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Posts Tagged ‘anger’

       Well, the prosecutors in the trial against William Balfour, the brother-in-law of Jennifer Hudson and the estranged husband of Jennifer’s sister Julia, have presented their understanding of the motive in the murder case.  They believe that William Balfour was angry that his estranged wife was dating another man.  Therefore, he committed the murder of 3 generations of family members who were closest to his wife in their opinion.

         Who would have thought that anger could have been the motive?  Geez…it is obvious that someone with a grudge killed them.  I guess that the authorities have evidence that William showed up the day of the murders and confronted his wife.  Supposedly they left the family home at the same time…but, William is alleged to have come back and killed Julia’s mother, brother and her 7-year old son.

           It doesn’t sound as if William Balfour confessed to the murders, so it will be a trial that will continue to make headlines.  It will be very painful for the Hudson women to have to relive this nightmare in public.  Julia and William married in 2006 and allegedly had a rocky relationship.  They were seperated at the time of the murders.  Jealousy and rage are volatile and unpredictable.  Thousands of families deal with such behaviors every day; however, they don’t have to have the eye of the public on them while they deal with such tragedies.

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       I don’t know about you but hearing about the elderly being abused makes me mad.  Yesterday on my home television station there was a terrible story about a elderly woman who was allegedly abused by her own son. 

       She was left on her couch allegedly for approximately three weeks without medical help.  She was so weak from lack of food and fluids that she could not even get up off of her couch.  Her home was so filthy with her own waste that the emergency workers and police who checked on her, became violently ill in the front yard of the home.  It sounds as if the woman’s social security checks were being cashed regularily though.  The news reports say that the woman allegedly did not have a shower/bath for up to one year! 

       The poor woman has had to have surgery…her home was in such disrepair that it was condemned by the authorities.  Where in the world has respect for life gone?  This is a failure of our culture to fail to make sure that all of our older friends and relatives are nurtured, cherished and protected.  Sometimes, the elderly deal with memory issues or mental illness; this is an especially important circumstance to get social workers and medical personel involved with, especially if they don’t have a close supportive family system in place.   It would be bad enough if this was an isolated case in our country; but, it is not. 

         Everyday the elderly are abused and neglected in their homes, in medical facilities, in nursing homes and on the streets.  It is an outrage.  Yes, the elderly require time and attention.  Yes, it can be difficult for the caregiver; as they are loosing their independence and ability to do many of life’s chores on their own and often they resent that fact; however, it is important to take loving care of our elders.  Time is short and spending time with your loved ones is special.   You can never get that time back with them once they are gone.  The difficult and challenging times will pass.   The elders in your community have many memories and experiences to share; take advantage of that time with them to store up knowledge and memories.

         Just showing some caring and concern for the elders can make a difference in the quality of life for them.  Offer to do a kindness for them such as pick up their mail for them; or walk their dog…take them to medical appointments, or grocery shopping.  Some tasks are too difficult for an elderly person who is unsteady or has medical issues; like, going up and down stairs to do laundry or shoveling their walkways or raking leaves.  

         We all will be elderly one day if we are blessed to live long enough.  Please, check up on your elderly neighbors, your parents, your friends; visit with them and help to relieve their loneliness.  If you see someone abusing or neglecting an older person (or any person for that matter) get involved…call the authorities!  You never know…you could be saving a life.   If you suspect elder abuse report it:  http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

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       Here is something to think about with all of the financial crisis making the daily news.  Have you signed anything legal agreeing to rip yourself off financially?  Many people probably haven’t realized this aspect of the times yet…but, a normally smart thing to do each summer is to sign up for a budget plan with your winter heating fuel supplier…agreeing to “lock in” a price when the prices are low during the summer…just in case the price of heating oil/gas goes up, like it normally does in the fall and winter months.

        This year…against any predictable reasoning…gas prices have fallen, sharply.  Still, once people sign on the dotted line to lock in a heating source price…they truly are locked in at that price.   I think as people discover this situation for themselves…there is going to be alot of anger of being caught in this situation.  Some say, that most years it makes sense to lock in and it works out to their advantage…but, this year has really challenged that theory.

          Locking in makes sense usually; the agreement is usually accomplished in mid summer.  Well….if you remember correctly, in July…gas prices were sky high.  In my neck of the woods…gasoline prices have dropped from an all time high of approximately $4.25 down to now a $2.88 cents a gallon.  If you apply that thought process to home heating oil/propane….you can just imagine how much money that people are loosing.

          With the rising cost of food, rent/mortgage payments, health insurance, and other necessities…people can ill afford to pay extra when they don’t have to.  I, for one, am glad that i didn’t lock in my propane prices; like i was advised to! 

          Did you get ripped off by signing an agreement to lock in your heating costs this year?  If you did…you are not alone…and personally i don’t think anyone expected such a situation…but, it really is a gamble trying to predict the future with heating costs.  I am pretty sure that, next year, companies will have a hard time getting people who were burned this year, to sign on the dotted line.  Just stop and think about how many people are living on fixed incomes…i almost hate to see winter arrive because…we will see more people suffering and living in dangerous conditions, in colder climates, because of this.

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      Comedian Bill Maher appears to have made it a footnote of his career to openly show his contempt for religion; his comedy routines have had a biting edge to many topics pertaining to faith.  He has now made a movie about that very subject… it is a movie that expresses his thoughts that religious beliefs are dangerous and ridiculous.  The movie which is opening in theaters on Friday is called, Religulous.  Bill Maher hopes to open up conversations where others feel comfortable expressing their disbelief, as well as making the viewers laugh.  I am sure he wouldn’t mind making a buck or two off of the whole enterprise either!

       In my mind, religion is not a laughing matter.  Whenever i have watched Bill Maher perform on television, in years past…i was stunned to hear the barely controlled contempt, whenever he would subject the viewers to his views on religion.  I don’t think anything is so terrible about people having differing viewpoints on the subject of religion…but, i do think it is wrong for someone to mock another for their personal religious beliefs.  I think it comes down to a matter of respect.  At the very least, you can agree to disagree without turning to put downs or insults.

       Out of fairness, Bill Maher did allegedly make an attempt to be an equal opportunity offender to all religions in the movie.  He mocks Christianity, Judaism, and Islam allegedly in the movie.  Other religions would have presumably gotten the same treatment if it had not cost so much to do the additional traveling.  After all, there are many different religions around the world and the world is a very big place.

         I will agree with Bill Maher on one thing…religion can be dangerous for those who mock; or are in some way, regarded as a threat to those who hold radical religious viewpoints.  Religions are made up of many different people.   Those people are a microcosm of all areas of society; and, in each of those areas of humanity, there are people who will brook no difference of viewpoint from their personal value system. 

          Respectful individuals will try to discuss their beliefs with one another when there is a difference of opinion trying to persuade the other person with theological discourse on the subject.    Serious repercussions begin to take shape when you think about someone with a mental illness who feels the need to defend their religion.  In that situation, you could potentially have a recipe for disaster.  There are other individuals who will go to any extreme, including terrorism, to make their religious views known to others.  There are elements in any society, of religious extremism.  One must take care to respect each other’s right to believe differently if that person has hope of being treated with respect themselves…even, their right to not believe at all.

        Quite a few years ago, there was a huge threat directed towards a man named Salman Rushdie.   He is an author that wrote a book that offended some Muslims, called The Satanic Verses in 1988.  Some  protested his book, and there were many threats upon his life because of the content in the book.  He was forced to live in hiding for quite a period of time. 

         In making a film on the subject of mocking multiple religions, i think that Bill Maher has provided an irresponsible and inflammatory situation which could draw radical attention towards his movie.  If and when it causes conflict, then he can stand back as a witness to the “crazy and dangerous” effect of religion upon society.  I wish that Mr. Maher had found a different way to express himself and his viewpoint on religion; instead of, filming a movie which could negatively impact so many people.  It is quite an easy thing to incite people when they feel that their core values are under attack.  It will surprise me greatly if you dont see protests regarding this movie, all over the news.

         I’ve noticed that there are other comedians who often take hostile swipes at things pertaining to religious subjects.  I remember hearing about Kathy Griffen at some awards ceremony or another, saying something to the effect that, Jesus had nothing to do with her success.  Another comedian who comes across as offensive, to me at least, on the subject is Jimmy Kimmel.  I think there is a fine line between love and hate…and religion brings that line into focus.  Part of the dual edged sword of celebrity is that you have a platform to sway public opinion…but you also bear a personal responsibility in what you put out there when you do espouse a certain opinion.

         One has to wonder, where all of the anger and hostility comes from.  I have heard that anger issues are the opposite side of the coin when it comes to comedians…they take their anger and use humor as a tool to get their message across to the audience.  Humor can often take a sour slant on a subject and make it more palatable to the masses because it is put in a way that people find a little easier to listen to.  But, just because something can be made into a punch line, doesn’t mean that it should be.   Anger seems like such a waste of energy.   When you have a talent for making people laugh, it seems that it could be better used for something more positive than spreading hostile rhetoric used to offend others. 

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        There is something to be said for being a part of the middle class…without any of  the demands expected of the rich and famous.  Have you ever stopped to think about what your life would be like if you were one of those celebrity names in the tabloids?  Every family has issues in their family tree with some relative or another. 

        Think about it…what if cousin Ralph committed a crime and was photographed for a magazine, making sure to give an interview which made a connection between his name and your’s in the article; or, your sister decided to become a singer (and she howled like your neighbor’s hunting dog) but still, she badgered your professional contacts to try to get an audition; or say, your Grandma decided to go on a talk show and talk about her sex life before she married Grandpa?  Maybe your father wants to write a best seller that very closely resembles your life pre-celeb days? Or a relative goes on a large shopping spree that they can’t possibly afford to pay for on their own?   How would you handle it?

         In today’s world, with everyone having access to so much digital information…if you are a celebrity, and the media decides to do a little digging…they are sure to find some family member, friend from the past, or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend who is more than ready, willing and able to spill the beans for a little $$$.  What’s more…you don’t even have to wait for the media to find those who are willing to spill the beans for a fee…your relatives can go viral just by publishing a blog.

          You don’t have to look far to see examples of what I am talking about.  After all, there are painful family issues that allegedly haven’t been able to be resolved in private, such as families like the Lohans who make the news regularily, with custody battles, blog posts, or writting letters to media outlets criticizing one another; rehashing the past and the present family problems.  These issues are deeply personal and have the ability to cause life long discord with in a family unit.  

           Then you have the media’s flavor of the month, the Spears family.  Either they focus on the latest exploits of Brit, Jamie Lynn, her mother, father or ex-husbands and boyfriends or they hint at some kind of rumor that vaguely resembles a sliver of truth and wait to see the fireworks.  You can understand the potential added damage done to an individual when there is intensive media scrutiny focussed on them. There is enough family drama in most families, without having to create an intense watch and see environment.

           What about family members who stay in the background until they have shopped around the possibility of writing a tell all book…like Oprah’s father, allegedly considered doing?  Or a little less reclusive personality, such as…Madonna’s brother, Christopher Ciccone who actually did write a book recently, detailing his complicated relationship with his sister.  Remember many years ago, the explosive book called Mommy Dearest, written by Joan Crawford’s daughter about her very famous mother?

           We’ve all seen that the tabloids will exploit a family member’s run- in with the law.  Or, maybe a business owner or individual who slaps a lawsuit on a family member of a celeb, knowing that it will get settled because of the negative PR.   A recent example of a legal situation was when Hulk Hogan’s son was sent to jail for allegedly being the driver in an accident that seriously injured one of his friends.  All the while, his family was going through a seperation/divorce and the media attention only added to their personal difficulties.  This fed the flames of many articles and celebrity gossip shows for many weeks.

            There is never a lack of divorce related stories or custody issues either.  We have come to know more about certain star crossed couples, and their problems, than we need to know; think of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, or Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, Pamela Anderson and any of her exes.  In these cases, many times the courts are often at fault for allowing legal records to become released to the public through the media; that is why you occasionally hear of circumstances where divorcing couples use a private mediator to settle their marriage issues.  Sometimes it is through individuals or their family members that we learn what is often harmful to the well-being of the couples or their children.  I am sure in the long run they come to regret the fact that so much private information has become public knowledge. 

            What about those situations where family members are estranged from one another and they use the media to communicate with each other about family issues.  I think about in that case, Angelina Jolie and her father.  Or, maybe Kellie Pickler who had a difficult relationship with her estranged birth mother.   Or Jennifer Anniston and her mother who allegedly became estranged, from one another, over too much personal information being given out. 

           Some celebrities don’t publically acknowledge their family problems…others confront them head on.  Which way is most effective for them, sort of depends on why the violations take place in the first place.  Some celebs feel that they must go public and defend themselves and others…keep a quiet counsel and deal with things privately.  It is not easy either way.  The power of criticism is strong…and you can’t please everyone, no matter what action a celebrity chooses to employ to deal with the fallout. 

           Regardless of celebrity status…it is helpful to remember that those people are human beings with feelings too.  They have relationships that can be damaged, and, they are often afforded little privacy as it is.  You would think that their family members would have a little bit of loyalty and a desire to keep some issues private; and, not turn their private relationships into some sort of pay- per- view.  But often, these situations aren’t JUST about money.  Sometimes, the interviews and books are written out of more complex issues; such as, unresolved issues involving trust, envy, control, anger, betrayal, neglect, abandonment or favoritism.  So when you see one of these interviews or books; remember that it might be more about getting even, than it is about getting rich!

           Certainly, the people who publish the reports, interviews, books, and celeb gossip programs aren’t going to keep potentially scandulous information to themselves; not when it is their bread and butter.  So think about that, the next time you purchase one of the tabloids, weekly celeb mags, tune in to the gossip programs, or purchase the latest personal memoir about someone famous; you are enabling them to sell out their own family members.  What if your friends or relatives did that to you?  What kind of tales could they tell about you to allow them to make money off from you or your past?

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        Did you ever stop to think about the ways in which a driver can be impaired?  I mean besides the obvious impairment of drinking or drugging, and then driving?  I read a very sad news story recently about an elderly driver who ran a stop sign and killed another person.  That elderly man has recently had to go before the court on charges of killing another human being.

         Did that driver intentionally kill the other person; no, he did not.  However, it is alleged that because of his age…his driving skill was impaired.  It is said that his reaction time was greatly diminished and he should never have been driving.  This man is in his 90’s and will possibly, upon sentencing…be serving time in jail.  He didn’t mean to cause the death…but still, someone else’s loved one died. 

          It is a fine line in knowing when a persons driving is impaired because of age, disability, irresponsibility, or illness.  I think about all of the young men and women who have physical or mental disability who see their peers hitting the milestone of turning 16 and getting their driver’s licenses.  I know their heart aches to do the same. 

          It is up to the parents to decide when and if their child is able to drive and make appropriate choices when doing so; whether that child is disabled or not.  If they are disabled physically, emotionally, or mentally; and, it will impair their driving skill…it is up to the parents to withhold the priviledge of driving.  It is hard to deny them that priviledge but sometimes necessary.  It is better to have them dissappointed or angry than to have them dead or causing the death of another person.

           The same holds true when it comes to being the adult child of a parent who is past the ability to drive safely.  No one really wants to give up their freedom to drive when they have done so throughout their adult years…but, when an elderly person has gotten to the point to where their driving skills are in question…it usually falls to the adult child to have a discussion about giving up the right to drive.  Maybe there is a medical condition that causes concern…or a medication that hinders safe driving.  Precautions must be taken for everyone’s sake.  This is a delicate subject; care must be given to not treat the person as a child.  Alternatives have to be considered for how that elderly person is going to come and go in their everyday lives.  Think about how they feel…get their input on how to resolve the situation. 

            That is not an easy conversation to have with an elderly parent.  It is not an easy conversation to have with a child who has disabilities.  It is not an easy conversation to have with anyone who is impaired by anything that affects the drivers safety or the safety of others on the road…yet, it is a conversation that must take place if you care about that person.

             Back to the elderly person in the news who now bears the responsibility of having taken a life with his driving.  The picture of that man in the police booking photo would break your heart.  It is the picture of a broken man.  It is terribly sad to look at that photo and put anyone that you care about in that picture frame.  It is sadder yet for the person who lost a loved one to such a situation. 

             Please take the time to evaluation the decision to allow the people you care about to drive.  If your teen wants to drive but makes reckless decisions…wait a while longer until they prove more responsible.  They might be angry…but at least they wont be in the position of that elderly man.  If your disabled loved one is not ready to drive…don’t let them just because they are of age.  It is a burden they might not be ready for.  If you know someone who is consummed with road rage…talk to them about not driving.  If you know someone who is constantly distracted on the road…they should not be driving.  If your aged love one is past the age of safe driving; and, is making mistakes on the road…have that conversation with them in a caring way.  Respect them…but, be sure to explain your concerns.  Take their feelings into account and think about how you want to be treated in the same situation when the time comes.

           It is hard…but, if you know that accidents are happening that shouldn’t; and, you don’t do or say anything to them…and something horrible happens…can you live with the consequences of death or jail time that will affect that person? 

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        I became aware of an extreme example of those who have; and, those who have not.  The nation of Swaziland celebrated it’s 40th independence day as well as the King of Swazi’s 40th birthday in an ostentatious way.  The King Mswati was driven around in a convertible BMW flaunting his weath in a country that is overwhelmed with extreme poverty.  The nation has been devastated by the AIDS epidemic; it has the world’s highest AIDs rate.  This means that many households are not able to earn enough money to provide for their families; because many households are headed up by children because of the plague of AIDs.  Those homes that are affected by AIDS may not be healthy enough to work.  Many individuals only get enough food to eat because of international food aid.  This is a terribly sad event.

        This lack of basic necessities limits the average person’s ability to influence powerful changes, in a country that desperately needs to improve it’s quality of life.  In my mind, if the country has that kind of money…i have to wonder, why is the international community forced to provide food aid in the first place?  Those people should be coming first, in my mind, to the King of that country… he and his family should not be living a lifestyle that feeds off of riches…while his own subjects are forced to accept help from outside countries!  That should be considered shameful to the King of Swaziland and it’s officials.  It is, to me, a failure to fulfill his duties to provide care for the people under his rule. (more…)

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