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Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

Weeknights 8pm-Midnight

Twitter: @scootwwl
Email: scoot@wwl.com
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Scoot: Don't dishonor Memorial Day with hate and intolerance

This weekend is the emotional beginning of the summer of 2015. Memorial Day Weekend still inspires a "summertime" mentality, even though we are adults and not celebrating the end of our school year. For 12 impressionable years of our lives, we were conditioned to think of this time of year as the end of school and the beginning of 3 months of summer vacation! And as an adult, I still sense a different attitude when Memorial Day Weekend arrives!

During the years we celebrated this weekend as the beginning of our summer, all we thought about was 3 months of not having to go to school, and that was the only meaning to Memorial Day for young students. But as adults living in the real world, I wonder how many people make an effort to actually think about the significance of Memorial Day Weekend.

This weekend, there will be BBQs, crawfish boils, picnics, road trips to the beach or to visit family and the marketplace is cluttered with special sales, but the real meaning of Memorial Day was not to remember and honor those who gave their lives serving in our military by having a party or getting a great deal on merchandise. Yet, that is the only way many Americans will celebrate this weekend.

Memorial Day is a national holiday to honor those men and women who lost their lives serving in our military. The most appropriate to honor those who gave their lives in service to our country is to understand our rights and live by them. Many rights are misunderstood and there is always some confusion between "rights" and "privileges."

It is ironic that the rights set forth in the First Amendment of our Constitution are often the most misused and misunderstood. I consistently hear the argument that "political correctness" has taken away our First Amendment rights. That argument is based on a failure to understand that society has always evolved.

Throughout history there were times when certain words and forms of expression were acceptable, but over the course of civilization and an evolving society those same words and forms of expression were no longer tolerated. Changes in the way we communicate and express ourselves are not new to the era of "political correctness."

The First Amendment still gives anyone the "right" to say anything, but there have always been and there will always be consequences for what we say and to suggest that we are losing our right to freedom of speech is absurd.

The right to free speech is also misunderstood when Americans respond with pure hate when there is speech they disagree with. Freedom of speech guarantees the right to the free flow of ideas.

Disagreement over what is said, by a liberal or a conservative, that leads to hate or the feeling that the person should not have expressed their thoughts is a dishonor to all of those who have served and are serving in our military, and particularly to those who lost their lives fighting for that right.

Over time, our society and our species is supposed to become more civilized, but in recent years, the hate-filled retorts to opposing ideas and opinions prove that in many ways we are regressing in our civility.

As you celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend, remember that the precious and fundamental right of freedom of speech gives us the protected right to disagree. That is the foundation for America and the lack of tolerance and hate that dominate so many political conversations today is an unpatriotic insult to this great country – and those we remember this Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Memorial Day!

Comment: Scoot@WWL.com
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Scoot: Gov. Jindal signs his confession of hypocrisy

When Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed an executive order to trump the will of the Legislature on the "Marriage and Conscience Act," he essentially signed a confession of hypocrisy.

Jindal has been one of many Republican politicians who have seized every opportunity to condemn President Obama's use of executive orders. Not only does Jindal confirm that he is a political hypocrite, but he also confirms the sad position honesty plays in today's political system.

The justification Jindal and others will use to for their arrogant actions is that their beliefs about an issue are so crucial to the well-being of America that they had no choice but to use the power of executive order.

This selective use of executive orders will always be justified because of the importance a politician places on the issue, but in the same way that the Constitution and the Bible should not be selectively used to support certain issues, executive orders are either an acceptable use of power or they are not. In the case of Jindal, how can he condemn President Obama's use of executive order for bypassing the legislative process, thus disrupting the American political system?

Governor Jindal issued a statement explaining that his executive order was issued "to prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entitles with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman."

The deep hypocrisy that politicians subscribe to is the same hypocrisy that lives in the hearts and minds of the citizens that support the politicians and their causes. Unfortunately, the acceptance of and the failure to recognize the hypocrisy are eroding our political system.

A precious few Americans are willing to apply the standards they expect others to maintain to themselves. Another classic case of political hypocrisy in Louisiana involves Senator David Vitter, currently the leading gubernatorial candidate. Vitter condemned President Clinton's sexual contact with Monica Lewinsky and demanded that Clinton resign, but Vitter refused to resign after he was busted for having sex with a prostitute. I am not one who has continued to condemn Vitter, but it is fair to use the case to demonstrate how blatant hypocrisy is in politics today.

Before any citizens criticize politicians for their hypocrisy, they must recognize how they are contributing to this flawed system. Citizens who support and vote for the hypocrites in politics are an active part of the process.

This is not about criticizing a Republican and defending a Democrat, this is about the hypocrisy that contributes of the great divide in America. If you condemned Obama's use of executive orders to enforce his will, then you must condemn Jindal for taking the exact same action with his recent executive order. If not – you must at least admit that you are a hypocrite and part of the problem. I doubt many will.

Much of the support for politicians and political parties is based on hysteria. Through social media, many mistruths are spread to the point where they are accepted as fact. President Obama has a reputation for abusing his power to use executive orders to bypass the will of the legislative branch of government. So far, Obama has signed about 194 executive orders. George W. Bush signed 291 and Ronald Reagan signed 381.

This is a painful truth to all of those who want to believe what better fits their political beliefs, but this is fact compared to the convenient myths that often become fact.

So – what kind of citizen will you be? An uninformed hypocrite – or one who is willing to reject hypocrisy, even if it means criticizing the actions of the politicians you support?

You have a choice!


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Scoot: Is rap music to blame for the decline of Christianity?

When today's Establishment was young, rock music considered the root of all-evil! Today, that generation is the new Establishment and many in that generation are quick to point a finger at rap music, including Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly.

After a new Pew Research report was released showing that the number of Americans who identify as Christians had decreased from 78.4% to 70.6% between 2007 and 2014, O'Reilly said, "The rap industry, for example, often glorifies depraved behavior, and that sinks into the minds of some young people – the group that is most likely to reject religion." The Fox host also said that "people of faith are being marginalized by a secular media."

How could anyone from the Baby Boomer generation condemn a genre of music for a decline in Americans identifying with the Christian faith?

Baby Boomers were a generation that defended the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar," which in 1970 shocked many Christians as blasphemous simply because rock music was used to convey the message of Christ. So misguided was the condemnation of "Jesus Christ Superstar" that one criticism of the story focused on the singing of the song "I Don't Know How To Love Him," by the actress portraying Mary Magdalene. The song was interpreted to mean that Mary Magdalene was singing about how to "make love" to Christ, when the song reflected the common challenge of seeking the most proper ways to show one's love for Christ.

And here we are in 2015 and members of the Baby Boomer Establishment are blaming rap music for a decline in Christianity! Oh the irony!

I often wonder if pundits, like Bill O'Reilly, really believe what they say or if they are just attempting the feed the appetites of a specifically targeted audience? This is not criticism of the Fox News Channel, or Bill O'Reilly, as much as it is a perspective on how ridiculous it is to blame a genre of music for a decline in Christianity.

Disliking a particular genre of music should not lead to an open season of attacks against that music. Lecrae, a mainstream Christian hip-hop artist says, "For me, my faith dictates everything I do, so no matter what I'm saying in my art, my faith is the driver for that."

If Jesus used stories – parables – that were meaningful to people, including young people, at the time to convey His messages, who is to say that if Christ were here today that he might not use rap music to tell his stories!

The suggestion that Christ may have been a rapper will infuriate some, but there is no reason to believe that Christ would not use a popular vehicle for relating his messages to the masses. Furthermore, for O'Reilly and all of those who want to blame rap music for a decline in Christianity or for violent behavior, Jesus plainly states that evil cannot be blamed on outside influences because evil comes from within.

The reason I believe that blaming rap music for a decrease in the number of Americans who identify themselves as Christians is motivated by the urge to satisfy an audience rather than apply logic is because the decline in Christianity may very well be the result of the negative publicity some Christians bring to our faith.

Attempts to harshly judge anyone who does not subscribe to the specific moral code of those who have anointed themselves as the moral police have certainly caused considerable damage to the Christian faith in the hearts and minds of many Americans. If one of the foundations of Christianity is not judging others, then the frequency of judging others exposes a blatant hypocrisy.

As candidates line up in the race for the White House in 2016, those who promote the concept of a new moral police force in America will be the losers.

No one should be suggesting that society has become so permissive that literally "everything goes" because that is not the case, regardless of those who would convince you otherwise. But there are sensible Americans across demographic lines that are speaking out to denounce the wholesale judgment of others by those who fail to see themselves as the "hypocrites."

It is actually some within the Christian faith who have caused the recent decline in Americans identifying as Christians – not rap music! But blaming rap music excites an audience that is not willing to look themselves in the mirror!
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Scoot: When would you run from police?

Under what circumstances would you run from the police?

A billboard campaign in Atlanta promoting residents to "Stay Calm, Don't Run" during encounters with law enforcement has led to criticism from some members of the Atlanta City Council.

A city-funded public safety agency created the campaign in response to the recent high-profile cases in which unarmed black males were either shot or mistreated by law enforcement. Twenty billboards featured a stick figure of a man running with a crossed-out red circle over it.

Atlanta City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms said the "Don't Run" campaign sends the wrong message by telling people they are doing something wrong by running from police. Members of the city council said the campaign is telling residents not to exercise their Constitutional rights prohibiting unreasonable stops and searches.

Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean explained to a committee that this problem "is not about people running," she said, "This is about the people who are shooting at the people who are running."

Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall said the running from the police is standard procedure in many disenfranchised communities across America. Hall recalled his past saying, "Whenever we saw the police coming, the rule was to run, especially if you might have been in the right, because more than likely you still might get in trouble."

The president of the Atlanta police union, Ken Allen, also asked that the billboards be taken down. Allen said, "The signs are telling me that the police are coming to slaughter you if you run."

Some will say that I am not qualified to support a campaign that tells people not to run from the police because I'm white and I grew up in the suburbs. However, beyond skin color, I was taught to be respectful of the police if stopped or questioned and that's the advice I gave my son when he started driving and would be on his own when we were living in Portland, OR. Several times that advice was valuable.

I have always tried to study situations and issues with the understanding that we all have an instinctive perception, but I have always challenged myself to see the other perspective. The first step toward understanding another perspective is to admit that you may approach the issue from a different viewpoint. Before I form an opinion about something like criticism of the "Don't Run" campaign in Atlanta, I do the best I can to take myself out of what I know and strive to envision how someone without my view of life would see the problem.

That exercise brings me to the conclusion that the issue of running when you encounter the police should not be about skin color – it should be about the best course of action for anyone encountering law enforcement. If parents and communities are not going to teach their sons and daughters the proper way to handle any encounter with law enforcement, then perhaps the burden falls on the city.

Executive Director Lee Reid, who led the creation of the campaign with the Atlanta Citizens Review Board says the campaign was based on a "common sense" message that running from police will only make the situation worse. Reid also explained that if there is any harassment during a stop or questioning by police, then it is best to cooperate with the police and file a complaint later – but not run from the police.

Anyone who supports the message of the "Don't Run" from the police campaign should also support the idea that law enforcement officers must show respect of anyone they stop and question and never take advantage of their position of power in the community. There should be shared burden of respect with citizens and police, but the criticism that telling people not to run from police because it violates their Constitutional rights is dangerous advice.

We all remember the times when we got in trouble in the classroom because of what other students were doing and we were not part of the bad behavior, but in the end, defying the school authority was not an option or the correct way to handle the injustice. Ultimately, we learned who the troublemakers were and we did our best to stay away from them, which diminished our chances of getting in trouble. And so it is with life.

The best way to prevent encounters with the police is to always act appropriately and to distance yourself from those who are the troublemakers.

The changes that need to occur to ease tension in many American communities are for the police to treat everyone fairly – and for citizens to be respectful of police during any stop.

In other words – don't run!

When is it appropriate to run from the police?

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Scoot: Saints, other NFL teams paid to salute the troops

If the headline read: "Cash-strapped NFL grateful for being paid to support the troops" – that would be different from the story that many NFL fans find appalling.

The Defense Department paid 14 NFL teams more than $5 million over a four-year period as payment for the teams to honor the troops. And the New Orleans Saints were among the teams accepting money from the DOD. From 2011 to 2014 the Saints were paid $572,875 by the Defense Department to honor the troops.

What makes this so disturbing is that when the stadium announcers said something like, "Ladies and gentlemen, please turn your attention to our Hometown Hero" and on the field and on the giant video screens in the stadium, fans applauded and waved and gave their hometown team credit for saluting the troops. What fans didn't know is that the team was paid to allow that salute to happen at one of their games.

An all-volunteer military means that recruiting young men and women is a constant challenge and marketing through an NFL team is an effective way to attract the attention of potential recruits. But the façade that the teams are graciously using their power and influence to honor and salute our troops turns this practice into something many fans consider despicable.

During the "What's Trending" hour of Angela Hill's show Thursday, Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic wondered what made the other 18 NFL teams not accept money to salute the troops? Were the teams not offered the same deal from the DOD, or did those 18 teams realize that it was dishonest to accept money for saluting our troops while giving the fans the impression that the team was making a benevolent gesture?

Angela Hill had a great suggestion – every NFL team that accepted money from the DOD to salute the troops could have been heroes if they would have donated the money they received to a veteran-oriented charity or organization.

Though the damage is done, the best thing all of the 14 NFL teams can do now is to return the money to the Department of Justice or donate the money to a veterans group.

Reaching new peaks in its revenue-generating juggernaut, the NFL is proving to be so driven by money that fans could become disenchanted and that could taint the NFL's image in the minds of the very fans that make the NFL teams so rich.

The perception of greed on the part of the players and the NFL has the potential to erode the unconditional support from die-hard fans.

The NFL had gone to great lengths to embrace October as National Breast Cancer Month. Players, coaches and even referees display "pink" during all October games and the fans give the NFL credit for its strong support in the fight against breast cancer. But in light of the willingness of 14 NFL teams to accept money from our military under the guise of honoring our troops, one has to wonder what other false impressions NFL teams may be presenting.
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Topics : SportsWar_Conflict
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People : Angela HillKristian Garic


Scoot: Parents should be punished for kids left in cars

As summer approaches and the temperatures are heating up, there have been more stories in the news about parents forgetting their young children in the car. Sometimes there is a happy ending to the stories about children left in hot cars, but too often the stories end in tragedy.

Every story about a young child left behind in a hot car by a parent that was distracted and simply forgot the child was with them raises the question of punishment for the parent. Should the parent be charged with a crime – or is the trauma of leaving a child behind punishment enough?

Yesterday morning, a man on a train in Quincy, Massachusetts, suddenly realized that he left his 1-year-old baby in his SUV at the train station. He immediately called 911 to alert police and the baby had fallen asleep in the car seat and since it was in the morning the temperatures had not risen to a dangerous level. The child was fine. But now the question: Should the father be charged with a crime for leaving the child locked in his car? From the information I have read it appears police are filing no charges against the father.

The father described yesterday as one of the worst days of his live and he and the family are grateful that police arrived to save the child. But should charges be filed?

Often the rationale is that the parent has suffered enough anguish from the ordeal so further punishment is not necessary. I argue that if there is not definite punishment for leaving a child in the car then society sets a precedent that abandoning a young child in a car is not a crime. If the message to ALL parents is leaving your child in a car, sometimes to die, is understandable and there will be no consequences, then what does that say about the value of a young life?

This is yet another topic that can be reduced to personal accountability. We hear people make excuses and society often accepts excuses to the point where we are killing the notion of personal accountability!

There was a time when people were held accountable, but that is an action that is fading in our culture. One of the key tenets of a civilized society is personal accountability of individuals who collectively comprise all of society.

Whether it's leaving a child in a car or allowing a child to get their hands on a gun – it's time to hold parents accountable and to make certain that message reaching every corner of society.

And I love all the creative ideas for remembering you have a child in the car: Take off one shoe and put it in the backseat or leave your purse or something else you will not forget near the child seat in the car.

Do people realize how ignorant that is? If you support those little tricks then you are essentially saying that a parent is more likely to remember their shoe than their child!
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Locations : MassachusettsQuincy


Scoot: Is the liberal media tough on Hillary?

From the moment I began doing talk radio on WWL in 1991 following years in music radio, I have heard the media described as the "liberal media" almost as a warning that the media are on a malicious mission to brainwash America. And to this day, I continue to point out the liberal leanings of many sources of the media, but also recognize the fear of the media's agenda as a fear based on hysteria rather than reality.

People tend to latch onto ideas and catchy phrases that reflect their political and social agendas to help advance their agendas, often without stopping to consider that what they parrot to others is not the case.

Traditionally, the media have been more liberal than conservative because the type of person who was drawn to that profession tended to be more liberal than conservative. Historically, there is no evidence to support the fear that the media are comprised of soldiers in vast conspiracy to brainwash and manipulate America.

I have been in radio for many years and even spent some time doing television and from my inside perspective I often point out on "The Scoot Show," or any of the other shows I host on WWL, that the primary motive of the media is to seek and promote to most interesting news stories and topics, rather than advance a liberal agenda.

The many examples of the media attacking or doing negative stories about politicians and people who are considered part of the liberal community go unnoticed by those who are blinded by their own bias toward the media.

Here are the beginnings of two recent articles in the mainstream media that criticize and challenge Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.

Washington Post article – May 11, 2015
"Hillary Clinton hasn't answered a question from the media in 20 days"

Welcome to day 29 of the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign! In those 29 days – including April 12, the day she announced, and today – Clinton has taken a total of eight questions from the press. That breaks out to roughly one question every 3.6 days. Of late, she's taken even fewer questions than that. According to media reports, the last day Clinton answered a question was April 21 in New Hampshire; that means that she hasn't taken a question from the media in 20 straight days.

U.S. News and World Report – March 12, 2015
"It's Time to Really Meet the Press: If Hillary has nothing to hide, she should stop hiding"

It's not difficult to understand why Hillary Clinton is wary of the press and of excruciatingly heavy scrutiny. There she was, in 1992, a smart, confident, capable woman whose husband was running for president. The couple's sales pitch was that by voting for one, you'd get both: two Ivy League-educated attorneys with experience in public policy. Instead, the female part of the couple was treated with pettiness and nastiness. Her hair (and black headband) were criticized, as were her legs. She was criticized for saying she just didn't want to spend her days baking cookies and having teas. (What person, male or female, with a professional degree would want to consume the hours that way?) When questions were raised about her husband's affairs with other women, the ire and blame quickly shifted from him to her: Forget about whether he betrayed a commitment to his wife. What was wrong with Hillary Clinton that she wouldn't leave the bum? And when Bill Clinton won anyway, the gender-based barbs at Hillary Clinton continued, with whispers that she was alternately either a lesbian or having an affair with Vince Foster, a White House official who tragically took his own life. So we can see why she might be a little defensive. What's perplexing is that after all this time in public life she is still acting so defensively.

Do these articles in the mainstream media give the impression of a "liberal media" protecting a Clinton?

Challenge yourself to reject the temptation to follow the flock that hysterically accepts and promotes agenda-supporting rhetoric.

Even if the media are more liberal than conservative, the media does not sway opinions as much as each entity reflects the opinions of its audience.

Photo via marcn, Flickr
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Topics : Politics
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Locations : New Hampshire
People : Bill ClintonHillary ClintonVince Foster


Scoot: Office pool - when will Zimmerman be dead or in jail?

George Zimmerman, the man found not guilty of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin after fatally shooting him in 2012, is back in the news. This time Zimmerman was slightly injured by shattered glass when someone shot at him through the windshield of his vehicle.

George Zimmerman has been involved in other "incidents" since he was acquitted on charges of murdering Trayvon Martin. In 2013, police responded to a report of domestic violence after his wife called 911. Later that year, Zimmerman allegedly pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend and he was arrested. However, the domestic violence charges were dropped.

In 2014, Zimmerman was involved in a road rage incident and allegedly threatened to kill another motorist. Later, he showed up at the man's workplace and police were called, but no charges were filed.

In 2015, Zimmerman was arrested for allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend and he was arrested for aggravated assault. But his girlfriend later recanted her story and no charges were filed.

Now, Zimmerman is involved in another apparent road rage incident and suffered minor injuries after another motorist shot at him.

George Zimmerman appears to crave the spotlight and seems to have a knack for getting in just enough trouble to attract attention without actually going to jail.

I want to start an office pool for when George Zimmerman either ends up in jail next – or dead – because that seems to be the life path he has selected.

A jury found Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin, believing that Zimmerman was justified in the shooting because his life was in danger. That may be true, but since that shooting and during the trial, I argued that Zimmerman voluntarily put himself in a situation where he might have reason to shoot someone. I'm not defending any aggressive behavior that Trayvon Martin may have displayed in the moments before the shooting, but Zimmerman made a conscious effort to be in that situation. Trayvon Martin did not seek out Zimmerman.

Zimmerman volunteering to be play neighborhood cop in Sanford, Florida, along with all of the subsequent encounters with the law, paints a detailed portrait of a man who seeks controversy that leads to media coverage in an effort to feed a massive ego.

This consistent pattern of behavior makes George Zimmerman a menace to society and a dangerous man! It appears that he is the type of person who is not content to lead a life free from challenging others and the law. And his defense is always that he is the poor victim – even in this latest incident when someone shot at him.

Zimmerman's claim through his attorney is that he is a victim and everyone is after him – when one side of the story reveals that Zimmerman may have been brandishing a gun in a threatening manner and challenging the other motorist.

This is classic narcissistic behavior on the part of a man who obviously has an ego that cannot be satisfied by his innate abilities. That leaves him with the role of becoming a trouble-maker as a method of generating attention. What we do in life through our work and our accomplishments leads to attention or recognition and that is healthy, but acting out in order to get attention is not part of being a contributing member of society.

It is true that sometimes trouble finds you – but George Zimmerman is proving that you can put yourself in situations where you find trouble!

So, start your own office pool: When will George Zimmerman be sentenced to jail or be dead? Both seem likely.

Comments: Scoot@WWL.com
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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : FloridaSanford
People : George ZimmermanTrayvon Martin


Scoot: Parents should be aware of dangers of "huffing"

I was filling in for Garland today and in the 12:00 pm hour I talked about a recent tragedy involving a teenager from Kiln, Mississippi who died from "huffing." Charlie Stroud would have been 15 years old last week, but he died about a month ago from huffing the contents of a can of computer keyboard cleaner.

"Huffing" is inhaling the contents of an aerosol can that has been expelled into a bag or balloon for the purpose of getting high. Huffing is not new, but still many parents are unaware of this behavior.

While talking about this on WWL today, Charlie's aunt, Stacie was listening and called into the show and the conversation was compelling. Stacy said that Charlie was a healthy teenager who trained for sports and did not drink or do drugs. He was from a strong family with deep Christian beliefs.

A classmate showed Charlie how to "huff" from the can of computer keyboard cleaner and the contents would make his voice sound silly, like inhaling helium. In an effort to make people laugh and with no knowledge that it was dangerous, Charlie "huffed" and his voice got laughs. Later at home with a friend visiting, Charlie "huffed" again to alter the sound of his voice, but this time his "huffing" was lethal.

Charlie's family, including Stacie, are speaking out about "huffing" in hopes that no one else will have to bury their child because of it. Stacy's Facebook page is FB.com/concealedseries and her email address is Stacie@concealedseries@gmail.com.

Every parent of a young child or teen should hear this show and be aware of these dangers. To hear the entire conversation, click the link below.

LISTEN: Scoot talks about the dangers of huffing
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Locations : KilnMississippi
People : Charlie StroudStacie


Scoot: What role does social media play in divorce rates?

It should come as no surprise that social media is playing a big role in the divorce rate, but is it fair to blame social media? A new study from the U.K. shows that 1 in 4 married people had at least 1 argument with their spouse about social media on a weekly basis. Seventeen percent said they argued every day over social media activity.

In the United States, a 2010 survey of divorce lawyers by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that about 81% of the divorce lawyers said that social media evidence played an increasing role in the divorce cases they handled since 2005. And with the use of social media increasing every year, the role social media may have played in divorce cases since 2010 most certainly has increased even more.

If surveys show that social media is now playing a role in the divorces of married couples, then many will quickly conclude that social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are actually responsible for couples divorcing and that is a conclusion that cannot be drawn in this case.

As the advances in technology impact society's behavior, there is the natural temptation to blame new technology, like social media, for the negative changes in society.

Social media cannot be held accountable for changing human behavior. What social media does is act as a medium for the expression of human behavior. Facebook makes it possible to contact an ex or a boyfriend or girlfriend from the past or introduce you to someone new, but how an individual uses and rects to the contact information he or she discovers is the sole responsible of the individual.

Humans instinctively resist change and while there are so many benefits to social media, there is a negative side, too. If something new quickly becomes an integral part of everyone's lives, the new entity will be labeled evil and blamed for any negative actions associated with it. The invention of TV and the content it delivered eventually led to condemnation of the technology that continues to this day.

Facebook does not make a conscious decision to look up someone from your past or introduce you to someone new – that's the decision of the individual using the technology. The fact that the technology of Facebook makes it easier to reconnect with people cannot be blamed for any consequences that result from the connections made.

In the same way that social media provides the easy and quick reconnection with past loves or with potential new loves also makes it easier to get caught in a compromising communication. The very aspect of social media that facilitates human connections also leaves a trail that is often easily followed.

The old method of literally looking up someone's name and number in the phone book and then finding a free moment to call that person on a land line home phone made it easier to hide intentions because there was essentially not trace.

It's fair to speculate that more people may not be having affairs today because of the availability of social media, but more people are probably getting caught in situations with others that ultimately leads to divorce.

Once again we have an opportunity to demand personal accountability for actions, rather than blame something negative on new technology.
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Scoot: Is marriage an outdated institution?

Is it true that men don't want to get married? In Great Britain, the marriage rate has reached its lowest point since 1895. In America, a Pew Research Center survey shows that adults who have never been married has reached an historic high and men are more likely than women to have never been married.

It is interesting that gays and lesbians are fighting so hard for their right to get married at a time when heterosexuals are showing a growing disapproval of the institution of marriage.

In an article on FoxNews.com, one of the main reasons cited for men being reluctant to get married is because men no longer have to be married to have sex! Not too long ago having sex out of wedlock or living with a partner was considered socially unacceptable. George Gilder, author of "Men and Marriage," boldly says that as long as women make themselves available for sex outside of marriage, the need for men to get married diminishes. "In a world where women do not say no, the man is never forced to settle down and make serious choices," writes Gilder.

Are the more reasons, other than sex, that make men less likely to get married today? "Men know there's a good chance they'll lose their friends, their respect, their space, their sex life, their money and – if it all goes wrong – their family," says Helen Smith, Ph.D., and author of the book, "Men on Strike." Dr. Smith argues that men are afraid of essentially losing their savings and property and when men get married "their masculinity dies!"

According to Dr. Smith, women initiate the great majority of divorces – between 65 – 90 percent. I wonder how many women initiate divorces because of the infidelity and behavior of their husbands?

Years ago it was unheard of to live with someone, have children and raise a family without being married. Today, that is no longer unacceptable to society in general.

So, why do people still get married? In the shadow of the negative statistics about marriage, the wedding business has never been bigger and extravagant weddings costing outrageous amounts of money is becoming more expected.

In our society, marriage is still considered to be an ultimate manifestation of a couple's love for each other. Marriage is a willingness to create a legal, and in many cases, a religious bond that at the time of marriage is a bond forever.

Marriage may continue to decline as an institution that was once a necessity for having sex and raising a family, but as long as people possess the human emotion of love – there will always be a desire to make the ultimate commitment to that love by getting married!
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People : George GilderHelen Smith


Scoot: The contrast between Jazz Fest and Baltimore

While the national news and the national debate focused on racial injustice and unrest in Baltimore, MD, we were enjoying the final 4-day weekend of Jazz Fest 2015!

The uniting of human emotion in Baltimore was in stark contrast to the human emotion within the crowds at Jazz Fest. One gathering showed us human frustration and disagreement and the other showed us the common bond we all share.

The extraordinary variety of the music, food and crafts of Jazz Fest attract crowds that become a living vision of the diversity of America, not only in terms of race, religion and ethnicity, but also demographically.

During a week of news that was defined by the death of a black man in Baltimore and the rioting that followed, New Orleans and all of her visitors must have felt like they were living in another world. Blacks and whites, young and old, rich and poor did not judge each other on their skin color or the advantages and disadvantages of our past. Blacks and whites and everyone at Jazz Fest came together to celebrate life through the music, the food and the crafts that are Jazz Fest.

If political debates occurred in the setting of an event like Jazz Fest, it's possible that during those debates we would all look at each other very differently than we do on the street or with our opposing views in the media, like talk radio. If we began our debates with more recognition of what we share as people, rather than what divides us, then maybe our debates would render results that actually matter.

It is the nature of news that leads to the focus on the extremes of any group. The rioting and looting in the streets of Baltimore did not represent the majority of people living in that community as demonstrated by the mother who grabbed her son out of the crowd and disciplined him.

The frequency of uniting at Jazz Fest and as in many aspects of our personal and professional lives is far greater than the disruptions of Ferguson and Baltimore. But it is incumbent on us, the society, to allow ourselves to judge whether we share more than divides us as people.

When the news seems to define us all by events like the rioting in Baltimore, make an effort to think about the people you stand with at Jazz Fest and how we literally become "one" as a crowd with "one" attitude and "one" simply goal – to enjoy the sharing of an experience with strangers who may be different in some ways, but do share so much in common!
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