Unity08 and Sam Waterston On “Colbert Report” Tonight!

26 09 2007

Sam Waterston, Emmy-winning actor and Unity08 spokesperson,

will be on The Colbert Report

Wednesday, September 26 at 11:30pm ET.



Right Thinking About Parent Rights: Polygamy and Homeschooling

26 09 2007

With the Warren Jeffs guilty verdict in the news today, you might have your synapses stimulated by the provocative discussion last summer (August 2006) at Tad the Rational Mormon Dad’s.


I ask these questions not because I support polygamy (one wife at a time is more than enough for me, thank you!) but because I want to explore where the lines are with regard to the state’s power and responsibility to protect children and the parent’s right to control the child’s upbringing. Does the same reasoning apply here that supports our right to homeschool? If not, then why not?
Here is the scenario: A fourteen-year-old girl is “married” in religion that believes in plural marriage. The girl’s parents, who are also members of this religion, consent and even encourage the arrangement.

Here are the questions:

Does the state have a right to prohibit this religious group from practicing plural marriage (polygamy), or it the practice protected by the “Free Exercise” clause of the First Amendment?

Does the state have a right to override the parental consent and intervene to prevent the child from entering into this arrangement? Is there a legitimate state interest to protect the child?

Have the parents or the “husband” committed an act of child sexual abuse?

Is the girl competent to make her own decision in this matter?

Then here’s a mash-up of my three comments, that might (or might not!) make a sort of stand-alone sense taken together:

We Talkin’ Ethics or Law?

Are we mainly talkin’ right-wrong, or right-left?
Religion, politics, or only the intersection of the two?

Or just sort of mixing and matching?

What’s been wrought against women and children historically has been in the name of almost everything. Hard to know where to jump in. . . Read the rest of this entry »

How Education Produces Health: A Hypothetical Framework

26 09 2007

Columbia University – Teachers College Record
Date Published: September 12, 2007
ID Number: 14606

by Peter Muennig — September 12, 2007

Background: High school graduates live six to nine years longer than high school dropouts. Those with less education are more likely to die prematurely of cardiovascular disease, cancer, infectious disease, diabetes, lung disease, and injury than those with more education. Although there is growing evidence that the education-health relationship is causal, and some mechanisms linking education to health have been proposed, there is no gestalt for thinking about the health production function of education.

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to outline the mechanisms through which education may produce health.

Design: I explore the health risk factors that are more prevalent among those with lower educational attainment to ascertain whether such risk factors plausibly cause the diseases for which the less educated are at risk. To examine these relationships, I conduct a review of the public health, economics, endocrinology, sociology, neurosciences, and other literatures.

Conclusions: A remarkably clear path can be drawn between what we now believe to be the risk factors for disease and the primary causes of death among those with lower attainment. Although hypothetical, the pathways outlined in this article can be used as a basis for thinking about the health production function of education.

These mechanisms may better allow policy makers to understand the relationship between education and health. They may also be used to guide future research on the health benefits of education.

Finally, although the proposed pathways are hypothetical, there is good overall evidence that education produces health. Therefore, health benefits should be included as core outcome measures in future education research.