When There is No Justice, There Are Tears Without End

Today I am charged with writing something about my best friend.  This is the hardest post I ever had to write. Why? Because she is dead. She has been dead for years, but in high school she was my best friend. She knew everything about me and never shared it with anyone.  To this day I  still wonder why her killers got off with only a 7 year sentence when it was clearly premeditated murder. Had I been able to attend the trial,  I would have raised hell to the media about how HER character was put on trial rather than the actions of the bitch that pumped the bullets into her body.  She was lured out to a desolate road, shot and left for dead. The last conversation I had with her, we talked about my boys and such. Then she said she had to go to meet someone. That was the last time we ever spoke.

So what ended up happening? To make a long story short, they didn’t find the deposit. I guess they were high on drugs or something because they tore the rest of the car apart looking for it from what I am told. So what is there to say? My memories were of good, clean juvenile fun we had and a few in-depth discussions. Ironically I never met her father until well after she died.  She and I would talk for hours on the phone just BS’ing.  He remembered that. I remember the pain in his eyes. I remember seeing his tears fall as he relayed to me his thoughts about losing his only daughter.  Losing a child is a pain I can relate to, only I lost mine due to troubled pregnancies.

And as my eyes are now welling up, I can say no more–except this and that hope she is at peace, even though she got NO justice. Here is part of a song I wrote for her…Her name is Leslie.

“Childhood Friend”

“..Childhood Friend…Why have you gone out to play in all the rain, again?

Leaving me alone, your memory to defend to the end.

God it hurts so bad but I miss my childhood friend…”

I cannot write anymore.  I still miss her after all these years. I guess you can tell just from what I wrote above where the 2nd line came from…But she is dead and cannot defend herself. The person I knew is not the one the defense lawyer for these murderers tried to portray. That I do know and will go to my grave knowing it. I can tell you this…Not once did she ever try to offer me drugs of any kind–which is what the defense for these ass clowns tried to say she was doing in her free time to make THEM look a little better, I guess.  Given my childhood, which most who know me personally are aware of–if she were offering anyone drugs I would have been a prime candidate for self-medication back then just to escape the bull crap that went on in my life.

RIP Leslie…I still miss you, kid…

I also have an aunt who was murdered…They never found who did that either…Either way, Leslie got no justice and my aunt’s killers are out there and it sucks.

Affluenza + Defense = I Smell It Hitting the Fan in Texas

Yes everyone, here I go again…I am PISSED…Majorly PISSED that any judge in my state could get duped the way this one did.  Could someone explain to me what judge in their right mind would let ANYONE go who went out, got drunk, and plowed into 4 pedestrians, killing them?  One of the friends in his truck can no longer move or speak.  The other was severely injured…THIS means 6 people got hurt–not including family members who are devastated by their losses.

I will be surprised as hell if the verdict isn’t set aside. I don’t want to hear this bullshit from the defense attorney that the judge gave the best “possible sentence” given the defense used.  Well wait until you hear what the expert who testified for this kid said! This is a doozy!  However, let’s go back to where it all began and go step by step so that everyone understands why this case REALLY pisses me off as a mother…Look at Brianna Mitchell’s mother (Marla Mitchell) and Eric Boyles in this clip below. Please explain to me how ANY competent judge can let this slide like this when this kid has had problems BEFORE this after seeing how heartbroken they are, and will be until the day they die?  And what about that youth pastor‘s family?  His name was Brian Jennings. These were living, breathing human beings that had a future ahead of them and they deserve a hell of a lot better than what they got in court this week!

Now here is the clincher…The defense says HE IS A VICTIM…Bullshit! This Affluenza Defense is no more valid than the Twinkie Defense. This kid should be doing time like everyone else would be!  If the parents didn’t hold him accountable for his actions before now in all these years, the judge should have grown a damned  pair and said, “Well it’s time you learned what real consequences are! You took FOUR lives, Ethan Couch! FOUR LIVES!  You are old enough to KNOW right and wrong. Ignorance of law is certainly no excuse or reason for you! FOUR people will never see their families again! Four people will never hug their family members, share another Christmas or Thanksgiving with their families.  This defense called “Affluenza” simply means that you were a spoiled brat that got away with far too much! Well not this time!  I’ll be damned if I let you walk out of here and kill anyone else on my watch! Not only that, you destroyed your OWN family with your stupid actions! Are you proud now? Do you think this is funny or cool? Well try this one Ethan Couch–!”  Then he would have received a minimum of 20 years flat-time!  Not that it would bring the victims back but this kid would finally know what it’s like to get his ass handed back to him on a freaking platter!

I personally want to know why in the state of Texas, which today needs a serious wake up call, that there is obviously two standards of justice here? One for this kid and another for those not as “affluent”?  I’m wondering if race would have made a difference if the income and proposals were the same? Somehow I am left with reason to doubt that and I once had faith in the justice system of this state.

Anyway here is the clip.  http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/12/justice/texas-teen-dwi-wreck/

Here are the 4 victims who died and the one who remains paralyzed.

These people will never hug their loved ones again. Their lives were cut horribly short by one spoiled brat--Oh--it's called "Affluenza"--so must I be politically correct?

These people will never hug their loved ones again. Their lives were cut horribly short by one spoiled brat–Oh–it’s called “Affluenza”–so must I be politically correct? L-R: Brian Jennings, Brianna Mitchell, Hollie Boyles and Shelby Boyles (her daughter). They all stopped to help Brianna change a flat tire.

This kid was riding with Couch, but is actually, in sense a fifth victim.  He is paralyzed and communicates via blinking his eyes.

This kid was riding with Couch, but is actually, in sense a fifth victim. He is paralyzed and communicates via blinking his eyes.

I truly hope this verdict is set aside for the sake of the families and that justice is actually served. This was NOT by any means, a fair ruling. The whole defense of “Affluenza” itself was a stupid one. Even the expert who testified says now that he wishes that he had never used that term.  This is not a diagnosis that is recognized by experts anyway. I’m going to add a few more links that a reader might find of interest on this subject, but I am closing with this: Do not drink and drive. No family deserves what these families got in any way, shape or form.  Thank you.

Another link of interest:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/affluenza-slammed-as-defense-for-wealthy-texas-teens-fatal-dwi-wreck/

And still another:  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/rich-kid-who-killed-four-spared-jail/story-e6frf7jo-1226781114284

How Times Have Changed…

In 2014, the 3oth Anniversary of Live Aid will be celebrated, I’m sure.  1984 was a self-defining Christmas for me and for a lot of my generation because we were forced for the first time in our hedonistic generation’s existence to think about someone else in another part of the globe. The artists had the guts to put this in our faces and to this day I still respect them for it.

In recent years we’ve seen so much focus on the self among our own youth that somewhere along the road, they didn’t find that same sense of purpose–yet. It appears to me that we are so focused on ourselves and pissed about what our government is doing in this country that we’ve lost sight of ONE fact.  WE CAN CHANGE THINGS–ONE PERSON AT A TIME.  However we must start with ourselves. We can and must  lead the way for a younger generation.  We cannot leave this up to others because it is not their job to do our job. It is up to us to impart a sense of what is good and what is right into our children, our grandchildren and in a few more years–maybe our great-grandchildren.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the video. I hope it renews the fire in your soul that we had back when were younger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjQzJAKxTrE

 

They started it all...

They started it all…

 

A Question Most Who Engage in this Will NOT Answer…

Why is it when a celebrity dies, there is some sort of envy that they were ever famous?  Better yet why do people feel the need to bring attention to themselves by slamming the fans who are grieving or putting posts up about who or what they feel focus should be on? Seriously…People need to get off of that self-elevating crap  because that is exactly what it is. It is not about anyone who died, it is about anyone who wants to bring attention to themselves by bashing those who are expressing sympathy for the celebrities‘ families and such.

This part is for those who feel the need to engage in such behavior in social media:  Look, if you don’t want celebrity status that is your choice. You chose your life path, and you are simply jealous of their recognition so you try to bring some to yourself by bashing them. They earned their status and whatever else came their way. If you are jealous of that, it is you that has the problem, not the celebrity (or late celebrity).  It doesn’t garner you much respect either. Either way, the fans identify with the celebrity they are grieving because they come into their homes or into the theaters and are visible to them. If they are musicians, they hear their words that touch their lives daily.

YOU want them to grieve the invisible–the ones they don’t see, but yet you seem to have a connection with. This is especially true when people post about troops that died on a celebrity death thread. That doesn’t mean the fans feel no regret for the loss of anyone–especially a soldier, sailor, airman, etc…But you have no right to tell anyone how they should feel or how they should express grief–let alone WHO they should grieve at any given time. You have no right to try to lay a guilt trip on them for your own pleasure either.

IF you want to grieve someone, put up your own tributes and leave the fans of the celebrities alone. You don’t help yourself by bashing them, belittling or bullying them either.  They are entitled to what they feel as are you.

For those wondering what the heck I am talking about, THIS appeared on FB the other day:

This is one example of what people will create to bring attention to themselves and cause crap...

This is one example of what people will create to bring attention to themselves and cause crap…The chances are, the person who created this didn’t know who Paul Walker or Roger Rodas were, but used this to bash fans with because he/she had nothing better to do with his/her time.

And just so everyone is aware, I have seen condolences posted toward both families on twitter, FaceBook and elsewhere…This behavior is inexcusable and immature–period.

The bottom line is that when anyone dies, they leave friends, family, co-workers and in the case of celebrities, a lot of fans and colleagues behind.  They are entitled to grieve in any way they see fit and if the people making such posts have a problem with that, they need to find another way to channel their negative energy or simply get quiet.

Then again, I am sure they will continue to engage in such behavior because it is far easier to bully a group from behind a keyboard than it is to say it to their faces, isn’t it?

We Spend Our Lives Doing TWO things: Becoming and Dying…

I know this sounds bleak in a title, but it really isn’t. It isn’t fatalistic either.  Is it just possible that we spend so much time trying to work on others that we forget where our focus really SHOULD be? I think so. That is why I opt for brutal honesty. I know I can’t change a damned thing about the past or the future because those are two things I cannot control, but I can control how I react when put in a certain spot.

I nearly got killed tonight. No kidding. Some bonehead decided to slam his brake when NOTHING was in front of his vehicle. My son was driving and we were going the speed limit (75 mph). He swerved to the right and fish-tailed.  “Ease up on the brake and stay calm.” Shit! I don’t know how that came out of my mouth, but it did. He swerved again to the right and fish-tailed again, then over corrected. This resulted in being spun around across the freeway and landing in the median. He tried to start the car and it wouldn’t start. “Brian, put it in park.” Once he did, it ran fine. No damage to the vehicle and more importantly none to us or my dog!

I don’t know HOW I managed to stay calm during that crap, but I was shook up when it was over. I said, “Let’s get the hell out of this ditch and go home!” and we did.  It was a miracle that he didn’t hit another vehicle, and more importantly, that we are alive.  He was laughing a few minutes later, and made a comment about reliving “Too Fast and Too Furious”…

I looked at him and said, “Brian, that is not funny to me.”  I think he was just grateful that we were alive and that is how he handled being shook up.

Either way it could have turned out very differently.  Brian and I are working hard on improving from within, and then this happens. It just goes to show that in an instant, the world can be changed for our loved ones. When we got to Kevin’s house (my other son), I gave him his birthday presents and hugged my daughter-in-law and my son. I held onto my grandson for a bit as well.  Let’s just say it gave me a new perspective on things this time of year, but  in the end, are we not all born to die?

Better yet, didn’t Beckett describe it best?, “…We are all born astride a grave…”?

I’d rather die working on the person I’m trying to become, than to regret the person who is now dead that is my past being,  OR  meet my future being who might be a bit more cranky than this particular incarnation of me in the present…

And how was your weekend?

 

Parents, Parents, Parents! It’s TERM PAPER TIME! Here is HOW to Help Your Student!

Parents, if you’re helping kids with their term papers and such, MAKE SURE that the blog posts they are citing  (IF THEY ARE USING THEM) are run by REAL PEOPLE whose credentials you can verify. There are a lot of phonies out there giving out phony facts to elevate their egos and they are spreading a LOT of false information about various subjects they claim to be experts in.  If the paper counts for a MAJOR GRADE, your quick thinking may make the difference between an A/B paper and a C/F one.

If they name a university, check out its website and see if that person is a faculty member. If that person’s name is NOT on file, then the whole site is bogus! Tell your kid to keep looking!  That’s the best way to check it. Then direct your child to find something easier to verify. In fact, if you want to, call that professor up on the university extension IF that person’s REAL name is on the blog, and ask him/her and verify that this is his/her site. A lot of people do rip off ID‘s. Most professors won’t mind verifying the info either and if it is not their blog, they will take action to shut it down.

There are too many “wannabe” experts out there pretending to be somebody they aren’t. Some get paid for each hit on their website. Think of it this way, if the site is bogus, you’re not just helping your student to a better grade, you might be preventing possible internet fraud.

Tune in next time for another writing tip…Same bat time! Same bat channel!

 

 

Another Year and I Still Think of You…

Dear Jay:

I wish you were here to share this with but you are not. A lot has happened since you went away. I thought of you when I heard a high school band playing a while back and how we marched on to make a 1 at UIL back then…Those were the days, man…I remember the pride we had in our work, and the times we were on top of the world when we did do well! I also remember the spirit of unity our band had back then. Those days made getting up and going to school worth it.

I remember going to your mom’s house for those awesome lunches too when she had the food stand! She and several others kept me going, even when it got tough and I’ll be forever grateful to them all for that. Knowing that you went to the ends of the Earth to get your son is an inspiration to me. I am grateful that you had such a wonderful and fulfilled life. You have a wonderful family and they will continue to carry your torch for your son until he can carry it on his own.

I am sure you are having a grand time celebrating today! Happy birthday, my friend…And just so you know, I may be going to another end of the Earth soon enough…I may be going to China for a while. This is the second time I’ve been approached on the idea. This time I may do it.

Tina

 

On a Not So Special Day…

In October of 2000, I remember going to Eastland Cemetery in Eastland, TX…I found my way to the woman whose suicide I blamed myself for many years…She wasn’t famous.  No one heard of her except the locals who knew of her tirades.  Her name was Judy.  She was my stepmother.  For about 3.5 years, I endured much at her hands but it was on this day that I came to one stark realization.  She could not help her mental illness.  In the last two weeks of her life, she thought she was four years old, and that I was her mother.

For years after her death, I kept asking, what if I had done this? What if I had done that.  The fact of the matter is that it does not matter, especially now. There are two things nobody has control over besides life and death and those things are the past and future. Neither can be changed. However I spent much of my 20’s trying to run from the memories of what went on in my home during the time she was with us. It was rather violent. I got shoved into walls, cabinets, picked up and thrown into one once–and those times were on the days when she wasn’t too pissed off and went off on EVERYONE.

Do I hate her? No.  Do the memories of a pistol getting pointed at my head still haunt me? Yes. That is probably why I never owned a gun. However times change and I do often think about obtaining one now. Please, if you’re into gun control, don’t preach at me. My family hunted for decades and before that my ancestors did also.  Not everyone who owns a gun is a nut-case.

Anyway back to my point.  There is only one thing that enabled me to get beyond the shadows of the past  when it came to her and that was to make this particular trip, on this not so special day to her grave.  It was in the 60’s and the sun was out.  And I stood here for a long time pondering what I would say if she were to stand next to me. It was then I said something very close to this:

This is my stepmother's grave. My father was buried elsewhere

This is my stepmother’s grave. My father was buried elsewhere

 

“It has been many years now. I have done some digging and now I can understand why you were so tormented over several things. Losing your own children and losing two sisters prior took a toll on you. I understand now, Judy. I understand the hell you went through at home as a child too. I forgive you.  I actually forgave you a long time ago but I had to come here to say it. I hope that you are at peace and that you are no longer suffering. I would wish what you endured on nobody now that I have put it together.”

Her suicide took a devastating toll on my emotions all the way through high school and beyond. I buried myself in my writing and my school work. I almost ended up getting into cutting but one of the counselors saw my journal and encouraged me to channel my energy elsewhere.  That was when I picked up a pen.

The chilling remarks when I came back to school after her death were the most cutting. Some new kid asked why anyone would shoot themselves.  My teacher in that class was a coach everyone got pissed at every day it seemed.  As I sat there he said, “I don’t know but women usually don’t go around shooting themselves because they are afraid to mess up their looks.”

I was livid. There is no way he didn’t know about her suicide being that he worked part-time for DPS.  I got up and bolted out of the room.  I stayed home for a couple of days and was in a different class after that. My dad made sure of it.  Even in her death the bullying and idiotic behavior of some of the other students continued as well. I never forgot that either. To them it was all a joke.  Well I hope they enjoyed their years at school afterward, because much of their entertainment came at the expense of others who were broken. This is why I don’t attend class reunions either–along with many others who opt not to show.

It is actually them I feel sad for. Even in adulthood they do not have a clue as to the scars they inflicted with their actions and words, yet most have suffered their own tragedies and seem to forget their past actions.  Ironically, I forgive them too. Some will have much to answer for one day. Until then, I will live my life and continue to work to get questions answered. For Judy, it’s the least I can do. She deserved better than what life dealt her.

 

A Simple Thing to Ask…

“…I have discovered that I am hated for being in the land in which my ancestors were sent to die. That is a sad revelation. Very sad indeed. However this is where I am from and this is the ground upon which I stand. Their blood ran through it and when I die, I will be one with it. To hate the land is to hate my blood. To hate my blood is to spit upon my ancestors. Spitting on one’s ancestors carries a special curse with it, I believe…When this circle completes, this will have been proven many times over, so please don’t profess to love me or be my friend and tell me you hate this land. If you hate the land, you hate the people–and I am one of those people…”(Journal Entry)

I wrote this some time back. I have now come to the realization that no matter what I say or what I do, someone is always going to hate me for it and/or bitch about it. However I block the bullies who try to coerce me into agreement with their stance on anything. Regional bias is another form of extreme hatred that is every bit as much of an ‘–ism” as racism or homophobia.  I come under attack quite often from both sides. For one, I believe abortion will always be legal so the question is, who should pay? Well I say not me since it is elective surgery. I wouldn’t want to pay for anyone to get their boobs made smaller because they were inconvenient pieces of tissue so why would I pay for that? As for gay marriage, let them marry. It’s not our job to do God’s job. Now that this is out-of-the-way, I got a lot of shit because I recently decided to support Ted Cruz.  Why?

MOST know I was living in a 3 BR house prior to September. I relocated to be closer to work, but was hoping to save on rent. However,  it actually increased.  NOW I had to choose between groceries, rent, car payments and such AND the medical insurance.  In an economy where most Americans are already strapped, I do NOT feel that this should be mandatory OR fines imposed for non-compliance.  In fact, if they are going to “steal” $99 or whatever it is from the Burger King worker’s paycheck , it should automatically be applied to the cost of the premium and a special plan be put into place to cover them.  Burger King employees are good examples for this. They are getting hit too. Anyway, this is theft, pure and simple and that is why I support Cruz.  I am not rich. I am not eating steak every night. All I want is the $250 out of my paycheck back.  To me it is thievery when they take from one group to give to another and then they raised the deductibles to a ridiculous level.  The people in charge right now are NOT Democrats. The last true Democrat was Ann Richards and she is gone.  I honestly think she’d have taken the same path Rick Perry took with this trash.

The mis-assumption for many Democrats is that it is only  people who are well off and white who want this thing abolished–unless they are lying to make race an issue of it, and that would not surprise me. Well if they call me white, they are racists themselves. I am part Comanche. I am not well off either. I live in an RV (rented) for now.  I do not make a huge amount of money and I am sick and tired of hearing Democrats tell me how well off I am when I have to rely on a  soup kitchen to eat dinner at least 3x a freaking week–even on my pay. I could lie and say I make $20 less a month than I do and get SNAP but I am not a liar and I will not steal. I’ll leave that to these Democrat politicians who seem to think that they are Robin Hood incarnate.  I will also be the first to remind them that Robin Hood was still a thief in the end–and if they really think that they are “Robin Hood” they need to be reminded that the “merry men and women of congress” will turn their backs on them when it hits the fan too.

The only ones who really do NOT have to worry about this thing are those who fall into that 2% that Gore keeps bitching about. How are they getting exempted from this crap?  Believe me they are. I am think that if it is good enough for us, the working people out here, then it is good enough for everyone else.

Subsidies? Please…That is an even bigger  joke.

I definitely think the 10 Senators whose seats are up for grabs next year figured it out.  They are begging Obama to fix the crap because their voters are giving them ultimatums! Gee, do you think Obama will listen to THEM and grant a 1 year individual extension on this crap? I don’t think so. He’ll let ’em go down with the ship.

SO now all I have is ONE question to ask.  IF we don’t agree why can’t we just all get along and work on what we DO agree on first, then duke it out over the other crap at election time? Hasn’t the government played that division card long enough?  THEY work for us–not the other way around.

Vulnerable Senate Democrats

 

UPDATE….I guess Obama is going to give individuals that one year extension the House Republicans were begging for prior to the shut down…Good idea but is it still kicking the can down the road and avoiding the inevitable? Better yet, which party will get credit for the idea? Gee…Seems like it would have paid off to negotiate with those repubs after all, huh Mr. Reid?  Ms. Pelosi?  What? I can’t hear you…However, we shall see if they were right, won’t we? Stay tuned…Same bat time, same bat channel!

School Bullying Must Stop–A Proposal…

I have to phrase this in a way everyone will get it. School bullying and cyber-stalking are out of control. These web applications that generate fake phone numbers to enable a stalker to pull this MUST be shut down or tightly regulated. If ordered by a judge, they should have to surrender any information the requester for such numbers gave to the site in order to be able to access such programs. Any students caught using this for the purpose of bullying other students should be expelled and put on house arrest for the rest of the school year and forced to do their classwork at home. They should also be ordered to go into psychiatric counseling at the parents’ expense–not the states.

Schools should be required to report to the parents of the victim(s) any incidents (even if perceived) of bullying within two hours of becoming aware of the concurrence. ANY teacher or administrator taking it upon himself/herself who decides not to report the incident to the parents OR the police if severe, should face disciplinary action up to and including termination as well as fines up to $5000 and forfeiture of their certification(s). If the bullying is severe enough to call law enforcement, the police should immediately have to place the bully in restraints and arrest him/her/them. It should also be up to the parents of the VICTIM whether or not to file charges–not the police or the school district.

It is time to protect our children and to separate them from a culture that permits silence and the continued torment of other students. Many of the crimes (yes crimes!) they throw under the label of “bullying” include physical assault, psychological torment, and/or sexual assault or molestation. Often it also includes some sort of verbal sexual harassment and/or repeated incidents.  These are all things adults can either go to jail for and/or lose their jobs for.  When children commit these acts on other children they should be strictly dealt with. There should truly be “zero tolerance” for this behavior in the schools.

This is only part of what I’m proposing to stem the tide of this garbage. How many more students are going to kill themselves before the end of the school year? I am wondering because right now there is NOTHING firm and rigid in a legal approach that has been put  in place to protect them in most states at all.  What are your thoughts? Can you think of any ways to help stop this? I do realize that my proposal is modeled somewhat after the Prison Rape Elimination Act, but since most of what I have seen occur when working for the corrections industry tends to remind me of what I saw in public school yards, that is why I came up with this.

The PREA gave parents and family members of bullied and extorted offenders an avenue to seek remedy within the laws of the land should officers neglect to report possible rapes and take measures to prevent offender suicide. Since so many bullying victims either attempt suicide or actually do it, this must be addressed specifically also.  It is for that reason I strongly support sending bullying victims to a counselor to ensure their mental well-being.  This is especially true if the student is known to be homosexual. Many do get picked on for their sexual orientation and this must also be stopped. No child deserves this treatment.  As for measures like “lunch detention”, believe me, they are a joke. Those things do not work on a bully because a lot of the time to them, being in lunch detention or ISS is a “badge of honor” just like going to medium custody is an honor for an offender in prison when they bully others. In fact, a lot of the reason these measures do not work on many bullies is that some of them come from families that have family members which are incarcerated.

It is bad enough that many cannot even bring themselves to discuss this with their own parents out of fear, but school is the last place they should fear going to. We must make these institutions safer for ALL children and this is the only proposal I can think of to actually get the job done–or at least start the process of making a change for the better.

These suicides can be prevented if teachers and administrators are specifically trained in what to watch for, so I propose that training them to notice certain signs (unkempt appearance, giving away possessions, statements that could lead one to think they might harm themselves or others in retaliation, etc…).