Wednesday, May 15, 2013

UPDATE: when considering school performance Daily Kos: country with most Catholics effectively legalizes gay marriage

Daily Kos: country with most Catholics effectively legalizes gay marriage:

a point to remember when considering school performance

we have seen some schools claiming they are showing improvement in educating students on free or reduced lunch, the standard measure used for children in poverty.
There's something to remember.
First, school performance is highly correlated with family economics and education (children of graduate students qualify as poor but that is offset by parental education0
Second, we have seen increasing numbers of students going on to free and reduced lunch as result of the extended  recession - many families have even run out of unemployment benefits.  The children of such families were not RAISED in poverty but now live in poverty, so they tend to retain the academic performance of the economic class in which they live.
So be careful about claims made by some about how well they are doing educating poor kids.  They may just have seen the number of poor kids increase as families continue to slide downward from the middle class.
Just saying . . .

country with most Catholics effectively legalizes gay marriage

RIO DE JANEIRO — The council overseeing Brazil’s judiciary ruled on Tuesday that notary publics cannot refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, a decision that opens the way for gay couples across Latin America’s largest country to marry.
That is the lead paragraph in Brazilian Court Council Removes a Barrier to Same-Sex Marriage.A few things to note
1.  the council is headed by the the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
2.  it had previously voted to allow civil unions, but some notary publics and some of the local judges supervising them had refused to even do that.
3.  the vote on the council was 14-1.
4.  the ruling also means notaries  reregister civil unions as marriages upon request
5.  this is not in isolation: 10 of Brazil's 27 states had already legislatively legalized same-sex marriages
Still, there is some room for judicial appeals of the Brazilian decision, potentially within the high court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, and resistance may emerge in Congress, where gay-marriage legislation has faced opposition from an influential bloc of evangelical Christian lawmakers. Even so, supporters of same-sex marriage described the council’s decision as pioneering.
Brazil has over 140 million Catholics.  The next largest catholic population is in Mexico, with 98 million.  Same sex marriage is legal in Mexico City, and a few months back the nation's Supreme Court ruled that legislation in Oaxaca state banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional under the national constitution.Uruguay, Argentina, France, Portugal, Spain - all predominantly Catholic countries which already had marriage equality, with Brazil and Mexico now seemingly joining them, and countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and Scandinavian countries.
News i thought worth sharing.

in praise of Wegman's

about which my wife has raved since she first encountered one.  Nearest to us in Arlington VA is one in Fairfax, about a 20 minute drive in non-rush hour traffic.
We were feeling a bit celebratory this evening.  The report from her oncologist was quite good.  We went and she got her hair washed, and then, in search of bitter lemon, we went to Wegman's.
This particular store does not carry Canada Dry, but something a bit pricier, which we will try.  But in wandering the store I was incredibly impressed.   It was after 9 when we got there, a lot of the stuff was being packed up for the evening.  But still . . . .
I was AMAZED at the range of products in a number of categories.  Their house brands on a variety of products have prices that blow away those of other local changes.  I was simply amazed at the range of kosher products they carried.
We did not have enough time to thoroughly explore the store.  But I was impressed.  Very impressed.