Welcome to my blog and the reference point in my fight against an archaic, unjust family court system in Marshall County, Alabama. I plan on posting my thoughts, items of interest, and resources I find helpful in hopes that it can be helpful to someone else. Now take a deep breath. Here I go...

Please visit http://www.alfra.org for the only organization in Alabama that promotes the concept that children need each of their fit parents.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Clarity

Saturday was an amazing day. My oldest daughter has a birthday this week, and we celebrated her 8th birthday on that day. She decided that she wanted a winter wonderland themed birthday. To me that is a funny concept being from the South where it seems it is almost never winter. I suppose maybe due to the absence of snow, my daughter decided everyone should wear white and silver. She also apparently only made dress code requirements known to just a few of us. I wore a white button up shirt and an old black and silver tie that I actually got when her mother and I were together. The birthday girl was beautiful of course wearing her boots covered with silver sequins (she loves those boots), and her mom did a great job with the decorations. Had a full house of people, and I think every person there enjoyed themselves. I know my daughter did.  

It was the first time in her life that both of her parents were at the same birthday party, at the same time. She has always had one party with Mom and another with Dad. This time, Mom and Dad were both there and everything was fine. Such a simple concept, and eye opening that we've never got that one right before. As it dawned on me, I realized that there has never been a good reason for this to be the first time. Her mother's side of the family are good people, and have always been very nice to me despite the tension in my relationship with my daughter's mother. Yesterday, that tension was finally gone. 

Another lesson was learned, and it is probably the best advice I can give any parent going through this ordeal. If it is at all possible, eliminate the conflict between you and your child's other parent. This conflict is being used against you. Plus, it is not good for the kids. They deserve to have Mom AND Dad at their birthday party, not two different ones. You do not have a choice, you have to talk and work together. This is especially true when going through a divorce. I have learned that a lot of the conflict is fabricated. It's not real, it is perceived. Every situation is different to be sure, and no one size fits all approach will ever work. However, one truth remains, it is in your child's best interest for you two to get along someway somehow. 

I found out that these last few years of conflict have been more or less self-imposed, because of a lack of communication, which it honestly sounds to me like that lack of communication was exploited by DHR caseworkers. They helped foment the conflict and fuel the fire, and it raged because the mother and I did not talk at all, except through short text messages which focused mainly on the when and where about picking my daughter up for visitation. I have been learned, however, that the caseworkers have more or less been playing us off of one another. 

No more. I am ending this conflict now, once and for all. There is no good reason for my daughter's mother and I to be at odds like we have been, and it was a mistake on my part to allow it to happen as it has. However, it is a trap many fall into. As a friend pointed out tonight, when you get divorced what is the first thing most attorneys tell you to do? Do not speak to your spouse. There's a reason they tell you that and it is because they make money if you let them talk for you. The more conflict, the higher the attorneys' fees. In my experience, that is the worst thing you could do. 

What happened on Saturday is possibly the best. Both parents, being there - at the same time - for their child as it is suppose to be. A moment of clarity, that moment was life changing, and I thank God for that day and that time with her. I also know surely more is in store, and I am very lucky to have this opportunity. Time to make the most of it, that's the least I owe my daughter.  



  

Monday, December 3, 2012

What in the world is going on in Chilton County?

Simply astonishing. That is really all I can say about the story I wrote recently on Chilton County Judge Sibley G. Reynolds and his incarceration of Bonnie Sue Wyatt in a simple - and unlawful - debtors' prison. [see the article: "Tyranny and Corruption, Alabama style: Judge Sibley G. Reynolds"]

I could not believe that it was occurring originally, but I confirmed the veracity of the facts for myself. The plight of Bonnie Sue was first reported on Examiner.com on October 1, [see the article: "Are Alabama courts out of control?"] a few days after I first read about it on the blog Legal Schnauzer. Over the past couple of months, the matter has continually been brought to my attention. People in Chilton County are certainly talking about what has happened to Bonnie Sue though in whispered tones, and now that talk is spilling over into other parts of the State and its getting louder. 

I had an interesting talk today with Angie Collins, Ms. Wyatt's most recent attorney of record. She was openly unhappy with my reporting and made several threatening statements. I responded that I strive to ensure the accuracy of my reporting and if she would tell me what part was inaccurate, I'd be glad to further confirm my information. However, she would not name one specific misstatement or falsehood in my article despite claiming my facts "are wrong" short of saying "anything with her name on it" is untrue. She also refused to answer any questions relating to Ms. Wyatt's case. We made progress though, she actually returned a phone call relating to Ms. Wyatt. It is unfortunate though, that again she has refused to protect the interests of her client.

If Ms. Collins is upset about what I printed, she should be appreciative of what I did not publish. I take great lengths to verify information given to me before it is reported on, especially items of a sensitive nature like those associated with Ms. Wyatt's case. There has been an avalanche of information pouring out of Chilton County since the article was published. If I were to make a mistake and report something inaccurate, I would be the first to step forward and issue a retraction once it is discovered to be false or misleading. This whole situation makes my State look bad, and it is an embarrassment that I would even have to report on a story such a this. After weeks of investigation, and unsuccessfully trying to get them to act on the matter, it leaves me with no choice but to report on it.

The story of Bonnie Sue's suffering must be told so long as it continues. There is an easy way to make this all go away. Bonnie Sue Wyatt should be released from jail immediately and quickly restored her natural right of liberty. There is certainly no justification or reason to continue holding her captive. It is immoral and unjust, not to mention unlawful and unconstitutional. Every day that Ms. Wyatt remains incarcerated exasperates the situation, and continues this travesty against the principles of justice.

Why would an attorney threaten a reporter who is trying to shed light on this atrocious injustice? When have you EVER heard of an attorney that did not love press coverage in support of their clients?

Three words eliminate this as a news story: FREE BONNIE SUE.



 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My thoughts on the attacks upon the United States in Egypt and Libya

Earlier today, after seeing pictures of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens' dead body being carried through the streets of Benghazi, I expressed my disgust with the current administration's response and very strongly condemned the President for his lack of leadership during this tragic time for our country. While I do not apologize for my positions, I admit that due to their brevity they did not appropriately convey my feelings on the matter. If any apology is owed to anyone, it is to the families of those affected by these heinous acts, who had their loved ones ripped away from them by an angry mob. I will now take the opportunity to extrapolate on my opinion.

Yesterday, at some point, an angry mob assembled outside of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt angry over some amateurish video made by an American citizen which insults the leader of the Islamic faith. In response to this mob, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo released this statement:

"The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

There are those that say this is tantamount to an apology by U.S. Administration officials, released to appease the gathering mobs around the Embassy in Cairo. I agree. I cannot confirm, but have been told by reliable sources, that the Embassy again stood firm by its previous statement once Americans across the country expressed outrage at the apology. To be fair, these words did not come out of the President's mouth. However, it remained the official position of the U.S. Government for some time, and neither the President nor the State Department repudiated these remarks until much later, after the violence had already gotten well out of hand.

To understand the damage caused by such an act of appeasement, one has to look no further than twelve years ago. In late 2000, just prior to President Clinton leaving office, Islamic extremists attacked the U.S.S. Cole, an American warship which was docked in Yemen, a country in the Middle East. Despite this unmistakable act of war, President Clinton did nothing. When President George W. Bush took office in early 2001, again no action was taken in response to the attack upon the U.S.S. Cole which killed 17 American service men and women, and wounded 39 other Americans. Shortly after the attack, al Qaeda publicly acknowledged responsibility for this attack. To this date, no one has ever been held responsible for this attack nor the murder of our brothers and sisters. At some point, a judge did freeze some assets of Sudan and the U.S. received some $13 million dollars from those assets. So we made Sudan pay for the ship, but we never had justice for the unnecessary loss of life.

This non-response was seen as weakness on the part of the United States by the terrorists that would see our friends and family dead. That this emboldened those same terrorists in their future designs is indisputable. So much so, that just shy of one year later, over 3,000 Americans fell further victims to this horrible perversion of the Islamic faith. Which brings me back to yesterday, the eleven year anniversary of one of the darkest days in our nation's history.

This apology for the actions of someone else, who is not associated with the U.S. Government, emboldened the angry mob outside of our Embassy in Cairo. Meanwhile, another angry mob formed outside of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Armed with crude homemade bombs and rocket propelled grenades, our embassies came under attack. Meanwhile, our President remained silent.

Rather than redirecting American assets in the region to provide reinforcement and protection to the heroic men and women who risk their lives to perform a service to their country, the President decided to leave their fate in the hands of a handful a U.S. Marines and the security forces of both Libya and Egypt. While the protestors in Egypt continued their attack upon our Embassy, Egyptian security forces were seen standing by while protestors scaled the walls, ripped down and burned the U.S. flag and replaced it with a banner widely recognized as a symbol of Islamic jihad.

Meanwhile, the angry mob in Libya also began to compromise the security of our U.S. Consulate there. At least one U.S. State Department employee was murdered during this initial attack. In response, many of those inside were transported to a supposed “safe house” nearby to wait out the violence. It has been reported that members of the Libyan security force, who were aware of the location of the “safe house,” were seen pointing out the location to members of the mob. The “safe house” then came under attack, with the members of the angry mob storming the house. In the melee, Ambassador Stevens and two others were murdered by that mob.

There are pictures circulating which shows the limp, dead body of Ambassador Stevens being carried through the streets of Benghazi with at least one purportedly showing Libyans citizens attempting to carry the Ambassador to a hospital. The only thing clear about these images is that Ambassador Stevens was already dead. At any rate, this is not the first instance of a dead American being paraded through the streets of an Islamic country who's citizens had killed him in vengeance for American beliefs and values.

There are now rumors circulating that this was no spontaneous act of violence, that it was a planned attack upon the United States by her enemies which was designed to occur on the anniversary of that fateful day in 2001. I tend to believe this. Despite these rumors, no one can dispute that it was apparent that this was a very dangerous situation early yesterday. That our President took little or no action to protect these people, who served our country and were attacked on American soil, is an outrage. It is despicable that instead of focusing his full attention upon the attacks, our President was campaigning for re-election.

His non-response was seen as an act of cowardice, not only by his opponents at home, but also by our common enemies abroad. This emboldened the angry mob to grow and become progressively more violent. The key point that I wish for you to take from this is that these people, our brothers and sisters, did not have to die. Had our President responded with more resolution and conviction, these atrocities could have been prevented. I hear we will be sending unmanned drones to Libya, presumably for protection of our assets there and as a deterrent to those that would incite further violence. Gee, wouldn't that have been a great idea yesterday before our Ambassador was murdered and his dead body paraded through the streets?

I worry what the future holds for us, now that the weakness of the current administration has been exposed? I pray that the suffering has reached its climax, but if the U.S.S. Cole is any indication, we have good reason to worry. There are those that would have you believe it all happened at once and there was nothing the President could do. This is absolutely false. These heinous acts occurred over the course of many hours and progressively got worse. Had our President acted immediately when the first State Department employee was murdered, the other three deaths could have been prevented. Our President has a sacred duty to protect those that serve our nation abroad. He has failed in that duty.

Our enemies do not respect weakness. They know only one language, force. They respect only strength. Unfortunately, our government displayed neither of these traits yesterday. Now, because of our government's internationally perceived weakness, we are all in danger of further attacks. When I saw those images of Ambassador Stevens, I wept for his family and my country. Now, we must pray for God's protection. We are going to need it. I fear our President will continue his policies of appeasement which will further put us all in danger.

I will repeat here my fervent prayers for our nation and those directly affected by these heinous acts:

May God bless the United States and the families of those innocent victims of this horrible tragedy. I pray that our leaders be granted the wisdom to take the appropriate action to secure our people and interests around the globe. I pray that He brings peace to the families affected and that they know their loved ones are not forgotten and are true American heroes. Amen, So mote it be.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The State of Alabama has something to hide...


...and I can prove it. Today, the State's Assistant Attorney General Jennifer M. Bush filed a Motion to Stay Discovery in my federal civil rights lawsuit against the State and DHR for violating my Constitutional and civil rights (Patterson v. Alabama, et al., Case 4:11-cv-04067-HGD). Now, that would normally not be a big deal, as discovery stays are informally agreed to all the time by parties awaiting the outcome of a dispositive motion (in my case, the State's Motion to Dismiss which was filed January 4, 2012). However, we made no such agreement.

In fact, discovery has been underway since March 2, 2012. According to the Rule 16 Scheduling Order issued by the federal judge in the matter, discovery was to end on December 14, 2012. Of an allotted 10 ½ months for discovery, 6 months have now passed, in other words, it is more than halfway over. I have submitted my supporting documentation as part of discovery, turning over 175 pages of evidence to support my claims. Now, all of a sudden, the defense wants to stay (delay) discovery. Why?

Last week, I submitted to the Defendants and the Court a Request for Production of Documents. This is a standard request made in every lawsuit since the beginning of time. In my request I asked for “the original or legible copy” of 12 specific documents. In addition, I requested a copy of the current State child support enforcement policy and procedure manual, any additional documents not specifically requested but contained within the file DHR has kept on me, and any documents that they plan to submit to the Court in their defense.

I highly doubt that anyone could make the case that my requests are overly broad or would represent some unnecessary burden on the Defendants by having to produce the documentation. I can guarantee you that it would take them less time and cost to provide what I requested, than it did for me to prepare and print the 175 pages of documentation I provided to them as part of my disclosures. That documentation that I provided, I might add, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt each and every claim I have against the State.

There is ONLY ONE REASON why the State would attempt this obstruction of justice, this late in the litigation process. They have something to hide. Something I requested will not only prove my claims, but likely open them up to further claims of civil rights abuses. They know this and that is why they are trying to prevent my fair access. Did I mention they had the opportunity to file this stay SIX MONTHS AGO if they felt then that it was necessary? Did I mention that I have already submitted my disclosures to them? Did I mention that they only took this action when I attempted to gain the same fair access to their records, that I willingly gave them to my records?

SO WHAT ARE YOU HIDING STATE OF ALABAMA?

Your corrupt actions WILL SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY.  I am determined!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vote NO on Sept. 18 for our children's future!

A member of the Alabama Legislature recently asked why I am voting no against the “Medicaid Amendment” which is coming up for a vote on September 18. After sharing my views with him, I decided to also share with you, due to the gravity of situation, the inclinations of my heart on the matter.

For those that may not know, this year the Alabama Legislature passed a state budget with a $145 million dollar hole in it. Rather than passing a balanced budget as required by State law, they acted in violation of the law and the Alabama Constitution. Amazingly, Governor Bentley signed it. Now they claim that if we do not approve this constitutional amendment on September 18, that hospitals and prisons are going to shut down and millions of children will be without access to healthcare. These claims remind me of Chicken Little saying that “the sky is falling!”

If this fear-mongering does become reality, we have much deeper problems than budgetary issues. The first Republican majority in 140 years, and now the whole State is going down if we don't approve the amendment? I am no Democrat, but at least their majorities could pass a balanced budget every year. It's not hard. Simple addition and subtraction, you subtract your expenses from your revenues and (by law) it must equal zero. Otherwise, it must be adjusted until it equals zero or has a surplus. We expect fiscal leadership from the Republicans, only to have them lead us to the edge of a fiscal cliff. 2014 is not too far away, you know.

If we demand fiscal responsibility and accountability by voting no on September 18, the Governor will have to call a special session of the Legislature for the purpose of passing a constitutional budget. They will have 12 days to act before the new fiscal year starts on October 1. The only way that anything goes unfunded is if the Legislature refuses to act, which I hardly think will be the case. The Republicans are aware of their youth as majority party in Alabama and will not let the State fall apart on their watch. Like I said, 2014 is not so far away.

Even worse, the September 18 amendment is a self-fulfilling prophecy. By taking $435 million dollars from the Alabama Trust Fund, they will accordingly reduce all future General Fund budget revenues which depend on interest earned from the trust fund! Where are they going to get the missing revenue then? The Education Trust Fund? Of course, they have “promised” to pay it back (except there is no legal requirement for them to do so). One plan? Take it out of the Education Trust Fund over ten years. Doh!

This constitutional amendment just doesn't pass muster as sound fiscal policy. It is destined to be paid for by the elimination of educational opportunities for our children, or through higher taxes on the rest of us in the future. I do not think Alabama voters put the Republicans in the majority for them to continue to kick the can down the road. We expect leadership and results. That's why a number of legislators, from both parties, have come out publicly against the amendment.

You would think that in lean times such as these, our leaders would look to cut unnecessary services and pork barrel spending. After reviewing a state contract list for FY 2013, I found that we the people are to pay $1.3 million dollars to Weight Watchers for state employees. While I am not opposed to our state employees living healthy lives, the only thing we can afford to put on Weight Watchers is our General Fund budget!

We need to send a message to our legislators on September 18, that they are not above the law, that we demand fiscal responsibility, and that we are not going to accept the same tired kick the can down the road policies! Demand leadership and accountability! Vote NO on September 18!

Friday, August 24, 2012

10 minutes, 10 numbers to help mend broken hearts

I am so thankful to God for His blessings and for granting me the ability to take these actions.  That doesn't make them any easier.  It's nuts to think about.  I am locked in a legal battle with my State, in defense of my indisputable rights, hoping to have some impact which will positively affect others which may find themselves similarly situated.

Who would have ever thought that the Alabama Bar Association and its members, private attorneys, judges, state legislators, and various government personnel would team up against ordinary citizens?  Sure, it's nothing new for the government to do so, that's been charted throughout the history of human government, but the lawyers too?  It happens all over the country, but it is most egregious in Alabama, and nobody does anything about it.

Those conspirators all profit off of the current arrangement which has produced the most abhorrent Constitutional and civil rights violations.  Yet no lawyer, no judge, no legislator, no governor (the men and women with the power to protect the people) have yet stepped forward to challenge these abuses and usurpations.  WHY NOT?  None of these state actors believe me when I present the evidence to their faces, they all deny malicious intent.  Yet the abuses are not corrected, they occur everyday in all 67 counties of Alabama.

And the state coffers continue to fill.  Yet, the State repeatedly claims it is broke and we are in the midst of a budget crisis.  Why is it so impossible to believe that these state actors take these actions because of the poor financial state of the General Fund budget, from which many of their jobs depend on?  Why is that so crazy a concept?  It has unequivocally been demonstrated that the State is currently profiting off of its actions to the tune of tens of millions of dollars a year.  I can demonstrate that by its actions not only is Alabama infringing upon its citizen's Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, it is also committing fraud against the United States government through the Title IV-D "incentive payment to the States" program.  Don't we have some major federal budget issues too?

Just as the State of Alabama is taking from me money that is not owed, so too are they fraudulently obtaining federal funds based upon their unlawful confiscation of my wages in excess of my actual child support obligation based upon false allegations and despite the availability of clear and convincing evidence against those false allegations.  They have returned some of the money they confiscated from me, but only after running it through the system and getting credit for it for the purposes of collecting its corresponding incentive payment.  Roughly $2 from Uncle Sam for every $1 they take from me.

So that leaves folks like me, Mark Davis, Chris Hobbs, etc. to carry the banner and fight for our rights, your rights, and believe it or not, the well-being of the State and federal government.  If through our actions, we are able to cast light upon fraud and abuses of federal money (taxpayer dollars mind you), and help prevent this fraud from being continued, then every one in this country will benefit.  I wonder how many other States are abusing the system like Alabama?  How many other States are separating parents and children routinely as a method of revenue generation?  Likely all or most of them.  Think of how much federal tax dollars we can save by eliminating all that waste and fraud!  Think of all the societal benefits that will result from making sure that States do not prevent fit parents from influencing and participating in the development and raising of their children!

Think of the reduced welfare burden upon the State and federal government, if those currently on its rolls which are there unnecessarily are removed!  There are too many benefits to list!  It is amazing that we would receive such strong opposition.  Not once has our claims EVER been demonstrated to be false!  On the contrary it has been repeatedly proven that our claims in fact carry great weight and merit, backed up by a sea of documentation and personal testimony.  So why the staunch resistance?  Money, money, money.

Damn, it is infuriating when those that seek to do us harm claim that we act out of selfish or self-serving motives.  It is so heart breaking to hear the stories of abuses by the local family courts.  It affects so many people and children, and it is nauseating to think of the little broken hearts that have resulted from this atrocious excuse for a government program.  If you let it, it can consume your thoughts in very negative ways.  I get so angry and disheartened by the whole mess sometimes that it really affects my mindset and mood.  That's not a good thing and I am continually trying to improve how I deal with it emotionally and mentally because if you let it grab hold of you, it affects your actions and those around you.  I've been guilty of this more times than I would like to admit.

If you cannot believe that things are as bad as I say, it is not a reflection of the accuracy of my statements but rather an invitation for you to inform yourself better on the facts.  There are many of us afflicted by the system, yet most suffer through despite the continued suffering of their neighbors.  You know, though, we're parents.  We've got jobs and kids and responsibilities.  So its hard to find those that are willing to make the time to fight along side of us.  They are here in spirit and support us wholeheartedly, but simply don't have the time.  If this is you, I understand but you must also understand it is time to stop lying to yourself.  Silence equals consent and it takes no more than 10 minutes to dial 10 numbers to help make positive change.  Those 10 numbers are the phone number to your legislator.  Call all of the them.  You only have 2, but maybe there are others in nearby districts you can also share your story with.

The myth of our family court system's perpetuation lies in the silence of those whom suffer the greatest abuses.  We think there is nothing we can do but there is!  Take 10 minutes today to call your legislator!

10 MINUTES of telling your story to your legislator which will be an invaluable public service, you can really be a part of changing the lives of Alabama's children and answering the prayers of thousands of parents!

10 NUMBERS to reach out to your local legislator which will help convince them of the wide ranging nature of these abuses of our Constitutional rights!      

It really is that simple.  If you'll take the time, I'll volunteer to come to your house and dial the numbers for you.  The next legislative session will be upon us soon.  We need to let these legislators know what's really happening.

Please call them! Today!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why we fight, and why you should too


We are the accused rabble-rousers. The trouble makers. The ones who will not stop. We are the stick in the craw of the Alabama legislator, and the bane of the existence of the Alabama judge. We are the parents accused of simply being "disgruntled" or "angry because we lost our divorce" - allegations lodged to encourage others to disregard our message, without ever actually hearing it.

We are the ones who refuse to go silently into the night. We recognize that silence equals consent, and because of our experiences we cannot remain silent any longer. We are not special nor do we believe we possess any great abilities that parents before us did not have. We are simply a part of the natural progression of humans when faced with injustice. As the great Declaration of Independence notes,

"All experience hath shewn (sic) that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
- Thomas Jefferson, 1776

We are also not the first ones to suffer. Parents have been suffering under these "evils" for some time now. We are not even among the first to call for changing "the forms to which we are accustomed." The State's encroachment into the parent-child relationship started many years ago. As the State slowly injected itself and asserted their authority over our children's lives, the parents before us operated under the assumption that the "evils are sufferable." As time has gone by, and the Government continues its snowball of power, we must reassess that assumption now.

Our response is therefore not reactionary, it is the result of the failure of friendly negotiations. Because of the intently personal nature of our cause, those that fought before us within the system have largely gone unnoticed. Many were simply chewed up and spit out by the system, not having the ability to counter such aggressive measures in the face of such odds. Many wrongly assumed, like I did at the beginning, that they were alone the victim of singular incidents of mistakes compounded by other mistakes which produced such abhorrent results.

Our forebears did not realize that they were not, if fact, alone in their suffering. They did not realize that their suffering, and their children's suffering, rather than being a random set of circumstances, were actually the result of a systematic effort to make the children wards of the State, under the guise of protecting the child (from what? their parents?) and also reducing the State burden of welfare programs. Far from reducing the State burden, it has overwhelmingly been increased making their programs a colossal failure (of their stated purposes) which the politicians will not admit. Far from protecting our children, they have made it more likely for them to suffer from poverty, abuse, addiction, and teen pregnancy. In the process, they have hamstrung the parents and prevented their taking any meaningful action to protect their children. What's worse, the policies we labor under actually encourage some parents to abandon their child by failing to respect their necessity of survival.

Meanwhile, our children suffer and their parents suffer. But the State coffers continue to fill with federal tax dollars, funding intended to be a blessing but which has become a curse for the parents of Alabama. Some refuse to admit sinister motives have led to this travesty (meanwhile they ignore the travesty itself simply because they do not believe intent). I agree wholeheartedly. I do not think that most of the folks perpetrating these injustices are necessarily "evil" people. Many may believe they are doing the "right thing" failing to realize the true consequences of their actions. They cover themselves in the regal robe of State law, and claim righteousness when their actions are proven improper through the suffering of others.

Some of these judges, lawyers, and legislators would do well to remember that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." It is not their intent that matters, it is the results of their actions that cause the suffering. Most amazingly to me, when confronted by those that suffer under their actions, they refuse to accept any responsibility and deflect by denying the problem even exists. The regal robe of the State protects them from any consequences.

In order for the regal robe to be cast off of these State actors, to expose them to the consequences of their actions, the people must not remain silent. Remaining silent, however, much like using the regal robe of the State to deflect criticism, is the easiest path. The one of least resistance. There will always be those who at the greatest times of crisis, prefer the easy route out. Whatever they do, they refuse to rock the boat. Others may be cast into the abyss, still more may suffer among us. Just don't rock the boat, no matter what.

These are the people that are responsible for the greatest calamities that befall mankind. These are the kinds of people that allowed slavery to persist for so long, which resulted in our Civil War when hundreds of thousands perished because those that came before them did not have the spine to tackle the problem resolutely. A half century of half measures, designed to placate all while placating none, building animosity and distrust that at once exploded into contempt and hatred.

These are the people that allowed slavery to be replaced with Jim Crow, which again systematically oppressed people. Does this mean that all white people hated or disliked blacks? Absolutely not. There were those whites that did express such ignorant sentiments based on race, but it was those who were too coward to repudiate the extremists that allowed the practice to continue. They had good reason one might say. To stand against the Klan in the 20th century meant that you could be ridiculed by your neighbors, family, and friends. You could have your family terrorized or your house burnt to the ground. It was easy if you did not want these things to happen, simply remain silent and let others speak for you. Many white folks encouraged this behavior, "don't start any trouble" they would say.

That was surely the intent of my brother-in-law when he came to my work one day to encourage me to stand down. He was very truly looking out for my best interests. It would have been easier, but not necessarily better, for me to have simply ignored the new Jim Crow and continue to suffer the discrimination and oppression silently like so many of those before me. In speaking to another father about our efforts, he mentioned those famous words that have been asked of him numerous times which I too have heard many times myself, "why are you doing this?"

He did not have an answer then and I do not have an exact one now. When faced with such odds and difficulties, and without any chance of respite, why would we wage this seemingly never ending battle? We will never have our rights restored. They cannot return to us the time we have lost with our children. Kids are only young once, as time goes by they grow older and we forever lose the ability to influence their development once we are restrained from exercising that influence. We forever lose those moments that did not happen, because the State of Alabama decided to make us visitors in our child's life. We make the best of what little time we have left with our children, knowing very well the value of such time because we realize that it can be taken from us in a moment.

There are those of you that might say, "the government cannot take my kids from me!" "The government cannot keep me from seeing my kids!" To you I plead, do not remain any longer in your slumber! Idealistic dreams can sometimes lead us astray when we refuse to confront the harsh reality of the experiences of others. We as a species are masters of the false belief that a great tragedy will not befall us like it has our neighbor when only pure happenstance prevents us from suffering a similar fate!

Once you have fallen into the quicksand, lifting yourself out is next to impossible. Even with the help of another on firmer ground, reprieve flows like molasses. That is why we must stand firm together when those among us may falter alone. By allowing those among us to suffer, we increase the likelihood of our own suffering and prolong its duration unnecessarily.

Folks suffer through the quicksand of tyranny and oppression for as long as they do because those with firmer standing do little to help alleviate their burdens. That's why slavery lasted as long as it did. That is why it was allowed to be replaced with Jim Crow. Slavery and Jim Crow laws were designed with the express purpose of benefiting one group of people economically while suppressing another. Jim Crow simply did through the law and disenfranchisement what had previously been enforced through the whip and chains.

The new Jim Crow is no different, but instead of being determined by race the oppressed are now determined by family status. The economic beneficiaries are (not unlike then) the government and those that they manipulate for their own aims. The new Jim Crow oppresses parents generally, most specifically noncustodial parents. It does not oppress all parents equally, which is where the devil of its perpetuation lies. While there are ways to avoid the harshest of its effects, its potential devastating effect on EVERY parent remains universal. Just because it has not happened TO YOU, does not mean that it cannot or will not.

That is why, as parents, we cannot merely stick our heads in the sand and hope that we will be somehow spared. That very sand is the quicksand of our demise. The faster we all realize that this can happen to me too, the faster we lift every one of us out of the same oppression and prevent the further perpetuation of its injustices.

When I think of why it is that some of us have chosen the path of most resistance by trying to spread the message of our common affliction, I am reminded of a book given to me by my grandmother who lived as a white person during the tyranny of others which was the old Jim Crow laws. The book was published in 1909 in response to an earlier treatise written to justify the inhumane "separate but equal" doctrine set forth in Plessy v. Ferguson. The earlier treatise was written by a Professor Carroll and entitled, "Man, and the Negro." Professor Carroll through his title and supposed biblical and scientific "truths," tried to perpetuate the myth of the separation of blacks from the rest of mankind, alleging he was not man but a "beast of the fields" which is clear to any modern reader to be fallacy of the greatest kind.

This the State government continues to do by placing upon parents terms such as "noncustodial" or "absent parent" which is a self-fulfilling prophesy by virtue of the State action which alone made us noncustodial parents and forced us under law to become absent from the majority of our child's life. There is no difference, in fact, between a noncustodial parent and any other parent. The difference arises only in the government's designation and the resulting restriction of all rights associated with being a parent. Much like there was no difference, in fact, between a white man and a black man. The difference only resulted from how they were treated by the law, and then restricted in exercising their rights as a human.

The book written in response to Professor Carroll's assault upon reason was written by W.S. Armistead and entitled, "The Negro is a Man!" In a sea of darkness, this book stood as a shining beacon of reason and truth. It would have been easier for the publishers of this book to have suppressed it. It would have been easier to have ignored the issue, but as the publishers note inside the front cover:

"[We] do not pretend to ignorance. We have not brought out the book hurriedly, and without due thought and consideration, but on the other hand we have had the manuscript under advisement for considerable time, and we have read and re-read it, until the ponderous sledge-hammer blows of Professor Carroll rang in our ears-until the clang and din of his arguments convinced us that it would be a sin before God and man to withhold from the reading public such an array of Biblical, scientific, and common sense arguments."

Why did Professor Carroll's disgusting diatribe represent "ponderous sledge-hammer blows" when his beliefs were nothing new at the time? His book could have been published 100 years prior and it would not have caused any waves of discourse. What was it that convinced the publishers "that it would be a sin before God and man to withhold" the information they admitted to holding prior to the "din and clang of his arguments"? The answer is one and the same as the answer to the question posed to many of us parents, ourselves in our own struggle for the equality of others.

I think the only reasonable answer I have been able to determine, for why I have hazarded myself and well being for this cause is that God Almighty himself put it upon my heart to do so. There is no yardstick or plainly stated doctrine which defines clearly what constitutes "a sin before God and man." It is something we seemingly just "know" but there must be a better reason. For many sins are committed daily, under our very nose though we may not immediately recognize them as such.

Knowledge is power as they say. However, it can also be a burden (as Adam and Eve found of the tree of the same name). Once learned, you cannot unlearn something. Sometimes you can forget, sure. However, there are some things in this life we cannot forget, try as we might. All of us parental rights advocates were silent at one time. Sometimes the only way to recognize injustice, is to experience it for yourself.

Once our eyes were opened to the atrocities, our silence meant that we were accomplices to the sin, much like a person who has prior knowledge of a murder, but does nothing to prevent it is as guilty of the crime as the murderer himself. We could not stand for our own hands to be red with the blood of the oppressed. We ended our silence, and therefore explicitly removed our consent to the actions.

However, people continue to suffer. We take our concerns to you, hoping that the "array of Biblical, scientific, and common sense arguments" might open your eyes to the falsehoods our own eyes cannot escape. The noncustodial parent IS A FIT PARENT! This State defined idea that custodial and noncustodial parents are "separate but equal" is no more true now for parents than it was in 1896 when the idea was first coined to perpetuate the myth of the division of the races.

While there is clearly a distinction that can be drawn from what differentiates between "good people" and "bad people," it cannot be drawn from inherent conclusions based upon one's race. However, it can be drawn from a person's actions, which they alone decide. Likewise, there are "good parents" and "bad parents," but this distinction cannot be drawn from State ordered custodial status. Especially when it is considered that custodial status is often granted based upon false pretenses, such as the female being superior to a male in the ability to raise a child.

While I know there are few that would defend that line of thinking, I know judges make life altering decisions EVERY day based upon the same foregone (and false) conclusions. That very set of beliefs is written into the fabric of Alabama child custody law, even if it has been ruled "inoperable" by the federal courts. It is in fact still a part of the codified laws and practiced as a matter of custom in the family courts.

Our children are still suffering. Our neighbors are still suffering. Why we stand here idle? What is it that you would have? Is your own life and well-being so dear as to be purchased with the chains of the enslavement of others, and likely yourself? Forbid it Almighty God!

My own eyes are open. I have seen the terror caused by our prior inaction. I cannot simply stick my head back into the sand and hope it does not happen to me. In truth, it already has. I feel as if I am trying to pull the heads of others out of the sand, only to have them fight against me for dear life to maintain their ignorance of reality.

Invariably, the question "why are you doing this?" is tinged with a measure of disapproval, as if our actions are unnecessary or that we are "taking things too far." Neither have we brought out our concerns "hurriedly, and without due thought and consideration." Funny thing though, there were those that said MLK's actions were unnecessary and took things "too far" as well yet it was exactly what was necessary for the blacks to finally throw off the invisible chains of the old Jim Crow.

While we labor under the chains of the new Jim Crow, we patiently wait for the rest of you to stand with us in an act of solidarity to protect our children. I don't know why exactly I do the things I do in this cause, but I know my answer henceforth to that question.

Simply put, the Good Lord has put it on my heart to do these things, and I will pray that He does the same to your heart. We need your help.

To those who would unfairly criticize our actions without FIRST attempting an honest assessment of our concerns. Know that history will be your judge, well after your Creator has determined your fate based upon your actions or lack thereof. Much like you can look upon preceding generations with contempt for their shortsightedness concerning the government sanctioned and enforced separation of the races, so too will future generations look upon us with that equal contempt for our alleged consent to the separation of parents and children without any moral basis. More so than posterity's contempt, I fear that of my Creator which is much more immediate.

History can think of me what it will, but God has opened my eyes to this perversion of His creation and I will not suffer His wrath by remaining silent in the name of self-preservation in this world. I will not be judged by Him as equally guilty of these atrocities committed upon the family and perpetrated most immediately against our innocent children, under the guise of protecting them. Tell me, how can you protect a child by removing a fit parent from their life?

You cannot. It is a lie.

You are now a party to that lie, if you were not before. History is now watching you. God Almighty is now watching your actions. Will you express your consent by allowing the injustices to continue, or will you wash your hands of the blood by joining the animating contest of liberty for parents and children? I pray the God puts it upon your heart to join us. Will you hear Him when He does? Or will you, like Peter as he denied Jesus three times, deny Him now as you have heretofore denied us and our children?

Like I said before, "the Good Lord has put it on my heart to do these things, and I will pray that He does the same to your heart. We need your help."

SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

reloading...


Well, it is nice to be back writing. I just finished my lastest article for Examiner.com, the subject of which has lifted my spirits for the time being.

I am of the opinion that nothing short of a constitutional amendment is necessary to protect parents against the onslaught upon our fundamental rights to association with our children. The things I have learned in the last two years makes my skin crawl and have caused many sleepless nights. Like Mr. Farris notes in the article, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized parents fundamental liberty interests in their children.

Read my lips. It means nothing in the real world. It needs to be explicitly safeguarded within the confines of the constitution, not lost in a sea of court opinions. Can you directly quote the specific cases regarding parents fundamental rights to their children? I know one or two folks that can, but most people wouldn't even know where to start looking for a specific U.S. Supreme Court decisions. So what good does it do you then?

While an amendment to the federal constitution would be nice, it is not really necessary. However, an amendment to the State Constitution would do just the trick. With the Alabama Bar Association dug in against ALFRA's Alabama Children's Family Act, I am hopeful that a constitutional amendment might be possible, if only because it provides better safeguards while eliminating alot of the (unfounded) criticism of ALFRA's bill.

You never know how truly helpless you are until your only hope is hanging on the moral character of your legislators. That is the hardest part of all this, the pervading sense of helplessness which can very easily turn into hopelessness. Rep. Wes Long, my State House rep whom I have met with multiple times requesting help with the issue, just sold out the entire damn county in the recent redistricting fiasco. Marshall County goes from only two House reps who had to be residents of the county to FIVE reps, three of which are from outside counties.

The outside reps only have small slivers of their district in Marshall County, you think they are going to REALLY give a damn what we say? Of the House delegation now, outsiders form a majority! So a majority of our House delegation will be practically unaccountable to us voters in Marshall County. Most of the current delegation supported an amendment which would lessen the number to three reps. Unfortunately, Rep Long did not support it which prevented it from moving forward (see how easy it is for ONE member to stop good legislation, what do you think about THREE members ability?). Why? Oh, he didn't want to represent a part of Dekalb County under the amended plan, preferring to keep a large section of Blount County instead.

He single-handedly compromised Marshall County's position in the legislature so that he would not be inconvenienced. I have lost all hope of him ever fighting for me or the issues I believe in. Probably be too much of an inconvenience.

Been researching on my lawsuit, and I think there are good signs in relation to the State's motion to dismiss. Well, it has been months and I have not received any official word, BUT the US Supreme Court has set strong precedent that if a Rule 12(b) motion to dismiss is going to be entertained, it should be granted in the early stages of litigation only. I have since settled out of court with one Defendant, and U.S. District Judge Sharen Lovelace Blackburn noted in that dismissal that the claims against the rest of the defendants remained pending, which is not dismissed. SO, maybe the wheels of justice will turn for me after all.

Still I have a lot more research to do and a few tricks up my sleeve. God-willing, things are looking better!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I believe in free speech, but it needs to be truthful

I have always tried to allow this to be a public forum by allowing anyone to post their thoughts and comments on my blog posts without my approval.  This liberty has been repeatedly abused recently by someone posting vicious lies anonymously with the malicious intent of impuning my character.  I attempted to show the ficticious nature their claims to silence their designs, but with no success. Unfortunately, I will now moderate comments and will not approve any malicious falsehoods posted anonymously.  If you are going to make accusations against me, man up and sign your name to them.  If anyone wishes to dispute my claims, they are free to request an opportunity to inspect my supporting documentation.  Soon it will all be a part of the public record anyway due to the discovery process of my federal court case. 

Which brings me to an interesting point.  Why would I spend so much time studying the law and take the risk of filing a lawsuit against my State, and my archnemesis DHR, if what I claim is all a lie?  Do you not think that if I am lying or making false claims, that a federal courtroom would be the LAST place I would want to be heard?  Do you think I would work as hard as I have, risk as much as I have, to get my case before a federal judge?  Filing my lawsuit was no small feat.  I don't have thousands of dollars to throw at an attorney.  That lawsuit is the product of hours and days and weeks and months AND years of hard studying.  Some of my friends have been invaluable in my efforts to be sure.  I would not have made it as far as I have without their help.  You see, there are other fathers working on their own civil rights lawsuits as we speak.  If we come across a US Supreme Court case or something we think the other needs to read, we share them.  I call them my angels because I know God sent them my way.

The allegations some folks make against me simply amaze me.  They attack me and try to infer I am selfish and some kind of absent parent.  It appears that my main detractor is associated with my first ex in some manner.  That being so, they should be well aware that she has two other children with two other real deadbeat dads and she has never pursued either of them for child support.  She stands before a judge and tells him her "circumstances have changed" and she now needs more child support money from me yet the other two fathers do not have that rabid pack of hyenas (DHR) after them.  She committed perjury in the courtroom by claiming she did not know who the fathers are, which everybody knows is crap.  So why I am having problems with DHR yet both of those individual owe a massive amount of back support (a combined 14 years worth of back child support)?  Simply put, because I am a daddy to my daughter.  If I had agreed like them, to abandon my child and allow her sole rights to the child, I would not be writing this today.

However, I love my daughter and I will never abandon my child or turn my back on her for my own personal benefit.  No matter what.  There is nothing that the State, DHR, or anyone else can do to stop me from being an influence in my daughter's life.  God Almighty is the only one that possesses that power to separate me from my child.  I pray everyday for His blessings and He has never let me down.  My strength comes from Him.  To God goes all the glory, I am but an implement of His justice.  God will win this fight, not me, but I fight for His cause because I trust in Him.   

If you think I am alone in my claims click the link below to read an article about another federal case out of Georgia recently:

"Judge allows thousands to join child support lawsuit"         

Friday, February 10, 2012

who owes who what?


Above is a refund check I received from the State of Alabama Department of Human Resources today.  There have been a lot of folks attacking me recently about my child support.  If I don't pay my child support, and if my claims of the State violating my property rights by repeatedly and consistently confiscating more child support than is owed are frivolous, explain to me why the State would be sending me refund checks???  That is not the first one I have received.  It is the first one I have received since 2009.  Of course, thirty-six bucks does not come close to what they have taken or the damage they have done.    

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Don't buy Judge Howard Hawk's snake oil!

Below is a letter to the editor I submitted to the Arab Tribune, Advertiser-Gleam, and the Sand Mountain Reporter.


Another Marshall County zebra is trying to change his stripes. However, zebras cannot change their stripes anymore than Judge Howard Hawk can claim he is a republican. Don't let these folks fool you. It was not Jean Brewer or the local republicans that tried to circumvent Marshall County voters in our upcoming judicial election. It was Judge Howard Hawk himself.

After the elections in 2010, this career democrat politician saw the writing on the wall. Then he decided that instead
of “letting the people of Marshall County decide” (as he is so fond of saying now) between himself and the republican candidate, he tried to jump ship. Judge Hawk, a heavily connected insider in democrat party politics, knew that his party would have no one to challenge him if he swapped sides. We have all heard about “insider trading,” but Hawk's deceitful designs are more like “insider electing.” Judge Hawk's concern does not lie with us voters or our ability to decide for ourselves. He is simply trying to manipulate us for his own benefit.

Judge Hawk is just another “good ol boy” politician trying to take advantage of Marshall County voters, much like the ones we removed from office in 2010. I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday nor am I buying what these snake oil salesmen are pushing on us voters. If you do, then give me a call. I've got ocean front property in Arizona I'll be glad to sell you too!