November 14, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 6:21 PM


Strengthening The American Family After COVID (RACHEL ANDERSON, 11/14/20, American Conservative)

The pandemic may have strengthened family-life in surprising ways. In the 2020 American Family Survey, the majority of Americans in a relationship said they had more appreciation for their partner because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More married Americans felt their marriage was stronger than in years past. Family identity became even more salient. Eighty percent of those who have children saying their identity as a parent was extremely or very important to them, up from 71 percent in the past. A quarter of Americans say they are living with extended family, more than in recent years.

A shift in family practices and routines could help drive these attitude changes. Families are likely to say that they ate dinner on a daily basis--54 percent--than they have in the five years prior. A survey of couples conducted in mid-April found that fathers are doing more childcare and household work. With schools and day care centers closed, millions of parents are engaged in child care, homeschooling, and navigating zoom-school--sometimes simultaneously with paid work.

Young people are one of the beneficiaries of this season of family togetherness. Surveying teens in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade, the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) found that rates of depression and loneliness among teens were lower during 2020's pandemic conditions than they were pre-pandemic in 2018. The authors of the Teens in Quarantine study, Jean Twenge, Sarah Coyne, Brad Wilcox, and Jason Carroll link these improvements in teen mental health to increased sleep and family connection. Significantly more teens report getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night during the pandemic than they did prior to quarantine. Sixty-eight percent of teens said that their families have become closer during the pandemic. Majorities of teens also said they were spending more time talking to parents, that they ate dinner together more often, and felt closer to their family. Those who spent more time with their families and felt their families were closer were less likely to be depressed.

IFS's findings are consistent with many others linking parental involvement to young people's health and development. Early parent-child bonding forms the basis for emotional and cognitive development. Parental involvement with teens boosts academic performance and mental health. The benefits from father-child involvement are well-documented: toddlers whose fathers laughed and praised them are less likely to be distressed by frustrating situations, teens do better in school and are more likely to exhibit greater confidence when engaged with a father who expresses love and acceptance.

UBI is the conservative family values policy.

Posted by orrinj at 6:14 PM


Posted by orrinj at 6:00 PM


How this entrepreneur is working to help Black women build generational wealth through homeownership (Megan DeMatteo, 11/14/20, CNBC)

Generational wealth refers to any kind of asset that families pass down to their children or grandchildren, whether in the form of cash, investment funds, stocks and bonds, properties or even entire companies.

One of the most common ways that people inherit and pass on generational wealth is with real estate, which is what motivated Halstead to start Black Women Build.

"You enter the middle class through homeownership, right? That's the leap. You're able to understand that you're building equity," she says.

And equity makes a difference: When you sell or refinance your home, you can draw on your equity and leverage it to grow your wealth more or improve your life in other ways. This could include moving to a more expensive house, making home improvements, padding your retirement, paying for your child's college tuition or investing in a business venture with the potential to increase your income. This allows for a kind of social mobility and risk taking that people without wealth simply can't afford.

Halstead, who between the age of 30 and 35, bought and rehabbed four homes, also believes that generational wealth comes in the form of education, too. Her parents taught her about budgeting and helped her understand borrowing and credit so she was confident when she set out to build her own wealth through homeownership. She also considers her carpentry skills a form of wealth to pass along to others, as they can save a person thousands in renovation costs and quickly help increase a property's value.

Baby Boomers hold the majority of U.S. wealth, Bloomberg reported in October, citing Federal Reserve data. Their share of the pie equates to $59.6 trillion, or twice Generation X's $28.5 trillion and more than 10 times than millennials.

Millennials, who are the biggest generation in the workforce, control just 5.19% of U.S. wealth and would have to quadruple their wealth in order to match what Baby Boomers had at their age.

In addition to age-based wealth disparities, the racial wealth gap in the U.S. is larger today than it was in 1960 due to the legacy of redlining, a practice in which banks impose obstacles like higher APRs, fewer loan approvals and higher risk profiles for mortgage applicants in historically Black communities.

While homeownership is on the rise among across the board, Black Americans still have the lowest rate of homeownership compared to other racial groups. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans have a homeownership rate of 76%, Hispanic Americans have a homeownership rate of 51.4% and Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders have a homeownership rate of 61.4%. That's compared to the 46.4% homeownership rate for Black Americans.

One of the early indicators that Trumpism was metastasizing in the GOP was the psychotic resentment concerning sub-prime borrowers buying homes.

Posted by orrinj at 1:09 PM


South Dakota's failed Swedish-style COVID experiment (Dr Simon Clarke, November 14, 2020, Spectator USA)

When the pandemic first hit the US, the 'Plains States', including South Dakota, escaped relatively lightly. On April 15, coronavirus daily diagnoses in South Dakota peaked at 181. The daily death count topped out on May 6 when five people passed away. This time around, however, South Dakota has not been so fortunate.

Over the last week, South Dakota has recorded stark COVID-19 death rates and its hospitals are rapidly filling up with COVID patients. How did this happen? Because its governor adopted an extreme libertarian approach and resisted imposing any orders for people to stay at home, instead preferring to give residents the freedom to continue their lives as they liked, with no mandate on masks or stay-at-home orders.

Besides shoppers and workers being told to keep their distance from each other, for the most part, South Dakota's governor, Kristi Noem, has refused to place any restrictions on people's lives. In April, she complained that 'so many people [had given] up their liberties for just a little bit of security'. Over the summer, as many as 500,000 people attended a mass motorcycle rally in the state.

Posted by orrinj at 1:00 PM


North Dakota Governor Issues 'Data-Driven' Mask Mandate but Exempts Religious Services (JAMES CROWLEY, 11/14/20, Newsweek)

In a video shared on Friday night, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum announced new state-wide requirements to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The new requirements state that people must wear masks in indoor businesses and in public spaces where social distancing isn't possible. Burgum provided an exemption for religious services, however, despite documented cases across the nation of church gatherings being responsible for COVID-19 outbreaks.

Posted by orrinj at 1:00 PM


North Dakota Governor Issues 'Data-Driven' Mask Mandate but Exempts Religious Services (JAMES CROWLEY, 11/14/20, Newsweek)

In a video shared on Friday night, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum announced new state-wide requirements to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The new requirements state that people must wear masks in indoor businesses and in public spaces where social distancing isn't possible. Burgum provided an exemption for religious services, however, despite documented cases across the nation of church gatherings being responsible for COVID-19 outbreaks.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


'Purely outlandish stuff': Trump's legal machine grinds to a halt (MARC CAPUTO, 11/13/2020, Politico)

A Michigan lawyer for Donald Trump's campaign filed a case in the wrong court. Lawsuits in Arizona and Nevada were dropped. A Georgia challenge was quickly rejected for lack of evidence. His Pennsylvania legal team just threw in the towel.

The president's legal machine -- the one papering swing states with lawsuits and affidavits in support of Trump's unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud -- is slowly grinding to a halt after suffering a slew of legal defeats and setbacks.

As Benjamin Wittes said on yesterday's Bulwark podcast: Donald has created a world for himself and his acolytes in which reality is not a significant variable. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Biden Poised to Deep Six Much of Trump Legacy With Executive Orders. (David Kraydenon, November 13, 2020, Human Events)

Biden is also poised to roll back President Trump's travel ban (that stalls the movement of terrorists into the United States), rejoin the job-killing Paris climate accord, reinstate America's membership in the World Health Organization, repeal President Trump's ban on government employees being subject to absurd critical race theory indoctrination, and issue a 100-day ban on the deportation of illegal immigrants. [...]

The woke-geo-politicking doesn't stop there. Ever since President Trump announced our departure, Biden and the Democrats have long been anxious to bring the United States back into the Paris Climate accord that was part of former President Barack Obama's legacy who called it "a turning point for the world." Trump rightly pointed out, however, that the accord was nothing but political hot air, empty rhetoric that did nothing to curb global polluters like China and India, and forced a burden of guilt on American workers. It was not easy for America to extricate itself from this burdensome commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, somewhat ironically, given the timing, after four years of trying, the U.S. only officially left this month. When the decision to leave was first announced, it was applauded by Republican lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who said, "By withdrawing from this unattainable mandate, President Trump has reiterated his commitment to protecting middle class families across the country and workers throughout coal country from higher energy prices and potential job loss."

The ban on critical race theory training came late in Trump's presidency, and was likely prompted by several media reports that exposed how multi-day workshops assaulted federal workers with left-wing doctrines of "white privilege" and demanded they admit to their guilt in oppressing women, gay people, all racial minorities, and the subjects of Michael Moore films. "This is a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue. Please report any sightings so we can quickly extinguish!" President Trump tweeted.

There will be a plethora of such sightings if Biden has his way. What plagues America isn't just the reversals he's promising to enact, however. It's also the new policies the former Vice President is hinting at. His potential to quickly eradicate any semblance of border security, for instance, is another sign of the febrile administration that Americans can see looming on the horizon.

As a Democratic presidential candidate, Biden promised to provide taxpayer-funded health care to illegal immigrants. As the nominee, he pledged to order a 100-day moratorium on the deportation of illegal immigrants. This likely won't be where things stop--can you imagine the uproar from the liberal media and Biden's own Bolshevik squad members if he resumes deportation after 100 days? In truth, Biden is probably also amenable to abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that so many Democratic lawmakers love to hate. Didn't Vice President-Elect (God help us) Kamala Harris once hilariously but absolutely seriously compare ICE to the Ku Klux Klan? Yes, she did.

Former ICE Director Tom Homan said United States sovereignty is at stake as Biden prepares to put a welcome mat at the Mexican border. "It all goes away on day one," Homan told "Fox & Friends." "We lose the border under a Biden administration because he made promises to stop deportations, end ICE detention [and] give free health care."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Vatican to make switch to electric cars (J-P Mauro , 11/14/20, Aleteia)

Vatican officials say they are planning to gradually replace their fleet of service vehicles with low-emission electric models. The move would be the latest in a series of initiatives meant to reduce the Vatican's impact on the environment, following the guidelines set by Pope Francis' encyclical on environmental conservation, "Laudato Si'."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Did People's TV Watching Habits Get Better During the Coronavirus Pandemic? (Catherine Johnson Lauren Dempsey, 11/13/20, National Interest)

When TV viewing went up overall during the spring lockdown, the greatest growth was in streaming services, while increased viewing for live TV was primarily driven by news consumption. After lockdown was relaxed, it was streaming that retained its uplift, while time spent watching broadcast TV gradually declined back to normal levels.

Coronavirus fundamentally changed people's reasons for watching TV. Whereas before it was often associated with distraction and unwinding, the people we spoke to were rife with anxiety and turned to TV to relieve the stress of COVID-19. Television provided a sanctuary during lockdown for those seeking familiar and "safe" content which offered an escape from the worrying realities of the pandemic.

They valued companionship much more than before, regularly viewing at home with other members of their family. TV became more of a talking point - within the household and on social media - allowing a sense of connection with others. Online streaming services were particularly effective at fulfilling these needs - seen as safe spaces with content that everyone could enjoy.

Despite the absence of literal water coolers to gather round, we've revived water cooler shows virtually.