Tag Archives: risk

Stupid Parents + Reality TV=Kids at Risk

Posted by Audiegrl

richard-heene-balloon_l

Richard Heene holding son Falcon

Entertainment Weekly—Is the Balloon Boy fiasco the latest example of parents putting their love of fame before their love of children? Should kids even be allowed on reality TV? And how much blame should go on the network executives behind such programs? These are a few of the questions that we look at in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly with a story focusing on how past and present shows like Jon & Kate Plus Eight, Supernanny, Kid Nation, and The Baby Borrowers could be putting young children at emotional and physical risk, all for a paycheck and 15 minutes of fame. “The entertainment executives very well know the risks that are facing these children,” says former child star Paul Petersen (The Donna Reed Show), who now serves as president of A Minor Consideration, an advocacy group for young performers. “They just turn a blind eye to it and climb in their Mercedes as if they’re blameless. I’m sorry, but you’re not blameless.”

balloon-boyballoonBut what about the parents who sign up their children for such shows? And what of Richard Heene, who has been accused of orchestrating the whole balloon hoax involving his 6-year-old son Falcon to get himself his own TV show? “This is what I’m really scared of,” says reality producer Tom Forman (Kid Nation), who says he heard and rejected Heene’s pitch for a storm-chasing series. “Parents get blinded by the lights, the fame, and the lure of Hollywood, and are willing to do anything to get themselves on television, including putting their children in harm’s way. This is what happens when a father tries to play television producer.”

To read more about fame-hungry parents, children on TV, and the possible future of the Heenes, check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

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Filed under Children, Culture, Media and Entertainment, Television, True Crime, TV Shows

DeMint: Obama ‘Puts Our Troops At Risk’ By Working On Health Reform

Posted by Audiegrl

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)


Well, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) (Mr. ‘this will be Obama’s Waterloo’) is at it again. This time he says that President Obama is putting our troops at risk by pursuing health care reform.

ThinkProgress/Ben Armbruster—The Washington Post reported this week that Gen. Stanley McChyrstal, the top commander in Afghanistan, has recommended that more U.S. troops be sent there or the conflict will “likely result in failure.” However, the Obama administration is currently reviewing its overall Afghanistan strategy before anymore troops are deployed.

On ABC’s Top Line today, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) attacked Obama. “A lot of us are concerned that the President is putting off listening to the recommendations from his generals because he’s getting so much pressure from the left,” DeMint complained. When host David Chalian noted that Obama simply “wants to make sure that the resources are there to fit the strategy,” DeMint accused Obama of abandoning Afghanistan to focus on health care, which DeMint suggested is not a priority for the country:

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Filed under Military, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

Researchers Identify Genes Affecting Alzheimer’s Risk

Alzheimer's Stamp

Alzheimer's Stamp

By David Brown, Washington Post Staff Writer—Two European research teams have identified three genes that affect a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.

The new genes appear to have at least as big a role as four others discovered in the last 15 years that are known to play a role in Alzheimer’s.

“The message here is that genes are important in Alzheimer’s disease . . . and there may be multiple ways of reducing the risk that the genes produce,” said Julie Williams, a neuroscientist at Cardiff University in Wales who helped lead one of the teams.

All so-called “Alzheimer genes” have normal roles in brain physiology; they don’t exist solely to cause dementia. Instead, small variations in their DNA alter their function and, through processes only now being uncovered, increase or reduce a person’s risk of developing the disease.

Two of the genes described in the new research may be involved in determining the brain’s capacity to clear itself of toxic “amyloid” proteins that collect outside neurons, eventually poisoning them.

The most important previously known Alzheimer gene promoted overproduction of amyloid. The new findings suggest that at least two processes — production of amyloid and its removal — are involved in the disease.

At least 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. By one estimate, one in seven people aged 72 and older have dementia, with Alzheimer’s the most common form.

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