AP Photo/Matthew Sharpe: Constance McMillen, 18, reads online messages about her dashed desire to attend her senior prom with a same-sex date and in a tuxedo.How far we haven't come.
The good news is this AP story about a Mississippi school district canceling a school-run senior prom to avoid legal complaints in support of a lesbian student--who was told she could not attend with her girlfriend and could not attend wearing a tuxedo--is getting lots of play. The bad news is the 18-year-old student had a tough day returning to school after the Itawamba County school board made its decision. And she doesn't think she'll be invited to a privately organized prom.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which notified school officials that a policy banning same-sex prom dates violated students' rights. The ACLU also argued that not allowing Constance McMillen to wear a tuxedo violated her free expression rights. So instead of dealing with any of it, the district canceled the prom "due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events." It never mentioned McMillen by name or the ACLU for that matter, but no further comment was
Blog Posts by Dory Devlin, Shine staff
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Love + Sex – Fri, Mar 12, 2010 12:16 AM EST
AP Photo/Matthew Sharpe: Constance McMillen, 18, reads online messages about her dashed desire to attend her senior prom with a same-sex date and in a tuxedo.How far we haven't come.Read More »from School district cancels prom rather than face gay rights issue
Health care reform struggles to a vote, Palin jokes about her family's "ironic" brush with socialized medicineBy Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Work + Money – Wed, Mar 10, 2010 4:05 PM EST
AP via Yahoo! News: President Barack Obama talks about health care reform this week at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania.It looks like March is the month of reckoning for health care legislation in Congress. President Barack Obama is holding steady with his public approval rating as he turns up the heat in a traveling show to stir up public support for health care legislation now. Not later.Read More »from Health care reform struggles to a vote, Palin jokes about her family's "ironic" brush with socialized medicine
That same Associated Press-GfK Poll released this week that shows the president's approval rating at 53 percent and holding found that Americans really do not like the way health care reform has unfolded in Congress. And they like Congress less than ever.
No wonder: At the heart of the long-simmering inability to come to some kind of agreement on health care reform in this country are disagreements among not only Democrats and Republicans but also between the House and Senate chambers of Congress. Which makes what has to happen for any kind of health bill to pass this spring especially dubious: The House must pass a bill that cleared the Senate at the end of 2009 with the confidence that unpopular pieces of that
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Work + Money – Mon, Mar 8, 2010 6:21 AM EST
Getty ImagesThe latest unemployment numbers held a bit of good news--no increase. No decrease, either, but the fact that unemployment held steady at 9.7 percent in February was welcomed by economists, who predicted a jump to 9.8 percent.Read More »from POLL: Unemployment held steady last month, but what is the true unemployment story?
Word from Washington is that it's a sign the market is healing, though the Obama administration urged Congress to push forward with job creation legislation to help the healing continue. We may find next month that these numbers are not what they seem. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that employers cut 36,000 jobs in February. The same report adjusted January's job losses from 20,000 to 26,000.
The big picture: 14.9 million Americans are unemployed, and that's twice the number unemployed when the recession began.
The real picture emerges when we hear from Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, or are employed after looking for awhile. So let's hear from you: What is the true unemployment story?
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Pets – Thu, Mar 4, 2010 3:32 PM EST
Getty ImagesI can't remember how many times my dad joked about getting a goat so we wouldn't have to cut the lawn, or reminded us that we didn't have a goat when he was nudging one of us to go out and cut the lawn. A funny picture in a densely populated Jersey 'burb, though the neighbor behind us had all kinds of animals on his unusually large lot. But he did not, as far as I could tell, have a miniature goat.Read More »from POLL: Would miniature goats really make good pets?
Seems miniature goats are the new Vietnamese potbellied pigs, a convoluted way of saying they are growing in popularity as atypical household pets. Mini-goat lovers are making the case before city and municipal boards across the country that miniature goats are as tame, as fun, and as loyal as dogs, USA Today reports. They wear leashes. They play fetch. They are often smaller than the biggest dogs. (They can grow to about 18 inches at the shoulders and about 60 pounds in weight.) Only they also produce milk you can drink and, perhaps, turn into cheese.
"If you can have a 250-pound dog in
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Financially Fit – Tue, Mar 2, 2010 6:40 PM EST
AP Photo/Andy Manis: Terry Becker and his 10-year-old son Nate in their Wisconsin home. Becker says he racked up $25,000 in medical debt for the boy which has left him with bad credit.Maybe you've been there: Filling out a job application when you're close to getting a job, knowing that if you don't check the box that gives your potential employer the right to check your credit history, you may be raising the red flag that costs you the job.Read More »from 16 states consider banning credit checks on job applicants
Most employers-60 percent-surveyed by the Society for Human Resources Management said they run credit checks on some job applicants, up from 42 percent of employers surveyed in 2006. Now, SHRM also reports that only 13 percent of companies actually perform them on all potential hires, and that they say they give applicants a chance to explain any credit problems they come across.
But here's the thing: They may say they give applicants a chance to explain their credit situation-since there can be so many reasons for debt issues in this economy that may have nothing to do with the way an individual personally handles money. But how many just tell applicants, "we've decided to go in another direction" without telling them their
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Feb 16, 2010 7:01 PM EST
AP Photo/Evan Agostini: Barbara Walters ends Oscar-night special after 29 years.Close your eyes and try to remember when the Barbara Walters' TV specials featuring interviews with Oscar nominees and other stars were the TV interviews to tune into. Most of you surely cannot, and maybe that's why Barbara Walters announced on "The View" today that this year's Oscar-night Barbara Walters Special will be her last after 29 years.Read More »from Barbara Walters says 29th Oscar-night special is her last
After all, 30 years, she told Joy Behar on today's "The View," would be "cliche."
The fascination with interviews of celebs goes back long before Walters sat down with a camera and her first celeb (yes, even before they were called celebs). But the truth is, the NBC newswoman who broke ground for women in the TV news biz also helped pave the way for a burgeoning media culture that thrives on celebrity news. She tapped into the same momentum that spun People magazine out of a very popular section in Time 35 years ago, and it continues to do well even as the Internet has taken celeb coverage to crazy new levels. Her celebrity-interview specials
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II: Sassy, an America Eskimo dog, is bathed by owner Cathy Hammer at the Pennsylvania Hotel before the Westminster dog show.The 134th Westminster Kennel Club's world-class dog show gets under way this week in New York, and three new breeds will be among the prestigious pooches vying for top dog. An Irish red and white setter named Alchemy from New Jersey is making history for his breed, and the other two other breeds entering the annual show for the first time are herding dogs - the Pyrenean shepherd and the Norwegian buhund.Read More »from Three new breeds at Westminster show
There are 173 dog breeds and varieties in this year's show, up from 150 two decades ago.
Meanwhile, in other dog news... the Labrador retriever was named the most popular dog in the United States by the American Kennel Club, again. It is followed by the German shepherd, the Yorkshire terrier and the golden retriever. The ranking is based on the number of registrations for the breed with the kennel club in 2009.
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Heart Health – Fri, Feb 12, 2010 5:17 PM EST
AP Photo/Danny JohnstonAlmost as quickly as news hit that former President Bill Clinton was admitted to Columbia Presbyterian hospital for heart problems, word followed that he underwent surgery to have two stents implanted to clear an artery blockage and that he was released from the hospital and en route to his Chappaqua, N.Y. home.Read More »from Why Bill Clinton may be able to go back to work Monday
Now, his doctor and aides say he may be back to work as soon as Monday on Haiti relief efforts. Why is that possible after a heart blockage mended by surgery?
Two stents, small metal scaffolding devices that open constricted arteries, were implanted in one of Clinton's coronary arteries after an angioplasty procedure. Via angioplasty, a catheter is inserted in an artery in the patient's groin and then a balloon is inserted and inflated to expand the artery. When the artery is expanded, the stents are put in place to prop open the diseased artery.
There was no indication that Clinton, who underwent quadruple bypass surgery four years ago, suffered a heart attack. But because
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Love + Sex – Fri, Feb 12, 2010 4:12 PM EST
Reuters via Yahoo! News/Jim Young: Elizabeth and John Edwards in 2007.Oh, Elizabeth. We feel for you. We cannot begin to imagine the pain of going through such a breathtaking betrayal so publicly, while you fight for your life and raise two young children. But if the latest reports are true that you are threatening to sue the blabbermouth ex-aide of your estranged husband, the one who helped shield his affair with Rielle Hunter then cover it up, we are more worried than ever that moving on and away from the selfish snare of John Edwards will be impossible.Read More »from Reports: Elizabeth Edwards threatens to sue John Edwards' blabbermouth, enabling ex-aide
Andrew Young, the aide and author of the tell-all book, "The Politician," says that Elizabeth Edwards has threatened to sue him for "alienation of affection" in an attempt to get him to stop publicly badmouthing her and dragging her sad family story through the news. What's interesting is this kind of lawsuit, only allowed in seven states, allows a person to sue a third party for contributing to the breakup of a marriage. Typically, this rare kind of suit is used to sue a partner's lover when an
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Parenting – Thu, Feb 11, 2010 10:17 PM EST
The call came after dinner, before the first snowflake began to fall, and the three kids in this house who are no longer small children were just as happy about the no-school news as they were when they would wear their pj's inside out to signal the snow gods to send lots of white stuff.Read More »from Snow days take on a whole new feel with bigger kids
I was just as happy, too. I ran to the store to make sure we'd have plenty of food in, gathered enough firewood, and settled in with that happy feeling knowing we'd all be home for at least a day. (Turned out to be two.) They are so busy these days that I am so happy when they get the kind of downtime they used to have every day.
Just what was I thinking?
Not that I ever got a snow day in my past work life as a newspaper reporter, but when you're a virtual worker, the weather outside means squat. So even though they are off, I am not. And even though I am not off, there is shoveling to do, rides to give, more shoveling to do... But what I didn't see coming, and I'm not sure why, is that it's no