aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
ACLU Asks Georgia Appeals Court to Dismiss Jailtime for Lesbian Mother
The ACLU is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to intervene in the case of a local [Wilkinson] county judge who blocked an adoption after finding out that the adoptive mother lived with her lesbian partner of seven years. Elizabeth Hadaway returned the child to her biological mother, who upon seeing how distraught the child was at the separation, insisted that Hadaway retain custody. Hadaway ended her relationship with her partner, moved to a different county and reapplied for custody, prompting the original judge to cite her for contempt and sentencing her to jail for five to ten days. Despite that, Hadaway persisted and in May she finally won legal custody in her new county. The ACLU is asking that the contempt citation and jail sentence be dismissed.
Google Docs Rocks
Common Craft, Google Docs in Plain English:
RELATED: Microsoft Issues 10 Reasons Why Enterprises Shouldn’t Use Google Apps from Read/Write Web, “It looks like someone in Redmond hit the panic button a bit too early.”
A Blind Trust so candidates don’t know who’s contributing
Greenspan’s making the rounds to flack his book. Good for him, that’s the way things are done:
When he was chairman, his public statements had enormous power. As he’s finding out, they still do. In February, he rattled the markets by predicting there was a one in three chance of a recession this year. It forced the current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to try and calm things down, and raised questions about the propriety of his speaking out.
“This isn’t like any normal forecaster going public,” Stahl remarks.
“So I then become incarcerated and I’m not allowed to do anything because I might say something?” Greenspan asks.
What’s his responsibility?
“My responsibility is what I am doing now,” Greenspan says. “I’m not commenting on monetary policy, I’m commenting on global things.”
“Yeah, but the comment that has most people upset was your prediction about a recession,” Stahl points out. “That you shouldn’t be commentingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦on recession-inflation.”
“But how am I going to pursue my profession without doing precisely that?” Greenspan asks.
“Well you know, sometimes people in Congress have this rule that they can’t work in related fields, or can’t become a lobbyist for x amount of time. Should there be a respite here?” Stahl asks.
“There was,” Greenspan says. “For a year, I was not allowed to go lobby the Fed, which I have never done,”
Greenspan says there’s no restriction about speaking and he doesn’t think there should be one. He also doesn’t think he should impose restrictions on himself.
Bob Reich, flacking his book, has a different take:
One year! Well… that has almost no consequence. I mean, you want a ban that’s five years. I mean, you want public financing of elections so that our candidates, right now most the Democratic candidates for president have said, `No, we’re not going to take public financing because we don’t want to be limited. We don’t want to be constrained. We can make more money--raising more money by not taking public finance.’ Well, you need more public financing dollars so that candidates don’t make that choice.
And even a more radical suggestion. Have a blind trust so that individual members of Congress or individual candidates cannot know who’s contributing to them. If you want to contribute, sure you have a First Amendment right to contribute, but you don’t have a First Amendment right to have a seat at the table when somebody you contribute to gets in. And if it’s a blind trust so that the individual candidates never know who is contributing to them, then they’re not going to give you an invitation to a seat at that table, based upon your campaign contributions.
Consumer debt opportunists
I’m not sure the world yet knows that I’ve taken in my young nephew to help him make his way through college. One of the biggest trials in the tribulations of doing that has been dealing with his accrued debt.
I certainly don’t blame him; I blame predatory lending practices and elected officials who aid and abet them. As I work to refinance his debt, I am amazed again at how eager these companies are to throw high-interest unsecured money at me.
Why I should be amazed I don’t know. I have my own ignoble history with consumer debt. I broke free in a kindler gentler time; we have no forgiveness now. Only punishing blame. And an industry rising up to take make money from the wreckage.
I recently saw an amazing commercial on CNN Headline News for an operation called 1-800-Credit Card Debt. It appears to be some sort of debt adjustment agency. The CEO, a guy named, Tom Cooke, I think, was speaking and said “Don’t let bankruptcy even enter your thoughts.” I sure hope these guys are not allowed to serve as a BAPCPA credit counselor. (What I believe to be their website is a bit more balanced.) The commercial, though, raises the question of whether there are any ethical guidelines for credit counselors? What about liability? Malpractice? I would think that a credit counselor should be obligated to neutrally inform people of their full range of options under the law. For some folks, filing for bankruptcy is a wise decision.
Of course, this commercial was immediately followed by one for a Merrill Lynch Rewards Visa. From the commercial you’d think that Merrill was selling (or just giving away) rewards, not a payment product. The term the commercial used was “Earn points to use for rewards.” A more accurate phrasing would be buy points to use for things you would otherwise buy directly.” The combined message of these commercials-go out and earn rewards points, and when you get overextended don’t think about bankruptcy.
Here a look at this year’s bankruptcy statistics.