Saturday, June 30, 2012

Katie divorces Tom Cruise

A London newspaper reports:
Tom Cruise 'deeply saddened' as Katie Holmes files for divorce and 'seeks sole custody of Suri'
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, the Hollywood couple whose marriage never quite convinced the sceptics, are to divorce after five years.

Holmes, 33, filed for divorce in New York yesterday citing "irreconcilable differences", announcing the split via a statement to People magazine.

Cruise, 49, said he was “deeply saddened” by the news. The couple have a six-year-old daughter, Suri.

Holmes is asking for sole legal custody of Suri, according to the US website TMZ, setting up the couple for a high profile legal battle if Cruise chooses to contest her claim.

The pair signed a prenuptial agreement before their wedding in November 2006, which guarantees Holmes a yearly sum. However, legal experts said the actor could be prepared to give up a larger size of his £160 million fortune in return for Miss Holmes remaining silent about the details of their marriage. ...

Cruise is a Scientologist and in the run-up to the wedding a “Free Katie” campaign was started by opponents of the religion urging her not to marry him, with slogans including “Run, Katie, Run!” ...

Holmes’s lawyer, Jonathan Wolfe, said: “This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family. Katie’s primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest.”
What does that mean? Did Katie file for divorce in order to save Suri from Scientology?

Scientology is a wacky religion, but not a good reason for divorce. I wonder if she would be doing this if she had to accept joint (equally shared) child custody.

Most divorces are initiated by women. Katie got the fame, money, etc. If she can take the child also, then she does not need Tom anymore. This is the reality of modern marriage. Notice how this is reported as a unilateral and final decision by Katie, possibly without Tom knowing that it was coming. There is no indication that she has any interest in resolving their differences.

In other Hollywood celebrity news:
Alec Baldwin cursed out another photographer this morning, but this time, he may have had good reason.

The “30 Rock” actor unleashed on a photographer who was blocking the entrance to his apartment building, yelling, “I want you to shut the f**k up and get out of here. Leave my neighbor alone.” After a few more “shut ups,” he sneered at the photog, called him a “little girl,” and stormed off clutching a pink stuffed animal.
Baldwin wrote a book on the evils of the family court. Some people are going to hear these stories, and figure the family court was right to take his daughter away if he gets into fights with photographers. I disagree. A father should not be neutered in order to please some spineless judge or effeminate psychologist. He says:
I believe that the default position of every family court in this country should be fifty-fifty physical custody of the couple's children. The only exceptions should be those commonly held objections that include spousal and/or child abuse, drug and/or alcohol abuse by a potential custodial parent, or a parent's inability to provide a home for children for any number of economic or emotional reasons. Any parent should be treated with an assumption of innocence when it comes to whatever "charges" they are facing from their ex-spouse and their attorneys. However, this is not the case in American family law. [p.60, In the Best Interests of the Child]
Well said. Even if he were to get a misdemeanor conviction for punching out a photographer, it should be irrelevant to the family court.

Update: TMZ reports:
The final straw in Katie Holmes' decision to file for divorce was that she was convinced Tom Cruise was going to send 6-year-old Suri away to a hardcore Scientology organization known as Sea Organization ... sources connected with Katie tell TMZ.

Sea Org, as it is known, is where the highest levels of Scientology are taught and kids as young as five can be sent to live there ... without their parents -- and our sources say Tom is a big fan.

Our sources say Katie and Tom had been arguing over Suri's indoctrination into Scientology -- and we're told the Sea Org was the flashpoint.
I do not personally approve of such indoctrination. I would not approve of sending the kid to a Jewish psychologist either. But it should not be grounds for sole custody of the kid.

Friday, June 29, 2012

More bogus psychology research

Discover magazine reports:
Social psychology is not having the best time of it. After last year’s scandal in which rising star Diederik Stapel was found guilty of scientific fraud, Dirk Smeesters from Erasmus University is also facing charges of misconduct. Here’s Ivan Oransky, writing in Retraction Watch:

“According to an Erasmus press release, a scientific integrity committee found that the results in two of Smeesters’ papers were statistically highly unlikely. Smeesters could not produce the raw data behind the findings, and told the committee that he cherry-picked the data to produce a statistically significant result. Those two papers are being retracted, and the university accepted Smeesters’ resignation on June 21.”

The notable thing about this particular instance of misconduct is that it wasn’t uncovered by internal whistleblowers, as were psychology’s three big fraud cases – Diederik Stapel (exposed in 2011), Marc Hauser (2010) and Karen Ruggiero (2001). Instead, Smeesters was found out because someone external did some data-sleuthing and deemed one of his papers “too good to be true”...

As one of his co-authors writes, “Unlike Stapel, Dirk actually ran studies.” Instead, he was busted for behaviour that many of his peers wouldn’t consider to be that unusual. He even says as much. Again, from Enserink’s report:

“According to the report, Smeesters said this type of massaging was nothing out of the ordinary. He “repeatedly indicates that the culture in his field and his department is such that he does not feel personally responsible, and is convinced that in the area of marketing and (to a lesser extent) social psychology, many consciously leave out data to reach significance without saying so.”
My bigger complaint is about psychologists who testify in court with opinions that are contrary to the generally accepted research. But corruption runs deep in the field, much of the published research is questionable.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Child support can be squandered

Here is the latest bad newspaper advice:
Dear Annie: I've been a stepmother to two lovely girls, now 12 and 17, ... yet in both cases, it's rare that the child support actually reaches the child.

The amount of child support each mother receives is fair, but is being used incorrectly. The girls continuously need clothes, shoes, haircuts, coats, money for school activities, you name it. It's like my husband is paying child support twice for each child.

My question is this: If the conversation falls on deaf ears with both mothers, is it OK to explain the financial situation to the girls?... — North Carolina Stepmom

Dear Stepmom: To be supportive. Do not involve the children in your dispute over child support. This is not their fault, and they shouldn't be put in the middle of unhappy parents. If your husband feels the support payments are not being used to cover the girls' necessities, he needs to document what he spends for these things and then talk to his lawyer and ask that the support payments be reduced.
No, that is not the law. I hate to say it, but the law does not require the moms to spend the child support money on the girls. The dad can document it all he wants for his lawyer, but it will not make any difference. California law says that the mom can spend the child support money however she pleases, and does not have to spend a dime of it on the kids.

Annie is echoing bad advice that is commonly given by court personnel, but is making some unwarranted assumptions. The letter does not say that there is a dispute over child support, or that anyone was suggesting that the girls were at fault, or that the parents are unhappy, or that the girls might be put in the middle of the parents.

If the dad is paying child support, as well as buying clothes and other necessities for his girls, then the girls should be told. They should not be allowed to think that the dad is neglecting them. I had a Jewish psychologist tell me that I should not tell my kids that I am paying child support. It seemed to be some weird Jewish belief of his. It certainly was not based on any psychological knowledge, because I asked him. The overwhelming evidence is that kids don't like it if they think that their dad has abandoned them, and is not contributing to their well-being. This was another example of a supposed expert giving advice based on his own personal prejudices, and contrary to the generally accepted published knowledge.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Forbidden to make a snowman with big ears

From a N. Dakota appeals court decision:
This case arises from what is apparently a long-running feud between Anthony Stamness and Christian Svedberg, both minors…. Testimony indicated that Stamness and others referred to Svedberg as “Dumbo,” a cartoon elephant with unusually large ears, and Stamness had, on one occasion, stated, “You had better watch it Dumbo or I will kill you.” ...

This case tells a sad tale of parents who failed to parent and school administrators who failed to administer. As a result, a child who should have been disciplined at home and at school, instead, was restrained by a district court from saying “Dumbo” to another child, building snowmen with big ears, and threatening and harassing the other child. He faces up to one year in prison if he violates the restraining order….
The court upheld the order. This is silly. Whatever happened to the dads having a man-to-man talk? It would be better to settle this dispute with a fistfight than going to court.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Famous shrink dies

I missed this NY Times obituary from a few days ago:
Judith S. Wallerstein, a psychologist who touched off a national debate about the consequences of divorce by reporting that it hurt children more than previously thought, with the pain continuing well into adulthood, died on Monday in Piedmont, Calif. She was 90.

The cause was an intestinal obstruction, said her husband, Dr. Robert Wallerstein, a former chairman of the psychiatry department at the University of California, San Francisco.

In 1971, Ms. Wallerstein began studying 131 children from 60 divorced families in Marin County, Calif. She followed them for 25 years, conducting intensive interviews every five years.

Not unexpectedly, many of the children were extremely distressed soon after the divorce. But she was surprised to find that the problems often lasted; 10 and 15 years later, half the children were still suffering and, she wrote, had become “worried, underachieving, self-deprecating and sometimes angry young men and women.” ...

Feminists accused Ms. Wallerstein of trying to guilt-trip women into staying in destructive marriages. Some researchers questioned her methods, particularly the relatively small number of subjects, the lack of a control group and the use in her books of composite characters cobbled together from multiple research subjects. ...

Ms. Wallerstein appeared on “Oprah” several times, as well as on morning news shows, and in 2000 she was invited to lecture to a gathering of the chief justices of all 50 states. The only other speaker was Sandra Day O’Connor, the associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Judith Hannah Saretsky was born in New York City on Dec. 27, 1921. Her interest in children and loss grew from her own early life. Her father, a director of Jewish community centers, died of cancer when she was 8. She had not known he was ill, little was explained, and it took her a long time to believe he had died. The painful memories heightened her awareness of the bonds between parents and children, and she later saw herself in some of her research subjects.
My quarrel with her is for her notorious role in the California Burgess and LaMusga cases, not mentioned by the obituary. These were the California move-avay cases. She argued that the social science research favors letting custodial moms move to other states, because kids do not need dads, and non-custodial dads just cause trouble. Here briefs were criticized as wrong and irresponsible by other experts, such as by this brief:
We are united in our judgment that the Wallerstein et al. Brief offers a skewed and misleading account of the social science evidence relevant to this case. Although it purports to be an objective summary of knowledge, the brief runs counter to the prevailing opinions of the majority of experts who conduct divorce research and of those who apply this research to their clinical and forensic practices.
Also this brief:
The Burgess opinion adopted the claim of Wallerstein et al. that most children’s well-being is tied to continuity of their care by a “primary” parent. Burgess goes on to assume that when a parent is chosen to play the larger caretaking role in early childhood that allocation of parental responsibilities will continue to meet the needs of an older child. Neither of those views is a majority view within the community of professionals who study the impact of divorce on children.
I don't like to speak ill of the dead, but the NY Times understates why she was so controversial. She was a Berkeley feminist psychologist with her own personal daddy issues. The anti-family NY Times gives the impression that she was controversial because she said that divorce is bad for kids. But saying that divorce is bad for kids has been the conventional wisdom for millennia. No one has any studies saying that divorce is good for kids.

I often criticize sloppy psychology research, but her work was much worse. She used her academic credentials to force her feminist view on California, depriving kids of their dads. She claimed that the research backs her up when it does the opposite.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Britain favors fathers rights

A Canada newspaper reports:
The first radical shake-up of family courts in decades is under way in the U.K. A dramatic list of consequences will befall any breach of court orders that flout court-endorsed arrangements for the care of children of separated parents. Children’s Minister Tim Loughton will announce that the Children Act 19879, which states that the child comes first in law courts, will be rewritten.

Henceforth the preferred option for the courts will be “the presumption that a child’s welfare is likely to furthered through safe involvement with both parents.” That is, in the absence of abuse, equal parenting, exactly the template we have been patiently awaiting in Canada, will be the default for splitting couples. Furthermore, mothers who refuse to permit access to the children may lose their passports, their driving licences or even their freedom of movement if they fail to comply.

This is a happy, but somewhat shocking, development for those in the global Fathers Rights community. For years objective observers in all western countries have hammered away at the double standards imposed in family court under the influence of feminist ideology, but it has been water dripping on a stone. The template has remained stubbornly pro-mother and anti-father.
I have reported on this development before. The UK has been horribly anti-father. If this happens, it will be the most positive pro-father change anywhere. It should be a good test of shared parenting.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Futurama season

A reader alerted me that the funny animated show Futurama is back on TV with new episodes. The season premiere features an illegitimate robot and a custody dispute:
To Bender's surprise, the Planet Express crew discover that Bev has given birth to a baby robot as a result of their intercourse the other night, since robots in the 31st century are programmed to procreate. Bender initially rejects his son and attempts to give Bev full custody, but Bev runs away and leaves their child in his care. Bender soon comes to appreciate his son after he takes delight in Bender's bending abilities, and names his son Ben. ...

During a ceremony celebrating Ben's passage into adulthood, Bev returns and takes custody of her son from Bender. Bender kidnaps Ben and tries to run, but the two are caught by the police when Ben tries to bend a grater at the dam. As Bender prepares to return Ben to Bev, she gives birth to another child conceived with Officer URL and decides to keep this child instead, leaving Bender and Ben alone.
Bev is a coin-sucking vending machine who is voiced by a black woman with an attitude. She seems to be a parody of welfare queens who neglect their kids.
Leela: You got knocked up by a police officer while he was looking for your kidnapped child?

Bev: Sure did, I still got it.

Bender: So now what happens?

Bev: Tell you what, you keep the big one. As long as I've got a baby to neglect, I'm happy.

Leela: Should we call Child Services?

Officer: No, let's get out of here.
In the end, they send Ben off to college at Bending State Santa Cruz.

The episode is being re-run on the Comedy channel this morning, and again this evening.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Miami involuntary commitment

The Miami Herald reports:
At least 646 times this year, Miami-Dade school police have handcuffed a student, put him or her in the back of a patrol car and driven to a mental health facility under the rules in Florida’s mental health law, the Baker Act.

The number of Miami-Dade students taken by school police from campus for an involuntary psychiatric exam has almost exactly doubled in the past five years, according to the district’s records.
Of course no one thinks that there is a sudden increase in juvenile mental illness. The school administrators have discovered how easy it is to dispose of kids they don't like, and the corrupt shrinks gladly comply.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Fathers Day downer

Barbara Kay writes a Fathers Day essay in the NY Daily News:
From the loving, engaged portrayals of fathers featured in recent popular movies like “The Descendants,” “Moneyball” and “A Better Life” — all three performances were nominated for Academy Awards — one might conclude American dads are culturally valued.

Look again. The mothers in these films are comatose, divorced or dead. It’s no coincidence. From Atticus Finch to today, there’s an unspoken Hollywood rule that fathers can’t shine too brightly in the face of active mothering. Dads are more likely to be accorded respect when they are “coping” — in effect, when they are surrogate mothers.

Sadly, it is not only in Hollywood where fathers get the short end of the stick. The culture reflects a painful and pervasive social reality: For all we talk about the value of fathers, we have been devaluing and discarding them for decades.

We must first diagnose this cancer. Then we must systematically work to cure it.

Why do fathers matter so much? Because fatherhood makes men out of boys, for one thing. And because typically they offer children a just as necessary but different kind of love and guidance from what mothers bestow.
She goes on to explain why dads are important, and how the courts are biased against them:
Divorce is initiated by women 70% of the time. From the day they make that decision, the system colludes with them in gaining control of the children. Women can falsely allege violence or sexual abuse of children without having to prove it (unscrupulous lawyers often advise their women clients to do this). When they do, the father is often removed from the home while trying to prove his innocence.

The court will assign financial support obligations to the father. If the father fails to pay his support, even if he can’t, the heavy hand of the law will punish him instantly. But if the mother arbitrarily denies rightful access to the father, the court is reluctant to penalize her. As one Canadian judge told a family lawyer arguing for his client’s continually denied access rights, “It’s not my job to punish mothers.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Too much power to punish men

The feds are taking over your dumb Apple phones:
Apple’s eagerly awaited iOS 6 update for iPhones and iPads will include controversial ‘government alerts’ that some fear are part of the federal government’s takeover of communications networks. ...

Although users can opt out of receiving the alerts from FEMA and the Amber Alert program, messages direct from the president will be mandatory.
I thought that Amber Alerts might be a good idea, until I saw them implemented in California. Every one I've seen was a stupid child custody dispute.

Sure, dads should return kids on time according to court orders, I guess. But if a dad is a few hours late, I fail to see how that justifies mobilizing millions of citizens to go on a manhunt.

Here is another bad case:
Defendant, who is currently sixty-six years old, has suffered from severe obsessive compulsive disorder since childhood and felt abandoned by his family at a young age. His animosity toward his family intensified when, during his teenage years, his parents secured his involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital. Defendant harbored a deep resentment of plaintiff and the parties’ mother, B.P., as evidenced by his references to his family as a “cesspool” of human beings and “scum.” ...

Defendant testified that he had appeared at plaintiff’s residence “probably 8, 9 times.” He acknowledged appearing at plaintiff’s property two to three days per week, for between two and four hours at a time, from approximately April or May 2010 until the filing of plaintiff’s complaint. Defendant admitted that he raised both middle fingers in the air while walking back and forth in front of plaintiff’s residence at least “a couple of times,” although he claimed he was making a “victory” sign.
So the order restrains the man from going into any part of the town!

His family probably is a cesspool of scum. Judges should not have this sort of power. Some judge probably helped create this problem by signing off on a bogus commitment order for OCD. If the man committed a crime, then go ahead and prosecute him. He is 66 years old. If he were going to commit a violent act because of what happened 50 years ago, he probably would have done it by now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The spider matriarchy

What would the feminists do if they completely got their way? I think that some of them get their inspiration from spiders. The NY Times reports:
Males of a tropical species of orb-web spider castrate themselves, either partly or fully, after mating. ...

By becoming a half eunuch or full eunuch, the spider reduces its weight by 4 to 9 percent. It then stands guard by the female it has mated with. ...

“When invaders — intact males — come in, eunuchs fight and do much better than the intact males,” said Daiqin Li, a behavioral ecologist ...

All this is contingent on male spiders even surviving to this stage, however.

About 75 percent of the time, females of the species Nephilengys malabarensis cannibalize males after copulating. Females are aggressive, and much bigger and heavier than males, Dr. Li said. Males can mate a maximum of two times in their lifetime, depending on whether they remove one or both of their sperm-delivery appendages.
Wake me up from this nightmare.

Meanwhile, another NY Times article reports:
It is an uncomfortable question that, in today’s world, is often asked by expectant mothers who had more than one male partner at the time they became pregnant. Who is the father?

With more than half of births to women under 30 now out of wedlock, it is a question that may arise more often.

Now blood tests are becoming available that can determine paternity as early as the eighth or ninth week of pregnancy, without an invasive procedure that could cause a miscarriage.
This sounded like a promising and useful technology, until some feminist lawyers start using it to expand men's obligations:
And if the tests gain legal acceptance, some lawyers say, women and state governments might one day pursue child support payments without having to wait until the birth. Under current law, “until and unless the pregnancy produces a child, any costs associated with it are regarded as the woman’s personal problem,” said Shari Motro, a law professor at the University of Richmond.
The usual feminist line is that a pregnant woman has the constitutional right to decide on her own to abort the child at any time during the pregnancy, and she is not accountable to anyone for her decision. What if they start doing paternity tests and issuing child support orders during the pregnancy? Would that give him any say in abortion? Would his payments terminate with the abortion?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Demanding competent evidence

A UCLA law prof. reports:
Dier v. Peters (Iowa June 1, 2012) offers a good discussion of the debate about paternity fraud lawsuits, including citations to cases that reject such a cause of action and to cases that accept it.

This particular case concludes that, if a woman fraudulently tells a man that he was the father of her child, and the man voluntarily pays child support (not pursuant to a court order), he is entitled to a return of the payments. This seems right to me, on basic principles of the law of fraud; what to do about past court-ordered payments is a more complicated matter, having to do with the proper means of reversing existing judgments, though I think some such remedy should be available there as well. In any case, it’s an interesting opinion, with an interesting concurrence.
The opinion complains that “proving fraud is a difficult task.” That is only because our system makes it difficult. There is not even any discussion of criminally prosecuting the fraud.

Each new mom should fill out a birth certificate form where she names the dad, and can check a box for whether she is certain. If she cannot name the dad, then the baby is put up for adoption. If she fails to check the box, then she must arrange for a DNA test. If she checks the box and a later DNA test proves that she lied, then she goes to prison for paternity fraud.

This would guarantee that all kids are born with a properly identified mom and dad, and would eliminate paternity fraud. 99+% of moms are certain who the dad is. There is still a possibility that the state might let an LGBT couple adopt the baby, but I don't want to get into that or my comment section will be filled with nasty ad hominem attacks again.

On the subject of DNA evidence in court, the US Supreme Court just handed down its decision in Williams v. Illinois (pdf). It is a sharply divided opinion about whether a rape suspect has a Sixth Amendment right to confront the DNA witness against him. The prosecutor used an expert witness to sneak the DNA report into evidence before the jury, but the witness could not really vouch for the report. So the report was unsworn, and the jury may not have appreciated that. There was no majority among the justices on what rules to apply. As a result, the issue is still somewhat unsettled.

The issue ought to be simple:
The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to be confronted with the witnesses against him." Generally, the right is to have a face-to-face confrontation with witnesses who are offering testimonial evidence against the accused in the form of cross-examination during a trial. The Fourteenth Amendment makes the right to confrontation applicable to the states and not just the federal government.
So no one should ever be convicted by reports or affidavits. The witness with first-hand knowledge has to testify, and answer any questions about what he knows.

The family court is notorious for violating rules of evidence with experts. My local family court might get a report from a gay shrink with no expertise in normal family relationships, and the report will include all sorts of one-sided factual allegations that no one has attempted to verify. Or a Jewish shrink might apply Jewish law or anti-Christian bigotry to the case. The court does not actually require competence in the actual report or testimony.

This should not be complicated. Our constitutional rights are hanging on my a thread in criminal cases, and are already gone in the family court.

Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens was just acquitted of perjury and all other counts. As usual, I believe in innocence until proven guilty. The evidence against him was almost entirely the testimony of one guy with dubious motives. If steroids were really so important to his spectacular career, then I would expect a lot more evidence. It should not be so easy to ruin a great man.

The problem of steroid accusations in sports is another one that is easily solved by technology. We should not accuse an athlete of steroids unless he tests positive, and is given an opportunity to be retested by another lab. The tests are objective. I also disagree with the accusations against Lance Armstrong, because he always tested negative and has no opportunity to refute the allegations with retesting.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Obama's war against dads

A reader sends this infographic on how we spend more money on Mothers Day than Fathers Day. I cannot get excited about how much money the Hallmark corporation makes. They could abolish Fathers Day for all I care. Maybe I would see fewer insulting ads like the JC Penney ad.

The official has this pledge:

Fatherlessness is a growing crisis in America, one that undergirds many of the challenges that families are facing. When dads aren't around, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, be involved in the criminal justice system, and become young parents themselves.

President Obama grew up without his dad, and has said that being a father is the most important job he has. That's why the President is joining dads from across the nation in a fatherhood pledge – a pledge that we'll do everything we can to be there for our children and for young people whose fathers are not around. When you take the President's Fatherhood Pledge, you'll receive updates, tips and resources from fatherhood organizations, prominent dads and other supporters of responsible fatherhood around the nation.

My kids do not have a father around. Pres. Obama is pledging here to do whatever he can for my kids.

He has done the opposite. He has bet his whole campaign strategy on making promises to single women that they can become independent of men by becoming dependent on govt handouts. Just watch Life of Julia, a cartoon on his campaign web site. Even the leftist Wash. Post fact checker says that Obama is lying, but that is not the point. This cartoon encourages single moms to have a kid with no dad in the picture. The Democrat party has become the anti-dad party.

Court recording instead of reporters

AP reports:
The iconic figure of the court stenographer has largely been replaced by digital recording devices in Superior Court in Hackensack and Paterson and almost all such courtrooms in New Jersey as the state judiciary moves toward new technology.

Proponents say the change is a successful, cost-effective attempt by courts to keep pace with technology and keep reliable records of proceedings. But the switch also is being watched closely by skeptics, who say recording technology is never a full substitute for a court reporter.

Of concern are the uniquely human aspects now absent. For instance, court reporters often interrupt proceedings to get every word uttered by someone in a low tone or if more than one person is speaking at once. Recording equipment cannot do that, which explains the "inaudible" entries that often punctuate court transcripts from digital recordings.
Using recording machines is inevitable. Court reporters are a luxury. The local Santa Cruz reporter has dropped its court reporters from the family court, so proceedings are not reported or recorded unless the parties hire their own reporter.

The courts should just record everything and post the recordings online.

I do not agree that reporters are better when two parties speak at once. The local court has separate microphones for each speaker, so it could record a separate audio streams for each microphone. And if two people are speaking at once, then the judge is probably not getting it anyway.

As it is, people come out of family court confused about what happened and with no way to get a record. All because some judges don't like recording in the courtroom.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day

Our President celebrated the day:
With Father's Day around the corner, President Obama today admitted that his wife once scolded him for suggesting it was a "forgotten holiday."

Over lunch with campaign supporters in downtown Washington, the president complained that people tended to make a bigger deal out of Mother's Day.

"There was one year that I got a tie or something, and I said why is it that everybody makes a big deal about Mother's Day and Fathers Day seems to be the forgotten holiday?" he said. "And Michelle looks at me, and she says, 'Let me tell you what, every day is Father's Day. You're always getting a treat.'"
Obama is the most henpecked President since Jimmy Carter. At least he did not slam fathers as he did for Fathers Day in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Don't answer her

From Bizarro comics.

Okay to kill husband in Canada

A Canadian govt news agency reports:
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Thursday on whether victims of domestic abuse can hire a hit man to kill their partners, a controversial issue which tests the limits of the defence of duress.

The case involves a Nova Scotia woman, Nicole Doucet, who tried to hire an undercover RCMP officer to kill her husband Michael Ryan.

The high school teacher was arrested in March 2008 and charged with counselling to commit murder.

She was acquitted of the charge two years later after the Nova Scotia Supreme Court accepted her argument that she thought she had no other way out of an abusive 15-year marriage to a man who repeatedly threatened her and her daughter.
This is a crazy feminist extreme. Hiring a hitman is never self-defense.

The wife had been separated for 7 months, after 15 years of marriage. Her complaint is that her husband did not want a divorce. Canada has no-fault divorce, so she can get a divorce over his objections.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dad loses because of psychic prediction

Family court judges rarely explain the bad logic behind their decisions, but here is an example of extremely bad reasoning made public. The mom made completely false and destructive allegations against the dad, and the Australian judge gave her sole custody even tho he knew the accusations were false! FoxNews reports:
MELBOURNE, Australia -- An Australian judge took the extraordinary step of writing to two children involved in a custody dispute, explaining why he gave sole custody to their mom even though he does not accept her claims that their dad abused them.

Australian Federal Magistrate Tom Altobelli published his decision on the court's website, ordering the boy, 11, and his sister, 6, to live with their mom, and the dad's contact to be restricted to letters and birthday cards.

The judge's letter, which is to be opened once the children turn 14, is a plea that the children renew contact with the father, explaining that their mother's claims he abused them are false.

"At the time I had to decide the case your mom believed in her heart that your dad hurt you," he has written.

"My job is to look at all the information, and listen very carefully to what everybody says, including the experts. I decided that you had not been hurt by your dad," Altobelli wrote.

"Even after I told your mum what I decided, I think she still believed in her heart that your dad had hurt you. This just goes to show that sometimes words do not change a person's heart," he added.
So what was the mom's concern? It was that her own mother visited a psychic clairvoyant who predicted that the dad would sexually abuse the kids!

W.F. Price comments:
One of the insane things I encountered during divorce was the idea that joint custody is often held to be feasible only when there is cooperation on the part of the parents. Fortunately, this idea is not enshrined in law in Washington state – although it is unofficial policy for social workers – but apparently it is where Altobelli’s court has jurisdiction (Australia). The problem with this view is that it gives the custodial parent (typically the mother) an incentive to create conflict if they don’t want to share the children’s visitation. Fathers simply cannot win if the mother puts her foot down.
I ran into the same problem. The judge and the psychologist could never figure out what my ex-wife, Julie Travers, was complaining about. She is a lawyer herself, but she was incoherent in court. She relectlessly pursued claims in court for 7 years. Her claims made about as much sense as a prediction from a clairvoyant.

The psychologist, Ken Perlmutter, testified in court that I was just as good a parent as my ex-wife, and that all of her allegations were unfounded. I would quote his report, but my ex-wife successfully argued that I should be held in contempt of court if I do. After collecting $28,000, he recommended that court orders be continued until he could be paid more money to do another evaluation. He gave no explanation except that he was following his religion.

It ought to be obvious that a policy of giving child custody to overly litigious parents who make false accusations is a terrible policy. It encourages false accusations and benefits lying parents. There is also empirical evidence that it is bad for kids. The academic studies all show that the more the parents dispute custody, the more necessary it is to get a favorable outcome for the kids.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Orthodox Jewish leader goes on trial

Following up on a previous abuse story, ABC News reports:
The abuse went on for nearly three years before the schoolgirl told anyone that her spiritual adviser was molesting her while he was supposed to be mentoring her about her religion, authorities said.

But in Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, 53-year-old Nechemya Weberman has been embraced and defended as wrongly accused. The girl has been called a slut and a troublemaker, her family threatened and spat at on the street.

The rallying around Weberman, who goes on trial this month, and ostracizing of his accuser and her family reflects long-held beliefs in this insular community that problems should be dealt with from within and that elders have far more authority than the young. ...

Weberman has pleaded not guilty, and articles in Hasidic newspapers have proclaimed his innocence and begged the community for support. More than 1,000 men showed up for a fundraiser aiming to raise $500,000 for his legal fees and, if he's convicted and jailed, money for his family. ...

The family has said they would've preferred to handle the allegations within the community. But when accusations are managed from the inside, victims are rarely believed and abusers aren't punished — in part because the word of an elder is respected over the word of a child, victims and advocates say.
As usual, I say that the man is innocent until proven guilty. I am impressed by the fact that he has 1000 supporters, but I do not know whether that is because they think he is innocent, or that they do not believe that Jews should be accountable to non-Jewish authorities.

If the man really raped the girl, then I would expect semen or other evidence that would prove the matter conclusively. If the prosecutor really wanted to bust up some sort of code of silence among the ultra-orthodox Jews, I would think that he would pick a case that he could convincingly prove. If the man is really innocent, then the community might become all the more convinced not to talk to non-Jews.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another Kennedy death

Politico reports:
Robert Kennedy Jr. told a judge last year that his wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, was physically abusing him, had run over and killed the family dog and threatened to kill herself in front of their children, according to a newly unveiled affidavit that was filed during the couple’s divorce proceedings.

The 60-page affidavit, published Monday by Newsweek, contains details of a troubled marriage that spiraled out of control as Mary Kennedy’s psychological health seemed to quickly deteriorate. She hanged herself in her Westchester County home last month.

Do people really believe she killed herself? When a woman becomes extremely inconvenient to the Kennedy family, she usually ends up dead. Read The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, by Donald H. Wolfe.

Robert Kennedy Jr. was mainly known for being a wacko environmentalist leftist. He once wrote an article for Salon that had to be retracted because it had so many errors. Mary was his second wife. His affidavit says:

“I drove over in a tow truck with my boat on the trailer in preparation for a planned trip to Cape Cod the following day. When I got there, Aidan was in Mary’s room. Mary was intoxicated. I opened the door and she leapt out of her bed and hit me with a roundhouse punch that, had I not blocked it, would have undoubtedly broken my face. Pointing to Aidan, she screamed, ‘You told this child you didn’t love me?’ and hit me again, raining blows down on me as I backed down the hall. She struck me maybe 30 more times or more. I moved slowly backward because she was drunk and unsteady and I didn’t want her to tumble over the banister. She screamed at Aidan as she hit me. ‘He is a demon. He is a demon. He is the most evil kind of man in the world. Everything he does is evil and a fraud. He is a philanderer, an adulterer, a sex addict.’ Aidan was crying. I backed down the back stairs blocking her blows—and dodged out the kitchen door. She pursued me, pummeling and pushing me with her fists all the way.”
Really? One punch from her would have undoubtedly broken his face?

I wonder when family courts got so interested in dogs. In my own case, I had to deal with weird anonymous allegations about dogs. They did not even make any sense, and could have been easily refuted by checking with the dog owners.

Obviously no family court can cope with the problems of a Kennedy family. The kids are going to be screwed up for generations to come. Maybe the court ought to just back off, before there are more dead bodies. The Kennedys are rich, leftist, corrupt, well-connected, and ruthless.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why studies are unbalanced

A reader comments:
As for the study fuss. I think it's a pretty fair bet that social engineers can and do set up their 'expert' studies to produce whatever results they want. With their exclusive control over the study parameters, data collection and interpretation of the data, they can easily reach any conclusions they barn well please. Maybe some sort of peer review might help but when the political atmosphere is so strongly influenced by PC think, peers who disagree with the conclusion that homosexuals make grand parents are going to be hard to find. For the simple reason that they would be quickly unemployed and labeled as homophobic. It is a homo world, after all. Hum the small world Disney song here. We see the same PC think influencing the global climate hysteria. Therefore, playing with politically influenced social engineering studies, as if they are serious studies, is a waste of time.
That is correct. The academic social science experts are some of the most narrow-minded leftist bigots on Earth. They only permit studies that match their leftist political objectives.

A recent example is how they hounded Robert Spitzer into apologizing for an innocuous study he did about gays in 2001. He was "arguably the most influential psychiatrist of the 20th century", according to Wikipedia. The only thing wrong with his study is that it did not match the bogus arguments being made by the gay lobby in the same-sex marriage court cases. So they harassed the 80yo into writing an apology for doing the study.

No honest science would work this way. If there were some defect in his study, the better response would be to do another study to get the truth. But they refuse to do that. A the journal has refused to retract the 2001 study paper because no one has found anything wrong with it.

Nevertheless, I have readers who are fascinated by these studies on gay adoptive parents and step-parents. A new one was just published. The NY Times reports:
Young adults from broken homes in which a parent had had a same-sex relationship reported modestly more psychological and social problems in their current lives than peers from other families that had experienced divorce and other disruptions, a new study has found, stirring bitter debate among partisans on gay marriage.

The study counted parents as gay or lesbian by asking participants whether their parents had ever had a same-sex relationship; the parents may not have identified themselves as gay or lesbian. ...

But outside experts, by and large, said the research was rigorous, providing some of the best data yet comparing outcomes for adult children with a gay parent with those with heterosexual parents. ...

Participants who grew up in intact, traditional families reported the lowest average level of problems in their current life, like drug use, unemployment or depressive moods, the study found. Participants who grew up in nontraditional arrangements — with a single, heterosexual parent, in a stepfamily or in a family with a late divorce, for instance — reported higher levels of such problems as adults.

Those who said they had a parent who had had a same-sex relationship fared somewhat worse than those in other nontraditional families.
None of this should be surprising to anyone. Traditional family structure is based on what we have learned from thousands lf years of civilization.

The pro-gay NY Times does of course quote some gripers about the study:
Others said the study was limited in its usefulness. “What we really need in this field is for strong skeptics to study gay, stable parents and compare them directly to a similar group of heterosexual, stable parents,” said Judith Stacey, a sociologist at New York University.
So why does Stacey and her fellow "queer studies" activists need such a study? Presumably it would be some bogus evidence for same-sex marriage. By "gay stable parents", she probably means parents, step-parents, and adoptive parents. I don't know what she means by stable or why that would be relevant, as same-sex marriage would not be limited to stable gays.

I would dismiss Judith Stacey as a harmless academic fruitcake, but I am afraid that she is doing real damage. She writes books and articles arguing that kids do not need fathers. Here is her Amazon bio:
Judith Stacey is an author, and Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and Sociology at NYU. Her primary focus areas include family studies, gender studies, queer studies, and sexuality. Her latest book, Unhitched, explores social "family" configurations that deviate from the standard Western "marriage" idea, including polygamous families in South Africa, gay men's diverse forms of intimacy and parenthood in, and the Mosuo people in southwestern China. She has published many works. Her paper, co-authored with Timothy Biblarz, "How Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?" argues that children of lesbian and gay parents develop at least as well as those with straight parents, but are more likely themselves to be open to different kinds of relationships.
I am guessing that she does not go into detail on "gay men's diverse forms of intimacy", or most of her readers would be too grossed out.

Stacey's idea of paradise is the Mosuo women of China. Anthropologists have studied thousands of primitive tribes all over the world, and this obscure tiny tribe is the only one that is not a patriarchy. Apparently women there are free to be as promiscuous as please at night. This supposedly shows that women can separate they family life from their sexual freedoms.

The US Supreme Court will probably soon be hearing cases on same-sex marriage, and the queer professors will be swamping the court with amicus briefs arguing that research proves that traditional marriage is obsolete. The justices ought to be smart enough to realize that maybe there is a reason that the Mosua women are still living in the Stone Age.

Again, I would not care what these LGBT folks and queer professors do, except that they are actively working to undermine fathers rights rights and to censor free speech.

Of all the groups mentioned on this blog -- whites, blacks, liberals, Mexicans, Chinese, Mormons, Jews, gays, Moslems, Republicans, Christians, etc. -- there is one group that consistently bombards me with hate-filled, bigoted, name-calling comments. They cannot tolerate someone else with a different opinion. They post ad hominem attacks with no substance. Can you guess who?

If you want to see some real anti-gay nonsense, watch what the Shiites say about Sunni Moslems.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Preacher hits daughter with shoe

The Atlanta newspaper reports:
Even before controversial megachurch pastor Creflo A. Dollar Jr. released a statement Friday denying he assaulted his 15-year-old daughter, the College Park minister's legion of supporters rushed to his defense.

"It's just something that's been blown out of proportion," said Randi Garrett, a longtime member of Dollar's World Changers Church International. "Kids misconstrue things, and they take them out of context."

But Fayette County Sheriff's deputies say they found ample evidence to charge the prominent televangelist and author with simple battery, family violence and cruelty to children.

Dollar's 15-year-old daughter alleged her father grabbed her by the throat in the family's home on Sandy Creek Road in Fayette County, pushed her to the ground and then beat her with his shoe, according to the incident report.
While this guy's preaching and parenting practices appear dubious, this incident seems harmless to me. The girl was not hurt and did not require medical attention. There is no accusation that this is part of a pattern of abuse.

Many 15yo black girls are on drugs, pregnant, or runaways. She probably needed some discipline. How her dad did this is none of anyone business, as long as no one was hurt. If she becomes a juvenile delinquent, will people also be blaming him for that?

Some people will probably say that a Christian preacher should not have to hit is daughter, and that he is some sort of hypocrite if he does. Especially a black man who drives a Rolls Royce. But we have no idea what was really going on. I think that the cops overreacted to a petty complaint.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weak parenting studies

A reader cites a psychologist court brief that argues:
"These studies ... are impressively consistent in their failure to identify deficits in parenting abilities or in the development of children raised in a lesbian or gay household."
These are negative results, and they do not mean much. They applied simple-minded methods, and failed to get results.

Here is the abstract to one of those studies:
This study examined associations among family type (same-sex vs. opposite-sex parents); family and rela-tionship variables; and the psychosocial adjustment, school outcomes, and romantic attractions and behaviors of adolescents. Participants included 44 12- to 18-year-old adolescents parented by same-sex couples and 44 same-aged adolescents parented by opposite-sex couples, matched on demographic characteristics and drawn from a national sample. Normative analyses indicated that, on measures of psychosocial adjustment and school outcomes, adolescents were functioning well, and their adjustment was not generally associated with family type. Assessments of romantic relationships and sexual behavior were not associated with family type. Re-gardless of family type, adolescents whose parents described closer relationships with them reported better school adjustment.
They sampled a few families, gave them some questionaires, and found that they all had about the same self-esteem and other subjective self-reported indicators.

To see how weak this is, imagine if someone studies NFL football teams by sending questionaires to players and coaches, and asking about their self-esteem. He might conclude that all of the teams are about the same, and miss the fact that some are winners and some are losers. He would probably miss a lot of other differences also, especially if he is not a football fan.

The problem is deeper. Psychologists and other social scientists publish studies all the time, but there are hardly any studies showing that any parental strategy is better than any other.

Everyone who has kids, and most of those who don't, have opinions about how best to rear kids. And yet those studies are not backed up by research. Most of the opinions given by court-appointed child custody evaluators are also not backed up by research.

The only studies that say anything useful about parents are those that say that kids do better with their natural dad and mom. There are dozens of such studies, and they give specific quantitative measures showing how the kids are observed to do better. No one disputes these studies.

Some readers may comment, "I was adopted, and I turned out great", or "X was a child abuser, and her kid was better off in foster care". I do not doubt that there are many such examples. The studies apply to statistical samples and majorities, and not to every single case.

I am just reporting on the studies. If you don't like the studies, complain to the authors. If I have overlooked some studies, then go ahead and point them out in the comments.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Courts ignore good studies

A reader commented:
If you are citing prop 8, I'm sure you read the studies that were brought up in the case that showed children brought up in a same sex household turned out as well as kids in an opposite sex household, and the pro prop 8 was unable to find any studies that showed otherwise?
That testimony is summarized here. Those studies are limited, biased, and dubious for various reasons, such as those listed

I think that these studies should have been irrelevant to the case. The judges are not competent to understand them, and they certainly should not be making policy based on academic surveys by gay rights activists. Would they order polygamy legalized if some Moslem professors brought in some studies on the virtues of polygamy? Would black marriage be disallowed if some studies showed that blacks are lousy parents? Of course not.

There is much more solid evidence that kids do better with a mom and a dad. There are dozens of studies showing this, even after divorce. See the Bauserman 2002 review. But the family courts ignore this. They appoint so-called experts who make recommendations with no basis in science.

Another narrow-minded gay commenter tells me that I should not express my opinions, and cites this article:
"Imagine being a child living in a state with two parents in which, legally, only one parent is allowed to be their parent," Powell told LiveScience. "In that situation, the family is not seen as authentic or real by others. That would be the disadvantage."
This is crazy. There are millions of American parents who are legally prevented from being parents to their kids. I am talking about real parents, not gay parent wannabes. Instead, this article complains about a few thousand non-parents who are allowed to act as parents, but who are seen as not authentic parents. In many cases, they are not the authentic parents, and they are usurping the roles of the real parents.

More on the JCP ad

I criticized a JC Penney ad yesterday, and I had commenters calling me uneducated, abhorrent, and various other names.

Many comments seemed to miss the point. One said:
I'm extremely curious as to why you think this as devalues fatherhood. You really didn't explain that issue very well.
A theme of this blog is that the family court devalues fathers to be just support money payers, and maybe be awarded visitation privileges, contingent on good behavior. Throughout history, fathers have been much more than that. The father has been the head of household, with the responsibility to lead, support, teach, discipline, build character, etc.

But the typical dad in family court getw two weekends a month visitation, and no real opportunity to direct the upbringing of his child. He is a visitor. Maybe he is a swim coach or bicycle fixer or a friend, and that is all. This is wrong. Kids need moms and dads, and get something different from each.

Now a JC Penney Fathers Day ad says a father can be like a coach or a friend, and one of my gay commenters says that it is inspiring because he wants to have a biological child someday. If that ever happens, I hope that he is inspired to be more than a coach or a friend. Kids need more than that.

While courts are denying the rights and responsibilities of fathers, they are also aggressively pushing doctrines that are contrary to kids having a mom and a dad. Here are two examples from the last week.

The federal appeals court ruled that Calif. Prop. 8 is unconstitutional because California voters had no rational purpose in voting for it, so California same-sex couples and only California same-sex couples are entitled to marriage licenses. The decision is not about any rights that gays have or don't have, except that the idea is to force others to respect their relationships.

The New Mexico supreme court ruled that a Wedding Photographer May Be Required (on Pain of Legal Liability) to Photograph Same-Sex Commitment Ceremonies. It sure seems to me that a private photographer should be able to photograph anyone she wants. There are plenty of other wedding photographers.

If gays were arguing for freedom to do what they want, then I would have no argument. But these cases are all about gays forcing others to respect their lifestyles. I believe that we have rights to form our own opinions. Some commenters have ad hominem attacks at anyone who disagrees.

Getting back to the JCP ad, it seems to portray an ideal father as a gay man who gets in a relationship with another gay man, adopts a couple of overseas babies, and aspires to be swim coach and friend to the kids.

One reader comments:
I can literally name 7 gay couples that I know personally who have adopted/are trying to adopt or who are using a surrogate/have used one. These are wealthy, upstanding citizens and wonderful parents who deserve all the same recognition and respect as any heterosexual father.
There are also lesbian couples who have used artificial insemination from sperm donors or who have sued their ex-husbands for sole custody of their kids. Maybe some of them will be featured in the next JCP ad.

Another says:
That's part of why many adoption agencies (such as the Independent Adoption Center, which caters to the LGBT community) choose to do open adoptions,
I am glad someone respects the importance of biological parents. Some commenters seemed to deny that there was any difference between biological and adoptive parents. I am not against adoption, but one said, "Being a parent has nothing to do with where you got your child." I cannot agree with that. My being a parent had a lot to do with where I got the child.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Penney ad for Fathers Day

The Vancouver Sun newspaper reports:
American retailer J.C. Penney has recently released a Father's Day print ad showing a real-life same-sex couple hugging their two young kids. "What makes Dad so cool?" reads the copy. "He's the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver -- all rolled into one. Or two."

J.C. Penney has proven (again) that it is committed to including the gay community. Indeed, the retailer caused a commotion earlier this year when it employed openly gay talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman. Despite being accused of abandoning "traditional values" by conservative groups like One Million Moms, the retailer stuck with their spokeswoman, saying that "Ellen represents the values of our company."
This is a terrible image for Father's Day. No, these are not dads. These are two white non-married American gay men who managed to somehow adopt two kids from overseas. One is an Asian boy and the other is a Central American girl. These men did not father these kids.

Worse, the men are praised for things like being a "swim coach". Being a parent is a lot more than being a swim coach. He is not a "best friend". He directs the upbringing of the child.

Would an ad for Mothers Day say, "She's the dance coach, doll maker, best friend, button fixer and hug giver -- all rolled into one. Or two."? Such an ad would trivialize moms, and the JC Penney ad trivializes dads.

The men are not actors, but a real-life Texas couple.

Some people want a boycott:
Having previously threatened to boycott JCPenney after Ellen DeGeneres was tapped for a spokesperson role, One Million Moms once again fired off against the Texas-based retail group online. "One Million Moms (OMM) is disturbed that JC Penney's (JCP) is continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements," the group, which also slammed JCPenney's decision to feature a lesbian couple in its Mother's Day Catalog, wrote on their website. "We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature."
I do not go that far. I am not complaining about what these men do in private. My complaint is about the systematic devaluation of fathers in our society.

The LGBT crowd is only 1-2% of our population, and few would even notice if they kept their private affairs private. But talk of same-sex marriage is throughout the news media, and now even in advertising campaigns. Pres. Barack Obama has decided that he needs their support for his re-election.

Hardly any gay men want to get a same-sex marriage and then adopt kids. Hardly any lesbians want to either. The gay shrink Bret K. Johnson pretends to be a child psychologist, but he would not want to have anything to do with any real kids. The main reason for lesbian marriage is to cut fathers out of the child's life.

Am I wrong here? If so, tell me why JC Penney is running this ad for Fathers Day. The ad is offensive and insulting, and denies what fatherhood is all about.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Mirkarimi video released

This San Fran saga continues, and here is the latest:
The past year has been a public airing of dirty laundry for suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his wife Eliana Lopez.

Since a neighbor turned over a video of Lopez alleging domestic violence to authorities in January, Mirkarimi has faced an extremely public investigation, a plea bargain, an unpaid suspension and now, an Ethics Committee inquiry.

Lopez, who did not authorize the release of the video to police, has condemned her neighbor, Mayor Ed Lee, the city, district attorneys and the media, fighting desperately for privacy.

But any remaining hopes for discretion were dashed on Thursday with the public release of her video.
This is not evidence. In a real court, there are rules of evidence that prohibit hearsay. The rules are to prevent unsworn opinions being used as if they are sworn, and out-of-context statements being miscontrued. Without a hearsay rule, it would be easy to frame someone by making videos and not testifying.

On the video, Lopez says:
This happened yesterday and in 2011. This is the second time this is happening, and I told Ross I want to work on the marriage, we need help. I have been telling him we need help. And I'm going to use this just in case he wants to take Theo away from me. Because he said that, that he is very powerful and he can do it.
Reportedly, she threatened to take the boy to Venezuela. Listening to one side of a domestic dispute is useless. It gives the impression that she wants to work on the marriage but he does not. Listening to him might give the opposite impression. But regardless of who wants to work on the marriage, or who wants to pursue a child custody dispute, none of that is criminal or even relevant to any criminal charges.

Lopez could have made that bruise herself, and then made the video to blackmail her husband. The bruise looks ugly, but I have gotten much worse bruises playing recreational sports. It is not a big deal. If she is not willing to swear out a complaint against her husband, then the whole case should be none of anyone's business.

I asked a woman I know about this case. She had not followed the details, but said that the neighbor who made the video had to turn it into the police. I asked her if she ever had a boyfriend beat her up. She said yes. I asked her if she called the cops. She said no, she liked the guy. She did say that she complained to the guy's father about it, and that he would have gotten into a lot of trouble if she had called the cops.

So I asked her why, if she wanted the discretion of whether to call the cops in her case, shouldn't Lopez also have the choice of whether to make a police complaint? I never got an answer. I don't think that she understood the question. Do people really support these evil policies? I din't know. I suspect that they have not thought through the consequences.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Europeans differ on parental duties

David Brooks of the NY Times writes:
The failure of convergence is most striking in Europe. True, a tiny sliver of European society is becoming more transnational. ...

On the whole, European nations still have very different understandings of the rule of law and political order, different work ethics and conceptions of citizenship. If you look at the European Values Study, for example, you see stark values differences across the Continent. ...

More than 80 percent of the Croats believe that a parent’s duty is to do what’s best for their children, even at the expense of their own well-being. Only about 55 percent of Germans agree.
So if the family court appointed a child custody evaluator, would it matter if he were a German or a Croatian? Would the evaluator consider whether the parents were German or Croatian?

As far as I could see, the evaluators just apply their own prejudices. I had Bret K. Johnson and Ken B. Perlmutter, and they were two of the most prejudiced men I ever met. They hate fathers, Christians, and American family values. They have no professional ethics or personal morals. These are people who should never be around kids or allowed to testify in court.

Monday, June 04, 2012

UK jails woman for racist rant

AP reports:
LONDON—A British judge has jailed a woman whose racist tirade toward fellow subway riders went viral on YouTube.
Jacqueline Woodhouse, 42, boarded the subway drunk on the evening of Jan. 23 and began berating her fellow passengers with a profanity-filled, racist verbal assault.
A seven-minute video of it was uploaded to YouTube and viewed more than 200,000 times.
Judge Michael Snow sentenced Woodhouse to 21 weeks in jail on Tuesday in London, saying that anyone hearing her "grossly offensive" language would feel a "deep sense of shame."
Woodhouse — who had turned herself in to police after the footage began to circulate — had pleaded guilty to one count of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior.
She is sitting on a seat holding a 3yo boy the whole time. I bet they threatened to take her boy away, unless she pled guilty and attended re-education classes.

The most offensive things she says are, "F*** you", "Go back to where you come from", and "You ain't British, you're black."

It is obvious from the video that no one is threatened by her in the slightest. It is just a typical drunk argument. It is also not harassment or abuse. The others were arguing with her. She is just an obnoxious passenger, that's all.

I am wondering how the judge could say that any listener would feel a "deep sense of shame." Really? Maybe I am an insensitive clod, but I did not feel any shame listening to the video and I do not that the other passengers did either, whether they were black, Polish, British immigrants, or whatever. They did disagree, but there is no law saying that you have to keep your opinions to yourself on the subway, as far as I know. (BTW, I call it a "subway", but I think they call it a tram or a tube over there.)

The video is not too offensive for Google. For an example of what is too offensive in California, Google censored a video that opposes teaching homosexuality in the California schools. I did not get what was so offensive about that. You can watch it here. The most offensive thing I saw was that Harvey Milk liked teenaged boys, but that is what his biography says, so I don't see why that should be a problem.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Dad sentenced for kidnapping

Reuters reports:
NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - A divided New York Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that custodial parents can be convicted of kidnapping their children.

The 4-3 majority ruling upheld the 2009 conviction of Leo Leonard, who was charged with kidnapping, criminal possession of a weapon, burglary and endangering the welfare of a child.

Leonard was accused of holding his 6-week-old daughter at knifepoint after police arrived at his former girlfriend's home to investigate a reported domestic dispute.

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Judge Robert Smith, writing for the majority, noted that the Court of Appeals was following in the footsteps of top appellate courts in Arizona, Florida and Iowa, in acknowledging that "kidnapping by a custodial parent of his own child is not a legal impossibility." ...

In dissent, Judge Theodore Jones, joined by judges Carmen Ciparick and Eugene Pigott, said there was not enough evidence presented to prove that Leonard had known that he was unlawfully restraining his daughter and that the infant had been moved or confined "without consent."

Jones also criticized the majority for using elements of child endangerment to support the separate kidnapping charge.
Here is the decision (pdf).

This is another example of judges ignoring the law to find ways to punish fathers.

There are criminal laws against child abuse, neglect, and endangerment. If the dad did one of those, he could be prosecuted. But how is it kidnapping? If the dad has custody of the toddler, then he is supposed to be controlling the child's whereabouts, whether the child gives permission or not.

More and more, judges, social workers, shrinks, and others are second-guessing parents and undermining their authority. Worse, they just make it up as they go along.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Man charged with 1963 marital rape

Sometimes I think that news stories are jokes. Or the world has gone mad. Here is a crazy story. It is not a joke. The UK BBC reports:
An elderly Australian man should stand trial for raping his former wife nearly 50 years ago, the country's highest court has ruled.

The 81-year-old, who cannot be named, had argued that marital rape was not a crime at the time of the alleged offence in 1963.

His lawyer said that marriage itself was then considered to amount to consent for sex.

The court dismissed the man's appeal. He was charged with rape in 2010.

It was not clear why the charges were brought about only recently. The couple divorced in 1979.

The High Court voted five to two on the decision.
If she was really raped in 1963, and she had some serious objection to it, then why did she stay married to him for 16 more years?
The defendant's lawyers had said that the courts could not apply contemporary values to the law at the time.

They argued that Australia was a "very unenlightened and socially backward country by modern standards" in the 1960s, the AFP news agency reports.

The man, who lives in Adelaide, was charged in 2010 after South Australia lifted the statute of limitations.
There are good reasons for a statute of limitations. There is no possibility of fairly assessing blame for something that happened in 1963.

There are many things wrong with this story. I say that Australia is a very unenlightened and socially backward country today, if it prosecutes this man.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Subsidizing illegitimate births

From the Spearhead blog, I get this stupid idea:
He doesn’t want to do away with Roe v. Wade — quite the opposite — he wants to make it irrelevant.

How? No woman gets pregnant on her own. His idea is to clamp an ankle bracelet, a $50,000 obligation that may be funded by military service and other fun things, on guys who go around having random sex. Make them think twice, or thrice.

Evans, a retired Ogden OB/GYN, came by his disgust for abortion in a horrendous three-month stint in the pathology/obstetrics ward at Cook County Hospital in Chicago in the 1950s when he did his residency.

Abortion was illegal but very common. ...

Which brings us to his bill, which would:

Restrict elective abortion to the first 16 weeks.
Require DNA testing to determine paternity of all out-of-wedlock children, even aborted.
Require the father to establish a $50,000 trust fund to care for any out-of-wedlock child, even if adopted. If the child is aborted, the fund is used for sex education.
If the father can’t pay, he joins the military and uses his enlistment bonus and salary to pay.
No man can avoid paternity claiming “she seduced me,” or that she claimed she was on the pill, had her tubes tied, whatever.
Man under 18? His parents are responsible.
There are provisions for mandatory counseling, marriage isn’t an easy out, there is no statute of limitations, and if you flee, you can be extradited.

It goes on for three pages.
I think that if we had a public debate about firefighting, there would be people suggesting that we pour gasoline on the fires.

A comment says:
What an absolutely stupid idea.

Once again we see the woman-can-do-wrong false assumption in action.

In this case, Dr. Evans, who came from the 1950s when women were more virtuous (less rotten?), has brought his experiences, prejudices and bad logic into the public policy arena where it can do the most harm. Unbeknownst to him, his “sensible” proposal will cause a birth explosion among the sluttiest, poorest, and most conniving girls bringing a new generation of bastards into the world and trashing young men in the process.

How about this proposal instead?:

Any woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock must pay the man $50,000 and forfeit all parental rights to the child. The man can continue or terminate the pregnancy. This is the woman’s punishment for seducing the poor innocent man into fornication in an attempt to destroy his life.

Yet another example of man-hating and man-blaming in America.
Physicians do not understand financial incentives.

Another comment has a link to a Dr. Coutinho video tell how feminists blocked a male contraceptive pill.