Absent dads to blame for dropouts

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● The consequences of ending the military draft are becoming readily apparent. Politicians, entertainers and opinion leaders who have no clue about the military are insisting on the end to “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Heavens, even the clueless Lady Gaga joins the parade.

But, of course, if one intends to use the military primarily for humanitarian and other low-stress missions, social engineering is more understandable. It’s not surprising that an administration that’s using NASA to make Muslims feel good about their contributions to science has its own agendas for the military.

● Headline: “Austell residents ask for more upscale stores.” Mommy, where do upscale stores come from? Once, my dear, free markets created them. Now? Let’s pressure the politicians.

● It’s really quite remarkable how much blame-shifting to the public schools occurs. The Schott Foundation, based in Cambridge, Mass., checks the numbers on high school dropout and graduation rates and concludes “the American educational system is systemically failing Black males.” Some 70 percent were born to unmarried women. The boys were failed by the no-shows at the altar. Quit passing the buck.

Drew Charter School, called a “cradle-to-college pipeline” in the once-horrendous East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta, is an example of interventions that can help — but lots of ideas that work on scales of one or two can’t be mass-produced. Because public schools often start with fatherless children and unstable homes, the current mass-education model is antiquated. Georgia should have a thousand or more schools where parents and teachers are designing structure and instruction to fit specific groupings of children. And please don’t federalize the process.

● I don’t know the newly chosen Atlanta school board chairman, Khaatim Sherrer El, 29, but if he always makes as much sense as he did in Sunday’s AJC interview, I don’t understand all the fuss about five members deciding to can his predecessor and choose him following the CRCT cheating scandal.

The system needs “to close out this investigation and do it in a way that is completely transparent …” El says, vowing, as I read his fuller remarks, to champion transparency.

● I don’t vote for third-party candidates. Ross Perot broke me of that. They’re spoilers. But if I did, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Monds of Cairo has a lot of appeal.

He’s a stay-at-home dad who home schools four children, ranging in age from 4 to 13. “You can tailor your teaching to the child. In the government system, you don’t have that type of flexibility. Also, you can instill a moral foundation not only to their life but to their learning,” he explains.

If I voted for third parties, I’d also be taking a hard look at Kira Willis, the party nominee for state school superintendent.

● How very sensible. Regents of the University System of Georgia will decide next month whether to require public colleges and universities to give slots to academically qualified applicants who are legal before giving them to illegals and to verify that students seeking in-state tuition are here legally. That’s a policy regents can explain and defend on every street corner in Georgia.

● Wake me when the Bishop Eddie Long tale ends. The country’s on the road to ruin and the sex life of a prominent and influential church figure, true as alleged or not, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Frankly, a man whose ministry touches the hearts and plants virtue in the souls of 25,000 people on Sunday is somebody whose travails should bring joy to nobody.

80 comments Add your comment


September 24th, 2010
1:59 pm

My father abandoned me and my sister when I was five. I finish high school and three years of college. If black males are failing at such a high rate, the cause is something more than absent fathers.


September 24th, 2010
2:12 pm

@ Chairman El: You, sir, sound like someone who Gets It. Good luck and do the kids of Atlanta proud.


September 24th, 2010
2:27 pm

wouldn’t the draft actually end DADT since gays would be forced to serve in the military?
and didn’t perdue just extend the toll on Ga 400?

Gov't too big already

September 24th, 2010
2:37 pm

Of course the Board of Regents needs to serve citizens who are here legally. But how will you feel when your child’s application has to be accompanied by proof of US and Georgia citizenship – copies of tax returns, mortages, birth certificates and passports will lead to much complaining from Georgia citizens. And why do Georgia universities have to be the only immigration enforcers? What about k-12, hospitals, courts – all who are also funded by state tax dollars?

And don’t forget the extra costs to hire folks at the state schools to process all the newly required paperwork.

Get out your checkbooks, Georgians!


September 24th, 2010
9:50 pm

I’m considering voting for Monds.


September 25th, 2010
6:48 am

Mr. El,

Let me join the others in wishing you Godspeed. You’re the steward of dear hopes.

Transparency alone doesn’t cut it, though. Once in custody Ted Bundy was disturbingly forthcoming and transparent. A clear window on nonfeasance or malfeasance fixes nothing.

Still, it’s a fine start, and I’m an enthusiast for your pledge to “put the ‘public’ back into public education”. Transparency is good, but i’s just a start.

A few weeks ago our Jim Wooten asked Georgia voters simply to hold the line on the reforms in pupil assessment brought into effect under the Perdue regime. Today, Mr. Wooten called for more than that. He unmistakably called for (a) generalizing charters; (b) customization of local schools; (c) individualization of student learning; and (d) subsidiarity over against state and, especially, federal standardization of education. I would’ve liked to have taken your views on these pressing subjects, but instead read your already familiar endorsement of windowpane mismanagement.

As you already are a prominent politician perhaps you’ll remember that politicians require at least three legs if the stool is to stand. Transparency makes for only one sturdy leg.


September 25th, 2010
8:24 am

Sounds like Jim is all for Priests and Ministers ” Touching ” little boys with the Ruin of the country and all that !

That is ” Thinking Right ” the Republican way……sort of like ….” Don’t look don’t ask ” !


September 25th, 2010
10:06 am

That’s pretty funny, Peter the lib. Did your mommy teach you that, you little liberal child? Funny you make a snide comment about “don’t ask…” there, ace, because it was your hero the rapist in chief Bill Clinton who signed that legislation.


September 25th, 2010
10:35 am

Don’t even get me started with father-less children and what happens to society.

And WTF is up with ‘Dr. Stan and his retoric comments.

O-BLO-ME , Pelosi and the clowns are soon to be gone. Long gone, GONE WITH THE WIND………….

Catch my drift ??????????


September 25th, 2010
3:37 pm

Jimbo, you might want to check this out regarding health care reform. And I thought only Republicans were allowed to say, “America has told us …” Problem is the Repubs only hear from their own.

A new AP poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1.

The poll found that about four in 10 adults think the new law did not go far enough to change the health care system, regardless of whether they support the law, oppose it or remain neutral. On the other side, about one in five say they oppose the law because they think the federal government should not be involved in health care at all.

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AP Poll: Repeal? Many Wish Health Reform Went Further

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul has divided the nation, and Republicans believe their call for repeal will help them win elections in November. But the picture’s not that clear cut.

A new AP poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1.

“I was disappointed that it didn’t provide universal coverage,” said Bronwyn Bleakley, 35, a biology professor from Easton, Mass.

More than 30 million people would gain coverage in 2019 when the law is fully phased in, but another 20 million or so would remain uninsured. Bleakley, who was uninsured early in her career, views the overhaul as a work in progress.

The poll found that about four in 10 adults think the new law did not go far enough to change the health care system, regardless of whether they support the law, oppose it or remain neutral. On the other side, about one in five say they oppose the law because they think the federal government should not be involved in health care at all.

The AP poll was conducted by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Overall, 30 percent favored the legislation, while 40 percent opposed it, and another 30 percent remained neutral.

Those numbers are no endorsement for Obama’s plan, but the survey also found a deep-seated desire for change that could pose a problem for Republicans. Only 25 percent in the poll said minimal tinkering would suffice for the health care system.

Brian Braley, 49, a tech industry worker from Mesa, Ariz., wants Washington to keep its hands off. “I think it’s a Trojan horse,” Braley said of the health care law. “It’s a communist, socialist scheme. All the other countries that have tried this, they’re billions in debt, and they admit this doesn’t work.”

It may well satisfy people who share Braley’s outlook if Republicans succeed in tearing out what they dismiss as “Obamacare” by the roots. But GOP leaders would still find themselves in a quandary.
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Republicans “are going to have to contend with the 75 percent who want substantial changes in the system,” said Stanford political science professor Jon Krosnick, who directed the university’s participation.

“Republican legislators’ passion to repeal the legislation is understandable if they are paying attention to members of their own party,” Krosnick added. “But if they want to be responsive to all Americans, there are more Democrats and independents than there are Republicans.”

Just think of that, there are more Americans out there than the yellers and screamers we hear and see on TV.

Not So Casual Observer

September 25th, 2010
11:27 pm


So now we know the source of your fractured thinking – you were “touched” by a family member?

There is no rational explanation for Peter or Liberalism, both are a lie and a loser from the beginning.

Poor Pete will not even stand up and admit he lied in previous posts, much less write anything that remotely makes sense. Little Peter attacks Jim as though his article supports the “alleged” actions of Eddie Long. That is pathetic Pete, even for you!

Not So Casual Observer

September 25th, 2010
11:33 pm

Retiredds and the Liberal media have somehow turned around the 70% who have reportedly opposed Obamacare into only 20% who wish the bill repealed and 40% who wish to have the act expanded.

Apparently the Libs still adhere to the idea that if you keep saying something over and over, regardless of the truth of the statement, then the lie becomes fact.

I am sorry, Lib, but the fantasy you try to promote here will be crushed on 11/2.

Not So Casual Observer

September 25th, 2010
11:42 pm


An article only quoting college professors and other Liberals is not worth the time you took to copy and paste.

You remind me of the fat Democrat toad of a “contributor” on Fox news who complained his children could not have health insurance because of his heart condition, yet there he sat 50-75 pounds overweight and completely devoid of any feeling of responsibility. The fat joke could not understand his inability to control his weight was his real problem and his self-absorbed consumption of the wrong foods was the reason his children were not insured.

As with all Libs, their problems are always the fault of the rich white guy, corporations, Wall Street and anyone they can blame. Liberals are a fraud upon life.

Lin Tse Lo Han

September 26th, 2010
7:31 am

I smell Wellesley

Lin Tse Lo Han

September 26th, 2010
7:45 am

That last remark was onnacounta my immediately previous one somehow ran afoul of our hidden editor an ubertroll, so the message got nixed.

Now that’s pretty galdarned fun-knee, in a knee-jerkin’ knee-slappin’ knee-cappin’ kinda way.

I miss Reg Murphy. Break out. Breakout. Break out. Maybe a Ted Turner will happen and you’ll like it. Maybe a Jimmy Carter. Whichever, break out. Please break out. More precisely, BREAK OUT!


September 26th, 2010
9:41 am

See my 10:35 from yesterday…..


Lin Tse Lo Han

September 26th, 2010
12:39 pm

Well what’s the point when the commissars excise any blow perceived as unbearable by you, weaklings of editorial implication?

Gosh, I should think that the simple purpose of any editor of this site would be to scour the dirty words. It’s frankly shocking that you weirdly frightened–or else supremely exclusive–people would erase two (apparently necessarily) perfectly polite criticisms. Allow me, AJC, to re-peat the word: criticism.

Need smelling salts?

Lin Tse Lo Han

September 26th, 2010
12:47 pm


I tried to respond to you, at some length, but this crazy commissar flushed down the toilet all that I’d written to you over the course of an hour. I suspect that it wash flushable because fleetingly it alluded to this paper’s notoriously unfriendly relations with the First Amendment.

Lin Tse Lo Han

September 26th, 2010
12:55 pm

Actually, I’m incensed that the AJC spiked my truly considered response to you, and after they reoccupy their respective desks I’ll bedevil them until they confess their cowardice.

Lin Tse Lo Han

September 26th, 2010
1:01 pm


It was daringly constructive, or so I thought…

Then, unto the maw of some vicious lesbian-separatist hagMan who represents the future of the tree-pulp paper.


September 26th, 2010
8:13 pm

Lin Tse Lo Han ……………..



September 26th, 2010
9:06 pm

It’s me. But the troll won’t let cross the bridge. I was trying to point out that, while editing a report on the status of young African American males, I’d learned the telling fact that Black children account for roughly 40% of those in foster care. When one absorbs that tragic statistic, and places it into the quite Solomonic context of African and Afro-American surrogation, the point becomes, not biological parents but extended families. Not the State as nanny, but kin. I’m afraid that Jim inadvertently argues for a nanny state that, in any event, won’t have a happy ending to children’s bedtime stories. It’s love that counts.


September 27th, 2010
9:48 am

“The consequences of ending the military draft are becoming readily apparent.”

True. If we had the draft there would be thousands of gays in the military and no one would say a word.

During Viet Nam, should we have allowed young men to register as “gay” and thus have been excluded from the draft? Having lived through it I can say that millions of “straights” would have registered as “gay” just to avoid the draft.

Same question, if there was a real national emergency today and we absolutely had to draft all between 19 and 26, would you allow people to register as “gay” and thus be exempted from the draft?

If gays cannot honorably serve their country in the armed forces, should they be allowed to pay taxes?

For the record I was drafted in 1967 and served two years. I am straight but served with many gays in the battalion I was assigned to for my entire tour of active duty. No one complained about gays, just about those who refused to do their job.


September 27th, 2010
10:03 am

AHHHH, the only thing my detractors can come up with are:libs this and libs that. The more things change the more they remain the same. Time to come up with some different ideas and slogans, boys.

Rightwing Troll

September 27th, 2010
2:47 pm

As always you completely ignore what your conservative courts do to divorced dads who wish nothing more than to be a part of thier children’s lives. Just because I pay my child support doesn’t mean my children won’t end up as part of the statistics, but the conservative courts of Cobb County won’t have any part of allowing me to make any decisions regarding thier upbringing or thier lives.

Hopefully my next go round in the courts will be better, now that my judge, judge fanny pincher, has been forced to retire. He was one of the worst, he couldn’t say why things are in Cobb County, nor could he provide any sort of law backing up his ruling, just that “that’s how it’s always been done in Cobb”…

BTW, Pathetic at best is your hidden agenda and use of the code word “absent dad” to mean black dad.


September 27th, 2010
7:27 pm



September 28th, 2010
7:01 pm

That’s a really good question, STONER, assuming that you’re referring to our spurious genetiic (and genealogical categories). On the sociological level only, he’s one who grew up identified as a Black man, and therefore did identifying with his blackness, in an era of heightened, homogenious racial identity when Black males, having rejected the standards of their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, were encouraged in licentiousness and misogyny. Alienated, he’s the ultimate alienator even of his offspring.

Certainly I don’t report anything not prophesied by artists and not professed by scholars as long as 70 years ago, but by the time the mainstream Youth Culture came along, and the two subcultures hooked up generationally, it was obvious whom the scapegoats would become. Such still is the case. The renegade was cool among the somewhat older White men who now work for President Obama, but the renegade Black man was cool for 15 minutes (unless we’re talking about Jazz, which almost didn’t count for awhile). Then, it was time to light out for the territories, go on the lam–whatever–leaving the young mother and relatives holding the little ones. Corrections, upon Corrections.

What strikes me as odd is that this misery is still celebrated in Rap and even Hip Hop, and frankly I can’t tell whether it’s nostalgic–like the romances on Dillinger and even Capone–or whether it’s reenactment [which obviously it has been, in too many pathetic cases], or rather instead is a continuation. A generational continuation perpetuated by supercharged, media-memory.

Hope that answers your question as to my ponderings.

Jed Rothwell

September 28th, 2010
8:52 pm

You wrote: “the sex life of a prominent and influential church figure, true as alleged or not, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.”

I suggest you look at this video from Fox News, an interview with one of the victims:


This does not matter? The man destroyed his life. He enslaved him, and violated him, along with three others and probably many more. All the while he demonized gay people, turned their families against them, and made some of them hate themselves. As Jamal Parris says, Eddie Bishop is a monster.


September 29th, 2010
9:34 pm

Mr. Rothwell,

That’s a really considerable concern with me for three reasons. First, I’m a former lay pastor and college chaplain who never got a whiff of sexual misdoings despite my weekly obligations to ecumenical confabs, which basically were interfaith shop talk, I was clueless.

Second, it’s really hanky for our Jim to counterbalance the man’s alleged transgressions over against his numerical popularity. In the Copenhagen of 1855 this kind of thinking was dubbed “statistical Christianity”.

Finally, as I’ve matured more and more persons attest to me of their sexual abuse and even sexualization at the hands of trusted clerics both Catholic and Protestant. Almost always these plaintiffs are male, and some of them couldn’t handle the betrayals and still cannot do.

There’s such a millstone factor at work here that I admire Jim’s addressing the hideous subject at all, but he’s so inveterate in his Old School journalistic detachment that sometimes he’s lax on denouncing persons before all the facts are in, or before the gavel falls. The high advantage of that kind of training is that it alerts one to the next prospective scapegoat because it heightens one’s awareness of the ever madding mob.

I too believe he’s wrong in this instance, but his free assertion and his venue are what give us an opportunity to discuss this tragic matter.

It is so godawful that we see the promised false prophets. I personally pray for that battleground as such, for the transgressors as for the transgressed. How is a child, the like of whom cannot enter the Kingdom, to be expected to distinguish church from faith, his pastor from his Maker?

These old categorical errors indict us all, and not only the notorious abusers. The conflation of categories makes children the target. Makes a strong person want to quit. But I hope strongly that Jamal and the others never quit their faith, only the church.

Wooten- brain fartin' and pootin'

September 30th, 2010
3:34 pm

That statement about Eddie Long is bizarre.