Land And Water U.S.A.




Saturday, May 22, 2010

IF AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURS WERE TURNED LOOSE

http://www.wimp.com/solutionoil/

Roni, that's very interesting (Re: solution oil) but I think the real message is not so much that hay will pick up the oil, but in the fact that if American entrepreneurs were turned loose on the problem, we'd come up with all kinds of solutions. Last I heard, the oil companies are paying about $75 a barrel for that stuff floating around out there. If BP agreed to pay any citizen $55 a barrel -- one dollar a gallon -- for that crude, and let us go out there and harvest it any way we can think of, I'd expect people would come up with hundreds of clever ways to do it.   James Post
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James,  with so much "bad" hay (grass, mix, etc.) out there (We just sold some for barely the cost involved in growing/baling/moving.) - I'll betcha some smart cookie could collect and ferry  it to the threatened coastel areas, pay the growers their hard costs + maybe $10.00 more for the big - 4 X 4 X 8 bales, at a fraction of the cost of any other means to sop up the oil.
I would like the federal government to re-capture MY MONEY they gave to environmental groups (like the $101 million to TNC in `06), and give it to the coastal states.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

RESTORE OUR BORDER -In honor of ROB KRENTZ

Please go to the web site below and endorse  the Restore Our Border (ROB) plan named for Rob Krentz who was murdered by an illegal alien on his own land. The Arizona Cattle Growers need lots of endorsements.
Thank you for your consideration.
http://www.azcattlemensassoc.org/rob-plan-endorsement-form.html
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I don't usually forward e-mails to my whole e-mail list, but we need some help here in Southwestern NM and Southeastern Arizona. The Arizona Cattle Growers has come up with a plan to secure the southern border. This plan was developed with the help of local ranchers and property owners living along the border and expanded to include all the states along the border.
Unfortunately our elected officials are not listening to the handful of voters that live along the border. Only the elected representatives and senators whose constituents are being directly impacted by the increasing drug and human smuggling are alarmed. The rest of the House of Representatives and Senate have been convinced by a handful of activists this is a racial issue. It's NOT!! All Arizona is trying to do is get rid of the criminal elements that have immigrated into our border states. Their law mirrors the federal law that is not being enforced!!
If you agree our borders should be secured, please sign on to this plan and forward this to others that agree. Please help us press our elected officials - nation-wide - to SECURE OUR BORDERS!!
Thank you
Judy
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Roni,
Sue Krentz is one of my best friends. I was at their ranch when Sheriff Devers came to tell the family how Rob died. Rob was killed about 10:30 in the a.m. He had a radio and tried to call Phil, his brother, but the transmission was broken. Those that heard it said all they could make out was, hurt... illegal... need back up.
I also talked to the ranchers that tracked the killer back to Mexico. The account this guys gives, never happened. Whoever wrote this doesn't have his facts right in alot of stuff. He calls Rob, Bob. Bob was Rob's father.... I used to try to correct some of the misinformation in red, but lost patience... the whole thing is pretty unfactual... not sure why this guy feels he has to write something that is so incorrect.
I do agree gangs are involved in this smuggling of both drugs and people into our area. It's become big business for some of these guys. They've had 8-10 years to come up with a business plan and develop their skills while our elected officials looked the other way. I've had my own encounter with a gang member that showed up at my ranch right before Christmas last year... but to write something like this did isn't going to help. In fact it's going to hurt, when you make up stories like this, people figure you're lying about everything....
We've had meeting after meeting with border patrol, local law enforcement and our elected officials, both in Arizona and New Mexico, to little avail. People along the border feel we're just not a large enough voting block to get the attention in Washington DC. It's just a hair frustrating....
Then it seems the other side is getting the Arizona law trashed with the help of our mainstream media... they want everyone to think it's a racial issue. While all we want is for law enforcement to be able to check an offenders immigration status and deport or lock up all the riff raff that has come into our nation over the last 8-10 years. What would help the most is for our federal government to do their job and SECURE THE BORDER!! Any ideas on how we can do that??
Judy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

IT'S THE SUN STUPID

INTERVIEW WITH DR. WILLIE SOON
QUESTIONS FOR CLIMATE ALARMISTS

Dr. Soon,
Here is the link to my article, which just went live a few minutes ago on Examiner.com.   Kirk
http://www.examiner.com/x-32936-Seminole-County-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m5d11-Harvard-astrophysicist-dismisses-AGW-theory-challenges-peers-to-take-back-climate-science
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friends,
below please find one silly reaction ...
i notice this phd syndey is in water business and is in your area ...
so be beware ... your water is being cared by such a knowledgeable nonsense ...D.S.
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Paul,
Willie Soon gets a lot of attention because he has a PhD and because he sometimes uses unprofessional language in his talks and papers. He is not a climate scientist (see below). He cites a lot of publications, but only two of them are in peer reviewed journals. Almost everything else is from papers given to industry groups or the associations he represents. Nothing peer reviewed published since 2003. Since then, consensus regarding global warming in the scientific community has solidified even more.
Willie Soon is a spokesperson for Western Fuels Association - a group that lobbies for the coal industry - and for the George C. Marshall Institute - a conservative think tank that receives funding from Exxon and American Standard Companies.
Looks to me like this guy is promoting a particular agenda, not for scientific reasons, but for profit.
Best,    Sidney
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In visiting with the George C. Marshall Institute, Mark Herlong (Program Director) commented (from my brief info) that it sounded as though Ms. Innerebner's info was "outdated," and - that although Dr. Soon had spoken at the Institute and had reviewed some papers for them, he did so in a "volunteer" capacity. He neither asked for or received compensation...ever!
Dr. Soon has likewise "gifted" his time and talents in speaking at 2 Good Neighbor Forums.
We find Dr. Soon grounded in facts and truths, and are contraire to those who stake frivolous claims/lies about him.
Thank you for any light Western Fuels Association can shed on the following comments by Sidney Innerebner.   Roni
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Dear Roni,
After speaking with our President, I have to correct myself: Dr. Soon did receive a stipend from the Marshall Institute when he was Senior Scientist, but not for the Roundtables in which he participated. He resigned as Senior Scientist around 2004.   Regards,    Mark Herlong     Program Director George C. Marshall
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hi roni,
our detective friend and super-engineer and cantelope farmers, - - - - - - - - -
found out that my sydney just copied the info from DeSmog Page---these are sick enviros that are half stupid---which makes them ever more dangerous
http://indigowatergroup.com/About%20Us.htm   see under Willie Soon and Global Warming no sense of contacting western fuel association folks ... so old story that we should not waste time with ... D.S.
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Regardless her "copying - or source" she needs to be held accountable...for it ultimately came out of her mouth...pretending she invented it.
Western Fuels should hold her booties to the fire...and rightfully so!  Roni
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sure bet this sydney learned her lesson ... she needs real serious spanking from mama roni  -it is simply irresponsible to accuse someone like this ...
thanks roni     D.S.
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Dear Roni,
Well said. Willie gets a lot of this. He is under attack a lot. The usual tactic is to go after him and not what he says, which is the tactic used on all of us. There are any number of places on the web that attempt to smear him as a stooge of the oil companies by making various superficial connections. And if controversy was a basis for disqualifying people, surely Michael Mann should be out even for Green Dragon supporters.
Regards,  C.E.
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Dear Roni,
Western Fuels was a small coal cooperative (I don't know if it still exists) that was formed during the Carter years to supply public utilities in the upper midwest. Since they had no customers to pass their expenses onto, they were willing to oppose the greenhouse concerns in the early 90's.
Dick
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Not familiar w/ that blog, but not surprised. Consulting engineers often like to see more regs because it creates more biz opportunities whether the regs are really needed or not. If you ever looked at the science in developing water and wastewater regs that can be found at 40CFR, you would be amazed at the ridiculousness of some regs. The basis for lowering the drinking water turbidity level from .5 NTU to .3 NTU was that on average 1 person in 5555 people in America came down w/ Rocky Mtn. quickstep annually over a 16 yr. period. The concern was giardia and cryptosporidium both of which the regs said you generally can't tell whether the diarrhea was caused by g. or c. This rule change resulted in 10's of millions of $ being spent to upgrade plants to meet the new standard. More rules came out in recent yrs., unnecessary in my opinion, forcing more capital expenditures for very little improvement in drinking water quality.
I'm sure you're well aware of who pays for all this.
It's all about control and crushing the middle class.  K.K.
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K.K.  this is interesting. May I do a combo post on a blog?  Roni
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Yes, you can, but beware some of the numbers below are based on approximations and not stated in the regs. For example, 11,000 (reported in the regs) were allegedly affected by giardia and crypto over a 16 yr. period, 1980 to 1996. I estimated the USA population at the time to be 250M people. Doing the math, you will see that 1 person for every 22,727 people came down w/ giardia or crypto over a 16 yr. period. For some reason or other I thought it was 5556, but I just checked my math and it is even worse at 1/22,727. Furthermore, out of the 11,000 reported cases, 8000 cases were due to mass outbreaks in Milwaukee and Penn. One of my peers about a dozen yrs. ago said those 2 outbreaks were due to operator error at water plants. If that is true, then you can see in reality only 3000 alleged cases of giardia and crypto occurred over 16 yrs., further lessening the ratio of outbreaks of g. and c.
I get really perturbed about this control by our govt. Now, Boxer last yr. said we need to look at heavy metal concentrations in sludge for when it is land applied. This has been discussed 30+ yrs. ago. The metals limits, copper, manganese, magnesium, trivalent chromium, etc. are now so far below their threshold toxicity levels, there's no way we're going to poison crops and people. Besides these are important micronutrients for crops. When I was in charge of Toledo's land application program, our sludge contractor had Dr. Terry Logan of OSU do a metals uptake analysis in corn. Guess what? Some of the metals make it into the stems and leaves, but essentially not into the kernel. Don't quote me on this as I can't remember the amount of certain metals concentration in corn kernels, but were far less than 1% of what was applied. Seems to me it may have been a millionth, but once again, I don't remember the exact concentrations. Do we really need to spend millions on research again and develop useless regs which will make it more difficult and expensive for municipalities to dispose of a fairly valuable waste product?
I say it's about control and making us slaves to the system.  K.K.
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QUESTIONS FOR CLIMATE ALARMISTS

by Paul Driessen
Kerry, Lieberman and other congressional climate alarmists have some ‘splaining to do'
The new Kerry-Lieberman climate bill mandates a 17% reduction in US carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. It first targets power plants that provide reliable, affordable electricity for American homes, schools, hospitals, offices and factories. Six years later, it further hobbles the manufacturing sector itself..
http://townhall.com/columnists/PaulDriessen/2010/05/15/a_few_questions_for_climate_alarmists
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Couldn't agree more. I want so badly (is that correct English?) to get  before the senate/house and simply state:
"As nothing more than a homemaker,  I find your ways to extract money from me to be quite disingenous.
Since your end game is to take my land, water, paycheck, freedoms, please simply state so, and quite using the weather as your shield."
Something like that. Roni
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The time has come to begin calling out the actual individuals, cloaked behind the guise of "the company ", the union, the lobbyist, the scientist, the politician, etc., who are pushing Congress to pass the "Cap and Tax Scam." It is time to expose the greedy global titans and the powerful political players who are the real money forces pulling the Climate Gate strings of the dancing US governmental marionettes. The ones that can buy the scientific outcome of their choice.
It is time to name actual Names. Time to expose the real individuals hiding behind the talking heads such as 'ol Al, Obama, Lieberman and their ilk. Time to reveal that these "Emperors Have No Clothes."
Art for the World
http://www.mshollis.com/
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

MOST AMERICANS ARE CLUELESS ABOUT ECONOMICS AND MARKETS

Written by Beverly K. Eakman
Quick: What’s a “derivative”? The difference between a “custodial account” and a “trust”? “Listed” versus “unlisted” markets? “Debentures”? How about “price earning ratios”? “Assets” per se, versus “net asset value”? “Capitalism” versus “capitalization”? Stumped? Well, don’t feel badly. Most of your friends and neighbors are stumped, too, unless they majored in economics and are pursuing finance as a career.
A survey by the Council for Economic Education (CEE)/State Farm Insurance recently found that:
Only 19 states required the testing of student knowledge in Economics, four fewer than in 2007.
The number of states that require students to take an economics course as a high-school graduation requirement increased from 17 in 2007 to 21 in 2009.
The number of states that require students to take a personal finance course (or personal finance included in an economics course) as a high-school graduation requirement increased from seven in 2007 to 13 in 2009.
Thirty-four states now require that personal finance content standards be implemented, up from 28 in 2007.
Five states required entrepreneurship to be included as a component of a high-school course, usually economics, required for graduation in 2009, up from just three in 2007.
Moreover, several studies have determined that a majority of our K-12 student population has never been exposed to economic and financial education. CEE/State Farm surveyors say that “until these subjects are considered mandatory alongside mathematics, English, history, and science, we will be potentially setting them up for failure in the future.”
Reporters note that public schoolers are getting too little in the way of math, English, history, and science as it is, most of their daily routine being spent on sports, sex, social studies (not the same as “history”), “relationships,” and other trivia in no way connected to monetary realities. Even most private schools are woefully inadequate when it comes to economics, and have been so since the 1950s when this author attended.
Consequently, a whole range of news items — Goldman Sachs, government bailouts, deficits and the Gross National Product, subprime lending and mortgages, the excesses of Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac, hidden taxes, and the housing bubble — is lost on much of the populace.
Middle-class employees who do play the stock market do so blindly. We take advantage of whatever money market and IRA opportunities are available from our workplaces, understanding little concerning the difference between the company’s “family” of investment choices. For example, the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan offers a menagerie of “G” funds, “S” Funds, “C” funds, and so on, which are explained, sort of. But without any background in economics, most workers are ill-equipped to understand the explanations, much less assess the risk and reward of any investment.
Moreover, most workers don’t know a 401K from a hole in the ground; all they do know is that signing up is probably more lucrative than their bank’s savings account. So they take the plunge and sign up. Penalties for early withdrawal become hazy once they actually need to withdraw.
People may be familiar with the term “Federal Reserve,” but other than the names Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and maybe Paul Volker, which they hear on the nightly news, they’re largely clueless. Certainly most folks don’t know the difference in these experts’ economic philosophies, much less the long-term effects of legislation promoted by Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that contributed to the current financial mess. “Equity,” “stock options,” “yields,” and “junk bonds” are typically a blur to the average worker, and key publications like Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, the Kiplinger Newsletter, and Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose put most people to sleep. Needless to say, these tomes are not assigned in high schools, nor are they required basics even for non-economic majors in college.
This is not to say that certain expressions, such as “junk bonds,” don’t occasionally sound familiar, at least to the college grad. But basics about investment and finance nevertheless are largely absent; K-12 (and even SAT) testing on such topics is virtually nonexistent. Young people don’t know, for example, that the term “capitalism” was coined by communists as a pejorative or sorts to describe a free-market system.
Thus are the risks and rewards of any discretionary capital left to others to figure out, along with taxes, any bonuses, or inheritances. Finance enthusiasts such as day traders, junk-bond dealers, and real-estate investors (who buy run-down properties, glitz them up as cheaply as possible to sell quickly for a handsome profit) are in a little better position for having gotten the investment “bug,” but these individuals are the exception, and even they often overextend for lack of a truly solid economic education.
The average Joe and Jill, however, are at the mercy of financial planners, which sadly includes charlatans and Ponzi schemers, whether the investment in question is cattle futures, gold and silver, electrical equipment, real estate, theme parks or pensions. Folks approaching that magic cut-off salary of $200,000 a year are easily fooled into believing that they fit into the category of “rich,” when such is far from accurate, given today’s expenses, many of which are obscure. For instance, a private school for two children is typically out of reach for $200,000-a-year employees. Every appliance needs major repairs as soon as the warranty runs out, which generally means that it is not worth the cost of repair. One cannot just buy a 50-cent washer for a dripping faucet or replace a simple switch on the clothes dryer. Typically, such repairs require the purchase of what is called a “mother board,” a whole new electronic unit; a washing machine, refrigerator, or dishwasher will require a new motor, clutch, or heating element; the countertop combination microwave/convection oven that needs a 15-cent door latch will conveniently be no longer available for your model — all of which, is to say that, with labor included, the cost is rarely justifiable. Similarly, your computer or cellphone, bought only three years ago, will be deemed “obsolete.” As per the familiar TV commercial, “No one buys a cell phone just to make telephone calls anymore.”
Then there’s your much-vaunted health insurance. It rarely comes even close to paying healthcare needs, with the exception of some prescription plans. In fact, it is hardly worth the paperwork you put into it. One could make a lot more by spending the same time working an extra job!
Of course, some 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes, yet they continue to get freebies paid for by responsible taxpayers. No wonder many folks “max out” their credit cards and just use the new one which is sent, inexplicably fully approved and with large limits, via snail-mail. Speaking of which, your snail mail costs seem to rise with the weather, even while your pitiful mailbox nearly is collapsing under the weight of unwanted catalogues.
Meanwhile, the truly rich, such as the likes of the entire esteemed Kennedy clan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and family’s estimated $400 million a year in “earnings”; and a laundry list of congressional representatives, actors, and sports stars who also make hundreds of millions of dollars every year, all are laughing all the way to the bank.
No wonder so many Members of Congress push the kinds of financial “reform” which presume that most working taxpayers are dunces in need of extreme regulation, draconian “safety nets,” and, of course, a “benevolent” Nanny State.
Literature on entrepreneurship, with all its petty rules and regs (e.g., equal opportunity (EEO) paperwork, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) rules); news stories on proposed Wall Street makeovers; supposedly idiot-proof schemes to rein in Freddie and Fannie and cap-and-trade legislation to fund questionable climate-change science, that even United Nations spokespersons have referred to as “redistribution-of-wealth,” are way over the heads of most Americans. Little wonder that the so-called “common man” casts a jaundiced eye upon the whole “capitalist system,” which explains why we now are on the brink of socialism.
Self-sufficiency is deemed unattainable (if not downright mean-spirited) and has been replaced by ethics like “interdependency” and “free-market socialism,” the later being an oddball combination of overregulation, high taxes, and stocks. Totalitarian societies like China have been making use of such unlikely concoctions for years, and we are about to join them.
The ignorance surrounding a free world market plays out in ways that would puzzle our great-grandparents, most of whom are now on their death-beds. Some of them, of course, thought to create trust funds for their progeny, but government is finding ways around that, too, the death tax being only the most familiar.
Yet, there are plenty of educational materials on finance out there, just as there exist many sources for accurate history “out there.” It’s just that average people either don’t know about them or are too captivated by Oprah and American Idol to bother. Notice that there is no dearth of sales for Oprah’s magazine, O, or for tabloids publicizing the latest exploits of “the stars.” Such discretionary income, however, would be better spent on economic education, such as PBS’s videos from the Nightly Business Report, “How Wall Street Works” and “Your Financial Future: Kids and Money”; Why Money Was Invented (Silver Burdett Press); Kiplinger’s Smart-Money Kids (Random House); a whole line of publications for young people put out by Stein Roe Mutual Funds; resources for educators and parents offered through the Jumpstart Coalition; and much more, all of which one can find online or at the library. These sources have an angle or philosophy, or course, and consequently there is no substitute for basic courses in economics.
It is incumbent upon every parent, therefore, to make a priority of ensuring that their children’s education includes economics courses, whether the school offers them or not. Every child (regardless of family income), beginning in about the sixth grade, should also be tasked with some form of money-making activity, whether it is mowing lawns, selling lemonade, or even performing simple services like scrubbing lawn furniture for neighbors who can no longer perform these activities without risking injury. If items need to be purchased, if one or more licenses are required, or if certain state and local rules apply, the child should pay these costs out of earnings from still other tasks, such as babysitting. The gain to the child from such chores is three-fold:
They teach what kinds of jobs are available without a diploma or degree;
They keep kids out of trouble — i.e., away from “hanging around” malls and poorly supervised peers; overstimulation from TV and videogames;
They explain how much must be spent simply to start, much less engage in, a business venture.
Moreover, economics and finance cut through all the drivel about race, gender identity, career ladders, and even “attention-deficit “disorder” (kids will have no choice but to “pay attention” if they want their money). If Americans are to escape the coming scourges of socialism and the Nanny State, their offspring must learn the basics of finance beginning in childhood. An allowance alone simply will not do. Aging Baby Boomers are already paying the price for that sort of thinking.
Beverly K. Eakman is a former educator and retired federal employee who served as speechwriter for the heads of three government agencies, as well as editor-in-chief of NASA’s newspaper (Johnson Space Center). Today, she is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer and columnist, the author of five books, and a frequent keynote speaker on the lecture circuit. Her most recent book is Walking Targets: How Our Psychologized Classrooms Are Producing a Nation of Sitting Ducks (Midnight Whistler Publishers).

SCHOOLGIRLS "SEXT" THEIR NUDE PHOTOS

Written by Beverly K. Eakman
“Hard questions” are being asked this week in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the wake of the April 15 discovery that middle-school and high-school girls had transmitted lewd photos and video clips of themselves via cellphone and the Internet to their classmates. Many of the recipients, mostly boys, then turned around and either rented or sold the photos to other students.
County police and other investigators were called in to get to the, er, bottom of the matter. They needed to find out whether actual laws had been broken in the selling and renting of nude pictures minor-to-minor, and also to ascertain whether any adults, such as teachers or parents, were involved. Journalists got wind of the matter and interviewed miscellaneous parents, students, teachers, and administrators.
The word “morality,” of course, never came up. But “lack of self-respect” and “self-esteem” did. From the vantage point of the pupils, self-esteem didn’t seem to be an issue. Most of the “sexting” girls were proud to display well-developed breasts, and any other “proof” that they were, um, ahead of the curve. As for self-respect, the girls appeared confused as to what that meant, given the situation.
Lascivious text messages by adolescents to their peers (“sexting”), like exhibitionism in general, have been on the rise for some time. Anyone who uses the Internet knows that spam containing self-taken photographs of private parts and sex acts via “webcams” is legend — usually as a come-on for professional “services.” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that only four percent of students between the ages of 12 and 17 admit to sending out nude photos of themselves, a number not so different from what was considered the “fast crowd” in the 1950s and 60s. But, sexually explicit messages and sexual activity, as opposed to actual photos, no doubt would increase that percentage.
What many find surprising in this instance is that parents of pupils at Pyle Middle School and Whitman High School — touted as two of the best schools in the state — were asking why their girls were doing this. In the course of “serious talks” with their children, many parents seemed genuinely puzzled in media interviews.
Puzzled?
Most television dramas and sitcoms, aimed predominantly at the 14 to 27-year-old demographic, are sex-drenched. Video games, also aimed mainly at youth, are both brutal and sex-filled (the latest, RapeLay, one of many emanating in Japan, allows players to gang-rape women and underage girls; lots of stores, including popular online sites, are selling it: see here). Coeducational health classes are focused on sex, complete with explicit pictures, films and surveys. Billboards, TV, and magazines carry nonstop ads about erectile dysfunction and “feminine products” (a new ad shows a young woman asking a boyfriend to buy her some tampons. When he begs off, she scoffs, “Can you even say ‘tampon’?”). Nearly every TV show and novel incorporates perversion and noncommittal sex into the story line. Routinely included are scenes of young adults stripping down to their underwear and simulated intercourse.
Add to that increasingly graphic sex scandals covered in the news media, to the point that more urgent topics get short shrift. Then there are the less noticeable changes, such as the term “sexual partner” used as a replacement for “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife.” The clothing marketed to adolescents and pre-adolescents is tacky and immodest at best, “hooker-chic” at worst. Victoria’s Secret commercials in prime time mimic the soft-porn served up in teen magazines, many of which are falsely marketed as “fashion publications.” The advice columns alone are enough to make even free-love Boomers retch.
It used to be “normal” for early-developing girls to be a bit embarrassed by the fact, and that was a good thing because it resulted in restraint later on when everybody started dating. Today, there is no “later on.” “Hooking-up,” as it is called, starts at 11 years of age. The flirting and subtle fashion tricks that were endearing in the 1950s and ’60s had, by the 1980s, been replaced by in-your-face, blatant sex-frolics perpetrated by ambitious nobodies trying to get noticed — people like “Madonna,” followed by a string of talent-challenged teen icons: the Beastie Boys, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and now Miley Cyrus.
The girls at Pyle Middle School and Whitman High are busy mimicking the pranks of under-talented child-stars (usually at the urging of their publicity-seeking managers). They mentally justify their behavior by pointing to the “sexploitive” advertising, story lines, and explicit curriculums described above. Today’s kids do not comprehend the appeal of understated sexuality, that subtle mixture of glamour and innocence employed in an earlier era by a young Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly, Jane Russell, Doris Day, and Katherine Hepburn.
The post-modern girls who go to Pyle Middle School or Whitman High generally have a TV in their bedroom; they “multi-task” homework, video-games, a favorite show, and the raunchy lyrics or noise that passes for music. With every visit to a hair or nail salon comes dozens of magazines that send the same unequivocal message: Sex is about fun, not commitment or love. The only cautionary note relates to sexually transmitted diseases (or STDs). Girls in some neighborhoods actually compete to get pregnant, and they don’t care much about who fathers their child — until they need money.
So, while parents are having that “serious conversation” with their youngsters, they might consider bringing along a pile of teen magazines, turning on the tube, and grabbing a copy of that school sex survey if they expect to speak to what really goes on in front of their children’s noses every day. Only then might Mom or Dad be in a position to address the value of modesty or committed relationship.
The 30-something adult with children barely remembers when “recreational sex” became the norm and marriage-and-family wasn’t looked upon with some degree of disdain. Their middle-school and high-school-aged offspring are looking to find a niche in some career — with or without the requisite paper credentials. Or, they may just want “to see the world,” backpacking and “roughing it” with their pals through rain forests and mountain trails, with the occasional recreational “fling” to keep themselves entertained. The emotional fallout from such a lifestyle doesn’t occur to them, and “settling down,” as we used to call it, equates to “trapped” in most teenage minds — a view once limited to boys who got their girlfriends pregnant.
So, while a young girl’s hormones may be raging, and while she may be attracted to one person — or “lover,” in adult parlance — from time to time, she has already been brainwashed to accept such feelings as transient: a “significant other” relationship, something destined for extinction at some point, but always with the expectation of physical intimacy.
Thus the necessity to display and post intimate thoughts and body parts. The point is to demonstrate that one is not prudish, moralistic, or narrow-minded — the only real stigmas left in our society.
That’s “why they do this.” That’s why “nice” girls transmit nude pictures of themselves and “sext.” That’s why song lyrics, like teen dating, strike older adults as strange, being more accustomed to something called romance.
For teens and pre-teens, any thoughts as to the ramifications of “sexting” years from now are on the back burner. Like their grandparent Boomers, who famously announced they wouldn’t trust anyone over 30, today’s children still think like children: They believe that they will remain the age they presently are forever, and that they will think as they do right now forever, too.
Of course they won’t — and, unfortunately, today’s adults generally cannot provide the kind of guidance and leadership necessary to impart this fact, much less lay a much-needed, restraining hand on the excesses of their young charges.
Beyond the moral aspect of what happened in Montgomery County, it is impossible to prove that information has been purged from a computerized source, or that there exists no backup copy. When these “sexting” girls are in their 40s and beyond their current obsession with bra sizes; when they are ready to be taken seriously as adults; when they are, in fact, parents themselves: That’s when those explicit pictures and messages they sent last week will come back to haunt them — emotionally, financially, and maybe even physically.
Ironically, the ones asking “why” will, in the end, be the girls in the photographs.
_______________Beverly K. Eakman is a former educator and retired federal employee who served as speechwriter for the heads of three government agencies as well as editor-in-chief of NASA’s newspaper (Johnson Space Center). Today, she is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer and columnist, the author of five books, and a frequent keynote speaker on the lecture circuit. Her most recent book is Walking Targets: How Our Psychologized Classrooms Are Producing a Nation of Sitting Ducks (Midnight Whistler Publishers).

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