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Archive for the ‘Accountability’ Category

Domestic Violence is no joke. Glamour and the National Domestic Violence Hotline are working on a campaign called, “Tell Somebody Campaign”. Click on the video below to learn more about what you can do to help stop domestic violence in your area.

http://www.glamour.com/tell-somebody/video/2011/05/tell-somebody-help-put-an-end-to-relationship-violence

#DVWarrior

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“Up and at em’! It’s finally Friday! This is Erika Gonzalez with We Are Austin Morning’s FACEBOOK TOPIC OF THE DAY: A Houston couple has had their kids taken away from them because for the last 3 years, the family has been living in a storage unit. The 12-feet-wide and 25-foot-long structure comes equipped with beds, a refrigerator and even a computer. The couple says they fell on hard times and are doing the best they can. Should the state give the children back to their parents?”

via KEYETV’s Photos – Wall Photos.

My response on this was:

Homelessness among families is a huge issue throughout the communities and not well spoken about in the media. Talk to ARCH to get some figures on homeless families even just in the Austin area. These children had a shelter over their head, at least. Many are living out of cars. The economy’s ups and downs certainly isn’t conducive to people’s survival in making ends meet. When one is paying $500-800 average apartment rental (more for that many children), it is easy to see why they choose to cut down that expense, when they can’t possibly squeeze any more out of the other areas of their budget. Too, homeless shelters are at their capacities. Provide some solutions so that folks don’t have to be forced into homelessness situations. 🙂

Agree or disagree???

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Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue

Some of the tell tale signs of compassion fatigue are listed below.

Lack of enjoyment in day to day activities

Not deriving any joy from things that used to excite the person earlier

Difficulty in concentrating in any task

Feelings of anxiety and perpetual fear

Feelings of irritability triggered by trivial things

Isolation from family and friends

Detachment from work and life

Inability to take big or small decisions

Lack of interest in work

Avoidance of certain situations and people at work

Unprovoked outbursts of anger

Constant feeling of dread and imagination of doom

 

Causes of Compassion Fatigue

Some common causes of compassion fatigue are listed below.

Interacting with and taking care of terminally ill patients day in and day out

Caring for a physically or mentally challenged child

Counseling grief stricken families in times of grave environmental disasters

Counseling victims of sexual abuse

Working in a help line to support and encourage trauma victims

Working in close association with mentally challenged people

Providing support to people suffering from depression

via Compassion Fatigue Causes.

 

As an advocate the key to success is being able to balance compassion so that fatigue is avoided, or if it occurs that it is quickly diverted and conquered.  I am fortunate that I work at a place that takes “wellness” seriously and we are allowed to go into a wellness session for almost 2 hrs each month paid for and flexed time away from the phones, giving one an option and opportunity to balance a 40 hr work week on the phones with folks in various crisis situations  with some downtime to take care of you (the advocate).

Sometimes the wellness sessions would include meditation methods, a bit of art therapy, a bit of learning of various techniques that we can also share with the callers, some yoga, some zumba, pottery making, learning to laugh, and so much more.

More important is to take application of the things learned from the wellness sessions to make a better quality of your own life.    Healthy eats, exercise/movement, quiet time, time to voice and be an activist outside of the work environment, and so much more.

A great book that wasn’t mentioned in the connective article to read about compassion and taking care of yourself is a book called 

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

 by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk, which can be found on Amazon.com.  It’s definitely a worthwhile book to read and may become your “Bible” beside you if you are a caregiver in any aspect.  Their website is something that is valuable for continued support in your own journey for continued caregiving of others — http://traumastewardship.com/.

What ideas do you have to focus upon to combat compassion fatigue in your everyday life and continue on the enjoyment of the journey of Caregiving in the sense that it is really meant to be?  Would love to hear more ideas from you.

 

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Empathy can be literally defined as:

em·pa·thy [ émpəthee ]   Audio player

  1. understanding of another’s feelings:the ability to identify with and understand somebody else’s feelings or difficulties
  2. attribution of feelings to an object:the transfer of somebody’s own feelings and emotions to an object such as a painting

[ Early 20th century. < Greek empatheia “affection, passion” ]

 Ashoka Fellow Molly Barker, Founder of Girls on the Run International®, who has been working to build-up Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative. suggests the following:

Empathy has been a hot topic at the summit. Typically considered a soft skill and not necessarily essential to leadership (at least in the traditional sense), Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka, has uncovered a number of thematic connections between all of those folks who are social entrepreneurs. Empathy has been and continues to be at the top of that list.

Empathy is one of those things … “things” because I’m not sure precisely what to call it … that I’ve taken for granted. I was raised in a very empathetic home. My family members are empathetic. My children are empathetic and most everyone – heck, EVERYONE! – I work with is empathetic. I’ve naturally, based on my own experiences, assumed that most people would understand why empathy is essential to being human … a kind of “duh” sort of thing. A clear and VERY obvious outcome of Girls on the Run is the ability of every girl and coach to give and receive within an empathetic context.

In my mind, without empathy we lack the ability to deeply connect with another living creature. Empathy affords us the experience of being one in experience with another, putting aside our own ego, the need to be right, and being with the emotions of another. It doesn’t mean fixing them, making the emotions go away or enabling the individual. To me it simply means being with their emotions without interference from me.

via So how do you get empathy, anyway? (Hint: You won’t find it in a lecture.) | Ashoka.org.

As an advocate, I am always under the impression that being with empathy is demonstrating a concern and understanding of the here and now of the caller/person communicating with (no matter the mode of communication).  It isn’t a time of formulating one’s opinion of the situation; it is more important to sort through options and more options for the situation given at hand, as well as providing emotional support and guidance for catapulting forwarding to the light at the end of the tunnel, in order to move forward to, hopefully, without the burdens of the crisis situations at hand.

People need to have a voice in their lives moving forward, they need to see and weigh out the options available for them (because when in crisis mode, you rarely see through the mist of the tears caused by the emotional and/or physical pain currently enduring); however, they need to know that they aren’t crazy, that they have lives that are valued, and that they can do things and make great decisions that affect their own lives, as well as those around them.

How do YOU see empathy?  How do you apply empathy in your daily lives?

 

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The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a great fact sheet resource to Domestic Violence  and Children:  Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates, answering such questions as:

How do children react to domestic violence?

What are some typical short-term responses?

What about children’s responses in the long term?

What are the factors that help children recover?

What should parents tell their children about domestic violence?

How much information is enough but not too much?

What should a parent tell a child about the parent who was abusive?

How can advocates protect children from adult information?

How should parents respond to and cope with their children’s feelings about them?

What are some strategies for managing children’s behaviors that may occur in families with domestic violence?

How can advocates determine when a child needs more help?

and,

What is secondary trauma and how does it affect me?

 

 

Click on the link below to learn more:

http://www.nctsnet.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/DomViolenceFactSheet_final.pdf

 

 

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Domestic violence cases seem to prevail in spite of all the efforts of the advocates across the United States and throughout the world; however, that doesn’t stop the advocates from continuing to try.  One focus has turned its head towards the affects upon childhood trauma.  One such foundation taking this focus in their hands is the Makers of Memories with its public policy initiative:

The Makers of Memories Public Policy Initiative, launched earlier this month in Washington DC, has already begun to develop momentum towards our two key objectives of:

1) raising awareness about the problem of childhood exposure to domestic violence; and

2) developing a set of solutions to address this problem.

Participants from a wide range of national nonprofit organizations have agreed to collaborate on the educational content and distribution of our documentary film project, 43 Million Secrets, and have contacted us to explore ways that we can work together to motivate leaders and policy makers to take action to provide support and assistance to children who experience domestic violence. We also are exploring programmatic initiatives with these organizations. Some of the individuals and organizations we have engaged to collaborate on our work are featured below in the images from our meeting in Washington DC on June 14.

via Makers of Memories.

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Marsys’ Law created as a result, in California, when a woman was lured back to her ex-boyfriend who claimed wanted to get back with her and make up but in actuality had a shotgun ready to kill her when she entered his home.   This event was a great opportunity to learn more.

PASADENA – The Pasadena Police Department will host a free Crime Victims’ Clinic from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday in the second floor assembly room at the department headquarters, 207 N. Garfield Ave.

The clinic will offer information on the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights Act (Marsy’s Law) passed in 2008, giving victims of crimes and their families 17 constitutional rights.

Workshop participants will include the Pasadena Police Department, Justice for Homicide Victims, Pasadena Superior Court, L.A. District Attorney’s Office, Bailiff’s Office, Victim-Witness Assistance Program; Peace Over Violence and Crime Stoppers.

The clinic is being coordinated, organized and planned by Police Specialist III Patricia Magallanes.

via Crime victims’ rights to be discussed at police clinic – Pasadena Star-News.

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Recently attended a child custody inservice presented by Barry Goldstein and Dr. Mo Hanna (who, incidently co-authored the book called Domestic Violence Abuse and Child Custody).  Dr. Hanna also speaks to childhood trauma in her part of the presentation.  The statistics presented in this video by Makers of Memories foundation are, indeed pretty staggering and worth taking note.  In a quest to end domestic violence, we must take a look from all perspectives to really figure out a solution to end it forever.

Please reveiw and let me know what you think.


YouTube – 10 Shocking domestic violence statistics for 2011.

See also for more information:

http://domesticviolenceabuseandchildcustody.com

http://blog.makersofmemories.org/

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In 2004, when a suburban hit me in an intersection and spun me around, my knees hit the steering wheel hard.  At the time, I didn’t have medical insurance; just the PIP insurance with your normal coverage of auto insurance policy.  When it was discovered a month after the accident that my swelling in my legs was simply not going to go away, it was only a beginning to a journey of learning how to be an advocate for myself.  The hospital granted me a grant for 10 treatments, but anyone who knows anything about lymphedema, 10 treatments is clearly not enough.  I was left on my own to wrap my legs and utilize a small pump and try to get the swelling to go down on my own without any insurance coverage.

By the time that I gained health insurance in 2008 through my employer when transitioning from a full time relief employee to a full time permanent employee, my legs were getting out of control and I was beginning to develop some pressure wounds.  After 3-6 months of physical therapy, aqua therapy, and transitioning from the ace looking compression bandages get up to the juxt-a-fit garments, and the approval of a flexitouch pump, I finally was able to have a better guide, control and understanding of what to do for maintaining my condition.

To this day, I still walk about with garments on both legs, although the right leg is far worse than the left, and tennis shoes that are way to big for me ordinarily (because of the wraps, I have to wear much larger shoes).  I have some sights on a new garment that comes in black and cheaper than the ones that I presently have, however, are supposed to work even better.  Hopefully, I won’t have the $500 annual garment purchase, plus the additional $100-200 I purchase each month in various specialized stockings that I have to wear with the garments.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  At least, if they are in black, they might be less noticeable.  For the past 7 years, everyone seemed to look at me with strangely while I continued to wear these garments day in and day out for the past 7 years, going on 8.

During the past years, I have been a strong advocate, learning more and more how to speak up for myself and try to make sure that I have the latest in the developments to ensure that there is continued progress without any set backs.  I’ve also promoted latest and greatest news on my Lymphedema in the News page on facebook and have become one of the admins in a patient’s only page (private) on facebook where we work to encourage and inspire one another.

In additon, I have had other lymphedema advocates come on my blogtalkradio show called, Beyond Words Live, to share updates about HR 4662 bill that is the national legislation concerning helping to defer the high costs of treatments towards the lymphedema patient.  It is critical that there is attention to this bill because, if lymphedema is left untreated, it poses a much higher health risk — such as the awfully painful pressure wounds that can run deep past the fatty tissues underneath the skin layer, exposing it to the opportunity for more infections, etc.

My story is one of many stories.  This is not lympoma or any form of cancer, although it can often result from having radiation treatments necessary to combat cancer.  Many other folks have many other causes — some trauma situated causes like mine — many others have other situations that have occurred to where the lymph nodes were damaged in some other way; and, in some cases, too, there are some hereditary links to this long lasting condition.

via Personal Fundraising Page for Kathryn Benefiting the Lymphatic Research of the Lymphatic Research Foundation!.

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$31,244 is the average income of 90% of the income earners, which has only seen a change of 1% during 1970-2008.  As you climb the chart to see other ranges of earnings, the population gets smaller and smaller, but the change of income earned during this same time frame is increasing higher and higher.  Something is very wrong with this picture.

How are folks supposed to hold on to hope for economic change in the future, if 90% of the population is seeing the littlest of changes?

via (Not) spreading the wealth – The Washington Post.

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Just happened upon this today.  You’ll just need to read the article to understand the full scope:

 

Reposted article for quick viewing here:


In case you hadn’t heard the latest news to make you doubt the basic humanity of the people around you, several years ago a 16-year-old cheerleader from Silsbee High School in Texas was assaulted at a party by Rakheem Bolton, a basketball player and football star whom she says held her down and raped her. Bolton later pleaded to a charge of misdemeanor assault, but here’s the part that’s going to make you want to set things on fire: Not only did the school allow him back on the basketball team, they told the girl it was her responsibility to lay low, stay away from the lunchroom and not go to Homecoming. And when the girl refused to cheer specifically for her attacker at games — while still cheering for the team at large — Silsbee High School officials did something so fundamentally awful that they might as well be twisting their mustaches: They threw her off the cheerleading squad.

She challenged the school in court and recently lost, so now in addition to suffering a horrendous assault, predictably being branded a “slut” in her community, and getting thrown off the cheerleading team for refusing to shout “put it in” at her attacker (seriously), her family has been ordered to pay $45,000 in legal fees to the school.

Jason Ho, an illustrator and Assistant Editor at Bongo Comics wants to help, so he is drawing custom sketches at $20 a pop and donating the proceeds to the girl’s legal costs. They are both very attractive sketches and a small way to help someone who has been failed disgracefully over and over by the indecency and institutional cowardice of seemingly everyone around her.

“The less I say about it, the better, cause if I start talking about it, I’m just gonna get mad,” Ho wrote on his blog. “Suffice it to say, this is utterly unacceptable, and if we can help, we should.”

You can read more of the profoundly depressing details here, but the courage of the young woman cannot be overstated for speaking out about an assault by a football star in a culture that disproportionately values sports prowess (you’ve seen Friday Night Lights, right?) and is quick to blame victims — even 11-year-old girls — for their own sexual assaults.

Thanks to Silsbee High School and Superintendent Richard Bain Jr., for rewarding the young woman’s bravery with the tacit message to shut up because winning sports games is more important than her assault, and for affirming yet again to girls and women around the world that seeking justice for a sexual assault is the fastest and easiest way to get victimized all over again, except in more public and expensive ways.

Sincere thanks to Ho — an artist we’ve featured on ComicsAlliance before — and Help the Cheerleader, which is working directly with the girl and her family to raise money for both the school’s court fees and their own. Donations are being accepted via Paypal here.

Read More: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/06/08/cheerleader-texas-rape-sketches/#ixzz1OuQWnMyG

 

 

 

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Oh, my! I just can’t believe that it has come down to discussing politician’s many love lives and infidelities, and let that drama get in way of what is truly underlying on the the important aspects of getting us out of this economic “bliss” and recession. Don’t get me wrong — when we vote a politician into office, we do hope and pray that they enstill the same morals and beliefs that are representative of our society as a whole, but let us not forget where our priorities should be.

Below is the humor made by a political cartoon today:

Can we please get down to the real business essential to our lives.

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OMG, just read a blog posting that an author stated that,

“There is an oft-repeated, but false, myth that Super Bowl Sunday is the worst day for violence against women.” 

Of course, the author then adds,

“Would that it were that easy.  Domestic violence doesn’t care what day it is.  It is an every day (and everyday) problem of individuals, families, and society as a whole.  The solution to domestic violence cannot, by definition, take place only within the family unit.  It is a public health issue if ever there was one.”

The first sentence sent the hair up on the back of my neck — MYTH?  a fallacy???  I don’t think so!!  I have been working in the domestic violence field for more than 5 years now, not counting the 15 years that I have been a paralegal and the many years of physical and emotional domestic violence that I personally encountered for many years, and yesterday was probably the first experience I had had with working specifically on Superbowl Sunday in this industry and I wrote the following on another site…..

entitled, “Underdogs come up and win! Thank goodness someone did!!!”

Today has been a rough day for me. For many that know, I answer crisis calls for a living. That, in itself isn’t too bad because I generally can separate myself from their pain and move forward to the next caller.

Today, it has been different. Perhaps, it is because I have never worked in this field on Superbowl Sunday; I don’t know. It seems like I had before, but I don’t remember it being this rough.

Superbowl for most people can be all fun and games, but from the domestic violence perspective it can be quite the opposite. I have been receiving higher risk crisis calls today percentage wise than I ever have, I believe. I mean, usually, it is just calls wanting more information or how to plan to help from friends or family members OR understanding how they need to understand why they need to stay away from the abusive person OR some students wanting help on their projects.

Today, though….

* a woman’s face was bashed in by her ex and she just returned home from the hospital. Her ex was on the way to p/u the kids and she needed to ensure their safety until she could reach the attorney and the district attorney in the morning….

* callers calling from places they are hiding from their abusers….

* callers from the other room while there abusive partner was enjoying the superbowl game after having beaten them up. They were seeking shelter space….

* callers wanting us to call 911 for them…

* caller stating that her husband had just “disciplined” her daughter by yanking her hair and dragging her through the house and throwing her into the doorway. The daughter now has a concussion….

* other child abuse calls being called in….

and sooooo much more.

It is times like these when one gets these sort of calls you would like to be able to hang up the phone and call “The Equalizer” to take care of things. I guess I always loved that show because the actor would do so in a not necessarily violent way to get the point across to the aggressor — a sort of person who advocated for the underdog.

It is sort of the peace de la resistance (sp?) in the fact that, at least, one underdog has won today — even if it is from an event that seems to masks the pain of others in the same day.

Some day — I wish the pains of the victims away and the abusive/aggressive folks of this world find peace so that we can all live in the world as one happy family. Is it really too much to ask for???

Now, try to tell me, after my experience yesterday on a domestic violence hotline, that Superbowl Sunday isn’t one of the worst days ever for domestic violence.

In all fairness though, there are hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of calls received day in and day out throughout the entire year.  Domestic violence isn’t just domestic violence on Superbowl Sunday; however, the intensity culminates to something that is both exasperating and emotional.

Some day…..

the violence in the home has to end!

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Making lists doesn’t always put our world in order, but it certainly helps us to feel more orderly.

~ Anonymous

lol..

I don’t know how many lists that I have written over the years, but it has certainly made me rest better at nights very often so that I could have a renewed perspective of the upcoming day, as well as a renewed charge and dedication to eliminate as many of the items off of my lists.

How about yourself????

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Just something inspirational to share with you today:

“I Wish You Enough

Recently, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at a regional airport. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking,”Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.

“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.”May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.”

He paused for a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting theother person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued. Then, turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.”

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friend, I wish you enough!

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to give enough to those you love. ”

~ Unknown author

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On January 9th of this year, a posting was made by Timmy called “You want what?”.   In the posting he states:  

Today’s Kick in the Ass goes to an anonymous person, or asshat, who filed a claim against the federal government for of $3 quadrillion for over damage from the failure of levees and flood walls following Hurricane Katrina.For the sake of perspective: A mere $1 quadrillion would dwarf the U.S. gross domestic product, which was $13.2 trillion in 2007. A stack of one quadrillion pennies would reach Saturn.Or maybe this would be a better way to put it in perspective – compare that to $250. That’s the amount FEMA gave residents of my area when in September 2004 Hurricane Ivan dumped 9 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Nine inches is an unbelievable amount of water to come roaring thousands of feet down mountains and into already flooding streams. The result was the worst flash flooding in the history of the area. That’s where the “impressive” numbers stop. Because unlike some other natural disasters that gained the attention of the world and the backing of disaster efforts and corporate moneys, “only” dozens were killed. “Only” hundreds of homes destroyed. “Only” thousands were displaced. The town I once lived in, Jacksonburg, was wiped off the map. The town was situated on the inside of a huge horseshoe bend in the creek. A temporary earth and culvert bridge had been put in place to allow work on the existing bridge. This became a dam as soon as the wave of water brought trees off the hills. Within minutes, dozens of homes were gone. These were homes built out of the 100 year flood plane, and no one ever imagined flood water could possibly reach them, including my aunt’s home. How did people recover? Neighbors helped them out, mostly. The company me and some other residents worked for declined to help saying the numbers just weren’t there.

But at least not one opportunistic attorney got rich.

This is certainly an atrocity with the audacity of some thinking that they are going to sue the government, especially, for such an exorbitant and outrageous sum of money.  That being said, though, I responded on his posting with the following comment:

I so concur with your thoughts on this.  Any suit would be insanity and justification in comparison to what??

True.  The Katrina victims did face great adversity in their plight; however, years have gone by, and at some point in time, a line in the sand should be drawn, and those same victims should say to themselves, “While we were victims during the Katrina hurricane storm, we are now Katrina survivors!” and work to strive to empower themselves to move forward, out of adversity, and towards a better life for themselves and their community.  At some point, the past can be remembered, but shove the memory to the past and allow all to move to the recovery and survivor mode.

Okay, okay.

Off of my soapbox — for now…

Of course, I don’t want to downplay the enormity of the devastation felt by New Orleans and its surrounding communities; however, at some point of time advocating must be done towards moving the victims from the poor pitiful me stage to empower them to say that they are victors above all because they have overcome such an awful fate of nature that day.

I am sure that there are many victims of the Katrina that have moved forward and are looking at this suit as “Oh, God, when will be able to forget and move on without this being played out and expanded in the media again and again and again??” or “When can the healing process begin without having constant reminders of the past?”

What is really going to be served at attempting to bankrupt the very government that continues to issue grants and support in many continuing situations throughout our society?  Are they really thinking this all the way through?  Do they really want to be remembered for causing a riff in the economy from a potentially bankrupt government, as well as the affect on our children and other members of the society throughout the United States, as well as other parts of the world that we, as a nation of people, do help to support???

Does anyone have a true good solution???  I’d really love to hear it…

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(Actually written 1/2/08:)

I saw a bumper sticker the other day and was puzzled slightly by what it said — “Those who abandon their dreams, will discourage others.”  Although I wrote it on my hand, and later on in my datebook journal I received as a Christmas gift, it just didn’t make sense to me until today.  After all, eventhough I haven’t achieved all of my dreams, I am still the cheerleader encouraging and empowering others to be able to move forward with their own dreams.

Today, though, I indeed had a v-8 moment and realized just what the bumper sticker could possibly mean.

For my living, I am an advocate for those who may not necessarily speak up for themselves.  Currently, I have found myself being an advocate for the elderly as part of my vocation and passion and, as a rule, I truly enjoy what I do.  One client though I have been struggling with to keep upbeat about it.

When I first started going to this client a few weeks ago, I was shocked by the care of his room.  While he may have incontinence, his room reaked of urine all over newspapers, bed linens, clothes, and such.  Apparently, he can’t remember to wear his “briefs”, the depends.  That, in itself is one thing, and makes my job enduring as each week I have to spend 3 hours waiting for the loads to wash through and I don’t feel like I can do this client justice fully because I don’t feel like I have as much time to visit with him, but he tends to stick things in the toilet and stops it up as well (ie, apparently he doesn’t like carrots so they end up in the toilet, which is very disgusting.  I end up having to call maintenance of the facility to come fix the toilet.  It shouldn’t get to the point it does.  The client has a phone; he could call for maintenance himself.  He also walks to the dining room each day; he could tell the management office his needs as well, but he chooses not to.  So, each week I return and I encounter much of the same thing.  You would think that someone wouldn’t want to stay in a room that smells like urine, much less sleep in wet sheets and covers each night.  Each week I keep thinking to myself, “Why, then, do I put myself through such turmoil?”

The answer lays in the fact that I continue to hope that I can make a difference in this man’s life, although, it appears that his level of care needs to be much higher.  This man, who used to not even move out of the bed, does now greet me at his door each week so I am doing something right, it would appear.

Too, while waiting for the clothese to be washed and dried, I’ve met other residents that walk (or, ride) by and they either wave or stop to talk to me for a bit.  I think that they are just happy to see someone else available to hear what they have to say about their day.  Some of them are now even introducing themselves to me with their names and inviting me to go visit them in their rooms — so many are just anxious to have company and companionship.  Even in an assisted living facility, so many residents keep to themselves, which is a shame.

Earlier this morning, I checked my Fubar page just as anyone might check their MySpace page or emails, and saw one of my best friends indicate that he was having trouble waking up this morning.  I called him and told him that, while he was having trouble waking up, I was having a great deal of trouble just motivating myself to move forward to go see this client this morning.  We were talking about why I was having trouble in particular today and he set a positive tone for me by saying to me, “At least, you will have lots to blog about today,” and he was right.

Although I am discouraged by this man’s seemingly giving up on his dreams of having a great life in spite of his health problems, I am discouraged (just like the bumper sticker says).  However, what relights my enthusiasm for returning each week is the brightened eyees and smiles of others I see each week at this facility.  Today, I was surprised, too, in that this man didn’t stay in his room while I was tending to his laundry down the hall.  He actually got up and took the trash to the laundry room area and later he came down to the sitting area and talked with me for a bit telling me that the maintenance has come while I was down here.  Not only once though, but three times!  Maybe next week, he’ll actually sit down and talk to me?  At any rate, any progress made is certainly making way for encouragement that my advocacy is making a difference.

I’ll certainly have to remind myself that, as I crawl out of bed next Wednesday morning, while advocacy work can indeed be very discouraging, it is encouraging to see when folks be able to crawl out of their hinderances (sometime created by themselves) and start getting a little more excited about life.  That is the reward I get in lieu of great monetary salaries, a richness more fulfilling to living a life than making a huge income and not being able to stop and observe life for what it is.  Humanity is a precious regard on this earth; unfortunately, most people are too focused on making the big bucks that they often forget the joys that would surround them if they would just stop and look!

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In Slate.com there was a cartoon that indicated the lack of US cooperation with the Global Warming issue.  With Al Gore’s campaign for the “Inconvenient Truth” that he has been doing in the past few years, you would think that the prospect of US’s involvement with the global warming issues would be higher.  What this cartoon fails to portray is the thought of what cooperation is being had by the other countries in this world.  I wonder what that would actually look like????

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Although I have run across this blogger, known as “Midnight Dancer”, on another social site (currently called Fubar and fka Cherry Tap & fka Lost Cherry), his blog entitled “Let’s Dance Through Life: Love, Honestly, and the Internet” has a posting called “No Guts, No Glory” and poignantly states:

It has been said many ways: No guts, no glory. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Life is full of chances and opportunities. But to take a chance .. to reach for an opportunity … there is risk involved.

Some people like to play it safe. They don’t want to take a risk. They have been hurt before and are afraid of being hurt again.

That is totally understandable. I have taken many risks in my life, and I have been hurt. The question one has to ask themselves is, “is the risk worth the reward?”

I have always answered this question, “yes!” Because I know that the reward is the best thing I would ever dream of, and I have said that I will go through anything to get that. And if I quit, then all that I have gone through in the past would be for nothing.

But sometimes … I waver in this. My courage begins to falter. Sometimes I think, “Not again. I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s too much.”

Then I try to take a deep breath, and think, maybe the next risk will be the one that pays off. And I remind myself; I repeat it to myself like some kind of mantra. “No guts, no glory.”

I had responded by stating that…. “Hmmm… I am sure that my crisis callers may not all appreciate that motto or mantra; however, it is certainly one to keep in mind indeed for all of us who have ever taken risks — or about to! :D”

Don’t you think???

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and the overreaction of the criticism of his message to wish everyone a Merry Christmas in one of his recent messages on tv.  This video is from the Today Show appearance…

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKMDJ46G4M4]

It is such a shame that folks have to be intimidated by expressing a simple greeting based on their religious belief.  Gone are the days in many countries that many have to hide the Bibles as a symbol of their quest for knowledge based in the Christian beliefs; why should the United States be so much in a uproar over a simple greeting — especially when the vast majority of the citizens of the United States have a founding belief based in some form of Christianity belief system.

A saying by Mahatma Ghandi:

bullet “The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of the different religions.

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What happend to the giving of the lump of coal in the stocking???

Can you imagine the psychiatrist bill in overcoming a child’s potential emotional impact from being degraded and humiliated by carrying a balloon marked “Naughty!”???  Of course, on the other hand, if the child deserved it though, is it good to hold them accountable for their actions throughout the year???? 😉

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At any rate, Heathcliff certainly doesn’t look very happy, does he???

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In an article in the Austin American Statesman on Tuesday, December 18th, the author of the article, Charles Taylor, starts off saying in his analysis of the book by Elizabeth Bumiller on Condoleeza Rice: An American Life:

“The subtitle of Elizabeth Bumiller’s biography “Condoleezza Rice: An American Life” tells you everything you need to know. The book is serious, sober and deeply unimaginative.

Neither an attack nor a valentine, it would be far more interesting if it were either — if the writer ventured an actual stand. Instead it shows how the entire notion of “balance” has sucked the vitality out of mainstream journalism, both stylistically and intellectually.”

OMG!  Do you think Mr. Taylor had an opinion on this, or what?  While I have not had the opportunity to read the book on Condoleeza Rice, I would love to see what it might have to say about this very stately woman that seems to have a good head on her shoulders with the utmost diplomacy.  I am not sure that a book on this woman could have been with a steaming richness like a torid romance novel or suspence/mystery book since this woman has seemingly staved away from huge controversial areas, other than working with President George W. Bush’s presidental era.

Although I have no idea about this author and her methodology of her writing skills, I feel that certainly Mr. Taylor may have been a little too harsh – especially in observing the diplomatic nature of Ms. Condoleeza Rice in her own right.  However, perhaps, I should get the book and see whether or not I can concur with Mr. Taylor.

Have you read this book yet?   Do you have an opinion???

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When I was little, we had lived up in Ft. Meade, Maryland, on Suzie Court.  When it snowed, it would snow very hard and we would have feet upon feet of snow — unlike where I live now in Texas where we are lucky if it snows above 3-5 inches!! lol…..

We would go sliding down behind the big hill behind our home and build tunnels in the snow — sending our parents in a panic when they couldn’t see us, but they knew we were out there playing somewhere — and, especially, when they knew that the snowplows were making their way in the streets.  Building our own snowman was half of the fun playing in the snow….

I certainly can’t see much fun taking it indoors; can you???

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I am often wondering what this truly is. What is normal, afterall? For a person that works the typical 8a-5p shifts, sleep hours might be 9p-6a…or something of that nature. However, for the person working the night shifts, it may invert drastically.

As for me, my hours shift according to the day… sometimes working day shifts; sometimes working night shifts. This can really wreak havoc on the system when one can’t supply a consistent schedule or order in ones day to day events. Yes, one can use a little shuffling for a change of pace; but, how long should this shuffling of pace be and remain a good factor in one’s life remains to be seen.

What do you do to normalize your life if you have a messed up schedule???

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Does anyone actually achieve their dream job — or, is it just merely a figment of everyone’s imagination?

While someone may be doing the job they absolutely love to do, it may not pay all that well and they have to struggle to make ends meet.  Additionally, family members or friends may look down upon someone that isn’t mastering the financial ladder as someone that is being less than their full potential.

A friend was asking me tonight, who often plays “career coach” to me from time to time, what I want to be when I grow up.  If only I could pick and choose the qualities of each of my past jobs that I liked the best and make the ideal job that would be pleasing in all aspects — high income, advocacy, interaction with others, great researching skills, and so much more.

It was announced in the news and news media sources lately a lot about the newest generation of workforce employees are having a tendency to job hop more and have many more background experiences than their counterparts in generations slightly ahead of them.   No longer, for instance, is the trend that people people have jobs for more 20 or more years.  It would be unheard of, perhaps, to see these generation of workers retiring with a job of tenure of 40-50 years of service, as my bosses’ generations have done.

My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this month.  Gone, too, are the days that many couples will look forward to see the day of having a 50th wedding anniversay, while couples in my parents’ generation and before saw 50th and 75th wedding anniversaries as part of the norm of the culture.

What has happened to our culture?  or, do we even have a culture to be considered these days?  What is to be considered about the American society?  Are we all going to be judged by the people who lead us — or what affect we, as individuals have upon our local and global societies?

Okay.  So, I have digressed. 

Does anyone actually achieve their dream job — or, is it just merely a figment of everyone’s imagination?

Does anyone have an answer????

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those at the Justice for Children program. 

“It is the position of Justice for Children that PAS is junk science.

“P.A.S. per se (not “parents lying about abuse allegations”) is not a syndrome.   People lie on the witness stand every day but that does not make it a syndrome.   Various credible studies have documented that the incidence of false allegations of abuse in custody proceedings make up significantly less than 5% of all abuse allegations  in custody proceedings.  When mental health experts or attorneys claim that P.A.S. is a “syndrome”  — knowing full well that it lacks scientific validity, is the concoction of a disgraced psychologist, and has been soundly rejected by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges — that is disingenuous at best and unethical at worst.  Moreover, when it is used as a vehicle to keep children in the custody of men who abuse them, it is also immoral. ” – Randy Burton, Founder, Chairman and President – Justice for Children

PAS is touted to be an accepted psychological “syndrome” when, in fact, it has no scientific foundation and has been routinely rejected by courts and mental health professionals as admissible in the courtroom.  Nonetheless, PAS is still being used by unscrupulous attorneys and hired gun “experts” to attack the credibility of, parents, usually mothers, and undermine the testimony of little children who have accused their fathers of unspeakable acts of abuse. “

For more information see their posting on Justice for Children

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I know that they have talked about it for a while… and you have been able to purchase a kit online and send it off to the various DNA labs, but now (in accordance to the Houston News Station) they are available over the counter as well?

What do you think about that?

I am sure that, if it came to a legal matter, the courts may only accept the paternity tests that go through the official DNA labs; but for the millions of folks that are pondering if the paternity of the child is their child or not, this may be able to provide an affordable means to determine the paternity.

Would you trust the results though?

Would Maury Povich relay on these OTC test results as well, or would the producers make him utilize the DNA labs for their accuracy and reliability of that accuracy?

Interesting…

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See the inspiring speaker, Barack Obama, as he spoke in Austin on February 23, 2007:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45jM2DKwCKI]

What could be better than watching the next President of the United States at a classic Texas hillside ampitheater?

It’s going to be beautiful weather, and we look forward to seeing you this Saturday afternoon at The Backyard.

Who:
Sen. Barack Obama

When:
Doors open at 3:00pm
Saturday, November 17

What:
Live music from Fastball
Guest: $25
Student: $15
After-party at Victory Grill

Where:
The Backyard
13101 Highway 71 West
Austin, TX 78738

click here: Reserve your ticket

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While raising my daughter, I grew up in a world that we tried to make sure that we made our children feel important although we were raising them often in two income families or a single parent family; oftentimes, overcompensating to make up for lost time.  Sometimes though there are children who have been raised to believe that they are “IT” and the world does revolve around them — perhaps, those are partially due to the fact that their lives became so public when they were so young and, now, they seem to thrive on the papparazzi that follows them.  This cartoon happens to eminate my feelings exactly when I hear about them on the tv as well; after all, with all the papparazzi, you would think that they have accomplished to win a Nobel Prize or something — not!!  After all, too — what does this say about our society who puts so much emphasis on folks who put on sunglasses and prance around town with much ado but just strutting themselves around, getting involved with the law, and running over a reporters sandal leaving a tire imprint on his socks which are being auctioned off on eBay for a charitable cause.  Say what???   lol….

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Lol… anyone who remembers the old Memorex commercials may know what I am talking about here!! lol…

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Seriously, I wish it were ever that simple!!

LOL!!!

 

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“Grace will lead me home” – the title of the book she is promoting and speaking out about domestic violence, bringing home to a lot of victims of domestic exactly the fears, trials and tribulations that they have faced and feared.  Check out her story in these YouTube videos:

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZg2_BDZKo]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 1

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SkgsHX2g0w]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 2

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVFaEJDO_zs%5D

– Robin Givins on ABC  (NOTE: sad to see the hate comments left on this video)

  

“You have to talk about it to conquer it!” – Robin Givins

(what a great quote!!)

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Sent to me by a friend…. check it out. Be cautious and be safe!!!

Nanny Who Answered Online Ad Found Dead
Man Police Believe Posted Wanted Ad Is In Custody In Minnesota
SAVAGE, Minn., Oct. 29, 2007

(CBS/AP) Police say an online ad seeking a nanny may have cost a Cottage Grove, Minnesota, woman her life.

Katherine Ann Olson, 24, was found dead in the trunk of her car at a Burnsville, Minnesota, park late Friday night. She was last seen by friends Thursday morning, when she went to meet someone in Savage about the job, which investigators said she had found on Craigslist.org, a popular Internet bulletin board.

A 19-year-old man from Savage who police believe placed the ad is being held in the Scott County jail pending charges expected to be filed Tuesday. He worked at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where police arrested him Friday night.

The suspect, identified as Michael John Anderson, was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, reported CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds.

“We’re confident we have the suspect in custody,” Police Capt. David Muelken said.

A spokesman for Craigslist told Reynolds that, if the link to the site is confirmed, it would be the first muder ever tied to Craigslist in its 12 years of existence.

“Investigators are working with Craigslist,” Muelken told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, “and they have been cooperative.”

In a KMSP-TV interview, the victim’s father, Rolf Olson, says the family is devastated but “there was some sense of peace that they found her.”

Olson was a 2002 graduate of Park-Cottage Grove High School, where she was co-valedictorian, and from St. Olaf College in 2006.

Her family said had taken nanny jobs at least twice before, including a job in Turkey, after answering online ads. They said they had misgivings about her finding jobs online, but she never seemed to worry.

That last help wanted posting, said her sister, Sarah Richter, “seemed kind of fishy, but she was just going to check it out, and meet them.”

Olson’s family gathered in front of their home Saturday afternoon to share stories of a vivacious young woman “who was a joy, who trusted people” and always assumed the best in others. They said they were finding strength in the people who were touched by Olson’s life.

“She was going to set the world on fire, and that’s the grief that we feel,” said her mother, Nancy Olson. “It’s not just for us, it’s for all these other people that she would have touched.”

Citing the ongoing investigation, police were cautious about the details they released. They declined to say how Katherine Olson might have been killed or whether a weapon was used. They said they weren’t sure of a motive.

Muelken said a resident told a Savage Public Works employee about a purse found in a garbage can at Pacer Park. A police officer retrieved the purse, which contained belongings of Olson’s. Thinking it was a theft, police called Olson’s home and left a message telling her they had her purse. About 5 p.m. Friday, Olson’s roommate returned the call and told police Olson hadn’t been seen since 8 a.m. Thursday, when she went off to Savage to interview for a baby-sitting job.

Police went back to the park and found a garbage bag in the container. Inside it was a “significantly bloody towel.” An extensive search of the area ensued. A State Patrol helicopter pilot noticed a car in the parking lot of Rudy Kraemer Nature Preserve in Burnsville, a few blocks away from Pacer Park. Police identified the car as Olson’s, and found her body in the trunk.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/29/national/main3422072.shtml

© MMVII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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“Asabe Ladagu, a Christian widow in this capital city of Borno state in northern Nigeria, has survived without income the past 16 months. It was that long ago, the former librarian told Compass, that Muslim administrators at Ramat Polytechnic forced her into early retirement – without pay – after she and others requested land to build a chapel.

The Christians viewed the denial as deliberate discrimination against Christians by Muslim administrators at a time when there were seven mosques on campus.”

 ~~Nigeria: Ramat Polytechnic Discriminates Against Christians

Can you believe that this is about a current day issue and not something that just happened during Biblical times?   With all the advancement of technology and forward thinking, you would have thought that we would be much more above and beyond this — no matter what part of the world we all live in!

 

 

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Received this in my email today.  It is comforting that some businesses can and do actually go beyond their call of duty these days; so many don’t.  It is indeed a rare find and we should support those who do.

See below for full story:

Sears Walks the Walk…
 
Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up…

Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.

I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on.

Decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department:

Received this e-mail and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it’s cheaper at that store.

This is their answer to my e-mail:

Dear Customer:

Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback.

Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care
< A title=mailto:webcenter@sears.Com href=”mailto:webcenter@sears.Com“> webcenter@sears.Com
1-800-349-4358

Please pass this on to all your friends. Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!!!

It’s Verified By Snopes.Com at: http://WWW.snopes.Com/politics/military/sears.asp (shows the entire article).

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So frustrating is the fear of the unknown.   I remember when I was mentoring a after school program in an Community Program in a poorer segment of Austin (not East Austin) and a young boy had drawn a much worse picture than this child who had been suspended.  While I was alarmed that a boy could have drawn such a picture, I was told that these children were allowed to have their creative expressions.

Somehow, the balance between creative expressions and the psychological aspects of whatever hidden meanings behind artwork done by our children must be met.  Without the creative expression, one might not be able to understand what is going on in the minds of our children.  I believe that children’s creative expression should not be suppressed or meant to be punished; after all, how are we going to be understand what is going on in the children’s minds if they feel threatened for punishment if they express themselves.

I am not saying that children’s expressions that seem to have hidden messages of psychological problems should necessarily be promoted and offered on a public display; however, admonishing them because they have expressed themselves through drawing (which may be a mode that that they are more comfortable with than writing or talking) seems wrong.

Perhaps, a better approach would be to have the parents and teachers more attuned with the meanings and offer the child guidance when the child “speaks out” through his artwork.  Of course, caution should also be had to make sure that, also, too much is read into things as well.  🙂

What say you???

Boy suspended for stick-figure drawing – Education – MSNBC.com

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drG8_h9xpro]

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October is domestic violence month.

I have a dear friend in Pennsylvania who heard one of Congresswomen speak out with the declaration of Domestic Violence Month and everything uttered out of that woman’s mouth was as if the victim is always a woman. Here, in this video below, sent to me via a Canadian friend of mine (under the guise of a “joke” – “Never marry a woman larger than you”), demonstrates that the victim isn’t always a woman…and the police in the video took it ever so lightly that they just drove by the residence.

When is domestic violence going to be taken seriously — whether it is a man or woman being victimized and the perpetrator held accountable for his/her actions??? After all, isn’t violence just as much a violence no matter who is doing the assault?? As a domestic violence survivor, I couldn’t find myself laughing while watching this video?

What about you???

PS. While the “joke” opened up the can of worms with domestic violence battle, the slur made with the title implying that women that don’t fit the idealist image of the skinny minnie woman (oftentimes wayyy to skinny to fit the mold of the “dream woman”) would be a bully, is downright degrading and not respectful to a woman who is truly a woman without the skinny minnie or bullying imagery. Oh, don’t start me on this one….  What would Tyra say (do you think it might be “So what! if women aren’t skinnie minnies, it doesn’t mean that they are all bullies?” “Who says fat women aren’t better than skinny minnie women?”  “Why do fat women have to be laughed at?” or, “What’s so good about this video, it certainly dehumanizes women and in no way represents women on the whole???”)????

I don’t think that there is a blog space that is large enough for my soap boxes!! That being said though, I believe that this video surely sparks something to think about for everyone.

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I know that whenever I have even considered dating anyone from a distance, especially that I have initially met off of the internet, I have sent them no less than 100 questions to complete. In some instances, it has been much longer than that — just short of actually running a background check. 🙂

Here is an application that is available on the internet, available through an organization called ApplySpace.   One of the things that I don’t like about their form is there is not a way seemingly to adjust the questions, but please check it out and let me know what you think….

Is it enough questions to ask?

Would you ask more?

If given the opportunity to ask additional questions, what would you ask???

Please advise…

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So many folks feel that, if they get too far into debt, they’ll just file bankruptcy. Discovered this cartoon on Slate.com today, and it couldn’t have been depicted any better….

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1 Cursh Message Wating

Find Out Who has a Crush On You Sign Up Today & Find Out!

www.CrushRequest.com

LOL… Has Google Ads heard of a Spell Check??? 🙂  Found this above ad in one of the Google Ad Sense Banners.

This should go down in the books as “How not to place an ad!” 

Someone mentioned that, perhaps, it was intentional — “after all, it got my interest, didn’t it?”  My response to that is:  “I don’t know… It got my attention because my Mom was a Journalism and English major.  To me, it is a huge turn off and I would completely detract me from utilizing their services.”   🙂

What do you think?

Would a gimmick of marketing by choice bad spelling offer you a opportunity to click to see what they are all about? or, does it become offensive and a complete turn off?  What saeth you???

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Yuwie is quickly becoming a phenomena of this day and age.  There are many social sites out there, and there are many blogging sites out there….

but,

what if you could truly do both….

and

make money!!!

Yikes, can it really be true??? Yes…

Just check this out for yourself and Click Here>>>> for more information about the Yuwie phenomena!!

or, just plan to check out my profile on there by clicking here! 🙂  Remember that Kathryn sent you there! 😀

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notice that their DO NOT CALL notice is about to expire and their numbers will be fair game once again to hound you during dinnertime about needless stuff once again!

Especially, if you are one of those that did the DO NOT CALL notices back in 2003, it is high time that you do it again — or, have you got a new phone number that you haven’t put in a notice on???  Better do it soon!!

It just takes a few moments to do…. DO NOT CALL registration site!! Don’t procrastinate!!

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Received this in my email today.  It is amazing at what lengths people will go who “think” that they have the rights and authority to do so, when in fact they do not.  Will this guy be held accountable for his actions? What do you think????

********************************************************************************** 

Religious words such as God, Lord banned by Architect of the U.S. Capitol

Contact your congressman and senators  today! 

Dear Kathryn,

According to U.S. Representative Marilyn Musgrave, our nation’s legislators are now prohibited from using references to God in certificates of authenticity accompanying flags flown over the Capitol and bought by constituents.  Such references include: “under God” in the pledge, “God bless you,” or “in the year of our Lord, 2007.” Never before has this official prohibition  been leveled.

Architect of the Capitol Steven Ayers said he has removed the words because reference to God and the Lord may offend some Americans. He now prohibits them from being placed on official documents such as flag certificates.

Musgrave was astonished when she flew a flag over the U.S. Capitol building as a tribute to a senior citizen, and the accompanying certificate she received was edited with all religious references removed. 

The  congresswoman was more astounded when, upon further investigation, she discovered the certificate was censored by order of The Architect of the Capitol, an unelected very low-level official who manages the flag office.

Responding to a request for a flag flown over the United States Capitol in honor of a World War II veteran’s 81st birthday, the congresswoman ordered the flag and a certificate to state: “This flag was flown for Mr. John Doe on the occasion of his 81st birthday, the eleventh day of July, in the year of our Lord, 2007. Thank you, Grandpa, for showing me what it is to be a true patriot — to love God, family, and country. We love you!”

When the flag and certificate came back from the flag office, each reference to the Lord and God were removed. A group of lawmakers confronted architect Stephen Ayers seeking to find where he had the authority to restrict their freedom of speech and religious expression. Ayers refused to give the lawmakers a clear justification of his authority to delete the religious references.  For more information:  Capitol flag policy assailed (Washington Times).

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD2bxNPme7Y]

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Quite possibly! In response to another blogger’s blog posting, I responded:

“It is indeed something to think about… China, Mexico, and many other countries are mass producing things for us….

but, flags have to rise when are products are being imported tainted with things that could kill each and every one of us and the environment we know it to be.

As ecological conscience we Americans are purported to be, you would think that the ecological organizations would also rise to the occasion to speak out and alert American Businesses to quickly begin to rethink our mass productions to be done here in the States for the safety consideration of one and all here.

Can you tell? It most certainly has been on my mind lately……”

What was his blog posting…. See below:

“With a lot of manufacturing jobs moving over to China, are we setting ourselves up for failure???? Hmmmmmmm…….

Let’s look at the facts that have been uncovered in recent months. I’ll start with the mass pet food recall that killed several pets. The cause of the recall was because of contaminated ingredient glutin, which was imported from China.

It gets worse. The U.S. is importing seafood from China. Some of it is farm raised in ponds that the EPA would condem. This food is not being properly inspected and tested by the FDA. Yet, we Americans keep buying it.

And for the latest, Matel is recalling millions of toys because the paint used on them contains excessive amounts of lead. And these toys are made guess where… That’s right! China.

Are we really better off getting our food and goods from China? They could be taking us down without us even knowing it. What would happen if the U.S. got involved in a major war similar to WWII? We would not have the manufacturing capabilities to produce the goods necessary to defend ourselves like we did during WWII. We will not have the experienced workers necessay to man the factories, let alone the factories to make the goods.

Think about it………”

What do you think? Have you been trying to sort out the madness lately in the news????

 

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Friend reported to me tonight that a friend was arrested in Travis County, Texas, recently on a Class B charge of being an unfit husband and asked me if I had ever heard of such of a thing.  I told him that I have certainly heard of being an unfit parent, but insofar as being an unfit husband, I hadn’t necessarily heard of that but suspected that its intent might be to light a fire, so-to-speak under some derelict folks who sit and are waiting for things to happen to bring themselves out of a situation rather than to try to do something about it directly.

He went on further to explain that indeed that they had lost their home due to a storm and waiting on FEMA to help fix the situation; however, it is year later and they no longer have a home that they can live in and they have been living in and out of people’s homes and their own car. 

Insofar as the actual law, after a bit of research tonight, I haven’t found it yet.  Does anyone know anything about this law????

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Lose your wealth, you lose nothing. Lose your health, you lose something. Lose your integrity, you lose everything.

– Stew Leonard

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I worked for Michael Dell back in the day when it was known as PC’s Limited (off of N. Lamar and Hwy 183),  an Austin, Texas based computer company, as its 13th employee and enjoyed the transition of its growth to Dell Computer Corporation, which is now known simply as DELL.

Opening up the Austin American Statesman newspaper today to the Business Section while getting some breakfast to go at the local IHOP, I read about the City of Leander’s progress business projects and looked further down on the section’s first page and see “Dell gets until July 16th to report finances”.  Apparently, DELL hasn’t filed its financials for more than four quarters. 

According to Dan Zehr, American Statesman Staff, “The NASDAQ has allowed Dell shares to continue trading despite the company’s failure to file reports with federal regulators after each of the past four quarters.  Exchange rules require that companies keep current on their reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the exchange often grants reprieves for companies investigating accounting issues.”  Apparently, Dell isn’t disclosing the investigations at this time.  Even in March, the filing of its Annual Report had been delayed.

Things are sounding a bit shaky for Dell at this time.  Hopefully, they will be able to rebound from this struggle soon.

Any thoughts???

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Well, if you are like this guy, you can creat a webcam for your cat to see “just where does he go” when he goes out and play—See Mr. Lee’s Catcam. It is hilarious to see just where all this cat does go on his adventures outdoors. Be sure to look down at bottom of the initial page for a series of photos from Mr. Lee’s trip (adventures!).

As for me, I am wondering how do my cats, who seem to turn into Dr. Seuss’s “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” while I am gone, seem to always manage to pull the curtain down in the living room, for instance, here lately!! Actually, they shouldn’t be doing that any more as I have nailed the spring rod into the inner portion of the window frame. If they try, they will be in for a surprise…or, I am going to have a shredded curtain one! lol…

I am beginning to think that setting up a private webcam just might be a great idea to see what is happening when I am away from the home—and, to see if the addage of “While the owner’s away, the cats will play!” is truly true!! 😀

What do you think????

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I wanted to change the world.

But I have found that

the only thing one can be sure of changing

is oneself.

 

– Aldous Huxley

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Money is just an excuse to avoid thinking very much about the life you are living.

 

– Michael Lewis, Wall Street writer

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I certainly hope so.  Texas has been aggressive against sites, such as MySpace.com, to provide them with the Sex Offenders on their sites, especially after having to sue them for their accountability after some children were attacked by sexual predators when they went to meet them in person.  I am sure that will only make the sex offenders try to be a little more clever in hiding their identities, but at least there will be some cooperation from MySpace to hand over the names and identities used on the sites so that the authorities can crack down on these offenders who are not allowed to be on the computer sites as part of their agreements to be living among society.

Will this completely protect our children on such sites from all sexual predators? Not likely from all as some have merely not been caught — yet.  However, any steps moving in aggressive measures  is certainly a pro-active measure indeed and holds those sites accountable!

Reported:

MyFoxAustin, MySpace to Share Sex Offender Data

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This first clip is from Coronado High School for a Environmental Awareness Informercial Project. A bit silly at times, but I think that they drive their point across:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BldbzKBE1Iw]

and, not so entertaining videos as prepared by Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District Public Affairs Manager Deborah Bass who gives insight into how this virus, which currently has no human vaccine, can impact the health of the public.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YirZ77EvA8Y]

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYw9uu2tIck]

 

 

 

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See the Austin American Statesman’s article, “Emilio’s short life likely to be long remembered: Terminally ill child’s case could influence laws and debate on end-of-life care”. I couldn’t have put it to words better myself.

I certainly do hope some laws do get to change. The thing is, it wasn’t just about spending more money to keep Emilio alive despite the odds, it was the principle of the matter as well.

I hope we do see an EMILIO EDICT added to the legislation that better defines what to do for terminally ill patients that seemingly have very little, if any, chance to survive in this world. Wouldn’t it have been better to put him in a hospice situation long time ago, rather than expend the hospital resources? Where are people to draw the line? And, does the government really have a right to tell us where to draw that line with our loved ones?? Hopefully, something can be done…

only time will tell!

See also — my posting:

“Baby Emilio Gonzales — Futile Care Bill”

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Your say is needed to make sure that DV programs are funded.  Lifetime is pushing the petition to be signed and states the following:

Tell Congress to fund critical programs that help thousands of victims of domestic, dating and sexual violence

Sign the Petition In just a single day, domestic violence programs served nearly 50,000 adults and children in the United States.* These programs provide emergency shelter, counseling and legal services critical to families trying to escape abusive homes and break the cycle of violence.

Every 2.5 minutes another American is sexually assaulted.** Rape crisis centers, schools and clinics across the country offer medical assistance, counseling and prevention programs.

Today, these lifesaving programs are in jeopardy if Congress does not decide to fully fund the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 2005, which Lifetime viewers helped to make law.

You can help again! Make your voice heard by signing this petition to urge Congress to give the funding needed to keep the doors of shelters, rape crisis centers, and prevention programs open and ready to rebuild lives and make communities safer.

Sources:
*”Domestic Violence Counts,” National Network to End Domestic Violence, March 2007
**RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), calculation based on United States Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey

http://www.lifetimetv.com/endviolence/signthepetition/

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