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 http://www.nationalparentsorganization.org/blog/22450-szafranski-part-two-a-court-ruling-in-search-of-law-to-support-it.

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 write. You cannot reason with such a liberal, using logic and common sense. You have to emotionally call hima bigot, or something like that.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Gay marriage is based on therapy

The US Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage was quite different from all the other court decisions in its reasoning. The others had long discussions of the state's compelling interest, or the social science research, or whether laws regarding sex or sex orientation deserve strict scrutiny, or whether gays and lesbians should be a protected class, or whether marriage laws were driven by anti-gay animus. The Kennedy opinion drops all of that nonsense.

The Supreme Court decided that marriage laws must be changed in order to force others to give equal dignity to gays and lesbians. This essay explains how it is all about feelings:
The argument in favour of gay marriage is based on therapy. It is based on an approach that seeks to reorder public policy in line with the subjective desires of individuals. This approach is profound because it talks a language alien to traditional public-policy formation.

The modern therapeutic discourse has three key features: it focuses on personal want; it sees individuals as vulnerable; and it is underpinned by emotional appeals. All of these features are at the forefront of the Supreme Court ruling.

Personal want

The first element of the therapeutic discourse, a focus on personal want, is apparent in the concluding paragraph of the Supreme Court’s judgement that made much of the petitioners’ case: ‘Their plea is that they do respect [marriage], respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilisation’s oldest institutions.’

The focus of this concluding passage is on personal want, hence the language of ‘their plea’ and ‘their hope’. Or as Chief Justice Roberts put it in his dissent: ‘The truth is that today’s decision rests on nothing more than the majority’s own conviction that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry because they want to.’ Justice Alito, who also dissented, observed how the majority’s understanding of marriage ‘focuses almost entirely on the happiness of persons who choose to marry’. Within a therapeutic discourse, ‘I want’ can readily be translated into a legal right ‘to have’.

Individuals are vulnerable

However, a focus on personal want will only be persuasive if the individuals involved are portrayed as vulnerable. This second element of the therapeutic discourse is hinted at in the majority’s concluding paragraph, quoted above, which describes gays and lesbians as ‘condemned to live in loneliness’ if denied the right to marry.

The Supreme Court developed the theme of vulnerability by focusing on children. Children are always a good constituency for recognising therapeutic claims, because, in certain contexts, juveniles do have objective needs. So the majority claimed that the ‘marriage laws at issue here thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples’. Without reform ‘children [would] suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser’, apparently. By associating ‘children’ with the words ‘harm’, ‘humiliate’, ‘suffer’ and ‘stigma’, the majority were able to ally a child’s supposed vulnerability to the cause of gay marriage. This role was recognised by President Obama when he declared the court’s decision a victory for America. He said the judgement was ‘a victory for gay and lesbian couples… [and] for their children, whose families will now be recognised as equal to any other’.

Emotion

At a rational level, none of the above arguments makes much sense. ‘I want’ does not normally, in the public-policy context, equate to a legal right ‘to have’; gay and lesbian couples denied a right to marry are not ‘condemned to live in loneliness’; and the children of same-sex couples are neither harmed and humiliated nor stigmatised because their parents are not permitted to marry. But then the therapeutic discourse is not grounded in reason. Of course, the third element of this discourse, its emotional appeal, enables logical weaknesses to be overlooked.
This summarizes many things wrong with our society.

As goofy as this decision is, it is now a binding precedent on the federal courts. Maybe the men's rights activists should try using arguments like this. Don't fathers deserve equal dignity also?

The whole idea is crazy, that one man's opinion on the Supreme Court can cause "gay and lesbian couples… [and] for their children, whose families will now be recognised as equal to any other". No one gets any dignity from a court order.

I will leave it to others to make these arguments. I do not believe in therapism, or any of this nonsense.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Cosby cannot have moral opinions and privacy

I have defended Bill Cosby here several times, because I believe people are innocent until proven guilty, and because the decades only charges seemed implausible and gold-digging.

But now documents show that he admitted in 2005 to getting quaaludes for sexual activity.

These admissions damaging, but not conclusive. From what I see, he admitted buying the quaaludes decades ago, and to intending to give them to women he was going to seduce. But it is unclear whether they took the pills, and whether they were voluntarily and consensually taking them. Apparently a lot of people used to take these pills to enhance a sexual experience.

It is not a date-rape drug, as far as I know.

This story is being reported as proof of Cosby's built. I don't see it that way, but we will see. If so, he will lose millions of dollars in lawsuits. If you do not hear about big payoffs soon, then his accusers do not have the evidence.

Anyway, what disturbs me about this story is something else. A judge released what had been a sealed 2005 deposition, and here was his reasoning:
This case, however, is not about Defendant’s status as a public person by virtue of the exercise of his trade as a televised or comedic personality. Rather, Defendant has donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime. To the extent that Defendant has freely entered the public square and “thrust himself into the vortex of th[ese] public issue[s],” he has voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim.
Wow, I did not know that a man loses his privacy rights by expression his opinions on "childrearing, family life, education, and crime." I have given opinions on some of those things on this blog. Does that mean that I have no privacy? That some judge will soon be unsealing my court files?

In my case, the most embarrassing things are already on the public file, and even searchable on the web.

Here is the Cosby moral opinion, referred to by the judge:
I’m talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two? (clapping) Where were you when he was twelve? (clapping) Where were you when he was eighteen, and how come you don’t know he had a pistol? (clapping) And where is his father, and why don’t you know where he is? And why doesn’t the father show up to talk to this boy?

The church is only open on Sunday. And you can’t keep asking Jesus to ask doing things for you (clapping). ...

50 percent drop out rate, I’m telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse, I want somebody to love me, and as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. Grandmother, mother, and great grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them (clapping). All this child knows is “gimme, gimme, gimme.”
Apparently there is a widespread belief that if you even promote Christian morals, and if you ever had any un-Christian behavior in the past, then you must be punished by any means possible.

Dennis Hastert might fill that pattern. He was a Republican Speaker of the House, and now he is indicted for lying about why he was withdrawing cash from the bank. It is strange that anyone would even be keeping track of his bank transactions. It appears to be some sort of Democrat payback.

All this seems to intimidate politicians and others into never expressing a moral opinion. If you do, the anti-moralist will do everything to destroy you.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Zygote implanted against father's wishes

Women are considered to have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy at any time, but a man can be forced into fatherhood. Here is a case of that, overriding a signed contract requiring the man's consent. E. Volokh explains:
Couple goes through IVF, breaks up. Who decides what to do with the fertilized ova?

The Appellate Court of Illinois chimed in a few weeks ago, in Szafranski v. Dunston, and summarized the precedents. Here’s the fact pattern, which is apparently not unusual: Man (Jacob Szafranski) and woman (Karla Dunston) were dating; woman learned that she had cancer and that the treatments would make her infertile; she wanted to have children, so she and the man went through IVF; but then they broke up. She now wants to have one of the fertilized ova implanted, but he doesn’t. Concern about child support apparently isn’t the main problem.
She offered to waive child support, but that is not so simple. If he is named the father, and she goes on welfare, then he will be forced to pay child support whether the mom asks for it or not.

Perhaps they can eliminate his legal paternity before birth, but I don't think that the court decision covers that.

E. Volokh explains why this court's thinking is contrary to Rule of Law:
So it seems to me that enforcing the contracts, if there are such contracts, is the best solution here. I’m not sure about “balancing” in the absence of contracts, especially when the things to be balanced are so subjective and hard to compare against each other; it would be better, I think, to have a clear rule up front and then have parties contract (or not) with an eye toward the rule. (Compare, for instance, the distribution of a person’s property when he dies. We generally enforce the will and, in the absence of a will, distribute according to a rigidly defined scheme, rather than “balancing” the prospective heirs’ interests in the property.)

Monday, July 06, 2015

History of child custody

I have wondered about the history of child custody in America and England, and gotten conflicting accounts. Some say that the fathers had all the rights, and the wives were chattel. But according to this, it usually did not work out that way.
When it was not rejected outright (as many courts did from the beginning), the supposed “paramount right of the father” to the custody of his children was subject to six major exceptions:

children born out-of-wedlock;
young children;
weak, disabled or unhealthy children;
daughters;
older male children who expressed a preference to live with their mothers; and
cases where the father was guilty of marital or moral misconduct, concepts which were defined very broadly in cases where a father sought custody of a child.

Except when a married mother was determined to be unfit to parent, there were not many situations to which a “paramount right of fathers to custody” actually applied. The exceptions nearly swallowed the rule, in those few states where such a rule was actually applied at all.

What this meant was that, in practice, the courts of every state – those that had openly rejected the “fathers’ rights” doctrine from the beginning, and those that had given it lip service while effectively nullifying it through the crafting of exceptions – decided custody on the basis of the best interests of the child, with a strong presumption that maternal custody was in a child’s best interests. As the Philadelphia Court of General Sessions concluded in 1840, after conducting a review of American custody decisions from the earliest reported decisions forward, “[t]he common law of the United States is in favour of the mother’s custody”1

The maternal preference was based on strongly held beliefs about the natural superiority of women and the inferiority of men with respect to child-rearing functions. For example, the Illinois Supreme Court, in 1849, issued this sweeping generalization:
The mother, from her natural endowments, her position in society, and her constant association with [children], can give them that care, attention and advice so indispensable to their welfare, which a father, if the same children were left to his supervision, would be compelled in a great degree to confide to strangers.2
Although the maternal preference was more ardently and eloquently expressed in cases involving younger children, it manifested itself in the rules courts applied to the custody of older children, too. For example, the near-absolute rights of mothers to custody of children born out-of-wedlock, and of daughters, and of weak, disabled or unhealthy children, applied to cases involving children of any age.
Back then, marriage was how a man took responsibility for his kids. Nowadays, the law has so confused the issue, that the legal arguments currently being given for marriage before the US Supreme Court do not even mention this view.
The custody rights of parents were never absolute. A mother, like a father, could lose custody if a judge determined that she was unfit to be a parent.3 The kinds of things that a court would accept as evidence of a mother’s unfitness varied considerably from what would suffice for a father, though. In general, it may be said that the grounds for declaring a mother unfit were more limited than what would suffice to declare a father unfit. And over the course of the century, this double standard became increasingly pronounced.

One clear example of the double standard was the obligation of child support. The law imposed support obligations exclusively on men.4 Women were not expected to be the breadwinners for a family. As a result, a mother’s inability to support her children financially normally was not held to be grounds for denying her custody of her children. By contrast, courts readily denied custody to fathers – and awarded custody to the other parent, or even to a third party — on the basis that the father either could not or did not adequately provide for his children financially.

Another clear example of the double standard was marital infidelity. Courts often treated a father’s commission of adultery as grounds for denying him custody of a child but, as we have seen, a mother’s commission of adultery did not necessarily preclude an award of custody to her, especially if the child in question was young.

Moreover, regardless of the age of the child, a mother’s commission of adultery was not a bar to custody if there was evidence that she had undergone a moral reformation. And courts typically would infer a woman’s complete moral reformation simply from her termination of an adulterous relationship.

Victorian mores were such that women were seen as innocent and asexual.
Now feminism has convinced everyone that women are naturally sluts.

Apparently English courts were also guilty of saying one thing and doing another:
Here’s an account of the situation in 19th century England by Ernest B. Bax:

CUSTODY OF CHILDREN

It has always in England been laid down as a fundamental law based on public policy, that the custody of children and their education is a duty incumbent on the father. It is said to be so fundamental that he is not permitted to waive his exercise of the right by pre-nuptial contract. (See the Agar v. Ellis Case.)

This rule of the Common Law of England is of course in harmony with the policy of all Europe and Christendom, as well as with the historic conditions of the European social organisation, if not with the primal instincts of the race.

Nevertheless, fundamental and necessary as the rule may be, the pro-feminist magistrates and judges of England are bent apparently on ignoring it with a light heart. They have not merely retained the old rule that the custody of infants of tender years remains with the mother until the child attains the age of seven. But they go much further than that. As a matter of course, and without considering in the least the interests of the child, or of society at large, they hand over the custody and education of all the children to the litigant wife, whenever she establishes –- an easy thing to do -– a flimsy and often farcical case of technical “cruelty.”

The victim husband has the privilege of maintaining the children as well as herself out of his property or earnings, and has the added consolation of knowing that they will brought up to detest him.

Even in the extreme case where a deserting wife takes with her the children of the marriage, there is practically no redress for the husband if in narrow circumstances. The police courts will not interfere. The divorce court, as already stated, is expensive to the point of prohibition. In any case the husband has to face a tribunal already prejudiced in favour of the female, and the attendant scandal of a process will probably have no other result than to injure his children and their future prospects in life.
I am not sure if we have made any progress or not.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Ten Parental Alienation Fallacies

Psychologist Richard A. Warshak is the parental alienation expert, and he has published:
False beliefs about the genesis of parental alienation and about appropriate remedies shape opinions and decisions that fail to meet children’s needs. This article examines 10 mistaken assumptions: (a) children never unreasonably reject the parent with whom they spend the most time, (b) children never unreasonably reject mothers, (c) each parent contributes equally to a child’s alienation, (d) alienation is a child’s transient, short-lived response to the parents’ separation, (e) rejecting a parent is a short-term healthy coping mechanism, (f) young children living with an alienating parent need no intervention, (g) alienated adolescents’ stated preferences should dominate custody decisions, (h) children who appear to function well outside the family need no intervention, (i) severely alienated children are best treated with traditional therapy techniques while living primarily with their favored parent, and (j) separating children from an alienating parent is traumatic. Reliance on false beliefs compromises investigations and undermines adequate consideration of alternative explanations for the causes of a child’s alienation. Most critical, fallacies about parental alienation shortchange children and parents by supporting outcomes that fail to provide effective relief to those who experience this problem.
The full article is behind a paywall. His previous article was on Batman's Traumatic Origins.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

France recognizes test-tube kids

The USA is not the only country with a supreme court redefining the family in order to appease the LGBTQIA activists. Time mag reports:
France’s highest court has granted legal recognition to surrogate children, in a major turnaround that will make their daily lives easier and could lead to greater acceptance of new forms of families.

The Cour de cassation ruled Friday that, while surrogacy will remain banned in France, children born abroad through this practice will now be legally tied to their parents and will be granted birth certificates and immediate means to prove their French citizenship.

Surrogacy can involve a woman carrying an embryo created by in vitro fertilization using another woman’s egg and her partner’s sperm. In some cases, such as those involving male gay couples, the surrogate mother is also the genetic mother of the child.

Until now, surrogate children were deprived of any legal connection to their parents, or any civil status in France. They were considered as children born from unknown legal parents, since their foreign birth certificates weren’t recognized. One lawyer has described them as “ghosts of the republic.”

Unlike other children born abroad to a French parent, these children couldn’t get automatic ID cards or passports, or register for state health care or other services.

This exposed them to frequent problems, because many basic tasks are impossible in France without an ID or authorization from a legal parent.
The previous French position was:
The latest missive comes from Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who argued a few days ago that "France is opposed to surrogacy because she is opposed, in the name of her values, in the name of progress and humanism, to all forms of commercialization of human beings and experimentation in this area." Surrogates are "slaves" with wombs for rent, they argue, exploited by the infertile. France's leadership hides the many happy U.S. surrogacy stories, featuring instead some of Asia's forced baby factories that ensnare poor women.

Children of surrogacy who are born in the U.S. attain U.S. citizenship but not that of their intended French parents. France insists that children conceived in this way should not be recognized as French because of how they came into life. However, in June 2014, a brave decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered France to reverse course and recognize children born of surrogacy despite the French ban.
In France, you are supposed to have a mistress to carry your illegitimate baby for you, and you are supposed to inseminate her the old-fashioned way.

France is no longer a sovreign nation, and takes orders on gay matters from European officials. If the European Convention on Human Rights says that gay men can rent wombs to make babies, then France has to accept it. The case was a couple of gay men who did their baby-making in Russia. The baby had a Russian birth certificate, but not a French one. France has about 1000 of these surrogate babies.

The Europeans are not necessarily accepting all reproductive technologies. They object to Britain's 3-parent babies. That means 3 genetic parents. There could still be the gestational mom, and the intended legal parents.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

County mental health official arrested

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports:
A 56-year-old Santa Cruz County children’s mental health worker was charged with sexual assault of a child in Santa Cruz Superior Court on Tuesday.

Christopher Douglas McCauley, who has posted $100,000 bail, pleaded not guilty and was ordered back in court July 23, Judge John Salazar ruled. McCauley faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted, prosecutor Rafael Vazquez said outside court.

McCauley, of Live Oak, is accused of attacking a child 1995, authorities said. The alleged victim was not a mental health client, and the report recently was made to Child Protective Services, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.

McCauley has worked for County Mental Health for about 20 years.
He was earning $100k per year in salary and benefits.

I hesitate to post this, because a story like this can destroy a man's career, and the accusation might be completely false. He is innocent until proven guilty.

I do not even know what the article means when it says "accused of attacking a child 1995". If the accusation is about a 1995 attack, then it should be dismissed for all the reasons that we have a statute of limitations.

If a crime was really committed, then why didn't the victim or parent report it directly to police? I would not trust CPS if it were my child.
Sheriff’s deputies have said there might be other victims.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information to call 831-471-1121.
Do they have the goods on this guy or not? Maybe they only suspect him, so they figured that they could arrest him and put out the call for more victims and evidence. If that is the case here, I would hate to think that I cooperated in an evil plot to ruin a man's reputation.

If he has really been molesting kids for 20 years, and using his position as a County children's mental health worker to recruit victims, then I hope that they throw the book at him, and fire his supervisors and enablers as well.

But I doubt it.

I am not sure which is worse. That the County would employ a child molester in a position like this, or that it would frame an innocent man. Based on what I know about CPS, both seem possible.

His lawyer or his friends are welcome to post here anything in his defense.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Court orders Moslem visitation to Christian

Often family courts take the position that divorcing parents must agree on all child-related matters, and judges send them to psychologists to force agreement. Or the judges force agreement.

This case is the opposite. The judge forced a disagreement on religion, and the Mass. supreme court upheld it.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh writes:
Father and mother split when their daughter Odetta (a pseudonym) was an infant. Father was born in West Africa, and was apparently a nonpracticing Muslim; mother was born in Haiti, and was a Seventh Day Adventist. “Upon her birth, Odetta was given a Muslim name, and the family took part in a ceremony in which she was formally recognized into the Muslim faith.”

The daughter lived with the mother, but the father helped raise the daughter, with his brother’s help, until the daughter was age three. During that time, “Odetta attended the same mosque as the paternal uncle,” and “sporadically attended a Christian church with her mother and, on occasion, with her father as well.”

Then the father murdered the mother. The mother’s Adventist family got custody. Should the father’s Muslim brother get visitation, on the theory that continued exposure “to both parents’ religions and cultures” “be in [the] child’s best interests”? (Odetta is now almost 10; the father supported the paternal uncle’s petition.)

Yes, said the trial court and Friday the Massachusetts Appellate Court affirmed, in Adoption of Odetta. An excerpt from the trial court’s decision:
Odetta’s best interests will be served by allowing “her to have some contact with her father’s family, the tenets and practices of Islam which are part of her family heritage and which the adoptive family, who are not Islamic, cannot or will not provide for her.”
Here the judge is forcing disagreement on religion.

There are many things wrong with this. Why are we even letting all these people from Haiti and West Africa into the country? We should prefer people from less murderous cultures.

No judge should be interjecting himself into a religious dispute. I thought that the First Amendment prohibited that.

The case is also a gross attack on parental rights. It gives a non-parent court-ordered visitation for the express purpose of undermining the legal parent's Christian values. This is a recipe for disaster.

I am afraid that this is a sign of many bad things to come. Parents will no longer have the right to teach their values to their kids. If the authorities do not like what you are teaching, some judge will order visitation with someone having the opposite view. The only justification with be the BIOTCh. And that can be just an opinion, not backed by any evidence. In this case, there is no evidence that an Adventist-Islam combination is good for 10yo girls.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Massachusetts finds right to spank

Eugene Volokh reports:
Parents have a right to reasonably spank their children, says Massachusetts high court

Such a right has been recognized throughout American history, as a defense against a charge of battery (under criminal law or tort law). In this case, the state trial judge seemed to conclude no such right existed, at least in public, saying,
If you’re in public with your kids, it’s not appropriate to discipline in this fashion.
But yesterday, the Massachusetts high court unanimously reversed, in Commonwealth v. Dorvil, concluding that there was indeed a common-law right to spank:
[A] parent or guardian may not be subjected to criminal liability for the use of force against a minor child under the care and supervision of the parent or guardian, provided that (1) the force used against the minor child is reasonable; (2) the force is reasonably related to the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the minor, including the prevention or punishment of the minor’s misconduct; and (3) the force used neither causes, nor creates a substantial risk of causing, physical harm (beyond fleeting pain or minor, transient marks), gross degradation, or severe mental distress….
Part of why this dad was prosecuted was because he appeared to be angry. The incident was quite trivial, but many so-called experts say that discipline should not be done in anger.

As far as I know, there is no legal doctrine that you are certain rights as long as you are not angry.

If you spank in public, you are always subject to some jerk calling 911 just because he or she does not approve of spanking.

I am skeptical that observers or cops can even tell whether a parent is angry. Often a parent pretends to be angry as a way of impressing seriousness on the child.

People who are truly angry can make bad judgments, but the law should apply to what they do, not their emotional states.