Send Cards to Ryland Ward

I found this on Twitter just now.  Here’s the address, in case the screenshot doesn’t show up well on your device: Ryland Ward P.O. Box 174 Sutherland Springs, TX 78161 Ryland is recovering in a hospital from injuries suffered in the Sutherland Springs Church shooting.  His mother and two sisters were killed.  Please send him the most beautiful card you can find, and include a nice note. Continue reading Send Cards to Ryland Ward

How Brexit May Affect Some Children

The 2016 referendum for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union wasn’t thought out too carefully, and that didn’t stop it from winning a majority vote. All over the world, families have been broken up for different reasons.  Not all child abductions are stranger abductions, either.  A child might be separated from one parent when the parents’ marriage splits up, and the child moves out of the area with the other parent — willingly or unwillingly.  In some of these situations, a child’s physical health, safety or mental stability may be at risk. In the European Union, some children … Continue reading How Brexit May Affect Some Children

Red Nose Day

If you shop at Walgreen’s, you’ve heard of Red Nose Day.  In the U.S., that’s today (May 25).  Do you know what Red Nose Day is, though? I’ve donated online because that seems preferable to buying the plastic toys, pens, etc. at Walgreen’s.  The novelty items raise a lot of money, though, and given the importance of helping young people I guess I won’t knock it.  Here’s a link to a FAQ page on the organization’s official site, describing how fundraising works in the United States and which nonprofits benefit: https://rednoseday.org/frequently-asked-questions A separate Red Nose Day fundraising drive (with different … Continue reading Red Nose Day

Yes, it’s Important Education

(Disclaimer: I am not an educator or health professional.  The opinions in this blog post are based on personal experience and observation) I live in California, where a terribly misguided legislative bill was passed and signed by the Governor sometime after I left school.  The law, which is still in effect after more than thirty years, requires parental consent before students in taxpayer funded (public) schools can receive sex education. I remember the arguments in favor of the bill, and most were centered on parental entitlement.  Parents wanted to control what their kids were told about sex, and in some … Continue reading Yes, it’s Important Education

Why the Anti-Vaxxers are Wrong

Disclaimer:  I have no background in healthcare.  My own opinions regarding health issues are based on personal experience, observation and print material available to general readers. Please click the two links at the end of this post.  One goes to an outstanding New York Times op-ed piece by Dr. Peter J. Hotez, and the other goes to an American Academy of Pediatrics document with additional links to research documents on childhood vaccines. I’ll admit I haven’t looked very closely at the latter. We can’t argue with the claim that a small number of people have become very ill after receiving one … Continue reading Why the Anti-Vaxxers are Wrong

Another Bullying-Induced Suicide

Update:  In an article and video report posted on an ABC affiliate site, a spokesperson with the Diocese states that an effort was made to help Danny Fitzpatrick.  A link to that story appears at the end of this post.  What happened to thirteen year-old Danny Fitzpatrick was preventable.  Adults should not have allowed other children to harass him in the first place. Personally, I wasn’t aware of recent news reports on bullying victims’ suicides until I saw this article on Gothamist’s site.  That doesn’t mean bullied children stopped committing suicide until this month, though. News coverage of an ongoing … Continue reading Another Bullying-Induced Suicide

“Not A Monster”

Anyone is capable of doing horrible things, when the circumstances are complicated or a person is too disturbed to know any better. Our society has a weird system of deciding when people who commit the unspeakable should receive harsh treatment, leniency or be set loose with no rhyme or reason.  With some exceptions (Dan White’s and O.J. Simpson’s murder trials are notable), jury verdicts reflect public opinion.  An insanity verdict or outright acquittal — when there’s no question about the defendant’s physical involvement in a crime — is most likely to be reached by a jury when the defendant receives … Continue reading “Not A Monster”