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Social Issues
05/13/2010
IconDuring my college years in the Sixties, "empowerment" and "consciousness-raising" were the main focus of existence, even though these concepts were largely used to insist that you were a victim of something or someone just for being female.Well, fast forward to now, and one young, married woman in her twenties has decided that giving birth live on the Internet is empowering to women!' The use of that term in this circumstance cracks me up.' I remember, during my loooong labor, my husband saying that he was going to leave to get a cup of coffee.' I threatened him with "if you leave...never come back!!"' I guess that threat was "empowerment," but giving birth in public or private is one of our least powerful times.' We are completely at the mercy of a baby who is usually saying "Hell, no, I won't go."Nonetheless, this woman has decided that taking something personal and making it public is empowering and educational and spreading joy.' Oh, puleeze!' In our sadly growing exhibitionist, voyeuristic, reality show mentality of a society, this is how people become "important," known, and "famous."The point of "personal" is that something is perfected by its modesty, and sharing is not an issue of public promotion, but an opportunity for a few people to embrace a meaningful moment of experience.' Experiences and moments that are universal (like child-bearing) are not educational.' The childbirth is going to be posted on a mom website, which means that they've all been there and done that.Her husband is marginalized.' She admits that he was "hesitant" at first, but I'm sure he ultimately had no say.' There aren't too many decent men who want to share the birth of their first child with a camera crew and a blog audience - that makes Daddy less special and less involved.It's all just sad to me.' And what happens after the event, when the thrill, the attention and adrenaline of being in the spotlight goes away?' What is she going to do with this kid to keep the flow going?' Think Jon and Kate.' Think "sad" for the children who become the means of their parents' moment in the light, in ways other than simply enjoying their first smiles and first steps. More >>

Tags: Common SenseFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFeminismInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPregnancyRelationshipsRelativesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt's bad enough when people drive and talk on the phone - they don't have the use of their phone hand for maneuvering the car (and in many states, talking without a hands-free headset is illegal), and they are totally absorbed in a conversation, meaning they're not looking alertly for pedestrians, bicyclists, a herd of buffalo or other cars.' What's even more egregious is the texting craze which has the driver looking down and reading or dialing or writing and not even looking ahead at the road for several seconds, which could mark the difference between life and death.For Victoria McBryde, 24, those few precious seconds meant her death.' 22 year old Phillipa Curtis has been convicted of the death of Ms McBryde - caused by texting while driving.' The victim's car had broken down and was by the side of the road with all its lights on and emergency lights blinking - a bit hard NOT to notice.' Nonetheless, she was killed instantly when her car was rear-ended by the texting Ms. Curtis, who will spend only two years in prison for this crime.This all took place in Britain, which has added jail time to a conviction for killing by texting and driving.' Ms. Curtis' phone records indicated that she had exchanged nearly two dozen messages with at least five friends, mostly concerning her encounter with a celebrity singer she had served at a restaurant where she worked. That's what was so important?' For that, someone had to die?? Death due to dangerous driving (e.g., texting) is on the level of drinking while driving, and can earn four to seven years in jail.' Apparently, the perp was a pretty, seemingly sweet young thing, and so her jail time was minimized by the judge - a sentence that was met with anger by the victim's family as well as the by the prosecutor...and by me.Ironically, it was also discovered that the victim herself had sent a text message and talked on her cell phone using the speaker function while driving before her car broke down.'Please don't think you are invincible, and the laws and recommendations about driving safely apply to everyone else, while you are "special."' The lives of these two young women are forever changed.' One life was forfeited; the other woman is jailed and living with the guilt of having killed another human being because she just had to gossip to five friends about seeing a rock star.' Sad. More >>

Tags: Common SenseHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesPoliticssexless marriageSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: MarriageSexSexualitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI never thought I'd see this headline, but it is real:' "Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound."Abby Johnson, 29, worked at a southeast Texas Planned Parenthood clinic for 8 years, the last two as its director.' She was, in her own words, extremely "pro-choice."' What changed her was watching a video of an ultrasound of an actual abortion.' She watched a fetus "crumple" as it was vacuumed out of a patient's uterus in September.' That was the turning point for her.' She has since stayed home to raise her 3 year old daughter.Here's a very important point:' all activist groups change the wording of their identity or actions in order to temper the emotional response of others, and in so doing, gain acceptance.' "Abortion" became "CHOICE."' Well, everyone likes to have choices - that was a brilliant technique to obscure the facts that a human being is dismembered, crumpled, and sucked with a vacuum out of her mother's body into a container or sink and ultimately eliminated as an issue in the life of the mother-who-was (versus mother-to-be).But this was not the only problem for Abby Johnson.' She says that since revenues were down, she was ordered several times by her bosses to increase profits by performing more and more abortions, which cost patients between $500 and $700. "It's a very lucrative business, and that's why they want to increase numbers," she is quoted as saying.Planned Parenthood likes to talk about abortions being only a small part of Planned Parenthood's activities.' Planned Parenthood likes to say that its focus is on prevention.' Johnson's reply? "For them, there's not a lot of money in education.' There's not as much money in family planning as there is in abortion." Johnson also said, "Ideally, my goal as the facility's director is that your abortion numbers don't increase, because you're providing so much family planning and so much education that there is not a demand for abortion services.' But that was not their goal." Can you say "whistleblower?"Planned Parenthood's response?' Guess!' You're wrong.' They got a temporary restraining order against Ms. Johnson and the Coalition for Life (an anti-abortion group with which Johnson is now affiliated, and which is located just down the block from this Planned Parenthood clinic).'Why a restraining order?' Simple....they don't want the truth to be spoken, and isn't that "telling." More >>

Tags: Planned ParenthoodQuote of the WeekSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconSix days before Teanne Harris of Chicago was to walk down the aisle in a glorious white gown, her fiance called off the nuptials.When Harris and her mom went to the catering hall to cancel the reception, they were told that their deposit was nonrefundable.'Now, between being dumped at the altar and not getting her money back, I would expect a screaming meemee, locking herself in the bathroom, ripping up every picture of the two of them, screaming to all her friends, getting drunk, not showering - you know, the usual melodrama.Not Ms. Harris!' Leaving the catering hall, she noticed the Asbury Court Retirement Community across the street.' So, instead of letting her Halloween-themed wedding reception go to waste, she decided to move the party to the retirement home, where more than 300 residents attended the party.Harris had her bridal bouquet placed in the retirement home's chapel.'She also went on the Hawaii trip anyway...the trip that was meant to be her honeymoon.All I can say about this story is that she is a magnificent, spiritual human being, and the joker who left her did her a favor.' I'm sure she'll find a real man worthy of her mature and generous spirit. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconTwo recent acts of bravery bring up a clear point:1.' A nine year old boy in a Southern town was in the passenger seat of his parents' car with three siblings all under the age of three in'the back.' His mother darted into a convenience store, and a huge man (who was lurking nearby) jumped into the driver's seat, i.e., it was a car-jacking in the works.' The nine year old had the courage and the presence of mind not to be "politically correct" which would have meant sitting quietly and obeying an adult.' Nope, not at all.' This kid grabbed the car keys and held them tight to his right side.' The would-be carjacker hit the boy's head against the passenger door in an attempt to get the keys, and failed as the boy was resolute.' As the boy said later, "I didn't want my family to be taken."' The car-jacker ran from the car, fell, and was apprehended by police who had been called from the convenience store.2.' A young female (of course I'm proud) civilian police officer stopped an Army officer from continuing his murders of Fort Hood soldiers by standing up to him and shooting him numerous times while being shot three times herself.' Unfortunately, except for military police (MPs) and civilian police, soldiers on a base do not carry weapons, and are, therefore, sitting ducks for the murderous rampage of "one of their own."' As it turns out, by all media reports, the history of this so-called American Army officer was clearly one of a terrorist.'There was a history of his radical Muslim ideology.' Reports against him had been made, but political correctness ruled the day.' Because he had worshipped at a mosque with a radical imam who allegedly had made contact with two of the 9/11 hijackers and had written on the Internet Muslim extremist comments (which, I understand, included a defense of suicide bombers), had tried to indoctrinate patients and his school mates even complained about the political leanings of his class assignments and so much more, was no reason, many authorities have said, to assume he was a home-grown terrorist.' That political correctness caused the death of 13 and serious injury to dozens.' Never mind the fear it has generated on bases around the country and the world where the bullet or bomb can come from the "inside."Instead of facing this threat (and please do remember the plots that were foiled against other military bases on American soil in the past several years), we are being told not to "jump to conclusions."' Well, without jumping to the correct conclusions in a timely manner, hanging on instead to political correctness (meaning that no one should criticize or profile), our military men and women and their families have a good reason to be afraid and angry.' They pay the price.That nine year old boy didn't sit complacently and be a "good boy."' He took charge to protect his own.' We should do the same for our military and their families.' Those who have expressed at any time any philosophy resembling radical Islamic hate should be marginalized, scrutinized, put under surveillance, and supervised.The first obligation of the American government is not "Cash for Clunkers."' It's for the safety of the populace.' The morale of our military took a large hit when they discovered that they were not safe from worldwide terrorists at their own desks.'Dump all that "PTSD by proxy" nonsense.' Look at the truth, without which we are neither free nor safe. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageMilitaryPolitical CorrectnessPoliticsReligionSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: ChildrenHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThis is from Michelle: Dear Dr. Laura: A few weeks ago, you had a caller who was contemplating divorce, because her husband wasn't being nice and, in turn, she wasn't being nice to her young son.' During the call, the little boy started crying and to calm him, she picked him up and he immediately stopped.' You told her of the power of a mother's arms, and you told her that if she would just treat her husband the same way, he would melt just as her son did.' I thought about it, but forgot to do anything, and then I listened to the program again this week.' It was like you were personally talking to me. I have been married for 16 years to a wonderful man who has been the sole financial provider for all that time so I can be an at-home mom to our teenage son and daughter.' While I always thank him for making this possible, unfortunately, my attitude has been 'well, while you were at work all day, I had to deal with very important things like toddler meltdowns to teenager meltdowns.'' But your words changed all that. Last night, my husband arrived home after a business trip to find out we have some unexpected, high medical bills for our son (he has special needs so, while this has happened before, now is a particularly hard financial time).' Instead of me attacking my husband and telling him I had to consent to all the tests which resulted in the bill, I took your advice.' I held him in my arms and said:' 'This must be so hard for you, when you work so hard and you plan all the finances for our family, to have something so big come up when you don't expect it.' I really appreciate you supporting this family, and I feel our kids are so blessed to have you as their dad.' Dr. Laura, he melted, just as you said he would.' We went on to have a lovely night, planning how we would pay for this bill and then talking about other things.' If I had not taken your advice, we both would have been angry and sulking and it would have lasted for days.' You reminded me that even though my sweet husband is a big, strong provider, he still needs compassion and comfort.' How blessed am I that I could provide that for him. Your words have changed my life and my marriage, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.' Keep helping people do the right thing. More >>

Tags: AbortionDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriagePersonal ResponsibilityRelativesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI have watched film adaptations of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in all its incarnations many, many times, and I recently watched the 2005 film version again. I love the film...no matter what criticisms may be about a portrayal or a performance. I clearly have a profound attraction to this work.First and foremost, I love the utter regard the men had for women, which is evident from how they addressed them: "Miss..." (and their first names if they were single) or "Mrs...." (and their last names if they were married). Men bowed upon entering and leaving a woman's presence, and women curtsied, even under unpleasant conditions. Flirting was ever-so-subtle: a look, a light "accidental" touch of a hand. A man romantically yearned for and tried to earn the affections of a woman. The sweetness of the regard for women in this era (particularly in upper and middle classes) was something to be admired, and something we now miss. There was a clear distinction between a "good" woman and an easy, loose woman or whore.That distinction is gone today. Now, women put down good money for music that represents them as whores without pay. So many young men are casual about women and sex in general, and sex is a casual expectation almost always fulfilled.Young women scoff at dignity and modesty as just stupid, prudish, sexist notions. They "shack up" with some dude without a marital commitment, yet expect the love and respect, fidelity and loyalty to exist without the spoken vows, only to be disappointed, hurt, and generally confused.There was a recent film comedy, called "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," in which Matthew McConaughey (in a twist on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" ) got to go back into his life to see all his old girlfriends. There was one scene in the television ad for the movie which showed a seemingly endless dining table filled with hundreds of girls. Obviously, this was meant to show how shallow and manipulative he had been. To me, it just showed how many stupid girls there were (and are), "putting out" in a situation where there was clearly no respect, regard, or intent.Men used to have to ask a woman's dad for permission to "court" her, even when the woman was an adult! Now, all he has to do is show her a bedroom, back seat of a car, or a motel room, and the date is sealed. When men had to explain and express their intentions, they had to take the whole activity of dating much more seriously, as there were personal and social consequences to misleading a young lady. That reputation would annihilate any chances he might have had of marrying a good woman. He'd have to move states or provinces away. Now? That kind of rakish reputation makes girls/women want to line up to get some from an infamous entity.The women's revolution did not raise any consciousness worth elevating. It mostly diminished a woman's sense of herself as special, minimized her value in the minds of men, put sex on the level of animals, created a nanny/baby-sitter/institutionalized day care financial boom (as women gave up the blessing of nurturing their own children), increased the use of abortion as a birth-control technique when an accidental pregnancy occurred with a guy who did not want fatherhood, created perpetually unhappy, angry, nasty wives, and made it very difficult for "nice girls" to be respected and cherished.The last scene in Pride and Prejudice between the two now-married lovers has them discussing what she wants to be called by him when he is not using her given name. He suggests one name, and she rejects it sweetly, because it is what her father calls her. She then asks him what he will call her when he is angry. He, not being able to envision that situation, talks to her about always letting her know how lovingly important his happiness in wrapped up in her...forever...and he kisses her gently about her face as he says "Mrs. Darcy" over and over again. He gave her his heart, his life, his vows, and his name. And, in that era, giving a woman your name was the ultimate public and private statement of his total commitment to her, which makes that scene so moving to most of us, and infuriating to feminists who see that scene only as ripping away the woman's identity.I always cry at the end of the movie.I cry also for what women have given up in exchange for wanting to have it all and not be subordinate to a man. I don't know...I kinda think being on a pedestal is not subordinate. But what do I know? I'm only a recovered feminist. More >>

Tags: AttitudeChildrenDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyFeminismHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelationshipsRelativesSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm still laughing...I read an article last week in one of the online news reporting sites about a new book on economics, called Superfreakonomics .' In the book, the authors discuss the issue of prostitution in today's economic climate.' As it turns out, prostitution was a profitable enterprise (focusing on mainstream sex acts) until the sexual liberation movement in the 1960s changed "the business of intimacy, and a generation of 'free love' altered the marketplace forever." The "modesty traditionally displayed by women in search of Mr. Right evolved to a bold pursuit of Mr. Right Now." The 1960s genesis of casual sex became prostitution's direct rival.So, prices for sex acts plummeted.' Hookers had competition from the average woman who would have sex for free (without even getting a dinner out of it). Being entrepreneurial, hookers then began to provide more unconventional sex -' the kind of things men can't get from their girlfriends - and the price for those often depraved acts hauled the fees way back up.As one call girl said: "Thank God prostitution is illegal, 'cause if it weren't, I wouldn't be making $500 an hour; I'd probably be back doing what I was doing, which was working as a computer technician for a Fortune 500 company." Of course, if you're the prostitute for a state governor, you'll probably get lots of media offers!The call girl entrepreneur who was interviewed was asked whether or not she would suggest this "career" for her daughter.' She obfuscated like crazy, saying she hoped it would be only one of many, many options, and then the article ended with the revelation that she's now quitting prostitution to go to school to study economics.' I guess morality finally caught up to her.This is why I use the term "unpaid whore" for women who shack up with guys, rather than dignify themselves and sexual intimacy with a marital commitment.' I tell them that at the very least, they ought to be paid for sex, since it ultimately means nothing profoundly important to him past the orgasm.' Now I can mention that they are taking food out of the mouths of prostitutes and their families!!Women cannot run away from their true nature, and our true nature (apart from any psychological problems) is to nurture and nest.' We can act like wild women and say it's our right and freedom, but I take the calls every day from disillusioned, hurt women who did , in fact, expect love and loyalty from the men they had sex with.So, ladies, have pity on the call girls and prostitutes.' Give them back their turf, and re-elevate womanhood so that men again have a mountain to climb and earn, and therefore value . More >>

Tags: BehaviorBudgetFeminismFinancesgratitudeSexSexualitySocial Issues
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