Archive for the ‘Child Safety’ Category

I have not written my column in quite a while.  I can give you tons of reasons, multitudes of excuses, but the truth is that I have felt that there is very little that I can do to open the eyes of the American public to what is happening to our country.  Our political correctness, our liberal approach to raising children, and our laissez-faire attitude towards the moral necessity of the family unit have created an environment which we, ironically, often find unacceptable.  Such is the case of the mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Weeping_AngelWhile there are those who are demanding immediate changes in order to “prevent” future mass murders, their solutions of gun bans and mental instability labeling only deride our individual freedoms and do nothing to address the actual problem which is that we have little to no accountability for our own behaviors in our current society.  For several generations now, we have abdicated our responsibility of raising our children to government institutions (schools, therapists, law enforcement).  No longer do we seek the counsel of our priests, clergymen, or family elders.  No longer do we allow our children to pay the consequences of their behavior.  No longer do we teach personal responsibility.  How many times have we seen the “good intentions” of giving every child an award for participation rather than teaching them how to lose?  How many times do we hear the excuse of blaming others or environment for the actions of one?  Contrarily, how few times have we heard the explanation of “life is not fair” or “everyone cannot be a star” or a reprimand of “you knew better”?

Granted my statements are for our society in general and do not apply to each and every family’s situation, but the statistics are overwhelming that show a lack of personal accountability.

Over the next months we will continue to hear varying speculation as to why a 20 year old man killed 27 people in Connecticut.  While there may be merit with many of the possible explanations for this horror; mental instability, medications or lack thereof, unsupervised access to firearms, a family unwilling to acknowledge the mental state of their child, etc., to act on one of these reasons exclusively and ignore the others will do little to affect this type of violence.  It’s the sad, unspoken truth…and that is Why It Matters.



While new technology and vast capabilities of information gathering and communication is still an awesome thing for most of us, to our children, it’s just life.  Kids today have grown up in a techno-savvy world with faster and faster Internet connections, jazzy new phones that have all sorts of capabilities, and social networking or meeting and chatting online.  Most of today’s “cool” tech applications function in real-time; meaning the conversation (whether email, texting, chatting, or social networking) is going on at that moment – much like a telephone call.  (more…)

As have many of you, I have been shaken by the scope of  the “peanut butter recall.”  Actually, it is more than just peanut butter.  It extends to every product that is made with some form of peanut, which was processed through the nation’s largest peanut production plant, Peanut Corporation of America.

mr-peanut-attackedI was stunned to learn that more than 1,500 products are now being recalled.   I was also sickened with the report of uncleanliness in the plant; which included vermin and other pests falling into vats of food and continuing through in the processing!  YUCK.   Moreover, I am appalled that there was such little oversite and enforcement by the FDA. 

According to workers, this has been going on for years.  Hmm.  That surely makes one wonder who has dropped the ball on this latest food infestation.  Obviously, the buck stops with the plant’s owners and managers.  Next at fault is the FDA who should have been on top of this much sooner.  And finally, if employees knew of such atrocities, why didn’t they alert  local authorities or media to investigate?  Readers, that leaves the employees accountable in this fiasco as well. 

Peanut Butter is one of my favorite foods and I’m outraged that I’ll have to go on the wagon until the “all clear” is sounded.  For those of you who wish to view the companies that purchased product from this plant, as well as the consumer products that are thought to be contaminated, please see the FDA information on the right side of this page; for more extensive information click the hyperlink above.  To view PCA’s company site with it’s official statements about this ordeal, click here. 


John Walsh and his family have just been given confirmation of the identity of the murderer of their, then 6 year old son, Adam.  Ottis Toole, who had been arrested earlier and initially confessed to the crime, later denied having any connection.  The Walsh family have waited 27 years for closure of this tragic episode in their lives. (more…)

When I learned of the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest academic bomb that was dropped on Americans just before their summer hiatus, I was completely stunned.  Few times have I found myself speechless and horrified.  I read briefs of the ruling and finally had read the ruling and dissents to confirm for myself that this was indeed what had been sent down by the Court.  In essence, here is an amalgamated brief of the details taken from the Court’s Syllabus:

Louisiana charged the petitioner [the perpetrator] with the aggravated rape of his then-8­year-old stepdaughter. He was convicted and sentenced to death un­der a state statute authorizing capital punishment for the rape of a child under 12. [Another side note:  this despicable man has been charged previously with the same type of crime against children.] Justices cited pros and cons of previous rulings that dealt with rape of adults, but not with that of children.

Even after hearing the horrific, brutal details of this child’s injuries which required immediate surgery, the learned (and I use that description with all the restraint I can muster) majority members of our Supreme Court [Kennedy, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer] issued the following ruling:

The concern that the Court’s holding will effectively block fur­ther development of a consensus favoring the death penalty for child rape overlooks the principle that the Eighth Amendment is defined by “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society,”Trop, 356 U. S., at 101.


The Tennessee state legislature has been debating the pros and cons on an issue that many may think is rather unimportant to our daily lives…mandatory helmet usage for motorcyclists.  The bill before the legislature proposes to repeal the current status of mandatory helmet usage.   


On one side of the argument are those who believe it is their right to “ride free” with no constraints from the government.  “Who are they to tell us what we can do?” they ask.  Their rationale is based on constitutional freedom tweaking.  Their logic, however, is apparently already shattered, prior to any “pumpkin-smashing” wreck which may befall them. 

On the other side are those of us who have experienced traumatic brain injury and its costs – physically, financially, and psychologically to the patient and their family.    The issue of traumatic brain injury is near and dear to my heart, as my youngest brother suffered a horrific work-related accident ten years ago this past week.  Until you experience how devastating brain injury can be, you cannot possibly understand the importance of issues such as mandatory helmet laws.    (more…)

What Are We Teaching?

Posted: May 3, 2007 by April Watkins in Child Safety, Issues, Religion
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As Spring blooms each year, we see a rebirth of nature.  New growth takes over where the old is no longer viable.  In nature, the new growth is usually stronger; a generation of smarter genes than before.   However, in mankind, this concept seems to fall short.  Our newer generations are not necessarily better adapted to face the future.  Moreover, we are rapidly regressing in many critical areas; such as religious and belief systems, the sacredness of the family unit, moral codes and ethical standards.  


If you think that these things are not critical to humankind, just ask anyone who is at the end of their life, what is most important to them.  You will not hear about the material things they amassed or the fame they have achieved.  You will most likely hear words such as “family,” “friends,” or “faith.”    (more…)