A $1,400,000 Beatdown?

Is what happened here worth $1,400,000?

DETROIT — A white, former Detroit-area police officer was found guilty Thursday of assault and misconduct in the bloody beating of a black driver during a traffic stop that was captured on video.

Wayne County jurors handed down the verdict in the case against William Melendez, who was charged in the January beating of Floyd Dent. Police stopped Dent, 58, in the Detroit suburb of Inkster for disregarding a stop sign, and dashcam video from a police vehicle shows Melendez punching him 16 times in the head.

It wasn’t until after WDIV-TV aired the footage in March that Melendez was fired. Inkster later agreed to pay $1.4 million to Dent, who suffered broken ribs, blood on his brain and other injuries.

The jurors found Melendez guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and of misconduct in office. They cleared him of a charge of assault by strangulation.


Well, I don’t think it was worth it. As long as it doesn’t come out of YOUR pocket, you probably don’t care. Well, you would care if you were getting the beat down!

I’m glad that this happened:



Father Knows Best? Maybe, Mother Knows Best…Or Both

Raising children is fascinating.

I can think of only one thing that I would change from the way my parents did with my upbringing. Just one. My father temporarily guided me away from my first love. Music.

I have been playing drums ever since I was a little kid. I started out banging on my parent’s pots and pans until they caved in and purchased a real set of drums. I was so into the drums that after school, I would run to my drums in the basement and practice for hours. My family, and next door neighbor told me recently that they got tired of listening to my non-stop practice. I improved quickly and began to play with neighborhood kids. I became a sought after musician and played in several bands. This was all I wanted to do, and was very good. I had heard about Berklee College of Music and almost begged my parent’s to send me there. My father, thinking of my best interests, steered me away from my inevitable fate of poverty and drug use as a professional musician. I subsequently enrolled at Howard university and graduated with a degree in business.

While my father had good intentions, there was no stopping me. I cannot deny that getting my degree helped me get to where I am today. I was able to support myself with day jobs for a while, but i eventually became everything he didn’t want me to be. After about 12 years of working hard at my craft here in New York City, I became a full-time professional musician (without the drug use)

My mother was supportive. SHE was the one who bought my first set of drums from my cousin. She is also the one who paid for my last set of drums-the ones that wereplayed 8 shows a week at the Shubert Theater at the TONY Award winning musical “Memphis’ back in 2009. Yes indeed. She was the one who said I could make it as a musician. And I did.

My parents did all if the right things by their three children. They moved into the suburbs in the early 70’s so that their three kids could have access to a quality public education. They enrolled us in various activities to express us to the good things life has to offer. They put all three of us through historically black universities and helped us get on our feet afterward. Both of them helped me financially through my divorce and assisted my sisters when they were downsized by the great recession.

With all of that said, there are times when you have to let your offspring follow their heart. Let them sink or swim. I understand the concern for our well being but if you do your best to give your children a solid foundation, they usually wind up doing just fine. On top of that, they will be much happier in life doing what they love to do for a living instead of follwing in the footsteps of their parents.

I am living proof that if you follow your dreams and do the hard work that it takes to make them come true, it can happen.

I intend on being the same type of father to my kids as my father was to me. I will insist that they do whatever it is that excites them. I have told both of my kids repeatedly that I absolutely love my job. They have heard it so much that I’m sure they are sick of it.

I think it will be music to my old ears when I see both of my kids say similar things to their children.

I thank my parent’s regularly for a job well done. I wouldn’t be where I am without their support. They are truly role models and hope I can pass on the values they taught me to my children when I am assisting them on their potential careers.

Stay tuned!


Bitter Much?

When people make comments from time to time about men being bitter about their ex, I wonder how these people would feel if they were on the short end of the divorce stick.

How would these people feel if they spent thousands of dollars battling the sub-human people in family court just for the right to see their own flesh and blood? I wonder how these people would feel after they realized that no matter how hard they’ve tried, they still have to pay the state money that has accrued interest. How would they feel if a magistrate told them that they were only allowed to see their children 4 days out of each month? Maybe they would be bitter too?

When I read about situations where and ex-wife of someone famous gets awarded a settlement and then chooses to give away millions to a charity, I question it. I ask, “Was it her money?” Did Amber Herd earn that money or did she get it from Johnny Depp’s hard work over the years? When I hear about stories where a mother takes a couple’s child overseas and does all kinds of horrific things to block the father from seeing his own child, I don’t think it is bitter to say that she is a horrible human. I think it is just honest. When I read stories of fathers who have spent tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting for shared parenting and sometimes not getting anything, it’s not bitter when I say that the court system is biased towards mothers, it is the truth.

When people talk about how Donald Trump is a narcissistic, misogynistic, sociopath, they would probably just say they are telling it like it is. When fathers say that family court is a radical feminist rat-hole, filled with incompetent man hating idiots hell-bent on destroying families one child at a time, it’s not bitter, it’s just the truth. When men comment on how some women use all kinds of excuses to look like victims to get the upper hand in the “family” court system, I’d say that they are telling the truth as they see it and have lived it and not being bitter.

The problem with being bitter is when you hold on to that resentment and never channel the frustration into something positive. It can be toxic. I’ve learned to turn a bad situation into something good. I’ve been able to help others who have been in a similar situation as mine. I’ve talked to dozens of men, and several women about their divorces. My advice has seemed to help them get to a similar place as myself.

I once was bitter. There is no question about that. Shortly after my divorce, I was quite angry about my predicament even though I came out of my settlement with a pretty sweet deal. I must say, I have never been happier than I am now. I have a great girlfriend and share my kids equally with my ex…and don’t pay her a dime. Yessir! But, I am not afraid to bite my tongue when it comes to certain issues. I will call out people on their nonsense from time to time. If you think I’m bitter, you are sadly mistaken.

I’m better. I’m stronger. I’m confident. I’m assertive.

Don’t mistake telling my truth about divorce and the evil the man-haters over in family court for bitterness. It is just plain factual.

Maybe those who claim that certain men are bitter need to step in our shoes for a while. Maybe you’ll understand.



I often wonder why people still support professional sports teams in this day and age. People say they are fans “ride or die.” People will go down with their team even though they know their team sucks and will suck for the foreseeable future.


I had this discussion with some friends and family a few years ago. What I heard from them is that when you have a certain affinity for a team due to an association from your, family or professional link, then supporting that groups might warrant loyalty. I can understand to a certain degree.

If you attended a university and rooted for the sports teams while you were a student, you might want to continue to support them if you enjoyed your college years and experience. I totally understand.

But…if you were a big Cowboys fan back in the 1970’s and again in the early 90’s, why would you continue to support them when they are a totally different squad? Why would you root for the Lakers when they win 17 games during a season but won 60+ games back in the 80’s? They are totally different teams with different players.

Why would you support the Republican when their current representatives are some of the worst human beings on the planet?

It seems as free agency ruined the concept of teams. Yes, there are times when a few of the core players of a winning team return for a few years and help with the continuity. I’d argue that it’s more of the exception than the rule. I sometimes tune into the NBA season in January and am amazed at how different teams look from the previous year.

Look a what just happened in the NBA with Kevin Durant. Last year he was on The Oklahoma City Thunder. This year he will be on the team that knocked his old team out of the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors. What is you hated Kevin Durant and his style of play, or his attitude while he was with OKC? Are you supposed to just totally disregard that and say that everything is ok now that he is on your team?

What are you supposed to do when all your life you vote for one particular party based on a belief system of limited government and personal freedom and the new head of your party has no interest in any of that kind of rubbish. What if the leader of your particular party is one of the worst liars in world history and has been caught repeatedly lying and has no intention of apologizing. They are on your team now. Do you support them blindly?

I say no. I say hell no.


Why not be and independent  thinker. An unrestricted free agent. Imagine living your life where you are free to choose who to affiliate yourself with and are allowed to change your association at will. I find it pretty freeing.

I am not loyal to any sports teams, political parties or any organization. I have seen how people act when money and power come into the picture. I keep my options open and remain true to those who are true to me. That is generally a small group of humans…not organizations.

I’m on Team Craddock. We are a small bunch, but we sure know how to play the game of life.

I feel it is beyond time to think independently and maybe e can re-think the concept of a “team” in the new millennium.


Every Other Weekend Father

I think it is time to totally re-write the script.

There was NO way I was going to be an every other weekend father after my divorce. It just was not going to happen. Visitation? That word never comes out of my mouth. I don’t visit my own children. I am their father. See my kids four days out of 30? That is simply a non-starter in a divorce settlement.

I got divorced just like the next guy. I went through 11 months of family court hell. Some of us men have it worse than others. I’m glad my divorce proceeding was relatively short and I’m proud that I had the balls to fight for what was right – equal time with our kids and no exchange of money between us at all.

I figured that if I had no choice in staying married, I would at least continue the relationship I had with my kids. Even though my relationship with my ex was permanently destroyed, why does my relationship with my kids have to be destroyed along with it? I figured out the game being played on me before it was too late. I was proactive.

Too many men never think things through and fall into a similar pattern; get divorced, pay child support, alimony and see their kids every other weekend…and spend the next decade angry and bitter at the world.

That was not going to be me.

If you really start to think about how the game of divorce is played, ask yourself, why haven’t things been changed to reflect our modern society? Why would the father be automatically assumed to take on the role of personal welfare agency even if his wife walks out on the marriage?

Fathers are forced by the state all too often to play the role of chump and pay child support and alimony to abusive ex spouses. Usually, the father walks out of his own home because they can no longer handle dealing with an irrational future ex wife and is frustrated to such a point that he sees no other alternative. After he is gone, he is at a disadvantage in family court because it appears that he abandoned his family. The reality is often much different. It might be a false allegation of abuse in court filings or the future ex using the court system to get some kind of court order to legally evict the man from the home. Fathers seem to continue to be forever at a disadvantage in many relationships during a breakup of the family .

Yes, I know all too well the nonsense that goes with family court and had to deal with it first hand. I also know how difficult exes can be and how they use kids to get what they want. Maybe I am just different and refused to allow any thing to get between me and my children.

I have heard some real horror stories. I mean really really bad ones. Divorces that involved international kidnapping and INTERPOL. I learned from fathers like them so I wouldn’t put myself in that position.

In fact, the one father who had his son taken from the USA and taken to Italy gave me one piece of advice that I would have never thought about if I never spoke to him. He told me to NOT get passports for the kids. If you do, the ex can take the children anywhere in the world if you are married. Yes, that can happen. It happened to him and he wound up spending lots of money and it took many years to get his son back.

Little things like that make a huge difference. These are the things I learned early on to prevent my ex from even thinking of taking my kids anywhere I did not want them to go.

Back when I got divorced, I had an advantage that no one has today. I lived in a fault state. New York State was the last one to adopt the horrible statute called no-fault. No-fault divorce allows a spouse to unilaterally break the marital contract for any reason. Since my ex would have had to prove fault, (which she couldn’t), I was going to have her make a fool of herself in a trial. She would have lost and I would have won. This leverage forced her to settle and I got what I deserved.

Most divorces are settled, so even with no-fault being the law of the land nothing should stop you from standing your ground if you choose to do so. Divorce is pretty much a last person standing game. The person who has the most money or the ability to wear the other down to a point of giving up usually wins. From what I see, more men need to get a shot of testosterone. Money isn’t everything. Yes, you do need a good lawyer, money and the time to deal with the madness of the court system, but with a few key moves in the very beginning, you can beat a system that is filled with landmines for fathers.

I see too many examples of men getting depressed, feeling hopeless and helpless when they get served by their exes. I hear stories of men not having specific times to be with their kids because their ex is controlling the parenting schedule. I hear of stories where men don’t know when their next court date is. I hear stories of men playing defense instead of offense most of the time.

I say it is time to “man up” and do what is right…for your kids. They need you just as much as they need their mother. When your relationship ends with your ex, do not let that be any deterrent to being with your kids. Forget all about her and focus on what is important – your relationship with your kids.

It is frustrating to see so many men who are killers and lions at the office and can make several hundreds of thousand dollars a year but are little kittens when they are dealing with their exes. Have men become so emasculated in our culture that we cannot control our own destiny with our relationships with our children? If so, how did this happen and can we change it?

I am a living example of what all you can do if you do your homework. It is interesting to see people on Facebook who have lost weight and have overcome the odds and look great. I look to them as inspiration. I hope you can read my blog and find that same sort of feeling. You can win in family court. What you have to do is be proactive and not reactive. You cannot allow your vindictive future ex to control the game.

I asked several of my friends this question recently; if you were in a loveless, sexless marriage and knew that you could get divorced and not have to pay child support or alimony and you could see your children 50 percent of the time, would you file for divorce? Most of the time, I would get answers that beat around the bush, and never get specific, but most people say no. I find that fascinating yet frustrating. I feel  it is because we would perceive the marriage a failure. Men don’t like to fail.

Women file for divorce over 70 percent of the time in the USA. Why? All kinds of reasons. most of the time they are ‘unhappy.’ Well, aren’t men unhappy too? Of course we are! The difference is the idea of divorce equals financial devastation. We think we will have to pay child support and alimony.

Right now, we have to maintain our focus as men and fathers. That focus is clearly on our children. They need us more than ever and we should never allow divorce to come between the relationship we have with our children. Fathers clearly love their children just as much as mothers. Why should anything change with a divorce?




Never Good Enough


No good deed goes unpunished?

Well, there will be a time when good deeds will no longer be done.

There are just some people who will forever be ungrateful. I do my best to stay as far away from them as humanly possible. I would rather spend my energy on those who will appreciate things.

I’m sure many men can relate to the situation where you do all that you cant to please your wife and it is never good enough. You go out and buy her flowers and she tells you that they aren’t the ones she really likes. You clean the house for her after her hard day at work and she tells you that you forgot to dust a piece of furniture. You go to the lengths of leaving a career path that is really exciting and potentially financially rewarding in order to make her feel more secure but in the end it sucks the life from your soul, You try to do the right things over and over again but it just isn’t good enough. You feel like you are doing something wrong and you are the bad guy.

These little things start to add up over time. Eventually you start to resent her and the relationship becomes unbearable because her expectations are not aligned with reality. She isn’t actually interested in you. She wants the ideal person that she can mold into the perfect man. The problem is that she picked you and not the one in her head.

There will come a day when you figure out that you don’t need to try to please people in the way you were taught by our society. It seems as if we are taught to bend over backwards for people in every single way. Happy wife happy life? Keep your wife happy? You’ve heard similar expressions. I know you have. Well, I’m here to tell you that they are all wrong.

There comes a time for self care. We cannot spend all of our lives trying to please our spouse, trying to make our kids happy and generally neglecting our own well being.

I know that for myself, once I flipped the switch from trying to constantly please my ex and kids, and finally got the courage to do what was right for me, there was a massive turnaround. Things got better financially, romantically, spiritually and in the end there was much more positive energy coming from my soul.

I could almost instantly recognize people with the energy that was in direct contrast to mine. I was quickly able to get myself out of any situation where I needed to escape negativity. I no longer did things for people who were ungrateful. It was empowering.

I slip back into my nice guy mode from time to time and get burned. But, I learned to immediately cut those off who are unappreciative. I move on and don’t look back. I need reminders from time to time about human nature.

Bottom line? Look out for number 1…and that is YOU. All else will fall into place.