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Gender: Male
Hometown: Olympia, WA
Member since: Tue Nov 4, 2003, 08:02 PM
Number of posts: 31,026

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"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, 01:03 PM (4 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, 01:18 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, 01:07 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, 05:28 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, 12:00 PM (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, 10:42 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, 01:55 PM (25 replies)

Fuck it. Call it what it is.

OWS was disproportionately affluent young white males.

There's a whole lotta concern in that thread. "Nuh-uh! Take it back! There were plenty of decent people in OWS!"

Notably no one saying; "What's wrong with progressive young white men, and why is this observation considered a slur against OWS and their message?"

Why don't men vote for Democrats? It clearly must be because they're idiots... totally not because we're hostile to them.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Sat May 2, 2015, 10:59 AM (2 replies)

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, a pivotal time, to be a Democrat.

Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Thu Apr 30, 2015, 12:29 PM (0 replies)

Deadbeat or dead broke?


Deadbeat or Dead broke? Solangel Maldonado, UC Davis
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.


From Al Jazeera
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."
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Tue Apr 28, 2015, 07:54 PM (1 replies)
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