Archive for the ‘General’ Category

15-year old boy fatally shot by cops in Dallas

When will it end?

Jordan Edwards was the kind of child every parent dreams of – good student, great athlete, loving son. He was at a party that was getting rowdy. He decided to leave with his friends before things got completely out of hand. It was the right thing to do. Yet, as the teens drove away, cops fired three bullets into the car. Jordan was shot in the head and died later at the hospital.

Another young life brutally ended. Another family left with holes in their hearts.

It’s hard to believe the cops felt threatened by a car with unarmed teens driving AWAY from them. So what went wrong exactly? Were the police inadequately trained to handle the situation? Or did they just see a black kid and assume the worst?

Either way, a teenager will never come home again. Rest in peace, Jordan. We’re sorry we couldn’t do better.

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Syria – To strike or not to strike?

syria 150x150 Syria   To strike or not to strike? From my layperson viewpoint, there are 3 options:

1. Do nothing: The easiest, least expensive course of action, but isn’t that reminiscent of what happened in Europe during WWII? And how would  Syria, Iran and North Korea view inaction after all that talk about a narrow red line?

2. Conduct a limited strike: President Obama is gearing up to do precisely this. No troops on the ground, limited duration of attack. The UN – think Russia – will oppose this, but the US can proceed anyway…

3. Broker a solution with the United Nations to remove Assad: This is a more long-lasting, mature solution as long as Russia and China pitch in too.

So what do you think?

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Palin’s Latest Blunder

palin1 150x150 Palins Latest BlunderThe ex-governor of Alaska (and future presidential candidate?) messed up yet again. During her “One Nation” bus tour, she claimed that Paul Revere’s famous ride was intended to warn both British soldiers and American colonists. Seriously, Sarah? Even my fourth-grade son who studied the poem this year knows better. Paul was trying to warn the Americans that the British were coming!

What baffles me is how a woman who has been known for her ignorance since 2008 has done so little to shape up. She’s had three years to get the facts right. Yet she blunders her way through tours and speeches, then insists she was either factually correct or that the “mainstream media” misunderstood her. That’s right – news-anchors on major US networks have trouble undertsanding English.

And Ms. Palin may one day be our President. A very, very scary thought…

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Kate Middleton’s Dukan Diet

kate1 150x150 Kate Middletons Dukan Diet

Like there aren’t enough diet plans/fads already. But the Dukan Diet, which has been popular in France for years, is making the news  because Kate Middleton is allegedly using it to shed pounds before the royal wedding.

The diet seems to be a French version of the Atkins diet that was hugely popular in the US until…well, until Dr. Atkins, the main champion, passed away. (Interesting fact – he was several pounds overweight when he died but the doctors claimed it was “water-weight”). So, anyway, back to Dukan. The diet consists of high-protein, low-fat meals along with lots of water and oat bran. It is divided up into week-long cycles. Some weeks include vegetables but fruits are taboo. Wine and dessert are allowed, which is why the diet is popular in France. Excercise seems to be an afterthought – 20 minutes a day.

The Dukan diet sounds downright dangerous to me. Meat, barely any veggies, and no fruit? Sounds like a meal-plan for nutritional deficiency and kidney problems. Even the French admit the hazards -France’s National Agency for Food, Environmental and Work Health Safety said the Dukan Diet was one of 15 imbalanced and potentially risky diets.

And does Kate really need to lose weight? She looks like she’s a Size 2 on a fat day.  But if she MUST shrink further, why not just eat balanced, low-calories meals (whole-grains, veggies and fruits) and excercise an hour a day? That works just as well and is far, far healthier.

Oh well. To each her own.

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Stop The Bullying!

 Article first published as Stop the Bullying! on Technorati.

bullying3 Stop The Bullying!

The latest bullying episode – 13-year-old Nadin Khoury from Pennsylvania was kicked, punched and hung from a tree by his jacket by four older students. He was lucky. A Good Samaritan rescued him before things got worse.

Not everyone is that fortunate. We all know of the tragic suicide of Phoebe Prince in January 2010 after she was repeatedly bullied. In another case, 14-year-old Brandon Bitner stepped in front of a tractor-trailer to escape the relentless torment.

According to statistics, 77% of students are bullied in some form. Schools have a charter agreement between the trustees and the Minister of Education that directs the school to “provide a safe physical and emotional environment”. Yet these tragedies continue.

So what can we do?
Quite a lot. Provided schools, parents and kids work together.

What Schools Can Do:
Schools have to enforce a zero-tolerance policy with regard to bullying. Complaints must be thoroughly investigated and stern punitive action taken when required. Bullying is often not reported, so a watchdog committee of some sort would make a big difference. Schools also need to foster an environment where the victim feels safe enough to complain.

What Parents Can Do:
Parents should watch for signs that their kids are being bullied (school phobia, lack of confidence, damaged clothes and property) and provide support. Sometimes talking to the bully’s parents helps. In other cases, discussion with school authorities can make a difference. Legal recourse is also possible.

What Kids Can Do:
Kids can avoid bullying by taking a few simple steps. They can walk away from the bully, use the buddy system and control their own anger. They can confide in an adult. A self-defense class is always a good idea, as is participating in activities and clubs that build confidence.

If everyone did their part, bullying in schools would dramatically decrease. And young lives could be saved.

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