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School District Told Lawsuit Will Follow If They Distribute Bibles Again

December 17, 2014

Tis the season for Christmas, and tis the season for religious idiocy. A public school district has been told that it will be sued if it hands out bibles again. Why a public school would hand out bibles is the question that should be asked, rather than whether or not the school district will be sued. Handing out bibles near Christmas, from the school library, is a calculated maneuver to push the celebration of Christmas, regardless of the religious motivations of the students. If a school handed out copies of the koran, it would make the national news, as well.

So why hand out religious material at all in a public school? Seems the school superintendent refused to answer one mother’s questions about it; however, news teams were quick to report on the situation.

President Obama Takes On Stephen Colbert’s Job With A Commentary on Obamacare

December 9, 2014

Propaganda? Certainly? Campy? Yep. Entertaining, yes. As another case regarding Obamacare marches toward the Supreme Court, and there is plenty of scandal about Gruber (a man who pushed for Obamacare before it was Obamacare, Romneycare back then and now blames the “stupidity” of the American public for its passage), Obama strikes back from an interesting perspective, one that has certainly not been explored frequently enough in poly sci studies, the comedic take on news popularized by Jon Stewart and now his now-famous protege, Stephen Colbert. In case you were wondering if any of these were of any import, take a look at the clip below:

Women: Want A Bigger Career? Marry A Man Who Will Stay Home “Choose Your Spouse Carefully”

December 1, 2014

Women have often spoken of how they want a wife, with the term implied to mean a person who will forgo their own career tract to exclusively support the spouse’s career, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, and all of that. For women who want a career, yet another study shows that having a “wife” makes a difference. A big difference, as in the difference between office manager and CEO difference:

When Carly Fiorina became Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) first female chief executive officer, the existence of her househusband, Frank Fiorina, who had retired early from AT&T (T) to support her career, was a mini-sensation; now this arrangement isn’t at all unusual. Seven of the 18 women who are currently CEOs of Fortune 500 companies—including Xerox’s (XRX) Ursula Burns, PepsiCo’s (PEP) Indra Nooyi, and WellPoint’s (WLP) Angela Braly—have, or at some point have had, a stay-at-home husband. So do scores of female CEOs of smaller companies and women in other senior executive jobs. Others, like IBM’s (IBM) new CEO, Ginni Rometty, have spouses who dialed back their careers to become their powerful wives’ chief domestic officers.

Women who earn more than their husbands are not uncommon, with almost a quarter of working women earning more than their husbands. Granted, we could say only 20% of women earn more than their husbands, or 80% of husbands earn more than their wives, but still, even close to a quarter of women earning more than their male counterpart is a step up:

This role reversal is occurring more and more as women edge past men at work. Women now fill a majority of jobs in the U.S., including 51.4 percent of managerial and professional positions, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Some 23 percent of wives now out-earn their husbands, according to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center. And this earnings trend is more dramatic among younger people. Women 30 and under make more money, on average, than their male counterparts in all but three of the largest cities in the U.S.


Part of this is due to the nation’s rather recent recession. Women stayed employed when men did not. Very simple.

During the recent recession, three men lost their jobs for every woman. Many unemployed fathers, casualties of layoffs in manufacturing and finance, have ended up caring for their children full-time while their wives are the primary wage earners. The number of men in the U.S. who regularly care for children under age five increased to 32 percent in 2010 from 19 percent in 1988, according to Census figures. Among those fathers with preschool-age children, one in five served as the main caregiver.

Then, the article that points this out goes on to lament the role of stay-at-home dads not getting the respect they had at the office, duh! It’s a very familiar position for women, and while I liked the focus on women who have husbands who stay at home moving up in the workplace, the article I just quoted moves into focusing on the “poor men” idea as opposed to keeping on task with talking about women.

Keep going with the article though, and the whining about men’s plights moves more toward an aggressive “get-out-of-her-way” stance that I admire, albeit waiting to do this until the second page:

There’s some good news about the at-home dads trend. “By going against the grain, men get to stretch their parenting abilities and women can advance,” notes Stephanie Coontz, a family studies professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and author of Marriage: a History. And yet the trend underscores something else: When jobs are scarce or one partner is aiming high, a two-career partnership is next to impossible. “Top power jobs are so time-consuming and difficult, you can’t have two spouses doing them and maintain a marriage and family,” says Coontz. This explains why, even as women make up more of the workforce, they’re still a small minority (14 percent, according to New York-based Catalyst) in senior executive jobs. When they reach the always-on, all-consuming executive level, “it’s still women who more often put family ahead of their careers,” says Ken Matos, a senior director at Families and Work Institute in New York. It may explain, too, why bookstore shelves and e-book catalogs are jammed with self-help books for ambitious women, of which I’d Rather Be in Charge, by former Ogilvy-Mather Worldwide CEO Charlotte Beers, is merely the latest. Some, such as Hirshman’s top-selling Get to Work, recommend that women “marry down”—find husbands who won’t mind staying at home—or wed older men who are ready to retire as their careers take off.

Surprisingly, it was another man who told a major CEO’s husband that he needed to step up for his wife, and very surprisingly, this husband listened. He didn’t just say that he would help with housework to free up her time, he took over managing the house and children so that she could move up in her career:

Your wife’s career is about to soar, and you need to get out of her way.” That’s what Ken Gladden says his boss told him shortly before his wife, Dawn Lepore, was named the first female CIO at Charles Schwab (SCHW) in 1994. He was a vice-president at Schwab in computer systems. Lepore’s promotion meant she’d become his top boss. “I married above my station,” Gladden jokes.

How does this work? Dawn Lepore’s husband admits that what he does isn’t easy, but Ken Gladden is very honest about recognizing that he can’t and doesn’t do what his wife does:

“To do what I’m doing, you’ve got to be able to say ‘my wife’s the breadwinner, the more powerful one,’ and be O.K. with that. But you also need your own interests,” says Gladden, who has used his computing skills to launch a home-based business developing software for schools.

The couple’s five-bedroom Seattle home overlooks Lake Washington. Gladden, 63, is chief administrator of it and their children, who now are 9 and 13. While they’re in school, he works on his software. From 3 p.m. until bedtime, he carpools to and from sports and music lessons, warms up dinners prepared by a part-time housekeeper, and supervises homework. Lepore, 57, is often out of town. She oversaw the sale of to Walgreens (WAG) last year, for $429 million. As CEO, she was rarely home before 8 or 9 p.m. and traveled several days a week. Now, as a consultant to several startups and a director at EBay (EBAY), she still travels frequently. If Gladden envies anything, it’s the ease with which his wife can walk into a room filled with well-known executives like Bill Gates and “go right up to them and start talking. I don’t feel like I can participate,” he says.

What is Dawn Lepore’s advice for women who want to have a career like hers? Choose your spouse carefully.

Lepore advises younger women to “choose your spouse carefully. If you want a top job, you need a husband who isn’t self-involved and will support your success,” even if you go further than him.

Just goes to show that advice like “lean in” has nothing on the realities of “choose your spouse carefully.” Lean in is the type of advice that blames women for their lack of advancement, pushing on women an addictive sort of  self blame, as if they just tried harder than men, they could prove their worth and then advance. The idea that a woman’s spouse has an impact on her career is an anathema to most feminists, but is a stark reality when it comes to women advancing in their careers.

The most compelling change might come from the children of couples in which the man does the housework and stays home. Remember the post about how just having dads do housework increases the chances that his daughter will be ambitious?

Just goes to show that the children of men who do the housework, stay at home, and support their wives, expect that the same will be true for them. Nothing says truth like action.

The children of couples who have reversed roles know the stakes better than anyone. One morning last year, when Dawn Lepore was packing for a business trip to New York, her nine-year-old daughter burst into tears. “I don’t want you to travel so much,” Elizabeth told her mother. Lepore hugged her, called her school, and said her daughter would be staying home that morning. Then she rescheduled her flight until much later that day. “There have been times when what Elizabeth wants most is a mom who stays home and bakes cookies,” she says.

Lepore is sometimes concerned that her children won’t be ambitious because they’ve often heard her complain about how exhausted she is after work. But they’re much closer to their father than kids whose dads work full-time, and they have a different perspective about men’s and women’s potential. When a friend of her daughter’s said that fathers go to offices every day, Lepore recalls, “Elizabeth replied, ‘Don’t be silly, dads are at home.’ ”


Military Couple Takes in Homeless Man for Thanksgiving

November 26, 2014

An homeless man has one wish for Thanksgiving, and that wish is to spend it with a family. He put out a plea to a local news station, and he was surprised at the generosity of others.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone. We have so much to be thankful for here in our family…

And the results of his plea:

“Women Are Not Equal to Men” –Life According to Turkish President

November 25, 2014

I suppose no one is surprised that the president of Turkey declared that men and women are not equal. Only mothers, not all women, have a special status in Islam, according to the Turkish president, making women in Turkey nothing if not brood mares:

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set off a new controversy on Monday, declaring that women are not equal to men and accusing feminists of not understanding the special status that Islam attributes to mothers.

Addressing a meeting in Istanbul on women and justice, Erdogan said men and women are created differently, that women cannot be expected to undertake the same work as men, and that mothers enjoy a high position that only they can reach.

“You cannot put women and men on an equal footing,” Erdogan said. “It is against nature. They were created differently. Their nature is different. Their constitution is different.”

Erdogan added: “Motherhood is the highest position … You cannot explain this to feminists. They don’t accept motherhood. They have no such concern.”

Women sometimes don’t have a choice in motherhood, so to say that all feminists choose not to be mothers and therefore not respected by Islam is ridiculous. There are women out there who would love to be mothers but can’t. There are women who have become mothers and hate it. It appears that in Turkey’s version of Islam, women are no more than their uterus determines. So glad I don’t live in Turkey, but women in Turkey have already come out against this kind of simian content:

Lawyer and women’s rights activist Hulya Gulbahar said Erdogan’s comments were in violation of Turkey’s constitution, Turkish laws and international conventions on gender equality and didn’t help efforts to stem high incidences of violence against women in Turkey.

“Such comments by state officials which disregard equality between men and women play an important role in the rise of violence against women,” Gulbahar said. “Such comments aim to make women’s presence in public life — from politics to arts, from science to sports — debatable.”

Erdogan, a devout Muslim, often courts controversy with divisive public comments. He has previously angered women’s groups by stating that women should bear at least three children and by attempting to outlaw abortion and adultery.

Of course why bear 3 children? First only mothers get respect from Islam and then only mothers who bear at least 3 children? Can Erdogan please make up his mind? Now only women who bear 3 children and are not feminists are respected in Turkey? And how does one determine a feminist by her uterus? Is there an 8-ball in a woman’s body that tattles about her feminist status? If a uterus is enough to determine a feminist nature, then why does it need to even produce children? Only if a woman has 3 children she is protected?

Idiocy with feminism aside, the Turkish president has also declared that Muslims “discovered” (aka pillaged and plundered) “America” before the Europeans.

“Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century. Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus,” Erdogan said. “Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178. Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast.”

Erdogan is not shy of making provocative statements, whether it’s about his political rivals, ethnic minorities or social media Web sites. His latest remarks are, in comparison, less incendiary.

They echo the research of a small coterie of scholars who believe there’s archaeological and documentary evidence of Muslims in pre-Columbian America. Erdogan is apparently citing the disputed work of Youssef Mroueh, an academic affiliated with the As-Sunnah Foundation of America.

In a 1996 paper, Mroueh referred to the presence of a mosque spotted by Columbus along the Cuban coast. “Columbus admitted in his papers that on Monday, October 21, 1492 CE while his ship was sailing near Gibara on the north-east coast of Cuba, he saw a mosque on top of a beautiful mountain,” writes Mroueh.

Most scholars insist the “mosque” mentioned was a metaphorical allusionto a striking land feature. There have been no archaeological discoveries of Islamic structures pre-dating Columbus’s arrival in the New World.

Mroueh, who is not listed as a historian at any institution of higher learning, suggests that explorers from Muslim kingdoms in West Africa made the same journey across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands well before the Italian seafarer did in the employ of the Spanish Crown.

 I get irritated enough when Christian Europeans spout about “discovering” America, which really amounted to a European form of biological warfare and a starvation of native populations, but now apparently followers of Islam did the same sort of thing? Barf. To say that Europeans discovered America is like saying Africa discovered Ebola. To say that followers of Islam discovered America is much the same, really it’s a slick convergence of patriarchal egoism to say that any country “discovered” America, as though an entire continent was lost until some Christians found it, or some Muslims found it. And by found, I do mean plundered.
So, I am not surprised that the Turkish president has equally obnoxious things to say about women. I am disappointed. Women don’t need a religious icon to tell them that they are important. Men literally wouldn’t exist without us, but it always has to come back to whether or not we are willing to reproduce? Is this more male anger about having to rely on someone else’s uterus to have a child? For uterus envy that translates to violent undertones, Erdogan receives the Asshole of the Week Award.

Orphaned Baby Kangaroos Meeting Makes A Monday Better

November 24, 2014

Because we all need something to believe in on a Monday…

Teen Mothers Have Children With Lower Test Scores

November 19, 2014

Becoming a teen mother entails a host of problems for the young mother, lessened education, higher incidents of living in poverty, increased risks for depression and health problems during the pregnancy, etc. New studies have also pointed to problems for children of teen mothers in school and with academic progress, namely that children born to teen mothers have more problems in school.

As early as kindergarten, children who were born to mothers age 19 or older tend to perform better on tests than children born to younger mothers, researchers found. The data came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, which followed over 14,000 U.S. students between 1998 and 2007. That research tracked students’ math and reading scores in third, fifth, and eighth grades, after initially assessing them in kindergarten. As the students got older, children with older mothers continued to have higher test scores than their peers.

The research also found that if a young mother continued her education after having children, her children went on to perform better on tests than they would if their mother had stopped her education after giving birth. However, within this group, a knowledge gap still existed between children with younger mothers and those with older mothers.

In my own experience dealing with teen mothers, I have found that teen mothers don’t know how to prepare their children for school. Because they are so young and haven’t finished their educations themselves, these young moms are not equipped to help their children succeed in school or prepare for school when their children get to that age. It’s not surprising that teen moms who haven’t finished schooling would have children who struggled with schooling. Even when a teen mom goes back to school and finishes her education, her children still tend to struggle in school or achieve less educational pursuits than their peers. What gives?

Teen mothers struggle to pursue their own educations, and they rarely make it through school in a traditional manner or on a traditional timeline, which means that they may struggle with teaching their children how to make it through school or attain higher levels of education. For teen moms who do continue their education, the results are beneficial. Teen moms who continue with their educational instruction have children who do better in school than teen moms who skip out on school themselves:

Children of young mothers may also be less likely to pursue higher levels of education. A 2010 study in the United Kingdom found that a child’s odds of staying in school increased for every year a mother continued her own education. According to theNational Conference of State Legislatures, only 40 percent of teen mothers finish high school and just 2 percent complete college by age 30.

Teen moms who don’t finish high school are ill-equipped to prepare their children for a schooling system that they rejected themselves. The rates of poverty that emerge from this lack of education are astronomical, making teen pregnancy a life-changing course that is difficult to overcome:

Thirty percent of all teenage girls who drop out of school cite pregnancy and parenthood as key reasons. Rates among Hispanic (36 percent)  and African American (38 percent) girls are higher. Educational achievement affects the lifetime income of teen mothers: two-thirds of families started by teens are poor, and nearly one in four will depend on welfare within three years of a child’s birth. Many children will not escape this cycle of poverty. Only about two-thirds of children born to teen mothers earn a high school diploma, compared to 81 percent of their peers with older parents.

Basically, though, the more education the mother has, the more likely her children are to succeed in school and attain higher levels of education:

This summer, a study from the Foundation for Child Development compared children whose mothers had not graduated high school with children whose mothers had graduated from college. They found that children with mothers who graduated from college generally had higher family income and better reading proficiency. Children whose mothers did not graduate from high school, on the other hand, were more likely themselves not to graduate high school on time.

Mothers who don’t make it through the educational system have children who don’t make it through the educational system. It’s pretty simple, but the long lasting effects are startling. According to a recent study, children of mothers who don’t graduate from high school generally make around $25,000/year compared with children of college-educated mothers who make over six figures or over $100,000/year:

Children of mothers who did not graduate high school had a median household income $25,000. Children of mothers who graduated college had a median household income of $106,500.

Huffington Post has a good breakdown of this study, complete with graphics.  Again, the more educated the mother is, the better her children tend to score on school tests of proficiency:

Sixteen percent of children whose mothers did not graduate high school were reading proficiently in eighth grade. Forty-nine percent of children whose mothers graduated college were reading proficiently at that age.Sixteen percent of children whose mothers did not complete high school were deemed proficient at math in eighth grade. On the other hand, 52 percent of children whose mothers graduated college were proficient in math at the same age.

That sixteen percent is consistent. Children of mothers who failed to graduate from high school overwhelmingly fail to graduate from high school, at a rate of 40% compared to women who graduated from college who had only 2% fail to graduate from high school. Since almost half of teen moms fail to graduate from high school, and a mother’s lack of education directly affects her children’s education, it makes sense that children born to teen moms have more problems in school, earn less as adults, and are unlikely to graduate from high school themselves, ensuring that pattern of poverty continues.




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