Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Leading Families to the Slaughter

http://www.cchr.org/index/5285/15242/ This DVD details how psychiatry has created concepts that are now disrupting our lives, from torture by drowning and electrocution to milder conditioning and torture of babies with separation, scaring babies, crying it out, circumcision in its modern form, to drugging people into oblivion.

Psychiatry has slowly worked its way into all aspects of our society and is now invading alternative medicine.

Let’s reclaim natural living and parenting and health.

Join the babywhys yahoo group or UNITE yahoo group and get involved with reforming our world.


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Supernanny Supersucks
I have always despised this lady and the show. Read this article… sounds like Jo Frost is more a brand than a phenomenon. (I saw this on www.thecowgoddess.com – thanks Heather!)


‘You’ve been very, very naughty’She’s an unqualified nanny, styled to look like a dominatrix, who tells us how to raise our children. So why do we listen? Decca Aitkenhead meets Supernanny Jo Frost Saturday July 22, 2006The Guardian

Like most successful TV makeover shows, Supernanny follows a finely engineered format. In each episode, Jo Frost visits a family home and finds small, riotous children wreaking havoc. She demonstrates to their witless parents her techniques for taming them. These work until Supernanny departs, leaving the parents to their own devices, whereupon chaos quickly descends once again. Supernanny returns, tells the parents off for deviating from her precise instructions, and drills them more intensively. By the time the credits roll, the feral little monsters have been transformed into doe-eyed cutie pies, their parents are weepy with gratitude, and off Frost clips in her power suit and high heels to whip the next dysfunctional family into shape.

What began two years ago as a Channel 4 ratings hit has become a cultural phenomenon, watched in 45 countries. There are now two Supernanny books, a glossy monthly Supernanny magazine, and a website – B4ugo-ga-ga.com – all pumping Frost’s brand of childcare into the popular consciousness. A hit American version of the show is into its third series, and Frost has even been the subject of an Oprah special feature, lauded as an incontestable authority on child behaviour.

More evidence of this reverence surrounded Frost the moment we met. Her PR had brought along a cutting from an interview with a children’s TV presenter who, asked when she had last felt starstruck, cited meeting Frost. “And I didn’t even know who she was!” added Frost, before trotting off an anecdote about answering the phones for a Prince’s Trust charity fundraiser, when a caller pledged an extra £50 if she would tell him: “You’ve been very, very naughty.”

Then we were interrupted by a family of American tourists who had to tell Frost how much they adored her show.

Styled as homespun no-nonsense wisdom, Frost’s methodology has thus far received almost no critical attention. Yet such is the power of television, the Naughty Step is probably now better known than any of the tenets of most important child behavioural theory. Frost herself refuses to think of her approach as a philosophy, saying: “I just have an intuitive gift.” She has never read – or even heard of – any of the leading theorists I mention, and seems surprised to hear that anyone might consider the Supernanny slogan – “How to get the most from your children” – remotely contentious.

“What I do,” she declares firmly, “is just common sense. Just obvious, sensible common sense.”
This is only the first of a great many points on which she and I profoundly disagree.
Frost spotted an ad for auditions for Supernanny in a magazine three years ago. Then 33, she had been a full-time nanny for 15 years. She’d never trained formally, but had fallen into it after leaving school, having done babysitting in her teens. One job led to another, and she began to acquire a reputation as a troubleshooter. Parents would often call, sometimes even from abroad, to say they’d heard about her and could she help.

One of the complaints she often used to hear was that they weren’t “getting enough” from their children, which is where she got the idea for the Supernanny slogan. “Parents were always saying it to me. Just not getting enough.” Did that never strike her as a curious inversion of parental expectations? She might have thought they’d worry more about giving, not getting. But Frost just looks mildly surprised at this thought – and my next question seems to baffle her.

In her famous Naughty Step Technique, disobedient children are plonked on a designated step, to sit by themselves for one minute for every year of their age. But when the time is up, they’re only allowed off if they say sorry, and sound as though they mean it. This final component of the punishment has always puzzled me, so I ask Frost to explain how a coerced apology can ever sound sincere.

“How … ? What?” She stares blankly.

If an apology is a condition of their release, how can they sound as if they mean it?

“Well, children learn how to apologise if set up in that situation. I’m telling the parent, have more respect for yourself, don’t allow the child to treat you like that.”

This still doesn’t really answer the question. But when I ask for whose emotional benefit this apology is supposed to be – the parent’s, or the child’s – she is at last very clear. “Oh both. Definitely, both.”

To say that a grown-up has an entitlement to hear a toddler say sorry is not “common sense”, I object. It’s a radical departure from virtually everything anyone has thought or written about childcare in decades. Frost bridles and glares.

“Well, if it goes against what people have wrote so be it. It’s what I believe in. I think it’s an important lesson for a child. How to behave humanely toward another human being.”
Moral correction is a strong theme of Supernanny. After Frost has observed children running riot at the start of each show, she delivers her analysis of what is going wrong. Often she is really quite angry with the parents, and will use words like “disgusting” and “outrageous” to describe their children’s behaviour. “They don’t show you no respect!” is a recurring diagnosis. “They’re running rings round you,” she will say.

In the moral universe of Supernanny, if children spit or fight or swear it is basically because they can. The only difference between them and good children is that they have been allowed to get away with it. In this Hobbesian understanding of childhood, discipline is logically of paramount importance, and the only measure of a corrective technique seems to be whether or not it works. Frost’s techniques certainly appear to “work”. But they also imply that what she calls “unacceptable behaviour” could never be a legitimate protest. She often describes raging children as “having a laugh”, but they seldom look very happy to me. Isn’t she curious about the reasons why?

“But I am,” she says indignantly. “I am. It goes without saying. I don’t just want to know on the surface why. I need to know and find out exactly where the root of that lies. So in retrospective [sic] of that I do that mandatorially [sic] with the families.”

Are we talking about the same programme? Now it’s my turn to be confused. The BBC has a parenting show called Little Angels, first broadcast a year before Supernanny. But while it focused on the specific subtle psychodynamics of family relationships, Supernanny offers off-the-peg answers, abstracted from any individual context. Even when families are manifesting serious systemic problems, all that Supernanny seems to offer are behavioural strategies. The methods are not exclusively disciplinary, but they are all explicitly classified as “techniques”, and Frost’s book is organised into unambiguous categories – “Problem”, with corresponding “Solution” – as though parenting were like baking a cake, and you just follow the recipe. Even her PR admits: “Supernanny is conflict resolution. It’s not meant to be anything more than that.”

Supernanny does, in fairness, offer some sensible advice. Children who graze on junk all day are introduced to regular meal times, and concepts like consistency and bedtime are explained. But there is no mistaking the fetish for punishment at the heart of the programme. The opening credits of the American version show Frost glowering into the camera, wagging her finger, saying: “You’ve been very, very naughty!” Among the American tourists who said hello during our interview was a girl with a plaster cast on her arm. She said she broke it go-karting, but her dad made an innocent and yet strangely telling joke. “I know this isn’t one of your techniques, Jo,” he winked. “But I can tell you, it really works!” The Prince’s Trust donor did not, I observe, offer Frost an extra £50 to be asked about the psychodynamics of his family.

Frost now looks thoroughly annoyed. She tells me I’m focusing too much on discipline. But isn’t discipline the brand’s trademark image? The first issue of the Supernanny magazine even featured two pages of photographs showing children on the Naughty Step, sent in by parents with captions detailing the nature of their offence. The magazine told me they thought it would be a “cute” feature that “identified the magazine with the TV brand”.

Frost suddenly turns vague when I mention the photospread. “Oh I don’t know about that. That’s just the magazine.” But it’s your magazine, I say. “Well, it’s Ricochet’s [Supernanny’s TV production company] magazine.” Have you actually seen a copy? “Well … I’ve seen it once.” What did you think of the photos? “Er, I think it was just like a gimmick, maybe? I don’t know.”
If Frost is genuinely surprised that her brand is “cute” punishment, this is probably because she won’t see the tension between making entertaining telly and helping troubled families. She claims that the reason why I don’t realise how much relationship work she does is because it gets edited out. But if true, that would only go to show that the best work with children does not always make the best television. Yet when I ask her about these competing interests, she shakes her head.

“My priority is always the family. Nothing will compromise that. Lately, yeah, the families are a bit starstruck. The kids are like, ‘I’ve seen you on the telly.’ But I just tell these families, it’s not about the crew and all that, this is about helping you, that’s why I’m here. It’s not about television.”

But she wouldn’t be there at all if she wasn’t making a television programme. When children think it’s a battle of wills and shout at her “You’re not going to beat me, Supernanny!”, she says, “They don’t really understand what it’s about. I mean, it’s not a game!” But it seems to me that those children have a better measure than Frost of what they are all involved in.

The show’s most dramatic footage is often of children at their most tormented. The more spectacular the insurgency, the more riveting it gets. Does she ever worry that the show is exploiting their distress for entertainment value? “No, not at all. For me what’s important is being able to show the truth and for me that’s a very powerful thing. And if that offends people to watch children having a tantrum then …”

I wasn’t worried about offending viewers, I say. I was asking if it exploited the child.
“No!” She looks astonished. “I mean, my God, I’m for the family. I’m for the children. I would never put children in a situation where I felt I was exploiting them. Nothing is ever set up or derived [sic].” I think she means contrived – but again, that isn’t what I meant. The PR seems to have grasped the point, because she chips in:
“And they invited Jo in!”

Well, I say, the parents did. But the kids didn’t. Suddenly, Frost turns coldly businesslike.
“Yeah but ultimately the parents sign those papers. They sign a contract.”

Sometimes I suspect Frost deliberately misunderstands questions. Asked if she thinks it an advantage or disadvantage to have no children of her own, she looks puzzled. “With respect to … ?” With having a job telling parents what to do, obviously. Affecting airy boredom, as if the question had never crossed her mind, she shrugs: “Well, I’d say where I’m at right now is just what it is. It’s just what it is.” But on the whole, her dimness seems authentic.

She recalls a happy childhood in south-west London, with one brother and parents for whom she has nothing but praise. An obedient child, she left school with no great ambitions, least of all in television. She is still single, and lives with her widowed father. If she’s right when she says Supernanny hasn’t made her rich, she has not been very smart at all about managing her new career.

Frost appears to have given so little thought to the show’s sensibility that it’s hard to know how much of it she even really shares. She may be the face of the brand, but she has no editorial control. It was Ricochet who chose to cast an unqualified nanny in a semi-pantomime role, and styled her to look like a pseudo-dominatrix. The series producer told me this was “serious, educational documentary-making”. But in a crowded TV ratings battle, producers aren’t in the business of educating. It’s their job to work out what will make us watch.

Why do we watch? Supernanny tells viewers that the problem with “out of control” children is not their unhappiness, but the fuss and bother they cause to grown-ups. And five million of us tune in – dwarfing ratings for the more thoughtful Little Angels – which says a great deal about our prevailing attitude to children.

Frost is surprised by how popular the show is among children themselves, but I’m not, for Supernanny is not unlike a children’s story: naughty kids do wicked things, get their comeuppance, and live happily ever after. It’s the appeal to adults that is more revealingly arresting. What Supernanny ultimately offers, and what people evidently want, is a regime for making children less inconvenient. As the blurb on Frost’s latest book puts it so succinctly,

“Want your life back? You need Supernanny!”

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babywhys Letter Campaigns

Please go to http://www.babywhys.org/ and check out the latest news, and sign the “Take a Chance For Change” letters. There is one to the AAP about breastfeeding duration, and one about circumcision.

Also, I thought up a new term – “Humanidairyan” which is a humanitarian trying to get people to consume “human dairy products” aka promote breastfeeding in desperate areas unfit for bottle feeding. Check out my project idea, and let me know what you suggest!

If you haven’t checked out babywhys yet, please go have a look. You can also join the yahoo group!

There are some fun videos on there too!

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“Saturday, September 08, 2007

Romney’s bribe? The Pharmaceutical companies and Mitt Romney. Breastfeeding and formula feeding.
In 2006, Mitt Romney overturned the Massachusetts Public Health Council’s decision to ban formula bags from hospitals. Was he doing what he believed was right for his citizens or was he bribed by the big pharmaceutical companies?My wife subscribes to Mothering Magazine. In the recent issue (September/October 2007), they had an article entitled “A Quiet Place” which focused on the battle breastfeeding proponents face in the public arena. One section of the article had my wife reading out loud to me. I post it here for your consideration. It eliminated Mitt Romney from my “Potentially Receiving My Vote” list.

“In December 2005, Massachusetts became the first state to prohibit formula sample bags in hospitals, as part of an update of an update of the State’s Department of Public Health regulations. Bot the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called for an end to this practice(www.massbfc.org/news). Governor Romney pressured the Public Health Council to rescind the ban, but the council successfully resisted his pressure, until he fired and replaced three members just prior to a vote on it; the ban was rescinded in May 2006. Less than two weeks later, Romney announced a deal with Bristol-Myer Squibb, the world’s largest formula manufacturer, to build a $66 million pharmaceutical plant in Devens, Massachusetts.”Sounds like a really interesting coincidence to me. In the best scenario, Romney is convinced that formula feeding bags should be distributed because corporations should have the freedom to distribute whatever they want in hospitals. In the most likely scenario, Bristol-Squibb Myer bribes Romney by saying if you allow our baby formula bags to be distributed in your hospital, then we will build the new plant we need to build in your state. In the worst scenario, Romney takes some person bribes from Bristol-Squibb Myer to allow the company to restart the banned practice of distributing formula bags in the hospital.For those who have not had a baby recently, a formula bag is a nice diaper bag given to new parents in the hospital filled with coupons and all sorts of gifts. One of the main gifts is formula. Also in the bag are coupons for future formula purchases and pamphlets on the benefits of formula. We really liked the baby bag, but we did not use the formula until we added it to cereal after our babies were much older. The bags are provided to the hospital by the big pharmaceutical companies that manufacture baby formula. The question of whether to allow these formula bags to be distributed is a difficult dilemma which seems to be representative of the current debate centered around the government’s role in protecting the public from corporations. When a company continues in practices that are harmful to society, should the government make those practices illegal. Obviously, there is a point where we say that the government should step in an force the action to be stopped and make the company pay for damages to the people harmed. It is difficult in deciding where that line is. How harmful does an action have to be to initiate the process of penalties? Does the distribution of formula bags in hospitals to new parents cross that line? Distribution formula bags seems like a right of the pharmaceutical companies that should not be taken away in such a scenario, but it is a sticky situation.Nobody is making money off of the much healthier practice of feeding your kids breast-milk, so breast-milk proponents cannot compete on the marketing field with the pharmaceutical industries. Despite being much healthier, breastfeeding is handicapped in the field of concepts when it comes to convincing people that they should breastfeed rather than formula feed. This practice takes place in a publicly funded (at least in the state of Massachusetts) hospital. The pharmaceutical companies bombards new parents through their gift bags with the message that formula feeding is a “healthy” alternative when there really is nothing healthy about using that alternative. What this all results in is parents being told that formula feeding is a “healthy” alternative despite it not really being such. Breastfeeding proponents do not have equal resources to compete with the pharmaceutical company at the same level. There are rare cases where formula feeding is necessary, but it is not even close to being equal to breast-milk on the healthy scale. It is a sufficient alternative meaning that it will sustain the life of your child till you get the baby on real food, but it is not a healthy alternative. But should we take away the freedom of a company in order to protect individuals from doing what is not optimal for their baby?”

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Wife Mother Citizen: Surgery Prevents Sex Abuse of Infants

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I Got The Piggie’s Attention – Response From an Oinkie Head

Friday, February 2, 2007

Thank you for your email to the National Pork Board. We appreciate you taking the time to send us an email regarding our communication with “The Lactivist” webstore on CafePress.com about our trademark rights.

It is important to understand that our lawyer’s correspondence to Ms. Laycock was in no way intended to challenge or demean breastfeeding or those who support it. This correspondence is about defending our trademark and the National Pork Board’s responsibility to protect pork industry investments on behalf of the 70,000 US pork producers we represent. The Other White Meat® is a pork industry trademark whose value was built slowly and thoughtfully over 20 years, paid for by producer’s hard-earned dollars. Any infringement on that mark would substantially lessen its value and impact for US pork producers.

It’s also important to understand that the National Pork Board cannot pick and choose which infringement challenges it decides to address. We have a responsibility to the industry to challenge all viable infringements (and we do so on a weekly basis) or face the possibility of losing trademark protection and allowing the industry’s valued trademark to become public domain, and thus worthless.

Again, the National Pork Board takes no issue with your important cause. Our interest here was in protecting US pork producer’s investment in The Other White Meat® trademark. We apologize if our response seemed impersonal or harsh; that was not our intent. We will use all feedback that we receive to improve our communication processes in the future. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

Steve Murphy
Chief Executive Officer
The National Pork Board

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Pork Boycott

BOYCOTT PORK! (For now, all you pig eaters!)


To: The Pork Board
(and to all of the internet recipients, feel free to forward)

Jeff Hartz – Director of Marketing Communications
(515) 223-2629 JHartz@pork.org

Joy Johnson – Vice President Marketing
(515) 223-2631 jjohnson@pork.org

Michael Wegner – Vice President Communications
(515) 223-2638 MWegner@pork.org

Teresa Roof – Public Relations Manager
(515) 223-2616 troof@pork.org

Hello to the Pork Board!

I understand you have ordered a work-at-home mom who raises money for the MOTHER’S MILK BANK in her area (a charity that SAVES lives of babies every day) to stop selling shirts that say “The Other White Milk.” The old saying goes that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but apparently you are putting out a smelly pile of pig crap and attracting a lot of flies here! According to The Lactivist Blog, she would kindly have removed the shirt if you had asked nicely, although personally I think that you are pretty darn stupid for trying to stop the sale of the shirt.

Do you honestly think you have the eternal rights to those three words of the English language: the, other, and white?

Do you think that your board may perhaps be long overdue for some downsizing? I mean come on, you must really have a lot of excess fat that needs to be trimmed, like a “pork barrel” or something like that at your organziation. Because you seem to have WAY too much time on your hands.

Anyone who would just threaten to sue a mom for selling a shirt that might actually promote pork should take a little lesson in common sense, so as a former teacher, I tell you that you are about to get schooled.

I want you to know that this has actually resulted in the tarnishing of your image. When I saw the shirts a while back, I actually thought “Hmm that’s funny, cool, etc. What a neat shirt,” and, “Oh yeah – pork slogan – maybe I should buy some pork when I go to the store, that sounds like a good dinner plan.”

Now instead, every time I see a package of bacon, sausage or a pork tenderloin, I will think, “Hmmm the pork board is a bunch of ignorant jerks who are apparently very concerned about their image, but hate breastfeeding, breast milk, and its many medicinal properties. I wonder why they would be concerned about their image. Could it be that they have to fight against common ideas like: don’t eat bacon, don’t eat sausage, or don’t eat pigs at all? Why? Maybe it’s just that unhealthy for you since pigs wallow in their own poopies!”

I am abstaining from all pork and pork-derived products until such time as you issue a formal apology to Jennifer Laycock. And I will ALSO tell all my friends and family and vast internet contacts NOT TO EAT PORK. It will be difficult because I love to use pork to make meatballs and spaghetti sauce, but I think I can take it.

Oink oink! Save the pigs. Save Wilbur.

I am very serious about this! You guys should really be ashamed of yourselves.

Amy Philo
Frisco, Texas

P.S. There is this little invention called the laser printer with which any person who wishes can print a transfer that says “The other white milk” and put it on a shirt. You have in essence contributed to the increased popularity of that spin off of your oh-so-effective slogan in addition to the unfortunate tarnishing of your image as a member of the food industry for all time.

P.S.S. It’s as if you think that parodying slogans and jingles actually “tarnishes the good image” of businesses. We are all sitting around thinking of as many funky new slogans as we can come up with because we have nothing better to do with our time, what with all the lazy moms out there who are just lying around breastfeeding all day. Oh yeah – breast milk – gross – the mere mention of a wonderful substance like that would tarnish ANY image it is associated with!

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