When Your Father Is A Sociopath

I am re-blogging this mainly because I have only touched on sociopaths from a romantic perspective, but not so much from a relative/family viewpoint. Plus, I think it is very well written…

Thought Catalog

When people ask about your family, you try to not mention him. You describe your beloved siblings and your outstanding mother in elaborate and adoring detail and you try to glide effortlessly into asking them about their family. If you’re lucky, they don’t catch it. They don’t ask “Well, what about your dad?” You never know how to answer. Even a decade later, you’re still caught off guard.

For us, the children of sociopaths, the tales of drunks and addicts and abusers are a fantasy. Granted, a disgustingly twisted one, but a fantasy nonetheless. In the “perfect” world of primetime dramas, the deadbeat dad is just trying to figure himself out. He’s trying to get clean or sober or work through his haunting past. It’s almost no one’s fault. A third-party is involved. Everyone wishes that the father had been better or stronger, but the neglect, the absence, is a…

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Ice Age Reincarnated

With films such as “Twister,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and the most recent release “2012” depicting some of the most horrific weather conditions with impressive special effects, who would have thought we would see these scenes practically come to real life? Although not as extreme in severity, the recent changes in weather conditions around the globe keep scientists speculating just how similar, theoretically speaking, these treading conditions will be in comparison to the Hollywood’s adaptations. From major blizzards to record-breaking temperatures, attributes such as global warming and solar output put together a more precise explanation of why there seems to be a “role reversal” in climatic changes. While glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are decreasing in mass, other parts of the world are either experiencing out-of-season unusually cold temperatures in Summer, abnormally high temperatures in Winter, or vice versa.

Aside from the all the other scientific theories, another intergalactic phenomenon that has slowly yet efficiently progressed over the years may also be a contributing factor as to why the earth seems “upside down.” From 1982 to 2005, the Earth’s geographical poles have changed locations, moving at a speed of approximately 6 centimeters per year according to a research conducted at the University of Texas in Austin. Data collected by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) was used to determine if the shifting of the North and South Pole have had any affect on the changes in weather. The results concluded the exact opposite: the changes in weather caused by global warming have affected the Earth’s positioning; for example, the North Pole is gradually moving southward.

However, there is more to the changes in the weather than just being attributed to a shift in geographically polarity and global warming. The Sun’s atmospheric motions, which includes sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, proposedly has an enormous impact on the Earth’s surface, thus creating a cataclysmic pattern of intensified earthquakes and increased volcanic activity. Japan’s worst earthquake in history occurring on March 11, 2011 followed by the Philippines on April 11, 2012 along with the most recent of earthquakes on January 20, 2014 in New Zealand clearly demonstrates the increasing trend of seismic activity along with the various volcanic eruptions occurring within the 21st century.

Conclusively, all changes in weather conditions has made a gross impact on our lives and daily routines regardless of its origin, with seemingly no relief in sight for the near future. All we can do is hope these changes do not become so increasingly dramatic that it really does seem as if we are living in a science fiction movie.

©2014 Learus Ohnine

Source:

NASA

The Plastic Plague

Outrageous. Abominable. Stupefying. Unbelievable…

These are just a few words that blatantly describes the catastrophe bestowed upon possibly as many as 110 million credit and debit card owners between the months of November and December in 2013. With Target being one of the top-selling leading retailers during the busy holiday shopping season, their announcement of a data breach of confidential information left millions to question whether or not the retail chain was capable of adhering to quality security policies to protect their customers’ information. Hackers reportedly have gained access to approximately 70 million names, phone numbers, and mailing addresses as well as email addresses with little to no further confirmation as to what or not other information was obtained during this invasion of privacy.

But this outlandish activity does not stop there…

Neiman Marcus, another high-end retail store, has recently announced a similar breach of security to its system. On January 1, 2014, evidence of a cyber-security intrusion has result in an investigation that has yet to determine just how many Neiman Marcus customers have been affected. While there is no confirmed statement of this breach being linked to the same Target scandal at this time, the most impertinent suspicious factor of evidence points to both malicious breaches of security being originally discovered approximately at the same time – mid December.

So what does it all mean for consumers? In a nutshell, having the pleasure of enjoying one’s in-store shopping experience without the added nuisance of carrying large amounts of cash around is not only a convenience – it is a luxury. Being able to make purchases from the comfort of your own home via the internet is a convenient luxury in its own right, yet lately the risks involved seem to inadvertently outweigh its advantages.

The main question is this: is there simple solution to protect consumers from the vile acts of privacy invasion? At the moment, the only feasible and seemingly safest way consumers can do their shopping is by carrying lump sums of cash on them at all times. For the banks, this solution spells financial troubles. For the retailers, this should not have any substantial affect on their sales revenue although their accounts receivable department may have less or more work cut out for them. In the end, all that really matters is regaining that trust bond between consumer and retailer once again, and with the rate things have been going lately, there is no current equitable solution to this being offered by retailers… except to advise all shoppers to shop at their own risk.

©2014 Learus Ohnine

Literacy In America

The advanced potential of technology, along with its mainstream function of being able to access information at any given time, has now overturned the way readers have access to books. Having the potential to access publications from the comfort of your own home at any given time of the day or night may be the main contributing factor as to why consumers have elected to invest in the purchasing of an e-book reader as opposed to spending money on transportation costs to their local bookstore. More recently, local and large chain bookstores have reported an enormous drop in sales since technology has introduced a more convenient way to read by way of the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Amazon Kindle, the Pandigial Reader, and the Sony Reader. While e-book sales have increased over the years in the United States, the U.S. adult literacy rates have decreased.

Literacy has a major impact on the functional ability of a country. However, statistics reveal a sad truth concerning the readers residing in the United States: approximately 32 million Americans cannot read. According to a study performed by The Organization for Economic Adult Literacy, the United States ranked 16 out of 23 countries. 1 out of 3 American adults cannot read properly, meaning either they do not fully understand the material they have read or they cannot analyze the information they have read correctly. Oddly, 33% of American adults, or 1 out of 4 Americans, own an e-reader of some sort. As the number of e-books sold has increased by 43% over the past 5 years, over 10 million e-books have been sold thus far yet this does not indicate there is hope for an increase in American literacy rates.

One possible explanation as to the awkward imbalance in statistics when comparing the number of e-reader and e-book sales to literacy rates is the decline of available bookstores where physical books may be purchased. When assessing the literacy rates, approximately 1 in 3 adults scored low in problem solving abilities within a technical environment. Not every reader is computer literate. In bookstores, customers can readily ask for assistance if needed when searching for a specific topic or publication. With e-readers, the reader is pretty much on their own. Since the sales of e-books has risen over the past 10 years, bookstores have been forced to shut down due to their low sales volume. Their low sales volume is contributed to the rising number of readers who prefer to purchase e-books rather than the traditionally printed book, and not all adult educational development resources are available in electronic form.

With bookstores becoming extinct and electronic book sales increasing, there may still be hope for raising the literacy stats for American adults as long as the number of library locations does not decline in the process…

©2013 Learus Ohnine

Woman’s Work Is Never Done

For decades on end, woman have been fighting for their equality to be recognized, in one form or another, within the workforce. Former President John F. Kennedy endorsed it – President Barack Obama ensues to enforce it. The Equal Pay Act, signed by Kennedy in June 1963, was the latest attempt to put an end to gender discrimination pertaining to unequal wages earned by women versus men who are employed in identical positions that are of equal job content. President Obama sponsors John F. Kennedy’s Equal Pay Act (or EPA) for gender wage equality with the Paycheck Fairness Act (or PFA), a legislation to end the approximate 77% difference in compensated wages earned by women when compared to that of men. This bill was approved in January 2009 by the House of Representatives, however, the United States Senate fell short of 2 votes for the 60 votes needed in order to move the bill forward. The bill was presented again for a second time in June 2012. Consequently, the United States Senate only acquired 52 votes in favor of proceeding the bill to its final consideration. Why?

Republican Senators, of whom comprise the small minority of congressional voters opposing the PFA, believe that the bill could adversely affect small businesses by making it easier for female employees to file litigation suits in regards to wage discrimination. Ironically, out of the number of Republican Senators who blocked the bill, five of them were women: Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Senator Susan Collins, also of Maine.

In a statement made by Senate Republican Susan Collins on June 5, 2012, she believes the existing workforce laws are already sufficient: “We already have on the books the Equal Pay Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Act in which I support, and I believe that they provide adequate protections. I think this bill would impose a real burden, particularly on small businesses.” In a similar statement made by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky supporting Collins’ viewpoint, McConnell states “We don’t think America suffers from a lack of litigation.” In another statement made by Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, he makes it clear that he does not support pay discrimination within the workforce based on gender, but instead focuses on the issue of workforce inequality in itself: “The question is, will the Paycheck Fairness Act actually address workplace inequality? And the simple answer is no.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act, in comparison to the Equal Pay Act, would provide remedies for the loopholes found within the act signed by former President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The bill would require wages to be paid based on education, training, and/or experience, not sex-based. This bill would also protect employees from retribution from their employers should they happen to discuss their wages for the purposes of evaluating whether or not a gender differential exists. Although American women have come a long way when it comes to putting an end to being shortchanged within their professions, it is still evident that women will have to continue fight even harder for their right to be heard and understood. As the old cliché goes: “Men work from sun to sun, but woman’s work is never done.”

©2013 Learus Ohnine

Social Mediautilation

One of the most favorites of popular fads these days are the social media networks. A majority of electronic devices (desktops, laptops, cell phones, etc.) are already installed with pre-loaded apps for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms before they leave the manufactures. These media platforms are a great source for entertainment purposes, keeping up-to-date on the latest news and events, networking, playing online games, and staying in touch with friends and family. While this social media epidemic appears to be meekly harmless fun on the forefront, there have been reports of it becoming a severe unhealthy addiction for some, especially when that addiction teeters on the avenue of gross negligence.

A South Korean couple was arrested and charged with starving their three-month-old daughter to death while they obsessively devoted a majority of their waking hours into playing an online role-playing game, Prius Online, whose main objective was to raise a virtual baby girl. The couple seemed to have slipped into an overwhelming depressive state of mind due to their sudden unemployment status and the reality of giving birth to a premature baby girl. Obviously, their uncontrollable addiction to this role-playing game was a remedy for escaping their own reality. The tragedy of their willfully negligent behavior became more of an irreparable reality than the one they have imagined was necessary to escape from.

A 28-year-old New Mexico mother was convicted of second degree murder and child abandonment for the negligent death of her three-year-old daughter. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be starvation, with traces of cat liter in her digestive system. FBI agents assigned to the investigation were astonished to find a computer located in the home which showed continuous online activity from noon until 3am on the day of the child’s death. During her trial, the remorseful mother admitted to spending countless hours online playing the fantasy role playing game “World of Warcraft”.

Some parents joyously spend hours at the computer updating their facebook and twitter statuses of their children’s playful antics, milestone developments, and proud photos of their playful antics. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It is only when this devotion to any social media platform begins to mutilate one’s state of mind whereas they are no longer able to distinguish the difference between fantasy and reality is when intervention not only becomes imperative, it becomes an urgent life or death emergency.

©2013 Learus Ohnine

Adolescence and Violence

Raising a child in this day and age can be stressful. Most parents concern themselves with protecting their children from the harmful elements that may endanger their child’s physical growth, such as keeping current with vaccinations, proper nutritional planning, and instructing exemplary hygiene practices. Taking a child’s physical well-being seriously is commendable, however, it will not guarantee a child’s healthy state of mind. Children need to be protected from exposure to the more potentially dangerous influences in their environment that can easily be misconstrued as harmless.

Television and video games, a popular form of entertainment among adolescent males and females today, may appear to be harmless at first, but they most certainly do have some sort of negative impact on a child’s psychological health, especially if the theme focuses on the complexity of violence. Television programs today do not contain the same censored quality as the programs of yesterday once had. As time moves on, the level of violence seen in these programs have become exceedingly more violent, more vulgar, and more corrupt as this seems to be what generates the highest ratings.

Video games allow the players to become one with their characters with more hands-on interaction than television offers. However, becoming one with a character whose goal is to successfully conquer a series of violent scenarios by using violent techniques in order to win runs a risk of programming a child’s mind to believe the most effective way to win in life is by the use of violence.

Some say the solution to preventing exposure to violent mediums is by monitoring what a child is exposed to. While this method may be effective to some degree, it is not a sound proof method to the fullest. Internet access has parental control loopholes where children can easily slip through restrictions to gain access to violent video games, movies, and television programs. While one parent may show great concern for the content their child has access to, another parent may not. Children sharing violent resources amongst their peers has become a common method of ensuing the circulation of violent content.

Is there any hope in the discovery of a method to prevent adolescences from being exposed to violence? One option that may be most effective is to set the example. Since children do indeed learn by example, we as adults must consider our own behaviors before we can address theirs. The slightest detail that we may overlook as influential may have a profound impact on any psychological wars our children face when managing the right choices for their own behaviors.

©2013 Learus Ohnine