My excuse is that this 3 hours a day, six days a week class is tough. And, we do our homework on line, so the Professor checks us against every problem (and it all counts for the final grade). And, we had a 60 question test on Friday. It was take home, but it was timed—two hours. The course is Macroeconomics, for those of you snickering at the old man stumbling along.
So, things to blog about include the UMass Lowell billboard down on the 93 Freeway, by Mystic Valley Parkway. Then there is the fact that UMass Lowell is doing a good job of keeping the classrooms clean and warm. I wonder if that is because Chancellor Meehan goes to Mass at the Immaculate and has decided to plot a different course. Father Nick is more like HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke believes a more austere environment builds character.♠ On the other hand, we are now down in the Crypt Church—the lower church—and it is a wonderful warm environment in which to worship and the sound system is excellent.
Then there is the former State Senator from Cambridge, although he has been covered by several other local bloggers. Suffice it to say that drinking and driving don't mix and it was good to see that the judge in that case made that point. Speaking of politics, there was the debate amongst the three candidates to replace the TSW.♥ I was so busy I didn't even watch it. And, fresh from The Herald is an article about that race, titled "Scott Brown swearing-in would be stalled to pass health-care reform". It seems the Democratic Party establishment in our fair Commonwealth is looking to do a long count if State Senator Brown becomes the winner in the race. The article had one person talking about a month to "certify" the election. That would mean that the TSW would be able to vote for the Health Care Insurance Reform Bill, if, as expected, it comes up for a vote before the President's State of the Union speech. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
The thing that really caught my attention was this bit of gossip from The Washington Post.  It seems the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)♣ has become engaged to woman "B" right after woman "A" gave birth to his child. The Headline is "Peter Orszag, just engaged, acknowledges new baby with ex-girlfriend Claire Milonas". Sure, those names mean nothing to you. They mean nothing to me, but if we were inside the Beltway we would recognize Mr Orszag's name and understand that he is one very powerful person in the Obama Administration, albeit behind the scenes. From the story:
Life can be complicated. So it turns out for OMB Director Peter Orszag, who, just weeks before getting engaged to ABC correspondent Bianna Golodryga, became a new father -- via his ex-girlfriend.Does this remind you of anyone?
Orszag, 40, and his ex, N.Y.C.-based venture capitalist Claire Milonas, 39, released a joint statement Wednesday acknowledging the birth of a daughter, after the New York Post reported that the Ivy-educated shipping heiress delivered Tatiana Zoe Milonas on Nov. 17.
Of course, Tom Brady; and a lot of other men who have fathered children only to move on to a relationship with some other woman. Remember Bridget Moynahan, mother to Mr Brady's first child. Then there is Mr Brady's wife, Gisele Bündchen, mother of his second child.
OK, so they are the rich and famous and don't have to live by the standards of stoggy middle class people. Money does make a difference and neither Claire Milonas nor Bridget Moynahan, nor their children, will suffer privation. However, there are a lot of mothers and children out there who will, abandoned by the father of the child.
Children born out of wedlock are a growing problem. See this Slate article from almost two years ago.
And, as we all know, or should know, the number one indicator of success in the US is not your parent's bank account or your skin color, but if your two natural parents are still married.
So, here is what I propose. When a woman delivers a baby and they gather the vital statistics the woman is asked to name the father of the young child. If it is her husband, all fine and dandy. If she didn't bring a husband to the delivery room, she is still asked to name the father—and the reason is that the State has an interest in that father having a role in the upbringing of that child, to include providing support to that child until that child is ready to go to work, be it age 18 or age 22. The State's interest in the father providing support is very strong, since otherwise the State may end up providing that support (and that really means the rest of us, up to the point that all births are out of wedlock and then it is just a scheme to keep bureaucrats employed).
So, you are the named father. If you don't think so, the State will provide a free paternity test. If you are not the father, the mother gets to pick again. I would give her three picks and if none of them work out, then I would have the State take the baby away and put it up for foster care, in that a woman who can't pick the father within three attempts is probably not capable of properly raising said child.
Of course the real impact of this would be the social pressure that would descend on mothers who lost their children due to not being able to name the father. There would be the additional pressure on men who are interested in sex, but not interested in being responsible for helping to raise a child. It might result in an increase in abortions, but I am not so sure. Women who want to have that child may think they can play "Name that Dad" with some success.
Like everything that happens in a legislature, there will be exceptions built in. Just look at the current Health Care Insurance Reform Bill before Congress. I would say that if a woman is raped and elects to keep the child she is exempt from the requirement, if she went to the police. As for Lesley Northrup, I say move to another state.
Regards — Cliff
♠ The Duke insisted that Prince Charles should attend his school, Gordonstoun, with its tradition of cold showers.
♥ That would be the Teddy Seat Warmer, Mr Paul Kirk.
♣ Office of Management and Budget is a cabinet level office. While the incumbent is not in line to succeed the President, he still wields a lot of power.