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Toronto Sun

Dad: Unjust rules made me run

THE REFUGEE

The Toronto Sun, By Michele Mandel, May 2, 2004

DAVID FISHER is an American fugitive, one of the 10 most wanted deadbeat dads in the state of Massachusetts. But he lives here -- and wants to be declared a refugee.

At home, he is a villain with his face on a poster in the subways of Boston, a demon dad who owes more than $150,000 in child support to his three children and faces up to 10 years in prison for failing to ante up.

Yet Fisher comes across as a desperate father who was doing the best he could to provide his kids with $2,000 a month in support -- the American guideline amount to his $75,000-a-year salary as a computer programmer. It wasn't enough. A judge had ordered him to pay $4,000 a month and refused to believe that he could not find a job that paid Read More ../p>

When he left his marriage in 1998, he was making over $100,000 as a programming consultant. He willingly gave his family $6,500 a month for the first six months and then $5,000 a month for the next year -- far above the state guideline. At the end of 1999, with his contracts drying up, he went to court and won a temporary order to pay $3,800 a month.

NEW ROMANCE

At the same time, he fell in love with Kate McWilliam, an Ontario woman he had met over the Internet. His new romance enraged his ex-wife, he says, and his clients were harassed and his children were poisoned against him.

In late 2000, he lost his main client, there was no money coming in and he couldn't pay his tax instalments. He finally found a full-time job that paid $75,000 a year -- but he could now afford to pay only the guideline amount of $2,365 a month in support. Fisher filed a motion to modify his child support order from $3,800. Instead, the judge found him in contempt. By the time they finished garnisheeing his wages, he was left with $89 a week.

When he couldn't pay his mounting arrears, he was tossed in jail just before Christmas, 2000. He got a $5,000 cash advance he knew he could never repay, paid her and was released.

FACING PRISON

He took a $75,000-a-year job in Kansas and saw half of each paycheque garnisheed to pay his support. But every month, he was yet another $2,000 behind -- and facing prison.

"In the three years I spent trying to get divorced, I paid Ann nearly $170,000 tax-free dollars, had legal fees totalling close to $50,000, had offered to give my house and the $175,000 in equity that was in it along with 55% of my wages," he says. "The result was that I was labelled a 'deadbeat dad,' threatened with jail and threatened with further harassment."

Facing arrest yet again, Fisher was in a "blind panic" when he and McWilliam decided to flee in April 2001, eventually ending up in Toronto where he worked underground.

After his boss reported him to U.S. bounty hunters, Fisher claimed refugee status, insisting he faces cruel and unusual punishment if returned to the States.

"I tried to do everything I could not to break the law," he says, "yet I face 10 years in jail."

Pediatricians turn away from circumcision

The United States is the only country that routinely circumcises baby boys for non-religious reasons

CNN, U.S.A.
March 1, 1999

ATLANTA (CNN) -- American pediatricians are turning away from the practice of routine circumcision, concluding that doctors have no good medical reason to perform the procedure.

The United States is the only country in the world that routinely removes the foreskins of infant boys. Critics of circumcision got additional ammunition Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a leading medical organization.

The academy concluded the benefits "are not compelling enough" for circumcision to be routinely administered.

baby screaming in pain

A newborn winces in pain after a circumcision

Monday's statement, published in the March edition of the journal Pediatrics, was the academy's first in 10 years on the practice. But in recent years, medical societies in Canada, Britain and Australia have come out in opposition to routine circumcision.

Critics have long contended that removing the foreskin from the penis is traumatic, medically unnecessary and may reduce sexual pleasure later in life. As one critic, Dr. George Denniston, put it: "Who are we to question mother nature?"

Canadian researchers, whose study was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, studied the heart rates and crying patterns of babies during different stages of circumcision.

In fact, in the study they found the babies suffered so much trauma that they stopped the study part way through.

The results were so compelling that they took the unusual step of stopping the study before it was scheduled to end rather than subjecting any Read More ..bies to circumcision.

One baby stopped breathing for 25 seconds from the trauma of having part of his foreskin severed.  Read More ..

"..Circumcision May CAUSE Urinary Tract Infection"

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are rare, and mainly occur in the first year of life. They are several times Read More .. common in girls than boys (but of course surgery is never considered for girls).

They are painful, and women's experience of them is a powerful inducement to have sons circumcised, if they imagine that this will protect them. In fact, a significant proportion of boys contract UTIs even though they are circumcised. A study in Israel found they mainly occurred in girls at four months, but in boys soon after they were circumcised....  Now an Australian study suggests circumcision may cause urinary problems.  Read More ..