Last Update: 24 Apr 00

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I dread whenever somebody comes up to me, shoves a picture of a newborn baby under my nose, and asks what I think about it. Usually I answer something like "Yep, that's definitely a baby, all right". This usually gets a chuckle and causes the picture-shover to forget that he was trolling for some sort of compliment.
(R) Well as a new father, I love my daughter, and, I don't carry pictures around (mainly because she's only 10 days old and the ones we have are OURS) :^)
(MB) Congratulations! Don't worry, though. You'll probably start ordering pictures in bulk before long...*grin*

Let's face it -- unless the particular baby in the picture is extraordinarily ugly, almost all babies look the same. That "sameness", by the way, is not synonymous with "cuteness". Even though I have had three of my own, I fail to see the qualities inherent in babies that tend to turn most adults into gibbering fools.
(R) All babies are cute, just some more than others ( I'm biased, of course...) :-)
(MB) Naturally. I'm just musing about what qualities of a baby (especially a newborn) qualify as being "cute". Any suggestions?

Another thing I can't figure out concerning babies is why there must be special mention of them in any news story about a tragedy in which people have died. You know the ones -- "Car crash kills five, including a baby". I guess that mentioning the baby is supposed to make the story seem more heart-rending. In reality, it seems to point out a rather callous attitude towards adults getting killed. Is it any less tragic that four others were killed in that same car crash just because they weren't "babies"?
(R) You know, that is my current gripe with the media, and for the most part, politicians. We went through a stage of their bandering on about "for the children", yet, they are not helping them out. Sure, they got catsup taken off the vegetable list, but how about helping their parents out by not gouging them at tax time? How many working moms >would< like to take off work and be with their children? Mine would. It's killing her to go back to work and let someone else watch our little-one. How about affordable child care, or, credit to off-set the cost?
(MB) I would support improvements in the child care system. If our society is going to support children and the traditional family structure, it should also support their maintenance.

(R) How about allowing them to grow up in neighborhoods without fear of being a crime victim, hurt, or worse, shot by some hoodlum?
(MB) That's going to require more of a general societal change in attitudes. Certainly, for all their failings, our schools have never taught or encouraged gang mentalities or criminal behavior. I would say that those behaviors derive from the notion that education can be ignored.

(R) How about letting "the children" learn in school, instead of being indoctrinated in safe-sex, alternate life styles, shunning religion, and getting the opposite results from history?
(MB) Education should present the facts about any given subject -- whether or not they may be pleasant to certain individuals or groups.

(R) How about teaching them skills in the >real< world? Like, oh, how to use interest rates at banks, the power of saving money, tangible work skills, self-reliance, interpersonal skills, balancing their checkbooks, using credit wisely, and basic citizenship (like voting, being aware of what their government is doing, and, learning and respecting their heritage). My little one may not get these from the schools, government, or the world, but she will learn what she needs to survive from me and my wife. We owe her that much... and, to hell with the PC crowd. She is my daughter and she will learn the things the right way from us...
(MB) Bravo for you!! That's the ultimate solution to many of the problems that it is popular to blame upon the "educational system". People forget that education begins at home and the most important parts of it should come from the home.

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