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Social Issues
05/13/2010
IconA number of news sources recently reported that (sniff, sniff) people just can't afford to get divorced anymore, what with mortgages upside down, and diminished family income.Furthermore (more sniffs) , in most cases, the couples have to stay together under the same roof just to make ends meet.' No longer can divorced spouses count on maintaining a lifestyle.' No longer are kids summarily thrown into visitation chaos and feelings of abandonment....and that, obviously, is a good thing.One of the sadder aspects of my three decades plus on radio talking to people in some sort of crisis is the growing realization that many people see adversity as a motivation to turn on each other, rather than to turn to each other.' I understand husbands who feel depressed when they can't adequately support their families, and I understand wives who feel desperate because they worry for the well-being of their home and children.' But I don't understand turning away from each other at a time when both need support and hope.' Each spouse needs to (as Archie Bunker often said on "All In The Family" ) "stifle themselves" and try to buoy up the other's state of mind.In trying to make the other person still feel valued, competent and loved; in telling your spouse that you know that, ultimately, you can count on him/her; in letting your once "dearly beloved" feel your support, makes not only them feel better, it makes YOU feel better.I'm sure everyone reading this has some sort of strain or stress in their marriage.' Generally, it's something that can be overcome if you both pull together and put aside your individual resentments and fears long enough to follow through on your marital vows to love, honor and cherish. More >>

Tags: AttitudeDivorceHopeMarriagePersonal ResponsibilitySocial IssuesStressValues
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05/13/2010
IconOn Monday, I wrote about the event in Massachusetts that you've all heard about by now.' Several South Hadley, Massachusetts high school students are being tried on felony charges for the harassment of a high school freshman which led to her suicide.' It was worse than harassment - it was persecution, both physical and mental, and in the full view of other students and teachers.' No one did anything to stop them, not even fellow students.' Disgusting, really.What I want you parents to do is to teach your children to stand between evil and the innocent , even if they risk being ostracized or worse.' It is only when people stop just standing by that evil will be squelched.'My son came home from middle school one day to say he was in trouble because he was in a fight.' I asked what happened.' He told me that some kid was picking on another kid and it got physical.' I asked him what happened then?' He said that he got into it with the bully.' I asked him who won.' He looked down at his shoes and muttered "I did."I gave him high fives, made his favorite dinner, and sent my husband in to the school the next day to make it clear to the principal that we expected the bully (and not our son) to be punished.' I sent my husband, because he is more laid back than I (if you get my drift).We can have a million court cases and school suspensions. But it is only when parents teach their children to intervene that these bullies will be brought to their knees. They count on the cowardice of your children for their freedom to torment.' Tell your children to band together if necessary and do the right thing. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenEducationFamily/Relationships - TeensMental HealthParentingSchoolSocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconThere is a precedent-setting action being taken by the District Attorney in South Hadley, Massachusetts.' A high school freshman, Phoebe Prince, new in town from Ireland, was harassed by a pack of older teens.' This was school bullying taken to the extreme:' she was subject to threats and physical abuse, and unfortunately, this young girl hanged herself when she could no longer tolerate the terror.Criminal charges ranging from statutory rape to stalking and civil rights violations have been filed against the teenagers (two boys and four girls).Unfortunately, the criminal charges stop there.' I would add that teachers, the principal and the administration should be subject to criminal charges as well or a civil lawsuit, because the bullying was common knowledge for months, and the girl's mother twice complained to school staffers.' Some bullying was even witnessed by teachers.' It's time to rise up and counter this vicious free-for-all going on in our schools.Where do the kids get the gall to do this?' From everything around them!'Watch "reality" television.' It's all about being mean and out of control.' Even American Idol has so-called "judges" who insult people on national television.' Watch music videos and listen to mean/hostile lyrics with out-of-control sexually aggressive scenes.' What happened to the heartsick love songs of the 1950s?Watch television or listen to most radio with people shouting angrily at each other, accusing each other of racism and such simply for having a different opinion or point of view.' Dominating people by humiliation is what we do for entertainment in our society.' "Lord of the Flies"-type behavior from our children should not be a surprise.' What is a surprise is that adults and parents stand by, afraid of their own children and handcuffed by political correctness, where vile behavior now becomes protected speech.'That whole town of South Hadley, Massachusetts should be ashamed.' Phoebe's parents should have taken her out of that school the same way I tell parents in step-families to leave with their children when the spouse or the spouse's children become abusive.' The school should have thrown those brats out on their ears, worrying later about whether or not their parents would sue.If you're thinking "Well, no one could know that she would kill herself," you should know that according to one source, "one of the girls posted on Phoebe's Facebook page right after her suicide:' 'Accomplished.'"They tormented her to death on purpose.This is our next generation? More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceEducationFamily/Relationships - TeensMental HealthSchoolSocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconI have railed since day one when clinicians started calling bad choices and bad habits "diseases."The good news about calling alcohol and drug abuses "diseases" is that clinicians and others can reap financial rewards by charging insurance for their "medical" intervention.The bad news about calling substance abuse a "disease" is that the individual is robbed of his real ability to exercise choice and self-control , and such labeling puts the onus on society to give that individual a "pass" on taking responsibility for the consequences of the addiction.There is considerable proof that addiction is a choice:' the book "Addiction: A Disorder of Choice," by Gene M. Heyman, Harvard University Press, demonstrates many of them.'For example:' in 1970, it was determined that between 10% and 25% of enlisted Army men were addicted to high-grade Vietnamese heroin and opium.' When they were told they couldn't come home without being drug-free, the vast majority stopped using narcotics as the word of the new directive spread.' The vast minority who were detained for detoxification programs were clean when given a second chance.' Only 12% of soldiers who were dependent on opiate narcotics in Vietnam became re-addicted at some point in the next three years.The point is that calling alcohol or drug abuse a "disease" takes away from the individual the respect for his or her ability to choose.' Every behavior we have is somehow tied to genetics and the brain.' That doesn't make it a disease unless the individual has no choice .' Alzheimer 's disease gives you no choice.' Multiple sclerosis gives you no choice.' Alcohol abuse is a choice.Addicts are drawn to drug abuse to salve depression, anxiety, boredom, and self-loathing.' At the start of their addiction, they feel great, short-term, and they start giving up the joy in work, hobbies, family and friends.' After a while, they need the drug to salve psychic pain (which is now increasing with the collapse of other factors in their lives), suppress withdrawal symptoms, and eliminate the craving.' At some point, when these benefits come to be outweighed by the adverse fallout the balance shifts, and the addict chooses recovery.The concept of disease includes the obliteration of choice-making ability .' Fortunately, addicts can make a choice, and congratulations are in order to those who do! More >>

Tags: feminismHealthSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconRecently, there was a news story about a woman who faced a felony charge of squirting breast milk into the face of a deputy law enforcement officer.The woman, from Kentucky, was arrested for public intoxication. As she was changing into an inmate uniform after her arrest, she squirted a stream of breast milk into the face of the female deputy watching over her.In the press release from the Kentucky Detention Center, the deputy de-contaminated herself from the "bio-hazard" and the woman was charged with third-degree assault.The original charge, public drunkenness, was merely a misdemeanor offense; the assault is a felony charge and a $10,000 bond was set.Of course, the media picked this up, and everyone chuckled at the story. People are debating about whether using breast milk as a weapon should constitute a felony assault case, and there are plenty of laughs going around.The deputy, however, is not laughing.She has to go through months of testing and waiting to see if she has contracted the HIV virus.Sadly (and stupidly, I think), we can't legally test the inmate immediately for HIV - some nonsense about privacy. We have to let the deputy wait, wonder, and worry. That's simply not compassionate and certainly not fair.That this inmate is drunk as a mother seems bad enough, but to intentionally squirt her bodily fluid into someone else's face has the intent to humiliate or harm.A felony charge is appropriate.And that baby needs a better mother. More >>

Tags: BreastfeedingHealthMotherhood-FatherhoodSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconLast week, I blogged bout how horrendous it is that child molesters are treated leniently by judges and by parole boards.' Many of you wonder why that is.' I don't wonder - it's because the liberal world view of those in those positions of power concludes that such perpetrators are ultimately not responsible for their behavior, because they have a disease .' Those with a disease are, of course, offered compassion.' Since they conclude that this can't be a choice or an impulse not resisted or pure evil, then it must be a disease.' Therefore, they believe that incarceration is useless and cruel and the real way to protect us is to put them in therapy (another liberal enclave).The Catholic Church never turned its child molesters over to the police.' They put them in spiritual rehab again and again and again.' It's the same mentality:' these people are not evil; they are not criminals.' They are sick and need comfort and direction.And what about the children who were raped, beaten and murdered?' Well, they say, the best way to insure that no more children are hurt is rehab therapy and spiritual guidance .That is all complete BS.' These people are evil.'There is an organization called NAMBLA - the North American Man/Boy Love Association - and they march in parades and have websites and meetings geared to promoting the "healthy reality" that kids are sexual and have a right to their sexuality, and the only reason it has been criminalized is that society is uptight.Molesters in various forms are quite open, as their world view is that they are healthy and we are not.Since it is not politically correct to judge any more, many folks in our society (and in positions of power) include child/adult sex as a normal variant of human sexuality (as they do sex with animals and consenting sex with extreme violence and/or near-death experiences).As we keep dumbing down our notions of right and wrong, you will see more and more of this stuff normalized in our society.Pretty soon we'll hear Nero on his violin. More >>

Tags: BullyingChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconPeople in San Diego are understandably enraged and confused:' a convicted sex offender (who, in the past, had beaten and raped young girls and got only five years in prison) was let out on parole...to rape and kill a young woman again .In another part of the country, Gary Becker, the fifty two year old former mayor of Racine, Wisconsin had faced up to more than twenty seven years in prison after pleading guilty to child enticement and attempted sexual assault of a child.' What did he get?' His sentence was three years in prison.The judge in the case, Stephen Simanek, said (brace yourself) that he had been prepared to sentence Becker to probation - PROBATION!! - but was alarmed to discover that Becker had purchased girls' underwear two weeks prior to sentencing.'So, instead of probation or 27 years, he got 3 years (with the potential to get out in 1 1/2 years for good behavior - probably because there are no girls to rape in prison).'In my opinion, any judge who gives less than the permitted maximum should lose the bench.In my opinion, any Board of Parole that lets a convicted sex offender out before their maximum time is served should lose their position.It's a rare thing - in fact, I have NEVER read of a case of rape/molestation/murder of a child done by someone who had no previous record, so letting them out under any circumstances automatically condemns one or more children to rape and/or death.' Great comment for a civilization to make, right? More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconMore than 80 million Americans are pet owners, and spend nearly 25 billion dollars on veterinary care.' Why do we do that?'Originally, animals served a largely utilitarian purpose:' horses pulled carts, dogs protected the farms, and cats ate rodents.' This dependency on animals to help us in our daily lives evolved into warm, close bonded relationships with them - and that's a good thing, but only up to a point.'Taking on the responsibility of caring for an animal is a sacrifice, and requires an unselfish commitment that elevates human character.' Making sure that your pets have food before you do, and providing a safe haven for them is an expression of compassion.' Enjoying the enthusiasm of your dog or cat when you appear on the scene, having your blood pressure drop when you pet them - those are the perks of having a pet around.'However, if you are infinitely more comfortable with animals than humans, the scales have tipped way too far in the wrong direction.' Human communication is largely verbal, and give-and-take is an essential part of human bonding (along with trust).' When an individual is fearful or hostile about human connection, it's nice if they have a pet (a warm mammal) to hold close, but it's not a substitute for a human relationship.''I get way too many calls from, for example, people like the woman who keeps a dangerous dog in the home (with little kids), because her husband chooses to keep the dog in spite of the threat to his own children; or the man who calls and complains that he has a ferocious allergy to cats, but his fianc'e will not adopt her cat out to let him move in after the wedding!' If this sounds like you or someone you know, it's time to revisit the situations, because choices like these are, obviously, the wrong choices. More >>

Tags: AttitudeMorals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconFormer "Growing Pains" star Andrew Koenig killed himself, presumably with some chemical, and he did this in a park where he used to go to "chill" or "meditate." Apparently, he stopped taking his anti-depression medications, which then allowed him to sink into a very dark place. That means his decision to commit suicide was a considered one.He disappeared on February 14, Valentine's Day. I wondered about that when I heard that. Here he was, with no wife and family on Valentine's Day: alone, with a minor career (and he was also the son of a famous actor who was on the original "Star Trek" TV series). It seems he had also turned down a job offered by a friend, and when that friend was away, Andrew collected all the gifts his friend had given him over the years, and then made that last trip to the park.Of course, his parents are suffering deeply, but whatever emotions they're experiencing, guilt should not be one of them. The truth is that if a person is hell-bent on killing themselves, they will find a way.The most common cause of suicide is an underlying mental disorder, followed by alcoholism as the second cause, and drug abuse as the third most common cause. Financial difficulties or other undesirable situations can add stress too. Over 1 million people commit suicide every year, and it's the leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35.I've listed below all the warning signs, but people who don't clearly show these signs can kill themselves as well, and people who show most of these signs may not. There is no "cut and dry" signal, but there are indications which serve as a warning. When you're aware that someone is LIKELY to kill themselves, please call 911 and have that person taken to a psychiatric ward at your local hospital. Physicians have the legal option of a 3 day "hold" to discern whether or not that person is a threat to themselves or others. When that determination is made, the potentially suicidal individual may very likely be put in a "forced commitment" status for treatment. Even that doesn't insure that they will never commit suicide, so it is good to be alert and know how to respond.Here's an easy way to remember the warning signs of suicide (this is from the American Association of Suicidology): IS PATH WARM? I Ideation S Substance abuse P Purposelessness A Anxiety T Trapped H Hopelessness W Withdrawal A Anger R Recklessness M Mood changesIf you observe these, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-8255 for a referral. You can find out more information at http://www.suicidology.org More >>

Tags: ChildrenMental HealthParentingSocial IssuesSuicideValues
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Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMarriageParentingSexSocial IssuesValues
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