Saturday, August 12, 2017

Diversity in Tech

Google's firing of James Damore due to his memo claiming that the lack of gender diversity in tech is due to biological differences has generated quite a lot of media.

My take:

Mr. Damore is correct in that there are biological difference between men and women. Just like there are biological differences between people with brown hair and black hair, black skin and white skin, short people and tall people and so forth. In fact, there are biological differences between any two given humans. We are all unique. What Damore fails to understand is the significance of those differences. His mistake is jumping to an unwarranted conclusion.

Because women are underrepresented in tech, he believes the reason is due to biological differences. There is zero scientific evidence for this. It would like saying that because male politicians tend to be taller than average, there is a biological reason that tall men succeed in politics.  The reason it helps to be tall in politics or a man in tech is not due to biology but due to culture. In our society, tall men tend to be stronger and looked up to so they get more opportunity to lead. Likewise men tend to be encouraged more in sciences related to the tech industry.

But the nice thing about culture is that it can change. Nearly 50% of medical school graduates are now women (and doctors have just as much hard science as people in the tech industry) and the majorly of law school graduates are women. Not too long ago that would have been unthinkable. No doubt there were many James Damores claiming that women just weren't biologically fitted to be doctors or lawyers.

Many years ago Spring argued with me about a woman being president. She claimed it would be wrong and I said that was ridiculous. She got steaming mad. Such was my surreal marriage.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pseudo-planning

Almost 30 years ago I started working as a programmer at the company I am still with. Ironically, the first computer class I had in college was my last semester, but I had picked up enough in the five years after college to at least get me in the door as a programmer. My starting salary was about $19,000/year.

Back then we often used what is called pseudo-code which is basically an outline of the program done on paper before you start keying the code in. I am dating myself - Things have come a long way.

Expanding on my hunger strike posts, here is a pseudo-plan for how it would work.

Petition to the court:
  • Ask the court to, at a minimum, immediately end alimony. State that the court has three options: 1) correct past injustices, 2) end further injustice, or 3) continue to add to injustice. Option 2 is the minimum I will accept. Option 1 would be nice but the odds of the court ruling in a way that is fully just are slim to none. 
  • State that alimony was ordered despite the fact that the custody evlauator ruled Spring was not the primary parent, the vocational evaluator ordered she could make as much money as me, her breaking several court orders including the order to negotiate by a certain date, good evidence of her committing perjury, unquestionable evidence of her lawyer lying in court and thus committing fraud and fraud upon the court, as well the fact that she has never once during the marriage or after used a single dime of her income for the benefit of the children. 
  • Point out that even though joint custody was ordered, the children have spent far more time with me. Note that, despite this I have tried very hard to ensure the children do not become totally alienated from their mother. I have gone so far s to buy mother's day cards for them. 
  • Point out that we were not married until I was 30 and Spring was a few months shy of 30. 
  • Point out that criminal actions by Spring and her lawyer have cost me approximately one million dollars since the divorce. 
  • Point out the damage done to not only the children but to Spring as well due to the court's ruling. If Spring had been required to be self-supporting and contributor to her children's upbringing she would be a lot happier person today. At some level she must know just how awful her actions were and how much they hurt the children. I would hope so anyway. 
  • Point out that despite evidence of the highest evidentiary quality possible, the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board did not take action against Nelly Wince. They did not even address the charges but simply whitewashed the matter. An appeal was likewise denied. Such inaction on their part is, unfortunately, normal.
  • Point out that when I contacted the county attorney's office I was told there is no law against a lawyer lying in court and that fraud upon the court does not existent in Minnesota statures. Both statements are easily shown to be false. 
  • Point out that I have contacted the FBI but have not heard from them. 
  • Point out that I have done everything I was supposed to. I followed the process. However, the level of corruption within the court system is so high it has been impossible for me to receive even a semblance of justice. 
  • Refer the court to Flowers of the Killer Moon as an example of how bad corruption can be. 
  • Refer the court to Divorce Corp and the stories on Minnesota Alimony Reform's website for current examples as to just how bad and how widespread legal corruption is. 
  • State that every day people die due to unjust court decisions and criminal actions committed in family court. This includes multiple daily suicides by the victims of injustice, including affected children, as well as deaths caused by self destructive behavior and violent actions committed out of desperation.  
  • Point out that corruption in the court affects all aspects of society. When people see that some are rewarded for crimes and protected from punishment they see no reason not to commit crimes as well. Point out the monetary cost as well. This includes direct costs as well as lost taxes and GDP due to people like Spring being voluntarily underemployed, reduced overall taxes due to alimony, and increased social security costs. 
  • State that if alimony is not ended immediately then it is my intent, once the children are on their own, to quit my job and go a very public hunger strike.  
  • I would publicly name the names of the guilty with the exception of Spring. 
  • Because I would essentially become unemployable, I would require more than ending alimony to end the hunger strike. This may include restitution of moneys lost to criminal actions and/or criminal charges being brought agaisnt the guilty.
  • I would use every media outlet possible to publicize my hunger strike. I may even precede it with protests at the court and Nelly Wince's office. I would be arrested, not eat in jail, be released and go right back down to protest. This alone would likely generate wide media coverage. 
  • I would engage the Minnesota ACLU. 
  • State that although I would hope the guilty would not take direct violent action to silence me, I would be a fool not to prepare for this given my experience. Therefore I have prepared documentation and placed it with with safe sources. I have already done this actually. 
Many people will tell you the worst thing you can do is threaten or even appear to threaten the court, which some would perceive my actions to be. This is probably true. Organizations, especially ones where corruption is tolerated, generally double down on criminality when someone points out that are acting agaisnt the law. But really - what other option do I have? My hope is that I can reach out to the moral people within the legal system. If the guilty feel threatened with exposure that is a good thing.

In many ways I think the time has come where I am just done. I am tired of being a victim. I am tired of working 60 hour weeks with no end in sight. In the past I have put up with it to protect the children but as they become older that time is ending.

I am not the type that gives up hope. My hope is that my death would mean something. It would help others. It would help society. History has shown that often such actions are necessary.

Note that I am not even requiring that that court rule justly. Justice would be full restitution and the guilty being prosecuted. It would also mean making significant structural changes to our legal system to prevent future injustices. What I am asking for is at least the immediate end to alimony. I am asking for an end to further injustice. However to be clear, I have no intent of giving up working for justice.  If alimony is ended I will still fight for justice. I would still write, I would still  meet with legislators, I would continue to work to make sure what happened me does not happen to others. But, I would not go public with names or perform protests that would likely get me arrested or sued. 

However,  given my experience with the court, I would be foolish to expect them to end alimony so I would be fully prepared for and expect to die. But I would die knowing I was helping others.  And knowing that I was going to die would give me a freedom of action that you just cannot have otherwise.

I do not have a death wish. I love life. I am in a great relationship. But there are causes that are worth dying for. I cannot escape the fact people are unjustly victimized and die every day because of corruption in our legal system. I not only know this but have as perfect evidence as one can hope for. It would be wrong, even immoral, not to take action even is it costs me my life. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Domestic Violence Shelter Opens - For Men

Despite the fact that one in three men experience domestic violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime, virtually all domestic violence shelters are for women and children only. Battered men and their children are often subject of overt scorn when they try to reach out for help.

Not so much true in Texas anymore as the state recently opened its first battered shelter for men.
Men and women perpetrate violence at roughly the same rates, yet there are far fewer resources to help men, according to Emily Douglas, an associate professor of social work at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. She’s one of a few academics in the country to study male domestic violence victims.
The reality of our society is that when women hit men it is funny whereas when men hit women it is a crime. I lived this. I never thought I was a victim of violence. I still can't quite get my head around it. But it is true that Spring was often violent. It is true that she hit me so hard once that I now have a shifted septum which is causing me all sorts of issues. Does that make me a victim of violence. You decide.

An image search of "domestic violence against men" is quite enlightening.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

More on a Hunger Strike

To continue my last post, if I were to go on a hunger strike I am sure many would make untrue assumptions. I'll dispel a few here.

I am unhappy and or depressed - This is far from the truth. I love life. Unhappy people do not have as many things they want to do in life as I do.
I am lonely - Untrue as well. I am in a great relationship with a girl that I have been with for 6 years now. I also have many friends.
I am seeking revenge - Confucius said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” I fully understand this. I am not mad at the individuals that committed crimes and acted unethically. I am unhappy with them but there will always be people that are like that. What I find intolerable is that our institutions have acted criminally and unethically. Martin Luther King did not seek revenge against individuals, he sought to change government institutions. I am on the same path.
I am making a mountain out of a mole hill - I am sure Martin Luther King and all who fought for justice have been accused of the same. To those who believe this I say, "try walking in my shoes."
I am just seeking publicity - On the contrary, I am publicity shy. Unfortunately my avoidance of publicity has resulted in no progress for me or others like me.
Going on a hunger strike is just an empty threat -  If I went on one it would be with the full intent of dying. I think the odds are it would not have any impact unless I die. I admit to being scared of not being able to complete it as death by starvation is one of the most painful and difficult ways to die there is.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What If...

Hunger strikes, which I have written about before, are perhaps the ultimate non-violent tool a powerless victim has. In essence, it turns the table on the oppressor because it removes the threat of further oppression being carried out. There is simply not much you can do to hurt a person starving themselves to death.

Historically hunger strikes have been most effective when the person being oppressed is a victim of government injustice, especially when that government purports to be a just one.

Famous examples of hunger strikes where people died are the British and American suffragette movements as well as the Indian independence movement. Hunger strikes have been particularity popular in Ireland where there is a long history of hunger strikes going back to ancient times. According to David Beresford, author of Ten Men Dead, “Troscadh” or “Cealachan” was a hunger strike on the door step of an offender. Allowing a person to die on your door step was considered to be shameful for the offender. Hunger strikers fasted in an attempt to receive payment for a debt or in protest for a perceived wrong.

I am of Irish heritage.

A hunger strikes is also far more effective than suicide which is an "easy and quick" and usually ineffective protest. A hunger strike is a slow, painful and publicly visible protest. It is methodical. If the protest is just, it is embarrassing to the oppressor. Not giving in to just demands is considered by most to be the moral equivalent of murder. The cause of a suicide, on the other hand, can be explained away as the person is gone and cannot refute it. You can say the person was unstable or regretful or heartbroken. You can make up anything you want.  In addition, suicides are so common we have become desensitized to them.  In 2014 there were 42,773 suicides in the United States. The murder rate was "only" 14,249. It is very hard to determine exactly how many of these suicides were precipitated by injustice and criminal actions in the legal system but clearly it is many every day. Furthermore, this doesn't even count those whose lives have been so devastated that they end up dying through neglect of health and safety.

A "what if" has been going through my mind lately.

What if I petitioned the court for the immediate end of alimony payments. What if I stated that if alimony is not immediately ended then at some point, probably when the kids are done with school and launched on their own, I will quite my job and go on a very public hunger strike.

Some considerations:

  • The hunger strike could not be an idle threat. I would not go on it with the full intent to be on it until death.  
  • I realize how difficult hunger strikes are. I have had a few colonoscopies (I started early as my mother had colon cancer) so I know what it is like to go a few days without food. I have also on own gone on quite a few one or two day fasts or drastic reductions in food just to see how I handle it.  I have done a large amount of research on hunger strikes. 
  • The court might deny my initial request and then when I go on a hunger strike order an end to alimony. However, because I would need to quit my job to go on a hunger strike and likely become unemployable after, my demands once a hunger strike started would be greater than before. It would not just be an end to alimony but would include the return of funds lost due to criminal action and prosecution against those who have clearly committed crimes - a large number of people and organizations. 
  • I am not naturally a publicity seeking person. However, to make a hunger strike effective I would have to go full in on both social and traditional media. This would include things such as daily YouTube videos. I would also seek to involve legal organization such as the ACLU. Hopefully, this would generate widespread national and international attention but even if it didn't, I would die knowing that my death could well be the spark that gets the fire going. Hope is the ground all those who see justice stand upon.
  • Once the hunger strike started I would publicly name the names of the guilty with the exception of my ex-wife Spring. I would not name her to protect the children. Also, I believe Spring is in many ways quite proud of the fact that she was able to criminally take so much money from me. Virtually all criminals think stealing proves they are smarter than the victim. 
  • In many ways a hunger strike would be liberating. A part of me feels guilty because I have to an extent allowed myself to be a victim. Every day I work for the benefit of criminals. I have been reluctant to go public and name names because I know I would be sued. And given my experience with corruption in the legal system, I would very likely just be further victimized. Sure, I have this site, have written to law enforcement including the FBI, talked to many lawyers including law school professors, contacted the media and lawmakers but the injustice continues. Maybe I need to step it up. 
  • Many people would say he worst thing you can do is threaten the court. My response is that I am in the right. I have done nothing wrong. I have been unjustly treated by the legal system. Besides I do not view explaining the consequences of refusing to end further injustice as a threat to anyone other than the unethical and criminal.  
  • I am not a big believer in fate; however, I do believe that everyone has an obligation to act morally in whatever situation life puts them in. In Germany during the mid-1930s it was very unpopular to defend Jews. But some did and many who did died for doing so. Today it may be unpopular to protest injustice in the court system. If it takes my death to highlight just how bad it is then that would be a worthwhile death. 
  • I realize just how devastating my death from going on a hunger strike would be for my children and the girl I have been with for the last six years or so. However, what kind of person would I be to not do everything I can to fight injustice?  Especially when the injustice is so damaging to so many. Living a moral life is not always easy but it is better than not doing so. 


Keep in mind that injustice in the court system is not just in family court. It isn't like the judges and lawyers who commit crimes in family court are not also involved in cases outside of family court. In addition, like a metastasizing cancer, they infect others in the legal system who learn that criminal activity can be quite rewarding. 

The people and entities I have absolute evidence of criminal activity against are Spring's lawyer Nelly Wince, the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board and the County Attorney's office. Spring committed perjury but in a way that is deniable. My lawyers lied to me but it is their word against mine. Judge Mearly committed immoral actions but unfortunately Minnesota law allows judges to do so without consequence.  

Just to be clear I am not a person who wants to die. I love life. I could live a thousand lives and not accomplish the things I want to that I could list out right now. But one of the most important things in life is that you cannot just live for yourself. You have to help others. I have always tried to do that. Now that I have personal experience, knowledge and evidence of injustice and crimes that cause devastation and death for thousands of people every year, how can I not do all in my power to change that?

As I say this is a "what if" idea but even just thinking about it is quite liberating. Because it gives me an option. As my other options evaporate this one may well end up being the best or even only one left. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Good and Bad

I make great pains to avoid categorizing groups as good or bad. Not all men, women, legislators, lawyers, prosecutors or judges are bad. In fact, I literally cringe when people are judged based on their being a member of a particular group.

Many people, men and women, categorize activity by gender. There isn't any activity that is traditional women's work that I do not do. I have always done laundry (in fact, I actually taught Spring how to do it!), I changed the kids diapers and was arguable the primary parent (although the court ruled parenting was joint) and I like to cook. Last week I sewed a button on a pair of shorts. I would be downright embarrassed to even think that a particular activity was "woman's work".

I like women who are the same. Unless disabled everyone should be able to cut the grass and shovel the snow. Everyone should be able to do financial planning. Everyone should be educated.

Many in situations similar to mine become "anti" - they are anti-women, anti-men, anti-lawyers, anti-government. This is a bad path. It is the basis for prejudice and discrimination.

Indeed I would go one further. You can really only judge actions. I can state categorically that Spring committed perjury and her lawyer, Nelly Wince lied in court, broke her ethical oath and committed fraud. What I cannot do is judge actions they have taken where I do not have solid evidence or first hand knowledge. I will admit this is hard. I can only make an educated guess. For example, has Nelly Wince done good things in life? Probably. Has she committed crimes I am unaware of? Probably.

Many assume that I am anti-lawyer. That could not be further from the truth. My grandfather and my father were lawyers. I grew up reading legal magazines. Dinner table talk was often about legal matters.  As a result the easiest class I ever had in college was Business Law. The first time I met a state senator, who is a lawyer,  to discuss my case and alimony reform, he stated, "the last person you probably want to speak to is a lawyer." I felt bad because that was far from the truth. Lawyers, good lawyers, are absolutely key to reform. Anytime you have criminal activity and corruption, it is the good people within the organization that are the most important to weeding out the bad players. Granted it often takes an outside entity or pubic outrage to get the ball rolling but true reform requires good people on the inside.

There are good divorce lawyers. In New Jersey, Jeralyn Lawrence was recently installed as Treasurer of NJ Chapter of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. From what I can tell she is indeed a good lawyer. She has worked extensively on reforming divorce in the state. It is nice to see that she will have a more prominent platform to push for justice.

It is not really quite this bad:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon

I have written before about Killers of the Flower Moon, the book by David Grann about crimes, including hundreds of murders, of Osage Indians in Oklahoma. The Osage had been repeatedly forced off their land, finally ending on up "worthless" land in Oklahoma. However, the land turned out to be on top of a huge oil field that for a time made the Osage one of the wealthiest people in the world.

I finished the book last week. Not only is it well written and researched but the story is just incredible. But maybe not as incredible to me as to others. Bad people have not gone away, they just find new victims.
They are the faction. O conspiracy,
Shamest thou to show thy dangerous brow by night
When evils are most free? O, then by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy.
Hide it in smiles and affability.
Shakespeare - Julies Cesar Act 3, Scene 1
The parallels to my experience, and I believe my experience was typical, with the divorce industry are stunning:

  • The crimes in both cases were committed for power and money
  • The money was systematically extracted in as many ways as possible. With the Osage, it was often by marrying into an Osage family, inflating prices, fraud, insurance scams and murder. With the divorce industry it is through dishonest marriage, inflated prices and billable hours, extra services, dragging on negotiations, fraud and driving people to suicide
  • The criminals maintained respectability. They were the leading figures in society and included lawyers, prosecutors, and judges. 
  • Widespread conspiracy was standard operating procedure in both cases. 
  • Both men and women committed the crimes. 
It is quite dis-heartrending that such evil not only exists in our society but openly and proudly exists.