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Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

Unless you deliberately try to avoid the news regarding people in the media, you have surely heard the tragic tale of actor Charlie Sheen and the downward spiral that he has been on with regards to his public displays of out of control, alleged drug use, partying, and seemingly non-sensical interviews that have Charlie Sheen appearing to bite the hand that feeds him.   There have been news stories about porn stars, domestic violence, alleged drug use, drug rehab, custody issues, contract negotiations, not to mention, a forced hiatus from his television show and disgruntled co-workers.

That show, called Two and a Half Men, has stopped production on their show for the rest of the season; since Charlie has made a public statement on interviews that disparages the producers of the show, television show creator Chuck Lorre, Alcoholic Anonymous, his ex wife, and women in general.   He says horribly vile things about Chuck Lorre and shows nothing but contempt for women, in my opinion, when he says things about women such as he has fame and those women have nothing and that all they will ever have is that night with him and that he will forget about them as soon as they leave.  He says that he is “special” and will never be one of the AA because they are a “bootleg cult”.  Seriously?  Continue reading here: Write Where You Are

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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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        Honor killings are used as a way to control behaviors typically in male dominated societies, often in the middle east.  Usually, we hear about a daughter, a neice, a sister, mother, or a wife who has been murdered for violating a traditional role in their interaction with other males outside of their family.  Unfortunately, this week honor killings are making news headlines because of a New York television owner’s death.  It is being alleged that Aasiya Hassan was killed by her husband Muzzammil under the heading of an honor killing because of her desire for a divorce after some domestic violence issues, allegedly between husband and wife.

         The Hassan’s started their television station in 2004; they did so because they wanted to combat any form of anti -Islamic sentiments that have been building since 911.  They called their station Bridges TV. (more…)

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        Oh I forgot about this, a couple of weeks ago i watched the ABC television show Wife Swap.  Normally i do not watch this show as it is a bit too over the top dramatic for me .  I don’t know why I ended up watching this time, but I did.   I probably shouldn’t have because it was outrageous and offensive to me.  This is one wife swap drama that  they probably shouldn’t have televised.

         The one husband appeared to be an elitist…a snob of a royal kind.  He was rude, insulting…condescending and very emotionally cruel to the wife that was swapped to his home.  He came across as a total jerk.  He tried to change the game halfway through the program.  He refused to change the rules or activities like other families do during the second week; he threatened to stop the show, he ignored the swapped wife; and, he encouraged his children to do the same. 

        If you have never seen this show… it is a show where two families swap wives/mothers with each other.  Of course, the families for dramatic reasons are two exact opposites when it comes to lifestyles or practices.   When the women change places…they do as the family normally does the first week….during the second week, everything changes and the women implement changes/rules that they think would better or improve that family.

         This particular show, Stephen Fowler, was openly hostile, rude, emotionally critical, verbally abusive and controlling.  He made statements about middle  class Americans who he referred to as Rednecks.  He called the “wife” fat, lazy, ignorant, stupid…etc.  He insulted her education.   It crossed the boundaries of dramatic television and entered into nothing but abusive conduct, in my opinion.

        It seems that Mr. Fowler is now experiencing a huge backlash about his conduct and his wounding words.  Rightly so!  He tried to be so superior to everyone and everything that he came across to be very boorish.  I thought his wife, in retrospect, was fairly decent in her dealings with her family that she was swapped to; for the most part, at least until she was reunited with her husband. 

          At first, when his behavior came to light, during the meeting between families at the end of the show…she appeared to be somewhat ashamed of the things  when she was told of what he said and did.   Still, a person who conducts themselves so very openly and unapologetically towards another person…has to have exhibited that sort of behavior before,  i would think.  How could anyone allow their children to be raised around that level of contempt and disrespect for others?  How will those children relate to others in the future? 

        I thought to myself, if I were his wife…i would be ashamed to show my face because people would know what kind of a man she had married.   I would wonder if people thought that I thought the same things about others that her husband appeared to believe.   I also thought, a man who appeared to be filled with such contempt for others should not be allowed to have so much influence on young children’s minds  (he and his wife had children there who watched how he treated the swapped wife).    He was demonstrating cruelty to another fellow human being; simply because he thought she deserved his contempt.   

          But at the end of the show, both Mr. Fowler and his wife,  left me feeling glad that I no longer had to listen to him.  I really though that he could win an award for the most offensive person on television that week for sure; if someone would take a vote.

        I guess Mr and Mrs. Fowler’s neighbors are frustrated because people are driving by their home and pointing; and, someone even egged the Fowler’s home.  Someone has been passing out fliers with the Fowler’s name, address, and pictures on it.  These things are not ok.    Of course, the neighbors did nothing wrong…so this of course, affects them too.

         This printing of fliers, finger pointing traffic, and egging  is considered harassment.    Of course, no one should condone harassment or violence towards anyone…however, Mr. Fowler certainly struck a chord with many people.  It would appear that by his own words he behaved like a jerk and people were not ok with that.  

          Most people who have such a strong opinion towards others learn to keep it to themselves; or, find a more appropriate way to express themselves; rather than going on national television.    This past week, it was announced that Prince Harry, of Great Britain, is going to be taking sensitivity training because of something that he said about another person.   It would appear that being sensitive towards those who are different, from ourselves, is something many of us could benefit from.

        

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      Both Chris Brown and his girlfriend, Rihanna, were scheduled to be performers on the Grammy Awards show last night.  They did not show up.  Today, word comes out in news reports that Chris Brown is being accused of a domestic violence assault,  of an undeclared female who allegedly Id’ed him as the abuser; this is a felony, if convicted.

        It is alledged that Chris Brown and his girlfriend Rihanna were driving and got into an argument and stopped the vehicle.  Allegedly both exited the vehicle and continued the argument.  The argument became heated and someone placed an emergency call to 911.  When the police arrived they found the victim at the scene of the altercation.  Chris Brown had allegedly left the area.  The victim had visible injuries.

         Chris Brown has been booked for making criminal threats and it is alledged that there could be more charges filed in the future.  He posted a large amount of bail and was released.  The spokesperson for Rihanna did not confirm or deny reports…supposedly just expressed Rihanna’s well being, and thanked everyone for their concern.

          I remember for quite some time at the beginning of their relationship, it was kept hush- hush about the rumors of their romance.  Chris is only 19 years old and Rihanna is 20; if this domestic assault did indeed happen between these two, it is going to have long reaching consequences.  Domestic violence is a huge problem; it affects everyone, whether personally or through someone that they know.  It’s an issue that destroys many lives. 

         It doesn’t help that as public figures, both Chris and Rihanna, are viewed as role models.  Because of their fans, many will be watching this situation closely.   Of course there is concern for both party’s well-being; at the same time, how they handle this situation personally and professionlly, will be important. 

         Domestic violence can never be condoned.  Often times, drugs or alcohol play a part, as well as stress, anger issues, and financial strains.  Those are underlying causes for many instances of domestic violence; but, they should never be a justification for harming another person. 

         If this alledged assualt is swept under the rug by the PR machine, it will do a grave disservice to both men and women.   Teens and young adults, who are aware of this situation, will be learning from it.  What they learn will be determined by how it is handled by both Chris Brown and the victim…whoever she is.  The seriousness of it should not be spun by those trying to minimize the professional damage to the entertainers…it is more important to address the issues for both of them; they are so young and they have their whole lives ahead of them.  It would be wrong to allow this alledged incident to be downgraded to a misunderstanding if there truly was domestic violence.  None of us were there and know what really happened…hopefully, there will be healing for everyone involved.

         There are so many layers of emotions involved for family members, friends and the general public as well as those involved in a domestic dispute.  Counseling is helpful, support of family and friends who are informed and not enablers is crucial.  Getting professional help when dealing with these issues is a healthy way to work through them and prevent them from becoming a pattern in personal relationships; it may just save someone’s life.

          Often domestic violence is about power and control.  Those two issues are present in every relationship; how those issues are addressed is important they can be handled in a healthy way or they can be ignored allowing a dangerous situation to get out of control.    Domestic violence is being  abused,  used, overwhelmed,  intimidated, coerced, controlled or humiliated; that is when the balance of the relationship crosses over into dysfunction.   For anyone experiencing an abusive or dyfunctional relationship there is help available:  http://www.ndvh.org/ .  Please reach out for help, because often these thing get worse as time goes on.  No one wants to be in that situation…please get help before it is too late.

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      Well, it seems that tone of voice can make all the difference in the world when a statement is made.   It has been reported that a contestant, by the name of Mark Mudd, auditioned for the American Idol show.   The audition apparently didn’t go well and as he was exiting, Mark Mudd said, “Be Careful”.   The American Idol judges took that comment negatively since the audition didn’t get him on the show.  

       Both Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul allegedly felt threatened.   With Paula Abdul’s recent experience with an obssessed fan’s, Paula Goodspeed, suicide near her home…it is understandable that she would be a bit wary; however, i think had they concentrated on Mark Mudd’s tone of voice…maybe they would have heard a clue that tipped the balance of common sense that the statement held no threat of future violence.  The judge’s alleged perception of the statement was influenced by the alleged failure of the audition to get the performer on the program as a contestant.

       The audition was in Louisville, Kentucky; and in that region of the country, and others, “be careful” is a common phrase spoken in parting.   I do it myself…it is the way i grew up…it is a caring way to part company; it expresses concern for the other person’s well-being.   (more…)

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     Ok, I am going to rant a bit for a minute.  Twice this week the news has hit us with two terrible stories about families that self-destructed through murder-suicide.  Two families that were destroyed.  One family in particular left a suicide note allegedly saying that the reason they were dead was because both the husband and the wife lost their jobs…were in debt…and were rejected by their employers.  The other family’s reasons have not yet been announced.  The family members allegedly say that there was no clues to this tragedy.  What i want to know is…can we stop families from hurting the ones that they love?  Yes we can, encourage them to seek help:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  Each time something like this happens…those who were lost leave behind friends, family members, neighbors, acquaintances and community members who are hurt, confused and saddened.   We have to take care of each other and learn to be more in tune with those around us.  (more…)

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     For those who have not heard the news story this past week; a man by the name of Bruce Pardo dressed up as Santa and went on a shooting rampage directed at his ex-wife and her family.  He was aware that they held an annual Christmas party.  He had been planning this for quite some time.   About a week or so before the shootings took place…Bruce Pardo and his estranged wife,  Sylvia, were officially divorced after 2 years of marriage.  This man who dressed up as Santa, needed help.   If he had gotten it…maybe this tragedy would not have happened.

        It sounds as if  the Pardo’s marriage was one of deceipt.  Mr. Pardo had not disclosed to his wife that he had a child from a previous relationship that he did not see, nor did he help support.  It seems that when this child was a toddler in Mr. Pardo’s care; the child ended up in a pool and almost drowned.  The young child is now around the age of 7 ; but, Bruce Pardo kept this child a secret from his wife.  She discovered that the child existed by going through tax papers and finding out that he claimed the child as a dependent.  He denied the situation and Sylvia called her mother in law who confirmed that a child did in fact exist and was disabled.   She filed for divorce…he did not want it.

       It seems that during this time…Bruce also lost his job and then was ordered, by the court, to pay support to his soon to be ex-wife.  By all appearances…Bruce did his best to follow through on the court’s dissolution of his marriage….yet, all along he planned his revenge on the woman who divorced him and those who were closest to her and helped her to leave him. 

        Bruce rented two vehicles and he had things planned out.  He had an extra large Santa suit made up for him.  It seems that at the annual party, Santa always showed up.  He went to the home with a gift in his hand…when the door was opened by a young 8 year old girl…he opened fire, shooting her in the face.  He then went about shooting and looking for specific people.  After he shot the people he went looking for…he then used a homemade device to set the home on fire; inadvertantly causing himself 3rd degree burns when part of the Santa suit melted into his skin from the incendiary device he used to start the fire.

         People in the home had tried to hide and some were able to flee.  A sister of Sylvia’s escaped to a neighbors with the young 8 year old girl who was shot in the face.  She was able to call 911.  After starting the fire, Bruce Pardo shot out street lights…allegedly to help further his escape. 

         People are speculating that he had plans to shoot his own mother who was planning on attending the Christmas party, at her ex-daughter in laws parents home.  She felt ill that evening and was not able to attend.  Bruce blamed his mother for siding with Sylvia in the divorce.    Also allegedly a possible victim of violence was the divorce lawyer who represented Sylvia.  One of the rental vehicles was sitting near the lawyers home. 

        It appears that Bruce changed his plans after he was burned.  It is thought that he was in great pain.  He allegedly had purchased a plane ticket for Illinois to go there and cross the state line into Iowa to see a friend.  He also had about 17,ooo.oo dollars plastic wrapped to his body.   Instead of implementing those plans…he drove approximately 30-40 miles to his brothers home and broke in and shot himself dead.

         What is hard to understand is; didn’t anyone who knew him or had occasion to spend time with him, during the weeks preceding the violence, see his mental breakdown?  Was he so good at hiding his wrath that he was able to misleed the people in his life?  Or did he isolate himself a this time?

         Those familiar with the divorce situation say that he seemed almost eager to have it over with.  The neighbors say that he was friendly and even wished them a Merry Christmas after telling them he was attending a Christmas party. 

          People who knew him said he was a friendly guy.  They are shocked.  And yet, a close friend of Sylvia allegedly said that Sylvia said he changed almost immediately after the marriage.  He became secretive.  Others say that Bruce had a secret guilt about the child that was gravely injured on his watch.  The mother of the child allegedly says that he was involved when the child was in the hospital; but then…he didn’t visit nor did he support the child.  In fact, he kept the child a secret from many…including his new wife.

         The thing is…people who struggle with mental health issues dont always get the help that they need.  Bruce Pardo needed that kind of help to cope with the feelings that he had from the tragedy that happened to his child.  He needed support and counseling to heal up from the guilt that he most likely felt after the child was injured.  He needed to have pre-marital counseling to help him break the news of this part of his life to his intended wife. 

          Sylvia needed a husband who could share this past with her.  She needed him to seek marriage counseling when their marriage appeared to flounder shortly after it began.  She needed some indication that the man she married was deeply disturbed and capable of such violence.  She needed protection from the man that she fell in love with. 

          Experts will tell you that people who are in a state of flux…or life changes are often the most vulnerable for domestic violence.  This is a dangerous time when emotions are raw and assets or custody rights are at stake.  Passions are running high.  It should almost  be mandatory to have to have some sort of counseling to help people through the maze of emotion and legal wrangling that takes place.

          I can’t help but to think of those that lost their lives and those who were left behind to deal with the aftermath.  God help them.  The things that they saw and heard will live with them for a very long time.  And what about those who weren’t there; but, were directly affected such as Bruce Pardo’s mother or his brother.  What about them?  People need to pray for all of them.  They are not responsible for his actions…and yet, they are directly affected by them as much as Sylvia’s family and friends.  His brother…can you imagine…how will he ever be able to go back into his home?  He has to wonder…why did his brother come there to commit suicide?   His mother…she was obviously friendly with Sylvia and her family; how will she relate to the surviving members?  They are all hurting…will they be able to help support one another or will it be too painful for them to see each other?

          So many questions and so few answers.  The thing is…unfortunately…people who are depressed or going through trauma often don’t think past the moment, about the long term effects of their actions.  It is the survivors that are left to cope with both the questions and the answers.

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       Minnesota has had a couple of miserable examples of appropriate teenaged behaviors.  First, there is the case of Nicole Beecroft who was 17 years old in April 2007 when she gave birth to a live baby girl, on the floor of the laundry room, in the home that she shared with her parents.  They did not know that she was pregnant.  Not only did she hide her pregnancy; but, prosecutors alleged that she planned the death of her baby before it was born.  She stabbed her newborn daughter 135 times in the abdomen, chest and neck.  The baby bled to death; and that is when, Nicole Beecroft disposed of her child in the garbage can outside of her home. 

       A judge ruled on December 1, 2008 that Nicole Beecroft was guilty of 1st degree murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.  What would possess a woman to not only kill her child but to do so in such an extremely violent way?  Why not give the child up for adoption?  Why not let the father raise the child?  Why not reach out to a parent, a teacher, clergy, counselor, neighbor or a friend? What was the reason behind stabbing an innocent, straight out of the womb infant? 

        Then today, there are reports that 8 Minnesota teenagers are facing charges of terrorizing and abusing nursing home patients.  The nursing home patients suffer from dementia and alzheimers disease.  The accused are minors, except for two young women, they all worked as part time aides at the nursing home.  They are accused of crimes such as spitting on the patients, physical assault, poking at them, and sexual contact with vulnerable adults.  These are serious charges and yet, they may only face 1 year in prison, and or, a fine of up to $300,000 if they are actually convicted.  I am sure that those who had alleged sexual contact will also have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives.  Do you think those punishments are appropriate; if indeed, they are convicted of the crimes?  Are the punishments severe enough for the alleged behaviors?

         Where is the respect for children or for our elderly citizens?  Where is the respect for life?  In general, society has allowed our nation’s children to do what they want, with very little consequences.  When things go awry; many people find others to blame…there is very little accountability for those who go the wrong way. 

        Minnesota does not have a monopoly on violent or abusive teens; every state has such horror stories; that doesn’t make it ok.  Who is going to be the next vulnerable person?  What kind of depraved behavior is going to surface next?   We are raising a whole generation of human beings who have individuals who are either are unwilling, or incapable, of caring about other people in any normal kind of compassionate way! 

        The question is…what are we as a society going to do about it?  We had better figure out a way to understand these type of situations and change the course of these behaviors…otherwise, those most vulnerable, the elderly and the children, will be at substantial risk.  Those people at risk could be your loved ones; or possibly, even yourself! 

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