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Being a survivor from domestic violence can mean many things to many different people. Here is my story, and my journey after that in order to have a voice in helping others through a variety of advocacies that I do.

National Domestic Violence Survivor Law Project

The story of my past experiences with domestic violence and how I have moved forward throughout the years to provide advocacy to others.

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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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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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Jamie Olive is my hero.  Last year, when he came to the United States and make a debut in the small, sleepy town in West Virginia, he clearly made an impact and difference in their lives.

This year, he might have taken on more than he could chew by tackling the enormous Los Angeles Community.  By the end of the last show, though, he gained the support of the new supertindent of the LA School system.

He’s got the right ideas though.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and is aiming to put things into good perspective with good eats, starting in the schools.

I thank him for his perseverance in keeping on the school systems.  I look forward to see the long range effects of his efforts.

What’s next for this hero?  Can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve for the next leg of his crusade!

News | Jamie Oliver (US).

 

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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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Stumbled upon this site from a friend on facebook the other day.  It has a lot of interesting features, including (but, not necessarily limited to) the below:

Legislative Advocacy

As an organization fully committed to advancing justice for consumers, NACA is actively engaged in promoting a fair and open marketplace that forcefully protects the rights of consumers, particularly those of modest means.

Today the fundamental consumer protections that we have depended upon to ensure fairness and justice are under attack. This can be seen in the watering down of federal regulations, the prevalence in consumer contracts of forced arbitration clauses that deny consumers their right to be heard by an unbiased court or jury of their peers, and the ever growing presence of unscrupulous and deceptive business practices that trip and trap consumers into predatory loans, unscrupulous fees, and unconscionable contract terms.

NACA is focused on promoting an agenda that lays the groundwork for rebuilding a consumer justice system that will be based on our nation’s fundamental sense of fairness, equity and honesty. Our agenda items include ensuring that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau holds corporations and businesses accountable for their predatory practices, fighting to ban the unfair practice of forced arbitration, staunching the swelling tide of foreclosures, strengthening laws that protect consumers from predatory mortgage and unsecured credit lending, unfair debt collection practices, and abusive credit reporting.

via Legislative Advocacy – Consumer Advocates – NACA | National Association of Consumer Advocates.

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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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I, honestly, cannot remember if this was also circulated around last year or not in our emails as well; whatever the case though, it certainly would bear repeating….enjoy!!

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.


Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,

then thesure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.


A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’


For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light,
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’


‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.


My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
He sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
< /S PAN>


I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.


Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.


I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..


Who sta! nd at th e front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’


‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’


In his eyes welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.


For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

——————————————————————-


PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.  Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30t h Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq

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especially in the world of the media and politics which can often grey out some black and white viewpoints, leaving folks not knowing whether they stand for what they believe in or believe in what they stand for, an author comes forward and writes a book entitled, God’s Politics:  Why the Right gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (by Jim Wallis, also a speaker on the Minnesota Public Radio) from which he states in part:

“… Of course, nobody can steal your personal faith; that’s between you and God.   The problem is in the political arena, where strident voices claim to represent Christians when they clearly don’t speak for most of us. It’s time to take back our faith in the public square, especially in a time when a more authentic social witness is desperately needed.

The religious and political Right gets the public meaning of religion mostly wrong –preferring to focus only on sexual and cultural issues while ignoring the weightier matters of justice. And the secular Left doesn’t seem to get the meaning and promise of faith for politics at all-mistakenly dismissing spirituality as irrelevant to social change. I actually happen to be conservative on issues of personal responsibility, the sacredness of human life, the reality of evil in our world, and the critical importance of individual character, parenting, and strong “family values.” But the popular presentations of religion in our time (especially in the media) almost completely ignore the biblical vision of social justice and, even worse, dismiss such concerns as merely “left wing.”

It is indeed time to take back our faith.

Take back our faith from whom? To be honest, the confusion comes from many sources. From religious right-wingers who claim to know God’s political views on every issue, then ignore the subjects that God seems to care the most about. From pedophile priests and cover-up bishops who destroy lives and shame the church. From television preachers whose extravagant lifestyles and crass fund-raising tactics embarrass more Christians than they know. From liberal secularists who want to banish faith from public life and deny spiritual values to the soul of politics. And even from liberal theologians whose cultural conformity and creedal modernity serve to erode the foundations of historic biblical faith. From New Age philosophers who want to make Jesus into a nonthreatening spiritual guru. And from politicians who love to say how religious they are but utterly fail to apply the values of faith to their public leadership and political policies. …”

The whole sordid controversy shouldn’t even be there.   True.  Americans pride themselves on the premise of the separation of the State and Church, but just because a politician expresses themselves based on their religious beliefs as a human being and an American themselves, doesn’t mean that they are trying to mix the politics with religion.  That would be taking the context of the separation of Church and State out of context and twisting it into an issue that shouldn’t exist.  What they are referring to with the mix of Church and State is, for example, while the Catholic Church may take a stance of being against abortions, it doesn’t mean that the Government of the United States must also take a stance of being against abortions just because the Catholic Church may say so.

There isn’t anything meant further by wishing one a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah” to someone, even if they are in politics, other than expressing the greetings which have become a part of the celebration of the holidays representated by the beliefs in the culture of their religions. 

Okay, so I have digressed a bit.

At any rate, from the excerpt above from Jim Wallis’ book on God Politics, it seems that there is a movement to understand the religious perspectives on social changes or social justices in the world and the mingling of a coming to a better understanding what the beliefs are through a “taking back our faith” process.  It would be interesting to read the book in full and see Jim Wallis’ viewpoint on this issue.

Have you read this book yet????  What do you think????

godspolitics_large.jpg

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Steven’s TV Video video talks about how the world is changing to utilize free technology to put forth their campaigns…not just for amateurs anymore.  See Oprah, politians, comedians, etc. take advantage of the video tubes to tell you story….

What do you think?

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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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“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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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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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….

071017_ed.gif

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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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Just arrived about the woman being killed by her daughter’s boyfriend, Selwyn P. Davis, last year (he is on trial)

 Davis, the former boyfriend of Lara’s daughter, is accused of killing Lara on Aug. 22, 2006, during a two-day crime spree. He also is accused of breaking his ex-girlfriend’s jaw, slicing his uncle with a knife, sexually assaulting a teenager and trying to run over a police officer with a car, according to court documents.”  

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/10/03/1003davis.html

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZh5HN2q_qo]

 [YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9m80kf8l7A]

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njx-n6SsdV8]

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

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

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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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I was in another part of the same highway and noticed this fire engine that decided to take the upperdeck of the highway at about 4pm that day with its lights on. Normally, not a bad decision as the traffic begins to build up later. Couldn’t get a good shot of it where it had stopped in traffic from where I was near 29th on the east side of the highway.

Drove around to the west side of the highway past 26th and headed to 19th (MLK) off of Red River. Turned back when I saw that I could catch a glimpse of it through the UT practice fields’ gate.

Drove up to the gate at an angle and walked to the gate to capture this picture of the fire engine. It has given up moving forward after sitting there for 45 minutes and turned of its lights. Hoping that there was no fire it still needed to respond to…I hope that all turned out well in the end on Tuesday, June 26th.


I avoid the traffic on IH35 like a plague and, as such, made it a priority for my living and work to be in a whole ‘nother part of town. This particular instance could have been a very serious manner.I have also posted this in my

Inquiring Minds (Austin American Statesman) and
Inquiring Minds (My Fox Austin)

blogs already to jumpstart the issue recognition.

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It certainly has its point driven home. What ARE the carmakers going to do to eliminate the gas guzzler’s on the road? True. There are the hybrids that are saving many consumers hundreds, if not thousands of gas expenses, each year; but, the prices of most of the hybrid vehicles are still seemingly out of reach for the average car buyer these days.

What do you think???

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Per the 80th Legislation article in the Austin American Statesman today,

Day care owners balk at costly new background checks for employees

Children’s advocates, bill author say the fingerprint checks are key for safety

it indicates that the child care workers are all riled up over Governor Perry signing into law that will require a $50 fingerprint background checks for their employees because they have a “high turnover” of employees.

Somehow, I don’t think that they have a valid point, especially, when it comes to the care of our society’s children while parents are having to work to make ends meet for their families.  While I agree that the average day care worker won’t be able to afford $50 for a background check when they job hop between day care employers due to the wage expectations in that industry, nothing can be more valuable than to ensure the safety and well-being of our children from predators preying upon our children.

After all, we have all heard the stories of sexual offenders who have driven buses and taught or worked in the school districts, let alone the horror stories we have heard of day care workers that have been hired that have had shady pasts.  To me, anything that we do to ensure the safety of the children should be of the utmost concern; if that means, too, that the dynamics of the hopping day care worker changes, then so be it!

I am surprised though, too, that there seems to be a doubling of the fees of the fingerprinting  as they used to be $10 or $12 for State fingerprinting/criminal check and $25 for the Federal fingerprinting/criminal check, from what I remembered in the past.

At any rate, perhaps, if the day care licensing authorities post the approved day care licensed worker on a public access database so that the day care working highering authorities could at least have the option of checking their license approval online versus requiring each and every employee being hired to re-go through the fingerprinting/criminal background check (similar to that already established for the private security officers through the Private Security Commission under the umbrella of the TxDPS, it may curtail some of the repetitive hiring processing costs.  Just a thought.

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This post has been moved to resolve, hopefully, a technical issue on this home page. 🙂

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Received this email from a friend of mine this morning….

Hi,

Can you face another summer where a day trip to the lake or the beach costs you an arm and a leg? It’s shaping up to be just that if we don’t ask Congress to stand up to Big Oil now.

The House passed a bill last week that could make gas price gouging a federal crime, but the oil companies succeeded in weakening it at the last minute, so it’s hard to enforce.

In a couple weeks, the Senate will vote on the same bill, and we need them to make it stronger. I signed a petition to urge my representatives to pass a strong gas price gouging bill. We have over 500,000 names already, but we want to get to 750,000 — can you join me at the link below?

 

http://pol.moveon.org/stoppricegouging/?r_by=-8354252-5dnlA7&rc=mailto

 

Thanks!”Do you think that you can help encourage the passing of the bill by contacting your representatives today???

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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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If you go back into my public reader blogs on the Austin American-Statesman (either the “Inquiring Minds” as txbluebonnet2006 or “Inquiring Minds” as txbluebonnet), you will see that I have written extensively about this subject matter.  They were shouting back then that it was all an “amnesty” ploy that the government was coming up with; and, things haven’t changed one iota since then.

Some folks feel, like in a recent public blog on the Austin American Statesman, called, “I am curious”, wherein the author seems to make the whole issue is about where you come from.  It isn’t at all. 

What I care about is the safety of you and me, the neighbors down the street, the communities in my State and across this great nation.  What I want to see is that, no matter where they are from, our government isn’t letting in folks that are pedafiles, murderers, terrorists, drug cartel, etc. that jeopardize the safety of where we live and exist, as well as our futures as we might know it to be.

The reform is all about figuring out the guidelines, and redefining them, to expedite some of the processes of the immigration department to not take 10 years to process applications for citizenship here in the United States due to the backlog of applications.  Some processes may take only 5 years because they don’t have as many people applying from that country as they do from a different country that might have 1,000 times more applicants.

The system is failing because, in the meantime, while they are waiting for their applications to process many of them have come on over to live here illegally; some of which are unsavory criminalistic backgrounds and thereby putting our country at risk.

In the meantime, more and more folks cross over our borders illegally – seeking freedoms and that famed “Horatio Alger’s American Dream” that doesn’t even really exist for many of the American Citizens.  Something needs to be done to curtail the illegal arrivals while we get a fix on the process procedures of the applications.

The drug cartels fighting their wars on the borders of Texas sends up a flag for many Texas Citizens.  Perhaps, those in Washington DC aren’t caring too much because the war isn’t in their backyard yet, but Texans are getting a first hand look at it — especially those in South Texas.

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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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OMG, I went to YouTube this morning and found this message of a voice mail left by a hospital about the care of someone’s father. The lack of compassion heard here is appalling and is worse than any bill collector that I have ever heard. Someone needs to teach this woman a bit about compassion. Whether or not the family of the father left at the hospital has truly procrastinated about the decision certainly doesn’t warrant such a vile and rude behavior of a hospital employee.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ0HOq0qNi4]

PS. The message on this YouTube presentation is:

This is what compassionate care has come to under the Texas Futile Care law. Call or email your Texas State Representatives and Senators NOW so that hospitals can never again threaten to send patients “on to glory” against their will. Tell your Texas State Representatives to support HB1094 and your Texas State Senators to support SB439 so this kind of abuse never happens again.”

Truth of the matter is that it certainly doesn’t have to be this way…

After all, we are not just talking about a car that is beyond repairs; we are talking about a human being that is part of other individual lives.

 

For more information, see

Texas Patients’ Rights

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 In following up on my Bits and Pieces posting, I had mentioned that Baby Emilio Gonzales’ Mother was fighting hard to keep Baby Emilio, at 17mos old, sustained on resuscitation equipment for just a little bit longer. On April 17th, the Court heard the matter and extended the hearing awaiting on other findings. On May 8th, the Guardian ad Litem for Baby Emilio agreed with the doctors that the baby should no longer remain on resuscitation equipment and filed a legal brief so stating the decision. While the legal brief had been filed in agreement with the doctors, it is unclear to the reported articles on MyFoxAustin whether or not the baby, at the time being 18mos, was actually taken off the resuscitation equipment or Baby Emilio Gonzales has actually died yesterday on his own as a direct result of the Leigh’s Disease, a disease that attacks the central nervous system, last night, May 19, 2007.

In an Austin American-Statesman blurb, “Emilio Gonzales loses battle with illness”, it is stated simply, “Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end.”

In accordance with the Austin American-Statesman article, “Baby on life support dies of natural causes: Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end”, serves to confirm that, in the end, Baby Emilio dies of natural causes and, as his attorney (JerriLynn Ward) puts it when interviewed, “God chose to take Emilio at this time”.

It is disheartening to every Mom when their own child dies, much more so when your only child (and possibly your only child ever), Emilio Gonzales, dies in his Mom, Catarina Gonzales’, own arms. Much heartfelt sympathy will certainly be felt by the Lockhart community she and the baby are from, the Austin community where she and the baby stayed for the majority of his life, and communities around the world who have heard of the plight and fight for sustaining his life in the hospital.

As per the Austin American-Stateman’s article, it goes on to say:

“According to Texas law, once doctors give notice that they want to stop treating a patient against the family’s wishes, they can start a process in which the family has 10 days to transfer the loved one to another facility.

 

The hospital and the court had given Gonzales and her supporters more time to find another facility, but months of searching had failed.

 

In recent weeks, a court-appointed guardian for Emilio had filed legal briefs backing the doctors’ and hospital’s intentions to stop treatment. The next court hearing had been scheduled for May 30.

 

[JerriLynn] Ward [Baby Emilio’s attorney] said that Emilio’s mother’s fight was against the law permitting doctors to decide when to end treatment and that she didn’t know if Catarina Gonzales would press the fight.”

Whether or not Catarina Gonzales has the strength now to fight the fight to change the law should be a moot point, the legislation in the Texas’ chambers should be continued to be fought for some degree of change because it is likely right around the corner there is another mother having to make that frightening decision of whether or not to continue resuscitation of her own child. The laws need to be made clearer.

In the meantime, whether or not you agree with Catarina Gonzales’, the mother of Emilio Gonzales, decision, she should be put down in history as one of the strongest mothers in the world to have to fight for the right to her son’s life in spite of the dismal prognosis of the son’s fight with the illness of Leigh’s Disease. Hopefully, her fight will not be a futile one and laws can be changed to be clearer, as well as giving the loved ones more of a chance and voice to make such grueling decisions, as well as more of an awareness of the disease and more research can be given to a possible cure for this gripping and fatal disease in the future.

May peace be with Emilio Gonzales as he no longer suffers now.

May peace be with Catarina Gonzales and the families of them as they properly grieve their child missing from their arms. May Catarina Gonzales, also, find peace and strength in the future, no matter which path she chooses (continuing to fight the legislation battles, making an awareness known more about the Leigh’s Disease and a movement for a cure, or any other number of proactive measures in the memory of her son).

Additional Information about Leigh’s Disease:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders

Madison’s Foundation – Moms & Dads in Search of Needed Support

Wikipedia: Leigh’s Disease

Addtional Information about Futile Care Legislation:

Futile Care Debate: Prolonging Life or Suffering? (May 6, 2007)

Highlights from Texas Legislature (May 14, 2007)

Also posted in:

“Inquiring Minds” — my Statesman.com Reader Blog

“Inquiring Minds” — my MyFoxAustin.com Watcher Blog

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So Italian sounding is the name “paparazzi” that one presumes that it is all good, so associated with the good eats that the Italians have — ie, “Pizza, pizza!!” — however, a paparazzi can never really be good news.  While keeping some celebrities in line with the social graces by exposing their bad behaviors to the public, the barrage of “in your face” photographers expose what is the otherwise surreal life that we see of the celebrities on the screen, plays, political stances, etc., with the realness of who and what they truly represent.

It is thought that Princess Di was victimized by the paparrazi who chased her in the car driven by her driver on that fateful evening.  This shocked the world and the reality of the damages that the paparrazi could do suddenly became front and center.

I love to take photographs of people, but I respect their boundaries for privacy and the right to live a life without being felt like a fish in a fishbowl.  Their job is for entertaining oftentimes, and yet their reward is constant view into their lives, such as in the movie “The Truman Show” where I am sure they often wonder where their job and personal lives are separated and how they can bring up their own children and have family lives of their own without the parrazi always breathing down their necks, although, I suppose they are getting a litte bit better about that at time until a greedy photographer gets obsessed in getting that one photograph that will make them boo-koos of money.  At that point, what really truly separates them from being categorized as stalkers?  Don’t the celebrities deserve to live lives stalker free too???

In a recent incident in Prague, it was said that:

“On Friday, their presence as they were leaving their son Maddox’s (5) kindergarten in Prague, caused quite a stir, witnesses said.  

Angelina Jolie is making the movie Wanted in Prague until the end of May. It is a film adaptation of the eponymous graphic novel in which she stars alongside James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman.  

On Tuesday evening, their presence in a restaurant in the old city also caused a fight among the paparazzi from France, Germany, the U.S. and England, which almost escalated to violence.”

It was not indicated what “violence” was almost had, however, the paparazzi should never get to the point of any degree of violence.  If they do, they are truly no better than any stalker threatening their safety and right to some degree of privacy in their lives.

 

Anti-Stalking Website

Common Traits of Stalkers

Stalkers and Their Victims

Definitions of Various Types of Stalkers

in re paparazzi’s —

Richards denies using paparazzi during divorce

Jolie – Pitt and the Paparazzi in Prague

Chasing Celebrities CBS 2 HD Follows Paparazzi:  Our Cameras Gets Firsthand Look at How it Works

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In the past month or so there has been some emails circulating fast and furiously wanting people to not pump gas on May 15, 2007, but as pointed out in my posting entitled, “May 15, 2007, Gas Out Misgivings”,  Snopes argues that it isn’t an effective approach to take because it merely shifts the day that the consumer purchases gas rather than having any real effect affecting the gas and oil  conglomerates.    I made a suggestion of giving up traveling for our summer vacations this summer and just rely on our own hometown offerings for our summer vacation.  No feedback has been given on this though.

At any rate, various resources announced yesterday that the Texas Leglistators are considering passing a temporary three-month fix for the soaring gas prices by taking off the gas tax for three months.  The problem is that the gas/oil companies won’t necessarily suffer from the long-term consequences of the “feel good” measure, it will be more than likely things like fundings for a variety of education, road repair, and other much needed programs.

Not sure what the answer should be, but there should be a good resolve out there if we look hard enough and, perhaps, keep knocking on the doors of the oil/gas industry to let them know that we cannot afford the soaring prices within the boundaries of our incomes to afford ourselves, and our families, to thrive for existance in today’s economy.

Some of the resources reporting the Texas Legislator’s Proposal to date:

Gas Tax Vacation Eyed

House Votes for Gas Tax Break

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When does a Protective Order become more than “Just a piece of paper”? When you advocate for programs like this come into place in your state!! See the following article

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Health insurance just improved for 4 states.  Progress is in the making, at the very least!!

Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine & Vermont! « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Last night I was attacked by Snopes via email stating that I had infringed on their copyright by quoting them, even with crediting them through a link for my readers. I immediately complied and removed it, but not without putting in a statement of the removal because it directly affected the climate and argument support of dispelling the myth (that was being circulated around and received as an email) argued in my blog posting.

As a researcher for many, many years (been doing research papers since I was in 2nd grade) and a blogger for the past 4-5 years, I have utilized quotes and provided direct links to those quotes wherever possible, especially if the information was found on the internet, as any responsible writer/blogger would. Some quote that Benjamin Franklin said, for instance, wasn’t necessarily linked only because that information could be available on so many resources that would be too numerous to list and would seem to be falling in some sort of public domain pool by now of great quotes, so long as we make sure that we credit Ben Franklin with having said that quote.

I can see if I quoted someone and claimed it as my own work as being copyright infringement indeed; however, when you quote someone AND provide the link to where you can see the original work, should be only the ethical thing to do. In fact, claiming that the quoted material lifted as one’s own would actually fall under plagiarism, which is why every student is told throughout time, make sure that you not only indicate that you are quoting someone, but you are giving them credit for what they have said.

It would seem, then, that the original composer of the original written article would proved that you had quoted them without the intent of providing support to their written material and/or that the person who had lifted a quote from them had the intent of claiming the material as their own. The world wide web is a very fast structure that is filled with people interlocking their stories with others. To say that one has to get permission to quote someone else when it is out there for the world wide world to see every time that they would wish to link up a quote seems borderline of insanity because (1) some sites aren’t well maintained, (2) some sites don’t provide a contact, (3) even if there is a contact on the site, I have had many, many times that I still haven’t heard from them even months later. By that time, the story/article/posting being written has long turned cold and is yesterday’s news.

It has been accepted practice to, at the very least, provide a direct link to the resource being quoted so that the reader can judge and follow up on additional information about the subject matter if the reader would so like to do so and/or validate where the writer/blogger is coming from in his/her theory or opinion that is formulated in what the writer/blogger is writing or blogging about in their article/posting.

In the YouTube world, they are also being attacked about copyright infringement and requests for removal. While I can understand the arguments there a little bit more as someone isn’t putting up “quote signs” while they quote anyone or providing videos and, grant it, some I have wondered where they have appeared to captured a video directly by filming what they are viewing on television, why someone hasn’t booted them off before. In fact, one goes through an accreditation process when you post a video on YouTube. One would think, if YouTube thought it was a copyright infringement, they wouldn’t have allowed it on their site to begin with. YouTube has just gone through a cleansing of sorts and deleted over 30,000 videos that border on copyright infringements. This video seems to explain the YouTube copyright infringements readily:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI4wyWLjiSc]

I feel that Snopes has taken it a bit too far when insisted that I remove what I quoted from them in my blog posting, especially, when I had provided a direct link to the full article on Snopes supporting what I was conveying to the readers.

I know that the laws of internet usage need to be better defined, especially, in the world of utilizing quotes for support in other articles being posted on the internet. Hopefully, they will be doing so in the near future so that other writers and bloggers won’t be attacked as I was last night.

PS. Until today, I hadn’t really investigated this issue in depth since I felt that, if I did quote and credit them with the quoted material, I was well within my bounds and duty. I will periodically update this posting with additional information that I find on the subject matter….

Wikipedia: Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (1998)

Please feel free to share any other resources to help us, as writers and bloggers, to be better informed and know how to react when we are attacked by emails alleging that we have violated some form of copyright infringement.

 

 

 

 

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having the oil/gas companies fund our health care programs, from the obvious profits that they are squirreling away, so that everyone can have access to health care equally???

Either the oil/gas companies will tire of having to foot the health care access bills or they will drop the oil/gas prices in effort to get out of paying for the health care access for all.

LOL…

Sad, but it could happen — couldn’t it???       😉

Just a thought!

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A friend of mine from Canada sent this to me…

Imagine the effect (if it would really work):

“Our gas went up this week to about $5.00 gallon for regular. So I won’t pump gas on the 15th NO GAS…On May 15th 2007

Don’t pump gas on MAY 15th

In April 1997, there was a “gas out” conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.

On May 15th 2007, all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most places.

There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the internet network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up. If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000.00 (that’s almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May 15th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day.

If you agree (which I cant see why you wouldn’t) resend this to all your contact list. With it saying, ‘Don’t pump gas on May 15th!'”

I checked with Snopes and this is what they said:

[well, unfortunately, I cannot provide you this information because Snopes emailed me and stated that:

“It is a violation of copyright law to reproduce copyright-protected material without the permission of the rightsholder. Whether or not you credit the source is irrelevant.

 

You did not ask for, and did not receive, our permission to reproduce our material. Please remove it from your blog immediately.”

 

According to them, it didn’t matter that I gave them credit of the quoted material for the context of supporting why I the “Gas Out” email is false in accordance to their research. I tried to get clarification on it and, even after several emails back and forth, they wouldn’t budge in insisting that I remove everything that I had quoted them saying. It would seem that, when their contribution to the world is dispelling myths and urban legends, they would appreciate being quoted and credited with the URL to their site.]

 

At any rate, I truly wish that we wouldn’t be a “Who” in “Whoville” waiting for “Horton” to hear our complaints about the gas prices. There has to be a viable alternative that we can do to make the “Who” in “Whoville’s” voice heard about the stammering increases of oil prices.

I know that the high prices have changed what I do during the week. On the days that I am off from work, I tend to just stay home, albeit who gets punished really? Me (and others out there like me), because it can be depressing to just stay home and not use up more gas that absolutely necessary to get one to and from work.

In Austin, I have seen many bicyclists travel on Loop 360. They have made an impact on not using any gas when they ride their bikes to and from work. Of course, we can have a bike or walk day; but, that is only effective for those who are lucky to live near where they work.

Something that might be interesting to try is to curtail vacations from being far away to those vacations that are in our neighborhoods. That wouldn’t be just shifting the date of purchase of the gas; it would actually have an effect by affecting the gas companies from less gas being purchased from June through August for the purpose to traveling to far away destinations for mere pleasure. So, perhaps, instead of a Gas Out per se by not pumping on a certain day, perhaps the campaign that should be floating around is a campaign to “Vacation at Home in Summer 2007!”

Do you have any ideas or suggestions that would be equally or more effective????

UPDATE: Texas Legislation Proposed Action – Gas Tax Out Vacation Option

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I can understand that there is a reason to be quiet about notification rather than send the residents into a panic; but, geez this apartment complex needs to exercise some sense. They are talking about an alleged sexual assault (just because it is alleged doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen; just means that the crime suspect is innocent until proven guilty).

Is the apartment complex going to sit there until all the facts are in? Perhaps, at least, a confirmation that a report has been made (either to their office or to the police authorities).

Are they going to wait for trial before they announce that the sexual assault predator was on their property? Now, that would indeed seem preposterous as everyone knows that the trials can take for-ever to come around and the suspect may or may not be actually found guilty from a matter of 6 months to a year, perhaps more — all depending on the caseload upon the Courts already — although everyone is entitled to a “speedy trial”.

What about the children of the residents who tend to play outside (sometimes even unintended)? Wouldn’t it make sense that the parents be notified so that they can keep an extra close eye on their children outdoors. After all, how can the apartment complex make the decision that just because the alleged MO might have been an adult to adult situation; how could they determine that the predator was someone who prefer children but merely found an opportunity of an adult?

What about those who tend to come in after sunset? Don’t they deserve to know that, while they probably do exercise caution and basic awareness of their surroundings, they might want to exercise an extra set of caution and awareness? How can the apartment complex (even if it is based on the Austin Police Department’s Detective recommendations) assure that the predator won’t continue to prey? Are they really willing to make that risk?

How would their ownership insurance of the property feel about the increased risk caused by the lack of response and concern to the safety of their residents? I think that they would be extremely alarmed by the slow reaction time of the management.

In Fox’s article, Neighbors Upset with Police for Not Being Told About Sex Assault, they mentioned:

Neighbors are angry and frightened after they say Austin Police left then in the dark about a sex crime in their own backyard. Residents at the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in Northwest Austin say they learned about the sex assault from the local news one month after the crime occurred. As FOX 7’s Foti Kallergis reports, the sexual assault suspect is still on the run.”

In Fox’s subsequent follow up article (appearing on the site on the same day), Sex Assault Suspect Still on Run, stated:

“One month after a man sexually assaults a woman in Northwest Austin, police have released a sketch of the suspect.

Investigators say last month, a woman was walking her dog near the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in the 11000 block of Four Points Drive shortly after 1:00 a.m. Police say just as she was opening her door to get into her apartment, a man came behind her, forced his way in, and sexually assaulted her.

 

For the last month, the victim has been working with A.P.D. to help identify the man.

 

He is described as:

 

White male
21 to 22-years-old
6′ to 6’2”
Muscular build, clean cut
Last seen wearing a baseball cap and long sleeve shirt..

 

Police describe him as a preppy fraternity boy meets construction worker. The victim was also able to describe a class ring attached to a chain and a thick belt buckle. You can see the police sketches of the suspect and his belongings in the photos associated with this story.

 

At this time detectives believe it was an isolated incident and even say the suspect may be living at the apartment complex.

 

“[The suspect] said he was very intoxicated, so he could have been someone who was coming home from drinking or something. It was more of a crime of opportunity than someone who was hiding out,” says Det. Scott Stanfield with the Austin Police Dept.

 

If you recognize the person in the sketch, you are asked to call the A.P.D. sex crimes tip line number at (512) 974-5095.”

A few things bother me, besides the story and story’s follow up have been posted on the same day, that (1) the incident occurred several months ago, (2) lack of response of the apartment management to notify the residents about the incident having occurred on the property a month ago when it occurred, (3) lack of duty of care from the management to make the residents safe, (4) them presuming that it might just be an isolated incident, and the possibility that the alleged perpetrator may live on the property.

Because I do live in Austin, I heard Channel 42’s News mention the name of the apartment complex of Tintara at Canyon Creek in their news broadcast tonight and on the video, while the stories written mention Jefferson at Canyon Creek. They are really two separate properties although they have access between the two properties since they are owned by the same owner, which is really a moot point. There are neighboring apartment complexes, residential neighborhoods, and businesses that deserved the right to know as well. As soon as they had the composite sketch, they should have posted it at the mailboxes of all the communities and windows of all the businesses. The chances that they would have the perpetrator by now would have dramatically increased by the prompt action.

Of course, the news broadcast mentions that the victim had just come along to the police station to provide a sketch description of the perpetrator this week; however, the sketch should have been released immediately.

UPDATE: Tintara Management respond as per Channel 42’s News, but blames the security officer for just notifying them of the incident. Somehow, I don’t think that the residents are going to be comforted any by that response read on the station.

UPDATE:  More information and details about the sexual assault crime from Austin Police Department.

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A great article posted here about the perils of the working uninsured is found here.  Be sure to check them out and see various options pitted here.  Maybe you can come up with another resolve??

“The Working Uninsured” by John Rossheim « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Just kidding a bit; however, everyone knows that the attitude that many Missourians have is “Show Me”, which has been the motto of their state as well.

News has flied all over that President George Bush has vetoed a bill — the second only during his terms of offices — yesterday that involved in funding of the armed forces; but, also included a drawback of the forces beginning in October. It really should be no real surprise; after all, President Bush has made no bones about what his stance has been about any stance — especially, this one!

I am certainly not for any war; however, on the other hand, I am torn and certainly for getting the bad guys that are a threat to our very existence. If we are not achieving that, then we certainly need our generals to go back to the drawing board and revise their strategies; after all, that is there job — right???

After 911, we haven’t had any terroristic threats on our lands; this may be largely due to our presence in Iraq, as well as some other middle eastern countries. If we withdraw our troops in total, I wonder if we also loose some ground on having presence strategically placed.

Some of the complaints that I have seen from families of the armed forces is that they have been extending their tour of duties rather than bringing in the freshness and energies of new troops. I remember when my father was in Viet Nam when I was little. If the news kept coming back that my father’s tour of duty had been extended, I am sure that I would have been exasperated as well. Although just in the second grade at that time and not understanding the whole concept of the necessity of the war, I would be staying up each night and watching the news with my Mom — hoping and praying for his safe return to our family.

That being said though, I am certain that President Bush has his reasons to continue his stance of maintaining the troops presence in Iraq and in other countries. The funding does need to go through to support our troops; and, hopefully, for a refreshment of troops so that our troops are not continually having their tours extended.

I do know too that there are many civilians over in the war zones attempting to rebuild what has been torn down and helping them to build up a government that is more resembling a democracy form of government. Without the presence of the troops, are we not also putting our civilians there in danger?

I don’t have all the answers and do not profess to know all the ins and outs of the wars at hand. I do want the bad guys to be dealt with so that our threat to our very existence, which is often the basis of the wars, is diminished. One thing with certainty is that President Bush seems to be stating clearly, “Show Me!” that the necessity of pulling the troops will be in the best interest and safety of all. It will be interesting to see what the US Legislators come up with to resolve things in the best interest and safety for all!

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It is all over the news that the Miss America, Lauren Nelson, was all talk and vying more for a PR stunt rather than have the intent to testify to the courts in Suffolk County, New York, about the child predators they caught with regard to them thinking that they were going to come to a home where they intended to have sex with a 14yo, posed by her pictures.


America’s Most Wanted’s producers were quick today to respond and put a spin on the rumors flying by stating:

“Despite the information to the contrary that appears in an article in Newsday, according to the Miss America Organization neither Lauren Nelson nor her representatives have told the Suffolk County District Attorney — or anyone else — that she would refuse to testify in any of the cases in which she participated. We don’t know why the D.A. would make the comments attributed to him without knowing all of the facts.

 

“It is important to note that the Suffolk County Police were in charge of every aspect of the investigation that was featured in our broadcast. The accused predators who were arrested during the taping of this episode of America’s Most Wanted were taken into custody at the discretion of the Suffolk County Computer Crimes Unit.

“We believe that our work speaks for itself, and we believe in letting the legal system take its course.”

Lauren Nelson has also posted a video blog stating about her involvement with the sting and how comfortable she was with the process and speaking with the perpetrators. I am not sure that “comfortable” should have been expressed; after all, isn’t that what Patty Hearst said of her captors when she was allegedly kidnapped??? Just the first thought that sprang in my mind as she was talking and watching her body language and always keep looking down as if she weren’t totally telling the truth or, perhaps, a staged response. Check it out and let me know what you think??

I am not sure who to believe at this point. America’s Most Wanted certainly has a reputation to uphold and they don’t want to be going down in history as staging a sting that was a farce to improve the status of this new Miss America, which is why I am not surprised that they so very quickly posted a statement on their website.

I had, too, posted a posting after watching the sting that aired last Saturday, entitled “America’s Most Wanted Safety Center” under the “Internet” tab on this blog site. I felt that she was being sincere then; I just hope that she wasn’t planting seeds for a PR ploy and wasn’t honest in her campaign. I guess we will soon see how true to her word this Miss America is when she proves the “proof in the puddin'” by either testifying – or, not.

In the meantime, I might be heading back to the blog posting, entitled, “Person of the Week: Lauren Nelson” and see if the blogger has a different opinion of her now that this conflict rumor has started flying!!

Question: If she doesn’t testify, will this put a poor limelight upon her alone or the America’s Most Wanted as well??? Just curious as to what you might think…

Question: Do you think that the convictions of these predators can be successful – even if she doesn’t testify???

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Just like in the previous posting about UT’s unethical woes of being wooed by lenders who offer special treats and favors to have a strong presence in their offices. It was rumored that the reason that Governor Perry, of Texas, was also wooed by Merck about the ovarian cancer drug that he was trying to make law that young, middle-school aged girls would have to take to help prevent the onset of the ovarian cancer. What might have actually been a good idea, the general public didn’t like the role that Merck might have had to persuade Governor Perry in the viability of the drug, which just so happened to be their own drug and they stood to profit emensly from the requirement being stated in law. The houses of the Texas legislation have voted it down, I believe, but Governor Perry is still convinced that it should be a law and continues to advocate for it.

 

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Found this article on him and thought I would share it with you all, although, I am sure, that he would prefer all this media exposure to just go away and quiet down. The author certainly does make a good point in the end.

Published on April 29, 2007 by Ezine @rticles

Alex Baldwin Doesn’t Get It
by Douglas Bower



Alex Baldwin’s tirade against his minor child needs to be seen for what it is—child abuse. Not only is it child abuse but is also so typical of the mindset and the philosophy that Americans so easily resort to when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions. “It’s not my fault.”

Here is what Baldwin said after calling his little girl a “thoughtless little pig” and threatening to come from New York to Los Angeles to “straighten her out”—a threat to the kid’s safety if ever there was one.

“Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child,” he wrote. “I’m sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. You have to go through this to understand. (Although I hope you never do.) I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated, which had deliberately been put under seal in this case.”

1. “Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child.” – The man is not worried that what he said to his daughter would affect her adversely, only that what he said to her was released to the media. He is not concerned about how his abusiveness might affect the girl but how the release of the recording might affect her. Is this man in his right mind or is this indicative of just how much his character is flawed?

2. “I’m sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. ”— The man is shifting blame and not taking personal responsibility for his words or actions. He is sorry for losing his temper but blames “parental alienation” as that which drove him to lose his temper. No, Mr. Baldwin, “parental alienation” is your perception of a stimulus provided to you through the circumstances in which you’ve found yourself. Parental alienation, whatever that is supposed to mean, is not some animated, sentient entity capable of doing anything. It hasn’t arms nor legs, a brain to think with, or anything else that would enable “it” to “drive” you to do anything. Your loss of temper is a behavior you chose to deal with a situation. (Since he is referring to someone committing the sin of “parental alienation,” he must certainly be blaming the child as the alienator—it’s the child’s fault for alienating him—“parental alienation” made him do it.)

3. “You have to go through this to understand.”— If ever there was an indication of the lack of critical thinking skills in the minds of Americans, this is it. This is something to which many resort in trying to justify their irrational and ill-chosen behaviors. Think a moment to what this man is actually saying: If you went through what I’ve been going through, then you would not condemn me. And, if you’ve never walked in my shoes, then you do not have the right to criticize me for calling my daughter a little pig.” This man is claiming that the only way we could “understand” why he did what he did is if we had undergone this spookily-termed, “parental alienation.” This man is not apologizing but trying to justify his bad behavior. And, he claims, you would understand why he abused his child if you had undergone his trials and tribulations. I don’t have to have murdered someone to understand why someone resorted to bad behavior by killing his neighbor. I don’t have to have sexually abused a child to know that it is ill-chosen behavior. I don’t have to have stolen something that didn’t belong to me to understand that stealing is wrong. How, I would love to ask Mr. Baldwin, would our understanding help us to “get it?” How would our undergoing “parental alienation” help us to understand that what Mr. Baldwin did to his daughter is somehow justified? After all, Mr. Baldwin seems to be saying if we had ever undergone “parental alienation,” we would understand—cut him some slack.

4. “I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated…”— See how the man is trying to shift blame? What the man is sorry for, I cannot fathom, but I most certainly see that he is blaming the one who violated a court order. Baldwin cannot, at least as yet, just say that no matter what the circumstances were, no matter what the situation dealt, no matter what information he was provided to which he had to respond, that he was wrong—period—for lashing out at that child.

The past decades, if not a century, of psychoanalytical psychobabble has taught Americans that they are victims. If they act out with bad behavior, it couldn’t possibly be the fault of the one who chose the bad behavior. It was “the circumstance’s fault.” If they get caught in some behavioral sin, then it wasn’t their fault but the fault of someone or something that provided them with something to which they had to respond and did so badly.

Every circumstance, situation, problem, child acting out, a spouse acting out, a boss firing you, is just information provided to you. You get to choose how you are going to react to what is before you. All we ever do is behave. From the time we are born to the time we die, all we do is choose behaviors in response to a stimulus. What marks us as mature, sane, and rational is how we’ve learned to think critically through a bad hand dealt us and choosing the correct, socially appropriate and morally correct behavior.

Was one of Alex Baldwin’s choices when his daughter didn’t pick up the phone when he called to lash out in an abusive tirade at her? Yes.

However, thinking, and I mean using critical thinking skills, is what would have directed him to consider better alternatives. He could have ranted at the girl or he could have made a better choice. A little bit of maturity would have gone a long way in preventing his childish behavior.

Oh, Mr. Baldwin, we understand perfectly and are wondering,

“Just who is the child here?”

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is the name of an article (subtitled – Shattered by loss and overcome with lonliness) in the February 2007 issue of Vogue written by a woman (Joyce Maynard), who is an author of a syndicated column, who found herself being a penpal with a man in prison.

The article is interesting and intriguing as you want to know why does a woman with seemingly intelligence get involved and scooped into the realms of having any sort of a relationship with a someone in prison. After all, what kind of life can that be? Someone who may never leave the walls of the prison; someone that is in prison for some sort of a horrendous crime; etc. Just like the Mendez brothers, who killed their parents years ago, maintaining some level of relationship with women who are now, I believe, their girlfriends.

Joyce offers us an insight as we begin to read the article:

“I will tell you now one thing about men in prison:

As much time as the rest of us spend going to jobs, taking care of our houses and meals, our children, our pets, carrying on relationships and breakups, paying bills — having sex perhaps, if we are fortunate — that is time men in prison have for writing letters. Not surprisingly, they get good at it.”

I bet! Who wouldn’t be able to master the art of writing without given too much else to do within those prison walls. Strangely enough she indicates that he doesn’t write much about his life in prison. One would think that he would, but instead he talked about his past life, one that he could intertwine with what she could actually relate to — his family, his child, etc.

She goes on, further, to explain her justification for anxiously waiting for his continual correspondence with him by stating:

“I know how this sounds.  So I will say, in my defense, what any woman who has been single for a while probably knows already.  I had been out in the world of single womanhood long enough by this point to understand that just because a man you may be dating is a cardiac surgeon, say, or a tenured professor at some Ivy League University, or a partner in a major Boston law firm is no guarantee that he won’t be a sociopath.”

This is so very true; after all, we hear about very worldly folks being victimized of domestic violence just as much as those neighbors just down your street or in the next neighborhood over from you.

I have heard of other people getting involved with the prisoners, thinking that they could help them and, just perhaps, they could right a wrong and help them to see justice. Truth of the matter is though that true justice is that they are probably still in prison.

The prisoners are called “con” men oftentimes for a good reason. They didn’t get there because they did any good for someone; generally speaking, most of them got where they are by doing some form of a con or criminalistic action.

Oftentimes, they “reel” someone into their “good” side by presenting them with things that they can indeed identify with. With the technology available out there today, they are not limited to just letter writing, unless they have no access to the internet; however, some of the prisoners do have internet access, even if on a very limited basis.

Some of the ways to determine if you might be dealing with a con in prison, one can:

1. Ask to view them on a cam. Sometimes, they will have one available that you can see; however, they often won’t let you see them on a cam because you will be able to see them in the same outfit each and every day. Of course, this isn’t a fail proof system because there are many that won’t set up a cam because of the perverts out there who only want to cam for one thing only.

2. Ask them to send photographs of themselves. If all the photos look like mug shots (or in the same outfit), that is certainly a good sign that they are in prison. They have limited options of taking photos where it doesn’t look like they are in some sort of an institution.

3. Check the times that your emails or IMs are sent to you. If they have access to a computer, it might be that they are with a limited access timeframe and schedule. If you are getting emails and IMs at the same time of the day or night, it just might be a good sign that they are in some sort of an institution requiring a rigid routine process.

4. Ask them about what they did in the day. If they don’t talk about their activities there and just talk about the past, it is a good chance that they are avoiding about telling about today’s activities — they are as mundane as they can be from one day to the next.

5. Be concerned if they get upset or focused upon a particular subject matter consistently. Sometimes this is a sign of a matter that is particularly close to them because they have felt that they have been wronged by the justice system. When they feel that they have obtained a certain degree of a level of confidence, they are going to springboard you into action to help them appeal their case, which is also a good sign that they had pegged you from the beginning that might be able to have influence on the justice system – writers, reporters, lawyers, paralegals, and many of the other occupations can be susceptible to being pursued by a con.

When you find that you are being wooed by a con, there are several things that you can do:

1. Don’t communicate with him anymore; and, block his emails and IMs.  Remember they are the one in prison; not you.  If they are determined to find the person to help them, they will give up and move on to another target person.

2. Report the convict to the police. Hopefully, you haven’t given the convict your home address.

3. Report the convict to the warden at the prison. As much as they try to control the communication, they need to know if they need to pay particular attention to one of their convicts.

To exercise safety in the future from a predator convict (or anyone you communicate with), be sure to:

1. Never give out your personal information — especially, your home address, phone number, etc. Remember sometimes folks can search your phone number and find your address. Always exercise caution.

2. Be wary of those who contact you and want to accelerate a relationship really fast.

3. Always be observant of who you are talking to, what they are talking about, and how they communicate with you.

4. Make sure you can truly trust a person.

5. If you must meet a person, always meet them in a public place. I would suggest this for the first few hundred times. Well, not necessarily that much; but, make sure you are absolutely comfortable with them. Many of the cons who are out and about, can be quite conniving as they are very charming and charismatic. Of course, if he is in prison, he will never be able to manage to meet you in person.

Of course, nothing is set in stone. Just because a person fits the bill under one potential flag instance, doesn’t mean that they are necessarily a convict; however, if there are more than one potential flag instances waving, I would certainly suggest that you put up your guard and walls of protection immediately. It is always better to error on the side of caution rather to find out that your error was not to pay close enough attention to your instincts!

Eerie is the feeling one gets to read Joyce’s article wherein, even until the end of the article, she is still longing about the relationship with this man, a man who will never see the light of the day outside of the walls of the prision walls.  She states that she doesn’t visit him, but romantiziing about a relationship that will never be in flesh is indeed very surreal.  It is sad to think that one would even seem to desire to seemingly give up on the real life to have a surreal existance.  This is not living in the present.

One must, no matter how lonely one might think they are, sink their heels in the soil of the terra Earth and look for ways to live and live safely!  One should never place themselves in a situation to be a prisoner of love; one deserves so much more!!

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Check out this page on opinions that I have collected from YouTube about the quality of health insurance and the need for health care reform. Come see what I have collected so for and offer your own opinion as well. Would love to hear from you!

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Who do you blame when your child pulls pranks and verges on the criminalistic side? Some will be quick to blame parents for allowing their children to listen to rap music, for instance. While some rap music can be alright, it is certainly not the norm of the rap culture who glorifies violence, drugs, rape, etc. I know. I was a parent of a teen going through the rap phase. I think sometimes they are so enthralled by the beat of the song and truly aren’t listening to the song they are singing. What parent isn’t a bit guilty of doing that themselves?

After all, I do remember my Mother taking me and my friends to school for an after school activity of some sort, probably practices for pep squad or drill team. As we were driving down the Dreamland Drive hill and crossing the railroad tracks, I remember we were turning up the music on the radio and singing to the tune of Elton John’s “Bitch is Back” at the top of our lungs, especially when it comes done to the words:

“I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch
Oh the bitch is back
Stone cold sober as a matter of fact
I can bitch, I can bitch
`Cause I’m better than you
It’s the way that I move
The things that I do”

My Mother would just look at us like we were crazy, but I am sure that we probably did offend her in some way who enjoyed such songs as Roger’s Miller’s version of Counting Flowers on the Wall or King of the Road and other artists’ songs, such as, Mr. Sandman, Alley Oop, and so many others that we later had placed into our jukebox that we had in our den. Come to think of it, perhaps, that was her way to try to influence us in a good way. I don’t think that she counted on us enjoying to sing and dance to those songs too when my friends would come over to visit, practice routines, or spend the night. (For those who aren’t familiar with the “Bitch is Back” tune, see the below YouTube video.)

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5D1KOUjzf0]

When That 70’s Show comes on the television, I am reminded each time of this event as we see the introduction lead in for the show while folks are all singing away in the car. Although we shocked our parents at times, none of us became social deviants. Strange how some things we do/see today triggers memories from our pasts.

At any rate…

I was watching The Family Guy on tv Sunday night vying some time before I actually needed to go into work. Parts of it seemed in good humor excepting parts where Meg was praised for her road rage antics and Stewie and Brian at the end were performing a carjacking to get back home. If The Family Guy is not a show intended for 18 and below audiences, then why are they airing it on Sundays at a time when children are still up and not required to have their bedtimes just yet? Why air shows the seem to encourage violent behaviors before 8pm?

It seems that they wouldn’t air shows that were aimed at adult audiences until after 8pm; and, yet, that policy seems to be thrown out the window these days.

I know that we can’t protect our kids from absolutely everything; in fact, being exposed to some of it may be okay in healthy small doses as the child can tolerate in order for them to not go hog-wild when they are finally exposed to the adult audiences world. However, the children these days are seeming to get it from all directions these days.

I certainly don’t believe a single song, game, movie, television show, etc. is going to adversely affect our children, but certainly the culmination of all the medias converging on ideas of violence, criminalistic behaviors, etc, can’t help to influence them in a positive direction. I couldn’t prevent my daughter from buying rap music and other music that contained derogatory lyrics when she had money of her own since I certainly couldn’t walk behind her 24hrs/day; however, I refused to spend my money on the music that I didn’t feel was in good tastes. As a coworker had mentioned that they were, for example, a family that didn’t believe in a lot of television watching, their children still managed to watch the television when they visited their friends’ homes.

All one can do, as a parent, is to try to lead by example and hope that the morals and positive influences that they do instill upon the children are absorbed and practiced by the children when they are tempted by other bad choices and influences from others. Insofar as folks trying to set blame to being influenced by a song or some other form of media for their actions, I don’t believe it 100%; after all, each of us have brains in order to make right and wrong choices. The choices that we make are those which influence our lives, although without the adverse forms of medias being in existence may have an influence in a more positive environment, it is the fact that these do exist, at times, which gives cause for the exercise of our brains in making decisions between right and wrong, don’t you think???

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Can I imagine? Yes!!!!!

It is what I have been complaining about all along. People say that, if you don’t have insurance, just apply for Medicaid. It isn’t all that simple and this article, “Public Citizen: Texas Medicaid Program One of the Country’s Worst”, on the American-Statesman reiterates my point exactly.

In fact, the article states:

A new report from Public Citizen, a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization, ranks the Texas Medicaid program 48 out of the programs in the 50 states.

 

Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program that covers around 55 million Americans, varies widely from state to state, said the report, which ranked states on eligibility requirements, benefits and quality of care.

 

“Where you happen to live can make all the difference,” said report co-author Annette Ramirez de Arellano, a public health expert at Public Citizen.

 

The report said that even the highest-ranking states had serious weaknesses but that Texas was one of the worst, scoring higher than only Idaho and Mississippi.

 

Texas “is the only state that places consistently at the bottom,” the report said. “Unlike other states that have made a policy decision to cover more persons for fewer services, or vice-versa, Texas ranks extremely low in both eligibility and scope of services.”

See Public Citizen for more details.

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Although people often use the terms mental illness and violence in the same sentence, especially when there was such a tragedy as was had at Virginia Tech Institute. People jump to the conclusion that, because, for instance, the violence that affected so many students and staff at the Institute was so maddening, they often presume that mental illness must have been at the core of the issue. While some of the investigation seems to have unveiled that he had been to a mental health facility for assessment, it doesn’t mean that he was actually treated for mental illness or that, if he was undergoing some form of treatment, the proper treatment was being presented or followed through.

The National Alliance for Mental Illness has immediately released a statement to this regard to be passed to others:

For Immediate Release
April 18, 2007

The VTI Tragedy: Distinguishing Mental Illness from Violence

Statement of Ken Duckworth, MD
NAMI Medical Director

 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) extends its sympathy to all the families who have lost loved ones in the terrible tragedy at the Virginia Technology Institute (VTI). We are an organization of individuals and families whose lives have been affected by serious mental illnesses.

 

Despite media reports, Cho Seung Hui, the shooter in the tragedy may not actually have had a serious mental illness relative to other diagnoses. But the possibility opens the door for reflection on the nature of mental illnesses—what they are and what they are not— with regard to symptoms, treatment and risks of violence.

 

The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that the likelihood of violence by people with mental illness is low. In fact, “the overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.” More often, people living with mental illness are the victims of violence.

 

Severe mental illnesses are medical illnesses. They are different from episodic conditions. They are different from sociopathic disorders.

 

Acts of violence are exceptional.

 

Treatment works, but only if a person gets it.

 

Questions must be answered about whether the mental health care system responded appropriately in this case. We know that Cho Seung Hui was referred to a mental health facility for assessment. Did he receive the right treatment and follow-up? If not, why not?

 

NAMI offers below the federal government’s authoritative language on perceptions of violence.

 

Mental Illness and Violence

 

Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health (1999)

 

Are people with mental disorders truly more violent? Research supports some public concerns, but the overall likelihood of violence is low.

 

The greatest risk of violence is from those who have dual diagnoses, i.e., individuals who have a mental disorder as well as a substance abuse disorder. There is a small elevation in risk of violence from individuals with severe mental disorders (e.g., psychosis), especially if they are noncompliant with their medication….Yet to put this all in perspective, the overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.

 

National Institute of Mental Health (2006)

 

A study of adults with schizophrenia showed that symptoms of losing contact with reality, such as delusions and hallucinations, increased the odds of serious violence nearly threefold. The odds were only about one-fourth as high in patients with symptoms of reduced emotions and behaviors, such as flat facial expression, social withdrawal, and infrequent speaking.

 

Overall, the amount of violence committed by people with schizophrenia is small, and only 1 percent of the U.S. population has schizophrenia…By comparison, about 2 percent of the general population without psychiatric disorder engages in any violent behavior in a one-year period.

 

The researchers found that the odds of violence also varied with factors other than psychotic symptoms. For example, serious violence was associated with depressive symptoms, conduct problems in childhood, and having been victimized, physically or sexually; minor violence was associated with co-occurring substance abuse.

By issuance of the above statement, NAMI hopes to be able to clarify some questions that many might have with any alleged mental illness(es) that the gunman, Cho Seung Hui, might have had.

I am sure that more information will be divulged as the security and authorities perform their thorough investigations on the matter. Some other theories being tossed around is that he was searching out his ex-girlfriend, and, by some sources, it seems that his ex-girlfriend may have been one of the first presumed to have been shot at in the dormitory. While this may not be the official worst blood bath at a college/university in American history, it will certainly be interesting as more information surfaces to see what actually that they can piece together, although the whole story may never be known, especially since not many people knew him well.

At this time, rumors of new gun laws needing to be made are re-surfacing as well as other legislations. The total ramification of the whole ordeal has affected the Nation’s society, especially the VTI staff and students, beyond comprehension and will probably be something to be dealt with in the future, as we have seen from many of our tragic events. Hopefully, something good will come out of the event; heroes will emerge; and a tragedy turned into a triumph. At this time, the “triumph” is still unknown, but one can always hope and dream — right??

April 20 – Virginia Tech Tragedy: Responses and Resources

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀 ›

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Austin City Council is considering a ban on plastic bags.

When Whole Foods and Central Market came along more than 20 years ago they promoted that recycled bag, but it didn’t really take off too well.  Oftentimes the bag weighs more than the groceries themselves and can oftentimes be bulky.

A CVS employee mentioned last night when I was checking out with my cat food and candles that he thought that, perhaps, it might evolve competition among the stores to come up with the most usable and unique bags so that their bags are the bag of choice one takes when going shopping wherein their name brand is recognized even when a shopper goes into another store to shop.

Austin American Statesman reports that Whole Foods gives a credit of 5 cents for bringing in a recycled bag; Houston Chronicle reports that Whole Foods gives a credit of 10 cents.  Whooo hooo… not enough of a credit for me to have the incentive to switch no matter whether it is 5 or 10 cents unless they talk about 5-10 cents off of each item purchased.  While I am disgusted with some of the plastic bags that don’t hold much in them beyond getting a small load from point A to point B anymore without disintergrating and the handles breaking apart with the weight of the objects in the bag, I am not sure that I am all that thrilled about not having the choice to have a plastic bag every now and then.

Don’t get me wrong.  As much as I love my bluebonnets and love seeing that the environment is encouraging of their continued survival (for instance), I will certainly do anything I can to help improve the longevity for everyone and every living thing through improving the environment.  With only one hand that can carry comfortably any significant level of weight (as one of my hands was broken a couple of years and still hasn’t regained the ability to carry the same level of weight that it used to), having to use non-plastic bags may limit my ability of carrying groceries into my apartment and I will then be required to make multiple trips to my apartment.

Of course, the CVS cashier also mentioned then we might be seeing more carts & dollies that folks bring in to carry things back and forth.  I do have one of those foldable carts that I purchased when my husband died and I had no one to help me bring up the groceries to my second floor apartment, which became useful too when I was moving from Houston a few years ago from a second floor apartment in The Woodlands to a second floor apartment in Cedar Park.   Now, I am in a first floor apartment to avoid that whole situation.  (It is too bad that apartments don’t put in dumb waiters in the stairwells so that folks can carry things up to the upper level apartments.)

At any rate, this morning on MyFoxAustin it is being announced that there is another “Call to Recycle” Campaign being had for rechargeable batteries, cell phones, laptops, PDAs, etc to the local Radio Shack locations.  This is a good thing because I have a lot of electronic equipment that I do need to get rid of, but wasn’t quite sure how to properly dispose of them.  That announcement was very timely indeed.

Funny thought.  How much gas will we be expending to cart all of our things from recycle point to recycle point?  Will the cost factors of expending the gas outweigh the recycling attempts?  I certainly hope so.

At any rate, it is certainly a good week to do some Spring Cleaning!!

For more information —

Austin Recycling Programs

Texas Recycling Programs

Home Hazardous Waste Disposal through AFD

AFD locations to pick up Austin Recycling Bins

Ecology of Texas – Listing of Where to go for Recycling What

Locations of Recycling in Greater Austin

Other Austin Area Earth Day Events – ie, Shred Day at Austin High School and much, much more.

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who would you vote for? Would you vote Republican or Democrat? Do you have a favorite so far???

VOTE HERE

and cast who you would vote for today. The results may surprise you. Currently one leads the pack, but not enough have voted yet, I don’t think, to give a good idea of who the true competitors are.

Will it be someone that has a certain perspective on the war or on the homelands? Will it be a hero? Is it someone that is spiritual?

Does any really know what their platforms are?

Who will you be voting for, given the knowledge that you have today??

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This week, so far, has been a bit with some craziness — Virginia Tech massacre allegedly due to a domestic violence/obessesive ex syndrome issue. Abortion/Pro-life folks coming to a head on some of those issues. Brought up some YouTube domestic violence videos and posted them under the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE tab for you to review. Some positive outcomes include Lawrence Wright receiving his Pulitzer Prize on his 9/11 non-fiction book and a re-discovery of a FREE HUG project which projects a healthy attitude on things. Why can’t we all just get along?? Thank goodness for the volunteers bringing cheers and support along the way; be sure to thank a volunteer this week!  Check it all out.

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀 ›

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Shocking is the news of the killings and woundings found at Virginia Tech this morning from a gunman that went on a rampage and killed 31 and wounded 29 with his shootings at two different buildings on campus  two hours apart — a dormitory and some classrooms in another building.  This sends chills as we all remember the
Columbine High School
and
University of Texas massacres in the past.   More information will be divulged in due time; it is my understanding that the gunman has been killed — either by the fire of the police or through taking of his own life.  We may never know the whole story; but, rest assured, it will be marked in history as one of the most tragic events in US History.  At this time, I understand that this may be a domestic violence issue because he was seeking out his girlfriend.  Nothing has been said so far, to my knowledge, whether or not his girlfriend was among those killed, wounded, or witnessed the tragic series of events today.

Another blogger stated, “It seems, even at this early hour, the Virginia Tech shooting seems to have been triggered (um), by domestic violence. We shouldnt take domestic violence lightly, and I dont think this is an issue that has to do with “bad” men, because women are just as likely to commit acts of violence. Just the other week there was a shooting at the University of Washington that also involved a domestic dispute, in this case, stalking. Unfortunately, it takes a public incident like today’s shooting to highlight the brutality of personal violence.”  I agree.

In my email, I have also received communication about the pro-life/abortion issues.  They seem to want to pinpoint the fault of the abortion laws being pushed actively by Nancy Pelosi, Teddy Kennedy, and Hilary Clinton to allow for funding under Medicaid for abortions, etc.  Whoever is to blame is not the point.   Pro-life activists state:

Both Pelosi and Clinton are getting stronger and stronger as the weeks and months go by. Every week they are in power, over 26,040 abortions are performed in our United States. Every month they are in power, over 111,600 babies die in abortion. That’s one baby every 25 seconds. Since 1973, that’s over 47 million babies. Babies who were going to be named Jack, Sara, Timmy, Adam, Claire, Ben, Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary, Abraham, Daniel, David, Michael, Salvatore and so many more….We cannot let Pelosi and Clinton set the agenda in congress for the next 2 years and stand idly by when over 2.6 million babies will die during abortions!”

No matter what your viewpoint on abortion/pro-life, those are some staggering numbers indeed.  One can’t help but feel how future generations will be affected by the availability of more abortions.  If you go by the adages of the survival of the fittest, it would seem that these potential children of the world are not given the opportunity to survive; they are not given a choice and many children who could be the future leaders of their generation are lost.  Just think it is so very sad to think about. On a brighter note today, this week is “National Volunteer Week”.  I would certainly go read my posting about this week and look to the right column for some ideas of resources where you can look to do your part in today’s society to make it a better place for living for all concerned.  At least, find a volunteer and hug them this week, letting them know that you appreciate all that they do to help make your community a better place to live, if you do nothing else! 

Sometimes, out of the madness of events, can come some good.  Austinite, Lawrence Wright (previously a staff writer for the New York Times), has provided a prime example of this.  After the 9/11 tragedy, he went on a pursuit to find out what had happened and wrote a book called, “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.”   Today, he was notified that he has won a Pulitzer Prize for his work endured to create and write the book.  Many kudos to his deligence and hard work!

Blessings for all the victims and their families, as well as all the volunteers.  May this Nation see some semblance of normacy in their lives, whatever normalcy may mean to them.

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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This is the theme for this week’s National Volunteer Week as proclaimed by every President since 1974, as sponsered by the USA Freedom Corps and Points of Light Foundation.   

I am, myself, a huge advocate of volunteering.  In the past 30 some odd years, I have been known to volunteer for political campaigns, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Family Eldercare (Elder Advocate and Guardian), GAL (Guardian Ad Litem), Big Brothers – Big Sisters Program (Mentor to Children), Victim’s Advocate, and so much more.  I feel that the best way that we can best help give back to our communities is through helping others in the various programs that are aimed at helping special focuses on needs – whether it is to act as a voice in court, helping to spread messages, being their friend, helping a victim regain their life after a trauma, etc.

I try to lead by example and, hopefully, my daughter will also follow in my footsteps as she gets older.  In the meantime, I have certainly tried to influence and encourage others to do their part in their local community schools, Churches, police stations, libraries, etc.  The diversity of the volunteering opportunities is emense and never ending.  There is always someone looking for some help – some where, some way!!

Please look to the right column under “Volunteering” for some ways to find out where the best for you to volunteer might be.  Check with your local library or police department to see what special activities might be happening in your community to promote volunteering.  Look for ways that you might be able to get involved to help your community today!!

Additional resources about the National Volunteer Week:

To learn more about National Volunteer Week and how you may observe it, visit http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov/about_usafc/special/nvw.asp.

For further information on mentoring as an opportunity to volunteer, visit http://www.mentoring.org/mentor_minute/national_volunteer_week_coming_soon.php.

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Amazing today about the whole issue a level of quality of care being available to one and all alike in our society has to be an issue at all in today’s society. Read under my HEALTHCARE NOTES tab about this very issue that I discussed with my father today over a brunch we had while my parents were in town. The health insurance companies only advocate for those who pay them; where is the advocate that will advocate for those who aren’t offered the option of the health insurance benefit or they are unable to afford to pay for health insurance on their own. Even Medicaid doesn’t seem to cover all that are left out and only cover those under some restrictive poverty guidelines. There is seemingly a hole in the system (perhaps, many holes) and it should be addressed as soon as possible. Let me know what you might think…

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Check out pictures from last year’s SafePlace Walk (2006) to see the excitement and fun that you will have at this year’s Safe Place Walk (2007) who raises funds for domestic violence and sexual assault programs in the Austin area. See you all there on Saturday, April 14th!

[rockyou id=38423391&w=426&h=320]

Don’t forget to also check out my Cross Project that I am working upon as well. It is a collection of photos of crosses that I am, currently, finding throughout the Greater Austin Area.   I am seeking out a publication commitment as well for part of this project.  Any ideas/suggestions, please let me know.

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

So much was added today.  More shopping links, Radio-Television-Film links, interesting links on self help and domestic violence issues, Webby Award links and so much more were added.  I added a Sunrise Thoughts article, as well as an article about being careful regarding Imus, a tragic death of a 7 yr old who had been shot while jumping on a trampoline and some personal humorous antedotes of my needing to be careful as well.  Check out my garden flower photos as well.  I just might add some of my Cross Project photos by tomorrow afternoon. 🙂 

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Imus leads the pack in being careful, without doubt.  It was announced today that MSNBC that they will cancel running the simulcast of his show as the sponsors for the advertising have pulled their ads; they may sponsor again at a later time, but not for Imus’ show.  Sometimes, one has to wonder if these folks ever had Mom’s who told them that they “must think before you speak” while they were growing up.   After all, as my Mom would continue, “it just doesn’t show your intelligience, if you don’t think before you speak”.  I know that some people are simply not raised the same as others, but you would hope and pray that there would be much more cooth than that!  At any rate….

In Hays County, a rural county south of the Austin area, horror swept throughout the 5-county region, if not across the nation, as Daniel Galicia, a 7 year old boy, was shot to death while jumping on a trampoline with his friends.  The man who shot the boy claimed that he had been shooting at a target at his own home with his new 22 gauge rifle.  He told the authorities that he thought all his bullets had hit the target; he had no idea that any of his bullets had strayed and certainly didn’t think that they would have hit anything beyond the target.  Apparently, he might not have thought that the children would have been playing in a community in a rural county where the houses were somewhat close together, about 1/3 a mile apart.  The 37 year old man has been charged with manslaughter, a second degree felony that has a maximum sentence of 20 years.  Sometimes, while even being in the country/rural environment one should just use a bit of common sense.

On a lighter note, I need to be a bit careful myself! 

This afternoon after getting off work and running some errands, I stopped by my home to rest up a bit before heading back to work for an 8 hr shift this evening.  I put up some candles that I bought, checked some of my emails, and laid down to rest up.  After some tossing and turning after an ever so brief of a nap, I decided that I would continue my pursuit of photos of flowers and crosses for an upcoming photo project I am working upon.  I turned upside my home looking for my keys as I was getting ready to leave.  Nowhere to be found!  I even asked Gibson and Moobaby (my cats) where in the world have they moved my keys and they looked at me with a very puzzled look.  A lot of help they were!!   After exasperation, I went to look at the front door.  There they were!!  They were still in the door where I left them as I unlocked the door and carried in the store bought items.  Gracious!!  Thank goodness my neighbors are honest. 🙂

I got to the gardens where I wanted to take some of my flower photos.  I succeeded in taking some of them; however, my batteries died.  😦  I was trying to travel light while hiking through the gardens.  *Sigh*  I best not forget my batteries on Friday when I head out on my Bluebonnet Adventure!!

In the meantime, please enjoy some of the garden photos that I did manage to take before my batteries died in the camera….

Garden Flower Shots 1Garden Flower Shots 2Garden Flower Shots 3Garden Photo Shots 4Garden Flower Shots 5Garden Flower Shots 6Garden Flower Shots 7

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Lots went on today besides adding a lot more resource links to the page, as well as linking up some blogger pages that I have found interesting.  Check out the YouTubes about a strong parent and the miniture earth; some extemely moving videos.  Speaking of videos I found some that did a parody about being “Christian” vs a “Christ Follower”.  Pretty interesting.  Don’t forget to take a look at the latest blog posting on some Bits and Pieces of thoughts wherein I mentioned things about exercising on a recumbant bicycle, Emilio, and Larry Birkhead. 

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Today, I crossed one of my fears.  I had been given a recumbant bike by a person that put it in the online classifieds for free.  I wanted it because I thought with my knee problems I would be able to do that in my home and not have such high impact on my knees so that I could get regular exercise.  I got it, probably closer to a year ago.  It took a while for me to get it into the home because it was a bit heavy and cumbersome.  Finally, I got it in the home, but then I have moved it around in my home; trying to find the best location for it.  For the past few months, it has been sitting parrallel to the couches and directly in front of the tv.  Procrastination has been working its charm and I put a bunch of fears into my head — seemingly very unnecessary fears.  One of the greatest fears was that it would hurt my knees as I cycled the peddles; boy, I was wrong!  Okay.  Now the next hurdle is to set up a schedule of riding it each day — maybe even several times a day.  I have to remember to take one step at a time though.

Emilio was granted an extended life by the Travis County Courts to try to find other hospitals willing to continue this 17 month old’s life as it stands today — on resucitation.  Folks are questioning the quality of this boy’s life while others say that people have been left on resucitation means for lots longer than this young boy has been.

Larry Birkhead is Anna Nicole’s baby’s true father per DNA results.  Personally, I am relieved.  He seems to be much more level headed than anyone else in the spectrum and will, hopefully, not let the money get in the way of raising the daughter in as little limelight as possible; something that her Mom didn’t ever had the chance of doing.

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

The site has been updated with additional domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, healthy living, teen dating helps and sites, as well as a links to articles on domestic violence, predator safety, child internet protection, and so much more.  Come take a look and explore.  While the site is still under constant construction, it is shaping up with a lot of useful information, spiritual guidance, and self-help sites.

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This past week First Lady Laura Bush announced the decision of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to open up a Regional Office which is to become one of the hubs for the organizations efforts to find missing and exploited children, many of who are missing from the Texas area as well. I am excited because it is a proactive measure to combat this problem, as well as other related issues.

Check out my new tab above entitled, TEXAS’ MISSING CHILDREN CENTER, to see my ongoing updates regarding this new center and its efforts.

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Check out the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE tab here for a page written about the CIRCLE OF ACCOUNTABILITY, along with a video, entailing some ideas/suggestions about the responsibilities of everyone in the “village”.  Where does domestic violence end?

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In general terms, advocacy is being there to help someone else out and help them by speaking out for them when they otherwise feel that they could not.  Some examples, of course, would include scenarios, such as:

* being a Court Appointed Special Advocate or a Guardian ad Litem to speak up in the best interest of the child who has been abused, abandoned, or neglected;

* being a Eldercare Advocate is challenged by talking up for the elderly who may not know how or are mentally or physically incapicitated to speak up for themselves to get the quality of care or life that they so deserve;

* being a Mental Health Advocate help those with any sort of mental illnesses by speaking up for them and making certain that they are provided with the best care in the mental health arena that they so very much deserve; and,

* being a Disabled Advocate helps those who are handicapped or disabled to ascertain that they are provided with the tools necessary to provide them the quality and equality of living and/or working that they need to be able to live/work.

To be a good advocate, I believe that one must always stay informed.  As such, I tend to read a lot of materials from a lot of resources.  Some of the online resources are indicated to the right in the list under the category “Advocacy” to give you an idea of the array of resources that I try to use — some that are a bit conservative in thinking and some that are a bit liberal in thinking in order to have a balance of the spectrum in keeping open about all viewpoints of things.

The challenge comes from feeling like you stay up on top of the new viewpoints and theories and other new organizations that would be able to increase the level of care and/or life for those who are not able to speak up for themselves.   Keeping up on the resources that I have provided under “Advocacy” is certainly a good place to start for any advocate.  My list is constantly changing and creating new avenues for me to expand my knowledge and understanding of this world and the societal needs.  Each advocate will find their own sources to keep themselves informed in accordance to what they are advocating for.

In addition to the resources that I utilize to keep myself informed on society, justice, and worldly viewpoints (globally and locally affecting my community), I also try to keep uptodate on resources that I have listed to the right, for example, in the category of “Self-Help Sites” that continues to grow as well each day that I can refer folks to obtain some additional resources that I might not necessarily have direct knowledge of or access to within my reach.

It takes a real mixture of things to help make advocacy happen.  Advocacy begins with everyone becoming involved in the community – the person needing advocacy speaking out and asking questions so that others find out about their needs, you asking neighbors and friends questions about the needs that they need, and the advocate putting it into action and making the connections known so that everyone needing advocacy gets the quality of life and care that each and every person so rightly deserves on this planet we all live upon.

So, I guess my question left unanswered is:  “How are you going to make a difference in this world and ensure that advocacy is continually connecting the world in a quality of living and care that brings equality for everyone?”

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More Information on The Castle Doctrine « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Updated another page on the site with Mike Rosen’s blog comments on The Castle Doctrine as well as my own viewpoint, or rather some notes and thoughts thereof.  I would really enjoy hearing from others on their veiwpoint of The Castle Doctrine and their projections of how definitive this new law is.

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The Castle Doctrine « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Because the theory is that everyone has the right to defend his home, Texas Governor Perry has signed into law what is known as “The Castle Doctrine” on March 27, 2007.  I have created a page about it and am looking for opinions on this.  Would love to hear from you as well.

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