Friday, November 30, 2012

Shrinks cannot define personality disorder

The NY Times has some psychology articles that I will post over the next few days. First is controversy over the new DSM-5 that will dominate diagnoses for years to come. The NY Times reports:
This weekend the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association will vote on whether to adopt a new diagnostic system for some of the most serious, and striking, syndromes in medicine: personality disorders.

Personality disorders occupy a troublesome niche in psychiatry. The 10 recognized syndromes are fairly well represented on the self-help shelves of bookstores and include such well-known types as narcissistic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, as well as dependent and histrionic personalities.

But when full-blown, the disorders are difficult to characterize and treat, and doctors seldom do careful evaluations, missing or downplaying behavior patterns that underlie problems like depression and anxiety in millions of people. ...

The entire exercise has forced psychiatrists to confront one of the field’s most elementary, yet still unresolved, questions: What, exactly, is a personality problem? ...

The most central, memorable, and knowable element of any person — personality — still defies any consensus.

A team of experts appointed by the psychiatric association has worked for more than five years to find some unifying system of diagnosis for personality problems.

The panel proposed a system based in part on a failure to “develop a coherent sense of self or identity.” Not good enough, some psychiatric theorists said.

Later, the experts tied elements of the disorders to distortions in basic traits.

For example, an interim proposal for narcissistic personality disorder involved rating a person on four traits, including “manipulativeness,” “histrionism,” and “callousness,” and the final proposal relied on just two, “grandiosity” and “attention-seeking.” The current definition includes nine possible elements. ...

“You simply don’t have adequate coverage of personality disorders with just a few traits,” said Thomas Widiger, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Widiger compares the process of reaching a consensus on personality to the parable of the six blind men from Hindustan, each touching different parts of the elephant. “Everyone’s working independently, and each has their perspective, their own theory,” he said. “It’s a mess.”

“It’s embarrassing to see where we’re at. We’ve been caught up in digression after digression, and nobody can agree,” Dr. Millon said. “It’s time to go back to the beginning, to Darwin, and build a logical structure based on universal principles of evolution.”
This isn't science. They are just listing personality traits that they don't like.

I got sent out by the family court 8 times to see if I had any of these disorders, and every one of the experts said that I did not. They could not find any fault in anything I did. But the judges just ignored the reports anyway.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Illegal to ride a manatee

The LA Times reports:
A St. Petersburg, Fla., woman was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant Saturday after being photographed two months ago riding a manatee.

Florida's Manatee Sanctuary Act protects the endangered sea mammal and says in part, “It is unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee.”

Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 53, was taken into custody without incident at a Sears department store where she works, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The incident first came to the public's attention when Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a news conference on Oct. 2 and asked for help in identifying the woman photographed riding the manatee at nearby Fort De Soto Park in late September.

Gutierrez has admitted touching the endangered sea mammal, the sheriff's office said. She told deputies that she was new to the area at the time and didn't know it was illegal to touch a manatee. The manatee was not hurt.

The maximum penalty is a $500 fine and six months in jail. Gutierrez was released on $1,500 bail, the Associated Press reported.
Welcome to the Big Brother society. You could be having a harmless and fun day at the park, but someone could take a picture, post it on the internet, and the local cops could spends months tracking you down for some obscure offense that hurt no person or even an animal or plant.

Courts can issue restraining orders against harassment, but there is a lot of confusion about what that is. Harassment means continued, repeated, annoying behavior that has no legitimate purpose.

What this woman did was not harassment. It was not repeated, it was not annoying, and it did have a legitimate purpose. If a park ranger had warned her that she was annoying the manatee, then it might be harassment if she did it again to spite the ranger. But all they have is a picture of one incident.

I have no idea whether the tourists are harmful to the manatees, but if they want to prevent visitors from touching manatees then the law should say that no touching is allowed, and the park signs should say so also.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is evaluator a profession?

I listened to a debate about whether a particular line of work should be called a profession. Here were the arguments.

Do it pay lots of money? Can a college student major in the subject? Are there organizations that hold conferences on the subject? Is it licensed by the state?

None of these criteria were very convincing. The best one was: Can someone be found guilty of malpractice?
In fact, one of the best ways to decide whether a profession is really a profession is whether it can be accused of malpractice.
To determine malpractice, there has to be an established body of knowledge and practices. And there have to be some right ways of doing things and some wrong ways, and the distinctions have to be clear enough for some committee or jury to enforce the standards. In real professions, the competent ones are eager to throw the incompetents ones that degrade the reputation of the whole profession.

California and other states use child custody evaluators to advise the family court. Is that a profession?

By the above standards, I say no. Prominent local evaluators like Ken Perlmutter, Bret Johnson, and Farin Akins would have been found guilty of malpractice long ago, if that were even possible. They are sloppy, petty, malicious, dishonest, prejudiced, and corrupt. They have been exposed, and yet they continue in this so-called profession without harm to themselves.

No, it is not a profession.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

White man's rant

I found this post-election white man's rant:
As a father, sitcoms portray you as an idiot. As a husband, commercials mock you as sexually undesirable because of your race. As a white man, movies openly call for you to be killed. And if by chance you do something admirable, why, Hollywood simply changes the race.

And what about your wife? Of course you love her. But what is the culture telling her? If she leaves you, she gets your kids, your money, and any future earnings. The culture tells her she has no obligation to you or your children. The law rewards her if she abandons you. The media tells you the real problem is a “war on women.” Maybe you’ve got a great girl, but just take a glance around the broken families and shattered men around this country, and ask yourself if the United States is a fit place for decent men and decent families. ...

And then, you can die. In fact, hurry up and do it. The Democrats are more becoming bolder in just telling you these things. ...

Everything you loved about what used to be your country came from one group of people. It’s the group you belong to. It’s the white race. And it’s not an accident that the same people who hate your country, your religion, and your family hate your race more than anything.

You’re a white man. “American” doesn’t mean anything anymore. If anything, citizenship is actually a burden. As a white American, you are a second-class citizen in jobs, education, and government benefits. No one cares about you and no one ever will. Those in power will deny that your suffering even exists. So why are you fighting for these people?

The nation you loved is still there. But it’s not in the flag of a government that hates you or in the guns that serve people who don’t care about you. It’s in the faces of the white people that built this country and that sustain it today. That’s what you have to fight for.
I don't agree with his conclusions because I think he is overreacting to the election. Barack Obama only won by 330k votes in 4 swing states. The Republican still control the House of Reps and about half the states. The election did bring out an alarming number of voters who voted for Obama because he is non-white.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Taking kids based on politics

The UK now takes kids away based on membership in political parties. The BBC reports:
The couple, who have been approved foster parents for seven years, were eight weeks into the placement when they were approached by social workers about their membership of the party.

The wife told the Daily Telegraph: "I was dumbfounded. Then my question to both of them was, 'What has UKIP got to do with having the children removed?'

"Then one of them said, 'Well, UKIP have got racist policies.' The implication was that we were racist. [The social worker] said UKIP does not like European people and wants them all out of the country to be returned to their own countries."

The paper says the woman denied she was racist but the children were taken away by the end of the week.

She said the social worker told her: "We would not have placed these children with you had we known you were members of UKIP because it wouldn't have been the right cultural match." ...

"These children are not UK children and we were not aware of the foster parents having strong political views. There are some strong views in the UKIP party and we have to think of the future of the children."

She added during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today: "I have to look at the children's cultural and ethnic needs.
The UKIP is not so radical, and simply wants to limit immigration:
UKIP immigration policy

An immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement.
After the five year freeze, a strictly controlled, points-based system similar to Australia to be introduced.
An aspiration to ensure that future immigration does not exceed 50,000 people a year.
Regain control of UK borders by leaving the EU.
Repeal the 1998 Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.
Ensure British benefits are only available to UK citizens or those who have lived here for at least five years.
End the active promotion of the doctrine of multiculturalism by local and national government
SOURCE: UKIP website
This is an example of social workers having too much power to impose their personal beliefs on others.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Singapore lacks emotion

The UK Guardian reports:
Never mind its temperate 28C weather, low unemployment rate and high per-capita GDP – Singapore is the most emotionless society in the world, according to a new Gallup poll, beating the traditionally po-faced Georgia, Lithuania and Russia in a survey of more than 150 nations.

Asking respondents questions such as "Did you feel well-rested yesterday?", "Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?" and "Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?", the survey found that Singaporeans were the least likely to reveal experiencing any emotions at all.

Just 36% of Singaporeans reported feeling positive or negative emotions on a daily basis, while 60% of Filipinos recorded regularly feeling both – the highest response rate of any country worldwide. ...

The poll's findings – released on Wednesday – soon went viral on the internet, where they became the butt of many jokes, not least among Singaporeans themselves. "Singapore ranked most emotionless country in the world – not sure how to feel about that," ran a number of Singapore-based tweets. "That [poll] is a lie," commented one reader on the online news portal Today. "I use many emoticons to express how satisfied I am."
If Singaporeans ended up in a family court with a psychologist like Ken B. Perlmutter or Faren R. Akins, then they would be apt to lose their kids. These court evaluators have severe psychological prejudices.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Texting revolutionizes postdivorce family relationships

The NY Times Fashion section has an article about joint custody:
It’s not surprising that most people don’t see eye-to-eye with the person they left seething on a couples therapist’s sofa. If you didn’t get along with someone well enough to stay married, chances are you will probably disagree after you divorce.

“People don’t want to talk to their exes because just the sound of their voice is irritating,” said Randy Kessler, chair of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section and a matrimonial lawyer in Atlanta. “But they can e-mail. They can share an online calendar. They can use any number of resources on the Internet. There are even divorce apps.”

E-mail and texting alone have practically revolutionized postdivorce family relationships. “E-mail absolutely takes away the in-your-face aggravation and emotional side of joint custody,” said Lubov Stark, a divorce lawyer on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. “You just write, ‘I want to pick up Kimmy at 5, but I’m running late and will be there at 6.’ It’s the best thing ever.” ...

“Everything on our calendar is jointly shared, so there’s no dispute,” Ms. Wu said. “For a while, I was doing all the entering of events, but I told him to put his share in, too, and now it’s all on there.”

Such arrangements are increasingly necessary. Unlike the “Kramer vs. Kramer” 1970s, when mothers won primary custody almost by default, today’s postdivorce “bi-nuclear family” setups are more egalitarian. Almost all states now offer some kind of joint custody. Joint legal custody, in which parents share or split decision-making, is almost the norm. And while laws vary widely by state, joint physical custody, where children divide their time between their father’s and mother’s homes, is increasingly common.

“In the ’80s, you used to see Dad on Sundays and get a Happy Meal and an ice cream cone,” said Leslie Barbara, a partner in the matrimonial and family law department at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron in Manhattan. “Now it’s all gender-neutral, and the parents each get spheres of influence. You put together what’s called an ‘access schedule,’ and ‘parenting coordinators’ help figure it all out.”
Yes, joint child custody is more common as all the evidence says that it works best. I haven't found that ‘parenting coordinators’ help any, but maybe others have different experiences.

Friday, November 23, 2012

James Bond's shrink

In the new movie Skyfall, James Bond gets interrogated by a psychologist, and he looks just like Kenneth B. Perlmutter! Middle aged, white hair, bald on top, nerdy half-glasses, Jewish nose, effeminate body language, and the perpetual expression of someone having a foreign object embedded in his rectum. Do they all look like that?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Anna Karenina

Steve Sailer reviews Anna Karenina:
Third and most remarkably, Wright’s film may be the first of the numerous Anna Karenina adaptations whose sympathies lie firmly with her cuckolded husband, the unsexy bureaucrat Karenin. ...

Today it’s universally assumed that an unfaithful wife should get custody of the children. Yet Wright and Stoppard don’t seem terribly interested in pointing fingers at 19th-century Russians for their lack of enlightenment about family law.

When Anna laments that she can’t possess both her lover and her son because “The laws are made by husbands and fathers,” it’s hard not to respond, “As well they should be.”
Yes, they should be. Anna runs off with another man, but it is a disaster.

This is filmed as a stage play based on the Russian novel that famously starts, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

I watched the new movie Flight, thinking that it would be less boring. Nobody told me that it is a 2 hour commercial for Alcoholics Anonymous. Denzel Washington is an alcoholic pilot who is cruelly rejected by his wife and son, even after becoming a national hero. I don't want to post any spoilers, except to say that you are unlikely to enjoy the movie unless you are sold on the AA philosophy.

To some people, alcoholism is an addiction, or a medical disease, or a psychological disorder, or a character weakness, or a genetic susceptibility, or a bad habit. The AA philosophy is something quite different from all of these ideas, and is an odd cross between religion and group psychotherapy. It is like a cult with a vast network of secret believers.

The plane crash doesn't take very long, and most of the movie concerns the pilots alcoholism. I assumed that he would eventually get a fair hearing, and we would learn whether the alcohol contributed to lives being save or lost. Nope.

Happy Thanksgiving. Eat and drink well. Just don't fly drunk.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jailed dad will face more trouble

Fellow angry dad Dan Brewington is in prison for exposing on his blog the corruption of a family court judge and psychologist, but his angry wife is still looking for blood. He posts this:

Comes now the Petitioner, Melissa Brewington, by and through undersigned counsel, Angela G. Loechel, and respectfully moves the Court to set her Amended Verified Petition for Contempt Citation for hearing as soon as practicable after Respondent, Daniel Brewington's release from incarceration in the State of Indiana. It is estimated that the hearing should take one full day.

WHEREFORE, Petitioner respectfully requests that the Court schedule this matter for Hearing, as soon as practicable.
As far as I know, Dan has not hurt anyone. But his ex-wife and the judge are seeking revenge for what he said on his blog.

Dan is arguing an appeal of his criminal conviction this morning. I hope he wins, but I am afraid that the fix is in.

Update: This seems to be a joke:
The Moscow authorities have refused to grant permission for a rally against “political repressions” and “violations of human rights,” saying that state law does not recognize such a phenomenon in the country.

The application to hold the event was rejected by the authorities on the grounds that the “current law does not provide any measures used by the state for repression based on political motives,” the official refusal letter reads.

The letter further explained, “in accordance to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the government guarantees equal rights and freedom of the individual.” The letter also said that the constitution rejects any forms of violation of human rights based on “social, racial, national, language or religious affiliation.” The constitution also guarantees judicial protection.
In Indiana, Brewington has been imprisoned for protesting the family court.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Judge is legally insane

HuffPo reports on crooked Chicago judges:
A Cook County Circuit Court judge was handily reelected Tuesday a matter of hours before she was due to appear in court for allegedly assaulting a deputy sheriff this spring, an attack her attorney previously blamed on the fact that the judge was "legally insane" at the time. ...

Brim has pleaded not guilty to the charge and has been suspended since her arrest this spring. She has refused to resign.

Brim's attorney James Montgomery said Wednesday that his client has bipolar disorder, a condition she has controlled with medication, but that at the time of the attack she was "legally insane," the Tribune reports.

The Chicago Bar Association previously recommended that voters reject her from the bench and ten of 11 bar associations have given her negative ratings, though the Democratic Party has continued to back her. Nevertheless, Brim will keep her $182,000-a-year post, pending the conclusion of an investigation by the judicial inquiry board.
I guess I have to say that she is innocent until proven guilty on the criminal charge, but I would fire her just for having bipolar disorder. We have high unemployment and the job pays $182k. Can't they find someone more stable for the job?

Would I be seeing my kids if my behavior were so bad that my own lawyer's best excuse was that I was legally insane? Of course not. Shouldn't judges be held to a higher standard? I guess not.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Judge applies Sharia law in alimony case

Here is new from New Jersey:
FLEMINGTON — The legal battle over alimony payments in New Jersey has turned into a clash of civilizations with an activist group accusing an Arab Muslim judge of imposing Sharia, or Islamic law, on Family Court cases.

Family Court Judge Hany Mawla first made headlines in 2010 when then-Gov. Jon Corzine made him the first Muslim-American appointed to the state Superior Court.

Mawla lately has drawn renewed attention for his rulings on alimony payments. In one case, which is being championed by advocates of alimony reform, Pennsylvania resident John Waldorf remains in Hunterdon County Jail after a month because he was unable to pay his ex-wife the $8,000 monthly payments Mawla ordered.

“It is obvious what Judge Mawla is doing is a ‘jihad’ against men in general and fathers specifically,” Bruce Eden, civil rights director of the state chapter of Dads Against Discrimination, said in a statement this week. “Therefore, as a fathers' rights group we intend to initiate a ‘crusade’ to remove this vermin from the bench.”

In an interview, Eden said Malal, whose parents left Egypt when he was a toddler, is following the Sharia practice of throwing debtors in jail.
I hope these angry dads throw the vermin judges out, but I am afraid the the family court problem runs much deeper. Judges are throwing debtors in jail all over the USA.

If this just is applying his Mohammedan prejudices, then he certainly should be held accountable for his bigotry. I say the same about judges who are Christian, Jewish, Atheist, or whatever. They should not be micro-managing others based on personal religious beliefs. The situation is particularly pronounced when the judge is known to subscribe to a worldview that devalues American freedom and family.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Empathetic and analytic thinking are opposites

A reader sends this story:
When the brain fires up the network of neurons that allows us to empathize, it suppresses the network used for analysis, a pivotal study led by a Case Western Reserve University researcher shows. ...

At rest, our brains cycle between the social and analytical networks. But when presented with a task, healthy adults engage the appropriate neural pathway, the researchers found. The study shows for the first time that we have a built-in neural constraint on our ability to be both empathetic and analytic at the same time ...

"This is the cognitive structure we've evolved," said Anthony Jack, an assistant professor of cognitive science at Case Western Reserve and lead author of the new study. "Empathetic and analytic thinking are, at least to some extent, mutually exclusive in the brain."
I frequently complain that dads are blamed for personality characteristics, even tho there is no consensus that the personality is disordered or harmful or has any relevance to the family court.

For example, someone might be introverted or extroverted. Extroverts think that introverts are abnormal, and introverts think that extroverts are abnormal. The truth is that they are just personality types, and neither is known to be better suited to be a parent.

Likewise there is a contrast between social and analytical thinking. While it might seem to some that empathetic thinking is superior, it is not. It comes at the expense of analytic thinking.

I had a court psychologist, Ken Perlmutter, say that I lack empathy. When I asked him in court to say what he meant by empathy, or to give an example of my supposed lack of empathy, or to explain why his opinion had some relevance to our child custody dispute, he could not give a coherent answer. He ultimately said he had no facts or psychology or law to back him up, and he was just giving his opinion.

Okay, I am a more analytical thinker than an empathetic thinker. You don't need to be a psychologist to figure that out. But a psychologist should know that the published papers do not say that one personality type is better than the other.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fifty shades divorce

A London newspaper reports:
A high-powered City businesswoman is divorcing her husband after he refused to play along with the erotic themes in the raunchy blockbuster, Fifty Shades Of Grey.

The wife, a 41-year-old banker who earns more than £400,000 a year, bought the bestseller almost as soon as it was published last year, and decided to use it to pep up the couple's staid sex life.

But when her husband failed to respond to the novel's themes, which include bondage and S&M, she petitioned for divorce.

In the case, filed in the High Court this year, the wife refers to the book in her grounds for divorce, which blames the breakdown of the marriage on the husband's lack of sexual adventure.

The wife's solicitor, Amanda McAlister, one of Britain's leading matrimonial lawyers, says she believes the case is the first where the book has triggered a divorce.

The wife is arguing that her husband's 'boring attitude' to sex is evidence of 'unreasonable behaviour', one of the five grounds for divorce under English law. ...

The woman's husband is admitting 'unreasonable behaviour' so the divorce can be granted quickly without a contested hearing in which his low libido would be discussed in court.
I did not know that you had to have grounds for a divorce in England.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Endorsing destruction of the family unit

A reader writes:
You criticize Jewish shrinks for being anti-family. Here's one Jewish person who regrets the fact that "a majority of American Jews endorse the policies that have destroyed the family unit."
I include the whole WSJ letter, because the link may go bad:
Carol Simon Kamin (Letters, Nov. 8) has it wrong. There is no Jewish virtue to give free money to the able-bodied poor; the highest form of charity and justice is to set the needy up with a livelihood so they will be independent and not need more free money. The best way to prepare a person for independent adulthood is education in childhood.

The highest levels of poverty, despair and failing schools are found in urban neighborhoods, almost all under the political control of Democrats. One of the highest Jewish values is truth, but when Democrats advocate for more money for education, you may be sure they mean rich pensions for teachers and jobs for administrators, but not better schools for the children or educational choice for parents. When they accuse Republicans of cutting assistance for the elderly, they conveniently ignore the $750 billion that ObamaCare will take out of Medicare. It is also a blatant lie that Republicans aren't willing to feed the poor. Entitlement spending has risen under Republican as well as Democratic control.

Judaism reveres the family unit, but a majority of American Jews endorse the policies that have destroyed the family unit, especially among the poor, where single moms struggle to raise children, whose fathers are in prison or are just gone. It is pitiful that Jews, a tiny, persecuted group with a low birthrate, who lost more than a million children in the Holocaust not so long ago, apparently regard abortion on demand and taxpayer-provided contraception for all as more important values than God, Torah and love of Israel.

Rachel Glyn
Cherry Hill, N.J.
When I criticize Jewish shrinks, most of them do not even subscribe to the religious aspects of Judaism, as far as I know. They are like Sigmund Freud, who was an atheist but his his "Jewish origins and his allegiance to his secular Jewish identity were of significant influence in the formation of his intellectual and moral outlook".

In the recent election, Barack Obama got about 70% of the Jewish vote, down from 75-80% in previous presidential elections. Mitt Romney campaigned on strong support for Israel, and had the support of Jews like Sheldon Adelson who left the Democrat Party.

Glyn is correct. Jewish shrinks overwhelmingly support policies that are destroying the family unit. If there are any Jewish shrinks who openly and publicly oppose those destructive policies, please let know in the comments. Even non-Jewish shrinks have mostly adopted Jewish attitudes towards the subject, as Jewish influence has dominated psychology for a century.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alcoholics lack empathy

I have occasionally posted bad psychology research on empathy. Here is the latest:
Male alcoholics appear to have a great deal of difficulty recognizing emotions in verbal language, a small European study suggests. The researchers also found that the men have a weakened ability to show empathy.
No surprise. Maybe the men were drinking in the first place in order to escape the emotions of others.
Because empathy plays a key role in interpersonal relationships, an empathy deficit might explain part of the wider relationship problems commonly seen in alcoholics, said study author Simona Amenta, a psychology researcher at the University of Milano-Bicocca.
No such explanation needed. Relationships with alcoholics are difficult for about ten more important reasons.
Previous research has suggested that alcoholics tend to misinterpret emotions and have a hard time distinguishing other people's feelings from their voices or by looking at their facial expressions or body postures. The new study examined whether male alcoholics also would have a hard time perceiving emotions in verbal messages.

The researchers looked at 44 men — half were healthy males, and the other 22 were recovering alcoholics who had been sober for at least two weeks, and were enrolled in a detoxification program in Belgium. Researchers asked the men to read stories that had either an ironic or non-ironic ending, and to answer questions about the characters' emotional states and communication intentions.
Irony means:
the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning
So the alcoholics showed low empathy by reading stories and taking their meanings literally? This is nuts. Surely there are much better ways of showing that alcoholics lack empathy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Family court at root of Petraeus scandal

I posted below about the The Petraeus betrayal. The whole investigation started when Jill Kelley was getting too friendly with Gen. Petraeus, and a jealous Paula Broadwell sent her threatening anonymous emails.

But why was Kelley sucking up to Petraeus of she was not a romantic interest? And why are there also emails indicating that she was chasing General John R. Allen? (Kelley is a married name; she is Lebanese-American.)

The NY Post reports
Both Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen intervened in the same nasty child custody battle involving Natalie Khawam, the “psychologically unstable” twin sister of Jill Kelley, whose bombshell claims of being threatened by Petraeus' lover led to the top spy’s resignation last week, the Post has learned.

Allen, the four-star general top commander in Afghanistan, was revealed last night to have exchanged thousands of pages of of emails with Kelley, who went to the feds after receiving threatening e-mails from Paula Broadwell, the married mistress of Petraeus.

A judge noted in the file that Khawam "has attached letters from Gen. David H. Petraeus averring to her ability to appropriately parent the child, and is prepared to present corroborating testimony at trial."

And in court documents filed by Kelley's sister Natalie Khawam, she name-drops both Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island -- who both have ties to a Providence, RI, lawyer/Democratic fundraiser who loaned a whopping $300,000 to Khawam. ...

The generals' letters to the court — written in the past two months — supported a motion to overturn a ruling made nearly a year earlier by a judge who resoundingly denied custody to Khawam, because of serious reservations about her honesty and mental stability, court records show.

The father, Grayson Wolfe, was unable to see the child for more than a year, according to court documents. The judge overseeing the case cited Khawam with “outrageous conduct,” “bad faith litigation tactics,” and “illogical thinking,” awarding full custody to the father and socking the mom with $350,000 in legal fees in 2011.

The judge gave Wolfe sole custody of the couple’s son after finding that Khawam, a lawyer, repeatedly lied under oath and filed bogus domestic-violence and child-abuse claims against her husband after their one-year marriage began crumbling in 2009.

That judge also found that Khawam routinely defied court orders to let the child see his dad and sent harassing e-mails to Wolfe’s friends and business partners that “excoriated Mr. Wolfe for being a horrible father and husband.”

The judge blasted Khawam for giving false evidence, and noted that a court-ordered shrink had found her domestic-violence allegations to be “part of an ever-expanding set of sensational accusations ... that are so numerous, so extraordinary and [so] distorted that they defy any common-sense view of reality.”

The judge also noted that she “is a psychologically unstable person.”
Wow. This is more evidence that the family court is at the root of all evil.

A crazy lawyer mom thinks that she can lie and make vindictive accusations to win child custody in family court. She refuses visitation. Her behavior is so outrageous that the judge calls her on it. She gets her twin sister to try to seduce some generals so that they will write character letters to the court. The FBI discovers all this months ago, but the Obama administration holds it up until after the election.

If I had my way, all parents would share 50-50 joint child custody and the family court would never even hear the sort of evidence mentioned above. But that's just my opinion. Everyone else thinks judges should micromanage peoples' lives, based on whatever dirt these crazy women dig up. It is going to be fun watching this scandal unfold.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Feminists study girls marrying fruit

The San Jose Mercury News reports:
Scholars shared stories about the empowerment of women within religious contexts Friday at a conference hosted by the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

The three-day conference, "Religion and Gender: Identity, Conflict, and Power," ends Saturday. It is sponsored by the Institute's recently founded Center for Conflict Studies. ...

Annapurna Devi Pandey, professor of cultural anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, discussed her encounters with small communities of Buddhists in the traditionally Hindu-dominated East Indian state of Odisha. ...

Abhilasha Sharma, an Institute graduate student, told attendees about the Bel Biwaha tradition of the Newar women in Nepal. Newar women get married three times. As pre-pubescent girls, they marry a piece of wood apple fruit — bel means "fruit" and biwaha means "marriage." At 12, they marry the sun. The last marriage is to a man.

The marriage to the piece of fruit, which is a representation of god, empowers the women for the rest of their lives. The marriage ensures that they are never considered a widow, even when their human husband dies. This is important in Nepal, where society stigmatizes widows. It also means that women can remarry and divorce and they are not married off as young girls, rights not shared by many Nepali women.

"I never thought such a simple tradition can be so meaningful," said Sharma.
I don't know which is weirder -- these Buddhist tribes on the other side of the world, or the feminist scholars here who study such nonsense.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Crime to let wife get morbidly obese

Did you know that it is a crime for a man to let his wife get too fat? WF Price reports:
Michael Dewayne Brooks, of Warren, Michigan, has been charged with spousal abuse following the death of his morbidly obese wife, who weighed over 400 lbs (other reports have 500-700 lbs). According to the prosecutor, he allowed her to lie in her own filth for a week, and by the time he called the medics it was already too late. Apparently, his wife was injured in a car accident almost two years ago, and he was her “primary caretaker” (it isn’t specified whether this was official, but it’s unlikely — usually the term applies to parents). Mr. Brooks was also responsible for their four children, who were removed by CPS.
I guess that the lesson here is that if your wife gets too fat to get out of bed, file for divorce, pack up the kids, dial 911, and get out of town.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Petraeus betrayal

A July NY Times ethicist advice column said:
My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) ... I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? ...

Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything. This is between you and your spouse. You should tell her you want to separate, just as you would if she were sleeping with the mailman. ...

I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.
The rumor is that this letter was written by Paula Broadwell's husband, and refers to General David Petraeus, but the NY Times denies it on Twitter.

She is a super high achiever:
Paula Broadwell, whose affair with the nation’s C.I.A. director led to his resignation on Friday, was the valedictorian of her high school class and homecoming queen, a fitness champion at West Point with a graduate degree from Harvard, and a model for a machine gun manufacturer.
So why does such a woman become a home-wrecker? Simple hypergamy. He was the most respected and high status general in the world. Her obsession with using the 60-year-old war-hero to further her own career turned the married mother of two into a shameless self-promoting prom queen. For him, just look at the pictures.

The timing of the Obama administration decision to expose Petraeus is suspicious. It is right after the election, and right before he was scheduled to testify about Libya. Obama is lucky that his incompetent and dishonest handling of Benghazi was not more of a campaign issue. The single women were more interested in those free birth control pills, I guess.

I have criticized the NY Times ethicist before. The column is no longer written by a Jew, but the paper is dominated by liberal Jewish views.

The striking part of the Ethicist advice is that the husband should only publicly stand up to being cuckolded if it serves the political goal of destroying family values.

I am just facing the facts about human nature here. Men are always attracted to younger and more beautiful women. Even the most successful women are driven by hypergamy. Our feminist-infected culture is determined to destroy marriage and family values. Last week's election has convinced me that we have reached a tipping point.

A UK newspaper reports:
The lonely legacy of my Sex And The City lifestyle: Claudia Connell gives a painfully honest account of how she came to be living alone in middle-age

What none of us spent too long thinking about in our 20s and 30s was how our lifestyles would impact on us once we reached middle-age, when we didn’t want to go out and get sozzled on cocktails and had replaced our stilettos and skinny jeans with flat shoes and elasticated waists.

When I look around at all my single friends — and there are a lot of them — not one of them is truly happy being on her own. Suddenly, all those women we pitied for giving up their freedom for marriage and children are the ones feeling sorry for us.

Freedom is great when you can exploit it; but when you have so much that you don’t know what to do with it, then it all becomes a little pointless. ...

In the Nineties, we professional, single women conducted our love-lives according to a best-selling book called The Rules — a dating bible that dictated that we should be aloof and hard to get, that we should not return phone calls, and we should always make a man pay on dates. Any man who didn’t conform was to be kicked to the curb until the next poor sap came along.

What I never considered, though, was that one day they’d stop coming along altogether. I really wish I’d known that once you’re in your late 30s, men are pretty thin on the ground. And once you’re in your 40s, it’s as though they’ve been wiped off the face of the Earth.
I wonder if Sandra Fluke and the other feminist Obama supporters realize that this is what is in store for them.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Reason a man should get married

Psychologist Helen Smith asks:
This is the question I have been asking men around California that I meet at various blogger and pundit meet-ups for dinner. One dinner guest I sat next to the other night told me he had gotten married last week. We were discussing marriage at the table and I turned to him and asked why he had gotten married. “Can you name one reason a man should get married?” I asked, trying somehow to be polite, but probably failing miserably.

He thought about it for a minute and said “because the woman wants to and he will lose her if he doesn’t.” That sounds more like blackmail to me than a reason. Last night, at another event, I asked other men if they could name five reasons a man should get married. There was silence and then a discussion about the war against men and if that was true or not.

Another day, I talked to a hair dresser at a salon about men and marriage and she said she had a cousin who had a boyfriend who wouldn’t marry her, even though they had two children together. “She is desperate to get married,” said the hairdresser. “What’s in it just for him?” I asked. She couldn’t think of anything.

As I think about it, I wonder in today’s anti-male climate, whether there are financial and legal reasons that a man would want to marry. Maybe I’m being too cynical here. Can readers help me out?
She got about 500 comments. Men might want to read some of them if they are looking for a reason for marriage.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Latest feminist takeovers

Look carefully at this picture. Philip Kennicott writes in the Wash. Post:
Sent from the president’s Twitter account Tuesday night shortly after news networks declared him the winner, the photograph was immediately retweeted hundreds of thousands of times, making it the most popular image in Twitter history and propelling it to instant love across a host of social-networking programs. ...

The president, if anything, seems to need this hug and appears almost dependent and vulnerable. The obligatory masculine markers of leadership — resolve, self-sufficiency and emotional equanimity — dissolve into the obliterating communion of two people lost in their own love world. ...

The Obama photograph shows another reality, what might be called the limitless possibilities of true mutuality, of marriage beyond strict definitions. The Obama marriage appeals to many people, because it seems so comfortable, as if no one is worried about who wears the pants in the house, which is the reality of many healthy marriages today. In a healthy marriage, the partners don’t simply step into ancient gender roles and enact a drama of fidelity and obedience, they invent their own roles in the manner that serves both people best. Marriage is improvisatory, and every marriage is unique. Variation flourishes, and people work it out.
She appears to wear the pants in that family. Hillary Clinton is more masculine than Barack Obama. We just had a chance to put a real man back in the White House, but the parasitic interest groups chose the effeminate one. I think that Michelle even has bigger muscles than Barack.

Here (on the right) is one of the feminists we can thank for re-electing Obama.

A reader pointed out that I failed to blame the feminists for Obama's win in my last rant. The feminists did so well in the election that they passed an initiative to require porn performers to wear condoms while filming in Los Angeles County. This might seem like a health matter, but porn actors never get STDs anyway, because of frequent testing. No, feminists are upset because their have discovered that men do not need women as long as they have hard-core porn. Now the feminists want to rob us of our fantasies.

Steve Sailer writes:
Obama has never taken white feminists seriously. The only bit of feminist boilerplate I noticed in Obama’s 150,000-word memoir was a single clause within a long sentence. Indeed, resentment of his working mother and grandmother is a constant theme running through his pointedly entitled Dreams from My Father. You can tell how un-African-American Obama is by upbringing from his passive-aggressive sniping at his mother and grandmother, something that a normal black man just wouldn’t do.

Over the years, Obama’s treatment of his pioneering female bank executive grandmother, who paid for the bulk of his posh education, has been noteworthy in its nastiness. In his celebrated 2008 Philadelphia speech, for instance, he compared her to Rev. Jeremiah Wright over her supposed racism for wanting a ride to work because she feared being mugged by a black drifter who had been hassling her at the bus stop. This hurt the strapping youth’s feelings. Over a decade later in his memoir, he described the emotional impact on himself of his grandmother’s worries about her safety as a “fist in my stomach.”

In 2011, Obama took the opportunity of his one meeting with biographer David Maraniss to call attention to his grandmother’s “alcoholism” (see p. 287 of Barack Obama: The Story.) Thanks, Mr. President, glad you pointed that out for us so we can remember her that way. Classy. ...

When friends despaired, I would cheer them up by pointing out that at least almost nobody believes in feminism anymore the way they did during the Anita Hill brouhaha of 1991, back when aggrieved feminist dim bulbs like Susan Faludi and Naomi Wolfe were treated as giants of human thought.

In reality, the vaunted gender gap in voting behavior is fairly small compared to the huge marriage gap.
I have pointed out that Obama lies about his mom and grandmother.

We still have feminists in this stupid little beach town where I live. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports:
The UC Santa Cruz Feminist Studies Department officially celebrated the launch of its long-awaited graduate program with a kickoff reception Oct. 29 at the chancellor's house.

Guests included Chancellor George Blumenthal, professor Kelly Weisberg, campus provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway, founding department faculty member Bettina Aptheker, and former department chair and professor Emerita Angela Davis.

The campus is now accepting applications for the new doctorate program in feminist studies, which is set to begin next fall. The deadline to apply for the inaugural program is Dec. 15.

"The Ph.D. in feminist studies at UC Santa Cruz is an interdisciplinary program that investigates how relations of gender are embedded in cultural, political, racial and social structures," said department chair Lisbeth Haas.

"It will provide students with advanced training in critical race and ethnic studies, sexuality studies, and the study of science and social justice," she added.

The aim of the new program is to train scholars and teachers, and also to serve the needs of professionals for careers in areas such as public policy and human rights research and advocacy. ...

UCSC's Feminist Studies Department maintains longstanding relationships with the departments of anthropology, art, history, history of art and visual culture, history of consciousness, Latin American and Latino Studies, literature, politics, psychology, and sociology, and is affiliated with the Science and Justice Research Center on campus.

It also is home to one of the largest feminist studies undergraduate degree programs in the nation, and it is an internationally recognized center for feminist scholarship. ...

"The last few decades have witnessed an upsurge in feminist scholarship," said UCSC professor and Feminist Studies Graduate Director Gina Dent.
Note that the purpose is not to discover new knowledge, like other departments. The stated purpose is to brainwash train students in feminist policy and advocacy. You would never get a degree unless you were advocating the approved political views.

Bettina Aptheker and Angela Davis are real (Jewish and black) lesbian Communists. That's Communist with a capital-C, not just effeminate commies like Obama. Obama's main accomplishments were the socialist takeovers of the health-care and automobile industries, and his main campaign strategy was to attack Mitt Romney for being a capitalist. But Obama never actively conspired with the Soviet Union to betray the USA, as far as I know. Aptheker and Davis are the worst role models any university could have. Davis was the highest ranking professor at UCSC, and the best thing I can say about her is that she was once kicked out of the Communist Party in one of their foolish purges.

Gina Dent is so obviously engaged in a culture war that her web site has a list of "Our Allies". If you call her Gina and pronounce it Jee-nuh, she will correct you and say, "My name is Jine-uh Dent, as in Vagina Dentist." She looks like a young Angela Davis, from around the time Davis was a fugitive for buying the shotgun that was used to murder a judge in a California courtroom. That was back in 1970 when the criminal court was more dangerous than the family court, and being a no-good Commie on trial could get John Lennon and Yoko Ono to record a song in your support. I don't think I want to know why Dent identifies with a vagina dentist, whatever that is.
Newsweek magazine is going out of business, and here is one of its last covers. They were pro-Obama, but they are old and white, and I guess they now identify with the Republican losers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Barack Obama wins

The President was re-elected. I will be watching the post-election analysis to see why he won, but it appears to be mostly predicted by demographics. Obama got the support of blacks, single moms, gays, sluts, Jews, Moslems, Latino and other non-whites, super-rich and other elites, welfare queens, America-haters, socialists, govt workers, and other parasites. Mitt Romney got the support of regular middle class Americans who work hard, support a family, and pay taxes.

Romney famously got caught saying:
Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. ... Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. ... What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, ...
It is true that 47% of American households pay no income tax (altho they may pay Social Security and sales taxes). I think that the election analysis will show that 47% were going to vote for Obama no matter what, and that their votes were predictable by demographics. So Romney was essentially correct.

Romney was misleading if you infer that 47% who are Obama puppets are the same as the 47% who do not pay taxes. There is a big overlap, but they are not the same. Much of the criticism of Romney was based on the inference that they were the same 47%. I don't think that he meant to say that. (I gave a link to the full transcript so you can read it for yourself. Most news stories gave misleading excerpts.)

Most election issues are off-topic for this blog, but I am concerned that Obama will continue to push policies that are anti-family, anti-marriage, and anti-fathers. One of the underreported demographics is the marriage gap, using exit poll data:
Romney v. Obama
Married Men: 60 - 38
Married Women 53 - 46
Non-Married Men 40 - 56
Non-Married Women 30 - 68
Marrieds (both sexes): 56 - 42
Singles (both sexes): 35 - 62

So the marriage gap is around 20 points, maybe higher.
As long as married couples vote Republican and singles vote Democrat, you can be sure that the Democrats will push policies that undermine marriage and alienate dads from their kids.

Sailer has more exit poll data. Single women now outnumber married women for the first time, and they are voting Democrat.

Update: A comment says:
The $64,000 question is why there is no organized men's movement as a counter weight to the women's movement and what would electoral politics would look like if there was. It will have a powerful effect gender gap and bring the two sexes into the state of equilibrium. Next to white people, men are the only other single demographic that does not have a lobby, and as such, it should be no surprise that we get pissed on like fire hydrants. Once men start to effectively promote their interests there will be consequences for women's bad behavior.
A prime example of this is medical care. Women use 31-41% more health care than men throughout their entire lives and they out live men by roughly 5 years. Since they are so keen on ObamaCare and equality, force their hand by demanding a Title IX solution by requiring 50% of all health care dollars go towards men. ...

Gay marriage is another example. Liberals enjoy attacking religious conservatives by painting them as bigots for opposing gay marriage but do not say a peep over the obsolescence of the straight marriage contract. Nothing could be more progressive than to end the slavery of lifetime alimony or require shared equal parenting for awarding custody. Women are filing roughly 70% of the divorces. One of the prime reasons they do is that they are usually quite confident they will end up with custody and more money than they started with. Just start telling women they have to split the baby down the middle and you will see the number of divorces plummet. While not explicitly Republican or "conservative" by nature, these ideas will be Pro-Patriarchal and hence, anti-feminist and anti-Democratic.
He's right, but I am not optimistic about a men's movement.

Guide to ruining dads

A reader sent this rant:
Here is a woman's fail-proof guide to ruining your ex using Family Court, state agencies, and their ignorant biases. If you are a resentful, greedy, manipulative woman with children, it will work every time. Of course it will destroy your children. ...

The key to getting and keeping children from the other parent is to use all three sides of the Iron triangle against that parent. What are those three sides? First, a Restraining order in District Court; Second, a Dept. of Children and Families case in Juvenile Court; and Third, a divorce or paternity case in Probate and Family Court. ...

EIGHTH, Take the children to "Therapy" -

This part of The Plan is critically important. You need to find a gullible therapist or social worker right away to take your children to see, in order to get expert opinion for court about the effect of the "abuse" on the children.

How do you find a good one? Here are some key factors: The therapist or psychologist or social worker should be willing to speak only with you, and never hear from the abusive father, because it may put her 'at risk'. The therapist has to be personally not very well adjusted, and must believe that men are evil abusers and women are victims. Most of all, the therapist has to know how to manipulate the innocent minds of your children to hate their father and to make them believe he is a bad man.
The site has not been updated in a while. The guy is probably a victim of someone who followed the formula.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Psychotherapy has been feminized

Forensic psychologist Stephen Diamond writes:
A New York Times article by Benedict Carey (May 21, 2011) titled "Need Therapy? A Good Man Is Hard to Find," highlights the fact that men have been abandoning the psychotherapy field in droves for decades. So much so that the profession has now become almost totally dominated by female practitioners. According to Carey, less than 20% of Master's degrees in psychology, clinical social work or counseling are being sought by men today. Women outnumber men in doctoral psychology programs by a ratio of at least 3 to 1. (See an article published by the American Psychological Association on this remarkable development.) But this has not always been so. Certainly not when I was a graduate student back in the mid-1970s. What's happening to the psychotherapy profession? Why have men gradually deserted the field? And does gender really matter in psychotherapists?

I personally witnessed this insidious shift to a predominantly female demographic during my twenty years of teaching psychotherapy to graduate students.

A blogger adds:
Among the men who do go into counseling, at least from what I have seen here in Tucson, it seems a pretty large percentage of them are gay or bisexual. This should not even be an issue, but for traditionally masculine men it can be a serious issue, not to mention for those who are fundamentalist in their religious beliefs.
I mentioned the NY Times article last year.

If psychotherapy were a real profession with established standards and procedures like orthopedic surgery, then maybe it would not matter if they were all female, gay, effeminate, neurotic, or Jewish. But it does matter. Psychotherapists cannot relate to a real man. They cannot empathize with him, and they have no evidence-based methodologies for advising him.

Monday, November 05, 2012

British mums are paranoid

The UK Sun reports:
MILLIONS of parents are playing safe — by keeping their kids indoors as fear of crime stalks Britain.

A whopping 78 per cent of mums and dads polled in a new survey said they would never let children under ten play outside in the street.

And over half don’t think youngsters are safe online either.

The shock findings also reveal most people feel less safe than they did ten years ago, even though crime is DOWN.
Lenore Skenazy is the only one with the guts to refute such paranoia. Here is a sample from her blog:
Dear Free-Range Kids: I love the show “Parenthood,” which is produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. It’s a sappy hour-long drama that very loosely follows the premise of a movie by the same name, which came out in 1989 and starred Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen. ...

I have noticed, though, when watching the show, that helicopter parenting is rampant. ...

One of the main characters, Kristina Braverman, has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She needs a lumpectomy right away. The soonest her surgeon can get her in is the same day that her son, Max, is giving a speech because he is running for president of … wait for it … his middle school. There is lots of hand-wringing over the date. She initially schedules her surgery for a much later date, over the objection of her husband and her surgeon, so she won’t miss Max’s big day. It is important to mention here that Max has Asperger’s. Why is that important to mention? It is actually not. It has nothing to do with anything; he needs his mom to be healthy just as much as a kid who doesn’t have Asperger’s. But it does provide a comic moment when he tells his mom he doesn’t care that she can’t come because, ”You can’t vote anyway.”
This is what American moms like to watch on TV. Are the helicopter parents really that bad? No parents should be allowed to sit in on middle school speeches anyway.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The pill raised divorce rates

Do you think that you know why you got divorced? It could have been a product of instincts that are incomprehensible to men.

Psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa writes:
Pincott mentions studies which show that women on the pill reverse their body odor preferences and actually find attractive the body odors of men who are similar, not different, in MHC genes. So, in a sense, being on the pill would lead women to be attracted to, and possibly marry, “the wrong man,” genetically speaking. ...

I began wondering if the widespread availability and use of the contraceptive pill might be responsible for the rising divorce rates. Historically, in the United States, the pill became widely available in the 1960s, around the same time when the divorce rates started rising. Cross-culturally, in societies like Japan, where the pill is not available, divorce is virtually nonexistent. Could it be that the divorce rate is so high in our society because so many women decide to marry the “wrong” men that they find attractive when they are on the pill?
He cites a study to support his theory.

Other studies show that women are driven by hormones in their male preferences:
The gist of it is that women prefer stable men most of the time for their long term relationships, but when they approach the most fertile part of their cycle they become more dissatisfied with those men and prefer more “sexy” men.

That won’t surprise anyone here, and it is merely the short-term version of the typical carousel-rider’s long-term mating habits: go for “sexy” alpha men when she’s young and fertile, and then settle down with a nice beta provider as her fertility dwindles.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

More Penn State prosecutions

More prosecutions were announced in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. The NY Times reports:
On Thursday, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Linda Kelly, said Spanier and the two other university officials — Gary Schultz, a former university vice president, and Tim Curley, the athletic director, who has been on administrative leave — engaged in a “conspiracy of silence” to “actively conceal the truth.”

“If these men had done what they were supposed to do and legally required to do, several young men may not have been attacked by a serial predator,” Kelly said at a news conference, adding it was not a “mistake” or an “oversight” by the men that allowed Sandusky to continue his abuse.

Spanier, 64; Schultz, 63; and Curley, 58, now all face numerous charges, including perjury, obstruction of justice, endangering the welfare of children and criminal conspiracy. Schultz and Curley, who reported to Spanier, were already scheduled to stand trial in January on charges of perjury and failing to report child sexual abuse.
It appears that they concealed some emails from prosecutors, but my main concern here is how this scandal will affect abuse reporting law.

It is not obvious why these officials would have any legal reporting responsibility at all. In most states, the responsibility goes to K-12 officials who witness evidence of child abuse. Penn State teaches students over 18 who are legal adults, and the officials only had hearsay. No Penn State students were abused, and no Penn State employees were suspected abusers. (Sandusky was retired, and no longer an employee.)

Here is the smoking gun against the Penn State president:
Spanier told Freeh's team that he believed in 2001 that the encounter witnessed by graduate assistant Mike McQueary amounted to "horseplay," although an email sent by him to Curley at that time reflected a much more somber tone.

In that email, Spanier was reacting to a proposal by Curley in which they would not report Sandusky to authorities but instead tell him he needed help and that he could no longer bring children into Penn State facilities.

"The only downside for us is if the message isn't `heard' and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it," Spanier wrote in 2001. "The approach you outline is humane and a reasonable way to proceed."

Spanier's lawyers have called the Freeh report a myth, and said he would have acted in 1998, 2001 or any time if he knew a predator like Sandusky was on campus.
This sounds bad, but why is this email incriminating? If Spanier believed that Sandusky had raped a boy, then they would be vulnerable whether the message is acted on or not. So I think that the email corroborates Spanier's story that he thought that the incident was just horseplay, but sufficiently inappropriate to raise concerns.

An email admitting vulnerability is normally not an admission of guilt at all. Suppose he wrote an email saying, "We should fire the teacher for doing a lousy job. The only downside is that if he fails to get a comparable job elsewhere, then he could sue us for racial discrimination." That is not really an admission of racial discrimination, but common cautiousness from a college administrator. See for example this recent post about Yale being overly cautious about use of the word "sissy".

The problem for Spanier is that if he is subject to the reporting law, then he is required to reported suspected abuse. If an email even mentions reporting as a possibility, then it is an admission of suspected abuse. Unless there was at least some suspicion, then why would he even discuss reporting?

Thus abuse reporting law is different from every other area of law. Normally you can freely discuss your obligations without incriminating yourself. If you ask a lawyer about a legal obligation, then the attorney-client privilege prevents that discussion from ever being used against you.

I once heard of a case where a hospital saw some unusual symptoms, and did not know whether they were evidence of abuse. So they called in a leading medical expert at the local university to give an opinion, and he said that it was not abuse. The hospital officials were later charged and convicted of failing to report suspected abuse. The prosecutor said that there mere fact of calling in an outside expert was proof that abuse was suspected.

I post this because I am afraid that the Penn State scandal is going to expand the scope and enforcement of these reporting laws. We will all be required to report our suspicions. Given the choice of making a phone call or running a jail risk, people will make the phone call. Even if it ruins lives. We are becoming a nation of busybodies.

More and more, the govt is going to be keeping lists of suspects from anonymous reports. Gays, blacks, immigrants, and Moslems should all be prominent on the lists because they are always suspected of being up to no good. And the liberals will not stick up for them because they like the expansion of govt power and the bureaucratic control over peoples' lives.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Psych report not allowed as evidence

I had to get about 10 psychological evaluations for the family court, and my ex-wife got copies of all of them for use in court. She even requested most of them. That is why there were so many -- she kept hoping that one of them would say something bad about me.

Much to my surprise, a criminal defendant cannot always get copies of reports about his chief accuser, according to Marsy's Law in California.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports about a Carmel physician who is being retried on a rape charge:
Speaking after a court hearing Wednesday, Rosen said he obtained a police report about an incident involving Doe on July 29, 2009, two days after Bergstrom was convicted.

According to Rosen, police were summoned after Doe was reportedly "ranting" and walking barefoot on broken glass.

He said officers tried to reason with her and suggested psychological intervention.

Although Rosen said he has the officers' report, Judge Julie Culver on Wednesday cited privacy and relevancy concerns and ruled he will not be allowed access to Natividad Medical Center records about Doe's psychological evaluation
following the incident, nor to records from the paramedics who brought her there.

Rosen said he will submit a new motion asking for a copy of a "Tasercam" video police made that night "for their own protection."

Some police agencies use built-in cameras when they deploy electric stun guns, although in this case, Rosen said, the Carmel officers only used the camera.

"We absolutely plan to introduce this as evidence," Rosen said.

Though she denied Rosen's request for the Natividad records, Culver did allow Rosen to have three pages of medical reports from Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula about Doe's gastric bypass surgery in 2005, saying later nutritional deficiencies may have relevance to Doe's possible "predisposition to injury."

Prosecutor Christina Johnson had argued that all of Doe's private medical records should be off-limits, citing among other laws a victim's bills of rights included in the voter-approved Marsy's Law passed in 2008.
I never heard of this, and do not anything about the physician, but I doubt that he is getting a fair trial. If the accuser had gastric bypass surgery, then she is probably morbidly obese, and is an unlikely rape victim. It appears that there is also evidence that she is crazy. If the case is a he-said-she-said case, who would you believe? The jury will probably not even be told that crucial evidence about her mental stability is being withheld. Think about that the next time that you are on a jury.

Here is why the conviction was overturned:
Superior Court Judge Russell Scott presided over the July 2009 trial in which Bergstrom, 55, was convicted of forcibly sodomizing an acquaintance in his Carmel home after a night of drinking. Two other women testified they had been similarly assaulted by Bergstrom on other occasions. Both of those women testified they believe they may have been drugged.

A three-judge panel from the 6th District Court of Appeal narrowly overturned that conviction Oct. 24. In a 2-1 vote, the justices said Scott erred by giving jurors a modified instruction defining the legal meaning of consent.

The instruction is normally given in a case where the defendant is charged with raping a person too intoxicated to give consent. Bergstrom was charged with forcible sodomy, which carries a narrower finding — that force was used to achieve a sex act where consent was expressly not given.

In his majority opinion, Justice Nathan Mihara said Scott's modified instruction may have left jurors with the impression they could convict Bergstrom if they believed Jane Doe 1 was too drunk to give consent.

In 2009, the jury forewoman told The Herald that was precisely how the panel reached its verdict. According to testimony, Jane Doe 1's blood-alcohol level was estimated to be a potentially fatal 0.31 at the time of the assault.

"The letter of the law that (Scott) gave us was that you had to know and understand what you were consenting to and, to a reasonable degree, understand the consequences," said Jean-Marie Piini. "We felt like, with her level of alcohol, there was no way she could have understood."

The third justice on the appellate panel, Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian, said the entirety of the evidence, arguments and instructions in the case showed beyond a reasonable doubt the jury would have reached the same verdict regardless of any error in the contested instruction.
I had Bamattre-Manoukian for my child custody appeal. She is famous for always voting to uphold conviction:
It is not just that Bamattre-Manoukian votes so often for convictions. Repeatedly, her opinions arouse controversy for the way she arrives at her conclusions. ...

Dissents are rare on that court -- in the 16 years she has been a member, only 59 criminal cases involved a dissent. But though Bamattre-Manoukian was a panelist on roughly half the criminal cases decided in that period, she participated in 49 of the dissent cases -- 83 percent of the total.

That is true even though the analysis established that since she joined the court, Bamattre-Manoukian has never dissented from affirming a conviction. But Bamattre-Manoukian has dissented in almost one of every five cases in which panel members voted to reverse the conviction. She wrote dissents in 10 of the 55 reversal opinions in which she participated. No other 6th District justice has dissented from a reversal more than once; most never did so.

In the 2005 case of Dave Bautista, Bamattre-Manoukian offered a dissent that seemed to ignore the facts before her.
She is a disgrace to the court. An appeal is a complete waste of time with her.

Her husband is also a judge. He was born in Lebanon. I don't know where she was born, but the San Jose Mercury News has had stories on what a bad judge she is. Their son was killed in Afghanistan. Maybe she is bitter about that.

So the case against Bergstrom was that his date was too drunk to consent. No one forced her to drink all that alcohol. Some people like to drink. If she was too drunk to consent, then she was too drunk to give an accurate account in a 911 call.

It was prejudicial that "women testified they believe they may have been drugged." May have been? They should not have testified unless he was charged with some crime against them. In the case of the accuser, a 7 hour examination was conducted by a specially trained Sexual Assault Examiner. They probably tested for every drug known to man. If there was a positive test for some sort of drug test, I am sure that they would have nailed him. If not, why was the judge allowing testimony from unrelated parties saying that they may have been drugged?

I do not think that men get fair trials for sex crimes in California.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Mixed complaints against Boy Scouts

I pointed out last month that the Boy Scouts for attempting to avoid suspected sexual predators, with some arguing that they tried too hard and others that they did not do enough.

Spencer Davenport writes:
The Washington Post Editorial Board displays a raging case of cognitive dissonance when it comes to the Boy Scouts.

In today’s WP, “protecting our boys” is the second editorial posted on their website. The editors lash out at the Boy Scouts’ leadership for covering-up numerous cases of pedophilia by “accused child predators” since the 1940s. The Los Angeles Times and New York Times filed suit to force the release of “thousands of Boy Scout documents” that “sketch out years of tragic, life-rending mistakes leaders apparently made when confronted with evidence of abuse”.[ Boy Scouts must prove children’s welfare comes first, October 27, 2012]

Last July, the WP editors slammed the Boy Scouts for excluding homosexuals from their ranks. After reviewing the “exclusionary” policy, an “11-member special review committee reached a unanimous decision” that “homosexuals ‘open or avowed’ are still unwelcome in the Boy Scouts”. Perhaps the leadership was actively “protecting our boys”. The Scouts’ leadership was realistically trying to prevent future problems that have plagued the Scouts in the past.

Boy Scouts reaffirm their intolerant ban on gays,  July 19, 2012
The upshot of this is that liberal do-gooders, CPS authoritarians, and the gay lobby are all teaming up to give us govt lists of suspected abusers, and your privacy and individual rights will be invaded like never before.