Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hired man to fake rape

The local Santa Cruz California Sentinel published these letters:
Time for Santa Cruz to pick a new slogan

I have to say it. I cannot stand the slogan "keep Santa Cruz weird." It reminds me of the 1960s. We dressed differently, grew out our hair, used drugs, protested anything and everything, lived in communes, loved everyone and were considered weird. ...

Melanie Defe, Santa Cruz

We need a safer Santa Cruz now

Years ago I used to work in downtown Santa Cruz and knew may of our transients by sight and some by name. As time went on, a new, aggressive group of transients began moving in and downtown began feeling very unsafe to me.

Seven years ago, holding my 6-month-old, I was aggressively accosted by a panhandler wielding a machete who got angry with me for not giving him money. That is when I attended my first Santa Cruz City Council meeting ...

Salvetoria Larter, Santa Cruz
Wondering about crime and weirdness in Santa Cruz? I mentioned a false campus rape claim, and now the newspaper has more details:
Triplett broke up with a boyfriend Feb. 16 and posted ads twice on
that day for someone to harm her, prosecutors said.

"I am looking for a gun owner to shoot me in the arm/shoulder with the smallest caliber bullet possible," according to the post, which was quoted in court records. "No charges will be filed and I am willing to compensate you. I need this to happen tonight, Feb. 16."

A second post that night, titled "Seeking Strong Hand," said she wanted someone to "beat me up," including "punches, bruises and kicks."

Several men replied and a man came to the UCSC campus on Feb. 17. Triplett had been at UCSC to attend a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender conference, prosecutors said.

Schonfield said Triplett met the man on campus and he agreed to beat her in exchange for sex.

"They had sex and afterwards she used a cellphone screen reflection as a mirror to see if the injuries were bad enough and then directed him to hit her some more," according to court records.

The man left and Triplett called 911, saying that she was looking for banana slugs on a path when a man attacked and raped her.
They probably taught her some crazy things at the UCSC LGBT conference, but at least she had the decency to keep her word with the man.

We really have girls who wander off into the woods looking for banana slugs, so that is not as weird as it sounds. The DA asked the court to order her to stay off Craigslist, and not place any more personal ads of any kind.

Meanwhile, a fold singer is being locked out of shows in some sort of diversity statement:
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- Her show had been cancelled, but that didn't stop alternative folk and rock singer Michelle Shocked from showing up at a Santa Cruz nightclub where she staged a sit-in with tape across her mouth that read "Silenced By Fear." ...

On Thursday night, she posted signs that read "Does speech scare you that much?" and on her back she had scrawled "Gimme Wit, Not Spit."
So they are shocked that someone named Shocked said something shocking? No, they are just intolerant leftoids who want to censor other points of view.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Justice Kennedy confused about gay couples

The LGBTQIA lobby is celebrating winning over the Supreme Court swing justice, such as in Time magazine's How Gay Marriage Won:
Charles Cooper was extolling heterosexual marriage as the best arrangement in which to raise children when Kennedy interjected: What about the roughly 40,000 children of gay and lesbian couples living in California? “They want their parents to have full recognition and full status,” Kennedy said. “The voice of those children is important in this case, don’t you think?”
Kennedy has misrepresented the evidence. We don't have that many kids wanting parental recognition. Kids do not have same-sex parents. They have moms and dads.

Here is the official oral argument:
JUSTICE KENNEDY: I -- I think there's -­ there's substantial -- that there's substance to the point that sociological information is new. We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more.

On the other hand, there is an immediate legal injury or legal -- what could be a legal injury, and that's the voice of these children. There are some 40,000 children in California, according to the Red Brief, that live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?
If the voice of those children is so important, then maybe they should have testified. A lot of kids live with one parent and one boyfriend/girlfriend acting as a step-parent, and they hate the acting step-parent. They do not want their parent to marry and make that person a step-parent.

Here is what the red brief (pdf) says:
Indeed, the only harms demonstrated in this record are the debilitating consequences Proposition 8 inflicts upon tens of thousands of California families, and the pain and indignity that discriminatory law causes the nearly 40,000 California children currently being raised by same-sex couples. ...

Indeed, nearly 40,000 children in California are being raised by gay and lesbian couples. Pet. App. 238a. ...

And because Proponents acknowledge “the undisputed truth that children suffer when procreation and childrearing take place outside stable family units,” Prop. Br. 37, they must also acknowledge that the undeniable effect of Proposition 8 is to cause “suffer[ing]” among the nearly 40,000 children in California being raised by gay and lesbian couples. See Pet. App. 238a. Indeed, Proponents’ principal expert testified that “adopting same-sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children.” J.A. 903 (Blankenhorn).
David Blankenhorn is an advocate of same-sex marriage, so his opinion is not important here, as it is contrary to the Prop 8 supporters.

The point here is that the 40k kids are being raised by same-sex couples, not same-sex parents. In many cases, the child of a straight marriage ends up with a same-sex couple, after a divorce. For example, a wife will sue for divorce from her husband, make phony accusations of domestic violence, get child custody, and move in with a lesbian. The child still has two legal parents, the natural dad and mom. The child is not going to benefit from a lesbian wedding, as that may be just a device to further alienate the child from the dad.

Again, my concern here is not what LGBTQIA folks do in private. My concern is with anti-family laws and court rulings that make false presumptions about the interests of kids. Lesbian marriage is often just a legal device for cutting off kids from their dads. Justice Kennedy has misunderstood the 40k California kids.

Update: Maureen Dowd writes in the NY Times that Kennedy's comment was the high point of the oral argument:
Justice Anthony Kennedy had a single compassionate moment, mentioning the children whose gay parents were stuck in marital limbo.
No, there are no gay parents were stuck in marital limbo.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mutilation of the soul

I thought that the psychologist defense expert was bad, but the domestic violence expert is ten times worse. She rambles on and on with anecdotes that have no grounding in recognized facts or obvious relation to issues at trial.

In one rare factual statement, she said that 80% of women making domestic violence accusations later recant. She gave no source. Originally she said that she "heard" it, bringing an objection. But she got to repeat it anyway, when it was couched in a discussion of her experience.

The obvious implication is that those 80% of the accusations are false. LaViolette seemed to imply that all accusations are true, but the accusers back out anyway. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between. But unless the expert has some objective data on this, she should not be testifying about it.

My guess is that most of the time, when the accuser sees the draconian domestic violence penalties in states like California, she decides that the original offense does not deserve those penalties. So in that sense the accusations are false. The authorities exaggerate the significance of the incident into a major crime, and the accuser decides that no such major crime was committed.

AP reports:
PHOENIX - A domestic violence expert is testifying in Jodi Arias' murder trial to explain for jurors the generalities of abusers and victims.

Psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette (la-VI'-oh-let) spent much of Tuesday testifying about how most victims of such abuse don't report it and rarely tell anyone because they feel ashamed and humiliated.

The defense witness resumes testimony Wednesday.

Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the 2008 killing of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home.

Authorities say she planned the attack on her lover in a jealous rage. Arias initially told authorities she had nothing to do with it then said it was self-defense.

Arias says Alexander grew physically abusive prior to his death, but no trial evidence has supported her claims.
Here is LaViolette making a rare reference to a publication:
Psychological-emotional-verbal abuse tend to create the mood in the relationship. But also it is happening more frequently, you know. There's articles on psychological-emotional abuse being “Mutilation of the soul”, for instance, there's an article on that. But they generally will tell you that that's terrible for them.
What article? I could not find it. Who is "they", and why does their opinion matter? How is this informing the jury of anything useful?

I am surprised that this sort of vague, imprecise rambling gets allowed as expert testimony.

Here is some testimony about Jodi:
Q. Does she have issues with her mother?

LaViolette: She does have issues with her mother. I read some things, her grandparents said that they believe Jodi is angry at her mother. She is angry at her mother because Jodi's mother didn't protect her from her father, that her father said mean things to her. And there weren't details about what those mean things were, but that was what the grandparents said.
How is this allowed? This is hearsay of the worst sort. She read that someone else believe that some other person did not do some unspecified thing in response to some unspecified statement. Where did she read it? How did the grandparents hear about it? What was said? Is this the expert's opinion or the grandparents' opinion? Without some details, this is worthless.

For LaViolette to be effective, she has to argue that very mild and subtle verbal language can be abusive. Based on the evidence, the most abusive thing the victim did was to call Jodi a "skank" in a private text message. It is going to be a big stretch to consider that an excuse for murder. The term skank may have been accurate. Here is how LaViolette describes her after telling a story about her willingness to give a blow job in a parking lot to a man she just met:
I believe that Miss Arias, and because of her family history, her boundaries were probably a little more fluid than some other peoples' boundaries at that point.
No, her family history did not make her a skank.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Supreme court marriage cases

This week's US Supreme Court oral argument over California Prop 8 had this exhange:
JUSTICE SCALIA: I’m curious, when -­ when did — when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted? Sometimes — some time after Baker, where we said it didn’t even raise a substantial Federal question? When — when — when did the law become this?

MR. OLSON: When — may I answer this in the form of a rhetorical question? When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriages? When did it become unconstitutional to assign children to separate schools.

JUSTICE SCALIA: It’s an easy question, I think, for that one. At — at the time that the Equal Protection Clause was adopted. That’s absolutely true. But don’t give me a question to my question. When do you think it became unconstitutional? Has it always been unconstitutional? . . .

MR. OLSON: It was constitutional when we - ­as a culture determined that sexual orientation is a characteristic of individuals that they cannot control, and that that -­

JUSTICE SCALIA: I see. When did that happen? When did that happen?

MR. OLSON: There’s no specific date in time. This is an evolutionary cycle.
So I guess sexual preference evolved into a sexual orientation, and then a bunch of LGBTQIA activists convinced everyone that there is a gay gene. Funny how the scientists never found that gene. I'll stick to the science, and the Supreme Court is probably reading trends in the polls right now.

Anyway, this case caused me to look at an older case, STANLEY v. ILLINOIS, 405 U.S. 645 (1972):
Joan Stanley lived with Peter Stanley intermittently for 18 years, during which time they had three children. 1 When Joan Stanley died, Peter Stanley lost not only her but also his children. Under Illinois law, the children of unwed fathers become wards of the State upon the death of the mother. Accordingly, upon Joan Stanley's death, in a dependency proceeding instituted by the State of Illinois, Stanley's children 2 were declared wards of the State and placed with court-appointed guardians. Stanley appealed, claiming that he had never been shown to be an unfit parent and that since married fathers and unwed mothers could not be deprived of their children without such a showing, he had been deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed him by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Illinois Supreme Court accepted the fact that Stanley's own unfitness had not been established but rejected the equal protection claim, holding that Stanley could properly be separated from his children upon proof of the single fact that he and the dead mother [405 U.S. 645, 647] had not been married. Stanley's actual fitness as a father was irrelevant. In re Stanley, 45 Ill. 2d 132, 256 N. E. 2d 814 (1970).

Stanley presses his equal protection claim here. The State continues to respond that unwed fathers are presumed unfit to raise their children and that it is unnecessary to hold individualized hearings to determine whether particular fathers are in fact unfit parents before they are separated from their children. We granted certiorari, 400 U.S. 1020 (1971), to determine whether this method of procedure by presumption could be allowed to stand in light of the fact that Illinois allows married fathers - whether divorced, widowed, or separated - and mothers - even if unwed - the benefit of the presumption that they are fit to raise their children.
So I guess that Illinois unwed fathers were presumed unfit until 1972. The 5-2 decision sided with the dad, and declared the Illinois law unconstitional as part of a string of illegitimacy cases.

The dissent said:
The Illinois Supreme Court correctly held that the State may constitutionally distinguish between unwed fathers and unwed mothers. Here, Illinois' different treatment of the two is part of that State's statutory scheme for protecting the welfare of illegitimate children. In almost all cases, the unwed mother is readily identifiable, generally from hospital records, and alternatively by physicians or others attending the child's birth. Unwed fathers, as a class, are not traditionally quite so easy to identify and locate. Many of them either deny all responsibility or exhibit no interest in the child or its welfare; and, of course, many unwed fathers are simply not aware of their parenthood.

Furthermore, I believe that a State is fully justified in concluding, on the basis of common human experience, that the biological role of the mother in carrying and nursing an infant creates stronger bonds between her and the child than the bonds resulting from the male's often casual encounter. This view is reinforced by the observable fact that most unwed mothers exhibit a concern for their offspring either permanently or at least until they are safely placed for adoption, while unwed fathers rarely burden either the mother or the child with their attentions or loyalties. Centuries of human experience buttress this view of the realities of human conditions and suggest that unwed mothers of illegitimate children are generally more dependable protectors of their children than are unwed fathers. While these, like most generalizations, are not without exceptions, they nevertheless provide a sufficient basis to sustain a statutory classification whose objective is not to penalize unwed parents but to further the welfare of illegitimate children in fulfillment of the State's obligations as parens patriae.
This seems quaint today. I wonder anyone on the Supreme Court today will have the guts to say that the govt can create presumptions based on centuries of human experience with homosexuals.

Much as I stick up for dads on this blog, I cannot actually agree with this 1972 decision. Common human experience really does tell us that there are differences between moms and dads. The dad could have locked in his parental rights by marriage or adoption. We have had a system of legally recognizing parents for centuries, and the court was irresponsible to tamper with it. The state gave a reasonable justification for its law:
When explaining at oral argument why Illinois does not recognize the unwed father, counsel for the State presented two basic justifications for the statutory definition of "parents" here at issue. First, counsel noted that in the case of a married couple to whom a legitimate child is born, the two biological parents have already "signified their willingness to work together" in caring for the child by entering into the marriage contract; it is manifestly reasonable, therefore, that both of them be recognized as legal parents with rights and responsibilities in connection with the child. There has been no legally cognizable signification of such willingness on the part of unwed parents, however, and "the male and female ... may or may not be willing to work together towards the common end of child rearing." To provide legal recognition to both of them as "parents" would often be "to create two conflicting parties competing for legal control of the child."

The second basic justification urged upon us by counsel for the State was that, in order to provide for the child's welfare, "it is necessary to impose upon at least one of the parties legal responsibility for the welfare of [the child], and since necessarily the female is present at the birth of the child and identifiable as the mother," the State has selected the unwed mother, rather than the unwed father, as the biological parent with that legal responsibility.

... Counsel replied that, on the contrary, "Illinois encourages him to do so if he will accept the legal responsibility for those children by a formal proceeding comparable to the marriage ceremony, in which he is evidencing through a judicial proceeding his desire to accept legal responsibility for the children."
Yes, it is manifestly reasonable to have a system where the parents voluntarily accept the legal parents rights and responsibilities.

Women have the chance to voluntarily accept parenthood, as they have the exclusive and unilateral right to make an abortion choice, under the court's decisions. Men may be involuntarily paying child support, and today's system seems designed to create two conflicting parties competing for legal control of the child, with family court judges supervising the best interest of the child (BIOTCh). While the Supreme Court has meddled in family law in the above case and similar cases, it refuses to do anything about the sort of injustices that I regularly describe on this blog, such as the millions of dads who have been cut off from their kids. The US Supreme Court has made a huge mess out of family law, and it is itching to make things worse again with the marriage cases this week.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Psych defense experts at Arias trial

I have been following the Jodi Arias trial on TV (TruTV and HLN), and it now moves into the Battered woman defense. The evidence for abuse is extremely thin, consisting of some messages referring to "animalistic sex" and related matters, and Jodi telling an abuse story about a year after the killing, and after telling other elaborate false stories.

Jodi did not just have animalistic sex with the man she killed; she testified that she had anal sex with two other boyfriends. She also testified that she did not write about the abuse in her diaries because she believed in the law of attraction. (According the HLN, her diary says that she stopped believing in that law, but that has not been entered as evidence yet.) Samuels said that the anal sex was a sign of low self-esteem, but anal sex is a lot more common among young people than most older people realize.

Women can be very illogical on this subject. One HLN viewer said:
After being married to a man like Travis, I know he abused her. I snapped & still don't know what caused it.
This is like saying, "I know Jodi is a murderer because I once heard of another Mexican-American murderer."

So we now have expert witnesses testifying about the profile of an abuser.

ABC TV reports on the previous expert:
The prosecutor in Jodi Arias' murder trial pounded on a table Monday as he attacked the credibility of a psychologist who diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder and amnesia, appearing to mock the expert witness who feverishly defended his work.

Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities say she planned the attack on her lover in a jealous rage. Arias initially told authorities she had nothing to do with it then blamed it on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said it was self-defense.

Psychologist Richard Samuels, a defense witness, testified previously that his diagnosis of PTSD and amnesia explains why Arias can't recall many details from the day she killed Alexander as the defense works to convince jurors she may have lied repeatedly before, but she isn't lying now.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez has spent several days picking apart Samuels' evaluation techniques, and even accused him of forming a relationship with Arias that biased his diagnosis.

"You have feelings for the defendant!" Martinez yelled.

"I beg your pardon, sir," Samuels responded as defense attorneys objected.

Earlier in the day, Martinez pounded on a table as he questioned Samuels' credibility, appearing to rattle the witness who thumped his own finger loudly on his notes.

Samuels has denied the allegations of bias and missteps that could have skewed his findings. He testified that he based his diagnosis of Arias on multiple interviews with her, reviews of crime scene photos and police reports, as well as the tests he performed on her.

Martinez later again questioned how Samuels could have come to any definitive diagnosis based on Arias' lies. When Samuels began evaluating her in jail, Arias was sticking to the intruder story.

Martinez also questioned how Samuels could know whether Arias indeed doesn't recall details from the killing and suffers from amnesia or if she is faking it.

"I can respond in terms of psychological probability," Samuels explained.

"Which is basically telling me you don't know," Martinez snapped.
The prosecutor ripped into Samuels for minor minor mistakes, ethical lapses, and having compassionate feelings showing a lack of objectivity.

Samuels keep arguing that he was trained to be a neutral observer, to have empathy but not sympathy. I guess he had compassionate feelings, but not sexual feelings.

The prosecutor did a good job of poking holes in Samuels' testimony, but I am afraid that he is just poking small holes and not rebutting the big issues.

Samuels spent most of his testimony talking about DSM-IV symptoms, computer-scored tests, and other matters where he seemed to be backed up by professional knowledge. The real trouble with his testimony is that he slyly slipped in some indefensible implications.

He argued that Jodi "creating an alternative reality" is an involuntary consequence of PTSD. He has no support for that. Jodi is a masterful liar who has told the most brazen lies. You cannot trust anything she says, even if she sounds convincing.

The whole idea that Jodi has some stress disorder is implausible. From what I have seen, she has handled the stress of the trial remarkably well. I estimate 9 out of 10 people could not hold up as well on the witness stand for 3 weeks, even if they were telling the truth. She testified that she was uncomfortable by a man interrogating her, but she held up extremely well.

More outrageously, he gave this answer:
Jury: Can the acute stress occur in a planned killing, as opposed to self-defense?

Samuels: Possible, not probable.
He has no support for this at all. There is nothing in the DSM-IV or any of his authorities that say this.

He did say that a soldier doing a planned attack is less likely to get PTSD than a soldier who is attacked. But that is a lot different. A soldier is doing what he is supposed to do. Jodi is accused of premeditated murder. For her to get caught murdering her boyfriend is surely more stressful than the great majority of PTSD diagnoses.

He also argued that her PTSD diagnosis and his professional clinical judgment tell him that Jodi was not motivated by jealousy. Again, there is no data, or textbook, or scientific research to back up such a ridiculous statement.

When cornered, Samuels would say that psychology is an inexact science, and that is why he speaks in terms of probabilities. But he never gave any probabilities for anything. If he is going to testify that a jealous rage murder is not probable, then he should have to back it up with a calculation based on generally accepted data. It is up to the jury to decide that question. Samuels should only be explaining expert knowledge that informs the jury, and not just giving his conclusion.

The prosecutor did not hammer these big issues. My guess is that he will bring his own psychologist who gives a different conclusion. Meanwhile, the defense domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette is testifying, and I'll report on that later. So far she has described credentials and experience (mainly counseling abusers and victims), and going into a rambling profile of a domestic abuser.

She says that abusers can be respected in the community, and not show any outward evidence. Sometimes they have sexual practices that are coercive but not forcible. Sometimes the man will be jealous, and ask his girlfriend a lot of questions if she is out partying with others. He might show controlling behavior, such as calling her at home to see if she is at home. Sometimes he might lose his temper easily, and even tho he does not hit or harm her, she is walking on eggshells so as to not upset him. Sometimes he is more fun to be with early in the relationship. Sometimes he tells her negative comments about her family or friends.

The expert's main thesis is that there is a "continuum of aggression and abuse". That is, it cannot be quantified or diagnosed like DSM-IV PTSD. It exhibits many different behaviors to many different durations and degrees.

LaViolette told anecdotes about "monopolization of perception" and "shift in perception". This occurs when a wife or girlfriend starts looking at things from the man's point of view. In some cases, he will make a comment, she will take offense, and he will apologize and clarify his comment so that it does not offend.

She said that women said that psychological or emotional abuse is worse than physical abuse. As an example, a husband might tell the wife that she has gained weight. When the wife takes offense, the husband might say that she looks great. As another example, he might call her a cutesy name, and then stop when she says that she does not like the name.

I am not getting what these anecdotes have to do with the case. If anything, Jodi was the controlling and jealous one. Who was abusing whom? This is a brutal murder trial. It seems absurd to talk about trivialities like someone giving a lover the silent treatment for a few hours. I guess the point is going to be that trivial pieces of evidence of abuse will put the victim on the abuse continuum, and therefore make it plausible that he tried to kill Jodi and Jode acted in self-defense.

My problem with LaViolette is that she is not reporting any generally accepted expert knowledge. She is just telling anecdotal stories that have no obvious relevance to Jodi Arias. The anecdotes should not be admissible. Normally, if a bank robber is on trial, the judge will not allow an expert to testify to just tell stories about other bank robbers. I will post more about the admissibility of evidence.

Update: LaViolette testified that she has used her continuum chart in family court against dads who did not seem to meet the profile of an abuser. By showing a chart that describes abuse as a very wide range of behaviors, she can show that just about any man is in the continuum.

She also said that the term "domestic violence" is being replaced by intimate partner violence or abuse.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bias against Neanderthals

I had a judge suspect me of Asperger syndrome even tho the court psychologists said otherwise and the diagnosis is being dropped from the DSM-5.

I wonder if some of the bigotry is rooted in prejudice against Neanderthals.

This article suggests that autism may come from Neanderthal genes, and adds:
I want to be perfectly clear on this point: this discovery absolutely does not mean that the Denisovans, Neandertals, and other ancients were autistic. Nor does it mean that autistic people exhibit prehistoric thinking. Rather, what it underscores is that normal modes of human thought occupy a broad continuum.

The “neurotypical” way in which most people see the world today is only one way of doing it. As enlightened studies of autism repeatedly drive home, we need to appreciate those variations as part of our human spectrum rather than just labeling them defective or abnormal.

With or without all our cognitive abilities, the Neandertals and Denisovans survived under amazingly hostile conditions for hundreds of thousands of years. Their different ways of thinking may have been dominant throughout long stretches of the past, and might even have had advantages over our own under their circumstances. The lesson that these ancients offer is that we should broaden our minds about how broad minds can be.
There is a theory for this origin of autism:
The theory shows that autism is not always a disease and that some forms of autism exist for a simple reason: Every population has a surrounding frontier where there are few members. Adaptation to frontier sparseness produces a Sparseness Adaptation Syndrome that plausibly accounts for much of autism. In other words autism is an expected result of adaptation to the unrelenting sparseness of population frontiers.
Popular portrayals of Neanderthal men show them to be ugly and stupid. They were not so stupid, as New Evidence Debunks 'Stupid' Neanderthal Myth:
Many long-held beliefs suggesting why the Neanderthals went extinct have been debunked in recent years. Research has already shown that Neanderthals were as good at hunting as Homo sapiens and had no clear disadvantage in their ability to communicate. Now, these latest findings add to the growing evidence that Neanderthals were no less intelligent than our ancestors.

Metin Eren, an MA Experimental Archaeology student at the University of Exeter and lead author on the paper comments: "Our research disputes a major pillar holding up the long-held assumption that Homo sapiens were more advanced than Neanderthals. It is time for archaeologists to start searching for other reasons why Neanderthals became extinct while our ancestors survived. Technologically speaking, there is no clear advantage of one tool over the other. When we think of Neanderthals, we need to stop thinking in terms of 'stupid' or 'less advanced' and more in terms of 'different.'"
Some new research leads to this speculation:
For ages, anthropologists have puzzled over Neanderthal and human brains, since they were the same size. If each species had comparable brain power, why did humans dominate?

A comparison of Neanderthal and human brains has revealed it was a matter of allocation: Neanderthal brains focused more on vision and movement, leaving less room for cognition related to social networking. ...

Another theory, supported by this new study, is that Neanderthals went extinct because they were less capable of forming larger social networks. Pearce theorized that "smaller social groups might have made Neanderthals less able to cope with the difficulties of their harsh Eurasian environments because they would have had fewer friends to help them out in times of need."

She continued, "Overall, differences in brain organization and social cognition may go a long way towards explaining why Neanderthals went extinct whereas modern humans survived."

Dunbar further thinks that new diseases brought in by humans could have hurt Neanderthals.
I have had my genes sequenced, and they are 2.8% Neanderthal. Neanderthal men had a European look, with hairy bodies, light skin and eyes, stocky builds, and large cranial capacity. Some people find it very upsetting that brain size could be related to intelligence.

I am here to speak out against Neanderthal prejudice.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Right to petition for redress

I have posted about the Dan Brewington case. The Indiana Lawyer
Humphrey, who didn’t preside in Brewington’s criminal trial, said it would be inappropriate to comment about the case at this time.

But Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said Brewington’s case is anything but a First Amendment matter. “The advocates for this have said they don’t want to get into the minutiae,” he said. “Why let the facts get in the way of the case?”
Humphrey is hiding behind an indefensible position. It might be inappropriate to comment if he were the presiding judge in the criminal trial, but he brought a public complaint against Brewington and testified as a witness.

I am happy to discuss the minutiae of the case. Brewington's comments, in context, only threatened to hold public officials accountable thru the law and public opinion.
He said jurors decided Brewington’s guilt based on evidence that included witnesses who said Brewington had made them fearful with warnings such as, “I’ll destroy you.”

The state argues in its response to the transfer petition filed March 12 that the Supreme Court should take the case, but for far different reasons. “This Court should affirm Brewington’s conviction for intimidation because Brewington’s communications to and about the judge were truly threatening communications, conveying the threat that he would injure the judge or commit a crime against him,” the brief states.

Brewington’s speech is unprotected, the state claims. “Brewington communicated ‘true threats’ to Judge Humphrey, although he cleverly attempted to disguise them. Brewington’s communications to and about the judge included communications that both indicated Brewington’s capacity for setting things on fire … as well as communications that made clear to the judge that Brewington knew where the judge lived, and knew where the judge’s wife lived.

“It is a disappointing irony that Brewington, who is no friend of free speech when it is spoken by his victims, now takes refuge in the First Amendment,” the brief says, noting the judge and custody evaluator have a right to perform their duties without fear of violent reprisal. “Brewington does not have the First Amendment right to place them in fear of such violent reprisals for their speech.”

“This was not just someone posting stuff on a blog, but he was threatening our judicial system by putting witnesses in fear,” Negangard said. “You don’t get to communicate threats to someone to get them to change their testimony or not testify. The First Amendment does not protect those types of actions, otherwise, we lose our justice system.”
The prosecutor is referring to Brewington's blog suggesting sending complaints to a govt official, using an address from the public record.

Brewington's right to do this should be protected by 3 different clauses of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That is, he has a free speech right to express his opinion, a free press right to publish it on his blog, and a right "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The prosecutor's complaint is that Brewington petitioned the Government for a redress of grievances, and that govt officials were upset by this. Posting a mailing address for a written complaint is not a violent threat, and the jury did not find that it was a violent threat.
Negangard noted that after Brewington was arrested in Hamilton County, Ohio, evidence was presented at Brewington’s bond hearing from a cellmate who said Brewington had broached the subject of murder-for-hire. Negangard said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges on that allegation.

Brewington’s co-counsel Sam Adams said those allegations are false and have been disproven. Brewington, he said, “never spoke with this inmate and his attorney in Ohio obtained the jail movement logs for both (Brewington and the other inmate), and it showed they were never in the same place at the same time.” ATF agents also investigated the allegation, Adams said.

“Our opinion is it was pretty much a jailhouse snitch trying to get his own charges lessened,” Adams said.
Why is the prosecutor running around to the press accusing Brewington of charges where there was insufficient evidence to bring them in court? Now that is truly inappropriate slander. Negangard could defend the conviction that he got in court, but instead he attacks Brewington with a series of accusations that were not proved in court.

That alone should convince you that Brewington got screwed. If he committed some real crime, then the prosecutor would be able to explain it based on the actual conviction.

Dan's blog reports that a Russian Pravda article has cited his case as an example of political persecution outside Russia. It compares Dan to some Russian cases, but the Russians did not actually serve jail time, as Dan has. Maybe a better analogy would be to the Pussy Riot, where a couple of Russian punk rocker women are still in prison.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Jury deadlocks on bogus picture charges

Here is another guest post about a local prosecution for some innocent pictures. 10 jurors had some common sense, even if no one else did. The prosecutor says that this is a "unique case", but he ought to drop it.

Dear George,

Months ago, I found your blog post Overzealous child porn prosecution on my boyfriend Alexander Morisse that is being falsely accused by his ex-wife. We were so relieved to see that somebody in the digital world REALLY understood what this case is about. The articles in Santa Cruz Sentinel and Mercury News depict a horrible case and could really tarnish his reputation. We just finished the 2 1/2 weeks trial, here in Santa Cruz. We've had over 30 different supporters come to court...Family, friends, even some friends that used to be mutual friends of Alexander Morisse and Eliina Karyndinha (his ex) and that are now on our side. Since yesterday, we are all impatiently waiting for the jury's verdict. Here's the most recent stub:

Here are some points on the case, that have been argued by our lawyer Kellin Cooper that clearly state the truth of the matter. The following information was part of his closing statement.

This case is a tragedy - Alex Morisse is innocent - The police and prosecution got this wrong

Did Alex Morisse take these polka dot photos for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer? Answer: “No”

Circumstantial evidence:

If you can draw two or more reasonable conclusions from the circumstantial evidence, and one of those reasonable conclusions points to innocence and another guilt, you must accept the one that points to innocence.

ALL the evidence points to complete lack of sexual intent:

Truth is simple,

The polka dot photo’s (the ones he got arrested for) were NEVER in his possession, always in the mother and daughter’s possession (on THEIR computer)

Alex’s statements are truthful and consistent every step of the way

Disclosure to Marriage Family Therapist Julie Raudenbaugh months before the pictures were found by mother. Alexander Morisse questioned her about if it’s normal for 4 years old children to be so curious of their body and want to take pictures to "see how their parts look like". He told Julie Raudenbaugh exactly how the pictures were taken (to Sahtah’s request) and even described them. She gave him advice on how to handle a request like this, if it happened again, and acknowledged that children that young are very curious about their body.

Truthful and consistent in ambush pretext statement (the morning of his arrest on April 25th 2012, Alexander Morisse received an ambush phone call from his ex Eliina. She was in a police van, questioning him precisely about the polka dot pictures she had found. Alex had NO idea this phone call was going to lead to his arrest)

Morisse was tricked

Truthful and consistent in statement to the police on April 25th 2012

Dr Robert Kaufman opines he was truthful

Dr Charles Flinton opines he was truthful – Alexander Morisse took a full slew of forensic psychological evaluations that determine such things as deception, sexual deviancy and maladjusted behaviors. The conclusions were totally in his favor. He did not score on ANY of the deception, sexual deviancy and maladjusted behaviors’ tests.

Charles Flinton is an EXPERT in paraphilia, pedophilia being a sub branch of it.

Sahtah corroborates truthfulness! She asks her mother WHY can’t she see her dad and WHERE is he. When the mother explains that he took “inappropriate” pictures of her and shows which ones they are, Sahtah replies “I wanted to take these pictures”

Eliina is not to be trusted:

Eliina testimony can not be relied upon because it is untrustworthy,

Eliina committed perjury at the preliminary examination,

She destroyed evidence, pictures she had on her computer

Refusal to identify herself in photos,

She fabricated false allegations

The prosecutor asked the jury to totally ignore:

Julie Raudenbaugh, a mandatory reporter for the state of California, whom didn’t even find reasonable suspicion in this case after Alex’s full disclosure, more than 6 months before his arrest
Dr Kaufman, who states that
- There is no evidence that Alex has any proclivities that can be described as sexually exploitive.
- Alex is focused on the best interest of Sahtah
- No indication that Alex derived any sexual gratification from the photos

Dr Flinton’s forensic evaluation found that,
- Alex is not a pedophile.
- Alex does not have a predisposition to engage in sexual misconduct toward minors.
- the polka dot photos are not child pornography.

By the way, we got the verdict of the jury last Friday. It is a mistrial, the jury couldn't come to a unanimous decision. Alex, who was charged with 7 counts (for 7 different pictures) got in average 10 jurors out of 12 that voted not guilty. ... May the truth be revealed and innocent fathers defended!

Thank you indefinitely!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

How to Modify Alimony Payments

This is a guest post. I am not endorsing the links.

The "D" word is something the breadwinner in any marriage never wants to hear. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 28.5 percent of men aged 40 to 49 had divorced at some point in their lives. The same 2009 survey found 31 percent of women in that same age group had divorced at some point. Alimony, or spousal support, payments are no longer exclusively the ex-husband paying the ex-wife either. Forty-seven percent of U.S. divorce lawyers say they have seen a hike in women paying alimony, according to a 2012 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The following defines the different types of alimony and how you can potentially modify your obligations.

Reimbursement vs. Rehabilitative Alimony

The terminology for each of these types of spousal support will vary based on your state of residence. Reimbursement alimony, also called maintenance support, is generally ordered in cases which one spouse worked for the entirety of the marriage, and the other did not. It could also be awarded, for instance, to a husband who worked several jobs while the wife attended medical school. The husband can be entitled to maintenance support if she earns substantially more than he did at the time of divorce. Reimbursement alimony can be permanent or set at a fixed number of years. However, modifications can be made based on changes in circumstances.
Rehabilitative alimony, known as transitional support in some states, is generally awarded on a temporary basis. A fixed payment is awarded, for instance, to the ex-wife, to complete her bachelor's degree so she can earn a respectable living. Once the ex-wife finds a job in her field, these payments can be stopped upon the filing of a proper motion with the court.

Change in Circumstances

The most common and successful way to get alimony payments reduced or eliminated is a change in the payee's circumstances. An ex-wife moving in with a boyfriend who makes substantially more than her ex-husband, or their combined incomes exceed that of the alimony payer, can be grounds for support modification. The payer spouse will bear the initial burden of proving there is, in fact, a cohabitation situation with the payee spouse. This is normally done with the filing of an ex-parte motion, or a court brief asking a judge to hear your evidence of cohabitation without the other party present.
The motion will be served on the other party in accordance with that respective state's rules of civil procedure. In Ohio, for example, Rule 4.1 stipulates service can be done personally, by certified mail, or by leaving a copy at the payee's residence. If you rather have a process server do it and cannot afford it in Ohio, payday loans are a quick way to obtain funds and get the litigation rolling. Changes to state laws, disability, and a financial emergency with the payer can all be grounds for modification, as well.

Be Prepared

The last thing you want to happen is your case being dismissed because of a procedural error. Most family courts will provide pro-se (self-represented) litigants literature and forms to assist in the process. You can find any state's rules of civil procedure online with a simple search. State laws are usually termed "revised statutes" and can also be found online. An e-book called "How To Represent Yourself In Court" is an easy-to-read instruction manual written by Nolo Law, which owns several legal websites.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Democrats want men to give up guns

The NY Times has a long piece of feminist gun control propaganda that starts:
Early last year, after a series of frightening encounters with her former husband, Stephanie Holten went to court in Spokane, Wash., to obtain a temporary order for protection. ...

In neat block letters she wrote, “ He owns guns, I am scared.”
In some states, that is all it takes for a man to lose his gun rights.

Minority Report was just a stupid movie. We do not have precogs who have the psychic ability to predict future crimes. I am all in favor of taking guns from convicted felons, but citizens are innocent until proven guilty in America. They are supposed to be, anyway.

The anti-man liberal Democrats want want judges to be precogs. The NY Times editorial says:
A man abuses and threatens his ex-wife. She tells a judge that she is frightened and that he is armed. The court orders him to stay away from her. Should it also order him to give up his guns?

Of course it should. If a protective order is to mean anything, the court must do all that it reasonably can do to keep a vulnerable person from becoming a homicide statistic. ...

Representative Lois Capps, a California Democrat, recently introduced a bill to toughen the federal law to cover temporary protective orders and current or former “dating partners,” not just spouses. Congress should pass it, and states should reinforce it with their own laws, requiring judges to act when a person’s safety is at obvious risk from an ex-partner with a gun.
If the man is really committing crimes, he can be charged for those. But most restraining orders are not justified, and a ex-wife is harassing her ex-husband by trying to deprive him of his rights. The newspapers claims that there are studies showing that the order can prevent violence, but they do not consider all the harm that the orders do.

Men on Strike

Psychologist and blogger Helen Smith has announced a new book coming out this summer, Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters:
American society has become anti-male. Men are sensing the backlash and are consciously and unconsciously going “on strike.” They are dropping out of college, leaving the workforce and avoiding marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates. The trend is so pronounced that a number of books have been written about this “man-child” phenomenon, concluding that men have taken a vacation from responsibility simply because they can. But why should men participate in a system that seems to be increasingly stacked against them?

As Men on Strike demonstrates, men aren’t dropping out because they are stuck in arrested development. They are instead acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers. In addition, men are going on strike, either consciously or unconsciously, because they do not want to be injured by the myriad of laws, attitudes and hostility against them for the crime of happening to be male in the twenty-first century. Men are starting to fight back against the backlash. Men on Strike explains their battle cry.
Just read my blog, and you will get an idea why men are dropping out. Or read her blog.

She also comments on a NY Times story:
Only 63 percent of children lived in a household with two parents in 2010, down from 82 percent in 1970. The single parents raising the rest of those children are predominantly female. And there is growing evidence that sons raised by single mothers “appear to fare particularly poorly,” Professor Autor wrote in an analysis for Third Way, a center-left policy research organization.
She adds:
Boys and men right now are off to a bad start from day one and those who don’t go along with the female -privileged society are stuck on the sidelines. A boy’s typical day might be one with a single mom, mostly female teachers who rarely give him a break, a culture that tells him he is a pervert, TV shows, bulletin boards and news shows portraying him as a rapist and domestic violence abuser and all around bad guy. It’s no wonder men have opted out of an economy and culture that values them so little.
A reader sent this infographic about how single black women cannot find a suitable black man because they are all unemployed, fat, high-school dropouts, gay, prefering non-black women, or already have kids with another woman. And they don't even count the criminals and drug users! (Correction: They did count criminals.)

These figures sound impressive, but the truth is more nearly the opposite. The typical black girl is a sex maniac at age 14, has had a couple of abortions by age 17, a couple of kids by age 20, and is morbidly obese by age 25. Furthermore, they have a tradition of unstable matriachal families, and they are undermined by bad welfare incentives for illegitimacy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Expert was a suspended evaluator

The Jodi Arias defense expert witness Richard Samuels testified that he used to be a child custody evaluator! He said that he had done 1000 evaluations in New Jersey until he got caught bartering psychotherapy services for dental services, while testifying in a dispute between a dentist and his wife. His s license was suspended there, and moved to Arizona. As a penalty, he paid a $2500 fine and had to take an ethics class (he complied by "reading a book" and taking an exam).

He keeps testifying about Arias lying and telling the truth. Sometimes there are objections, as it is not proper for him to testify about whether Arias was telling the truth. It is up to the jury to decide whether Arias's wild story is true. This witness has no special expertise as a lie detector.

My guess is that the defense lawyer urged the psychologist to squeeze in statements about Arias telling the truth, and said that it is up to the prosecution to object. But if I were on the jury, I would think that the psychologist is gullible and sloppy on the subject of truth. Of course if I were on the jury, I would be holding expert witnesses to higher standards in several ways.

He testified that Arias has PTSD, and a symptom of that is "blunted affect", meaning a constricted ability to express emotion. He said that her lying or "de-realization" with phony stories about the killing could have been a way to create an alternative reality to insulate herself from the stress of what did happen.

This all seems like just a fancy way of saying that she was lying to cover up her horrible crime. We don't need a psychologist for that.

The prosecutor did catch Samuels in a goof. One of the questions on a test given to Arias was, "Have you been assaulted by a stranger?". Arias said yes, based on her phony story of two other guys killing her boyfriend in her presence. We now know that the story was a total lie, and Samuels had to admit that he should have re-scored the test after he learned that she lied on the test.

If she can fool the psychologist so easily, they what is this guy adding to what the jury can already figure out? I guess I will stay tuned. It is on TruTV (Dish 242), and excerpts are also on HLN TV (Dish 202).

The prosecutor also ripped Samuels for give a copy of Your Erroneous Zones to Arias. That is a self-help book that sold 35 million copies. Samuels contradicted himself over whether the book was a gift, and whether the book was to help her with depression. I guess the point was that this was some sort of ethical lapse or sign of bias, analogous to the dentist barter that got him disciplined. I don't know, it was just a $9 book that a lot of people read. More serious is that he probably prompted her about how to behave consistent with this PTSD diagnosis, but his interviews were not recorded. Samuels said that he prefers not to record interviews, even tho a recording would be more accurate than his notes.

The prosecutor's hostile cross-exam style was more appropriate for the expert, because the expert can be expected to use his words precisely. At one point Samuels said that he "speculated" and then denied that he would speculate. He looked a little foolish, but I don't think that it matters much.

Samuels also stumbled on the correct name of the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS®) test. He called it the "PSD", for posttraumatic stress inventory, or posttraumatic stress diagnostic. It was slightly embarrassing for someone who is supposed to be an expert on the test, and even had the manual in front of him as he was testifying.

CNN has the March 18 trial transcript.

The test is top-secret and copyrighted, but you can find the whole test as Appendix B of this (pdf) thesis. You can also find the test here, in Microsoft Word format. The psychologists keep is secret in order to make it more difficult for someone like Jodi Arias to fake a PTSD diagnosis. Someone could easily fake it by reading an article on PTSD, the DSM-IV diagnostic symptom list, and the PDS test questions.

I post this testing info because it is on the web anyway, it is on the public record in the Jodi Arias trial, and it is essential for understanding how these court experts/quacks are manipulating our justice system with bogus arguments. I am certainly not trying to help some future killer get acquitted, or help some Afghanistan veteran collect disability benefits.

The HLN TV mock jury voted 10-2 that Arias faked the PTSD. I guess that it is possible that some jurors will say that Arias shot her boyfriend in a rage, and then was not conscious of the 29 stabbings and throat slashing because of some sort of PTSD. If so, then maybe she did not have sufficient intentionality to deserve the death penalty.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Picture of boy with gun

Here is NJ CPS harassing gun owners:
The father of an 11-year-old took a picture of him holding a .22 rifle and posted it on Facebook. Shortly after, an anonymous call was made to New Jersey’s Department of Youth and Family Services, and they showed up at the father’s door demanding to see his firearms or else they would take the child.

Shawn Moore posted on a pro-Second Amendment forum detailing the experience. Moore said two representatives from the state’s social services came to his house on the night of March 15 with four police officers.

They said they were responding to a call about a young boy holding a firearm, and without a search warrant, demanded to see his firearms. Though Moore was not initially there, his wife called him and talked to him throughout until he was able to arrive at the home.

They also called their lawyer, who listened to the exchange between the DYFS, police and Moore’s family. His lawyer told Moore to deny entry to the DYFS.

After he told them they could not enter, a DYFS representative threatened to take his children. When Moore asked for her name, she refused to give it to him and soon left “empty handed and seeing nothing.” ...

Apparently, the DYFS representative wanted access to the house and gun safe so that she could make sure they were catalogued and “properly registered,” though New Jersey does not require registration.
It might seem crazy today, but it was not that long ago when it was not that unusual for an 11yo boy to have his own gun.

This is just CPS harassment and intimidation. Why does it matter what guns are in the gun safe?

There are people who believe in tighter gun regulation, but CPS has no authority to just invent their own gun policies.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mom freed after bad child abuse conviction

I often post about men who are falsely accused, but I also post about women. CNN reports about such a mom:
After 22 years on death row, Debra Milke is close to freedom.

A jury convicted the Arizona woman, now 49, of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, child abuse and kidnapping on October 12, 1990, less than a year after her 4-year-old son was found dead.

A judge sentenced her to death a few months later.

But those convictions and the related sentence were tossed out Thursday by a federal appeals court judge. In explaining his decision, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals chided the prosecution for remaining "unconstitutionally silent" on the "history of misconduct" of its key witness, a Phoenix police detective.

"The Constitution requires a fair trial," Kozinski wrote. "This never happened in Milke's case." ...

In fact, "no other witnesses or direct evidence (linked) Milke to the crime" other than Saldate's testimony. After pleading not guilty, Milke stood trial and tried to convince a jury that her account -- and not the detective's -- was the true one.

"The trial was, essentially, a swearing contest between Milke and ... Saldate," said Kozinski. ...

There was no recording of the interrogation, no one else was in the room or watching from a two-way mirror, and Saldate said he threw away his notes shortly after completing his report.

"The judge and jury believed Saldate," said Kozinski of the verdict and sentence. "But they didn't know about Saldate's long history of lying under oath and other misconduct."
The first problem is that hte authorities are way too quick to blame a parent for child abuse. Second, no police confession should ever be admitted as evidence unless it was recorded. Third, the judge and prosecutors snowed the jury. Fourth, the worthless appeals court rubber-stamped this conviction. And finally, the federal courts (including Kozinski) sat on this case for many years before deciding to take action.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Jodi Arias expert

I have been following the televised trial of Jodi Arias for the Killing of Travis Alexander, as I mentioned here and here last month. The case is fascinating for her extensive televised testimony giving a wildly implausible defense of how and why she killed her boyfriend. It is also unusual because the jury has been allowed to ask questions, and that jury could ultimately give her the death penalty.

Arias had an expert psychologist testify:
Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman on trial for the brutal murder of her ex-boyfriend, was depressed and in denial after the gruesome slaying, a psychologist told a jury in Phoenix Thursday.

Defense expert Richard Samuels testified at Arias’ trial about her mental state before and after the June 2008 shooting, stabbing and slashing of Travis Alexander. Arias, 32, is charged with first-degree murder and faces the death penalty if convicted.

“She was not able to tell her family about what happened," Samuels said. "She was not able to tell anybody about what happened. And this is a classic symptom of an acute stress disorder.”
He testified that he used a computer scoring of the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory to help make his diagnosis. He admitted that the test could be faked, but that such methods are not well known. The test is supposed to detect naive attempts to fake it.

All of this has very little to do with her guilt or innocence. Of course she was depressed and in denial after the killing. That is what I would expect after murder. And of course murder is stressful.

Arizona tax money is bankrolling this expert. It will be interesting to see how the court treats this quackery.

I was also given the MCMI-III for my child custody court case, among other tests. They said that I had no psychological disorders. Sometimes I think that I might have been better off if I had faked a disorder, and then gotten treated for it.

Samuels also gave Arias the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS®) test. It has 49 multiple choice questions, and it takes 15 minutes. Samuels said that he scored it by hand, and it basically consists of adding up how many questions gave a positive response, when the question asked for a symptom of PTSD. He admitted that the test could be faked, but only if she knew the symptoms of PTSD. He claimed that these tests check for honesty, and Arias had scores indicating an honest response.

I am still trying to figure out the point to Samuels' testimony. His main argument so far is that Arias has met the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD after the killing. This was based largely on reading the DSM-IV manual to the court, and relying on Arias's own account of that she did. He also said that she probably had an acute stress disorder in the couple of weeks after the killing, but he had not examined her then and could not make a diagnosis.

But the issue before the court is whether Arias killed in self-defense, or as premeditated murder. She could have gotten PTSD either way.

Supposedly Samuels is going to move on to expressing an opinion that psychological evidence can tell us whether it was an instrumental or reactive killing. That sounds like psycho gobbledygook for whether she is guilty or innocent. If we could really determine guilt or innocence by some psychologist administering a multiple-choice computer-scored test, then we would not need jury trials. There is no scientific method for making such a determination, and I hope that any expert gets appropriately grilled about the scientific underpinning of his testimony.

There will probably also be expert testifying to a battered woman defense. That is all dubious also, and I will post about it if it happens. There is no evidence that Arias was battered at all, except her own self-serving stories that were told long after the killing.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

No stopping a 16yo daughter

Can a father stop an adult man from having sexual intercourse with his 16-year-old daughter? The
answer is no, according to the Massachusetts supreme court.

Maybe the court accurately followed the letter of the law, I hear of courts issuing restraining orders for frivolous reasons all the time. But apparently the court will not accept the dad's opinion that the relationship is harmful.

The California age of consent is 18, so maybe a dad would have more luck here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lockyer forgives addict-slut

I mentioned the Bill Lockyer wife story in Feb. and Sept. of 2012.The San Jose newspaper now reports:
California state Treasurer Bill Lockyer's differences with his estranged wife, former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, might not be so irreconcilable after all.

The 71-year-old mainstay of state Democratic politics this week withdrew divorce papers he had filed last July against his 41-year-old wife, whose methamphetamine addiction and extramarital affair ended her political career and could have stained his.
"could have stained his"? His career is definitely stained.
"I thank my husband and family for their unwavering support. Bill and I agree reconciliation would be best for Diego (their 9-year-old son) and for us, and we're committed to reaching that goal," she said. "Addicts cannot achieve a safe and healthy life unless we take responsibility for our actions and conquer our addiction first. I pray that all addicts who are also victims of abuse, violence and exploitation find inspiration in my story."
find inspiration in my story?! Is she kidding? Here is her story:
Nadia Lockyer recently finished a 180-day residential drug treatment program she had entered after her Aug. 28 arrest in Orange County. Police were tipped that she had drugs in the home where she was staying with Diego. Officers found a tube of aluminum foil with a burned end, and when they met Lockyer later that day, she showed signs of being under the influence of drugs.

She was charged with felony methamphetamine possession and three misdemeanors: being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child abuse and endangerment.

Her Thursday morning court appearance in Santa Ana was continued until March 30, Stokke said, adding that "the court said she was doing very well in her treatment program."

Nadia Lockyer early last year claimed Stephen Chikhani of San Jose had attacked her in a Newark hotel room, but the state Justice Department investigated and eventually declined to charge him with any crime. As details emerged about Lockyer's lengthy affair with Chikhani and their drug use, she resigned her supervisorial seat last April.
The woman was married to the California attorney general and she was meeting a meth addict in a seedy hotel for rough sex instead of taking care of their 8yo son? I am usually in favor of ignoring minor faults and keeping joint custody, but she is unworthy of the forgiveness that she has gotten from her husband.

Friday, March 15, 2013

This blog censored

A UK blog, The Rights Of Man, has notified me that Symantec and others are blocking this blog as an anti-feminist hate site:
In May last year, this blog and its readers broke the story of men's human rights sites been censored and smeared by major mobile phone companies in the UK. It has now emerged that Norton is also smearing most of our movement as hateful, with its DNS service blocking access to many of the most popular sites, this blog included.

It's unsurprising that people would try to censor us in this way and it's particularly disappointing that someone out there is stupid enough to regard this blog as hateful when it's abundantly clear we have no tolerance here for sexism towards anyone, and the whole point of this site is to campaign against sexism and gender hatred.

I've done significant research to find out the true scale the censorship of mens' human rights material and can exclusively reveal the most complete and accurate list of sites currently being blocked. I can also reveal that both O2 and Norton appear to be using the same list for their disgusting censorship. Previous lists of banned sites totalled 21 URLs, my research more than doubles that total to at least 48 sites and 54 urls.
This is outrageous. My blog is not even a mens rights blog. I mostly post in favor of parental rights, and support shared custody by moms and dads.

I got this email from John Kimble:
Major update on this issue now, I finally managed to get a response out of Symantec, albeit via O2. They are refusing to reclassify almost all the sites in question, only backing down in 2 cases out of 47. This means the censorship of your site is no accident, nor is that "hate site" classification. Please see my latest blog post for full details.
He says that there are workarounds for accessing this blog, but not for many other blogs.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seattle evaluator is disciplined

A Seattle paper reports:
Last January, we wrote about the anti-male bias many people perceive in family court. Part of the story dealt with a veteran mental health counselor named Douglas Bartholomew, who provided a damning court-ordered assessment of a man accused of abusing his wife--an assessment one judge said was the worst he had seen in his 22 years on the bench.

Thanks to a Department of Health action just made public, Bartholomew will no longer conduct such assessments in domestic violence cases, once a mainstay of his practice. The assessments are key to family court cases because they often determine whether someone (usually a man) accused of domestic violence can see his children and under what conditions. And as we we reported last year, allegations of abuse are common, and sometimes used strategically, in contentious divorce cases. ...

The DOH statement also noted that the counselor spent much more time interviewing Richard than his wife, something that you might suppose would lead to a favorable outcome for Richard. But the husband's point of view did not exactly come across in Bartholomew's report, in part because the counselor misquoted Richard, according to the statement. Richard described his wife as exhibiting various controlling behaviors, but in Bartholomew's assessment, the behaviors were mysteriously attributed to Richard. ...

Bartholomew can continue to practice as a counselor, but he must be monitored for at least two years, according to the stipulation. He is also obligated to refund Bartholomew the money he charged Richard when assessing him.

Bartholomew has not yet responded to a request for comment. But in an interview last year, he painted himself as a victim of a "homegrown hate group of men ...whose stated intention is to destroy the [domestic-violence] intervention system."
I am glad to see an incompetent and biased court evaluator get disciplined, but I don't see how he is any worse than the evaluators used by local family court here, such as Kenneth Barry Perlmutter PSY 7053, Faren Ray Akins PSY 7110, Bret Kale Johnson PSY 10630. Their bad practices have been documented over and over again, and yet they are still used.

The article drew comments like these:
THIS is just the TIP of the iceberg. 99% of the people involved in the family court industry are unqualified, sociopaths and/or perverts....GALs, DV evaluators, parenting evaluators, family court services, etc. See my website for the most perverted, psycho and craziest attorneys and judges in Washington.

PRIME EXAMPLE: Stuart Greenberg was the #1 parenting evaluator in King & Snoho counties. The courts believed his recommendations AT HIS WORD. Greenberg used to secretly videotape women and children in his office bathroom. He videotaped himself masturbating to the videos. Police confiscated the camera and videos and charged him with VOYEURISM. When he got out on bail, he KILLED HIMSELF.
And this:
Doug is not the only unscrupulous one out there. I was falsely accused of child molestation and domestic violence by my former spouse which resulted in my going from being my daughter's primary caretaker to having very limited time with her which was strictly supervised by third parties. I then requested an investigation into the false charges which never took place. The parenting evaluator found that even though the allegations were false, I could not take adequate care of my daughter because I was obsessed with the allegations. She stated that my request for an investigation into the child molestation accusations was proof that I put my own needs before my daughter's needs.
And this:
i have personal experience with Doug Bartholomew. How is it that a man this crooked, deceitful and self absorbed and money hungry can operate in full view of our court system with impunity for 30 years? Must be that the family law / DV / VAWA machine was cut from the same cloth. Doug Bartholomew simply ignores the law, ignores the legal definition of domestic violence, ignores any form of professional propriety and does what he wants...not dissimilar to Napoleon. If ever there was a man with power and control issues and unresolved mommy issues it is this man.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Car ad aimed at fathers

Here is a fatherhood-themed ad for the Fiat 500L in the UK.

You can also watch it on YouTube.

The ad is a music video about about a dad who drives his twins around in the middle of the night in order to put them to sleep. A wife, his band, a unicorn, and a cute female pedestrian make appearances.

I did that a few times. One of my kids had a hard time going to sleep as a baby. Driving in the car put her to sleep every time. One time a cop actually stopped me at about 2am and asked me what I was doing. I explained it to him. Later I got a swing that was more convenient.

This is part of an organized ad campaign in the UK. (The dad drives on the left side of the road, most of the time.) I am not being paid to post this. Is this one of those rare ads that portrays dads in a positive light? You decide.

Indiana AG concedes overbroad law

I have mentioned the Dan Brewington case, where a dad was convicted of blogging against his family court judge and child custody evaluator. Now UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh writes:
As I note in the post below, the Indiana Attorney General’s office agrees (see its brief) that the State v. Brewington Indiana Court of Appeals decision was unsound. But the AG’s office argues that Brewington’s conviction should still be affirmed. ...

The Indiana AG’s brief seems to agree that the Indiana Court of Appeals’ decision, which upholds the conviction based on a conclusion that Brewington threatened exposure to disgrace, is “overbroad.”
So the AG admits that Brewington was convicted under a prosecution theory (and jury instructions) that criminalized constitutional free speech. But the AG wants him imprisoned anyway.

The AG brief says Dan accused the evaluator psychologist Edward Connor of "intentionally hurting children" and "being a pervert", and posted some googled info about Connor. Connor never contested these accusations, and the prosecution made no attempt to prove them false at trial. So it seems to me that the appeals court should consider these accusations as true, for the purpose of deciding whether Dan got a fair trial.

The AG brief does not even attempt to defend the perjury and obstruction convictions.

Connor is also married to Sarah Connor, which might cause me to suspect that she is involved with a terminator cyborg from the future.

The AG brief closes with:
It is a disappointing irony that Brewington, who is no friend of free speech when it is spoken by his victims, now takes refuge in the First Amendment. Doctor Connor had a right to issue his evaluation without fear of violent reprisal. Judge Humphrey had a right to issue his final order without fear of violent reprisal. Brewington does not have the First Amendment right to place them in fear of such violent reprisals for their speech, so his conviction is constitutional and the intimidation statute's prohibition of truly threatening communications is constitutional.
This is really offensive. Connor and Humphrey were not acting out of their free speech rights. They are state officials who were abusing their powers to maliciously and illegally attack Brewington by punishing his kids. Brewington was speaking out against state corruption and oppression. Speaking out against govt oppression is the most basic of free speech rights.

Brewington was not convicted of threatening violent reprisals. If Connor and Hunphrey feared it, it was only because of their own paranoia, and their knowledge of how they screwed Brewington and his kids.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More on the math contest

I posted below about teaching math to my kids, but I am afraid that some readers are still confused.

Here is the story as I testified in Jan. 2008. There is a Santa Cruz County Math Contest for grades 5-8. It is open and free to all students, public, private, or homeschooled. There is an individual and team competition. When my older daughter was in 5th grade at the local public school, I asked the school to let her sign up for the contest. Neither the principal nor her teacher had any interest in it, and they refused. I also tried to get a couple of her classmates interested, but neither them nor their parents were interested.

I called the contest organizers, and they explained that they require school sponsorship of students because they want the school to supply a teacher to help proctor and grade the tests. This explained why the school would not enroll my daughter in the test -- they did not have a teacher willing to help proctor the test on a Saturday. I asked whether it would be sufficient for me to help proctor the test. They said yes, so I volunteered.

This solved the problem of getting my daughter into the individual competition, but she needed at least one teammate to qualify for the team competition. I tried to get a couple of her classmates, but failed. So I signed up my younger daughter also. She enjoys math very much, as was at about a 5th grade level. They both entered the contest and did well, but did not win any prizes. They enjoyed the experience, and had no complaints about it.

I am not sure what is so incriminating about this story. I give you the judges' own words, so that you can decide for yourself.

Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph's judgment against me said:
He does not understand how it makes them feel when he proposes that one enter a contest that she is unqualified because of her age or grade level to enter and she knows it, but Dad insists that she do it anyway.
A couple of years later, Judge Heather D. Morse wrote:
experiences being adduced into evidence, such as enrolling them in a math test which was reportedly way above their abilities
No one ever said that my kids felt bad, or were overwhelmed by the difficulty, or anything like that. Joseph and Morse just made that stuff up. If that were really the complaint, they would have brought up the time that took my 5th grade daughter to take the Cabrillo College placement exam. That was 7 grades above her grade level. I guess that there was no complaint about that because it had the written approval of her school principal, and the approval of my ex-wife.

I can tell from Dissomaster hearings that Joseph and Morse each have an understanding of math that is about at a 5th grade level. Math is very scary to them, and they are insecure about it. I think that it was very unsettling to them that I had taught my girls math that had already passed them up in skill.

It was also unsettling that I was willing to circumvent the school to get my kids into this math contest. Judges have a very authoritarian mindset, and they view teaching as something that ought to be under the supervision of a government official. The contest was run by county government officials, so I did not think that would be a problem, but apparently it was.

In all the court hearings, no one ever found any example of me violating any law, doing anything unsafe, taking drugs, or doing anything other than what a model parent would do. This math contest story was the closest thing to an example of me violating some sort of rule that I was supposed to follow. That is, I bent the rule that says that the school is supposed to sponsor the student, and that my younger daughter was not yet in 5th grade.

Judge Morse also once said that a psychotherapist should decide whether my kid goes surfing. I disagree, obviously. I wonder what she would say about Tiger moms and other parents who do things far beyond anything I have done.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nightmare over bath pictures

Yahoo News reports:
In 2008, Lisa and Anthony "A.J." Demaree took their three young daughters on a trip to San Diego. They returned home to Arizona and brought photos of their then 5, 4 and 1 1/2 year old daughters to a local Walmart in Peoria to be developed.

That should have been that, except instead of receiving 144 happy familial memories, Walmart employees reported the Demarees to the Peoria Police Department on the suspicion that they had taken pornographic images of their children. The police, in turn, called in the Arizona Child Protective Services Agency, and the couple lost custody of their daughters for over a month.

They were shocked. "Some of the photos are bathtime photos," Lisa Demaree told ABC News at the time, "but there are a few after the bath. Three of the girls are naked, lying on a towel with their arms around each other, and we thought it was so cute."

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that the photographs were not, in fact, pornographic, and a medical exam revealed no signs of sexual abuse. The girls were returned to their parents.

But the damage had been done: The couple's named went on a central registry of sex offenders, and "We've missed a year of our children's lives as far as memories go," Demaree told ABC News.

In 2009, the couple sued the city of Peoria and the State Attorney General's office for defamation. They also sued Walmart for failing to tell them that they had an "unsuitable print policy" and could turn over photos to law enforcement without the customer's knowledge.
I hate to say it, but their lawsuits are a waste of time. The parents should just be happy that they stayed out of prison and got their kids back. Others have gotten worse.

The article says the parents went on the "central registry of sex offenders", but I think that is incorrect, because they were not convicted. They would be on the list of CPS-suspected child abusers. It is almost impossible to get off that list, because it is a fact that CPS once suspected them of abuse. Yes, CPS has a guilty-until-proven-innocent mentality.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Teaching math is not child abuse

I just got this rude comment:
Parents don't make their kids gay, They do try to make them mathmaticians and shove math contests down their throats.
Whether or not parents make their kids gay is an open question for which there is no academic consensus. Studies of gay parents show that their kids turn out gay about 10% of the time, versus 2-3% for the general population. There is a nature-nurture debate about this, and it is somewhat off-topic for this blog. Some people subscribe to a gay gene theory, but no such gene has ever been found. I accept what the scientific studies say.

I believe that parents should have the autonomy to rear their kids according to their own beliefs, unless they are demonstrably contrary to laws against abuse and neglect. So while I may express my personal child-rearing opinions, I do not believe that they should be forced on others (unless I give an argument about criminal abuse or neglect).

The reader is insinuating that I tried to make my daughters into mathematicians and shove math contests down their throats. That is not true, and no one who knows my daughters would say any such thing. Not even my angry ex-wife ever said anything similar, or ever complained about me teaching them math.

Judge Heather D. Morse did write in her decision:
experiences being adduced into evidence, such as enrolling them in a math test which was reportedly way above their abilities
No one reported that the test was way above their abilities. They did well on the test. It was a County math contest that was open to any students in the county.

CPS agent Sally Mitchell and commissioner Irwin H. Joseph also made negative remarks about me teach math to girls, but neither of them ever heard any evidence that the math was too hard or against their wishes. My kids wanted to do the contest, and they enjoyed it.

I could give a more thorough refutation, but I prefer to only discuss my kids to the extent that my ex-wife has put their lives on the public court record. My kids have been out of my life and influence for over 5 years now. If they hate math or if my ex-wife thinks that math is bad for them, then they could avoid math. I certainly think that they are better off for what I taught them, but I am not posting what they are doing now.

I do have some personal beliefs about math teaching. Every one of my kids' public elementary school teachers hated math, and did a terrible job of teaching it. They were women who liked girly activities, but not math. The kids who did well in the math contest were mostly kids whose parents had supplemented their math education. Poor math education holds a lot of kids back in their schooling. I recommend that parents teach their kids, especially in areas where the schools do a lousy job. That's just my opinion.

Update: I just stumbled across this clipping. 4 in 10 is not a majority, but maybe the survey undercounted the math haters..