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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday afternoon, I was taking some trash to the dumpster at the condos where I live.  I had several bags and a nice stinky collection of dead kitty litter.  We’ve had so much rain, that I’ve avoided taking trash except on the days I know that the dumpsters have been emptied (Monday & Friday).  In order to get to the dumpster, you drive through the security gate, which is something of an annoying joke.  When the condo important ones (HOA board members) leave for the summer, the gates stay open, all the time.  When I was leaving my unit, this little kid was about half a block in front of me, carrying a couple bags of trash.  He opened the gate and waved me through like a ‘big kid’ would do.  I reached the dumpster first, opening it.  I noticed he was about seven, maybe a small eight. Then I realized that he was a little bit slow to the point where his language skills were perhaps that of a three year old. He hung around a little, which bothered me.  I talked to him a little, asked his name, told him mine.  Then he ran back to the gate.  I told him I was going the other way, and waved as he went back toward his unit.

I watched him as he went back toward his home, wondering where a supervisory adult was.  It was not my business to make sure this little kid, who was terribly vulnerable, was kept safe, but I was the one watching to see that he made it home.  He wore sneakers and shorts, no shirt, making it easy to note that there were no bruises and no sign of abuse. BUT – where the heck was a parental unit?

Where the little guy was standing, talking was dangerous because he could have been hit by a car.  He was so trusting that anyone could come along and abduct him.   He is one of the little kids here, this summer, who ride their bikes up and down in front of my place.   Every time I go to back out, I need to check for them.  We usually don’t have kids running around like that.  And – they’re good kids.

I saw one of the mothers outside, a couple weeks ago.  Asking if she was the mother of the kids on the bike, she said she was – for some.  I told her she needed to keep an eye on them.  She was very defensive, saying she tried.  “Oh, no, not that way.  You just can’t trust people.  It’s summer and we don’t know who is in and out of here.”

Because she was unwilling to watch her children, the rest of us were required to do so.  Yes, I think it is our responsibility to keep a look out for all little kids, but there are times when you would just like to blast some parents with a heavy-duty water pistol – right between the eyes.  Yes, I am going to make sure no harm comes to your child, but they ARE your children and your responsibility – not mine.

This said…

One of the very real problems we have in our society  is the fact that for some strange reason, we have a tendency not to think that what we do can effect those around us, especially kids. I happen to be one of these strange people who thinks that we should morally require ourselves to consider our actions in relationship to those around us.  Yes, we are our brother’s keeper.  We are also our brother’s children’s keeper, even if we’ve never met the nasty, smelly, little rug-rat crumb crunchers and never will.  We still have a moral responsibility not to lead them astray.

I don’t expect a media corporation to even begin looking after the best interests of a child.  That’s not their job.  Their job is making money.  There’s nothing wrong with that – but, when you betray your viewing base, it hurts.

Case in point:

The Discovery Channel, that once great bastion of interesting learning and science has morphed into a titillating (literally) mess of fake science, naked people, moonshining hillbillies, and drinking games.  Fortunately, I am not the only person who was disgusted by Sunday night’s fiasco.

This is a copy of the letter I left on Discovery’s Facebook page:

Thanks to the fiasco on Sunday night, this is one Shark Week fan who will not be watching the rest of the week.  I have been looking forward to something decent on Discovery.  The only watchable show is Mythbusters.  Taking Mike Rowe off was a disaster, but this was worse.  The after dark show was a disgrace.  If I had a child under the age of 18 I would be complaining to the FCC about the drinking game, which promoted the use of moonshine?!

Are there no longer any responsible adults in programming?  Don’t they realize that on the West Coast kids are still up, home from school, and watching something that was encouraging a deadly consumption of alcohol?  The Shark Week Drinking Game is dangerous.  Anyone under the age of 21 should be banned from watching Discovery.  Once it was a wonderful place for kids to learn about science.  Now, thanks to the outlandish Twitter following – many of them bought and paid for, obviously by the network in an attempt to create a buzz, there is no way any responsible parent could allow their child near the Discovery Channel, or TLC for that matter.

What was done last night, on the after dark show was unethical, immoral, and should be illegal.  It was catering to a spring break college mentality, where kids die from consuming too much alcohol.  And – the programming was available for vulnerable children to watch.   Someone needs to lose a job over this.

As for the rest of Shark Week, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  I was about 15 minutes into that so called ‘special’ when I realized it was even a worse mess than SharkNado.  There were people, though who did not.  The lie was so blatant, that I can’t trust any of your programming.

So long.

The other discussion that I’ve followed, for months, now, is the one where Kate Hunt, aged 18, molested a 14 year old girl.  Hunt claimed to be a lesbian, like the Smith girl claims. From what I can tell, Kate Hunt is a predator who will fool around with anything, male, female and other possibilities.   The charges against this pretty young woman would have gone much easier, had she not been possessed by parents who were determined that she would face no accountability for molesting an innocent child

CBS 12

CBS 12

In a way, I can’t blame her parents for trying to do everything to prevent her from being labeled a sex offender, which I gather, she would not have, had she gone along with the original deal from the DA.  Her parents, though, do not appear to be willing to have her held accountable for what she did.

That is understandable.  Many parents are like this.  The problem with this tale, though is the way they have marketed the tale, making their darling the victim of a scheming little harlot.  The problem with this blame the rape victim scenario is that there is a tremendous amount of evidence that Kate Hunt is far from innocent. Because of the life-style of her parents, one wonders if she was ever a truly innocent child. Her parents basically stole her innocence before she had a chance to develop into something other than what she is.

What is not acceptable, though, is how many people are willing to damn the victim in order to support a young woman who just might be a pedophile.  There’s nothing wrong with standing behind someone for whom you care, even when you know they are in the wrong, and are there to help them deal with the consequences.  It is another thing, entirely, when in order to make something acceptable, an innocent child is harmed.

Much of what happened to Kate Hunt, and what she did to the Smith child is due to the early sexualizing of our children.  One of the best ways I know how to explain it is if I had a daughter, you can bet your life that she would not be allowed to even own a bikini until she was 18.  And – now you know why I don’t have kids – they’d hate me.  Once she reached 18, go for it.

I know of a beautiful little kid, just adorable. She’s a fairy princess, a prissy little kid who had a tendency to wear crowns, jewels, magic wands, and princess dresses.  That’s the way every little girl should be, innocent, a fairy princess.  Every once in awhile she and her mother pose together, in matching bikinis.  It makes you cringe when the photos go up on FB.  It is quite obvious it is all quite innocent, but the parent is clueless.  Even something innocent can be taken and used by a pedophile.

Unfortunately, I can’t say anything.  So, what do you do?  I see this adorable little kid being turned into something she isn’t.  It is all innocent, which does not let the parent off the hook, does it?  It is sad.  Then I have a very good friend who has a daughter who is the same age as the Smith child.  Everything possible has been done to protect the child’s innocence.  She is innocent, not that I think she wants to be.  Of course she’s ready to grow up, date, and become hot stuff.  But – she has a mother who has guarded the childhood of she and her sister.

We have a responsibility to protect not only children around us, but also seniors.  A senior citizen, who is pushing into his/her eighties is just as vulnerable from predatory banking and investment practices as a child is being exploited. There really isn’t much of a difference.  Both are terribly vulnerable.

Going back to what started it all, with the way the Discovery Channel has so blatantly disregarded the well-being of those who are under 21 and those who are college age, and have no problems with drinking, I just did a quickie read of the tweets from tonight’s show.  The people who are tweeting are purchased accounts, spammers, and immature college kids, along with a mix of high school kids. Now, these kids are going to think it’s okay to get plastered.

I’m sorry, but we do have a societal responsibility to protect children, their innocence, and their safety, even if they aren’t our own kids.  That is what a truly civilized society does. If so, I suspect we have some very real problems within our society.

As far as requiring a daughter to wear a one piece, it has nothing to do with modesty and everything to do with torture and building character. I suspect it is rather like my mother not allowing me to have G0-Go Boots.  She did not want me to be a part of the crowd, but to stress my individuality.  It was a lesson I learned all too well.  I am convinced if you teach character, you teach ethics and honor.

You don’t do that from having religion taught in school, or by allowing prayer in school. You do it by taking a child to whatever religious institution to which you subscribe on a regular basis, until they are eighteen and ready to rebel.   As far as traditional Sunday School, it has one very real value and that is providing something of a ‘classic’ education that is now lost.  In this day and age, because of the emphasis on STEM studies, history, literature, and humanities are being trashed.  The real problem is this, is you can have an MBA from Harvard but, if you don’t know history, you’re and idiot.  You can know science, how to build a bridge, but if you don’t know the history of bridge building, you’re an idiot.  It’s that simple.

I don’t want prayer in schools.  Not only does the Constitution suggest that it should not be, but I would not want someone’s version of ‘prayer’ and religion forced on my child.  Classes in comparative religion are terribly important, providing enlightenment.  There are those who say that you cannot teach morality to children without the Ten Commandments.  It is not a school’s job to teach morality.  That is for parents and the clergy.  A school’s job is to teach ethics and instill honor.  When the Ten Commandments are taught, along with things like the The Code of Hammurabi, the The Code of Ur-Nammu, Roman Twelve Tablets, Traditional Chinese Law, Draconian Constitution, and other ancient legal codes are taught, instead of just the Ten Commandments, kids learn stuff.  Why limit kids to just one version of the world?  Teach that every culture has rules against murder, stealing, adultery, and so forth and so on.

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