Monthly Archives: March 2008

Helping Military Families

I work very closely with Operation Family Fund, a non-profit organization that helps the families of military and civilian personnel injured or killed in the global war on terrorism.  But there are families of deployed service members who haven’t been injured or killed who also need support – they may be feeling lonely or just are just having a hard time dealing with the deployment of their loved ones.

Army Community Services (ACS) is a great starting point for any new military spouse. They assist with everything from the transition into military life to community outreach, job placement, relocation, and financial planning.

Their website:  https://www.myarmylifetoo.com/skins/malt/home.aspx?mode=user gives all the information you need for yourself or someone else struggling with the deployment of a family member. 

College Gossip

The Associated Press published a report on the New Jersey prosecutors who have subpoenaed records of JuicyCampus.com, a website that publishes anonymous, often malicious, gossip about college students.  For example, the Princeton University (yeah, the Ivy League school) site produces information such as “the most overrated Princeton student” with the commentary mostly filled with name-calling and slurs against homosexuals and Jews.

The New Jersey Attorney General suggests that JuicyCampus may be violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act by implying that it doesn’t allow offensive material, but then providing no enforcement of that rule, and no way for users to report or dispute the material.

This site has recently expanded to more than 50 colleges, including Pepperdine University in California, whose student government voted overwhelmingly to request  a ban on the site, although the university has a policy against censoring websites. 

The founder of JuicyCampus, Matt Ivester, seemingly is unconcerned about the backlash.  “Like anything that is even remotely controversial, there are always people who demand censorship,” he told the AP.

It is typically disgusting of such types to invoke censorship issues when the true point is accountability and responsibility – concepts that have become four-letter words in American society.  This site, as abominable as it obviously is, is no different from the millions of blogger sites that already exist, full of hate, vitriol, lies, distortions and character assassinations all for the purpose of self-exaltation, power, meanness, and downright evil. 

Our children obviously have learned all too well from the blogosphere and the general media. 

Just the other day, I communicated with a “formerly esteemed” journalism professor (now retired), to question him on a piece he did about me and my “position” on marital infidelity.  He actually admitted that he did not vet the comments that were repeated and repeated all over the web; he admitted that he did not read the entire transcripts of my interviews; he admitted that he did not view the video on his own.  Can you imagine?  It’s like the feathers released from a pillow on a breezy hill – all of them can never be reclaimed.

I predicted that the Internet would further deplete what was left of the dignity of human discourse, as the basest of attitudes and impulses would be set free.  Any suggestion of the benefits of self-control, accountability, truth or fairness are countered with screams of “censorship!”  Defamation, libel, and slander against others are no longer seen as a line crossed, but as an opportunity for fame and money.

“It is not possible for anyone to use this website to find out who you are or where you’re located,” assures a JuicyCampus privacy page.  “We do not track any information that can be used by us to identify you.”

Cowards and evil-doers use these opportunities to spread their traditional ideas and hate as they hide behind “protection,” while those they hurt have no protection at all.

Personal Responsibility, Part 2

I get letters…..

I was listening to your radio program today, and heard the call from the man whose daughter was receiving support from the government because she was an unwed mother whose convict boyfriend wouldn’t get a job.  You were frustrated that your taxes were helping to support her bad decisions (especially since she was living with her parents!).

I, too, share your frustration.  I am a 29-year old married woman who is going to have her first child in 6 months.  My husband and I each struggled to put ourselves through college, have both held jobs since our mid-teens, waited to get married until we could afford to, and have saved my entire income since we got married so we could afford to me to quit my job once we got pregnant.

We have worked very hard to make all of these goals possible.  Once we are living solely on his income, it will continue to be a struggle for us to make ends meet.  We will have to stick to a tight budget that doesn’t include toys or even cell phones.  This is why I am disgusted at the way our government doles out money to enable less conscientious Americans (or illegal non-Americans) to live irresponsible lives.  I run into people all the time who are benefiting from this injustice.  There is a woman in my church who got pregnant out of wedlock and subsequent to her marriage has had five children (none of which she could afford) with a husband she just kicked out of her home.  She has been going to school for the past several years (paid for entirely by the government), and Is living in government housing paid for mostly by the government.

No one I know looks on this as a problem, because she has such a “hard life.”  Her life, however, is a result of the poor choices she has made, and I resent having to pay for those choices.  If our government continues along this track, we will have more and more people taking advantage of the “free handouts,” and fewer and fewer of us who are paying for those handouts.  We will bankrupt not only our economy, but also our souls, because we are not teaching the next generation to take personal responsibility for their choices.

I’m keeping the name of my correspondent private in order to protect her and her family from irresponsible backlashing.

Restaurants “Hurt” by Stay-At-Home Moms

According to the Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2008) restaurant owners have identified a “worrisome” long-term trend:  “The number of harried working moms isn’t growing the way it was.”

What??  This is a worrisome trend for marriages and children?  I think not!  Instead, this is a worrisome trend for businesses built on the virtual dissolution of family bonding and togetherness.

Since the percentage of women in the work force has been dropping, the result is less money in the family budget for eating out.  Fatty, salt-laden, hyper-caloric, oversized meals will have to go by the wayside for warm, home-cooked meals filling the home with luscious aromas and bringing a family together around their own kitchen table.

Ahh….not to worry!  Restaurants are coming up with ideas to undermine all that syrupy “homey” stuff:  offering children’s books, Etch-A-Sketch toys and handheld video games to appeal to children who might drag in their parents; and also coming up with ideas of pre-cooked meals moms can buy at the grocery.

There is always hope that the disgusting new television program, “The Secret Life of A Soccer Mom” will simply succeed in seducing moms and wives away from their families to go back into some “dream” job…..

One in Four Teenage Girls Has an STD

The results of the first national study to measure the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) found in young women were released recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the report, 3.2 million teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 were found to have the human papillovirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes or trichomoniasis.  The study did not determine the number of girls who had HIV/AIDS, syphilis or gonorrhea.

I don’t know what qualifies as an epidemic here, but clearly, these numbers represent a crisis of monstrous proportions.  Responsible adults forming public should be figuring out how we can reverse the direction of these horrifying statistics.  The wholesale distribution of condoms and consensual counseling at the high school level has not dampened the levels of risky behavior among the nation’s teens.  Sex education has apparently been successful at teaching our children how to do it…often, and clearly, not safely.

Quote of the Week

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
         Eleanor Roosevelt
         Diplomat, Humanitarian, and First Lady

A Hero in Waiting

Shawn Sage must be one incredible young man.  The 17-year old California high school student, who has been raised in the foster home system of Los Angeles, decided last fall that he wanted to join the Marines at the end of his senior year.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles Superior Children’s Court Commissioner refused to let him do early enlistment and earn a $10,000 signing bonus.  Why?  Because young Mr. Sage is a foster child under the age of 18, and the judge in the case is a foster care administrative judge who opposes the war.

But that did not stop our young hero.  The resourceful young man heard about the State Assembly’s “Write A Bill Challenge” contest.  He entered it with a proposed law that would allow foster parents to give consent.  Kudos to the Assemblyman who introduced the legislation.  And when Mr. Sage turns 18 in June, he says he will still be joining the Marines, but this time as an adult who needs no consent.

As a winner of the contest, Shawn Sage gets to fly to Sacramento to testify before the Assembly.  In true “Semper Fi” fashion, he says:

 “I didn’t do it for the signing bonus, because I’m a motivated kid.  I am hoping to join the military before I graduate.  I want to serve my country.”

Three cheers for a hero in waiting.