Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Marriage Story

Netflix's Marriage Story is reportedly a pretty good description of the divorce process. I have not seen the movie and to be honest I am not sure I will. Watching these types of things is usually too painful, especially when, as it appears from the reviews of the movie, the criminality of the system is underrepresented. That's right underrepresented. Movies often exaggerate but when it comes to crime in family court, even Hollywood can't bring itself to fully depict just how bad it really is.

There is a thin line between uncontested and highly contested divorce and unfortunately that line gets crossed too many times and too quickly.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Parole Reform

I had one of those Coen brothers strange moments the other day listening to the radio when I heard a segment on parole reform in Minnesota.  Specifically, the movement to place a cap of five years on parole for any offence other than homicide and sexual crimes.

The reason? The current system is too arbitrary. How many months of probation someone receives for the same crime varies from judge to judge and district to district. For example, average probation is, "3.3 years in Hennepin County, but 5.9 years in Ramsey County".

So why did this give me a Coen brothers moment? Certainly not because I disagree that arbitrary parole lengths are unfair and need to be corrected.  What gave me a surreal sinking feeling is that parole reform is such a popular cause compared to alimony reform.  Very few seem concerned with the fact that alimony awards are several orders of magnitude more arbitrary that parole. Alimony can range from zero to life for the exact same situation. And the person paying not only didn't commit a crime but often, like in my case, is the victim of crime. There is no consistency whatsoever and unlike parole where a person simply needs to check in with a parole officer every once in a while, alimony requires that a person work for the benefit of another.

I have to pay a massive amount of money every month until the day I die to a person who left me, never used a dime of her income for the children, was not the primary parent during the marriage, is perfectly able to make as much money as me (as was determined the vocational evaluation), was not awarded custody of the children post-divorce and who clearly committed crimes against me. I can never retire no remarry as that that would risk my new wife having to pay alimony to my ex-wife should I become disabled. The insanity of it is mind boggling.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Rise Of Single And What To Do About It

Viki Larson wrote an interesting article in Aeon titled, "Marriage should not come with any social benefits or privileges" in which she discusses the rise of the single person and how unfair marriage laws are for them.
Spouses in the US can pass on Medicare, as well as Social Security, disability, veterans and military benefits. They can get health insurance through a spouse’s employer; receive discounted rates for homeowners’, auto and other types of insurance; make medical decisions for each other as well as funeral arrangements; and take family leave to care for an ill spouse, or bereavement leave if a spouse dies.
Her solution is to, "give singles the same perks and protections to which married couples are privy".

I more or less agree with Larson but I would phrase it differently - we need to remove marriage from government control. Marriage should be a religious rite or commitment between two (or more for that matter) people not a government controlled and regulated arrangement.

Medicare, social security, disability, veterans, and military benefits should all go to the person earning the benefit. Why would a spouse or anyone else deserve it?  Now you might say what about a stay at home spouse? What of it? That spouse can be paid a wage by the working spouse and earn social security benefits or not as they desire. The effect this would have would be to eliminate the gender gap in employment, wages and which spouse stays at home.  This in turn would eliminate the gender gap in business and political leadership. That is not a bad thing.

As for who makes funeral arrangements, discounts for auto and homeowner insurance, and such single people and non-married couples living together already deal with these effectively.

Health insurance is the biggest problem. However, private companies have already led the way. Long before anyone thought we would ever have same sex marriage my company provided partner insurance to people co-habituating regardless of sex or marital status. The biggest discrimination with health care is that children are included. Childless people in effect subsidize those with children. The only way to fix this would be universal health care which will eventually come.

Eliminating marriage from the law would not only have a huge and positive impact on the economy but would greatly reduce gender inequality as well.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Who Should Rule?

Who should rule, men or women? Anyone who doesn't say neither, or maybe both, is by definition sexist. I think it would be bizarre for anyone to actually believe that one sex is better than the other, but people do and some even brag about it. I accidentally ran across this product on Amazon:

I can only imagine the outrage if the wording was "Boys Rule The World", or "Whites Rule The World". But like violence committed by women against men, such sexism is tolerated and often encouraged. 

People often forget that the goal is justice and equality for all.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Male Privilege

After my last post on female privilege I thought I would follow-up with a post on male privilege.  Why? Because I do not like any gender based privilege. However, in searching for information on male privilege most of what I get is either examples of female privilege or general complaints about men. (an exception is in India where there are a lot of real examples of male privilege but as this site is focused on the United States I am excluding those)

By general comments I mean things such as women complaining that men view women as "sex objects".  Yes that is bad. But I don't think women are immune to viewing men as sex objects. Once I hired an intern at work for the summer. A female employee of mine, who was over twice his age, said he was hot and I should hire more. There is zero chance a male employee would have ever told me the same thing about any of the female interns I hired no matter how attractive she was. I have also on more that one occasion had coworkers grab my buttocks or put their arms around me in a suggestive manner. If a male had done that to a woman he would be fired.

Probably the most common cited example of male privilege is that men make more money than women. But if you adjust for equal work and equal hours this tends to disappear. And I would argue that the fact that men work harder and at more dangerous jobs, not to mention the fact that women control more money than men, is an example of female privilege not male privilege.

The other example often cited is we live in a "rape culture" and than women are subject to violence by men. Well first off men and women are equally likely to initiate violence in a relationship. Second I have never agreed with the notion that women are the weaker sex. Sure on average men are stronger then women. Just like on average tall men are stronger than shorter men. But the reality is that physical fitness and training can more than make up for those differences. And in some ways women have an advantage because our society condemns a man who commits violence against a woman (rightly so) but not the reverse.

All gender/race/ethnic origin/religion/sexual orientation is bad. I am all for pointing out male privilege but, lest we be disingenuous, we need to also point out female privilege.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Female Privllege

Does female privilege exist? is a really good and interesting (and lengthy!) discussion on Quora. The comments are all over the place which makes it quite informative and thought provoking.

There woman who posted the question started off with these observations:

  • I just got stopped by a cop for speeding or running a red light . I get let off the hook because obviously I can’t go to jail or even be given a fine . I’m a mother or big sister that has kids or a sibling to emotionally support and nurture . Plus , I’m rather cute . No cop will send someone hot like me to jail .
  • Me : I had a boyfriend once but it didn’t work out . Response : Really , what did he do ?
  • I want to get a guy to do something for me that could get him fired . Do I face consequences for my actions ? Heck , NO !!!! I HAVE BOOBS , YOU MUST OBEY !!!!!!!
  • I accidentally trip at my home . Friend sees bruises . Friend’s Response : OMG , is he hitting you ??!!
  • I throw a hissy fit . Something must be really bugging her or it must be that time of the month , again .
  • Crisis hits the country . WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST !!! My life is more important . Men are the expendable gender .
  • My boyfriend dumps me . I’ll just falsely accuse him of sexual assault or harassment out of spite . Whoops !!! There goes his reputation , livelihood and career . Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned .
  • Two unknown girls walk into a store at night . Nothing to be afraid of . Two unknown guys walk into a store at night . Get your guard up !! We might be dealing with thieves , gang-bangers etc. !!!
  • There’s no way I’m leaving my house over the weekend under the care of my son . He’ll just invite slutty girls over for a wild teen party .
  • There’s no way I’m leaving my kid alone with a man . He could be kidnapper or something worse .
  • Two girls in a relationship ?? It’s all cool !! Girl on girl is hot !!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Made In, Owned by

I have always been uncomfortable with the "Made in America" label? Why would you buy something just because it is made in the good old U.S.A.? First off is the moral issue. Are people in other countries somehow less deserving of jobs than us? I like to think not.

But there is also the economic issue. Would all countries, regions, states, and localities be better off if they produced and consumed everything locally? Imagine if you could only buy a car made in your home town. Imagine if farmers could only sell locally. The same economic logic that applies on the local level applies on the international one as well.

In a similar vein, I find it just as strange to see products labeled "Women Owned" like the container of Old Home yogurt I recently bought.

Am I supposed to buy from a company because it is owned by women?

Using my well worn substitute trick I have with gender (i.e. do you feel the same about something if the genders are reversed) would you feel the same about a product from a company labeled "Men Owned"? Now some might argue that because most companies are owned by men that it is acceptable to state that a company is owned by women. But of course most companies are corporations and these are owned by stockholders. And given that women actually control more money than men, effectively women are the owners. It is bit like the deplorable under-representation of women in elected offices where it is difficult to blame men when the majority of voters are women.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Another Gender Barrier in the Military Crumbles

The military has always been one of the most discriminatory professions when it comes to gender. Until recently women were barred from many positions but that has now changed. Which is great but I expect it will take some time before 50% of combat soldiers are women.

The irony of discrimination in the military is that it negatively affects both men and women. Women because they have been historically barred from many roles and men because they are the vast majority of casualties. Equality will happen when 50% of soldiers are women and 50% of deaths are too.

In a somewhat amusing minor note of progress on this road to equality, male marines can now carry umbrellas while wearing their service and dress uniforms. Female marines had already been allowed to.

The new umbrella rule has, believe it or not, caused a lot of controversy. Marine Colonel Mark Caballero stated, "Change is tough, and the idea of seeing young Marines walking around with an umbrella just doesn't fit my ideal of what a Marine ought to look like."

A generation ago a black man didn't fit what many marines thought a marine should look like.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Erasing Family - A Film By Ginger Gentile

Family court hurts people. Men, women and children. Why? Because of money. Money for irresponsible parents, money for lawyers, money for judges, and money for all the other business such as counselors, mediators, testimony coaches and others who make more money when more people are hurt. Not that everyone is bad, far from it, but the system is set up to reward the unethical and criminal not the responsible and good.

The pain inflicted on children is highlighted in the film Erasing Family by Ginger Gentile.

An interview with Ms. Gentile can be found on Dad's Talk.

Although I have zero contact with Spring, that was her choice. She tried to take the kids away from me, even petitioned the court to prevent me from seeing them at all. But it backfired on her. Without me even discussing it much with the kids, they quickly ended up living with me more and more. Now they only see their mother occasionally. You might think this makes me feel good but it hurts me immensely. The damage done to my kids is immense. Emotionally and financially. What is it like to your own mother treat you as a tool to criminally take as much money from your father as possible?  Erasing Family delves into this very issue.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Another Try In Florida

For years Florida has been trying to pass alimony reform into law. Several times a bill has made it through the legislature only to have it vetoed by Governor Rick Scott. A new effort is now underway.
On Thursday Boca Raton marital and family law attorney Alan Elkins, speaking for Florida Family Fairness, which annually spearheads alimony reform pushes, denounced permanent alimony as unfair, charging it creates a “culture of dependence” for those receiving it and a “life sentence” for payers. He contended that Florida’s guidelines are so broadly interpreted by individual judges that the questions of how much alimony should be paid, and for how long, vary tremendously from judge to judge, even within any given judicial circuit, and shouldn’t and needn’t do so.
Reform is being fought by a group of divorce lawyers which is unsurprising because anything that reduces inequity and pain in family court is certainly not in their financial interest.

Disappointingly The National Organization of Women (NOW), which once advocated agaisnt alimony as it perpetuated the view that women are inferior to men, is now advocating against any alimony reform. 

Although about 98% of alimony is paid by the man it is often the case there their second spouses pay alimony because legally once married they are obligated as well. I cannot marry the woman I am with because of this. If I became disabled or ended up with Alzheimer's, my new spouse would be required to pay alimony to Spring even through Spring left me, was not the primary care giver for the children and has never used a dime of her income for the children despite the employment evaluator stated she is able to make just as much money as me. Yes, that is how unfair it is.

There are a few case where alimony is paid for by women. One is cited in the article.
Alicia del Rey of Marion County, also representing Florida Family Fairness, turned traditional gender roles upside down when she spoke of how she’s being forced to pay permanent alimony to a man whom she said was an abusive and irresponsible husband who “squandered our assets” and has never been able to hold a job.
“I would have never imagined that I would be paying permanent alimony to my abuser ex-husband and be forced to pay him for the rest of my life,” she said, recalling how in 2011 she finally got the courage, after 30 years of marriage, to seek divorce. “Thus far I have paid this man over $41,000, the money I need to pay my mortgage, plan for retirement and fund my goal to go back to graduate school to provide a better life for myself and my family.”
“The most discouraging part is there is no end in sight, and I have no path that allows me to free this abusive ex-husband,” del Rey said.
I can only hope such stories will encourage those who oppose alimony reform to realize that the purpose of reform is to advance equality and justice for all regardless of gender.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Why No Equity?

Stephen Frenz, a longtime Minneapolis landlord, has been convicted of perjury. It is unusual for someone to be convicted of perjury but Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman stated, "He lied to the court and he abused the system and he was hurting a lot of people, and he has hurt a lot of people."

Compare this to my case. My ex-wife Spring certainly committed perjury but I have no illusions she would ever be convicted.  Her lawyer, Nelly Wince, lied numerous times both in court and in writing but none of it was sworn testimony so there isn't even an opportunity for a perjury conviction.

But I have never imagined that either Spring or Ms. Wince would ever be convicted of perjury. In fact, in Spring's case, the best I can hope for is for an end to alimony and the return of monies obtained criminally.

For Nelly Wince, the matter is different. She committed fraud. Specifically fraud upon the court as she lied to the court. Fraud upon the court is so serious that there is no statute of limitations on it in Minnesota. I have the evidence. I should by all rights be able to sue her to recover my losses as well as punitive damages.  This, as far as I can determine, happens even less often then convictions for perjury. Maybe it is time for this to change. Family law attorneys should not be above the law.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Why People Commit Suicide

If you ask most people why a person would commit suicide, they will typically assume depression or other mental health problems. The reality is far more complicated.
Around 43 percent of the variability in suicidal behavior among the general population can be explained by genetics...while the remaining 57 percent is attributable to environmental factors.
One cause of suicide often ignored or at least overlooked is self-sacrifice. The classic example is the proverbial story of a soldier jumping on a grenade in a foxhole to save his squad. Another is the suffragettes in both the United States and the United Kingdom who starved themselves to death in protest of their lack of voting rights. Or the IRA members who died on hunger strikes to protest Margaret Thatcher's decision to incarcerate them as criminals rather than prisoners of war. The iron lady relented. 

A more recent example is that of Tunisian  Mohamed Bouazizi  who set himself on fire to protest police corruption. His act of self-immolation was the spark the ignited the Arab Spring.

We do not know how many people who commit suicide do so out of self-sacrifice. It would be difficult to determine and there are no studies on the matter. My guess, however, is that is is far greater than most people assume.

Suicide is often not so much a call for help as it is a call for justice.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Reverse The Genders

Using my "is it sexist if you reverse the genders" test,  take a look at this card I ran across being sold at a store:

Imagine the outrage if the the picture was of a king and the phrase was something like, "God created Man, Women were an afterthought". This would be rightly viewed as highly sexist. So why is the above funny?

Even more pernicious is when violence by women is viewed as humorous. For a striking (pun intended) example take a look at this commercial for Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt from the 2012 Super Bowl.

Most people think it is funny. What if it were the woman teasing the man and he gave her black eye? That would result in a strong boycott agaisnt Dannon and legal action against the company in many countries.

We have a long way to go before we achieve gender equality.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

NPO 2019 Shared Parenting Report Card

The National Parents Organization, which advocates for shared parenting, has released their 2019 Shared Parenting Report Card.

Minnesota ranks fairly high, although their ranking has gone down a bit from last year. In my case, Spring fought tooth and nail for sole custody, even though, I believe, she knew and desired that I be the primary parent.  So then why did she fight so hard for custody? Two reasons that I can see. The first is that she believed, quite correctly, that she would get more money out of me if were were awarded it. Money seems to have been the driving factor of a lot of her actions. But the second one is more psychological. She believed that it would make her look better to her and her family. After all, she left me. If the court had awarded me sole custody that would have raised a lot of questions.

I suspect the reason Minnesota ranks so high is that, unlike with alimony, we have a formula for child support. Like splitting assets earned by either spouse earned during the marriage when divorcing, it isn't necessarily fair but it is know and hence less prone to corruption.

From the NPO report:
Extensive research going back more than a quarter century has found that the 35% of children in fatherless or single parent families not only fare worse in terms of psychological and emotional well-being, physical and mental health, labor market and wealth accumulation outcomes, but are more prone to social pathologies such as child abuse, crime and substance abuse.

These children represent:
• 63% of teen suicides;• 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions;• 71% of high school dropouts;• 75% of children in chemical abuse centers; 
The societal cost of fatherlessness and single-parent families has been conservatively estimated at $100 billion annually.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Lifetime Alimony

Although not quite a bad as my situation but still terrible, Robert Rosenthal discusses his divorce with attorneys Karyn Turk and Joe Costello.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Interesting Quotes

I ran into some interesting quotes about family court, specifically in California but I am sure many  apply to other states as well. Certainly they do in Minnesota. Although I will say that I don't quite agree about many of them such as the one about the Rothschild's owning the legal industry. That is pure conspiratorial nonsense.

Here are a few that I like:
“I would say that about 50% of the people are corrupt.”
Spoken about San Diego Family Courts, by someone who works in them. This was my experience as well:
and that the other half simply keeps quiet while stuffing their pockets with CASH.

"Attorney's are like slot machines, you ... put money into them but it is
 very unpredictable if you are going to get anything back ..., and if you
do, it will ... cost you much ..., you will be bankrupt."
Excerpted from Without Honor, Hall of Injustice, by Raymond Heninger 
“There has never been a case in the history of the California
Family Courts where a court official was convicted of Perjury.”
Spoken to me by two different lawyers  who work in the San Diego Family Courts.
That's because to a Judge-Buddy, telling Lies in court are just “Petty things” ... and
because California gives Lieyers a Free Pass to play Lies & Court: via "Litigation Privilege." 
“Justice only takes place down there by Accident.”
Spoken to me by a man who used to work with the San Diego Family Courts: right after I told
him that Billy the Kidnapper made a false charge in court that was not reported to CPS, nor investigated.
“The government’s job is to protect its citizens, but in the case of an
angry spouse or former spouse, the court’s officials sit back and allow
them to nitpick and tell as many lies as they want until all the money
is gone.  That’s how they make their money. It’s all about the Money.”
Spoken by a man who who also LOST custody of his son in the San Diego Family Courts, and afterward
stopped paying taxes and wrote the Great IRS Hoax: located on the  website: 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Steve Clark Tries Again

Steve Clark has been trying for several years to change alimony laws in California. He is back at it.  Kudos to Clark for is tenacity.

One item in the article I cringe at is the statement:
And childcare still tends to fall disproportionately to women – the ones most likely to cut back on work hours, Heyde noted.
“I’ve heard a lot of men say, ‘She made the choice to put her career on hold to raise the children,’” Heyde said. “Well, he benefited, too. Kids’ extracurricular activities and doctor appointments are also the father’s responsibility.”
Why do people always assume that the mother is the primary caregiver in cases where alimony is awarded? In my case, Spring was clearly not the primary caregiver. The custody evaluator ruled that parenting during the marriage was joint and in reality I did far more of it. And since the divorce that has only become more evident.

Friday, August 23, 2019

More on Family Court Corruption

Stephen Krasner has a well-written article, A Broken System: Contempt of Family Court, on family court corruption and just how pernicious it is to society.

My believe is that family court has become one of the best places for those who lack a moral compass to operate. This includes litigants, lawyers, judges, mediators and a host of others who financially benefit from what is clearly criminal activity.  Why? Because the reward is high, the risk of being caught is vanishingly small, and the societal prestige great.
Family Courts display true clashes that pit the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law — in a manner that tears parents lives apart, harms children and financially ruins so many people while sustaining a thriving, corrupt and lucrative system.
The institutional corruption is a more mechanical environment that many players operate within and manipulate. The individual corruption is where players are willfully engaging in unethical motives — knowingly gaming the vulnerabilities found within the court’s infrastructure. 
Both types of corruption operate and thrive in family court environments as well as those industries and services stemming off them.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Male Victims of Domestic Violence

There is an insightful article on male victims of domestic violence over at Family Court Corruption.
One in four men (compared to one in seven women) experience “severe physical intimate partner violence,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And this doesn’t include verbal or other forms of abusive behavior. The Mayo Clinic has also written about domestic violence against men.
I am one. I have a permanently shifted septum from Spring striking me in the face that has caused me no end of issues.
It has been estimated that 85 percent of protective orders are entered against men, with most being used tactically to get the upper hand in a divorce. Aside from the effect that these orders can have on child custody, property division, and payments to an ex-wife, men who are innocent are stigmatized and records of these orders can be found by employers or when looking for a job.
Me too again! Spring and her lawyer concocted a story about me being abusive. A story which Spring later completely contradicted when testifying on the stand. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Family Court Corruption in Georgia

One of the sad facts about family court corruption is just how pervasive it is across the country. To be sure, there are some areas where it is better but many, like in Ramsey county Minnesota where I live, are truly cesspools of corruption where crime is openly rewarded.

Georgia, at least in parts of it, appears to be just as bad as Minnesota.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Inflammatory Rants

One of the major difficulties in talking about family court corruption is that people who understand it often get frustrated with those who do not believe how bad it is no matter what the evidence. Perhaps a good analogy would be a German or Iraqi trying to convince people how bad Hitler or Saddam Hussein was at the height of their popularity. People just assume it cannot be that bad. Sure there are issues but such incidents are just bad luck or one offs, it doesn't mean the whole system is corrupt. So they say.

Which brings up the question, what does it mean for a system, as opposed to some individuals within a system, being corrupt? There is no hard definition but my take is that when criminal and unethical behavior become the norm then the system is corrupt. In family court perjury happens in the vast majority of cases and family lawyers regularly commit crimes and flagrantly break their ethical rule.  This happens to such an extend it is difficult to believe that a family lawyer would not realized this even if he or she acts above board. (which leads to the tricky question of whether knowing about crime and doing nothing about it a crime in itself)

Bruce Eden is an obviously frustrated person going on a bit of a rant on how bad it is. Because it is a rant, many will dismiss it. I am sure many thought the same regarding rants against Hitler and Saddam.
More than $100 billion is spent on divorce and child custody matters annually. It costs the public over $20 billion for false allegations of domestic violence which occur in over 80% of all divorces. Family Courts cause death; 20,000 men/fathers are committing suicide because family courts prevent them from seeing their children without cause or unlawfully arrest them in civil matters for support. It is institutional killing of children and parents.

Saturday, July 27, 2019


My situation is so unreal I often turned to analogies when telling others my story. Here is one I thought of this morning.

Imagine you are selling your house. Now imagine that the buyer's real estate agent fraudulently changes the purchase price from $500,000 to $50,000. You have absolute evidence this was done. You contact the county attorney and law enforcement but no one seems to care. You go to court and the judge rules that you have to pay the other party $30,000 every year until you die. The judge tell you he knows the real estate agent personally so he is punishing you for coming to court.

If you think this is unrealistic or somehow not analogous to my situation, you are wrong. It is truly that bad.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Women in National Security Roles

As in many areas of our society, women are under-represented in national security roles. Unlike Spring, who used to argue that a woman not only shouldn't but couldn't be president, I think it it is terrible that women are under represented in executive offices, politics and national security or anywhere else for that matter. Even as a kid, I could not understand how anyone could oppose the Equal Rights Amendment. 
Mieke Eoyang

However, what I do not like is when a proposed solution to a problem is not only superficial but actually makes matters worse. The great thing about the article cited above is when the two female national security experts discuss the effects of banning women from combat roles.
ALLAM: Women still face many obstacles. For one, they're only now starting to see the payoff from being allowed into combat roles, earning battlefield experience that could help them advance to defense leadership. Eoyang again. 
EOYANG: What we're starting to see now are the first generation of women who entered national security after those bans were lifted being old enough to be senior in this field. This is an inflection moment.
So banning women from combat roles is a cause, a huge cause, of there being less women in national security roles. Of course this is true!. There are some who would like to create quotas for women in national security but that will never work. Once the gender gap in military fatalities is eliminated so will the gender gap in national security roles. I know people are often uncomfortable thinking this way but such thinking is just sexism.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Is Lifetime Alimony Slavery?

Perhaps there is no greater emotionally charged claim regarding lifetime alimony than to equate it to slavery. In Florida a claim that lifetime alimony is akin to slavery was lambasted.

Claim: Forcing people to work for the rest of their life for someone else is pretty much the definition of slavery.

Counter claim: It is only a financial burden. And the recipient has earned it because she (98% of the time it is a she) took care of the kids and ran the household. Think of it more like a pension.

My take:  Although some women may have been the primary parent during the marriage it certainly isn't true of all and in my case was absolutely not the case. (The custody evaluator ruled parenting was joint) As for running the home, for every family where the women is the primary cleaner of the bathroom, there is one or more where the man is the primary cutter of the grass and remover of snow. Again, in my case, I did the vast majority of housework whether that be traditionally female or male work. Another issue is that often the person receiving alimony could have worked but simply chose not to work or chose to be underemployed because it was easier. There was never an agreement whatsoever in my marriage that Spring not work. She just avoided it because she could get away with it. She used me. The biggest issue in my my opinion is that lifetime alimony is equivalent to quitting a job and still receiving the salary until you die. That is bizarre.

It is ironic that in the 1960's NOW (the National Organization of Women) sought  to end alimony because it assumed that women were incapable of taking care of themselves.
(Betty) Friedan, by contrast, sought at-will, “no fault” divorce, where either party would be able to leave a marriage at any time. She also advocated for a one-time equal division of property in divorce because “as feminists . . . we didn’t believe women should ask for alimony” since alimony implies that women might put themselves in a dependent position in marriage.
Without alimony’s crutch, it was hoped, more women would pursue careers in case their marriages fell apart.
Unsettling the safety of marriage is an economic backbone of efforts to cultivate an ethos of independence among women: Education and careers would provide the safety that marriage no longer would.
Sadly NOW's position on alimony today reflects the the view that women need to be taken care of by men. So much for the ideology of their founders.

Legally the matter of whether lifetime alimony is slavery is not all that clear. The 13 Amendment states:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
The United Nations bans involuntary servitude other that for those drafted into the military and after being convicted of a crime. It even states:
Each Member shall ensure that all victims of forced or compulsory labour, irrespective of their presence or legal status in the national territory, have access to appropriate and effective remedies, such as compensation.
So legally I am actually due compensation. I won't hold my breath.

My biggest concern isn't even alimony per se, it is that the most common way to obtain it is to commit the crimes of  perjury and fraud. Often, like in the case of Spring and her lawyer Nelly Wince, obvious crimes. Family court has become so corrupt that it is often just an arena to criminally obtain as much money as possible. Justice be damned. 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Gender Equality and Alimony Can’t Logically Co-Exist

Gender Equality and Alimony Can’t Logically Co-Exist by Brian Brewington in Medium is a great article out the fundamental issues with alimony and gender equality.
If a woman expects to be paid the same as a man, there should be no part of the job that’s designated for the men she works with. Simply put, if we’re equals, which I truly believe to be the case — then why on earth would a woman ever be entitled to half of a man’s assets or more after they get divorced? 
There’s this saying you often hear spoken during alimony negotiations, that has always troubled me. The whole “in order to maintain a lifestyle she’s become accustomed to” argument. If that lifestyle she had become accustomed to, was solely provided by a man, when her and that man get divorced — she’s also divorcing that lifestyle she was accustomed to.
I agree wholeheartedly. Alimony is is based on the idea the sexist idea that women are unable to take care of themselves and must be provided for by a man. Truly a bizarre concept.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Freddie Prinze

Freddie Prinze was a comedian famous for co-staring in the hit 1970's television show Chico and the Man.

Tragically, Prinze killed himself in 1977. He was 22 years old. Why? Many people say he was depressed. Well yes, but why was he depressed? According to his mother:

Sometime during the day, Freddie received the divorce papers from Kathy's lawyer demanding $25,000 in lawyers' fees, $10,000 in court costs, $4,000 a month alimony for Kathy and $1,000 a month support for the child, as well as retention of all properties held in Kathy's name, plus dental and medical expenses for her and the baby. And all of this was retroactive to December 8, 1976. In all of it, what hurt Freddie the most was that he was restrained from going to the house except to visit Freddie Jr. 

You would have to be pretty cold hearted not to feel depressed.

If there is a silver lining to his Freddie's life it is that his his son, Freddie Prinze, Jr,. overcame the tragedy and has had a very successful career as an actor as well as a, rare in Hollywood, successful long-term marriage with Sarah Michelle Gellar with whom which he has two children.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Wow! Suicide Risk for Divorced Men

For years I have always thought the risk of suicide for divorced men was four times that of women. Boy, was I wrong. It is actually 9.7 times.
These results dramatise the terrible consequences of being a divorced man in America, and lead to the question: why are divorced men killing themselves? Some analysts argue that the research community has ignored a plausible explanation for the excess suicide risks experienced by divorced men. As Perrault and Farrell observe, while social, psychological, and even personal problems facing women are readily denounced, societal institutions tend to ignore or minimise male problems as evident in suicide statistics. For instance, in many jurisdictions in the US there seems to be an implicit assumption that the bond between a woman and her children is stronger than that between a man and his children. As a consequence, in a divorce settlement, custody of children is more likely to be given to the wife. In the end, the father loses not only his marriage, but his children. The result may be anger at the court system especially in situations wherein the husband feels betrayed because it was the wife that initiated the divorce, or because the courts virtually gave away everything that was previously owned by the ex-husband or the now defunct household to the former wife. Events could spiral into resentment (toward the spouse and “the system”), bitterness, anxiety, and depression, reduced self esteem, and a sense of “life not worth living”. As depression and poor mental health are known markers of suicide risk, it may well be that one of the fundamental reasons for the observed association between divorce and suicide in men is the impact of post divorce (court sanctioned) “arrangements”.
In my case, custody of the children was joint although in reality I have had sole custody. Yet despite that and despite a vocational evaluator determining Spring could make just as much money as me, not to mention the clear and overwhelming evidence of fraud on her part, I am required to work the rest of my life for her.

Why divorced men commit suicide at such a high rate can be debated, but does anyone really thing that the fact that it is the man who pays alimony  98+% of the time is unrelated? 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Lack of Due Process

Medium has an interesting article on the lack of due process in family court. The articles focus is on veterans but what is true for them is true for all.
Due process is often subverted for many individuals in divorce and custody ordeals — often for reasons of players in the court covering up one track after another in situations where transgressions have transpired both on procedural and substantive grounds whereby established precedents and rules have been disregarded — resulting in rights being terminated without parties being afforded proper adjudication.
“Disabled Veterans are encountering tremendous financial and emotional distress in various forms on a regular basis because of this injustice. Some to the point of suicide…other sufferings include illegal garnishment of entire bank accounts, inappropriate liens on personal property acquired with Title 38 compensation, driver license suspension, and even incarceration. Tragically, many are denied a meaningful relationship with their child(ren) as a result.”

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Real Sexism

I ran across the Real Sexism Project and think you should take a look. I am not going to comment much other to say that it does make you think and the fact that sexism against men exists does not mean sexism against women does not exist and is just as wrong.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Saddest Option

I once visited the Nazi concentration camp Dachau which is located in a town of the same name near Munich. Dachau was the first of Hitler's concentration camps and served as the model for many of them. An interesting fact about Dachau is that although gas chambers were constructed, they were never used. Unlike some camps such as Treblinka, which were pure execution camps from the start, Dachau started as a political rehabilitation camp.  By the time they built the gas chambers, the labor shortage in Germany was so severe the Nazis decided it was better to use the prisoners as forced labor in the munitions industry rather than kill them outright.

For some prisoners, making weapons for the enemy was unacceptable.  Rather than do so, they chose to touch the electric fence which surrounded the camp or step into a grassy zone where Nazi soldiers located in towers would instantly shoot them. It was a horrible choice but I can understand their rational. The idea of making a grenade that would be used to kill those fighting the Nazis could easily lead one to decide that death was the more moral choice.

We do not have hard data on how many acts of violence and crime are caused by injustice in family court but it is reasonable to think it is high.  Not only does crime beget crime but the perpetrators of crime in divorce court have a near zero risk of getting caught.

We know that divorce causes a three-fold increase in suicides among men; however, we do not know how much higher the rate is for those paying lifetime alimony. But I think that like those Dachau prisoners who could not in good conscience work to support immorality and crime; many people obligated to pay lifetime alimony to those who committed immoral actions and crimes decide that the correct moral action is death. The fact that this is quite rational and understandable is just incredibly sad.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative deal with his accusers. He, actually his insurance companies, will pay out $44 million as follows:
About $30 million would go to the accusers, studio creditors and former employees of Weinstein Co. who said they felt they might be punished in a hostile work environment, according to the Journal. Another $14 million would pay for legal fees that Harvey Weinstein's associates faced.
Note that some of the money will go to his former employees because they worked in a hostile work environment. WHAT! That is like SS guards who worked at a concentration camp receiving money from Germany because they worked in a hostile work environment.

If Weinsteins's employees did not like working for him they should have left.

$44 million paid out to people because Harvey Weinstein is a lewd scum ball. Yet people like Nelly Wince, who clearly committed serious crimes, not only get away with their crimes but the victims (i.e. me) have to pay her.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Girls Only?

I am one of those people with a wide range of interest. Maybe too wide my kids would say. I both love art and science. I've never been in a museum, of any type, that I did not love. I read books in all genres and all subjects. 

Fundamentally I do not like limits. And I really do not like limits placed on others. I cringe when someone says a child/spouse/whomever is "not good" or "doesn't like" something. Such statements tend to become self-fulfilling. And, when you think about it, it is a small leap from that to classifying whole groups whether based on race, national origin, sex or sexual preference. It used to be thought that women did did not have the capacity to think scientifically. Now most graduates from medical schools are women. 

A girls STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) camp is currently being promoted in Minnesota. Now I get that the motives may be good but why on earth would you segregate girls into a gender based STEM camp? Does it mean that girls are less able than boys? Or that they cannot compete with boys? Or is it the opposite - girls cannot excel because boys drag them down? Unfortunately, everyone will come to their own conclusion on why the segregation is needed and none of them will be good. The solution is to avoid the segregation in the first place.

Saturday, May 4, 2019


Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor and four co-defendants have been found guilty of a racketeering conspiracy for paying doctors to prescribe its powerful opioid medication and then lying to insurance companies to ensure that the expensive fentanyl-based painkiller would be covered.

This was a criminal conviction which is significant. Kapoor will almost certainly go to jail.

Kapoor's conviction is a step in the right direction to more just society. Someday we may see similar convictions in the family law system but the reality is that will be a much more difficult hill to climb because the guilty parties are the lawyers and judges who are supposed to be ensuring justice.

Justice - it's a long road.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Scouts, Just Scouts!

Both my sons went through in Cub Scouts as well as spending a few years in Boy Scouts. I was a Cub den leader for several years.  I actually loved it but the fact that it was all boys irritated me quite a bit. Sure there are Girl Scouts (and they are a great organization) but they are definitely separate and not the same. 

Last year the Cub Scouts starting admitting girls and now the Scouts BSA program admits girls as well although for the later they are in separate girl troops. Still that is movement in the right direction. At some point in the future I expect they will become fully integrated.

A few years ago the Scouts gave up rules prohibiting gay adults and youth from participating.  And, contrary to what some people think, Scouting is not a Christian organization. In fact, the country with the largest number of Scouts is Indonesia.

Progress may be slower than we like but it is good to see some things are moving in the right direction.

Saturday, April 20, 2019


It is amazing how much sexism there is when you take the time to listen. Sexism that goes unnoticed by most people.

This morning on NPR I heard a story about violence agaisnt women along the U.S. Mexican border. Certainly all violence is tragic but throughout the whole story they never once mentioned violence against men. And of course the vast majority of violence is committed against men. The reality is that in our society women's lives are viewed as more important than men's lives. It is such a fundamental mental construct that it is shared by the entire political spectrum from the most conservative to the most liberal. How many people complain that 99.99% of military deaths are male?

Similarly I heard a woman at work state that she had a weekend honey-do list for her husband. It made me cringe. How can people think it is terrible when a man says he can't cook, change a diaper, or do laundry yet it is okay for woman to not know how to use a screwdriver or hammer?

It we are going to end sexism people need to start paying attention more.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


I saw a segment on the news in the U.K. about how it is not just female actors who feel more and more that they need to be in peak physical shape to get good roles but also male actors. The whole point of the segment was to convey the non-intuitive somewhat shocking message that it isn't just women who feel pressured to look good. It made me laugh a bit because of course male actors are just as conscious of body image as are woman actors.

They did a comparison of James Bond as portrayed by Daniel Craig vs. Sean Connery.  Craig, if you did not know, is way more in shape than Connery ever was.

There is a currently popular so called fat acceptance movement. No doubt due to the our expanding collective waistlines. But if you think about it is there really any difference between being in good physical shape and say, being well groomed? In the Craig vs. Connery example, it was stated that the attractiveness of men used to be more about how confident they were and how they carried themselves rather than how ripped they were. So does than mean that we are prejudiced against men who are less confident? What about other factors such as height or tone of voice?  Would a shy, short, fat, bald man who stutters ever be selected to play James Bond? I think not despite the fact that a person has no control over any of those factors. And even for factors that one has control over such as grooming, or indeed physical fitness, do they really reflect a person's worth? No, they do not.

But let's not get to hung up on the matter. It is all about context. I have had and have many friends and  work colleges who are of varying girth, height, or other physical characteristic as well as varying levels of self-confidence and even emotional stability. It doesn't really matter all that much. But I admit that when it comes to romantic relationships, it does matter. There are people who I would not go out with because of how they look and/or act.  I think everyone is that that way. Maybe that is why successful relationships occur more often between people who are the same category. Not just physically but intellectually, emotionally and ethically as well.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Driven By Greed

Lies, fraud and driven by greed. An apt description of family court but those are the accusations against pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics which has been accused of bribing doctors and deceiving insurance companies to sell an opioid painkiller that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine. The founder of the company and its top leaders are now being tried in criminal court

There is an underlying mental construct that is the root of, for lack of a better term, evil. This evil construct causes people to seek to prove they are better than others. The expression of the construct can range from shoplifting, embezzlement, bullying, violence, discrimination, fraud, perjury, or even just being mean. Hurting others, monetarily, emotionally or physically makes such people feel superior.

The irony of course is that in seeking to prove they are better than others, they only achieve the opposite.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Civil Rights Or Criminal Justice?

There are two approaches I could take in my struggle agaisnt the injustices I have experienced from Spring and the family court system

The first is civil rights.  Is it fair that the fast majority of marital assets that are divided at the time of divorce were earned by men? Is it fair and right that men pay 98% of alimony? Is it fair that courts are more tolerant of women committing perjury than men? Is it fair that women are viewed by the courts as being the "lesser sex" and as such need to be provided for by the man?

The answer is of course no and many people would agree with that intellectually but in their hearts it just isn't an issue. Just like it isn't an issue that 99.99% of military deaths are of men or that the vast majority of victims of violence are men. We are sadly at least generation away from treating men and women as equals. Once people view the gender gap in military deaths and alimony with the same outrage they view gender pay gaps and gender discrepancies in leadership positions in industry and politics, then the civil rights approach might make sense.

Instead I have taken a criminal justice approach. Although Spring committed perjury this is very difficult to prove as she can always just claim that is what she believed even f the kids testify they absolutely believe she knowing lied. However, her lawyer Nelly Wince is another matter. She committed numerous acts of fraud and for at least one I have unquestionable evidence. To be clear the obstacles are formidable. Crime has been institutionalized in family court. In Minnesota, complaints that lawyers violated their rules of professional conduct almost never lead to discipline of the lawyer in question unless her or she has already been convicted of a crime. The county attorney's office has stated, quite falsely, that there is no law against a lawyer knowingly lying in the courtroom.  They have also stated, again falsely, that fraud upon the court does not exist in Minnesota statutes. Fraud by lawyers is so rampant that the very people tasked with enforcing the law fail to even see it as crime.

The road to justice has been long and hard and the end is shrouded in mist. But it is the right road to be on.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Florida Tries Again

Alimony reform in Florida has a long history. Of failure. But they do keep trying. A new bill has been introduced in the Senate in the seemingly annual attempt to make alimony more fair. 

Of interest in the article cited is the persistent but quite often false notion that the only people who receive permanent alimony  are those who  have stayed, "home for years to raise children". In my case, like many others, the spouse receiving alimony was not the one who was the primary parent during the marriage. (Although I am from Minnesota not Florida, our state laws are similar) 

The problem with alimony is mostly caused by the fact that it is awarded in unpredictable and inexplicable ways. There is no consistency. The exact same situation may result in no alimony with one judge but permanent alimony from another.  In Minnesota, we used to have the same situation with child support. However there is now a formula. You can argue, and many do, that the formula needs to be improved, but at least everyone knows what it is. 

With alimony it is a black box. Judges are allowed to make awards based on how well they know the litigants or lawyers, race, religion, campaign contribution they received or even whether they happen to be hung over on the day they rule. There is zero accountability. In fact no one even keeps track of what the alimony awards are.  This creates a situation that is not only ripe for corruption but bursting with it. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Too Much Evil

At times it is hard to believe how utterly evil humans can be. In the normally very peaceful and tolerant country of New Zealand 50 people were killed by a white nationalist.

How does this happen? How does one become so filled with hate that they can randomly kill people they do not even know, people who range from ages 3 to 70?

I see an underlying common mental construct that leads to such evil actions. That construct is the believe that you are more important than anyone else. It is putting oneself above all others. This believe is a continuum that ranges from the petty such as knowingly cheating on your taxes, to people such as Spring committing perjury and Nelly Wince committing criminal fraud, all the way through to people who become so self-centered they believe they have the right to take the lives of anyone they choose. 

How do we fight such evil? We will never be able to totally prevent it but the rule of law was designed to minimize the negative impact of such tendencies. If laws are fair, enforced and understood it will stop people such as Spring, Nelly Wince and others who so flagrantly break it for personal gain. Yet, I am not sure what could have been done to prevent the shooter in New Zealand. Perhaps education or exposure to other cultures. Perhaps nothing could have been done. That is the most depressing thought.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Male Only Draft

It wasn't that long ago that women were finally even allowed to be in military combat positions; now a federal judge has ruled that excluding women from draft registration is unconstitutional. It is about time. The male only draft was one of the few laws left on the books that is overtly discriminatory.

The case was brought by a men's rights group. I can't help but think it would have been better if a woman's rights group had taken it up at the same time as when they advocated for the right to the work in combat positions. But I'll take it - progress is progress.

We are very close to eliminating gender discrimination in the law. Now if could only eliminate it in practice. We have made progress. Law and medical schools now graduate as many, often more, women than men.  Yet we still see fewer women than men in many positions ranging from the CEOs to construction workers. Likewise we see many fewer men than women who work as nurses and elementary school teachers. And of course there are very few combat soldiers who are women. We also need to see either as many women pay alimony as men or better yet eliminate it entirely.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

More Cassie Jaye

The more I learn about Cassie Jaye, whose film The Red Pill I posted about last week, the more fascinating I find her.  She gave a incredible TEDx talk in 2017 that I highly encourage you to watch. (by the way TED talks are a great and fun way to learn - I love them!)

In her speech Jaye talks about how she went from believing the men's rights movement was misogynistic to realizing that equality means equality for all. Yes, women are discriminated against because they are women but it is also true that men are discriminated against because they are men. Both are wrong. Jaye can explain much better than me. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Cassie Jaye - Partisanship vs. Balance

One of the unfortunately trends in our society is that we favor partisanship over balance. In politics, people who agree with some Republican positions and some Democratic positions have been purged by their parties for not being loyal enough. Extremists rise to power and moderates are expelled. 

The happens in gender discussions as well.  Most people view feminists as the opposite of those who advocate for men's rights. Rarely does someone advocate agaisnt discrimination whether it be against women or men. Rarely do people working to prevent violence against women recognize that violence against men by women even happens. Rarely do men advocating for men's rights argue that we need more women running companies, in political office and in the military. Rarely do feminists state it is unacceptable that males make up 98+% of deaths in the military.

Cassie Jayne is an feminist filmmaker who made the documentary film The Red Pill (available on Amazon for free with Prime) on the men's rights movement.  Making the film actually charged her thinking about gender discrimination. She went from a partisan to a more balanced viewpoint. Sadly she has been criticized, even vilified for doing so.

Intelligence, honesty and integrity are sadly undervalued traits.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Unintended #MeToo Consequnces

The #MeToo movement has certainly brought to light many crimes and unethical practices that have been too long tolerated in our society. Which is good. Very good. But we should also recognize that like anything else bad people use it as just another way to commit crimes and unethical actions. Even if only 2% of accusations are false that means that 1 our 50 people accused have their life unjustly ruined.

But there are more subtle downsides to the movement or more accurately the subversion of the movement as Bloomberg journalists Gillian Tan and Katia Porzecanski highlight in, Wall Street Rule for the #MeToo Era: Avoid Women at All Cost.

Because an accusation alone can ruin a career and destroy a family and the reality is that there are false accusations, men often go to extraordinary lengths to avoid any situation which could lead to a false accusation. Things like going to dinner with a female co-worker on a business trip or socializing after hours. The very things that often help advance one's career.

The reality is that many good men are paranoid about false accusations which leads them to exclude women more. This has the effect of making it harder for women to achieve equality in the workplace. And men are right to be paranoid. No one knows the rate of false #MeToo accusations is; however, we do know that the rate of false accusations in divorce court is high, anywhere from 70 to 95%. Nearly everyone has either gone through divorce or knows someone who has. In just my own case, all the people who I have talked to about it understand that false accusations in divorce court are common and devastating. I suspect that even Spring's family and friends understand the reality of what she did. Avoiding any situation that might place you a position to be falsely accused is a rational reaction.

If we want equality for all then we need justice for all. At one time in our country just an accusation of a rape against a white women by a black man would result in a lynching. We are repeating that with false #MeToo accusations and false abuse claims in divorce cases.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Lauren Clark Way

Lauren Clark in a move somewhat like Riley North in the movie Peppermint but sans the violence went public, very public when she was assaulted, fondled and robbed  by an attacker while she was out for a run in Washington, D.C.

Clark likely only escaped being raped because she fought back.

The assistant, Jayro Cruz, was caught and confessed. Despite Cruz's history of sexual assaults he as sentence to only 10 days in jail and these were worked around his schedule as a rising chef in the restaurant world. Cruz repeatedly violated his prohibition yet received no further punishment.

Clark eventually took to contacting the restaurant he worked at and passed out flyers. If she couldn't get justice from the court she was going to make sure everyone knew who Cruz was and what he had done.  Way to go!

I have often thought of taking the same path. The lawyers, judges and others who have acted unethically and quite often criminally in my case have caused so much pain to so many that it is truly tragic they have only got away with their actions but have financially benefited from them. The court seems incapable of acting in a just manner. So maybe they way to proceed is to quit using pseudonyms and start using the real names of the guilty.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Like I Always Say...

Like I always say, if you want to know if an action is inappropriate swap the gender/race/national origin/gender preference and see if you think the same way.

The comedian/actor Amy Schumer thinks it is hilarious that in college she took advantage of a drunk male student. By advantage I mean sexual advantage. If the genders were reversed pretty much everyone would call it rape. Actually it is pretty clearly legally rape but we unfortunately do not live in a society that has equal rights for men and women.

Maybe the student Schumer took advantage of should sue Schumer for all the money she has made using the story in her comedy routine. Maybe Schumer should never work in entertainment again. Maybe she should go to jail.

Maybe she should hook up with Harvey Weinstein given how much they seem to have in common.

It is pretty disgusting and disheartening to learn that a person who complains about being treated in a discriminatory manner doesn't  actually care about what is right. They just want to be the abuser not the victim. 

Sadly this is no surprise to me given that the LPRB predominately operates in a manner exactly opposite to its purpose - they protect lawyers from the consequences of their criminal and unethical actions rather than censure them for such actions. Or for that matter the entire family justice system which  rather than operating to ensure justice is instead itself rife with criminal and unethical activity.

Sunday, January 27, 2019


I attended an MLK Day event the night before the holiday which was filled with music from around the world and presentations on those who, like Martin Luther King, seek justice through non-violent means. It was quite moving.

It is my belief that the root cause of racist, criminal and violent thinking and actions is a common mental construct that puts the self above others. It is a lack of compassion and empathy. It is a belief that I am better than you and that my group however defined - nationality, skin color, economic status - is better than yours.

A compassionate and empathetic person does not view skin color any differently than hair color. A compassionate and empathetic person does not view someone with less wealth as less worthy.

During the slavery period in the United States, the poorest white person in the south took comfort in knowing that it least he or she was not black. Such thinking is a coping mechanism to make one feel better about oneself.

Wouldn't it be nice if the way everyone felt better about themselves was because they were more compassionate, empathetic and nice? That is the dream.