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Have you ever met an individual that is so rare and special that you could compare them to a valuable gem?  Let me tell you about such a person, Jessica Angelique, who has a passionate mission in life to shine a light on life changing non for profit organizations.  Jessica has had an interesting life full of ups and downs and because of that she has dedicated her life to making the world a better place.  Her heart has been drawn to organizations that help build people up and educate them; which allows them to positively impact the world for the better.  She is in need of help to continue to expand her ability to impact the world by educating them through a wonderful opportunity called the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Pepsi is offering up an opportunity to win a $250,000 grant to those who win the most votes in their category.  Jessica Angelique is the creator and executive director of Definitive Voices.   She is also an author who has written of her life’s journey; navigating through the challenging foster care system into a positive, purpose filled adulthood.   She uses her voice to empower people and organizations to be aware and proactive in their communities to build up those in need.

Through Definitive Voices Jessica uses social media to shine a light on individuals and organizations that are doing their best to help people improve the world through education, awareness, and hands on action that is changing the lives of those they encounter.  Jessica needs your help by getting you to go to this link and vote for her Definitive Voices so that she can expand her ability to positively impact the lives of others.  It only takes a couple of seconds once you register and sign in using an active email and a Pepsi password.  Here is the link to cast your vote daily until the 28th of February: http://www.refresheverything.com/definitivevoices(more…)

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When are people going to wake up to the fact that we need to stop allowing instances of evil and violence to be glorified on television, movies, books and in our music?  Isn’t it obvious that the world has been turning this garbage into “entertainment” and that it is having a terrible influence on our society?  Today there was two distinctive situations that destroyed lives that is shockingly cruel in the fact that the victims of violence were totally innocent.

A nursing home in Carthage, North Carolina has 8 dead people , 7 residents and a nurse, because a young man came into the nursing home and started shooting at people.  The reason is unclear at this point.  It is alleged that his estranged wife works at this nursing home although that is not confirmed.   An unprovoked attack on innocent people that would have been much worse had it not been for the heroic actions of a 25 year old police officer who was able to stop the shooter.   While the news media covers these terrible bursts of violence…we must learn to carefully balance how these things are addressed in the media; so that they do not become gloried examples for those with similar thoughts.

Another equally upsetting situation; an ex-con attacks his sisters and kills two of them…one a five year old child on her birthday.  He kills his 17 year old sister by brutally stabbing her…then, he goes after the five year old and decapitates her as the police come in.  She is found near her birthday cake.     The nine year old sister had called the officers…some how she was stabbed as well; she is in the hospital with injuries.  Not only has she been injured, she lost members of her family and she has to live with the images of death and violence.  This brother was clearly a person out of control; it was alleged that he had some kind of a run-in with a neighbor the evening before as well.

We have people who dont know how to resolve their personal problems…committing violence and killing innocent people.  We have loners, and mentally ill people who do not get treatment.   Our economy is so tight that those who desperately need mental health treatment do not get it because of cost.  We need to seriously consider spending more money for preventative well-care programs for people at risk for such behaviors.

I would really like to see people stop supporting slasher/shoot them up shows and movies with their dollars.  These type of entertainments only serve to encourage those who are bent on venting their anger and revenge or for those who are mentally unstable on taking out their rage on innocent people.  How do you protect yourself and your loved ones from random violence?  It is impossible.   Is anyone else sick and tired of these things  happening in schools, shopping malls, nursing homes and colleges, etc?

I have moved to a new Url: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more of my blog posts!

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       Likeability can be a very fleeting thing.  When Jason got down on one knee and  began to propose to Deanna Pappas on a previous season of The Bachelor(ette); he immediately won the sympathy vote as she publically let him humiliate himself on national television when she had already chosen his competitor.  This season, Jason was the focal point as the bachelor.

        Jason has narowed down his choices to two beautiful, intelligent women.  Now the show has been running teasers that Deanna is coming back right before the rose ceremony…where he makes his choice.  Many fans are posting their unhappiness about this dramatic intervention.  The teaser tells us that Deanna tells Jason, You haven’t proposed yet.  This can only add to the confusion and frustration of that moment.  How will things end?  (more…)

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         Ok, I get it…the Oscar awards are supposed to be about recognizing the best in the film industry; however, over the years…the Oscars have turned into an industry unto itself.  There are Oscar parties, pre-Oscar and post-Oscar parties, the Barbara Walter’s pre-Oscar interviews, the morning shows that preview the menu’s and the decor of the dinning areas…come on!  Enough already.  (more…)

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      Today, pictures that show the trauma that singer Rihanna  allegedly suffered at the hands of her boyfriend singer, Chris Brown were released.  If it is true that these are authentic police pictures; someone is going to lose their job.   It is awful that someone could profit from providing this picture to a media outlet…whether they profitted for fame, for money, or purely for the ability to be in control over the picture.  When it is discovered, through the internal police investigation, who the person is who released it…they will instantly become a very unpopular person.  It must take a tremendous amount of lack of compassion and integrity to give yourself permission to profit from someone else’s pain and misery!  (more…)

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     Christina Raines is the young woman who had recently moved in with her fiance, Drew Peterson.  Drew Peterson, if you will remember, is the former police officer who has been a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife and also was under suspicion in the death of his third wife.   Drew did an interview, with Martin Bashir of ABC’s news program Nightline, that aired on Thursday night.  Drew and Christina viewed the interview together, at which point…she allegedly called him a liar, broke up with him and moved out. 

     Everyone has been concerned for her safety and that of the well-being of her children, that moved in with her and Drew.  By moving out…she may have very well saved her life and her sanity from living in a fishbowl.  To listen to Drew tell it; he is addicted to new romances…what kind of a relationship can survive that, long term?  No woman wants to think she is just a number standing in line; to enjoy her turn at the romance department…only to be replaced by someone younger and more exciting; if real life gets in the way of the newness of their romance.

       I saw part of that interview, Drew comes across as trying to be very charismatic and at the same time…condescending.  He appears to like the attention of the public and he appears to like the fact that people fear/and are fascinated by him.   He made comments alluding to the fact that “young women are drawn” to him.  They seek him out he said and, even sometimes flirt with him or sit on his lap.  He tells the interviewer that he likes the attention of the young women…he likes falling in love.  Drew also said that when his relationships start to lose their excitement…that is when he is drawn to other women.  His relationships/marriages have failed in the past because of this.

       Christina’s father, Ernie Raines has been trying to enlist the help of the local police department, trying to make sure that his daughter and grandchildren are ok.  He made no secret of the fact that he does not trust Drew Peterson.  I think that many people can understand and support those feelings.  Ernie helped Christina move out…Drew did not want to let him in the house and Ernie had to once again call the police.  Good job Ernie for being persistant; if you feel your children are in danger…you do what you have to-to protect them.

     You have to wonder about the emotional well-being of Drew’s younger children that he had with Staci…his wife that is missing.  How must it be for them to be growing up in a home that is constantly watched and a place that must be under alot of stress because of that suspicion.  Not to mention…those children have been deprived of their mother…for whatever reason she is missing…they have suffered a great loss.

        In watching the interview, I felt repulsed listening to him go on and on about how much he enjoys the attentions of the young women that he meets and has met in the past (in bars).  It comes across to me as a young, immature male teen bragging on his conquests.  It all appears as a game…one that matches his wit and his ability to con those around him.  He was an undercover police officer for a 5 year period and  he allegedly made statements, in the past, about how he loved to see the faces of the people who were arrested once they found out that he was a police officer who conned them with his disquises.  The interview felt to me, like it was just another con job that floated his boat…one that tested his ability to still fool those that he wishes, with whatever story he chooses to tell.

        I say to Ernie Raines…enjoy your relationship with your daughter…spend time listening to her.  I hope that she is able to heal her heart and realize just how much better off she is away from the media circus that she was living in with her relationship with Drew Peterson.   At the same time, she might want to spend a little time in counseling trying to discover what it was about that relationship that made her feel like she was making a good decision for her future and that of her children.  Best of luck!  Women…where there is smoke there is fire…you can’t change a person that you are attracted to…you cant “fix” their problems…you can’t be all things to one person…and you can’t live with the shadow of missing wives, alleged murders, infidelities, and controlling behaviors; and live happily ever-after!

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        Today is a day to remember, it is the 64th anniversary of the liberation of the Jewish people from the concentration camp Auschwitz.  It was a day of relief and a day of sadness.  Sadness for those who’s lives were lost before they could be rescued…and a day of relief for those who were still alive and had a chance for survival.  People want to forget the horrors of the concentration camps…or worse, they deny that it ever existed.  The prisoners at the concentration camps were there because of hatred; they were feared and they were hated just because of their heritage.  There is no excuse for genocide.

       If we are allowed to forget the horror of such evil…it could happen again.  If we deny that it ever existed then we are guilty of adding to the evil that took place and destroyed so many people.  It is a time of world history that must be observed.

      There are some who were there that still have memories of that time.  There are some who have loved ones who went through the extreme torture that was the concentration camps.  No group of human beings should ever be treated the way that the Jews were treated.  We lost so many people that could have added culture, music, craftmanship, business accumen…and so much more to the world.  It was and is a tragedy the likes of which we should hope to never see again.

       Think about the suffering and the misery that they went through.  The fear that consumed the soul.  Yet, there were those who resisted, those who aided others by sharing what they had to keep others alive, there were those who tried to hide individuals and help them escape the power of the SS.  The word hero is thrown around so often that people misunderstand the courage that it takes to stand strong in the face of evil, and destructive controlling power. 

       The human spirit is an amazing thing; the will to survive is amazing and can overcome many obstacles.  There are many individual stories from the holocaust and it is important to document them when you have the opportunity.  I posted an earlier story in this blog about Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, a talented artist who was incarcerated at Auschwitz.  She was forced to use her talent to paint individuals and gypsies from the concentration camp for Dr. Josef Mengeles the angel of death who performed terrible “experiments” on those behind the gates. 

       You can read about her and her efforts to get her artwork returned to her before she passes from this world into the next here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/?s=dina+babbit .  Do you know any  stories of the survivors of the concentration camps?

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      Wow, I can’t imagine, as a parent, how horrifying it would be to me to have one of my daughter’s move in with someone who was suspected of killing not one but possibly two of his wives.   However, that is the exact scenerio that Ernest Raines, father of Christina Raines-Drew Peterson’s fiance, is facing this week. 

       Ernest Raines is extremely worried and concerned that his 24 year old daughter has moved out of the residence that she shared with her previous boyfriend, and moved in with Drew Peterson the former police sergeant from Chicago. 

        Christina and Drew became engaged in December after becoming involved with one another approximately four months previous to that.  Drew has been considered a suspect, by many, in the  suspicious disappearance of his fourth wife Stacy at the end of October 2007.  Drew’s third wife , died under mysterious circumstances, in 2004, and that death has recently been classified as a homicide. 

        It is no wonder that Christina’s father Ernest is seriously concerned about his daughter’s well being considering the fact that 2 of Drew’s 4 wives have either gone missing or died under questionable circumstances.  Not only has Christina moved into Drew’s home; but , so have her very young children, ages 4 and 5. 

        Christina is a legal adult and is free to make her own choices regarding her personal life; even if she doesn’t believe that she is in some kind of danger.  However, she is the parent of two young children and it’s not good parenting to put them in the middle of a situation where they could possibly be in danger. 

          Parents across the nation have had their children removed from their custody for lesser reasons.  There are reports that the two young children’s birth father, Tony Yauk,  has allegedly been asking authorities how he goes about getting custody of those children.  If  I were in his position…I would do the very same thing. 

          If you are a parent who perceives that your children are in danger and you do nothing…that is considered failure to protect.  I would ask Christina if her relationship with Drew Peterson is worth the possible loss of custody of her biological children?  Shouldn’t your own flesh and blood come before any romantic relationship?  If  her relationship with Drew is so important to her …maybe she should consider relinquishing custody to the father of her children; or, maybe even to her own parents or relatives; if they are appropriate people to be caregivers.

         You also have to wonder about a woman who would start a relationship with a man who is 30 years older than her; who has also been the subject of much speculation regarding previous relationships.  How do you put those concerns aside and consider becoming his 5th wife and move your children into that environment?  What needs, of Christina’s, are being met by being romatically involved with Drew Peterson?  Why would Drew Peterson want more attention drawn to him after all of this time of scrutiny from the authorities and the media?

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      It is only a matter of days before we see the United States presidential switch…it will be; out with the old and, in with the new moving day done in style.  This is quite an ordeal for the White House staff…the transition must be accomplished within a matter of about 6 hours; during the swearing in ceremony, and all that goes along with it.  Before all of that begins, the current President and his wife have a traditional  sit down tea with the incoming President and his wife.

       Did you ever stop to think about the quick transition that the actual living quarters must go through during this time period?  The way that i understand it, the furniture and personal belongings must be swapped out…from one presidential family, to the next.

        There are only two elevators to handle the workers in charge of the ebb and flow of the personal belongings of each family.  This is no easy task.  For when the new leadership steps into the residence for the first time after the switch…it is to appear as if it is home; for that is what it will be, their new home for the next four years.

         Just this past week it was announced that Barack Obama’s mother in law, Marian Robinson, will be moving in with the new first family.  Wow…that was a surprise.

           Although his mother -in- law took off time to help with the grandchildren during the presidential campaign…I don’t think that too many people thought that she would be moving into the White House, once the family took residence.  I am sure that this will be a wonderful thing for Malia and Sasha to have their grandmother right there with them.  It will help to ease their transition to a new life and all of the personal changes that will go along with that change.  Living in the family quarters, I am sure can be lonely for children of the President.  Having Grandma Marian there will be a wonderful gift for the family.  

       On the other hand, there will be those who question who pays for her stay.  I could be wrong…but, it seems to me that I remember a news program once talking about a previous presidency and how the first family pays for all of their own food ,and such, when they are eating in residence.  Of course, that doesn’t include all of those big public dinners that Presidents and their families are required to endure.   

         It is going to take some time for things to settle down after this transfer of power takes place.  How long will it take before the White House feels like home to the new first family do you think?  I know every time i have moved in the past it took a good couple of weeks before i felt like i wasn’t staying in someone else’s home.  If some comfort can be found it will be a blessing in the early days as I am sure it will take quite a bit of time to get used to the loss of privacy that this new phase of life will require. 

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     It was announced today that two of the professional dancers on Dancing With The Stars are now engaged.  This is a surprise to many as Karina Smirnoff was involved with former contestant entertainer Mario Lopez not so very long ago. 

      Karina is now engaged to be married to Maksim Chmerkovskiy.  They are both very talented.  They have been dating for most of the summer and are , at present, involved in the Dancing With The Stars tour.  They became engaged on New Year’s Eve. 

       The new season of Dancing With The Stars begins the second week of March.  This new aspect of their relationship should make for a very interesting season for viewers.  How will the competition between dancing teams affect their relationship….how will it affect their dancing?  In any case, we wish them well…may they live happily ever after. 

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