Sunday, May 20, 2018

Change Is Possible

It can be despairing to realize just how hard change for the better can be.  The five year recidivism rates for released prisoners in the U.S. is 76.6. Alcohol and other drug treatment programs are notorious for their low success rates.

Yet, some people do change. Sometimes spectacularly so. I was up early this morning, had NPR on as usual, and was listening to On Being as I started my day. The host Krista Tippett was interviewing Derek Black and his friend Mathew Stevenson.

Derek Black was born into a white supremacist family. His father was very active in the movement. His godfather was David Duke. Black embraced white supremacy and became very active himself.

In college Black met people outside his insular circle. People who thought white supremacy was wrong. People who, unlike Black, were not ardent holocaust deniers. Astonishingly he became friends with Stevenson, who is Jewish, and regularly attended his Friday night Shabbat dinners in his dorm room.

Over the course of a couple years, Black changed his mind and eventually renounced white supremacy. He realized that not only were his former beliefs factually wrong but were immoral as well.

I wonder what the odds are that Spring, Nelly Wince and so many others will come to understand that not only have they acted criminally but immorally as well. Probably not good. But if Derek Black can change anyone can. There is always hope.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Is There A Biological Basis Of Narcissism?

New Research has shown that people with a higher levels of testosterone that the average for their gender may be more inclined to abuse their power.

Could this be a biological basis of narcissism and corruption? In the study, people with a higher than average level of testosterone for their gender agreed with statements such as “I insist on getting the respect that is due to me” and “There is nothing wrong with occasionally taking credit for one of your subordinates’ ideas" than others. I would think the ability to rationalize away perjury and criminal activity would also be characteristics of such people.

We all know narcissists. They are the people who believe it is better to get than give. They are the ones who leach off others rather than being charitable. They are the ones who demand good service from others yet never give it. They are the ones who believe the world owes them a living. They are the ones who refuse to even take care of their own children despite being perfectly able to do so. They are the ones intolerant of others yet demanding extreme tolerance for their own actions.

Of course having a higher than average amount of testosterone doesn't make you a narcissist but is likely a factor in predisposing you to narcissism. Sadly narcissism is one of the most difficult predispositions to overcome.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Detrimental Consequences Of A Gap in Skills Within A Marriage

I have never liked the idea that marriage should be a partnership where each person specializes in a particular area. Commonly it is that the man earns the money, does the yard work, takes care of finances and the woman raises the children and does the house work.

One reason I do not like it is that its equality is a fiction. Equal but separate is never equal. If one spouse earns all the money then the other becomes dependent on him or her. That is the exact term used on tax forms. Ironically, who has the power in such a situation is not predictable.  It may be that the one earning the money has the power because they control the assets or it may be that the non-earning partner has the power because they receive the benefit of the work - not unlike how slave owners received the benefit of their slaves' work. The wage earner becomes an asset that you can work as much as possible to maximize financial gain.

Another reason I do not like separation of responsibilities is that I cannot image that I would have been happy not earning my way and taking care of the kids. Knowing how to do it all, earning money, finances, child rearing, yard work, house work, and cooking are all part of having a rewarding and responsible life. I honestly would not have given up single diaper change.

A recent study, Gap in Financial Literacy Widens for Couples the Longer the Relationship Lasts, demonstrates that even when a couple starts out equally competent in an area, the partner not doing a particular task loses the ability to do so over time. The study focuses on finances but I image the same holds true for child rearing, yard work, house work, etc.

This creates huge problems. In the case of divorce or the death of one partner, a person may not have the skills necessary to succeed in life. Even more insidious, a marriage may fall apart due to one partner's ability atrophying in an area, be that finance or child rearing, and thus not understanding why their partner is making the decisions they are. 

The best strategy is to make sure you share responsibility in all areas. A person who cannot earn their own living as well as raise their own children is a just asking for trouble.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

On A Lighter Note...

My last few posts have been a bit depressing so I will through in some lighter fare. Here are 5 Unusual Things That Boost Life Expectancy For Men.

  1. Stare at Women's Breasts
  2. Have Lots of Sex
  3. Get Married
  4. Become a Parent
  5. Assume Resposiblility
  6. Get a "Dad Bod"

I am more or less a check on all of them with a few caveats. Although I am no longer married, I am in a committed relationship. Also, I like to think my "bod" isn't that bad but at 57 it is definitely not what it was in my 20s. 

On another note, my new plan is to write Spring and Nelly Wince regarding ending alimony by the end of the year. I doubt they will agree but I do feel an obligation to clearly state the consequences if they do not. This is the year either alimony ends or my life becomes dedicated to full recovery of all monies lost including legal fees plus punitive damages or my life becomes forfeit. Continuing as is just plain wrong and way too stressful.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Divorce and Suicide

Men commit suicide 3-4 times more than women and divorced men do so 8 times more than women. 

Richard Hashimashi explores why and comes up with 17 reasons:

  1. The ‘Deadbeat Dad’ Label
  2. Alienation And Estrangement From Children
  3. Financial Ruin
  4. Criminalization Of A Law Abiding Citizen
  5. Losing The Entire Structure Of Family Life And Home
  6. Being Declared Dangerous
  7. Needing A Supervisor
  8. Loss Of Total Identity
  9. Shock
  10. The Loss Of Reality
  11. Disgrace Kills, Not Divorce
  12. A Catastrophic Year Or More
  13. Loss Of Love And Affection
  14. No Support
  15. Negative Side Effects Of Antidepressants
  16. No Future
  17. From Dad To ‘Visitor’ ‘Him’

Let's see - How many of these apply to me?

Well clearly I was never a deadbeat parent, alienated from my children, lost my family structure or identity, lost love and affection (I gained this!) or became a visitor to my children. Indeed and ironically Spring is the one who likely felt these.

Certainly I have taken a financial hit, a huge one at that, but I have avoided financial ruin by working harder and harder. I have not taken any anti-depressants. And despite Spring's best efforts, her perjury failed to have me declared a criminal and I was never under supervision. 

Shock and the loss of reality are probably the two that most apply to me. I was shocked not only that Spring divorced me but even more so that she so easily committed fraud and perjury. She seems to lack even a rudimentary conscience.

Even worse is the surrealness of discovering that the family law system is so rife with corruption and criminality that justice, when it does occur, is essentially accidental. This I suspect is the major reason many, but mostly men and their children, turn to self-destructive behavior including suicide.

When the law condemns an innocent person to be the slave of their criminal persecutor until they die, death becomes an attractive option.  This is tragic but hardly surprising.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Discouraged

I went to a pro se law clinic at a local law school this morning. As I have not been able to find a lawyer to represent me, it seemed worth the effort. And it was an effort as we are having an all out blizzard today in Minnesota.

Unfortunately the student I met with was not very encouraging. She said it is very difficult to change permanent orders. The facts of the case do not really matter. She said I may have some leverage if my evidence of crime is solid enough (and it could not be more more solid) but strongly recommended I find a lawyer, preferably one with expertise in ethics and professional responsibility.

So I spent some time searching for one. I'll likely meet with a few but I am not sure any will be willing to represent me. Not many lawyers are willing to admit crime is rampant in the legal system and even fewer are willing to fight it.

Part of me thinks I should just file a civil suit against Spring and see what happens. When I am in an optimistic mood, which is less and less common, I see no reason why, given the evidence, this should not return to me all monies I lost due to the crimes committed agaisnt me plus punitive damages.  It should be a slam dunk.

But the likely reality is that I will have no choice but to file a pro se motion to dismiss spousal support in family court. Odds are it not only will be dismissed but will result in further injustices being committed against me. As the court has ruled that spousal support can only be ended by a new court order or my death, that would leave only one option.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sexism In The Marines

It is amazing to me just how persistent sexism can be. The armed forces, to their credit, took the lead on racial integration in 1948 under Harry Truman. Granted it was a long road but the road stated with full integration.

Yet here we are in 2018 and we still debate whether all positions in the military should be open to women. I find it absolutely amazing that the Marine Corps still has gender segregated basic training. Many marines still believe that women are somehow less capable than women.

The training is anything but separate but equal (a phrase that has never been true under any context) so this leads quite naturally to women performing worse than men. And when a commander shows that with proper training female marines are every bit as good as male marines, she is fired. When the Marine Corp only takes the best of half the population the end result is without question a less capable Marine Corps.