Posted in Family, Parenting, Public Service Announcements, raising kids

Predators in our Society

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. We’re in the dog days of summer and I love it. It’s finally that hot, muggy weather we all know and love. I’ve been running outside in the mornings because it’s cooler and I prefer running outside to running on a treadmill. I get time outside plus I’m exercising. Win. Win. I’ve also started a new WIP. I’m very excited about this one and it’s going smoothly right now. 😊

 

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about a couple of documentaries I watched in the last couple of months. The first one was “Jeffery Epstein: Filthy Rich” and the other was “Athlete A.” The first one needs no explanation, but the second one was about Larry Nassar and his sexual abuse of gymnasts who came under his care.

 

In both documentaries, you see first-hand how sexual predators work. Whether the abuser is setting up the victim to be trafficked or he’s setting them up to be abused by himself the pattern is the same. They choose a vulnerable kid, ply them with gifts, and promises of a better life. When they’ve got them hooked that’s when the abuse starts.  In the case of Jeffery Epstein. He’d pick vulnerable girls and promise them money, travel, and training so they could have a better life then he’d get them out onto his island.

In the case of Larry Nassar, he would ply the girls with candy and gifts in the rough world of gymnastics, then under the guise of physical exams, he’d sexually abuse them. He was in a position of power and he abused it.

It took a lot of courage for these girls to speak up and report him. Can you imagine how the parents must feel? They believe they’re giving their daughter this amazing opportunity and they send her to this camp where she’s molested.

 

Athlete A Poster

This just goes to show you, you can’t trust anyone with your kid. Parents weren’t allowed out to the camp where the abuse took place by the good doctor. That’s a huge red flag. When kids are isolated away from their parents, they’re vulnerable.

We as parents must make sure our kids are safe. Remember, these predators don’t go after kids whose parents are involved in their lives. They go after vulnerable kids, and what better way to make a kid vulnerable than to separate them from their parents. Predators take jobs that give them easy access to victims. For example, camp counselors, day care workers, and even teachers. So, when a camp or an organization denies you access to your kids, it’s a huge red flag.

Larry Nassar

Also, when the organization doesn’t do anything about your accusation, it’s time to pull your child. In my opinion, in the case of the “good doctor,” he should have been suspended as soon as the accusation reached the president of the organization. The fact that Steve Penny took so long to act is another huge red flag. That doctor should have been suspended until a full investigation could take place.

Steve Penny must be held accountable for his part in continuing the abuse. It upsets me that he dragged his feet. How much effort does it take to replace the doctor?

 

Portrait of Steve Penny 2012

These documentaries are infuriating and eye-opening. The victims in these situations cease to be real people to the abusers They are pawns used to meet the abusers needs. Steve Penny is also an abuser because he enabled the doctor to have access to the girls after the abuse was reported. He needs to be held accountable, too.

How do you feel about the situation? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Family, Health, Public Service Announcements

Why do we need to Quarantine?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of working and editing. I’m still trying to whittle my story down to a respectable word count without editing the voice out of it. 😉

 

typewriter, keyboard, paper, letters, work, desk

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-13191961344949175093

 

Anyway, as I was scrolling through my feed on Facebook, I came across a friend of mine who works in a store that happens to still be open, and a customer arrived without a mask and started ranting about Covid-19. She stated the virus isn’t as deadly as the media has portrayed and she has had it twice. The first time she had the sniffles and the second time she had a headache. She never got tested because her symptoms weren’t bad enough to warrant a test, but she KNOWS she had the virus.

 

italy, cinque terre, store front

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-1738136856256063602

My friend was frustrated with this woman because while she respects her right to voice her opinion, she doesn’t have the right to come into her store and spread her germs to the other patrons. This woman coughed several times without covering her mouth so she could help with the “herd immunity.” It’s at this point I’m stepping up on my soapbox because this woman’s actions hit a nerve.

 

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-291258989527209578

 

First, who appointed her the patron saint of the “herd immunity?” Also, did she ask if anyone else wanted her germs before she coughed them into the atmosphere? Many people have loved ones who are at a high risk for this virus. The way I understand it, you could have the virus without any symptoms and spread it that way.

 

saint benedict, patron saint of europe, benedict

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-14685783607950863719

 

The point I’m trying to make is, this person certainly has the right to her opinion, but she doesn’t have the right to inflict her beliefs, germs, what have you on the rest of us. I don’t want to catch the virus. I know people who have had it and it is no joke. It’s painful and many people are dying from it.

It’s people like this woman who have created the need for the quarantine order. How do you fight against total ignorance?

I get it. I know this quarantine is hard, but just the thought of someone in my family getting sick because I didn’t take the quarantine seriously upsets me. So, I do it for them. I don’t want my boys or hubby, or my mother, or siblings getting this virus because I refused to believe in it.

There are many theories floating around and politicians pointing fingers and lying. Don’t listen to them. Listen to the doctors and people who’ve had the virus. It is real and it’s deadly.

 

index, finger, pointing

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-9079317021273371074

 

So, the point I’m trying to make is let’s try to be considerate of everyone and when we have to go out in public, wear a mask even if you believe the virus is a conspiracy. Wearing a mask isn’t hard to do and it protects you and your family as well as the other patrons in the store. I mean what if all the conspiracy theorists find out they’re wrong and the virus is real? What then?

Medical face mask

image courtesy of everypixel. com  https://www.everypixel.com/image-17355753261623576966

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I appreciate it. Do you have any opinions about the conspiracy theory? Leave a comment! I love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Parenting, Public Service Announcements, raising kids, Teen

Human Trafficking: Crimes against our Teens #2

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy work week. I did manage to get some writing done and I also got a couple of days of running in for the week. I skipped yesterday, though because I was in the zone with my writing. Anyway, enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about keeping our kids safe.

Photo credit: yooperann on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Last month, I received an e-mail from our school informing us that there had been a suspicious vehicle reported at one of our bus stops. Now, I take my kids every morning to the bus stop for just that reason. I’ve watched enough of shows like “Discovery ID” and “Forensic Files” to know how these predators work. They pick a kid and learn his schedule and wait and when he or she is vulnerable they grab them. So, I get up every morning and get those kids to the bus. I make sure they get on.

Photo on VisualHunt

We must be this vigilant now. Human Trafficking is big business. According to this article, Human Trafficking   your child is worth $300,000 a year to a trafficker. That’s a lot of cash. What exactly is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others.

How do these traffickers work? Well, they start out grooming your child. They pick the ones who are needy. For example, if the child doesn’t have an authority figure in their lives or they come from a broken home and don’t have many friends. This predator comes into their lives and befriends them, gains their trust, makes all kinds of promises to solve their problems. Then when they’ve got him or her hooked, they start exploiting that trust and the trafficking starts.

Photo credit: dualdflipflop on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

How do we combat this?

We fight this by being involved parents and vetting the people our kids hang out with. If there’s an adult that’s giving them special attention, maybe even buying them gifts, this is a huge red flag. If you’re involved in your child’s life, they’re going to back off because they won’t get your kid to depend on them like they need to, so they can exploit them.

These human traffickers are everywhere. They’re teachers, politicians, coaches, priests, and school counselors. Be aware of the people in your children’s lives. The traffickers won’t waste their time if you’re an involved parent. They target the kids who they feel they can exploit. Right now, it is the second largest criminal enterprise in Michigan. So, let’s put a stop to this and keep our kids safe.

Photo credit: m_shipp22 on VisualHunt / CC BY

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any ideas how to protect our kids? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Related Posts:

Human Trafficking: Crimes against our Teens

Posted in Health, Public Service Announcements

Does Social Media create Narcissists?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of working and writing. I’ve reached a spot in my revisions where I have to do a little research, and I can’t do that until tomorrow, so I figured I’d write out a blog post for everyone!

So, I was thinking about what to write and I came up with the question, does social media cause people to be narcissistic?  As I pondered that, I thought I should explain what a narcissist is.

Photo on Visual Hunt

A narcissist is a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. They are extremely selfish and use people to meet their own needs. For example, a man who needs his ego constantly stroked by a woman is a narcissist, and they go through a string of women because they exhaust them with their constant neediness.

Social media is another tool narcissists use to get their needs met. It’s just like using a woman to stroke their ego, or a trophy, or making a lot of money so the world will recognize them and respect them, but the question is does it cause someone to be narcissistic when they otherwise wouldn’t be?

Photo on Visualhunt.com

In my opinion, the answer is no. Social media makes it easier for a narcissist to express their narcissism, but it doesn’t make them more narcissistic. Everyone has a little narcissism in them. A healthy dose helps us take care of ourselves, allows us to not put ourselves last all the time.

I guess what makes a person a bad narcissist is the degree of narcissism they have. The more predominate it is in your personality structure the more a person falls into the narcissistic personality disorder category.

Social media might be a good thing, we as the unsuspecting victims of narcissists, will be able to see them coming if we happen to inadvertently connect with them via social media.

Whatever you do, don’t let the narcissist get their hooks into you. I’ve had my own experiences with them and they drain you of your energy. The relationship becomes about them. Meeting their constantly changing needs and the fact that they always up the ante. They need more attention, more admiration, and more proof of your love for them.

Photo credit: Barabeke on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

This exhausts you, but the hard part is when they start to devalue you. When they’ve used you all up, they start finding fault and criticizing you. This is dangerous for you because you’re vulnerable. They’ve exhausted you. It’s hard to see this cycle when you’re emotionally involved with a person like this, so you may need to reach out to a professional and get some guidance on how to handle this type of person.

Photo credit: immu on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Sorry, I got a little off topic there.

The question was, does Social Media make a person more narcissistic?

The short answer is no, it helps us see them coming. 😊

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

 

 

Posted in Public Service Announcements

A Cautionary Tale

 

Photo on Visualhunt

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today on this rainy Saturday with a strange story. I received an email from someone yesterday, and they claimed  they’d hacked my account and had all my contacts. They also claimed they’d hacked into my computer and used my webcam to videotape me accessing porn sites and doing “dirty things.”

Photo credit: Scott Beale on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

They threatened to send these “videos” to all my contacts unless I sent them $3600.00 in Bitcoins. First of all, I know this is a total scam because I don’t access porn sites and I never have a webcam in my bedroom.

Photo on Visual Hunt

I called my lawyer friend and asked, “Do people really fall for this?”

He laughed. “You’d be surprised.”

We mulled over how someone could’ve gotten my email address, and we figured out that they must’ve hacked a site where I applied for a job back when I was looking for one. I used a password that I could remember because I was applying to more than one company so I used that password more than once. One of those companies must’ve gotten hacked. In the email, they claimed to have my password, and they did have the one I used when I was looking for a job. I’ve never used that password for my personal email so I knew they didn’t have my contact list.

This is a cautionary tale my dear followers. Make sure you don’t overuse your email password. In fact, I’d only use it once and change your passwords often. It upsets me that people are doing this and getting away with it. These hackers are getting more and more aggressive because they know they’re hard to catch.

Photo on Visualhunt

A couple of years ago there was another scam going around where someone would call you on the phone claiming to be from the IRS. This one happened to me, too. When I answered the phone, the person on the other end said he was from the IRS and they had money they needed to send to me. They claimed to need my address, social security number, and bank account number. I told them if they were really from the IRS they’d have all of that information and hung up. They tried calling back a few times, but they were unsuccessful in getting the information they wanted.

These hackers must be successful or they would stop. So please protect your personal information. Make sure your passwords are confidential and change them often.

Photo credit: Cigac Semiárido on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. Have you had anything like this happen to you? How did you handle it? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in community, Public Service Announcements

Gone Too Soon

 

This week I’d like to dedicate this post to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. It makes me sad to think these bright, creative people had such scary demons they felt the only recourse they had was to end their lives.

 

Photo credit: annainaustin on Visualhunt / CC BY

Photo credit: AIGA New York Chapter on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Depression is such a scary thing to deal with because your brain tells you lies. It tells you you’re not good enough. Your family will be better off without you. You’re a burden. And it never stops telling you these horrible things. I imagine Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were dealing with these demons for a very long time and the battle wore them out.

I wish we could pull together and fight this disease. Please, if you’re feeling down talk to a professional before it’s too late. Someone who can help you with these intense feelings and help you back to a healthier way of thinking.

If someone isn’t available please call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 and let them help you.

And if you don’t suffer from this disease but you see someone struggling with it, please reach out and lend them a hand. Sometimes all they need a little guidance back to the light.

RIP Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. You will be missed.

Posted in community, Family, Politics, Public Service Announcements

Giving Guns to our Teachers?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a hectic week of revising. I’ve got two manuscripts that I’m trying to polish. The first one is polished and ready to query, and the second one is rough and needs polishing. It’s a never ending task that’s for sure.

 

No automatic alt text available.

 

Anyway, I was going to write a post about a couple of books I’d recommend but then I saw the above graphic and decided to write about this latest response to the tragic mass shooting in Florida instead.

It would be a horrible mistake to give our teachers guns. First of all, there are very few teachers that I know of who’ve had combat training. This is a big deal when you’re tasked with shooting at another human being.  Aside from that glaring problem, are we going to give our teachers assault weapons?

Photo credit: t i g on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Because let’s be honest, we can’t expect a teacher to go after a kid carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with a teeny tiny hand gun.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

As a parent, I’m horrified by this idea. We’re just adding more guns to an already volatile situation. What does that mean, more deaths and one of those deaths could be your kid.

I’m sorry but that’s the ugly truth.

The only answer to this situation is to keep assault weapons out of the hands of civilians. No civilian needs an assault weapon. They are guns designed for combat. They are not meant to be used for hunting or target shooting.

Let’s take a look at Japan. They’ve only had thirteen mass shootings since 1922.

Photo credit: Leo Reynolds on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

 

According to the Mass Shooting Tracker we (US) had TWENTY ONE mass shootings in 2017 alone. Unbelievable.  (On a side note it’s incredibly sad that we even have a Mass Shooting Tracker.)

 

What is Japan doing that we’re not. Stricter Gun Laws and that’s it.

Here’s a list of some of the laws:

  • You have to attend an all-day class
  • Take a written exam and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%.
  • There are also mental health and drugs tests.
  • Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too – and even your work colleagues.

For a more complete list click here: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38365729

Arming our teachers is not the answer. They’ve got enough on their plates from dealing with behavioral issues in the classroom to coping with all the testing they have to do. If we want a public school system, we have to protect our teachers and our children while they’re in school.

We also need to bring our communities closer together. Isolation is a huge indicator for a mass shooter. If our communities were able to eradicate isolation, mass shootings will decline and maybe even disappear altogether.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

I know this is a hot topic and there’s always more than one solution. I’d love to read your thoughts. Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Documentaries, Politics, Public Service Announcements, USA

My thoughts on “Dirty Money”

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me life is getting busier and busier, and there aren’t enough hours in the day. I’ve made progress on my writing as well. I’ve completed the edits on one of my manuscripts and I’m super excited about this story. It’s coming together and it has evolved into such an amazing story. It’s my best work yet!

 

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

 

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about a series I found on Netflix. It’ called “Dirty Money” and it was eye opening to say the least. There are six episodes and each one illustrates the level of corruption in our world and the corruption is global.

Photo credit: sushi the great on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

The first one caught my attention. It’s the story about how Volkswagen lied to consumers by stating they had anti-pollution devices installed on the VW Bug, when in fact they did not. The devices were actually disabled after they were tested in the factory by management.  They got caught, but no one went to jail.

Photo credit: opie0429 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Another documentary in this same series that caught my attention is the story on how the bank HSBC laundered money for the drug cartels. It goes on to illustrate how high ranking bank officials knew it was happening but did nothing to stop it.

This makes the war on drugs a huge joke.

I don’t want to say too much about the actual stories because I don’t want to ruin it for everyone, but when you watch the series you’ll find a common theme throughout. The unbridled greed of corporate leaders and the lengths they’ll go to get those billions of dollars.

In the series, you’ll find very few people actually went to prison after getting caught. Out of the six episodes, there are only two instances of jail time. That’s horrible.

The one about Scott Tucker who was actually sentenced to sixteen years in prison after his payday scheme was discovered, shows the delusional thinking of corporate leaders.  It’s staggering.

Just a heads up. The last episode is on Trump. 🙂

Below is the link to the trailer. You’ll want to watch this series. Trust me.

 

 

Posted in Personal, Public Service Announcements

The Hover Board Incident: A Public Service Announcement

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Public Service Announcement. My boys had friends spend the night over the weekend. This has become a weekly event, even when I told them last weekend no one’s spending the night next weekend, we still had kids spending the night. I really don’t mind all that much just every once in a while we (me and my hubby) need a kid break. But I digress.

Anyway, we had a couple of extra kids over the weekend and one of them got a hover board for Christmas. He brought it over and all the boys went down into the basement. (Hubby just finished it and we had carpet installed over the holidays. I don’t recommend this by the way. Your house is torn up when you’re trying to have Christmas. Not fun. We don’t have furniture down there yet, so it’s a huge open space, perfect for hover board shenanigans.)

black x2 hoverboard by swagway
It looks so innocent and uncomplicated, doesn’t it?

The boys were having a blast, I could tell by how loud they were. My two came running up the stairs to where I sat on the couch, writing my story. “Mom. You’ve got to try the hover board, it’s so much fun.”

Then my youngest piped up. “Dad did it.”

That’s all it took because if Dad can do it, I can do it, too.  So I got up and went down into the basement.

The young man who the hover board belonged to, climbed on and demonstrated how to ride it. It looked so easy. I was positive I could do it.

I should’ve remembered the first time I went rollerblading and broke my arm, but I didn’t.

So, I tried to climb onto it and I found it was hard to balance. That should’ve been a warning sign, but I ignored it. I finally climbed on by holding on to the wall.

I rode it around the basement and it was fun. I enjoyed it and told the kids I wanted to get one. I did another lap and another, enjoying the slight breeze that ruffled my hair. I felt like a kid again. You know the feeling you used to get when everything was possible. Yeah, that feeling.

I decided to stop and get off. This decision was my undoing. I stepped off without the help of the wall and landed flat on my back. It was instantaneous. I didn’t have time to try and maintain my balance or anything. It was just BOOM!  I fell in front of my kids, the neighbor kids, and one of my son’s school friends. Oy!

This isn’t me, but I’m sure this is what I looked like falling.
Photo credit: zbdh12 via Visual hunt / CC BY

I laid there and remembered the first time I went rollerblading and broke my arm. That’s when I realized I don’t do well with wheels on my feet. Sigh.

The boys didn’t laugh. I thought they would. I probably would’ve if I were their age. What nice kids.

Luckily, I wasn’t hurt, but I did learn a valuable lesson. I’m not a kid anymore although my maturity level says the opposite.  🙂

So when one of your kids tries to get you on their hover board just remember what happened to me. It’s not as easy as it looks. Maybe if it came with poles? I don’t know. Just a thought.

Photo via Hans via Visual hunt

 

This has been a Public Service Announcement. 🙂

 

Posted in Personal, Public Service Announcements, Uncategorized

Election Day: A Slice of Life Post

Write. Share. Give.

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post. Today is Election Day for our country and I’m hoping everyone gets out to vote. I feel like this year is an important year, I’m not sure why I feel that way, but I do. It’s intuitive so I’m following my instincts.

Photo credit: polarpaul via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

The thing for me is, I don’t like either candidate, so I’m going to write someone in. Now, I know who I write in isn’t going to win, and I’ve heard the rumor that every vote that isn’t for Hillary helps Trump. So, what do you do when you don’t like the candidates, and your write in is unlikely to win? That is a very good question.

It’s time to change the way we elect our president. Our political process is no longer working for us. We’ve outgrown the system. The two main parties have found loopholes and ways around our protective barriers. There’s corruption at every level.

When election time rolls around, the candidates are making promises that’ll get them elected and then when they’re in office instead of rolling up their sleeves and digging in and solving problems, they’re still campaigning. They’re doing everything they can to get themselves re-elected. While they’re doing that, who’s solving our problems? Who’s putting their time and energy into taking care of our country?

In my humble opinion, we need to elect someone who isn’t concerned about the next term. We need someone who will focus on finding solutions for us.

Is there anyone out there who’s willing to do this?

I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we wrote in a fictional character for president. Say, Santa Claus. He’s a jolly kind of guy with a generous heart. He works all year round to bring toys to good little boys and girls. He wouldn’t be worried about reelection. When his term is over, he can go back to his toy-making. Yeah. He’d work. 🙂

Photo via VisualHunt.com

I do wonder what would happen if we wrote him in and he won. I’m sure they’d disqualify the votes, but what a powerful message that would send, kind of like the image below. 🙂

Photo credit: meg’s my name via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What are your thoughts on the election? Do you have anyone you’d like to write in? I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment!

If you’d like to read other Slice of Life Posts, click here.