During the past week we have heard complaints about the content of a magazine, Teen Vogue, published, supposedly, for young girls but containing content not fit for any age, let alone adolescents. Is this what our forefathers had in mind when they wrote a document guaranteeing us freedom of the press and freedom of speech? I don’t think so! According to what we were told, one of the television networks did a report on this recently, which only created more public outcry. Unfortunately, that’s what happens when such a report – even this article – becomes public. While put out to raise the level of awareness among parents, such a report also tends to increase the curiosity of those who would not otherwise even be aware of the magazine (such as myself) and actually increases exposure. It’s the proverbial Catch 21. According to Wikipedia, Teen Vogue has been around since 2003 and according to some young adults I’ve talked to this is not the first time offensive content has been published. But somebody screamed this time and more people became aware of the content and thus, the public concern. While we do not condone the publication of this type of material – just like we don’t condone the activity discussed in some of the articles – we won’t stop it by publicizing it (although parents do need to be informed that the content exists). But the way to stop such a publication is to stop buying the magazines. If the magazines don’t sell, the publication will cease. Therefore, our caution goes out to parents. Pay attention to what your kids are reading, what they watch on TV, the websites they visit on the internet, and who their friends are. Talk to your kids. Know who they are. * * * So, what have you heard and what do you know about the proposed GOP healthplan, as opposed to Obamacare? Probably just what you’ve heard on the boobtube. The Daily Signal, a conservative online news service, said this week: “Perhaps too often, Americans take the findings of independent government agencies—whether executive or congressional—as fact.” The commentary goes on to explain that the Congressional Budget Office has consistently said that repealing Obamacare would lead to around 22 to 23 million Americans losing their insurance by 2026. Okay – 2026. That’s eight or nine years from now. That’s a different administration. A lot can happen in nine years, politically speaking. The story goes on to explain that in 2010 the CBO projected 21 million Americans would enroll in the insurance exchanges by 2016. The real number ended up being around 10 million – a slight difference. As I understand it, a huge part of the Trump plan is that Americans would not be forced to accept the federal healthcare plan. The Daily Signal article quotes someone as saying, “of the 22 million fewer people who will have health insurance in 2026 under the Senate [health care] bill, 16 million will voluntarily drop out of the market because they will no longer face a financial penalty for doing so.” Seventy-three percent of the 22 million number will choose to stop buying the product they are forced to purchase under the current law. I think the bottom line is this (as stated by The Daily Signal): So far, the CBO has not been entirely transparent with how its numbers are calculated. Really? * * * The Mansfield Mirror published a newspaper last week without Larry Dennis – for the first time in 60 years. With the announcement of Larry’s retirement coming at about the same time that the newspaper said it would cease publication of a shopper, put out in conjunction with the weekly paper, rumors were flying that the Mansfield Mirror was closing. Not so. The paper will continue. * * * There’s no point in beating a dead horse, but we want to remind you once again to be aware that there are many scams in operation, and our little neck of the woods is not exempt. Almost weekly, we hear of a phone call or an email message intended to steal money if you will play along. Some of these messages seem very legitimate but here’s a couple of things to consider: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is; and if you didn’t enter (or buy a ticket), you won’t win. A third safeguard: if in doubt, don’t. If you get an email message that a relative or good friend is stuck in Africa and needs money to get home, first ask yourself the obvious question: what are the chances of him/her being in Africa (or some out of the way place) to begin with. Although this is not foolproof, another thing to watch for is that almost all telephone scams will involve a person with a foreign accent, and the email scam will often have misspelled names and words; and somewhere along the way, they will ask for money, or even worse, a bank account or credit card number. Don’t ever give out that information until you know the call is legitimate.