Monday, September 30, 2013

Obama scared of his wife

President Barack Obama was overheard saying:
No, no, I haven't had a cigarette in probably six years. That's because I'm scared of my wife.
6 years? He has been reported to be smoking in the White House.

The 25th Amendment provides for the President to be temporarily replaced if he is unable to discharge his duties. I think that someone should check to see if he still has two testicles.

Update: I have previously posted about our emascuated President with doing the dishes, picture of needy hug, lucky to marry Michelle, and do whatever she tells you to.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Paternity Court

A new fall TV show is Paternity Court:
Paternity Court is a nontraditional court show/tabloid talk show hybrid, bringing family lawyer and legal analyst Lauren Lake as she hears and rules on paternity cases and renders DNA test results.

The show is produced by MGM Domestic Television Distribution and 79th and York Entertainment. It is distributed by Orion TV Productions, a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Paternity Court is executive produced by David Armour.

According to John Bryan, president of MGM Domestic Television Distribution, the series is MGM's first first-run syndication series to come to the market in years. Reports of the series first emerged in December 2012. As early as December 2012, the court show was already sold in 75% of the country. Stations acquired the show on an all-barter basis with 3½ minutes of local and 3½ minutes of national advertising time in every episode. By August 2013, the show was sold in 92% of the country.

Slogans for the program include: "Paternity Court, where science meets law," "Paternity Court, it's time to get tested!" and "Paternity Court; she's the judge; DNA is the jury!"

Paternity Court premiered on Monday, September 23, 2013. ...

Broadcasting & Cable has reported: It's not too far of a stretch to assume that Maury, the father of televised paternity cases, was the inspiration of this show. According to John Bryan, president of MGM Domestic Television Distribution:

"Starting in its 2009-10 season, Maury started doing a lot of paternity cases. The show's numbers went up, and today, 90% of his shows involve this in some way. On many occasions, Maury leads all talk shows among women 25-54. We also looked at what the most popular genre is in daytime and that's court. This show hits a sweet spot in daytime. Court has obviously proved itself and shows about paternity have proved themselves."
I watched an episode, and some black woman named 13 possible dads for her baby. A DNA test decided on one, and not the one she wanted. You can submit your case here. The show is sponsored by Identigene DNA Paternity Test, which is now available at popular drug stores.

So why do millions of women watch this crap? I can only assume that it shows fears and fantasies that resonate with them.

Update: A comment below has new info on the strange case of Stanford Prof. Annelise Barron.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Advice to leave husband who likes computer games

I often post newspaper advice to show the sorry state of modern American women. If they seek advice, they will usually get advice that anti-men and anti-family. Here is the latest pro-divorce advice from Dear Margo:
Dear Margo: My 32-year-old husband has been playing computer war games for more than two years now. He has also installed a TV in nearly every room.

He started this behavior about six months before we got married, which made it very difficult to get his attention on wedding details. ...

After I had our son, I honestly thought he would adjust his schedule to find time for his family. This, disappointingly, did not happen. Now our son is 9 months old. When my husband comes home from work, he'll hold the baby, but he either watches TV or plays on the computer while doing it. ...

I've told him we need to go to family counseling and was given a resounding "no way." ... — Neglected

Dear Neg: Given what you outline, I think a proper response to "no way" is "goodbye."
Get a clue. Most men would rather play computer war games than to fuss over wedding details. There is a reason why wedding planners are gay. One bridezilla said, No-one can be skinner than the bride. (That one may be a joke, I am not sure.)

This wife is extremely selfish. Her husband work hard all day to support the family, and he biggest complaint is that when he comes home, he watches TV while holding the baby?! What is wrong with that?

He is right to refuse family counseling. If he puts up with some stupid shrink telling him whether it is acceptable to watch TV while holding the baby, then he as might as well get castrated.

Somehow many American women have gotten the idea that a man should work to support them all day, and then spend the rest of the day catering to her narcissistic needs. And the counseling industry tells her to seek a divorce if she does not get it all.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hillary bashes presidents 42 and 44

All of the pundits seem to agree that Hillary Clinton is going to be the next USA President. Here is how she introduced her husband and ex-boss yesterday:
MRS. CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. (Applause.) Well, thank you. Thank you very much. I have the great pleasure to introduce our next two speakers, who are about to have a conversation concerning health care. And I thought hard about how to introduce these two men. (Laughter.)

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much they have in common. They are both left-handed. (Laughter.) They both love golf, a game that does not often reciprocate the love they put into it. (Laughter.) They both are fanatic sports fans and go to great lengths to be in front of the TV or on the side of the court or the field. They both are master politicians. Each of them has only lost one election. (Laughter.) They are both Democrats. They have fabulous daughters. (Laughter.) They each married far above themselves. (Laughter and applause.) And they each love our country.

And so please join me in welcoming Number 42 and Number 44, Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. (Applause.)
I don't think that I have ever heard her talk about her husband when she was not bashing him in some way. She is the only politician I know who is so rude as to openly bash her spouse.

She is always wanting to use her maiden name, Rodham, and is the sort of feminist who gives the impression that no man is ever good enough for her. Not even the President of the United States.

A new web site, womenformen.org, sticks up for men. The introductory post says:
So I was flipping channels the other day, and I came across The Young and the Restless. I couldn’t tell you the name of one actor on the program, but there were two young women in the living room of someone’s house. One was clearly upset about something related to her boyfriend, or husband, or live-in, or whatever. And the other woman launches into a diatribe that began this way: “Look, I know men. And I know how their little minds think.”

Now if this banter were an anomaly, I’d ignore it. But this is standard fare in the media. Can you imagine this scenario turned around? “Look, I know women. And I know how their little minds think.” Impossible! But demonizing men has become such a pastime we don’t even notice it when it happens.

If you think I’m exaggerating my case, consider these additional, more strident examples of male bashing:

• Author and journalist Natalie Angier begins an article in The New York Times by writing, “Women may not find this surprising, but one of the most persistent and frustrating problems in evolutionary biology is the male. Specifically . . . why doesn’t he just go away?”
Disclosure: I happen to know a couple of the site founders, but I had no knowledge of the site until I stumbled across it yesterday.

The fall TV season has new sitcoms about bad parents:
It’s almost impossible to be a good parent anymore — offspring, once grown, seem to have an endless appetite for reproach. An alarming number of new TV comedies this season focus on the strain that annoying parents put on their resentful progeny. Children are never satisfied: a neglectful father ruins his child’s self-worth and ability to trust; a doting, successful father is impossible to live up to.

Those axioms are the basis of two comedies that begin this week: “Back in the Game” and “The Crazy Ones,” both father-daughter sitcoms that act out the discontents of Generation Xers who “journal” and use “parenting” as a verb.
Of course these make fun of dads. But there is at least one new show, Mom, that trashes moms.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nine warning signs of pedophilia

Lenore Skenazy explains how virtually all men are suspected pedophiles, including:
The story, by veteran journalist and former political adviser Candace Sutton, originally warned:

“Paedophiles are often the victims of child molestation themselves. If you know this about a person’s past, beware. It’s all very well to feel sorry for a person, but don’t let them anywhere near young people you know.”

That passage has now been removed, with no acknowledgement from the site. A short biography was also uploaded, claiming Sutton has decades of experience covering the crimes of sex offenders.
This particular prejudice is so widespread that there are men who have attempted suicide out of the believe that some childhood abuse would turn him into a pedophile. As far as I know, there is no scientific evidence for it.

Here is an example of the belief:
The memory of being raped when I was seven was never repressed. It was not recovered under hypnosis. It has always been with me, festering. When I was a teenager, I began researching how being raped as a child might affect the development of my personality. And I recoiled in horror. Every study I read supported the vicious cycle theory. That victims of pedophilia are more likely to become pedophiles themselves. I felt like a werewolf had bitten me and it was only a matter of time before the full moon rose.

Throughout my early adolescence, I was constantly, tortuously checking myself for evil impulses. I made a blood oath with myself that if I started feeling the desire to rape children I would kill myself and make it look like a mountaineering accident. I was already in the habit of solo rock climbing. No partners, no ropes despite my parents' repeated warnings against such a dangerous activity. Had I throw myself down a mountain they would have believed it. And better a son who died climbing than one who lived and rape kids.
That guy's story is becoming an off-Broadway play.

People also widely subscribe to unscientific theories about the origin of other sexual preferences.

The article still has an assortment of other prejudices against men. Because of these prejudices, you rarely see men anymore in jobs like elementary school teacher. Any man who likes kids is suspect, and there are probably a lot of men who cannot see their own kids because somebody thinks that there is something wrong with a man liking his own kids.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Divorced woman shaves one leg

Off-topic, but I was amused by this woman seeking advice:
I divorced my husband of six years this spring, and even though the initial excitement of a new lease on life was exhilarating, I have found actuality to be just dreary and dismal. I fear I am spiraling downward and I have no way to stop it. My friends have given me some support, but I really don’t think they fully understand the depth of my despair. I really don’t know if I am reacting normally to this life change or if I need some help. When I pleasure myself (which unfortunately has been necessary since the split), I always end up in tears because it reinforces how lonely I am. Recently, I have even taken to only shaving one leg so when I lie in bed at night I feel like a man is next to me. Should I expect this sort of reaction even after close to a year of mentally ending my marriage?
And here is a man who is headed for either divorce or a lifetime of misery.

And this is news to me:
“My son is gay,” the mother said. “Gay people don’t shoot kids. Certain men don’t shoot kids.”

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The sympathy-empathy fad

A new article notes our preoccupation with Learning Sympathy:
Appeals to our sympathy are everywhere: late-night commercials on behalf of orphans overseas, envelopes bearing pleas from disaster-relief organizations, magazine ads asking help to ease the suffering of piteous (though cute) humans and animals, campus solicitors recruiting students to spend a summer in Central America or Kenya building latrines or conducting AIDS education, and so on. Giving is so popular that companies ride the sentiment. Bono’s “Product Red” campaign channeled a percentage of sales by firms such as Nike and Dell to fight AIDS. Recently, Dignity Health, a huge, nonprofit hospital system, cloaked itself in a “humankindness” campaign, hellohumankindness.org. Humankindness.org was already taken.

That humanitarian appeals tend to work is not a given of human nature. They work because we moderns have learned to sympathize with the suffering of others as far away as the Congo and as strange as leatherback turtles. Our feelings are the products of a humanitarian sensibility that has risen in the last couple of centuries. We, the Western bourgeois, became more sympathetic as we became more sensitive and sentimental.

Historians of emotions—yes, emotions have a history—have documented the construction of people’s feelings. Before roughly the 1800s, sympathy was less common and more restricted in scope, overwhelmed as people were by practical needs and circumstances.
The longest commercials I see on TV are those that try to generate sympathy for dogs. I don't even know what they are selling, but I can only assume that the commercials work.

The NY Times has a long article on teaching empathy:
“Something we now know, from doing dozens of studies, is that emotions can either enhance or hinder your ability to learn,” Marc Brackett, a senior research scientist in psychology at Yale University, told a crowd of educators at a conference last June. “They affect our attention and our memory. If you’re very anxious about something, or agitated, how well can you focus on what’s being taught?”
No, the schools are not going to be better by trying to teach emotional intelligence.

When the forensic psychologist wants to discriminate against the dad, the accusation is often that he has insufficient empathy. This is plausible as women are thought to be more empathic than men, and it sounds as if some psychology expertise is being used.

Florence Nightingale wrote:
Now if I were to write a book out of my experience, I should begin Women have no sympathy. Yours is the tradition. Mine is the conviction of experience. ...

Women crave for being loved, not for loving. They scream out at you for sympathy all day long, they are incapable of giving any in return, for they cannot remember your affairs long enough to do so…They cannot state a fact accurately to another, nor can that other attend to it accurately enough for it to become information. Now is not all this the result of want of sympathy?

I am sick with indignation at what wives and mothers will do of the most egregious selfishness. And people call it all maternal or conjugal affection, and think it pretty to say so. No, no, let each person tell the truth from his own experience.
This was from a personal letter late in her life, so it should not be taken too seriously.

Psychologist Helen Smith says in an interview:
I am surprised how many women have no or little empathy for men. It is important to understand where men are coming from, how they think, and what they fear when it comes to marriage. The law and culture tend to protect women and to harm men. Men are starting to realize this, and women need to understand that men have few reproductive rights, have few legal rights in divorce, and are seen as the bad guy in marriages that go wrong. It is not immaturity for men to be reluctant to marry, it is a rational choice not to place oneself in a harmful legal contract that gives them no safety net.
Nowadays kids are given drugs if they do not seem to have enough empathy. USA Today reports:
Anti-psychotic medications should not be the first treatments doctors or patients think of when dealing with dementia in an elderly person, behavior problems in a child or insomnia in an adult, a leading group of psychiatrists says in a new statement.

The American Psychiatric Association's (APA) new list of questionable uses of anti-psychotic medications is part of a broader campaign to educate patients and doctors about unneeded and possibly harmful medical treatments and tests. ...

The medications in question include brands such as Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel and Abilify.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gay couple splits the twins

What happens when a gay celebrity wedding planner wants to have a baby? A disaster, of course. This sounds like a joke, or a Hollywood sitcom plot. Here is the story:
A GAY celebrity couple's decision to split up their twin babies was a "parenting disaster" and a "terrible risk", a child psychologist has told news.com.au.

Australian parenting expert, Tim Dansie, said the now estranged couple's arrangement to father one twin each was one of the first mistakes they had made, and now they were treating the children "like it was let's split the furniture".

Mr Dansie was responding to US celebrity couple David Tutera and Ryan Jurica's separation of their newborn twins on biological fatherhood lines, which has sparked furious debate on talk shows and online with commentators comparing events with Biblical parables of splitting a baby in two.

Tutera, a celebrity wedding planner and the TV host of "My Fair Wedding" and his partner of ten years, Ryan Jurica, became the parents of twin babies born in July to a surrogate mother.

Each man fertilised an egg which was implanted in the woman who is apparently the biological mother of both children, a boy and a girl.

Renowned for producing wedding parties for clients like Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, Tutera is the biological father of the girl, Cielo.

Jurica is the father of Cielo's fraternal twin, Cedric.

The men's partnership, which culminated in marriage in 2003, blew apart during the pregnancy in January, with bitter recriminations.

After Tutera decided to end the union on New Year's Day, Jurica made public accusations against him, saying the wedding organiser was a "sex addict" who regularly rented prostitutes.

Jurica, who has previously been arrested for drink driving and public intoxication, ended up checking himself into rehab.

The men now live with each of their babies on opposite sides of the US, Jurica in Connecticut and Tutera in California.
This is being compared to The Parent Trap, a 1998 Lindsay Lohan remake of the better 1961 Disney movie. But that movie was about identical twins. In this case, each baby is going to his biological dad, and the babies are only about as related as an uncle and nephew.

If I were to remarry and have another kid, that kid would have the same genetic relation to my previous daughters as these twins do to each other. But I do not see my daughters and they would not see their new sibling. Would the talk-show parenting experts be outraged about that?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Arguments against sending daughters to college

A retro site argues:
Probably the most controversial and rejected position we have at Fix the Family is that parents should not send their daughters to college. It is even more vehemently opposed than the submission of wives to their husbands. Both of these positions we have are a threat to the trophies of the feminist agenda, so the rejection we receive is always emotionally charged and ends up insulting, since once explained logically, the opposition runs out of substance and is only left to hurl insults and presume and misconstrue this practical wisdom into some chauvinistic evil. ...

She will attract the wrong types of men.
She will be in a near occasion of sin.
She will not learn to be a wife and mother.
The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup.
I always enjoy a blog that is even more retro than mine.

I do agree that for a lot of girls, college turns them into fat sluts and they learn nothing worthwhile.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chad psychiatrist has no air conditioning

The UK BBC reports on a county that is not sold on psychiatry:
The only psychiatrist working in the African country of Chad has his work cut out to convince patients their issues are medical, rather than spiritual.

The sign outside Dr Egip Bolsane's surgery in the sleepy riverside district of Chagoua in the Chadian capital N'Djamena proclaims "the pioneer".

Even by Dr Bolsane's own account psychiatry was an unusual choice: it is not a discipline that many Chadians understand.

"Going to see a psychiatrist in Chad is a difficult thing for many people," said Dr Bolsane, seated behind a sparse wooden desk with just a bunch of white plastic flowers in a gold vase as decoration.

"Public opinion here thinks that it means something is really wrong in your head, it might be because you're possessed.

"We need to demystify the more or less diabolical image of psychiatry."

A listless fan rotates erratically behind him and he wipes the sweat away from his face - Dr Bolsane himself is not in particularly good health and he can't afford air conditioning.
So how would you convince the people of Chad that this guy is any better than some quack voodoo medicine man. At least they do not trust him to do child custody recommendations.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mom loses ruling, poisons kids

A reader sends this CNN story:
Marilyn Edge was supposed to turn over her son and daughter to her ex-husband in Georgia.

Instead, police allege, she fled with the children to Southern California and killed them.

On Saturday night, the bodies of the children -- Jaelen, 13, and Faith, 10 -- were found in a hotel in Santa Ana, California.

Edge, 42, was apprehended Saturday night after apparently trying to commit suicide by crashing her car at a Home Depot parking lot in a nearby town, police said.
Of course the court psychologists and other experts could not figure out that the mom was nuts.
The former couple had been fighting a years-long custody battle over the children.

Weeks told CNN affiliate WSB that Marilyn Edge had abruptly left court last week after a judge's custody ruling did not go in her favor.

Under the order, she was meant to hand the two children over to her ex-husband at Cobb County Police Headquarters in Georgia.

"When Judge Leonard was giving his order on Wednesday afternoon, she got up and left the courtroom in the middle of it, so that was the ultimate message to Judge Leonard: 'I'm not going to listen to what you have to say.'" said Weeks. ...

If convicted, she faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
Besides the mom, I blame Judge Leonard for these deaths. He prolonged a child custody dispute for years. If we had a law that all fit parents have a right to joint custody, then we would not have judges torturing the parents in this way.

Kimberly writes:
This crap would never happen if PARENTS would just agree that the children come first above and beyond everything else. Children need to see both their mother and father on equal time. Instead parents try to take custody away from one another and create anger. Grow up! Separated and divorced parents, moms and dads, take responsibility for your actions, and stop blaming the other parent. It takes two to tango. And yes, I am a divorced single parent who has worked hard to get along with the father of my children, and now have well adjusted young adults. God bless those children.
I agree with her. I would add that it also takes a judge to back up the joint custody, instead of a multi-year examination of who is the better parent. Someone responded:
You are the exception. Most women use the children as weapons to get back at their Ex.
Another says:
this is just another case of how inept the damn courts are. One year of a contentious custody battle and the mother walks out on the judge and no one had the common sense to ever think the kids should have been protected! Having had a custody battle myself I know personally how dangerous the court system is -- they are run by incompetent and arrogant people who for 20 minutes every few months play God -- and make really bad decisions (and usually never ever read the reports!!) God Bless the souls of those innocent children, and the many to come because of incompetence!!
The reader who sent this story adds:
One of the comments to the story below mentioned a new shared parenting law in Arizona and here's an article about that:
"Unlike Arizona, which gives judges authority to decide exactly how much time each parent gets, many states have minimum requirements. Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Dakota, for example, now require that each parent get at least 40 percent parenting time...

"The Minnesota Legislature passed a bill this year to give the non-custodial parent at least 35 percent parenting time, up from 25 percent. But the governor vetoed it."
The Minnesota governor is Democrat Mark Dayton.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Study shows bias in forensic psychology

Here is an academic study of how court psychologist are biased towards whoever pays them:
How objective are forensic experts when they are retained by one of the opposing sides in an adversarial legal proceeding? Despite long-standing concerns from within the legal system, little is known about whether experts can provide opinions unbiased by the side that retained them. In this experiment, we paid 108 forensic psychologists and psychiatrists to review the same offender case files, but deceived some to believe that they were consulting for the defense and some to believe that they were consulting for the prosecution.
The study is behind a paywall, so I don't have the details. Of course they found bias. It is nice to see someone try to quantify the bias. Here is also a law professor article on expert bias.

I asked psychologist psychologist Ken Perlmutter of Palo Alto, under oath, whether there was any evidence supporting the correctness of his opinion in any of the 750 evaluations he had done. He admitted that there was none, and that all 750 evaluation could have been poorly done, for all anyone knows. So of course he was biased. He even refused to start his evaluation until he was able to call Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph on the phone to ask him what outcome he wanted. Perlmutter should have lost his license for what he did. And he would have, if his record had been fairly examined.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Another attempt at Asperger glasses

Last year I ridiculed a plan to invent Asperger glasses, which were supposed to somehow help people cope with their disabilities. Now autism advocate Paul Louden is pursuing a similar idea. He says:
Google began by selling 2000 of their Google Glass Explorer Editions to developers at the 2012 Google I/O conference. After that they began a program called "#ifihadglass" or "If I Had Glass." In this, people were asked to write a short description of what they'd do with Glass, or what they'd use it for, if they had it. It was restricted to a short post, as one of the means of entry was via Twitter. I told about our radio show, Understanding Autism, and how if I had it I would talk on our show about what it was capable of, and the future uses I could see for it for autism. Beyond that, I'm hoping to talk, in time, with experts in autism treatment and diagnosis to see if they can see uses for it I can't.
He explains his idea in a NPR Radio podcast. He says that when he was in school, a teacher yelled at him, but was unable or unwilling to articulare why he was yelling. Louden says that if he had Google Glass, he could have video-recorded it, and replayed it for his parents to try to figure out why the teacher was yelling.

Somehow Louden has been persuaded that he was the one with the disorder.

This is crazy. No teacher should yell at a student unless the teacher can explain himself in a way that the student understands. If the teacher cannot, then the teacher is the one with the problem.

I am sure Louden means well, but like the psychologists he is pathologizing normal behavior. He defines:
In its simplest description, autism is a developmental disorder typified by impaired social interactions and, frequently, certain types of restricted or repetitive behavior. ...

Autism most significantly affects social and emotional interactions. People on the autism spectrum tend to find it difficult to gauge and interact with the emotional state of others, and to understand the emotional reactions of others to the world around them. Many things that someone may take as “intuitive” or “instinctive” are things that those on the autism spectrum may not understand or experience at all. This can result in mild cases as someone on the spectrum seeming simply detached or a little odd, or in extreme cases as the child or person unable to meaningfully interact with people around them at all.
Men prefer to deal in facts. Women prefer to deal in feelings. If two people are interacting, and one is trying to communicate facts while the other is trying to communicate feelings, then both may end up frustrated. Buy why should anyone conclude that the guy communicating facts has a mild form of a serious mental disorder? I say that it is the reverse, and the one who cannot communicate facts is the one who is disordered.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pope encourages single mom

Single moms are ruining the world, but not even the Pope is willing to say so anymore. The news media is full of praise for our
non-judgmental pope:
After a series of “spontaneous” phone calls made to Catholics who have written to him, the press have dubbed Francis the “cold call Pope.” The latest call by this populist Pope to unwed mother-to-be Anna Romano, 35, seemed to me particularly insulting to serious, intelligent Catholic.

The supposedly distraught Anna Romano, who was living in a scandalous relationship with a man in the town of Arezzo, near Florence, wrote a letter to the Pope explaining her situation: a divorced woman who was “unlucky with men” and had been through several relationships. Now she was pregnant and had “discovered” that the “man of her dreams,” who is the father of the baby, is already married and has a child.

"He left me, telling me he had no intention of taking care of the baby," she said. The man also told her to have an abortion, which she chose not to do.

Now, “in a desperate and anguished state,” she was addressing the Pope because she had no one else to turn to. Then she went on to explain that she feared no priest would baptize her illegitimate child.

The Pope responded by picking up the phone and calling Miss Romano."The Pope told me I was very brave and strong to decide to keep my baby," she said, describing the unexpected call. He also assured her that he would be her spiritual father and baptize the illegitimate baby.
No, a 35yo woman who goes around seducing married men and getting pregnant is not "unlucky with men". She is a menace to society.

Illegitimate kids are baptized all the time. The Pope should have told her to confess her sins and give up the child for adoption. The Church has a long history of running adoption services. This women can be forgiven but they have to confess their sins.

At least the Catholics are still sponsoring tattoo removal in Santa Cruz. And the Pope denies saying that homosexuality does not matter.

Not delusional if a common belief

An atheism advocate complains:
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), is the single most important text used by clinicians. It is the diagnostic rulebook. Currently, the DSM grants religious delusions an exemption from classification as a mental illness. The following is the DSM-IV’s definition of delusion:

“A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture (e.g. it is not an article of religious faith). When a false belief involves a value judgment, it is regarded as a delusion only when the judgment is so extreme as to defy credibility. Delusional conviction occurs on a continuum and can sometimes be inferred from an individual’s behavior. It is often difficult to distinguish between a delusion and an overvalued idea (in which case the individual has an unreasonable belief or idea but does not hold it as firmly as is the case with a delusion)” (2000, p. 765).
Again, religion gets a pass in society.  Why should someone’s belief be a delusion only if it’s held by a minority of people? In the important respect of being “an incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained,” and one that “defies credibility,” religion is a delusion. But note how religious faith is specifically exempted. Further, many individuals’ religious behaviors do indicate a delusional conviction (falling on one’s knees and talking to an imaginary friend, eating wafers, bowing toward Mecca five times a day, and so on).
That is correct. Nearly everyone has an assortment of personal beliefs that are contrary to the available evidence, and they would all be considered delusional if strictly scrutinized.

Psychologists would be the worst, as the whole profession appeals mainly to people who lack a scientific mindset. So how would they judge what is true or false?

I had an accusation in court that there is a dog that likes to lie in the middle of the street while I drive over in my car, leaving the dog unharmed. I tried to convince psychologist Ken Perlmutter that this was impossible, and was false like most of the other accusations. He did not understand the concept that something like that is impossible. Dogs do not lie still while being run over.

Other shrinks might say, "how do you feel about that?" They are only interested in feelings, not facts.

So you might be considered delusional if you believe in Martians, but not if you believe in Angels.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Diaper-changing dads have small testicles

The news reported on a new study:
Researchers analyzed male testicle size and were able to correlate it to a man's parenting strategy in a new study. The researchers findings suggest that males with larger testicles were less involved parents — in general they spent less time caring for their children and had a decreased brain response to images of their child. Having a father around has multiple benefits for children — behaviorally, socially, and health-wise. But, for some reason some fathers still choose not to invest in parenting their children. And this number of absent fathers seems to be growing. The researchers, led by James Rilling of Emory University, wanted to know why some fathers were more involved than others. "Our study is the first to investigate whether human anatomy and brain function explain this variance in parenting effort," study researcher Jennifer Mascaro, said in a press release.
It is faulty reasoning to relate this to absent fathers. The study abstract says:
Despite the well-documented benefits afforded the children of invested fathers in modern Western societies, some fathers choose not to invest in their children. Why do some men make this choice?
The full study is behind a paywall, but all they found was that the men who change a lot of diapers have smaller testicles and lower testosterone. SciAm reports:
A 2011 study in the Philippines suggested that men who have high testosterone levels are more likely to marry. Even so, those men who are eventually more involved in day-to-day child care duties — such as changing diapers, running the bath or kissing scraped boo-boos — see their testosterone levels drop more than men who remain aloof after having children. But testosterone has many roles in the male body, so it wasn't clear whether the drop in the male hormone occurred because men were investing more in parenting than in mating. ... Men with bigger testes had a more hands-off parenting style, and the reward centers of their brains activated less when the men viewed their children's pictures. These fathers also tended to have higher testosterone levels.
I can believe that changing diapers causes testosterone levels to drop. I believe that I have experience that myself, altho I did not measure the levels. This could also explain why pediatricians and other men doing child care seem to have less masculine characteristics. Where I disagree is the argument that high-testosterone dads are less "invested" in their kids. Those dads have wives to change the diapers, and the wives are happy to do it. The dads are invested in many other ways, besides changing diapers.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Canadian libel judgment not enforceable

I follow cases that threaten my free speech rights to tell my story on this blog, and here is a new case about a Mississippi blogger sued for defamation in Canada. He lost a default judgment in Canada by not showing up, but a US law said that US courts could not be used to make him pay.
Trout Point sued for defamation in Nova Scotia. Handshoe didn’t appear, so the Nova Scotia court entered a default judgment against him. “Ultimately, the court awarded Trout Point Lodge $75,000 in general damages, and Leary and Perret each $100,000 in general damages, $50,000 in aggravated damages, and $25,000 in punitive damages. It also awarded $2,000 in costs.” Plaintiffs then tried to enforce the judgment in Mississippi.

The Fifth Circuit concluded that the judgment was unenforceable. First, the court pointed out that Canadian defamation law doesn’t have the same protections for defendants that have been imposed under the First Amendment on American defamation law. Most significantly for this case, the court noted, Canadian law requires the defendant speaker to prove the truth of the assertions, while American law requires the plaintiff to prove falsehood (at least for statements on matters of public concern).

Second, the court concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence that Handshoe would have been found liable under American defamation law. ...

Specifically, Handshoe posted several updates regarding Trout Point Lodge, Perret, and Leary, which the district court noted “can be characterized as derogatory, mean spirited, sexist, and homophobic.”
I guess that it is illegal in Canada to post comments that “can be characterized as derogatory, mean spirited, sexist, and homophobic.”

I have complained about courts attacking free speech in the USA, as with Dan Brewington, but other countries are worse.

In Canada, it might be illegal for me to complain about psychologist Ken Perlmutter following Jewish stereotypes and ethics when doing court-appointed evaluations. If he sued me in California, he would not only lose, but I would be able to collect attorneys fees.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Brewington argues for free speech

Dan Brewington gets to argue his free speech rights before the Indiana supreme court today, after having already served his sentence. Apparently free speech is in jeopardy in Indiana on more than one front. The Seattle Times reports:
An Indiana Little League coach accused of threatening national security by teaching government job applicants how to beat lie-detector tests was sentenced Friday to eight months in prison.

Prosecutors asked a federal judge to send a “strong message” by sentencing Chad Dixon to prison in their crackdown aimed at deterring other such polygraph instructors. They described Dixon, of Marion, Ind., as a “master of deceit” who taught as many as 100 people — including child molesters, intelligence employees and law-enforcement applicants — how to beat lie detectors. ...

Dixon’s defense attorney, Nina Ginsberg, accused prosecutors of trying to turn her client into a “poster child for its newly undertaken campaign” to stop people from using the techniques. While she acknowledged her client earned about $1,000 a session for teaching as many as 70 people, she said he was mostly teaching people how to pass polygraph tests demanded by spouses who suspected infidelity.
I hesitate to make this comparison, because Dan never encouraged anyone to break the law. He did once encourage people to send their opinions to a judicial official, but his purpose was always to get court officials to obey the law, not break the law. For that, he served 3 years in prison.

Update: Here is the oral argument.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ex-wife wants money for baby she did not have

A NY Times op-ed argues:
THE end of a marriage is always sad, but divorce can be particularly devastating for a woman who still wants children but whose fertility is on the decline. Her ex may have many years left to start a new family of his own, but by the time she meets a new partner, it may be too late.

This kind of scenario is playing out at fertility clinics across the country: a couple might have always planned to have kids but then the marriage unraveled; or they might have tried but failed to get pregnant; or they might have one child already, but the woman really wanted another. Now she’s 35. Or 38. Or 41. Could egg freezing help her save the last of her fertility?

That’s the hope of a 38-year-old woman who is a client of Ronald G. Lieberman, a family law attorney in Haddonfield, N.J. Mr. Lieberman is asking his client’s soon-to-be-former husband of eight years to pay $20,000 to cover her egg-freezing procedure, medication costs and several years of egg storage. “When they got married, the expectation was they would start a family,” he told me. “Now she might not have the chance much longer.” ...

Legal experts like Kevin Noble Maillard of Syracuse University speculate that a woman’s missed opportunities to have a baby during a marriage could be viewed as a form of “sacrifice” for which she should be compensated (in much the same way that a woman who put her husband through law school could expect to be compensated if he divorced her just before he reaped the financial rewards of the degree). And it helps rectify one of life’s greatest biological injustices: that men but not women can typically start a family well into middle age and beyond.

To be sure, the question of whether to include the cost of egg freezing as part of a divorce settlement is complex. What if he wanted to have kids earlier in the marriage, but she delayed it because of her career? Does it matter if they tried for several years or if he had the fertility problem?

Then there’s the slippery slope: if a woman is to receive money to save her declining fertility, what’s to stop her from claiming to need breast implants or a face-lift because she used up her youth in the marriage?
My gut reaction is that no even an American family court would fall for such foolishness, but I have been wrong before.

She doesn't need to freeze anything. She can just get inseminated at a sperm bank, if that is what she wants. Maybe her husband wanted kids, but decided that she would be an unfit mom after a couple of years of marriage.

At least a Canadian newspaper notices some unnecessay alarmism:
A new school year began on Tuesday, and Toronto’s often hysteria-prone news crews were geared up for the scare stories that always get served up by nervous parents this time of year.

It didn’t take long. A four-year-old Scarborough boy wandered into the wrong classroom on his first day in school, wearing the wrong nametag, and wasn’t immediately spotted. Cue panic: The police were notified, an alert went out, dozens of police with a K-9 unit turned up to scour the neighbourhood, terror spread. The little boy watched it all obliviously, until teachers spotted the mistake.

Later the same day, another four-year-old, named Alexander, got off the bus at the wrong stop after classes. He wasn’t far from home and was quickly spotted by a daycare worker who noticed a tag on his backpack and called the school. ...

Security is a legitimate concern — especially where children are concerned. And parents naturally slip into terror mode whenever a possible threat to their child arises. But Canadian schools now take the cake when it comes to hitting DEFCON 1 whenever a kid gets off at the wrong stop or spots a peanut in the lunch room.
The Free Range Kids blog is the voice of reason on this subject.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Baby Veronica still in limbo

A Cherokee dad lost his parental rights on a stupid technicality in the US Supreme Court, but the case lingers on. Indian Country reports:
Dusten Brown has surrendered to Sequoyah County authorities in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, where he posted bail and was released on his own recognizance. Additionally, Judge Jeffrey Payton moved the date for Brown's extradition hearing, to which he is entitled under Oklahoma statute, from September 12 to October 3.
Some social service bureaucrats still have to decide whether the girl gets to stay with her dad who reared her the past couple of years, or to give the girl to the strangers named Capobiancos who attempted an adoption over his objections. The law currently favors the strangers. The battle could continue for months.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Tennessee court uses BIOTCh for grandparents

proof_court_photocrop_0A Tennessee newspaper reports:
Grandparents in Tennessee will be able to see their grandchildren more easily because of a ruling Friday by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

The unanimous ruling clarified the standard that grandparents must meet when they want to modify details of court-approved visits with grandchildren. The ruling especially affects cases in which grandparents seek to maintain relationships after parents divorce or adopt.

Grandparents will have to show that altering a visitation plan would be in the child’s “best interest” — a lower standard than they had to meet in the past. Previously, grandparents had to prove that a “substantial risk” of harm would result if the changes were not made.
The BIOTCh (“best interest”) is no standard at all. It just means letting the judge apply his personal prejudices.

After I temporarily lost custody of my kids, my mom asked the court for visitation. After all, she reasoned, no one had shown that she did anything wrong, and it wasn't fair that she was being cut out of the lives of her grandkids.

From my point of view, no one had shown that I did anything wrong either. No witness or judge ever said that I was an unfit parent. Every decision against me was grounded in the BIOTCh theory that the judge can change custody without any proof of wrongdoing, and can be just an opinion about what is best.

The judge left it in the discretion of Julie Travers, and she swore that she would never permit my mom to see the kids ever again.
Attorneys said Tennessee law gives parents superior rights to grandparents but allows grandparents to seek visitation through the courts. But the law doesn’t say much about situations in which grandparents want to adjust visitation, leading three appeals court judges to write differing opinions.

The Supreme Court justices, addressed the families involved, saying they did not condone the uncooperative relationship that had formed between the parents and grandparents, and urged both families to “refocus on how best to foster the welfare of the child.”
I wonder if the judges even realize how self-defeating their opinions are. They make it impossible for the parents and grandparents to do what the court is urging them to do.

Economist Ronald Coase just died,
Ronald H. Coase, whose insights about why companies work and when government regulation is unnecessary earned him a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1991, died on Monday in Chicago. He was 102.

His death was announced by the University of Chicago.

By his own description, Professor Coase (rhymes with doze) was an “accidental” economist who spent most of his career teaching at the University of Chicago Law School and not its economics department. Yet he is best known for two papers that are counted among the most influential in the modern history of the science. ...

In the second of his groundbreaking papers, “The Problem of Social Cost,” published in 1960, Professor Coase challenged the idea that the only way to restrain people and companies from behaving in ways that harmed others was through government intervention. He argued that if there were no transaction costs, the affected parties could negotiate and settle conflicts privately to their mutual benefit, and that fostering such settlements might make more economic sense than pre-empting them with regulations.

The paper made the idea of property rights fundamental to understanding the role of regulation in the economy. ...

While teaching at Virginia, Professor Coase submitted his essay about the F.C.C. to The Journal of Law and Economics, a new periodical at the University of Chicago. The astonished faculty there wondered, according to one of their number, George J. Stigler, “how so fine an economist could make such an obvious mistake.” They invited Professor Coase to dine at the home of Aaron Director, the founder of the journal, and explain his views to a group that included Milton Friedman and several other Nobel laureates-to-be.

“In the course of two hours of argument, the vote went from 20 against and one for Coase, to 21 for Coase,” Professor Stigler later wrote. “What an exhilarating event! I lamented afterward that we had not had the clairvoyance to tape it.” Professor Coase was asked to expand on the ideas in that essay for the journal. The result was “The Problem of Social Cost.”
At the heart of Coase's paper is the simple observation that conflicted parties can negotiate agreements to their mutual benefit if their rights under the law are defined in advance.

It is too bad that we don't have a tape of those 20 distinguished professors denouncing Coase. The Coase theorem is considered so obvious today, that it would be illuminating to see what their misconception was.

These judges have made it impossible for the parents and grandparents to negotiate and agreement, because their rights are not defined.

Whatever the misconception, the Tennessee court seems to suffer from a similar one. Their decision says that any agreement can be reversed by some foolish family judge's opinion of the BIOTCh. So no rights are defined, and no agreements are enforceable. Everyone is always at the mercy of a judge.

Just look at the perverse incentives. If a Tennessee parent lets the grandparents visit once a week, then the parent runs the risk of some judge ordering that arrangement permanent. If the grandparents are known to be litigious, then the Tennessee parents would be better off not letting the grandparents visit at all.

The Tennessee decision says:
Our decision to grant this relief should in no way be understood as condoning the acrimonious and uncooperative relationship that has existed between the Copleys and the Lovlaces or suggesting that their future willful failure to abide by the visitation arrangement in the January 5, 2011 order will not result in serious consequences. Their hostility towards each other and unwillingness to work together has resulted in each side incurring thousands of dollars of attorney’s fees, in addition to the emotional turmoil this litigation ha s undoubtedly produced. Unfortunately, the record on appeal suggests that the Copleys and the Lovlaces have lost sight of the fact that the paramount consideration in this case, as well as all other legal proceedings involving child custody and visitation, is the welf are of the child. Luke v. Luke, 651 S.W.2d 219, 221(Tenn.1983). The interests and desires of adult parties are secondary to this par amount concern. Boyer, 238 S.W.3d at 255; Dantzler v. Dantzler, 665 S.W.2d 385, 387 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1983). We urge the Copleys and the Lovlaces to refocus on how best to foster the welfare of the child they all dearly love and allow this goal to guide their future interactions with each other.
It is disgusting to blame the parties for bringing their case to court, when the central holding of the decision is that no out-of-court agreement is enforceable.

These judges are completely ignorant of law and economics:
Modern law and economics dates from about 1960, when Ronald Coase (who later received a Nobel Prize) published “The Problem of Social Cost.”
How does anyone get to the state supreme court without understanding freshman-leval legal knowledge? I realize that appointments are political, but surely there are some lawyers in Tennessee that understand this. They can't all be Appalachian hillbillies.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Dad ruined by VAWA

I found this rant:
It took about three days, three days for me to go from a happy family man and small business owner celebrating my sons 10th birthday, to a homeless destitute who is broke, without his family and no idea how to continue on without the support of my friends. It took about three days to completely eviscerate the world was I knew it. ...

But the gist of the story is this, on 07-06-13, my 15-year-old daughter was having disciplinary problems, problems with authority and problems with profanity and disrespect. I, without hurting her,explained to her our roles in the father daughter paradigm. She got physically confrontational and I restrain her, all without hurting anything but her pride. Long story short when her mother and I left, she called the police, and told them a fictitious story about the encounter. Even though the police officers on the scene, after carefully examining her and questioning her, I and her mother, they not only agreed with me but sympathized with me! I was nevertheless arrested and taken to jail! It is amazing to me how the VAWA, this FEDERAL LAW, literally and intentionally violates our constitutional rights. They must arrest you with no evidence and no evidence required.
I cannot verify this, and the accusations in the court papers are not posted.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Mom sentenced for shaving girl's head


A Minnesota appeals court just upheld a conviction of parent for humiliating her 12yo girl:
In May 2012, officers from the Fridley Police Department were dispatched to a townhome in Fridley to investigate a report of a girl with a shaved head being forced to run outside wearing a diaper. An individual had called 911 to report that S.C.C., who was twelve years old, had been outside for over 30 minutes wearing only a diaper and a tank top. The individual also reported that S.C.C. was being disciplined for receiving an “F” on her report card and that her parents had shaved her head as part of the punishment.

When officers arrived at the townhome, approximately 30 to 50 people, including several adult men and teenage boys, had gathered to watch S.C.C. S.C.C.’s head had been shaved recently, and she was crying hysterically.

S.C.C.’s mother, appellant Stephanie Ann Broten, told officers that she did not understand what the problem was and that she was simply disciplining her child by embarrassing her. Appellant’s husband stated that S.C.C. had been warned several times that she would be forced to shave her head and wear a diaper if she did not start listening in school and getting better grades.

S.C.C. explained that appellant had shaved her head and that appellant’s husband had forced her to put on the diaper. S.C.C. also stated that she had been forced to go outside and run to the basketball court and back; that she had done that five times before the officers arrived; that one of her classmates from school had seen her and was calling her name while she was running; and that she told her classmate to leave her alone….

“A parent, legal guardian, or caretaker who, by an intentional act or a series of intentional acts with respect to a child, evidences unreasonable force or cruel discipline that is excessive under the circumstances is guilty of malicious punishment of a child….” Minn.Stat. § 609.377, subd. 1. The offense is classified as a gross misdemeanor “[i]f the punishment results in less than substantial bodily harm.” Id., subd. 2.
The mom was sentenced to a year in jail, having to serve at least 3 months.

Bad as this sounds, I do not think that harm to the girl was shown. One comment said:
[Some reasoning in support of this decision] fails to recognize the possibility that it is more cruel to allow the child to continue to act out and fail or that it is more cruel to send the kid into foster care. The parents have a right to discipline their kids up to the point of physical abuse and neglect. This is neither. Progressive interference in parental rights has led to the collapse of the nuclear family, the explosion of out of wedlock births and the destruction of the societal cohesion in poor communities. These are worse things than what happened to this 12 year old.
There was a time when a white mom would be considered unfit for living in sin with a black man. The authorities would not wait for the black man to put a diaper on a 12yo step-daughter.

Of course the real problem here is that the dad was replaced by a step-dad:
Outside the Anoka County Courthouse, Justin Canfield spoke of the outrage he felt when he learned what his ex-wife allegedly did to their 12-year-old daughter.

“I was devastated,” he said. “I didn’t know what to think.”

On Monday, Stephanie Broten and her boyfriend, Darnell Landrum, were arrested after allegedly shaving the girl’s head and forcing her to run outside an apartment complex in front of others wearing a diaper.

The couple is charged with malicious punishment of a child. On Thursday, the two appeared in juvenile court for an emergency protection case hearing. The girl and her three siblings were removed from the home and placed in protective care.
The girl has gone back to her real dad. This never would have happened if the family court had not cut the dad out of the girl's life.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Brewington to be released from prison

Fellow angry dad Dan Brewington is scheduled to be released today. I think he got some time off for good behavior. His sppeal is still pending, and I think that his conviction will be partially reversed on free speech grounds. In my opinion, he vigorously and legally complained about corrupt treatment in the family court, and was imprisoned for it.

He is a hero for standing up for himself and his kids, and is a martyr to the cause of family court reform.

The Indiana supreme court is hearing oral arguments next week (Sept. 12) on whether Dan was just exercising his constitutional free speech rights. My guess is that the court will find a contorted argument for upholding Dan's conviction, and also say that the lower court's overbroad interpretation of the law is unconstitutional. Yes, that would be hypocritical and dishonest, but to the kind of judges who sit on these courts, it is not as bad as admitting that Dan was wrongly incarcerated for wanting to see his kids, and not as bad as having liberal ACLU law professors say that Indiana is a leader in suppressing free speech.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Bad therapism advice

Here is some bad newspaper advice:
Dear Annie: My college-age daughter is very hard on herself. "Sharyn" is a beautiful, intelligent and wonderful person at heart, but she cannot see it, even though everyone else does.

For 12 years, Sharyn has been in some form of therapy. ...

I tell Sharyn repeatedly that I love her and am proud of her, but she accuses me of lying. I'm frustrated and heartbroken that she believes these things when she has come so far. What else can I possibly do to help my daughter understand that she is a wonderful person who deserves happiness? — Peace Bound Parent

Dear Parent: ... These issues are best addressed in therapy. ... You also can get some therapy on your own and develop some coping strategies.
This is the evil of therapism. I might hate my parents also if they put me in psycho-therapy for 12 years.

Therapy should make progress towards some reasonable goal, or be terminated. I have heard of parents who send their kids into long-term psycho-therapy without even knowing what the issues are. That seems like an abdication of parental responsibilities to me. And the therapist is corruptly undermining the parents.

The other letters are bad also. Annie tells a woman to dump a boyfriend because he still communicates with an ex on Facebook. Another letter corrects Annie's misunderstanding of Viagra.

This week's flamebait comes from feminist lawyer Betsy Karasik in a Wash. Post op-ed:
As protesters decry the leniency of Rambold’s sentence — he will spend 30 days in prison after pleading guilty to raping 14-year-old Cherice Morales, who committed suicide at age 16 — I find myself troubled for the opposite reason. I don’t believe that all sexual conduct between underage students and teachers should necessarily be classified as rape, and I believe that absent extenuating circumstances, consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized. ...

I’ve been a 14-year-old girl, and so have all of my female friends. When it comes to having sex on the brain, teenage boys got nothin’ on us. When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the sexual boundaries between teachers and students were much fuzzier. Throughout high school, college and law school, I knew students who had sexual relations with teachers. To the best of my knowledge, these situations were all consensual in every honest meaning of the word, even if society would like to embrace the fantasy that a high school student can’t consent to sex. Although some feelings probably got bruised, no one I knew was horribly damaged and certainly no one died. ...

If religious leaders and heads of state can’t keep their pants on, with all they have to lose, why does society expect that members of other professions can be coerced into meeting this standard?
Half the the time feminists are demanding various sexual freedoms, and the other half the time they are complaining about the consequences of those freedoms.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Mom wants no dogs or private schools

Slate seems to have been taken over by oddball leftist feminists. Allison Benedikt writes:
A friend of mine once told me that before he had a kid, he would have run into a burning building to save his cats. Now that he has a kid, he would happily drown the cats in the bathtub if it would help his son take a longer nap. Here is how I feel about that statement: Velvel, avoid the bathroom.

It’s not that I don’t love my dog. It’s just that I don’t love my dog. And I am not alone. A very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who had a dog and then had kids now wishes they had never got the dog. This is a near universal truth, even for parents with just one child, though I have more.
She also got a lot of attention with this:
You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good. ...

I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer.
So she wants her kids to get the same mediocre education she got. She also whines about postponing childbearing, and not having much money left for kids after spending it all on their yuppie Manhattan lifestyle.

I will post more on different parenting philosophies.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Statue of the modern family

A city in England is building a monument against fathers:
Two sisters and their sons have been chosen to be "The Face of Birmingham" for a new piece of public art.

A bronze statue of Roma Jones and her sister Emma, with their sons Kyan Ishann Jones and Shaye-Jones Amin, will be put up in Centenary Square.

It is part of a three-year project by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing and the Ikon gallery to find out what it means to be a family.

A campaign to raise £100,000 to build the statue has started.
That's right, single moms with no dads in sight.

A runner-up was a white mom with her black "partner" and mixed-race daughter.

There was apparently no consideration given to using a traditional nuclear family. The judges were to make a statement about "subjective views of what constitutes a family".

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Teen mom refuses to see dad in court

This story sounds worse than it is:
A 19-year-old Massachusetts woman is suing the state for requiring her to attend family court with the man who raped and impregnated her.

In court filings, the victim, whom WBUR is not naming, says she and her mother repeatedly told state officials that they “wanted no contact with [Jamie] Melendez for any purpose and that they did not want the child born of the crime to have a relationship with Melendez.”

Melendez pleaded guilty in September 2011 to a rape charge and was sentenced to 16 years probation, including regular visits to family court….

H.T. says Melendez was ordered to pay $110 a week in child support and then, in 2012, went to court seeking visitation. He offered to withdraw his request if the order for child support was voided….
The rape was statutory rape, not forcible rape. If she did not want to see him in family court, then she should not have sued him for child support in the first place.

I have no idea whether Melendez was appropriately punished for his crime. But I do think that it is crazy to ask a man to pay child support for a child that he never gets to visit.

Congress has proposed a bill to force the state to cut off child custody for rapists:
Congress finds the following:

(1) Men who father children through rape should be prohibited from visiting or having custody of those children.

(2) According to several studies, it is estimated that there are between 25,000 and 32,000 rape-related pregnancies annually in the United States.

(3) A substantial number of women choose to raise their child conceived through rape and, as a result, may face custody battles with their rapists.

(4) According to one study, 32.3 percent of women who were raped and became pregnant as a result of the rape kept their child.
I am skeptical about these numbers. In a real forcible rape, the woman promptly reports it to police and gets sent for medical evaluation and treatment, where she gets the equivalent of a morning-after pill and never gets pregnant.
(8) The Supreme Court established that the clear and convincing evidence standard satisfies due process for allegations to terminate or restrict parental rights in Santosky v. Kramer (455 U.S. 745 (1982)).

(9) Currently only 6 States have statutes allowing rape survivors to petition for the termination of parental rights of the rapist based on clear and convincing evidence that the child was conceived through rape.
6 States? All 50 states have procedures for terminating parental rights. I don't know how they get down to 6. A criminal rape conviction requires proof beyond reasonable doubt, so maybe this is just a statement about the standard of proof.
The Attorney General shall make grants to States that have in place a law that allows the mother of any child that was conceived through rape to seek court-ordered termination of the parental rights of her rapist with regard to that child, which the court shall grant upon clear and convincing evidence of rape.
So a man could be acquitted of rape at a criminal trial, and still be considered a rapist in the family court?

The worst part of this law is what it does not say. There is no distinction between forcible and statutory rape, and between marital and stranger rape. There is no limitation on how many years can pass before the mom makes the rape accusation.

My guess is that this will become just another weapon in divorce cases. A couple could get divorced, and end up in family court over the custody of a 5yo child. Then the mom could suddenly say that the child is the result of a rape. It becomes just her word against his word.
(b) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a State, in order to receive a grant under this Act, to have in place a law that terminates any obligation of a person who fathered a child through rape to support the child.
SO they want to terminate the dad's cusoody and visitation rights, but still make him pay child support!

This law is unnecessary and destructive. If the man is really a rapist and there is proof, he will be sent to prison and will be in no position to win child custody. It is just another anti-dad law.

In case you don't think women make false rape accusations, read this UK BBC story:
A teenager has been given a caution for wasting police time by falsely claiming she was raped in an attack in Surrey.

The 18-year-old, from London, made the allegation in Ewell on 30 June.

She was found in the Cox Lane area and police said they spent much of the day interviewing people. Specialist officers also offered her support.

But later that evening, the woman told officers the allegation was false. Det Insp Antony Archibald said such reports were "deeply frustrating". ...

He added: "We have carefully considered what action could be taken against the woman and it was decided that a caution would be the most suitable form of punishment."
Women who false claim rape in order win child custody are unlikely to face any adverse consequences.

Update: A reader points to the statues. See Family Code 4002
4002. (a) The county may proceed on behalf of a child to enforce the child's right of support against a parent.
(b) If the county furnishes support to a child, the county has the same right as the child to secure reimbursement and obtain continuing support. The right of the county to reimbursement is subject to any limitation otherwise imposed by the law of this state.
(c) The court may order the parent to pay the county reasonable attorney's fees and court costs in a proceeding brought by the county pursuant to this section.
And here is Welfare Code :
11477.04. (a) An applicant or a recipient shall be considered to be cooperating in good faith with the county welfare department or the local child support agency for purposes of Section 11477 and shall be eligible for aid, if otherwise eligible, if he or she cooperates or has good cause for noncooperation. The county welfare department shall make the good cause determination. ...