Episode 133: The Epidemic of Trapped Children, SCOTUS, and Coffee

Topics: 

  • Strategy for dealing with personal attacks: “I block all Nazis, goodby”
  • Supreme Court nomination tonight…likely to include one or two bonus topics
  • Experts said: MUST avoid trade wars, have opinions changed?
  • Reticular activation – Noticing something everywhere once it’s on your mind
  • Kids in cages, kids in caves, kids in mental cages (Democrats)
  • President Trump’s persuasion play and the importance of HONOR
  • Elon Musk’s team creating tube for cave kids rescue

 

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The post Episode 133: The Epidemic of Trapped Children, SCOTUS, and Coffee appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

It’s Time To Stop The Cyberbullying Epidemic

Imagine your child sitting in the safety of your own home, doing homework, watching TV, curled up in bed — just being a kid. Suddenly, a message pops up on his phone: “Everyone hates you.” Or maybe your daughter spots a social media post calling her vicious names along with a traumatizing — and false — rumor about her that’s already gone viral. It’s a nightmare that happens all too often as cyberbullying reaches epidemic proportions.

I testified before Congress about this insidious threat, and my show has devoted countless hours to the topic. We can’t stand by as victims of cyberbullying live in fear, humiliation, depression, isolation, or even do the unthinkable by taking their own lives. There’s more we can — and must — do, as parents, as kids, as families, and as a society.

As a boy growing up in Texas and Oklahoma, I was regaled with tales of the old Wild West where gunslingers like Black Bart and Billy the Kid freely roamed the countryside terrorizing law-abiding citizens. Decades later, we’ve got a new Wild Wild West, and this one has me far more concerned because I’m living in it. So are you. It’s called the Wild Wild Web, and this time, the perpetrators are cyberbullies. These “keyboard stalkers” can antagonize 24 hours a day 7 days a week, reaching millions of people instantaneously. They can destroy reputations — even lives — anonymously. When the deed is done and they’re ready to ride away, all they’ve got to do is log off with the push of a button … but they can come back at any time without warning.

And in this unbridled territory there are few consequences for cyberbullies’ actions and little punishment for their crimes. It is estimated that adults intervene in only 4 percent of cyberbullying cases. Peers intervene 11 percent of the time. That means that 85 percent of all cyberbullying goes on unabated.

If it sounds like I’m exaggerating or trying to be dramatic to make a point, I’m not. I am convinced that we are facing a serious crisis. According to one study, 43 percent of teens say they have been bullied online. Another reports that 88 percent of social media-using teens have witnessed others being mean or cruel. Studies show that because of the shame and embarrassment kids feel from cyberbullying, they often remain silent, becoming even more isolated and humiliated. Eventually, for some kids the pain becomes unbearable, which is why cyberbullying victims are 1.9 times more likely to attempt suicide than those who have not endured such bullying, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center.

Every generation, of course, has had its bullies. But when I grew up, and even when my two boys were young, insults were scrawled on a bathroom wall, etched on a desk, or snickered behind your back. The schoolyard bully actually had to look you in the eye if he wanted to start up with you. Usually, there were teachers or administrators not too far away or other kids within shouting distance. In some cases, children who were antagonized would transfer schools to start fresh — and they actually could. No longer. Now, because of the convenience, anonymity and ubiquity of technology, bullies can strike anywhere, anytime, with the victim just where the bully wants: in isolation. No matter where you go, it’s as if a bully is living with you, and there’s nowhere to hide. Countless children are haunted day and night, with consequences that are immediate, widespread, indelible, and most of all, devastating.

Parents: You must get involved in your kids’ high-tech lives. If you are not computer or smart phone literate, it’s time to learn. It’s your job to know what your kids are up to on their phones, on social media sites, and throughout the Internet. Start talking to your child about what goes on in his online life every day, know who his “friends” are, and insist on being one of them or having another trusted adult do so. Ask her if she’s been ridiculed, intimidated or humiliated online; assure her you want to hear about it and try to help should that ever happen. Find out if she has witnessed cyberbullying, and make sure she understands that being a bystander makes her part of the problem.

On the flip side, would you know if your child were an online bully? Could he, even just once, have spread a malicious rumor? Could he have said something — even in jest — that has the capacity to spread like wildfire and bring someone down? Have a pointed conversation about the stakes of Internet behavior, including possible legal repercussions that could haunt your kids for the rest of their lives. And ask yourself: Am I modeling appropriate behavior both online and offline?

Young people have the knowledge — but not the wisdom — to use the power of the Internet. It’s our job to start bridging that gap for them. The times they are a-changing, as they say, so we’ve got to change too, by educating ourselves, being vigilant as parents and friends, and creating a system of accountability and consequences. And we’ve got to give young people the tools that will help empower them and not let bullies take away their self-esteem, or even their lives. The most important relationship any of us will ever have is with ourselves; let’s teach kids how to be their own best friend.

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Fed Up Spotlights the American Sugar Epidemic

Fed Up is an excellent documentary; it’s the latest in shocking truths about our food in America from Atlas Films with producers Katie Couric, Laurie David, Heather Reisman, Regina Kulik Scully and Michael Walrath, directed by Stephanie Soechtig.


Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. Fed Up is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see.

It asks basic and important questions such as: “Why is obesity in American children an epidemic?” “Why for the first time will this generation of U.S. children not live as long as their parents?” The answer: Sugar.

Fed Up masterfully shows audiences how Big Food has been allowed to feed our nation mega tons of sugar. So much so that Type 2 diabetes, which historically occurs in middle to later life is now becoming commonplace in children, coast to coast across America.

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One teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams. The American Heart Association’s daily allowance of added sugar is 6-9 teaspoons, but the human body actually requires no sugar whatsoever. Photo credit: Atlas Films

This is a must see documentary. “Everyone should see the movie. If you eat, if you shop at a grocery store, that food is making everyone sick even if it doesn’t make you fat,” says Academy-award winning producer Laurie David.

This rich documentary is loaded with staggering facts. For example, between 1980 and 2000 fitness club memberships more than doubled across America, yet, at the same time, the obesity rate also doubled.

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Thirty percent of Americans are obese. Up to 40 percent of normal weight people have the same metabolic dysfunction as those who are obese. So, 51 percent of the U.S. population is sick with metabolic dysfunction. Photo credit theguardian.com

In 1980 the number of documented Type 2 diabetes cases amongst American adolescents (ages 8-19) was zero. Whereas, in 2010, there were 57,638 U.S. adolescents diagnosed with this preventable, life-threatening disease: Type 2 diabetes.

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Several studies show that when children are watching television, especially shows with food commercials, they’re primed to eat more. One study had kids watching TV with a bowl of goldfish crackers to munch on while they were watching. The kids that watched programs that showed food commercials ate 45% more goldfish crackers compared to kids watching the same program with non-food commercials. Photo credit: Atlas Films

From 1977 to 2000, Americans have doubled their dietary sugar intake. As if this weren’t disturbing enough, since 1995, corn-based sweetener companies have received over $ 8 billion in subsidies.

Soon after these repugnant sugar subsidies began, tens of billions of honeybees across America began to die en masse. Most of the sugar derived today in America comes from genetically modified corn. Over 400,000 farms in America plant corn. Those corn seeds are coated with a class of bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids (neonics).

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Since 2006 honeybees have been dying at a staggering rate. Scientists have dubbed this crisis Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD because all that remains in the colony is the helpless queen – 100,000 femaie workers abandon the hive and die. Photo credit: inhabitat.com

The deleterious and knock-on effects from using neonics are well documented and believed by many of my distinguished colleagues from around the globe to be the culprit for CCD, a crisis that has witnessed the death of more than 300 billion honeybees.

Between 1970 and 1990, the consumption of high fructose corn syrup in America has increased by 1000 percent. Did you know that a typical 20-ounce bottle of soda contains 16 teaspoons of sugars from high fructose corn syrup?

By 2010, two out of every three Americans were either overweight or obese. Eighty percent, or 480,000 of the 600,000 food products sold within the U.S. have added sugar, which, according to researchers and medical doctors, is why we have the world’s highest obesity rate at 31 percent.

Fed Up calculated that by 2050, one in three Americans would have diabetes. But before America attains this dreadful statistic, by 2035, approximately 95 percent of American’s will be either overweight or obese.

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Are you aware that sugar is a highly addictive substance? Photo credit: Atlas Films

In fact, 43 cocaine-addicted laboratory rats were given the choice of cocaine or sugar water over a 15-day period: 93 percent or 40 out of 43 chose sugar.

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When President Bill Clinton was interviewed on Fed Up, he succinctly summed up America’s sugar and obesity crisis: “We must change the way we produce and consume in the United States.” Photo credit: Atlas Films

Clearly we need to move quickly to avert what’s coming next. Health is first and foremost. “To be healthy, cook fresh food, keep to an absolute minimum what comes from a box, juice carton, soda can or jar because there’s so much hidden sugar,” says executive producer Heather Reisman.

FedUpmovie.com lists where sugar hides. Go there and become aware, please. I tell my students, “If you cannot pronounce the chemicals that are added into your food, don’t eat it.” Make it a habit to read all labels, and shop mostly around the perimeter of grocery stores.

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Creating homemade healthy meals with children in the kitchen is an essential part of every family. Photo credit: kneeldown.net

The architect, author, social commentator and philosopher Frank Lloyd Wright believed that, “The heart of a home is its kitchen.” Cooking is fun. Cooking is easy. The kitchen is where parents find out all about what is going on in their children’s world. It’s also where children learn to cook. Please teach your children to cook with fresh foods not processed foods.

Consider taking the Fed Up challenge – Sugar Free for 10 Days. Just do it. Everyone’s life depends upon it.

Earth Dr Reese Halter is a broadcaster, biologist, educator and author of The Incomparable Honeybee and the Economics of Pollination.

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