Pride and Prejudice at 200

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Pride and PrejudiceThe 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice on January 28 has brought another outbreak of Jane Austen fever, and I for one consider it the least harmful of any social fad. Indeed, with the exception of the tiresome meme about Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy being the “ultimate sex symbol” it seems positively healthy to me. P&P leaves a strong impression that true romance is the reward of restraint and a principled approach to life -- even if one of those principles is financial security.

The romantic appeal of the novel is, of course, at odds with its outmoded gender paradigm whereby protagonist Elizabeth Bennet’s entire future is predicated on her being married off to a successful man. It is a truth all but universally acknowledged today that a woman can build her own fortune and need not depend on a man. Indeed, roles might be in the process… click here to read whole article and make comments



Home - a vital enterprise

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When did you last hear the home mentioned by an economist or politician? Ever? And yet the home is the place where the basic cell of society, the family, does its own essential “work”: giving individuals the security, values and virtues that enable them to contribute to the positive progress of their community, country and the world.

This silence about the essential work of the home seems to be most marked in the Anglosphere, but a globalised economy and media are spreading the blinkered market approach to everything throughout the world.

There are many initiatives to counter this trend and promote the vital role of work in the home. The HomeMakers Project, launched in New York at the end of November, comes from the London-based Home Renaissance Foundation. According to the HomeMakers blog:

The Project, a collaborative effort between HRF with Fontana Nova an International Centre for Research and Humanities in… click here to read whole article and make comments



March for Life, 2013

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Mary Cooney writes from the US about Friday's March for Life through Washington D.C. to the steps of the Supreme Court, where, 40 years ago, the court created a right to abortion on demand at any time during pregnancy: "Despite the cold weather and snow, there were many more people at the March for Life than I have seen in past years.  There were easily over half a million people there, mostly young and exuberant. Very uplifting and inspiring! And we ran into some people from Arizona and Canada."

The following video shows the strong youth contingent in the march, close up. (Go to Video Watch for another powerful video.)

click here to read whole article and make comments



Marriage is different from cohabitation - Canadian court

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A press release just in from a MercatorNet partner:

January 25, 2013 (Ottawa) - Today the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Quebec can exclude cohabiting couples from receiving spousal support in the event of relationship breakdown. 

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada applauds this decision because it accurately reflects the fact that social science research shows marriage to be substantively different from living common law. 

“There is great consensus from social scientists, no matter their political stripe, that marriage is different from living together,” says IMFC Manager of Research Andrea Mrozek. “Unfortunately, the statistical reality is that people living together break up more readily – even if they do eventually wed. They are more likely to have multiple partners. Their children face more problems – higher rates of school dropout, more drug use and an earlier age of sexual initiation. And single parents – typically… click here to read whole article and make comments



How low can they go?

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This NOT NICE. It is creepy. And patronising. And sexist. And elitist. And advocating substance abuse. But, as a "celebration" of Roe v. Wade it is instructive regarding the moral decadence attendant on, and driving, the culture of death.

click here to read whole article and make comments



Parent power makes itself felt in California school system

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Parent Revolution

Adelanto parents celebrate their victory (Photo Credit:

Parents are the first educators of their children and, although many may neglect this duty, most are likely to want the best for them and encourage their learning. Los Angeles mother, Amabilia Villeda, would be one of those. She has had three children attend the 24th Street Elementary school but is now backing a move by other parents of students there to take control of the school away from the district authority, because of its poor performance.

This is possible under a 2010 California law known as the “parent trigger”, whereby parents can petition for change if they gather signatures of parents representing half the school’s students. They can fire teachers, oust administrators or turn the school over to private management.

Mrs Villeda told Reuters that when one of her children, now in eighth grade, went to a new school the teachers there… click here to read whole article and make comments



How online dating makes commitment harder

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online dating


The Atlantic magazine has an article arguing that online dating is undermining monogamy. Further undermining it, we should say, because the sexual mores that have devastated marriage go back four or five decades. But the writer makes a good case that the online relationship “market” is speeding up the decline of commitment. The question of why commitment is declining in the first place is not addressed.

The article is framed by a case study of “Jacob” who comes back to Portland, Oregon, from the East Coast in his mid-twenties and spends two years finding a woman to date. She soon moves in with him and doesn’t seem to mind his “lifestyle” though past girlfriends have called him “lazy, aimless, and irresponsible with money”. She seems to him “independent and low-maintenance” (!) It’s not a great relationship but he tells himself it is better than being single. After five years… click here to read whole article and make comments



Hope for parents with autistic children

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A new study of children suffering from autism offers hope to parents of youngsters who have been diagnosed with the condition that they may improve even to the point where they may be classed as “normal”. But researchers have been quick to point out that the complete absence of any aspects of autism is still rare.

Nevertheless, the research by the American National Institute of Mental Health at the University of Connectict offers an encouraging picture to parents who may have thought that there was little hope for their child ever living the kind of life they would hope for.

The researchers produced case histories of 34 children “with early histories of autism spectrum disorder” who were found at an older age to no longer meet criteria for any autism spectrum dianosis. In some cases these children “had lost all symptoms”. The researchers said that this group, classed as “optimal outcome children”, had… click here to read whole article and make comments



See the beauty in these very special sisters

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This brief but touching video speaks for itself. Felicia Hogan, from British Columbia, discovered that the twins she was expecting were conjoined. Despite enormous pressure to abort them, she gave birth to Tatiana and Krista. It was impossible to separate them surgically without killing them. But they are loved and full of life. Thanks to Signal Hill for the video. 

click here to read whole article and make comments



Track and phone your child with a watch

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Have you ever felt the desire to find a way of tracking your children’s whereabouts at all times night and day? Have you ever wanted to give your child an old-style phone without all the “smart” features, like internet access, that most of today’s phones have? If you answered “yes” to both questions, then you will be pleased to learn that there is now a device that can meet both needs without exposing your child to many of the dangers of smartphones.

It is called the VIVOplay and it has just been shown off for the first time at the 2013 Las Vegas Comsumer Electronics Show. The device is said to combine the best features of a GPS locator and a phone and can be worn as a wristwatch, Dick-Tracy Style.

Sten Kirkbak, the CEO of the firm that is marketing VIVOplay, Evado Filip, came up with the concept after he lost his… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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