complaints, healthcare, politicians, politics, rants

News flash! 100 percent of unintended pregnancies are caused by men…

Hello again, folks. Bill and I are now on our third day in Florence. Tonight, our wine tour begins, which I suspect is going to be quite the adventure. It runs from dinner tonight, through tomorrow in Cortona, and then most of Sunday. We’ll come back to Florence for one more night, then head to Vaduz, Liechtenstein, for two nights to relax until it’s time to go home to Germany. I’m already annoyed today, though, because my backup bank’s stupid two party authorization system is worthless and ineffective, and I’m going to have to call them AGAIN later to get it straightened out. I can’t log in to my account, because they don’t want to send a text to my German phone number, and for some reason, my fingerprint and/or email don’t suffice. As much bitching as I’ve recently done about USAA, at least they will email me a code so I can access my money. Americans abroad really need a decent bank that will work with us. Local banks don’t want to deal with Americans because of our tax laws.

Anyway, enough about off topic subjects. I came here to vent, once again, about certain men who want to take on Democratic politicians like Amy Klobuchar, who are dedicated to preserving women’s rights to privacy and healthcare by fighting against draconian rules intended to force them to birth when they don’t want to. Yesterday, Ms. Klobuchar posted a couple of statuses about her work in blocking Republicans from abolishing access to abortion. Below are two posts she made about this subject that is near and dear to my heart… and uterus.

Naturally, there were many comments from men about this, as well as a few from anti-choice females who want to “slut shame” and harass people who would like the government to stay out of our uteri. It always amazes me when I see comments from men who think that the prospect of making humans is a 50/50 proposition. It’s really not. I mean, do men really think that their part in making babies is equal? A man’s part in fertilizing an egg takes a couple of minutes. The woman’s part takes nine months. Moreover, a man can go out and get a different woman pregnant every day, if the opportunity arises and it’s something he wants to do. A woman, once she’s pregnant, is going to literally be “occupied” until the developing fetus turns into a baby. But based on the comments on Amy Klobuchar’s Facebook page, some men have either not considered the “heavy lifting” aspect of babymaking, or they are choosing to ignore it. So I’m here to remind the willfully ignorant, once again… 100 percent of unintended pregnancies are caused by men.

Face the facts. No matter how “loose” and “trampy” a woman is– not that I like to use those terms myself– she CAN’T get pregnant without a man’s literal input. And it doesn’t actually matter if she “wanted it”, or the input was forced upon her. If a man’s sperm fertilizes a ripe egg at the right time of the month, the woman will get pregnant. If not, then the woman won’t get pregnant. It’s as simple as that. But, even though pregnancy is not possible without a man’s input, his part of babymaking is pretty small. After he does his part, his body will stay the same. He won’t suffer health problems, be inconvenienced or uncomfortable, or be forced out of work. And, quite often, after the baby is born, he won’t be the one who does the primary caregiving. He certainly won’t be breastfeeding, unless he’s trans.

Even though these are facts, though, some men just can’t help themselves and feel the need to respond with outrage about abortion. And for some of them, it’s not even because they are “outraged” over the loss of potential human life that comes with abortion. They are upset because the woman gets to make a choice “denied” to them. In other words, they resent having to pay child support if the woman decides to maintain an unintended pregnancy. And they also resent that a woman can choose to terminate a pregnancy without the man’s consent.

To those men, I would like to say… you and your ilk can make plenty of choices that will help you avoid this scenario. You can use a condom when you have sex with a woman with whom you don’t want to make a baby. Condoms are pretty damned effective at preventing pregnancies. If you don’t want children at all, you can get a vasectomy. Personally, I’m not a fan of vasectomies, but I understand that they are a great option for men who want them. Or– here’s a novel idea– you can opt to keep your dick in your pants! You can use a blow up doll or “rosey” to satisfy your sexual needs. A blow up doll can’t get pregnant, so you don’t have to worry about child support. Ditto to using your hairy palms. 😉

Listen to Sting and his mates in The Police. They can offer some great tips on how to make your life complete without those pesky unintended pregnancies caused by that thing hanging between your legs…

Another guy made a snarky comment that read “If only there was a way to stop unplanned pregnancies”. It was accompanied by a picture of three blind mice. Indeed… guys like him can easily do their part to stop abortions. They can opt not to have unprotected sex with a woman with whom they don’t want to make a baby. They can decide not to sexually assault or rape women. They can realize that they have choices before the pregnancy begins. Once the pregnancy begins, sorry guys, but it’s not your body, health, or livelihood on the line. And no, you should NOT get a say in whether or not a pregnancy continues. Especially when the pregnant person is a total stranger.

I really don’t understand why some men feel like having to pay child support, for a child that originated from a pregnancy they caused, is a huge imposition. Women don’t get pregnant by themselves. I think if men got pregnant or had to deal with periods, PMS, or menopause, they would have abortion clinics on every corner, coupled with sports bars and shooting ranges. Having to pay money every month to a woman who put her life, health, and livelihood on the line to bring their baby into the world is the least they can do.

Now… I do think that fathers should have equal say when the baby is outside of the womb. At that point, fathers can and should contribute equally to raising their children. But until that baby is born, it’s part of a woman’s body. The mother is the one who feels the baby dancing on her bladder at night. The woman is the one throwing up due to morning sickness, developing cankles, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids, putting herself at risk of pre-eclampsia, diabetes, and post-partum depression, abstaining from smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, and eating “risky” foods, and dealing with the trauma of having her nether regions or abdomen permanently changed after birth. It’s also the woman’s name on the medical bills, and the woman who has to deal with intrusive questions, unsolicited advice, and scrutiny from perfect strangers. Until that baby is born, the man’s contribution is a few minutes of fun… and if he’s a decent guy, maybe financial.

So, given all of that, I think it’s high time that more men trust women to do what’s right for their own bodies and healthcare. And I think that men, once again, should respect women’s rights to their own autonomy. Above all, men who don’t like abortions and don’t want to pay child support should stop having sex with women who can get pregnant or use effective birth control. Problem solved.

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complaints, Ex

Repost: While I’m ranting, how about a few comments on entitled people?

Yesterday, I reposted a couple of articles that were on my original Blogspot version of this blog. One of those posts originally had a link to the post I’m rerunning today. I’ve decided to repost this because I think it has relevant information to my recent Ex bashing theme. So, if you read this, keep in mind that it was originally written in 2010, and things have changed somewhat since then. I like to try to keep reposts as unedited as possible.

I know this is a subject that has come up on my blog before, but since no one reads the damn thing anyway, I might as well vent.  

I have a hard time dealing with entitled people, especially when they’re family members.  Now, I do realize that I was once one of those entitled people.  It seems to be a rite of passage when you’re growing up.  Sometime in my 30s, I guess I started to realize the error of my ways and changed my attitude somewhat.

But seriously, I have noticed a startling attitude of entitlement in certain age groups.  I guess that’s a sign that I’m turning into a crotchety old fart.

Take, for instance, my husband’s kids.  Of course, I guess we can barely call them his kids, since they haven’t spoken to him since 2004.  But he has faithfully paid child support for them anyway, at least until the older one turned 18.  Originally, my husband was supposed to pay until each kid was 22.  And, in fact, he did pay child support to his former stepson until the lad was 21 years old.  It’s a long story as to why my husband paid support for a kid that wasn’t his.  Suffice it to say that my husband has a huge heart and thought of the boy as his son.  Bio dad was out of the picture.

Anyway, this kid’s name was legally changed to my husband’s name when he was a young lad.  My husband, stupidly, had nothing to do with this name change business.  His former wife had handled the whole thing and convinced my husband that it was all for the best.  The boy was calling him “daddy” and all…

Well, when things went south with my husband’s first marriage, the ex decided he needed to pay.  And so she set up a divorce decree that awarded her a sizable amount of child support that would be paid for many years, even beyond each kid’s 18th birthday and even for the boy who wasn’t his (hubby never adopted him).  Again, stupidly, my husband agreed to it.  On the other hand, maybe he wasn’t so stupid, since their decree was not drafted by a lawyer.

Because my husband is a decent guy, he fully intended to keep paying support for these kids, even as they became more and more alienated.  The day came when his daughters disowned him and refused to call him “daddy” anymore.  I suspect most of their problems stemmed from half baked bullshit they were hearing from their mother, their own anger and abandonment issues, and the fact that their father had married me.  Now, before anyone tells me I’m to blame for this, understand that I have only met these kids once over the almost eight years I’ve been married to their dad.  I haven’t had the ability to fuck up their lives in any way.  And their dad has not missed a child support payment, at least not until the older daughter turned 18 and continued to refuse to communicate (not even to give her dear old dad a bank account number so he could send her the money he’d promised to pay).

So… last year, we discovered that the former stepson, who was 21 years old and itching to take a trip abroad, had finally gotten back in touch with his biological father.  And he found out that bio dad wasn’t such a bad guy after all.  My husband was actually happy about this because, aside from bio dad not paying any child support for all those years, he never had any real proof the guy was as bad as his ex had made him out to be.  And since ex’s third victim was now being called “daddy” by my husband’s kids and victim’s own two kids with ex, my husband could see how the first victim must have felt to be outcast all those years.

Sometime in 2008, then 20 year old ex stepson told my husband that come June of 2009, he could stop paying him child support because “he wouldn’t need it anymore”.  My husband was impressed by what looked like an act of maturity until a few months later.  I happened to be looking around on the Internet and ran across some information that indicated that the lad was planning to change his name.  This wasn’t such a big deal… again… the name never should have been changed in the first place.  But that boy didn’t mention a word about his plans to my husband, the man he had been calling “daddy” for so many years.  Hubby gave him plenty of opportunities to tell him, but the lad must not have gotten the hint.

So… my husband decided to cut the boy off, since he wasn’t coming clean.  Kid confronted him.  Husband confronted him right back and busted him for what he was trying to do.  The first thing out of that kid’s mouth was not “I’m sorry” but, “How did you find out about that?”

My husband told the young man that he had until Easter to get his shit together and he wanted to know when the name change was final.  The kid agreed, sending the following crappy email.

April sounds fine dad. I am leaving for China in May and I was planning on having one last installment while I am there, but that is fine. I have given it alot of thought, and even though I use the money. I should start living on my own. I do have some debt, but i will be able to take care of it. I don’t want this relationship to be solely monetary. I don’t always have time to write and email, and I do not have a phone number for you. Do not be upset that we rarely speak. I have not replaced you with [bio dad]. You are both my dads in different ways. I love you Dad, and I always know you are there. Give me some insight as to why the installments were not automatic as you said they were. I do not understand the reasoning for that. I mean everytime you are out of town, they get set back. Like this month I understand Feb. ended early, but I am trying to get my car fixed and I am dependent onthose funds for the time being. It is just a curiosity factor. After April.I will have diff!!erent plans for money, but as of now. I am depending on timelyness dad. I want more than just this keeping us in contact, but how am I supposed to contact you. Please Write back and know that I love you and look up to you as a father. because you are my father.



Love, A.

Aside from atrocious writing skills, the kid seems to think that I’m behind my husband’s decision to cut off his money.  While I certainly supported my husband’s actions, I am not the one who cut off the boy’s funds.  That was entirely my husband’s doing and his decision.

And then we found out the name change had gone through and we didn’t hear a word from the boy… who, incidentally, was also driving a car that my husband had given him free and clear.

So my husband cut the kid off again, sending him this note.

A, 
I’m sorry to hear about your car. That’s just how life is sometimes. 

I was clear when I told you that I needed to know when you changed your name. After not hearing from you for nearly eight weeks I surmised that your name change was final and you no longer wanted my help. Your bank account and email address haven’t been changed, so I stopped the allotment to protect myself. 

I’m glad you don’t want our relationship to be about money and that you are ready to be on your own. Good luck in China. As always, I’d love to hear from you when you aren’t so busy. 


Best Regards, 


Now, when my husband is kind and forgiving, it takes the boy weeks to write.  When he’s a little impersonal, it takes hours.  Next thing we get is this…

I was too shocked and hurt during that time to reply to your emails Dad. My name change is final and for your record my name Is […] I am still your next of kin, so im sure you need that information. until my legal proceeding I am in quite alot of debt. There is no more money I would ask for, but I have maxed my credit card. As one last installment, would it be possible just to receive 500 dollars. that is all i ask from here on out dad. I love you and will always stay in contact with you. 
Love, A

Needless to say, this email really pissed off my husband.  Nevertheless, he did try to help the boy, not by sending him money, but by giving him some information and advice.  “A” didn’t want to hear it, though, and refused to answer phone calls or emails.  To this day, we haven’t heard a peep out of him.  Actually, I’m kind of glad about that.  Even though “A” and his sisters probably think I am the world’s biggest bitch and, I’m sure, think I’m behind what they perceive as my husband’s “meanness” (though it’s actually just a sudden growth of a spine plus a set of balls), I’m actually kind of enjoying the silence.  Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to embrace one’s inner bitch anyway. 

I still can’t believe that a 21 year old man would expect child support, especially after pulling the stunt he did and especially when it was coming from his former stepfather, who at this point, legally can’t be anything more than a good friend to him.  Clearly, my husband’s relationship with his former stepson was entirely about money.  

And as for victim #3, I hope he’s been taking notes.

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book reviews, divorce, domestic violence, family, marriage, mental health, psychology

Repost: A review of Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney’s Kafkaesque Divorce…

This is an as/is repost of a book I reviewed on September 26, 2015.

In April 2014, I blogged about a man who apparently committed suicide after being “broken down” by the family court system.  Chris Mackney was married to northern Virginia jewelry designer Dina Mackney.  He had two kids with her, a boy and a girl.  They split up and Mackney was both separated from his children and obligated to pay an oppressive amount of child support.  He spent time in jail when he couldn’t come up with the money.  He was repeatedly hauled into court and harassed by child support enforcement officials trying to get “blood from a stone”.  He lost job after job and finally sank into an abyss of pennilessness and despair.

Like me, Mackney was a blogger.  On his now defunct blog, Good Men Did Nothing, he posted about his situation as it became more and more dire.  Finally, on December 29, 2013, Chris Mackney had reached the end of his proverbial rope.  He sat in his car and placed a rifle under his chin, and pulled the trigger.  In the wake of his suicide, his ex wife became executor of his estate, which basically consisted of his car and his computer.  He had lost everything in his divorce, including his grip on his sanity.  Mackney’s ex wife then sicced lawyers on everyone who posted about Mackney’s suicide and managed to get his blog taken down.  Dina Mackney’s lawyers also supposedly had every comment Chris Mackney ever posted on the Internet wiped out.  It was as if his presence on the Internet was being systematically erased.

Not long ago, Michael Volpe, author of Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney’s Kafkaesque Divorce, left me a comment on my blog post about this case.  I usually erase comments that consist of sales pitches, but I was interested in Mackney’s case.  So I went ahead and downloaded Volpe’s book and just finished it last night.  I mostly thought Volpe’s book was a very interesting read.

Volpe explains that decades ago in Texas, Dina Mackney’s father, Pete Scamardo, hired a hitman to kill a former business partner and friend named Sam Degelia, Jr.  The hitman, who was paid $2000, was none other than Charles Harrelson, actor Woody Harrelson’s father.  Once Degelia was successfully offed, Scamardo moved to Virginia where he proceeded to make a fortune in building.  Apparently, Dina Scamardo grew up privileged in northern Virginia.  She married Chris Macknij and then got him to legally change his name to Mackney, because it was a better name for her jewelry design business.

Volpe writes that Dina Mackney came from a family with ruthless and criminal tendencies, which may have made her especially likely to go after her ex husband with zeal.  According to Volpe’s book, there was little left of Chris Mackney when she and the Fairfax County family court were finished with him.  He saw no way to salvage his life or climb out of the bottomless financial hellhole he was in.  So he decided to kill himself.

Volpe’s book is perhaps misnamed.  I purchased it thinking it would be only about Chris and Dina Mackney and their relationship.  That was probably a naive assumption on my part, since Dina Mackney seems clearly against getting her late ex husband’s story out to the masses.  In fact, I think Volpe may be pretty brave to have written this book, since Dina Mackney has established herself as willing to litigate.  Bullied to Death doesn’t include a lot about Chris and Dina Mackney’s marriage; it’s more about what happened after the marriage and what led up to Chris Mackney’s decision to kill himself.  I’d say that makes up a good third of the book.

Another third of the book consists of Volpe’s thoughts on the family court system and how it’s unfair to non-custodial parents, usually fathers.  Volpe has some rather radical ideas about how post divorce parenting and child support should be handled.  At times, the writing is a bit emotional and disjointed and I spotted more than a couple of places where some editing would have been beneficial.  On the other hand, I appreciated that Volpe was gutsy enough to write Mackney’s story to the best of his ability.

While I didn’t always agree with some of Volpe’s ideas, as someone who watched her husband get screwed over by an ex wife and saw him lose contact with his kids, I had some empathy for Volpe’s viewpoint.  While Bill was not hounded by child support enforcement or lawyers, he did pay out the nose in child support for kids who eventually dumped him.  Attentive fathers should not be treated like sperm donors with open wallets.      

Something does need to be done about how divorcing couples with children are handled in the United States.  While I am not at the point at which I’d say child support needs to be abolished, I do think that the system should be more equitable and flexible.  Chris Mackney’s child support was established when he was employed in real estate and had made a lot of money.  Not long after his divorce, Mackney’s business took a downturn and he could not pay the child support ordered by the court.  He quickly went into arrears and was soon completely buried in debt he’d never be able to repay.  He had no contact with his children, whom he dearly loved.  It’s no wonder he became so desperate.

The last third of the book consists of notes, appendices, and citations.  They are useful for those who want to do some follow up research on this sad case and others involving men’s rights in divorce situations.

Volpe’s book was apparently self-published, so it lacks the polish one might expect in something published by a big name outfit.  Moreover, I think it would have been a stronger book had it included more information about Chris and Dina Mackney’s relationship and why their divorce was so acrimonious.  Volpe seems to infer that Dina Mackney came from a family accustomed to resorting to criminal behavior, but everyone knows there are always at least three sides to every breakup story: his, hers, and the truth.

I’m not sure we quite get the whole truth about the Mackneys in Bullied to Death.  However, I do think Volpe basically did a good job writing about this case as much as he was able to.  I doubt he got much cooperation from the other interested parties, so naturally that affected how much of the story he was able to share.  I also think this is a case that needs to be publicized.  While I’m not sure what happened to Chris Mackney or even my own husband is the norm, there are men going through divorce becoming so hopeless that they turn to suicide or other drastic measures.  Their lives matter, too.  

For those who are interested, here is a video of Victor Zen reading Chris Mackney’s suicide note.

This note was originally posted on Chris Mackney’s blog, but his former wife had the blog taken down.

Mike Volpe later left me this comment on my original review:

mike volpe September 27, 2015 at 2:16 PM

This is a fair review of my book. I’m glad you liked and I wish you loved it. I only have two small points to make 1) I never suggested mostly men get screwed and in fact, I was careful in the book to show stories from all angles and 2) while Chris’s ex-wife wanted to remove even all his comments from the internet that failed miserably and most of what Chris has written has remained intact. You are correct that the marriage was not described in too much detail and that’s because one person was dead and the other one didn’t share any of their details. While divorce is he said/she said by nature, I feel comfortable that I presented an accurate description of what happened and not simply choosing Chris’s side. I presented his flaws, including his adultery, but committing adultery compared to covering up a murder are not, in my opinion, in the same league.

A few other people also left useful comments.

See Lo December 10, 2016 at 1:57 AM

I will soon be reading this book. The corruption and child support extortion needs to stop. #ChrisMackney will live on and his story is only the beginning.

Walter Singleton January 3, 2017 at 8:28 PM

Chris Mackney’s story is an extreme example of what happens to fathers (and sometimes mothers) in family courts EVERY SINGLE DAY. Family Court is a place where corruption reigns supreme – malicious spouses, dirty lawyers, and apathetic judges often join forces to destroy one of the parties. Once they decide which parent is on the losing side, there is often no recovery. This is a system that NEEDS to be fixed.

Those of you who have been regular readers of my blog may know why this subject interests me, although I don’t have the same level of interest in it as I once had. I do think domestic violence against men is an often overlooked and ignored problem. I applaud any author who is brave enough to take it on, even if they self-publish their work.

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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