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Diane Suffern


Hot Post:Facebook’s Child Porn Subculture Baffles Executives, Challenges Parents

2010 October 31

Read the original post and comments first published here.

Without doubt, the Internet has wormed its series of blissful tubes throughout our lives. It’s what we check in the morning, what we look at during the day, what entertains us at night. It provides news, products, business opportunities, conversation, relationships, self-promotion and endless distraction. An entire generation is growing up having never known a time without the Internet. Parental reaction is swinging the pendulum of opinion from luddite to addicts themselves.

One thing most involved parents will agree on is the unparalleled role this technology has in our kids’ lives, social networking sites in particular. With choices such as MySpace, Twitter, Xanga, Tumblr and the mother of all, Facebook–it’s rare to find an unplugged teen.

Many parents are content to simply regulate time spent online, sometimes check content to monitor behavior. But, all should be concerned about online safety. Facebook specifically bills itself as a safe site.  Yet, after a series of busts and multi-state investigations, the underbelly of both MySpace and Facebook were exposed.

read more…

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Facebook’s Child Porn Subculture Baffles Executives, Challenges Parents

2010 October 26

Without doubt, the Internet has wormed its series of blissful tubes throughout our lives. It’s what we check in the morning, what we look at during the day, what entertains us at night. It provides news, products, business opportunities, conversation, relationships, self-promotion and endless distraction. An entire generation is growing up having never known a time without the Internet. Parental reaction is swinging the pendulum of opinion from luddite to addicts themselves.

One thing most involved parents will agree on is the unparalleled role this technology has in our kids’ lives, social networking sites in particular. With choices such as MySpace, Twitter, Xanga, Tumblr and the mother of all, Facebook–it’s rare to find an unplugged teen.

Many parents are content to simply regulate time spent online, sometimes check content to monitor behavior. But, all should be concerned about online safety. Facebook specifically bills itself as a safe site.  Yet, after a series of busts and multi-state investigations, the underbelly of both MySpace and Facebook were exposed.

read more…

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Shock: Muslim Brotherhood Officially Declares War on the U.S. Despite Obama Administration’s Appeasement

2010 October 15

In a recent article for Town Hall, Frank Gaffney exposed President Obama’s accommodation of the Muslim Brotherhood, identifying seven areas where the administration had complied with the organization’s chief objectives.  Considering the group’s overall aim is to wage “a kind of grand jihad eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions,” it stands to reason that any compliance is de facto submission to the enemy. read more…

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The Progressive Case for “Age-Appropriate” Sex Ed

2010 July 13

Last November, two enterprising teachers were unjustly fired after maintenance staff saw them clearly “rehearsing” their sex ed presentation.  Linda Waite, the New York High School Superintendent, stated that Cindy Mauro and Alini Brito were found in a classroom at 8:50 p.m. ”naked,” with one “on her knees” and one “lying on the floor,” reports United Press International and NBC New York.

This sort of puritanical misunderstanding is outrageous.  These two progressive educators should be commended for their innovative approach to sexual health by endeavoring to engage their students through performance art.  This is high school.  Statistics show that modern teens are indeed sexually active (ask them about those colored Jelly bracelets) and could benefit from a creative explanation of their sexual “options.”  Relax, parents.  No teacher would recommend this type of mature demonstration to, say, elementary school children.

read more…

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Adventures in Euphemism: Nordic Nations Define “Basic Human Rights”

2010 July 3

Great news, Finns.  It appears you’re the recipients of a brand-new, government-issued Basic Human Right™.  Yes, alongside Life (postnatal) and Liberty (State-defined), you now have the fundamental legal right to affordable broadband internet access!   In fact, Finland is the first nation in the world to pass such legislation, promising access to a 1Mbps connection in every household by 2015.

CNN reports the exuberance of one official:

“From now on a reasonably priced broadband connection will be everyone’s basic right in Finland,” said Finnish communications minister Suvi Linden. “This is absolutely one of the government’s most significant achievements in regional policy and I am proud of it.”

(Insert thunderous applause of Net Neutrality advocates everywhere.)

Now since this appears to be a moral crusade, I won’t trouble you with concerns of government-managed content or future impairment of technological development.  But the angle of “basic human rights” brings to mind another curiously underreported matter across the Baltic—this time, basic parental rights. read more…

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Fun with Blago: “You know what we need? Senator Oprah.”

2010 June 29

Because American culture isn’t mournfully Oprahfied enough, FBI tapes now show Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich had considered Oprah Winfrey to fill Obama’s vacant Senate seat, reports The Daily Caller.  Blagojevich was recorded saying:

Winfrey’s name carried so much prestige that no one could criticize him if he named her to the Senate.

Really.

Evidently speaking is all that’s required for political office.  Well, aside from liberalism and celebrity status.  But, we knew that already, didn’t we?

Slate: Tweet the Declaration of Independence in 140 Characters or Less; Jefferson’s Ghost Appalled.

2010 June 29

I can’t decide whether I think this is purely benign, kind of hilarious, or further proof we’re losing our collective American minds.   For the sake of argument, I’ll go with the latter.

Slate Magazine has announced a July 4th Twitter contest, #TinyDeclaration.  With a nod toward Thomas Jefferson’s incomparable ethos (apparently his love of brevity and “youthful” age of 33 while penning the majority of the document), entrants are to tweet the entire Declaration of Independence in 140 characters or less. read more…

Nikki Haley Wins Primary Run-Off

2010 June 23

While the chattering class busily pats the South on the back for their “maturing” stance on identity politics (“Looks like Haley might shatter that South Carolina glass ceiling,” and “She’s got some Indian in her, didn’t you know?  Good on those southerners!”), Nikki Haley the candidate survived a brutal primary challenge emerging as the Republican nominee for governor.  Regardless of sex or racial heritage, Haley won amidst scurrilous personal attacks, demonstrating distinct poise and determination.

She now faces Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen who, according Politico, shouldn’t be discounted despite underdog status: read more…

Well, this is embarrassing: Mercedes Johnston Launches Q&A Blog

2010 June 17

When a sibling of the fame-whoring deadbeat who impregnated the daughter of a politician creates a website (replete with conspicuous modeling pictures) and no one notices, does the website even exist?  (Via Gawker.)

I guess it does now.

Damn.  I’m sorry, society.

Gay Parents and Sperm Donors: Storks and Science Revisited

2010 June 15

Last week, TIME reported on a study of children conceived by artificial insemination raised by lesbian parents.  It was billed as the first longitudinal study of its kind, charting the development of 78 children from conception to the age of 17.  The “conclusions” were surprising.  According to TIME:

[...] they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression. read more…

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On Beauty, Body Parts and Bias (A Word to Conservatives)

2010 June 12

Everyone seen this picture?

Of course you have.  Want to know what my first impression was when I saw it linked in a thread at a conservative site?  “She looks like an attractive, healthy woman.”  That’s it.  Perhaps it’s a female thing…or perhaps it’s a respect thing, but it didn’t go much further than that.  Yes, she’s got a great figure for a mother of five and anyone, any woman who doesn’t immediately recognize that is a blind. Yet, I want to hear her views intelligently articulated, manifested through her actions.  I’d love to see her prove all her critics wrong one day, including myself, which I think she’s entirely capable of doing.  I respect her enough to move past image, examining her work and opinions.  Essentially, that means not reducing a serious political player to the sum of her body parts.

Imagine my discomfort when I saw comment after comment on said conservative site like, “Mmmmmmmm those look good,” and “Wowza…what a MILF” and “I’d like to….nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggg.”  I can only assume that because they’re her supporters they think that affords them the right to discuss her body. read more…

Planned Parenthood: Making Abortion Easier, One Video Conference at a Time

2010 June 9

American innovation and freedom have long made our health system the envy (and “medical travel” destination) of the world.  But some new technologies challenge both medical ethics and the respected patient-physician relationship.  In a recent New York Times article, a method known as TeleMedicine (medical consultation and administration done via video conferencing) was explained, with one particularly shocking application.  Consider the following scenario:

You’re pregnant and terrified.  You have to make the problem disappear and know the one place you can go for “help.”  You enter the local Planned Parenthood, fill out some information, get an appointment for your procedure and leave.  Upon your return, you sit in a room with a video screen and a doctor in a remote location speaks.  Then, remarkably, a drawer is triggered open, and your prescription is made available for administration.  You take the pill, listen to some final medical advice from the screen and are on your way.  With brilliant efficiency, your panacea was delivered and your burden lifted. In Iowa, with the same amount of expediency, attention and, perhaps, forethought it takes to get you through the McDonald’s drive-thru for a McNugget fix, you can end a human life. read more…

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