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Divorce
05/13/2010
IconEverybody wants to know what I think about Madonna's public comments during her' very public and rancorous divorce.' I think they pretty much match her general public image, demeanor, and behavior.' I have always found her incredibly objectionable, offensive and intentionally vulgar - all under the rubric of free-speech and free-spirit.To start, I'm not convinced that most current celebrity marriages are indeed commitments of mind, body, and soul as they are intended to be (think Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward).' For the most part, very 'out there' performers are exceedingly centered on themselves and want someone to adore them, serve them, be a reflection of their perceived wonderfulness or importance, fulfill a fantasy or simply put...the sex was great and the public relations aspect boosts their visibility.When the so-called object of their affections becomes tiresome, more or less important or successful, demanding, and no longer reflects a narcissistic boost...they are dispensed with.When a divorcing spouse makes public vulgar, insulting, and humiliating comments about the other spouse, children are devastated and tend to either compulsively go towards the attacked party to protect and defend them, or compulsively go towards the attacking parent so they won't also be victimized by that parent.' Either way, children become emotionally fragmented, confused, and distrustful - and that will likely be an issue for their whole lives, especially when they are ready to establish relationships.Celebrities with the usual chaos in their personal lives are the fodder of media sales and ratings.' Celebrities with quality relationships are ignored (Tom Selleck, for example).These celebrity musical chair relationships are obviously not a great image for our impressionable youth.' Quite frankly, most divorces don't need to happen at all.' Weathering lousy times is a sign of character and commitment.' Most of the time when folks call me all angry and convinced they need to divorce, they are simplifying the situation because they haven't taken the responsibility needed to help maintain a quality comradeship.' I tell them short of abuse, addictions, and repetitive affairs, they should treat the one they want so much to leave as though they loved them with their last breath - for a month - and then watch and feel what happens.If one parent decides to leave for selfish or foolish reasons, the truth of the situation can be spoken to the children without the nasty parts.' For example, "Your mother, sadly, has decided to leave to be with a man she met on the internet.' I'm hoping that she will find that she misses us all so much that she wants her life with us back.' Until then, let's pray and stay as positive as possible."This approach states the truth, which I believe children in this situation need, but opens the possibility for hope.' Children will over time form their own conclusions when mama never calls, visits, or comes home.' That parent will have destroyed the relationship with their children all by themselves.I try to remind folks considering leaving for less than important reasons to stick around and create the kind of homelife that will best send their children into their adulthood with optimism and an open heart.' I tell them that this is their moral obligation...to put themselves second. More >>

Tags: CommitmentDivorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageParentingPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconTurns out that the latter leads to the former!' Recent research by the University of Buffalo Department of Communication and the University of Hawaii reveals that the people who watch reality television visit social networking websites to engage in behaviors like the celebrities they see on shows like American Idol or Survivor .When people on reality TV are rewarded for their behavior, it communicates to the (usually) young audience that these behaviors are good things.' These so-called "reality" TV shows depict people being exploitive, deceitful, hyper-emotional, vengeful, conspiratorial, sexually promiscuous, generally undignified, immodest, self-centered, and basically exhibitionistic.According to the university research, "heavy reality TV viewers may adapt personality traits association with celebrities....Reality TV even may be to blame for the erosion of the distinction between the everyday world and the celebrity world." This phenomenon is encouraging young folks to make personal information about themselves publicly available online.' We've all heard about the proliferation of youngsters sending photos to each other and through the Internet, revealing their genitals and showing themselves engaged in various sexual acts.' Instead of this being "shameful," it's trendy.' Parents are becoming way too lax in allowing their children access to electronic equipment, from cell phones to the Internet, without any supervision.' So, with a little "push" and little "pull" back, kids are getting themselves into situations which will impact them for a lifetime.When children behave like out-of-control celebrities, including drug use, sex, having out-of-wedlock babies, "shacking up," and testing their parents' limits as well as the limits of the law, they are less likely to be studying, participating in sports, or contributing charitably in their neighborhoods. More >>

Tags: divorceFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingRelationshipsRelativesSexSexualitySocial NetworkingTeens
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05/13/2010
IconChina has a population control policy of one child per couple.' To encourage families to comply, population planning authorities have regularly been giving parents in rural areas amounts ranging from $8 to $17 annually for 18 years, and $144 after the parents reach 60.' Because so many children' died in the recent Sichuan earthquake, the Chinese government has decided to drop the 60 year old age requirement and will compensate the families now.China has a limited pension and health care system, so parents expect to have a heavy financial dependence on their offspring during their elder years.' For the families whose sole children died, this support is now gone, although the government has permitted these families to adopt.Recently, there were angry marches in which parents protested the shoddy school buildings in which their children died.' In some cases, the schools were the only buildings to completely collapse, according to Mei Fong, a journalist from Chengdu, China.According to some news reports, the government is considering extra compensation after authorities have concluded investigations to decide the extent of negligence in the collapse of the school buildings following the quake. More >>

Tags: divorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconSue Shellenbarger writes a column for The Wall Street Journal that generally sends me up any available wall. The column is entitled "Home & Family," and I keep up with it if only to counter its content.She recently answered a reader's question ( 4/30/08 ) that had to do with a divorced father wanting to take his 10 year old son to his native Australia for 10 days, but his ex-wife is fighting the plan. The father contends that life lessons of such a vacation trump school. He's going to court for the right to take him, and asks Shellenbarger what she thinks.First of all, there are laws which prohibit one parent from taking a child out of the country without the express permission of the other. The reason is obvious: child-stealing. Secondly, having divorced parents at war with each other over a child hurts the child as he or she feels divided loyalties and tremendous anxiety. Thirdly, taking a child out of school for a protracted trip teaches the child that education is less of a priority than personal desires for fun. This father could arrange a summer trip when no school is missed. My guess is that this is a major power play.Shellenbarger not only doesn't deal with any of these issues, but she focuses on the whim of the child: if he would be comfortable with the trip; if he would see it as an adventure....in other words, just considering what the kid wants. What?? Of course the kid wants to be out of school and hanging out with dingos and kangaroos! "The ideal route would be for you and your ex-wife to set aside your personal feelings and focus on what he truly wants," contributes a New Jersey Marriage and Family Therapist. "[It] depends on your son's openness to the experience. Try to give him a free and honest choice, unfettered by feelings of loyalty to either of you or fear of letting you down." Is she kidding? How can a ten year old do that? And why put the burden on the child? Aren't the parents supposed to want and do what is best for the child? This is more of the "if it feels good it is good" school of thought - an experiment whose failure doesn't seem to curtail its perpetuation. More >>

Tags: DivorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageParenting
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05/13/2010
IconThe Thursday morning press conference with Senator John McCain started with him stating that the attack on the military recruiting station in Times Square was "unacceptable."' I hear many leaders and spokespersons use that relatively limp term, "unacceptable," and I'm sick of it.' At least President George W. Bush has called 9/11 types and actions for what they are:' evil!There are churchgoers in Kansas who go all over the country attempting to disrupt funerals of our fallen military with disgusting signs that suggest that these children of America died because there are homosexuals among us.' There are cities like Berkeley, that spend their time changing local laws to allow protestors to interfere with local military recruiting stations, followed up by "You are not welcome" notices.'If all those who volunteered honorably and bravely for our military decided all those folks were right, and then laid down their weapons and came home, then what?' Who would protect us against an imminent invasion by Venezuela?' North Korea?' Russia?' China?' The world-wide Muslim jihad?' Would the Kansas churchgoers protect us?' The city council of Berkeley?I have two magnetized bumper stickers on my car.' Both are yellow ribbons.' One says "Protect our son," and the other just says "Army."' At the mall this past weekend, both were ripped in half and dumped on the roof of my car.' My deepest regret is that these people did not wait around to destroy my symbols of respect and motherly concern for all the troops, including my son in combat in Afghanistan, while I was there.' Trust me, just saying limply, "That is unacceptable" would not have been the action I'd have taken.I feel sorry for all of those whose military-age sons and daughters have not volunteered for military service, but instead hook up and smoke dope in most of our quite liberal colleges and universities instead of learning the values of life and death, honor, sacrifice, courage, brother/sisterhood, and compassion.To whomever defaced my representations of support for America's finest, I have this to say to you:' in spite of your disgusting, ignorant, cowardly self, my son and his band of brothers would still protect you. More >>

Tags: divorceMilitaryValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe following is an excerpt from my radio program from last week: Dr. Laura: Jay, welcome to the program.Jay: Doctor, thank you very much for taking my call, ma'am.Dr. Laura: My pleasure.Jay: I am an ex-military soldier with a loss of limb, and I'm having a difficult time reconciling between being revered as (quote) "a war hero" and reviled as an oppressor. Friends, family...Dr. Laura: Who reviles you as an oppressor?Jay: ' Believe it or not, my family.Dr. Laura: You mean your mother and father?Jay: And my sister as well.Dr. Laura: Who do they think you oppressed? I mean, how stupid is your family? Jay: My family is....ah, they're not "with" the current times. My sister is currently in India, in her second marriage. She married a Pakistani of all things.Dr. Laura: Oh. And she doesn't understand the problems between Pakistan and India?Jay: No.Dr. Laura: But she's living there...Jay: Well, she chooses not to...Dr. Laura: Has she been on a train that's been blown up yet?Jay: No, and I certainly hope she's not.Dr. Laura: I mean, this is just stupid. I always want to tell these people, gee, why don't you go march in front of, let's do some history, I don't know....let's march in front of Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, militant Islam right now, you go march in front of the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Brotherhood, Al Qaeda....you go march over there and talk about oppression! To tell an American soldier that he oppressed somebody is somewhere between stupid, ignorant and evil.And you know what, Jay?Jay: I did my job.Dr. Laura: Jay....Jay: I did my job.Dr. Laura: You can't just say you did your job. They said that in Nuremburg. That's not the truth. You stood between the innocent and evil. And more evil cropped up. So now we have a worse time dealing with evil. People who have killed their own just for the sake of some power in their town. These are oppressors. You don't see anybody in Minneapolis taking out a whole segment of Minneapolis, because they're of the same religion, but they believe a little differently.Jay: You don't think that's a little extreme, in comparison?Dr. Laura: No. Why would that be extreme in comparison? That's exactly....that is a fair, complete, absolute parallel. They go to schools and mosques, and kill each other, for no other reason than power. That's oppression. You don't see one city in the United States of America or Britain where that happens.Jay: Well, that's true.Dr. Laura: Right. Amoral, uncivilized people, versus moral, civilized people. We worry all the time if we're doing the right thing. The militant Islamists don't worry for a moment whether they're doing the right thing - the right thing for them is killing as many people as possible to have power. So, it is two different world views.Jay: Which would be....Dr. Laura: But Jay....you can choose...Jay: I love my country, and I love...Dr. Laura: No. Jay, JAY, Jay...I would expect more of you. You are a warrior. If people in your family are this stupid and this cruel, you cannot wear it as a blanket.Jay: I'm not trying to.Dr. Laura: Well, you said you're torn apart between them. I don't see being torn apart by ignorance.Jay: Minor...Dr. Laura: There are people who love me and love my show and love what I say. There are people who hate me, hate my show, and hate what I say.Jay: Excuse me...Dr. Laura: No, I'm not done. Now, If I woke up every morning worrying about the haters, I couldn't do my job, which I think is to un oppress people from bad ways of being, thinking, and doing.Jay: Can I ask you a question?Dr. Laura: Sure.Jay: By ignorance, do you refer to my own?Dr. Laura: I refer to your family.Jay: My family.Dr. Laura: Your family. Your own? I don't know if you're ignorant or not. Your family is. Oh, you mean you agree with them? You think you gave your leg for nothing?Jay: Not in the least.Dr. Laura: Good. Okay, well, then you're not ignorant. They are.Jay: I'd have done it again. And again. And again.Dr. Laura: Because you're a real man and a real warrior. And if your family can't appreciate that, I feel sorry for them, because my son is over there, protecting the right of your family to be ignorant. And that's what you did, and I admire you. I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger.Anybody who doesn't show absolute respect for what we're trying to do, who's using Iraq and Afghanistan and all the rest of this simply for political power, are becoming more and more like Al Qaeda and Taliban in their thinking. And that's what I watch when I see Republicans, sub-Republicans, Democrats, sub-Democrats, all of this fighting - it's only for elections and power. It isn't for what is good for the world or for America. I don't believe that for a minute! I see people saying the most God-awful things strictly for power.No intelligent, rational, reasonable, decent person is for war. No intelligent, rational, decent person is for war. But if my father and your fathers didn't go off to fight World War II, I would have been incinerated in a German concentration camp oven. So I'm very grateful to the guys who didn't believe in war, but fought it to protect the free world from vile evil. And that is exactly what's going on now. Militant Islam is vile evil. Every day, they're blowing up their own people for power. It's inhuman. And you really believe we shouldn't stop that?Should we go to Africa when one tribe tries to eliminate another? It's funny....some of the same Hollywood types who say we should go to Africa and stop one tribe from eliminating another don't seem to understand what's going on in the Middle East. But this gentleman who called, my son, your sons and daughters, your fathers, your brothers, your children, are fighting the good fight. Am I for war? Are you nuts? Who in their right mind would be? But the rest of the world doesn't necessarily show evidence of being in its right mind.When I hear pain in a soldier who then says he would go back ...do you realize this is a volunteer army, and we have guys re-enlisting to go back three, four times? Because they're over there and they see the danger, and they know that they're just watching CNN spin or the New York Times spin-they know what's going down. They're watching body parts fly all over the place as one Islamic group kills another Islamic group - men, women, and children.This is a fight for a world view. [sigh]. That's my gift to all the soldiers - my ranting and raving for five minutes. More >>

Tags: divorceMilitarySocial IssuesValuesWar
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