Thursday, October 20, 2005

New Baskerville Articles

The Fathers’ War
They serve their country and lose their children.
By Stephen Baskerville

Excerpts:

While our country focuses on the war abroad, many of our soldiers fight personal battles here at home—or more accurately, can’t fight. They are losing their families and getting little help from an administration that claims to “support the troops” while doing nothing to protect the parental rights of the fathers it sent into combat.

Muffled by feminist orthodoxy, the Army and media are not disclosing the facts behind these divorces or publicizing the threat they pose to preparedness. The important points are these: the divorces are almost all initiated by wives, the servicemen usually lose their children—which for many is their main incentive for serving their country—and finally, they often become liable to criminal prosecution for child support that is impossible for them to pay.

Even more astounding, vicariously divorced servicemen can be criminally prosecuted for child-support arrearages that are almost impossible not to accrue while they are on duty. Reservists are hit particularly hard because their child-support burdens are based on their civilian pay and do not decrease when their income decreases. Because reservists are often mobilized with little notice, few get modifications before they leave, and modifications are almost never granted anyway. They cannot get relief when they return because federal law prohibits retroactive reductions for any reason. Once arrearages reach $5,000, the soldier becomes a felon and subject to imprisonment.

Spouses have other financial incentives to divorce military personnel. A serviceman must complete 20 years of active service to qualify for retirement pay. A woman married to the man for one day may claim a portion of the pension for life, without regard to fault or need, simply by filing for divorce. As David Usher points out in Men’s News Daily, there is no limit on how many times a woman can do this. (Men have done it too.)

The flight of men from the military strikingly parallels the flight of men from marriage, with its attendant drop in birth rates, that has come to preoccupy policymakers up to the level of president. Men are staying away from both institutions for the same reasons: for many they have become a ticket to jail.


VIOLENCE AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION
By Professor Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D

Excerpts:

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), currently up for renewal, is possibly the most totalitarian measure ever passed by the Congress. Every jurisdiction has criminal statutes punishing violent assault. So why do we need a law punishing assaults specifically "against women"? Why must it be a federal law, for which no constitutional authority exists? And why is $4 billion in taxpayers’ money required to outlaw something that is already against the law? The answer, as usual, is power – power for those who promise to protect us against yet another new danger.

It is politically hazardous for politicians to question any measure marketed for women and children. But no evidence indicates any problem of violence specifically against women. A virtually unanimous body of research has demonstrated that domestic violence is perpetrated by both sexes in roughly equal measures. So what is the real agenda behind this bill?

Supporters like Senator Joseph Biden hem and haw that, despite the name, VAWA applies to both sexes. Yet they adamantly oppose explicitly gender-inclusive language. This is self-refuting, like the joke about the bad restaurant where the food is inedible and the portions are too small.

VAWA circumvents the Bill of Rights. Criminal assault charges require due process of law, but labeling something "domestic violence" allows officials to ignore constitutional protections: the presumption of innocence is cast aside; hearsay evidence is admissible; no jury trial is required; the accused cannot face their accusers; even forced confessions are permissible. These are the methods being used in the burgeoning system of feminist "domestic violence courts" that are created for no reason other than to bypass civil liberties protections and railroad men into jail.

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