Poor JFK. What a hard life. Two of the world’s most beautiful women battled it out over him whenever he wasn’t busy acting as the charismatic and dashing President of the United States, not to mention reign as King Arthur over Camelot. Jackie’s Camelot was seated in Washington D.C., the White House, to be precise. She was certainly an appropriate Lady Guinevere, conducting herself with grace and a unique style that was unprecedented in fashion. When she made her “coming out” appearance, she was dubbed debutante of the year by Hearst columnist, Igor Cassini. Jackie made as strong an impact for her beauty and style, as did Marilyn. Ironically, Jackie and Marilyn shared Irish roots. yet the comparison ends there.
One is the story of a woman and her survival in a world where she was orphaned and exploited by people for her entire career. The other is a woman besieged by nearly impossible and highly constricting social expectations. The one thing these incredibly different women shared was a love for an emotionally void man who cared far more for himself than either of them, or anyone else for that matter. Although she began her iconic life as Jacqueline Bouvier, then Kennedy, the First Lady eventually became known in pop culture as Jackie O, the wife of billionaire shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Although Onassis proved to be another womanizer, the unlikely pair remained married until Onassis’ death in 1975. Jackie was a traditional, stalwart, religious woman who didn’t believe in divorce, even when she suffered the humiliation and loneliness brought upon her by a wayward husband. Somehow Jackie emerged with her dignity intact, too revered in elite, socialite circles to become the target of gossip.
The 1960s Jackie carved out an iconic niche for herself in political and fashion history, inspiring millions of women to wear her box-shaped jacket and skirt sets, jaunty hats perched smartly to one side and short, ladylike gloves. Fashion at that time was in a transition from that of the 1950s housewife in commercial ads: puffy-sleeved dresses and swirling skirts, emphasizing a tiny waistline and accentuated with sensible, two-inch heels. Jackie’s look was fresh and innovative, embracing the trendy 60’s with a dose of finesse. Designers worldwide stole her look and brought it to the catwalks. She is remembered for her contributions to the arts and preservation of historic architecture, her style, elegance, and grace. Her famous pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat became symbols of her husband’s assassination and one of the lasting images of the 1960s.
Jacqueline Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929, to Janet Lee Bouvier and John (Jack) Vernon Bouvier III. Janet and Jack had a troubled marriage resulting from his womanizing ways. The pair were divorced in 1940, an event that devastated the young Jackie who was close to her father. It is possible Jackie was able to tolerate Jack and Aristotle’s philandering because her first male role model demonstrated this very behaviour. Jackie grew up believing men could never be faithful. Jackie lived with her mother, who in 1942 remarried Hugh Dubley Auchincloss, Jr., a lawyer from a wealthy old family. Jackie’s mother’s remarriage created conflict in the family. Although Jackie adored her father she saw less and less of him, especially after her mother and stepfather moved their family to Washington, D.C.
Marilyn Monroe, aka Norma Jean Mortenson or Baker, was an icon unto her own right. She couldn’t have been more opposite to Jackie if she’d worked at it. She was the best-known Hollywood actress in history, a buxom, voluptuous, platinum blonde, with candy apple red lipstick and a penchant for tight dresses and high heels. Marilyn hailed from humble roots and relative poverty. Like Jackie, her childhood was fraught with conflict within her family. She was one of two daughters born to Gladys Pearl Baker Mortenson, a pretty, brunette Irish woman who worked as a film cutter in Los Angeles. Norma Jeane’s uncle, Otis Elmer Monroe, died when syphillis invaded his brain as an infant. Gladys was a divorcee and single mother when Marilyn was born. Her first two children, Norma Jeane’s half-siblings, were Berniece Baker and Robert Kermit Baker. They were kidnapped by her estranged husband. Jasper Baker. Gladys later located them in Kentucky, but soon returned to Los Angeles without them.
Gladys was a paranoid schizophrenic who was hospitalized for many years. Unable to care for Marilyn, Gladys placed her child into the foster system. Norma Jeane’s exit from the foster system was a la marriage at 16 years old to her 20-year-old neighbour, Jim Doughtery. Many years after Marilyn’s death Dougherty would state in an interview, “I wasn’t married to Marilyn Monroe. I was married to Norma Jean Dougherty. I didn’t know Marilyn Monroe. She was a movie star. She was a stranger to me.” According to Monroe, Gladys’ second brother, Marion, committed suicide via hanging upon his release from an asylum, and Marilyn’s great-grand-father did the same in a fit of depression. It would appear that Marilyn Monroe’s life was littered with mental illness and suicide, a grim foreshadowing of her own future fate.
Marilyn was divorced from her third husband, Arthur Miller, when she became involved in a passionate affair with the President. They had met many years before but for both young hopefuls, their careers were foremost in their minds and they’d parted ways. Now it was a decade later and opportunity presented itself for both celebrities. JFK was smitten with the celebrity scene. He enjoyed the company of the Rat Pack, specifically Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra. It was through this circle that JFK became re-acquainted with Marilyn. For JFK, the attraction was obvious. Marilyn was a sexy, glamorous movie star. For her part, Marilyn had been an illegitimate child and never knew her father’s identity. JFK’s power made him appear as a handsome and protective lover, almost a father figure. JFK, on the other hand, regarded Marilyn in the same way he regarded all of his extramarital liaisons: she was a temporary sexual fling, nothing more, even with her celebrity status. Her sex appeal was all that very briefly lured him into her bed. He might have seen her eight times at most but somehow Marilyn made it into something much bigger in her own mind. In spite of her being the world’s sex goddess it mattered little to her that JFK had the unmanly reputation as a “2-minute man”. Marilyn wasn’t seeking sex from the President. She used sex to get close to him. She needed him for a sense of personal identity and security.
So delusional was Marilyn, she often told friends she was going to replace Jackie Kennedy as the First Lady of the United States, going so far as to contact Jackie herself on the telephone to tell her JFK was about to file for divorce. Jackie’s cool reserve never faltered. She assured Marilyn she had no problem allowing the actress to wed Jack but added that the movie star would have to travel to India, live in the White House, care for their children, and conduct many unglamorous duties. Gobsmacked, Marilyn had no retort. Jackie hung up, triumphant. Strangely, Jackie was more affected by the telephone call and by Marilyn Monroe than anyone knew. She was furious with Marilyn’s audacity and humiliated by Jack’s behaviour. Of all JFK’s affairs, the one with Marilyn worried her the most mainly because of the type of behaviour that led Marilyn to contact her on the phone. Marilyn was a loose cannon and seemed capable of anything including revealing details of her affair with the president, bringing public ridicule to the Kennedy family. Yet Marilyn was something of an obsession. Jackie adopted her voice and some of her mannerisms. In fact, to listen to Jackie without knowing it was her, you might think it was Marilyn speaking.
After the telephone call all hell broke loose in the Kennedy household. , Mrs. Kennedy put her foot down squarely on Jack’s head and told him to break off all contact with Marilyn Monroe. Meekly Jack agreed and indeed Marilyn was never able to reach the President on his private line again. Where once she’d spoken to him several times a week now Marilyn found JFK’s line disconnected. She contacted the main White House line and was told Jack was permanently indisposed. Flummoxed, Marilyn managed to contact his brother Robert and ask him to intervene for her. Although intrigued with his brother`s mistress Robert did nothing of the kind, pleased that Jack had come to his senses about the controversial film star. After this dual rejection Marilyn became despondent. She was suffering many losses at that time. Her career was faltering. She worried that she was losing her celebrity as she aged. Ultimately Marilyn took her own life on August 4, 1962. She was 36 years old.
The battle between Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe aka Norma Jeane Baker-Mortensen was over, with Jackie as usual, the victor.
Have you ever wondered why anyone would become involved in espionage? That didn’t really cross my mind until I read about the glamorous red-headed Russian spy Anna Chapman (her married surname). Chapman is the stuff of James Bond films: goddess body, pretty face, Breck Girl hair. She’s the type of spy that makes you believe espionage must indeed be a life of glamour and sex, since clearly both were a part of her espionage repertoire. Lest you think Chapman is merely a prop however, she speaks five languages, has a master’s degree in economics from Moscow University, and her father, Vasily Kushchenko, may be a senior KGB official, although this is unsubstantiated.
Anna is a Russian national who was residing in New York City when she was arrested, along with nine others, on June 27, 2010 on suspicion of working for the Illegalas Program spy ring under the Russian Federation’s external intelligence agency for the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki). Chapman pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General (how sneaky) and was deported back to Russia on July 8, 2010, as part of a prisoner swap (must have swapped her with a Playboy Bunny). She met Alex Chapman at a London Docklands Rave Party in 2001 and they married in Moscow. As a result she gained dual Russian–British citizenship, and a British passport. How convenient. one block from Wall Street in Manhattan. Her LinkedIn site profile identified her as CEO of PropertyFinder LLC, a website selling real estate internationally. Anna told him the enterprise was continually in debt for the first couple of years, and then suddenly in 2009, she had as many as 50 employees and a successful business. In late December 2010 Chapman was appointed to the public council of Young Guard of United Russia. According to the organization, she “will be engaged in educating young people,” (in what, they didn’t say).
On January 21, 2011, Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World for REN TV (I swear I’m not making this stuff up). She testified to the closed trial in absentia of Col. Alexander Poteyev that took place in Moscow in May and June 2011 that it was only Poteyev who could have provided the U.S. authorities with the information that led to her arrest in 2010. She alleged she was arrested after an undercover U.S. agent contacted her using a code that only Poteyev and her personal handler could know. The jerk.
Chapman wrote a column for Komsomolskaya Pravda. In October 2011 she was accused of plagiarising material on Alexander Pushkin. The Guardian reported that this added to a negative trend toward her and in September 2011, she had been “heckled during a speech on leadership at a St. Petersburg University“. Students displayed signs stating: “Chapman, get out of the university!” and “The Kremlin and the porn studio are in the other direction!” Chapman’s foundation supported the second International Сonference “The Genetics of Aging and Longevity” in Moscow, where top world aging scientists present their speeches, including researchers who presented the results of experiments using anti-aging drugs on animals. Anna must have picked up that stuff, judging by the look of her body. In 2012 it was reported that Chapman almost caught a senior member of U.S. President Obama’s cabinet in a honeytrap operation wherein the bisexual Chapman plan would have seduced her target before extracting information from him or her.
Officials claimed Chapman worked with a network of others, until an undercover FBI agent attempted to draw her into a trap at a Manhattan Coffee Shop. The FBI agent offered Chapman a fake passport at Starbucks, with the instructions to forward it to another spy. He asked, “are you ready for this step?“, to which Chapman unequivocally replied, “Of course”. She accepted the passport. However, after making a series of phone calls to her father Chapman handed the passport in at a local police station, but was arrested shortly after. After being formally charged, Chapman and nine other detainees became part of a spy swap deal between the United States and Russia, the biggest of its kind since 1986. The ten Russian agents returned to Russia via a chartered jet that landed at Vienna International Airport, where the swap occurred on the morning of July 8. After her deportation to Russia, it was revealed that Chapman wished to stay in the UK and was “particularly upset” by the revocation of her UK citizenship and exclusion from the country. Poor baby. I’m sure she will find someone to take her in.
Actually I think Chapman is pretty cool. She’s too good to believe yet she is real. After her disgraced deportation, she wasn’t jailed or jeered. She tweeted a marriage proposal to Edward Snowden. She became a sexy model in Moscow and the U.S. She was featured on the cover of Maxim, has been interviewed by countless reporters and ended up with her own TV show. “I never pictured myself as a TV star,” she admitted in an interview. Yet she envisioned herself as an international spy. Love it.
Who knows how any human being is fodder for international espionage? Let’s say you’re intrigued enough with Anna Chapman that you are seriously considering a career in espionage. There are interesting steps you may wish to pursue in order to join, say, the CIA:
- You need a university degree in your area of specialization. The CIA seldom recruits actual spies. They tend to need people in many other, far less glamorous occupations.
- You must be able to pass all background checks.
- you must be a U,S. citizen.
- don’t abuse drugs
- don’t gamble
- associate with squeaky clean people
- be physically and mentally fit to the nth degree
- it wouldn’t hurt to have military experience
- You are expected to work for the CIA for the duration of your career.
- The CIA sees itself as one big happy family. You will be placing your work ahead of your real family and will be expected to work in teams.
- The Agency has its own community. The George Bush Center has its own food court, gym, walking paths, clothing stores, recreational clubs and more. (In other words, they want you with them as much as possible…are you starting to feel owned? You should).
- having studies with emphases on international relations, law, technology, political science, history, security studies, economics or finance, mathematics, journalism, and anything requiring analytical skills, are advantageous.
- Learn at least one other language. Languages in high demand include Mandarin,Farsi (Persian), Pashto, Dari, Russian (Anna Chapman offers private lessons if you’re interested), and Arabic.
- learn people skills including how to make people like you. Arrogance, egoism and inflated self-importance will get you fired.
- If you see life in absolutes (“he is wrong, I am right“), then it’s likely you’re not going to be a good choice.
- Be physically fit. You will be put through rigorous physical testing.
- Be mentally fit. You will be tested to your limits in training to see how you handle emotional pressure. In addition, you might be captured and tortured. You never pictured James Bond in that predicament, did you?
- Be prepared to relocate. Often.
- you’ll never be a millionaire…your salary will be a lot lower than people with similar qualifications in the corporate sector.
If you still want to be James Bond (or Anna Chapman) I salute you.
Watch your ass.
Poor Mom and Dad. We’re always blaming our parents for every trivial mistake we make such as baring all for hard-core porn and deciding to skip college and go straight to work earning minimum wage for the next 10 years until we get it together and go back to school. It’s decidedly unfair when adults, even young adults, make poor decisions in their lives and blame their parents but sometimes the blame, at least partial blame, is placed squarely where it belongs. In fact, some porn queens, most of whom are anywhere from 18 to 21, just kids really, don’t know for themselves why they are into this way of life besides easy money. Well, easy if you don’t mind being forever branded a whore and contracting as many STDs as you can along the way.
I blogged about one typical porn queen in Tales from the Dark Side, a dark tale indeed about Colleen Applegate turned Shauna Grant in her hardcore porn films. A beautiful blonde, Colleen hailed from a cold, strict, self-righteous family that oppressed her to a point that when she finally broke away, she went to the extreme of degrading herself in Los Angeles pornography. Her mother stated “I wasn’t aware of how bad her life was until after she died.” No kidding. Meh. If you want to read more, click here.
I say typical about Shauna Grant because her sad story isn’t unusual in Los Angeles porn, where young girls are chewed up, spit out, and often left with drug addictions that are as hard as the porn they’ve starred in. Nasty. Lately violent and degrading porn is in high demand. The silly sappy stuff you see on YouPorn is the PG version of pornography. Yep. PG. The stuff that’s being filmed in L.A. is truly awful: young girls are supposedly gang-raped in videos, they’re beaten, called degrading names, forced to partake in BDSM scenes, and used in the worst kind of porn you can imagine. These scenes aren’t real in the sense that these women aren’t truly being raped, but after the fact they often feel as though they have been: their bodies hurt, their self-esteem plummets, they feel depressed and some are suicidal. Some succeed at suicide. Do these girls sound like whores to you?
You may wonder what drives a young woman into hardcore porn, especially the aforementioned degradation? Well wonder no more. A little online digging and I uncovered some valid, yet perplexing reasons, that the daughters of certain parents become victims of pornography. A list:
1. A truly nasty divorce – absolute vindictiveness and no “amicable” anywhere to be found. These are the divorces where name-calling and false sexual abuse allegations occur. The worst kind is when parents convince their children to lie about a parent having molested them. Do children lie about this stuff? Absolutely, when they’re under pressure to do so. Do they feel worse than shit for doing it? What do you think? A study by Paul Armato showed that children of divorce score lower academically, and suffer “psychological adjustment, self-concept and social competence.”
2. Furthering this concern, a 2002 study in The Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that adolescents from mother-alone or mother-absent homes are more likely to become sexually active at a young age, risk taking behavior that is compounded by substance abuse and lack of social support. I do have a bone (pun) to pick with the mother-alone conclusion. As a single mother raising a beautiful, healthy daughter I take offence to that statement. Mind you, I was a single mother by choice and there was no divorce. That might account for my daughter turning out so beautifully. That and my awesome parenting, of course.
3. Mothers and fathers who weren’t parents: they were friends. Allowing daughters to set their own boundaries, get a boyfriend as young as they pleased, These parents didn’t teach their daughters how to set personal boundaries and that they had the right to be respected by boys. This is one of the worst parenting styles ever.
4. Families that raped and molested their daughters – a pretty obvious (and tragic) one. It’s possible that someone outside the family was molesting a little girl and the parents ignored it. I mean, how do you honestly not know this stuff? If you’re a distant, uncaring parent then you might just might not know about it but otherwise, you do and just don’t want to deal with it. I knew a young woman who was sexually molested by a neighbour for a number of months. When she got older and confronted her parents they claimed innocence. She killed herself.
6. Parents that were prudes or mothers who were total sluts and didn’t have a good handle on their sexuality. This leads parents to inadequately educate daughters about sex, either teaching an abstinence only or a laissez-faire approach. Statistics on abstinence-only programs show this approach to be insanely ineffective. I love my mother with all my heart but that was her ridiculous approach and that was because she was raised in the previous generation. She truly did abstain until marriage. Mind you I didn’t become a slut or a porn star. I only had sex with one boyfriend for 5 years. Honest.
7. When Mom and Dad let men or women run in and out of their lives teaches daughters that significant others, and people in general are exchangeable. Kids need the truth about reliable sources of adult support and attachment.
8. She was permitted to watch insane amounts of television. Wholesome role models such as Madonna, Paris Hilton, and scantily-clad skanks dancing around in MTV videos have proven to be a great substitute for caring mothers and fathers. And if you believe that one, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d love to sell you.
9. She got a smartphone when she was 10, and took awesome #selfies all day. With every picture she took to post to her social media sites, she became less sensitive to the idea of her images floating around on the web. Sexting, btw, is a booming practice, and a gateway technology usage that might lead to appearances on Internet porn sites. If a neglected daughter isn’t participating yet, she’s thinking it over.
11. Parents didn’t know their daughter’s friends. When a child has excessive contact with her peers and loses touch with safe adult attachments, the likelihood increases that she will become an addict, or become involved in sex for hire, as mentioned in addiction specialist Dr. Gabor Maté’s book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts.
12. Parents taught her to worship false idols before God. She never learned a healthy way to fill the spiritual void that is quintessentially human, especially when Mom and Dad are addicted to keeping up with the Joneses, or even better, being the Joneses. Isn’t it interesting that girls leave porn because they’ve found religion? No fake. Money, sexual exploration, and false adoration didn’t provide personal fulfillment like spirituality did. Who knew?
13. The most tragic of all from parents’ perspectives: they truly tried their best but for whatever reason it wasn’t enough. Most likely, these were parents who simply didn’t have the necessary skills to raise a girl (or a boy) and yet they don’t know why their child has become a porn queen. In this category, you might include mothers who gave birth at the age of 16, or mothers who forced their daughters onto the birth control pill at the same age “just in case“, humiliating and infuriating her and emphasizing a lack of trust in her sexual behaviour.
14. Mom and Dad loved her lots but they didn’t love her right. They weren’t in tune to her emotional and psychological needs. These parents have a problem with authentic intimacy too, and it’s often an intergenerational issue, a cycle that has never been broken and probably never will be. I knew a man like this once. He wasn’t a father (thank God) at that time. He was the strangest, most detached person I ever knew, able to manipulate people with insulting behaviour that he tried to cover up as if it was as natural as could be. He even manipulated a girlfriend into an abortion she didn’t want. When and if he becomes a father, his daughter is in for a very rough ride.
15. The parents were married to their careers and nurtured them far more than they did their children. I’m not talking about parents who have to both work a job in order to keep a roof over their children’s heads. Most of us have to do that. I’m talking about people who devote as many overtime hours into their careers as possible in the quest to get ahead and climb that promotional ladder, while forgetting that raising their kids just might be an important priority too.
16. People who shower their children with gifts as a substitute for affection and spending time with their daughters are headed for trouble – and of course so are their daughters. These are the parents who protest, “of course I love her! I gave her everything a kid could want.” Materials (like false idols) are never proof that a person loves their children. In fact this approach is a convenient way to avoid spending time with their kids.
17. A complete lack of stability. These are families with no roots, they pick up and move continually without a moment’s notice and no explanation to their children. Sometimes a spouse is left behind in the move and the daughter never sees him or her again. Secrecy, denial, and instability have severe effects on children, probably more than most adults realize.
18. Low self-esteem and no friends. Traci Lords, an underage porn star, has discussed being bullied, beaten up by peers, and isolated at her school at the tender age of 14. Girls were envious of her pretty appearance and early physical development. Along with those characteristics, Traci had low self-esteem and few social skills, typical of girls who run away and have little attachment to their families.
19. Growing up in poverty. Some young women live in homes that provide scant food and clothing, they go to bed hungry, and worse, Mom and Dad seem to have enough money for dope but not enough for food. These girls want a way out of poverty and into fast, easy money. Enough said.
19. Parents who were themselves sexually abused. That vicious cycle again. It’s a killer.
Obviously not everyone who lives in these difficult circumstances becomes involved in pornography so don’t get all riled up. For instance, some parents who are poor (not to be confused with poor parenting) manage to provide beautifully for their children. These are the parents who go hungry in order to feed their children. Poverty isn’t a sign of poor parenting. Many parents living in a high needs area I know are wonderful parents, who strive hard to help their children succeed academically and psychologically. They do not want their children to “end up like they did.” All of the aforementioned examples do not necessarily encourage young women to enter into porn, certainly not when isolating merely one “point” on its own. The human mind as we know, is so much more complex than that.
People who are reading this blog and see themselves in it are probably pissed and in complete denial. They’re thinking “who is she to point her finger at me?” Someone’s got to do it. You certainly won’t. And of course there are people who are guilty of a number of these sad family tragedies yet who don’t see themselves in here at all. That’s probably the worst reaction to a blog like this one. If that’s you, your daughter probably isn’t in porn, but is it possible she’s developing other self-esteem issues? They say it’s never too late to turn your life around and perhaps that’s true of your parenting.
Outrageous, isn’t it? What is going on with airport security? Yes 9-1-1 is a violent, frightening reminder that airport security needs to be extremely careful with who it admits onto airline flights. Most security (so far as I know) do a sensible, decent job. They aren’t out to harm people. They simply want to do their job and prevent tragedy from slipping by them and into the country. At the same time airport security has to field anger and suspicion from the public for doing their job. Not an easy position to be placed in, I’ll agree to that. Watch this video where airport security scan a 9-year-old boy in a dignified manner and playfully tease a younger child by assuring him a scanner doesn’t hurt. This is a dignified airport search. It isn’t odd that the guard is searching children; there are weird people (yes, they live among ug) who hide drugs and weapons on their children to get the stash over the border. Airport security is right to search children in a non-invasive, reassuring manner.
However, airport security around the world is earning a bad reputation in a number of occasions. The video above is outrageous. I’m no fan of Dr Phil but (oh no, not the word but!) this video is worthwhile and so is the woman’s testimony.There is another equally disturbing video that has gone viral. A woman became emotional after a female security guard “inspected” her by feeling her breasts. The woman declared this was illegal and asked for airport police to assist her. No one called them and she became hysterical, weeping and yelling for help. Her husband and son were nearby, but (!) they seemed helpless and didn’t intervene. The son, however, had enough sense to film the entire incident. Airport security reacted by insisting the man stop filming the incident and leave the area. A police officer approached him and made no action against him. It turns out information came forward that revealed the woman had been violently raped years earlier by 5 men and the assault brought back emotional trauma. Whether or not the woman had a traumatic past in terms of sexual assault, what the airport security did was entirely unreasonable. Who hides a lethal weapon between her breasts or in her bra? This isn’t a James Bond movie.
On the security’s side, (I’m NOT defending either of the aforementioned situations), stats from somewhere or other revealed that 90% of people who carried a gun on their person were not searched by airport security and were permitted to attend their flights. I don’t know which airport this was or how many people were involved but egads, that is a scary fact. Hence the reason why airport security is probably trained on an ongoing basis to be ever vigilant about people entering airplanes. And the manner in which criminals smuggle weapons and drugs over the border is nothing less than amazing. Weaving cocaine into wigs and swallowing small parcels of cocaine is not uncommon. It is airport security’s job to prevent these oddities from succeeding.
I am in agreement with careful screening. I want to know the airplane I am on is safe. I want to know the passenger beside me won’t pull out a gun and blow my head off because she doesn’t like my hairdo. I want to know that none of the passengers can hijack the plane at gunpoint and send us into another 9-1-1. These are important responsibilities of airport security and airports. They have to ensure my safety (and yours) whenever I take to flying with friendly spies….oops….I mean skies. However I also want to know that airport security won’t molest my breasts or private or rectal area in case I am carrying more than 3 ounces of a liquid (shampoo, you know, is extremely volatile at high altitudes…as an aside, 3 ounces of a liquid is acceptable, but 4 ounces ….we’re all doomed. Who thinks up this stuff?) I also believe that many people are being unfairly accosted, assaulted, and treated just plain rudely.
Recently my brother went on a flight to some place or other in the States from Canada. (Interestingly, he has never been searched or assaulted in any manner by airport security and he travels frequently for his work). An elderly lady in front of him was being spoken to very rudely by a young, male security officer who was asking her routine questions, yet behaving in a hostile manner. My brother intervened and said politely, “this lady is elderly and unlikely to have a lethal weapon on her person. Also, could you be more polite in speaking with her? She is being cooperative and hasn’t done anything to deserve this treatment.” The security guard snapped back at him in some manner, but he did let the woman go through security right afterward. He even let my brother through. This isn’t to say, however, that the woman being elderly exempts her from security procedures. All we’re asking is for a little more respect. Check this video.
Recently, airport security accused of insulting and laughing at people’s bodies beneath their clothing as they passed through new scanners that allow security to see beneath our clothing (collective gasp). Betcha didn’t know about those scanners, did ya? (Next time you’re passing through an airport, be sure to wear your kinkiest underwear – and gentleman, consider wearing your wives’ pantyhose….we’ll give them something to laugh about). This information was revealed on a Youtube video that went viral by a person who claims to be a former TSA agent. The most outrageous reaction however was that of the airport manager who stated quite stupidly, “everyone has the right to their opinion.” Seriously. That was his idea of good PR. I’d love for someone to turn the tables and force airport security to walk through the scanners, then get laughed at by the entire airport. Serves them right. Nyah nyah. I had to drop this video into my blog – if all of us went through the scanners the way this woman reporter sits on camera, there wouldn’t be a need for body searches.
Here’s a weird fact about TSA training: there is a list of 70 suspicious behaviours passengers make that indicate potentially high risk situations. Many of the indicators, as characterized in open government reports, are behaviors and appearances that may be indicative of stress, fear or deception. Allegedly none of them refer to or suggest race, religion or ethnicity, but one addresses passengers’ attitudes towards security. It reads: “Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passenger procedures.” TSA officials said that no single indicator is used to identify travelers as potentially high-risk. Travelers must exhibit several indicators before officers subject them to more thorough screening. On the other side of the fence, Michael German, a former FBI agent who works for the American Civil Liberties Union, stated, “expressing your contempt about airport procedures — that’s a First Amendment-protected right.”
Guarding national security is a fine, difficult line. I’m glad I don’t have that job. I also believe the public has to fight back against airport abuse, whether it is you yourself who is being assaulted, or someone else. Don’t just walk on by when someone is being abused or begging for help. Stop and call 9-1-1 or find an airport police officer. They do not work with the airport security company. The police are real cops – not cop wannabes like security guards (had to get that one in there). Let’s help each other out and force airport security to conduct their job in a manner that is dignified for themselves and the public. We are all in this together.
Most questions that come into my head automatically don’t appear to be on the list that I read in the blog The Top 5 Stupid Questions that SUK to ask Someone who Grew Up in Foster Care. In all fairness, it tends to be young people who ask seemingly stupid questions, since they aren’t experienced enough to come to their own reasonably sensible conclusion. However I admit I have my own list of stupid questions I might have asked a FFC (former foster care) person questions such as:
- What happened in your family that you were forced to enter the foster care system?
- How old were you?
- How long were you in foster care?
- How many homes were you fostered in?
- Were there any good families in your experience?
- How long did you stay at one home before being moved again?
- Did anyone every explain to you that this wasn’t your fault?
- How has this experience shaped your life?
Here is my reasoning for these stupid questions:
- Some families can heal and to an extent, reunite.
- Sometimes a person who survived foster care needs to ask her or his biological parents all the questions they have about why and how they ended up there themselves, rather than being told by an agency.
- A former foster child might want to know her or his parent’s childhood and personal background. This information could answer a lot of questions.
- Confrontation might be therapeutic. Sometimes anger needs to be expressed.
- Affirmation that unfit parents were the reason the former foster child was placed in foster care, and not anything that person did.
- Information for legal action of any sort.
- Knowledge about family genealogy in terms of disorders, diseases, etc.
Of course these issues can only be dealt with assuming a former foster child can find his or her parents, and assuming that this person wants to correspond with them. It isn’t a suggestion. It’s merely a question.
The main points of this blog were very poignant. The Top 5 Stupid Questions and blatant answers include:
- what did you do to get in there? Seriously. The answer emphasizes people’s belief in myths about foster care children.
- why weren’t you adopted? How would the FFC know that? And what an embarrassing issue to discuss.
- how many foster homes did you have? This one I only realized since reading this blog is a stupid question. However, there are people who claim to know the precise number of foster homes they entered.
- were the homes good? Most foster homes are not and recalling abusive experiences is traumatic for people. I might have asked a similar question (did you have any good experiences) because many FFC people have had the good luck to be placed with good caregivers.
- do you see your real parents now? This was the second question I might have asked, in all honesty, for the reasons listed above.
One can assume that foster care was a very difficult experience. I met a girl who mentioned in an offhand way that she just got out of foster care some months ago and she had an angry phone call with her real mother. That told me everything I needed to know. I could feel the hurt and anger around her. I didn’t need to ask something stupid such as what her mother did to necessitate her being placed in foster care (even though I did list that as a question in my personal list of stupid questions). For one thing, it wasn’t my damned business. For another, hearing her voice and seeing her tense look told me everything I might have needed to know: No, it wasn’t a good experience.
Let’s leave it at that.
I’ve never had to worry about passing a drug test. I’ve never taken a job, gone to work, driven a car, or sat around in rehab worrying about the illicit toxins in my system. I have consumed a legal drug, alcohol, a time or two (but not whilst drinking). I happened upon an interesting site that gleefully offered not only information, but a number of synthetic products guaranteed to help those with a drug addiction to pass a drug test. The products help a drug user to fool the four main types of drug tests, being urine, hair follicle, blood and saliva. To wit there are shampoos to remove traces of drugs from your hair; bottles of “ultra-pure” urine (I’m not kidding, although the synthetic stuff doesn’t smell like the real thing…gross); marijuana home test kits; marijuana detox kits; alcohol strip saliva tests; “ultra-pure” blood kits; and products for random drug tests. It’s eerily similar to starting drugs in the first place: whatever you need, they’ve got it.
This site is disturbing on two levels:
- Why are we helping drug addicts to pass drug tests?
- What do we gain and what do we lose when we keep drug addicts in positions of responsibility?
Some jobs that are particularly worrisome where drug users are concerned include: surgeons, forest workers, transport people, construction workers, people who have your life in their (shaky) hands. That’s scary stuff.
Consider the many other situations where drug addiction is truly frightening:
- a drug-addicted expectant mother
- a drug-addicted mother
- a drug-addicted father
- a drug-addicted transient
- a drug-addicted criminal
A transient or a foster-child teen may not be a danger to others, but the potential to become a criminal in order to maintain a drug supply is high (pun). And we don’t want even “harmless” people walking about high. They do stupid things like step in front of oncoming cars without looking. They start stupid fights with other high, transient people. Criminals and transients make a community less valued and less safe. The majority of criminals and transients are drug users and always will be.
In case you are loathe to use a synthetic product to alter your drug tests, there is a 1999 Drug Detection Times chart published by the Nationa Institute on Drug Abuse that provides information as to how various drugs stay in your system. The chart is well-intended: it isn’t intended to provide you with the knowledge to pass a drug test. It provides information as to how much time must pass after using before you can safely go to work, care for a child, walk down the street and chew gum at the same time.
Drug detection time in urine is expressed in upper and lower boundaries. For instance, if you are an infrequent, small-dose user, the detection test places you in the lower boundaries. For heavy, regular users, the upper boundaries are the results. Overweight people are more prone to getting caught as drugs linger longer in fatty tissue. Aging and chronically ill people are also likely to get a positive test result. Urine tests isolate four factors: pH levels, colour, creatin levels and temperature. Oddly, methods such as eating red meat, sex, taking vitamin B-12, increasing creatine levels, and mixing a detox drink, have been tried and proven successful in avoiding detection, but only in urine (again, not in everyone).
Having said that, everyone’s drug reaction is different. Some people may hold traces of marijuana for up to two months in their systems. Some may retain trace amounts of cocaine for weeks, others for hours. It depends on your physical condition, age, usage, weight, and whether or not you eat regularly. Some people believe that drinking large amounts of water, or using a diuretic, will purge their system of drugs but this isn’t so. There are drug users who substitute their urine with another person’s, however this deception isn’t always accurate: temperature is critical.
The argument for using synthetic products and passing a drug test is feeble: the test only measures what you have previously done with drugs and not whether you are currently using. A peculiar sort of logic, but it manages to evade the law.
One person I have completely and unintentionally ignored in the Beth Thomas saga is her brother, John. John had to survive abuse from two family members: his father and his sister. I will word this blog very carefully so as not to have any misunderstanding: I sympathize with Beth, a child of 3 who was horribly abused by her own father after her mother’s death. She learned the horrible things she did to herself, her brother and her step-parents. Both children were victims and both children suffered. To quote Rudyard Kipling, a male survivor of childhood abuse and author of the Jungle Book, children accept “what comes to them…as eternally established.” watch how is emotional blindness created
Child literature has long documented authors’ experiences as abused children. Fairytales and folktales use socially acceptable metaphors, wicked witches and ogres, the way a child views an abusive, powerful parent, as the hero’s sources of evil. The stories reveal where the author’s “imaginative” perspective originates; it isn’t imagination at all but reality that shapes these stories, plots and characters. Kipling’s Jungle Book and its characters are proof of his own suffering. The abuser is disguised as Sheer Khan, the dreaded tiger who wishes to “devour” Mowgli. Khan is the woman who devoured Kipling’s childhood.
A very telling conversation takes place between the tiger and Mowgli, revealing an abused child’s wisdom that no matter how society protects the abuser it cannot conceal the truth from the child. “Can it be that you don’t know who I am?” smirks the tiger. “I know who you are alright,” says Mowgli. So did John and Beth. watch the jungle book – final battle
John was an infant during the trauma he experienced from his father and a toddler during Beth’s enraged attacks. He is an adult now. I wonder what happened in his psychological development as he matured. Did he also overcome his traumatic beginning? Did he learn to trust his step-parents? Beth was abused because she was small and powerless. For that reason, she learned to abuse her brother, who was smaller and less powerful than herself. Did he hate his sister? Did he believe Beth hated him? No one will ever know. At first, John was adopted by good people yet they were people so traumatized by their experience with Beth, they felt they had to defend their decision to relinquish her. watch Alfred hitchcock – hitch Hike
David Pelzer’s experience, the “child called It,” and his mother’s “target child” (himself), is considered “one of the worst documented cases of child abuse in California history.” He became a troubled youth, broke the law, went into juvenile detention, associated with the wrong kids, was transferred among numerous foster homes, unable to trust or love, unwanted and rejected. Today he is a motivational speaker and author of several autobiographies and other publications that inspire youth to love and respect themselves and above all, never to fear the truth. In spite of his miraculous recovery, Pelzner’s life centers around his abusive past. He has never gotten over it, he is still processing and trying to understand it, even if he has learned to deal with it from a positive perspective. This is known as lifelong healing. At the same time, David Pelzer, like Beth Thomas, is living proof that it is possible to overcome the impossible life of a horribly abused childhood. watch david pelzer on larry king
I hope John’s story is the same.
I know a family fairly well. I met two of the family members when I was a girl in elementary school. Nice kids. Nice family. Catholic (like me), attended church (but not fanatical), popular (leaders, not followers) and just an overall nice Brady Bunch type. Then something strange happened to the youngest son in the family. He became a drug addict, dealer, petty criminal and occasionally a jail-bird. He was a very handsome young man but he covered himself in tattoos. Along with his black clothes and black hair it gave him an intimidating look. For years this man was in and out of jail. I don’t believe he ended up in the pen, but no doubt he was a jail-bird. watch family of drug addicts
Fast forward about 13 years. My former friend (let’s call her Katie), his sister, is married and has (gulp) triplets. Katie is a lot like her parents: nurturing, loving, patient, devoted to her husband and children. An awkward bit of marital trouble, in which her husband stole and lost $45,000.00 of their life savings due to a gambling addiction, set the marriage back however Katie, ever the trooper, forgave her husband and kept her family together. Is is likely her bond with the Catholic church had a strong influence. So far we have seen 2 addictive personalities in these otherwise healthy families. watch problem gambling video catechism of the Catholic church
Fast forward about 16 years. The triplets (two boys and a girl) are in their mid-teens. The girl, like her maternal uncle, is now a drug user, breaking curfews, and generally boyfriend-hopping (we know what that means, don’t we?). The boys have not ventured down that path, so why it is that the girl in particular has an addictive personality and not the boys is anyone’s guess. Perhaps that’s one of the mysteries of genetics for you. Mind you she also has a father who was a gambling addict: two strikes against her? Eerie, how there is absolutely a generational progression in terms of addiction, be it drugs and alcohol, sex addiction (whatever), gambling or what have you. Actually the jury’s out where sex addiction is concerned but having read a detailed explanation about SA which might be included in the 2013 DSM-V, I’m starting to think there is such a thing, and like any addictions in families, is probably genetic. watch the genetics of addiction
I’ve never seen such a pattern in a nice, functional family before. Mind you, good families might be a little too concerned about keeping up appearances. Perhaps that is the reason why children rebel? I have a friend whose family seemed like a dream when we were growing up. In later years although she admitted her parents were good people and she was close to most of her siblings, but when she was young she had to be perfect. Appearances mattered to her parents. If she did anything wrong she was made to feel like a black sheep. So rigid were her parents that in her early teens she wanted to attend psychotherapy although her parents would never have considered such a thing: that would have damaged their perfect facade. Sometimes good people hurt their children without even knowing it. Perhaps dysfunctional comes in many different guises. watch dysfunctional families and the shame cycle
True every family has its secrets but over the years I am beginning to realize that good people can have “bad” kids, so to speak. It would appear that sometimes good people raise undesirable kids, criminals and perhaps even psychopaths. I’ve heard that psychopaths are born and not produced. They are simply a “bad seed”. I don’t know that I am totally convinced genetics is always at fault where such an extreme personality disorder is concerned, but I am willing to believe that there is a percentage where this bizarre genetic construct is indeed to blame. watch families of psychopaths: you’re either useful or in the way.
Another mystery and failing of the human mind.
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