A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Posts tagged ‘fair’

Aussie Fundraiser to Support Fathers

compiled by Moody Jim Rathbone

Courtney Hewett fundraiser child supportAustralian Courtney Hewett is holding a photo shoot for a cause and is asking for community support. After the sudden loss of a close friend, Courtney decided she wanted to create a fundraiser in his memory.

Courtney, along with Aleesha Watson of Creative Designs by Aleesha, makeup artist Catrina Loller and hairdressers Jordan Atkinson and Melita Newland, have coordinated a glamor boudoir photo shoot to raise much needed funds for the Australian Brotherhood of Fathers (ABF).

The ABF is a lobby group that seek social justice reforms in government and court to encourage fair child custody outcomes.

It believes fathers deserve equal opportunity for shared parenting with shared costs, providing a more fair child support payment system. “Twenty-one fathers commit suicide every week due to childhood visitation issues,” she said. That is in Australia alone.

The photo shoots will be held on Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9, for a cost of $280. This price will cover the cost of hair, makeup, photography, 15 edited images, food platters, drinks and a a generous donation to the cause. “I just wanted to do something a little bit different,” she said.

So why is this article on this website. A little good news is needed… from somewhere.

The curse that has come to rest on fathers needs some good news, and this is about as good as it usually gets. This is a decent idea for a good cause. The good old USA needs some inspiration in this area, as well as some interest and guts. Australia child support is similar to other modern nations through United Nations treaty. Only the United States has the cursed Bradley Amendment, where the government cannot forgive or modify any debt retroactively.

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The Fairness of Paternity Fraud

by Diane Dimond

kangaroo courtThere is a lot of unfairness in the world. The American justice system stands ready to counter that, right?

Not so fast.

When it comes to men and allegations of paternity, women have a decidedly upper hand. Whatever the woman claims in court most often becomes fact. And once a court has ruled on paternity and established child support, it can be next to impossible to change — even if a DNA test excludes the man from any possibility of parenthood.

Across the country, men of all ages, colors and social statuses have been ordered by family courts to pay child support for children that aren’t theirs.

dna test

In one infamous case in New Mexico, a man shelled out years of support for a daughter who never actually existed. His deceitful ex-wife simply told the court there was such a child, and no proof was ever requested.

Some victims of paternity fraud find out the truth while they are still married. In Michigan, Murray Davis discovered that two of his three children were actually fathered by his best friend. But by that time, the kids were nearly teenagers, well past the legal deadline for Davis to contest paternity in that state.

Carnell Smith, of Atlanta, Georgia, discovered that the daughter he’d been raising with his girlfriend wasn’t his. But the courts didn’t want to hear it. Smith was stuck. Like Davis, this falsely identified “father” began to lobby for changes in his state’s law.

Smith started a group called U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud and got Georgia to join Ohio in being one of only two states that allow an unlimited time for a man to challenge paternity as long as the child support case is open.

Many states require a man to file a challenge before the child’s third birthday. The federal law gives a man just 60 days.

chronic-stress“That’s pretzel logic, isn’t it?” Smith asked me. “Don’t tell a man the truth, and then penalize him for not correcting the record fast enough. Some men don’t realize what’s happened,” Smith said, “until they are under water with child support payments and then have no money to pay an attorney to fight for them.”

Also working against the wronged man is the Bradley Amendment, a federal law that prohibits state judges from retroactively modifying child support orders.

None of it sounds fair, does it? But it happens all the time. Judicial reasoning ranges from, “it’s in the best interest of the child,” to, “he didn’t challenge the paternity claim immediately.”

Carnell Alexander of Detroit has been under a court-ordered cloud for nearly 30 years.

graft and corruption doctorIn 1987, his ex-girlfriend applied for welfare to support her new baby. She put Alexander’s name down as the father even though he wasn’t. A process server swore he served Alexander with papers demanding he appear in court, so when Alexander didn’t show up, he was declared a “deadbeat dad.”

Truth is, Alexander was never notified. He was in prison at the time on an unrelated charge stemming from a youthful crime. He didn’t find out about his problem until a traffic stop in 1991.

The mother in question now admits, “Everything is my fault.” She told a Detroit TV station, “He shouldn’t have to pay it at all. I want everything to go away for him so he can get on with his life.”

Despite the mother’s lies to the state, despite a definitive DNA test excluding Alexander as the father, he still owes $30,000 in support for, as he puts it, “A child that I did not father … that I was not involved in raising.” He adds, “It is not fair.”

There’s that phrase again. It is not fair.

baby moneyMurray Davis, who established the National Family Justice Association after his painful experience, says Alexander, “Is only one among tens of thousands in this state and possibly hundreds of thousands or millions around the nation who are victims of this abhorrent crime of paternity fraud.”

Fair seems rare in these cases, but a creative-thinking judge in Virginia found a way around that pesky Bradley Amendment. He ruled that a defrauded man who still legally owed $23,000 in back child support could pay it off at a rate of one dollar a year — for 1, 917 years! You gotta love that.

This kind of fraud happens to young men going off to college, to soldiers going overseas, to men of all ages and occupations. And it ruins lives. Biological children of the falsely identified, new wives, grandparents and others are all profoundly affected by paternity fraud.

Having the best interest of a child in mind is knowing the child’s lineage and medical history. The best interest of society is to have a respected family court that is fair to all.

DNA tests cost about $30 these days. It’s time for automatic court-ordered DNA testing in all child-support cases.

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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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The Battle Continues: Slavery and American Politics by E.J. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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