Baby Borrowers sponsors: Two down

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 6:54 PM

Thanks to commenter Matt for information on Ace Hardware, which has declared it is not a sponsor of "The Baby Borrowers." And kudos to Ace for refusing to sponsor this program.

NBC's website has a poll asking when people are best prepared for parenthood: teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, or later. This show reeks of a major trend in American culture: Becoming a parent has become just one more thing you do in order to "have it all." The view that children are gifts has given way to family planning in which births had better be planned — or you are not a good parent.

Paying off debt — our villains

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 12:31 PM

In our household, there is a lot of debt. This makes us normal.

I don't want to be normal, at least not in this way. So I have done an eccentric thing: I named all our debts after villains. Shoestringing the budget to get out of debt is not especially fun, but killing bad guys is!

Here is the rogue gallery, in order from the petty to the truly depraved:

  1. Moriarty, a credit card debt.
  2. Vader, a vehicle loan.
  3. Saruman, an unsecured line of credit (basically, a credit card without the plastic).
  4. Sylar, an enormous student loan.
Not included is our mortage. Already slain is Voldemort, which was the name both of a house we just couldn't get rid of and the mortgage attached to it. It finally sold early this year, but at a price less than what we bought it for, which made it a painful demon to slay.

Stay tuned for a chronicle of our battles with these villains!

Another group (Zero to Three) against "The Baby Borrowers"

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 11:50 PM

A quick note: The child welfare group Zero to Three has issued an official statement against "The Baby Borrowers." They join the list compiled here.

A list of child welfare groups protesting "The Baby Borrowers"

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 9:00 AM

Here is a list of child advocates and child welfare groups which have officially protested, spoken out against, or otherwise denounced "The Baby Borrowers." This post is updated as necessary.

  • The Natural Child has issued an open letter of protest, February 27, 2008.
  • Attachment Parenting International has formally issued a strong objection to NBC Studios, June 21, 2008.
  • The Texas Association for Infant Mental Health has "released an opinion denouncing" the program, June 26, 2008.
  • Zero to Three has issued a sharply critical statement, no date.
  • The Connecticut State Child Advocate has reportedly protested the show in a letter to NBC, although I was not able to confirm this from their website.
  • The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology has issued a call to NBC to pull the program, July 2, 2008.
Do you know of any other groups protesting this program? Leave your tip in the comments below or visit my profile for my e-mail address.

Attachment Parenting International protests "The Baby Borrowers"

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 9:00 AM

The Baby Kidnappers

Attachment Parenting International (API) has issued a press release to draw attention to their letter of protest (PDF) sent to NBC Studios.

API makes reference to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959. More recently, the U.N.'s 1990 Convention on the Rights of the Child reiterates a key point: "In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions … the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration" (Article 3). NBC's role with regard to the "borrowed" children is closest to that of "a private social welfare institution." It has utterly failed to take the best interests of the "borrowed" children into consideration.

I have used the provocative epithet "The Baby Kidnappers" to highlight the effects of the experience from the child's point of view. From the point of view of the parents, who have given permission and who are right next door, there is no kidnapping involved. To these parents, who obviously love their children, the arrangement is no different that hiring a babysitter — safer, even, since they can supervise and intervene at any time. But young children are not able to understand any of that. They don't know their parents are nearby. They only know that their parents have disappeared and that suddenly they are in the care of total strangers. To a baby, this is exactly the same as being kidnapped.

The "borrowed" babies have no choice in the matter. Their lives are being manipulated by adults, who are placing them in a terrifying situation — a situation that does these children no good. NBC has created a situation uniformly harmful to young children, placing their interests last.

API rightfully protests this program, and so should the rest of the informed public.

The Baby Borrowers: Don't believe everything you hear

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 2:29 PM

A famous American aphorism, variously attributed to Abraham Lincoln, P.T. Barnum, and Bob Dylan, observes:

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

With "The Baby Borrowers," NBC has fooled some of the people by gravely asserting, "It's not TV, it's birth control." In promoting this program, NBC weeps crocodile tears over teen pregnancy, and successfully has fooled many, many people, among them Sandy Maple of Parent Dish; a nameless rumor blogger, and even, astonishingly, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (PDF).

Let me be very clear about this. "The Baby Borrowers" is not about preventing teen pregnancy.

This program has teens live together, which is a recipe for teen pregnancy. When young couples live together, we all know they are having sex; let's not beat around the bush. Sex leads to pregnancy. Birth control has never been 100% effective, especially when used by inexperienced, impulsive youths. Therefore, "The Baby Borrowers" is not about preventing teen pregnancy. Q.E.D.

The show does not even focus exclusively on teens having babies. Why on earth would a show about teen pregnancy show how difficult it is to take care of an elderly person? It wouldn't. But it is already established that "The Baby Borrowers" is not about preventing teen pregnancy.

Do not let NBC's marketing fool you. "The Baby Borrowers" is not about helping teens. When someone says "The Baby Borrowers" will help teenagers, they are either lying, or they have been fooled by a liar.

Comments to my posts on The Baby Borrowers

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 7:54 AM

The Baby Kidnappers

Just for the record, in response to the sundry comments that have popped up lately:
  • I am not for teen pregnancy.
  • I care very much about teens and "the future of this country." I also care very much about babies.
  • I never said anything about day care being harmful to children, and I am bewildered that anyone thought I did.
  • I never said that I oppose "using kids" on TV.
  • Obviously the babies are more or less safe, thanks to the show's precautions, but that doesn't make them any less scared, sad, or emotionally hurt. In other words, the adults know they are safe, but the babies don't!
If you want to know why I am so cranky about The Baby Borrowers, read about what I think is wrong with it. And please do actually read it before you accuse me of being ignorant, stupid, or closed-minded.

If it prohibits free speech, is it an oppressive regime? (Canada)

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 9:00 AM

This post was originally published on Leave the lights on.

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  • A government concerned with promoting its ideology, but not with protecting free expression.
  • A minority religious group with radical views.

Minority religious group expresses its radical views. These views are in opposition to government's ideology. Government intervenes to curtail religious group's expression of said radical views.

Can you guess where this drama took place?
    1. China
    2. Iran
    3. North Korea
    4. Canada

If you said Canada, you are correct! Here are the ugly details:

The minority religious group is the Concerned Christian Coalition and its leader, Stephen Boissoin. The ideologues are the Human Rights Panel of Alberta. Please do not be misled by the name; the Human Rights Panel of Alberta is not particularly concerned with promoting human rights, at least not as they are defined in the United States. The Human Rights Panel of Alberta is in the business of making sure nobody's feelings get hurt.

Enter a third character: Dr. Darren E. Lund. Dr. Lund's feelings did get hurt, as a result of Mr. Boissoin free expression of his radical views. The Human Rights Panel of Alberta does not call Mr. Boissoin's speech "free expression" or even "radical"; it calls it hate propaganda. And certainly, it may very well be the worst kind of hate propaganda; the published decision does not discuss the content of Mr. Boissoin's speech, so the commentator cannot draw her own conclusions.

The Panel does express a radical view of its own in ordering as follows:

That Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.

Note that the defendants are not prohibited from publishing "hate propaganda" -- only from publicly making "disparaging remarks." The word disparaging means "insulting."

So our neighbor to the north has prohibited insults. Canada truly is a foreign country, since it holds to the concept, foreign to Americans, that protecting noxious speech is not a necessary part of protecting a free society.

Baby Borrowers sponsors: One down

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 9:00 AM

This post was originally published on Leave the lights on.

~ ~ ~

An update on the countdown:

As of today, Realityworks, Inc. is no longer listed as a sponsor of "The Baby Borrowers" on NBC's website. There are 32 sponsors still on the list.Baby Borrowers sponsors: One down