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Values
05/13/2010
IconThe great state of Nebraska was the last state of the union to sign what became the most comprehensive child safe haven law in America.' In most states, the law specifies that an infant can be left at a "safe-haven" - usually meaning a hospital or a fire department...somewhere the child will get immediate attention - without the parent having to suffer any legal ramifications.' Since the law took effect in July, some twenty-three children have been brought to safe-havens...some across state lines.Obviously, this idea came about as a means of saving lives.' The thought was that now people who might toss their babies into dumpsters or abuse them would have the opportunity to save their lives by putting them in the care of responsible people.' From here, appropriate child care would be found through adoptions or the care of appropriate and willing relatives.' I always thought this was a great idea.I had fits hearing criticism that this is abandonment or passing on responsibility.' Children in the hands of parents addicted to drugs or alcohol, suffering from various mental illnesses and overwhelmed, barely functional and generally desperate, or simply unwilling are at great risk - and if even one of them has the compassion and good sense to make use of a safe-haven...then we have saved a life...not only from death...but from abuse and a childhood leading only to troubles and problems.Society is always better off when unwanted children have opportunities with adoptive families, quality foster-families, or placement with relatives who might not even have known there was a problem.' These children will have a better chance to grow up more adjusted, and that will obviously minimize bad "acting out" (sexual or criminal variety)' or substance abuse to quell emotional pain.Unfortunately, because of criticism aimed at parents who take advantage of protecting their children rather than harming them, the Governor of Nebraska, Dave Heinemen, is calling a special session of the legislature to change the state's unique safe-haven law - amending it so that it applies only to infants up to 3 days old.' I believe this is a HUGE mistake.The communications office of the Governor prepared a statement for all Nebraskans explaining his point of view. "Children from eight families have been left at hospitals under the safe haven law.' None of the children involved were infants and one was in immediate danger.' Courts are likely to require parents and guardians to participate in parenting classes, family therapy, conflict resolution or other services in an effort to reunite youth with their families." I'm delighted that the Governor points out that there are services that MIGHT...only might...eliminate the necessity for the safe-haven - but very often, parental termination might be in the best interest of children of any age.The Governor points out that safe haven laws were not designed to allow families having difficulty with older youth and teenagers to "abandon their children or responsibilities as parents." Well, some parents just can't or won't be responsible...and abandonment would be to throw them out of the house...not deliver them to people who can help.The Governor further suggests that parents considering safe-haven might turn to local health and human services offices...well, sometimes those are not as available or supportive or empowered to remedy a desperately difficult situation.While I support his concern about protecting infants in danger...they are not the only children who need such protection.I hope Nebraska keeps its child safe haven law and doesn't dilute it down to 3-day newborns. More >>

Tags: AbusecareerChild NeglectChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenJobParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconJeremy, one of my listeners, wrote an impassioned email, shocked that a child psychologist is looking for someone to take care of her not yet born baby due in January. "I found it stunning that someone has already given up the chance to take care of their baby before it's even born.' You would think a child psychologist would know better, but even they want to put career before kid.' I wonder how important the kid would feel if he read his mother's ad 10 years from now - seeing his 'mother' in a hurry to find someone to take care of him as soon as he/she was born?" Well, that got my attention, and I clicked onto the job posting site, and leaving out the name and city of the woman in question, here's what she posted: "I am a child psychologist looking for a nanny for my baby who will be born in January. I am looking for a very special person who has experience with childcare- including caring for newborns. This person should have education in a field related to childcare/ psychology etc. and have had CPR training (or will get it). This person should be at least 25 years of age and responsible. This person should be exceptionally loving, patient, and sensitive... someone who I can trust with my new baby. I would like for this person to begin in February, providing approx 15 hours per week and then starting in April, approx 35 hours per week (7 hours per day, M-F). I am willing to pay the right person $11 per hour. If you think you are this person, please send resume to _________' and include your contact info. Thanks!" I don't even know where to start.' She wants someone with her education, CPR training, at least 25 years old, responsible, patient, loving and sensitive - someone who can be trusted with her newborn....ahh....isn't that the description of a mommy and not a nanny?''''You should also know that this therapist lives and works in a wealthy community.''''I couldn't resist...so, I answered the ad...kind of: "Dear 'Child Psychologist' Parent-to-be: Your posting asking for childcare for a yet to be born child has stirred up quite a bit of negative commentary...especially since you are someone trained in the emotional and psychological needs of children.' Would you be willing to offer a statement of explanation as to how your training led you to the conclusion that your hands- and heart-on parenting was not necessary for your child's healthy and happy development?" Sincerely, Dr. Laura Schlessinger''''The answer...well, an answer...came rather quickly: "I am shocked by this insensitive and judgmental email from you.' I wish I could stay home with my baby but I cannot afford to do this.' But this is none of your business.' You don't know me or anything about my life.' You are not a doctor of psychology.' You should keep your unsolicited opinions to yourself." I responded: "I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.' I merely gave you the information that has come to me and gave you the opportunity to explain your position in response to the emails I received.' There is nothing insensitive about concern for the well-being of a child and respect for the mother-child bond." Now - sidebar - as far as "not affording" to take care of her own baby, she was prepared to pay $1500/month and she lives in an extraordinarily wealthy part of the United States, and with a psychology license, she can always work evenings.'''''She responded: "You are very off base, insensitive, and downright incorrect to think or say that there should be any concern for the well-being of a child or a mother-child bond just because the mother must work.' Research shows (here it comes!) that it is the quality of the mother-child relationship that defines secure attachment, not whether the mother works.' I believe it is optimal for moms to stay with their babies as much as possible, but unfortunately, not everyone can afford to stay home everyday with their baby.' I hope that you show more sensitivity in the future." I'm confused...if she believes it is optimal for moms to stay with their babies, why does she cite research that says the opposite?' Also, why is a traditional viewpoint insensitive and judgmental while an "alternative" viewpoint is simply fact?''''My final communication ended with, "Frankly, I am concerned that you're not going to be there for your new infant.' You could always work at night after your baby starts sleeping through the night.' Until then, you could do what I assume you had in mind when you determined to be pregnant: be a mommy, your baby needs that from you and you will be wonderfully transformed by the experience.''''"Don't you understand why I am writing you?' I am trying to give you back the gift you're giving someone else for $11/hour.' Surely your studies have shown you how important the first three years of bonding to mother are?' It seems you've only taken in the feminista nonsense that mothering is all about the mother.''''"You see me as judgmental (there is a right and wrong) and insensitive - no way, I am trying to be sensitive to what you are giving up and what the child will miss in you." Warmly, drl More >>

Tags: AbuseChild NeglectFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe Pew Research Center tested the public's political knowledge earlier this year by asking 1) which party had the majority in the House of Representatives; 2) the name of the United States Secretary of State; and 3) who is the Prime Minister of Great Britain.The survey found that about half of Americans knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, but only 42% could identify Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State.' Only a little over 25% of Americans could name Gordon Brown as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and only 18% of the public answered all three questions correctly.' Got that? Fewer than 1 in 5 Americans could answer all three questions correctly! This is why candidates for leader of the free world go on television comedy shows like Saturday Night Live , The Tonight Show , and the David Letterman Show to reach the public.' Dignified presentations obviously don't make much of an impression on the electorate.It was interesting to note which groups scored the best on this survey.' In terms of getting all three questions correct, regular readers of The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines scored the highest, at 48%.' Listeners to NPR were next at 44%, followed by viewers of Hardball (43%) and Hannity & Colmes (42%).Rush Limbaugh's audience was next at 36%, followed by viewers of The O'Reilly Factor (28%), and the audiences for Larry King, CNN, and Fox News all came in at 19%.' Now here's a surprise - out of all those who got the three questions correct, 9% of them were regular readers of The National Enquirer ! More >>

Tags: PoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I was a child, I looked up with admiration, respect and even awe at the people who were in public office.' I never heard much about illegal financial activities or illicit sexual relations.' News anchors always spoke with respect about our governmental officials, and debates and opinions were offered with dignity.Here I am, at 61, hearing that if you don't vote for a black candidate that you are a racist (but you're not if you're voting for a candidate specifically because they are black).' I'm hearing feminists attack a woman Vice Presidential candidate simply because she's pro-life. I'm watching television political ads which outright lie and offend basic sensibilities, with both parties presenting people who don't really have the true knowledge and experience to be the most powerful representative of the free world.' I'm seeing a candidate with child-care issues and an out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy in her family, candidates appearing on undignified mass entertainment comedy programs to win votes, and a cacophony of television and radio commentators saying the most outrageously mean things about people they don't know personally. I'm also hearing about mass cheating in voter registrations, and a populace which seems to be relatively disinterested in facts...just emotions, looks and personality.The years of vulgar reality programs and'media free speech, unfettered by responsiblity, have dumbed us down and made us crass.' According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, only 18% of Americans know which party holds the House majority, can name the American Secretary of State, or the Prime Minister of Britain.' I find this a bit scary - and very sad. More >>

Tags: PoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconNewark, New Jersey's Roman Catholic archbishop, John Myers,' is upset that part of Bill Maher's movie, Religulous (a combination of the words "religion" and "ridiculous"), was filmed at a Bergen County parish under false pretenses.' Maher told the parish's Very Reverend Charles Grandstrand that he wanted to film his Jewish mother there, because the church was such a big part of her life.' His father was a Catholic.' Maher told the parish folks that the movie he was making would be called A Spiritual Journey .Recently, during his appearance on Larry King's CNN program to promote his activities, Maher said: "This is funny.' Religion accusing me of deception.'' Religion, the greatest scam in the history of the world...selling the invisible product for thousands of years, accusing us of deception? [he laughs] We don't lie to people.'' What we didn't tell people [i.e., when he was producing the movie] was that it was me doing the interview.' They didn't ask, and we didn't feel an obligation to tell them." This is such hypocrisy that I can hardly type.' Hypocrisy, for those who use it as a daily epithet towards somebody whose point of view they simply don't like, is a behavior of espousing and living in counterpoint.' He accuses religious folks of lying about the divine and about faith, while he lies to people to use and embarrass them.' And this, my friends, gets you a television show, after losing another one for calling the September 11 terrorists braver than Americans. More >>

Tags: ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingReligionValues
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Tags: HumorPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconSFLA, Students for Life of America, are furious because of video of one of their undercover investigations has been pulled from YouTube.' Evidently, according to Kristin Hawkins who heads the organization, "Last week SFLA posted a video on YouTube exposing Planned Parenthood in Charlotte, North Carolina, covering up statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl." Here's the story: a college woman volunteering for SFLA entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Charlotte, posing as a 15-year-old girl who had unprotected sex with the mother's adult, shack-up boyfriend.' She told that staff that the stud had suggested she come to Planned Un-Parenthood and get the "morning-after" pill.'''''Planned Un-Parenthood gave her the pills, and made an appointment for her to start taking birth control pills without parental knowledge or consent.' SFLA also proved that the crime was not reported by PP to local police, which is a violation of North Carolina Law.According to Ms. Hawkins, YouTube said the tape had inappropriate content - damn right it did: it showed PP breaking laws...that's pretty inappropriate.' As it turns out, YouTube has also yanked previous pro-life organization videos while it does, according to Ms. Hawkins, continue to play videos which show, for example, a young man desecrating the Eucharist.To watch SF's video visit studentsforlife.org I'm always impressed with the star-studded and blinged out locals who attend the yearly Santa Barbara Planned Un-Parenthood fund raising events even with the ongoing' stream of information demonstrating their cavalier attitude towards minor women pregnant by adult men, their disrespect for parental rights, as well as their resistance to diving full force into the adoption realm. More >>

Tags: abortionAdoptionFamily/Relationships - TeensMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhood-FatherhoodPlanned ParenthoodPregnancyResponse To A CommentSocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen was the last time you took your kids to the airport and bought some candy and magazines?' Did you notice what your kids see at their "short-eye-level" when you pay for your items?' They see what they can also notice at many grocery store check-out lines and magazine racks:' they see soft porn - half-naked, provocative photos of well-endowed men and women.Now, I'm no prude.' I wear jeans below my waist, and I have some belly-button "bling."' But I do believe that there ought to be such a thing as a free society maintaining its First Amendment rights, while at the same time jealously protecting the innocence of children.A recent female caller complained that her boyfriend occasionally looked at some photos or videos of naked women on the Internet.' It is unbelievable to me that, lately,' there is such hysteria about men viewing naked women or male/female sexual encounters.' Did somebody just discover that men are very interested in sex and are visually stimulated by viewing women's bodies?Of course, Internet porn can be a problem, particularly when it becomes compulsive and a substitute for real-life intimacy, or self-medication for emotional problems.' However, much of the time, it is just a curious male having a stimulating moment.I brought up to that caller that I thought the guys who do the workout ads for some of those exercise machines are "hunks," and exciting to see.' She agreed.' If all I did was play a continuous loop of these ads, I'd be having a serious emotional problem.' There is a huge difference between "casual," and "compulsive."That said, our society has a big problem making "crass" more casual in the public square.' The fashion police should arrest most of those young women with big bellies and big butts hanging over those ridiculously low-cut, tight jeans, and short, too-tight tops, as well as young men with no tops, and with their pants falling just at or below their pubic hair line.' Their parents either don't care, or have given up attempting to be leaders, or have joined the ranks of the "crass" themselves.This society should shun malls that harbor Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Frederick's of Hollywood, as these are establishments which use provocative photos and displays to promote their products within clear view of families and children walking through the malls.' I mean, there you are with your adolescent sons and daughters, looking up at practically naked women and men in their underwear, with seductive looks in their eyes.' What are you supposed to say to your children about that?These images tell your children that sexuality, nudity, their bodies, and intimacy are just "everyday stuff" - no big deal, certainly not private, and definitely not special.' Is that the lesson you want them to learn?One mother of a 12 year old boy wrote to me that after they came home from their town's mall in which they personally experienced all of the stuff I've just mentioned, he suggested that they should do their shopping online from now on.Not a bad idea. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSexSexualitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconLet me just start out by saying that women are not inherently dumb.' But, gosh darn it, some of us do some pretty dumb things...especially in the name of "beauty."' I am charmed by the way that Joan Rivers makes fun of her own predicament with one too many way too tight face lifts on a television commercial....she grabs her face and questions whether or not she's smiling because she can no longer feel her face to sense her own expressions.' That's funny - but the odd look of her face isn't.I get too many women calling my radio show wanting permission to get all sorts of things done to their bodies to seem more attractive when, in fact, their husbands couldn't care less...they just want more loving access to their wives' sensual bodies...imperfect or not!' It rarely seems to matter that their husbands lust for them just the way they are.' Astonishing.Now women are lining up for torn tendons and ligaments as well as herniated discs by wearing higher and higher heeled and platformed shoes -- 6 to 8 -- inch stilettos are selling like crazy.' These shoes, which feature peep-toes, have been made popular by important role models such as Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson.' It would appear that women want to imitate sex symbols, without necessarily being sexual with the men who love, adore, support and protect them.' So what is it?' Women want to look good to other women but not their own men?Men do like women in high-heels, because they are daring and show off the curves of a woman's legs.' In fact, the stiletto was invented in the 1950's by Salvatore Ferragamo for the sex siren, Marilyn Monroe.' However, her heels never went over 3 inches...and that somehow didn't stop women from copying the style, or men from drooling over her image.'''''Having the fashion industry push the limits of shoe heel height just to start a new trend to make more money is free commerce...having women be so foolish as to respond positively is just plain dumb.''''It gets dumber: some women (older but definitely not more mature), are getting injections of a cosmetic filler such as Restylane or Juvederm to plump up the balls of their feet so they can more comfortably wear these ridiculous shoes...that makes them more comfortable, but definitely not safer.''''The last time women were this dumb was in the 15th century in Europe when upper-class women wore 11 inch high blocky platforms called Chopines.' They had to have servants on each arm to help them walk without falling.''''There may be a price to pay for beauty, as the saying goes, but the price shouldn't be giving up good sense or good health.' And I wish more women who are wives would spend more time concerned with what their husbands want to see of them than what Jessica Simpson is wobbling around on. More >>

Tags: Social IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI had an interesting call just the other day.' A husband and wife, each on their second marriages, called because the family dog, a dachshund, was consumed by a coyote.' The wife wanted to know how or if she could ever forgive her husband for this "National Geographic" moment.' It seems they've been feuding for quite a while: he doesn't like the dog to pee in the backyard and make the grass yellow; she doesn't like the dog to be loose in the street to pee because he could get eaten.'While these two were fighting, the dog got eaten.The righteousness in her presentation was astounding. It seemed she was willing to dismiss yet another marriage because she labeled her husband responsible for the dog's demise as he let the dog out.I asked her who the 'alpha' person in the dog's life was - every dog, no matter how attached to all family members, identifies the 'alpha' person as its owner and "main squeeze."' She immediately jumped in to say it was just everybody's dog.' He quietly offered that she had the dog before they married.' Oops!I then told her that she was responsible for the dog's death as she was not taking responsibility to walk the dog three or so times a day for its exercise and for it to eliminate itself where (a) it wouldn't damage their home property and (b) she could make sure the dog was safe.' That she was sad her dog was dead was reasonable; that she was looking for a cause of this event was reasonable; that she was blaming other than herself in combination with what is "nature's way" was plainly unreasonable.I suggested she apologize to her husband and promise, should she want another dog, to take personal responsibility for that animal.This leads me to a recent news headline, "Icelanders irate at lenders who ruined country." It seems that only one year after winning the United Nation's "best country to live in" poll, with its residents rated the most contented in the world, the result of a country's decision to swap cod fishing for a complex debt-laden economy exacted a heavy toll.They were encouraged by the government to upgrade to a more luxurious lifestyle by buying houses and cars that were financed by 100 percent loans with extraordinarily low interest rates based not on their own money, the strong krona, but based upon a spread of foreign currencies.According to news reports, "Icelanders are also increasingly angry, looking for somewhere to point blame for the country's spectacular fall."' "Somebody has to take responsibility," said one father complaining that his son has lost his savings.It took one 21 year old print machinist, Alvin Zogu, to give the most mature response: "We can learn from what they did wrong.' We can make better decisions." While governments and banks can offer "pie in the sky," it takes the individual decision to gorge themselves with pie while dangling in the air to cause the ultimate fall. More >>

Tags: ChildrenParentingPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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