Mask Not What Your Country Can Do For you

CALLING ALL SEWERS

What will this country do if we run out of masks? I think we are all getting a little antsy at home so maybe we can use this time to do some good. As a retired nurse, I feel helpless at home. I thought about going back to work, but as a senior citizen I’m in a high risk group, and I have a large local family to think about, so I’ll be taking a break from my book and opening up my sewing room for a bit. If you are like me, you have tons of extra fabric sitting around. If not, you can order supplies online and have them delivered. There are multiple sites that show you how to do it. The first one is on the Joann Fabric website and they provide a video on how to make them. They’re simple but you need to make your own (easy) pattern. If you are looking to sew en masse, these would be OK. Just be aware they won’t be much protection against COVID 19 because they don’t have a filter. https://www.joann.com/ . The next one is the one I think I will use. They look a bit more time consuming but still easy. They have a pocket to put a filter in, a bendy tie for across the nose, and the mask goes under the chin. I haven’t tried to buy filters yet so I’m not sure if they will be available, but if not, a heavier fabric is, again, better than nothing, I think. For all of them, the recommendation is a heavier, non-stretch fabric like denim, duck cloth, burlap, etc. https://www.properfitclothing.com/product-page/flu-mask-pattern-download. This next one is fashioned like the N 95 respirators. I did not watch the entire video yet, truth be told, but you can check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSeDlVxQx1k.

There are other sites, too; this is just a sampling. Surf and see which one you like best. The CDC goes back and forth on what is acceptable, but if nothing else, they might at least protect the nose and mouth from the juicier coughs and sneezes.

And here is my next brainstorm for non-sewers. You can start laughing right now. I don’t see why we couldn’t fashion masks out of panty liners. They are made of thick, waterproof material and are soft. We could attach elastic or fabric ties to them with a couple of stitches. It certainly wouldn’t provide the coverage or protection that an N 95 or surgical mask would, but it would be better than nothing if we run out. And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

Ladies and gentlemen, use this time at home to help your community and your country and please, stay safe.

A Cutting Edge of Education in China and Beyond!

Perfect timing! My book is on track to be finished very soon and I have just heard from my “boss” in China. I’m not sure if I have shared this on WordPress or not, but I have been working with an educator in China, Dr. John Walsh, writing books for Kindergarten children who are learning English. The books have been on hold for various reasons but we are now back on track! Right now John is stuck in Uganda and may not be able to get back into China until April because of the coronavirus, but thanks to technology, that shouldn’t stop us!

Dr. John Walsh and John Heavey are partners in a business, Reload Academy, in Ireland. John Walsh came to China to work in the school teaching children English. He met his soon-to-be wife Deborah, who is from Uganda, in China and they will be married in her country in May. Separate from his job in the school, John has had a dream of creating books from kindergarten on up to help children learn words in English. His very long term goal is to extend this process to other languages as well. My job is to create stories using these 100 words you see the kids reciting. The books are set in a Magic Kindergarten so it’s really been fun! It will increase in difficulty, of course, as we move up to higher levels. I’m sure I will wear out long before his dream is completed, but I’ll keep working with him as long as he will have me and I still have all my mental faculties!

This endeavor sounds awesome and fearsome at the same time. I love challenges and this is so very exciting to be a part of such an innovative project. Wish us luck!

What is This Lent Thing That’s Coming Up?

Already? It feels like I just finished putting Christmas things away. Well, that’s probably because I just kind of did. Lent is only a week away and once again time to think about what I will be “giving up”. Unlike the advent season, which, for Christians, is a joyous and preparatory time for the birth of the Christ Child, Lent is a somber time because these days lead up to a day of memoriam for the crucifixion of the adult Christ. It represents Jesus’ 40 days of fasting, praying, and contemplating his fate in the wilderness prior to his murder at the hands of those who feared him. Although He was the holy son of God, He was also the son of humans and shared the same fears of pain and suffering as we do. He knew what was about to happen and he was sad and frightened, but willing to fulfill God’s plan, which had long-before been prophesied.

Lent is a time for reflecting on our lives and our faith. We believe that God gave us the ultimate sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins, His son, Jesus Christ; and Jesus, in turn, suffered and died so that we may live; not that we may live on this earth, since we all have that opportunity as soon as we take our first breath, but that we may have the promise of everlasting life in Heaven with God upon our physical deaths. So, if we are all promised life after death because of God’s sacrifice, the forgiveness of all our sins through Jesus, then why do we even have to bother being good? Because God is our Father and He said so, and because we should honor His sacrifice every day of our lives by living according to the instructions that He gave us through his son, Jesus Christ, and His disciples, in scripture.

Why is giving something up for Lent so important? It’s not a ticket to Heaven if you do, or the fast train to Hell if you don’t, but Lent gives us an opportunity to contemplate Christ’s sacrifice and, in so doing, determine how we can speak to that sacrifice in our own lives. By giving up something important to us in honor and in memory of Him, we are acknowledging the significant place His gift holds in our hearts and our minds. We are feeling, in some unimaginably minuscule fashion, the discomfort Jesus felt hanging on that cross. Although it would be utterly impossible to even begin to fathom His pain and suffering, our own small “sacrifices” can at least make us aware of the unselfishness shown in our names and of His omnipotent presence in our lives. It can remind us that we, ourselves, need to be unselfish and give out of love, just as He did. If you think you can’t be that “good”, just remember that you “can do all things through Christ who strengthens you”. (Philippians 4:13).

What will you give up? Sweets? For most of us, this is the time-honored sacrifice of Lent. When I do this, though, I always feel like there is a part of me that has something to gain, or shall I say lose, which is a gain for me, from this choice. This year I’m going to give up something that deprives me of pleasure but whose withdrawal doesn’t benefit me in some way. I may do the sweets thing, too, though, because at least it makes me think about Jesus’ sacrifice.  

What will your sacrifice be? Whatever it is, put yourself in our Savior’s place and consider what your feelings might be, knowing that in 40 days you would be scorned, whipped, denied by a trusted and beloved friend, betrayed by another for 30 pieces of silver, and made to carry the heavy wooden cross that would be the vehicle of your death on your shoulders. You would carry this cross on a long road and up the hill that would be the place of your suffering and death. You would be secured to this cross by nails hammered harshly through your hands and feet. You would be hung between two criminals, a crown of thorns piercing your head, and given vinegar to drink instead of water. All this would be in the presence of hateful revelers, mocking you until you breathed your last. Choose your sacrifice but remember His.

Chapter 14: ‘Til Death Do Us Part (tentative title)

If you have been following me, you may know that I am writing a true memoir for a survivor of Domestic Abuse. I’m hoping to have it completed by the end of February. This is one chapter of my book. It is more than just a story. It is unique in it’s ending, and it is also much more than the words of someone’s life. It’s a deep dive into victims and abusers and the “whys and wherefores” of their respective roles in this convoluted plague on society. You may think it’s a worn-out topic, but as long as this problem continues, there will continue to be a need for awareness and help for victims, and for abusers. Names have been changed and some true situations embellished for effect, but the story did take place in New Jersey, in the Wake Forest, NC area , and at Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC. Stay tuned. More to come. Please feel free to share this post!

“Max needed a heart transplant to live. The reality was being absorbed slowly, one scene at a time. Donna and Max had lived in New Jersey all their lives, and now they faced the possibility they would have to pick up and transplant themselves, too, but they wanted to give Max a shot at living. She tried to look at the situation from a positive stance. Maybe this is what they needed. They would be moving away from all the friends and negative influences that Max had in his life. Maybe they really could start over. New home, new heart, new social circle. For the first time in a long time, Donna could see some hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. It would be good for everyone. They decided together that this was the right move for them. They went through all the red tape that was required of potential organ recipients at Duke University Hospital and put their home in New Jersey on the market. Max was sternly warned that there would be no second chances. Only one strike, not three, and he was out. He had to stay clean. They sold their home and found a beautiful new home in Wake Forest, NC, a nice community that was away from the busy streets and neighborhoods of Durham but close enough to Duke that Max could get there quickly if a call would come in that a donor was available. Donna enrolled Alex in school, set up the house, located the shopping areas, and waited for the bittersweet phone call from the transplant team that a donor was available. She knew what that meant: that another family, somewhere, had just lost a loved one to tragedy, and she prayed that Max would appreciate their sacrifice and protect the gift he would be receiving.

Max tried. He knew his actions were wrong, and he knew his anger was fueled by his substance abuse, but like most addicts, he found it difficult to change.

“I’m Max, and I am an addict. I’m addicted to alcohol and drugs, and I’m here because I’m on the heart transplant list and it’s a requirement”.

“Hello, Max”, came the collective reply from the room.

The leader let his qualifying statement pass, for the time being. There would be time enough for exploration into those feelings later. One by one, the members of the group introduced themselves. Max looked around and felt he didn’t belong there with these people, he was better than them, but he knew he had to stay. They said a prayer and did a reading from the Big Book, the basic textbook of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Big Book is one of the best-selling books of all time, which is a sober testament to the gravity of the addiction problem. Many AA groups also allow those addicted to other substances or behaviors as well as alcohol. Its renowned Twelve Step Program has helped innumerable people achieve and maintain sobriety since 1936, but it is not an easy process, and not everyone makes it. One basic tenet of the program is a belief in a higher power and the faith that you are not alone. Prayer is a large part of recovery from addiction and one in which Max freely took part. AA participants are also required to keep a journal to record notes from meetings, write down thoughts and feelings, and experience catharsis. Having access to Max’s AA journal has provided an insight into who he was. His sober self was unlike his impaired self in many ways. Max was like a Harlequin mask: smiling one minute, crying the next, or maybe angry. He appeared to be a tortured soul inside, knowing what he had to do but powerless to defeat the demons causing his torment. I want to believe that is true for many abusers. I like to think that they don’t want to be who they are but lack the fortitude to resist their violent urges. Good or bad, they are people, too, and, just as you and I, are a combination of both. Without wishing to be repetitive, I will call up the memory of Donna’s account of Max’s childhood from earlier in the book as a prerequisite to my next words: affluent, alcoholic and absentee parents, being left alone to his own devices, tossed out like an old dishrag as a teenager by his mother when his father left her for his secretary, etc. Common among abusers, Max had a narcissistic personality. Some of the hallmarks of narcissism are lack of empathy, a need for admiration, arrogance, self-centeredness, manipulation, and being demanding of others. Although the exact cause of these traits is not well-understood, it is felt that a combination of nature and nurture, as we have seen is true for every aspect of our beings, mix it up to form these traits. Unfortunately, the actual personality disorder of narcissism is difficult to treat because these people don’t think there is anything wrong with them; they feel everything bad that happens is someone else’s fault, not their own. It’s a well-accepted belief that you can’t help someone who doesn’t feel they need help, and that pretty much describes a narcissist. Although she was able to see the good in Max, Donna’s accounts of him spelled narcissism, and her accounts of life with him are largely disturbing. They are also, however, backed up by Max, himself. In his journal, he admits to treating his family poorly, to possessing all these characteristics, either directly or indirectly, and he even uses the word narcissistic to describe himself at one point. When he was sober, he had an incredible self-awareness of who he wanted to be, and of the person he turned into while he was impaired, like a Dr. Jekkyl and a diluted Mr. Hyde.

Not unlike the outwardly haughty Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz, beneath the layer of anger in Max was an insecure, terrified soul, who didn’t really believe that he had the courage to overcome his adversarial self. He picked on people weaker than he was to appear fierce and to prove himself as a force with which to be reckoned. Unlike the fabled lion, however, it took more than a slap across the face to make Max see the error of his ways. It took him staring into the face of death to get him to an AA meeting, which then required him to peal all the layers of the onion off until he got to the core of who he was, and he did. Sadly, once outside the secure, comfortable walls of the AA meetings, he found it impossible to hold onto the strength that had been generated within the safety of those walls, and whatever protective mechanisms he had honed at the meetings collapsed in the face of triggers for his anger, no matter how minute.

Max was also a consummate liar, such a convincing one that even his family supported his accusations that Donna was to blame for his failing emotional health and descent into addiction, even though that journey had started long before they met. Concerning his mother, that makes sense, since she could never take responsibility for her own shortcomings either, as was previously noted. She wasn’t going to blame herself for Max’s problems. She and Donna got along in the beginning, until Donna started bringing the family’s attention to Max’s problems, then she became an instant nemesis in their lives. Others in the family suffered from addiction as well, so no one wanted to look at Max because if they did, they would have had to look in their mirrors and see themselves.

Research shows that there is a proven genetic connection to addiction, be it nicotine, alcohol, or drugs. In fact, studies have shown that even up to half of a person’s risk for addiction can be attributed to his or her genetic make-up. Tangible as genetic sequencing may be, it is essential to consider environment as a factor in the disease of addiction, and one that can be controlled, unlike your inherited DNA. Environmental influences have been proven to affect the way certain gene markers are expressed. For instance, identical twins have identical genetic make-up and most of the markers that define things such as physical features will remain prominent in both, but environmental circumstances can serve as influencers as to how a person’s character or personality unfolds. Living conditions, degree of family support, education, availability of economic and other resources, and relational influences in someone’s life are some of the things that can change genetic make-up so that that even identical twins can exhibit different characteristics when raised in different environments. In addition, it is believed that these influencers can change the DNA of a person to the extent that the altered gene can be passed on to future generations, which may explain similarities in familial traits and habits. Although eerily similar stories of twins who were separated at birth, both good and evil, have been published, environmental influences could also lend credence to the “evil twin” story lines that the cinema loves.

Could that be what happened to Max? Listening to Donna’s accounts, the question of his own mother’s mental health must be entered into the equation of additive factors that contributed to his demise. Did it start with her, or did it start back a few generations and the cycle just continued with her? By looking at all of these biological and external events that can team up to cause unhappiness, it’s clear that although we have no control over some of them, we can make conscious choices to start in motion new events that can disrupt destructive cycles, and we must.

Once you dissect the details of an abuser’s world, past and present, a picture can begin to appear that may tend to explain abhorrent behavior. There are reasons for everything we do, for who we are, all of us. We can understand, and maybe even pity, a person whose own personal black hole is tangible enough to explain away the destructive actions that are negatively impacting someone else’s life. However, we can never excuse violating the rights of others; this behavior is never, ever, acceptable. Understanding is fine and good, but never acceptance. Nothing short of self-defense should give anyone legitimate cause to intentionally hurt another person or treat them with disrespect. Conversely, no one should allow themselves to be convinced that they “bring it on themselves”, that it is somehow their “fault” that the abuser is the way he or she is, or that victims are less than who they are. Max tried that with Donna, and even if she didn’t really believe it deep inside, it was enough to knock her self-esteem down a few notches with each insult. Note to victims: The cycle of abuse must stop, and it can stop with you. I won’t lie and tell you it’s easy, but it’s worth giving it everything you have in order to win your freedom and your peace, because you deserve it.  There are plenty of success stories; maybe you can be the next one.”

Good Bones Will Last

“Daddy, I had a weird dream last night”, a son said to his father one morning.

“What did you dream about?”, asked his dad.

“I dreamed that I looked out the front door and all I could see was fog, nothing else at all. It just looked like a gray wall. I went to find you to show you and when we looked outside, it was clear. Then we look in the sky. The sky was dark but there was patch of really bright color in the sky that looked like a flat rainbow. As we watched, the rainbow made itself into the shape of a fish. There was even a black circle in it for an eye. It stayed there for a while and then started turning around. As it turned around it gradually turned itself into the skeleton of the fish but still had the black eye. What does that mean? It was really weird.”

“Well, son, dreams are hard to explain. They usually represent something and it’s tricky to figure out sometimes”, said the dad, “but this is what I think. The rainbow represents God’s promise to us never to destroy the earth by water again. The fish symbol was used by early Christians to identify themselves to each other. Some people in Jesus’s time were afraid of Him because they didn’t want to lose their power if he was truly the Son of God, the King of Israel, the expected Messiah. They didn’t want to be taken over. The people that truly believed in Him were in danger of harm from the ones that hated him, so in order for them to be able to continue spreading the Good News of Jesus without being killed, they used a fish as their identification. They would draw a fish in the sand to let other Christians know they were there. The fish became a universal symbol of Christianity, something like the cross, only not quite as important”.

“Is that why I see those metal fish on cars and that symbol on religious things?”, said the boy.

“Yes”, said his dad. “When the people who were afraid of him crucified Jesus on the cross, he died, and his followers took his body and buried it in a cave. When they came back to see him three days later, he was gone”.

“Right, because he arose from the dead”, said the son.

“Exactly”, said his dad, “but his physical death did not not keep his disciples from passing on to other people all the things He taught them about, like God’s love, salvation, right and wrong, good and evil, sin, and how to have eternal life in Heaven with God. They wrote letters to different cities with all of Jesus teachings and asked the people to make sure they passed it on to others”.

“The Bible”, said the son.

“Yes, his father acknowledged. “I believe your fish bones represent the Bible. You can remove the flesh from a fish but if you don’t destroy the bones by picking them apart and cutting them up, they will stay good bones. The Bible is ‘good bones’ for Christians to study and live by. It is the Word of God for the people of God and we must live by what it teaches us. If we try to pick it apart and make it different than what it is just so it suits us, it’s no longer the bones of our faith, it’s whatever structure people want to make it. We can’t let that happen. The Bible is God’s law, son, and we must obey his law. The world will try to fog our view of God’s promise and His word, so when we think we can’t see His way for awhile, like through the fog in your dream, we have to take a step back and then look at it again. God will be there because He never leaves us, just like the eye never disappeared whether it was on the rainbow fish or the skeleton. He is always watching over us. We have to spread His Word and become fishers of people, just as He asked of us. Good dream, son”.

Yes, this was my real dream last night. I had to share it with you.

Half-Time Follies 2020

It’s rare that I write two WordPress posts in one day, but instead of limiting the opinions I wish to express to only my own Facebook followers, I chose to share them with you all, too. Earlier I made a joke on Facebook about the Super Bowl half time show butt wiggles, butt, all joking aside (pun intended), parents, if you taped it and will watch it later with your kids, I recommend that you preview it first. Outstanding energy and talent aside, this show would have been probably been rated “R” not too long ago. The talent required to provide this entertainment was through the roof, but the more-than-suggestive body language blared was totally inappropriate by my, and I am certain, many others’, standards, for a family sports game. Before the Big Game, my die-hard Philadelphia fan husband nostalgically watched a tape of the 2018 Super Bowl as Nick Fowls led our beloved Eagles to victory with his history-making play. Justin Timberlake, fully clothed and just as sexy, crooned his way through a wonderful half-time show that would have been appropriate for anyone to watch. (I’m not sure what the rest was, honestly, so I can’t comment. I only saw him.) What the heck happened in two years? I don’t even know if there could even have been a wardrobe malfunction at this one because it looked like all the costumes were spray painted onto their bodies with the the exception of some ruffles shaking under the bosom area, not unlike those men pay money to see in sleazy clubs.

I don’t know, perhaps I am getting to be an old fuddy-duddy but I am deeply concerned about the world in which our progeny are being raised. We had to turn off a comedy the other night because there was a continuous stream of vulgarities spewing from the actors’ mouths. They were totally non-essential to the story line, which wasn’t that great to begin with. We have stopped watching several TV shows in the past year or so because they fly in the face of our core values. Where is it going to end, when every celebrity entertains naked on prime time TV and has to learn the worst swear words and 50 shades of whatever known to man in order to compete for jobs?

Our society continues to expose us and our children to inappropriate stimuli, and, gradually, we are beginning to become desensitized to their unacceptable influences and accepting them as the new norm. This is happening in our schools, big and little cinematic entertainment, written media, and radio. I’m currently writing a true story that contains a good many quoted obscenities. I had a friend read it and she laughed at me because, in the raw script, I couldn’t write the words, resorting to substitutions such as “F— you”, instead of spelling it all out. I hate that word and several others to the point I can’t even write them. For the final product, I will write them out because it will add reality and impact to my client’s story, but it’s not something I take, or write, lightly. I realize, of course, that I will never be a best-selling author without succumbing to the insatiable thirst for sex and violence our society has developed, and that’s fine with me. I refuse to compromise my own principles to meld with those of society if they are contradictory. I’ll probably go back to wholesome kids’ books again when I finish this one.

If there are others out there who feel as I do, please stand up for your beliefs. An amoral society cannot sustain itself; we must return to simpler, more disciplined times for a healthy survival. Women want to be respected in this world, not be discriminated against, and not be objectified, and yet we allow entertainers to dress like hookers, gyrate around stages, and simulate sex acts by licking towards microphones while performing, and on sledge hammers, naked, in videos. (Thank you, Shakira, Super Bowl 2020, and Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”, for those amazing displays of talent.) I’m sorry if you don’t agree with me because we all have a right to our own opinions, but folks, it has to stop somewhere. The Bible tells us to “Train a child up in the way he (she) should go, and when he (she) is old, he (she) will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6. This is an undeniable truth, but you don’t need to know the Bible for you to understand what this is charging parents with. We must set our children, and ourselves, on the right path. Please help break this cycle of insanity.

What Really Defines a Family?

What defines family? Except for physical similarities, bloodlines don’t always completely do it. I’m writing a book for which I have researched the “nature vs nurture” theories, albeit in terms of criminal behavior, which is not the topic I am addressing today. The bottom line of what I learned, though, is that nurture is more important in determining the person one becomes than nature. Of course, we can’t disregard genetic influences, as they are undeniably part of who we are, but what goes on within and outside the walls of a family dwelling are paramount in building a child’s character and establishing who they are ultimately to become.

This is even evident among animals. Take pit bulls for example. They are maligned as being a dangerous breed of animal, and it’s true that they can be more easily trained to be protective or aggressive than other breeds, but given the proper supportive environment, they can be loving and loyal family members.

Adopted children are every bit as much a part of a family as biological children. Half-siblings can love each other just as much as those with mutual parents. Even step siblings, with no biological roots, can find that bond. Think about this: Married couples don’t have common blood, at least we hope not, but their bond is as strong as it comes, sometimes even greater than with their own parents. They are family.

Families can have common blood running through everyone’s veins, they may have partially common blood or no common blood at all. A family is not just about shared DNA; it’s about shared experiences, overcoming disagreements, battling trials together, sharing laughter and good times, supporting each other through painful times, and being familiar with, and accepting of, the good, the bad, and the ugly in all of us. No, a family doesn’t necessarily have to be all about blood. A family is about love.

And the Beat Goes On….

I must need my head examined. I am now rebuilding my real estate business in the Wake Forest, NC area, as if writing wasn’t enough! I got my license back in 2015 and worked in Cary, NC until we moved to Wake Forest. Now I’m trying to kick-start it here. Retirement just doesn’t seem to be in my word-log. I am accustomed to biting off more than I can chew, but I didn’t think I would still be doing it at this point in my life, too! In any case, if you want to, or you know of anyone who wants to, relocate, I am here to tell you that North Carolina is a fantastic place to live, and particularly, in this area. Perfect weather, reasonably close proximity to beaches and mountains alike, and you still get to enjoy all four seasons, although for snow-lovers, maybe not so much. We are getting gypped this year on the white stuff. Please check out my new page, and, at the same time, you can check out my old page, too! Please Like and Follow both! Yup, I definitely need my head examined.

https://www.facebook.com/RN2REA/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://www.facebook.com/PatSchochAuthor/

Ladies, We Can’t Have It Both Ways

Today on one of my networking sites, someone posed an interesting, and very valid, question. She asked if there were any resources on how to deal with men in and out of the workplace. She felt like some men were difficult to communicate with and she sensed there was a barrier to advancement for women. I don’t question for a minute that she is feeling this, but I’m going to go off the beaten path here and play the devil’s advocate. Don’t judge me. For many years now everything in society has been pushing women’s agendas: our rights, job and pay equality, positions on the corporate ladder, etc. I’m not saying that this is bad; it was well needed, and we deserve that equality, but don’t you think we may be going just a little bit overboard? I am a fierce supporter of women who have been sexually assaulted, and victims of physical injury inflicted by men, but even the #MeToo movement has gotten ridiculous, in my opinion. I feel it has had the undesirable, paradoxical effect of minimizing the plights of survivors of true sexual assault. If you eat too much yummy ice cream you can get sick or fat, and if people claim every tiny little touch as a sexual assault, society sickens. You know, too much of a good thing. Soon we may not even be able to distinguish legitimate victims from fame and fortune seekers and angry women who indiscriminately charge men with insignificant “offenses”. Don’t get me wrong, men should keep their unwanted gropes to themselves, but can’t we establish some guidelines as to what is worth pursuing?  

In the corporate world, I have seen reverse discrimination first-hand. My husband has worked in HR for many years, but the past decade or two has shown an increase in preferential treatment towards women. A female boss hired a woman for a higher supervisory position for which a man was the top candidate, even admitting to him that he was better qualified, but they wanted to hire an “outside person who might have fresh ideas”. (Who just happened to be a woman). He was also told by the boss that he did not win the vote among the staff, which he learned was blatantly untrue. He was very close to his team and his colleagues were stunned and angry. One earlier time, a male held a management position in a bank and his boss was a woman who may have disliked men in general. One by one she found ways to discharge them due to “reorganization”, or she made it so bad for them that they had to leave.  I later learned that all the men he had worked with were gone and the department was almost, if not all, women.

Even on TV men are portrayed as clueless doofuses. Almost every boss you see is a strong woman working with a weaker or goofy man. Women are kick-ass protagonists in heels on dramas and action movies and men are weaker and/or less intelligent sidekicks. We women want to have our places and be respected, and yet slender actresses are all decked out in high heels and tight clothing that shows optimal cleavage and having a little exaggerated wiggle to their walks. We claim that we don’t want to be objectified as sex symbols and we get mad if men look at us like “that”, but then why do women dress in this manner or allow themselves to be outfitted in that way on the screen? Pornography is an obscenely (pardon the pun) lucrative and immense business , but who is responsible for that besides the creators? Women. Lots of them. Women using their sexuality to make money. Be respected or be intentionally sexually appealing for profit and gain. We can’t have it both ways, ladies.  

So yeah, she probably does feel that from men because they are threatened by us. Their jobs, their respectability, their intelligence, even their mere presences are rebuked by some women. Heck, we don’t even need them to have children, anymore, so what good are they? A whole lot more than people want to believe, and until THEY are shown more respect in this world, they probably will continue to feel threatened by us. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m one of the lucky ones that I can write this. I have had a good one for almost 46 years and a few years before we got married, and sometimes I feel that I am the one who doesn’t deserve him.  

Going Up Against a Behemoth

Well, if people don’t see any posts from me anymore, it’s because I will have been banned from Facebook. Below is the reason why. I may be considered horrible by some for asking that Facebook be investigated for soliciting charitable donations, but please read my complaint carefully, because it concerns anyone who has ever made a donation on Facebook, and I have made several. If they are guilty of what I suspect, their practice should be stopped. Please continue to support charities on their own sites or by a check through the mail. They all need us. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear something. If this practice is legit, then please continue to support charities here.

Sent to the Internet Crime Complaint Center:

Two days ago was called “Giving Tuesday” on Facebook. I’m not sure if it was just a Facebook “thing” or it had a broader reach. In any case, I chose St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, my favorite charity, as my target for donations. A friend inadvertently donated twice, for $10 each. She let me know and asked if I could get her a refund for $10. She is a widowed senior citizen on a very fixed income. I called St. Jude’s and was told they were unaware of this donation campaign. They told me that the money does not go directly to them, but to Facebook, who then forwards the money to them. Facebook offers these campaigns to people having birthdays as a charitable service and the person gets to choose his or her favorite charity. This year they added “Giving Tuesday”, where they offered a whole list of charities from which to choose or you could even create your own. On the surface, this looks like an excellent way to funnel money to charities, money that may not have been given otherwise, because it was so easy to do. However, I believe this borders on, or actually is, a fraudulent practice on the part of Facebook. Nowhere does it say that the money doesn’t go directly to donors’ charity, but to Facebook. I don’t know how long they hang onto these funds before they actually present them to the charities, but I strongly doubt they present the individual charities with the interest accrued. Also, on my PayPal Statement, my $25 donation comes through as this: “
Seller info Facebook Payments Inc https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/1998316600435522 Invoice ID P2610505629066138 Purchase details StJudeChildren$25.00 Total$25.00 “
It makes no mention of a donation but appears as a “sale” of something, as Facebook is designated as the “Seller”. It does not appear that individuals would be successful in defending this as a donation in the event they would be audited. Facebook, on the other hand, can take all of the money that well-meaning people have sent to them, send it to the charities, and claim a nice, big, fat tax deduction for charitable donations. How much money does Facebook stand to make on their taxes and on interest on the backs of it’s members? And how do we know they actually send all of it, or any of it, to the charities we designate? Facebook needs to be investigated for this practice and appropriate punishments dealt as needed.

Which of the following were used in this incident? (Check all that apply.)☐ Spoofed Email☐ Similar Domain☐ Email Intrusion

☑ Other Please specify: fraudulent practice