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US adults are dumber than the average human

WASHINGTON — It’s long been known that America’s school kids haven’t measured well compared with international peers. Now, there’s a new twist: Adults don’t either.

In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released Tuesday.

Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test. Beyond basic reading and math, respondents were tested on activities such as calculating mileage reimbursement due to a salesman, sorting email and comparing food expiration dates on grocery store tags.

Not only did Americans score poorly compared to many international competitors, the findings reinforced just how large the gap is between the nation’s high- and low-skilled workers and how hard it is to move ahead when your parents haven’t.

In both reading and math, for example, those with college-educated parents did better than those whose parents did not complete high school.

The study, called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, found that it was easier on average to overcome this and other barriers to literacy overseas than in the United States.

Researchers tested about 166,000 people ages 16 to 65 in more than 20 countries and subnational regions. The test was developed and released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of mostly industrialized member countries. The Education Department’s Center for Education Statistics participated.

Read the rest here: http://nypost.com/2013/10/08/us-adults-are-dumber-than-the-average-human/

Well, Shucks. Y’All Are Makin’ Us Blush.

I had to post this truly touching review from the Snoring Scholar of Lisa and my new book Just Married:  A Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First 5 Years of Marriage. oh, the things I would’ve missed if I hadn’t read Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage, by [Read More...]

Pope Francis Calls Extraordinary Synod on the Family

HUGE NEWS!   Here’s reporter, John Thavis,  on the announcement. Pope Francis has decided to devote the next Synod of Bishops to family pastoral issues, setting the stage for a far-ranging discussion that is likely to touch on questions concerning divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitation and annulments. The synod will take place in October of 2014, [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – October 8, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on October 8

4:00 – By What Authority?: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition
In a newly updated, expanded version of his popular testimony, By What Authority?: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition, Mark Sheapresents a lively and entertaining look at his conversion to Catholicism from Evangelicalism and his discovery of Christian tradition. As an Evangelical, Shea accepted the principle of “sola scriptura” (Scripture alone) as the basis of faith. Now as a Catholic convert, he skillfully explains how and why Sacred Tradition occupies a central role in Divine Revelation. He joins us today to tell that story.

5:00 – Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative
Engagingly, writing as if to old friends and foes, in his memoir, Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative, Michael Novak shows how Providence (not deliberate choice) placed him in the middle of many crucial events of his time: a month in wartime Vietnam, the student riots of the 1960s, the Reagan revolution, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Bill Clinton’s welfare reform, and the struggles for human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also spent fascinating days, sometimes longer, with inspiring leaders like Sargent Shriver, Bobby Kennedy, George McGovern, Jack Kemp, Václav Havel, President Reagan, Lady Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II, who helped shape—and reshape—his political views. Yet through it all his focus on helping the poor and defending universal human rights remained constant; he gradually came to see building small businesses and envy-free democracies as the only realistic way to build free societies. Without protections for liberties of conscience and economic creativity, democracies will fail. Free societies need three liberties in one: economic liberty, political liberty, and liberty of spirit. Michael tells us his story.

Speaking of NFP, The Atlantic Discovers Something Faithful Catholics Have Known All Along

There was a terrific article in The Atlantic last week on the growing awareness and promotion of Natural Family Planning by secular medical professionals (who prefer to refer to it as Fertility Awareness Based Methods–FABM).  Really good piece.  …surveys  conducted by physicians at the University of Utah show that when natural fertility-awareness methods are described to [Read More...]

Real Catholic Love and Sex Takes on the Ultra-Traditionalists on NFP So I Don’t Have To

Really good piece over at Real Catholic Love and Sex on the struggle of ultra-traditionalists to accept Natural Family Planning.   Here’s a taste. Ultra-traditionalist Catholics don’t get a pass on this any more than “Catholics for Choice”. “More Catholic than the Pope” is simply another form of protest and yet another way of being “Protestant”. [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – October 7, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on October 7

4:00 – Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, a Free Economy, and Human Flourishing
Over the past fifty years, increasing numbers of American Catholics have abandoned the economic positions associated with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and chosen to embrace the principles of economic freedom and limited government: ideals upheld by Ronald Reagan and the Tea Party movement but also deeply rooted in the American Founding. This shift, alongside America’s growing polarization around economic questions, has generated fierce debates among Catholic Americans in recent years. Can a believing Catholic support free markets? Does the Catholic social justice commitment translate directly into big government? Do limited government Catholic Americans have something unique to contribute to the Church’s thinking about the economic challenges confronting all Catholics around the globe? Samuel Gregg draws upon Catholic teaching, natural law theory, and the thought of the only Catholic Signer of America’s Declaration of Independence to develop a Catholic case for the values and institutions associated with the free economy, limited government, and America’s experiment in ordered liberty. 

4:40 – Kresta Comments – Is the Pope Catholic? Two Columnists Say “No”

5:00 – Helping Disabled Catholics Access the Fullness of the Faith
The National Catholic Partnership on Disability is an organization that works collaboratively and effectively with the USCCB, dioceses and archdioceses and Catholic ministries across the country.  The mission is to help create access to faith for Catholics with disabilities.  This work is broad and deep, and includes creating specialized resources for faith formation and sacramental preparation, outreach to Hispanic families, as well as a vibrant program to support families facing an unexpected prenatal diagnosis, among many others.  NCPD estimates there are about 14 million Catholics with some kind of a disability that need more access to the faith. Executive Director Jan Bentonjoins us. 

5:40 – Kresta Comments – Is the Pope Catholic? Two Columnists Say “No”

Let’s All Panic Over Franciscogenic Papal Change!!!!!!!

This morning, I read Dolan confirms error in Scalfari interview in the National Catholic Reporter. It confirms that there was at least one factual error in Scalfari’s interview: he suggests that Francis, upon hearing of his election, left the Sistine Chapel, panicked, wanted to decline, then got his head together, felt better, and went out to get dressed. But
As veteran Italian Vatican writer Andrea Tornielli has pointed out, however, there is no room next to the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square, which is located in the middle of a long hallway, raising doubt about the literal accuracy of the quotation.
In any event, Dolan said, the sequence put on the pope’s lips by Scalfari is out of order.
Francis did not hesitate before accepting his election, Dolan said, although there was a moment later when he paused in prayer before stepping out onto the balcony for the “Habemus Papam” announcement.

Okay, not such a big deal, right? We’re still weathering this huge FRANCIS CRISIS, which is going to spell DOOM AND DISASTER for everybody and everything, and the SEA LEVELS WILL RISE and there will be GIRL CARDINALS, and puppy dog cardinals, and Benedict’s name will be chiseled off all the walls, and the speaking of Latin will be punished with excommunication, and there will be dogs and cats living together, and so on.
Then there’s this:

Respected French Vatican writer Jean-Marie Guénois confirmed with Scalfari that he didn’t tape the interview, nor did he take notes, so the text was an after-the-fact reconstruction.

He didn’t tape the interview. He didn’t take notes.

He didn’t tape the interview. He didn’t take notes.

He didn’t tape the interview. He didn’t take notes.

Read the rest here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/simchafisher/2013/10/05/lets-all-panic-over-franciscogenic-papal-change/

The deafening silence on the slaughter of Christians overseas

Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:07 EST
Oct. 4, 2013 (Breakpoint) – On September 22, suicide bombers connected to the Pakistani Taliban entered All Souls Anglican Church in Peshawar during services. The resulting explosion killed 78 men, women and children.

It was only the most recent attack on Pakistani Christians, who make up just two percent of the country’s population. Apparently, even that tiny percentage is too high for some there.
What’s happening in Pakistan is, in turn, part of a larger global pattern. As we’ve said on BreakPoint, Christians around the world are often “harassed, arrested, jailed, tortured, raped, beaten, and killed.” Christian “churches and homes are bombed or burned to the ground.” Children are even “taken from their Christian parents lest they become too tainted with faith in Jesus.”

Yet the vast majority of Americans, and American Christians, would be surprised to hear we’re living in what’s been called “the age of martyrs.”

Kirsten Powers of the Daily Beast has had enough of what she calls the “deafening silence” on this issue, especially from American Christians. The lead to her recent column reads like an indictment: “Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so.”

In addition to the Peshawar attack, she points to the recent attack in Nairobi in which, according to eyewitnesses, the gunmen said “if you are Muslim you are on the safer side, but if you are Hindu or Christian you will be killed.”

She introduces readers to an ominous Jihadist slogan: “First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday.” It means “On Saturday we kill the Jews; on Sunday we kill the Christians.”

This is the world in which millions of Christians live.

Read the rest here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/the-deafening-silence-on-the-slaughter-of-christians-overseas?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f1a9b8b2c8-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-f1a9b8b2c8-397516873

Teen Pregnancies Drop as Planned Parenthood Leaves

Study shows dramatic drop in teen pregnancy rate as Planned Parenthood leaves communities

Fri Oct 04, 2013 14:39 EST


Advertisements for Planned Parenthood’s adolescent-oriented sex education website.
 
Oct. 4, 2013 (STOPP) – As a part of American Life League’s just-released meta-study of Planned Parenthood, Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP) researchers analyzed the teen pregnancy rate in 16 counties of the Texas Panhandle. In those counties, over an 11-year period, closures of Planned Parenthood facilities were ongoing in the face of strong community opposition to the abortion giant’s presence.

Our study of teen pregnancy rates in the Amarillo area was prompted, in part, by news reports that Texas Department of Health State Services statistics for 2010 showed that the teen pregnancy rate is lower in Potter and Randall Counties of Texas—where Planned Parenthood’s business was focused and headquartered—than it has been since records have been kept.

The TDH statistics reflect the status of teen pregnancy two years after the last two Planned Parenthood centers in the service area of Planned Parenthood of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle disaffiliated from Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

While many things factor into the teen pregnancy rate (TPR), the fact that the TPR continually declined as Planned Parenthood facilities closed, and reached its lowest point in recorded history two years after disaffiliation of the last two remaining facilities, was a significant confirmation that Planned Parenthood’s presence and its “evidence based” sex education programs are not a necessary component to reducing teen pregnancy.

Read the rest here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/study-shows-dramatic-drop-in-teen-pregnancy-rate-as-planned-parenthood-leav?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f1a9b8b2c8-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-f1a9b8b2c8-397516873

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