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Topics - Kitty C.

For those of you who have doubts about the strength of this new law, the following should lay those fears to rest.  Also, this is a call out to those in Illinois, as the IL legislature is the next target.


Dear Members,

I have a number of announcements. I warn you this is a long message!

New information about HF22. This bill will become law July 1st. After the bill becomes law you can ask the courts for Joint Physical Care. The Iowa courts require a change of circumstance, so what qualifies?

First off the bill itself may be considered as a change of circumstance, although it may benefit you to add a second circumstance, for example; I worked long hours when the divorce was final but since then I have changed jobs my schedule allows me more time with the children. Financially I am more stable than I was at the time of divorce, I can afford to care for my children when they are with me. I wasn't thinking strait at the time of divorce, it was an emotional time, I'm much more grounded today! You get the picture!
The reason the courts will have trouble getting around this bill is because the case against JPC is a hard one to win.
If you have a pre-existing case you can still request joint physical care. If your attorney advises against this, get a different attorney!

Recently, I sent out some media coverage about the signing of HF22. One of the articles was written by Tom Simon. Some of the members expressed concerns about the article because it seemed to downplay the effectiveness of the bill. In Mr. Simons defense, he did not know that the Governor was asking the courts and the Bar to get on board with HF22. That along is significant. Mr. Simons is on our side.

I would like you to read Dick Woods response to the article because he explains the history of Iowa law and Joint Physical Care. I think it will help you to understand the significance of HF22. It changes everything!


'Okay, you've read the spin on Iowa's House File 22, signed by Governor Vilsack on May 19, 2004. Mr. Simon may have the experience of his own case in Iowa's courts. I'm speaking from the experience of over 22 years as the head of Fathers for Equal Rights in Iowa, author of the original Iowa joint custody law (598.41 of the Code of Iowa) and the 1984 and 1997 amendments to said law, and helping over 6,600 Iowa fathers to preserve their relationship with their children.

'House File 22 was the next logical, incremental step in the march toward equal treatment for parents in Iowa courts. Need we demonstrate, yet again, that the 1982 law and 1984 amendments created the nation's first legislated standard of evidence to deny a request for "joint custody", defined to include joint legal custody AND joint physical care or joint legal custody and physical care to one parent only. Operationally, by 1997, it was obvious that the courts had a problem reading the inclusive language, even though the staffers of the Legislative Services Bureau offered affidavits stating that the courts were misreading the statute. The 1997 amendments changed the language to make undeniable the fact that joint physical care was NO LESS THAN an equal option to physical care in one parent only.

'After the 1997 amendments were signed into law, numerous judges tried to get around said legislated EQUALITY by refusing to rule on a request, by one parent, for joint physical care IF the other parent asserted that joint physical care was unacceptable. If they didn't have to deal with it at all, then they didn't need to defend the choice of physical care OVER the legislated equal option of joint physical care.

'We spent much of the past four years trying to gain a statutory statement that judges MUST rule on a request for joint physical care by either parent. Tactically, the sponsor took a shot at a legislated presumption for joint physical care in the 2003 legislative session, hoping that the other side would come to the bargaining table with a compromise. Iowa's original joint custody law was based on an evidentiary requirement, to the standard of "clear and convincing evidence". We don't have a history, in Iowa, of using the California "presumption". Even so, it was a commendable effort by the sponsor and chairman of the House Human Resources Committee, Representative Dan Boddicker. That bill made it out of committee but was never brought up for debate. No compromise was offered. Back to the drawing board. Mr. Simon alleges that the change from the presumption to the requirement to prove a negative, "findings of fact and conclusions of law that joint physical care is NOT in the best interest of the child" (emphasis added) is "making the presumptiveness of equal custody less apparent" . I care nothing for what is apparent and EVERYTHING for what is effective!

'In my meetings with our referral attorneys, this is consistent: it's very difficult to prove a negative, that "joint physical care is NOT in the best interest of the child". Mom did more with the kids than dad? Objection, your honor. That's irrelevant. Dad had a D.W.I back in 1996? Objection, your honor. That's irrelevant. Dad is more "fun" while Mom does the really necessary nurturing? Objection, your honor. That's irrelevant. A demonstrated HISTORY of domestic abuse. Okay, that would be a case against joint physical care being in the best interest of the child, BUT LITTLE ELSE! One of our referral attorneys told me that he's spent the past 48 hours (this is being written 48 hours after the bill was signed into law), filing leave to amend his fifty active cases requesting joint physical care and, if contact was made with mom's attorney, he is replying, "Go ahead. Make my day. Make a case that joint physical care is NOT in the best interest of these children."

'All of our referral attorneys are saying "This changes everything" and some of our referral attorneys are calling House File 22 "a miracle." The more intriguing question is, "How did we get Governor Vilsack to sign this bill, since the Bar Association and the battered women's shelters, traditional political allies of Governor Vilsack, were dead set against it?" MY answer is, "He who is with us is greater than he who is in the world."

Dick Woods


Four years ago when I first started a chapter with FFER, we had a small meeting in Clinton Iowa to discuss our future goals. In that meeting there were only ten people in attendance.

One member suggested that we travel to the Capitol and ask Legislators to support a joint physical care bill. That year we were able to get HF678 all the way to the Governors desk, he vetoed that bill. After the Governor vetoed HF678 the membership dropped off dramatically but we never strayed from our goals and two years later the same Governor who vetoed our previous bill signed HF22. He even went as far as to state that this was the most important bill he signed all year and urged the Iowa Bar and the Iowa Judiciary to get on board with the signing, WOW! The Iowa legislators and the Governor heard your sincere messages loud and clear, that's why he signed the bill.

So where do we go from here? We still have much to do. Soon, we will put together contact information for the members of the Iowa Supreme Court. We need to urge them to prioritize JPC. In addition, write your local courts to do the same. Obviously I don't have the contact information but you can contact your courthouse and they will get it for you. I would gladly share your information with others. We need to watch your cases closely, If you request JPC and the courts deny your request without just cause, we need to know about it. I will ask members to contact the courts and complain, we can file complaints and write the Supreme courts about the judge. You get the idea.

We plan to hit major cities in Iowa and Illinois spreading the word about HF22 and how the divorce industry is hurting children. The signing of HF22 will play a big role in Illinois this next session. I personally plan to work with Illinois members and legislators. It is important that the Illinois Legislators know that the Illinois Bar shot down a good bill. I want to focus on Illinois since we have plenty of good people in Iowa who make my job easy.  Public awareness will bring in more support and funding. That's right, this stuff cost money.

Lastly, This is the last year for Representative Dan Boddicker. Dan has worked hard over the last twelve years fighting the Iowa Bar to change custody laws. I'm so glad for Dan that we were able to help him win the fight in his last year as a House Representative. To show our thanks to Dan, we would like to throw him a farewell party. We don't have a date set but it should be sometime mid July. The location may be at the Tipton Iowa City park. We want Dan to think this is a small party but we plan to invite all of the Iowa State Senators and Representatives including the Governor. You and your family members are welcome. It will be a cookout and we should have more details soon. At the party, we will present Dan with a scrap book, in that scrap book there will be letters from you. I urge you to  write Dan a special thanks, make sure you send it to me. Your children can color pictures for him as well. If you would like, include pictures of you and your family, be creative! Please try to get them to me within the next two weeks. I'll have the party plans by then.  

Please, find it in your heart to support the Iowa/Illinois information campaign, no contribution is too small. Please send your contributions to:

Children Need Both Parents
1844 230th Avenue
Delmar, Iowa 52037


Thanks again for your support.


Mark Griebel


Send scrap book letters to:

Mark Griebel

PO Box 168

Albany, Illinois 61230


'In my meetings with our referral attorneys, this is consistent: it's very difficult to prove a negative, that "joint physical care is NOT in the best interest of the child".   EXACTLY what all fathers have had to prove all these years!  But NOW the shoe is on the OTHER foot!
Vilsack signs custody bill


A new law that encourages judges to direct divorcing parents to fully share in the physical care of their children received Gov. Tom Vilsack's strong approval Wednesday.

Vilsack said he saved one of the best bills of the 2004 legislative session, which ended April 20, for last in signing House File 22.

"In too many families in our state, marriages are being dissolved, and children's fate is being decided by courts," the governor said. "With the action taken today, we extend an invitation to Mom and Dad to be very much engaged in the raising of their children."

The law, effective July 1, says that if a divorcing parent asks for joint physical care of a child and a judge denies the request, the judge must explain why it is not in the best interests of the child.

Joint physical care typically means the child lives with each parent about half the time. A more common arrangement is where a child lives with one parent most of the time and the other parent has visitation rights.

Under current law, judges are free to rule on the issue without having to give legal reasons.

"This sends a strong message to the judge that he has to consider this," said Rep. Dan Boddicker of Tipton, a leading sponsor of the legislation.

Critics said the change in child custody laws could skew decisions about what is really in the best interests of the child, lead to more court battles and increase the workload of judges.

"It introduces the idea that joint physical care is the best arrangement for a child, and we don't agree that that should be presumed," said Diane Dornburg, a Des Moines lawyer specializing in family law.

"It could increase contentiousness and litigation between parents," said Dornburg, who heads the legislative committee of the Iowa State Bar Association's family law section.

Vilsack, a Democrat, said he consulted with psychologists and read studies before deciding to sign the bill.

"I wanted to make sure we did the right thing for children," he said. "It appears from the research that . . . when you create an environment where both parents participate and spend time with children, youngsters are better adjusted, better supported, better educated and and have a better life."

The governor alluded to his own upbringing in a Pittsburgh home where his adoptive mother was an alcoholic.

"I remember growing up in a family where I spent time with my dad, and my sister spent time with my mother when my family was separated for a time for several years," Vilsack said.

He said he will encourage judges and lawyers to take a fresh look at the issue.

"This won't be easy to implement. This will potentially be a significant change, but I'm proud of the fact that we're willing to take this step to protect our children and to encourage both parents to be involved in raising their children," he said.

Tamra Jurgemeyer, a therapy supervisor for Children and Families of Iowa, said she has mixed feelings about the legislation.

"The ideal would be that any time there's a divorce, the parents would be equal partners" in the continued care of their children, Jurgemeyer said. "But sometimes that's not what the real world is like."

Vilsack signed one other bill Wednesday. Senate File 2112 allocates $274 million for highway maintenance and other functions of the Iowa Department of Transportation in the budget year starting July 1.

Reporter Jonathan Roos can be reached at
(515) 284-8443 or [email protected]

We did it!  We have made a difference in thousands of kids' lives!!!!!!!  This afternoon Gov. Vilsack signed into law a NEW joint custody bill that requires ANY parent who asks for JC to be considered and, that if that is the case, the OTHER parent would have to PROVE otherwise for it NOT to be allowed!

It would have never happened without the help of all of you who took the time to write, e-mail, and call the governor.  From what I have heard from his office, he was DELUGED with comments and information!  He also did his homework and I am told he consulted with various child psych. professionals across the nation as well.  He also heard from the pres. of the Iowa Bar, who vehemently urged him to veto it.  So he knows that he will be making an enemy of the state's attys.  This is a VERY brave action he's taken.

Pat yourselves on the back, cuz you guys did a FANTASTIC job!  If I could kiss you all, I would, but I can't, so you'll have to settle for this:

 :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :* :*

LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just heard from the gov.'s office that he will be taking action this afternoon on HF 22, the joint custody bill that passed our legislature.  As soon as I get the word on his decision, I will let y'all know!

I'd be going, but circumstances here at work prevent it.  Damn, I REALLY wanted to go!
Father's Issues / Update on Iowa bill............
May 14, 2004, 09:46:40 AM
We've received word that Gov. Vilsack will be addressing HF22 sometime early next week.  I've also been told that he has definitely been doing his homework on this, gathering information on his own so that he can make a well-informed decision.  I ask everyone to say a little prayer that he makes a decision that is truly in the best interest of the children of Iowa!
Father's Issues / We're getting closer, folks!
May 04, 2004, 10:39:59 AM
Got this today from the head of Iowa CNBP:

Dear Members,
It is our understanding that the Governor may address HF22 sometime this week. We need to step up on the phone calls and letters to Governor Vilsack.  Write and call him daily for the status of HF22. Encourage the governor to sign HF22 and to act soon. I have sent a letter to the Dr. Laura Schlessinger show hoping to draw national attention to our bill. Keep your fingers crossed!
Mark Griebel
Office of the Governor
State Capitol
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Fax 515-281-6611
Governor Thomas J. Vilsack writes that "Iowans have traditionally recognized that strong families are essential to ensuring that our children will enjoy a secure future...Iowans intuitively understand that children need to receive the support and guidance of both parents...[and] an emerging set of scientific data supports our belief that a healthy bond between a child and the child's parents has a direct impact on the future success of the child...."

Governor Vilsack continues, "...children with two parents who actively and positively engage in their life by providing financial support, love, guidance and discipline, have a greater chance for success than children who receive an active involvement from only one parent."


Sure would like to take a trip to Des Moines this week!
             April 27, 2004

The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Governor of Iowa
State Capitol
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

RE:  HF 22 Joint Physical Care

Dear Governor Vilsack:

On behalf of all Iowans, I respectfully urge you to veto HF 22 – Joint Physical Care.  At its meeting on April 16, 2004, the Family Law Section of the Iowa State Bar Association considered the Act, formerly known as HF 22, which has been passed by both houses and awaits your determination.  The Family Law Section voted unanimously, except for one member, to recommend a veto of this legislation.    The committee's view is that the Act creates a passive presumption of shared joint physical care and that passive presumption is not consistent with the standards of best interest of a child.  

The best interest of a child is essentially a legal question of  "what does this child need and how can these parents contribute to this child's needs?"  By creating a presumption of joint physical care, there is an implied idea that a child is a calendar.  Physical care is in reality an award of the right to maintain a child's primary residence.  Certainly a child needs two parents after divorce.  Joint physical care does not assure that right in any particular regard.  Where parents are able to maintain two primary residences, consistent schedules, shift the quantity of time between homes as a child's needs, activities and stages of development require, shared physical care certainly is a good option for parents who have good communications.  

Shared physical care ought to be an option that the courts should approve if reached by agreement between the parents.  There was a concern under current judicial practice that judges were rejecting joint physical care even though the parents had agreed.   The Family Law Section believes that a parenting plan which provides for joint physical care ought to be approved by the court unless a court finds it contrary to the best interest of a child to order shared physical care.  

HF 22 created a passive presumption of joint physical care.   This does not allow the court to inquire appropriately into the best interests of a child and make a good determination based on a careful fact review.

The Family Law Section and the ISBA urges a veto of this bill.  

You should be aware that the Family Law Section intends to take up a careful review of parenting plans and the appropriateness of joint physical care and, hopefully, make recommendations to the 2005 legislative session.

This legislation is not beneficial to Iowans and I urge your veto.

Very truly yours,


[email protected]


Proof positive that attys. have NO clue what 'the best interest of the child' truly is..........

Father's Issues / My heart is breaking.........
Apr 26, 2004, 02:08:23 PM
I just got word from DH, from a dear friend of ours, that another friend and old co-worker committed suicide this weekend.  His wife had left him and he was fighting it.  Apparently she had lost a lot of weight, went to FL with some friends over spring break, then came back and filed.  Luckily, there are no children involved.

He was a reservist in the Army, a gung-ho GI.  He was a patriot and loved his country very much.  He was a dear friend and a lot of fun to go camping with.  I remember last summer when he was showing off his new camper, he was so excited about it!  He was a blast at the company holiday parties!

WHY are all these great guys killing themselves???  WHY is the method of preferance a gun to the head????  What a horrible, horrible waste!  I've seen and dealt with enough suicides to last me to infinity.

And now I have to brace myself to listen to 'Taps' Thursday morning.  I can keep it together until those first few notes, then I'm done for.........
Thanks to Gordon E. Finley for the following.

The following article was published in The Miami Herald
on Friday, April 23, 2004 on page 6B.

I would urge that it be circulated as widely as possible.

Gordon E. Finley

The Miami Herald
Friday, April 23, 2004

DCF: Agency blasted in abuse probe
A state attorney blasts officials at Florida's child welfare agency
for their 'reckless mishandling' of a child abuse investigation that
tore apart a father and two children.
[email protected]

In a blistering letter to the head of Florida's child welfare agency,
the state attorney in Fort Pierce has accused Department of Children
& Families caseworkers of ''coaching'' two children to falsely accuse
their father of sexual abuse -- allegations that robbed the man of
custody for several years.

State Attorney Bruce H. Colton blasts the agency for causing a father
who may be innocent to lose his children, while an alcoholic,
drug-addicted and neglectful mother was allowed to raise them.

'Although DCF employees are not technically guilty of committing a
crime in this case, it is evident that these children have no chance to
be `normal' due to the reckless mishandling of this family,'' Colton
wrote in the March 29 letter to DCF Secretary Jerry Regier.

``If the children are telling the truth in their latest statements, the
children have been sent on a six-year roller coaster ride of reckless
indifference by DCF from which they will probably never recover.''

Colton's letter concerns an ongoing dispute between DCF investigators,
caseworkers and attorneys in several Central and North Florida counties
and Dennis Gaffney, the father of boys ages 16 and 10. DCF's actions
in the case now are under investigation by the agency's Inspector
General's Office in Tallahassee.

''I feel very strongly about ensuring integrity and accountability in our
district offices,'' Regier wrote in a March 17 letter to Colton, asking the
chief prosecutor to outline his concerns over DCF's handling of the case.

Gaffney said he was heartened by Colton's remarks, which serve as a
kind of vindication. Since 1997, Gaffney has lived under a cloud of
suspicion that he molested his own son, as well as the teenage daughter
of his ex-wife's friend.

'It comes down to this: `Oops, we made a mistake,' '' Gaffney said.
``It is obvious DCF is not capable of policing themselves.''

Okeechobee sheriff's Capt. Dale LaFlam, who investigated the case, said
he has concluded Gaffney ``has not done what he is accused of doing.''

In surprisingly harsh language, Colton suggested agency employees made a series of decisions over several years that left the two boys at great risk.

During most of the past seven years, DCF caseworkers went to great
lengths to leave the two boys with their mother, Colton wrote, despite:

* An internal agency report that concluded ''the mother may not be a
stable parent.'' One report concluded the mother's alcohol and drug
abuse ``may present a substantial barrier to her achieving effective
parenting skills.''

* Reports from officials at a halfway house in which DCF placed the
mother and two boys said that they ''suspected that she leaves the
premises to drink,'' does not require the boys to attend school, has
allowed her car to be repossessed and is not allowed to visit her own
mother due to a domestic violence injunction.

* A sworn statement from a doctor who said the mother ``brings [the]
children to his office with alcohol on her breath.''

At a January 2001 court hearing, DCF officials blocked the introduction
into evidence of a videotaped statement by the mother who said ''that
DCF employees asked her to lie in order to obtain an injunction of
protection against Gaffney,'' Colton wrote.

''DCF first took the children away from the father based on an
inadequate investigation,'' Colton wrote. ``Then, DCF gave custody to
the mother who had past criminal convictions, abused alcohol and
controlled substances, and committed new crimes while having custody
of the children.''

''Is it any wonder that the children are rebellious and uncontrollable
at the present time,'' Colton added.

© 2004 The Miami Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
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Father apparently kills two daughters, then self over marital dispute

The Associated Press

Last Updated 7:56 am PDT Tuesday, April 20, 2004

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) - A man who family members believe was upset over a possible separation with his wife shot his two daughters in his home before killing himself, authorities said.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies arrived to the house about 4 a.m. Monday after receiving a call about gunshots.
 A woman came out of the single-family house and told deputies that she believed her husband and two children had been shot inside, authorities said. Deputies entered the house and discovered the victims' bodies in an upstairs bedroom.
Authorities believe the father shot his daughters before fatally wounding himself. All three had been shot in the upper body.

The names of the victims were not released, but family members identified them as Robert Bennett, 40, and his two daughters, Heather, 15, and Kristin, 8. Family members indicated that the couple had been experiencing marital problems.

"I think my sister just wanted to separate," said Mandy Romo, sister of Rina Bennett. "There was nobody else. She just wanted to separate, and he didn't."

Romo said Bennett, who worked for nearly 16 years at the Miller brewery in Irwindale, never threatened her sister but wanted to keep the family together.

"I was shocked," neighbor Ron Cruz said of the killings. "He was a very quiet, nice guy."


Yeah, I bet he was the nicest guy they knew.  But he also saw the writing on the wall.  She 'just wanted to separate'...sure.  Too bad we'll never hear her tell the TRUTH, that she told him to kiss her a$$ and that he'd never see his girls again.

It's just so incredibly sad that this father did the only thing he knew to stay in touch with his girls.....forever.  
I just heard a Culligan Water Softener on the radio and could NOT believe my ears!  Now I've heard quite a few gender-biased and male-bashing commercials and programs thru the media, but this takes the cake!

The jist of it is a couple who talk about getting a water softener.  But they portray the husband as a bumbling idiot who's ONLY capable of remember sports stats!  The wife constantly is correcting him and 'subtly' putting him down the entire commercial.

So I found their web site and sent them an e-mail:

I just heard a radio commercial on Culligan Water Softeners and was APPALLED!  It was a couple talking about getting a water softener, with the husband portrayed as a bumbling idiot who couldn't remember a thing, with his wife answering for him and correcting him all the way.

I ask you this:  would you have aired the same commercial if the genders were reversed??  I think not, because the wrath of the feminists would fall on you.  So what gives you the right to bash men?  Have you noticed what license the media and advertising agencies have taken with portraying such gender bias?

I have a 15 y.o. son whom I'm trying to raise to be a self-confident, self-reliant human being.  What kind of message does it give him when companies like yours send out messages that all men are fools??

Not only will I never consider your company or your products, but I will also pass the word to many others on how you propagate the bashing of men.  


At least I feel better..........I think..........
Father's Issues / Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!
Apr 09, 2004, 06:59:10 AM
Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
Walk softly and carry a big carrot.
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
There's no such thing as too much candy.
All work and no play can make you a basket case.
A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off other people's jellybeans.
Good things come in small sugarcoated packages.
The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.
An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare.
To show your true colors you have to come out of your shell.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
Check this out:

Both Mom #1 and Mom #2 sound like obvious PBFH's.  And if SS's mom turns into anything like them, it's a given that SS will turn his back on her and walk out of her life, LOL!

But ain't it scary that this is what our s-kids may have to look forward to??
Father's Issues / This is the week in Iowa!
Apr 05, 2004, 01:13:40 PM

HR22 has passed the House and is now in the Senate.  I was blown away to find that my senator (who is on the judiciary comm.) voted yes!  I had sent him and my state rep. e-mails regarding my opinions of the bill and that I expected them to support it.  Now it's time to talk to the govenor!
Father's Issues / Quote of the Day.........
Mar 30, 2004, 10:24:12 AM
"Does she follow what she believes to be God's will or does she turn her back on her God?"

   — Defense attorney F.R. "Buck" Files Jr., in his opening statement to jurors in the murder trial of Deanna Laney, a Texas mother who claims delusions about God's will led her to kill two of her sons and seriously injure a third boy.



Now, I am a Christian and know that there are others out there who are much more devout than I, but there is ONE common denominator:  God does NOT condone killing!  JMO, but this has got to be the flimsiest excuse ever concocted for a murder defense!

But there's something else I realized with this incident.  Has anyone noticed that there's MUCH more publicity these days on mothers who kill their kids?  Even moreso than fathers (like we've known all along)?  Is the media finally 'getting it'?
Father's Issues / Listen on the air NOW!!!!!!!!!!
Mar 19, 2004, 02:19:03 PM
This Friday (3/19) @ 4 pm central, father's rights attorney Jeffery M. Leving ( will be a guest on Drivetime Live, on WGNU Radio in St. Louis. You can listen online at, and call toll-free @ 877-920-WGNU.

Sorry for not getting this on sooner, but this is interesting...........
Father's Issues / Has anyone noticed???
Mar 17, 2004, 01:53:03 PM
Within the last 24 hours, SPARC has had their ONE THOUSANDTH member register!  And that's within approx. 4 months!

Way to GO, Waylon, TGB, and all of those who dedicate themselves to this site and us!  You all deserve a 'Kiddy' for greatest dedication to children's rights and parental involvement!  :D
Sacks, 'Boys are Stupid' Designer Mix it up on CNBC

February 25, 2004

By Pat Cangelosi

There was no love lost between a crusading radio talk show host and the businessman who is the target of the boycott he organized as the two debated on CNBC's "Bullseye" yesterday.

Todd Goldman, the designer of the controversial "Boys are Stupid--Throw Rocks at Them" products, defended his work as harmless humor. Glenn Sacks, a men's and fathers' issues columnist and radio talk show host, criticized the products as being part of a male bashing culture which ignores boys' educational struggles.

The battle between them has been covered by hundreds of television and radio stations, and over 300 publications in half a dozen countries, including TIME Magazine, Forbes, the Washington Post, and the U.K. Guardian.

Goldman says the publicity for his products is unprecedented and has helped sales. Men's activists say Sacks' campaign, which began in mid-December, has probably generated more publicity than the men's movement has ever received over one issue.

CNBC host Dylan Ratigan clearly sided with the Florida businessman, whose company, David & Goliath, has seen its best-selling products knocked out of over 90% of their retail outlets in less than two months. Ratigan opened the show by displaying pictures of  "Boys are Stupid--Throw Rocks at Them" shirts and asked Sacks "what's the issue? They're having a good time here."

Sacks  countered Ratigan, noting "yes, it's humor, but it's adult humor being played out on little boys. Twelve year-old boys don't get the humor, but they feel the insult." Sacks, a former high school teacher, tied his campaign to what he called the "boy crisis in education," noting "our boys have fallen way behind in school all levels K-12--to go to school and see shirts that say 'Boys are Stupid' rubs salt in the wound."

When Goldman  was asked if he had an "obligation to consider the impact" of the products on young boys, he answered "no" and claimed that he does not sell to kids but "we sell 16, 17, 18 year-olds, you know, college students." Sacks said that Goldman has been quoted in newspapers as saying that the "Boys are Stupid" products are his "top selling junior line."

Goldman says his company sells many "positive shirts, including ones with the slogans 'It's all about me' and 'Chicks Rule!'"

Goldman boasted of the publicity he has received because of the campaign and claimed his sales are way up. The host asked Sacks if he believed his campaign has backfired, since it has given his target so much attention. Sacks noted that publicity for the target of a campaign is a necessary byproduct of any consumer boycott, and said "we've knocked 'Boys are Stupid' products out of 3,500 stores--that has to have an effect."

Goldman, less accustomed to the media spotlight than his debate opponent, fidgeted and swung his arms continually during the live interview, and clumsily claimed that the "Boys are Stupid" products have lost only  "5%" of their retail outlets. When questioned by the incredulous host Goldman mentioned a few of the chains which have pulled the products and noted "yes I guess it has been over 3,000." The host replied "Todd, that's an awful lot of retail stores."

Sacks told Goldman "I can't even find the 'Boys are Stupid' products anywhere. I can't continue the campaign because we can't even find anyone who still has the stuff."

The host ended the show by telling Goldman "congratulations on the success of your business."

Earlier in the week nationally syndicated radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh defended the campaign, criticizing San Francisco Chronicle feminist columnist Jane Ganahl for her attack on Sacks and his supporters in her recent column Will you please shut up and get a life, already?  Limbaugh noted:

"Can you imagine if a company put out a line of T-shirts that said, 'Black people are goobers, drop anvils on their heads' or 'Homosexuals are stupid, throw rocks at them'? And can you imagine the San Francisco Chronicle doing a story on how cute these T-shirts are?...Turn it around and imagine shirts suggesting the following: 'Girls lie and will break your heart. Throw rocks at them' or 'Little girls are not soft and cuddly, they are mean and vicious and will destroy you.' Can you imagine a newspaper doing a cute little headline and story on how wonderfully cute little boy fashion has become? I doubt it."

Sacks, who explained the motives behind his campaign in his opinion column Why I Launched the Campaign Against 'Boys are Stupid' Products in the Los Angeles Daily News, told his audience Sunday that Ganahl is "clueless about the issues which affect half the population--males."


As lame as Goldman came across, I'm surprised the host was even willing to side with him......  Talk about burying yourself!
The two legislators in the To: field represent my district, Taylor is a personal friend, Boddicker authored the bill, and Jacoby and Foege are local reps...........

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2004 11:47 AM
To: Miller, David; Greiner, Sandra
Cc: [email protected]; Boddicker, Dan; Jacoby, David; Foege, Ro
Subject: HF 22

Senator Miller and Rep. Greiner,
As a citizen of this state, and as not only a biological parent but also a step-parent, I feel very strongly about HF 22, that allows for presumed joint physical custody if joint legal custody is awarded.
We live in the small town of XXXX, where my step-son only lives about 3 blocks away.  But we only see him 4 days a month, every other weekend.  My husband has joint legal custody, but we still never hear that my stepson has been to the doctor until we get our share of the bill, we only know that he's been signed up for some sport or event when he tells us after the fact, and must go directly to the school for all information regarding his education, as the mother refuses to share any of it.  We realize that she is in contempt of the court order for withholding this information, but to take her to court, only to have her hands slapped by a gender-biased judge, is cost-prohibitive when you're not only trying to support a family, but pay support that has NOTHING to do with what it actually costs to raise a child.
We also realize that there is NO reason whatsoever that my stepson cannot spend equal time in both homes.  Many opponents to joint physical custody will tell you that it confuses the child and is too hard to maintain.  But they are not the ones whose opinions of whom you should listen.  It's the children who live it who are the best judge and they will be the first to tell you that constant and continuous contact with BOTH parents, just as they had during the marriage, is what they want and NEED.
For over 5 years I have frequented a website initially designed for non-custodial fathers, but now is geared to all NCP's:  // - SPARC (Separated Parents Access and Resource Center).  It is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive website dealing with NCP issues and I encourage you to visit it, so that you can see for yourself just how desperate many parents are to be involved in their children's lives, only to have the custodial parent, with the blessings of the courts and the system, shut them out almost completely.  
One problem with the current court system regarding child custody is that it is an adversarial atmoshere, with 'winners' and 'losers'.  But ONLY in child custody matters is there a 'third party' involved without a voice, the children.  The ONLY ones who should win are the children and when their parents divorce, they DO NOT divorce their parents.  It has been proven that a child raised by BOTH parents equally is less likely to be involved in substance abuse, promiscuity, and dropping out of school, just to name a few.  And just because two people divorce, they DID bring a child into this world and it IS their equal responsibility to continue to raise him/her.  
I make one suggestion to you.  This bill specifically states: 'If joint legal custody is awarded to both parents, joint physical care shall be awarded to both parents unless a parent objects to the awarding of joint physical care to the other parent and the parent objecting provides clear and convincing evidence that joint physical is unreasonable and not in the best interest of the child.'  I recommend that you also make sure that the judges who rule in these matters have the knowledge and education to make a judgement of such monumental proportions.  I have heard of many cases where the CP, usually the mother, has a criminal or DHS record or is involved or lives with questionable people and is still awarded primary custody, while the father/NCP, who has a clean record and is able to provide equally for the child is left with maybe 4-8 days a month with their child.  I ask you, would YOU be willing to only see and parent your child that many days a month?  Would you prefer to just become a 'visitor' in your child's life?
Though this bill is a good start, it doesn't nearly go far enough for the children of our state.  Many custody orders are blatantly ignored by CP's, who seem to think that just because they have primary physical custody, they can and will dictate what will happen with the child.  And if the NCP's could afford to take the CP back to court for contempt in violation of that court order, they would, but ONLY if there are actual sanctions set in place.  When a CP is told to 'not do that again', all it tells them is that the court will not punish them and they will violate it again, with inpunity.  When the judges in these matters make it known that NO parent will be favored over the other, NO parent is allowed to violate the order without sanctions, and ONLY THE CHILDREN are the highest priority in these matters, then and only then will the children of this state have a fighting chance to grow up with both of their parents.  
Fathers and mothers BOTH bring important aspects to the table in regards to raising children.  Both may be different, but BOTH are vitally needed for a child to grow up well-rounded and balanced.  As a constiuent of your district, I challenge you to wholeheartedly support this bill, convince your fellow legislators to do the same, and continue to change our archaic laws so that our children, our FUTURE, have a better chance of growing up as a whole human being.  When you take away or severely restrict a child's parent, you take away a part of that child as well, making that child feel like there is a part of them that is not whole and good.  Is this the message we want to give to our future??


And already have received my first responses:

Kitty, I agree with your statements.  As a practicing attorney, I agree that our legal system needs a lot of work to help children in divorce.  Thanks for your comments.
Senator David Miller


thank you, Kitty, for calling this to my attention.  


Typical political responses, but can't wait to hear from the others, too...

DH and I have decided to reconcile and try it again.  :-)  He's getting the help he needs and is extremely determined to see it thru.  Ine thing that he's said more than once is that he swore all his life that he wouldn't become his father, but that's exactly what happened.  His father was very abusive to him and his siblings as they were growing up.

We know that it will be very hard at times, but I think he has a good start in developing a support base.  We're taking it one day at a time and also going back to church regularly, too.

So now I need to file a withdrawal of petition of dissolution and have no idea how it should be worded.  I did call the clerk of court's office and the lady told me that it must be signed by both of us and notarized, but that she could not give me content, which I knew that.  We can get it notarized late Thurs., and DH has Friday off and so we'd like to get it filed then.  That way neither one of us has to take extra time off.  I know that withdrawals are rare in this type of forum (!), but anybody got any ideas?  
Making Pancakes

Six-year-old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents
pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter,
opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor.

He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor, which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten.

Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very  bad...

He didn't know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on
the stove and he didn't know how the stove worked!  Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor.  Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky.                

And just then he saw Dad standing at the door. Big crocodile tears welled up in Brandon's eyes. All he'd wanted to do was something good, but he'd made a terrible mess.  He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But his father just watched him.

Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas white and sticky in the process.  That's how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we insult a friend, or we can't stand our job, or our health goes sour.

Sometimes we just stand there in tears because we can't think of anything else to do.  That's when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him.

But just because we might mess up, we can't stop trying to "make pancakes" for God or for others.  Sooner or later we'll get it right, and then they'll be glad we tried...

I was thinking... and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that need rekindling or three words needing to be said, sometimes, "I love you" can heal & bless!  Remind every one of your friends that you love them.  Even if you think they don't love back, you would be amazed at what those three little words, a smile, and a reminder like this can do.

And never stop "making pancakes"!!!

Father's Issues / This is cool!
Feb 10, 2004, 01:07:49 PM
Just talked to an atty., one who was recommended to me by an old atty. friend.  I had originally talked to him a couple weeks ago regarding filing and he gave me some great info just over the phone.  I explained to him that I have the initial petition filed now but that I just don't want to go thru this by myself.

He told me that, given that we have no kids to fight over and it's just property and debt, he won't charge the regular $2000 retainer.  He also said that it's obvious that I want to do as much of this as I possibly can to save on costs (which he commended me on, BTW) and that he can work 'in the background', advising me of what I need to be aware of and doing only what is absolutely neccesary.  

He asked me to send him copies of what I filed so far and to notify him when service has been done, then we can go from there and he will decide on a retainer fee then.  Right now it's looking like it may be around $1000 or maybe even less.  But I made it plain to him that I do not have an agenda, I do not want to take DH to the cleaners, I am not mad at him (just extremely disappointed and wish he'd get help), so he will not push me to do things I don't want to.  I'm liking this guy already and we haven't even met face to face!
Father's Issues / We're still here!
Feb 04, 2004, 08:53:07 AM
The major part of the move is complete; I just have some kitchen stuff and DS's bed frame to move.

Had a snow storm on Monday to throw a monkey wrench into the pile, but at least it was WARMER!  In the high 20's!  And we're supposed to get another one starting tonight, with even more snow, so I'm glad the majority of it is done.  

So far, so good.  I hate like he!! to have to do things the way I am, but I really don't have any other choice, unless I want to put up with the possibility of more stress and abuse.  No way!  I filed the papers yesterday morning, then went to the sheriff's office to have them serve him.  I told the lady of my concerns and she said she would talk to the dispatch supervisor (who happens to be a friend also!) to make them aware of the situation and that they pass it on to the deputies.

Then I get called out to an accident yesterday afternoon, and one of the deputies on the scene said 'I hear we're going to be watching out for you this weekend.'  News travels fast in that dept. and it definitely was a GREAT reassurance to know they're there to protect me and DS.

And a bit of irony??  There's 2 deputies on this weekend, the first being the deputy whom I've been talking to and knows the WHOLE story, and the second being the deputy DH hates the most, because he got DH on his first DUI.

I ended up taking DS out of school yesterday around noon, the stress was just too much for him to handle.  He hasn't been sleeping very well either, so I plan to get some mild OTC sleeping pills for him tonight.  I think getting settled and a few nights in our new home will also do wonders for him.  I've kept his half sis and SM updated on what's been going on, too.

This ain't over yet, not by a long shot.  But the bulk of the back-breaking work is done, and I want to thank each and every one of my dear friends here who have kept us in mind these past few days.  I definitely felt your presence and thoughts and can only give you my deep gratitude as a feeble thanks for supporting DS and me.  I think back to that time over 13 years ago, when I basically did this very same thing, but had 1800 miles to do it and only the moral support of my immediate family.  Tho my energy level ain't what it was then (!), the physical and emotional support from my extended family and friends MORE than makes up for it!

God bless each and every one of you!
Father's Issues / Monday's the day........
Jan 30, 2004, 10:15:13 AM
After today, I won't be able to post here until Wed., and by then DS and I will be safely living in our own home/apt.  These last couple days till then will be nerve-racking, but I will get thru it.  I do ask for extra prayers for DS, as he isn't dealing with all this very well, especially at school.  They know what's going on, but there's only so much we can all do to help him with the stress he's feeling.

But when my counselor asked me a couple weeks ago if I was happy, I responded 'We WILL be!'  God bless you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.  You all have been such a godsend to me, with all your support and love!

Now if I could just get a couple of you big guys and a couple pick-ups to come HELP.........just kidding!!!!!!:-)
This will be my last weekend with my SS.  This is just breaking my heart!!!  There's NO way I can break down and cry when I give him a hug when he leaves on Sunday, or DH will wonder why.  So I MUST bite my lip and suck it up.  But this poor kid has two totally dysfuntional parents and it just kills me to think of what his future holds.

I have to tell his teacher the week we move (she uses me as a contact person for DH, since he works on the road) as I think she should know, in case she sees SS having problems and can't figure out why.  I also would like to send him a card at school (they have a 'postal system') eventually, to tell him that he had nothing to do with my leaving his dad and that there will always be a special place in my heart for him.

If I can just get thru this weekend, I'm sure DS and I will be okay.  But I can hardly hold back the tears right now, thinking about having to walk away from that boy!

I will be away from a computer for the next few days, but wanted to wish all my friends here a very blessed holiday.  I pray that you all are able to spend it with the ones you love and for strength to those of you who may not.  May God bless you all! :)

Yes, the kids have been found.  The grandparents have CO'd custody.  The reason for imminent danger?  Read what the kids were wearing at the time of abduction and what kind of illnesses/meds they have.  Then understand that this abduction happened at approx. 7:30 in the evening, with temps. in the teens and wind chill factors below zero and about 6-8 inches of snow on the ground.

As for the parents, I haven't heard the whole story on that, but note that the alert mentions:  'A court order state that the children are in imminent danger.'

Father's Issues / Update and thank you........
Dec 01, 2003, 11:49:44 AM
First, I want to thank all my WONDERFUL friends here who kept me and my family in their prayers.  It DOES work!

Without going into a lot of detail, suffice it to say that there were/are problems and that I had been considering making an emergency move with DS last week over the holiday.  The emergency status has been alleviated for the time being, with your thoughts and prayers, but the move itself isn't quite totally out of the picture yet.  Much remains to be seen.

One thing I CAN tell you with a certainty is that if there are problems, PLEASE seek help!  Guys especially, I know how hard it is for you to ask for help or to seek counseling, I know that many men think that they can take care of the situation or that it isn't as serious as it appears.  Listen with your heart and NEVER ever consider it a weakness to ask.  It is more of a weakness to avoid it till it gets so bad that the situation may be unfixable.  That's why I've gotten into the situation I'm in, by refusing to acknowledge the problem WAS as serious as it is.  I'm just as guilty!

I have joined a support group and now in counseling.  I am taking care of ME.  Cuz if I don't, no one else will.  I still don't know how all this will turn out eventually.   But in the end I will be able to look myself in the mirror, know that I did everything that 'I' could, and have no regrets.

And I know I've told you two this before, but I want the WHOLE world to know:

Indy and MK, you are both ANGELS!!!!!!!!!!:D
I am currently going thru a personal crisis.  I can't talk much about it now, not knowing what the outcomes might be.  This feels strange to be asking, as I've always considered myself as pretty self-reliant, but I also know the power of prayer.  So I am asking you, my friends, to say a prayer for DS and I, that we make it thru this tough time.  With the love and prayers from all our friends, I know we will make it thru!

God bless each and everyone of you!
Father's Issues / Help with new format!
Nov 24, 2003, 01:08:07 PM
I can't figure out the 'Avatar' thingy!  Either I get a blank window when I click on the selections, or an error message.  Does that mean there's something wrong on my end (like the user)? ;(