This blog will tell you about the growing family crisis throughout the Western world. It will concentrate on the increasingly dangerous divorce machinery being operated by Western governments, as described in my recent book, Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House, 2007).

I will continue publicizing these abuses in established, mainstream publications (see more than 80 published articles and studies on my internet site). But I also want to highlight here the increasingly totalitarian trajectory of the divorce regime, which I don't think is being emphasized adequately by others. What Frederick Douglass once observed of the slave power’s menacing expansion throughout the political system can now be seen in the cancerous spread of the divorce machinery: It is “advancing, poisoning, corrupting, and perverting the institutions of the country, growing more and more haughty, imperious, and exacting.”

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What the Obama Presidency Will Mean for Families

Glenn Sacks has written a stimulating essay on What Will the Obama Presidency Mean for Fathers?, with a list of positives and negatives. He invites us to contribute to the discussion, which I shall do here:

Positive: As Governor of Iowa, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack promoted custody reform that would strengthen families. The rest of his record on family issues is highly questionable.

Negative: Like all presidents, Obama will reward his supporters with jobs, money, and power. His principal constituencies are the bar associations, social work bureaucracies, and feminist organizations. Regardless of his rhetoric about “restraint,” Obama will reward these friends with federal appointments and federal spending. They will take up positions directing the welfare agencies such as HHS, housing, and education. These officials will be very hostile to fathers, parents generally, and intact families. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – both of whom push an aggressively feminist agenda –will help distribute the largesse.

The spending spre-- uh, the economic stimulus will massively exacerbate all this. Administration economists are talking about spending hundreds of billions of dollars for its own sake and are simply looking for programs to spend it all on. With the country very unwilling to engage in foreign adventurism, the vast bulk of the spending will be domestic. It will go to programs that further erode families, encourage single-parenthood, and criminalize fathers.

Obama and his court intellectuals have rationalized a free-for-all for leftist programs (and perhaps some apparently conservative ones, to diffuse opposition by ensuring that conservatives too have a place at the trough). It is a prescription for a massive federal patronage machine, centralization of power, and destruction of constitutional protections. This is precisely what was begun by the New Deal and has been steadily growing ever since. The present administration starts way ahead of where the New Deal began. It is a power grab on an unprecedented scale.

All this will do little or nothing to stimulate the economy but, on the contrary, run the economy into the ground. As more fathers become unemployed, they will be divorced, unable to pay “child support,” and jailed without trial.

Few will notice immediately the expanding power of the already burgeoning and authoritarian federal police forces: child protection, child support enforcement, the various agencies dealing with "domestic violence" such as the Justice Department. The welfare state is already becoming a police state, but now many more parents will be criminalized and incarcerated. The incarcerations will seldom be reported in the news, and there will be no information about them, as there is none now, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Positive: Obama is good to his children.


Justadad said...

Thank you Stephen and Glenn for your unwavering attention to issues of family court and governmental abuses. You guys along with others like William Wagener continue to keep us focused on the assault on our liberties. I do fear that the present Obama rapture along with a very apathetic American public will continue to cloud such important issues. Thanks so much for you efforts.
Paul Greiner
Franklinville, NY

Denis said...

I have been a long time reader of your work Mr. Baskerville and I am grateful for your work. Thank you. The following is a listing of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Obama is one of his students.

RULE 1: "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." Power is derived from 2 main sources - money and people. "Have-Nots" must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)

RULE 2: "Never go outside the expertise of your people." It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don't address the "real" issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)

RULE 3: "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid "un-fun" activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)

RULE 7: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists' minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

RULE 10: "If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management's wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)

RULE 11: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

Birdman^i^ said...

Stephen, this is a great move... Blogging is a wonderful vehicle to let your voice out. Your point blank articulations will greatly benifit the open hearts and eye movement...Birdman^i^

- just adad said...

Awesome blog!

Regarding "rewards" for the self-service types:

If my memory serves me sufficiently, I think that the candidate in waiting to post of OCSE was/is a board member to SMI of GA. SMI in turn was hauled onto the carpet for corruption within the Missouri Governor's office for apparent No-Bid contracts. Likewise, I believe that perhaps Carl Blanchette of Northern Idaho (land of certain elitist) has existing rapports with SMI and/or even perhaps David Gray Ross directly outside of SMI – not to mention Maximus.

At any rate, Mr. David Gray Ross was the former entrusted during the Clinton Admin years, where Ms. Donna Shalala was then Sect. of DHHS. It was during this tenure that we found her receiving accolades for thinking outside the box and getting things done -- aka, thinking outside the box of ethical civil governance by throwing the curve ball around the home-plate of American Apple Pie (conforming amendment within the "contract with America" wherein "absent" was stricken for more expedient efficiencies of "NCP."

At any rate, it seems highly suspect to appoint a board-member from one of the grandest IV-mainliners to the head Kingpin position amongst various co-dependents within the industry of self-licensed and self-serving ventriloquist.

tony.fan01 said...

Mr. Baskerville,

It's exciting to see that you are now Blogging!

I will most certainly be a regular visitor to your site and will link (as I'm sure thousands of others will) you to all of ours.

I commend you for exposing the truth about the contemptuous hatred, bias and discrimination towards fathers by those in "the system."

Yours is a much needed voice that speaks the truth in defense of this nation's fathers.

I have nothing less than absolute respect and admiration for your efforts on behalf of Fathers and I can't thank you enough for being a voice in defense of loving Dads.

I look forward to reading your blog and thank you for taking the time to write and post your incontrovertible truths here.


Tony Fantetti
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights

Erik said...

I linked this here:

The vast bulk of Obama's spending will go to programs that further erode families, encourage single-parenthood, and criminalize fathers