healthcare, politics, religion, wingnuts

The danger of tempting fate has never been as real as it is in the COVID-19 era…

The other day, I read that conservative wingnut pundit Rick Wiles, 67, who has said all kinds of nutty things about liberals and has condemned the COVID-19 vaccines as tools for “global genocide”, is now very sick with the virus. I have written about Rick Wiles before on this blog. He’s among the most rabid right wing crackpots on the airwaves today. I don’t pay a lot of attention to Rick, because most of what he says is preposterous. I have blogged about him a couple of times, when he’s said things that are especially ridiculous… and now it seems that he, along with a lot of other science deniers, is eating his words about COVID-19.

Yes, friends… Rick Wiles, Trump zealot, pastor of Flowing Springs Church in Vero Beach, Florida, host of TruNews, and overall whackjob, declared in late April that he would not get vaccinated against COVID-19, because he believes the shots are “global mass murder” perpetuated by Satan. Alas, Mr. Wiles is now begging for your prayers, because apparently, he’s one of the many people God doesn’t like. Of course, I don’t actually know what God thinks of Rick Wiles, or even if there is a God. I base that last statement on something Wiles himself has said about the coronavirus. He has repeatedly claimed that the vaccine is a plot to kill people, and that a lot of “stupid people” will be killed off by getting vaccinated against the disease.

In January 2020, Rick Wiles said COVID was God’s way of punishing China for its “godless communist government”. I wonder what he thinks now…

A couple of days ago, I noticed a link in the Duggar Family News group about Mr. Wiles and his newly acquired condition. It was the first I’d read about his experience with COVID-19. I was shocked to read that he believed the vaccines would be used to kill off 70% of the population. According to Newsweek.com, Wiles apparently based his theory, in part, on an article he read on Great Game India, “a website that promotes itself as a ‘journal on geopolitics and international relations’ and has published conspiracy theories on a variety of topics.” Great Game India’s comments were partially based on a paper put out by the United Kingdom’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational subgroup. In that paper, it was reported that “up to 70 percent of people who had both vaccine doses could die in the third wave of COVID infections.” However, what Mr. Wiles seems to have missed is that the 70 percent figure was never attributed to the efficacy of the vaccines. Rather, that number is reflective of “the high death toll among vaccinated individuals to the easing of restrictions and there being a large number of high-risk people being vaccinated.”

In other words, there could be more deaths among people who are already at a higher risk. That means a large number of older people who are unvaccinated, older people who are vaccinated but immunocompromised, and older people who are vaccinated, but still get sick despite being vaccinated, could possibly perish in a third wave. That figure has nothing whatsoever to do with the vaccines being ineffective. The 70 percent figure could be “the result of ‘uptake being so high’ among the higher risk group.” As we’ve seen recently, the COVID-19 virus is continually evolving and mutating, which is why the vaccines are so important. The more people get vaccinated, the fewer hosts are available for the virus to mutate. As it is, those of us who have been vaccinated will all probably need to get booster shots, although it’s not currently known when or how often the shots will be necessary.

Rick Wiles has been permanently banned from YouTube because he says things that are so controversial and hateful. I had not looked for him in awhile, so I was surprised this morning when I didn’t find his channel on the popular video sharing site. However, plenty of people on YouTube are still making videos about Rick Wiles and his lunacy. He also posts, and has been posted about, a lot on Twitter. Last week, Wiles had to be rushed to the emergency room, and he spent some time hospitalized because of the illness.

Will you survive, Rick?

This isn’t the first time I’ve read about a COVID-19 denier getting sick after publicly stating that the virus is a hoax. I remember in April 2020, reading about 45 year old Karen Kolb Selke, a woman who had, in March of last year, gone on Facebook to rant about how COVID-19 was a socialist plot to scare people into voting Donald Trump out of office. Three weeks later, she was dead, having contracted the virus herself.

There have been other stories about this phenomenon– people claiming that the virus is a “media hoax” or a “plandemic”, just to get Trump out of office and promote a “socialist” agenda. It’s a bunch of rubbish, of course. If it were only about removing Trump, COVID would not be killing people around the world. Moreover, vaccines of all kinds have saved so many lives and prevented disabilities in people. When my parents were growing up, polio was a real and scary threat to children. Thanks to the polio vaccine, later generations, including mine, did not have to worry about the disease. Ditto for measles, mumps, diphtheria, whooping cough, and rubella. Todays’ young people can get vaccinated against chickenpox and the human papilloma virus, which is thought to cause cervical cancer. Having had shingles as a young woman, I certainly wish I could have avoided being infected by varicella, which lurks in the body forever and waits for the opportunity to strike when you’re physically “rundown”, as I was after I came home from the Peace Corps and suffered from multiple skin infections. Unfortunately, it’s too late for me to avoid that fate.

One would think that the Trumpers might have changed their tunes over the past few months, but the crazies are still out there, peddling their bullshit. Just this morning, the actor Robbie Rist, shared this frightening post by Laurie Roth, Ph.D., who is the self-proclaimed “Annie Oakley of the Airwaves”. Based on this post, I can’t say I’m too impressed by her credentials… I can’t imagine why anyone with sense would want Trump in charge again. I get being conservative, but Trump isn’t like most conservatives.

WHAT?

The so-called “Annie Oakley of the Airwaves” continues with this follow up post on Facebook, which was posted on June 5th:

From False Narrative Dr. Laurie Roth

Apparently, my last article stating that President Trump had signed the Insurrection act in January 2021 and that the military was in control caused a Tsunami of reaction. This included Facebook tagging my article as a lie and false.

What does one do in a situation like this? Do I go to liar school, hide in the closet and never speak again? Do I disappear and accept the label and let the leftists win again?

What I did was call my connected military source again, who by the way knows a top General who is a man of honor and service as my source is. I told him the response of social networking controllers and Trump haters and one of their statements. “This can’t be true because it is not written anywhere and hasn’t been publicized.”

My source said, Trump didn’t have to publicize it to the media that has long been sold out to the America hating left. There is no law or rule that declares his signature and declaration of this act had to go to anywhere else but the Military.

Remember, the House and the Senate failed us and they were given the evidence of a stolen election The Supreme Court wouldn’t hear any case regarding it. They failed us also. So did numerous, liberal Governors and courts. There was only one choice left – the Insurrection Act.

As I said in my last article that got everyone’s knickers in a twist, it was President Trump’s duty to sign the Insurrection Act since it was already proven that other countries interfered and stole the Presidential 2020 election. It was also investigated thoroughly by our military who found the real numbers of the election. Trump boldly won the popular vote and the Electoral College.

It was their duty, then to acknowledge the Insurrection Act because of foreign influence and a sea of election crimes in this election. Trump did the only thing a real patriot would do and sign the act putting our military in charge.

Most in social media hate Trump, real freedom of speech. In their eyes, they know all, see all and are the 4th person of the Trinity. In truth, they are the sell outs and liars. If real Patriots are nothing but liars and conspiracy nuts these days, then I am proud to be one!

Think about it for a minute. Do you recall President Trump as the type of man who would just submissively accept the fact that hard core proof showed a landslide victory, that China and other countries coordinated the stealing of our election and he would just drink a beer and go golfing? Don’t believe that Trump would disappear and not fight for our country and justice for a second. We are in the biggest battle of our lives and much of it we cannot see…..yet.

It is so boringly like the left, to immediately call you all manner of names and scream with shrillness that you are lying. Hopefully, I would slither off and never talk again.

Truthfully, I should yell thank you from the rooftops since all they did was add fuel to my fire. I will scream the truth all the more. Remember, I survived, national talk radio for 15 years and was called every name there is. Believe what you will but pray and fight for your country. Stand. Great things are on the way and Justice is coming.

I don’t even know what to write about Laurie Roth’s nonsensical drivel. Does she actually believe this, or is this just about making money and a name for herself? I am relieved to read comments from people who see what I see… some straight up crazy bullshit conspiracy theories. She’s like “The Transformed Wife“, Lori Alexander, but for Trump zealots instead of Christian evangelical fundies.

In any case, I think it’s quite clear that COVID-19 is very real, and people had better get wise. I’m grateful Bill and I were able to get the vaccine. It doesn’t mean we won’t get sick from COVID-19 or anything else, but I am convinced that the vaccine will make it less likely that we’ll need to be hospitalized from the virus if we do get it. Frankly, I am surprised by how easy the shots were for me. Other than a little bit of a sore arm, I wasn’t affected at all. In fact, I recovered from “COVID arm” even faster with the second shot than I did the first. Bill did have a harder time with the second round, but it only lasted a day. Neither of us wants to lie in a hospital bed gasping for air from a viral infection as we prepare to depart life.

Posted on Twitter, May 31st.

I don’t wish death on Rick Wiles, and I am not rejoicing in the fact that he and some of his family members got sick with COVID-19. I have doubt that this experience will do much to change his mind about the crap he’s been spewing. But I do hope that his experience will serve as a wakeup call/moment of truth for his followers. Not getting vaccinated is a crazy gamble, even though I respect your right to self-determination. I would encourage you to learn from Rick and do your part to avoid spreading this disease. It’s definitely real.

Standard
sexism, slut shamers, stupid people

Repost: Transformed Wife vs. The Transformed Wife…

This is another repost concerning Lori Alexander, aka “The Transformed Wife”. This was composed on my original blog on July 21, 2018. I am sharing it again because it includes discussion about one of Lori’s most notoriously controversial ideas… that men don’t like women with tattoos or student loans and prefer their wives to be virgins.

I have to write another quick post to opine about a situation that has developed in blogger land.  Though the Life is Not All Pickles and Hairspray group, I’ve become aware of several very successful “Christian” bloggers.  One blogger that gets mentioned a lot is Lori Alexander, author of “The Transformed Wife“.  I don’t really read a lot of Lori’s stuff because it’s usually poorly written and stupid, even though she’s published a book that evidently a lot of people have read.  She does have a Facebook page, too, and sometimes I see stuff from it posted in the Duggar group, mainly for people to snark on.  Somehow, despite writing poorly and centering all of her posts, she has thousands of followers.  Maybe I should start writing badly and include a lot of religion in my posts, too.  On the other hand, that’s a bad idea.  Sometimes it’s better to be anonymous.

Anyway, Lori recently wrote an extremely moronic post about how “Godly” men prefer debt free virgins without tattoos.  It went viral for all the wrong reasons.  I originally saw it in the Duggar group, but pretty soon, it was picked up by people like God and a bunch of bloggers wrote thoughtful rebuttals, like this one.  In the wake of this mess, there was another blogger who got caught in the crossfire.  Not just another blogger, mind you… this one, name of Rachel, is Transformed Wife

Apparently, Rachel was Transformed Wife before Lori was The Transformed Wife (note the addition of “The” before Transformed Wife– I guess Lori thinks that makes her name different enough from Rachel’s).  Rachel writes in a recent post that Lori had sent her an email to tell her she was changing the original name of her blog to the one Rachel had already claimed.  And because both women are popular bloggers, there has been some confusion about the controversial blog post that upset many thousands of people.  Rachel claims that it’s gotten so bad that she had to make a public statement telling everyone that she and Lori are not the same person and they have different beliefs.

To make matters more confusing, someone else is running a snark page called The Transformed Wife 2.0.  I joined that one myself and it’s where I first learned of this controversy between two similarly named bloggers.

Neither of the Transformed Wives are women that I would listen to.  I actually don’t really like the whole “life coach”-“guru” trend that has emerged.  I think it takes a whole lot of moxie to assume one is qualified to be someone’s life coach.  To be honest, I think most people who feel they should work as life coaches are probably narcissistic assholes.  I mean, some people really are wise, but in general, I don’t think it’s wise to assume that dispensing your wisdom should be your career.  It’s bound to backfire.

But then… here I am writing “The Overeducated Housewife”, and God knows people have gotten a bad impression about the name of my blog.  I’m not the only Overeducated Housewife out there in blog land, nor was I the first.  However, I do seem to be the most prolific. 

In any case, the war of the Transformed Wives has drawn out other people eager to leap into the fray. On The Transformed Wife 2.0, I learned of yet another “wise” blogger called The Joy Filled Wife… who is apparently Lori Alexander in a previous incarnation.  And yet, The Joy Filled Wife left Lori a note of encouragement because of the backlash she’s gotten over her idiotic commentary about what kind of women men prefer.  I guess Lori split her personality so she could sock puppet an encouraging post.  Or maybe there really is a Joy Filled Wife out there who is Lori’s friend.  I don’t know.  I am so confused!

I’m with Eric.  I don’t like slutty, inked out, olive oil with too many credit card bills and student loans.  I like my olive oil where it belongs… in the kitchen and only educated about making food.

I myself have no tattoos.  In about ten days, I will also have no debt, although I was up to my ass in it on my wedding day.  I was a virgin when I got married, but it wasn’t because of God.  It was more because that’s how it worked out.  Bill likes me fine.  He probably would have liked me if I had tattoos, too… or if I’d been with other men.  You see, Bill loves me for who I am, not for what I look like.  We have worked together to have the best life possible.  And while Bill isn’t a churchgoer, I would say he’s “Godly” in the best possible ways.

I don’t know why so many people– particularly conservative Christians– feel the need to follow self-appointed gurus like Lori and Rachel.  In my experience, a lot of these “leaders” end up being very narcissistic and fallible.  Many of them eventually have embarrassing falls from grace that expose them for who and what they really are.  Unfortunately, people don’t seem to learn from experience that folks like the Duggars and the Osteens and others like them usually turn out to be very charismatic charlatans who do a lot of damage, particularly to people who are honestly hurting and need help.

Not being a fundie Christian myself, I don’t feel like I have any skin in this particular game.  It’s kind of amusing and disturbing to watch it unfold, though.  I hope the people who read my blog don’t think of me as a “guru” of any sort.  And the idea of my becoming a life coach is equally absurd.  It ain’t happening.

Standard
careers, rants, religion, sexism

Repost: According to a Christian blogger, women are destroying the medical profession…

I just got a wild hair up my ass and decided to repost a couple of blog entries I wrote about Lori Alexander, otherwise known as The Transformed Wife. I am reposting them because sometimes it’s handy to be able to link to old posts from my original blog, particularly where Lori Alexander is concerned. This first one was originally posted May 14, 2018. It made quite a stir three years ago.

First thing’s first.  I need to state upfront that I don’t regularly follow The Transformed Wife, which is a blog written by a Christian woman named Lori Alexander.  I had never heard of this blog until I started following the Duggar Family News group on Facebook.  I did see a recent post by The Transformed Wife where I felt compelled to leave a comment, only because she’d misspelled “censorship” in her title and it was making me twitchy (sorry).  But no, I don’t regularly read her blog because I’m pretty far from being a devout Christian.  Sometimes people share her more ridiculous posts, though, and that’s usually when I take notice.

2013 seems to have been the year to be talking about female physicians…

This morning, someone shared Lori’s thoughts on women doctors.  She writes, “women are destroying the medical profession.”  To back up her claim, she cites a five year old opinion piece done by the U.K.’s Telegraph.  That piece is about female doctors who only work part-time because they are raising families.  It’s apparently causing a problem in countries around the world because part-time doctors lead to a shortage.  The opinion piece, written by Max Pemberton, is actually pretty sensible.  He writes:

…attempts to raise these issues are routinely met with accusations of sexism. But it’s not sexist to acknowledge that women, more than men, often appear to place family life ahead of their career. Nor is it a bad thing that women want to focus on having and bringing up their children, and caring for a partner. Underlying this is a larger debate about the 24/7 working environment and lack of affordable child care that leaves so many women torn between a career and a family. This is where the real sexism lies. But until there is a shift in the way that domestic responsibilities are shared, we need to accept that most women want to work part time so they can combine a career with family life – and, in medicine at least, start preparing for it becoming the norm.

But then Lori Alexander writes:  

Men were created to be the supporters of families and women were not. Women are taking men’s positions in medical schools that should belong to men.

Hmmm… very interesting indeed.  I happen to know a couple of women doctors who are raising families.  One is a very successful trauma surgeon.  Her husband is an Episcopalian vicar and takes excellent care of their two kids while his wife works to save lives.  The other just recently had her sixth baby.  And yet, according to Lori Alexander, these women are absolutely wrong to pursue careers in medicine.  Alexander reminds readers…

Men can be doctors but they can’t be mothers. Only mothers can be mothers and NO ONE can replace a mother in a child’s life.

What exactly makes someone a mother, anyway?  Is it the simple act of giving birth?  Because if that’s the case, adoptive mothers are apparently worthless, according to Alexander.  Is it simply being female?  Are women inherently more nurturing than men are, simply because they have female parts?  What about fathers?  Can they be replaced?  Actually, Alexander would probably say fathers can’t be replaced, but apparently they aren’t as important as mothers are.  Why is that?  Is it because they aren’t nurturing?  I would challenge anyone who has ever met my husband, Bill, to compare his nurturing instincts to mine.  (ha ha ha)  But then, I know that Bill is a pretty rare individual, especially for a military veteran.  He’s unusually nurturing and kind.  He’d probably be a better mother than I would, though.  Or, at least he’d probably be more like the type of mother idealized by folks like Lori Alexander.

Lori continues with the following thoughts…

No long-term good comes out of women leaving their homes. Nothing. Satan convinced women to spend years and a lot of money getting a higher education and then a degree. When they finally have children, they still have their God-given instinct to care for their children, thus they are in conflict with what they were convinced about concerning their career and being with their children. Their children are the ones who suffer and society is suffering too.

Oh… so it’s the fault of women that society is suffering?  That sounds pretty familiar.  Women get blamed for all kinds of shit.  That’s been going on since the dawn of time.  But then Lori ends with a quote from Proverbs:

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.  Proverbs 31:27

I wonder what she’d think of an overeducated housewife with no children whose housework skills are lacking…

In fairness to Lori Alexander, I don’t know her at all.  I have no idea what shaped her opinions about woman in the workplace, other than her obvious love for the Bible.  My guess is that she’s actually against women who work, not just women who choose to be doctors.  Somehow, her blog has attracted a lot of attention.  This particular post has been shared well over 1500 times.  Maybe I should start writing really badly written provocative stuff that causes outrage.  And… to be honest, I don’t necessarily disagree that children in the United States need more exposure to their mothers.  Actually, I’d argue that they need more exposure to BOTH parents.  

What I like about Europe is that the powers-that-be have recognized that young children need their mothers and fathers, so employers here allow them to take time off from their work to take care of their kids.  That time off is paid, and they do have jobs to go back to when their time off is finished.  But this generous leave has nothing to do with religion.  Instead, it’s a simple product of common sense.

Europe, in general, is also a bit less work happy than the United States is.  In the United States, there’s this idea that one must constantly be working in order to keep their jobs.  Plenty of folks who are lucky enough to have jobs with benefits, to include paid vacation time, are pressured not to take any leave.  Those who dare to enjoy their lives off the clock are often considered unproductive and poor performers.  They don’t tend to climb the ladder of success the way their more driven colleagues do.    

In Germany, workers get more time off and shorter work weeks, yet the German economy remains very strong and the people, by and large, seem to be a lot happier.  I think Germans tend to work smarter, too.  They focus is less on how long a person works and more on the quality of their work.  I would imagine that having time to rest allows them to work smarter.  It’s probably better for their overall health, too, including their mental health.

Let’s face it.  Living in the United States is very expensive.  A lot of families need both parents to work just to be able to pay their basic bills.  The need to work makes it harder to focus on the family. And yet, we keep voting in Republicans, who are in bed with Christians, yet seem hellbent on making money and ruining any family friendly programs that might make it more possible for one parent (not necessarily the mother) to stay home and take care of their kids.  The United States is not a community friendly country.  Many people are focused on their own needs and things that only benefit them personally, rather than society as a whole.

But… in fairness to my countrymen, I can understand where this attitude comes from.  And now that I don’t live in the United States, I can also see where people like my Italian friend, Vittorio, see the United States as a “weirdorama” country.  We have all these God fearing people who don’t seem to love their fellow man very much at all… unless, of course, their fellow man lives in a way that they claim is Biblical.  It doesn’t seem logical to me.

Anyway, allow me to go on record as saying that I think it’s great that women are following their career dreams.  I also think it’s a good thing that so many of those women are focusing on their own fulfillment.  Perhaps that means they have fewer children or none at all.  But, as Alexander points out in the comments section of her post, women doctors are here to stay.  Women will keep going to medical school.  So… I guess in her opinion, the medical profession is on its way to being well and truly fucked.  She’s entitled to her opinion.  I’m not sorry she wrote her post, even if I disagree with her.  She gave me some food for thought.

I guess we’re in the end times…

I think I need an aspirin now.       

Standard
Ex, stupid people

Some men are really threatened…

This morning, as I was enjoying the pancakes Mr. Bill made us for breakfast, I happened to see a post in the Duggar Family News group about The Transformed Wife– aka: Lori Alexander. It was about how Melania Trump is the “best” first lady because she keeps her opinions to herself and is a good “help meet”.

I don’t pay a lot of attention to Lori Alexander, who preaches incessantly about how women belong at home, raising babies and baking cookies, rather than working or studying at a university. Lori Alexander is, at best, a hypocrite. Obviously, she thinks it’s okay to share HER opinions with the masses via Facebook and YouTube. But it’s not okay for a first lady to speak out about anything. Of course, Melania Trump did some rather powerful non-verbal communicating when she posed nude… and when she wore her infamous jacket that read “I really don’t care. Do u?”

I decided that I wanted to see what Lori’s followers had to say about her post. The people in the Duggar Family News group are pretty much against Lori and her ilk. But before I had a chance to find the post about Melania Trump, I ran across this post:

To be fair, Lori didn’t write this; she just shared it.

Now… before I go any further, I want to state that I agree that not everyone needs to go to college. I also agree that it’s ludicrous to saddle young people with five figures worth of debt. However, although I ended up not using my education in the way I’d planned, I can’t say college or graduate school was a waste of time or money. I don’t think my degrees made me “dumber”, either. I got a lot of value out of both of my university experiences.

I am immensely grateful that we were able to pay for my education and I no longer have to worry about student loan debt. I don’t envy today’s young people, who are still mostly expected to earn degrees, but will have a harder time paying for them as the chasm between poverty and wealth continues to widen and the middle class disappears. When I think about how much money I borrowed for my education, I think I got a pretty good deal. I was very lucky, especially since that debt is now gone.

I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the comments on this thread, particularly from men who think like Lori does. Behold, the unedited comments below:

Men should attend a college to attain a degree that enables them to work. Women should make the house a home.

The first step, perhaps, is to remove Federal guarantees for student loans, and allow banks to discriminate based on the degree to be earned.  That, of course, will spoil gender equality in the outcome.

Universities/Collages don’t teach real education anymore and haven’t for a long time. They indoctrinate students with worldly teaching that only hurts the student, especially later in life, more than they help. Some are good, but the majority of the crap they teach are so ungodly it is dangerous. The kid doesn’t stand a chance, because the public school education is the same way. UNGODLY EVIL is taught in both school and collage. When they are teaching kids the garbage of homosexuality and that God makes mistakes and makes some a sex they were never supposed to be, like he’s an idiot or something, it will only harm kids more than it will help them in life.Truly pathetic. I am so glad that my sister Home schools.  But unfortunately, even seminaries don’t teach true biblical education much either. There was a report that came out a few years ago that stated some seminaries are teaching the bible as a theory and not a face. That is the saddest thing. It IS fact and they should be teaching it as such. It is truly sad how this country is going down the toilet. (ETA: Collages? Sounds like he made a lot of them in school.)

But the real beaut of a comment comes from a guy named Ben who wrote this tripe…

Sounds like he read Princeton Mom’s book and took it to heart… except he doesn’t think women should go to college at all, even to find a mate.

When a woman confronts Ben for his misogynistic opinions, he posts this:

This post was not for you, snowflake, move along.

Wow… what a dick. So then a woman named Mary confronts Ben, and he continues…

You mean someone was impregnated by this insulting shitgibbon? She must not have been very smart.

Unfortunately, I’ve run into a lot of men who are intimidated by smart women. It’s a very common attitude, particularly within the military. I can’t even express how many times people from the military community have given me shit over the name of my blog. Personally, I think the attitude that education isn’t worth pursuing and that smart women are unattractive really reveals a lot of insecurity and outright fear that some men have. They can’t stand the idea that a woman might be in charge at some point. And some men think the more educated a woman is, the less “feminine” and attractive she is:

I’m going for my PhD. It’s funny how so many women in my class are older and single. These women feel that they deserve an educated man but my male classmates and I feel that as educated men, we deserve someone younger and more feminine.

When I read these kinds of responses on Facebook, I feel even more grateful that I found a husband who values intelligence in a woman. His first wife was a high school dropout and finally finished college after about twenty years. I don’t know if the extra education helped make her a better person. I just know that her lack of education wasn’t a good thing when she and Bill were married. Ex isn’t a dumb person, per se, but she lacked a lot of sophistication, common sense, and basic knowledge. She and Bill would have been mismatched even if she weren’t narcissistic. They had vastly different interests and Bill is way more intellectual than she is. In fact, I think he’s more intellectual than I am. He’s definitely better read.

I suspect Ex was spurred to get her degree because she knew Bill had married someone who is educated, and she couldn’t stand that. Because suddenly, after many unsuccessful fits and starts with school, she was talking about getting a PhD… in education, of all things! I think the PhD dream was eventually overcome by events, but I heard she did evidently take a stab at graduate school. I don’t know if she finished or what she’s doing now. I don’t even think about her much anymore, since younger daughter finally started talking to Bill again.

Bill did look up his still estranged older daughter and was dismayed to see his ex wife posting, especially since he thought he’d had her blocked. It turns out that Ex now fancies herself a “public figure” and was apparently posting to her daughter’s Facebook page with her “public figure” account. Bill took a peek and noticed that Ex is now into sea glass and purports to be highly educated. Maybe she is. Maybe that education has improved her. I can’t see how it would hurt, unless she found new ways to be manipulative and cruel. Ex used to tell Bill that she was the smarter one and she should have been the one to have a degree. And she also claimed that she was offered a full scholarship to Rice University and had gotten into West Point. Both claims, I suspect, are 100% bullshit, especially since she blamed other people for the fact she wasn’t able to take advantage of those opportunities. It was her adoptive father’s “fault” for not paying for her room and board at Rice. As for West Point, I’m not sure what her excuse was there. I doubt she would have lasted five minutes on that campus.

It doesn’t necessarily take education to make someone intelligent. I’ve known a lot of really smart people who never went to college. I’ve also known stupid people with PhDs. I just think that higher education should be a choice for those who are capable of pursuing it and want to put forth the effort, and yes, that includes fields that other people think are “worthless” or “stupid”. I wonder if it ever occurs to the folks who disparage fields like gender studies, theater, or modern dance that those fields do provide jobs for some people. After all, someone has to teach those classes, right? And if we stop letting people study those fields, more people will be out of work.

I don’t think college is just about becoming employable. For me, it was a valuable rite of passage, and I left school with many wonderful friends, enlightening experiences, and more knowledge and maturity than I had when I started. Maybe I could have had similar experiences if I’d just taken a job in my hometown, but chances are good I’d still be living in that hometown if I’d taken that route. That was not where I wanted to spend my life.

I don’t regret going to college or graduate school. I’m sorry it’s so expensive in the United States. I think a lot of that has to do with the capitalistic mindset that so many people have in the U.S. Many people think that the more you spend on something, the more valuable it is. A lot of people think the United States has the best healthcare in the world. They’re surprised when they find out that the U.S., for all its spending on healthcare, actually has pretty poor healthcare outcomes when compared to countries like France and Italy. Likewise, a lot of people think spending more money for an education at a private school is better than going to a community college or a publicly supported school. In some cases, maybe it is better, but private universities often come with a much higher price tag unless a deal can be struck or scholarships are earned.

Count me among those who value higher education for everyone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a college education. There’s a lot to be said for trade school. I do think that everyone, male or female, should have skills that can be used in paid employment. Plenty of women planned to get married, have babies, and stay home to be “help meets” like Melania Trump (snicker), but then something happened to their marriage. There’s more than one way to get through life, but I think it’s best to prepare for disaster. I see becoming educated as a way of taking care of oneself… and I think it’s very foolish for women to opt out of preparing to be independent. And if some guy doesn’t think that’s “feminine” or “attractive”, then that’s a sign that he’s probably not someone whose DNA should be mingling with those who can get pregnant.

Yuck. Exhibit 1 of an untalented white man who is scared to death of an accomplished woman with a brain…

Anyway… I really think the core issue is that a lot of men– particularly white men– are afraid that women and people of color will eventually make them less relevant. And that scares the hell out of them. So they preach about how women should stay home and raise babies instead of using their minds. It’s pretty sad, if you ask me. Almost as sad as the above video. Gotta watch some Keb’ Mo’ to clear my mind…

That’s more like it.
Standard
LDS

“Re-education” is creepy…

Recently, I became a fan of Mr. Atheist’s YouTube channel. Mr. Atheist, aka Jimmy Snow, puts out high quality videos about religious wingnuts. He’s done quite a few about Lori Alexander, aka “The Transformed Wife”. I have written a few posts about her myself, although I think most of them are on the original blog. Lori Alexander, for those who don’t know, is a woman who writes blog posts and makes videos about the role of Christian women. For example, she thinks women should stay home and raise children instead of working outside of the home. As I write this, I’m listening to one Jimmy Snow did about Lori Alexander several months ago.

I wouldn’t know… I don’t pay much attention to Twitter, and if I did, I would pay any attention to Lori’s…

I think Mr. Atheist is bright and entertaining. Sometimes, he’s even funny. As an ex Mormon, Mr. Atheist is especially qualified to opine about ex Mormon bloggers and YouTubers. I happened to catch one he did about a YouTube content creator calling herself MonsonSchoolhouse. This is a very blonde Mormon lady with several children who makes videos about homeschooling. I haven’t watched much of the original incarnations of her videos, mainly because it’s not a topic that interests me on a personal level. I don’t have children, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t homeschool them. I’m also not LDS and definitely never would be.

But, because Mr. Atheist was raised LDS, he knows all about it. And he watched MonsonSchoolhouse’s video and provided the following commentary on it.

Damn… she is so blonde…

I did watch the above video, and in it, I noticed that MonsonSchoolhouse says that she no longer has to “re-educate” her children when they come home from school. She says that because they are closed off from influences that might cause them to stray from her LDS principles, they are better off. I couldn’t help but think of another use of the term “re-education“. Before I listened to MonsonSchoolhouse talking about the wonders of homeschooling her children and controlling her children’s indoctrination, the only other time I heard about “re-education” was regarding harsh camps where disobedient people were sent to be taught the “right” way to think and behave. Right now, they exist in China, where Muslims are being sent to have their “thoughts transformed”.

I have heard about them in other places, such as Vietnam and North Korea. They’re not nice places to be. They tend to be prisons, where unlucky inmates are “persuaded” to change their views or else. I wonder if MonsonSchoolhouse knows anything about that as she talks about “re-educating” her kids after they’ve been in school.

I know a lot of parents believe their children are “theirs” to do with whatever they want. They feel it’s their responsibility to “train ’em up” right. Some parents, particularly those involved in strict religions, actually kind of run their families like a mini cult. I don’t know if that’s how this mom runs her family… but I do think that using words like “re-education” kind of make me conjure up visions of people being forced to think a certain way… or face dire consequences.

I’m really glad my parents gave me the freedom to do a lot of what I wanted when I was growing up. I could read whatever I wanted, study any subjects that interested me, watch the movies and TV shows I wanted, and basically learn whatever I could before I became an adult. Although I was forced to go to church when I was growing up, I’m glad they chose a fairly liberal, mainstream church that valued educated leaders and embraced science. Whenever I hear the stories of children raised in strict religious belief systems and the “catching up” a lot of them have to do once they become adults, I’m glad I wasn’t in that kind of family system. I won’t say I’m not fucked up on any level because I think most people are to some extent. But I definitely could have been a lot more fucked up than I am… I look at how my husband’s daughters were raised and what they’re having to overcome, and I realize how lucky I was.

I don’t think shielding children from the world is the best way to teach them or help them grow up. Eventually, they will have to function in the real world. Being able to recite vast passages from the Book of Mormon is not likely to help those kids pay their bills… unless, of course, they manage to find a job working for the church. And, in my opinion, preventing those kids from associating with people who aren’t like them is also not the best way to prepare them for the world. Eventually, they will run into people from different places with different ideas and different appearances. Instead of being able to consider those differences and draw their own conclusions, they’re liable to hear their mother’s voice saying that different ways are “not correct”.

Personally, I think homeschooling can be a bad idea, anyway. I won’t say it’s always a bad idea. I know some people who invest the time and effort into doing it right. In fact, Bill and I know a couple who homeschooled all seven of their children and they’re all pretty brilliant. But I also know that Bill’s ex wife supposedly “homeschooled” Bill’s daughters, mainly as a means of controlling them and preventing others from influencing them. And though both have managed to get into college and one has even graduated, they missed out on a lot. They have succeeded in spite of Ex’s efforts, rather than because of them.

I noticed on Mr. Atheist’s video about the Mormon homeschooling mom, a German commenter was flabbergasted, since homeschooling is pretty much forbidden here. Frankly, I kind of agreed with what the commenter said– that most people really shouldn’t be trying to teach their children alone. It’s kind of like a doctor treating his or her own family. But then… I can’t say that all homeschooling is disastrous, because I know it’s not. It works well in some families. I think the ones that are most successful are the ones who don’t do it for religious reasons.

Standard