Tag Archives: Parenting

Killing Fields: Planned Parenthood 2011-2012 Annual Report

9 Jan

Social issues tend to be some of the most decisive issues discussed among people. It seems there is an infinite number of opinions regarding them. Chief among those issues today is the topic of abortion. The topic of ending the life of a human being almost always gets emotions charged on both sides of the debate. And no organization is in the spotlight on the issue more than Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood recently released its annual report for 2011-2012. In it are numerous areas where those who are against abortion in some form or fashion, could be critical of the organization. From the perceived gloating regarding “winning” against the Komen Foundation to its support of the Affordable Care Act (ie Obamacare), the report is ripe to be picked apart.

It should come as no surprise to the feelings of those who oppose abortion are going run the range from somewhat upset to furious regarding the numbers on abortion in the report. According to the report, 333,964 abortions were performed by the organization in 2011. Many outlets are doing some math and have figured out this number breaks down to one life ended every 94 seconds.

What isn’t getting much focus, if any, is the staggering number of abortions compared to the miniscule number of adoption referrals. The report cites only 2300 adoption referrals occurred for the whole year. Doing the math and breaking it down to the same time frame as the abortions, it works out to 0.0000739 a second. Not even remotely close to one a second.

According to the report, abortion services accounts for only 3% of the services utilized at Planned Parenthood. Other services, which adoption falls under along with three other services, received only 1% usage. For every one adoption referral there are 145 abortions. Why the glaring difference? In a word, money. Planned Parenthood stands to make more of a profit from an abortion procedure than an adoption referral.

In the end, the organization is ending the lives of the unborn in the name of the all mighty dollar. Gives a new meaning to the phrase “evil rich” doesn’t it?

 

Source –
Planned Parenthood Annual Report – issuu

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Tabled Discussion: Could New Table PC from Lenovo Bring Families Back Together?

7 Jan

The mantra from many marketers is the world is more connected now than ever before. In theory, sure people can now find out what is going on around the world and communicate with those people more than ever before. The idea of being isolated from current events, no matter how trivial is something one has to work to do instead of it being the default action in life.

However this “connected” world we live in now comes at a cost. People are not near as engaged with each other on a personal level than previously. Could technology actually help in bringing people back together in real life? Lenovo thinks it just might have an answer.

The company is set to release the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC. Lenovo is calling it the “interpersonal computer”, a twist on the personal computer label many people are familiar with. The idea of the device harkens back to when a Microsoft Surface device was previewed as a big table and not the recent tablet. The idea and concept was intriguing at the time, and still is to an extent today.

Think of this Table PC as an massive upgrade to the old coffee table. Now instead of boardgames being taken down, setup, played and put away (a somewhat time consuming and arguably annoying process), they can be installed and run on the table. According to the AP article [1], the Table PC is said to be “big enough to fit four people around it, and the screen can respond to ten fingers touching it at the same time.”  Monopoly anyone? No. How about Pictionary instead? The possibilities are pretty much endless.

And with the ability to upgrade the software, even more functionality is possible. So what is limited to ten fingers today could be 20 by the end of the year, or sooner. Now think of using a device like this in an educational setting. The idea of dissecting animals just got an upgrade. Multiple students could be a one table and take turns doing the process multiple times in varying ways. How about looking at the stars but up-close and personal as a group? Again, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Having some realistic idea of what one could do with device at home and else where currently should temper the grand ideas of its potential use. As most people do with any first generation device. Another possibility is it being a “second screen” to a media program being viewed on a TV.

The cost of the Table PC isn’t as “cheap” as a tablet. This summer when Lenovo says the table will go on sale, the retail cost will be $1699. If successful (which is anyones guess what defines success for a device like this) it is not out of the range of possibility for furniture manufacturers (big-box to mom-and-pop) to beign creating table shells which fit devices such as this. I’m generally not a first generation device purchaser but if I had an extra $1700 lying around, I could see giving this device a try.

Some specs on the device [2]:

  • Up to 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor
  • Up to Windows 8 Pro
  • 27″ backlit full HD (1920×1080) multi-touch display; 16:9 widescreen
  • Up to 2 hours battery life
  • Up to 1TB HDD
  • Up to 8GB DDR3

 

See it “in action” here:

 

References –

  1. Lenovo to release giant 27-inch ‘coffee table PC’ – AP
  2. IdeaCentre Horizon Product Page – Lenovo

Hung Up: Addiction to Mobile Phones Ruining People’s Relationships

3 Dec

This news comes as no surprise to many people. Constantly having to check for new messages is an addiction and can ruin relationships. Did someone see Captain Obvious fly by?

More and more people are on their phone on a constant basis. Whether they are at home or at work, their phone has become another apendage of their body. We all should have seen this coming though. For years people have been telling each other, “I feel naked without my phone,” if they left it somewhere and could not immediately get a hold of it. From the article in the Telegraph[1]:

“Nomophobia is the term created by British researchers in 2008 to identify people who experience anxiety when they have no access to mobile technology.”

These little pieces of technology have made slaves of people and feed the narcissism of people in nations world wide. One only has to look away from their own phone to the people around them. They will see the eyes of almost everyone fixated with the 3 1/2″ plus screen in their hands.

The need to feed their addiction of being “connected” is coming at a cost of creating real relationships. Its no wonder people are choosing to take vacations where there is no cellular service. The idea of unplugging is being embraced by adults but not as much by the younger generations.

Children today are growing up in a world where there has always been an Internet and everyone has always been “connected”. They can communicate instantly with someone across the globe as easily as they could with someone across the table. However, they and most other people are not looking away from their mobile devices enough to know someone is sitting across the table or right next to them.

Interestingly enough, one of the “hit” shows today is about what would happen if suddenly all the power in the world went out. Revolution takes a journey to possible future without the conveniences of electricity and the hyper-connected society we are currently involved. On one had society needs electricity for things like medicine and food. On the other, unplugging from technology isn’t such a bad thing.

As noted in article on Mark Cuban’s thought on Facebook [2]:

“Baratunde Thurston, recounted an event following hurricane Sandy. He was in New York and a woman stopped him and told him to listen. She noted it was the sound of people actually talking to each other instead of being on their phones.”

Approval addiction is on a whole new level when people have feelings similar to “the “phantom limb” syndrome suffered by amputees.” It’s time people start letting go of their digital masters and reclaim their lives.

Source –

  1. Mobile phone addiction ruining relationships – Telegraph
  2. Mark Cuban Gives His Insight on Facebook

Mishandled: Principal in Trouble for Making Male Students Hold Hands

3 Dec
Students chose to alternate punishment of holding hands in public to in school suspension.

Students chose to alternate punishment of holding hands in public to in school suspension.

Public schools have their fair share of problems. Drugs, truancy and bad parents just to name a few. But when one principal tries to do something good and turn some kids around for their foolish mistake he gets reprimanded for a completely stupid reason.

Principal Tim Richard will be reprimanded because he tried something different to reach kids who were fighting. Public embarrassment is a great motivator to get people to stop or start doing things. Mr. Richard made two students who were fighting sit in chairs next to each other and hold hands. The students were given a choice of in school suspension or sitting together holding hands. They chose holding hands in front of other students.

Of course the spineless administrators had to make a statement saying they did not approve. Reports of the criticism range from emotional repercussions to offending gay students. To both of those I have three words: Get over it. Public embarrassment works.

This is not water-boarding or some type torture. This is embarrassment on a public scale. Does a punishment like this need to be monitored to make sure it doesn’t go overboard or get excessive? Absolutely. But that does not mean the punishment does not work. Even one of the students in the video admitted it worked, “CBS 5 News asked Crockett what he learned from the whole incident. ‘Don’t fight in school,’ he said.”

Now the know it all administration officials are showing and telling students all they, their parents or anyone has to do is complain even a little bit and those in authority will have their hands tied even more on useful punishments available to them. Administrations are the main problem with public schools today. Instead of supporting a principle who got a good result with no real “damage” to the students, the administrators are undercutting the efforts.

Parents support principal who let students hold hands as punishment

Parents support principal who let students hold hands as punishment

Even parents are in support of the principle. CBS 5 News reports they “found a sign in a front yard near the high school which reads, ‘Westwood neighborhood supports Principal Richard.'” Perhaps they school board should take notice, less they are voted out of a job next election.

Here’s a tip to school public school administrators nation wide, the degree you earned doesn’t mean you know it all. Try shutting up once and a while. You just might learn something.

Source –

Handy ID: Palm Scanners Approved for Use in Schools, Hospitals

26 Nov

Students at Cranberry Station Elementary School in Westminster, Md., use a palm-scanning device to pay for their school lunches. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

As if forced RFID tracking in schools wasn’t bad enough, now forced biometric usage is coming down the pipe. According to an article in USA Today, children attending schools in Pinellas County, Florida, are now able to purchase their public school supplied lunches with a swipe of their hands.

While there is something to be said for the convenience factor there are privacy concerns as well.

How does the technology work? The article gives a partial answer:

Using the same near-infrared technology that comes in a TV remote control or Nintendo Wii video game, the device takes a super high-resolution infrared photograph of the vein pattern just below a person’s skin. That image, between 1.5 and 2.5 square inches, is recorded and digitized.

How the system works at the point of sale is not given. Whether the scanned palm is encrypted and the information sent along a hard wired connection or wireless connection (and how that connection may be secured) is unknown.

Not everyone is a fan of the scanners. The parent of one student in a Maryland school is opting his child out of the program. From the article, Michael Webb states:

“My son is not using the technology,” he says. “I’ll be honest, I think it’s horrible. It’s an intrusion into our children’s rights.”

“I understand taking an iris scan of a pilot at an airport, so you know it’s the right pilot flying the plane” he says. “This is that level of equipment they’re installing in a line that serves steamed corn. I don’t think it rises to the level of steamed corn.”

Mr. Webb makes the keen observation of the fact this technology is put into elementary schools begins the desensitization process. He is absolutely correct. The younger children are when exposed over and over again to something they more they accept it as a societal norm as they get older. This idea was said best by Abraham Lincoln,”The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government of the next.”

For now the palm scanners are optional in some areas and cash is still allowed as an alternative. There is no telling though how long it will be until all students and adults are forced to use their own palm, eye or other body part to access products or services. The world keeps getting “braver” every day.

Source –

Palm scanners get thumbs up in schools, hospitals – USA Today

Backpacker Tracker: San Antonio School District to Track Students with RFID

26 Nov

Big brother is bigger every day. Even in the freedom loving, independent minded state of Texas, government encroachment into peoples lives and privacy continues to grow. There are parents and students who are not fond of the idea having the government know every move their child is making. However, the  Northside school district in San Antonio is not the first to implement Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking. [1]

According to a Wired article [2] there have been previous cases of public schools implementing RFID tracking of the students (no word yet if the teachers are tracked as well). From the article:

“A federally funded preschool in Richmond, California, began embedding RFID chips in students’ clothing in 2010. And an elementary school outside of Sacramento, California, scrubbed a plan in 2005 amid a parental uproar. And a Houston, Texas, school district began using the chips to monitor students on 13 campuses in 2004.”

Even in a state as liberal as California, there is a lack of desire for students to be tracked with RFID technology. Many people have no idea what RFID is or does. A quick web search brings up the first link to the Wikipedia article[3] on RFIC which states it is “the use of a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking”.

As with any inanimate object, the use of this technology could be good or bad, depending on who is behind it, the purpose of its use and the execution. Why does a school district want to track students? It is a one word answer: money. Again, from the Wired article:

“If a student is not in his seat during morning roll call, the district doesn’t receive daily funding for that pupil, because the school has no way of knowing for sure if the student is there.

But with the RFID tracking, students not at their desk but tracked on campus are counted as being in school that day, and the district receives its daily allotment for that student.”

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Oh Wheely: Family Sues US Airways, others for Son’s Death

16 Nov

It’s America which means when someone dies it’s time for a lawsuit.

Apparently this young man decided to run away from home in 2010, which could be a sign of trouble there which should be investigated.

Once out of the house, he proceeds to sneak into the airport, on to the tarmac and thru the wheel well of an airplane.

Now the family of the young man is suing because “negligence by the city, the airport and the airline caused the teen to fall from a Boeing 737 to his death.”

Was he pushed out of the wheel well? Was he forcefully put into the wheel well of the plane by an airport worker or airline employee?

Highly doubtful.

A security review, preformed at the airport by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, found the “airport police force was inadequate to properly monitor the airport.”.  Changes recommended in the report have been made by the airport.

Review or not, the actions of the young man sound those a determined person wanting to leave a situation.

What is really appalling is the family feels they are entitled to someone else’s money because of the illegal actions of their son.

Had this teen not been killed, he would very likely have seen some time of jail or prison time for his violations of federal law.

If no merit is found for the suit, hopefully the judge will dismiss the case with prejudice.

Source –

Fox News