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IconAs children do in general, when I was a small child, I lied to my parents when I got caught doing something I shouldn't have, or not doing something I should have.' The reason why lying is so popular among children is that it is their attempt to keep out of trouble and avoid punishment.After a while, as children mature, they learn that lying is worse than the dumb thing they did (like eat all the potato chips before their parents' party started), because it hurts the relationship by destroying trust .' In addition, lying brought consequences - dire consequences in the old days (spankings) and stupid consequences in the present (loss of cell phone privileges for a few days), or none at all (when parents are just too busy).Nonetheless, the value of honesty (as demanded in the commandment not to bear false witness) has been a cornerstone in this country's value system about measuring character in individuals.We already have way too many "role models" who actually make superficial lifestyles, drugs, casual sex, and domestic violence attractive to our children, making it harder and harder to tell them " That's wrong to do, and if you do it, you will be publicly embarrassed, and your life will get off track ."' There isn't much in society to back that statement up anymore.I am soooooo glad I don't have a young child at home anymore.' Sitting at breakfast last week, watching the so-called news, I looked up to see Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd say (and I paraphrase) that the line in the federal stimulus bill which would have given over $100 million in bonuses to AIG executives - the ones responsible for the company's demise - if they were promised before February 11th, was nothing he knew about. "When I left work after writing that part of the bill...that sentence wasn't there." I sat there "chewing" on his statement, wondering what gremlin snuck into his office and typed that sentence while he was home in the bosom of his family.' My question was answered within seconds as a second news clip was shown with him admitting the HE was the gremlin, but then he threw the White House under the bus with, "They made me do it."Now I am mortified. "I didn't have sex with that woman," and "I didn't' write the sentence that stole money from Americans to give bonuses to high-ranking losers" have entered the ranks of the story about George Washington admitting to his dad that he cut down the cherry tree.I could see my kid right now..."Ah, mommy, what's the story here?"' You said lying was bad, and bad things would come of it, like at least looking bad, but he's still going to be a Senator tomorrow."Millions of you out there have children who saw what I saw.' What are you going to say to them about corruption at the highest levels that ultimately gets just a "wink and a nod?"' What about all those courses in school where "character matters?"' Where does it matter in public anymore?' Some of you can fall back on "God knows, and for all eternity, it WILL make a difference."' I like that a lot, except children don't think long-term, nor do they dwell on the importance of what they can't see.Asian countries have it right - they threaten people with the anger and shame of their ancestors.' America has it wrong.' It would seem to children that the only really important quality needed to become a public figure is to not give a damn about right and wrong or what people think, or that a lie is anything but an expedient tool with no meaningful consequences.Oh, yeah, the White House is acting all outraged about the AIG bonuses at the same time it is apparently the source of the benevolent donation to the failed executive fund of AIG.' Is this what they mean by the "trickle down" theory?Were I to have a child by my side this morning, I would say:' "Beloved child, when you read history books (and not the purged ones you get at school, but real history books), you will see that success and honesty are not necessarily bed partners.' Nonetheless, never do anything you would be ashamed to have your kids know you did or have them do.' I would rather you lost everything you worked for, rather than lose your soul."' I figure the more you tell kids this from the day they're born to the day you die, we'll have some people in this life we can trust. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPoliticsValues
IconTranscription of Opening Monologue from Dr. Laura's program 1.23.2009 Dr. Laura: Well, we have another anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade "you can kill the babies in your body" law.' And there was a big march yesterday and, supposedly, our new president was going to be signing an executive order un-doing Bush's, which undid Clinton's, which undid the first Bush's (they went back and forth) about the government putting money in non-governmental foreign concerns, when there are abortions, so that we, the tax payers, wouldn't be paying for it.Now, apparently, there's going to be a lot of money in perpetuity, for the rest of all humanity, going to the number one baby-killing mechanism in the United States, which is, in my opinion, Planned Parenthood.' So I've been beseeched and besieged with people telling me to go to war over this.' I've given it great thought and slept on it.' Me?' I'm no wuss - if there's a battle to be fought, I'm there, with pearl-handled guns.' No question about it.However, approaching this issue of abortion through the legislature and the courts is a lost battle.' Totally lost battle, in my opinion.' And since I'm big on personal responsibility and moral choices, that's where this ought to go.I am here every day begging, pressuring, cajoling, negotiating, nagging people to do the right thing, especially when it comes to their kids.' Not divorcing, unless it's dangerous or destructive in some horrendous way, because kids need an intact family.' Not to have kids out of wedlock intentionally, because that ruins their lives, statistically speaking, emotionally and psychologically.' And not to have abortions.' You live with that for the rest of your life, and there's a dead human being who could've been somebody really special.So, basically, I sit here every day, well five days a week, and put pressure.' Pressure, pressure, pressure.' I give the arguments I can, write the books and support, what I believe, are more humane decisions.' And that's the way it's going to have to be.' The law could say that it's perfectly legal to rip a baby out of your body anytime you damn well want.' But the law can be there, and we can choose not to do it.' It's not against the law to not have an abortion.' It's not against the law to put a child in a situation for adoption.' And, is the only time we're going to do something, is when there's a law?' Can't we do the right thing without a badge in our face?So, in your families, you can teach your children that affordable housing means housing you can afford, not housing the tax payers can afford for you, but what you can afford for you.' I've lived in some sad situations, but that's because that's what I could afford.' So, for me, that was affordable housing.' To say somebody else has to afford your housing is not the mentality this country was built on.' And it's certainly not a mentality that makes you feel good about yourself.' That it's perfectly legal to get pregnant, abort, pregnant, abort, pregnant, abort, pregnant, abort, doesn't mean it's something you ought to do or it's a good thing to do.' It can't make you feel better as a person or a woman, when giving somebody you created the opportunity for life is a better choice.So I give up with the Planned Parenthood nonsense.' That, to me, is just part of the evil empire...that place.' And I give up with Roe vs. Wade.' I give up with that.' You're not going to get anywhere with that, folks.' Give that up and turn to each other.' Stop looking for the government to take care of this.' Look to yourself.' Influence each other.' Do the right thing; be open about it.' Anybody who's ever gotten pregnant in the wrong situation and put a baby up for adoption, say it out loud!' Make it be a wonderful thing!' Not a thing of shame, but a wonderful thing - that you were willing to sacrifice nine months of your life, plus the nine months it takes to get your body and mind back together again, in order that another human being, brought into this world by no fault of their own, no doing of their own, has a life.' You should be proud of yourself.' That's why when women call me and tell me they put children up for adoption they couldn't take care of, I tell them they're my heroes.' So, stop looking to the government for the handout, the bailout, the law.' You know what the right thing is to do.' You know.' You know the right thing to do.' Unfortunately, since the beginning of time (read the Bible) the influences around you try to dissuade you from doing the right thing.' Listen to the small, still voice:' Your conscience that tells you the truth.' Follow that voice.' If not, follow mine.' Okay? More >>

Tags: CharityMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityPlanned ParenthoodPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
IconI'm all for feminists...in their place, of course (which clearly isn't in the kitchen; but I digress)Instead of marching in public to make sure that babies born even up to, but not including, their heads can be killed (also known as late term abortion), and that minors can abort their babies without mommy and daddy knowing, and demanding that the world provide day-care so that all mothers can dump their kids into the arms of hired help, and also that unmarried women can adopt babies in spite of the need of children for a daddy...how 'bout having these well- meaning activists go to Afghanistan and protect girls whose only wish is to go to school and be educated so they can participate in their society?'As reported by the Associated Press - and not for the first time - Taliban men on motorcycles attacked 15 girls on their way to school and squirted their faces with acid. The next morning, no girls showed up at school in Kandahar's Mirawais Mena girls' school.Arsonists have repeatedly attacked girls' schools and gunmen kill students.' UNICEF says there were 236 school-related attacks in Afghanistan in 2007.Activism is an important quality of people motivated with a mission to preserve and protect innocents.' Feminists go after fetuses...let them instead go after the Taliban.' I think it would make a huge statement and impact to have American women locked and loaded and protecting these young women who strive for the basic right to an education.If America's feminists would commit to such missions, I would respect and support them wholeheartedly. More >>

Tags: PoliticsSAHM stay at home momSocial IssuesValues
IconThe great state of Nebraska was the last state of the union to sign what became the most comprehensive child safe haven law in America.' In most states, the law specifies that an infant can be left at a "safe-haven" - usually meaning a hospital or a fire department...somewhere the child will get immediate attention - without the parent having to suffer any legal ramifications.' Since the law took effect in July, some twenty-three children have been brought to safe-havens...some across state lines.Obviously, this idea came about as a means of saving lives.' The thought was that now people who might toss their babies into dumpsters or abuse them would have the opportunity to save their lives by putting them in the care of responsible people.' From here, appropriate child care would be found through adoptions or the care of appropriate and willing relatives.' I always thought this was a great idea.I had fits hearing criticism that this is abandonment or passing on responsibility.' Children in the hands of parents addicted to drugs or alcohol, suffering from various mental illnesses and overwhelmed, barely functional and generally desperate, or simply unwilling are at great risk - and if even one of them has the compassion and good sense to make use of a safe-haven...then we have saved a life...not only from death...but from abuse and a childhood leading only to troubles and problems.Society is always better off when unwanted children have opportunities with adoptive families, quality foster-families, or placement with relatives who might not even have known there was a problem.' These children will have a better chance to grow up more adjusted, and that will obviously minimize bad "acting out" (sexual or criminal variety)' or substance abuse to quell emotional pain.Unfortunately, because of criticism aimed at parents who take advantage of protecting their children rather than harming them, the Governor of Nebraska, Dave Heinemen, is calling a special session of the legislature to change the state's unique safe-haven law - amending it so that it applies only to infants up to 3 days old.' I believe this is a HUGE mistake.The communications office of the Governor prepared a statement for all Nebraskans explaining his point of view. "Children from eight families have been left at hospitals under the safe haven law.' None of the children involved were infants and one was in immediate danger.' Courts are likely to require parents and guardians to participate in parenting classes, family therapy, conflict resolution or other services in an effort to reunite youth with their families." I'm delighted that the Governor points out that there are services that MIGHT...only might...eliminate the necessity for the safe-haven - but very often, parental termination might be in the best interest of children of any age.The Governor points out that safe haven laws were not designed to allow families having difficulty with older youth and teenagers to "abandon their children or responsibilities as parents." Well, some parents just can't or won't be responsible...and abandonment would be to throw them out of the house...not deliver them to people who can help.The Governor further suggests that parents considering safe-haven might turn to local health and human services offices...well, sometimes those are not as available or supportive or empowered to remedy a desperately difficult situation.While I support his concern about protecting infants in danger...they are not the only children who need such protection.I hope Nebraska keeps its child safe haven law and doesn't dilute it down to 3-day newborns. More >>

Tags: AbusecareerChild NeglectChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenJobParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
IconThe Pew Research Center tested the public's political knowledge earlier this year by asking 1) which party had the majority in the House of Representatives; 2) the name of the United States Secretary of State; and 3) who is the Prime Minister of Great Britain.The survey found that about half of Americans knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, but only 42% could identify Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State.' Only a little over 25% of Americans could name Gordon Brown as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and only 18% of the public answered all three questions correctly.' Got that? Fewer than 1 in 5 Americans could answer all three questions correctly! This is why candidates for leader of the free world go on television comedy shows like Saturday Night Live , The Tonight Show , and the David Letterman Show to reach the public.' Dignified presentations obviously don't make much of an impression on the electorate.It was interesting to note which groups scored the best on this survey.' In terms of getting all three questions correct, regular readers of The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines scored the highest, at 48%.' Listeners to NPR were next at 44%, followed by viewers of Hardball (43%) and Hannity & Colmes (42%).Rush Limbaugh's audience was next at 36%, followed by viewers of The O'Reilly Factor (28%), and the audiences for Larry King, CNN, and Fox News all came in at 19%.' Now here's a surprise - out of all those who got the three questions correct, 9% of them were regular readers of The National Enquirer ! More >>

Tags: PoliticsValues
IconWhen I was a child, I looked up with admiration, respect and even awe at the people who were in public office.' I never heard much about illegal financial activities or illicit sexual relations.' News anchors always spoke with respect about our governmental officials, and debates and opinions were offered with dignity.Here I am, at 61, hearing that if you don't vote for a black candidate that you are a racist (but you're not if you're voting for a candidate specifically because they are black).' I'm hearing feminists attack a woman Vice Presidential candidate simply because she's pro-life. I'm watching television political ads which outright lie and offend basic sensibilities, with both parties presenting people who don't really have the true knowledge and experience to be the most powerful representative of the free world.' I'm seeing a candidate with child-care issues and an out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy in her family, candidates appearing on undignified mass entertainment comedy programs to win votes, and a cacophony of television and radio commentators saying the most outrageously mean things about people they don't know personally. I'm also hearing about mass cheating in voter registrations, and a populace which seems to be relatively disinterested in facts...just emotions, looks and personality.The years of vulgar reality programs and'media free speech, unfettered by responsiblity, have dumbed us down and made us crass.' According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, only 18% of Americans know which party holds the House majority, can name the American Secretary of State, or the Prime Minister of Britain.' I find this a bit scary - and very sad. More >>

Tags: PoliticsValues
Tags: HumorPoliticsValues
IconEnough already with the over-reaction to the Sarah Palin cover picture on Newsweek .I first learned of this so-called serious issue watching Fox News in the morning.' One of their hosts, a gorgeous blonde, was holding up the magazine and the camera zoomed in on the cover, and I thought it was...fine.' It shows Mrs. Palin close up, with about 60% of her face exposed.' Frankly, I think it's a nice shot.'The complaints from the news hosts were that it wasn't retouched to take away the deepness of the marionette lines between nose and mouth and the slight creping around her eyes.My first reaction was, "Give me a break...that's what she looks like at her age with her facial contours.' It's real and she doesn't look bad at all - she happens to be a pretty woman."The hosts then flashed a prior Newsweek cover with Obama...at more of a distance without one obvious facial flaw and a light diffusing from the top of his head, which made him look like a moment in the movie The Ten Commandments -- the halo effect told a lot about the "messiah-like" impression that this publication was attempting to create to influence the readership.While I am not supportive of Mrs. Palin for the Vice-Presidency, as I have made clear in a previous blog , I am also not supportive of media manipulation to subliminally impact the populace to vote for the party of the media's choice.' That said, it is the Obama cover that should be criticized, not Palin's...hers is at least a real rendition of a real human being.I recently took a new set of head shots and publicity photos for an upcoming book (" In Praise of At-Home Moms ") and other promotional purposes.' When I first saw them, I just about cried.' Where did all those crow's feet, laugh lines, and creping of neck skin come from?' I work out hard most days of the week so my muscles and flexibility are amazing.' Working out and eating correctly are under my control.' Getting weekly facials to keep my skin clear and hydrated is under my control.' The changes one has through maturation (aka "aging") are not under my control.' I'm embarrassed to tell you that seeing those photos ruined my afternoon as I have never in my life before felt so womanly, sexy, and feminine!' The photos did not seem to match my inner image.The next day I looked at the photos again and - after sleeping on it and talking about it with my dearest friends - I just absolutely love them and told my business partner to make sure they were not air-brushed.' I never liked my current photos because they touched them up to remove all lines...making me, in my opinion, look absolutely bionic.' I love my new ones now because they are real and show me mature, attractive, happy, and, untouched, and make a statement about pride in oneself even with imperfections.So, to summarize, I like the Palin Newsweek photo. I disdain the liberal media's manipulations of Obama photos to further their political agenda.' And I love my new photos...you'll see 'em soon! More >>

Tags: PoliticsValues
IconI am watching TV news early this morning and hear that Senator McCain is suspending his campaign for President of the United States to stay in Washington, D.C. to actually do the job he's been elected to and getting a salary for.' I also hear that whether or not a plan is agreed upon to deal with the financial crisis of the United States, that Senator Obama will leave Washington D.C. early this morning to continue his campaign for President.After talking to one of my friends who quipped: "McCain is using this opportunity as a campaign maneuver." I said, "Hey, he's actually doing the job he's being paid for." I am always impressed when a politician takes personal responsibility to actually do their job.Unfortunately, by noontime, Senator McCain apparently had decided that he had completed the job and decided to call it a day and head off to join Senator Obama for a long weekend of campaigning.What other job is there in the known universe where you can get elected, have a nice title, get paid a really good salary, have fabulous job security for two to six years, and then spend most of your time working towards another job?' Only the job in Congress!' We have Senators from Arizona and Illinois who are spending just about every waking hour vying for the Oval Office, and a Governor from Alaska together with a Senator from Delaware who are trying to get second dibs on Air Force One.I, for one, believe that they all should have resigned to run for further office, and left the support of their constituents to someone who's doing the job full time. More >>

Tags: Personal ResponsibilityPoliticsValues
IconBarack Obama and Joseph Biden are both fishing for the women's vote - especially disenchanted Hillary Clinton feminists.' Biden has insisted that Republicans, including Sarah Palin, represent a step backwards for women.'But when you look at the labor market data from the Census Bureau (as Professor Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago has in a new study), to figure out " the amount and reasons for women's progress in the labor market since the 1960s" something very interesting is revealed. (Wall Street Journal 9/12/08). In 1988, the last full year of Republican Ronald Reagan's administration, wage growth for women working full-time throughout the year improved by 8.3% from the end of the Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter. "Johnson, Carter, and Clinton were all Democrats, yet none of them witnessed much labor-market progress for women during their administrations:' eight years of Reagan, four years of George H.W. Bush, and six years of George W. Bush." The Nixon-Ford administrations were the only Republican administrations that didn't make it to this list of forward momentum for women.'In the Quarterly Journal of Economics , August, 2008, Professor Mulligan and Yona Rubenstein (from Brown University) calculated the statistics that showed women's annual wage growth relative to men's:'Under Republican administrations, women's annual wage growth relative to men was .0.87% under George W. Bush, 1.4% under George H.W. Bush, and 1.6% under Ronald Reagon.' Under Democratic administrations, women fared less well.' Their annual wage growth relative to men was 0.21% under Bill Clinton, 0.04% under Jimmy Carter, and minus 1% under Lyndon Johnson.'I like that color lipstick, especially if the kids are grown or Daddy is home with the kidlets. More >>

Tags: BudgetFeminismFinancesPoliticsSocial Issues
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