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Values
05/13/2010
IconAt this point, every news outlet has discussed the conclusions of some researchers from the University of North Carolina.' The researchers insist that three genes "may" play a strong role in determining why some young men raised in rough neighborhoods or deprived families become violent criminals, while others do not.The research team studied only boys, and used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a U.S. nationally representative sample of about 20,000 adolescents in grades 7 - 12.' They found specific variations in three genes that appeared to be associated with bad behavior, but only when the boys suffered some other stresses. "But if people with the same gene have a parent who has regular meals with them, then the risk is gone," said one of the researchers.Genes give us a range of potential - the interaction of those genes with real life determines the outcome - and it appears like family is everything with respect to raising decent, adjusted, functional children. More >>

Tags: FamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyHealthParentingRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconTwo year ago, a Danish journalist/cartoonist gave his political opinion with a newspaper cartoon that depicted a caricature of Muhammed, and there were death threats and rioting by those who described themselves as "offended."' The cartoonist was arrested on charges of discrimination against Muslims.A Paris court also handed down a $23,325 fine against Brigitte Bardot, the former screen sex symbol and current animal rights campaigner.' She was also ordered to pay $1,555 in damages to MRAP, a prominent French "anti-racist" group which filed a lawsuit over a letter she published in her animal rights foundation newsletter and which she also had sent to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.' Evidently, she had criticized the Muslim feast of Aid-el-Kebir, which is celebrated by the slaughtering of sheep, and had expressed her concern that Muslim laws were beginning to dominate French culture and jurisprudence. French anti-racism laws prevent the incitement of hatred and discrimination on racial and/or religious grounds.' Bardot had previously been convicted four times for "inciting racial hatred."' Her attorney said, "She is tired of this type of proceeding.' She has the impression that people want to silence her." No kidding.English courts are now becoming a popular destination for libel suits against American authors.' The cases have largely been brought against American writers and scholars for criticizing Islam or "naming names" of those who appear to support and fund terrorism.' To avoid costly litigation, some American publishers are withdrawing the publication of those books.' Unlike in American law, in Britain, the burden of proof in libel cases is on the author , since British law considers the disputed information as false until proven true.'Here in the United States, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Joseph Lieberman (Ind/D-CT) have introduced the Free Speech Protection Act of 2008, which bars U.S. courts from enforcing libel judgments issued in foreign courts against U.S. residents, if the speech would not be libelous under American law.' The bill also permits American authors and publishers to countersue if the material is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.' This legislation wouldn't protect those who recklessly or maliciously print false information, but it would ensure that Americans are held to and protected by American standards.According to Specter and Lieberman as quoted in The Wall Street Journal (7/14/08) : "The 1964 Supreme Court decision in NY Times vs. Sullivan established that journalists must be free to report on newsworthy events unless they recklessly or maliciously publish falsehoods.' At that time, opponents of civil rights were filing libel suits to silence news organizations that exposed state officials' refusal to enforce federal civil rights laws.' Now we are engaged in another great struggle - this time against Islamic terror - and again, the enemies of freedom seek to silence free speech.' Our legislation will help ensure that they do not succeed." The anti-free speech forces have accomplished a lot in Europe and in our own universities (with their tyranny of the "politically correct").' This is the time to draw that line in the sand. More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, ValuesparentingRacismReligionSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconEach year, billions of food wrappers and drink cartons end up in landfills because the material they're made of is geared to keep their products fresh, and not necessarily to decompose.' Kraft Foods, Kellogg's, Clif Bars, and Coca Cola, to name a few biggies, have teamed up with TerraCycle ( www.terracycle.net ), a company that takes their packaging waste and sews, fuses or weaves it into products such as totebags, lunchboxes, showercurtains, pencil cases, backpacks and more.' The Chips Ahoy! umbrella caught my attention, as did the Oreo cookie wrapper shower curtain! More >>

Tags: BehaviorgratitudeSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe teen pregnancy rate is up for the first time since 1991, according to a report released by the National Institutes of Health, and is a cause for concern. "This is one of the key indicators for the health of the teen population," said Edward Sondik, Director of the National Center for Health Statistics. "Not only does this affect teen health at this point, but their health and well being for the next 20 to 40 years, as well as the health and well-being of their children." This is one of the most self-centered actions a female can take.' It is obviously not in the best interest of a child to be robbed of a father, a two-parent home, and a committed relationship which would give the child the security and role-modeling he or she needs to fulfill hopes and plans for a loving, secure marital future.It's very "in" lately to be a pregnant Hollywood star, and lots of money is offered for exclusive pictures of the heirs to celebrity notoriety or fame.' It doesn't seem to matter if the star is married or not - there is no judgment, no condemnation, no "clucking," no criticism, no shame, and no consequences.' It is just all "okay."'When people do the wrong thing, repent, and then do the right thing, you'd think that they would be idolized.' Nope.' The media tends to humiliate and denounce them as hypocrites.' So, the "act" is irrelevant; the only thing that is relevant in current day society is that you must never say that anything is "wrong."' If you do dare to call anything "wrong," then you will be attacked.'But back to the children.' Children having children is in no way a positive thing for either child.' There is sufficient research and practical experience to confirm the problems encountered by children without an intact family.' Why is this ignored?' Why is this denigrated or dismissed?' Why doesn't anybody care about the children?' Why is it all about how the female "feels" - which, I'm sure, isn't too great, once the reality sinks in that caring for an infant involves a lot of sacrifice and stress.Kids have very little to connect to these days.' That might sound like an odd comment considering all the means of communication available:' email, text messages, cell phones, and Internet social networking sites, but paradoxically, as the number of technological advances continues to grow, the sense of truly being bonded and connected one-on-one in the non-virtual space continues to diminish...significantly.' When one has a site with 200 "friends," one really doesn't have a true friend.With parents not around to connect with kids because of busy careers or divorce, or because they're shacking up or never got married, having a baby of one's own seems like an obvious way for a kid to get attention, bond to someone, and have some "hands-on" love.' Unfortunately, it doesn't play out that way as the child-mothers discover that children are seriously dependent beings.I remember when actresses like Ingrid Bergman (who left her husband and child to go to Europe to have an affair with one of her directors) were shunned from Hollywood for such behavior,' Now, having affairs, abandoning children, and giving birth out-of-wedlock are met with magazine covers and more job offers based on increased visibility.When children have children, it's largely because nobody is taking care of them; they're lonely and lost.' But we should never point a finger or suggest fault - after all, someone's feelings might be hurt!' And we all know that "feelings" are the most important value - right?' Dead wrong. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconI am relieved that the Supreme Court finally clarified that the Second Amendment permits individual gun ownership and not just for those individuals in a national militia.' However, now that there are non-lethal alternatives readily available on the market, people using their guns in self-defense are going to be under more scrutiny than before.'The states impose carefully defined limitations (known as "proportionality requirements") on the use of deadly force in self defense:' a person may use only as much force as is necessary in that immediate situation.' You can defend yourself with deadly force only to prevent death, rape, kidnapping, or bodily injury serious enough to cause long-term loss or impairment.' That gives district attorneys some potential for leeway in filing criminal charges against individuals who have used deadly force to defend themselves.Interestingly, a non -deadly weapon can be used to defend against any threat of unlawful force, which is why I've bought a Taser even though I've already taken classes and training in handgun use and safety.' The Taser fires a dart that delivers a painful electrical shock, resulting in an instant and incapacitating muscular spasm that generally gives you about 30 seconds to get out of the situation.' The Taser works anywhere on the attacker's body; bullets have to hit vulnerable spots to stop a bad guy.Advanced-model Tasers also allow you to respond from up to 35 feet away.' Using a handgun on an attacker from 35 feet away, however, raises questions as to whether "deadly force" is necessary at such a distance.My Taser is pink.....couldn't resist. More >>

Tags: PoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconA Canadian court has lifted a 12 year old girl's "grounding," overturning her father's punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the Internet.' The girl had taken her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on websites he tried to block, and then posting inappropriate pictures of herself online using a friend's computer.Unbelievably, the judge, Justice Suzanne Tessier, decided the punishment was too severe, and basically severed this father's parental authority.' Unbelievable.' Unbelievable.Evidently, the girl's Internet transgression was just the latest in a pattern of broken house rules.Obviously, this situation should never have been accepted for adjudication.' Obviously, this judge has taken leave of her common sense.' Obviously, this judge should lose her position.' Obviously, this is going to undermine parenting in Canada, and anywhere else such nonsense is permitted.By the way, there's a twist to this story - one which may explain the judge's behavior.' The court-appointed lawyer who represented this child is the same lawyer who has been involved in the child's parents' 10 year custody battle!' If I were suspicious, I might wonder if this judge is a feminist type who identified with the mom as a co-oppressee and misused judicial power to support women - right or wrong.' Not an accusation, you understand, but just an attempt at understanding the unacceptable. More >>

Tags: attitudeInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconInternet providers Verizon, Sprint, and Time-Warner Cable have agreed to block access to child pornography and eliminate the material from their servers, according to Andrew Cuomo, New York State's Attorney General.According to the AP, "Investigators said they found 88 newsgroups devoted to child pornography in an 8 month investigation. " All are being shut down by these cable providers. "We are doing our part to deter the accessibility of such harmful content through the Internet, and we are providing monetary resources that will go toward the identification and removal of online child pornography," said Sprint spokesman Matthew Sullivan. "We embrace this opportunity to build upon our own long-standing commitment to online child safety." A Verizon representative pointed out that they can't possibly scan every user group, but they will work very quickly to deal with the issue when it is brought to their attention.Ya know, technologically, Internet providers have incredible resources for scanning....they just need the will.' It looks like Andrew Cuomo has made them find the will. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconBreitbart.com revealed that a select group of New York City paramedics may soon have a different kind of task:' saving the dead.' The city is considering creating a special ambulance whose crew would rush to collect the newly deceased and preserve the body so that the organs might be taken for transplant.' Top medical officials in the NYC Fire Department and Bellevue Hospital say it has the potential to save hundreds of lives.Generally in the United States, only people who die at hospitals are used as organ donors, because doctors are on hand with life-support machinery to preserve the organs and remove them before they are unusable (which can happen after only a few critical hours).The new transplant ambulance would ideally turn up at the scene of a death minutes after regular paramedics ceased efforts to resuscitate a patient.' They would have to wait for 5 minutes after a formal declaration of death, but then the team would begin work immediately, administering drugs and performing chest compressions intended to keep the organs viable.'Some of these steps may be taken before getting approval from a relative and without knowledge of the deceased's wishes regarding organ donation, but any organ removals would only be done at a hospital.' And no organs would be removed without getting the family's express consent.'U.S. opinion surveys routinely show that a majority of Americans are willing to donate their organs.' An estimated 22,000 people die at home each year in the United States, and several hundred people die every month waiting for organs.' This seems like a worthy pilot project. More >>

Tags: HealthPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconJ.C. Penney officials are upset about a racy, fake advertisement on YouTube, in which the retailer appears to be endorsing teen sex.' The "fake" ad'was not done with their knowledge or permission.The video, called "Speed Dressing," ends with teens telling the girls' mother that they're heading down to the basement to watch TV.' As they head toward the basement door, the words "Today's the day to get away with it" flash on the screen, echoing Penney's use of the phrase "Today's the day to..." in a series of ads it launched last year.' Penney's logo and slogan then appear on the screen.The title refers to the beginning of the video which shows two teenagers in their own respective bedrooms stripping down to their underwear and then timing themselves as they race to put their clothes back on.'The amoral part of this story is the response of Alan Siegel, chief executive of New York strategic-branding company Siegel + Gale. "It's not going to reflect well on the brand in Middle America, but the ad is nicely done and the people in it are attractive; young people in New York and LA will get a kick out of it," he said.The potential impact on young people is irrelevant, however, as long as it's clever and attractive?' Amoral thinking at best. More >>

Tags: AttitudeFamily/Relationships - TeensSexSexualitySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconI watched an amazing video on YouTube of a University of Wisconsin sophomore and student senator, Roderick King, knocking over 4000 white crosses that "Pointers for Life," a pro-life club, obtained permission to place on campus grounds.' The display was meant to symbolize the 4,000 unborn babies who are aborted each and every day in the United States of America.So far, no disciplinary action whatsoever has been taken against Mr. King, and the student government has decided to put the issue off until next semester....uh...that's in the Fall.' I guess they figure we'll all forget about it and they don't have to punish one of "their own."' Whom do I mean by that?Ian Ivey, with The Leadership Institute, a conservative organization which trains and places conservative leaders into public policy positions, the media, and schools said: "It was an astonishing thing to see the video of the student senator just with clearly no respect, no regard at all to either the rights of the students who had set up that display, or the intent of the display and the real meaning of that display.' This is the kind of thing that happens on college campuses on a regular basis, where conservatives face this kind of oppression...mostly from students, but especially from student government associations who are thoroughly dominated by a leftist agenda." More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - TeensMorals, Ethics, ValuesSchoolSocial IssuesTeensValues
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