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The Home Front

Politics, culture, and American life — from the family perspective.

College Bound



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I didn’t anticipate kissing his neck. I had thought only seldom, and very, very fleetingly, about the moment at all. In fact, I’d spent more time trying to NOT think about the goodbye, then I had spent considering how it would go. I am, you see, an expert supressor.  As a rule, I do not cry in public. In reality, I don’t cry much at all. It makes me very uncomfortable. Partly, I am embarrassed, but primarily, I am afraid that if I start, I won’t be able to stop. Losing control of myself, physically or emotionally, has always been an enormous source of stress for me. Ironically, the simple fear of losing control causes me more stress than the reality. But such is the life of a neurotic. So, saying goodbye to my beloved son, as he left for college, was not just something I was not looking forward to, it was something I was dreading.

He left this morning. And so, here I sit, at the computer, hoping that through writing about his departure, I can simply analyze my emotions instead of experiencing them. But his bedroom is right behind me. . . and the door is ajar. When he lived here (yesterday) the door was not ajar.  When he lived here, it was not only always closed, it was always locked. The result of having six siblings. But today, from my writing desk, I can see the clothes he didn’t take, yesterday’s socks, his football, and the various school papers and forms from senior year that no longer matter.

Except that all of those papers, all of those jumped-through hoops, earned him a scholarship and put him on a plane today. They put him a mile above the earth–above me. And I cannot get him back. I cannot get my 6lb.14oz., slightly pre-mature baby boy back. I cannot get the nervous toddler sitting stonily on Santa’s lap back. I cannot get the imaginative, sword-wielding six year old back. I cannot get the basketball-obsessed 12 year old back. I cannot get the high school football player back.  And I have a headache from trying so hard to not cry.

This morning, at 5:30 a.m., it was time to say goodbye. His bags were packed. The Suburban was loaded. But he was suddenly hungry and asking for breakfast. Automatically, I warmed a hamburger–leftover from his farewell dinner–and wrapped it in a paper towel, set in on a small plate, and held it, lamely, in my hand.  We faced each other.

He felt sorry for me. I sensed it, rather than saw it. I could not look at him. He muttered something about being home for Christmas. I said nothing. I wrapped my free arm around his neck, and then for one instinctive, primal moment, I nuzzled my lips into his neck, inhaled his scent, and kissed him softly.

I will probably never do that again. He will probably never let me. It was the most intimate moment we have shared since I stopped breast-feeding him — like a bookend set in place to secure his childhood.

— Jennifer Kaczor lives in Los Angeles with her husband and seven children.

Most Disabled Children Facing Lifelong Government Dependency



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The rise in the number of children receiving disability benefits in the last 40 years is shocking. 

[The] government is turning millions of kids into permanent wards of the state through the federal Supplemental Security Income program, which provides cash benefits to low-income families with a disabled child. …About 1.3 million disabled children received benefits at a cost of $9.3 billion in 2011 vs. 71,000 children at a cost of $40 million when the program began in 1974.

“Program growth increased most rapidly immediately following the 1990 Supreme Court decision in Sullivan v. Zebley, which greatly expanded disability eligibility criteria for children,” the researchers write. “Welfare reform in 1996 tightened eligibility standards and slightly reduced the rolls for one year. However, since that time, recipients and expenditures have steadily increased.” Indeed, poor parents have an incentive to get their kids diagnosed with disability.

That more children truly in need are being assisted is not necessarily bad, but more and more of these children are choosing a lifelong dependency.

Nearly two-thirds of SSI disabled children beneficiaries move directly onto SSI disabled adult rolls. Very few attempt to work thereafter. Moreover, only about 60% of those who do not move directly onto SSI disabled adult rolls are employed at age 19.

Thus, most SSI disabled children beneficiaries graduate from the program into what is likely to be permanent status as an SSI disabled adult beneficiary. And, if they are denied these benefits, they turn to other forms of welfare.

What to do? A few thoughts and links at the end of the piece found here.

 

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A Down Syndrome Diagnosis Doesn’t Have to Be Devastating News



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The father behind the website “Little Bird’s Dad” has written a great post about receiving word your child has Down Syndrome. He declares that the diagnosis is not the tragedy most people — most notably, the doctors delivering the news – make it out to be.

As a Dad who just learned your child has Down Syndrome, you will hear this myth everywhere: Down Syndrome is a devastating and painful diagnosis that will turn a parent’s life upside down forever.

…Nobody really knows why these beliefs persist. Doom and Gloom at the diagnosis of Down Syndrome? That’s just how it’s always been done.

Here’s the problem, though: the Big Myth of Down Syndrome Doom and Gloom is [b.s.]*

He goes on to offer advice for countering the doomsayers, starting with remaining calm, and goes on to suggest other ways to “change the script” that seems to have been written about being a parent to a child with Down Syndrome.

Read all his advice here.

* There is some rough language in the linked post. 

 

 

 

Which Political Party Is More Charitable?



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Recently, a Chronicle of Philanthropy study evaluating the giving patterns of conservatives and liberals revealed that liberals are an uncharitable bunch:

People who live in deeply religious regions of the country — the solid-red states of the Bible Belt and Utah — give more of their income to charity than those who don’t. Of the top 10 most generous states, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study based on itemized charitable contributions among people who made at least $50,000, nine voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. – See more at: http://rare.us/story/french-liberals-think-good-thoughts-but-conservativ...

People who live in deeply religious regions of the country — the solid-red states of the Bible Belt and Utah — give more of their income to charity than those who don’t. Of the top 10 most generous states, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study based on itemized charitable contributions among people who made at least $50,000, nine voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Doesn’t that fly in the face of conventional wisdom? I wrote on how this study should affect the stereotypical characterization of conservatives:

People who live in deeply religious regions of the country — the solid-red states of the Bible Belt and Utah — give more of their income to charity than those who don’t. Of the top 10 most generous states, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study based on itemized charitable contributions among people who made at least $50,000, nine voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. – See more at: http://rare.us/story/french-liberals-think-good-thoughts-but-conservativ...
People who live in deeply religious regions of the country — the solid-red states of the Bible Belt and Utah — give more of their income to charity than those who don’t. Of the top 10 most generous states, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study based on itemized charitable contributions among people who made at least $50,000, nine voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. – See more at: http://rare.us/story/french-liberals-think-good-thoughts-but-conservativ...

When my husband David was a student at Harvard Law School, his fellow students couldn’t stomach his conservatism. They talked endlessly about how Christians and conservatives were pompous, didn’t care about justice, and were far too concerned about abortion and gay issues than the kinds of things that really mattered.  Mainly, they talked about poverty, how to reduce it, and how Republicans were more worried about making money than helping the down-and-out.

One day, David saw a notice about a club at Harvard that actually went into impoverished areas and tried to help kids trapped in unfortunate circumstances — by getting the Harvard students to “adopt” a little brother or sister and take them under the student’s wing.  He showed up at the first meeting to sign up and was very surprised.  Though practically every self described liberal student said talked incessantly about their “concern for the poor” almost everyone who actually showed up for the meeting was a Christian.  David “adopted” a little brother, took him to baseball games, and developed a meaningful friendship with him. His Christian friends did the same. But he learned an important fact: liberals talk about helping the poor; conservatives actually help the poor.

David’s experience at Harvard was hardly an isolated incident.

Sadly, this anecdote is part of a much larger national trend.

The Vaccine Debate Continues



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Old rumors die hard: Today the Washington Post had another story about how some parents still believe that vaccines contain thimerosal. Of course, that hasn’t been true for years.

The preservative thimerosal, which contains a form of mercury called ethyl mercury, was removed from most vaccines (with exception to influenza vaccines) in the United States more than a decade ago and has long since been absolved of causing autism.

While it does still remain in most flu vaccines, you can ask for one without it. Another theory popped up about overloading a child’s immune system.

“The good news here is that these are questions that can be answered by science, and science has answered them,” says Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, a research organization that helps fund research into the causes of autism. Pointing to the many papers that have explored and refuted the links between autism and thimerosal, the MMR vaccine, and vaccine timing, Singer says: “They’re all showing the same thing — that vaccines do not result in an increase in the diagnosis rate of autism…”

There are still other concerns to be addressed, of course. Worries about aluminum are unfounded, as children are exposed to far more in foods they eat. But more notably there is the objection that some vaccines contain human protein from aborted fetuses. But this does not mean that new tissue is being farmed from recently aborted children. The protein is from the same decades-old cell lines that have been used in so many scientific applications.

Not only is the protein not harmful, but back in 2005, the Vatican responded to the humanitarian concern. They confirmed the belief that pharmaceutical companies continue to act immorally, and that parents should still have the right to conscientious objection. But they also directed that, while fighting for vaccines without fetal cells, it is most important to shield people from the risk of disease. So allowing your children to be protected with these vaccines is not immoral.

I understand being skeptical of Big Pharma. I personally have chosen not to have my daughters inoculated with the Gardasil shot, as I feel it is part of an agenda to normalize teen sexuality. But ultimately we must accept that most vaccines are in the best interest of society. Newborns, pregnant women, the elderly, cancer patients, and others with compromised immune systems are at risk from those who are unaware they are contagious. Lives are at stake.

If you choose not to vaccinate, your child may be fine. He or she may never harm another person unintentionally. But you may be taking a risk that is unfair to the weakest of your brothers and sisters.

 

 

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The ‘BroChoice’ Assault on our Daughters



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While we can do our best to raise our daughters to follow our values, embrace abstinence, and respect life, ultimately there are forces we can’t shield them from. But we can prepare them to stand up to everything life may throw at them — or their friends. This is one bit of advice I never imagined I’d have to tell my girls.

Another foe in the real war on women has raised its ugly head in the form of the “BroChoice” movement. Since radical feminists are unsurprisingly silent in this latest assault on sensibility — because of course they can’t chastise any man who “supports abortion,” no matter the odious reason — we must step in and warn young women about these heinous creatures.

Based on the premise that it isn’t fair that men have no choice when a woman gets pregnant, that they are the victims of deceptive sex partners, and that prolife girls are trying to ruin all their fun and potentially burden them with a lifetime responsibility, a group of young men are “fighting back” by promoting truly repugnant conduct.

Just scrolling through the content on the “Return of Kings” website is nauseating. Post after post about how to get laid, misogynistic evaluations of women, and advice on how to escape the consequences of bad behavior, most notably, unintended fatherhood. An article last month pointed out that Oregon is the best state to have sex in because it has the most liberal abortion laws. But a couple days ago there was the most loathsome piece of writing yet, “How to Convince a Girl to Get an Abortion.”

It’s worse than you think. It’s not just trying to make the case why it would be okay, and simply steering a young woman to ignore the reasons why she knows it’s not in her best interests — or her child’s — to abort. No, the author encourages bald-faced lying and ruthlessness – whatever it takes to trick her into doing the deed.

It recommends three abhorrent approaches: Convincing her it will ruin the future he sees having with her (but then dumping her as soon as she aborts); being a big jerk and insisting that she will either get nothing but court-ordered child-support later or a ride to the clinic and money for the procedure right now (as you grab car keys and glare at her); or simply lying and telling her you have a genetic disorder the child will likely inherit.

Who raised these hedonists? Sadly, more than likely fathers who were just as vile and mothers who followed along.

Amazingly, if you look through the comments of the post, an abundance of them thoughtfully and eloquently argue for accepting responsibility and choosing life. (At least there was when I wrote this.) But don’t let your daughters leave for college without this cautionary tale. 

Ronald Reagan, Teen Idol



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Slate has a great scan of a magazine article fawning over Ronald Reagan as a young Hollywood star:

Most people know that Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood star before he became President. Most probably don’t know that he was also the “New Answer to Maiden’s Prayers,” at least according to the December 1939 issue of Motion Picture Magazine.

This article was part of a publicity push on the part of Reagan’s studio, Warner Bros., following the unexpected success of “Brother Rat” (1938), in which Reagan played a Virginia Military Institute “Rat” (or cadet) who falls for the comely Jane Wyman (later to become his first wife). According to the article, the B movie inspired a rush of fan mail, with girls exclaiming “Dear Ronnie: I am in love with your voice, it is so soothing and rich.” 

“New Answer to Maiden’s Prayers” provides the sort of personal information for which Reagan’s new fans were hungering: he grew up lifeguarding, saving “77 lives in 7 summers”; his nickname was “Dutch”; he found a job as a sports radio announcer, but his true, secret aspiration had always been to act.  The author observed that Ronnie was “very simple,” and seemed “just like the boy you knew in high school or college.” More unusually, he loved world politics, and insisted on a girlfriend that would share that love.

Click through to see the photo and read the original 1939 article.

Public versus Private Ed: Who’s Really the Bad Guy Here?



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I wanted to ignore the obviously ill-conceived rant, which the author dubbed a “manifesto,” about parents who send their children to private school being “bad” people. Nancy French had already written on its folly, and members of the National Review staff had already piled on — big time — on Twitter:

Jonah Goldberg: “If we had no public schools, but required education, then everybody could go to private school! Boom. Everyone could be equally bad.”

The more polite of two tweets from Charles C.W. Cooke: “Schools are provided for all. This doesn’t mean you are obliged to use them. The norm isn’t using state services, it is not using them.”

Jim Geraghty: “If You Denounce a Large Segment of the Public as ‘Bad’, Based on One Decision That’s None of Your Business, in Slate, You Are a Bad Person.”

Kevin D. Williamson: “If you live in the suburbs rather than a dangerous ghetto, you are a bad person.”

But my husband, Jim, and I take this as a personal affront, as we have seven children who have attended both private and public schools. Currently, of those under 18, four are in public school and one is in private. But if we could afford to send all of them to private school, we would. That does not make us “bad.” From my husband’s own great post on the matter over on AEIdeas:

I certainly don’t want to spend much time refuting writer Allison Benedikt’s fact-free, data-free “argument”: If more upper-middle class and wealthy parents — a.k.a. Slate readers, I guess — sent their kids to their local public schools, the U.S. education system would suddenly improve.

…Aren’t the “bad people” — to use Benedikt’s language — here the ones who would trap lower-income and poor kids in their local education monopoly? Or as Alex Tabarrok puts it: “Barricading parents into the poor schools their government offers them is like barricading people into communist East Germany.”

Tabarrok also notes that merely having more activist parents inside a school monopoly might not change much without competition: “When you complain of delay, where is your voice more likely to be heard; at a restaurant or at the department of motor vehicles? It’s the threat of exit that makes people listen.”

Jim also points out that public schools are failing partly because they are residentially assigned, and mentions the study that shows that there is more bang for the public buck when kids are given vouchers to attend private schools.

I myself would like to add to the list of those who are truly the “bad” people in education: the union bosses that fool taxpayers, including their fellow members, into believing that they are fighting for the interests of the children; the teachers who throw a videotape into a machine, spend the rest of the class texting, and consider that “instructing”; the liberal politicians who scare good teachers into rallying against teaching standards (intended to weed out the truly awful teachers) by making them believe everyone is at risk of losing their jobs. The list goes on and on.

We cannot stand by as the Left throws labels at those who understand what will truly make a difference in public education. We all need to bone up on the facts, push back, and not allow them to control the conversation anymore.

 

 

If You Send Your Kid to Private School, Are You a Bad Person?



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Allison Benedikt over at Slate has a provocative manifesto about how parents who send their kids to private school are basically evil. Her reasoning is that we all have to be in it together or the whole system falls apart. After watching movies like Waiting for Superman and Won’t Back Down, I think we can all agree that the public schools are in sad shape. We should agonize over their condition and work to figure out appropriate solutions to the underlying problems.

 

However, I think the flaws in Ms. Benedikt’s article are pretty obvious:

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good. (Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)

So, how would this work exactly? It’s simple! Everyone needs to be invested in our public schools in order for them to get better. Not just lip-service investment, or property tax investment, but real flesh-and-blood-offspring investment. Your local school stinks but you don’t send your child there? Then its badness is just something you deplore in the abstract. Your local school stinks and you do send your child there? I bet you are going to do everything within your power to make it better.

She goes on to admit her ignorance after having been taught in a public school, but assures us she’s overcome her lack of education:

I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine.

But here is my favorite line:

Also remember that there’s more to education than what’s taught. . . . Reading Walt Whitman in ninth grade changed the way you see the world? Well, getting drunk before basketball games with kids who lived at the trailer park near my house did the same for me. In fact it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about public schools.

Funny, that’s one of the reasons why I feel so strongly about sending my kids to a private Christian school. 

A Mom Responds Thoughtfully to Hateful Letter about Her Autistic Son



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I had hoped it was a hoax. Could someone really write such an uncharitable, downright hateful letter to a mom who clearly had a lot on her plate already? Here is just a taste from the anonymous coward who placed a letter under the door of a mom with an autistic son:

He is a hindrance to everyone and will always be that way!!!!! . . .  I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!! . . . Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!!

Pretty hard to turn the other cheek on that one. But the mom graciously responded through a blog for parents with special-needs children:

I will not stoop to an insulting level. What I have to say is about tolerance, acceptance and respect for kids with special needs. . . .

People with special needs are people first. They have every right others do. Instead of glares, I wish people would give smiles. Instead of anger toward parents, I wish people would be more understanding. Trust me, if there’s behavior ruining someone else’s day, it’s ruining mine and I want to deal with it! . . .

Of course, we wonder about Max’s future, whether he will ever live alone or get married. What will be will be. Everyone has a place in the world. Some people are meant to hold big jobs. Some people make you happy and smile. Max brings pure joy and love. He has taught me to slow down and appreciate life, as seen through his eyes. He’s taught us what’s important. . . .

Read the entire response here.

Karla Begley and her 13-year-old son, Max

 

 

On the Pregnancy and Fertility Fronts



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New types of DNA, amniotic, and maternal-blood testing leads to more prenatal diagnoses, but not necessarily more certainty. And the increase in prenatal testing is taking its toll on parents’ nerves.

A new at-home test gives an estimate of how many weeks you’ve been pregnant.

Over at Slate, some suggestions about which pregnancy studies are legitimate.

More and more young cancer patients are considering their fertility options prior to treatment.

The latest options for male infertility, which has several causes.

 

 

Companies Vie for Spots on Back-to-School Lists



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Whether it’s through a ready-made list, or by offering coupons and freebies, companies are all vying for the attention of teachers and parents looking to purchase school supplies this time of year. From the Wall Street Journal.

The school supplies list that fifth-grade teacher Judy Chase-Marshall put together for her students this year includes tissues, glue sticks, scissors and hand wipes. To be more specific, it includes Kleenex tissues, Elmer’s glue, Westcott scissors and Wet Ones hand wipes.

She made the classroom “wish list” using TeacherLists.com, a website that posts more than 300,000 back-to-school lists from around the country and is sponsored by the brands it suggests teachers add to their lists, like Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s Kleenex.

Teachers can then share the list with parents using the website. The key back-to-school shopping season is in full swing, and it’s offering a lesson in how deep into the trenches consumer-products companies will go to win market share and cement affinities for their brands.

Companies sponsor websites, offer freebies and hold sweepstakes that could win schools more of their products. They show up at education conferences and provide teachers with project ideas and lesson plans that incorporate their products. Some also donate supplies or money to schools…

With American families spending more than $26 billion, and many companies making 40 to 50 percent of their annual profits during the back-to-school season, it’s no wonder the competition is fierce. More here.

 

A New Superhero for Girls’ Education



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A children’s animated series premiered in Pakistan last month, with a strong female character fighting for the rights of Islamic girls. “Burka Avenger” takes down the bad guys with books and pens:

She was not born into royalty. She does not obsess about her beauty. And she definitely does not want or need to be whisked off on some white horse or magic carpet.

No, Jiya, or the Burka Avenger, is too busy defending women’s rights and education for all. Her weapon of choice against corrupt politicians and Taliban fundamentalists who try to stop her? Books and pens.

Now that’s what I call a role model for girls.

While the reaction has been mostly positive, there were some concerns that the heroine is still wearing a garment considered oppressive. Faiza S. Khan had this to say about any backlash: 

A working woman is seen deciding to put on a burka to hide her face to go beat up bad people without getting caught, and we’re stuck on “Why a burka?” God help feminism, for that day has arrived when feminists are more concerned with what’s on a woman’s head than with what’s in it. It is, after all, possible that Burka Avenger may provide some inspiration, some hope to young girls made to cover themselves up against their will that women’s lives in similarly constrained situations have potentially more to offer. The debate about what the burka signifies has always been surprisingly low on concern for and resistant to knowledge about the women who actually wear them.

Though currently the four episodes are only available in Urdu, with English subtitles, there are plans to release the series in English, too. Here is a trailer for the series in English: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ugh. Do I *Have* to Comment on Miley?



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I mean, Kathryn Jean Lopez not only had her own take, but she linked to an even better one. And Victor Davis Hanson presented a learned comparison to the ancient Romans. And the Parents Television Council released a scathing rebuke

It seemed like a big joke. Miley in that goofy hairdo, that “u-g-l-y, you ain’t got no alibi” furry leotard, and the unflattering skimpy bathing suit “peforming” in a manner suggesting she was merely checking off a list of vulgar acts. Even the dancing teddy bears looked like they didn’t want to be there. This was clearly an act of sabotage by a rival pop artist, right?

But sadly, I can just imagine that Miley’s people are all around her, pointing out that it was she that everyone was talking about. Not Lady Gaga’s seas shells, not Katy Perry’s . . . ummm, I haven’t even heard what. “No, Miley, you are all the buzz.” Forget that the buzz is negative. She will not learn the lesson here. Unless she has an enormous epiphany, we can look forward to even more awkward crotch-grabbing.

I wanted simply to ignore her. Not paying attention to the desperate child begging to be looked at is the only way to make her stop. But instead, not only do we get headline after headline, story after story, we get what even Mika Brzezinski called out: Reports that seem to take the youngster to task, but keep showing the images over and over.

What is a parent to do? Well, I’m not even bothering to show my girls what has become of their former favorite TV star. No need for a cautionary tale that will never apply to them. Why shatter their dreams about pop idols? After gladly purchasing her last two hits, we will not be buying any more. Miley would rather be an “edgy artiste” with dismal record sales than a harmless hitmaker? Go ahead, let her stand in line behind Gaga, Perry, Spears, Madonna, Aguilera, Ke$ha, Shakira, ad nauseum (literally). My girls are too busy buying Taylor Swift’s latest album to notice.

UPDATE: As predicted, more crotch-grabbing. And so soon…

 

Though I’m not thrilled with the plunging neckline, Taylor Swift showed everyone that even when attending what is usually the most outrageous award show, fashion-wise, you can still look classy.

The Sad, Boring Fall of Miley Cyrus



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Confession: my family starred in The Hannah Montana Movie.  Okay, maybe “starred” isn’t technically the right word. We were in the climactic scene as “extras.” If you look closely and freeze the frame when Miley is singing to “save Crowley Corners” from evil developers, you might be able to pick us out of the hundreds of other people in the crowd of “Tennesseans who understand what really matters in life.”  I was holding David’s hand, wearing a hat, and my kids were wilting under the hot, summer sun. There may have been tears.

From my kids, too.

Of course, that was a simpler time, and much has transpired for the pop star Miley Cyrus since she sang the “Hoedown Throwdown.” 

Recently, the media has been abuzz about her bizarre performance at the VMA awards, which caused me to write about how we should react to such a display.

While some express outrage and others express disgust, I believe the most effective response is a gigantic yawn. There’s nothing original, clever, or entertaining about her slide away from virtue. In fact, she’s so ridiculous that one’s immediate reaction is, “Someone’s got to finally say, ‘The emperor has no clothes!’”  Except, of course, Miley is fully aware that she has no clothes.

Plus, she’s hardly an emperor. The little power she has over the minds and hearts of her adoring public is slipping away, so she’s forced to do more and more outrageous things to stay in the news. I’ve used her example to talk to the kids about the effects of fame, but that’s about it. There are no more life lessons to pull from watching Miley delve deeper into depravity.

In other words, it’s sad but boring.

- See more at: http://rare.us/story/french-the-sad-boring-fall-of-miley-cyrus/#sthash.y...

While some express outrage and others express disgust, I believe the most effective response is a gigantic yawn. There’s nothing original, clever, or entertaining about her slide away from virtue. In fact, she’s so ridiculous that one’s immediate reaction is, “Someone’s got to finally say, ‘The emperor has no clothes!’”  Except, of course, Miley is fully aware that she has no clothes.

Plus, she’s hardly an emperor. The little power she has over the minds and hearts of her adoring public is slipping away, so she’s forced to do more and more outrageous things to stay in the news. I’ve used her example to talk to the kids about the effects of fame, but that’s about it. There are no more life lessons to pull from watching Miley delve deeper into depravity.

In other words, it’s sad but boring.

- See more at: http://rare.us/story/french-the-sad-boring-fall-of-miley-cyrus/#sthash.y...

Trig Palin’s First Day of School



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What a great picture from Sarah Palin’s Facebook page:

“Millennials in the Workplace” Training Video



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If any of you have ever had to hire — and fire — millennials, you might need this handy “workplace training video” to help you navigate their world of iced coffee and ironic tee shirts:

 

This Football Player with Down Syndrome Could . . . Go . . . All . . . the . . . Way



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. . . and he does! Feel good video of the day. (And also check out the video at the bottom of that page showing a news feature from when he joined the team.)

On the Parental Angst Front



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Just listening to their own music can distract teens and cause accidents. (Let alone fiddling with the radio or iPod.)

Last year, 36 percent of millenials (age 18-31) were living with their parents

Sugary drinks — including fruit juice — cause weight gain in pre-schoolers

Two-year-old in daycare tests positive for marijuana

LinkedIn has dropped its minimum age to 14. (Sign your freshman up now before it’s too late!)

Attention, sports moms and dads: Brain changes can be detected a year after even a minor concussion.

Tornado Alley considers building school safe rooms.

Vanity Fair’s List of the Top Ten Best-Dressed Political Wives



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I’m sure it’s not easy being married to a politician, but some ladies manage to do it with style. Vanity Fair recently named the top ten best-dressed political wives, and these lovely honorees made the list: Ann Romney, Jill Biden, Cindy McCain, and Supriya Jindal.

See the entire bipartisan list here.

 

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