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.

Women Kill Me!!!!

Shane Ladner was in court this week to find out the verdict on his case of lying about having a Purple Heart.  He was a police officer in Cherokee County and was accused of lying under oath about having a Purple Heart.  He was found guilty on 6 of the 7 charges against him.  One charge of lying to investigators and 5 counts of lying to the tax commissioner so he could get a “free tag” for his truck. As he is lead out of the courtroom in handcuffs, friends comfort his wife.  Are you serious?  Some women kill me with how easily a guy is able to smooze her.  She don’t even get a clue that if he lied about this, what else do you think he lied about.  His tag was only $20 a year; he lied to get a $20 tag free.   I promise you, the lies he has told his wife are a lot worse.  Wake up lady, this is only the beginning.

Why Are They Not AS Big And Tough In Court As They Are On The Battle Field

When I first heard the story about Kayla Norton and Jose Torres, I didn’t feel compelled to write about it.  After watching all the videos available on the case and seeing all the comments on Facebook, my blood is boiling.  For those that have no clue what I am referring to, in 2015 when the Confederate Flag was taking a beating, a group of people that called themselves “Respect The Flag” terrorized a 8-year-old little girl’s birthday party.  It was a group of several trucks with several flags in the back of the trucks and the passengers and drivers were yelling obscenities and threats to the partygoers.   At one point, the people from the trucks were threatening to get guns out of their trucks.  When I heard people done this at a child’s birthday party, my heart sunk.  I couldn’t believe we had adults, young adults, but nonetheless adults acting like this.

Fifteen people are arrested: Kayla Norton was sentenced to 13 years to serve 6 in prison; Jose Torres was sentenced to 20 years to serve 13 in prison; Thomas Summers was sentenced to 6 years; and the other 12 were sentenced to probation.  Here is where I get heated.  There is a petition shared on the social media sites asking the Governor of Georgia to overturn the wrongful convictions of Kayla Norton and Jose Torres.  I am trying to figure out how Patrick Rogers of Pennsylvania knows anything about this issue to begin with.  Patrick Rogers is the person who started the petition.  He doesn’t know what it is like to live in Georgia where 60% of the population is white and 30% of the population is black.  In Pennsylvania, those numbers are more like 80% white and 10% black.  To narrow it down a little more, in Douglas County we have 52% whites and 39% blacks.  Do you see where I am going with this?  We have to get along.  It is so close to a 50/50 split.  We don’t have room to rise up against the other.  No one can call the other more superior than the other can, because we aren’t.  We definitely don’t need someone from Pennsylvania that has no clue what it is like to co-exist with another race causing issues down here in Georgia.  Even the original Mr. Rogers knew to stay within his own neighborhood.

Another thing that upsets me about this whole issue are the lies that are being spewed.  Starting with Norton and Torres’ lie: they were not in that area to crash a birthday party (like they would say it if they were), they were there to sale American Flags to raise money to buy Confederate Flags for those less fortunate and can’t buy their own … or something like that.  Not sure exactly what they were doing, but selling or buying flags was not what they were doing in this video.  If you will notice, there are a lot of police already on the scene.  This is the only video that anyone has of what happened.  Witnesses in court testified that objects thrown at the partygoers along with racial slurs yelled and threats of bringing out guns.  I have yet to see any proof of anyone selling flags.  The fact that the police are there tells me something had to have happened before this video started filming.  It was a lie.  Last night someone claiming to be Norton’s best friend (and we all know how that goes, with friends like that ..blah ..blah ..blah) said that she “knows her friend Kayla wouldn’t have done that because she has been dating a black guy for the past year”.    Here is what I do know; Jose Torres is the father of Kayla Norton’s 3 kids.  I doubt she has been dating a black guy, but if she has, I think that would have been more for Judge McClain’s benefit than anything else.  Lie … another bold face lie.

Although the previous points are surely damaging on their own merits, the thing that eats me up is how far above this we should be by now.

  • Slavery was abolished on January 31, 1865
  • Douglas county Georgia is originally named after Frederick Douglas (a black slave abolitionist) on October 17, 1870.
  • Some 84 years later, Desegregation of the schools happened in 1954

We should be far above anyone doing any acts of this sort.  Tonight someone asked me why I thought it was right to sentence Kayla Norton and Jose Torres to more years than a rapist or murderer, because what they done was worse than murder.  That 8-year-old and all her friends should have only seen something like that in history books in a history class.  Thanks to Norton and Torres that poor child seen what her Great-grand-parents went through first hand.  They murdered a child’s ability to trust white people.  A child is innocent and everything that we teach them will eventually come out in action … what do you think the action will be from this learning experience?  Gangs?  Murder?  Burglary?  The only way these things and plenty more are not the result is going to be based on how the parents can turn it into something different.  The video of one of the victims in court gives me hope that she will do just that.

As with anything that upsets the public to this degree, this too shall pass, with the passing I hope we learn some lessons. We need to respect one another … no matter who your neighbor is, we all can connect on one level or another and we need to find a way to do so.  If you don’t have a dog in the fight (speaking of the guy in Pennsylvania), then stay home.  There are a million things I can think to say about this topic and a million things I wish I still had time to say; but I think for now enough said.

 

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The Jury Got It Right

On January 11, 1999 David Temple, a high school football coach, found his pregnant wife, Belinda Temple shot to death in their home.  In his trial 9 years later, David was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life in prison.  I do not believe the jury got it wrong.  They were right to find him guilty.

In the legal world, the case is what they call a circumstantial case.    District Attorneys do not like to go to court on a circumstantial case because it means they do not have any evidence to back up their claim.  They do not have fingerprints, footprints, or any DNA.  They do not have anyone coming forward with a confession.  They have the contrary; they have one person that they has come up in their investigation repeatedly.  Kelly Siegler, the Prosecutor, has a saying, “if you take one wooden pencil (each wooden pencil represents one string of circumstantial evidence) and try to break it, most likely, you will break it.  If you take a second wooden pencil and add to the first, then try to break it, you might be able to break it.  But, the more wooden pencils, the more pieces of circumstantial evidence, you put together, the more unlikely it becomes to break it”  I happen to agree with her.  There comes a point when one has to come out and say, “oh, come on now, admit it”.

Let me review some of the evidence that they did have:

  • Shaka – David’s Chow that was ferocious with everyone except David, Evan, and Belinda Temple;

was in the home at the time of the murder.  The dog was not drugged.  When the police arrived on the scene, Shaka was so ferocious; they almost had to shoot it to get into the house the help Belinda.

  • The door that gave entry to the burglar (David Temple’s story … and he has stuck to it) was broken while the door was open.
  • Belinda only drove while wearing her glasses … her glasses were on when she was shot.
  • Belinda always pulled her shoes off at the door when she came in … her shoes were on her feet when she got shot.
  • Belinda had gone to David Temple’s mom’s house to pick up some soup for Evan because he was sick before she came home from work … the soup was sitting on the kitchen table after the murder. A caring mom usually would have fixed Evan a bowl and put the rest in the Fridge for later.  A bowl was not made for Evan and she never put it in the fridge.
  • David said that Evan had been riding his bike in the garage when his mother was murdered … Evan’s bike was hanging on the wall in the garage.

As with most cases, David Temple had the oldest motive in the book, a girlfriend.  David Temple told Heather Scott that he “loved” her three days prior to Belinda Temple’s death.

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Here are a few of my issues with David Temple and Heather Scott:

  • In his trial, David blamed the teen who lived next door for the burglary and murder.
    • Just like all the other students at Katy High School, that teen liked Belinda. Sure, he did not like the discipline that came from her for his lack of attendance, but he liked her as a person.
      • It kills me that he would try to put a teen in prison for life for something he did.
    • Soon after Belinda’s death, Heather and David started their relationship.
      • A year after her death, Heather and David got married.
        • I have to wonder, how can Heather live with a man that clearly murdered his wife?
        • How can Heather resolve the fact within her own mind that David wanted to blame a teen for what he done rather than take the blame himself?
        • Finally, what does Heather think he is going to do when he gets tired of her; or thinks she is getting fat, or David simply wants another woman, if he gets away with this murder?

No, these are not incriminating facts, but they are definitely some things to take into consideration.  One could say that means Heather has full faith that David is innocent and therefore we should consider those.  Some could argue that David has convinced Heather to help plead his case by remaining in the relationship with him.   Others might say that Heather is throwing caution to the wind and putting her life at stake for someone who never considers others himself.

Due to some mistakes made during the prosecution of David Temple, a Judge has granted him the right to a new trial.  He is gave a $30,000 bond and his family scraped every dime and was able to get him out of prison until his next trial.  Here is my problem with a Judge doing this.  After every high profile court case, the first thing people yell is the jury got right; or the jury got it wrong.  I worry about the juries coming to a point where they do not want to make decisions in court cases because the Judge may come behind them and rule against it.

I can understand granting him a new trial, after all, our appeals process would not be complete without one.  I do not think we should grant him a bond while awaiting that new trial.  We have juries for a reason and they play an important part in our judicial system.  We need to trust them to do their jobs to the best of their ability and not let a judge over rule that verdict.

But these are my thoughts, what are yours?

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Racism

A woman in Lithia Springs, Georgia is outraged because of the Black History Month display in her 4-year-old son’s daycare (pictured above).  She does not think that white people should be on this display.  She went home and made a post about it on Facebook about how it outraged her and the creator of the display (which is also black), responded.  As usual, when you get into a debate on Facebook, the outcome is not always what we expect and by no means wanted.  Molden’s son was kicked out of the day care.  They simply told her that her son was unable to come back.  She sits in front of an interviewer for WSB-TV and explains her issue and why she took the stand she did.  She explained to the news anchor that black people only get one month out of twelve to be celebrated and she cannot understand why white people have to be a part of that celebration.

Well Kendra Molden, your outrage outrages me.  It is not like the creator of the display has every white person that has ever done anything significant in history on the display.  No, as a matter of fact, the people that she has put on the display are the exact people that she needed to have on the display.  Calm down a minute and let’s look at this a little closer.

Abraham Lincoln was directly involved with the slave issue and abolishing it.

John F. Kennedy (35th President) is the one that proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  He is the exact reason you have the same rights as I do.  Which by the way, blacks had voting rights before women did.

Jimmy Carter (39th President) was the one to sign into law the Civil Rights of Institutionalized People.  This gave rights to the people that are locked up in prisons, hospitals, and other mental institutions.  When your people fought the good fight for Civil Rights, your fight went so much further than your race and Jimmy Carter is the one that brought that to light.

These were only a few of the men that outrage you.  Men that served your purpose as well as was moved mountains and walls for the common good of the people … both black and white.  I have to wonder if it would outrage them as much to know how little you know about your own history.  The creator of this display knows her history.  You should have been proud to have such a knowledgeable teacher at your son’s school.  Instead, you go home and blast the school and the teacher on Facebook.  Then you go to WSB-TV and ask them to share your story.  Kendra, I feel sorry for you.  I feel sorry for your son.  If I was you, the next time I get ready to blast someone on Facebook, I would do a little research first.

On a personal level, I have to ask you about your comment about one month out of twelve.  Yes, you have one Black History Month out of twelve; how many white history months do we have?  Do we have a Hispanic history month?  I work for Hindus, we do not have a Hindu month out of the year.  What gives black people the right to think this land is theirs and only theirs?  George Washington (President’s day), Martin Luther King, and Christopher Columbus (bet you don’t know why he has a day) all have celebrated days in a calendar year … not a month.  Since you know more history than I do and you know why the blacks deserve a whole month (because I do not know), please enlighten me.

If I was a black person, I would want to know why Jesse Jackson doesn’t have a day named for him.  What about Hosea Williams, does he not deserve a day for him?  These are two guys that were just as strong in the fight for Civil Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy.  I do not see you fussing that they were not on that display.  I understand your fight to where you are, but at some point you are going to have to let the past stay in the past.  You have the same rights as I do today.  We have everything in our hands to move forward and make this nation a better place … not only for blacks, but for whites also.  Do you think the slavery days did not hurt the whites?  Yes it did.  Because of what our ancestors did, people like you in your race will never let it drop and be able to move forward.  You will forever be stuck in the past and that will always cripple you and in this case your son.

I doubt you will ever see this blog Kendra Molden, but if you do, please feel free to contact me at any time.  I have my Facebook, Twitter, and email linked to my blog and I would sure love to talk to you.

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ADDICTION

Ten years ago, I was addicted to Crack Cocaine.  My addiction last for 14 months after my then boyfriend introduced it to me.  Crack was my drug of choice, but honestly, any drug would have sufficed.  I have been thinking a lot about those days lately.  Not because I would ever want to revisit them, but because my heart breaks for people caught in such a trap.  On April 7th, 2007 I got arrested while out looking for the drug and thankfully, my parents had the bright idea to leave me in there until my court date.  Other inmates told me how to ask bail bondsmen to bail me out without any money to put down, but I was afraid to do something like that.  Then if I were to get out without my parents’ approving way, where would I have gone.  There was more to consider than how to get out.   I’m glad I didn’t bail out.  I stayed in the county jail for 28 days and it gave me plenty of time to think.  I was able to think about what all I had been doing the past 15 months.  I was able to push a reset button and start fresh when I got out.  My body was clean of drugs and my mind for the first time in over a year was clear.  The first thought to hit my head when I awoke was not to find money to get high.  It was not to find my dealer or hit the pawnshop with stuff I had stolen.   For the first time in over a year, I awoke clean and clear minded.  From that moment on, it was up to me if I was ever to get high again and I knew this.  It was my choice if I would hang out with that crowd again.  You know the one, the one that knew where to find drugs.   I changed my friends.  I changed my hangouts.  I changed everything I did and who I did everything with.  That was my first arrest and that is what 28 days did for me.  Most addicts do not have that opportunity.  Not because they are able to stay in their addiction and never get caught; but because they are able to whine enough so they convince someone to come get them out.  Did I whine to my mother … heck yeah I did.  I also cried, cussed, and fussed and anything else I thought might convince her to come get me.  It broke my mother’s heart, but she knew what she was doing … even if I did not understand.

Today, I watched the show The Doctors on TV.  I rarely watch this show.  If I do watch it, I usually caught it in a doctor’s office or it was on TV when I walked into the room (and I usually turn it rather quickly).  Today’s show was about a 27-year-old girl that weighed almost 400 lbs and wanted help with her weight.  Her whole family was addicts of one sort or the other.  Her addiction was to food.  You know how these shows go, after exposing the problem; the host will offer a solution.  The solution to Jessica’s problem was TJ Howard at Origins Behavior Healthcare.   I actually think it is neat for the show to offer these people such awesome help.  I have seen Dr. Phil McGraw offer the same help on his show (which makes sense because The Doctors is his son’s show).  As I said, this is awesome help.  However, let’s get real, not all of us can write in to The Doctors and the Dr. Phil show; and if we did, the two shows cannot help every case.  Dr. Travis Lane Stork, the host of The Doctors said on today’s show that Jessica’s help was going to cost right at $250,000.00.  That really upset me.  How is the average person supposed to afford that much to get help?  It is much easier and cheaper to stay in the addiction.

Is it really necessary to go to jail for 30 days in order to get clean?  Would that even work for everyone if that were a viable solution?  I don’t think so.  I have seen people go to jail for 2, 4, even 6 years and still be an addict when they come out.  The jails are not rehabilitation programs.  Sure, they have the drug classes, the GED classes, and some even have trades that you can learn; but those programs are not professional programs with doctors watching over them and guiding you as you go through them.  Besides, in jail, you are right there with the people that was out on the streets doing it with you.  Maybe not the exact same people, but I assure you there is not much difference from them and you street buddies besides their names.   You are able to sit there and talk about drugs all day.  Talk about the music that you listen to … for example:  Percocet Ten by Kyle Lucas.   When my boyfriend back in the day was locked-up, he would call me from jail and tell me a new “hook-up” for the drugs.  Is that rehabilitating?  I don’t think so.  So, what’s left?

You have AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), Celebrate Recovery & other church programs; but do these work?  Personally, I don’t think so. I attended the Reformer’s Unanimous program long before I was ever an addict because I wanted to help the addicted.  I seen people attend the meetings and go straight to the dealer after the meeting.  I seen people come into the meetings high and drunk.  I seen people come to the meetings as a social gathering and then I seen others attend for the free food that was offered at the end of the night as a meet and greet time.  The reasons people attended the meetings wasn’t always for the purpose of rehabilitation and because of that, it would interfere with someone else’s purpose.  My point is this, there is no real help out there for the poor addicted.  We need more hospital beds for the addicted.  We need more beds for the mentally ill also, but the addictions are taking over our society.  It is truly sad how many people out there are addicted and there is nowhere for them to turn and no one their families can go to for help.  I guess we could keep writing into Dr. Phil McGraw and Dr. Travis Lane Stork; but I don’t see them being able to help a whole lot people and honestly, to suggest someone write into them and then get refused the help they need would be more damaging than never contacting them in the first place.  The depression from the refusal to help could cause the addicted to go on a binge where they use more than the normal for a spurt of time.

Next time you watch one of these show, think to yourself how much is this show helping that person?  How much is it helping the multitude of others out there?  It would be more beneficial to write into the show and let them know how disappointed you are they didn’t use that money to help more than one person.    Let them know it upset you that they used that one person with that one problem so they could get more ratings.  Ask them if $250,000.00 was worth the ratings they got for that show.  As a former addict that needed help and couldn’t get it, I hope their answer is “no”.

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