Friday, February 28, 2014

More joint child custody laws

NPR Radio reports:
Ned Holstein, head of the National Parents Organization, formerly called Fathers and Families, says research shows that children do better academically and emotionally when they see a lot of each parent.

"We believe family courts are actively hurting kids," by not awarding joint custody more often, says Holstein. The best legislation, he says, favors joint custody, so long as both parents are fit and there's been no domestic violence.

Lawmakers in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida and Minnesota have passed measures favoring more equally shared custody, though governors vetoed the last two. Other states have introduced legislation, while some have created a task force to study the issue. A task force in Connecticut recently rejected such a change in custody law, while one in Maryland will issue its report later this year.

For Holstein, it boils down to equal rights for fathers in an era of converging gender roles, but he has faced a lot of resistance.
I would favor joint child custody, even if there is domestic violence. If the parents fought before the divorce, they should not lose their rights after the divorce.

Joint custody is blocked by feminists and lawyers:
"It gets blocked time after time in legislatures because there are groups that don't want it to happen," he says.

Until recently, the State Bar of South Dakota was one of those groups.

"The bar's concern was that the individual parent's interest trumped that of the children," says Thomas Barnett, executive director of the Bar.
The parents define the interst of the children. That last sentence makes no sense unless you believe that judges and others should displace parents in child-rearing.
After blocking legislation for several years, Barnett decided to work out a compromise. Legislation passed the South Dakota Senate unanimously this year and is now in the House. One major change dropped the legal presumption of joint custody, but the bill does call on judges to consider it and lays out a series of factors to weigh, including the logistics of a joint arrangement and how parents treat each other in the child's presence.
In other words, the law will requires judges to make parenting decisions, and create work for lawyers to argue about it.

Women for Men reports on progress:
Presently eight States promote shared parenting including Arizona, Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, and Wisconsin. A Florida bill for alimony reform and shared parenting was expected to pass, but was crushed by a veto from Florida’s governor. The proposed amendment sought to increase the minimum amount of parenting time from 25% to 35%.

Connecticut established a Task Force to study the issue of shared parenting, with a report expected this month. In Maryland, legislators initiated a Commission on Child Custody Decision Making with a report due in late 2014.

Canada’s Bill C-560 on shared parenting is scheduled for second reading in the House of Commons in mid-March 2014. In previous iterations of this bill there has been non-partisan support from the Liberals, Conservatives and the Green Party, the latter two include shared parenting in their platforms.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Law to require parenting classes

We are headed towards a nanny state. Fox News reports:
New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Jr. introduced a bill that would require parents of elementary school children to attend a minimum of four parent support classes. If parents don't go, 6th graders won't move onto 7th grade.

Leslie Venokur, the co-founder of Big City Moms, called the idea "crazy" and "insane." She said that what is most concerning that the education commissioner and Board of Regents would develop the parenting guidelines. She said the Regents should "stick to what they're good at which is teaching kids and staying away from the parents."

The bill states one of the courses would be related to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children.

Employers would be required to provide one day a year of paid leave so working parents can attend classes.

Some parents and non-parents we spoke with think it is a good idea.
This sort of thing always sounds like a good idea to the gullible busybody public. They might also favor a mandatory class in cell phone manners.

If such a silly law passed, the authorities would use it for brainwashing and meddling. Bad idea.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mel Gibson wife burns money on lawyers

The UK Daily Mail reports:
It is a decision she surely regrets

For Mel Gibxon's ex Oksana Grigorieva has filed for bankruptcy less than four years after knocking back a $15m child custody settlement offer from the Braveheart star.

The hard-up Russian pianist made the move due to prohibitive legal debts said to be in the range of $250,000. ...

During her bitter custody battle with the Mad Max actor she sacked more than 40 lawyers.

At the end of it all the Oscar-winning star was ordered to pay just $750,000 to Grigorieva, which he is stumping up in installments.

The 2011 decision came a year after she turned down a rumoured $15m offer of settlement.

According to the documents she is receiving $20,000 a month in child support for Lucia, while her former flame Timothy Dalton pays her $2,500 a month for their son Alexander.

Their settlement was the end to a lengthy feud, which made headlines across the world when the she accused Gibson of attacking her.

No love lost: This mugshot of the Mad Max star was taken after he pleaded no contest to simple battery in 2011

The confrontation took place on January 2010 - just three months after Grigorieva gave birth to their daughter.
Firing 40 lawyers must be a record. Normally I would be inclined to blame the lawyers for turning down a good settlement and for failing to give reasonable financial advice.

But it is hard to believe that all 40 lawyers were bad. This is obviously an intransigent bitch who went crazy with possessiveness about the baby. These bitter child custody battles should be impossible, because joint custody should be automatic.

This is not the Australian woman who bore Mel Gibson 7 kids and ditched him after his DUI arrest. She got $400M.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Church has more million dollar payoffs

A reader suggests that I cover Catholic priest child molesters. Okay, no one committing crimes against kids gets a free pass.

In the lastest story, the LA Times reports:
The Los Angeles Archdiocese has settled what officials said is the last of its pending priest molestation lawsuits, bringing to a close a decade of wrenching abuse litigation that cost the Catholic Church more than $740 million.

The church reached the $13-million agreement with 17 victims last week, on the eve of a trial scheduled to begin Feb. 14 over the alleged acts of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera, a visiting cleric from Mexico who police believe molested more than two dozen boys over nine months in 1987.
Aguilar-Rivera has not been prosecuted, so I don't know whether he molested kids or not. If so, then I would have expected a criminal complaint, arrest warrant, and extradition demand back in 1987.

We are not likely to get the facts 27 years later.

It is hard to understand why the LA Catholics should pay $740M.

So why is the Church culpable?
Aguilar-Rivera was 46 in 1987 when he came asking to serve Los Angeles, saying he needed to be away from his home diocese of Tehuacan, Mexico, for family and health reasons. When two families came forward with allegations of the priest's abuses in early 1988, Curry met with the priest and informed him of the charges.

"I told him that it was likely the accusations would be reported to the police and that he was in a good deal of danger," he wrote in a memo at the time.

The priest, Curry wrote, said he would leave for Mexico. By the time police were notified by a school principal at one of the parishes two days later, Aguilar-Rivera had left the country.
What else do you expect a Church official to do? If you want to make a police complaint, then talk to the police. If you want to complain to a supervisor in the organization, then you can expect the supervisor to tell the accused of the complaint.
The settlement reached last week also cover alleged abuses by former priests George Miller and Michael Nocita dating from the late 1970s and early 1980s; John Malburg, a former teacher at Daniel Murphy High School, from 1999 to 2006; and Rene Velmonte, who allegedly posed as a priest at a local church, in 1997.

Malburg pleaded guilty to criminal molestation charges in 2009 and received an eight-year sentence. The others could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Okay, one guy was actually convicted of a crime. He was a teacher, not a priest.

Public school teachers get caught molesting kids all the time. I do not want my tax money paying million dollar settlements every time it happens. Those teachers are just criminals. I do not think the Catholics should be paying off accusers either.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Moms choices lead to kids without dads

The Spearhead writes:
The National Organization for Women, a powerful, but declining institution ... has called for the firing of Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto. He provoked the group’s wrath by daring to suggest that it can be difficult to ascertain who is at “fault” when two intoxicated people have sex: ...
The NOW press release says:
Taranto’s recent screed is not his first misogynist claim. On January 6, he said that the growing number of illegitimate children was a product of the “rise of female careerism” and women’s choices given their access to abortions and birth control when he said, “the vast majority of children who are growing up without fathers are doing so in large part because of their mother’s choices.”
I have quoted Taranto several times. He writes an excellent column, and has a lot of great observations.

It appears that feminism is all about giving women more choices, but not holding them responsible for the choices they make. And censoring those who point out the problems with those choices.

Taranto is correct about kids growing up without fathers. NOW makes no attempt to rebut it.

Dr. Helen quotes InfoWars:
7) The “Privilege” Trap

Statists, collectivists and their mouthpieces in the media and the establishment claim that western men (in particular white men) cannot express a valid opinion on any issue related in any way to a “minority” (such as feminism or immigration) because they have “privilege”. The “privilege” talking point is a stunt through which liberals and feminists attempt to shut down free speech.
Most of the mainstream press has been intimidated by the feminists. You have to read the blogs to get the truth.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

French kids have right to dad and mom

Breitbart reports:
In the wake of tens of thousands of people participating in pro-traditional family protests in France and throughout Europe, French President François Hollande backed down from submitting a new family-law bill to parliament that would make legal “assisted procreation for lesbian couples” and “surrogate motherhood for gay men” who want children.

According to France24, a source in Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office said Monday that France’s socialist government would no longer present a bill to modernize family law to reflect “diversity” of families.

Over 100,000 protesters in Paris and Lyon, many Catholic and some Muslim, and thousands more in Brussels, Bucharest, Madrid, Warsaw, and Rome, demonstrated in favor of marriage and the traditional family last Sunday. ...

As Edward Pentin reports at Newsmax, Jean-Pierre Delaume-Myard, a spokesman for La Manif Pour Tous – who is himself gay – told Vatican Radio Friday that children are the “first victims” of same-sex marriage.

“It deprives them of a father and a mother,” he said. “The desire to have a child by a homosexual cannot justify any kind of solution to fill this gap. Every child has the right to have a father and a mother.”
Things are a little different in France. According to Maureen Dowd, French etiquette allows politicians to have a wife and a mistress, but not to be unfaithful to a girlfriend:
“The whole problem with this Hollande scandal is that he is not married,” says Jean-Marie Rouart, the French novelist. “Had he been married, this affair would never have been revealed.”

He observed that, as an “elected monarch,” the president has to maintain appearances. “In France, having a mistress is not considered cheating,” he says. “We are not a puritanical country. France is Catholic. We accept sin and forgiveness.” ...

Why should the tabloids stick to the rule of the French press to ignore the private lives of presidents if Hollande breaks the rule of French presidents to lead an “exemplary” public life, which means having a real wife to cheat on?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Actress has kid living in Europe

I reported on the actress Kelly Rutherford's child custody battle in 2012, and it is now getting coverage from Fox News O'Reilly and the NY Post:
Former “Gossip Girl” star Kelly Rutherford’s complicated custody battle is heating up again. She gave the Post the latest update at the Nanette Lepore show Wednesday at Lincoln Center.

Page Six previously reported that her costly custody battle with ex Daniel Giersch for her two children led Rutherford to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This came after a California judge ruled that the children must live with their German father in France after his visa was revoked.

Rutherford’s been fighting ever since to get her kids back.
O'Reilly seems to be sympathetic to her, saying that the dad deserved to lose his visa.

The California court actually ruled in favor of 50-50 joint custody, and Rutherford has spent $1.5M in legal fees trying to get sole custody.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dad loses kid and is gagged, for 2nd medical opinion

CPS took custody of a 15yo daughter when two hospitals disagreed about a diagnosis. Now the dad is violating court orders to speak out:
Justina Pelletier’s father Lou broke the gag order issued in his daughters’ case in an effort to garner public support and help bring the 15-year-old home. Lou Pelletier sat down with Glenn Beck for an interview about his daughter’s “kidnapping” earlier this week.

The teenager has been withheld from her family since a hospital took custody of the girl. The parents’ “crime?” Disagreeing with the doctor’s diagnosis. Justina’s parents are currently permitted to visit her just once per week for a single hour and can make just two phone calls during that same time period.
And Mass. DCF (ie, CPS) is out to punish him:
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) has filed a motion for Lou Pelletier, the father of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, to be held in contempt of court sources tell FOX CT News.

Justina Pelletier is at the center of an ongoing legal custody battle between the State of Massachusetts and her parents in Connecticut.

She’s been away from her parents and under Massachusetts state custody since Feb. 14, 2013.

Judge Joseph Johnston issued a gag order on Nov. 7, 2013 when FOX CT was outside the courtroom asking questions.
There are many things wrong here. First, there can be a legitimate difference of opinion about a diagnosis, but such a difference is not a criminal matter. 2nd, the parents got into trouble by asking for a second opinion, and that should never be punished. 3rd, the kid is old enough to have some say about her treatment, and CPS has no business interfering.

But what is most outrageous about this story is that it has been reported in the general press for almost a year, including the London press in Nov. 2013, and the dad should certainly be able to publicly defend himself against charges that he is abusing his daughter. And he certainly should be able to tell his daughter, now 16yo, that her medical treatment is directly contrary to what the other physicians had recommended.

This was on the Fox News Kelly File yesterday evening, with the dad giving an interview in violation of the gag order. It seems to me that he is very clearly within his constitutional rights.

They have a funny idea of free speech in Boston. In other news:
The president of Wellesley College announced today that the college will definitively keep the Sleepwalker statue where it stands until the end of the temporary exhibit this spring.

The realistic-looking statue of a man sleepwalking in his underwear near the center of Wellesley College created a stir among the women on campus earlier this month, especially as hundreds of students at the all-women's college signed a petition asking administrators to remove it.

But Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly said in an internal communication to the school community Thursday that after weighing many perspectives, she decided that “we cannot destroy the artistic integrity of this exhibition by moving the sculpture, and also, we must do everything we can to support those students who find themselves deeply affected by it.”
This sounds like a joke, but it is a real story. Also this Harvard newspaper op-ed, advocating political censorship instead of academic freedom, also sounds like a joke, but it is not.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Illinois CPS head is corrupt

Chicago is famous for corruption, and a reader sends this story that CPS is no exception:
Gov. Pat Quinn’s new director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services pleaded guilty to stealing from clients of a West Side social service agency and later became embroiled in a child-support battle over a daughter he said he never knew he’d fathered, records show.

Arthur D. Bishop, 61, had a felony theft charge pending against him when then-Gov. Jim Edgar’s administration hired him as a DCFS caseworker in 1995. He’d been accused of bilking patients of the Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center out of more than $9,000, fighting the case for more than two years before pleading guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor theft.

Court records also show a paternity case was filed against Bishop in 2003, when he was a DCFS deputy director. DNA tests showed he was the father of Erica Bishop, then 17.

Her mother, Yolanda O’Connor, said Bishop knew Erica was his daughter from the time she was born in 1986. Bishop said in court papers he’d never met the girl and didn’t know O’Connor claimed Erica was his daughter until she served him with court papers.

Bishop, who was married to another woman when Erica was born, “denies his own daughter’s existence when he knows in his heart of hearts that he visited us on numerous occasions at my parents’ house when she was a child,” O’Connor said in a December 2003 court filing. Bishop “even asked me if he could live in with me if his wife put him out after she learned the truth. . . . All I want is for [Bishop] to just be a man about the situation and take responsibility for his child.” ...

Before his career in state government, Bishop was a substance-abuse counselor at the Bobby E. Wright center. According to his Sept. 17, 1993, arrest report, he received $9,262 from clients and failed to turn over that money to the center between May 5, 1992, and July 23, 1993.

Bishop created a “bogus” program for convicted drunken drivers, said Lucy Lang-Chappell, former executive director of the center, who was his boss. He was improperly taking money from patients and providing them with forms they wrongly believed would allow them to get their driver’s licenses back, though the center wasn’t licensed by the state to provide that service at the time, Chappell said in an interview.
I hate to pile on here. 4 of the last 7 Illinois governors have been sent to prison. Democrats have taken over the state, and the current governor is black. Politics may have required him to appoint an incompetent black man to head CPS. Maybe you cannot get a good man to take charge of taking kids away from parents. Even a Republican challenger has a weird gay sex harassment claim against him. Maybe it is not reasonable to expect a black man to know what kids he has fathered, or to have a clean police record.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Suggestion for husbands to raise kids

Here is another article on the decline of marriage. Usually these blame men, but here is a different take. Leftist Richard V. Reeves writes in Atlantic magazine:
Most Americans support marriage, most Americans want to get married, and most Americans do get married. Why then is the institution atrophying among those with least education and lowest incomes?

A lack of “marriageable” men is a common explanation. It is clear that the labor market prospects of poorly-educated men are dire. But the language itself betrays inherent conservatism. “Marriageability” here means, principally, breadwinning potential. Nobody ever apparently worries about the “marriageability” of a woman: Presumably she just has to be fertile.

If a man can’t earn — and that’s apparently his only authentic contribution — he becomes just another mouth to feed, another child. But men with children are something more than just potential earners: They are fathers. And what many children in our poorest neighborhoods need most of all is more parenting.

The simple, sad truth is that this nation faces a deficit of fathers.

The proportion of children being raised by a single parent has more than doubled in the last four decades. Most black children are now being raised by a single mother. Mass incarceration plays a role here: More than half of black men without a high school degree do some jail time before they turn 30. In short, the nation faces a fathering deficit. By continuing to see the male role in such constricting terms—as breadwinner or nothing—we are inadvertently contributing to the slow death of marriage in our most disadvantaged communities.

Here, the traditional marriage needs to be turned on its head. In many low-income families, it is the mother who has the best chance in the labor market. But this doesn’t make men redundant. It means men need to start doing the “women’s work” of raising kids. Although there is a lingering determinism about parenting and gender roles, recent evidence — in particular from Ohio State University sociologist Douglas B. Downey — suggests that women have no inherent competitive advantage in the parenting stakes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hollywood empowers lesbians

The LA Times reports:
Ellen Page has been met with an outpouring of celebrity support after she fought back tears during an emotional speech Friday in Las Vegas in which she came out as gay. Utilizing her totem as an actress, Page early in her address singled out the entertainment industry as one that "places crushing standards on all of us."
Did those crushing standards turn her into a lesbian? It sure seems to me that Hollywood loves gays and lesbians. The Christian family man is the oddball.

Page also talked about her dedication to roles where women are empowered and independent. Her best-known movies are Juno (2007), where she rapes and underage boy and keeps the baby, and Hard Candy (2005), where castrates a man suspected of some bad behavior. Are those really empowered roles?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Defending against CPS dirty home charge

A California politician criticizes CPS:
California gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly is getting involved in another case involving children who were taken from their family by a government agency.

Donnelly, a Republican, sent a letter to San Luis Obispo County Child Welfare Services condemning the agency's treatment of the family of CalCoastNews publisher Karen Velie.

CWS seized Velie's grandchildren from their family after police were called to the home, where the children lived, because of a dispute the mother had with roommates. No criminal charges were filed but CWS allegedly took the children from their home because the house was "dirty."

The family says the home was dirty because they had been away due to a death in the family.

Donnelly told CalCoastNews that the action was an act of revenge.

"The bottom line is CWS doesn't protect kids anymore," he alleged. "They kidnap kids for cash and they do that to justify their payroll, and to keep the doors open and the lights on."

He also alleged CWS is "letting kids die on their watch."

CalCoastNews was investigating the abuse of power by Child Welfare workers at the time.

The children were taken in July and efforts to bring back the children have been unsuccessful.

"It was absolutely criminal what they did taking those kids away from their mother right after their aunt died," said the candidate.

Donnelly also condemned Child Protective Services in another case involving a baby who was snatched from his home after the parents sought a second opinion about the child's medical condition.
He is a Republican, so he has no chance of winning state-wide office.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentines Effect Causes Divorce

Here is more evidence that wives seek divorce for shallow reasons:
When Janine Martinez's husband had not made dinner plans for Valentine's Day three days before the annual romantic holiday, the 43-year-old felt she was involved in a sub-standard marriage.

"My relationship just didn't look like what I see on television," said Martinez who began considering divorce. "I was reminded of the dysfunction in my marriage by all of the red and pink decorations in the retail stores and the candy hearts my children brought home from school."

When Martinez confronted her husband about Valentine's Day, she became convinced it was time to pull the plug.

"He didn't feel we needed to celebrate the holiday since we'd been married for seven years," Martinez told MainStreet. ...

About 67% of people searching for a divorce lawyer on the Internet in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day are women, according to a new study by, which matches consumers with lawyers. ...

"For the last four years, we've consistently seen a large increase in the number of people searching for information on divorce around Valentine's Day," said Leigh McMillan, vice president of marketing with Avvo. "The spike is so consistent and so prominent to warrant calling it the Valentine's Effect."
Naybe these wives are just not showing enough enthusiam:
advocacy group StudentsNS has determined that its position on consenting to sex will be so clear and unambiguous, they have inadvertently jettisoned all sense of logic. From now on, according to their new site it is no longer enough for a sexual partner to agree to sex. Even clear consent is not enough. No, from now on the standard is — I can still scarcely believe it — enthusiasm. In a jaw-dropping graphic on its homepage, the campaign proudly asserts that “Sex without enthusiastic consent is not sex at all. It is sexual assault or rape.”
Next time you hear a rape accusation, keep in mind that hte problem may have been an unethusiastic yes. For another view, see James Taranto's Drunkenness and Double Standards about colleges cracking down on drunk students having sexual relations, especially if the girls has regrets the next morning.

CPS also causes divorce, according to this Houston story:
The Matthews' have 5 kids.

They admit a fight they had back in 2009 was a bad one.

"It doesn't mean the kids are in danger it doesn't mean the kids are abused because your having an argument with your spouse that gets kind of loud," Devin Matthew said.

The fight brought the cops out and in turn Child Protective Services.

The domestic violence charge against Aaron Matthew was knocked down to a disorderly conduct charge.

Still that fight had the couple's 5 kids in state custody for 14 months.

"Probably the most horrible time in my life and his too," Devin Matthew said. "You can only see your kids on certain days at certain times you can't kiss them goodnight you can't do anything as a family."

If she wanted them back Devin Matthew says CPS told her she had to get a divorce.

We beat them at their own game," Devin Matthew said. "I started recording every conversation with them, I started documenting everything."

The Matthews' say they learned alot from their battle with CPS.

They say they hope advice they give can help others who find themselves at odds with the state agency.

"Do not talk to them force their hand if you've done nothing wrong," Devin Matthew said. "Force them to get a warrant to talk to you, your kids. Lawyer up as soon as you can."
I would not say that they won, if CPS kept their 5 kids for 14 months. CPS has no business telling couples to get a divorce, but they do it all the time.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Woody Allen, Feminism, and ‘Believing the Survivor’

Cathy Young writes in Time magazine:
breakup and custody dispute between Allen and Dylan’s mother, Mia Farrow? If you think this is relevant, the feminists say, you are embracing the misogynist myth of vengeful women using sexual abuse allegations as a weapon. In fact, asserts Zoe Zolbrod in, “research shows that it is not more common for accusations made during custody battles to be proved false than it is for any other sex abuse accusation,” with only 1% to 6% of abuse charges found to be maliciously fabricated; what’s more, writes Zolbrod, custody-related false accusations usually come from fathers, not mothers.

But these claims are contradicted by a major Canadian study that tracked more than 11,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Canada in 2003. While reports of sexual abuse made during custody or visitation conflicts are fairly rare — the study identified 69 such cases — they are also quite likely to prove unfounded. Child protection workers substantiated just 11% of these charges, while 34% were “suspected” to be valid but not fully confirmed; 36% were classified as unsubstantiated but made “in good faith,” and 18% as deliberately false. By contrast, the rate of false allegations for all child sexual abuse reports was 5%. (The claim that malicious accusations in custody disputes come mostly from fathers is based on an earlier phase of the same study. However, fathers’ false reports were overwhelmingly of child neglect and sometimes physical abuse; false charges of sexual molestation were more likely to come from mothers.)

In a 2007 U.S. survey of child welfare workers, 80% reported having seen cases in which a child was coached to make false allegations of sexual abuse, usually by the mother in a custody dispute; more than a fourth said they had encountered 20 or more such cases. Notably, as author Kathleen Faller pointed out, these estimates came from professionals inclined to be supportive of children; it is also worth noting that three-quarters of them were women.
Yes, of course false accusations are made to win child custody disputes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

30 years of forensic psychologists

This 1982 NY Times article on the forensic (court) psychologist monster being created:
Experts show up in courtrooms these days to testify on just about everything. But the latest vogue is a variety of experts that some lawyers claim are nothing more than specialists in common sense.

They're referring to forensic psychologists, or psychologists with special training and experience in dealing with the legal system. Traditionally, such experts appeared only in cases where mental illness was an issue: in criminal cases, to testify either on a defendant's competence to stand trial or on the question of sanity ...

Forensic psychologists still testify in such cases, but they have broadened their involvement to include areas ranging from child custody to product liability.
This was a great mistake.
One of the more likely places to find members of the new breed of expert is in family court. In child custody cases, for example, psychologists are hired by the court or by one of the parties to determine which parent a child prefers to live with, and which would do a better job of raising the child.

''Psychologists are uniquely qualified for custody evaluations because of our training in testing,'' said Florence Kaslow, a Florida psychologist. ''Often, the tests will tell me that the child is saying he wants to live with the parent that seems to be in the deepest pain as a result of the divorce, not because he thinks that's the better parent, but because he sympathizes with the hurt,'' she said.
Yes, psychologists have training in mental testing, but hardly any of it has proved relevant to child custody decisions. I have never even heard of a test being used to try to determine which parent the child thinks would be better. In my experience, Bret Johnson and Ken Perlmutter just asked the child which parent was better, in a sneaky way that only confused the child.
''Jurors tend to be impressed with anything that sounds like science,'' said Irving Younger, a former judge who is now a Washington, D.C., trial lawyer. ''If you introduce scientific jargon, and scientific measurements, they are more apt to accept what they're told than to use their own common sense, which is what jurors are supposed to bring to the case. Just Common Sense

''Some of these forensic psychologists devote their life work to establishing things every 15-year-old knows, ...
31 years later, these psychologists have still not caught up to the common sense of a 15-year-old.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book about recanting false accusation

Here is a video promoting a 2010 book on “My Lie: A True Story of False Memory”.
Meredith Maran: “When I was in my 30s I accused my father of molesting me, and then I realized it wasn’t true”

Friend: “The same thing happened to me”
The accuser is also the victim here, as some evil shrink convinced her to blame all her emotional troubles on some fictional abuse.

Note that the friend is still playing the role of a victim when whe says “The same thing happened to me.” People are responsible for their false accusations. But give the author credit for having the guts to come clean with the truth.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Allen-Farrow victimization continues

The Woody Allen story rages on. AP reports:
Unclear what will happen next in Woody Allen controversy

A week bracketed by op-ed letters of accusation and denial of child molestation left little clarity and scant hope for resolution in a bitter saga that has haunted Woody Allen and the Farrow family for more than two decades.

The back-and-forth between Allen and his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, breathed new fire into a long dormant scandal, but what happens next is uncertain, with the possibility of legal recourse and continued scrutiny in the weeks and months ahead.
No, this has been resolved. There is no evidence of abuse that would hold up in any court.

A pink site reports:
On the heels of Woody Allen‘s open letter in The New York Times where he denies every having molested his daughter and blasts her mother, Mia Farrow, for having orchestrated the claim, Dylan Farrow is fighting back.

“For 20 years, I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life,” Dylan said in a statement obtained by RadarOnline on Saturday.

Dylan then gave a point-by-point rebuttal to Allen’s insistence that he [had NOT] abused her and was exonerated by investigators more than 20 years ago.

“Nothing he says or writes can change the truth,” Dylan said today.
I am not sure that I can trust a site with pink headlines and which misses such a crucial "not". Of course Allen cannot change the truth. She seems to be using the word "truth" to mean her ability to tell a fabrication.

NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is the one who publicized this story, and he wrote:
Dylan, Allen’s adopted daughter who is now married and living in Florida under a different name, tells me that she has been traumatized for more than two decades by what took place; last year, she was belatedly diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She says that when she heard of the Golden Globe award being given to Allen she curled up in a ball on her bed, crying hysterically. ...

I asked her why she’s speaking out now. She said she wants to set the record straight and give courage to victims: “I was thinking, if I don’t speak out, I’ll regret it on my death bed.”

These are extremely tough issues, and certainty isn’t available. But hundreds of thousands of boys and girls are abused each year, and they deserve support and sensitivity. When evidence is ambiguous, do we really need to leap to our feet and lionize an alleged molester?

But I want to leave you with a sense of Dylan’s resolve. She declares:
This time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me — to support me and to share ...
Kristof is always writing about human rights abuses and social injustices on the other side of the world. I always assumed that he was sincerely exposing problems, even if he was a bleeding haart liberal. Now I think that he is just another dishonest leftoid propagandist.

Kristof pretty clearly says that Woody Allen should not get an award for his movies because of an unverified and uncertain allegation from 20 years ago against him.

NPR radio reports:
FOLKENFLIK: McBride has written extensively about the coverage of sexual abuse.

MCBRIDE: Because Woody Allen has a reputation out there, we somehow feel like his right to protect his reputation trumps her right to tell her story. And I don't think it does.
Yes, I do believe that slander and libel laws have a good purpose, and that is that his right to protect his reputation does trump her right to tell an apparently-false story.

Some feminists are offering support:
Some of the most vocal and aggrieved reactions to Farrow's letter have often come from women under 40. These include 27-year-old "Girls" creator Lena Dunham, who called Farrow's words "courageous";
No, Dylan Farrow is not courageous. She does not have the courage to face Woody Allen, or to face the press, or to use her current name. She may indeed be a crazy mixed up woman today, but that is more likely the fault of shrinks, n ot Allen. Whatever Allen did, it did not cause PTSD 20 years later.

Dunham may be courageous to portray herself as a crazy slut on her semi-autobiographical HBO show. But not to take cheap shots at Woody Allen.

You can read the 33-page 1993 child custody decision against Woody Allen. It is a disturbing window into the lives of rich movie-making celebrities with irresponsible child-rearing attitudes and practices. Why was Farrow adopting all those kids if she could not proved a good home for them? Things might have been different if DNA paternity tests had been available, and Allen had demanded one.

The more I hear about Dylan Farrow's mental trouble, the more I think that she needed a father, instead of being reared by crazy bitch Mia Farrow. Kay S. Hymowitz has a NY Times op-ed on How Single Motherhood Hurts Kids. Even if Allen had abused Dylan, she got worse treatment from Mia Farrow, the family court judge, and the shrinks.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Wives happier with men not doing housework

LA psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb writes in a popular NY Times article:
A study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” which appeared in The American Sociological Review last year, surprised many, precisely because it went against the logical assumption that as marriages improve by becoming more equal, the sex in these marriages will improve, too. Instead, it found that when men did certain kinds of chores around the house, couples had less sex. Specifically, if men did all of what the researchers characterized as feminine chores like folding laundry, cooking or vacuuming — the kinds of things many women say they want their husbands to do — then couples had sex 1.5 fewer times per month than those with husbands who did what were considered masculine chores, like taking out the trash or fixing the car. It wasn’t just the frequency that was affected, either — at least for the wives. The more traditional the division of labor, meaning the greater the husband’s share of masculine chores compared with feminine ones, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction.
This is one of many research results showing that what women say they want is quite different from what actually makes them happy. The NY Times article is mocked by Chateau Heartiste, as he explains it much better than the newspaper.

Men can get their relationship advice from women and effeminate shrinks, or from the manosphere. It is remarkable how often the advice is diametrically opposed. The manosphere often has social science studies and field experiments to back up what they say.

In other research, a study claims that psychotherapies for newlyweds does not work any better than watching Hollywood movies.

Update: Here is a list of thinks men say to women, with advice from a woman to never say them, and advice from a man explaining how they can be used in flirting.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Woody Allen replies

I posted the Creepy Woody Allen story when I saw it in the NY Times, not realizing that it was going to be a huge national story, and a repeat from 20 years ago.

The publicity forced Allen to reply in the Sunday NY Times:
TWENTY-ONE years ago, when I first heard Mia Farrow had accused me of child molestation, I found the idea so ludicrous I didn’t give it a second thought. We were involved in a terribly acrimonious breakup, with great enmity between us and a custody battle slowly gathering energy. The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn’t even hire a lawyer to defend myself. It was my show business attorney who told me she was bringing the accusation to the police and I would need a criminal lawyer.

I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn’t molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail. ...

Here I quote Moses Farrow, 14 at the time: “My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister.” Moses is now 36 years old and a family therapist by profession. “Of course Woody did not molest my sister,” he said. “She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him.”
Many things are weird here. Allen and Farrow were never married, and kept separate apartments. They adopted kids together, but they are named Farrow, not Allen. They supposedly had one biological kid together, but now that is in doubt:
In a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair, Farrow stated that Ronan could "possibly" be the biological child of her first husband Frank Sinatra, with whom she claims to have "never really split up."[141]

Allen addresses the issue:
I pause here for a quick word on the Ronan situation. Is he my son or, as Mia suggests, Frank Sinatra’s? Granted, he looks a lot like Frank with the blue eyes and facial features, but if so what does this say? That all during the custody hearing Mia lied under oath and falsely represented Ronan as our son? Even if he is not Frank’s, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank’s son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that.
In my opinion, paternity fraud is a serious crime.

Ronan Farrow is now 26 years old, and that is his picture above. For 26 years, Allen thought that he had a son, and this boy thought that he had a dad. But look at his picture above. I do not see any resemblance to Woody Allen. He looks like Frank Sinatra. No DNA test has been done. Even if Mia Farrow is unsure about paternity, as she now says, she is a monster for her infidelity and deception. How does a woman even keep such a terrible secret for 26 years? Apparently they do, as it happens on the TV show Paternity court all the time.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that there is a 5% chance that Allen did something inappropriate or abusive or criminal. He was not charged with a crime. He was allowed to adopt more kids. He lost his child custody battle, but many good parents lose those battles without ever being guilty of anything.

If you believe in "innocent until proven guilty", then you should just disregard the unproven allegation

As a comment said, if a man can be ruined by such flimsy accusations, then no man is safe and we have a system that encourages false and vindictive allegations.

To me, Mia Farrow's paternity fraud does not matter toward Allen's guilt or innocence. Mia Farrow is more evil than Allen, but that does not make Allen innocent. What makes him innocent is that the allegations were never proved.

Update: NPR radio reports:
FOLKENFLIK: McBride has written extensively about the coverage of sexual abuse.

MCBRIDE: Because Woody Allen has a reputation out there, we somehow feel like his right to protect his reputation trumps her right to tell her story. And I don't think it does.
Yes, I do believe that slander and libel laws have a good purpose, and that is that his right to protect his reputation does trump her right to tell an apparently-false story.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Psychology test maker dies

Here is a NY Times obituary:
Theodore Millon, a psychologist whose theories helped define how scientists think about personality and its disorders, and who developed a widely used measure to analyze character traits, died on Wednesday at his home in Greenville Township, N.Y. He was 85. ...

Dr. Millon (pronounced “Milan,” like the city in Italy) learned about the oddities of personality at first hand, by wandering the halls of Allentown State Hospital, a mental institution, after being named to the hospital’s board in the 1950s as a part an overhaul effort in Pennsylvania. ...

At the University of Illinois in the 1970s, he began to think and write more deeply about the patterns underlying specific character types that therapists had described: the narcissist, with fragile, grandiose self-approval; the dependent, with smothering clinginess; the histrionic, always in the thick of some drama, desperate to be the center of attention. By 1980, he had pulled together the bulk of the work on such so-called personality disorders, most of it descriptive, and turned it into a set of 10 standardized types for the American Psychiatric Association’s third diagnostic manual.

Along the way he developed the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI), which became the most commonly used diagnostic assessment for personality problems. It is still widely used today, in its third edition, the MCMI-III.
Pronounced like the city in Italy? What help is that? I thought that I knew how to pronounce Turin, but then they had the Olympics there, and all the TV announcers pronounced it with an extra syllable.

I had to get a Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III) test for the family court. It is probably the leading competitor to the better known Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. It has 175 true/false questions, as opposed to 567 for the MMPI-2. Some are silly, like:
65.I flew across the Atlantic 30 times last year.
110.I was on the front cover of several magazines last year.
157.I have not seen a car in the last ten years.
The purpose of these is to catch people who are just answering randomly. If you really were on the covers of magazines, then you might be falsely flagged as a malingerer or something. But the test has large error rates anyway, so that possibility can be ignored.

Others obviously indicate serious problems, such as:
118.There have been times when I couldn't get through the day without some street drugs.
171.I have given serious thought recently to doing away with myself.
Many are dubious, such as:
63.Many people have been spying into my private life for years.
Of course, the NSA, Google, and Facebook have been spying on your private life for years. But if you answer true, you will be flagged as paranoid.

The test is supposed to detect DSM-IV disorders:
A part of the MCMI-III is based upon Millon’s theory of personality, as illustrated in the following 15 personality styles and subtypes:

None of the questions have anything to do with parenting. A parent could be shy or dependent or antisocial or compulsive or even paranoid, and there is not necessarily any negative effect on kids. There is no law or public policy that kids are to be taken away from such people.

The closest connection I can find is the similarity between the Millon antisocial personality disorder subtypes and the Tiger Mom theory of why Chinese and Jews are better than everyone else. Some antisocial behavior can be profitable, I guess.

The test may have some useful purposes, but for the family court, it is just voodoo.

The complete list of questions, and scoring rules, is kept super-secret, and available only to licensed psychologists who pay the fees. By posting a few questions, I risk a take-down demand from the publisher.

Millon was Jewish, just like many other leaders of psychology in the 20th century. They are making their own value judgments based on their own values, not Christian values, and imposing them on parents in the family court.

If the family court were appointing Haitian witch doctors to use Voodoo to decide child custody, then I would be complaining about the prejudices of Haitian witch doctors. Instead they hire gay and Jewish psychologists to do stupid personality quizzes.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Movie about crooked juvenile judges

There is a new movie, favorably reviewed, about the Penn. Kids for cash scandal. I posted before when the juvenile court judges plead guilty, withdrew their pleas, got sued, convicted, and sentenced.

If you cannot wait for the movie, listen to the free podcast of the Democracy Now episode:
Today a special on "kids for cash," the shocking story of how thousands of children in Pennsylvania were jailed by two corrupt judges who received $2.6 million in kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities. We hear from two of the youth: Charlie Balasavage was sent to juvenile detention after his parents unknowingly bought him a stolen scooter; Hillary Transue was detained for creating a MySpace page mocking her assistant high school principal. They were both 14 years old and were sentenced by the same judge, Judge Mark Ciavarella, who is now in jail himself — serving a 28-year sentence. Balasavage and Transue are featured in the new documentary, "Kids for Cash," by filmmaker Robert May, who also joins us.
The problem here is not just that these judges were cruel and crooked, but that there is so little public accountability for their bad behavior.

If there were justice, Irwin H. Joseph and Heather D. Morse would be in prison also.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

No free speech for pro-family views

Americans have the free speech right to criticize anti-family govt policies, right? That is certainly one of the premises of this blog, and I try to report any evidence to the contrary.

Unfortunately an American has gotten into legal trouble for doing that, and has just lost the first round in court.

Here is the background, according to gay free speech advocate Jonathan Rauch:
Scott Lively is an obsessively anti-gay American evangelical minister. He is, according to National Journal, “perhaps the most extreme” of a network of U.S. evangelicals who, having failed in their crusade against all things gay at home, travel abroad to connect with anti-gay activists and arm them with arguments that, for example, homosexuals will seduce their children, corrupt all of society, and eventually take over the country. You don’t need to take my word for it; read Lively’s manifesto here. It’s a 2007 missive to Russians suggesting they “criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality,” i.e., use state power to force gay people into the closet. This is something Russia actually did last year (rather indirectly, but quite effectively).
Here is that offensive manifesto:
Letter to the Russian People

I am Dr. Scott Lively, President of Defend the Family International, a human-rights organization based near Los Angeles, California. ...

The purpose of my visit was to bring a warning about the homosexual political movement which has done much damage to my country and which has now taken root in Russia. This is a very fast-growing social cancer that will destroy the family foundations of your society if you do not take immediate, effective action to stop it.

Homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various, often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive, anti-social impulses. This combination of factors causes homosexuals to have an intense loyalty to each other and a common goal to change any society in which they live in organized "gay and lesbian" communities. They have no acceptance in a society that restricts sex to heterosexual marriage, so they work to eliminate sexual morality and remove all limitations on sexual conduct. Importantly, their initial strategy is not promote homosexuality, but to spread sexual immorality among heterosexuals, especially the young people. Only later, when the culture has become sexually corrupt, do they openly step forward to take power as the natural leaders of such a society.

The process of change always begins with the institutions which shape the thinking and behavior of young people. First comes the promotion of sexual promiscuity through mass media, then the introduction of high-profile "gay" celebrities such as Elton John and George Michael, then the development of "gay" political cells in the universities. Later comes the advocacy of "gay rights" by politicians and community leaders.

It is no accident that Hollywood promotes sexual immorality. ...

What can be done to protect Russia from the "gay" movement?

First, begin an immediate campaign in every city to promote marriage and family values, and to discourage sexual promiscuity and cohabitation. ...

Second, begin training doctors, psychologists and therapists in the techniques of helping homosexuals to recover, and offer this therapy as a public service. Promote recovery for homosexuals in public advertising and reach out to young people who may suffer from same-sex attraction. Catch it early and spare these youths a lifetime of pain and suffering. Importantly, if Russian authorities publicly promote recovery for homosexuals, the "gays" will not be able to deceive the public with their "born the way" propaganda.

Third, criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality. My philosophy is to leave homosexuals alone if they keep their lifestyle private, and not to force them into therapy if they don't want it. However, homosexuality is destructive to individuals and to society and it should never publicly promoted. The easiest way to discourage "gay pride" parades and other homosexual advocacy is to make such activity illegal in the interest of public health and morality.

Fourth, develop family-friendly media alternatives to the immoral products now being imported from the U.S. and Europe. ...
You may disagree with this, but it appears to be a legitimate and well-reasoned political opinion to me.

For expressing these opinions, Lively got sued:
In 2012, an American group called the Center for Constitutional Rights, representing a Ugandan group called Sexual Minorities Uganda, sued Lively in federal court in Massachusetts, where he lives, for crimes against humanity. It cited jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Statute, a vague and controversial law. The suit alleges that the law gives the Ugandans standing to sue Lively for his activities, which had a crucial nexus in the U.S. and therefore come under federal courts’ jurisdiction; it also charges that Lively not only advocated bad ideas in an abstract context but helped various Ugandans conceive and manage a campaign of persecution, thus involving himself in a joint criminal enterprise. ...

On the facts as I read them, the plaintiff’s theory would leave no clear line between speaking one’s mind and engaging in a criminal conspiracy, at least if speaking one’s mind could be plausibly connected to some bad outcome. ...

If I could think of a way to hold Lively and his ilk legally accountable that could be reliably distinguished from protected expression, I would.
It is a sad day when a free speech advocate and a federal judge are looking for ways to censor someone's political opinion. Let's hope that the appeals court sides with the First Amendment rights.

Rauch finishes by asking:
Now, here’s what should be happening. Christians — especially evangelicals, and above all evangelicals who oppose gay marriage but insist they are not anti-gay (you know who you are!) — should be publicly repudiating what Lively is doing. They should make a very uncomplicated moral statement: “It is wrong and it is un-Christian to go abroad and help demagogues persecute homosexuals, whether intentionally or not.” They should treat Lively the way white blood cells treat a bacillus, walling him off before he discredits evangelicals more broadly — as surely he will.

But to my knowledge, not a single prominent U.S. Christian leader has spoken up. Not one. Think about that.

I wonder: if it were Jews instead of gays that Lively were going after, would the silence from mainstream Christians be more obvious?
Rauch is a gay Jewish atheist, of course, and here he displays his anti-Christian hostility. There are Orthodox Jews who oppose gay marriage, as the Jewish Torah says homosexuality is an abomination, but he just wants to attack Christians and try to make some sort of Jewish thing about it.

I am not an evangelical, and I do not agree with everything Lively says, but I see no reason to publicly repudiate him. His opinion is not a crime against humanity, any more than Rauch's opinion.

Lively could be right about Russia, for all I know. According to Wikipecia LGBT rights in Russia, the laws there are quite liberal. The main gay gripe is some minor popular law against giving homosexual propaganda to minors. That law has only been used 5 times.

Update: The harassment continues:
Pastor Scott Lively is a lawyer, preacher and activist for Christ, as well as a candidate for governor of Massachusetts. He was invited to speak on criminal justice at Harvard, but recently received notice that he was being eliminated because of a lawsuit filed against him by homosexual groups in Uganda because of his stance against homosexuality through the organization Defend the Family. Lively says that cannot truly disqualify him.

“The whole point is this is just a pretext,” he tells OneNewsNow. “They were looking for some reason to disinvite me, some way that they could justify retracting the invitation, and so they latched on to this. But it's just a pretext.”

Lively believes the true reason is that Harvard bowed to intense pressure from homosexual groups.

“These people are the worst bullies in our society, and anyone who stands up and declares even the simple, essential Christian tenet that marriage is between a man and a woman is immediately targeted for complete destruction.”

He says that tactic has been used, successfully in many cases, to shout down Christians and others who oppose the homosexual lifestyle and homosexual “marriage.”

Monday, February 03, 2014

Creepy Woody Allen story

I believe people are innocent until proven guilty, so I have to give Woody Allen the benefit of the doubt. But the NY Times has this creepy story from his adopted daughter:
What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. ...

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. ...

I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood.
Allen was not her real father. Allen and Mia Farrow did not even live together when they adopted her, as she was secretly having a sexual relationship with Frank Sinatra. Farrow had a rather nasty split from Allen, so she could have helped poison the attitudes of the adopted kids. The allegations only occurred when Farrow was upset that Allen was dating a teenaged Korean girl that Farrow was adopting. He portrays himself as neurotic and self-obsessed in his movies, and in real life he underwent psychoanalysis for most of his life. If you followed his story, you may know a lot more about him than me. There are no witnesses or tangible evidence for the alleged molestation, and about 20 years have passed without anything that would convince a court. Decide for yourself. I don't know what to make of this.

The accusation is quite vague. Wikipedia defines:
Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented. This includes rape (such as forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration), groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the victim in a sexual manner.
So Allen could have merely threatened to kiss the 7yo girl, and that could legally be considered a sexual assault.

In a non-sexual legal context, an assault usually means just a threat. You hear terms like "assault and battery", where the assault is the verbal threat and the battery is the physical beating.

The eating disorder is not evidence of abuse. It is just evidence that hte poor girl was subjected to years of psychotherapy that convinced her that something horrible happened to her.

So we have a vague accusation, no corroborating evidence, a story instigated by a vindictive ex, no criminal record, no witnesses, 20 years ago, etc. I do not have any facts. I am not sure the NY Times should have even published the accusation. If you want to judge Allen, I suggest using facts. There is other evidence that he is a weirdo, but not that he is a child molester.

Correction: A comment below says that there is evidence from a witness. A nanny claimed to see something inappropriate.

Update: Apparently this has all been aired before, and there are many facts favoring Allen, and Allen defended himself in 1992. No one has alleged penetration. The evidence was inconclusive then, and there is no new info now. Do you want to jump to a conclusion based on an unsubstantiated allegation?

Sunday, February 02, 2014

New Florida day care rules

The nanny state continues to expand:
Broward day care centers will have to turn off the TV, take the kids out to play, and switch to skim milk under a proposed law working its way toward approval at the County Commission.

A majority of commissioners expressed support Tuesday for new day care regulations that would affect some 500 child care centers and thousands of children in Broward County. The county already regulates day care centers. But the new law would be stricter than existing county and state laws governing day care and after-school care centers. ...

•Children 2 and older would be limited to 90 minutes of TV, movies and video games a week. County regulations currently allow one to two hours of TV a day.

•Computer time is already limited to 15-minute increments. No change is recommended.

•Milk for kids 2 and older would be skim or low fat.
Whole milk is more nutritious than skim milk. These politicians should be trying to micromanage routine child care decisions. There are some legitimate differences of opinion on some of these points, and the decisions are better made by the parents.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

New tiger mom books reviewed

The NY Times reviews the new Tiger parenting books:
Quanyu Huang’s new book, “The Hybrid Tiger: Secrets of the Extraordinary Success of Asian-­American Kids,” may sound like yet another flogging for hapless Western parents, but it’s not.

You can’t blame American mothers for still smarting from Amy Chua’s best-selling 2011 book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” In breathtaking and bold calligraphic strokes, she laid out her argument: American parents overindulge their children, allowing them sleepovers, video games and laughable ­extracurricular activities like playing Villager Number Six in the school play, as they collect trophies for being themselves in a self-esteem-centered culture. By contrast, Chinese parents strictly limit television, video games and socializing, accept no grades but A’s and insist on several hours a day of violin and piano practice, regardless of their children’s complaints. As a result, ­Chinese-parented kids play Carnegie Hall at 14, get perfect scores in science and math, and gain early admission to Harvard while their floundering American counterparts wonder what on earth hit them. ...

Triumphantly, the Chinese predicted that in 20 years China would lead the world in science and technology, and America would sink like Atlantis, a conclusion horrified American delegates agreed with. But no. Even today, while Chinese students still excel in test-taking, China has yet to produce a single Nobel Prize winner in the sciences or a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates (although, of course, American computer parts are made in China).
The same issue has another review:
Parenthood as we know it — predicated on the unconditional exaltation of our children — is no more than 70 years old, and it has gone through radical readjustments over the past two generations. As children went from helping on the farm to being the focus of relentless cosseting, they shifted “from being our employees to our bosses,” Jennifer Senior observes in her trenchant and engrossing first book, “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood.” Senior, a contributing editor at New York magazine, examines what it means to be a parent, through interviews with a handful of families who are neither typical nor extraordinary. ...

Senior quotes the sociologist Viviana A. Zelizer, who describes today’s children as “economically worthless but emotionally priceless.” Senior explains: “Every debate we have had about the role of parents — whether they should be laissez-faire or interventionist ‘Tiger Moms,’ attachment-oriented or partial to the rigors of tough love — can be traced back to the paring down of mothers’ and fathers’ traditional roles.”
The review says the new Tiger mom book is boring, and you can get the gist of it from reading the freely available synopsis.

I don't think that there is any proof that any of these parenting philosophies are better than any other. I have my preferences, but I believe that parents should be able to use their own judgment.

Other reviews more directly accused racism. The London Daily Mail:
She gained notoriety in 2011 as the uncompromising 'Tiger Mom' - boastful that Chinese mothers make better parents and ultimately have more successful children.

Now though, Amy Chau [sic, should be Chua], 51, has inspired the fury of the public on Twitter with her new controversial theory that some races and religions are just superior to everyone else.

Dubbed 'simply racist' by one commentor on Twitter, another pulled no punches and called her a 'full blown eugenics pushing racist!'
From Salon mag:
Yale Law professor Amy Chua, who would live in obscurity among the general public if it weren’t for her persona as the disgustingly smug Tiger Mom, is trolling America with yet another theory personal rant about her cultural superiority. Two years after releasing “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” a great step-by-step manual for parents who want to systematically weed out any genuine interest or passion for life that their children might innately have, Chua is releasing a book co-written with fellow Yale professor and husband Jed Rubenfeld called, “The Triple Package.”

In it, Chua and Rubenfeld use what reviewer Maureen Callahan calls “specious stats and anecdotal evidence” to argue that Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Iranian, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons are superior to other races or cultures, and “everyone else is contributing to the downfall of America.”
From Time mag:
“The Triple Package” is not evidence of a “new racism.” It’s the same old garbage, in a slightly different, Ivy League-endorsed disguise.
I agree that it is not new racism. Chinese and Jews have been preoccupied with racial issues for all of recorded issues. For example:
In the 20th century, the social and cultural critic Lu Xun commented that, "throughout the ages, Chinese have had only two ways of looking at foreigners, up to them as superior beings or down on them as wild animals."
And Jews play identity politics more than any other group. Just google it for details, if you want.

Update: Here is a current example of a prominent Jewish US Senator (Chuck Schumer) making racist arguments to support Jewish identity politics.