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Civility
09/17/2010
Icon"For the past two decades my husband and I have run a bookstore in our town. Well, we lasted as long as we could, but between Borders and Barnes and Noble both opening outlets in our area within the past five years, we've seen our customers slowly dwindling away, to the point that we've decided to call it quits when our lease expires later this year..." More >>

Tags: BehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCivilityFinancesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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08/14/2010
IconHow often is that we see people in our extended families and our community that believe that their family gets along just fine and doesn't have any problems, only to find that screaming, yelling, name calling, and physical aggressiveness is almost the norm? More >>

Tags: Adult Child-ParentBehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCivilityFamily/Relationships - Adult Child/ParentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingRelativesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhy don't I like so-called "reality" or "actuality" TV shows?'' Because they're mean.'They are intended to be mean, because "mean" is entertaining to some segments of the audience, and that scares me.''Throwing Christians to the lions and watching gladiators fight to the death used to be considered wonderful entertainment in ancient times.' And while I'm not comparing actually killing someone with humiliating and demeaning them, there is a continuum here.''Christians and slaves didn't volunteer to become fodder for death to those eating popcorn in the stands.' The people on TV do volunteer to put themselves in situations which contribute to the demise of public taste, humane behavior, compassion and sensitivity.' They humiliate themselves for attention and profit.' That they volunteer for it doesn't make doing it to them right.' It just makes them terribly pathetic.'When people go on an " American Idol "-like program in the hopes of being discovered for their talents, a simple "winning" or "losing" seems sufficient to me.' However, having judges who become popular by hurling horrendously insulting comments seems to be the real motivation for these programs.' Hurting people in front of others is an egregious act.' Televising it, or making money off of sponsors who support it, so that people at home can feel superior and powerful (because they're not the ones being attacked) is purely disgusting.'These shows bring out the worst in people.' Martians watching our entertainment media would probably choose not to come to our planet, or else just wipe us off the face of the galaxy, because of how humanity displays itself on television (much less the Internet and the United Nations).''No one is ashamed anymore.' They pass it off as giving the audience what it wants.' "It's only TV," or "it's only a way to make a living," they say.''Sad. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCivilityInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesReality TVTelevisionValues
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05/13/2010
IconA number of people have expressed to me that they feel somewhat guilty that their lives are so blessed and/or peaceful right now while people are being blown up in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places - and by their own countrymen!' Or that people are suffering and dying by the tens of thousands in Haiti in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake."How [they ask] can I dare to have a good day when all of this is happening?"I think that's a good question asked by decent people.'The answer is simple:' what choice do you have?Shall you undermine yourself and those who count on you by crumbling under the awareness of this cruelty of people and nature?' Does that add to the miserly of the world?' YES.' Does that minimize the misery of the world?' NO.Your job is to do and be your best and to bring light into darkness in your own mind and home, and among family, friends, and community.' Where you have the wherewithal and the expertise to extend that to deserving people and places, do so because all humanity benefits by your action of caring - if not aided directly , then at the very least inspired by your example.Where you can't extend yourself to some place around the world, be cognizant that compassion and love in a circle around you has a ripple effect to help perfect the world for whatever moments of bliss might exist.' They add up.'Whether close at hand or off to a distant land, when you extend mercy, you do an act which magnificently defines humanity. More >>

Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityCivilityHealthHopePersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconIn a recent radio interview, I discussed the issue of "webtribution," a term coined by Elizabeth Bernstein in The Wall Street Journal to describe people who use the Internet to get revenge - i.e., publicly to hurt another human being with whom they are not happy.The Internet is anonymous, immediate, and gratifying in the moment.' In human history, vengeance is not unfamiliar - people haven't changed that much.' Their means of delivering pain has evolved from poison, duels, clever rumors, and Machiavellian manipulation to the world wide web.' In some ways, damaging someone's reputation is akin to murdering them, as their reputation is devastated world-wide and forever, making it difficult for them to function in private relationships as well as in the community and at work.To quote The Wall Street Journal: "Most of us have heard of someone posting naked photos of an 'ex' online.' Or writing nasty reviews for a restaurant or book, not because they dislike the product, but because they dislike the person who created it.' Or signing up an acquaintance for [unwanted] e-mail advertising lists." My opinion is that it should be illegal, as it is immoral, to post information or opinion about people without identifying yourself.' Obviously, it is also cowardly.' Google and all other such carriers should not permit anonymity.' That would immediately change the complexion of what is posted, and I don't think they'd lose business, except from those who use the Internet for evil (terrorists of the international and interpersonal kind). More >>

Tags: BehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCivilityEthicsInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaJill CooperMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesSimple SavingsSocial IssuesSocial NetworkingStay-at-Home MomValues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm a female and a Jew.' I personally know something about bias, bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination.' There is no doubt in my mind that I have experienced some (shall we say) "bad luck" in my life because I fall into these two categories, but there is probably not a person on the face of the earth who doesn't have a similar (and probably worse) story to tell with respect to the natural tendency of people to band together based on commonality, from ethnicity to gender to nationalism.' Nonetheless, we have a black President with a Jewish chief-of-staff, and a female Secretary of State.I'm seriously tired of people pulling the race or gender card to explain away their bad behavior.' Ultimately, we are responsible for our own actions.' This brings me to Serena Williams in the U.S. Open.' Serena was losing badly in the semi-finals to unseeded, unranked Kim Clijsters, and Clijsters had just beaten Serena's sister, Venus.' The match was at the point where Clijsters was but one point from victory, and it was Serena's serve.' She faulted on her first serve.' Instead of just going back to the baseline to serve again, she menacingly walked toward the judge, shouting and cursing her, pointing the ball and then the racket at her, as though she were going to strike the woman.' Allegedly, she said, "If I could, I would take this [expletive deleted] ball and shove it down your [expletive deleted] throat." The line judge went over to the chair umpire and tournament referee as the crowd was booing.' According to news reports, Serena said, "Sorry, but there're a lot of people who've said worse.' I didn't say I would kill you.' Are you serious?' I didn't say that." But the line judge said she did say that, and that with the crowd noise, it was difficult for others to hear the specifics.'I saw that video, and having someone with that venomous rage coming at me, screaming and cursing, shaking a racket in my face (especially since Serena had already smashed a racket earlier in the game when she committed an unforced error) would have scared me too.Serena was only penalized a point, which, by destiny of timing, turned out to be the match point.' Clijsters would have won anyway - she was playing an amazing game, and she did go on to win the U.S. Open.So, here's a young woman, used to success, who couldn't handle being humbled, and she robbed Clijsters of the good feeling of trumping a tennis goddess.' This is obviously bad behavior - very bad.' The bad boys of tennis games past were also known to behave badly, but, according to news sources, they never threatened the life or well-being of a judge.' This was scary and horrendous behavior.'The first reaction of some was to scream "racism!"' Oh puleeze.' Was anyone saying she behaved badly because she was black?' NO.' Was anyone saying she was penalized for her behavior because she was black?' YES, and that is downright annoying and dumb.'Online, someone posted a comment after the news item, which I think is "right on."' Here's an excerpt: There are reasons for rules in competitive sports or banking or finance or education or society.' The reasons [for the rules] always have to do with participants being unwilling or unable to manage or discipline their emotions when under duress of any kind.' This duress...almost always manifests poorly, but often successfully.' Serena...lost her composure in the early stages of this match, played poorly, got behind, and faced almost certain defeat.' The foot fault (which many say was correct, many say "iffy," and some say false) was critical, but not pivotal for Serena.' She could have played through it.' She had the serve. But she had first-serve faulted many times, and had lost every second serve point to her opponent.' So, she gave in to panic, which led her to say some astoundingly aggressive things to the line judge, who, to her credit, stayed calm, objective, and within the rules.' The referee made the proper call, and Serena lost, and then lost again by backpedaling after the match, with cover-up comments and lame excuses. But this is an era when elites in all walks of life take the liberty of exposing their true selves without much consequence.' It's called "privilege," and it is, in my mind, the downfall of the American personality, and with it, the downfall of the nation - a little microcosm on a big stage.' Pride comes before a fall. Truth is, she knew she had lost this match, even if that one linesman's call was bad.' Instead of letting her opponent savor the victory point, she surrendered early.' Clijster swamped her and her sister, and Williams acted like a classless brat.' And classless brats come in all colors, genders and religions.' Point...game...match. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenCivilityMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingValues
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05/13/2010
IconOne day after winning the title of Miss Georgia, Kristina Higgins relinquished her crown.' Was this another sex scandal or about something she said that was politically incorrect?' Was this about her perpetuating some fraud, like she was really a man, or that she'd had her whole body Botoxed?No!!' It's something that made me want to hug her to pieces.' It turns out that Ms. Higgins is a Gwinnett County school teacher, and she stepped down as Miss Georgia because she would not give up her responsibilities to the middle school children in her classes.'Yes, you read that correctly. She gave up her Miss Georgia title for her children!! When the runner up found out that she would now become Miss Georgia, she dropped her plans for starting the University of Georgia Law School (where she had just been accepted) like a hot potato.I am sooooo proud of Kristina Higgins.' She is a wonderful role model of a responsible young woman.If she had no intention of serving as Miss Georgia, you might ask, wasn't it a fraud to participate at all?' Nah.' First of all, there are a lot of entrants, and any one woman's possibility of winning is small, but the whole exercise is exciting and challenging and fun.' Maybe she was debating within her soul what she would do, and when the time came, she had the right stuff to do the right thing.' No matter - somebody else gets to wear the tiara.I wish a lot of parents would take a lesson from Kristina - who is putting her kids first.' Parents across the country should do the same thing. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCivilityPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCivilityHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010

Tags: BehaviorCharityCivilityForgivenessMorals, Ethics, ValuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconBecause I need my voice for my daily radio program, I've been quick to use the Z-pack (zithromycin) whenever I get the feeling I have a sinus issue.' Evidently that's been the wrong thing to do.It turns out that almost 21% of antibiotic prescriptions written in the U.S. for adults are for sinusitis, even though studies show the drugs often do little or no good in the overwhelming majority of cases that begin as viral infections.' Less than 2% of those turn into bacterial infections (the kind that CAN be helped by antibiotics) so the American Academy of Otolaryngology suggests that you wait 10 days after the onset of a sinus problem.' If you're still suffering after 10 days, then it's antibiotic time.' Otherwise, saline irrigation, Tylenol, topical steroids and decongestant sprays (used for no more than three days) are the way to go. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCivilityHealthValues
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