Saturday, June 29, 2013

Complaining about judicial criticism

I just got this email, apparently referring to this post:
Dear George the Angry Dad:

I am writing in behalf of a Santa Cruz law firm to demand that you take down criticism of Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph. Your comments are particularly unfair and damaging at this time because he is under consideration for a political appointment, and he has no adequate remedy for who might read your blog.

Commissioner Joseph presided over many cases, and if public officials were held accountable by second-guessing and sniping on public web sites, then they would not have the discretion to do what is in the best interest of the children.

You may think that it is funny that Commissioner Joseph ordered the Sheriff to remove your kids after a CPS investigation found that you had reset the alarm clock for 7:00 am, and that judicial ethics prevent him from fully explaining his decision out of court. Should this matter end up in a libel lawsuit and he testifies in court, then he would be free to tell the full story. Your ex-wife had documents to show that your daughters got better homework grades with her because she corrected their homework before they turned it in. Your 7:00 alarm clock did not allow sufficient time to correct the homework.

At any rate, Commissioner Joseph has received praise from many lawyers who have appeared in his court, and who expect to appear in his court in the future. They have told him that they recommended him for the appointment. You are not a lawyer who practices in his court, and therefore you are not qualified to have an opinion.

This email is copyrighted, and may not be posted. It is being sent through an anonymous Yahoo account in case you do not respect the privileged and confidential nature of this communications.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Gov. Brown, if you are reading this, please do not appoint this bozo to a judgeship.

Friday, June 28, 2013

CPS drops case under pressure

WND reports:
Abruptly, and shortly after an audit was announced for California’s Child Protective Services, the agency has completed its controversial investigation into one family’s actions, and confirmed there will be no more monitoring.

WND had reported earlier this month that California lawmakers voted unanimously to order an audit of the state’s powerful Department of Child Protective Services after parents stunned their representatives with testimony of atrocities.

The audit is now in the hands of California Auditor Elaine Howle.

One of those stories – that made national headlines – involved the Nikolayev family.

They unwittingly became the face of the controversy over the CPS, which eventually drew a vote from California lawmakers for the audit.

But Tuesday, the battle for the Nikolayevs came to an end. In a hearing, all monitoring of baby Sammy, as well as mandatorily attended medical visits, were ordered ended.
I guess political pressure can have some effect on CPS. I reported on this case previously. The article gives some useful history:
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is the federal law that prompts most state and local legislation and funding for child protective services.

CAPTA was a federal mandate enacted in 1988. It directed that Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families provide grants to communities for child abuse prevention programs. It mandated that states implement child abuse laws on their own, in order to qualify for massive funding and federal grants that will match and reward those on the state level.

This experimental federal mandate, backed by significant funding, was intended to keep more families together. However, the National Coalition for Child Protection (NCCPR) reports that the results of CAPTA are quite different than the original intention. NCCPR says that CAPTA, in fact, disrupted more families, and has made life for children in this experimental government program much, much worse.

NCCPR says that the failings of today’s child welfare system “can be summed up by the very rationalization often used to justify the way it works today, an approach that can be boiled down to ‘take the child and run.’”

The parental rights group says that foster care is a bad answer to the suspicion of a problem.

Their studies indicate that abuse in foster care is “far higher than generally realized and far higher than in the general population.”

They say orphanage abuse rates are even higher, so that is not the answer, either. NCCPR maintains that its research indicates that in most, but not 100 percent of cases, the best scenario is that the family remains intact until “due process” takes place.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lesbian inheritance tax humiliates kids

The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in United States v. Windsor. The technical legal issue had to do with paying an inheritance tax after a Canadian lesbian ceremony, and that is off-topic for this blog. My concern is with the effect on parents in the family courts.

Here is how the majority ruled, with emphasis on the effect to kids:
The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, see Lawrence, 539 U. S. 558, and whose relationship the State has sought to dignify. And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives. ...

DOMA also brings financial harm to children of same-sex couples. It raises the cost of health care for families by taxing health benefits provided by employers to their workers’ same-sex spouses. ...

DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment. This opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful marriages.
So Justice Kennedy says that taxing a lesbian inheritance humiliates children because he previously declared anal sodomy to be a constitutional right. This humiliation is now unconstitutional because it violates this amendment:
V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Maybe I am stupid, but I have a hard time seeing what this amendment has to do with humiliation, sodomy, or lesbian inheritance tax.

Meanwhile there are millions of kids who suffer the humiliation of supervised visitation and other indignities imposed by the family court. The federal courts refuse to do anything about any of them.

I believe this decision, and the accompanying California Proposition 8, will only serve to add to the humiliation. These decisions guarantee that same-sex marriage law will never be the will of the people. If the polls are to be believed, California would have passed same-sex marriage in 2014. But now it will never have that legitimacy, and always be something imposed by judges seeking social change. California passed initiatives twice that marriage is between a man and a woman, and the California supreme court disagreed the first time and agreed the second time. The only contrary opinion left standing is the opinion of gay trial judge in San Francisco.

But again, my concern is how this will affect marriage and parenting for the rest of us. Justice Alito explained in dissent that marriage is being redefined in a way that is broader than the sex of the parties:
While modern cultural changes have weakened the link between marriage and procreation in the popular mind, there is no doubt that, throughout human history and across many cultures, marriage has been viewed as an exclusively opposite-sex institution and as one inextricably linked to procreation and biological kinship. The other, newer view is what I will call the “consent based” vision of marriage, a vision that primarily defines marriage as the solemnization of mutual commitment — marked by strong emotional attachment and sexual attraction — between two persons. At least as it applies to heterosexual couples, this view of marriage now plays a very prominent role in the popular understanding of the institution. Indeed, our popular culture is infused with this understanding of marriage. Proponents of same-sex marriage argue that because gender differentiation is not relevant to this vision, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the institution of marriage is rank discrimination.
He is right. In order to avoid public disapproval for the "moral and sexual choices", LGBT couples have persuaded the court to devalue procreation and biological kinship so that marriage can be unlinked.

Note that I am quoting Kennedy on "choices". Sometimes I use that word, and a reader alleges that homosexuality is not a choice. If so, complain to Kennedy, not me.

Because of this devaluation, we see cases like yesterday's Cherokee Baby Veronica case where the court nullified the biological kinship of the dad so that some family court could give his baby to an adoptive couple, if that is argued to be in the BIOTCh (best interest of the child). We see family courts nullify parental rights every day.

Lesbian marriage is largely a plot to eliminate fathers from the lives of their kids. In many cases a lesbian couple is raising a kid, but there is also a real dad who seeks contact with the kid. Look again at Kennedy's argument:
And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.
This should be no surprise, as Kennedy also got this wrong in oral argument. For many kids, it is indeed hard to understand why they cannot see their real dads and why there are two women living in the house. Are those kids going to feel better if those women become exempt from the inheritance tax? Of course not.

Pres. Barack Obama put out this statement:
We are a people who declared that we are all created equal -- and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents' marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.
Here again is this silly argument about benefiting children by letting their parents get married. It is much more likely that the parents were already marriage and divorced, and now the mom wants to marry some lesbian that the kids despise. Now California is giving the lesbians respect so that they don't feel bad about cutting the dad out of the kids' lives.

Meanwhile, the pediatricians are on board with a new policy:
“Sexual-minority youth should not be considered abnormal,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in its new materials on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youths, released Monday.

The policy statement and technical report — which updates a 2004 policy — is nonbinding but recommends that pediatricians create offices that are “teen-friendly and welcoming to all adolescents, regardless of sexual orientation and behavior.”

Doctors can signal their openness to LGBTQ youths by putting out brochures with pictures of “both same- and opposite-gender couples” or posting a “rainbow” decal on an office door or bulletin board. The report also suggests that medical questionnaires be changed to be gender-neutral, and that staff be trained to not ask a boy about his girlfriend, but to ask him to “tell me about your partner” instead. ...

It covers problems such as eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, suicide ideation and sexual risk-taking, and identifies homophobia (“the irrational fear and resulting hatred of homosexuals”) and heterosexism (“the societal expectation that heterosexuality is the expected norm, and that, somehow LGBTQ individuals are abnormal”) as major sources of distress for LGBTQ youths.
Those pediatricians will happily prescribe ADHD meds, in spite of this:
If you or someone you know has a child that has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chances are the child is actually just fine. At least this is what the "father" of ADHD, Leon Eisenberg, would presumably say if he were still alive. On his death bed, this psychiatrist and autism pioneer admitted that ADHD is essentially a "fictitious disease," which means that millions of young children today are being needlessly prescribed severe mind-altering drugs that will set them up for a life of drug addiction and failure.
I really don't want my pediatrician deciding what is normal and what is not. Just practice medicine.

Update: A local lesbian is all excited:
As a same-sex couple, we are asked why we care so much about the word "marriage." The word "marriage" conveys exactly the type of commitment that we have made. ...

When I say that we are "married," people know exactly what that means. It means that we have made a commitment for better or worse, through sickness and in health. It means she is not just my friend. Not my cleaning buddy. Not my business partner.

When I say that we are married, it means that Sharon is my wife. Proudly, unambiguously and till death do us part.
No, marriage does not mean a commitment until death. Not under current law. Either party may bail out at any time for any reason. Marriage has been redefined under the law, and that law includes unilateral (no-fault) divorce.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Supreme Court slams parental rights

I posted before about the Baby Veronica Cherokee child custody case before the US Supreme Court, and now that case has been decided. A South Carolina court had given custody of a child back to his Cherokee dad, based on a federal law protecting Indian parental rights. A 5-4 majority decided that this was incorrect, thereby allowing the child to go back to the adoptive parents.

The adoptive parents had the girl for her first two years, and then the dad for the next couple of years, so the state may not make another change.

Normally federal courts refuse to hear these issues because of the so-called domestic relations exception. As J. Thomas explains:
This case arises out of a contested state-court adoption proceeding. Adoption proceedings are adjudicated in state family courts across the country every day, and “domestic relations” is “an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States.” Sosnav. Iowa, 419 U. S. 393, 404 (1975). Indeed, “[t]he whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife, parent and child, belongs to the laws of the States and not to the laws of the United States.” In re Burrus, 136 U. S. 586, 593–594 (1890).
Thomas would have declared the whole federal law unconstitutional, and he might be right about that. My concern here is that 8 of the 9 justices showed no concern for fathers rights. This was an adoption against the wishes of a willing and fit natural father, and he should have gotten the baby whether he was Indian or not.

Only J. Scalia made an argument based on parental rights:
The Court’s opinion, it seems to me, needlessly demeans the rights of parenthood. It has been the constant practice of the common law to respect the entitlement of those who bring a child into the world to raise that child. We do not inquire whether leaving a child with his parents is “in the best interest of the child.” It sometimes is not; he would be better off raised by someone else. But parents have their rights, no less than children do. This father wants to raise his daughter, and the statute amply protects his right to do so. There is no reason in law or policy to dilute that protection.
He is exactly right. Unfortunately none of the other 8 justices agreed with him.

It is sometimes suggested that parental rights could be established by getting a suitable case into federal court, and somehow getting it up to the US Supreme Court. I do not believe this will happen.

The adoptive mom claims to have a PhD in developmental psychologist. The subtext is that she would be a better parent than some Cherokee Indian wife. Not to me -- psychologists make horrible parents.

The dissenting liberals did favor the dad retaining custody of his child, but did so largely out of an effort to uphold Congress's power to micro-manage Indian affairs. They did say:
There is nothing “bizarre,” ante, at 14, about placing on the party seeking to terminate a father’s parental rights the burden of showing that the step is necessary as well as justified. “For ... natural parents, ... the consequence of an erroneous termination [of parental rights] is the un­necessary destruction of their natural family.” Santosky, 455 U. S., at 766.

The majority also protests that a contrary result to the one it reaches would interfere with the adoption of Indian children. ... This claim is the most perplex­ing of all. A central purpose of ICWA is to “promote the stability and security of Indian ... families,” 25 U. S. C. §1902, in part by countering the trend of placing “an alarmingly high percentage of [Indian] children ... in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions.” ...

Without doubt, laws protecting biological fathers’ paren­tal rights can lead—even outside the context of ICWA—to outcomes that are painful and distressing for both would­ be adoptive families, who lose a much wanted child, and children who must make a difficult transition. See, e.g., In re Adoption of Tobias D., 2012 Me. 45, ¶27, 40 A. 3d 990, 999 (recognizing that award of custody of 2½-year-old child to biological father under applicable state law once paternity is established will result in the “difficult and painful” necessity of “removing the child from the only home he has ever known”). On the other hand, these rules recognize that biological fathers have a valid interest in a relationship with their child. See supra,at 6. And chil­dren have a reciprocal interest in knowing their biological parents. See Santosky, 455 U. S., at 760–761, n. 11 (de­scribing the foreclosure of a newborn child’s opportunity to “ever know his natural parents” as a “los[s] [that] cannot be measured”). These rules also reflect the understanding that the biological bond between a parent and a child is a strong foundation on which a stable and caring relation­ ship may be built. Many jurisdictions apply a custodial preference for a fit natural parent over a party lacking this biological link. ...

The majority casts Birth Father as responsible for the painful circumstances in this case, suggesting that he intervened “at the eleventh hour to override the mother’s decision and the child’s best interests,” ante, at 16. ... It bears remembering, however, that Birth Father took action to assert his paren­tal rights when Baby Girl was four months old, as soon as he learned of the impending adoption.
This does show that the majority is hostile to parental rights.

As I write this, I have not seen the long-awaited same-sex marriage decisions. While the major news media will be celebrating the advance of the LGBTQIA agenda, I will look to see what the opinions say about parental rights and implications for child-rearing.

A lawyer writes:
But beyond all the dates and rules, it is bizarre to place a baby with strangers when a natural parent is willing and able to take her. This is an extremely anti-parent ruling.
No, it's anti sperm-donor. This "natural parent" said via text message that if he had to support the kid, he would rather give up his parental rights. This "natural parent" then later signed adoption papers giving up his rights. Then (if you believe his version) changed his mind when he found out who was going to get the kid.
Perhaps these actions did not comply with the ICWA rules, but "beyond all the dates and rules," we had someone who had no interest whatsoever in the kid for years, made no effort to see the kid or support her in any way. The so-called "strangers" were the only parents the girl has ever known.
Text message? Is he joking? So the poor girls is to be condemned to growing up without a father because of an impulsive text message?

No, our legal system does not rely on text messages for such a drastic decision. We need a summons, process server, proof of service, full disclosure, personal appearance in court, etc. In many states, the mom has 30 days to change her mind, even after all that.

The law provided a way of unambiguously extinguishing the parents' rights, so the adoption can proceed. In particular, it involves informed consent and court process. These rules were not followed. And yet the court finds excuses for taking the baby girl away from her dad anyway.

The NY Times says that this decision does not resolve the case, and Veronica's future is as uncertain as ever:
Family courts ordinarily base custody decisions on the best interests of the child before them. Joan Heifetz Hollinger, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who filed a brief in support of the child’s interests, said that if the State of South Carolina holds a custody hearing for Baby Veronica that “there would be strong presumption that the child’s best interests are to allow her to remain where she is, absent evidence of abuse or neglect by dad.”

“If, however, the court resumes the original adoption proceeding,” she said, “the outcome is likely to be in favor of a return to the adoptive parents.”
This is crazy. How does some Berkeley law professor presume to speak for the interests of some 4yo child she has never met? That brief said:
This Court has never extended constitutional protections to unwed fathers based solely on biology. Rather, a state must provide parental rights only to those unwed fathers who have “demonstrate[d] a full commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood.” Lehr, 463 U.S. at 261. ...

Many states have also established putative father registries to facilitate notice to unwed fathers. These registries, enacted in 24 states, require a man who believes he may have fathered a child out of wedlock to promptly document and acknowledge paternity or the possibility of paternity. ...

As evidenced by the South Carolina court’s decision in this case, if ICWA’s definition of “parent” does not incorporate state law, the laws of more than 30 states will be preempted. Exercising their traditional legislative power over domestic relations, these states have made a policy judgment that when an unwed biological father has not provided support to the unwed mother and child, he should have no right to object to the mother’s decision to place the child for adoption. This Court should not interpret ICWA to preempt these state laws as applied to unwed Indian fathers.
This is ridiculous. The Cherokee dad was engaged to the birth mom. She knew who he was, and had an obligation to put him on the birth certificate. There is no need for a father registry. This brief says federal law requires dads to have child support responsibilities based on biology, but no rights based on biology.

Even if we assume that the dad lawfully lost his rights as a result of a text message, or failure to sign a father registry, or some other technicality, you still have to explain why it is better to give Baby Veronica to complete strangers, rather than a natural dad (and his wife) who are willing and able to take her. That is what the 5-4 Supreme Court majority did, and the decision is cheered by law professors who claim to believe in the BIOTCh (best interests).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Louisiana surrogate bill vetoed

I posted about this bill below, and now it is dead:
Gov. Bobby Jindal sided with conservative groups Friday and vetoed a bill that would have created a new legal and regulatory framework for surrogacy births in Louisiana. ...

In his veto letter, the Republican governor said questions about surrogacy weren't studied enough, and he noted the "serious concerns" raised by the conservative Louisiana Family Forum, the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops and other social conservative groups.

"Creating a state sanctioned regulatory structure for contracts pertaining to the birth of children has a profound impact on the traditional beginnings of the family and is an important topic worthy of heightened scrutiny and consensus," wrote Jindal.

"Given the range of opposition, I am not satisfied that the questions and concerns ... have been sufficiently studied and thoroughly debated by the legislature at this time," he said. ...

The bill would have placed limits on surrogacy that don't currently exist, including spelling out that a surrogate only could be allowed for a married couple, consisting of a man and a woman, who can't otherwise have a biological child.

It also would have described who could be a surrogate and banned any payments for carrying the child, except for medical and legal expenses related to the pregnancy.
I don't really get the reasoning here. Lesbians can still get test-tube babies. Teenagers can still get pregnant. Welfare queens still get paid for each additional baby they have. Non-custodial dads still get locked out of their kids' lives.

This veto follows other vetoes:
A veto by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal would have him follow in the footsteps of Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty in 2008, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie in 2012. Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, in a piece entitled “Surrogacy Exposed” says that a Jindal veto would be “an act of principled courage.” ...

The bottom line is that this high-tech form of human trafficking treats women and unborn children as commodities. Treating Louisiana women as “ovens” is simply not a good recipe for a state that respects the dignity of women, children and families.
Not a good recipe? And our family court system is a good recipe? If they want to respect the dignity of families, then then should stop having family courts micro-manage them.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why I'm dumping you

Slightly off-topic, but his list is funny. It reminded me of my wife's divorce papers, where she wrote hundreds of papers enumerating all of my faults. At least they do not have any kids, or else some stupid shrink would be studying these one-by-one and forming as opinion about the BIOTCh (best interest of the child).

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More old and vague charges against local shrink

I hate to defend some creepy psychologist, but I believe in innocence until proven guilty, and this guy is sitting in jail on some fishy charges. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports:
The Capitola child psychologist accused of molesting his patients will be back in court July 26 for a preliminary hearing to determine if there's enough evidence to go to trial.

John W. Visher, 66, who lives in La Selva Beach faces 21 counts of child molestation and child pornography and is accused of abusing four victims as far back as 2001, according to prosecutors. If convicted, he could face 15 years to life in prison.

Capitola police investigated Visher in 2001 and 2005, but he was not arrested. He was arrested in September when a 9-year-old girl reported inappropriate contact with him.

The girl's family filed a civil lawsuit against Visher, which has been suspended until the end of the criminal case.

He was rearrested in May after prosecutors expanded the case by adding new counts involving three more underage victims.

The victims, both boys and girls, allegedly were molested beginning in 2001. The three additional victims include an 8-year-old boy, a now 21-year-old who was allegedly abused in 2002 and 2003, and 5-year-old boy.

Because of the statute of limitations, none of the charges stem from the case with the 5-year-old.
So there is one accusation from someone suing him, and a couple of others from 8+ years ago. I assume that there is no firm evidence against him, or they would have arrested him years ago. The memories of a child from many years ago are not reliable.

I reported previously on Visher last year. I wrote:
I wonder how psychologists like Bret Johnson, Ken Perlmutter, and Faren Akins continue to keep their licenses and testify in court, in spite of shortcomings that are obvious to everyone who deals with them. It is because the whole profession is corrupt. I really doubt that these shrinks are any better than Visher.
These other shrinks are behaving amliciously and unethically, and demonstrably harming kids. They should be the ones in jail. I cannot sue them because they have made deals with the court that shelter them from liability if they punish my kids.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Book says men are on strike

I am reading Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters by Helen Smith PhD. I mentioned the book before.

The men's rights movement seems to have split between the reformers and the drop-outs. The reformers want to change family law to give a better shake to fathers, and use political action, persuasion, social science research, etc.

The drop-outs sometimes use the phrase Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW). The idea is that if marriage is a lousy deal for men, then the simplest solution is to just not get married.

Henry Laasanen describes the split slightly differently, and says that the manosphere is divided between the traditionalists, equalists, and individualists. So the reformers could seek a return to the traditional family or an egalitarian society, and the individualists go their own way.

Dr. Helen says:
Dr. Helen: The basic message of the book is that the rewards for men in the fields of marriage, education, career and fatherhood are a lot less than they used to be, and the costs and dangers are higher. So, they’re opting out. ...

EJ: Where did you and feminism part ways?

Dr. Helen: As I worked with more men, and with the schools and court systems, I realized the discrimination against men and how little was being done about it. The feminists of today want special privileges while men continue to have responsibilities. This is wrong and is no better than discrimination against women.
Sometimes dropping out is also called going John Galt.

I never considered this blog to be a men's rights blog. My main objection is to how the family court tries to run people's lives. I have seen women getting badly treated also. I speak up for parent's rights, whether they be moms or dads. I am a dad, and most of the victims are dads, so I write about dads more.

Dr. Helen accurately describes how marriage and family have become a lousy deal for men. I don't think that she is really advocating going Galt, as she ends with a whole list of ways men can work to improve the system.

Dr. Helen also has 8 Reasons Straight Men Don't Want To Get Married, listing the things men lose, from respect to money and freedom.

The leftoid Huff Post editors complained about same-sex marriage, inserted the word "straight" in the headline, and added a footnote saying that it is still okay for gay men to get married. It is funny how they want to promote same-sex marriage at the same time they work to destroy heterosexual marriage.

Vox Day adds two more, ending with:
10. Marriage provides no rights or rewards, only responsibilities. The current institution of marriage offers little in the way of incentive for men and a great deal of disincentive. Do the term "marital rights" of men and "marital duties" of women even make sense anymore? Were it not for religion and societal inertia, marriage would already be a dead institution.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Is Forced Fatherhood Fair?

Women's studies professor Laurie Shrage writes in a NY Times op-ed:
Women’s rights advocates have long struggled for motherhood to be a voluntary condition, and not one imposed by nature or culture. In places where women and girls have access to affordable and safe contraception and abortion services, and where there are programs to assist mothers in distress find foster or adoptive parents, voluntary motherhood is basically a reality. In many states, infant safe haven laws allow a birth mother to walk away from her newborn baby if she leaves it unharmed at a designated facility.

If a man accidentally conceives a child with a woman, and does not want to raise the child with her, what are his choices? Surprisingly, he has few options in the United States. He can urge her to seek an abortion, but ultimately that decision is hers to make. Should she decide to continue the pregnancy and raise the child, and should she or our government attempt to establish him as the legal father, he can be stuck with years of child support payments.

Do men now have less reproductive autonomy than women? Should men have more control over when and how they become parents, as many women now do?

The political philosopher Elizabeth Brake has argued that our policies should give men who accidentally impregnate a woman more options, and that feminists should oppose policies that make fatherhood compulsory.
One proposal is that if the woman has a positive pregnancy test and has a unilateral right to choose an abortion, then fairness should require that the man have a right to disavow paternity. Likewise, if the mom has the right to give up the baby at birth, then the dad should also have a similar right.
Feminists have long held that women should not be penalized for being sexually active by taking away their options when an accidental pregnancy occurs. Do our policies now aim to punish and shame men for their sexual promiscuity? Many of my male students (in Miami where I teach), who come from low-income immigrant communities, believe that our punitive paternity policies are aimed at controlling their sexual behavior. Moreover, the asymmetrical options that men and women now have when dealing with an unplanned pregnancy set up power imbalances in their sexual relationships that my male students find hugely unfair to them. ...

Policies that punish men for accidental pregnancies also punish those children who must manage a lifelong relationship with an absent but legal father. These “fathers” are not “dead-beat dads” failing to live up to responsibilities they once took on — they are men who never voluntarily took on the responsibilities of fatherhood with respect to a particular child. We need to respect men’s reproductive autonomy, as Brake suggests, by providing them more options in the case of an accidental pregnancy.
I am not sure about her reasoning, but we should have policies that assure that kids have parents who have voluntarily accepted the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. That system used to be called marriage. Even as the feminists and gays destroy marriage, we still need a system to make parenthood work.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Someone had to pay for missing Fathers Day

The Chicago Tribune reports:
A man shot and wounded another man in a drive-by on the West Side because "someone had to pay" after he was not allowed to see his child on Father's Day, police said.

Xavier Guzman, 25, whose nickname is "Lil Bin Laden," has been charged with aggravated battery with a handgun and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Guzman, of the 900 block of North Kedvale Avenue, is accused of shooting a 21-year-old man in the 2700 block of West 16th Street in the Douglas Park neighborhood early Monday, police said.

After his arrest, Guzman told officers he had an argument with the child's mother after she refused to let him to see the child, according to a police report. He told police he became "enraged" and "wanted to take it out on someone," the report said. ...

The victim, from the Douglas Park neighborhood, was standing on a sidewalk when the SUV stopped and the driver said to him: "What's up b----?" while pointing the gun at him and a friend, according to a police report.
Chicago has the strictest gun control laws in the nation. He would be breaking the law by just having the gun, even if he were not a convicted felon. Chicago also has 500 murders a year.

I am not defending this guy. He belongs in jail. But he still should have been able to see his child.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ethics of fatherless babies

SciAm asks:
Is it ethical to use a dead man's sperm to father a child? Experts are calling for a consensus on policies surrounding this question, which currently vary widely across the country.

It has been possible for a few decades to obtain a man’s sperm after his death and use it to fertilize an egg. Today, requests for postmortem sperm retrieval (PMSR) are growing, yet the United States has no guidelines governing the retrieval of sperm from deceased men, said Dr. Larry Lipshultz, a urologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. ...

But the institutions trying to draft a protocol for these situations face a number of ethical concerns. For example, has the deceased consented to have his sperm used for reproduction after he’s gone? Could just anybody request to obtain his sperm? Is it in the best interest of the child to be brought into the world without having a father? ...

PMSR is currently illegal in France, Germany, Sweden and other countries, even with written consent from the deceased.
Millions of kids are being brought into the world without dads. Millions more are deprived of dads by the family court and other social policies. It is silly to raise a fuss about a handful of these ambiguous sperm donor cases.

Somebody should tell these ethicists to look at what the single moms are doing.

Or look at these fatherless kids:
Nine year-old twins Zea and Luna introduced President Barack Obama at the White House’s LGBT Pride Month celebration last Thursday.

The two girls took turns reading from their prepared notes:
We wrote a letter to the president last summer (they were age eight) and asked him to make some changes. First we asked him to make it harder for bad guys to get guns…(smiles and nods), second for more funding for art and libraries…and PE…(quiet nod from the president) and third, we ask the president for his support of gay marriage.(the crowd goes nuts.They erupt with hoots and screams. The president motions for calm and says “we’re almost done”) because we have two moms and they are just as good as other parents. They love us a lot.

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.
Children purchased at the fertility lab, now being used as political tools — just like their father, who was never a human person — used only for his sperm. If Father’s Day might hurt their feelings, I guess it’s time to quietly retire it as an old fashioned, patriarchal, sexist tradition. No men, no women, no “punishment” for Obama’s daughters’ mistakes, no father for Zea and Luna, only “planned and wanted” children — only endless love.

Obama is the ultimate anti-father, standing in a room of lesbians celebrating cold and calculated fatherlessness.
Obama still celebrates Fathers Day. The next Democrat president may not.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Changing ID if shrinks approve

ABC TV News reports:
Lauren Grey didn't think much about the gender recorded on her Illinois driver's license until she went to test-drive a new car. Although she had been living as a woman for months and easily obtained a license with her new name and a picture reflecting her feminine appearance, Grey's ID still identified her as male, puzzling the salesmen and prompting uncomfortable questions.

"They are like, 'This doesn't match.' Then you have to go into the story: 'I was born male, but now I'm not,'" said Grey, 38, a graphic designer living in suburban Chicago. "And they are like, 'What does that mean?' It was super embarrassing." Similarly awkward conversations ensued when she tried to rent an apartment, went to bars or was taken out of airport security lines for inspection.
Yes, I would be super embarrassed to say, "I used to have testicles, but I had them chopped off."
Advocates recorded their latest victory Friday, when the Social Security Administration announced that it would no longer require proof of surgery to alter the gender identification of individuals in its computers and records.

The move mirrors similar actions by the U.S. State Department, which amended its passport application policies three years ago to do away with the sex reassignment surgery requirement, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which last year did the same for green cards, work permits and other documents it issues. ...

As a result of lawsuits and lobbying, about half of U.S. states — most recently Illinois, Alaska, Virginia and Idaho — now allow residents to revise the gender designations on their driver's licenses without first undergoing surgery or getting a judge's approval. Applicants instead must provide a letter from a health professional stating they have received counseling, hormone therapy or another form of gender-transition treatment. ...

Meanwhile, acquiring a new birth certificate still requires proof of surgery in all but three states: Washington, California and Vermont, according to research by Lisa Mottet, director of the Transgender Rights Project at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
News to me. So if I just go to the California dept. of records and flash a letter from a counselor saying that I had begun thinking of myself as a woman, then the state will re-issue my birth certificate saying that I was born as a woman?
"She had the gumption to ask for a manger. But can you imagine how it adds to your anxiety and depression to be turned away after you worked up the nerve to go into that office and tell your story?" Hudson said. "A lot of transgender people are going to want to just tuck tail and run."
Tuck tail? Do they get tails as part of their re-assignment surgery? I am losing my ability to tell what is for real.

I think the terms father and mother will soon be bigoted terms. We will have parent-1 and parent-2, and maybe parent-3 or parent-4. Or maybe we won't have legal parents at all, and just have guardians who are like foster parents, with any substantive decisions having to be approved by a social worker or shrink. Already we have schools that teach LGBTQIA in grades K-12, and letting boys use the girls rest room.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Science research supports value of fathers

SciAm has posted some research for Fathers Day:
1. For over a decade, research has established that when mothers show their infants new things, they act in ways that will help their babies effectively learn about new behaviors. For example, mothers are more likely to be physically close, interactive, enthusiastic, and repetitive when teaching their babies how to use new toys or try new things than when teaching other adults, much like how people unintentionally slip into those nasal, high-pitched “baby voices” when speaking to infants. Well, a study published last year finally established that fathers tend to engage in just as much of this helpful, “infant-directed action” as mothers do. ...

2. There may be a hidden psychological benefit to being a “Daddy’s Girl.” Women with warm, supportive father-daughter relationships had lower cortisol levels and attenuated cortisol spikes when responding to a stressful life event that had nothing to do with their fathers or their families; those who reported rejecting, chaotic relationships with their fathers had higher cortisol levels and more sensitive cortisol reactions. In other words, women who had good relationships with their fathers had healthier, more adaptive responses to stressful situations in their everyday lives, even when those situations were completely unrelated to their families. If you’re close with your Dad, you may want to call him up and say “thanks” every time you don’t lose your cool during rush hour.

3. Do you think that the only things you inherited from Dad were his ears and his love for Woody Allen movies? Think again. If you did well in school, you may have to thank Dad for that as well — and not just because he taught you all of those valuable life lessons that helped you along the way. Even when controlling for level of education and IQ, you can predict a kid’s academic performance from how well his or her father did.
The current Atlantic magazine explains The Distinct, Positive Impact of a Good Dad:
What this view overlooks, however, is a growing body of research suggesting that men bring much more to the parenting enterprise than money, especially today, when many fathers are highly involved in the warp and woof of childrearing. As Yale psychiatrist Kyle Pruett put it in Salon: "fathers don't mother."

Pruett's argument is that fathers often engage their children in ways that differ from the ways in which mothers engage their children. Yes, there are exceptions, and, yes, parents also engage their children in ways that are not specifically gendered. But there are at least four ways, spelled out in my new book, Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives (co-edited with Kathleen Kovner Kline), that today's dads tend to make distinctive contributions to their children's lives: The Power of Play, Encouraging Risk, Protecting His Own, Dad's discipline.
Here is another story, from this morning's newspaper:
From her perch at Randolph-Macon College in rural Ashland, Va., Lambert has spent years designing elaborate experiments to test nurturing in both male and female rodents. She anesthetizes the animals, carefully removes their brains, firms the brains up with formalin, freezes them, then shaves them into slices thinner than a strand of human hair to study under a microscope.

What Lambert's rodent brain slices are revealing is nothing short of revolutionary, challenging the loud pundits and long-held cultural views that only mothers are wired for nurture.

Lambert, one of a small but growing number of scientists who study the biology of father behavior, is finding that not just mothers experience surges of hormones associated with bonding and nurturing. The same hormones increase, though not to the same degree, in fathers.

Rat mothers are not the only ones whose brains become sharper, making them more efficient foragers and more courageous and level-headed than females without offspring. Lambert has found that the same is true of fathers' brains. Fatherhood makes the male California deer mouse smarter, too.
I am tempted to make some wisecracks about rat brains. Humans are different from rats.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Presidential Fathers Day message

Pres. Barack Obama just gave a Fathers Day radio message:
Hi, everybody. This Sunday is Father’s Day, and so I wanted to take a moment to talk about the most important job many of us will ever have – and that’s being a dad.

Today we’re blessed to live in a world where technology allows us to connect instantly with just about anyone on the planet. But no matter how advanced we get, there will never be a substitute for the love and support and, most importantly, the presence of a parent in a child’s life. And in many ways, that’s uniquely true for fathers.
Happy to have our President say that. At least he did not trash black fathers or say we need fathers to step up, as he has in the past.
I never really knew my own father. I was raised by a single mom and two wonderful grandparents who made incredible sacrifices for me. And there are single parents all across the country who do a heroic job raising terrific kids.
He was not raised by a single mom. The single moms are ruining the country.
And I want to do what I can as President to encourage marriage and strong families. We should reform our child support laws to get more men working and engaged with their children. And my Administration will continue to work with the faith and other community organizations, as well as businesses, on a campaign to encourage strong parenting and fatherhood.

Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned along the way, it’s that all our personal successes shine a little less brightly if we fail at family. That’s what matters most.
This is encouraging that he recognizes the need for child support law reform. I have no idea what reform he has in mind. His health care reform increased my rates by $100 a month. But for now, I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope that he wants to do something positive.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Advice to avoid the delusional ex

Sometime I am going to make a list of disorders that ought to be in the DSM-5. One would be the crazy delusional vindictive ex, as typified by this letter:
Dear Annie: My son's ex-wife has reported him to child protective services six times and to the police for various things she's invented over the past three years. Due to her false accusations, he has been arrested three times. He has been found innocent of all charges, but she persists.

She charged him with violating a restraining order and appeared in court last week flanked by bodyguards supplied by victim services. This charge was thrown out. My son has never touched her, but she has convinced many people that he is dangerous. She is such a good liar that she actually believes her own stories, which makes her even more convincing.

My son has become so paranoid, he barely leaves his house. He is so depressed that he can barely function and is unable to work. She is slowly killing him. Is there anything he can do besides continue to defend himself? The lawyers' costs have become a nightmare for our whole family. There must be something more we can do besides waiting for her next dramatic step. — Worried Family Members
When a woman gets crazy enough to believe her own lies, she becomes more dangerous, because her friends and counselors will be impressed by her apparent sincerity.

Unfortunately, there is no good answer for this poor man. If the woman is crazy enough, maybe she will do something to get herself arrested or committed. But our society has a very high tolerance for these women, and they are likely to continue to make trouble.

Another crazy ex-wife was the one who framed her husband for mailing ricin lettere:
At this time, a providential break in the case occurred: a New Boston woman named Shannon Richardson walked in to the FBI in Shreveport, LA, and fingered her husband, Nathaniel, as the mailer. Nathaniel was dangerous. He had lots of guns. He didn’t like the President. He was a combat wounded veteran, and he was employed in the defense industrial base (these are all things the FBI has been directed to consider warning signs). The FBI swarmed him at work.
His arrest was all over the news. She is going to prison.

I got some comments in defense of the crazy Stanford professor mom who fled to Hawaii. As usual, she is innocent until proven guilty. But her defender said the dad is child molester and also a Stanford professor, and that she had to flee in order to deny him his supervised visitation.

These allegations only persuade me that the mom is a malicious nut. As far as I know, Stanford professors do not molest their own kids. If there were any hard evidence of it, the dad would be charged with a serious crime. Instead the accusation was used to limit his visits to being supervised. But if the visitation was supervised, then surely the alleged molestation could not have been a concern. If the mom is so far gone as to refuse supervised visitation, then she is quite likely to be crazy or vindictive. If she believes her own lies, then she is dangerous.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Supreme court hears Indian dad

I mentioned in January that the US Supreme Court is hearing a Cherokee child custody case. Now RadioLab has a good podcast on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. The oral argument indicated that the case would be closely divided, and probably giving a narrow ruling. The decision is expected in June, along with the same-sex marriage cases.

The case pits a natural dad against adoptive parents making a BIOTCh argument. The dad would have lost and no one cared, but for the fact that he has 2% Cherokee blood and an obscure 1978 federal law (ICWA) was passed to block an epidemic of social workers taking kids from Indian parents and giving them to non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.

I am annoyed that some dad has more rights than I do just because he has 2% Cherokee blood. That got the feds to goto bat for him, got the attention of the federal courts, and got his kid back. Millions of other non-Cherokee dads have much better (non-ICWA) legal arguments, but they do not get any help getting their kids back.

Here are some opinions:
“Cases like this are among the most difficult the justices ever have to decide. If you don’t believe me, ask Justice Antonin Scalia, who last fall cited an ICWA case from 1989 as one of his hardest in 27 years on the Supreme Court bench. They are difficult because there is only one child and two families seeking to raise her and thus no room for Solomon’s compromise.”

“The Indian Child Welfare Act, which grants individuals and tribes statutory rights, does not trump the child’s constitutional rights,” McCarthy said. “The case provides an excellent opportunity for the Supreme Court to finally, hopefully and at long last clarify: Does a child have a constitutional right to a secure and stable home? They’ve never reached that issue yet.”
This case is not difficult at all. The mom put the kid up for adoption. The dad wants the kid, even tho he was tricked into signing some papers while being shipped off to the Iraq War. The adoptive parents did not follow the ICWA law. Even without ICWA, the law should favor the natural parent over strangers.

Yes, this would be a big case of the Supreme Court suddenly decided that all our Indian laws are unconstitutionally racially discriminatory, or that dads have a constitutional right to their kids, or that social workers can adopt out a kid on a belief that adoptive parents have a more secure and stable home. But none of those are likely. The court does not have the guts to directly address parental rights.

I hope this case gets lots of publicity, and forces the public to think about the issues. Some people sympathize with the adoptive parents for having to give up the kid after 2 years of custody. But they are not parents and they never even talked to the real dad. They only had custody for 2 years because they spent 2 years fighting ICWA in court.

This sort of argument is made all the time in family court. A mom will make a phony domestic violence charge, get temporary custody pending an investigation, and when the investigation fails to back her up, she argues that preserving her sole custody would be in the BIOTCh because the kid is accustomed to that.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Octomom the parasite

US mag reports:
Nadya Suleman, a.k.a. "Octomom," is currently under investigation for welfare fraud, on a tip that the mother of 14 has been illegally collecting thousands of dollars in government aid, TMZ reports. According to a search warrant, officials are taking steps to seize Suleman's financial records from her manager's home and office.

Per TMZ, Suleman and her 14 children are eligible for welfare benefits if she earns less than $119,000 in a calendar year. However, officials at the L.A. County Department of Welfare Fraud Prevention and Investigation reportedly received a tip that she grossed more than $200,000 in 2012 -- and still collected public-assistance money from the government.

If the tip turns out to be true, Suleman could face up to three years of prison time.
There are many things wrong here. I am surprised that a single mom can earn up to $119k and still collect welfare?

She has no husband and no real job. I think that she earned the money by cashing in on her celebrity status to make porno videos.

The Octomom is a parasite. Besides collecting tens of thousands in welfare, she someone got free medical treatment for her test-tube babies, some of whom are disabled.

Now if she is put in jail, she will cost us hundreds of thousands more in prison expenses, and in foster care for her 14 kids.

I mentioned her 4 years ago, and there seems to be no end to the drama. At what point are we going to learn to stop subsidizing irresponsible single moms?

Meanwhile, here is the male equivalent:
A man with 22 kids from 14 women is being sued for unpaid child support, reported the Huffington Post on June 7. Orlando Shaw, 33, says he considers himself a good father, but says he can't afford to pay child support.

Shaw says, “You can't knock no man for loving women,” and he says any time any of the women ask for anything, he runs to give it. It seems the 14 women of the 22 kids, however, would argue that is not the case since he is being sued for tens of thousands of dollars over unpaid child support.
Note how it is all about money.
The 33-year-old Shaw admitted to fathering 22 kids by 14 different women. Those mothers -through Child Support Services - took Shaw to court for tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid child support over the years.

It is estimated the state pays more than $7,000 each month in assistance to help support all of Shaw's children.
Adam Corolla says he is "the world's worst father, and possibly human being." Bill O'Reilly says, "I think Orlando should go to jail for 10 years. That is only 6 months for each child. ... He is a menace, a danger. ... Let's put him away for 10 years for child abuse." Both quotes from Fox News TV O'Reilly Factor last night.

Wow, there is some venom. There is no law against having kids that you cannot support. The taxpayers are supporting the single moms with thousands of dollars every month.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Study shows false memories in vets

Neuroskeptic writes:
Simply asking people whether they experienced an event can trick them into later believing that it did occur, according to a neat little study just out: Susceptibility to long-term misinformation effect outside of the laboratory
Psychology experiments have shown that it is surprisingly easy to plant false memories in people's minds. They will sincerely swear that they remember something that in fact never happened.

Many people, especially women, tell fantastic stories of abuse or domestic violence from years in the past. There stories seem unlikely, but it also seems unlikely that they are deliberately lying.
Psychologists Miriam Lommen and colleagues studied 249 Dutch soldiers were deployed for a four month tour of duty in Afghanistan. As part of a study into PTSD, they were given an interview at the end of the deployment asking them about their exposure to various stressful events that had occurred. However, one of the things discussed was made up – a missile attack on their base on New Year’s Eve.
At the post-test, participants were provided new information about an event that did not take place during their deployment, that is, a (harmless) missile attack at the base on New Year’s Eve.

We provided a short description of the event including some sensory details (e.g., sound of explosion, sight of gravel after the explosion). After that, participants were asked if they had experienced it…
Eight of the soldiers reported remembering this event right there in the interview. The other 241 correctly said they didn’t recall it, but seven months later, when they did a follow-up questionnaire about their experiences in the field, 26% said they did remember the non-existent New Year’s Eve bombardment (this question had been added to an existing PTSD scale.)

Susceptibility to the misinformation was correlated with having a lower IQ, and with PTSD symptom severity.

False memory effects like this one have been widely studied, but generally only in laboratory conditions. I like this study because it used a clever design to take memory misinformation into the real world, by neatly piggybacking onto another piece of research.

Also, it’s interesting (and worrying) that the false information was presented in the context of a question, not a statement. It seems that merely being asked about something can, in some cases, lead to memories of having experienced that thing.
So if you ask women if they are victims of domestic violence, then maybe 26% of them will conjure up false memories of it.

Not sure about the correlation with PTSD. Maybe these soldiers were asked about PTSD, and also had false memories leading to the PTSD diagnosis.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Indiana hears dad's free speech case

The Indian supreme court has agreed to hear oral arguments on whether to hear the appeal of the case of fellow angry dad Dan Brewington (more info at DanHelpsKids). I have written about his case several times. He lost his kids and was sent to prison for criticizing the judge and psychologist. Oral argument is scheduled for Sept. 12.

This is an important case for the right of citizens to expose incompetence and corruption in public official. What Breington exposed was similar to what I exposed here about Irwin H. Joseph and Ken B. Perlmutter. Those are people who would be rotting in prison if there were any justice.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Illinois passes right of first refusal

Illinois Fathers reports:
In an historic move, Illinois unanimously passed the ‘Right of First Refusal’ on May 22 (HB2992, 98th Session).

Illinois becomes the first state to explicitly call for consideration of the ‘Right of First Refusal’ in a parenting plan or court order.

It will be added as Section 602.3 to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The bill is currently on the governor’s desk for his expected signature.

‘Right of First Refusal’ is a guarantee that anytime a parent needs someone to watch the children, they must ask the other parent first. This gives a parent the opportunity to watch the children when the other parent has them.
Sounds great, right?
The court is given the maximum discretion in determining if ‘Right of First Refusal’ is in the child’s best interest.
I guess this is progress, but it is not much of a right if some stupid judge has the discretion to take it away based on his own prejudices.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Arguments that fathers are unnecessary

The NY Times has a debate on fathers:
In almost half the American households with children, mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners. This victory for working women shows evolving family economics — or maybe, two very different types of families.

So what is the purpose of men in modern families? We’re approaching the holiday that celebrates dads, but do fathers bring anything unique to the table?
Michele Weldon, an assistant professor of journalism:
The 24 million American sons and daughters growing up without fathers are not all doomed. Nor are the children of lesbian parents. Nor the children whose fathers were killed in the line of duty as policemen, firemen, soldiers. Nor the children who have lost fathers to disease, accidents or suicide. Our society must be careful not to assume these sons and daughters are damned.

In the cases where the father is far from heroic – even abusive – his absence is also the absence of the chaos, anger, pain and disruption he would bring to his family. Americans encourage women to leave abusive partners, but mothers who do this end up in a class we shame and pity. The government itself sends the message that children are better off with a father. The reality is, many children are better off without their fathers.
Jane Mattes, a psychotherapist:
As more women are graduating from college and are able to provide a sufficient income to support a family, it is no longer necessary for them to marry in order to support a child. After looking for a partner for many years – or not, in a few cases – some have decided that they would prefer to have a child on their own rather than settle for a man who isn’t likely to be a good and loving husband or parent. We are called single mothers by choice. ...

The organization I founded, Single Mothers by Choice, is more than 30 years old now. We have seen a generation of our children grow up – and turn out just fine.
Hanna Rosin:
I’m not sure whether a child needs a father. Sophisticated studies on single motherhood show that the circumstances surrounding such families – poverty, instability – can be rough on children, but not that single motherhood itself is an issue.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Dad gets 3 years for taking kids on yacht

Here is a follow-up to a story I posted last year. I post the whole thing, because last time I was accused to cherry-picking facts to support the dad.
A father was sentenced to three years in jail Friday for abducting his two young children in South San Francisco and then motoring away with them aboard a stolen yacht that ran out of gas, attorneys said.

But as long as Christopher Maffei, 43, behaves he'll only spend about another nine months behind bars due to the jail time credit he already has. San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Karesh also ordered him to do 16 months of supervision, which is like probation, after gets out of jail, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Until the sentence is complete Maffei must stay away from his son Devin and daughter Brooklynn, who were 2 and 3 years old respectively when he snatched them from their South San Francisco home Sept. 4. He packed the kids onto a yacht stolen from an Alameda marina and then set out on a strange odyssey that ended three days later when, police said, a relieved Maffei surrendered in the waters near Santa Cruz.

"He realizes it was inappropriate, illegal and not supported by any kind of rational thinking," said defense attorney Jeff Boyarsky. "He wants the rest of the family and the public to know he's sorry for the anguish he caused."
Maffei believed the toddlers were in danger in part because they were around an aunt with alleged substance abuse problems, Boyarsky said. But prosecutors and police never found any evidence of abuse and noted Maffei should have asked authorities to check into his concerns.

Boyarsky said his client had no definite plan on what to do after taking the kids. They ended up out of gas in the Pacific Ocean and authorities guided them to land in Santa Cruz, where the children were reunited, unharmed, with their mother Jennifer Hipon.

Maffei pleaded no contest to child stealing and possession of the 41-foot yacht Unleashed in April. He's remained in San Mateo County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail since the days after the abduction.
Okay the dad's behavior was inappropriate, but this story did not justify the huge news coverage and the 3-year sentence. Isn't it odd that he was charged with stealing the kids and possessing the yacht? No, he was possessing his kids and stealing the yacht.

This is, of course, just a child custody dispute gone bad. The mom was taking steps to cut off the dad from the kids. Moms refuse visitation all the time, and they aren't sentenced to jail for it.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Catholic school cannot fire lesbian

At one time, Catholic schools only hired Catholic teachers. Now that is considered illegal discrimination, but the private schools can still refuse to hire teachers who are openly mocking Church doctrine. That means that they could fire a lesbian artifically-inseminated teacher.

Not any more. An Ohio newspaper reports:
A Catholic-school teacher who was fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination won her anti-discrimination lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati yesterday and was awarded more than $170,000.

A federal jury found that the archdiocese discriminated against Christa Dias, who taught computer classes, by firing her in October 2010. ...

The jury said the archdiocese should pay $51,000 in back pay, $20,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. Dias had sued the archdiocese and two of its schools; the jury didn’t find the schools liable for damages. ...
I am guessing that most of my readers have no moral objections to lesbians getting artificially inseminated, and teaching in the schools. That sort of thing is celebrated in this California beach town where I live. But shouldn't parents have the right to teach their own moral values to their kids, and to send them to a private school where their morals will not be openly mocked?

I hate to keep writing about these LGBTQIA issues, but even the Catholic Church cannot escape them. The American nuclear family has been dismantled, and your kids will be taught that it is normal for a woman to become a lesbian and be artificially inseminated. You will not be able to escape the intolerance of the gay lobby, even if you send your kids to private Catholic schools.

If I do not fully appreciate lesbianism, the movies will force it:
The Cannes prize was given to Mr. Kechiche just hours after masses of French demonstrators poured into the streets of Paris to protest France’s new law allowing same-sex marriage and adoption. ...

And Mr. Kechiche told Reuters, “Everyone who is against same-sex marriage or love between two people of the same sex must see the film.” ...

On the Riviera in May, the critics gushed. The graphic sexual encounters were so magnificent, The Guardian wrote, that “they make the sex in famous movies like, say, ‘Last Tango in Paris,’ look supercilious and dated.”
The Hollywood Reporter said the film would surely “raise eyebrows with its showstopping scenes of nonsimulated [sic] female copulation.”
Is this a joke? Did Last Tango in Paris persuade you of the merits of the behavior in that movie? Follow the link if you want spoilers; I'd rather not summarize them here.

I got the Catholic story from the Spearhead, which also comments on some anti-man NY Times propaganda:
Not long ago, there was a trend of women using estrogen during and following menopause, and while this was later found to contribute to some health risks, not once were women accused of “abusing” the female hormone. In fact, use of estrogen was widely praised and recommended in all sorts of media outlets.

But now that we have older men doing the equivalent, it constitutes a problem. This is because masculine characteristics, in our culture, are seen as inherently problematic, whether they be men’s sexual preferences, personality characteristics or work habits. Testosterone is seen as a culprit in many of these masculine behaviors and proclivities, so it’s bad, right? ...

And finally, it’s amazing that the Times has the chutzpah to cast aspersions on ordinary men’s use of T when it so happily endorses “gender reassignment” procedures for men, which require enormous doses of hormones in addition to risky surgery.
He is right. To the NY emo leftoid mentality, being manly is a disease.

Leno repeats police story

Jay Leno just showed this on the police blotter segment of his TV show:
Violation of injunction, ... While having sex with her ex-husband, a woman remembered that she had a restraining order against him. She then reported him to police for the violation.
This was a repeat from Feb. 2011. You read it here first.

I am sure Leno would be embarrassed to learn that he had repeated material. Or maybe it is worth repeating.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Nazi dad lost his kids

I mentioned this case in 2010, and suggested that you do not name your kid Adolf. This man is testing the limits of free speech. UPI reports:
The founder of New Jersey pro-Nazi organization "Hitler’s Order" appeared in family court wearing a Nazi uniform to petition for the right to visit his youngest son.

The family made headlines in 2008 when a supermarket refused to write Adolf Hitler Campbell's name on a cake for his third birthday. The Campbells complained that it was discrimination and another store provided a cake, but the news led New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (NJ DYFS) to investigate.

NJ DYFS officials placed Adolf Hitler Campbell, 7, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 6, and 5-year-old Honzlynn Jeannie Campbell in foster care due to alleged violence in the home. Hons Campbell was born later, in 2011, and NJ DYFS took the boy from Heath Campbell and his now estranged wife Deborah Campbell when he was just 16 hours old.

The couple argues that they have never abused their children, and that they are being discriminated against for giving their children Nazi-inspired names.

Heath Campbell, 40, hasn't seen his children in two years, and the three oldest have been adopted by another family. The children's mother has already given up her parental rights.

Prior to the closed-door custody hearing on Monday, Campbell told WCAU-TV that the Nazi uniform shouldn't affect the court's decision. "I'm going to tell the judge, I love my children; I wanna be a father, let me be it. Let me prove to the world that I am a good father."
This is wacky, but I don't see how it is any worse than the dad being a Commie or a Mohammedan. He is entitled to his beliefs. He should not have lost his kids for his beliefs.

I attacked JC Penney for its Apple anti-consumer attitude and its gay Fathers Day marketing, but now it just got caught promoting a Hitler tea kettle on a billboard. Penney had to pull the product and the billboard. Perhaps someone at Penney thought that it was a joke. You cannot joke about one of the great evil men of the 20th century, I guess.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

New study on working moms

Here is the latest parenting flap:
On his show Thursday, anchor Lou Dobbs highlighted a new study showing that four in 10 households now have female, rather than male, breadwinners. One of Dobbs' guests, Erick Erickson, called it "anti-science" and said women should not be competing for a "dominant role" in a family. "Having moms as the primary breadwinner is bad for kids and bad for marriage," Erickson continued.

Shockingly (not), those comments didn't sit well with Van Susteren, who has made a career out of speaking her mind on TV. "Have these men lost their minds? (and these are my colleagues??!! oh brother... maybe I need to have a little chat with them)," she wrote on her blog. "(Next thing they will have a segment to discuss eliminating women's right to vote?)"

Kelly went one step further and invited Erickson on her show to scold him on-air for his comments on the show and in a recent blog post. "I don't think I'm an emo-liberal and I don't describe myself as a feminist but I will tell you I was offended by your piece nonetheless. I didn't like what you wrote one bit and I do think you are judging people," she said.
I previously found emos on a list of people to repent. I am still not sure what they are.

Here are some retro opinions:
It appears to me that Megyn Kelly perfectly illustrates Erick Erickson’s point. Her behaviour is dominant, her looks are immodest, and her opinions are overly ‘emoliberal.’ According to Wikipedia, she is a ‘re-married’ Roman Catholic; so if there is no legal annulment of her church marriage, then her second marriage is not a real marriage, and her children are, sadly, extramarital children (or as would have been said two generations ago: bastards).

Given Kelly’s dominant behaviour, it is likely that her new boyfriend will have or develop traits of an absentee father; and given her immodest looks, it is likely that her children will be nurtured with a wrong conception of womanhood. In effect, their children will grow up with an unbalanced father and mother relationship. ...

The square-jawed, strangely robotic Erickson is pathetic against this harridan. His argument that sex differences are good because animals display them is very weak. He should have pointed not to the animal kingdom but to the rise of human beings out of it. Motherhood is not just a private affair, but a social institution that preserves a certain kind of human culture. By promoting the large-scale abandonment of it, mothers such as Kelly expose children who will never have private nannies and intelligent parents who can manage every crisis and cover over neglect with material luxury to immense harm.
That's right, the animal evidence because different species have different sex roles. The two species most closely related to humans, chimps and bonobos, are very different. There is a human nature argument, and it is informed by animal evidence, but it is trickier. Here is another report:
Kelly also compared his "natural male dominance" theories to the pseudo-science used in the 1950s and '60s to oppose interracial marriage. "They said it was science and fact if you were the child of a black father and white mother or vice versa you were inferior and not set up for success. Tell that to Barack Obama."
People keep making this interracial marriage analogy, but it is bogus. Scientists never said that such kids were inferior. I think that the concern was that the kids would not fit into either the white or black communities. Now multi-racial kids are used to sell Cheerios. A white mom makes breakfast for the kid while the black dad lies on the couch.

Kelly apparently has a nanny to raise her two small kids, and she is sensitive about her decision. She is offended that anyone would judge her for it.

I have no idea what the research says about the kids of rich parents who hire nannies. But the research does say that single moms make lousy parents and feminists make lousy wives. I post this to show that even the supposedly conservative Fox News has been infiltrated by women who resist maternal roles, and who go nuts about the suggestion that kids need their moms at home.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Law criminalizes parents of outspoken kids

The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
Monona parents whose children repeatedly bully others can now be ticketed by police and fined in municipal court.

The approach, part of a broader anti-bullying ordinance passed May 20 by the Monona City Council, appears to break new ground in the national effort to reduce harassment and emotional abuse among young people. ...

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Jason Burns, executive director of Equality Wisconsin, a Milwaukee nonprofit organization that works on bullying prevention in schools. “It forces parents to be more involved in their child’s life, if they’re not already.”
Equality Wisconsin is an LGBT advocacy organization. When they say "works on bullying prevention", they mean working on promoting LGBT lifestyles and forcing everyone to approve of their morals, with criminal penalties.

Anti-bullying is a big fad in the schools and elsewhere. The main purpose is to stifle hetero-normative language, and to tell small kids that it is okay to grow up to be LGBTQIA.

Volokh trashes this law, and drew comments like these:
It also sounds like it was written by someone who doesn't have kids. A parent telling their kid to not do something guarantees that the kid will never take that action, correct? And when the kid (inevitably) ignores his parents, they get charged?

I can see it now... 'raise my allowance or I'll go yell at the minority kid next door'... or something like that.

Doesn't even have to be "the minority kid"; sounds like there's liability if Junior goes next door and simply calls any kid next door a "block-head", or says "Aw, my ol' man could beat up your ol' man, with a hand tied behind his back..." (This would be the "Spanky McFarlin Rule" of offensive speech....)
This law is a terrible idea. There is no objective definition of emotional abuse, or any consensus that it is harmful, or any practical way to stop it.

In case someone accuses me of gay-bashing again, I have no objection to what consenting adults do in private. I do object to school policies that promote LGBTQIA lifestyles to kids, to laws against free speech, to micro-managing parents, and to authorities having broad discretion to punish people they don't like.

Wisconsin is the same state with a transgender school day:
Students celebrating spirit week at Tippecanoe School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, caused controversy with Friday's Gender Bender Day theme.

Members of the Student Council decided on the costume theme calling for boys to dress like girls and girls to dress like boys.

Milwaukee Public Schools said participation was 100 percent voluntary, but changed the theme to Switch It Up Day after parental complaints. Fox affiliate WITI reports a chilling effect on students, who didn't dress up, with mostly teachers and staff members showing the Switch It Up spirit.

“I think it’s just teaching them the wrong lesson about gender," said one boy's father, who didn't want to be identified. "If you’re a boy, stay a boy. You shouldn’t have something like that at school," he said.

A parent should not be afraid to identify himself just for expressing the opinion that a boy can stay a boy. He is probably worried that someday he will be prosecuted for emotional abuse against LGBTQIA kids, and CPS will threaten to take his kids away or send him to re-education camp.

Monday, June 03, 2013

The Divorce Generation

The WSJ has a new book excerpt about divorce:
Having survived their own family splits, Generation X parents are determined to keep their marriages together. It doesn't always work. ...

Many of us do. The phrase "friendly divorce" may strike some as an oxymoron, but it is increasingly a trend and a real possibility. Relatively inexpensive and nonadversarial divorce mediation—rather than pricey, contentious litigation—is now more common than ever. Many of us are all too familiar with the brutal court fights of our parents, and we have no intention of putting our kids through it, too. According to a recent University of Virginia study, couples who decide to mediate their divorce are more likely than those who go to court to talk regularly about the children's needs and problems, to participate in school and special events, daily activities, holidays and vacations.

We may not make it in marriage, but we still want to make it as parents. In the '70s, only nine states permitted joint custody. Today, every state has adopted it. It was once typical for dads to recede from family life, or to drop out altogether, in the wake of a divorce. But dads are critical in helping kids to develop self-esteem and constructive habits of behavior. A 2009 study published in the journal Child Development found, for example, that teenagers with involved fathers are less likely to engage in risky sexual activities.

Joint custody also reduces family strife. According to a 2001 study, couples with such arrangements report less conflict with their former spouses than sole-custody parents—an important finding, since judges have worried, historically, that joint custody exposes children to ongoing parental fighting. Some divorced couples have even decided to continue living together in different parts of the home—or to "swap out" each week—in order to maintain some measure of stability for their kids.

I have yet to meet the divorced mother or father who feels like a good parent, who professes to being happier with how their children are now being raised. Many of us have ended up inflicting pain on our children, which we did everything to avoid.

But we have not had our parents' divorces either. We can only hope that in this, we have done it differently in the right way.

—Adapted from "In Spite of Everything: A Memoir" by Susan Gregory Thomas, to be published by Random House next week. Copyright © by Susan Gregory Thomas.
The studies do show that joint custody works better and reduces conflict. Unfortunately many judges and child custody evaluators insist that joint custody must be avoided if there is conflict.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

No free speech in England

The UK Daily Mail reports:
A father has been jailed at a secret court hearing for sending a Facebook message to his grown-up son on his 21st birthday.

Garry Johnson, 46, breached a draconian gagging order which stops him publicly naming his son, Sam, whom he has brought up and who still lives with him.

In a case which is certain to fuel concerns about Britain’s shadowy network of secret courts, a judge sent the former music executive to prison for contempt at a closed-doors family court hearing in Essex at the beginning of last month.
This is crazy stuff. Usually I have to explain why it is bad to have social workers and judges micromanaging parents' lives. But no need here. Just read on.
After their parents’ divorce, the two boys chose to live with their father, following a series of rows with their mother over her new boyfriend.

But within a year of the divorce, Mr Johnson’s ex-wife made allegations to Essex social workers that he was neglecting the children and not feeding them properly at his smart family home.

An investigation by social workers cleared him of any wrongdoing and said the boys were fine.

A year later, in 2006, she made further allegations to social workers that he was mentally unfit to care for the boys.

Medical documents shown to the Mail by Sam and Adam reveal that Mr Johnson was examined three times by a local psychiatrist hired by social workers. The doctor wrote to social workers saying:

‘There is no evidence of mental illness. I cannot understand why there are concerns about Mr Johnson’s mental health.’

Social services refused, as a result, to get involved.

In 2007, the ex-wife started private care proceedings to remove the boys from their father. A judge put the boys under a ‘living at home with parent’ care order.

It meant they would continue to live with their father, but under supervision by social services.

This care order was accompanied by the gagging order to stop an increasingly anguished Mr Johnson talking about the case publicly.

Even naming his sons in the most innocuous circumstances – such as on Facebook – became a contempt of court.

The care order on Sam expired on his 18th birthday three years ago. The one on Adam in October last year when he reached 18. Normally, a gagging order imposed by a family court judge on a parent expires at the same time as a care order on the child. This one did not.
Here is another story showing the lack of free speech in the UK:
A NEWPORT shopkeeper has been forced by police to remove a T-shirt from his shop window because they felt it “could be seen to be inciting racial hatred.”

Matthew Taylor, 35, the owner of Taylor’s clothes store on Emlyn Walk in the city, printed up and displayed the T-shirt with the slogan: “Obey our laws, respect our beliefs or get out of our country” after Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, was killed in near Woolwich barracks in London last week.

But following a complaint from a member of the public, police came to his store and threatened to arrest him unless he removed the T-shirt from sight....
The shirt is not racist, unless maybe you believe that only certain races violate the law. Immigrants should obey our laws and respect our beliefs. The UK is being destroyed.