Mike Tang thanks readers for any offers of assistance, but will not take them.

Mike Tang, The Dad Convicted for Making Son Walk a Mile, Responds to Critics AND Offers of Assistance

Yesterday I posted a video of Mike Tang, the dad sentenced to 56 days’ labor for making his son walk home a mile to teach him not to slack off on his homework. Some of you have asked if there’s a way to contribute to Mike’s defense fund. Here is what he wrote:

Thanks. I am at this point, refusing a lawyer, and all donations.  It’s not a matter of how much the fine is, or the cost of the lawyer, as much as the notion that it shouldn’t come to this.  
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If the fine was 2 cents and 10 minutes of community service, I still would not pay it.  If all Americans had to hire a lawyer to defend each little parenting decision such as spanking or forcing a kid to clean up his room, there would be no victory for the parents, only for lawyers.  
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If I can show the cops and county that I can win (or die trying) without a lawyer, perhaps that might knock some sense into them next time they try to pull something like this.
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–Mike
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P.S. Another thing I’d like to address, if I could, to the many people who ask:  “Well, what would he feel if something DID happen to the kid?” My response would be:

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“I’d be just as sorry and remorseful as if I drove him somewhere and got in a car accident, or if I dropped him off at school and he was injured at a school shooting.  But that certainly doesn’t make driving him in a car or dropping him off at school dangerous or illegal.”
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Whatever anyone thinks of Mike’s approach or demeanor, that last point is really well taken. Simply because some rare and unpredictable tragedy COULD happen literally anytime, anyplace, that doesn’t mean a parent is wrong to trust the overwhelming odds that everything will be okay. This, “Something bad COULD happen” rationale is exactly what killed the Free-Range Kids Bill of Rights in Arkansas about a week ago.
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Moreover, the feisty father makes another great point saying that if our parenting decisions can be second-guessed — and litigated — simply because they’re not popular, none of us is free to raise our kids the way we see fit.
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That, and not his personality, is the issue of importance: In the absence of immediate, egregious and statistically likely danger (which we DO want to protect kids from), who decides how we parent? It cannot be the cops or courts. – L.
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P.S. — And in other 8-year-old kid news: A boy in Ohio, 8, drove his little sister, 4, to McDonald’s for a cheeseburger (which they had time to eat before the cops arrived). He obeyed all traffic signals and said he learned to drive from YouTube videos. This story is being celebrated all over the internet. Maybe Mike should have made his son DRIVE home.

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Mike Tang thanks readers for offers of assistance, but will not take them.

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170 Responses to Mike Tang, The Dad Convicted for Making Son Walk a Mile, Responds to Critics AND Offers of Assistance

  1. BL April 13, 2017 at 9:21 am #

    “Maybe Mike should have made his son DRIVE home.”

    If you can’t drive by the time you’re 8, you’re going to end up homeless.

  2. James April 13, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    This goes beyond parenting. We each make thousands of choices each day that affect others, often creating situations where there’s a one-in-a-billion chance of something bad happening. If I have a tree, there’s a slight chance it’ll fall and hit someone’s house. Given my neighborhood it would require a tornado, but that’s still more likely than someone kidnapping my child. If I can be sued for that, the concept of liberty is dead.

    I also find the idea of prosecuting someone for something some unidentified and purely theoretical other person might do to be deeply disturbing. First, this places the blame on the wrong person–it’s blaming the (potential, in a purely hypothetical sense) victim, pure and simple. It’s no different, in that aspect, than the brutality of whipping women who have been raped because they were alone with men outside their family. Second, there’s no evidence that there was any real threat. We are elevating paranoia to the level of laws!!! If we do that we give up all pretense at the rule of law. Knowing the law when “I think something bad could happen, so you should be punished” is the law of the land would require mind-reading, something no sane court system can demand.

    This man deserves tremendous praise for fighting this nonsense. I have little hope he’ll win, but better to fight and lose than to meekly submit–or to fight in a way that amounts to submission regardless of victory or loss.

  3. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 10:44 am #

    Again, Lenore, as much as I appreciate your advocacy for free range issues, this has nothing to do with free range issues. Mr. Tang wasn’t arrested for, charged with or convicted of endangering his kid. The issue was not and is not whether or not it’s safe for an eight year old to walk a mile at 7:45 p.m. This was not a matter of a nosy busy-body bothering a happy kid on his way home from the park.

    The issue is cruelty. Tang Jr. was found walking alone and upset. A concerned citizen called the police. Tang Jr. told the police that his dad had shown him where homeless people sleep and them made him get out of the car and walk home alone from there. Mr. Tang threatened his son with homelessness and then abandoned him to prove it. I don’t think too many free range types advocate for a parent’s unlimited right to be cruel. (And we can argue all we want about whether Mr. Tang was or wasn’t cruel, but the jury who had a lot more information than we do believed he was.)

    The issue was and is further compounded by Tang’s attitude toward the police, the prosecutor, the judge and, apparently, the jury. When you’re essentially being accused of being an ass to your kid, it is, perhaps, best not to be an ass to the people in a position to convict you for it.

    But anyway, do continue to feed Mr. Tang more rope. He’s pretty well hung already.

  4. truth truth April 13, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    Not only in this country is he not free to raise his children they way he sees fit, he is not free at all, it is all an illusion. If anyone can tell you what you can put in your own body then you are difinitely not a free person.

  5. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Yike! I left out a rather important word. “He’s pretty well hung *himself* already.”

    I have no idea how well hung Mr. Tang is. Oooops!

  6. theresa April 13, 2017 at 10:57 am #

    The kids who drive despite being too young for a learner permit should be punished. I pretty sure that they know that they would not be allowed to drive if they asked. Parents teaching their kids right from wrong not unless you end up needing a doctor for the kid.

  7. Steve N April 13, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    Dienne, Mr. Tang did not threaten his son with homelessness. To threaten somebody like that you have to be able and willing to actively able to bring about the circumstance. Mr. Tang never threatened to make his son homeless.

    What he did was to warn his son that if he didn’t do his homework he might wind up that way. There’s a huge difference.

    Just because his son was alone and upset doesn’t make the punishment cruel. My kids are often upset when I punish them or restrict what they can do or where they can go. Kids get upset because they don’t have a great grip on their emotions. That’s what being a kid is all about.

    And if I ever got in trouble every time (or even any time) that my kids were mad at me for a punishment or any parenting decision I made, citing “cruelty”, I’d go ballistic like Mike Tang did. And my daughter for sure thinks I’ve been cruel a few times, I’m sure.

    Mike Tang should have the right to raise his children as he sees fit, so long as he doesn’t put them in danger (which he didn’t).

  8. Jennifer C April 13, 2017 at 11:07 am #

    While Mr. Tang does not exactly have a winning personality, I’m not sure how ‘cruel’ this actually was. He was apparently trying to teach his son that if you take shortcuts in your homework (such as reading an easy book for a report) you might not end up being successful in life. And while that may not be a method that I would personally choose, I think child cruelty is stretching it. Growing up, I knew kids who were spanked and grounded if they came home with anything lower than a ‘B’.

  9. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 11:10 am #

    “To threaten somebody like that you have to be able and willing to actively able to bring about the circumstance.”

    His son was *eight*. He took the boy to where the homeless sleep, threatened him with being homeless himself, then abandoned him a mile from home. I’m pretty sure the boy believed his father was able and wiling to actively bring about the circumstance.

    Anyway, though, as I’ve already said, we can debate all we want whether or not Mr. Tang was or wasn’t cruel. The fact remains that the jury that was tasked with making that decision – and which had access to a lot more information than we do – decided that he *was*.

  10. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    Incidentally, I don’t think we should be “celebrating” an eight year old driving either. I have an eight year old. She’s average height for her age. I don’t see how she could reach the pedals and still see over the dashboard, even in a small car.

    And “learning to drive” via You Tube sounds an awful lot like how I “learned to drive” when I was a kid – by playing Turbo. I was pretty shocked (at age 15.5 when I was legally allowed to get my learner’s permit) just how different a real car was. I don’t think it’s “worst first” thinking to imagine the number of ways tragedy could have happened (and not just to those two kids) in that short drive. Thank heavens it didn’t, but there’s still nothing celebratory about that incident.

  11. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 11:21 am #

    “Growing up, I knew kids who were spanked and grounded if they came home with anything lower than a ‘B’.”

    And that too should be considered cruelty, at least the spanking. If you strike an adult (someone presumably your own size), it’s battery and you can be arrested and jailed. Why is it okay to strike someone half or a quarter of your size?

    People seem to think that this kind of treatment of kids is okay because it happened to them and they are “okay”. Except that they grew up to be adults who think it’s okay to hurt children, so they are clearly *not* okay.

    Wake up, folks. When we start saying it’s okay to hurt other human beings because [insert reason here], it makes it okay to hurt human beings. Where does it stop? And what then gives you the right to be upset when other more powerful people hurt you?

  12. James Pollock April 13, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    “I’d like to address, if I could, to the many people who ask: “Well, what would he feel if something DID happen to the kid?” ”

    Did anyone actually ask this? I don’t remember anyone asking this.

    The question I’d like to see him actually answer is “what if YOUR intransigence causes your son to act similarly, flatly refusing to do the homework he doesn’t feel like doing?

    “none of us is free to raise our kids the way we see fit.”
    Never have been.

  13. John B. April 13, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    “The question I’d like to see him actually answer is ‘what if YOUR intransigence causes your son to act similarly, flatly refusing to do the homework he doesn’t feel like doing?”

    Because there are good and logical reasons WHY his son should do his homework. But there are absolutely no good and logical reasons why an 8-year-old cannot walk home alone in a safe neighborhood at 7:30 PM.

  14. SKL April 13, 2017 at 11:51 am #

    OK so the charge was cruelty. I stand by my belief that the actions of the dad don’t rise to the level of criminal cruelty. I find it no more cruel than telling kids they can’t walk down the sidewalk because if they do, somebody could snatch them. And people tell kids that all the time. People have told MY kids that. :/

    Kids often cry when disciplined. Is it now illegal to let your kids cry in public? Do you realize the implications of that?? So now all discipline must be done behind closed doors – do people really think that’s going to protect any child? I think it would be healthier for society for all discipline to be done in public. It would make it much less likely for parents to go overboard and seriously hurt their kids.

  15. SKL April 13, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    As to the 8yo driving, I thought that was just funny. I thought it was sad that they added at the end that nobody was charged with a crime. Sad that it needed to be said at all. :/

    I taught my kid sister to drive in a parking lot when she was 6yo. I proudly told my mom afterwards, and she didn’t agree it was such a good idea, LOL. Nobody died. 😛

  16. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    ” I find it no more cruel than telling kids they can’t walk down the sidewalk because if they do, somebody could snatch them. And people tell kids that all the time. People have told MY kids that. :/”

    Did they then actually have the kid abducted to prove it? Telling a kid something like that is one thing (although not a good thing), but following through is another thing altogether.

    “I stand by my belief that the actions of the dad don’t rise to the level of criminal cruelty.”

    Well, you know what opinions are like and you’re entitled to yours, but the only people whose opinions mattered disagreed with you.

  17. SKL April 13, 2017 at 11:56 am #

    As for what he is modeling to his son, personality is mostly inherited. In all likelihood his son was born hard-headed, which is why he has to come up with creative ways to get his point across. 🙂

  18. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    Interesting logic, SKL. So it’s good to punish a kid for reading the wrong book (an action that couldn’t conceivably hurt anyone), but it’s not good to punish kids for an action that could have had catastrophic consequences. Okey dokey.

    Incidentally, this eight year old wasn’t driving in a parking lot.

  19. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 11:58 am #

    “…personality is mostly inherited.”

    Citation needed.

  20. SKL April 13, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Dienne, no, and he didn’t actually make his kid homeless to prove his point either.

    If you seriously think having to start at a place where homeless people live and then walk 1 mile home is equivalent to making him homeless, then ….

  21. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    Dienne, I didn’t say the 8yo driver should not be punished. The news story I read sounded like the kid did not seem to realize he had done something wrong at first. His parents know him best and if they think he needs punished, or if they don’t, it’s their call. For some kids, the realization that this was a police matter would be enough.

  22. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    I think his son thought so. And I’m betting Mr. Tang made sure to get that point across.

  23. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    Then you think his son is stupid. His son knew he was close to home and how to get there. Had he been dropped off far away where he didn’t know how to get home, you might have a point.

  24. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    “…the kid did not seem to realize he had done something wrong at first.”

    Really???? You believe that? What eight-year-old kid *doesn’t* know that they are never, ever allowed to drive a car under *any* circumstance, most especially not to get a cheeseburger??? My kids knew that by about age, oh, I dunno, two?

    You and I must live on different planets.

  25. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

    We need to get past the logic that “most people wouldn’t do that” = “that is a crime.”

    I’d be in jail for the rest of my life if it was a crime to do what most people wouldn’t do.

  26. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    Dienne, I’m going by what the cops said about how the kid reacted when they talked to him.

    I don’t really care one way or the other – it is for his parents to decide if he needs punishment.

  27. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    My last comment was about the driver kid, to clarify.

  28. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

    “We need to get past the logic that “most people wouldn’t do that” = “that is a crime.””

    Except that that wasn’t the logic. There’s an actual statute that he was accused and convicted of violating. James Pollock quoted it in yesterday’s thread.

  29. Jennifer C April 13, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    On one hand the eight-year-old driver is obviously adventurous and quite intelligent, especially given the fact that he obeyed all the traffic signals. On the other hand, driving on the highway is definitely not something he should be doing again until he is quite a bit older. The best thing to do would be to channel that intelligence and independence into activities that are more age-appropriate. Do kids still do go-kart racing?

  30. Betsy in Michigan April 13, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    Do people with our surgically attached wheels (and phones!) even have a concept of what a mile is anymore? It’s not much!, as long as you have a half hour or so (and don’t need instant gratification). It hardly constitures “abandonment”. Several posters have also mentioned that kids DO cry and are upset when being punished. Don’t Dienne and others remember this in themselves as kids?

    Dienne needs to realize that the right to raise our children is a human right, even if it might occasionally include spanking (the toddler who keeps running into the road! Or straight at a bitey big dog! Etc.). All the research show that it only works when it is RARELY used (I can attest to this myself with a strong-willed toddler. After a swat or two didn’t work, you realize it’s time to come up with something else, because you can’t just beat your kid! Save it for urgent situations.).

    Glad I’m not being judged as a parent.

  31. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

    Dienne, here’s what JP says Tang was convicted of:

    “willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered”

    The only language that could possibly apply here is “unjustifiable … mental suffering.”

    Sounds potentially subjective, as we all have our own opinion of what is “unjustifiable mental suffering” for a child. But there is no child who doesn’t have to deal with mental suffering, and that often occurs in connection with parental discipline. I think the statute is for things like killing a child’s dog in front of him and similar (which, unfortunately, does happen). I can’t believe it’s illegal to make your kid cry or fear consequences in any state.

    Remember that program “scared straight”? Is that still done these days?

  32. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    “Work” to do *what*, Betsy? Instill obedience? Is that your goal for your child?

    Again, how is it okay to hit someone significantly smaller than you, especially since it’s not okay (it’s criminal, actually) to hit someone your own size? You can’t think of any other way to keep your child safe? How sad for your child and for you. All you’re teaching is that might makes right; powerful people have the right to impose their will on less powerful people.

    As for this particular case, I will say it again: the jury – the only people whose opinions mattered (and people who had access to a lot more information than we do) – agreed with me. The man was convicted.

  33. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

    “I think the statute is for….”

    How many times do I have to say it? It *doesn’t matter* what you think the statute is for. It mattered what the police, the prosecutor, the judge and the jury thought. They all disagreed with you. And, again, they HAD MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU HAVE. Sorry for shouting, but this is a pretty major and obvious point.

  34. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    Let’s not make this about spanking, since spanking has nothing to do with the present case.

    If this dad had given his kid a few whacks with a stick on his rear (something I would not do), nobody would know about it and he might appear to be a model dad. So really, the operation of the present case is to encourage parents to ramp up the behind-closed-doors punishments rather than let anyone see their kid sad in public.

  35. Ed Vazquez April 13, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    Paranoia is the key here, not Mr. Tangs’ attitude. He is a parent and he understood the reality of his son walking home alone, would not, (and happened not to be) a danger to his kid. His kid was distraught in the sense this wasn’t the usual punishment. Really when isn’t a kid distraught, when he is punished by a parent, teacher, peer, etc.? When I was 10 years old my mother made me walk to my school (over 2 miles), for missing the school bus. She did not drive, and my father who was in the military was in training. Although stunned by this, I made it to the school, the principal asked me about this when I went to check in. He didn’t bat an eye, he listended to me and sent me back to class, no grief given, just supported my mothers’ decision. I learned and never missed the bus again! I have since had my own two kids, and under my powers as a father never had the kids miss school, unless they were sick. One is in college now, and the other just graduated high school. Parents need to be parents, and unless they are harming their kids, need to do what is necessary to develop those kids to be individuals, ready for the world. this is what Mr. Tang is teaching his kids-the value of education over the lack of…which can compromise one’s future. Namely his own son’s future. Government doesn’t need to be involved in every aspect of our lives, is so then why not just become robots and do all the government wants us to do. Not a pretty option if government keeps getting involved
    !

  36. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    Yes, Dienne, thank you for pointing out what I already know.

    If we are not allowed to voice an opinion on an adjudicated matter, then why are you doing so?

    And you are spouting off your opinions about everything from homework to reading to spanking, which nobody asked for, so don’t tell me to shut up about my opinions. We are all entitled to them.

  37. BL April 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    @SKL
    ‘“willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered”

    The only language that could possibly apply here is “unjustifiable … mental suffering.”’

    Why is that the only language that could possibly apply here? Mike Tang has been criticized for arguing about endangerment when the charge was cruelty, but if the prosecution argued the “willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered” clause then maybe Tang’s defense was a response to that.

    How much do we know about what the prosecution actually contended? I don’t suppose there’s a link to the trial transcript …

  38. theresa April 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

    I think despite him telling the government to mind their own beeswax. Well the government won’t take that laying down. I think if the most likely next step are either cps or jail or both. The government has a how dare you argue with us idea and it very hard to get them off their high horses. He might want reconsider getting a lawyer because they are only ones to more than half a chance to convince of anything. I wish him lots of luck.

  39. JJ April 13, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

    I don’t think it matters that “Mr. Tang threatened him with homelessness”. The net effect of the punishment was that he had to walk a mile home. I can’t figure out if his conviction was based on people thinking the act = punishment situation was too weird or because they think the walk home was too dangerous.

    It is not a punishment I would have chosen and in fact the reason he cites for the punishment wouldn’t have even made a blip on my own parenting screen. But we don’t always make the most perfect-world decisions including what particular punishment to dole out because its often spur of the moment. We can’t expect parents to be perfect and we can’t expect that every decision one parent makes will match what everyone else would do in the same situation.

    I think Mr. Tang’s recent actions are going to hurt him, but at the same time, I admire the heck out of them and wish him the best. Like the gentleman who refused to “volunteer” his seat on the United flight, sometimes somebody has to refuse to comply with abusive power in order to shine a light on injustice.

  40. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

    “If we are not allowed to voice an opinion on an adjudicated matter, then why are you doing so?”

    No one said you can’t voice an opinion. Just do so knowing that you do so without access to the facts of the case, which the jury had. The people who did have access to the facts of the case all agreed that Mr. Tang was cruel to his son. That’s what he was convicted of, that’s what he’s supposed to serve his punishment for. If he wants to make himself out like some kind of martyr, okay, but the next step, as James Pollock said yesterday, is to show up for trash duty.

    As for the other stuff (especially the stuff about spanking), that has been in response to other posts. It was Jennifer C who brought up spanking.

  41. James Pollock April 13, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Funny thing.

    In all the fuss over this, and all the time Mr. Tang has chosen to interact with critics (including but not limited to myself) here, NOT ONCE has he talked about his son.

    Did this punishment work? How is the kid doing? NOT A WORD.

    Not “I’d do it again, because it worked, when nothing else did.” But rather “I’d do it again, because I’ll do anything in my power to defy you.”

    “We need to get past the logic that ‘most people wouldn’t do that’ = “’hat is a crime.'”

    Who, exactly, is currently stuck applying that logic?

    You’ve decided “hey, that punishment wasn’t that big a deal!” from your nice, safe distance. But the cop who rolled up on Isaac Tang saw how much distress the kid was in, and we didn’t. The jury saw all the evidence (well, Mr. Tang didn’t bother to present any relevant evidence, attempting to substitute bombast, but I specifically asked about it, and he declined here, as well.)
    The fact is, reasonably disciplining your child is one of the defenses available for that particular offense. Of course, “reasonable” means “most people would think that was acceptable and “UNreasonable” means “most people wouldn’t think that was acceptable”, which is close to your “most people wouldn’t do that”. But what is “reasonable” is a standard that depends highly on context.
    For example, is it OK to tackle a kid and throw them on the ground for not doing what you told them to do? Usually, you’d say “no”, but you might say “yes” if the kid is small one, and the “what you told them to do” was to not walk out into traffic, or you might say “yes” if what the kid was refusing to do was to put down the gun.
    Is it OK to knock out a kid and cut them with a knife? Maybe… are you talking about surgery? Or something else?

    Is it OK to make a kid think you’re going to make him homeless? Not just telling him that, but taking him out of the home, down to where the homeless folks are, and then forcing him out of the car? If so, under what circumstances?
    OK, Stop. The jury found that this was unwarranted cruelty. Maybe they wouldn’t have, had they been offered evidence that showed otherwise.

    But can we PLEASE stop treating being borderline cruel to your kids is somehow akin to encouraging them to be self-sufficient, self-confident, and explorative?
    Because, we haven’t heard anything at all about young Isaac after this event. Is there anyone who believes that, following this experience, he was eager to explore the world outside his home? Mr. Tang’s actions are pretty much what I’d do if I were trying to accomplish exactly the opposite of FRK ideals.

  42. SKL April 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    Dienne, the whole point of this page is that public opinion is getting poisoned to the point where police, judges, juries, and the court of public opinion are making irrational judgments.

    Just because this happened in court does not mean it was insulated from this trend. There have been many other cases where similar has happened.

    True, I wasn’t in the trial to hear all the evidence. Were you? If not, your assumption that the deciders were rational is no more valid than anything I’ve said.

    There may be more to the story – there often is. In this case, I am going based on what has been reported here so far. If you find that there is additional evidence that, for example, multiple witnesses showed up in court to tell about a history of cruel parenting decisions that this guy has made, post it here and it might change my opinion.

  43. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    SKL – All I can say (after everything I’ve already said), is read James Pollock’s post above yours. Once again, he said it better than I did. Everyone seems to be arguing about Mr. Tang’s rights, yet what seems to have gotten lost is Mr. Tang’s son.

  44. James Pollock April 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    “Remember that program “scared straight”? Is that still done these days?”

    That’s a program for middle-teens who’ve had repeated run-ins with the law.

    So, if you’re concerned that your middle-teen, who’s had multiple run-ins with the law, is headed for prison, and so you sign them up for a “scared straight” program, that would be “justified” mental suffering.

    On the other hand, if you have an 8-year-old who won’t make their bed properly in the morning, signing them up for a “scared straight” program is very likely “unjustified”.

    If you have an 8-year-old who won’t make their bed in the morning, telling them they can’t have a piece of cake after dinner, probably “justified”

    “Justified” means that it’s a measured response to a child who needs discipline, appropriate in scale and magnitude to the offense that creates a need for it. So… would anyone say that I’m “justified” in pulling out several of my child’s permanent teeth because they brushed for only 1:45 instead of the full 2 minutes they’ve been told to?

    How about this one… my kid won’t clean her room, so, on garbage day, I go down five blocks of my street, take all the garbage cans my neighbors have set out and dump them out in my daughter’s room. Or, she makes the mistake of talking to a boy I don’t approve of at school, so I withdraw her from school and don’t let her leave the house again for 4 years. Or… she gets raped, and becomes pregnant as a result. So I have no choice at all but to kill her and the unborn baby, to protect my family’s honor.

    Yes, these are all deliberately extreme examples. “Of course”, you say, “those are totally unjustified, and ‘let me raise my child as I see fit’ does not cover cases like that”. True enough, but you’ve just conceded that there IS a line between “stuff that’s OK for parents to do” and “stuff that’s not OK for parents to do”. Well, the jury looked at Mr. Tang’s choice(s) and decided “wrong side of the line”. Some commenters here agree, and some do not. But it’s important to remember that ONLY Mr. Tang’s side has been heard from in this forum.

  45. Denise April 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    I am officially removing this site from the blogs I read. Not because I don’t find Lenore interesting, but because the site is populated with folks constantly debating each other. You folks need to get a life.

  46. Yocheved April 13, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    If i may paraphrase Voltaire, “I may not agree with his style of parenting, but he should defend to the death his right to parent!”

    My foster mom locked the front door at midnight, sharp. We all knew that unless we wanted to sleep on the back porch, we had better be home by curfew. No exceptions, even in the pouring rain.

    She was a wonderful lady, with a house full of at risk girls, and she knew exactly what she was doing. She was tough but fair, and we all loved and respected her for it.

    Today, they’d probably throw her in jail and take away her foster license. I’m happy for her sake that she’s retired now.

  47. theresa April 13, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    One the kid saying dad was going to make him homeless was probably a misunderstanding on the kid part. Kids don’t think the same way someone older does. And loads of kids cry when they are punish. I did when I was little. Cops always got be the boss. Remember the kids who got grab for the crime of walking home from the park without parents.

  48. test April 13, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    I would point out that if the accusation is “too cruel mentally against child” and your argument is that “this was not cruel mentally and definitely not too much cruel mentally” then such argument needs to be made (applies especially in court). This dad seems to be constantly changing topic and arguing that “it was not dangerous”. I do not know whether he is not listening to what everyone around him says or willingly ignores it.

    It would be cool if courts could magically see through that and make his defense for him. That is not how it works, not in adversarial court system and I would even argue that it is not possible. If you refuse to hire layer because you assume them all corrupt and then keep arguing against points nobody is making and keep ignoring points your opposition is making, then you will loose.

    I would not do this and the more the dads talk the more I understand how he got himself into trouble. I don’t really think what he did should be illegal even through I think it was not good parenting. None of that matters, because somebody would need to make right arguments in court to remotely test where exactly line is. What happened is an instance of somebody not really defending himself against charge and then loosing.

  49. Jennifer C April 13, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    @Denise Folks constantly debating one another is a bad thing? I would consider that a positive.

  50. Jessica April 13, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    Dienne–
    The question of how “well hung” Mr Tang is really made me giggle.

  51. Jason April 13, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

    Somehow I picture many of these comments showing up elsewhere under the heading of “Here’s what the free range kids movement is all about…”

    And, sadly, it appears that is correct for a number of adherents.

  52. NY Mom April 13, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

    In today’s America, people of quality do not walk. They drive or are driven.
    They take Uber or Lyft.
    They have chauffeurs for their limos.
    Rolls and Jaguars.
    Their children live in golden towers and attend private schools with other children of privilege.
    Their parents run the government and the police force and the prisons and are very rich and are exempt from taxes and are above the law.
    These superior people decide how the rest of us raise our kids.

    Push back while you still can.

    Cheers for Mike Tang.

  53. Papilio April 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    “I don’t see how [an average sized 8yo] could reach the pedals and still see over the dashboard, even in a small car.”

    I wondered the same thing – how did he reach the pedals?? (Also, I suspect he would never have managed this with a stickshift.)

  54. NY Mom April 13, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

    Why can’t a child of eight walk a mile?
    We didn’t have school buses when I was a kid and lots of us walked miles through trafficky areas.

    How about Tiger Moms?
    The goal is to produce tough, resilient, competent children able to survive in a world where the cards are stacked against them.
    (Unless they are upper middle class and white the cards are so stacked.)

    To level the playing field, caring parents must devise strategies to teach their kids self motivation.
    So many of the opiate suicides among the youngest of the Baby Boom Generation in the so-called Rust Belt are attributed to “failed expectations”!
    Why didn’t they do something? Move on to greener pastures?

    My ancestors have been in this country for twelve generations, every generation dying farther West. They moved for jobs. They walked when they couldn’t get rides.
    They crossed mountains and forded rivers.

    What is a mile?

  55. DH April 13, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

    @Jennifer C. There are 54 comments and 28 are by the same two folks. Get the picture???

  56. Emily April 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    >>While Mr. Tang does not exactly have a winning personality, I’m not sure how ‘cruel’ this actually was. He was apparently trying to teach his son that if you take shortcuts in your homework (such as reading an easy book for a report) you might not end up being successful in life. And while that may not be a method that I would personally choose, I think child cruelty is stretching it. Growing up, I knew kids who were spanked and grounded if they came home with anything lower than a ‘B’.<<

    Jennifer–this jumped out at me. I think that punishing kids for bad grades, might actually make them LESS likely to do things that challenge them in school. I mean, imagine you're eight years old (I'm choosing this age because the boy in the story is eight), and you're with your class in the school library. Your teacher tells everyone in the class to pick out a book to read, and write a book report on. You can't decide between…….let's say, Anne of Green Gables (I'm choosing this book because I read it for the first time when I was eight), and Insipid Tween Sitcom: The Novel. You think Anne of Green Gables is more interesting, and you almost check it out…..but then you remember how you got spanked for getting a C+ on your last math test. You didn't get a C+ because you slacked off, but you're eight, and long division or fractions or decimals are still new to you, and there's a learning curve. This time, with the book report, you get to decide how difficult you want the assignment to be. Anne of Green Gables has some words and concepts that you don't understand, but Insipid Tween Sitcom: The Novel is pretty straightforward. So, you check out Insipid Tween Sitcom: The Novel, you write the book report, earn at least a B, and move on to the next assignment. Your teacher is happy, and your parents don't spank you, but that all comes at the price of reading a really wonderful book, and really learning something.

  57. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Excellent illustration, Emily. When kids are punished rather than supported (especially when punishments are based on something as arbitrary as grades), they simply become risk averse. The questions in life are no longer things like “what do I want to do with my life?” or “what kind of person do I want to be?” or “what do I want to learn/accomplish?”, but simply, “How the hell do I stay out of trouble?” They learn to take the easy way, even if it’s less intrinsically interesting simply because it’s safe. I’m guessing that’s the lesson Tang Jr. has learned quite well.

  58. James Pollock April 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    “If I have a tree, there’s a slight chance it’ll fall and hit someone’s house. Given my neighborhood it would require a tornado, but that’s still more likely than someone kidnapping my child. If I can be sued for that, the concept of liberty is dead.”

    RIP, concept of liberty. You can, indeed, be sued if your tree injures someone or damages their property. If you live in the city, a city inspector can drop by and give you an order to trim it, too.

    “I also find the idea of prosecuting someone for something some unidentified and purely theoretical other person might do to be deeply disturbing.”

    You’ll find this concept in landlord-tenant law. If the landlord fails to maintain the property in a safe condition (including things like not fixing a broken security door at the entrance) they can be prosecuted. Details vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. There are cases involving inadequate lighting in parking lots, for example.

    “Knowing the law when “I think something bad could happen, so you should be punished” is the law of the land would require mind-reading, something no sane court system can demand. ”

    This will come as a surprise to courts that handle cases of reckless endangerment, reckless driving, driving while impaired, speed racing, various occupational safety laws, and the like are handled. (Sanely).

  59. Jennifer C April 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    @DH, No, I don’t ‘get the picture’. Sorry.

  60. Emily April 13, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    >>Excellent illustration, Emily. When kids are punished rather than supported (especially when punishments are based on something as arbitrary as grades), they simply become risk averse. The questions in life are no longer things like “what do I want to do with my life?” or “what kind of person do I want to be?” or “what do I want to learn/accomplish?”, but simply, “How the hell do I stay out of trouble?” They learn to take the easy way, even if it’s less intrinsically interesting simply because it’s safe. I’m guessing that’s the lesson Tang Jr. has learned quite well.<<

    Exactly. Now, I'm not Mr. Tang, but I can't help but think, is it possible that Isaac chose a book that was too easy, not because he was being willful, but just because he was trying to pick something he KNEW he could do, and miscalculated in the other direction, and ended up choosing a book that was written for readers far below his ability level? For all we know, maybe Isaac was punished for doing poorly on a previous school assignment, and he was simply trying to avoid a repeat of that. I remember, a long time ago, I read a theory of moral development by…..I want to say Vygotsky, but don't quote me…….who postulated that the very first level of moral development was "fear of punishment." Later on, children (hopefully) progress through several other stages, until they finally want to do the right thing, because it's right. But, this is an area where the waters get a bit murky–pick a book for a book report. That's not exactly a "moral" choice, but picking the "wrong" book carries moral consequences. Picking a book that's too easy = punishment for not trying hard enough, and picking a book that's too difficult = possibility of a poor grade = punishment for doing poorly. A child in the "fear of punishment" stage may well try to find a book that's the "correct" level, but it's a bit more complicated and abstract with books. I mean, everyone knows that, in math, we learn addition and subtraction before multiplication and division. We learn to walk before we run, and we learn to jump off the side of the pool before diving off the diving board, but most books aren't clearly labelled as a "grade three book" (or, whatever the reading level is). So, it's easy to get it wrong, especially when you only have eight years of life experience, and might not even be able to articulate what you're looking for, or why. Also, an eight-year-old boy is going to have eight-year-old boy preferences–he might be taken in by a book about baseball or Pokémon or outer space, and not bother to check the reading level of that book.

    Obviously, the "adult" answer (that might not be so obvious to an eight-year-old) is to choose a book that's appropriately challenging (again, abstract concept to a child), and ask for help if it's too difficult, or ask to swap that book for a more challenging one if it's too easy. But, a child who fears being punished for choosing the "wrong" book in the first place, isn't going to feel safe doing that, and that's not a good thing, because in a few years, Isaac is going to be facing decisions that are much more consequential than which book to check out from the library for a book report.

  61. Mya Greene April 13, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    Ironic how many of those who are appalled my the treatment of Mike Tang are equally appalled by the young driver. It shows remarkable inconsistency in the application of moral values. I think this raises an important question about age limits. In this case, he is being socially punished for his birthdate, nothing more. Not reckless driving, not drunk driving. Just age. It is a miracle that no charges were pressed. If there is are tests needed in the first place to get a learner’s permit and then a driver’s license, should age be at all part of the vetting process? The kid’s skill at obeying traffic signals shows that there might be some ( even if it is a small minority ) who are ready earlier than 16. Size obviously doesn’t matter, because adults with dwarfism drive using pedal extenders and booster seats.
    Granted, the kid was not tested on his driving skills before hitting the road unaccompanied, but I think we might need to move more toward a competence based approach toward driving. With all this talk about RAISING the driving age, my first thought is that the driving tests are the problem, letting through unqualified drivers, not age.

  62. SKL April 13, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    Not sure how people have decided that only the cruelty charge was relevant and the safety issue was not.

    I mean, the only witness statement quoted by Lenore was about the cop not allowing his 20yo to walk. That couldn’t be about cruelty, it has to be about safety.

  63. Jennifer C April 13, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    @Emily–Yes, I definitely do see your point, and it’s a good point. I was grounded a few times but not physically punished for bad grades, and it is not a way that I choose to raise my children. However, I’m not so sure that it rises to the level of anything that’s actually criminal–just a very strict parenting style. Maybe my perception is due to the decade I was raised in (’70s-’80s), but there you are.

    Actually, with regards to book reports, I recall several teachers warning students against picking books that were too simple–with several teachers telling students that a report on any book below grade level would receive an automatic ‘F’. This also went for reports that just copied the info inside the dust jacket. Teachers know all the tricks that students used to pull.

  64. SKL April 13, 2017 at 4:19 pm #

    Perhaps we should have a separate discussion about educational philosophies for parents who believe in free-range principles. I think we probably fall along a wide spectrum. I don’t let my kids just do whatever they want when it comes to education. One of my kids has more freedom than the other. My parenting is different from the way I was raised. I do find it an interesting discussion, but I still don’t think any of us has any business weighing in on what is best educationally for Mr. Tang’s son.

  65. Jennifer C April 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm #

    @Emily –Actually, children’s books do have a recommended age/grade level, though I never paid attention to it–I was an early reader and one of those kids who would read anything that happened to be lying around. I later found out that my parents would deliberately leave stuff out just to see what I would read.

  66. hineata April 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

    @Dienne – I don’t remember ever specifying to my kids at age eight that they weren’t allowed to drive. It isn’t something that probably crosses the minds of most urban parents to spell that out. It is well within the realms of the possible that an eight year old who considers that he knows how to drive might take off in a car without thinking that he’s done anything overly naughty.

    In the meantime, outback Australian kids are often taught to drive younger than eight, and Kiwi farm kids are often (illegally till 12 ☺) learning to drive tractors around then. So I am with SKL – this kid’s antics were mostly funny ☺.

    Really, “All’s well that ends well” needs to make a comeback in the Western world.

  67. Emily April 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    @Jennifer C.–I understand teachers penalizing kids (with a failing grade) for reading books below grade level (or for copying), but the “no book reports on books below grade level” rule is irrelevant to a child who reads either above or below grade level. Most beginning novels based on TV shows ARE, in fact, written at about a grade three level (give or take), and so, off I went to the “grade three level” shelf with my grade three class at library time…..but my teacher knew that I was able to read more challenging books, so she recommended Anne of Green Gables, and I read it. It took me a while, and I ran into parts that I didn’t quite understand, but I asked for help on the parts I didn’t understand (pre-Internet, and I didn’t know about Cliff’s/Coles’ Notes yet). Meanwhile, there were barely-literate kids in the class who struggled with “easy readers” that were written at more of a kindergarten or grade one level. Now, this wasn’t for a book report; it was just our regularly-scheduled weekly class trip to the school library, but my point is, a good teacher or parent will know what each child is capable of, and adjust expectations accordingly. As for actually punishing kids for bad grades (let’s say by grounding/taking away electronics, because spanking has fallen out of favour), I agree that that’s not criminal, but it’s certainly not a way to instill a life-long love of learning in a child. Even if the child picks out a book that’s too easy, it might be because that child is genuinely interested in the subject matter. I don’t think that that’s a bad thing in itself.

  68. James Pollock April 13, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    “I mean, the only witness statement quoted by Lenore was about the cop not allowing his 20yo to walk. That couldn’t be about cruelty, it has to be about safety.”

    Back in the original thread, we learned that the judge sustained the prosecutor’s objections over admission of evidence about safety as “irrelevant”. If safety was an element of the crime charged, then evidence as to the actual safety of the streets at that time and place could hardly be irrelevant.

  69. SKL April 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    It’s actually not that shocking that an 8yo drove a car. We see similar in the news from time to time. What’s funny about this is that the kid did it to get a cheeseburger at the drive-thru. 😛 Usually it’s a kid who is running away, or a tot who is just fascinated about cars.

  70. hineata April 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

    As for Mr Tang, for a perspective on his parenting methods, try watching Fresh Off The Boat. Or the many ‘parenting’ videos from teens in Singapore ☺. Hilarious!

    Chinese parents are famous for having very high standards for their children, and for going the extra ‘mile’ (quite literally in this case ☺) to ensure their children reach those standards. Mr Tang has nothing on the parents of my husband’s classmate, who used to beat him and then chain him to the clothesline on results day. Now THAT was abuse.Getting a kid to walk home a mile after a lecture on his possible futures . …not so much.

  71. SKL April 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    OK, so James, you assumed what the charge was based on some pieces of evidence or testimony that the judge decided were irrelevant?

    May be logical, but do you actually *know* what the dad was charged with or not?

  72. hineata April 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    @SKL – yeah, that Maccas will kill you. Should have been driving to the organic wholesalers ☺☺.

  73. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    “this kid’s antics were mostly funny”

    Which is exactly what we’d be saying if this kid lost control and plowed through a crowd of pedestrians or otherwise caused a major wreck – a very, very real possibility. There’s a reason why we have so many restrictions on teen drivers who have been through drivers’ ed and the required parental supervision hours. An eight year old with no training or experience? No, really not funny. Yes, “all’s well that ends well”, I suppose, but I think “grateful” is a better word than “funny”.

  74. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

    “OK, so James, you assumed what the charge was based on some pieces of evidence or testimony that the judge decided were irrelevant?

    May be logical, but do you actually *know* what the dad was charged with or not?”

    Hang on, let me go pop the popcorn. This ought to be entertaining.

  75. SKL April 13, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

    Right Hineata – it’s all about perspective. Cultural and otherwise.

    Maybe this guy does beat his kid, I don’t know, but this mile walk business is pretty tame compared to things I’ve heard of.

  76. Emily April 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    P.S., I forgot to mention, what I meant before was that, while children’s books may be labelled by ability level, most really good, classic literature, isn’t. I read Anne of Green Gables in grade three, but that doesn’t make that book a “grade three book.” Lucy Maud Montgomery wasn’t aiming to write a “grade three book,” or a “grade whatever book”; she was simply telling a story. Books that are written for specific ability levels (rather than simply being written, and assessed for difficulty level later) tend to be formulaic, because there are certain requirements that the author has to fulfill, to tailor that book to the appropriate difficulty level. They might come packaged in something with kid appeal (like, say, a beginning-reader book about Dora and Diego playing a game of soccer), but they’re “packaged” nonetheless, and they’re about as good for the brain, as pre-packaged food is for the body. But, this discussion isn’t primarily about children’s literature, so I’m off-topic.

  77. Jennifer C April 13, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

    I still fail to see how making a child walk a mile to his house constitutes cruelty. Is it unorthodox? Strict? Certainly. But I don’t see how it becomes cruelty. And it’s certainly not endangerment.

  78. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

    It wasn’t walking the mile, it was threatening him with homelessness and then abandoning him to prove it. We all understand that the father meant to teach a lesson that if you don’t work hard, you might end up homeless in the future. But eight year olds are very literal. What the kid probably heard was “See these homeless people? That can be you right now. Let me show you.”

  79. SKL April 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

    Here we go with “abandon” again.

    Dropping off an 8yo 1 mile from home is NOT ABANDONMENT.

    Or please prove it to me if it is. Kuz I do it frequently.

  80. James Pollock April 13, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

    “OK, so James, you assumed what the charge was based on some pieces of evidence or testimony that the judge decided were irrelevant?”

    Yes.

    “May be logical, but do you actually *know* what the dad was charged with or not?”

    Still yes.
    How many more times do you need to see it?

  81. Papilio April 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    So now we’re assuming the poor kid isn’t capable of getting better grades than he did? We’re assuming a lot, it seems to me. We could just as well assume he has an IQ of 115 and his father KNOWS he can do better than the Ds and Fs he was getting now (the Ds and Fs being another assumption. Now that we’re at it.).

  82. Donna April 13, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

    People stop letting this man drag you into his crazy town. He never made the slightest attempt to help himself because he has some belief that the worst this situation gets the more of impact he will make.

    This was a case that was extremely poorly litigated from the beginning. In fact, Mr. Tang has stated previously that he didn’t even care about winning the trial. He doesn’t want to win the appeal. He just wants to blow things up. We can make no determination as to whether these cops, prosecutors or jury would have made the same decisions if they had dealt with a sane, rational person who presented a coherent and on-point statement as to why he made the choices he made.

    Arguing in circles when the only person we are getting any facts from is a person who has proven to be completely irrational about this subject – Mr. Tang – is ridiculous.

  83. Papilio April 13, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    @Mya Green: You cannot be serious. I don’t even know what to say.
    Just because this particular kid managed to drive a mile without actual accidents, doesn’t mean it was safe for him (or his sister, or anyone walking or cycling on those streets) to do so. Maybe it was quiet on the road in that part of town at that time of day. Maybe there were no pedestrians in that area.
    The fact is that the responsibility of driving safely is too much for many adults, already (given how many vulnerable road users die because drivers were speeding, running red lights, not looking properly when turning, looking at their phone, etc), and you think it’s okay to trust an 8-year-old with the lives of other people as well as his own? Seriously?

  84. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 7:07 pm #

    “So now we’re assuming the poor kid isn’t capable of getting better grades than he did?”

    Who’s assuming that? One speculation is that the kid chooses “baby” books because he’s a struggling reader. Maybe he is, maybe he’s not. But if he is, how is punishing him going to help? For that matter, if he’s not, how is punishing him going to help? Especially when punishment means, in this case, threatening him with homelessness.

    If he is struggling, then get him the help he needs. If he’s just a reluctant reader, figure out why – are the books he’s allowed to choose from boring? Would he be more interested in graphic novels or some other form of literature? But in any case, people, including and especially kids, respond best to being understood and worked with respectfully, not controlled and done to. Unless Mr. Tang’s sole goal in raising his son is to teach him who’s boss, he should really look at other means of accomplishing his parenting goals.

    Sadly, though, based on what we’ve seen of Mr. Tang here, patiently working with a struggling and/or recalcitrant kid just doesn’t seem likely.

  85. Jennifer C April 13, 2017 at 7:19 pm #

    Unless he told him not to bother coming home or said that he wasn’t going to let him in the house, I don’t see how he’s abandoning him or threatening him with homelessness.

  86. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    I think the jury disagreed with you. That’s why they convicted him.

  87. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    From the original article: “So to put the fear of failure into his son, Tang drove him to the local shopping plaza at around 7:40 pm and showed him, “This is where homeless people sleep.” (There were no actual homeless people present.) Mike then told the boy that he had to walk home, which was about a mile, along the same route that he walks to school. And off dad drove.”

    I think from an eight year old’s point of view, that would constitute being threatened with homelessness. Why else would Dad tell me this is where the homeless people sleep and then make me get out of the car here?

  88. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    From the original article: “So to put the fear of failure into his son, Tang drove him to the local shopping plaza at around 7:40 pm and showed him, “This is where homeless people sleep.” (There were no actual homeless people present.) Mike then told the boy that he had to walk home, which was about a mile, along the same route that he walks to school. And off dad drove.”

  89. theresa April 13, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

    To all those who think that they wouldn’t have found him guilty if he wasn’t wrong. Get real. This is the age where we punish parents for letting their kids escape . if we didn’t punish parents for not being perfect then this state might not need to exist.

  90. pentamom April 13, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

    “I think the jury disagreed with you. That’s why they convicted him.”

    Yes, Dienne, everyone who is disagreeing with the jury is aware they’re disagreeing with the jury.

    And they disagree. Simply stating that neither adds information nor changes anyone’s opinion.

  91. pentamom April 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

    “I think from an eight year old’s point of view, that would constitute being threatened with homelessness. Why else would Dad tell me this is where the homeless people sleep and then make me get out of the car here?”

    Except for the part where Dad tells him to walk HOME. You know, as in HOME, where he has a HOME, where Dad TELLS him to go?

    He was warning him of the potential long-term consequences of his actions, not threatening to MAKE him homeless.

  92. Donna April 13, 2017 at 9:17 pm #

    “Yes, Dienne, everyone who is disagreeing with the jury is aware they’re disagreeing with the jury.

    And they disagree. Simply stating that neither adds information nor changes anyone’s opinion.”

    I find it amusing that you believe that your disagreement with the jury has any validity whatsoever. The jury actually made its decision after hearing ALL the evidence, while you have formed your opinion based on a few pieces of information provided by the accused.

    As someone who deals regularly with criminal defendants, I assure you that their version of the evidence almost never matches the actual evidence. In fact, they generally insist that there is no evidence against them despite the fact that there were 25 eyewitnesses, they left their DNA behind and the whole thing was on video. For example, I spent part of my day answering a bar complaint from a client insisting that I forced him into pleading to a crime he didn’t commit, although he was clearly involved per the recording of the crime and I wasn’t even the attorney who represented him during the plea.

  93. theresa April 13, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

    The fact is the cop decided despite the fact that there is probably no law that says you can’t make your kid walk a mile to punish them. Cops do stuff like all the time. If a cop says you’re guilty well you must be.

  94. donald April 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm #

    I’ve had a few episodes. One time:

    My car broke down and I was stranded without any money
    I lived with a rude roommate that played loud music until 3 am
    I had a boss that bullied most all the employees so that he could feel superior.
    I had a financial setback and couldn’t pay my rent.
    I moved. During the move, it started raining. All of my furniture got ruined.

    These are common adult problems. Children will also face situations like this when they become adults. THIS WILL HAPPEN WHETHER THEY ARE PREPARED FOR IT OR NOT! It’s short sighted to keep a child from learning about life. I don’t believe it was ‘cruel’ to make the child walk home past homeless people.

    What I think is cruel is to force children into adulthood without letting them practice with smaller problems first.

  95. donald April 13, 2017 at 11:55 pm #

    I don’t believe that a teen is a child. He’s a young adult. Tang’s son is not a teen, but he’s not far off.

    “I think from an eight-year old’s point of view, that would constitute being threatened with homelessness.”

    I disagree. In fact, I disagree so much that I would consider it as ‘walking on eggs’ around their feelings. People don’t do this to adults. I think that many people forget that a parent’s job is to help children get ready for adulthood.

  96. Donna April 14, 2017 at 8:11 am #

    “Tang’s son is not a teen, but he’s not far off.”

    Do you have children? There are MILES between 8 and teenager. Their brains aren’t even organized the same way. An 8 year old should not be treated as a small teenager or a small adult. A teenager should not be treated as an adult. Brain composition and functioning changes dramatically from childhood through the teenage years and into adulthood.

    That doesn’t mean that I think an 8 year old would automatically feel abandoned in this situation. That is going to depend highly on the individual child. My kid would be devastated if I did something like this. I doubt that her best friend would care one bit.

    “People don’t do this to adults. I think that many people forget that a parent’s job is to help children get ready for adulthood.”

    Children are not adults. A parent’s job is to help children get ready for adulthood, not treat them as adults 10 years before they are ready to be there. 10 years is more than half the maturity to adult. To expect a child to function, feel and respond as an adult when they are less than half way there is ridiculous.

  97. SKL April 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    I understand the arguments about this guy’s choices re representing himself etc. From a practical perspective, I would not have done what he did. Just like I don’t do a lot of things I should be allowed to do, because I’m my kid’s only parent and I can’t afford to be separated from my kids over something stupid.

    But on the other hand, I don’t like the attitude that it’s on him to pay an attorney when the cops overstep. I know that’s how it works, but that doesn’t make it fair or right. If he speaks out against that attitude, that doesn’t make him a jerk. Most parents can’t easily afford to pay a lawyer to fight an injustice that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. This guy probably can, but I can understand his wanting to protest the unfairness of this situation that happens to all kinds of parents.

  98. theresa April 14, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

    Skl that is unfortunately how the world works. Idiots got the power. So a lawyer may be a necessary thing even when we hate it.

  99. Donna April 14, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    SKL –

    First, you have absolutely no idea whatsoever whether the police overstepped. You have nothing more than a criminal defendant stating that he was wrongly arrested. 99.9% of my criminal clients will also tell you that they have been wrongly arrested. They will give you extensive details as to why they were wrongly arrested and you would be completely outraged in their favor … right up until you talked to the other people in the case and got the full facts at which point their guilt is very evident.

    Second, such is life. My insuramce sucks and I can’t particularly afford to pay to set a broken wrist. I would however suck it up and pay for the orthopedic doctor to set the wrist because I accept that I am not trained to set a wrist. And I definitely wouldnt choose not to go to a doctor, set the bone myself, completely screw it up, continue to screw it up as much possible thereafter and blame everyone else for her increasingly mangled wrist.

    And Mr Tang has made it very clear that it was an arrogance issue that resulted in his lack of attorney, not a money issue.

  100. John B. April 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

    “The jury actually made its decision after hearing ALL the evidence”

    It doesn’t mean the jury was correct and I think that is what we’re all debating here. A few short weeks ago, there was an article on this site about parents who were convicted of child neglect by a jury because in the middle of the night while a 14-year-old girl was babysitting their 3-year-old, the kid snuck out of the house and was found walking down a highway while the girl was sound asleep (It was in the middle of the night). A jury found the parents neglectful because they left their child alone with a 14-year-old.

    But the state of Maryland (think it was Maryland) reversed the verdict and acquitted the parents saying that the jury did not consider hindsight in this matter. The state said that leaving a 3-year-old in the presence of a 14-year-old was not unreasonable (14-year-old girls, and boys for that matter, have been babysitting toddlers for centuries) and that the kid sneaking off in the middle of the night was not something they could have predicted.

    Now granted, the jury in the Michael Tang case obviously was afforded more evidence than what we’re seeing here but they very well could have convicted him based on a police officer’s loony opinion and not the actual evidence and perspective of this case. I can’t say that for sure but it wouldn’t surprise me mainly because a child was involved.

    “I may not agree with his style of parenting, but he should defend to the death his right to parent!”

    BINGO!

  101. Dienne April 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    ““I may not agree with his style of parenting, but he should defend to the death his right to parent!””

    Right. Back in December my daughter spilled spaghetti sauce on her shirt. I made her strip naked and stand in the snow for six hours.* Can you believe some nosy buttinsky called the cops on me?!

    Okay, so do you now agree that perhaps there *should* be some limits on “parenting”? And who should decide those limits? Perhaps the law, as enforced by the police and prosecuted by the prosecutor as judged by a judge and/or jury? And isn’t that what happened in this case? The cops, the prosecutor, the judge and the jury, all of whom had more information than we have, all unanimously decided that Mr. Tang’s actions were on the wrong side of the limits of parenting. Unless you have actual facts to back yourself up, I’m not sure what business you have saying they were all wrong considering you don’t have access to the information they did.

    *In case it’s not obvious, no, I didn’t really.

  102. James Pollock April 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

    “It doesn’t mean the jury was correct and I think that is what we’re all debating here.”
    This is true. The jury system is the best available, but it is not perfect, and sometimes, mistakes are made.

    Has anyone brought up any evidence that THIS particular jury was NOT correct? (Note: “I don’t like the verdict” is not evidence that the jury got it wrong… it’s far more likely a sign that the jurors knew something that you do not.)

    Show me something that shows that the jury got it wrong, and I’ll consider it.
    Keep saying “well, they COULD be wrong” WITHOUT any evidence that they in fact ARE wrong, and that’s a different story.

    Some other things that are NOT evidence that the jury got this one wrong:
    They didn’t like him.
    We used to walk home by ourselves all the time.
    My kid walks home alone all the time.
    It wasn’t even curfew yet!
    Officer Knucklehead is overprotective of his adult daughter.

    The Metievs were free-range parents oppressed by an unjust system. This guy keeps shooting at his own foot, and then blames everyone else BUT NOT himself for the resultant limp.

  103. test April 14, 2017 at 3:12 pm #

    @donna @sl I see all that as a major reason not to call cops. Justice is expensive, process itself is punishing and you are in practice presumed guilty by most players anyway.

    As I said, I don’t agree with this father actions and think he handled case badly. However, whoever calls cops puts target into “needs to pay a lot to be treated fairly” situation. E.g. one should think twice before calling.

  104. test April 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    @James Pollock opinion of lawyer seems to be that father defended himself poorly and someone with nicer personality and better skills could end up much better. Adversarial system is not fair when your defense sux and even you said som

    Which means that it is perfectly likely there was not as much cruelty and that large part of punishment is for personality (not act itself).

  105. pentamom April 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    “I find it amusing that you believe that your disagreement with the jury has any validity whatsoever.”

    I find it amusing that you assumed that I disagree with the jury, when that was nowhere stated in my comment. I also find it interesting that you seem to assume that juries are always made up completely of rational people who 100% decide on the facts and that therefore, since the jury has the facts, no one could possibly have any rational grounds to disagree with a verdict. Or with the law that they used to arrive at the verdict.

  106. hineata April 14, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    @Dienne – and therein lies the problem. You’re taking both of these issues much too seriously.

    In no way could the boy who drove the car have been stopped prior to having driven the car, because who in the world would have guessed he was going to do it? And what do we do about it now? Jump up and down and wring our hands and start actively telling 8 year olds that they cannot drive? You can if you want. I’m going to have a laugh about it and carry on, because all IS well that ends well, so let’s laugh and move on.

    About Mr Tang, he sounds like a momentous jerk, but he also isn’t actively abusing his child, and who are you to analyze his method in this case? You seriously need some perspective on this. Sounds like you are trying to tell minorities that their methods aren’t yours so they aren’t good enough. Well, frankly, bugger that.

    And as the famous Aperehama Tipae would write: That is all.

  107. SKL April 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    Donna, you are right, I don’t know with 100% certainly that the cop overstepped.

    I’m just assuming that based on the fact that he said, in court, under oath, that he wouldn’t “let” his 20-year-old daughter take that walk.

    Now if I were on the jury and did not know the area (not sure if that is true of the jury or not), I would take that to mean the dad made his son walk through Hell’s Kitchen on rumble night. And that would influence my opinion.

  108. James Pollock April 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    “@James Pollock opinion of lawyer seems to be that father defended himself poorly and someone with nicer personality and better skills could end up much better. Adversarial system is not fair when your defense sux and even you said so”

    I hope it’s not all that controversial an opinion that hiring someone whose job it is to defend people accused of crimes is a better choice than using an utter amateur, or that having someone emotionally involved handling the case is less likely to produce desirable results than having someone objective do it.

    That said, even the best lawyer SHOULD lose when the client is actually guilty, right? That is the desired outcome of everyone but the criminal who hoped to get away with it? Mr. Tang says he did it. He even says he’d do it again.

    As to having the system be “not fair”… if you choose not to mount a defense, later complaining how the trial was “rigged” is a bit… deceptive, isn’t it? It’d be like the 1919 White Sox complaining that the World Series was rigged….

    “Which means that it is perfectly likely there was not as much cruelty and that large part of punishment is for personality (not act itself)”

    This word, “likely”… do you know what it means?
    It is perfectly likely that there was cruelty, and the jury saw evidence of it, and decided to punish it.
    Mr. Tang has literally NEVER said there was no cruelty… rather, his argument was and is that it is his right to be cruel to his son.

    (By any chance, were you aware that if a jury votes to convict because they just don’t like the defendant, but there’s not enough evidence to support a conviction, the judge will issue an acquittal despite a jury vote to acquit? Did you know this? The technical term for this is “JNOV”.)

    You can choose to believe that A) the cops decided to arrest despite little to no evidence of cruelty being present AND B) the prosecutor decided to pursue the case despite little to no evidence of cruelty being present AND C) the jury voted to convict despite little to no evidence of cruelty being present AND D) the judge allowed the verdict to stand despite little to no evidence of cruelty being present.
    Note that A) requires collusion amngst the 4 police cars’ worth of cops who were on the scene, and B) requires a grand jury buying into the prosecution. Oh, and the prosecutor at step B) would have been making this determination before meeting the defendant, so you’re REALLY going to have to want to believe, in order to decide that step B was caused by the defendant’s personality.
    Cops have a good reason to let something that is borderline slide… if they make an arrest, they have paperwork; if they let it go with a warning, much less paperwork. Prosecutors have a good reason not to push a case that lacks evidence; prosecutor’s job performance reviews feature a key measurable… conviction rate… which goes down if they push cases based on personal animosity rather than on evidence of guilt. Judges don’t like being overruled by appeals courts. We have all these things in place to keep a person from being convicted based on their unpopularity rather than their guilt. But, says you, it is LIKELY that all of these unlikely things happened.

    Right.

    I think it is LIKELY that Mr. Tang didn’t build up any goodwill, or earn himself any breaks, with his personality. That’s a LOT different from saying that it’s LIKELY all these different people colluded to single out Mr. Tang for undue punishment just because they think he’s an asshole.

    No, what is LIKELY is that the guy punished his child in a way that was obviously cruel to the people who knew the details… the “busybody” who called the cops, the cops who responded, the prosecutor who reviewed the facts and decided to charge, the jury, and the judge who oversaw the case. That’s what is “LIKELY”.

    OK, back to the first point.
    When you choose to use an affirmative defense (which is, ultimately, what Mr. Tang’s line of argument amounts to), the burden of proof shifts to you to prove it. The state has to prove you did it; an affirmative defense is “yeah, I did it, but there’s a legal reason why it should be excused in this particular case.” The affirmative defense most people are aware of is self-defense, but in this particular crime the affirmative defense is “reasonable parental discipline”.

    So… compare these two possible approaches to proving that, although the discipline applied might look like cruelty to an outsider, it’s actually reasonable because:

    A) Fuck you. Who are you to tell me how to discipline my child? It’s my right to discipline my child in any way I see fit. (Implied: Any discipline I choose is “reasonable” because I chose it.)
    -or-
    B) This discipline was reasonable because I needed to correct this behavior (details). I’ve tried (previous discipline attempts) with these results (bad or inadequate results). I also considered (alternatives), but didn’t like any of those because (reasons).

    It’s fairly obvious that B has a better chance of convincing jurors that the discipline applied is not unjustifiably cruel, but rather, is a measured and considered response to the child’s misbehavior.

    Mr. Tang, however, chose (and sticks with) A). You can look at that and say “the jury didn’t like him because he’s abrasive”, and that’s probably true (both halves of it). But the fact is, A) does nothing whatsoever to prove what Mr. Tang needed to prove to escape conviction. It was HIS OWN CHOICE.

  109. donald April 14, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

    Kids rise to your expectations. However, they also lower to your expectations. How you treat them has a big influence on what the believe they are capable of doing.

    “Their brains aren’t even organized the same way. An 8-year-old should not be treated as a small teenager or a small adult. A teenager should not be treated as an adult.”

    We agree on that and that’s why I don’t treat an 8-year-old as an adult. I don’t treat them like a 4-year-old either. I see far too many 18-year-olds today that act like they are 14. They will have a steep learning curve. The ‘learning ramp’ was set too shallow for them and it will become very steep. This is what I meant when I said, “What I think is cruel is to force children into adulthood without letting them practice with smaller problems first”.

    I was a telephone concilor for a crises hotline. Many problems develop because of this ‘learning ramp’ suddenly becomes steep. However, I agree with you not to set it to steep at too early of an age.

    “That doesn’t mean that I think an 8 year old would automatically feel abandoned in this situation. That is going to depend highly on the individual child. My kid would be devastated if I did something like this. I doubt that her best friend would care one bit.”

    I have 2 kids. One would not care either. The other would be upset but not devastated. I acknowledge that kids are different. I also stand by my point that kids rise or lower to your expectations. This is why I believe that parents often hurt their children when they smother them with too much protection.

    “That doesn’t mean that I think an 8 year old would automatically feel abandoned in this situation. That is going to depend highly on the individual child. My kid would be devastated if I did something like this. I doubt that her best friend would care one bit.”

    I have 2 kids. One would not care either. The other would be upset but not devastated. I acknowledge that kids are different. I also stand by my point that kids rise or lower to your expectations. This is why I believe that parents often hurt their children when they smother them with too much protection.

  110. SKL April 14, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    I was doing a little research yesterday and found that a cop in that same county was arrested for beating up his minor son, in public, over a minor car accident on his property. The beating included not only hitting and knocking him down, but jumping on his rib cage with his knee, knowing his rib cage was already injured. Someone called 911 because the teen was having a lot of trouble breathing. There were 5 witnesses to the physical assault, but the dad was not arrested until months later. He was charged with a felony, but got off with only a misdemeanor – the exact same level of offense that Mr. Tang has been convicted of.

    So, a little perpsective. Dad gives naughty 8yo a tongue-lashing and makes him walk a mile = dad (who happens to be a cop) assaults son enough to put him in hospital.

    I know, some of you will say that’s perfectly understandable since the cop presumably had a lawyer and Mr. Tang did not.

  111. donald April 14, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

    lol oops The end bit got copied and pasted twice

  112. Donna April 14, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    “I’m just assuming that based on the fact that he said, in court, under oath, that he wouldn’t “let” his 20-year-old daughter take that walk.”

    You also only know that through information provided by the the defendant. That may be a direct quote. That may not be a direct quote. That may have been a direct quote taken completely out of context and if heard in conjunction with the other testimony it is clear that the officer doesn’t truly believe that a 20 year old can’t take that walk.

    See my clients do that all the time too. They have a tendency to hear what they want to hear. One of their favorite games to play with me is to take a couple words that someone said completely out of context, twist them in their favor and then spend months arguing with me about what was actually said.

  113. BL April 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm #

    @Donna
    “You also only know that through information provided by the the defendant. That may be a direct quote. That may not be a direct quote.”

    Uh, no. That’s from a court transcript obtained by reason.com. It would be helpful if we could see the whole transcript for ourselves, obviously. But we’re not *entirely* dependent on Mr. Tang for info:

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/01/13/court-sentences-dad-to-hard-labor-for-ma

  114. common sense April 14, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

    dienne if you’re going to equate walking 1 mile [NOT a long distance,even for an eight year old] being as bad as standing naked in the snow for hours[ yes I am aware you aren’t serious] you might want to come down out if orbit and back to reality. there are degrees of punishment as you just pointed out and I don’t think this crossed the line into cruelty or endangerment or whatever. and yes NONE of us know all the facts, we are all inferring what we will from this. and yes juries vote to convict on emotional basises even though they should just judge the facts, and yes a good percentage of officers[not the majority] are self righteous bullies who live to make life miserable for those who “cross” them, even though in a perfect world they would be impartial. does the dad come across as a jerk? yes. does that make him an abuser? no. until one of us goes out to interview the dad, the kid the arresting officer and the judge all opinions are just that. don’t resort to unrealistic comparisons claiming they are equal.

  115. James Pollock April 14, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    ““You also only know that through information provided by the the defendant. That may be a direct quote. That may not be a direct quote.”

    Uh, no. That’s from a court transcript obtained by reason.com.”

    Obtained from…

  116. SilasJ April 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

    Dienne STFU you stupid moron. Good Lord you’re an idiot.

  117. BL April 14, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    @James Pollock
    “Obtained from…”

    I’m guessing court transcripts are obtained from courts. I could be wrong, but it’s the first place I’d look.

    Ask Lenore. She wrote the article in reason. I’ve found she responds to emails.

  118. BL April 14, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    @SilasJ
    “Dienne STFU you stupid moron. Good Lord you’re an idiot.”

    And someone named Denise stopped reading this blog because there was too much debating.

    Maybe she’ll hear that we now call people idiots and morons and come back!

  119. Donna April 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm #

    “I also find it interesting that you seem to assume that juries are always made up completely of rational people who 100% decide on the facts and that therefore, since the jury has the facts, no one could possibly have any rational grounds to disagree with a verdict.”

    I have absolutely no idea why you would assume such a thing. I simply stated that knowing an extremely limited portion of the facts hand-selected and skewed by the loser of a trial to show you that he has been wronged by the system does not put you in a position to have a rational grounds to disagree with a verdict. Now if you know the facts from both sides of the case that is a different story. Or even if you disagree based on what the WINNING party presents as the facts.

    That said, yes, juries are generally made up of rational people, dedicated to following the law and doing what is right in the situation. But rational is not defined as “people who agree with me” and rational minds can greatly differ. Each jury member brings his/her own biases, prejudices, beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions with him/her into the trial and the jury room. That is why going to trial is risky and I often caution people here from taking the stance that everyone just needs to go to trial.

  120. SKL April 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    Well the children of hard-headed people deserve the same amount of rationality in the justice system as the children of complacent people.

    I find it easy to believe that this “incident” was blown out of proportion and wrongly escalated, because that has happened to me personally. And you won’t easily find a more quiet and mousy person “in real life” than me. I am not running around butting heads with cops or trying to change the world. I just want to be left alone. But people don’t leave parents alone to provide their kids with the parenting they individually need, and that is the whole point here.

  121. Donna April 14, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

    “Uh, no. That’s from a court transcript obtained by reason.com.”

    IF, and that is a big if, reason.com actually has the entire transcript, from whom did they get it? Did they get it from the court or did they get it from Mr. Tang? My guess is that later as transcripts for trials are not cheap and I don’t see Lenore forking out $400-500 for this. (Actually I doubt that they have the entire transcript at all and instead just have snippets provided by Mr. Tang).

    And what information don’t we have? This trial likely lasted at least a couple hours and the reason article contains what would amount to 5 minutes of testimony, most of which is single sentences or small portions taken out their context.

  122. Donna April 14, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

    “But people don’t leave parents alone to provide their kids with the parenting they individually need, and that is the whole point here.”

    Actually most people do in fact leave parents alone to provide their kids with the parenting that individually need. The belief that cops are arresting parents left and right for parenting decisions is as overstated as the belief that kids are being kidnapped left and right. Both happen, but neither are happening at a massive rate.

  123. BL April 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

    @Donna
    “My guess is that later as transcripts for trials are not cheap and I don’t see Lenore forking out $400-500 for this.”

    Lenore regularly writes for reason.com, and mightn’t they pay the costs of covering a story?

    Lenore’s been a professional journalist for decades. Give her some credit. I don’t think she’s passing off Mike Tang’s self-serving quotes as a court transcript.

  124. Donna April 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    “I know, some of you will say that’s perfectly understandable since the cop presumably had a lawyer and Mr. Tang did not.”

    Well that is certainly one reason. There are a myriad of other reasons as to why this would have occurred. The most obvious one is that cop benefited from being a cop. The world is far from perfect and people are treated differently based on their status.

    But trials are not just a matter of facts and what we would all like to see occur in a vacuum. MANY, MANY things come into play that lead to less than just resolutions that have nothing to do with facts or lawyers or bias or status.

  125. Donna April 14, 2017 at 7:01 pm #

    “Lenore regularly writes for reason.com, and mightn’t they pay the costs of covering a story?”

    A free internet news source for an opinion piece? Possible, but not likely.

    “I don’t think she’s passing off Mike Tang’s self-serving quotes as a court transcript.”

    I didn’t say that. I think it is very possible that Mike Tang provided her with PORTIONS of the actual court transcript, which while not whole is, in fact a court transcript. I think this because I have only seen the same couple of portions repeated in every article about this situation.

  126. BL April 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

    @Donna
    “A free internet news source for an opinion piece? Possible, but not likely.”

    Also a dead-tree magazine, and with the backing of a non-profit called Reason Foundation.

    Here’s a recent asset statement. It’s not a laptop in somebody’s basement:

    https://www.reason.org/files/2015-reason_financial_statement.pdf

    I think they can shell out for a court transcript.

  127. James Pollock April 14, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

    “I’m guessing court transcripts are obtained from courts. I could be wrong, but it’s the first place I’d look.
    Ask Lenore. She wrote the article in reason. I’ve found she responds to emails.”

    Uh… no.
    YOU are the one who claimed this information didn’t come through Mr. Tang. Now you “guess” they come from a court? And *I* should verify them for you?

    (Note: Go back to the original article in January. Mr. Tang offers copies of court transcripts.)

    “I think they can shell out for a court transcript.”
    “Can” and “could have” are different from “did”.

  128. Jennifer C April 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm #

    @Dienne

    Hyperbolic much? Do You really think that making a child walk a mile home alone is the equivalent of making a child stand naked in the snow for six hours? Let me give you a hint–one is life-threatening, the other is not.

  129. BL April 14, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    @James Pollock
    “(Note: Go back to the original article in January. Mr. Tang offers copies of court transcripts”

    Yes, he does. In the comment section. Days after the original article.

    Nowhere does it say Lenore got it that way. (Though if it’s the whole thing and not Mike Tang’s Self-Serving Selections, that wouldn’t bother me.)

    If you knew Mr. Tang was offering copies, why didn’t you get one for yourself? You could support (or not) your claim that the jury’s heard all sorts of things we haven’t.

  130. donald April 14, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

    I believe in the Free Range outlook on raising children. Not all agree with my views and that’s ok. I have some views that I feel very strongly about. I try (fail sometimes) not to cram my opinion down another person’s throat. I like this blog because, for the most part, we’re civil to each other. However, we sometimes fall down in that area.

    “Dienne STFU you stupid moron. Good Lord you’re an idiot.”

    I really hope that sort of rudeness doesn’t continue.

  131. James Pollock April 14, 2017 at 9:26 pm #

    “Nowhere does it say Lenore got it that way.”
    No. Nowhere. Again, are you asking ME to verify YOUR sources?
    YOU brought this up as evidence that Mr. Tang is not the only source of information we have. It’s just that, well, it still isn’t.

    “(Though if it’s the whole thing and not Mike Tang’s Self-Serving Selections, that wouldn’t bother me.)”
    Glad to hear it. Why don’t you tell us which it is?

    “If you knew Mr. Tang was offering copies, why didn’t you get one for yourself?”
    This is a good question. Why didn’t Mr. Tang send me the copy of the trial transcript I asked him for back in January? I’m sure it’s just held up in the mail, and will arrive any day now…

    “You could support (or not) your claim that the jury’s heard all sorts of things we haven’t”
    I can do that WITHOUT a transcript. They saw how Mr. Tang acted in court, and could judge for themselves whether the behavior they witnessed was similar to the behavior they were told about by the witnesses.
    You haven’t seen his behavior in court.
    The jury’s heard all sorts of things you haven’t. QED.

  132. SKL April 15, 2017 at 1:57 am #

    The whole business about where the quotes from the transcript came from was started because I said those quotes indicated the cop likely overreacted (paraphrasing “I wouldn’t let my 20 year old daughter walk that”).

    If that was a true quote from the court transcript, then I really don’t care where the copy came from. I really don’t care if it’s just a fraction of the testimony. Unless you’re arguing that it’s a forgery, and the cop never said those words in court, then my point stands. It seems unlikely that multiple outlets would be so irresponsible as to post an outright forgery, but who knows ….

    But if anyone does have a copy they can share with us, I would love to read it. I checked online and I’m not willing to pay for it myself.

  133. James Pollock April 15, 2017 at 2:19 am #

    “The whole business about where the quotes from the transcript came from was started because I said those quotes indicated the cop likely overreacted”

    That’s one cop. What did all the other cops have to say? (Yes, there were multiple cops at the scene, according to the original article).

    And even the one comment quoted has a couple of interpretations.

    It’s well past time to let this one go.
    As it stands, there’s a conviction on the record. Nobody, certainly not Mr. Tang, has provided any sort of evidence that the conviction was wrongful. (Specifically, Mr. Tang HAS made complaints that the trial was “rigged”, and the judge was “corrupt”, but hasn’t provided any evidence for these other than the fact that things didn’t turn out the way he hoped.)

    I suspect that this is going to continue to be the case, no matter how many people imagine that he’s a good guy put upon by a bunch of meanies out to oppress parents and deprive them of their right to be cruel to their children.

  134. SKL April 15, 2017 at 2:39 am #

    Well I’m not sure where you get the “fact” that he didn’t provide any defense or any evidence in his defense or whatever you keep saying. I’m just ignoring your comments about that because I don’t know where they are coming from. As far as I know you weren’t in court and don’t have the court transcript.

    If you believe that a conviction is the last word, well, you’re entitled to your opinion.

  135. Dienne April 15, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    “dienne if you’re going to equate walking 1 mile [NOT a long distance,even for an eight year old] being as bad as standing naked in the snow for hours[ yes I am aware you aren’t serious] you might want to come down out if orbit and back to reality. there are degrees of punishment as you just pointed out and I don’t think this crossed the line into cruelty or endangerment or whatever.”

    Arg, I’m not sure how much slower I can type. Yes, there are degrees of punishment. Yes, my example was intentionally extreme. Some cross a line, some do not. All agreed. But as I said before, who determines what punishments cross the line? Isn’t it the job of the police to enforce the law, the prosecutor’s job to decide which crimes get prosecuted and the judge and jury’s job to decide whether or not a crime was actually committed? And, again, isn’t that what happened here? Everyone involved in making that decision decided that a crime was committed. They all had far more information than you do. I’m sorry you disagree, but your opinion, and a loaded Ventra card, will get you on the Chicago El. In other words, your opinion counts for nothing. Unless you have access to actual facts not in evidence here, you really shouldn’t be second guessing the people who actually had to make the decisions. I hope you appreciate that the next time you serve jury duty.

  136. Dienne April 15, 2017 at 9:00 am #

    “Actually most people do in fact leave parents alone to provide their kids with the parenting that individually need. The belief that cops are arresting parents left and right for parenting decisions is as overstated as the belief that kids are being kidnapped left and right. Both happen, but neither are happening at a massive rate.”

    This!

  137. Dienne April 15, 2017 at 10:09 am #

    Billy and Jimmy are having dinner with their parents when Mom sees Billy fling food at Jimmy. “Excuse me,” Mom says, “what was that, young man?”

    Now, Billy could just be humble and come clean, “I’m sorry, Mom, I know I shouldn’t have done that, but Billy threw food at me and I got mad. I’ll go clean it up.” If he took that route, he’d probably be in little further trouble beyond ‘see that it doesn’t happen again.” Meanwhile, Mom and Dad might be giving Jimmy a talking to about him throwing food.

    But instead, Billy chooses to rant and rave. “Dammit, Mom, you always @#&@!ing side with him. He threw food at me first and I have every @#$@%!ing right to throw food at him. He’s my #$%!ing little brother and I’m going to teach him a lesson. I’d do it again, too!”

    Now what do you think Mom is going to do? I think Billy might be spending the rest of the evening in his room without finishing his dinner or getting his dessert.

    Now, Dad still kind of feels sorry for Billy, so he comes up to talk to him. Maybe there was a misunderstanding or an overreaction. Maybe something can be worked out. But instead, Billy rants and raves at Dad too. Dad decides that his room is right were Billy needs to be.

    The next day, Billy goes and tells his friend Mikey and Mikey’s mom all about what happened. “My parents hate me! They always come down on me and never on Jimmy. All I did was throw one little crouton and I cleaned it up. But Jimmy threw and whole spoonful of mashed potatoes at me. And I had to clean up his mess too! I had to spend the whole night in my room and I didn’t even get dessert. My parents didn’t do anything to Jimmy! It’s so unfair!!”

    Now, should Mikey’s mom go tell Billy’s parents how unfair they’re being to him? Should random internet commenters pile on to Billy’s parents about how mean and unfair they are?

    Or should they, perhaps, realize that they weren’t there and they’re only hearing one side of the story, and from a person with motivation to lie?

  138. Richard April 15, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    “Here are some excerpts from the trial transcript, which was obtained by Reason” I would read that sentence as indicating that Reason obtained what it considered a complete trial transcript given where the comma is.

  139. James Pollock April 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    “Well I’m not sure where you get the “fact” that he didn’t provide any defense or any evidence in his defense or whatever you keep saying. I’m just ignoring your comments”

    So, you’re down to the “na na na I can’t hear you!” argument?

    OK.

  140. Buffy April 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    As you well know, James Pollock, that’s the only way to deal with you; which is, of course, your intent.

  141. common sense April 15, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

    dienne…I would say to you that that questioning what happened is one of the ways we don’t sink into a police state. you don’t have to type slow, I hold a B.S. from Cornell and I find it extremely insulting that you feel I don’t get it simply because I question it and your view on it.. you yourself are holding an opinion with out knowing all the facts, why am I “slow” because I do the same? I have been on juries also facing one and to think the prosecution has only justice and not their conviction rate in mind is, shall we say, extremely naïve. having seen and experienced what the local police, cps and da are capable of doing[including perjury which was caught but not punished] I can safely say that there is no surety that justice was served. we just don’t know. and how slow do I have to type that so you understand you are not always right because your opinions are yours.

  142. common sense April 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    dienne I also hope that if you are ever to face a jury, that they take into account not only what one side claims is the truth and not just ignore your side because its the policeman’s job to arrest you and the da’s to prosecute and the juries to convict and gee whiz golly that’s their job and they never ever get it wrong! if that’s the case why have a trial? or an appeal? or good forbid someone is actually is found innocent after years in prison. at that point I’m sure you will be questioning and second guessing those who convicted you.

  143. Dienne April 15, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    “…you yourself are holding an opinion”

    Yes, my opinion is that I’ve seen nothing that indicates that the jury was wrong in their decision. If you have factual information that hasn’t been presented here, I’m all ears. Otherwise, the *fact* remains that the jury had more information than you do. As in the example of my little story above, we’ve only heard from ranting Billy here (Mr. Tang). If we were to hear from Billy’s parents (the cops, the prosecutor, the judge and the jury), I’m quite sure a radically different picture would emerge, which is why the prosecutor got his (her?) conviction.

    “dienne I also hope that if you are ever to face a jury, that they take into account not only what one side claims is the truth and not just ignore your side because its the policeman’s job to arrest you and the da’s to prosecute and the juries to convict and gee whiz golly that’s their job and they never ever get it wrong! if that’s the case why have a trial?”

    Here’s the thing. There are *two* sides sides at a trial and, in fact, trials are weighted in favor of the defendant (as just one example, defendant gets final closing arguments). Mr. Tang had every opportunity to present his case to the jury of his peers who have no particular incentive to decide one way or another other than who made the best case. I’m sorry Mr. Tang had a lousy lawyer, but that’s not my fault. You’re right, the prosecutors are paid to get convictions – that’s what they spend their lives doing and they are very good at it. That’s why Mr. Tang should have gotten a professional to present his side (especially considering he couldn’t even manage to address what he was charged with). He should consider fixing that for his appeal, but go back and read the first thread (the one from January) and you tell me how likely that is to happen.

  144. Dienne April 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm #

    Let’s say that in my example of Billy above, Billy’s parents ask him, “Did you throw food at your little brother?” Billy could:

    (a) deny it: “No I did not.”;
    (b) admit it and make a case to defend himself: “Yes, I did, but I think I was justified and here’s why”; or
    (c) just keep his trap shut and take the Fifth.

    But instead, Billy chooses to yell, “There’s nothing dangerous about throwing food and anyway, I’d do it again if I had to!”

    If you are Billy’s parent, what do you conclude about his guilt and culpability in the situation?

  145. Dienne April 15, 2017 at 7:15 pm #

    One final point. A lot of people seem to be questioning whether 7:45 is really “night’ and whether it was “really dark” at that time. A bit of research shows that sunset is around 5:00 p.m. in Riverside, California in January (the original incident apparently happened January 13, 2016). So it was indeed plenty dark outside. Also, the temperature appears to have been between 51 and 57 degrees that day, so while it wasn’t exactly “cold”, it was certainly light jacket weather. One wonders whether Tang Jr. was adequately dressed for the weather and if, perhaps that might have been one factor that attracted the concern of whoever called the police and the police themselves.

  146. common sense April 15, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

    no I don’t have “factual information” any more than you do but it seems that you however much you deny it are of an opinion, the one that says since he was convicted he’s guilty.. yes he was convicted, nobody it arguing that, what the disagreement is about is should he have been convicted. can you see that? yes he comes off as a jerk and yes I believe that a person who defends themselves in court have an idiot for a client but.. the legal system is weighted for the defendant? are you kidding me? everything in our system is biased towards conviction. innocent til proven guilty is what it should be,but what it often is everyone including juries figure” hey he was arrested, they wouldn’t do that if he wasn’t guilty” even though they are told to weigh both sides.
    let’s take your example of the food fight. billy runs to neighbors upset. in a sane world the adults would call billy’s parents to ask what happened. however let’s pretend you’re billy’s mom. neighbors call and you’re upset with billy for food fight and then running off and being upset with them you’re short with them. they decide there is more to the story and to be safe call the police. who come and question billy. who is now scared to admit he may have stretched the truth and tells the same story to the police. who question you and seeing you are upset “for no good reason” decide you are lying [because children NEVER lie]. the police now call cps who remove billy from the house along with his brother for their own safety.
    you are arrested , the da investigates and decides since children NEVER lie,to charge you. after all you were upset and defensive about the police when they questioned you so you must be hiding something. it is now up to you[and hopefully your lawyer] to prove you did nothing.. you may be innocent but you now stand a really good chance of a long and expensive trial. let’s hope the jury believes you and not billy, the police ,the da and cps.
    I realize this is an extreme example but so is the standing naked in the snow example.

  147. donald April 16, 2017 at 4:05 am #

    A compulsive hand washer will wash his hands until they bleed. They don’t stop because they can’t stop imagining germs on their hands. A bureaucracy can act similar to this compulsive behavior. They create a ‘Department of Hand Sanitization’ (DHS) The DHS does their job and the germs go away. However, the DHS doesn’t. They have to keep washing the hands even though the germs are no longer there.

    Bureaucrats often overstep. Many things have increased to the point of ridiculous. Some of them are:
    Safety rules
    the definition of a dangerous sex offender
    Red tape
    Laws
    The government’s rules that override a parent’s rights.

    Furthermore. Some cops and District Attorneys are jerks. People with a problem are often attracted to a position that deals with that problem. Some examples are:
    Some arsonists become firefighters
    Some policemen have lower morals than many crooks
    Some councilors are as messed up as the patients. (I’m a counselor. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a screw loose!)

    Have you seen 50 shades of Grey? Some bureaucrats have a similar fetish. Instead of hitting you with a leather whip, they hit you with red tape!

  148. donald April 16, 2017 at 4:26 am #

    The point I was making is that I agree with common sense. Some juries figure that “hey he was arrested, they wouldn’t do that if he wasn’t guilty”. I was pointing out the flaw in this belief.

  149. James Pollock April 16, 2017 at 5:39 am #

    ” the legal system is weighted for the defendant? are you kidding me?”

    That is the fact, yes.

    ” what it often is everyone including juries figure” hey he was arrested, they wouldn’t do that if he wasn’t guilty””

    Here is a question. I want you to consider it VERY carefully before answering.
    If you were the defendant, why on Earth would you let someone who says “hey, he was arrested, they wouldn’t do that if he wasn’t guilty.” be on your jury?

    “The point I was making is that I agree with common sense. Some juries figure that “hey he was arrested, they wouldn’t do that if he wasn’t guilty”. I was pointing out the flaw in this belief.”

    Same question for you, then..

  150. common sense April 16, 2017 at 5:50 am #

    james..good points but the defendant doesn’t get to exclude every juror otherwise there wouldn’t be a jury trial. also what if those beliefs aren’t known or stated before selection. 1 or 2 biased juror can sway an entire jury who just doesn’t really care but can be convinced. and if you were raised to believe every one involved only is concerned with justice you would believe that they wouldn’t show a biased part of the evidence only. or do you think all the times a conviction is reversed to due evidence that would have cleared the defendant being withheld are are just made up.

  151. donald April 16, 2017 at 6:54 am #

    James, I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Are you saying that the government is unable to pass laws that overstep? Do you believe that police officers and District Attornies are incapable of being jerks? Do you think that some jurors are incapable of being lazy and will agree with whatever verdict will allow them to go home quicker?

    I know this isn’t what you’re saying but whatever it is, I think we need to agree to disagree.

  152. James Pollock April 16, 2017 at 7:08 am #

    “the defendant doesn’t get to exclude every juror”

    No, just the ones biased against them, and a small number “just because”.

    “what if those beliefs aren’t known or stated before selection”
    DURING selection, however, there is a process called “examination” during which the defendant (and the prosecutor) may ask questions of each potential juror, to determine if they are biased or not.

    “1 or 2 biased juror can sway an entire jury who just doesn’t really care”
    So… and here’s this question again… why would you let people who are biased against you sit on your jury?

    “if you were raised to believe every one involved only is concerned with justice you would believe that they wouldn’t show a biased part of the evidence only. or do you think all the times a conviction is reversed to due evidence that would have cleared the defendant being withheld are are just made up.”
    Please excuse me if I continue to believe that I know more about how juries work than you do, and ignore your attempt at condescending snark as being ill-advaised. (Among other things, I’ve been a jury foreman.) One of the advantages given to the defense in criminal trials is something called the Brady rule. In a nutshell, it means that the prosecution has to reveal to the defense any information they find that would be exculpatory to the defendant, and failing to do so gets the defendant a new trial (and takes away a successful prosecution from the prosecutor who does so. (Repeated violations can lead to losing one’s license to practice law, although there IS a general reluctance to apply this penalty, for other, non-related reasons.) Yes, there IS a scandal involving systematic violations of the Brady rule, lasting for decades… involving one, specific jurisdiction’s prosecutor’s office. Outside of that jurisdiction, violations are quite rare.

    The system we use isn’t perfect… no system involving human beings is or can be. But we’ve built in as many protections as we can. The claim isn’t that the system always gets it right the first time. The claim is that the system usually gets it right the first time, so if you want to argue that the system got it wrong on any specific individual case, you need some evidence that shows how and why it is wrong… arguing “well, they COULD have gotten it wrong” is true but not particularly helpful… maybe Manson was innocent, too. And Capone. Some people aren’t convinced the holocaust really happened.

    Apply Occam’s Razor.
    Either a very large conspiracy formed, with the goal of requiring Mr. Tang to pick up trash for one day a year, or he actually did things that convinced an honest jury to decide he was guilty of a crime. You’re welcome to stick with the conspiracy side, if you like… Mr. Tang certainly has, and will be happy to have you… but there’s going to be questions. Like… why has this conspiracy targeted Mr. Tang, specifically, and yet not targeted anyone else in the 15 months since they railroaded poor Mr. Tang?

  153. James Pollock April 16, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    “I know this isn’t what you’re saying but whatever it is, I think we need to agree to disagree.”

    Is this your way of admitting you can’t answer the question I asked, or your way of saying you don’t intend to?

  154. James Pollock April 16, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    “Do you think that some jurors are incapable of being lazy and will agree with whatever verdict will allow them to go home quicker? ”

    This one deserves special derision.
    If a person wants to go home quicker, the fastest way is to claim bias when examined during voir dire (look it up.) So… the people who are lazy and just want to go home are not on the jury.
    (Also note that while some trials do take a long time, most jury trials end the same day they start.)

  155. donald April 17, 2017 at 4:26 am #

    No. I can see that you’re in that mood again where you argue just for the sake of arguing.

  156. James Pollock April 17, 2017 at 4:46 am #

    Now you’re going to go with attacking me instead of answering the question?

    I’ll just go ahead and assume it’s because you can’t answer the question, then.

  157. Mike Tang April 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Oh boy, I’ve been occupied for awhile and have been absent from this discussion, but am not surprised to find the same people from January still on here with nothing better to do.

    For James Pollock, Donna, and the other helicopters on here who cry foul for my parenting choices, “wonderful personality” and/or language, your comments are just a tired and distracting sideshow I would choose to ignore, if you have the balls to debate the true core issue at hand (which is: what danger did I put my son in?) I would likely cooperate with you and send you any trial transcripts, arrest records, etc, which btw I paid $400 for. Yes, that’s more expensive than the sentence ($200), but like I stated, it doesn’t matter if the sentence was 2 cents, I’m not paying for something I did which did not break the law.

    The only thing it did break was the fragile egos of a few police officers, and a judge who felt like he could dismiss evidence/testimony from me because I represented myself.

    For those who think the cops were just “looking out for” my kid, why didn’t they just shadow him home? Why did they illegally force themselves into my home and search it without a warrant? Why did they continue to prosecute long after CPS dropped the case and felt there was no danger? (The judge didn’t allow me to present any of those things as evidence, btw).

    I am defying them simply because I feel this is the beginning of a slippery slope towards a total authoritarian government a-la-1984. What’s right, what’s wrong, what’s too far, what’s too dark, is not for anyone to decide but me unless I truly put my kid in danger. Some people on here obviously have been sitting at home on the computer too long to recall from their childhood what is a risk and what is a true credible danger.

    I offer some examples:

    Risk: Driving your child on a freeway that you know has many accidents.
    Danger: Letting your child drive on the freeway.

    Risk: Letting your child climb a tree, jump off a swing, swim across a river that’s not too deep or fast-flowing, etc.
    Danger: Letting your kid play in a river or lake clearly marked “toxic-no swimming”

    Risk: Letting your kid walk home about a mile after dark, on a route he already knows, on a local sidewalk.
    Danger: Stopping in the middle of a freeway and telling your kid to dodge oncoming traffic and hope he makes it home alive.

  158. James Pollock April 17, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

    “For James Pollock, Donna, and the other helicopters on here who cry foul for my parenting choices, “wonderful personality” and/or language, your comments are just a tired and distracting sideshow I would choose to ignore, if you have the balls to debate the true core issue at hand (which is: what danger did I put my son in?)”

    For about the fifth or sixth time, sir, literally NOBODY is arguing that you put your son in danger. So, with that “true core issue” settled, it’s (still)(well beyond) time to move on.

    ” (The judge didn’t allow me to present any of those things as evidence, btw).”
    Because, AGAIN for the fifth or sixth time, those things are not relevant evidence. You were charged under the statute that expressly DOES NOT REQUIRE the prosecutor to prove that your son was in danger. The prosecutor had conceded that your son was not in serious danger BEFORE YOUR TRIAL EVEN STARTED, by charging you with a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

    “Some people on here obviously have been sitting at home on the computer too long to recall from their childhood what is a risk and what is a true credible danger.”

    I think it’s WELL past time you stopped pretending you’re arguing with anyone who claims your son was in danger. Continuing to argue this point long after it was conceded just makes you look (more) foolish.

    Which is why I am 100% convinced that you will continue to do so.

    (PS – continuing to label anyone who disagrees with you a “helicopter” also isn’t fooling anyone.)

  159. Mike Tang April 17, 2017 at 9:31 pm #

    Wow, 12 minutes to elicit a response from James Pollock! A new record!

    However, your interpretation of the law is wrong. I was arrested for CA 273a(b).

    Here it is again:

    “(b) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions other than those likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    Here it is again, broken down by it’s various components (you need to brush up on your separation of commas):

    “(b) Any person who (under circumstances or conditions other than those likely to produce great bodily harm or death):
    i. willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or
    ii. inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering,
    iii. or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured,
    iv. or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered,
    is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    The prosecutor tried to convict me of part iv “willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered.” Therefore, actual danger would be required to prove I’m guilty.

    I know you have tried to frame me for part i and ii on different occasions, but that’s not the charge in question.
    And also, walking home a mile is not suffering. Nor is it unjustifiable mental or physical suffering. Forcing him to walk a mile as a disciplinary measure is no more dangerous than forcing him to walk 1.5 miles to school the following day because he was lazy with his homework, or because I simply didn’t want to drive him, or because my car broke down, or because a Fascist government unjustly put me in jail, or because I died and was waiting for James Pollock in hell.

  160. James Pollock April 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

    “And also, walking home a mile is not suffering”

    And, AGAIN FOR THE FIFTH OR SIXTH TIME, nobody says it is.

    (Refer back to previous comment re: repeatingly arguing things nobody is contesting.)

    “Forcing him to walk a mile as a disciplinary measure is no more dangerous than…”

    Called it!

  161. James Pollock April 17, 2017 at 10:05 pm #

    Aside for Donna only:
    Given the obvious and frequently repeated delusional ideation, and the frequent references to Messiah/martyrdom, is there any chance he could get his conviction set aside by reason of mental illness? Or is it too late, procedurally?

  162. Mike Tang April 17, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

    @James Pollock

    “is there any chance he could get his conviction set aside by reason of mental illness?”

    Really? So besides openly heralding yourself as a legal expert and obviously a “refresh button” expert, you’re now claiming to have medical expertise as well? Are you going to write me a doctor’s note, pretty please?

    It’s a true detriment to society you’re not putting your talents to good use at your local D.A.’s office. If you ever apply, be sure to use me or this case as a reference, I’m sure they’ll hire you. Your boundless expertise and around-the-clock dedication puts to shame the D.A. currently involved in this case.

    Until then, I’m going to leave you comments at odd hours in the evening just to piss you off. Just gotta keep hitting refresh. Wait for it….wait for it…..

  163. Donna April 17, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

    James Pollock,

    If you mean going for not guilty by reason of insanity, you could get a conviction overturned on appeal if this was a viable defense at trial. However, I think the only way to get there would be a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for not asserting the defense at trial and I don’t believe that you make an ineffective assistance claim when you represent yourself. Also, this is a defense that the defendant would have to agree to before you could assert it so you’d have to have a client willing to help himself.

    If you mean incompetent for trial, that would be extremely difficult to get post-trial since you would need to show that he was incompetent during the trial without having a competency evaluation for evidence. Probably the only route would be to file a Habeas claiming that the conviction was unconstitutional because his competence should have been evaluated at the trial level. This would not result in an outright reversal, but would negate the trial and take him back to the pretrial phase.

    That said, Mr. Tang does not qualify as either insane or incompetent. There is no indication that his action of making his son walk home was the product of a delusional compulsion or an inability to tell right from wrong. And he understands the criminal justice system sufficiently to pass competency. That really only requires understanding the parties, their roles and the plea bargain process. Continuing to insist on an incredibly ridiculous course of action to the point of severe detriment to yourself does not make you incompetent. Nor does insisting on a defense that is legally invalid or having grandiose views of yourself and your chances for winning your battle. Crazy conspiracy theories don’t get you there either. I wish they did as it would neutralize my most difficult clients.

  164. James Pollock April 17, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

    “Are you going to write me a doctor’s note, pretty please?”

    Sure.
    It says “get help”

    “Until then, I’m going to leave you comments at odd hours in the evening just to piss you off.”
    If you think that’ll help you , go right on ahead. It can’t be any worse than your previous choices…

    And if it cuts down on your free time, leaving you less time to abuse your kid, that’s a win-win!

  165. James Pollock April 17, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

    “If you mean going for not guilty by reason of insanity, you could get a conviction overturned on appeal if this was a viable defense at trial”

    Well, I know that usually, a mental illness defense must be declared pre-trial. But pro se litigants are often afforded some procedural latitude. But I guess a determination that, legally speaking, he’s not insane, just stupid, is not one I’d argue with.

  166. Donna April 18, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    “But pro se litigants are often afforded some procedural latitude.”

    They are generally afforded fairly wide procedural latitude at the trial level, but I don’t believe that the appellate courts generally give them much latitude at all. Most of the procedural missteps would have to be attacked under ineffective assistance of counsel, and alas, you lose that grounds for appeal when you are your own ineffective counsel. Otherwise, we give everyone two bites at the apple. Try it yourself first, screw things up, claim your own ineffectiveness to get a new trial and then hire an attorney who now has a transcript from the first trial.

    Competency, however, can be questioned by the judge or the DA so representation doesn’t matter. Nor does the wishes of the defendant for that matter. If the judge felt that Mr. Tang was mentally incompetent, he could have stopped the trial, ordered a psych eval and held Mr. Tang in jail on contempt charges if he refused to comply. If the DA felt he was incompetent, he could have asked the judge to have him evaluated.

  167. James Pollock April 19, 2017 at 12:33 am #

    Here is some news that might of interest to Mr. Tang:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/04/portland_students_stranded_at.html

    We’ll raise you your one kid to 24, and raise your 1 mile away from home with 60.

  168. Mike Tang April 20, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    @James Pollock

    Here’s some news that might interest James Pollock. None of the parents in the story got arrested. None of the bus company’s employees were arrested. None of the school officials were arrested.

    What was the point you’re trying to prove to me again?

  169. James Pollock April 20, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    “Here’s some news that might interest James Pollock. None of the parents in the story got arrested. None of the bus company’s employees were arrested. None of the school officials were arrested.

    What was the point you’re trying to prove to me again”

    Um… that none of these people were arrested. So… good job, I guess?

  170. Annie Gramson Hill April 21, 2017 at 6:10 am #

    Mike Tang is doing the right thing. As long as people are willing to tolerate this kind of abuse from over zealous public officials, it will only continue. I hope the supercilious government employees throw Mr. Tang’s ass in jail and bring national attention to this fiasco. Let the state demonstrate their deep concern for Mr. Tang’s son by throwing dad in jail, because every family needs a little more stress in life, especially from officious people who have no idea what they’re doing.
    Thank you, Mr. Tang, for being willing to fight on behalf of all of us.