If a woman is convicted of a crime, should she be allowed to raise her children in prison? It’s a complicated question for some, but the data shows that women who get to keep their babies while they are behind bars are less likely to return to prison. Watch the video to see if you agree.
Oh yay, Michigan made the news again for sounding like a bigoted state, or a backwards state, or one in which civil rights don’t matter. Sounds par for the course for most of Michigan, to me, actually. Michigan always seems to trumpet about how its bigoted stance is good for the economy, and this case is no exception.
But Snyder, who is running for reelection this year against Democrat Mark Schauer, is the defendant in a motion filed Friday asking the judge to side with the state in a lawsuit filed by five same-sex couples who argue their equal protection and due process rights are violated by a ban on domestic partner benefits. The governor signed the ban in 2011 for state employees excluding those employed by public universities. The law, Public Act 297, also prohibits Michigan cities, counties and other employers from offering their employees same-sex domestic partner benefits.
After the ban became law, the five couples filed suit against Snyder and the state. Judge David Lawson, who is presiding over the lawsuit, struck down the ban as being unconstitutional in a preliminary injunction last June.
The motion says PA 297 “is a logical and cohesive part of the effort to reduce costs and to address the fiscal insecurity of local governments that has increased exponentially over the past five years.” Authored by State Attorney General Bill Schuette, the motion argues that the ban on domestic partner benefits doesn’t just single out same-sex couples, but also precludes the state employee from sharing their benefits with an adult child, fraternal sibling or other anomalies that could arise if domestic partner benefits were dispensed.
“I would say that Public Act 297 of 2011 was about ensuring fiscal responsibility and stewardship as domestic partner benefit policies (regardless of sexual orientation; that was not the factor) can be written without real parameters and Michigan has to address the spiraling costs of health care for the benefit of our state’s taxpayers and all Michiganders,” Sara Wurfel, Snyder’s press secretary, told The Huffington Post in an email.
Discrimination benefits Michigan’s bottom line all the time, apparently. How would we in Michigan even survive without our discrimination measures??Med mal laws that discriminate against the poor in Michigan and the minorities: done. Discriminating med mal laws in Michigan supposedly support the economy.
Everyone knows that discrimination helps pay the bills here in Michigan, right? Or could this be part of the problem in cities like Detroit where bankruptcy is an ongoing fight, and there is a huge part of a racist element there that somehow balances the budget. Of course, the budget isn’t balanced and no one else in the nation claims to balance their budgets by relying on being bigots, but there you have it, that’s why Michigan makes national news!
Oh, and just because people in Michigan passed a constitutional ban on gay rights doesn’t make them bigots, right? You know the old phrase: “I am not a racist/bigot/asshole, but…”
Michigan passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2004. That ban is being challenged in another lawsuit, for which arguments will be heard beginning next week by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman. Two female nurses, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, say that the state government’s belief that marriage exists only between a man and a woman violates their right to marry and adopt each other’s children. If the Michigan ban on gay marriage is declared unconstitutional, the decision on whether to provide employee benefits to same-sex couples will become moot as those couples will be able to marry and receive benefits under the current law.
Although the motion supports continuing the ban on domestic partner benefits, the governor and attorney general argue the law wasn’t enacted out of animus or ill-will toward same-sex couples:
“Similarly, it need hardly be said that individuals may hold deep-seated personal views completely inapposite of the other, and yet bear no animosity, no hatred towards each other,” the motion reads. “Here, to the extent several legislators expressed views supporting traditional marriage, such expressions are not per se discriminatory or hostile.”
I am not sure how it’s NOT discriminatory to bar someone from civil rights, but apparently in Michigan, it’s not. Strange, reality seems to be missing from the Michigan discussion…
Just in case you wondered if you would ever look like Cindy Crawford, Ms. Crawford states that even she doesn’t look like her enhanced photos. If you were dying to be thin, then you might be the Brazilian model who died from anorexia complications. Perhaps you thought your body was worth more than a beer bottle label, but does your daughter think so? Here is how the media distorts perceptions of female beauty.
My first thought upon seeing this woman is that the sheer joy she radiates on a surfboard was enough to make me stop and watch. My next thought is that I am jealous of her girlfriends, that they all surf together. It seems improbable to me, living where I do, that women are able to go out and just swim in the ocean when they feel like it. She makes it sound more appealing by calling it the sea, somehow sounding magical.
All I know is that I want girlfriends like that, and I wish I could do what I love like that. I smile just thinking about how happy she looked. Love it, love it, love it.
Hmm, sex, card, sex, card… Tough one, isn’t it? According to one study, only 7% of men want a thoughtful card on Valentine’s Day, as opposed to the 46% of men who would like sex for Valentine’s Day.
Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 adults and found that, overall, women love Valentine’s Day more than men. No huge surprise there. But 20 percent of men say they love Valentine’s Day, too (aw!), and 59 percent of those guys say they expect to have even-better-than-normal sex on V-Day (hey, that’s kind of why we love it, too).
When ScienceOfRelationships.com asked men what they really wanted for Valentine’s Day, sex topped the charts with 46 percent of men putting it on their wish lists. It was followed not-so-closely by a thoughtful card (7 percent).
While I am kind of squeamish about “giving” sex as a comparison to giving a card, as though one is gifting the other with a tryst, as opposed, to just plain wanting to have sex with one another, I have to say this writer got it right: women want better than normal kinds of sex, too. Does anyone poll women about wanting better than normal sex for Valentine’s Day? I haven’t found that poll yet. I will keep looking. I will keep you posted. I am willing to bet: no. No one has polled women to ask if they would rather have better sex or a card on Valentine’s Day. Get right on that, would you?
Oh, hey, wait, it’s possible that a survey, reported by another website, found that 70% of women want to go out to eat instead of having sex. Instead of sex? Or maybe women would just prefer foreplay by way of going out to eat? Upon going to Retailmenot.com, the site supposedly doing the survey, I could find no mention of the supposed study, nor any mention of the food vs. sex bit.
So, while cards are good, seems sex is better to have on Valentine’s Day. Just make sure it’s better than average? Not sure of the take-away here…If having sex on Valentine’s Day, make it better than usual, or men expect better sex than usual? It’s enough to give a girl a fear of Valentine’s Day itself.
As the world begins to talk more freely about what circumcision, and what I call mutilation, medical groups are coming out against parents ritually cutting off part of the penis or vagina in order to mark their children as a religious practice:
The Sweden Medical Association, which counts 85% of the country’s physicians as members, recommended setting twelve as the minimum age for the procedure and requiring a boy’s consent in a resolution which was unanimously passed by the ethics council, reported the Svenska Dagbladet.
The Danish College of General Practitioners, a group with 3,000 members, made a statement that ritual circumcision of boys was tantamount to abuse and mutilation, according to Danish newspaper BT. They polled their readers and found that 87% were in favor of a ban on non-medical circumcision.
Of course here in the States, there are trumped up “medical” reasons for circumcising, and while California attempted to ban circumcision and then, defining absurdity in action, wrote a law banning the banning of circumcision, there has been a rousing cry that banning genital mutilation of a child infringes on the parental right to cut off genitalia in the name of the parents’ religion. Frankly, I can’t see the logic in that, because there is no law in this country mandating that child be of the same religion as its parents. For some, banning what they call male circumcision is like banning the Jewish religion, and yet, female genital mutilation is banned.
I love the idea of it: giving shit away until you find happiness. It sounds brilliant because we all like to consume, to consume, and then hoard and consume more. I found a study proving that truism somewhere, but it eludes me at the moment, as saturated in open tabs as I am as I work through my writing projects. So, that is one that will just have to be updated when I find it, proof pudding that I am right. The study, rather loosely interpreted by me here, found that even though people have more than enough, “stuff,” they will continue to hoard, leading others to postulate that maybe the hoarding in and of itself is a human trait, a reference as it may be to our reptilian brain that has an inkling of counting ability when it knows that more eggs are just, well, more eggs and therefore better than fewer.
So, this concept of getting rid of your shit to find happiness? Flies in the face of conventional wisdom, especially given the recent study that says that richer people are not, in fact, less happy. They are more so:
Using data on 155 countries from Gallup, the Pew Global Attitudes Survey, the World Bank and other sources, they found that as countries increase their GDP per capita, the more happiness levels rise. There is no point where that levels off. The richer people get, the more satisfied they are with their lives. “If there is a satiation point,” they write, “we are yet to reach it.”
The new study also takes another look at Easterlin’s theory that within countries, rich people are happier than poor people. They wanted to test whether there is a satiation point beyond which the rich don’t get any happier. Using a 2007 Gallup poll, they found people with the highest incomes report the greatest degree of happiness and satisfaction with their lives. For instance, only 35% of people making less than $35,000 say they are “very happy,” versus 100% of people making more than $500,000.
Go figure. Money does make us happy. So, armed with my two tenuous studies, and too many open internet tabs, I make the stunning conclusion that our coupled need to accumulate things and our innate happiness meter pulsing as we reach higher incomes should mean that the more money we have to buy things, the happier we should be, right?
Except that according to The Minimalist, that isn’t the case for him, or his friend, and to show how damn happy men can be without things, they write a blog about it. This blog is their money-maker, and well, they do have a book, and they seem to have, um, well, a book tour, and maybe someone made a book tour video. Wait, The Minimalists is a co-written venture, not a single dude writing from the back of a pick-up. This is a machine.
Savvy napkin-writer goes on to make big bucks by giving it all away? More power to him, to them, to their book tour, whatever. I will admit that I was romantically inclined to view this minimalism as a true rejection of consumerism, simple. It appears not be that simple, as The Minimalists declare about what constitutes “minimal” to them:
There are many flavors of minimalism: a 20-year-old single guy’s minimalist lifestyle looks different from a 45-year-old mother’s minimalist life. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.
Normally I wouldn’t equate more money with minimalism, but this new take seems to reflect the trend that more money does equal happiness. Maybe it’s just the effect of making a radical change that doesn’t hurt anyone–doesn’t seem like anyone would be harmed by giving away all your own shit. Does seem a bit like two people on the wrong path found a better one. But don’t expect the minimalist prophecy to not add in a bit of the absurd with the mention that this duo quit everything to write a book about minimalism and now has a 100-city tour to promote said minimalism:
What if everything you ever wanted isn’t what you actually want?
In 2010, we both abandoned the majority of our material possessions and created TheMinimalists.com. In 2011, we walked away from successful six-figure careers to live more intentionally. Then, in 2012, we moved to Montana and started writing a book. This book.
The wait is finally over: Everything That Remains is available today. Feel free to get your copy signed during the 100-city tour, but remember to minimize it once you’re finished—pass it on, donate it, or sell it.
To give credit where it is due, I guess I am in just a bit of awe by the idea that even starting out at such a wrong place, say with the 6-figure job bit, that one can find a better place. That’s the essence of hero worship for me, having that courage to make the big change that leads to happiness. I am suspect of a minimalist claiming that a 100-city book tour is really the minimum essential, but as the bare minimum is apparently individually defined, I am up for the possibility that for these two, that is the bare minimum that happiness requires. So be it.
I suppose you can’t take it with you, and I suppose that there is some truth to that shopping hangover. I know some people who shop like crazy and then spend guilty days returning things. Maybe getting rid of stuff will set you free. I have a basement that seems to be calling my name, a garage, closets, and suddenly I feel tired. Perhaps feeling free is process…