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05/13/2010
IconThose of you who listen to my radio program know that I end each hour with "Now, go do the right thing!"' Well, I'm happy to report that that phrase was brought home to me last week.After working on a local telethon, my husband and I went to a local restaurant with our best friend.' When we arrived, there was only a table for two available, and people at every occupied table were just starting their meals. It was going to be a long wait!I looked around the restaurant again and noticed a tall gentleman sitting side-by-side with a young child.' They were each at a table for two that had been pushed together so they could sit next to each other.' I said nothing, and hopefully, my face betrayed nothing.'It was barely a moment later when the gentleman motioned over the server and he and the child got up and moved to that available table for two.' When he saw me notice this move, he pointed to his table for us to take it.' As he sat down at his new table, I went over to hug him.' I said, "That is so kind of you.' Thank you so much!"' He came back with "It was the right thing to do."He warmed my heart.' He taught the boy a lesson in selfless generosity.' He was a role model for everyone in the restaurant who noticed, and now you know about him, too.That's the kind of "global warming" for which I believe human beings should be responsible. More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, Values, Values
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05/13/2010
IconWe live in a time where millions of children spend all day away from their families in facilities that have big screen TVs to amuse them, and they have caregivers for whom English is not required.' This is also the time when parents buy ever-increasing numbers of electronic gizmos to occupy their children's time - sometimes to "make them smarter," or to "make them buzz off," so that busy, busy parents can have some "well-earned down time."Whether its TV, computer games, or hand-held devices, more and more parents are inundating even babies with all of this mass-produced "input."' A recent study reported that about 40% of families with babies and young children keep the television on at all times.' "Always on" TV damages the children's ability to play imaginatively and to develop language skills.' Obviously, it reduces the number of nurturing interactions between parents and children, too.There are many so-called studies which identify programs that provide a positive influence (like "Barney," which teaches kids politeness and social cooperation).' The problem with all of these studies is that they never compare these TV-watching children to those raised in TV-free households to compare the shows to the loving attention of a parent.The problem is that we are living in a time of rising juvenile obesity and inactivity, and ever-increasing "diagnoses" of ADD and ADHD (which I believe most of the time is "kids being kids," and/or kids who don't get proper attention paid to them, with direction, support, and consequences).' This is also a time of more childhood sexual activity, leading to STDs, pregnancies, abortions and broken hearts with confused minds.So, this Christmas-time, change your adult life around and give your children "stuff to do" -- some with you and some on their own - to exercise their imaginations and give them a sense of accomplishment. More >>

Tags: Children, Family/Relationships - Children, Morals, Ethics, Values, Parenting, Social Issues, Values
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05/13/2010
IconI don't know how many of you know, but a little over a week ago, in New York City, a guy and a few of his friends, were on the subway - the Q train - and there were groups of people on the train, and four people come on, all Jewish.' Somebody screams out "Merry Christmas," and in good feeling, they yelled back "And a Happy Hanukkah."'Almost instantly, at least ten guys closed in on them.' One of the guys immediately hiked up his sleeve to show a tattoo of Christ, and said "Happy Hanukkah?' That's when the Jews killed Jesus."' The group then increased to fourteen, men and women, who began taunting the four Jews, and called them "dirty Jews," and "Jew bitches."' And a fight ensued.Is that why I'm telling you this story?' No.' I'm going to go back about 25 years, and I was at an art museum in Pasadena, and there was an event showing gratitude to what Jews call "the righteous Gentiles."' That is the most magnificent thing in Jewish tradition to say about a non-Jew:' to call them a "righteous Gentile."' And these are the folks who, during World War II, risked their lives and the lives of their children to save Jews from the Nazis.' When any of these people were caught, they would be shot, hung upside down in the town.' They'd watch their children die, and then they'd be killed.' You would think a lot of people would go, "Y'know what?'' I'm not going to do this.' I don't want to risk my kids and myself."' But the righteous Gentiles, who were Christian, risked everything.'' And the important part of this entire exhibit, was the part where they asked these people why were you willing to risk everything?' The lives of your children, for goodness sakes, to save a Jew?' And they all gave exactly the same answer.' I read all these reports, and I couldn't believe it - they just had me in tears.' They all said the same simple thing:' because I was brought up that that's the right thing to do. To protect people against evil - that's how I was brought up.' It was the right thing to do.' Very simple.Back to last week.' All of a sudden, these four guys and gals are being pummeled, and one person gets into the fray.' A Muslim, from Bangladesh, jumped to their aid, and was likewise pummeled and taunted, and he risked his life to help four Jews.' As one of the young people who was attacked (an honor student at Hunter College) said:' "A random Muslim guy jumped in and helped a Jewish guy on Hanukkah.' THAT is a miracle.' He's basically a hero.' He jumped in to help us."'This young man who jumped in was called a hero, and his answer was: "I just did what I had to do.' My parents raised me that way.' My father always said 'stand up for people and do good to your fellow man.'' I'm not a hero," he said.' "I did what people should do every day.' I just did what I had to do, because my parents raised me that way."' No jihad, but a commitment to stand up for people and do good for your fellow man.He also added, "It's pretty sad that someone would get offended over someone just saying 'Happy Hanukkah.'' I don't know why they flipped out so much.' They must be angry people."' Poor guy.' He's got two black eyes, and celebrated Hanukkah with the four people he helped.'One thing I don't understand is why the ten people who were arrested have not been charged with a hate crime.' I personally don't believe in hate crimes - I think if you call somebody a "dirty" something - a dirty black, a dirty Jew, dirty anything, you shouldn't get more years in jail.' You should get all those extra years in jail just for hurting them - I don't think special categories of people should exist.' It should be the maximum period.' Nonetheless, since the law is on the books, I'd sure like to know why New York hasn't charged them with a hate crime.' "Dirty Jew" and "Jew bitches" and an attack?' Sounds like a hate crime.One of the guys, who sounds like a real moron, is sadly, the son of a city firefighter, who's in Iraq right now.' This idiot teenager pleaded guilty to a 2005 bias crime against blacks.' Now it's Jews.' And you know what he said?' "I'm trying to stay out of trouble.' When I get out, I want to go into the military." I don't think so.' I don't think he's military material.' He's a jerk.' Here he is'attacking blacks and attacking Jews, and he says "I'm not a racist." More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, Values, Racism, Social Issues, Values
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05/13/2010
Icon'Tis the season to be giving...so give generously...but also give wisely.You might have heard a recent report about Congressional hearings regarding a number of Veteran's Charities.' It seems that one of the two worst performing charitable categories is "Veterans and Military."' It is a sorry story that hundreds of millions of dollars raised in the name of injured military are being squandered by charities that take advantage of our compassion for the soldiers that have sacrificed their lives and health to protect us and our international interests.The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), in assessing some 26 charitable organizations that support our soldiers and veterans, only 4 came away with an A rating.For over 30 years I have been involved in raising money for worthy causes and I've learned a lot during that time.' One of the things I have learned is to perform due diligence on any charity before I commit my time and effort, endorsement, and funds.That is exactly what I did with Operation Enduring Freedom Family Fund .' So why do I support Operation Family Fund, including getting dunked, a pie in the face, and grueling runs?'1. 100% volunteers.' No one is paid a salary.2. 100% of donations go to program services that directly benefit the families of our fallen and wounded heroes.But I encourage you to do your own research, not just for Operation Family Fund but for any charitable organization you want to support.' For more information about OFF, including their tax returns for the past three years, as well as information about thousands of other charities - go to www.guidestar.org/ .' You'll have to join as a member, but that basic membership is free.' You will then be able to access information about all the charities you are considering donating to.I know a lot of my listeners have donated money to Operation Family Fund and I want to assure them that Mike Cash and his wonderful organization use your dollars in the most productive and effective way.The $26,000 I raised in my Christmas Holiday Jewelry Boutique went directly to help a lot of military families have a better Christmas than they would have had with a house foreclosure, repossession of a car, or no money for Christmas presents for their children.I'm proud of the work OFF has done to financially and emotionally support our military families after a cataclysmic injury or valiant death.' And, I want you to feel secure that whatever you're willing and able to contribute actually touches the home and heart of these noble families. More >>

Tags: Charity, child's humor, Humor, Military, Values, Veterans
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05/13/2010
IconJianguo "Jack" Liu, a Distinguished Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University, has published a study that shows that divorce is bad for the environment. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science - http://csis.msu.edu/Publication%20files/PNAS_divorce_environment.pdf ) With rising divorce rates, there are more households with fewer people, thereby taking up more space per person and using up more energy and water. A refrigerator, for example, uses roughly the same amount of energy whether it belongs to a family of four or one parent and child.' Liu estimates that Americans spend an extra $3.6 billion annually on water as a result of the extra households created when people divorce.''Turns out that this is not just a problem in the United States.' Around the world, even in developing countries and places like China with strict religious policies on divorce, personal commitments are not being kept and those policies are being ignored.' Divorce rates are rising, leading to a profound assault on the environment because a married household actually uses resources more efficiently than a divorced household.' The number of rooms per person in divorced households is 33% to 95% greater than in married households.I figure, if you can make noise and a commitment to the environment, you ought to be able to make love and a commitment to your marriage...if for no other reason than saving the environment.Oh yes, interesting news on Bloomberg.com. It seems that the energy being used to get all those folks to the United Nations meeting on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, will cost in energy use the equivalent of 20,000 cars emitting pollutants one year.' ( http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601170&refer=home&sid=aPbfclqokwcw )Can't they all stay home and just have a conference call? More >>

Tags: Commitment, Marriage
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Tags: Charity, Parenting, Regarding Dr. Laura, Values
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05/13/2010
IconWhen a woman wishes to diminish her own value (as well as that of the covenant of marriage) by cohabitating with a man who is not willing to make the vow of committing his life to her, it's a shame.' When a woman with children does so, it too often becomes a crime.Thirty years ago, nearly 80% of America's children lived with both their Mommy and Daddy, who were married.' Now, only two-thirds of them do.' Of all families with children, nearly 30% are now one-parent families, up from 17% in 1977.' The net result is instability, neglect, and the likelihood that children will be in homes with adults who have no biological tie to them.Children living in homes with unrelated adults are nearly fifty times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as are children living with their bio-parents. ( Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005 ).' Children of single parents had a 77% greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse than children living with both parents ( National Incidence Study, 1996 ). Children living in stepfamilies, or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault than children living with their bio-parents ( University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center ). Girls whose parents divorce are at significantly higher risk of sexual assault, regardless of which bio-parent they live with ( Family Law, Washington and Lee University ).It is righteous to judge the lifestyles of people who have children, because the results of their choices can result in harm (psychological, physical or sexual), as well as death to innocent children.' "Six year old Oscar Jimenez, Jr. was beaten to death in California, then buried under fertilizer and cement.' Two year old Devon Shackleford drowned in an Arizona swimming pool.' Jayden Cangro, also two, died after being thrown across a room in Utah.' In each case, as in many others every year, the alleged or convicted perpetrator had been the boyfriend of the child's mother. ( Associated Press, November 18, 2007 ).The recent "Baby Grace" case was no different.' According to news reports, the mother's boyfriend beat the child to death because the child didn't address him politely.'I am firm in my beliefs and advice that young women, pregnant out-of-wedlock, need to consider adoption as in the best interest of the child, and that divorced parents should not marry again until the children are grown (and if they do, they shouldn't marry someone with children or create more children, because they will be sidelining their own children).Of course, I get everything from "antsy" to angry feedback for these recommendations, as adults feel entitled to their happiness, freedom, and sexual adventures.' My point of view is that the children's needs should eclipse the privileges of adult desires.A week ago, a 29 year old female caller to my radio program, with two small children from her first marriage, was now divorcing her second husband.' Two divorces before the age of 30!' Her question was should she let the new "ex-to-be" see the kids?' How about this for a life?' Each weekend, you alternate between different "daddies."I suggested she not date again until the children graduated high school. More >>

Tags: Children, Family/Relationships - Children, Morals, Ethics, Values, Parenting, Shacking Up, Shacking-Up, Values
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05/13/2010
IconI read the following email from Tina on the air the other day, but it's such a good story, particularly during this week following Thanksgiving , that I wanted to share it in this forum as well: Dr. Laura: I have to tell you about a recent shopping experience I had at the local Wal-Mart.' My family and I live in northern New York, just 15 minutes from Fort Drum.' This area is extremely "pro-military," and we like it, even though I can do away with the miserable winters. Driving to the store, I always pass through the base, and I saw all the "Welcome Home" banners hanging on the fence, meaning that a bunch of soldiers had just come home from Iraq.' When we got in the store, I couldn't help but notice soldiers who were shopping - the look on their faces was priceless!' These guys were happy to be shopping, happy to be alive, and happy to be home to family, friends, and community who are aware of their sacrifice and heroism. My six year old son was sort of oblivious to all of those dressed in fatigues until we reached the Lego aisle, and he saw a couple of soldiers in his favorite section.' He said, "Look, Mommy - some good guys!!"' "Yes, I see," I told him.' Then he asked the soldiers:' "Did you get the bad guys?"' "Yes, young man, we sure did," they assured him. My son was especially excited that the good guys liked Legos, too! Thanks. Tina More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - Children, husband, Marriage, Military, Parenting, Social Issues, War
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05/13/2010
IconAs we head into Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the biggest shopping season of the year, it's time to take a stand regarding the kind of toys we buy our kids.' Case in point:1. Mattell, Inc. recalled 675,000 Barbie' Accessory toys because the paint on the surface of the accessories contained excessive levels of lead.' Lead can cause learning and behavior problems and even death.2. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled roughly 4 million arts and crafts toys called Aqua Dots because several children in the United States and Australia were hospitalized after swallowing some of the toy's beads.' The beads had a chemical coating that evidently was related to GHB, the "date rape" drug.3. An additional 175,000 Curious George plush dolls made by Marvel Toys were recalled because of lead on the toys' plastic faces.This past summer, the toy industry recalled more than 22 million toys because of serious danger issues.' The common denominator seems to be that all these toys are made in China.' China is the world's number one producer of toys, due to cheap labor and manufacturing costs.' While the world's governments lazily deal with tougher controls to intercept dangerous toys before they hurt our children, how about we parents taking control and only purchasing toys made in the U.S.A. this holiday season?' We should be supporting our own economy anyway.If you don't know how to find toys made in the USA, here's a start - a parent single-handedly took up the charge and created a website that links to USA-made toys. toysmadeinamerica.com/ .If you want detailed information on toys that have been recalled by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, you can find a list of all the latest recalls at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html . More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - Children, Morals, Ethics, Values, Parenting, Politics, Social Issues, Values
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05/13/2010
IconI got this eloquent email recently, and wanted to share it with all of you, as it addresses the consequences of some behaviors that often come up from callers to my radio show:"Two months ago, I left my wife and children and moved into a condo about a mile from our home.' This morning, I was moved to write the following, just to help me vent my frustration over the treatment from my wife that led to this painful and damaging decision, called "For Years:" For years, you behaved as if it didn't matter whether I came or went, so I went. For years, you were unsatisfied with the income I brought in, even though it was way more than enough to allow you to stay home with the children. Now you have less, and you get to go to work. For years, you behaved as if my touch meant nothing to you. Now, it's gone. For years, you never complimented me on the household repairs I made, keeping up the lawn and garden, cleaning and organizing the garage and the hundreds of things I did to keep our home balanced and running. Now, you can do them. For years, you complained I didn't do enough housework.' Now it's all yours. For years, you chose not to attend community and social events that were important to me.' Now they're not an option. For years, you expected me to read your mind when you were hurt or upset.' Never could, never will. For years, you punished me with your silence.' Now you have plenty. For years, you would not share information about our kids' schedules, doctor's appointments and so on.' Now some attorneys will help you polish your communication skills. For years, I chose to love you, protect you, provide for you, confide in you, and have fun with you.' Now, I don't. For years, you behaved as a long-suffering martyr.' Now you can be one. For years, I chose to raise your son as my own.' Now, he's hurting. For years, you treated me as the lesser parent.' Now I am. For years, our precious young daughter has watched this debacle. What do you think she's learned? For years.... P.S.' I bought and read "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage" months ago, and asked my wife to read it with me.' She laughed."(Signed)Still My Kids' Dadin Southern California More >>

Tags: Children, Marriage, Parenting
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