Friday, November 29, 2013

7QT "Tiny Saints"

Seven Quick Takes over at Jen's Conversion Diary

1. Tiny Saints and a Pope, collect them all.

2. If you are serious on understanding how public policy factors in the stability of the family follow W. Bradford Wilcox on Twitter.

3. #2 reminds when I wrote to Senator Elizabeth Warren on the need for marriage without using the word marriage, and her office responded positively. That Seven Quick Take was titled "I'm Grateful".
Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, secure, and nurturing environment. To create these environments, many parents need educational resources and support. Promoting responsible fatherhood can help support fathers, strengthen families, and give children a fair shot at success.

4. Teresa R. over at Alexandra writes up a post on the police dealing with the mentally ill.
"When the police got there (later than I would have liked, but not preposterously so), they quietly told the young man to get off the bus….(waited for him to comply, minimum of yelling, thank heaven), sit down on the ground…(more waiting), put his hands behind his head… At that point, he burst into tears and kind of collapsed like a deflated balloon. "

5. How Millennial Are You? Quiz over at Alexandria. Spoiler, they ask if your parents are ‘still’ married.

6. The crime reporter here in Lowell has a Twitter account, when I hear sirens I always check his Twitter first. Sirens woke me up early Thursday morning and at 1am I checked Twitter. If you use Twitter 'following' locals, and not just the news helps.

7. Every else enjoying how the media is interpreting the Pope this week?

Friday, November 22, 2013

7QT Homeless Teens & Why?

More 7QTs over at Jen's Conversion Diary
1. Homeless Teen & Why? Fatherless, Teen Pregnancy, and Coming Out My post over at Alexandria.
I keep reading a factoid that 40% of homeless youths identify being LGBT. But all I could find was ”According to the National Network of Runaway and Youth Services, six percent of homeless youth are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) (Molino, 2007). The number of homeless teenagers who are pregnant is estimated to be somewhere between six and twenty-two percent. (Health Resources and Services Administration 2001)”
2. What is it like to live in Massachusetts, with our definition of marriage? I commented it here over at Mark Shea's Patheos blog. Conversations change, so it takes a few minutes to explain yourself now a days.
3. A highlighted comment...
It is quite easy for my upper-middle class friends to proclaim that children do not need a married mother and father and that all kids need is
love. Like fish can’t see water, they cannot understand the enormous benefits
they had growing up with married parents, as they do not know any different. I live in the Chicago area, and used to volunteer on the South Side. The fatherless children certainly do not lack love. Many in fact lived in a same-sex household, with their mother, aunts,
grandmother, etc. and had plenty of adults caring for them.
But it is a tragedy
that they do not live with their fathers, and, as social science has repeatedly
shown, a major detriment in nearly every area of their lives. If a mother is in
a sexual relationship with another woman living in the house (as opposed to
living with a female relative), I am supposed to pretend it is okay the child
is denied his or her father. I refuse to do that.
4. Blast from the past... I found this comment trying to look up low marriage rates in Massachusetts. This comment is from 2007, and why as a matter of public police I can't really 'shut up'.... ok I can't be quiet.
"Anyway, this is all to say that we have an incomplete picture... and probably will for a generation or two. For me (as a gay many who _doesn't_ favor gay marriage), in the end, it's not about divorce rates. I submit that we'll find that gays and straights marry and divorce in similar numbers (once the gee-whiz factor wears-off). Marriage is foremost about children... and I think that children deserve a loving home with a mother and a father who are committed to the long-term stability and health of their family (starting with their marriage)."
5. From 'The Onion', even though it is satire it touches a real nerve.
Report: 92% Of Divorced Parents Get Back Together If Children Ask Enough Times “For example, one 7-year-old subject remained quiet and withdrawn for years after his parents’ divorce, only rarely mentioning his ardent wish for them to rekindle their love. But after telling his mom and dad about seven or eight times how much he wanted them to be a family again, the parents decided to give their relationship another try and got remarried within a year. And they are all very happy now.” Researchers added that an astonishing 98 percent of divorced parents will remarry if their children make a secret, special wish when blowing out their birthday candles.
6. Awesome post over at Alexandria by Wired Sisters "The Greatest Story Never Told"... spoiler it's the Bible. LONG READ, but if you have the time please. Even if you think the Bible is nothing but fairy tales, they good ones.
" Its relationship to biblical Christianity is an incidental benefit, for those students concerned about such things. In the meantime, these college kids and their relationship to Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, and fanfic, already know what it is to be part of a living, lively literary tradition and how to use frameworks created by other people to embody their own stories and enlighten their imaginations. Imagination is the moral faculty. It enables us to assume that “your neighbor” is “like yourself.” If you prick him, he will bleed, if you tickle him, he will laugh. If you wrong him…"

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Coming Up Short"

My full review over at Alexandria
"Just finished, Jennifer M. Silva’s ‘Coming Up Short’ and it was a nice break from all of the issues regarding the breakdown of the family. The theme of the millennials of Lowell, Massachusetts and Richmond, Virginia is loneliness and distrust. Silva is right that they feel screwed, because they are."
"By definition the millennials are not ‘working class’, these millennials are the ‘children of the working class’, because there is no working class.... So if you don’t become a part of the educated class to sit in a cubicle, you’re standing at a drive-thru window pouring ice coffee at Dunkin Donuts at 7am for the cubicle sitters commute."
"The interviewees were not high school drop outs, gang members, or teen parents, something drilled into our heads ad nauseum NOT to do. These adults did everything, they were told to do."
"We need to build up trust in our neighborhoods, so if you have some spare social capital share it with someone. Even if it is letting someone borrow your lawn mower or a ride to the supermarket."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part Five)

Note: The title is now a tag.

Received a call today for a research survey regarding on local elections. Since I finished the survey, the caller informed me of the professor and the university that the research was being done. One of the questions was a candidate ranking question, and the other was asking which side of partisan politics I leaned to. I said no to the ranking idea, but I tried not to answer the partisan politics one. I gave in and said 'independent', when I wanted to respond non-partisan. Also he asked questions on the numerous ways I was contacted by candidates. The surveyor sounded like a student, and he asked for my first name at the end of the interview, and I responded 'but you already know my name, you asked for me when I answered the phone.'

Just following the script, I guess.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part Four)

Note: The title is more of a tag, since I've used it three times already.

I was reviewing Left in Lowell's post election thoughts, and I have to admit when three of the nine candidates you voted for come in 10th, 11th, and 12th place it can BE FRUSTRATING. Yet, I also realize it was a crowded field with many experienced candidates. A former mayor of Lowell , a former headmaster of Lowell High, and a local business owner who was just a hundred or so shy of gaining a seat two years ago pushed out the three candidates I voted for. I can't really complain.

Even though I mentioned the lack of John Leahy's online presence and his campaign literature that was lacking, we have his voting record on city council and school committee. Rita doesn't need an online presence, she is one in a million.

That's presence! I can't find Rita's comment on letting her supper get cold, as she is on the phone with constituents some nights.

Kad Barma shared his thoughts why it is hard to break through.

think of it another way--certain candidates went to where the voters are, and swung their fateful 500 from among those who believe as they do, and, by happy coincidence, tend to vote in large numbers. this means that successful candidates all tend to have strong backing among belvidere, the upper highlands, and all the senior centers across pawtucketville and elsewhere. those who went downtown (sadly) and to other less-prosperous and less-likely-to-vote neighborhoods to support their divergent interests came up snake eyes, regardless of the worthiness of their campaign, their positions, and their message(s). don't like it? then face the fact that you don't like democracy, despite all your protestations that you do.

As an active voter, I only have nine votes. I tried to keep it diverse, but that meant not voting for candidates I liked in such a strong candidate pool. As someone who normally votes blank on state/congressional elections, I need to be grateful for the wide variety of choices.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part Three)

With such a reliance on the Internet for information, two candidates who won had limited presence online, Dan Rourke and John Leahy (nothing relevant on campaign lit and a blank website) so if I’m a resident with NO connections politically I know next to nothing regarding these two candidates, except what they look like. These two candidates won.

I’m not saying anything bad about these two men. What I’m saying is that we teach our children to be educated voters, but you can win saying very little. Residents are disengaged in multiple ways, making those who obtain office in these closed networks a reality on how to win.

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part 1)

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part 2)

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part 4)

Who is Dan Routke (part 5)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part II)

After downloading the QR code app to scan Rourke’s campaign mailing (which lead me only to the Dick Howe’s posting and the You Tube video) and also reviewing the Lowell Sun’s election section, with the limited information I’m trying to gather where Dan is coming from.

As for Dan Rourke’s Lowell Sun headline, I wouldn’t define his as ‘experience’. There are several candidates who are old enough to be his parents, and the Sun only cited his experience at his profession. Aren’t we all ‘experienced’ in our profession? I used my experience when I applied to be on the Animal Advisory Board, which was being a volunteer at the Department of Children & Families, plus owning two cats. The position required the resident not to be a dog owner.

I’m making an assumption, but this is where we our views take different directions. Being a probation officer, he gets to see the bad guys a lot. Even when I’m volunteer at DCF, we get to read and hear about the bad things. If you have your TV running in the background all day long, all you hear at really bad things from ALL around the country.

I don’t watch a lot of TV. I know there are more good people then bad. I know there are lot of good people sitting in 495 traffic during the evening commute, as their children wait for them in after school care or their dogs getting anxious just ready to destroy something in the home.

Several years ago, I wrote to Tom Golden about jobs in the city and long commutes. He responded directly to me with a phone call. Growing up my parents worked in Lowell, so even being a ‘latch key’ for an hour or two I knew my parents were really just 15 minutes away. Not today, one of the major hurdles for our family is my husband’s commute. My children had to wait until he came home, so they could trick or treat. His lack of flexibility, limits my ability to ever return to work.

I’m an emergency contact for family friends, so if they get stuck at work I have the ability to pick up their kids. If more residents worked in Lowell, the more time with their family and more time to be the volunteer.

Keeping ‘kids busy’ may sound like a solution, but really we need to teach/guide our children to keep themselves busy. They need to learn how to play in a non-structured non-adult lead situations. It’s a skill and obligation to teach as parents, so we won’t be managing their lives once they’re young adults. As a child I wasn’t really good at anything, my best childhood memories come from those self-initiative activities. But then again I was given the ability to roam.

Even the best after school programs, will lack the warmth of a home. Do children in the existing programs get to take off their shoes and just do nothing? I hope so. I let my kids, do that. My children do activities, but they do only because they want to. These activities will not be something to keep them busy, that is not the goal.

If I could contact Dan, I would suggest reading ‘Free Range Kids’, authored by the mother who let her nine year old ride the New York subway by himself. I’m sure the book is at the library.

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part I)

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (Part III)

All I asked was "Who is Dan Rourke" (part IV)

Who is Dan Rourke (part 5)

Friday, November 1, 2013

7QT Unpopular Opinions

More Quick Takes at Jen's Conversion Diary

1. I'm always wrong side of popular opinion, considering the marriage issue alone. But this past month, I feel really unpopular.

2. Remember Erin Cox, the heroic volley ball player/honor student. Well there is a back story, that the media failed to explained. The problem is that you can hire a media attorney, and the school (out of legal privacy issues of a minor) can NOT respond. The local news found the back story. This story should of never went viral. Court cases should be tried in court, not in the media with the opposing party is unable to defend themselves.

3. A story that actually stayed local, but had the potential for media outage was of a high school teacher. He was fired for being insubordinate, but he was extremely popular.

A good teacher would of realized he crossed the line in his/her professionalism, taken the seven day suspension and kept it between him and his employers and kept detail plan of his classroom activities. It's not about the profanity, but rather using the classroom as his personal audience for his personal work. He was misusing the student's time.
Again the school administration due to legal privacy issues could not respond. The teacher had to go, even if one of his supporters call me an idiot.

4. I asked a question on Facebook, regarding a candidate. Not sure if I opened a can of worms or stepped in dog poop. We are having city elections, and there is a very popular candidate, but limited information in regards to his insights on the city. We live in an information age, and all I could find were the general pleasantries in elections, ex. sign waving/door knocking. The candidate doesn't have a website, and his Facebook page and Twitter account simply posts the general pleasantries. His only YouTube video shows his family, and some images of the streets of Lowell. Now this is all normal, but there are other candidates who not only share their personal background but have substantive ideas for the city.

5. Ever read through the headlines of Buzzfeed and feel hopeless for civilization? Me too. I do not watch the evening news often because of the children, but I was watching CBS evening news. I didn't realize we still had news in this country.

6. "Broken homes, broken boys"

Liberals often assume that these kinds of social problems result from our stingy support system for single mothers and their children. Provide more maternity leave, quality daycare and healthcare, goes the thinking, and a lot of the disadvantages of single-parent homes would vanish. But the link between criminality and fatherlessness holds even in countries with lavish social welfare systems. A 2006 Finnish study of 2,700 boys, for instance, concluded that living in a non-intact family at age 8 predicted a variety of criminal offenses.

7. Churches Standing for Fatherless on Orphan Sunday You don't need to adopt children, but there are many ways we can help the fatherless. No one is asking for 100% rates, but we even a small percentage increasing the role of fathers helps.