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"...There is nothing new about the idea that sex discrimination includes discrimination against transgender people. To the contrary, courts have repeatedly reached that conclusion over the past 15 years in decisions that involve prisons, banks, the workplace and, yes, schools. That’s because it’s impossible to take into account someone’s transgender status or gender identity — their internal sense of being male, female or something else — without taking into account their sex."

"By insisting that more study is warranted to decide whether transgender students should be treated fairly, the government has sent a deeply disturbing message to transgender students that they are less than other students and unworthy of protection."

"That would be a damaging thing for the Department of Education to do to anyone. But it is especially troubling here, given that transgender students already are subject to more violence and harassment — both by other children and by adults — than their peers. These obstacles help explain why many transgender students drop out of school, why nearly half of transgender children have considered suicide and why at least a quarter of them have attempted it."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/opinion/trump-will-lose-the-fight-over-bathrooms-for-transgender-students.html


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"Among the 1.3 million people who sought asylum in Europe in 2015 were nearly a hundred thousand unaccompanied children. Most were from Afghanistan and Syria. Thirteen per cent were younger than fourteen years old."

Do the math: That's close to 2 million unaccompanied, minor children, alone in European countries alien and sometimes hostile to them.

"The data for 2016 are incomplete, but the situation is comparable. Experts estimate that for every child who claims asylum one enters Europe without seeking legal protection. (The number of unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the United States, most of them from Central America, has also increased dramatically in recent years. President Trump’s executive order on immigration, in addition to barring refugees, targets asylum seekers, many of whom are unaccompanied children.) At an age at which most kids need supervision to complete their homework, these children cross continents alone."

"The goal, for the majority of refugees, is to reach one of a group of countries in northern Europe, where unemployment is lower and social support can be more generous. If, in theory, securing a viable future is about making it to Europe, in practice it is about making it across Europe. Unaccompanied minors, navigating unfamiliar terrain in a vacuum of authority, are especially vulnerable travellers."

"The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which all E.U. member states are signatories, mandates that the “best interests” of children govern every aspect of their treatment. Once they arrive in Europe, they have a right to medical care, psychological counselling, and legal aid, but many of them aren’t getting any of those services. They have a right to education, but often they aren’t getting that, either."

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/europes-child-refugee-crisis


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Do not poor women deserve access to the power to determine whether or not they become pregnant? The Gates foundation thinks so.

This is an exceptional act of philanthropy.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/accordingtomatthew/2017/02/the-gates-foundation-will-provide-birth-control-to-women-who-lose-it-under-trump/

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Human nature is fundamentally good. We have excellent documentation of this. But this nature does not come into the world fully developed. This is where parents become critical.

What can parents do to aid that "full development" of their children's good nature? Here are seven superb research-supported recommendations, from psychologists at Harvard University.

http://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/parenting-resources-raising-caring-ethical-children/raising-caring-children

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Life gets incredibly challenging for most of us at some point. No one escapes this risk. Scott Hamilton's remarks in this brief video reflect a powerful sense of the value of simply being alive. Definitely worth a moment of your time...

A truly lovely man. He always has been, and still very much is.

What he's talking about here is given a rich, full treatment in Carol Dweck's book Mindset. (She's a Stanford psych. professor.)

The most powerful summary of it, burning right through all words and thought, is this, variously attributed to Buddha and to meditation guru Jack Kornfield -

The trouble is...you think you have time.

http://people.com/sports/scott-hamilton-facing-third-brain-tumor-diagnosis/


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Leading mental health professionals publish statement deeming Donald Trump incapable of safe leadership of our country. "We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president."

"Silence from the country’s mental health organizations [on this matter, due to a long-standing rule]...has resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time. We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer."

"Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions."

His behavior and statements "...suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists)."

"In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed."

Thirty six psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers have signed this letter, led by LANCE DODES (retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School) and JOSEPH SCHACHTER (former chairman of the Committee on Research Proposals, International Psychoanalytic Association).

http://www.lancedodes.com/new-york-times-letter

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Nicholas Kristof - on the United States of Insanity. A full throated roar not to be missed....

"In the four decades between 1975 and 2015, terrorists born in the seven nations in Trump’s travel ban killed zero people in America, according to the Cato Institute. Zero."

"In that same period, guns claimed 1.34 million lives in America, including murders, suicides and accidents. That’s about as many people as live in Boston and Seattle combined."

"It’s also roughly as many Americans as died in all the wars in American history since the American Revolution, depending on the estimate used for Civil War dead."

THAT is how badly we have lost our way in the USA. Our leadership is livid about a non-existent problem, and refuses to acknowledge an appallingly real one. And in case you don't get it: getting killed IS the ultimate trauma. Also, about those NOT killed - the family, relatives, friends, and neighbors of those killed - what to you think these killings to do them?

Last year, the chances of being killed in the USA BECAUSE you're a Muslim are 6 times greater than the chances of being killed BY a Muslim. So...leadership says, let's ban Muslims. Also any semblance of rational thought, while we're at it...

Then we come to husbands...."Above all, fear spouses: Husbands are incomparably more deadly in America than jihadist terrorists. And husbands are so deadly in part because in America they have ready access to firearms, even when they have a history of violence. In other countries, brutish husbands put wives in hospitals; in America, they put them in graves."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/11/opinion/sunday/husbands-are-deadlier-than-terrorists.html

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"...Allowing patients to inflict mild self-injuries may be less confrontational, more respectful, and ultimately more effective than standard approaches....Restricting that behavior could intensify patients' feelings of powerlessness and exacerbate their underlying problems."

A current proponent of this view argues that "There are a number of people who self-injure as a means of coping with feelings of overwhelming distress. By preventing such individuals from injuring themselves, it is possible to increase such distress with the result that the desire to self-injure becomes overwhelming. This may result in more extreme attempts at self-injury."

As an alternative to forcible interventions, he suggested "...alternatives for mitigating the behavior, such as the provision of sterile cutting implements; better education on how to self-injure more safely to avoid blood poisoning (sepsis) and infection; and therapy to help individuals understand and cope with their behavior."

"He drew a parallel with drug addicts, for whom harm minimization is now accepted practice. In some situations, users are provided with clean needles and safe environments intended to reduce their short-term health risks while treatment of their underlying problems may be pursued."

Read the whole article, if you can, then: What do YOU think of this proposal?

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/GeneralPsychiatry/63040

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"...As far back as 2009, majorities of Russians have viewed domestic violence as a serious problem in their country and perceived government efforts to stop it as falling short. Although slightly fewer thought this when Gallup last asked the question in 2015, majorities still feel this way."

"Domestic violence is endemic in Russia, and government figures show women account for the majority of the country's victims. The country's interior ministry estimates that 36,000 Russian women are beaten by their husbands every day and that 12,000 Russian women die each year from domestic violence -- one woman every 44 minutes. This helps explain why women in Russia (65%) are significantly more likely than men (50%) to think domestic violence is a serious problem."

"...Women in rural areas of Russia, which tend to be poorer and have higher incidence of alcoholism that is often linked to domestic violence, are more likely to say domestic violence is a problem (71%) than those in big cities or suburbs (60%). Men's opinions do not change regardless of where they live."

http://www.gallup.com/poll/203798/majority-russia-domestic-violence-serious-problem.aspx
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