Friday, June 18, 2010

NYTIMES writes about the evils of having a best friend as a child.

The under 30 crowd in this country is going to so screwed up by these child "experts" they will not have a functional social life or the ability to deal with problems.
One might be tempted to feel some sympathy for the younger son. After all, from Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, the childhood “best friend” has long been romanticized in literature and pop culture — not to mention in the sentimental memories of countless adults.

But increasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise their parents: Should a child really have a best friend?

Most children naturally seek close friends. In a survey of nearly 3,000 Americans ages 8 to 24 conducted last year by Harris Interactive, 94 percent said they had at least one close friend. But the classic best-friend bond — the two special pals who share secrets and exploits, who gravitate to each other on the playground and who head out the door together every day after school — signals potential trouble for school officials intent on discouraging anything that hints of exclusivity, in part because of concerns about cliques and bullying.

“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

“Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,” she continued. “We say he doesn’t need a best friend.”

".....For many child-rearing experts, the ideal situation might well be that of Matthew and Margaret Guest, 12-year-old twins in suburban Atlanta, who almost always socialize in a pack. One typical Friday afternoon, about 10 boys and girls filled the Guest family backyard. Kids were jumping on the trampoline, shooting baskets and playing manhunt, a variation on hide-and-seek.

Neither Margaret nor Matthew has ever had a best friend. “I just really don’t have one person I like more than others,” Margaret said. “Most people have lots of friends.” Matthew said he considers 12 boys to be his good friends and says he sees most of them “pretty much every weekend.”

"....“I don’t think it’s particularly healthy for a child to rely on one friend,” said Jay Jacobs, the camp’s director. “If something goes awry, it can be devastating. It also limits a child’s ability to explore other options in the world.”

But such an attitude worries some psychologists who fear that children will be denied the strong emotional support and security that comes with intimate friendships.

“Do we want to encourage kids to have all sorts of superficial relationships? Is that how we really want to rear our children?” asked Brett Laursen, a psychology professor at Florida Atlantic University whose specialty is peer relationships. “Imagine the implication for romantic relationships. We want children to get good at leading close relationships, not superficial ones.”

Many psychologists believe that close childhood friendships not only increase a child’s self-esteem and confidence, but also help children develop the skills for healthy adult relationships — everything from empathy, the ability to listen and console, to the process of arguing and making up. If children’s friendships are choreographed and sanitized by adults, the argument goes, how is a child to prepare emotionally for both the affection and rejection likely to come later in life?"

A child having a best friend is normal in life. He/she is the first you can tell secrets or get in trouble with and pal around during your childhood years. It helps you to have social skills that will be with you for the rest of your life.

Having a group of people around you with scheduled playtime is not the same as having one or two best friends. This is setting up a generation for shallow superficial relationships that will not help them in life.

Of course Obama did a chicago shakedown of BP for his new slush fund.

The problem is Barton screwed up the point which was articulated a lot better by Rep. Tom Price of Georgia.
Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, used similar terminology yesterday when he described the process the White House used to get the fund as “Chicago-style shakedown politics.”

“BP’s reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics,” said Price in a statement. “These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration’s drive for greater power and control. It is the same mentality that believes an economic crisis or an environmental disaster is the best opportunity to pursue a failed liberal agenda. The American people know much better.”

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Texas stays in the Big 12 as the conference survives.

Interesting as it looks like Texas used the Pac 10 to scare up more money in the long run while the Pac 10 gets also ran Colorado and Nebraska moves up to the Big 10. Now who will the Big 12 get to replace those teams? TCU seems a good bet as one.

Christopher Eccleston "reveals" why he left Doctor Who

Reveals in a way that is inviting more questions than anything else.
Actor Christopher Eccleston quit Doctor Who after one series because he "didn't enjoy the environment and the culture" of the show.

Eccleston, who is about to star in BBC Four biopic Lennon Naked, took on the role of the Time Lord when Russell T Davies revamped Doctor Who in 2005.

He told the Radio Times he was proud of the show but "wasn't comfortable" working on it.

"I think it's more important to be your own man than be successful, so I left."
Eccleston, the ninth Doctor announced he was leaving after just one series to be replaced by David Tennant.

"I was open-minded but I decided after my experience on the first series that I didn't want to do any more," he said.

"I didn't enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in.

"I thought if I stay in this job, I'm going to have to blind myself to certain things that I thought were wrong."

Bloomberg - Apple Under Growing Government Pressure to Ease Software Limits

About time someone go after Apple. Jobs is trying to succeed where he failed in the 80's with Macs in controlling a market only this time is the smartphone market. The problem is Apple is making rules designed to stop only certain competitors. The Admob move was stupid because it looks like an act of revenge against Google. If they had ban all third party ad tools, they probably could get away with it but tailoring rules that just go after Admob invited ever more government pressure and at this point Apple needs to be taken down a couple of notches.

Apple Inc., under growing scrutiny from antitrust regulators, may have to loosen restrictions on software developers and music labels to avoid legal wrangling with the government and prevent damage to how its brand is perceived by the public, lawyers and analysts said.

Federal Trade Commission officials are preparing to review allegations that Apple is trying to trammel rivalry in mobile advertising, people familiar with the matter said last week. Regulators were already weighing a probe of Apple’s treatment of Adobe Systems Inc., and the U.S. Justice Department has made preliminary inquiries into Apple’s behavior in the music market.

The heightened scrutiny may prompt the company to give programmers more leeway in how they build applications for Apple products, said Andrew Gavil, who teaches antitrust law at Howard University in Washington. The inquiries indicate government concern that Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs may be trying to exert too much control over industries as varied as digital music, software development and mobile advertising.

“Apple needs to be prepared that all of their actions will be put under a microscope,” said Michael Gartenberg, a partner at the Altimeter Group in San Mateo, California. “They need to make sure they don’t cross the line.”

Cost of Fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? up to $1 trillion.

The biggest bailout in America that no one is talking about in the MSM.
The cost of fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies that last year bought or guaranteed three-quarters of all U.S. home loans, will be at least $160 billion and could grow to as much as $1 trillion after the biggest bailout in American history.

Fannie and Freddie, now 80 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers, already have drawn $145 billion from an unlimited line of government credit granted to ensure that home buyers can get loans while the private housing-finance industry is moribund. That surpasses the amount spent on rescues of American International Group Inc., General Motors Co. or Citigroup Inc., which have begun repaying their debts.

“It is the mother of all bailouts,” said Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae, who is now a consultant to the mortgage-finance industry.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Obama wants $50 Billion to bailout Public Sector Unions.

States are spending beyond their means and this is just a band-aid request to keep covering up the mess that needs to be fixed.
President Obama is pressing Congress to approve emergency aid money to support economic recovery and help avoid widespread layoffs of public workers, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Congressional leaders received a letter from the president asking for almost $50 billion for distribution to state and local governments, saying that increased spending is “urgent and unavoidable,” the Post reported. The money would protect the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters.

“Because the urgency is high—many school districts, cities and states are already being forced to make these layoffs,” Obama wrote, “these provisions must be passed as quickly as possible.”

Obama’s plea comes despite last year’s $787 billion economic stimulus package, which worked to stabilize the failing economy, but did little to help the country’s high unemployment rate. At 9.7 percent, unemployment is nearly the same as it was a year ago.

Many economists are optimistic that packages such as this one could lower unemployment, but member of neither party seem eager to allow further spending; Republican concerns over record deficits are making Democrats think twice about approving more of Obama’s costly initiatives, the Post reported.