Sunday, October 22, 2006


The Manipulation Of Our Children

I’ve been witnessing a couple things lately that really bother me. The worst is the advertising of prescription drugs on television that takes place during time periods and programs that children would be prone to watch.

On Saturday the fourteenth of October between 12PM and 2PM, KNVA in
Austin broadcasted "KiKi's Delivery Service." This is a movie that
would draw many children to the television screen. Like most programs on commercial television there were many segments of commercials inserted in the movie.

One of the growing drug problems in Texas and throughout the country is the abuse of prescription drugs by children. These prescription drugs are attained by pilfering legal drugs that their parents purchase by prescription or obtaining them on the streets.

Children between 5 and 15 have been bombarded by television
commercials aimed at drugs like crack, cocaine, and marihuana. These commercials are more commonly called "public service messages." The only difference between these "public service messages" and other commercials is that the commercials on crack, cocaine, and marihuana drugs are negative toward a product or behavior.

"KiKi's Delivery Service," a children's program was broadcasted on a day and at a time when there was the greatest chance of a large
audience of children. The commercials inserted in the movie were very positive about their advertised products and behaviors. Ambien, a prescribed drug for sleeping, was one of those advertised.

Adults prescribed the drug Ambien by their doctor are warned by word, by labels, and by information sheets that Ambien can cause side effects and addiction. This is especially true if Ambien is taken in any way other than the way it was prescribed by the physician.

The warnings and information about Ambien given on the commercials
are not targeted or designed for understanding by children.
However, the Ambien commercials are very seductive to children who
may have some problems with sleeping or stress.

Like other products or behaviors that may harm children, drug
commercials should be limited to time slots and programs outside the normal viewing time slots and programs allocated for children.

The next situation that I have to bring up is the usage of actual students and schoolrooms I have seen in political commercials by incumbents. These schoolrooms and children appear to be meant to show these goverment officials are for education and children.

On the other hand, I have yet to see such usage of children or school rooms or buildings--paid for by public moneys—in use as persuaders in political commercials by challengers in those races. I only know of one actual denial of usage of the exterior of a school building for a political commercial backdrop by school authorities. This took place when the Texas Democratic candidate for Governor was told to stop filming in the area in front of a school and was asked to move the filming across the street.

I would like to know if the “Ins” in other states might have the be might be involved in the same kind of situations.

That children are being used as political-pointer backgrounds really bothers me. Especially when these same incumbents ignore the peddling of prescription drugs to this same age group.

If this is a national thing, I would really like to know. I would want to start some kind of grass roots group to get both kinds of manipulations of our children halted.

Terry D. Barhorst Sr.
Moderator: Lone_Star_Democrats yahoo group.

Other links:

Media Matters for America.

Common Dreams * Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Buzzflash News.

Latest post to DemLog.


AP: Arabic-speaking US diplomat calls Bush Iraq policy stupid & arrogant

By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 36 minutes ago

Fernandez says he's not an 'ideological automaton'BAGHDAD, Iraq - Alberto Fernandez, right, a senior U.S. diplomat said the United States had shown "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq but was now ready to talk with any group except Al-Qaida in Iraq to facilitate national reconciliation.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera television aired late Saturday, Fernandez, who is director of public diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department, offered an unusually candid assessment of America's war in Iraq.

"We tried to do our best but I think there is much room for criticism because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq," he said.

"We are open to dialogue because we all know that, at the end of the day, the solution to the hell and the killings in Iraq is linked to an effective Iraqi national reconciliation," he said, speaking in Arabic from Washington. "The Iraqi government is convinced of this."

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, in Moscow with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, later said that Fernandez disputes the description of his comments.

"What he says is, that is not an accurate reflection of what he said," McCormack said. Asked whether the Bush administration believes that history will show a record of arrogance or stupidity in Iraq, McCormack replied "No."

A senior Bush administration official questioned whether the remarks had been translated correctly. "Those comments obviously don't reflect our position," said the official, who asked not to be identified because a transcript had not been available for review.

Full Yahoo News storyThis same story run on MSNBC-Newsweek.

Newsweek story of Aug. 28, 2006 on Fernandez's history of candor

Biographical information on Mr. Fernandez from CSID.

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