November 6, 2013 (Heritage) – Children living with married opposite-sex parents were more likely to graduate from high school than peers living with cohabiting, single, or same-sex parents, according to a new study in the Review of the Economics of Households.
This finding is consistent with the decades of research on children’s educational outcomes and family structure. However, this study is relatively unique because it uses data (a 20 percent sample of the 2006 Canadian census) that offers a sufficiently large nationally representative sample of children (ages 17–22) in same-sex-parent homes. So far, only four studies analyzing three U.S. datasets offer such or similar data (two on the 2000 U.S. Census, one on the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, and another on the New Family Structure Study).
The Canadian data has several advantages for studying the topic, including:
Specifically, the study looks at the likelihood of graduating from high school. It identifies six family types: married opposite-sex (which may include remarried parents), common law opposite-sex, gay parents (two dads, married or common law); lesbian parents (two moms, married or common law), single mothers, and single fathers. It also accounts for important characteristics of children and parents.
Continue reading their lying bullshit at: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/girls-with-lesbian-parents-45-less-likely-to-graduate-high-school
A group of Occupy Wall Street activists has bought almost $15m of Americans’ personal debt over the last year as part of the Rolling Jubilee project to help people pay off their outstanding credit.
Rolling Jubilee, set up by Occupy’s Strike Debt group following the street protests that swept the world in 2011, launched on 15 November 2012. The group purchases personal debt cheaply from banks before “abolishing” it, freeing individuals from their bills.
By purchasing the debt at knockdown prices the group has managed to free $14,734,569.87 of personal debt, mainly medical debt, spending only $400,000.
“We thought that the ratio would be about 20 to 1,” said Andrew Ross, a member of Strike Debt and professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University. He said the team initially envisaged raising $50,000, which would have enabled it to buy $1m in debt.
“In fact we’ve been able to buy debt a lot more cheaply than that.”
The group is able to buy debt so cheaply due to the nature of the “secondary debt market”. If individuals consistently fail to pay bills from credit cards, loans, or medical insurance the bank or lender that issued the funds will eventually cut its losses by selling that debt to a third party. These sales occur for a fraction of the debt’s true values – typically for five cents on the dollar – and debt-buying companies then attempt to recoup the debt from the individual debtor and thus make a profit.
The Rolling Jubilee project was mostly conceived as a “public education project”, Ross said.
“We’re under no illusions that $15m is just a tiny drop in the secondary debt market. It doesn’t make a dent in the amount of debt.
“Our purpose in doing this, aside from helping some people along the way – there’s certainly many, many people who are very thankful that their debts are abolished – our primary purpose was to spread information about the workings of this secondary debt market.”
By Joe Conason
November 8, 2013
When Wendy Davis proclaimed that she is “pro-life” — a description long since appropriated by conservatives opposed to abortion rights — the right-wing media practically exploded with indignation. How could she dare to say that? But having won national fame when she filibustered nearly 12 hours against a law designed to shutter Lone Star State abortion clinics, the Texas state senator with the pink shoes doesn’t hesitate to provoke outrage among the righteous.
Speaking to a crowd at the University of Texas in Brownsville last Tuesday, Davis, now running for governor as a Democrat, made a deceptively simple but profound declaration: “I am pro-life. I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry their children’s future and their ability to provide for that.”
Her argument directly pierced to the contradiction within the right’s “pro-life” sloganeering. So far the feeble answer from the right is that Davis must be “lying” because nobody who supports a woman’s right to choose is pro-life.
But that response is merely a repetition that seeks to evade her deeper philosophical thrust. Whatever anyone may think about abortion, the persistent question for self-styled pro-lifers is why they tend to insist on making life so much more difficult for so many children who have entered the world. The same Republicans — and they are nearly all Republicans — most vocally opposed to reproductive rights are also most likely to cut assistance to poor families, infants and children at every opportunity, from the moment of birth long into adolescence and beyond.
November 12, 2013
The Hawaii state Senate voted 19-4 Tuesday to recognize same-sex couples’ right to marry, all but legalizing marriage equality in the Aloha State.
The Hawaii state Senate approved a marriage-equality bill that was amended and passed with a 30-19 vote by the state House of Representatives Friday night after 56 hours of public testimony over five days. Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D), who called the state Legislature back for a special session to consider same-sex marriage legislation after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in June, is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as tomorrow. With Abercrombie’s signature, marriage licenses will begin being issued to same-sex couples as early as Dec. 2.
The amended bill protects clergy from having to perform weddings for same-sex couples and religious organizations from having to provide goods, services and facilities for same-sex weddings. The state Senate previously approved a similar bill 20-4 late last month, and today’s vote comes two contentious weeks after the special session began on Oct. 28 to consider the bill.
The Hawaii Legislature is the second state legislature in the past week to vote to legalize same-sex marriage. On Nov. 5, Illinois lawmakers approved marriage-equality legislation that is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn (D) later this month. When those bills are signed into law, Hawaii and Illinois will become the 15th and 16th states, plus D.C., to grant same-sex couples the right to marry. Last month, New Jersey became the 14th marriage-equality state after Gov. Chris Christie (R) dropped his appeal of a state court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
The passage of same-sex marriage legislation in Hawaii is of particular significance, and brings the fight full circle after two decades of debate. Hawaii is considered the original battleground of the marriage-equality movement. It was 20 years ago in 1993 that a lawsuit was filed on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking marriage rights, sparking political backlash across the country. With the Hawaii Supreme Court giving serious consideration to legalizing same-sex marriage in Hawaii, Congress approved and President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Hawaii voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1998 giving state lawmakers the power to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Civil unions were approved in 2011.
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/11/11
The process is gradual, insidious, lethal. It starts with financial stress in various forms, and then, according to growing evidence, leads to health problems and shorter lives.
Financial stress is brought upon us by the profit motive of capitalism, which offers little incentive to feed hungry children, to treat the sick, to secure us in retirement, to provide job opportunities for middle-class Americans. Some of the steps in the process are becoming more and more familiar to us.
1. Giving Half of Your 401(k) to the Banks
The Frontline documentary The Retirement Gamble reported that a 401(k) fund earning 7% a year with 2% in fees would lose up to 60% of the value of an equivalent non-fee fund.
A 2% fee doesn’t seem like much, but the documentary’s claim was close to the truth. Based on the 6% historical stock market return, an employee investing $1,000 a year for 30 years in a non-fee fund and then holding the accumulated sum for another 20 years would end up with $269,000. Imposing a 2% annual fee would reduce the final total to $127,000, a 53% loss. Imposing a 1.3% fee, which according to the documentary is the industry average, would reduce the final total to $165,000, a 39% loss.
The financial industry is taking this money from more of us every year. The number of private sector workers depending on a 401(k) instead of a company pension has increased from 12 percent to 68 percent since 1983.
2. Watching 24,000,000 Children Go Hungry to Avoid Inconveniencing 20 Rich Individuals
It’s an unthinkable trade-off, but it’s happening. Although the 2013 SNAP (food stamp) budget of $78 billion is less than the 2012 investment earnings of 20 wealthy Americans, SNAP is being cut while not a penny extra is taken from the multi-billionaires.
3. Listening to the “Job Creators” Mock the Truth
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/11/11
From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/06/greenhouse-gas-emissions-highs_n_4223800.html
* Carbon dioxide, methane volumes grew faster in 2012
* World temperatures to rise 2 degrees by mid-century
* UN conference in Warsaw to seek new emissions pact (Adds detail, background, quotes)
By Tom Miles
GENEVA, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Atmospheric volumes of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change hit a new record in 2012, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Wednesday.
“For all these major greenhouse gases the concentrations are reaching once again record levels,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud told a news conference in Geneva at which he presented the U.N. climate agency’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin .
Jarraud said the accelerating trend was driving climate change, making it harder to keep global warming to within 2 degrees Celsius, a target agreed at a Copenhagen summit in 2009.
“This year is worse than last year, 2011. 2011 was worse than 2010,” he said. “Every passing year makes the situation somewhat more difficult to handle, it makes it more challenging to stay under this symbolic 2 degree global average.”
Greenhouse gas emissions are set to be 8-12 billion tonnes higher in 2020 than the level needed to keep global warming below 2 degrees, the U.N. Environment Programme said on Tuesday.