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Social Issues
05/13/2010
IconI love Susan Boyle.' I've never watched any of those "Idol," "Model," or "Talent" shows.' The only reason I know of Susan Boyle is that she has hit the news big time.' For those of you, like me, who don't keep up with these shows, Susan Boyle made a big hit on "Britain's Got Talent" as a singer.Unfortunately, the news was two-fold:' boy, is she ever unattractive, and boy, can she ever sing.Susan Boyle is 47, overweight, flabby, and has graying, frizzy hair, bushy eyebrows, and a blubbery face.' Susan Boyle also has the singing ability of an angel, giving a performance of the Les Miserables tune "I Dreamed A Dream" that has made her an instant star with more than 20 million views on YouTube.Now the debates rage:' should she or shouldn't she get some kind of makeover to look prettier on camera?''' The United Kingdom's Guardian published a "no, she shouldn't; she should stay natural" comment from one of their most "done over" women stars.' Others are repulsed by her looks, and can't imagine that beautiful voice coming from such a plain, frumpy woman.Many of those 20 million plus YouTube views very likely occurred simply because of that incredible contrast.' For many, it was like watching a geek or freak show, so they could laugh at her lack of physical attributes, without, of course, looking in the mirror themselves.Me?' I give her lots of credit for being more focused on her voice than on her lack of beauty.' She is definitely not attractive.' Should she get face work to match the scores of women who all look like they came out of the same factory:' the puffed-up face, abnormally protruding cheeks, and lips that look like the rump side of an orangutan?' I wouldn't advise it.Clearly, this is not a woman of means...yet.' So, getting her hair colored and calmed down, learning some makeup tips, and having clothes which best compliment her ample figure is something that is probably in the works now, which means that she'd be spiffing up what she has, and not getting surgically transformed into a vision which will make the snide snickers go away.' Making the best of what you have is admirable and advisable; getting re-made into something nobody is, is not admirable nor advisable.And the main point is that she has a beautiful voice, and a tremendous amount of talent.' If she were "pretty," I wonder how many YouTube hits there would have been.' Gosh...I long for the days before television and the Internet, when only the quality of what a person had to offer was revealed. More >>

Tags: choose wisely treat kindlyChoose Wisely-Treat KindlyInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriagePersonal ResponsibilityReality TVSocial IssuesWomen's Point of View
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I went to college (I was an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook), in addition to the police raids on the campus dorm pot smokers, and the demonstrations against the Vietnam war, there were actually serious academic classes which educated students in math, science, philosophy, literature, engineering, physics, business, and social sciences among other disciplines.The expressed common goal was to graduate informed students who were competent to take on the next phase of their lives in some productive way, contributing to society, in addition to financially supporting their prospective families.For the longest while, I fear, colleges and universities have minimized that lofty goal in exchange for ideological "brainwashing" and political correctness, threatening those who hold opinions different from the prevailing political persuasion of the faculty.' I think that colleges and universities have become scary places for individuals of a more traditional bent.Students at the University of Maryland recently attempted to join in with other so-called bastions of higher learning by playing a triple-x pornographic film for entertainment.' The screening was set up by the school's student union.' The film got yanked when State Senator Andy Harris threatened to pull state funding from the school's budget.' Evidently, money talks.Senator Harris said, "Students can't light up a cigarette in the student union, but can watch a hardcore XXX porn film.' Occasional viewing of porn is more dangerous than occasionally lighting up a cigarette.' If the movie is being shown for educational reasons [yeah, right], someone should be presenting the dangers too.' Porn breaks up lives." Of course, those who don't remember their history (and how the Tower of London was the final stop for those who contradicted the British monarchy), and think that the US First Amendment is just about ANYTHING, complained that this, the most expensive porn movie ever made, was an issue of free speech. "Off with their heads," I say.' The production company actively has been seeking college campuses to screen the film since last summer, because they're looking to breed future audiences for their debasing tripe.'The University of Maryland's student union planned to have a representative from Planned Parenthood talk about safe sex.' HAH!' Planned Parenthood makes money by having girls and women kill the babies in their bodies as a form of "after-the-fact" birth control. I can see why they would want to be there to push their wares, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be explaining why they typically don't call the police when an underage girl, who has been impregnated by an adult male, comes in for an abortion - bad for business, I guess.'Eventually, the university reversed its position and allowed the screening, as long as it contained an "educational component."' Four "experts" spoke on freedom of speech, and then screened the first 30 minutes of the 2 1/2 hour hard-core film.'The film has already been shown at UCLA, Northwestern University, Carnegie-Mellon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Southern Connecticut State University.Aren't the alumni proud. More >>

Tags: EducationSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensHealthMother's DayMotherhood-FatherhoodSexSexualitySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconIn the more than three decades I have been on the radio and in counseling practice, the saddest experiences (and the most difficult to be helpful with) are those where parents call to tell me their child is dead.' The child may have been the victim of an accident, war, a crime, an illness, or a suicide.' No matter which, the pain is unimaginable and the duration is infinite.' It is against the "order of things" for our children to die first; and it is against the order of things for us to feel incapable of protecting our children from everything, anything, and anyone.'The hurt and rage a parent feels is understandable.' A desire to do something with that hurt and rage is also understandable. It is generally difficult to get a sense of closure or justice or revenge.' And so many parents believe that, if they can get one or all of those, the pain goes away.' It doesn't....not really.An 18 year old young woman in Ohio sent nude pictures of herself to a boyfriend.' Apparently, this "texting" of private parts is quite the rage in the youth population.' At some point, the relationship ended, and he, I guess, thought it would be amusing to send the photos to other students at the school.In May, 2008, the young teen went on a local Cincinnati television station to warn other teens against sending personal body part or naked photos to others, lest they also go through the harassment that she got, as students - mostly girls - called her a "slut" and a "whore."' In spite of her noble efforts to warn other young people, and the gratitude she got from innumerable parents, two months later, she decided to kill herself, apparently as a way to avoid the painful embarrassment."Sexting" (as it's called) is a growing problem that has resulted in child pornography charges being filed against some teens across the country, because sending sexually charged pictures of minors is a crime' One national survey found that 39% or more of teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages, and 48% report receiving them!This young woman was humiliated by the daily snide remarks, and she started skipping school.' Her mother drove her to school to make sure she got there.' Then, after attending the funeral of one of her friends who committed suicide, this young, tormented woman hanged herself in her bedroom.Of course, the focus for her mother is an attempt to punish those students or the school with lawsuits and criminal charges.' The mother is understandably beside herself and wanting to lash out in rage.' However, the fault doesn't lie in the stars.' The openly sexual environment that children are exposed to makes these behaviors (like oral sex in middle school classrooms and bathrooms across the country) seem like the norm for the day.' Girls have always wanted to make boys love them, and cell phone texting technology just gives young people another avenue to express their hopeful desperation to be wanted and loved.It was pathetic and stupid of her to send the picture; it was unconscionable of her ex-boyfriend to expose her to ridicule; it was disgusting for girls (competitive little witches that some can be) to make fun of her; it was brave for her to use her experience to warn others; it was too bad her family didn't get her mental health support or transfer her to another school; it was a deadly coincidence that her friend committed suicide; it is an unspeakable anguish that she thought this was the best solution for a "temporary" problem.I hesitate to write "temporary" because, with the Internet, such photos are forever, and those who wish to cause hurt to others relish in exploiting such mishaps for their own pathetic ego gain.Parents, many of your children have already done this via hand-held video cameras or computer cameras.' Many of your children have already been "embarrassed," while others have become more popular.' Very few will kill themselves, but even then, something in them does die, as what is precious and private becomes entertainment for the immature and downright mean.' Parents, make sure your kids know not to become either. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMental HealthSexSexualitySocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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Tags: Regarding Dr. LauraSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconEven though this is a quirky piece of news from Foxnews.com, I think it has a message about our society.' An 11 year old Pennsylvania boy has been charged with killing his father's pregnant fianc'.' He was in a county jail, but then was sent back to a juvenile facility.' The judge ruled that it was in the boy's best interest to be in a juvenile center, even though he has been charged as an adult.' He's accused of shooting 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk in the head, killing her and her unborn baby boy.' Houk's mother said this boy had been threatening his dad's fianc' for a while.'''''Now, what makes it quirky--he's 11 years old, it's his dad's knocked-up girlfriend...you know, it's got all of the salacious parts in it--that he shot her in the head (she's pregnant...you know, it's really dramatic).' But it also points out something very important.' Now, it is not usual for kids to murder the new love in one of their parent's lives when there is a divorce.' That's very unusual ; it doesn't happen every day, especially with a kid this young.'''''''But what does happen to kids when parents divorce or go off with other people, have more kids, shack up,' maybe marry, maybe not, is that with all the chaos they start not doing well in school, they start experimenting with sex, drugs and alcohol.' They get in trouble with gangs, they get very depressed, and they get into accidents which are really attempts at suicide.'''''''In other words, they act out in all kinds of ways, they show tremendous rage or turn completely inwards.' We get lots of calls from people annoyed about how their kids are behaving after they're divorced and re-married and getting on with their lives.' " Why aren't the kids just conforming?' Dammit. "'''''''So this is a very unusual circumstance.' But his pain and motivation is out there every day as you take away the kid's foundation, as you make him compete with other people's kids, new kids...whatever.' And my guess?' You're going to see more murders, or attempted murders from kids in these situations.' Why?' Because this goes all over the media and gives kids ideas.' They go on the internet, they get ideas, and their little brains that are totally unformed yet...little ideas that are bad sound good when other people have done it.' And they get in the paper and they get on the internet and they get on television.' I suspect you'll see more of this.' Up to now, you've mostly seen just self abuse.' Self abuse, meaning everything as simple as not washing, not having friends anymore, not working hard in school...to self-mutilation, to addictions, to promiscuity, to illegal activities.' This is a big notch up, don't you think?' Especially when it all comes from the same place: chaos. More >>

Tags: DivorceFamily ValuesFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFeminismMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI read in my local paper about a formerly wealthy 90-year-old man who now has a job as a "greeter" in a local store.' It seems the company that managed his money was making bad use of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme and all was lost...especially since this gentleman's once fully-paid-for home was re-mortgaged to get a third of a million dollars more to invest in this debacle.Ironically, one of the factors which keeps people alive longer and healthier in mind, body ,and soul is having work, i.e., some purpose and activity not only to occupy their minds and time but to challenge them.Coincidently, a dear friend of mine owns and runs a lovely hair salon.' It seems that every month she complains about the "young thing" at the front desk. It seems young women can't be counted on to come to work regularly, much less on time and do their jobs as receptionists and appointment bookers.' Obviously,' this is not one of the highest-paid jobs in the universe, but young people today seem to feel entitled to "more" rather than grateful for "a foot in the door" and potential long-term opportunities.Here's where these two stories intersect: I told my friend that she should hire a retired, mature woman who would appreciate the extra money, would like contact with lots of people as colleagues and customers, and would probably love having her hair done for free.' The mature woman would appreciate the excitement and daily mission, and my friend would probably get one of the most reliable workers she's ever envisioned.Were I hiring right now, I'd be a reverse "ageist" and get somebody with a work history and the maturity to appreciate an opportunity where they can still be important to somebody about something and get paid for it! More >>

Tags: BudgetEmploymentFinanceshusbandJobSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm turning my blog today over to a 15 year old, who wrote me the following: Dear Dr. Laura: Hi. My dad sent something to my email that frankly made me sick. A young 13 year boy is now the father of a baby girl that was just born last Monday. The fact that the parents of this young boy let him have a 15 year old girlfriend, and the fact that they support this, makes me angry. This poor little girl is going to grow up with an extremely young mother, an even younger father, and is probably going to live in a broken home. These kids are not ready to be parents. Fortunately, my parents are together and happy, and all my life I've been given examples of what a relationship should be. I'm 15, and will never make the mistake of getting pregnant before I'm married. I feel sorry for the mother and father of the baby, because they've been robbed of their childhood. They will never get the freedom now that I have. I've listened to you for as long as I can remember, and I guess some of what you've been saying has sunk in. I was talking to my mom about the story and telling her how this baby needs to be given a good home with GROWN UP parents to take care of her. I couldn't help thinking afterwards "WOW! That sounded like Dr. Laura!" Thank you so much for your preaching, teaching, and nagging that helps many little babies just like this one. It makes me cry to think that this story probably won't have a happy ending, and my heart goes out to that baby. Thank you so much for fighting for kids who can't speak for themselves, and being a great role model. Laura O. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancySexSexualitySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
Icon"I love your show, but it makes me CRAZY when you subscribe to the double standard that men get a pass on being sexually cavalier but women are to be thoroughly and soundly condemned.' Why, oh why, don't you condemn the men as much as the women?' Why aren't they just as 'piggy' and deserving of condemnation?' That societal attitude encourages men to attempt to use women sexually as their birthright and also encourages women to be insecure and distrustful of sex in general.' You're putting a sexual burka on women overall with that attitude. I'm not advocating casual sex.' I'm condemning the acceptance of a double standard.' Come on!' There are two sides of that coin and each should assume major responsibility for engaging in casual sex.' Until the act is equally condemned, how can women take those rules seriously?" This is a recent email from a listener taking me to task for what she perceives is a sort of anti-female, double standard mentality.'First of all, God and nature are responsible for the reality of a double standard.' Women have breasts from which to suckle the baby born from their uterus after a nine month gestation.' Women's high-pitched voices and hearing are geared for the infant-mother bonding that miraculously takes place right after birth.' Women's temperaments to nurture, cuddle, coo, and protect are hardwired into their psychological programming.' Women are different from men.There is no question that men more easily dissociate love and sex.' Young males in particular are open to sexual experiences for the challenge, orgasmic satisfaction, and status among other males.' These qualities are not synonymous with femininity.Women give themselves sexually to men out of love, a desperate desire to be wanted and loved, or for money.' It is not typical, as it is with men, for a woman to feel proud of the number of men who have penetrated her; and the only women who look for the sexual challenge are those so twisted with anti-male rage that domination of a male is a form of psychological rape which satisfies that neurotic anger.Males are generally out of control every which way until they fall in love and take on the obligations and responsibilities of a man committed to a woman and family.' All the research demonstrates that men who are married make more money, are healthier and happier, and function better socially than "loner" men.' In fact, the deranged males who perpetrate horrendous acts of violence are generally such loner males with no families to make them feel important, give them purpose and direction...and love.Women are the taming and socializing force in society.' Men will only do what women allow.' Remember the ancient Greek classical play "Lysistrata" ?' The women in the town refused to have sex if their men continued to participate in war and violence.' Poof, all the violence stopped.' Women have always had the power over men; but feminism got women off the track of realizing that, and on the track to only hating or disdaining men.Now, women have largely become "pigs."' Instead of embracing modesty, pride, values, and self-value, they parade around showing their bodies like Playboy bunnies, have sex before "hello," shack up with men without marital commitment, make babies on their own (declaring that men/fathers aren't necessary), use abortion as birth control, and don't imagine feminine sweetness has any place in marriage and are bored with sex with their husbands but turn on to every other Tom, Dick, and Harry.' That is why men have little respect for women these days. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCommitmentFeminismPersonal ResponsibilitySexSexualitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconA Connecticut state lawmaker is proposing legislation that would bar schools from punishing students for their electronic insults - even if they write them on class computers during school hours.This idiocy is in response to the punishment meted out to Avery Doninger, a 17 year old high-schooler who was disciplined in 2007 for writing a blog from home using vulgar language to defame and insult school administrators.School authorities barred her from running for office at Lewis B. Mills High School in Burlington as a "punishment."Her parents - of course-- are suing!I can't believe I heard the whole thing.On FoxNews.com, almost 100 people put in their two cents; the following was the most cogent of the bunch: "'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'' As far as I can tell, Congress did not impede on her freedom of speech. The child needs to learn that while she is free to say whatever she feels, there are repercussions to the things we say." And there it is.' You have the freedom so say whatever you'd like - without any consequences?' I think not.Colleges and employers have recourse to Internet records and can judge students by the electronic trail they've left behind, according to Tom Hutton, senior staff attorney for the NSBA (National School Board Association).' Well, let that be a lesson to adolescents who feel bigger than their britches with this pending legislation!The girl's mother "wished her daughter 'had used more sophisticated language.'" Instead of standing by the school punishment to teach her daughter the consequences of not thinking behavior through in advance of indelible actions, she's making it a cause for free speech.'Oh please.' It's another one of those cases of parents defending their children right or wrong because they don't want any criticism or don't want to risk their children's ire by punishing them for wrong- or stupid-doings.'Imagine if the teacher had put on a website that this girl was a "douche bag."' Would anyone defend the teacher or would he or she have to take sensitivity classes and then be fired anyway?We are getting way too far in "The Lord of the Flies" for my tastes. More >>

Tags: AbuseChild AbuseEducationFamily/Relationships - TeensPersonal ResponsibilityPolitical CorrectnessSchoolSocial IssuesTeensValues
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