Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stupid Lifetime movie Betrayed

I watched the made-for-TV movie Betrayed on the Lifetime channel last Sunday. It was terrible.

I realize this junk is aimed at women, but this seemed worse than usual. I didn't pay enough attention to recite the plot, but I'll try. The hero was a pregnant woman who was stringing along her rich husband as well as an adulterous lover. She told her lover that the kid was his and kept promising to run off with him, but first she needed to convince her husband that the baby was his and get millions in a divorce settlement. They both foolishly support her while she is dishonest with both of them.

Another guy tries to extort money out of them. She selfishly lets the three guys fight it out, and the extortionist ends up dead. In the end, she threatens to frame the other two (her husband and lover), and abandons both of them. She vows to raise the baby herself, and proudly tells them it is a girl, not a boy. If they try for custody or visitation, she will accuse them of murder. And she will have her husband's money to raise her lover's kid.

The movie title seems to imply that she was betrayed, and justified in her action. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I didn't see it. She was betraying them. And the typical Lifetime viewer was probably saying "yo girl!".

It is just a stupid movie, and may only reflect the view of the producer or director. But I assume that they did some market research, and they decided that the movie fulfills a fantasy of the women who watch the Lifetime channel. Scary.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lawsuit over an archaic medical code

I have complained about psychologists making bogus diagnoses, and here is someone suing about it:
A Los Angeles man is suing his doctor and a Southern California healthcare network, saying they ignored his request to remove a notation describing "homosexual behavior" as a "chronic problem" on his medical records.

Matthew Moore, 46, who is openly gay, said he was shocked to see his sexual orientation still described as a chronic condition more than a year after he complained about the use of the archaic medical classification.

"It was infuriating. It was painful," he said of his decision to sue. "It was another attempt by this doctor and this medical group to impose their agenda of discrimination and hate onto a gay patient." ...

The diagnosis was coded as 302.0, an archaic classification from The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (commonly known as the ICD). Code 302.0 "homosexual behavior" was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973. ...

The association also issued a media statement saying the designation had been used as a result of "human error" and claiming that "upon notification by the patient the record was corrected."
He has no real grievance here. He told them that he was homosexual, and they noted that on his records. What did he expect? It is not as if they asked the court to take his kids away, as many dads face all the time with family court psychologists.

The lawsuit will be dismissed because he has no damages. He is only complaining about an obsolete medical record that no one saw but himself, and he is openly gay anyway.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tales of a Jewish matchmaker

Some cultures have different attitudes towards marriage, and the NY Times reports on a Jewish matchmaker:
Women can be superficial — “A lot of women don’t like bald men,” Ms. Weinberg said — but men are worse. “I’ll have a singles party, they’ll come into the room, look around, say, ‘Bye!’ They don’t even get to know anybody. They don’t look at the neshama,” the soul, she said.

Some of the men have mommy issues, too.

“I have this one man,” Ms. Weinberg said, “whose mother used to be a ballerina, so he is looking for a woman with long legs, no chest. And he’s a rabbi!

Ms. Weinberg will work with any client as long as he or she is Jewish by the traditional standard of maternal descent: “I work with everyone whose mother is Jewish. The father could be the pope.” And she will work with clients who are gay, as long as they are looking for a straight marriage.

“They have same-sex attraction,” Ms. Weinberg said, “but they don’t want to pursue that line. They want to marry a woman, and they want me to tell the girls they are homosexual but they don’t want to act on it.” Such a man “wants to have a normal house; he wants a house and a family.”

And even for these men, Ms. Weinberg said, there are women.

“I have to tell the woman” about the man’s situation, she said. “But there are women who are asexual, and there are women who don’t need to be — hugged and kissed, sure, but. ...” She trailed off. “I have made matches like that.”

Ms. Weinberg will take extraordinary measures to help put a man and woman together for life. She told one of her sons she would give him $10,000 if he found a husband for his sister, and he did. She will also take certain liberties in the service of love.

“Something you should know about Tova is she creatively alters the truth under certain circumstances,” said Beverly Siegel, a documentary filmmaker from Chicago. Widowed after a long first marriage, Ms. Siegel met her second husband through Ms. Weinberg.

“She told Howard some things about me that were not exactly true,” Ms. Siegel said.
Hmmm. Okay with me, up until the point where they start imposing their twisted values on me.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mom Arrested for Swearing

It used to be that Southern women learned good manners, and behaved themselves in public
Mom Arrested for Swearing in Front of Kids

Danielle Wolf was not having a good night at the Kroger grocery store in North Augusta, SC, where she moved with her family just three weeks ago. She says her husband kept squishing the bread in their cart by putting frozen pizzas on top of it, and Wolf expressed her displeasure at the situation. That's when her night got really bad. A fellow shopper approached her and accused her of using the F-word in front of her kids. "I'm like, 'When did I say this to my kids?'" Wolf tells WJBF. "I said that to my husband, that he was smashing the bread." But somehow the police were called, and Wolf ended up getting arrested in the incident late Sunday. ...

disorderly conduct is defined as "riotous conduct of any kind," "cry[ing] out in a noisy, scandalous, or abusive manner" in a public place, or "utter[ing], while in a state of anger, in the presence of another, any bawdy, lewd, or obscene words or epithets."
Her defense is that she was swearing at her husband about the pizzas squishing the bread, not at her kids. But it is disorderly conduct either way.

Disorderly conduct is one of those vague charges when a cop does not like your attitude.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Other countries have different parenting practices

NPR reports:
If there's one thing have in common with those , it's that they both show us just how varied parenting styles can be.

Argentine parents let their kids stay up until all hours; Japanese parents let 7-year-olds ride the subway by themselves; and Danish parents leave their kids sleeping in a stroller on the curb while they go inside to shop or eat.

Some might make American parents cringe, but others sure could use a close study. Vietnamese mothers, for instance, get their kids out of diapers by 9 months.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Alimony contributed to suicide

The late Robin Williams had personal problems:
Robin Williams will return to TV after nearly three decades – because two divorces have left him short of cash.

The comic’s breakups cost him £20 million and he claims to need a ‘steady job’. He is also selling his £20 million California ranch due to his sizeable alimony payments.[...]

The 62-year-old, said: ‘Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it “all the money”, but they changed it to “alimony”.

It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.’
The joke is that it is a contraction of "all his money". There is also a story that he had Parkinson's disease, so divorce probably isn't the main story. CH quotes this and rants:
If America is fated to be a post-Malthusian, r-selection reproductive free-for-all, then let it be in every way. That means, women are cut loose from the male alimony and child support teat to fend for themselves and accept the consequences of their decisions. Relying on men for support, pre- and post-marriage, is a luxury afforded K-selection societies, and that luxury comes with certain duties that modern women have largely chosen to abandon. If justice is fair and not wholly rigged against the interests of men, the divorce rape culture will be dismantled and an ex-husband’s life may be saved.
Williams starred in Mrs. Doubtfire, as I remarked before:
I happened to watch two big divorce movies on cable TV channels last week, Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).

These movies must have been made by people who experienced a nasty divorce. Otherwise, the stories are not very plausible. Particularly hard to take, in both movies, is the attitude of the wife/mother in seeking child custody, and the action of the family court in ignoring the merits of the father's case.
Williams is a pathetic character in the movie. Apparently he was about to make a pathetic sequel:
Robin Williams resented having to do a second Mrs Doubtfire film but felt compelled in order to keep money coming in, a close friend of the actor has told the Telegraph.

Williams, who had been working on four projects when he was believed to have taken his own life this week, was said to have been dreading making more films as they “brought out his demons”. …

“Robin had promised himself he would not do any more as he invested so much in his roles that it left him drained and particularly vulnerable to depressive episodes,” the friend told the paper.

“He signed up to do them purely out of necessity. He wasn’t poor, but the money wasn’t rolling in any more and life is expensive when you have to pay off two ex-wives and have a family to support.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Popular exaggeration of risk

Security expert Bruce Schneier agrees with Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids:
But, "What if a man would've come and snatched her?" said a woman interviewed by the TV station.

To which I must ask: In broad daylight? In a crowded park? Just because something happened on Law & Order doesn't mean it's happening all the time in real life. Make "what if?" thinking the basis for an arrest and the cops can collar anyone. "You let your son play in the front yard? What if a man drove up and kidnapped him?" "You let your daughter sleep in her own room? What if a man climbed through the window?" etc.

These fears pop into our brains so easily, they seem almost real. But they're not. Our crime rate today is back to what it was when gas was 29 cents a gallon, according to The Christian Science Monitor. It may feel like kids are in constant danger, but they are as safe (if not safer) than we were when our parents let us enjoy the summer outside, on our own, without fear of being arrested.
One comment says:
This nonsense is what happens when society gives women the right to vote.

Some will immediately point out the it is a woman who is quoted in the article from Free Range Kids but that is the exception that illustrates the rule. People keep talking about "irrational fears" ignoring that most of those irrational fears steam from women, particularly post-menopausal women. The West may be going to hell in a handbasket, as a friend of mine stated, but how much of such dissatisfaction directly coincides with the rise of women in public life and the need for politicians to cater to their fears?
Skenazy is a sensible woman about risk, so clearly it is possible for women to be sensible. And some men are irrational about risk. But for the most part, women are much more likely to choose their foolish instincts over common sense.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Right to record cops

More and more, courts and others are affirming a citizen's right to video-record police officers doing their jobs. Here is the latest:
In a statement of findings and recommendations filed last week, a US Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of California affirmed that a woman on searchable probation had the right to videotape three officers who came to her home to search it.
From the court opinion:
The complaint alleges that defendant violated plaintiff’s rights under the First Amendment when he took her laptop away after she informed him that she was recording the search of her residence. As early as 1995, the Ninth Circuit has recognized a “First Amendment right to film matters of public interest.” Fordyce v. City of Seattle, 55 F.3d 436, 439 (9th Cir.1995). Other circuits have similarly held that the First Amendment protects an individual’s right to record police officers in the course of carrying out their duties. See Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78, 82 (1st Cir.2001) (“The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within [the First Amendment].”); Gilles v. Davis, 427 F.3d 197, 212 n.14 (3rd Cir.2005) (“[V]ideotaping or photographing the police in the performance of their duties on public property may be protected activit[ies]”); Smith v. City of Cumming, 212 F.3d 1332, 1333 (11th Cir.2000) (“The First Amendment protects the right to gather information about what public officials do on public property,” including the right “to photograph or videotape police conduct.”). ...

There simply is no principled bases upon which to find that although the right to record officers conducting their official duties only extends to duties performed in public, the right does not extend to those performed in a private residence. The public’s interest in ensuring that police officers properly carry out their duties and do not abuse the authority bestowed on them by society does not cease once they enter the private residence of a citizen.

To the contrary, there appears to be an even greater interest for such recordings when a police officer’s actions are shielded from the public’s view. Further, there is no reason to believe that plaintiff’s status as a probationer would diminish the public’s interest in how police exercise their authority in a private citizen’s homes….
Similar reasoning should apply to other govt officials, such as judges, CPS, forensic psychologists, etc.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Backwards advice for men

I mentioned that popular advice is often the opposite of what is needed, especially for men. The CH blog takes this to an extreme and advises men not to be a white knight:
She has stopped spontaneously touching you.

White Knight/Pussy Polisher Imagined Cause: She’s reacting to your emotional distance.
Real Cause: You lost that alpha male mojo.
White Knight Response That Won’t Work: Tenderly express your feelings so she’s comfortable being intimate again.
CH Solution That Will Work: Slap her ass after flirting with a waitress in front of her. Ass-ownage is 9/10ths of the law. ...

She’s nagging all the time.

White Knight Imagined Cause: You aren’t doing your share of the household chores.
Real Cause: She’s becoming repulsed by your beta stink and lashing out by subconsciously emasculating you.
White Knight Response That Won’t Work: Be a helpful househusband.
CH Solution That Will Work: Tell her to shut the fuck up. Leave for a few days. Don’t say where you’re going.
The site is a mixture of ugly truths and hilarious advice. While that advice may sometimes seem shocking or satirical, it is often accompanied by cites to scientific studies backing up the advice.

For more humor, see 27 Dumb Things Men Suspect About Women.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Crazy people cannot be lawyers

A couple of female law professors complain:

Last week, all across the country, tens of thousands of law school graduates endured an agonizing rite of passage: the bar examination.

As if sitting for two or three full days in a large room full of stressing, sweating, swearing candidates weren’t bad enough, at least 40 percent of these candidates were also struggling with another challenge: gaining admission to the profession despite having a psychiatric disability. ...

(Lying is not an option because law students learn from their very first day of legal studies that the profession holds them to a duty of candor. If they ever lie about anything, they're told, the bar will find out, and they might lose their license to practice.) ...

There is good news. The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division recently stated formally that the mental health questions on bar fitness applications violate the Americans With Disabilities Act. The DOJ declared that these mental fitness questions use “stereotypes and assumptions about the disabilities and are not necessary to assess applicants’ fitness to practice,” encouraging states to focus on conduct rather than mental health status. The DOJ’s declaration is not enforceable on the states, but it is a clarion call. ...

It is time for the legal profession to stop stigmatizing bar applicants for their disabilities and for exercising good self-care.
Really? 40% of lawyer candidates have mental illnesses?

Another alternative would be to require full disclosure to the public. That is, let the mentally ill become lawyers, but stamp the info on the law license and on the Bar Assn web page.

The "lying is not an option" is amusing. My guess is that half the crazy applicants lie on the forms and conceal the mental illness. The Bar Assn has no good way of checking.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Australia crazy about kids in cars

The Free Range mom reports:
Readers — Lest you think America is alone in going plumb crazy with worry for its kids in almost every situation, take heart! Australia is at least as terrified! As the newspaper The Age reports:
Parents who leave their children unattended in a car or at home face harsher fines and double the jail time under proposed laws.

New legislation will be introduced on Wednesday that will mean any parent leaving a child under the age of 12 unattended could face a jail term of up to six months or fines of $3690. It is not limited to cars and homes but means anywhere a child is left alone. 

Previously the fine was $2214 or a maximum of three months’ jail. 
California has no law against leaving kids alone at any particular age, and only offers these guidelines.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Latest car kid death

I have posted a bunch of these kid-in-car stories, but this has it all. Gay couple. Not married. Smoking dope. Watching TV. Foster kids. Kansas. Attempting an inter-racial adoption. Dead kid. Murder charge.

UK Daily Mail reports:
Crying child on Game of Thrones reminded foster dad high on drugs that he left baby girl in a sweltering car for two hours, say cops investigating her murder

Seth Jackson, 29, faces a first-degree murder charge in the July 24 death of his 10-month-old foster daughter Kadillak Poe Jones
Jackson reportedly called his partner, Payton Schroeder, to let him know he would be picking Kadillak up from the baby sitter after taking their 5-year-old adopted child to a doctor's appointment
Jackson told police that when he arrived home, he locked the car and went inside with his 5-year-old and pizza - but not Kadillak
Schroeder revealed to investigators that he and Jackson smoked marijuana that Jackson had earlier picked up that day
After watching one-and-a-half episodes of 'Game of Thrones,' Jackson remembered Kadillak was inside the car after hearing a child's cries on the HBO program
In addition to Kadillak, whom they were trying to adopt, Jackson and Schroeder had five other children in their care
Jackson's Facebook account lists him as a paraprofessional for the Wichita school district
I don't even know what a "paraprofessional" is. I would have thought that some red flags would have been raised, but maybe Kansas has changed since the last time I was there.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Empathy back in the news

Empathy is a big fad in the liberal news media. I used to post regular updates, but it dropped off my radar until NPR radio had two empathy stories yesterday.

First, they tie it into the Gaza conflict:
In the waiting room at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, an Israeli woman was shouting at a Palestinian mother whose son was being treated for a beating he received from a Jewish mob.

"Go away you trash," the Israeli woman yelled at the Palestinian. "I would bury you in Gaza."

A second Israeli woman joined in the verbal barrage, complaining that her taxes shouldn't be paying for Palestinian treatment.

Two other Israeli women came over to comfort the Palestinian mother. But she is in no mood for reconciliation and retorted: "What good will your apologies do?"

My NPR colleague Daniel Estrin witnessed this exchange and it reflects the lack of empathy in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza these days, even in the few communities where Jews and Arabs mix like Jerusalem. ...

Back in Jerusalem, the generational difference in empathy for the other side is striking in the walled Old City, which has Arab and Jewish neighborhoods.
Empathy has nothing to do with it. Palestinian arabs have a religion that teaches extermination of the Jews.

The next story concerns an attempt to drug kids who supposedly do not have enough empathy:

Scratch one more simple explanation for autism off the list. This time it's the idea that children with autism have low levels of oxytocin, often called the "love hormone" because it can make people more trusting and social.

"Our data blew that out of the water," says Karen Parker, a Stanford researcher involved in the most rigorous study yet of autism and oxytocin levels. The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that children with autism were no more likely than other kids to have low levels of oxytocin in the blood.

The so-called oxytocin-deficit hypothesis has been appealing because social difficulties are a hallmark of autism spectrum disorders. And there have been hints that the social functioning of people with autism improved with a little extra oxytocin, even a single dose.

Next they might try giving oxytocin in Gaza to try to stop the fighting.

This is offensive. It would make more sense to give oxytocin to gay men in order to make them more attracted to women.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Korean Tiger Moms

Notions of child abuse keep expanding. According to a NY Times op-ed:
The world may look to South Korea as a model for education — its students rank among the best on international education tests — but the system’s dark side casts a long shadow. Dominated by Tiger Moms, cram schools and highly authoritarian teachers, South Korean education produces ranks of overachieving students who pay a stiff price in health and happiness. The entire program amounts to child abuse. It should be reformed and restructured without delay.
Maybe someday pressuring your child to succeed will be illegal.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Abandoning a Downs baby

Yahoo reports:
Well-wishers on Friday had raised nearly $100,000 for a baby reportedly left with his surrogate Thai mother after his Australian parents discovered he had Down's Syndrome and returned home with his healthy twin sister.

Pattaramon Chanbua from Chonburi province, southeast of Bangkok, agreed via an agent to be a surrogate for the couple for a fee of Aus$16,000 ($14,900), giving birth to twins -- a boy and a girl -- in December, according to press reports.

But when the Australians discovered the boy, named Gammy by his surrogate family, had Down's Syndrome they abandoned him in Thailand and returned to Australia with only the healthy girl, Australia's ABC said.
The article goes on to say that the contracts may have violated the laws in Australia and Thailand.

But it does not mention that in most states of the USA, a parent can abandon a newborn baby at a hospital or fire station, no questions asked. So if you get a Downs baby, and you don't want it, you can just give up him. I do not know about other countries.

In California law:
The Safely Surrendered Baby Law responds to the increasing number of newborn infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe locations. First created in January 2001, the Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed permanently into state law in January 2006. The law's intent is to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment by encouraging parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender the infant within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked.

From January 1, 2001, to March 31, 2014, 621 newborns have been surrendered in California, and as of March 31, 2014, 15 newborns have been surrendered in 2014. ...

Dial 1.877.BABY.SAF (1-877-222-9723) or 211.

Although a person surrendering a baby under the Safely Surrendered Baby Law will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire, the form is optional and is intended solely for the purpose of collecting medical information critical to the health and survival of the child. Any information that may identify the person surrendering the baby will be removed in order to maintain that person's confidentiality.
The SSB sites are instructed: "Do not be judgmental (this is an emotional and difficult time for the person)."

The ACLU supports these laws as a matter of women's rights, analogous to abortion rights.

The mom is not required to notify the dad, and I don't know what happens if the dad tries to claim the baby.

We have fewer Downs births today, because many of them are detected pre-natally, and aborted.

These issues offend some people, because the above story sounds like canceling an order because the product (baby) was not being delivered according to expectations. I am just describing the law.

The NY Times has an article on the Chinese baby-making business:
In a small conference room overlooking this city’s smog-shrouded skyline, Huang Jinlai outlines his offer to China’s childless elite: for $240,000, a baby with your DNA, gender of your choice, born by a coddled but captive rural woman.

The arrangement is offered by Mr. Huang’s Baby Plan Medical Technology Company, with branches in four Chinese cities and up to 300 successful births each year.

As in most countries, surrogacy is illegal in China. But a combination of rising infertility, a recent relaxation of the one-child-per-family policy and a cultural imperative to have children has given rise to a booming black market in surrogacy that experts say produces well over 10,000 births a year.

The trade links couples desperate for children with poor women desperate for cash in a murky world of online brokers, dubious private clinics and expensive trips to foreign countries. ...

Here in Wuhan, Baby Plan offers a more expensive, but at times grimly controlled, program. Chinese couples fly to Thailand, where surrogacy is legal, to donate their sperm and egg. A Chinese surrogate is flown there, too, and receives the implant. The three return to China and the surrogate is installed in a private apartment with a full-time assistant. To make sure she does not get ideas about fleeing with the customer’s fetus, she is cut off from her family and receives daily visits from a psychological counselor, Mr. Huang said.

If all goes well, the baby is born at a private clinic, which Mr. Huang says has an agreement with Baby Plan to accept the couple’s identity papers, legally registering the child as their own. Often, the couple never meet the surrogate. If the fertilization works on the first try, Baby Plan makes a profit of $24,000, Mr. Huang estimates, the same amount the surrogate mother makes.

“The baby is guaranteed, as well as a DNA check,” Mr. Huang said. “Otherwise you don’t pay.”
This is says surrogacy is legal in Thailand, which contradicts the above Yahoo article:
Tares Krassanairawiwong, a Thai public health ministry official, said it was illegal to pay for surrogacy in Thailand.

"Surrogacy can be done in Thailand but it has to comply with the laws... A surrogate has to be related to the intended parents and no money can be involved."
Apparently the law can be circumvented with enough money.

Other parents in Philadelphia were hassled for a home birth:
Fatima Doumbouya had no idea of the horrors that would ensue for simply choosing to have her baby in her own home.

Earlier this month Doumbouya, with her husband at her side, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in the comfort of their own home.

For six days they enjoyed being new parents before deciding that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to get their newborn baby screened for any health issues.

Little did they know that they would kidnapped and treated like incompetent criminals.

Doumbouya claims that upon their arrival to the hospital, doctors arranged to have her baby taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), without her permission. ...

Finally after having their baby taken from them and being held against their will for 13 hours, their daughter was returned to them and they were allowed to go home.

The next morning, their doorbell rings, it’s CPS.

“I am here because we received an alarm from the hospital about lack of supervision of your newborn,” the CPS worker says.

Doumbouya told them that they could not come into their house without a warrant, to which the CPS worker replies, we do not need one.

They still refused, but after the 3rd attempt and a consultation with an attorney, they agreed to let CPS inspect.

The cherry on top of this situation was that several days later they received the bill for the forced medical treatment. The ambulance ride alone was $3,320.00!
The ambulance is a scam in itself, and is part of how our health care system runs up bills that we would never authorize. I hope they did not pay the bill.

Update: The Australian dad defends himself:
The convicted child sex offender at the centre of an international surrogacy controversy says baby Gammy's twin sister will be "100 per cent safe" in his care.

David John Farnell and his wife Wendy have been accused by a Thai surrogate mother of abandoning baby Gammy, who has Down syndrome.

The West Australian couple brought Gammy's healthy twin sister home from Thailand, but deny abandoning the boy.

Amid a furore over the case it was revealed Mr Farnell had 22 child sex convictions, including unlawful and indecent dealing with girls as young as seven when he was in his 20s.
Audio: Baby Gammy's WA parents break their silence (AM)

"I hang my head in shame for that," he told Channel Nine while breaking his silence in an interview on Sunday night.

"And I am deeply regretful of that. And I am so sorry to those people."

The 56-year-old, who has three adult children, said he realised he had done the wrong thing after thinking about how he would feel if someone sexually abused his children.

He said he received counselling in prison, and his sexual urges towards children "have 100 per cent stopped".

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Dad arrested for cursing at kids

Police State Daily reports:
Police in Orland Park, Illinois arrested a Tinley Park man for cursing at his own children inside a pancake house after a patron called police to report him.

Mark Pawlak, 33, cursed at his children and threatened to lock them in a “hot truck” if they didn’t quieten down, then told a woman to “Shut the f*** up” who confronted him about his language, police said.

The woman told police she walked by the table where Pawlak and his family were eating and heard him say, “You’re such little b****,” and, “Stop being a little a** hole,” according to a police report.

The woman “advised she was offended and disturbed by the language being used towards young children and turned around to confront Mark,” police said. “While approaching his booth, she heard him say, ‘I’m going to lock you two in the hot truck if you don’t shut up.’”

The woman then “confronted Mark about his language and tone towards the children,” police said. She “related that she advised Mark his language was offensive and that he needed to stop verbally abusing the children. Mark then said, ‘Shut the f*** up b****, f*** you.’”

The woman reportedly “felt threatened by the situation” and left the scene to call police.

Pawlak admitted using fowl language but disputed the woman’s claims, police said. He was arrested on the spot for disorderly conduct. Police also called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to report him to the state.
What is this country coming to, if you cannot even curse at your own kids? I hate to read the other stories on the Police State Daily site.

Meanwhile, there is no end to kid-in-car stories, even when they are false:
A mom who was falsely accused of leaving her kids in a hot car in Katy is suing a Houston TV station who reported the incident, saying she feared vigilantes might take action against her.

KHOU, the Houston CBS affiliate ran a news report on July 15 based on cell phone footage from a witness who claimed shoppers smashed a window to get two children out of a Jeep parked at a Katy area mall. The report alleged Araceli Cisneros left them there to get a hair cut.

Just hours later the story changed after new witnesses came forward. Cisneros had accidently locked the children and her keys inside. She could be seen in the cell phone video frantically calling for help.

Cisneros has now filed a lawsuit against KHOU claiming over $200,000 in damages after the story went viral.

The suit says KHOU and reporter Rucks Russell published the story with a "reckless disregard for its truth or falsity" and without doing the "most basic fact checking."

According to the suit, nationally syndicated TV personality Nancy Grace even picked it up, calling Cisneros an unfit mother.
Don't tell Nancy Grace about this blog, or she will denounce me.

Cisneros will lose the lawsuit. The new media mis-report stories all the time, and they never lose lawsuits unless there is some sort of willful maliciousness after the errors are shown.

To me, I am not sure leaving kids in the car to get her hair done is necessarily worse than locking the keys in the car with the kids. Either way, it was probably a trivial incident of no news value. And yet there is such hysteria about this issue, that Nancy Grace wanted to make a big deal out of it. Usually she is attacking murderers and other serious criminals.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trafficking law requires BIOTCh lawyers

I mentioned that a recent BIOTCh law forbid deporting the illegal alien kids. While many Republicans propose revising the 2008 law, they still seem to support BIOTCh due process for the foreign kids. BIOTCh hearings are hopeless and should be repealed.

Ann Coulter has another angle:
It’s been reported everywhere—The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News—that the William Wilberforce Sex Trafficking Act requires that any non-Mexican children who show up on our border be admitted and given a hearing. (New York Times, July 7, 2014: “Immigrant Surge Rooted in Law to Curb Child Trafficking.”)

The problem, we’ve been told, is that a loophole in the sex trafficking law mandates these hearings — or “removal proceedings.”

But there is no such loophole. ...

According to last Friday’s New York Times, almost 90 percent of the 53,000 illegal alien kids given refugee status since October have already been transferred to parents or relatives living in the U.S. By the law’s clear terms, those 47,000 kids should have been summarily turned away at the border — just as Mexican children are.
I am not sure she is correct. Here is the Text of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008:
Subject to section 462(b)(2) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(b)(2)), an unaccompanied alien child in the custody of the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall be promptly placed in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child. In making such placements, the Secretary may consider danger to self, danger to the community, and risk of flight. Placement of child trafficking victims may include placement in an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program, pursuant to section 412(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1522(d)), if a suitable family member is not available to provide care.
I read this as saying that the alien kids can be placed with a USA family member, justified by BIOTCh, and while awaiting a BIOTCh hearing. Coulter says that the law excludes kids who have a suitable USA legal guardian.

And the kids get to lawyer up:
The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to appoint independent child advocates for child trafficking victims and other vulnerable unaccompanied alien children. A child advocate shall be provided access to materials necessary to effectively advocate for the best interest of the child. The child advocate shall not be compelled to testify or provide evidence in any proceeding concerning any information or opinion received from the child in the course of serving as a child advocate. The child advocate shall be presumed to be acting in good faith and be immune from civil and criminal liability for lawful conduct of duties as described in this provision.
This seems crazy to me. The so-called "child advocate" is supposed to tell the kid's story, and that story is to be believed, but the lawyer will not be under oath so he is free to tell lies in order to zealously advocate for the child.

This must have been written by lawyers who profit from endless proceedings that accomplish nothing. No one else would think that these child advocates are reasonable.

The kids should just be sent back to their home countries to rejoin their parents.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mom charged for attention to boyfriend

The Smoking Gun reports:
A Louisiana woman left her two young children unattended in her SUV while she performed oral sex on her boyfriend in his vehicle around 12:30 AM Friday, police report.

Princess Marks, 25, reportedly admitted to Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies that she was unable to see her children -- aged seven and five -- while she was pleasuring her boyfriend in the parking lot of a Lake Charles store.

Cops found the children inside the SUV, which was not running and had its windows down.

Marks’s post-midnight assignation resulted in her arrest for child desertion. Seen in the adjacent mug shot, Marks was booked into jail and later released after posting $5000 bond on the felony count.

Following her collar, Marks’s offspring were placed in the custody of family members. Her beau -- whom investigators did not identify -- was not arrested.
So what is she supposed to do -- keep her eyes on her kids while pleasuring the boyfriend? Or bring the boyfriend into the van with the kids?

This was after midnight, so the kids were very likely to be sleeping. If she had them asleep in bed at home and she was pleasuring the boyfriend in the next bedroom, she would also be unable to see them.

This is not "child desertion". The mom was letting the kids sleep, not abandoning them. The poor single mom needs to get some sexual action somehow.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Judge has affair with ex, still immune

Occasionally someone suggests that I sue the judge for bias, incompetence, negligence, or something like that. It never works. The case and appeal would be heard by other judges, and they all believe that judges should never be sued.

Here is a recent example:
A Michigan judge who admittedly had an affair with the wife of a man in a child-support case before his court won't have to face a federal civil rights case, a U.S. appeals court has ruled.

Calling the conduct of now-former Wayne Circuit Judge Wade McCree "often reprehensible," a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nonetheless held the judicial immunity doctrine barred Robert King from seeking damages, the Detroit Free Press reports.

King, who claims his due process rights were violated by McCree on multiple occasions, can't sue over the jurist's judicial actions. And McCree's nonjudicial actions aren't responsible for the civil rights violations claimed by King, the panel explained in its Monday opinion (PDF). "Personal bias alone of a judge—when not serving in a judicial function—does not create a due-process violation."

Attorney Joel Sklar represents King and told the newspaper his client intends to appeal the 6th Circuit ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
If this is not bias, what is? The judge had an affair with the other party in court.

And no, the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the case.

Update: Instapundit piles on:
At the very least, if judges are to enjoy absolute immunity from lawsuits over misconduct, that immunity should come from the legislature. Right now, it’s a judicially-created doctrine, which is self-serving in the extreme.

This case isn’t the worst misconduct shielded by judicial immunity, but it’s pretty bad.

And speaking of self-dealing, this doesn’t look good: “McCree is the son of the late Wade Hampton McCree Jr., who was the first black person appointed to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and the second black solicitor general in U.S. history.” Though the doctrine is so absolute that it doesn’t really matter. And did I mention that this rule of absolute immunity for judges, no matter how serious their misconduct, was created by ... judges?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Powerful people lack empathy

A couple of Canadian psychology professors write:
I FEEL your pain.

These words are famously associated with Bill Clinton, who as a politician seemed to ooze empathy. A skeptic might wonder, though, whether he truly was personally distressed by the suffering of average Americans. Can people in high positions of power — presidents, bosses, celebrities, even dominant spouses — easily empathize with those beneath them?

Psychological research suggests the answer is no. Studies have repeatedly shown that participants who are in high positions of power (or who are temporarily induced to feel powerful) are less able to adopt the visual, cognitive or emotional perspective of other people, compared to participants who are powerless (or are made to feel so).

For example, Michael Kraus, a psychologist now at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and two colleagues found that among full-time employees of a public university, those who were higher in social class (as determined by level of education) were less able to accurately identify emotions in photographs of human faces than were co-workers who were lower in social class. (While social class and social power are admittedly not the same, they are strongly related.)

Why does power leave people seemingly coldhearted? Some, like the Princeton psychologist Susan Fiske, have suggested that powerful people don’t attend well to others around them because they don’t need them in order to access important resources; as powerful people, they already have plentiful access to those.

We suggest a different, albeit complementary, reason from cognitive neuroscience. On the basis of a study we recently published with the researcher Jeremy Hogeveen, in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, we contend that when people experience power, their brains fundamentally change how sensitive they are to the actions of others.
Clinton did not really feel anyone's pain. He was just good at faking it. Other politicians, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are criticized because they are lousy at faking it. Empathy is a political fad.

Maybe these professors have figured out a way to scientifically analyze empathy. Then maybe some others will figure out whether it makes one a better or worse person. So far, it is just something for psychologists to speculate about.