My name is Alexander Smith. The moment I became a father I gave my life to a higher purpose. All that I am, to serve all they can be. As a good parent we all choose this truth in one way or another. What follows is one fathers words, and the birthright of those that would call me dad. I write this to you all in an attempt to bring attention to a matter that is going to be as debatable as it is complex to sort out to a satisfactory resolution. Fathers rights in the state of Missouri is a matter that has always been spoken of, yet never discussed. Missouri courts have long since developed a favor in granting custodial rights to the mothers of this state. The term dead beat dad has been in thrown around by many in the state of Missouri. I am a working class man, thrown into a category of men by these simple facts. Although we can argue the point of fact or falsehood endlessly, we can all agree in this instance fact or false it is still what stands for truth within the state of Missouri. As many would speak of the ideals of family values or children first, who is it that stands for fathers rights in the state of Missouri? More importantly, who stands for the children and their rights in the state of Missouri? In many cases it is those very fathers that are saving the tax payers countless millions every year. I myself maintain a salaried position currently as well as maintaining this and other positions of honest earning for all of the 16 years of my tax paying life. Although my state income tax payment was late you still received it. Since 2002 I have maintained supervisory or management position with no gap in my employment. I am a father of four children living in a home that not only I pay but millions of tax payers of the state of Missouri do to maintain. The mother of our four children is a women that has for the last number of years has used and abused the system of the state of Missouri to not only afford to remain unemployed but also affords several hundreds of dollars per month in food stamp benefits. In addition to my sizable monthly child support I also maintain a reasonably fair amount to cover my childrens health and dental while the state of Missouri allows the children to be covered by MC+. All the while due to the family ties within the community and also within the state government my ex-wife thrives in means. I have been harassed and threatened by not only my ex-wife and direct family but also by law enforcement. Also I have had no notification by family services of issues reported on by the childrens school. The very school that I have yet to find a method of acquiring my childrens information from regardless of the documentation stating that I am entitled to. I stand as a man completely shielded from my childrens life. I give into the system and I work long hard hours to support my children and the parents that control their home while I live by reasonably meager means. I pay too much into the system to be able to qualify for any Missouri support program. While my ex-wife sits and collects her monthly income from us all. With new vehicles, atvs, go carts, dirt bikes, a pool, and thats all I can see from the driveway that I cannot cross, State congress signs staked in the soil feet away. As the children see the signs Im sure theyll grow to be avid voters, but what place in the system do you see them living in whilst they hit those buttons in the booth. In the state of Missouri I have to show that my ex-wife is unfit to have a hope that a Missouri judge will consider altering custody. Yet economic/or employment status is not seen as reasons to be declared unfit. Yet as the only income into the home is that in which I pay there is an abundance of extras that are afforded the children, the example being set is horrid. Not only has the mother defrauded the system and the taxpayers her parents and extended family have aided and funded it. The ties of drugs within the home have been questioned and confirmed, as Missouri officials would respond some parents do drugs. My children sit learning about life and how adults act in the state of Missouri. The question I beg to all of you Are these the voters you wish to see in line fulfilling their patriotic rights? As a thirty-two year old man, what would a dead beat dad care about how his children are being raised? As a man I have little to gain by seeking custody of my children. As society would assume my inability to have gained custody at the time of divorce would constitute my inability, or my lack of desire to stand as a father rather than a man. Many of us care about our children yet lack the means and the backing to change the circumstances. Though we are categorized the same in the state of Missouri, there is a much different blood that flows within the veins of a man who stands as a father. As one of those fathers to many, help the sons of your state grow to be good men of purpose. As one father too many mothers, help our daughters see the pride and strength that you and other mothers fought and advocated to provide not so many years ago. Once in our nation there were men and women who fought for themselves and their ideals. Rosa Parks was to tired and to wore out to be moved into the place society had left her. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke great words of equality and fair treatment. A man of purpose and a women just too tired to care. This is two of many examples our great nations history has provided. The mothers and daughters of our land stood in protest to gain their right to be considered equal not so long ago. Men and women fight and advocate the right to be married regardless of sexual orientation. Time and again the people of our nation have stood against adversity and lived in fear and constant threat to do so. Not only for themselves but for the children that would succeed them. You can ignore my words, you can blind yourself to truths in which I speak. But you stand able to do so because those that preceded you fought, died, and bled for your right to do so. You can cage a person and leave them in filth as animals, and you can stand protesting all that I am. However you do so because once someone by accident or intent paved the path that we all walk today. There is no indignity, no adversity, and there is no force in nature that will dam the coming tides. Send your peacekeepers to find me, let them set the hounds to chase, twist words and mend what holds for integrity within your heart. But never again will you silence a childs voice in the state of Missouri. Never again will decent fathers and mothers of our state succumb to helplessness as we watch our childrens today suffer as their tomorrows are jeopardized by your inaction. As history has shown the rise and fall of any civilization lies within its people, and what those people hold dear. I am a father and as history states, I am one of the two most important figures in the lives of all before me. Furthermore as history has proven as a father it is within me to ensure that the society I leave to my children Is one that will carry on my legacy to serve them as they take their place as the protectors of the generations to come. Ladies and Gentlemen I am one man. I am not great man and I aspire to nothing more than to live, work, love, and with hope in time raise my family to carry on the heart and love of what is good and what is right, and the ideals and beliefs that make a person decent. Today as a father I speak to you all Help our children become a future far better than the one we are seeing today in the state of Missouri. Today, a fathers words will be seen and heard. Today Missouris fathers will see that we are not silent and we are not helpless. Because today we as fathers will fight to protect our children, and we will fight for them to ensure they have the opportunity to know how to live without crime or drugs or poverty. Today we pave their path to be free of the yolk that our welfare system will place upon them. Today we fight as so many before us have. We fight for our land and what the future of that land will become. As a father, all I am is my children. And there is no part of me that I place above their lives. The way of the land must to be changed if it is to not be left desolate and baron at the feet of our children. We, the fathers of the state of Missouri will not watch our daughters and our sons raised to be less than well and with an ideal of being better. We, the fathers of this land will now offer ourselves to protect the future and what it will become. And we the fathers of the state of Missouri expect your support today. My name Is Alexander Smith When the dove takes flight amongst the murder, a peaceful man goes to war.