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Fourteen Percenter, May 2013 c

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  • Don Mathis
    Vol. 16, No. 2                        The Fourteen Percenter                               May 2013
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2013
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      Vol. 16, No. 2                        The Fourteen Percenter                               May 2013
      Fourteen Percenter – Sixteen Years!
      A publication for parents on the wrong side of the standard possession order.
      – I see my child two days out of every fourteen; 14%. That's not enough. –
      Recital – by Jonathan Fletcher 
      Independence Day
      for my mother
      She’s been dreading this day for as long as I can remember,
      and I can’t blame her for that,
      but I’ve always had a knack for tricking her,
      like the time I pulled her mother’s locket from behind her ear
      and kept her asking, How’d he do that?
      Although I’ve practiced my routine a dozen times,
      it never gets any easier for her to see me
      tie myself up with rope,
      chain my limbs together,
      and let my body be lowered into the water tank.
      Before I go, I’ll look at her and smile
      as if to say, “All will be okay.”
      She’ll wince and turn away,
      but then look back to watch my act.
      The illusion of childhood is that it will last forever,
      and I think she secretly believed it,
      but I could not stay content with card tricks,
      and she had to accept the fact
      that every child’s final act is to disappear.
      I’d like to tell her what she’s meant to me,
      how I’ve only become the man I am because of her,
      that it was not an act,
      but a good magician does not reveal his secrets.
      The Fourteen Percenter is an international newsletter that seeks to promote equal parenting rights in the US, the UK, and worldwide. We welcome feedback, as well as any article, poem, or review relating to the child-parent bond. Send your letters to fourteenpercenter@.... For other issues, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NCP-TX-Grayson/messages
      A Mother, a Feminist, Aghast - Unsubstantiated accusations against my son by a former girlfriend landed him before a nightmarish college tribunal” – This one is a ‘must read.’ See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324600704578405280211043510.html to read this alarming essay by Judith Grossman..
      Read Robert Franklin’s article, “National Putative Father Registry: A Bad Idea Promoted by Adoption Lawyers,” at http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2013/03/29/national-putative-father-registry-a-bad-idea-promoted-by-adoption-lawyers/
      Visit http://poetrybrain.com/2013/02/19/f-scott-fitzgeralds-incredibly-sweet-sad-letter-to-his-daughter/ to read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s incredibly sweet, sad letter to his daughter.
      Researchers at Clark University and Bridgewater State University are conducting a study on men who experienced aggression from their girlfriends, wives, or female partners. If you are a man between the ages of 18-59 and have experienced aggression from a female partner at some point during your life, you may be eligible to participate in this study. Visit the study webpage at http://wordpress.clarku.edu/dhines/mensexperiences/mens-experiences-participation-link/ where you can complete an anonymous survey about your experiences. The survey takes about 20-30 minutes to complete, is under the direction of Denise A. Hines, Ph.D., Clark University, and is being funded by the National Institutes of Health.
      “Feminism Is the F-word” is the title of the article at http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/273-40/16521-feminism-is-the-f-word. But maybe rational people want to avoid the F-word so they will not appear to be misandric. Maybe logical people fail to see how favoritism towards females is empowering anyone. Perhaps folks have realized that for all the feminist cries for equality for women, there is a deafening muteness in their cries for equality for men. The thinking man and woman have possibly realized why feminism prefers not to discuss violence when it is initiated by women. There are many valid reasons why 'Feminism Is the F-word,' none of them based on the self-serving aspects that some feminists champion.
      Read a Children’s Bill of Rights at http://www.divorcehq.com/childrens-bill-of-rights.shtml
      Recent Press Articles on Family Law: Barbara Kay published a fantastic article on Shared Parenting in Canada's 2nd largest newspaper, the National Post. Titled "Fair Play for Dads" it gets right to the heart of the family court problem. The Omaha World Herald published this article on the effort to get shared parenting enacted. And Rachel Alexander recently published this piece on one of our favorite continuing topics; how the child support system continues to lock up people for not paying support for children that aren't theirs.

      This letter was published in the May 1, 2013, issue of Salt Lake City Weekly at http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-67-17471-dads-get-short-end-of-the-stick.htmlregarding the article at http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-17439-disposable-dad.html. Also published was the letter, Dads Aren’t Visitors.
      Dads Get Short End of the Stick
      Divorced dads usually get the burnt end of the stick in the shish kebab of divorce court. But there are other losers in custody issues—the kids [“Disposable Dad,” April 25, City Weekly]. Children of divorce need both a mother and father in their lives—and they need them equally.
      Too often, dads are kicked to the curb by vindictive ex-wives and uncaring judges. And then people line up to chastise the man, “Why did you desert your children?”  
      Because kids need both parents—whether they are married or not—custody courts should order equal time with both (unless they do not want 50/50 shared parenting or are unfit).
      Such a rationale may remove an incentive to divorce as well. Women are usually ordered to receive child support. Is it any question why more women than men file for divorce?  
      The nation has a long way to go to attain an equal playing field in custody courts. More articles like this one will help end the alienation of children’s love for their parents.
      Don Mathis, San Antonio, Texas
      Celebrity Divorces: Lessons we can learn about Co-Parenting!
      In today's world Hollywood celebrities are major role models in our culture, especially to the younger generation. For that reason I keep an eye on the movie-star set to see what they're doing in their relationships. It always makes for great conversation within the Child-Centered Divorce community.
      Too often the examples we see are poor ones. So many celebrity relationships end in ugly divorces and child-custody suits. Happily, however, there are some admirable exceptions. These couples are stepping up to taking more responsibility for their behaviors before and after the divorce. They are talking about the issues affecting their children and seem more aware than in the past about the consequences for children when a divorce gets nasty.
      Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez is a prime example. She was quoted saying, "I feel very proud of the way we're handling it. I really do. We are doing the best we can for the kids. It's very dignified and we're trying to be above all the emotions and pain that come along with a divorce and a family breaking apart. This is grown-up stuff. It's real, serious, grown-up stuff." How right she is!
      With her husband Marc Anthony, the couple has four year old twins who are not old enough yet to feel the divorce in the same way that school-aged children and older teens do. But it still impacts their lives and we acknowledge the attention directed to the children in her public statements.
      The Heidi Klum/Seal split is another one that attracted international focus. Both parents made statements about protecting the well-being of the children. Seal was more outspoken in addressing this issue in interviews, mentioning that they will be putting the kids first. He added that he will be keeping his residence in Los Angeles so he can be close to the children for visits whenever possible.
      For several years now Reese Witherspoon and her former husband Ryan Phillippe have been modeling positive co-parenting behavior worthy our acknowledgment. "My ex-husband is very involved in raising our beautiful children," said Reese. She explained that she and Ryan were fortunate enough to share very similar parenting views. As many of us know, this is a key factor in easing the transition into co-parenting. I'm pleased and impressed that Reese has discussed her post-divorce parenting relationship in greater detail than most celebrities. She focuses on issues that are relevant for all parents and co-parenting seems to be working for them.
      Denise Richards divorce from Charlie Sheen generated considerable tabloid space and continues long after the divorce itself. To her credit she seems to have her priorities in place regarding parenting and has kept Charlie as a loving dad figures in the children's lives, despite his questionable behavior in 2011. She says it's been working for them, especially for the children. We never want to punish them for circumstances out of their control.
      While celebrities are not the models I would hold up to learn from, what they do and say gets considerable media attention. It especially influences the youth generations who get much of their information about relationships and parenting issues from media sources.
      So when a celebrity makes statements about putting their children's needs first when making parenting decisions, we applaud them. We like to hear them discussing parenting issues, discipline strategies, family rules and the values they want to instill upon their children.
      Of course divorce is far easier when parents are in alignment about basic values and beliefs. Not all of us are blessed with Exes who share the same life principles as we do. Some of us face far more difficult roads to travel in our post-divorce parenting. And for many, co-parenting is not at all possible.
      However, we all can take away some meaningful lessons from any couples who are handling parenting well. The more we work together with our Ex - because we both love our children - the more stable their lives will be. We can explore being more flexible and accommodating to our Ex if it results in more collaboration and cooperation when it comes to parenting decisions. It's certainly worth the effort, don't you think?

      Recent News
      ‘Point of Parody:’ Six More Editorials Slam Campus Sex Assault Panels
      Campus sex assault committees at Swarthmore, Occidental, Brown, and Cornell found themselves at the center of satire and scrutiny this past week as six new editorials probed sex assault complaints at these institutions. SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) calls on the Department of Education to respond to allegations of civil rights violations arising from a 2011 policy issued by its Office for Civil Rights.
      One editorial documents how Swarthmore College mandates that the accused refrain from any outside discussion of the allegation, thus precluding assistance by a defense attorney. At Swarthmore, “an accused student can be punished even if no charges were filed against him,” thus reaching the “point of parody,” columnist KC Johnson asserts.
      Dr. Helen Smith takes the argument a step farther, wondering if breaches of due process for the accused represent a “Secret War on Men?” Smith charges universities have “established a kangaroo campus court system” for alleged sexual misconduct that have “little due process protection.” These procedures form part of a larger “hostile environment on campuses” for men.
      Professor Walter Mead places the Department of Education’s sexual assault mandate within the context of heavy drug use, binge drinking, and hook up culture that have “turned many campuses into genuinely toxic environments.” But abandoning “our commitment to ideas like the presumption of innocence will not fix what is wrong on campus today,” Mead warns.
      “The federal sex assault mandate has become a wrecking ball to fundamental concepts of democratic society like due process and the presumption of innocence,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sherry Warner-Seefeld. “The refusal of the federal Department of Education to respond to numerous letters must be seen as tacit acknowledgement of the civil rights travesty it has created.”
      The six editorials, published during the week of April 21-27, 2013, are listed online. To date, over 120 editorials have criticized the DED mandate as an anathema to civil rights. Thirteen national organizations, including the American Association for University Professors, have called for repeal of the federal mandate.
      Judicial Indecision – Don Mathis
      You can bet that if a man fails to pay
      child support, the judge will take away
      future earnings and, regardless
      of the reason he cannot pay, will access
      fines, fees, interest, license revocation,
      and more, which adds consternation,
      and doesn’t help to increase his income,
      but the courts will show no concern.
      The law has no interest in the bond
      of father and child or the harm
      of a separation; it’s like child abuse.
      Judicial ignorance offers no excuse.
      But let a mother refuse to allow a child
      time with the father, the dad must file
      a motion to the court to plead his case
      and while he’s waiting, time will waste,
      and he will not get to see his kid.
      Laws must change. There should be quid
      pro quo, because after all, the decree
      that orders the man to forfeit his salary
      is the same one that spells out when
      each parent can see the children.
      If all will adhere to the proclamation,
      then all will know their expectation.
      But how is a judge supposed to decide
      to make up for the time that Mom denied?
      If she alienated the child at Christmas,
      how’s Dad to make up the time he missed?
      The child will never have another day like this.
      There will never be another December 25th.
      Or, suppose it was the child’s 10th birthday;
      once that day has passed, it’s gone away.
      Do you think you can make up for lost time?
      That logic is wrong; get it out of your mind.
      The Wisdom of Solomon is what we lack.
      When time is gone, we can’t get it back. 
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