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August 14th, 2009
11:39 AM ET
August 14th, 2009
11:12 AM ET
August 14th, 2009
06:20 AM ET

Are we too wired?

Terra Carmichael, a California mother of three, is part of growing trend: new moms “tweeting” their way through labor, sending out word of every painful contraction.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Terra Carmichael says tweeting helped her morale during childbirth."]

“My husband was laughing at me because I was saying, ‘Gimme my iPhone, I gotta check my Facebook status,” she says. “He actually thought it was very funny I was doing this and was actually giving me ideas of things to tweet.”

Carmichael, who sells baby products on “,” wasn't just tweeting to loved ones, but to hundreds of people who paid rapt attention to tweets like: "On my way to the hospital. If they even try to send me back home I just may punch them in the throat,” and “6 cm but with complications. C section-bound.”

She isn't the only woman who's sharing the birth process. But have we crossed the line? Are we too wired?

“Well, there was a very famous Supreme Court decision that says, ‘I know it when I see it,’ about pornography,” says John Abell, New York Bureau Chief for “” “I think we will, collectively, rise up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

Abell says that hasn't happened yet, at least not online. But some mental health professionals see it differently – saying some things, like childbirth, ought to be sacred. Clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere, who uses Facebook and Twitter, argues we share way too much online.

Facebook, he says, can become a "marriage buster,” because couples share personal information with "virtual friends,” instead of each other. “The Internet, if you will, becomes an escape hatch where they don't have to be intimate with one another, it's easier to be in some ways intimate with the world, but it's not a real intimacy, it's very superficial.”

But, Carmichael disagrees, saying she didn't share the most intimate details of childbirth via tweet – only the superficial. Tweeting helped her morale during labor. “People are writing and saying keep going, you're doing a great job. It's kind of like I had a personal cheerleading squad – a virtual cheerleading squad of my followers.

What do you think? Are we too wired? Tell us your thoughts.

Filed under: Just Sayin'
August 14th, 2009
06:15 AM ET

Agent: Michael Vick signs with Philadelphia Eagles

(CNN) - Michael Vick, recently reinstated to the NFL after being freed from federal prison after a dogfighting-related conviction, has signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to his agent, Joel Segal.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Michael Vick is set to join his new team on Friday, according to his agent."]

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback reports to Philadelphia on Friday, Segal told CNN.

Details of the deal were not immediately available Thursday night.

The league suspended Vick indefinitely in August 2007 after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in Virginia.

Vick, 29, was freed from federal prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, on May 20 and returned to his home to serve the last two months of his 23-month sentence in home confinement.

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Thursday night in a statement it was "incredibly disappointed" at the news of Vick's signing.

"Philadelphia is a city of dog lovers and most particularly, pit bull lovers," said Susan Cosby, the organization's chief executive officer. "To root for someone who participated in the hanging, drowning, electrocution and shooting of dogs will be impossible for many, no matter how much we would all like to see the Eagles go all the way."

Keep reading this story »

Filed under: Sports
August 14th, 2009
06:10 AM ET

Avlon: Palin, LaRouche stirring the crazy pot

Editor’s note: John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast. Previously, he served as Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Lyndon LaRouche (L) and Sarah Palin (R). Photos: Images"]

It’s become the summer of the wingnut. Unhinged eruptions at town halls are becoming standard operating procedure, as forces from the right face off against forces deployed by the left. Politics, it turns out, follows the line of physics: every action creates an equal and opposite reaction.

This week’s wingnuts are stirring the crazy pot with accusations and associations – on the right, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin makes her debut appearance on the wingnut list with a fanatical Facebook rant and on the left all time wingnut Lyndon LaRouche resurfaces with an ugly new poster of the president as Adolf Hitler that is appearing at town halls.

It's hard to remember that Sarah Palin was unknown one year ago, before being nominated to serve as McCain’s VP in late August 08. Now no longer the Governor of Alaska, she remains a powerful political presence on the right and is considered a likely contender for president in 2012. There have been times when she’s been unfairly attacked in the past, but this past week she jumped the shark in my book, cementing her reputation as one of the most polarizing political figures in America with this fear-fueled outburst on Facebook to her friends and followers:

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

For sheer fear-mongering that aims at the heart of familial emotions this statement is perhaps unprecedented at the major league level of recent American politics. It should be needless to say that none of the various bills circulating through congress contains a "death panel." The outcry over her statements was so widespread that even partisan Republicans distanced themselves from her comments (in a refreshing bit of candor, Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson said Palin’s statement was “nuts.”) Soon Sarah Palin followed suit offering an apology and calling for more civility in our politics, but that only added insult to this injury.

Just as you can’t retreat to move forward or quit to fight even harder, you can’t wade into a policy debate by saying the president is going to kill your baby at the hands of a death panel and then call for civility.


Filed under: Wingnuts of the week
August 14th, 2009
06:05 AM ET

FAA suspends 2 air traffic controllers over Hudson crash

(CNN) - The Federal Aviation Administration has suspended two air traffic controllers over last week's collision of two aircraft over the Hudson River that killed nine people, a spokeswoman said.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The wreckage of a plane that collided with a helicopter is lifted this week from the Hudson River."]

A controller at New Jersey's Teterboro Airport handling the flight of a Piper airplane carrying three people "was involved in apparently inappropriate conversations on the telephone at the time of the accident," FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said in a statement Thursday.

A source with knowledge of the investigation said the controller was on the phone with his girlfriend "after he cleared the pilot for takeoff; he was still on the phone at the time of the crash."

In addition, "the supervisor was not present in the building as required," Brown said.

"While we have no reason to believe at this time that these actions contributed to the accident, this kind of conduct is unacceptable, and we have placed the employees on administrative leave and have begun disciplinary proceedings," she said.

"These are serious violations of the FAA regulations," said Mary Schiavo, former inspector general for the Transportation Department.

Keep reading this story »

Filed under: Transportation
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