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Listener Encourages Hugs And Violins


And now, it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us.

So, Ammad, what's going on today?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Hey, Celeste. Well, earlier in the week, we had a roundtable conversation about sexual abuse in the military. The Pentagon estimates that about 26,000 people in the armed forces might have been the victims of sexual abuse the last fiscal year and just in the past couple of weeks, there have been three now high profile cases where military leaders who were in charge of sexual abuse prevention programs were arrested for crimes against women.

Well, we got a ton of letters on that issue after we did the conversation. One of them came from Cher Goodchild(ph) in Wilmington, Delaware. She says she was subjected to unwanted advances when she was in the Air Force in the 1990s and, when she reported the advances, she says several people in her unit teamed up against her.

HEADLEE: Cher writes, quote, "my keys disappeared and things in my car were broken and my furniture at home was moved around." She says she got an honorable discharge, but her attacker received his entire pension. And I don't see any justice in that, she says. Thanks for writing that in, Cher.

OMAR: Yeah. And - well, just yesterday, Celeste, President Obama met with some of his top military brass to talk about this issue and he spoke to the press afterwards. Here he is.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Not only is it a crime, not only is it shameful and disgraceful, but it also is going to make and has made a military less effective than it can be and, as such, it is dangerous to our national security.

OMAR: And you can expect more from the Pentagon on that, Celeste.

HEADLEE: Absolutely. What else do you have?

OMAR: All right. On a lighter note, we talked about the phenomenon of Tiger parenting on this program. That term came about when Amy Chua wrote a book called "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" and she wrote about how she pushed her kids to do things like taking violin lessons.

Well, Su Yeong Kim is someone we spoke to on this program this week. She's with the University of Texas and she did a study saying that style of parenting isn't really very effective and that those kids actually do worse academically and socially than kids whose parents give them more of a loving approach, as it were. And then this is how Michel wrapped up the segment.


You heard it here from an expert. More hugs, less violin.

OMAR: Well, Celeste, that hit the wrong notes with violin lovers. They started emailing and tweeting. @HannahViolin(ph) tweeted, violin and hugs are not incompatible. Hannah Violin's real name is Hannah Frey(ph) and she teaches violin in St. Louis, Missouri. Thanks for the tweet.

HEADLEE: Although I don't recommend hugging while you're holding the violin...

OMAR: Not incompatible.

HEADLEE: ...because damage could follow. Anything else?

OMAR: Yeah. Speaking of music, we always get a lot of questions about the music we play in between segments on this program, like this one from Toby Camps(ph) in Houston, Texas. He says, hi. Could you please tell me what the music was at the end of last night's show? That was Monday, May 13th, at the end of the story on food stamps and food insecurity. Many thanks and love the show.

Thanks for writing in, Toby. I asked our director, Argin Hutchins. He picks out the beats and he says that one was Moby. It was a classic cut from back in 1996 called "Living" and it's from the album "Animal Rights." Let's hear some of it, Celeste. A little classic Moby for you.


OMAR: Smooth.

HEADLEE: Very groovy. So, remember, at TELL ME MORE, the conversation never really ends. To tell us more, you can visit us online at Remember to leave us your name. We're on Twitter, also. Just look for TELL ME MORE NPR.

Thanks so much, Ammad.

OMAR: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.