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Parenting
05/13/2010
IconThe Associated Press published a report on the New Jersey prosecutors who have subpoenaed records of JuicyCampus.com, a website that publishes anonymous, often malicious, gossip about college students.' For example, the Princeton University (yeah, the Ivy League school) site produces information such as "the most overrated Princeton student" with the commentary mostly filled with name-calling and slurs against homosexuals and Jews.The New Jersey Attorney General suggests that JuicyCampus may be violating the state's Consumer Fraud Act by implying that it doesn't allow offensive material, but then providing no enforcement of that rule, and no way for users to report or dispute the material.This site has recently expanded to more than 50 colleges, including Pepperdine University in California, whose student government voted overwhelmingly to request' a ban on the site, although the university has a policy against censoring websites.'The founder of JuicyCampus, Matt Ivester, seemingly is unconcerned about the backlash. "Like anything that is even remotely controversial, there are always people who demand censorship," he told the AP.It is typically disgusting of such types to invoke censorship issues when the true point is accountability and responsibility - concepts that have become four-letter words in American society.' This site, as abominable as it obviously is, is no different from the millions of blogger sites that already exist, full of hate, vitriol, lies, distortions and character assassinations all for the purpose of self-exaltation, power, meanness, and downright evil.'Our children obviously have learned all too well from the blogosphere and the general media.'Just the other day, I communicated with a "formerly esteemed" journalism professor (now retired), to question him on a piece he did about me and my "position" on marital infidelity.' He actually admitted that he did not vet the comments that were repeated and repeated all over the web; he admitted that he did not read the entire transcripts of my interviews; he admitted that he did not view the video on his own.' Can you imagine?' It's like the feathers released from a pillow on a breezy hill - all of them can never be reclaimed.I predicted that the Internet would further deplete what was left of the dignity of human discourse, as the basest of attitudes and impulses would be set free.' Any suggestion of the benefits of self-control, accountability, truth or fairness are countered with screams of "censorship!"' Defamation, libel, and slander against others are no longer seen as a line crossed, but as an opportunity for fame and money. "It is not possible for anyone to use this website to find out who you are or where you're located," assures a JuicyCampus privacy page. "We do not track any information that can be used by us to identify you." Cowards and evil-doers use these opportunities to spread their traditional ideas and hate as they hide behind "protection," while those they hurt have no protection at all. More >>

Tags: EducationParentingSchoolSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconAccording to the Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2008) restaurant owners have identified a "worrisome" long-term trend: "The number of harried working moms isn't growing the way it was." What??' This is a worrisome trend for marriages and children?' I think not!' Instead, this is a worrisome trend for businesses built on the virtual dissolution of family bonding and togetherness.Since the percentage of women in the work force has been dropping, the result is less money in the family budget for eating out.' Fatty, salt-laden, hyper-caloric, oversized meals will have to go by the wayside for warm, home-cooked meals filling the home with luscious aromas and bringing a family together around their own kitchen table.Ahh....not to worry!' Restaurants are coming up with ideas to undermine all that syrupy "homey" stuff:' offering children's books, Etch-A-Sketch toys and handheld video games to appeal to children who might drag in their parents; and also coming up with ideas of pre-cooked meals moms can buy at the grocery.There is always hope that the disgusting new television program, "The Secret Life of A Soccer Mom" will simply succeed in seducing moms and wives away from their families to go back into some "dream" job..... More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreexerciseHealthParenting
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05/13/2010
IconThe results of the first national study to measure the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) found in young women were released recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.According to the report, 3.2 million teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 were found to have the human papillovirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes or trichomoniasis.' The study did not determine the number of girls who had HIV/AIDS, syphilis or gonorrhea.I don't know what qualifies as an epidemic here, but clearly, these numbers represent a crisis of monstrous proportions.' Responsible adults forming public should be figuring out how we can reverse the direction of these horrifying statistics.' The wholesale distribution of condoms and consensual counseling at the high school level has not dampened the levels of risky behavior among the nation's teens.' Sex education has apparently been successful at teaching our children how to do it...often, and clearly, not safely. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensParentingSexTeens
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05/13/2010
IconMy, my, my.' My comments last week on why many men stray from their marriage vows generated more email to me than any one thing I've said in years.' 85% of the letters I received were wonderfully appreciative and supportive of what I said.' Men and women alike "got" what I was saying and acknowledged the need for husbands and wives to share the responsibility for the health of their marriages.'One wrote "After seeing you on The Today Show, I asked myself, 'Am I the kind of wife my husband wants to come home to?'' I look at each day as an opportunity to honor him.' Thank you for challenging me to have the courage to change.' My husband will never go a day without knowing his wife needs, loves and respects him." Another person emailed me because my comments motivated her to look at her own issues with the overall concept of personal responsibility.' This young woman wrote that she was motivated by my comments to stop her methamphetamine addiction: "I have chosen to quit.' Once you stop feeling like such a victim to some inanimate object (the pipe does not jump into your mouth on its own) you realize your power over it." Other folks, though, seemed absolutely apoplectic over my point of view that people need to take responsibility for their lives and their relationships.'Clearly this is the crux of the problem in this country.' The concept of promoting personal responsibility in a society that encourages victims to stay victims and glamorizes the bad behavior of celebrities and politicians seems to be a hot button that makes some folks' heads explode.' People tend to hold on to their anger, hurt and depression, especially if they don't have the tools they need to break out of the cycle of personal self-destruction.That's why I wrote Stop Whining, Start Living .' I wrote it because I wanted to help people enjoy their lives more and be more content inside themselves.' None of us can do that if we persist in the self-defeating notion that we are victims... that only leads to complaining and not LIVING.This book is not for people who want to embrace their problems - it's for people who want to solve them and move on to a more productive and happy life.' If you want to feel more in control of your situations in families, neighborhoods, jobs, etc., then you first have to look inside yourself and see what YOU are doing that you shouldn't be... or what you are NOT doing that you should be!' This is where the power to change everything comes in.Some people won't ever do this.' They hold on to sadness, victimhood and complaints.' But those who read Stop Whining with an open heart and mind will find the keys - through other people's real experiences and stories - to make their life easier and more pleasurable; to improve their lives as husbands, wives, parents, and friends, and to discover the joy of being an evolved human being.Getting letters and calls from people who have taken my advice to stop whining and turn themselves into productive members of society is all the inspiration I need to keep on keeping on.' That's what puts the smile on my face. Book signing tonight in Costa Mesa, California: And if you want to see me really smile and you live in L.A. or Orange County, come on down tonight to the Barnes and Noble at the Metro Pointe Mall in Costa Mesa at 7pm.' I'll be signing copies of the aforementioned new book, Stop Whining, Start Living for all of you who embrace your own personal responsibility. More >>

Tags: ChildrenMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt's been all over the news.' A "nanny-cam" in the home of two twin preemies showed the nanny handling the children like trash bags.' I mean, if you know it's going to be shown on Nancy Grace's television program, it has to be bad!The single most important issue, however, was never addressed.' Where were their parents?' These delicate babies were in the hands of hired help and not their own parents.' Nowhere in the news pieces did anyone suggest that these parents had to work or risk being homeless.' Quite the contrary.There are babies who have been forgotten, neglected, and abused in day-care centers.' Now, nannies are doing the same in the parents' home.' Parents themselves are forgetting their own children in cars, which literally causes the children to be poached to death.' When will the tide turn back to parents making their children their number one priority, and moving their dual careers or owning "things" to a lower spot on their list?' Until then, more horrifying stories are sure to come. More >>

Tags: anxietyChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthParentingStress
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05/13/2010
IconLast Thursday, I posted a blog about "passing the trash," a practice known within the educational system in which teachers who've allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with a student resign and leave their school districts in exchange for confidentiality about their behavior.' I received many comments about that story, but this is one I want to share with you.' I've kept the writer's name confidential: Dr. Laura, as a former administrator of a small school district, let me tell you who the real villains are in these cases.' No school administration will admit it, but it's the teacher's union.' It's like going up against the mob, to come against one of their members.' And they don't care if their member is guilty or not.' They will use every tactic in the book to intimidate you into dropping your complaint.' Any time an administration tries to discipline teachers or even look into a complaint, the union is there fighting the administration.' They file lawsuits and nit pick at your procedures.' The teachers have free counsel and unlimited representation, covered by their dues.' Just to inquire into a complaint, the school [incurs] a great deal of cost, precious money that has to be taken from some other program or someone else's pocket. These types of complaints are the duty of the school board, and school boards are made up of volunteers - they don't get paid, but they can get sued, and must defend themselves with their own money.' It is a fight to correct an untenured teacher, and in fact, there is no way to fire or discipline a tenured one. We had a horrid teacher (and many complaints), and we tried everything under the sun to get him away from kids.' He had his ego stroked by being mean to kids.' We tried to pay him off and offer him early retirement, but he wouldn't go.' We were a small district with limited funds.' Eventually, the school had to close, and the man finally lost his job.' And no one around would hire him.' Our teacher was not a molester, but he was a "demeaner" - he enjoyed insulting kids. Although I do not agree with what these schools have done, I am not surprised.' If you have no proof that would hold up in court and kids who don't want to officially testify, but you know in your heart that this person has done these things, the teacher's union will spread [the word] that your school district is being very unfair to the teachers, and...will turn the hearing into a circus.' As parents and board members, you will do whatever it takes to get them out of your school - and hopefully, away from kids. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchool
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05/13/2010
IconThe Boston Herald (February 25) reported that, in 2007, a record number of newborn babies were given up by their parents (in reality, probably just the mother) under Massachusetts' Baby Safe Haven program.The law came to pass after state Representative Barry R. Finegold (D-Andover) proposed the bill, which would allow a parent to legally surrender a baby, aged 7 days or less, at a hospital, police station, or manned fire station without facing criminal prosecution.' In other words, under certain conditions, Massachusetts legalized child abandonment.Honestly, I cannot understand the critics of this law.' They argue that the law creates an "easy out" for reluctant mothers.' Darn straight!' The fact is that these girls and women didn't legally kill the baby in their bodies, nor did they abandon them in a dumpster or toilet.' They knew that they couldn't raise a child and had an option which contributed to the well-being of that child and the adoptive family.Another criticism is that this strips children of their heritage.' Are you kidding? Since when does one's place on a genetic family tree trump a loving home environment?' They also say that this law promotes irresponsibility.' What?? What is more responsible than giving a child over to people who will arrange for the child to be loved and nurtured, when they know they cannot?The Department of Social Services, which oversees the Safe Haven program reports that the Baby Safe Haven hotline has helped thirty women to get into a parenting or adoption plan.' They also said that "parents give up their babies for various reasons, including post-partum psychosis, emotional immaturity, and social isolation."' Whatever the reasons, the woman is still making a conscious choice to "save" her baby from her own emotional and social problems.' I say these women are heroes. More >>

Tags: ChildrenParenting
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05/13/2010
IconBrace yourselves for this one: The Oregonian on February 18 exposed a demonic deal made in 2004 between the Salem-Keizer Public Schools and a teacher.' Here's the deal:' if the teacher resigned, they would conceal his alleged conduct (touching and grabbing butts) from the public.' Moreover, they promised not to reveal the teacher's behavior if potential employers called looking for a reference.' They would attribute his departure to personal reasons and make no reference to the agreement. The Oregonian confirmed 47 similar confidential settlement agreements. "During the past five years, nearly half of Oregon teachers disciplined for sexual misconduct with a child left their school districts with confidential agreements.... Some promised cash settlements, health insurance, and letters of recommendation as incentives for a resignation. The practice is so widespread, school officials across the country call it 'passing the trash.'" I think school systems around the country should be examined to ensure this "trash passing" isn't happening in your area.' Also, every parent has a moral obligation to every other parent and child to report such abuse to the police - in spite of embarrassment - so that these worms will be forced above ground.' And by "worms," I don't just mean the molesters.' I mean the administrations that would clean up their yards by dumping trash in another's yard and put unsuspecting children at risk.Disgusting. More >>

Tags: ChildrenEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchool
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05/13/2010
IconScathing criticism of the lack of maternity care insurance for women in the United States recently appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer : "Barely two months into her pregnancy, an ultrasound triggered some alarming' news for Meagan Armington.' The fetus, thankfully, was fine, but Armington's health insurance was not.' To Armington's dismay, the policy she bought from Aetna about three years ago did not provide maternity coverage, forcing the 31 year old single-mom-to-be to pay for the prenatal visits out of pocket.' Due to give birth in April, Armington faces labor and delivery costs of at least $7,500." I know a lot of folks don't want reality to interfere with their completely unfettered personal activities, but the main point of this article should have been that she's not married - and not that the insurance companies are bad guys.' The sure-fire method for avoiding financial issues during pregnancy and child-rearing is a marriage.' She bought the insurance for her single lifestyle.' At thirty-one, you'd think she'd know about birth control, adoption, or marriage.' Instead, we have the same nonsense that defends irresponsible behavior and looks for some institution to blame for not coming to the rescue.At best, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense.' At worst, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense. More >>

Tags: ParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconOne mother in Huntington Beach, California went through ten lawyers until she found Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute ( pacificjustice.org , a non-profit that advocates for the rights of students and parents) to help her.' All the other attorneys suggested she was a "prude" and chastised her about not being up to speed with 2007.Her advocacy prompted the Huntington Beach Union High School District trustees to consider a proposal that would regulate movies in the classroom.' The proposal would require teachers to obtain parental permission before showing portions of R-rated movies.' The policy essentially discourages the use of R-rated movies in the classroom.' Evidently, the Huntington Beach district did not have a written policy.' How convenient.'Mr. Dacus is quoted in the Orange County Register of January 15, 2008 ( www.ocregister.com/news/movies-kazor-policy-1959439-teachers-school ) as saying: "The garbage they showed these children...was a very serious breach of parental trust." The mother said: "These teachers are supposed to be us when we're not there.' They're supposed to be role models.' I wanted the opportunity to have the permission sent to me in the form of a permission slip." Taking up classroom time showing a whole movie seems to me to be a lazy way to approach a teaching job.' Recommending a movie to students and then sending a memo home to the parents making that suggestion and explaining its value, seems a more responsible and professional means to what is supposed to be an "educational" aid. More >>

Tags: EducationInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSchool
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