'There’s a storm forming on the Ohio horizon. Two pieces of legislation will be introduced soon that directly affect child support. You will need to help us kill the bad parts of these bills. Both will be recycled versions of earlier bills that National Parents Organization helped kill in previous years. We were kindly notified of these bills by the Ohio Child Support Directors Association because they are aware of our record of activism.
The first bill will almost certainly be passed in some form, because federal law requires parts of it. So we must unite to eliminate other parts of the bill that are not mandated. It would shorten the time period for the alleged father to object to an administrative determination of paternity from 30 days to 14 days. Worse, it would start the clock with the issuance of the order, not the receipt of it, or even the date of mailing.
There have been cases in which an order of paternity was issued, the clerk didn’t get around to mailing it for several days, the post office was slowed down by Christmas mail, and “dad” happened to be away for a few days when it did arrive. If this bill would pass, even if a DNA test would show that “dad” is not the real dad, he would be too late to contest the order by the time he even saw it for the first time, and would be on the hook for child support for at least 18 years.'
'This week's graduation at Columbia University caps the bizarre, often sordid saga involving the two most famous members of the Class of 2015: Emma Sulkowicz, the activist who protested the school's alleged mishandling of her alleged rape by carrying a mattress around campus, and Jean-Paul Nungesser, the German scholarship student she accuses of raping her. On Tuesday, Sulkowicz carried her mattress across the stage at Class Day, despite half-hearted attempts by Columbia officials to enforce a regulation against bringing "large objects" into the ceremonial area—and despite the fact that the "mattress performance" was for a senior visual arts thesis she had already completed. Her activism was also lauded (with no mention of her name) by two commencement speakers, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.
This isn't quite the end of the story: Nungesser is suingColumbia, university president Lee Bollinger, and Sulkowicz's thesis supervisor for allowing him to be subjected to "gender-based harassment" which severely damaged his educational experience and future prospects, even though a campus panel found him not culpable on the sexual assault charge. Meanwhile, there is new information related to one of this story's many strange twists: another sexual assault complaint brought against Nungesser late last year by a male classmate. The charge was made public in February, on the heels of my article in The Daily Beast questioning the pro-Sulkowicz narrative.
'Recent lawsuits arising from alleged incidents of campus sexual assault are renewing long-standing concerns about the problem of false accusations. In recent weeks, three high-profile lawsuits have been filed involving students or administrators at major universities.
In late April, student Paul Nungesser charged in a lawsuit that Columbia University collaborated in a campaign of harassment against him when accuser Emma Sulkowicz launched her nationally publicized “mattress” campaign, even though the Columbia U. disciplinary committee found no wrong-doing and local police declined to pursue the case.
On May 8, former Florida State University student Jameis Winston filed a lawsuit against accuser Erica Kinsman, saying her allegations of sexual assault were “false, defamatory … and have maliciously and impermissibly interfered with Mr. Winston’s business and personal relationships.” Winston had been cleared of the assault charges in three separate investigations.'
'Notim Press is pleased to announce the publication of Celebrating Brit Shalom, the first book written specifically for Jewish families opting out of circumcision. The book includes a choice of three bris-without-circumcision ceremonies, designed to be either family-led or rabbi-led. It also features sheet music to four original songs written to accompany the ceremonies (recorded versions available separately). The volume is already receiving praise from rabbis and other Jewish thinkers.
"Without asking anyone's permission, [Lisa] Braver Moss and [Rebecca] Wald have crafted a beautiful series of alternative welcoming ceremonies that are in deep conversation with the Jewish tradition. The fact that Celebrating Brit Shalom exists is a testament to both the ingenuity of its creators and the vitality of the Jewish tradition," says Tikkun Magazine.
Rabbi Irwin Kula, President of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, has endorsed the book and says, "Celebrating Brit Shalom will help thousands of people and no doubt open up new conversations of heart, mind and spirit."'
'Two years ago, the National Parents Organization’s Ned Holstein reported the shocking news that, in Massachusetts, non-custodial fathers who are behind on their child support payments are eight times as likely to be sent to jail as non-custodial mothers in arrears. That information came to NPO courtesy of the yeoman work of Terry Brennan who dogged the sheriff’s departments of all Bay State counties for their data on child support enforcement. The results were astonishing: between 95% and 98.5% of those incarcerated in every county were fathers.
U.S. Census Bureau figures on child support payment demonstrate that mothers with child support arrears are incarcerated at approximately one-eighth of the rate that would be justified by their numbers if fathers and mothers in arrears were treated equally. Mothers in arrears are incarcerated at lower rates even though they have higher rates of incomplete payment, pay a smaller percentage of their child support order, and have larger arrears than fathers. In the absence of other explanations, these data suggest that gender bias against fathers plays a large role in family court-ordered incarcerations.'
'College campuses are placing a stronger emphasis on reducing sexual assault. Unfortunately, universities and colleges often adopt heavy-handed policies to punish alleged offenders based on abstractions or simplistic understandings of college student attitudes and behavior. One of the more problematic over generalizations is the concept of the “rape culture” and the pervasive use of the term interferes with our understanding of the nature of campus sexual assault and identifying practical solutions that are more consistent with individual liberty.
“Rape culture” posits that our colleges and universities are dens for sexual predators that promote violence against women and, more importantly, is institutionally supported. Since the problem is cultural, rather than individual, the solution is institutional–categorical policies that provide little room for context or individual circumstance. Also, because the problem is systemic, extraordinary means can be justified to bring it under control, including abrogating due process, tilting adjudication in favor of the accuser rather than the accused, and implementing draconian measures despite a lack of evidence to support the allegations. Emily Yoffe at Slate.com does a nice job of laying out these dangers as does Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute.
'Police and prosecutors declined to provide details about the case because it involved both juveniles and allegations of sex crimes. Legal experts acknowledged the difficulty in prosecuting those types of cases, but said the LAPD may have moved too quickly.
“This is a very embarrassing episode for the investigators,” said Dmitry Gorin, a defense attorney who once prosecuted sex crimes. “In high-profile cases like this, it is best for the police to coordinate with prosecutors and get them to review the allegations before making any arrests.”
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department “stands by our decision to make arrests based on the information we had and circumstances at that time.”'
'The family of Paul Nungesser, the student who was accused of rape by mattress-toting Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz, have released a statement about their son's graduation, calling their experience with the university "deeply humiliating."
"Our son's graduation should have been a joyous moment for our whole family. We are extremely proud of Paul for graduating, even more so because of the harassment campaign he was subjected to. For over two years, he had to fight false accusations and a public witch-hunt, even though Columbia and the NYPD exonerated him," Karin Nungesser and Andreas Probosch wrote in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner.
Nungesser's parents blasted Columbia for continuing to allow Sulkowicz to harass their son, as evidenced by her graduation stunt of carrying the mattress across stage and displaying drawings of their son at a public art exhibit the week before.'
'Emma Sulkowicz. Lena Dunham. UVA’s “Jackie.” These days you can’t turn around without running into somebody who’s making a false claim of rape to get attention. And our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters applaud them. The truth doesn’t matter. The lives of the falsely accused don’t matter. Only the agenda matters.
If you’re as sick of these liars as I am, this will be a welcome sight:'
'A pensioner has been cleared of raping a girl on a farm 40 years after a jury were told the alleged victim may have been affected by false memory syndrome.
Roger Mennell, aged 67, has never been in trouble in his life but has spent two years fighting the allegations which the woman made during psychotherapy sessions.
She alleged he had raped and sexually assaulted her while visiting her family at a farm near Tiverton in the 1970s when she was seven or eight.
She told Exeter Crown Court how Mennell had used a knife to stab, cut open and kill a farm cat as a means of terrifying her into silence. She allegedly he said he would do the same to her family if she revealed his abuse.
'Women are notoriously bad at asking for bonuses. Which is why I did my homework and created - as BusinessInsider.com suggested - a "master plan".
I waited "the appropriate amount of time" (in my case, five years), made sure the big boss was in a good mood and took him out to lunch ("somewhere intimate, where there will be no interruptions"). I eschewed any usage of the word "need" (stinking, as it does, of desperation) in my pitch - which was "backed up with reports, charts and documentation of my positive performance" - and I tried to "remain respectful" as he stared slack-jawed back at me, before throwing his head back and roaring with laughter.
Asking my own husband for a bonus simply for being his wife was never going to be anything less than preposterous. Yet according to the author of Primates of Park Avenue, this is what a glittering tribe of crispy-haired Upper East Side Manhattan wives do every year - depending, of course, on how well they have managed the domestic budget, socialised, upheld a variety-filled performance in the bedroom and succeeded in getting the kids into a "Big Ten" university.'
'Accused parties, too, have begun fighting back. Several students who had been accused of sexual assault this year have filed lawsuits against their colleges and universities over what they say are flawed investigations and a failure of the schools to protect their rights. Paul Nungesser, who was accused of raping fellow Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz and later found not responsible, last month filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the university, claiming his Title IX rights were violated. Drew Sterrett, a former University of Michigan student, last May also sued his school, saying he was denied due process during the sexual assault investigation. And Kevin Parisi, a student at Drew University, filed a lawsuit against the university in which he alleges that the school's investigation hurt his academic career, although he was not found responsible for the alleged assault.
A group of Harvard professors also came to the defense of those accused of committing sexual assault when the university changed its policies last July to create an office dedicated to processing sexual assault complaints and to change the definition of sexual harassment, among other things. More than two dozen law professors said in a letter that, while they support protecting students, the policy "will do more harm than good" and is "overwhelmingly stacked against the accused."'
'The important conversation about the realities of sexual assault in America hit the stage this year with "SLUT: The Play," which follows the tale of a 16-year-old girl who is raped by three friends. The play lands in Washington, D.C., on May 19, and two of its biggest supporters -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and "House of Cards" creator Beau Willimon -- talked with HuffPost Live on Monday about the necessity of tackling the rape taboo.
During a conversation with host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, Gillibrand and Willimon responded to a viewer question about society's biggest misconceptions about sexual assault and how to shift the paradigm that often mischaracterizes rape as "a college prank or boys being boys."
'Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who carried a mattress around the school all year to raise awareness of campus sexual assault, attended her college graduation ceremony on Tuesday while carrying the mattress.
Ms. Sulkowicz, who graduated magna cum laude, brought her mattress with her as she walked across the stage in the processional, to cheers from audience members. Multiple friends helped her carry the mattress as she walked across the stage.
On Tuesday, she brought it with her to her graduation ceremony, and walked with it during the processional. Four fellow female graduates helped her carry the mattress as she walked across the stage to cheers from the audience.'
'As the video above shows, images on these “Violent Coasters” were created with a special thermochemical ink. When patrons set their ice-filled drinks down on one of the squares, the cold temperature of the glass causes the picture of a woman to transform, with cuts and bruises appearing on her face.
Accompanying the image are the words, “Don’t let excessive drinking end in domestic violence.” That will be a welcome message to the roughly 33 percent of women and 17 percent of men in Japan who have experienced some kind of domestic violence, according to a 2006 survey from Japan’s Gender Equality Bureau.
Whether drink coasters in a bar are effective in addressing such a serious and significant problem remains to be seen. But the guys in the video certainly seem shocked by the coasters’ change, so let’s hope these coasters spark conversations that raise awareness and change behavior.'
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