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- Websites like PollenTree & Modafamily offer a way for people eager to have a child to “hook up” with someone to have a baby and co-parent with *minus* the dating relationship.
- The decision on how to make the baby (surrogate, artificial insemination, actual intercourse) is left up to the individuals.
- The sites also offer a way for men and women looking to donate their sperm and eggs to find matches with parents.
“They were starting to feel the pressure of the biological clock, still single, and looking for a partner they can have a child with, whether they were married or not.”
- Fewer Marriages: In 1978, nearly 60% of 18-to-34-year-olds were married. In 2018, just about 30% were married.
- Fewer Babies: In 2018, the U.S. birthrate fell to a 32-year low, *BUT* birth rates rose for women in late 30s / early 40s.
- $$$: According to latest gov’t data, it costs approx. $234,000 to raise a child.
- FYI: America is the only developed country without a mandated paid leave policy for new moms.
“It’s a controversial approach to creating a family and there are people who balk at it, but the idealized version of a man and woman falling in love is shortsighted.”
LOVE American Style? Online mating may be new, but online dating is definitely not. 30% of adults have tried it and 12% have been in a committed relationship with someone they met online. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Are co-parenting websites the logical next step?
What you might not know about the best known Jewish holiday in America.
Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew
- The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago.
- After years of suffering oppression and religious persecution at the hands of Syrian Greeks, the Jews (the Macabees) took back their Temple.
“Festival of Lights”
- According to the story, that night they had one pot of oil thought to only last 1 day, but somehow it lasted 8, leaving them enough time to find more oil.
- In modern times, the miracle is celebrated by lighting the menorah for eight nights and eating foods cooked in oil, like jelly doughnuts & latkes (potato pancakes).
- Hanukkah, a relatively minor Jewish holiday compared to others, like Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is widely celebrated by Jewish people of all denominations across the globe.
- Hanukkah has expanded its empire in recent years beyond menorahs and dreidels to include Hanukkah bushes (x-mas trees), the Mensch on a Bench, and house kits (gingerbread houses).
ONE MORE THING: How do you spell it? Depends who you ask, but the following are all acceptable English spellings of the holiday beginning Sunday at sundown: Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukah, Chanuka, & Chanukkah.
Welcome To Our New Website!
Pardon our mess.
The kinks aren’t out of the system yet. We’ve just transferred more than 2,000 posts to this new website. In the coming days, we promise our info will be current, clean and clutter-free (aka: “smarter”)
Every 8 seconds in America, a baby is born. Here’s the first baby of the SmartHER Era!
The latest news from Venezuela: long gas lines, dying crops, and failing infrastructure.
It wasn’t always this way.
3 generations of native Venezuelans tell us what every American should know about one of the worst humanitarian crisises in the world.
“It’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war. This will be a touchstone of disastrous policies for decades to come.”
“It was a free Venezuela. It was paradise.”
“Last time I went to Venezuela in 2015, I wanted to cry, because grocery stores were near empty. Shelves were lined of vinegar and almost nothing else. For basic foods like rice, eggs and milk, people had to stand in long lines…”
“It’s complete misery. Even for those who have the means to buy food and basic necessities like soap and toilet paper, it’s a nightmare, because there’s a shortage of these items. That’s why people are fleeing to nearby countries like Colombia.”
“We are such a wealthy country, and yet there is no food, some days there is no currency in circulation. It’s quite ironic.”
Negotiations between current Venezuelan leadership (NicolA!s Maduro's gov't) & the opposition (led by Juan GuaidA3) are currently underway, looking for a political path forward. Read more on how Venezuela got to this current state.
June 6, 1944
Why D-Day Matters
Why D-Day Matters:
Turned the tide of World War II
- Strategy: Invade German-occupied France by air & sea, weaken the Nazis, and take back Europe.
- Results: Through brutal fighting, “the Allies” successfully invaded into enemy territory, a catalyst for the beginning of the end for the Germans (at no small cost).
Largest Air, Land, Sea Military Operation Ever
- More than 2.8M soldiers fought to liberate Europe at that time, about half were Americans.
- “Allies” = America, UK, Canada, joined by Australian, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, French, Greek, New Zealand, Norwegian, Rhodesian & Polish forces.
- 150,000+ soldiers participated in the D-Day invasion.
Why “Utah” & “Omaha”?
- Invasion took place on 5 Normandy beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno & Sword; Americans took Utah & Omaha; Brits & Canadians the rest.
- Germans had superior fire power, experience, & position, but the Allies convinced the Nazis to hold back some resources for another invasion elsewhere which never occurred.
“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you…We will accept nothing less than full Victory! “
D-Day invasion took about 6 months to plan and Germany surrendered less than a year later. Gen. Eisenhower wrote his wife before the invasion, explaining why he might be out of touch. Here's his letter to her:
D-Day: The Soldiers
- “D-Day” doesn’t refer to “death” or a destructiona despite the many wounded & killed in action.
- The military uses generic “D-Day” for the day an operation launches.
- Total # of Allies killed in action in one day remains a mystery: est = 4,400 (est. 2,500 U.S. fatalities).
- Context: 2,400+ Americans have died serving in Americaa s nearly 18-year war in Afghanistan.
a Here in a jumbled row for mile on mile are soldiersa packs. Here are socks and shoe polish, sewing kits, diaries, Bibles and hand grenades. Here are the latest letters from home… Here are toothbrushes and razors, and snapshots of families back home staring up at you from the sand. Here are pocketbooks, metal mirrors, extra trousers and bloody, abandoned shoes.a
With fighting still taking place, war correspondents had to share their work with the military before publishing. For many soldiers, D-Day was just the beginning of a long string of battles that eventually led to the liberation of Europe, forever altering its future.