The Buzz

v28_buzz_huggingIssue: Of all the things that schools could ban kids from doing, hugging is now apparently unacceptable behavior. Some schools in Arizona, New Jersey and Canada have banned hugging. Schools instituted the rules following some “incidents of unsuitable, physical interactions.” We have had roughly 30 years of “good touch/bad touch” programs in schools and communities, but almost all of the attention has been on bad touch. When we ban touch altogether, there are no opportunities for healthy contact. In school, the main benefit of touch is to build friendships and human connections, whether it is brushing one another’s hair or roughhousing playfully. Like adults, children touch to say hello and goodbye, to express affection, to test their strength, and to give and receive comfort.

v27_obamaIssue: President Obama was heckled by a reporter during his immigration remarks. Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security will stop deportations and grant work permits for students who meet certain requirements, but during his remarks, Obama suddenly addressed a person in the crowd, telling him that he was not yet taking questions. "Excuse me, sir, it's not time for questions, sir," Obama said. "Not while I'm speaking." At the end of his speech, Obama referred back to the person who interrupted him. "And the answer to your question is sir, and the next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question, is this the right thing to do for the American people...I didn't ask for an argument. I'm answering your question," he said, speaking over the man's protests. "It is the right thing to do for the American people."

v26_profanity_lawIssue: Residents in Middleborough, Mass. have voted to make the foul-mouthed pay fines for swearing in public. At a town meeting, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity. Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.


Issue: In an interview with People magazine to promote her new gardening book, when asked if she could be anyone in the world, First Lady Michelle Obama, replied “Beyonce.” It quickly spiraled into a firestorm when commenters on predominantly African-American websites, who tend to be fans of the first lady, Beyonce, or both, made it clear that many found the first lady’s response troubling, and some found it downright embarrassing.


Issue: A man who has fathered 30 children by 11 different women is asking the courts to give him a break from paying child-support. Desmond Hatchett, 33, of Knoxville, Tennessee, has reportedly set a Knox County record for the number of children he has managed to reproduce with individual women. However, Hatchett is claiming to be a victim of his own success with the ladies, as he has become unable to make child-support payments and was back in court again this month asking for help.

v22_buzz_articleIssueA judge has ruled that Texas Children’s Hospital can perform potentially life-saving heart surgery on a baby whose parents declined to consent on religious grounds. The judge signed an order permitting the hospital to provide “life-sustaining medical treatment, including blood products” to a 2-month-old, whose parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses. The faith forbids the use of donated blood. “It is the opinion of Dr. Douglas Moodie, Gabriel’s cardiologist, that the boy will suffer permanent harm or death unless he receives this operation,” hospital lawyers said in the court petition. Interpreted literally, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs derive from an interpretation of a biblical passage to prohibit the consumption of blood, either by mouth or through veins. The faith’s literature directs members to refuse transfusions even in a life-or-death situation.




Issue: A Burger King commercial featuring Mary J. Blige singing about chicken has been pulled, but the fast-food chain is blaming music licensing issues for the decision, not criticism of the ad. In it, Blige sings soulfully about chicken snack wraps in the ad and stands on a table and rhapsodizes, "Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing wrapped up in a tasty...flour...tortilla." As the video went viral, some in the black community criticized the ad as stereotypical. Burger King said Tuesday the commercial was pulled from airwaves and scrubbed from the internet because of a licensing concern. Blige's spot is part of Burger King's highly touted rebranding effort. Celebrity-centric commercials featuring Jay Leno, Salma Hayek, David Beckham and Blige all appeared online. The commercials of the first three remain on Burger King's official YouTube channel, but Blige's does not. The company said it hopes to have the Blige "ads back on the air soon," though a spokeswoman would not comment on whether they ads would be the same. Blige got a rumored $2 million to appear in the ad.



A preschooler in North Carolina was forced to eat chicken nuggets because someone at the school determined the lunch her mother packed her wasn’t healthy enough and sent it back home. The lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice, but for the inspector on hand that day, it didn’t meet the healthy requirements.


Nine years after his retirement, thousands lined up at stores across the country to shell out id=mce_marker80 for the black and white Jordans -- named for Michael Jordan, who carried the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s -- that went on sale at midnight Thursday. If you know Nike, or if you just watched the news over the Christmas weekend, then you know there was a little craziness surrounding the release of the new Nike Air Jordan. There were long lines in Houston with pushing and short tempers, and violence erupted at shoe stores across the country as people tried to purchase Nike’s new retro Air Jordan sneakers, released just in time for Christmas. It’s a riot featuring stampedes, gunfire, fisticuffs, smashed property, smushed customers and police having to keep idiots from killing themselves. “We are extremely concerned to hear of the reported crowd incidents around the launch of the Air Jordans XI at some select retail locations,” said a Nike statement. “Consumer safety and security is of paramount importance. We encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner.” Within hours of the release of the new design, hundreds of pairs of the shoes were on sale on eBay, some for more than $500. Many of the pairs already had dozens of bidders. Air Jordans bring in an estimated id=mce_marker billion for Nike every year.


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