Now we know where Trump learned about styling hair

In the picture, Mrs Trump’s hair bears a striking resemblance to that of the Republican presidential nominee’s.

Born Mary Macleod in Stornoway, the seventh child of crofter Malcolm Macleod and Mary Smith was raised on the island of Lewis.

Mystery surrounds her emigration to the United States and her subsequent marriage to Fred Trump in 1936.

Mrs Trump died in New York in August 2000.

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Want to save your marriage? Don’t have kids — (a fun opinion piece)

Lots of women look forward to motherhood – getting to know a tiny baby, raising a growing child, developing a relationship with a maturing son or daughter. All over the world, people believe that parenting is the most rewarding part of life. And it’s good that so many mothers treasure that bond with their child, because the transition to parenthood causes profound changes in a woman’s marriage and her overall happiness … and not for the better…

Families usually welcome a baby to the mix with great expectations. But as a mother’s bond with a child grows, it’s likely that her other relationships are deteriorating. I surveyed decades of studies on the psychological effects of having a child to write my book Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage, and here’s what the research literature shows…

For around 30 years, researchers have studied how having children affects a marriage, and the results are conclusive: the relationship between spouses suffers once kids come along. Comparing couples with and without children, researchers found that the rate of the decline in relationship satisfaction is nearly twice as steep for couples who have children than for childless couples. In the event that a pregnancy is unplanned, the parents experience even greater negative impacts on their relationship.

The irony is that even as the marital satisfaction of new parents declines, the likelihood of them divorcing also declines. So, having children may make you miserable, but you’ll be miserable together.

Worse still, this decrease in marital satisfaction likely leads to a change in general happiness, because the biggest predictor of overall life satisfaction is one’s satisfaction with one’s spouse.

RTFA for the complete analysis. Professor Johnson offers a clear conclusion which doesn’t diminish the prospects for meaningful marriage – for a couple. I figured this out on my own over a half-century ago. There were variables in how I intended to spend much of my adult life – but, I came to the same conclusion.

Living in a “Good Catholic state” the urologist who performed my vasectomy asked me to swear that I went to Rhode Island. Such procedures – like the purchase of condoms – were illegal. Performing vasectomies was akin to abortions BITD.

Never looked back. Never regretted the decision. Were all of my marriages heaven on Earth? The plural answers that question, doesn’t it. But, it could have, would have been a lot worse if children were part of the equation as well. And I finally did meet the right person for me – decades ago.

It gets better every day, every year. We celebrate our Lunaversary every month. And we both agree dog-children are OK.

Montana trio applies for wedding license

A Montana man said…that he was inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings…in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage. Montana, like all 50 states, outlaws bigamy — holding multiple marriage licenses — but Collier said he plans to sue if the application is denied.

County clerk officials initially denied Collier’s application, then said they would consult with the county attorney’s office before giving him a final answer, Collier said…

The county attorney copped out by saying he wouldn’t second-guess the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s ruling…made gay marriages legal nationwide. Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent that people in polygamous relationships could make the same legal argument that not having the opportunity to marry disrespects and subordinates them…

Collier said he is a former Mormon who was excommunicated for polygamy and now belongs to no religious organization. He said he and his wives hid their relationship for years, but became tired of hiding and went public by appearing on the reality cable television show “Sister Wives.”

The three have seven children of their own and from previous relationships.

“My second wife Christine, who I’m not legally married to, she’s put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy,” he said…

Anne Wilde, a co-founder of the polygamy advocacy organization Principle Voices located in Utah, said Collier’s application is the first she’s heard of in the nation, and that most polygamous families in Utah are not seeking the right to have multiple marriage licenses.

“Ninety percent or more of the fundamentalist Mormons don’t want it legalized, they want it decriminalized,” Wilde said.

A federal judge struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy law two years ago, saying the law violated religious freedom by prohibiting cohabitation. Bigamy is still illegal.

My friends used to tease me, saying I must believe firmly in marriage – otherwise I wouldn’t do it so often. Still, that describes – to me, anyways – how difficult it is to find really deep compatibility in our society. I don’t know that it’s so different from the past, just that freedom and opportunity are more widely accepted among educated folks.

And, yes, I’d say that’s a benefit – not a problem. My wife and I found each other just over 23 years ago and we get happier the more we know about each other – the more we learn about life and the world together.

Nathan and Victoria and Christine appear to be happy together. They’re not trying to harm anyone or steal from anyone. I don’t think they need to be classified as criminals.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Lawyer in Kenya offers Obama livestock for marriage to Malia

A Kenyan lawyer is offering President Barack Obama 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats in exchange for first daughter Malia Obama’s hand in marriage.

The Nairobi lawyer, who identified himself as Kiprono, said he hopes to meet with the U.S. president during his scheduled visit to Kenya in July to discuss the possibility of bartering the farm animals for the hand of his 16-year-old daughter, who was dubbed one of Time magazine’s most influential teens of 2014…

“People might say I am after the family’s money, which is not the case. My love is real,” he said. “I am currently drafting a letter to Obama asking him to please have Malia accompany him for this trip. I hope the embassy will pass the letter to him. I will hand it over to the U.S. ambassador with whom we have interacted several times.”

The lawyer said his proposal to Malia would be “unique with a twist.”

“If my request is granted, I will not resort to the cliche of popping champagne. Instead, I will surprise her with mursik, the traditional Kalenjin sour milk. As an indication that she is my queen, I will tie sinendet, which is a sacred plant, around her head. I will propose to her on a popular hill in Bureti near my father’s land where leaders and warriors are usually crowned. The place is called Kapkatet, which means ‘victory.'”

Kiprono said Malia would not be living a life of luxury if she agrees to his proposal.

“Ours will be a simple life. I will teach Malia how to milk a cow, cook ugali and prepare mursik like any other Kalenjin woman,” he said.

First, I think this poor lad doesn’t stand a chance. I’m confident mom and pop are raising their daughters to make their own decisions about marriage. Hopefully, as educated, sophisticated, modern young women.

Second, I can’t wait to hear from the rightwing nutballs who will no doubt add this tidbit to the mythology they’ve already constructed in their dim little minds about the president and his national origins.

Feds plan to cut census questions that offend Right-Wing nutballs

If the Census Bureau proceeds with a recently released plan, then in a few years’ time, we will know very little about how the contours of family life are changing.

We will not even know whether marriage and divorce rates are rising or falling. For all the talk of evidence-based policy, the result will be that important debates on issues including family law, welfare reform, same-sex marriage and the rise of nontraditional families will proceed in a statistical void.

Much of what I, an economist who has studied family issues, and my colleagues in this field have learned about recent trends in marriage and divorce has come from questions in the American Community Survey. It asks people whether they have given birth, married, divorced or been widowed in the past year. Their answers allow demographers to track marriage and divorce rates by age, gender, race and education.

These data have revealed many important social trends, including the rise of sharply different marriage and divorce patterns between rich and poor, and the increase in divorce among older Americans, even as it has fallen for younger people. And they have provided the only statistical window into the adoption of same-sex marriage.

The Census Bureau is proposing to eliminate these questions. It would follow a series of steps taken over recent decades that have collectively devastated our ability to track family change. This isn’t being done as a strategic policy choice but rather is the result of a series of isolated decisions made across several decades by statisticians scattered across various government agencies who have failed to understand the cumulative effect of their actions.

But, why should they care? The decision-making body of the United States hasn’t a whisper of concern about knowledge. Science and society is even further down the list of their concerns.

In principle, tracking marriage and divorce shouldn’t be too hard. Every wedding, like every divorce, requires a trip to City Hall or the county courthouse to file the relevant paperwork. The resulting paper trail should be enough to allow analysts to map the contours of our changing family life over time. Indeed, until the mid-1990s, the federal government collated data from all those marriage and divorce certificates into a coherent set of marriage and divorce statistics that detailed the changing nature of marriage.

But in 1996, the National Center for Health Statistics stopped collecting these detailed data. If you subsequently got married or divorced, the forms you filled out still exist, but only as unexamined documents in a filing cabinet at your county courthouse…

The rationale the health statisticians offered for no longer collecting the more detailed data was that much of this information could be gleaned from a special survey taken every five years as a supplement to the Current Population Survey. But a different set of government statisticians killed that supplement in the late 1990s.

In the end, the decision to shorten the survey reflects political calculation – an effort to mollify Tea Party Republicans who tried to eliminate the American Community Survey altogether, arguing that it is an unconstitutional breach of privacy. A briefer questionnaire may yield less political opposition.

Once again, our government rolls over and plays dead for anachronistic nutballs rather than challenge their standing. What passes for leadership from elected and appointed bureaucrats in the United States wouldn’t pass muster in a Marx Brothers movie.

He gave his parents a present of genetic testing — and then a divorce

I’m a stem cell and reproductive biologist. I fell in love with biology when I was in high school. It was the realization that every cell in my body has the same genome and DNA, but each cell is different. A stomach cell is not a brain cell is not a skin cell. But they’re reading from the same book of instructions. With 23andMe, you get your personal genome book, your story. Unless you have an identical twin somewhere, that genetic makeup is unique to you…

I had spent many years looking at the genes of other animals — particularly mice — but I never looked at my own. Because I was so excited about it, I got two 23andMe kits for my mom and dad as gifts. It’s a lot more fun when you can incorporate your family because you can trace not just the chromosomes but individual alleles on the chromosome so you don’t just see them, but where they came from. Also, I felt I had a good handle on my family’s medical history so I was very interested in confirming any susceptibility to cancers that I heard had run in my family, like colon cancer. I wanted to know if I had a genetic risk.

I found out I don’t have any genetic predisposition to any kind of cancer, which was a great relief to me. But I also discovered through the 23andMe close relative finder program that I have a half brother, Thomas.

…We figured out that at the very bottom of your profile, there’s a little box that says “check this box if you want to see close family members in this search program.”…Dad checked it, and Thomas’ name appeared in his list. 23andMe said dad was 50 percent related with Thomas and that he was a predicted son

At first, I was thinking this is the coolest genetics story, my own personal genetics story. I wasn’t particularly upset about it initially, until the rest of the family found out. Their reaction was different. Years of repressed memories and emotions uncorked and resulted in tumultuous times that have torn my nuclear family apart. My parents divorced. No one is talking to my dad. We’re not anywhere close to being healed yet and I don’t know how long it will take to put the pieces back together.

Sometimes, the truth really can hurt.

RTFA, wander through the twists and turns of this very modern tale. It’s not all unhappy. The anonymous author’s half-brother, Thomas, was adopted and had searched years for either of his birth parents. He has a daughter of his own who wondered about her family’s medical history.

Still…

Why men don’t write advice columns

Dear Walter: I hope you can help me here. The other day, I set off for work in my Volvo 1800 leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn’t gone more than a mile down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband’s help. When I got home I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbor lady. I am 32, my husband is 34, and we have been married for twelve years.

When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him.

He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. He won’t go to counseling and I’m afraid I can’t get through to him anymore.

Can you please help?

Sincerely, Sheila

Dear Sheila: An 1800 stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum lines and hoses on the in-take manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.

I hope this helps

-Walter

Thanks, Ursarodinia

First gay couple married in Michigan — UPDATED

Two women were the first gay couple to marry in Michigan on Saturday, one day after the state’s ban on gay marriage, approved by voters in a landslide in 2004, was scratched from the state constitution by a federal judge.

Glenna DeJong, 53, and Marsha Caspar, 51, both of Lansing, were married by Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum in Mason just after her office opened at 8am Saturday. Byrum said it was an honor to marry same-sex couples who have waited too long for this day.

“I figured in my lifetime it would happen,” Caspar said. “But now, when it happens now, it’s just overwhelming. I still can’t believe it. I don’t think it’s hit me yet.”

DeJong and Caspar have been together for 27 years. DeJong called it a day of “sheer joy,” adding that Michigan should not “waste taxpayer dollars and cause more turmoil” by pursuing a stay on gay marriage as Attorney General Bill Schuette did immediately after Friday’s ruling.

Clerks who handle marriage licenses in Michigan’s 83 counties said they would start granting them to gay men and lesbians – at least three as early as Saturday. DeJong and Caspar first learned the courthouse would be open after Byrum tweeted about it early Saturday morning.

At least 50 people had lined up in the Oakland County clerk’s office in Pontiac, on the outskirts of the Detroit metropolitan area, when clerk Lisa Brown arrived to open it at 8am local time, carrying a heart-shaped balloon. Brown’s staff handed out paperwork to couples who were undeterred by the Michigan attorney general’s immediate appeal…

Not that the state’s Republican-dominated legislature cares about all love and marriage.

It isn’t known when a federal appeals court in Cincinnati will respond to Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request for a stay while an appeal is pursued…”A stay would serve the public interest by preserving the status quo … while preventing irreparable injury to the state and its citizens,” he said…

The historic decision by US District Judge Bernard Friedman, who said the ballot box is no defense to a law that tramples the rights of same-sex couples, followed a two-week trial that explored attitudes and research about homosexual marriage and households led by same-sex couples…

He praised April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, two Detroit-area nurses who are raising three children with special needs. They filed a lawsuit in 2012 because they’re barred from jointly adopting each other’s children. Joint adoption is reserved for married heterosexual couples in Michigan.

“In attempting to define this case as a challenge to ‘the will of the people,’ state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people,” the judge said…”It is the court’s fervent hope that these children will grow up ‘to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives,'” Friedman said, quoting the Supreme Court.

Bigots have always quoted the “will of the people” when they live in a state backwards enough to endorse bigotry. If not, there is no shortage of sophistry to generate appeals against progressive change, modernizing of 14th Century morality.

UPDATE: 300 couples manage to get marriage licenses before judge responds to Republican government of Michigan and stops gay marriages. Conservative homophobes can rest easy this morning. Second-class citizenship is restored to Michigan at least temporarily.

Woman files for divorce because husband eats peas without a fork

A woman in Kuwait found the way her husband ate his peas to be such a “shocking sight” that she filed for divorce after they had only been married for a week…The woman decided that her husband’s habit of eating peas with bread instead of a fork was an issue that they could not work out.

That’s not the only recent divorce that has nothing to do with infidelity, abuse or communication issues.

Another woman recently filed for divorce because of the way her husband squeezes toothpaste. “We are always arguing,” she reportedly told her lawyer. “I keep telling him that he should squeeze in the end of the tube, but he stubbornly refuses and keeps squeezing it in the middle. He is so obstinate.”

It’s not always just the ladies…

In another recent case, a man ended things with his wife because she wouldn’t bring him a glass of water. After she told him that there was a servant who could do it, they had an argument and he told her their marriage was over.

“One critical issue is that many spouses should use their engagement period to know each other well enough to decide whether they should go on with their union,” said a Kuwaiti legalist. “The traditional times when spouses really met each other after their marriage are over, so there are now good opportunities to know the future life partner and decide whether he or she is the right one.”

Or something like that.

Confederate jerks never run out of meanness — Alabama counties deny marriage licenses to undocumentados

It is unclear when the practice started, but for years certain counties in Alabama have been refusing to provide undocumented immigrants with marriage licenses. Since the early 2000s, attorneys general and federal judges across the U.S. have stated that denying an undocumented immigrant a marriage license violates a couple’s “fundamental right to marry” as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

Samuel Brooke, a staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center who works on the center’s Immigrant Justice Project, said the purpose of asking for identification is “to make sure that the person being married, that their name and identification, that their legal name is being recorded correctly, and that is the only real purpose.”

In 2011, when Brooke first heard that some Alabama counties were requiring “proof of lawful immigration status” in order to issue marriage licenses, he was shocked. It was the same year that Alabama passed House Bill 56, one of the toughest anti-immigration laws in the nation.

“This law had everything in it,” Brooke said. “But the one thing this law said was, don’t touch marriage licenses. We recognize that marriage is a fundamental right for all people; we recognize anyone should be able to get married. It doesn’t matter their immigration status or their history, they should be able to get married as long as they provide their legal name…”

Judge Sheila G. Moore, the probate judge of Winston County in northeastern Alabama, said in a telephone interview in November that anyone applying for a marriage license “must have proof that they are here legally.”

“It’s the state law,” she said. “Once they get married they think that makes them legal, but it doesn’t.”

I hope you didn’t think that qualifying to be a judge in Alabama means you’re actually knowledgeable enough, really qualified to be a judge by 21st Century standards.

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