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Who Gave Them the Right?

Mallory Grossman was 12-years-old when she committed suicide because of being bullied at school.  Her bullies weren’t just students, it was teaching faculty also.  Her parents are suing the school system because of the faculty being a part of the problem that caused their daughter to commit suicide.

Technology is awesome.  Today, I bet the reading ability for the average student is a higher than it was when I was in school and this is all due to technology.  When I was in school, I had a reading disability; today, I have yet to meet a student that has a reading disability and has to go to tutoring for it.  The students are still reading at school; but now they read text messages, Snapchat messages, and emails.  Some schools have even gone to computer setups where computers are a necessity and not a commodity and therefore they loan them out to their students … something like the way books were loaned out when I was in school.

In an average week, I use Email, Facebook, and Twitter.  I will gain access to these sites on 3 types of devices:  my cellphone, my Kindle, and my laptop.  Oh, by the way, I have 4 Email accounts (one for every walk of life).  I would imagine that the average student uses on any given week, Email (probably just as many as me, because Mom and Dad can only suspend one), Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, KiK, and Instagram (and probably a few dozen more since I don’t stay in touch with the daily trends).  Honestly, I have a hard time keeping up with Facebook and Twitter on top of work, reading and writing; I don’t know how school age teens have enough hours in the day to do it … but they do and that is where the problem comes in at.

When I was in school, I was bullied a lot … I mean, seriously, a lot.  I don’t know why … my guess is, I got on people’s nerves.  However, today, many of the people that would bully me as a teen are friends with me on my Facebook.  No, we don’t hangout or anything; but it goes to show, as adults, we do act our age.  I hold no grudges for the ones that bullied me.  As a matter of fact, today, I sympathize with some of them because they have had a really hard life in comparison to mine.

There was this one girl that used to bully me that I thought was the prettiest person.  Even though she obviously didn’t like me, that never deflected what I thought about her.  I just knew that she could have had any boyfriend she wanted and it was obvious that she had a lot of friends.  A few years ago, she committed suicide.  I didn’t find out until years after it happened; I was absolutely devastated when I found out.  I wished I had been given the opportunity to speak to her one more time.  I wanted her to know what I always thought about her … back then and today.  I always wondered what made her do it.  Some said a failing marriage … others said a terminal illness … I hate knowing that she would have done something like that because someone didn’t like her.  I would have been the first one to let her know, this was not the answer.

Back then, all I had to do was tolerate the class or bus ride that the bullies were on.  When that class or bus ride was over, I didn’t have to deal with the bullies again until the next day … on Fridays, I had a 2 day break from any bullying.  Today, our teens don’t have it that easy.  The bullying today takes on a deeper meaning than it used to.  Today’s bullying would be considered stalking more than it would be called bullying.  Sure, they are still calling them names, degrading their self-worth, and isolating them from everyone else … but they are doing it all day long.  That is all these people live for … taunting and making this person’s life a living Hell.  It doesn’t end with that one class and it doesn’t end when you get off the bus.  It starts with the texting, emails, and SnapChat first thing in the morning and that is where it stays all day … unless you are in person, of course.   They are able to do it in such a way that even the adults … the teachers and parents … get caught up in it.  As I sit here and write this, I am hoping that the adults don’t actively know what they are doing exactly.  I am hoping this teen is convincing them this is a prank and not bullying; thus their participation is supposed to bring a laugh and not a cry.

When I was in school, adults would tell me, “awe, they (the bullies) just like you”.  No, it was obvious they didn’t.  Even as I sit here as an adult myself, I don’t know what can be done about bullies; but I know something needs to be done.  Sure you can change there classes so they aren’t in the same classrooms; but that really doesn’t take care of the problem.  As I said, these teens today are texting them, SnapChatting them, going on their Facebook and posting things, and making videos on YouTube.  At this point, even changing their schools wouldn’t work.

Honestly, I think the only thing that would work is acting as an example for these teens.  No, maybe not after they become teens; but when they are younger, show them how to treat others.  Sure, you are going to have personality conflicts from time to time … I don’t think that is what bullying is.  I think these teens at some point in their life was given the right to be mean, and the one that gave them that right by example, needs to fix the problem.

For example, one day I was in the Wal-Mart and I ran into one the ladies that as teens was my biggest bully.  Not only did she bully me, in no uncertain terms, she would tell you in a heartbeat back then that she hated me.  In her shoes, I would have probably hated me too.  We were on the same softball team together.  This girl put her all into it.  I don’t know if she ever played for our high school team or not; if she didn’t, she sure needed to … she was just that good.  I really didn’t like softball.  I have never been the outdoor type.  I have always been happier indoors, either writing or reading.  So, imagine playing on a softball team with a player that didn’t want to be there and you were are a competitive player with an all win attitude … it probably made her angry on more than one occasion and yet she was stuck with me.

Anyways, we had not seen one another in years when we ran into one another at the Wal-Mart.  As we got to talking and catching up, my son, who was only about 2 years old at the time, asked me if she was a friend of mine.  Me and this lady both looked at one another and started laughing and the lady told my son, “not until now,” and she was so right.  Never in our history were we ever friends; but today, we may not hangout, but we do have a certain respect for one another.  I have told my boys several times about this lady and our history.  I have showed them that you can’t hold grudges and although you don’t particularly like someone, doesn’t mean you can’t respect them.  I could sit here and give you hundreds of examples of my boys paying it forward what they have been taught by example; but I won’t bore you with the details.  I will say this, they have never been called bullies and everyone that meets them will tell you that they have been nothing but a friend to them.  I tell people every day, once I meet you, regardless of our past, we are friends and my boys do the same.

We need to show our kids that people’s feeling do matter.  Even when we don’t have a particular interest in their life, we can be the one that changes everything for them.  All it would take is one time for them to be the one that changed someone else’s day by saying just what needed to be said instead of hating on them for being in the way.  Next time you get ready to say something mean about someone else or make a face that is unpleasant, think about your audience … you may be giving someone else the right to be a bully.

 

 

What Makes Them Think They Are Smarter Than Those Others?

Lately, it seems that over and over again, we are hearing where a wife of a high-end official has been killed.  The occurrence of such cases is to the point that you automatically assume the husband done it.  For example, a Fire Chief’s wife dies by a gunshot wound in their home and the home is burned down.  My first thought is that the Fire Chief done it.  I may be wrong and for the life of me, I hope I am … but this kind of case comes from experience.  Usually, a fireman’s family is very well schooled on the dangers of fire.  They live with a fireman and that fireman lets them know what he has faced and probably even goes into details about how to deal with it in the event they come up against it themselves … but this wasn’t just a fire that she died in, she was also shot in the head.

Then you have the Judge who’s wife was shot while they were in a car out with another couple.  By the way, he still says that it was an accident and that he didn’t mean to shoot her.

That’s why I like to study true crime and write about it.  I want to know why these people think they can get by with it.  Why is it, they think they are smarter than those that came before them and that they know what needs to be done to get by with it.  I am sure this could have been any number of family members; but my first guess will be the husband.

These men were so anxious to get rid of their wives that they attempted to do the impossible.  This Judge Tex McIver I am sure has seen enough of those type of cases in his court room and still, he thought he was smarter than the ones before him.  I want to know what gives them this mentality.

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They Finally Arrested Mark Redwine

Dylan Redwine went missing in November of 2012 and due to the contentious relationship he had with his father, Mark Redwine, Mark had always been a person of interest in the case.  In June of 2013, Dylan’s half-brother said that his father Mark told him that Dylan died of blunt force trauma and that it will be up to the investigators to find his body.  Well, Mark got his wish.  In November of 2015, Dylan Skull was found by some hikers on Middle Mountain.

Now, I ask Mark Redwine, is that really what you wanted?  I mean, sure, you have been free for almost five years, but where has it gotten you?  In that time, you probably seen your other kids grow a little longer; made a little bit more money that you can’t take with you; and entered more relationships that will always wonder how someone they know could do this.  But the end is the end and nothing ever makes it different.  It will be just as painful today as it would have been five years ago.

I am thankful for the investigators that never give up.  They keep searching until they get answers.  I think so many answers would come if we just wait.  I think in the case of Caylee Anthony, if we weren’t so rushed to a judgment and waited as these investigators did, would the outcome have been different?  I think it would have.

How Many Latino Women Would Kill Their Family??

In Gwinnett County on Wednesday evening, Isabel Martinez killed 4 of her kids and her husband.  Another child, 9-year-old Diana Romero, is in critical but stable condition in the hospital.  This family is a Spanish speaking family; only the kids can speak English fluently.

I watched Martinez in court this morning for her first appearance.  You would think this case wreaks of the insanity plea … but I don’t think so.  I think this woman knew full well what she was doing.  I further think she is doing everything in her power to make it look like she is insane.  She has told the police that she wants them to tell the community that a vicious killer is not on the loose (no, because she is in jail without bond).  In the court appearance, she was waving at the press, smiling at them and at one point got out of her seat and bowed to them.  She had to be asked by the guards to get back in her seat and stay still.  She went as far as to represent herself in court and she doesn’t want the court to order a co-counsel in the legal field to be with her, in the event that she has questions.  These are all indications of an insanity case.  The crime itself yells insanity.  I am having a hard time looking past all the signs that yell insanity and I am afraid the courts are going to be unable to also.

It is too early in this case for them to know who the prosecutor will be in this case, but whoever it is needs to really be on his/her toes and be ready for any rabbits in the hat that this lady might try to pull out because I think she is a little trickier than you see on the outside.

I have been reading some statistics in Latino mental health and the numbers are more alarming than I first thought.  Approximately, 17.4% of the USA is identified as Latino and of that percentage, approximately 15% are diagnosed with mental illness.  Most often times, the diagnosis is depression.  One of the studies of women who kill their kids showed that there were other factors that played a part: most often of these are mental illness, post-partum depression, or they recently lost a loved one.

I personally have a hard time with this.  I don’t think this lady had any of these.  Sure, her family has come forward and said that she just recently lost her Dad and that after that event, she started acting different.  I don’t think so.  I think this was something much deeper; something much darker.  First question I would ask the family is: how was she acting differently?  Did she act depressed?  Was she suicidal?  Was she homicidal – had she spoken of killing anyone after her father died?  I would need to know what was different about her before I could even take this as a factor in the case.  Otherwise, I would have to chalk it up to family members trying to save the one alive and in trouble at the moment.  Second, how did her father die?  Was it natural causes or was he murdered?  Third and final question, where did he die?  Was he here in the USA or was he in Mexico?  The news is reporting that not only has she been arrested and charged with 5 counts of murder and slew of other charges; she is also be held for the U.S. Immigration Enforcement and Customs Enforcement.  My guess is, she will not even see the inside of a Georgia court room for her case.  She will be deported back to Mexico or Cuba or anywhere else she might have come from.

I think maybe her father wasn’t in the US when he died and she may have wanted to go back to Mexico.  Really?  You would KILL your whole family to go back to Mexico because your Dad died?  I think we need to hold her here, let her see the full force of the US law on mothers who kill their children.  She thought this was her only option out; I think that opinion would quickly change under the US laws.

To answer the question that is in the title, apparently, only one seems crazy enough to do it.  I plan to follow this case.  I want to know more about her.

 

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What Would A County Do To Cover Up A Contrastrophe?

Updated for:  06/30/17

Today, 11Alive News reported that they have dropped the charges against the two teens Gaitlinburg held responsible for this fire.  I could not see it then and I can’t see it today, how anyone would think it was the teens fault for doing this.

 

 

I took a trip to Gaitlinburg and Pigeon Forge to observe the devastation from the fires of November 23rd, 2016.  Two teens have been blamed with the fire that:

  • Destroyed 17,136 Acres of land
  • 1,123 Destroyed residential Homes
  • 14 Homes had major damaged
  • 71 Homes had minor damage
  • 181 Homes were affected in one way or another by the fire (this could be smoke or water damage)
  • 58 Structures that were businesses were destroyed
  • 3 Structures had major damage
  • 2 Structures had minor damage
  • 10 Structures were affected in one way or another.
  • 14 people lost their lives
  • 134 people were injured in one way or another.

The two teens are 15 and 17 years old.  The 17 year old has a parent that works for the Sheriff’s Department.  Both teens have an attorney, but neither attorney is speaking to the media.  The boys are accused of walking up the hiking trail lighting matches and throwing them down on the trail.  These lit matches eventually lead to the fire that done all of the above damage.  I spoke to some of the people in Tennessee and they seem to feel these kids should have to serve at least 10 years.

Well, I have a problem with this.  The following is the time line for the fires:

  • Wednesday, November 23rd at 5:30pm
    • Firefighters observe smoke coming from the Chimney Tops
    • As it got dark, they hike the trail to the Chimney Tops and find a small fire that had burned about 1.5 acres already.
    • With the darkness and the rough terrain (the hiking trail for the Chimney Tops is for Advanced Hikers), the firefighters decided that there was nothing they could do and returned to the office.
  • Thursday, November 24th
    • Firefighters hiked the trail again and marked off 410 acres that the fire was allowed to burn. This was more or less a way of roping off and area for the fire to burn itself out.
  • Friday, November 25th
    • The fire continued to climb down the rocky terrain.
    • The firefighters continued to look for alternate moves, but no safe alternatives were found.
  • Saturday, November 26th We are at 6 acres that have burned
    • A 4-Day Near Term Analysis from the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station was requested. The analyses said that the fire would grow at a slow rate and move slowly toward the boundaries that have been set for it.
  • Sunday, November 27th We are at 35 acres that have burned
    • The Storm Team said that humidity dropped and winds picked up to cause the conditions to change on Monday. The Storm Team said that winds would be anywhere between 12 – 25 miles per hour (mph) and the gusts could be as high as 40mph.
    • The estimates were much lower than expected. Some of the gusts were as high as 87 mph.
    • 3 Helicopters were ordered to dump large buckets of water on the hottest parts of the fire to hold it at the containment lines.
    • On the ground, firelines were formed to fight the fire from the ground.
    • Late Sunday, the fire was still only at 35 acres had been burned.
  • Monday, November 28th
    • The Storm Team informs the firefighters that the weather conditions changed drastically overnight from the forecast they had given just 24 hours prior.
    • Strong winds had pushed the fire to the Northeast.
    • Now they were fighting what was called spot fires which are embers that fly up from a major fire and land in a spot and form another fire.
    • The spot fires were anywhere from ½ a mile to a 1 mile from the main fire.
    • This was deemed extraordinary fire behavior. Fires like this only happen in the plain states.
    • A larger effort to fight the fires was called in.
    • Warnings were sent to Gaitlinburg Fire Department about the impending spot fires (although, the firefighters seen it unlikely).
    • Because of the smoke, it became impossible to track the acreage at this point.
    • Within 3 hours, the fire had jumped 3 miles away from the main fire with spot fires.
    • The largest call out for other firefighters ever in Gaitlinburg history went out.
    • Between 5:45-6:00pm the power went out to the weather tools and multiple trees were falling, power lines were falling, and several more spot fires started.
    • Mandatory evacuations of small communities started at 6pm.
    • There is no fire warning on the emergency sirens, so the flood warning siren went off twice between 8:30 and 9:30pm.

Yes, these boys were acting in a way that was dangerous in drought conditions.  Honestly, do you think these two teens even knew what a drought was?  Sure, we studied that in science in school, but how many science projects are about drought conditions?  I cannot remember seeing one science project that resembled the affects of a drought.  You tell me, after seeing this time line and seeing that no real effort to put the fires that started on November 23rd out started until November 27th, what do you think?  There were 4 days there that the firefighters done the minimum efforts to fight what turned out to be devastating fires.

Back to question one, what would a county do to cover up a catastrophe?  Why would they want to cover it up?  Let me start with the why.  As I said, I went up there and I was talking to different people about the fires and went fishing for their thoughts.  For the most part, these people thought those teens needed to hang because they left so many people devastated.  One guy said that his house was paid for and he lost everything he owned in the fire.  He went to FEMA and asked for help and they turned him down because he made too much money.  Apparently, even the money that Dolly Parton offered was tainted.  She would not help him either.  In my experience, I have learned one thing, if you find one with a story like this, there are usually a lot more that do not have an outlet to get theirs out, but nonetheless have the same story.  So, why would a county want to cover up a catastrophe, because they do not want to be the ones that is sued because of their neglect.  Plain and simple, this was neglect at its best.  A firefighter with 25 years experience is in charge of fighting this fire and this was the best that someone with 25 years experience could come up with.

Both of the teens have attorneys and as I sit here tonight writing this, my heart goes out to these boys that are in lock-up until the judge decides what kind of release they would be eligible for.  Honestly, they probably would not be safe on the streets anyways.  The people in Tennessee all believe the legal officials when they say that these teens caused all this devastation.  NO, they did not cause all of it.  Sure, they set the fire, but it was not their job to fight the fires.  How would this be their fault?  I do not see it.

Give me your opinions, I sure would like to hear them.

Crimes Worthy of Ink

Tabitha Sampson Rohm

September is Literacy Month

September is national literacy month and I am trying to take a survey to write a blog for that month.  I need my family and friends help for this blog.  I am hoping this blog is going to be published for the group that I am in, Sister In Crime.  Please help me.  Take the survey yourself and then share it on your page asking your friends and family to take the survey.  It is merely on reading.  Anyone and everyone is encouraged to take this survey because I need as much data as possible for my blog.  I need the survey to be taken by at least 100 people, but if I can get more, that would be awesom!!!

So, are you ready.  All you have to do is either copy and paste the questions in a response directly to this blog post or simply copy and paste the questions with your answers to my Facebook account.   Here we go:

  1. How many books do you read in a month?
  2. How many books do you read in a year?
  3. Do you encourage reading to your family? (family reading time, suggest books to kids, etc)
  4. How many times do you visit the library in a month?
  5. How many times do you visit the library in a year?
  6. Do you visit the same library each time?
  7. Do you buy the books you read? Or do you prefer to borrow from the library?
  8. How many books do you buy in a month?
  9. How many books do you buy in a year?
  10. Do you read fiction or non-fiction?
  11. What genre of books do you read? (Fantasy, True Crime, Drama, Romance, Etc)
  12. Do you read books on a digital device (Kindle, Nook, or Phone)?
  13. Do you chart the books you read (ex. Goodreads)?
  14. Do you keep a Journal (a daily journal, book journal, or any type of journal)?
  15. Who is your favorite author?
  16. What was the last book you read?
  17. When did you finish it?
  18. What do you plan to read next?
  19. How do you find you the books you read? (word of mouth, advertisement, library suggestion, etc)
  20. How old are you?

Thank you again for your participation.  You have been such a great help.

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Time To Deal With North Korea

I apologize for the long break in blog posts; I hope this one makes up for it.  In the news the past couple days has been Otto Warmbier; a college student that was enticed to go to North Korea “for an experience of a lifetime”.  That was a direct quote from his Dad that gave a statement to the news agencies on Thursday.  The parents are extremely upset at North Korea and our government for what happened to their son.

 

Warmbier went to North Korea because there was a travel agency that lures young adults to other countries and then they are mistreated.  As Otto Warmbier was boarding the plane to leave the country when the North Korean government apprehended him and charged him with the “war crime” of stealing a banner from a church.  He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for that crime.

Warmbier arrived home 3 days ago in a coma.  According to the North Korean government, Warbier went into this coma soon after being sentenced.  Not one time was he allowed to go home for medical reasons.  The government nor the penial institution would inform his family of his medical state.  His family found out last week the condition that he was in.  Warmbier has been in a coma for 15 months and no one bothered to inform the family.

Our government was telling the parents to “lay low” and “be quiet” because “we don’t want to upset the North Korean government.

Ok, I have a problem with this!!!  “LAY LOW” “BE QUIET” “DON’T UPSET NORTH KOREA”!!!  Really? If this was the only thing that North Korea was doing that might need addressing, then that would be one thing … but it isn’t.  It is time that the American Government and People start taking a stand and letting North Korea know that we are not going to tolerate any more of their shenanigans.

In 2017 alone, North Korea has shot off 16 missiles that we know of.  In 2016, the year that Warmbier was arrested and sentenced, they shot off 8 missiles.  Over and over again, if you Google it, the America has warned North Korea to stop setting off missiles and yet they keep doing it.  Warmbier was arrested in March 2016 and in August 2016 North Korea set of a missile that could have reached the US if they so wanted.  Could this be why Warmbier’s family needed to “LAY LOW” or “BE QUIET”?  Why was this necessary.  If we were making moves to turn this around and bring Warmbier home, then I could understand such actions.  However, I don’t think that was it at all.  I think they needed to be quiet because we were likely to get bombed by them.  I know, listen, my family and I live here too.  I don’t want to be bombed any more than the next person, but when one of our people are captured, we don’t “lay low” either.  We go in as one to get them.

Grant it, we finally got Warmbier home, but I would like to know exactly who brought him home and how long did they actually work on doing so?  I agree with Warmbier’s Dad, “North Korea does nothing out of the goodness of their hearts”.  With that being known, it had to be someone else who convinced them to let him go.  With North Korea doing nothing good at any time, that means someone had to be talking to them.  I want to know how many times they were talked to and I want to know the extent of the conversation.  I want to know when those conversations started and how long they lasted and in what form they were in?  Is this too nosey?  I don’t think so.  We are talking about a country that has repeatedly refused to adhere to our warnings to stop firing missiles and I know they got those warnings because the news was always so proud to report when they launched one and what our response was … which usually amounted to nothing more than a hand over our mouth while saying “oh no you didn’t”.  It was time to act then and it has been time to act for a while.  When do we take our country serious again?  When do we do like Toby Keith says and “fight when you rattle our cage”.

Shout out to Trump, you want to make “America Great Again”, start with North Korea and get your mind of the Russian Probe … “matter”.  Isn’t that what you want it to be called … a matter?  Well, get off the “matter” and start focusing on real President stuff.  Yes, I hope you are impeached at the end, but for now, you are all we have that can take care of North Korea.  Show us your muscle and quit talking about it.