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Gender: Female
Hometown: South East Michigan
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Jul 27, 2004, 01:19 PM
Number of posts: 8,585

Journal Archives

The latest "banning" (NYC_SKP) is an interesting lesson on REPUTATION.

ON EDIT: I accidentally copy/pasted the post in duplicate - my apologies!

NYC_SKP and I are on good terms outside of DU; we met here, extended the relationship to Facebook and have spoken on the phone several times.

He is not a misogynist, a racist or a homophobe. He is a California Democrat, currently supporting Bernie Sanders (not a Republican), and personally has a long history of political activism in favor of causes near and dear to the hearts of most people on this board. His "real life" credentials are excellent.

On DU he has continued his tradition of service by acting as a moderator in a major forum back in "the olden days", then host in half a dozen forums on DU3. His participation over tens of thousands of posts was polite, respectful and courteous enough that his hide level is nearly non-existent. He has regularly made financial donations in support of the site, and is a "recognized" name to many of us.

His banning has the site in an uproar with an all-out near flame war. There is grave dancing by those who found his passion for his preferred candidate annoying, joy from the purely anti-misogynist crowd (many of whom count their "hides" in double digits with multiple time outs due to their rude and borderline abusive posts), and frankly consternation from his friends/other long time posters because if it could happen to him over ONE POST then it could happen to us, too.

Banned. Cut from the club. Not "time out/come back and explain yourself" - BANNED. No chance to clarify what you were thinking, apologize if required, or defend the post.

What is the value of an online reputation using a pseudonym? Especially in a for-profit discussion forum? For him or against him, his reputation is in tatters; he is now an accused misogynist, a stupid over the top rude idiot - a fool who doesn't belong among the "decent folks" on this board --

What value the hundreds of hours he spent here?

I have been a member since 2004. DU has been a part of my life on a near daily basis ever since. I have shared public triumphs (recounting New Hampshire presidential election, American Red Cross during Hurricane Katrina), personal tragedy (death of my father, loss of my beloved dogs, the story of my sister with MS), and the joy of getting pregnant/giving birth/raising my now eight year old twins. In 2012 when I began figuring out the connection between micronutrient deficiency, growth retardation and cerebral palsy, my first public discussion on the topics began here, and when I worked on the dratted paper explaining it all, I talked about that, too.

This site is someplace between a habit and a home. I have a reputation here. What is that worth? In real life my family walked with our newly elected Democratic Representative in a local Memorial Day parade and I am NOT a racist, a misogynist or a homophobe. I am a rabid supporter of civil rights issues, I support legalization of marijuana, but think people who chance losing their children over it are idiots, despise illegal drug use, and am adamant about a strong social safety net.

Am I DEMOCRAT enough for this board? Is my reputation strong enough to survive a mistake or a mistyping or a misunderstanding or a temporary moment of over the top passionate typing? If or when I am banned, and the grave dancing begins (the Woo Wars alone ensure those!), how will I handle the "little death" of that moment? Will the glee of the cruel erase the good memories I have made? Will I question the number of hours I have spent here, reading and responding to "imaginary" people, and wonder why I bothered?

What will my reputation be worth? How will I be remembered? Will I be mourned?

This playpen is run by good people who deservedly receive income from their efforts. I submit that there is a value brought by long term members and that at some point an arbitrary kick to the curb is inappropriate by our hosts. At some point you stop typing or texting and pick up the blasted phone to repair a relationship before it goes off the rails.

If you value it, anyway. That is what you do when you care about people. And yes, with thousands of posters, many of us long term, the phone tree approach might be necessary - the details are not mine to work out - but (to circle back again) NYC_SKP is not the first "long timer" who has been booted; some have been welcomed back, and some have not.

This is an online discussion forum, and the long term rules are still being wrestled with. A good reputation has to have some value.

Doesn't it? Or is this place just a "what have you done for me lately/posters come and posters go" internet site instead of a community?

I post under my real name. I have received death threats (thank goodness not serious ones!) for some of my public stands. I am REAL - and so are the rest of the PEOPLE who post here. And, to be fair, at some point the board itself has a "personality" with a reputation of its own: thoughtful discussion, courteous behavior, insightful views....all provided by quality posters who bring their best to the site on a regular basis.

Long term versus short - a reputation for being a "good" poster either has value or it doesn't. The whisper I hear is "who is next?"

And that is not a good reputation for this place to have.

Sinning versus Criminal Behavior: one involves God, the other Law Enforcement.

This may seem like a simple concept, but it a big issue when a religious leader (usually fundamentalist) commits a "sin" and falls from grace. The cry for forgiveness - complete with acknowledgements of unworthiness of all sinners - is usually accompanied by an expressed faith that, having approached the Lord with humbled heart, the sinner has repented, and received forgiveness from the Almighty. With approval from on high already given, can the congregation follow suit? Already aware of their own lack of perfection, and well aware of their own humanity, forgiveness, along with explanations, rationalizations, and sometimes just plain excuses, are all inevitably offered by those who *like* the sinner and wish to continue a positive relationship.

The problem comes in when something is presented as a "sin" but is in reality considered A CRIME by the rest of society. Sins are not necessarily crimes - lust in one's heart, secretly coveting someone else's spouse, taking the "name" of a deity in vain, etc. - and not something the judicial system in this country is going to pay attention to. Even "moral failings" - adultery, non-marital sexual activity, immodest dress - are not CRIMES.

Petty crimes - pilfering from the collection plate - probably get more law enforcement calls, but the major crimes - rape/murder/molestation - are where all heck breaks loose.

Josh Duggar committed a crime. His parents covered it up (another crime). His victims were encouraged to bury their own feelings for "family unity/religious love" and this lack of Justice outrages decent people.

The sin is on their souls, and frankly, not the business of the community. The CRIME is the issue, and the cover up.

None of us is perfect. I suspect the young teen who began molesting his sleeping female victims was acting out his own abuse, but again, the crime of covering up the situation has made that difficult to investigate. The narcissism of the confession is telling.

The 15 minutes of fame is over for this family. Unfortunately, he may appear to be a martyr to those who can't grasp the difference between accountability for one's "sins" versus one's CRIMES (unless the perpetrator has dark skin),

My $.02 - your mileage may vary.

"Once he choked her unconscious, I didn't need to get to know him!"

Top ten list of "things I thought I would never need to explain" except that apparently I had to spell this out for someone who was trying to justify letting two young "lovebirds" stay in her home after the boyfriend was released from jail following his arrest after an incident of violence.

I have been told that the girlfriend assaulted him first, then he choked her unconscious, and she called the police on him when she came to. (The home owner saw the marks on her neck.) The police deemed the situation to be "mutual combat" but since he had an outstanding warrant (driving on a suspended license) he got hauled off to jail. He was released Monday (after two weeks in jail) and the two lovebirds were back together again before his release.

It is actually the home owner I am most upset with because the line "but the girlfriend wants him back!" was actually used as part of the justification, along with me "not really knowing the guy" which is when I used the quote in the subject.

It is "not my circus, and not my monkeys" but I predict this is not going to end well. The girlfriend moved in with the homeowner less than two months ago, has lost custody of her child to the state, was stealing from the home owner/called the police to get the home owner arrested after initiating a tug of war over the stolen property (that was a shocker/didn't work, thank goodness), and now this...all in two months!!!

Apparently I am a judgmental cynic. I do not think "a stern talking to" is going to prevent the next episode of "drama" from happening, which I predict will occur before the end of April.

"But they have no place to go!"

"He choked your granddaughter unconscious - who cares?"

The CRAZY is strong with these ones....ARGH!

Karma has bitten someone. I feel bad for the guy.

His incompetence cost half a dozen people their jobs, and he FINALLY got fired.

There was a time I would have celebrated, but now I just feel sorry for him. He tried to protect himself by throwing other people under the bus, and it totally backfired on him.

He was enabled by a supervisor who has apparently managed to save himself by blaming this guy. It is an ugly mess. I am grateful to be NOT involved, and hope my former team is able to function with a competent person in the role.

I am surprised by my pity for the man, especially after he did so much damage....?

My (Rejected) Poster for a regional Cerebral Palsy Conference.

Good luck guessing why it got rejected. Also, it had pretty graphs, charts and a cool breakdown of the demographics.


Objective: What if a subset of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) instead or also have correctable micronutrient deficiencies?

Promising preliminary observations using oral supplementation of liquid micronutrient compounds show improvement in movement disorders including muscle tone and strength, gross and fine motor skills, and coordination. Positive changes were also seen in children with growth issues, notably weight, height, and appetite. Children with diagnosed cognitive and communication developmental delays also displayed improvement, as did a significant subset that reported sensory processing issues. However, we have yet to perform a randomized trial to assess the validity of these findings.

How can one design a study to determine if a subset of children diagnosed with CP possess micronutrient deficiencies and whether remedying these deficiencies improves CP?

Methods: Subjects were enrolled from June to December 2012 with an average observation period of 118 days. Enrollment was open to a heterogeneous group of children displaying mobility issues (including CP), neuromuscular issues, growth retardation (including failure-to-thrive), cognitive/communication or other developmental delays, and sensory processing issues. Parents were instructed to administer liquid micronutrient compounds on a consistent schedule and report changes or lack thereof on a bi-weekly basis. Data were obtained through a combination of online parent reporting and one-on-one interviews. Eight categories were defined to evaluate change during the observation period: four primary categories (muscle tone and strength, weight/height, cognition, speech/communication) and four secondary categories (bowel function, appetite, energy/stamina, and sensory processing). For each of these categories, the parents responded that there was either observed change or no change, and then described the change as being positive or negative. For purposes of this project, positive change was considered improvement.

Results: 122 children were recruited. There were no other statistical differences in demographic or baseline characteristics. All improvements are based on documented parent reports. During the observation 88 children (72%) experienced improvement in muscle tone and strength. 104 children (85%) experienced improvement in weight and/or height. 71 children (58%) experienced improvement in cognition. 81 children (66%) experienced improvement in communication.

117 children (96%) experienced improvement in at least one primary category. 101 children (83%) experienced improvement in two primary categories. 79 children (65%) experienced improvement in three primary categories. 47 children (39%) experienced improvement in all four primary categories.

Improvement in secondary categories included bowel function (n=81, 66%), appetite (n=79, 65%), energy and stamina (n=85, 70%) and sensory processing (n=40, 33%). Overall, 102 children (83%) experienced improvement in four or more defined categories.

Cerebral palsy has several well-known risk factors including prematurity, low birth weight, and possibly insufficient maternal nutrient intake in pregnancy. The correlation between pre-term birth, nutrient deficiency, and cerebral palsy is the focus of our project.

Animal studies as early as the 1950s have demonstrated the link between trace mineral deficiency and increased morbidity, including poor growth and weak muscles. Veterinary science recognizes the role that trace minerals play in avoiding deficiency diseases, and widespread supplementation from the 1950s to the 1990s has largely eradicated these diseases in farm animals. Trace minerals are considered essential for optimum health, growth and productivity, carrying out key functions as catalysts for enzymes and hormones. In accordance with this established science it is still common for trace mineral supplements to be given to both large and small livestock animals.

In human medicine trace minerals are considered ubiquitous in a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet, occurring naturally in the environment. Healthy human beings are, by definition, assumed to be in a state of homeostasis, with all metabolic needs met, whereas insufficient intake of dietary nutrients leads to deficiency diseases. However, there are certain population subsets that are unable to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet, most notably pre-term infants. The premature infant is at increased risk for nutrient deficiencies, and breast milk, while a preferred food source for full-term infants, does not contain the higher amounts of essential nutrients needed by pre-term infants. Because of this, it is common practice to supplement the pre-term infant’s food intake with vitamins and other essential nutrients. Total parenteral nutrition is also commonly administered to these infants, but despite the intent to act as a complete dietary supplement, several key nutrients are absent, such as sulfur, cobalt and iron.

It has been demonstrated in previous research that the premature neonate is also at increased risk of trace mineral deficiency because trace mineral accretion occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy. This accretion process would logically be interrupted in pre-term infants born at gestational ages of less than 38 weeks. In the case of a diagnosed deficiency of an essential nutrient such as iron, calcium, or Vitamin D, it is standard practice to instruct patients to increase dietary intake of the needed nutrient(s). To diagnose a nutrient deficiency there are well known, standardized tests for essential nutrients, however there are currently no standardized tests for trace mineral deficiencies. Additionally, most trace minerals do not currently have a USRDA, the assumption being that they are already present in minute amounts in the typical patient’s diet.

By definition, cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of non-progressive permanent motor disorders that appear in early childhood. However, not all diagnosed movement disorders are CP. For example, in the 1990s pediatric research established new testing protocols to identify the group of conditions called “inborn errors of metabolism”. Before these tests were developed, some patients with one of these conditions could have been diagnosed with a movement disorder, and being within the umbrella diagnosis of CP, subsequent treatment may have progressed without addressing the underlying disorder. Re-defining these cases as inborn errors of metabolism led to developing specific treatment protocols with substantial improvements in outcomes.

Our goal was to measure the effects of micronutrient supplementation on mobility and/or growth rate in a population diagnosed with, or at risk for CP.

Infants and children who had a diagnosis of prematurity or growth retardation as well as those with CP or other neuromuscular issues who were not necessarily premature were recruited. Liquid micronutrient compounds were administered by parents on a consistent schedule, and observations were documented for eight categories: muscle tone and strength, weight/height, cognition, speech/communication, bowel function, appetite, energy/stamina, and sensory processing. Any changes observed were documented in parent reports.

Based on observational data, 117 children experienced improvement in at least one of the primary categories, the most common being weight and height. Improvement in this category was characterized as “muscular weight gain” usually followed by an increase in height, as per expected growth patterns.

88 children (72%) experienced improvement in muscle tone and strength; these changes were reported as an increase in core strength (trunk) followed by changes in tone and/or strength of the extremities. Changes in strength frequently led to changes in mobility levels, and improved fine motor skills and coordination were often noted.

Certain patterns were observed in the chronological order of positive changes among the participants: improvement in bowel function was most often the first change noted, occurring within the first 10 days after starting the supplements. This change was more often noted in younger children and infants, likely due to older children using the toilet independently. Increased appetite was observed between 14 and 21 days, although if there was no increase in appetite there were still some positive changes in other defined categories. Improvement in the remaining six categories typically began to occur between 42 and 56 days.

Evaluating positive changes in sensory processing revealed an interesting circumstance: of the 18 participants with known sensory processing issues, 9 (50%) observed improvement. However, an additional 31 participants also reported improvement in this category. These 31 participants were primarily focused on more serious neuromuscular (mobility) issues, developmental delays and failure-to-thrive concerns.

We found during the course of observation that relying on parent reporting for specific measurements was a limiting factor - accuracy and completeness was an issue. Another known limitation was the lack of clinical diagnosis and evaluation to establish baseline characteristics. Most importantly, we cannot be certain, without a control group, that there is a causal relationship between supplement and outcomes. We would appreciate feedback on how to identify children who might benefit from this nutritional treatment, and also how best to conduct a randomized trial to properly test the value of this treatment.

What do the NYPD and the Westboro Baptist Church have in common?

Neither know how to behave at funerals.

Three years in a row I experienced major loss during the holidays.

Grandmother, sister, then father. Simultaneously had to deal with "the holidays" as both the anniversary of my second (very early) miscarriage and an annual reminder for eight years that I was not a mother (yet). My children were born in 2007, and the holidays did NOT magically "get better" - in fact, I swear I nearly lost my mind in 2009! Fortunately my husband and I were able to sit down and make some decisions about what memories and traditions we wanted to create for our own family. We dumped an obligatory family gathering that was a major trigger and now go to an out of town Waterpark adventure instead - all of us love it! We laugh, giggle, swim and spend time together. We still see family, but we do it on our terms, and focus on the people we like best.

These were actual DECISIONS and sometimes there is some "fake it until you make it" involved for me when remembering surfaces sometimes. I am grateful we decided to change the rules; it gave me the power to not lose the joy that I am entitled to feel, and the chance to share it with those most important to me.

November 15, 2014: I am doomed. (Update 2: Maybe not?) Upd #4: Day 2 Begins

ON EDIT #3: This thread is really all about this one - "Need some good vibes, please." http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018679841 about writing the DRATTABLE paper referenced.

I am replying to myself so I do not feel so completely isolated while I work on this thing.

I have taken the day off work. I think I am making progress.


Re watched the video series I did about this back in July 2012 - very proud of it. I give DU and fubar a shout out in this one. (It got broken down into four parts due to length.)

I want the icon of the stick figure running around with their hair on fire.

Back to it!

ON EDIT #1: I am never going to get this done. Where is the "ripping out my own hair" smiley?

ON EDIT #2: Okay, I just wrote an AMAZING introduction, and copied the "symptom" page I already did. Maybe I can do this.

But now what?

ON EDIT #3: It is a fresh morning, and I'm partying at the library again.

Things you shouldn't send in a text...

"Your grandfather has passed. I'm sorry."

My husband didn't get the text until the next day as he was finalizing plans to go visit his grandfather in the hospital. The day before his father had called to let him know the doctors were giving him three-to-five days, but apparently grandpa passed a few hours later.

I am not sure why this information was texted, and why no follow up phone call was made to insure he got it. I am sad and angry for him; when my husband called the texter (not his dad), he was told his grandfather's body had been donated to a local medical school, the school had already picked it up the night before, and there was going to be no memorial service.

"Closure" is a personal thing; my beloved is reeling.

On a positive note, his grandfather was at my brother-in-law's birthday party, and it was a wonderful time. Those are good memories, and "not bad" if they are the last ones you have of someone you love -- smiles and laughter and happy times.

Rest in peace, Grandpa Briggs.

She married him because she is an idiot.

Also because she probably loves him, and thinks there is more to their relationship than what was captured on that horrific video.

She probably considers herself a strong, confident woman. She isn't his slave. She knows damn good and well she could walk away, and I am confident she has family and friends who would provide her safe haven with no questions asked.

I have now watched the video multiple times. She never cowers from him. She is not oppressed.

She has just been the victim of a physical assault that should NEVER have happened, and she still loves him.

Life can be complicated sometimes. She probably tells herself she provoked him - she is not saying this to justify his behavior, but to give herself some CONTROL over it.

You see, if she PROVOKED HIM, then she can stop him from "over reacting" the next time by NOT provoking him. (Classic co-dependent behavior.)

And this is why she is an idiot: she has not yet realized that the man she loves, the father of her child, her lover and best friend, uses "HIT" as an automatic default "Go To" in his coping skills.

Not walk away. Not kneel in prayer. Not talk until four in the morning. Not even yell at each other and say nasty things.


It is a learned behavior. It is the physical "fight" in the survival "fight, flight or freeze" mode.

And like it or not, when her partner feels threatened - even just mentally or emotionally - by her, his coping mechanism is Hit.

There are those who watch the video who will focus on the "norms" in their relationship - the playful (?) little back of her hand slaps. The two of them appear to be bickering. It escalates in the elevator.

She did not cower from him. In the elevator, she hit her own moment of "FLIGHT, FIGHT OR FREEZE" and she went for FIGHT.

And he knocked her unconscious with one blow, and (to my mind) seems more annoyed at the inconvenience than concerned for her medical condition.

It won't be a popular observation, but I think he looks kind of "shock-y" himself. Adrenalin rush, maybe. Everyone has baggage.

But this post is about her.

The two of them have a Very Messed Up relationship. I am willing to put money on the fact that in HER HEAD, she is NOT a victim. The arguments she will make to those who care about her are pretty cliche.

- "Victim" implies someone who is helpless. She is not. She is a grown woman, and she has made a choice to stay and work things through with the man she loves. They got MARRIED - he loves her.

- So they had a small scuffle; the whole thing is being blown out of proportion. It is actually embarrassing, really. It isn't anyone else's business, so just...BUTT OUT.

- Everyone needs to quit acting like this is a defining moment of his character. Or hers, for that matter.

- Besides, it isn't going to happen again. They have spent a lot of time talking this through. She is sorry everyone was inconvenienced, but the two of them have worked things out, so seriously, everyone needs to just drop it already.

- She loves him. He is the father of her child. He is her best friend and her lover. He worked hard to achieve professional success and she is proud of him. She knows she has a temper, and she is working on that, and so is he.

- She is not a "battered woman", dammit. She isn't afraid of him, and she has her own money.

They all come down to the same thing:

She loves him. He loves her. It isn't going to happen again.

And the truth is, she really believes that last bit. She has to.

Despite all common sense, despite all studies and stories, despite the reality that exercising the demons they both carry and learning healthy communication/relationship enhancing skills beyond "don't Hit!" is going to take a tremendous effort on both of their parts, especially when both will want to minimize and trivialize the facts she went after him and he knocked her unconscious, right now she believes it won't happen again.

And it won't. Until inevitably, it does.

And that is why I am comfortable saying:

She married him because she is an idiot.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am not a trained mental health professional. I base these opinions on my own life experiences, which includes a loving, but seriously dysfunctional family of origin, three sisters who had partners arrested for domestic violence, and years of therapy to avoid being one of those statistics. Life is complicated, but NOBODY deserves to be a victim of domestic violence.

ON EDIT: I can no longer reply in this thread as I have received my first ever (non-meta) hide for one of my replies, which truthfully, was snarky and sarcastic (for which I apologize); I have been on DU for over a decade, so I guess I was due! Lol. Anyway, this is a difficult discussion, and I thank both the people who appreciated the nature of the post, as well as those who questioned my "harsh" language. This is an important discussion, and no, I am not going to edit the post, or delete it (but thank you for asking).

DU --
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