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Character-Courage-Conscience
05/13/2010
IconAs children do in general, when I was a small child, I lied to my parents when I got caught doing something I shouldn't have, or not doing something I should have.' The reason why lying is so popular among children is that it is their attempt to keep out of trouble and avoid punishment.After a while, as children mature, they learn that lying is worse than the dumb thing they did (like eat all the potato chips before their parents' party started), because it hurts the relationship by destroying trust .' In addition, lying brought consequences - dire consequences in the old days (spankings) and stupid consequences in the present (loss of cell phone privileges for a few days), or none at all (when parents are just too busy).Nonetheless, the value of honesty (as demanded in the commandment not to bear false witness) has been a cornerstone in this country's value system about measuring character in individuals.We already have way too many "role models" who actually make superficial lifestyles, drugs, casual sex, and domestic violence attractive to our children, making it harder and harder to tell them " That's wrong to do, and if you do it, you will be publicly embarrassed, and your life will get off track ."' There isn't much in society to back that statement up anymore.I am soooooo glad I don't have a young child at home anymore.' Sitting at breakfast last week, watching the so-called news, I looked up to see Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd say (and I paraphrase) that the line in the federal stimulus bill which would have given over $100 million in bonuses to AIG executives - the ones responsible for the company's demise - if they were promised before February 11th, was nothing he knew about. "When I left work after writing that part of the bill...that sentence wasn't there." I sat there "chewing" on his statement, wondering what gremlin snuck into his office and typed that sentence while he was home in the bosom of his family.' My question was answered within seconds as a second news clip was shown with him admitting the HE was the gremlin, but then he threw the White House under the bus with, "They made me do it."Now I am mortified. "I didn't have sex with that woman," and "I didn't' write the sentence that stole money from Americans to give bonuses to high-ranking losers" have entered the ranks of the story about George Washington admitting to his dad that he cut down the cherry tree.I could see my kid right now..."Ah, mommy, what's the story here?"' You said lying was bad, and bad things would come of it, like at least looking bad, but he's still going to be a Senator tomorrow."Millions of you out there have children who saw what I saw.' What are you going to say to them about corruption at the highest levels that ultimately gets just a "wink and a nod?"' What about all those courses in school where "character matters?"' Where does it matter in public anymore?' Some of you can fall back on "God knows, and for all eternity, it WILL make a difference."' I like that a lot, except children don't think long-term, nor do they dwell on the importance of what they can't see.Asian countries have it right - they threaten people with the anger and shame of their ancestors.' America has it wrong.' It would seem to children that the only really important quality needed to become a public figure is to not give a damn about right and wrong or what people think, or that a lie is anything but an expedient tool with no meaningful consequences.Oh, yeah, the White House is acting all outraged about the AIG bonuses at the same time it is apparently the source of the benevolent donation to the failed executive fund of AIG.' Is this what they mean by the "trickle down" theory?Were I to have a child by my side this morning, I would say:' "Beloved child, when you read history books (and not the purged ones you get at school, but real history books), you will see that success and honesty are not necessarily bed partners.' Nonetheless, never do anything you would be ashamed to have your kids know you did or have them do.' I would rather you lost everything you worked for, rather than lose your soul."' I figure the more you tell kids this from the day they're born to the day you die, we'll have some people in this life we can trust. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconKohl's Department Store has signed a deal with Britney Spears for her to "represent" their Juniors clothing line - you know, the line for young girls.' Part of this deal is to promote her music and current tour.' Parents, here's a sample of what Kohl's sees as a great match for your daughter: "Get Naked"My body is calling out for you, bad boyI get the feeling that I just want to be with ya'Baby, I'm a freak and I don't really give a damnI'm crazy as a mother 'effer'Bet that on ya man Get naked...would you mind?Take it off (I took it off)Get naked. Her so-called "Circus" tour is highlighted on YouTube.' Ya gotta love the guys in leather thongs and those tassel pasties she sports.' Frankly, she makes Madonna's Virgin tour look downright virginal.Kohl's Department Store must know that:* Her first marriage lasted 55 hours.* Her second marriage lasted a bit longer* She posed in the nude for Harper's Bazaar* She flashed a naked crotch at photographers getting out of her car* She has been busted for drug use* She lost custody of her children because of child endangerment issues* And on and on....just the role model for our young daughters of today.Did you know that Spears was named the "Most Searched Person" in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007 and 2009?' Kohl's probably thinks that "attention is attention" - what the hell if it sells junior-size schmatas?One of my listeners wrote a letter of complaint to Kohl's, stating that she is "very sad to learn Britney Spears is a part of your store.' She has had such troubles and still is not in charge of her life, nor has she been found competent to raise her own kids.'' You have elected to reward her and flaunt her irresponsible behavior.' We will no longer shop at Kohl's." I read the (probably) form letter that Kohl's wrote in response, which purported to "regret that you have concerns regarding this decision.' Ms. Spears is an international celebrity and pop culture icon who embodies the spirit of the Candie's brand and personifies the iconic 'Candie's Girl:'' flirty, self-confident, and stylish." Their letter goes on to say that Britney has a right to privacy (are you kidding?' Twisting tongues with Madonna on a stage demonstrates a desire for privacy??), and her personal life does not reflect the views of Kohl's Department Stores.Flirty, self-confident and stylish?' How 'bout "piggish, out of control, and irresponsible parent?"' She is, however, PAYING Kevin Federline (a/k/a "Daddy") some $5,000 per week while she blasts around with this vulgar tour which should make billions.How stupid does Kellogg's now feel for dumping Michael Phelps for sucking up pot through a bong?' They actually thought that values, character and role-model responsibilities mean something!' Silly, silly them.You parents ultimately decide where your children shop and what they buy.' Try being responsible and stand up for values. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe Health section of The New York Times on March 2 debated the usefulness of bribing school children with money, toys, candy and electronic gizmos to have them attain better grades.When I was in school, it was cute stickers and the pride of getting a good grade that you could brag about that made your parents all sorts of happy.' The good grade was the proximate award for all the hard work.' Getting the reputation as being smart was a good thing, and becoming valedictorian was great, as was qualifying for scholarships of all sizes for college.' Spending a lifetime knowing you worked hard and earned what you had the hard way was the long-term reward.Now, some geniuses want to rob children of all of that.' These greater minds than ours want children to fight for things of substance (money) rather than for things of glory (purpose).' Not all endeavors have a high rate of financial return:' a hospice worker helps the dying and their families face their fears of death; a fireman runs into burning buildings to save complete strangers from a horrible death; kindergarten teachers introduce our children to the world of budding independence, self-confidence, social maneuvering and the alphabet...and that's only a few examples.Frankly, we need more kind and compassionate people than we do more "A" students in this world, as it turns out that the greatest thieves (many CEOs, crooked politicians and Ponzi scheme giants), terrorist masterminds, and general sociopaths all have very high IQ levels and got great grades.How about us giving financial rewards, candy and electronic gizmos to kids who go out of their way not to bully, tease, steal, lie, sexually harass, or sexually act-out?' Or to those who won't drink or take drugs or steal or backtalk their elders?'Would that work, I wonder? More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenCommitmentEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
Icon"I love your show, but it makes me CRAZY when you subscribe to the double standard that men get a pass on being sexually cavalier but women are to be thoroughly and soundly condemned.' Why, oh why, don't you condemn the men as much as the women?' Why aren't they just as 'piggy' and deserving of condemnation?' That societal attitude encourages men to attempt to use women sexually as their birthright and also encourages women to be insecure and distrustful of sex in general.' You're putting a sexual burka on women overall with that attitude. I'm not advocating casual sex.' I'm condemning the acceptance of a double standard.' Come on!' There are two sides of that coin and each should assume major responsibility for engaging in casual sex.' Until the act is equally condemned, how can women take those rules seriously?" This is a recent email from a listener taking me to task for what she perceives is a sort of anti-female, double standard mentality.'First of all, God and nature are responsible for the reality of a double standard.' Women have breasts from which to suckle the baby born from their uterus after a nine month gestation.' Women's high-pitched voices and hearing are geared for the infant-mother bonding that miraculously takes place right after birth.' Women's temperaments to nurture, cuddle, coo, and protect are hardwired into their psychological programming.' Women are different from men.There is no question that men more easily dissociate love and sex.' Young males in particular are open to sexual experiences for the challenge, orgasmic satisfaction, and status among other males.' These qualities are not synonymous with femininity.Women give themselves sexually to men out of love, a desperate desire to be wanted and loved, or for money.' It is not typical, as it is with men, for a woman to feel proud of the number of men who have penetrated her; and the only women who look for the sexual challenge are those so twisted with anti-male rage that domination of a male is a form of psychological rape which satisfies that neurotic anger.Males are generally out of control every which way until they fall in love and take on the obligations and responsibilities of a man committed to a woman and family.' All the research demonstrates that men who are married make more money, are healthier and happier, and function better socially than "loner" men.' In fact, the deranged males who perpetrate horrendous acts of violence are generally such loner males with no families to make them feel important, give them purpose and direction...and love.Women are the taming and socializing force in society.' Men will only do what women allow.' Remember the ancient Greek classical play "Lysistrata" ?' The women in the town refused to have sex if their men continued to participate in war and violence.' Poof, all the violence stopped.' Women have always had the power over men; but feminism got women off the track of realizing that, and on the track to only hating or disdaining men.Now, women have largely become "pigs."' Instead of embracing modesty, pride, values, and self-value, they parade around showing their bodies like Playboy bunnies, have sex before "hello," shack up with men without marital commitment, make babies on their own (declaring that men/fathers aren't necessary), use abortion as birth control, and don't imagine feminine sweetness has any place in marriage and are bored with sex with their husbands but turn on to every other Tom, Dick, and Harry.' That is why men have little respect for women these days. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCommitmentFeminismPersonal ResponsibilitySexSexualitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconKellogg's, the cereal and snack manufacturer, cancelled its lucrative sponsorship contract with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps because he was caught on camera smoking marijuana last fall.' Apparently, all the other companies with similar contracts did not cancel their contracts with him.' However, USA Swimming, the sport's governing body, has suspended him from competition for three months.My point of view is "hurrah" to Kellogg's and USA Swimming team.' They are demonstrating to the children and young adults of America that the perks of fame are earned in an ongoing manner with not only the accomplishment (Gold Medals from the Olympics) but a continuous responsibility to represent the team, the sport, and personal character with honor.' Having consequences for bad judgment and stupid (as well as illegal) behaviors teaches children and young adults to think twice before sacrificing so much for so little. More >>

Tags: AddictionCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMarijuanaPersonal ResponsibilityResponse To A CallSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconOn a recent Sunday afternoon I was having my favorite salad (spinach salad - hold the dressing) at one of my favorite restaurants, when I couldn't help noticing two well-coiffed and dressed women having lunch (salads and pizza) at the table directly to my right side.'I was not intentionally trying to listen to what they were saying - I promise you! - it's just that every now and then, the noise lulled and I could hear one of them say, "Yes, she is so nice/smart/talented, etc." .' I don't believe they were talking about the same woman each time, but I was so impressed that two women "gossiping" over lunch were - brace yourself - saying nice things about another woman or women!When we got ready to leave, I went over to the table and admitted that I could hear some of what they were saying - although I wasn't really trying to - and that I was immensely impressed that having had the opportunity to be critical or catty, that they were both speaking so nicely about others.' I further said, "You two must be really nice people!" They smiled at me - with distinct surprise - and one of them immediately said, "You must be a nice person too to stop and say this to us." Wow- a real "karma" moment.'Why don't you look carefully around you and take the opportunity to compliment folks you see who are doing the "right thing." More >>

Tags: AdulteryaffairCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMarriageWomen's Point of View
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05/13/2010
IconI'm very sad that, generally, girls today are pigs.' I was speaking with a group of young men in their early twenties, about their social lives.' They each admitted to multiple girlfriends with "overlap."' Most of them expressed some disappointment that they really can't find what they know Dr. Laura would label a "nice girl." "You think they are good girls, but the minute you show them some attention, if they're at all interested, they are all over you with zillions of daily suggestive text messages and sex.' They're open for, ahem, servicing us, even before we've taken 'em out on legitimate dates - which can usually be just a visit to a bar or club. "I think," one fellow continued, "that just about all girls these days are pigs." This made me very, very sad.' Because the more that young women act like "pigs," the less respect and regard men have for women in general - and the less they hope and fantasize the blessed possibility of a lovely wife and mother to their 84 children.I opened the paper today to read about a young woman from San Diego who is selling her virginity on a website so that she can pay for her - get ready for this - education as a marriage and family therapist!' Her sister apparently led the way by being a call-girl/hooker to pay for her education.' Well, there is nothing new in women selling their bodies for financial compensation; what is new is the bold and cavalier way it is happening today.' The young women I mentioned said outright that sex and virginity means nothing today.' And this is the sort to help families and marriages?' Are you kidding?When everything of value is demoted to "nothing"...then how is anything ever elevated to "something."' See?' That's why I'm sad.' I'm sad for all these young men who have been taught by the piggish women of today that love, fidelity, and intimacy mean nothing.' I am sad that our young men have been robbed of hope that they can ever be secure in a marriage, because how can they trust a cavalier "pig" to ever be anything else? More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityChildrenMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSexSexualityValues
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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCivilityHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm just sickened to hear the news that Lori Drew was only convicted on three misdemeanor counts of unauthorized access to computers after she, her then 18 - year-old assistant, and her teen daughter plotted to humiliate a neighbor 13-year-old...who ended up killing herself because of the emotional pain she endured at their fingertips on the computer keys.You've probably heard the story: the young girl committed suicide in October of 2006 after the end of her online relationship with a fictitious 16-year-old-boy created on a fake MySpace account.' According to various news reports, the trio used the account to contact and befriend Megan.' Within a few days, Lori Drew encouraged her daughter and her assistant to on-line flirt with Megan; they planned to lure Megan to a mall to confront her with the hoax and taunt her.As things go and grow, another neighborhood girl got involved in the whole thing and sent Megan a message - as if she were the fictitious boy - that he didn't want to be friends anymore.' Lori Drew's assistant then, according to the District Attorney, wrote, "the world would be a better place without you in it."Twenty minutes later, Megan's mother found her hanging from her belt in her bedroom closet.I'm not a lawyer and I don't really understand all the legal machinations about what criminal behavior this planned cruelty constitutes, but it's clear that there's no real punishment for people who misrepresent themselves on an internet chat site with the INTENT to do emotional harm to a child known to have several psychiatric disorders.' Federal and state laws appear to be mute on this issue, and while companies like MySpace have "Terms Of Agreement" (which is kinda what "caught" Lori Drew, because she didn't abide by those terms), they don't have much in the way of "teeth" - often the most they can do is terminate the service of the offender.Imagine: one mother decided to drive another mother's child to devastating emotional pain as entertainment; she includes her own young teen daughter and a young adult employee....and they all have a great time of it.' No one charged the assistant or the daughter, even though they were all complicit in the intent to do emotional harm.'I hope there is a civil court for something like wrongful death so that these people pay some price for their evil cruelty.Now - add to that the parental responsibility of more supervision of this vulnerable, fragile, emotionally compromised child...her parents had reversed the lock on her bedroom for her "safety," as they were aware that she had problems.' Children without psychiatric issues ought not have unsupervised access to the internet or text messaging or any form of communication without parental oversight.' Children with psychiatric issues are at more risk.'Recently, another teenager, this one 19, overdosed with several medications to kill himself while his computer stayed on so that everyone on the net could watch him die.' There was a huge rageful response to folks waiting 12 hours before reporting this situation to the net site or the police...who came too late.It seems that he'd done this before, so many folks thought he was playing "wolf," others just didn't care, some showed concern, and others just "egged" him on....the same way folks on the ground often "egg on" a person threatening to jump from a tall building.' There are always creeps about.What was curious to me is that the reports of this event include that the boy died in his father's room and on his bed; that he used a combination of prescription and illegal medications.' Again we have a pathetically ill young man without proper supervision by those who could understand and help him.' It sounds like he needed hospitalization.The Internet gives young folks the attention and pseudo-importance they naturally crave.' It is also a conduit for evil...the same way electricity is neutral...unless you try to electrocute somebody with it.Parents have to be less casual about the evil that comes through all these technological marvels of communication. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSAHM stay at home momTeensValues
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