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Tag Archives: children
Happy – Children of War
Happy – Children of War Song: Pharrell Williams Free Afghanistan Free Kashmir Free Iraq Free Palestine Free Syria Free all the children from war.
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Gay marriage supporters have argued for awhile that traditionalists would be better putting their energy into shoring up traditional marriage rather than opposing same sex unions. Some state legislators are now doing just that.
Gay marriage supporters have argued for a while that traditionalists would be better putting their energy into shoring up traditional marriage rather than opposing same sex unions. Some state legislators are now doing just that, putting no fault divorce in the policy crosshairs.
Scott Keyes at the Washington Post reports that “socially conservative politicians have been quietly trying to make it harder for couples to get divorced. In recent years, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons a couple can formally split. States such as Arizona, Louisiana and Utah have already passed such laws, while others such as Oklahoma and Alabama are moving to do so.”
Amanda Marcotte at Slate calls this an “alarming trend.”
“The hope is that by making divorce a hassle, or forcing couples to really think about what divorce means,” Marcotte writes, “the government can encourage/make more couples give up on the idea and recommit themselves to marriage. This is, of course, not the government’s job. But also, by artificially elongating the divorce process, the state simply creates more time for all the petty, embittered bickering that divorce tends to cause, as anyone who’s actually ever been through a divorce, or known anyone else who has divorced, or is the child of divorce can tell you.
“A cooling-off period is just more time for adults to squabble over who gets the lamps and chairs, and try to assign blame for the relationship’s demise. It’s the children who end up suffering, as marriage historian Stephanie Coontz argues, telling Keyes that mothers and fathers are ‘more likely to parent amicably if they havent been locked into a long separation process.’”
So conservatives get flummoxed coming and going, argues Rod Dreher at the American Conservative.
If you social conservatives really cared about marriage, you wouldnt worry about fighting gay marriage, but rather fight the heterosexual divorce rate, Dreher writes, paraphrasing a popular meme.
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Amid signs of rising tensions in the area, a 40-year-old Israeli man was shot dead after a gunman opened fire on his car near Hebron as he drove to a dinner celebrating the start of the Jewish Passover festival on Monday evening, the Israeli army said. The victim’s wife, aged 28, and one of his children, aged nine, were wounded in the same incident, which prompted an army manhunt in the nearby Palestinian village of Idna.
Israel’s high court ruled last month that the structure had been bought legally but the final decision on whether to allow the settlers to return lay with Mr Ya’alon, a noted hawk. His approval triggered warnings of fresh violence and allegations that he was trying to prevent an extension of US-brokered negotiations that are due to expire on April 29.
“It undermines US and international efforts and reaffirms that there is no sense in extending negotiations without a full cessation of Israeli settlement activities,” said Mohammed Ishtayyeh, a former Palestinian negotiator.
Settlers’ leaders said 25 families would eventually inhabit the building – which sits between a mosque and a Palestinian cemetery close to the neighbouring Kiryat Arba settlement.
David Wilder, spokesman for Hebron’s 850-strong settler community, called Mr Ya’alon’s decision “a milestone” that would pave the way for Israelis to buy and occupy more buildings in the city. “If it helps torpedo the negotiations, I’m all for it,” he said, adding that Israeli annexation of the West Bank – seen by the Palestinians as part of a future state – was “inevitable”.
The building – known as the “house of peace” to settlers but dubbed the “house of contention” by opponents – was “strategically vital as a connector” between the heavily guarded settlements in central Hebron and Kiryat Arba, Mr Wilder added.
Israeli human rights groups warned that neighbouring Palestinian residents could be subject to harassment and army restrictions on their movement in the name of protecting the settlers.
Hosni Matarya, 50, a Palestinian living nearby, described how he suffered gunshot wounds after settlers attacked his house while they were being evicted in 2008 during the ownership dispute. Israeli soldiers made no attempt to protect him, despite witnessing the attacks, he claimed. “We were not give any warning the settlers were coming back,” Mr Matarya said. “I really worry now for the safety of my family.”
Conservative: The failure of the student is blamed on the teacher, despite the fact that the teacher has constructed a great lesson plan, and the student is too busy texting or iPoding to bother with paying attention. So, let’s privatize education! Oh, wait, you mean that poor people can’t afford that? Okay, how about we base teacher pay off of test scores! Yeah! Oh, you mean that less people will want to teach, and those that do will just have their students cheat, or teach to the test, and the students will never learn anything. Oh, and conservatives don’t like facts being taught. They call it “indoctrination” and “propaganda”.
Liberal: Rightly blame the parents for not teaching their children discipline, and teach only the facts, and leave politics out of the lesson, unless it’s high school, and everyone can think for him/herself, in which case debates would be healthy.
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO, TINA SFONDELES AND LAUREN FITZPATRICK Staff Reporters April 8, 2014 10:32AM
Updated: April 9, 2014 2:21AM
Standing in front of Chicago Public Schools Board President David Vitales spacious Hyde Park home Tuesday evening, a group of nearly 100 rallied against and questioned the proposed turnarounds of three neighborhood schools.
The CPS parents, students and administrators questioned how a man of wealth could make decisions for parents in poor communities and how the turnaround would benefit a community, while stripping it of its teachers.
To stand in front of a house we know we cant afford, for somebody to make the decisions for poor folks that constantly give to the rich and take from the poor The globalization of education cannot continue to happen in the city of Chicago, said parent Zerlina Smith, a member of the grassroots group Action Now.
Protesters, including Gresham Principal Diedrus Brown, stood in front of the two-story brick home some on the front lawn and driveway blocking rush-hour traffic for about 30 minutes and chanting against the proposed turnaround of Gresham Elementary School on the South Side, Ronald McNair Elementary School on the West Side and Dvorak Technology Academy in North Lawndale.
Angela Gordon, a Dvorak parent, asked the crowd what 170 homeless families on the schools roster will do. And where the children of convicted felons in the neighborhood will go. Ollie Clements, a grandmother of two students at Gresham said a turnaround will take away the heart of our community.
At a protest earlier Tuesday at Gresham, Gwen Herbert offered two reasons to keep Gresham the way it is: A doctor and a lawyer.
In all, Herbert said shes sent 10 of her children to the South Side school that Chicago Public Schools wants to close and reopen with all-new teachers.
I have children here now, Ive had children here in the past and my children have turned out pretty good, Herbert said Tuesday. I have a doctor. I have a lawyer. You name it, I have it, and they went to Gresham.
Originally posted here:
Palestinians draw line at criminal court By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS – When Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas decided to defy the United States and Israel over stalled peace negotiations, he formally indicated to the United Nations last week that Palestine will join 15 international conventions relating mostly to the protection of human rights and treaties governing conflicts and prisoners of war.
But he held back one of his key bargaining chips that Israel and the United States fear most: becoming a party to the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court (ICC) to punish war crimes and genocide – and where Israelis could be docked.
Asked whether it was a wise move, Darryl Li, a post-doctoral
research scholar at Columbia University, told IPS, “I would call it a clever move, not necessarily a wise one.”
There’s no question avoidance of ICC was deliberate; that’s clearly a US-Israeli “red line,” he said. So it makes sense as a way to prolong negotiations.
A flurry of treaty signing The United Nations said last week it had received 13 of the 15 letters for accession to international conventions and treaties deposited with the world body.
They include the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations; Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in armed conflict; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Also included were the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties; International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; United Nations Convention against Corruption; Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Meanwhile, accession letters for the following two conventions were submitted respectively to the Swiss and Dutch representatives respectively: the Four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and the First Additional Protocol, for the Swiss; and the Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, for the Dutch.
Most Americans strongly support delivering the highest quality of education to our children. This is not and has never been a left-wing or right-wing idea.
When the discussion shifts to the sensible topic of school choice, it usually turns into a highly charged ideological battlefield between Democrats and Republicans. This only serves to hurt the students that politicians supposedly want to help.
The most significant opposition to school choice has historically come from left-wing Democrats. This group claims to be the champions of the poor and disenfranchised. Theyre the ones who scream the loudest when inner-city black and Hispanic students receive substandard education levels.
Yet if you mention school vouchers and tuition tax credits as possible solutions, these Democrats transform into screaming banshees. They claim its nothing more than a Republican plot to drive a stake through public educations heart.
The Democratic argument against school choice may be complete rubbish, but theyre constantly (and predictably) twisting the narrative to their advantage.
Take New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. This ultra-left-wing politician and public-education advocate has little or no taste for, believe it or not, public charter schools. One of his primary targets has been Success Academy, which runs some charter schools with public funding to give low-income families (usually from minority groups) a chance at a better education.
In particular, Success Academy Harlem 4 students have earned some of the best math scores in the whole state. De Blasio doesnt care, however. Hes troubled by the fact the charter school gets its space rent-free and wants to close it down.
Students at New York City public charter schools make up roughly 6 percent of its entire education system. Yet this small group of children from low-income and minority families, the type of people who de Blasio claims to represent above all others, is the target of his wrath.
To their credit, some Democrats are fed up with de Blasios position and are speaking out.
Juan Williams, a liberal political analyst for Fox News, firmly believes Bill de Blasio is the best thing to ever happen to the school choice movement because its helped mobilize school choice advocates like never before. Williams wrote on Foxnews.com that 11,000 parents, teachers and students took to the barricades to protest de Blasios scheme to crush charter schools in front of the New York State Capitol in Albany, and it has also succeeded in getting a fellow Democrat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, hardly a right-winger, to stand up for charter schools.
Virginia’s potential landmark gay marriage case continued on its path through the federal court system Friday with new arguments filed in favor of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
States have the right to define marriage as they see fit without federal intervention, attorneys for clerks whose duties include enforcing Virginia’s gay marriage ban argued in lengthy filings. Forcing a new and genderless definition on marriage would “have real world consequences over time,” attorneys for Prince William County Clerk of Circuit Court Michele McQuigg argued.
No one can know for sure what those effects would be, they wrote. But, if the state signals that marriage’s primary purpose is “to affirm adult relationships rather than provide for children’s needs,” then it also conveys indifference as to whether children are raised by both a mother and a father, they argued.
“As the law and the commonwealth convey these messages, it is likely that, over time, fewer man-woman couples having or raising children will marry, that marriages will become less durable, and that fewer children will be raised in stable homes headed by their married mother and father,” they wrote.
McQuigg joined this case of her own volition, requesting the court’s permission to intervene. She’s a co-defendent now along with Norfolk Clerk of City Court George Schaefer III, who was named in the original suit by a Hampton Roads gay couple, Timothy Bostic and Tony London.
Bostic and London were denied a marriage license from the Norfolk clerk’s office last year. Their case has since been consolidated with another Virginia case and become a class action suit.
Earlier this year Attorney General Mark Herring took Virginia from one side of this argument to the other, saying he’d no longer defend the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Shortly after, a federal judge ruled that ban unconstitutional, but gay marriages haven’t been allowed in Virignia because the case is working its way through appeals court.
Some believe the case will eventually wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court, where it could decide the issue of gay marriage for the whole country.
Schaefer has been less strident in his defense than McQuigg. His attorney’s filing Friday goes out of its way to note that he’s simply enforcing the law.
It also makes a number of procedural arguments, saying some of the case’s plaintiffs have no standing against Schaefer, since he never denied them marriage licenses. It also argues that states should be able to decide this issue.
State gay marriage laws are under attack in courts across the land, but the legal battle over gay marriage in Michigan has broken new ground as a federal court has weighed and rejected research questioning the impact of same-sex unions on children.
The dismissal of scholarly research on the children of gay couples met with anger from defenders of traditional marriage, who see that argument as a key pillar of their defense of state laws and statutes against gay marriage.
SEE ALSO: Officials in three states bank on states rights argument to stop gay marriage spread
The overwhelming weight of the scientific evidence supports the no differences viewpoint, U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman said Friday in a ruling that overturned the states marriage amendment as requested by lesbian plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse.
No differences refers to the premise that children raised by gay men or lesbian mothers do just as well as children raised by heterosexual parents. While many small studies indicate that there are no differences between family forms, a few academics have found evidence suggesting there are important differences and that the gold standard is still for children to be raised in a home with their own married mother and father.
Judge Friedman held a two-week trial looking at gay relationship and parenting studies because the purpose of Michigans marriage amendment is to secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for children and society.
In his ruling, the 70-year-old judge rejected as unbelievable or insignificant the testimony of the states witnesses, including University of Texas at Austin sociologist Mark Regnerus and several other academics.
The judge was particularly critical of Mr. Regnerus picking apart his 2012 study that found that adults raised by their married, biological parents fared better on many standards than adults who saw one of their parents have at least one gay relationship during their childhoods.
Judge Friedman also ruled that Mr. Regnerus obliged the studys main funder, Witherspoon Institute, by producing research that met its expectations.
Thats false, Witherspoon Institute scholar Matthew Franck said Tuesday of the judges assertion. Witherspoon leaders asked Mr. Regnerus to examine the no differences issue and report the evidence whichever way it comes out. Mr. Franck added that an independent auditor scrutinized the 2012 studys publication process and found nothing improper.
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Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin are the gentle, candid icons of the New Jersey gay marriage movement, discussing in television ads and Internet videos the discrimination they faced raising four children.
Rabbi Solomon Diamond, center, of Monsey, N.Y., an opponent of same-sex marriage, outside the Senate chambers in Trenton.
But Thursday, the amiable Middlesex County couple suddenly found themselves under a gag order as they stood in a gantlet of gay activists lining the hallway outside the Senate. Lieutenants of Garden State Equality, on red alert for the media, swooped in and politely halted several attempts at an interview. Media inquiries were referred to the groups leader, Steve Goldstein.
Senate President Dick Codey, D-Essex, walking past members of Garden State Equality, a gay rights group, Thursday at the State House.
Candor was out, message management was in. “Do you have his number?” a woman named Leslie said as she scrolled the screen of her cellphone, ready to provide it. She was polite, but firm, and had no intention of going away until I went away. “He can answer those questions.”
Its easy to understand the new discipline. The group suffered twin public-relations setbacks this week, one beyond their control and one self-inflicted.
A vote to legalize same-sex marriage by the full Senate was canceled when it became clear that it would go down in defeat and taking the national gay rights movement with it, at least for the foreseeable future. The Senate punted the controversial bill to the Assembly, where advocates are hoping to win and eventually corner the resistant senators with some late-stage momentum. Its a long shot at best.
“I cant in any way, shape or form guarantee them [Assembly members] that it will pass at this point,” said Senate President Dick Codey, who was handicapping the bills chances of passage in the Senate if it wins approval in the Assembly.
Goldsteins group also was embarrassed by a series of pro-gay-marriage rallies at legislators homes and work sites, and in the case of Republican Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean Jr., showing up at his 11-year-old daughters piano recital Tuesday.
Several senators bristled at the tactics, saying that the group had gate-crashed into the lawmakers privacy zones.
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