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lumberjack_jeff's Journal
lumberjack_jeff's Journal
April 30, 2015

One person is an easily dismissed lone nut.

Two people saying similar things are an interesting phenomenon.

But thousands are a movement.

Those of us demanding economic populist leadership are the movement, simply waiting for leaders.

I think this is a great time, [font color="blue" size="5" face="arial"]a pivotal time[/font], to be a Democrat.

April 28, 2015

Deadbeat or dead broke?


[div class="excerpt" style="background-color:#dcdcdc; padding-bottom:5px; border:1px solid #bfbfbf; border-bottom:none; border-radius:0.4615em 0.4615em 0em 0em; box-shadow:3px 3px 3px #999999;"]Deadbeat or Dead broke? Solangel Maldonado, UC Davis[div class="excerpt" style="background-color:#f0f0f0; border:1px solid #bfbfbf; border-top:none; border-radius:0em 0em 0.4615em 0.4615em; box-shadow:3px 3px 3px #999999;"]Millions of children are growing up without their fathers. Many of these children “lost” their fathers when their parents separated or divorced, but many others never even lived with them. Although both divorced and never married fathers disengage from their children at alarmingly high rates, men who were never married to their children’s mothers are even less likely to be involved in their children’s upbringing or to share a close relationship with them. They are also less likely to pay child support and, according to policymakers, more likely to be African-American.
Approximately seventy percent of African-American children, as compared to twenty-three percent of white children, are born to never married women. For decades, government officials have focused on paternal absence in African-American families, treating fatherlessness . . . as a distinctly Black problem,” and blaming absent fathers for many of the social ills plaguing African-American communities poverty, teen pregnancy, high delinquency and incarceration rates, poor academic performance, and idleness.
Although social science research suggests that children raised in two parent homes do better than children raised in single-parent homes, recent studies have found that many of the negative effects associated with growing up in a single parent family can be reduced by nonresident fathers’ significant involvement with their children. Children with involved nonresident fathers perform better academically and have higher self-esteem and fewer social and behavioral problems than children who have little contact with their fathers.8 This is good news for African-American children because recent studies have found that lowincome, never married African-American nonresident fathers are more involved with their children than are nonresident fathers of other races. According to policymakers, however, African-American fathers are the most absent; abandoning their children at disproportionately high rates and never looking back. Why are policymakers unaware of the higher rate of paternal involvement amongst low-income, nonresident African-American fathers? Because, when measuring responsible fatherhood, only formal child support payments count.
Many of the social problems in African-American communities are the result of poverty. African-American children are disproportionately poor and rarely receive child support, depending instead on public assistance for their financial needs. Thus, it is not surprising that policymakers have aggressively pursued African-American “deadbeat” fathers who do not pay child support. Pursuing these fathers, however, has presented many challenges because most are poor themselves and the majority are unemployed. Although child support enforcement agencies and community organizations have created programs to help these fathers obtain stable, well-paying jobs, most participating fathers did not find steady jobs or stay employed long enough to significantly increase their child support payment frequency or amounts. However, some participating fathers did increase their level of contact and involvement with their children. That is the focus of this Article: how can the law encourage never married poor fathers, the majority of whom are African-American, to be involved in their children’s lives?
Although the majority of poor, nonresident African-American fathers do not pay child support, many make in-kind and nonfinancial contributions to their children. Child support enforcement officials have not recognized these contributions, crediting only formal child support payments. As a result, poor, African-American fathers are perceived as greater deadbeats and as less involved in their children’s upbringing than other fathers. This failure to recognize informal contributions may drive poor fathers away and make it more difficult for them to maintain relationships with their children. I propose that the law recognize all of the contributions poor nonresident fathers make to their children and credit them against formal child support obligations. This Article proceeds in three parts. Part I examines the literature suggesting that paternal involvement benefits children even when their fathers do not live with them. Part II looks at the informal contributions poor, nonresident African-American fathers make to their children and critiques policymakers’ failure to recognize these contributions. Part III explores how the law can encourage poor nonresident fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives by redefining child support to include informal and nonfinancial contributions.

More at the link (pdf).

The insurmountable debt applied to young fathers provides a huge barrier to the value of seeking and accepting legitimate employment. The alternative is illegal employment and a consequent poor relationship with the police.

Here's another great link on the same topic; counterproductive policy, in the city of Baltimore.


[div class="excerpt" style="background-color:#dcdcdc; padding-bottom:5px; border:1px solid #bfbfbf; border-bottom:none; border-radius:0.4615em 0.4615em 0em 0em; box-shadow:3px 3px 3px #999999;"]From Al Jazeera[div class="excerpt" style="background-color:#f0f0f0; border:1px solid #bfbfbf; border-top:none; border-radius:0em 0em 0.4615em 0.4615em; box-shadow:3px 3px 3px #999999;"]When Charlotte applied for additional benefits from Maryland's Department of Human Resources (DHR), the state agency that administers TANF and other welfare programs, she lied about being married so that Darnell's income would not be considered in her application. At the same time, she had to register Darnell as the father of her new baby with a second DHR agency, the Child Support Enforcement Administration, in order to qualify for additional cash assistance.

In many states, including Maryland, the parent seeking assistance — typically the mother — must identify the other parent to the child-support agency so it can begin to collect payments owed to the state. (Darnell, for example, owed about $400 each month.) This is intended to offset the costs of food stamps and other aid the state pays out. Missed payments accrue in arrears. The state can collect that money by garnishing wages, intercepting tax refunds, suspending drivers’ or professional licenses and other measures. (A 2012 Maryland law, however, now stops child-support debt from accumulating when parents in arrears are in prison.)

Thus, a potential conflict was introduced into Charlotte and Darnell's relationship: the benefits she gained as a result of his vulnerability to the state.

"I always thought that was crazy," Darnell says. "We shouldn't have to say we were separated to get help. If anything, they should have helped us stay together. They are saying they want the father involved but won't help you if the father is involved. That is backwards."
April 6, 2015

"All indications that the Coast Guard has is that this guy seems to be telling the truth"

In another thread, there is a great deal of speculation that Louis Jordan faked the capsize of his 37' sailboat and/or abandoned it 500 miles from shore because... something.

There was too much misinformation in that thread.

  1. why no obvious exposure? - because he wasn't exposed. This was a boat with an enclosed cabin, a place of relative safety during bad weather.
  2. why no hypothermia? - because the water off North Carolina is currently about 60 degrees... and because #1
  3. if it capsized, why didn't it sink? Capsize simply means knocked down - rolled 90 degrees. Decent cruising sailboats won't flood due to a knockdown alone. His boat was apparently rolled 360 and dismasted (which disabled the radio antenna), which is obviously worse, but normally survivable.
  4. Food? Water? Dry bibles? This was his home. It was a liveaboard, equipped with quite a bit of canned food, and probably had at least 30 gallons of water aboard. Could you survive in your home for 66 days without assistance?
  5. if it rolled over, why did it return upright? Because boats, especially monohull sailboats are designed to do that.

[font color="green" size="2" face="courier"]While his story sounds farfetched to the general public — and even some of his rescuers — experts say it’s completely plausible.

“All indications that the Coast Guard has is that this guy seems to be telling the truth,” says Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn of the United States Coast Guard, who is familiar with his organization’s ongoing case study of Jordan’s adventure.

Jordan was inside a sailboat — after initially capsizing his boat eventually righted itself — which offered him protection from the sun, Littlejohn points out to Yahoo Health. “He conserved his energy. It’s possible he found a way to manage his calories and that the freshwater he was able to get ahold of was in abundance.”

Jordan also lived on his boat, which was a huge asset during his ordeal, says survival expert Joseph Alton, MD, author of the best-selling “The Survival Medicine Handbook.” He was an experienced fisherman, and had a solid water supply and most of his worldly possessions with him at sea. “If anyone could survive that amount of time without terrible physical effect it would be him,” Alton tells Yahoo Health.

Alton says three major factors work against people when they’re lost at sea—exposure to the elements, lack of water, and lack of food. Jordan had protection from the sun and wind on his boat, which was a huge plus for him. People lost at sea typically develop severe sunburn on their skin and in their corneas in an eye condition known as photokeratitis, says Alton: “That can dramatically reduce their ability to function.”

Jordan was also seemingly smart with his water supply. “You can’t live very long without water, but if you start rationing it immediately, you end up buying yourself more time,” says Alton, who points out that someone can go 24 hours without water and then survive on 12 ounces a day afterward. The water supply that Jordan already had onboard likely helped him to survive longer before he had to drink the rainwater he says he caught in buckets.[/font]

No doubt there were parts of the story that were embellished or misreported. He wasn't retrieved from his inverted hull, for instance.
April 5, 2015

30 days for raping a student and disseminating sexually explicit materials to kids.

You can probably guess the relevant parts of the rest of the story, but here's the link anyhow.


At her sentencing hearing last Friday, Ginnetti cried in court while reading a letter of apology. The judge then compared explicit photos of the woman to "dangling candy" in front of her victim, the Bucks County Courier Time reports.

“What young man would not jump on that candy?” Page said.

Ginnetti now works at a gym as a fitness instructor. She said in court that she regularly volunteers at her church, and is rebuilding her relationship with her husband and three children.

"I don't believe you're a bad human being," Page told Ginnetti. "You did a bad act. So I have to punish you."

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