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Values
05/13/2010
IconAccording to the Wall Street Journal (5/23/08), The Federal government distributes about $280 million a year among the thousands of clinics to subsidize the cost of birth control, cancer screening, HIV testing and other reproductive care for low-income patients.' Known as Title X, the program serves five million men and women a year.' By law the money can't be used for abortion procedures.But about one third of Title X patients receive their care at reproductive health clinics run by Planned Parenthood, which is also the nation's largest abortion provider.' Critics say the federal grants indirectly subsidize Planned Parenthood's abortion services by keeping a steady stream of money flowing into the clinics.President Ronald Reagan imposed rules over two decades ago that barred clinics that received Title X money from performing abortions or referring patients to abortion clinics.' Opponents filed suit, and the regulations were put on hold for years as the court battle played out.' The United States Supreme Court eventually upheld the regulations - but a year and a half later, President Clinton rescinded them.Since Mr. Bush took office, activists on the right have been pleading with him to reinstate the Reagan-era rules.' In one of his first official acts as President, he imposed restrictions on foreign family-planning aid, preventing U.S. grants from going to groups that perform or promote abortion.' He has declined, however, to implement that rule domestically.'Planned Parenthood of America relies on government grants and contracts, including Title X, for roughly a third of its nearly $337 million budget, according to its recent financial support.' Before the Bush administration is over, a final push is being waged to pressure the President to use his executive authority to order the change. More >>

Tags: AbortionPlanned ParenthoodSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt is a well known fact that illegal aliens have voted in national elections.' Arizona is the only state that requires proof of citizenship - either a birth certificate or passport is sufficient proof.' This year, some 5,000 names have disappeared from the voting registry.Unbelievably, some Hispanic activists and organizations are complaining!' I don't get it.' This is a sovereign country, and one of the perks of citizenship is the right to vote for our government officials.' Persons without such legal status ought not to be able to influence an election.' These activists and organizations should be going door-to-door to make sure that their "constituency" is driven to the proper government buildings to get such proof - where it actually exists.' These same activists and organizations should report people who are breaking the law to the INS.It is a breach of trust for any political party or its members to support illegal voters and then complain about "illegal" voting.' I am not aware of any urgency within the Democratic Party in Congress to make sure that the 50% of votes from the deployed military are no longer disenfranchised. More >>

Tags: MilitaryPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI remember several "brouhahas" over the last few years concerning some Christian religious leaders making comments about severe weather, HIV and even September 11, suggesting that it was "God's punishment" for perceived flaws in American social life.' Boy, oh boy, did the media go mad over that!Although she has had to backtrack and apologize for her comments, I didn't see anywhere near the same response to Sharon Stone's suggestion that China's devastating earthquakes, which killed an enormous population might be "karma," because China is "not nice to Tibetans."' First of all, the average Chinese person has no power to dictate foreign concerns, much less their own domestic situation.' Has anybody lately looked at their form of government?' Anyone whining about "disenfranchisement" of voting privileges in America should visit China for a year - and make sure that the 50% of deployed military's ballots are actually counted for a change.To suggest that God or karma wiped out innocent people, because He is unhappy with their government's international political position is, in my never to be humble opinion, blasphemous, and phenomenally insensitive and disgusting.Christian Dior has dropped spokeswoman Stone from their advertisements in China, and has also apologized to its customers there. But, I imagine, because she is a popular, liberal, Hollywood type, with great facial bone structure, she will not be feeling the negative impact of her own "karma" for very long. More >>

Tags: babyParentingPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconEvery weekend, newspaper inserts around the country provide coupons, giving you opportunities to get a wide selection of products for even less than what your local paper offers in its supermarket ads.' To tap into this vast source of discounted food and cleaning products, there are Web-based services that give you easy access to the discount coupons.' Some of the sites allow users to print coupons directly, while other services, for a fee, clip the coupons from newspaper inserts and mail them to you.One of the best of these is thecouponclippers.com .' Fees are 50 cents per order plus 10% of the face value of each coupon, and shipping is 58 cents.' They have an extensive selection, including a health-food section.' You can shop by department or via search tool.' If you are buying huge volumes, you might want to check centsoff.com .There are others, like grocerycoupons.com , onlinecoupons.com , and grocerycard.com , but they require a fee for the year that ranges from $10 to $100, and then 10% of the face value of each coupon and 75 cents for postage. More >>

Tags: EthicsFinancesValues
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05/13/2010
IconA majority of Americans (59%) say they would oppose a law that banned the sale of handguns.' This number is up substantially from the 1990's, when it was quite chic to be against the personal ownership of handguns.Public attitudes (according to www.pewresearch.org/pubs/835/handgun-ban ) are divided along political, gender, and racial lines.' 73% of Republicans oppose a ban on handgun sales, which is a view shared by 59% of Independents and 50% of Democrats.More men than women are opposed to the banning of handgun sales (65% vs. 53%) and more whites than blacks (61% vs. 49%) oppose a ban. More >>

Tags: Social IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconMore than half of American children between the ages of 3 and 6 are in child care centers or preschools, so the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center recently released the results of a study of children's physical activity in day care settings. ( NY Times, 5/6/08 )The researchers surveyed staff members at 34 area child care centers to find out more about how kids spend their time while they're in day care, including the reasons why they may or may not spend time outside. They presented the findings recently at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Honolulu, Hawaii.' The findings may surprise you.Children are kept inside by day care workers if they show up in flip-flops rather than sneakers, or if they don't have a coat on a chilly day.' If only one child doesn't have the right clothes for outdoor play, the whole group may be kept indoors.' Occasionally, parents will deliberately drop off a child without a coat, because they don't want the child going outside that day.Mulch is often used to landscape playgrounds and outdoor spaces at child care centers.' The researchers found that kids eat the mulch, get it caught in their shoes or use it as weapons, so day care staff indicated that outdoor play can sometimes be troublesome.Also the feelings of teachers and parents influence whether or not children play outside.' Children learn important motor and social skills by learning to kick a ball or negotiating with another child for a turn on the swing, but teachers said they felt pressure from some parents who were more concerned with children spending time on academic skills.In addition, some day care workers said it was just too much trouble and took too much time to bundle up the kids during cold weather, while other workers said they just didn't like going outside.What more can be said about institutionalized day orphanages? More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingValues
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05/13/2010
IconJust when I thought it was safe to go on to another subject, we have yet another attempt to draw our kids down the wrong alley.' Picture this: a white powder that comes in a clear vial.' It's sold with a mirror and fake credit card.' The product is called "Blow," one of the street names for cocaine.' It's a powdered energy drink, and the obvious comparison to cocaine is alarming.The advertising is very pro drug culture, designed to entice and to look at drugs and drug behavior as cool and glamorous.' Not only that, but each drink is like having almost 7 cans of Coca Cola, with 240 milligrams of caffeine - downright dangerous!When the company's owner was challenged, he said: "Parents that think it's despicable are typically the parents that don't want to take personal responsibility for educating their children about drugs and addiction in general." That is a load of garbage.' How can parents deal with their children's constant brainwashing with the Disney girl behaviors and power drinks that mimic drugs?' How can families insulate themselves from the forces attempting to make a profit as well as have access to ever new markets for sexual exploitation and drug sales - legal or otherwise? More >>

Tags: HealthPersonal ResponsibilitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconFulton Superior Court Judge Marvin Arrington got in hot water when he cleared his courtroom of white people so he could speak frankly to a group of more than 50 young, black defendants, because he didn't want to air the community's dirty laundry in front of whites.After being publicly attacked, he is now defended by Bill Cosby and Chris Tucker, both of whom showed up at Benjamin E. Mays High School, packed with mostly at-risk high school students and their parents. Cosby has been tireless in his attempts to reach out to the African-American community with his message of tough love: "The man from Nigeria comes here, he's here two months, and what does he do? He goes to the community college. He's learning a second language while he drives a cab. What are our children doing? Practicing a first language only they can understand." Chris Tucker has vowed to assist Cosby and Arrington in setting up a mentoring program for the approximately 600 students who attended the forum.Bill Cosby denounced "petty criminals, low-income black who choose athletic shoes over education, and rappers who dwell on ignorance and vulgarity." He demanded that people start taking personal responsibility or their lives.Cosby said: "Our people climbed and did stuff they said we couldn't do," listing Joe Louis, Althea Gibson and Marian Anderson, to name only a few greats. More >>

Tags: Personal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I was a kid, I was desperate to become a Mouseketeer - wearing those mouse ears, dancing, singing, and acting in one of the weekly Disney specials.' Alas, telling them of my dream in a postcard sent to them at the age of 12 got no response.At that time in Disney's history, children's "things" were innocent and sweet.' No more.' We are now in the era of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Vanessa Hudgens and now, Miley Cyrus posing for Vanity Fair topless, beneath a draped sheet, and sporting a seductive look.It's no surprise that little girls and boys look up to young celebrities with enthusiasm and yearning, and it's obvious that these celebrities become instant role-models as well. My Disney role-models were talented and squeaky clean, because that was Mr. Disney's vision.' That was a good thing - or at least most families with children believed so.Most parents of 15-year-olds are pretty upset about this inappropriate display of an adolescent in Vanity Fair , where Cyrus is exposing her body in a vulgar way and giving their own children the wrong idea of feminine modesty and self-respect. Vanity Fair defends this travesty as beautiful, natural, and artistic.' How 'bout saying the truth:' they did this to sell magazines, and the best way to sell magazines is to sensationally exploit somebody or something.' When it comes to exploiting children and vulgarizing their innocence, somebody ought to pull the plug on the photographer's lights.'Apparently, former teen star Hilary Duff professed (according to Fox News) that she would never have made the mistake that Miley did by posing topless beneath a sheet.' When I first heard of Duff's statement, I got excited that someone of her celebrity would take on the elites of Manhattan and Hollywood.' Well, that dimmed immediately upon reading her entire statement, which included the following: "Everyone goes through things and takes their own path; who am I to judge decisions that she made?' People are pushing you to do something, and if you want to do it, that's your choice.' It's not what I would choose to do, but if she did, then that's fine.' That's her choice." In 2008, I am shocked to read the same lame, amoral, immature and gutless rhetoric of the 1960's.' Anything one chooses to do is fine simply because it is their choice?' So, there is not right and wrong?' There are no obligations to standards for the sake of others and the community?' All things we choose to do have value simply because we choose to them?Take that philosophy to your standard innocent and na've youth, and what do you get?' You get the blas' determination that the best thing for little girls is an injection for a sexually transmitted disease (venereal warts) almost as soon as she reaches double digits in age!' You also get Planned Parenthood aborting babies for these little girls and not reporting to the police that the fathers are adult men.'' You get young women so scarred and corrupted by all the "choices" they've made, that they can barely imagine, much less trust, the yearning for a safe, committed, happy marriage and family.That one look of Miley over her shoulder, with her chest barely covered with a sheet is an assault on the innocence of even more young girls...just when we thought they got the idea that becoming another Britney Spears was not such a good thing. More >>

Tags: Internet-MediaInternet/MediaSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe upper Midwest has the worst drunken-driving rates in the country, according to a government report that says "15% of adult drivers nationally report driving under the influence of alcohol in the previous year." Really!' They admitted to it?' Wow.This report on drunken driving relies on data obtained from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and is based on a scientific random sample of households, asking about 128,000 adults between 2004 and 2006 whether they had driven under the influence in the past year.'Wisconsin leads the way, with government estimates of more than a quarter of the state's adult drivers having driven drunk.' Rounding out the "worst" five are:' North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.Utah had the lowest national incidence of drunken driving - likely because of the cultural religious influence.' A majority of Utah residents are Mormon, and their religion bars the use of alcohol.' Utah was the only state where fewer than 10% of adult motorists reported driving under the influence.'' West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky and North Carolina all had drunken-driving rates for the previous year of less than 11%.Interestingly, blacks drink at substantially lower rates and at less hazardous rates than whites, according to the report.In the past decade, the number of drunken drivers involved in alcohol-related crashes has remained relatively stable at a little under 12,400 per year; it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.The federal government has also released estimates of driving under the influence of illicit drugs.' The rates for this were highest in Washington D.C., Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, with the lowest rates in New Jersey, Alabama, and North and South Dakota. More >>

Tags: MilitarySocial IssuesValues
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