Monday, September 24, 2007

"Producing even-handed research in this atmosphere is going to be an uphill battle."

Ironshrink responds to a question asking what he thinks about the recent study Neurocognitive Correlates of Liberalism and Conservatism:

I’ve never gone for conspiracy theories. Globalization paranoia and 9/11 cover-ups bore me. But I’m beginning to wonder if there is a conspiracy brewing amongst my colleagues. It seems that some of them have declared war on conservatives..

Read the whole thing.


Blogger Sid said...

HUNTINGDON, Tenn. - Mary Winkler convinced a jury she was physically and emotionally abused by her preacher husband before she shot him to death. Now, after a short jail sentence, she is trying to persuade the courts to let her have her children back.

The children's paternal grandparents are trying to have Winkler stripped of her rights as a parent so they can adopt the three girls, ages 2, 8 and 10.

It is sure to be a bitter and difficult custody battle, and one with little precedent in Tennessee.

Termination of parental rights is allowed if one parent "wrongfully" kills the other. But that has been part of state law for only a few years.

Usually, the surviving parent "is incarcerated for such a long time that the parent cannot raise the children. But we don't have that here," said Christina Zawisza, a lawyer with the University of Memphis Child Advocacy Clinic.

Winkler's husband, Matthew, 31, was killed with a shotgun blast to the back in March 2006 at his Church of Christ parsonage in Selmer, a small town about 80 miles east of Memphis. Mary Winkler went to jail and the couple's children moved in with their father's parents in the small town of Huntingdon.

Winkler, 33, was tried on a murder charge, but a jury found her guilty of voluntary manslaughter after she testified about years of abuse. Including jail time awaiting trial, she spent just seven months in custody, with two months served in a mental facility being treated for post traumatic stress disorder.

Free now on probation, Winkler wants the children back.

"We can begin healing together," she told a judge who granted supervised visits with the children to begin Saturday.

"She paid her debt to society. You can't punish her again by taking away her kids," said Lynne Gold-Bikin, a Pennsylvania lawyer who specializes in child custody and family law but has no connection to the Winkler case. "Parents always have priority over grandparents."

But Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist hired by the grandparents, described Winkler as a danger to herself and her children, particularly since she claims not to remember getting the shotgun out of a bedroom closet and pulling the trigger.

"We're talking about something that has to be watched for decades," said Ablow, the former host of a syndicated TV show bearing his name.

Grandparents Dan and Diane Winkler contend Winkler is an unfit mother and the children have a better chance at a normal life with them.

But Gold-Bikin said Winkler's manslaughter conviction shows the jury believed her testimony about domestic abuse. Among other things, Winkler claimed she was forced to submit to sex acts she considered unnatural.

"Should we take these children away from a loving mother and give them to somebody who hates her?" Gold-Bikin said. "Here is a little backwoods woman married to a very popular preacher and her entire self-worth has been undermined. She's been made to parade around in high heels and no clothes, to do things she considers perverted. And she's got nobody to talk to because nobody is going to believe her."

No trial date is set on the termination petition.

At a hearing last week, Winkler asked for private visits with the children, but Judge Ron Harmon refused after listening to testimony on her mental health and the youngsters' mixed feelings about her.

Dan Winkler, who is also a Church of Christ minister, said the older girls had nightmares after talking with their mother on the telephone.

Bruce Boyer, a child-law specialist with Loyola University in Chicago, said Winkler has a fight on her hands.

"I would never say to anybody, `You don't even get a chance to convince me that you could still be a good parent,'" Boyer said, "but this woman has got a lot of convincing to do."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

printable version

3:56 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Sid said...

Sorry for the long post above. Knew this story was of interest to you. Thougth I would send it by e-mail but did not find a link on your site.

3:57 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Hi Sid,

Thanks for the story. For future reference, my email is to your right under links.

After reading this, all I can say is, is it really in the best interest of these children to give them back to the murderer of their father? I don't think so.

4:21 PM, September 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A "little backwoods woman"? Why aren't the feminazis seething over that statement?

Because it wouldn't suit their purpose in this particular case.

It would in another, and they will seethe when appropriate, and to their benefit.

It is my belief her kids are scared of her. Makes sense to me. My kids are scared of their mom, too.

5:20 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Sid said...

She killed her husband (the girls father) because she was embarrassed about losing money in a Nigerian scam.

As a judge, case worker, or mental health professional, I would not be willing to place the children with her. They may, as adults much later in life, be able to have contact with her. But as young children, now is not the time.

I notice that her parents are not qouted in the article.

I do apologize for running this thread under an unrelated article.

As to the bias in higher ed research, I left UT in ABD status. The department I studied under simply would not allow a student to ask questions that violated their liberal worldview. They began at the very outset to erect hurdles that kept a student from asking questions that seemed real.

6:25 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Eric said...

"The experimenter has 26 liberals and 7 conservatives."

If this is true, the "study" proves absolutely nothing.

(I can't help wondering how they were screened, too....)

8:28 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Danny said...

Helen- just so you know- the guy posting as "Sid" is not the Sid you know from the university town where the college football team are called the "Wolverines".
Just making the point so that there is no confusion.

Having said that- i too amamazed that some people who claim to be lawyers specialising in family law, or MSW types or Clinical psychologists actually think that the idea that Mary Winkler get her kids back is a good idea.

Why are such people unable to see the truth staring us in the face? that thisis a deeply disturbed woman, who is violent killer?

10:45 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Thanks for the Sid distinction. In answer to your question, I suppose they suffer from the same fantasy somehow that women are always victims and this poor "little lady" was just defending her "self-worth." Do note that Dr. Ablow, a psychiatrist, has been hired by the grandparents and he seems to understand that this woman should not have her children living with her.

That said, most family killers do not strike again but then, with all of the rewards and attention Mary Winkler has gotten for committing cold-blooded murder, who can say that wiping people out when they get in her way will not become more attractive?

6:40 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Adrian said...

But isn't that what he social sciences have always been for? Basically justifying what can be identified as modern liberalism? That's not to say that there isn't a legitimate subject underlying it all the same or that everyone is there trying to justify liberalism. In fact, all the more credible to have some die hard conservatives....

9:21 AM, September 25, 2007  
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