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Archive for September 20th, 2008

         A very sad news story this past week has brought to mind how important it is to have integrity in all that you do.  Thousands have been made sick in China due to the greediness of milk producers who added the chemical melamine to the raw milk used to produce milk, yogurt, and baby formula.

         Adding the chemical to the raw milk used to produce the powdered baby formula appeared to fool the quality checks as to the content of the milk.  This chemical can cause kidney stones, irritation to the eyes and to the skin, and it can also cause ulcers in the urinary tract of the individuals who ingest the tainted dairy products.  There have been over 4 deaths to babies and well over 6,000 are ill from the effects. 

           These concerns are in the short term…what about long term effects?  What about people who will discover health problems down the line from kidney stone formation or other effects?  China’s population has been devastated in the past year by the severe earthquake, flooding from the after affects of the earthquake, the collapse of schools during the earthquake; and now this tainted milk disaster.   The future impact on China remains to be seen from all of these losses. 

           Parents have a right to be angry and fearful for the well-being of their children.  Adults are being advised that drinking 2 liters of milk a day or less will not produce ill affects in healthy adults.

           We used to talk about the milk of human kindness…lately, we seem to see more of the greediness in individuals; and, it isn’t limited to China.  People need to exhibit integrity in their day- to- day actions; and, realize that what they choose to do affects others around them.  There have been arrests in this recent disaster relating to the tainting of the milk.  Those involved in the decision to add the chemical could actually face the death sentence for the choices that they have made. 

            In the meantime, the tainted products have been pulled from the shelves in China…but, some of the products have been exported to other countries.  It is imperative to check the labels of any products that used milk products, that have come from China, at this time for the safety and well-being of those who would consume the products purchased.

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        Breaking news today of a plane crash last night about midnight that took the lives of four people in South Carolina.  Of those killed, two were crew on the plane, pilot- Sarah Lemmon 31 & co-pilot James Bland 52; and two were passengers, Chris Baker 29 & Charles Still 25.  We wish to give condolences to their friends and family.   Also involved in the plane crash is the famous DJ Adam Goldstein, known as DJAM; and, the ex-drummer of Blink-182 Travis Barker.  They had performed at an event on Friday night and were taking off from the airport when the crash occured.

         Travis Barker is a well known drummer who also was married to Shanna Moakler a former Miss USA and former contestant on Dancing With The Stars. He was known by his tattoos as well as his drumming skills.   He was involved in a rumored relationship with Paris Hilton, at one time, during his marriage which resulted in tabloid reports of cat fights involving his wife and Paris Hilton.  Shanna and Travis have had a rocky on again off again marriage and divorce.  They have two children together…Shanna had a child previously with Oscar De La Hoya.

          DJAM is an owner of the popular club LAX.  He has performed on musical albums for many artists and is well known as a disc jockey.  He was at one time engaged to Paris Hilton’s former best friend, Nicole Richie.  He has been romantically involved with other famous females such as Mandy Moore and Jessica Stam.

           Both Travis and Adam have been transported to a burn center in Augusta, Georgia where they are both listed in critical condition.  They are going to need alot of prayer and support to get through the healing process. 

         Update:  The executive director at the burn center in Augusta, Georgia said that he expects both young men to make a full recovery.  The injuries that Travis Barker incurred were restricted to burns on his torso and his lower body; while, Adam Goldstein was burned on his arm and on his head.  Investigators are still investigating however, the voice recorder from the aircraft was recovered and there was a sound on the tape consistent with a tire blowing.  That evidence, along with pieces of the tire tread near the take off point seems to point to a tire blowout just before take off, which could have caused the crash.

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        I read that the host of a tabloid television show, The Insider, is leaving the show.  Pat O’brien has been on The Insider since 2004 he was the host until he had a couple of stints in rehab for addictions.  He made tabloid news himself when he left recorded messages sexually harrassing a female person on the phone.  Before he was the host of the Insider, he was on Access Hollywood for something like seven years.  Some people watch those shows regularily.

         So, he is leaving the show now.  It has been said that the decision to leave is a mutual one.  Yet, no real reason has been disclosed for the leave taking.  However, there has been speculation from; he slipped in his sobriety again, to, he is leaving because of an email that he sent to the staff at The Insider.  The email supposedly alledges that the staff of The Insider is out of touch with their real life viewers; who are struggling with day -to- day financial survival, and are not interested in the elite Hollywood fashions and over-indulgences of the stars. 

           If it is true that he was let go from the show for holding that opinion…i would tend to agree that the powers that be, are indeed out of touch.  However, I am sure that Mr. O’brien could have gotten that message across in a much more effective way than sending an email.  It is a valid point to say that mainstream America is struggling to maintain some semblance of financial stability…hearing about celebrities who toss away untold amounts of money on non-essentials is a bit of rubbing it (their wealth) in the viewer’s faces. 

           In general, i think the viewers would much rather hear about celebrities who are doing “good” in the world, with some of their “excess money”, than to hear about the latest mansion they bought or, how much money they spent on their last shopping spree!  In that, i agree in the theory behind the alleged email.

           I think that there will be a backlash in the sports world, the celebrity arena, the political figures, and other areas of our culture that continues to endorse reckless handling of money.    Reality for most people is not financial wealth; after the collapse of our banking systems, the mortgage crisis, the credit card crunch; and, the constant raising of prices of gasoline, home heating prices, and necessities such as groceries.  The American public is fighting to regain a financially secure life.  The impact of that is going to carry over into all areas of life including entertainment shows!

           If Mr. O’brien has had a change of heart over the types of stories that he felt his show should cover…he has to acknowledge that he also contributed to the environment of that show, for quite a period of time.  That however, doesn’t mean that a person can’t change their actions and raise awareness.  Good luck to everyone involved.  Let’s get real in our expectations and our actions…stop living in a fantasy world that very few people experience.  If the television executives cant do that…then, let those select few be their audience! 

           The Insider is supposed to be about the entertainment world…and it isn’t entertaining to their viewers to watch those who have been blessed financially live in ways that are wasteful when they are struggling to live above the poverty level.

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