January 21st, 2009
06:12 PM ET

Risks of too much “screen time” for children?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Pulitzer Prize winning author Larry McMurtry says he doesn't see kids reading anymore and never sees them in his book store. He thinks we're witnessing the end of the culture of the book, and he may be right.

Kids in the U.K. spend an average of six hours a day looking at screens.

Kids in the U.K. spend an average of six hours a day looking at screens while watching TV, on the internet or playing video games, according to a new report by ChildWise.

The annual survey across the U.K. found that kids ages 5 to 19 spend only half an hour a day reading a book while they spend nearly 3 hours a day watching TV, an hour and a half on the internet and more than an hour playing games on consoles.

Many parents justify the time their kids spend online as necessary for school work. Wrong answer. Only 9-percent of kids said they looked up something for school the last time they logged on. Instead they are on social networking sites, chatting with friends, playing games and watching You Tube videos.

Some experts say the result could be a generation unable to compete in the adult world later in life because they lack essential reading and writing skills. Others warn this is a dangerous digital divide between parents and kids that is widening.

Here’s my question to you: What's the risk of allowing children to spend six hours a day in front of computer screens?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Children • Health • Internet
January 21st, 2009
05:01 PM ET

Obama Inaugural Parade Walk: Brave or Foolish?

ALT TEXT US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle wave to supporters as they walk along Pennsylvania Ave during the parade following his inauguration as the 44th president of the United States. (PHOTO CREDIT:ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Most of them want to do it. Presidents during the inaugural parade often like to be outside the confines of their bulletproof, bomb proof, everything-proof limousine the Secret Service lovingly calls "The Beast."

It gives them a chance to get closer to the people, who in many cases, have traveled far and endured a certain amount of hardship for the slight chance they'll get to see the President, up close and personal.

Jimmy Carter was the first to do this in 1977.

When the nation's new first couple exited the car yesterday, people began screaming and cheering along the parade route. It was like Elvis had suddenly appeared in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

And while the Obamas appeared relaxed and enjoyed the interaction with the crowd, don't kid yourself. For the Secret Service, it was a very tense time. When he's exposed like that, they can't guarantee his safety.

You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief when our new President decided to return to the safety of the presidential limousine.

Barack Obama lives inside the Presidential bubble now, and he doesn't have the freedom he enjoyed prior to noon yesterday when he became the leader of the free world.

Here’s my question to you: Was it brave or foolish for President Obama to leave the limo and walk several blocks during the inaugural parade?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


January 21st, 2009
02:50 PM ET

Obama’s climb to President: What surprises you?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

My friend, CNN Contributor Donna Brazile, said the inauguration of the first African-American U.S. President is a day to rejoice. On CNN.com, she explains why President Obama succeeded where others before him have failed.

What surprises you the most?

Only four years ago, Barack Obama became the junior senator from Illinois. He was a virtual unknown.

Brazile, a Democratic strategist, believes the key to President Obama's success was that he did not run as a black candidate, unlike people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. He ran as a progressive Democrat.

Brazile points out that most people thought it would simply make the campaign trail interesting when Obama decided to run. No one expected yesterday's events to be the culmination of that decision.

But on a cold night in Iowa, Obama knocked off Hillary Clinton in arguably the whitest place in America, and it was game on. He won primary after primary including Georgia and Virginia, the former seat of the Confederacy. And in the general election, he mopped the floor with John McCain.

The American people didn't see a black man when they looked at Obama; they saw someone who held out hope for a better future for them and their families. It's all pretty amazing stuff.

Here’s my question to you: What surprises you most about Barack Obama's climb to the presidency?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?