Archive | March, 2013

The 04/01/13 Joy Jar

31 Mar

April Fools Day seems to satisfy the need in many cultures for a bit of fun. As long as the jokes do not demean or harm anyone, but bring a bit of laughter – then it’s just harmless fun. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is April Fools Day.

April 1.  This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.

Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson, 1894

April fool, n.  The March fool with another month added to his folly.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.

Robert Frost, “Cluster of Faith,” 1962

He who is born a fool is never cured.


Let us be thankful for the fools.  But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

Mark Twain

We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

Japanese Proverb

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.

Will Rogers

Even the gods love jokes.


I gotta have a man, so my child’s safety doesn’t matter

31 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Pick a city, any city and one will periodically get a story like Kathleen Cooper’s Tacoma New Tribune story, TACOMA: 2-year-old killed; man booked into jail:

A 2-year-old child was killed Saturday morning in Tacoma, and a man has been booked into the Pierce County jail on suspicion of murder.

The News Tribune is not naming the man because he has not yet been charged.

Tacoma police did not release much information beyond the fact of the death, including the gender of the child, the location of the death or the relationship of the suspect to the victim. Tacoma police responded to the scene around 7:30 or 8 a.m., said Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool. There was “a pattern of abuse,” she said.

Asked why no more details of the crime were available, Cool said the investigation was continuing.

“They’ll charge him on Monday,” she said. “Once they do that, (the information) will come from the prosecutor’s office.”

Vernol Coleman has wrote an excellent report in the Seattle Weekly entitled A Child Left Behind

Years before she was rescued from virtual imprisonment, Janet (not her real name) tried unsuccessfully to run away from home. On a spring afternoon in March 2005, 11-year-old Janet, accompanied by one of her elementary-school classmates, opted out of her usual bus ride home and fled for the safety of somewhere other than her parents’ Carnation residence. Hours later, a local man called Carnation Elementary School‘s main office to report that the two had arrived at his house a few miles away, and were resting on his front lawn. They were eventually returned to the custody of school officials. There, months of silence gave way to confession as Janet revealed the real reason she had bolted: fear.

According to witness statements given to investigators from the King County Sheriff’s Department, Janet begged her teachers, including Susie Marshall, not to send her home. “Please don’t call my dad,” she said. “He won’t believe me.”

Per the guidelines of the Riverview School District‘s homeschooling program, Janet attended Carnation Elementary two days a week—often enough for at least two of her teachers to notice the slightness of her frame. Still, they didn’t suspect just how bizarre the disciplinary methods at the Pomeroy household had become.

“From what we could tell, no one had any idea that this was going on,” says Carol Gould, one of Janet’s instructors.

Each morning after her father, Jon Pomeroy, a software engineer at a Bellevue information technology firm called Estorian, left for work, Janet remained locked inside a windowless room in a converted garage while her father’s wife, Rebecca Long, slept. To use the bathroom, she told her teachers, she had to bang on the wall to alert her younger brother that she needed to go.

More harrowing details of her situation followed. Janet was not allowed to play outside with her friends or use the computer or phone, she said. Her only full meal came in the evening, after her father arrived home from work and prepared dinner. Beyond that, the only food she was allowed each day was the two pieces of toast given to her when Long awoke each afternoon. Her stepmother, Janet added, “hit her a lot.”

The article details the specific acts of torture this child was forced to endure and also reports about other children who fell through the CPS system.

The genesis of this article begins with this comment from the child’s torturer, “Of her relationship with Janet, Long told authorities that she never wanted to be a stepmother. All their problems started there, she said.” Well, girlfriend, it’s like this, if you don’t want children, hate children, or children creep you out and you are dating or plan to marry an man with children, this will probably end badly. Same goes for dudes, many of you date women with children figuring, to put it bluntly, they are an easy lay. You need to leave women with children alone unless you are willing to step up to the plate and be a positive male role model for the kids.

Stepparents and Abuse

It is difficult to find statistics on abuse by step-parents, but one study out of Sweden, Step-parents abuse children to death more often provide some food for thought.

258 children under the age of 16 were killed by their parents between 1965 and 1999. 23 of the children (9%) were abused to death. Stepchildren are more often killed by abuse than children who are killed by their biological parents, according to new research from the University of Stockholm. More than half of the 258 children were killed in connection with a conflict between the parents e.g. divorce or custody battle. Most of these children died in connection with the extended suicide where the perpetrator took or tried to take his own life. The men who murdered their children also often took the life of their partner. On the other hand, no woman tried to kill their partner when she murdered the children, writes senior lecturer Hans Temrin and PhD student Johanna Nordlund at The University of Stockholm.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has statistics about infanticide but it is difficult to determine specific abuse by step-parents because of the reporting.

Note: Parents includes stepparents.

Of all children under age 5 murdered from 1976-2005 —

·         31% were killed by fathers

·         29% were killed by mothers

·         23% were killed by male acquaintances

·         7% were killed by other relatives

·         3% were killed by strangers

Of those children killed by someone other than their parent, 81% were killed by males.

The child described in the Weekly article had a step-mother who abused her and a biological father who abused by failure to prevent abuse.

How to Spot Signs of Abuse

Child Information Welfare Gateway has an excellent guide for how to spot child abuse and neglect The full list of symptoms is at the site, but some key indicators are:

                         The Child:

Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance

Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention

Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes

Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen

Lacks adult supervision

Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn

Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home

The Parent:

Shows little concern for the child

Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home

Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves

Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome

Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve

Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs

The Parent and Child:

Rarely touch or look at each other

Consider their relationship entirely negative

State that they do not like each other

If people suspect a child is being abused, they must get involved. Every Child Matters can very useful and can be found at the Every Child matters site and another organization, which fights child abuse is the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform People must push for tougher standards against child abuse.

Many Single Parents are not Going to Like these Comments

Queen Victoria had it right when she was rumored to have said something to the effect that she did not care what two consenting single adults did as long as they did not do it in the streets and scare the horses. A consenting single parent does not have the same amount of leeway as a consenting childless single adult because the primary responsibility of any parent is raising their child or children. People have children for a variety of reasons from having an unplanned pregnancy because of irresponsibility or hoping that the pregnancy is the glue, which might save a failing relationship, to those who genuinely want to be parents. Still, being a parent is like the sign in the china shop, which says you break it, it’s yours. Well folks, you had children, they are yours. Somebody has to be the adult and be responsible for not only their care and feeding, but their values. I don’t care if he looks like Brad Pitt or Denzel Washington. I don’t care if she looks like Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry or they have as much money as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, if they don’t like children or your children, they have to be kicked to the curb. You cannot under any circumstances allow anyone to abuse your children or you. When you partner with a parent, you must be willing to fully accept their children. If you can’t and they are too gutless to tell you to hit the road, I’ll do it for them. Hit the road.

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:


Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                   

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                            

The 03/31/13 Joy Jar

30 Mar

The story of Easter Sunday is the story of the Resurrection of Christ. Because of the empty tomb, death is conquered and those in Christ will have eternal life. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Resurrection of Jesus which gave moi eternal life.

‘Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Spanish Student

The story of Easter is the story of Gods wonderful window of divine surprise.

Carl Knudsen

The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world.  Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice.  But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice. 

Henry Knox Sherrill

Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal.  It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown.

Author unknown, as quoted in the Lewiston Tribune

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou – Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

Emily Bronte

Study: Parental unemployment adversely affects children

30 Mar

In 3rd world America: The economy affects the society of the future, moi said:

So what future have the Goldman Sucks, cash sluts, and credit crunch weasels along with we don’t care, we don’t have to Washington Georgetown and Chevy Chase set – you know, the “masters of the universe” left those on a race to get through college? Lila Shapiro has the excellent post, Trading Down: Laid-Off Americans Taking Pay Cuts and Increasingly Kissing Their Old Lives Goodbye at Huffington Post:

This government, both parties, has failed to promote the kind of economic development AND policy which creates livable wage jobs. That is why Mc Donalds is popular for more than its dollar menu. They are hiring people.

This economy must focus on job creation and job retention and yes, hope. Both for those racing through college and those who have paid their education and training dues. “You deserve a break today at Mc Donalds,” the only employer who seems to be hiring.

Nirvi Shah writes in the Education Week article, Parents’ Unemployment Affects Students at Home, School:

About 6.2 million children lived in families with unemployed parents in 2012, and that number rises to 12.1 million American children—about one in six—when including families with unemployed or underemployed parents during an average month of 2012. That’s a decrease from 2010, when the figure was about 13.5 million children, but a huge increase from 2007, when the number was 7.1 million children.

These children may especially feel the effects of their parents’ unemployment in their education, the report says:

One of the earliest signs that children are not doing well is their school performance. Several studies have documented lower math scores, poorer school attendance, and a higher risk of grade repetition or even suspension or expulsion among children whose parents have lost their jobs. …[P]arental job loss increases the chances a child will be held back in school by nearly 1 percentage point a year, or 15 percent.

But the effects of parental job loss can persist as children age: The report notes that low-income youth whose parents lose a job have lower rates of college attendance. Looking back at the recession of the 1980s, boys whose fathers lost jobs when manufacturing and other plants closed at that time grew into men who had annual earnings that were about 9 percent lower than similar men whose whose fathers did not lose those jobs.

Here is the press release from First Focus:

For Kids, Jobless Benefits Miss the Mark
Press Release

March 25, 2013

Madeline Daniels
(202) 999-4853 (office)

Washington – Federal benefits are largely failing to reach children affected by unemployment, according to a report released today by the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus.

“One in six children live with an unemployed or underemployed parent, so our leaders should be doing everything they can to prevent kids from falling through the cracks,” said First Focus president Bruce Lesley.

Unemployment from a Child’s Perspective, authored by Julia Isaacs of the Urban Institute, examined the reach of three federal initiatives designed to help the families of the unemployed; Unemployment Insurance (UI), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); and found:

  • UI reaches just 36 percent of children with at least one unemployed parent.
  • More than one fourth (29 percent) of children with unemployed parents have incomes limited enough to be eligible for and receive SNAP and/or TANF, but did not receive the larger UI benefits in the last year.
  • The remaining 35 percent of children impacted by parental unemployment do not receive any of these three benefits designed to support unemployed or low-income families.

Families experiencing long-term unemployment and the exhaustion of available federal unemployment benefits are particularly vulnerable to economic stress. This group has more than tripled since before the recession to 2.8 million children, or almost half of all children living with an unemployed parent. Poverty nearly tripled among parents who remained out of work for six months or longer.

While 9 percent of children experience parental unemployment overall, children from families of color are disproportionately impacted:

  • 14 percent of African-American children live with at least one unemployed parent.
  • 11 percent of Latino children live with at least one unemployed parent.
  • 7 percent of Caucasian children live with at least one unemployed parent.
  • 6 percent of Asian children live with at least one unemployed parent.

The analysis also shows that economic stress can have significant consequences for children. Job loss can have a negative impact on family dynamics through increased parental irritability, depression, and higher levels of family conflict. Family unemployment has a marked impact on children, including documented lower math scores, poorer school attendance, higher risk of grade repetition, and suspension/expulsion.

The report cites recent threats to federal funding for unemployment insurance, SNAP, and TANF. The federal budget resolution passed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives would make deep cuts to SNAP and other anti-poverty initiatives.

“This is an important reminder that kids are still recovering from the recession, and parents should expect their lawmakers to deliver a federal budget that invests in our children,” said Lesley.


March 25, 2013

By Julia Isaacs, The Urban Institute

Download this Resource

Moi wrote in 3rd world America: Money changes everything:

The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.

Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation wrote the informative Washington Post article, How to attack the growing educational gap between rich and poor:

In fact, research published by The Century Foundation and other organizations going back more than a decade shows that there are an array of strategies that can be highly effective in addressing the socioeconomic gaps in education:

* Pre-K programs. As Century’s Greg Anrig has noted, there is a wide body of research suggesting that well-designed pre-K programs in places like Oklahoma have yielded significant achievement gains for students. Likewise, forthcoming Century Foundation research by Jeanne Reid of Teachers College, Columbia University, suggests that allowing children to attend socioeconomically integrated (as opposed to high poverty) pre-K settings can have an important positive effect on learning.

* Socioeconomic Housing Integration. Inclusionary zoning laws that allow low-income and working-class parents and their children to live in low-poverty neighborhoods and attend low-poverty schools can have very positive effects on student achievement, as researcher David Rusk has long noted. A natural experiment in Montgomery County, Maryland, showed that low-income students randomly assigned to public housing units and allowed to attend schools in low-poverty neighborhoods scored at 0.4 of a standard deviation higher than those randomly assigned to higher-poverty neighborhoods and schools. According to the researcher, Heather Schwartz of the RAND Corporation, the initial sizable achievement gap between low-income and middle-class students in low-poverty neighborhoods and schools was cut in half in math and by one-third in reading over time.

* Socioeconomic School Integration. School districts that reduce concentrations of poverty in schools through public school choice have been able to significantly reduce the achievement and attainment gaps. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, for example, where a longstanding socioeconomic integration plan has allowed students to choose to attend mixed-income magnet schools, the graduation rate for African American, Latino, and low-income students is close to 90 percent, far exceeding the state average for these groups.

* College Affirmative Action for Low-Income Students. Research finds attending a selective college confers substantial benefits, and that many more low-income and working-class students could attend and succeed in selective colleges than currently do. Research by Anthony Carnevale and Stephen J. Rose of Georgetown University for the Century volume, America’s Untapped Resource: Low-Income Students in Higher Education , found that selective universities could increase their representation from the bottom socioeconomic half of the population from 10 percent to 38 percent, and overall graduation rates for all students would remain the same.

In addition to these ideas, Century Foundation research by Gordon MacInnes has highlighted promising programs to promote the performance of low-income students in New Jersey. Forthcoming research will suggest ways to revitalize organized labor, a development that could raise wages of workers and thereby have a positive impact on the educational outcomes of their children. We will also be exploring ways to strengthen community colleges as a vital institutions for social mobility.

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important.


Hard times are disrupting families        

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education

3rd world America: Money changes everything                                        

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:


Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                   

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                            

Another study: Sleep problems can lead to behavior problems in children

30 Mar

In Albert Einstein School of Medicine study: Abnormal breathing during sleep can lead to behavior problems in children examined behavior issues of children with sleep problems.

Albert Einstein School of Medicine announced the study, “Sleep Disordered Breathing in a Population-Based Cohort: Behavioral Outcomes at 4 and 7 Years.”

A study of more than 11,000 children followed for over six years has found that young children with sleep-disordered breathing are prone to developing behavioral difficulties such as hyperactivity and aggressiveness, as well as emotional symptoms and difficulty with peer relationships, according to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Their study, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, published online today…


Sleep-Disordered Breathing in a Population-Based Cohort: Behavioral Outcomes at 4 and 7 Years


Karen Bonuck, PhDa, Katherine Freeman, DrPHb, Ronald D. Chervin, MD, MSc, and Linzhi Xu, PhDa

  1. 1.    Published online March 5, 2012(doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1402)

  2. » AbstractFree

  3. Full Text (PDF)

  4. Supplemental Information

A study by Michelle M. Perfect, Kristen Archbold, James L. Goodwin, Deborah Levine-Donnerstein, and Stuart F. Quan is in accord with the Albert Einstein study.

Science Daily reports in the article, Children With Sleep Apnea Have Higher Risk of Behavioral, Adaptive and Learning Problems:

Mar. 29, 2013 — A new study found that obstructive sleep apnea, a common form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), is associated with increased rates of ADHD-like behavioral problems in children as well as other adaptive and learning problems.

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

Children with sleep apnea have higher risk of behavioral, adaptive and learning problems

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Friday, March 29, 2013

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 3 p.m. EDT, March 29, 2013
Contact: Lynn Celmer,, 630-737-9700

DARIEN, IL – A new study found that obstructive sleep apnea, a common form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), is associated with increased rates of ADHD-like behavioral problems in children as well as other adaptive and learning problems.

“This study provides some helpful information for medical professionals consulting with parents about treatment options for children with SDB that, although it may remit, there are considerable behavioral risks associated with continued SDB,” said Michelle Perfect, PhD, the study’s lead author and assistant professor in the school psychology program in the department of disability and psychoeducational studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “School personnel should also consider the possibility that SDB contributes to difficulties with hyperactivity, learning and behavioral and emotional dysregulation in the classroom.”

The five-year study, which appears in the April issue of the journal SLEEP, utilized data from a longitudinal cohort, the Tucson Children’s Assessment of Sleep Apnea Study (TuCASA). The TuCASA study prospectively examined Hispanic and Caucasian children between 6 and 11 years of age to determine the prevalence and incidence of SDB and its effects on neurobehavioral functioning. The study involved 263 children who completed an overnight sleep study and a neurobehavioral battery of assessments that included parent and youth reported rating scales.

Results show that 23 children had incident sleep apnea that developed during the study period, and 21 children had persistent sleep apnea throughout the entire study. Another 41 children who initially had sleep apnea no longer had breathing problems during sleep at the five-year follow-up.

The odds of having behavioral problems were four to five times higher in children with incident sleep apnea and six times higher in children who had persistent sleep apnea. Compared to youth who never had SDB, children with sleep apnea were more likely to have parent-reported problems in the areas of hyperactivity, attention, disruptive behaviors, communication, social competency and self-care. Children with persistent sleep apnea also were seven times more likely to have parent-reported learning problems and three times more likely to have school grades of C or lower.

The authors report that this is the first sleep-related study to use a standardized questionnaire to assess adaptive functioning in typically developing youth with and without SDB.

“Even though SDB appears to decline into adolescence, taking a wait and see approach is risky and families and clinicians alike should identify potential treatments,” said Perfect.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, obstructive sleep apnea occurs in about two percent of children who are otherwise healthy. Children with sleep apnea generally have larger tonsils and adenoids than other children their age, and most children with sleep apnea have a history of loud snoring. Effective treatment options for children include the surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids or the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michelle M. Perfect, Kristen Archbold, James L. Goodwin, Deborah Levine-Donnerstein, Stuart F. Quan. Risk of Behavioral and Adaptive Functioning Difficulties in Youth with Previous and Current Sleep Disordered Breathing. SLEEP, 2013; DOI: 10.5665/sleep.2536

American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2013, March 29). Children with sleep apnea have higher risk of behavioral, adaptive and learning problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2013, from­ /releases/2013/03/130329161243.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Both  studies  should be taken seriously because of the implications for future behavior issues of children. See, Babies’ snoring linked to later behavior problems .–143398676.html

Our goal as a society should be:

A Healthy Child In A Healthy Family Who Attends A Healthy School In A Healthy Neighborhood. ©

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:


Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                   

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                            

The 03/30/13 Joy Jar

29 Mar

Easter comes in the Spring, it is a floating holiday. It seems fitting that just as there is new growth in nature, there will hopefully be new growth for us. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the anticipation of Easter

The gifts of the Master are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn’t the end. Jesus didn’t escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again.”
Steven James,

Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.”
N.T. Wright,
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.”
A.W. Tozer,
Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope

Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.

Charles M. Crowe

Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
Pope John Paul II

The 03/29/13 Joy Jar

28 Mar

It’s a couple of days before Easter and Spring weather will be around for Easter. It’s expected to be about 70 degrees on Easter. Warmer weather means that it’s time for T-shirts. Moi went to H&M and Forever 21 and there are all kinds of Spring and Summer colors. H & M even had a rack of T-shirts for $5. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar” is the T-shirt.



I’ve always thought of the T-shirt as the Alpha and Omega of the fashion alphabet.
Giorgio Armani



Many years ago, I concluded that a few hair shirts were part of the mental wardrobe of every man. The president differs from other men in that he has a more extensive wardrobe.
Herbert Hoover

I’m most comfortable in T-shirts, but they have to have some style to them.

Giada De Laurentiis



One U.S. hit single and a hit T Shirt in 1985 does not a celebrity make.
Holly Johnson

I am always looking for a cool tee shirt; maybe one with a rock band or an old advertisement.
Bridget Hall

Luxury is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress.”
Karl Lagerfeld






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.”

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.

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                                                       

and How to Help a Child With Critical Thinking Skills

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.                                                           

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.

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:


Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                   

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                            

The 03/28/13 Joy Jar

27 Mar

Every now and again folk need to slow down the pace and take it easy. A mini sabbatical is what is needed. The past few days moi has been on a mini sabbatical. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is a mii sabbatical.


A good traveler has no fixed plans,

and is not intent on arriving.

– Lao Tzu



Life is really simple,

but we insist on making it complicated.

– Confucius



Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have,
you will never, ever have enough.
– Oprah Winfrey


Sing like no one’s listening,

love like you’ve never been hurt,

dance like nobody’s watching,

and live like its heaven on earth.

– Mark Twain


Today is your day to Spread Wing and Soar.

Fly Life on Free Wings, and Sing to its Glory.

– Jonathan Lockwood Huie


What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

– John Lubbock



This is my wish for you:

Comfort on difficult days,

Smiles when sadness intrudes,

Rainbows to follow the clouds,

Laughter to kiss your lips,

Sunsets to warm your heart,

Hugs when spirits sag,

Beauty for your eyes to see,

Friendships to brighten your being,

Faith so that you can believe,

Confidence for when you doubt,

Courage to know yourself,

Patience to accept the truth,

Love to complete your life.

– Anonymous

Alert: important school case: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar

26 Mar

School Board News is reporting in the article, School boards encourage Supreme Court to protect employers from unnecessary lawsuits:

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has filed an amicus brief in an employment case asking the U.S. Supreme Court not to hamper school districts’ abilities to discipline or fire employees.

In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar to be heard on April 24, 2013, the Supreme Court will determine whether an employee can win a discrimination lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act if the employer had legitimate business reasons for taking the adverse action.

The case is particularly relevant to public schools, collectively the largest employer in the country. NSBA is asking the Supreme Court to rule that the employee must prove that the employer took adverse action solely out of retaliation for the employee’s prior complaint of discrimination, not because of other legitimate reasons, a standard known as the “but for” test. Under the lower court ruling in the case, an employer must prove that they would have taken the action regardless of any desire to punish the employee for making charges of discrimination. The case centers on an employee of the University of Texas medical school who alleged that the chair of his department blocked his attempt to get a job at a hospital in retaliation for a claim of discrimination the employee had lodged against a supervisor.

“It is important that schools have the ability to discipline or terminate staff for legitimate reasons without fear of costly lawsuits that shift funds away from the classroom,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel.

“The High Court should not permit anti-discrimination laws to be used as a shield by substandard employees seeking to invalidate legitimate employer action for poor performance,” said NSBA General Counsel Francisco M. Negrón, Jr. “This standard would result in many more lawsuits….

Here is the brief on the case from Oyez Project:



Location: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Facts of the Case 

Dr. Naiel Nassar, who is of Middle Eastern descent, was hired by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) in 1995 to work at the Amelia Court Clinic (Clinic), which specializes in HIV/AIDS treatment. After three years there, he left to pursue additional training and returned in 2001 as an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases and Associate Medical Director of the Clinic. His immediate supervisor at the Clinic was Dr. Philip Keiser, whose supervisor at UTSW was Dr. Beth Levine. After being hired in 2004, Levine immediately began inquiring into Nassar’s productivity and billing practices. In 2005, after interviewing a candidate who was of Middle Eastern descent, Levine stated in Nassar’s presence, “Middle Easterners are lazy.” In 2006, after hiring the candidate, Levine made a similar statement in Keiser’s presence. Keiser informed Nassar of these comments as well as the fact that Levine scrutinized Nassar’s productivity more than any other doctor. Around this time, Nassar applied for a promotion that Levine actively undermined. In 2006, Nassar resigned from the UTSW faculty and cited Levine’s harassment and the creation of an unhealthy work environment in his resignation letter. Nassar resigned with the understanding that he would be offered a position at the Amelia Court Clinic unaffiliated with the UTSW, but the Clinic was forced to withdraw its offer after heavy opposition from the UTSW faculty, who have an agreement with the Clinic regarding positions to be filled by faculty doctors.

In 2008, Nassar sued UTSW under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and argued that UTSW had constructively discharged and retaliated against him. The jury found in favor of Nassar and awarded him back pay and compensatory damages. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that there was sufficient evidence to support the retaliation claim but insufficient evidence to support the claim of constructive discharge.


Does the retaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 require a plaintiff to prove that an employer would not have taken an action but for the existence of an improper motive, or does the provision require only proof that the employer had mixed motives for taking an action?


Case Basics

Docket No. 



University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Naiel Nassar


Friday, January 18, 2013


Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Cite this Page

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER v. NASSAR. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 March 2013. <>.

More on this case later.

Where information leads to Hope. ©     Dr.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:


Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                   

Dr. Wilda ©