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Gender: Male
Hometown: Olympia, WA
Member since: Tue Nov 4, 2003, 08:02 PM
Number of posts: 31,446

Journal Archives

Sometimes ‘poor little rich kids’ really are poor little rich kids

Wealth inequality is a massive social problem. Not only for the poor but also for the rich.


The “affluenza” defense of Ethan Couch, a 16-year-old Texas boy who killed four pedestrians while driving drunk, has received a great deal of ridicule, much of it justified. That said, it would be foolish to allow an absurd effort to minimize one teenager’s responsibility for a horrific tragedy to obscure growing evidence that we have a significant and growing crisis on our hands. The children of the affluent are becoming increasingly troubled, reckless, and self-destructive. Perhaps we needn’t feel sorry for these “poor little rich kids.” But if we don’t do something about their problems, they will become everyone’s problems.

One of us has spent about 20 years studying and documenting the growth of dysfunction among affluent youth, and the other has written about one large source of the problem. High-risk behavior, including extreme substance abuse and promiscuous sex, is growing fast among young people from communities dominated by white-collar, well-educated parents. These kids attend schools distinguished by rich academic curricula, high standardized test scores, and diverse extracurricular opportunities. Their parents’ annual income, at $150,000 and more, is well over twice the national average. And yet they show serious levels of maladjustment as teens, displaying problems that tend to begin as they enter adolescence and get worse as they approach college.

What kinds of problems? First, marijuana and alcohol abuse, including binge drinking. Studies show that drug and alcohol use is higher among affluent teens than their inner-city counterparts. And surveys have revealed that full-time college students are two and a half times more likely to experience substance abuse or dependence than members of the general population. Half of all full-time college students reported binge drinking and abuse of illegal or prescription drugs.
Finally, there is a psychological toll. The proportion of affluent youth indicating serious levels of depression or anxiety is two to three times national rates, and levels of eating disorders and self-injurious behaviors far exceed national averages.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Wed Jan 6, 2016, 03:39 PM (6 replies)

One good thing; people are definitely gonna tune in to that debate tomorrow.

This incident shows democrats what we're up against in our party bosses.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Sat Dec 19, 2015, 12:08 AM (0 replies)

The Clinton campaign attempts to make an issue of personal honesty and credibility at her peril. n/t

Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Fri Dec 18, 2015, 09:14 PM (7 replies)

"Let’s be honest: life is a trigger."

Great article from Salon

My trigger-warning disaster: “9 1/2 Weeks,” “The Wire” and how coddled young radicals got discomfort all wrong

The next film to piss them all off was 9 1/2 Weeks. The film is about a S&M relationship between a character played by Micky Rourke and one played by Kim Basinger. At first Basinger’s character is drawn to Rourke and they begin an S&M style consensual relationship. As the film goes on, Rourke becomes abusive and the sex becomes non-consensual, but the beauty of the film is that Basinger is eventually able to let go and take something from the relationship–a heightened sense of her sexuality and desires. There’s an infamous scene with Rourke feeding Basinger a number of food items while she’s blindfolded. It’s basically a series of soft core money shots. It is a consensual scene. When conversation began in class, a white male student started talking about the scene as one of consent. Four hands shot up. One said, “no—it is clearly not consensual.” Other students concurred. They argued that if someone is in an abusive relationship, they can never consent to sex because they are being manipulated.

This triggered me. I was furious.

Sexual assault survivor support is about empowerment. The model says, “Hey! It’s not for you to tell the survivor what happened to them; that’s their story, they know, don’t fucking label it.” What these students were essentially doing was stripping every person in an abusive relationship of all their agency. They were telling every survivor that they were raped, even when the survivor may have wanted to have sex with their abuser. They were claiming god like knowledge of every sexual encounter. And they were only 20. If that. Their frontal lobes haven’t even fully developed.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:03 PM (5 replies)

Interesting phone call last night.

It was from my 23 year old (not particularly politically active) diesel mechanic son. In fact, I don't think he's ever voted.

"Hi Dad! Did you watch that?"
"Watch what?"
"The debate! I watched the whole thing! It was awesome!"
"How so?"
"Bernie wiped the floor with them - Hillary and... the other three."
"Chaffee, O'Malley and Webb"
"Yeah... Webb... fuck that guy. Anyway, Bernie was awesome! When he was asked a question, he'd think about it for about a second and then answer it, he didn't do that politician redirect thing, you know, tell a story that wasn't related to the question at all. You remember that speech by that Mario guy... 'throw your bodies on the gears...'"
"Mario Savio?"
"Yeah, that guy - he sounded like him - passion and excitement and sincerity. He actually reminds me a little bit of you too."

I haven't watched the debate, but find the postgame show to be pretty predictable; The TV machine saying that Hillary totally won, the grass roots donating in mass numbers to Bernie and sentiment at DU entirely polarized because everyone with half a brain knows that Mighty Mouse would totally beat Superman, because speaking in absolutes about the inherently subjective is one of our specialties.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Wed Oct 14, 2015, 12:18 PM (34 replies)

Given the choice between running for a cause, and disrupting runners for a cause, I pick the former.

I really like the organization Back on My Feet.

Through dedication and hard work, these Members earn the opportunity to create a new road for themselves. Running leads to personal transformation and dedication to the program leads to access to training, employment and housing resources.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:07 PM (1 replies)

Advice to girls considering technology careers: Take risks. Straight As don't matter.


I told them that if they didn’t have a lot of experience with programming before college, they could opt for the easier route and merely minor in computer science to test the waters before they plunged all the way in. However, I suggested before they sell themselves short, they try to experience technology-related internships to see what a real life engineer does on a day-to day basis.

Taking a risk is always scarier when there are unknowns. Removing these unknowns helps people become more comfortable with making bold choices in life.

Sadly, the self-doubt and aversion to risk they exhibited is all too common and reflected in many studies that show women are more risk averse than men. Not only are males more likely to take risks under stress than women, but risk-taking actually increases for men in stressful situations, according to a 2012 study. It also found that women avoid risk as their levels of stress increases. Such differences have dramatic implications for how we, as women, make decisions in our everyday lives, especially decisions that shape our future.

Is this one of the reasons men dominate engineering?
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Sat Aug 29, 2015, 04:28 PM (3 replies)

What do you think about Bernie's foreign policy ability?

When it comes to domestic economic policy, he's saying exactly what I want to hear.

... but I think I need to look at a bigger picture. Bernie has never managed any organization bigger than his Senate office staff, and his plain spoken nature might not be a diplomatic virtue.

Bernie supporters: let's talk about this now so we are prepared talk about it later.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Sat May 30, 2015, 11:00 AM (67 replies)

Why there are no male primary school teachers.


A woman has mistakenly shamed a man on social media who she believed was taking photos of her children when he was actually taking a selfie next to a Star Wars display.
The mother took a photo of the man at the Westfield Knox shopping centre at Wantirna South, in Melbourne's east, and shared it to Facebook on Wednesday along with a status branding him a 'creep'.
Her post was then shared hundreds of times, until it was eventually seen by the man in question who contacted police to explain he was taking a selfie in front of a Darth Vader cut out to send to his children.
The father-of-three, who spoke to Daily Mail Australia on condition of anonymity, said he and his children were devastated by the ordeal

Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Sat May 9, 2015, 09:42 AM (3 replies)

We all know about Sanders' economic justice positions. What about Social issues?

In 2006, he voted against HJ resolution 88 which would have prevented states from allowing same sex marriage.
Clinton now claims that only after leaving the SoS position on February 1, 2013, she could take an unambiguous stand for marriage equality.
On the losing side of a 2:1 vote, Sanders voted against partial birth abortion ban of 1995. If you find the phrase "safe, legal and rare" to be problematic, then there may be better people to support than the ones who coined it.

My priority is economic justice and inequality, but I'd be interested to hear of any social issues on which Clinton holds a superior policy from Sanders, AND can demonstrate that it is reflective of a long term personal conviction.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Sun May 3, 2015, 12:55 PM (25 replies)
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