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  1. #1
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    Questions and answers at a table for the world

    112 thinkers prepare to meet at global town hall in Berlin
    By Michael E. Ross
    Reporter MSNBC

    “Will China take over as the world's superpower from the U.S.?” “Can humanity improve itself without profit as a motive?” “Is it possible to continue globalization without losing our cultural identity?”

    These questions — among 10,000 from people around the world — will be winnowed down to 100, then submitted to some of the planet's biggest thinkers, a sort of intellectual G-8 that will gather in Berlin on Sept. 9.
    The Web site dropping knowledge is sponsoring the thought summit, which will bring together 112 artists, scientists, philosophers and others near Bebelplatz Square, site of Nazi book burnings in 1933.

    They include Harry Wu, the dissident held by the Chinese government in 1995 before being expelled from China; Oscar Olivera, a Bolivian anti-globalization activist; the German filmmaker Wim Wenders; and Bill Joy, former Sun Microsystems chief scientist and now a venture capitalist.

    Actor Willem Dafoe will pose the questions to the panelists, who will gather around a massive table to discuss topics from national security to personal values, racism to environmental concerns.

    The Berlin event will be the first public meeting of what its creators envision as a global town hall meant to allow the common person to participate in a discussion of international issues.

    “We're launching what we think will be an infrastructure for a global community of citizens,” said Dr. Ceasar L. McDowell, dropping knowledge's U.S. director of operations, in an interview from Berlin. “There's a need to have something that allows people to share their knowledge with each other on a platform that's not controlled by an interest group or a government, with no one trying to drive an issue.

    ‘Lowers the barriers’Dropping knowledge has set up a toll-free phone number to record callers' questions, which are then transcribed and posted on the group's Web site.


    McDowell, director of the Center for Reflective Community Practice at MIT, said the toll-free line “lowers the barriers for participation.”
    Questions that are asked most and relevant to the international public will be put before the panelists in Berlin.

    So far, McDowell said, questions “have been all over, from science and technology to philosophy, but you get a lot more energy around social issues.”

    The event will be filmed and recorded for an online archive that users will be able to search and download from at no cost.

    Besides the expected logistical challenges of bringing together 112 people from around the world, the project required construction of the Table of Free Voices, which is being called the biggest table ever with a circumference of 357 feet. Made of sustainable woods from a forest in Poland, the table will include microphones and digital cameras to record audio and video of each of the participants.

    McDowell couldn't vouch for the politics of the visionaries set to attend. He said that thinkers of a more conservative viewpoint had been invited, but declined to attend.

    “One might look at the table and say it's overly ‘left’ or liberal, but our intention is to create a table where people aren't responding from political ideologies,” McDowell said.

    Dropping knowledge, a not-for-profit corporation based in Germany and the United States, is sponsored in the U.S. by the Tides Foundation, a San Francisco-based philanthropy committed to social change; the group provided dropping knowledge with $259,000 in grants last year.

    Less about answers than questions Dropping knowledge also is supported by the Wallace Global Fund, a Washington-based organization that funds projects related to the environment, public policy and social justice; the Club of Rome, a think tank that works on global issues; Alllianz, the German banking and insurance conglomerate; and individual benefactors.
    To McDowell, this venture — part populist think tank, part global town hall — is less about answers than creating opportunities for asking questions.
    “When people start asking questions,” he said, “they also start sharing what they know about the world.”

    The toll-free number is 877-352-7566 (877-DK-ASK-NOW).
    Last edited by StormyRay; 08-18-2006 at 03:18 PM.

  2. #2
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    Some healthy people hear voices — and enjoy it!

    MSNBC.com

    More have auditory hallucinations than previously thoughtBy Andrea Thompson
    LiveScience


    Updated: 6:23 p.m. ET Sept 18, 2006
    For some people, hearing voices in their heads is a positive experience, not a sign of mental illness or cause for distress. Researchers at the University of Manchester are aiming to find out why.

    Traditionally these auditory hallucinations, as psychologists call them, are associated with mental illness. They can be a symptom of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and sometimes depression.

    But studies by Dutch researchers that began in the 1990s found that some healthy people also regularly hear voices. The scientists ran a program on Dutch television asking for volunteers who heard voices, and they got a surprising response. Many of the people who contacted them did not find the voices disruptive and had never felt the need to consult mental health services. Some even said they found the experience to be positive or inspirational.

    The resulting studies found that more people might hear voices than psychologists had thought, perhaps around 4 percent of the population.

    Aylish Campbell, a psychologist at the University of Manchester, is hoping to expand on the Dutch study by investigating why peoples' reactions to hearing voices vary so widely. Campbell has just begun looking for study participants in Britain.

    "We're looking for people who hear voices who have a range of experiences," she said.


    Campbell and her colleagues suspect the variation could be caused by different life experiences. Childhood traumas, beliefs that other people are untrustworthy or dangerous, and feelings of vulnerability might react with fear to cause people to hear voices.

    The experience might be enjoyed by people who have positive outlooks, they figure.

    Campbell thinks anyone can hear voices, particularly when stressed. For example, those who are grieving over the recent loss of a loved one might hear that person's voice.

    "It might just be a normal human experience," she said. "People are susceptible to different degrees."

    Campbell hopes that learning what triggers different reactions could help develop new psychological therapies to help people—at least those who don't like the phenomenon—to cope with the voices.

    "If we can understand a bit more about the factors, we might be able to use that knowledge to help people who do find it distressing," Campbell said.

    © 2006 LiveScience.com. All rights reserved.
    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14894187/

  3. #3
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    Re: Some healthy people hear voices — and enjoy it!

    Maybe a little different...but I've always wondered how it worked that you could see someone in your head, like every detail, but you're not actually seeing it with your eyes.

    And for the voice thing, I talk inside my head all the time and recall (in their voice) what people said to me etc. when needed - That's hearing voices...is that what they're talking about?

  4. #4
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    Do men really want wives like June Cleaver?

    In the ‘50s, the ideal wife stayed home, cleaned, cooked, and cared for the kids. Dr. Gail Saltz, a ‘Today’ contributor, says that may be a male fantasy
    Today show Updated: 11:45 a.m. ET Sept 28, 2006


    On “The Doctor Is In,” we look at what men want in a wife. Remember the couple from the ‘50s, when the husband came home from a tough day of work to find a clean house, a home-cooked meal and a doting wife? Well, is that what men still want? An article called “The Good Wife’s Guide,” which has been circulating around recently, sparked this debate. Thought to be from a 1955 publication called Housekeeping Monthly, it offered tips: “Let him talk first”; “remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours”; “catering for his comfort will provide you immense personal satisfaction,” and “don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night.” It turned out that the article was a fake, but it raised some real issues. Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and a ‘Today’ contributor, was invited on the show to help answer that question. Here’s her take on the June Cleaver wife:

    With a divorce rate currently of 45 percent many men and women are wondering “How do I choose a partner that will go the distance?” Do men really want subservient “slave-women” who subverts all her personal needs in order to please his? Yes … and no.

    Both men and women have fantasies of being taken care of, being nurtured, being babied and being number one. Historically, masculine and feminine roles contributed to the specifics of these fantasies: men imagined the perfect mate as a passive, docile catering nurturer and women envisioned a giving, sacrificing protector. But these are fantasies! And while it may be fun to imagine — or even play out — these roles at times, they are but one of many fantasies men and women may have about their ideal partners. If rigid roles are not a good predicator of relationships’ longevity, what is?

    Marriages based on shared morals, values, life goals, and abilities to communicate well contribute to stable relationships. That’s because marriages require work, commitment and self-sacrifice from both partners. Marriage based first and foremost on passion, children, or extremely time-demanding careers, tend to break up.

    The institution of marriage began as, and still works as, a vehicle to protect both partners financially, ensure their progeny’s health and well being, and provide companionship and intimacy. Once a couple understands marriage is a choice that requires effort through its ups and downs, then they have a shot at maintaining a healthy relationship. (Research shows that married people are healthier and have better psychological health than singles. In addition, children of married couples are healthier and have better psychological health.)

    Marriage is a partnership that requires both partners provide and receive gratification. Most men would say that being pampered occasionally is delightful, but that they don’t want to be only needed, but also needed. And most men would say that having all the pressure to be the sole provider and protector causes immense anxiety. They want — and need — a partner who will help shoulder some of the burden emotionally or even financially. And most women would find the 50’s housewife requirements utterly absurd and miserable. If one partner is utterly unhappy, the end of the marriage is inevitable.

    The Housekeeping Monthly article represents an underlying issue in many marriages: Who has control? That’s why there are jokes about women who “wear the real pants” in the family and manipulate their sad sack husbands into making them do all kinds of things that they don’t want to do. So a man may fantasize about a June Cleaver-like wife, because he wants more control in their marriage — or even have the upper hand. Wanting more control occurs when one partner feels insecure and unsure of his, or hers, own worth and power. When both parties feel heard and sure of their own effectiveness, their fantasies of being taken care of diminish.

    If you notice that your partner wants more control in your marriage, find out why. If your partner feels insecure, discuss way to make him, or her, feel more comfortable. Discuss what you think your roles are in your marriage. And find out if these roles need to be changed, so both of you are satisfied. Sit down and talk about these issues as members of the same team — not opposing teams. This is the only way to build strength and satisfaction in any relationship.

    © 2006 MSNBC Interactive
    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15039140/

  5. #5
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work... User Rank
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    Re: Do men really want wives like June Cleaver?

    This is ALL just generalization. Perhaps some homes/families were that
    way, but HARDLY a typical example.
    House-keeeping was relatively simple then. Because they didn't have all
    the things to clutter the hoime that we do today. On the other hand,
    there were washing machines, but more manual and no clothes dryer.
    So clothes were pinned to wire lines in the backyard. No dishwashers,
    except the two-hand, five finger type. There was no "permanent press"
    clothing, so there was "ironing" - very boaring!
    In my home, as was said: my Dad went to work, typically ten hours on
    the job and with travel to and from, his day amounted to about twelve
    hours. HE would come home and help with the cooking. His pay was
    about $100.00/week [five and one-half days. He was college educated]
    Also, my parents phlisophy was that it was good for children to learn
    young to "carry their own weight". So, the theory there was: if you
    wear clothes you can also wash iron, fold and put away in drawers or
    hang up. If you eat, you can also set the table, help with serving and
    wash dishes and put away and clean the kitchen; while Mom and
    Dad usually went to the living room and sat down and relaxed -
    listened to the radio or talked. There was a black and white TV that
    was about 14 inches screen. The programming was NOT constant -
    maybe a show or two for a couple of hours, then a "test pattern"
    Usually and indian in the middle of some various graaph lines.
    Our home cost about 4500 dollars and our car about 1200 dollars.
    But both were good and adequate. In the early fifties one dollar was
    worth about what eight dollars is today. So one dollar was a lot of
    money then. A family of six could have a really good resturant meal
    for a twenty dollar bill.
    There was no "convience" foods. That is like TV dinners and prepackaged
    meals and mixes. Most everything was made from scratch and I think
    the food was MUCH better then.
    Anyhow, everyone worked hard but nobody complained around our
    house. We were happy and content. We children didn't mind helping
    as we thought that families all work together.
    Oh yes, we also did our homework and went to school. Made our own
    sack lunch and got five cents for a bottle of milk. We never got milk
    delivered to the door until I got a job at 16 for $2.25/hr. I paid a
    milkman friend to bring milk by, which anyone could drink, but I did
    mostly, as the others didn't care that much for it.
    Before that, the only milk we kids knew about was Pet or Carnation
    Condensed Milk.
    I will tell you what: times were better then and so were most people.
    A simple but good, honest and sincere circumstances.
    I have always thought: as time goes by that things will improve, get
    even better. But I don't see that. Wish I could say otherwise - honestly!
    Last edited by coontie; 09-29-2006 at 02:11 AM. Reason: sp

  6. #6
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    Re: Do men really want wives like June Cleaver?

    Quote Originally Posted by coontie
    This is ALL just generalization. Perhaps some homes/families were that
    way, but HARDLY a typical example.
    House-keeeping was relatively simple then. Because they didn't have all
    the things to clutter the hoime that we do today. On the other hand,
    there were washing machines, but more manual and no clothes dryer.
    So clothes were pinned to wire lines in the backyard. No dishwashers,
    except the two-hand, five finger type. There was no "permanent press"
    clothing, so there was "ironing" - very boaring!
    In my home, as was said: my Dad went to work, typically ten hours on
    the job and with travel to and from, his day amounted to about twelve
    hours. HE would come home and help with the cooking. His pay was
    about $100.00/week [five and one-half days. He was college educated]
    Also, my parents phlisophy was that it was good for children to learn
    young to "carry their own weight". So, the theory there was: if you
    wear clothes you can also wash iron, fold and put away in drawers or
    hang up. If you eat, you can also set the table, help with serving and
    wash dishes and put away and clean the kitchen; while Mom and
    Dad usually went to the living room and sat down and relaxed -
    listened to the radio or talked. There was a black and white TV that
    was about 14 inches screen. The programming was NOT constant -
    maybe a show or two for a couple of hours, then a "test pattern"
    Usually and indian in the middle of some various graaph lines.
    Our home cost about 4500 dollars and our car about 1200 dollars.
    But both were good and adequate. In the early fifties one dollar was
    worth about what eight dollars is today. So one dollar was a lot of
    money then. A family of six could have a really good resturant meal
    for a twenty dollar bill.
    There was no "convience" foods. That is like TV dinners and prepackaged
    meals and mixes. Most everything was made from scratch and I think
    the food was MUCH better then.
    Anyhow, everyone worked hard but nobody complained around our
    house. We were happy and content. We children didn't mind helping
    as we thought that families all work together.
    Oh yes, we also did our homework and went to school. Made our own
    sack lunch and got five cents for a bottle of milk. We never got milk
    delivered to the door until I got a job at 16 for $2.25/hr. I paid a
    milkman friend to bring milk by, which anyone could drink, but I did
    mostly, as the others didn't care that much for it.
    Before that, the only milk we kids knew about was Pet or Carnation
    Condensed Milk.
    I will tell you what: times were better then and so were most people.
    A simple but good, honest and sincere circumstances.
    I have always thought: as time goes by that things will improve, get
    even better. But I don't see that. Wish I could say otherwise - honestly!

    HOW TRUE!!yet what does it ALL mean!?where was the DOG let out!?who TO BLAME!?and HOW to find the WAY BACK!?(to the FUTURE!?)hehe!!just askin.......

  7. #7
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    Re: Do men really want wives like June Cleaver?

    What's wrong with a June Cleaver wife? My husband would love for me to be at home with our son and clean, take care of him, cook, etc. and have everything ready when he got home. It would give us more time together because I'm always cleaning and never get a chance to sit down when I get off work. Actually, I would like to be that kind of wife! I envy women who are able to stay at home with the kids and keep house. It's too much to do when you work 40 hrs a week. It's three full time jobs...work, child and housecleaning, not to mention trying to be a "wife" to your husband when you're too tired to keep your eyes open.

  8. #8
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work... User Rank
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    Re: Do men really want wives like June Cleaver?

    Quote Originally Posted by lexx
    HOW TRUE!!yet what does it ALL mean!?where was the DOG let out!?who TO BLAME!?and HOW to find the WAY BACK!?(to the FUTURE!?)hehe!!just askin.......

    Man, you should have the picture: the old "carrot on the stick" manuever.
    The establishment corporations placed in a position to pay higher wages?
    Well, a simple fix by them to this is: then charge the stiffs more for what
    they are getting and create an image [for them :rolleyes: ] where they think
    they are somebody and perhaps borderline wealthy; all a charade of
    course!
    Example: when I came out of the military service in 1969, I bought a
    1800 square feet, three bedroom, two bath house on one-half acre of
    land in the suburbs of a large southen city. The toal cost was $10,500.00
    and my payments was $68.00/month. Same house today? $160,000.00 -
    to $200,000.00. New cars then were selling for about $6,000.00 - $8,000.00
    for a large deluxe auto. Same cars now will cost you likely over $30,000.00
    They were virtually ALL being made in the U.S.A. except Toyota and
    Nissan and V.W. Now, virtually every automobile is made in a foreign
    country. YEah, folks think Fords and Chevvys and Chrysler/Plymouth
    are made here. BUT, if you could get the metal and plastic subassemblies,
    transmissions, tires and engines to speak Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese
    or Japanese one would get quite a 'foreign exchange!'

    WHat has happened? These corporations are determined to make people
    pay through the nose for what they get so that the wealthy get even
    wealthier.
    In the meantimne, the so-called "american dream" is an "american scam"
    created by big business.. that if the majority of americans came out of
    trance and faced up to the facts it is obvious: we've been had, a long ways
    back.
    This is NOT the political forum, but in our society it is REALLY difficult to
    continue to ignore what the politicans have and are doing to us.
    Solution: get a government in D.C. and State and Local that is NOT
    ran and supported by big business. THe obvious "REd Flags" regarding
    this are the so-called campaign contributions. Millions of dollars. THe
    people that are making this money available [notice I avoided using the
    words campaign contribution] well, these same people like their million/
    billions very much, are selfish and greedy and conniving people. So when
    they fork over these big bucks to politicans it is PAYAOLA: they WANt and
    EXPECT at least ten fold, if not more back and they get it, guarnteed by the
    puppets in political offices.
    We need businesses to support the working class by making jobs available,
    and sure, they should make a reasonable profit. But they rape the public with
    their exploitiave high prices, because they are greedy and want EXCESSIVE
    profit.
    And why does anyone think there is "out-sourcing" which is a fancy
    terminology for giving american jobs to foreigners? Obviously so that the
    american corporations that own the business can assure their stock-holders even higher retun on investments. Same is true of the illegal invaders that
    are coming into our country. They are being given american citizen's jobs
    because they will work cheap, as in less than minium wage. And they don't
    have to pay social security, medical or other coverage for these folks.
    There again, bottom line... the employers are pocketing more money.
    You said "who let the Dog out?"
    How 'bout: it is more like who is letting the DOGS S#h#I#T on us? Duhhh...
    the "administration" in D.C. and the states capitols. :eek:

  9. #9
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    Rusted is offline Gold Scams Member User Rank
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    Re: Do men really want wives like June Cleaver?

    Here ya go, the national wage index from 1951 to 2004.

    http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/AWI.html

  10. #10
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work... User Rank
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    Re: Do men really want wives like June Cleaver?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusted
    Here ya go, the national wage index from 1951 to 2004.

    http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/AWI.html

    thanks for this! Quite a difference, eh? Also, about the devaluation of
    the dollar.
    In 1950 you ALSO, when you dollars in your hand, you also held silver
    cerificates. Meaning, as it said on the bill: the bearer could get silver upon
    demand.
    At that time, the "silver" was the change for the dollars and it was 99
    fine. Gradually, the silver amount in the currency was diminished until
    we finally had those horrendous copper-nickle things.
    If anyone cares to see/watch the pulse of the nation and what is REALLY
    goping on behind the scenes, pay attention to our money.
    The "funny-money" we have now, as in multicolors with extra watermarks,
    etc. it is ALL because of blatant counterfeiting of American Currency. This
    made very easily possible through the advent of the color printers/copiers
    with computers.
    I remember seeing, I think first, the $5- bill as a "Federal Reserve" note.
    That was ALSO another indication of some "Funny"/NOT things on the
    wind for our country.
    Of course, going back further, at one poitn, REAL GOLD 24 carat metal
    was our currency, then, if one was paying attention, the gold gradually
    went away, out of circulation - everrrrrr so quietly/subtly, until... no
    gold in the currency. THen it became illegal to possess gold currency.
    Now of course, there are RARE exception, as in collectors.
    Another clue: watch the GOLD... where is it??? ANyone know if there
    is REALLY any gold in Fort Knox anymore. THat was SUPPOSED to be the
    standard that backed U.S.A. currency.
    Other than all of that, another good indicator: what will one dollar buy
    one today? A Penny? - hah! a joke. I think it cost the american taxpayer
    ten cents now to mint EVERY Penny. I see so many now on the ground.
    Most people, hen they drop them don't even think it is worth the physical
    effot expended to stop and pick up a Penny. FIve cents, Ten Cents? I
    think you can buy postcard postage for 24 cent. SO for a Quarter you
    can buy a postcard stamp and get one cent change back!... hah! :rolleyes:
    Sound pessimistic? Too bad, it is just facts.

  11. #11
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    Talk about CONTROL .....

    Apparently we are not allowed to "edit" our posts anymore. The edit button seems to have been removed. And someone "adjusted" the date and time of one of my posts. And what is that little triangle thing that says "Report bad posts" about? And now we have to earn our reputation?????? What is the world coming to? I feel like the Gestapo will be at my door any minute. I guess I don't belong here.

  12. #12
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work... User Rank
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    Re: Talk about CONTROL .....

    Hmmmm... I am not experiencing that problem. Perhaps you could try again? ;)

  13. #13
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    Re: Talk about CONTROL .....

    No problem for me either.

  14. #14
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    Re: Talk about CONTROL .....

    The edit button only appears for so long (like an hour after you post, or something like that) and then it goes away.

    ..and the reputation/bad post icons have been there for as long as I've been a member of this site.
    I do not believe that MLM/Network Marketing is a bad business model. I believe it's the shady people in MLM that make it LOOK bad. As long as you work hard, run your business ethically, and work with ethical people, then MLM can help you reach your financial goals... whether it's just to make extra money on the side or a full-time income.

    "Never argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with years of experience."

    Pink Zebra Sprinkles

  15. #15
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    You never know WHO'S WATCHING.... !!!

    The following may or may not be a true story but it sure provides a good lesson anyway!!!

    Hello Everyone!! If you have children, grandchildren, friends, co-workers, church go-ers or anyone that uses the internet or MYSPACE this is a must read!! It's amazing what you think you "don't" say and what you "do" say can get you in a lot of trouble. READ ON!!

    MY SPACE : A Must Read for All who have children or grandchildren

    EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ ALL OF THIS and HAVE YOUR CHILDREN READ IT TOO!

    After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line . She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:

    ByAngel213:
    Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!

    GoTo123:
    LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you?
    Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

    ByAngel213:
    Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I looked out.

    GoTo123:
    Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?

    ByAngel213:
    Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

    GoTo123:
    Did you have a softball game after school today?

    ByAngel213:
    Yes and we won!!

    GoTo123:
    That's great! Who did you play?

    ByAngel213:
    We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL

    GoTo123:
    What is your team called?

    ByAngel213:
    We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.

    GoTo123:
    Did you pitch?

    ByAngel213:
    No I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!

    GoTo123:
    Catch you later. Bye

    Meanwhile......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.

    Her name: Shannon
    Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
    Age: 13
    State where she lived: North Carolina

    Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton Junior High School. She had told him all this in the conversations they had on- line. He had enough information to find her now.

    Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ballpark that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't be so overprotective.

    By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.

    Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely.

    He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the sudden fear she had felt.

    After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.

    Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks to Shannon's home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car.

    Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon's house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

    Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.

    "Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa.

    "Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a most interesting story about you."

    Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!

    "Do you know who I am, Shannon?" the man asked.

    "No," Shannon answered.

    "I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."

    Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14. And he lives in Michigan!"

    The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You see, Shannon, there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number ! and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze."

    Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan?"

    He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?"

    She nodded.

    "I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there on-line. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again. Tell others about this so they will be safe too?"

    "It's a promise!"

    That night Shannon and her Dad and Mom all knelt down together and thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    234

    Re: You never know WHO'S WATCHING.... !!!

    Thanks for posting this, Stormy. I don't know if this particular story is true, but similar stories are happening all the time. Usually, it's not a police officer.

    LS

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