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Silent Killers

Chaz’ journey back.

My wife and I were discussing some of the silent relationship killers that we have observed recently.

The big things are easy to spot…. abuse, infidelity, raging, name-calling, etc. Those are no-brainers. Any relationship would be endangered where these are present and it would be obvious.

But what about the silent killers?

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Troops’ kids feel war toll

Troops’ kids feel war toll –

More than half of those surveyed say generally their children have coped well or very well with a parent who has gone to war. But one in four say the child has coped poorly or very poorly, and a third say the child’s grades and behavior in school have suffered.

Nearly 900,000 troops with children have deployed to war since 2001, and the Pentagon estimates that currently 234,000 children have a mother or father at war. The survey last year had a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points says Barbara Thompson, head of the Pentagon office of Family Policy/Children and Youth.

The Pentagon is “very concerned” about the effects of multiple deployments, she says. Children have classmates who have lost a parent, she says, “it’s in their face that it could happen to me.”…

And think of those whose parent comes home missing a foot, or part of a brain, or a personality…

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The Flu and You

This season’s flu vaccine is expected to be more effective than last year’s, when the vaccine proved to be a poor match for circulating strains of the virus, health officials said yesterday. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that more Americans than ever before get vaccinated against the flu. Children and adolescents ages 6 months to 18 years old should get the vaccine, as should those with chronic health conditions, those who will probably interact with people who have the flu (like healthcare workers), pregnant women, and adults older than age 50.


It’s Not a Gay Thing…

As I’ve been saying for a long time, it’s an economic issue. Extending these rights would cost government and business a great deal in benefit expenses, and insurance companies would suddenly become liable for payments to millions of people who are not now covered under family plans.

The well-meaning (but still wrong) opponents have been coopted through their church leadership and other so-called leaders, and are being used without even knowing it.

A consumer of current news might imagine that access to same-sex marriage is the most contested issue in contemporary family policy, and that marriage is the only cure for the disadvantages lesbian and gay families face. Both of these observations would be wrong.

The most contested issue in contemporary family policy is whether married-couple families should have “special rights” not available to other family forms. Excluded families include unmarried couples of any sexual orientation, single-parent households, extended-family units, and any other constellation of individuals who form relationships of emotional and economic interdependence that do not conform to the one-size-fits-all marriage model.
It’s Not a Gay Thing…

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What’s so wrong with a pregnancy pact?

A former teen mom rings in with commentary about the teen pregnancy pact…

June 27, 2008 | In 1992, the closest thing my daughter had to a father was my best friend, Alice Moore. Alice and I met as 15-year-old debate partners in Boise, Idaho. When we were both 18, we moved 3,000 miles across the country to start our freshman year at Wesleyan University together, along with my then 2-year-old daughter, Sydney, whom Alice had known since she was only a few days old. The three of us shared an apartment together in Seattle over summer vacation when Alice and I were 20; after college, we moved to San Francisco and, along with Alice’s then-boyfriend, split the rent on an apartment in the Richmond district for another two and a half years. Today, Sydney and I live in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Alice is a couple hours away in New Haven, Conn.

Alice was the first person I thought of when I heard the news of the so-called pregnancy pact at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts, a story that has been grabbing headlines this week from here to Brazil.

What’s so wrong with a pregnancy pact? | Salon Life

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Wiccian weddings and other things that make for an interesting weekend

Two days ago my older sister got married in a semi-traditional Wiccian ceremony, it was definetly interesting but more importantly it was completely beatiful. It was all outside, you walked down this winding path down a hill into this circular area that was mowed out in the middle of an expansive meadow. Seriously gorgeous. Now, while I’ve been looking forward to this wedding for months; she is my sister and I was the Maid of Honor, what I was most looking forward to, perhaps in a perverse sort of way, was seeing how my conservative mormon father would react to a wiccian cermony. I was not dissapointed.
Wiccian weddings and other things that make for an interesting weekend « A day in the life of a Ginger

I would have loved to be there to see the father’s face. My older daughter just got married in a non-traditional ceremony. I loved it. I can’t imagine anyone who would bother to attend at all acting the way Ginger’s father did. I mean, what’s more important — keeping good relations (with the possibility you might “save” the person later)* or simply displaying non-compassionate self-righteousness?  He made his choice…and it’s likely to cost him in the long run.

*Don’t get the idea I think she needs saving.  I’m simply positing the most logical rationale if you really feel it’s necessary.


Marie Claire Webb 1908 – 2008

My mother, Marie Claire Webb (Mommie Claire to her 55 descendants and hosts of others), died peacefully this morning.
She was 99 years, 5 months and 15 days old.

Mom, her great-great-granddaughter Madison Jones,
and youngest great-granddaughter, Selina Kile
(Christmas, 2005)

Mom was born in Coleraine, Minnesota in 1908, and moved with her family to St. Augustine, FL in 1916, when she was 5 years old. They later moved to Lake Wales, FL, where they settled in an area on the east side of town known as the French Colony. In 1926 she married my father, Capt. Theodore W. Webb, in the first wedding performed at St. Anne’s Shrine.

Shortly after their marriage, Mom and Dad moved from Palm Jungles, their homestead on Lake Pierce northeast of Lake Wales, to Lake Stearns, FL — later renamed Lake Placid. There, they opened and ran the first service station Continue reading

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Ask Pamela Gayle White about Tibetan visualization practice. The noted translator and dharma teacher will be taking questions until December 21.

Buddhism emphasizes the emptiness of all phenomena and does not posit a personal god. Does that mean that Buddhism is amoral and nihilistic? Read Joseph Goldstein‘s answers from our most recently featured Q&A here.

Can you teach your child about death? Read Family Dharma: The Elephant’s Footprint. Beth Roth writes about helping our children understand death.

On Generosity: Gifts That Keep Giving. Joan Duncan Oliver profiles some of the better options for compassionate gift-giving this holiday season.

And keep an eye on our Editor’s Blog where we report on books, Burma and all Buddhist issues of the day!

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Priests are happy without wives

I never have been able to understand lay folk who are obsessed with the abolition of celibacy. It may well be an appropriate modification of the church in a time when most American young men do not find the priesthood an attractive way to spend their life. However, a cursory reading of the research literature on the personal and professional satisfaction among the clergy and reports from the spouses and children of Protestant (and Greek Orthodox and rabbinic) clergy indicates that family relations are an enormous problem for many of them. In addition to the usual problems of spouse and children to which all humans must respond, married clergy are subjected to pressures from their parishioners (who often assume that the spouse is an unpaid member of the parish team) and ecclesiastical authority who often assume that ministerial families must be like Caesar’s wife — beyond reproach in every way.
Priests are happy without wives :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Andrew Greeley


Girl of Yes, and an End to Highways

Carol Guess


Girl of Yes, and an End to Highways

This is the City of Subdued Excitement, a city of one-way streets that unfold into highways and again into alleyways without even a hello. This is a city you can know and un-know on the same day, a city no one owns, although more and more people are buying its views. This is a city where vets cluster in yurts, inching closer and closer to Canada. Sunlight happens three months a year. This is a city of beached whales, rock slides, and ghosts; of serial killers and guard dogs, Minutemen and meth labs, borders and bodies among the ubiquitous greenery. This is a city where art and violence have the same velocity, where someone’s knitting sweaters for the skinniest trees: black and white stripes, pink buttons crawling up the bark.

This is a city of liars and I am in love.

Front Porch Journal


Two Lessons

They took my Aunt Theresa off life support yesterday. She had a good time on her last day, with reason to be very proud of her granddaughter, and died in the arms of a loved one. It was time to let go of the shell, and her family made the right decision. She is no longer there. At some point today or tomorrow her body will stop breathing, and this part of her journey will officially be over. The details of her departure don’t matter.

What does matter are the lessons to be learned. Continue reading