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Values
Tags: HealthPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhy have all the talking heads on every network and cable show gone on and on about the Chinese using one girl to lip-sync for another girl who was "singing" their National Anthem?' Evidently, the girl with the great voice was not considered by Chinese authorities to be as "cute" as the one they used on the' broadcast.This is American media hypocrisy at best.' I figure that if you don't have great legs, cleavage and long blonde hair, you probably can't get a job on Fox News at any time of the day or night.' All the blondes are anything but dumb - they're exceptionally smart, as a matter of fact - but they're all "babes."' Whatsa problem with hiring a few plain women with brains too?Did people feel sorry for Marni Nixon because she only got to sing while Deborah Kerr (The King and I)), Natalie Wood (West Side Story) and Audrey Hepburn (My Fair Lady) provided the faces for Ms. Nixon's voice?I'm told by an insider that many of the stage performances of singing stars are "rigged," in that the voice you hear has been pre-taped and worked over electronically.I haven't seen Greta van Susteren or Nancy Grace spend weeks on the death of anybody who was "plain" looking either.The little girl with the beautiful voice gave the gift of the performance and was probably well compensated by her government.The hypocrisy from our media about "looks" not mattering is ridiculous.' I wish I had the patent on Botox just for Beverly Hills. More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconBecause I need my voice for my daily radio program, I've been quick to use the Z-pack (zithromycin) whenever I get the feeling I have a sinus issue.' Evidently that's been the wrong thing to do.It turns out that almost 21% of antibiotic prescriptions written in the U.S. for adults are for sinusitis, even though studies show the drugs often do little or no good in the overwhelming majority of cases that begin as viral infections.' Less than 2% of those turn into bacterial infections (the kind that CAN be helped by antibiotics) so the American Academy of Otolaryngology suggests that you wait 10 days after the onset of a sinus problem.' If you're still suffering after 10 days, then it's antibiotic time.' Otherwise, saline irrigation, Tylenol, topical steroids and decongestant sprays (used for no more than three days) are the way to go. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCivilityHealthValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt was a minor news item when a Barack Obama aide fell off a Chicago curb while texting on her BlackBerry.' Evidently, she is one of way too many people getting hurt as they text while doing something else at the same time.' The ability to multi-task can be a great thing, unless it's taking attention away from where you are walking, bicycling, rollerblading, driving, cooking, and even riding a horse!The American College of Emergency Physicians has even put out an alert, because of the rising reports from doctors around the country who are seeing injuries as a result of text-messaging "on the go."' Two people in California have died while texting as they crossed the street, because they weren't looking around at their surroundings before stepping off the curb.I've been amazed to see bicycle riders pumping quickly around my neighborhood while either holding a cell phone to their ear or texting with one hand, while supposedly steering their bike with the other.' It's amazing to see, but quite dangerous to do. More >>

Tags: humorInternet-MediaInternet/MediaSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhile the terrorist groups Hamas and Fatah fight for dominance in the Palestinian regions, one of their means of demoralizing each other actually concerns the issue of facial hair. The Jerusalem Post reports that Hamas has resumed its policy of shaving the mustaches of rival Fatah members to humiliate them as a form of punishment in its struggle to assert dominance over Palestinian politics.In response, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades issued a statement strongly condemning the use of shaving as punishment.'I can only imagine the uproar and the blogosphere going crazy if it had been American military who shaved a jihadist's mustache in order to get valued information. More >>

Tags: MilitaryPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconAsked by the Pew Research Organization why they choose to eat so much junk food, the respondents overwhelmingly say it's due to its convenience.' The second most common reason is junk food's good flavor, and the third reason is because it is so heavily advertised.' Fourth is its affordability, and the final reason why people eat so much junk food is "ignorance of food values."' Yeah, I really believe that last reason!Since approximately three-quarters of the respondents eat junk food out of convenience, it seems a good time for them to re-work their lives so that breakfast and dinner are family meals at home, and lunch is considered a lighter repast to keep the engines going during the day.Want to really relieve stress?' Take off your figurative plate all the overscheduling - running around with too many activities and piling on too many responsibilities.' Two-career homes leave little time for the lovely, "home-y" amenities.' Rethink your lives and you'll probably live longer, while being healthier and happier.' Having lots of personal possessions and living beyond your means is a disastrous recipe for stress that leads to all kinds of self-destructive behaviors. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConscienceHealthSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
Icon"Beijing officials have distributed 4.3 million copies of an etiquette book, outlining rules on good manners and foreign customs, including rules about what not to wear," according to The Wall Street Journal (8/1/08)' "Among the no-nos:' more than three color shades in an outfit, white socks with black shoes, and pajamas and slippers in public." It should be interesting for the Chinese citizens who obey these rules to see the foreigners in sweat pants, jeans and flip-flops.Another issue for the Chinese government is the crackdown on any protesting during the Olympics.' China just doesn't want to look bad to the almost half-million tourists who are there for the festivities.' According to the Associated Press, probably several thousand Chinese protestors have already been locked up for the duration so they don't behave "inappropriately."' Also, protestors had to apply for permission to demonstrate some five days in advance and had to acknowledge that they would not harm national interests.' They were supposed to be relegated to one of three parks which are several miles from the main Olympic stadium, but in a report on Saturday, August 8 in the Los Angeles Times , the three parks where demonstrators were to be allowed were totally quiet.' There were no signs of protest areas or of protesters, and, according to the Times ,' there were more security personnel than visitors at the parks.' Foreigners who protested over the past week were deported, and the heavy security measures have forced most of the demonstrations to be held in other countries, including Tibet, India, Hong Kong, England, France, and Germany. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConsciencePoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconA new draft regulation (which is still being revised and debated) from the Department of Health and Human Services will label most birth-control pills and intrauterine devices as "abortion," because they can work by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus.' The regulation would consider those items as devices for destroying "the life of a human being." The current administration could enact the regulation at any point without Congressional approval.' The next President will have the power to reverse it.The regulation's stated purpose is to improve enforcement of existing Federal laws that protect some medical professionals' "right to refuse to participate or assist in abortion." Evidently, the draft argues that "state laws too often coerce health-care workers into providing services they find immoral: requirements that emergency rooms offer rape victims the 'morning-after' pill, insurance plans cover contraception as part of prescription-drug benefits, and pharmacists fill prescriptions for birth control.' The draft regulation would weaken these laws by expanding the right of conscientious objection." (Wall Street Journal, 7/31/08). I've been aggravated by the objections of "Un"-Planned Parenthood and most women's activist groups to the required 24 hour waiting period, after a woman receives a consultation and mandated description and visualization of her fetus, before a final decision about abortion is made.' I would equally be aggravated if women were not given sufficient informed consent to know what their options were, including the option of contraception.If a health-care provider believes in good faith that any of these techniques is "killing a child," then they have the moral and ethical obligation to make a referral, so that any woman can know all of her legal options.I'd like Planned Parenthood to put an adoption service in every one of their clinics. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCivilitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconBeing able to breathe seems to be a high priority for Olympic athletes - and in Beijing, that's going to be a bit of a challenge.' However, according to Associated Press sources, China is working hard at it....cough...cough.Last week, Beijing's air pollution index dropped to 44 from its more typical number which is double that.' A reading below 50 is considered "good," and between 51 and 100 is "moderate," but "moderate" is still above the World Heath Organization's guidelines for healthy air.Their polluted air has prompted the government to begin drastic measures, including the halting of most construction, the closing of machinery, chemical and construction factories, and the imposition of restrictions on half the city's 3.3 million vehicles.'Many of the 10,500 Olympic athletes are heading to South Korea, Japan and other places to avoid Beijing's air for as long as possible.' This is a kind of "reverse doping," as the impact of the city's pollution on the health and performance of these athletes is in question.Yet another risk is that of Islamic terrorism.' Some of you have been led to believe that jihadism is a reaction or reasonable payback to America and her friends for being bad, bad places.' So it might seem strange to you to find out that a Muslim group, claiming responsibility for a series of explosions in Chinese cities, is allegedly planning to attack the Beijing Olympic Games. According to the AP, "earlier this year, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said it had disrupted two plots to attack the Olympics.' It claimed one group had been planning to kidnap athletes, foreign journalists, and other visitors, while a second had been manufacturing explosives and was plotting to attack hotels, government offices, and military targets in Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities...." Just yesterday we heard about sixteen Chinese policemen who were killed in an attack on a border post in the Muslim region of Xinjiang.As if that were not enough, the Chinese government was planning to censor the' Internet during the games.' Reporters already in Beijing have been unable to access scores of web pages - particularly politically sensitive ones that discuss Tibetan succession and Taiwanese independence, as well as the sites of Amnesty International, Radio Free Asia and several Hong Kong newspapers.Oh, you should know that the International Olympic Committee quietly agreed to the Internet limitations...that is, the blocking of sites that were not Games-related.' There was such an uproarfrom other countries, however, that China has backed off on this deal, and on Friday, the Chinese government announced that it will not censor the Internet during the competition.In 2001, when China won the right to host the Games, it made the commitment that it would improve its record on human rights and provide athletes with clean air.' Without Friday's announcement (made only because of outside pressure), that would have made the score zero for two. More >>

Tags: PoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconAndrew Klavan, an award-winning author of mystery novels, wrote a brilliant op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal (7/25/08) in which he stated exactly what I believe.'He pointed out that liberal Hollywood films about the war on terror ( In the Valley of Elah, Rendition , and Redacted ) have all failed, largely because they propose to make the actions and philosophies of terrorists and coalition forces moral "equivalents," because they disrespect the military, and "seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism." These films depict "good" guys as indistinguishable from "bad" guys, ultimately "denigrating the very heroes who defend us." Klavan points out that the big blockbuster The Dark Knight , is a conservative movie about the war, like 300 before it, and these films value morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right.' Liberal, ultimately anti-American, films are realistic and direct, while conservative, pro-values films are usually fantasies using comic-inspired heroes ( Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Spiderman 3 ).What makes the real world difficult is that "good" guys must defend values in a world that does not universally embrace them, and that puts "good" guys in the awful position of sometimes having to be intolerant, unkind, and brutal in order to ultimately defend the "good" values we love.As a psychotherapist, I talk to people on the air every day who try to keep out of the way of conflict, confrontation, and judgment, so they will be liked and seen as "good" guys.' I remind them that "good" guys risk, and sometimes cross the line, to stand between evil and the innocent who need protection from the few.Instead, as Klavan points out, "When heroes arise who take those difficulties on themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness.' We prosecute and execute the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve." That means that sometimes good men have to kill ("murder" is to kill an innocent) to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate values in order to maintain those values.' That's just a fact of real life in which good and evil have always co-existed. More >>

Tags: CharityInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMilitaryMovie ReviewMoviesParentingReligionValues
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