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Circumspection - The foreskin is only the tip of the controversy

February 17th, 2010
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Uncategorized

Great article about the circumcision debate including a brief history, current controversies, and efforts to implement laws to ban circumcision on infants. Well worth the read for those interested in the topic.

Harry Crouch

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I’m Just an Old Dude Trying to feel the Vibe

December 15th, 2009
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Harry Crouch, Stuff, Uncategorized, discrimination against men

As an invited group co-facilitator I attended the San Diego African American Male Intergenerational Conference in June of 2009. My memory seems worse with age but shaking it conjures up images of me being the only white male in attendance. Reception was mixed with generally welcoming and open arms countered with occasional vibes of suspicion if not disdain. Suspicion surrounded me at lunch though older men with whom I sat soon recounted parts of their lives seemingly millions of miles from any reality known to me. One man long retired from the Army early in his career worked the fields during the Second World War and recalled ill treatment, steamy weather, bad food, long hours and stifling hot housing. Across the way were housed German prisoners of war who were pampered, not required to work, lounged in the shade day to day, had three squares of decent food , and around the clock air-conditioned housing. Many at the conference like that retired soldier touched my heart including the vibes from one old Dude, Ernie McCray, who read aloud his poignant poem below. Mr. McCray is a retired educator, author, and human rights activist. He gave me permission to publish his “Old Dude” poem and I uploaded it into this blog shortly thereafter. Since then I have posted a number of things but not the poem. Each time I come here to post something there it sat with its title patiently waiting as if challenging me to hit the post button. I really have no idea why its taken me this long to post it, I wonder about that each time I come here and see “I’m Just an Old Dude Trying to feel the Vibe” above the “Title” box in WordPress reminding then challenging me to post the poem. Every so often I re read it then tuck it away again like its somehow a part of me; and, so it has become. No matter, agreeable proddings somewhere within say it is time to share. I hope it becomes a part of you too…

I’m Just an Old Dude Trying to feel the Vibe

by

Ernie McCray

One day,

throwing

a bunch of stuff away,

I started

flipping pages

in an old

copy of VIBE,

a magazine

to which

I used to subscribe.

And that’s a fact

I would never try to hide

cuz:

I’m just

an old dude

trying to

feel the vibe.

On the cover

there sits Lil Wayne

looking like he

ain’t feeling no pain

and there’s a little of

urrrrbody in Hip Hop inside.

Young millionaires

on incredible rides:

Wyclef Jean

hugging his baby;

Eminem

doing his Shady;

Queen Latifah posing

in her natural hue;

“Flavor! Flav!” clowning

as only he can do;

Piddy selling fragrances

wearing a Sean John face;

like the baddest flyest dude

in the whole human race.

Images flashing like crazy

like rap lines spit out by Jay-Z.

Fingers signing every which a way.

eyes droopy and hazy.

Common looking serious

as a heart attack.

Chris Brown doing Michael Jackson

like there ain’t nothing to that.

Jermaine Dupri claiming he “Ain’t gettin’ no respect”

like Rodney Dangerfield.

Somebody’s looking

for the “real” Lauryn Hill.

There’s Ayo, Gorilla Zoe,

and Kilo: “Elbows up , side to side” - leaning like a cholo.

Chamillionaire hyping

Chamilitary Radio.

A word or two about Mario

and a letter or two about Obama,

who had been on the cover

a couple of months befo’,

barely passed the get go

in taking on

the status quo.

And there was T-I and T-Pain and

a whole bunch of other T’s,

it seemed to me,

followed by the DEY the Fugees

and the Black Eyed Peas.

And I kind of semi-read just about

every word written inside,

again cuz:

I’m just

an old dude

trying to

feel the vibe.

But it was dizzying trying to

keep up with all the images in that VIBE.

I mean my emotions

commenced to swirling and rushing

and stirring inside me

like crashing waves at high tide,

like

G-forces

on a

roller coaster ride.

I mean, .

as I pondered

all I had

shuffled through,

I wondered if I saw a

a single soul without a tattoo;

if I saw a smile

or a sunny mood

or any mood

without a gangsta attitude.

Looked like urrrrrbody

had put some

snarling enhancement drugs

in they food!

And, with all

I had just viewed,

there came some

quasi-scary feelings

that couldn’t be subdued:

feelings that can’t be denied;

feelings born from

knowing it’s a Hip-Hop World

in which I reside,

and knowing that the Hip-Hop Beat

resonates

World Wide.

I mean, hey, people

be wearing they long T’s

and they mile-wide trousers

down below they knees

World Wide.

Caps be on backwards

World Wide.

Dudes and Shortys calling

each other Niggaz

in just about every tongue in existence

World Wide.

Blinding bling?

Grilled teeth?

Fingers splayed

melodramatically?

World Wide.

Saying:

“You unnerstan’ what ah’m sayin?”

over and over again?

World Wide.

Grabbing the crotch

like it

stole something?

World Wide.

Lawd! Lawd!

Somebody help me understand

before I become

tongue tied.

Somebody give me some hope

before I take my last ride.

Cuz:

I’m just

an old dude

trying to

feel the vibe.

And here’s

a little aside.

One of the letters

about Obama

inside that month’s VIBE

issued this cry:

“It’sTimeToTurnThePage!”

And, hey, that writer ain’t never lied.

And if the change Obama,

who now lives in that big White House

in Washington D.C.,

has prophysized

is ever to truly be realized,

then the Hip-Hop World,

based on some of the sad tales

of hood life

I’ve read about in VIBE

might need to try a

few new thoughts on for size.

Yeah, that just might be wise,

considering so many of our

young folks are carrying AK’s

and taking other young folk’s lives;

considering that there

are a few too many

baby daddies

seeking pleasure

just for pleasure’s sake

all day and all night

and baby mamas

dropping little ones

sometimes out of spite,

sometimes even knowing the dude

ain’t ever gonna act right;

considering that too many of our children be shucking and jiving about how “getting good grades is trying to act white”; Lawd knows that ain’t right; considering that everytime we look up some superjock in the NBA and the NFL, heroes our children hail, are being hauled off to the local jail, packing heat - sweating so much courvoisier doing the rub a dub dub with all the hotties at the club that they can’t pass the DUI inspection on their own two feet; considering that way more than a fair share of our kids have been shipped off to Afghanistan and Iraq, returning home seething and desperately needing some kind of debriefing, not too mention those who come back not breathing -

Oh, it just might be wise,

with all these

factors in our lives,

for our singers

and our rappers to make rhymes

that inspire our children’s lives;

rhymes about

how they might enrich their lives

beyond their wildest dreams

and come upon better days

if they learned to view the world

in more positive

life affirming ways;

rhymes about

how beauty

is sometimes as close

as a sunset

or a sunrise;

less rhymes

about “playas”

and the glorification of

drugs being used and abused

and more rhymes

about the freedom fighters

of yesterday

who paid the heaviest of dues

so we wouldn’t have to

walk in their shoes;

less rhymes

about our troubles and woes

and our booty shaking

bitches and ho’s,

and more lines

about all the mothers

and grannies

and nieces and sisters

and aunties

who are out here everyday

contributing mightily

to their families

and to the uplifting of our communities.

Hey:

I’m just

an old dude

trying to

feel the vibe,

knowing that

the children

are trying to feel it too

deep down inside

and that makes me wish

upon a star

that our wordsmiths

whomever they are,

seen by our children

as gods

way up high -

I just wish they

would give it the old college try,

when they show up on

RHN

or VH1,

or MTV

or BET,

to do something

that’s truly fly:

Sing the children

love songs;

Sing them to them ever so softly;

Sing them to them ever so tenderly;

Sing them to them ever so sincerely;

and soulfully

and frequently

and so lyrically

that they can’t help but dream dreams

with their eyes opened wide,

dreams that enable them to realize

that they can rise above

the troubles in their lives

and not only survive

but thrive.

Oh, they could grow

to mesmerize

the world,

today’s little

boys and girls.

That’s the vibe

I’m trying to feel,

the vibe that has eluded me

for a lifetime,

the vibe that

has to resonate

if there’s ever to be

the good times.

And there could be no better time

than these times

to create a world

that has both

reason and rhyme.

Because the Planet Earth,

when we look around,

is running out of time.

But if the Hip-Hoppers,

with their words and beats

in four/four time,

help the children view their minds

as something truly divine,

rich resources

to be mined

for answers

to all the dreams

of love

and peace

that have been

deferred or denied

to humankind

throughout time -

well, if we start on this venture,

in this very moment,

we might just be

in the nick of time.

And, as for me,

I’ve written these words

in a spirit of hope

but I haven’t lost touch

with reality.

My emotions still

swirl and rush

and stir inside me

like crashing waves at high tide,

like

G-forces

ona

roller coaster ride.

I won’t live to see

what I yearn to see

but, you see,

I’ll appreciate

whatever progress

unfolds before me

down to the puniest degree.

Hmmm,

I guess

I’m now

just

an old dude

trying to

feel the vibe,

no matter

how intense it is

or how great its size.

Just let me

feel a vibe

with any amount of upside

that could make

the world

feel good inside.

That would

be some kind of vibe.

I’m just

an old dude

trying to

feel the vibe.

____________________

Harry Crouch

California Men’s Centers

National  Coalition For Men

932 C Street, Suite B

San Diego, CA 92101

619-231-1909

Join NCFM on facebook http://facebook.ncfm.org - and pass it around so others can join too!

Dedicated to men, their families, children, and the women that love them.

 

California Men’s Center is primarily funded by donations from individuals and by the National Coalition for Men (NCFM). There is no paid staff. All donations help. Your donation can made by Internet by clicking on this DONATE.  NCFM-SD is a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization - or go to http://tinyurl.com/559zjt (you may have to cut and paste that into your browser)

 

Call us for help with your child custody dispute. We provide Family Court Services mediation prepartion too. Need a paternity test or information about paternity fraud? Go to PaternityFraudDNA.com. Read the story to understand the full impact of paternity fraud.

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Demography and Economy: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

March 27th, 2009
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Uncategorized

A glimpse into the surreal, Baby Boom II. The march of the unwed mothers and children without fathers. Please read Gordon Finley’s observations and tell us how Baby Boom II will will impact our society in 10 to 15 years. Will things be better or worse. If either, why? You can comment below and I really want to know.

Read the full article, click on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Baby Boom II“.

Harry Crouch

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Wishing You and Yours the Best of Holidays

December 24th, 2008
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Harry Crouch, Uncategorized

CLICK ON THE LINK IMMEDIATELY BELOW

Wishing You and Yours the Best of Holidays

Enjoy…

Take Care,

Harry Crouch, California Men’s Centers and National Coalition for Men

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Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger re Men’s Conference

October 29th, 2008
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Harry Crouch, Uncategorized

 This letter was written in response to the women’s conference held in Long Beach, California the week before. Video archives and information available at WEEpower (www.californiawomen.org).

Here’s the letter to the Governor: 081025-ltr-to-gov-schwarzenegger-re-mens-conference-final.pdf

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Helping girls IS NOT the best way to keep a lid on conflict

July 2nd, 2008
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Domestic abuse/violence, Harry Crouch, Uncategorized

Ian Wishart in “Helping girls is the best way to keep a lid on conflict” says, “Can you imagine your eight-year-old daughter engaged in battle with a gun? In wartime girls are drawn into violence in many ways. They can be forced from their homes, separated from their families and lose the chance of an education. They can be abducted by armed groups and forced to act as porters, camp domestics, combatants, spies and even soldiers’ “wives”. Of the estimated 300,000 child soldiers in the world today, approximately 100,000 are girls.

Meaning, so are 200,000 young boys, who may not become wives of soldiers but who certainly are subjected to sexual abuses.

Which means 200,000 plus young boys can be forced from their homes, separated from their families, and lose the chance for an education — well at least a typical one. These young boys too are apparently abducted by armed groups, forced to act as porters, camp domestics, combatants, spies, and even sex slaves.

Wishart continues, “Even after war, recovery can be slow and painful (for girls) …” So, is recovery fast and joyful for kidnapped eight-year-old sexually abused boys thrown into bloody battle amongst blown body parts?

Then Mishart absurdly conjectures that “[C]ountries which spend some time focusing on girls after the conflict are less likely to revert back to chaos and conflict. Girls can make the difference”. Sure girls can make a difference and they do, but wagging a behind the back suggestive finger at men for causing the chaos and conflict while denigrating boys by omission is not only politically cowardly, but wrong.

Wishart staggers on “[T]hose who were most vulnerable… are women and girls around the world…” Ok, but so are vulnerable men and eight-year-old boys around the world dragged against their will into war. Vulnerability and evil are not gender specific.

Consider the war against human trafficking. Children and adults regardless of gender are bartered every day, including pre industrial revolution slave traders like Liberia’s infamous Rosaline Canot or Madame Tinubu, the “terror” of Lagos, where almost 200 years later in June, 2008 the High Court sentenced three women to 22 years imprisonment for trafficking children for prostitution. In Bangladesh female slave traders known as “Jhumkawali” smuggle conscripts into mainland India. And how about Australia where for over 50 years boys as young as 10 were sexually abused in Adelaide when they were taken out of state institutions on weekends and handed over to an organized pedophile rings! And don’t think all pedophiles are men. A recent study in Vancouver, B.C., and Canada shows that three out of four boys on the street are sexually exploited by women!

Nor can one believe for a minute that elitist women have no power, are not interested in control, or incapable of violence, like Queen Ranavaloina I, Menabe’s “Bloody Mary of Madagascar” who condemned untold numbers of men to die by being thrown from cliffs, beheaded, boiled, or poisoned. Or, power crazed Elena Ceausescu, Romainia’s “Mother of the Fatherland” who after starving her country to despair was executed by firing squad for her brutality. Then there’s the 54-year-old Rihab Rashida Taha, “Dr. Germ”, the mother of and 11-year-old girl and all third world biological weapons programs, who developed “bug bombs” and sold the idea to Saddam Hussein. The list is endless.

Wishart rightly says, “Children do not start wars yet they are most vulnerable…” However, it is absolute nonsense to assert that war is more harmful to one gender than another, except that generally more men are killed than women. Death and destruction are inclusive.

Wishart believes that by addressing “deep-seated prejudices that make the world intolerable for girls” we can take a giant step forward toward lasting peace. Wrong again.

 The only way toward lasting peace is to get rid of deep-seated prejudices that make the world intolerable for all of us, including eradicating gender myths and minimizing ideologically impaired chauvinists like Wishart, well meaning or not.

Harry Crouch

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The Day I Testified before the California Commission on the Status of Women

June 27th, 2008
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Child support, Domestic abuse/violence, Harry Crouch, Uncategorized

by Harry Crouch, June 27, 2008

Late yesterday morning I read an email from one of our female Men’s Center members saying that she had signed me up to testify at California Commission on the Status of Women. Ok, I’d told her the day before that I would try to testify so I was stuck. Scurrying around I left early that afternoon a child support hearing with one of our National Coalition for Men members who would before the day was out be screwed out of $60,000 bouncing between two court rooms with respective judges who kept passing the buck one to the other. An appointment coaching a young father for Family Court Services child custody mediation moved back twice to 5:30. I put off e-mails, returning phone calls, and finishing a care package to my son serving his third tour of duty in Iraq. In my haste I forgot all about needing time to get ready our conference room including buying food for our last Thursday of the month evening NCFM meeting.

Before leaving the office I changed out of my normal blue jeans, tail out shirt, and tennis shoes into slacks, jacket, socks, and shinny shoes. Already sweating in my silk jacket I walked four blocks to the post office to mail a post card to an Account Executive from a radio station, clacked in my shinny shoes another 10 blocks to the court house, hiked four flights of stairs (don’t like elevators), watched as long as I could the child support hearing circus, clip clopped down the same four flights of stairs and power-walked another 12 blocks (only because I went the wrong way) to California Western Law School to testify before the Commission on the Status of Women which was meeting on the top floor, meaning more stairs.

The law school building looks and feels rum running prohibition with ornate columns, marbled floors, high ceilings, and intricate stairway handrails seldom seen in contemporary buildings. It had the hallowed-hall feeling. Students sat scattered around reading, having hushed conversations, moving about with apparent untold purpose. The third floor atrium was warmer than I had hoped. After the 12 block walk my cologne and sweat became an uninvited mixed up companion. No matter, there I was being asked by a young women at the sign in table whether I was there to observe or testify. I said testify. I wasn’t on the list. No name tag card for me. I filled out a form, wrote down my name, being President of the National Coalition of Free Men, and other particulars. The form was passed on to the panel of Commissioners so they knew to call on me.

Passing through a set of large baroque double doors I found my way into what appeared to be a very large court room, probably where mock trials are held. Twenty or so rows of seats crawled upward one behind another like a surgical theatre. I saw only two other males, one who was standing just inside the double doors who I think was one of the law school officials, the other a cameraman filming the event.

Roughly 150 women of all ages occupied the seats looking down on the several Commissioners situated panel style behind three or so tables joined together. Three women sat behind another table facing the Commissioners, one of whom was testifying about the horrors of female domestic violence victims. Rather than sweat some more climbing the stairs to the top of the seating gallery, I walked to an open chair across the floor between those testifying and the gallery of 150 or so women.

Interestingly, the next woman to speak had attended our last evening meeting at the Men’s Center, along with her daughter. The next day both joined the CRISPE crew as our 42’ purple custom coach promoting the need for presumptive 50/50 equal shared parenting headed for Sacramento for a Fatherlessness Day rally. She was explaining her horrendous 13-year experience with the “System” which sentenced her children to live with an abusive father who happens to be a high ranking police officer. To digress a moment I think some clarification is needed. It is true that courts sometimes give custody to abusive men. Not wanting to get into a statistical struggle it needs to be said that courts more often, if not most often, give custody to abusive mothers. To substantiate that all one really has to do is take a look at Sanford Braver’s work as found in his book “Divorced Dads”. More succinctly, from a variety of sources it is known that women are awarded by American courts primary custody of children 93% of the time, give or take. What’s the difference? Abusive fathers and mothers may be given custody of children because of provincialism, cronyism, nepotism, financial incentives (bribes), or numerous other forms of favoritisms indicative of the human condition (not patriarchy). Abusive mothers are also awarded primary custody because of cultural beliefs, religious convictions, and political correctness, the latter of which borders on religion and requires faithful allegiance to ideological precepts, and all of which are in their own ways pro-mothers if not anti-fathers.

Another dozen women testified about shocking dreadful state of women (and children) with respect to domestic violence, sexual assault, women’s shelters, immigration, health, and “same sex”. There was much enthusiasm for the recent California Supreme Court ruling allowing gay and lesbian marriages. Some speakers represented organizations while others recounted personal experiences. Most read from scripts. Dead center sitting between the Commissioners sat a staffer with a bold red placard which was held up showing a speaker had 30 seconds left and when flipped over said the speaker’s three minutes was up.

I was in the fourth or fifth flight of speakers and introduced as Harry Crouch, President of the National Firefighters Association. Maybe I should have taken more care with my handwriting when filling out that form.

The first lady in our group to speak was just short of her 167th birthday, adorable, and ecstatic to share her excitement about all the fancy and wonderful weddings her friends would have now since gays and lesbians could marry. She almost got a standing ovation. I don’t remember what the next woman talked about. Her scripted testimony reiterated some sort of politically correct dogma. Then Harry Crouch, President of the National Firefighters Association was called upon - I’ve taken great liberty with what follows since my memory is not aging as well as the rest of me.

“Thank you,” I said. “I am Harry Crouch. In my line of work I now wonder if being President of some sort of firefighters association isn’t appropriate. In actuality I’m President of the National Coalition of Free Men, the oldest men’s rights organization on the planet. Founded in 1977 we have members in every state and several countries. Our mission is the removal of harmful gender based stereotypes.” I believe I heard a pin drop on the floor below us.

I continued, “Like others testifying here today I could talk about domestic violence. I helped design and implement a non denominational faith based domestic violence program which serves about 40,000 families, work with male domestic violence victims, and for several years have been a member of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council. There are solutions which I will be glad to explain should you wish. I suppose I could talk about “Choice”, that is men’s choice, but I suspect you might not be interested in that. I could tell you about paternity fraud but I also suspect that’s not appropriate here. I might add that several of the women testifying today came to our Men’s Center for assistance since they have been unable to get assistance from women organizations. In fact, one of the women testifying and her daughter recently traveled to Sacramento with members of one of our Men’s Center organizations, the Children’s Rights Initiative for Sharing Parents Equally, known as CRISPE, on our 42’ purple bus which recently finished a national promotional tour. Another of our organizations in conjunction with several others has written presumptive 50/50 shared parenting proposed legislation which we discussed with Assemblywoman Soldona several months ago. The proposed legislation and companion petition are available on the Internet.” I looked at Assemblywoman Lori Soldona, also a Commissioner, and said, “Thank you for meeting with our group. We are still looking forward to your response.” A few minutes later Soldona left and did not return. “In fact,” I continued, “while in Sacramento our CRISPE contingent met with numerous legislators, including I believe some of your staff Senator Kehoe.” Appearing nonplused the good Senator did not respond. “Instead, I thought I’d talk about something you don’t know about. I was recently invited to speak to a group of African-American grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren. I commended them for “stepping up” to take care of their grandchildren. One grandmother emphatically said, ‘We didn’t step up! Our children can’t take care of them so we had to!’ The primary reason being that many of these children’s’ parents are in prison, most for minor drug related offences, a phenomenon which contributes to fatherlessness in the Black community. Worse, many of these imprisoned fathers upon release are confronted with debilitating child support arrearages. Federal legislation allows for parents to petition for child support modification when their financial circumstances change. Yet there is no meaningful and effective program in place through which incarcerated parents can do that. I’ve been working (the 30 second sign flashed) for over two years to implement a prison tolling project which would allow law students into local prisons to help incarcerates complete the petitions for modification so upon release these parents barely able to achieve an $8.00 an hour job are not confronted with onerous arrearages. I had the support of a local law school, area correctional facilities, and other community based organizations but cannot go forward because of one obstructionist attorney in the local Department of Child Support Services… (the “your time is up” sign popped up). I see my time is up. Thank you for allowing me to testify. I’ll be glad to answer questions.” I heard a fairly hardy round of applause, though not as enthusiastic as the thunderous handclap for the 167-year-old exuberant lesbian. She really was adorable.

Commissioner Elaine Suranie, an emergency room registered nurse by trade, looked at me, smiled, and said, “You look like a man of action. Maybe you can help. In San Francisco we heard testimony from several young women infected with the HIV virus. All of whom said the contracted the disease from young men. Would you and your organizations be willing to help curb the problem by educating young men about HIV?”

“Certainly, glad to help,” I said. “But as I said in my introduction our organization is dedicated to removing harmful gender based stereotypes. Young men contract Aids from young women too. So as long as the program is gender inclusive we will help.”

Commissioner Suranie offered, “Yes, of course. May I have one of your business cards? We exchanged cards.

Commissioner Darlene Ayers-Johnson, also a Commissioner for the Oakland Port Authority, then said, “As an African-American I am aware of the grandmothers of whom you spoke. Having been working in this field for some time I’ve often wondered if we don’t need to take a more holistic look at the issues (meaning considering men). I hope you will provide us with your testimony in writing.” We later exchanged cards.

The next group of women to testify included another mother associated with our Men’s Center. Like the first woman she too had her child awarded to an abusive man, in this instance by a southern “Good’ol Boy” System still believing “The South” won the Civil War.

After the Commissioners thanked everyone this side of the Mississippi the meeting adjourned to the atrium for finger food, drinks, and chitchat. The small sandwiches had bean sprouts. I stayed with chips, salsa, veggies, and dip. While most the women lined up for free beer and wine I found some bottled water. Rounding the table sampling the food I almost bumped into Commissioner Elmy Bermejo. She thanked me for testifying, asked me something I don’t recall, explained that she was a Davis and Schwarzenegger appointee to Deputy Secretary for External Affairs, California State & Consumer Services Agency, whatever that is.

I joined the chitchat for awhile, looked at my watch, and realized I had about 20 minutes before my 5:30 appointment. The office was ten blocks away. I grabbed a brownie and a pineapple something-or-other and headed for the stairs. In between while approaching a pizza parlor I remembered the 7:00 p.m. evening NCFM meeting. I ordered five pizzas for delivery at 6:45. Back at the office I was elated to learn that the young man I’m helping prepare for Family Court Mediation had done all his homework. Between then and our last meeting he showed great courage by deciding to keep his daughter because of serious neglect issues with the mother. A decision which caused a court hearing in which he was temporarily awarded 50/50 custody pending mediation, meaning the mother was no longer suppose to keep him from seeing their daughter. Earlier that morning another one of “my guys” with a border line personality disordered wolverine of a wife reported that he was awarded 87% physical custody. Our evening meeting guest speaker was a criminal attorney who shared incredible insights and a wealth of information, including how easy it is to represent female perpetrators since prosecutors won’t prosecute them. In 15 years of practice he could not recall one specific female client convicted of domestic violence, though he was sure there were at least a few. Al-and-all it was a good day, except for my cologne problem and the two vacillating judges who screwed one of our NCFM members out of the sixty-thousand.

I took a break from typing this to meet with another young man with whom I’d coached for FCS mediation. The mother of his daughter and her family prevented him from seeing their nine-month old daughter. He was excited telling me the mediation went smoothly and he was awarded two days during the week and several hours every Saturday, with which the mother agreed. He’ll have the first “overnight” the day after their daughters first birthday. Next Tuesday he gets to see his daughter for the first time in over three months. Initially the mother only wanted him to see their daughter for two hours every other Saturday. He gave me a big hug, which makes the work worthwhile, otherwise I’d check into the nearest funny farm. Early next week I’ll send a thank you note and copies of the prison “Tolling Project” proposal to all the commissioners. But now I need to finish the long overdue care package to my son and get to the post office before it closes. It’ll take awhile to get to Iraq.

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