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Dr. Laura Blog
05/13/2010
IconI want to begin this blog by offering my deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Heath Ledger , the young movie star found dead this week in his apartment.' The point of view of this blog does not in any way intend to minimize the loss, hurt, and emotional suffering of those with whom he was close.However, the amount of media attention to this tragedy does seem excessive to some, while the heroically tragic sacrifices of other talented and brave young Americans go unnoticed.' A "Blue Star Mother" (an organization of mothers who now have, or have had, children honorably serving in the military bluestarmothers.org ) wrote to me: "In listening to the recent press hysteria surrounding Heath Ledger's death, I can't help but contrast that with the ultimate sacrifice our troops make every day with no fanfare. My son, a Specialist with the Army 25th ID, is stationed in Taji, Iraq.' Last Friday he witnessed the death of his very good friend, Specialist Jon Schoolcraft , age 26, to an IED, not to mention the grievous wounds sustained by others in the same attack.' I would ask your listeners to log onto the DoD website ( defenselink.mil/Releases/ ) just once to see the names and ages of the brave young men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.' Better yet, turn off the gossip channels on the TV and Internet and write a letter or send a care package to the troops to let them know they're not forgotten. God Bless you, Dr. Laura, for all you do for our troops.' I too am a Proud Mother of an American Soldier...Hoo-ah!" I believe that a civilization is measured in great part by what it chooses to honor. More >>

Tags: Military, Values
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05/13/2010
IconYou could tell who the "visitors" were in Portland this past weekend.' We were the only ones using umbrellas...Portlanders simply go on with their lives as if water were not draining from the sky.'''' It was a great trip.' I arrived Thursday and stayed at The Benson Hotel on Southwest Broadway.' Friday morning we drove to KATU-TV where I had a fun interview about "In My Never To Be Humble Opinion," my one woman show that we did on Friday and Saturday night at the lovely Newmark Theater at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts.'''''' After the television interview, I arrived at KEX AM 1190 for an unbelievably moving Native American ceremony performed by Marshall Tall Eagle and his wife and granddaughter.' They presented me with a "Mother's Medal of Honor," in recognition of my being "the proud mother of a deployed American paratrooper."' Marshall Tall Eagle's special status among the tribes gave him the power to assign an "Indian" name to a "civilian."' He told me he'd prayed about it and was told what name to use for me:' "Walks with Warriors."' No question that I loved getting that name!''''' After doing my radio program from the KEX studios, I went to'afternoon team Mark & Dave's studio to be interviewed about whatever came into their very hilarious minds.' They and their crew surprised me with a birthday apple pie lit up with candles...very, very appreciated.'''' I'd asked Mark & Dave to open my one woman show and what a terrific move that turned out to be -- they were unbelievable witty and charming andjump-started audience enthusiasm.'''' I've been all over the country with my show, and the Newmark had the best audio of all by far - no matter where you sat from the front row to the last seat in the second balcony, you could hear every word.' The audience was fun and responsive...which brought the best out of me.'''' Saturday morning I got up way too early because the kind people at "Nolita's" (Pearl District) opened their shop up early so that I might take advantage of their cool styles and the luxury of a sale complete with no sales tax.' Don't ask how much I spent...their things were adorable.' Next stop was "Jane's Vanity" for a selection of fabulous lingerie.' I particularly like camisoles to wear under blazers.'''' We had a great lunch at Jake's Famous Crawfish.' The sourdough bread and the crab cakes were amazing.'''' We all walked back to our hotels after lunch to nap - traveling and performing...eating and shopping... take a lot out of you!''''' Saturday night's crowd was as enthusiastic and energized as the night before - with both nights totally sold out.'''' One couple had changed their marriage plans a bit in order to make sure they made it to the Saturday show.' They moved the ceremony and reception earlier in the day and then drove to Portland to see the show...still wearing their wedding clothes!' I acknowledged them from the stage and gave them a wedding present I'd purchased the week before in response to their email informing me of their "new" plans.' Just adorable.'''' I loved Portland, the folks at KEX, and Portlanders in general.' They were all gracious, fun, positive and quite sensitive to the more serious issues I addressed' as well as open to having a good time. Thank you all for your hospitality.'''' Sunday morning I got up at 5 AM to be home by 11 AM so that I could go out with my sailboat racing crew to practice.' My husband then made the best hamburger and potato salad on any coast and I just put my feet up, petted Bebe while watching some touching true story about a college that lost its whole football team in a tragic plane crash.' I'm a sucker for sentimental stories - even more so when they're about real life.'''' We're looking at a number of new cities to go to with the one woman show.' I'm hoping to see many more of you soon! More >>

Tags: Charity, Dating, engagement, Morals, Ethics, Values, Regarding Dr. Laura, Values
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05/13/2010
IconEarlier this week, I got a call from a 36 year old woman who has been "shacking up" with her boyfriend for four years.' She wants to have children, but senses his ambivalence.' The answer I gave her applies to all the otherwise intelligent women who do this.You should move out and say "I've decided I've made a horrible mistake and the next time I'm living under the same roof as a man, I'm going to be his wife!"You don't demand anything.' You don't threaten anything. You act like a dignified woman, instead of an unpaid whore.' It's as simple as that.' A man who loves and respects a woman wouldn't treat you like that.When I asked this caller "What would you tell your son?" at first, she didn't understand that I was raising a hypothetical question about how she would explain this behavior to her "future" child.' She started to say, "Well, if you're both happy, and you're both-" and I immediately cut in and said she should not make babies.' If you're going to do that to your kid, don't have any.' If you're going to tell your daughter "...as long as you're happy and you're screwing your brains out every night with a guy who doesn't want to commit his life to you, it's all okay!" - we don't need any more parents like that.'That's why we have such chaos in our whole society - because you think "happy" at any one moment is the highest value.' I think honor, sacrifice, and commitment are a higher honor than taking your daily "happiness" temperature, because a man staying true to his wife, who has terminal colon cancer, instead of dating is not happy .' Is he happy ?' Then that can't be the highest quotient!If you want the world to deal on "happiness," then you have to understand that your man will leave you any day you don't make him happy, and will not honor you or any vow, because he doesn't have to!' You've already taught him that if you're "happy," that's the only thing that matters.I don't think firemen are happy to run into burning buildings.' I don't think they're "happy" doing that.' I don't think police are "happy" to surround a building where somebody says he's going to shoot everybody.' I don't think they lay awake in the morning and go "Gee, that makes me happy!"' They have honor and sacrifice and duty and commitment to something higher than "feeling good" in and of themselves.' Don't have children if you're going to teach them about "happiness."' We have enough chaos in our society because people are doing what they "feel" like when it has no meaning and no projection into the future.'If you teach your sons to screw girls if it makes them happy, and as long as she's smiling and you don't have to make any commitment, don't make babies.' We just don't need any more parents like you.' We just don't. More >>

Tags: Commitment, Family/Relationships - Children, Marriage, Morals, Ethics, Values, Parenting, Personal Responsibility, Shacking Up, Shacking-Up, Social Issues
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05/13/2010
IconA recent essay in the New York Times (December 2, 2007) talked about the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and others where the word "friends" is used to describe email relationships with folks we barely know.' Humans are gregarious creatures and fare better belonging to networks of family, community, spiritual groups, clubs, and so forth - all of which are sustained through face-to-face contact.The bottom line is that the more time we spend online, the less time we spend having true relationships complete with challenges, vulnerability, risks and profundity.' These are not real-world relationships with depth.' These on-line relationships are shadows and facsimiles which ultimately amount to little more than casual, superficial experiences.One mother, Jene, who listens regularly to my radio program, sent me this letter her 21 year-old son wrote to Facebook.' I suggest you show this to all your children and read it twice yourself if you are hooked to on-line pseudo-friendships: "As a mother of two young adults, I've witnessed their obsessive involvement with the many electronic forms of communication that are all the rage in recent years...email, instant messaging, texting, and the several web-based social networks like Facebook and MySpace.' All are useful communication tools, but often counterproductive in really getting to know people. It came to my attention that my 21 year-old son took a bold step recently and closed down his Facebook account by writing a breaking-up letter and posting it as a good-bye.' When he shared it with me, I was touched, relieved, and very proud of his stand.' I asked him if I might share this with you.' His grin, soft laugh and nod of his head spoke volumes: 'Facebook, we need to have a DTR (defining the relationship) talk...It's not all your fault, it's mostly mine...This is the end of you and me, Facebook.' I'm leaving you because I have spent more time browsing your pages than I have been spending in the pages of The Good Book.' And I can't live like that anymore.' I've let you become a monster...you've taken too much of my time and my thoughts.' Maybe it's just my lack of self-control or discipline, but you're addictive to me.' I'm ashamed of the number of times I check you daily.' If I were able to grasp how much time I have spent swimming though your endless ocean of profiles, I would be able to bear the guilt. Here's why: because of your profiles, I've become lazy.' Because of you I found myself talking with person after person, asking them questions that I already knew the answers to.' On many levels I've substituted and even avoided personal interactions with people because of your artificial and superficial means of communication.' You have diluted my perception of true social interaction. You've made me a coward.' There's a difference between a Facebook friend and an actual friend.' Everyone knows the difference, but when one tries to reach across the barrier from Facebook friends to actual friends it just isn't the same. Facebook, you're not all bad.' You have your benefits.' I must admit, you allow me to network and keep in touch with people with whom I normally wouldn't have been able to...but at what cost?' Wasting time Facebooking people I'll never meet has distracted me from meeting the person sitting next to me in class, or has kept me from calling up and hanging out with an old friend because Facebooking is just as good?' I beg to differ. In some form or another, you've hindered my investment in the relationships with those genuine people hiding behind the idealistic profiles they've made of themselves.' Let's face it, I don't perceive myself in the same way someone else perceives me.' From now on, I only want to know people for whom they truly are; not for what you (Facebook) says they are.' I just can't trust you. 'This might seem radical, but I have to make up for lost time.' This hurts me just as much as it hurts you, but I have to take a stand.'Logging out for good, Kyle.'" I am so very impressed with Kyle's maturity and good sense. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move More, Exercise, Health, Internet-Media, Internet/Media, MySpace, Social Networking
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05/13/2010
IconI am amazed at the depth of commitment and compassion the listeners to my radio program have towards our United States soldiers and their families. Toward the end of 2007, I talked about the Congressional hearings on charity fraud particularly with respect to veteran's organizations and encouraged you to do your own research, not just for Operation Family Fund but for any charitable organization you were thinking of supporting. From the time of that commentary, Operation Family Fund has received over $120,000 in donations, and they're still coming in. Thank you for taking my favorite charity into your hearts, and helping the families of our brave men and women whose lives have been severely disrupted by the global war on terrorism. More >>

Tags: Charity, SAHM stay at home mom, Values
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05/13/2010
IconAs always, I LOVE being on the Larry King Show.' The original intent of my appearance last night was to promote the release of my New York Times bestseller, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage," in paperback,' but the fun thing about being with Larry is that he expands the experience by asking anything from politics to sex to celebrity nonsense to one's personal life, and so forth.' Last night was no exception.The Larry King producers have added a new dimension to the program - one I enjoyed tremendously: the "man" on the street short video questions.' My favorite was a young man asking about his girlfriend's determination to have him take money from her father.' He wanted to know if his inclination to not do so was out of line.' I instantly heralded him as a "real man," and suggested he dump this "daddy's girl" for a real woman.'Just prior to my appearance on the show, Arianna Huffington (great hair, by the way) was included in a panel of political pundits.' After she left, I noticed she had forgotten her Blackberry and compact.' I called to her and she was most grateful and gracious, acknowledging that she "owed me one."' I sincerely hope she remembers that the next time she mentions me in her blog.All-in-all a great experience, and you can read the transcript from the program by clicking here .'''' Oh yeah...do you like my new hair-do?' Takes me - brace yourselves - only 10 minutes from shower to coif! More >>

Tags: adoption, Marriage, Parenting
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05/13/2010
IconGo ahead and guess what came out as Number 3 on AOL's "Top Searches from Mobile Devices."' Right!' It's porn.' The Wall Street Journal's Carl Bialik ( The Numbers Guy ) got the original list in a draft press release, and said he "pointed out the surprising entry" to a spokeswoman, who said that normally, such terms are "scrubbed from the list."' And guess what?' When the final list was released, "porn" was nowhere to be found, replaced by "iPhone," which was pushed up to Number 3 from Number 4 on the original draft release.It gets even better...."...Britney Spears and Saddam Hussein could each top the category of 'celebrity' and 'news,' respectively, in lists from multiple search engines.' Those search engines willing to share numbers beyond their news releases made clear that, in search land, the troubled pop singer trumped the late dictator.' Searches for Ms. Spears ran six times those for Mr. Hussein on Yahoo!, and nearly 600 times on Lycos."How embarrassing for our nation.'[sources:' Bialik article:' you can search it on WSJ.com under The Numbers Guy for December 21.' Title of article is "What Topics Filled (Clean) Minds in '07?' For One:' An Asterisk or use the link here: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119820461738044109-lECMb7qhI7UaxADXmlRkefZGJhI_20081220.html?mod=rss_free ] More >>

Tags: Internet-Media, Internet/Media, Morals, Ethics, Values, Social Issues, Values
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05/13/2010
IconAccording to About.com:Pittsburgh, ( http://pittsburgh.about.com/ ) the following are the Top 10 New Year's Resolutions - and I don't think anybody is going to be surprised by the subjects.' And the nasty little truth about resolutions is that people often identify the "trouble" spots, but generally don't come up with a plan to deal with them.' Nonetheless:1. Spend More Time with Family and Friends ...meaning work shouldn't always usurp all your time, attention, and importance.' About 50% of folks make this resolution.2. Lose weight: since two-thirds of American adults are fat or obese, this is a major issue.' Unfortunately, the fat level rises each year, in spite of this ubiquitous resolution.3. Get Fit: getting regular exercise is probably the #1 means to a better life; it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, improves arthritis, and makes you feel sexier.' What more can one say?4. Quit Smoking: it turns out that on the average, smokers try about four times to stop before they quit for good.' It's a nasty habit -- it stains teeth, contributes to high risks for certain cancers, and gums up your lungs.5. Enjoy life more: of course lousy things happen, but spending most of your time being upset about it is a waste of precious time.' In spite of challenges and tragedies, take up a new hobby, learn something new, or take up a new sport.' It all results in increased happiness which results in you being nicer and more appreciative of what you have.6. Quit Drinking: just think of the excess calories!' If you are a problem drinker, trust me, your personality is better when you're sober.' Check out AA.7. Get Out of Debt: living beyond your means gives you "stuff" and robs you of sanity.' The fears and frustrations of debt counteract any fun you have from living beyond your means.' Go to a financial planner and figure out what you can do to get control of your spending and repay your debts.'8. Learn Something New: I'm taking a motorcycle training course.' There isn't a year that goes by in my life without my trying something new.' An adventure of the mind, body or spirit is a great thing.' Learning makes you more interesting and gives you goals which energize your spirit.9. Help Others: donating and volunteering are extremely wonderful activities because they make you feel like you do mean something to others and you're not just spinning in your gerbil cage.' Reach out to others and life becomes more tender and meaningful.10. Get Organized: it is quite difficult to do anything if your home and workspace are chaos.' There are experts, DVD's, courses, websites and consultants who can help you put everything in its place.' Then, learn to slow down and enjoy putting your toys away before you go on to your next activity. My #1 suggestion to America is spend no more time writing nasty things on blogs.' Instead, try to be positive and creative; hate and be angry less. More >>

Tags: Personal Responsibility, Values
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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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