Tuesday, August 22, 2006

R is For Reporting, and Revenue, and Roadkill

As a divorced ex-highly-paid employee, I have to document my job searches carefully - it is required that you do this or the court will decide that you chose intentionally to lose your job or remain unemployed - (remember 'guilty until proven innocent' is the standard for divorced men) - and are not actually doing a real search.

And the documentation requirements are huge. Additionally, in this day and age, if you are persuing several jobs at once, with a number of vendors, corporates, and recruiters, it is hard to remember to follow up on an appropriate basis.

So voilla, a database was built to carry out this task for me, tracking my contacts, reminding me to follow up, and generating reports for the evil judge, and my evil ex's lawyer. To the right you see the current main menu. It is a pretty nifty toy, I must say myself, generating emails directly to my prospective employers and recruiters, tracking each communication, and spewing out lawyer-intimidating reports on demand.

So as my job search, and abuse by my ex drags on, but I thought I would make this tool available to other disenfranchised men who certainly have the same problem that I do, trying to prove that they are seeking work, and having to prove that they are not guilty of 'slacking'. (something that only becomes a crime once your ex decides she doesn't want you in the house anymore.) So drop me an email at t9fgelo02[ at ]sneakemail.com in case you want to try out this tool, or learn more about it - see more screen shots - or example reports.

As for licensing it, I'll give you 20 days free, and then it goes into resist-mode until you pay up. I know that if you are needing this thing, you are poor and abused, so let's call it $50 if you can afford it. I can use the money, really.

If you can't afford it, write me a really sad email, and I will license it to you for free. Just remember me in your prayers.

And even if you don't need to document your search (heck, who am I kidding, if you are reading this here, you probably will find that you need to do this sooner or later), this tool is a great way to track your contacts and follow up properly.

Think of it like ACT!TM for the unemployed. ...Except way cheaper. And maybe it can help you avoid being legal roadkill in justifying your job search.

All my best to you in your struggles,

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

A is for Activism

What Constitutional Rights?
I HAVE been out of touch!

Look at this huge group of class action suits, ambitiously scoped to cover the entire USA and encourage joint custody, and battle the unconstitutional civil court system.

I don't have time to post at length on it, just found out about it myself - but go, find your State and County, (NJ Here) and get involved! If this just got attention for the situation of men, it would be a win, and if it got kids their fathers back, it would be a HUGE win.

And while you are at it, click on the image above, and get yourself a t-shirt that tells it all!


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Friday, August 11, 2006

L is for Legal System

It is amazing what a wonderful legal system we have.

The rights afforded citizens in a court of law are amazing and impressive - consider:

The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty - this enables citizens to defend themselves with their full resources at their disposal, until such time as they are actually proven guilty. If they are not a threat to society, or a flight risk, they can construct their defense with a lawyer from the comfort of their own home, and continue earning money at their job while their case proceeds. Compare this to other countries, or the way things were in the west prior to the spread of the concept of individual rights, where a citizen was often incarcerated until such time as his case was heard, and his family and friends had to provide for his upkeep.

The right of legal assistance for the poor - making legal representation available to all citizens, irregardless of financial station. Sure, an expensive lawyer will get you a better hearing in court, but if your case is good, there is little that even a great lawyer will do to undermine it.

The right to a trial before a jury of your peers - citizens don't have to prove that they are perfect to some high-and-mighty judge, but to a bunch of people drawn from local citizenry. If your opponent in the case can't convince these people that what you did was a crime (or more likely, that they wouldn't have done the same thing), you are off scot-free.

The requirement that convictions be made when the jury finds you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It can't just seem reasonable that you did a bad thing; your opponent has to prove it.

The right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure - the court can't take your possessions, income, and hunt through your papers and residence, unless there is a good reason to suspect that you have committed an actual crime.

The right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment - your punishment should be appropriate in severity, relative to punishments for other crimes that are comparable and worse.

The right to 'due process' - that you will be granted a trial before jury, that this trial will occur in as speedy a fashion as possible, and that you will have an opportunity to make your case freely in this trial.

We have watched, recently, as even terrorists and terrorist supporters have enjoyed and used these rights to battle the US Government in cases here in the NorthEast - enjoying legal representation, enjoying trial by jury, enjoying the presumption of innocence until they are proven guilty - often finding themselves free on bail, and financially unencumbered prior to their trial - if their malevolence, danger to the public, and likelihood of flight was not of an extreme and obvious danger.

Of course - this is the REST of the court system I am referring to. Not the family or 'civil' court. Not the court that divorced men find themselves in when they need to dispute a divorce matter.

In this court, the man is assumed guilty until proven innocent - your divorce agreement, should you run afoul of it, is entered immediately as a judgment against you. Your assets are seized. Your income is garnished to 50, 60, 65% of your gross income. If you are on unemployment, and your ex is well employed? They take it anyway. Note that a convicted felon (one found guilty in a trial in front of an impartial jury) with a judgment against him is rarely garnished more than 10% - that would be cruel and unusual. But not for a man. Not for an ex-husband, no - apparently cruel and unusual doesn't apply to men.

Your personal papers and other materials are all subject to subpoena too - there need be no actual showing of likelihood that you committed some crime - no, that is criminal court you are thinking of. In civil court, you are subject to a total probing of your assets and holdings. You are assumed to be guilty, and must prove your innocence. You might think that there would be some balance in this - certainly you would have the right to subpoena your ex and put her through the same pain you have to go through. Think again. You will be lucky to get her tax return or pay stub. And in many cases I have seen, perhaps the majority of cases - the man doesn't even get that. Her relative income and wealth seems to have no bearing on your argument that you need relief in this 'civil' court.

And note, you are being punished - losing your assets, your income, and your privacy, before trial. Oh, and by the way, you don't get a trial in front of an impartial jury - you get a hearing in front of a judge - a hearing in which you must show by the preponderance of evidence that you did the right thing.

And that hearing usually will be well over a year in the future. Because they will want to first find you in violation of litigant's rights, and force you to liquidate any assets you might have, and force you to take out loans you can't afford to pay them - and force you to pay the legal fees of your ex through this process, and force you to go to 'economic mediation'. (A waste of time because your ex will never accept anything other than every penny specified in your divorce agreement.) All serving to extend the period of time which you are being punished before having anyone actually make a determination in your case, based on your circumstances. (Remember, you don't get a trial, just a hearing.)

And once they have pauperized you - while you are living in a broken-down car under a bridge - do you think that the court system grants you a lawyer to help prepare your case? No. That's for actual criminals. You are worse than them, you don't get any such help - you are a divorced man.

So yes, our legal system, and the rights afforded us by our system of government are amazing. Perhaps some day, someone will get around to re-applying those rights to divorced men.

But if the last 60 years of history is any indication, things are likely to go the other way.

My best to you in your struggles,

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