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Meeting Request sent to Senator Clinton / Events in Canada

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Date: Fri Dec 13 2002 - 10:06:14 EST

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Good People & of Faith:

This message contains info on:
1. Your FEEDBACK to Senator Clinton - part of our letter.
2. Help needed - in answering all our email.
3. Events in Canada - Steve Osborne moves toward trial.

1. Your FEEDBACK to Senator Clinton.
Yesterday, December 12th, a cover letter and package of individual
letters and newspaper articles was mailed to the local and Washington
offices of Senator Hillary R. Clinton.  A personal meeting with the
Senator and parents hurt by our nation's family law "systems" would
certainly be a big step forward in focusing attention on the issue.

Our website has the complete letter along with links to scanned images
of the other items, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr

Below we have the contents of two of the letters which were also sent
in via email. NOTE - special thanks to Ronald Johnson who sent in
a check for $20 to support the effort.  

--- David Shackleton <>

> The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton                         4 Dec. 2002
> United States Senate 
> 476 Russell Senate Office Building 
> Washington, DC 20510

> Senator Clinton,

> I edit and publish the bimonthly magazine, Everyman, which is
> concerned with the unexamined side of gender issues, i.e., how men's
> are constrained by gender stereotypes and presumptions.  I enclose a
> copy of the current issue for your interest.

> I am writing to you on behalf of Mr. John Murtari, who has been a
> regular columnist in the magazine for two or three years, and who
> has been trying to begin a dialogue with your office for many months
> now.  Yet I understand that his concerns have not been heard by you
> or your staff.

> Mr. Murtari went to jail last week for waiting in the Federal
> building near your office, in an attempt to publicize his wish to
> meet with you and his difficulty in doing so.  There is no doubt of
> his dedication to this cause of meeting with you, and he is one of
> your constituents, so it is difficult to imagine what the difficulty
> might be.  All he wants is to open a dialogue.  What could the
> problem be?

> Might you imagine that his unusual behavior signifies a tendency to
> violence?  But Mr. Murtari's whole campaign is founded on the notion
> of "NonViolent Action".  For him to be even slightly violent (or
> even impolite) would undermine his whole strategy.  No, that can't
> be a real concern.

> Might you consider that his unusual, even radical approach signifies
> an unstable, unreasonable personality, someone who is "tilting at
> windmills"? If that were so, the obvious response would be to simply
> meet with him and hear him out.  If his claims and ideas are without
> merit, all you have lost is a small amount of time.  Yet you have
> consistently and repeatedly refused to give him an audience, despite
> the fact that he must have tried longer and harder than any other
> constituent ever has to meet with you.

> So I am left to conclude that at some level you must recognize that
> Mr.  Murtari's claims are real, and just, but politically
> inexpedient for you, and you are hoping that he will eventually
> become discouraged and go away. I think that you are right about the
> political difficulty that Mr. Murtari represents, but mistaken about
> his dedication.

> When history books are written, the people who stand large are those
> who are ahead of their time, those who recognize major social and
> political issues early, and move to engage with them.  Such people
> pay the price of being misunderstood by their contemporaries, but
> honored by later generations. It is they who are the real prime
> movers in the evolution of society, and not those who simply
> maintain the status quo.

> I urge you to meet with Mr. Murtari and to consider his concerns.  I
> have personally examined his ideas most carefully, and I am
> persuaded that he has identified the predominant violation of civil
> rights of our time, i.e., the unjust separation of children from
> loving parents that happens daily in the family courts of both our
> nations.  These issues are complex, yet the solutions that
> Mr. Murtari proposes are simple and time-tested.  He asks for no
> more than justice and equality.

> The women's movement has succeeded in biasing the family court
> playing field in favor of mothers and against fathers.  As a known
> advocate of families, will you stand up for fairness, equality and
> justice in family court?  Will you begin by giving Mr. Murtari the
> audience that he requests, and has been to jail to procure?

> Yours sincerely,

> David Shackleton
> Editor and Publisher

--- Alex Washington  <>

> Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
> C/o Aprill Springfield, Legislative Aide
> 476 Russell Office Building
> Washington, DC  20510     December 4, 2002

> Dear Ms. Springfield, 

> I have been informed that you are Senator Clinton's aide who has
> been assigned to field information sent in by citizens on the
> subject of proposed changes in the family courts system.

> As a man who finds himself caught up in what I find to be a rather
> draconian structure of proceedings resulting from a divorce, let me
> add my pleas for a complete review of how we in this country handles
> such matters. For the record, let me state that I am what is
> normally considered a solid citizen and a good parent, and because I
> know that men are automatically presumed to have been abusers, I
> wish to state that I have never been accused of such behavior, and
> would object most strenuously to anyone who ever did abuse another
> human being, in marital situations or otherwise.

> We have in place a monstrous structure, however, which not only
> seems to criminalize parents of both genders, but does not do
> justice to the best interests of children, nor to the families which
> produced those children, at times when the emotional well-being and
> financial stabilities of the families are under the greatest stress.

> Instead, the so-called ``family'' courts, and the state-run agencies
> which collect and distribute child and spousal support, and the
> lawyers involved, create and profit from perpetuating antagonism
> between the parties for the benefit of those entities, and to the
> detriment of families. Must we grow the economy at the expense of
> the many families who are already traumatized by divorce?  Surely,
> we can develop and implement a better system than the one we
> currently have, which was created in response to the inflated media
> hype about ``deadbeat dads'', to reduce welfare rolls, and to reduce
> female poverty after divorce.  Certainly, the latter two matters are
> worthy objectives, and the first instance, though overstated and
> misstated, is unacceptable to any degree. Most dads and moms would
> do anything to minimize the disruption caused in their lives, and
> the lives of their children, by divorce...can't we find a way to
> minimize, rather than aggravate, situations which are already
> precarious? Could we not serve our citizens in need, and remove the
> profit motive, for attorneys and the states, from the divorce
> equation?

> I sincerely hope Senator Clinton, a person I deeply admire for her
> courage, compassion, and strong stance on family issues, will take
> the time to learn about the anguish and turmoil millions of American
> citizens face each day, as children are separated from one parent or
> another, and will lend her support to the struggle to resolve a
> tremendous problem facing families in these United States. Without
> exaggeration, this issue is very important to our future, and to our
> strength as a nation.

> Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of assistance in
> providing sources of information for Senator Clinton's edification
> and enlightenment on this issue. Thank you very much for your
> attention to this vital matter.

> Sincerely, 
> Alex Washington, Jr.
> Instructor of Fine Arts
> The Hill School
> Pottstown, PA 19464
> Tel: (610) 970-9732  E-mail:

2. Help needed - in answering all our email.
If you have been a member of the group for a while and feel you can
communicate our goals and methods and have the time to response to a
wide variety of email from parents hurt by the system -- we can use
your help!

Many of our web site forms send email to "contact@AKidsRight.Org",
Rich Eichinger ( used to answer much of that mail,
but with a new job, and a MUCH longer commute, he is simply being

We get about 1-3 messages/day that require replies.  If you think you
have the desire to help, please contact John Murtari at

Many thanks!

3. Events in Canada - Steve Osborne moves toward trial.

This site has information on a Canadian parent named Steve Osborne.  A
few years ago in a divorce proceeding he was faced with a spouse who
made numerous false allegations against him in order to eliminate his
contact with the children (the allegations worked).  During that trial
the presiding Judge, when confronted with proof of false affidavits
and testimony said, "so long as there is not a big lie, then I'm all

Since that time Steve has carried on peaceful pickets to call
attention to this and the devastating effect it had on him and his
children.  The Judge has recently pressed criminal charges against
Steve for slander.  You can check our News Reports page for how this
has been covered in the media. Steve has refused to stop his conduct
and has demanded a trial by Judge and Jury. It is scheduled to being
January 6th, 2003.

Steve sends the following message to all of you:

"Please add a note to your mail out that I have served subpoenas in
Ottawa on the Minister of Justice, Chief Justice of Canada and on the
Canadian Judicial Council.  None of the parties named need to show,
just the information they are in control of.

Please thank everyone that contacted me as a result of your mail out
as well.  I've been more than a bit busy trying to get a grip on legal
maneuvers upcoming, but I have answered as many as possible.  About 10
people sent messages to me afterwards.

Not much has come in the way of financial help, but a couple of people
have anted up.  I will thank them personally, rest assured.

Now, the quiet part until I am served: all the above mentioned parties
have applications filed to quash their subpoenas!  Just that quick,
they're all looking to not provide the info I am after.  I am not
served yet, so this is all unofficial still but the clerk called to
give me a heads up about a probable court date next week, the 18th, to
hear the applications.  I'll be arguing against lawyers for the
parties named and a few others it looks like.

Fine David and Goliath potential here, potential everyone will
recognize.  Perhaps you might be able to opine that these people
aren't likely to be cooperative, then we can hit them with the news
when it becomes official.

Media team will be handling some press releases here as soon as its
official.  I think this is a good one for the media to notice, the big
guys try to hush up little guy's complaints angle.  We'll see."

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