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Values
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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05/13/2010

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensMilitaryQuote of the WeekTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconAndrew Sum of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston predicts that teen summer employment is going to fall to the lowest rate in the 60 year history of government jobs data. That's down from 45% in 2000, and a high of 48.5% in 1989.The reasons for this tightening of the teen summer job market are varied. Because of weakness in the economy, more adults (including unemployed college graduates, older workers, former welfare recipients, illegal immigrants, and working adults seeking second jobs) are competing for low-skilled, hourly posts. The proportion of jobless teens actively looking and available for paying jobs last summer, at 17.1% was nearly four times that of adults ( Wall St. Journal, 4/23/08 ).Idle children are not in the best interests of family, neighborhoods, or society. That amount of non-focused adolescent energy needs a constructive outlet. Individuals as well as businesses all should take on the responsibility of providing at least some sort of hourly work during the summertime for teens; this would provide them structured time, financial compensation, skill building, exercise of the mind and body or both, increased self-esteem, and experiences of a more positive nature than they'd probably have without the work.Another outlet for teens is to come up with some business concept of their own, wherein they provide a service for a business or homeowner. Once concept, described by the founder of Teens4Hire.org , an employment website, was her suggestion to a panhandling skateboarded to start his own business collecting household hazardous waste for recycling. He made $700 hauling paint cans, oil, and other items to a recycling center at $3 per item. Teens can also do grocery shopping or other chores for the elderly or housebound or just darn busy folks - there are lots of ideas just waiting to be brought to life. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - TeensMilitaryTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconRecently, the news has been filled with reports regarding the military's acceptance of increasing numbers of felons into their ranks.'I still believe that each and every male and female who reaches the age of 18 should spend two years in military training.' Our young people are spending more and more of their precious twenties still being dependent children and/or getting into all sorts of trouble with sex, drugs, and violence.' Two years of military experience would toughen 'em up, teach them self-discipline, give them an outlet for their immense unfocused energies, and provide an opportunity for them to become more mature, thinking individuals. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - Teensfather figureMilitaryMotherhood-FatherhoodTeensValues
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05/13/2010
Icon"Home-schooled students are routinely high performers on standardized academic tests, beating their public school peers on average by as much as 30 percentile points, regardless of the subject.' They perform well on tests like the SAT - and colleges actively recruit them both for their high scores and the diversity they bring to campus." (Wall Street Journal 3/22/08). The 166,000 families in California that choose to educate their children at home do so largely for three reasons:' religious, protecting their children from gangs and drugs, and mostly because they want to ensure their children a good education. Considering the overwhelming success of home-schooling, one would think it perplexing that a California court ruled in March that parents cannot home-school their children without government certification.' Fascinating, since non-credentialed parents spend their time teaching English, math and science precisely because they don't think the public schools do a good enough job! You should know that this whole court case was not about quality of education.' The case was initiated by the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services after one - ONE - home-schooled child reportedly complained of physical abuse by his father.' A lawyer assigned to that child invoked the truancy law to get the children enrolled in a public school and away from the parents (California law requires children between six and 18 to attend a full-time day school.' Failure to comply means breaking the truancy laws). So, a single case of parental abuse is being used to promote the certification of all parents who make that huge commitment to their children's education.' Unbelievable. Between 1999 and 2003, the rate of home-schooling increased by 29% and the performance results speak for themselves.' Of course, the California Teacher's Union is ecstatic about this outcome - in spite of the facts that demonstrate that, on the average, children do better academically outside of their classrooms. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconPeople searching the Internet for information about suicide are more likely to find sites actually encouraging suicide than those offering help or support.Professors of psychiatry and epidemiology from several universities in England found that nearly half of websites showing up in queries of the four top search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com) gave "how to" advice on taking one's own life.' Only 13 per cent focused on suicide prevention or offered support, while another 12 per cent actively discouraged suicide.According to this study , "Information on methods is not the only way that the Internet can contribute to suicidal behavior.' Contributors to chat rooms may exert peer pressure to commit suicide, idolize those who have completed suicide, and facilitate suicide pacts.' Such discussion may lessen any doubts or fears of people who are uncertain about suicide....[Researchers] observed that people posting notes concerning suicide on the web are often initially ambivalent, but that their resolve strengthens as others encourage them, and backing out or seeking help becomes more difficult. It may be more fruitful for service providers to provide website optimization strategies to maximize the likelihood that suicidal people access helpful, rather than potentially harmful, sites in time of crisis." Frankly, I find it disgusting that these search engines do not vet their sites and allow such a proliferation of sadism; this is taking the concept of freedom of speech to an absurd point.' There needs to be a more humane balance between freedom of expression and public protection.' Currently, the main approaches to reducing the potential harm of suicide sites include self-regulation by Internet service providers and use of filtering software by parents to block sites from susceptible children.Since 2006, it has been illegal in Australia to use the Internet to promote or provide practical details concerning suicide, and Internet service providers in Japan and Korea have attempted to block specific sites providing similar information. More >>

Tags: Social IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconFor the life of me, I don't know what single women "by choice" tell their sons about what to look forward to in their futures.'"Randy" sent me the front page of her local newspaper, with an article touting "Moms Single By Choice."'' Randy writes: [The article is about w]omen in their late 30s or 40s who have no husbands but want a kid.' A few adopt, while sperm bank fertilization impregnates many of them. I have learned from listening to your radio program for the past two years that a woman's selfish desire to have a kid should be trumped by the needs of a child who would be best brought up in a two-parent family - mom and dad, married, with a stable home. Ninety percent of the article promotes this behavior as an acceptable "choice."' The article explains the pain a woman goes through when she realizes that Mr. Right is not coming as they age into their late 30s or early 40s.' The article sympathizes with these brave career women who can afford full-time nannies and day care.' One woman is quoted as saying that this was 'the best decision she ever made,' while the final word plainly says to 'go for it.'' There are a couple of brief paragraphs buried late in the article mentioning the conservative point of view.' It states that hundreds of studies have shows that mom and dad homes are superior to single-parent homes.' Also, very briefly stated is that 'choice mothers are, in effect, teaching their children that men are not important to families, marriages, or children.' I sympathize with the children of these single moms "by choice."' They are intentionally robbed of a father.' More than traditional money-earning, protecting and fixing things around the house, the dad does something else.' He has a place in the family where he shows monogamy and daily behavior as a father and man should behave.' He is a role model, and an example of the kind of person sons should grow up to resemble, and daughters should grow up to look for." Hey, Randy, in this "PC" and feminist-brainwashed society, whatever an adult wants always trumps what children need!' If a woman who never bothered to become "Miss Right," does want to devote herself to raising a child (without nannies and day-care), I'm all for her adopting an older or difficult-to-place child.' Now, that would be a God-send. More >>

Tags: AbortionFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyParentingRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconLast month, I was asked to write a note to wives of Los Angeles SWAT team members ("warrior wives") after a SWAT officer was killed in a real life incident.' I thought it made sense to share it with all of you:Not long ago, I received an award from a Native American patriot group for being "the proud mother of a deployed American paratrooper."' The representatives of this group travel the country giving special awards to military personnel and their families honoring their efforts, sacrifices, and suffering.' Part of the quite moving ceremony was that I was given a Native American name.' The representative of the tribe said that he got special permission from the elders to do so, and that he prayed to the spirits for many days until they told him what name to give me: Walks With Warriors .The obvious irony is that I talk about "warriors" with great reverence and respect almost every day on my radio program.' Modern-day warriors include the military, firemen, and the police.' These folks elect to put themselves in harm's way for perfect and imperfect strangers.' Why?' Because as the hot dog commercial touted, they "obey a higher power."' That higher power is purpose .When my son volunteered for the military, I was at once proud and scared.' I talked to him just before he left for basic training and said something like "You know, honey, this is not like a video game or shooting targets.' There will be young men on the other side trying to kill you before you kill them."' "Mom," he replied, nonplussed while I was reverberating with discomfort, "the way I drive, I could get killed on the freeway.' Of course, I don't want to die or even get hurt.' And some day, I'm going to die anyway, because, eventually, we all do.' If I die in combat, I will at least have died for a noble purpose." I was stunned.' My eighteen year old wild kid had overnight turned into a man who understood that a life without purpose is the greatest loss.' The constant memory of that conversation is what buoys me as a mother of a combat soldier.' I'm so proud.I have used my own experience to help the mothers, wives, and children of warriors; I help them understand that they are not just wives, mothers, and children - they are warrior wives, warrior mothers, and warrior children - and provide them real back-up for these extraordinary people' The sacrifice of time, energy, commitment, financial riches, and sometimes life and limb, make these warriors and their families special and deserving of infinitely more respect than they get by some who don't appreciate the price of freedom from enemies foreign and domestic, as well as from natural disasters.I am reminded of a scene from the Yul Brynner version of the film, "The Magnificent Seven." It takes place in Mexico, where a small village is one of the many terrorized by a roving gang of Mexican bandits preying on their own.' Yul and six of his gun-slinging buddies are hired to protect the town.' The scene of most importance to the issue of heroes and warriors is one in which one of the gunslingers tries to shoo away two young boys who are enthralled with him as a warrior and hero.' One of them insults his own father, calling him a coward.' The gunman grabs him and yells at him (I'm paraphrasing here): "We're just men with guns.' Your fathers are the real heroes.' They work hard every day trying to squeeze food from the dirt to take care of your mothers and siblings.' They struggle against the forces of nature and the evil of bandits.' And they survive to protect and provide for you - they are the real heroes!" The truth is, we need both.' We need those willing to fight evil and disasters and we need those who toil each day supporting those warriors and the life they have us live.' When we lose "one of ours," and collapse into negativity and despair, we destroy 1) what they built, and 2) what they lost.' Their deaths are best honored by our continuing to do what they lived for:' to have wonderful, productive, happy, and safe lives.'Don't take what they lost and waste it with self-pity and rage.' Take what they lost and honor their memory and their efforts by squeezing every ounce of joy that life,' love, relationships, hobbies, work, family, and just plain smelling the lilacs can give.We most honor the deaths of warriors by continuing their commitment, not by giving up on our own.'A respected rabbi once said: "Despair is a cheap excuse for avoiding one's purpose in life.' And a sense of purpose is the best way to avoid despair." I have relied on this sentiment many times as despair has grabbed at my feet.' I hope this helps you.My heart is with all of you, past and present.Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger More >>

Tags: AttitudeHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensMilitaryQuote of the WeekTeensValues
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