Friday, May 19, 2006

Can't They Just Hire a Hitman?

I was watching the news tonight when I saw this story about two elderly women befriending homeless men and then allegedly killing them for insurance money. What I found interesting was the way the news story portrayed this tragedy. Instead of focusing on the cruelty of this act, the story seems to ponder the idea that women of this age should not be involved in such dirty work:

Police are investigating two women in their 70s who they believe hatched a scheme to offer two homeless men shelter, then collect more than $2 million in insurance policies after they were killed in hit-and-run crashes.

Police also believe the women may have committed the accidents and were befriending other men to set up more insurance policies.

"Anyone would think that even though they're making financial gains for this, that they would leave the actual dirty work to someone else or hire someone," police Detective Dennis Kilcoyne said. "We're not so sure about that anymore."

What is the point of this remark by the detective--that these ladies should have had better things to do than actually dirty their hands with killing these men? Uhh--detective--did you ever stop to think that women so cruel that they would try to rip off homeless men might resort to anything? Really--shouldn't the point of the story be that potential killers can come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and genders? What a sad story.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Podcast on the Shangri-La Diet

Do you ever groan when a new diet book comes into vogue and people are talking about how little fat or sugar they are eating? Sounds pretty boring. Today, we are talking with Dr. Seth Roberts, the author of The Shangri-La Diet, who actually tells you to drink sugar water and eat olive oil in order to lose weight. Sound impossible? Not so, says Dr. Roberts, a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Listen to Dr. Roberts tell us about his self-experimentation with his own diet and how he and many others in the blogosphere have lost the weight for good. Hey, I guess we all need all the inspiration we can get with bathing suit season around the corner. You can even join a forum with Dr. Roberts here to discuss the diet and to get support.

Tune in here (no iPod needed) to listen to the podcast or subscribe via iTunes. You can listen to other podcasts at our podcast archive here.

Please leave comments or suggestions below.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Helicopter Parents

I took a quiz at Newsweek to see if I was a "helicopter parent." Okay, so my kid is seven years away from college but I already know that I am not and will never be, a helicopter parent (I hope!). The Newsweek article described the process of boomer parents letting go of their children. I warn you, it doesn't sound pretty:

Most boomers don't want to be "helicopter parents," hovering so long that their offspring never get a chance to grow up. Well versed in the psychological literature, they know that letting go is a gradual process that should begin when toddlers take their first steps without a parental hand to steady them. And hovering is certainly not a new phenomenon; both Gen. Douglas MacArthur and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had mothers who moved to be near them when they went to college. But with cell phones and e-mail available 24/7, the temptation to check in is huge. Some boomer parents hang on, propelled by love (of course) and insecurity about how the world will treat their children. After years of supervising homework, they think nothing of editing the papers their college students have e-mailed them. A few even buy textbooks and follow the course syllabi. Later they're polishing student résumés and calling in favors to get summer internships. Alarmed by these intrusions into what should be a period of increasing independence, colleges around the country have set up parent-liaison offices to limit angry phone calls to professors and deans. Parent orientations, usually held alongside the student sessions, teach how to step aside.

I will never understand these parents who hover over their children like this. Is it just one more selfish boomer characteristic that they feel their child is an extension of themselves and they try to live vicariously through them, or is it the fear that the kid will come home to live in the parent's basement if they do not succeed? Either way, wouldn't it be best to teach one's child independence and how to care for themselves? I thought that is what good parenting was about. Apparently, good parenting to some boomers is to extend adolescence to the age of 30-35 and then complain when Johnny or Jane moves home because they never learned to make it on their own. Truthfully, I would rather have a young adult who could care for themselves and had no college education (or attended a state school) than I would one who went to Harvard and then used me as a crutch the rest of his or her life.

Update: Some thoughts from Glenn (Instapundit) on why parents are having so few kids to "hover around."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hope Chelsea's Not Working too Hard in the Sweatshop

Wow, Hillary Clinton makes one of the first true remarks of her political career and then she takes it back and apologizes. I guess she needs every vote she can get come 2008.