Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Highlights and Lowlights

For some reason I kept wanting to write about how awful 2015 has been to me. I kept stopping myself. I mean, yeah, things have been hard this year. Things sucked. But I'm not a Syrian refugee, a victim of terrorism, afraid to be a Muslim in the U.S...no. I'm just a middle aged woman to whom shit has happened this year.

As I continued to think about the last year, I realized, although much was completely sucky, so much of it was good too. So I thought I would create a little highlight blog of things that happened, good and bad. I think it will give me some closure of the awful things and help me remember the awesome experiences I had this year.


We'll start with the lowlights and get them out of the way. 



  1. Books continued to get pirated. I gave up trying to save them. Sigh. 
  2. Writing was a non-factor for me this year. Just no time.
  3. Got trapped in Ocean Shores after a huge storm. Had to stay three extra days. The town of Hoquiam was hit hard by the damage. 
  4. My father's ex-partners turned on him. This is a long, sordid story, but it lasted all year and was awful and devastating to many. All turned out for the better eventually, he is happy at the office he's in now, but we were all disappointed at how fast my philanthropic, kind, gentle, wise, hard-working father was back stabbed.
  5. My work environment was hostile for about 4 months which put a lot of stress on me.
  6. Then I lost my job.
  7. I couldn't find work for about 6 months.
  8. My best friend stopped talking to me.
  9. My chronic fatigue and depression hit me hard this year. There were days I could barely get out of bed. Days I wanted to run away. 
  10. People I love were plagued by mental health issues and addiction. Sometimes I could help, kind of, but mostly it just made me feel useless, like there was nothing I could do.
  11. Watching my children go through frustrating, difficult, unfair things that are out of their control and mine.
  12. People my age died. At least 4 or 5. Some just dropped dead. It's sad and scary and I will miss seeing their faces and it makes you think about your own health, your own mortality.
  13. Had to cancel a couple trips for personal or medical reasons.
  14. No boyfriend, no dates...frightened of becoming cat lady with no cats.
  15. Lost a freelance job I really liked. Had to quit another freelance job.
  16. My mom being burglarized while she slept. Of course, it went viral, but still, scary.
  17. Having my basement flood and getting my yard dug up for a small fortune.
  18. Continually butting heads with the school district over  policies damaging to those they affect.
  19. Younger daughter coming down with mono at the end of the year. Oy.


Now, the highlights...

  1. My Hawks went to the Superbowl again. Totally exciting. I'm hoping we can have a
    three-pete, we 
    shall see. This led to...
  2. My dad going to the Superbowl. Awesome!
  3. I saw some great live music: Ian McFerran, my brother's band, Death Cab, 21 Pilots, Alabama Shakes, Cage the Elephant. Actually meeting Cage the Elephant! 
  4. Took a beginning graphic design class. It was awesome.
  5. Won $1200 at the casino.
  6. After about six months of not speaking, I reunited with my bestie. Best thing ever. 
  7. I went on amazing vacations and road trips. I went to Arizona - twice. I also attended a few rodeos with one of my best friends, Deann and her daughter Jordan, who participates. Drove many times to the ocean, whether alone for some down time, or
    with friends or family. Moses Lake for fourth of July with my bestie, Heidi. Austin, TX, a trip which I actually almost hated had it not been from my awesome friend Rachel.
  8. Lots of good nights out with friends.
  9. I joined a gym. And I went. Maybe not as much as I wanted to, but I went.
  10. Doing work now that I love including freelance writing and contract marketing. And now the wine shop, eventually taking over. 
  11. I coined some funny shit.  " a couple penises just slipped through" - referring to Google searches.  "phone full of dicks" - referring to online dating.
  12. My parents, my two kids, and my siblings all turned another year older. Which means they are still alive. This is always a good thing.
And what about the world? Our country...


The bad: 

  • Bill Cosby
  • Subway's Jared
  • The Duggars
  • Deflategate
  • Climate change
  • Killings of black men by police officers
  • Mass shootings
  • On air shooting
  • ISIS
  • Paul Ryan
  • Wildfires
  • Donald Trump
  • Terrorism in France
  • Syrian civil war and refugee crisis
  • Attacking Planned Parenthood
  • The loss of: Mad Men, Leonard Nimoy, Stuart Scott, Beau Biden, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Frank Gifford, Wes Craven, Yogi Berra, Lesley Gore, Maureen O'Hara, Omar Sharif, Percy Sledge, Ben E. King, Anna Meara, Christopher Lee, Moses Malone.


The Good:

  • Iran Nuclear Deal
  • President Obama
  • Pope Francis
  • Opening Cuba
  • Legalizing same-sex marriage
  • Caitlyn Jenner
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Star Wars
  • Homelessness declines
  • Unemployment down
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Transparency
  • Beatles on Spotify
  • US wins Women's World Cup


Quotes I will live by for the next year...

There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle. ~ Robert Alden

There is nothing we cannot live down, and rise above, and overcome. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

You can not find peace by avoiding life. ~ Virginia Woolf

Have a safe and sane New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Aren't you scared?

That question was posed to me by my daughter a couple days ago. She told me that they had posted the ISIS "hit list" (I have no idea about the validity of said list) and said Seattle was on it. It makes sense. This area has military bases, ports, vulnerable travel routes, areas where large groups of people gather. I'd understand if we were really on some terrorist hit list.

She asked if we were far enough away from Seattle to avoid any damage from bombs. I said, "I don't know. If it's nuclear, maybe not."

"Aren't you scared?"

I didn't even really need to think about this. I told her, "I can't be."

"WHY!"

I told her I was not willing to live a life in fear. There are things that we cannot control and what is the point of worrying about them. If they're going to happen, they're going to happen. I also told her much of the time, media plays on our fears and make things sound worse than they are in order to get ratings. Politicians use our fears to get votes. I don't ignore that things are frightening right now, but I will not let my fears run my life.

I think she got it. Living in fear would only make me, us, the world, batshit crazy. If ISIS comes and bombs Seattle tomorrow, I can't stop it, I can't control it, I will just need to handle it if I make it through.

I will not let the media, politicians or terrorists play on my fears.  Only spiders can do that.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

It's NaNo Time

I've decided again to try my hand at NaNoWriMo again. This will be my 7th year. I've only "won" two times. The pattern appears to be the lack of time since being divorced. I've been close. I think I got up to 30k one year, but I decided to put that book aside when I found out fairy tale retellings were all the rage (which seemed to happen while I was writing that one).

I'm pretty determined this year. I've not finished a book for a while (and by a while I mean 3 or so years,  I mean, I haven't even written a blog in two months). I would like to get one completed project under my belt. Maybe that will get me more motivated to write more.

I've also decided to sway from Young Adult and write a women's lit novel.  It's kind of about a middle aged woman struggling to find where she fits in the world while battling severe depression. So, not really a far stretch from what I normally write, but I think it will be fun to be a little more free with my words.

So far I have just over 3,600 words.

Who's doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are you writing?

Good luck to those of you participating.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Today is Septmember 11th...

The images of that day are scars on the memory of those who were old enough to remember. I remember. I ran daycare out of my home. I had a number of children and employees with me.  My husband at the time called and said, "Have you seen the news? Do you know what's happening?"

Of course I didn't. I had nine children in my care and didn't allow television.

"A plane just ran into one of the World Trade Center buildings."

"What?"

"Oh my God, there's a second plane. The second building has been hit."

My husband, he was a joker. "No they didn't. Not funny."

"No Megan. Turn on the radio, the television, listen."

Oh my God. I turned on the radio. It was happening. For real. Not just some surreal nightmare.

Then they hit the Pentagon. I had a friend who worked there. Also, my sister was in DC at the time and no one could reach her.

Fear was instilled in every American that day. Whether you knew people on those planes, in those places, or even if you didn't. We all had one collective mind that day. Terrorism, devastation, death.

I've been to the memorial. All the names etched in stone, the ever flowing fountains that reflect the absence of the once  monumental skyscrapers...it's beyond profound. And there's a tree. The Survivor Tree.  The trunk of a pear tree saved from the wreckage of the attack and replanted. It has grown into a new tree, a symbol of survival of course, and rebirth.

Since I've been there, they've taken seven story steel tridents from the original buildings and placed them in the museum to greet visitors. (or maybe it was all there and I just didn't go in because the fountains were so exhaustive). There are a lot of strange conspiracy theories about these tridents, but I believe they are like the Survivor Tree. They lasted through the wreckage and are now a symbol of resilience.

None of this actually has to do with the reason I'm writing this blog. I'm writing this blog because many quotes came about from our nation's tragedy. We bleed Red, White & Blue. United we stand. We came together as a country....

This last one is what I'm focusing on. WE CAME TOGETHER AS A COUNTRY...

We did. For a brief period of time we were united. And that convergence happened no matter who
we were because we were all fighting and devastated and mourning the same cause. It mattered not if you were white or black. Christian, Muslim or Atheist. Gay or straight. We were all grieving for every single person -  man, woman and child - that died in that terrorist attack.

So what happened?

The wrong targets were chosen. A war started. The Patriot Act was sanctioned.


Boundary lines were then again drawn.


I'm sorry, everyone in a turban is not a terrorist. Everyone from the Middle East is not against America. Most of them (not unlike those from Mexico) are still here for that American Dream that's been touted for decades by those who came before them.

Media took over. Maybe they had help. But fear was perpetuated. Therefore, many live in fear of those that are different or those they do not understand. And that is wrong. That is profiling.

And then of course the liberal left vote in a black president, and all hell breaks loose.

Now these are the things that divide us. Those who tolerate and embrace the differences in our society, and those who abhor it.

And I'm only venting. I don't have an answer, because sure, there are terrorists and there are illegal immigrants abusing our systems. Of course there are American citizens that are also terrorists, think Timothy McVeigh. Think about all the school shootings like Columbine and wherever else shootings took place in our country. And many Americans abuse medicaid and welfare ( which they are honestly not called anymore, get with the program) but so many others DO NOT abuse the system, but legitimately need it.

So honestly, there is ugly all over the world, including our own country, I know this. But why do we, the non terrorists and non abusers fight each other?

If you believe in freedom, which is seems like everyone in America does, how can you not believe in equal rights women's rights, LGBT's rights? How can you not think that the majority of people in this country want it to be great? Want to see greatness in themselves? Their sex, religion, race, culture or sexual orientation doesn't matter. What matters - and this is what it's all about - is our freedom and the fact that we have to come together and be a great nation again.

As long as we're divided, we're vulnerable. And we can't let another 9/11 happen ever again.

Monday, August 10, 2015

In Defense of #BlackLivesMatter

 Photo by Gage Skidmore  Some rights reserved
There was a lot of hub bub with the disruption at the Bernie Sanders rally by BLM protesters. I have variety of feelings about this, and I'm not sure they are all easy to convey, but I am going to try.

I think the two women who disrupted the rally in the name of BLM chose their venue poorly. Why take the stage away from Bernie Sanders, who more than likely is your best ally in the presidential race? Why protest to people who, also more than likely, support the BLM cause? It seems like a waste of time, energy and resources.

Washington State Senator Pramila Jayapal did a thoughtful editorial on what happened at the event and while I think she makes some good points, I think some of what she says is a little off base. She said the mostly white crowd turned ugly. Yes, I think people in the crowd were feeling many things, anger, disappointment, sure, probably some racism, and I'm sure there was some solidarity, but for her to point out that the crowd was mostly white seems inconsequential. Washington State is 81% white and 4% black. I think no matter what the ratio of white to black, people were going to feel many different things about the protest. White or African American I'm sure some would agree and others would disagree with the protest.

There were many different reasons for the individuals in the crowd to feel the way they did and it wasn't necessarily because they don't believe in the BLM movement. As Jayapal also stated, some were probably annoyed by the disruption, some may have disagreed with the tactics, some were disappointed because after standing in the hot sun all day, they didn't get to hear Sanders speak.

Sanders may have handled the situation poorly; I think that's forgivable. He was caught off guard. The protesters handled their demonstration  haphazardly, as if they didn't have any kind of plan at all. Then to call the entire crowd a bunch of racist supremacists...well, they reduced themselves to that in which they are decrying - racists. I'm one of the most tolerant people I know, and I would have felt highly offended and disrespected had I been there. I probably would have booed them too. If you're going to dismantle an event in that way, how about instead of insulting everyone you try to connect with them and urge them to pull  together as a community to fight injustice. And don't scream at people. And when you've had your say, give the mic back. There were important things that needed to be discussed by Sanders and they affect everyone, including the black lives that matter.

Did the protesters achieve what they set out to do? Maybe. They made people listen. They made people remember Michael Brown and other blacks killed unjustly. But as I said before, I would guess the majority of those in that crowd had already been listening and still remembered Michael Brown,  Eric Garner, John Crawford, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, and of course Trayvon Martin, whose death incited the formation of BLM in the first place. I would bet those women were preaching to the choir.

BLM on a national level needs to rally their local chapters and ensure everyone is on the same page with their tactics and goals. What they do and how they represent should be consistent across the board. I know there's some question about the validity of these women actually being part of BLM, but at this point it doesn't matter. They disparaged the movement in many people's eyes resulting in a loss of support of a worthy cause.

All that said, I will still support BLM. I don't think these two women were the best representation of the organization. I think what BLM is doing is important. People need to understand that Black Lives Matter. And yes, all lives matter, but we, as a white people do not face the same challenges as the African American community. If you don't believe that, then you are part of the problem.

I believe BLM's fight needs to keep progressing and that changes need to be made in our criminal justice system, education, and in our communities in so many other ways. I honestly don't know if racism will ever completely go away. It's extremely difficult to eradicate centuries old learned behavior of abuse and oppression. I hope with the emergence of every new generation, the stereotypes, racial profiling and fear of our differences will wane. I hope that little by little people will stop teaching hate and start embracing diversity and exhibiting tolerance. I think we're on the right track, but I do think organizations like Black Lives Matter are important in the fight against social injustice and that they need our support.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Present Day Religious Tyranny

I was going to rant about a bunch of stuff, but this post became very long. So, today I talk about religious tyranny.

The religious right is trying to force Christianity on the rest of the country. How are they doing this? The Religious Freedom Restoration Act for starters. This is not a freedom of religion act. This is an act of discrimination and bigotry disguised as a freedom of religion act. There was only one reason this was put in place: so business owned by Christians could deny services to the LGBT community.

And now republicans in Idaho and trying to get the Bible into schools as a text of History and Science. Complete and utter bullshit! Not everyone believes in the same god. Not everyone, even some Christians believe that the bible is to be taken literally. A book that no one can verify is factual has no place in our school system. A book based on religion has no place being anything more than  a study in literature like Siddhartha or Paradise Lost.

The Pilgrims and Puritans left Europe to be free of religious tyranny. These are the people that founded our country. Do you think they would force their religion on us as the Church of England did to them?

And what about the Revolutionary War? Sure, it wasn't solely based on religion or religious freedoms, but it played a part. People were moved to fight for their freedoms, including their religious freedoms. Thomas Paine had a hand in this when he published Common Sense. He blasted the monarchy as taking on a sovereign authority that should only belong to God. He suggested that Americans follow the lead of Jews in the Old Testament and reject a monarchical government. He urged the colonists to take up arms to protect freedom of religion for dissenters and declared the colonies as an asylum of religious liberty.  Let me repeat that. Asylum of religious liberty.


Liberty's definition is: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.

No one's religion should be forced upon us.  It's right there in the Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; 

This means no national or state mandated religion. It says we are free to exercise religion. It does not specify Christianity as that religion. So, what do you think you're doing when you place a book based on Christianity in our schools and treat it as fact. Hey, private schools can do what they want. But public schools, schools run by our government should not impose Christian beliefs on those who attend.

We don't need the bible in schools. If you want to teach your children the bible, do it at home, take them to church. I'm not saying that some curriculum shouldn't be based on theory, after all, much of science is based on theory. However, the bible isn't science, and it's not a proven history. Religion simply doesn't belong in schools unless you are teaching children about ALL religions.

As for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act - it's original purpose was "ensuring that interests in religious freedom are protected."  It applies to all religions, but is mostly was put in place for Native American religions and their sacred grounds that have been victim to the expansion of government projects.

The Indiana RFRA allows individuals and companies to assert that their exercise of religion. Really? The Constitution protects our religious freedoms. Why do we need this? Oh that's right, so companies and individuals in your state can turn away people they don't deem "worthy" of their Christian value services. Governor Mike Pence says it's all a big “misunderstanding.” And, “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination I would have vetoed it.”

Liar.

In response companies have halted expansion to Indiana. It's also been criticized by the likes of the NCAA, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, Gen Con, Disciples of Christ, and Subaru.

All of this, as I stated before, is nothing more than religious tyranny. Something many of our ancestors fled from and fought against. Our country is not a Theocracy. We cannot let the ball keep rolling in this direction. If they force this on us, what of our rights will be in jeopardy next?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

50 Shades of Twitter Trolls

If you follow Twitter and the literary world, you've probably heard that EL James was the brunt of a Twitter attack . If you don't know who EL James is, you at least know her books, the  50 Shades of Grey series. Now, I don't claim to be a fan of the books. I have read about 5 pages and wasn't impressed. However, I would never take it upon myself, no matter how much I hated a book, to brutally attack and criticize the author, especially during a Q&A they were hosting.

Sure, many people think she's not a good writer, many people don't like her books, a lot of them think they portray abusive relationships in a glamorous light. So write a book review on Amazon. Blog about it. There is no need to attack the PERSON behind the words.

Here are some of the horrible tweets...

  •  does the E.L. Stand for ELiterate?
  •  after the success of "Grey," have you considered re-telling the story from the perspective of someone who can write.
  •  what's it like telling millions of women it's okay to be in an abusive relationship as long as he's rich.
  •  Is there a safe word we can use to get you to stop writing such drivel?
  •  Do you ever feel guilty that you made so much money from romanticizing sexual abuse and selling it as "erotica romance"?
  •  Will you be rewriting the book from Stephenie Meyer's point of view next time? 
  •  how do you feel knowing you've made your riches from convincing young impressionable girls that abuse is 'love'?
  •  Which do you hate more, women or the English language?
  •  Is it only ok for Christian to stalk, coerce, threaten & manipulate Ana because he's hot, or is it also ok because he's rich?
  •  Do all these negative tweets sent to you seem abusive to you? I think it's romantic enough to be turned into a novel!
Um...seriously? From what I could see, the majority of tweets during the #AskELJames  Q&A were like this.

Let's take a couple things into consideration...

50 Shades of Grey is FICTION! And it's erotica. EL took people's real life sexual fantasies and
fictionalized them. Maybe they aren't my sexual fantasies or yours, but I bet they are someone's. Why else would so many copies have sold? Out of the millions and millions of books out in the bookosphere (yeah, it's a word) I'm sure there are others that glorify relationships like this, and rape, and murder, and all sorts of ugly things.

Remember the movie Natural Born Killers? I mean, I thought it was brilliant, as did others. However there were some...not so much. They felt like it glorified violence. Here's what some reviewers say...

  • ...just for sickening starters, there wasn't one, single, solitary character in this entire film who was even remotely likable.
  •  Phew! - What a total waste of H-Wood Talent !
  •  I regret having to give this film one star- zero stars isn't an option. Neither is negative 3 stars. That would've been acceptable.
  •  worst movie ever... 
  •  ...I could feel my brain welling up with hatred for every individual involved in the making of this movie. 
You get my meaning? It's not real. It's fiction. It's subjective. So, like the people above, if you hate it so much, write a review. I would almost guess that they can't though because they probably have not read the books.

I'm not defending the series, I didn't read it, I have no desire to read it, and like I said, the part I did read I thought was crap. Writers are used to that kind of criticism. We have thick skin (or we learn to grow it.)  I am defending the writer. She's a person and is not defined by the books she wrote. She likes wine, dogs, chocolate, bacon and Magic Mike.  And she has feelings like the rest of us.

So step off Twitter Trolls. Go back to fawning over Harry Styles, making up new memes, posting Shia Laboeuf videos, and tweeting about hockey (this is truly what some of them do, I checked.) Just leave EL James alone.

Plus, she probably doesn't give a shit what you think anyway.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fine. I'm Intolerant: Part Deux

Photo by Fibonacci Blue
If you read my blog yesterday, you'll know that I'm being facetious. Because I'm intolerant of intolerance, that makes me intolerant...er...at least that's what some people have said. Some joking, some maybe not? Who knows. Anyway, it's because of these statements:
  • I believe in marriage equality.
  • I do not like not practice racism.
  • I believe waving a confederate battle flag is a slap in the face to all African Americans and their ancestors who worked so hard for their civil rights.
Yesterday I spoke about marriage equality. Today, racism and the Confederate battle flag (Southern Cross). I believe if you want to wave your battle flag after what has gone on this past couple weeks, let alone the last few hundred years, you are either ignorant or racist. 

There are those who call it "heritage and pride." Mostly because they had an ancestor fight for the confederacy.


Heritage. Your ancestor fought for the Confederacy. Against his own country. What was happening at the time was not tyranny,  as with the Revolutionary War. It was one part of the country still wanting to be able to own people for self serving reasons, and the other side saying, that's not okay. One side that so desired slavery that they tried to secede from the Union. One president saying, nope, not happening. The cost of your ancestors defending the right to own slaves cost 625,000 American lives.


The war started when a Confederate army opened fire on Fort Sumter, claiming it as its own. The North originally wanted a "little" war to restore the Union. It had to turn into full on destruction of the South and its institution of slavery. The nation had to be reunited and reborn, free of slavery.

Confederate president Jefferson Davis tried to flee as his armies were surrendering. Not very brave behavior for a leader. He was caught and the rest of the confederate army collapsed.

Pride. So, after reading the above, is this flag really a symbol of pride? I don't want to hear the "The battle flag isn't the national flag of the Confederacy," argument. Who cares? Both are representative of a nation torn apart by slavery. Are you proud that your ancestors tried to keep slavery alive? Are you proud that so many people had to lose their lives to defend the freedom of others? The Confederate flag is not a symbol of pride; it's a symbol of shame.

The flag after the war was flown only on occasion at events honoring confederate soldiers. However,  there was a surge of reappearances during the struggle for civil rights and desegregation. It's said that it's first return was in South Carolina in 1948 when Strom Thurmond ran for president under what was known as the Dixiecrat party. Article 4 of its platform was, "We stand for segregation of the races."

After the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education, and when desegregation started,
Little Rock 9 Protest
the flag surfaced more and more. Then in 1961, to honor the 100th anniversary of the onset of the civil war, South Carolina flew it over its capitol. (It was moved in 2000, but was still on capitol grounds. There's more to that story, but you can find out on your own).

Some southern states even incorporated one of the Confederate flags into their own state flag.

So I repeat, if you want to continue to wave your Confederate battle flag, you are either ignorant or racist.

I had someone, a transplant to the south, debate this with me: People are trying to erase it from history. I think we know that it can't be erased from history.  His point was that Apple stopped selling video games based on the  Civil War.  In my opinion, perhaps that is going to far. There are many historically accurate games and you can't erase history, I don't know. But I do applaud stores from discontinuing the sale of the Southern Cross. The flag, like the Nazi flag, belongs in history books and museums, not flying high at state buildings, in front of people's homes, or in the back of a pickup truck. He also told me that support of the flag wanes with every generation, which is good to hear.

I applaud Bree Newsome, the activist that climbed the pole on the South Carolina capitol grounds and removed the Confederate battle flag. That was a brave act of civil disobedience. She was immediately arrested of course. Someone offered her bounty money, which she refused. Instead she had it donated to support the victims of the Charleston church massacre. She wants everyone to keep in mind, this act was not about one woman. In her own words. "We made this decision because for us, this is not simply about a flag, but rather it is about abolishing the spirit of hatred and oppression in all its forms."

It comes down to respect. Even if you disagree with me on what the Confederacy battle flag symbolizes, you have to realize that an entire race (and supporters) finds its image oppressive. If you respect African Americans and the battles they and their ancestors have encountered throughout the years, take your flag down. It's the neighborly thing to do. It's the right thing to do.  Especially after the Charleston shooting and the burning of southern churches. For many people in this country, the battle flag is nothing but a reminder of the victimization and slavery of blacks, and that racism unfortunately still exists in our "civilized" society.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fine. I'm intolerant.

If you want to throw that word back in my face, feel free. Because I voluntarily admit to the following:
  • I believe in marriage equality.
  • I do not like not practice racism.
  • I believe waving a Confederate flag is a slap in the face to all African Americans and their ancestors who worked so hard for their civil rights.
Therefore, if you're racist, don't think people should be able to marry who they want, or feel that proudly waving the Confederate flag is only a show of southern pride and heritage, I disagree - vehemently - with you.

Call it what you want. I've unfriended a couple people from Facebook this week because of it. I'd not be surprised if I was also unfriended. However, if you call me intolerant because I think people should have equal rights and should be treated with respect then I'll own that label.

Let's start with the freedom to marry whomever we choose.  Most of the opposition is due to religious belief that marriage belongs between a man and woman because the bible says so.

Sure, your bible said so (Leviticus 20:13). The book is also 3,400 years old. Are we bound to ethical and moral judgments made by those living thousands of years ago and in a completely different culture than our own? Plus, the bible has been translated thousands of times over the years. Can we trust its accuracy?

Would Jesus keep to the archaic law of the land as written in the bible if he were here today? You do realize there is a whole shit ton of other crap forbidden in the bible, right? I'm pretty sure you're not abiding by those either. Let's take a look, shall we?

  1. Divorce. In his gospel, Mark is pretty clear about divorce. 10:9 “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” And how about this one 10:11-12, “And He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.’” Are you remarried? Adulterer!!!
  2. Bastards. You can't go to church. Ever. Do you think Bristol Palin takes her baby to church? Deuteronomy 23:2 “No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” That's pretty harsh.
  3. Pork. You love your bacon right? Who doesn't? But, uh-oh, according to the bible, swine is off
    limits. Leviticus 11:7-8 "And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
  4. Seafood. Guess what else you're not supposed to eat.  Leviticus 10-11 "And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you. They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination." Kiss your clams, oysters, shrimp and mussels goodbye. Mwaa!
  5. Ink. You like that butterfly tramp stamp you got when you were 22? Or the tribal or Celtic band around your bicep? According to Leviticus, you're in trouble. 19:28 "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD."
  6. Virginity. You want to get laid before the wedding? Nope, not according to Deuteronomy 22:20-21. "But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."
For many of these transgressions the penalty is death. DEATH!! Aside from not being a bastard, I have broken every single one of these rules. Do you think I'm going to hell?

Honestly, I could go on and on. Wearing clothing of two types of fabric, trimming your beard, getting a bowl cut...the list goes on. Oh, and ladies, don't help your husband in a fight. The penalty is losing your damn hand! "Oh, sorry honey, I'd love to help you fight that mugger, but God might sever my hand with a bolt of lightning..."

If you don't follow the above rules, don't tell a homosexual that they can't marry, which by the way, is not in the bible...

How about we remember these bible verses instead:
Matthew 22:39 :"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
James 4:11-12 "There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"
Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
 Psalm 145:9 "The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."
 1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us."

Then there's this guy, who tells us why Leviticus is inadmissible evidence. 

And with July 4th coming up, let's not forget about the Declaration of Independence...

"...all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

 

I've spouted off so much about this topic, that I'm going to save the other for tomorrow...until then...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Child Abuse: Public Shaming



A teenager from my city recently killed herself after her father posted a shaming video of her online. Oh wait, after he first chopped off all her beautiful black hair, then posted the video of her following said hair cut.

I mean, first off, IMHO, cutting someone's hair as punishment is atrocious. It's not punishment. It's bullying and emotional abuse. I couldn't imagine taking one of my daughter's beautiful locks to teach them a lesson. Take away their electronics, not something as personal as hair. You may as well have taken a limb.

I would also not take away something that is perhaps a one time thing that they were looking forward too, such as a concert, vacation, or important school dance for example.

Now, on to this public shaming...I've seen this done before, and to me it's also a form of bullying and emotional abuse. Posting to your child's social media accounts about the mistakes they've made, creating videos or memes at your child's mental expense...honestly, I'm having trouble finding the words about how angry I feel about it.

And the thing is, if they're willing to take these steps in order to humiliate their child, what are they doing behind closed doors. What kind of control and abuse are they inflicting that people haven't seen?

I admit to teasing my kids publicly, but I do it in jest and they think it's funny. For instance, I stalk my daughter's Twitter account and make funny comments on her posts. I I'll post funny ecards to their Facebook page.

My kids are awesome. They hardly ever get in trouble. However, when my kids screw up, we talk it out. In some cases, I take away their phones, tablets, and any electronics they hold dear.  In serious cases, their car is gone and their freedom for a period of time, usually not more than a couple days. I would never take a way their dignity by humiliating them in such a public way.


In the shaming video the father asks her "was it worth it?"

I bet he's asking himself the same thing now.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Caitlyn Controversy


I was completely going to avoid this subject as it's so played out, but the stupid people are hurting my brain. Let me first say, if you don't think it's okay to go transgender, but you're considerate with your comments, I respect your opinion. I don't agree with it, but I respect that it's how you feel and you have a right to that. However, if you're against being transgender and act like an asshat about it, I think you're an idiot.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll give you my take. I cannot possibly begin to understand how it feels to be physically one sex, yet inside feel like the other. I can't only imagine how heartbreaking and emotionally painful it must be. I would never judge someone who goes through a change to become the person they truly believe they are. I think what Caitlyn did is brave. Someone on my Facebook commented that when we call people like her "brave" we're forgetting the real heroes that fight for our country. This makes no sense to me. I never called Caitlyn a hero, though I think she makes a good spokesperson for the LGBT community. But I don't forget or discredit what others have sacrificed in the name of freedom. What they do actually helps people like Caitlyn become who they are.  To be free of the mask she wore for decades. They fight for all the freedoms we're allowed these days and that is one thing great about our country.

I've also heard the argument that we're supposed to be the person that God made us. That only He or She can change us. I don't believe in isms. I don't believe in religion because  man made it. I don't believe that a book written eons ago and translated millions of times is supposed to be taken literally. I'm not sure if there is a giant invisible man in the sky watching down on us and waiting to judge us upon our death. There are two things I do know however. 1) I'm pretty sure if I live my life in a way that doesn't hurt anyone and if I treat people with respect, that what awaits my soul when my body is six feet under will be fine. 2) If your God didn't want people to become transgender, why did he allow us to gain the knowledge in order to create the technology that makes this possible?

I understand transgenderism. I do not understand intolerance. Why do you care? Is it affecting you and your rights? Truly, it's not your business what someone does with their body. Sound like a familiar argument?

And the religious right continues to defend their child molester to the ends of the earth, yet condemns Caitlyn for simply being who she is. If instead of Josh Duggar it was a black person, or gay person, or Muslim, or anyone that didn't fit into that perfect mold of all that is righteous and pure, you'd be wanting their head on a platter. Not only did he molest his own sisters, but then his family hid their ugly truth for their own benefit, not caring how all of this affected their daughters or their religious community. It's all for the good of television. The show must go on!!!

I've had people complain to me that I keep mentioning that Duggar is Christian, when molestation, by a Christan or not is reprehensible. Of course it is. I only mention this because of what I stated before about how those defending him would feel if it were someone else in his shoes, and because of who he is. He stood before you on television spewing vitriol against the LGBT community and marriage equality. He preached about family values yet inappropriately touched his own sisters and helped hide the truth. He should have been put in juvee, received counseling and been registered as a sex offender.  But no, he was sent to a Christian reform program, received no counseling, then went to work for a family friend. This is not justice This is not okay,

I'm tired of right wing Christians taking bible verses out of context when it fits their agenda and hiding behind their religion when they spout and breed intolerance. How come they never use these verses?:

Matthew 7:1 "Judge not lest ye be judged."
John 8:7 "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;"
1 Corinthian 4:5  Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God"
Proverbs 21: 2 "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart."
James 4:12 " There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"

I could go on and on.

Then you have Mike Huckabee sticking his foot in his mouth again by telling stupid transgender jokes. You have change.org trying to strip her of her gold medals

Why do I think Caitlyln Jenner is brave? Because it takes a lot to stand up and tell people who you really are when you know you will be faced with criticism and judgment.  Also, I think John Stewart also made a good point:

 "It's really heartening to see that everyone is willing to not only accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman,
but to waste no time in treating her like a woman. You see, Caitlyn, when you were a man, we could talk about your athleticism, your business acumen, but now you’re a woman, and your looks are really the only thing we care about. Which brings us to phase two of your transition: 'comparative fuckability.'"

"As a woman, Jenner can now look forward to her physical appearance, not her talents or mind, being the object of daily scrutiny. Should she ever need to work, she can look forward to earning roughly 77% of what a man makes. Should she ever face physical or sexual violence, she, not her attacker, will be treated with suspicion. As a woman, Jenner will also have to get used to hearing not just new pronouns but other fun words like "shrill," "nagging," "bossy" and "emotional." And then, of course, there's the catcalling, which a "beautiful" woman like Jenner can now expect daily."

The struggle is real. Women in America are still fighting for their own rights, for equal rights. Caitlyn just joined that fight.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pondering the ink



This is not my tattoo.
Here's my thing today...I have a job interview today. It's the first one I've been offered since losing my job in February. It's the first one I've had since the late 80s I think actually. I've mostly just fell into jobs or worked for myself, so this will be interesting.

I put the question out on my Facebook, "hide or reveal the tattoos?" The overwhelming response is to hide them. I'd like to think that in this day and age, people are more open minded than caring if you have body ink or not, but I know that would be naive.

This in no way represents me.
In my last 16 years, I've pretty much been free to wear, mostly, whatever I've wanted. I mean, I had my own daycare (I call those my frumpy days. I wore sweats and birkenstocks all the time. It was not a pretty time for me.), then I was a stay at home mom, then a writer doing writing visits and crap. Even my job as marketing coordinator at the law firm allowed me a certain freedom. I didn't have a lot of contact with the outside world. If I was meeting with a vendor, I'd step up the outfit a little, but I still openly displayed any tattoos that were not covered by sleeves or pants/tights. No one seemed put out by it. Even when I worked for the government, while the dress code was stricter, it was still pretty loose.

I'm just not a pants person. Actually, I think I can say with all honesty that I loathe pants. While I do own a coupe pairs of jeans, I do not own a pair of slacks. I wear skirts just about every day. Also, since I run about ten hotter degrees than the average human, you rarely see me in long sleeves. Maybe in winter, but our winters here on the left coast have been pretty mild the last couple years.

There are three tattoos that would be showing. One on my forearm, one on my bicep, one on my calf. I think I know what shirt I'm going to wear, but honestly, all my skirts are short. I'm short; I just think I look better in above the knee skirts. I do have a couple that are little longer, but they won't hide the tattoo on my calf. So I'll have to wear boots. Don't get me wrong, I love my boots, but if the temperature gets up in the 70s or 80s, I'm going to be miserable.

I don't like the idea of hiding part of who I am to please people. I would hope that I would be judged on my character, my intelligence, and my skill when being looked at for a job. Maybe that will actually be the case, but you never know. I know some people place a lot of import on appearances, and that's fine. If I have to conform to get a job, I will. I need it. But then, I may have to wonder if I really want a job where people aren't accepting. I mean, if they're not accepting of tattoos, what else do they not accept in life. Whatever happens today, I hope that if I get this job, and once they get to know me, they will realize that I'm a quality person, tattoos or not.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A step in the right direction

I finally found a paying gig. It won't be a lot of work or money (maybe I can work myself into more if I'm, ya know, awesome), but I finally connected with a blogger that liked my writing style. And I must say, it's a good fit for me. She had me write her an article as a test. A paid test. *visualize Megan doing a happy dance*

What I love about it is I can be myself when I write. The blog wasn't looking for AP Style or Chicago Manual yadda yadda yadda. They were just looking for someone who could speak to their readers. Someone who could be honest, informative, witty, and funny. Someone that is on the same level. Someone relatable.

Um, over here...that's me.

So, I know you're asking yourself, what are you writing? (okay, just pretend you are) I get to share with the blogosphere, my dating and relationship experiences. How cool is that? (even if you don't think it's cool, just pretend you do) I get to write just like I do here. Casual, matter of fact. I even get
to throw in some gentle cussing. (sadly, no "f" bombs).

Ex boyfriends,  you might want to steer clear.

When my first article is published, it will be on Attract The One  - Smart, Blunt Relationship Advice for Women.

Don't worry, you'll be the 2nd to know when the article is out (okay, probably right after Facebook and Twitter).

I'm super excited and you should be too (maybe you just don't know it yet).


Friday, May 29, 2015

Like a kid in a candy store...

This has been me the two days following The Whole 30. Epic Whole 30 Fail!!

Seriously, I did every wrong thing possible the day after finishing. Of course, I swear it was temporary insanity for having all the things again at my fingertips. Let's see...

Wednesday:
  1. I had creamer in my coffee.
  2. I went out for drinks
  3. I ate popcorn.

So, this added in dairy, sugar, alcohol, grains, more than likely some preservatives.

Woke up Thursday feeling like shit with my right eye puffy (partial quasi eye).

Thursday:

  1. I had creamer in my coffee.
  2. My mom took me to lunch where I splurged on a sandwich and fries. 
  3. Had some wine at a friends.

© Keith McDuffee
More dairy, sugar, alcohol, grains, more than likely some preservatives in there. Plus french fries are the devil. The french fries made me sick. No more restaurant french fries for me. (even the picture to the left makes me want to barf).

Today I woke up with a puffy eye again and generally feeling like doodoo.

So, what am I going to do about this? Take it all back out of the diet, except the dairy. I'm reintroducing dairy for a week starting today. I'll continue drinking this coffee creamer (which is all natural), but I'm actually thinking I liked the putrid coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon better. Weird, huh.

The Whole 30 changes your body. You grow accustomed to eating clean. I mean, I was already set to continue eating this way, I think maybe I just needed to sow some oats in the form of everything bad for me for a couple days. I DO NOT recommend this. Follow the program. Follow the directions. When you're done with The Whole 30, do not act like a frat boy at Partyland. This shit isn't good for you and you've been off it so long it will have a giant adverse affect on your body.

I mean, I lost weight. I lost inches. I have more energy. I'm sleeping better.  I haven't felt this good for a long time. Why on earth would I want to jeopardize this for a few pleasures that really aren't that pleasurable, and are not good for me? I don't. I won't. You shouldn't either.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I am not sucking at life

No, I'm not. I'm drinking coffee with creamer. It's not the best tasting creamer I've ever had, but it has natural ingredients. And I'm not blending my coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon in my Magic Bullet. Why am I telling you this? Because yesterday was my last day on The Whole 30.

If you know not what the Whole 30 is, visit the link above. If you're sluggish all the time, want to change your relationship with food, want to look younger, want to sleep better, want to lose a little weight, you might want to give it a try.

How I feel after having done the Whole 30...
Food: Food and I are friends again. For awhile we had this weird relationship, It was mostly good,
sometimes I cheated on it. Sometimes I ignored it altogether. Other times my love for it was so intense I had to have it all. Also, I found myself having a quickie for dinner way too often.

Now I eat every meal, 3 a day. Sometimes I have a snack in between lunch and dinner, or after dinner if my stomach is a little grumbly. I'm cooking again. Sometimes I still need the quickie, but instead of turning to my longtime friend, Popcorn, I'll grab leftover meat (I always make enough to have leftovers) cook up some sweet potatoes and throw a salad together. Okay, it's not the 2 minute meal I've grown accustomed to, it's more like 30 minutes, but it's healthier, it's delicious and it treats my body good. I think I can handle an extra 28 minutes for that.

I buy most everything fresh except my coconut milk. I don't mind reading labels now, but if I buy fresh, I don't have to. I'm getting my fill of veggies and fruit, which I'd been neglecting for a while. I'm eating all good fats, almonds, ghee, avocado, olive oil. No more butter or margarine.

Alcohol: Alcohol and I used to be tight. You see, with me, alcohol is that friend that pesters you into hanging out until you cave. I mean, you love it, it's that friend you can lean on when you've had a hard day, or been given some bad new. Sometimes you'd just like to say no, but it always seems to be hanging around. Sometimes it overstays its welcome. I put alcohol in it's place. I made it go away until I'm ready to be friends again. Do I miss it sometimes when it's not around? Sure. But I'm confident that when we become friends again, I'll just see it socially and not be so dependent on it all the time.  Besides, I have a new friend that treats me better - sparkling water.

Sleep: A few years ago, sleep decided it didn't want to be friends with me anymore. I mean, it came around from time to time, but not as much as I wanted it too. Sleep and I have improved our relationship. Now it comes around every night and stays until morning. It usually leaves early, but I'm okay with that. Usually I've had enough to the point that I feel good and am ready to face the day.

Weight: My relationship with weight has been a rollercoaster ride in the past. Lately however, it's like I'm stuck at the top of the hill and no matter what I try, I can't get down. The Whole 30 helped me get down the hill. Just a little hill, but I'm hoping to get down a bigger hill soon enough until I can get off the ride for good. I don't think I'll share how much weight I've lost since the program isn't about that, it's about everything else. I'll just say, I look better and my clothes fit better. If I'd exercised more (I do, but I need to step it up) I'd probably have lost more. I actually had the meat guy at the grocery store flirt with me yesterday. It's been awhile since someone flirted with me.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: I've never liked CFS. Our relationship is parasitic. CFS is the friend who is always complaining and always miserable and after you've been with them for a while you just want to crawl into a hole and die. This relationship has also improved. Am I cured? No. But I get through the day without a nap (which is BIG for me). My energy level is higher during that time and I'm more productive than I have been in a long time. It still hits in the early evening though, 7 or 8 o'clock. But I'm okay with this because it's better and I can just crawl in bed with my phone or a book or my computer to watch Netflix.

What comes next?

Happy Hour. That's right, tonight I celebrate this achievement because to me, it's big. Don't worry, happy hour is not going to get me back into my old habits. I like the way I feel, I like the way I look, I like the way I eat. I will keep eating this way for the most part. I don't miss cheese or really any dairy (except my coffee creamer) for that matter. I'm not missing grains. I may have a glass of wine or a drink from time to time. And hey, I'll probably eat some popcorn, but not as much as I did at one sitting and not for dinner.

What am I hoping to gain from all this?

I'm hoping to shed a few more pounds. I'm hoping to have the energy to get to the gym regularly. I'm hoping to get another book published. I'm hoping to be more productive around the house and in the yard. I'm hoping I can be there for my kids and my parents when they need me.

I'm hoping this lasts a lifetime because I feel and look better than I have in years.








Monday, May 25, 2015

The Christian Defense: Supporting Josh Duggard

Yes, people make mistakes and can be forgiven. Child molestation is not a mistake. Child molestation is an abhorrent crime that dehumanizes and demoralizes victims. It's a power play,  bullying, and an abuse of trust. These types of crimes should be punished by law. However, Josh Duggan has skirted his way around it. Read on...

His apology?

“It is not mine to forgive but nonetheless I do and look forward for you to use this opportunity to work with others who have struggled with similar or like actions and educate them on how to turn away from such behavior. I’m sure it is the last thing you want to revisit but you can help so many boys and girls and probably already have by making this public statement. Be strong and don’t let the negative reaction play over and over in your head. You have a lot of supporters, lean on them, let their words wash over you as you all pick up and move forward.”

He barely apologizes for his actions and makes himself sound like a victim.

 “Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family."

Never choose to go through? That's exactly what you did. And thank the good Lord you molested your sisters so your whole family could be closer to God.

“The media can be shameless & so hurtful. My family has experienced the media’s lack of knowledge and truth trying to make something out of a mistake & it was so incredibly hurtful to our family. To feel as though you have truth and you’re fighting a massive giant such as the media can be so frustrating.”

Yes, your family is hurt, especially the sisters you molested. And I'm sorry, this is the job of media, to uncover and expose, even the ugly. And lack of knowledge? They dredged up a police report buried years ago. What exactly are they lacking? And the truth is you inappropriately touched young girls, including your sisters, and are hardly repentant. You seem more apologetic about being found out than actually committing the crime.

His fans are defending him, politicians..."he's an example of humility and redemption." Really? He spoke about it because he had to, because some journalist did their homework and dug up this ugliness. He would have gone his entire life not exposing this if it hadn't been found out.

One of his fans actually said something to the affect, "he only molested them, it's not like he raped them." O.o Okay, how about you get molested, then raped, then tell us what the difference is? Do you feel less violated? Less demoralized? Fuck me. No pun intended.



Some are comparing this to the Lena Dunham commission of molesting her sister. There's a difference.  Is what she did wrong? Yes.  And honestly, it did change my opinion of her the way she so flippantly spoke of it in her book. Of course, she was seven to Duggan's 14, and hers was one instant compared to repeating the offense over the course of years against 5 different girls. And Dunham doesn't shroud herself in a veil of propriety and righteousness.

Apparently, if you believe in God, all is forgiven. No need to spend time in juvee or get "real" therapy (I will talk more about that in a minute). Christians are above the law of the land? They only are accountable to religious law?

Let's talk about the parents...

His parents should have been arrested for waiting so long to report the offenses. I mean, convenient to hide the truth until the statute of limitations had run its course, right? And when Jim Bob does report it, who does he go to first? The police...oh wait, no, my mistake...the church elders. Are you fucking kidding me? Your child has just sexually violated children, YOUR OWN CHILDREN, scarring them for life, and you go to the church instead of the authorities? I'm sorry, I love my kids, but if they EVER did that, I'm sending them to the authorities, hoping they get the help they need, because for me, child abuse, in any form, needs to be dealt with.

How about setting them up for disaster? The kids, at least a few of them, definitely the molester and victims, slept in a common room. Um...14 year old boy, hormones raging, with sleeping girls. Parent Fail. Even if I trusted my kids to the ends of the earth and back, I would not put them in that situation. Boys do stupid shit, especially at an age where their libido leads the way. 

Jim Bob also refused to let police interview Josh. Helpful, no? Of course he let all of his daughters go through that torture. No report was filed either. Could it be because Jim Bob knew the state trooper he'd reported it too? The trooper gave Josh a "stern talking to" and decided that the "therapy" he'd undergone was enough. Um...how about looking into that "therapy" before making that decision? Oh wait, you probably didn't care that much since you,  yourself were a pedophile, now serving 56-years in prison for child pornography.

About this so called "therapy."

Jim Bob didn't want poor Joshy in a place where there were other offenders, he must be so fragile. Of course, that meant no sexual assault counseling for him. Nope. Jim Bob instead sent him to a good Christian program. But wait, there's more. For part of his "therapy," Josh ended up working for a family friend who was in the business of remodeling.  No counseling for sex offenders there. No counseling at all. I bet that was helpful. The other part of the time he was at the Basic Life Principles Training Center run by friend of the family, Bill Gothard. Their website contends that they are, ...dedicated to giving clear instruction and training on how to find success by following God’s principles found in Scripture." I guess God's principles includes sexual grooming and groping young women. Last year Gothard resigned his post from the center after allegations of sexual grooming and sexual harassment of over 30 young women and teens surfaced. This was the man offering his counsel to Josh Duggard. SMH.

Duggan has traveled the country bashing the LGBT community and calling them sexual deviants.  He's pronounced how doing bad things to children is evil in "one of its worst forms." He blasts
Muslims for their treatment of women.  He claims that marriage equality destroys the American family.  He stated that his family is the epitome of conservative values. All if this is hypocrisy at its finest.
  • Sexual deviant, check. 
  • Molesting children, check. 
  • Demoralizing sisters, check. 
  • Hiding his past from the public while maintaining the image of the "perfect American family," check. A child molester who never paid his time living under the guise of conservative values, check.

Has Josh Duggan lived a good life since? Supposedly, but how do I know? The public sees what their television show wants them to see. I've never seen an episode. A family breeding like rabbits and praising God isn't exactly my idea of good entertainment.

I do think people can rehabilitate with HELP.
I do believe in forgiveness.

However, what I don't agree with is this:

  • Hiding behind Jesus to suit your own selfish needs. 
  • Praising the almighty dollar.
  • Hiding the truth. 
  • Waiting until the statute of limitations runs out to report sexual assault.
  • Not getting a sex offender the right kind of counseling and treatment.
  • Not filing a report on a repeat sex offender, friend or not.
  • Apologizing without admission.
  • Acting as a role model in the public eye when you have darkened your religion and the legal system.
  • Being a hypocrite.
The most frightening thing is that this is all about Josh. What about his victims? His sisters are voiceless amid this revelation. Josh got "help." Did they? Did the Duggars send their daughters to counseling? A doctor even? Probably not. It seems they've been hushed instead of standing up for themselves. Of course, this goes along with the home school teachings in sexual assault, which focuses a lot on victim blaming and is nothing less than appalling. How refreshing it would be to see one of them speak out? Sadly, I'm sure that's against their "family values."

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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