Thursday, January 31, 2013

Take the Red Pill

Blogger Vox Day likes to say:
"I don't expect you to agree. I don't even expect you to understand."
I find myself agreeing with this more and more.

Sometimes comments on the new social order will just say: Take the red pill. It means to see the big picture in a way that no one will explain, and that you would not believe if someone did explain it. You take the red pill to see for yourself how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Red does not refer to Republican, altho Pres. Barack Obama did once urge people to take the blue pill instead. Here is explanation of the metaphor.

One author writes:
The Blue Pill is the lie. The Blue Pill is the avalanche of marriage and dating advice that’s out there. There’s been books, movies, magazines, TV shows, seminars and sermons telling you how relationships should be. There’s what your parents brought you up to believe, what your friends told you and what she said she wanted to be happy. There’s been over fifty years of professional help from doctors, psychologists, counselors, teachers, ministers and more……and the divorce rate has never been higher. The advice is that bad. The Blue Pill is what women say they want from a man.
I do believe that 95% of the professional relationship advice is bad advice.

Take the Red Pill.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dad charged for waving a gun

The Examiner reports on a dad who is a victim of anti-gun hysteria:
A Minnesota man supposedly pointed an AK-47 rifle at his daughter because she received two B’s in school. Kirill Bartashevitch, 51, wanted his daughter to earn straight A’s on her report case, but flipped out when that did not happen.

The two of them started arguing about the report card on January 13, and that was when Bartashevitch aimed his rifle at his 15-year-old daughter.

A social worker at the girl's high school contacted police about the situation on Jan. 17, according to KMSP. “The social worker said the girl had sent a text message to a friend of hers about the incident. The friend's mother had seen the message and told the social worker about it.” ...

“The man allegedly admitted to pointing the gun at this family, but added that he had checked the chamber beforehand to make sure it was not loaded.”

The daughter told police she was fearless because she was aware the gun was not loaded. “The daughter was taken to a shelter, and Bartashevitch was charged with two counts of terroristic threats.”
This is not a terrorist threat, or even a terroristic threat. It was not even an AK-47. A true AK-47 is a Soviet military assault rifle with automatic fire. The ones sold in the USA require one trigger pull per shot.

If the daughter understood that the gun was not loaded, then it was not a threat. The prosecutor explains the law wrong:
Bartashevitch had recently purchased the rifle because he thought that such guns soon will be banned, the complaint said. He admitted to St. Paul police that he had pointed the gun at his wife and daughter but said it wasn't loaded and that he had checked the chamber beforehand.

"Any gun owner in America will tell you that's incredibly irresponsible," said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. "You just don't point guns at people."

Threatening someone with a gun is a crime of violence regardless of the type of weapon or whether it's loaded, Choi said. The incident took place at the family's house on Englewood Avenue. The girl's concerns came to light four days later at Central High School when a social worker received a report from a parent who was monitoring her son's electronic communications and read a message from the girl.
No, this is incorrect. You can commit a crime with a toy squirt gun, if you use it to rob a bank and convince others that it is a real gun and you are threatening to kill them with it. So yes, you can commit a crime with an unloaded gun. But it was obvious to everyone that the dad was not intending to kill the daughter with the gun. If he were intending to kill her, he had four days to do it before the authorities intervened.

What is being gained by putting the girl in a shelter? I agree that pointing guns is bad practice, but this was an isolated incident in his own home. No one was hurt and there is no reason to think that anyone was in danger. It was a new gun, and the dad may not have even bought any ammo for it yet.

Another report says:
The The Seattle Times reports Bartashevitch's bail was set at $20,000. He is an employee of Minneapolis Public Schools. His bail conditions stipulate he should not contact his wife and daughter.

He faces a maximum prison sentence of five years for each count, and a $10,000 fine.
This is an attempt to bust up the family. He should certainly be allowed to talk to his wife and daughter. This is another example of authorities trying to destroy families.

The argument is, I guess, that the dad might talk to his family about the incident. Well of course he should talk to them about it. It would be wrong not to talk about it. There can be no justification for telling a man he cannot talk to his family. I would say this even if here were convicted of a crime, but here he is innocent until proven guilty and is only accused of a very trivial matter.

Here is another story of a dad getting into trouble with his kid:
A 16-year-old driver, his father and a dog were in a Toyota 4Runner that broke through the wooden railing and drove off the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf on Monday morning, when the teen said the accelerator stuck, according to police Sgt. Jon Bush.

The car was parked on the wharf on the side facing the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk near lifeguard headquarters before it broke through the railing and went into the water.
This was funny. I hope that no one is being charged.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

French protest anti-family law

The same-sex marriage battle is heating up in France and Britain, and the leftist LGBTQIA lobby is portraying it as civil rights versus religious intolerance. If that were true, it would be off-topic for this blog. But it is not true. The issue is more a matter of parental rights and destruction of the family.

The NY Times reports:
PARIS— French President François Hollande campaigned on a pledge to legalize gay marriage, though it drew little attention at the time, and he now has the votes in Parliament to do it.

A bill is slated for debate later this month, and there is every expectation that it will pass – in what form, exactly, remains to be seen – but the issue has now prompted fierce reactions here.

Religious leaders have denounced the bill, but so have secular groups and politicians of all leanings and groups concerned that gay marriage will threaten national unity by encouraging special interest groups to request exceptional rights.

Much of the opposition has focused on questions of parenthood. As currently written, the bill would allow married gay couples to adopt children together, and opponents have said they fear for children not raised by a mother and father.

But there are of course plenty of single-parent homes in France, and the majority of children born here are now born out of wedlock. Many French view marriage as having religious overtones, though weddings here are thoroughly secular affairs, in general, conducted in town halls by local officials. Marriage numbers have been declining in France for years.

Mr. Hollande himself is not married and has no apparent intention to wed – opponents of the bill are fond of noting this – and his partner, Valérie Trierweiler, remains the legal wife of another man.

Civil unions have grown increasingly popular. A system of civil unions known as the PACS, or Pacte Civil de Solidarité, was established in 1999. Though the PACS was originally intended as an alternative to marriage for homosexuals, the vast majority of the unions are now between a man and woman.

The PACS does not confer the same rights as marriage, especially with regard to parental rights but also in terms of inheritance and fiscal benefits. Gay rights groups have continued to push for full marriage rights, though some have said they would be satisfied with an enhanced PACS.
So they have civil unions, but that is somehow not good enough. While the elites favor same-sex marriage, the French public is against it:
Anti-gay marriage groups staged demonstrations across France in October and November that attracted an estimated 100,000 people. The ruling Socialist Party has decided to fight back by throwing its support behind a counter-demonstration due to take place in Paris this weekend.
A spokesman dismisses the protests:
There were people, of course, but it wasn't a tidal wave. It was essentially white Catholic France in the street. That will not interrupt the passing of the bill.
Hollande is a Socialist who is out to destroy the family as some sort of remnant of an outdated "white Catholic France".

But the protesters are not complaining that homosexuality is a sin, as they are not objecting to the civil unions. Just look at their signs.

A protest organized by fundamentalist Christian group Civitas Institute against gay marriage in Paris on Nov. 18. The banner reads, “France Needs Children, Not Homosexuals.”

“One dad, one mom for all children.”

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Boston dads use political influence

Boston Magazine has an article on Attack of the 50-Foot Feminist Agenda:
Angry, radical men's groups believe males are being victimized by out-of-control judges and politicians. They're wrong and they're dangerous and they need to be stopped.

Along with the rest of the Fatherhood Coalition, they do their best to shut down judicial nominees they view as insufficiently sympathetic to their agenda. A nominee, for instance, like David Aptaker, who in 2010 was up for a position as a Middlesex probate judge. ... That’s why the coalition was alarmed by Aptaker’s nomination — according to a post on its website, Aptaker’s “lack of understanding of the restraining order laws made it clear he was not fit for the bench.” So after discovering that the nominee had failed to disclose donations he’d made to two disgraced politicians, the Fatherhood Coalition showed up at a public hearing, registering complaints that he couldn’t be trusted because of his donations. Under pressure, Aptaker eventually withdrew his application. ...

Aptaker’s story underscores a disturbing trend: Men’s rights groups, convinced that men are the biggest victims of modern society, have been busy attacking, defunding, and repealing laws that have been very effective at protecting women and lowering rates of domestic violence. And rather than just ranting and raving on the Internet, these men have been pulling political levers to change both state and federal laws. That they’ve done so with remarkable success ought to make everyone very, very scared.
This is the most encouraging thing I have read in a while. My hat is off to the Boston dads if they really have the 50-foot feminists running scared.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dissident Of The Month

I posted that Brewington lost his appeal, and is serving a 5-year prison for having an angry dad blog similar to this one, and criticizing the incompetent and corrupt public officials who took his kids away.

I have had to remove factual info from this blog because it was damaging to Julie Travers, Ken Perlmutter, Comm. Irwin Joseph, Judge Heather Morse, and others. The info is on the court record, but I was threatened with jail time if I quoted it.

His case got the attention of a libertarian legal blog. As you might expect, the comments there were uniformly in support of his First Amendment free speech rights. But the prison sentence is just part of the injustice done to Brewington, and no one said that he should get his kids back. A couple of comments did acknowledge that men commonly get screwed in family court.

This is a major libertarian blind spot. In another case, a family court judge decided on whether a 7yo could travel when the parents had an obscure Zionist disagreement. None of the libertarian lawyers there objected to the judge micro-managing the routine child-rearing decisions.

Freedom and self-government have always been difficult concepts for Europeans and others with a history of monarchy. They seem to think that some sort of outside authority is a necessity. I would have thought that libertarian lawyers would at least understand that judges should not have jurisdiction over how Zionism might influence a 7yo child. I guess not. Convincing the world of parental rights is going to be a long uphill struggle.

The Chateau Heartiste blog quotes:
The dissident temperament has been present in all times and places, though only ever among a small minority of citizens. Its characteristic, speaking broadly, is a cast of mind that, presented with a proposition about the world, has little interest in where that proposition originated, or how popular it is, or how many powerful and credentialed persons have assented to it, or what might be lost in the way of property, status, or even life, in denying it. To the dissident, the only thing worth pondering about the proposition is, is it true? If it is, then no king’s command can falsify it; and if it is not, then not even the assent of a hundred million will make it true.
Dan Brewington is being ostracized and imprisoned, but he has truth on his side.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The neurodiversity movement

Here is today's bad newspaper advice:
Dear Annie: "Worried Grandma" was concerned about her granddaughter, "Kelly," who had difficulty modulating her voice and felt that men were turned off by her loud personality.

Please tell her to look into whether Kelly has Asperger syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism. Asperger's often goes undiagnosed until later in life, but its primary symptom is extreme social awkwardness and an inability to appropriately "read" the social cues of others.

With special training, Kelly can learn how to modify her behavior and pick up on these social cues. But it's unlikely she can do it on her own. A correct diagnosis can go a long way toward repairing her self-esteem. I hope her parents will get Kelly the help she needs to succeed in this world. — Vermont Professor
No, "loud personality" is not a symptom of Asperger Syndrome. It is debatable whether there is any such syndrome, as it is dropped from the DSM-5. This "Vermont Professor" seems to be part of the movement to pathologize normal variation in behavior.

There is currently a hot controversy over a neurodiversity movement changing the public face of autism:
... the autism community, which has increasingly been divided between those who consider autism a disability and those who believe it is merely a different, not worse, way of thinking and interacting with the world. This latter position is espoused by the autism rights movement, also called the neurodiversity movement, which has evolved over the past two decades from an ad-hoc association of individuals with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome and their families into a powerful lobby led by organizations such as Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and Autism Network International. ANI’s founder, Jim Sinclair, wrote the famous 1993 essay “Don’t Mourn for Us,” which accused parents who long to cure their children’s autism of really hoping “that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.” Today, neurodiversity activists sit on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (which advises the National Institutes of Health on how to allocate its autism research budget) and the National Council on Disability. 
The Neurodiversity Wikipedia page defines:
Neurodiversity is a concept suggesting that neurological differences be recognized and respected as a social category on a par with gender, ethnicity, class, or disability. Examples of these differences can include (but are not limited to) individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, dyscalculia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Tourette syndrome, and others. ...

Proponents of neurodiversity strive to re-conceptualize autism and related conditions in society. Main goals of the movement include:
* acknowledging that neurodiverse people do not need a cure
* changing the language from the current “condition, disease, disorder, or illness”-based nomenclature
* broadening the understanding of healthy or independent living; acknowledging new types of autonomy
* giving neurodiverse individuals more control over their treatment, including the type, timing, and whether there should be treatment at all.
Not everyone wants to accept people as they are. Here is an effort to shame fat people:
Daniel Callahan, a senior research scholar and president emeritus of The Hastings Center, put out a new paper this week calling for a renewed emphasis on social pressure against heavy people -- what some may call fat-shaming -- including public posters that would pose questions like this:

“If you are overweight or obese, are you pleased with the way that you look?”

Callahan outlined a strategy that applauds efforts to boost education, promote public health awareness of obesity and curb marketing of unhealthy foods to children.

But, he added, those plans could do with a dose of shame if there’s any hope of repairing a nation where more than a third of adults and 17 percent of kids are obese.

“Safe and slow incrementalism that strives never to stigmatize obesity has not and cannot do the necessary work,” wrote Callahan in a Hastings Center Report from the nonprofit bioethics think tank.
The paper says:
The obese are said to be lazy, self-indulgent, lacking in discipline, awkward, unattractive, weak-willed and sloppy, insecure and shapeless, to mention only a few of the negative judgments among doctors and nurses.
If this works, maybe he will next start a campaign to shame single moms.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brewington lost his appeal

Fellow angry dad Dan Brewington was imprisoned for his blog where he complained about his family court judge and court custody evaluator/psychologist. The Indiana appeals court has just upheld his conviction.

I have mentioned Brewington's case many times, and he has occasionally commented on this blog.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh is a leading expert on free speech law, and he denounces this decision:
I think this too is a mistake on the court’s part, because the statements — or at least the great bulk of them — were likely to be seen by readers as opinions (however biased and unsound) about what the judge’s actions were morally tantamount to, and not factual allegations. But in any event, the court had made clear by this point that its analysis did not turn on this, and that Brewington’s statements could be punished regardless of whether they were true, so long as they were a continuing threat of exposing the judge to “hatred, contempt, disgrace, or ridicule” based on his past actions. ...

As I’ve said above, I think this decision is wrong, and quite dangerous. ... A very bad result, which I hope the Indiana Supreme Court reviews and reverses.
Brewington was convicted of threatening the judge, and that sounds bad, but the court defined that to include exposing him to "hatred, contempt, disgrace, or ridicule." The blog did that by detailing how the court was separating kids from dads, and making an analogy to child abuse. The appeals court ruled:
Brewington argues he was merely stating his opinion that, in constraining his right to see his children, Judge Humphrey was essentially committing child abuse. ... Only by willfully misinterpreting the terms of the divorce decree in bad faith could one argue that Judge Humphrey’s conduct constituted an intentional act to harm Brewington’s children. Thus, even if the State was required to prove that Brewington knew his public statements about Judge Humphrey were false, there was ample evidence from which the jury could have concluded that Brewington accused Judge Humphrey of child abuse and professional misconduct while knowing that the accusations were false.
This is wrong on many levels. The judge's bad ruling did cause harm to kids. He ought to held out for contempt and ridicule. A citizen has a right to express his opinion of a public official, good or bad. This ruling is like a court saying:
Your blog called Pres. Obama's latest executive order an abuse of power, and thereby subjected him to ridicule. You can be thrown in prison for that. Only by willfully misinterpreting the order in bad faith could one argue that his conduct constituted an intentional act to exceed his authority. Even if the court has to prove you wrong there is ample evidence from which the jury could have concluded that your blog accused the President of abuse of power while knowing that the accusations were false.
We are not a free nation if we cannot criticize the public officials who are oppressing us.

Under the same reasoning, Prof. Volokh or I could be imprisoned for disagreeing with this appeals decision.

A lawyer comments on a recent appeal:
And quite correctly, I’ll hasten to add; there can be no justification in American law for curbing speech in an effort to protect the reputation of a company.
This case is much worse. It is curbing speech (and imprisoning the speaker) to protect the reputation of a judge and a psychologist.

I just ran across this last line from a famous poem:
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
I hope that Brewington's kids understand someday that he made a principled stand for them, exposed corrupt public officials, and went to prison for it.

Brewington's blog has the local news story that he did win on a couple of his arguments:
“The jury instructions directed the jury to consider the same evidentiary facts to support both convictions). Consequently, both convictions cannot stand. When two convictions contravene double jeopardy principles, ‘we vacate the conviction with less severe penal consequences,’” Darden wrote.

The court also agreed with Brewington that his urging blog readers to send letters about his case to Heidi Humphrey, who serves as an Indiana Supreme Court Ethics and Professionalism Advisor, did not cross the line to intimidation.

“He did not describe her in a negative light or encourage anyone to do anything other than write letters to her, as a purported public official, about his divorce case,” believed Darden. “Although we do not condone Brewington’s unjustifiable and bad faith attempt to drag Mrs. Humphrey into his divorce litigation, his actions in relation to Mrs. Humphrey do not meet the definition of a threat for purposes of the intimidation statute.”

Despite two of the five convictions being thrown out, Prosecutor Negangard says he’s still pleased with the appeals court decision that doesn’t alter the bottom line: Brewington’s time in prison.
I hope the Indiana supreme court hears his case.

Hans Bader adds:
As a former federal judicial clerk, and practicing lawyer for many years, I find this decision outrageous. Are judges the new nobility?

Judges are already given special privileges, such as absolute civil immunity for clearly unconstitutional conduct. This court ruling effectively gives them a far more extreme special privilege -- immunity from sharp criticism when they engage in serious wrongdoing, which is unfortunately a recurring problem in certain state courts (especially in family law cases).

The fact that one ordinary means of redress has been eliminated for judges (civil liability) makes it all the more important that other avenues of redress, such as public protest, remain open.

Like many lawyers, I have publicly condemned judges for wrongdoing and constitutional violations (in my case, in both newspapers and blogs, repeating such condemnations persistently, until the underlying ruling was reversed). See here, for example, of my repeated, personal criticism by name of a state judge for an unconstitutional ruling that was subsequently reversed: ...
Update: Susan says that the decision is contrary to Indiana precedent:
The decision is clearly unlawful.

A threat requires that the defendant express an intention to unlawfully injure the person threatened. IND.CODE section 35-45-2-1(c)(1).
See Gaddis v. State, 680 N.E.2d 860 (Ind.App. 1997).

Gaddis also seemed to acknowledge the overly broad provisions of the intimidation statute. That court spoke of the need to resolve any ambiguity against imposition of the statute and specifically noted that, “Statutes enacted by our legislature are presumed to be constitutional and, where possible, must be so construed.”

The Brewington court ignored the Gaddis holding that an intimidation defendant has to threaten to commit an unlawful act. The court “focused its analysis on “whether Brewington threatened Judge Humphrey by expressing an intent to expose him “to hatred, contempt, disgrace, or ridicule.” Ind. Code § 35-45-2-1(c)(6).” Nevermind that that are many lawful acts that result in exposing someone to such problems.

The Brewington court also failed to consider the constitutionality of this particular application of the statute.

This decision is a sickening example of how free our courts feel to ignore the law when it suits them. I hope the decision is widely circulated as it is a perfect example of a court blatantly perverting the law. I appreciate that it was exposed here.
Makes sense to me,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Engineers are cold and dead inside

A UK paper reports:
A study carried out by psychology researchers in Sweden has shown that people who go into engineering are less caring and empathetic than those who enter professions such as medicine.

Trick-cyclist Chato Rasoal and his colleagues determined this by surveying 200 students from six different study programs, using a "well-established questionnaire" which apparently reveals the degree of imagination, the ability to assume the perspective of others, and whether the subject cares about others.

The results were clear-cut, apparently: engineering students cared nothing for other human beings' feelings and had few of their own. They were cold-hearted and uncaring, remorseless human machines. By contrast the medical students were warm and bursting with empathy and love.

You might be speculating at this point that this is because a lot of medical students are women but hardly any engineering students are, and indeed Rasoal et al openly admit that "it's well known that women are more empathetic than men".
A reader commented:
"I cannot explain this bias against teaching math"

Really? You can't explain the bias against teaching math?

Math is logical. It requires and teaches logical and precise thinking about issues. When you confront a math problem, you look at the information, apply a formula, and achieve a result. Anyone who approaches the problem achieves the same result as long as they apply the formula correctly.

Judges hate this. They hate being told that the "right" answer is something other than what they think the answer should be. Logical, straightforward application of principles to achieve a result without biasing your analysis to achieve a desired result is anathema to judges and most of the legal system.

If dad teaches kids to look at the world rationally and logically, those kids might realize that the judges and lawyers that guided them away from their father are wrong.

I say this as a lawyer.
I am getting this T-shirt:
There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Monday, January 21, 2013

DNA tests will rule

This newspaper advice columnist has never heard of DNA:
Dear Margo: I live in a town of 60,000 people. ... I am really curious as to whether it's possible that this child is the product of, shall we say, a brief indiscretion. ...

Dear Mad: You know what? You couldn't even solve "this mystery" if you did embarrass someone. Come to think of it, the person you could most embarrass by pursuing this matter is yourself.

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that your suspicions are correct. There would be no confirmation of this on the birth certificate, which leaves you the option of asking friends whether they remember any trouble in the marriages of X and Y. I would not recommend this, however, because your inquiries would become defamatory gossip quicker than you could say "looks-like-the-banker."

And do remember, many people have doppelgangers. That is the reason we often say to someone, "You look just like so-and-so who's on television/in the movies/in the Senate, etc." Please leave this alone and keep your suspicions to yourself. — Margo, prudently
No, she is wrong. This mystery can be solved. All you need is some spit from the child and either the legal dad or the alleged biological dad, and to send it with $200 to a DNA testing lab.

Even without DNA, some traits are obvious and sometimes fatherhood can be deduced by the casual observer.

I believe in minding my own business, but there are larger forces at work. My prediction is that our society will soon come around to the view that a child has a right to know who his father is. And with DNA tests so cheap and reliable, there will be no reason not to do one. It used to be safe to assume that the dad is the man married to the mom, but the LGBTQIA lobby and other anti-family forces are putting an end to that. They will say that it is discriminatory to use marriage to justify a name on a birth certificate. Instead we will have dads who are certified by DNA tests, and dads who are really lesbians who got court orders to cut the real dad out of the picture.

I am not advocating these changes. I am just saying that they are inevitable consequences of DNA technology and LGBTQIA politics.

Friday, January 18, 2013

NY judge rules child cannot travel to wedding

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh posts this NY family court caae:
This is a dispute between two (2) parents, who have until now been able to recognize and resolve any differences relating to the child, who is seven (7) years old. The mother wishes to travel with the child to Israel to attend, on January 23, 2013, the wedding of Moshe Labin, the child’s maternal uncle, to Miriam Yitty Teitelbaum. ...

Whether the [parties'] agreement is valid and thereby the parties have joint custody but cannot reach an agreement on the limited issue of this child’s travel to Israel or the agreement is not valid and the issue is before this court de novo, under these particular facts and circumstances, the applicable standard is the best interest of the child....

The attorney for the child, who met with his client on one (1) occasion with the assistance of a Yiddish interpreter supplied by the mother, has taken the position, on behalf of his client, that his client would miss the mother if she were to travel to Israel, ...

At this juncture, it is not in this child’s best interest to require him to travel to Israel for a celebration; the emotional risk to him outweighs any benefit that conceivably would be derived from the experience. Furthermore, the mother did not demonstrate any serious adverse affects that would be contrary to the child’s best interests if he were to stay with the father during the time ...
This is a good example of the foolishness of the BIOTCh. This judge has intervened into a routine child-rearing matter, and forced his own personal religious prejudices on them.

The judges says that with more time "those issues can be explored during a trial after forensic evaluations of the parties and the child and an in camera interview of the child." That is even crazier. No evaluation or interview is going to result what is essentially a Jewish religious dispute.

Volokh's blog is popular with libertarian lawyers, but on this issue, he draws un-libertarian comments like this:
The judge did not see the couple arguing in the street and jump into the middle of the disagreement. At least one parent asked the judge for help. If you want to rant about somebody, rant about the parent or parents who brought it before a judge.
The parents have a right to make bad decisions, as long as they are lawful. The judge is the one who is acting unconstitutionally.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dad regains autistic boy on appeal

A reader sends me this S. California appeals case pdf:
In this case, the parties disagree fundamentally on how best to raise their highly intelligent son, J., who was diagnosed at a young age with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism. The parents care deeply for their son, but hold diametrically opposed views on the extent of his disabilities and on the efficacy of certain types of autism treatment. Mother has written a published book on autism, gives lectures on the subject, helps other families obtain services for their children with autism, and plans to write several more books about autism. Father is a special education attorney and has a master’s degree in psychology.

In 2008, when the parents divorced, they agreed, in a stipulated judgment pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 (the judgment), to submit future disputes about matters involving J. (such as custody and education) to a special master selected in accordancewith the judgment. The judgment provided: (1) the special master would be a licensed mental health professional; (2) if a party disagreed with the special master’s decision, the party could seekthe court’s intervention; and (3) the special master would report any unresolved conflictsto the court. Under the judgment, the parties shared joint legal custody of J. and divided their physical custody of him based on a designated schedule. In January 2009, mother discontinued any direct communication with father and advised him she had asked her fiancé to be “an intermediary, whenever possible, for ALL communications with you.”
The mom got remarried, and tried to cut the dad out of their boy's llfe. They went to court, and the judge appointed psychologist David J. Jimenez as a child custody evaluator. His web site advertises:
Family Law Child Custody Evaluations
Full & Solution-Focused Evaluations, Relocation & “Move Away” Evaluations, Domestic & International, Attachment & Bonding Evaluations, Parental Alienation, Visitation & Parenting Plans, Collaborative Divorce

Criminal Evaluations
Death Penalty, Sexual Exploitation, Robbery, Dangerousness, Domestic Violence, Rape, Kidnapping, Stalking, Child Pornography & The “Internet”, Child Molestation & Abuse, ‘Competency To Stand Trial’, ‘Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity/NGI’, ‘State of Mind at Time of Offense’, Substance Abuse

Dependency Evaluations
Reunification, Bonding & Attachment, Adoption

Expert Witness
He brags:
Psychological Consultation, Evaluation, Treatment, and Expert Court Testimony in Family Law, Criminal, & Dependency California Superior Court matters since 1991.

Privately Retained by Both the Prosecution and Defense.

Provided Thousands of Court Evaluations under Court E.C. 730 Appointment (PC:1368, 288, Etc.)

Provided Expert Testimony in over one hundred Family Law, Juvenile & Adult matters
He offers to do a Full Child Custody Evaluation on a sliding fee scale.

He turned out to be corrupt, and privately bragged that he had "deep pockets" clients. He sided with the mom and billed $42,000. He still has California Psychology License PSY 10629, but the state is now trying to revoke his license.

You can tell that people don't know anything about Asperger syndrome when they call it "Asperger's". The professional literature calls it "Asperger", not "Asperger's". Those who call it "Asperger's" are getting their info from the oversimplified lay press. Similarly the people who refer to the Book of Revelations are probably getting bad info, because if they read the Bible they would notice that the name is the Book of Revelation.

The only reason this case got to the appellate court was that the family court judge found Jimenez's work to be incompetent, but ordered that he be paid and his recommendations be followed anyway. Usually judges follow incompetent recommendations without documenting the incompetence of the expert.

It is common for parents to have more expertise in parenting their kids than the court evaluators and special masters. This case is unusual in that the parents had the credentials to prove it.

These parents had some minor disputes about schooling and other matters, and a settlement agreement with a mechanism to resolve such disputes. That is what should have happened. Instead the psychologist and judge went berserk trying to fleece them for money and reorganizing their lives.
The court found it was in J.’s best interest for mother to have sole legal custody. As to father, the court stated: “None of [father’s] positive and constructive involvement with [J.] will be adversely affected by [mother] having sole legal custody. He can continue to provide beneficial and very helpful assistance in doing homework, particularly math” and “can continue to try and involve his son in quality activities such as boating and even if they share a common interest in pocket knives.”
This is sick. This devalues fatherhood to just someone who pays money to the mom, helps on homework, and takes the boy boating, but is stripped of any authority or responsibility for the boy.

I cannot explain this bias against teaching math. I also had the problem of judges saying that I should not have legal custody if I teach me kids math.

Orange County Judge Clay M. Smith should be fired for this anti-father opinion.

Jimenez says that he has done 1000s of child custody evaluations over 20 years for the court. And he is not even Jewish. Psychologists like him are a menace to society. Other similarly experienced evaluators who ought to lose their licenses are: Kenneth Barry Perlmutter PSY 7053, Faren Ray Akins PSY 7110, Bret Kale Johnson PSY 10630.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Worthless mediation training

A family court lawyer tells me that you can pay $395 to attend this:
Family Mediation Training
by Dr. Don Saposnek and Hon. Irwin Joseph

Santa Clara, California
March 8-9, 2013

In this thirteen-hour, inter-disciplinary training for Bench Officers, Judges pro temp, Attorneys, Therapists, and other Family Court Professionals in the Silicon Valley and Central Coastal Regions of California, we explore, interactively, how to mediate a wide variety of matters in Family Court within the framework of local rules and procedures and in accordance with the recommendations of the Elkins Family Law Task Force.
This is a case of the blind leading the blind. Irwin H. Joseph was the worst commissioner or judge I've seen in the Santa Cruz family court. He was passed over for promotion to judge several times, and was eventually fired. He later got a job in the Santa Clara court.

If you want to sign up:
Contact Information
For more information about scheduled training, contact:
Irwin Joseph 831-588-6771
Don Saposnek

Send your Registration to:
Family Mediation Trainings
PO Box 2686
Aptos, CA 95001
I once got Joseph reversed on appeal, and he held a grudge against me ever since. You can find many examples of his incompetence and vindictiveness on this blog.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fathers have a crucial role

Offra Gerstein, a local clinical psychologist, writes in the local paper:
Offra Gerstein, Relationship Matters: Fathers have a crucial role in raising their sons

Fathers' participation in their children's day-to-day care has markedly evolved over the past 30 years. As male/female roles within the marriage have changed, men have shared greater child-rearing responsibilities and have greatly enhanced their children's lives.

Research findings document how this shift has benefited boys' and girls' development and facilitated their becoming more successful scholastically, emotionally, psychologically, socially and intimately.

Academically: The National Center for Educational Statistics reported, "When fathers were involved in their children's education, the kids were more likely to get As, enjoy school, and participate in extracurricular activities."

Emotionally: Dr. William Pollock, a Harvard psychologist and author of "Real Boys," found that "boys require the presence of a father to teach them what it means to be a man and how to manage their emotions. As we have seen, without the guidance and direction of a father, a boy's frustration often leads to varieties of violence and other antisocial behavior."

Jill Goldman and Marsha Salus found that rough-and-tumble play with fathers could help boys manage aggressive impulses and teach them to control their emotions during excitation.

Psychologically: Eirini Flouri and Ann Buchanan reported, "Early father involvement
(before age 7) had an important protective role against psychological maladjustment and distress later in life."

Howard Dubowitz and associates found that "children who have close relationships with their fathers have a higher self-esteem and are less likely to be depressed."

Psychologist Melanie Mallers, a stress health researcher discovered that "men who are more likely to be in a bad mood and have higher levels of psychological stress -- are the men who reported having had poor relationships with their father in childhood." She concluded, "What men can do for boys, the way they play with them, the way they talk with them, the way they teach them to be assertive, the way they teach them to problem solve, has profound lasting implications."

Socially: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that "children living in two-parent families who had only a fair or poor relationship with their fathers were at 68 percent higher risk of smoking, drinking, and drug usage than teens having a good or excellent relationship with dads."

Intimately: Jeffrey Rosenberg and W. Bradford Wilcox research findings state, "Fathers' affectionate treatment of their infants contributed to the babies' higher levels of secure attachment." This capacity enables the youngsters to form healthy relationships with friends and eventually with their future mates.

Researcher Paul Amato summarized, "Father/child shared time increased self-esteem, confidence, social competence and life skills."

With all these benefits, fathers are privileged to have the power to enrich their sons, themselves and society as they enjoy the thrill of parenting their youngsters.
My only quarrel with this is that this article perpetuates the myth that only sons need their dads, and not daughters. In fact the research shows that girls need their dads just as much as boys.

In fairness to her, the headline was probably written by the newspaper, so I should not blame her for that.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Generation LGBTQIA

In an attempt to use politically correct inclusive terminology for homosexuals, I have switched to using the term LGBT, and occasionally lately I have used LGBTQ. I can do this even tho I don't even know the difference between transsexual and transgender, or what the Q stands for. Now I learn from the NY Times that I need more letters:
Part of the solution has been to add more letters, and in recent years the post-post-post-gay-rights banner has gotten significantly longer, some might say unwieldy. The emerging rubric is “L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.,” which stands for different things, depending on whom you ask.

“Q” can mean “questioning” or “queer,” an umbrella term itself, formerly derogatory before it was appropriated by gay activists in the 1990s. “I” is for “intersex,” someone whose anatomy is not exclusively male or female. And “A” stands for “ally” (a friend of the cause) or “asexual,” characterized by the absence of sexual attraction.

It may be a mouthful, but it’s catching on, especially on liberal-arts campuses. ...

The term is also gaining traction on social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr, where posts tagged with “lgbtqia” suggest a younger, more progressive outlook than posts that are merely labeled “lgbt.”
The article goes on to say some people still feel left out, and it discusses additional terms like: “genderqueer”, “androgyne”, “Jewish L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. Community”, “non-cisgender”, “bi-gender”, and lists “Pansexual. Omnisexual. Trisexual. Agender. Bi-gender. Third gender. Transgender. Transvestite. Intersexual. Two-spirit. Hijra. Polyamorous.”

I cannot cope with that. If the term LGBTQIA is good enough for the NY Times and Twitter, it is good enough for me, even if the T, Q, and A are ambiguous and some letters are omitted.

I mean no ill-will towards any of these groups. They are very small minorities, and they can do whatever they want, for all I care.

Maybe someday all adults will be able to form whatever relationships they please, and to write their own binding contracts to cover their commitments and their rights and responsibilities for their kids. I occasionally hear some libertarians advocate that. But that is not where we are heading. Such contracts are not binding in court.

The LGBTQIA activists are not libertarians. The lesbians among are all feminists who hate fathers' rights. Lesbian marriage is nearly always part of a scheme to deprive some child of a dad, or to evade taxes. If there are any LGBTQIA activists who defend fathers rights, please let me know so I can credit them.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sperm donor can have parental rights

I have posted before about how all the states used to have many reasonable distinctions between married and unmarried couples, but such distinctions are being attacked and removed. Here is the latest example.

The Wash. Post reports:
A Virginia law concerning sperm donation was not intended to deny parental rights to a man who conceived a daughter with his girlfriend through in-vitro fertilization, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court ruled that the law, which says unmarried sperm donors have no parental rights, had been intended to ensure married couples could seek a sperm donor without fearing the donor would claim parental rights.

The decision was a victory for Virginia Beach attorney William D. Breit, who is seeking enforcement of a custody and visitation agreement he and his former girlfriend signed shortly after the birth of a daughter who was conceived through in-vitro fertilization. The couple signed the agreement as well as an affidavit establishing Breit as the biological father. ...

In court, Mason [the mom] cited a law that says a “donor is not the parent of a child conceived through assisted conception, unless the donor is the husband of the gestational father.” [sic - I think she meant the gestational mother]

However, another provision says a parent-child relationship may be established by “a voluntarily written statement of the father and mother made under oath acknowledging paternity.” The justices said that when the statutes are read together, it’s clear that Breit can assert his parental rights.

The court also said Breit has a fundamental constitutional right to be involved in his child’s upbringing.

“Simply put, there is no compelling reason why a responsible, involved, unmarried, biological parent should never be allowed to establish legal parentage of her or his child born as a result of assisted conception,” Justice William C. Mims wrote.
Britain has gone to an extreme and abolished anonymous sperm donors. British women someones come to the USA just to buy sperm.

It used to be that if a couple wanted to have a child, they got married. In this case, they signed test-tube baby and paternity contracts, but did not bother with a marriage certificate. And thanks to decisions like this, the marriage certificate is increasingly irrelevant.

Of course marriage does not just mean paternity. It also indicates a commitment to stick around long enough to rear the kid. In this case, they split after 4 months.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Feminist and communist judges

W.F. Price reports:
Although perhaps not too many people will sympathize with multibillionaire playboy Silvio Berlusconi, who is notorious for spending time and money on young beauties, it’s refreshing to see someone with a voice calling it as it is where family court is concerned.

After being ordered to pay his ex-wife nearly $50 million per year in alimony (she will receive four times the average Italian yearly salary per day), Berlusconi said the amount was determined by three feminists and a communist (is there really much of a difference?).
Glad to see someone still willing to call a spade a spade, even if he is paying extra for his attitude.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Welfare lesbian fingers sperm donor

Lesbianism, welfare, and fatherhood are on a collision course. This is a picture of two lesbians who wanted a baby. The Kansas City Star reports from the front:
A Kansas man who signed away any parental rights when he donated sperm to a Topeka couple is now being pursued by the state for child support after the mother received financial assistance for the baby.

A lawyer for William Marotta argues that the state’s effort to have Marotta declared the baby’s father runs contrary to a 2007 Kansas Supreme Court ruling on sperm donors, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. ...

Marotta, a Topeka mechanic who has taken in foster children with his wife, answered a Craigslist ad in 2009 from a lesbian couple seeking a sperm donor. ...

Marotta, Bauer and Schreiner signed an agreement saying Marotta would be paid $50 per semen donation, with the arrangement including a clear understanding that he would have no parental rights whatsoever with the child or children.

The agreement also called for Bauer and Schreiner to hold Marotta harmless “for any child support payments demanded of him by any other person or entity, public or private, including any district attorney’s office or other state or county agency, regardless of the circumstances or said demand.” ...
The problem arises because the mom got bored with her lesbian mate, and found a boyfriend instead. But they are not married, and he has not adopted the child. When the mom went on welfare, the agency tries to collect reimbursement from the dad. Since the boyfriend could not be held accountable, it went after the sperm donor.

The Kansas courts have ruled that a sperm donor has no legal rights to the child, but the court is threatening to make this sperm donor pay anyway.

Slate's William Saletan tells it differently:
They tried a sperm bank, but their doctor, according to Bauer, refused to sign a document saying they were fit to raise a child. So they posted an ad on Craigslist.

William Marotta, a fellow foster parent, answered the ad. He and his wife exchanged emails with the couple and visited their home. He wanted to be sure that the child would be well cared for. In March 2009, he donated his sperm, waived compensation, and signed a contract renouncing parental rights and responsibilities. Schreiner carried the pregnancy. Nine months later, she and Bauer had their baby girl.

A year after the birth, in December 2010, Bauer and Schreiner split up.
And they had medical and financial problems, and went on welfare.

I don't get where some stupid physician gets to decide whether this couple was fit to rear a child, but he was correct in this case. This couple only lasted one year, and everything unraveled. Everyone would have been better off if the sperm donation never took place.

The physician's reasoning is not known. Based on the picture, he might not have even noticed that the mom's partner is a woman.

Kansas law says that the sperm donor is not a legal father if the mom uses a licensed physician. It is a reasonable law because the intent of all parties is clear in that case, and most other states have similar laws. So the woman just had to use a physician. If it is really true that her personal physician did not approve, she could have just gotten another physician or travel to another state for the donation.

Saletan somehow concludes that this is a conservative argument for same-sex marriage:
But the problem at the core of this fiasco isn’t that Kansas won’t let a noncustodial parent renounce her obligations. The problem is that when the couple is two women, Kansas won’t let that parent — in this case, Bauer — undertake those obligations. If the nine-year, multi-foster-child relationship between Bauer and Schreiner had been legally recognized, with Bauer formally named as the second parent on their daughter’s birth certificate — and perhaps if it were easier for lesbian couples to access sperm banks instead of resorting to Craigslist — the chain of parental responsibility would have been clear.

This is what makes the resistance to same-sex marriage, in Kansas and many other states, so exasperating. In family policy, conservatives are right about so many things. Children do better when they’re raised by two parents. Stability is best, and marriage promotes stability. And parents, not taxpayers, are responsible for their children. The state has every right to identify and enforce that responsibility. The best way to honor these principles isn’t to abandon or pervert them when the couple in question is gay. The best way is to apply them equally.
This is nonsense. The sperm donor can renounce his obligations by using a physician and a standard anonymous donor contract. A mom has nine months in which she has the choice to get an abortion, so applying rights equally would give the dad nine months to renounce his obligations.

Saletan calls Bauer a parent, but she was neither a biological nor legal parent. He says it is better to be raised by two parents, but the studies show that kids are best reared by their natural parents, not lesbian couples. He says that the state should make the parents responsible, but that is exactly what Kansas is trying to do.

Even if Kansas had issued these lesbians some sort of marriage certificate, their physician could still have been of the opinion that they were unfit for sperm donation, and he would be right.

Whether same-sex marriage is permitted or not, lesbians will continue to be inseminated by men and then attempt fatherless upbringings for the resulting kids. Lesbian marriages seems like just a legal ploy to deprive kids of dads. No good will come of it.

You might think that if the lesbians were married under Kansas law, then they would be presumed to be the legal parents, and no one else could be the legal father. But it is not that simple. As explained before, same-sex marriage drives the push for three or more legal parents to be recognized. Even under existing California law, a lesbian domestic partner and a biological father can both be presumed fathers. As a recent 2011 case explained:
Increasingly, as aptly illustrated here, the complicated pattern of human relations and changing familial patterns give rise to more than one legitimate claimant to the status of presumed parent, and the juvenile court must resolve the competing claims. As the Supreme Court explained in Jesusa V., "[a]lthough more than one individual may fulfill the statutory criteria that give rise to a presumption of paternity, `there can be only one presumed father.' [Citations.]"
So even if a lesbian domestic partner is a presumed parent, that might be outweighed by the biological father being a presumed father. Furthermore, that California court refused to declare the lesbian domestic partner to be a presumed father:
The issue of whether Irene qualifies as a statutorily presumed mother is not before us. We note, however, that another court may be called upon to address whether a gender-neutral reading of the UPA is a "practicable" application, in light of the fact that the primary statutory goal is to determine "paternity," not "parentage."

For example, under section 7540, "the child of a wife cohabiting with her husband, who is not impotent or sterile, is conclusively presumed to be a child of the marriage." As M.C. points out, a gender-neutral reading of this statute, which presumes a husband is capable of impregnating his wife, would be absurd as applied to a same-sex cohabiting couple. It is similarly difficult to imagine what legitimate purpose would be served by a voluntary declaration of "parentage" — as opposed to a declaration of "paternity" — under section 7570, as it stands now. The clear purpose of such declarations is to establish paternity, not just for purpose of providing the child access to benefits, but also to provide knowledge of the child's medical and genetic history, which may be necessary for purposes of his or her medical diagnoses and treatment. In light of the rapidly changing nature of familial relationships, few if any of which were on the horizon at the time the UPA was adopted in 1975, we agree the Legislature would be wise to expand the concept to include, for example, the lesbian couple where one partner or spouse is impregnated through an anonymous sperm donation, or the gay male couple where a surrogate carries to term the child of one partner or spouse. But, as it stands now, a declaration of "parentage" under the UPA is not encompassed within the statutory scheme.
I did not follow all for that, but what I get from it is that no California appeals court has actually endorsed this concept of a lesbian partner being the presumed partner, and the California statutes are inconsistent with no easy fix.

Thus Saletan and the LGBTQ lobby might argue that same-sex marriage would simplify certain child custody issues, but I very much doubt it. The confusion is going to give judges more power, and deny parental rights.

Update: A reader disputes my analysis of California parentage law, and sends this 2005 NY Times story:
The California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that both members of a lesbian couple who plan for and raise a child born to either of them should be considered the child's mothers even after their relationship ends.

The court, stepping into largely uncharted legal territory concerning same-sex couples and parenting, issued decisions in three cases, ruling that women whose partners gave birth had parental rights or obligations in all three.

The cases involved a request for child support, a petition to establish parental rights and an attack on a lower court ruling issued before a child's birth that the child should have two women listed as parents on her birth certificate.

"We perceive no reason," the Supreme Court ruled, "why both parents of a child cannot be women."
This 2005 CS Monitor story says the same thing. A National Center for Lesbian Rights pamphlet says:
Will my partner and I both be legal parents of children born to us during our registered domestic partnership?

The law now provides that “[t]he rights and obligations of registered domestic partners with respect to a child of either of them shall be the same as those of spouses.” This means, among other things, that a child born to registered domestic partners automatically will be considered the legal child of both partners, regardless of their biological connection to the child.
Here is that 2005 California supreme court decision saying that the lesbian domestic partners can both be parents. That decision is cited in the above 2011 decision, so the above 2011 decision should be considered a better summary of current law.

The Kansas sperm donor would not have been a legal father if he had used a licensed physician. California makes the same distinction, and its Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) requires "the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon and with the consent of her husband". The 2005 cases involved assisted reproduction by licensed physicians, and therefore the lesbian partners were the only ones with a claim to parentage. If a lesbian couple in California used a Craigslist sperm donor, then they would be back in uncharted legal territory even if they were registered domestic partners. So I still say that a same-sex marriage law in Kansas would not have solved that case.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

VAWA not extended

I found some good news on the Rachel Maddow MSNBC blog:
And then there's the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year's easy ones. It wasn't.

Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont's Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho's Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.

But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans -- and they'd rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn't go anywhere.
W.F. Price alerted me to this, and explains:
What most rankled the Republicans, I suspect, were the provisions relating to immigrants — illegal ones in particular. The senate bill would have granted them visas, funding and a raft of goodies when they made DV accusations. This is what we call an “incentive to accuse.” VAWA already offers American women an incentive to accuse, and accusations have become so common that you’ll hear at least every other divorcing wife making them in family court. When I read a comment on Maddow’s blog from a prosecutor who said it was difficult to get women to accuse their husbands, I had to wonder what world he was living in. I think it might be the world where you get paid more for prosecuting more men, because that’s one of the biggest whoppers I’ve seen in a while.

So, if the senate version had passed, we would likely have seen a giant surge in accusations of DV made by illegal immigrant women, filling our courts (and jails) beyond capacity. Becoming an official “battered woman” would allow them to avail themselves of all sorts of federal benefits, such as TANF, SNAP, medicaid, social security and others that are typically extended only to permanent residents (i.e. citizens or green card holders).
I expect Jewish lesbians to be in favor of phony domestic violence claims by illegal aliens, so I checked Maddow's status:
Why do people think that television host and pundit Rachel Maddow might be Jewish?

Well, she is quite liberal, and Jewish women tend to be pretty liberal.

She is quite intelligent, and Jewish women tend to be pretty intelligent.

She is quite lesbian, and Jewish women... ummm...

So, clearly, we can see why some might think that Rachel is a Jew. And some would be partly right: she does have a Jewish grandfather. But the rest of the family isn't, and Rachel was raised in a staunch Catholic household.

And here's another thing that separates her from Jewish women; she is quite tall, an inch under six feet.

So come on, people, not every liberal, intelligent TV personality is Jewish. Though it sure seems that way sometimes, doesn't it?

Verdict: Barely a Jew.
Okay, it is not a Jewish conspiracy, but you can be sure that the VAWA proponents are out to destroy the American family as we know it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

All My Babies’ Mamas

The Oxygen channel is a cable TV channel devoted to women's shows. It competes with Lifetime, TLC, Oprah OWN, etc. Here is the latest:
Oxygen is defending its reality special, All My Babies’ Mamas, which will focus on the life of rapper Shawty Lo as he juggles having 11 children by 10 different women.

A petition was started on to cancel the show, which has yet to air. Sabrina Lamb of New York started the petition and asked signers to “tell Oxygen that their viewers will not tolerate a show that exploits and stereotypes Black children and families.”

The petition has received over 15,000 signatures since its creation. ...

In an interview with Essence, Lamb, who works with underserved youth in the New York City area, said:

“To me, ‘baby’s mama’ is a slur. It’s denying the humanity of a child’s existence. Every child deserves to come into the world loved by two parents, safe and wanted. In the clip I saw, Lo [born Carlos Walker] couldn’t even remember the names of all of his 11 children. This is not funny to me. What’s funny about this?” ...

“I got an email from a 68-year-old White woman saying, ‘I am sick and tired of Black stereotypes.’”

The 36-year-old rapper, who is probably best known for his fight with T.I., not only has 11 children by 10 different women, but several of those children are around the same age as his 19-year-old girlfriend. He was 15 when his first child was born, and he now has nine daughters and two sons.
I am biting my tongue here so that I do not sound racist.

Actually, this does not offend me any more than Jersey Shore, Dance Moms, Toddlers and Tiaras, Dr. Phil, Honey Boo Boo, Steve Wilkos, etc.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Court hears Cherokee baby case

Normally, an adoption requires the consent of the mom and the dad. If you adopt a kid with just the mom's consent, you run the risk that the dad will object.

In this case, a dad had to use his Cherokee status and an obscure federal Indian to get his kid back. The Legal Times reports:
The Supreme Court on Friday announced it would review the high-profile 'Baby Veronica' Indian adoption case, a test of the importance of tribal interests in custody disputes.

The case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl arises under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, passed in 1978 to preserve Native American families. It gives top priority to keeping children within Indian families and tribal settings whenever possible in custody disputes.

In the case before the court, Veronica was born in Oklahoma in 2009 to an unwed and separated couple consisting of a non-Indian mother and a Cherokee father. The mother decided to put the child up for adoption, without telling the father. An adoptive couple began raising Veronica in South Carolina, but when the biological father learned of the adoption, he invoked the law to establish custody. The South Carolina Supreme Court, ruling with "heavy heart," said the federal law dictated that the child should be returned to the father. The transfer was made a year ago, with heavy media attention. The case has been discussed on the Dr. Phil and Anderson Cooper talk shows.
I don't get why the US Supreme Court is considering taking the baby away from her dad. The article goes on to explain that a former Solicitor General is representing the baby, but the she is only 3 years old.

Anyway, I guess I am glad to hear the court hear a child custody case, as it usually ignores outrageous denials of fundamental civil rights.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Law links marriage to rape accusation

AP reports on the latest feminist outrage at our laws:
An appellate court ruling overturning a rape conviction because the victim wasn't married prompted anger Friday from women's groups and a state legislator who plans to introduce a bill that would close the legal loophole.

In its ruling, California's 2nd District Court of Appeal reluctantly concluded that Julio Morales hadn't raped an 18-year-old because a state law crafted in the 1870s says a person who gets consent for sex by pretending to be someone else is only guilty of rape if the victim is married and the perpetrator is pretending to be the spouse. In this case, Morales apparently pretended to be the teen's boyfriend, and she didn't recognize otherwise until seeing him in the light.

The court urged the Legislature to update the law, and state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, said Friday that he would introduce a bill.
At the risk of alienating more readers than I usually do, I am giving a rationale for that 1870s law.

It is very difficult to trick a chaste woman into sexual relations. If she only has sex if she is married, and only then with her husband, then about the only want to trick her is for a man to pretend be her husband. In that case, a serious crime has been committed.

If a loose woman has a habit of having sexual relations with strangers, then it is often extremely difficult for some later court to determine with she had properly consented. It is even more difficult if the she admits that she consented, but claimed that the man used some sort of trickery.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh explains some of the legal and practical difficulties:
I’m not a fan of allowing general “rape by fraud” prosecutions (see here for some interesting examples from Israel), largely because it would open the door to criminalizing a wide range of lies, whether about fidelity, past sexual partners, wealth, love, and so on, used to get sex. I explain some of my thinking on that here, though I acknowledge that the problem is not an easy one: ...
At some point you have to realize that the court cannot correct every injustice. Changing this law will open a lot of men up to false rape accusations.

The above case is contrived to make a point, but the man is not going free. He is going to be tried again, and he will probably be convicted again.

Marriage used to have a privileged status under the law. The above 1870s law was just a small and trivial example. Feminists, liberals, and other anti-family movements have systematically abolished most such laws, and now they will abolish another. The net result of all these changes is that traditional legal marriage and family have been abolished.

When the legislature gets a bill to repeal this law, I am sure it will pass. People will say: How could this bill hurt anyone family? If it helps send a rapist to prison, that is a good thing.

No, it is not a good thing. This man is going to prison anyway. They probably will not even consider all the problems that Volokh raises. And they sure won't consider the damage to marriage.

Nobody is going to tell that 18yo girl that if she wants to have an exclusive sexual relationship with a guy, then she needs a ring on her finger. Those days are gone. So now most births to young women are out of wedlock, and millions of kids are growing up without dads.

It was perfectly reasonable for the govt to issue marriage certificates as the way for girls to register the exclusivity of their sexual relations. Otherwise they are on their own to positively identify the men they choose to sleep with.

Some readers wonder why I post on these issues that do not directly involve the family court. The answer is that I have become convinced that the problems of the family court run much deeper than incompetent judges and evaluators. There are laws, ideologies, and social forces that help create some of the problems that the family courts handle so poorly.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Feminist Communist historian dies

The NY Times reports:
Gerda Lerner, a scholar and author who helped make the study of women and their lives a legitimate subject for historians and spearheaded the creation of the first graduate program in women’s history in the United States, died on Wednesday in Madison, Wis. She was 92.
Really? I had never heard of her, but if she was really so influential in teaching American women’s history, then it is worth looking into what sort of person is corrupting the educations of our girls.

She was an unrepentant Jewish Communist.
A more thorough investigation by the Gestapo might have revealed that their young prisoner had been doing underground work for the Communists for several years.

Through a marriage of convenience, Gerda Kronstein made her way to New York, ...

In 1941, she married Carl Lerner, a theater director and Communist who helped her polish her halting English by having her repeat tongue-twisters like “Mae West is wearing a vest.” The couple moved to Hollywood, where Mr. Lerner became an apprentice film editor.

Dr. Lerner placed a short story based on her jail experience, “Prisoners,” in The Clipper, a liberal literary journal, joined the Communist Party and began working with community groups to organize supermarket boycotts and neighborhood child care centers.
The AP and Reuters obituaries do not mention the Lerners' Communist activities. They do say that she was a co-founder of the National Organization of Women and supporter of other feminist causes.

I am not going to recite the evils of Communism here. Talk to someone who lived under Communism or read about the millions they killed. Yes, they were worse than the Nazis, who were also evil. I hate to speak ill of the dead, but she was part of the greatest evil movement of the 20-th century.

Update: A reader wonders what this has to do with the family court. The answer is that judges do not think up of anti-parent views by themselves, and I sometimes post about where those biases come from. We have colleges that brainwash students with feminist anti-father beliefs, and this Communist professor was a leader in such brainwashing.

Many of the leaders of the movement to separate dads from their kids are Jews, Gays, and women. I do criticize them for what they say and do. When I find examples who are not anti-family, then I happily praise them.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Parents prosecuted for shaken baby

Some of the most outrageous courtroom quack science occurs when parents are accused of killing their own babies with Shaken baby syndrome.

The problem is that a baby can have a brain disease and go unconscious, and the parents will shake the baby to revive him. If the baby dies and the parents admit to shaking the baby, they are prosecuted for murder or manslaughter, even tho it is impossible to determine the true cause of death.

I disagree with these prosecutions. I suspect that the shaking isn't even the cause of death, most of the time. Even if it is, no parent wants to shake his baby to death. The parent is doing what he can in good faith to help the baby, and it should not be a criminal matter.

Here is the latest story, from the NY Times:
For the nearly four years that she spent in jail on manslaughter charges in the 2007 shaken-baby death of her daughter Annie, Li Ying, 27, a Chinese immigrant, protested her innocence.

Li Ying, 27, who was arrested in 2008, five months after her baby died, refused several offers to plead guilty and be set free.

And on Wednesday, the eve of her trial, Ms. Li’s legal ordeal ended, as Queens prosecutors dropped the two charges she faced: manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.

“I knew this day would come,” Ms. Li said after the charges were dropped in State Supreme Court in Queens. “I didn’t do anything wrong, and my husband didn’t do anything wrong.”

She and her companion, Li Hangbin, 28, were both arrested in March 2008, five months after their 2-month-old daughter died in October 2007. The authorities contend that Mr. Li repeatedly shook her violently in the couple’s Flushing apartment. Annie, who was found unconscious, died five days later.

The couple was to be tried together, but now it will be only Mr. Li — who in October chose to go to trial rather than accept an offer to plead guilty to lesser charges. He will face charges including second-degree murder. Jury selection is to begin Thursday.

If convicted, he would face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life. Since his arrest, he has been held at Rikers Island, a jail primarily intended for stays of several months.

In the past year, prosecutors have several times offered Ms. Li a chance to be set free if she pleaded guilty to the charges, but she refused.

“She turned down deals and said no to anything that would require her admitting to any wrongdoing,” said Ms. Li’s lawyer, Murray Singer.

She was freed from Rikers Island in March, after a Queens judge reduced her bail to a $10,000 bond from $250,000. She faced charges of manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child for failing to promptly call 911 when Annie became unconscious. Ms. Li has denied the allegations.

On Wednesday, prosecutors dropped the manslaughter charge based on statements by officials involved with the child’s medical care that Annie’s injuries were so severe that an immediate medical response would not have helped save her life, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors, while maintaining that they could have proved that Ms. Li endangered the welfare of her baby, dropped that charge, too, because she had already spent more time in jail than the one-year maximum sentence for that count.

The case, which has been delayed because of language difficulties, changes in lawyers and extensive court hearings, has drawn interest in the Chinese immigrant community in Flushing, which has raised money for bail and legal fees for the couple.

When Ms. Li was arrested, she was pregnant with a second child. She gave birth to a daughter while incarcerated and named her Nianni, which means “Remember Annie” in Chinese. The authorities have ordered that the child remain in the care of a Li family friend, and after court on Wednesday, Ms. Li visited Nianni and said she would ask a Family Court judge to allow her to regain custody of the child.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

MD attacks parenting experts

The WSJ published this letter:
Even though parenting experts are now a dime a dozen, there is no such thing as an expert in parenting ("Smarter Ways to Discipline Kids," Personal Journal, Dec. 26). To be an expert in anything one must have vast experience. To be a parenting expert one must have raised vast numbers of children, but every so-called parenting expert has at the most two to four children, hardly the kind of series that commands respect in any science. And of their two to four children one observes that about half of them tend to be messed up in one way or another, and certainly no better than anybody else's kids.

So forgive me if I'm skeptical when you inform us that the information you are giving us is "backed up by hundreds of research studies." You could have been more convincing had you cited a large, carefully controlled study that actually discovered something new about raising children, but knowing that those "hundreds of research studies" read like a five-place logarithm table I am not in the least bit surprised that you failed to do so. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that those Ph.D.s are going to discover anything our great-grandmothers didn't already know.

Finally, when you cite "experts" at Yale, let me be quick to point out that I am a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, and during my years there the most bizarre and maladjusted people I encountered were professors of psychology and psychiatry.

John Barchilon, M.D.
Los Angeles
He is right to be skeptical. Yes, most shrinks are personally screwed up, and I would not want my kids anywhere near them. I do believe that common sense from our great-grandmothers is superior to any advice I got from any shrink or court evaluator.

I also think that pediatricians and other MDs are worthless for parenting advice. Medical schools teach how to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. They teach nothing of value about parenting, nutrition, safety, or other such topics, and it is foolish to get advice on such topics from a physician.

The article said:
Parents who look for discipline guidance often find conflicting advice from the avalanche of books and mommy blogs and the growing number of so-called parent coaches. (In 2011, 3,520 parenting books were published or distributed in the U.S., up from 2,774 in 2007, according to Bowker Books In Print database.)

"Many of the things that are recommended we know now to be wrong," says Dr. Kazdin, a leading expert on parent management training. "It is the equivalent of telling people to smoke a lot for their health."
Most of those books are garbage. So is much of the article. I have only seen 2 or 3 parenting books that say anything of value.
Some parents try and reason with young children, which Dr. Kazdin says is bound to fail to change a kid's behavior. Reason doesn't change behavior, which is why stop-smoking messages don't usually work, Dr. Kazdin says. Overly harsh punishments also fail. "One of the side effects of punishment is noncompliance and aggression," he says.

Spanking, in particular, has been linked to aggressive behavior in kids and anger problems and increased marital conflict later on in adulthood.
This is crazy advice. A parent can reason with a child as young as 3 years old. Reason has in fact persuaded millions to stop smoking.

I do not actually reject the research studies as much as the above letter. You have to read the papers to see what the research really says, as there is a gap between the research and what the experts says.

For example, I have looked at the spanking studies, and they do not show that moderate spanking causes later anger problems or increased marital conflict. I have discussed these studies several times, such as here and here, and explained how supposed experts draw faulty conclusions.