Saturday, December 27, 2014

I'm not as popular as Neil Degrasse Tyson

So some really popular science celebrity guy made a roll eyeing tweet noting Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, to imply Jesus is a waste of our time or Newton is more important the God. I can't figure it out.

 Newton was a Christian , he wrote a lot on the subject of religion. Newton even wrote sermons on idolatry! So something gets retweeted 100k times over, is just well pure bullshit to stroke the ego of the individual. Sorry internet you were duped by the science 'expert' again.

Friday, December 19, 2014

7QT The misuse of profanity in the classroom

(Misuse of Profanity is at #7 below)

1. Without a month of internet, I was a bit confused for the past week. Oh this is a regular thing. OK.

2. Lowell has it's own Lyceum. You have to apply as an 8th grader, but it seems like a lot of extra work when you can just take regular honor courses. 

Four links to Family Public Policy issues this week.


3. The unbelievable rise of single motherhood in America over the last 50 years
4. Shock study: Marriage rate declines with porn use, threatening economy, society |
5. More than half of all children in US will likely live with an unmarried mother
6. Tim Scott: Why Marriage Matters for Fighting Poverty via
Did I mention these were all from this week? 


7.

I'm highlighting my post from October regarding Mr. Moulton, the former Dracut High School teacher intentionally went on school grounds despite a restraining order to garner attention to himself. 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 from my personal view.

A teacher can have a lesson on profanity, and use it in his lecture. What would be appropriate is to take already published works and use a compare & contrast and how profanity affects the written word. Profanity when it makes the point and in many cases profanity can weaken your idea. 

"Arbitrator: 'Sexually graphic' language cost ex-Dracut teacher job


Mr. Moulton  lecturing as if it was 1962, reciting a personal essay about Bob Dylan!!! We have the OPPOSITE problem in 2014. Profane words are so common place, we use it for every and any occasion. There is nothing taboo about f*ck and c*nt, just read your students' public twitter feeds. 

His students are very upset, they state online he was a great teacher but short of specific examples.  Except when one called me an idiot.  And someone on Twitter stated I was what was wrong in this country.  "Can't you see it's clear as day!!!!"

 I'm do not believe in censorship, especially concerning this week in media, 

During this week I watching the few clips of "Team America" (links to IMDB) on YouTube, which was produced in 2004. It's a satirical movie that goes out of the way to use profanity in the most offensive manner. It shows how profanity becomes a pointless mockery of language rather then a thoughtful expression.

And I will not link "Team America" YouTube clips because yes it's really that profane and offensive, just a warning to anyone who may not be that familiar with the film if you want to look it up online. 












Monday, December 15, 2014

Follow up to Backlash and "His Real Mother"

I'm not a part of the adoption community, I'm apart of the community that stabilizes families within my own area as their first goal. I've learned a great deal from reading post about adoptees. I should note that indirectly I know of a birth mom, who at the time (not by first choice) gave up her son to adoption many decades ago, at her father's funeral she introduce her son as HER SON.

And this is what gets me, and in fact gets me angry. I've been slandered as a homophobic by the left and not pro-life by the right, despite the fact I would place a child with a gay relative over strangers and well no one has convinced me adoption prevents abortion. Sure living is better then death, but the factors involved are not connected.

I just understand we our lines of kinship follow through both maternal and paternal, and both are equal. The rights of adults end at the rights of children.

In terms of adult adoptees, their rights to identity and knowledge override the desires of non-kin. But why do they have to be adults to assert this right and why are we taking away this right at the time of adoption*?

I hope the original writer does not mind my reposting her Facebook status.

"Upworthy posted some crap on their page about how we ought to make gay-couple adoption legal across the board so that we can "increase" adoptions. I commented:-----
Actually, what we need more of in this country is better support for families of origin so that children don't have to be removed in the first place. I read about a study involving, I think, Florida and West Virginia in which poor families were simply given more resources--food, help with rent, whatever it was. Abuse and neglect rates plummeted. The myth goes that parents who abuse their kids are just sadistic psychopaths unfit to raise a child, when actually a whole lot of them are under severe stress and not strictly rational anymore. Our answer so far has been to strip them of their children and give them no help, which traumatizes the children, puts them at risk of abuse in foster homes and poverty when they're old enough to be on their own,
AND creates risk for any future children the parents have because the basic problem has not been solved.


*Not all adoption is wrong, there are circumstances in which parents are not in a good mental/health state to raise children and efforts for a kinship placement are not present for the child.

To read more about the backlash the link is here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

7QT Lost Internet Again

More at Jen's Conversion DIary

1. I was without a computer for a month, then I was without my land-line and wi-fi/internet for a day.

2. I witnessed a minor car accident on Wednesday and I gave them my land-line number. I hope they didn't need to call, because all they would of got was a half ring then fuzzy noise. Verizon was very nice fixing the problem.

3. The view from our window with Lowell's Smokestack Christmas Tree


4. My post last Monday on vital records.

 I mentioned in a social media discussion that the real illusion that comes with family, is sperm/egg donation & sealed birth certificates. We need to ban 'donations'. You can't donate away your parental obligations and rights. Just because you didn't have sex, doesn't mean you're off the hook. Yes sperm and egg are not persons, but a person is a person. On our birth certificates should be the persons that the egg and sperm came from.
Once a person is conceived/born that person has rights to identity and whenever possible to be raised by kin, absent neglect & abuse.  
 
5. 


6. Cool story of family preservation "Spokane area agencies prioritize fixing family relationships, rather than traditional foster care routes"

"Cantamessa, 36, started Spokane County’s Parents-for-Parents class called H.O.P.E., which stands for Helping Other Parents Engage. It’s among the growing efforts in Spokane involving government, community and philanthropic groups to heal families rather than tear them apart."
7. The inadequate child-care system that confronts student parents vie Washington Post 
"“It all comes down to resources,” said Elisabeth Mason, Single Stop Chief Executive. “Economic interventions made huge differences in the ability of community college students to stay in school.”



Monday, December 8, 2014

Backlash and the Illusion of Vital Records and Birth Certificates

I can't seem to connect with people, always at the short end of an emotional discussion. Ideas that seem universal and almost benign, turn to bite me in the read end.

I mentioned in a social media discussion that the real illusion that comes with family, is sperm/egg donation & sealed birth certificates. We need to ban 'donations'. You can't donate away your parental obligations and rights. Just because you didn't have sex, doesn't mean you're off the hook. Yes sperm and egg are not persons, but a person is a person. On our birth certificates should be the persons that the egg and sperm came from.

Once a person is conceived/born that person has rights to identity and whenever possible to be raised by kin, absent neglect & abuse.  

Initially there was a consensus that birth certificates were vital records, and as a state interest should be maintained correctly. Then a mother of an adoptive child stepped in and and got defensive. I wasn't going to rebuttal my argument. Why?  Our culture puts adoption as the greatness of a win/wins, by erasing that there's a birth family. The adoptive mother made it very clear that they were the ONLY parents. Everyone pretty much jumped in to defend her. But also my argument didn't need a rebuttal. It stands firm.

This means as a Catholic I'm critical of the Church's past practices on adoption. It means I have to be critical of pro-lifers who consistently make the argument that adoption is preferable to abortion. Isn't almost everything preferable to being dead? Just because the person isn't dead, doesn't mean it's OK to deny that person a relationship with their own parents & family. Just because a pregnancy wasn't terminated, doesn't allow an infertile couple to take advantage of a pregnant woman with few to no social supports of her own.

There are two recent blog posts on the subject.

One from an adoptive mother, who went by means of foster care and actually adopted a child in need. It surprised me that she didn't see the difference that cases in which a child can not be raised by family, that adoption is and can be justified. She seemed like an unlikely person to claim that there was a "War on National Adoption Month".  That mother has since updated her blog post for clarification. And a response, "The Flip the Script Backlash" from an adult adoptee.


I will highlight one comment from the first link,

"Adult I am an adoptee. I am treated as a 46 year old child. I am not against adoption because there will always be at least some children who must be removed from their first families if they are to survive and thrive. But it is also not always a last resort. When my son and his girlfriend found out that she was pregnant at 17, the first thing mentioned to them was adoption and how wonderful adoption is. Secretly, I prayed that they would not choose adoption although I told them I would support them in whatever decision they chose. Single women are encouraged to place their child for adoption regardless of whether or not they are equipped to raise a child. Adoptees speak out because we want people to realize that all adoptions involve pain at some point in that child’s life. No amount of love will make it just go away, and it is not a reflection on your love for them or theirs for you. We want to educate people on what we have learned and on how much we still need to learn. No one ever told my parents “Your daughter will always wonder about ‘the other’. I don’t want you to feel guilty about adopting. I want you to help us educate, to try and understand the basic challenges we face that children in biological families do not, and to help us fight – for basic rights to our own information and against legislation that would allow us to be discriminated against."
This response was specific to the mother who adopted through foster care, not a private agency seeking out pregnant women.

Friday, December 5, 2014

7QT The Nativty at City Hall

More Quick Takes at Jen's Conversion Diary

1. Yep, we have one.



But why? How did this even start?

 2. In a Facebook discussion with locals, one suggested that with the invention of electricity that municipalities and retailers decorated streets and centers for the holiday. Lowell also has a parade with sponsored floats, high school marching bands, politicians, and Santa.

Make sense someone might want to put up a Nativity with it. Right? It's Christmas.  It's Advent.

3. Ours is over 50 years old and was donated to the city. We now have volunteers that put it up, not city employees. Because we are a diverse city, at other times of the year (Cambodian New Year) which falls around Easter the area also hosts religious Buddhist displays/gatherings.

4. Also someone made the corrected point, that the war isn't on Christmas. The war is on Thanksgiving. Even our atheist friends are upset about Thanksgiving, and you don't want them blaming the birth of Jesus for the stores being open at 6pmThursday evening!

The only national tradition in which things shut down is the Super Bowl, and that's only because everyone wants to watch commercials.

5. Retailers have to make a living, if you want to buy stuff there are plenty of items you can buy for those in need.

6. I make the assumption that we're are not well off, because we don't have new things. But also my family has the ability to purchase a cellphone/computer/car if it broke. We have a roof over our heads and hot water, plus the basics in the fridge. We don't have the luxury of buying something new, simply for its newness.

7. My shopping habits...

 I want Nordstrom quality at OldNavy prices, which is why I end up with nothing when I try to go shopping.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Can I bore you with a 117 page report on public policy and the family?

It doesn't take a lot to be a good parent or to provide children with stability, but it seems that script is lost. There are some things I can not change immediately, I always believe that steps forward in stability the family will be in very small increments. While public policy can make things easier and put up fewer road blocks, I've always been realistic. It hasn't stopped people from over the decade to make snarky remarks, but even after a breakdown in conversation it can be revisited.

Just take out some of the cultural buzz words, including marriage, and get talking and oddly enough the m-word creeps back in naturally. Recently in a talk about adoption reforms I was called in question on my view on marriage, I answered honestly.

I was accused of using the rights and needs of children in my defense of marriage.

Well, yeah.


As for that report from the Congressional Research Service

Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of FemaleHeaded
Families with Children: 1987-2013 

A month without a keyboard

Our old desktop blew a network card, and we were too busy to actually purchase a new computer. I've been living with a tablet. I miss typing. It doesn't have to be blogging, just the ability to type again. My kids ask how can you type so fast? I'm not a great typist, but you just learn by necessity on doing it. Not sure why high/middle school use tablets, when they should be using chrome books. Tablets have function, like a small note pad in your purse. But you can't create content or a semi-thought out idea on a tablet.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

7QT Talking about marriage in reality, not in abstract

More Quick Takes at Jens Conversion Diary

1.  I had a conversation with a working professional divorced mom this week. A good one. A non controversial one, the type the Synod of the Family wanted to address.

2. Why are we failing at 'family' at this rate? Even those in which families are not completely under one roof, realize this is a problem. We relate to the personal/private situations, but why can't we reverse the trends that lead to divorce.  Even divorced/never married wanted healthy relationships. Even they are hesitate to remarry, they don't desire to divorce again.

3. I told her, I fear divorce. That I treat divorced like a virus, that can be catched. She understood.

Pastorally as lay people. Married need to help divorce people heal, but how can we prevent the 'virus' effect?

4. "THE VIEW FROM HELL"

"Although cultural evolution operates by very different mechanisms than genetic evolution, many biological patterns are present. Cultures mutate, reproducing varying versions of themselves by generational transmission and spread, experience differential reproductive success (selection), and sometimes go extinct. They are dependent on their human hosts, or symbiotes, a population they both change and are changed by. And we are dependent on them."

Excellent paper on how cultures influence our fertility patterns. Odd choice of terms. Human hosts?


5. Search "marriage" and "parents" on Twitter and you can find some nice tweets from young adults. 


6. Almost half of children born today will see their parents separate by their 16th birthday, and many fathers do... http://t.co/yi9boxlBoo


7.




Monday, October 13, 2014

Another pending divorce

My mom called me yesterday and informed me of another person we know going through a divorce. She saw the soon-to-be divorcee's mother at the supermarket and talked. He now lives with his mother, while the wife and three kids live in the marital home.

Divorce use to have a sense something really was wrong in the relationship, now.... meh... He wasn't happy or something.

Like said I'm concern about what I see in our communities, not the courts. It isn't good.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

7QT Is that frog cooked, yet? #synod14

More Quick Takes at Jen's Conversion Diary

1. Focused on the brokenness of the family here in Lowell, I haven't really followed the actions of the Supreme Court too closely.

Why? The sky has already fallen, look at the ground. 

2. Absence of marriage is a perfect economic-legal-media storm, isn't? I don't think secular culture cares about the adult-centered version of marriage either. Maybe weddings.. And that's mostly the parents, not the bride and groom.

3. A tweet of mine was favorited by 4 people in France, I guess there was a rally for the family there this week.

"What if the #media reported #fatherless and #family breakdown, but we #ignored it? http://t.co/QThsinyt13 "

Looking back, as a society we did.

4. I'm a big fan of PBS's Finding Your Roots. " When anyone uses sperm/egg donation, sealed adoption, or other means to hide kin from a person for your own personal want... well we need to reconsider the practice. No matter who you are, race or sexual orientation, we have an natural interest in our identity. Even African Americans of slave decent can trace to what ethnic tribe in Africa with DNA, but it's more then DNA it's the stories."

5. So is marriage cooked? How did we let it slide downard for so long in America? I'm not sure what Americans even care about? I'm talking America, not necessarily other parts of the world. 


6. It really does seem we have to start from scratch on this. Nothing will be salvaged. 

7. From the Ruth Blog, very humbling.

"It is not their fault: why I am not angry at the lesbians suing the sperm bank"


"Ms. Cramblett is not a celebrity lesbian.  She does not have a law degree or work for a prestigious activist organization or have a TV show. She works at an ATT store. I do not see any of the Establishment Gay Legal organizations hovering around her case. (I’m guessing they would find her case slightly embarrassing to their liberal pieties.) Her attorney, Thomas Intili, seems to be a local personal injury lawyer.
No, Ms. Cramblett and her friend Amanda Zinkon appear to be just folks. Ms. Cramblett was trying to order her life around the Modern Family Narrative.
When the Elites said that “love makes a family,” she believed them.  “Genetic connections are over-rated.”  “Kids don’t really need mothers and fathers.”  “No harm will come from using a commercial sperm donor.” “You are entitled to become a mother, even if you never intend to have a relationship with the child’s father.” “






Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"Finding Your Roots"

One of the guests tonight was Anderson Cooper, who is umm... gay. Normally that would be irrelevant, but whenever we now talk marriage it isn't an institution to discover the links of our ancestors.

Documentation means something, not for us, but for our descendants. It is common that those of African-American decent to have their paper trail run dry in the 1870s. Cooper who's ancestor owned slaves (and was killed in a slave revolt) was sick to his stomach that slaves were nameless in documents.... When anyone uses sperm/egg donation, sealed adoption, or other means to hide kin from a person for your own personal want... well we need to reconsider the practice. No matter who you are, race or sexual orientation, we have an natural interest in our identity. Even African Americans of slave decent can trace to what ethnic tribe in Africa with DNA, but it's more then DNA it's the stories.


OK.... Related, because shouldn't we document gay relationships?

As long as it it is not on a false premise, such as a person having two two moms or two dads. Eve Tushnet points out.  

"Yesterday we blessed pets for Pete’s sake, so why not the people you love? You’ll bless a cat who loves me “like a glutton loves his lunch,” but no blessing for friends or chosen family? But here I’m more interested in hearing your ideas. Where have you seen extrafamilial sacrificial love honored publicly? Where and how would you like to see it honored?"


Added: When I speak of gay relationships, it is not approval or endorsement of sexual behavior, rather the relationship itself. Really hard people to understand that at times. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Agamy and the absence of marriage

A perfect economic-legal-media storm, isn't ?

Rates are down in people marrying.

Laws are now obsolete in promoting a child being raised by both parents with marriage or anything

Internet and headlines.... Don't help.

IUDs (foreign objects inserted into young women) are being recommended at a national level by government agencies. Because the stability and function of the family is no longer present.


This being a Catholic blog, I prayed the rosary for the synod.

This being a public policy blog, there is still a lot work that can be done ensuring that children will be cared and loved by their own families, and that children will not be objectified or denied their rights to maternal and paternal relationships.

This being a local blog, I have immediate concern for the wellbeing of families in my neighborhood.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

7QT I read everyone else's 7QT, do you?

More 7QT over at Jen's Conversion Diary

1. I read them. I do most on Fridays, and then I catch up with the later 7QTs.

I don't have a lot in common, maybe four years ago when my kids were younger. I rarely talk about my children on my blog. But I will in this 7QT. When I blogged it was a time away from my children and to post non-children thoughts.

I feel like a rarity, but that is OK. I just didn't realize how old I am now.

 Good news is I think you're all more interesting than what is on TV.

2.  I prayed at a graduation party. No. We prayed at a graduation party. You have to understand what a wonderful experience it was. A neighbor was graduating with her RN, our daughters are friends so I would always be there to help just pick up the kids when she was in class. She was so thankful to everyone that came, and for her family. Which was large on both sides. I was jealous. I told my husband we should be praying at graduation parties as well.

3. "Like in the pro-life movement people need to see marriage support not just in public policy, but on the ground -WilcoxNMP"

4. Ummm. I got side tracked. I had to type up my son's book report. I promise I did not write it, just typed. But he's in 5th grade and he needs typing lessons.

5. 


6. My daughter needed a real physical book (the ones you can touch and have to open up to read) to cite for her report, but the library closed at 4:30 and she had three plus hours of dance. She was home sick earlier this week and was unaware of the text requirement. Since I'm old and I know how to find books in the library. Yeah, I just got it myself. 

7.  It's 8pm. Dinner plates are still on the table. But it's evidence I made dinner. 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

7QT The original rainbow flag of peace.

More Quick Takes at Jen's Conversion Diary

1. I reposted to posts from the Opine Editorials, a marriage/family blog I use to post at.

Because adoption doesn’t cure fatherlessness.
We need to rethink what adoption is and why? It received criticism, but really my criticism is geared to conservatives. 
AND

Family Find

Why is it public policy to keep children without biological relatives, but we preach in social media that biological kin isn't necessary for the well-being of children. 

2.  So what creates stability for children? Not long lasting birth control.
Birth control will NOT protect women from poor decision making or even help her make a decision, it just protects her from not having children with a man who may or may not be the person she should marry and have children with. I know. I've been there. Not judging, just sharing. 
3. Mom goes to jail for ordering abortion pills without a prescription for her daughter via ABA Journal 

It's a short and fair read of the situation.  The article brings up the issue of a 24 hour waiting period. I never was really a big supporter of waiting periods, as someone who is profile, not sure how it helped. But from a medical point of view I find not having an initial consultation for surgery to be odd, even negligent. When I have minor surgery or when my children have minor surgery, we always get a consultation with the actual surgeon before they schedule the operation. Unless you are going through the Emergency Room, the surgeon always meets and speaks to the patient with an appointment before the surgery. 

4. Spoken at city council this week.

"Many children in our city are on their own and receive no love or respect at home so they seek it out in gangs or through the use of drugs;" -Councilor Rita Mercier 

Amen

5. The original rainbow flag... 



Iraq war.
"The most common recent design is a rainbow flag representing peace, first used in Italy at a peace march in 1961. The flag was inspired by similar multi-coloured flags used in demonstrations against nuclear weapons. A previous version had featured a dove drawn by Pablo Picasso.[10]"

6. As a Catholic, I feel stretched. I don't know how religious keep the joy. I'm burnt out. So afraid my anger may be expressed negatively.

7. People have noticed how the media is manipulating the Synod on the Family. Sigh...


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So what creates stability for children? Not long lasting birth control.

How do we bridge socioeconomic concerns to the reality that having children isn't a cold-calculating process that can be planned out?

Children need love, not just organic vegetables and piano lessons.

When I was interviewed on my transition to Natural Family Planning last year, I brought up a conversation with my mother. Growing up she told me, I was lucky I was planned. I'm pretty sure if I was unplanned I would be loved just the same. We always had 'surprises' within our family from younger unmarried couples. My parents never judged them and being that my mother worked in a prenatal clinic of a Catholic hospital she saw a lot of life created in less then planned situation.

Over time I've witnessed the positive outcomes of unplanned pregnancies of young parents.Why? We helped the parents be parents. Sometimes they decided to marry, and sometimes they made the decision not to marry. Either way we helped parents be parents, no matter their age or marital status. We ideally believe in marriage, but that decision was up to the couple. In fact I celebrate when a couple 'calls off a wedding', because they saved themselves from divorce.

This may seem outrageous being that I'm huge promoter of marriage. Relationships and children come with this huge paradox, something very emotional, yet one can't have children with a person who handles money foolishly or isn't motivated to take care of themselves. Children are a natural outcome of sexual expression and love, and yet the day to day home-economics is anything but romantic.

Why was it 40 years ago a woman could marry at 18 and have children , stay in a loving marriage, and be relatively well-off with home ownership with a retirement account?

Today we have policy makers suggesting the only solution is to postpone marriage and children well into her late 20s?

Do people realize that our U.S. Constitution (written in 1787) understands that a 26 year old is mature enough to be seated in the House of Representatives, but we created  public policy that sees a 26 year old as barely an adult who may be dependent on their own parents in a very short period of time incapable of a decision to marry or be parent in desperate need of a free IUD?  

This doesn't have an evolution element to it, because it isn't like puberty is being postponed. I also highly doubt that young women are becoming so dumb, she doesn't have the maturity to be a loving mother. 

I firmly believe and understand that deciding vs. sliding into a relationship is a great idea, but more birth control doesn't give women more time to make a decision it just delays it. It gives a false sense of making a decision. It is analogous to moving in without a clear idea whether to marry or not and slide into marriage, because you both share mortgage to the condo anyways. You're already having sex with him, aren't you?

Birth control will NOT protect women from poor decision making or even help her make a decision, it just protects her from not having children with a man who may or may not be the person she should marry and have children with. 
I know. I've been there. Not judging, just sharing. 




Monday, September 22, 2014

Because adoption doesn’t cure fatherlessness.

Another old post from Opine Editorials 

Volunteering at The Department of Children of Families, I get to sit in on foster care reviews. I witness wonderful people helping families, including foster parents of differing households. Single adults, couples with adult children, yes even older gay couples. To be a foster parent or adopt, marriage is not a prerequisite, even unmarried partners are eligible to apply.

85% of children receive services, while living with their own families. The children in foster care usually return to their parents within 3 months. Of course due to safety, some children can not be returned to their parents, and are placed under guardianship or adopted to a family member. If that is not possible, we keep siblings together. Sometimes siblings must be placed in separate homes due to certain
circumstances, but DCF finds ways to keep connectivity.

These children have parents; they may be addicted to drugs, mentally ill, incarcerated, or deceased. Yes in some cases there is physical and sexual abuse, but not all cases. (Don’t worry, these are treated differently!) For other children, they can have supervised visits with parents, and foster/adoptive parents must respectful of the fact this child lost his/her family. As adults, children are free to have relationships with their parents on their own terms.


These children need safe places to live and adults they can trust. These children are not for up for adoption to cure your infertility, or to legitimize your personal relationship with another person, and adoption isn’t for you to hoard and pride yourself what a saint you are.

Expanding the type of households, that can apply to adopt, doesn’t address the issue of fatherlessness in our communities. The only thing that can solve fatherlessness is a healthy relationship between a mother and father. Once upon a time, we use to refer to this as marriage.

Family Find

This is an older post from The Opine Editorials 


Family Find from Children Trends October 2011

The program was first conceived in 1999 by Kevin Campbell and colleagues at Catholic Community Services in Tacoma, Washington. Campbell was inspired by the family-tracing techniques used by international aid agencies to find and reunite family members who had been separated by war, civil disturbance, or natural disaster. Using genealogical archives and internet-based services, Campbell and colleagues were not only able to increase the number of life-long connections for children in foster care in the agency’s service area and decrease the number of children in non-relative care, but also inspire the passage of state legislation in 2003 requiring intensive relative searches for all children in out-of-home care.

If you are in foster care, Washington Sate has an interest that a child knows all possible relatives on both maternal and paternal sides. Yet currently in Washington State, if ones states children should live with both their biological mother and father and to identify and create public policy around that concept, it can be construed as hatred?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

7QT Am I in a zombie movie?

More quick links over at Jen's Conversion Diary. 

1. I'm not a joyful Catholic, today. That's an honest statement. I need to go to confession ASAP, but I know I'm just going to be venting out my frustration with others and not dealing with my own faults. Yes, I know that is something I confess in of itself.

2. I have so many things to be grateful for, but what saddens me is the inability to share them. I can't communicate or share an idea. (like marriage) You have to tip-toe around it, in fear that if you cross the wrong person you will be falsely labeled a bigot. I feel like I'm in a zombie movie, something taken for granted is now unrecognizable. Our memories erased.

3. I've gone over in the past how PBS FrontLine (2002), President Obama (as Senator) (2007), the highest court in New York once defended marriage(2006), and public policy papers for Congress in 2014. Even science articles how marital breakdown affects parenting. I can pull up academic articles that are progressive in nature from 2001 that defends marriage. 


4. From 2001 from Cornell's Progressive Policy Institute
"Public policy concerns about the decline of marriage as an institution are not new.
What is new is that both conservatives and liberals seem increasingly prepared to act in concrete ways to encourage marriage and to prevent divorce. This willingness to act is no longer viewed as part of a narrow family agenda of the religious right or of political conservatives, but one increasingly embraced by centrist Democrats, family and child advocacy groups, and progressive social scientists and public policy analysts. Whether the new marriage agenda takes the form of eliminating the “marriage penalty” in the U.S. tax code, promoting covenant marriages that make divorce more difficult legally (as is the case in Louisiana), or developing marriage enrichment or pre-marital counseling programs, the message is clear: The government is no longer willing to let the health and well-being of America’s children, youth, and families to chance. This pro-marriage agenda has taken center stage in the debate over the reauthorization of PRWORA. " 

5. What happened? The idea we've become zombies has not been ruled out. 

6. Over at Mercator "Truth is Sacred" how one many is correcting his birth certificate
"This is something that our society needs. My dog has a more accurate birth certificate than I do. How is it that animals can have a more accurate family tree than a person? Is that not dehumanising?"

7.  Are we failing to teach our teenagers to love... 

The Webs that Support Us: Shifting Conceptions of the American Dream

"I didn’t gather a similar group in this largely white neighborhood to compare their aspirations with those of their peers across the street, but in my conversation with a guy who runs the waste treatment facility that serves both communities, he confirmed the standard fare: Take AP’s, find some community service opportunities, get into a prestigious college, and surf off networks and degrees from there. And it all sounded promising, except for knowing the laments of those in their same demographic (indeed, my demographic), just ten years ahead of them—laments of isolation and unexamined box-checking, reports of alienation and purposelessness. Upbringings of the college-bound structured according to the hurdles of our meritocracy, not first to love and loyalty, commitment and invisible service." 

Friday, September 12, 2014

7QT I cry at Baptisms

More 7QT at Jen's Conversion Diary

(#7 is me crying at Baptisms)

1. You can follow me on Twitter @reneeaste

2. I have a post on siblings and public policy this week. What we use to think about marital public policy wasn't about the legal benefits of two people, but the logistics of mom and dad raising children together. Anyone dealing with a situation who has to co-parent, but not under the same roof realizes the struggles of logistics that occurs.

3. What about half siblings living with a biological mother, but for health reasons/death the mother can not parent? Do you split up the children between the fathers? Do you allow a maternal relative take guardianship, despite the fathers have no neglected or abandoned their children?

4. From Science Daily "Marital tension between Mom and Dad can harm each parent's bond with child"

"We see from the findings that the marriage is a hub relationship for the family," she said. "The quality of that relationship spills over into each parent's interactions with the child. So if mom and dad are fighting, it will show up initially -- and in some cases on the second day -- in a poorer quality relationship with their kids."

5. I follow @CDCSTD, it is quite surprising how 'conservative' the medical advice is. Sure some of the tweets are creepy in my opinion, especially seeing pre-teen faces and STDs, but the date supports risks of unhealthy sexual activity. And really the only healthy sexual activity is within what we use to call 'marriage'.

6. Teen pregnancy for instance is somewhat more rare then we are lead to believe. Only one in four 'teen pregnancies' if from a minor. 75% of 'teen pregnancies' are are women of legal age 18-19. Also only about 25% of teens between 15-17 are sexually active.
"Encourage teens who are not sexually active to continue to wait."
 I always thought teens had more sex. I'm old now and my own experiences are irrelevant, but I thought everyone was having sex when I was a teenager. But why can't we talk sexually active teens/adults to also pause. Yes. you can stop.

7. My post on Facebook last Sunday
Some people cry at weddings, I cry at 11:15 Mass where an elderly man (with a cane) received the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. His daughter-in-law was his Godmother. Mass was set up for a Baptism and we were wondering for ten minutes 'where's the baby'.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Siblings and Public Policy


Back in the early 2000s, when only Vermont has civil unions, we watched the recorded arguments in law school. The state did a poor job as if they didn't even want to defend marriage. I didn't think much of it at the time, civil unions were not marriage.

14 years later, while I currently do not practice law I witness how public policy is played out in Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Kinship matters. As in blood relationships. Not legal bonds. The legal status of paternity (by marriage affidavit of paternity, or guardianship does the legal authority to authorize care for the child. It is  also a way of keeping track of who is who, now that we mobile and do not live in villages where everyone knows everyone and how they are related.

For instance at DCF, if there is a sibling group but of differing fathers, we may be hesitant to divide up the children if the mother is unable to care for them. This means the children end up with a maternal relative and live together, instead of half siblings being separated living with the biological fathers. Of course biological fathers have the right to care for their own children, but they struggle taking their child away from his/her half siblings.

Hard to keep siblings together when they only have one parent in common, instead of two. 

Can we see how marriage (in its former understanding) could of prevented this? 

From a legal point of view it doesn't sound romantic or emotional, but law shouldn't be about feelings. It's about objectivity.

Some say marriage is dead. From the legal point of view, sure why not. Fine happy? But it isn't. It still has purpose from a public policy point of view.

"Non-Marital Births: An Overview" by the Congressional Research Service July 30, 2014


" It has been pointed out that fathers are far too often left out of discussions about nonmarital childbearing. It goes without saying that fathers are an integral factor in nonmarital childbearing. It appears that one result of the so-called sexual revolution was that many men increasingly believed that women could and should control their fertility via contraception and abortion. As a result, many men have become less willing to marry the women they impregnate.53
" The federal concern about nonmarital childbearing generally centers on its costs via claims on public assistance. These federal costs primarily reflect the fact that many of these “nonmarital children” are raised in single-parent families that are financially disadvantaged. Federal concern also arises because of the aforementioned research indicating that children living in single-parent families are more likely to face negative outcomes (financially, socially, and emotionally) than children who grow up with both of their biological parents in the home. As mentioned earlier, many children born outside of marriage are raised in single-parent families.9
This paper was published six weeks about.

But who is going to read a 30 page research paper?

No one.



Friday, September 5, 2014

7QT Voting in a political primary as a Catholic

More 7QTs at Jen's Conversion Diary

1. In good conscience yes I will cast a ballot in the Democratic primary. There are many issues that I still align with the Democratic platform, from state spending and anti-casino. But why I'm voting is to vote against the anti-life propaganda that is seen in the low-info voter commercials. It amounts to fear mongering and polarizing.

2. Massachusetts has created a brand new buffer zone law around abortion clinics (not women's health, there's no buffer zone around my own gynecologist office). In one of the political commercials it portrays peaceful protesters (the one in the US supreme court case) to a situation from 15+ years ago in which two workers at a clinic were murdered. This candidate who is one of eight children himself is running for attorney general.

3. There are other incidences I saw on television, but because I have trouble citing it online I just won't talk about  it. I'm just sick of it. The Massachusetts Democratic Party is not a 'big tent' party. It's disgustingly polarizing. I have no idea why people like these billionaire/millionaire candidates, for being a progressive. So I vote. I vote for those (despite disagreeing with), but do not utilize the low-info voter factor in cultural warfare in the television advertisements.

4. Voting in the Democratic primary I know I will be getting phone calls and campaign literature from EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood, but oh well. Yuck. But no better time to let them know you're pro-life.

5. Thoughts on  "Inter-generational Kinship Cohesion"
 Amazing how we turned family ideals/public policy from the goal of intergenerational cohesiveness to the an issue of government statuses irrelevant to any community interest but instead abstract concepts of privacy/equality within less an decade. A lot of the links I share are not pro-marriage, but adult adoptee/sperm-egg donor who are demanding their rights (despite educated, not in poverty). What I find disturbing that whether affluent or disadvantage, everyone thinks STEM & piano lessons is all a child needs to succeed and that money (not cohesion) is the only difference. -Renee Aste September 1, 2014 Facebook

6. Family matters, not just government programs.  "But where success occurred, it was often passed down, through family resources or networks simply out of reach of most of the disadvantaged." -Washington Post 

7.   I want to write more on this, but amazing from the Huff Post last year how family (not the government) matters. 


"In our study of family stories at the Emory University Family Narratives Project funded by the Sloan Foundation, we found that family stories seem to be transferred by mothers and grandmothers more often than not and that the information was typically passed during family dinners, family vacations, family holidays, and the like. Other data indicated that these very same regular family dinners, yearly vacations, and holiday celebrations occur more frequently in families that have high levels of cohesiveness and that they contribute to the development of a strong sense of what we have called the intergenerational self. It is this intergenerational self and the personal strength and moral guidance that seem to derive from it that are associated with increased resilience, better adjustment, and improved chances of good clinical and educational outcomes."



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Inter-generational Kinship Cohesion"




I had the intentions of writing an actual post, instead of just copying and pasting, but I'm overwhelming depressed at our society's attitude towards this ideal. 
 Amazing how we turned family ideals/public policy from the goal of intergenerational cohesiveness to the an issue of government statuses irrelevant to any community interest but instead abstract concepts of privacy/equality within less an decade. A lot of the links I share are not pro-marriage, but adult adoptee/sperm-egg donor who are demanding their rights (despite educated, not in poverty). What I find disturbing that whether affluent or disadvantage, everyone thinks STEM & piano lessons is all a child needs to succeed and that money (not cohesion) is the only difference. -Renee Aste September 1, 2014 Facebook


"But where success occurred, it was often passed down, through family resources or networks simply out of reach of most of the disadvantaged." -Washington Post (August 29, 2014) 


" Other data indicated that these very same regular family dinners, yearly vacations, and holiday celebrations occur more frequently in families that have high levels of cohesiveness and that they contribute to the development of a strong sense of what we have called the intergenerational self. It is this intergenerational self and the personal strength and moral guidance that seem to derive from it that are associated with increased resilience, better adjustment, and improved chances of good clinical and educational outcomes." The Stories That Bind Us: What Are the Twenty Questions? Huffington Post May 2013

Just saw an internet meme that reference that anyone that defends anthropological marriage as an 'asshole'. So I'm guess I will use "Inter-genertational Kinship Cohesion" as an alternative, but somehow I'm sure if I don't make an exemption for those who want to circumvent this I will be labeled something terrible.