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IconI am on many social sites, trying to market my business, and one is a place for women to support each other with "hugs" and cheers and an understanding ear... More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyMorals, Ethics, ValuesRegarding Dr. LauraThe Proper Care & Feeding of HusbandsThe Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
IconVolunteering for the military means a number of important things: It's a noble act of patriotism It means accepting authority over every aspect of your life It's a seriously dangerous job It's not exactly a high-paying job You get benefits during and after service You have a community of support It involves structure and discipline It's a heroic endeavor It is an honorable, self-sacrificing career It is worthy of great respect So, when someone wishes to volunteer for relatively low pay and high danger to protect you and me, I say "THANK YOU" and "huzzah!" More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyMilitaryMorals, Ethics, Values
IconI recently spoke to a caller who lamented that at some point she was going to have to stop being an at-home mom and go back to work to make ends meet.  I said that move was not an option, because abandoning children into institutionalized day care is the last desperate move - not the first or an intermediate one. More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyFinances
Tags: BudgetChildrenEconomyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFinancesMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSocial Issues
Tags: BudgetEconomyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFinancesInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingReality TV
IconWhile it does interfere with the comfortable digestion of my breakfast, I usually watch the morning TV news for twenty minutes or so, just to see if anything important has happened in the world...and I have to watch carefully, as most morning TV shows just consist of cute exchanges, truncated conversations with important people, or the rehashing of stories that have minimal significance but maximum power to pull in an audience. Recently, though, I watched a story about how credit card companies are raising their interest rates to 30%, and how that might border on "usury" - which is supposed to be illegal.'As a young adult, I didn't even have a credit card.' I got my paycheck, put it in the bank, and used checks against what I actually had in my account in order to pay bills.' If there was anything over at the end of the month (and if there was, it was very little, as I was making only $11,000 per year as a college professor), I considered it "splurge money" and used it on something stupid.' Today, I've got lots of credit cards, but never pay any interest, as we pay off the bills in full the day they arrive.' Admittedly, in between being a young adult and today, there have been some stupid and/or disastrous times when the use of a credit card put us in debt, and it took effort and pain to pay it off.'I say all this to make it clear that I've "been there and done that" like everyone else.' And ultimately, I think the answer is: don't use a credit card unless you have every cent in the bank to back it up.' Don't consider it a credit card at all - consider it a cash card.' In fact, you might consider only having a debit card, which means it can only be used in relation to what you have, and not what you wish you had.' That way, you won't have credit charges which can rip apart the fabric of your life.Here's another idea:' take the time to earn what you want - that special car, a home, jewelry, a vacation - instead of having your folks give you a down payment for a house you can barely afford.' Take the time to build your foundation, and when you can finally afford the next step in your life, you'll feel much more accomplished, proud, special, and downright happy. More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyFinancesMoneyPersonal Responsibility
Tags: EconomyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSexValues
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
IconI have always been impressed with the mentality of the Mormons with respect to the issue of charity.' I had a tour of their main charity facilities, and was amazed at what I saw and learned.' There are absolutely no handouts ' they barter !Here's how it works:' if you could lose your home, or if you need food, clothing, medicine or toys for your children, the Church takes financial care of your needs.' In exchange , you provide services to the very mechanism that rescued you .' This means that folks in the bakeries are people who have benefited from the charitable services; those helping in the stores that sell thrift clothing, housewares and food are those who have benefited from the charitable services, and so on.The basic concept is to preserve a sense of dignity and pride in those who have temporary need by giving them an opportunity to use their skills in the service of others.' Walking around the premises, I felt the uplifted attitude of all who were there:' smiles, waves, and straight backs.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints provides for people all over the world ' not only with goods and goodwill, but with the opportunity to not lose a sense of self when 'things' are lost.'I probably sound like an advertisement for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.' I am not a member of their religion, but I am impressed with their charitable philosophy, because I believe it teaches our children their real value, while motivating and uplifting them at the same time.Their young people who graduate high school are expected to go on two-year 'missions,' reminiscent of the Peace Corps.' These young people come back much more mature, as they've experienced the pain and need of others, and have sacrificed two years of their own comfort to be of service to others.Other youngsters just don't want to skip a beat in their acquisition of iPods, cell phones, and other 'Internet in your hand' gadgets.I believe that the economic disaster our country is in right now is a kind of blessing in disguise with respect to values. Without values, life just provides us with 'things,' but not necessarily with any profound meaning. More >>

Tags: CharityEconomyFinancesMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesReligionValues
IconI am a woman of certain habits. I like the same breakfast everyday (raisin bran with blueberries and skim milk and one fried egg inside a toasted English muffin....for those of you who are curious), and I love to have my before-radio-show lunch while watching re-runs of Law & Order on television.Yesterday, they played an episode which was timely, considering the recent Islamic terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India targeting innocents in general and citizens of Britain and America and Jews in particular - the latter who were tortured before being murdered in cold blood.' Over 200 persons were murdered; about 400 injured.' Nine of these Muslim terrorists were killed by Indian commandos.' One has been captured and has given information about this highly organized conspiracy and its training roots in Pakistan.'For my purposes here...one ray of sunlight: 'All of the Muslim cemeteries have refused, according to a Wall Street Journal account, to bury these nine Muslim terrorists.' How about that!Now back to the parallel with yesterday's Law & Order re-run.' A Muslim- American is found dead...beheaded.' It is all set-up to look like bigoted Americans killed him just because he is Muslim.' It turns out, after a lot of posturing about prejudice against Muslims, that this man was killed by his own cousin: a bona fide terrorist trying to bring uranium into the U.S. to deploy in Manhattan to kill as many Americans as possible.' The beheaded man was informing on his cousin and all of those in the neighborhood conspiracy.' That's why his own people killed him.The Imam, the local religious leader, is lying to the police to protect the murderous cousin because they threatened to kill him if he didn't.' The Imam is measuring his importance to the community against his responsibilities to the laws of America -- laws of decency and morality, really.In a touching interaction between the Imam and the District Attorney, the DA asks the Imam if he is a Muslim first or an American first.' The Imam struggles with that, saying that he has been working very hard to keep young people in his mosque from getting recruited into terrorism and he would lose that.' The DA points out that the dead man's wife lost everything.' It is left there.In court, the black defense attorney, playing into the "race card" questions the Imam about his client's whereabouts during the murder.' At first the Imam lies. Then he tells the entire truth: about the uranium, the murder, and the plot to decimate all of New York City.' The murderer is convicted, but the Imam's mosque is burned to the ground -- retribution from some in his community.There is a last minute angry exchange in Arabic as the murderer is removed from the court.' The DA asks the Imam what they both said.' The murderer said, "Burn!"' To that, the Imam had replied, "I love America."To that "fictional" Imam and to those who run the Muslim cemeteries in India refusing to accept the bodies of mass murders my admiration, my respect, my appreciation, my prayers, and my hope that more will join you to "out" or "reject" those who perpetrate evil. More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyReligion
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