Sunday, March 26, 2017

Third Time The Charm for Florida?

Florida governor Rick Scott has twice vetoed alimony reform in Florida. But his reasons for doing so have been more related to tacked on child custody provisions rather than alimony reform itself. A new bill, which will hopefully not contain such provisions, is now making its way through the legislature

The text of the bill is almost comedic in in obtuseness. While reading it, I can't help but hear John Cleese from Monty Python's voice in my head.
What we now have with our current law is a litigious model that allows for arbitrary and unbridled discretion by a judge, and condones continued litigation without end. 
With attorney fees ranging from $200 to $400 per hour on average, a typical divorce can cost a minimum of $20,000, with high-income-earner divorces costing in excess of $200,000. But it doesn’t end there. Current law favoring permanent alimony forces divorced people to become bitter enemies until they die.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Marine Scandal Over Compromising Photos

Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told senators he intends to solve issues in the Marines that prompted former and current Corps members to share nude photos of female service members online without their permission. He directly addressed female Corps members, and asked them to trust Marine leadership to "take action and correct this problem."

"I ask you to trust me personally as your commandant and when I say I'm outraged that many of you haven't been given the same respect when you earn the title Marine," Neller told them.

Time has his full statement.

Now one would think this scandal is something recently uncovered. But that seems unlikely as there have been reports for years on the matter that were simply ignored by the Marines. What is new is that the issue has made it into the news.

I find it interesting, and maybe even little hopeful, that bad and even criminal actions which may be tolerated for long time can suddenly not be so tolerated.

There is a lot of evidence that institutions will seek to protect themselves even at the cost of committing immoral and criminal actions. The Marines, with their current scandal,  have followed this patterns. The Minnesota OLPR (Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility) is another clear example of this. Although the very reason they exist is to make sure the lawyers code of ethical conduct is followed, they generally operate in a manner precisely opposite from that. They almost never discipline lawyers unless the lawyer has been convicted of a crime. When I submitted unquestionable evidence of unethical and criminal activity by Nelly Wince, they simply ignored it and have been been clearly conspiring to cover up not only Wince's actions but their own criminal behavior ever since. They keep digging themselves into a deeper and deeper hole. They are operating in a classically corrupt manner.

Maybe one day, like with the Marine Corps scandal, they will have to come to terms with their actions.  Maybe one day justice will be served.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

More on Vermont Alimony Reform

An article in Seven Days on Vermont's alimony reform efforts provides an update on the reform efforts of Vermont Alimony Reform headed by Rick Fleming. It also highlights some of the issues blocking reform.
"You're a man, you're a professional, and you've been married for 15 years. You're gonna get screwed."
People consistently underestimate the injustices in alimony awards believing that there are only a few "outlier" cases which are unjust when that is simply not the reality. Injustice is common where one party is willing to act unethically and unfortunately the lure of power and money is often stronger than people's conscience.   This is, in fact, the very reason we have laws - they are supposed to insure fairness and justice. With alimony, the law unfortunately often has precisely the opposite effect.

One of the main reasons that reform is so hard is because many people believe that any reform will predominantly help men given that men are the alimony payers 97+% of the time, They forget that many of these men have spouses and significant others who are also burdened with paying the alimony to the former spouse. Even if this were not the case, how will we ever have true equality without fair and just alimony awards? Do we want equality or not?
Fleming is also relying on his second wife, Amy, to make payments to his first one. If not for Amy, he said, "I would probably be living in the back of my car."

Friday, March 3, 2017

Why Isn't All Violence Bad?

Our society rightly condemns violence against women.  We even decry attitudes that are the foundation of the violence. But when it comes to violence against men we seem to glorify it. The tough guy is a hero and the man who is a victim of violence is weak. Maybe this is the reason that the vast majority of violence in our society is against men not women.

When it comes to violence agaisnt men by women, we seem to either cheer it or make it a subject for comedy. This Piranha Club  comic appeared in the Sunday paper a couple weeks ago:

Is it sexist? Clearly. You know an action or situation is sexist if by reversing the genders your attitude changes markedly. This comic would have generated an outcry if it was the man committing the violence agaisnt the women. In fact, it would be deemed so offensive I seriously doubt it would have even been published. Yet, because the woman is perpetrator and the man is the victim, it is comedic.

Such sexist attitudes also exist when it comes to alimony. If women had to pay alimony as much as men, it would be outlawed. And just as reducing violence against men and women is good for both men it women, eliminating alimony, or at least making it fair and equitable, would be good for both men and women.