TV in the Bedroom Is Not a Teen's Best Friend

Tv_in_bedroom Reuters Health Day had an article on April 7, 2008, about a study in the April, 2008, issue of the journal, Pediatrics, which found that TVs in adolescent bedrooms contributes to several health and behavioral risks. Here is a brief snippet from the HealthDay article:

Although your teenager may poignantly plead that he or she is the only child left in America without a bedroom television, health experts recommend that parents stand their ground and keep TV out of the bedroom. There seems to be a good reason for this.

The latest research, published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics, shows that having a bedroom television not only leads to more TV viewing, but also results in less time spent with the family, less time exercising, lower fruit and vegetable intake, more sweetened beverage consumption, and in lower grades.

"The big take-home message from our study is that TVs should be removed from kids' bedrooms, and it could have a positive effect on kids' health," said the study's lead author, Daheia Barr-Anderson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Adolescent Health Protection Research Training Program at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.

Health professionals have been warning for years about too much television watching among young people, and especially about making the TV set so easily accessible. But past research suggests that many parents aren't heeding that advice. About 68 percent of American youngsters have televisions in their bedrooms, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In my psychotherapy practice, I see the detrimental effects of TVs in children's bedrooms all the time, and when I mention to parents the recommendation of the American Pediatric Association that TVs not be in children's bedrooms the parents usually say that they know this, but they don't want to fight with their children about this.

Once again, I observe that information alone is not enough to change people's behavior. There has to be some incentive to motivate people to change and without the incentive people will continue to engage in destructive behavior for themselves and their children. Even the threat and experience of problems, sickness, and even death is not enough of an incentive for some people to change.

It seems that some people are better equipped to tolerate frustration, deprivation, and sacrifice in the service of longer term goals than others. Daniel Goleman and other psychologists call this emotional intellligence, and as Dan Goleman points out, E. Q. is much more important to later life success, satisfaction and fulfillment, than I.Q. Unfortunately, our nation and world, is full of what I call "educated idiots." They often, because of their intelligence, are promoted to high levels of power and authority and many, even become parents, many of whom allow their children to have TVs in their bedrooms. :-)

Watching Too Much TV Might Hurt Country's Intelligence - Video lasts 3 1/2 minutes Link: MedlinePlus: TV in the Bedroom Is Not a Teen's Best Friend.

George W. Bush seems seriously out of touch with reality

It is too easy and vulgar to say that George W. Bush is a lying sack of shit. It would be more professional to say that he is delusional and psychotic. If not crazy, he is disengenous and it makes one wonder if he truly believes what he says.

When our government leaders tell us lies it is a mystifying experience which makes us wonder who is crazy, them or us? This is not good government. This is crazy making stuff.

As usual Jon Stewart on the Daily Show makes more sense than our government and/or the corporate media pundits. His video piece, Bless o Potamia lasts about 5 minutes and is worth every second. Watch it and let me know what you think.

A confused George W. Bush attempts to talk theology

George W. Bush does not appear to be a fundamentalist Christian. He does appear to be articulating the Universalist belief that there are many roads to God and heaven. At about 21 seconds into the clip, George says that the Iraq war "is a war between evil people that are willing to kill on a mass scale." Indeed, the United States has killed far more Iraqis than Iraqis have killed Americans. Do you suppose he sees himself as "evil people" or is this a Freudian slip? A

The Ethically Challenged

Unethical I have been thinking a lot the last 6 months about the importance of ethics in my life and in our sense of community.

I was at a workshop last October lead by Michael White, the Australian Social Work Psychotherapist, who pioneered what is called Narrative Therapy. Michael was challenged by a grad student in the audience who asked Michael if Narrative Therapy was "an evidence based therapy", and what research has been done on its outcomes? Michael replied that he was not a researcher and would leave that to others. He said that his bigger concern was not whether Narrative Therapy was evidence based but rather was it ethically based? This resonated with me because so much of what I see seems to be based on money, and data, rather than whether it is ethical.

On 11/30/07, This American Life broadcast show 344 entitled "Competition". It includes two segments both well worth listening to. The first segment describes a company in Tulsa, Oklahoma that engaged in human trafficing in order to compete in the global economy. The owner of the company convinced himself that enslaving people and impoverishing them and cheating them was for their own good.

The second segment deals with a ratings war among media companies in Boise, Idaho wherein one TV station unethically ruined a man and his family's life after he had been categorized as a sex offender 13 year prior to the news story being run just to sensationalize its programming to improve ratings.

I came from an ministerial ordination this afternoon where it was stated as part of the ceremony that there is still sin in the world. Indeed, there is and we need to call one another to repentence.

I highly recommend this 50 minute show. It will cost you $0.95 to download it, and it is worth it.

Link: This American Life.

Justice Talking Radio - FCC approves further media consolidation screwing American citizens

Fcc Justice Talking is a great radio show and on its program released on 01/21/08 Margot Adler the host talks with FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps and other guests about the new FCC rules on media consolidation.

Media Corporations have bought our politicians and now they want to increase their power by controlling not only radio and TV but newspapers. This is not a good thing for our democracy which is becoming increasingly fascistic under the Republican Bush Administration as the politicians and corporations get into bed together to manipulate and oppress citizens at the local level by keeping them in the dark and spinning the news in a direction that the polticians in power say is "Fair and Balanced".

This is a major campaign issue in the 2008 election. Do you know where your candidates stand?

It's a good show which lasts about 55 minutes. Every voting American should listen to it.

Link: Justice Talking.

FCC fines Comcast for broadcasting "fake news"

Fake_news PR Watch announced 09/24/07 that the FCC fined Comcast Corp. $4,000.00 for broadcasting fake TV news. Basically, VNRs, video news releases, are marketing pieces structured to look like news. This goes on all the time, but it is the first time that the FCC has decided to fine a media corporation for deceptive practices.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on September 21 that it was fining Comcast Corp. $4,000 for its cable channel CN8's broadcast of fake TV news, a video news release (VNR) without disclosure.

The Comcast fine is the first-ever sanction for airing a VNR, a sponsored PR video that mimics the structure and style of television news reports. The fine is a direct result of Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) investigations, and of a joint complaint filed with the FCC by CMD and Free Press.

The FCC's action against Comcast is precedent setting. It firmly rejects the public relations industry's argument that no disclosure is needed if television stations are not paid to air VNRs. Hopefully, the FCC will soon address the nearly 140 other undisclosed VNR broadcasts that were documented in CMD's two reports, "Fake TV News" and "Still Not the News."

The links in this quote don't work. To connect with them go to the article by clicking on the link below.

Link: A First for the FCC: Fining Fake News! | Center for Media and Democracy.

Giuliani is a con man extraordinaire

I saw Rudy Giuliani yesterday on This Week with George Stephanopoulas and it was disturbing how glib and smarmy he can be.

It also is a shame that you have to go outside of the United States to get honest appraisal of our own Presidential candidates. However, Channel 4 in the UK has a great piece on what a disengenuous person Guiliani is. Remember, Giuliani thinks Bernie Kerik is a great guy. Here is a brief snippet from the Channel 4 UK piece.

“At Ground Zero today they are still digging the foundations for the new freedom tower. Before 9-11 the one thing Giuliani had done was to build himself, right next to this site, an emergency command centre”

“Giuliani spent $60m on the command centre in the World Trade Centre. He installed a humidor for his cigars, monogrammed towels in bathroom, even had private elevator which was handy when he brought his mistress here at the weekends. But he also installed a 600 gallon fuel tank which meant that when burning debris hit the building it went up like a blowtorch”

“So Giuliani found himself wandering the streets because he had ignored advice to put his command centre safely underground in Brooklyn. Insisting instead it had to be near City hall.”

It is a scary thing that this is the best that the Republican party can come up with for candidates.

Thanks to Northcoastcafe for the original reference to this piece.

To watch the whole video, which is well worth watching, and is about 8 1/2 minutes click on the link below.

Link: Raw Replay - Revisiting History.

FCC screwing Americans

On November 16, 2007, Bill Moyers had a signigicant story on how the FCC is screwing the American people, and the people are getting upset. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is trying to railroad a change in regulations which will allow large media corporations to consolidate media outlets even further. The segment is something every American should watch. To go to the Journal video, click on the link below.

Link: Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS.

Even though right wingers have tuned "liberal" into a dirty word, Americans are more liberal than the media would have you believe

There is a small article in the Fall, 2007, issue of YES magazine which cites a study done by Campaign For America's Future and Media Matters which finds that the majority of Americans are liberal. You would never know this from the biased reporting we get from the corporate TV stations and newspapers. For example, in 2006, 69% of Americans said that the federal goverment should provide health care for its citizens, up from 59% in 2000. When asked in February, 2007, if they would pay an extra $500.00 a year so that all Americans could have health care, 82% said yes. When asked if homosexuals should have equal rights in the workplace, 89% said yes up from 55% in 1977.

You would never know this from listening to TV news or reading newspapers. Here's a brief snippit from the YES magazine article and if you go to the link below you can find the PDF link for the whole report.

The media often tell us that Americans are fundamentally conservative. Democratic victories are dismissed as flukes, and we are told that this nation supports a strong military, a government that does not interfere with health care, and free trade. Yet this report, the product of carefully compiled statistics from the past several decades, proves this story incorrect. The data show that Americans are becoming increasingly progressive on issues across the board. The report includes topics such as: - the role of the government - the economy - social issues - security - the environment - energy - health care.

Link: The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America Is a Myth..