Back when I first discovered blogs, the first big one I hit was (naturally) Instapundit. And one day I clicked on one of his list labelled 'Gut Rumbles'. He's definately a unique sort. He's kind of like how I see Rush Limbaugh; I haven't agreed on everything with anyone since I grew up, but they're damned entertaining.
On some things I wonder what the hell Rob was thinking when he did them, on others I'm sitting here thinking, "Yeah! Damn right!" But he's almost always worth reading. And on some things, I know exactly what he's talking about.
I'm twice divorced. The first I still agonize over at times, the second also, but to a much lesser extent. It's real easy to get caught up in the 'could I have done something different?' loop, and you can really mess yourself up doing that. (My second I know exactly what I should have done differently, but that's another story). I'm lucky, in that both kids are from my first marriage, and my ex never tried to keep me from seeing them, or tried to screw me over in the divorce; I'm definately one up on Rob there. But I know how I'd have felt if she had, and I've had friends that it has happened to, and it's bloody awful. Not only to the father, but to the kids; they either don't get to see their father at all, or hear a lot of crap about how he doesn't want to see them, he won't pay his bills, etc. That crap doesn't help them at all, and I really wonder about the mind of someone who can happily use their kids as an extortion tool.
Yes, I know there are deadbeat fathers out there who shouldn't be allowed near kids. I also know about the deadbeat moms that seem to be a taboo subject to too many people. And the deck is almost always stacked against the father.
A year or so after my first divorce, I was expecting a tax refund when instead I got a letter from the state DHS advising me that, because of my delinquent child support, my tax refunds were being seized to pay it. Now, I had never missed a payment, so I grabbed the phone and called to find out what the hell this was about. The lady I spoke with check my record, said "No, you've never missed one", and then explained it. When we divorced, my ex had wound up on AFDC for a while and DHS demanded that I pay them back that money. By the time this was arranged I had a greater understanding of people who want to blow up some office, and they had managed to tick off the judge involved. It was finalized, and in addition to my child support- which wasn't in question- I was paying some every month on that. It seems that the federal office involved in such things had decided to change how some things were defined, and that was now considered 'delinquent child support', which meant they could seize people's tax refunds. Apparently I was about the dozenth guy this lady had spoken with that day on this, and none of them had missed a payment, but because some bunch of bureaucrats decided to find a new way to take money from people, we were all now classed as 'delinquent' in our child support.
This especially pissed me off because I couldn't pay the support directly to my ex, it had to go through DHS, and they kept part of it. Once I had the 'delinquent' crap paid off, she went in to file to be 'allowed' to get the support directly. This involved signing forms, being talked to by several people, and being 'counseled' to see if she was being forced into this, and was she sure?, and so forth. Bloody pain, and I'm sure it was because they couldn't skim off their fee when she was getting it directly.
Right now Rob is fighting a situation of an ex who wants to screw him over, and a judge who wants to help, and state law that couldn't give a crap less about a father's situation. I sympathize.