Monday, June 20, 2005

Absentee Dads - a National Crisis?

Our nation just celebrated Father's Day. For many the day serves as a time for getting together with dad and granddad to honor them in some special way. For others the day serves as a painful reminder of the absence of a loving father in their lives.

Being a father can be one of the most rewarding and one of the toughest jobs on earth...and not everyone gets it right. Juggling work and family responsibilities takes some deliberate effort.

President George W. Bush has determined to make committed, responsible fatherhood a national priority. Is this necessary? Consider ...

43% of U.S. children live without their father
90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father in their lives
85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes
71% of high school dropouts come from homes without a father present
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live without a father
75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father

According to ...

50% of mother-only families live below the poverty line
Teen girls from mother-only families are more likely to become depressed
Children from mother-only families do less well on standardized school tests
Teens from mother-only homes are more sexually active, and girls are more likely to become single-parent mothers
Teens in mother-only homes are more susceptible to peer pressure
Young adults who grew up in mother-only homes had a higher high school drop out rate

The bottom line is clear. Kids suffer without dad in the house, or from dad not being around enough to make a difference. If we were talking about any other issue, with these percentages we would call it a national crisis.

The Bush Administration has said about the importance of dads, "The presence of two committed, involved parents contributes directly to better school performance, reduced substance abuse, less crime and delinquency, fewer emotional and other behavioral problems, less risk of abuse or neglect, and lower risk of teen suicide. The research is clear: fathers factor significantly in the lives of their children. There is simply no substitute for the love, involvement, and commitment of a responsible father."

You may be a wonderful father, or had one, but there are thousands of kids today who don't. I want to encourage the men to be a father to the fatherless, which will not only have an impact on a child's life for the rest of his life which is good cause enough, but will as well impact our nation for good as the next generation steps into the role of leading in our country.

© Sharon Hughes 2005

The Importance of Fathers in Children's Lives
Benefits of Being Involved
Bush Administration Calls Strong Families Key

Hear my Special Father's Day weekend show Now (See 6/17/05)


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Is This the End of the EU?

What a world we live in today! Just a quick skim of the daily newspaper has more power to wake you up in the morning than that first cup of coffee!

For instance, a few recent 'expresso-type stories' include:

~ NY’s Gov. Pataki having to issue a ban on all publicly funded Viagra-type drugs after the discovery that 198 convicted level 3 sex offenders (the most serious kinds) were receiving these drugs thru the state!

~ Federal investigators just reported that despite initiatives, only 17.5% of the shipping containers that are rated as ‘high risk’ for becoming vehicles for terrorists are inspected before being put on ships bound for the U.S.

~ It’s been found that up to $30 million are sent from the U.S. yearly through the sale of fake high-fashion merchandise, such as Gucci handbags & Prada shoes by organized crime syndicates tied to Hezbollah, the Islamic militant terrorist group. That’s right, from right here in the U.S. - $30 million a year!

A big news item this week is the fate of the EU's constitution. Despite French President Chirac’s pleas, the French people voted 'no' against the European Union’s constitution, and the Dutch followed suit. Is this good or bad news?

June 6th marks the 61st anniversary of D-Day, when American and Allied forces invaded Normandy, which resulted in the beginning of the end of WWII and the liberation of Europe from Hitler’s rule. What has Europe done with, and does the European Union extend, that liberation?

President Chirac worked hard to convince the people of France to adopt the EU Constitution. But 70 percent of France's 41.8 million voters turned out on Mother's Day to cast their vote, with 55% voting 'no'. A few of the reasons sited for rejecting the constitution were: fear of losing welfare benefits and jobs, (unemployment listed as the #1 problem in Europe today); a protest vote against Chirac; and concern over immigration issues.

Chirac counted on the voters following the major political parties which all supported the Constitution. What an upset to find out he was wrong. And he’s not happy.

Emboldened by the French vote, the Dutch just voted down the constitution as well. Many sited their discontent with the unpopular Dutch government, and anger over the price increases that followed the introduction of the Euro in 2002.

Nine countries so far have ratified the constitution: Austria, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. There will continue to be efforts to ratify the treaty until the process ends in October of 2006. Proponents, obviously, hoping that the French and Dutch remain the only members to reject the treaty.

Well, what is this 25-nation European Union all about? At the end of this article I will list some of the suggested steps to restore a "glorious Europe" - the mindset and agenda of liberal Europe, but first a brief description of the make-up and function of the EU.

Officially founded on November 1, 1993, and formerly known as European Community (EC) or European Economic Community (EEC), the EU's stated purpose is to enhance political, economic and social co-operation.

The European Union's efforts cover every policy area, including health, economic policy, foreign affairs and defence. Resembling a federation the key activity of the EU is the establishment of one common market, with a single currency. According to Wikipedia online encyclopedia, "The members of the European Union have transferred more sovereignty to that regional organisation than any other members have to any other nonsovereign regional organisation."

Today, twelve of the twenty-five member states use the Euro for currency, including:
Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Other nations include Denmark, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Ten countries joined the EU on May 1, 2004: Cyprus (Greek part), the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Brussels serves as the de facto capitol of the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, and also host of some of the plenary sessions of the European Parliament.

The European Court of Justice and the Parliament's secretariat are based in Luxembourg, and the European Central Bank is located in Frankfurt.

The major issues facing the European Union currently include its expansion into the east and south, the ratification of its constitution, and…its relationship with the United States.

The EU is not the first attempt to unify Europe, there have been many efforts throughout its history since the collapse of the Roman Empire. Supporters declare that the EU is a force for democracy. Of course, as we saw in regards to the war in Iraq, several EU nations did not stand with the United States.

But there are more disagreements between the EU and the U.S. President Bush was in Brussels this past Februay, meeting with European Union member states and with NATO. He addressed the issue of EU members states exporting arms to China, stating, "There is a deep concern in our country that a transfer of weapons would be a transfer of technology to China, which would change the balance of relations between China and Taiwan."

Just this week the US and the EU filed suit against each other with the World Trade Organization. According to, "The move pits Washington and Brussels squarely against each other in a months-long dispute that escalated after an April 11 deadline passed without a resolution. The United States believes financial aid given to Airbus to launch new aircraft is illegal under WTO rules, while the Europeans accuse Washington of subsidizing Boeing through military contracts."

Author of "Hillary's Secret, Richard Poe, who we’ve had as a guest on the show, wrote a piece in 2003 on "The Facist Dream of a United Europe" where he lists the following steps for a united Europe, suggested by Baron Julius Evola (1898-1974) an Italian Fascist and one of Mussolini's leading intellectual defenders, who called for a united Europe in his 1972 book Men Among the Ruins. They are:

"...whose members would act in the various nations, doing what they can to promote an eventual European unity...members of ancient European families..."

"One must first get rid of the political class, which holds the power in almost all European countries in this time of interregnum and European slavery..."

Poe summarizes, " put aside their own national loyalties and embrace the superstate of Europe -- to cross 'from the national level to the supernational...' The 'nationalist hubris' or 'pride of nations' must be broken."

"into a single bloc...arranged hierarchically..."

Evola called for a "general anti-democratic cleansing."

Christianity seen as "weak, insubstantial and formless...not specifically European and not liable to be monopolized for European civilization alone: after all, even American blacks are Christians..."

"to become emancipated in every aspect and in equal measure from both the United States and the USSR."

Are these sentiments to be found in the European Union's goals? We'll save that for part 2. Perhaps the rejection of it's constitution by the French and Dutch will render that a mute point. Is this the end of the EU? We'll have to wait and see.

© Sharon Hughes 2005

Hear the show (See 6/6/05)