Kathy Petersen’s Blog

I thought this was interesting

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on August 27, 2008

Although the post is over a year old, it quotes scientists admitting that they don’t know if HIV causes AIDS. I’ve heard other scientists and doctors say that over the years — including one who offered to be injected with HIV, because he was so confident it wouldn’t progress into AIDS. One person commented after this post saying that the sickest he ever was (after being diagnosed HIV+), was when he was taking his full anti-AIDS medication. The blogger said that anti-AIDS drugs actually break down the body’s natural defenses (or something — I just scanned it, not giving a doctoral dissertation on it), so that they become more vulnerable to the progression of the disease.

I remember one case of a woman who was diagnosed HIV+, and her 4 children were tested — two had it, two did not. (I think she was pregnant w/#4 at the time of the diagnosis, and he was tested some time after birth; but her youngest child at the time was HIV-positive.) Anyway, she gave her daughter (#3) anti-AIDS drugs, and saw her succumb very miserably to the full ravages of the disease, with the medications causing serious discomfort and pain (I believe one of the drugs was a steroid or corticosteroid that made her bloated and uncomfortable). Well, when her youngest child was diagnosed, the woman declined to have that child put on the drugs, because not only did they not help her child, but she felt that they hastened her death, and made her miserable for the rest of her short life. The state took her to court, to try to force her to give her son the drugs (or take custody from her, and give him to foster parents who would give him the drugs), saying she was endangering her child’s life. (I saw this on Dateline probably 10 years ago, and I think she was in Pennsylvania.) She successfully fought off that lawsuit, with the judge basically saying that she had already lost one child to AIDS even though she had followed the medical experts’ advice, so she had every reason to assume her second child would follow in the same footsteps. Basically, her first child died, and if her second child was going to die with or without “treatment”, and that treatment was going to be devastating to his health and wellbeing, then the child should be allowed to die naturally without all that pain, caused by the medications. At the time the show aired, the child had already lived longer (without any apparent health effects from AIDS) than his sister did who had the full “benefit” of modern medicine.

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*Not* Seth’s day!

Posted in children by Kathy on August 27, 2008

Yesterday, Seth was climbing on a little kiddie musical table and fell, and scraped his chest and got “road rash” (for lack of a better term) from it. Then a few hours later, he was playing on our back deck and somehow got a huge (but very thin and flat) shard of wood under his big toenail — I think it went all the way to the base. Looking at it and thinking about it, my toes curl up and clench, it was so bad. I also wanted to vomit because it just looked so awful! I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get it out — it looked like a giant splinter, and sometimes those are difficult to remove, but it actually came out pretty easily — the hardest part was getting him to hold still so I could grab it. Obviously, he didn’t want me touching his toes, but I had to do it. Within a few minutes, he was fine; but later that afternoon, he stubbed his toe or Keith ran over or into his toes with one of his cars and made it hurt again (as well as producing a tiny drop of blood, which proved my supposition that that’s what was hurting). Since last week Seth rolled himself off my mom’s bed and hit his head on the rocker of the rocking chair (you should have seen the huge goose egg that popped up!), I’m hoping that the next few days are uneventful that way. 🙂

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Big step forward

Posted in children by Kathy on August 26, 2008

(When I install the scanner onto the computer, I’ll attach the picture of Keith’s picture that he drew, but now just for historical purposes, I’ll blog about it.)

Up until yesterday, whenever Keith had drawn anything, it was just a mass of squiggles and lines and circles — all connected, all jumbled, no rhyme nor reason. He would say things like, “Look, this is Little Bear, and this is Emily…” but you couldn’t tell one from another — he did a pretty good impression of a skein of yarn, but that’s about it. 🙂

Yesterday, though, he sat down and drew recognizable characters — they were wavy, irregular circles for faces and/or bodies, with big round eyes (and nose… and mouths) — but they were all separate! And distinguishable as figures; as attempts by a not-quite four-year-old, pretty darn good. My husband wants to frame it. 🙂

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Map of Known Sexual Offenders

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on August 22, 2008

Go to Family Watchdog for free maps of Known Sex Offenders. You have to create an account and log in, but it’s free. You can also sign up for emails when sex offenders move in or out of the area. It was featured on the Dr. Phil show a couple of years ago.

One of the limitations of this or any other list of sex offenders is that there is no way of knowing the accuracy of the conviction. Many people plead guilty to lesser charges to avoid the penalties if they are convicted of all of the crimes they are charged with or accused of — guilty or innocent. So, I know that some of the people were wrongly convicted, or were innocent and just plead guilty to “put it all behind them and go on with their lives.” But, there are probably many more who are as guilty as can be, who were only convicted on minor chargers, or who plead guilty to minor charges, though they actually committed major charges.

I understand that most convictions on sexual crimes happen to those who have never been convicted of a sexual crime before; yet the reconviction rate of sex criminals is 25% within the first 15 years of release and even higher afterwards. Also, one survey found that of women who said that they had been sexually molested or abused before the age of 18 (in other words, had been victims of child molestation), only 12% reported it. Since not all accusations become convictions, then a low reconviction rate means almost nothing, if you’re trying to find out what the re-offense rate is for these scum.

Revisionist History: Abortion

Posted in abortion by Kathy on August 16, 2008

Here is a compelling article that makes me want to read the full book, Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History. The article is written by the author of the book, and takes on a “review” someone did of his book, without, apparently, reading the data on which his book was written, but instead just repeating the revisionist history that the pro-abortion industry has been spewing out. Quite interesting.

The Turn of a Phrase

Posted in sex offenders by Kathy on August 10, 2008

I noticed that someone had found my blog by looking up the “sex offender” tag, so I decided to see what else was out there under that tag. I found one blog post that urged a repeal of the “Adam Walsh” Laws, because authoritative studies show that 3 out of 4 sexual offenders do not commit another sex crime within 15 years, and that 87% of all sex crimes are by people with no previous convictions. Scrolling down the posts, I found another blog which had the same information, but presented in a different way: that 25% of sex offenders re-offend within 15 years. And this also means that 13% of all sex crimes are by repeat offenders.

The first blog noted that when there is community notification, that sex offenders have reduced job opportunities, and several other negative effects. Yeah, and? Rape a kid and think you’re a good hire? You think that sex criminals shouldn’t have to live with the effects of their crime for the rest of their lives? — their victims do! The victim is always a victim, especially when it’s a crime against children. The fact that the perpetrators can’t get a job at a kiddie park doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It seems like the long-term negative effects ought to follow these criminals, because they sure torment the victims! The criminals chose to perpetrate the crime; the victims didn’t have a say in the matter.

And as for sexual criminals not repeating their behavior — did you ever see the Dateline TV shows where they had men go to the house where they thought they were going to rendezvous with an underage girl for sex while her parents were out of the house? They met these “girls” (undercover police officers) online, struck up a conversation, and eventually came by to commit statutory rape. If you remember it, you probably remember that one of the guys was caught not once but twice. Even though he had been convicted of online solicitation or attempted statutory rape or whatever the charge was (being caught red-handed on national TV kinda seals the conviction, I daresay), as soon as he was out, he re-offended, and was caught again. Maybe some of the other men were so embarrassed that they straightened out, but maybe they just got more cautious, so they wouldn’t get caught. Here is a slightly more scholarly take on it: to sum up, since the “official” rate is based only on convictions, and not all criminals are convicted of their crimes when they are reported, and most crimes are not reported, the official rate is basically meaningless, and at best is a small percentage of the actual rate.

But that’s not really the point of this post — it’s more about how two people can use the same information, and by saying it a bit differently, make it sound pretty good. The fact that 3/4 of convicted sex criminals are not convicted of another sex crime within 15 years still means that 1 of every 4 does. And the fact that these perps are not convicted doesn’t mean that they haven’t committed another crime. Ted Bundy was not convicted of a sexually-related crime (or possibly not convicted of any crime except for some juvenile offenses) until he was convicted of kidnapping one of his would-be victims, and was then extradited for a murder trial. But according to the Wikipedia chronology, he killed 20 women before his first conviction. He apparently killed another 10 or so when he escaped from prison while awaiting trial. Sorry, but the fact that
“87% of sexual crimes are committed by new offenders” doesn’t mean that much, when you look at how few people are actually caught and convicted. It is estimated that only 6% of rapists ever go to jail; and that 60% of sexual assaults go unreported to police. See more stats here.

Ted Bundy granted an interview to Dr. James Dobson the day before he was executed for murder. In it, he warned about the dangers of pornography, citing his exposure to soft-core porn as a teenager in leading him to hard-core porn, and then when that no longer satisfied, he moved from fantasy to reality, and at least 30 young women and girls lost their lives because of it. In the interview he says this,

“I’m no social scientist, and I don’t pretend to believe what John Q. Citizen thinks about this, but I’ve lived in prison for a long time now, and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence. Without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography – deeply consumed by the addiction. The F.B.I.’s own study on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornographers. It’s true.”

And later he says this,

What I hope will come of our discussion is that I think society deserves to be protected from itself. As we have been talking, there are forces at loose in this country, especially this kind of violent pornography, where, on one hand, well-meaning people will condemn the behavior of a Ted Bundy while they’re walking past a magazine rack full of the very kinds of things that send young kids down the road to being Ted Bundys. That’s the irony.

I’m talking about going beyond retribution, which is what people want with me. There is no way in the world that killing me is going to restore those beautiful children to their parents and correct and soothe the pain. But there are lots of other kids playing in streets around the country today who are going to be dead tomorrow, and the next day, because other young people are reading and seeing the kinds of things that are available in the media today.

Does the fact that most men who read Playboy and other such trash don’t become serial rapists and murderers make pornography less vulgar? No, because the fact that it impels some people to these depths should be enough to make any person horrified by Ted Bundy and his crimes to throw away all porn, and completely disavow himself from even the closest hint of it. Even if he doesn’t become a killer or rapist, who’s to say that the guy down the street won’t become one, and kill the man’s wife or daughter? Everyone who buys sexually explicit material is feeding the monster that plays a role in some people’s violent crimes.

Just like every other addiction, when a person is addicted to sexually explicit material, what gives him a “buzz” or a “high” or a thrill today will become tame before too long, and he will need harder porn and worse graphical images to attain the same level of excitement. Some men may never go beyond Playboy, but many others do — some all the way up to working out their sexual fantasies on innocent victims — working out the graphic images that were instilled in their minds by pornography.

I feel better in knowing that convicted sexual criminals are made to register in their locales, for the protection of everybody else. Most criminals target people they know — most children are victimized by a relative, not a stranger. But some are. And some people don’t know that Uncle Joey molested their cousins, because it’s kept private because it’s “family” — setting up another generation of easy prey.

Let me put it this way, if you were in a room with four rapists, would you feel comfortable knowing that statistically, only one of them would be reconvicted within 15 years, so they all shouldn’t have to live with the ignominy of being put on a sex-offender registry list? What about the shame, pain, fear, and who-knows-what feelings their victims were put through…for life?

I’m sick of coddling criminals and revictimizing the victims again. When the conviction rate for rapes and other sexual crimes goes up, then maybe the statistics about how many of these scum are or aren’t convicted of another sexual offense might mean something.

I am not Samantha

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on August 9, 2008

For some reason, a lot of my spam emails lately have been addressed to somebody named Samantha. At first, I assumed it was just one of those things where they send out millions of emails with thousands of different names in them, just hoping that some of the emails will actually reach the people who happen to have the name in the subject line. But this is happening all the time now. I’m thinking that what must have happened is that at some point, I put my email address into a comment on a blog owned by Samantha or something, and the spam engines picked up my address and paired it with the blog owner or some other person’s name on the page, and spewed it out.

So, if I know it’s spam, why do I even check the folder? Because sometimes non-spam email is delivered there by accident, and I want to make sure I don’t miss out on an email I actually wanted. Besides, it just takes a few seconds to scan the spam folder every day, and I can handle that.

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Recipes from the Cabin

Posted in recipes by Kathy on August 9, 2008

When we were in Minnesota at my dad’s cabin, I took the liberty of typing up the recipes he had collected and saved up there. I thought there were more than there actually were, so it didn’t actually clear up that much room in the drawer, which was my intention; however, my father-in-law does have a lot of good recipes, which I’m always on the look-out for. Recipes I’ve made myself from this list include the deep-dish pizza and the chicken enchiladas, as well as the pie crust; I’ve also had the Italian sausage, when Dad made it. I’m uploading them so that I’ll have a permanent copy wherever I go, even if I forget my recipe book.

Here is the link: recipes

Bye-bye, ‘nail!

Posted in children by Kathy on August 8, 2008

I took the boys out with me while I was doing some stuff around the yard, so I could keep an eye on them. I saw that they discovered something under a rock, and went to check it out with them. Keith said, “Look, mommy — a snail!” Sure enough, it was, plus a bunch of roly-polys too. I identified those for him, and went back to my task. When I was finished, I went back to the boys, where Keith was covering up something with bits of grass he had just pulled up. I’m not sure if he was trying to hide what he’d done, or if he was trying to give the poor snail a proper burial, or if he was just being a little kid and doing the first thing that popped into his mind. Anyway, I asked him if he’d smashed the snail, and he agreed that he had. Of course I admonished him for killing things without a purpose (but didn’t explain that had that same poor snail slithered its way into my kitchen, I would’ve dumped salt on him in a heartbeat!), and told the kids it was time to go inside for naps. As he was leaving, my 2-year-old (Seth) said, “Bye-bye, ‘nail! See ‘morrow!!” Poor kid, didn’t realize the snail wasn’t going to see anybody any time any more!

Small-town Directions

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on August 6, 2008

I’ve lived in a small town all of my life, except for 2 years when I lived in a “small” suburb of Chicago right after getting married. This small suburb had 4-lane roads (with a center turning lane as well) for its main roads, with most of the rest being 3-lane roads, and only the small side streets and residential areas being 2 lane roads.

During that space of time, I became used to giving and receiving directions in the way that most people probably think is the proper way to give them — you know, “Go 1 mile on Main Street, turn right on Whitaker Drive, go 3 blocks, and turn left on Park Drive, and it’s the 2nd house down on the right.”

But that is not the proper way to give directions in small towns! I just received this lesson (again), because I was giving somebody directions to my house, and I gave them the proper way (with mileages and the names of roads and such), and when I finally got done, the man on the other end of the phone said, “Oh, I know where that is — you turn right at John Smith’s house that owns the tire shop…. oh, you bought the Johnson house a few years back.” I changed the details for narrative purposes, but he was exactly right! If I had just known that, I would have just said it that way to start with. Of course, any time I attempt to give directions that way, the person looks at me like I’m speaking a foreign language, because he of course has no idea who the Johnsons are or where their house was or that it was sold or that we bought it, and he sure doesn’t know who the heck John Smith is, or where his tire shop is located! Sigh…

I guess I just need to start off asking, “Do you know Mr. & Mrs. Johnson? Well, we bought their place a couple of years ago.” Then, if they know, I’ve saved myself a heap of trouble; and if they don’t, I can still tell them directions the “proper” way.