Monday, May 29, 2006

Wallerstein is no authority

A reader sends this quote from p.192 of What About the Kids? Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce by Judith S. Wallerstein, Sandra Blakeslee, a 2003 book:
While it's not a substitute for a reasonably well-functioning intact family, joint custody does more closely approximate the intact family by providing ongong contact with both parents, although separately. What's more, it captures the new wave of fathers who appreciate how important they are to their children. ...
There is no scientific evidence that the general psychological adjustment of children is related to any particular form of custody.
An Amazon review says:
Be careful of Wallerstein's work, February 26, 2004

Judith Wallerstein has been amicus curiae (a friend of the court) in many custody related cases but she is certainly no friend of children who would like to have both parents in their lives.

Her research, which was presented in a pivotal custody case in California (In re: Marriage of Burgess), was very influential in the court's decision. That decision has been widely criticized and has led to countless children in the state growing up without one of their parents, usually the father. In recent amicus curiae briefs filed by Wallerstein she relies heavily on anecdotal accounts of cases in which she played no part and disregards substantial amounts of literature that highlight the harmful impact of the loss of important relationships to a child and shows that children do much better with two loving, competent parents. She has even contradicted herself on positions that she originally took in the Burgess case.

Her research has been widely criticized in recent years and this book will likely be no exception.
What is weird is that Wallerstein frequently gets cited as some sort of authority for the view that shared child custody is somehow bad. A RI state supreme court opinion cited Wallerstein's Burgess brief for the proposition that "social science research on custody does not support the presumption that frequent and continuing access to both parents is in the child's best interests; therefore a parent with primary physical custody generally should be able to relocate with the child".

The Amazon reviewer is correct. She has caused a lot of harm, and she is no authority against shared parenting. Some of her more recent statements favor shared parenting.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

More on domestic violence

RADAR reports:
Rockville, MD -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has just released a study that reveals teenage boys are equally at risk of suffering from dating violence. The survey found that 8.9% of boys and 8.8% of girls had suffered from partner aggression during the previous year.

The nationally-representative survey was conducted in 2003 on almost 15,000 students in grades 7-12. The survey defines dating violence as hitting, slapping, or physically hurting the partner on purpose. The study findings were published this past week in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review.

The CDC study confirms over 100 previous studies that have found females are equally likely as males to engage in domestic violence.

Despite those consistent findings, the media often misreport the issue.
George writes:
Your story about women beating men is implausible. Men are bigger, stronger, and more aggressive. Men don't fear women. Women fear men. Only a politically correct egalitarian would say that domestic violence is sex-neutral.
The vast majority of men aggressively protect their women, not beat them. Women like their men to be big and strong, and do not fear them.

Women do provoke fights, for a lot of reasons. It might seem illogical for someone of inferior size and strength to start a physical fight, but it happens all the time.

You can see something similar in children. Two siblings will commonly fight, and the older kid can be expected to win. And yet it is often the younger child who starts a fight.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Gay agenda laws

California news:
The governor opposes a measure passed by the Senate and pending in the Assembly that would remove "sex-specific" terms such as "mom" and "dad" from textbooks and would require students to learn about the contributions homosexuals have made to society, the Sacramento Bee reported. ...

He urges Schwarzenegger to veto two other "sexual indoctrination" bills, because "parents and grandparents are demanding it."

AB 606, would authorize the California Superintendent of Public Instruction to arbitrarily withhold state funds -- about two-thirds of a school district's budget -- from any district that does not adequately promote transsexuality, bisexuality or homosexuality in its school policies.

A third measure, AB 1056, would spend $250,000 in taxpayer dollars to promote transsexual, bisexual and homosexual lifestyles as part of "tolerance education."
I'll have to tell my kids that there is a gay agenda to brainwash them in school.

Flirting in chat rooms

Obvious research:
A study by the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering found that chat room participants with female usernames received 25 times more threatening and/or sexually explicit private messages than those with male or ambiguous usernames. ...

"Some messages to female usernames were innocuous, while others were sexually explicit ..." ...

The researchers also determined that simulated users or "bots" are not behind most of the malicious messages. "The extra attention the female usernames received and the nature of the messages indicate that male, human users specifically targeted female users," Cukier said.
Yes, of course females get more attention. It is not necessarily malicious to make a suggestive remark to a female name in an internet chat room. It is usually just flirting.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rant about women

This guy has an amusing rant about women. An excerpt:
MYTH: If I treat a woman well and listen to what she says, she'll stop complaining

TRUTH: Women never stop complaining. For them, it's a sport. ...

MYTH: Men don't listen to women because men don't care about women.

TRUTH: Men ignore women because women normally have nothing worthwhile to say. This is not a condemnation of women, but rather a difference in what talking is for. ...

MYTH: Women understand relationships; men don't.

TRUTH: This myth is perpetuated by women, pussy-whipped men, and psychiatrists. If women truly understood relationships... that is, if they understood relationships with men... then we wouldn't have a 45% divorce rate. ... The other big difference between the sexes is that women are absolutely certain that they know what is going on, whereas men make no such claim. The last man who claimed to have his own radical theories about relationships was Freud, and nobody pays any attention to him any more.
You can also find it here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Women who beat men

A new study shows that more women than men initiate "intimate partner
violence" and that, when they do, most men do not hit back. The NY Daily News reports:
Women are as violent as their male companions - and sometimes more so, according to a controversial study presented yesterday at a domestic violence conference in Manhattan.

The survey of 13,600 college students came to the surprising conclusion that in the majority of abusive relationships, women are the perpetrators at least as often as they are the victims of violence.

About one-third of students in 32 countries said they assaulted their partner in a survey conducted by the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire.

In 69% of cases, both men and women were violent. But women were the sole perpetrators in 21% of cases, compared with about 10% of relationships in which men were the only batterers.

Author Murray Straus, who presented the study at the Trends in Intimate Violence Intervention conference at NYU, said there was "overwhelming evidence that women assault their partners at about the same rate as men."

"The idea of chivalry is alive. Men genuinely believe 'never hit a woman' - up to a certain point. So when she gets angry at him and slaps him, kicks him, throws something, most men don't retaliate. But if she keeps on doing that, then it moves into the both doing it," Straus said.

"So many women have told me, 'I knew I wouldn't hurt him.' It's for some women a quintessentially feminine thing to do, to slap the cad," he said.
Other studies show similar results.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Female porn preferred

From the London Sunday Times:
[Catharine MacKinnon] has an unexpected vice: an addiction to People magazine, the American celebrity weekly that is obsessed with Britney and Angelina Jolie. "I read it cover to cover", MacKinnon confesses, who also tells me about "this incredible, velvety swing coat thing" that she got years ago at a Farhi sale. ..

In the late 1970s she helped to pioneer laws on sexual harassment and went on to draft legislation with Dworkin in the 1980s designed to make pornography a civil offence on the grounds of sex discrimination and giving women the right to sue for redress. The gambit didn't work: in America porn remains a protected form of free speech, but the debate made her famous.
Amazing. People magazine is just pornography for women. They buy it for the titillating pictures of sexy movie stars.

George writes:
People magazine is not pornography. Wanting to read People magazine is better explained by evolutionary psychology. We evolved from hominids living in clans where everyone knew everything about everyone in the clan. But we don't have enough gossip anymore satisfy our instinctual urges, so we have to read People magazine and watch TV soap operas. It is all about relationships, not sex.
I don't buy it. Your theory doesn't explain why the market for such stuff is predominantly women, or why these urges are only satisfied by pictures of sexy men and women. Women don't just read text messages with gossip about ugly people.

Women do read romance novels with no pictures. But those novels with filled with titillating sexual descriptions, and I regard them as pornographic. The books would not sell otherwise.

Yes, pornography for women focuses more on the relationships than on the sexual acts. That reflects a basic difference between men and women. Women are huge consumers of pornography that is oriented towards their sexual fantasies.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pres. Bush not anti-science

I just listened to a lecture from Judith Auerbach, a spokesman for the AIDS lobby. She complained about how Pres. Bush was anti-science.

She ranted about suppressions and distortions of science, undermining science, and scientists being overruled by ideological and political considerations.

I am very pro-science, so this would be disturbing to me if true. But there is very little substance to her gripes.

She complained about this CDC article on male latext condoms. It says that condoms are not 100% effective in preventing disease, whereas she thought that it should say that condoms are 95% effective.

She also suggested the following CDC letter is more of an ideological statement than a scientific statement:
The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected.
She did not say that the statement is false. Her objection was that it was symptomatic of an erosion of an evidence-based policy for harm reduction.

What she means is that if a panel of distinguished scientists say that the best way to reduce the spread of AIDS in Africa is to hand out condoms and syringes, then that is what the president should do.

The trouble with her and other scientists who sing this tune is that they confuse science with policy. What if the most effective way to reduce the spread of AIDS were to test everyone for HIV and tatoo everyone who tests positive? The panel of scientists would reject the idea for political reasons.

These scientific advisors are not just doing science; they are making political judgments when they recommend a policy. There are people who object to promoting condoms, syringes, and tatoos for various reasons, and it seems reasonable for our govt to choose a less objectionable policy.

I may or may not agree with Bush's condom policy. I don't know enough to have an opinion. But I do think that scientists are being a little dishonest when they argue that scientists should be making policy decisions and pretend that they are scientific decisions.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bad advice from Dear Abby

More bad advice in today's paper:
DEAR ABBY: ... I dated Mickey a total of four weeks. Since then, he has continuously driven by my house and dropped off presents of books, cards, candy, flowers, etc. I have asked him not to come by uninvited or without calling first, but he just dropped off another book. He appears not to understand that his intrusive behavior is freaking me out. What can I do? Is this considered stalking? ...

DEAR FREAKED OUT: Tell the man plainly that you are not interested in a relationship and you want him to stop dropping by and giving you gifts. If he persists, begin keeping a written record every time it happens and notify the police, because his behavior could be considered stalking.
No, it is not a crime. She is dating the guy. A lot of women like surprise attention and gifts from a boyfriend.

DEAR ABBY: I need to know how to handle my mixed-up marriage. My husband is a preacher, and our marriage is falling apart. He cares more for another woman than he does for me. Every time we talk to each other, he always brings her into the conversation. ... Our sex life is terrible. ... It hurts me because I love him so much. What can I do about this? How can I make him understand?

DEAR HURTING: ... Many wives make their husbands "understand" when communication breaks down through marriage counseling, and that's what I recommend for you.
No communication has not broken down. The husband is communicating all too clearly. Marriage counseling will not make him "understand" anything. Going into marriage counseling with that attitude with surely doom the marriage.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Orwellian nightmare

Letter to Editor, San Diego Union Tribune:
Bravo to Phyllis Schlafly for speaking out against the Orwellian nightmare our domestic violence system has become. Those who are fearful that the USA Patriot Act threatens the ordinary citizen's civil rights should check out the family courts. In the interests of "protecting women" from evil domestic-violence abusers, read: men, the courts routinely trample basic civil rights. Many women who get caught up in the system, by being labeled a "victim" without their consent, are aghast at what is being done to them, and to their husbands or boyfriends.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Popular baby names

NY Times news on baby names:
Chances are you don't have any friends named Nevaeh. Chances are today's toddlers will.

In 1999, there were only eight newborn American girls named Nevaeh. Last year, it was the 70th-most-popular name for baby girls, ahead of Sara, Vanessa and Amanda.

The spectacular rise of Nevaeh (commonly pronounced nah-VAY-uh) has little precedent, name experts say. They watched it break into the top 1,000 of girls' names in 2001 at No. 266, the third-highest debut ever. Four years later it cracked the top 100 with 4,457 newborn Nevaehs, having made the fastest climb among all names in more than a century, the entire period for which the Social Security Administration has such records.

Nevaeh is not in the Bible or any religious text. It is not from a foreign language. It is not the name of a celebrity, real or fictional.

Nevaeh is Heaven spelled backward.
Gosh, I thought that I had picked an unusual name for my daughter Neva when she was born in 1999. I didn't want her to share a name with her classmates. Little did I know, I was just a little ahead of a big fad. Oh well, at least the spelling is different, and those Nevaehs are not old enough to be in her class.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Future time orientation is racist

Seattle schools define:
Cultural Racism:
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as "other", different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.
There is more nonsense on the Seattle school page.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

VAWA funding

The ABA report states flatly: "Domestic violence does not necessarily involve physical violence." The feminists' mantra is, "You don't have to be beaten to be abused."

Advocates of the Violence Against Women Act assert that domestic violence is a crime, yet family courts often adjudicate domestic violence as a civil (not a criminal) matter. This enables courts to deny the accused all Bill of Rights and due process protections that are granted to even the most heinous of criminals.

Specifically, the accused is not innocent until proven guilty but is presumed guilty, and he doesn't have to be convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt." Due process rights, such as trial by jury and the right of free counsel to poor defendants, are regularly denied, and false accusations are not covered by perjury law. The act provides funding for legal representation for accusers but not for defendants.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Snitching on offensive speech

A Denver Post column says:
Tuesday, the Boulder City Council will take up the matter of allocating public funding for a "hate hotline," which would give residents an opportunity to report incidents in which Boulderites use tactless language.

"Our concern - and there are many - is that there is no confidentiality, no legal confidentiality," explains Judd Golden, chairman of the Boulder American Civil Liberties Union, which has not yet taken an official position on the hate-line. "So it's potentially chilling if people think they are providing this information in confidence and then that information were provided to the government or the government sought access to it. That would chill free speech."
The ACLU's concern is that it is not anonymous?! The city wants a snitch line to report anyone who attacks "personal beliefs and values", and the ACLU just wants the snitching to be anonymous.

No. I say that the govt should not take anonymous complaints about someone else's free speech rights. It shouldn't have the hotline at all, but I am surprised that the ACLU wants it anonymous.

Housewives get fat

UK news:
Mums who go out to work are healthier AND slimmer than stay-at-home housewives, say researchers.

Women who shun careers to remain as "homemakers" have a much higher risk of obesity, doctors discovered.

By the age of 54 women who have been housewives for all or most of their lives are most likely to say their health is poor.

But women who have been wives, mothers and employees are much less likely to suffer ill health or be fatties.

The research showed that almost 40 per cent of long-term housewives are obese ? compared to just over 20 per cent of married mums who work.
This is consistent with what I have seen in California.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Low German fertility

LA Times op-ed:
THE GERMAN PUBLIC was recently shocked to learn that 30% of "their" women are childless -- the highest proportion of any country in the world. And this is not a result of infertility; it's intentional childlessness.

Demographers are intrigued. German nationalists, aghast. Religious fundamentalists, distressed at the indication that large numbers of women are using birth control.

And evolutionary biologists (including me) are asked, "How can this be?" If reproduction is perhaps the fundamental imperative of natural selection, of our genetic heritage, isn't it curious -- indeed, counterintuitive -- that people choose, and in such large numbers, to refrain from participating in life's most pressing event?
The rate is 40% for female German college graduates.

No feminazis in politics

Seattle Times reports:
WASHINGTON -- Patty Murray has become one of the Senate's foremost advocates for women's issues -- health, safety from domestic violence, equal treatment in the workplace and education, and access to birth control.

But there are two words that you won't hear Murray -- or almost anyone else -- say in Congress: women's rights.

It's not because women's rights don't matter. Or that they are old hat.

It's because the phrase "women's rights" can be political death in D.C. Utter it at your peril. ...

Thus, the corridors of Congress are awash in women who preface their support for job equality, contraceptive choice and other such issues important to women with, "I'm not a feminist, but ... "
People don't want to be represented by feminists.

Freudian pseudoscience

NY Times letter:
Freud and His Legacy (1 Letter)
Published: May 14, 2006
To the Editor:

In "The Inside Man" (Op-Ed, May 7), William H. Gass commemorates Sigmund Freud's 150th birthday and very properly marks the enormous impact that the psychoanalysis innovated by Freud has had on the intellectual and cultural life of our world for more than a century.

I take issue, however, with his unsupported statement that the world has scarcely noticed that "this therapy -- which took so long and cost so much -- wasn't curing anybody."

What would Mr. Gass assert to be the basis for this view? Certainly the perspective of the more than 10,000 members of the International Psychoanalytical Association, plus the thousands more other psychoanalytically based mental health practitioners, would give ample evidence to the contrary, as would so many of their patients.

For the more questioning, I can readily cite very substantial and ever growing documented formal research to support this statement.

Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D.
Belvedere, Calif., May 7, 2006
The writer is a former president of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytical Association.
Wallerstein's defense of Freud is so lame that it is comical. It is true that Freudian therapy does not cure anyone. Wallerstein's gripe is that the statement is "unsupported", but he fails to give any support to his contrary view. He merely says that he could cite research. So why doesn't he?

His letter doesn't have much space for argument, but he could certainly cite a published article or a web site. It means very little to just cite the existance of people trying to exploit deluded mental patients. It is about like citing Scientologists.

I did find where Wallerstein wrote an article surveying the history of empirical research on the effectiveness of Freudian therapy. You can read it yourself, but it sounds to me like he found that nothing works better than anything else. Here is one of the stronger findings:
The most striking finding of the Columbia studies was that across every patient category, measured therapeutic benefit always substantially exceeded measured evolved analytic process. However, as with the Boston study, the outcomes, in terms of both therapeutic benefit and analyzability, were only marginally predictable from initial evaluation.
This is just gibberish. If he really had good evidence, then he would spell it out.

Rolling Stone magazine says:
Scientology holds that the entire field of neurological and mental-health research -- from Freud to the study of brain chemistry -- is pseudoscience. In Scientology's overview text, What Is Scientology?, psychiatry is described as a "hodgepodge of unproven theories that have never produced any result -- except an ability to make the unmanageable and mutinous more docile and quiet, and turn the troubled into apathetic souls beyond the point of caring."
But Scientology has its own kooky Freudian beliefs:
Published in 1950, Dianetics maintained that the source of mental and physical illness could be traced back to psychic scars called "engrams" that were rooted in early, even prenatal, experiences, and remained locked in a person's subconscious, or "reactive mind." To rid oneself of the reactive mind, a process known as going "Clear," Dianetics, and later Scientology, preached a regressive-therapy technique called auditing, which involves re-experiencing incidents in one's past life in order to erase their engrams.
This is more pseudoscience. There is no scientific evidence that psychic scars are locked in a person's subconscious.

(BTW, this Robert Wallerstein is unrelated to the Judith Wallerstein whom I criticized on this blog previously, as far as I know. They just happen to be pseudoscientific quacks with the same last name.)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Youthful indiscretions

Marcel Proust wrote:
There is no man," he began, "however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man--so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise--unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grandsons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. ..."
I ran across this quote in a discussion of whether a social scientist should be discredited because of some lifestyle decisions that he made 30 years earlier. Yes, wisdom comes from experience.

200 years for child porn

Arizona news:
PHOENIX -- A 200-year prison term for a man convicted of possessing 20 separate items of child pornography is not constitutionally excessive, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
All he did was to download some images from the internet. This is excessive.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tom Cruise declines

CNN reports:
Days after his latest movie, "Mission: Impossible III," opened to lower-than-expected domestic ticket sales, a USA Today/Gallup poll showed Cruise's star power has dimmed considerably during the past year in the eyes of the public. ...

"Tom Cruise is one of the most important stars ever in the motion picture business," Universal Studios President Ron Meyer, a close friend and former agent, told Reuters. "I don't know anybody who has had the consistent success rate that Tom has. And nobody should be counting him out." ...

USA Today said that many of its survey's respondents cited Cruise's behavior during the past year, including his blunt criticism of psychiatry and actress Brooke Shield's treatment for postpartum depression, for their waning impression of him.

Cruise also became the butt of countless jokes for his manic, couch-hopping appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last May to declare his love for Holmes.
The problem is real simple. Tom Cruise hasn't starred in a great movie in a very long time. War Of The Worlds was just a stupid remake. It is remarkable that Cruise has done as well as he has.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Photo ban

In Troy NY, you cannot photograph your kids at the public ice skating rink anymore. People are too paranoid.

Impotent young men

The Wash. Post reports that sexually aggressive girls is causing impotence on college campuses:
It seems that for a sizable number of young men, the fact that they can get sex whenever they want may have created a situation where, in fact, they're unable to have sex. According to surveys, young women are now as likely as young men to have sex and by countless reports are also as likely to initiate sex, taking away from males the age-old, erotic power of the chase.

"I know lots of girls for whom nothing is off limits," says Helen Czapary, a junior at the University of Maryland. "The pressure on the guys is a huge deal."

Combine performance anxiety with binge drinking and the abuse of drugs on campus and it's no wonder that problems are showing up at college clinics in numbers that give the lie to the adage that impotence is reserved for the old (Bob Dole) or crazy (Jack Nicholson in "Carnal Knowledge"). The younger models who now appear in commercials for Viagra and its pharmaceutical clones reveal that the drug makers know (hope?) what the rest of us don't: Some members of the Game Boy generation are losing their game.
Weird. I am suspicious that this story was planted by Viagra sellers.

George writes:
Why do you doubt this? Girls are just discovering what everyone thought was obvious 50 years ago -- that girls cannot chase boys in the same way that boys chase girls.
The article says that "ED" is the politically correct term.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Duke lacrosse report

Duke has a site just for dealing with the lacrosse stripper incident. The latest is a report from former Princeton president Bill Bowen It says that Duke got a police report showing wild inconsistencies in Crystal Gail Mangum's story. She first claimed that she was raped by 20 players, and later said 3 players.

The report also says that Duke underestimated the coming political tidal wave over the incident. Of course. No one could have predicted that the DA, the press, and the public would have gone so berserk over such an apparently phony accusation.

Anyway, I seriously doubt that Bowen would have handled it any better. I was a Princeton student when he was university president, and he did not exercise any control over off-campus parties. He acts like the coach should have monitored off-campus drinking and parties, but Princeton served beer to all students over 18 at the old library on campus. There was no adult supervision for parties whether on campus or off campus. Bowen's list of recommendations is just self-serving doubletalk.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Expensive housing

Housing news:
In 2005, the least-affordable place in the country to live, measured by the percentage of income devoted to mortgage payments, was Salinas, Calif.

The second was the Santa Cruz-Watsonville area of California.

The third? Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.

In fact, California has the distinction of having the 11 least-affordable metropolitan areas in the country.
California is growing, mainly from immigrants and foreigners. I wonder how people afford to own homes here.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Visiting the father in jail

Feminist bloggers are complaining this story and child visitation law.
Indiana law requires that a noncustodial parent is entitled to reasonable parenting time rights unless a court finds that time will endanger the child's health or well-being or impairs the child's development.
Kim Linetty wanted a divorce, so she had sex with her husband and accused him of rape. She got custody of the kids, and he went to jail for rape. Now she is refusing a court order to let the father see his kids!

I think that she is the one who belongs in jail. She had betrayed her husband twice, psychologically poisoned their kids, deprived them of a father and refused a reasonable and lawful order.

Friday, May 05, 2006

DNA tests foster changes in paternity laws

USA Today reports:
Florida legislators are scheduled to vote today on whether to allow men to escape child-support payments and other legal responsibilities if DNA tests show they are not the fathers of children born to their wives or partners.

Florida would become the 17th state since 2001 to alter a centuries-old legal principle that holds men responsible for children born of a marriage regardless of whether the men are the biological fathers, says the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in Washington, D.C. The principle, which comes from English common law, is designed to keep children from being left without support.
No, I don't think that was the purpose of the English law. The father and the child have a right to have a relationship with each other, and the law was a way of legally establishing that relationship when technology could not.

Now we have reliable DNA tests. The law should be fixed to respect provable facts.

I wouldn't describe the change as "allow[ing] men to escape child-support payments". I say that it is allowing men to terminate the fraudulent mother support orders. It doesn't even offer a refund of past fraud, or prosecute the perpetrator of the paternity fraud.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Another goofy Wallerstein argument

Glenn Sacks answers Trish Wilson, a feminist opponent of shared parenting:
"Dr. Judith Wallerstein found that in cases where judges ordered joint custody/shared parenting to force warring parents to get along, that 'three and one-half years after separation, these couples were experiencing considerably more conflict and less co-operative parenting than were couples for whom joint custody was the first choice of each parent.'"

This sounds impressive at first reading, but in reality it is almost meaningless. She doesn't say there's too much conflict in court ordered joint custody arrangements--she says there's more than with "couples for whom joint custody was the first choice of each parent." It is to be expected that joint custody will be smoother in couples who both originally opted for it, as opposed to couples where one parent tried to push the other parent to the margins of the children's lives but later had to "settle" for joint custody.
We don't need Judith Wallerstein or Trish Wilson to tell us that warring parents are less cooperative than other parents. It is still quite likely that ordering joint custody for warring parents is the best way to make them cooperate.

Accurately portraying diversity

California news:
A bill requiring students to learn about the contributions homosexuals have made to society and that would remove sex-specific terms such as "mom" and "dad" from textbooks has passed another hurdle on the way to becoming the law of the land in California.

Having already been approved by the state's Senate Judiciary Committee, SB 1437, which would mandate grades 1-12 buy books "accurately" portraying "the sexual diversity of our society," got the nod yesterday of the Senate Education Committee.

The bill also requires students hear history lessons on "the contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America."

"This bill is the most extreme effort thus far to transform our public schools into institutions of indoctrination that disregard all notions of the traditional family unit," said Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute. "SB 1437 seeks to eliminate all 'stereotypes' of the traditional family so that young children are brainwashed into believing that families with moms and dads are irrelevant."
I wouldn't mind so much if the schools really did portray diversity accurately. They don't.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Top 10 cultural faux pas

If you are going overseas, here are some tips for showing that you are an American. Look people in the eye. Eat with your left hand. Use hand gestures for Yes and OK. Put your feet on the coffee table. Blow your nose. From the military protocol experts.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Five Reasons To Skip College

Forbes magazine says:
New York - College is expensive. Four years at an elite university like Princeton or Harvard will set you back around $160,000. ...

Although there is clearly a correlation between earnings and a four-year degree, a correlation isn't the same thing as a cause. Economists like Robert Reischauer ruffled feathers several years ago by pointing out that talented, driven kids are more likely to go to college in the first place--that they succeed, in other words, because of their innate abilities, not because of their formal education. ...

1. You'll be losing four working years.
2. You won't necessarily earn less money.
3. In fact, you could probably make more money if you invested your tuition.
4. You don't need to be in a classroom in order to learn something.
5. Plenty of other people did fine (without college).
I went to Princeton, but it only cost about $16,000 then for my whole bachelor's degree.

Coffee makes us say 'yes'

ABC Science reports:
If you want to bring someone around to your way of thinking you should make sure they've got a cup of coffee in their hand, according to research showing that caffeine makes us more open to persuasion.

The Australian researchers say a caffeine hit improves our ability to process information and increases the extent to which we listen to and take on board a persuasive message.

They tested this by quizzing people about their attitudes to voluntary euthanasia and abortion before and after either the equivalent of about two cups of coffee or a placebo.

They were also given a persuasive argument to read after having the caffeine.

The experiments showed that "caffeine increases persuasion through instigating systematic processing of the message".
So if you want to brainwash someone, then give him a cup of coffee first.