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Social Issues
05/13/2010
IconThis is a two-parter from one of my listeners.' She originally wrote me the following email: Dear Dr. Laura: "...I am to give a presentation on ...Feminist Theory for my Social Theory class.' Let me tell you, I am so excited to present this, because I am far from a feminist.' I can't wait to share my thoughts with my class..[and] provide details of what women today are missing because of this movement. "...Thanks to you, I will be no one's shack-up honey.' I will not have children until I am married.' I will not marry the wrong man...I will be my kid's mom and my husband's girlfriend...." Thanks to you, here is a 25 year old woman who loves and respects herself. Well, she did the research in preparation for the presentation, and here's what she wrote as a followup: "[In doing my research,] I... never read the word 'oppressed' so many times in my life.' My goodness, how can women complain so much? ...I have never gotten mad when working on a project for school.' I have always found things that I have learned along the way interesting and useful.' Well, this time, I got mad.' My professor knew I was anti-feminism, so she must have thought [doing the research] would open my eyes to her world....She was incorrect.' I started getting angry at these feminists.' Finally, the day before my presentation...I had had it!' I could hardly stand these women. I believe I read that women wanted to be accepted and respected, ...[but] all it seemed like they wanted to do was emasculate men, demoralize tradition, and degrade anyone or anything that stood in their way of what they thought was power....I think a lot of feminists have taken this movement a bit too far.' I truly believe feminists must be the most miserable people.' They miss out on so much.' My mother is a feminist, and she has never been happy.' Thanks to you, Dr. Laura, I did not follow in her footsteps. You were right when you told me the angrier the professor gets, the more "right on" I am.' She didn't care what [analysis] I provided.' I appreciate that women have rights, but I resent that my rights of becoming a stay-at-home mom day are not honored as well....My professor thought she was tricking me into finding things [in my research] that maybe I would think I can't live without.' All she did, though, was teach me how to be a better woman and how not to treat a man. More >>

Tags: AbortionSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe coordinator behind a children's coloring book that was pulled from FEMA's website recently is standing by her work, despite its controversial cover (which shows a child's drawing of the New York's "Twin Towers" on fire, with a plane flying toward them), according to Fox News.Ostensibly, this downloadable coloring book was created to help children cope with disaster, and was developed by Minnesota's Freeborn County Crisis Response Team after a tornado hit their area. "I stand firm that it was a very well thought out and useful resource for kids," Rose Olmstead told Fox News.' I think she is sadly mistaken.' I read the entire coloring book, and these are my observations and opinions:1. The title of the coloring book is "A Scary Thing Happened," a children's coloring book to help cope with disasters.' I would not have shown this to my child.' The cover has the World Trade Center towers burning, with a plane coming in for the second kill, a house with the roof blowing away due to a tornado, and a car that is smashed from the top - this doesn't resemble a car accident, so I don't know if a tornado was supposed to have hauled it up and then dropped it on its top before righting it, or what.' Can't figure that one out.'Here's where I take issue:' a tornado is an act of nature.' The tower disaster was an act of evil people determined to murder all those who didn't share their religion.' It's wrong to put these two together, because the explanations for these events are worlds apart, and people cope differently when other humans perpetrate heinous acts on purpose, than when nature does what nature does, or when accidents happen.' Coping with these two category types is psychologically different.' As you might guess, murder and mayhem perpetrated by man is much harder to deal with, because it becomes more personal.2. After highlighting terrorism on the cover, the book starts out showing excessive rain causing a flood, a tornado and a house fire - typical disasters for a community.' The text then says, "You may wonder why anybody would do this or why it happened to you." Well, are we blaming God for rain and high winds?' Who else could do this?' This is neither discussed nor explained. "...why it happened to you" is definitely a good question to ask, because that is what most people of any age would ask.' On the next page, the question is not answered.' The page just shows a child among three different images of terrorist-hijacked planes and World Trade Center towers.' This actually made me angry, because it was a pointless segue from the previous page.3. The next section is pretty good.' It talks about sadness, but then it throws in "You might think you made the disaster happen, but you didn't." What kid thinks a tornado or flood is their fault?' This book is just all mixed up with concepts, and ultimately, I don't believe it is helpful to children at all.4. One of the worst parts of the book is a section that mentions "In the disaster, there was no warning and no time to get ready." Well, people in flood, earthquake and tornado areas have family and community plans in place, and generally instruct their children on what to do.' The same goes for house fires.' This book leads children to believe that they have absolutely no power, because it does not inform them that there is such a thing as preparedness.' Coloring after the fact is cute, but preparedness before the fact helps children to anticipate and feel a sense of power vs. a feeling of helplessness.5.' Since this book doesn't really settle on one concept, it does not effectively deal with any, which is a shame, because the last part talks about discussing your feelings, doing good deeds, and taking care of yourself as a way to cope.'I stand with the people who wanted this book pulled because of the cover with the burning towers, but I stand with them more because of the quality of the effort than just because of a controversial cover.Disasters have different origins:' those that are natural are dealt with one way, while those that are perpetrated by humans are handled another way.' If FEMA wanted to do a book about how to deal with the fear that there are millions of people who want us dead because of their blind bigotry, hate, and misguided sense of spirituality, well, that's a very different book from this one. More >>

Tags: attitudeFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconYour child is in school.' You believe your child is safe.' Your child comes home after school, hysterical and unwilling to ever go back.' The part of the world in which you thought your child would be safe just exploded in front of your eyes.What happened?' Well, if your name is Mrs. Redding, you just discovered that your child was stripped almost naked in front of more than one school official who had no legal right to do so.' You then find out that the school is perfectly fine with what happened, because they are "doing it because they feel an intense need to protect the safety of the students."' How's that for irony!This is what happened (as will be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States of America).' A 13 year old honor student in a small Arizona town was hauled down to the principal's office to strip down to her underwear, because another eighth grade student who was found with a cigarette and some pills pointed the finger at our victim.' The 13 year old denied having anything.' They searched her backpack:' nothing.' That's when the vice principal said the school nurse would conduct a strip search. "They saw everything.' It was really embarrassing.' These are people I see every day," said the victim.' The school did not call her mother, child services, or police; they just stripped her down.Believe it or not, after the school lost a lawsuit in a Federal appeals court, and the school was found liable, they have taken the case to the Supreme Court, who will hear the case tomorrow.'I agree that it's important for the school to find dangerous drugs and weapons.' Dangerous weapons can be found in a "pat-down," but even that is a kind of sexual harassment.'I believe that you parents should tell your children to always refuse to fully remove their clothes (except, perhaps, for jackets and coats), even if it is the principal who demands it .' Parents should make sure that the rules in their school district include sequestering the student, calling the parents and the police/child protective services before a child's body is touched, unless there is considerable reason to believe that the child is armed with a deadly weapon. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageParentingSchoolSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconI love Susan Boyle.' I've never watched any of those "Idol," "Model," or "Talent" shows.' The only reason I know of Susan Boyle is that she has hit the news big time.' For those of you, like me, who don't keep up with these shows, Susan Boyle made a big hit on "Britain's Got Talent" as a singer.Unfortunately, the news was two-fold:' boy, is she ever unattractive, and boy, can she ever sing.Susan Boyle is 47, overweight, flabby, and has graying, frizzy hair, bushy eyebrows, and a blubbery face.' Susan Boyle also has the singing ability of an angel, giving a performance of the Les Miserables tune "I Dreamed A Dream" that has made her an instant star with more than 20 million views on YouTube.Now the debates rage:' should she or shouldn't she get some kind of makeover to look prettier on camera?''' The United Kingdom's Guardian published a "no, she shouldn't; she should stay natural" comment from one of their most "done over" women stars.' Others are repulsed by her looks, and can't imagine that beautiful voice coming from such a plain, frumpy woman.Many of those 20 million plus YouTube views very likely occurred simply because of that incredible contrast.' For many, it was like watching a geek or freak show, so they could laugh at her lack of physical attributes, without, of course, looking in the mirror themselves.Me?' I give her lots of credit for being more focused on her voice than on her lack of beauty.' She is definitely not attractive.' Should she get face work to match the scores of women who all look like they came out of the same factory:' the puffed-up face, abnormally protruding cheeks, and lips that look like the rump side of an orangutan?' I wouldn't advise it.Clearly, this is not a woman of means...yet.' So, getting her hair colored and calmed down, learning some makeup tips, and having clothes which best compliment her ample figure is something that is probably in the works now, which means that she'd be spiffing up what she has, and not getting surgically transformed into a vision which will make the snide snickers go away.' Making the best of what you have is admirable and advisable; getting re-made into something nobody is, is not admirable nor advisable.And the main point is that she has a beautiful voice, and a tremendous amount of talent.' If she were "pretty," I wonder how many YouTube hits there would have been.' Gosh...I long for the days before television and the Internet, when only the quality of what a person had to offer was revealed. More >>

Tags: choose wisely treat kindlyChoose Wisely-Treat KindlyInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriagePersonal ResponsibilityReality TVSocial IssuesWomen's Point of View
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I went to college (I was an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook), in addition to the police raids on the campus dorm pot smokers, and the demonstrations against the Vietnam war, there were actually serious academic classes which educated students in math, science, philosophy, literature, engineering, physics, business, and social sciences among other disciplines.The expressed common goal was to graduate informed students who were competent to take on the next phase of their lives in some productive way, contributing to society, in addition to financially supporting their prospective families.For the longest while, I fear, colleges and universities have minimized that lofty goal in exchange for ideological "brainwashing" and political correctness, threatening those who hold opinions different from the prevailing political persuasion of the faculty.' I think that colleges and universities have become scary places for individuals of a more traditional bent.Students at the University of Maryland recently attempted to join in with other so-called bastions of higher learning by playing a triple-x pornographic film for entertainment.' The screening was set up by the school's student union.' The film got yanked when State Senator Andy Harris threatened to pull state funding from the school's budget.' Evidently, money talks.Senator Harris said, "Students can't light up a cigarette in the student union, but can watch a hardcore XXX porn film.' Occasional viewing of porn is more dangerous than occasionally lighting up a cigarette.' If the movie is being shown for educational reasons [yeah, right], someone should be presenting the dangers too.' Porn breaks up lives." Of course, those who don't remember their history (and how the Tower of London was the final stop for those who contradicted the British monarchy), and think that the US First Amendment is just about ANYTHING, complained that this, the most expensive porn movie ever made, was an issue of free speech. "Off with their heads," I say.' The production company actively has been seeking college campuses to screen the film since last summer, because they're looking to breed future audiences for their debasing tripe.'The University of Maryland's student union planned to have a representative from Planned Parenthood talk about safe sex.' HAH!' Planned Parenthood makes money by having girls and women kill the babies in their bodies as a form of "after-the-fact" birth control. I can see why they would want to be there to push their wares, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be explaining why they typically don't call the police when an underage girl, who has been impregnated by an adult male, comes in for an abortion - bad for business, I guess.'Eventually, the university reversed its position and allowed the screening, as long as it contained an "educational component."' Four "experts" spoke on freedom of speech, and then screened the first 30 minutes of the 2 1/2 hour hard-core film.'The film has already been shown at UCLA, Northwestern University, Carnegie-Mellon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Southern Connecticut State University.Aren't the alumni proud. More >>

Tags: EducationSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensHealthMother's DayMotherhood-FatherhoodSexSexualitySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconIn the more than three decades I have been on the radio and in counseling practice, the saddest experiences (and the most difficult to be helpful with) are those where parents call to tell me their child is dead.' The child may have been the victim of an accident, war, a crime, an illness, or a suicide.' No matter which, the pain is unimaginable and the duration is infinite.' It is against the "order of things" for our children to die first; and it is against the order of things for us to feel incapable of protecting our children from everything, anything, and anyone.'The hurt and rage a parent feels is understandable.' A desire to do something with that hurt and rage is also understandable. It is generally difficult to get a sense of closure or justice or revenge.' And so many parents believe that, if they can get one or all of those, the pain goes away.' It doesn't....not really.An 18 year old young woman in Ohio sent nude pictures of herself to a boyfriend.' Apparently, this "texting" of private parts is quite the rage in the youth population.' At some point, the relationship ended, and he, I guess, thought it would be amusing to send the photos to other students at the school.In May, 2008, the young teen went on a local Cincinnati television station to warn other teens against sending personal body part or naked photos to others, lest they also go through the harassment that she got, as students - mostly girls - called her a "slut" and a "whore."' In spite of her noble efforts to warn other young people, and the gratitude she got from innumerable parents, two months later, she decided to kill herself, apparently as a way to avoid the painful embarrassment."Sexting" (as it's called) is a growing problem that has resulted in child pornography charges being filed against some teens across the country, because sending sexually charged pictures of minors is a crime' One national survey found that 39% or more of teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages, and 48% report receiving them!This young woman was humiliated by the daily snide remarks, and she started skipping school.' Her mother drove her to school to make sure she got there.' Then, after attending the funeral of one of her friends who committed suicide, this young, tormented woman hanged herself in her bedroom.Of course, the focus for her mother is an attempt to punish those students or the school with lawsuits and criminal charges.' The mother is understandably beside herself and wanting to lash out in rage.' However, the fault doesn't lie in the stars.' The openly sexual environment that children are exposed to makes these behaviors (like oral sex in middle school classrooms and bathrooms across the country) seem like the norm for the day.' Girls have always wanted to make boys love them, and cell phone texting technology just gives young people another avenue to express their hopeful desperation to be wanted and loved.It was pathetic and stupid of her to send the picture; it was unconscionable of her ex-boyfriend to expose her to ridicule; it was disgusting for girls (competitive little witches that some can be) to make fun of her; it was brave for her to use her experience to warn others; it was too bad her family didn't get her mental health support or transfer her to another school; it was a deadly coincidence that her friend committed suicide; it is an unspeakable anguish that she thought this was the best solution for a "temporary" problem.I hesitate to write "temporary" because, with the Internet, such photos are forever, and those who wish to cause hurt to others relish in exploiting such mishaps for their own pathetic ego gain.Parents, many of your children have already done this via hand-held video cameras or computer cameras.' Many of your children have already been "embarrassed," while others have become more popular.' Very few will kill themselves, but even then, something in them does die, as what is precious and private becomes entertainment for the immature and downright mean.' Parents, make sure your kids know not to become either. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMental HealthSexSexualitySocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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Tags: Regarding Dr. LauraSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconEven though this is a quirky piece of news from Foxnews.com, I think it has a message about our society.' An 11 year old Pennsylvania boy has been charged with killing his father's pregnant fianc'.' He was in a county jail, but then was sent back to a juvenile facility.' The judge ruled that it was in the boy's best interest to be in a juvenile center, even though he has been charged as an adult.' He's accused of shooting 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk in the head, killing her and her unborn baby boy.' Houk's mother said this boy had been threatening his dad's fianc' for a while.'''''Now, what makes it quirky--he's 11 years old, it's his dad's knocked-up girlfriend...you know, it's got all of the salacious parts in it--that he shot her in the head (she's pregnant...you know, it's really dramatic).' But it also points out something very important.' Now, it is not usual for kids to murder the new love in one of their parent's lives when there is a divorce.' That's very unusual ; it doesn't happen every day, especially with a kid this young.'''''''But what does happen to kids when parents divorce or go off with other people, have more kids, shack up,' maybe marry, maybe not, is that with all the chaos they start not doing well in school, they start experimenting with sex, drugs and alcohol.' They get in trouble with gangs, they get very depressed, and they get into accidents which are really attempts at suicide.'''''''In other words, they act out in all kinds of ways, they show tremendous rage or turn completely inwards.' We get lots of calls from people annoyed about how their kids are behaving after they're divorced and re-married and getting on with their lives.' " Why aren't the kids just conforming?' Dammit. "'''''''So this is a very unusual circumstance.' But his pain and motivation is out there every day as you take away the kid's foundation, as you make him compete with other people's kids, new kids...whatever.' And my guess?' You're going to see more murders, or attempted murders from kids in these situations.' Why?' Because this goes all over the media and gives kids ideas.' They go on the internet, they get ideas, and their little brains that are totally unformed yet...little ideas that are bad sound good when other people have done it.' And they get in the paper and they get on the internet and they get on television.' I suspect you'll see more of this.' Up to now, you've mostly seen just self abuse.' Self abuse, meaning everything as simple as not washing, not having friends anymore, not working hard in school...to self-mutilation, to addictions, to promiscuity, to illegal activities.' This is a big notch up, don't you think?' Especially when it all comes from the same place: chaos. More >>

Tags: DivorceFamily ValuesFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFeminismMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI read in my local paper about a formerly wealthy 90-year-old man who now has a job as a "greeter" in a local store.' It seems the company that managed his money was making bad use of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme and all was lost...especially since this gentleman's once fully-paid-for home was re-mortgaged to get a third of a million dollars more to invest in this debacle.Ironically, one of the factors which keeps people alive longer and healthier in mind, body ,and soul is having work, i.e., some purpose and activity not only to occupy their minds and time but to challenge them.Coincidently, a dear friend of mine owns and runs a lovely hair salon.' It seems that every month she complains about the "young thing" at the front desk. It seems young women can't be counted on to come to work regularly, much less on time and do their jobs as receptionists and appointment bookers.' Obviously,' this is not one of the highest-paid jobs in the universe, but young people today seem to feel entitled to "more" rather than grateful for "a foot in the door" and potential long-term opportunities.Here's where these two stories intersect: I told my friend that she should hire a retired, mature woman who would appreciate the extra money, would like contact with lots of people as colleagues and customers, and would probably love having her hair done for free.' The mature woman would appreciate the excitement and daily mission, and my friend would probably get one of the most reliable workers she's ever envisioned.Were I hiring right now, I'd be a reverse "ageist" and get somebody with a work history and the maturity to appreciate an opportunity where they can still be important to somebody about something and get paid for it! More >>

Tags: BudgetEmploymentFinanceshusbandJobSocial Issues
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