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April 2, 2008

Sexual Predators vs Parenting 101

So a few nights ago I was lingering in yahoo chat when an interesting subject matter came up. Apparently one of the chatters is a registered sex offender. According to what I saw he was convicted of forceful rape of a minor 13 to 15.

The ensuing discussion was in regard to his crime. The people who defended him based their defense on what he had told them about himself, now 17 years after the fact verses those who condemned his actions based on his crime and the facts that they found out via the World Wide Web.

I often am reminded that we really don’t know the people behind the screen. They can be anyone or do anything, often time without fear of being detected. With television shows such as “To Catch A Predator” or groups such as “The Cyber Angels” a division of “The Guardian Angels” who seek out those who might wish to do our children harm, one would think that people of the caliber of the fellow from last nights discussion would be leery of wandering into a chat room full of those who are sworn to protect, i.e. a police and fire chat.

I’ve seen on the shows where often times the “bait” is a perceived young child who is looking for a “friend” to come visit them. Those men and women, who are shown showing up to engage in “special time” with a child, will say it’s their first time however I think it’s just their first time being caught. While they might show they are remorseful for their actions, in truth I believe their remorse is over being caught.

One of the points made during the discussion was that sexual offenders can be rehabilitated. I do agree that they can be, however like with any addiction, lets take alcohol as an example, you might be a recovering alcoholic but you will never be cured, you are bound to slip up and do we really wish to put children’s lives on the line for the slip up of a “rehabilitated” sexual predator?

On the other hand, living in California I’m not surprised that many children who are indeed underage are approached for sex by adults. I say this because as I see it parents really need to know what their children are up to, who their friends are where they are going and with whom.

More and more children are latch key kids who are growing up faster than they should. Growing up in single parent households or in a home where both parents work, our children are learning about “the birds and the bees” from their friends and people online, instead of learning about it from their parents.

Having coached several team sports, I often times wondered at the lack of concern many parents of blended families had over their children. One young man I coached was the oldest of a blended family where his mother and step father felt the best way to deal with his issues, was to toss money at him and let him figure it out.

Our children are basically raising themselves, they are ill equipped to deal with peer pressure to look older, act older, and have sex earlier. From the cartoons that target children, from their sexual nature to their disrespect of adults, to music telling children that it’s ok to act the part of a ho or thug, to what they read on the web, are sent in emails and text messages it’s not hard to see where many online predators can step in and offer the perceived love and support that many of these children are seeking.

So my hope is that those who are parents will take the time to look into who their children are friends with, where they are going and how they are getting there.

Remember being a parent is more than just giving birth to a baby. It’s being there to listen and talk with your child, to give them guidance on life. To monitor those who they might consider a friend, to protect them from those who wish to do them harm. To give them the tools to grow into adults who can make educated decisions about life, be able to distinguish friend from foe and most importantly to raise their own well adjusted children.

Filed under: Life,Rants by Kat at 2:37 am

March 31, 2008

Common courtesy seems to be something of our past.

People have allowed common courtesy to go out the window, with the advent of the belief that “I’m more important than you are”,

Things like young people not standing up on a bus to allow the aged to sit down, to driving down the freeway and being cut off by someone who absolutely must be in front of you just in case they can get to where they are going a few seconds faster.

Ever sit at a traffic light and have someone’s car thumping so loud from a sub woofer that your car shakes? They too must be much more important that you since they feel you need to listen to their music.  Oh and my favorite the people who stand there engaging in a cell phone call talking so loudly that you can hear everything they are talking about, from ex’s to sex and so on.  People we don’t want to hear your calls, that’s your business not ours.

If we all actually took a step back and thought about how our actions effect others we’d remind ourselves that common courtesy isn’t something we should let go by the way side. Take a moment to think about what you do and how it affects those around you.  Being courteous takes so little effort, so give it a try!

Have a great day!

Kat

Filed under: Life,Money Matters,Politics,Rants by Kat at 11:04 am

March 29, 2008

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech has always been subjective…take, for example, the old standard of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. While someone might argue that they have the inalienable right to say whatever they want whenever they want, another side is that their speech is causing harm to those around them. This was the basis of many lawsuits that have reached the supreme court, insofar as what kinds of harm that speech can cause.

It’s a matter of reality…yes, we have the right of free speech, but it’s always been conditional. You can’t just walk into a courtroom in the middle of a murder trial, and start spouting off that you like the pink marshmallow peeps during Easter…they’d arrest you for contempt. You can’t walk into a church during services and start spouting off about how you like to nail fish to a cross because you can call it a “carpafixion”. You’d be arrested for disorderly conduct. The venue and timing of your speech also has to be taken into consideration…and we all know this, regardless of how much we want to scream that we have the freedom of speech.

Now, on a more practical note, the individual wearing the t-shirt is expressing themselves through their mode of dress. This, is typically not a big deal, to much of anyone…except those that like to nitpick. I think the basis of his being refused entry was that the comment on the t-shirt presented a potential liability. The comment, while not overt, would undoubtedly be seen as inflammatory by some. The tennis event, I’m assuming was televised, so i can see two bodies that would have a vested interest in denying him entry. One, the television stations that most likely would be taking all the complaints from the viewing public (because people in this country can’t help but to complain about everything, even if it doesn’t directly affect them), as well as the potential lawsuits that could result. Also, the venue that the match was being played was most likely privately owned, so the ownership didn’t want anything on the grounds that could potentially incite violent activity. This is perfectly within the rights of the ownership of the venue, as while I think it’s overkill, they were probably trying to protect themselves from a liability issue.

Yes, it’s stupid…people in this country have somehow managed to completely forget how to ignore things that offend them anymore…..it’s almost as if they seek things out to complain about, or fight about. The concept of “political correctness” has transformed this nation into two groups….those that are offensive, and those that are offended…and the membership of these groups gets swapped on a regular basis. I’m sure during my little tirade here that I’ve managed to offend someone…and you know what? I don’t care. I swear a constitutional amendment of “sticks and stones” needs to be implemented, because people are too childish to just let things go that they don’t agree with.

Wow….I must be cranky this morning….more caffeine is necessary!

(This is another of Tim’s famous rants.. I enjoyed it and I hope you did as well. ~Kat)

Filed under: Politics,Rants by Kat at 7:42 pm
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