Outrage of the Week: Afterschool Pick-Up Panic!

Readers – If anyone ever asks you, “What’s so WRONG about protecting our children?” and you agree that kids should be safe (who doesn’t?), but you’re searching for an example of how the hysteria has gotten out of hand:  Here you go. See below. Suffice to say a grammar school in the Fort Myers area […]

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What’s Wrong with This Ad?

Take your blood pressure medicine before watching this so-called public service announcement . The spot shows two women in a coffee shop, one of them with her kid. The three chat for about 15 seconds, the mom buys a coffee and then off the mom and child go, leaving the  other woman — for no apparent reason — with a sneaking […]

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Letter to the Editor

Hi Readers! If you’d like to write a letter of support for the parents who let their 9- and 6-year-olds wait in the car for half an hour, only to have the dad be charged with child endangerment (see blog entry, below), here is the email address for the Utica Observe Dispatch’s letters to the editor page:  ddudajek@uticaod.com . […]

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Are There Really Lessons to Learn From The Jaycee Abduction?

First off, my heart goes out to Jaycee Dugard, her daughters, her parents, step-parents — everyone in her circle. She was kidnapped 18 years ago and kept imprisoned since then, bearing her rapist/captor two daughters who were also imprisoned until a few days ago, when Jaycee walked into a police station. This is, of course, every […]

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eckstein north korea cartoon

Free-Range Friend’s Cartoon!

Hi Readers! My friend Bob Eckstein, a cartoonist for The New Yorker (la-di-dah!), came up with this Free-Range Cartoon: a plea for a little less parental intrusion. Besides being a whole-hearted supporter of this site, Bob has his own obsession. Snowmen. Yes, really — he is the first and only person to study their history. […]

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Arrested for Trusting The World & Their 9-Year-Old

Readers – Here is a story that does not surprise me. It does, however, enrage me and I am hoping that maybe someone who reads this blog knows of a pro bono lawyer in or around Mohawk Valley in Central New York who can help this family. Here is the mom’s letter: I’m not sure […]

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Outrage of the Week: Law Forbids Kids to Witness Wine Tasting

This is just too weird: Maine passed a law, about to take effect, that forbids stores from allowing any “child” to witness a wine, beer or liquor tasting. According to this piece  on the Maine Public Broadcasting Website: …as of September 12th, the law will add new restrictions, designed to assure that wine tastings are conducted […]

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Pastor’s Prayer for Graduates: FAIL!

Hi Readers — We’ve been spending today thinking about what it would mean to be the youngest person to sail solo around the world. In other words, about great success and whether it is worth the peril. Here’s a nice sermon from a pastor named John F. Hudson in Sherborn, Mass., about the value of the […]

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Weighing in On The 13-Year-Old Wants to Sail Solo ‘Round the World

Ahoy, Readers! Today’s “Free-Range” controversy concerns Laura Dekker, a 13-year-old  in Holland who is already an accomplished sailor and now wants to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Her parents – or at least her dad, with whom she lives – is all for it. The Dutch equivalent of Child Protective […]

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Dear Abby: AGAIN With the Abductors?

Dear Readers: You may recall that last week, Dear Abby passed along the advice that children take a walkie talkie every time they enter a public restroom so they can call mom when they get molested. Since this is a common fear, I asked a child abuse specialist if this is also a common occurence. Of the […]

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