By Senior producer
msnbc.com
updated 4/22/2005 11:10:28 AM ET 2005-04-22T15:10:28

5 p.m. ET

In a Cincinnati suburb, residents have banded together to get a registered sex offender out of the neighborhood.  They collected $20,000 and offered it to him in exchange for his moving away.

This sounds extreme, but it is legal.  I can only imagine the frustration that parents must be feeling all across the country.  We hear about the tragic deaths of Sarah Lunde or Jessica Lundsford, both at the hands of men with criminal records for abusing kids, and it makes you wonder whether or not the government is doing enough to protect children.

Not everyone has the money to do what these Cincinnati neighbors did, and it also is clear that when the sex offender leaves he is just going to move someone else's block.  Taking the law into your own hands may not be the solution, but what is?  We'll discuss this very serious issue today at 5 p.m.

And later, the cable decency standards debate.

I can't get reception in my building without a cable connection, so there is no choice but to subscribe.  It's no problem for me, because I love watching television and the channel I work for happens to be on cable.  But for others in this situation, should signing on for a basic cable package imply exposing your kids to questionable content?

It seems at first like a cut and dry debate.  I believe in First Amendment rights, and I am sure you do, too.  The argument doesn't hold water when talking about premium channels, but basic cable is commercial television.  Should it be held to stricter decency standards?  This debate today, as well.

Join us, and get Connected.

12 p.m. ET

Today in the noontime edition of "Connected," a look at violence and infighting in Iraq.

In the past few days we've heard of some bloody episodes, including the discovery of 50 corpses floating in the Tigris River and a downed helicopter that claimed nine more lives.  Our own military analyst General Monty Meigs raises a great question: Is it really getting worse there or is the media finally paying more attention to Iraq after a stretch of Pope and Terry Schiavo coverage?  We will discuss this with him and James Zogby.

And later in the hour, the debate over what exactly gets labeled "organic."  Some farmers are frustrated by what they call loose labeling standards at the FDA that make it tough for them to compete with the big label food manufacturers.

We'll also be joined by a child protection advocate who can put some recent stories of child abductions into perspective.  Is this a growing problem, and should parents be concerned?

Send us your thoughts.

E-mail me at TMaciulis@MSNBC.com.

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