Truth is the beginning of wisdom…

Archive for February 24th, 2009


Posted by straight shooter on February 24, 2009 under Social Concerns, Terrorism

By: Marcia Segelstein

Most people probably don’t picture kids when they think about who’s viewing pornography. But according to statistics cited by the non-profit advocacy organization Enough Is Enough, the largest group of viewers of Internet pornography is children between the ages of 12 and 17. And there’s more. The average age of first exposure to Internet pornography is 11. 88% of 15- to 17-year-olds have had multiple exposures to hardcore pornography. 90% of children between the ages of 8 and 16 with Internet access have viewed pornographic websites, sometimes inadvertently in the course of looking up information for homework.

Scary stuff. Especially scary because the pornography available at the click of a mouse today makes the pornography of a generation ago look positively innocent. Dr. Jill Manning, a therapist who specializes in issues related to pornography and whose patients include many teenagers, describes Internet pornography today as deviant, vile, and graphic. Picture rape and torture – to name but two – portrayed positively. Now imagine children watching such material.

Dr. Manning is the author of What’s the Big Deal About Pornography: A Guide for the Internet Generation. Beyond the moral concerns most parents would have about their children viewing pornography, there are serious risks for kids who do, according to Dr. Manning. One is that young people are introduced to sexuality in a way that is completely disconnected from relationships to other human beings, and completely disconnected from spirituality. “When a young person is being immersed in pornography they are getting expert teaching in how to objectify human beings, how to strip human beings of their feelings, personalities and needs. That’s a very dangerous road to be walking down.”

Most of Dr. Manning’s patients come from Christian homes, and she believes many Christian parents need a wake-up call when it comes to this issue. In her experience, they are sometimes too trusting of kids, and naïve about the intensely graphic and deviant nature of material accessible via the Internet.

“I know that most Christian parents desire to create a home that’s a safe haven from the world and evil influences,” Dr. Manning told me. She thinks most parents would probably be shocked to learn that approximately 80 percent of hardcore pornography viewing by young people happens in the home. “On the one hand that’s very troubling, but on the other hand it can give us some hope, because it provides leverage. If we can get a handle on that in the home, we can make a tremendous impact for good on our young people.”

Dr. Manning believes parents should have open and frank conversations with their children about the subject of pornography, in the same way they discuss the dangers of alcohol and drugs. She told me about a client of hers, a grown man, struggling with same-sex attraction.  His first sexual experience was with homosexual pornography – at the age of 9. By the time his parents sat down with him to talk about sex, he was 13 years old and already had years of exposure. She’s had clients who first encountered pornography at the age of 5 or 6. “Teaching healthy sexuality is one of the best protections and ways to arm our children. Then when they encounter the lies pornography tells them, they have a powerful reference point. They’ll be able to de-code it and say that’s absurd.” She believes young people should be told why parents disapprove of pornography, and why they believe it’s harmful.

In addition to Dr. Manning’s book, there are many resources available to parents interested in protecting their kids from online pornography. Enough is Enough provides extensive information for parents on its website, including its recently launched program “Internet Safety 101.” This new teaching series for parents brings together under one heading the expert advice, tools, and resources Enough is Enough has been compiling over the last decade.

While there’s no question that setting guidelines and putting safety measures in place are critically important, parents should keep in mind that sometimes children are introduced to pornography outside the home, away from those safety measures. Filters and other protections may not be in place at friends’ houses, hence the importance of arming kids with information.

Based on her experience as a therapist, Manning told me that many teens turn to the Internet for sexual information. Perhaps they hear a word or a term they’re curious about, so they go online to check it out. Unfortunately, they often end up at pornographic websites where they’re not only exposed to explicit and degrading images, but any actual information they absorb is completely distorted.

There are many documented risk factors associated with adolescents viewing pornography. In fact, Dr. Manning testified before a Senate subcommittee on the topic of “Pornography’s Impact on Marriage and the Family.” Here are some of the risks she listed for adolescents who have been exposed to pornography:

• Lasting negative or traumatic emotional responses

• Earlier onset of first sexual intercourse

• The belief that superior sexual satisfaction is attainable without having affection for one’s partner

• The belief that being married or having a family are unattractive prospects

• Increased risk for developing sexual compulsions and addictive behavior

• Increased risk of exposure to incorrect information and overestimating the prevalence of less-common practices (e.g., group sex, bestiality, or sadomasochistic activity)

Sadly, pornography is a threat parents simply cannot ignore. The potential risks for children are too great and the chances of children being exposed to it far too high. If any further motivation is needed, read one last, chilling thing Dr. Manning shared with me:

“I believe pornography is the most successfully marketed attack on our divine nature as human beings that has ever existed. There has never been anything so calculated and widespread and effective at reaching so many people at such a young age.”

Visit Marcia Segelstein’s blog — she values your comments and ideas!


Posted by straight shooter on February 24, 2009 under Political

Reuters reports this morning …

Expanding energy exploration and production to U.S. offshore areas that were off limits until recently could result in more than a trillion dollar government windfall and millions of new jobs, a report said on Monday.

Oil and natural gas development in newly opened offshore areas will generate $1.7 trillion in federal tax revenue and almost $600 million in state and local taxes throughout the life span of the new fields, according to the study conducted by the American Energy Alliance.

The increased offshore energy production would also support 1.2 million jobs annually.

“Those benefits would be realized without any increase in direct government spending,” the report said. “Rather, increased OCS output would refill national, state, and local government coffers – currently depleted by real estate and credit crises – with additional government outlays.”

The Democrats continue to hold our oil and natural gas hostage from drilling which in turn continues to hold America hostage to self-sufficiency from South America and the Middle East.

Bloomberg has this story, “Arctic Sea Ice Underestimated for Weeks Due to Faulty Sensor” …

A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site …”

Surprise … surprise!


Posted by straight shooter on February 24, 2009 under Political

During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidates Barack Obama and John McCain fought vigorously over who would be toughest on congressional earmarks. “We need earmark reform,” Obama said in September during a presidential debate in Oxford, MS. “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

Then came the un“Stimulus Bill” a spending bill of pork and earmarks with very little stimulus but a lot of pet Democrat projects. Obama didn’t go line by line like he said …virtually nobody did! The vast majority didn’t even read the bill that was scared through Congress.

Now President Barack Obama and Congress prepare to unveil another spending bill on top of this recent 1.3 trillion of taxpayers’ money spent. A $410 billion Omnibus spending bill that’s riddled with thousands of earmarks is on its way, despite Obama’s calls for restraint. I guess he meant restraint for the taxpayers but all-out spending for the government.

This new bill will contain about 9,000 earmarks totaling $5 billion, congressional officials say. Many of the earmarks – loosely defined as local projects inserted by members of Congress – were inserted last year as the spending bills worked their way through various committees.

So while Obama was slamming earmarks on the campaign trail, his House and Senate members have been hypocritically slapping them into spending bills … the “Stimulus” Bill and now the Omnibus Bill … followed by who knows?

“It will be a little embarrassing for the president if he signs a bill with that many earmarks on it,” said Stan Collender, a veteran Washington budget analyst.

I tend to disagree as I really don’t think he cares especially in light of many of the decisions he has already determined.

The public has no chance to challenge questionable spending, but too often powerful interests who know how to work the system get favorite measures inserted.

For instance, Congressional Quarterly reported recently that more than 100 House members got earmarks for clients of the PMA Group, a lobbying firm with close ties to Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) who heads the powerful defense spending subcommittee. The CQ Politics analysis said that in the 2009 defense spending bill, which Congress approved last year, PMA clients got about $300 million.

The CQ study came after reports that the FBI is investigating the possibility of illegal campaign contributions by PMA to Murtha and other lawmakers. A Murtha spokesman said earlier this month that the FBI probe has nothing to do with Murtha. A PMA spokesman declined to comment on the probe.

Earmarks cause a loss of voter confidence in the whole political picture because they reek of deception.


Posted by straight shooter on February 24, 2009 under General, Political, Theological Concerns

These are the facts … you decide.

1.) Fannie May and Freddie Mac – two financial institutions created by the government to make more money available for home mortgages.

2.) Jimmy Carter who signed the Community Reinvestment Act – a law requiring that mortgages must be given to minorities who lacked “credit worthiness” (i.e., a proven ability to repay the loan).  This law was opposed by most all banks but championed and coerced into being by guess who? – ACORN.

3.) Bill Clinton further increased the federal money available for these “sub-prime” mortgages and also lowered the standards for obtaining these mortgages.  Coincidently, Clinton’s point man on this was Franklin Delano Raines, Director of Office of Management & Budget, who left Fannie Mae to serve in Clinton’s administration and returned to Fannie Mae as its CEO in Clinton’s last year in office.  (Remember the name, Franklin Delano Raines, in case Obama tries to slip him into a financial position.)

4.) In 2003 when George W. Bush was president new regulators found that Fannie & Freddie executives overstated their profits by nearly $11 billion to pump up their bonuses.  Bush proposed sweeping regulatory changes; the Senate Democrats killed Bush’s reform plan.  At that time, the House Financial Services Committee Chairman, Rep. Barney Frank, (D-MA), emphatically stated that Fannie & Freddie ‘were not facing any kind of financial crisis.” (he’s already infamous).

5.) Senator John McCain, in 2005, sponsored a Fannie & Freddie reform bill.  At the time, McCain warned that if “Congress does not act – the  housing market and overall economy” is in peril.  Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, said McCain was just trying to impede the Fannie & Freddie mission.  McCain’s bill was defeated.

In 2008 John McCain’s concern and predictions came true.  The housing market collapsed and the economy went into a downward spiral and continues …

6.) There appears to be a definitive history of Democrats seeking to accomplish their social agenda and increasing their base – through manipulation of our financial institutions.

P.S. – Obama’s newly named White House chief-of-staff, Rahm Emanuel, was on the Board of Directors of Freddie Mac when the SEC accused it of deceiving its shareholders about its profits.  No conflict of interest here!