The only thing single mothers are “victims” of is their own choice to have sex with men they’re not married to. Liberals seem to believe that drinking soda is voluntary, but getting pregnant is more like catching the flu.
It would be hard to make the case that fast food, plastic bags and cigarettes do more damage than single motherhood.
– Controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is that he was raised by a single mother.
– At least 70 percent of juvenile murderers, pregnant teenagers, high school dropouts, teen suicides, runaways and juvenile delinquents were raised by single mothers.
– A study back in 1990 by the Progressive Policy Institute showed that, absent single motherhood, there would be no difference in black and white crime rates.
So liberals don’t try to make that case. They just say they’re against “shaming” and then go back to shaming gun owners, non-recyclers, smokers and “Big Gulp” aficionados — while subsidizing illegitimacy.
President Obama’s bid to control what your children learn in school is surely one of the most important and disturbing of his many transformative plans. Not only is Obama’s attempt to devise what is in effect a national K–12 school curriculum arguably unconstitutional and illegal, the fact that most Americans have no idea that the new “Common Core” (a.k.a. Obamacore) even exists may be the most troubling thing about it.
Today’s Washington Post features an article on the controversy being kicked up by the new English curriculum that 46 states and the District of Columbia are just now waking up to. Not coincidentally, this new education war is hitting less than a month after Obama’s re-election, just in time to prevent the public from taking the most effective step it could have to block the changes. You have to get nearly to the end of today’s Post article even to get a hint of the fact that Obama is the real force behind the new curriculum. Following that link takes you to an article that more frankly lays out Obama’s role in commandeering the substance of what’s taught in the nation’s schools. The print version of this September 21, 2012 article featured a more revealing headline than the web version: “Education overhaul largely bypasses Congress.”
image courtesy shutterstock / Valerii Kotulskyi
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
In the name of equality, the French government has proposed doing away with homework in elementary and junior high school. French President Francois Hollande argues that homework penalizes children with difficult home situations, but even the people whom the proposal is supposed to help disagree.
It’s 5:30 p.m. and getting dark outside, as kids pour out of Gutenberg Elementary School in Paris 15th arrondissement. Parents and other caregivers wait outside to collect their children. Aissata Toure, 20, is here with her younger sister in tow. She’s come to pick up her 7-year-old son. Toure says she’s against Hollande’s proposal to do away with homework.
“It’s not a good idea at all because even at a young age, having individual work at home helps build maturity and responsibility,” she says, “and if it’s something they didn’t quite get in school, the parents can help them. Homework is important for a kid’s future.”
There’s another big reason the French government is making changing school policy a top priority, Gumbel says.
“The French are discovering — to their horror — that their performance internationally has been declining over the last 10 years. The French actually are performing [worse] than the Americans in reading and science,” he says.
This is a huge shock, Gumbel says, to a country that long considered itself an education pioneer.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
If you were designing a K-12 education system from scratch, with no preconceived notions, and taking full account of the breathtaking technological innovations that have made possible a high-quality, highly personalized education for every child, what would that system look like?
Chances are that it would look little like the hidebound, bureaucratic, expensive, top-down, one-size-fits-all, command-and-control, inefficient, reform-resistant, administratively bloated, special-interest manipulated, obsolete, impersonal bricks-and-mortar system that represents the most disastrous failure of central planning west of Communist China and south of the United States Postal Service.
And yet, that is the system to which the vast majority of American schoolchildren are consigned. Little wonder that American high schoolers rank 21st out of 30 economically advanced nations in science literacy and 25th in math. Our nation cannot continue to thrive so long as our schools are pumping out mediocre graduates who cannot compete effectively in the world economy.
The proliferation of school choice—through open public school enrollment, magnet schools, charter schools, school vouchers, and scholarship tax credits—has expanded educational opportunities and competition within American K-12 education. Charter schools, in particular, often provide world-class educational programs to a growing number of children, and they sometimes offer individualized, technology-based programs.
But most existing school choice programs provide variations of the same nineteenth-century model that continues to dominate K-12 education: classroom-based instruction in a bricks-and-mortar setting. The school choice programs operate within a system in which the vast majority of funding is directed toward school districts, based on student counts. Charter and voucher programs make that funding transportable to particular types of alternative schools, but do not give families full control of funding to maximize opportunities for their children.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
The French national health-care system is called Sécurité Sociale. It is currently running a $13 billion deficit, but President François Hollande has some ideas about a new direction for the program. For starters, in 2013, it will start covering the cost of abortion entirely. That’s right: If you get an abortion in France, the “government” will pick up the tab and it won’t cost you a dime. But in the name of fiscal responsibility, the president will pay for the new spending by taxing seniors. Hes planning on imposing a tax of 0.15 percent on retirees, which will double in 2014. To be fair, the revenue from the new tax is not just meant to cover the new “abortion” spending, but also to reduce the deficit. We’ll see how well that goes.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
BOSTON (AP) — A couple from Hong Kong has sued a U.S.-based college admissions consultant for failing to get their two sons into an Ivy League university as he had allegedly promised.
Gerald and Lily Chow say in their suit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston that they gave Mark Zimny more than $2 million to get their sons into an elite American university, preferably Harvard.
Hat tip: Drudge
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. births fell for the fourth year in a row, the government reported Wednesday, with experts calling it more proof that the weak economy has continued to dampen enthusiasm for having children.
But there may be a silver lining: The decline in 2011 was just 1 percent – not as sharp a fall-off as the 2 to 3 percent drop seen in other recent years.
“It may be that the effect of the recession is slowly coming to an end,” said Carl Haub, a senior demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization.
Most striking in the new report were steep declines in Hispanic birth rates and a new low in teen births. Hispanics have been disproportionately affected by the flagging economy, experts say, and teen birth rates have been falling for 20 years.
Falling births is a relatively new phenomenon in this country. Births had been on the rise since the late 1990s and hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007.
But fewer than 4 million births were counted last year – the lowest number since 1998.
Among the people who study this sort of thing, the flagging economy has been seen as the primary explanation. The theory is that many women or couples who are out of work, underemployed or have other money problems feel they can’t afford to start a family or add to it.
The economy officially was in a recession from December 2007 until June 2009. But well into 2011, polls show most Americans remained gloomy, citing anemic hiring, a depressed housing market and other factors.
The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a first glimpse at 2011 birth certificate data from state health departments. More analysis comes later but officials don’t expect the numbers to change much.
Early data for 2012 is not yet available, and it’s too soon to guess whether the birth decline will change, said the CDC’s Stephanie Ventura, one of the study’s authors.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
image courtesy shutterstock / Big Pants Production
DOVER, Del. (CBS) – Three daycare employees were arrested on Monday for allegedly watching and encouraging toddlers to fight each other while under their care.
According to Dover Police, three employees from the Hands of Our Future Daycare in Delaware were arrested after a cell phone video showed employees watching and encouraging two 3-year-olds fight each other.
Tiana Harris, 19, Lisa Parker, 47, and Estefania Myers, 21, were charged with Assault, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Reckless Endangering and Conspiracy for the incident, which occurred in March of 2012 and was captured on cell phone video.
Related at PJ Lifestyle on parents and children:
As the euro zone debt crisis deepens and austerity measures take their toll across Europe, the number of young children and babies abandoned across the region has increased, according to local charities.
The rise in the abandonment of infants across Europe is most visible in the spread of “baby hatches” or “boxes” across Europe, where unwanted infants are left anonymously.
The phenomenon was previously more prevalent among immigrants, but it is becoming more widespread among financially desperate members of the local population.
The hatches are sensor-activated so when a baby is placed, an alarm is activated and a carer comes to collect the child. Despite the practice being widely viewed as contravening the 1953 European Convention on Human Rights, of the 27 EU member countries, 11 countries still have “baby hatches” in operation, including Germany, Italy and Portugal.
In those countries where hatches are illegal, the number of infants abandoned in hospitals, clinics and churches has also risen, raising concerns among European charities, the UN and the European Commission that austerity measures and increasing social deprivation are the catalyst for the rise in child abandonment.
According to SOS Villages, a European charity that attempts to help families in financial hardship before abandonment occurs, in the last year alone 1,200 children in Greece and 750 in Italy have been abandoned. That is almost double the 400 children abandoned in Italy a year ago, and up from 114 children abandoned in Greece in 2003.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Howard Bloom: Why Societies Develop Like Embryos
Dave Swindle: The Waiting for ‘Superman’ of the New Atheists
The numbers reported by the Nation’s Report Card of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that approximately two-thirds of American public school students achieve below grade level in reading and mathematics. This is old news, and yet reform efforts over three decades have yielded insignificant improvements. Why? And what can be done?
The needed resources and technologies are here. The U.S. is near the top of the list in per student spending on public schools and is well known for its advanced technologies. Little used educational technologies could transform our schools from their deplorable status into successful institutions that would bring the vast majority of American children to grade-level performance. Among the technologies available, two in particular, used wisely, show substantial effects: incentives and automated tutoring.
More on education at PJ Lifestyle:
Tom Hardy may be a bankable Hollywood star these days, but one of his biggest roles is off-screen: as a father to his 4-year-old son, Louis.
“I like to go no longer than three weeks without seeing my loved ones, but it does take some juggling,” Hardy, 34, tells Company Magazine’s August issue of being a working dad who often has to film far from home.
“I’m very much aware of being a ‘Skype father,’ which is sad,” he says. “But I have to have the finances to make sure [my son will] be secure, and I can only do that by working.”
Im delighted to announce that Simon and I are expecting our first child together. I wanted you to hear the news direct from me, obviously we’re over the moon and very excited but please respect our privacy at this precious time. Yours always, Adele xx
Drinking alcohol while pregnant is risky business. Studies have proven that a heavy dose of alcohol can bring the risk of serious birth defects. But the complicated thing about risk is that it can be a pretty vague term. Where do the limits of drinking while pregnant lie? Is there a chance it’s actually OK to enjoy your wine with a baby on board?
It turns out that yes, you can. No one has been able to determine exactly how much alcohol is considered safe or unsafe during pregnancy. As a result, the CDC advises all women to abstain from imbibing during pregnancy as a general precaution to nip any potential risks in the bud. When it comes to their baby’s health, any risk, no matter how vague, is probably one most women are simply not willing to take.
But new research shows that the window of safe alcohol consumption while pregnant might be a bit safer than necessary. The study, funded by the CDC, suggests that light drinking (1 to 4 drinks a week) and even moderate alcohol consumption (5 to 8 drinks a week) might be OK.
I admit it. In the past, I’ve made a comment or two (or three or four) to my husband that if I were caught on camera, one would think, O.M.G. What a major bitch! Yes, I know you’ve been there too, because what else are you bitching about with your girlfriends when the topic of husbands come up?
I’m here to tell you that I’ve learned to tame my sharp tongue and reactions because to me, the damage my words can do is surely not worth it. Especially when my words deeply affect my marriage or any close relationship in my life. As much emotion, anger or frustration I feel in the moment, the idea of saying something that could feel attacking, rejecting, condescending, etc. to my husband makes me feel truly sad.
Obviously, what’s giggled over “Ladies’ Cocktail Hour” stays in Ladies’ Cocktail Hour, but you are accountable as to how you react, respond and communicate to your husband. Frankly put, it wouldn’t hurt for you to scrape up some compassion as far as how you talk to him.
That said, below are five comments that will surely erode the relationship:
1. “What’s wrong with you?” Honestly, it’s comparable to chopping off his penis. Saying it in fun gesture is one thing, but when you respond with this comment because your husband forgot to pick up the milk on the way home, I can assure you that he’ll never ever offer to pick up the milk again.
Attacking someone with words is a sideways way of expressing your feelings. If you feel frustrated that he forgot “the one thing” you asked him to do, instead try this: “I know you’re not trying to forget what I asked you to do, but when you do forget what I’ve asked you to help me with, I feel like my needs don’t matter. Will you please do what you can to remember next time?”
What is the most hurtful thing a spouse ever said to you?
Image courtesy shutterstock / Ersler Dmitry
My boys are 7 and 9. So naturally, they’re starting to get to that age. That age of curiosity. That age all parents dread. That age where it’s time to talk about sex.
Since they’re both boys, I’m guessing this talk is going to fall in my lap. Curse you, XY chromosomes! They’ve actually started asking a lot of questions lately (the boys, not the chromosomes) about “being in mommy’s belly,” so the clock is definitely ticking.
How is the whole conversation going to play out? I’m hoping, like a Band-Aid, it’ll be quick and painless with no questions or interruptions at all. How do I think it’s really going to go? Probably something like this.
“Boys, it’s time we had a serious talk about something.”
“I didn’t do it! It was Ryan’s fault,” says my older son Jason.
“No, no. This isn’t about … wait, what did he do now?!? No, no. I can’t get sidetracked. I need to talk to both of you about the birds and the bees.”
“I don’t like bees. They’re mean. They sting!” says Ryan.
Read the whole thing. The conclusion is very funny.
How did you tell your children about where babies come from?
You see, Mr. Sandusky, you are a monster and a predator… but the cowards in your employ and in your immediate circle are worse than you. They bared witness to horrific acts that shattered the innocence of young children – fondling, oral sex, anal sex – and went home night after night without considering that they were not only selling their proverbial souls for a steady paycheck or a shot at a promotion… they also sold their very humanity.
As the father of two teenagers, I’m both thrilled and relieved that you are now away from others. But those cowards are still at-large… waiting for a second chance to look away from injustice so they can get paid for it – in true “Screw the next man” mentality that seems to run so rampant in today’s “YOLO” world.
Mr. Sandusky, I consider you the Harbinger of Last Chances. You were a test offered by the Universe… a test of humanity’s will to release selfish wants and err on the side of decency… of what is universally right… of justice. This is a test that was failed by so many around you, but I’m hopeful those remaining will see this for what it is: A wake up call that someone else will NOT take care of what is right… what is just. It is up to those who know to DO something… not wait for the next person or think someone else will take care of what needs to be done.
Shutterstock image courtesy fcarucci
It was only a few decades ago that many women viewed higher education mainly as a way of finding a husband—earning the ol’ M.R.S. degree, as it was called. Times have changed considerably since then, so it sounds more than a little odd to hear Helen Fraser, the chief executive of the UK’s Girls’ Day School Trust, say she believes that schools should be teaching girls how to find husbands. But before you freak out and start setting undergarments on fire, you should know that she’s actually proposing that we educate girls about how to find a supportive partner who can help them realize the dream of having a fulfilling career and a family at the same time. Sounds kind of smart, actually.
Fraser, who is 63 and was formerly the managing director of Penguin Books, said she began thinking about this idea after she learned that Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg had said, “The most important career choice you’ll make is who you marry.” Fraser believes that if girls want to have it all—meaning, in this case, a successful career, a marriage, and children—they are going to need to pick the right person to help them accomplish it. Sure, we all kind of know that in theory, but we’re not necessarily as directed in that department as we are in educating ourselves and finding a profession. But Fraser says we should be just as “ambitious” in our relationships as we are in our careers. Huh.
From the Bookworm Room, in response to recent posts here at PJ Lifestyle: Is a familial genetic legacy the right reason not to have a baby? No!:
PJ Media has had two interesting posts about whether familial genetic legacies are the right reason not to have a baby. David Swindle passes on an article about the fact that well-known “comedienne” Sarah Silverman (I use the scare quotes because I don’t think she’s funny) announced recently that she will not have children because she and her family have a history of depression. Silverman can’t bear the thought that any children she has might suffer the same fate. Conservative blogger Kathy Shaidle also thinks that her family’s genetic possibilities — in her case, shortness — makes having babies a bad deal for the babies. (Shaidle offers up a number of other reasons why she wouldn’t have a baby, all of which make it clear that she’s thought the subject through carefully and really isn’t the maternal type.)
Neither woman is concerned about a life-threatening genetic problem, the kind that mandates that the child will suffer terribly and die young. Both are concerned, though, about traits that have affected the quality of their otherwise successful lives. Within this framework, Silverman and Shaidle are both wrong. There are many reasons not to have children, but their genetic concerns aren’t the right reasons.
To begin with, there’s no guarantee that a child will inherit whatever genetic problem exists in the family. Keep in mind that babies aren’t clones. They are, instead, the end result of thousands of years of genetic mix-ups. My great-grandmother had fraternal twin girls. One was six feet tall, the other five feet tall. They represented the two genetic extremes in just one family line. I’m five feet tall. My (male) cousins on the maternal side hover around 6’7″. They married short women; I married a tall man. All of our children are clocking in at average. Nature does what nature does. We can make some educated Mendelian guesses about the probable outcome when a couple have a baby, but those are just that — guesses.
I read with interest Kathy Shaidle’s post here at PJ Lifestyle called “I Kid You Not: Top Four Reasons I Don’t Have Children.”
She mentions a couple of reasons such as bad personal experiences whereby you might end up ruining your kid’s life and bad genetics and other reasons such as your temperament and pop culture. Okay, the latter two, especially the former, I understand. You don’t have the temperament for children. Okay, fair enough, but as for ruining your kid’s life, why does it have to be that way? If you had a bad childhood, doesn’t it make sense to have children so that you can give them a better life than you had? As for genetics, don’t we all know people who don’t seem that great who have kids who are fine, or at least okay? Even people who are depressed don’t necessarily have kids who are depressed. And if they are? Get them treatment, just as you would for diabetes or other ailments. Apparently, Comedian Sarah Silvermann does not want kids because they might have mental illness which runs in her family. Human beings have problems, do you have to be perfect to be born? I hope not because we would all be goners.
When it comes to my children and preparing them for romance, I’m pretty conservative, if you haven’t figured it out by now. Love, relationships and sex are all huge life situations that can make or break times of your life and influence who you are and the path your life will take. I don’t want to underprepare my kids.
Linda Sharps recently wrote a post on The Stir called “Cute Kid Moment or Too Close for Comfort?” about how she walked in on her 6-year-old son watching TV and cuddling with his good friend who happens to be a girl, and had a bit of an internal freakout while trying to weigh what the appropriate reaction would be. Luckily the situation broke up before she had to intervene, but while many of the commenters called Sharps crazy for reacting to something so innocent, the post and Sharps’ reaction resonated with me.
Right, I know, conservative. But stop rolling your eyes and hear me out on why I think that allowing children to play at romance and to mimic romantic affection just isn’t healthy.
1. Children should be focusing on being good friends. At a young age, children need to be learning how to resolve disputes, how to consider the feelings of their friends, and how to stand up for themselves. These aren’t easy skills… obviously, since most adults could use a refresher course. If you allow or encourage kids to play at romance, it’s like letting them act out Relationships 301 before they’ve even bought the book for 101. Allowing them to venture into situations where their hearts are going to be hurt and confused because her boyfriend wants to “break up” on their two-day anniversary or his girlfriend won’t hold his hand because it’s sweaty puts them in danger of getting bogged down with hurts that they shouldn’t yet consider.