Sunday, November 29, 2015

Losing followers... do I offend?

I maintain a Facebook page for my three blogs.  It's not a very popular page, mainly because I don't really publicize it that much.  I do have a link to it on this blog, but not on the other two blogs I write.  I mainly put it up as a way to communicate with readers in a way other than the comment section and advertise links to people who aren't friends but want to keep up with my blog.  I do have a few regular readers who lurk and never comment.

The Facebook page for The Overeducated Housewife is also a good place to put links to blog posts when I don't want to put them on my personal page.  Sometimes I write about friends and family and I don't necessarily want to invite drama by encouraging them to read posts that might upset them.  Of course, if a family member of friend ever did call me out over something, I would explain myself.  But it's not my wish to upset people if I can avoid it.  I don't think my family reads this blog much if at all, anyway.  Only a handful of my friends read it and usually only certain posts.

Yesterday, I noticed that I lost two followers.  I don't know who they were or what I wrote that turned them off.  One of them was likely a friend, too, since I also lost a friend on my personal page.  Since I am not actually missing the person who dropped me, they couldn't have been too much of a friend to me.  I can't help but wonder, though, which of my most recent posts prompted unfriending and unliking.  Was it the one about "dependas"?  I do have a few military friends and a few of them are staunchly in favor of calling out "dependasauri" and "dependapotamuses".  That's their right, though I don't necessarily agree with it.

Was it the post about drinking while breastfeeding?  I'm not a mother myself, so I am probably less protective of children than a lot of people are.  I do like kids, but I don't have those "mama bear" instincts.  I wonder if someone was upset that I wasn't outraged that Tasha Adams was drinking while breastfeeding in a restaurant.  Not that their being upset with me would change my mind.  I happen to think that people have gotten a little nutty when it comes to child welfare.  Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety, though.

Maybe it was my Turkey day posts...  Did people find them tasteless and horrifying?  Hard to tell.  I guess it doesn't matter that much.  Personally, I was surprised I didn't lose a lot of friends over my Woody Allen post from 2014.

I don't do a lot of interacting on the blogs' Facebook page unless someone specifically addresses me.  I probably should post more to the masses rather than just use the page for disseminating links.  But then, maybe people don't like the Facebook option because they are identified.  I don't allow anonymous posts, though I do get a lot from "Unknown", which is pretty much the same as anonymous.  I don't know why people bother with "Unknown".  If you called yourself some other name, I'd never know the difference.  You'd be just as unknown to me if you went by Stevie Ray as you would calling yourself "Unknown" or "Anonymous".

While I guess I don't like it when people unfriend me, I find that as I grow older, it matters a lot less than it once did.  When it comes down to it, I have a small core of people I talk to regularly.  The rest of the people I wouldn't immediately miss if they dropped off the face of the earth.  It's sad to write that about so-called friends, but that's the truth.  In the days before social media, people flowed into and out of each others' lives often without much fanfare.  Someone could be part of your life one day and disappear the next.  You might stop and wonder what happened or where they went, but then you'd probably shrug and simply move on.  What other choice do you have?

I used to have a "friend tracker", which would tell me when I was unfriended and by whom.  I eventually got rid of it, though, because I found that it caused me a lot of angst.  I'd see someone's name in red.  It would say whether or not they deleted or deactivated their account or they just decided to unfriend.  While it was useful to know who was no longer on my list for the sake of not trying to friend them again, I found that those who dumped me evoked feelings of bitterness.  If you read this blog regularly, you may know that I'm already fairly bitter and jaded about some things.  I don't need more of that in my life.

I think I'd like it if Facebook made it optional to show the number of friends you have.  I know you can hide your friends list from non friends.  That's not what I'm referring to.  What I'd like is the option not to know the number of people on your friends list.  If someone drops off, I'd rather not know about it.

But anyway, if anyone is wondering, yes I do notice when my number of followers suddenly goes from 80 to 78 in two days.  Maybe I should worry more about offending people.  On the other hand, it's my blog and these are my thoughts... and I can't please everyone or even anyone but myself.  It's my place for expressing myself as I please.  And I've been annoying and pissing people off my whole life.  I certainly can't change now!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Drinking while breastfeeding...

The "On this day..." feature on Facebook is interesting.  Sometimes it's fun to look back on the things that were on my mind a year or more ago.  Two years ago, I read a story about a 28 year old woman who was drinking alcohol and breastfeeding in an Arkansas restaurant.  An off duty waitress called the cops on her and she ended up getting arrested for endangering the welfare of a child.  The story I originally read is now gone from the Web, but here's a story from ABC about the case.

Evidently, Tasha Adams of Toad Suck, Arkansas (a dry town, by the way) didn't know that drinking while breastfeeding could get her arrested.  I didn't know, either, though I think if I had a child, I wouldn't want to breastfeed in public.  It's not that I don't think moms should be able to breastfeed wherever they want.  I just don't know that I'd want to do that with people looking on.  But that's just me, of course.  Actually, given how everybody watches moms and their babies, I think I'd want to be a shut in until the kid was at least three.

It turned out it wasn't against the law to drink and breastfeed, at least at the time when this incident occurred.  But the officers made a "judgment call" and arrested Adams anyway, without offering her a Breathalyzer test.  Since prosecutors couldn't prove that the two beers Adams admitted to drinking had actually harmed the baby, the charges were dropped.  The off duty waitress who called the law was fired.

Anyway, I posted about this on Facebook and one of my friends, who is a certified women's health nurse practitioner and delivers babies for a living, posted an article from La Leche League that basically says the baby was likely never in any danger.  Naturally, it probably is safest not to drink alcohol while breastfeeding.  On the other hand, I don't know that throwing a breastfeeding mom into jail is all that great, either.  I mean, sure, she should go to jail if she's a danger to the public, but if she's not, putting her in jail deprives the baby of his or her meal ticket.

Here in Europe, it's not uncommon for women to drink while pregnant, let alone while breastfeeding. They are more concerned about what a pregnant woman eats than alcohol use.  But the United States has a long history of puritan attitudes about alcohol.  We also have a lot of folks out there in the world who seem to think pregnant women or new moms need a keeper.  To be honest, these kinds of stories scare me.  It's very easy to be thrown in jail these days.

Comments on stories that involve lactating moms always bring out the most self righteous all knowers.  It's always fun to read the comments, especially when they come from men.  Sometimes, I like to respond.  One guy wrote this...

Gary  • an hour ago
Nope... not insane... just looking out for the innocent and defenseless in harsh world.

And I responded with...

You enjoy the smell of your own farts, don't you Gary?

Of course, that is a reference from South Park...

It's fun being crude.

I don't know if he responded in kind.  I just thought it was funny.  I haven't checked out the comments on the ABC article I posted.  I'm going to do that now and see if there are any holier than thou ones I can post here.  Sure enough, there are...  Check out this conversation.   Commenter 2 is on a soapbox.

Commenter 1

Wow, talk about the nanny state! Throughout much of Europe and South American and many parts of Asia it is more common to drink wine than water due to the quality of he water supply. the children are routinely breastfed because of the cost and convenience. Are we saying that the entire world (except for the US)has developmental problems? Talk to the CERN scientists and engineers and thy will tell you that breast-feeding while having their dinner wine is normal. We are hampering the formation of natural antibodies and creating susceptability to super bugs.

Commenter 2

ive heard that too...that a glass of red wine once in a while is ok supposedly gets the blood that means drink a couple beers and possibly long islands and then breastfeeding is alright?? no i don't think so

Commenter 3

I would say the mother who actually drank the 2 beers knows what she did or did not drink. The waitress was guessing, because there were glasses on the table in front of the mother when the waitress came in, that she drank long islands. Many times I've been out with friends and glasses get moved around on the table. Just because they're in front of you doesn't mean you drank them. The other thing everyone is missing is that beer doesn't leak out of your throat and into your breast as you are drinking it. It takes time to get into your milk and I expect if they could have tested her milk on the spot for alcohol, it would have come up clean or close to it. So the breastfeeding at the restaurant did not likely endanger the child at all. It's the next session that would have had the alcohol. Further, how about knowing the facts of alcohol and nursing before we start passing laws about it-

Commenter 2

ok when she got home and breastfed then that's when the beer would get into the baby's system right...?...ok...and we don't need more laws... what we DO need are mothers who don't need to drink at all while pregnant or breastfeeding....but i guess that's not gonna happen huh?

Commenter 3

A lot of mothers pump out the milk a while later and don't feed it to their baby if they've had some drinks. I'm not trying to be antagonistic but the mother says she had 2 beers and I expect she knows what she drank rather than the waitress who did not witness what she drank but made a guess based on the glasses on the table....  I think that if she wanted to lie, she wouldn't have admitted that she had the two beers. Are 2 beers the best thing for baby? No. We can agree on that. Are 2 beers going to do so much harm that it should classify as abuse? Really? Is that a reasonable standard? Would you ever give your kids mac & cheese from a box? Is that the best thing for them? Apples with pesticides? The truth is that through life we and our children sometimes ingest things that aren't the best choice. It is a matter of balance.

Commenter 2

matter of balance? really?...listen...i have 4 kids and ive been a smoker since i was 19....every single time i found out i was pregnant i quit cold turkey...thinking about the baby in my belly drinking and smoking it up made me quit's that simple...i don't understand half of u people...alcohol does things to adults that should not have to happen to babies....doesn't make sense to me...

Commenter 4

So you still smoke then? Around your 4 kids?

Commenter 2 (she clearly doesn't see how rich her comment is...)

i do smoke yes....outside and not in the that ok with u?

Commenter 3

This right here is the whole point. You are entitled to make a decision about your habits and how they relate to your family. So should the rest of the mothers. We are not talking about abuse in this case. In fact, there is debate about whether there are any detrimental effects as long as this is an occasional behavior. I agree it wasn't the best decision but neither do I think what she did warrants the humiliation of a public arrest and the ridiculous vilification to which she is being subjected.

Then a male commenter weighs in with this...

Commenter 5

..not that I am supporting a law against it, just personal responsibility based on scientific fact. Two beers would definitely affect, and even harm a newborn. It is suggested that for 1 12 oz a mother waits 2-3 hours to metabolize before feeding, she had 2. Studies have clearly linked increased rates of developmental disabilities due to newborn exposure to alcohol.

Commenter 6

Baby was not a newborn. Anyone can google 'drinking and breastfeeding' but that little question and answer can not cover all implications of consuming an alcoholic drink and nursing a baby. If the mother was also consuming food that would slow the rate the alcohol was absorbed by the mother's bloodstream.

Let's ask this question: If everyone was concerned about the exclusively breastfed baby, why would they arrest her mother and separate them? Because formula is just as good? It's not, especially to an infant who has never consumed it.

Commenter 7 addresses Commenter 2 with this...

So you clearly have a line that is different from other people How would you feel if others jumped down your throat and said "she says she smokes in the car, but I doubt it. The pack of cigarettes was right there in her pocket and she was holding that baby." The point is, don't judge based on assumed facts.

Commenter 2

oh i don't judge!! im not the one on here calling her trash and other things like that....

Commenter 7

I thought you said "She is on TV. Do you think she is really going to say how much she really drank."

Commenter 2

yeah i did....that's not judging her though

Commenter 4

You need to look up the word Judging

Commenter 8 to Commenter 2

Pot, meet kettle. You so judged her. You can't back out now. done. Oh, and I get to add HYPOCRITE. Nicely done!

Commenter 9 to Commenter 2

That's calling her a liar. You JUDGED her a liar.

Commenter 2

it's true though....everybody says they've only had 2 drinks when they are in trouble...its like a happy medium i guess

Commenter 10

Everyone says they smoke outside when they have kids... everyone says they quit cold turkey when they found out they were pregnant... everyone says they only smoke 5 a day... you see how easy it is?

Commenter 2

me smoking outside and not blowing smoke in my kids face is way better than chugging 2 beers and then breastfeeding...sorry

Commenter 11

wow, you really need to read up on some second hand smoke studies. Even if you smoke "outside", you are exposing your children on a daily basis to the toxins in those nasty cigarettes.

At this point, I quit reading.  Here's what I would tell Commenter 2, who is so hellbent on shaming Tasha Adams for drinking and breastfeeding.  You say your smoking habit doesn't hurt your kids.  And for right now, as long as you're not doing it in front of them or in the car with them, maybe you're right.  But what about years later, when they are adults?  When you end up with cancer or emphysema or COPD, are you going to expect your kids to take care of you?  What if you get sick before they are fully grown?  What if you die when they are teenagers?  What if your nasty habit influences your kids to smoke? 

Of course, you could do everything right and still die.  Or your child will end up exposed to something bad, no matter what you do to prevent it.  The point is, everybody is living life.  You should worry about your own life and not other peoples', unless of course they are doing something that is immediately dangerous to themselves or someone else.  A woman drinking beer while breastfeeding doesn't fall into that category in my humblest of opinions.  

The thread continues with lots of people enjoying the smell of their own farts and yelling "Educate yourself!" to strangers on the Internet.  It's very amusing indeed.  Commenter 4 gets especially pompous.  Personally, I think if I had a baby and wanted to drink booze, I'd simply do it at home, away from the prying eyes of the moral brigades of do-gooders.  Problem solved.  :D

Friday, November 27, 2015

Oh Army Times, now you've done it...

This morning, I noticed the Army Times reposted an article about "dependa bashing".  I'm pretty sure I might have opined about the content of that article the first time it ran.  I'm not going to opine about it again in this post.  I just want to put down in words something that occurred to me this morning.

First off, people who go around ripping off other peoples' personal photos and post them solely to make personal attacks against them are, plain and simple, bullies.  It's one thing to poke fun at someone who makes an egregiously dumb comment on a public forum.  It's quite another to go "hunting" for embarrassing photos and comments on personal Facebook pages and post them on public forums, simply for the purpose of insulting them.  That behavior, in my mind, constitutes an invasion of privacy and harassment, among other things.  It's especially wrong when the photos ripped off include pictures of minors.

Secondly, it seems that a lot of servicemembers who make these kinds of comments are guilty of some "dependa" behavior themselves.  I've been around military members my whole life and I have found that the ones who join the military because they felt compelled to serve and truly enjoy the job are not the ones who make derogatory comments about other people.  The ones who join because they qualified and it's a job that offers excellent benefits may not be as happy with their work.   But instead of leaving the military and finding their true passion, they stick around and continue to suck off the US government's tits, enjoying the benefits even as they are mediocre at their jobs and don't behave with honor.  They can't pick on their higher ranking bosses who might be making their lives hell, so they pick on fat, unemployed housewives whom they think are freeloaders.  Happy people don't have to pick on others to get their jollies.  They're already high on life.

Maybe it's not even a boss making the bullies' lives hell.  Maybe it's a spouse.  Maybe they weren't loved enough when they were kids.  Maybe they felt they had no other choice but to join the military because for whatever reason, they didn't think they could make it in the civilian sector.  Who knows? But bullies are always cowards and hurting people hurt other people.  The ones that seethe with venom and contempt for those they deem "dependas" are like that for a reason.  My guess is that someone made them feel inadequate.  Instead of taking on the person who made them feel that way, they direct their vitriol to people who are defenseless.  That is the very height of cowardice.

The thing I find most disturbing about the Army Times article is that one woman reported that a colonel was doing the bashing.  Here's a guy, entrusted with leading troops and taking care of the mission, and he's ripping off Facebook photos, posting them in open forums, and insulting them.  How can troops and their families trust a "leader" who behaves like that?  And why would anyone want to be a part of an organization that allows that kind of public behavior from a leader, whether or not he's on duty at the time of the offense?

It seems to me that other peoples' spouses are no one else's business.  I may not approve of the skanky behavior I see from the wife of a deployed soldier who is entertaining other men at the officer's club.  When it comes down to it, though, it's not my business.  She doesn't affect my life in any way.  The wife who spends her husband's paycheck on Coach bags, makeup, or booze is also not my problem, unless I'm working in the capacity of a social worker and it's my job to deal with people with that problem.  It's not my business.  Neither is it my business if someone is ugly or fat or otherwise unappealing to look at.  I have my own life to lead.  I don't need to concern myself with other peoples' lives, especially if they aren't people I know.

Those who defend the "dependa bashing" say that if you're not a dependa, their bullying behavior shouldn't be bothersome or disturbing.  First off, as an American, I have the right to be offended by any damn thing I please.  Servicemembers put on their uniforms every day to protect that right.  You have the right to be offended by a fat woman who doesn't work?  I have the right to be offended by your boorish, tacky behavior.  Secondly, regardless of the real reason why someone attacks so-called "dependas" and other people who are easily picked on, it just isn't decent behavior.

Sadly, I don't think it will end until the perpetrators have to deal with real consequences.  I'm not a fan of lawsuits, especially over "hurt feelings", but I think there is a difference between hurt feelings and harassment. People have the right not to be harassed by others.  And really, if you have the time to engage in online bullying and harassment, your work obviously isn't keeping you busy enough.  Again... I could call that "dependa" behavior too, couldn't I?  Aren't you wasting time Uncle Sam is paying you for?  Isn't that a form of freeloading?

I want to ask some of these people what a so-called "dependa" could do to make themselves respectable...  Would they qualify as fellow human beings worthy of a modicum of regard if they lost some weight and got jobs at AAFES?  What about someone like me?  I am now a retiree's wife.  Many would say I'm fat.  I don't have a regularly paying job, but I write blogs and earn some money from that endeavor.  Am I worthy of respect?  Or would you call me a "dependa" for my lifestyle?

Ah, no matter.  I know I am worthy of respect.  Those who don't want to give it to me aren't worth worrying about.  Anyway...  I probably shouldn't bother reading the comments on articles about so-called "dependas", because while some are genuinely witty and funny, too many are just plain sad. Life is tough enough without people acting like assholes.  The opinions of people who lack decency and humanity are worth about as much consideration as what is extended to "dependas".

Happy T day!

I figure this is the perfect photo for today's post...

I am sure today, there will be many pictures of my family in Virginia enjoying the holiday meal.  Our own meal was memorable, though I hope to find an even better one today or tomorrow.  I will probably also put up our freakin' Christmas trees.  I like looking at the lights, but actually putting up the trees is a pain in the ass, especially since it's just Bill and me anyway.

 It's all foggy this morning, though, so it's the perfect time to "Christmasify" the house.  And hey, since I didn't burn it down last night when I left the dryer running unattended, we have even more to celebrate.  Egg nog, anyone?  Here's another reason to cheer.  There will be no Christmas drama.  Or, at least it will be dramatically reduced.

I purchased Bill a special Christmas present this year.  He already knows what it is, so I'm going to share it here.  I bought him a special Advent calendar.  Last year, we did the beer Advent calendar, but to be honest, drinking 24 days worth of very good but kinda boring German beers isn't all that special.  So this year, I made him a custom Advent calendar with a variety of liquors.  I used rum, vodka, gin, whisky, liqueur, and cognac.  It was not a cheap endeavor, but I have a feeling it will be well-received.  In fact, I hope it'll be well-received today; I see it's on the truck for delivery.  If I've piqued your interest, you can find them here.  And yes, though it is a British company that makes them, they do ship to the United States... not that I'd know from personal experience or anything.  ;-)

Bill is now downstairs making cheese soufflés for breakfast.  That was sort of a "gift" for our wedding in November 2002.  We stayed at the Hummingbird Inn and the couple that owned it at the time were great cooks.  The female half was a British lady who was brilliant in the kitchen.  She made the soufflé and I went home, found a recipe for cheese soufflé and adapted it.  Now Bill makes them.  Then, after we have breakfast and put up all the Christmas crap, we'll probably venture out for some fun.  It would be nice if the weather was better, but crappy weather is the price you pay for living in beautiful Germany.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and will get to enjoy today... preferably not fighting at a store over cheap Chinese crap.  

ETA:  It's here!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy turkey day...


Hope everyone has all they need today...  I will be writing about today's experiences on my travel blog.  If you're interested, hope to see you there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hand wringing, teeth gnashing, moaning and groaning...

Thirty years ago, I could have never conceived that I'd live in a reality that includes keeping up with so many people by way of computer.  For most of my life, I only dealt with people face to face.  Imagine it.  For a very long time, I had no concept of memes.  Very few people could get up on a soapbox and successfully engage in mass shaming and preaching.  Those were the heady days before social media.

Now, of course, any schmuck with a keyboard can opine publicly.  Every time there's a tragedy or crime of some kind, you'll see these folks line up with their memes, their preachy "open letters" (which I too am occasionally guilty of writing), and most of all, their shaming of other people.  I'm not sure why people feel the need to do this as much as they do.  I have to say, I'm getting kind of sick of it.  And I write this not really wanting to shame anyone, but just to make a statement...

Take, for instance, the recent attacks on Paris by ISIS.  That was a horrible thing.  One could spend plenty of time simply expressing grief over the people who died in the attacks.  But no, many people aren't content to simply express sorrow and sadness over the senseless waste of human life.  Instead, we have to post memes that explain how it's all America's fault.  Then they post this shit on Facebook.

I have to wonder why people do this.  Why do we feel the need to bring up past atrocities and link them to current ones?  Isn't it bad enough that people got killed in Paris and Mali and elsewhere?  Why do we have to bring more shame and misery into those events?

The average American had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan.  No one alive today had anything to do with the fact that slavery was once legal in America.  Most people don't have the power to influence what world leaders do and no one on Earth can change the past.  I don't think it's a bad thing to remember history and even discuss how certain events can be linked.  I just don't get why we have to bring guilt and shame into it, especially on social media.

Seems to me that times are difficult enough without a bunch of blaming, shaming, and guilt mongering.  I know I feel pretty helpless when I read a sad story about people being killed.  But I have many friends who want to add to that by mixing the sadness for the current event with shame over past events.  The misery compounds and there's much hand wringing, teeth gnashing, moaning, and groaning.

Then you get people who want to argue about stuff.  Like, for instance, the other day when Bill responded to a bleeding heart post he read.  He added comments about his own personal experiences, particularly with being at the Pentagon on 9/11 and with having spent 30 years in the armed forces.  Sadly, he was taken on by a guy who seemed hell bent on showing everyone how big his dick is.  He just couldn't leave it alone and even accused Bill of being a "fear monger".  No, Bill isn't a fear monger or a hate monger or a war monger.  He simply reports what he knows.  But some people aren't content with that and want to engage in shaming, arguing, and personal attacks.

Shoot, all I want to do is have a good time.  I can get guilt and shame from family members.  Don't need it from people on Facebook, especially when it surrounds stuff that had nothing to do with me.  Anyway, as of tomorrow, the "holidays" have officially begun.  And that, in and of itself, can be a special kind of hand wringing, teeth gnashing event.

An example...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crime logs...

It's amazing what you can find out by reading crime logs in local newspapers.  Not all towns run a crime log.  I think it's the kind of thing one usually sees in smaller cities and towns.  The town I grew up in does run one and, since I lived there for years and it's a relatively small, close-knit community, I still know people there.

Sometimes, when I'm bored, I Google people I used to know.  Last night, as I was watching the rolling credits of Tom Hanks' 1986 film Nothing In Common, I looked up someone I've never met.  You may be asking yourself why I would look up someone I don't know.  It's because he's married to someone who played a significant role in my childhood.  I don't know this guy, but I know his wife and her family.  I lost touch with them several years ago, but still think of them sometimes.  I do have a curious mind and a penchant for being nosey.

Anyway, when I was still in touch with these folks, I heard stories about the man I Googled last night.  I heard he was an abusive drunk.  In fact, while I don't know the guy at all, the way he was described to me, I'd guess he has issues with Histrionic Personality disorder.  He was described as attention seeking to the point of being toxic.  None of his wife's children liked him.  However, I have to consider the source of the information, since the person giving me the information admitted to pretty much hating the guy.

Well...  according to my Google search last night, the "abusive drunk cluster B" guy was arrested a few years ago for assault and battery on a family member.  It happened a couple of days after New Year's, which makes me wonder if the stress of the holiday season, along with potential alcohol consumption, got to everybody and led to a fight.

Naturally, I wasn't there when the incident occurred and I don't even know the arrestee.  However, I do know most of the other people involved.  I can just picture the scenario in my mind, adding that the people I knew are now older and perhaps more rigid in their thinking... or perhaps even suffering from medical issues themselves.

A few years ago, I might have found out about this incident from my former contact within the family.  She probably would have told me about it.  I wouldn't have had to read about it in the crime log.  We aren't in contact anymore and I'm not wanting to re-establish contact with her.

I looked up Virginia's laws on assault and battery on a family member.  In Virginia, it is a class 1 misdemeanor to commit assault and battery against a family or household member.  In Virginia, a person who commits a class 1 misdemeanor can be sentenced to spend up to a year in jail and fined up to $2500.  Assault and battery against a family member consists of a person in the home injures or pushes another household member.  Slapping, spanking, punching, and pushing are all forms of battery.  Police usually only pursue charges when there's compelling proof that injury occurred, whether physical or emotional.  A person can also be charged if he or she threatens someone in the household and there is a reasonable expectation that the threat is credible.  Threats constitute assault.

If they come to a person's home on a domestic violence call, the police will arrest someone.  Generally, it's the person who appears most likely to inflict damage.  Oftentimes, it's males who end up in the pokey, whether or not they were the actual aggressor.  Knowing the female half of the couple involved in this case, my guess is that when pushed, she might give as good as she gets.  She can be manipulative and is not averse to resorting to emotional blackmail to get her way.  She has even been known to lash out physically on rare occasions.  However, from what I've heard, her husband is a drinker.   Alcohol abuse can cause some people to lose control of themselves.  I saw it firsthand growing up with my dad.  Fortunately, my dad didn't often become violent, but when he did, it was truly scary.  He wasn't in control.

Even if someone says something provocative, is rude, or insulting, that's no excuse for physical violence.  However, if it can be proven that the attack is provoked by insults, that can be used as a mitigating factor in the defense.

Out of curiosity, I looked up local court cases in the area where I grew up.  I didn't find anything related to this case, so my guess is the charges were eventually dropped.  That doesn't surprise me.  Anyway, I should probably mind my own business.  But I will admit that sometimes Googling can lead to surprising discoveries.    

Monday, November 23, 2015

Freedom of expression...

One of my cousins has a son who just started his freshman year of college.  He's a very bright young guy and, much to my delight, doesn't appear to be hyper-religious like a few other people in my family.  This morning, he posted this...

People that share this kind of post:
Stop pls.

I liked this...  It's not something I would post, but I understand the sentiment... I didn't necessarily like the post, but more that yet another family member hasn't gone totally religious.

Another cousin, uncle of the young man who posted the above, wrote:  Ignore the post....its a public medium for expression...the option is to delete or block. "It's not all about you" 

To which I felt compelled to respond:  Isn't A also expressing himself? He could offer the same advice to those who don't like what he puts on Facebook.

I'm sure my cousin, who once used to be fun, but then found Jesus, won't like that I wrote that.  But I think I have a valid point.  The young man was being a smartass, sure; and I'm certain that some people might be offended by his Jesus bashing post.  However, if you're making the point that Facebook is a medium for freedom of expression, perhaps you shouldn't chastise other posters for freely expressing themselves.

I'm not quite an atheist.  I have a spiritual side.  However, I think many religious posts are kind of stupid.  I might not say so directly.  Generally, when I see something I don't like, I do what my cousin suggested and ignore, delete, or block.  However, there is a case that could be made for saying something when someone posts something annoying, offensive, or stupid.  Maybe it will get them to think twice about it.  Or maybe not.  I just think that if you're going to cite the whole "free country" with "free speech" argument, it has to go both ways.

All my cousin's nephew did was ask people to stop sharing stupid religious posts.  You can choose whether or not to honor his request.  You can choose whether or not to read and heed or simply ignore, block, or delete.  You can even choose whether or not to stay friends.  Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if my cousin unfriends me after pointing out his logic fail.  He's become quite macho in his Christian flavored middle age.  Of course, if he unfriends me, I won't be firing his weapon at the next family gathering.  

This particular cousin was pretty wild when he was younger.  He is responsible for giving me my first taste of bourbon and Coke at a family party when I was 15 years old.  I got rip roaring drunk on it and trashed a hotel room by throwing up all over the place.  Many years later, my cousin quit drinking because he had some serious problems with law enforcement owing to his habit of driving while intoxicated.  I'm glad he quit drinking because I think alcohol was ruining his life.  On the other hand, since he quit drinking, he's become a bit of a killjoy.  I mean, he still loves your garden variety adrenaline rush.  He's got a gift for gymnastics and won't hesitate to jump off bridges into water holes or, as I mentioned before, fire his weapons into mountainsides while not being particularly careful with wear he points his gun.  But he's gotten all churchy and preachy and... annoyingly conservative.     

Ah... I see now that my cousin agrees with me.  I have a feeling that my comment may have gone over his head.  His response to me?  "Exactly."  Hmm...

I think I may have to go think about that for awhile.