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Health
05/13/2010
IconHere's some good news for the day after Mother's Day.' One delightful index of the movement away from the "feminist mother" mentality of "other-than-mother" care is the percentage of new moms who are breastfeeding.' While it is possible that some women squeeze out breast milk into a bottle for the hired help to administer to their baby, the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that 77% of new mothers breastfeed their infants, which is the highest rate in the United States in at least 20 years!The percentage of black infants who were breast-fed rose most dramatically - to 65%.' Only 36% were ever breast-fed in 1993-1994, the study found.' For whites, the figure rose to 79% from 62%.' For Hispanics, it increased to 80%, from 67%.The rates of breast feeding were lowest among women who were unmarried, poor, rural, younger than 20, and had a high school education or less.Experts emphasize that breast milk is better than formula at protecting babies against disease and childhood obesity. More >>

Tags: ChildrenHealthMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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05/13/2010
IconJust when I thought it was safe to go on to another subject, we have yet another attempt to draw our kids down the wrong alley.' Picture this: a white powder that comes in a clear vial.' It's sold with a mirror and fake credit card.' The product is called "Blow," one of the street names for cocaine.' It's a powdered energy drink, and the obvious comparison to cocaine is alarming.The advertising is very pro drug culture, designed to entice and to look at drugs and drug behavior as cool and glamorous.' Not only that, but each drink is like having almost 7 cans of Coca Cola, with 240 milligrams of caffeine - downright dangerous!When the company's owner was challenged, he said: "Parents that think it's despicable are typically the parents that don't want to take personal responsibility for educating their children about drugs and addiction in general." That is a load of garbage.' How can parents deal with their children's constant brainwashing with the Disney girl behaviors and power drinks that mimic drugs?' How can families insulate themselves from the forces attempting to make a profit as well as have access to ever new markets for sexual exploitation and drug sales - legal or otherwise? More >>

Tags: HealthPersonal ResponsibilitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconLast month, I was asked to write a note to wives of Los Angeles SWAT team members ("warrior wives") after a SWAT officer was killed in a real life incident.' I thought it made sense to share it with all of you:Not long ago, I received an award from a Native American patriot group for being "the proud mother of a deployed American paratrooper."' The representatives of this group travel the country giving special awards to military personnel and their families honoring their efforts, sacrifices, and suffering.' Part of the quite moving ceremony was that I was given a Native American name.' The representative of the tribe said that he got special permission from the elders to do so, and that he prayed to the spirits for many days until they told him what name to give me: Walks With Warriors .The obvious irony is that I talk about "warriors" with great reverence and respect almost every day on my radio program.' Modern-day warriors include the military, firemen, and the police.' These folks elect to put themselves in harm's way for perfect and imperfect strangers.' Why?' Because as the hot dog commercial touted, they "obey a higher power."' That higher power is purpose .When my son volunteered for the military, I was at once proud and scared.' I talked to him just before he left for basic training and said something like "You know, honey, this is not like a video game or shooting targets.' There will be young men on the other side trying to kill you before you kill them."' "Mom," he replied, nonplussed while I was reverberating with discomfort, "the way I drive, I could get killed on the freeway.' Of course, I don't want to die or even get hurt.' And some day, I'm going to die anyway, because, eventually, we all do.' If I die in combat, I will at least have died for a noble purpose." I was stunned.' My eighteen year old wild kid had overnight turned into a man who understood that a life without purpose is the greatest loss.' The constant memory of that conversation is what buoys me as a mother of a combat soldier.' I'm so proud.I have used my own experience to help the mothers, wives, and children of warriors; I help them understand that they are not just wives, mothers, and children - they are warrior wives, warrior mothers, and warrior children - and provide them real back-up for these extraordinary people' The sacrifice of time, energy, commitment, financial riches, and sometimes life and limb, make these warriors and their families special and deserving of infinitely more respect than they get by some who don't appreciate the price of freedom from enemies foreign and domestic, as well as from natural disasters.I am reminded of a scene from the Yul Brynner version of the film, "The Magnificent Seven." It takes place in Mexico, where a small village is one of the many terrorized by a roving gang of Mexican bandits preying on their own.' Yul and six of his gun-slinging buddies are hired to protect the town.' The scene of most importance to the issue of heroes and warriors is one in which one of the gunslingers tries to shoo away two young boys who are enthralled with him as a warrior and hero.' One of them insults his own father, calling him a coward.' The gunman grabs him and yells at him (I'm paraphrasing here): "We're just men with guns.' Your fathers are the real heroes.' They work hard every day trying to squeeze food from the dirt to take care of your mothers and siblings.' They struggle against the forces of nature and the evil of bandits.' And they survive to protect and provide for you - they are the real heroes!" The truth is, we need both.' We need those willing to fight evil and disasters and we need those who toil each day supporting those warriors and the life they have us live.' When we lose "one of ours," and collapse into negativity and despair, we destroy 1) what they built, and 2) what they lost.' Their deaths are best honored by our continuing to do what they lived for:' to have wonderful, productive, happy, and safe lives.'Don't take what they lost and waste it with self-pity and rage.' Take what they lost and honor their memory and their efforts by squeezing every ounce of joy that life,' love, relationships, hobbies, work, family, and just plain smelling the lilacs can give.We most honor the deaths of warriors by continuing their commitment, not by giving up on our own.'A respected rabbi once said: "Despair is a cheap excuse for avoiding one's purpose in life.' And a sense of purpose is the best way to avoid despair." I have relied on this sentiment many times as despair has grabbed at my feet.' I hope this helps you.My heart is with all of you, past and present.Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger More >>

Tags: AttitudeHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt's been a well-known, absolute fact that you're supposed to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water each day to help flush toxins from the body, prevent weight gain, and improve skin tone.' I'm surprised folks haven't been walking around with those aluminum hospital poles holding up bags of water for an all-day water drip.' Remember all the recent arguing about those ubiquitous plastic water bottles and whether or not they should be banned?Well, brace yourself.' Dr. Dan Negoianu and Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division of the University of Pennsylvania say that not one single study indicates that an average, healthy person needs to drink that much water each day.They did report the obvious:' that individuals in hot, dry climates, as well as athletes, need to increase the amount of water they drink.' But no studies have found any benefit to the organs of increased water intake.' Evidently, there is little to no data to support that drinking more water curbs your appetite, cures headaches, or improves skin tone.On the average, the body uses between 1.7 and 2.6 pints (1.0 - 1.5 liters) of water daily, and more in high temperatures or when exercising.' While this can be replaced through drinks, a large amount is also contained in food, so it isn't necessary to drink an equivalent amount to replace water levels.Keep in mind that too much water can affect the balance of salts in the body, causing "water intoxication," which can be fatal - as it was to that woman in the radio contest where contestants were supposed to drink water continually without urinating in order to win a Wii. More >>

Tags: Health
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05/13/2010
IconAccording to the Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2008) restaurant owners have identified a "worrisome" long-term trend: "The number of harried working moms isn't growing the way it was." What??' This is a worrisome trend for marriages and children?' I think not!' Instead, this is a worrisome trend for businesses built on the virtual dissolution of family bonding and togetherness.Since the percentage of women in the work force has been dropping, the result is less money in the family budget for eating out.' Fatty, salt-laden, hyper-caloric, oversized meals will have to go by the wayside for warm, home-cooked meals filling the home with luscious aromas and bringing a family together around their own kitchen table.Ahh....not to worry!' Restaurants are coming up with ideas to undermine all that syrupy "homey" stuff:' offering children's books, Etch-A-Sketch toys and handheld video games to appeal to children who might drag in their parents; and also coming up with ideas of pre-cooked meals moms can buy at the grocery.There is always hope that the disgusting new television program, "The Secret Life of A Soccer Mom" will simply succeed in seducing moms and wives away from their families to go back into some "dream" job..... More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreexerciseHealthParenting
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05/13/2010
IconIt's been all over the news.' A "nanny-cam" in the home of two twin preemies showed the nanny handling the children like trash bags.' I mean, if you know it's going to be shown on Nancy Grace's television program, it has to be bad!The single most important issue, however, was never addressed.' Where were their parents?' These delicate babies were in the hands of hired help and not their own parents.' Nowhere in the news pieces did anyone suggest that these parents had to work or risk being homeless.' Quite the contrary.There are babies who have been forgotten, neglected, and abused in day-care centers.' Now, nannies are doing the same in the parents' home.' Parents themselves are forgetting their own children in cars, which literally causes the children to be poached to death.' When will the tide turn back to parents making their children their number one priority, and moving their dual careers or owning "things" to a lower spot on their list?' Until then, more horrifying stories are sure to come. More >>

Tags: anxietyChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthParentingStress
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05/13/2010
IconA recent essay in the New York Times (December 2, 2007) talked about the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and others where the word "friends" is used to describe email relationships with folks we barely know.' Humans are gregarious creatures and fare better belonging to networks of family, community, spiritual groups, clubs, and so forth - all of which are sustained through face-to-face contact.The bottom line is that the more time we spend online, the less time we spend having true relationships complete with challenges, vulnerability, risks and profundity.' These are not real-world relationships with depth.' These on-line relationships are shadows and facsimiles which ultimately amount to little more than casual, superficial experiences.One mother, Jene, who listens regularly to my radio program, sent me this letter her 21 year-old son wrote to Facebook.' I suggest you show this to all your children and read it twice yourself if you are hooked to on-line pseudo-friendships: "As a mother of two young adults, I've witnessed their obsessive involvement with the many electronic forms of communication that are all the rage in recent years...email, instant messaging, texting, and the several web-based social networks like Facebook and MySpace.' All are useful communication tools, but often counterproductive in really getting to know people. It came to my attention that my 21 year-old son took a bold step recently and closed down his Facebook account by writing a breaking-up letter and posting it as a good-bye.' When he shared it with me, I was touched, relieved, and very proud of his stand.' I asked him if I might share this with you.' His grin, soft laugh and nod of his head spoke volumes: 'Facebook, we need to have a DTR (defining the relationship) talk...It's not all your fault, it's mostly mine...This is the end of you and me, Facebook.' I'm leaving you because I have spent more time browsing your pages than I have been spending in the pages of The Good Book.' And I can't live like that anymore.' I've let you become a monster...you've taken too much of my time and my thoughts.' Maybe it's just my lack of self-control or discipline, but you're addictive to me.' I'm ashamed of the number of times I check you daily.' If I were able to grasp how much time I have spent swimming though your endless ocean of profiles, I would be able to bear the guilt. Here's why: because of your profiles, I've become lazy.' Because of you I found myself talking with person after person, asking them questions that I already knew the answers to.' On many levels I've substituted and even avoided personal interactions with people because of your artificial and superficial means of communication.' You have diluted my perception of true social interaction. You've made me a coward.' There's a difference between a Facebook friend and an actual friend.' Everyone knows the difference, but when one tries to reach across the barrier from Facebook friends to actual friends it just isn't the same. Facebook, you're not all bad.' You have your benefits.' I must admit, you allow me to network and keep in touch with people with whom I normally wouldn't have been able to...but at what cost?' Wasting time Facebooking people I'll never meet has distracted me from meeting the person sitting next to me in class, or has kept me from calling up and hanging out with an old friend because Facebooking is just as good?' I beg to differ. In some form or another, you've hindered my investment in the relationships with those genuine people hiding behind the idealistic profiles they've made of themselves.' Let's face it, I don't perceive myself in the same way someone else perceives me.' From now on, I only want to know people for whom they truly are; not for what you (Facebook) says they are.' I just can't trust you. 'This might seem radical, but I have to make up for lost time.' This hurts me just as much as it hurts you, but I have to take a stand.'Logging out for good, Kyle.'" I am so very impressed with Kyle's maturity and good sense. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreExerciseHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMySpaceSocial Networking
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Tags: HealthSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm Against Mandatory Cervical-Cancer Vaccine for Pre-teen Girls: It makes sense to me to require school children to have immunization to measles, chicken pox and polio, because these are highly contagious diseases readily spread in a classroom or schoolyard setting. However, mandating immunization of American school girls for HPV (human papilloma virus), transmitted sexually, as a requirement for attending public or private schools is patently outrageous and should be fought tooth and nail by every parent in America. HPV is responsible for genital warts and most cases of cervical cancer. However, this vaccine protects against only four strains of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases. That means, all women still need regular PAP smears to detect cancerous cells caused by other HPV strains.The American Cancer Society estimates that 11, 150 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 3,670 will die in the U.S. this year. That is equivalent to 0.77% of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. and 0.65% of U.S. cancer deaths each year; while almost 180,000 American women will get diagnosed with breast cancer this year and over 40,000 will die.Of the more than 25,000 patients who participated in clinical trials, only 1,184 were pre-teen girls. Certainly, that is not enough of a population to determine dosage and long term effects of the vaccine, Gardasil, on children- who notoriously respond uniquely to drugs of many kinds.Since its release last June, 82 adverse effects have been reported, ranging from nausea and fever or rashes, to fainting spells.Last and not least is the fact that this vaccine is being produced and marketed by one company only, Merck. The company has been aggressively lobbying states to make this vaccine mandatory, which will be a profit windfall for them.Eighty percent of cervical cancer cases occur in developing countries. It seems to me that bringing the vaccine to these poor cultures would be more benevolent...but less profitable.So far, the states that are considering making HPV vaccination mandatory for pre-teen girls, or have already mandated it are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.Make sure you opt out due to reasons of religion or conscience. If that is not possible - home school.It just appears to me that this legislation is more about Merck profits and liberal sexual politics than the well-being of our children. The government does have the obligation to intercede for the public good. Explain to me why the government protects names and infection status of HIV (a virtual epidemic in this world) infected persons from their spouses, or sex partners but imagines it is in the public interest to basically force and test nine year old children for a disease for which there is minimal risk?The answer is somewhere between politics and corporate politics.*My thanks to John Carreyrou in WSJ (February 7, 2007) for the statistical information. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensHealthSocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
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Tags: Bad Childhood - Good LifeBad Childhood-Good LifeHealth
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