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September 30, 2004

The Death Clock

Clancy at CultureCat linked to an oldie but goodie, the Death Clock.

I just plugged myself in, and clicked on "sadistic," and it told me I died in 1995. I've always wanted to be buried in the floorboards of my house and haunt it...

Posted on September 30, 2004 at 04:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Rent-A-Husband

Check this out: Rent-A-Husband.

No, it's not a sex service. Rent-A-Husband is about household chores, giving driving lessons, changing lightbulbs, hanging pictures, and stuff. It really doesn't float my boat and I wouldn't trust it (I wouldn't let a male stranger babysit), but it was amusing. There's only one drawback for tired women in the U. S. who would consider it.

It's in Helsinki.

Posted on September 30, 2004 at 03:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

The Ugly Truth About Fathers' Rights Groups Is Coming Out

I hope there are more exposures of these horrid groups like the previously-posted Guardian article blasting Fathers 4 Justice and the story of that dreadful American group, Equal Rights for Divorced Dads.

In the middle of an article about Fathers 4 Justice was this:

However, commentators are starting to see F4J's own publicity turn negative.

The media backlash has seen high-profile F4J campaigners dragged through the mud. Campaigners' previous convictions for harassment have leaked into the tabloids, and former partners of some of the campaigners have accused them of adultery and heavy drinking.

Daily Mirror chief reporter Gary Jones says: 'Their backgrounds have tainted their campaign. There is a debate to be had about the way the courts behave and fathers have been badly treated. However, these men are not superheroes, quite the opposite. In many cases, it is them who have misbehaved.'

The Guardian social affairs commentator Polly Toynbee describes F4J's campaign as 'aggressive' and 'macho' and blasts its policies: 'Professional PR people would not have advised this campaign. The way they come across is not as sensitive dads. The interviews they give and the way they talk about the issues seem like revenge on their former partners.'

There was also this:

F4J's main aim is to achieve automatic presumptions of 50-50 custody in all child access cases, giving both parents equal rights in the eyes of the law. But this goes against the recent Children's Bill, which heralded a child's rights as paramount, according to Toynbee, who says parents have responsibilities, not rights.

The U. K. had rejected an automatic presumption for 50-50 custody in July.

The guys have not yet figured out that despite all the publicity they're getting, they are not getting the results they've demanded.

Plus, to use a phrase I've seen bandied about, Batman is looking like a Joker.

Posted on September 30, 2004 at 03:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Scathing Article About Fathers 4 Justice

Dressing in party outfits doesn't make these fools harmless

Few of us, I think, would rejoice in having a person in Batman suit for a father. Particularly when the twerp in question has a record for harrassing the mother of two of his children and was allegedly overheard, more recently, bragging about the prodigious number of women to have enjoyed the favours bulging to one side of his Batman knickers. And yet Jason Hatch of Fathers4Justice has got himself quite a distinguished following.

Yesterday, in these pages, Hatch and his comrades were even likened to the suffragettes. Who obviously missed a trick in not going in for fancy dress. For although F4J's children's party costumes are sometimes deprecated by those who go on to approve its campaign, it seems unlikely that anyone would have warmed to the men, even taken much notice, had they performed their various feats in civvies. In ill-fitting, babyish outfits that contrived to make them look more little-guyishly plucky (or creepy) than oikish, they elicited support and admiration from the most unlikely places.

This is just the beginning. The reporter, Catherine Bennett, really rips into them for the rest of the article. Go read it. She nailed 'em good.

Posted on September 30, 2004 at 02:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Hurricanes Weren't The Only Storms In Florida

Domestic violence spikes after storms.

Posted on September 30, 2004 at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lowell Jaks Due To Be Released November 9

Update January 25, 2005: Welcome, everyone who is coming here from Wampum's Koufax Awards "Best Series" nomination. This series of posts is about Lowell Jaks, the founder of the Alliance for Noncustodial Parents Rights (ANCPR), an especially nasty fathers' rights group. Jaks had kidnapped his son and spirited him away to the Dominican Republic. His son is now back in the states with his mother. Jaks just finished serving a prison sentence. I have followed this story from the very beginning. This is the newest post. To catch the entire story, start from the bottom of this category and read forward. Jaks and ANCPR are examples of how horrible fathers' rights groups and activists really are. They are not concerned with the best interests of women and children, nor do they represent decent fathers.

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My long-time readers know that I have been following the Lowell Jaks case from the very beginning. Lowell Jaks, the founder of the fathers' rights group Alliance For Non-Custodial Parents Rights, is due to be released from prison on November 9. He is in jail for kidnapping his son Alec and spiriting him away to the Dominican Republic. For the full story on this case, please visit my entire Lowell Jaks/ANCPR category on my blog.

I heard from his ex-wife, Elaine, who sent me a recent article about Jaks's time in jail. I don't care much for the article because it portrays Jaks in a rather positive light, as if he is merely a beleagered father who wanted only to spend more time with his son, and that he was willing to go to jail because he wanted to be with his son. Read my entire Jaks/ANCPR category to get the real story. You'll see how inaccurate the positive depiction really is.

The reporter found my Jaks/ANCPR category on my blog because a comment Nicole Jaks, Jaks' daughter from his first marriage, left on my blog is quoted in the article:

"In a letter on an Internet site about the Jaks situation, she wrote: "Mr. Jaks has stated that children need the love of their father not his money, but I know we didn't feel that way when my mother had to work extra hours and be gone longer, leaving us with no parent, or depending on the welfare system."

The good news is that Alec is doing very well since being returned to his mother. I'm happy to hear that. Jaks is unrepentant, and I fear that once released he may attempt to kidnap Alec again. From the article:

Jaks said he feels he was unfairly prosecuted. He said Alec asked to be with him and he feels, "If a young boy wants to live with his dad, that's the end of the matter. Mothers should not have a say in that." He acknowledged it "made me sick to take him (Alec) away from his mother." But, he added, "Some things are just right to do even if you know that most people feel it's wrong."

Posted on September 30, 2004 at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

September 29, 2004

Fathers' Rights Group Leader: "Mean Spirited, Unfair, Engages In Venomous, Vitriolic Attacks"

Still more on the fathers' rights group Equal Rights For Divorced Fathers. I hope that the courts aren't too surprised how this group operates. Most fathers' rights groups are nasty like this. I'm glad the courts woke up and don't refer men to this bunch anymore.

Family law attorney Gayle Nathan says, "It's like a terrorist organization against women."

A judge who used to refer men to ERDF doesn't anymore. The "Ernie" he refers to is ERDF founder Ernest del Casal.

Judge Bob Lueck, for one, thinks Del Casal does a decent job of helping husbands with their legal paperwork, which means family cases move through the system better.

Ironically, Lueck is one of Del Casal's favorite targets. In his newsletter, Del Casal calls Lueck an insecure man who runs his mouth. In his meetings, he says more. Del Casal commented, "He started smoking ... crack. He went whack-a-doodle."

Judge Robert Lueck said, "We look at it as Ernie being Ernie. Ernie has no more credibility over here because he's unbalanced in the way he presents his arguments. He's mean spirited, unfair, engages in venomous, vitriolic attacks."

Sometimes people like me don't have to educate the public regarding how bad fathers' rights activists and groups are. Sometimes the activists and groups do a bang-up job themselves - as they do in this case - and they destroy themselves. Saves me the work.

Posted on September 29, 2004 at 01:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

So A T-Shirt That Says "Trust No Bitch" Means They Don't Hate Women?

Here's more information about the fathers' rights group Equal Rights For Divorced Fathers:

There is a t-shirt hanging on founder Ernest del Casal's office that says "Trust No Bitch." Those shirts are sold to raise money for the group. Del Casal excuses the shirt, saying "That shirt was donated. I let guys hang stuff all over. This is a clubhouse. They can hang anything they want. It's how we pay for Fathers' Day barbeque. I don't see anybody wearing it. It's a gag gift."

Female judges are "labeled by name as fat lesbians."

Female attorneys are accused of "coaxing their clients into faking injuiries so their husbands are arrested."

A joke told by del Casal: "What do you tell a wife who has two black eyes? Nothing, you told her twice already."

Another joke told by del Casal: "What do 15 battered women have in common? None of them understands the meaning of shut the blank up."

Yet another joke told by del Casal: "What does a woman do when she gets out of the battered women's shelter? The dishes, if she knows what's good for her."

No wonder courts don't refer divorcing men to this group anymore.

Posted on September 29, 2004 at 01:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (31)

Court Says Divorced Dads Group Too Anti-Woman

Ernest del Casal founded Equal Rights for Divorced Fathers supposedly to help dads, but not surprising to me, it turns out that the group is very anti-woman. Reporters obtained undercover video of meetings in which del Casal made "numerous disparaging remarks about women in general, about female judges and lawyers in particular, and even made jokes about beating up women when they get out of line." Of an unnamed female judge: "She's a mean-spirited lesbian that doesn't like me."

The family courts had no idea Equal Rights for Divorced Fathers was like this. They sent men to ERDF for help. Not anymore. Del Casal "will no longer get referrals from the court because of his harsh attitudes about women."

Posted on September 29, 2004 at 01:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York's GAL System In Need Of An Overhaul

In an article related to New York's lack of enforcement of court orders, New York's guardians ad litem (GALs - lawyers who represent children's interests and present them to the judge) are criticized for focusing more on their fees than on their jobs. The article describes a father who had hired a GAL to help him get overnight visitation. Once the GAL learned that he and his ex-wife were in deep credit-card debt and had no money to pay the $250 per hour fees, the GAL focused most of his attention - and his hearings - on getting paid rather than assisting the children, which was his job. While I agree that any worker should be compensated for his work, the article points out that "in a small yet disturbing number of cases, parents say a system meant to protect their children ended up hurting them more. Several [Staten] Islanders who spoke to the Advance said they worried their children's best interests got lost in a maelstrom of competing motives, such as a guardian's preoccupation with unpaid legal bills, a bias toward one side, or personal values in possible conflict with the child's well-being."

In 1990, New York judges were given the power to appoint privately paid GALs. In nearly every custody case where a child is able to talk, a GAL is appointed. This has led to accusations of corruptions, such as the case involving a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge who "was indicted in 2003 for accepting money and gifts from a law guardian in exchange for lucrative appointments and favorable rulings." The article states that "chief among critics' concerns is the unchecked power law guardians sometimes have over judges' rulings and the fate of families."

Posted on September 29, 2004 at 05:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)