My Site is Having Hiccups.

Availability will be sporadic until I sort out what to do with it.  For the past three days, I have struggled with a sudden and unexplained crash.  Hopefully I can keep my site here in its customary spot.  I’m also contemplating going back to Blogger or a .com Wordpress, where the techs can make sure everything stays put.  But if so, I plan to at least keep my domain name.

Update 6/1/16: However, while I can use Statcounter on Wordpress.com, the information is very limited.  I don’t know if I can live without my full stats.  😛  I shall see how this thing works now that the server tech support helped out a bit and some of the plugins have been disabled.  I did some tweaking in my security plugin, which I think is causing the problem; let’s see if that helps.  There are many things I like about Wordpress.com, but I’d have to give up a fully functioning Statcounter, Google Analytics, and some other features I’m used to.  We shall see….

 

 

Can I Opt-Out of Wisconsin’s Lawsuit Against Obama?

I just read in the paper today that Wisconsin is one of a number of states suing Obama for doing his job and enforcing the laws against discrimination.

Can I opt out of this?  This is ridiculous. I want nothing to do with these lawsuits against Obama.  The Attorney General does NOT speak for me.

These attempts to force the government to let states violate the law by discriminating against people–

It’s absolutely disgusting.

Things just keep getting worse and worse, with people digging in their heels and refusing to let even an inch of their minds open up and see what it’s like for other people who are not like them.

Jesus taught us to do good to others, treat them as we would want to be treated.  He did NOT say to harass and bully them and force them to be like us. He did NOT say to make their lives hell.

This behavior is NOT Christian.  More than a century ago, many Christians thought it was good and right to own slaves, while many others said it was wrong and that we needed to free them.  100 years later, you had the same division over civil rights for blacks.  This is exactly like what we’re going through now, and one day, the people digging in their heels will be recognized for bigotry.  This is NOT Christianity.  The people digging in their heels are NOT fighting for God or fighting religious prejudice.  They are the ones blinded by their own prejudice.

On the Katrina Kennedy-Flores Video

Yes, screaming IS abuse. 

It’s not the cuss words themselves that make it abuse–especially for a toddler who probably doesn’t know the difference between a cuss word and a “regular” word–but the anger behind it.  The kid recognizes the anger.  And yes, physical abuse followed, but the screaming alone was verbal and emotional abuse.  You can hear the terror in that poor kid’s voice.  He’s just a baby!

A few links with good information on this case:

Child abuse video posted on Facebook: Katrina Kennedy-Flores arrested, child in protective custody

Mother arrested for child abuse; bystander cited for recording, not intervening

Mother, 27, arrested after sickening video of her punching and threatening to KILL her two-year-old son for losing her phone charger was posted online

The links also discuss the bystander who filmed the abuse, Sue.  People are saying nasty things about her and making death threats, but the story is that she can barely walk or move, and made the video to prove her allegations.  That she had spoken to the mother before, and was frustrated at no results from CPS in the past.  She said she and her son, also in the video, were frightened for their own lives.

I also got the impression, while watching, that they were trying to find the charger to try to pacify the mother and stop the tirade.  I’m not quite sure what someone who can barely move is supposed to do.  As for her son, I see comments that he’s mentally disabled; I don’t know what that means in his case.

She has been charged for not intervening, so she’ll get her day in court to have a jury decide if she was able to intervene or not.  Let them do it, not Facebook lynch mobs.  I know for myself how you can be terrified by a wild woman, and afraid to do anything but watch in disbelief and horror as she smacks a kid around.

In any case, she says herself that she didn’t do enough.  But she made the video to get evidence so something would finally be done about the abuse.  And something has finally been done.  Let’s not make it even harder for people to get the courage to report abuse.  It’s already scary enough; I was terrified when I reported Tracy.

I detest the Youtube etc. comments on Sue’s weight, even saying her weight is probably her disability.  Excuse me, but do you know anything at all about her medical history?  Maybe her weight came from her disability, not the other way around.  Maybe she has a tumor or glandular problem.  Maybe her legs are paralyzed or arthritic.  You don’t know, so don’t presume to know, and don’t fat-shame her over it.

I’ve seen comments on this video–as you typically do every time one of these videos comes out–that screaming is not abuse.  But I was glad to see responses that yes, it is, screaming is very harmful to a young child, and people should learn about child development before making statements like that.

I’ve written about the abuses I witnessed from Tracy here; this not only traumatized me, but drove me to post here and on Facebook so adamantly against child abuse.  It’s my way to work out the trauma.

I’ve heard her scream at her children in decibels like in the video.  And yes, I was frightened of her, too.  The abusive episodes didn’t last long enough for me to do anything about it, probably tempered because of my presence.  But her husband told me about more intense episodes, especially when she lived with her parents and away from his influence.

I reported Tracy for it, but I have no idea if Social Services did anything about it, or just dropped the ball as often happens in these cases–including the Kennedy-Flores case before this video was made.

Keep in mind cell phones didn’t have videotaping abilities back then, so I couldn’t have made a record; I can only hope Tracy’s children had the courage to speak up and substantiate what I reported.  But children can often be too terrified to do so.

This is what made me want nothing to do with Tracy.  And while sometimes her husband would tell me she was abusive toward their children, sometimes he defended her and even said screaming is not abuse.

So it encourages me greatly to see people step up and say, No, this IS abuse, and it causes serious harm to children even without bruises or broken bones.  It gives me hope that one day, child abuse of all kinds will diminish.

It also encourages me greatly to see that something was done in this case, and the mother is up on charges.

Though many appear to share my frustration that other crimes often seem to get tougher charges and sentences than ones for child abuse, such as Tracy’s husband–also an abuser–only getting probation for choking his kid.

This is another reason why I post about these things: because the system so badly failed in prosecuting Tracy’s husband, giving him a misdemeanor and probation, when he originally was charged with felonies and should’ve gotten prison time.

So obviously, while our country has made many good changes, it still has a long way to go to stamp out child abuse.  The laws need more teeth–and not for people who simply let their kids walk to the park alone, but for people who emotionally, verbally and physically abuse their kids.

Hopefully Kennedy-Flores won’t simply walk with a plea deal for probation as well.

Update 5/21/16: From this page:

The home owner claims she uploaded the video to the internet because police were not acting fast enough to take the child away after her son allegedly handed the footage into police.

Sue’s sister said she and her family are receiving death threats from Flores-Kennedy.

Sue has been charged for not intervening but claims she couldn’t because she is disabled and was scared for her teenage son’s welfare who was in the house at the time, ABC 7 News reports.

Women like this child’s mother frighten not just small children, but adults as well.  Keep that in mind, and how scared the child was just by screams, before she even touched him.  The above link also includes a video of an interview with Sue.

Woman Who Called Police

 

According to the study, researchers analyzed 75 studies that involve more than 160,000 children in a span of 50 years.

They found spanking a child leads to bad behaviors, not better manners.

Researchers said spanked kids are more likely to be aggressive and antisocial. They said their findings are incredibly consistent, and show no correlation between spanking and positive outcomes.

“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” said Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. “We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children.”

Spanking and physical abuse results had the same detrimental child outcomes in the same direction and nearly the same strength.

“We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors,” Gershoff said. “Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.” —Study: Spanking leads to bad behaviors, not better manners

 

Twitter Campaign on Emotional Abuse

A friend shared this on Facebook on Thursday:

These 17 Tweets will completely change how you think about emotional abuse

A few of the Tweets sounded familiar:

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he won’t let you go home or see your friends very often or at all.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but instead he isolates you and destroys all of you platonic relationships so he’s all you have

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou, but he tells you what friends you’re “allowed” to have.

Also this one from #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou Highlights the Reality of Emotional Abuse:

#maybehedoesnthityou but he tries to control who you talk to, where you go, what friends you can have, and acts like it’s out of love.

And from Women Are Using A Powerful Hashtag To Talk About Emotional Domestic Abuse:

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he’d convince you to hate your parents & friends and to push them away completely because they didn’t like him.

(There are lots more tweets on this theme.  Every page I read on this, people tweet about the emotional abuser telling you whom you’re allowed to be friends with, when you can see them, making you ask permission before seeing opposite-sex friends, etc.)

The above tweets remind me of two people:

First, Tracy, wife of Richard, who had strict rules on who could be his friends and what he could do with them (other than the obvious of don’t cheat).  She had to meet them, had to be their friend too, had to approve them.  Until you got her approval, you had to jump through her hoops, which were constantly changing and which you never knew existed half the time.

It’s so good to see other people confirming what I already knew, but which Richard and Tracy tried to convince me was wrong: that controlling your spouse’s friendships is abuse.  This helps heal my mind, which is still recovering from all their gaslighting.  I want to make a note every time I see something confirming that I was correct, because it helps break down the gaslighting.

Second, Phil, my ex, who tried to separate me from my friends in various ways: He shamed me for not sticking up for him for supposed slights, slights which never even happened.  He told me they hated him, and got upset with me if I wanted to spend some time with them after dinner in the cafeteria.  (He and I spent lots of time together, so that wasn’t the reason.)  Then after the breakup, he even convinced his best friend that my friends were terrible to him.  The friend then came to me and lectured me on how “badly” I treated Phil and that I should distance myself from these horrible friends.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he compares you to other women, criticizes your body and constantly tells you, you aren’t doing enough for him.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he screams at you even if you did nothing wrong.

#maybehedoesnthityou but he criticised you everyday, he compared you to “better” women & told you you will never be/look good enough.

Yep, that was Phil, too.

Another webpage on this campaign: Daily Share: #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou Highlights the Pain of Emotional Abuse

More on abuse, isolation and ditching friendships because of a jealous spouse

I came across a discussion last night on a verbally abusive marriage.  Somebody commented that maybe the husband’s anger was partially caused by a friend, Grant, he was jealous of, that the wife could help the situation by re-evaluating her friendship with the guy her husband, Jodie, sees as a rival.

But the response to this was unanimous: Jodie’s abusive behavior was all his own fault, and ditching Grant would actually be a very bad idea.  They said this would help make the wife believe his anger was actually her fault, that she can do anything at all about it.  For one thing, they note that a functioning adult who’s jealous of a friend would talk to her about it, not engage in various soul-killing abusive behaviors.  One person wrote,

I agree that Jamie .. er .. Jodie is probably modeling Grant as a threat. And you know what? Grant doesn’t sound like a hysterical abusive monster so I bet at some level Grant is a threat. The threat of a reasonable person it’s nice to spend time with, eat with, not pander to for 8 hour long tantrums on unrelated topics.

That potential cause doesn’t change much about the toxicity of the environment or Jodie’s total inability to be civilized and loving in response. Threats to a relationship happen! Here is how a healthy conversation on The Grant Matter might go:

“Huh, I sure got upset there. That’s odd.”
“Yes, you seem really mad about something. Surely not just some TV show.”
“Yeah. I felt particularly angry at Grant. Why does he have to spend so much time here?”
“I like him! Don’t you? Wait, is this about him?”
“Maybe I’m worried you feel more than just ‘like’ for him.”

(Aha light follows, insight, healthy exchange of insecurities and needs, box of tissues, attempts to adjust thoughts, feelings and behaviors, gestures of good faith, reconciliation, ending in “I love you and let’s try to work this out”, etc. etc.) —Comment

Another poster pointed out that giving up Grant would actually be a very bad idea, because it would cost her a connection to someone who can help her, and make her think that Jodie’s anger is somehow HER fault:

A couple of people up thread expressed concern that your relationship with Jodie may be losing you friends. This can happen in subtle ways, but it can also happen in extraordinarily straight-forward ways. Like, you can become isolated and friendless because you stop seeing a best friend because that best friend makes your husband feel threatened. Imagine how your husband would understand the problem, if you could get him to admit he’s jealous. I bet it would sound something like this: “I need you to stop hanging out with Grant so much, because he makes me jealous.” Or maybe like this: “Yeah, your friendship with Grant is what makes me so upset.” Or maybe like this: “I wouldn’t be so angry all the time if you weren’t such great friends with Grant.” No matter how it’s worded, however, the sentiment is the same. And, to spell it out, the sentiment is this: “My anger is actually your fault, and you can solve it by getting rid of your friend.”

That’s not a good attitude. If you stopped hanging around with Grant, or even just dialed your friendship back a bit, in order to help Jodie stop feeling so jealous, what you are doing is falling yet again into the trap of taking responsibility for Jodie’s emotions and bending backwards to assuage him. And you’d lose a friend. You’d lose something that matters to you, because he has a problem.

Is that fair?

…Please, if at any point you find yourself with this choice, “Either I give up a friendship/connection to another, or my husband will be angry,” don’t give up that connection. Because we need human contact, and being in contact with normal, healthy people is a good way to keep sane, yourself. Does that make sense? Let that be a defining point: whatever your husband’s anger issues, you don’t have to sacrifice friends. —Comment

The commenters also noted that isolating a spouse is how abusers cut them off from people who can help them.

My ex Phil tried to isolate me from my friends, because they saw him for what he was.  I was also horribly abused by someone who saw me as a threat and tried to cut me off from friendship with her husband.  She’s also extremely abusive.

This is a huge red-flag warning of abuse, so I’m glad to see people realizing this, instead of the typical “ditch the friend if your husband/wife is jealous” or blaming the friendship for the abuse.  And yeah, Grant became very important when Jodie’s wife finally decided to leave, because he helped her get out.  I saw nothing in there about a budding romance, just somebody who helped.

 

A few thoughts on Trump getting the nomination

There isn’t much to be said that the late-night comedians (Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Larry Wilmore) haven’t already said.  It’s ridiculous, ludicrous, and frightening.

But I’m not sure what concerns the Republican establishment more:

1) that a narcissistic, sociopathic, bully, entitled buffoon who wants to put his name on everything and bang his daughter (thanks Trevor Noah), and could send us into nuclear WWIII with the entire world (even our allies) through his quick insults, is their nominee,

2) that he has said things which make many of us–even the ones who recognize that labeling everything “Hitler” or “Nazi” is a weak argument–think of Hitler and the Nazis,

3) that he’s most likely going to lose in a landslide to Hillary Clinton, leading to another four years of a Democratic president (a great thing, yeah, but they’d hate it because they want to dismantle all the good things Obama accomplished, like the AHC Act),

4) or that he’s thumbing his nose at much of the Republican platform.  It was really weird recently to realize that Clown Prince Trump is more moderate than, say, Cruz, whose very name makes me }}}shudder{{{ .

It was amusing watching the clips on TV of how my birth state received Cruz }}}shudder{{{ .  No, I don’t believe Indiana has the Wisconsin reputation for being uber-nice, which is probably where my acerbic sense of humor came from, even though I have to keep it in check around the hubby.

Every election cycle, I hope for the best candidates to be put up so that even if the other guy wins–which is usually the case–I won’t feel like the city/state/country is going to go down in flames.  The GOP had some decent candidates, many of which I would’ve greatly preferred, such as Kasich.  Instead, it’s turning out to be Trump vs. Hillary, even though Bernie is still fighting on (Go Bernie!  Feel the Bern!).

Yeah, I know Bernie’s policies could put us hugely in debt, but remember, President is NOT King.  We have a huge Congress to keep the President in check (which is why Obama has, sadly, been unable to do much of what he’s wanted to do, especially closing the notorious Guantanamo).  Also, character matters a great deal, which is why so many of us don’t want Trump–and, by the way, why so many don’t want Hillary.  At least Bernie has character.

On the one hand, seeing Trump clinch the nomination isn’t so terrible when I realize that the Democrats are now almost certain to win the Presidency in November, so there’s little chance of him becoming the President anyway.

Except–Well, that’s what people said about him becoming the nominee.  :{  :O  Better read up on how they used to escape from WWII POW camps, because we might need some escape ideas when they start rounding up the Muslims for concentration camps.  😛

BerlinCarnivalTrump

CthulhuMeme

Which one will eat fewer of your children?

Germans know fascism when they see it.

While Americans can joke about “Soup Nazis” and Hitler mustaches, Germans know firsthand what it means when a failed businessman moves from a fringe candidate to a leader who takes over your democracy and burns everything to hell.

I learned this, repeatedly, while I was in Germany for a weeklong lecture on the 2016 U.S. presidential election hosted by the State Department and German officials.

As I hopped from one beautiful, Old World city to another, from Hamburg to Frankfurt to Munich to Berlin, every person I spoke to said that the rise of business mogul-turned-reality-TV star-turned-GOP front-runner Donald Trump reminded them of the early stages of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power.

…At a reporter’s roundtable in Frankfurt with Germany’s version of NPR, someone asked me for the hundredth time, “Can Donald Trump actually win the American election?” I gave my boilerplate answer regarding the numbers, his behavior, the nation’s temperament; that a Trump presidential win in 2016 just doesn’t seem that likely.

Then an older woman, maybe in her 60s, who’d been anxiously listening, started talking.

“I guess I’m the oldest here, so I’ll just come out and say it,” she said, looking around the room. “You say he can’t win, you say not enough people take him seriously, you say not in your democracy. We were saying the same thing in 1933.”
 –Jason Johnson, To Germans, There’s Something Familiar About Donald Trump

 

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