A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Archive for the ‘media exploitation’ Category

Obama & New Police Reform

reposted from Canada Free Press by Moody Jim Rathbone

Obama police flagMayors and city councils—in office largely courtesy of public apathy—are President Barack Obama’s boots on the ground in the ongoing, carefully orchestrated racial riots coming soon to a city near you. In their bid to rescue America from total Marxist eclipse, patriots, as it turns out, have been knocking on the wrong door.

Republicans, who surrendered to the Democrats even after taking over House and Senate in last Midterm elections, have no dog in the racial riots in Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities, but Mayor Stephanie Rowlings-Blake, who ordered a police stand down in Baltimore, and a bevy of other Democrat mayors, do.

With the undercover help of activist municipal mayors and councils, Obama seeks not to reform the nation’s police—but to totally replace them.

obamas new dealWhile diverting public attention by snubbing senators, and overriding both Constitution and Congress, Obama is now hammering the final nail in the Fundamental Transformation of America coffin.

It’s a mission aided and abetted by mercenary ‘civil rights‘ activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and one largely conducted out of sight with White House help.

Local civic elections consistently have the lowest voter turnout, yet represent the level of government that poses the biggest threat to liberty and freedom. It is through complicit mayors and councils that the United Nations has been able to forge the road to Agenda 21 for all of Western society. here

As incredible as it may seem, it is with the cooperation of municipal politicians that Obama will get to replace every police force in the United States with a more military styled one that is answerable only to him.

Baltimore riots 1‘We the People’ should have seen Baltimore and Ferguson coming on July 2, 2008, when Obama boasted in Colorado Springs, CO:  “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Most assumed he was talking about the military, which he soon began to hollow out.

Few realized the most anti-American president ever elected had his sight fixed on replacing thousands of police forces across the country, whose job it has always been to keep the public peace, with his own military-style police.

It’s the return of Fidel Castro, only this time in America.

By ridding the nation of its traditional police forces, Obama and his army of activist municipal politicians will be tossing into the trash can first responders who happen to wear the Serve & Protect badge.

Getting there has been Marxist Community organizing all the way.

Scott-police-fatal-shootingFirst came the smear job spreading the fallacy that police deliberately profile only young blacks, and are addicted to the habit of randomly shooting them. Marxist propaganda leaves the disingenuous impression that racist rogue cops dominate most police forces.

Within days of the Baltimore riots, Obama made it clear he wouldn’t be surveying the damage; wouldn’t be lifting a finger to call for calm.

He didn’t have to with the mayor doing his dirty work.

Baltimore riot policeOne hundred police officers were injured in the Baltimore riots. Businesses up and running only the day before were left in burnt-out rubble, facts carelessly written off by Obama.

Obama’s reaction to what’s going on in Baltimore has been expressed in words as casual as they are well crafted:

“The communities in Baltimore that are having these problems now are no different from the communities in Chicago when I first started working” as a community organizer, Obama said. “I’ve seen this movie too many times before.” (National Journal, April 29, 2015)

The difference now is that it’s Obama directing the racial riot movie.

With the Republicans snoozing at the switch, and most unsuspecting folk not knowing that Obama’s boots on the ground are the municipalities, what’s going to stop him from accomplishing his latest mission?

debtor's prison - tyrannyObama counts on the same kind of apathy that dogs municipal elections about racial riots that are being staged, right down to including outside protesters being rushed in to the scene of the riots.

Like in televised episodes of Hill Street Blues, when the Black Arrows, Shamrocks and Los Diablos came together when there was something in it for them, the Bloods, the Crips and the Nation of Islam came together in Baltimore.

That coming together of the three parties was unprecedented.

Yet, instead of asking why the Bloods, the Crips and the Nation of Islam would come together during the Baltimore riots, Rowlings-Blake thanked the Nation of Islam.

Talk show radio giant and patriot Mark Levin points out that Rowlings-Blake was in constant touch with chief Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett throughout the riots.

gas canBy throwing gasoline on the racial discord gathering steam in American cities, is Obama sending a message to America’s foreign enemies that the U.S. is now at its most vulnerable for a strike?

Are internet commenters like Richard Jackson who posits: “I think the riots are simply programming people to get used to a military presence (instead of police) and curfews, etc. for something bigger later on”, on the right track?

Should edgy folk be watching the Jade Helm 15 large-scale military exercise to be played out from July 15 to November 15, across seven states, with thousands of locals “participating or role playing in the exercise” wearing I.D. markings be watching the military instead of passively letting the military watch them?

Meanwhile, speaking to a group of schoolchildren at the Anacostia Library in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Obama said he might return to community organizing.

In truth, his plans to nationalize America’s police forces, prove he’s never left it.

overthrow

police Baltimore letter

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The Child Support Catastrophe

 

mob-rule-child-support-government

by Dalrock

Child support is typically framed as state intervention on behalf of children. However, it is more accurately an alternative to marriage for women. Traditionally, women would find a man willing to formally commit to them before having children. By marrying (and staying married to) the man who would be the father of her children, women would ensure investment from the man and the provision of resources both to her and her children. Note that child support isn’t needed in the traditional model, and that it isn’t relevant in the case of the death of the father. Even in the case of divorce, child support isn’t needed if parents share equal custody. Where child support is needed if women want to expel the father from the household (or never bring him in). When the facade of “its for the children” is stripped away, child support is all about removing fathers from the lives of their children.

If anyone has any doubt as to the true purpose of child support, they need only look at how it is enforced in practice. In theory whichever parent can better raise the children should be given custody, and the remaining parent would then be compelled to pay child support. In practice it is almost exclusively a way for women who expelled their children’s father from the home to extract money from the man. While the law is written under the guise of being gender neutral, this is a sham; the system is strongly biased towards women at nearly every step of the process. I’ve created a separate post to share all of the data, but here is a quick summary:

Mothers are far more likely to receive custody (over 80% of custodial parents are mothers). Those few fathers who receive custody are less likely than custodial mothers to have support awarded to them. Those fathers who have support awarded to them have less awarded on average than mothers. Due to all of the biases in the system, roughly 90% of all child support dollars are paid from fathers to mothers.

But still there are those who will claim this isn’t about money, it is about the best interest of the child. They say this even though the money goes to the mother, not the child, and the mother is under no legal obligation to spend the money on the children. If it were about the best interest of the child, the system would concern itself with maintaining the child’s relationship with the non custodial parent. But while the system is draconian in its enforcement of money (which almost always goes to the mother), it is generally uninterested in enforcing visitation (which almost always would be for the father). If the system were about protecting the child, it would enforce support and visitation equally. A parent who denies visitation is denying their child access to their parent. A system acting on behalf of the child would work vigorously to ensure that the child isn’t denied something which money can’t buy; access to and guidance from their father.

Not only does the system not take vigorous action to ensure that visitation orders are enforced, the system is designed to estrange fathers from their children. It uses draconian measures on the father while acting in the name of their children. Support is said to be based on the income of the father, but often it isn’t the father’s actual income which is considered. The court will often make up a figure which it assumes the father should be able to earn, and assign (impute) that income to him when setting the amount of support to be paid. W.F. Price described his own experience with this in the comments section of a recent Spearhead post:

There is really no cap on % of income a man can be ordered to pay. Being unemployed when my ex divorced me (she demanded I indulge her and help her get the job she wanted by watching the kids, and I stupidly went along with it thinking this would be temporary and would save my marriage), I was imputed, and therefore the child support was infinity percent of my income. I was imputed at the standard earning for a man my age in Washington state, despite the fact that we were in a recession and nobody was hiring.

There is no limit, therefore. Inability to pay is no excuse. You might as well be asking for mercy from the mob. I watched “”The Departed” recently, and when one of the bookies said he didn’t have the money the enforcer said “this is America – make it” after beating the crap out of him. This is exactly how fathers are treated.

captiveKeep in mind that men can be thrown in jail for failing to make these payments. Fathers all around the country are put in jeopardy of going to prison for money they don’t have, based on actions which are taken in the name of their own children. Undoubtedly the vast majority of fathers make every effort to not allow this injustice to poison their relationship with their children, since they know that their children are merely pawns being used by the child’s mother and the system. However, this kind of heavy handed tactic combined frequently with denial of time with and influence over their children has to impact the relationship negatively. Not surprisingly fathers who are less cut off from their children are more likely to pay support. In 2007 the Census found that 78% of non custodial parents who had joint custody and/or visitation privileges with their children made their payments, compared to 67% for those who didn’t have either (source, P9).

But the ultimate proof of what child support is all about is the end result for children. While there is a grain of truth to the old canard that divorce is caused by philandering or abusive men who either abandon or mistreat their children, the vast majority of divorces are actually requested by women. Professors Margaret F. Brinig and Douglas W. Allen set out to understand why this was in their paper These Boots Are Made for Walking: Why Most Divorce Filers Are Women:

Because of the financial and social hardship faced after divorce, most people assume that generally husbands have instigated divorce since the introduction of no-fault divorce. Yet women file for divorce and are often the instigators of separation, despite a deep attachment to their children and the evidence that many divorces harm children.

Here is what they found (emphasis mine):

Our results are consistent with our hypothesis that filing behavior is driven by self-interest at the time of divorce. Individuals file for divorce when there are marital assets that may be appropriated through divorce, as in the case of leaving when they have received the benefit of educational investments such as advanced degrees. However, individuals may also file when they are being exploited within the marriage, as when the other party commits a major violation of the marriage contract, such as cruelty. Interestingly, though, cruelty amounts to only 6% of all divorce filings in Virginia. We have found that who gets the children is by far the most important component in deciding who files for divorce, particularly when there is little quarrel about property, as when the separation is long.

Keep in mind that getting custody not only determines which parent has their children ripped away from them, but that because of the child support system the children also often come with a hefty payment stream the ‘winning’ parent can spend however they want. The ‘loser’ on the other hand is compelled at risk of imprisonment to pay amounts which can exceed their actual ability to earn. While this money is extracted from them in theory on behalf of their children, it robs them of their ability to be seen as wanting to take care of their children. Fathers can’t spend money on their children which the mother has already taken by force. Making this winner take all game even more lopsided, in the US the receipt of the payments is considered tax free, since the support payer must pay the income tax on it.

This system which is supposedly about the children encourages mothers to expel their children’s fathers from their lives. One divorce explains how many women think about this:

The problem with my life, as I saw it then, was my husband, and I imagined divorce as a process that would remove him but change little else  a sort of neutron bomb that eliminated men but left the rest of the world intact.

But divorce is only one way that child support encourages women to become single parents. The direct route to unwed motherhood is to simply get knocked up without getting married. This wouldn’t have guaranteed unwed mothers child support in the past. However, the rules were changed in the latter part of the 21st century, as Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers explain in their paper Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces:

Supreme Court rulings in the 1960s and 1970s also changed the nature of family relationships by eliminating many of the legal distinctions stemming from the marital status of a child’s parents. In 1968, the Supreme Court ruling in Levy v. Louisiana (391 U.S. 68) granted equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to “illegitimate” children. Five years later, the 1973 ruling in Gomez v. Perez (409 U.S. 535) overturned state laws exempting men from financial responsibility for “illegitimate” children. These rulings reduced both the social and economic cost to women of bearing a child out-of-wedlock…

Not surprisingly, this along with welfare payments has lead to an explosion of children being born out of wedlock. You can see the impact in the chart below from NCHS Data Brief No. 18 May 2009, Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States:

children-unmarried-women

The 2011 Statistical Abstract of the United States provides the breakdown of out of wedlock births by race (Table 86 pdf or image) for 2007, the latest year data is available. 40% of all babies born in the US in 2007 were out of wedlock. This figure was 51% for Hispanics, 28% for whites, and 72% for blacks. The US isn’t exceptional for its out of wedlock birth rates either:

out-of-wedlock-children-by-nation

But the direct approach to unwed motherhood isn’t preferred by all would be baby mommas. Some have a strong sense of tradition, and prefer the classic approach of marrying the father and then divorcing him after the children are born. Fortunately for them child support along with biased family courts makes this nearly as easy as the direct approach. As an added bonus, they get to attend a big party held in their honor, where they (get this!) promise in front of everyone they know to stay married to the father for life. This more classic approach to baby mamma-hood is also on the rise, as you can see in Figure 1 in Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces.

Divorce has gone from almost unheard of to extremely common. According to the US Census 2009 SIPP data, 39% of all white women aged 50-59 had divorced at least once. This works out to 42% of all white women that age who ever married. For Hispanic women the figures are 27%&30%, and for Black women the figures are 38%&48%.

All of this action supposedly in the interest of children has resulted in millions of kids growing up with little or no access to their fathers. A small percentage of these kids are better off because of the system. They had fathers who either abandoned them or were abusive. Far more have lost something irreplaceable; the chance to grow up with both their mother and father (chart source):

historic-living-arangements-of-children

There is a huge body of research showing how detrimental this is to children. In the interest of space I’ll only share one small quote from Dan Quayle Was Right (emphasis mine):

Even for fathers who maintain regular contact, the pattern of father-child relationships changes. The sociologists Andrew Cherlin and Frank Furstenberg, who have studied broken families, write that the fathers behave more like other relatives than like parents. Rather than helping with homework or carrying out a project with their children, nonresidential fathers are likely to take the kids shopping, to the movies, or out to dinner. Instead of providing steady advice and guidance, divorced fathers become “treat” dads.

Apparently–and paradoxically–it is the visiting relationship itself, rather than the frequency of visits, that is the real source of the problem. According to Wallerstein, the few children in the California study who reported visiting with their fathers once or twice a week over a ten-year period still felt rejected. The need to schedule a special time to be with the child, the repeated leave-takings, and the lack of connection to the child’s regular, daily schedule leaves many fathers adrift, frustrated, and confused. Wallerstein calls the visiting father a parent without portfolio.

This is built into any child support scenario, and simply cannot be changed or wished away. The profoundly negative result of fatherless children is widely acknowledged, even by those who enthusiastically support the new family structure child support encourages. However, instead of blaming the process which created the problem, most now blame the very fathers who had their children ripped away from them. This is the final insult by a system which sees fathers as no more than a walking wallet. Instead of blaming the concerted social push to allow women to raise children outside of marriage, the fathers themselves are blamed for being absent! Following the London riots many have pointed out that a major cause of the out of control youths is a lack of fathers. The headline of The Telegraph reads:

London Riots: Absent Fathers Have a Lot to Answer For

Consent

consentYou’ve been fooled. Consent is the answer, or more correctly your refusal to consent. Check out this website for details on consent.

The End of Society?

graft and corruption doctor“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.” – Ayn Rand

Many politicians and ‘leaders’ are truly sick. Their sociopathic narcissism causes the masses (or at least themselves) to believe that he or she has a superior ability to spend other people’s money.  Politicians also hold a worldview based on of scarcity. Politics is really the art and science of allocating scarcity, while making decisions about the collection and redistribution of resources within an economy and among its people.

This same truth applies with child support, the Bradley Amendment and all statute worldwide.

Fathers Challenge Jail Sentences for Child Support

by Greg Bluestein
Associated Press

captiveAfter Lance Hendrix returned from military service in 2009, he landed part-time construction work and odd jobs to help pay the child support he owed for his daughter. He managed to pay about $3,800, but when he couldn’t afford to the rest, a judge threw Hendrix in jail for four months.

The 24-year-old is one of five fathers behind a legal challenge targeting a law that allows judges to put parents in jail if they can’t make child support payments. The dads say it perpetuates a disastrous cycle, as the parents wind up losing their jobs, making it harder for them to pay up. The lawsuit aims to force Georgia to provide the parents attorneys at hearings so they can better defend themselves.

“They’re putting people in jail that have no means of even supporting themselves,” Hendrix said. “Who’s going to want to hire me from jail? ‘Hello, my name is Lance Hendrix and I’m currently an inmate in Cook County Jail. Would you mind hiring me?’ Yeah right.”

Imprisoning parents over child support payments has become routine in Georgia. At least 3,500 parents have been jailed in child support cases without being provided attorneys since January 2010, according to court records. In October 2011, 845 parents were jailed in Georgia for child support proceedings.

“We absolutely have a modern day debtor’s prison,” said Sarah Geraghty of the Southern Center for Human Rights, the Atlanta-based organization representing the fathers. “They are forgotten about. And in many instances, the parent is sent to jail and they’re called back into court only when someone remembers that they’re there.”

The Georgia attorney general’s office and the state’s Department of Human Services declined comment on the litigation. In court filings, state attorneys said the lawsuit was unnecessary because parents could avoid incarceration by appealing the contempt orders that send them to jail. State attorneys also said locking parents up is a last resort to hold parents accountable.

If the lawsuit prevails, it could bring big changes to Georgia’s legal system, forcing the state to set aside potentially millions of dollars to pay for lawyers for the parents. Geraghty said she also hopes it could bring a shift in tactics, prodding the state to garnish the wages of delinquent parents or put liens on their property rather than incarcerate them.

“The problem that we see in Georgia is the state often uses incarceration as a first resort rather than a last resort,” she said.

The five fathers cleared a major hurdle recently when a judge granted class-action status, allowing thousands of other indigent parents who were imprisoned to join the lawsuit. The December order, by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter, only applies to those who can’t afford to pay for an attorney, not those who can hire one but choose not to do so.

The sentences given to the parents — some have spent more than a year in jail — are a result in a quirk in Georgia law. Anyone charged with criminal contempt has the right to an attorney and can only be imprisoned for 20 days. But child support hearings are civil matters, and parents charged with contempt in those cases are often jailed for far longer, without counsel.

Georgia is one of four states that don’t require indigent plaintiffs facing jail in child support cases to be appointed attorneys. The state, meanwhile, often has experienced lawyers.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in June holding that indigent parents don’t have the right to counsel in a child support hearing where the state wasn’t involved . But this lawsuit says there are thousands of cases in Georgia untouched by the ruling because the state represents the other side.

The plaintiffs and the other parents who could join the class-action lawsuit are a diverse group that includes military veterans, immigrants, the homeless and even a pregnant woman.

One is 40-year-old Randy Miller, a veteran of the Iraq war who has paid about $75,000 in child support for his two daughters over the years. He lost his job at AT&T and then lost his home in 2010, and at one point had as little as 39 cents in his bank account.

He was jailed for three months when he was unable to pay his $800 obligation. He was released in February 2011, but still owes money and fears he could be jailed again.

Hendrix is now working odd jobs, helping renovate restaurants and build furniture. He’s taken to buying canned foods from discount stores rather than fast food. He relies on help from family to pay some bills.

But it’s still not enough to pay the $480 he owes his ex-wife each month for their 5-year-old daughter, so he risks being incarcerated again.

“It’s an impossible situation,” he said. “And I can’t find a job when I’m in jail.”

this article is as it appeared in the Washington Examiner

Unable to Pay Child Support, Poor Parents Land Behind Bars

Judges can jail alleged defaulters — who are not covered by the presumption of innocence — without a trial

by Mike Brunker

from MSNBC September 19, 2011

obama

Barack Obama

It may not be a crime to be poor, but it can land you behind bars if you also are behind on your child-support payments.

Thousands of so-called “deadbeat” parents are jailed each year in the U.S. after failing to pay court-ordered child support — the vast majority of them for withholding or hiding money out of spite or a feeling that they’ve been unfairly gouged by the courts.

But in what might seem like an un-American plot twist from a Charles Dickens’ novel, advocates for the poor say, some parents are wrongly being locked away without any regard for their ability to pay — sometimes without the benefit of legal representation.

Randy Miller, a 39-year-old Iraqi war vet, found himself in that situation in November, when a judge in Floyd County, Ga., sent him to jail for violating a court order to pay child support.

He said he was stunned when the judge rebuffed his argument that he had made regular payments for more than a decade before losing his job in July 2009 and had recently resumed working.

“I felt that with my payment history and that I had just started working, maybe I would be able to convince the judge to give me another month and a half to start making the payments again,” he told msnbc.com. “… But that didn’t sit too well with him because he went ahead and decided to lock me up.”

Miller, who spent three months in jail before being released, is one of six plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed in March that seeks to force the state of Georgia to provide lawyers for poor non-custodial parents facing the loss of their freedom for failing to pay child support.

‘Debtors’ prisons’?
“Languishing in jail for weeks, months, and sometimes over a year, these parents share one trait … besides their poverty: They went to jail without ever talking to an attorney,” according to the lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Southern Center of Human Rights in Atlanta.

While jailing non-paying parents — the vast majority of them men — does lead to payment in many cases, critics say that it unfairly penalizes poor and unemployed parents who have no ability to pay, even though federal law stipulates that they must have “willfully” violated a court order before being incarcerated.

They compare the plight of such parents to the poor people consigned to infamous “debtors’ prisons” before such institutions were outlawed in the early 1800s.

“I try very carefully not to exaggerate, but I do think that’s an apt comparison,” said Sarah Geraghty, the attorney handling the Georgia case for the Southern Center for Human Rights.

“And I think anyone who went down and watched one of these proceedings would agree with me. … You see a room full of indigent parents — most of them African-American — and you have a judge and attorney general, both of whom are white. The hearings often take only 15 seconds. The judge asks, ‘Do you have any money to pay?’ the person pleads and the judge says, ‘OK you’re going to jail,’” she added.

The threat of jailing delinquent parents is intended to coerce them to pay, but in rare cases it can have tragic results.

In June, a New Hampshire father and military veteran, Thomas Ball, died after dousing himself with gasoline and setting himself ablaze in front of the Cheshire County Court House.

In a long, rambling letter to the local Sentinel newspaper, the 58-year-old Ball stated that he did so to focus attention on what he considered unfair domestic violence laws and because he expected to be jailed at an upcoming hearing on his failure to pay up to $3,000 in delinquent child support, even though he had been out of work for two years.

The ability of judges to jail parents without a trial is possible because failure to pay child support is usually handled as a civil matter, meaning that the non-custodial parent — or the “contemnor” in legal terms — is found guilty of contempt of court and ordered to appear at a hearing.

He or she is not entitled to some constitutional protections that criminal defendants receive, including the presumption of innocence. And in five states — Florida, Georgia, Maine, South Carolina and Ohio — one of the omitted protections is the right to an attorney.

Randall Kessler, a family law attorney in Atlanta and chairman of the American Bar Association’s family law division, said states have a great deal of leeway in family law, which includes child support cases.

“The main reason states are patchwork is because family law is a local idea,” he said. “It’s very infrequent that the federal government gets into family law, except for international custody every now and then and violence against women. … Each community’s laws are different in the way they treat child support collection, and the right to a lawyer and the right to a jury trial varies.”

Supreme Court: No right to a lawyer
The child support program currently serves approximately 17 million U.S. children, or nearly a quarter of the nation’s minors, according to a recent study by Elaine Sorensen, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.

Critics of incarceration without representation had hoped that the U.S. Supreme Court would end the practice in its ruling in Turner v. Rogers, a case involving a South Carolina man who was repeatedly jailed for up to a year after failing to pay child support.

But the court ruled 5-4 in June that poor parents are not entitled to a court-appointed lawyer when facing jail for non-payment of child support. Instead, the justices said, states should use “substantial procedural safeguards” to ensure that those who have no means to pay are not locked up.

That is likely to force the states that don’t guarantee the right to an attorney to tighten their policies, said Colleen Eubanks, executive director of the National Child Support Enforcement Association, which represents state agencies. “Obviously they’re going to have to look at changing the rules,” she said.

Ken Wolfe, a spokesman for the federal Administration for Children and Families, which imposes some rules on state child support enforcement agencies in exchange for funding, said the agency expects to issue guidance to the states next month regarding the Turner case. He declined to provide any details.

But Libba Patterson, a law professor at the University of South Carolina and a former director of the state Department of Social Services, said the Supreme Court ruling provides “very weak protections” for poor parents and is unlikely on its own to solve the problem of wrongful incarceration of poor parents.

“It depends on the extent to which the court is truly interested in making a full inquiry on the ability-to-pay issue and on the resources the court has and the amount of judicial time,” she said.

Even in states where the non-custodial parents do have the right to a lawyer, those without the financial resources to meet their child-support obligations still frequently land in jail.

A 2009 study by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan policy think tank in Washington, D.C., found that only half of the child support debtors in California prisons had reported income in the two preceding years. And the median net income of the others was a mere $2,881.

65 percent of paycheck taken
Geraghty, the Southern Center for Human Rights attorney, said part of the problem is that courts often order poor parents to pay too much for child support in the first place, increasing the likelihood that they will fall behind on payments.

“One of my former clients worked at the Piggly Wiggly (supermarket) and they were taking 65 percent of her paycheck,” she said. “It left her in a position where there was simply no way that she could survive on the amount that she had left.”

No one can say how many parents are jailed each year for failing to pay child support, because states typically do not track such cases.

But an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics in 2002 by the Urban Institute’s Sorensen found that approximately 10,000 men were in jail for non-payment of child support, representing 1.7 percent of the overall U.S. jail population.

Most observers believe that number has risen as a result of the troubled U.S. economy.

In fiscal 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the Child Support Enforcement program saw child support collections decline for the first time in the history of the program, dipping 1.8 percent, the GAO reported in January.

At the same time, payments collected from unemployment insurance benefits nearly tripled, and the number of cases in which children were receiving public assistance also rose.

Military veterans, who often struggle to find work when they leave the service, appear to be particularly at risk.

Lance Hendrix of Adel, Ga., an Army veteran, said he fell behind on child support for his 4-year-old daughter after he left the service and couldn’t find work.

“I was arrested and I went to jail and they asked me all sorts of questions,” said Hendrix, who also is a plaintiff in the Georgia lawsuit. “I was never told I was under arrest. And I was never read my rights. So I did not know what rights I had. Of course, I’ve seen all these movies, but half that isn’t true.”

Not having a lawyer in a civil contempt hearing increases the likelihood that the parent will be jailed, even if he or she is not guilty of “willfully” defying the court’s order, say critics of the policy.

‘Wrongfully imprisoned’
“In the absence of counsel … it appears that the opportunity to raise the defense is often missed, and large numbers of indigent parents are wrongfully imprisoned for failure to meet child support obligations every year,” according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed in the Turner case by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

The deck is further stacked against the delinquent parent because the state often acts as the plaintiff, seeking to recover the cost of providing public assistance to the child, Geraghty said.

Officials of Georgia’s Child Support Services agency declined to comment on the state’s child support enforcement policies or the lawsuit.

But Seth Harp, a retired Georgia state senator and former member of the state’s Child Support Guidelines Commission, said the state’s judges use incarceration sparingly.

“The methodology to put someone in jail requires that the person be taken to court before a judge and there they have to be found in willful contempt — someone who actively refuses to seek work or is hiding assets, something like that,” he said. “Judges don’t want to put people in jail. … The whole purpose is to get these people to support their children.”

Harp said he’s seen the tactic work repeatedly in his long career as a family law attorney.

“You can’t get blood out of a turnip, but you can put the turnip in the cooler,” he said. “And in 34 years of doing this, it’s amazing, you put someone in the cooler and the money seems to come.”

Judge Janice M. Rosa, a supervising court judge in New York’s 8th Judicial District and a board member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, said the system in her state adequately protects non-custodial parents by guaranteeing them a court-appointed lawyer if they cannot afford one and carefully determining that they have the ability to pay.

“No one here is going to jail when a factory closes down and you’re one of hundreds looking for a job,” she said. “… Every state has said that debtors’ prisons are illegal, and you have to give these people a way out. You can only put them in jail if they have money and won’t pay.”

Attempt to assist both parents
Eubanks, the National Child Support Enforcement Association official, said state programs in general are doing a better job in recent years of ensuring that the poor aren’t unfairly locked up by instituting programs to help non-custodial parents improve work, life and parenting skills.

“Five to 10 years ago, the program was pretty much about enforcing support. But now it’s moving to the understanding that if parents are going to support their children, they need assistance,” she said. “Our philosophy is to provide whatever tools we can to both parents to support their children.”

She also said the recent Supreme Court decision prompted the association to conduct training and outreach to ensure that state agencies are aware of the issue and have adequate safeguards in place to prevent indigent parents from being wrongly jailed.

That is no comfort to Miller, the Iraq war veteran who was jailed for three months. He said jailing parents who fall behind on their payments is counterproductive and should be reserved for only the most egregious violators.

“I feel like it’s more unfair to the kids, because now not only do the kids not get any money, nor do they even get to spend time with their fathers once they get locked up,” he said. “The closest you can get is visitation, and who wants their kids to see them behind bars or behind glass.”

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The Battle Continues: Slavery and American Politics

by E.J. Manning

slavery to children

American politics has always had a difficult time dealing with slavery of all kinds, which descended from the roots of the founding of the nation. While Abraham Lincoln ultimately did his best to transcend the racism and abuse that has infected this nation. Lincoln commonly evidenced a soft spot for people when it was not popular. When Lincoln spoke out in public office (1856) against the continuation of national slavery, Illinois politicians accused him of “the most ultra abolitionism” in reaction to Lincoln’s verbage: “Your race are suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people.” The media of day was hardly sympathetic either, evidenced by the Illinois State Register that proclaimed “his niggerism has as dark a hue as that of (William) Garrison or Fred Douglas.” Lincoln’s opposers, like unscrupulous Stephen Douglas, scoffed at Lincoln and the plight of slaves.

Yet, even Lincoln was hardly a favorite among abolitionists of the day. He was not a god. He wavered consistently, uncertain at to how to deal the plague of national sin. Such is the plight of national politics where human and civil rights are concerned, even today. After the election, Lincoln avidly supported the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which gave full authority to apprehend slaves and to carry out slave-killing pledges by various parties of slavers. On the other hand, Lincoln was involved in colonization schemes of the day. Reacting to the racial fears of the time, Lincoln sought indirect opportunities for slave emancipation. Lincoln summoned a committee of free blacks (1862) from the District of Columbia to the White House. “You are cut off from many of the advantages which other race enjoy.” Lincoln told the members of the delegation that the black presence was to blame for the Civil War, lecturing them on their duty to persuade their people to emigrate to the coal mines of Central America. He urged them to go where they would be treated best.

The abolitionists were enraged by these comments and rampaged against Lincoln as missing the “spark of humanity.” Frederick Douglass called Lincoln a “genuine representative of American prejudice.” Douglass rightly attacked the “tardy, hesitating and vacillating policy of the President of the United States.” Lincoln defended himself by stressing the importance of timing and preparation, reasoning that the victims of racism were hated men. We don’t have a similar champion of human or civil rights in the United States today, despite notorious attacks on the civil freedoms of Americans across the board. Instead, this abuse is justified by carefully crafted manipulation by politicians and corporate powers that expect to benefit from money and authority behind the scenes to feather their nests.

kangaroo court

Repeal Bradley Law

In the corporate mind of fascist America, we still need slaves and serfs to serve the needs of the elite. They seek the restoration of the original Industrial America. In their minds, the American Experiment has failed them, and so, they have elected to subvert it entirely for another world order where a man is a dog. This greed and lack of respect for human beings is evidenced by the outsourcing of jobs wholesale from the nation that made so many corporations wealthy, in order to further pad their bottom lines. The same greed and lack of respect exists for those that fabricated and have continued to support the Bradley Amendment for Social Security, which advocates the use of Federal money to encourage the States to aggressively enforce child support by any means, using loopholes in civil law and promoting the using of debtor’s prison. In civil law, there is no professed innocence before guilt. That legal dogma only exists in criminal law.

As a result, the poorest of Americans are routinely oppressed without representation in a system that requires it to get anything approaching a “fair shake.” Slavery has returned to the nation through legal sanction, if it every really left to begin with. We still have the wisdom of ages that speaks against this abuse of power by the old writer of Lincoln’s Day, Horace Greeley: “Enslave a man and you destroy his ambition, his enterprise, his capacity. In the constitution of human nature, the desire of bettering one’s condition is mainspring of effort.” This observation is clearly more right than most American’s today care to acknowledge. The remnants of a middle class of Americans are distracted, grieved and fearful, carefully cultivated by the politics of 9/11. They are owned lock, stock and barrel by the company store, brainwashed by decades of corporate fascism, political favoritism and the lust for power.

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