Tag Archives: politics

UCLA Civil Rights Project study: Segregated schools in New York, yup those liberals love Black folk

26 Mar

 

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Joy Resmovits of Huffington Post reported in the article, The Nation’s Most Segregated Schools Aren’t Where You’d Think They’d Be:

NEW YORK — The nation’s most segregated schools aren’t in the deep south — they’re in New York, according to a report released Tuesday by the University of California, Los Angeles’ Civil Rights Project.

That means that in 2009, black and Latino students in New York “had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools,” in which white students made up less than 10 percent of enrollment and “the lowest exposure to white students,” wrote John Kucsera, a UCLA researcher, and Gary Orfield, a UCLA professor and the project’s director. “For several decades, the state has been more segregated for blacks than any Southern state, though the South has a much higher percent of African American students,” the authors wrote. The report, “New York State’s Extreme School Segregation,” looked at 60 years of data up to 2010, from various demographics and other research.

There’s also a high level of “double segregation,” Orfield said in an interview, as students are increasingly isolated not only by race, but also by income: the typical black or Latino student in New York state attends a school with twice as many low-income students as their white peers. That concentration of poverty brings schools disadvantages that mixed-income schools often lack: health issues, mobile populations, entrenched violence and teachers who come from the least selective training programs. “They don’t train kids to work in a society that’s diverse by race and class,” he said. “There’s a systematically unequal set of demands on those schools.”

While segregated schools are located throughout New York state, the segregation of schools in New York City — the country’s most heterogeneous area — contributes to the state’s standing. Of the city’s 32 Community School Districts, 19 had 10 percent or fewer white students in 2010. All school districts in the Bronx fell into that category. More than half of New Yorkers are black or Latino, but most neighborhoods have little diversity — and recent changes in school enrollment policies, spurred by the creation of many charter schools, haven’t helped, Orfield argues….         http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/new-york-schools-segregated_n_5034455.html

Here is the press release from UCLA:

CRP Researchers Reaffirm Findings of Increasing Segregation

Date Published:March 13, 2014

Several researchers have recently published articles claiming that school segregation has actually not increased in recent decades, as we have reported in our publications. It turns out that these researchers preferred to measure something else—the randomness of distribution of four racial groups across metropolitan areas. This measure has never been the goal of desegregation policies, nor the way in which progress was measured in civil rights law and enforcement.

Related Documents

Civil Rights Project Researchers Reaffirm Findings: School Segregation Increasing in Recent Decades                                               http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/news/news-and-announcements/news-2014/crp-researchers-reaffirm-findings-of-increasing-segregation/statement-Civil-Rights-Project-Researchers.pdf

March 13, 2014

Several researchers have recently published articles claiming that school segregation has actually not increased in recent decades, as we have reported in our publications. It turns out that these researchers have not disputed our data, which shows the level of isolation by race and poverty experienced by African American and Latino students. They have, however, preferred to measure something else—the randomness of distribution of four racial groups across metropolitan areas. This measure has never been the goal of desegregation policies, nor the way in which progress was measured in civil rights law and enforcement.

Traditionally desegregation progress has been measured by increased diversity in schools that were formerly of one racial group, and by the percent of black and Latino students concentrated in intensely segregated or substantially integrated schools. These are the central measures we have used. The researchers looking at randomness of multiracial groups conclude that diversity at a metropolitan level has not increased. By carefully examining the Washington metro area, we demonstrate that their measure shows progress. But statistics on the actual schools attended by black and Latino students, our measure, shows a clear increase in isolation from whites and middle class students.

CRP conducted a brief analysis, which foreshadows a more extensive forthcoming report, and found that the randomness statistics are interesting, but they do not sustain the claim that segregation has not increased. Furthermore, the progress they report is often misleading, because the randomness method can produce false negatives and false positives in terms of the segregation or integration of students and schools.

Our analysis explains the dispute and the basis for the conclusions in our reports.

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids. It is worth reviewing that post.   http://drwilda.com/tag/class-segregation/

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in education in Race, class, and education in America:

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://drwilda.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

Lindsey Layton wrote the Washington Post article, Schools dilemma for gentrifiers: Keep their kids urban, or move to suburbia?

When his oldest son reached school age, Michael Petrilli faced a dilemma known to many middle-class parents living in cities they helped gentrify: Should the family flee to the homogenous suburbs for excellent schools or stay urban for diverse but often struggling schools?

Petrilli, who lived in Takoma Park with his wife and two sons, was torn, but he knew more than most people about the choice before him. Petrilli is an education expert, a former official in the Education Department under George W. Bush and executive vice president at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education think tank.

He set out to learn as much as he could about the risks and benefits of socioeconomically diverse schools, where at least 20 percent of students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. And then he wrote about it.

The result is “The Diverse Schools Dilemma,” which is being published and released next month by the Fordham Institute.

Petrilli said he wanted his son to have friends from all backgrounds because he believes that cultural literacy will prepare him for success in a global society.

But he worried that his son might get lost in a classroom that has a high percentage of poor children, that teachers would be focused on the struggling children and have less time for their more privileged peers.

As Petrilli points out in the book, this dilemma doesn’t exist for most white, middle-class families. The vast majority — 87 percent — of white students attend majority white schools, Petrilli says, even though they make up just about 50 percent of the public school population.

And even in urban areas with significant African American and Latino populations, neighborhood schools still tend to be segregated by class, if not by race. In the Washington region, less than 3 percent of white public school students attend schools where poor children are the majority, according to Petrilli.

Gentrification poses new opportunities for policymakers to desegregate schools, Petrilli argues….

In the end, Petrilli moved from his Takoma Park neighborhood school — diverse Piney Branch Elementary, which is 33 percent low-income — to Wood Acres Elementary in Bethesda, where 1 percent of the children are low-income, 2 percent are black and 5 percent are Hispanic. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/schools-dilemma-for-urban-gentrifiers-keep-their-kids-urban-or-move-to-suburbia/2012/10/14/02083b6c-131b-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_story.html

Moi tackled the issue of segregation in Good or bad? Charter schools and segregation:     If one wants to make people’s heads explode, then mention Black conservative, Thomas Sowell. Better yet, quote him. Is the sound moi hears little explosions all over the blogosphere? Sowell has written an interesting piece, The Education of Minority Children©

While there are examples of schools where this happens in our own time– both public and private, secular and religious– we can also go back nearly a hundred years and find the same phenomenon. Back in 1899, in Washington, D. C., there were four academic public high schools– one black and three white.1 In standardized tests given that year, students in the black high school averaged higher test scores than students in two of the three white high schools.2 This was not a fluke. It so happens that I have followed 85 years of the history of this black high school– from 1870 to 1955 –and found it repeatedly equalling or exceeding national norms on standardized tests.3 In the 1890s, it was called The M Street School and after 1916 it was renamed Dunbar High School but its academic performances on standardized tests remained good on into the mid-1950s. When I first published this information in 1974, those few educators who responded at all dismissed the relevance of these findings by saying that these were “middle class” children and therefore their experience was not “relevant” to the education of low-income minority children. Those who said this had no factual data on the incomes or occupations of the parents of these children– and I did. The problem, however, was not that these dismissive educators did not have evidence. The more fundamental problem was that they saw no need for evidence. According to their dogmas, children who did well on standardized tests were middle class. These children did well on such tests, therefore they were middle class. Lack of evidence is not the problem. There was evidence on the occupations of the parents of the children at this school as far back in the early 1890s. As of academic year 1892-93, there were 83 known occupations of the parents of the children attending The M Street School. Of these occupations, 51 were laborers and one was a doctor.4 That doesn’t sound very middle class to me. Over the years, a significant black middle class did develop in Washington and no doubt most of them sent their children to the M Street School or to Dunbar High School, as it was later called. But that is wholly different from saying that most of the children at that school came from middle-class homes. During the later period, for which I collected data, there were far more children whose mothers were maids than there were whose fathers were doctors. For many years, there was only one academic high school for blacks in the District of Columbia and, as late as 1948, one-third of all black youngsters attending high school in Washington attended Dunbar High School. So this was not a “selective” school in the sense in which we normally use that term– there were no tests to take to get in, for example– even though there was undoubtedly self-selection in the sense that students who were serious went to Dunbar and those who were not had other places where they could while away their time, without having to meet high academic standards. (A vocational high school for blacks was opened in Washington in 1902).5 A spot check of attendance records and tardiness records showed that The M Street School at the turn of the century and Dunbar High School at mid-century had less absenteeism and less tardiness than the white high schools in the District of Columbia at those times. The school had a tradition of being serious, going back to its founders and early principals. Among these early principals was the first black woman to receive a college degree in the United States– Mary Jane Patterson from Oberlin College, class of 1862. At that time, Oberlin had different academic curriculum requirements for women and men. Latin, Greek and mathematics were required in “the gentlemen’s course,” as it was called, but not in the curriculum for ladies. Miss Patterson, however, insisted on taking Latin, Greek, and mathematics anyway. Not surprisingly, in her later 12 years as principal of the black high school in Washington during its formative years, she was noted for “a strong, forceful personality,” for “thoroughness,’ and for being “an indefatigable worker.” Having this kind of person shaping the standards and traditions of the school in its early years undoubtedly had something to do with its later success. Other early principals included the first black man to graduate from Harvard, class of 1870. Four of the school’s first eight principals graduated from Oberlin and two from Harvard. Because of restricted academic opportunities for blacks, Dunbar had three Ph.Ds among its teachers in the 1920s. One of the other educational dogmas of our times is the notion that standardized tests do not predict future performances for minority children, either in academic institutions or in life. Innumerable scholarly studies have devastated this claim intellectually,6 though it still survives and flourishes politically. But the history of this black high school in Washington likewise shows a pay-off for solid academic preparation and the test scores that result from it. Over the entire 85-year history of academic success of this school, from 1870 to 1955, most of its 12,000 graduates went on to higher education.7 This was very unusual for either black or white high-school graduates during this era. Because these were low-income students, most went to a local free teachers college but significant numbers won scholarships to leading colleges and universities elsewhere.8 Some M Street School graduates began going to Harvard and other academically elite colleges in the early twentieth century. As of 1916, there were nine black students, from the entire country, attending Amherst College. Six were from the M Street School. During the period from 1918 to 1923, graduates of this school went on to earn 25 degrees from Ivy League colleges, Amherst, Williams, and Wesleyan. Over the period from 1892 to 1954, Amherst admitted 34 graduates of the M Street School and Dunbar. Of these, 74 percent graduated and more than one-fourth of these graduates were Phi Beta Kappas.9 No systematic study has been made of the later careers of the graduates of this school. However, when the late black educator Horace Mann Bond studied the backgrounds of blacks with Ph.D.s, he discovered that more of them had graduated from M Street-Dunbar than from any other black high school in the country. The first blacks to graduate from West Point and Annapolis also came from this school. So did the first black full professor at a major university (Allison Davis at the University of Chicago). So did the first black federal judge, the first black general, the first black Cabinet member, the first black elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction, and the discoverer of a method for storing blood plasma. During World War II, when black military officers were rare, there were more than two dozen graduates of M Street or Dunbar High School holding ranks ranging from major to brigadier general.10 All this contradicts another widely-believed notion– that schools do not make much difference in children’s academic or career success because income and family background are much larger influences. If the schools themselves do not differ very much from one another, then of course it will not make much difference which one a child attends. But, when they differ dramatically, the results can also differ dramatically. This was not the only school to achieve success with minority children. But, before turning to some other examples, it may be useful to consider why and how this 85-year history of unusual success was abruptly turned into typical failure, almost overnight, by the politics of education. As we all know, 1954 was the year of the famous racial desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education. Those of us old enough to remember those days also know of the strong resistance to school desegregation in many white communities, including Washington, D. C. Ultimately a political compromise was worked out. In order to comply with the law, without having a massive shift of students, the District’s school officials decided to turn all public schools in Washington into neighborhood schools.

http://www.tsowell.com/speducat.html

Sowell ends his article with the following thoughts:

Put bluntly, failure attracts more money than success. Politically, failure becomes a reason to demand more money, smaller classes, and more trendy courses and programs, ranging from “black English” to bilingualism and “self-esteem.” Politicians who want to look compassionate and concerned know that voting money for such projects accomplishes that purpose for them and voting against such programs risks charges of mean-spiritedness, if not implications of racism. We cannot recapture the past and there is much in the past that we should not want to recapture. But neither is it irrelevant. If nothing else, history shows what can be achieved, even in the face of adversity. We have no excuse for achieving less in an era of greater material abundance and greater social opportunities.

The discussion has come full circle because the discussion centers on segregation and charter schools. This brings us to the thought that liberals are loving Black folk to death.

A couple of thoughts:

  1. Would these same students be attending segregated schools if the schools were public, because most cities have segregated housing patterns?
  2. Does it matter that children attend segregated elementary schools if they receive a good basic education and are qualified to attend the college of their choice or vocational school of their choice because they graduated from high school with good basic skills?
  3. Is there anything inherently wrong with a segregated school if it is not the result of a legal mandate which requires segregation?

Fact of the matter is, liberals like poor folk in theory, just not in fact.

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‘Becoming A Man’ course: Helping young African-American men avoid prison

2 Jul

 

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Moi read Tim Jones’ Bloomberg article, Chicago’s 29% Homicide Drop Comes With 400 Cops Working Overtime, which was posted at the Business Week site:

 

Chicago cut its homicide rate by 29 percent during the first half of this year, thanks in part to a crime prevention strategy that paid 400 officers overtime to quell violence in the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

 

Following a year in which homicides topped 500 for only the second time in a decade, Chicago reported its lowest first six-month total since 1965 — 180 through June 30, according to police data. That’s 76 fewer than the same period in 2012.

 

A question hanging over the latest homicide figures is the city’s financial ability to maintain the beefed-up street force as temperatures rise and costs mount. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-02/chicago-s-29-percent-homicide-drop-comes-with-400-cops-working-overtime

 

The murder rate and the associated violence has profound implications for society as well as the victims and perpetrators.

 

 

Sophia Kerby writes in the Center for American Progress report, The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States: A Look at the Racial Disparities Inherent in Our Nation’s Criminal-Justice System:

 

1. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.

 

2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.

 

3. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.

 

4. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age.

 

5. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

 

6. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated.

 

7. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

 

8. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.

 

9. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population.

 

10. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-facts-about-people-of-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/

 

The question becomes is there anything that can be done to stop individual involvement in criminal activity and/or violent crime.

 

Jennifer Aniston got into a flap about her opinion regarding single motherhood. As reported by the Celebitchy blog in the post, Bill O’Reilly Takes On Jennifer Aniston’s Pro-Single Mother Comments Aniston said:

 

Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don’t have to settle with a man just to have that child. Times have changed and that is also what is amazing… that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents’ days when you can’t have children because you have waited too long. The point of the movie is what is it that defines family? It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie. It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is.

 

See, Andrea Peyser’s Gals Being Lost in ‘No Man’ Land

 

The Washington Post article, Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence made moi think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero, Will Thomas.

 

The reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

 

Why does the culture think that the opinion of any celebrity should be valued above common sense? Celebrities will often repeat the mantra that they are not role models and really want to work on their art or their craft. But, many young people look up to these babbling heads as if they are an example of the best way to live. So, the question becomes how to give children the values that they might receive if they were in a healthy family. Youth Guidance attempts to meet that need with the “Becoming A Man” program.

 

Youth Guidance describes “Becoming a Man” (BAM):

 

 

Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. (Becoming A Man™) – Sports Edition is a school-based counseling, mentoring, violence prevention and educational enrichment program that promotes social, emotional and behavioral competencies in at-risk male youth. B.A.M – Sports Edition’s curriculum addresses six core values: integrity, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression, visionary goal-setting and respect for women, as each value relates to personal and academic success.

 

B.A.M. – Sports Edition addresses key challenges African-American and Latino youth confront daily in some of  Chicago’s toughest communities. B.A.M. – Sports Edition focuses exclusively on males because they are vastly more likely than females to be either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. Youth Guidance’s Anthony DiVittorio, L.C.P.C. created B.A.M. in response to an observation that his male students often lacked physical and emotional access to their fathers or other positive male role models. DiVittorio designed the B.A.M. curriculum around an innovative application of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, resiliency theory and rites of passage “men’s work” that have been demonstrated to successfully help youth improve self-regulation, social skills, and interpersonal skills. B.A.M. is invested in helping youth improve life-long protective factors and reduce behavioral risk factors.

 

Over the course of 30 weekly sessions, B.A.M. – Sports Edition participants engage in developmentally-based lessons and challenges that promote their emotional literacy, impulse-control, social competence, positive peer relations and interpersonal problems-solving skills. B.A.M. – Sports Edition is designed to help students pass classes, reduce both in-school and out of school suspensions, reduce detentions, increase school attendance, reduce disciplinary problems, and support grade promotion.

 

Results of the study released in 2012 show that B.A.M. works and is cost-effective. Program participants saw a 10 percent increase in graduation rates, a reduction in failing grades by 37 percent, and a decrease in violent crime arrests by 44 percent. At a cost of $1,100 per participant, the Crime Lab estimates the social benefit/cost ratio to be at least 3:1 per participating youth.

 

The University of Chicago Crime Lab study shows that Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. program reduces youth violence, increases school achievement and helps Chicago’s young men reach their full potential.  ‘Becoming a Man’ helps young men find evidence of their worth, strengthen their connection to and success in school, and help build safer communities,” stated Youth Guidance’s CEO Michelle Morrison.

 

B.A.M.’s curriculum is built on six B.A.M. Core Values

 

Here are the BAM Core Values:

 

1.INTEGRITY – is the core principle of the program. Students learn to identify and respect societal values and to conduct themselves in accordance with those values. Students learn that a man’s word should have meaning, and that a man’s integrity is dependent on keeping his word. Students learn that a man is someone who is reliable, honest and in touch with his integrity or lack thereof. He makes amends when he is out of integrity, and does what he says he is going to do.

 

 

2. ACCOUNTABILITY – Students learn that they should be responsible for the choices that they make and take ownership for their feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Students learn that a man does not project, or put blame onto others for the consequences of his own bad choices. A man can feel anger, sadness or fear, but he must own his reactions to those emotions.

 

 

3. SELF-DETERMINATION – is a learned skill, and practice begins in B.A.M. group. Students learn the importance of focus and perseverance in reaching one’s goals. Students learn to deal with self-defeating feelings, thoughts and behaviors that can become obstacles or barriers to goal-attainment. Students learn that self-doubt, uncertainty, and moments of weakness are natural when attempting to reach a goal.

 

 

4.POSITIVE ANGER EXPRESSION – is the most effective and remembered lesson taught in the program. Students learn that anger is a normal emotion that can be expressed in a constructive manner. This skill allows for the alleviation of angry feelings and becomes a bridge to goal attainment. Students learn anger management coping skills such as deep breathing exercises to elicit a relaxation response. Students learn effective techniques to express anger that avoid typical negative consequences (i.e. suspensions, arrests, damaged relationships, etc.).

 

 

5.VISIONARY GOAL SETTING – Students learn the difference between short-term and long-term goals and how to create realistic steps toward goal attainment. Students learn to envision their manhood in the future and to make clear connections between their current behaviors, attitudes and values and their vision. During this intense phase, students aim to get in touch with traumas, pains and faulty thinking that cause them to act in negative, destructive manners. They learn how to heal these parts of themselves and to use the energy toward attaining their vision. Not all students are ready for this phase of the program. However, it can be a life altering phase for those who are.

 

 

6. RESPECT FOR WOMANHOOD – Students go through three stages of learning. First, there are lectures and discussions around the history and contemporary roles that women have held in society. Students are challenged to take a critical look at which norms represent positive value and appreciation as opposed to depreciation, devaluing and oppression. Second, students learn concrete positive communication skills and begin using them during their interactions. As a result, students enter the final stage of training, wherein they increase their value and appreciation of womanhood.

 

 

B.A.M. – Sports Edition places special emphasis on issues surrounding respect and integrity. This value reinforces those important messages at a deeper level.

 

 

See, Therapy Helps Troubled Teens Rethink Crime http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/07/02/188646607/therapy-helps-troubled-teens-rethink-crime?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=

 

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of these children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis.

 

 

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CDC reports teen pregnancy rate down, thankfully

27 May

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART:

In Talking to your teen about risky behaviors, moi said: There are no perfect people, no one has a perfect life and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals, which give specific instructions about how to relate to that particular child. Further, for many situations there is no one and only way to resolve a problem. What people can do is learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Sharon Jayson writes in the USA Today article, More children born to unmarried parents:

A growing number of firstborns in the USA have unmarried parents, reflecting dramatic increases since 2002 in births to cohabiting women, according to government figures out today.

The percentage of first births to women living with a male partner jumped from 12% in 2002 to 22% in 2006-10 — an 83% increase. The percentage of cohabiting new fathers rose from 18% to 25%. The analysis, by the National Center for Health Statistics, is based on data collected from 2006 to 2010….

The percentage of first births to cohabiting women tripled from 9% in 1985 to 27% for births from 2003 to 2010….http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/story/2012-04-10/CDC-marriage-cohabitation-children/54186600/1#.T4Z8NWHELEQ.email

This is a demographic disaster for children as devastating as the hurricane “Katrina.”

One way to promote healthier lifestyles for children is to keep their parents in school so that they can complete their education. One overlooked aspect of Title IX is the mandate that pregnant teens have access to education.

In Teaching kids that babies are not delivered by UPS, moi said:

It is time for some speak the truth, get down discussion. An acquaintance who practices family law told me this story about paternity. A young man left Seattle one summer to fish in Alaska. He worked on a processing boat with 30 or40 others. He had sex with this young woman. He returned to Seattle and then got a call from her saying she was pregnant. He had been raised in a responsible home and wanted to do the right thing for this child. His mother intervened and demanded a paternity test. To make a long story, short. He wasn’t the father. In the process of looking out for this kid’s interests, my acquaintance had all the men on the boat tested and none of the other “partners” was the father. Any man that doesn’t have a paternity test is a fool.

If you are a slut, doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female you probably shouldn’t be a parent.

How to tell if you are a slut?

  1. If you are a woman and your sex life is like the Jack in the Box 24-hour drive through, always open and available. Girlfriend, you’re a slut.
  1. If you are a guy and you have more hoes than Swiss cheese has holes. Dude, you need to get tested for just about everything and you are a slut. 

Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.

Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to a family planning clinic, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulettewith the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption. http://drwilda.com/2012/01/22/teaching-kids-that-babies-are-not-delivered-by-ups/

Nirvi Shah reported in the Education Week article, Teen Pregnancy Rate at Its Lowest, Again, CDC Says:

The teen pregnancy rate is at a record low, again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. And the steady declines from 2007 to 2011 mark the most longest period in recent history for which the drop persevered.

The rate of births among girls ages 15 to 19 has been record-settingly low for the last few years, falling almost without exception since 1991. In the latest figures, the CDC said the overall rate dropped 25 percent since 2007, from 41.5 births per 1,000 teenagers to 31.3 births in 2011—and that’s about a 50 percent drop in the rate since 1991. The overall number of births also dropped to 329,797, a 26 percent decrease from 2007 to 2011.

(If this drop sounds familiar, I wrote about similar numbers from preliminary CDC teen pregnancy data in the fall.)

One highlight: Declines in birth rates among Hispanic teenagers were the largest of any group, with rates falling by at least 40 percent in 22 states and the District of Columbia. In 2007, the birth rate among Hispanic teenager was 21 percent higher than the rate for blacks, but by 2011, the rate for Hispanic teenagers was only 4 percent greater.

The teen pregnancy rates fell at least 30 percent in seven states from 2007 to 2011 with even steeper declines in Arizona and Utah—of 35 percent. There was no significant change in two states: North Dakota and West Virginia.

Giving birth as a teenager can affect a young woman’s health, economic security, and every other aspect of life.

In general, the CDC said the drop is the result of a combination of things, including strong teen pregnancy-prevention messages. (These new Chicago ads are stunners, and a recent teen pregnancy-prevention campaign in New York has turned particularly bold, too.)

The CDC said the most recent data from the National Survey of Family Growth show that more teens are using contraception when they first have sex and using a combination of condoms and hormonal birth control. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rulesforengagement/2013/05/teen_pregnancy_rate_at_its_lowest_again_cdc_says.html

Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity. http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/teaching-kids-that-babies-are-not-delivered-by-ups/

The National Council to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has produced the report, Teen Pregnancy & High School Dropout: What Communities Can Do to Address These Issues:

In 2008, births to teens who lived in counties and cities where 25 persistently low-achieving schools are located accounted for 16 percent of all teen births in the United States, according to a new report released today by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The report, Teen Pregnancy & High School Dropout: What Communities Can Do to Address These Issues, notes that these same 25 school districts also accounted for 20 percent of all high school dropouts in the United States and are home to many of the nation’s lowest-performing high schools, often referred to as “dropout factories,” where only 60 percent or fewer of students graduate on time.

The new report, produced in collaboration with America’s Promise Alliance, underscores the clear link between teen pregnancy and dropping out of school and highlights what a number of communities across the United States are doing to directly confront these issues. With the help of school districts, public agencies, and community-based organizations, these communities—from California to New York and Texas to Tennessee —are using innovative strategies and activities to help students avoid pregnancy and complete their high school education.

For example, some school districts, such as the New York City Public Schools, have used results from surveys of parents to overcome resistance to programs designed to prevent teen pregnancy. Other districts, such as Harris County Schools in Houston, TX have organized information sessions to educate parents, teachers, and school leaders about the connection between teen pregnancy and school completion as a way to enlist more support for school-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. And in West Virginia, the state school system has partnered with the state health department and community-based organizations to hold in-person or online professional development courses for teachers to improve the delivery of pregnancy prevention programs.

We are heartened by the work being done in communities across the U.S. to highlight the close connection between preventing teen pregnancy and educational attainment,” said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “We encourage school leaders, policymakers, state and local officials, business leaders, and others to collaborate and develop novel strategies like those highlighted in this report to help young people avoid pregnancy and complete their high school education.”

Since its peak in 1990, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate has declined 42 percent and the teen birth rate is now at an all-time low. Despite this impressive progress, it is still the case that nearly three in 10 girls in this country will become pregnant before the age of 20. The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancies in the developed world—approximately 750,000 pregnancies to teens each year.

The United States continues to also confront a high school dropout crisis. Each year, one in four U.S. public high school students fail to graduate with a diploma—that’s more than one million dropouts annually or one every 26 seconds. Although recent studies found the national graduation rate has increased to 75.5 percent, over the last decade less than half of all states made significant progress and only one state (Wisconsin) has achieved the Grad Nation campaign goal of a 90 percent graduation rate.

The connection between teen pregnancy and dropout rates is a no-brainer,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO, America’s Promise Alliance. “What this report does is reinforce the importance of focusing on those school districts and communities where the dropout problem is the greatest. By turning around those communities that are struggling the most we won’t just see fewer dropouts and teen parents—we’ll see a stronger economy, more vibrant communities, and a more hopeful nation.”

The report highlights other existing data linking teen pregnancy and dropping out of high school, including:

  • Parenthood is a leading cause of school dropout among teen girls. Thirty percent of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cited pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason, and the rate is higher for minority students: 36 percent of Hispanic girls and 38 percent of African American girls cited pregnancy or parenthood as a reason they dropped out;

  • One in three (34%) young women who had been teen mothers earned neither a diploma nor a GED, compared with only six percent of young women who had not had a teen birth;

  • Less than two percent of young teen mothers (those who have a baby before age 18) attain a college degree by age 30; and

  • Over the course of a lifetime, a college graduate will earn, on average, $1 million more than a high school dropout. Over the course of his or her lifetime, a single high school dropout costs the nation approximately $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, an America’s Promise partner, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan initiative supported almost entirely by private donations. Its mission is to promote values, behavior, and policies that reduce both teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among young adults. By increasing the proportion of children born into welcoming, intact families who are prepared to take on the demanding task of raising the next generation, the organization’s efforts will improve the well-being of children and strengthen the nation.

Parents must be involved in the discussion of sex with their children and discuss THEIR values long before the culture has the chance to co-op the children. Moi routinely posts information about the vacuous and troubled lives of Sex and the City aficionados and troubled pop tarts like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. Kids need to know that much of the life style glamorized in the media often comes at a very high personal cost. Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children.

Related:

Talking to your teen about risky behaviors                                      http://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Many young people don’t know they are infected with HIV http://drwilda.com/tag/disproportionate-numbers-of-young-people-have-hiv-dont-know-it/

Dropout prevention: More schools offering daycare for students http://drwilda.com/2013/01/14/dropout-prevention-more-schools-offering-daycare-for-students/

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students http://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/title-ix-also-mandates-access-to-education-for-pregnant-students/

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New Federal speech guidelines for college campuses and the U.S. Constitution

19 May

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART:

Moi wrote in Free speech on college campuses:

The U.S. Constitution should be cherished by every American. Here is information about the First Amendment from the Legal Information Institute:

first amendment: an overview

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the “separation of church and state.” Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of “blue laws” is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person’s practice of their religion.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. For more on unprotected and less protected categories of speech see advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, commercial speech and obscenity. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message.  The level of protection speech receives also depends on the forum in which it takes place.

Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.

The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief. The Supreme Court has expressly recognized that a right to freedom of association and belief is implicit in the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. This implicit right is limited to the right to associate for First Amendment purposes. It does not include a right of social association. The government may prohibit people from knowingly associating in groups that engage and promote illegal activities. The right to associate also prohibits the government from requiring a group to register or disclose its members or from denying government benefits on the basis of an individual’s current or past membership in a particular group. There are exceptions to this rule where the Court finds that governmental interests in disclosure/registration outweigh interference with first amendment rights. The government may also, generally, not compel individuals to express themselves, hold certain beliefs, or belong to particular associations or groups.

The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through the courts (litigation) or other governmental action. It works with the right of assembly by allowing people to join together and seek change from the government. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment

Peter Bonilla explains why free speech rights on college campuses are important in a PolicyMic article. http://drwilda.com/tag/free-speech-on-college-campuses-a-must-especially-during-election-seasons/

InFree Speech On College Campuses a Must, Especially During Election Seasons:

As I’ve written here on PolicyMic, though, and as the case log and publications of my employer, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), make clear, colleges and universities frequently fall far short of being the bastions of free speech they should be. Further, they often come down especially hard on political expression at the very times when it’s most relevant. Part of the problem is universities’ tendency to misinterpret their obligations under the Internal Revenue Code, which prohibits nonprofit educational institutions from engaging in certain political activities, such as institutionally supporting candidates for office.

Such misinterpretations frequently lead university administrations to prohibit or restrict broad swaths of protected speech, defying both the First Amendment and common sense. The University of Oklahoma, for example, in 2008 banned “the forwarding of political humor/commentary” using university e-mail accounts. That same year, the University of Illinois system issued warnings to faculty against engaging in basic political activities — including wearing campaign buttons, attending rallies, and even placing stickers on their cars. Then in 2011, Illinois’ flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign proposed an electronic communications policy that would have banned any and all “political campaigning” by faculty and students. Fortunately, these policies were all revised or scrapped after FIRE objected. Yet such misconceptions by universities are common enough that FIRE has issued and re-issued a policy statement on political activity to guide universities in policy and practice. http://www.policymic.com/articles/3454/free-speech-on-college-campuses-a-must-especially-during-election-seasons

See, Censorship of Free Speech on College Campuses Grows http://www.educationnews.org/higher-education/censorship-of-free-speech-on-college-campuses-grows/

and Why Students Need a Guide to Free Speech on Campus More Than Ever http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2012/08/why-students-need-a-guide-to-free-speech-on-campus-more-than-ever219.html

Greg Lukianoff writes in the Wall Street Journal article, Greg Lukianoff: Feds to Students: You Can’t Say That:

The scandals roiling Washington over the past two weeks involve troubling government behavior that had been hidden—the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s surveillance of the Associated Press, among others. Largely overlooked amid the histrionics has been a shocker hiding in plain sight. Last week, the Obama administration moved to dramatically undermine students’ and faculty rights at colleges across the country.

The new policy was announced in a joint letter from the Education Department and Justice Department to the University of Montana. The May 9 letter addressed the results of a year-long joint investigation by the departments into the school’s mishandling of several serious sexual-assault cases. The investigation determined that the university’s policies addressing sexual assault failed to comply with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

But the joint letter, which announced a “resolution agreement” with the university, didn’t stop there. It then proceeded to rewrite the federal government’s rules about sexual harassment and free speech on campus….

This attack on campus free speech follows the Education Department’s directive two years ago requiring every college in the country that receives federal funds to lower the standard of evidence in sexual-harassment cases. The “preponderance of the evidence,” the judiciary’s lowest standard of proof, became the required standard. (Many institutions had previously used the “clear and convincing” standard.) As former Dean of Harvard CollegeHarry Lewis has noted, the “preponderance of evidence” mandate means “more convictions—of both guilty and innocent individuals,” which is a troubling result “in a society that values individual rights.”

Last week’s letter is part of a decades-long effort by anti-“hate speech” professors, students, activists and administrators to classify any offensive speech as harassment unprotected by the First Amendment. Such speech codes reached their height in the 1980s and 1990s, but they were defeated in federal and state court and came in for public ridicule.

Despite these setbacks, harassment-based speech codes have become the de facto rule. Earlier this year, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, published a study that looked at 409 colleges and found that 62% maintain codes that violate First Amendment standards. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323582904578485041304763554.html?mod=hp_opinion

Lukianoff goes on to state in Federal Government Mandates Unconstitutional Speech Codes at Colleges and Universities Nationwide:

Among the forms of expression now punishable on America’s campuses by order of the federal government are:

  • Any expression related to sexual topics that offends any person. This leaves a wide range of expressive activity—a campus performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” a presentation on safe sex practices, a debate about sexual morality, a discussion of gay marriage, or a classroom lecture on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita—subject to discipline.
  • Any sexually themed joke overheard by any person who finds that joke offensive for any reason.
  • Any request for dates or any flirtation that is not welcomed by the recipient of such a request or flirtation.

There is likely no student on any campus anywhere who is not guilty of at least one of these “offenses.” Any attempt to enforce this rule evenhandedly and comprehensively will be impossible.

“The federal government has put colleges and universities in an impossible position with this mandate,” said Lukianoff. “With this unwise and unconstitutional decision, the DOJ and DOE have doomed American campuses to years of confusion and expensive lawsuits, while students’ fundamental rights twist in the wind.”

“The Departments of Education and Justice are out of control,” continued Lukianoff. “Banning everyday speech on campus? Eliminating fundamental due process protections? Ignoring its own previous statements? They even misquoted the Supreme Court. This cannot be allowed to continue. FIRE will use all of its resources to oppose this menace to our constitutional freedoms and to free speech and academic freedom on campus.” http://thefire.org/article/15767.html

Ben Franklin states it best:

AUTHOR:

Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)

QUOTATION:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

See, http://constitutioncenter.org/learn/educational-resources/historical-documents/perspectives-on-the-constitution-a-republic-if-you-can-keep-it

Resources:

Center for Campus Free Speech                               http://www.campusspeech.org/

Free Speech Off Campus Must Be Protected                           http://chronicle.com/article/Free-Speech-Off-Campus-Must-Be/130660/

Column: Free speech sacks ban on college-athlete tweets http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-04-15/twitter-social-media-college-sports-coaches-ban/54301178/1

Student Press Law Center                                                             http://www.splc.org/wordpress/?cat=26

Free Speech, Social Media and Community Colleges: Let the Clash Begin                                                                 http://www.communitycollegereview.com/articles/401

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Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink?

1 May

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture. See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts

The latest high-profile example of the value set of hip-hop occurred with the report that rapper Danny Brown performed oral sex on stage. Radio.com reported in the article, Rapper Danny Brown’s Onstage Antics Spark Oral Sex Controversy about an alleged oral sex incident.

Alternative rapper Danny Brown is used to performing for crowded clubs, like his sold-out Minneapolis show on Friday (April 26), but he’s answering to a much larger audience in the wake the allegedly X-rated performance.

Music fans have taken to social media, demanding answers from the rapper and posting personal accounts of the concert, where the rapper reportedly engaged in oral sex with a fan in the front of the crowd.

A Redditor who claims to have been at the show described the incident in detail, saying that Brown had been getting close to “random girls” in the front of the crowd throughout his performance, including the woman involved in the incident at hand.

Then I’m behind her and I start getting pushed against her by the crowd shifting,” the Redditor wrote. “It [was] horrible and I hope you guys will be donating to my future therapy sessions, but also I came back with a story. He rapped the entire time during [it] too.”

Brown’s Twitter followers are using the site as a platform to ask questions and voice their opinions, with fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar even chiming in.

Brown reportedly confirmed that the allegations are true, however his response has since been deleted, according to Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages.

Meanwhile, some people are outraged at the inappropriate act, while Brown takes their comments in stride by retweeting some of them, presumably to capture some ironic humor in the midst of controversy.

Brown did respond to one question, only saying that the incident is a “rumor” without officially confirming or denying it. http://news.radio.com/2013/05/01/danny-brown-x-rated-show/

The death cult of hip-hop has been on a lot of people’s radar for the past few years. Because of artistic freedom and the romanticizing  of some hip-hop and rap stars, those sounding the alarm about this death cult have been labeled as prudes, nervous ninnies, and anti-free speech. A 2005 Nightline story by Jake Tapper and Marie Nelson looked at the links between corporate America and hip-hop

The blueprint now is an image that promotes all of the worst aspects of violent and anti-social behavior,” said Source editor Mays. “It takes those real issues of violent life that occur in our inner cities, it takes them out of context.”

Attorney Londell McMillan, who represents Lil’ Kim and many other hip-hop performers, says the record labels and radio stations push the artists toward a more violent image. “They all seek to do things that are extraordinary,” he said, “unfortunately it’s been extraordinarily in the pain of a people. They are often encouraged to take a certain kind of approach to the art form.”

Added NYPD Commissioner Kelly, “Whereas some of the other violence was sort of attendant to the business itself, now I think they’re trying to exploit it and make money off of it.”

But C-Murder says if he projected a more benign image his career would be over. “I wouldn’t sell a record because my fans would know that’s not me,” he said. “They don’t expect me to just sit in that booth and write about stuff that the news or the media want to hear about.”

Record executive Dash adds there is a double standard between predominantly black and predominantly white music. “I remember Woodstock Part II was a mess,” Dash said, referring to the 1999 rock ‘n’ roll concert festival that exploded in a mass of riots and rapes. But, Dash said, “nothing more about it than that” transpired. “There wasn’t any new laws, there wasn’t any investigations. It just was.” 

Lest you think I am anti-capitalism, the real kind, not the corporate welfare of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, you are wrong. Most inner city neighborhoods and poor regions like Appalachia and Mississippi desperately need investment and capital to encourage entrepreneurs.  As the motto of Homeboy Industries states, the best defense against violence is a job.

Moi has been railing against the hip hop culture for years because it is destructive, produces violence, but just as important it stereotypes Blacks whether they participate in hip hop culture or not.

Does Hip-Hop Culture Affect Student Behavior?

Gosa and Young’s case study about the oppositional culture of hip-hop is a good description of the possible impact of a certain genre of music on the educational values of the young listeners.

Given the prominent, yet controversial theory of oppositional culture used to explain the poor academic achievement of black youth and recent concerns that hip-hop is leading black youth to adopt anti-school attitudes, we examine the construction of oppositional culture in hip-hop music. Through a qualitative case of song lyrics (n=250) from two of hip-hop’s most influential artists – “conscious” rapper Kanye West and “gangster” rapper Tupac Skakur, we find oppositional culture in both artist’s lyrics. However, our analysis reveals important differences in how the two artists describe the role of schooling in adult success, relationships with teachers and schools, and how education is related to authentic black male identity. Our findings suggest a need for reexamining the notion that oppositional culture means school resistance. 

The study gives a good description of oppositional culture, but it is overly optimistic about the role of the market place in promoting the basest values for a buck.

Lest one think that hip-hop culture is simply the province of thugs and low- income urban youth. Think again, there are many attempts to market a stylized version of the culture. A 1996 American Demographics article, Marketing Street Culture
Bringing Hip-Hop Style to the Mainstream, describes the marketing used to cross-over hip-hop culture into the mainstream.

Many of the hottest trends in teenage music, language, and fashion start in America’s inner cities, then quickly spread to suburbs. Targeting urban teens has put some companies on the map with the larger mainstream market. But companies need an education in hip-hop culture to avoid costly mistakes.

The Scene: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, a bastion of the white East Coast establishment. A teenaged boy saunters down the street, his gait and attitude embodying adolescent rebellion. Baggy jeans sag atop over-designed sneakers, gold hoops adorn both ears, and a baseball cap shields his eyes. On his chest, a Tommy Hilfiger shirt sports the designer’s distinctive pairing of blue, red, and white rectangles.

Four years ago, this outfit would have been unimaginable to this cool teen; only his clean-cut, country-club peers sported Hilfiger clothes. What linked the previously preppy Hilfiger to jeans so low-slung they seem to defy gravity? To a large extent, the answer lies 200 miles southwest, in the oversized personage of Brooklyn’s Biggie Smalls, an admitted ex-drug dealer turned rapper.

Over the past few years, Smalls and other hip-hop stars have become a crucial part of Hilfiger’s open attempt to tap into the urban youth market. In exchange for giving artists free wardrobes, Hilfiger found its name mentioned in both the rhyming verses of rap songs and their “shout-out” lyrics, in which rap artists chant out thanks to friends and sponsors for their support.

For Tommy Hilfiger and other brands, the result is de facto product placement. The September 1996 issue of Rolling Stone magazine featured the rap group The Fugees, with the men prominently sporting the Tommy Hilfiger logo. In February 1996, Hilfiger even used a pair of rap stars as runway models: horror-core rapper Method Man and muscular bad-boy Treach of Naughty by Nature.

Suburban normed or middle class youth may dabble in hip-hop culture, but they have a “recovery period.” The “recovery period” for suburban youth means moving from deviant norms, which preclude success into mainstream norms, which often promote success. Suburban children often have parental and peer social pressure to move them to the mainstream. Robert Downey, Jr., the once troubled actor is not necessarily an example of hip-hop culture, but he is an example of the process of “recovery” moving an individual back into the mainstream. Children of color and low-income children often do not get the chance to “recover” and move into mainstream norms. The next movement for them after a suspension or expulsion is often the criminal justice system.

The data is shouting load and clear. Hip-hop and rap culture more often than not is a destructive life choice.

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The PC morons are going to get us killed: Yes, Virginia evil walks among us

19 Apr

Here is today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: As this post is written, the authorities are searching for the suspect(s) who were involved in the Boston Marathon Bombing We, as a society are reluctant to call it what it is-a case of pure EVIL. For those who want to celebrate diversity or respect cultural competency or don’t want to make judgments because we believe there is a level of cultural equivalency, moi says you are morons. Just as every race, cultural, religion, creed, and family may have individuals who are for lack of a better description, batshit crazy, this goes beyond crazy, it is EVIL.

According to the Free Dictionary.com definition, EVIL  is:

adj. e·vil·er, e·vil·est

1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.

2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.

3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.

4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.

5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.

n.

1. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.

2. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction: a leader’s power to do both good and evil.

3. An evil force, power, or personification.

4. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction: the social evils of poverty and injustice.

adv. Archaic

In an evil manner.

EVIL is an ideology, a way of life. Just because folk use the umbrella of a more benign philosophy to shield them from criticism for their dastardly deeds doesn’t mean the clear thinking and rational folk can’t point out that it is not a benign philosophy which caused the murder and the mayhem, it is the FREE WILL CHOICE of individuals propelled by EVIL impulses. The abortion bombers were no more representing Christianity than a non-believer. They used the umbrella of the Christian name to attempt to shield themselves from criticism. It is interesting that the most successful social movements are led by those who espoused Non-Violent Protest

So, for those wimps who are afraid to call out EVIL and terrorism because they are afraid of hurting some one’s self esteem, your stupidity will get a lot more people killed. We need be united in removing the umbrella from those who seek to shield themselves from the discovery that they are EVIL. EVIL knows no race, color, creed, religion, class, gender, or sexual orientation. EVIL simply seeks destruction for whatever twisted pleasure is derived.

“Evil is no faceless stranger, living in a distant neighborhood. Evil has a wholesome, hometown face, with merry eyes and an open smile. Evil walks among us, wearing a mask which looks like all our faces.”

Dean Koontz

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Do you have to be a moron to be a person of faith: Saying ‘vagina’

27 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: People of faith are admonished to “be in the world and not of it.” Does that mean that one has to lose the ability to think critically because one is a person of faith? Alexander Abad-Santos of the Atlantic Wire posted the article, A High-School Sex-Ed Teacher Is Being Punished for Saying the Word ‘Vagina’:

Tim McDaniel, an 18-year vetaran of the biology department at the public school in Dietrcich, Idaho, might have to figure out how to teach the miracle of life to his high-school students without saying the word “vagina” after a group of unhappy parents found the word offensive. Because now he’s kind of in big trouble for, you know, doing his job in the teen pregnancy capital of Idaho. According to what McDaniel told Boise’s Times-News, four parents at the school complained that he taught their children “the biology of an orgasm” and said the word “vagina” during his sex-education lesson to a room of sophomores. Yes, sophomores, some of whom have had vaginas for 14 to 15 years. It’s unclear whether the word “penis” was met with equal offense. But, apparently, allegations from (likely Mormon) parents also complain that McDaniel has shown the film an Inconvenient Truth in class, and according to a letter served to McDaniel by a quick to respond official from Idaho’s Department of Education: 

[T]he allegations also include that he shared confidential student files with an individual other than their parents, showed a video clip in class depicting an infection of genital herpes, taught different forms of birth control and told inappropriate jokes in class.

Despite the letter from the upper levels of the state education system, the school superintendent tells the Times-News that upset parents won’t get Mr. McDaniels fired: “It is highly unlikely it would end with his dismissal… Maybe a letter of reprimand from the school board.” McDaniel is denying any wrongdoing, and the school’s slap on the wrist might indicate that McDaniel’s alleged transgressions might just be that — alleged. “I teach straight out of the textbook, I don’t include anything that the textbook doesn’t mention,” McDaniel tells the Times-News. “But I give every student the option not attend this class when I teach on the reproductive system if they don’t feel comfortable with the material.”                               

http://news.yahoo.com/high-school-sex-ed-teacher-being-punished-saying-214012946.html

Now, keep the discussion of the teacher in hot water for saying “vagina” in perspective when reading news about the number of sexually transmitted infections.

Terence P. Jeffrey writes in the article, CDC: 110,197,000 Venereal Infections in U.S.; Nation Creating New STIs Faster Than New Jobs or College Grads:

According to new data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 19.7 million new venereal infections in the United States in 2008, bringing the total number of existing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S. at that time to 110,197,000.

The 19.7 million new STIs in 2008 vastly outpaced the new jobs and college graduates created in the United States that year or any other year on record, according to government data. The competition was not close.

The STI study referenced by the CDC estimated that 50 percent of the new infections in 2008 occurred among people in the 15-to-24 age bracket. In fact, of the 19,738,800 total new STIs in the United States in 2008, 9,782,650 were among Americans in the 15-to-24 age bracket.

By contrast, there were 1,524,092 bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States in the 2007-2008 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That means the total number of new STIs in 2008 outpaced the total number of new bachelor’s degrees by nearly 13 to 1, and the number of new STIs among Americans in the 15-to-24 age bracket outnumbered new bachelor’s degrees by more than 6 to 1.  http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cdc-110197000-venereal-infections-us-nation-creating-new-stis-faster-new-jobs-or

Yes, there is obviously a question of values, but there is also a question of how to teach children of faith critical thinking skills so that they can engage the culture and not run from it.

Moi wrote in Critical thinking skills for kids are crucial: The lure of Superbowl alcohol ads:

The issue is whether children in a “captive” environment have the maturity and critical thinking skills to evaluate the information contained in the ads. Advertising is about creating a desire for the product, pushing a lifestyle which might make an individual more prone to purchase products to create that lifestyle, and promoting an image which might make an individual more prone to purchase products in pursuit of that image. Many girls and women have unrealistic body image expectations which can lead to eating disorders in the pursuit of a “super model” image. What the glossy magazines don’t tell young women is the dysfunctional lives of many “super models” which may involve both eating disorders and substance abuse. The magazines don’t point out that many “glamor girls” are air-brushed or photo-shopped and that they spend hours on professional make-up and professional hairstyling in addition to having a personal trainer and stylist. Many boys look at the buff bodies of the men in the ads and don’t realize that some use body enhancing drugs. In other words, when presented with any advertising, people must make a determination what to believe. It is easy for children to get derailed because of peer pressure in an all too permissive society. Parents and schools must teach children critical thinking skills and point out often that the picture presented in advertising is often as close to reality as the bedtime fairy tail. Reality does not often involve perfection, there are warts.

See, Admongo                                                                 http://ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/admongo/html-version.shtml

and How to Help a Child With Critical Thinking Skills      

 http://www.livestrong.com/article/178182-how-to-help-a-child-with-critical-thinking-skills/#ixzz2Jlv5L6HR

The blog, Dad in the Middle has some great thoughts about teaching kids in the post, 22 Ways to Teach Kids HOW to Think And Not Just WHAT to Think:

So, how do we encourage our kids to think about God and analyze their faith even at a young age?  How do we teach them the critical skill of questioning their faith and working through the answers?  How do we teach the essential skills of critical analysis?  Here are twenty-two ideas for elementary age kids:

  1. Encourage questions….
  2. Draw questions out of kids. So, we’ve seen that kids have plenty of questions, but there are a some kids who just don’t want to ask them.  Whether they are shy or embarrassed or whatever the reason may be, as workers in Children’s Ministry we must establish the kind of environment that not only encourages questions but draws them out from those kids who are reluctant to ask them.  Ask kids what is on their mind.  Leave time for questions and answers.  Call on kids who may be reluctant and ask them to give you a question.  Have reluctant kids ask the children who are less reluctant what they learned that weekend.
  3. Let kids know that it is OK to ask questions about God. Remind kids that our God is a big God, and he can take our questions.  There is no question that catches God by surprise or changes his love for us…. 
  4. Model asking questions in your life. Kids learn best by example.  We must model asking hard questions about God and about our faith.  We must share with them how we have worked through our own questions about God.  We can even suggest questions for kids to think about.
  5. Be prepared to answer their questions. When we’re working with kids to teach them how to think through their faith, it is critical that we be prepared.  That means we must actively engage in the same kind of critical analysis in our own lives and in our own walks with God so that we can lead kids through the process.
  6. Try to lead the child to an answer rather than just giving it to them. It is easy to just answer a question – especially if you’re in a hurry.  It is harder, but much more edifying, to help a child work through their question prompting them when necessary… 
  7. Never minimize a child’s question. Sometimes kids ask questions which seem simple or trivial or which are an annoyance in the grand scheme of trying to teach your lesson.  That said, you must never minimize their questions.  The question was important enough to them to ask it, and you should treat it with the same level of importance in answering.  If you don’t, you risk building a culture where the kids do not feel free to ask questions.
  8. Try to figure out if there is a bigger question behind the question which was articulated. Another reason not to minimize any question is because the questions that children ask sometimes mask bigger questions which are on their minds…. 
  9. Be willing to admit when you don’t know the answer. Kids are pretty astute.  If you try to fake your way through an answer, one of two things will happen.  You will either teach them some flawed theology that could stick with them and harm their spiritual journey, or they will see right through you and no longer trust you to answer their questions.  If you don’t know the answer to a child’s question, use that as an opportunity to work through that question alongside the child.  What a wonderful opportunity to teach them exactly what critical thinking and evaluation of a question looks like!  Teach them how to brainstorm answers, and use the Bible to come up with the right answer.
  10. Ask hypothetical questions. This encourages children to apply what they have learned.  Give them age appropriate scenarios and ask them what they would do.  If they’re wrong, don’t just tell them they’re wrong and move on.  Encourage them to think through the issue and explain why they gave the answer they did.  Encourage them to explore the other sides of the hypothetical question.
  11. 11.  Ask questions where the answer is not always God or Jesus
  12. Ask open-ended questions. Simple yes/no questions and factual questions serve a purpose, but in order to get kids thinking, it is important to ask open ended questions…. 
  13. Encourage kids to consider other perspectives. Ask them how other people they know might handle a situation.  Ask them what they would say if they had to defend the opposite position on an issue you are discussing.  Ask them why they think some people don’t believe in God.  Teaching kids to identify and think about potential issues in their way of thinking (right or wrong) helps them to critically analyze what they believe and to arrive at a considered opinion rather than leaping to a conclusion or basing there conclusion solely on feelings.
  14. Encourage kids’ imaginations. Imagination spurs on the thought life.  Encourage kids to draw pictures and make up stories.  Show them a picture and ask them to tell you a story about.  Help them if you must, but encourage them along the way to come up with their own story.  In encouraging their imaginations, you are encouraging them to think and to think outside the box.  You are encouraging them to pay attention to details.  All of these skills are useful in learning how to think.
  15. Ask kids what they think something means before you tell them. Read kids a Bible story and encourage them to tell you what they think it means.  Offer the kids a scripture verse and ask them to explain it to you.  All of these exercises move us from teaching kids what to think to teaching them how to think!
  16. Teach kids to keep an open mind. Most kids, most people in fact, think they are right most of the time.  It is important to teach kids how to keep an open mind.  Once a child decides they are right and there is no reason to even entertain dissenting opinions, they have closed themselves off to thinking and analyzing their beliefs and positions critically.  Truth is truth, and it can stand up to rigorous examination.  There is no danger in keeping in an open mind.  Ultimately we hope that our kids will have strong convictions and an open mind based on their own analysis of the evidence.
  17. Teach children that there is right and wrong in the world. In the post-modern, relativistic world that we live in, and that kids are subjected to every day, it is important that they realize that there is such a thing as right and wrong.  However, it is not enough just to tell them this truth, you must show them why it is true.  We must teach them that truth exists because God exists and that the Bible is the revealed truth of God.
  18. Work to move kids from the milk to the meat of Christianity….
  19. Encourage children to talk about their doubts. Even kids have doubts.  We must encourage kids to talk about them.  Doubts left to fester can eventually undermine a child’s faith.  Encourage kids to deal with their doubts quickly.  Doubts are a great way to teach kids the art of how to think.  If a child has a tragic event happen and doubts the love of God, ask them what they know about God’s love from the Bible.  Point to examples of God’s love in their life.  Point to examples of God’s love in helping you through difficult times.
  20. Teach them to actively listen. In order to think critically, we must be able to listen to other people.  This entails a lot more than just hearing.  Encourage kids to not only repeat what you have said but to tell you what they think you meant.  Teach kids to hear people out and think about what they are saying.  Explain to kids that you can’t listen to what someone is saying when your using all of your brain power to come up with your response before they are even done…. 
  21. Teach kids to love and to use their Bibles….
  22. Encourage children to pray about their questions and their doubts. We must encourage kids to take their questions and their doubts to God in prayer.  This may mean leaving a question hanging until the next week so that the child can pray about it.  The next weekend, ask them if they have been praying about the question, and ask them what they have learned in their prayer time.  Even with the skill of knowing how to think, it is important for kids to understand that God knows all and they should take their questions and their decisions to him.

Many thanks go out to a number of my personal friends and fellow workers who share the calling to minister to God’s children.  Thanks for your input and your suggestions.                                                                     http://waynestocks.com/2009/06/19/22-ways-to-teach-kids-how-to-think-and-not-just-what-to-think/

People of faith must be able to confront and challenge the culture when necessary. Yes, we may be “in the world and not of it,” but we are still in the world. One does not have to be a moron to be a person of faith.

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A comment about the American Academy of Pediatrics statement on gay marriage: Is it time to get government out of marriage

21 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement regarding their position on civil marriage:

American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Same Gender Civil Marriage

3/21/2013

For Release:  March 21, 2013

Article Body

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports civil marriage for same-gender couples – as well as full adoption and foster care rights for all parents, regardless of sexual orientation – as the best way to guarantee benefits and security for their children.

The AAP policy statement, “Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian,” and an accompanying technical report will be published in the April 2013 Pediatrics (published online March 21).

“Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage,” said Benjamin Siegel, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, and a co-author of the policy statement. “The AAP believes there should be equal opportunity for every couple to access the economic stability and federal supports provided to married couples to raise children.”

In a previous policy statement published in 2002 and reaffirmed in 2010, the AAP supported second-parent adoption by partners of the same sex as a way to protect children’s right to maintain relationships with both parents, eligibility for health benefits and financial security. The 2013 policy statement and accompanying technical report adds recommendations in support of civil marriage for same-gender couples; adoption by single parents, co-parents or second parents regardless of sexual orientation; and foster care placement regardless of sexual orientation.

“The AAP has long been an advocate for all children, and this updated policy reflects a natural progression in the Academy’s support for families,” said Ellen Perrin, MD, FAAP, co-author of the policy statement. “If a child has two loving and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond, it’s in the best interest of their children that legal institutions allow them to do so.”

A great deal of scientific research documents there is no cause-and-effect relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and children’s well-being, according to the AAP policy. In fact, many studies attest to the normal development of children of same-gender couples when the child is wanted, the parents have a commitment to shared parenting, and the parents have strong social and economic support. Critical factors that affect the normal development and mental health of children are parental stress, economic and social stability, community resources, discrimination, and children’s exposure to toxic stressors at home or in their communities — not the sexual orientation of their parents.

According to the policy statement, the AAP “supports pediatricians advocating for public policies that help all children and their parents, regardless of sexual orientation, build and maintain strong, stable, and healthy families that are able to meet the needs of their children.” 

# # #

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.

This causes moi to ask whether it is time for government to get out of the business of marriage and only sanction civil unions for everyone. The government would define a valid civil union and the contractual benefits which flow from that union would be defined by government. Marriage would be defined by various religious institutions and they are free to marry whom they choose. Marriage would then be a two-step process of civil union and whatever ‘blessing’ ceremony the community of faith allowed.

This country is headed for another confrontation over the meaning of religious freedom and the guarantees of the FIRST AMENDMENT. Whether one agrees or not, some religious groups have a theological basis for defining marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. They are not going to change. So, the question is whether society wants to be tolerant and pragmatic or to punish those who are not politically correct. Moi has a Hallelujah moment for some in the gay community and their supporters – tolerance is different from acceptance. If the goal is to get everyone to accept a definition of marriage other than one man and one woman, you will fail. If the tactic is to demonize religious folk, call them bigots, prevent certain denominations from offering adoption services and foster care as well as go after church tax exemption, this can be done at great cost to the culture and society. Isn’t it time for a pragmatic approach?

Too often we forget that the principal purpose of the metaphorical wall of separation between church and state was always to prevent governmental interference with a religion’s decisions about what its own theology requires. . . . To be consistent with the Founders’ vision and coherent in modern religiously pluralistic America, the religion clauses [in the United States Constitution] should be read to help avoid tyranny — that is, to sustain and nurture the religions as independent centers of power. . . . To do that, the clauses must be interpreted to do more than protect the religions against explicit discrimination.

Stephen Carter

The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion

Moi discussed the secularist view in The great cultural divide: Many of us will never be secularists:

There are many folks who simply just don’t get that there are many people of faith. This faith group is of a variety of religions and a variety of theologies. Some “liberal” strands of faith have no theology or interpret their theology in line with contemporary social thought. They see religion as part of a wider social movement. For this group, there are no fixed theological positions because the emphasis of their faith is “social justice” however that is defined. Many in this secularist religion group simply do not understand that many of faith have a fixed theological perspective on religion. They feel that theology does not change because the cultural context has changed. In this group there are eternal positions because they are very cognizant of an eternal life. Moi thought the many attempts to persuade her by providing lists of people who support a particular position were laughable. People who made the lists or who thought because this prominent person or that prominent person supported a position would make moi and many others jump on board were clueless. What they did not realize is that moi and others, to paraphrase the old Righteous Brothers song “believe in forever.” It doesn’t matter how many people, whether they are prominent or not believe something, that doesn’t change the theological perspective. Many of these proponents do not believe in the Bible, that it is a stupid little book that only morons follow. Moi suggests that these secularists spend some time digesting the book of Daniel. People of a non-secularist faith are not morons and really don’t want to be treated as such. So, the question is how do various groups operate in the society were all have to live.  https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/the-great-cultural-divide-many-of-us-will-never-be-secularists/

As the character, Margo Channing said in All About Eve: Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night! .

There should civil unions for society which establish the contractual relationships and government benefits of a union. Marriage should be defined by theological entities.

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Reflections on PC: Morons, progressives, and the U.S. Constitution

15 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has announced that he plans to appeal a court decision overturning his soda ban. David McLaughlin, Chris Dolmetsch and Henry Goldman report in the Bloomberg News  article, New York City Appeals Soda Size Ban Court Defeat:

New York City challenged a ruling throwing out Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proposal to restrict sales of large-size soda drinks, calling the decision by a state court judge “contrary to law.”

In a five-page notice of appeal, the city said it would fight the March 11 ruling by New York Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling before the court’s appellate division in Manhattan. Tingling barred the ban from becoming law yesterday, saying it had too many loopholes and violated the jurisdiction of New York’s City Council.

We are moving forward immediately with our appeal,” said Michael A. Cardozo, corporation counsel of the city’s law department. “We believe the judge was wrong in rejecting this important public health initiative. We also feel he took an unduly narrow view of the Board of Health’s powers.”

The city’s Board of Health in September approved the plan to cap the size of sugary soft drinks sold in restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas at 16 ounces (473 milliliters) a cup. In October, groups representing beverage makers, restaurants and theaters asked the court to quash the regulation as “unprecedented interference” with consumer choice. Tingling issued a permanent injunction barring the city from implementing the plan.

The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose,” Tingling wrote. “It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the city, it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners.”

City Overreached

The plaintiffs said the city had overreached and ignored the rights of New Yorkers to make their own choices. The plan is “grossly unfair” to small businesses such as street-food vendors and pizzerias because convenience and grocery stores can still sell the larger sizes, lawyers for the plaintiffs said.

The city argued it’s trying to stem an epidemic of obesity driven by consumption of sugary beverages, which is rising because food establishments sell ever-larger portions. Under the rule, consumers are free to buy an unlimited number of smaller drinks and get refills.

Bloomberg is the majority owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News….

The case is New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce v. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 653584-2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-12/new-york-city-files-notice-of-appeal-over-soda-size-case.html

All, moi can say is really. There is no doubt that sugary drinks are bad, but so are other conditions which cause harm, Probably, those who over-consume sugar by choice are morons, but the trend appears to be that we only condemn the morons that WE do not like.

A case is point is the level of single parent births in communities of color. Child Trends and DataBank reports the following in the article, Births to Unmarried Women:

Importance

Children born to unmarried mothers are more likely to grow up in a single-parent household, experience instability in living arrangements, live in poverty, and have socio-emotional problems.1,2,3,4 As these children reach adolescence, they are more likely to have low educational attainment, engage in sex at a younger age, and have a birth outside of marriage.5,6,7,8 As young adults, children born outside of marriage are more likely to be idle (neither in school nor employed), have lower occupational status and income, and have more troubled marriages and more divorces than those born to married parents.9

Women who give birth outside of marriage tend to be more disadvantaged than their married counterparts, both before and after the birth. Unmarried mothers generally have lower incomes, lower education levels, and are more likely to be dependent on welfare assistance compared with married mothers.10,11,12,13 Women who have a nonmarital birth also tend to fare worse than childless single women; for example, they have reduced marriage prospects compared with single women without children.14,15

A majority of unmarried births now occur to cohabiting parents.16 Between 2006 and 2010, 58 percent of unmarried births were to cohabiting parents: in 2002, the proportion was 40 percent.17 Children born to cohabiting parents are more likely to see their parents eventually marry than are those born to non-co-residential parents.18 Nevertheless, children born to cohabiting parents experience higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantage, and fare worse across a range of behavioral and emotional outcomes than those born to married parents….19 

Differences by Race and Hispanic Origin20

There are large differences by race and Hispanic origin in the share of births to unmarried women, with non-Hispanic white women and Asian or Pacific Islander women much less likely than women in other groups to have a nonmarital birth. In 2011 (preliminary estimates), 72 percent of all births to black women, 66 percent to American Indian or Alaskan native women, and 53 percent to Hispanic women occurred outside of marriage, compared with 29 percent for white women, and 17 percent for Asian or Pacific Islander women. (Appendix 1) However, the difference between black and white women in the percentage of births that are nonmarital has been shrinking consistently since 1980, while the difference between white and Hispanic women has been widening. (Figure 1)

Figure 1: Percentage of Births that were to Unmarried Women, by Race & Hispanic Origin, 1960-2011

http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/?q=node/196

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of “Katrina,” the real genocide is self-inflicted.

Both the choice to consume sugary drinks and to have children out of wedlock are defined as personal choices. Bloomberg and others won’t touch this issue with a hundred foot pole. Why? Too many of their electorate would be pissed for a variety of reasons and they don’t want to chance their wrath. Scholastic News has a concise description of why the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution in the article Bill of Rights:

The debate over the need for a bill of rights was sparked by a proposal made by a dissenting minority in the Pennsylvania ratifying convention. Some delegates believed that guarantees of certain basic rights and liberties were missing from the proposed Constitution. They called for a number of amendments that would secure a wide range of liberties, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and press, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Majorities in the ratifying conventions of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina also called for numerous amendments to the proposed Constitution. Although the substance of these recommended amendments differed from state to state, most contained provisions that would limit the powers of the new federal (national) government and protect the people from inconsistent and oppressive rule. http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/constitution_day/background/index.asp?article=billofrights

So, a behavior that statistically is more damaging than consuming sugary drinks is never condemned. The child born to a single poor mother is usually condemned to follow her into a life of poverty. Yet, the same rigor of dissuasion is not applied to young impressionable women who are becoming single mothers in large numbers as is applied to regular Coke or Pepsi addicts. Personal choice is involved, some of the snarky could categorize the personal choice as moronic in both cases. Government intervention is seen as the antidote in the case of sugary drinks, but not single motherhood. Why? Because we like to pick the morons we want government to control. The fact of the matter is that government control is just as bad in the case of sugary drinks as it would be in regulating a individual’s reproductive choice. The folks like Mayor Bloomberg who want government to control some behavior really don’t want to confront the difficult, for them, political choice of promoting individual personal values and responsibility. It is much easier to legislate a illusory solution. So, the ruling elite will continue to focus on obesity, which is a major health issue, while a disaster bigger than “Katrina” and “Sandy “ sweeps across the country with disastrous results.

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Let’s speak the truth: Values and character training are needed in schools

2 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Government will never be able to fix problems in society, there must be a social compact. We would be far better as a society if we put the emphasis of preserving and promoting intact families, making sure that Nixon, yes Nixon and Senator Moynihan’s idea of a Guaranteed Annual Income  based upon tax credits for work were enacted, and character education. Yes, obesity is a problem, but peeps when you are bleeding from the gunshot to the head of 70% of Black children born to single mothers, most of whom are poor and the other ethnic groups rapidly catching up to that sorry statistic, a fat kid is the least of the worries. Caralee J. Adams writes in the Education Week article, Character Education Seen as Student-Achievement Tool:

Many school administrators are realizing character education, once thought of as an intrusion on the school day, can actually help students perform better.

A growing body of research supports its effectiveness, and educators say they’ve seen a difference in students when positive value lessons become part of the school’s culture.

“Good character education is good education,” said Marvin Berkowitz, a professor of character education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“If kids come to schools where they feel valued, safe, and feel teachers have their best interests at heart, … they commit themselves,” said Marvin Berkowitz, a professor of character education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “They work harder, there are fewer distractions, and kids are more motivated. Of course they learn more.”

Character education often entails a school embracing a set of values that are taught in regular advisory sessions or integrated into classroom lessons or both. Supporters say character education is simply about how people treat each other, and the ideas are fairly universal. The primary traits that schools promote, according to Mr. Berkowitz, are respect, responsibility, caring, fairness, and honesty. It is seen more in elementary schools, sometimes getting squeezed out at the secondary level to make room for more intense academics. But experts say resistance is lessening in some places.

Yet some challenge the notion of the public schools, rather than families, being charged with teaching values. They are concerned about whose values will be taught. Others, however, maintain that schools and families should share the job of nurturing character.

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Related Opinion

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/27/22character.h32.html?tkn=ZWCCLxeX3LDwiUyqp0X2qnWCYtHevYBywESM&cmp=clp-sb-ascd&intc=es

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others.

This comment is not politically correct. If you want politically correct, stop reading. Children, especially boys, need positive male role models. They don’t need another “uncle” or “fiancée” who when the chips are down cashes out. By the way, what is the new definition of “fiancée?” Is that someone who is rented for an indefinite term to introduce the kids from your last “fiancée” to?

Back in the day, “fiancée” meant one was engaged to be married, got married and then had kids. Nowadays, it means someone who hangs around for an indeterminate period of time and who may or may not formalize a relationship with baby mama. Kids don’t need someone in their lives who has as a relationship strategy only dating women with children because they are available and probably desperate. What children, especially boys, need are men who are consistently there for them, who model good behavior and values, and who consistently care for loved ones. They don’t need men who have checked out of building relationships and those who are nothing more than sperm donors.

This Washington Post article made me think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero. Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence

“I love teaching, and I feel like I am needed,” said Thomas, 33, of Bowie. “We need black male teachers in our classrooms because that is the closest connection we are able to make to children. It is critical for all students to see black men in the classrooms involved in trying to make sure they learn and enjoy being in school.”

The shortage of black male teachers compounds the difficulties that many African American boys face in school. About half of black male students do not complete high school in four years, statistics show. Black males also tend to score lower on standardized tests, take fewer Advanced Placement courses and are suspended and expelled at higher rates than other groups, officials said.

Educators said black male teachers expose students to black men as authority figures, help minority students feel that they belong, motivate black students to achieve, demonstrate positive male-female relationships to black girls and provide African American youths with role models and mentors.

The reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

Indiana University has a concise definition of character education in Creating a Positive Climate: Character Education:

Character education simply does that in a more systematic way. Character education includes two primary components: 1) Education in civic virtue and in the qualities that teach children the forms and rules of citizenship in a just society, and 2) Education in personal adjustment, chiefly in the qualities thatenable children to become productive and dependable citizens.4   

                                                                                                                                                 Character education may include a variety of subcomponents that can be a part of a larger character education program or that can be self-standing.      

                                                                                                                                                            These can include social skills instruction and curricula, moral development instruction and curricula, values clarification instruction and curricula, caring education and curricula,5 and school values statements.                                                                                                                                                               Other programs such as cooperative learning strategies, participatory decision-making for students, and service learning are sometimes also classified as components of character education. Character education itself is often viewed as simply one component of some larger school reform and improvement strategies.                                                                                                                                                                  For example, the “Basic School” has four components, one of which is a “Commitment to Character.”6According to Likona,7 the moral or character education of elementary students is designed to accomplish three goals:

· To promote development away from self-centered thinking and excessive individualism and toward cooperative relationships and mutual respect;

· To foster the growth of the capacity to think, feel, and act morally; and

· To develop in the classroom and in the school a moral community based on fairness, caring, and participation – such a community being a moral end in itself as well as a support system for the character development of each individual student.                                 http://www.indiana.edu/~safeschl/charactereducation.pdf

See, Character Education Partnership    http://www.character.org/key-topics/what-is-character-education/

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Thomas Jefferson

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