thinking that you are entitled to something rather than having to work for it. You were passed thru school with mediocre grades and told that it was alright and that you would do just fine. Bull! If you failed to learn a lesson you should have had to redo it until you learned it completely. When I went to school, if I failed a subject, I repeated the subject.
I have sometimes questioned if those in the 18-40 age bracket can even read. Tell them where to find the information they are looking for and while they will say they will look, do they and do they read the information and understand what they are reading? If I did not understand something that I read, I went to someone to ask questions and get answers. I get lots of questions and I answer them but I can tell if someone has read and understood what I gave them to read before.
While the current youth have the highest degree of technology available to them ever, they do not know how to use it to their advantage and how to control it, instead they allow it to control them. I am going to use the example of search engines on the internet. Pull up Google, punch in a couple words, and bingo, you have an answer. But is that the right answer ? Search engines base the results off the most popular results rather than the best answer.
For giggles I pulled up Google and punched in fathers’ rights, it located 83,400,000 answers in 0.43 seconds. As I look thru the first page the majority of the answers are for attorneys and an entire stream of ads for people that want to sell me something, not tell me what my rights are. 10 pages in and I still see adds and attorneys but I have not gotten the real answer. Do the same for mother’s rights and I get 200,000,000 results in 0.45 seconds and it if the same as the fathers rights search, attorneys and ads. I learned nothing but what someone that wants to tap my wallet wants me to hear.
Some time ago I took a phrase and entered into Google and looked at everything until the end of what that search engine had to show. It was a refined search but in doing so I found many scholarly reports that I was unaware of. I also found out information of organizations that have opposed equal custody legislation that I am sure they did not expect would show up in a web search. Doing the same thing before I found a report done by an Ohio Commission on Fatherhood that the commission claims they did not know existed. They asked me for a copy of that report.
Knowledge is power. That simple statement is why there is so much information and so many reports on our website. All out there for the reading and all you have to do is take the time to do that.
Make the search work for you, not against you.
But what do I see many do, post pictures and whine on Facebook. I see then post wrong information that they cannot support with law, case law or procedure. I see some that cannot tell the difference between an actual law and a story or blog post. I had a guy tell me that being a parent was a Constitutional right. I told him, no it is a fundamental right. He them proceeded to pointed a web page that stated that parenting in a fundamental right and tell me that he schooled me. Guess again dude, you can’t read even when it is right in front of you.
I am studied enough to know the difference between a fundamental and a constitutional rights and it was all learned by using the same technology that is available to everyone today. The difference is I took the time, they have not.
Verify – There is a great line from Winston Churchill – “ A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
Absolutely nothing in this word raises my ire more than to see misinformation passed around and it happens every day. Why” because people refuse to check the facts. Parents will complain if a politician says something that is false or complain that a judge says something wrong but they have no problem doing the same when it is themselves.
This continuation of myths is what has and will continue to set back the movement. I especially detest this when it comes from an organization that purports to be leading the charge for change.
I present two examples that have hurt and hurt big.
First one is that the states make money on the Federal incentives that they receive for the collection of child support. This one has gone for too long and it is because too few have taken the time to understand how the incentives program works and what it pays the states for. These incentive came about when the changes were made to allow the states to recoup the money that they disperse on TANF (Temporary Aid for Needy Families), more commonly known as welfare. While the amount of dollars looks large that a state receives it is nowhere near the expense that they occur. Last year Ohio spend nearly $550 Million on the administrative costs for the collection of TANF reimbursements. The Federal government gave them $278 Million towards that cost. Do the math; that is a loss of $272 Million dollars. Common sense would tell one that this is not a money maker for the states.
While states do reserve the right to add poundage fees of to that collection (Ohio adds 2%) this still does not cover the total costs of the program.
The Federal incentives are not based on the amount of child support that they charge, the incentives are only for the associated administrative costs. No, they are not jacking up your child support to get more money because the amount of the order has nothing to do with the administrative costs.
During the last child support guidelines review in Ohio I did finally get them to admit that this 2% poundage fee is a tax, a tax on being a single parent. That admission has been an eye opener for many legislators and it came about because of the use and presentation of the correct, not false information to that review council.
We want shared parenting! – I cringe every time I hear someone say this to a legislator as it show that they person has no idea of current law or what proper terminology is. I have taken the time to look at almost every state’s custody laws across the Nation and I have yet to find a state that does not have shared parenting. Common sense (again with that term) says that there is no need to create a law for something that already exists.
This also holds true for those that claim they want equally shared parenting. Shared is shared is shared, period!
It takes but a few minutes to read the explanation of custody terms that I have put together where I have explained what the true legal meanings is of every legal term associated with custody of a child. Face the fact, that if you get to see and enjoy any parenting time with your child you do have shared parenting. While that share may not be the same size slice of the pie that the other parent of your child has, it is shared.
Learn that when you speak to a legislator about changing the law that what is want is equal legal and physical custody of the child and that should be based on the needs of the family involved and on the fitness of the parents, not on the legally un-definable “best interest of the child” that is currently used by the courts.
When I speak to a legislator I point to what I call the real reason that this standard must be changed and I use case law that dates to 1979 in Parham.
"[O]ur constitutional system long ago rejected any notion that a child is the mere creature of the State and, on the contrary, asserted that parents generally have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare [their children] for additional obligations. . . . The law's concept of the family rests on a presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life's difficult decisions. More important, historically it has recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children." 442 U. S., at 602
That quote strongly suggests that it fit parents will always act to do what is best for their child. It also tells us that it is not the State’s duty to determine what is best for a child and that the decision making process lays firmly in the hands of the parents.
Stop asking for what you already have and start asking for what you really want to law to be. If you don’t know what the terms are or what they mean, read themhere.
Laziness – I said and I am not ashamed to repeat it, today’s’ so-called parents or parental rights advocates are lazy. They will not take the time to study the reports that are available.
They will not take the time to read the actual statutes which are all available on line to read. Often they misapply what they read or interpret the words rather that what they actually say. They will take a section of law from one application and try to make it work for themselves in another section or application.
That is like putting diesel fuel in a gasoline engine, it ain’t gonna work.
Every section of law is written the way it is for the particular application of law that it is intended to control. There is a good reason why custody comes up in reference to children in family law and why it also comes up to holding someone that has committed a crime. Trying to apply the statute that calls for punishment for someone that interferes with a criminal who is being held by the police to someone that you claim is interfering with your right to see your child will get you laughed out of the prosecutor’s office or court every day.
Why do I call this laziness? Because that is what it is. It is being too lazy to read the law and to take the time to make sure that what they thing is correct is really correct. They fail to check and research case law on a subject or even look for scholarly papers written on an issue.
I will go back to what I said before able technology and understanding it and what the source of information is. Many will take the defeatist attitude that an individual cannot look up case law because that is for lawyers and judges only.
Take that palm and firmly plant it to your forehead.
Our dear friends at Google have created a search engine specific to the law. Google Scholar that allows you to search not only Federal case law but case law that is specific to an individual state. It will allow you to set up and receive new cases based on the search criteria that you have asked for. I use this every day and I receive new case law 5 or 6 days a week from them thru saved searches that I have created. I can also use it to find reports on a topic that may be helpful.
I know this concept of actually doing something for yourself or to educate yourself may be foreign to many of you, but it is the way that you make changes to the law and make changes to your own custody situation.
I am not your mother.
I am not your father.
I will not hold your hand while you struggle to understand.
I am the teacher in the most difficult course in your life.
I expect you to work and I expect that you will work hard. I don’t need to do the work because I have already done it.
Best place for you to start in by looking at the newsletter on what it takes to be an advocate. When you finish that, use the contact page to email me your answers.
Ohio Family Rights is a national free association of like minded people that work to comprehensively change the way that states and the courts view custody between divorced and never married people. We have dedicated ourselves to correcting what has long been a major problem of socially engineering fit parents from the lives of their child every day. This goal can only be accomplished by comprehensively correcting the flaws within the “Shared Parenting laws” that are currently in place so that all fit parents and their children can benefit from equal custody. Please join us in our efforts to protect the families of this nation and the future of our children.
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