Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

The New York Times ran an article on cyber bullying.

Here is a cool news item. A young woman who is bald from an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata is the reigning Miss Delaware, according to the Huffington Post.

The Mamasource newsletter had a discussion on middle names. Much thought usually goes into first names, so how did you decide on a middle name? Does your child have a middle name?

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the University of California-Hastings law school did not have to grant official recognition and funding to a Christian club that excludes gays and nonbelievers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Associated Press ran a poignant article on end-of-life care in the United States. AP also ran a story about a possible medical breakthrough that could help women determine when they will have menopause. That way, they will know when they will run out of eggs.

The Dallas Morning News covered a sad story about the plight of undocumented immigrants who grew up in the United States. They outperformed their U.S.-born counterparts, graduated at the top of their class, and some even attended IVY league schools like Columbia. But they can’t get a job because they do not have a social security number.

In related news, the Dallas Morning News also did an excellent job covering the nuances of the immigration debate and the need for comprehensive immigration reform. The newspaper illustrated the heartbreaking cases of a Yugoslavian, Mexican and Cameroon refugee — all professionals and most married to American citizens with children — facing deportation.

RIP: Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia died yesterday at the age of 92. Here is a Daily Kos diary on it.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Parenting News Roundup

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

Good morning fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back with your weekly parenting news update. Thank you for reading and participating in this diary, which is in its fifth week of existence.

Here are some topics we recently discussed here at MotherTalkers:

First, some good news. Thanks to an aggressive public health campaign, less children today have high levels of lead than 20 years ago, according to a study cited by the Associated Press. On the flipside, poor minority children are still more likely than other demographics to be exposed to lead, but even that gap is closing, according to AP.

In related health news, a study cited by Reuters showed neither benefits nor harm to allowing children younger than 2 to watch television. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero TV watching for babies and toddlers and limited programming for young children in general.

I wrote my own editorial against the Washington Post’s editorial, which was in favor of vouchers for private schools. Personally, I think the D.C. voucher program should be done away with as it is not fully subsidizing the tuition of a private school in D.C. and seems to be a discount for middle class families. As I noted, the vouchers are for up to $7,500 a year, yet the family the Post profiled send their two children to Sidwell Friends, which costs $30,000 a year per child. Who is picking up the slack for the remaining $45,000 a year? Exactly. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with people sending their children to private school, as long as they do not expect taxpayers to pay for it — and at the expense of their local public schools.

A Missouri Republican legislator managed to diss stay-at-home fathers and start a mommy war by introducing a bill that would give a $600-a-year scholarship to stay-at-home mothers. She said fathers shouldn’t qualify because they are not “built-in nurturers” like women. Whatever.

Finally, Barbie has been in the news a lot lately. She is about to celebrate her 50th birthday and there are some people out there who want to crash her party. Take, for instance, this legislator from West Virginia who introduced a bill that would ban all Barbie doll sales — and dolls like her — in the state. Democratic Delegate Jeff Eldridge of Lincoln County says the dolls influence girls to believe physical beauty is more important than their intellect. What say you?

What else is on your minds?

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