condescending twatbags, Duggars, true crime

No “joshing” matter… Josh Duggar is in the slammer!

This morning, a couple of friends tagged me in the latest news about “sex pest” Josh Duggar. He is currently behind bars having been arrested in Arkansas yesterday. According to People Magazine, Josh was nabbed by Homeland Security. He is being held without bond, although so far, we don’t know what the charges are. He will supposedly go before a judge sometime today. This news comes just a few days since Josh and his long suffering wife, Anna, announced that they are expecting their seventh child, another girl.

Oh dear.

I do remember that in November 2019, it was in the news that Josh’s office at the car dealership where he was working was raided by the feds. Back then, the Duggars claimed that it wasn’t true that any member of the Duggar family was the target of an investigation of any kind. Clearly, they were lying, which is a violation of one of the Ten Commandments. But, as Josh correctly pointed out back in 2015, when he was at the pinnacle of his sex pest scandal, he has been the biggest hypocrite ever. It’s not a surprise that Josh and members of his family lied about his legal issues in 2019.

Yikes. What a weird smirk.

The Duggars are definitely a family a lot of us love to hate. I remember first hearing about them in 2004, when Jim Boob and Michelle Duggar were featured in a Discovery Health special. At the time, I believe Michelle was pregnant with her fourteenth child– Jackson, I believe. After that, the Duggars determined that having more kids was a way to make the fame and money train roll. They popped out five more, with the youngest, Josie, being born extremely premature. There would have been one more girl, but Michelle miscarried her 20th child in 2011. However, they are now raising Michelle’s grandnephew, Tyler, so I guess in a manner of speaking, they got their 20th kid, after all.

Their reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, aired on TLC until May 2015, when the sex scandal came to light. It turned out that Josh Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter back in 2002 or so. The Duggars hid this information for years, and when it did finally get exposed, they downplayed what Josh did. Later that year, Josh was also outed for having an Ashley Madison account and cheating on his wife. At the time, she was pregnant with their fourth child, Meredith. Josh had been working for the Family Research Council in the Washington, DC area, but he was forced to resign in the wake of the many scandals that plagued him. In November of 2015, Josh was also sued by a porn star named Danica Dillon, who claimed he had assaulted her.

I thought things were calming down a bit in the wake of the scandals. I hadn’t heard of any other issues relating to his issues with pornography, objectifying women, or molesting girls. But I had heard about him being sued for real estate fraud back around 2019, and many people were horrified that he and Anna were still making so many kids. Josh evidently lost the lawsuit because he missed the court date.

It will be interesting to find out why Josh is in trouble this time. It sounds like he did something pretty serious. However, when I look at his mug shot, I notice he has kind of a weird smirk on his face and looks like he might be on something.

Maybe I shouldn’t feel sorry for Anna, but I do. It’s hard to wrap my head around why she continues to support Josh and stay in the marriage. But, I’m sure that Anna has significant barriers to getting divorced. Besides the fact that divorce is something fundie Christians don’t tend to do, she would be hard pressed to be able to support her huge family on her own. And based on the way Jim Boob Duggar treats his own children — ahem, Jill Dillard– it’s likely that if she ever stepped out of line, he would cut her off and do whatever he could to take the children from her. Now… whether or not he would be successful, I don’t know. But when you are abused, it’s hard to see beyond your own perceptions. That’s why so many people in abusive relationships never manage to break away until tragedy strikes or they are somehow forced out of the situation. Sadly, some people never escape.

Anyway… I hope that the marshals who arrested Josh didn’t do it in front of his children. I know a lot of people think Josh deserves the humiliation of having his kids witness seeing him in handcuffs, but I think that would be very traumatizing, especially for the youngest ones. And Josh’s kids may have a shithead for a father, but they are completely innocent and have no doubt been through enough already.

I guess this could be why two of Josh’s brothers so suddenly got married. They probably had an inkling that Josh was about to be busted and didn’t want the weddings ruined by Josh’s latest scandal Either that, or they wanted to draw attention away from it. Same thing goes for Anna’s pregnancy announcement, which came a week ago. They had to do a reveal, since they might have known Josh was going up the river.

Moving on…

I have to write a short COVID-19 related rant. Yesterday, I woke up to read a news story about a couple whose son died of COVID-19 shortly after they arrived in Hawaii on vacation. The couple were vaccinated and had tested negative for COVID-19; but their son, who was under age 11 and had an underlying health condition, was not vaccinated and clearly wasn’t tested. He developed symptoms of illness just hours after landing.

Given that the boy got sick so soon after arrival in Hawaii, I can only surmise that he picked up the virus at home. Officials are still trying to figure out how and where the boy was exposed to the virus. But that didn’t stop a lot of people on Facebook from berating the couple for traveling. Some people wondered why the parents were tested, but the boy wasn’t. I’m not sure about that myself.

After reading one too many awful comments about how this couple deserved to lose their son to COVID-19 because they dared to travel, I had to say something. I don’t understand how people can be so utterly shitty to each other. These parents LOST A CHILD, for God’s sake! Even if they had been completely irresponsible, and they clearly weren’t, it still would have been tragic for them to lose their son. Would most people be laughing and pointing fingers at them if their son had, say, died in a car accident? What if he’d contracted the flu or pneumonia? Would they blame the parents for that? What good does it do to laugh and judge these parents now? Their son is gone. I think they’ve suffered enough already.

COVID-19 is caused by a tiny virus. Plenty of people have gotten sick, even after doing all the “right” things. The sad truth is, it’s a very sneaky and insidious virus. And no matter what, this child was innocent, and was clearly destined to be sick, since he must have picked up the virus somewhere at home. The fact that he was in Hawaii on vacation when he died is immaterial.

I took one lady to task for being such a judgmental twat. She came back with a lengthy response about why it’s okay for her to have no sympathy for parents who lost an unvaccinated child, simply because they dared to go on vacation. I am so sick of people who have no empathy for other people, simply because they disagree with their choices. My response to her was, “Have a nice life. You are beyond hope.” She thought that was funny. Well, fuck her.

I have an appointment to get the first Moderna shot on Wednesday. Bill says I might be able to get the “one and done” J&J shot on Monday, if I want it. Although the idea of blood clots is a little scary, I would like to be vaccinated and have it behind me as soon as possible, especially since Bill has to go away on business Wednesday. Anyway… the upshot is, I’ll be getting a shot of some sort next week.

rants, travel

Think I should be ashamed of taking a vacation? You know what you can kiss…

We arrived in Switzerland yesterday afternoon after a beautiful drive from Italy through Austria. St. Gallen, which is where our current digs are, is a quiet little area near the Bodensee/Lake Constance. I can see Germany from our balcony, which faces the lake. When we got here yesterday, we checked in and had our temperatures taken. We filled out paperwork indicating that we haven’t been to any of the dangerous countries within the last 14 days. And, as usual, we explained to the front desk folks that although we are Americans, we live in Germany. I haven’t been to the United States since November 2014. Bill was there in March of this year, which was when Europe was the hot spot for COVID-19.

When I saw the bed in our room, I knew it was time for a nap. It’s covered with a very generous duvet and has gleaming, smooth, white sheets that are so soft and luxurious. Best of all, there are no screaming kids or drunk adults outside. It wasn’t long before I was napping… and I reached a blissful state of REM until about 90 minutes later, when I woke up and we decided to just eat in the hotel because we just didn’t feel like going anywhere else.

The hotel we’re in is also a clinic that helps people with heart, spinal, and psychiatric conditions. There are people here for medical reasons, and there are people here as hotel guests. The clinic and hotel guests are segregated, but health promotion is a priority. The food is excellent and the service extremely professional. Yes, it’s expensive… but it’s just what we needed. In fact, I would have been happy to just come here for a few days. I may do that, now that I know where this hotel is.

As we were finishing breakfast, I noticed an article in the New York Times about people who are going on vacation, but not commenting on it or sharing pictures on social media. The article profiled several people who, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, have decided to leave town and go somewhere different. But they’re keeping their plans quiet, because they don’t want their friends and family members to give them a ration of shit for deciding to travel. It’s now become “irresponsible” and shame worthy to venture out to new locales.

I realize that our situation isn’t quite the same as other Americans’ situations. COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared from Europe, but it’s much more under control here than it was a few months ago, and it’s certainly not as prevalent here as it is in the United States. Why? Because when it was ramping up in the spring, countries completely shut down. There was no need to travel in the spring, because nothing was open. Consequently, after March 15, 2020, I literally only left my neighborhood once until June.

During that time, we tried to adopt a dog. On the morning of March 20, 2020, he was brought to us by a pet taxi. But the lady driving the taxi, probably knowing that business was going to shut down for many weeks, had been driving for over 17 hours. She was exhausted, and made the tragic error of not securing the dog properly. He escaped before we could get him into our house– literally right in front of our eyes. Then he got hit by a car and was killed. I never even got to pet him.

That was what capped off our quarantine… Bill was exposed to two people in his office who got it during a conference with military officers from other countries. Fortunately, Bill never got the virus, but we still stayed locked down for about three weeks straight, because the first test Bill took was invalid and had to be redone.

I left the house in April to get an eye test done so I could get a new driver’s license, and to get pictures taken for a passport renewal, which I have yet to complete due to the passport office being shut down over the virus. The next time I went anywhere was in May, but I never left the car. In June, we went to a hotel for my birthday weekend, but stayed in a hotel twenty minutes from home, where masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizer were the name of the game.

Last month, we enjoyed a long weekend in Meerfeld, Germany, just a couple of hours from home. Again– masks, social distancing, and hand washing and sanitizer galore, along with contact tracing… although we did not wear masks 24/7 as some of the self-righteous New York Times commenters are claiming (and personally, I think they’re full of shit). There was definitely no forgetting about the pandemic.

So this month, we decided to take a long vacation mostly outside of Germany. Frankly, we needed it, and we’re doing it now because COVID-19 is on the rise again and we may have to lockdown soon. We’re also planning to try to adopt another dog. He’s coming from Kosovo. Hopefully, we’ll meet him next month, and we’ll need to take the time to get to know each other and start potty training him. 😉 We may go to Stuttgart for a weekend in September, because that’s where our dentist is and we badly need cleanings. We haven’t had them since May 2019.

I read a lot of comments on the New York Times article. Lots of people were preaching to the masses against traveling. Vacationing is seen as “cruel”, “gauche”, “tacky”, “irresponsible”… and many folks are losing friendships and even family members over them. Now, instead of breaking up over politics or religion, people are breaking up over their friends’ and family members’ choices to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants.

I must be very lucky. I have only lost a few Facebook friends over the past week. One was for mysterious reasons– I still haven’t figured out who it was, but obviously since I don’t miss them, they weren’t that important anyway. One was someone I unfriended because I barely knew her and she had gone inactive. And the last one was someone who got into a politically charged cat fight on my page over Donald Trump. I wasn’t the one who was arguing with her the most, but she decided to block me anyway… after telling everyone that she’s a clairvoyant “medium” who can sense “darkness” in people. Apparently, those of us who are against Trump aren’t “sharing the light”. Wow… it’s like the trash took itself out!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that life goes on. We can’t stay locked down forever. Many people make their living hosting travelers, or writing travel related articles, or serving meals in restaurants, or gassing up cars… Travel is important to the economy, but it’s also essential for mental health. Moreover, I am just sick and tired of the shaming that goes on for almost every damned thing people do in this lifetime. Everything you do gets judged by someone else. I, for one, am sick of shamers of all stripes. I have been shamed for everything from how I laugh to the fact that I married a man who was divorced and has children from his first marriage. I have been shamed for being an “overeducated housewife who dares to blog” to being a fatass who never gets my hair professionally cut and styled. I’m sick to death of it. Dammit, it’s my life and I have to live it. Everyone else who has a negative opinion about what I’m doing with my life can just fuck off.

We have mostly been very careful… following the rules prescribed in each country. They have been surprisingly varied, although none of the hotels where we’ve stayed have required masks, the way they are required in Germany. We did a lot of driving around in our car, taking pictures, rather than going to museums or hanging out in bars. I hate wearing masks, but I have dutifully put them on when we’ve been indoors in shops or other places that required them. I’ve found that they obstruct my vision and, at least when we went to the top of the Zugspitze, I had to take mine off at the top because I literally couldn’t catch my breath. The atmosphere is thin up there.

This trip has been good for us, although I know some assholes would say, “Check back with us in two weeks.” That’s a really classy attitude, by the way, wishing death or illness on people who dare to travel. Seriously? Screw people with that attitude. It’s just really shitty. The same to people who think they need to insult people to get them to cooperate. When people insult me, my response is usually in kind… or I try to get away from them and do what I want anyway.

It’s not realistic to lockdown until COVID-19 is “eradicated”. Viruses are notoriously difficult to eradicate. So we have to come up with ways to live with the virus until it’s not as dangerous. But I don’t think that should mean staying locked in the house for the rest of our lives. That’s not living. And if people don’t want to see me posting pictures on my social media, they have a choice not to look at it or associate with me. No one is forcing them to look… or read, for that matter. Same thing I’ve always said. I’ve got a life to lead. You’ve got a life to lead. You lead yours, and let me lead mine.

Now to take a swim in our insanely clean, quiet, healthy Swiss hotel’s pool…