“Maggie Goes on a Diet” Sends the Wrong Message to Young, Impressionable Girls

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Maggie Goes on a DietDo I agree that here in America we have a little bit of a weight problem? Yes. Do I also agree that the problem has escalated to the point where it is no longer adults who are overeating and becoming overweight but young children and teenagers as well? Yes. Do I think that in order to rectify the problem we need to write books that tell young girls that the way to become more well-liked and popular at school is to be skinny? Absolutely not.

Obviously author Paul M. Kramer disagrees with me. Kramer is an American author and writer of the soon-to-be-published book Maggie Goes on a Diet, the story of an overweight 14-year old girl who is bullied and picked on at school for being overweight. As a result of the jokes and comments, Maggie goes on a diet, begins exercising regularly, picks up soccer and becomes popular amongst her former tormentors.

The book isn’t even on store shelves yet and it is already gathering quite the angry mob around it, mostly made up of  parents of young girls in the age range of 4 to 8, the same age range the book is marketed to. Many parents believe that the book is sending the wrong message to girls, a message that all you have to do to be liked by everybody is be thin.

Young girls already have so much pressure from things like celebrities, fashion magazines and other girls to be thin that the last thing they need is a children’s book supporting these ways of thinking. Dr. Sloan Madden, a child and adolescent psychiatrist puts it best stating, “Children in that age bracket are very black and white and literal in the way they understand things, so they can’t look behind the message.”

While I do think this book is outrageous and potentially very harmful to young girls, I see where Kramer is coming from. I agree that there is a serious problem with both adult obesity and child obesity in America and other parts of the world and that something has to be done about it. However, I do not agree with trying to fix the problem by insinuating that the only way to become popular is to be skinny.

Girls around the age of 14 are at their most impressionable and are also at the age with the highest risk of developing an eating disorder. This book, in my opinion, only has the potential to take that impressionable age of 14 and decrease it to a younger and younger age.

I feel like Kramer had good intentions in writing the book, that point is obvious. It just seems as if he had extremely poor execution. Instead of helping children as the book was originally intended to do, I feel that Maggie Goes on a Diet will only serve to put across the wrong message to girls about weight, popularity and happiness.

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America’s Economy Gets Worse While Obama Vacations in Martha’s Vineyard

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Obama in Martha's VineyardI don’t think anybody would disagree with the fact that running our country isn’t exactly the easiest of jobs. Having that much responsibility, pressure and criticism on your plate each and every day would take its toll on even the most strong willed people. That being said, I think don’t think it is entirely unreasonable for our country’s president to take a vacation every now and then.

If I was the leader of one of the world’s biggest superpowers, I would probably want a few days to relax myself, though I do not think I would do it quite like Barack Obama and family are doing it as Obama, his family and entourage have just set off for a 10-day vacation to the lavish and ritzy Martha’s Vineyard.

Obama’s annual vacation to the fancy island is already facing major scrutiny from politicians and citizens, and he’s barely unpacked yet. Republicans are criticizing Obama for taking time off when our country is in one of the worst times of economic turmoil ever as well as choosing the lavish island of Martha’s Vineyard to do so.

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts Governor, has slammed Obama for “vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard” as opposed to working to create jobs in the country. However, despite all the barbs and jabs thrown at him, Obama seems unconcerned. Obama has been criticized for vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard for the last two summers with no long-term political repercussions.

However, the extreme struggles of our country’s economy, along with a rapidly fluctuating stock market make the optics of Obama’s vacation a little more complicated. A similar situation faced former President Bill Clinton back in 1995. Back then, Clinton decided not to go to his typical vacation spot at Martha’s Vineyard, instead opting for a 5-day trip to Wyoming.

However, after Clinton was re-elected in 1996, he began returning to Martha’s Vineyard. Obama, on the other hand, has no intentions of doing anything remotely close to that. It is no surprise that Obama and his family will try their hardest to stay out of the media’s eye. Obama doesn’t want any photo being leaked that would show Obama being out of touch with average Americans.

I’m all for the president taking a vacation, I mean, he doesn’t exactly have the easiest of jobs. What I do have a problem with is the location of said vacation. Martha’s Vineyard is definitely a vacation getaway for the rich and famous. With the absolute disarray that our economy is currently in, it doesn’t quite seem fair that Obama gets to vacation in Martha’s Vineyard while the rest of the country has to deal with the threat of unemployment, debt and other economic woes. As somebody who campaigned as a supporter of the average, middle-class American, Obama certainly doesn’t act like one.

Source: Yahoo! News – The Fast Fix: Obama on break?

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Chinese Parents Sell Own Children to Fuel Video Game Addiction

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Chinese Internet Cafe I am a gamer, well at least I consider myself to be a gamer. I love playing video games, a lot. Would I say I am addicted? No, I think extremely involved sounds better. Now, there are lots of activists, politicians, parents and others out there that think video games are a waste of time and something that should be outlawed or restricted, never mind the fact that it provides hundreds of thousands of jobs to working Americans as well as a very steady income base.

Some people even see video gaming as something similar to a drug. Something that young kids and teens, and even some adults, can become unhealthily addicted to and something that can cause serious problems in a person’s life. However, despite all the tirades against video games and the people who play them, albeit religiously sometimes, there has really been no convincing evidence that would cause video games to seem like little more than interactive entertainment, until now.

Now I’ve read all the stories about video game “addiction” and whatnot and I’ve even pulled my fair share of all-night video game sessions with my buddies, but never have I ever considered anybody I know or read about to be considered addicted, until now.

According to Sanxiang City News, a Southern Chinese news agency, a Chinese couple was reported to have sold off their three children in order to fund their obsession with playing online video games at Internet Cafes. According to reports, the couple met back in 2007 and quickly grew fond of each other via their mutual hobby.

Just one year later, their “hobby” was already affecting their parenting abilities. It was in that same year that the couple gave birth to their first child, a son. Only a few days old, the couple decided to leave the baby at home, unattended, in order to play these online games at an Internet Cafe about 20 miles away. We aren’t talking about a toddler here people, we are talking about a newborn infant, only a few days old!

Fast forward another year and things have only gotten worse. In 2009 the “parents”, who were only 21 at the time, gave birth to their second child, a baby girl. This is where things took a turn from bad to unbelievably obscene. After the birth of their daughter, the couple got the bright idea to sell her for $500 USD in order to pay for their online gaming.

After that miraculously worked, they must have thought “hey, it worked the first time, why not try it again? Because these games are way more important than these living human beings we brought into the world.” It was at this point the couple decided to sell their first born child for $4,600 USD. After that, the couple had their third child and sold it for another $4,600 USD, all so they could fund their online gaming.

Now you must be wondering how this all happened and nobody found out about it. Well, a family member discovered what was actually going on and reported the couple, known as Li Lin and Li Juan, to the authorities.

If anything, I would be curious as to what the parents thought about what they were doing. Well, when asked if whether or not they would miss their children, the couple stated, and I quote, “We don’t want to raise them, we just want to sell them for some money.” The couple also claimed that they did not know that what they were doing was wrong.

I’m sorry but this is just one HUGE “wtf” moment. First off, I am astounded at how these so called parents thought it would be o.k. to sell their children for video game money. Second, I am bewildered as to how not a single person discovered what they were doing until all three children had been sold. Seriously? Nobody noticed when suddenly some of the kids stopped coming around? Also how could a gaming life be so expensive!? Why not just enjoy the millions of free games available instead of selling your children?? something like a roblox hack could have saved one or two of the kids at least!

All in all, I actually think that selling the kids was the best idea. It got the parents arrested and probably put in jail so they can’t have kids, at least for a long time, and it allowed the kids to be given to somebody who, hopefully, actually loved them, cared for them and actually wanted to have them.

My heart goes out to these children.  I only hope that they found a better home and better parents then those “people” that were raising them.

Source: Game Politics – Chinese Parents Sell Children for Internet Games

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