Sunday, May 16, 2010

16 MAY 10: Living Double, Thinking Single

The woman works at a courthouse in the Columbus area, so she undoubtedly has plenty of interesting stories to tell. If she has any about political candidates, I haven't heard them yet - although she might be waiting to mention them closer to the July primary.

But this employee told me a fascinating story about a recent visitor to her government office. A woman asked for divorce papers, which she apparently could fill out and turn in on the spot. I guess this is how a "quickie divorce" works in the U.S. In some cultures, the husband merely has to say "I divorce you" three times - which to me makes a marriage more like a pro wrestling match.

I'm told the woman and her husband could NOT simply fill out documents to get a divorce, because they have a six-year-old child. The couple would have to get approval from a judge - and the judge either would try to talk them out of it, or recommend them to TV's "Divorce Court" to gain a referral fee.

But as they say, this is where things get a little weird. The wife asked if she could go ahead and fill out the papers, if the couple kept living together after the divorce. Huh?! You divorce, yet keep living together?! Did someone get this idea from following the Larry King story?

As you might guess, this request puzzled workers at the courthouse. A little more questioning got to the heart of the matter. And in this case, it involved money - the wallet mattering more than the heart.

The wife apparently was receiving a government disability check before she became married. But marriage disqualified her from that money - so the family of three was living merely on the husband's paycheck. That can be a challenge for some families. Especially when husbands are used to the "hungry man" dinners, eating double portions at every meal.

So this wife dreamed of obtaining a divorce from her husband to regain government disability money. But the couple would keep living together, only with two checks. This isn't a DINK, as in "double income, no kids" - it's TINS: "two incomes, no shame."

The woman who shared this story left it open-ended - but I was left with the impression the couple still will have to get a judge's approval to become divorced. If the judge asks enough questions, I suspect he'll turn the couple down. But if the judge is part of a corrupt government system, he'll welcome one more family to the fold.

Make no mistake - if some people can find a loophole in the law, they'll do it. But it takes some gumption to attempt to drill that loophole yourself. I'd leave such things to the professionals -- and maybe Ken Nugent could get that couple an even bigger check.

-> Thursday was a nice day for us, at not one poker table but two. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: A man we mentioned in passing last Wednesday noticed it, and is making sure we know....

Mr. Burkard,

Do understand I have no problem with you mentioning my name on your blog. I thought you probably had long forgotten me. But since you mentioned my name in the company of Dr. Howell, I thought I would forward you the press release with the letter attachment. I noticed you did not post the letter that was forwarded to newspapers in Columbus, Macon, and Atlanta. I am sure it wasn't very interesting with local concerns and unsworn testimony at grand jury, and unarmed fellow citizens getting shot in the head twice by a sheriff deputy that was fired for breaking policy and procedure. You can't work in a good punch line for most decent because none of that is really funny unless you have a sick sense of human or... Kenneth Walker's life is the one life that doesn't matter much. But I notice you tried to find humor in it so your audience would be pleased and acceptting of something related to Kenneth Walker's death and the overall injustice connected with it.

FYI. The diverse crowd traveling with Ken Hodges was from Albany not Columbus. There was one African American business man that was with them from Columbus, and I was told possibly one other person from Columbus. The lack of diversity in our group at the press conference says more about race relations in Columbus than it does for us being racial bigots.

I don't think I qualify as much of a racist or bigot. I am not very much into hate. In fact, the only contact I have with hate is fighting it.I am about as anti-racist as they come. If you think differently, please clue me in. You know something about me I've missed.

I do not believe the NAACP would qualify as racist either nor Ed Dubose. Whites support and are members of the NAACP to this very day. But if I remember clearly, your blog made no mention of the lawsuit the mayor's campaign manager and top advisor brought against the Courier/Eco Latino, which was a First Amendment issue.

You do work for WTVM, which is media, right? The First Amemndment is certainly as important to WTVM as it is to the Courier/Eco Latino. You cover local stories on your blog in a humorous way to entertain your audience. The blog is Columbusga.blogspot. I would have to guess that means all Columbus. Obviously, the NAACP and jokes about oreo cookies and jokes about chocolate milk when it alludes to the NAACP suits your target audience.

You know you have to be carefu these days, at least some of us are supposed to. I call the mayor's campaign a consigliore in a column, criticize the mayor because he lied to me and other citizens as a candidate, and Councilor Pops Barnes goes on WLTZ in a debate with Nathan Suber he was losing on Rise-N-Shine and calls Wayne Hailes, the Courier Eco Latino, the Grassroots Unity Movement, my colleague and me all racists. Do you believe it???

But here on your blog you can get away with comments about chocolate milk regarding the press conference and another about oreo cookies and Reginald Pugh with both situations related to the aftermath of the Walker case and Kenneth Walker's death, and nobody has called you racist yet. We get a frivolous lawsuit filed against us from a close friend of the mayor and you get a pass. Who would have thunk it!

You bloggers do have it good. I see why toy took it up. You really have it going on for you around here.

I would not know, but that kind of privilege must be nice. Some folks have all the luck.

Be well....

Brother Love, Director

Grassroots Unity Movement for Change

Now how could I forget C.A. Hardmon, also known as Brother Love? He was the one who brought a feud with Columbus Urban League President Reginald Pugh to our attention two years ago [11 Aug 08]. I presumed that led to his regular commentaries in The Courier - as well as a seat on "The Street Committee," because he seems to be mentioned often there.

I did receive Brother Love's news release, and I was meaning to mention it in passing here. But I tend NOT to post news releases verbatim from anyone. For instance, I treated a release from state Rep. Richard Smith this past week the same way -- and if that's not fair and balanced neglect, I don't know what is.

That news release did clarify one question which has been on my mind for years -- why Columbus civil rights activists haven't been as harsh on Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker in the Kenneth Walker investigation. Baker apparently told them the decision on a second grand jury was up to Ken Hodges. Mr. "Tough as Nails" was more like a bouncy trampoline....

The news release confirmed the Grassroots Unity Movement for Change is on the side of the NAACP, when it comes to the Ken Hodges campaign. If Hodges has another political event in Columbus, the groups opposed to him plans to be there as well. But given the rest of Brother Love's e-mail, I'd better avoid any "me and my shadow" references.

Since Brother Love turned this into a finger-pointing message with tinges of racial accusations, let's check the archives. Yes, we mentioned the Frank Myers lawsuit last fall [20 Nov 09] - as well as the withdrawal of that suit two months later [19 Jan]. The latter item admittedly is buried under a lengthy review of a Martin Luther King Day service, which we actually attended.

My work with WTVM ended nearly a year ago - so I can't explain why that station didn't give the "follow-up" news conference last week the attention WRBL did. But I think this shows I'm on level ground with Brother Love. He knows as much about my employment as I do about the lawsuits he's facing.

(Maybe Brother Love can adjust future columns, to reduce his chances of a lawsuit. They're called punch lines -- and I recommend at least one a paragraph.)

I'd forgotten the time I mentioned Oreo cookies, relating to the Kenneth Walker case [22 Jul 07] -- but I'll give credit where credit is due. It was the late civil rights activist Hosea Williams who declared Maynard Jackson an "Oreo" when Williams challenged him for Atlanta Mayor in 1989. You'll notice who lost the race, and who now has an airport named after him.

(Wow, I thought "chocolate milk" was a polite phrase to use. At least milk has nutritional value. I could have stooped to liqueur comparisons....)

So I apologize if the two underlined references above were considered racist slaps. But if Brother Love thinks I really "have it good," I'd point out something. Assuming he's paid to write commentaries for The Courier, he probably was paid more last year than I earned in blog income. I'd have to take a lawsuit to court without an attorney - since I've also written jokes about so many of them.

If Kenneth Walker had been shot this weekend and not in 2003, I would have avoided the case completely. Recent complaints that I'm insensitive to matters of death would have taken priority. And this blog only mentioned the case in the first place because then-Sheriff Ralph Johnson refused to name the deputy involved [12 Dec 03] - a deputy still in seclusion, lest activist groups start following him.

SCHEDULED MONDAY: The big reveal we've waited months to see.... and other weekend stuff....

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