November is the month to give thanks…

georgetakai

George Takei…he’s awesome for sure!  He’s also a staunch opponent of bullies as as he shares in this video!  Awesome! 

You see using “fucking pussy” in a derogatory way is actually a form of gay bashing as well.  In fact, that’s its most common use.  It doesn’t surprise me having witnessed homophobia and use of homophobic slurs in the Chat though less than those against the cognitively disabled. Another reason among many not to be there because believe it or not, some of us aren’t into bullying nor gay bashing so these people can take their “fucking pussies” comment and bully apologist attitude  and park their bigotry right in Chat where it belongs. 

The rationalization of bullying in the game’s social outlet as that cartoon sent by likely one of those doing it (I’m guessing a ringleader rather than a follower) was disturbing but hardly surprising…given that nobody really cares to do anything about it. In that kind of environment, I’d feel entitled and justified to do it too, maybe so much I would delude myself into believing I was helping people avoid turning into some form of negative gay stereotype. 

  I mean when it came down to a young girl in tears over being harassed and hounded in Chat by older male players or having a teenage male player who was routinely harassed and hounded in Chat through the use of slurs against the disabled, say that he wished he could change his ID so he could play the game in socialize in peace, that just has an effect on any decent, grown up human being who’s not into that bullying type behavior.   

Running a player off the site by targeting him in forum threads just because he did what other players did and didn’t get a “pass” for it.  Running people out of Chat under the guise of how they wrote their articles, again to “help” them and then hounding them in the forum to “help” them because they were no longer able to be victimized in Chat. When they joked about killing and having a tree ready for this player…that really was the epitome of how pathetic and how ugly this type of behavior had become on a site that had once been fun to play and invest in financially too.  

What’s sad is that there are actually people who believe this is all cool and funny and makes them big tough people. Most people don’t seem to like it and many just go underground.

By the time I was reading about players acting like wannabe thugs talking about bashing other players with Brass Knuckles or “F’n” them up” (liked by everyone including the admins), any doubts I ever had that the bullying would be effectively addressed were completely vindicated. 

So when five or six grown players gang up on a teenager and use “retard” slurs, that’s just to help them? When they drive a young female player to tears so her parents have to get involved, that’s just “helping” her too?  How does it “help” a player to threaten to bash their faces in with brass knuckles or joke about “cutting them”?  Feel free to explain that kind of twisted logic from a bunch of people who seem just so full of themselves.   No, why not invest your money in a good shrink instead to spoon feed to you how seriously messed up that type of mentality is to most people.

The truly sad part of it though admittedly fun part too is that these people don’t have a clue how many people they’ve made unhappy with their behavior.  But that’s what narcissism and a need to validate your own importance in life through bullying or even fighting for a piece of imaginary universe will do to a person.

Oh and for the person who asked me for clarification on the circle jerk comment the people who ask each other post-climax, “was it good for you too” are the active participants in the bullying and trashing to make other players feel badly again to “help” them not be “fucking pussies” and the people asked “are you faking” are those who aren’t thrilled about what’s going on but pretend to go along with it to avoid conflict before spilling on it often to the targets.  Bullying cliques are very fragile and those involved in the often turn on each other soon enough. You can always count on that. 

Blame it on having watched Showtime’s new show, Masters of Sex just before. Lizzy Caplan’s a real find. 

Masters of Sex

It’s interesting how it moved from the “we’re not bullying anyone stage” (denial) to the “Waaaahh…we’re being bullied (reversal) to “Yeah we admit we’re bullying but are just doing it to ‘help’ people” rationalization.  As stated earlier that’s pretty much proof positive that it’s probably close to the Chat version of the Lord of the Flies  going on though I had already heard that a lot of people are steering clear of Chat and the forum as well in anticipation of decreased oversight of both beginning next month due to admin changes.  

Wish everyone good luck with that!   But what a bunch of babies who needed to be put on time outs a long time ago. 

lordoftheflies2

Now that this is cleared up move away from all Chat circle jerk talk or “fucking pussies” and onto the other topics of this posting…

ALS_logo

This football player fighting ALS is one of many people struggling against a disease that’s progressive and ultimately terminal including two very special people.  One of them, a mentor of mine who’s battled it for over 10 years and is still going strong. The other, a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive form of familial ALS which means it passes along from one generation to the next through an autosomal gene that’s dominant.

Every year my mentor who’s still working hard at his business and his wife, now a state assemblywoman are involved in a fundraiser for an organization named Hearts for ALS. One of the high points for a lot of people trying to raise money for ALS research and care of patients and their families is when Charles Bibbs and his wife appear and put up his paintings in the silent auction. He’s one of my favorite artists ever.  Always fun to catch up with him and his wife at an event or just out and about. I have a custom made painting done by him which I received when I won one of the community service awards at the annual banquet by the NAACP.

He brings positive energy through his art and the generosity and spirit of him and his wife, to an event that centers on an illness that causes more than its share of grief and despair to tens of thousands of people in the U.S. every year.

charlesbibbs

Charles Bibbs, Artist

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500 Generations

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Bibbs’ label from film, The Secret Lives of Bees.

Anyone should consider themselves lucky indeed to have one of his excellent paintings.  So if you go to the Hearts for ALS, bid on them to raise money to fight against a terrible disease that’s taken too many lives already.

destroyingrecordsinmoval

Destroying records…amid an FBI Investigation…Naughty Naughty 

I got some emails on this situation where the neighboring city is trying to change an ordinance which will allow it to destroy public documents and records in only six months and some in 60 days instead of the current two years.  Problem is this city’s mayor pro tem and most of its city council are under investigated by the FBI and State DOJ for various allegations of corruption resulting in a series of raids including on City Hall.

Months ago, at the birthday party held for a friend and current U.S. Congressman a group of us were approached by two council elects from that city and two for another on how to develop the skills to do financial audits and interpret and understand public records. Mind you, most political offices don’t come with training manuals outside of a legal and ethics course required by state law. This city’s political scene is a minefield and they were warned of which politicos serving with them to steer clear of and distance themselves from outside the meetings.  It’s been known for a long time that there’s a somewhat incestuous relationship between certain developers and certain elected officials which is now being investigated by the feds.

 Unfortunately they didn’t prove to be good “students”, they ran with the developers’ crowds and now they’ve got FBI agents showing up with search warrants for their homes and offices. What can you say? They were duly warned, now they have to deal with the aftermath of what could be unsound and unwise decision making on alliances and agreements among other situations.

The other two new politicos in the other city are doing much, much better putting their training to good use to promote financial accountability and honesty and integrity in government.

Anyway was asked by some folks to send them information on attempts made to change ordinances to destroy records earlier incidentally by the same employees that worked here who are now working there.  In the world of municipal politics, there are really very few coincidences.

On the bright side, more grass roots political campaigns and more candidates reaching out for the type of training to better understand how to read and understand financial records and other public documents.  Better understand how to document and report wrong doing so they don’t have to come out of closed sessions saying they’re worried about voting on something that’s illegal and/or unethical.  With raids by plain clothed men and women wearing monogrammed jackets becoming more and more common in these parts, it’s not a bad thing.  It’s time to encourage leadership that doesn’t become a part of that.

But later that day a big shout out to the FBI as AGAIN City Hall was raided by this agency in suits issuing subpoenas for a whole lot of records. You have to say this about the FBI, they do wear suits well.

The DA not wanting to be left out of the paper trail party also ordered the city NOT to destroy any records.  Pass that resolution and face obstruction of justice charges. Oh I just got TINGLES when Mr. Z talks tough!

Am scheduled to be interviewed by a newspaper reporter on a piece on community

grassroots activism and engagement…should be a lot of fun!  Normally I’d rather interview than be interviewed but it’s a much more interesting topic than cyber bullying in which I was interviews on by an online monthly magazine a few weeks ago.

costamesatrio

Some Costa Mesa Politicos hanging out together before the storm…

Following the reemergence of the Costa Mesa politico scandal there which led to Orange County District Attorney investigators raiding an Upland law firm the other day, leaving with boxes of files and computer hard drives in hand.  It seems like raids are the norm here. Spent time in the law library doing research watching feds including the FBI and IRS raid three bail bonds places across the street. Nothing to do but shrug and get back to research.

lackie

One last group photo (minus said investigator) before the firm is dissolved amid multiple investigations including a criminal probe

Anyway the law firm was double or triple billing clients mostly police officers or at least three of its attorneys including an active partner were suspected of doing that leading to an investigation by PORAC and likely the State Bar. But the criminal probe involves last year’s notorious caper where one of the law firm’s investigators, an ex-detective allegedly called in a DUI on a mayor pro tem of Costa Mesa that wasn’t allegedly a real DUI.

By the time the firm was raided, over half the attorneys had fled the firm.  The investigator who was said to be an independent contractor in fact worked for the firm for months after the scandal in Costa Mesa broke, according to an attorney employed by the law firm who was trying a case for one of their clients in superior court.

The private investigator? Well he appeared on the KFI radio show last year talking about it. I was dining with one of my friends when he phoned him up saying OC DA’s office had just enforced a search warrant against him and were removing boxes of items from his house while he was calling everyone on his phone list about it I guess before they took the phone away.  I get contacted occasionally asking for comment on this scandal. I don’t return them.

Of all my years covering the LE beat, the cop turned private investigator in the hot seat now was the one who puzzled me most more than the cops turned rapists, the one addicted to drugs who committed armed robberies, the one who molested his daughter and the chief who sat across the table from me sipping coffee as I told him he had two weeks to start to clean up his police department that saw 1 out of every 25 officers on the street getting arrested or lose it.

Two weeks later, I got the SOS in my email box and the rest as they say is history.  I just don’t know if it’s worth writing about but if someone wants to publish it, fine put it on an already busy work schedule.

Eh…the detective, I’d hoped he’d clean himself up and get smart but clearly not after helping him get out of the penalty box.  Will he and the other players in this scandal get charged?  I doubt it as I think the politicos in OC mostly wanted to put the law firm out of commission at least for a while until it likely reorganizes under a small group of interconnected firms and get back in business. That’s usually how it works.

andrewtachias

Officer Andy Tachias

While struggling to regain use of my shoulder, as part of a very slow and somewhat painful recovery, I’ve done much, much better than expected by the surgeon who finally released me from the care to annual appointments.  I did promise to work hard if he got rid of this mustache and beard thing he was trying to get going and to drop by the initial surgeon who said my case was absolutely hopeless to show off what I can do.  I am inspired a lot by a young man who suffered devastating injuries while onduty as a police officer in my city.  About three days after I got home from the hospital after my surgery, I woke up to the neighborhood under lock down and the shocking news that two police officers had been shot just several blocks away.  They’d been sitting in their cars in an intersection waiting for the light to turn green.  Then a pickup truck driven by former LAPD Officer Chris Dorner pulled up and opened fire on them, killing Officer Michael Crain and badly wounding Tachias who had survived an onduty shooting just several years earlier while working at another police department.

Tachias was shot at least eight times and was pulled out of his bullet ridden vehicle by a cab driver who had pushed  the button on his radio so he could call in the 11-99, officer down.   The officers who responded initially were close friends of another police officer who had been killed two years earlier.   I had texts when I woke up telling me that there was a fatal shooting and which officer was involved, one that I had seen develop and mature into a  fine officer during a career lasting over 10 years. Like others who were given the identity of the officers, we were asked to keep it confidential in order to keep the families safe. We all did it without thinking because out of respect and because people were terrified with Dorner out there loose. He’d shot some LAPD officers just off the highway and then drove down a main thoroughfare until he ran into the two officers.  To say most of the people in my city were absolutely devastated would be an understatement.  No one rested at all until Dorner’s final standoff with law enforcement up in the Big Bear area where he killed a sheriff deputy and wounded another.   A friend of mine was a commander for a police agency that responded on the scene of Dorner’s last stand and it ended soon after a media blackout.  Horrific but I found myself understanding it.  I remember walking on a freeway overpass with some friends and seeing over 25 cars from my city’s department with sirens blaring on the highway en masse. We all knew where they were they were going and what the end result might be.

Most of the city stood on sidewalks, parking lots, driveways and on land around parks, schools and businesses as the procession of over a thousand police officers did the funeral procession to the church to hold a funeral service for Crain.  Tachias had multiple surgeries in hopes of someday returning on duty. Unfortunately, he suffered a lot of nerve injuries so he’s not likely to return to active duty but he’s working his rehab program hard and facing more surgeries for tendon relocation so he can better use his arms and hands.  It didn’t take much time for his life to change forever nor his partner’s life to end.  I know that feeling on a tiny scale…and the only thing you can really do is to keep at it, keep moving forward, working hard and not ever giving up.

Tachias has all the qualities he needs to do the best he can to rebuild his life in spades, to do as  the adage says take lemons and turn them into lemonade. I think of him and what he’s gone through as I still continue my own arduous journey to regain an arm that I spent most of  my life taking for granted until I almost lost it.  I think in my most difficult moments if he can do it so can I.

He said recently at a local running race held in his honor that he plans to return to running by next year.  So will I.

Life’s what you make it after all no matter what it throws your way, obstacles are to be overcome and to help you grow and there’s so much more to appreciate you, so much more to be gained by being a positive part of people’s lives than to be negative just to fit in with the crowd.

I can’t honestly say 2013 was the best or favorite year of my life and as for a man like Tachias he’d have his own answers to those same questions but it’s been one of the most challenging, one of the most pivotal, a chance to focus on what’s working and what’s not…the people who matter rather than those who don’t and in the end, I think it’ll turn out to be the most rewarding.

genuiseslikeher

Don’t you just love Fox Entertainment News and cartoons?

thewiseman

Inner peace is truly bliss and entirely possible with morning coffee

godfatherquote

It’s also a waste of time. 

kingofawesomeness

Go Peyton Go!  Better luck next time! 

girlwithbook

Some say the scariest thing out there is an educated woman.

Cats and Yarn….

kittyinyarn

Cats and yarn…always messy….

bestlawyerever

Go Diane! I’d hire her!  And her shoes are always great! 

eucalytreebranch

Backyard this morning…most inexpensive walk-through so far.  Then back to work after the interview, helping some students with journalism assignments due tomorrow, trying to find out from  the WGA if an in progress series treatment has to be registered and if so how… then rewrites of  a novel which hopefully will be published by the end of the decade… 😛

Then the research due tomorrow….which is mostly done.   By then ready for dinner! 

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Dachshund Races at Oktoberfest at “Horsetown, USA”! 

Off to Simi Val…family will be going to it! Should be lots of fun! 

renaissancefair

Period clothing is optional

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About Butterfly Collective

I'm just an ordinary person doing ordinary things in a not so ordinary world
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