Kids Do Better without Siblings? Please.

A recent Gannett News Service has the audacity to trot out a study that tries to show that big families are bad for the kids. Seems that if you’re not an only child you’re going to get a bad example from your peers.

Big Families Bad for Kids?

The story says new research on birth order suggests that just having an older sibling can negatively influence younger kids. Birth order has long been studied by psychologists looking at personality traits of first borns, middle children and babies, but a new work by economics professors say teens with older siblings get involved in risky behavior.

They’ve discovered that the very existence of an older sibling increases chances that younger siblings will drink, smoke, use drugs and be promiscuous. Susan Averett, an economics professor in Pennsylvania has published a study in “Economic Inquiry” trying to make the case that big families are dangerous, and gets support from Temple University psychology professor who says as families grow parents lose control and the older kids take over. They have some goofy figures that try to prove their freakonomics.

In our experience the opposite is true: the younger kids see the bad behavior of the older kids and become better. Maybe they interviewed the wrong families.

Panel Examines Muhammad Cartoons

A small panel of journalists calling themselves the Objectivist Club at the University of Chicago Tuesday held a panel to discuss the U. S. media’s reluctance to reprint the Muhammad cartoons. No Moslems attended.

The panel concluded that journalists nation-wide were simply afraid to show the cartoons because of serious reprisals against the few who did. “There’s a lot of dishonesty in the media’s explanation that they simply didn’t want to offend anybody,” was one comment.

Enlargements of the cartoons were displayed, as well as pictures of rioting Muslims. Panelists agreed that journalists have good reason to be afraid of showing the cartoons, due to violent strains of Islam in the U. S. Others said American Moslems are not violent.

Taking part in the panel were members of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the Ayn Rand Institute and Free Inquiry Magazine. About sixty people attended.

Muslim students and faculty instead of attending the discussion watched a Palestinian film, “Paradise Now” about suicide bombers.

Token Settlement for Bombing Victim

Emily Lyons, who was injured in an Alabama abortion clinic bombing in 1998 and has undergone 21 operations to repair damage, received only a token settlement from the estate of convicted bomber Eric Rudolph—$57.69 to be exact. The judge was seeking $2.5 million for more than one-hundred bombing victims. The demand was mostly symbolic.

Da Vinci Poster To Be Removed from Church

In Rome, a huge poster advertising the upcoming movie, “The Da Vinci Code” has been ordered removed from the front of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Pandaleo. Church officials have spoken out forcefully against the book by Dan Brown and the film staring Tom Hanks scheduled for release May 19. The poster features a picture of Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.”

The Interior Ministry says the poster will be removed in the next few days as requested by the Rome Vicariate. Opus Dei and church official have spoken out against the novel and film, calling them a work of fantasy. Opus Dei is attacked violently in the book and the film. The movie is against Christ and against the church, according to St. Pantaleo’s rector, Rev. Adolfo Garcia Duran.

Gobbledygook from Fr. Jenkins

When I was a journalism major at the University of Notre Dame many years ago, there was a term we used to describe a lot of words glommed together with a kind of professional sound but which really said nothing. We called this phenomenon “gobbledygook.” Many term papers were mostly “gobbledygook,” and very many essay answers.

For a modern example of “gobbledygook” read the answers of Rev. John I Jenkins, President of the University, in the April 23 Our Sunday Visitor, page 5. It has great sounding phrases that really don’t seem to be going anywhere. It appears the good Father has painted himself into a corner. He didn’t need to. He could still dump the dirty play and the homosexual film festival. We wish he would.

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