Monday, September 15, 2008

Dr. Phil on Finances; Oprah on a grave Internet problem

Today Dr. Phil started a series on how to handle the current financial downturn. He featured two couples with severe money problems, and consultant Loral Langemeier, who functioned as a kind of Suze Orman, familiar to viewers of Oprah. One couple had been a two-income family with both husband and wife working in the mortgage business, which tanked. Loral helped counsel them on how both should go to work again, in grunt work areas if necessary. She suggested work in child care or in house cleaning areas. Then another couple was shown, having benefited from an ABC “Extreme Home Makeover” from Ty Pennington. But they took out second mortgages and that put their house in play for foreclosure.

Here is the link for “The Five Big Money Mistakes”. An interesting tip is “believing that a fixed income” (like a salary) is the only answer.”

Today Oprah Winfrey presented a very graphic show about the explosion of child pornography on the Internet. The show started with a visit to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria Virginia, and then showed a Wyoming detective Flint Waters. This detective discussed how law enforcement can now track materials on the Internet by geographical location, using software that apparently Waters helped develop. The show included explicit descriptions of the videos and pictures and how they are made. On this “PG-13” blog, it’s not appropriate to go into detail, but the visitor can look at the link for Oprah’s show today (actually taped Sept. 11 in Chicago), link
or watch the show when it is broadcast again, which I am sure it will be. In an earlier episode a couple years ago, Oprah had interviewed Justin Berry, and New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald, who recommended that no kid should have a webcam.

An interesting comment was that violators often are so psychopathic that they can pass polygraph or risk assessment tests.

Oprah is supporting the proposed bipartisan “Protect Our Children” Act, S. 1738, or “Combating Child Exploitation Act of 2008,” introduced by Joseph Biden (D-DE),” govtrack link here.

The visitor will want to read the summary there, which would make some material illegal if it can be converted to material that was illegal before. The bill also appropriates many more resources to law enforcement. The bill will be voted on soon (before Sept. 26, when the Senate will recess). Oprah’s website includes a link to assist visitors in contacting their Senators to support the Act.

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