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Adolescents of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Sexual Orientation, Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Risk Exposure
“A long-term study of children raised by lesbians found that these children were less likely to suffer from physical and sexual abuse than were their peers who were raised by heterosexuals. This is thought to be due to the absence of adult heterosexual men in the households (Gartrell, Bos, & Goldberg, 2010). Girls raised by lesbians tend to have higher self-esteem, show more maturity and tolerance than their peers, and are older when they have their first heterosexual contact (Gartrell et al., 2005, 2010). Children raised by same-sex parents seem to be less constrained by traditional gender roles; boys are less aggressive, and girls are more inclined to consider nontraditional careers, such as doctor, lawyer, or engineer (Gartrell et al., 2005; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001). Over the course of more than 20 years, scientists studied the psychological adjustment of 78 teenagers who were raised by lesbian mothers. Compared to age-matched counterparts raised by heterosexual parents, these adolescents were rated higher in social, academic, and total competence, and lower in social problems, rule-breaking, aggression, and externalizing problem behavior (Gartrell & Bos, 2010). There are fewer studies of children raised by two men, but gay fathers are more likely than straight fathers to put their children before their career, to make big changes in their lives to accommodate a child, and to strengthen bonds with their extended families after becoming fathers (Bergman, Rubio, Green, & Padrone, 2010).”
children  lesbian  parents  gay  good 
5 weeks ago by Quercki
Teachers Just Purged Oklahoma’s Statehouse Of Their Enemies
For nearly a decade, Republican officials have been treating ordinary Oklahomans like the colonial subjects of an extractive empire. On Governor Mary Fallin’s watch, fracking companies have turned the Sooner State into the earthquake capital of the world; (literally) dictated policy to her attorney general; and strong-armed legislators into giving them a $470 million tax break — in a year when Oklahoma faced a $1.3 billion budget shortfall.

To protect Harold Hamm’s god-given right to pay infinitesimal tax rates on his gas profits (while externalizing the environmental costs of fracking onto Oklahoma taxpayers), tea party Republicans raided the state’s rainy-day funds, and strip-mined its public-school system.

Between 2008 and 2015, Oklahoma’s slashed its per-student education spending by 23.6 percent, more than any other state in the country. Some rural school districts were forced to adopt four-day weeks; others struggled to find competent teachers, as the GOP’s refusal to pay competitive salaries chased talented educators across the border into Texas. Students who were lucky enough to have both five-day weeks and qualified instructors still had to tolerate decaying textbooks. Polls showed overwhelming public support for raising taxes on the wealthy and oil companies to increase investment in education. GOP lawmakers showed no interest in those polls.
voting  teachers  education  Oklahoma  good 
august 2018 by Quercki
Latest News - California Council of Churches- Walking the Walk, However You Can
This all started with a very simple act – I let homeless people use our address for their mail.  This is life altering for them since with an address for their mail they know when they have to update their records, know they have benefits at all, and prevent loss as reporting changes occur.  We get our own first class mail at a PO Box anyway, but it was such a simple thing and has made an enormous difference for all those people. 
Having protection from the vagaries of both homelessness and being out of touch has made a difference.  A lot of them are Vietnam vets, have worked, and are too old to find employment anymore. A few have disability income finally, one is on Social Security, and others have applied.   The cat lived on a harness and leash for two years to keep him safe, and now he and his owner have their own small apartment because they regularized their social service contacts via our address. We are thrilled for them both.  Others have gone home to family, and still others have VA or HUD housing.  All of this happened because they had an address.

---An essay by our Director of Public Policy Elizabeth Sholes, posted on facebook by Jean Reynolds
Christian  good  homelessness  solutions 
january 2018 by Quercki
Watch David Byrne's "Reasons to be Cheerful" lecture / Boing Boing
“I began to look for encouraging things that are happening anywhere in the world, and if they have been tested, if they have been proven to work, if they can be transferred and adopted in other places, if they can scale up,” Byrne says. “[T]hen, I thought to myself, why not hold them up for consideration, and also invite others to add to this project. There are actually a LOT of encouraging things going on around the world – they’ve given me hope, they’re a kind of therapy, given what’s happening in the world, and I’d like to share them."
hope  cheer  good 
january 2018 by Quercki
Rip currents swept away a Florida family. Then dozens of beachgoers formed a human chain. - The Washington Post
On shore, the human chain began forming, first with just five volunteers, then 15, then dozens more as the rescue mission grew more desperate.

Brittany Monroe, 25, left, with her wife, Tabatha, 35. (Photo courtesy of Tabatha Monroe)
Jessica and Derek Simmons swam past the 80 or so human links, some who couldn’t swim, and headed straight for the Ursreys, using surf and boogie boards to aid their rescue efforts.

“I got to the end, and I know I’m a really good swimmer,” Jessica Simmons told the News Herald. “I practically lived in a pool. I knew I could get out there and get to them.”
july 2017 by Quercki
A Story of Court Solidarity in the #NoDAPL Divestment Movement — Freshet Collective
This is a true story of direct action and effective use of court solidarity tactics by water protectors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.  It is a simple example of one way that comrades can remain in solidarity while navigating the legal system.  We hope this story helps build a culture of shared responsibility for defending our movements against State repression.  The frontlines are everywhere.
resist  NoDAPL  allies  arrest  legal  tactics  good  *** 
april 2017 by Quercki
11 Women Who Rocked Oakland In 2014 | Wear Your Voice
With rents skyrocketing in Oakland, we desperately need someone fighting the good fight. Thankfully, Danielle DeRuiter-Williams, Senior Program Manager of Leadership Development at Urban Habitat has been doing just that.  Transitioning from her previous position at Impact Hub Oakland, she’s settled into her new role at Urban Habitat preparing low income and people of color leaders how to advocate for the needs of their communities and sit on regional boards and commissions. She’s also co-chair of the Alameda County Public Health Department Community Economic Development Action Team and part of the Racial Equity Network, which works on building community of practice among organizations with a mission focused on racial equity. She aided in the launch of Oakland’s first Living the New Economy Conference in October.
Oakland  women  2014  good 
january 2016 by Quercki
Scientists now think that being overweight can protect your health - Quartz
Since then, dozens of studies have confirmed the existence of the paradox. Being overweight is now believed to help protect patients with an increasingly long list of medical problems, including pneumonia, burns, stroke, cancer, hypertension, and heart disease. Researchers who have tried to show that the paradox is based on faulty data or reasoning have largely come up short. And while scientists do not yet agree on what the paradox means for health, most accept the evidence behind it. “It’s been shown consistently enough in different disease states,” says Gregg Fonarow, a cardiology researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The researcher who did most to kick off the debate, and in the process became the object of much of the pushback it generated, is an epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named Katherine Flegal. Together with colleagues, she looked at hundreds of mortality studies that included data on body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. People with BMIs of more than 25 are classed as overweight, and those with a BMI over 30 as obese.
fat  health  disease  culture  good  news 
november 2015 by Quercki
Speaking of the SCOTUS, 3 Strikes Law Struck Down. Private Prisons Haz a Sad
The Supreme Court on Friday struck down part of a federal law intended keep people convicted of repeated violent crimes in prison longer.
The justices ruled that a catchall phrase in the Armed Career Criminal Act defining what crimes make a defendant eligible for a longer prison term is too vague.

And even Scalia was right on this one.
Six justices agreed that the phrase is unconstitutional. Writing for the court, Justice Antonin Scalia said using "so shapeless a provision to condemn someone to prison for 15 years to life" violates the Constitution's guarantee of due process.
The Prison Industrial Complex must be weeping.
From Occupy Democrats...

Now, prosecutors across the country will have to figure out who qualifies to have their sentences reduced, a move that is probably making private prison CEOs weep in despair. The private prison industry has been a long-time supporter of harsh mandatory minimum sentences because that means higher profits for them. The two biggest private prison corporations–GEO and Corrections Corporation of America— make about $3 billion annually off of incarcerated Americans; in turn they spend millions of dollars on lobbying efforts.
The lawmakers in many states are contractually required to fill up the beds in private prisons; so it’s not too hard to figure out why the ACCA is such a popular sentence enhancer. Private prisons have even been known to sue state governments if they aren’t filed to capacity- making taxpayers foot the bill for low crime rates. It’s an absolute travesty and a key piece in the conservative war against minorities and the poor, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and destroying communities around the country. Today’s ruling means Congress will have to clarify the law and you can bet that private prison lobbyists are about to throw even more money at lawmakers, but hopefully it sounds a death knell for mass incarceration in our nation.
prison  three-strikes  supreme_court  good 
june 2015 by Quercki
You have $8 billion. You want to do as much good as possible. What do you do? - Vox
That means that at some point in the not-too-distant future, Open Phil will have to decide if criminal justice investments are a better bet than macroeconomic policy ones, and by how much; if macroeconomic policy investments are a better bet than biosecurity; and whether either is better than funding medical research. It will have to start comparing magnitudes — and that's ridiculously difficult.
charity  research  good  donate  philanthropy 
april 2015 by Quercki
Let the boys of Marvel teach you how to apologize (and how not to) - Boing Boing
On the scale of bad things a person can do, this one was pretty minor. However, it's a shame that these otherwise cool dudes were unintentionally adding to a misogynistic cultural that often unfairly criticizes women for their behavior. Some people pointed that out, and Evans and Renner both issued apologies.

In my mind, this is exactly how our more culturally/politically sensitive culture should operate. We’re all going to mess up from time to time, but the important thing is that we listen to those we unintentionally offended, take the opportunity to learn from the mistake, and educate others in the process.

Similarly, I think the juxtaposition of Evans’ and Renner’s apologies is another great learning opportunity for all of us:

Evans’ apology read:

“Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America. We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize.”

He does just about everything right. He acknowledges his remarks were offensive, he notes that people were right to call him out, he takes responsibility for his actions, and he apologizes for them. Assuming Evans makes every effort not to repeat the mistake in the future, this is pretty much the definition of a perfect apology.

Renner, however, issued this statement:

“I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone. It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour.”

Unlike Evans, Renner’s apology doesn’t really acknowledge that his comment was inappropriate, he merely apologizes that others were offended. His word choice is also telling. While Evans notes that people were “rightfully angered,” Renner’s apology emphasizes that he was making a “joke” and “just poking fun” while talking about a “fictional character.” His subtext is that this whole thing got blown out of proportion and people shouldn’t take jokes about fictional women so seriously.
apology  sexism  good  bad  howto 
april 2015 by Quercki
Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks
Theoretical models suggest that social networks influence the evolution of cooperation, but to date there have been few experimental studies. Observational data suggest that a wide variety of behaviors may spread in human social networks, but subjects in such studies can choose to befriend people with similar behaviors, posing difficulty for causal inference. Here, we exploit a seminal set of laboratory experiments that originally showed that voluntary costly punishment can help sustain cooperation. In these experiments, subjects were randomly assigned to a sequence of different groups to play a series of single-shot public goods games with strangers; this feature allowed us to draw networks of interactions to explore how cooperative and uncooperative behaviors spread from person to person to person. We show that, in both an ordinary public goods game and in a public goods game with punishment, focal individuals are influenced by fellow group members’ contribution behavior in future interactions with other individuals who were not a party to the initial interaction. Furthermore, this influence persists for multiple periods and spreads up to three degrees of separation (from person to person to person to person). The results suggest that each additional contribution a subject makes to the public good in the first period is tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who are directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more as a consequence. These results show experimentally that cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks.
relationships  cooperation  good  example 
march 2015 by Quercki
Nashville police chief shares message, responds to questions
To All Employees:

It is the holiday season and this has been a good year. My sincere thanks for the work you do every day to make this a successful police department. The Nashville public is especially pleased with the work you do and has even more confidence in you as events have unfolded over the last few weeks.

Over the last weeks, across the nation, and here in Nashville, we have witnessed many protests and demonstrations. Some of the demonstrations have been peaceful. Some have been violent, with significant property damage. Here in Nashville, persons have gathered to express their thoughts in a non-violent manner. I thank all involved for the peaceful manner in which they have conducted themselves.

I also thank you. As a member of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, you have responded to these events in a manner that clearly shows that this is a professional police department staffed by professional individuals who respect the points of view of all persons. Again, thank you for showing the Nashville public that, individually and collectively, they have a police department they can be proud of.
good  police  BlackLivesMatter 
december 2014 by Quercki
Berkeley Protesters Block Freeway Over Garner and Brown Killings -
Sunday night’s damage seemed to have been strategic: mostly corporate outlets. By contrast, when protesters smashed the windows of Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative, Marian Hunting, an employee who was working at 11 p.m. on Sunday, grabbed her keys and cellphone and was ready to escape out the back when she saw a line of protesters form to protect the entry. They yelled, “They’re locally owned!” and “They’re the nicest people!” The shop was spared theft and additional damage.

“That was heartening,” Ms. Hunting said Monday morning. She said she empathized with the demonstrators. “Glass can be replaced,” she said. “You can’t bring back a life.”
BlackLivesMatter  Berkeley  good  NYT 
december 2014 by Quercki
Police Brutality Action Kit | SURJ: Showing Up for Racial Justice
As white people, we must show up in the struggle for human rights and dignity, and demand an end to targeting people of color. This can happen in small and large ways every day.

Below are actions you can take in response to these murders and violence against people of color, ranging from one minute to a lifetime of action. Please join us in making a commitment to take one or more of these actions in this important time.


Get Informed

Short Actions:

1 Minute Action: Join SURJ

2 Minute Action: Sign petitions

3 Minute Action: Tweet

5 minute Action: Post a picture or video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, etc.

Medium Actions:

10 Minute Action: Donate to a racial justice organization

15 Minute Action: Get your ideas out there –  on social media

30 minute Action: Engage people in your life: talk about it

One Hour Action: Write about it – letters to the editor or online comments

Long-Term Actions:

One Hour+ Action: Take part in direct action or hold a house party

Ongoing Action: Support Demilitarizing the Police

Ongoing Action: Join a local organization and/or get involved with SURJ

Audrey Ward, Organizer at We are Guahan, Mother: “As white people, it is not too much to commit our lives to ending racism. It is, in fact, only right in the light of our history, and through our collective vision and action it is possible.
racism  justice  social  good  Ferguson  Oakland  police 
november 2014 by Quercki
Oakland sees crime rate drop in 2013 - SFGate
Throughout 2013, Oakland's strategies to create jobs and reduce violence built momentum, and we saw our second-largest year-to-year drop in homicides in 40 years. Homicides came down 28 percent and home burglaries dropped 18 percent.

Nearly every category of crime is on the decline. Although robberies increased in the first months of the year, and will be a continuing priority in 2014, the rate peaked in the summer and has been declining ever since.

Last year, Oakland's economy took several big steps forward, with businesses and development expanding and unemployment declining. As a result, city revenues grew, and we worked with the City Council to invest that growth in a public safety.
Oakland  police  crime  good  news 
january 2014 by Quercki
5 Amazing Pieces of Good News Nobody Is Reporting |
The Good News:

First, we need to point out that we live in the most literate world ever. Currently, about 99 percent of American adults can read and write. But that's America -- a better question would be how the rest of the world is doing. The answer is also pretty impressive. Take India, for example, and its 1.2 billion people. Fifty years ago, only 18 percent of them could have enjoyed the Twilight saga. Today, over 60 percent of the country can enjoy literature's greatest love story. Worldwide as a whole, that figure is 84 percent.

So what are people doing with these new reading powers? At least one survey suggests that nearly twice as many Americans are reading novels today compared to 60 years ago. Unlike the imaginary ideal 1950s living room, Mom and Pop weren't seated 'round the fire exchanging copies of the New Yorker and ruminating on the works of Fitzgerald or Steinbeck. In reality, they were probably listening to the radio and talking about how great segregation is.
literacy  poverty  news  good 
december 2013 by Quercki
5 Amazing Pieces of Good News Nobody Is Reporting |
The Good News:

Even with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the first decade of the 21st century saw the number of annual battle deaths at its lowest ever in history.

Professor Joshua Goldstein put it best: "If the world feels like a more violent place than it actually is, that's because there's more information about wars -- not more wars themselves." Overall, we're in the midst of an unheard of "long peace," as no major powers have clashed since World War II, replacing them with smaller wars that historically would count as skirmishes -- the U.S. lost 3,400 soldiers in Afghanistan, which is terrible, but during the American Civil War, 4,700 troops were killed on one side of one single battle. Here it is in graph form:


Sans screaming.

OK, so maybe this is just a temporary breather after the bloodbath that was the previous century? Nope -- it's part of a long-term trend. As crazy as it seems to suggest it, the past couple of hundred years have been the most peaceful in world history. That's including the world wars.

(The numbers don't lie: Property crime, theft, and burglary have also all been dropping since around 1993. The De-Textbook has more on why you'd be just as safe leaving your doors unlocked now as your grandparents were in "the good old days.")
war  statistics  peace  good 
december 2013 by Quercki
2013 This Year in Bad Cops | VICE United States
Good Cop of the Year: Utah’s Chris Burbank
Throughout the year, many cops have saved people from burning buildings or dangerous criminals, arrested people who were genuine threats, and made their communities safer. What’s more rare is a cop who stands distinctly in opposition to modern policing’s worst, most dangerous practices. That’s why the Good Cop of the Year has to be Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank. Burbank expressly opposes prioritizing officer safety above anything else and refuses to embrace the us-versus-them mentality common in police departments across the country. In 2011, he personally explained to the city’s local Occupy movement when and why they had to leave their encampment, giving them plenty of time to gather their belongings and leave—or be carefully arrested if they so chose. In protest situations, he keeps his riot cops back because they tend to aggravate people into confrontations. Even more impressive and controversial, his officers don’t enforce immigration laws. Finally, instead of blaming disastrous drug raids like the one that killed Matthew David Stewart in 2011 on the homeowner, Burbank has taken such tragedies as a hint that the SWAT-heavy status quo is not safe for cops or for citizens. If every police chief believed, as Burbank does, that “[The cops] aren't an occupying force. We are a part of the community,"this column wouldn’t exist at all.

Lucy Steigerwald is a freelance writer and photographer. Read her blog here and follow her on Twitter: @lucystag
police  good  bad 
december 2013 by Quercki
Ozymandias's Crushing and Venting Engine of Doom: Good versus Nice versus Right
I think a lot of the problems in the world (certainly as regards arguing on the Internet) come down to people's inability to distinguish between someone who is good, someone who is nice, and someone who is right.

Nice is a person it is easy to get along with. They don't insult people, they pay attention to everyone, they always have a smile and a joke for everybody. People like them. A lot of social skills advice is devoted to making people nice enough that they can get along and actually have friends. High-level nice is basically a superpower: you're so nice that no one wants to make you sad or hurt you, so you get your way all the time.

Good is a person who cares. A good person is one who has high ideals and tries to live up to them-- whether the ideal is "defend the truth," "protect the weak," "love thy neighbor as thyself," "respect the rights of others," "the greatest good for the greatest number." High-level good is likely to make you miserable doing political activism and running off on missionary trips to Africa and feeling horrible about never having done enough.

Right is simply that: a person who is correct about how the world functions. Usually, you'll have to wait a couple decades, if not a couple milennia, to find out if someone was right, which is why we have concluded that Galileo was right and Catherine MacKinnon was not, but there's still some controversy about Joshua Lederberg's opinions on cloning and Jaclyn Friedman's on the empowerfulness of sluthood. High-level right will probably get you a cult following of people admiring your brilliance. (So will high-level charismatic crazy, though, so don't get your hopes up.)
good  nice  right 
june 2011 by Quercki

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