Thursday, September 18, 2014

Every Southern black parent to be jailed

Yahoo reports:
On Sunday, Charles Barkley, speaking about Adrian Peterson's arrest for beating his four-year-old with a switch and leaving welts and bruises, said this: "I'm from the South. Whipping -- we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances." You can watch the full video below.

In a story published Monday, USAToday.com's Josh Peter writes that Peterson and childhood friend David Cummings still talk about one whipping in particular Peterson, then in middle school, received from his father.

Nelson Peterson received a call from school officials after Adrian had been disruptive in class. The father waited for the two boys near the school parking lot.

"His dad asked what happened, and Adrian told him," Cummings said. The elder Peterson then removed his belt and whipped Adrian in front of more than 20 students, according to Cummings.

"We still talk about it to this day," Cummings said. "My dad was tough, but his dad was real tough."

"When Adrian showed out or was bad, he got a whupping," his uncle, Greg Peterson told Peter....

"I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make."
Traditionally a criminal conviction usually requires showing mens rea, and that is probably absent in this case.

The news media loves jumping on some stupid case like this. I just watched the Comedy Channel's Jon Stewart babble about Peterson, and he said:
This ain't Fermat's Last Theorem, which I may say is a notoriously difficult numerological proof concerning integer theory. I'll just give myself a wedgie.
It is a difficult number theory proof, not a numerological proof. He was just babbling nonsense.

Sometimes I cannot tell whether Stewart really is a foolish racist liberal Jew, or he just pretends to be one for comedic appeal.

Now that the NFL is supposed to do its own prosecution of bad behavior, so are universities. The Obama administration is forcing colleges to abolish the notion of innocence until proven guilty, and here is the WSJ describing the latest:
Princeton University looks set to become the latest campus to curtail the due-process rights of students accused of sexual misconduct, including rape and other violent assaults. ...

Such allegations would instead be handled by a three-person team acting as both investigators and jury. That trio would conduct separate interviews with the accuser, defendant and any other witnesses. Defendants would have no right to confront the accuser or other adverse witnesses. In a nod toward due process, the proposal stipulates that an accused student (as well as the accuser) would have the right to a lawyer, which is not the case under current policy. But the lawyer would be permitted to speak only to his client, not on his client's behalf.

The investigators would decide guilt or innocence, and a pair of deans would impose a sentence. The investigators would "have training in investigating and evaluating conduct prohibited under the policy," although precisely what kind of training is unspecified. We asked a university spokesman, who replied by email: "At this time it would not be appropriate to discuss what will or will not happen until the process is complete."
There is no need for this. If a crime has been committed on campus, just report it to the police like everyone else.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Prosecuting the innocent

I used to think that everyone believed that citizens are innocent until proven guilty. Now I am worried that I am the only one.

Wash. Post columnist Dana Milbank writes:
McCulloch’s office has declined so far to recommend any charges to the grand jury. Instead, McCulloch’s prosecutors handling the case are taking the highly unusual course of dumping all evidence on the jurors and leaving them to make sense of it. ...

Proving a case of excessive force against a police officer is difficult, and I’m not in any position to determine Wilson’s guilt. But that doesn’t justify declining to prosecute such cases. ...

And McCulloch won’t have his prosecutors recommend even involuntary manslaughter? If he persists and if the governor won’t intervene, their behavior will confirm suspicions that justice is rigged.
This was the rational for prosecuting George Zimmerman -- pacify the angry black mob by bringing charges that you know to be probably false.

Feminists and liberal race-baiters are ganging up on the NFL with cases like this:
McDonald is out on bail while the case is under investigation by the district attorney's office. He is due in court on September 15 and has yet to be charged.

But none of this stopped McDonald from playing on Sunday in the 49ers season opener, a decision the San Francisco Board of Supervisors just denounced. They've called for McDonald to be sidelined (with pay) pending the outcome of the September 15 court appearance.
And this:
Peterson was held out of the Vikings' game on Sunday, a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots, following his indictment last week in Texas for negligent injury to his 4-year-old son, the latest domestic violence case to rock the NFL.
What do all these cases have in common -- no one has been convicted or proved guilty.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NY law still favors parents over unmarried lesbian lovers

The LGBTQIA assault on the American family continues, with a long NY Times article about some trashy irresponsible lesbians who want to change centuries of law to suit their twisted child custody demands.
The Marriage Equality Act, which New York State passed in June 2011, allowed Jann Paczkowski to marry her partner, Jamie, with the assurance that “the marriages of same-sex and different-sex couples” would “be treated equally in all respects under the law.” But when the couple separated and Ms. Paczkowski sought joint custody of the 2-year-old boy they were raising together, she discovered the limits of that assurance. On June 30, 2014, a judge in Nassau County family court ruled that Ms. Paczkowski did not have legal standing to seek access to the boy — because even under the Marriage Equality Act, she was not his parent.

In his decision, Judge Edmund M. Dane acknowledged “inequity” and “imbalance” in the law, adding that if Ms. Paczkowski were a man in the same position, the law might point toward a different ruling. But in the end, he left Jann with no contact with the boy.

The decision devastated Ms. Paczkowski, 36. “You can see how angry and upset I am,” she said on a recent afternoon, seated beside her court-appointed lawyer after a morning spent moving cars for an auction house. She had not seen the boy since a brief visit on Mother’s Day.
No, there is no “inequity” or “imbalance”. If she were a man and the biological father, she could request a DNA test in order to prove paternity. As it stands, she has no biological relationship with the boy, and she had not a legal relationship with the mom at the time of birth.

New York law provides a way for kooky lesbians like them to jointly have a child, if that is what they want. They could have gotten a same-sex marriage license before birth, or gotten a legal adoption. The issues don't even have much to do with lesbianism. As far as I know, a step-father is not considered a legal father unless some legal process to effect that is undertaken.
Beyond her pain, the ruling also illuminated a snarl in New York’s treatment of same-sex couples, three years after the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, according to some legal scholars.

“This is a troubling ruling because it leaves a same-sex parent as a legal stranger to her child,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University law school. Family law, she said, “has not caught up with the way families live their lives, or the rest of New York law. And that gap is causing tremendous damage.”
No, there is no snarl. The boy is with his mom, the only known legal parent. Or he would be, if the mom (Jamie) did not turn out to be unfit:
She had taken up with a volatile boyfriend, who was subsequently given a court order to stay away from Jamie and J. In February, as lawyers were preparing papers, a judge deemed Jamie neglectful for, among other things, failing to protect J. from her new boyfriend. ...

In July, J. appeared at day care with “red marks and bruising on both sides of his face” that were “consistent with hits by a hand on both sides of the child’s face,” according to court documents. Jamie told child protective workers that neither she nor her boyfriend had hit the boy, but the hospital found that his injuries were “not consistent with” her explanation, according to records.

The court removed J. from Jamie’s home and placed him in foster care. ...

Jamie is also pregnant.
Remind me, who thought that it was a good idea for lesbians to have babies?

Yes, I know that sometimes married, opposite-sex, church-going couples turn out to be lousy parents. But the vast majority are good parents. But in the case of lesbians, the gay lobby's best examples for changing the law are all people who should never have been parents in the first place.

New York used to be considered the most progressive state, but the NY Times liberals have long complained that its family law is too retro, as it was the last state to adopt no-fault (unilateral) divorce. Meanwhile California has laws that make it easy to put non-parents on the birth certificate, and even for kids to have 3 or more parents.

Look at this rant against court decisions that follow laws saying that the parents are the parents:
New York’s highest court addressed the question of a non-biological mother’s rights in 1991, ruling that a woman named Alison D. did not have standing to seek visitation rights to the child born to her former partner, Virginia M., even though she had been involved with the child since before birth. The court held that to allow Alison D. access to the child would infringe upon Virginia M.’s right to decide with whom her child associated. Simply acting as a mother to the boy did not make Alison D. a parent, the court ruled.

Even if it would be “beneficial to a child to have continued contact with a nonparent,” the judges said, they could not compel the other parent to grant that contact.

The decision was hotly contested at the time. In her dissent, Judge Judith Kaye — who later became the top judge in the state — wrote that in defining parenthood solely by biology, the decision unfairly hurt children by severing ties that might be crucial to their development. She warned that the ruling “may affect a wide spectrum of relationships — including those of longtime heterosexual stepparents, ‘common law’ and non-heterosexual partners such as involved here, and even partners in scientific reproduction procedures.”

Judge Kaye proved prescient. The Alison D. ruling affected “countless cases across the state,” wrote another appeals court judge, Victoria Graffeo, in a 2010 decision. Though other states passed laws to recognize de facto parents, New York’s did not, allowing non-biological parents only one route to legal status, by adopting their partners’ children.

At the same time, though, in cases involving heterosexual couples, various courts treated husbands as de facto fathers, even if they were not biologically related to the children. Judges weighed the best interests of the child in granting the men custody or visitation, or in ordering them to pay child support.
I say that parents should have parental rights. Non-parents should not. People should have the freedom to define their lives and responsibilities. Judges should have little or no discretion over who is a legal parent. Adoption, for example, should be a voluntary act by parties involved, and not an imposition by a judge based on the BIOTCh and the 2-year-old calling "Daddy" to the bisexual mom's current lesbian lover.

The lesbian fake daddy's plan is to use the same-sex marriage license to try to get custody of the second kid, and then trade it for the first kid. Or persuade an appellate court to change NY law.

The above NY Times story is a news story, not an opinion piece. All of the arguments are anti-family, and no reasons are given for the existing law that has apparently had wide public approval for centuries.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Feminized advice on being a gentleman

NPR Radio has a series on How To Be A 21st Century 'Gentleman':
"I can open my own door," says college freshman Chiamaka Njoku, 18. "I don't see the point of opening up the door; most of these doors are automatic anyway."

Njoku has a different very attitude when it comes to the check.

"If a man wants to pay for the whole meal, I will not stop him," she says.
My problem with this show is that all of the opinions offered were from women, except for one guy offering tips based on same-sex relationships.

If you are listening to NPR to learn how to be a man, you should check your pants to see whether you still have two testicles.

Okay, I am belaboring the obvious. NPR is leftist feminist radio. Real men would not listen to it, or would not take it seriously if they did.

I say that if you want advice on being a man, then read stuff written by men for men. Women say that craziest things on this topic.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Conservative Christian mommy blogger gets divorce.


Jenny Erikson, a conservative Christian mommy blogger, recently attracted the attention of the manosphere when she posted posted an attack on her pastor for “spoiling the surprise” of her divorce by telling her husband before she could.

When Jenny talked to a friend about leaving her marriage, the news made its way to Jenny’s pastor, who contacted her husband, Leif, to let him know what was coming. Her husband went home, and the following conversation transpired:
“I want to know what My Pastor told you,” I [Jenny] repeated.

He paused. Dried his hands. Took a deep breath. Sighed. “That you were planning on filing for divorce on Friday,” he finally admitted.

So there you go. My Pastor had actually told my husband, based on a fourth-hand rumor, without talking to me first, that I was planning on leaving him. That. Just. Happened.

“I filed for divorce last week,” I told him flatly. “I was planning on telling you this Friday.”
Jenny accuses her pastor of repeating a “rumor” that he heard “fourth-hand” while freely admitting she had already filed for the divorce a week ago. She wants to blame him for something, but was just mad she got caught.
My husband defended him as doing his pastoral duty. I looked him straight in the eyeballs and said, “The fact that you are defending this man’s actions yesterday is one of a thousand reasons I cannot stay married to you.”
Someone should compile of book of these divorce stories, as told by the wife. No one would believe the stories, if from the husbands. I previously posted Elon Musk's wife's story. It would be considered misogyny, if it were not straight from the wives themselves.

Here is another relationship gone bad:
Representative Mark Sanford, whose extramarital affair destroyed his marriage, roiled South Carolina politics and gave new meaning to the phrase “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” turned to Facebook on Friday to announce the breakup of his engagement to the Argentine woman he once called his soul mate.

In a rambling post that ran 2,346 words, Mr. Sanford said that the “agony of divorce” and a custody fight with his former wife, Jenny, had put such a strain on his relationship with his fiancée, María Belén Chapur, whom he called Belén, that they decided to part ways.

“No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter, and for this reason Belén and I have decided to call off the engagement,” wrote Mr. Sanford, 54. ...

It all unraveled when he tried to cover up a trip to Argentina with Ms. Chapur, telling aides that he had been unreachable for five days because he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” a phrase that has become a euphemism for infidelity. ...

His ex-wife has been less forgiving than voters seem to have been.

Ahead of last year’s special election, Mrs. Sanford filed a lawsuit claiming that he violated the terms of their divorce by trespassing on her property.

The legal proceedings grew more contentious this month, when Mrs. Sanford tried to curb his visitation rights with their 15-year-old son. She also wanted Mr. Sanford to be required to have psychological counseling and take anger management classes. (The Sanfords also have three other sons.)

Before publishing his Facebook post, Mr. Sanford had filed a legal motion for a gag order to prevent Mrs. Sanford from disparaging him publicly.
I might have predicted that the Argentine soul mate would not last. I am surprised it lasted this long.

There is no excuse for the family court dragging this out to a 5-year divorce and child custody fight. Trespassing accusation? Counseling? Classes? There is no need for any of this nonsense. The judge should have just ordered joint custody 5 years ago.
Sanford's Facebook rant says:
In this light I have struggled in how to respond since being contacted little more than a week ago regarding yet another lawsuit by yet a new, and third, lawyer retained by my former wife Jenny. I first learned of it through the media and I didn’t want to respond at all, but given the level of accusation after waiting a day I gave a brief response. ...

Two, I am going to get a lawyer to defend me on this case. I will instruct them not to fight back, to work to de-escalate and defuse and to look for measured justice and an end to controversy. At the time of the divorce I did not get a lawyer because I could not imagine standing in a court room with one in some adversarial form against the mother of our boys. Since then, and almost as clock work over the last four and one half years since the divorce, unfortunately there has been either the threat of lawsuit or actual lawsuit about every six months. In every instance I have either settled, represented myself or gotten two longtime friends to help me in responding. I have always tried to quiet the matter because at so many different levels I wanted to do anything to avoid conflict. ...

Three, let’s recognize the degree to which what’s being done seems designed to embarrass me rather than change anything. As mentioned I never hired a lawyer at the time of the divorce which in practical terms means I just folded all the cards in giving Jenny what she wanted at that time. ...

Jenny’s attorney’s newest summons asks that the visitation schedule be changed to limit my visitation with our youngest son Blake. The question is how do you change what does not exist? There is no visitation schedule. She has full custody. Over the last five years she has determined the visitation schedule and informed me at the beginning of this year that I would not be given one. I pleaded otherwise, pointing out that no boy wants to be put in the place of having to pick between their mother and dad. ...

In their summons I am “restrained” from the following:

“Consuming or being under the influence of illegal drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol in the presence, or while responsible for, the care of the minor child.” ...

"Exposing the minor child overnight to a member of the opposite sex not related by blood who could be reasonably construed as a paramour.” Though Jenny herself has certainly not lived up to this clause it is clearly aimed at me given near everyone knows about Belen and in that regard it seems designed to create intrigue where none exists.
I can relate to some of this. I similarly did not hire a lawyer or go on the counter-attack. I was always playing defense while enduring many years of bogus attacks against me. You would think that the judge would give us some credit for being the reasonable one, but it does not work that way. Sanford has no child custody rights, and still gets motions against him.

In another marriage gone sour, the Dilbert cartoonist announces that he is separated from his wife, and is re-evaluating the concept of marriage:
I don't think traditional marriage is going away anytime soon. But it probably isn't a coincidence that there are more single and divorced people than ever. Traditional marriage is the biggest obstacle to happiness in the United States. I give it twenty years before society acknowledges it to be a bad fit for modern times.

In the future I think you will see organized groups of "friends" that share duties to make all of their lives easier. One friend might enjoy raising kids and hate working a traditional job, so that friend stays home and does childcare for several single parents in return for a share of the collective income of the group. That is just an example, but you can see how one might engineer a better system than marriage.

If you disagree with anything I've written today, look around the next time you are on vacation. When you see couples vacationing with friends they usually look happy. When you see a married couple having dinner together - just the two of them for the ten-thousandth time - they both look like they came from a funeral.

Marriage is probably a great solution for 20% of the public. The rest of us need better systems.
Of course he is wealthy, has no kids, and married a woman who already had a couple of kids from a previous marriage. So presumably she kept the kids and got a huge financial settlement from him. He is also an original thinker who is willing to map out his life his way.

Is he right? Is marriage outmoded? Marriage is being redefined to suit LGBTs, feminists, lawyers, welfare queens, and others. As that happens, it is not so much meeting the needs of people like Scott Adams. He says that he has an amicable split, but I bet he does not marry a woman with kids again.

Friday, September 12, 2014

CPS core value: the state knows what’s best for kids

I posted about British CPS and nanny, but I just learned that initialism is confusing. The term "CPS" stands for Children Protective Services in the USA, altho most states have renamed it as Dept. of Children and Families or something like that as their authority expanded beyond children. In Britain CPS stands for something else, as explained below.

Here is a British essay that places the blame squarely on what I call the BIOTCh:
For the past week, the British public has watched in horror as the British state tore a dying child from his family. On Saturday, Brett and Naghmeh King were arrested for removing their son Ashya, who has a brain tumour, from Southampton General Hospital and fleeing abroad. Only today are the family set to be reunited. For decades, defenders of the legal framework around children have boasted of its abilities to manage a child’s ‘best interests’. Yet on Saturday afternoon, a five-year-old child with a brain tumour was removed from the only people with whom he is familiar and thrust into an alien environment while his parents were locked in prison. Whatever the eventual outcome of this case, we can say with certainty that no legal system which claims to be concerned with the ‘interests of the child’ should have allowed this to happen.

While the decision-making processes of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Hampshire police will no doubt be analysed in minute detail in the coming weeks, with statement after statement delivered to explain why certain decisions were made and who will be held accountable, it is important to remember that no one person or organisation can be held solely responsible. Rather, what happened was the logical climax of a series of trends in criminal and family law, which have disregarded the authority and autonomy of parents in favour of official intervention at any cost.

Yesterday, the CPS finally withdrew the European arrest warrants which had been issued for the Kings. It said in a statement that ‘the necessary element of wilful neglect to support a charge of child cruelty had not been made out’. While the CPS was discovering that its original case for the warrants was complete nonsense, the Kings had been arrested and detained in Spain and Ashya had been taken into protective custody. He had already been made a permanent ward of the court the day after he was taken from hospital, meaning, effectively, that his parents had already lost all of their rights to care for him. ...

When Ashya’s parents struck out and asserted their own judgement over that of the state, they offended a core value at the heart of both government and the child-protection industry: that the state knows what’s best for kids. For the government, and those involved in advocating greater child protection, the rights of parents are often treated as mere legal obstacles to be overcome in the process of intervention.

What is needed following the Ashya King case is a fundamental shift in culture away from assuming the worst about parents. If anyone deserves the blame for what happened to the Kings, it is the interventionist politicians and child-advocacy groups, which consistently encourage state bodies to ignore the judgement of parents. We should stop assuming that any act of defiance against state intrusion in favour of parental judgement is an act of neglect. We should learn from the Kings’ example that often such defiance can demonstrate compassion, love and an unapologetic commitment to a child’s welfare.
Both the British and American CPS are the enemies of good parents.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Defending Ray Rice

The second biggest news story this week was Pres. Barack Obama getting us into another illegal war caused by his own incompetence. Butthe biggest story was Ray Rice being kicked out of football over an elevator video. And the only difference of opinion is over whether others should be fired for not blackballing him earlier. And whether it is acceptable to blame the victim for apologizing and sticking with her husband.

I may be the only one defending him.

First, I don't see why his private marital relations are anybody's business. They could be sodomizing each other for all I know or care. The elevator incident is no more a concern to others as sodomy.

Second, the matter has no relevance to football. Over 30% of NFL players have been charged with a serious, violent crime. In an ideal world, everyone would be well behaved, but the quality of professional athletics would be diminish if they kicked out every offender.

I can understand disciplining players who take performance-enhancing drugs or bet on their own games, because that undermines the sport. But if charged with a non-sport-related crime, they can just let the criminal justice system handle it.

Third, Rice has not committed any crime. I know the video looks bad, and Rice was indicted. But Janay may have started the fight, for all we know, and the video shows her striking him. No one was seriously hurt, as far as we know. Janay appears unconscious, but it is not clear whether a punch did it, or it was her head hitting the rail. At any rate, she has not made a criminal complaint, and it is not clear that he could be convicted of anything.

Broadcaster Ted Robinson was suspended for saying that Janay was pathetic for sticking with Ray. To keep his job, he was forced to say:
I understand that the cycle of abuse keeps people in unhealthy relationships. No blame or responsibility should ever be placed on a victim.
He also has to attend sensitivity training, aka re-education camp. I guess this is currently the feminist party line, but I consider it more offensive than his original remarks.

He is essentially saying that Janay is too incompetent to be responsible for what she says and does. If that is really true, maybe she should be committed to an insane asylum. But it is not true. She has chosen to stay with the man she loves, and that is not a crazy thing to do.

You are probably going to say that pro football is just entertainment; that public figures should learn to behave themselves in public; and that Ray cannot make a living playing football if no one wants to watch him. Okay I can accept that. Likewise I could accept it if Jennifer Lawrence had to abandon acting because her naked selfies got leaked and the public did not approve.

My quarrel is witht Pres. Obama, VP Biden, and everyone else who are actively trying to destroy Ray and Janay Rice. They are unnecessarily sticking their noses into private affairs. They are peddling dubious psychology. They are saying a woman should not stand by her man, and she should not be criticized for it either. They are saying a footballer should live a nonviolent life. They are full of contradictions.

Call me insensitive, if you wish, but I think that the world has gone made over trivial incidents like this.

Update: The nonsense only gets worse:
As calls for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign grow, a bipartisan group of 16 female senators wrote a letter to league urging a zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence. The letter, which brings up the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, calls on the league to "institute a real zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence that will ensure that this type of violence and abuse has no place in the NFL."

The letter, also sent to the Baltimore Sun, notes that the Rice incident isn't even the first case of domestic violence in the NFL this year and argued that the league's new policy isn't strict enough. "If you violently assault a woman, you shouldn’t get a second chance to play football in the NFL," the senators wrote.
What's next, nonviolent football games? Zero tolerance for off-sides?

If these women get their way, then any football wife will know that she can end the career of her husband by making a 911 call. And end the marriage too, probably. So only the vindictive will call 911, or the ones who do not mind losing the big money lifestyle of an NFL player. These zero tolerance policies are nearly always foolish.

Update: More recent figures show that 2.5% of NFL players are arrested each year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My moms don't have any rings

Same sex marriage is gaining legal acceptance more and more. Not because of popular acceptance, but because our elites are imposing it on us. The surprising thing is the argument that is winning the day.

The gay lobby used to be convinced that their best argument was that LGBT folks are born that way. However that has turned out to be a lousy argument in court, and it has been largely abandoned.

People used to be against gay and lesbian adoptions, in part because children might be stigmatized by having perverted parents. Now the conservatives have quit making this argument, and the LGBTQIA lobby is making it. Here is a LGBT legal brief in support of same-sex marriage:
Feelings of stigmatization, inferiority, and de-legitimization are common themes heard by the amici who work every day with children raised by same-sex parents. The former program director of amicus COLAGE told the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission that many children with whom she has worked have had their peers “question[] the validity of their families because their parents aren’t able to get married.”35 This, in turn, can lead children to have insecurity about their parents’ relationship, including the fear that somebody is going to come and break up their family.”36 They do not understand the distinction that the Marriage Laws make between their families and other families headed by different-sex couples, leaving them feeling vulnerable and confused.
Also:
My friends are starting to get engaged and married. We talk about what we want our weddings to be like, and how we want our engagement rings to look. We are in our mid-twenties, but you might think we were about twelve years old if you heard the way that my friends describe having always coveted their mothers’ rings or telling stories of their parents’ proposals. My moms don’t have any rings.
Also:
Excluding same-sex couples from marriage tells their children that the most important relationships in their lives are inferior, unworthy of state validation and protection. To children of same-sex parents, marriage inequality is “hurtful,”39 and it makes them feel “angry,”40 and “devastated,”41 and that their family is “less valued.”42 Same-sex marriage bans like those in Indiana and Wisconsin tell children that their families are “not legitimate” and “not welcome.”43 They create an insecurity — “a corrosive feeling of doubt” — in the perceived stability of their family.44
This is the argument that seems to persuade Judge Richard Posner, who is supposedly our smartest federal appeals judge.

Here is what Posner and the gays think is the killer argument:
Posner homed in on the impediments created for same-sex couples who adopt children. Observing that such children would benefit if their parents got the benefit of the breaks and other legal marital benefits, he asked, “These children would be better off if their parents could marry, no? It’s obvious.”

Posner noted the documented psychological stress suffered by the adopted offspring of unmarried same-sex couples, like wondering why their schoolmates’ parents were married and theirs were not. “What horrible stuff,” Posner said. What benefit to society could possibly be gained in barring gay marriage, he asked, that “outweighs that kind of damage to children?” “These people and their adopted children are harmed by your law,” Posner said of same sex couples. “The question is what is the offsetting benefit of your law. Who is being helped?” Samuelson offered the generality that “society as a whole” benefited by preserving marriage as it has long been defined. Posner asked if anyone would be harmed if same-sex couples were allowed to marry. He did not get an answer, because there isn’t one, but you would think the lawyers would have had an answer to it prepared.
The argument is fallacious, and Posner is a moron. First, legal legitimacy is not the same as public acceptance or social respectability. California has gone back and forth on issuing same-sex marriage certificates, and I haven't noticed any effect on anyone's views.

Second, the state does not automatically change policy just to boost the self-esteem of insecure and psychologically troubled folks. If it did, then it would wipe clean criminal arrest and conviction records, as those stigmatize folks also.

Third, our schools are about half illegitimate kids already, or children of divorce. Having unmarried parents is not much of a stigma anymore.

Fourth, the main thing wrong with the argument, is that it misunderstands how government incentivizes behavior. The govt recognizes marriages in order to encourage parents to take care of their kids. On balance it does that, regardless of complaints from those not getting the benefit.

Another govt policy is to give a tax deduction for home mortgage payments to incentivize home ownership. (I happen to think it does a lousy job of that, but that is beside the point.) One could easily find examples of where someone did not need the deduction, or someone deserved a deduction even tho he doesn't qualify, or other alleged imperfections. All tax policy is that way. So are most govt laws and regulations. These aspects do not make the policies unconstitutional.

Instead we have a huge assortment of anti-family policies, such as welfare to single moms. We have more illegitimate kids as a result. We have family courts that bust up families. We have onerous child support. Read this blog for many other examples.

Now we have judges like Posner who deny that the state has any legitimate interest in promoting nuclear families. At the hearing, he babbled endlessly about how elderly people are allowed to marry, even if they cannot have kids, about how there are thousands of kids in the foster care system who might be adopted by same-sex partners if they were allowed to marry, and about how a kid with two lesbian mommies might feel better if those lesbians wore rings.

I am not sure the kid does feel better if he has two lesbians as legal parents, thereby nullifying the biological dad. But even if he does, the same argument to a kid with polygamous or incestuous parents. Legalizing the arrangements might make a few people happier, at the cost of encouraging a lot of behavior that is detrimental to society.

We have a shortage of suitable kids for adoption. That's why couples try to get them from China, Russia, or Ethiopia. Encouraging marriage among the 1% or so of LGBTQIA folks is not going to help anything.

The gay lobby has succeed in making it politically incorrect to criticize homosexuality. We have gay tv shows winning lots of Emmys, and gay companies selling lots of iPhones. But I am not sure that getting the votes of a few elite intellectuals like Posner is going to remove the stigma. It is hard to force respect. Everyone knows that same-sex marriage was against the will of the California people, and against most major religions.

Update: Here is a gay site praising Posner:
Posner homed in on the impediments created for same-sex couples who adopt children. Observing that such children would benefit if their parents got the benefit of the breaks and other legal marital benefits, he asked, “These children would be better off if their parents could marry, no? It’s obvious.”

Posner noted the documented psychological stress suffered by the adopted offspring of unmarried same-sex couples, like wondering why their schoolmates’ parents were married and theirs were not. “What horrible stuff,” Posner said. What benefit to society could possibly be gained in barring gay marriage, he asked, that “outweighs that kind of damage to children?” “These people and their adopted children are harmed by your law,” Posner said of same sex couples. “The question is what is the offsetting benefit of your law. Who is being helped?” Samuelson offered the generality that “society as a whole” benefited by preserving marriage as it has long been defined. Posner asked if anyone would be harmed if same-sex couples were allowed to marry. He did not get an answer, because there isn’t one, but you would think the lawyers would have had an answer to it prepared.
And here is the more recent 9th Circuit appeal argument:
It was clear that Stewart had no real evidence to show the harm that is caused by gay marriage. All he could do is predict horrible things will happen if Idaho has gay marriage, such as the state will see a rise in "dad-less" or "mom-less" families. When Judge Berzon challenged him to cite evidence, Stewart fumbled through that question, citing numbers that showed that only about 58% of the state's children came from a mom-dad family unit. Judge Gould grew weary of the "child's bonding right" argument, and asked Stewart where that "bonding right" came from since it was not in the Bill of Rights. Stewart then admitted that he made up the phrase to collectively describe his argument that a child does best when it has a mother and a father who are married. Judge Reinholdt said if the state was so worried about marriage, shouldn't it ban divorce? Stewart then launched into a diatribe against no-fault divorce, again veering far off the issue at hand. Judge Berzon summed it up best when she told Stewart that the "train has already left the station" on marriage being redefined, using historical milestones to rebut his argument.
Yes, the anti-marriage train has left the station, and our ruling elites to eliminate kids having a right to a mom and a dad.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

How Divorced Parents Lost Their Rights

I mentioned psychology professor Robert E. Emery in 2005 and 2008 because he co-authored an article on how child custody evaluations are unscientific voodoo.

Now he has a NY Times op-ed on how family courts should allow parents to make agreements to let special masters settle disputes.

This would be a big bonanza for divorce psychologists like him, but the whole idea of psychologists running the lives of parents is a terrible idea. People would only agree to it if they were convinced that family court is worse (as it might well be).

Nevertheless the article makes several good points.
How Divorced Parents Lost Their Rights

MY wife and I disagree, sometimes vehemently, about how best to raise our four children. She’s a lawyer, and I am sure the thought of suing me has crossed her mind once or twice. But she cannot. American courts consistently refuse to entertain child-rearing disputes between married parents.

In 1936, the New York State Court of Appeals explained the reasoning: “Dispute between parents when it does not involve anything immoral or harmful to the welfare of the child is beyond the reach of the law. The vast majority of matters concerning the upbringing of children must be left to the conscience, patience, and self-restraint of father and mother. No end of difficulties would arise should judges try to tell parents how to bring up their children.”

Married parents cannot sue each other. Divorced parents (or those who never married) can and do. Judges routinely decide where the children of divorced parents will attend school, worship and receive medical care; judges may even decide whether they play soccer or take piano lessons.

Judges do this because the law assumes that divorced parents’ interests in their children, unlike the interests of married parents, are not aligned. This is an outdated idea. The view of exes as opponents dates from an era when divorce and childbearing outside of marriage were rare. It is reflected in the legal language of a bygone time. One parent won custody, care and control of the children. The other became a visitor.
So far so good. Married parents should not be able to sue each other, and unmarried should not be able to sue over routine parental decisions either.
Surprisingly, even when unmarried parents agree on a plan, judges can overrule it. For example, a judge may not like a complex joint custody schedule. If so, she can decide when the separated parents spend time with their children, even though they agreed otherwise.

This makes no sense. We may need judges to decide some divorce disputes. But when it comes to parenting, as much as possible, the law should treat unmarried people more like married people. Instead of telling parents how to bring up their children, we should honor — and encourage — agreements between parents.
To my knowledge, judges nearly always approve parenting plans if the parents stipulate (agree). So this is not an issue.

The problem is that if the parents disagree later, the judge may not enforce that parenting plan.
By honoring parental agreements, our laws would allow parents living apart to make enforceable contracts. Parents could make a deal, for example, that a parenting coordinator could make decisions for them in the future if they fail to agree. Currently, the legal status of such agreements is questionable, because judges, not divorced parents, hold decision-making authority over children. In an extreme move, Pennsylvania recently outlawed this practice, ruling that only judges could make decisions in custody cases.
It does make sense. Here is what I wrote about that Penn. decision:
One of the worst ideas to come out of the family court was to appoint some expert to micro-manage parenting decisions, without recourse to the courts. It sounds appealing to have some neutral objective child psychologist in charge because dumb parents don't know how to raise kids and might be influenced by antagonism towards the other parent. The idea would be a horrible nightmare even if it did work. But it has not worked wherever it has been tried.

National Parents Organization. reports: "Pennsylvania just eliminated the Parenting Coordinator role that it began five years ago. According to The Legal Intelligencer, its demise is related to a couple of high profile cases." ...

I had a $28,000 evaluation from psychologist Ken Perlmutter, and his main recommendation was for the court to appoint a parenting coordinator who would have the authority to make all parenting decisions until the kids turn 18 years old, with no recourse or appeal if he is making bad decisions. This was in spite of the fact that he had evaluated our 4 years of joint custody, and could not find a single bad decision that we had made.

The kind of people who do these evaluations and become parenting coordinators are the worst sort of creeps. You would never want anyone like Perlmutter near your kids. I don't know who ever decided that psychologists were good for this sort of thing. There has never been a study showing that psychologist rear kids any better than anyone else.
In the big majority of cases, the parents are pressured to accepting the evaluation recommendations. If my ex-wife and I did that, our kids lives would be run by some a**hole like Perlmutter.

Kids have two parents. No one has found a better way. It is my understanding that the Santa Clara court and some other California family courts have abolished these parenting coordinators.

Emery continues:
Allowing parents to make contracts would help solve another thorny problem: sharing care of very young children. Experts are debating how much time babies should spend with just one parent versus with both parents. Many believe that babies need to form a secure attachment to one parent (most often the mother) and that too much separation will undermine a baby’s sense of security. Others worry that too little contact will weaken the second parent’s attachment, potentially leading him to drop out of his child’s life.

A logical solution is for parents to make a plan that will grow and change along with their child. A baby might stay mostly with one parent, and time with the other parent could increase during the toddler and preschool years. Perhaps the parents would share 50-50 custody when their baby is of school age.

Sadly, this common-sense approach is undermined by laws that do not honor such agreements, and push parents to fight instead. Lawyers wisely tell breast-feeding mothers to fight for full custody. Judges are likely to be sympathetic to a nursing mother. Yet lawyers also wisely tell the fathers of babies to fight for their custody share. The father’s case will be weakened if he waits until his baby is older, because he will have a record of relative uninvolvement.
There is some merit to this argument, and the law used to favor the breast-feeding mom under the Tender Years Doctrine, but now that is considered sexist and disciminatory. His proposal will not solve that problem.
Our legal system has always seen the wisdom of encouraging married parents to work together. Now it needs to recognize that divorced and never-married parents are not so different. After all, partners with children are tied together forever.
This is a strange comment because his main proposal is for divorced parents to get parenting coordinators, and he is not suggesting that for married parents.

California and many other states already treat divorced and never-married parents the same for child custody and support. These laws are anti-marriage when they treat marrieds and unmarrieds the same.
Your emotional impulse in divorce is to hurt back, because you hurt so badly. Our legal system should work against that impulse, not encourage it. That, truly, is in the best interest of the child.
I just posted a study claiming to show that the children do not benefit at all from the parents holding back that impulse. That study may be wrong, but Emery is relying heavily on unproven assumptions.

At least Emery clearly explains part of what is wrong with the family court. Too bad his ideas for reform are so stupid.

Emery frames his argument in terms of consenting adults making a binding contract. I guess I would have to agree, if that is what the parents really want to do. But it appears that I am in a minority. President Barack Obama just released a statement about some black football player who had a fight with his fiancee in an elevator:
The President is the father of two daughters. And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society. Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that's true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football — and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.
Apparently everyone agrees that Ray Rice should not be allowed to play football. The video looks incriminating, but we don't know what the fight was about and the woman decided to marry him even after he was indicted for the incident. I really don't see why Obama or the NFL should be interjecting themselves into a private incident between a husband and wife with neither of them complaining. In today's politics, domestic violence is everybody's business I guess.

Update: The NY Times published this letter in response:
I am a member of Gov. Deval Patrick’s Massachusetts Working Group on Family Law. After two years of work, we crafted a bill very similar to the points raised by Mr. Emery. The bill, not yet passed, does away with the term “visitor” and replaces it with “parent.” The bill encourages parents to cooperate, share parental responsibilities and come up with a parenting plan.

Married and divorced parents are not different. The “emotional impulse” in divorce “to hurt back” hurts the children only more. There is no greater pain than to be alienated from one’s children after separation and divorce, and most children wish that “parents would stop putting me in the middle.”

Children benefit from having contact with both parents after separation and divorce. Massachusetts and other states should pass shared parenting laws so that children can grow up knowing and loving both parents.

PETER G. HILL
Weston, Mass., Sept. 8, 2014
I doubt that his bill is any good, if his main point is changing some terminology. What is needed is a bill that recognizes parents rights, and not just using different terms.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Amicable divorce is just as damaging

The conventional wisdom among psychologists and other shrinks is that divorce is a good thing if the parents have "grown apart" and seek personal happiness elsewhere. But they all say that they should be amicable for the sake of the kids.

The UK Daily Mail throws cold water on the idea:
Amicable divorce 'is just as damaging for children': Impact of a split on youngsters is same if couple remain friends or not

Divorcing parents who try to maintain an amicable relationship for the sake of their children are doing nothing to help them, a major study suggests.

The impact of the split on youngsters is the same whether or not the mother and father keep cordial links, it found.

The findings undermine a Government-backed consensus that the harm caused to children by separating parents can be limited if the couple remain friends. ...


But the researchers, headed by Dr Jonathon Beckmeyer of Indiana University, found that these children’s problems were no worse if their parents continued to row and bicker with each other after the divorce.
It is just one stupid study, and I would not take it too seriously. A reader comments:
Did they compare it to children whose parents don't divorce, but who live in constant violence and conflict? I'm pretty sure that the children are more damaged by fighting and violence in the home than by the divorce afterwards.
I don't have an opinion about this, except that the shrinks should get some data before dispensing their bad advice.

There is something freaky about a very amicable divorce. It is supposedly done for the sake of the kids, but I am not sure it is a good thing to lie to your kids about what is really going on, or to demonstrate that you are willing to destroy a marriage for trivial reasons.
I say if my wife wants a divorce I would never want to be amicable with her - you are either with me until the end, or you will never be a part of my life EVER.
I get that too, and I am not sure it is good to be friends with someone who betrayed you.
You cannot base the results on the say so of parents. Lets be honest what parent is going to admit that the children are in need of the non custodial parent, after all that won't help their agenda in forcing the non custodial parent out of the children's lives. When my mother threw my dad out of the house in a temper, my brother and I were made to choose between dad and mom, if we even let show any emotion we would be made to feel bad and guilty, we weren't allowed to talk about my dad or say anything nice about him, in the end we bottled it up and just got on with life. Children know when to keep quiet and its usually a self preservation tool, I speak from experience. If you truly have your children's best interests at heart, you must fight for 50/50 shared custody, where both parents are as equally involved as the children's lives as the other, children should never have to feel like they have to hide their emotions during divorce, its not good for them.
There are a lot of dads who give up on child custody because they think that a legal fight would be bad for the kids. If the system worked right, 50/50 shared custody would be automatic, and not require a fight.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Brewington posts his evaluation

Dan Brewington has posted his Child Custody Evaluation Report by Dr. Edward J. Connor, 8.29.2007. It is rare to see a real report in a contested case, as the incompetence of the psychologist and judge is on full display.

Dan already served a prison term for challenging this report, so I hope he does not get into more trouble. In my opinion, he certainly has a right to publicly defend himself against the govt accusations.

California has a law against releasing an evaluation. If I could post my evaluation from psychologist Ken Perlmutter, I could show what an incompetent and malicious creep he is. I did post a complaint to the state board that shows that he should have lost his license. See also subsequent posts where the state board obtained detailed documentation of his bad behavior.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Attacks on the manosphere

This is not a Men's Rights blog. I mainly advocate for parental rights, and against infringement by CPS and the family court. I regularly post about moms who are denied their rights.

But I am a man and a dad, and that is my perspective.

NPR Radio reported:
This summer, a few hundred men and a handful of women gathered in a VFW hall near Detroit to attend what organizers billed as the first International Conference on Men's Issues.

The crowd wasn't huge, but it was enthusiastic. The event was a real-world gathering organized by the website A Voice for Men, part of an informal collection of websites, chat rooms and blogs focused on what's known as the men's rights movement. Speaker after speaker insisted that history would remember this moment.

"It's happening here. It's happening now. It's happening with us," Warren Farrell, one of the keynote speakers, told the crowd. Farrell, who published The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex in 1993, is often described as the intellectual father of the men's rights movement.
Of course NPR is politically leftist, and they cannot resist throwing in some name-calling:
Futrelle's not the only one who's concerned about men's rights groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center — which normally tracks white supremacists and other hate groups — says the men's rights movement has attracted a "hard-line fringe" who endorse violence and hatred against women.
I have criticized the SPLC before, for being a vile anti-white-Christian hate group, and for attacking the manosphere, and for using tragedies to push its leftist agenda.

The SPLC just released its latest hate report. Warning: its pages do not load unless you run some javascript spyware in your browser. There is another rant against the manospere:
America’s latest mass murder left seven people including the killer dead, the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the nearby community of Isla Vista in shock, and the so-called men’s rights movement, which some blamed for the slaughter, defensive, angry and resentful — its usual attitude.

It didn’t take long after 22-year-old Elliot Rodger stabbed and shot six people to death, injuring another 13 before committing suicide as police closed in, for the world to learn of Rodger’s hatred of women. ...

Rodger’s postings at PUAHate immediately focused public attention on the so-called “manosphere,” an ugly subculture of websites run by men’s rights activists that is typified by its loathing for women in general and feminism in particular. (PUAHate is dedicated to criticizing “pick-up artists” who sell men advice ...

The manosphere was explored in an Intelligence Report article more than two years ago, but most Americans had never heard of it when Rodger’s rampage burst into the news cycle. Still, it didn’t take long for a national debate to develop about the role of the men’s rights movement in Elliot Rodger’s mass murder.
Rodger was mentally ill. He posted on an anti-manosphere site, and not one of the sites that the SPLC attacks.

Stirring up racial animosity and attacking white Christians is the SPLC's bread and butter. The report also has a
book review:
Nicholas Wade’s new book, A Troublesome Inheritance, is only the latest in a long line of works arguing that humans can be divided into discrete races, and that between those races, there are differences in behavior, temperament, intelligence, and even political and economic structures. Although the specifics of the arguments change, what remains constant is the idea that white people of European descent are inherently smarter, better, more “civilized” than members of other races, especially black Africans and their descendants. Wade’s work is no exception. ...

Wade’s book has been publicly endorsed by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, championed by noted white supremacists like Jared Taylor, John Derbyshire, and Steve Sailer, and tirelessly promoted on the neo-Nazi Web forum Stormfront,
There is rebuttal of any facts or science in the book. just this sort of guilt-by-association game. Most of the review consists of attacks on people who have nothing to do with the book. Duke was in the KKK 40 years ago. Derbyshire has a non-white wife. Sailer is a journalist who reports on ethnic matters, but is not a white supremacist either. Stormfront allows all postings, including pro-Nazi and anti-Nazi, as far as I know.

I could play this game too, and find associations between the SPLC and other anti-white, anti-Christian, and anti-freedom hatemongers. I'll skip it this time. Figure it out for yourself.

The Dilbert cartoonist has a rant against feminism:
My only objection to feminism is that in order for any group to be politically effective it needs to promote a worldview in which there are two kinds of people: Assholes and victims. Nuance doesn't work for politics. Political change needs good and evil and no gray area in the middle. So in the feminist political battle, men are automatically included in the asshole category no matter their personal situation. I don't think that is a conscious decision. It just works out that way. ...

My point in all of this is that feminism is sexist by design. It has to be that way to be politically effective. You need a big, bad enemy because without it you can't generate the kind of change you need. I don't disagree with the strategy because it works, and historically it was in the service of a good cause. ...

In 2014, much of what passes as feminism sounds to my ears like "men are assholes." The more nuanced reality is that people who either have too much power or too little power can be awful humans regardless of gender. And the people in the middle aren't much better.
I think he is right that the feminist movement is more about demonizing men than arguing for equal rights. But the SPLC does not criticize them.

Update: Wade is a NY Times science reporter, and denies that he said that whites are inherently smarter. He says:
To the contrary, my book explicitly takes no position on the cause of racial differences in I.Q. results, given the difficulty of assessing the many factors other than genetics that heavily influence I.Q. scores.
As usual, hate-filled libel from the SPLC and the anti-white-Christian left.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Something is rotten in Rotterham

Is is possible that the English equivalent of CPS ignore Pakistani Moslem immigrants raping teenaged white girls because it would have been racist to do something? Hard to believe, but that is widely reported:
A story of rampant child abuse—ignored and abetted by the police — is emerging out of the British town of Rotherham. Until now, its scale and scope would have been inconceivable in a civilized country. Its origins, however, lie in something quite ordinary: what one Labour MP called “not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat.”
CH writes:
There are two camps of thinking. One says Rotherham is the logical outcome of extreme white ethnomasochism, which is itself a manifestation of pathological altruism, a reflexive mental condition that evolved over millennia of outbreeding. In this take, self-loathing, holier-than-thou whites in positions of power (and less powerful whites refusing to demand accountability from their leaders) are so wedded to their equalist ideology that they will allow the rapes of 1,400 white women and girls by brown skinned goatherders to continue ad infinitum until they are called to the carpet by the preponderance of evidence (and by samizdat rebels releasing uncomfortable facts). ...

The second theory is that the anti-white elite whites aren’t at all ethnomasochists, but are instead a burgeoning new (or orthogonally ancient) race of whites — and here I use the term race in its figurative as well as genetic senses — who don’t perceive themselves at all as part of a broader white identity that must be preserved against barbarian attack. ...

Which theory is true, or more true, is debatable. What isn’t is that these traitors need to swing from the gallows soon, before their sickness infects us all and dooms us to extinction. ...

Events in Rotherham are the entirely predictable result of two policies which have been the milk and honey of the left for 40 years:

1 – Unfettered immigration, favouring people from the most backward, ingrate cultures on this Earth, coupled with…
2 – The destruction of the traditional white family unit, to be replaced by the achingly clumsy machinery of the state as primary carer to children (and child like adults).
Someday historians are going to ask: Who thought that it was a good idea to import millions of Moslem immigrants?

While the British CPS allows abuse when it does not want to appear racist, they are over-aggressive against parents who want to make their own decisions. The LA Times reports:
The parents of a cancer-stricken boy were behind bars in Spain and facing extradition to Britain on Monday after taking their son from an English hospital without doctors’ consent to seek advanced medical treatment abroad.

Ashya King, 5, was diagnosed with brain cancer this year and underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumor, a medulloblastoma. His father, Brett King, says he was unhappy with the follow-up radiation and chemotherapy that British doctors prescribed.

In a YouTube video, Brett King, Ashya's father, says that he took his son to Spain for an innovative treatment known as proton beam therapy.

King and his wife, Naghmeh, took their son from Southampton General Hospital on Thursday, sparking an international search for the family. The Hampshire police obtained a European arrest warrant for the couple on the grounds of child neglect. The Kings were arrested in Malaga, Spain, on Sunday.

Afterward, a video was posted to YouTube in which Brett King explains that he’d taken Ashya to receive an innovative treatment known as proton beam therapy, which Britain’s National Health Service, or NHS, provides only for eye cancers.
Britain is ahead of us in terms of nanny state policies and socialized medicine. Soon Obamacare regulations will decide what medical care your kid should have, and it will be child abuse for parents to use their own judgment.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Foster system drugging our kids

The San Jose Mercury News has a special report:
With alarming frequency, foster and health care providers are turning to a risky but convenient remedy to control the behavior of thousands of troubled kids: numbing them with psychiatric drugs that are untested on and often not approved for children.

An investigation by this newspaper found that nearly 1 out of every 4 adolescents in California’s foster care system is receiving these drugs — 3 times the rate for all adolescents nationwide. Over the last decade, almost 15 percent of the state’s foster children of all ages were prescribed the medications, known as psychotropics, part of a national treatment trend that is only beginning to receive broad scrutiny.

“We’re experimenting on our children,” said Los Angeles County Judge Michael Nash, who presides over the nation’s largest juvenile court.
Followup stories said:
With pressure on California's foster care system to curb the rampant use of powerful psych meds on children, concern is mounting about the doctors behind the questionable prescribing.

For months, the state has adamantly refused to release data that this newspaper sought to expose which physicians are most responsible. Now, in response to a request from state Sen. Ted Lieu, California's medical board is investigating whether some doctors are "operating outside the reasonable standard of care."
And this:
Some of the state's most influential lawmakers on Monday called on California's foster care system to stop the reckless prescribing of psychiatric medications to troubled children, demanding the state quit spending tens of millions of tax dollars on such risky therapies.

The demand for action comes a day after this newspaper published "Drugging our Kids," an investigation that found nearly one in four adolescents in the nation's largest child welfare system is prescribed at least one psych med -- 3 1/2 times the rate of all teens.

Almost 60 percent of foster youth prescribed psychotropics in California are being given antipsychotics, the most dangerous and expensive class of the drugs, which can result in rapid-onset obesity, diabetes and uncontrollable tremors. Lawmakers expressed outrage over the newspaper's findings that many of the medications are prescribed for behavior management -- not the mental illnesses they are approved to treat -- and have little, if any, science supporting their safety and effectiveness in children.
This reporter has written several exposes of the foster care system, but she does not seem at all interested in similar problems in family court and elsewhere.

I have posted on this blog the extensive use of psychiatric drugs on foster kids in a 2011 post and a 2012 post, and also complained about dubious use of such drugs on other kids.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Britain makes emotional cruelty a crime

I have mentioned British nanny state laws, including its Cinderella law and expanding domestic violence laws, and the nonsense continues:
Men and women who trap their partners in a cycle of emotional cruelty would be prosecuted and jailed under tough new laws proposed by ministers.

In a dramatic shake-up, Home Secretary Theresa May today launched a consultation on creating a specific criminal offence of domestic abuse.

Police and prosecutors would be expected to take action against those who trap their partners in a ‘living hell’ through a campaign of psychological and financial control.

People who bully their partners by verbally abusing them, controlling their money or isolating them from friends and family could find themselves hauled before the courts.

At the moment, domestic abuse is widely taken to refer to acts of physical violence, and usually prosecuted under charges including assault, battery and actual bodily harm.

Controlling, threatening and intimidating behaviour can be covered by stalking and harassment legislation, but this is difficult to prosecute when it applies to intimate relationships, such as a husband and wife who live together.

Mrs May believes it does not properly protect victims who suffer ‘terrible’ non-violent harm, including coercive, threatening or intimidating behaviour, often for years, at the hands of so-called loved ones.

Research has shown that 30 per cent – or 5million – women and 16 per cent of men, around 2.5million, will experience domestic abuse during their lives.

Campaigners who work to tackle domestic abuse welcomed the proposals, which would carry a maximum prison sentence of five years.
I am sure feminists see this as progress, but I am not sure they have thought it thru. This makes nagging a crime, and wives nag their husbands a lot more than husbands nag their wives. Also, I suspect that wives are more guilty of trying to isolate from friends and family.

More women are also guilty of rape, if the definition is expanded:
When Lara Stemple, a researcher at UCLA looked at the latest National Crime Victimization Survey, she was shocked to see that men experienced rape and sexual assault almost as frequently as women, and that women were often the perpetrators. Once the definition of rape was expanded to include more than just penetration, it became clear that men and women were equally likely to be raped, and more importantly, equally likely to be rapists. Researchers from the University of Missouri got the same results, finding that “43% of high school boys and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and of those, 95% said a female acquaintance was the aggressor.”

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Feds defend Indians against CPS

NPR radio reports:
As part of the lawsuit, the state had to turn over rarely seen transcripts of 120 recent court hearings. In every one, the Native American children were taken into state custody.

Not a single parent was allowed to testify at the hearings. Most were not allowed to say anything except their names.

"These were virtually kangaroo courts," Pevar says. "There was nothing, nothing that any of the parents did or could have done. It was a predetermined outcome in every one of these cases."

In one case cited in the lawsuit, children were taken away from a mother who the state said was neglectful. Their father, who was divorcing the mother, appeared at the hearing and said, "I am here. Please give custody of my children to me." The judge placed the kids in foster care.

In another example, a mother returned home from work to find her children had been taken away when her babysitter got drunk. She went to the hearing to explain she was the mother. Her children were also placed in foster care.
A case under the federal Indian custody recently went to the US Supreme Court, with a bad outcome.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Domestic violence fuels immigration and NFL protests

There is a sudden exaggeration an hysteria about domestic violence. Steve Sailer notes:
From the Huffington Post:
U.S. To Consider Spousal Abuse In Immigration Claims

A government immigration board has determined for the first time that domestic violence victims may be able to qualify for asylum in the United States. The ruling comes in the case of a Guatemalan woman who crossed into the U.S. illegally in 2005 after fleeing her husband.
Are there no other countries closer to Guatemala than the U.S.? Why is the U.S. assumed to be the natural rectifier of domestic dramas around the world?

A reader suggests:
I would imagine if both spouses claimed to be victims of each other, they could both move here at the same time.
After this gets going and people all over the world figure out how to get in on it, I wonder what percentage of spousal abuse asylees will then petition to have their husbands admitted to the U.S. under “family reunification?”
The feminists are agitated about football players also:
Ravens running back Ray Rice is sitting out two games for domestic violence. A positive marijuana test triggered a yearlong ban for Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, costing him the 2014 season.

Critics of the NFL's arbitrary policy toward domestic violence point to the contrast between the punishments and say it's time for the league to crack down on players who hurt women.

Three members of Congress wrote NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to reconsider Rice's suspension, the governor of Maine says he'll boycott the league, and numerous groups that advocate for women and families condemned the penalty as too lenient.

League officials may soon take action on the matter. A person familiar with the NFL's plans says the league is looking into increasing punishments for players involved in domestic violence.
The marijuana ban seems extreme to me, but I guess the NFL is trying to avoid the image that the game is corrupted by drugs.

Sure enuf, the league caved in:
The NFL announced on Thursday that it will institute harsher punishments for players who commit domestic violence.

In a letter to team owners, NFL commissioner Roger Goodall said that the penalty for a first offense is a six-game ban under the personal conduct policy. Players who commit a second offense will be banned for life. ProFootballTalk tweeted that the new domestic violence policy was announced without input from the NFL Players Association. According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Goodell can "act unilaterally" on the new domestic violence punishments because it lies under the league's personal conduct policy.
A problem with all of this is that the term domestic violence is used for a wide range of activities from life-threatening crimes to trivial rude behavior.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wife uses porn to frame husband

Don't believe women can be vindictive? It is not enuf for this wife to get some phony restraining order to kick her husband out of the house. She tries to send him to prison. Newsday reports:
A Pennsylvania woman has been found guilty of downloading child pornography in a failed attempt to frame her estranged husband.

Meri Jane Woods, of Clymer, was convicted Wednesday in Indiana County.

District Attorney Patrick Dougherty says the 43-year-old Woods downloaded 40 images to the family computer, took it to police last August and blamed Matthew Woods for the material.

But when police examined time stamps, they determined the images had been downloaded more than two weeks after Meri Woods had her husband kicked out of their home with a protection-from-abuse order.

Woods' attorney had argued the time stamps were unreliable.

The Indiana Gazette says Woods faces up to nine years in prison when she's sentenced Dec. 15. She may also have to register as a Megan's Law offender.
The local Penn. paper has a little more info.

In other child porn news, one of Barack Obama's main Obamacare computer guy was just convicted:
As the acting cybersecurity chief of a federal agency, Timothy DeFoggi should have been well versed in the digital footprints users leave behind online when they visit web sites and download images.

But DeFoggi—convicted today in Maryland on three child porn charges including conspiracy to solicit and distribute child porn—must have believed his use of the Tor anonymizing network shielded him from federal investigators.

He’s the sixth suspect to make this mistake in Operation Torpedo, an FBI operation that targeted three Tor-based child porn sites and that used controversial methods to unmask anonymized users.

But DeFoggi’s conviction is perhaps more surprising than others owing to the fact that he worked at one time as the acting cybersecurity director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
You might think that he ought to know about cybersecurity, but the current White House cybersecurity chief is proud to know nothing about cybersecurity. We have the most incompetent White House since Jimmy Carter. They are still covering up the security problems with HealthCare.gov.

Update: Here is another story of a woman framing a man, from England:
A nurse has been struck off after being jailed for falsely accusing her grandfather of rape in a bid to claim his inheritance money.

Natalie Mortimer, from Aberdeen, was disciplined at a one-day standards hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in London.

The 25-year-old was jailed for 22 months at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in January after being convicted of wasting 175 hours of police time by fabricating claims that her grandfather Gordon Ritchie sexually abused her.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard at the time how she had falsely accused her grandfather of raping her when she was a child so she could get her hands on inheritance money.

She eventually admitted she had made up the sex attack claims - but only after her innocent grandfather had spent time in a police cell following the allegations. ...

‘What you did to Mr Ritchie was truly evil and despicable and there is only one appropriate sentence for this behaviour and that is imprisonment.’

During her sentencing, she showed no remorse as she left the court dock in handcuffs - smiling at her friends in the public gallery.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Public says all kids should be supervised

We are becoming a nanny state, and unfortunately most people are in favor of it. Lenore Skenazy, who is probably the last sensible mom, explains:
A whopping 68 percent of Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids 9 and under from playing at the park unsupervised, despite the fact that most of them no doubt grew up doing just that.

What's more: 43 percent feel the same way about 12-year-olds. They would like to criminalize all pre-teenagers playing outside on their own (and, I guess, arrest their no-good parents).

Those are the results of a Reason/Rupe poll confirming that we have not only lost all confidence in our kids and our communities—we have lost all touch with reality.

"I doubt there has ever been a human culture, anywhere, anytime, that underestimates children's abilities more than we North Americans do today," says Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, a book that advocates for more unsupervised play, not less.
Meanwhile, teenagers commonly trade naked pictures of themselves, without knowing that anything is wrong with it. Here are some Virginia panicked parents:
DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. — A Dinwiddie mother got a nasty shock when she went through her daughter’s cell phone and tablet. The pictures she discovered were so disturbing that she turned the girl in to sheriff’s deputies.

The parents discovered their 13-year-old daughter, who is about to enter the eighth-grade, had been sending and receiving naked pictures of other teens using her tablet.

And the deeper they dug, the worse it got. In fact, things got so bad they called in the sheriff’s department to investigate.

“What scares me is, this is much bigger than we realize. How many others are doing this and you don’t realize it,” asked the Dinwiddie County mother of two.

CBS 6 News is not revealing her name to protect her family’s identity.
We have draconian laws that require possessors of child porn to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives, and we have millions of teenagers who see nothing wrong with sexting.

I cannot agree with what these parents did. The child porn laws are so strict that there is no safe way to report it. The parents themselves could be charged with possessing child porn. I would just delete the pictures, lecture the girl, and monitor the situation. The idea that she is safer while at the mercy of a prosecutor is crazy. But read the comments, and you will find most of them agree with the parents.

Paranoia has been extended to high school students:
When a South Carolina student was given an assignment by his teacher to create a Facebook-type status report telling something interesting about himself, he allegedly wrote “I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business.”

School officials were alarmed by 16-year-old Alex Stone’s words and called police. Now Stone and his mother Karen Gray are speaking out to media as they feel the school overreacted.

“I could understand if they made him rewrite it because he did have ‘gun’ in it,” Gray told the NY Daily News. “I mean first of all we don’t have dinosaurs anymore. Second of all, he’s not even old enough to buy a gun.”

The cops took Stone in for questioning and searched his locker and backpack for guns. None were found.

Police told My Fox Chicago that Stone was difficult during questioning and they arrested him and charged him with disturbing the school. Stone was also suspended from Summerville High School for a week.
It should have been obvious that he wrote about a dinosaur in order to make the story clearly fictional.

An Arizona TV station reports:
Many Americans believe kids as old as 12 need adult supervision if they're going to play in public places, indoors or outside, according to a new poll that found a high number of people would support laws making it illegal to allow a 9-year-old to play unsupervised at the park.

The polls come as news outlets like U.S. News and World Reports are noting an uptick in parents arrested for letting their children do things without supervision.

Writes Tierney Sneed, "Mothers arrested in Florida and South Carolina in recent weeks are the latest in an ongoing trend of parents seeing legal punishment for letting their children play or travel in public unsupervised. The former was charged with child neglect by local authorities for letting her 7-year-old son walk to a park half a mile from their home by himself (the mother later told WPTV that a Florida Department of Children and Families official informed her the charges would likely be dropped). In South Carolina, the woman — a single mom who let her 9-year-old daughter play in a nearby park unattended while she worked her shift at McDonald's — served 17 days in jail and, if convicted of felony child neglect, could face 10 years in prison."

The recent Reasons-Rupe survey, conducted by phone in August, asked 1,000 adults about child safety issues. The pollsters found 82 percent of Americans would support a law to require supervision of kids 9 and under playing in public parks. And 63 percent said that 12 years old is too young to play without supervision.

Asked whether kids face more or fewer threats to their physical safety than when respondents were growing up, 62 percent of those polled said that the world is more dangerous today, while 30 percent said the threat level is about the same.

In reality, studies show that crime has been going down consistently for more than 20 years. In 2012, the Christian Science Monitor noted that "the last time the crime rate for serious crime — murder, rape, robbery, assault — fell to these levels, gasoline cost 29 cents a gallon and the average income for a working American was $5,807."
The public is seriously deluded about kids and risk.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Britain subsidizing sperm for lesbians

The UK Daily Mail reports on the latest efforts to eliminate dads:
Britain is to get its first NHS-funded national sperm bank to make it easier for lesbian couples and single women to have children.

For as little as £300 – less than half the cost of the service at a private clinic – they will be able to search an online database and choose an anonymous donor on the basis of his ethnicity, height, profession and even hobbies.

The bank, which is due to open in October, will then send out that donor’s sperm to a clinic of the client’s choice for use in trying for a baby.

Heterosexual couples will also be able to benefit, but the move – funded by the Department of Health – is largely designed to meet the increasing demand from thousands of women who want to start a family without having a relationship with a man.

Critics last night called it a ‘dangerous social experiment’ that could result in hundreds of fatherless ‘designer families’. ...

Britain has a major shortage of sperm donors, whose anonymity is preserved until any children they father reach the age of 18.

Women who want to have a baby using donated sperm have been routinely waiting for up to two years, with many eventually forced to seek donors abroad.

Heterosexual couples with fertility problems who need donations as part of IVF treatment will be among the customers of the new bank.

But a large percentage are predicted to be professional, single females who decide to have a baby without a man.

And based on current trends, more than a quarter of all the recipients are likely to be gay women. ...

Ms Witjens rejected suggestions that children suffer adverse consequences from lacking a father figure. ‘There is no evidence to suggest that children are better off with or without a father,’ she said. ‘There’s never been a call – from us or the Department of Health – to reduce the access to sperm for same-sex or single women. That’s a non-issue.’

Ms Witjens pointed to the removal of the reference to a ‘need for a father’ in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, when taking account of a child’s welfare when providing fertility treatment.

She added that the National Sperm Bank would also help prevent desperate women using murky unregulated services and going online to buy sperm.
There is plenty of evidence that kids are better of with fathers. But soon it will be considered homophobic to say so.