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Morals, Ethics, Values
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: CommitmentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityShacking UpShacking-UpSocial Issues
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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-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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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, ValuesValues
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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: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSocial IssuesValues
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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, ValuesRacismSocial IssuesValues
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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: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingShacking UpShacking-UpValues
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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 - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconUnfortunately, bad things happen sometimes.' Some of those bad things are forces of nature: hurricanes, mudslides, tornados, earthquakes, and disease.' While life, death, loss, and injury are horrendous experiences to deal with, psychologically we are somewhat more philosophical about these encounters with horror because they aren't "personal."''''' "Personal" horrors, on the other hand, include intentional harm to the body, soul, property, psychological well-being and reputation of another for political, egotistical, or financial gain - or for the simple pleasure derived from having the power to destroy.' These experiences turn out to be more difficult to cope with, because they are not seen as "the stuff that could and has happened to anyone."''''' In addition, there is great compassion and sympathy for those struck by nature, while a profound fear of helping is the general response to personal attacks on an innocent party, lest one get caught in the sights of the evil-doer.' Therefore, the support necessary is often less in size and strength - which adds ongoing injury to the already damaged person.'''' The evolution of talk radio and television news from information to confrontation, as well as the loss of any ethical foundation of print media (newspapers and magazines) and the unleashing of anonymous venom on the internet and blogs, have served not only to destroy reputations with undocumented vicious gossip, but have lowered the level of discourse and civility to an unbelievably dangerous level.''''' Decent folks who wish to serve their country in the military, politics, social work and other public arenas, become fodder for indecent attacks based upon ideology, with the sole purpose of eliminating their voices and ability to function.''''' Gone is the civility of negotiations, arbitrations, discussions, and debates.''''' Soon, only the indecent will reign.' Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, etc., have only to wait; we are destroying our own society.'''' Our American society is becoming alarming ugly and dangerous.'''' How does a family and its members survive?' It is difficult - and sometimes barely possible.'''' When bad things happen the first reaction of most family members is a kind of' "shock," in which people seem not to be that upset - it is more a reaction of disbelief or a sense of not really comprehending the situation.' Once the truth and reality become tangible, that's when the pain, grief, hurt, fear and anxiety set in.' If the situation appears hopeless, and the people involved feel helpless to protect themselves or their loved ones, a horrible depression infiltrates every bone of their bodies.'''' This is a critical time for a family.' It is at this time that intervention by meaningful intimates is absolutely crucial.' It is at this terrible time that people often contemplate direct or indirect suicide: driving a car over a cliff or overdosing with some dangerous medication.'''' Family members might turn against each other; imagining that they alone are really feeling the pain and that the other doesn't really understand and can't help.' When the enemy is nature or an evil-doer, it is often difficult or impossible to get revenge or justice.' That concern alone sometimes leaves people lashing out where they can: on family.'''' What most folks truly need at a time like this is three-fold.' Number 1: complete support and expression of understanding for the magnitude of the painful situation.'' That means you don't placate, minimize, patronize with fairy dust, try to distract with cheerful activities, or attempt to whitewash with "perspective," like there is worse happening in India.'''' Instead, you need to hug and acknowledge that this is, indeed s**t and they are justified to be feeling every horrible feeling they're going through.' When, for example, people call my radio program telling me of their horrendous emotional state in reaction to some horrible assault, I tell them, "That is a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation."' In other words, you validate the truthfulness of their perception and response. You must validate the truth of their reality or you run the risk of making them feel "more crazy."'''' Number 2: you must make sure they get some food for strength and sugar in their blood stream to avoid headaches and deeper depression; you must get them to sleep even if it means temporarily using sleep medications (over the counter types if at all possible), and depending on their level of despair, make sure they are watched just in case a temporary despondency might lead to them hurting themselves.'''' Number 3: you must get advice for a "game plan" that deals with the situation.' This gives the family member "hope" and relieves some of the "helplessness."' This stage of reaction is usually associated with anger; that anger has to be controlled and focused in a positive direction - one that will not add to the problem, but will ultimately approach justice.'''' Our society has become, as I said earlier, a meaner, harsher, and more dangerous place than ever before.' I don't know what can turn it back.' I mourn for the America that was the safe haven of the world. More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThis week, I'm turning over my blog to a guest.' A few weeks ago, after a comment I made on-the-air regarding civility, I got an e-mail from Joe Hanlon, whose message I could not improve upon.' So, with his permission, I've decided to share his words with you.' Welcome, Joe, our first guest blogger: Hi, Dr. Laura! Long-time listener, first time emailer.' Well, I try to listen as much as I can, but as a math teacher, I'm usually a tad busy when you are on the air.' I catch the last ten minutes of your show on XM a lot. I caught those last ten minutes today, and heard your comments on civility.' As usual, my reaction to your commentary was "Right on!"' The Internet IS ruining civility by allowing people to say the rudest things under the cover of anonymity and just because they can.' Programs like "The View" foster incivility because rudeness garners ratings and makes money.' The problem is that incivility is oozing out from television and the Internet into everyday discourse, often resulting in harsher, and sometimes physical, incivility. I tried to stem this tide.' I stuck my finger in this Internet dike by creating a site called, appropriately to this subject, "Civility."' Previously, I had been posting on a sports team site on topics ranging from the team to baseball in general to politics to religion.' Unfortunately, it is impossible to discuss any of these topics on the Internet without being verbally assaulted with rudeness, name-calling, and vulgarity.' Unfortunately, my reaction was often in kind (or should I say in "Unkind?"). I didn't like my Internet persona.' It was very different from my live personality.' In real life, I have very strong opinions and often state them matter-of-factly, but am always careful not to rudely attack the person I am talking to, nor to use profanity.' I naively thought that changing my Internet personality would keep me out of "flame wars" and allow me to participate in heated, but civil, debates.' Wrong. So, I tried to start a message board whose goal was to promote strong debate while remaining civil.' It worked to the extent that we had several debates in which disagreements were profound, but incivility was kept to an unheard-of minimum.' It failed in the sense that I couldn't keep it going.' Over time, I had more members joining trying to sell Viagra and pornography than I had members who wanted to debate the hot topics of the day.' I had to move the site to lose the trolls, but the few remaining members didn't follow.' The site still exists, but has nothing recent posted.' If you'd like to check it out, it's at www.civility.eye95.org . The point is that civility doesn't sell.' Sadly, incivility does. I still post on the sports site.' I liberally use the "ignore" feature (which means that over half the posts are invisible to me), and I try to remain civil at all times.' I have less [of a] problem with people being uncivil to me; they now know that I won't fight back (often referred to as "defending" oneself) and that I will simply ignore them. People who want to be civil have to learn how to live in an uncivil world without becoming infected.' It is hard.' Unfortunately, changing the rest of the world does not seem to be an option.' I keep trying to have some small effect, though.' But, being an idealist is hard, too. Keep changing the world, one listener at a time. Joe More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt is understandable that I have received a lot of inquiries about my reaction to Don Imus' problem, as I am also a radio talk show host (32 years) who has taken flack for "objections" to my point of view.The main problem with Imus' comments is that they were in no way taken out of context - they were a direct assault on a group of women for whom the words did not match the reality.' In fact, as a woman, and as a woman often under public attack, I am so very proud of the statement given by one of the Rutgers University basketball players:'"'I am a woman, and I'm someone's child,' said Kia Vaughn.' 'I achieve'a lot.' And unless they've given this name, a 'ho, a new definition, then'that is not what I am.'' She stood with her teammates, a row of unbowed,'confident women. ( Time, April 12, 2007 )Now that's impressive.However, someone will have to tell me when it was that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson apologized for their verbal assaults on the Duke lacrosse players who were wrongly accused of rape and battery.' When will music stores stop selling Eminem's music, filled with violent, ugly commentary about women and homosexuals?' I want also to know when Rosie O'Donnell will get her last paycheck after commentary declaring that America killed its own on 9/11?' I'm also curious about all the demeaning, misogynistic, crude and violent lyrics in rap music which flourish in music stores and on television.' And gosh, if the ACLU can come out in force to stand behind the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation, why no peep about Imus?' How is it that [Howard] Stern's career can survive to the hundreds of millions in compensation after his wondering out loud why the Columbine murderers did not rape the girls before killing them?Note:' There are no problems in the African-American community caused by Imus.' Not one.'' Perhaps black leaders might take note of that and focus in on what is really important:' gangs, drugs, and out-of-wedlock children.As for Imus, it would seem his arrogance caught up with him.' His remark was insulting, stupid, mean and ugly.' It was so seemingly "off-the-cuff," that it felt too casually familiar a thing for him to say. More >>

Tags: Character-Courage-ConsciencecourageMorals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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