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[aum] Rebellion

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  • Roger
    Just passing this one along Roger Frederick Tricare Now the World Knows! http://home.gvi.net/~rebel Fight Against Military Injustice
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 10, 1999
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      Just passing this one along
      Roger Frederick
      Tricare Now the World Knows!
      Fight Against Military Injustice
      100,000 Webpage Campaign
      Military Benefits Picket Campaign
      Divorced dads ready to
                   wage a revolution

                   By Kathleen Parker
                   Special to the Sentinel

                   Published in The Orlando Sentinel on October 10,

                   WASHINGTON -- Dr. Ned Holstein,
                   physician and president of the
                   Massachusetts-based Fathers and
                   Families, is projecting numbers, graphs
                   and percentages on the screen. He uses
                   words such as strategy, constituency and,
                   yes, even revolution.

                   No longer a glossary word in history
                   books, the R-word is being revived by
                   divorced fathers who, impatient with
                   lawyers, legislators and judges, are ready
                   to bloody their white flags.

                   One cannot exaggerate the extent of anger,
                   pain and frustration among the hundreds of
                   thousands -- maybe millions -- of men who
                   now constitute what is loosely known as
                   the Fatherhood Movement. I've met many
                   of them, talked to them, listened.

                   These doctors, lawyers, psychologists,
                   lobbyists and laborers are not an
                   insignificant body. Many are
                   well-educated; more are getting organized;
                   all are motivated by a degree of anger that
                   is potentially volatile and should not be
                   ignored. They'vereached the boiling point,
                   they say, and they've exhausted the system.

                   Holstein's presentation was one of many at
                   the recent Children's Rights Council's
                   annual meeting in Alexandria, Va. The
                   CRC is one of the oldest, better organized
                   of the 500 or so "fathers" groups in the
                   United States that deal with issues of
                   divorce and family. I qualify "fathers"
                   because, though most groups focus on
                   men's issues, many of their members are
                   women who also believe that children
                   need, want and deserve fathers.

                   I attended the CRC meeting as an invited
                   (unpaid) speaker and listened to Holstein's
                   presentation with a mixture of concern and
                   sadness but, more important, of
                   apprehension. I believe in the sincerity of
                   these men, in their desire to be a part of
                   their children's lives, in their sense that
                   they've been mistreated by courts that
                   award children like chattel to mothers and
                   treat fathers as mere financial providers.

                   Concern and sadness are reasonable
                   responses to that understanding and to the
                   fact that 82 percent of children from
                   divorced families have little more than a
                   visitation relationship with their fathers.
                   According to the 1989 Census, 37.9
                   percent of divorced fathers have no access
                   to their children.

                   Granted, not all these disenfranchised dads
                   are model citizens. Some really are bad
                   guys who don't care about their kids, beat
                   up their wives or shirk duty and
                   responsibility. But experience and the
                   preponderance of research do not support
                   the widespread belief that most men are
                   deadbeat, abusive and neglectful, nor the
                   public policies that treat all men

                   Were mothers routinely robbed of their
                   children, barred from their homes and
                   jailed for failing to pay extortionate sums,
                   we would see blood in the streets. And,
                   curiously, sympathy from the grandstands.

                   Men get no such sympathy, and that's
                   where the apprehension comes in. When
                   people are pushed to their limit, when they
                   feel mistreated, unheard and unseen; when
                   they feel that they've been robbed of the
                   only things that matter -- they tend to get

                   "You can only torture people for so long,"
                   said Stuart Miller, senior legislative
                   analyst for the American Fathers Coalition.
                   "You can't steal something as important as
                   someone's children and money and
                   property and think you can walk away
                   without any repercussions."

                   Miller predicts that Holstein's theories of
                   social change will seem like a dream
                   compared with the nightmares simmering
                   in someone's living room in every town or
                   city, in every state, every night of the
                   week. Violence is inevitable, he said, as
                   evidenced by the American courthouse
                   decor these days. Call it police-baroque.
                   Only the Berlin Wall had more barricades,
                   metal detectors and armed guards.

                   "Why would the government be so afraid
                   of the people?" asked Miller. "Is it
                   because the people are bad actors or
                   because the government is acting bad?"

                   Good question. The answer is, we're all
                   acting badly within a system that treats
                   divorcing couples as enemies, courtrooms
                   as war zones, judges as arbiters of issues
                   more emotional and psychological than
                   legal, and children as hostages to be traded
                   for dollars.

                   The divorce system is counterintuitive and
                   morally bankrupt, and needs reinventing
                   before talk of revolution becomes action.
                   What the organized fathers' groups want
                   isn't wrong or mean-spirited but right and
                   fair to children. Who among us can blame
                   a man, wrongfully denied his own child,
                   for shouting out that he was framed?

                   E-mail: kparker@....

                   [Posted 10/08/1999 6:27 PM EST]

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