Friday, May 31, 2013

Brooks trashes DSM-5

NY Times columnist David Brooks writes about the DSM-5:
The problem is that the behavorial sciences like psychiatry are not really sciences; they are semi-sciences. The underlying reality they describe is just not as regularized as the underlying reality of, say, a solar system.

As the handbook’s many critics have noted, psychiatrists use terms like “mental disorder” and “normal behavior,” but there is no agreement on what these concepts mean. When you look at the definitions psychiatrists habitually use to define various ailments, you see that they contain vague words that wouldn’t pass muster in any actual scientific analysis: “excessive,” “binge,” “anxious.”

Mental diseases are not really understood the way, say, liver diseases are understood, as a pathology of the body and its tissues and cells. Researchers understand the underlying structure of very few mental ailments. What psychiatrists call a disease is usually just a label for a group of symptoms. As the eminent psychiatrist Allen Frances writes in his book, “Saving Normal,” a word like schizophrenia is a useful construct, not a disease: “It is a description of a particular set of psychiatric problems, not an explanation of their cause.”

Furthermore, psychiatric phenomena are notoriously protean in nature. Medicines seem to work but then stop. Because the mind is an irregular cosmos, psychiatry hasn’t been able to make the rapid progress that has become normal in physics and biology. As Martin Seligman, a past president of the American Psychological Association, put it in The Washington Post early this year, “I have found that drugs and therapy offer disappointingly little additional help for the mentally ill than they did 25 years ago — despite billions of dollars in funding.” ...

If the authors of the psychiatry manual want to invent a new disease, they should put Physics Envy in their handbook. The desire to be more like the hard sciences has distorted economics, education, political science, psychiatry and other behavioral fields. It’s led practitioners to claim more knowledge than they can possibly have.
The psychiatrists and psychologists sometimes give the excuse that they have to deal with uncertainty, and can only speak in probabilities. But the truth is more nearly the opposite. Physicists talk about uncertainties and probabilities all the time. The psychology experts at the Jodi Arias trial never once gave a probability for anything.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Men presumed guilty on college campus

I have argued here often that people should be innocent until proven guilty, and that criminal accusations belong in criminal court. Unfortunately the Obama administration has abolished the presumption of innocence on colleges today.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh writes in defense of colleges having a lower standard of proof:
“If we think there’s a 66% chance that the defendant is a rapist, that’s not enough to imprison him, but it is enough to decide that our campus is better off without him”? That’s probably about right, ...

The main problem with this approach, I think, is that it gives malicious complainants a great deal of power to badly harm classmates just by accusing them. A swearing match between two people, with no corroborating physical evidence or testimony from impartial witnesses, will often not lead to a conviction under a beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard (though sometimes it does, and not just in sex crime cases). But it often would lead to a finding of guilt under a more-likely-than-not standard, especially given most adjudicators’ plausible assumption that the accused has more of a motive to lie in denying guilt than the accuser does in asserting guilt. This means that if even a few people are willing to falsely accuse someone, this could lead to a good deal of harm.

Yet while the risk of such false accusations is serious, so is the risk of false denials of real guilt. If someone who is “merely” 66% likely to be a rapist is allowed to stay on campus, you’re exposing the rapist’s classmates to a very serious danger.
I strongly disagree with this reasoning, and I post it here to show what we are up against.

Suppose it becomes known that in a he-said-she-said dispute with no corroborating evidence, the accuser will prevail because she is seen as having less incentive to lie. Also suppose that the authorities are more likely to take extreme action if the charge is more serious. What is going to happen?

A lot of false accusations, of course.

By way of analogy, suppose the state passed a law t hat because insurance claims were valid about half the time, the insurance companies should quit investigating them and pay claims at 50 cents on the dollar. The predictable consequence would be that people would make a lot more claims, and they would ask for twice what they really want.

Following Prof. Volokh's reasoning, if a man were 5% likely to be guilty of murder, wouldn't you want him kicked off campus? Sure, but it only takes one lunatic to make an accusation to create that sort of likelihood of guilt. A much better plan is to turn the accusation over to the police and DA for criminal prosecution. Bad as they are, they are much better than college dean acting behind closed doors.

In the family court, a woman often makes an unverified accusation of domestic violence or child abuse, in an attempt to gain child custody and support payments. The judge sometimes reasons that while the charges are probably false, the possibility that they might be true requires him to take drastic preventative action.

I believe this judicial reasoning to be mistaken. If the charges are really so serious, then they should be turned over for criminal prosecution. If they are not so serious, then the family court does not need to bother with them. By the family court taking the charges seriously, it creates horrible incentives.

Volokh has done a lot of good work, such as sticking up for Dan Brewinton's free speech when no one else would. He leans libertarian in his politics. He is not a feminist. If he cannot be convinced of the folly of these bad policies, then I am pessimistic about reversing them.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Louisiana approves surrogate mothers

Wash. Post Kathleen Parker writes:
Feminists, traditionalists, Catholics, evangelicals, ethicists and atheists alike have united to combat what many convincingly view as the exploitation and commodification of women and the violation of human rights even as perfect babies and happy families are formed.

Speaking of quagmires.

Latest to the arena is Louisiana, where a pro-surrogacy bill creating a regulatory structure for surrogate parenting passed both legislative houses with few dissenting votes and now faces a possible veto by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). A thumbs-down from Jindal would constitute an act of principled courage, ...
Really, all those people are against it? I thought that this was one of those esoteric issues that no one wants to talk about and no one cares.

Mitt Romney had 2 grandkids that way during the last election campaign, and no one cared.

Parker wrote a 2008 book on Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care, so she is not a man basher.
The rich take advantage of the poor for designer babies, Caucasian features for carrier preferred.

The United States is second only to India in providing surrogates, according to Sloan, who also works with the United Nations on human rights.
Technically, she is correct that women in India are Caucasians, but I don't get her point. Presumably people go to India because it is legal and economical there, not because Indians are Caucasian.
Here in America, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) recently vetoed a bill similar to Louisiana’s upon learning the darker details behind the family portraits.

While no one wishes to cause pain to people who, for whatever reason, can’t have a child on their own, there are more compelling principles and consequences in play. Human babies are not things; their mothers are not ovens. But bartering and selling babies-to-order sure make them seem that way. By turning the miracle of life into a profit-driven, state-regulated industry, the stork begins to resemble a vulture.
We still have laws against bartering and selling babies. The Louisiana bill would not change that. She complains about the business being profit-driven and state-regulated, but that could be said about the whole health care industry, about maternity wards.

I am still not seeing how human rights are violated. I don't see how it could be any worse than single moms having kids.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Feminst law prof switches to needles

The Boston Globe reports:
Those hands belong to Clare Dalton, who made a name nationally when she sued Harvard in 1987 for sex discrimination in denying her tenure at the law school. Usually such suits are aimed at gaining tenure, but Dalton had no intention of returning to Harvard. In 1988, she went across the Charles River to Northeastern University Law School and used her settlement money to start a domestic violence institute devoted to research, education, and service on behalf of victims. She oversaw law students who represent battered women in court, and she has received numerous awards for her work in domestic violence law and feminist legal thought.
A year ago, however, Dalton left academia for acupuncture, an odd career path for a distinguished legal scholar. ...
Dalton — who since 2005 has been legally separated from her husband, Robert Reich, the US secretary of labor in the Clinton administration — says their two sons have had different reactions to her metamorphosis.

This story is too weird for me. Robert Reich is less that five feet tall, and unlikely to be a wife-beater. Acupuncture has many people who swear that it cures all sorts of problems, but there is really no hard evidence for its effectiveness.

My impression is that the feminist scholars in domestic violence are a bunch of kooks. Maybe she will sue me.

Meanwhile, John Kimble has updated his list of censored mens rights blogs, and mine is still on the list. I don't understand this, as I previously reported being unblocked. The block list does not make much sense, as several blocked blogs are actually no longer active, and for some like mine, there is a simple work-around to get past the censor.

Women are perps

Alpha Game reports:
Take domestic violence, for example. It is almost universally portrayed as though the perpetrators are men. Indeed, in 1989 the Canadian Journal Of Behavioural Science published the results of a survey that was celebrated as a classic exposé of ‘battered wives’, and was taken up as proof of typical male perfidy.

However, two years later the Journal acknowledged a different side to the story after the data had been re-analysed. While 10.8 per cent of the men surveyed had pushed, grabbed or thrown objects at their spouses, 12.4 per cent of women had done so too. And although 2.5 per cent of men used serious violence, so did 4.7 per cent of women.

Marilyn Kwong, who carried out the new analysis, also examined eight other studies and found the pattern was universal. Inconvenient facts had been cut out.
Dr. Helen reports:
The most comprehensive review of the scholarly domestic violence research literature ever conducted concludes, among other things, that women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, and engage in control behaviors, at comparable rates to men. The study was directed by the Editor-in-Chief of Partner Abuse, a Springer Publishing Company journal.

Hamel also argues that men are not only disproportionately arrested in domestic violence cases, but sometimes arrested for arbitrary reasons, citing, for example, that police often arrest the bigger and stronger party in cases where the perpetrator is unclear. “Such policies are not only ineffective but violate people’s civil rights,” Hamel concludes. “People in the domestic violence field say that ‘it’s all about the victims.’ Well, the victim is not always the one hit, but sometimes the one arrested.”

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tennessee BIOTCh factors

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh writes:
I just ran across the Tennessee statute, Tenn Code Ann. § 36-6-404, that provides the factors that courts are to consider in determining physical custody as between two parents. Many states have such lists of factors, but the bold text seems to me to be unique to Tennessee:
(b) ... The court shall make residential provisions for each child, consistent with the child’s developmental level and the family’s social and economic circumstances, which encourage each parent to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child. The child’s residential schedule shall be consistent with this part. If the limitations of § 36-6-406 [which basically deal with abusive, neglectful, criminal, or otherwise unfit parents] are not dispositive of the child’s residential schedule, the court shall consider the following factors:

(1) The parent’s ability to instruct, inspire, and encourage the child to prepare for a life of service, and to compete successfully in the society that the child faces as an adult;

(2) The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for performing parenting responsibilities relating to the daily needs of the child;

(3) The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, consistent with the best interests of the child;

[Other factors, which are much more common in such statutes than factor 1 is, omitted. -EV]

(16) Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.
Now I know that Tennessee is the Volunteer State, but preferring parents who can inspire and encourage the child “to prepare for a life of service” strikes me as an improper judgment on the government’s part, and an interference with the parental rights of those parents who don’t favor “a life of service,” or whose vision of “a life of service” is different from the court’s.
I post this to emphasize the peculiar factors that can come into determining the Best Interest Of The Child, even if the judge tries to follow the law. Some people think that it is obvious what is good for kids.

No, the judge cannot assess "the parent’s ability to instruct, inspire, and encourage the child to prepare for a life of service". Nor is it desirable, even if they could. Perhaps a religious upbringing would help satisfy the requirement, but the judge has no business favoring a religion.

Volokh also mentions this Iowa attack on free speech:
District Judge James Richardson forbade a Daily Times Herald reporter from taking notes at a vehicular homicide trial Tuesday in Audubon, a rare courtroom rule that some say is unconstitutional.

Richardson said a reporter’s scrawls could “influence the jury in that they might think something is important if they see me writing,” reporter Jared Raney said....
He says that such a ban is contrary to the First Amendment.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


From Non Sequitur

From Bizarro.

From Steve Bowers. I hesitate on this last one because some people seemed to take great offense to it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Child support is boon for gold diggers

The Root reports:
Child-Support Laws: A Boon for Gold Diggers?
Experts say that flaws in the system punish poor parents and motivate others to have kids for money.

Just when it seemed Charlie Sheen's story couldn't get any more depressing for him, his fans and his family, things have managed to take a turn for the worse. His estranged wife, Brooke Mueller, has been admitted to rehab for drug addiction, something she's struggled with for years.

Despite the fact that her twin toddlers with Sheen have previously been cared for by his first wife, actress Denise Richards, during some of Mueller's previous stints in rehab, Mueller has attempted to have the twins removed from Richards' custody. The reason, Sheen's lawyers allege, is that the $55,000 a month in child support that Sheen is paying Mueller is her sole source of income.

Sheen's is not the first headline-grabbing child-support case. After a prolonged court battle, mogul Kirk Kerkorian paid $100,000 a month to support a child who was proven to have been fathered by someone else, while Halle Berry reportedly pays ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry $240,000 a year in child support. But the Sheen battle is noteworthy because Mueller's latest stay in rehab seems to confirm that while she has received more money per month in child support than many Americans earn in a year, not all of that money has been spent to benefit her children. Some money has likely been spent on substances that may be to her, and their, detriment.
I hate to call it "child support". The law does not require or even expect the money to be spent on the children. It is impossible to spend that much money for the betterment of the kids. Yes, the mom can spend child support money on recreational drugs, altho there may be laws against particular drugs.
The Mueller case highlights challenges the legal system has struggled to address -- namely, how do we guarantee that child-support laws ensure children are adequately cared for, but that adults seeking to avoid their financial responsibilities and those attempting to use children for financial gain don't take advantage of the system? According to experts interviewed by The Root, America's child-support system is inherently flawed. It punishes poor parents while incentivizing women, and men, to have children with wealthy partners for long-term financial security, not just for their children but for themselves.
Yes, the system has horrible incentives.

The article actually has an explanation of the formula:
Felder was referencing an established formula used to determine child support in New York. According to South Brooklyn Legal Services, the formula is calculated as follows: "After determining each parent's income, the court adds their incomes together and then multiplies that number by a percentage, depending on the number of children. Those percentages are: 17 percent for one child; 25 percent for two children; 29 percent for three children; 31 percent for four children; no less than 35 percent for five or more children.

"That amount is then divided between the two parents based on the proportion of each parent's income to the combined parental income. For example, if the noncustodial parent makes $60,000 a year and the custodial parent makes $20,000, the combined income would be $80,000 (the noncustodial parent's share is 75 percent, and the custodial parent's is 25 percent of the total)."
Bad as that is, California is worse. We pay 25 percent for one child and 40 percent for two children. I pay 55% because of non-formula add-ons.

The article goes on to explain that parasites have no morals:
But also exacerbating the system are adults who try to abuse it. When asked if she believes there are people who have children for financial reasons, Middleton-Lewis replied, "The reality is yes -- unequivocally, yes." Middleton-Lewis, the author of a book ironically titled Girl Get That Child Support: Seeking Child Support Doesn't Make You a Gold Digger, added that this type of behavior is not limited to the 1 percent. "In certain distressed communities, someone working for the NYPD or New York Transit is a moneyed person." She explained that she has heard of individuals in these professions being sought out as fathers because their financial situation is viewed as stable.

Child Support Versus Parental Support

Felder agreed with Middleton-Lewis that there are people who have children with wealthier individuals for financial reasons. "I represent a woman who had kids by two separate actors. It's how she supports herself," he said. But unlike Middleton-Lewis, Felder doesn't consider it an ethical issue but a philosophical one. "It's absolutely true that if you have a baby by an athlete or a celebrity, you can pretty much hit a homerun as far as support is concerned."
In California, a mom can use child-support money to live on her, to bet at the racetrack, or to invest for her retirement. That is not the case everywhere:
Middleton-Lewis noted that there are states that require an accounting of child-support funds. In Georgia, famed African-American attorney Willie Gary had his $336,000-a-year child-support payments to the mother of his twins lowered to $60,000 after an auditing of her financial records discovered that she used the payments to renovate her home, pay for the education of a child that was not his and, according to the judge, refused to seek employment despite holding a college degree and being in good health.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Nation's worst deadbeat dad

The NY Post reports:
A federal judge threw the book at a Long Island man who escaped to Asia to avoid paying $1 million in child support — slapping him with more than 2 1/2 years in prison yesterday.

Robert Sand, 51 — who had been named the nation’s worst deadbeat dad last December by federal officials — was sentenced to 31 months and ordered to pay more than $903,000 in restitution by Long Island federal Judge Joseph Bianco.

“Robert Sand literally fled the country to avoid his obligation to the children he brought into this world,” said US Attorney Loretta Lynch. “This Father’s Day will find Sand behind bars, finally being held to account for his abandonment.”
This case was not about his obligation to his kids. He was avoiding a judgment to pay his ex-wife, but she had no obligation to spend it on the kids. I do not believe that he abandoned his kids, unless it is shown that he was given an opportunity to be a real dad to the kids.

Even if we assume the worst, I do not see that he is any worse parent that people like my ex-wife who use the system to cut off kids from their dads.

The guy was under some sort of delusion that he might get some sort of kindness or loyalty or pity from his ex-wife:
One of the people he telephoned from jail when he got back was his first wife, Lisa.

“He told me, ‘There are murderers in here. There are rapists in here. You’ve got to get me out of here.’ Like I’m his personal assistant,” Lisa Sand told The Post last December.

“He was hysterically crying. He said, ‘I want to make my life better. I screwed up my life.’ ”

But she had little sympathy.

“[He] literally went to the ends of the Earth to avoid paying child support,” she said.
If you want friendship or loyalty, get a dog.

The woman who sent me this story also said:
seems like jailing this guy for 2.5 years solves nothing. taxpayers pay his room and board and child support goes unpaid. though if the fox news owned nypost is writing a story like this, its probably not even a center right mainstream position that is safe. ...

have you thought about tweeting? i know i would visit your site more and forward things you post more. at least i do with the other blogs i follow.

keep up the good work and stay strong
I tend to criticize liberals more than conservatives, but you're right, the conservative papers aren't much better. No one defends deadbeat dads.

I haven't posted a Twitter feed, because I don't use it much. Here it is: @angrydadx. Go ahead and suggest how I can use it better. I am not really using Facebook or Google+ either.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Survivor T-shirt or death penalty

AP reports:
PHOENIX — Jodi Arias begged jurors Tuesday to give her life in prison, saying she "lacked perspective" when she told a local reporter in an interview that she preferred execution to spending the rest of her days in jail.

Standing confidently but at times her voice breaking, Arias told the same eight men and four women who found her guilty of first-degree murder that she planned to use her time in prison to bring about positive changes, including donating her hair to be made into wigs for cancer victims, helping establish prison recycling programs and designing T-shirts that would raise money for victims of domestic abuse.

She also said she could run book clubs and teach classes to prisoners to "stimulate conversations of a higher nature."
That T-shirt alone is reason to execute her. She was not a victim of domestic abuse. Jodi was just lying to excuse her murder. But even if Travis were a woman-beating pedophile, as Jodi now claims, then she is all the more culpable. She had already broken up with Travis, and he was about to take a trip to Cancun with another woman. Why would Jodi drive 1000 miles to make a sex tape with him, unless she liked a woman-beating pedophile or she wanted to murder him?

HLN TV was complaining about her flat affect. They theorized that she only had to make an emotional connection with one juror to avoid the death penalty. Her flat affect is the least of her sins. Some people show emotion more than others.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gays getting disorders

NPR Radio reports:
"Lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who lived in the states that banned same-sex marriage experienced a significant increase in psychiatric disorders," says.

"There was a 37 percent increase in mood disorders," he says, "a 42 percent increase in alcohol-use disorders, and — I think really strikingly — a 248 percent increase in generalized anxiety disorders." ...

"We showed the psychiatric disorders did not increase in lesbian, gay and bisexual populations in states that didn't debate and vote on same-sex marriages," Hatzenbuehler says. "There were also no increases — or much smaller increases — among heterosexuals living in the states that passed same-sex marriage bans."

Hatzenbuehler has also found, in a study conducted in Massachusetts, that gay men experienced fewer stress-related disorders after that state permitted gay marriage.
No, those states did not ban same-sex marriage; they just affirmed existing law.

This study was published in 2010. It appears that NPR is lobbying for the US Supreme Court to declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, or else a lot of emotionally fragile LGBTQIA folks will have to get psychiatric treatment.

I don't believe this research. Even if it were true, is this any way to make marriage policy? Do they even look at the mental health of the men who get destroyed by the family court?

Meanwhile, the leftist LGBTQIA press reports:
Carolyn Compton is in a three year-old relationship with a woman. According to Compton’s partner Page Price, Compton’s ex-husband rarely sees their two children and was also once charged with stalking Compton, a felony, although he eventually plead to a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing.'

And yet, thanks to a Texas judge, Compton could lose custody of her children because she has the audacity to live with the woman she loves.

According to Price, Judge John Roach, a Republican who presides over a state trial court in McKinney, Texas, placed a so-called “morality clause” in Compton’s divorce papers. This clause forbids Compton having a person that she is not related to “by blood or marriage” at her home past 9pm when her children are present. Since Texas will not allow Compton to marry her partner, this means that she effectively cannot live with her partner so long as she retains custody over her children. Invoking the “morality clause,” Judge Roach gave Price 30 days to move out of Compton’s home.
While that may seem like old-fashioned morality, what if a psychologist testified that the lesbian mom was likely to get an anxiety disorder from being a lesbian in Texas?

You might say that lesbianism has not been proved harmful to kids. But the dad has been cut off from his kids, and it is very unlikely that his behavior has been proven harmful either. All we are told is that he was once charged with criminal trespassing. It should not be a crime for a dad to see his kids. This mom has asked the court to micromanage her ex-husband's behavior, so she should not be so surprised to come under some scrutiny herself. I would have more respect for the LGBTQIA lobby if they were more consistent about demanding that judges not intervene in personal lives.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Millions of kids are disordered

CBS News reports:
Nearly 1 in 5 children in the U.S. suffers from a mental disorder, and this number has been rising for more than a decade.

According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 20 percent of American children are suffering from mental disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression and autism.

The CDC’s first study of mental disorders among children aged 3 to 17 also found that the cost of medical bills for treatment of such disorders is up to $247 billion each year.

“This is a deliberate effort by CDC to show mental health is a health issue. As with any health concern, the more attention we give to it, the better. It’s parents becoming aware of the facts and talking to a health-care provider about how their child is learning, behaving and playing with other kids,” said Dr. Ruth Perou, the study’s lead author.

The CDC data was collected between 1994 and 2011, and it shows that the number of children being diagnosed with mental disorders has been steadily growing. The study did not conclude exactly why the numbers are increasing.

More research is needed to determine the specific causes of mental disorders, said Dr. Perou, and that greater awareness could lead to an uptick in diagnoses. A host of environmental factors, including chemical exposure and poverty, also can affect a child’s mental health, she said.

The study also found that girls were more prone to depression and alcohol abuse than boys, and that 6.8 percent of U.S. children are affected by attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
No, this is not a health issue from chemical exposure or anything like that. This is psychiatrists and others pathologizing human nature, and selling prescription drugs and counseling.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Deadline for Joseph comments

I mentioned below that Commissioner Ivwin H. Joseph is being considered for a judge appointment, and public comments are being accepted until Monday. If you have experience in his court, or if you otherwise have info about what an incompetent a-hole he is, then please send an email to the state Bar committee that is evaluating him.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Your child is your future

NPR radio has a story about a songwriter of I Drive Your Truck , with this line:
"Your child is your future, and when you've lost your child, you've lost your future. And I think one of the reasons so many Gold Star parents drive their children's trucks is 'cuz they have to hold on. They just have to hold on."
That is why I drive my daughter's truck, even tho it is only 3 inches long.

Meanwhile, here is a stupid advice column:
Dear Prudence,
I am the middle of three boys and we are all in our 20s. Our parents separated shortly after my younger brother was born and eventually they went through a bitter divorce. Recently, my father, brothers, and I went to a camping-style family wedding together. The facilities were spartan and we all ended up in a communal shower. ...

Dear No ...

You want to establish that your baby brother isn’t really a member of the tribe. But pursuing your hunch will only make a cock-up of things because nothing can change the fact that your father has always embraced all of you as his three sons.
I am not quoting the gist of this because I think that the letter is a fake. The answer is just stupid. If the mom was unfaithful, the face would be the most obvious clue. A DNA test would tell for sure, if there is really doubt. The kid has a right to know.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

CPS complainer gets bad advice

Here is this week's dangerous newspaper advice:
Dear Annie: I am a single mom of a 4-year-old boy who is being abused by my ex-husband and his wife. ... My son sees a child therapist, and she is worried for his mental health. My son's teachers, pediatrician and therapist have all called Child Protective Services, but for some reason, they don't investigate. I was told they don't consider this abuse.

How can people say that? My son has such horrible nightmares after coming home from his Dad's house that he has bedtime accidents. I have gone to court and used all of my money to retain lawyers, and I have lost every time. I am now broke and on the verge of going on the run to protect him. What can I do? Is there anybody who can help? — Angela, No State, Please

Dear Angela: We do not understand how Child Protective Services could ignore abuse reports from teachers, pediatricians and therapists. Something isn't adding up. We called the Department of Children and Family Services in Chicago, and they suggested you contact your state child abuse hotline and report the situation. You also can try the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) (
No. She reported the allegations, and they were investigated. There is nothing more to do.

I post this to show that not only will bitter ex-wives make false allegations over and over, but also her friends and counselors will also do it and encourage her to keep doing it.

Sure, it sounds like abuse if you just hear the accuser's side of the story. It sounds terrible that Dad might be causing the boy to have bedtime accidents. But millions of 4yo boys have bedtime accidents, and they may have nothing to do with the dad. This mom is paranoid, delusional, obsessive, and threatening to kidnap a 4yo boy. As Annie says, her story does not add up. Everyone would be much better off if she would just try to help the boy during her custodial time, and ignore the other time.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Actress is most trusted

Sandra Bullock became the highest paid actress a couple of years ago, and now she is named the most trusted woman in America.

This is pitiful. She is a nearly 50-year-old actress. Here is her personal story:
Bullock married motorcycle builder and Monster Garage host Jesse James on July 16, 2005. They first met when Bullock arranged for her ten-year-old godson to meet James as a Christmas present.

In November 2009, Bullock and James entered into a custody battle with James' second ex-wife, former pornographic actress Janine Lindemulder, with whom James had a child. Bullock and James subsequently won full legal custody of James' five-year-old daughter.

In March 2010, a scandal arose when several women claimed to have had affairs with James during his marriage to Bullock. ... James had checked into a rehab facility "to deal with personal issues" and "save his marriage" to Bullock. However on April 28, 2010, it was reported that Bullock had filed for divorce on April 23 in Austin. Their divorce was finalized on June 28, 2010, with "conflict of personalities" cited as the reason.

Bullock announced on April 28, 2010, that she had proceeded with plans to adopt a baby boy born in January 2010 in New Orleans. Bullock and James had begun an initial adoption process four years earlier. The child began living with them in January 2010, but they chose to keep the news private until after the Oscars in March 2010. However, given the couple's separation and then divorce, Bullock continued the adoption of the baby, named Louis Bardo Bullock, as a single parent.
So she waits until her 40s to get married, steals another mom's daughter, arranges an adoption with her husband, dumps her husband, and takes the adopted kid and forces him to grow up without a daughter. It is not clear whether she abandoned the girl whom she fought to get shared legal custody.

Would you trust this woman? For what? I don't get it. I liked a couple of her movies, but they were nothing special. Somehow America has become a country where women are admired for all the wrong reasons. Don't we have some American woman who is a loyal wife and responsible mom?

Another highly paid actress is Angelina Jolie. She has 3 kids with Brad Pitt, and 3 more from Third World countries. She just had her breasts removed, because of a faulty BRCA1 gene. She says that her breast implants look like "just Mommy" to her kids, and do not diminish her femininity in any way.

Most people probably know more about these celebrities than I do, and may have more informed opinions about whether they are model parents. I am just passing on some news.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

California school brainwashing

I have posted before a bout how anti-family, anti-Christian, anti-science California legislators have passed laws for enforce their ideology on the public.
A couple of years ago, California passed the LGBT History Bill, requiring that LGBTQIA be taught in all the K-12 schools.

It is codified here, here, and elsewhere. It was also called SB48.

Now California has taken the next step:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California education officials took the first step this week toward complying with a law that requires public schools to include prominent gay people and gay rights' milestones in the curriculum, adopting a set of classroom material guidelines that prohibit "pejorative descriptions" based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The California Board of Education on Wednesday unanimously approved new standards stating that textbooks, workbooks and other teaching materials purchased with state funds must avoid "descriptions, depictions, labels, or rejoinders that tend to demean, stereotype, or patronize individuals" who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

"Materials should not convey the impression that persons of gay, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, or transgender identity, are any different from other people in their emotions or their ability to love and be loved," the standards read.
Really? I thought that the leftoid doctrine was that gay men were born different from other people, and do not have the ability to make love to a women as a heterosexual man can. If gays and straights are all the same, then I can only assume that gay men are choosing to reserve their love for other men, and not women.

I follow the scientific research, not ideology. Whether homosexuality is inborn or not, you can be sure that California teachers will ignore the science and teach whatever suits the LGBTQIA lobby. And teach it in grades K-12, whether you like it or not.

California officials took away my kids because, in part, a prejudice that a mathematician is not able to love and emotionally connect with his kids like other parents. No evidence or research to support that prejudice was ever presented. To the contrary, repeated forensic psychological evaluations all showed that I had no disorders and no parenting defects.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cornell eliminated due process

I have pointed out that the constitutional right to confront witnesses is hanging on by a thread in the US Supreme Court, with Justice Scalia being the most vocal defender.

The accused do not necessarily have those rights outside criminal court, and federal regulators are pressuring colleges to weaken those rights. Here is the latest:
Cornell is planning to change its disciplinary procedure for sexual assault claims by dispensing with the requirement that witnesses testify in person. It will, instead, allow written statements of witnesses. See here and here. The change is a significant blow to the rights of the accused. It flies in the face of judicial authority holding that in college disciplinary cases that are essentially credibility contests, the cross-examination of witnesses is essential to a fair hearing. An accused student cannot cross-examine an affidavit.

The change is being made to benefit accusers. The basis for the change seems to be anecdotal evidence suggesting that accusers may find hearings intimidating, and, therefore, they may be deterred from reporting misconduct. Narda Terrones, a member of the school's Women’s Resource Center, explained: “The most terrifying thing is getting in front of the panel and telling their story in front of the person they are accusing.”

The right to confront one's accuser is fundamental to due process. Its roots extend back to Roman law. In our modern criminal and civil jurisprudence, there are expansive protections to guard against the admission of hearsay evidence that can't be cross-examined.
I believe that people should be innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes I think that I am in the minority on this.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Video shows armed cops taking baby

This story of CPS abuse has gotten national coverage:
A state lawmaker has joined the fight demanding answers to why Child Protective Services took a 5-month-old baby from his parents after they took the child to get a second opinion.

Nikolayev's family's story got national and international attention, and now that spotlight has led to increased scrutiny of CPS.

"They've committed no crime, why are they not just free to determine what is in the best interest of their child?" Assem. Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, asked.

It's a question a lot of people have been asking since News10 broke the story of Alex and Anna Nikolayev's battle with CPS. The couple took their son Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital for treatment after he developed flu-like symptoms. When doctors suggested that Sammy get heart surgery for a heart murmur he had since he was born, the couple left the hospital without a formal discharge and headed to Kaiser Permanente for a second opinion.

RELATED STORY: Couple fights to get their baby boy back from authorities

After a police officer and a doctor cleared that Sammy was not in any danger by remaining in his parents' care, they went home. The next day, CPS and police officers arrived at Alex and Anna Nikolayev's home and took Sammy into protective custody. CPS has refused to comment directly on the case and have repeatedly cited privacy laws when asked them about the case.

On Monday, Anna and Alex Nikolayev were overjoyed when a judge returned legal custody of their baby boy, but they had to agree to future visits by CPS, a prospect that makes them worry about Sammy's future even after he is released from the hospital.

At least the parents got the baby back. CPS is way out of line here, but it is possible that they had a legitimate health concern.

In my case, armed cops took my kids from my house, and I did not get them back. There was no abuse or neglect allegation, except for some trivial complaints about setting the alarm clock for 7:00 and other such matters. Even the crooked court psychologist agreed that there was no abuse or neglect, and that I was just as good a parent as my ex-wife.

So I have mixed feelings when I see these stories. I am happy to see CPS get public scrutiny for authoritative anti-parent over-reactions, but I wonder why the press ignores all the worse cases. CPS does outrageous things all the time.

Friday, May 10, 2013

This blog no longer censored

I reported previously that this blog was being censored. Now I am happy that John Kimble writes:
I haven't heard any updates from O2 and Symantec recently over their defamation and censorship of men's human rights sites, so I decided to reexamine the list of sites (it now stands at almost 90). It seems to have been worth my while and there is a least a little good news.

Previously, following my complaints, Glenn Sacks of Fathers and Families had his site unblocked, similalrly the other unblocked site also pertained to fathers' issues. O2 appeared to be standing by their hate smears, indicating as such on Twitter just yesterday and have not mentioned any more sites being unblocked. In reality, my testing shows a number of additional father related sites have been unblocked and are no longer suffering this vile defamation. These include:

This now leaves father-related sites as quite a small minority on the "hate" list, and suggests that Symantec and O2 are slowly coming round to the idea of equality for fathers being a legitimate issue.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Guilty of abuse without evidence

I followed the Jodi Arias trial mainly to see how forensic psychologists and domestic violence experts would perform in a nationally televised criminal trial. It was worse that I expected. Alyce LaViolette testified that Jodi was abused, even tho there was no objective evidence of it, except for some scatterned name-calling in emails.

LaViolette argued that the worst kind of abuse is emotional abuse, and the worst kind of emotional abuse is the kind that is so subtle that only an expert like herself can recognize it. The reason is that Jodi could not get any emotional support from her friends for the so-called abuse, because they might think that the incidents were trivial.

I was glad to see that the jury did not accept such an illogical argument. It reminded me of my own custody trials, where I was accused of being an abuser even tho no one could even find an example of abuse.

On Jan. 11, 2008, Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph issued a ruling against me, saying:
First, one does not have to beat their child to be an abuser.

Second, one doesn't have to have one spectacular event easily recalled and reported in detail to be an emotional abuser. ...

And I grant you, Mr. AngryDad, that taken singularly, if you were to come in this court and Ms. Travers were to say, "Dad resets the alarm clock," this would have been a five minute hearing that had a very different result. But that's not the only event. That's an indicative event, a representative event. But the events go on and on and on. I read reread last night the report of Dr. Johnson in this which Father said, quote, nothing bad ever really happened, almost the identical words that I heard in this hearing.

Dad at that time confirmed that he does tend to do the same thing, quote, over and over again, not inconsistent with the Costco visits and the meal plans. Dad says, "My parenting habits may be somewhat unorthodox, but they achieve good results. And I never put my children into any danger." ... Their dinner with Father may include macaroni or potatoes with asparagus. ...
Yeah, I not only set the alarm clock for my kids, I fed them potatoes!

Now Joseph is being considered for appointment to be a real judge. He is a disaster. California is accepting public comments on him. Please write to the state, and beg them not to appoint Joseph.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Jodi Arias guilty

Jodi Arias was just found guilty of first degree (premeditated) murder in the killing of Travis Alexander. This is a firm repudiation of forensic psychology testimony of PTSD and battered woman syndrome.

I wonder if the psychologist or domestic violence counselor professions will attempt any damage control. They could claim that the jury did wrong, or repudiate the expert testimony. As it stands, the televised trial gave the impression that these experts are crooked quacks.

Cleveland kidnapping discovered

A six year old girl in Cleveland in being separated from her father. Usually I object. Not this time. The Amanda Berry story is shocking.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Court psychopath test revealed

A 2011 book, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson exposes Robert D. Hare's Psychopathy Checklist, Revised (PCL-R). The test is kept secret, and is the leading psychopath test used in court. You can temporarily get the text of the book here.

Hare is a bit of a psychopath himself, and has gotten rich and famous from this test, and has even sued to block criticism for 3 years in an academic paper:
The paper is a critique of a rating scale that is widely used in criminal courts to determine whether a person is a psychopath and likely to commit acts of violence. It was accepted for publication in a psychological journal in 2007, but the inventor of the rating scale saw a draft and threatened a lawsuit if it was published, setting in motion a stultifying series of reviews, revisions and legal correspondence. ...

Dr. Skeem and Dr. Cooke warned in their paper that the checklist was increasingly being mistaken for a complete definition of psychopathy — a broader personality construct that includes deceitfulness, impulsivity and recklessness, though not always aggression or illegal acts. The authors contended that Dr. Hare’s checklist warps that concept by making criminal behavior a more central component than it really is.
Hare was furious that the above book told too much about his PCL-R:
Ronson received permission from the organizers to attend the workshop to facilitate research for his book, with a clear indication that the workshop would not qualify him to use the PCL-R. As a participant in the workshop, he was privy to a considerable amount of empirical information, mostly available in the literature on psychopathy, and a copyrighted Item Handout –- that we require participants to return at the end of the workshop –- containing formal detailed descriptions and scoring criteria for each of the 20 PCL-R items. Ronson included in his book item-titles (OK) and brief excerpts (not OK) from the Item Handout. ...

I particularly was disturbed by some of Ronson’s contrived descriptions of his interactions and conversations with me. For example, not only does he conflate my early studies of threatened pain (mild shock to the fingers) with much later ones on brain function, his descriptions of these early studies and my reactions to them are convoluted, and false. Referring to these studies (pp. 95-96) Ronson said, “It was inevitable that civil rights groups would eventually force a reining in of the experiments. And sure enough, disastrously for Bob Hare, electric shocks were outlawed in the early 1970s …. He seemed annoyed by the legislation, even now, years later.”
I think that scientific and court data should be public, but I don't want Hare suing me. He says that the item titles are okay to publish, so here they are:
The Hare PCL-R Checklist - Trait

Item 1: Glibness/superficial charm
Item 2: Grandiose sense of self-worth
Item 3: Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
Item 4: Pathological lying
Item 5: Conning/Manipulative
Item 6: Lack of remorse or guilt
Item 7: Shallow affect
Item 8: Callous/lack of empathy
Item 9: Parasitic lifestyle
Item 10: Poor behavioral controls
Item 11: Promiscuous sexual behavior
Item 12: Early behavior problems
Item 13: Lack of realistic long-term goals
Item 14: Impulsivity
Item 15: Irresponsibility
Item 16: Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Item 17: Many short-tem marital relationships
Item 18: Juvenile delinquency
Item 19: Revocation of conditional release
Item 20: Criminal versatility
As you can see, this is just a list of character flaws, and not a singular psychological disorder. Hare has even admitted that his psychopathic test-takers break down into two factors, (1) aggressive narcissism and (2) socially deviant lifestyle. Furthermore these break down into (1a) narcissistic personality disorder and (1b) histrionic personality disorder, and to (2a) antisocial personality disorder and (2b) criminality. And even these factors do not includes traits like promiscuous sexual behavior. Others say psychopathy is just a combination of boldness, disinhibition, and meanness.

Fortunately there is now a free psychopath test that is better than the PCL-R. You can take it online, if you wish. There are people sitting in prison because of Hare's prejudices, and the psychopath diagnosis needs to be better understood.

Some kids are alleged to be psychopaths:
Children with severe behavioral problems have a suppressed response to others' pain, according to new brain-scan research.

Researchers examined brain scans of kids with conduct disorder, which is marked by aggression, cruelty to others and anti-social behavior. Some kids with conduct disorder also display what psychologists call "callous-unemotional traits," which means they lack guilt and empathy.

The patterns seen in these children's brains may reveal a vulnerability to psychopathy in adulthood, researchers report today (May 2) in the journal Current Biology. Psychopaths are manipulative and lack empathy and remorse.
This is just psychobabble for bad behavior.

Meanwhile the NY Times reports on the DSM-5 that is about to be released:
“As long as the research community takes the D.S.M. to be a bible, we’ll never make progress,” Dr. Insel said, adding, “People think that everything has to match D.S.M. criteria, but you know what? Biology never read that book.”

The revision, known as the D.S.M.-5 and the first since 1994, has stirred unprecedented questioning from the public, patient groups and, most fundamentally, senior figures in psychiatry who have challenged not only decisions about specific diagnoses but the scientific basis of the entire enterprise. Basic research into the biology of mental disorders and treatment has stalled, they say, confounded by the labyrinth of the brain. ...

Dr. Insel is one of a growing number of scientists who think that the field needs an entirely new paradigm for understanding mental disorders, though neither he nor anyone else knows exactly what it will look like.
The DSM-IV has been the bible of clinical psychology because it was thought to be the most scientific thing. But as I have posted here repeatedly, there are more and more experts admitting that the DSM-5 is unscientific.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Untimely FOAH submitted

My ex-wife just send me proposed "Findings and Order After Hearing" for a couple court hearings over a year ago. The first said:
Proceeding on August 10, 2011 at 10:30 Dept. C

The court shall grant temporary sole legal and physical custody of minors [Mary AngryDad] and [Jenny AngryDad] to Juiie Travers, Petitioner. There shall be no modification to the custody order for two (2) years.

The parties are provided with the Court Supervised Visitation Provider list. Mother has selected four (4) supervisors from the list, Father shall call one of them and begin supervised visits with the minor children. Mother shall provide the girls schedule to Father; Supervised visitation shall be at Mother's discretion and at the minor's request. Father shall contact the professionally supervisor and set up the supervised visits. Father shall provide Mother all his available dates for supervised visits.

Father withdraws his time waiver at this time and his last date for trial is September 26, 2011. All briefs and responses are due by September 2, 2011. Father is advised he can obtain counsel for the contempt proceedings.
The contempt charge was for posting info about the case on this blog. I had to remove several (accurate) quotes as a result of the contempt hearing. I think that it was a denial of my free speech rights, as I was only reporting on court evidence used against me.

The second said:
Proceeding on January 4,2012 at 1:30 Dept. C


The Court finds that there is no change of circumstance and that the prior order of 8/10/11 states that there shall be no modification to the custody and visitation orders of 8/10/11 for a period of 2 years.

Petitioner, Julie Jae Travers, shall continue to have sole legal and physical custody of the minors, [Mary AngryDad] and [Jenny AngryDad]. Respondent, George AngryDad, is to have supervised visitation at the discretion of the Petitioner.

The Respondent shall continue with supervised visitation and contact the other 2 remaining professional supervisors on the list or 2 more approved by Petitioner about resuming supervised visitation with the minors.

The Court notes that Dr. Perlmutter has declined to do a brief update on the status due to negative statements made by Respondent on his blog and C.J. Neustadter has declined to continue with the supervised visitation due to Respondent's failure to comply with the rules and regulations pertaining to the supervision.

Respondent's request for modification of custody and visitation is denied.
Not exactly. Perlmutter was unhappy that I reported his ethics violations. Neustadter did not accuse me of refusing to comply with any rules.

The problem with Neustadter is that she kept putting false and derogatory allegations in her reports. For example, we went to a climbing gym for one supervised visit, and my kids had a lesson scheduled. While they were waiting for the lesson to start, I told them to climb on the "boulder" that was provided for the purpose. Neustadter wrote in her report that I was violating the gym rules to tell them to climb on the boulder. There was no such rule. She could have just asked anyone at the gym, and they would have told her that the boulder was for such climbing. A sign on the boulder even said so. However I asked Neustadter to correct her report, and she refused.

Neustadter was also horrible with kids. I did not like her around my kids because of her negative attitude. And I did not like her over-opinionated reports. She told me that she like to put at least one negative thing in each report, because that makes her sound more credible. I tolerated her for a while, but when she refused to correct objectively false statements, she became intolerable.

I mention this at yet another false Neustadter allegation is going on the court record, and she will not do anything about it. I have tried to avoid criticizing her, but she leaves me no choice.

I don't know why my ex-wife is submitting this paperwork at this time.

The cover letter said:
April 30, 2013
RE: AngryMom v. AngryDad
FOAH for January 4,2012 hearing ...

Enclosed, please find the Findings and Order After Hearing in the above-entitled matter. Please sign where indicated and return in the envelope enclosed for your convenience.

If we do not receive a response from you within five days of the date of this letter per California Rules of Court Rule 391(a), the proposed order will be submitted to the court for the Judge's signature.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Julie Travers
My 5 days were already up when I got the letter. There was no enclosed envelope.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Proposed laws to retain parental rights

Here is a promising proposed law:
A number of Missouri lawmakers are supporting an amendment to the state constitution that essentially formalizes the fundamental right of parents to raise their children as they see fit.

In late April the House gave its approval to a measure, House Joint Resolution 26 (HJR26) that says parents have the right to make all decisions regarding the "discipline, education, religious instruction, health, medical care, place of habitation, and general well-being" for their own minor children.
Such a law should not be necessary. My problem with such a law is that it might be interpreted to mean that parents only have the rights if they agree on how to exercise the rights. In my opinion, each parent should have that fundamental right.

Vox Day recites a news story about CPS abuse, and adds:
CPS is one of those evils where the cure is much worse than the disease. It is far better for the occasional unfortunate child to be abused by his parents than for every single child, parent, and guardian in the country to be privy to this sort of abuse by bureaucrats.

CPS not only doesn't reduce the amount of child abuse that takes place, it actually increases it because children in the foster care system are much more likely to be abused than are children who are not in it. It can't even be justified by its own purported rationale for existence. And as for those police, this just underlines the fact that they are the bad guys, every bit as evil and far less accountable than the everyday criminals.

The police in America are not the "thin blue line" defending civilization from savagery, as they would have you believe, they are now little more than the enforcement arm of the authoritarian state. The short-term occupation of Boston is, from their perspective, the ideal state of affairs towards which we should all aspire. Yes, there are the occasional righteous throwbacks, but this doesn't change the observable fact that they have become the American Ofstapo, the not-even-remotely secret state police.
I agree that CPS does more harm than good.

AP reports on a California attempt at parental rights:
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would allow parents to remove their children's personal information from social networking sites, over the objection of Facebook and other tech companies that say it would be impossible to implement.

Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-Hayward, said her SB501 gives parents the right to protect their children by removing addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, and bank or credit card account information. The bill applies to children under age 18.

Her bill passed 23-10 and moves to the Assembly.

In an opposition letter signed by Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Zynga Inc., Tumblr and others, the companies described Corbett's bill as unnecessary. They said it would require a social networking website to validate a minor's identity and age within 96 hours or face a $10,000 fine.
Of course those companies do not want parents to interfere with companies marketing products directly to teenagers. Here is SB-501.

Facebook and Google have long histories of refusing to comply with privacy laws and policies. And they are also anti-parent.
A gay-rights group, The Trevor Project, also warned that the bill could prevent young people from accessing support services if they face family rejection. The project is a West Hollywood-based crisis center that helps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth by providing a social networking community.
In other words, the LGBTQIA lobby does not want anyone interfering with its ability to recruit teenagers.
She said the legislation doesn't just protect children but also allows adults to protect themselves from stalking, identify theft and other crimes by letting them request the removal of private information. Other information that can be removed under the bill includes driver's license numbers, state identification numbers, employee identification numbers and mother's maiden name.

"This information should not be available and posted on the Internet," Corbett said before Thursday's vote. "It would allow stalker to know where an adult or child physically is living and even provide a direct opportunity for a criminal to commit identity theft."

Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, said he opposed the bill because verification would be too burdensome for social networking companies to verify a user and his or her parent.

"I know for a fact that this bill is not fully cooked," Anderson said.
Yes, it is not fully cooked. My mother's maiden name is on Wikipedia, and I am sure no law will block that.

As long as parents have the responsibilities for a minor, they should also have the right to edit her Facebook page. And not just to remove ID numbers.

Even Pres. Barack Obama, who is a leftoid ideologue but also has two daughters, wants some limits on what teenaged girls can do:
President Barack Obama said Thursday he was comfortable with his administration's decision to allow over-the-counter purchases of a morning-after pill for anyone 15 and older.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday had lowered the age at which people can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription to 15 — younger than the current limit of 17. The FDA decided that the pill could be sold on drugstore shelves near condoms, instead of locked behind pharmacy counters. ...

The Justice Department's appeal responded to an order by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in New York that would allow girls and women of any age to buy not only Plan B but its cheaper generic competition as easily as they can buy aspirin. Korman gave the FDA 30 days to comply, and the Monday deadline was approaching.
The judge and various leftoid feminist groups want 12yo girls to be able to buy birth-control pills on their own.

Defense attorney Nurmi argued yesterday that Travis Alexander was a pervert for commenting that Jodi Arias sounded like a 12yo girl when she faked an orgasm during phone sex. I am not sure how that is supposed to justify Jodi killing Travis. No, private pillow talk between consenting adults is not sick. What is sick is the way our society denies parental rights and insists on sexualizing teenagers over parental objections.

AP also reports:
An Iowa agency's refusal to list both spouses in a lesbian marriage as parents on their children's birth certificates is a violation of their constitutional rights and must stop, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The court, which made history by legalizing gay marriage in 2009, ordered the Iowa Department of Public Health to start listing the names of both female spouses on the birth certificates of their children. The ruling was backed by all six justices who participated.

Iowa had been the only state in the nation that allowed marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples, but refused to list both spouses on birth certificates of their children, according to Camilla Taylor, an attorney for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group involved in the case.

Justice David Wiggins said the state government "has been unable to identify a constitutionally adequate justification" for treating lesbian parents differently than parents of opposite sex. He said the only explanation for doing so was "stereotype or prejudice" that violated their rights to be treated equally under the Iowa Constitution.

"It is important for our laws to recognize that married lesbian couples who have children enjoy the same benefits and burdens as married opposite-sex couples who have children," Wiggins wrote. ...

Hundreds of same-sex couples in Iowa have been denied accurate birth certificates since 2009, Taylor said, and suffer a range of problems as a result of one of the spouses not being considered legal parents. They've had hassles enrolling their children in schools, taking them to the doctor and traveling, she said.
The birth certificates are accurate if they list the natural mom and dad. No, it is not just a prejudice to want birth certificates to identify the true parents. More and more parents are being defined by what some judge thinks is advancing some political cause. More and more, same-sex marriage is all about cutting off dads from kids.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Witnesses using bogus statistics

I explained below how court psychologists use bogus statistics to bluff the court. Now a statistics professors offers a list of ways to separate lies from statistics:
1. “Focus on how robust a finding is, meaning that different ways of looking at the evidence point to the same conclusion.”

2. Don’t confuse statistical with practical significance.

3. “Be wary of scholars using high-powered statistical techniques as a bludgeon to silence critics who are not specialists.”

4. “Don’t fall into the trap of thinking about an empirical finding as ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ At best, data provide an imperfect guide.”

5. “Don’t mistake correlation for causation.”

6. “Always ask ‘so what?’”

7. Make your data and analysis public.
Sure enough, the Jodi Arias psycho experts made all 7 mistakes.

Some of the best questions came from the jury:
10:16 p.m. ET: Juror question: Why did you write in autopsy report that the membrane that protects the outside of the brain was intact but the brain was damaged?

Dr. Horn said that was a typo, and it’s just part of their standard from.
Wow, how could he make this mistake? And how did all the lawyers miss this?

I guess the psychologist Geffner caught this. The significance is that the prosecution claims that Arias shot Alexander after the stabbings and throat-slashing. Arias claims that she shot first. If the prosecutor is right, then she is surely still lying to cover up her guilt, but I was unconvinced that she shot last.

The closing arguments are now being given in the Arias trial. The evidence for her guilt is overwhelming, and the only question is how much the jury was softened and confused by psychologist testimony. The validity and relevance of that testimony is questionable. The core scientific backbone is the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, and the use of multiple-choice questionnaires to help make diagnoses. Now I read this:
In a potentially seismic move, the National Institute of Mental Health – the world’s biggest mental health research funder, has announced only two weeks before the launch of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual that it will be “re-orienting its research away from DSM categories”.
Update: The defense attorney Nurmi is making its closing statement, and saying that the case is "not about the sexual orientation of the witnesses". He is referring to Alyce LaViolette, the domestic violence expert. Her expertise was not based on any facts or research, but her personal experiences. And her experience, apparently, is that she has been unable to have a successful relationship with a man. Yes, the case is not about the witnesses, but common sense ought to tell you than her domestic violence opinions were bogus.

Nurmi's main argument so far is that if Arias had carefully planned the murder, then she would not have made the mistakes that she did. Also, if she drove 1000 miles to kill Travis, then why did she bother to have sexual relations with him before killing him? Why would she take pictures? Nurmi says that doesn't make any sense. It makes sense to me if she wanted vengeance, and she was going to delete the pictures. My guess is that she went there to try to talk Travis into taking her to Cancun instead of another woman, and was enraged when he refused.

Update: here is more on DSM-5 criticism:
The DSM is a manual for diagnosing and classifying mental disorders and is widely used by doctors and researchers. As Thomas Insel writes in his post, the goal of the manual is to “provide a common language for describing psychopathology.” The problem, however, is a “lack of validity.” He writes:

Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever.

The alternative, Insel writes, is a new NIMH project called Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), which will incorporate genetics, imaging, cognitive science, and other information into diagnoses. Mental health researchers are taking on more molecular- and cellular-focused tools , such as those based on DNA analysis or brain scans, in the hopes of improving diagnoses and treatment (see “The Hunt Is On for Biological Signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” and “Why Obama’s Brain-Mapping Project Matters”).
The hunt is for this:
“The goal is to develop quantitative biomarkers, such as from a blood test, urine analysis, or fMRI, that can be used to determine objectively if someone has PTSD,” says Len Polizzotto, Draper’s vice president in charge of the program. The markers could also help reveal whether treatment is working, he says.
That would make psychiatry a lot more scientific, but it is just not possible today.
Since I became a science writer 30 years ago, I have heard countless claims about breakthroughs in our understanding and treatment of mental illness. And yet as the NIMH decision on the DSM indicates, the science of mental illness is still appallingly primitive.
Update: Here is another good article on how psychologist could become more scientific. And here is another psychology fraud about a study that "suggested that dancing is a signal for sexual selection in humans". Plausible conclusion, but the data was suspect. Here are more statistical tips.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Last psychologist for Arias defense

The Jodi Aria trial wrapped up, with testimony of defense psychologist Robert Geffner. He has some books on Amazon. I mentioned him below.

He has 30 years experience and assorted credentials. He got his psychology PhD at UC Santa Cruz. That is the university that just celebrated 4-20 day by everyone smoking dope on the fields overlooking the bay. I mentioned a couple of their wacky psychology professors who died last year.

As part of his expertise, he testified that he trained psychologists to do child custody evaluations, and he trains judges on how to order and interpret them. So it is important to understand the thinking of a snake like this.

He testified a lot about psychology tests:
The particular manufacturer of the test has the copyright, so they are the only ones who can computer score it. Because it has so many scales, you really don't want to do it by hand. ...

Yes, Pearson is the company that has the copyright of this test. It means two things. One is, they are the only ones who are allowed to score this by computer, which is major lawsuits 10 years ago because others did it and they could not anymore. The other means somebody in my profession could not give somebody else who is not a trained professional licensed psychologist copies of the raw data or the questions. So in other words, we are not allowed to release that because it would defeat the purpose of the test.

Q: How does it defeat the purpose of the test?

If people knew what the exact questions and answers were, and how that scores, then you could fake the test. Because then I would know that I don't want to answer this way or that way. So in all the tests that we're talking about, they all are copyrighted. Meaning that we are only allowed to release the information to another licensed psychologist or trained mental health professional who then is bound by not releasing it to others, so the confidentiality of the test itself is not breached.
That is not a correct statement of the first-sale doctrine of copyright law. That doctrine was just upheld by the US Supreme Court in Kirtsaeng v Wiley, and it allows the purchaser of a copyrighted document to resell it as he pleases.

In fact lawyers can legally obtain copies of these tests, as well as instructions on how to fake them. Lawyers can also use this info to train clients on how to beat the tests, and avoid revealing the process to the court by using attorney–client privilege. I have considered posting the info to this blog, but I don't want to deal with the lawsuits.

Geffner was an extremely experienced expert witness, but he made one minor rookie mistake early. He said:
I did not study floating profiles, because they are not valuable. [paraphrased]
The problem with this is that once he says that he did not study it, then he has conceded that he has no expertise on it, and therefore he should not be giving any opinion on it. He should have said something like, "The floating profiles are not valuable, so I do not use them." That way he can still criticize someone who does use floating profiles.

He said that the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory was better for diagnosing personality disorders than the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. I have mentioned the Millon test being used in family court, such as here, here, here, and here. He had some gripes about which are the best psychological tests to be using, such as arguing that the psychologist should always using whatever the publisher says is the latest version. Arias got the PSI in 2010 and 2011, but Geffner said that the PSI-2 was announced in early 2011 and could have been used for the second test.

Geffner also gave some testimony about how disabling was the gunshot to Alexander's head. I actually had some doubts myself about the prosecution expert's testimony on this subject, but Geffner is not an expert on the matter, so I don't know why he was giving an opinion.

There are many problems with this testimony about psychological tests. First, the results are based on Jodi Arias filling in bubble sheets, and are therefore subject to what is delicately called malingering or secondary gain. These terms understate the problem, because there is no primary gain. Arias has no incentive to tell the truth, as she needs a particular psychological diagnosis to avoid the death penalty. Usually, patients are seeking the primary gain of getting treatment to help the condition, and it is assumed that they will tell the truth in order to get better treatment. But Arias does not want treatment. She will just tell whatever story helps her court case.

The next big problem is that the test results just give statistical correlations, not diagnoses, and
correlation does not imply causation.

Another big problem is that the test scores do not necessarily have statistical significance. There was a lot of discussion about scores that were elevated but not above the threshold for clinical significance. This is a technical issue that trips up nearly everyone except profession statisticians.

Finally, even if you believe that that tests imply an 80% likelihood of a PTSD or borderline personality disorder diagnosis, it is not clear what any of this has to do with guilt or innocence. Those diagnoses are just professional buzzwords that are used to bill insurance or qualify for veterans benefit, but not to distinguish criminal behavior.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Judge evaluation email update

I posted below about informing the California Bar Assn Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission about the fitness of Irwin H. Joseph to be a judge. Now their office tells me:
Please email your commentary to the lead investigating commissioner, Lara Krieger.
The contact info for Lara Krieger is posted. Please send your comments. I sent mine.