law, narcissists, politicians, politics, sex, slut shamers, social media

Dear Mr. Pro-Life Guy… it’s time someone reminded you that “no means no”…

No means no.” As a child of the 70s and 80s, I heard this catchphrase a lot. Some marketing genius came up with it for PSAs about date rape. It’s meant to emphasize the importance of obtaining sexual consent before proceeding with sexual deeds.

I never had a lot of problems with people not respecting me when I said “no” to sex. But, before some smartass tries to tell me it’s because no one was interested, I will state that like almost all women, I was occasionally sexually harassed by men. I just mainly stayed out of situations in which I would have to deal with them. I’m not sure why that was. To my knowledge, I’ve never been raped. I did have some unfortunate encounters with a pervert when I was growing up, but he just showed me pornography. He never actually touched me. For that, I’m grateful.

Last night, I had an experience in a comment section with a very aggressive pro-life warrior. I had just read a news story about 80 year old Florida Representative Frederica Wilson. In the late 1960s, Ms. Wilson almost died from a pregnancy that resulted in a stillbirth. Doctors pronounced her baby dead in its seventh month of gestation. However, because her pregnancy predated Roe v. Wade, doctors were not permitted to induce labor. According to the article, Wilson said:

“I had to learn how, first of all, to handle the immense grief that comes with losing a child and the fact that the corpse of that child was still within me. I cried every night and all day. My little body was wretched with pain, weakness and frailty.”

Wilson was commenting about anti-abortion legislation just passed by the House. The “born alive” bill will not go anywhere right now, as the Senate will probably not address it, and even if they passed it, Joe Biden won’t sign it. But it is a sign of what’s to come, as extremist right wingers try to impose their ridiculous anti-abortion views on the majority of Americans. I can’t help but notice that a lot of these folks are men. Quite a few of them are pushing shaming messages toward women who have casual, consensual sex. They claim they aren’t wanting to punish women for having sex for fun. But then, when a woman unintentionally gets pregnant, they think she needs to “lie in the bed she made for herself.”

Sure enough, there were several of these pro-life men opining in the comment section of the Washington Post article. A woman posted this excellent comment:

An embryo at 4 weeks is the size of a poppy seed. A 10 weeks fetus is the size of a pomegranate seed. Besides the contribution of one cell from a man, it is essentially a parasite using the woman’s blood, bone, muscle, etc. Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one. Mind your own business, in other words.

Then a pro-life man challenged her. He asked when she thought abortion should be banned. A lot of us, myself included, responded that it shouldn’t be banned at any stage of pregnancy. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll restate it for the latecomers. The vast majority of women who have abortions after the first trimester do so because there’s a medical reason. Either she’s sick, or the developing fetus has catastrophic medical problems. Late term abortions aren’t something a person does for fun or convenience. Any person who would do that for shits and giggles is not someone who should be a mother, anyway.

It wasn’t long before a guy named Kenneth decided to harass me with his pro-life views. I usually try to be respectful when I make comments, but this guy wouldn’t let up. He kept hammering away at me, trying to trip me up, challenging my opinions about abortion. I found him very disrespectful and responded accordingly. It reminded me of times when some horny guy wanted to do something sexual, when I didn’t. Fortunately, I never had an issue saying “no”, mainly because for some reason, I was afraid of sex and aggressive men. My fear of sex was greater than my fear of being socially rejected.

However, I happen to know that a lot of women, particularly young women, care a lot about what men think of them. So, when a man comes on to them, they’d rather just give him what he wants. They are willing to give in to his demands for sex. That’s how some of them end up pregnant when they never meant to be. While not every man is an asshole in this situation, a lot of men are.

I noticed that Kenneth had some “slut shaming” qualities. He commented to me that a woman who has a one night stand and has an abortion is doing so out of convenience. Obviously, he thinks that’s wrong. First off, the woman shouldn’t be having casual sex. Secondly, if she does get pregnant, she should commit to the pregnancy. Thirdly, if she doesn’t want to be a mother, she should give the baby up for adoption. He makes it sound like this is an easy thing to do. He acts as if pregnancy is easy, painless, and CHEAP.

Kenneth seems to think that he’s morally superior to pro-choice people, because he’s against abortion. Moreover, he thinks he has the right to hammer his views at total strangers. I normally don’t give guys like Kenneth much time, but I was feeling sort of hostile last night. He lobbed his impassioned entreaties at me, clearly getting nowhere, but unable to stop trying. I got increasingly annoyed, as he tried to explain to me– a woman– about pregnancy and the morals associated with it. It wasn’t the first time I’ve encountered this phenomenon.

I finally tired of Kenneth’s bullshit. It was time for dinner, and I wanted to end the conversation. So, after he referred to me as a “pro-abortionist”, I wrote this:

I am not a pro-abortionist. I simply don’t think you need to concern yourself with women’s healthcare decisions. It’s not your business. Especially since I highly doubt you vote for people who care about helping the poor or making healthcare affordable for everyone. Now please leave me alone. I’d rather clean the lint out of my bellybutton than continue this pointless dialogue with you.

As you can see, I very clearly asked him to leave me alone. I even used the word “please”. It’s a very clear indication that I’m saying “no” to continuing the discussion. It was getting nowhere, and my dinner was getting cold. But, not surprisingly, Kenneth came back with more stupid drivel. So I blocked him.

If I hadn’t had dinner in front of me, I might have pointed out that he was acting like a horny man. I refer to the type of man who pressures a woman for sex, won’t take “no” for an answer, and then slut shames her when she gets pregnant! This type of man accuses women of “getting themselves pregnant”. They call them sluts. They don’t want to help them. Instead, they say they should have been more careful. Guys like Kenneth put all the responsibility on women, as they demand to have a say in their healthcare decisions.

A few months ago, I had a similar experience, not on the topic of abortion, but about Virginia Military Institute. I wanted to comment because a number of my family members went there or worked there. Bill and I married there, although he’s not a graduate. My favorite relative, Uncle Brownlee (RIP), was in charge of the physical plant in the 1990s. He was actually at the forefront of making VMI accessible to women. I commented, and a man very soon attacked me for posting something positive about VMI. This guy wasn’t a right wing pro-life asshole, like Kenneth. Instead, it was a left-winger named Kent, trying to school me on how “racist, sexist, and abusive” VMI is.

I’m not going to try to tell people that VMI doesn’t have its problems. It’s not where I would have wanted to go to college. However, I do know that a lot of people– men and women– have done well at VMI and love the school. I think the good far outweighs the bad. Moreover, I have personal experience with VMI, thanks to my family members who attended and worked there. My perspective means that I don’t agree with people who think the school should be shut down for its sins of the past. This left-wing guy, Kent, who likely has ZERO actual experience with the school and probably doesn’t know a single graduate, felt the need to hammer me with his views.

As Kent tried to tell me more about “abuse” and all of the reasons VMI is “terrible”, I asked him to leave me alone. Naturally, he wouldn’t. For some reason, he couldn’t manage to do that. Instead, he came back with two more paragraphs of drivel. It was probably lost on him that he’s pretty abusive himself. I ended up blocking him, too, after pointing out that he doesn’t seem to be able to respect the word “no”. Perhaps he’s more like an “abusive” Keydet than he’d like to admit. I’m sure the strong and brave young women who choose VMI for college can make an informed decision about their higher education choices without Kent’s input, in spite of his penis.

I can’t help but notice that a lot of pro-life men missed the memo regarding “no meaning no”. I’ve noticed that they are also a lot like fat shaming men. Maybe it’s not so much the pro-life types that are like this, but it’s more narcissistic assholes who are. A narcissist can be on either side of the political spectrum, after all. But they do have one thing in common, and that’s the tendency to shame other people. And narcissistic men love to do it to women, especially those they see as somehow morally weak.

To these types, a fat woman is weak because she eats too much and dares to be in public when she’s not attractive to him. This is annoying to him. A pregnant woman who wants an abortion has the nerve to reject the sperm of the man who fucked her. She should have kept her legs crossed, just as the fat woman should keep her mouth closed. What they see as a lack of discipline is disgusting to them. But they never seem to look at their own behaviors, do they? The hypocrites!

I don’t have time for hypocrites, nor do I have the energy to waste on guys like Kent and Kenneth. My mind is perfectly good, and I have the ability to make my own decisions and form my own opinions. I don’t need help. When I ask to be left alone, I mean it. No means no.

Maybe if more men like Kenneth respected women who say no to them, there would be less of a need for abortion. Either way, it’s none of his goddamned business if a woman wants or needs an abortion. Women like me are going to fight for the right to make our own healthcare and education decisions without help from anti-choice assholes like Kenneth… and Kent, for that matter.

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controversies, Ex, Police, true crime, Twitter

The art of “being real”…

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Bill got online last night and told me that, happily, he expects to be back in Wiesbaden at around noon on Thursday. He won’t be HOME at that time, of course. He has to turn in his rental car and check in at the office. But it does look like he won’t be stuck hanging out in Bavaria all day. I, of course, will be at the vet’s office on Thursday morning, sitting with Arran as he gets chemo infusion number two. Hopefully, it will continue to cause very minimal side effects for him. The difference in him between this week and last week is incredible. Too bad human chemo isn’t like this. He’s getting enough drugs to make him feel better, rather than trying to eradicate the lymphoma. This will make his glide to the Rainbow Bridge much easier, I hope…

Other than doing my usual chores and taking care of the dogs, life continues to plod along for me, here in Germany. I spent yesterday watching some disturbing raw body cam footage taken during arrests. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by the cop videos. I think it’s because they offer a look at real life in America… stuff we don’t usually see ourselves every day, but have seen dramatized on TV. Body cams are a game changer in law enforcement. Watching the videos allows me to see the frailties of people– not just the people being arrested, but the cops as well.

I was raised to respect the police, even though I grew up in a place where the cops weren’t necessarily much better than the people they were arresting. Now that we have technology, though, cops are somewhat more accountable for their behavior than they used to be. And it’s kind of disturbing to see and read about cops who do bad things and get busted because they were on video. Case in point, yesterday I watched a video out of Jacksonville, Florida involving Brittany Williams Moore, a young Black woman who got very angry at a cop who had parked his cruiser in her driveway to check emails. She threw a spoon at him. It had a green substance on it, later determined to be face cream.

This incident went a lot further than it needed to go.

The cop then proceeded to arrest her for assault. The whole thing blew up to the point at which the woman, who weighed maybe 95 pounds soaking wet, was manhandled into handcuffs. Somehow, in the violence of her arrest, she got hit in the mouth and broke some teeth. The May 2020 incident happened during daylight hours, and it was nightfall before she was finally taken to jail. The poor woman was cuffed the whole time. The charges against her were eventually dropped; and now she’s suing the police department. Alejandro Carmona, the cop she originally had the altercation with turned out to be a pretty bad dude, too. He was later arrested for selling sexually explicit pictures of a minor.

Now… I don’t necessarily approve of the way Moore behaved. Instead of speaking calmly to the cops, she screamed at them, threw a spoon, and at one point, kicked one of the officers. However, I can understand why she was frightened, given what happened to George Floyd in 2020, and Ahmaud Arbery, which I believe Carmona even made reference to as he was explaining himself to Brittany’s relatives. I heard the cops call Moore misogynistic names like “bitch”. I get that the cops have stressful jobs, but that kind of language is not acceptable, professional, or necessary.

In another video, I watched a much more professional police officer deal with a young woman who was not very cooperative at all, as she was stopped for riding her bike the wrong way down a road. She was similarly arrested, but as far as I know, she wasn’t injured. I didn’t hear the cop use filthy language, and her teeth survived the situation intact. That situation happened in Oregon, though, and I think there’s a lot less stupidity in the Pacific Northwest than in the Deep South. Not that I don’t love my southern heritage, mind you. I just think a lot of people down there are still living in the early 20th century.

Again… this went way further than it needed to go.

Watching these videos shows me how easy it is to get arrested in the United States, the so-called land of the free. Also, it reminds me that the longer I stay in Europe, the more insufferable Americans seem to me. It just seems like so many people are uncooperative, unpleasant, and just flat out uncivilized. You can see it in any comment section, particularly when they involve politics. It seems like there are two sides of America that hate each other. It’s sad to me, because it wasn’t always like that. Or… maybe I just didn’t notice it because I lived there.

I think the body cams show “real” America, and it ain’t a flattering picture to me. But then, I’m sure that only the most extreme videos wind up on YouTube. On the other hand, there are a whole lot of body cam channels, meaning there are a lot of videos. And they show people at their worst. I don’t envy what cops have to deal with on a daily basis, but I also think that cops can turn into Olympic class assholes after too much time on the job. Check out this dude from Arkansas. Actually, Bill and I had a good laugh at this guy, even though he called the guy he was chasing a “motherfucker”.

This one is straight out of a Police Academy movie. “I’m gonna Tase you, motherfucker!”

I did have a laugh. I admit it. He’s not very professional, but damn, he’s funny! I don’t think I’d feel that way if he was arresting me, though. Another thing these videos do is remind me that the United States is lacking charm in a lot of areas.

Moving on…

I know I vented about Ex yesterday, but she keeps giving me more material to work with, to include today’s featured photo, which she retweeted (and by the way, she ain’t it). I mentioned yesterday that she presents a “false self” to the world, right? And I come to that conclusion, because the shit she puts on Twitter is so opposite to what people who have actually had to deal with her in person have experienced and reported. But she’s always smoothing the edges of her facade with fake bullshit, and today is no exception. Behold:

Bwahahaha… Ex doesn’t like being around “fake people”. She should stay away from mirrors.
I’ve seen this reaction before… it was when a certain “narcissistic type” from Epinions first met my husband in person. Her tongue came out and she started panting, probably because she could smell the empath pheromones. I think Ex is much the same. This dude better stay far away.

Here’s the funny thing. Maybe I’m unusual, but I don’t have crushes anymore. I don’t want to be with anyone but my husband. I’m not comparing other men to Bill. He gives me all I need and then some. I mean, yes, I notice when someone is attractive, but I’m not interested in them sexually… not even for a hug and a dance. But, that’s just me… I may just be very lucky. Again, as much as I despise Ex, I am glad she dumped Bill. He’s just the right guy for me. She did me a huge favor. I think “real people” should stay away from Ex. She damages them with her lies.

And finally…

Last night, I was about to post a comment on Facebook, when I got an automated message from a bot warning me that my comment looked like ones that had been removed for violating their community standards. It was a comment directed at Marjorie Taylor (Greene), who is a highly divisive, obnoxious, and polarizing political candidate and public figure who would never deign to read the comments about her on Facebook. Meanwhile, they have no problem allowing people to offend the rank and file with all manner of insults. Once again, I am shocked that I’m at a point in my life at which I allow myself to be “disciplined by bots”. I really do need to find another outlet for my angst. But that’s why I blog, right?

Well, it’s time to strip the bed and do another household chore. Have a nice Tuesday. I’ll probably see y’all tomorrow.

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condescending twatbags, narcissists, politicians, politics, stupid people, Trump, Twitter

Matt Gaetz will never learn, will he?

It’s 9:00 am, and I’ve already had some excitement, thanks to the visitor in our garden. For those who don’t want to click the link, my dogs and I discovered a huge hedgehog in the backyard this morning. I have a feeling it’s probably a female who is about to have babies. After making sure it was living, I put it back where I found it and I just checked to see if it’s still there. It’s not, and I’m glad. I don’t want my dogs to end up with mouthfuls of quills!

I mentioned yesterday that Twitter is a toxic place, yet full of blog topics. Sure enough, I found one this morning, when I saw Florida Republican Representative, Matt Gaetz, tweeted the picture below, with typically misogynistic and insulting comments…

What a massive cretin Matt Gaetz is. He doesn’t learn, does he?

That’s the kind of remark I’ve come to expect from male Republican leaders who model themselves on Donald Trump. Donald Trump, as we know, is never averse to insulting people for the way they look and saying things like “They aren’t sending their best.” It’s funny, too, since Trump isn’t exactly attractive himself. Matt Gaetz might not be ugly in the conventionally physical sense of the word, but he sure seems to have an ugly soul. He’s campaigning on the pro-life platform, but why in the hell would anyone want to bring innocent children into the world where people like Gaetz are elected leaders?

Think about it. I know, as a woman who’s been around for half a century, that life can be cruel to those who aren’t considered attractive, particularly if they aren’t physically appealing. Gaetz claims to value life, but he tears down people he thinks are somehow unattractive. Does he realize how damaging those remarks are? Has he considered how many people– particularly young women– waste the best years of their lives obsessing over their bodies, starving themselves, spending scads of money on makeup and clothes, sitting hours in chairs at the beauty salon, just so they can impress “alpha male” types like Matt Gaetz? Or hell, they might not be wanting to attract Matt Gaetz and his ilk, but they just feel like they have to be “pretty” to get a good job, make friends, or otherwise succeed in life.

Or maybe Matt was trying to make a point about Peggy Schiller’s actual qualifications. If he was, though, I can’t find it in this tweet. To me, it looks like a dig about her appearance. And even if it isn’t about her appearance, he has recently commented about how “pro-choice” women look like thumbs and aren’t actually at risk of being impregnated. Does he think his tastes are the only ones that matter?

I don’t think Republicans are sending their best, either.

I think most people have at least a few attractive qualities. Some people’s attractiveness comes entirely from within. I’ve rarely met someone who was truly ugly inside and out. The women in the above photo probably have friends and family members who love them dearly. Peggy Schiller, the woman who is opposing Gaetz, probably doesn’t have criminal charges pending against her for trafficking minors. She probably doesn’t make disparaging personal comments about other people’s appearances. She probably sticks to the issues. Or maybe she doesn’t… but she’s for a woman’s right to choose, which I appreciate. That’s what I care about, and that’s who I would vote for, if I were a Florida resident.

I did like that someone on Twitter pointed out that every time Gaetz tries to insult women, someone donates money to the pro-choice cause. Olivia Julianna, the young woman Gaetz publicly insulted, reminded him that she’s sending $2 million to reproductive health funds across the country– and yes, sometimes that includes abortion. If anything, Gaetz is a poster child for the pro-choice movement, and every time he shows his ass in public, he strengthens their resolve to reclaim the rights to bodily autonomy.

But we are sending 2 million dollars to abortion funds across the country. Olivia Julianna, July 31, 2022

I also noticed that even the “pro-choice” men were trying to tone police the women. A guy named Greg posted:

I am 100% with you on this topic…. But our messaging is always bad, and calling these “abortion funds” is a poor label. It will come back to haunt us in the same way that the phrase “defund the police” became a huge negative phrase. Try “Pro-Choice Funds”….

I’m sure Greg thought he was just sharing his opinion on this and maybe felt he had every right to do so, but his comment pissed off a lot of the women, who angrily responded that he doesn’t get to tell women how to communicate. A few others posted that they want to destigmatize the word “abortion”. Frankly, I’m with that crowd. Abortions are medical procedures. Sometimes, they are natural events that happen in pregnancy. We shouldn’t be likening it to murder. Murder is a specific legal term that involves born people who are cognizant and aware, not developing embryos. I would focus more on getting people to stop conflating murder with abortion. They aren’t the same thing.

But yeah… enough with the mansplaining:

Oh please, no mansplaining necessary. It IS abortion fund. And we are NOT ashamed to say it. Abortion is women’s health care. THAT is the messaging . Got it?

Someone else posted this picture of Matt with some young ladies. I guess they are more to his liking, looks wise.

He has such a creepy smile.

Whenever I see comments from people like Matt Gaetz, I thank God for Bill. I’ve gotten rude comments from men regarding my physical appearance. People have said I look old, fat, ugly, or have called me the dreaded C word. Most of them, I’ve noticed, are Trump supporters. These are people who are supposedly “pro-life”. And yet, they have no regard at all for living people with feelings. They don’t value people they think are “ugly”, “unattractive”, “fat” (and they ALWAYS bring up weight), or otherwise not ringing their chimes somehow. I don’t really care if Matt Gaetz and his ilk think I’m ugly. The feeling is mutual, but it’s mostly because Gaetz is an unfeeling bastard who doesn’t actually care about anyone but himself. And I’ve found that most of the men who speak like he does are the same… the same boring, one track minded, power and money hungry, soulless, heartless cretins who are totally unappealing on a whole new level.

As my late father used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does…” He often directed that comment to me, the daughter he used to disparage the most… But I grew up to marry a wonderful, kind, loving man who adores me for who I am… ALL of me, fat rolls and everything. He values me for things beyond appearance. And those are the kinds of men who should be in power. Not garbage humans like Matt Gaetz who only value women for their reproductive abilities and appearances. I’d rather be fat and ugly, than have to be around someone like Matt Gaetz. I think of it as a personal insurance policy against creeps!

Representing the best of the Libs… 😉 I’d say I did okay.

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condescending twatbags, karma, politicians, politics, Uncategorized

It’s not such a good week for Matt Gaetz…

Years ago, the late comedian George Carlin made me roar with laughter when he mused, “Have you noticed that people who are against abortion are people you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place? There’s such balance in nature!” A few more years passed, and he used the joke again in a later routine. See below.

This is from 1996, but he used this joke even earlier than that.

I couldn’t help but think of my old hero, George Carlin, when I read the news about vile Florida Republican Representative, Matt Gaetz, who twisted Carlin’s joke. Last weekend, Gaetz was at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, where he reportedly quipped “Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb,” Gaetz said to his conservative audience. “These people are odious from the inside out. They’re like 5’2″, 350 pounds, and they’re like ‘Give me my abortions or I’ll get up and march and protest.’” I guess he figures the students at that rally weren’t around when Carlin did that joke much better than he did.

What a disgusting man Gaetz is. This clip has more of what Gaetz actually said, and it’s even worse than I realized.

Um… wow. This is the same guy who is being investigated by the Justice Department over allegations of sex trafficking and prostitution, including involving a minor. Mr. Gaetz also has a mugshot dating from 2008, when he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While he was evidently never convicted for DUI, his mugshot is still available online. Gaetz refused the breath test when he was stopped, and for some reason, his driver’s license was not suspended. The refusal to take the breath test was not used against him in court, and the charges were dropped. The officer who arrested him was forced to resign. It may be worth mentioning that Gaetz is the son of a prominent former Florida politician, Don Gaetz. In fact, then 26 year old Matt was driving his daddy’s car when he got pulled over after having spent the evening at a nightclub. The arresting officer smelled booze on Gaetz and noted his disheveled appearance. Gaetz said that the officer harassed and threatened him.

Gaetz now claims that he’s being targeted and harassed over the sex trafficking claim. He said:

“Over the past several weeks my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name. We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals,”

Yeah, I believe that Matt Gaetz is as pure as the driven snow… NOT. And he did make some really disgusting misogynistic comments at the summit in Tampa, prompting a 19 year old woman named Olivia Julianna to tweet criticisms of Representative Gaetz, a man currently being investigated for sex trafficking, as he calls out so-called “fat and ugly” abortion activists, whom he says need to march and eat more salad. I say “Clean up your own yard, Gaetz”.

In retaliation for Olivia Julianna’s tweets against his disgusting comments about pro-choice women, Gaetz body shamed Olivia Julianna, sharing a picture of her and his awful comments on Twitter. Then he encouraged his followers to harass her, and thousands of them did. Olivia Julianna responded by announcing a fundraiser for Gen Z for Change, a 500 member youth led non-profit group that addresses issues that disproportionately affected young people.

When it became clear that Gaetz’s bullying campaign against her was a big failure, Olivia Julianna tweeted this response.

And she didn’t stop there. Olivia Julianna also wittily tweeted, “Am I not a little too old for you Matt? I know you have a thing for targeting teenagers but 19 is on the cusp don’t you think?” 

In a subsequent tweet, she continued:

Olivia Julianna went on to raise over $1 million for Gen Z for Change. The donated money will be divided among 50 abortion rights funds. She did a pretty good job turning misogynistic hate into something useful.

I love how sassily Olivia Julianna handed Gaetz his ass, posting: “Dear Matt, Although your intentions were hateful, your public shaming of my appearance has done nothing but benefit me,” she wrote after his tweet about her spurred a load of harassment from Gaetz’s Twitter followers — as well as a flood of donations to her reproductive rights advocacy organization. She’s also gained thousands of new Twitter followers, including yours truly.

Why anyone is listening to Matt Gaetz, let alone voting for him, is beyond me. But I guess it’s proof that in the United States, if you’re lucky and hitch your star to the right people, being reprehensible won’t stop you from being successful at something. I think that’s especially true in places where there’s a lot of good old boy cronyism and nepotism going on. It’s especially telling that Gaetz can’t even come up with his own jokes. He has to twist and bastardize a classic joke from George Carlin, a much revered and beloved comedian, who, if he was still living, would have an absolute field day with what’s happening right now.

Gaetz really isn’t having a good week, anyway. At that same summit in Tampa, Gaetz went after Mike Pence, saying:

“Our America is proudly ultra MAGA, not some low energy roadside RINO safari,” said Gaetz, referring to a derogatory term for so-called moderate Republicans. “On that note, let me just say what everyone here knows: Mike Pence will never be president. Nice guy, not a leader.”

Bwahahaha… what Gaetz knows about “nice guys” would fill a thimble. I’m not a fan of Mike Pence’s in any sense, but I do love what, Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff said in response:

“Well, I don’t know if Mike Pence will run for president in 2024, but I don’t think Matt Gaetz will have an impact on that. In fact, I’d be surprised if he’s still voting. It’s more likely he’ll be in prison for child trafficking by 2024.

And I’m actually surprised the Florida law enforcement still allows him to speak to teenage conferences like that. So, I’m not too worried what Matt Gaetz thinks.”

Yes, that’s a pretty good burn… However, I am forever disturbed by the fact that reprobates like Matt Gaetz get into power and have political platforms that influence laws for all of us. He’s clearly not a good person. He has no honor. He’s not even nice on the surface. Naturally, he’s probably one of Trump’s favorite guys and biggest sycophants.

Gaetz has been vocal about his opposition to abortion and voted against two bills that would have ensured access to abortion. He’s been criticized for saying that those protesting the overturning of Roe v. Wade are “overeducated, under-loved millennials.” (ahem, I am a member of Gen X, thank you VERY much!) It surprises me that Matt Gaetz is so “pro-life”, yet he has no problem trying to tear down people who have already been born, and have thoughts and feelings that can be affected by what he says. Kudos to Olivia Julianna for having plenty of moxie and a sharp wit. I think she’s going to go far in her heels as she stomps all over Matt Gaetz’s pathetic, privileged, and perverted ass. I look forward to cheering her on!

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narcissists, psychology, true crime, videos, YouTube

Should we have all seen it coming?

Although she’s been all over the news all week, I’ve been cautiously waiting to write more about Gabrielle Petito. Even though I kind of knew deep down that the dead body found in Wyoming would probably end up belonging to her, I hesitated to state outright that she was deceased. I didn’t want to get on the bandwagon of assumptions that people often get on in cases like hers.

This is so sad. She was such a lovely young woman with her whole life ahead of her.

I also initially couldn’t bring myself to comment much on this case. So many people were offering opinions that they were very certain about. I still didn’t feel like I had enough information, although the signs were certainly there that Gabrielle Petito was a victim of abuse perpetrated by her boyfriend. Even now, in spite of the many creepy and disturbing signs that Gabby’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, is an abuser and potentially a murderer, I don’t want to make that statement outright. Because, in spite of all of the damning signs, I still don’t know for sure. I can only strongly assume, and I feel like there’s enough assuming going on right now. The truth is, a lot of this story is still pretty mysterious, especially since Mr. Laundrie is still missing. At this point, he’s still just a “person of interest”.

What I do know is that abusers come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, and flavors. So, I also hesitate to be among my friends who have been posting things like this…

While I totally agree about trying to teach children not to be abusive, I also know from personal experience that this is a lesson that EVERYONE needs to learn. And sometimes even when you try to teach it, the lesson still gets lost.

Also, sadly, I don’t think this is a lesson that can always be taught. Sometimes a parent can do their very best to teach their children right from wrong, and the kid still grows up to be an abuser. I think some people are just naturally prone to have bad intentions. I can think of a lot of families I’ve known… good, hardworking, decent folks… who have one or two people in their ranks that aren’t quite as upstanding as the rest of the family. So I don’t automatically put the actions of an abuser on the parents. It’s not always their fault.

I don’t know a thing about Brian Laundrie or his parents, so at this point, I really can’t judge the parents for what their son might have done to his girlfriend. But, the other day, I did watch the entire body cam video of the traffic stop involving Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito in Moab, Utah. The video was over an hour in length, so I can’t say I was watching it very intently. I do remember hearing how friendly and at ease Brian seemed to be with the police, even as Gabrielle was crying and clearly upset.

I wonder how the officers involved in this case feel now…

I do want to commend the cops for treating Petito and Laundrie professionally. They were especially kind to Gabby, letting her sit in air conditioning and giving her water. On the other hand, I heard the main cop, who was primarily in charge, repeatedly talking about Gabby to Brian as if they were buddies. He related his story about his own wife, who has “anxiety issues” and needs medication. I don’t think the cop’s wife’s mental health issues are necessarily relevant to this situation. It sounded to me like the officer was making some assumptions without knowing all of the facts. I can’t blame him too much for that. We all do it to some extent. I also think he truly was trying to help, which is commendable, although I think maybe he got a little too friendly with Laundrie. I wonder if the cop would have been as friendly if Laundrie and Petito weren’t young, attractive, white people.

In the wake of the video and the news about Petito’s remains being found, more people have come out to say that they saw Brian mistreating Gabby in public. But even if those people had come forward sooner, I’m not sure what could have been done. I do remember reading one account of a park ranger who told Gabby that her relationship with Brian appeared to be “toxic”. Melissa Hulls, a visitor and resource protection supervisor at Arches National Park in Utah, was among the officers who dealt with the couple when they were stopped in Utah. We don’t see much of what was said to Gabby during the stop, although I do remember hearing the officers discuss whether or not they were going to arrest her for domestic violence against Brian Laundrie. According to the link:

“I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life,” Hulls said of Petito, who was living with Laundrie and his parents in Florida prior to the trip.

“She had a lot of anxiety about being away from him, I honestly thought if anything was going to change it would be after they got home to Florida,” Hulls added.

I remember all too well crying like Gabby in the calm, assured faces of abusers. They made it seem like I was the “crazy” one. For a long time, I felt like I was crazy. And then, when no one else was watching– or the only other witness was a “flying monkey”– the abusers would go off on a rage. I can also see a red flag in Melissa Hulls’ statement about how Gabby was afraid to be away from Brian. Abusive people like to isolate their victims. They get to the point at which they don’t think they can function on their own. That’s how the abuser wants it to be, because then the victim will always be there to take more abuse.

In the end, the cops decided not to file charges against Petito. Even if they had arrested her, I’m not sure if the outcome would have been any different in the long run. But the fact that Gabby might have been arrested is another wrinkle in this situation. Oftentimes, people who are being abused don’t want to ask for help because if they do fight back, there is a chance that they will be the ones who end up in cuffs. My husband was abused by his ex wife in just about every possible way. He never reported her behavior to the police because he knew that it was just as likely that he’d wind up in trouble. She also had him convinced that everything was his fault. In the above police body cam video, you can hear Gabby talking about how she’d made Brian angry.

Hulls adds that when the stop was made, the police officers really did think it was a mental health situation caused by the two of them being together for too long, living in austere conditions. They had no reason to believe at the time that either party was truly in any danger. More than once, I heard the police refer to Gabrielle’s diminutive size compared to Brian’s, although Brian was the one with visible injuries. And Brian was very calm and friendly, while Gabby was crying and distraught. I think it’s important for people to remember that police officers aren’t necessarily mental health experts. Their job is to assess whether or not crimes are committed and enforce the laws. But clearly, Melissa Hulls got a bad feeling about Brian Laundrie.

Another couple from Louisiana, who happened to be vacationing in Jackson, Wyoming when Gabby and Brian were passing through, remember witnessing a “commotion” at a restaurant. Nina Angelo, and her boyfriend, Matt England, saw Gabby and Brian leaving The Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant on August 27th. Brian was reportedly clearly agitated and angry, going in and out of the restaurant and being abusive toward the wait staff and hostess. The waitress who took care of Gabby and Brian also experienced abuse from Brian and was very shaken. Later that same day, Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, received a strange text that supposedly came from Gabby. It was the last communication she got from her daughter.

Later, on August 29th, a couple in Wyoming gave Brian a ride. They said he offered to pay $200 for the ride, even before he got in their car. The couple said Brian told them Gabby was at the van, working on her blog. But when it turned out the couple was going to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, rather than Jackson, Brian allegedly became “very agitated” and asked them to stop the car. He got out of the vehicle near Jackson Dam, less than 30 minutes after they’d picked him up.

These signs that are surfacing now tell us that maybe people should have done more. I think it’s hard to take action in a case that doesn’t seem cut and dry. We’re taught to mind our own business and give people the benefit of the doubt… and there’s also the very real risk that the abuser will turn on those who intervene. There were a few people who did try to do something.

On August 12, someone called the police to report a domestic dispute between Petito and Laundrie. In the 911 call, the caller says “We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl… Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and they drove off.” Another bystander named Chris reported to the police that he saw Gabby and Brian fighting in Utah. He heard Gabby say something along the lines of “Why do you have to be so mean?” He also saw Gabby punching Brian in the arm and the face, trying to take a cell phone from him. He described their interaction as “aggressive.” Below is a video by the Body Language Guy, who analyzes Laundrie’s body language.

Jesus Enrique Rosas is convinced that Gabby was a victim of abuse.

And yet, even though all of this was going on, no one was willing or able to intervene in time to stop Gabrielle Petito’s murder. The autopsy does confirm that she was killed in a homicide. It certainly looks very much like Brian Laundrie had something to do with it. In fact, it looks like he had everything to do with it. I will be very surprised if it turns out he’s innocent. But until I know that for sure, I hesitate to say he’s asbolutely guilty of murder, because we haven’t heard the whole story yet. What I do think is clear is that he regularly abused his girlfriend and, whether or not she “gave as good as she got”, she’s the one who is definitely dead.

Of course, at this point, it looks like Brian might possibly also be deceased. He has somehow disappeared in Florida, and officials there have brought in deep divers and special equipment to see if he’s somewhere at the bottom of an alligator and snake infested swamp or something. The mystery continues.

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