Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Singularly most chilling experience of my life

With all the quack psychologists around, I have wondered what it takes to lose a license. Apparently it can happen to a therapist in England:
Lesley Pilkington was effectively barred from her professional register after attempting to convert a homosexual man in a therapy session at her home.

Her patient turned out to be a gay rights journalist, who had secretly recorded the sessions and then reported her to her professional body. Mrs Pilkington, a committed Christian, was subsequently found guilty of professional misconduct.

The therapy practised by Mrs Pilkington had been described as "absurd" by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and roundly condemned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. ...

Last year, Mr Strudwick said: "Entering into therapy with somebody who thinks I am sick … is the singularly most chilling experience of my life.

"If a black person goes to a GP and says I want skin bleaching treatment, that does not put the onus on the practitioner to deliver the demands of the patient. It puts the onus on the health care practitioner to behave responsibly."
The pediatricians say:
The mechanisms for the development of a particular sexual orientation remain unclear, but the current literature and most scholars in the field state that one’s sexual orientation is not a choice; that is, individuals do not choose to be homosexual or heterosexual.
Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon recently explains:
“I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.”
Okay, maybe homosexuality is a choice; maybe it is not; maybe science has not resolved that issue. That is not my concern.

Mr Strudwick went to a British Christian therapist asking for a treatment for his homosexuality, and then complained that he was offered such a treatment. He was offended at the idea that someone considered him to have a sickness, and said that it was "the singularly most chilling experience of my life." I think that he is over-dramatizing to make a political point, but his antics got the therapist to lose her license.

Here in California, I went to court psychologists like Ken Perlmutter, and they all testified that I had no recognized disorder, and that they could not find any defects in my parenting practices. Nevertheless, Perlmutter conspired with Cmr. Irwin H. Joseph to deprive me of my joint custody of my kids. Now, I do not even have any visitation.

Here is what Judge Heather Morse wrote in her decision against me:
During our days of hearing, George did not appear to be mean-spirited, but rather physically incapable of perceiving why he was being prevented from having unsupervised time with his children. Whether as a result of a narcissistic personality disorder that could benefit from individual therapy (which George distrusts), or from a medical perspective of a biological disorder such as Asperger's Syndrome where individuals with genius I.Q.'s can have difficulties withsocial relationships, the court finds that the parties' time and money could be better spent to improve the parental relationships while there is still time to do so.
I am being punished for what I am. She has forced my kids to grow up without a dad, and she can give no reason for it except for my personality and beliefs. She never said that I was an unfit parent or that I ever did anything harmful. She just disapproves of the kind of person I am. I thought that this was impossible in America. This was the singularly most chilling experience of my life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Spanking laws caused London riots

A reader sends a British TV news video on Should the law on smacking be relaxed?. That is a British word for spanking.

The most amusing part is that the woman who is most indignant about spanking has to admit that she does not have any kids and does not understand why experience with kids would be relevant.

The UK Guardian reports:
Legislation governing the smacking of children needs to be relaxed so working-class parents can instil discipline in their homes without fear of prosecution, a senior Labour politician has said.

The Tottenham MP David Lammy claimed that Labour's 2004 decision to tighten up the smacking law was partly to blame for last summer's riots, which erupted in his north London constituency.

In an interview with LBC Radio, the former education minister said: "Many of my constituents came up to me after the riots and blamed the Labour government, saying: 'You guys stopped us being able to smack our children.'

"I have to say when this was first raised with me I was pretty disparaging. But I started to listen. These parents are scared to smack their children and paranoid that social workers will get involved and take their children away."

Lammy, who admitted to smacking his three- and five-year-old sons, said working-class parents should be able to physically discipline their children to prevent them from joining gangs and getting involved in knife crime.

Current legislation, enforced under the Children Act 2004, says parents are allowed to smack their offspring without causing the "reddening of the skin".

Previously they could use "reasonable chastisement", with a judge deciding whether they had overstepped the mark. However, since the 2004 amendments the decision has been left to social workers.

Lammy said a lot of parents in his constituency had been left confused by the changes and were reluctant to physically discipline their children in case they were contacted by social workers.

He added: "The law used to allow 'reasonable chastisement', but current legislation stops actions that lead to a reddening of the skin – which for a lot of my non-white residents isn't really an issue."

The politician said parents in Tottenham had to raise their children "with knives, gangs and the dangers of violent crime just outside the window", but "no longer feel sovereign in their own homes" because of the laws.

I had read about the London riots last summer, but never the cause. The NY Times
reported in August:
LONDON — Outside a London court last week, as those accused of looting and rioting in the most destructive and widespread violence in recent British history faced justice, a mother turned to her 11-year-old son, accused of theft, and asked simply, “Why?”

That question has been at the heart of a fraught national debate as Britons puzzle over what drove even some previously law-abiding people to steal, sometimes risking arrest for nothing more than bottles of water.
So we finally learn the cause of the riots and it was the spanking laws?!

This still doesn't make sense to me. If the non-white Londoners were rioting about the spanking law, why were they so concerned about a law based on "reddening of the skin"? It sounds like a law that was written for white people. The white people should be the most concerned as their skin turns red more easily.

At any rate, British parents no longer feel sovereign in their own homes because they have social workers second-guessing their discipline.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Phony rape statistics

Christina Hoff Sommers write in the Wash. Post:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study suggesting that rates of sexual violence in the United States are comparable to those in the war-stricken Congo. How is that possible?

The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that, in the United States in 2010, approximately 1.3 million women were raped and an additional 12.6 million women and men were victims of sexual violence. It reported, “More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hailed the report for giving “a clear picture of the devastating impact these violent acts have on the lives of millions of Americans.”

In fact, what the study reveals is the devastating impact that careless advocacy research can have on truth...

The agency’s figures are wildly at odds with official crime statistics. ... It found them by defining sexual violence in impossibly elastic ways and then letting the surveyors, rather than subjects, determine what counted as an assault.
The rates of domestic violence and other crimes are actually going down, so the leftist-feminists keep changing the definitions and survey methods in order to promote alarmism and their man-hating social policies.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Turn the clock back 40 years

A leftist-feminist news site reports:
Since the 1970s, New Hampshire police have operated under a progressive policy for handling domestic violence cases that has saved countless lives. Under current law the presumption is that an arrest will be made when police observe evidence of abuse. They have a large degree of discretion and don't need to witness the assault firsthand or obtain a legal warrant before they can separate the alleged attacker from his victim.

All that will change if Republicans get their way. The state's GOP legislators are pushing two bills that will reverse a half century of progress, the Concord Monitor reports:

Domestic violence is no longer taken lightly legally or by society. That's the way it should be, but two bills under consideration by this most unusual of legislatures, would undo that progress and put lives in danger. Both deserve a speedy defeat.

House Bill 1581 would turn the clock back 40 years to an age when a police officer could not make an arrest in a domestic violence case without first getting a warrant unless he or she actually witnessed the crime. That's an exceedingly dangerous change.
I haven't seen the bill, but if it turns the clock back 40 on domestic violence policy and gets these progressives so upset, it must be good. The New Hampshire cops have a policy of always arresting someone on a domestic violence call. That someone is usually the man. That starts an even worse chain of events. Not even the San Fran sheriff can get a fair hearing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I just watched the pilot for Touch, a new TV series that Fox describes as:
Blending science, spirituality and emotion, the series will follow seemingly unrelated people all over the world whose lives affect each other in ways seen and unseen, known and unknown. At the story’s center is MARTIN BOHM (Kiefer Sutherland), a widower and single father, haunted by an inability to connect to his emotionally challenged 11-year-old son, JAKE (David Mazouz). Caring, intelligent and thoughtful, Martin has tried everything to reach his son.
The kid has autism and never talks to or touches anyone. But he is really a genius who climbs cell phone towers so that he can control cell phones all over the world. He spends all day scribbling the number "318" onto paper over and over. Meanwhile, the dad is constantly fighting with a CPS social worker who is scheming to take the boy away from him, and institutionalize the boy.

Yeah, I know, it is just a silly TV show. But there are probably some family court judges who watch this junk and think that they are learning to be experts on autism. At least the show portrays a dad as being a dad, in spite of hostility and disapproval from all of the prejudiced govt officials and shrinks that he encounters.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This country is destroying my family

The San Francisco Examiner reports:
Despite the impassioned pleas of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s wife, a judge has renewed a court order barring him from seeing or contacting his spouse or son until his domestic abuse trial is over.

“This country is trying to pull my family apart,” Eliana Lopez told Judge Susan Breall at her husband’s arraignment Thursday. “This is the real violence, I believe.” ...

Breall, who handles domestic violence cases for the court, said, “When you cry out for help, you don’t always cry out for police intervention. But the police are involved in this case, and a child is involved in this case.”

Breall said Lopez “clearly is educated, intelligent … a strong individual, and quite charming.”

“I believe that Eliana never wanted this to go to this extreme and end up in court,” the judge added. But she reiterated her concern for the couple’s young child and said the situation remains “extremely volatile.” The police arrest warrant affidavit more than justified renewal of the stay-away order, she said.

“I’m going to treat this case, at this point, like every other,” Breall said.

Outside court, an emotional Lopez told reporters that “this country has not allowed me to work on my marriage in a healthy way. I feel like … everybody is using my family, myself, in a political game just to destroy Ross.”

She added, “This country is destroying my family.”
Yes, this country is destroying her family. The prosecutor, judge, cops, and double-crossing friend have all contributed. But most of all they are being destroyed by laws. American laws encourage child custody disputes instead of shared custody, arrests even when no victim makes a complaint, restraining orders designed to bust up a family, hearsay used as evidence in court, child punishment that is called child protection, always blaming the man, assuming the woman is incompetent to assert her interests, exaggerating a minor tiff into a criminal case, ignoring the marital privilege, etc.

This case is an example of how our American laws and law enforcement system are evil and have the purpose of destroying families.

Yes, I know that both the husband and wife have apparently made private remarks that make them look bad. So what? Most people have intimate conversations that would embarrass them if broadcast to the world. They are finding out who their friend are:
Well-known politicians have mostly shied away from the domestic violence case against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, but not former Mayor Art Agnos, who has become the embattled sheriff’s most prominent public defender. ...

“I know this man and this woman. They love each other. They support each other. They love their child. They want to be together again. It does not rise to the level, in my opinion from what I know as an intimate friend, to anything close to domestic violence,” Agnos said.

He went on to suggest the charges were politically motivated, and said Mirkarimi should continue serving as sheriff during the legal proceedings.
Ross Mirkarimi and Art Agnos are radical leftists with all sorts of anti-American views that are only popular in San Francisco. They belong to the movements that brought us these Orwellian domestic violence laws. I hope that this case gets a lot of publicity, so that everyone can see how ridiculous the laws are.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

God's Jury

A new book titled God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World, by Cullen Murphy has gotten a lot of attention. It is medieval history combined with leftist rants about Gitmo and other modern-day political issues. The point of this book, according to a Boston Globe review, is:
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote something that predicted the contents of this fascinating book. “You want to know something?’’ Vonnegut wrote. “We are still in the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages - they haven’t ended yet.’’
I just heard the author interviewed on NPR. He says this, about the Spanish Inquisition:
MURPHY: Well, it's a very typical case. Women were tortured, just as men were. There was no discrimination based on gender. And this was the interrogation of a woman from Toledo. And she had fallen under suspicion because neighbors had said that she did not eat pork. So she was suspected of Judaizing. So she was put on the rack. Here's a verbatim transcript of what happens as the winches are being turned.

(Reading) She was told to tell what she had done, for she was tortured because she had not done so, and another turn of the cord was ordered. She cried, loosen me, senores, and tell me what I have to say. I do not know what I have done. Oh, Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. More turns were ordered, and as they were given, she cried, oh, oh, loosen me, for I don't know what I have to say.
This reminded me of family court. The family court authorities were always trying to get me to confess to something, but never telling me what I was supposed to admit.

The medieval Spanish inquisitors were enlightened liberals compared to the hateful anti-Christian bigots Irwin H. Joseph and Ken Perlmutter.

Sixteenth century Spain had a law against practicing the Moslem and Jewish religions. Heresy was also a crime. It was a reaction to the country having been previously conquered by Moslems, and the Christians having to live as second-class citizens. By today's standards, Spain overreacted, I guess. But Spain was civilized compared to the American family court. Spain had rule of law. A citizen of Spain had a clear understanding that practicing Judaism or Islam was illegal, and that if he engaged in the customs of the forbidden religions like refusing to eat pork, then he would come under suspicion.

For all its faults, the Spanish Inquisition never took kids away from their parents.

By contrast, I am accused of setting an alarm clock for 7:00 to wake up my kids for school, and for entering them in a math contest above their grade level. This was not contrary to any rule of law that is written down anywhere. Even if I had narcissism or aspergers, these are not banned as Judaism or Islam were in 16th century Spain. And yet Joseph, Perlmutter, and others have acted to take my kids away. No, they have not put me on the rack yet. I don't want to exaggerate. But they have also acted with cruelty and spitefulness in ways that the medieval inquisitors did not dare act.

The above book makes a big deal about the two Moslem terrorists who were subjected to water-boarding in order to extract intelligence about future attacks. That seems trivial to me. We have millions of kids who do not see their dads because of evil corrupt bigots like Joseph, Permutter, and Judge Heather Morse. These officials are torturing kids and parents out of their personal ideological hatreds, and not because of any rule of law.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New autism definition

Judge Heather Morse took my kids away, saying that I might have a biological disorder such as Asperger's Syndrome, even tho the shrinks said that I did not. The criteria for such a diagnosis has been very controversial among the experts:
Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and might make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, a new analysis suggests. ...

The results of the new analysis are preliminary, but they offer the most drastic estimate of how tightening the criteria for autism could affect the rate of diagnosis. For years, many experts have privately contended that the vagueness of the current criteria for autism and related disorders like Asperger syndrome was contributing to the increase in the rate of diagnoses — which has ballooned to one child in 100, according to some estimates. ...

The proposed changes would probably exclude people with a diagnosis who were higher functioning. “I’m very concerned about the change in diagnosis, because I wonder if my daughter would even qualify,” said Mary Meyer of Ramsey, N.J. A diagnosis of Asperger syndrome was crucial to helping her daughter, who is 37, gain access to services that have helped tremendously. “She’s on disability, which is partly based on the Asperger’s; and I’m hoping to get her into supportive housing, which also depends on her diagnosis.”

The new analysis, presented Thursday at a meeting of the Icelandic Medical Association, opens a debate about just how many people the proposed diagnosis would affect.

The changes would narrow the diagnosis so much that it could effectively end the autism surge, said Dr. Fred R. Volkmar, director of the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine and an author of the new analysis of the proposal. “We would nip it in the bud.” ...

At least a million children and adults have a diagnosis of autism or a related disorder, like Asperger syndrome or “pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified,” also known as P.D.D.-N.O.S. People with Asperger’s or P.D.D.-N.O.S. endure some of the same social struggles as those with autism but do not meet the definition for the full-blown version. The proposed change would consolidate all three diagnoses under one category, autism spectrum disorder, eliminating Asperger syndrome and P.D.D.-N.O.S. from the manual. Under the current criteria, a person can qualify for the diagnosis by exhibiting 6 or more of 12 behaviors; under the proposed definition, the person would have to exhibit 3 deficits in social interaction and communication and at least 2 repetitive behaviors, a much narrower menu.
Here is the new DSM-5 definition:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Must meet criteria A, B, C, and D:

A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts, not accounted for by general developmental delays, and manifest by all 3 of the following: ...

B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities as manifested by at least two of the following: ...

C. Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities)

D. Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning.
Condition C makes autism impossible to diagnose in adults, without evidence of it as a young child. Condition D means that it cannot be diagnosed for just an eccentric personality; it must cause some sort of daily disability. In particular, TV characters such those on The Big Bang Theory and Bones would not qualify.

Condition A sounds like what can be called "not a people person". But it does not just mean anti-social habits. The person has to have some inabilities in social interactions.

Condition B seems just like harmless personality characterists to me. They include stereotypced use of objects, intense interests, and fascinations with spinning objects. Studies consistenty show that boys like to play with objects more, while girls play with dolls more. There is nothing pathological about having stereotyped male interests. In the DSM-5, it is only a symptom if conditions A, B, and D are also met.

Even if any of these things were true about me, they should have no bearing on the family court unless there is some demonstrated harm to the child. No one even alleges any such harm. It is not the law or the public policy in California to take kids away from parents who have some anti-social personality characteristics or intense interests or fascination with spinning objects.

The effeminate psychologists might say that it is better to be a people person than not. I don't agree with that. It is not my personal experience. There are no scholarly papers demonstrating that. There is no law giving preferential treatment based on that. The people person might make a better nurse but a worse engineer. And it is certainly no business of the family court.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seattle paper exposes DV problems

The Spearhead blog quotes an article on domestic violence:
The Seattle Weekly, a middle-brow, usually liberal Seattle publication, has come out with a long article about the abuses men are subject to in family court. Those of us who have been through it are already all too familiar with what happens, but people are still surprised by the blatant anti-male bias ...

Given their extremely rushed proceedings, family-law commissioners often punt to such “expert” evaluations to make recommendations that can be heard in later hearings. Smith did that in Richard’s case, ordering a “risk assessment” from a counselor who specializes in domestic violence.

Richard says he welcomed the assessment. “OK, great,” he says he thought. “Now I’m going to go to somebody whose job it is to ferret out the truth.” He says he didn’t even mind paying the $1,000-plus fee.

But when counselor Doug Bartholomew came out with his report a month later, Richard was even further in the hole. The counselor did say that he couldn’t determine whether Richard had assaulted his wife. Yet Bartholomew still recommended that Richard attend a domestic-violence treatment program, as well as a class called “DV Dads.”

Why? For one thing, he held out the possibility that Richard was dangerous. He attached extreme importance to the engineer’s attempt to have the counselor look at a mental-health self-evaluation his wife had done. “Since submitting someone’s private records against their will is so inherently antisocial, it raises the question of whether or not he’s capable of similar ‘stop at nothing’ behavior,” Bartholomew wrote.

Richard’s personality and background were also suspect, according to Bartholomew. For one thing, he was successful. “The downside of success, and he’s been very successful, is that we tend not to learn compassion, empathy, or insight.” Richard, he wrote, “has never experienced tragedy.”

Richard suffered from a “Puer complex,” the condition of being an “eternal boy,” in Bartholomew’s estimation. The engineer was unable to describe his son in an “I-Thou manner,” an apparent reference to philosopher Martin Buber’s description of seeing other people as possessing distinct wants and needs. This seemed to account for Bartholomew’s finding that Richard posed “some risk of further psychological abuse.” As the counselor put it a year and a half later at trial, “the most conspicuous feature” of his evaluation was Richard’s “indifference” to his wife’s “feelings and needs.”
One of his readers writes:
You are I think being quite unfair to Bartholomew. Whatever his personal failings, he has a part to play (apparently) in the Democratically mandated system of Family Law in your State. He is doing his job, badly perhaps, with anti-male prejudice, quite possibly but it is his living, and probably the only one he has. It is not Bartholomew who makes the decision of the Court, but the appointed Judge, neither is Bartholomew responsible for the system in which he works.

Even arms dealers (though usually it is States) to Third World countries are doing their job, and a quite legal job too. ...
Hard on him? If he is giving expert testimony to the court, then he is responsible for everything he says. It is no excuse to say that he is just applying the court's prejudices.

If an FBI expert lied in court to frame a terrorist suspect, then I would say that he should be prosecuted for perjury. It is no excuse at all to say that the USA has an official policy of imprisoning terrorists. We don't have an official policy of lying in court.

Likewise, when these supposed expert submit a cooked report because that is what the judge expect, then they are both contemptible. And when they are greedy, incompetent, corrupt, anti-Christian bigots, then we should all point it out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pressure Point

I happened to see the 1962 movie Pressure Point. It is a racial drama, with Sidney Poitier as the good-guy black psychiatrist and rock star Bobby Darin as an American prisoner with Nazi beliefs in the 1940s.

It is funny to see these old movies treat nonsense-babbling psychiatrists with great respect. Poitier cures Darin of his nightmares by figuring out that they are rooted in symbolism of his unhappy childhood. But Darin also manages to push Poitier's buttons, and Poitier loses his objectivity and tries to block him from being paroled from his sedition sentence. The authorities decide that Poitier must have some sort of personality conflict with him, and they parole him.

Like other Poitier movies, this has a strong anti-racism theme. Poitier is a black man in a white man's job, but he cannot get the respect of a white man. But it also seems to me that he is abusing his power as a psychiatrist. He is personally offended by Darin's political beliefs, and he uses his discretion as a psychiatrist to keep Darin in prison because of a personal disagreement with those beliefs, and not for any psychiatric disorder.

It seems to me that it is grossly unethical for a shrink to imprison someone for his beliefs or for his disrespect for authority. The movie seems to approve of it. I know, it is just a movie. I saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest also. Being a racist Nazi sympathizer during World War II is about as offensive as a political belief as can be. Still, I did not like the shrink using his power to punish someone for a political belief.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Batgirl takes down the sheriff

I posted below about the new SF CA sheriff being charged with domestic violence. Here is the accuser:
Ivory Madison is the founder and CEO of ..., which the press calls "Facebook for authors." A former management consultant, Madison has trained teams at startups and Fortune 500 companies, and coached CEOs and executives, on effective writing.

Madison also ... was named "Best Writing Coach" by San Francisco Magazine. Madison had earlier dropped out of high-school and gone directly to law school; her legal career included ..., and serving as a Law Fellow for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Her recent graphic novel, Huntress: Year One, was published by DC Comics and is in its second printing. ...
She writes comic books! That is, she writes the text and someone else does the illustrations. Huntress is a Batman/Batgirl spinoff:
As the last survivor of a crime family eliminated by bloody rivalries among the mobs of Gotham City, the orphaned Helena Bertinelli grew into the mysterious vigilante known as the Huntress.

New writer Ivory Madison shines a light on the dark underbelly of the mob world spanning from Gotham to Sicily, exploring exactly what led Helena away from a life in the Cosa Nostra criminal society and set her on a path of vigilantism. Also, find out more about Batman's first meeting with the fledgling female crime-fighter and why, to this day, they struggle to see eye-to-eye.
So Madison is a smart unmarried feminist San Francisco lawyer who lives in a fantasy world of being a vigilante Batgirl.

I say that Madison is the accuser, but she is not the alleged victim. She is just a self-appointed do-gooder who decided to intervene into a friend's marriage.

The LA Times reports:
Appearing slightly stunned, Mirkarimi said he was "confident that in the end we will succeed in showing the missteps" of the investigation. Asked if he would step aside while the case proceeds, he said he has "no intention of leaving.… We'll prove that we are right."

Lopez has hired an attorney, is not cooperating with the investigation and has not spoken with the district attorney's staff. She was more strident Friday than her husband, repeatedly calling the charges "unbelievable."

"As I've said before, I don't have any complaint against my husband," Lopez said. "We are together and we are fine. We are going to fight this. This is my family, my husband and my son.… This is completely wrong."

The incident came to light after Lopez confided to a neighbor about a New Year's Eve fight with Mirkarimi. The neighbor, Ivory Madison, photographed and videotaped a bruise on Lopez's arm, texted with Lopez about the incident and later called police.

Madison, who co-hosted an October fundraiser to benefit Mirkarimi's run for sheriff, declined to turn over the messages and photos to authorities, saying Lopez had asked her not to. But investigators seized the materials after serving a search warrant.

Gascon would not discuss specifics of the incident, except to say that "we feel very comfortable based on the evidence presented that we have sufficient evidence" to obtain a conviction.

He acknowledged that "a case is always stronger if the victim is willing to testify," but he said that it is "very common for victims to be uncooperative in domestic violence cases," either because they fear retaliation or the consequences to the family.
Lopez is a former Venezuelan TV star from Spanish soap operas. She probably had no idea about the evils of the American justice system, or how easily she could be double-crossed by an American woman friend.

The DA is probably right to be confident about getting a conviction based on such flimsy evidence. Usually a criminal case requires witnesses who can testify that the defendant committed each element of the crime, and hearsay is not permitted. Here, they have a friend who can testify that she took some pictures of some bruises, but there is no one to say how it happened. Usually the wife cannot be forced to testify. Maybe they will try to make the son testify.

Sheriff Mirkarimi probably understands what he is up against. He has probably taken similar actions against other men himself. He knows that he won't get a fair trial on the merits, and he is reduced to showing the missteps of the investigation.

Madison is a smart lawyer who knew exactly what she was doing when she made a police report. She knew that the cops would get a search warrant so that it would look as if she was not betraying her promise to her friend.

San Francisco is famous for drama like this. I am looking forward to the trial, and I hope it exposes all the ugly warts in the domestic violence system.

Monday, January 16, 2012

50k kept in jail each day

Dr. Helen quotes a US Supreme Court decision from last year:
A person being in arrears on child support payments is not unusual: in 2008, 11.2 million U.S. child support cases had arrears due.[1] The number of persons kept in jail or in prison for child support arrears is not generally tracked. Based on a publicly available collection of relevant data, an estimated 50,000 persons are kept in jail or in person [sic]on any given day in the U.S. for child support arrears.[2] Hence Turner v. Rogers does not merely concern a technical question of legal procedure. Being in arrears on child support payments is a situation that many persons experience. Moreover, as a result of child support debt, many persons in the U.S. are being imprisoned.
The decision was no help. But the issues are not going away. They affect too many people.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Britain announces better family law policy

Every once in a while, some govt official will announce some obvious truth, and I think that there is some hope for mankind. Here is an example.

A UK newspaper reports:
Divorced parents will have right to see their children under new law

Ministers are drawing up new rules to put courts under a legal duty to ensure divorced parents are guaranteed access to their children.

Parents who refuse to accept the orders will be in contempt of court and risk serious penalties or even jail.

The move will delight fathers’ rights campaigners who believe dads are penalised under the present system which usually grants mothers custody. ...

Last night children’s minister Tim Loughton said: ‘Our vision is to establish that, under normal circumstances, a child will have a relationship with both his or her parents, regardless of their relationship with each other.

'We must do everything we can to improve the system so that it gives children the best chance of growing up under the guidance of two loving parents. ...

'All the evidence tells us that children genuinely benefit from a relationship with both parents, with the potential to make different contributions to their child’s development.

'The culture has shifted away from the traditional view that mothers are primarily responsible for the care of children. Increasingly society recognises the valuable and distinct role of both parents.

'We are looking closely at all the options for promoting shared parenting through possible legislative and non-legislative means.'

Mr Loughton’s comments indicate that ministers have gone against a key finding of November’s family justice review, which rejected equal access for mothers and fathers, saying it would put too much pressure on judges.

Two months ago the UK said that it was too much trouble for judges to let both parents have relationships with their kids? And now they say it is a good idea after all!

I don't understand British politics, so I can't tell what is going on here. Maybe the forces of evil will block the new policy. But maybe things are not as hopeless as I thought.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sheriff arrested for wife-beating

The hottest story in San Francisco is that the new sheriff has been arrested. AP
Prosecutors on Friday charged San Francisco's newly sworn-in sheriff with three misdemeanors, including domestic violence, related to a New Year's Eve incident with his wife.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi faces one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said.

"While I do not relish having to bring charges against a San Francisco elected official, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the state of California, and as the chief law enforcement official for the city and county of San Francisco, it is my solemn duty to bring criminal charges when the evidence supports such action," Gascon said.

"Whether this was the elected sheriff or any other San Francisco resident, this type of behavior is inexcusable, criminal and will be prosecuted," the district attorney said.

Gascon said the basis for the child endangerment charge was that the couple's son saw the alleged incident occur. Gascon declined to explain the allegation that Mirkarimi influenced a witness.

Mirkarimi was booked at San Francisco County Jail, said San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak. He was released on $35,000 bail.

Gascon said prosecutors have also requested an emergency protective order prohibiting Mirkarimi from having contact with his wife and son. He is also ordered to stay away from his home while police investigate other possible domestic violence incidents involving Mirkarimi and Lopez, Gascon said.
The sheriff should not be above the law, of course, but this seems bogus to me. The wife is not even alleging a crime:
His wife spoke briefly, and much more emotionally.

"This is unbelievable," she said. "I don't have any complaint against my husband. This is unbelievable."

A neighbor reported that Mirkarimi grabbed and bruised Eliana Lopez's arm during a heated argument at their home, according to a police affidavit.

The injury was shown on a video recorded by the neighbor, and a text message conversation between Lopez and the neighbor included details of the incident, according to the affidavit requesting a search warrant to obtain the video camera and phone.

Lopez, a former Venezuelan telenovela star, defended her husband in a written statement, saying the episode was "completely taken out of context."

The couple was married after having their first child in 2009.
So the sheriff had a heated argument with his wife, and grabbed her arm, leaving a bruise. She did not complain. A neighbor saw the bruise and took a picture of it.

And he is not allowed to see his son because his son witnessed it?! This is crazy.

He probably asked his wife or son not to testify, and that is the basis for the third charge.

This is crazy. Why is this any of anybody's business? Some people bruise easily. Some regularly play sports where they get bruises. A picture of a bruise is nearly meaningless. This is a victimless crime in the sense that no one is claiming to be a victim.

The sheriff is fighting this. I hope he gets a jury trial, and demonstrates the absurdity of these sorts of charges.

In other news, a Louisiana county wants to ban wearing pajamas in public. Silly as this is, it makes more sense than the domestic violence law.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New federal lawsuit

This lawsuit story is from a month ago:
ARAB, Alabama (Examiner.com) – A local parent, Brad Patterson, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Alabama and eleven other defendants in United States District Court last week. Now, a federal judge has approved his petition to waive filing fees and ordered the US Marshal Service to serve the complaint to the defendants.

In the complaint, Mr. Patterson alleges that State officials violated his property rights by denying him due process and equal protection of the law, rights safeguarded by the US Constitution. The allegations stem from a series of events over four years that began in late 2007 with what Mr. Patterson claims to be a false affidavit for past-due child support.
I don't doubt that he has a legitimate case, but the feds will figure out an excuse to dismiss. The federal judges do not have the guts to address family court issues.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Judge punishes frat house stunt

Here is a 2004 story about Judge Almquist, the new local family court judge:
The boozy frat boys reveled in their 15 minutes of reality show fame, laughing and mugging for MTV cameras that captured them stealing a beloved jumbo golden fish from a UC Santa Cruz pond last summer -- then bludgeoning it with a beer bottle and gutting, frying and eating it at their off-campus fraternity house.

But Casey Loop and Matthew Cox weren't smiling Friday when a prosecutor played 11 minutes of damning outtakes of the infamous fish slaying -- which never aired on MTV's "Fraternity Life" series -- before Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Jeff Almquist sentenced them to 200 hours and 300 hours of community service, respectively. The hours are to be served working at either the county animal shelter or Long Marine Laboratory and at an institute for raising ornamental koi.

They also have to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, pay $500 restitution each to UCSC and send a written apology to the university professor who donated the fish to the koi pond. ...

Almquist stressed that MTV filmed the events, rented the frat house and provided the young men with two SUVs, mounted with automatic video cameras, that were used in the midnight May 20, 2003, raid of the pond at UCSC's Porter College.

"It's clear that these were a bunch of guys playing to the TV sets," Almquist said. "This act offended the entire community," he added, stressing that the frat members had "desecrated" the peaceful koi pond that students enjoyed as "a place of reflection." ...

Defense attorneys for the two men stressed that soon after the incident, before being charged, they went to campus officials to take responsibility and paid $650 for a replacement koi. ...

Almquist noted that Loop, speaking with his probation officer, compared the incident to "fishing out of season" and added that only in Santa Cruz would he be convicted of a crime.
It seems clear from this story that Judge Almquist's primary concern was that the community was offended by how Santa Cruz was portrayed on MTV. It was a harmless student prank.

Ordering restitution makes no sense because the boys had already paid restitution before they were arrested. It is also unconstitutional to order a defendant to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, when no secular option is offered. See, e.g., Griffin v. Coughlin (N.Y. 1996), among other cases. It is also inappropriate because the boys were not alcoholics. Hitting a fish with a beer bottle is not a symptom of alcoholism.

If MTV was so culpable in conspiring to get this fish, why wasn't MTV prosecuted?

Maybe I am reading too much into an isolated story, but I think that this tells us something about Judge Almquist's character. No sense of humor. Willing to violate constitutional rights. Punish someone for his attitude instead of what he actually did. Make a statement in order to please some overreaching prosecutor. Pick on the most defenseless party.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

TV shows bogus abuse prosecution

Last night, ABC TV 20/20 has a show on:
Michigan Family Outraged After Dad Jailed, Kids Taken Away Over Unfounded Abuse Allegations
Prosecutors focused on allegations obtained through controversial method.

A family, a firestorm, a fiction, exposed. ...
A justice system determined to tear your family apart.
There is more info at
Sex abuse claims in Wendrow case fall apart in court.

The first mistake was that the Oakland parents of an autistic daughter got duped by a bogus therapy called FC - Facilitated Communication. The facilitator started out doing the child's homework for her, and later moved on to sex abuse allegations. The daughter and her brother were put in foster care. The parents were arrested, and faced life in prison. The dad was in solitary confinement for 80 days.

ABC TV 20/20 exposed a similar case in 1994. There have been dozens of other such cases.

The Wendrows managed to get a court hearing with the girl's testimony. A demonstration of the facilitated communication showed that the girl was so disabled that she could not have possibly made the accusations. She could not talk, and could not type answers to questions. She did not know an "A" from a "B". There was no physical evidence or any other kind of evidence.

The Oakland prosecutor continued to press charges. He said that maybe the facilitated communication does not work, but that does not mean that the parents are innocent. It is up to the jury to decide whom to believe, he said, and denied any responsibility for the prosecution.

Eventually the charges were dropped, and the parents tried to sue for damages. No one ever apologized.

There was never anything to any of the charges, except for the accusations of a charlatan with the equivalent of a Ouija board. The process supposedly had the girl doing homework that she was obviously incapable of doing. Any fool should have been able to see in 5 minutes that the whole thing was a sham.

One matter left unresolved was the motivation of the facilitator. That is crucial, because the whole case depended on her credibility, and the prosecutor only believed her because she had no motive to lie or to frame the parents. I see two possibilities. (1) She is an evil con woman who makes money on autism therapy from state programs for handicapped kids or desperate parents, so she uses her Ouija board to take advantage of people and build her reputation. (2) She has somehow fooled herself into thinking that the facilitated communication works, and is subconsciously guiding the child's hand, and according to some "Savior Effect" she also subconsciously tries to save the child from imagined abuses. The TV show tried to interview the facilitator, but did not succeed.

I have discussed before whether the problem with the social workers, shrinks, and other leeches is one of Incompetence, greed, or ideology. It is often hard to figure out people's motivations, but as long as prosecutions are based on assumptions about motive, I as might as well speculate also. I do not think that honest incompetence explains her, as she was unwilling to recognize her errors when they were pointed out to her. I do not think that greed fully explain her either, as she probably could have made more money without making the accusations. If she had some ideological belief about the care of autistic girls, or some grudge against the Wendrows, the show did not say. Maybe she had some combination of motives. Regardless, I say that she is evil no matter what.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Before the new judge

My ex-wife and I appeared before Judge Almquist at 8:30 this morning. He called us first, and told us to come back at 11:00. The courtroom was empty when we came back.

Call me paranoid, but I get the impression that the judges do not want any witnesses to our case. Every time we appeared before Judge Morse, she always called our case dead last after everyone else had left the courtroom. Sometimes that meant waiting 3 hours thru 25 other cases. What do the judges accomplish by this? They know that the case is on my blog, so there is no secret about it.

At 11:00, the judge said that there were visitation orders in effect, so that there was no need for court action. He bought my ex-wife's argument that Judge Morse did not want any more motions for 2 years. When I complained that I was not getting any visitation, he rambled about how it was all my fault because I wrote about the case on my blog and now Ken Perlmutter does not want to have anything to do with us.

Nothing he said made much sense. Perlmutter was the court-appointed psychologist who testified in 2010. He did not even say that there was anything wrong with my parenting methods and was in favor of visitation.

The asked my ex-wife why I was not getting visitation. She rambled about how I violated a visitation supervision agreement once by taking a picture of our child, and how the supervisor did not believe my promises to not bring a camera and wanted to search me before each visit.

I said, "Can I respond to that?" The judge said "No." I responded anyway, and explained that the written visitation contract only prohibited pictures on the first visit, and that I complied with the contract and with the supervisor's commands.

The judge suggested that we get another supervisor. I proposed one, who is a licensed MFT in the area who specializes in situations like mine, but my ex-wife rejected him.

I asked, "Is it up to the supervisor whether I can have pictures of my own children?" The judge stumbled on that question. He said that this was only his second day on the family court, and he doesn't really know how the visitation supervisors work. But he assumes that they are trained and licensed and capable of making a decision like whether I can have a picture of my kids.

Actually, most of the visitation supervisors do not have any training or licensing, and the judge should certainly not be delegating to them such a decision. But I was not able to educate him on how the system works.

It is pretty crazy to try to prevent me from having pictures of my own kids. Even if I were a convicted felon in prison, I would still be allowed to have pictures of my kids.

At this point, the judge wanted to get rid of us. He kept saying things like, "It is all in your own control." That said something about his character. Nothing is in my control. My ex-wife has total temporary legal and physical custody of our kids, and I do not even have a visitation order. It is all at her discretion and I have not even seen my kids for a couple of months.

The judge also issued a veiled threat. He said that I have alienated others and he is going to be the family court judge for the next three years, so if I alienate him then he can prevent me from seeing my kids. Wow, it is his second day on the job, and the power has gone to his head already.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

My motion for visitation

I just got a brief by my ex-wife opposing me getting any custody of visitation. She said:
The Petitioner, George AngryDad (hereinafter, “George”), brings a motion for child custody and visitation, in contradiction to the ruling of the August 10, 2011 Court Order, stating that “the[re] shall be no modification to the custody order for two (2) years”. ...

1. An August 10, 2011 Court Order is in place, stating “the[re] shall be no modification to the custody order for two (2) years”.

a. This Court Order had at least the following information before it (since November of 2007) to make such a decision:
-multiple trials with numerous witnesses;
-numerous court hearings;
-interviews with the therapeutic visitation supervisor for the children;
-interview with the children by Family Court services;
-a CPS narrative report with witness testimony;
-a full child custody and visitation evaluation and recommendations;
-years of records of George’s interaction with the children and/or lack thereof;
-George’s in and out of court behavior;
-the childrens’ express wishes;
-the Court’s study of and personal experience with George;
-the appellate record;
-my testimony:
-the testimony of Court appointed experts;
-the testimony of visitation supervisors and therapeutic visitation supervisors;
-George’s testimony; and
-testimony of George’s experts and witnesses.

2. George’s description of the Case History in his moving papers is intentionally
and consistently severely distorted and misleading. I respectfully direct the Court to Dr. Perlmutter’s 2010 40 page single-spaced full child custody and visitation
evaluation report for an accurate and unbiased description of the case history. Dr.
Perlmutter was the child custody evaluator appointed by the Court to perform the
evaluation in 2010.
Her briefs nearly always accuse me of lying, and yet she is never able to give an examples. Here, she merely suggests that the judge read a 40-page single-spaced report and compare it to my summary to find discrepencies between that report and my brief. How crazy is that? The judge is not going to read that report, or find any errors in what I wrote.

It is a problem that Judge Morse said that she did not want any modifications for two years. But she also refused to make a permanent order. Under California law, I can request a change to a permanent order once a year. I only have a temporary order. Surely a temporary order is more temporary than a permanent order.

Yes, the court has had a lot of info, but it did not find me unfit and it did not issue a permanent order. The worst Judge Morse found was:
experiences being adduced into evidence, such as enrolling them in a math test which was reportedly way above their abilities; and resetting their alarm clock which prevented them from being prepared for school.
and that I might have Aspergers. For that my parental rights have been eliminated. Temporarily. For two more years. In addition to the temporary orders for the last four years. Meanwhile, I don't even have any visitation.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Simple intelligence test

The most common intelligence test is the Mini–mental state examination (MMSE). It is used in emergency rooms to test for dementia. You only need 23 out of 30 points to pass. Less than 19 points gets you diagnosed as impaired. Here is the test, as paraphrased to avoid copyrights:
1. (5 pts) What is today? (Detail as needed. Score 1 point for year, month, date, day-of-week, season.)
2. (5 pts) Where are we? (Detail as needed. Score 1 point for building, floor, city, county, state.)
3. (3 pts) Repeat 3 objects. (After being give 3 names, such as apple-table-penny or ball-flag-tree.)
4. (5 pts) Count backwards from 100 by sevens. (Stop after 93-86-79-72-65.)
Alternately, spell WORLD backwards.
5. (3 pts) Recall the 3 objects named earlier. (1 point for each.)
6. (1 pt) Identify the given object (after being shown a watch).
7. (1 pt) Identify the given object (after being shown a pencil).
8. (1 pt) Repeat "No ifs, ands, or buts".
9. (3 pts) Take the given paper, fold it, and place it on the table. (1 point for each task.)
10. (1 pt) Read "close your eyes" and do what it says. (1 point for closing eyes.)
11. (1 pt) Write a sentence. (1 point for any intelligible sentence. Ignore grammar and spelling.)
12. (1 pt) Copy a diagram of intersecting pentagons.
You can download a printable version here. Recently, someone claimed a copyright on this test, so an alternate test, The Sweet 16 was developed and shown to give similar results. But now that has also been shut down by copyrights.

I post this because I object to this commonly-used test being censored from the web. The concern is not cheating by patients. If a patient is smart enough to study a similar test, then he is smart enough to pass the test anyway. No, the purpose is to put the diagnosis of dementia under the control of psychologists so that they will have authority to decide who goes free in our society.

If your kid gets an injury to the head, you might want to use some of these questions in order to test for a concussion. You do not need a psychology degree or permission from lawyers. Nobody owns counting down by sevens.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Chinese justice

The UK Guardian newspaper reports:
A Chinese court has handed down a 10-year jail sentence to Chen Xi, the second dissident in four days to be convicted of inciting subversion through online essays. ...

"The judge said this was a major crime that had a malign impact," his wife, Zhang Qunxuan, told Reuters by phone after the trial. The judge said Chen was a repeat offender who deserved a long sentence, she added.

Chen has insisted he was innocent, but will not appeal. "The court ignored all the points raised by the defence lawyer at the trial, so what point is there in appealing?" said Zhang.
To answer her question, the purpose of appealing is to demonstrate the trial court errors to another court. But her question is rhetorical, of course, as no one expects a Chinese appeals court to reverse a conviction.

Are our American courts any better? We do not jail dissidents for writing subversive online essays. We just take their kids away.

We also have no effective appeals court. When have you ever heard about an appeals court reversing a child custody decision? It never happens in this county.

Here is what Judge Heather Morse wrote in her decision against me:
During our days of hearing, George did not appear to be mean-spirited, but rather physically incapable of perceiving why he was being prevented from having unsupervised time with his children. Whether as a result of a narcissistic personality disorder that could benefit from individual therapy (which George distrusts), or from a medical perspective of a biological disorder such as Asperger's Syndrome where individuals with genius I.Q.'s can have difficulties withsocial relationships, the court finds that the parties' time and money could be better spent to improve the parental relationships while there is still time to do so.
This was after all five court psychologists testified that I did not have Aspergers or any other psychological disorder.

Not even a Chinese judge would say anything so outrageous.