El Chapo and His Conjugal Visits

Sex, drugs, and…lax prison rules.  It’s good to be king(pin).

Before his escape, drug kingpin Jaoquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera enjoyed 46 conjugal visits – complete with access to Viagra – during his stay in Mexico’s highest security prison.

If you aren’t familiar, a conjugal visit allows prison inmates to meet with a spouse and engage in sexual congress – and aren’t afforded to high security prison inmates in the U.S..

Typically, conjugal visits are both a reward for good behavior and a valuable lifeline for prisoners, and more often than are shifting more towards family visitations to spend time with loved ones rather than a supervised booty call. But not for El Chapo.

Over his 16 months in prison, El Chapo averaged one such visit every nine days.  He escaped prison – through a daring and sophisticated tunnel system complete with a rail way – and was subsequently captured and re-incarcerated.

It has been reported that El Chapo is not receiving visits of the conjugal variety in his latest stint in the joint.  In an effort to avoid the embarrassment of a third escape, Mexico has Guzman under constant guard, restricted his access to Television, and have denied his requests for Viagra .

However, Guzman’s first trip to prison in 1993 was a much different story – even though it ended the same way with escape.  According to Insight Crime during this stay, Guzman regularly received conjugal visits – not only from his wife – but from girlfriends and sex workers alike.

Conjugal visit rules and procedures differ greatly from country to country.  In the U.S., only 4 states currently allow them at all – and no federal inmates are eligible – while nearly 20% of Mexican prisoners receive them.  In Spain, inmates are allowed conjugal visits every 4-6 weeks and the visit can last up to three hours.

 

Child Support From Wage Garnishments Up 20 Percent

This map provides a visual illustration of the continued increase in the amount of wage garnishment for child support in each state across the U.S. over the past decade at least.

A recent study shows that over 40 percent of all wage garnishments are for child support payments, which is significantly higher then the 20 percent for tax debts. Child support is far and away the number one reason for wage withholding and wage garnishment in the U.S.

Wage withholding or wage garnishment is defined as a forcible deduction of a parent’s paycheck used to pay off a certain type of outstanding debt. Wages can be garnished or withheld for a number of different reasons, including: Student loans, unpaid tax debt, and outstanding spousal and child support payments.

The total amount of wage garnishment for child support payments in the U.S. has more than doubled since 1998, and there are no signs of it slowing down.

There are many arguments as to why wage garnishment amounts for child support payments across the U.S. continue to rise. Some say it’s because passed legislation like the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act that transferred the economic burden of children from the government over to the parents. Another reason could be because of the growing number of divorces across the U.S.

This interactive map published by the San Diego divorce lawyers at the Boyd Law firm provides a visualization of child support wage garnishment from 1998 to 2013 in each state across the U.S. Data used in the visualization is from the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

 

Gone In An Instant: 10 Pro Athletes Who Suffered Career Ending Injuries

When a professional athlete is injured, there exists specific nomenclature to describe the severity of the injury and the length of time that they will be sidelined.  Day-to-day. Questionable. Out indefinitely. Injured reserve.   What no athlete, coach, or fan ever wants to hear, however, is “Career Ending”.  

From ‘nature of the game’ hits to freak accidents, a devastating injury can happen in an instant. These 10 athletes all had their careers – and in some cases their lives – cut short by one single injury.  (Warning – I’ve attached video clips of many of the injuries- some are gruesome looking)

  1. Bo Jackson

Anyone who ever played “Tecmo Bowl” can attest to the greatness of Bo Jackson as a running back.  The poster boy for the “All What If…?” team, Jackson was a star in both the NFL and MLB.  He possessed an almost unfair blend of power and speed; running the 40 yard dash in a combine record 4.16 seconds.  Drafted by the Raiders in the 7th round of the 1987 draft, Jackson rushed for 2,782 yards and 16 touchdowns in 4 years with the team.  At first glance it may seem pedestrian, but Jackson was able to do this while playing baseball full time and sitting behind Marcus Allen on the depth chart.  In a playoff game against the Bengals, Jackson appeared to be in extreme pain after being tackled by Kevin Walker.  His hip was partially dislocated.  Jackson reportedly “popped” it back into place while waiting for the trainer, but a buildup of fluid in the joint led to a condition known as avascular necrosis.  As a result, his hip deteriorated to the point that it had to be replaced.  While he was able to rehab and return to Major League Baseball, his speed and explosiveness was gone and he never played in the NFL again.

  1. Maurice Stokes

At 6’7” 240 pounds, Maurice Stokes was one of the best young forwards in the 1950’s era NBA.  Drafted third overall by the Cincinnati Royals, Stokes made an immediate impact, recording 32 points, 20 rebounds, and 8 assists in his pro debut.  He was named rookie of the year in the 1955-56 season and played in the NBA All Star game in each of his first three seasons.  Stokes was a rising star until tragedy struck in Minneapolis.  During a game against the Lakers – that’s right, the Minneapolis Lakers – Stokes drove to the basket, drew contact and fell awkwardly, striking his head on the court.  He had to be revived with smelling salts, but returned to the game.  Three days later, after a loss to Detroit, Stokes became ill on the plane flight home and was rushed to the hospital, where he lost consciousness.  He awoke weeks later a quadriplegic and was diagnosed with post-traumatic encephalopathy – a brain injury that damaged his motor functions.  The injury robbed Stokes of not only his career, but his speech and mobility as well.

  1. Kevin Everett

Drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft, Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett never got a chance to make a significant impact on the field.  His young career was riddled with injuries, his entire rookie season wiped out due to a ligament tear in his knee.  Through two years, Everett had totalled two receptions for four yards and spent most of his time on special teams.  On September 9, 2007 during a tilt with the Denver Broncos, he made a special teams tackle on return man Domenic Hixon then slumped to the field, motionless.  Everett was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fracture and dislocation of the cervical spine, resulting in damage to his spinal cord.  After surgery, Everett was on a respirator and given a “statistically small” chance of ever walking again, but defied the odds by walking under his own power less than three months after the injury.  He will never play football again but was given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2008 for his recovery from the injury.  

  1. Mike Utely

The “thumbs up” signal is used by athletes being carted off the field to let onlookers know they are ok.  While it may give fans and teammates a temporary sense of relief, it doesn’t always mean the player escaped serious injury.  Mike Utely is most closely associated with the signal and credited as the first player to use it in this capacity.  A third round pick by the Detroit in 1989 NFL draft, Utely became the Lions starting right guard in his rookie season.  His first two years were marred by injuries, but by year three Utely had gotten over nagging injuries and started every game through week 11.   Week 12 proved to be disastrous.  In the fourth quarter of the November 17th, 1991 game against the Los Angeles Rams, Utley came off the line in pass protection like he had done thousands of times.  This time, however, Rams defensive lineman David Rocker lept in the air to deflect a pass and came down on top of him, forcing him to the turf.  Utely tried to use his arms to break the fall, but crashing down head first.  Unable to move, he lay motionless until he was lifted onto a stretcher.  Utely was paralyzed from the chest down, but still had the use of his hands.  He balled his hand and gave the iconic thumbs-up signal.  The crowd cheer and his team won, but Utely never played football again.  Today, he is confined to a wheelchair but is an advocate and champion for spinal cord injuries.

  1. Bill Masterson

When the NHL expanded in 1967, going from six to twelve teams, it opened the door for more players to live their dreams and play in the National Hockey League.  One of these players was 29-year-old center Bill Masterson.  Unable to crack an original six roster before expansion, Masterson was the first player signed by the Minnesota North Stars for the ‘67-’68 season.  In the North Stars’ inaugural game, Masterson score the first goal in franchise history.  However, during a contest with the Oakland Seals, Masterson was checked hard by two defenders, fell backwards, and slammed his head on the ice.  Masterson, like nearly all players at the time, was not wearing a helmet and the force of the blow caused him to bleed from the mouth, nose, and ears.  He was rushed to the hospital where he died 30 hours later due to a brain hemorrhage.  He remains the only player in NHL history to have died as a direct result to an on-ice incident.  Several awards have been named after him, including the NHL’s Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy.

  1. Juan Encarnacion

Juan Encarnacion made his MLB debut in 1997 as a 21-year-old for the Detroit Tigers.  Encarnacion had good power, speed, and could play all three outfield positions.  Through his first 11 seasons, he played for the Tigers, Marlins, Dodgers, Reds, and Cardinals; and was a world series champion twice.  On August 31st, 2007, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, Encarnacion was warming up in the on-deck circle during a game.  Teammate Aaron Miles fouled off a pitch that struck Encarnacion in the face, leaving him with multiple fractures to the eye socket and a damaged optic nerve in his left eye.  Team doctor George Palatta described it as the worst injury to a baseball player’s face that he had ever seen.  Encarnacion filed for free agency in 2008 and has not played in the MLB since.

  1. Steve Moore

After a solid career with the Harvard Crimson, center Steve Moore was drafted 53rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1998 NHL draft.  In parts of three seasons, Moore began to carve out a role with the team.  In the ’03-’04 season, he became a mainstay of the lineup, appearing in 57 of the teams first 58 games.  Game 58 against the Vancouver Cunucks would be his last.  On February 16th, in retaliation to a hit that Moore laid on Canuck Star Marcus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi suckerpuched Moore from behind, drove his head into the ice, and fell on top of him.   Moore was rendered unconscious immediately and suffered a fractured vertebrae, facial lacerations, and a severe concussion.  Moore wore a neck brace for over a year after the incident and still, more than 9 years later, feels the effects of the concussion.  Despite training for a comeback, he never played another game in the NHL.  

  1. Napoleon Ardel McCallum

The second Raider running back on this list, Napoleon McCallum left the Navy Academy as the school’s all time leading rusher and set an NCAA record for career all purpose yards.  Due to his looming military commitment, McCallum fell to the 4th round of the 1986 NFL draft, where he was selected by the Raiders.  He was able to play in his rookie season, but was transferred to Alameda by the Navy the following year, where he finished his military commitment away from the NFL.  He returned to the Raiders in 1990, and played behind Marcus Allen for three seasons.  Then in a 1994 game against the San Francisco 49ers, McCallum’s NFL career came to an abrupt end.  49er linebacker Ken Norton Jr. twisted him to the ground while making a tackle.  McCallum’s cleat stuck in the ground as he went down, resulting in a horrific dislocation, tearing three ligaments and rupturing an artery in his left knee, and shearing his calf and hamstring from the bone.  McCallum’s surgeon gave him zero chance of ever being medically cleared to play football again and he was right.  It was the last time McCallum took the field.  

  1. Michael Irvin

The 11th overall pick in the 1988 NFL draft, Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin racked up 65 touchdowns and nearly 12,000 yards over his NFL career.  He won two Super Bowls with “America’s team” and was inducted into the pro football hall of fame in 2007.  However, he would have been able to add to his hall of fame resume if it weren’t for a career ending injury in 1999.  Against the Philadelphia Eagles, Irvin was tackled by defensive back Tim Hauck and went head first into the turf.  Irvin was carried off on a stretcher – while Eagles fans cheered his injury – and was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine), forcing him into early retirement.  Irvin has gone on to have a successful career with the NFL on Television, but never played football in the NFL again.

  1. Joe Theismann

You can’t have a career ending injury list without including Joe Theismann.  Theismann led the Washington Redskins to a Super Bowl championship in 1982 and set several franchise passing records.  However, his career was cut short with perhaps the most (in)famous, gruesome, and most viewed on-field injury in the history modern sport.  In a 1985 game against the New York Giants, Theismann was sacked by linebacker Lawrence Taylor.  On the way to the ground, Taylor’s knee drove straight into Theismann’s lower right leg, fracturing both the tibia and fibula.  Instant replay from the television broadcast showed Theismann’s foot and lower shin lying on the ground with his upper shin and knee at a 45 degree-angle. According to Theismann, “it snapped like a breadstick”.  The compound fracture to his leg left his right leg shorter than the left, forcing him to retire.  

Avoiding the Worst: Divorce and Custody, a Parent’s guide to Successful Separation

Many unhappy couples seek divorce as a remedy to their marital woes; what many don’t suspect is how toxic the side effects from this remedy can be to their family.

 

Often, the well-being of the family unit can get drowned out by the feelings of resentment and built up slights over many years of marriage. Custody can quickly become a means to hurt the opposing spouse rather than a means of preserving the child’s sense of stability.

 

Many parents see gaining as much of the custody as they can as a positive outcome; while losing sight of the toll it can take on a child. While there are many instances where one parent may be unfit and getting sole custody is in the best interest of the child, this is not often the case.

 

It can be detrimental for feuding divorce-seekers to allow for a court mandated custody agreement to rule their post-marriage family when both are fit caregivers in their own right. A study conducted by Janet Johnson, head of research for The Center for the Family in Transition, found that children of such arrangements were, “more likely to be symptomatic or at high risk in terms of their behavioral, emotional and social adjustment.”

 

When Only One Parent wins, Everyone loses.

 

Minimizing conflict and criticism of opposing spouse in front of the children will help them maintain a healthy perception of both parents. Young children often view things from a “black and white” perspective, and prolonged exposure to one parent over the other often leads the child to absorb that adult’s perceptions of the other.

 

It is important for divorcees to remember that what they may dislike in their partner may not be fair or relevant criticism of them as a caregiver to the children. However, a child will absorb all of this information and it may not just damage the other parent, but the child itself.

 

A study authored by Nithyakala Karuppaswamy and Judith Myers-Walls, Ph.D at Purdue University finds children adjust better to divorce if the parent’s do as well.

 

If the parents take the time to rationally work towards a balanced custody arrangement with the children’s needs primary in their minds; kids may even experience positive growth through a divorce where the parents continue to provide a strong sense of stability and well-being.

 

When Self-Control Just Won’t Do.

 

It is always easier said than done when it comes to trying to reconcile any amount of problems within a failed marriage. Sometimes the best thing to do is not always easy; and even then sometimes one partner may be willing to sacrifice what another won’t. While the courts are usually impartial and will provide a satisfactory custody arrangement; it should still be a last resort.

 

Even if one or both parties refuse to see eye-to-eye with each other; oftentimes outside support can make up the difference in maintaining stability for the kids. Seeking counsel from friends, family and professionals can help bring a broader perspective to the situation and allow for the two parties to come together.

 

Karuppaswamy and Myers-Walls both agree surrounding the children with loving members from the extended family is healthy for the children during a difficult divorce. Keeping the children reasonably informed can also be helpful for them; children need to be allowed to keep things clear in their own minds in order to positively come to terms with divorce.

 

Certain information is especially helpful:

 

  • Remind the children how loved they are by both parents and that the divorce is not their fault.
  • Information should be relevant and understandable based on their age.
  • It is important to keep the informed about what is going to happen to them and their lives, such as:
    • where they will be living,
    • whether they will remain in the same school,
    • how and when they will see each parent,
    • will they stay together with their brothers and sisters.
  • Young children should not be burdened with court matters such as child support, finances or other intimate details relevant to the divorce.

 

Having both parties involved with a therapist (and/or legal mediator in special cases) will go a long way in keeping things in perspective and helping both parties come to an acceptable resolution where the children are concerned; before going to court to worry about the less important things.
Sources:

http://www.extension.purdue.edu/providerparent/family-child%20relationships/effectdivorce.htm

http://www.ehow.com/info_8129727_psychological-effects-child-custody-child.html

http://www.public.iastate.edu/~rhetoric/105H16/cova/jlscova.htm