Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trafficking law requires BIOTCh lawyers

I mentioned that a recent BIOTCh law forbid deporting the illegal alien kids. While many Republicans propose revising the 2008 law, they still seem to support BIOTCh due process for the foreign kids. BIOTCh hearings are hopeless and should be repealed.

Ann Coulter has another angle:
It’s been reported everywhere—The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News—that the William Wilberforce Sex Trafficking Act requires that any non-Mexican children who show up on our border be admitted and given a hearing. (New York Times, July 7, 2014: “Immigrant Surge Rooted in Law to Curb Child Trafficking.”)

The problem, we’ve been told, is that a loophole in the sex trafficking law mandates these hearings — or “removal proceedings.”

But there is no such loophole. ...

According to last Friday’s New York Times, almost 90 percent of the 53,000 illegal alien kids given refugee status since October have already been transferred to parents or relatives living in the U.S. By the law’s clear terms, those 47,000 kids should have been summarily turned away at the border — just as Mexican children are.
I am not sure she is correct. Here is the Text of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008:
Subject to section 462(b)(2) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(b)(2)), an unaccompanied alien child in the custody of the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall be promptly placed in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child. In making such placements, the Secretary may consider danger to self, danger to the community, and risk of flight. Placement of child trafficking victims may include placement in an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program, pursuant to section 412(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1522(d)), if a suitable family member is not available to provide care.
I read this as saying that the alien kids can be placed with a USA family member, justified by BIOTCh, and while awaiting a BIOTCh hearing. Coulter says that the law excludes kids who have a suitable USA legal guardian.

And the kids get to lawyer up:
The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to appoint independent child advocates for child trafficking victims and other vulnerable unaccompanied alien children. A child advocate shall be provided access to materials necessary to effectively advocate for the best interest of the child. The child advocate shall not be compelled to testify or provide evidence in any proceeding concerning any information or opinion received from the child in the course of serving as a child advocate. The child advocate shall be presumed to be acting in good faith and be immune from civil and criminal liability for lawful conduct of duties as described in this provision.
This seems crazy to me. The so-called "child advocate" is supposed to tell the kid's story, and that story is to be believed, but the lawyer will not be under oath so he is free to tell lies in order to zealously advocate for the child.

This must have been written by lawyers who profit from endless proceedings that accomplish nothing. No one else would think that these child advocates are reasonable.

The kids should just be sent back to their home countries to rejoin their parents.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mom charged for attention to boyfriend

The Smoking Gun reports:
A Louisiana woman left her two young children unattended in her SUV while she performed oral sex on her boyfriend in his vehicle around 12:30 AM Friday, police report.

Princess Marks, 25, reportedly admitted to Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies that she was unable to see her children -- aged seven and five -- while she was pleasuring her boyfriend in the parking lot of a Lake Charles store.

Cops found the children inside the SUV, which was not running and had its windows down.

Marks’s post-midnight assignation resulted in her arrest for child desertion. Seen in the adjacent mug shot, Marks was booked into jail and later released after posting $5000 bond on the felony count.

Following her collar, Marks’s offspring were placed in the custody of family members. Her beau -- whom investigators did not identify -- was not arrested.
So what is she supposed to do -- keep her eyes on her kids while pleasuring the boyfriend? Or bring the boyfriend into the van with the kids?

This was after midnight, so the kids were very likely to be sleeping. If she had them asleep in bed at home and she was pleasuring the boyfriend in the next bedroom, she would also be unable to see them.

This is not "child desertion". The mom was letting the kids sleep, not abandoning them. The poor single mom needs to get some sexual action somehow.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Judge has affair with ex, still immune

Occasionally someone suggests that I sue the judge for bias, incompetence, negligence, or something like that. It never works. The case and appeal would be heard by other judges, and they all believe that judges should never be sued.

Here is a recent example:
A Michigan judge who admittedly had an affair with the wife of a man in a child-support case before his court won't have to face a federal civil rights case, a U.S. appeals court has ruled.

Calling the conduct of now-former Wayne Circuit Judge Wade McCree "often reprehensible," a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nonetheless held the judicial immunity doctrine barred Robert King from seeking damages, the Detroit Free Press reports.

King, who claims his due process rights were violated by McCree on multiple occasions, can't sue over the jurist's judicial actions. And McCree's nonjudicial actions aren't responsible for the civil rights violations claimed by King, the panel explained in its Monday opinion (PDF). "Personal bias alone of a judge—when not serving in a judicial function—does not create a due-process violation."

Attorney Joel Sklar represents King and told the newspaper his client intends to appeal the 6th Circuit ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
If this is not bias, what is? The judge had an affair with the other party in court.

And no, the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the case.

Update: Instapundit piles on:
At the very least, if judges are to enjoy absolute immunity from lawsuits over misconduct, that immunity should come from the legislature. Right now, it’s a judicially-created doctrine, which is self-serving in the extreme.

This case isn’t the worst misconduct shielded by judicial immunity, but it’s pretty bad.

And speaking of self-dealing, this doesn’t look good: “McCree is the son of the late Wade Hampton McCree Jr., who was the first black person appointed to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and the second black solicitor general in U.S. history.” Though the doctrine is so absolute that it doesn’t really matter. And did I mention that this rule of absolute immunity for judges, no matter how serious their misconduct, was created by ... judges?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Powerful people lack empathy

A couple of Canadian psychology professors write:
I FEEL your pain.

These words are famously associated with Bill Clinton, who as a politician seemed to ooze empathy. A skeptic might wonder, though, whether he truly was personally distressed by the suffering of average Americans. Can people in high positions of power — presidents, bosses, celebrities, even dominant spouses — easily empathize with those beneath them?

Psychological research suggests the answer is no. Studies have repeatedly shown that participants who are in high positions of power (or who are temporarily induced to feel powerful) are less able to adopt the visual, cognitive or emotional perspective of other people, compared to participants who are powerless (or are made to feel so).

For example, Michael Kraus, a psychologist now at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and two colleagues found that among full-time employees of a public university, those who were higher in social class (as determined by level of education) were less able to accurately identify emotions in photographs of human faces than were co-workers who were lower in social class. (While social class and social power are admittedly not the same, they are strongly related.)

Why does power leave people seemingly coldhearted? Some, like the Princeton psychologist Susan Fiske, have suggested that powerful people don’t attend well to others around them because they don’t need them in order to access important resources; as powerful people, they already have plentiful access to those.

We suggest a different, albeit complementary, reason from cognitive neuroscience. On the basis of a study we recently published with the researcher Jeremy Hogeveen, in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, we contend that when people experience power, their brains fundamentally change how sensitive they are to the actions of others.
Clinton did not really feel anyone's pain. He was just good at faking it. Other politicians, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are criticized because they are lousy at faking it. Empathy is a political fad.

Maybe these professors have figured out a way to scientifically analyze empathy. Then maybe some others will figure out whether it makes one a better or worse person. So far, it is just something for psychologists to speculate about.

Friday, July 25, 2014

More kids in cars

I posted on the criminalization of parenthood, and the stories keep coming.

CBS News reports:
Is it child abuse if someone leaves a toddler in a car to run into a store? That’s a question the New Jersey Supreme Court is going to take on.

The case revolves around reckless endangerment charges against a New Jersey mother who left her 19-month-old in her car for five to ten minutes to run into a store for party supplies.

She was arrested when she got back to her car and earlier this year, an appellate court ruled her actions amounted to abuse. ...

New Jersey’s DCF [aka CPS] says under no circumstances should a child be left in a car for even a minute — warning of abduction, dehydration, injury or even death.
No, this is crazy paranoia and CPS expanding the nanny state. Child abuse is usually defined in terms of willful harm to the child, and no kid has ever been harmed by being left in a car for a minute.

Here is an update on a Florida case:
A Jupiter woman will not serve jail time after, Jupiter police say, she left her child inside a hot car while she went shopping. Cases like this have shined a spotlight on the nationwide problem. That's why child safety advocates plan to hold an event Tuesday morning to raise awareness.

"I'm in the TJ Maxx parking lot, and there is a baby in a locked car with the windows closed," says a woman who called 911.

It's the first time we've heard the emergency call made on April 25.

"No parents, the cars not on, the windows are barely cracked, and it's almost 100 degrees outside," says the caller.

Jupiter police say the toddler was left alone inside the parked SUV. Fire Rescue then gave instructions to the woman who called 911. "They're saying to break the window," says the caller, "The baby's in the backseat."

A police officer broke a window to rescue the child. The mother, Arlinda Wiebe, was charged with child abuse. According to the police report, Wiebe told the officer she left the child in the car because, "He was sleeping, and it was just a few minutes".
A lot of people seem to think that it is better to leave the keys in the ignition with the air conditioning on, when a kid is left in the car. In fact this is expressly forbidden under California law:
Prohibition Against Unattended Child in Vehicle

15620. (a) A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older, under either of the following circumstances:

(1) Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child's health or safety.

(2) When the vehicle's engine is running or the vehicle's keys are in the ignition, or both.
So you can leave a kid in the car as long as it is safe AND the keys are not in the car.

This case got a lot of TV publicity:
After her child care plans fell through at the last minute, an unemployed single mother in Arizona felt she had no choice but to take her young children with her and leave them in the car while she interviewed for a job nearby, she said Thursday.

“It was a moment of desperation," Shanesha Taylor said in an exclusive interview on TODAY. "It was me knowing my family was in crisis and knowing that I had to make a choice between providing for my children or caring for my children.”

Authorities arrested Taylor in March for leaving her 6-month-old and 2-year-old sons alone in her sports utility vehicle while interviewing for a job nearby in Scottsdale, Arizona. Last week, prosecutors agreed to drop felony child abuse charges against Taylor as part of a settlement that requires her to successfully complete parenting and substance abuse programs.

Taylor told TODAY's Matt Lauer a sitter scheduled to look after her two youngest children “flaked on me, is the best way to say it." That’s when she felt she had to take her children with her to the interview. ...

Unlike another “hot car” parent currently under investigation, Taylor’s case attracted widespread support after her tearful mug shot photo drew sympathy and sparked a national discussion about the poor and unemployed. After media reports about Taylor’s story, support poured in from strangers across the country, including a New Jersey woman who launched an online fundraising campaign. As part of the settlement, Taylor must put the nearly $115,000 that was raised toward an education trust fund for her children.

Taylor said she is happy with the deal. ...

Taylor last saw her children, who were released into the custody of family members, on Monday. She faces additional court hearings to regain custody.

“I get to see them every weekend. We definitely have a lot of family time. You know, do as many activities as we can in the short two days,” she said.
Obvious CPS is holding her kids hostage, and forcing her to play their game to get them back.

Update: The NY Times update became its most emailed story:
Arizona: Mom of Boys Left in Car May Be Spared Charge

A prosecutor has agreed to drop felony child abuse charges against Shanesha Taylor, 35, a homeless mother who left her two sons in a hot car while she went to a job interview, if she completes parenting and substance abuse treatment programs and sets up trust funds for her children. The money is to come from the $115,000 donated to Ms. Taylor after her case drew national attention. Bill Montgomery, the Maricopa County attorney, said the deal would hold Ms. Taylor accountable “while also recognizing the best interests of her family.” She is seeking to regain custody of her children, who were placed in foster care after her arrest.
Wow, this is the first case I've heard where a parent was forced to give up control over donated money.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More parent prosecutions

Ross Douthat writes in the NY Times about recent parent prosecutions:
For instance, they might have ended up like the Connecticut mother who earned a misdemeanor for letting her 11-year-old stay in the car while she ran into a store. Or the mother charged with “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” after a bystander snapped a photo of her leaving her 4-year-old in a locked, windows-cracked car for five minutes on a 50 degree day. Or the Ohio father arrested in front of his family for “child endangerment” because — unbeknown to him — his 8-year-old had slipped away from a church service and ended up in a nearby Family Dollar.

Or (I’m just getting warmed up) like the mother of four, recently widowed, who left her children — the oldest 10, the youngest 5 — at home together while she went to a community-college class; her neighbor called the police, protective services took the kids, and it took a two-year legal fight to pry them back from foster care. Or like the parents from two families who were arrested after their girls, two friends who were 5 and 7, cut through a parking lot near their houses — again without the parents’ knowledge — and were spotted by a stranger who immediately called the police.

Or — arriving at this week’s high-profile story — like Debra Harrell, an African-American single mother in Georgia, who let her 9-year-old daughter play in a nearby park while she worked a shift at McDonald’s, and who ended up shamed on local news and jailed.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chelsea Clinton gossip

Chelsea Clinton says that she does not care about money, now that she makes $600k a year in salary plus $60k per speech.

The National Enquirer reported in April:
In a desperate bid to have twins, CHELSEA CLINTON underwent secret fertil­ity treatments, sources tell The ENQUIRER.

After four years of marriage, the 34-year-old former first child decided to speed up the clock and com­plete her family in one fell swoop, say insiders, adding that her decision was sparked by Bill’s and Hillary’s medical problems as well as their burning desire to become grandparents.
And in June:
Exposed! Bill Clinton Paternity Bombshell: I’m Not Chelsea’s Real Dad!

IN A revelation that could shatter Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House, former President Bill Clinton once admitted he wasn’t the biological father of the couple’s only child – daughter Chelsea!
And currently:
Exclusive Interview! Clinton Paternity Bombshell Explodes!

The identity of CHELSEA CLINTON’s “real” father was best unkept secret in Arkansas, family insider tells The ENQUIRER.

The bombshell that Chelsea Clinton is not the biological daughter of former President Bill Clinton was widely regarded as gospel truth in Clinton’s home state of Arkansas!

That’s the claim of a man who’s the former brother-in-law of Chelsea’s alleged daddy – her mother Hillary’s longtime law partner, Webster Hubbell!
All of this would be boring gossip, except that Hillary Clinton is now the favorite to be the next USA president.

If the above is true, then it is 100x worse than the Lewinsky scandal. A wife who bears another man's child is unfit for a position requiring public respect.

These rumors were around when Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, but Hillary was not on the ballot

The Clintons could silence these rumors with a simple DNA test. Barack Obama eventually released his short-form revised birth certificate in order to squelch some rumors.

Hillary has many other flaws. She saw a marriage counselor about divorcing Bill in 1998, and it is obvious that she thinks that Bill is not good enough for her. She spent 6 months recovering from a brain injury in 2013. Her foreign policy positions have been horrible.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Penn State president still in limbo

I mentioned the Penn State witch-hunt several times, and now the NY Times has a long article on it:
The case against Spanier is at best problematic, at worst fatally flawed. More than 20 months after the state branded him a criminal, he still awaits a trial. He continues to live in State College but in limbo. ...

The trustees commissioned Louis Freeh, the former director of the F.B.I., to investigate how Sandusky, who was still awaiting trial, had been able to exploit children, some of them on campus, for more than a decade. The mission Freeh was given seemed to presuppose that Sandusky’s crimes were not his alone and that people who had reason to suspect him had looked away. ...

On July 12, 2012, Freeh issued his 267-page account of what occurred at Penn State. Some of the writing was of the type meant to impress, or perhaps overwhelm, a reader with the firepower that his team brought to the job. The report states that investigators conducted 430 interviews of “key university personnel and other knowledgeable individuals” and that “over 3.5 million pieces of pertinent electronic data and documents” were analyzed. (This would have required examining an average of 15,000 items a day over the course of the investigation, which lasted nearly eight months. It seems likely that many of the documents were merely scanned electronically for keywords.)

The Freeh Report was blistering in its tone and stunning in its reach. ...

Spanier is still incredulous that he has been charged criminally. “What does this have to do with me?” he said at one point. “I never saw anything. I never spoke to a kid, a witness, a parent, Sandusky, McQueary, Paterno.” ...

The university has already paid a steep financial price: Including Freeh’s fee, it has spent nearly $37 million on various public-relations firms, lawyers and crisis managers to guide it through Sandusky-related issues. It has agreed to pay $60 million in compensation to Sandusky’s victims. The university is paying most of the legal fees of Spanier, Schultz, Curley and a range of others who were indemnified as employees — about $8.6 million so far. ...

It’s fair to say the legal proceedings involving Spanier have been tangled, inexplicably delayed and bizarre. His lawyers have filed motions to have the criminal charges dismissed, beginning in March 2013, and those motions have been sitting in the docket for a year and a half without a ruling.
The case against Spanier seems to rest on a very peculiar CPS doctrine. If he was a mandated reporter (and I don't see why he would be), and the law requires him to report suspicions, and if he was ever in a meeting where the possibility of a report was discussed, the CPS types would say that proves he had suspicions and should have reported them.

But Spanier was not a witness and had nothing to report. The obligation to report falls on the witness who is also a teacher or coach. I don't see how anyone can expect Spanier to have done more than he did.

If there is a villain here, it is coach Mike McQueary:
It relates to the best-known chapter in the Sandusky affair, involving a Penn State assistant coach, Mike McQueary, who reported witnessing Sandusky in a shower with a young boy. McQueary has given differing accounts about what he saw and what he told others in the days that followed. But he has been consistent in saying that he did not stay long enough to look more closely, and did not try to intervene, because he was too upset after hearing a “a skin-on-skin smacking sound.” Seeing Sandusky behind the boy and “slowly moving his hips,” McQueary testified at Sandusky’s trial in 2012, “was more than my brain could handle. I was making decisions on the fly. I picked up the phone and called my father to get advice from the person I trusted most in my life, because I just saw something ridiculous.”

McQueary went to Paterno’s house the next day to report what he saw. Soon after, Paterno talked to Schultz and Curley. Spanier said he never spoke to McQueary, but the two administrators informed him about what they were told. The key question, if Spanier and his co-defendants come to trial, is likely to be not what McQueary witnessed, but how he later described what he witnessed.
So McQueary claimed in 2012 that he saw an anal rape of a minor back in 2003 or so, but there is no record that he told anyone earlier. If he really saw what he now claims, and I doubt it, he should have intervened, called the cops, or reported it to CPS. He did none of those things until many years later when he was suing Penn State for millions of dollars. He should be the one prosecuted, if anyone.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Conference on Shared Parenting

The NPO reports:
The International Conference on Shared Parenting on 9-11 July 2014 in Bonn, Germany under the theme "Bridging the Gap between Empirical Evidence and Socio-Legal Practice" was the first international and interdisciplinary gathering of scholars, practitioners and NGO representatives interested in the emerging paradigm of shared parenting in families in which parents are living apart. ...

At the conclusion of our first International Conference on Shared Parenting the Scientific Committee has developed the following Consensus Statement: ...

1. There is a consensus that neither the discretionary best interests of the child standard, nor sole custody or primary residence orders, are serving the needs of children and families of divorce. There is a consensus that shared parenting is a viable post-divorce parenting arrangement that is optimal to child development and well-being, including for children of high conflict parents. The amount of shared parenting time necessary to achieve child well-being and positive outcomes is a minimum of one-third time with each parent, with additional benefits accruing up to and including equal (50-50) parenting time, including both weekday (routine) and weekend (leisure) time.

2. There is consensus that "shared parenting" be defined as encompassing both shared parental authority (decision-making) and shared parental responsibility for the day-to-day upbringing and welfare of children, between fathers and mothers, in keeping with children´s age and stage of development. Thus "shared parenting" is defined as "the assumption of shared responsibilities and presumption of shared rights in regard to the parenting of children by fathers and mothers who are living together or apart."

3. There is a consensus that national family law should at least include the possibility to give shared parenting orders, even if one parent opposes it. There is a consensus that shared parenting is in line with constitutional rights in many countries and with international human rights, namely the right of children to be raised by both of their parents.

4. There is a consensus that the following principles should guide the legal determination of parenting after divorce: (1) shared parenting as an optimal arrangement for the majority of children of divorce, and in their best interests. (2) parental autonomy and self-determination. (3) limitation of judicial discretion in regard to the best interests of children. ...
This is better than expected. There are a lot of judges who think that shared parenting should never be ordered, because it requires agreement of the parents. And if the parents are in court, then they are not agreeing. Furthermore, state laws always say that the BIOTCh is more important.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Michigan law to protect sailor dad on sub

I mentioned this case, and now the Michigan legislature is acting:
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan legislation would protect military members in child custody cases while serving overseas.

The bill proposed Wednesday responds to a Lenawee County judge's decision to order a sailor to come to court despite him being aboard a U.S. submarine.

The legislation generally would prohibit judges from modifying parenting time if a motion is filed to suspend the case while the military member is away.

Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge says his bill shouldn't "even be necessary."

Lenawee County Judge Margaret Noe says she didn't know Matthew Hindes was in the Pacific Ocean when he was supposed to appear or have someone bring his 6-year-old daughter to court.

Hindes' ex-wife Angela Hindes lost custody of their child in 2010 amid allegations of neglect but seek to regain custody.
Jones is right -- his bill should not be necessary.

But he does not go far enough. We need broad laws eliminating all sorts of extraneous matters from child custody hearings. Such as requiring joint custody unless there is a criminal offense against the kid.

There is also continuing controversy over the S. Carolina mom who let her 9yo daughter visit the park.

The lead comment is:
More BS control from social services—Let me ask them this– Why has the United States become SO dangerous for not only our children but for me, my family and citizens in general?

Because we are no longer a nation of laws, but a nation of men. Think about how the level of safety has diminished since the courts have stopped enforcing the laws on the books. One need only look to the southern border — how safe are we NOW and how much less safe will we be in 6 months, one year??? Just can’t wait to find out.

Teacher trolling is now a national pastime

The London Telegraph reports:
There was a predictable feminist backflash on Twitter yesterday when Tatler magazine published flirting advice for 13-year-old girls to cynically deploy on unwitting middle-aged men. ...

Yet men who work around teenage girls – and particularly teachers – live in constant terror of paedophilic allegations. For some, it can feel as if their lives are viewed through a constant prism of suspicion.

Research by Nottingham Trent and Bedfordshire Universities found that female primary school teachers still dramatically outnumber men, with fears that men will be falsely labelled as paedophiles hampering male recruitment.

I’ve spoken with many male teachers whose reputations and lives have been destroyed by pictures posted on social media by teenage girls who have deliberately set out to entrap them into looking like a “paedo”.

“Teacher trolling” is now a national pastime and some pubescent girls see capturing incriminating photos of “pervy” male teachers as a sport.

If captioned appropriately, a playground photo of a stray glance or innocent gesture can be disastrous. Posted to social media (or even used to blackmail), a compulsory suspension pending a full investigation is likely to ensue. In today’s schools, increasingly we are seeing that the power is with the pupils.

For this reason, we’re also seeing record low numbers of men applying to be primary school teachers – and record numbers leaving the secondary school profession altogether.

As a consequence – exacerbated by the rocketing numbers of single parent families that yesterday the Centre for Social Justice predicts will soar to 2 million by 2015 – we are witnessing an ever-expanding vacuum of strong male role models in young people’s lives.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Singapore destroys gay penguin book

Not every country is in the business of distributing anti-family propaganda. AP reports:
SINGAPORE (AP) — A children's book inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in New York's zoo has been deemed inappropriate by state-run Singapore libraries, and the conservative city-state's information minister said he supports the decision to destroy all copies alongside two other titles.

The National Library Board, which runs 26 public libraries in Singapore, pulled from the shelves and said it would "pulp" the copies of three titles, citing complaints their content goes against Singapore's family values.

The books are "And Tango Makes Three," about a male-male penguin couple in the Central Park Zoo; "The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption," which involves a lesbian couple; and "Who's In My Family: All About Our Families."

"The prevailing norms, which the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans accept, support teaching children about conventional families, but not about alternative, non-traditional families, which is what the books in question are about," Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said Friday.
Carolyn has the leading comment:
staff never saw roy and silo in a sexual act
pair were observed trying to hatch a rock as if it were an egg
They also attempted to steal eggs from other penguin couples
zoo keeper gave them a real egg
they hatched the egg and the female chick tango when reaching breeding age paired with another female
silo found another partner, a female called Scrappy
roy joined an all male group

So....the book tells enough about the two penguins to fit their agenda and not enough to tell the truth. A case of human manipulation to make a political and social point.
She is right. This book is used in American schools to indoctrinate elementary school kids that homosexuality is natural and good and pervasive. These penguins were not gay in the human sense of the word.

And no, the world is not 10% gay. Here are the latest numbers:
A survey released Tuesday by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports:
Based on the 2013 NHIS data [collected in 2013 from 34,557 adults aged 18 and over], 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% of adults identified as “something else[]” [0.2%,] stated “I don’t know the answer[]” [0.4%] or refused to provide an answer [0.6%].
More specifically, 1.8 percent of men self-identify as gay and 0.4 percent as bisexual, and 1.5 percent of women self-identify as lesbian and 0.9 percent as bisexual.

The results are generally in the same ballpark as past estimates — and far below the long-debunked 10 percent estimate.
So why is our family law being re-written to accommodate 1.6% of the population?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The criminalization of parenthood

The nanny state has reached S. Carolina:
A North Augusta mother is in jail after witnesses say she left her nine-year-old daughter at a nearby park, for hours at a time, more than once.

The mother, Debra Harrell has been booked for unlawful conduct towards a child.

The incident report goes into great detail, even saying the mother confessed to leaving her nine-year-old daughter at a park while she went to work.

The little girl is fine, but some say an area the mother thought was safe could have turned dangerous. ...

Cullum works at Sara's Childcare and Preschool. ...

Cullum said, "what if a man would have came and just snatched her because you have all kinds of trucks that come up in here so you really don't know."

Lamback said, "you cannot just leave your child alone at a public place, especially. This day and time, you never know who's around. Good, bad, it's just not safe."

The girl is in the custody of the Department of Social Services.
The main hazard here is that CPS (Dept. of SS) will come up there and snatch the kid. Not truck drivers.

The mom is black and there is no dad in sight.

This summary of state laws on latchkey kids says this about S. Carolina:
There actually isn’t any state law regarding when a child can be left alone. However, there are “regulations,” which say no child under the age of nine should be left alone. The regulations boil down to what Jennifer said, “A parent knows if their child is responsible.”
Lenore Skenazy is quoted in the Wash. Post:
Here are the facts: Debra Harrell works at McDonald’s in North Augusta, South Carolina. For most of the summer, her daughter had stayed there with her, playing on a laptop that Harrell had scrounged up the money to purchase. (McDonald’s has free WiFi.) Sadly, the Harrell home was robbed and the laptop stolen, so the girl asked her mother if she could be dropped off at the park to play instead.

Harrell said yes. She gave her daughter a cell phone. The girl went to the park—a place so popular that at any given time there are about 40 kids frolicking—two days in a row. There were swings, a “splash pad,” and shade. On her third day at the park, an adult asked the girl where her mother was. At work, the daughter replied.

The shocked adult called the cops. Authorities declared the girl “abandoned” and proceeded to arrest the mother.
It appears that the mom was actually doing something that was extremely safe.

To prosecutor this mom, the authorities should have to prove a quantitative estimate of the risk that a truck driver would kidnap the kid from the park, of whatever bad they think is going to happen.

CPS is not just picking on single black moms, as they also got a dad in Ohio:
What started out as a normal Sunday morning for Jeffrey Williamson of Blanchester, Ohio, turned into a nightmare when police officers showed up to his front door and arrested him in front of his family. His crime? Child endangerment—as the authorities described it—because his son skipped church to go play with friends. He now faces up to six months in jail.

According to Williamson, the local Woodville Baptist Church sends a van to his neighborhood twice a week to offer free transportation to those interested in attending services. Williamson’s children ride the van regularly on Wednesdays and Sundays. This morning was no different, as his eight-year-old son Justin and siblings said goodbye to their father and left their house to board the van.

One problem: Justin skipped church and went to play instead.

The young boy stayed in the neighborhood to play with friends and then later ended up at the local Family Dollar store down the road. After police officers were called to the store by a customer who recognized Justin, they took him back to his neighborhood where they proceeded to arrest his father for child endangerment.

Perhaps the police force in Blanchester, Ohio, should have a “come to Jesus” moment, too, and acknowledge that sometimes kids will be kids.

Williamson recounted his interaction with the police officer, stating, “The next thing you know, he comes up to me and he says, ‘You’re under arrest.’ My kids start crying their eyes out wondering why I’m getting arrested.”

To make matters worse, as a result of local news coverage of the event,Williamson was fired from his job and remained unemployed for a period of time. ...

Child endangerment is prohibited in Ohio under R.C. 2919.22(A), which states: “No person, who is the parent of a child under eighteen years of age, shall create a substantial risk to the health or safety of thechild, by violating a duty of care, protection, or support.” This means that if Williamson created or ignored a situation where a substantial risk of danger existed for his son, he would be liable under the code provision.

However, Ohio case law specifically requires the element of mens rea (guilty mind) in order to convict a defendant for endangering a child. Significantly, in 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court held in State v. McGee that the existence of a culpable mental state of recklessness is an essential element of the crime of endangering children under the statute. Thus, only if prosecutors can prove that Williamson acted recklessly due to his son’s behavior could a conviction be possible.
Update: Amy Graff side with the S. Carolina mom in the San Fran paper:
I’m also angry. Putting a mother behind bars and taking away her child is far worse than allowing a child to play alone at a park. Harrell’s daughter was in very little danger at the park. Gosh, she could have broken an arm, and if she did Harrell says this was a busy park with at least 40 or more children and parents present at all times. I’m sure someone would have helped her. The absolute worst thing that could have happened is a kidnapping and the possibility of that occurring was next to none. I always love quoting the statistics gathered by Free-Range Kids author Lenore Skenazy who advocates for parents letting their kids do confidence-building activities like go to the park alone and says there’s a 1 in 1.5 million chance of a child being abducted. A family has been completely torn apart here on the off chance that this girl might have been abducted — that’s criminal.
The comments are overwhelmingly in favor of the mom, and against CPS. Except one who said that the kid should be reading books instead of playing at the park, and another saying:
What nonsense. How would the writer know if Harrell made the best possible decision for her daughter?
Is that the standard for criminal behavior? All parents occasionally make decisions that are not the best possible. If that were the legal standard, then this mom and millions of others would have lost their kids a long time ago, and our foster care system would be overwhelmed.

Several comments described the positive value of unsupervised play in their childhood, with one getting this response:
This was prior to the third world colonization of the USA.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Penn State report was seriously flawed

I criticized the rush to judgment against Jerry Sandusky and Penn State officials, in part because much of the supposed evidence was in a dubious lawyer-written Freeh report. Now I see errors revealed:
Critique of the Freeh Report

On September 13, 2012, a group of alumni and supporters, under the name of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, released a review of the Freeh Report that was critical of the Freeh Group's investigation and conclusions.[203] On February 10, 2013 a report commissioned by the Paterno family was released by Dick Thornburgh, former United States Attorney General and former Governor of Pennsylvania, maintaining that the Freeh report was "seriously flawed, both with respect to the process of [its] investigation and its findings related to Mr. Paterno".[204] In response, Freeh called the Paterno family's report "self-serving" and said that it did not change the facts and findings of his initial investigation.[205] On June 23, 2014, at Jerry Sandusky's pension forfeiture appeal, hearing arbiter Michael Bangs ruled Sandusky's pension should be reinstated and criticized the Freeh Report stating it "was based on significant hearsay and was mostly ruled inadmissible (for the proceedings), (but) was admitted in part to show it had found Sandusky had received 71 separate payments from Penn State between 2000 and 2008”. Later in a footnote Bangs states “The terrifically significant disparity between the finding in the Freeh report and the actual truth is disturbing. While the Freeh report found that Penn State had made 71 separate payments to (Sandusky) between 2000-2008, they were off by almost 85 percent, as the correct number was six separate payments”. Bangs goes on to say that the error “calls into question the accuracy and veracity of the entire report”.[206]
I do think that Joe Paterno was framed, like other witchhunts. Even a former FBI director can be bought, if there is enough money to be had by suing the deep pockets. The evidence against Sandusky was entirely the testimony of people who changed their stories years later when they sued Penn State for millions of dollars.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Court breaks confessional confidentiality

The nanny state meets the lawyer state. More and more, laws and policies are requiring people to snitch on others. This time it is just so some lawyer can sue for the emotional distress of being kissed.

ABC News reports:
Catholics are decrying a recent Louisiana Supreme Court decision that reaches into the most sanctified of church places, the confessional booth.

The ruling revives a lawsuit that contends a priest should have reported allegations of sexual abuse disclosed to him during private confessions and opens the door for a judge to call the priest to testify about what he was told. The lawsuit was filed by parents of a teen who says she told the priest about being kissed and fondled by an adult church parishioner.

If the priest were called to testify, Catholic groups say it could leave him choosing between prison and excommunication.

"Confession is one of the most sacred rites in the Church. The Sacrament is based on a belief that the seal of the confessional is absolute and inviolable. A priest is never permitted to disclose the contents of any Confession," Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said in a statement this week blasting the ruling. ...

The lawsuit alleges that in the summer of 2008, a 64-year-old parishioner at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in East Feliciana Parish kissed and fondled the 14-year-old girl and continued to pursue her with emails and phone calls.
I assume that the priest will refuse to testify, the lawyer will win, and the Catholic parishioners will have to pay a huge sum for the alleged misbehavior of some old coot. If the man committed a crime, then charge him, but there is no reason to attack a core Catholic belief that has been recognized for a millennium.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dad blames phone for kid stranded at sea

I mentioned this story in April, and I am following up only because the parents are blaming it all on the phone company:
The family that drew national attention when they were rescued at sea off their sailboat, Rebel Heart, in April is finally setting the record straight.

Charlotte and Eric Kaufman and their two daughters were about 1,000 miles west of Cabo San Lucas in the Sea of Cortez when 1-year old Lyra became sick. That was when their adventure of a lifetime turned into a nightmare.

It began with a fever, then a rash and then Lyra became lethargic. That was when the couple used their satellite cell phone to call a doctor. ...

Kaufman noticed the phone was showing a SIM card error. He tried everything to restart the phone. He soon realized they were "in a really dangerous spot."

He said he had no choice but to activate the sailboat's emergency beacon. ...

The couple will file a civil lawsuit against the satellite phone provider later this week. Attorney Dan Gilleon says they should not only compensate the Kaufmans for their loss, but should also re-pay the federal government for the expensive military rescue at sea.

"The at-fault party here was that satellite phone company," Gilleon said. "The Kaufmans did everything they were supposed to have done."

In spite of what happened, the Kaufmans say they plan to travel the world with their kids again, as soon as they get a new sailboat.
From what little I know about the law, it seems likely to me that the phone company disclaimed consequential damages. The lawsuit may just be a way to deflect the blame.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

For and Against Wife Beating

John Stossel reports:
Early last century, wife beating was routine. A North Carolina newspaper from 1913 carried a front-page story titled, "For and Against Wife Beating." Most "expert" commentary was in favor of it. One doctor argued, "Beat her, she needs it," and a female advice columnist declared, "It's well known that women love most the men who are cruel."
I don't have the whole original article, and it could be a joke, but here are more details:
The debate begins with Waugh's claim that women must be ruled with violence. "When you find your mate, rule her!", he says, "She expects you to be head of the house. When she awakens your jealousy, beat her; she needs it." Horrific.

Rosalie Jones defends her side by stating that wife-beating is "the feeble wall of an envious old bachelor." "Beating a wife when she makes you jealous is the most absurd thing I ever heard of;" she argues, "it is part of a wife's duty to make her husband jealous; he thinks more of her." Not an ideal line of argument, but at least someone is representing the 'against' side in this insane article.

The secretary of the Household Felicity League, Mrs Howard Archibald Samuels, concludes the argument, siding firmly with Waugh. "No doubt Dr Waugh is right in some respects", she responds, "It is well known that women love best the men who are somewhat cruel to them. A woman who fears the wrath of her husband loves him better than one who has no fear of him at all."
If there were some kind of gay sadomasochism thing, the news media would praise it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What's wrong with the family court

Here are the main things wrong with the family court, in brief.

The best interest of the child (BIOTCh, pronounced "bee-otch"). It substitutes the judgment of strangers for the parents. There can be no parental rights, as long as they are overridden by a stupid judge or shrink. It is contrary to Rule of Law.

Child support formulas. They support the custodial parent, not the kid. They are onerous. They provide bad incentives for divorce and child custody fights. They are worse than income taxes, because they are not based on actual income. They cannot be reasonably adjusted, because of the Bradley Amendment.

Marriage law. A variety of changes have made marriage law all about money, and unrelated to the resulting children.

Domestic violence. Criminal accusations belong in criminal court. Otherwise they are irrelevant to family court. People should be innocent until proven guilty.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

New study on lesbian parents

Gays and lesbians are always claiming that they can be parents just as well as straights, and now they brag about study that they say finally proves it:
Children of same-sex parents enjoy better levels of health and wellbeing than their peers from traditional family units, new Australian research suggests.

In what they described as the largest study of its type in the world, University of Melbourne researchers surveyed 315 same-sex parents and 500 children about their physical health and social wellbeing.

Lead researcher Doctor Simon Crouch said children raised by same-sex partners scored an average of 6 per cent higher than the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion.

"That's really a measure that looks at how well families get along, and it seems that same-sex-parent families and the children in them are getting along well, and this has positive impacts on child health," Dr Crouch said.
Not really. The study subjects were not childrens, and were not same-sex couples either.

What these LGBT researchers did was to post some queries on the internet asking gays and lesbians how their kids were doing. Most of the respondents said, not surprisingly, that their kids were doing find.

Read the actual study:

It has been suggested that children with same-sex attracted parents score well in psychosocial aspects of their health, however questions remain about the impact of stigma on these children. Research to date has focused on lesbian parents and has been limited by small sample sizes. This study aims to describe the physical, mental and social wellbeing of Australian children with same-sex attracted parents, and the impact that stigma has on them.

A cross-sectional survey, the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families, was distributed in 2012 to a convenience sample of 390 parents from Australia who self-identified as same-sex attracted and had children aged 0-17 years. Parent-reported, multidimensional measures of child health and wellbeing and the relationship to perceived stigma were measured.
A "convenience sample" means that it was not a scientific sample. The respondents were "self-identified as same-sex attracted", but not necessarily in a same-sex relationship. They could be single, married to someone of the opposite sex, asexual, closeted, or wildly promiscuous. The study is "parent-reported", meaning no one checked what the parents said. There was no meaningful control group for comparing to straight parents.

The study claims to study the "impact of stigma", but it only says this:
Numerous studies have found that when there is perceived stigma, experienced rejection or homophobic bullying, children with same-sex attracted parents are more likely to display problems in their psychosocial development [16-22]. ...

Parents were asked to indicate how often in the past year their family had experienced stigma related to the their same-sex attraction (eg have people gossiped about you and your family, have people excluded you and your family?). ...

For two thirds of children (333, 67%) parents reported perceived stigma on at least one item of the BSS. ...

Whilst children with same-sex attracted parents from our sample demonstrate comparable health to other children across the population, it is clear that they, and their families, are experiencing stigma. Previous work has suggested that stigma and homophobia are related to problem behavior and conduct problems in children with same-sex attracted parents [17,33,18]. Our findings support and strengthen the idea that stigma related to parental sexual orientation is associated with a negative impact on child mental and emotional wellbeing.
I am surprised that only 2/3 have parents reporting gossip. Doesn't anyone gossip about straights?

So it did not really study the impact of stigma.

Here are some other criticism.

Obviously this is a study by a bunch of gay and lesbian researchers who have a political purpose to reduce gay and lesbian stigma. They desperately want to be accepted like straights. Apparently their best argument is to put out a study like this, and hope that people are fooled into thinking that the need to accept gays and lesbians for the well-being of their children.

Of course all the real studies show that kids do best with their natural opposite-sex parents.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Texas assessment of CPS

Any serious investigation of CPS would find some abuses, but this found none:
The Child Protective Services (CPS) Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) released the second of two reports that were created as part of an “Operational Assessment” conducted by The Stephens Group (TSG), a consulting firm based out of New Hampshire. The report purports to represent a comprehensive review of the activities, achievements, and challenges facing CPS, but Breitbart Texas’ review of the report has revealed some glaring omissions in the report’s findings. The report has no mention of abuses of power or unwarranted intrusions on the part of the state agency into the parent-child relationships of some Texas families. ...

The report, posted on the TDFPS website, is more than 200 pages and makes recommendations for areas of improvement. ...

With rare exception, the attorneys were unwilling to criticize CPS on the record, expressing fear of reprisal against their clients.
Okay, it is just a whitewash. Nothing to see here, because no one dared to take on the powers.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Scotland to appoint shadow parents for everyone

Britain has become a nanny state. Countries with kings and queens have difficulty understanding the concept of individual freedom.

Lenore Skenazy has been called the world's worst mom, but she is a lone voice of sanity against the nanny state. She writes:
Scotland wants to treat all families as potentially abusive and appoint a "named person" (that is, a guardian) as soon as the child is born and up through age 18 to oversee the parenting. This "shadow parent" would be empowered by the government under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, which will take effect in 2016. ...

This idea grows out of the conviction that Free-Range Kids (my bookblog, and movement), exists to extinguish: That all children are in danger at all times, and hence need constant oversight.
She also agrees with me that the Georgia dead kid in car story is not a murder case.

Scotland is trying to get independence from the UK. Is this what they have in mind? They don't have their act together enough for a separate country, but they think that they can get money from North Sea oil, and join the EU for economic stability.

Here is another site that understands the problem with the BIOTCh:
Since its adoption by the United Nations in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has become the most widely accepted international agreement in history, ratified by every nation of the world except for the United States and Somalia. All signatories pledge to protect children’s rights, foster their development, and uphold their best interests by re-writing their national laws to conform to the standards set forth in the treaty.

While all this may sound harmless and even commendable, the reality is that the Convention allows and even demands that national governments interfere in the decisions of individual families and parents. By invoking the “best interests of the child ,” policymakers and government agents have the authority to substitute their own decisions for those of the child or parent. In short, parents lose their rights to be parents, and become merely caregivers. The result, as parents across the globe are now discovering, is that the family is being steadily undermined, often with tragic and devastating results for the very children who are supposed to be protected.

The Need for Vigilance

Thankfully, the United States still remains the sole organized government of the world that has rejected the Convention on the Rights of the Child, because our elected leaders emphatically rejected the Convention’s incursions on American law and the American family. America believes that international committees and courts should have no authority in the affairs of her families, and that the right and responsibility of lawmaking should be wielded only by her own sons and daughters.
Bad as the USA is, the rest of the world is worse.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Mom leaves kids for prisoner

Usually I celebrate a dad getting child custody from a crazy woman, but this UK story leaves me scratching my head:
A British mother is to pack up and leave her three children behind to make a whole new life with a violent US prisoner she met online.

Jennifer Butler, 29, will leave the UK and travel to French Robertson Unit in Texas to marry Christopher Mosier, 23 and leave her three young children all younger than 10 with their father.

The besotted woman will move in with Mosier when he is released on parole in September and denied she is making a mistake.

'Some people might think I'm bonkers for falling in love with a prisoner. And not everyone will agree with our relationship,' Butler said to The Sun. 'But Chris is a wonderful man. Sure, he made a few mistakes in the past, but everybody deserves a second chance.' ...

'I felt really sad that I hadn't heard from him. That's when I realised my feelings for him ran a lot deeper. I no longer saw him as just a friend anymore,' Butler said to The Sun.

'Then a month later I received a letter from him. He told me that the prison had been on lockdown so he had not been able to get stamps to write to me,' the smitten mom said.

'I realized I was in love with him and that letter made me admit it to myself. I couldn't bear to lose him.' ...

She added, 'I am devoted to my children but they deserve a happy mum too. This relationship will be for me but the life I build is going to be for all of us.'
This is the argument for no-fault divorce. Woman believe that they are entitled to abandon their families in their search for personal happiness.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Justina Pelletier finally released

I posted about Justin Pelletier in Nov. 2013Feb. 2014, and Mar. 2014, and now she has been released:
Returning to her parents home after spending 16 months out of their custody, Justina Pelletier is now speaking out about her treatment while in the care of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“This should never happen again to anybody,” the 16-year-old from Connecticut said in an interview with Mike Huckabee on Fox News. “They should never be put through what I’m put through. They were so mean and nasty to me and they were being mean and terrible to my family also and no one should be put through that — no one.”

Justina was taken out of her parents custody on Feb. 14, 2013, after they took her to Boston Children’s Hospital when she was suffering complications with the flu. At this hospital, physicians disagreed that Justina had mitochondrial disease, a diagnosis given to her by a doctor at Tuft’s Medical Center, and said she had somatoform disorder instead, one that would put the root of her physical symptoms as psychological. ...

During this time, Justina said didn’t know too much about what was going on.

“They didn’t really tell me anything. They told me that DCF took custody of me and that my family can’t talk to me. … They were saying that they were over-medicalizing, which they were not,” Justina told Huckabee.
It does appear that CPS (DCF) unreasonably took sides on a legitimate difference of medical opinion. I can understand CPS taking action when there is overwhelming medical advice that the parents are refusing a life-saving treatment. It should not have taken 16 months to see which physician was right.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Dad was sexting while kid was dying in car

I mentioned the Georgia dad who left his kid in the car, and now he faces the death penalty:
(CNN) -- Murder and child cruelty charges against a father whose son died after being left in a car will go to a grand jury after a Cobb County judge found probable cause for the charges Thursday.

Justin Ross Harris was denied bail.

He messaged six women, sending and receiving explicit texts -- some including nude images -- from work while his 22-month-old was dying in a hot car, a detective testified in the hearing.

Harris' attorney repeatedly objected to Cobb County, Georgia, police Detective Phil Stoddard's testimony regarding Harris sexting the women -- one of whom was 17 -- but the judge allowed it because it was a probable cause hearing.

In addition to the charges he faces in connection with his son's death, Harris may be charged with felony sexual exploitation of a minor and misdemeanor illegal contact with a minor, Stoddard said.

A prosecutor insisted that the testimony helped portray the defendant's state of mind and spoke to the negligence angle and helped establish motive, as his wife told police she and Harris were having "intimacy problems," according to the detective.
I watched part of the hearing on TV, and the prosecution tried to turn Harris into the new Scott Peterson.

There is sure a rush to judgment here. A TV commentator suggested prosecuting his wife also, because she was afraid that her husband might leave the kid in the car, and because she looked cold and emotionless as she chewed gum in court.

I do not see any likelihood of murder here. Negligence, yes, but not deliberate murder.

Even smart people do dumb things every day. There are millions of parents who drop their kids off at day care every day. Some are going to forget. That seems a lot more plausible than murder.

Peterson carefully planned his murder. There is very little evidence that Harris planned anything.

I am sure the prosecutors have put the pressure on the wife. They probably demanded examples of strife within the marriage, how the kid was burdensome, and hints of anything that might be used against him. They probably threatened her with being charged as a co-conspirator if she does not cooperate. It is to her credit that she is sticking with her man, so far. With her husband behind bars without bail, and everyone telling her that he is a cheater for sexting, it will be interesting to see if she remains faithful.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The cartoon moms are dead

I sometimes post about anti-father biases, but here is a pro-father bias, according to an article in The Atlantic:
Bambi’s mother, shot. Nemo’s mother, eaten by a barracuda. Lilo’s mother, killed in a car crash. Koda’s mother in Brother Bear, speared. Po’s mother in Kung Fu Panda 2, done in by a power-crazed peacock. Ariel’s mother in the third Little Mermaid, crushed by a pirate ship. Human baby’s mother in Ice Age, chased by a saber-toothed tiger over a waterfall. ...

A decade after my Peter Pan years, I began watching a lot of animated children’s movies, both new and old, with my son. The same pattern held, but with a deadly twist. Either the mothers died onscreen, or they were mysteriously disposed of before the movie began: Chicken Little, Aladdin, The Fox and the Hound, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Great Mouse Detective, Ratatouille, Barnyard, Despicable Me, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and, this year, Mr. Peabody and Sherman. So many animated movies. Not a mother in sight.

The cartoonist Alison Bechdel once issued a challenge to the film industry with her now-famous test: show me a movie with at least two women in it who talk to each other about something besides a man. Here’s another challenge: show me an animated kids’ movie that has a named mother in it who lives until the credits roll. Guess what? Not many pass the test. And when I see a movie that does (Brave, Coraline, A Bug’s Life, Antz, The Incredibles, The Lion King, Fantastic Mr. Fox), I have to admit that I am shocked … and, well, just a tad wary. ...

In a striking number of animated kids’ movies of the past couple of decades (coincidental with the resurgence of Disney and the rise of Pixar and DreamWorks), the dead mother is replaced not by an evil stepmother but by a good father. He may start out hypercritical (Chicken Little) or reluctant (Ice Age). He may be a tyrant (The Little Mermaid) or a ne’er-do-well (Despicable Me). He may be of the wrong species (Kung Fu Panda). He may even be the killer of the child’s mother (Brother Bear). No matter how bad he starts out, though, he always ends up good.

He doesn’t just do the job, he’s fabulous at it.
I have watched a bunch of Shirley Temple movies from the 1930s. She usually played an orphan. Sometimes there was a father figure, but never a mother.

The article does not really explain why the movie moms are dead.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

BIOTCh blocks deporting illegal kids

I thought that everyone would be in favor of deporting the kids who are illegally crossing into the USA from the Mexican border. Even Pres. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton issued statements favoring deportation. Pro-immigration leftists should admit that the kids do not belong here, and ought to be reunited with their Central American parents.

Nope. CBS News reports:
As unaccompanied child immigrants from Mexico and Central American continue streaming across the southern border, the U.S. faces a shortage of quick fixes to solve the crisis.

The roots of the problem - spurred by poor economic conditions and violence in Central America, weak enforcement of Mexico's borders, powerful smuggling networks and a campaign of misinformation about U.S. immigration policies - will likely demand years of American engagement in Central America. In the meantime, U.S. officials must follow laws that demand that the government consider the best interests of the children once they cross the border and get processed into an already overburdened system.

"It is almost an impossible mission" for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), W. Ralph Basham, who was the CBP commissioner from 2006 to 2009 is now a founding partner of the Command Consulting Group, told CBS News. "You have parents who are willing to allow their children to be turned over to, in many cases, total strangers, sometimes coyotes, transporting them through multiple countries in order to dump them on the doorstep of the United States. It's a very difficult thing for the United States to turn them away."

Legally, the United States cannot turn away many of the 52,000 children who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone since the beginning of last October. Border patrol agents can turn back any Mexican children at the border but those from non-contiguous countries - mostly Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala - are taken into custody and must be transferred into the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (an agency within the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department). They will care for the children while they seek to place them with relatives or guardians within the United States as they await deportation proceedings.
I thought that the Best Interest Of The Child (BIOTCh) madness was confined to the family court. No, it has also infected our federal immigration laws, and it blocks the feds from doing the obvious. And it is being used to put illegal alien kids on welfare instead of sending them back to their parents where they belong.

It often takes 18 months to try to determine the BIOTCh for an illegal alien kid. I thought that the family court was absurdly slow with their evaluations. The problem of course is with the subjective evaluation of whether a kid is better off being adopted into the USA instead of being returned to the parents. It is impossible, unless you believe in a nanny state to take kids from parents. It is like asking whether your kid is better off being adopted by Bill Gates. Sure, he will have more material resources, but we do not auction kids to the highest bidder. They belong to the parents, unless the parents criminally mistreat them.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Dad charged for hot car death

Every once in a while some accident provokes some national outrage. Here is the latest.

The Atlanta paper reports:
The mother of the 22-month-old who died after being left inside an SUV told Cobb County police she also researched children dying in hot vehicles, according to new court documents released Sunday morning.

“Leanna Harris, the child’s mother, was also questioned regarding the incident and made similar statements regarding researching in car deaths and how it occurs,” search warrant affidavits obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution state. ...

Cooper’s death and his father’s subsequent arrest quickly made national headlines, sparked by a sharply divided debate over whether the felony charges were appropriate. Support for Ross Harris, including an online petition to the Cobb County District Attorney, has shifted in recent days as new facts in the case have been reported. The online petition was halted Wednesday after more than 11,000 people had signed in support of charges being dropped in the case.

The boy’s father told police he had searched online for information regarding temperatures needed for children to die inside vehicles because he was “fearful” it could happen, according to search warrant affidavits released Saturday.

Additional affidavits released Sunday state that Leanna Harris made similar statements. Police seized several electronics from the SUV and the couple’s Marietta-area condo, including an iPhone, iPad, a desktop computer, two laptops and a Google Chromecast digital media player, the warrants state.
This is a little fishy, but which is more probable -- an accident or an intentional murder?

Millions of parents drop kids off in day care every day. If one in a million forgets, then that would be some forgotten kids every day.

Millions of parents are concerned about hot cars, and many of them probably google the idea to get an assessment of the risk.

Or did these parents conspire to murder their own kid by cooking him in a car? I have never heard of anything like that ever happening.

Sometimes one parent kills a kid in a mad rage. It is very rare for a parent to kill a child at all.

Accidents happen. Unless the cops have a lot more evidence, they should let it go. I do not agree with criminalizing accidents.

I also would not criminalize stupidity, such as with this Florida mom:
In a case likely to kick up — yet again – the debate over parental responsibility regarding how children are fed, a Florida mother was arrested Tuesday for child neglect and her newborn was admitted to the hospital in a crisis that started over vegan beliefs.

Local news station WESH reports that Sarah Anne Markham’s pediatrician alerted authorities after the woman’s 12-day-old baby appeared dehydrated during a doctor visit. The doctor said that Markham refused the medical advice to admit the child to the hospital or take the medicine offered, on the grounds that “it contained ingredients that came from animals.” After police were summoned to her home, Markham reportedly told them that she’d purchased organic soy formula for the baby, and that “she wanted to pursue a religion-based treatment and she had contacted a ‘natural’ or vegan doctor, but police said she did not share any proof of this to them.” Police added that “They asked Markham if the product was confirmed with a doctor that it was safe to give the newborn, and she replied saying that since it was organic, it must be OK.” The baby remains in protective custody.
Yes, the baby could have died, but what can you do? In this California beach town where I live, half the women babble this sort of nonsense.

Update: Ross Harris has now appeared in court, and the cops have evidence that he was sexting with women other than his wife, while his kid was cooking in the car. He also used profanity against the cops. This may show bad character, but I don't see how it is evidence of murder. A murderer would be likely to know that his cell phone would be seized, and try to keep it clean.