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Values
Tags: Personal ResponsibilityPoliticsValues
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Tags: Common SenseFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I went to college (I was an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook), in addition to the police raids on the campus dorm pot smokers, and the demonstrations against the Vietnam war, there were actually serious academic classes which educated students in math, science, philosophy, literature, engineering, physics, business, and social sciences among other disciplines.The expressed common goal was to graduate informed students who were competent to take on the next phase of their lives in some productive way, contributing to society, in addition to financially supporting their prospective families.For the longest while, I fear, colleges and universities have minimized that lofty goal in exchange for ideological "brainwashing" and political correctness, threatening those who hold opinions different from the prevailing political persuasion of the faculty.' I think that colleges and universities have become scary places for individuals of a more traditional bent.Students at the University of Maryland recently attempted to join in with other so-called bastions of higher learning by playing a triple-x pornographic film for entertainment.' The screening was set up by the school's student union.' The film got yanked when State Senator Andy Harris threatened to pull state funding from the school's budget.' Evidently, money talks.Senator Harris said, "Students can't light up a cigarette in the student union, but can watch a hardcore XXX porn film.' Occasional viewing of porn is more dangerous than occasionally lighting up a cigarette.' If the movie is being shown for educational reasons [yeah, right], someone should be presenting the dangers too.' Porn breaks up lives." Of course, those who don't remember their history (and how the Tower of London was the final stop for those who contradicted the British monarchy), and think that the US First Amendment is just about ANYTHING, complained that this, the most expensive porn movie ever made, was an issue of free speech. "Off with their heads," I say.' The production company actively has been seeking college campuses to screen the film since last summer, because they're looking to breed future audiences for their debasing tripe.'The University of Maryland's student union planned to have a representative from Planned Parenthood talk about safe sex.' HAH!' Planned Parenthood makes money by having girls and women kill the babies in their bodies as a form of "after-the-fact" birth control. I can see why they would want to be there to push their wares, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be explaining why they typically don't call the police when an underage girl, who has been impregnated by an adult male, comes in for an abortion - bad for business, I guess.'Eventually, the university reversed its position and allowed the screening, as long as it contained an "educational component."' Four "experts" spoke on freedom of speech, and then screened the first 30 minutes of the 2 1/2 hour hard-core film.'The film has already been shown at UCLA, Northwestern University, Carnegie-Mellon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Southern Connecticut State University.Aren't the alumni proud. More >>

Tags: EducationSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI am just sickened.' It seems the "male" who impregnated Sarah Palin's teenage daughter outside of wedlock (and now, with no wedlock to be had) is going on television shows to give "his side" of the story.' What "sides" are there to be had when two teens breach basic moral good sense and have sex when they are in no position emotionally, psychologically or financially to raise a family?' Now there is yet another poor child in the world without an intact, covenantly committed, grown-up and secure two-parent, mom and dad family.' Sad.In the old days, the man "did the right thing," and marriage was the solution.' These days, men just walk away, or women declare that they "don't need" a guy - they can do it all themselves.' Well, the abandonment by a dad is devastating to a child in many painful ways, and no woman, no matter how nurturing, can offer any child what they lose in not having that paternal influence.So, instead of tarring and feathering this young man for daring to "kiss and tell," he's being treated like something special, with polite interviews on television!' I find this utterly disgusting, but typical for TV, which goes looking for situations like this to exploit for ratings, e.g., "We have an exclusive interview with the boy who knocked up Sarah Palin's daughter!"During the election, Mrs. Palin paraded her pregnant daughter and the sperm donor around to display family values, saying they were "engaged."' That, too, was a disgusting display, especially with John McCain embracing this shameful young man on international television."Normalizing" children born without the protective womb of family is an assault on the well-being of children everywhere, and a bad influence on young men and women who too often follow that old adage:' "Monkey see, monkey do."Children should be our first concern and responsibility - not our incidental playthings. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensParentingPersonal ResponsibilityTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen my now 6'3" son was a little guy, housework was secondary in priority to interacting with him.' One of my most wonderful memories is of taking him on a walk (and pulling him in his Radio Flyer-like wagon) to the huge parking lot of the local Target.' I would put him in one of the shopping carts, and run like mad, twisting and turning and twirling the cart until he whooped with delight.' This would go on for the better part of an hour.' Thinking back, I got a good aerobic exercise workout, and he got a Disneyland-like ride.' At the time, though, it was just about having fun together.One of the constant complaints I get (especially from at-home moms), is about the drudgery of housework, particularly about how it is never-ending and repetitive.' Frankly, I liked knowing the parameters involved with housework:' bathrooms, kitchen, and washing and folding laundry.' Folding laundry was my meditative exercise.' I found it quite relaxing.Attitude is the essential issue in dealing with anything in life.' I had a recent caller to my radio program who was still working through her rotten childhood by yelling and being physical with her kids...but in a bad way.' After a bit of a lecture from me on finally having fun in her life, and my giving her examples of getting kids to do things (like putting toys away or getting their pajamas on) with fun (complete with giggles and applause), she wrote me back and thanked me.' Then I received this email from another listener: I am in the middle of three loads of laundry (I have four boys ages 7,10, 12 and 14, so I have a lot of laundry), and wanted to thank you for being my "housework buddy."' You may not realize it, but you've been helping me with my housework for the last 3 months.' How?' I've always hated and avoided doing housework, because I never saw the value in it.' Instead, I took part-time jobs while the kids were in school and hired a housekeeper once a week.' While she put a dent in the mess, there was still a lot of housework left, and I asked my full-time working husband to help out on the weekend.' This meant that our weekends weren't much fun. After listening to you talk to a caller about what a great gift she was giving her family by keeping the house neat, I decided to devote the three hours you're on the air to housework.' I can now happily listen to you from any room in the house.' While I still don't enjoy housework, my family and I do enjoy having a clean, well-organized home.' And we have a lot more fun on the weekend.' So, thank you for being my "housework buddy" and keeping me company while I work! DebraSan Diego Everything we do is of value, even if it is the same thing every day (which, of course, it doesn't have to be).' Creativity in how we approach situations changes everything about how we feel and how much we appreciate life, love, and family.' So, whatever it is you have to do, find a way to make it fun. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodPersonal ResponsibilityRelativesStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensHealthMother's DayMotherhood-FatherhoodSexSexualitySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconDuring his recent African trip, Pope Benedict XVI said that the distribution of condoms would not resolve the AIDS problem.' The Pope has made it clear that abstinence is going to be the best way to fight AIDS.Google "Pope" and "condoms," and you'll never run out of reading material excoriating the man for his observation and opinion.' Many health advocates have gone ballistic in their criticism of his comments.' They feel it is one thing to promote abstinence as part of the Catholic religion, but that it is an entirely different thing to preach it to the world.On a person-by-person basis, wearing a condom does, of course, offer some protection against contracting various venereal diseases and (of course) unwanted pregnancy.' It is also true that condoms sometimes break, slip, or are put on incorrectly (taut to the very end).' Everything has its limitations...except abstinence.I remember listening to a rabbi describing a situation that occurred to his kosher family.' His 7 year old child was invited to a birthday party for a classmate at one of those fast-food hamburger establishments.' When he came to pick up his child at the end of the party, one of the mothers - clearly annoyed - chastised him for the pain he caused his son.' "All the children had hamburgers, chicken nuggets, french fries and dessert, and your little boy had to sit there and eat none of it.' Imagine how terrible your son must have felt?' How could you do this to him?' Food is food.' There is nothing sinful about food.' What you are doing to him is just cruel."' Just about at the end of her tirade, his son bounded up to him, gave him a huge hug around the waist, and said "I had a great time.' This was a fun party."The woman blanched and walked away.' The rabbi followed her and gently told her the following:' animals will eat whatever is around, even if it will make them unhealthy.' Humans are to rise above animals and become masters of their urges.' Imagine my son in a dorm room where harmful illicit drugs are being passed about.' We already know that peer pressure and urges will not force him to relent and give in to the impulse.' Learning at his early age to control impulse and desire is not a harmful trait - many times, it might be a life-saving one.' Look at him.' He enjoyed the company of your son and the rest of the children without giving up his values.' He looks happy and satisfied.' We really need to bring up our children to be masters of their instincts, not slaves to them, don't you think?The woman scowled, but listened to him.Yes, in any one instance, a condom could protect, but in the overall scheme of humanity, why do so many people wish to push away the enormous protective power of moral values?When the Pope suggests that human beings are best off saving their sexual passion for the stability of a covenant of marriage, he is making a statement that the act of sexuality is elevated by the context, and ultimately protects both man and woman from a myriad of hurtful consequences from venereal diseases to unwanted pregnancies (complete with abortions, abandonment, single-parenthood, and homelessness to name a few).The naysayers all have one thing in common:' they refuse to want, believe or accept that human beings can commit to a higher spiritual state of thought and behavior.' The Pope believes in us more than that.I am not Catholic, so this is no knee-jerk defense of my spiritual leader.' The truth is that he is simply correct and too many people don't want to hear it, because they want to live lives unfettered by rules.' It is sad that they don't realize that this makes them a slave to animal impulse versus a master of human potential. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-Consciencechoose wisely - treat kindlyChoose Wisely-Treat KindlyDatingHealthMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityReligionSexSexualityValues
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05/13/2010
IconAs children do in general, when I was a small child, I lied to my parents when I got caught doing something I shouldn't have, or not doing something I should have.' The reason why lying is so popular among children is that it is their attempt to keep out of trouble and avoid punishment.After a while, as children mature, they learn that lying is worse than the dumb thing they did (like eat all the potato chips before their parents' party started), because it hurts the relationship by destroying trust .' In addition, lying brought consequences - dire consequences in the old days (spankings) and stupid consequences in the present (loss of cell phone privileges for a few days), or none at all (when parents are just too busy).Nonetheless, the value of honesty (as demanded in the commandment not to bear false witness) has been a cornerstone in this country's value system about measuring character in individuals.We already have way too many "role models" who actually make superficial lifestyles, drugs, casual sex, and domestic violence attractive to our children, making it harder and harder to tell them " That's wrong to do, and if you do it, you will be publicly embarrassed, and your life will get off track ."' There isn't much in society to back that statement up anymore.I am soooooo glad I don't have a young child at home anymore.' Sitting at breakfast last week, watching the so-called news, I looked up to see Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd say (and I paraphrase) that the line in the federal stimulus bill which would have given over $100 million in bonuses to AIG executives - the ones responsible for the company's demise - if they were promised before February 11th, was nothing he knew about. "When I left work after writing that part of the bill...that sentence wasn't there." I sat there "chewing" on his statement, wondering what gremlin snuck into his office and typed that sentence while he was home in the bosom of his family.' My question was answered within seconds as a second news clip was shown with him admitting the HE was the gremlin, but then he threw the White House under the bus with, "They made me do it."Now I am mortified. "I didn't have sex with that woman," and "I didn't' write the sentence that stole money from Americans to give bonuses to high-ranking losers" have entered the ranks of the story about George Washington admitting to his dad that he cut down the cherry tree.I could see my kid right now..."Ah, mommy, what's the story here?"' You said lying was bad, and bad things would come of it, like at least looking bad, but he's still going to be a Senator tomorrow."Millions of you out there have children who saw what I saw.' What are you going to say to them about corruption at the highest levels that ultimately gets just a "wink and a nod?"' What about all those courses in school where "character matters?"' Where does it matter in public anymore?' Some of you can fall back on "God knows, and for all eternity, it WILL make a difference."' I like that a lot, except children don't think long-term, nor do they dwell on the importance of what they can't see.Asian countries have it right - they threaten people with the anger and shame of their ancestors.' America has it wrong.' It would seem to children that the only really important quality needed to become a public figure is to not give a damn about right and wrong or what people think, or that a lie is anything but an expedient tool with no meaningful consequences.Oh, yeah, the White House is acting all outraged about the AIG bonuses at the same time it is apparently the source of the benevolent donation to the failed executive fund of AIG.' Is this what they mean by the "trickle down" theory?Were I to have a child by my side this morning, I would say:' "Beloved child, when you read history books (and not the purged ones you get at school, but real history books), you will see that success and honesty are not necessarily bed partners.' Nonetheless, never do anything you would be ashamed to have your kids know you did or have them do.' I would rather you lost everything you worked for, rather than lose your soul."' I figure the more you tell kids this from the day they're born to the day you die, we'll have some people in this life we can trust. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconIn the more than three decades I have been on the radio and in counseling practice, the saddest experiences (and the most difficult to be helpful with) are those where parents call to tell me their child is dead.' The child may have been the victim of an accident, war, a crime, an illness, or a suicide.' No matter which, the pain is unimaginable and the duration is infinite.' It is against the "order of things" for our children to die first; and it is against the order of things for us to feel incapable of protecting our children from everything, anything, and anyone.'The hurt and rage a parent feels is understandable.' A desire to do something with that hurt and rage is also understandable. It is generally difficult to get a sense of closure or justice or revenge.' And so many parents believe that, if they can get one or all of those, the pain goes away.' It doesn't....not really.An 18 year old young woman in Ohio sent nude pictures of herself to a boyfriend.' Apparently, this "texting" of private parts is quite the rage in the youth population.' At some point, the relationship ended, and he, I guess, thought it would be amusing to send the photos to other students at the school.In May, 2008, the young teen went on a local Cincinnati television station to warn other teens against sending personal body part or naked photos to others, lest they also go through the harassment that she got, as students - mostly girls - called her a "slut" and a "whore."' In spite of her noble efforts to warn other young people, and the gratitude she got from innumerable parents, two months later, she decided to kill herself, apparently as a way to avoid the painful embarrassment."Sexting" (as it's called) is a growing problem that has resulted in child pornography charges being filed against some teens across the country, because sending sexually charged pictures of minors is a crime' One national survey found that 39% or more of teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages, and 48% report receiving them!This young woman was humiliated by the daily snide remarks, and she started skipping school.' Her mother drove her to school to make sure she got there.' Then, after attending the funeral of one of her friends who committed suicide, this young, tormented woman hanged herself in her bedroom.Of course, the focus for her mother is an attempt to punish those students or the school with lawsuits and criminal charges.' The mother is understandably beside herself and wanting to lash out in rage.' However, the fault doesn't lie in the stars.' The openly sexual environment that children are exposed to makes these behaviors (like oral sex in middle school classrooms and bathrooms across the country) seem like the norm for the day.' Girls have always wanted to make boys love them, and cell phone texting technology just gives young people another avenue to express their hopeful desperation to be wanted and loved.It was pathetic and stupid of her to send the picture; it was unconscionable of her ex-boyfriend to expose her to ridicule; it was disgusting for girls (competitive little witches that some can be) to make fun of her; it was brave for her to use her experience to warn others; it was too bad her family didn't get her mental health support or transfer her to another school; it was a deadly coincidence that her friend committed suicide; it is an unspeakable anguish that she thought this was the best solution for a "temporary" problem.I hesitate to write "temporary" because, with the Internet, such photos are forever, and those who wish to cause hurt to others relish in exploiting such mishaps for their own pathetic ego gain.Parents, many of your children have already done this via hand-held video cameras or computer cameras.' Many of your children have already been "embarrassed," while others have become more popular.' Very few will kill themselves, but even then, something in them does die, as what is precious and private becomes entertainment for the immature and downright mean.' Parents, make sure your kids know not to become either. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMental HealthSexSexualitySocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm turning my blog today over to Sharen Cervantes, a sophomore at Occidental College, with excerpts from an article she wrote for her campus newspaper: It's a testament to the changing times that single motherhood is no longer a lamentable predicament, but a choice, something pre-meditated and embarked upon with pleasure.' An even bigger testament to the nature of the 21st century is the fact that more and more of these unwed mothers do not fit the archetype of the uneducated, hapless teenager. According to a recent article in " The New York Times," the number of college-educated women choosing to have children out of wedlock has increased by a staggering 145% since 1980, with most of the women in this pool of mature age (i.e., in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s). Now, I support progress as much as the next person, and I'm especially supportive when it comes to women's progress.' Up until a short time ago, women were bound to the household and familial unit, unable to aspire toward anything beyond domestic and childcare obligations.... Single motherhood, however, doesn't strike me as progress.' While it may serve as testimony that the modern woman can single-handedly manage a household and act as a financial provider, it also denies the single-parent child something essential:' a father.' It's hard to explain what it means to have or, or why not having one is significant.' The impact of a father's absence ranges from the trivial...to the vital (forever wondering what a father could have brought to your life, for instance).' And there's just something about having a second parental figure in the house to forget or disregard a punishment when Mom is away.' Things aren't always this rosy, of course.' I'm enough of a cynic to realize that phenomena like divorce and negligent fathers make single motherhood almost more desirable than traditional husband/wife parenthood.' But shouldn't the dual-parent model still be a goal? I guess my biggest issue with single motherhood is its effect on a child's psychology.....The issue here is not ability.' The issue here is efficacy. What happens, for instance, when a single mother decides to play the inevitable dating game?' Does she introduce these men to her child?' It is even appropriate or conducive to an impressionable child to do so?' Not in my eyes.' It actually strikes me as rather selfish.' It is not in a child's best interest to witness a slew of men (or even a handful) come into and out of his or her mother's life.' It's even less permissible for a child to witness men coming into and out of his or her own life, especially when there's a strong chance of attachment on the child's part.....Attachment then leads to affection, affection leads to love, and love leads to a sense of hurt and loss if and when Mom and "Mr. Potential" end things. Is this fair?' No.' Does this promote a happy and healthy childhood experience?' No.' Is this type of situation inevitable and nearly universal?' Unfortunately, it is.' So, really, why the suddenly-escalating need to put children in this difficult position?' And what's wrong with a little tradition? Progress may be great, but so are old-fashioned values.' After all, isn't it especially critical that we uphold traditional ideals like daily family dinners and family game nights in today's high-tech, progress-driven world?' It seems to me that there are already too many conflicting interests to which the family must take a back seat, including work and financial anxiety.' The one point of stability in all this disunity and dysfunction is the mother/father/child dynamic.' So, I firmly believe that it should be maintained. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingValues
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