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05/13/2010
IconI remember when the Unabomber was caught.' There was an uproar of indignation concerning the fact that it was his brother who "ratted" him out.' When his brother saw the published ramblings of the serial murderer known as the "Unabomber," he recognized the sentiments, mentality, and writing style of his brother, and informed the police.' If memory serves me right, The Los Angeles Times had either an editorial or an op-ed piece castigating the brother for essentially "turning on blood."That was a morally repugnant point of view.' Protecting the innocent against evil is the responsibility of every human being, regardless of the "job description" of the evildoer - in this case, a sibling.Fortunately, in England, a wife of twenty years understood her responsibility to others (in this case, children), and set aside emotional pain and potential embarrassment.' She set out to trap her husband, whom she suspected of being a pedophile.' Apparently, her husband chatted with teenagers as he groomed them for sex.The wife pretended to be a 14 year old girl, and caught him in the act.' She was in the neighboring living room while he was in his study sweating over a hot computer, setting "her" up for a meeting to have sex.' He also used a webcam to carry out sex acts and send the videos over the Internet.' Our plucky wife watched this in absolute disgust and horror.She then contacted police who seized his computer.' She didn't march into his study to confront him, cry, or threaten.' Like a good citizen, she just turned it all over to the authorities. GOOD FOR HER! He only received three years of community service and was banned indefinitely from having access in person or online to children under the age of 18.' He also had to register as a sex offender, and, oh yes, she divorced him. "I did the right thing, and I don't regret it.' Now I just need some time to think and put this all behind me," she said to a reporter.She should have gotten a medal. More >>

Tags: AbuseCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChild AbuseCourageFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconToday, I've got a guest blog today from Olivia: Hi, Dr. Laura: I am a 25 year old married mother of two small boys.' Minutes ago, I just finishedreading your book "Stupid Things Parents Do To Mess Up Their Kids."' This is why [my reading this] is so timely: A year ago, some family crisis propelled me into quitting my part-time, yet demanding, job.' In many ways, it was a dream job - part-time, flexible, good pay (or so I thought), and fantastic for my resume.' My family began to deteriorate rather quickly in spite of our kids not being in day care. My job went to my head, and I spent horrible amounts of time on things that had nothing to do with my family, and even harmed my family relationships.' I was being selfish, stupid, and immature as I sought out personal satisfaction and success. After a major and deserving blow from life, I quit my job, in spite of my board wanting me to stay.' In the last year, I have been focusing on my family more, but have been dabbling in a small business.' Lately, business has been slow, and I have been praying for it to pick up, or to open my eyes to what God would have me do instead.' Stupid, I know, as I have two beautiful sons staring me in the face every day. A couple of days ago, when I was in the library with my kids, I had this sudden desire to grab a parenting book (no idea what kind), but in a rush I went to the section, perused quickly and grabbed your book.' You loudly and clearly stating things I knew in my heart, but hadn't allowed to be voiced in my head.' I really believe this was a divine intervention. I know that I am not in the season of life to devote lots of time and energy to anything or anyone other than my family.' You are completely right about everything you said in your book.' Shame on the "so-called" (love how you made fun of that) professionals who tease, shame, and humiliate young, educated women who choose family over career.' And shame on we self-proclaimed "strong" women who allow ourselves to be cowed from taking full-time responsibility for our children, family and home life if we are able. I used to feel embarrassed or apologetic when admitting I was a married mother of two at my age.' Now I feel grateful for the path I have chosen, and my joy is full as I recognize the deep personal growth and learning my divinely appointed "job" grants me each and every day as I sacrifice, love, and nurture my family. Thanks, Dr. Laura.' We need more women to speak out the way you do. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconFacebook and MySpace and other social networking sites have become a means of not only communicating with so-called "friends," but they also allow for showing off and "going wild" in ways that often come back to bite...even when you think your site is private.According to the Arizona Daily Star , Ashley Payne, a teacher in an Arizona school said that she was forced to resign after photos and a comment posted on her Facebook page were forwarded to the superintendent of schools in her county.' And she said she had the highest level of privacy controls on her site.' The photos in question showed her in pubs and beer gardens while on summer vacation.' In a comment on her Facebook page, she announced that she was headed to play a game called "Crazy Bitch Bingo."According to the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the bottom line is that "the state code addresses on and off-campus behavior, including inappropriate relationships with students and anything that violates the mores of the community."I'm good with that, because teachers have a profound influence on young minds, and being role models seems an obvious obligation.' Not enough teachers think about the consequences of their conduct, not just in terms of their own employment, but in terms of the well-being of the children for whom they are responsible.' Posting extremely inappropriate sexual content and nudity on the web as well as posting photos of teachers yucking it up with booze is a breach of professional conduct.For teachers, this is obvious.' However, each and every one of you must understand that anybody with knowledge can hack into your private site and edit as well as download and reproduce material elsewhere.' Don't write or post pictures you would not want to see on the front page of The New York Times , unless, of course, you're into being infamous.' The word "friend" is simply a term for someone with access to your site.' Don't imagine that they necessarily have the honor of a real-life friend.' Anything you write or post might be used against you.Now that this is all said, how about your just inviting real friends over for dinner and meaningful conversation? More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenCommon SenseInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesMySpaceParentingSocial IssuesSocial NetworkingValues
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05/13/2010
IconElizabeth Ann Lambert has been suspended indefinitely from playing college women's soccer.' And that is a good thing.During the Mountain West Conference Women's Soccer semi-final recently between Brigham Young University and the University of New Mexico, BYU scored the only goal during the first half.' BYU's outstanding player, Kassidy Shumway and the BYU scorer, Carlee Payne paid the price for that.According to the New York Times and what you can see on YouTube (in case you missed the news reports at the time) was a level of violence that escalated horrendously.Payne gave a slight "dig" with her elbow to Lambert, who retaliated with a punch between Payne's shoulder blades.' What followed were tackles, kicks up to waist high, face punches and cleats aimed into the inner thigh, and Lambert's final violent jerk on Shumway's pony tail, which sent the six foot girl to the ground.' It was frightening.' I worried that the girl's neck could have been broken.' While Shumway was on the ground, not moving, one of Lambert's teammates kicked a ball into Payne's face.That's what I call feminist good sportsmanship:' if you can't beat 'em....beat 'em up!!What was stunning was Lambert's coach didn't pull her out while her behavior was escalating.' Equally stunning was the fact that the referee took no action outside of a yellow card for a "trip" move on Payne.' It's interesting that these officials did not see the punches, slaps, high tackles and that ferocious pony tail jerk.The coach revved up her girls and then stood back while one of them went out of control.' That's a sad state of affairs.' Of course, Lambert gave the usual mea culpa/ "my bad" apology, which was orchestrated in order to stay in the game.' I'm glad it didn't work.Call me cynical, but the look on her face and the deliberateness of her violent yank had the aura of entitlement and rage.' I don't believe she's sorry she did it.' My guess is that she's sorry she's gotten heat over it.She should never be allowed to play again... never ... and that would send a message.' Now, we've got to figure out how to deal with the coach and the referee. More >>

Tags: AbuseCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenParentingResponse To A CallValuesViolence
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05/13/2010
IconDuring my college years in the Sixties, "empowerment" and "consciousness-raising" were the main focus of existence, even though these concepts were largely used to insist that you were a victim of something or someone just for being female.Well, fast forward to now, and one young, married woman in her twenties has decided that giving birth live on the Internet is empowering to women!' The use of that term in this circumstance cracks me up.' I remember, during my loooong labor, my husband saying that he was going to leave to get a cup of coffee.' I threatened him with "if you leave...never come back!!"' I guess that threat was "empowerment," but giving birth in public or private is one of our least powerful times.' We are completely at the mercy of a baby who is usually saying "Hell, no, I won't go."Nonetheless, this woman has decided that taking something personal and making it public is empowering and educational and spreading joy.' Oh, puleeze!' In our sadly growing exhibitionist, voyeuristic, reality show mentality of a society, this is how people become "important," known, and "famous."The point of "personal" is that something is perfected by its modesty, and sharing is not an issue of public promotion, but an opportunity for a few people to embrace a meaningful moment of experience.' Experiences and moments that are universal (like child-bearing) are not educational.' The childbirth is going to be posted on a mom website, which means that they've all been there and done that.Her husband is marginalized.' She admits that he was "hesitant" at first, but I'm sure he ultimately had no say.' There aren't too many decent men who want to share the birth of their first child with a camera crew and a blog audience - that makes Daddy less special and less involved.It's all just sad to me.' And what happens after the event, when the thrill, the attention and adrenaline of being in the spotlight goes away?' What is she going to do with this kid to keep the flow going?' Think Jon and Kate.' Think "sad" for the children who become the means of their parents' moment in the light, in ways other than simply enjoying their first smiles and first steps. More >>

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