Tonight on 360°, a Tennessee sheriff speaks out about the Russia adoption controversy. Were laws broken with a family in Bedford County adopted 7-year-old Justin and then sent him back to Moscow alone with a note for authorities? Plus, Pres. Obama opens a summit on nuclear security at the White House. Several republicans, including Sarah Palin, speak out against his efforts - which remind many of Ronald Reagan. We're keeping them honest.
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Last week, Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, reinstated Confederate History Month in his state, but failed to make any mention of slavery. A controversy erupted over whether you can talk about the confederacy without talking about slavery and over whether we should be celebrating the Confederacy at all.
Tonight Douglas Brinkley, Presidential historian, and professor of history at Rice University as well as CNN's Joe Johns, will be examining the fallout, the future, and the big picture of this contentious issue. Do you have a question for them? Let us know!
Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!
How much coverage do you need?
There is no simple answer to how much coverage is enough.
Some financial planners say you need enough insurance to replace five to seven years of your salary. If you have young children or significant debt, you should bump up your coverage so you have enough to replace as much as 10 years of your salary, they say. That would mean a person making $50,000 a year should have anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000 worth of coverage or more.
Remember, the sole purpose of life insurance is to replace your income in case you die, so that your dependents can maintain their current lifestyle.
Factors to consider include whether the surviving partner will have child care expenses if one partner is out of the picture. Do you have other assets on which to draw? Will your children be out of the nest soon? These, and many other factors, influence the decision on how much coverage you need.
Buying a whole-life policy doesn't necessarily mean you are fully insured. Because of the investment component of whole life, the policies are much more expensive than term. Don't simply buy less coverage, as it defeats the purpose of buying insurance in the first place: to cover dependents.
Next, you've got to figure out how long you need the policy.
Program Note: Tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET we'll be digging deeper into the controversy over celebrating the Confederacy.
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Roland S. Martin.
Roland S. Martin | BIO
CNN Political Analyst
Based on the hundreds of e-mails, Facebook comments and Tweets I've read in response to my denunciation of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's decision to honor Confederates for their involvement in the Civil War - which was based on the desire to continue slavery - the one consistent thing that supporters of the proclamation offer up as a defense is that these individuals were fighting for what they believed in and defending their homeland.
In criticizing me for saying that celebrating the Confederates was akin to honoring Nazi soldiers for killing of Jews during the Holocaust, Rob Wagner said, "I am simply defending the honor and dignity of men who were given no choice other than to fight, some as young as thirteen."
Sherry Callahan said that supporting the Confederacy is "our history. Not hate; it's about heritage and history."
Javier Ramirez called slavery evil, but prefaced his remarks by saying that "Confederate soldiers were never seen as terrorists by [President Abraham] Lincoln or U.S. generals on the battlefield. They were accorded POW status, they were never tried for war crimes. Not once did Confederate soldiers do any damage to civilians or their property in their invasion of the north. The same is not true of Union soldiers."
Realskirkland sent me a Tweet saying, "Slavery is appalling, but was not the only reason for the CW [Civil War]. Those men, while misguided on some fronts stood up for what they felt was right. They embodied that American ideal that the states have a right to govern themselves. THAT is what a confederate soldier stood for."
If you take all of these comments, don't they sound eerily similar to what we hear today from Muslim extremists who have pledged their lives to defend the honor of Allah and to defeat the infidels in the West?
1. All policies fall into one of two camps.
There are term policies, or pure insurance coverage. And there are the many variants of whole life, which combine an investment product with pure term insurance and build cash value.
2. Insurance is sold, not bought.
Agents sell the vast majority of life policies written in the U.S. because the life insurance industry has a vested interest in pushing high-commission (and high-profit) whole-life policies.
3. Whole life is expensive.
Policies with an investment component cost many times more than term policies. As a result, many people who buy whole life often can't afford an adequate face value, leaving themselves under-insured.
4. Whole-life policies are built on assumptions.
The returns quoted by the agent are simply guesses – not reality. And some companies keep these guesses of future returns on the high side to attract more buyers.
5. Keep your investing and insurance strictly separate.
There are better places to invest – and without the high commissions of whole-life policies.
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
Phil Mickelson reacts to a shot on the tenth hole during the final round of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia.
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
Beat 360° Winners:
“Phil Mickelson auditions for the lead in the PGA’s version of MY FAIR LADY.”
Todd from Houston, TX
Police have made an arrest in the home invasion slaying last year of a Southern California couple in their beach house, authorities said today.
Joshua Graham Packer, 20, of Ventura, is facing charges including three counts of murder and two counts of robbery, Capt. Ross Bonfiglio of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department told CNN.
Bonfligio said the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department will discuss more details at a news conference scheduled later Monday.
Packer is accused of murdering Brock Husted, his wife, Davina Husted, and their unborn child. The Husteds, who were both 42, were stabbed to death by inside the family’s seaside home in Faria Beach, California, on May 20.
Until the couple’s slaying, the gated, seaside community of luxury homes had not recorded a homicide in 15 years, police said.
According to investigators, the Husteds were home with their two young children on the night of the slaying. Their daughter was asleep in her bed and their son was watching American Idol in the living room.
Sometime around 10:30 p.m., the suspect entered the home through French doors that face the ocean, police said.
The killer was dressed in dark clothing and wore a motorcycle helmet, authorities said. He walked past the child who was watching television and stabbed the Husteds. Davina Husted was four months pregnant.
The home was not ransacked and the alleged murder weapon was left at the scene, Bonfiglio said.
For more crime coverage go to cnn.com/crime.
Editor's Note: In 1998, Dr. Jane Aronson, adoption medicine specialist and Director of International Pediatric Health Services in New York City, traveled to Russia to learn more about orphanages and pediatric care, and to check up on one particular little girl, Anna. Read Dr. Aronson’s account of her trip below and watch AC360° at 10pm ET tonight to hear her thoughts on the adopted boy who was sent back to Russia alone.
Dr. Jane Aronson
Director of International Pediatric Health Services
January 24, 1998
It's hard to believe that I really traveled to Russia 4 months ago. As a pediatrician specializing in international adoption, I wanted to visit orphanages in Russia and learn more about the medical care of children in Russia. When I talk about my visit to Moscow and Saratov, I get passionate about every adventure. Even 90 degree temperatures did not seem to bother me. The mosquitoes kept me from sleeping comfortably, but I love telling everyone about my 20 mosquito bites in Moscow. In case you're interested, there are no screens in Russia.
My great grandmother, Rose, was born in Chernigov in Ukraine in the mid-1800's. My grandfather, Abe, was born in Skritsk, a small Jewish ghetto about 500 miles north of Odessa at the turn of the century. I felt as if I had something in common with all the Russians whom I met. I wanted to tell them about my heritage and they were truly interested in my family origins. People acknowledged me as Russian.
Saratov, a small city of 1 million people about 500 miles southwest of Moscow along the Volga River was our first destination. The orphanage in Saratov was shabby and old, but as we entered the infant and toddler living areas, the light from the large windows filled the room. There were very few staff caring for the children, but they appeared to be friendly and kind. This orphanage was occupied by 80 to 100 children with a staff of five; there was one director and a full time doctor. I met with the doctor and the director and after the initial "stranger anxiety" we amiably discussed the medical needs of the orphanage. I made a list of their requests and explained that we would work very hard to bring them medical supplies on subsequent trips to Saratov. They were very appreciative, but I really don't think they thought we would ever return.
Obama's summit represents a 'small step toward slowing the decline of international cooperation on nuclear issues', says Calabresi.
Ask an Obama Administration official why the President is bringing nearly 50 heads of state all the way to Washington just so they can collectively declare that loose nukes are bad, and you'll get a version of this: America can only be safe if international cooperation is strong.
That may be true, and hawks and doves in Washington agree there's little downside to the summit itself. But even the most idealistic internationalists know that the number of nuclear-armed states is likely to grow rather than shrink in coming years, weakening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and increasing the production of dangerous materials around the globe. So, a more accurate definition of the summit's purpose may be that it is, at best, a small step toward slowing the decline of international cooperation on nuclear issues.
The gathering will produce more paper than progress, Administration officials concede. There will be the nonbinding communiqué, wherein the leaders will declare the dangers of nuclear proliferation. They will pledge to take new national and international measures to secure nuclear materials within four years. The summit will produce a "work plan" of steps that individual states will take to secure their nuclear materials; that too will be nonbinding. And individual countries will announce their own measures, to the extent that they want to do more.