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Social Issues
05/13/2010
IconI understand that Ann Coulter - not a woman to mince words - has been on numerous radio and television programs pointing out that most of the children and young adults with all sorts of emotional, educational, criminal, and relationship problems are the product of un-wed mothers.' While on the television program " The View ," the one conservative co-host challenged Ms. Coulter by suggesting that this is the problem because of the men who walk away from their responsibilities.' The audience went wild with enthusiasm, undoubtedly happy that the "blame" moved from women to men.Frankly, my friends - that really doesn't wash.' Of course a man should feel and be morally responsible and obligated to the children of his loins.' However, women's bodies are the place where the creation and gestation of new life occurs - which gives them the greater obligation to be circumspect about when and with whom they have sexual intercourse.' Many women, lesbian or heterosexual, are having babies without the participation of a father in the child's life ... on purpose!' Many women have abortions against the wishes of the man who would be "father."' The situation is therefore quite complicated.Yet the fact remains: the optimal circumstance in which to raise a child is in the bosom of a married mom and dad.' Facts are facts, in spite of emotions.' That there are exceptions gives hope to the few, and ignores the pain of the many.I hold women more accountable for the well-being of children because they have the majority of the power; legally, physiologically, and emotionally. More >>

Tags: ChildrenEducationFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageParentingRelationshipsRelativesSocial Issues
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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: HealthMarriageParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconAt a recent media fundraiser, I was asked how a parent in southern California could best tell a child why he or she would have to go to bed hungry.' My answer (which was met with some silence) was that in southern California, there is absolutely no reason for any child to go to bed hungry, and that parents should do whatever it takes, legally, to make sure that didn't happen.That means going to your local church and other available community resources for temporary assistance, getting some part-time, even menial, work in the evening for some extra income, going to "big box" stores with friends or relatives to pool your resources and buy cheaply in bulk....I could go on and on.I remember one point in my own family's life when we went through every pocket of every jacket and pair of pants, every drawer, and every little "box-like" entity in the house to pool together enough money to go to McDonald's with our son.' I remember crying in the mall one day, because we didn't have enough cash for a second pair of shoes for him.' I remember being angry and scared, and I remember hunkering down with my husband to figure out how to solve the problem.' I've been there. Dave Ramsey is in print and on just about every television program, giving good advice on what to do about your financial situation.' Check him out. More >>

Tags: CharityChildrenEconomyFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFinancesParentingRelativesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI cannot even estimate how many recent callers fall into two discrete, and unfortunate, categories:' the first are largely women calling to find out how they can better deal with the bitter resentment they have toward their husbands, because of economic stress; the second are largely men calling to find out how they can better deal with the feelings of failure as a man because of economic stress.To the women, I say "Unless he actively burned money in the basement, gambled it away, or spent way, way, way over budget, your fears are turning into rage toward the one person you should turn to , and not on ."' When they (generally) limply come back with "Yes, he spent more than we had," and I come back with "And, didn't you?" then the meeting is called to order.To the men, I say, "I am heartened that you see your responsibilities so clearly, but you are letting your shock get in the way of your problem-solving skills.' You see a hungry tiger in your living room, salivating over your kids.' Shock sets in, and you can be depressed that you don't have a stun gun or you can't figure out another way around that tiger to save your family.' We indulge in the shock and sadness of it all, but now it's time to see the challenge."I have teenagers with small incomes from part-time jobs call, wondering if they have to "share" with their parents who are up against it.' Can you imagine that?' Instead of being rather excited about the ability to contribute to the family at a time of crisis, many of our teens are only looking out for "Number One."All cities are having charity drives not only for the holiday season, but for victims of fires and personnel layoffs due to incompetency in government and private industry.' Most of the time, this issue is food, but sometimes children's lists include iPods and laptops!' Can you believe that?' What have we taught our children about humble survival and retrenching when they are still focused on high-priced electronics? More >>

Tags: BudgetFinancesMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
Icon"Disney Accused by Catholic Cleric of Corrupting Children's Minds," was headline from The UK Telegraph that obviously caught my eye and curiosity.' I grew up with all the Disney cartoon movies...and save for Snow White shacking up with a lot of dwarfs with funny names - but no funny business - I can't think of anything corrupting about that Disney era.In fact, moral stories were always at the center: good guys and gals were ultimately saved and rewarded; and bad guys got their comeuppance in spades. What possible problem could Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, England have with Disney?He argues that the Disney Corporation pretends to provide stories with a moral message, but has actually helped to create a more materialistic culture which is in danger of losing its soul because of growing consumerism and the decline of religion.'Whoooo.' He's got something there.' These movies are wolves in grandma's clothing?' They present a dichotomy of good and bad and then market the heck out of it and make oodles of money seducing kids into buying all kinds of junk in the image of the cute - or nasty - images on the screen.Father Jamison targets the behavior of Disney in particular, which he says is "a classic example" of how consumerism is being sold as an alternative to finding happiness in traditional morality.' While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil (i.e., moral battles) he argues that this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be a good and happy family and make them greedy for the merchandise that goes with them.While Father Jamison makes an obviously good point...it is a matter of the free market.' I don't begrudge Disney trying to make a buck selling stuffed animals and t-shirts based upon their story characters.' I do begrudge the weakness of parents saying, "Yes, dear," each time their child yells and demands something.' How 'bout instead of giving in so readily, you tell them to save up their money from putting out the trash or collecting leaves so they can buy their heart's desire for "101 Dalmatians" plastic or stuffed dogs?' The children will learn patience, and the art of saving toward a goal - actually gaining pride in earning what they desire.' In fact, after they work that hard and that long, that toy may not look as nearly as interesting a use of their hard-earned change.' This way, your children learn self-discipline, self-control and a real appreciation for the value of "junk," so they can make an informed decision as to how important it really is to them. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010

Tags: Family/Relationships - FamilyHolidaysMorals, Ethics, ValuesPolitical CorrectnessRelationshipsRelativesSocial IssuesThanksgiving
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Tags: AttitudeFamily/Relationships - FamilyHolidaysMorals, Ethics, ValuesPolitical CorrectnessRelationshipsRelativesSocial IssuesThanksgiving
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05/13/2010
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
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05/13/2010
IconI cannot emphasize enough how, as a marriage and family therapist, I am impressed with female fiddler crabs.' A study published in the journal Animal Behavior , found that females of the species Uca crenulata - also known as' fiddler crab - may check out 100 or more male fiddler crabs and their burrows before finally deciding on a mate.Now...make no mistake : she's not getting it on with 100 males.' She is making certain that the one she picks is one she can count on to protect and provide for her young 'uns.'Why are female fiddler crabs so picky?' The survival of their offspring appears to be strongly linked to the size of their mate and his "crib" - to borrow some vernacular.' The size of the male's....burrow...affects the development time of the larvae.' A burrow of just the right width and depth dimensions allows larvae to hatch at the perfect, safest time, the peak outward nighttime flow of the biweekly tidal cycle.So here's how it all looks: the male fiddler crabs stand in front of their burrows and wave their enlarged....claws....at prospective female passers-by, much as a human fellow might wave his arms or hands in a "come over here" motion. The interested females initially eye the males, and if something tweaks 'em, they partially or fully enter a burrow to size it up.' When a female finds a mate and burrow to her liking, one of them closes the door behind them, they mate, and incubate their eggs, which later hatch and release little baby crab larvae that are quickly flushed from the estuary by high night tides.Why is this of interest to me...and should be of interest to you?' Because I am amazed at how little effort so many women and men seem to put into making one of the most important decisions of a lifetime: their life-long (if they're smart) mate.' I have long nagged that judges and clergy should not marry people who have not undergone at least 6 months of pre-marital counseling to make sure that they are:' 1) capable of making a loving commitment to another person, 2) are reasonably objective as to the quality of this "match," 3) have had experience working through problems and differences with this person in non-combative, constructive ways, 4) have quality familial relationships all the way around, and 5) are in agreement on basic but important issues such as children and child-care, financial considerations, religious persuasions, geography, life-style, ideals, values and goals.....and that is just for starters.Good marriages - life long ones - don't just happen.' Choose wisely - then - treat kindly. More >>

Tags: choose wisely - treat kindlyChoose Wisely-Treat KindlyMarriageSocial Issues
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