Saturday, November 14, 2015

Gay rights v Best interest

The NY Times reports:
Under fire from critics including gay rights activists and the state’s Republican governor, a judge in Utah on Friday reversed, at least temporarily, his order that a foster child be taken away from a lesbian couple because it was “not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex couples.”

While the child may remain with the couple for the moment, Judge Scott N. Johansen signaled that the matter might not be settled. He continued to question the placement of children with same-sex parents, a matter that will be taken up at a Dec. 4 hearing on what is in the best interests of this child, a 9-month-old girl. ...

Gay rights activists say the case at the heart of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, should have put such questions to rest, arguing that the right to marry plainly confers the same rights as other married couples have.
Keep in mind that these are not biological parents, or even adoptive parents. They are just foster parents, and they have no right to some baby in the foster care system. They might be many other better-suited foster parents.

Fathers have a right to marry. If a dad can lose his own kid at the judge's discretion about the BIOTCh, then surely a lesbian parent can.
“It’s not fair and it’s not right,” Ms. Hoagland told a television station, KUTV. “And it just hurts me really badly, because I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Join the club. Lots of parents have lost their genuine kids without any finding of any wrongdoing.

A gay site says:
While the judge removed the scientifically inaccurate claim that "it is not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex couples," his new order still notes the court's "concern that research has shown that children are more emotionally and mentally stable when raised by a mother and father in the same home."
Yes, research does show that same-sex couples are not good for kids. But whether they are or not, the judge can just remove those remarks from his written opinion, and just say that he thinks that some other couple would be better for this baby. He could just look at the lesbians, and decide that they are too fat to be good parents. Or he can apply any other prejudice he wants, as long as he does not put something in writing that violates non-discrimination laws or supreme court rulings.
The Human Rights Campaign has called for an investigation into Judge Johansen's conduct, ... "It is unconscionable that any judge would let bias interfere with determining the true best interest of a child and we strongly encourage the commission to take appropriate action to hold this Judge accountable and to affirm that personal bias has no place in judicial decisions in Utah."
I thought that the LGBTQIA crowd would realize that the BIOTCh is there enemy, because straight judges will almost never consider them to be in the best interest. Bias always interferes in a best interest determination.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Republicans blame family without fixing incentives

I have quit posting this nonsense, but someone sent me this WSJ op-ed from behind a paywall:
The Poverty Cure: Get Married
Black children bear the brunt of single parenthood’s harms.

... Of the many barriers to equal opportunity for African-Americans, differences of family background may well be the most consequential — and the least likely to yield to public policy. ...

In fact, the researchers conclude, neighborhoods and schools are less important than the “direct effect of family structure itself.” ...

the advantages of marriage for child well-being are “hard to replicate through policy interventions other than those that bolster marriages themselves.” And as evaluations of the George W. Bush administration’s marriage-promotion efforts show, we don’t know how to do that.
Liberals just want to give black people more welfare, so that they will vote Democrat. The conservatives, like this author, make more of an attempt to address the problems, and correctly notice the breakdown of the family as a cause, but then they are stumped. They have no idea how to strengthen the family, except maybe to promote religion.

A letter to the WSJ editor correctly explains:
Federal and state laws have created incentives for mostly poor individuals to not marry and to throw fathers out of children’s lives. Federal laws such as Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, the Tax Code, the Bradley Amendment and the Violence Against Women Act have perverse incentives that help to throw biological fathers out of children’s lives and promote single-parent households. Until we create the incentives to bring back dads and bring back marriages, we can never help these children rise out of the poverty the government helped to create.

Peter G. Hill
Weston, Mass.
Another letter points out that the WSJ publish a 2014 op-ed by a Bush administration official blamely the family, just like the above op-ed:
Given how deep the problem of poverty is, taking even more money from one citizen and handing it to another will only diminish one while doing very little to help the other. A better and more compassionate policy to fight income inequality would be helping the poor realize that the most important decision they can make is to stay in school, get married and have children — in that order.
The Republicans may recognize the breakdown of the family as a problem, but they show no sign of attempting to reverse the bad incentives that killed the family.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Lost custody to a lying lesbian cop

My local paper had this stupid advice column today (alternate link):
Dear Amy: I am stuck in a no-win situation. Two years ago, I ended my marriage after five years with "John" when I met my (now) partner "Jane," who is a police officer. The last two years have been a roller coaster, as John and Jane do not like each other.
Lesbians do not like men. No one likes lesbians.
John stayed an involved father, making sure our sons were taken care of and visiting them whenever he could. Meanwhile, Jane was trying to prove that she could take John's place and provide all the same love, care and material possessions that John could, while also rubbing John's nose in it whenever possible.
Jane is not the dad. Trouble is coming.
Six months ago, I was awarded sole custody of my two sons when I was injured in an accident and Jane filed a police report saying that John came to our home while drunk and beat me up. (This didn't actually happen.)

Jane's relative represented me in family court and very quickly filed the motion through the court, barring any contact between my sons and their dad on the grounds of domestic violence and alcoholism.
What a nightmare! Why did our society ever decide that lesbians should be cops and parents?

Maybe we are being trolled here, but Amy believes this story. The system is broken when a story like this is even plausible.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Vanity Fair favors crazy actress mom

Spoiled selfish actress Kelly Rutherford got a favorable write-up of her child custody dispute in Vanity Fair.

I mentioned this case here and here. Robert Franklin explains what is wrong with the Vanity Fair article.

Needless to say, if the mom had been at all reasonable, she would have had 50-50 joint custody or better. Instead, she is locked into a death struggle for sole custody, and suffering the consequences. Eg, she kidnapped the kids because she did not think that a judge would order her to return them.

She probably thought that she could divorce her non-citizen husband before he can get a green card, and then he will not have any rights that a USA court will recognize.

She is pretty and has a lot of TV fans. Does that give her some special rights?

I cannot stand reading this junk anymore. If you believe that we should live in some sort of matriarchy, maybe you will side with her. Feminists have claimed for years that they want equal rights, not a matriarchy. The courts are a mess. There are simple fixes to most of the problems, but they will not be accepted as long as people sympathize with Vanity Fair articles like this.

Friday, October 02, 2015

California retraction can avoid libel damages

UCLA law prof E. Volokh reports
But in the law in many states, general and punitive damages — anything beyond the provable economic losses that qualify as special damages — are unavailable, at least as to certain defendants, unless (1) plaintiff has promptly demanded a retraction, and (2) the defendant has refused to promptly publish a retraction. If the defendant promptly publishes a retraction, it is only on the hook for libel damages.

Ah, but which defendants get the benefit of these statutes? Many states limit this to particular kinds of publishers. Indeed, until Monday, the California libel retraction statute (Cal. Civ. Code § 48a), which dates back to 1931, applied only to “newspapers” and “radio broadcasters”; ...

Now to the news: I’m pleased to say that Monday, a new version of § 48a — introduced by assembly member Donald Wagner — was signed into law, and that version covers Web publications.
So if anyone thinks that I have libeled him, he can demand a retraction, and I have a legal incentive to publish the retraction.

While the retraction does not get the publisher completely off the hook, most libel lawsuits result from a publisher refusing to correct a false story. Jurors are sympathetic to publishers who make honest mistakes, but not to those who refuse to correct damaging stories.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Personal update

I have quit posting personal details of my life on this blog. Actually I never did personal details about me or anyone else, except for what had been involuntarily put into the public record by others.

That is, if someone was making public accusations against me in open court, then I would describe my defense against those charges. I did this to defend myself, to help others, and to expose systematic problems with the family courts.

While I was exercised my First Amendment rights, I wasn't just claiming free speech or free press rights. I was mainly using that last clause in the 1A, where I have a right "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

A lesson I have learned is that our legal system heavily favors sole custody of a child. A parent has constitutional rights to his or her child if there is sole custody, and not otherwise.

My biggest complaint is not the actual child custody decisions. The last time I was in family court, the judge denied that they ever make final child custody decisions, just as they never make final child support decisions. Nothing is ever final, nothing is ever appealable, and all parents are subject to continuing micro-management by the court.

In my case, the courts repeatedly (and temporarily) zeroed out my parental rights at the discretion of the judge, and without having to prove that I was a substandard parent at all.

I eventually did get joint custody of my two daughters. They are now more grown-up than most adults, so they do what they want anyway.

I now also have two sons, and permanent sole custody of them. I am not fighting the system any more. I am doing what is strongly encouraged by California public policy.

Unfortunately, the local Child Protective Services (CPS) disapproves. They harass me a regular basis. They make announced and surprise visits to my home, both day and night. They ask me to bring the kids to their facility for inspection. They interrogate day care workers and inspect the kids there. They give vague gripes and threaten to put my kids in foster care.

If you want an example of a dopey CPS agent, see this previously posted one who argued that zero calorie sodas have empty calories. The ones who investigated me were just as bad, and said things just as dopey.

I do not want to post the details. The attacks have been ordered at the highest levels of CPS, and they have a lot of power. I do not know why they hate me so much, but I do not want to inflame them anymore. If you are living in a town run by gangsters, do you insult the crooks in charge?

According to one CPS agent, the attacks were ordered by Melissa Delgadillo. I never met her, and do not know what she would have against me. I asked him if she was doing it maliciously, and he just nodded. But she could have been ordered by higher authority, for all I know.

At one court hearing, the County lawyer went into a half-hour rant against me, and ended with:
Nietzsche said, "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger."
I do not know what point she was trying to make. Maybe it was some sort of anti-German slur, as I have a German-sounding name. She did not make much sense.

So far the judges have dismissed all of their complaints as being completely without merit. One time, the judge lectured CPS and County Counsel for an hour about bringing a frivolous complaint over ordinary parenting choices. The complaints are too stupid to repeat here. If I summarized, you would think that I was joking, and if I quoted them, I might be accused of violating confidentiality. Most of what they say does not even make any sense. The court hearings are held in secret, and are not on the public record.

Since there are no complaints against me on the public record, I do not see much need to respond on the public record. There are no pending non-public complaints against me either.

CPS is run by bullies who are used to getting their way, but it has failed to get its way with me. I forced them to remove me from the state abuse database, and they lost their court actions against me. I could be the only one who has defeated them in both these ways.

If you want to read about unreasonable CPS harassment, then follow the story of Danielle Meitiv. I have posted about it before. My story is more outrageous than here, but she is eager to fight this issue:
But now Danielle is going a couple of steps further. First, she’s writing a book about her family’s experiences with CPS and the police. Second, she’s starting a non-profit organization to combat the encroachment of governmental authorities into family life in the name of protecting children.
My parenting has been scrutinized more than any other person, to my knowledge. There are 100s of pages of reports about me.

Of course some of these reports were written by gay psychologists and illiterate CPS agents, and they show no knowledge of child rearing. No criticism of me ever quotes any textbook, or research, or personal experience, or generally accepted principles.

If you want to know about the evils of CPS, there are plenty of other sources. For example, see the Legally Kidnapped blog. Or read earlier postings on this blog. I do not care to publicly document my private Hell anymore, as I really just wanted to document public actions. I am only posting this as a courtesy to my regular readers who have asked about my case.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Free speech: I'm gonna get you

I am all in favor of holding public officials accountable for how they do their jobs, but sometimes there is a fine line between exercising one's civic responsibility and saying something that someone else might perceive as a threat. I have posted about the case of Dan Brewington, who spent a couple of years in prison before being largely exonerated. Here is another case.

A man was being prosecuted for some crime, and he got upset when his own lawyer said that she uncovered incriminating evidence that she was giving to the prosecution. He had good reason to be upset, as it is not the job of his defense lawyer to go fishing for incriminating evidence. He must have gotten even more upset when she called police, pressed charges for threatening her, and got him convicted and sentenced to 3 years in prison.

From an Illinois appeals court decision:
On the record before us, we do not see how it would be possible for any rational trier of fact to infer, beyond a reasonable doubt, that when defendant told Lacy, “‘I’m gonna get you,’“ he meant violent retribution as opposed to these forms of nonviolent retribution — one of which he had just got done discussing with her. In the absence of any evidence that could justify a finding, beyond a reasonable doubt, that defendant’s threat was a “true threat,” we reverse his conviction on the ground that it violates the first amendment, made applicable to the states by the fourteenth amendment.
So you are entirely within your Constitutional rights to say “I’m gonna get you“ if you intended to hold someone accountable in some lawful way. But you might spend some time in jail before you get the attention of a sympathetic judge.

My suggestion is to say something like "I'm gonna hold you accountable for this" or something like that. But maybe even that is dangerous when dealing with backstabbing govt agents who have friends who are prosecutors and judges.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Libertarian attacks on marriage

A common libertarian reaction to issues like same-sex marriage is to say that govt should get out of the marriage business, and let any consenting adults agree to whatever behavior and contracts they please. Religions could perform whatever ceremonies they please. This is standard libertarian doctrine, as they believe that just about any problem is better solved by private contracting than by govt.

A libertarian magazine, Reason, published an article attacking this view. The article seemed like heresy to many. Here is a video attacking the article.

The trouble with the libertarian argument is that you cannot make a binding legal contract for sexual services, or child custody, or child support. That is, American law will not uphold such a contract.

When the govt gives benefits like tax-free inheritance or joint tax returns or green cards, it is not going to do that for random groups of people writing their own contracts.

Maybe the libertarians would say that in their perfect world, there would be no taxes or green cards anyway. Let me know if that ever happens anywhere.

I have posted a libertarian definition, but I don't think I ever explained how family law is a huge blind spot for libertarians.

There are web sites for matching alternative parents. You can find your own match from people all over the world, and write your own contract to divvy up the parental rights and responsibilities however you please. It seems like a libertarian paradise until you learn that none of it works, and none of the contracts are enforceable. These web sites have very few people who even try, once they find out the complications.

Libertarians might say that such contracts should be enforceable, but as far as I know, there is no libertarian explanation of how that would ever work. Even hard-core libertarians seem to accept that in anything but a traditional two natural parent family, some family court judge gets to decide the BIOTCh (best interest of the child). Some of them even brag that this is the truly libertarian view, because it protects the rights of the child.

I happen to think that some contracts could be enforced with minimal government intervention, in my hypothetical libertarian society. But it does not matter. I cannot convince the libertarians, or Republicans or Democrats or anyone else.

I have occasionally praised the merits of the American nuclear family, as shown in the 1950s and 1960s TV shows like Leave it to Beaver, and Ozzie and Harriet. Some readers complain that this is antiquated, or unrealistic, or coupled with obsolete moral values, or not sufficiently respectful of feminists or LGBTQIA folks, or contrary to liberal political goals. Maybe so, but those families are the only free ones. All other arrangements are subject to micro-management by the family court.

I post these arguments because of the widespread view that if too much govt is the problem, as I have often argued on this blog, then the libertarians might have a solution. The libertarians do not have a solution. They either ignore the problem, or make proposals that will make it worse.

The best proposed solution is shared parenting, as advocated by the Fathers' rights movement, National Parents Organization, and this blog. Some states have passed laws in this direction, declared a presumption of shared parenting unless some judge finds it contrary to the BIOTCh.

But even with these laws, the parents still have no individual constitutional rights to their kids, and the family court judge is firmly in control of child custody issues, parenting plans, and finances.

Here is Rand Paul's libertarian response to the US Supreme Court mandating same-sex marriage:
While I disagree with Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, I believe that all Americans have the right to contract. ...

Do consenting adults have a right to contract with other consenting adults? ...

Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party. ...

Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.
He is disconnected from reality. The family court already ignores marriage for most questions about child custody, parenting, and support. Getting away from recognition of marriage has only increased govt control over private lives.

Paul has many other libertarian views, but is strangely silent on what is the biggest govt usurpation of our liberties.

A more libertarian approach view requires:

* Abolish forced child support.
* Give single or divorced parents constitutional rights to the care, custody, and upbringing of their kids, just as married parents have.
* Abolish BIOTCh, special masters, forensic psychologists doing anything but DMS-5 diagnosis, and guardians ad litem.
* Reduce family court jurisdiction to monetary remedies of contractual disputes, such as dissolving joint property after divorce.
* Establish paternity by marriage or DNA test.

These changes seem as far-fetched as other radical ideas, such as the anti-feminist TWRA (Traditional Women’s Rights Activist). They want to re-instate the husband as legal head of household, with an obligation to support his wife and kids, and re-instate the Tender Years Doctrine, so the mom is in charge of young kids. There is a certain logic to this, but most people would reject it as sexist.

Anyway, I post this to further explain the hopelessness of reforming the system. Fathers are slaves, and not even the libertarians recognize that or object to it.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Vermont CPS murders

I intended to quit posting this junk, but this story is too weird.

Vermont passed a law making it easier for CPS to take kids away from parents. Friday morning, Jody Herring lost custody of her kid to the foster care system. Friday evening, she shot and killed the CPS/DCF social worker Lara Sobel responsible. Herring was arrested. Saturday morning, three relatives of Herring were shot and killed.

Here are links to the stories. These folks are innocent until proven guilty, of course.

I posted a 2012 story where Georgia CPS seemed to be assassinating its enemies. I never got the full story.

These people sound like gangsters. Obviously killing Herring's relatives was revenge, but was it by CPS or by the relatives of Sobel, the social worker? I assume that they did not kill Herring because she was in police custody, and they could not get to her.

I know it sounds crazy and paranoid to think that a state child welfare agency would carry out revenge murders. But CPS attracts cruel sadistic bullies, just as police forces also attract such people. Somebody carried out these murders.

There is lots of publicity today about the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri. The riots were fueled by Obama administration arguments that a white racist cop shot a black man who held his hand up and said "don't shoot". Instead, all the evidence proved that the black man was trying to kill the white cop, and the cop had to shoot in self-defense.

Has there been much publicity about these Vermont crimes? They should be easy to solve. Just interrogate everyone with a motive. No one had time to plan a perfect crime. Impulsive killers always leave plenty of evidence.

The obvious lesson here: Do not screw with CPS, even if they are ruining your life. These are people who think nothing of collateral damage on the way to their intended targets.

Update: Herring has been charged in all the murders:
Premont also told police that Herring “would often make comments about how ‘people are going to pay. There’s going to be an Armageddon.’”

The affidavit also says Herring seemed to mention other victims the day she was arrested, before the three bodies were discovered in Berlin.

It says that as Barre police were escorting Herring back to a holding cell after interviewing her the day of Sobel’s murder, “she laughed and uttered ‘did you find the other three yet?’”
I guess the relatives were conspiring with CPS to take her 9yo kid away. She stole the gun, because she failed the background test to buy one. Meanwhile, the state has leaked reports that she was nuts:
Defense lawyer David Sleigh initially asked at Herring's arraignment Aug. 10 to block the release of DCF records.

After the prosecution responded, Sleigh filed a second request after learning that reporters obtained court records showing a doctor believed Herring was bipolar and had mental health issues. ...

The family court records were used by media outlets, including the Burlington Free Press and the website VtDigger. The records included a letter from a doctor that noted, "Jody's chief medical problem restricting her employability is an underlying bipolar disorder," family court records show.

Dr. Kevin D. Crowley of Green Mountain Family Practice wrote in November 2010 that, despite his not being a psychiatrist but based on Herring's "numerous office visits, it is unlikely she would be able to hold a job for any length of time because of her emotional state and her resultant inability to stay focused."

Crowley indicated he was offering his presumed medical diagnosis to John Wirth, a staff attorney for the Office of Child Support. The document was part of the public file in family court.

Psychiatric intervention that amounted to "polypharmacy of treatment has only normalized things a little," Crowley wrote.

"Ms. Herring is a bright intelligent woman and I believe with time she will settle into gainful employment," the doctor wrote. "It will be a long time however."
So she was too crazy to hold a job but she still somehow won sole child custody in the family court?!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Manipulated Man

I just discovered a short 1971 book, The Manipulated Man:
The book argues that, contrary to common feminist and women's rights rhetoric, women in industrialized cultures are not oppressed, but rather exploit a well-established system of manipulating men.

Vilar writes, "Men have been trained and conditioned by women, not unlike the way Pavlov conditioned his dogs, into becoming their slaves. As compensation for their labours men are given periodic use of a woman's vagina." The book contends that young boys are encouraged to associate their masculinity with their ability to be sexually intimate with a woman, and that a woman can control a man by socially empowering herself to be the gate-keeper to his sense of masculinity.

The author says that social definitions and norms, such as the idea that women are weak, are constructed by women with their needs in mind, and that praise is only given to a man when a woman's needs are met in some way.

Vilar claims that women can control their emotional reactions whereas men cannot, and that women create overly-dramatized emotional reactions to attempt to control men and get their way. She says that women "blackmail" men and use sex as a tool.

The book argues that women use traditions and concepts of love and romance, which are seen more positively than sex, to control men's sexual lives. Vilar writes that men gain nothing from marriage and that women, who are out to get men's money, coerce them into marriage under the pretense that it is romantic.
Roosh V, a big defender of red-pill masculinity, wrote in 2012:
For a while now I’ve come to the belief that men need to lead the household and provide for their family to be happy and feel like a man. I want to be proud of being able to take care of a wife and kids. Vilar argues that this pride is no different than a donkey feeling strong as it carries a heavy load. ...

I’ve never had a book that made me reconsider so many of my beliefs like this one. It ended up being the most vicious takedown of the female gender that I’ve ever read, five times harsher than anything I’ve written. My mind was buzzing while reading, hungry for a fresh take on the male-female issue. If you still have the problem of respecting women, this book will fix you right up. Not only will you avoid getting entrapped by a woman, but you’ll have a better understanding of what causes their seemingly irrational behavior. Highly recommended.
The is short, and has a lot of sweeping generalities. You can buy it on Amazon, download the full book in pdf, or listen to a YouTube reading. See also her debate a leading German feminist: Alice Schwarzer vs. Esther Vilar [1975] | English Subtitles.

This is one of those rare books with the potential to turn a man from MRA to MGTOW. She says:
With his many gifts man would appear to be ideally suited, both mentally and physical, to lead a life both fulfilled and free. Instead he chooses to become a slave, placing his many discoveries at the service of those who are incapable of creation themselves - at the service of `mankind', man's own synonym for women, and of the children of these women. ...

If a young man gets married, and starts a family and spends the rest of his life working at a soul-destroying job, he is held up as an example of virtue and responsibility. The other type of man, living only for himself, working only for himself, doing first one thing and then another simply because he enjoys it and because he has to keep only himself, sleeping where and when he wants, and facing woman when he meets her on equal terms and not as one of a million slaves, is rejected by society The free, unshackled man has no place in its midst.
The MGTOW refuses to become a slave, at risk of social disapproval.

Abandoning this blog

I announced in January:
I started this blog just to vent, and maintained it for 2 reasons: (1) to publicly defend myself against false accusations in public court, and (2) to protest the family court and support a movement to reform it.

I no longer think that the system can be reformed.
I continued to post news and commentary about modern social destruction, but I stopped the details about my personal saga. I hope the previous details were helpful to people. I will leave it all online, in case anyone else might be helped.

But the stories of what's wrong with the family court, divorce law, legal and social trends, etc. has been told many times. Some tell it better than I do. If the available info does not convince you that we are doomed, then additional posts from me won't either.

Even people who witness the horrors first hand often do not grasp the extent of the evils.

So I am abandoning this blog, taking the red pill, and going my own way. "I don't expect you to agree. I don't even expect you to understand."

I will post some sort of brief update on my personal situation. It will clarify my attitude.

Good luck to everyone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

California denies fathers rights

A 2014 California case, Adoption of Baby Boy W., found that a father has a right to claim a newborn child, if the mom wants to give him up for adoption. Here are the facts, from the court:
Jacqueline W. and Garrett J. are the unwed biological parents of Baby Boy W. When Jacqueline discovered that she was pregnant, she knew right away that Garrett was Baby Boy W.'s biological father, but she denied Garrett's requests that she sign a voluntary declaration of paternity that would have established Garrett as Baby Boy W.'s statutory presumed father. She then sought to have A.H. and M.H. (the Hs) adopt Baby Boy W. at birth, despite the fact that Garrett had repeatedly stated that he wanted to raise Baby Boy W. himself. Garrett filed a petition to establish his paternity, and Jacqueline and the Hs (collectively, appellants) filed a petition to terminate his parental rights. The trial court found that Garrett established his paternity rights under Kelsey S., denied appellants' petition, and entered judgment in Garrett's favor, thereby halting the Hs' adoption of Baby Boy W.
I would have thought that this would be uncontroversial. An adoption should require both parents to sign off on it.

If the dad is unknown, and only asserts his rights years later, then I can understand reluctance to reverse an adoption that had been in place for years. But this dad vigorously asserted his rights and opposed the adoption before the birth.

The adoption industry was unhappy with this decision, and got California to pass a new law nullifying fathers rights:
A California law passed this week limits the extent to which paternity status can halt adoption proceedings.

Assembly Bill 1049, signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday, clarifies a judge’s ability to consider an offer or refusal to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity as a factor in establishing or terminating parental rights, according to a press release from California Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R), who introduced the bill.

The California Academy of Adoption Attorneys (CAAA) sponsored the bill in the wake of the California Court of Appeals’ decision in a case known as Adoption of Baby Boy W. ...

A judge ruled that Garrett W.’s offer to declare paternity of the child gave him the right to veto the adoption. After the decision, Baby Boy W. was removed from the adoptive parents with whom he was placed, according to a summary of the case.

CAAA Fellow Allison Foster Davis said that Adoption of Baby Boy W. created uncertainty and could lead to more situations in which a mother places her child for adoption and the baby’s father later declares parental rights.

“We want people to know upfront what their rights are, and if the father has veto rights, that baby should not be placed for adoption,” Davis said.

The new law states that “a person’s offer or refusal to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity may be considered as a factor, but shall not be determinative as to the issue of legal parentage in any proceedings regarding the establishment or termination of parental rights.”

“It will not affect the specific people involved in that case,” said Patterson’s communications director, Alisha Gallon, in an e-mail. “However, AB 1049 does overrule the portion of Baby Boy W. that said that any many who offers to sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity is automatically entitled to presumed father status.”
In other words, the family court judge can do whatever he feels like doing, without having to respect the parental rights of an unmarried father opposing an adoption.

This law makes no sense, unless you have some sort of leftist-feminist belief that fathers rights should be diminished at every opportunity. If you simply want orderly adoptions, the easiest rule is to require both parents to consent.

The law also says:
This bill would additionally provide that the spouse of a women who conceives through assisted reproduction with oocytes donated for reproductive purposes is treated in law as if he or she were the natural parent of the child, and the woman who conceives the child is treated in law as the natural parent unless the woman is a surrogate mother, as defined.
So two lesbians are to be considered the natural parents, even tho they do not provide the sperm or the egg.

Face it, men do not have any parental rights unless they somehow get sole child custody. Our society is increasingly structured around the idea that men should be financial supporting women who have all the parental rights. I do not see that changing anytime soon. I did not even notice any opposition to extreme anti-father laws like this one.

This is just one of many trends that are making modern civilization worse, in my opinion.k Many of these trends are not fixable, so I am not going waste time and energy trying to fix them.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The federal domestic relations exception

I never understood how the gays were able to successfully get federal courts to hear their demands for changes to marriage laws, and yet dads like me routinely get dismissed from federal court. The recent marriage decision re-iterated that parents have a constitutional right to direct the upbringing of their kids, and yet many dads are arbitrarily denied that right without any good cause or due process. Noncustodial dads have a much stronger federal case than gays, it seems to me.

So how do the federal judges get away with dismissing complaints from dads? Usually they cite an obscure doctrine called the domestic relations exception. I never understood this, as I could not find a clear explanation of it anywhere. It is not in the Constitution, or in federal statutes, or in court precedents.

tl;dr: If you bring a family law case into federal court, you will be dismissed for obscure reasons that predate the US Constitution, and which hardly anyone even understands anymore.

I finally got an explanation from the Law Office of Lawrence J. Joseph. It is much more obscure and contorted than I thought, and requires explaining centuries of legal history. I post the explanation here, as it is hard to find:
The domestic-relations exception to federal jurisdiction recognizes that domestic-relations cases fall outside the categories of cases at law and equity over which both Article III and statutory subject-matter jurisdiction extend the federal judicial power. Not only when the founders drafted Article III and the original states ratified it, but also when Congress drafted the precursors to the federal courts’ statutory federal-question and civil-rights jurisdiction, a case asserting the right to marriage was not a case at law or equity. Accordingly, this marriage-rights case falls outside the federal judicial power.

In Utah, the common law prevails except as abrogated by its constitution or legislature, and – like most (if not all) states – Utah adopts the common law of England. Daniels v. Gamma West Brachytherapy, LLC, 2009 UT 66, ¶49, 221 P.3d 256, 270 (Utah 2009); UTAH CODE ANN. §68-3-1. Utah therefore naturally looks to English authorities on common-law issues, Branch v. Western Petroleum, 657 P.2d 267, 273 (Utah 1982), which is fatal – both on jurisdiction and the merits – to Plaintiffs’ claims.

In English common law, marriage was defined as “the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.” Goodridge v. Dep’t of Pub. Health, 440 Mass. 309, 343, 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass. 2003) (quoting Hyde v. Hyde, [1861-1873] All E.R. 175 (1866)). At the time of this Nation’s founding, England’s ecclesiastical courts had sole jurisdiction over marriage:
The holiness of the matrimonial state is left entirely to the ecclesiastical law: the temporal courts not having jurisdiction to consider unlawful marriages as a sin, but merely as a civil inconvenience. The punishment therefore, or annulling, of incestuous or other unscriptural marriages, is the province of the [ecclesiastical or] spiritual courts.
1 WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, COMMENTARIES *433 (emphasis in original). Thus, the jurisdictional analysis here must consider not only founding-era’s English definitions of domestic relations but also the division of English judicial authority in such cases.2

fn 2 Indeed, until 1604, polygamy itself was “‘considered as of ecclesiastical cognizance exclusively.’” People v. Martin, 188 Cal. 281, 286-87, 205 P. 121, 123-24 (Cal. 1922) (quoting 7 Corpus Juris, at 1158). In 1604, England made polygamy a crime under the common-law courts’ jurisdiction. Id. (citing 1 Jac. 1, Chap. XI, 7 Stats. at Large 88).

Blackstone recognized three types of unwritten or common law: general customs, particular customs that affect particular districts, and particular customs adopted and used by particular courts (e.g., civil and canon laws). Id. *67, *79. The courts responsible for the third common-law group included the ecclesiastical courts, as well as the university, military, and admiralty courts. Id. *83. An appeal from these courts lay in the Crown, not to the appellate courts at Westminster. Id. *84. At the time, cases at law were heard before the Court of King’s Bench or the Court of Common Pleas, and cases in equity were heard before the Court of Exchequer or the Court of Chancery. 3 BLACKSTONE *37-*46. In 1787, only ecclesiastical courts could hear marriage-related cases like this one, State v. Roswell, 6 Conn. 446, 448-50 (Conn. 1827) (collecting cases); Reynolds, 98 U.S. at 165 (“upon the separation of the ecclesiastical courts from the civil[,] the ecclesiastical [was] supposed to be the most appropriate for the trial of matrimonial causes and offences against the rights of marriage”); accord Barber v. Barber, 62 U.S. (21 How.) 582, 591 (1859);3 In re Burrus, 136 U.S. 586, 593 (1890); cf. Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 206 (1888).

fn 3 Significantly, the Barber majority did not disagree on this point with the Barber dissent, which was even more clear: “it is well known that the court of chancery in England does not take cognizance of the subject of alimony, but that this is one of the subjects within the cognizance of the ecclesiastical court, within whose peculiar jurisdiction marriage and divorce are comprised.” Id. at 604 (Daniel, J., dissenting).

Our Constitution establishes a federal structure of dual state-federal sovereignty, Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S. 455, 458-59 (1990), which the states entered with their retained “sovereignty intact.” Fed’l Maritime Comm’n v. South Carolina State Ports Auth., 535 U.S. 743, 751-52 (2002); U.S. CONST. amend. X. The question presented here is whether the people or the states surrendered their power over domestic relations to the federal government:
When the Revolution took place, the people of each state became themselves sovereign; and in that character held [all of the powers previously held by the Crown] subject only to the rights since surrendered by the constitution to the general government.
Martin v. Lessee of Waddell, 41 U.S. 367, 406 (1842). More specifically, the question presented here is whether the states – as heirs to the Crown’s full sovereign, judicial powers – surrendered the sliver of judicial power over domestic relations, which ecclesiastical courts exercised in England.

Unlike our federalist structure that divides power between the federal and state sovereigns, England’s sovereignty – both the inter-branch powers and the local-national powers – were combined in the Crown and only in the Crown. Cent. Va. Cmty. College v. Katz, 546 U.S. 356, 366 (2006); Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 748 (2008). Whereas all claims under English law must lie within some English court, Mostyn v. Fabrigas, 98 Eng. Rep. 1021 (K.B. 1774), it is not true here that all claims must lie within some federal court. While many claims fall within the concurrent jurisdiction of federal and state courts, Haywood v. Drown, 556 U.S. 729, 735 (2009), some claims fall exclusively with one sovereign’s courts.

Consistent with our federal structure, in which the states remain sovereign in spheres not delegated to the federal government, the Supreme Court long ago recognized a domestic-relations exception to federal jurisdiction:
The whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife, parent and child, belongs to the laws of the States and not to the laws of the United States.
Burrus, 136 U.S. at 593. Indeed, the Supreme Court had previously “disclaim[ed] altogether any jurisdiction in the courts of the United States upon the subject of divorce, … either as an original proceeding in chancery or as an incident to divorce a vinculo.” Barber, 62 U.S. (21 How.) at 597. That exception has both a statutory and a constitutional component, and it concerns both where litigation starts and where it ends.4

Fn 4 In dicta, the Supreme Court implied narrower bounds for the domesticrelations exception for types of federal cases not relevant here. Ankenbrandt v. Richards, 504 U.S. 689, 704 (1992) (diversity jurisdiction) (discussed infra); cf.
Marshall v. Marshall, 547 U.S. 293, 306-09 (2006) (probate and bankruptcy).

The statutory and constitutional questions pose the same etymological issue, but the statutory one focuses not on the federal judicial power’s outer limits but on the limits that Congress intended when Congress created the lower federal courts. Of course, the two are not the same thing. The “Article III … power to hear cases ‘arising under’ federal statutes… is not self-executing,” and Congress need not provide the lower federal courts with the full scope of judicial power that Article III makes available to the Supreme Court. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 807 (1986). The statutory issue is whether Congress included this type of domestic-relations issue when it created the federal courts and established their jurisdiction over federal-question and civil-rights cases in law and equity. The constitutional question is whether Article III’s grant of jurisdiction over cases in law and equity encompasses issues of domestic relations. As explained below, this case presents only the statutory question of where litigation starts – e.g., state or federal court – without addressing whether the Supreme Court has constitutional power to hear such cases under Article III when a case arises from state courts. Before the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification, the Supreme Court and the states recognized the distinct jurisdictions of a “court of admiralty, chancery, ecclesiastical court, or court of common law.” Williamson v. Berry, 49 U.S. (8 How.) 495, 540-41 (1850); Gaines v. Chew, 43 U.S. (2 How.) 619, 645 (1844) (“equity will not set aside a will for fraud [because] where personal estate is disposed of by a fraudulent will, relief may be had in the ecclesiastical court; and at law, on a devise of real property”); Crump v. Morgan, 38 N.C. 91, 98-99 (N.C. 1843) (recognizing “the canon and civil laws” of English “Ecclesiastical Courts … and as parts of the common law, which by custom are adopted and used in peculiar jurisdictions”); see also Ohio ex rel. Popovici v. Agler, 280 U.S. 379, 383 (1930) (allowing state-court divorce suit against foreign consul, notwithstanding exclusive federal jurisdiction over such suits generally, based on the domestic-relations exception under Burrus and Barber). ...

Constitutionally, there is a question as to the scope of the judicial power conveyed to federal courts (including the Supreme Court) by Article III:
The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction[.]
U.S. CONST. art. III, §2 (emphasis added). The uncertainty lies in the term of art “cases in law and equity,” which did not include pure marriage-rights issues when the states ratified the Constitution.

In writing about “delineating the boundary between the federal and State jurisdictions,” Madison demonstrated that the Framers were well aware of the various jurisdictions in English law:
The precise extent of the common law, and the statute law, the maritime law, the ecclesiastical law, the law of corporations, and other local laws and customs, remains still to be clearly and finally established in Great Britain, where accuracy in such subjects has been more industriously pursued than in any other part of the world. The jurisdiction of her several courts, general and local, of law, of equity, of admiralty, etc., is not less a source of frequent and intricate discussions, sufficiently denoting the indeterminate limits by which they are respectively circumscribed.
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS, No. 37, at 224-25 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961). Indeed, more contemporaneously with the applicable legal doctrines, courts had no difficulty in recognizing that domestic-relations cases are not cases in law or equity. Williamson, 49 U.S. (8 How.) at 540-541; Gaines, 43 U.S. (2 How.) at 645; Burrus, 136 U.S. at 593; Barber, 62 U.S. (21 How.) at 584. Significantly, Ankenbrandt, Marshall, and Obergefell do not hold to the contrary.5

Like Barber, Ankenbrandt concerned a tort suit, which would constitute a suit at law or equity, 504 U.S. at 704; as such, the Court’s declining to research English legal history to understand the terms of Article III was appropriate because the case did not turn on the distinctions between law courts, chancery courts, and ecclesiastical courts. Any statements on the contours of the domestic-relations exception in Ankenbrandt are dicta for the same reason that they were dicta in Barber: a tort suit, as a suit at law or equity, did not present the question of jurisdiction over suits not in equity and not at law.

Similarly, Marshall was resolved on a perceived judicial limitation under a statutory interpretation not based on the distinction between law-equity courts versus ecclesiastical courts appearing on the face of a statute, 547 U.S. at 308-09; see also note 5, supra; Markham v. Allen, 326 U.S. 490, 494 (1946) (outlining federal-court jurisdiction with respect to probate matters). The probate exception at issue in Marshall is solely a judicial construct, unlike the law-equity court versus ecclesiastical court distinction based on founding-era jurisprudence and appearing on the face of Article III and the original statutory grants of subject-matter jurisdiction relevant here.

Of course, if Article III’s reference to cases at law and equity meant all cases, the Framers would have written Article III to say all cases. Put differently, the canon “expressio unius est exclusio alterius … has force … when the items expressed are members of an associated group or series, justifying the inference that items not mentioned were excluded by deliberate choice, not inadvertence.” Barnhart v. Peabody Coal Co., 537 U.S. 149, 168 (2003). Here, Article III lists all relevant forms of English jurisdiction except ecclesiastical courts, which suggests that the Framers intended to reserve that non-federal form of jurisdiction solely to the states.
Of course the US Supreme Court just ignored all of this when it decided to give gays dignity by mandating same-sex marriage. So they could ignore it to say that dads have some parental rights, if they wanted to. They do not.

This is all above my pay grade. Larry Joseph is one of the few lawyers who actually understands the issue. It all seems ridiculous to me, since Justice Kennedy did not mention any of this. But if you sue in federal court to see your kids, some judge who probably does not even understand this history will use the domestic relations exception to get rid of you.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The 2 lesbian birth certificate

AP reports:
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the state of Utah to list the names of a lesbian couple on a birth certificate as the mothers of their new baby in a ruling that lawyers said was the first of its kind since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said the assisted reproduction case wasn't hard to decide.

"The state has failed to demonstrate any legitimate reason, actually any reason at all, for not treating a female spouse in a same-sex marriage the same as a male spouse in an opposite-sex marriage," Benson said in his ruling from the bench.

Lawyer Joshua Block with the American Civil Liberties Union said it was the first ruling in an assisted reproduction case since the June decision from the high court, though several similar cases have been filed around the country.
This is the consequence of LGBTQIA rights. Fatherhood is just a legal classification, and no one even says that it has any relation to male sex organs.

California birth certificates have a line for "Mother/Parent" and "Father/Parent". They have been issuing these to same-sex couple for years. It is only a matter of time before Mother and Father get replaced with an assortment of cis-gendered or trans-gendered possibilities.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Judge uses shrinks as political punishment

Dinesh D'Souza is a right-wing Christian Indian-American author who is probably best known for making a couple of anti-Obama movies. He is also a convicted felon for making a couple of political campaign donations in the names of others in order to bypass legal limits.

People love him or hate him, based on his political and religious views.

At a hearing Monday in Manhattan in which he ruled filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza must continue community service for four more years, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said he considers D’Souza’s violation of federal campaign-finance laws to be evidence of a psychological problem and ordered further counseling.

D’Souza’s defense counsel Benjamin Brafman provided evidence to the court that the psychiatrist D’Souza was ordered to see found no indication of depression or reason for medication. In addition, the psychologist D’Souza subsequently consulted provided a written statement concluding there was no need to continue the consultation, because D’Souza was psychologically normal and well adjusted.

But Judge Berman disagreed, effectively overruling the judgment of the two licensed psychological counselors the U.S. probation department had approved as part of D’Souza’s criminal sentence.

“I only insisted on psychological counseling as part of Mr. D’Souza’s sentence because I wanted to be helpful,” the judge explained. “I am requiring Mr. D’Souza to see a new psychological counselor and to continue the weekly psychological consultation not as part of his punishment or to be retributive.
The judge says it is not punishment, but this was a very petty crime and not one of corruption or a mental disorder.

This is the American equivalent of a Communist reeducation camp. The judge does not agree with D'Souza's worldview, so he orders psychotherapy to change his values.
“I’m not singling out Mr. D’Souza to pick on him,” Berman said at the hearing Monday. “A requirement for psychological counseling often comes up in my hearings in cases where I find it hard to understand why someone did what they did.”

WND reported that at the Sept. 23, 2014, sentencing hearing, Berman said he could not understand how someone of D’Souza’s intelligence, with credentials that include college president, could do something so stupid as to violate federal campaign contribution laws. D’Souza was at the pinnacle of his career, writing bestselling non-fiction books and producing popular feature films.

As WND reported, after pleading guilty to campaign-finance violations, D’Souza was sentenced in September to eight months in a work-release center, five years of probation, a $30,000 fine and community service. He pleaded guilty in May 2014 to arranging “straw donors” to contribute $10,000 to the failed 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long, a college friend. ...

Berman explained at the hearing Monday that his social-work training combined with his psychology major has made him sensitive to psychological issues in the criminal cases he hears.

“You have to understand, I have a background in social work with a psychology major,” Berman explained. “I’m sensitive to mental health issues in the criminal cases I hear, and I do not want to end psychological counseling at this time in Mr. D’Souza’s case.”
So the judge was a psych major in college and that entitles him to psychoanalyze the defendant?

Liberals have a very hard time understanding conservatives. Non-Christians have a very hard time understanding Christians. And authoritarian judges have a hard time understand how someone would believe that he has a free speech right to support the political candidate of his choice. (There was no bribery accusation; the donation was just a gift.)

Yes, D'Souza has beliefs. That should be obvious to anyone who has listened to him for 10 minutes. And he is not going to drop those beliefs just because some bigoted judge orders him on the couch to talk to some lame shrink.
“What I’m reading in the psychological case notes is compatible with my own impressions,” Berman continued. “The psychological case notes indicate that while Mr. D’Souza is highly intelligent, he has remarkably little insight into his own motivations, that he is not introspective or insightful, but that he tends to see his own actions in an overly positive manner.

“I consider the original crime in this case is an insight issue,” Berman continued. “That Mr. D’Souza committed this crime involves a colossal failure of insight and introspection. The case notes also say Mr. D’Souza has weaknesses in controlling his own impulses and that he is prone to anger in reaction to criticism.”

The judge noted the psychologists “chart indicates Mr. D’Souza tends to deny problems, that he lacks insight into his own behavior, that he is arrogant and intolerant of the feelings of others, while projecting an overly positive image of himself.”
This is just asinine psychobabble. When shrinks disagree with your actions or opinions, they often say you lack insight or introspection.

D'Souza has publicly debated political issues, and even religious issues. Of course he reacts to criticism in those debates. I think I watched a recording of one of those debates, and he seemed normal to me. Disagreeing with a debate opponent is not a mental illness. If he did have a disorder about reacting to criticism, he probably could not do such a debate.

Federal judges have a lifetime appointment, unfortunately. This one is unfit for the bench.

I am beginning to think that we need an exorcism:
Can — or should — an exorcism be done for the United States, as was done in Mexico this past May?

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara, performed the rite, together with priests from across Mexico, at the Cathedral of San Luis Potosí in a closed-door ceremony. The purpose: to drive away the evil responsible for skyrocketing violence, abortion and drugs in that predominantly-Catholic nation.

Such “exorcisms … have helped bring awareness that there is such a thing as sin influenced by Satan,” said Msgr. John Esseff, a priest for 62 years in the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., and an exorcist for more than 35 years.

“The devil has much to do with [influencing people in] breaking the law of God,” he said. ...

According to Father Thomas, demonic activity has been increasing in the United States because people are choosing to be dissuaded away from God and opening portals such as New Age and witchcraft that are gateways to the demonic. “When faith becomes thin and Satan and agents of Satan move in, there are going to be effects,” he said.

“It was Pope Benedict XVI who said that as faith diminishes, superstition increases.”

Father Mike Driscoll, chaplain of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Ottawa, Ill., and author of the new book Demons, Deliverance, and Discernment, explained that, in addition to possession, demons can infest a place or thing.
We are infested with demons, and I don't think that the Catholics are up to the challenge.

After exorcising this judge, I would exorcise Lena Dunham. I have criticized her for her sick book, picture, article mocking her Jewish boyfriend, and a few other things. Now her problem is that she claimed to be postponing marriage until gays can marry, and now she has no excuse:
But my friend Audrey put it best when she raised her hand and told our professor, “I object to the marriage-industrial complex. But I want that dress. So now what?”

“I’m never getting married,” I told my friend Isabel while we floated in the Dead Sea. We were twenty-two and smeared with mud. “It’s a tool to oppress women and eliminate their freedom,” I added. “Plus, who wants to make out in front of their parents?”

She was newly in love, high on connection. “You’ll take that back the minute you meet someone you like,” she said.

Three years ago, when I was twenty-five, I met a bespectacled musician named Jack. He had a passion for John Hughes movies and driving on the Jersey Turnpike. His belief in, and insistence on, true equality for L.G.B.T.Q. citizens was no small reason why I fell in love with him, and, early in our relationship, I watched him struggle with the decision of whether or not to perform at a straight couple’s wedding. He discussed the matter at length with queer friends, concerned that it might be a form of betrayal (ultimately, he was given their blessing, though he seemed fairly tortured about it anyhow). The struggle was real and raw for Jack, and so it somehow became understood, between us, that we wouldn’t even consider marrying until every American had the same right. And I said it proudly whenever I had the chance, with the grandiosity and intimations of sacrifice you hear from certain lesser vegans.
Jack would be nuts to marry this head case. Not until Satan is driven out, anyway.

Update: A reader points out:
Surprise, surprise. The judge in the D'Souza case used to be a Family Court Judge.
It all makes sense now. That possibility did not occur to me, as I did not think that family court judges ever get promoted to being federal judges.

Monday, July 13, 2015

More on forced paternity

I mentioned an Illinois case of forced paternity via IVF. Robert Franklin attacks the decision here and

The whole IVF (ie, ART, test tube baby) industry is based on consenting adults signing binding contracts regarding the creation and disposition of zygotes. This decision says that a judge can override those written contract based on his perceptions of pre-contract intentions and post-contract needs.

This is just another example of judges choosing to micro-manage people's lives in the most far-reaching ways.

Here is a news account:
Jacob Szafranski will ask the Illinois Supreme Court to overturn their landmark decision granting his ex-girlfriend Karla Dunston custody of their frozen embryos. Dunston, 43, of Chicago, froze the three embryos five years ago, and an Illinois appellate court awarded her custody Friday despite objections from Szafranski, 33, who says the decision amounts to forced procreation.

Dunston, a physician, was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2010. Worried that chemotherapy would make her infertile, she asked Szafranski, with whom she'd just begun a relationship, to donate his sperm to create the embryos. Their conversation took place on the phone, and he agreed, Dunston testified. Both signed an informed consent form with a fertility lab before Dunston's eggs were harvested. They broke up months later, and Szafranski changed his mind about the frozen embryos.

"I don't think anyone should ever have their right to decide when and how they become a parent decided for them, and this is exactly what this is doing," Szafranski told WMAQ-TV, Chicago, Friday.

Dunston, whose cancer is now in remission, doesn't want money or support from Szafranski, her attorney told WMAQ. But the three embryos represent what her attorney, Abram Moore, said is her "last chance to have children that share her genetic material."
She is a 43-year-old physician. Cancer or no cancer, she had to know that the optimal time for having babies was about 20 years ago.

She also had to know that a relationship from a casual phone call to a man 10 years younger was not going anywhere. If she wanted a sperm donor, then I am sure she knows how to get one. They are not that expensive.

Update: A reader points out a similar California case, in the news today:
Stephen Findley and Mimi Lee were quite a couple. He was a Harvard-educated executive at a Bay Area global wealth management firm, worth millions. She studied piano at Julliard, earned degrees from Harvard and became a doctor specializing in neuroscience.

But on the eve of their September 2010 wedding, Lee was diagnosed with cancer, casting a cloud over their dreams of having children. With aggressive treatment expected to render Lee infertile, the couple rushed to UCSF's fertility center, where five of Lee's embryos -- fertilized by Findley -- were cryogenically frozen and preserved for a possible future with offspring.

Now, the couple is in the midst of a bitter divorce -- and those embryos, still stored at UCSF, are at the heart of an unprecedented legal battle that could determine how California deals with such conflicts as fertility technology becomes an increasingly common part of everyday life.

The drama is expected to unfold this week in San Francisco Superior Court, where a judge is conducting a trial set to begin Monday that pits Findley's wish to have the embryos destroyed against Lee's quest to preserve them as her only way to bear a child.
I heard this on the radio this morning, but I assumed that it was another similar case, the Sofía Vergara Nick Loeb case, on which I commented before.

If the moms-to-be win any of these cases, it will complicate the work of the IVF clinics, because then they can no longer rely on the written contracts for authority over the zygotes. I suppose every zygote could get a guardian ad litem to get a court order for whose custody would be in the BIOTCh, possibly after a psychological evaluation.

Okay, I am exaggerating a little bit, but legal uncertainty can screw up the industry. I understand that it is nearly impossible to get a sperm donor in England, because laws have retroactively abolished anonymity.

A comment says:
Legally he would be obligated to pay support for the children even if she signs an agreement not to seek support. The right to support belongs to the children, not her. She can't waive their rights, because the future is unpredictable and no one knows what their future needs might be. If she dies or becomes incapacitated or ends up on welfare, he can be compelled to pay support. If any of the children are disabled or need special and highly expensive care, he can be made to contribute. So what he has going isn't just revenge. It is the potential liability for years of support.
That is true, except that it may be possible, in a separation action, to convince a judge that the man is effectively just a sperm donor, and terminate his parental rights and responsibilities. But there is no guarantee that the judge will do it, and he may say that having a legal father is in the BIOTCh.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A big surge in medical child abuse

I have posted about Justina Pelletier, a kid who was seized by Massachusetts after conflicting medical diagnoses. Now there are many other such cases:
The term “medical child abuse” dates from the mid-1990s, as a condition related to Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disturbance in which a parent induces illness in a child to get attention. It has caught on with doctors over the last decade. But what constitutes “unnecessary medical care” — the heart of the test for medical child abuse — is vague and subjective. After all, doctors often disagree with one another when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of complicated conditions. ...

As I’ve researched medical child abuse over the past year, several advocacy and support groups for patients with rare diseases told me they had seen an alarming rise in medical child abuse charges: MitoAction (which supports patients with mito); the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (disorders relating to white blood cells); the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation (a rare disorder of the connective tissues); and Dysautonomia International (autonomic nervous system disorders). Through these groups, I’ve surveyed 95 parents who have been accused, in 30 states.

Dr. Frances D. Kendall, the geneticist in Atlanta who diagnosed my daughter’s mitochondrial disease, told me that she has seen a rising number of cases in which the parents of children with mito had been wrongly charged. Dr. Mark S. Korson, the geneticist who treated Justina Pelletier at Tufts, also said that such charges have snowballed in recent years.

Most states lump “medical child abuse” into general child abuse or neglect statistics, and can’t break out separate numbers. Michigan is an exception. Its figures show that, on average, 51 charges of medical abuse have been made against caretakers each year between 2010 and 2013. Extrapolating this to the national population would mean more than 1,600 charges each year.
Child neglect used to mean not getting the basic necessities of food and clothing. Now it means CPS gets to second-guess expert medical opinion.
As I’ve researched medical child abuse over the past year, several advocacy and support groups for patients with rare diseases told me they had seen an alarming rise in medical child abuse charges: MitoAction (which supports patients with mito); the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (disorders relating to white blood cells); the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation (a rare disorder of the connective tissues); and Dysautonomia International (autonomic nervous system disorders). Through these groups, I’ve surveyed 95 parents who have been accused, in 30 states.

Dr. Frances D. Kendall, the geneticist in Atlanta who diagnosed my daughter’s mitochondrial disease, told me that she has seen a rising number of cases in which the parents of children with mito had been wrongly charged. Dr. Mark S. Korson, the geneticist who treated Justina Pelletier at Tufts, also said that such charges have snowballed in recent years.

Most states lump “medical child abuse” into general child abuse or neglect statistics, and can’t break out separate numbers. Michigan is an exception. Its figures show that, on average, 51 charges of medical abuse have been made against caretakers each year between 2010 and 2013. Extrapolating this to the national population would mean more than 1,600 charges each year.
This is a big attack on parental rights. Parents should always have the right to get a second medical opinion, and to choose which medical advice to follow.
OUR legal system protects parents’ rights to make decisions for their kids, even if those decisions are sometimes less than ideal.

Courts have long dealt with cases of neglect, in which parents are charged with denying kids necessary care. In these cases, courts have allowed the state to require care only when doctors agree about the treatment, its medical benefits are clear, and its risks are small. This exception is narrow because courts recognize that parents are usually far better positioned — and motivated — than doctors or the state to know and do what is in their child’s best interests. These protections should apply to medical-abuse charges.

Government should not get involved when doctors disagree about a diagnosis or course of treatment, the doctors have full knowledge of the child’s medical record, and a parent chooses one doctor’s opinion over another’s. It should intervene only when there is evidence that a parent has intentionally provided significant misinformation to physicians, fabricated elements of the medical history or induced medical symptoms. Parents should always be allowed to seek second (and third) opinions.

We must protect children from the rare disturbed parent. But medical child abuse, as it has been understood, is far too big and blunt an instrument to accomplish this purpose. It has harmed too many genuinely sick kids, and made life hell for too many loving parents. It is time to end the medical abuse panic.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

He needs to sit down and shut up

My local newspaper prints an advice column, and of course these are always anti-male advice from women for women. Here is today's Ask Amy:
And then there is the assumption that standing up to urinate is some form of sacred law of manhood that must never be violated. There is absolutely no reason a man cannot urinate sitting down. My husband took to sitting down years ago so that he would not make splashing noises.

Not Revolted needs to stop rationalizing inconsiderate behaviors and start thinking of others. As my husband put it very succinctly, "He needs to sit down and shut up."
This is responding to some other letter that I did not read, but this is the future of the feminist state. Already manspreading is illegal in the New York City subway, and if Hillary Clinton is elected President, we may not be able to urinate standing up anymore.

The only good news today is that Ellen Pao has been fired. She was famous for losing a lawsuit where she was paid a lot of money but still claimed sex discrimination. At her next job, she because very unpopular for trying to censor free speech on Reddit, and for firing a popular female employee.

Psychology profession is unethical

The big story today is how the psychologists have been corrupted:
The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a new report.

The 542-page report, which examines the involvement of the nation’s psychologists and their largest professional organization, the American Psychological Association, with the harsh interrogation programs of the Bush era, raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon.

The report, completed this month, concludes that some of the association’s top officials, including its ethics director, sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by seeking to keep the association’s ethics policies in line with the Defense Department’s interrogation policies, while several prominent outside psychologists took actions that aided the C.I.A.’s interrogation program and helped protect it from growing dissent inside the agency.
The CIA says that no one was tortured, that less that 5 terrorists were subjected to enhanced interrogation (with water-boarding), and that the process gave info that helped find Osama bin Laden.

Others dispute this, and say that Bin Laden was found because a $25M bounty was paid to someone who ratted him out.

I do not know who is right, but I do know that the psychology profession supports an industry of unscientific and unethical forensic child custody evaluations. In the big majority of cases, there isn't even any expert psychology knowledge that is brought to bear. Like the above CIA allegations, they are just corrupt apologists who are paid to lend credibility to an evil program.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Reason and morality don't work

A reader comments:
as has been pointed out in this blog before and shot down: you have to fight these people with their own weapons of emotionalism, victimhood, and irrational blatherings. Reason and morality don't work with them.
Here is someone trying to have a logical conversation with a liberal, about a big Hollywood celebrity divorce:
me: What is interesting to me is that you highlight the shortcomings of the man as a “husband/father”. You don’t mention the possibility that the woman (who sued a previous husband for divorce on May 9, 2003) might have any shortcomings as a wife/mother.

Cambridge liberal: She has no shortcomings as a mother if she’s raising 3 children effectively on her own [the Daily Mail quotes Garner saying “You have to have a great nanny…” and has photos of the father caring for the children while the mother parties; also shown is a nanny; litigators such as Floyd Nadler in Illinois told us that a female parent who stays home with a nanny wins “primary caregiver” status but not so for a male parent]

me: What’s your basis for saying that “she’s raising 3 children effectively on her own”? Do you know this couple personally? Or you are relying on a plaintiff’s assertion in litigation? (keep in mind that every additional day of custody that this plaintiff [actually a “petitioner” in California] can obtain will result in additional cash paid to her under California’s child support formula)

Cambridge liberal: Based on the article’s claim that she was disillusioned with his workaholicness and that she pretty much was left to raise the kids alone.

me: is it reasonable to accept uncritically the statements of a plaintiff looking for tens of millions of dollars merely because she is a woman? What’s your basis for the idea that the parent who initiates a divorce lawsuit, thus breaking up the children’s home, is automatically the superior parent? [papers from Malin Bergstrom show the harm done to children by an American-style divorce; ironically, Garner is a trustee of Save the Children]

Cambridge liberal: I do put more faith in women than men, yes. Men have a spotty record to put it mildly. Nearly all mothers have to be good at motherhood for us to survive. Fathers on the other hand can get away with being pretty shitty at that job.

me: Would it be okay if I were to say, after hearing about a plaintiff of Race A suing a defendant of Race B, that “I am pretty sure that the plaintiff is telling the truth and is not motivated by cash considerations because people of Race B are ‘pretty shitty’ parents and ‘have a spotty track record’ as parents”?

Cambridge liberal: No that would not be ok because you’d have no scientific basis for making such claims. Human fathers, on the other hand are demonstrably worse caregivers than mothers on average, by far. [he had no research or data to cite]
Yes, the Cambridge liberal is loaded with unscientific prejudices as much as he vigorously denies them.

Maybe the reader is right. You cannot reason with such a liberal, using logic and common sense. You have to emotionally call him a bigot, or something like that.