Monday, June 30, 2014

Myths about child support

The Wikipedia article on Child_support says:
Support monies collected are assumed to be used for the child's expenses, including food, clothing, and ordinary educational needs. They are not meant to be used as "spending money" for the child or the parent.[9] Courts might have held that it is unacceptable for child support payments to be used to directly benefit the custodial parent however such rulings are rare and difficult to prove or enforce.
This might be wishful thinking. It is not the law in the USA. (I will edit this if no one else does, so it may read something else when you read this.)

In the USA, most child support orders are based on formulas of past income, and are unrelated to child expenses. The recipient is not required to spend the money on the child.

Here is Calif FC 4053:
(f) Children should share in the standard of living of both parents. Child support may therefore appropriately improve the standard of living of the custodial household to improve the lives of the children.

(g) Child support orders in cases in which both parents have high levels of responsibility for the children should reflect the increased costs of raising the children in two homes and should minimize significant disparities in the children's living standards in the two homes.
So if the ex-husband wins the lottery and buys himself a Rolls Royce car, then the ex-wife can demand an increase in child support and spend all the money on a Rolls Royce for herself. Even if the ex-husband puts all the lottery winnings in the bank for his retirement, the ex-wife gets a percentage that she may spend on herself as she pleases.

And the more she withholds visitation and custody to the dad, the greater percentage she gets.

The whole child support system is destructive, and ought to be abolished. It sends good men to jail, it fuels custody fights and false accusations, it creates horrible disincentives against marriage and children, and the money is not even spent on the kids.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sailor may lose kid while on submarine

CBS TV News Seattle reports:
A U.S. Navy sailor from Washington State is currently serving on a submarine thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean, but a judge has ordered him into an impossible custody scenario: Appear in a Michigan courtroom Monday or risk losing custody of his 6-year-old daughter.

Navy submariner Matthew Hindes was given permanent custody of his daughter Kaylee in 2010, after she was reportedly removed from the home of his ex-wife, Angela, by child protective services. But now a judge has ordered him to appear in court Monday, or risk losing his daughter to his ex-wife in addition to a bench warrant being issued for his arrest, ABC News reports.

Hindes’ lawyers argue he should be protected by the Service Members Civil Relief Act, which states courts in custody cases may “grant a stay of proceedings for a minimum period of 90 days to defendants serving their country.”

But the Michigan judge hearing the case, circuit court judge Margaret Noe, disagrees, stating: “If the child is not in the care and custody of the father, the child should be in the care and custody of the mother.”

The judge reiterated that regardless of Hindes’ assignment under the Pacific Ocean, he will appear in court or face contempt of court.
The video ends with the TV announcer saying that everyone wants the judge to decide this after a fair hearing.

The mom lost custody after a CPS investigation. I have no idea if that was reasonable or not. But the dad certainly should not lose because he is serving his country.

I also do not agree with the TV announcer that the judge should be able to force his BIOTCh opinion on the parents and kid.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Man's plea deal includes vasectomy

USA Today reports:
A Virginia man who has fathered children with several women has agreed to get a vasectomy to knock up to five years off his prison term in a child endangerment case that has evoked the country's dark history of forced sterilization.

None of the charges against Jessie Lee Herald, 27, involved a sexual offense. Shenandoah County assistant prosecutor Ilona White said her chief motive in making the extraordinarily unusual offer was keeping Herald from fathering more than the seven children he has by at least six women.

"He needs to be able to support the children he already has when he gets out," she said, adding that Herald and the state both benefit from the deal, first reported by the Northern Virginia Daily.

Though Herald willingly — if reluctantly, according to his attorney — signed on to the deal, the agreement immediately calls to mind the surgical sterilizations carried out in Virginia and dozens of other states during the 20th century under the discredited pseudoscience called eugenics, said Brandon Garrett, a University of Virginia law professor.

"This takes on the appearance of social engineering," said Steve Benjamin of Richmond, past president of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, who said he has never heard of a case like Herald's.
This deal does appear to reflect some anti-father prejudices on the part of the feminist prosecutor, but I am not sure it is a bad thing. Maybe the single moms should get sterilized as a condition of accepting food stamps, AFDC, and other welfare.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Peds give bad reading advice

The do-gooder pediatricians are always giving opinions outside their expertise, and now they have done it again. The NY Times reports:
In between dispensing advice on breast-feeding and immunizations, doctors will tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth, under a new policy that the American Academy of Pediatrics will announce on Tuesday.

With the increased recognition that an important part of brain development occurs within the first three years of a child’s life, and that reading to children enhances vocabulary and other important communication skills, the group, which represents 62,000 pediatricians across the country, is asking its members to become powerful advocates for reading aloud, every time a baby visits the doctor.
England is ahead of us as a nanny state, and they have an Education Secretary "Sir Michael" who has been knighted by the queen and who wants to fine parents who do not read to their kids:
Speaking about his own experiences as a head teacher in London's inner-city schools, Sir Michael said: "I was absolutely clear with parents - if they weren't doing a good job I would tell them so.

"It's up to head teachers to say quite clearly, 'You're a poor parent.'

"If parents didn't come into school, didn't come to parents' evening, didn't read with their children, didn't ensure they did their homework, I would tell them they were bad parents.

"I think head teachers should have the power to fine them. It's sending the message that you are responsible for your children no matter how poor you are."
It may sound reasonable to blame parents when kids do poorly in school, but the scientific evidence for a benefit from reading to kids is extremely small, and what little effect is noticed is almost certainly attributable to genetic or other factors. See Reading to Newborns Is Probably Useless.

This is an example of bad advice coming from people expressing opinions outside their expertise. Pediatricians are trained in diagnosing child diseases and other health matters, but not in teaching vocabulary to kids or in analyzing social science data. This follows a long list of bad pediatrician recommendations, such as on TV, guns, swimming, vaccines, etc.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Do Fathers Matter?

A new book on dads has gotten huge publicity, such as this NY Post review:
Paul Raeburn is the author of “Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We’ve Overlooked.” ...

Some of fathers’ contributions are surprising. One might guess, for example, that mothers have more influence than fathers on their children’s language development. Despite the growing number of women in the workforce, mothers still spend more time with children in many families than fathers do.

But that turns out not to be the case. Lynne Vernon-Feagans of the University of North Carolina, who studies language development, has found that when it comes to vocabulary, fathers matter more than mothers.

In middle-class families, she found that parents’ overall level of education — and the quality of child care — were both related to children’s language development. But fathers made unique contributions to children’s language development that went beyond the contributions of education and child care.

When fathers used more words with their children during play, children had more advanced language skills a year later. And that is likely also linked with later success in school.
The Boston Globe reviews:
If you’re tempted to both hate and mock a literary subgenre, the growing library of daddy lit is among the lowest hanging fruit. Among the titles I’ve perused since becoming a dad several months ago are “Dadditude: How a Real Man Became a Real Dad’’; “Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads’’; and “What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding.’’ What’s next? “Godzilla: Confessions of a Dinosaur Dad’’? “The Hangover Guys’ Guide to Infant Care’’?

The more interesting question may be why we are witnessing such a proliferation of dad-centric guides and memoirs. Could it simply be that the collective dad is trying to say that his role has evolved beyond the commuting hunter-gatherer?

In Paul Raeburn’s “Do Fathers Matter,’’ the science journalist addresses societal prejudices against dads, from their portrayal as inept buffoons in popular media to the long-held concept that attachment only exists between mothers and their children.
The book claims to have lots of science facts, such as in this Psychology Today review:
Here are some examples of what a reader encounters:

Male rats in Australia that were given high-fat diets and became obese had offspring that were more likely to have metabolic disease, including diabetes.
While the Y chromosome once had some 800 genes in common with the X chromosome, they now share just 19. Yet the loss of genes on the Y chromosome occurred many millions of years ago, suggesting we shouldn’t fear last few genes being flushed down some contemporary evolutionary toilet.
Family interventions intended to increase paternal involvement were most effective when targeting fathers and mothers together. This is because, as researchers note, “the single most powerful predictor of fathers’ engagement with their children is the quality of the men’s relationship with the child’s mother, regardless of whether the couple is married, divorced, separated, or never married.”
In captivity, a long-term study with rhesus monkeys (a species in which males do not provide paternal care in the wild) found that when infants were removed from mothers and hand-fed by humans, fathers became effective caregivers and played more with the infants than mothers.
A captive study of voles found that pups raised without a father displayed more anxiety and less activity and social behavior than those raised with a father.
Children born to older fathers are at greater risk of various developmental disorders, including autism, schizophrenia and cleft lip and palate. The age-related increase in mutations known to occur in males may underlie those observations, prompting Raeburn to ask: “The female biological clock is talked about so often that it’s become a sitcom cliché. Why do we hear so little about these biological clocks in men?”
The NY Times reviews:
In Mr. Raeburn’s book, there is plenty of good news for dads, and plenty of bad. A zippy tour through the latest research on fathers’ distinctive, or predominant, contributions to their children’s lives, “Do Fathers Matter?” is filled with provocative studies of human dads — not to mention a lot of curious animal experiments. (You’ll learn about blackbirds’ vasectomies.) But above all, Mr. Raeburn shows how little we know about the role of fathers, and how preliminary his book is. Its end is really a beginning, a prospectus for further research.

Mr. Raeburn writes that “as recently as a generation ago, in the 1970s, most psychologists” believed that “with regard to infants, especially, fathers were thought to have little or no role to play.” When it came to toddlers and older children, too, the great parenting theories of the 20th century placed fathers in the background. Freud famously exalted, or damned, the mother for her influence. John Bowlby’s attachment theory, which he developed beginning in the 1940s, focused on the mother or “mother-figure.”

When the pioneering researcher Michael E. Lamb became interested in the role of fathers, in the mid-1970s, “there wasn’t much evidence for the irrelevancy of fathers” — it was just assumed, Mr. Raeburn writes. And “there wasn’t a lot of data to suggest they were relevant, either.”
I had a family court evaluation from a quack psychologist named Ken Perlmutter, and when he was asked under oath whether he had any actual relevant expertise, he said that he studied Bowlby's attachment theory in grad school.

That theory is mostly rubbish, but a lot of psychologists like Perlmutter consider it the most scientific thing in the field.

The book says:
As recently as a generation ago, in the 1970s, most psychologists and other “experts” had an easy answer to that question: not much. With regard to infants, especially, fathers were thought to have little or no role to play. In 1976, Michael E. Lamb, a developmental psychologist and pioneer in research on fathers, wrote that the emphasis on mothers in infants’ development was so one-sided that it seemed as if “the father is an almost irrelevant entity in the infant’s social world.” For decades, psychologists had “assumed that the mother-infant relationship is unique and vastly more important than any contemporaneous, or indeed any subsequent, relationships.” The attachment to this nurturing and protective adult was supposed to give the infant an evolutionary advantage—even Darwin had endorsed this exclusive focus on the mother, the experts claimed, and who was going to argue with Darwin?
It is great that this book is exposing actual science to a wider audience. I am not sure about the relevance of animal studies, as paternal roles vary widely in nature.

I also wonder about his personal conclusions from the data. In an interview, Raeburn is asked for recommendations, and he explains that he helps his 4yo daughter by letting her cheat at a board game called Chutes and Ladders. Supposedly this follows from research that dads should be flexible with kids. Seems goofy to me.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Against valuing 2-parent families

At Columbia University, a girl can get a doctorate in public health for man=hating feminism. Sara Shoener is getting hers for "Gender-based violence" and how govt funding is not being used enough to bust up man-woman marriages. She writes a NY Times op-ed attacking the 2-parent family:
AFTER spending two years studying services for domestic violence survivors, I was surprised to realize that one of the most common barriers to women’s safety was something I had never considered before: the high value our culture places on two-parent families.

I began my research in 2011, the year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than one-third of American women are assaulted by an intimate partner during their lives. I talked to women in communities that ranged from a small rural mining town to a large global city, in police stations, criminal courts, emergency shelters, job placement centers and custody proceedings. I found that almost all of the women with children I interviewed had maintained contact with their abusers. Why?

Many had internalized a public narrative that equated marriage with success. Women experiencing domestic abuse are told by our culture that being a good mother means marrying the father of her children and supporting a relationship between them. According to a 2010 Pew report, 69 percent of Americans say single mothers without male partners to help raise their children are bad for society, and 61 percent agree that a child needs a mother and a father to grow up happily. ...

Since returning from my fieldwork, I have been struck by the pervasive narrative across the ideological spectrum regarding the value of two-parent families. To be sure, children who enjoy the support of two adults fare better on average than those who do not, and parents with loving partners often benefit from greater emotional and economic security. However, I have seen the ways in which prioritizing two-parent families tethers victims of violence to their assailants, sacrifices safety in the name of parental rights and helps batterers maintain control. Sweeping rhetoric about the value of marriage and father involvement is not just incomplete. For victims of domestic violence, it’s dangerous.
Yes, of course most people understand that single moms are ruining a generation of kids, and that society would be much better off if the moms made more of an effort to establish a relationship with the dads.

It is not just our culture that places a high value on two-parent families. Every successful culture in human history has.

Sometimes I hear people say that no one could be against mom-dad families. Yes, our leftist feminist elites are.

Since she is getting a doctoral degree from an Ivy League university, you would expect that she would need some data to back up what she says. But she has none. Just anecdotes like this:
In court, I watched a judge order the very first woman I interviewed to drop off her son at his father’s house every week for visitation. When she tried to tell the judge that she had a protection order against her child’s father and that she was concerned for her safety, the judge responded: “You know what? You are just trying to keep this child from his father, aren’t you?”
The judge is almost certainly correct. 9 times out of 10, the mom got that protective order as just a legal ploy to get more child support or to cut off the dad from the kid. Shoener makes no attempt to determine whether the judge is right.

Friday, June 20, 2014

US Supreme Court hears online threat case

Here is a new case:
The Supreme Court has decided to take up a case dealing with the idea of the theoretic "reasonable person" and how this supposedly objective standard holds up when dealing with alleged threats. This case features a very unsympathetic appellant -- one who has a history of making unpleasant comments online.
Pennsylvania man Anthony Elonis has historically enjoyed saying outrageous things on Facebook, such as how he would like to murder his estranged wife; shoot up an elementary school; sneak into an amusement park he was fired from to wreak havoc; slit the throats of a female co-worker and a female FBI agent; and use explosives on the state police, the sheriff's department, and any SWAT team that might come to his house. Elonis has never actually done any of these things, but he did spend the last three and a half years in prison for saying that he would. This week, the Supreme Court said it's going to re-examine the case, meaning we'll get a federal decision on whether threats made online need to be made seriously to send the threat-maker to jail, or just need to be taken seriously by a reasonable person threatened.
Elonis' argument is that his threats were just "rap lyrics" intended to be read by only his friends. He also argues he never targeted anyone (ex-wife, schools, FBI) with these comments (specifically pointing to the fact that he never "tagged" any of his "targets" using Facebook's notification system) and that the supposed threats were taken out of context -- that context being that Elonis was known for posting outrageous comments.
This is too late to help Dan Brewington. He used his blog to tell his story and to hold family court official publicly accountable for their bad behavior, and he served a prison term for it. He didn't really even threaten anyone, and his conviction was under a law against exposing govt officials to ridicule.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Misandry Bubble

The Futurist posted an influential 2010 essay on The Misandry Bubble
Executive Summary : The Western World has quietly become a civilization that undervalues men and overvalues women, where the state forcibly transfers resources from men to women creating various perverse incentives for otherwise good women to conduct great evil against men and children, and where male nature is vilified but female nature is celebrated. This is unfair to both genders, and is a recipe for a rapid civilizational decline and displacement, the costs of which will ultimately be borne by a subsequent generation of innocent women, rather than men, as soon as 2020.
I do believe that the current system is unsustainable.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Smoking pot is child abuse

The child-protection do-gooders have collided with the dope smokers. AP reports:
A Colorado man loses custody of his children after getting a medical marijuana card. The daughter of a Michigan couple growing legal medicinal pot is taken by child-protection authorities after an ex-husband says their plants endangered kids.

And police officers in New Jersey visit a home after a 9-year-old mentions his mother's hemp advocacy at school.

While the cases were eventually decided in favor of the parents, the incidents underscore a growing dilemma: While a pot plant in the basement may not bring criminal charges in many states, the same plant can become a piece of evidence in child custody or abuse cases.

"The legal standard is always the best interest of the children, and you can imagine how subjective that can get," said Jess Cochrane, who helped found Boston-based Family Law & Cannabis Alliance after finding child-abuse laws have been slow to catch up with pot policy.

No data exist to show how often pot use comes up in custody disputes, or how often child-welfare workers intervene in homes where marijuana is used.

But in dozens of interviews with lawyers and officials who work in this area, along with activists who counsel parents on marijuana and child endangerment, the consensus is clear: Pot's growing acceptance is complicating the task of determining when kids are in danger.

A failed proposal in the Colorado Legislature this year showed the dilemma.

Colorado considers adult marijuana use legal, but pot is still treated like heroin and other Schedule I substances as they are under federal law. As a result, when it comes to defining a drug-endangered child, pot can't legally be in a home where children reside.

Two Democratic lawmakers tried to update the law by saying that marijuana must also be shown to be a harm or risk to children to constitute abuse.

But the effort led to angry opposition from both sides — pot-using parents who feared the law could still be used to take their children, and marijuana-legalization opponents who argued that pot remains illegal under federal law and that its very presence in a home threatens kids.
The dope smoking parents probably think that legalization or de-criminalization solves their problems. But BIOTCh attacks are usually about legal activities. The cops seized my kids for using a 7:00 am alarm clock, and that was certainly legal.

I hope this debate widens, as it illustrates the arbitrariness of CPS and BIOTCh.

Monday, June 16, 2014

How Obama causes male persecution

A commenter asks about hte relation between college rape policies and the Obama administration. This 2011 story explains it:

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce on Monday a set of thorough guidelines for how schools and colleges should respond to allegations of sexual assault. Among them are that institutions should consider such allegations under the "more likely than not" standard of evidence, rather than the stricter "clear and convincing" standard that some now use.

The guidance comes in the form of a "Dear Colleague" letter from the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights designed to clarify Title IX regulations. The letter provides a detailed overview of institutions' existing responsibilities under Title IX when dealing with complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence. ...

The letter includes other specific examples of what institutions can and cannot do under Title IX. For example, "mediation is not appropriate even on a voluntary basis" between a victim and alleged perpetrator, says the letter. Institutions are also responsible for taking the proper "interim steps" to protect victims, such as moving the alleged victim or perpetrator to a new class or a different residence hall, providing counseling services to the complainant, or prohibiting the accused student from attending class for a period of time. ...

The letter also states that in order for a college's or school's grievance procedures to be consistent with Title IX standards, the institution "must use a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred)." That is the standard of proof established for violations of civil-rights laws, the letter notes, and therefore is "the appropriate standard for investigating allegations of sexual harassment or violence."

Grievance procedures that use the stricter "'clear and convincing' standard (i.e., it is highly probable or reasonably certain that the sexual harassment or violence occurred)" are not equitable under Title IX, it says.

The problem with this is that rape is a crime. If the college learns of a rape allegation, it should just turn the matter over to the police, as they are much better equipped to handle crimes.

Instead the college is expected to quiz the boy and girl, and if the girl is 51% believable, then declare the boy a rapist and take away his diploma or mete out whatever other punishment it can.

As I believe in innocent-until-proven-guilty, this is a very bad idea. Pres. Barack Obama is the most ideologically opposed to male justice of any President in recent years.

The issue goes to the heart of the legal distinction between civil and criminal cases. A civil case is usually a lawsuit between two private parties, and the court remedy is to require one to pay the other some money, based on a preponderance of the evidence. A criminal case is where the state tries to put a perp in jail, and guilt beyond reasonable doubt must be proved to the court.

Mediation is appropriate in civil cases, but not criminal cases. A civil case is just a dispute over money, so if the parties can agree to split it, so much the better. But a criminal needs to be locked up for the good of society, regardless of whether the victim wants it or not. In a statutory rape case, for example, the victim's opinion is irrelevant.

When the Obama requirements say that mediation is inappropriate, they are targeting criminal cases. But they want the college boy to be found guilty, without proof. So Obama is quite deliberately mixing up civil and criminal cases for maximum persecution of college boys being accused of a crime.

To see what kind of legal morass the Obama administration has led us into, NPR Radio reported yesterday:
The trend now, and what the White House recommended in its recent guidance to colleges, is toward what's called "affirmative consent." In other words, instead of the old "no means no," the idea now is that only "yes means yes."

But even that still leaves room for interpretation — or misinterpretation — since "yes" can be expressed nonverbally. ...

Some schools have tried to avoid the ambiguity by mandating that students get explicit verbal permission before making any sexual advance. (The only way around the rule is if students have a prior verbal agreement to use a pre-arranged hand signal.)

"It's on them to say, 'Can I do this?' And the person has to respond verbally, 'Yes.' And if they don't, it's considered nonconsent, and that's a violation of our policy," says Louise Smith, dean of community life at Antioch College.

Smith says consent by Antioch's definition has to be clear and enthusiastic. "I guess so" wouldn't cut it. Also, the Antioch definition says consent must be continually renewed each time things escalate to "each new level of sexual activity."
This sounds like a joke, but it is not. Thanks, Barack. My guess is that Michelle was the sexual aggressor when they were dating.

Here is Obama's Fathers Day address and proclamation.

AP reports:
The restless president, who has compared himself to a caged animal on recent wanderings by declaring the "bear is loose," took a long Father's Day weekend away with his wife and older daughter.

The visit to the desert resort area of Palm Springs is one of the ways Obama has been trying to escape during his sixth year cloistered in the White House.
That is pitiful. Oh well, I guess I should be happy that he has quit using Fathers Day as an excuse to bash dads. He does use it to promote a feminist agenda, and argues for laws requiring women to be paid more, saying "that benefits men too." Sigh. Has he ever done anything to benefit men?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Getting pointless advice from therapist

Here is a letter to a stupid newspaper advice column:
Carolyn: I have my first therapy appointment scheduled for this weekend. I never wanted to go, but my wife convinced me that issues I struggle with were damaging our marriage. I can't help but feel like I'll be smarter than the therapist when it comes to knowing what I need, and that I'll find his advice pointless.

Still, I want to do this for my wife and marriage. Do you have any advice for how a nontherapy-believer can keep from self-sabotage? I want this to work, even if deep down I don't believe it can.
I hate to tell him, but getting pointless advice is not the worst possibility. The therapist is likely to give destructive advice that his wife may foolishly follow.

The columnist replies:
Do you go into doctors' offices thinking you know more about anatomy and biochemistry than your doctor? Into a garage thinking you know more about cars than your mechanic? Into a class thinking you know more about the subject than the teacher?

Why do you assume there's no way a therapist can know more about emotional patterns and habits than you do?
A man often does go to a garage know more about what his car needs than the mechanic.

A better comparison might be to a chiropractor or an accupuncturist. The scientific studies show that most of what they do is worthless, and likewise for marriage counselors.

Carolyn reverses herself after this comment:
Re: First-timer: Most therapists do not give advice, at least at first. If you go in expecting to be told a bunch of answers in a couple of sessions you're going to be disappointed. Good therapy starts just by having a conversation about what's bothering you and having the therapist listen. It is a big leap of faith, but you have to sort of trust that process.
So he is better off assuming that the advice will be worthless after all.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dads v Feminism

The NY Times has a debate on Fathers' Rights and Women's Equality:
Cases of celebrity fathers pressing for greater parental rights, have gotten a lot of attention in the past year.

But are father's rights a legitimate claim for equality, or a conflict with women's interests?...

Unmarried men have little security in child rearing decisions and custody outcomes. Legally, the extent of unmarried men’s decisions about reproduction and children stops at the sexual act. Beyond that, the mother has the most leverage to make decisions about visitation and possible adoption. Why? Because law and social practice assume that unmarried men in intimate relationships have no interest in commitment, stability or responsibility. ...

But even the more moderate groups within the fathers’ rights movement engage in a backlash against feminism when they attempt to discredit the experiences of female victims of intimate partner violence and roll back legal protections for all victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Self-proclaimed fathers’ rights activists minimize the well-documented prevalence and severity of domestic violence against women, accusing domestic violence advocates of promoting false allegations that alienate children from their parents. ...

We cannot define the campaign for fathers’ rights -- as diverse a movement as feminism -- by the actions of a divisive and partisan subset. Doing so obscures the father's rights movements simple goal: to insure that when a marriage fails, men are legally empowered to remain fully engaged parents.
While this last opinion supports married or divorced dads, a couple of others are for unmarried dads:
The fathers’ rights movement contends that the treatment of fathers and mothers is unequal under the law, but the real difference is between married and unmarried fathers.

My research shows that family law makes it much harder for unmarried fathers to sustain a relationship with their children. In most states, if a child is born to married parents, the mother’s husband is automatically established as the legal father. By contrast, unmarried fathers have to take additional steps to establish parentage.
Until recently, the purpose of marriage was understood as a legal step to establish paternity. So I don't have any objection, in principle, to requiring unmarried dads to take additional steps to establish parentage.
In South Carolina, where I’m from, the adoption laws generally allow birth mothers to decide whether to put newborns up for adoption.

But luckily for me the state’s Responsible Father Registry for single men who have, or are about to, father children, requires that they be notified if the child is put up for adoption. I had followed the advice of a friend and signed up when my partner was pregnant.

After the birth, to my surprise, lawyers contacted me to say their clients, a couple in California, had arranged to adopt my child. Had I not registered, I would not have known.
Regardless of fathers rights or state registries, a child put up for adoption should go to a natural parent before a stranger.

Some people say that feminism is consistent with fathers rights, because feminism is about equality and dads just want equal rights as parents. But you rarely see feminists supporting any such equality. Feminism is more defined by the political agendsa of the leading feminists.

CH (Roissy) defines:
The goal of feminism is to remove all constraints on female sexuality while maximally restricting male sexuality.
Viewed this way, there is no way to reconcile dads with feminism. Nearly all feminists say that a pregnant woman has a right to an abortion at any time and for any reason, and the dad has no say in the matter.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Stanford pressured to regulate sex conduct

The Obama administration is forcing colleges to take a guilty-until-proved-innocent policy towards sexual assaults, and here is the latest story:
A Stanford sexual assault victim, furious that her assailant will be allowed to gra ed rapidly online this week. ...

"This is a historic moment when there is an unprecedented movement for change," said Benjy Mercer-Golden, a junior who directs the student government's new Task Force on Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse. "We think where Stanford goes, other universities will follow." ...

In January, Francis, a senior majoring in English, reported she was raped while away from campus during winter break by a classmate she knew. Five months later, after a hearing process she described as nightmarish and draining, a Stanford panel found the young man responsible for sexual assault, sexual misconduct and violating the Stanford code of conduct, according to university documents Francis provided. (A police investigation in their hometown remains open, and no charges have been filed, she said.)

Francis said she was appalled to learn his suspension would not begin until after his June 15 graduation and that he would be able to return to Stanford for graduate school in 2015.
If there is evidence of a crime, then the cops can bring charges. The girl could also file her own lawsuit.

But how is this Stanford's business? The two kids were boyfriend/girlfriend, and dating 100s of miles from Stanford. It appears to be a simple he-said-she-said situation. Maybe she consented on previous dates, but not the last one. Who knows?

The could have paid as much as $200k for that Stanford diploma. On what grounds could Stanford withhold it, considering that the boy has never been charged with any crime.

Imagine if you paid $200k for a house, went to the closing to get the title, and the escrow officer said that you could not have the title because a jilted ex-girlfriend in another state has posted a rant against you on the internet. You would be able to sue that escrow officer and win.

Likewise Stanford does not the power or ability to sort out these petty disputes and mete out harsh punishments. This is feminist Democrat foolishness instigated by Pres. Barack Obama.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New book on McMartin preschool witch-hunt

The NY Times reports:
Thirty years ago, Judy Johnson of Manhattan Beach, Calif., took her 2 1/2-year-old son, Matthew, to the pediatrician, fearing he had been sexually abused by his preschool teacher.

By today’s standards, the medical evidence in Matthew’s case was inconclusive: He had a rash on his bottom and rectal bleeding. But at the time, his symptoms were viewed as serious cause for concern. And so Matthew’s trip to the doctor began one of the longest, most expensive and notorious criminal investigations in American history.

As other parents at the McMartin Preschool heard about Ms. Johnson’s suspicions, the investigation expanded to dozens of families. A Los Angeles grand jury charged Raymond Buckey, a 25-year-old teacher at the preschool, and six others with 321 counts of sexual abuse involving 48 children.

The accusations mounted, and went wild. Children said they’d watched McMartin teachers dig up corpses, that they’d been forced to drink rabbit’s blood. At a hearing before the trial, a prosecutor observed, “The kids are falling apart.”

In the end, after seven years and $15 million, the case fell of its own weight, ending without a single conviction.

McMartin was the first of a series of prosecutions in the 1980s that have come to be seen as a collective witch hunt, in which panicked parents and incompetent investigators led children to make up stories of abuse by adults at day care centers and preschools.
You can read about the McMartin preschool trial or Day care sex abuse hysteria on Wikipedia.

So why is this old story in the news? Because some joker, with his own victim-of-child-abuse story, has written a book complaining that exposing the witch-hunts has diminished the credibility of child abuse accusations.
The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children. By Ross E. Cheit. Oxford University Press. 544 pages. $49.95.

But what if the skeptics went too far? What if some of the children were really abused? And what if the legacy of these cases is a disturbing tendency to disbelieve children who say they are being molested?

Those are the questions that frame this new book by Ross E. Cheit, a political scientist at Brown University who spent nearly 15 years on research, poring over old trial transcripts and interview tapes.

His conclusion about the McMartin case is that the outcome was “doubly unjust.” While he acknowledges that some defendants were falsely accused, he argues that Mr. Buckey was probably guilty, meaning that some of the children were not only sexually abused but “have been demeaned by the witch-hunt narrative’s assertion that the entire case was a ‘hoax.’ ”
I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty, so I was happy that the McMartins were eventually acquitted and the public was convinced that it was a hoax. I lived near the McMartin school during the original media frenzy, and we had daily front-page news stories about it.

I remember the day that I stopped believing the stories. A front page newspaper headline said that the McMartin school was a ringleader for a 7-state child porn network. But the story failed to say that any pictures had been recovered, or how they were passed around, or even what the 7 states were. The article did not quote any defense spokesman or anyone with the obvious skepticism.

It seemed inconceivable to me that they could somehow know of a 7-state child porn network without recovering any pictures. I never believed any of the official stories about the McMartin school again.

This book author seems to have the attitude that even if 95% of the accusations were demonstrably false, it is still possible that some the remaining 5% was true.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Emotional exploitation called domestic violence

Here is a case of a Wash. state dad who lost child custody because the judge used an over-expansive definition of domestic violence:
The trial court concluded that Robert’s residential time with the children should be limited under RCW 26.09.191(2)(a) because he “engaged in acts of domestic violence by financial and emotional exploitation.” Robert argues that the trial court erred when it defined financial and emotional exploitation as domestic violence because it does not appear in the definition of domestic violence in RCW 26.50.010(1). We agree, but affirm the trial court’s finding because there was other sufficient evidence of domestic violence….
So the dad got screwed anyway.

His wife did have an assortment of allegations that could have nullified the dad's parental rights, if true. For example, she claimed that he hired a hit man to murder her. But apparently none of that was proved, or the dad would be in prison.

A comment says:
What I find odd (and disturbing) is that the appellate court is supposed to make determinations of law, not fact. The trial court did not make findings based on the evidence you cited but instead relied on "emotional and financial exploitation" as the sole basis for holding that there was domestic violence.

Instead of remanding the issue to the lower court, the appellate court reviewed the record and made its own findings without having heard the testimony first hand - it essentially became the fact-finder of record. If the lower court credited the testimony regarding the incidents alleged by Kara, why did it not include them in its findings? It seems to me that one could just as easily conclude, inferentially, that the lower court did NOT find Kara's allegations credible.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lawsuits against judges always fail

Occasionally someone suggests suing one of the bad family court judges. The trouble with that tactic is that the lawsuit will be heard by another judge who believes that judges should not be sued.

Here is a recent case, explaining why they do not allow lawsuits against judges:
In this case, there is no debate that Judge David Dean Evans failed to meet the minimum expectations for members of the judiciary: He overreacted to attorney Robert Bright’s criticisms and inappropriately removed Bright from nearly seventy felony cases. The judge’s high-handed actions caused Bright great hardship, but litigation seeking to hold Judge Evans personally liable is not the solution. Generally, we rely upon the judges further up the judicial hierarchy to review and correct the rulings of lower courts. Only in a few circumstances do we allow lawsuits against individual judges to proceed, and for good reason. The specter of facing a lawsuit naturally encourages overly timid judging and presents a direct threat to judicial independence. While Judge Evans’s conduct was worthy of censure, it does not fit within one of the exceptions to absolute judicial immunity; thus, we must REVERSE the district court’s denial of immunity.

Unfortunately for Bright, our case law also requires us to side against him in his lawsuit against the Gallia County Board of Commissioners (“the Board”), the Gallia County Public Defender Commission (“the Commission”), and the Gallia County Criminal Defense Corporation (“the Corporation”). Under Mezibov v. Allen, 411 F.3d 712 (6th Cir. 2005), the First Amendment offers no protection to an attorney for his speech in court. Id. at 716. Without such protection, Bright cannot state a valid claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and we must AFFIRM the district court’s dismissal.
Most judges are somewhat sensitive to their public reputations, and it is legal to try to hold judges accountable by publicly exposing their bad decisions.

Yes, I know that Dan Brewington went to prison for exposing a bad judge, but he is the exception.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Some courts simplify divorce

The NY Times reports
In California, roughly three-fourths of family law litigants lack lawyers, said Maureen F. Hallahan, supervising judge in the family law division at San Diego Superior Court. Typically, people file initial divorce paperwork on their own, but they don’t know what to do next, so their file languishes for months. Budget cuts in the state courts reduced available personnel and made the problem worse.

So now some courts in California offer one-day divorce programs for people who either can’t afford or don’t want to hire a lawyer. “The reality is, people are going to do it without lawyers, and we had to accommodate that,” said Judge Hallahan.

The program doesn’t mean a divorce is truly started and completed in a single day — residency and notification requirements have to be met first. You must, for example, already have filed a divorce petition and served your spouse with divorce papers to participate.

But the program does allow you to wrap things up in a single day, or even a matter of hours, once you meet the initial criteria. “This is designed to help people get through the system,” said Judge Hallahan.

Sacramento Superior Court began offering a one-day program, created by Judge James Mize, more than a year ago, and San Diego Superior Court began offering a similar option in March. Details of the programs vary (the Sacramento program has income limits, while San Diego’s currently does not, for instance), but both are free.
Sometimes I think that the courts make it artificially difficult in order to make people use lawyers.

Friday, June 06, 2014

How Elon Musk got divorced

Elon Musk is the gutsiest entrepreneur in the world. After making a small fortune in Zip2, he took on the banking system and made a larger fortune in Paypal. Then he started Tesla Motors and SpaceX, two of the most audacious startups today.

In 2008, both companies were failing and he was working 100 hours per week on them. He had invested his whole fortune in them, and he was broke. Sales of the cars had been stopped because of serious defects, and all three rocket launches had failed. His wife, and mother to their 5 kids, was nagging him to attend counseling because he wasn't feeling fulfilled.

Musk had a choice: try to save his companies, or try to appease his wife. What do you think he did?

Read his wife's account:
It was a dream lifestyle, privileged and surreal. But the whirlwind of glitter couldn't disguise a growing void at the core. Elon was obsessed with his work: When he was home, his mind was elsewhere. I longed for deep and heartfelt conversations, for intimacy and empathy. ...

Elon agreed to enter counseling, but he was running two companies and carrying a planet of stress. One month and three sessions later, he gave me an ultimatum: Either we fix this marriage today or I will divorce you tomorrow, by which I understood he meant, Our status quo works for me, so it should work for you. He filed for divorce the next morning. I felt numb, but strangely relieved. ...

In the months after our separation, I dyed my hair dark and cut it. I also developed a friendship that gradually deepened into romance with a man I'd known casually for years. One night he took me to a reading of Eve Ensler's new play. "This is power-woman central," he said, as we watched Arianna Huffington hold court in the front row.
He made the right call. A man cannot appease the sort of woman who likes Eve Ensler plays and cuts her hair short. Ensler is best known for a play that romanticizes the lesbian rape of an underage girl as some sort of anti-patriarchy statement.

Of course she is still mad that she did not get a bigger share of his fortune.

He probably said this to the marriage counselor:
Look, bitch, the next 6 months are critical for electric cars, solar power, global warming, and space travel. If I fail, as everyone before me has failed, then no one will believe that these things are possible. I am not going to spend that 6 months apologizing to some stupid shrink for my supposed lack of sensitivity to my wife's narcissistic feelings. She is either supporting me, or standing in the way. Her choice. But I am not going to abandon my work to take her to some Eve Ensler plays.
In another era, a wife would be a social outcast if she ran out on a man who is better than 99.99+% of the population.

Musk has since married an actress who seems wonderful.

Musk set out to change the world, and he is succeeding like only s handful of men on Earth. Tesla Motors and SpaceX are both doing extremely well. SpaceX has just carried cargo back from the space station, and is developing a manned reusable rocket. It is crazy to think that a man like that would subordinate his ambitions to the fickle emotional tantrums of a wife, or that she would respect him if he did. He has taken the red pill.

Swallowing the red pill means facing cold hard truths of life. This includes facts and statistics about relationships, evolutionary psychology of human nature and instincts, and economics of preference and sexual market value. What makes this knowledge "red pill" is the belief that the truth is often directly opposite what you will commonly hear from advice-givers.

In the case of Musk, no marriage counselor is going to tell him what he has to do. Advice is for women, and weak men.

Maybe I will post some links to red pill articles. You might think that they are somewhat misogynist, because of statements like this:
Women are, by nature, manipulative, attention-seeking, inconsistent, emotional, and hypergamous.
They say things like this because they are emphasizing male-female differences that men are often fooled about. Above all, the red pill seeks the truth wherever it may lead. Several years ago I would not have believed that a woman and successful writer would trade the world's greatest engineer-entrepreneur for some sensitive Eve Ensler fan. Human nature is not necessarily what we would want it to be.

Here is a guy who just got a dose of reality:
Texas man sues stripper to get Harry Potter DVDs back after finding out it isn’t true love

“I don’t believe in loans because I don’t want to pay anybody back,” she explained. “I’ve given him gifts too. You know, how do I get my booty and boobs back?” ...

“I did see it possibly ending this way,” he admitted.
That's funny. I hope it was good while it lasted.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Denver requiring reporting elder abuse

Here is the latest nanny state law:
DENVER – A new law requiring people to report elderly abuse will go into effect July 1. The elderly are often targets for physical and financial-exploitation crimes. ...

Starting July 1, it is mandatory for many people who work with or for the elderly to report abuse within 24 hours. The law defines elderly as anyone 70 years old or older.
Everyone has an opinion about what is or is not abuse. Here is Richard Dawkins', the world's most famous atheist scientist:
He was asked whether parents who instil in their children a belief in God are subjecting them to a form of child abuse.

Dawkins wouldn’t be drawn - he wouldn’t go that far.

'To call it testament to child abuse would be a bit strong, but when you tell a child to mind their Ps and Qs otherwise they’ll roast in hell then that is tantamount to child abuse,' he said.

However, last year Dawkins made the comparison of teaching religion without questioning was the same as child abuse.

He said he was against the 'indoctrination of religion' and teaching it as fact.

Professor Dawkins, a biologist who revolutionised the theory of evolution with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, added that he thought it was still important to teach children about different faiths.

During his talk at the Cheltenham Science festival, he also shared memories from his prep school years which were dominated by bullying, cold showers and bruises.

He revealed that a master at the school once 'put a hand down his shorts.'

The atheist writer and intellectual has previously sparked fury by suggesting the recent spate of child sex abuse scandals has been overblown.

The 'God Delusion' author said that such incidents should not be judged by modern standards.
Religion is one area where parents are entitled to teach their beliefs to their kids, even if others say that those beliefs are fairy tales.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Dad punished for letting boy walk from school

When I was 8 years old, I always walked a mile home from school. And the school never punished anyone for name-calling.

To a lot of people, going for a nice 1-mile walk in sunny Hawaii would be a great treat.

A Hawaii TV station reports:
A Kauai man is speaking out after he was sentenced and fined for making his son walk a mile home from school.

Kilauea resident Robert De Mond pleaded no contest to endangering the welfare of a minor.

But, he told KHON2, all he was trying to do was discipline his son.

De Mond said when he picked up his eight-year-old son from A-plus at Kilauea Elementary School, he noticed his son was on a time-out. On their way home, De Mond asked his son what happened.

“He answered, ‘I don’t know,’ and I go, ‘You need to take responsibility for your actions. Why were you in time out?’ He kept saying ‘I don’t know,” De Mond said.

About a mile from home, De Mond stopped the car along Kuhio Hwy. and told his son to walk home, he said.

“(I told him) basically think about what you did in A-plus to put you in time out,” he said. De Mond continued home with his two other sons.

When De Mond went back roughly five minutes later, his son was gone, De Mond said.
From this, I blame the school for punishing the boy for trivial name-calling, and for not telling the dad the cause for the time-out. And I blame the meddling stranger who kidnapped the boy.
Turns out, a bystander saw him crying, brought him back to the school and called police.

“As we went there, we picked up my son. I wasn’t able to see my son. I was put under arrest,” he said.

A judge sentenced De Mond to one year of probation and a $200 fine, calling his actions “old school punishment” that wasn’t appropriate. He also has to take parenting classes.

De Mond told KHON2 he initially wanted to go to trial and try to prove to a jury that he didn’t do anything wrong, but his attorney, a public defender, advised against it.

“All I was trying to do is have my son think about his actions and there was no intention at all that I wanted to harm my son. I just wanted him to walk home and think about what he did by the time he got home,” he said.

So why was his son on a time-out? According to De Mond, he was caught name-calling at school.

A family attorney questioned why De Mond was even charged when Hawaii law allows parents to discipline children by spanking them.

“It seems odd to me that he would have knowingly endangered the child’s mental and physical welfare. He obviously was not expecting his child to be run over or absconded with or whatever,” said attorney Brad Coates.

But child psychologist Suzanne Gelb pointed out that punishment out of anger is never good for the child. She said it’s better to give the child a choice and let him know what will happen if he doesn’t obey.

“So the purpose of the consequence is not to make the child feel bad, it’s to let him know that you need to respond a certain way or you’re gonna have to forfeit a privilege and that’s a wonderful teaching tool — no punishment, no anger, just matter of fact,” Gelb said.

De Mond says he will probably handle it differently the next time he wants to discipline any of his three sons.

If he stays out of trouble during his one year probation, his record will be wiped clean.
There is no indicAtion that the dad punished out of anger, and it is just wrong that punishment out of anger is harmful. Gelb is a good example of why you should never take child-rearing advice from child psychologists. reports:
In many people’s lives, walking to get places isn’t a punishment, it is a daily reality; the norm; how one gets places. However in Police State USA, a parent who allows their son to walk somewhere is arrested.

When a neighbor picked up the boy and called police, Mr. De Mond was arrested at his son’s school. He was charged with second-degree endangerment of the welfare of a minor. Mr. De Mond pleaded no contest.

The judge, Kathleen Watanabe, ruled that the punishment was “old-fashioned” and inappropriate. Walking was considered a punishment too severe to inflict on a child. Parents who discipline their children with walks risk criminal charges.

“These are different times,” Judge Kathleen Watanabe scolded, according to the Garden Island. “It is understandable that you became upset with your son, but it is dangerous for children to walk along the highway, and there are predators out there.”

Mr. De Mond was ordered to take parenting classes, pay the government $200. He is on probation for a year. If he is caught walking his son anywhere he risks jail time.

“It’s been pretty hard on the kids,” De Mond commented, adding that the family just wanted to put this behind them.
Walking is not illegal, even if it is “old-fashioned and inappropriate”. The chance of a predator attacking a boy who is alone for 5 minutes on a sleepy island village road is extremely small. The whole population of Kilauea is only 2,248. My guess is that it is more likely that the school will get swallowed up by a volcano.

Here is the dad's story:
"I asked him, 'Why were you in time-out at A-Plus?'" De Mond said. "He told me, 'I don't know.' I asked him again and he said, 'I don't know.'"

He told his son: "I don't know is not an answer. You need to take responsibility for your actions. There has to be a reason that you were placed in time-out."

A mile from their house, he dropped his son off and asked him to "please walk home. When you walk home, you will have an answer better than 'I don't know.' And when you do come home you'll have an answer," he said.

De Mond said the stretch of the two-lane roadway -- Kuhio Highway -- is in a safe, rural area with acre-size agricultural lots, and a wide shoulder, 10 to 25 feet wide, where it's not uncommon to see people walking or riding their bikes.

When De Mond got home, he said he turned around and within five minutes was back at the location where he dropped him off.

"I was hollering his name, and he's nowhere to be found," he said.

De Mond called his wife at work.

"I went back and forth three times along the road," he said. "At this point, I'm pretty frantic."

He called police dispatch, and learned police had his son at the school.

De Mond and his wife arrived at the school, not knowing how or why his son got there.

"I wanted to see my son to see if everything's OK and talk to my son," he said.

Instead, his wife signaled to him that he was going to be arrested.

He learned that his neighbor found the boy, but rather than bring him home, took him to school and called police.

"It's been pretty hard on the kids," De Mond said. "I just wanted to get it over with, so I pleaded no contest" to second-degree child endangerment.

He was sentenced to probation, a $200 fine and parenting classes.

De Mond said his final court hearing on the matter was Wednesday, but he is continuing to take parenting classes.
The Hawaiian emasculation is not just affecting humans. For millions of years, male Hawaiian crickets have chirped to attract females. Now they have been independently silenced on two separate islands. The NY Times reports:
But now, researchers report that the mutant males on each island stopped singing independently, through two similar but distinct adaptations. ...

Dr. Bailey said the crickets had adapted to become less vulnerable to a parasitic Hawaiian fly that is attracted to the males’ chirp. The fly larvae burrow into the cricket, causing it to die within a week.

But there is a downside: The males who do not chirp cannot attract females as easily as those who do.

“So instead they adjust their behavior,” Dr. Bailey said. “They hang around the remaining singing males and then intercept the females.”
There is a lesson here. The males have been forced to shut up to avoid parasites, and are left groveling for whatever females take pity on them. This is pathetic. The real men who stand up for their family and beliefs are being endangered, and the rext are being silenced by parasites.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

England to get Cinderella Law

Britain is ahead of the USA is stupid nanny state laws, and here is the latest:
Parents who deprive their children of love and kindness could be jailed for up to ten years under a proposed new law.

Changes to child neglect legislation would make ‘emotional cruelty’ a crime for the first time under what is being dubbed a ‘Cinderella Law’.

David Cameron vowed there is 'nothing more important than the protection of children', as details emerged of the new offence which is expected to be included in the Queen's Speech in June.
That's right, parents have no constitutional rights in the UK, and the queen announces new policies.

Here is some sensible criticism:
In the eyes of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), there is always some new species of child abuse that apparently requires the attention of government officials and the criminal-justice system.

The NSPCC’s latest media campaign, launched today, targets emotional abuse. The NSPCC wants a new ‘Cinderella Law’ that would criminalise certain forms of emotional abuse. One of its spokesmen, John Cameron, said this morning that ‘we must recognise extreme emotional abuse for what it is - a crime - and those who carry it out should be prosecuted’. This campaign represents a new phase in the NSPCC’s attempt to extend the scrutiny of officialdom and experts over family life. For some time now, the child-protection industry has been trying to establish itself as the sole authority on what constitutes emotional correctness in family life. Its scaremongering about a rising tide of emotional abuse is an attempt to create a climate in which the behaviour of what it deems to be ‘emotionally abusive’ mums and dads can be criminalised.

The term ‘emotional abuse’ is really a metaphor used to pathologise any form of parental behaviour that contradicts the NSPCC’s strictures. ...

The NSPCC has opted for a definition of emotional abuse that includes some very real and unambiguous acts of harm, such as ‘conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved’, but also forms of behaviour which, depending on the context, may not be harmful to a child. For example, the NSPCC includes in its definition of emotional abuse ‘making fun’ of what a child says or how he or she communicates with others. I am not sure what universe the NSPCC inhabits, but in the real one making fun of one another is the stuff of family life.
While the crime is new, the UK is already using emotional abuse allegation to take kids away, according to a UK official:
Parents who fail to provide the basic level of emotional and physical support for their children do so for a variety of reasons including incapacity, inability, and wickedness but a lack of legislative clarity is not one of those reasons. There is no evidence to suggest a change in the law will prevent further instances of neglect from occurring. ...

Practitioners are fully aware of the harm caused by emotional neglect and abuse. Emotional abuse is the reason given for nearly a third of child protection plans. This shows that local authorities are acting to keep safe children who are suffering from emotional abuse.
This was all promoted by a charity, according to the UK BBC, with horrible arguments by govt officials:
It follows a campaign for a "Cinderella Law" from charity Action for Children. ...

Robert Buckland, a Conservative MP who has backed the charity's campaign, said the current law was outdated as it is based largely on legislation first introduced 150 years ago.

And he stressed that non-physical abuse could cause "significant harm" to children.

"You can look at a range of behaviours, from ignoring a child's presence, failing to stimulate a child, right through to acts of in fact terrorising a child where the child is frightened to disclose what is happening to them," Mr Buckland told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Isolating them, belittling them, rejecting them, corrupting them, as well, into criminal or anti-social behaviour."

He said the new law would not criminalise parents for being nasty, but for their criminal behaviour.
How is that for a justification? It just criminalizes criminal behavior!

He makes it clear that if the child is uncooperative with the authorities, then they will consider that evidence that the parents have committed a crime.

The BBC gives an example of a story that this law is targeting. It is a mixed-race child, of a white mom and black dad, who was not fully accepted by the white step-dad. Thus the law is just criminalizing an opinion.

The new law, as well as the current practice of punishing emotional abuse, is wrong on several levels. It is a gross invasion of privacy and family life. There is no clear definition of what the crime is. There is no scientific evidence that any child will be improved. The law will be abused by social workers, prosecutors, and other bullies who just want to intervene in the lives of others.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Lessons from Santa Barbara

The 2014 Isla Vista killings by the Santa Barbara disturbed Eliot Rodger may be sparking new laws:
Hours after the Isla Vista shooting, Nancy Skinner, a California state assemblywoman from Berkeley, drafted a bill that would create a system for “gun violence restraining orders” in which relatives, friends and intimate partners could ask a judge to temporarily block someone who is exhibiting violent tendencies from getting a firearm. The measure is modeled after the state’s existing law on domestic violence restraining orders, but is similar in intent to gun-seizure laws in Texas, Indiana and Connecticut.

“In this case, if we had the law and the mother was aware of it, she could have utilized it,” Skinner said.
The cops did not use the laws already available:
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — With the toughest gun-control regulations in the country, California has a unique, centralized database of gun purchases that law enforcement officers can easily search. It offers precious intelligence about a suspect or other people they may encounter when responding to a call. ...

Before a half-dozen sheriff's deputies knocked on Elliot Rodger's door last month in response to concerns raised by his mother about his well-being, they could have checked the database and discovered he had bought three 9mm semiautomatic handguns. Several law enforcement officials and legal experts on gun policy said this might have given deputies greater insight into Rodger's intentions and his capability for doing harm.

The deputies did not check the database. They left his apartment after finding him to be “shy, timid, polite and well-spoken,” in the words of Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. The deputies saw no evidence that Rodger was an immediate threat to others or to himself.

Let's get some facts. Rodger was 22yo, and killed 7 people, including himself. 5 male, 2 female. 3 were stabbed to death with a knife. 4 were injured when he tried to run them down with his BMW.

Over 5,000 people have signed a White House petition saying "Elliot Rodger, an active MRA [Men's Rights Activist], shot and killed at least 7 young women". No, he killed 2 women, and was not active in any MRA group, as far as I know. Nor has any MRA group praised him for what he did. His autobiography mentions visiting a web site of sex-starved with conflicing opinions, but that's about all.

He had been under the care of a goofy Hollywood psychiatrist, but was horribly misdiagnosed and mistreated. Even if there were a law to take away his guns, they would not have taken his knife and BMW.

The killing has generated feminist claims of misogyny:
Elliot Rodger’s shooting rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., on Friday has triggered an outpouring of grief, sadness, and — on Twitter and Facebook — a torrent of feminist anger. The social media sites are where the hashtag #YesAllWomen has been trending wildly since Saturday, in response to Rodger’s premeditated motives — a lifetime of rejection by women — for killing six (along with himself) and wounding 13 people near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara.

"I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me but I will punish you all for it," the killer warned, according to a transcript of his now-removed YouTube video, “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution." "It's an injustice, a crime because I don't know what you don't see in me, I'm the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman. I will punish all of you for it … On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house at UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see inside there.”
No, "a lifetime of rejection by women" is a gross exaggeration. He was only 22yo, and there is no clear showing that he was ever personally rejected by any woman.

What Rodger did do was to discover some uncomfortable truths about modern society. The hot young girls of today spread their legs for the obnoxious jerks, and ignore the gentlemen. The #YesAllWomen hashtag appears to be an acknowledgment by women that this is true for all women, and they like it that way.

A leading feminist blogger says:
Women have had enough. The stares. The butt-grabs. The little comments. And now this: a man writes a 140-page misogynist manifesto before killing six people, and yet – still – women are called hysterical for insisting this tragedy was driven by sexism.

In the days since Elliot Rodger murdered six people in Isla Vista, California, citing hatred of women and sexual rejection as the reason for his rampage, women across the world have come out en masse to share their stories of everyday sexism and misogyny – and to tell the world that enough is enough. On Twitter, Tumblr and on the streets, women laid bare just how pervasive sexism still is, and shot back against detractors desperate to believe that misogyny had nothing to do with the Rodger rampage.

Of course there is pervasive sexism. It is human nature. A better analysis comes from CH (aka Roissy):
Here are some uncomfortable truths about “sexual entitlement” that feminists dare not contemplate:

- What Elliot Rodger had was sexual desire. Feminists often confuse sexual desire for sexual entitlement (because feminists loathe male desire), but they are two very different things. To conflate them, one would have to assert that Rodger was weird for feeling attracted to a hot young blonde. But men are attracted to beautiful women. That is their nature. Rodger was no different than the vast majority of men in this regard, alpha and beta alike. However, this is the part where Liger goes astray; Elliot didn’t need to be surrounded by pretty Hollywood actresses or steeped in a culture that reveres female beauty to feel urges to want to fuck cute girls based on their looks. The stripling CH did not grow up in Hollywood, and yet I, like almost every boy I knew, valued girls for their looks above all else. No “looks message” is necessary for a boy like Elliot to feel sexual urges for cute chicks, and to feel dejected if those urges aren’t fulfilled.

- Women feel more true entitlement to men’s commitment and money than men feel to women’s sex. Few men will rape in order to feed their sexual entitlement, but many women will hold out until they get promises of commitment from men, and many marriages end with women feeling entitled to half their husbands’ wealth. A more accurate description of the sexual market, then, is that women have commitment and provision entitlement.

- Finally, the scariest realization for feminists: Sexually entitled men are more attractive to women! If you don’t feel entitled to a woman’s love, she won’t think you’re worth her love.

Elliot Rodger’s problem was not sexual entitlement. His problem was sexual desire coupled with crippling introversion that left him no means to satisfy his desire. This created a cognitive disconnect that he filled with his own untested theories for why women weren’t with him when they were with (to him) obviously inferior specimens.
The current Salon magazine has an article by a woman explaining how she would rather have hook-ups with bad boys than stable, healthy gentlemen with successful careers. She complains that the Amazon employees in Seattle are "boring", which I guess is code for not giving her the orgasms she desires.

Eliot Rodger needed to get essential life advice from his dad, but it appears that did not happen. His dad was British-American, his mom was Malaysian, and they divorced when he was 10 or so. The dad remarried a Moroccan woman, and his new family appeared on a TV reality show. The show presented him as having one son, not Eliot.

Eliot played video games and drove a BMW, while the dad made a Hunger Games movie about teenagers killing other teenagers for sport. They were probably both a little detached from reality.

CH says he would have given this advice to Eliot:
Women are different than men. Much different. Forget everything you know. You must understand this first.

You must be willing to listen and improve yourself or I’m wasting my time here.

Accept that women are different, and like different things in men than you like in them. That means stop worrying about your looks so much. They aren’t that important.

Don’t act needy. This is the most important lesson. Girls hate male neediness. Girls love men who seem like they get a lot of women and don’t chase after them. Fake it if you have to, it’s better than moping around like a loner.

Lift weights. Drink a lot of full fat milk. Don’t expect that you’ll look like Arnold in his prime. But if you stay the course, in one year you will be more muscular and more confident than you are now, and girls will notice.

You have to get over your shyness. Girls can’t read your mind. You spend too much time inside your head. Get out of there. Focus on making eye contact with people, and stop looking like a grouch. Talk to girls first as a friend. Get comfortable with that, then begin flirting with them and making your sexual intention known.

Stop taking whatever drugs your dad put you on. ...

Girls don’t want to hear about your problems. If you have to vent, do it with a male friend, or an older male guardian.

Never, I mean never, take advice from a woman, even if she is your mother.

If you want to know what a girl is really thinking, watch what she does. Don’t bother listening to what she says, as she herself is unaware what turns her on.

Never put a girl on a pedestal.
The CH/Roissy blog is a little over-the-top sometimes, but his analysis here is superb.

The NY Times reports:
LOS ANGELES — It was the summer of 1999, and the parents of Elliot O. Rodger were battling over the boy’s deep and puzzling psychological problems as they struggled through a divorce.

Mr. Rodger’s mother, Li Chin, filed an affidavit describing Elliot as a “high-functioning autistic child,” and said she needed more child support to care for him. His father, Peter Rodger, countered with a Beverly Hills doctor, Stephen M. Scappa, who challenged that diagnosis, saying it failed to acknowledge the possibility of “depression or anxiety.” Dr. Scappa said that Elliot, almost 8 at the time, should be sent to a child psychiatrist for more examination and treatment. ...

Ms. Smith, who became the principal of Independence [High School] the year Mr. Rodger was a junior, said he had displayed classic symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome: He was socially awkward, had trouble making eye contact and was very withdrawn, if very smart. “Sometimes at lunch, kids would encourage him to join their tables,” she said. “Sometimes he would. But even when he did, he would just kind of be present.”

His longest conversations seemed to be with one of the special-education assistants, with whom he would discuss World of Warcraft.

“He had this push and pull between his desire to engage socially and his fear of rejection,” Ms. Smith said.

Yet he was liked at Independence. Ms. Smith said that some of the students had felt protective of him, and that staff members had referred to him as “our Elliot.”
Here we see the consequence of a bad diagnosis from the mom and a school official. Elliot did not have Asperger or autism. He appears to have been very shy with social anxiety and phobias. These qualities have very little to do with Asperger or autism. Asperger/autism has been a big fad for about 10 years.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

California sex registry too big

The San Fran newspaper reports:
Sacramento -- The state board that oversees California's sex offender registration laws wants to thin out and overhaul the registry because they say it has grown too big and does not help law enforcement or the public differentiate between offenders who pose significant risks and those not likely to reoffend. ...

California is one of four states that require lifetime registration for sex offenders, regardless of the nature of the offense. Someone who made obscene and harassing phone calls to children is listed alongside a repeat molester.

The board recommends a tiered system similar to what other states use in which the length of time a person appears on a registry depends on their crime and risk of reoffending.

In Butte County, District Attorney Mike Ramsey said he knows of a man whose last sex crime was 40 years ago and despite not so much as a traffic ticket since, the man and his wife were recently denied housing because he is a registered sex offender.

"There is no need to continue to monitor some low-level offenders and waste those resources," Ramsey said. "We have to prioritize."
This is political. People somehow believe that if you are born gay, then you are always gay, and if you are born a pervert, then you are always a pervert.

People should be given a chance to live a normal life. I am all in favor of imprisoning those who commit serious crimes, but a lot of those on the registry have only committed minor offenses.