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Tuesday night was an interesting challenge for us, as we bounced back and forth between Israel/Lebanon and Connecticut. But I confess, I have done odder transitions (two nights ago: Mideast war and Mel Gibson. And try Arafat's death and Scott Peterson trial — yes, Arafat's death and Scott Peterson in one show!) Each night we try to figure out the right amount of programming on each topic — always a challenge and, of course, never perfect.
By the way, some things never change: My older brother told me the other day that he was surprised how much I know about the Israeli/Hezbollah war. Apparently he can't quite forget me as the younger sister unable to stand, talk or spell. I thought, in response to his comment, where does he think I have been for years?! And what does he think I have been doing? That's OK, I confess I have some fixed ideas about him — I wonder if he locks his friends in the attic and turns off the lights and leaves.
As for the election, my bet is that Senator Lieberman does not run as an independent in November. Yes, he has already filed as an independent, but I bet that changes by November. But, I could be wrong.
If you are fascinated by American politics and are looking for a good book to read or a gift, check out the new book "Scandal" by Lanny Davis. Lanny is a frequent guest on FOX News Channel. The subtitle of his new book is: "How 'Gotcha' Politics Is Destroying America." If you want to read more about it, check it out on www.amazon.com.
And here is a factoid about Lanny: He once told me he and his family have about five cats.
We are approaching the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — hard to believe a year has passed. This is the one story that the media can with certainty take a bow for covering so extensively. Every single news agency — print and electronic — sent as many people as possible to cover the story. The news organizations spent a fortune getting you the story. People in the media worked around the clock not just in covering the story, but in also helping. You have no idea how many people in the media worked in the Gulf States region and New Orleans. I hope you realize that it is not just the on air people (anchors) who worked this story, but the literally thousands of others — behind the camera and print. We "on camera people" often get all the credit, but that is a myth when we get all the credit — we certainly don't do it alone. It was also pretty amazing how the local New Orleans media managed to cover the story, since they too were victims of Mother Nature's wrath. At least the rest of us had a news bureau back in other places of the country that was dry and standing!
Now for some of your e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
My sister went through a contentious 2 year divorce with three young children. I can say that in our county (Harris County, Houston, TX) that the system thankfully worked for my brother-in-law in this instance. I love my sister, but did not think she was able to raise the children in a healthy (mental) environment. I was even subpoenaed at work and had to give a deposition. My sister accused her soon-to-be ex and his father of molesting my niece because she thought that would win her custody. I was subpoenaed for that also. It backfired big time and they both sued her for defamation of character and won. The whole family had to go through psychological testing through the county and when the county gets involved it's a mess. In this day and age you can't make up those kinds of allegations. (Remember the woman in NY with the twins that did the same thing?) After a couple of years and almost $300,000, it was over and my ex brother-in-law got custody. My niece spends time with her mother but my nephews do not want to see her. So, depending on where you are I think men can get a fair shake in divorce court.
This is the only time I don't want my name and location printed on the blog if it gets posted. Thank you.
E-mail No. 2
On the subject of do men get cheated in divorce — in my experience as an attorney for many years those who get cheated are the children. No matter how "nice" the parents are to each other and even if they work all the details out themselves, the kids are never whole again. The children are used to being the center of the family and when the parents separate, the two new units revolve around each parent, rather than the child. It's never good. But it does seem to set an example to them of how adults behave in relationships.
The other main influential factor seems to be the choice of lawyers. There are some who are just interested in moving the couple's assets to their own bank accounts and will do everything to thwart a smooth divorce. I became a lawyer because I thought I could help people, seems like many others are only interested in making money. I still live paycheck-to-paycheck, but I sleep well at night! Thanks,
E-mail No. 3
Yes, men get the shaft in divorce. My wife was having an affair with a business partner she traveled with. She blew me out of the water one day telling me she wanted a divorce and didn't love me anymore. I had no idea it was coming. Yes, we had our differences and disagreements, but not to that extent. She traveled a lot with her job. I had pretty much been a single parent for 9 months anyway while she traveled with her job and continued her other relationship before she told me about wanting a divorce. I fought for our family, asked her to reconsider, asked her to go to counseling with me. She would have none of it. It got to court and our judge had a reputation as being a pro-mother judge. I wasn't too worried because of my daughters' mom's travel history which wasn't slowing down. My lawyer advised me that didn't matter, even though I had a stable life and job with no travel and was the one fighting to keep my family together.
There is an unwritten rule in this world that fathers can't raise kids alone. I have even seen this in several of my friends' lives. I even started a support group in my community for dads of divorce. It is a word of mouth group. At one point I had seven other guys in the group, just by word of mouth. In helping these guys get through their ordeal, they are now capable of helping people they run into that have the same story.
I have more stories I could tell you about, but not enough time in the day. I'd love to talk more with you if you would like.
Thanks for your time.
E-mail No. 4
I feel so sorry for the man in Fla. I am a woman and I am getting remarried. I never treated my ex-husband in such a manner. My fiance has two boys and their mother gets child support and does not spend it on them. Now that they are having emotional problems because of her, we are paying for them to go to counseling minus her help or interest. They are having school issues and she won't help them but won't let us take them because she wants that money. That is her "income," so to speak. She now wants to home school the 12 year old after she does not even help them with their schooling just so she does not have to deal with any issued. It costs $8500 to retain an attorney and then we might not even win! How does one afford that? We are so wanting to help them and do what is best but there is no answer. If anyone knows a North Carolina Child custody attorney wanting to help, please let us know. We need to save these kids, education is important and so is the love they need and she wont' do either!
E-mail No. 5
Are you serious? I was shafted by my ex. He had our divorce degree amended without my knowledge. I know I could have made trouble for my divorce lawyer over that, but I was just so glad to get rid of the abuse, I didn't. It is just that my ex was so arrogant over having done it. My divorce was finalized in 1976, so even back then men could get away with such things.
Des Moines, IA
E-mail No. 6
Do men get cheated in divorce court? But it's almost like asking: "Which state is more fun to visit: Florida or California?" The answer is, "It depends." Historically, divorce laws favored men. They were written by men FOR men. But today it also depends on things like who holds the purse strings, the circumstances of the divorce, the quality of representation (which party is "out-lawyered"), etc. Frankly, I also think it depends on the judge hearing the case! As in my rant yesterday, no one can assume anything from a judge's gender. A female judge won't necessarily incline her interpretations to favor the "wife and children". Sometimes I think female judges rule in favor of men just to prove they're "unbiased." You may laugh, but I also think race and attractiveness influence the outcome of a trial. No doubt, we have the best justice system in the world — but it is still flawed. The truth is everyone, except the lawyers, lose in divorce court! If not financially, divorce sometimes stays with people and haunts them in other ways...
P.S. Never been divorced, never plan to be. But I've seen friends go through it and it's terrible to watch. Two of their statements have stayed with me, "If I had worked as hard on my first marriage as I've worked on my subsequent marriage, I'm not sure I would have ever been divorced". I've also heard, "I put up with a whole lot more in this marriage than I did in my first marriage, because I'd accept almost anything to avoid the experience of another divorce!" I think back on these words whenever I feel like swinging an ax! (Just kidding about the ax.)
E-mail No. 7
Yes, there does seem to be a double standard in all courts that is tilted slightly in the favor of women. Not so much now as it once was. Some 50 years ago, a judge awarded a friend's ex $20.00 a month more than he made in total. When he asked the judge how he was supposed to live the judge told him to get another job! I've never actually ever heard of anyone but the lawyers winning in a devoice court. The biggest losers are usually the kids.
E-mail No. 8
The man in Florida was obviously wallowing in self-pity. While going through the process is no picnic, keeping your head about you is to your benefit. My son has full legal custody of his daughter, but it took a lot of tenacity. There was no large amount of money involved in the settlement, but it sure cost him a whole lot to keep going back to court to fight for what is right. It's not over even when the court has ruled, because her mother moved from Penn. to Florida, and while she didn't even bother to tell the court, my son feels his daughter should see her mother during summer vacation. It gets so complicated! But the bottom line is that the Pennsylvania court did treat my son fairly.
E-mail No. 9
I know I'll probably take heat on this, but yes, I do think that most of the time men get really screwed in divorce settlements, unless of course, they have really great lawyers. Of course the first priority is children, but other than that, women usually try to take the "ex" to the cleaners with outrageous requests for support, seizing assets, and generally making their lives as miserable as possible. And yes, I've been through divorce, asked for reasonable child support, but just continued working and raising my kids. I know men can be just as bad, but I really think generally speaking, it's the women who are more vindictive.
Since the courts seem to be "smarter" regarding custody now (more men win custody of their children than in the past), hopefully the money part of it will change with time, too. My heart goes out to that poor man yesterday in Florida.
E-mail No. 10
First of all I have been too busy with life and have not even heard about Mel's comment. I've been through cancer recently... my husband is making $600 a month disability... I make $1450.00 a month gross pay as a secretary... medical bills piling up, even after insurance paid... selling make-up on the side to buy "extras" such as gasoline for the car to go to work and church and you're wondering what I think of a comment Mel made? Don't care, Greta! I like Mel and like you and your show, but this is at the bottom of my list. The news is full of doom and gloom and right now, to tell you the truth I haven't watched your show all summer. (Will watch you more in winter).
Take care... always thank God for how fortunate you are!
P.S. If you need any makeup, skin care, or colognes and spa products... I do sell BeautiControl. It is premium quality products. Will send a book to you and your friends at Fox if y'all want one! Can always use the orders.
ANSWER: I sure understand why you don't care about Mel Gibson. You have far bigger things in your life to care about right now. Your note raises a good point.
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