Tag: Responsibility

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We Should Do Something

Each year, Kensington, Md., holds an annual Labor Day parade. For pictures I took last year, I held back one of the best: A very young girl sitting next to an American flag. Her facial expression and composition evoked the patriotic sentiments of the day. But her tank top had partially fallen down to reveal a nipple. As much as I liked the image, I kept it from my online collection of the day. I know that out there, scouring the Internet, are pedophiles that get off on pictures of kids.

Millions of people use the internet each day to watch adult pornography which is perfectly legal, and because it’s so popular more and more free porn sites are now available ones like hdsexvideo, unfortunately there are those that use the internet for darker purposes and troll through social media sites looking for pictures of kids. You might think that posting a picture of your kid taking a bath on facebook is completely innocent and to you and many others it is, but there are some out there that if they saw that picture would look at it in the same way as a normal adult would look at a picture of a naked woman or man, you don’t want to think that there are people out there looking at a picture of your kid in a sexual way but unfortunately that’s the hard truth these days.

Today’s New York Times story “Using Nearly Nude Pictures, Child Sex Sites Test Laws” takes a stark look at this dark underworld of online predators. But the predators aren’t just pedophiles. The story looks at the lurid world of child modeling, which pictures skirt the definition of child pornography.

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No Finder Keeper

My daughter and I fled the house today, down the road to the 7-Eleven. My wife had gone out for the afternoon—and left to fend for our own lunch, we opted for convenience. My daughter got a turkey and cheese sub, while I went for a burrito. But on the way to the convenience store, there was adventure: A lost cell phone.

As we cut across a parking lot towards the 7-Eleven, I spotted a clamshell on the pavement. Well, well, finder’s keepers? Not in my family. Lost is returned. We hoofed over to the building adjacent to the parking lot, asking if someone had lost a cell phone. The folks inside weren’t exactly helpful. I called myself using the lost phone, hoping to get some caller ID. None, except a number with 206 area code, which I recognized as Washington State. 

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Nuclear

This morning, as my daughter and I sat in our aging Volvo stopped in traffic, I saw that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had moved its headquarters to Rockville, Md. The facility is on a section of Rockville Pike (MD 355) that I don’t normally drive. But I do recall construction going on in that area for years. Now I know who is the tenant.

Anyway, the NRC headquarters prompted a discussion with my daughter about nuclear power plants and radiation and the role the regulatory agency plays in trying to ensure nuclear facilities are safe. I gave her the example of Chernobyl and what bad things can happen because of radiation contamination. 

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The Right Choice

My wife hauls me off to church every Sunday (and that’s not a bad thing). I teach Sunday school, which gets me out of the service. But last week, older kids organized a scavenger hunt for fourth through sixth graders (I teach the middleschoolers), so I had opportunity to sit in the service. Lucky, too.

The pastor announced she would step down at the end of December. After two-and-a-half years, she felt it was time to make room for new blood and a new way of doing things. I thought: “This is how it’s supposed to be”. 

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The Wrong Gulf

On Sunday, I gassed up my 1989 Volvo 740 for $2.69 a gallon–the good stuff–and moaned about high prices. Yesterday a friend IMed and told me to gas up before prices jumped 40 cents a gallon. Too late, $3.19 when my wife got the pumps. She paid more today, $3.49 a gallon, or a delightful 80-cent increase in just two days.

I predict the situation will get a lot worse. New Orleans is now the equivalent of a Biblical epic—disaster that will keep on going. The death, the destruction, the economic impact will be like another 9-11, except as an Act of God (Why should he get the blame, anyway?) rather than act of terrorism. Few weeks back, I blogged about the housing bubble. Katrina, that vicious bitch, put a hole in the bubble, I think. 

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An Encouraging Development

A story in today’s New York Times pictures a U.S. soldier unloading bottled water in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The U.S. $350 million aid commitment and rallying of local resources—in this case the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln—is an encouraging improvement over the earlier U.S. “stingy” commitment to aid.

I’m too young to remember the America of World War II; it’s all just history to me. But goodwill went a long way in Europe and Asia, even turning enemies like Germany and Japan into allies following the war. 

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The Times is Right

In October, I slammed the New York Times for leading off a story about the Bush-Kerry debate with a political ad for Kerry. That was bad form. Good form: Yesterday’s gripping analysis about U.S. aid in the wake of the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean. With respect to U.S. aid response, the story’s headline makes the point: “It’s About Aid, and an Image.” I agree, and I contend that the country’s response so far has been slow and, yes, stingy.

Even viewed from the most selfish perspective possible, public relations, the Bush Administration missed an important opportunity in the hours following the horrific disaster, which, I might add, based on the number of missing Americans, might have a death toll close to the Twin Towers disaster. 

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Spanish Solidarity

I would like express my solidarity with and condolences to the people in Spain whose lives were ripped apart by this week’s devastating and unconscionable bombing.

But, watching Spaniards fill Madrid streets with grieving and protest elicits great regret. Americans acted more like victims following the 9-11 attacks that felled both World Trade Center towers. Rather than outrage, Americans withdrew—from traveling, spending, and living. Raised fingers looked to blame everyone but ourselves.