The Slippery Slope

This past weekend there was a music festival in Slane, Ireland at which a young woman was photographed engaging in sex acts with at least two different young men. The photos went viral quickly and the young woman has promptly been slut-shamed; while little if anything negative fallout has been attributed to the young men who participated in said publicly indecent behavior. I cannot even begin to tell you how upset this makes me – on many levels.

First off – it takes two (or more in this instance) to Tango, folks. The young men who engaged in this activity with her are just as “slutty” if not more so – than the woman in question. They ALL should be ashamed of themselves, and probably should be arrested for public indecency and placed on the sex offender registry when convicted. Since 17 is the age of consent, child pornography is not an issue in this particular case. Yet, I fail to understand why young people these days deem it OK to photograph, videotape, and share what should be extremely private moments. There is certainly  more than enough information out there about the dangers and consequences of sharing explicit photographs and messages via cell phone or on the internet. Once it’s out there, its out there FOREVER. I don’t completely understand why folks aren’t more careful about what they do – or don’t do, in the internet age. Hel-lo!?! It ain’t rocket science to figure that one out – and act accordingly. Secondly, there was no expectation of privacy…. Moreover, since when did it become OK to get a blowjob in public? So for the young woman to be “distraught” by the publication of these pictures doesn’t make sense. Duh – they were in PUBLIC. If this woman was inebriated, where were her friends to talk her out of doing something this dumb? Oh wait, they were probably all inebriated…… and thought this was HILARIOUS….

I think, perhaps, there’s a very slippery slope here – and what we see in this instance is the pileup at or near the bottom of that slope. The code of conduct for public behavior, hell – even the dress code, has relaxed considerably in the last few years. For example, \10 years ago I don’t know of a single person who would have left the house in their pajamas for any reason other than a critical emergency room visit. Just stroll around your local mall this weekend and you will see a lot of people wandering around in their nightwear. Standards of decency have lowered too – as evidenced by the fashion of wearing ones pants below the hips with one’s tightie whities or boxers showing to all the world. Shirts showing either under-boob, side-boob, or uber-cleavage. Low rise pants that stop millimeters from revealing the upper pubic area. Short shorts clearly outlining one’s genitalia, and buttocks hanging out the back. The attitude is “anything goes” – fashion wise. It’s a short step down to “anything goes” behaviorally, is it not? Especially when, alcohol and drugs are involved. These music festivals are notorious for such things. Is the lack of decency in fashion a cue to act less than decently when wearing such costume? I think that’s highly probable.  I am not saying one cannot express themselves via their clothing.  I am saying that one should be careful and thoughtful, always. Just because you CAN do something does not necessarily mean you SHOULD.

There’s not a clear line to distinguish the acceptable from the unacceptable anymore. Is it then surprising when we (ie the rest of us)  get treated to the free show? If we are surprised, we shouldn’t be. We are not holding anyone to acceptable standards of public behavior when we make ridiculous allowances for “freedom of expression” that cross the line into indecency and immodesty. I am not saying that fashion choices are the sole determining factor in this debacle – but I do think that it was a big part of the slippery slope these folks were on when they fell. Its all connected folks – don’t let anyone tell ya different. I believe it does no one harm to be told “NO” once in awhile. No – you can’t go out of the house dressed like a hoodlum, or a 5 dollar hooker, period. That boundary allows us the structure to eventually determine our own levels of self-respect.

In the festival fellatio fiasco, there was a serious lack of self respect shown in regard to all the participants in the “event.” Certainly more than enough blame to go around for all involved. Is it slutty behavior to perform sex acts in public? Absolutely. All should be held accountable, not just the female who performed the favors. A young man with any self-respect whatsoever should have declined any ‘offers’ and assisted the woman to a safe location. Any young man who was raised correctly, that is. And any woman with any sense of self worth should absolutely know better than to engage in such behavior. If both consenting individuals were interested in a hook-up – it should have been conducted in PRIVATE. I am hoping that all parties will have charges brought against them, that they will learn a tough life lesson, and conduct their sex lives in private from this point on.


Eleven Questions

Thanks to Peaches for tagging me!!

Let’s get started:

1.You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
3. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4. Tag (eleven) people with a link to
your post.
5. Let them know they’ve been tagged.


Least favorite quality in some people?  Dishonesty and Backstabbers

Favorite smell?  The smell of Christmas Dinner cooking, and Balsam

Favorite song that is at least 10 years old?   D’yer Mak’er  Led Zeppelin

What is your biggest niggling anxiety at the moment? (Not fear, just..anxiety)  Finances

Best health tip? Drink lots of Water

Favorite type of book? I have to have a favorite type????   Hmm, mysteries, thrillers, spy novels, sci-fi, high fantasy, romance, supernatural romance, supernatural, biographies, historical fiction, historical non- fiction (particularly the Tudor era) and so on, and so forth, etc etc.  I even like graphic novels and comic books.  Bibliophile Extraordinaire – thats me!

What injustice do you find most infuriating?  That people are still judged based on their appearance and not what’s it their hearts.

What is your favorite environment to be in?  Vacation mode, anywhere. Or home – snuggled up on the couch on a snowy evening with a warm blankie, hot cocoa and the husband.

What makes you feel safe?  See above, Actually, I feel most safe on Saturday afternoons, after chores are done, dinners in the oven, on the grill, or in the slow cooker, the fridge is full of good food, I’m sipping a glass of good white wine, and listening to the neighborhood kids (including mine) laugh and play.

What do you love most about yourself or your life? I’m fortunate to have family and friends that provide unconditional love and support.

What moment in history do you think most affects the present?  Hands down, has to be 9/11 – unfortunately.  

My 11 Questions:

Channelling James Lipton (“Inside the Actors Studio”)  here for the first two questions:

1.  What is your favorite Sound?

2.  When you get to heaven, What’s the first thing God will say to you?

3. Favorite  @%&*U*$%&   word?

4.  Personal Accomplishment that makes you feel the best?

5.  Biggest Regret? (I’ve had a few, but then again – too few to mention)

6.  Favorite Drink?  (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)

7. What’s the best vacation you ever took? And why?

8. Whats the best movie adaptation of a book you’ve ever seen, and why?

9.  Describe the person you are closest to in one word.

10.  Do you have a hobby, if so – what is it? (Blogging doesn’t count for these purposes, lol)

11.  What grinds your gears about people?

And as a big bonus:  Name 5 things that make you happy!















Where is the Love? Right Here on Wordpress!

The logo of the blogging software WordPress. D...

The logo of the blogging software WordPress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the last day or three I have been honored and humbled to receive several more peer blogging awards from two individuals who knock me dead with their creativity, passion, and genuine niceness. Please go visit their blog sites and fall in love with them – right now!  Wait – finish reading this first though  😉 “J.” at  littlefurrow  , Her poetry is simply amazing. And, Gina at professionsforpeace. Her heart and compassion shine through in every word she writes. I am going to nominate a few of my fellow writers for these awards. I have no idea how many yet – I’ll just go till I stop I guess.  There’s so much inspiration, caring, support, passion and respect here. I truly feel welcome – and I hope I am welcoming to all who visit me. So, now to proceed with my nominations and a little blurb about each of them. I really hope you take the time to visit their websites; learn, and be inspired too. One of my intentions with this process is to give them a “go-see” shout out. They have wonderful things to say and in many cases, art to share.  Well worth the time to peruse. If you like me, then I think you’ll love them.

Sharon at aleafinspringtime. Sunshine Award, Genuine Blogger Award, Reader Appreciation Award. Ahh Sharon – you light up my life!  Your gentle,supportive and insightful outlook is just what I need, right when I need it. Sharon is a cup of herbal tea in a harsh coffee world. And that’s a good thing – even though I love my coffee!

Barney at mountainperspective. Genuine Blogger Award, Reader Appreciation Award. My transplanted New Englander friend and top commenter. Much appreciated!  One may not agree with everything he says but he says everything respectfully, thoughtfully and carefully – taking great care to do his research.  Can’t get more genuine than that!

Kelly at dailymomprayers. Very Inspiring Blogger Award, Reader Appreciation Award. Kelly is awesome at finding silver linings and lessons in living in the everyday – and relating them to becoming a better person with a stronger connection to God. Wordsmith extraordinaire! One of my greatest supporters and very much appreciated!

Arnel at allthingsboys. Kreativ Blogger Award, Reader Appreciation Award. Arnel has a wonderful eye for composition, perspective, and framing in her photography. Not only that, but she is a gifted writer as well. Lightning struck twice in her case – in the best way possible.  Her support is also much appreciated.

David at  thoughtsfromtheoutdoors. Genuine Blogger Award, Reader Appreciation Award. David ‘s unique blend of poetry and photography is compelling.  He writes and takes pictures from the heart, and always gives back to other bloggers by commenting positively on their work.

Deb at sixtineandthelittlethings. Genuine Blogger Award, Kreativ Blogger Award. Deb’s got her hands full with a beautiful little girl.  I love her honesty, her genuine curiosity about parenting and her willingness to share her journey with the rest of us. And, her photography rocks!  (shes got a great subject too 😉 )

Go see their sites, and enjoy your weekend One and All!    Love and Hugs, and Happy Mother’s Day!

You Spin Me Right Around: My Math Lesson Today

Unemployment map produced by the Bureau of Lab...

Unemployment map produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statistics.  The only course I ever failed at school.  Of  course it doesn’t  help that I’m no math genius. I let excel do the work for me at work – otherwise we’d be in deep sneakers fiscally  – just kidding.  As election day approaches, I wanted to put it out there to be careful.  The politicians continue to spin statistics and throw numbers at us. If you’re like me – it won’t make much sense.  Numbers don’t lie, but they can also be spun and tailored for whatever truth the politicos decide gets top billing this week; or this election year.

Here’s an example of where I get really really confused with statistics: Let’s say we start with a baseline of 1000 people.  The unemployment rate is 2.5% which means that 25 of those people are out of work. So far so good (well not for those 25 people but this is hypothetical anyway)  Then, we get the “news” that the unemployment rate has increased by 2.5%.  Here’s where my confusion starts: Is it an additional 2.5% of the baseline 1,000 people; or is it 2.5% of the 25 people who were originally out of work to start with?  You get very different numbers with these two scenarios:  In the first, the unemployment rate doubles – increasing to 5% or 50 out of the 1000  original people. In the second scenario the rate only increases by  1. (formula :  25 X 2.5% = 0.625 round up to 1)- or therefore 26 people out of the 1000. Which REALLY only means that unemployment went up 1%, not 2.5%. So  which number are they using for the determining baseline then –  25, or 1000? I think its fairly obvious why I failed statistics by now  😉  If I’ve made a mistake in my calculations can somebody please explain where I went wrong? My head is spinning – and the politicians haven’t even started their spinning yet.

When that starts, things get even more interesting.  The fear-mongers would, in the first scenario,  perhaps like us to believe that unemployment increased 100%. Using the standard formula to calculate percentages this would be correct  25 (2.5% of the thousand) divided by 25 (the increase of 2.5%) =1.00 – move the decimal right two places to get the percentage.  Less alarmist language would be “the unemployment rate has doubled”.  Also correct.  Which sound byte is the more worrisome? If you believe the worst case scenario, then who will you vote for – the person who you see got us into the mess? Or the person who “says” they have a plan, and the tools to fix the problem? I’m skeptical towards both, at best.

I like to look at the raw numbers and put them into context before I start to worry. In other words, I’d rather interpret for myself than have somebody do it for me (if I’m invested in the issue)   Statistics in its most basic form is merely interpretation – and there’s always, always more than one way to interpret anything. Even numbers. Here are some actual numbers I got from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  How should this table be interpreted then:   bureau of labor statistics  ?

In my interpretation, we haven’t had a “good” year for unemployment since 2008 – the last time the unemployment rate was below 6%. I did the math for the March figures and they are correct – provided the raw numbers are accurate to start with.   There’s a potential labor force of 155 million* theoretically,  they are supporting 243 million*  themselves included. The actual number of people currently working is 142 million* folks.  or 58% of the population  -supporting themselves and the other 42%.   (and its not much support at all when its only a percentage of taxable wages that go into unemployment and welfare benefits)  Also please note that these figures do not include anyone under 16; or anyone here illegally and receiving any assistance benefits – so the actual number of people being supported by those 142 million workers is much higher. There’s currently about 13 million* people out of work in this country -8.2% of the work force – & 88 million* people who either cannot work, or don’t want to work. (they’ve opted out of the workforce for whatever reasons) That’s a HUGE burden on the employed.   We need to move our citizens towards greater self sufficiency.  The 60/40 split really isn’t working.  Any way you want to spin it  – it’s simply unacceptable.  And now, I’m worried….

In this election year my advice – for what its worth – is to Question Everything; and get people in Congress who want to work for US.   Here endeth the real lesson.  Peace, out.

*I rounded numbers up or down to the nearest million for simplification. 16 years of age or older.

Yard work

Well the weather hasn’t really been cooperative enough lately for me to get outdoors and get my flower beds ready for the season (too cold for me) but today it’s like 77 degrees out, so Chaos, Mayhem, The Viking and I have been busily weeding, weed killing, and mulching for much of the afternoon. (the girls have also been watching “Legend of Korra” on Nickelodeon, and totally geeking out). I was disappointed to discover most of my periwinkles had succumbed to a mole invasion, and much of my thyme didn’t make it through the winter-neither did my lavender. I don’t know why. My black thumb is showing I guess. My mother can get things to grow anywhere, but I obviously did not inherit those genes.
However, my roses are doing nicely, even if they don’t like me much.(you should see my arm) Brent got me a nice trellis from Home Depot so we won’t have to pull the plant out of the fence like last year. (THAT was not fun). Mulch seems to be cheap right now – less than 4 bucks a bag; so we’re gonna stock up. Mr B is using the weed eater on the fence line and prepping to mow the entire lawn. I’m kicking back with a Mike’s. I’ve earned it. ;D