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Values
05/13/2010
IconI recently wrote a column for a publication in which I reiterated my position on day-care, and one of my comments was: "Tearing children away from their homes and families [for day care] is somewhere between sinister and cruel." A reader of the column wrote a letter-to-the-editor taking exception to my comment and countering with: "...there are many benefits to day care, including health screenings, nutritious meals, socialization and active play away from the TV." Could not agree with her more!' Where mothers and fathers can't or won't provide their children with food, medical care, friends in the park, and attention and play, being shunted over to an institutionalized setting may definitely be a godsend!I'm still waiting, however, for the proof that children do better or equal in day-care than with a loving, attentive, involved mommy or daddy. More >>

Tags: appreciateAttitudeFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingValues
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05/13/2010
IconAs more young males drop out of high school -- aimless, and getting into all sorts of trouble - the Army has come up with a plan that solves problems for the youth, as well as for the military:' prep school. "It's academic immersion," explained Col. Jeffrey Sanderson, chief of staff at Fort Jackson, home of the Army's largest basic training school. "Our studies show that with only 3 out of 10 people of military age being capable of joining the Army, we are going to have to do something different." (Associated Press, 8/27/08) The Army turned six World War II-era buildings at the base into a mini-campus of Spartan classrooms and barracks.' Classes of about 60 soldiers will enter the month-long program every week.'Their day begins at 5 AM with physical training, eight hours of academic review classes, and homework each night.' It's a tough and structured day.' Grouped three to four to a class, the students work on GED preparation books.Recruits must score in the top half of the Army's aptitude test to qualify for the prep school and they get two tries at a GED certificate.' If they don't pass on the second try, the Army releases them from their contract.The Army prefers those who graduate from high school on their own, as it demonstrates tenacity, but that some young men might have quit high school for a wide variety of reasons is a consideration. "These kids may have quit at some point, but the big thing is, a lot of people have quit on them.' We are not going to allow them to quit," commented the school's commander, Captain Brian Gaddis. More >>

Tags: EducationMilitarySAHM stay at home momSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
IconOne of the main issues for the Democrats is their passion for getting children into preschools.' Democratic Presidential candidate Obama says he believes in universal preschool, and that he'd pump billions of dollars into early childhood education, promising improved academic performance.Sadly, the past 50 years have seen a huge increase in families who put kids in pre-school:' from 16% to 70%!' In addition to being separated from parents way too early, the problem is that fourth-grade reading, science, and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) haven't gone up since the early 1970's.' Hmmm.For decades, I've read the studies about Head Start.' Those studies indicate an immediate gain on IQ tests and other cognitive measures, but show that in later years, those scores become indistinguishable from non-Head Start kids.Why the heck is there such determination to take small children away from their homes and mothers, and put them in an institutionalized setting, which does not add to their lives, but actually subtracts from them?' A 2005 study from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley (neither of which is known as a conservative institution) found that kindergartners with 15 or more hours of preschool every week were less motivated and more aggressive in class than other kids.In Canada, the C.D. Howe Institute found a higher incidence of anxiety, hyperactivity, and poor social skills among kids in Quebec after the introduction of universal preschool.'As you might imagine, the only preschool programs that seem to do more good than harm are targeted at children who come from extremely poor families (often those with neglectful and/or addicted parents).' Even so, the return (adult crime, earnings, wealth and welfare dependence) were much smaller (16 cents for every dollar spent) than Obama's notion of a $10 return.' Universal preschool programs in Oklahoma, Georgia and Tennessee (2006, Education Week' analysis) find no statistical difference in the performance of preschool and non-preschool students on any subject after the first grade.Enough with the government intruding on parents' abilities to make educational choices for their children by guilt or mandate, without any substantiation that there is a positive benefit.' Common sense should tell you that small children are best served by a loving mommy.The reality is that the overwhelming majority of children come from loving homes with attentive parents.' Tearing children away from their homes and families for government-run, institutionalized learning programs that demonstrate absolutely no concrete benefit to the children is somewhere between sinister and cruel.By the way, Obama's daughters go to a private school whose annual fee in middle school runs around $20,000. More >>

Tags: Day CareEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPreschoolValues
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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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