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Archive for October, 2011

Too many times over the years I have heard parents complain because their teenagers show little to no ambition. They are not a member of any organization at school or outside of the school. They do not have after school jobs nor clean their rooms or work around the house. They do not play sports nor join speech classes, work on the yearbook, belong to band, or partake in drama classes, or anything that is considered extra curriculum. They simply go to school and come home and sleep until noon or later on weekends.

When this happens, it is always appropriate that we parents take a good look at our own behavior. To what extent, are we the parents, involving ourselves or our children in extra activities in the home or out of the home. Do we simply go to work and come home and flop down in front of the television set and stay there until bed time and then get up and leave for work again the next day? Do we spend weekends puttering around the home and never leaving unless we go to the mall, a home repair or grocery store?

As I have said in many of my posts, our children do not hear what we say as much as they watch what we do. If we are a stay at home Mom and we are not making our children pick up after themselves or clean their rooms or share in household responsibility, we only add to their laziness.If we are working all kinds of hours and our children never see us work around the home, it can have the same kind of effect. If we have a maid and gardener and nothing is asked of our children, it can have the same results.Children are not born with ambition, it is something that needs to be taught to them. The best teachers are always the parents.

Schools can do just so much towards inspiring our children but when the majority of the classroom time is taken up with discipline problems, as it is today in most cases, then we need to inspire our own children.

If we are not taking them out to play putt putt golf,walking to the park or biking on trails with them,going to art museums or historical museums with them, bowling,teaching them to swim,T-ball or softball or games that the family can enjoy outside of the house or away from our home town or cities, then they will never leave the house, themselves.

If we never leave our home and stay in a motel but instead at mom’s and dad’s home, when we do leave our home, go to movies with them or drive to another town or city and choose different vacation spots,if they are never allowed to take a weekend trip on their own during the later highschool years,if we never volunteer in our communities or help with any special drive or organizations, then they are not being taught anything but to go to school and come home, just like we go to work and come home and never leave.

Too many times parents say,”No matter what I said to him or her or no matter how hard I tried to teach them to get up off their butts, they never listened.” Children will never listen to the parents who talk about ambition and then do nothing towards inspiring them to get involved when the parents are not showing any involvement themselves.

Many times parents can be very ambitious themselves but if work around the home, that never involves the children, is all they see us do, then they just assume that we are doing our job just as they are doing their job, when they go to school.Unfortunately, too many adults also have this attitude, as well, especially when it comes to both the boys or men in the household. Instead of having the patience or going through the headache of getting the children involved with helping with the housework, they will often convince themselves that it is not the child’s responsibility to be responsible for themselves at home.

We need to lead by example and inspire them to want to leave the home because we have taught them to be both independent through their own efforts of taking care of responsibilities both in the home as well as in the community in which they live.I repeat then: Only we can inspire them through our own behavior and through teaching them how to be independent before they are too old to hear us. Children need to start learning to take care of their own responsibilities before they are 10 years of age.

They need to be able to get themselves up when an alarm goes off, do their own laundry,clean their room and change a vacuum cleaner bag or dump the reservoir, run a dish washer, fix their own meals, even if it is only cereal or micro-waveable, earn an allowance for the work they do around the home or from a job out of the home, balance a check book, start taking a serious look at the colleges they plan on attending by their sophomore year,bathe or shower without being told and be inspired to join extra curricula activities within the school or outside of it, so that it is natural to them and habit, before their 17th birthday.

Responsible and independent teenagers are no different from any other responsible adult in that they do not want to be told to do what they already are responsible enough to do on their own. The more we try to treat them as irresponsible children the more eager they will be to get out and away from home, in order to begin their life on their own. It is when they are never taught to be responsible before their teen years, they will be content to stay home and let mom or dad do it for them. The older they get before they become independent and responsible the lower their self-esteem will become and the more fearful they will become to leave home on their own.

The more capable a child is towards taking care of their own needs, as well as, the more exposed they are to different cultures and lifestyles, because they have been exposed to different areas in the United States or the World,as well, the more likely they will also be towards wanting to leave home and provide for their own needs. If the most that we can afford to do is camping or fishing or school activities or YMCA sports or in State travel, then do that, with your children, so they do learn to leave their home because You taught them to get away from home and take responsibility beginning in baby steps, by the age of three, and while they were still young enough to enjoy the adventure of doing so.

If our children are already adults, then sometimes we will need to move them out of our home, once they get a job, even if we need to help with the deposit or they need to advertise for room mates or move in with someone else who is advertising for a room-mate, to help pay for expenses, and accept the fact they will more likely than not live the life that we lived, because we went to work and came home and never left the house but to go to the mall, a home repair store or grocery store,or to Mom’s and Dad’s. All Momma Birds, as well as humans, need to sometimes kick the stragglers from the nest, before they can learn to fly.

It doesn’t make a lot of difference if we like it or not, but our children will emulate us when they do become adults, when we do not spend the time with them to teach them a different way to live. If we wanted better for our children, then we should perhaps be grateful they did value the good in the life we may have taken for granted, instead of being disappointed with our children for not living, our dream for them, for our sake.

If in the final analysis, when we have done our job and are able to offer to the world an adult child who both knows and respects themselves as well as others, we should all be grateful. No one should ever be made to apologize for the job they hold,their own belief system, or the dedication they put into it.

It does us all well to know and remember: just as maturity comes in stages, so does the kind of life our adult children choose to live, often times move in the same or different circles, and is not always open for interpretation from us or others, of how many hours are put in but rather how those hours are spent. Ambition just like success, belongs in the eyes of the beholder, when it makes a difference to the person receiving the kindness or efforts from the job, as well as the person doing the performance.

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Finally!What can I say that those of us who knew this was a miscarriage of justice, for both Amanda Knox and Raeffaele Sollecito, haven’t already been saying for almost 4 years now? On May 23, 2010, I wrote a post entitled “A Black Eye On Italian Justice,”and seriously questioned the justice of this case.

For those who do not know:on the very first day following the murder of Amanda’s roommate, Meridith Kercher of Britain, the police gathered together 100 items for forensic testing. Up to this point all was quite above-board. Those 100 items of uncontaminated forensic items clearly showed the murderer and rapist to be Rudy Guede.It would take time to get the results back as well as track down Guede,as prior to this, no one was even considering Rudy. Amanda and Raeffaele were considered suspects from the first day, although they had no evidence on either of them at this time. Guede would flee and be arrested later and then acknowledge his presence at the apartment, later.

He was considered a nuisance by the girls. Amanda barely knew him and Raeffaele did not know him at all. There are no records,witnesses, or evidence, phone or otherwise,tying Raffaele or Amanda to Rudy at anytime, much less the night in question. The District Attorney had a fascination with the Occult and a gut feeling about Amanda and Raeffaele from the start and refused to let go of them as suspects.

After the initial testing of the clean DNA, the prosecution office would wait 46 days and gather up seriously contaminated items from the crime scene. Much of this evidence was piled on top of other evidence,as well as walked on, and both would further contaminate it. This forensic evidence set and collected dust,of skin cells and hair that fly through the air in any contained apartment or home, for the 46 days, so the material collected did not even come close to fitting the International code of forensic standards nor the FBI’s, when collected, for DNA purposes.

When they found the finger prints on the knife, were those of Amanda’s, this was forensics that would be disputed by the person doing the autopsy, and it could never reach the standards set for forensic evidence if the D.A hadn’t of kept lowering the bar of acceptance lower and lower, as has been reported elsewhere. The person doing the autopsy, would say, “this knife was too large to be the murder weapon.” They would then find a totally clean pocket knife of Raeffaele’s and say, “there must have been two knifes since his was smaller.”

The so-called forensic evidence of Raeffaele’s was as poor as if he shook the hand of someone else, and those skin cells of the person he touched, or DNA, would be found on a sink he later touched or even on another’s hand. An example would be; If he used the toilet and flushed it and Meredith then followed him and flushed it, she would pick up Raeffaele’s skin cells or DNA, after she used it, and then transfer his DNA when she fastened the clasp on her own bra: this then is the same kind of forensic DNA they found of Raeffaele’s, on Meredith’s bra clasp. Three other people’s DNA would be found on this same section of her bra, as well, since it was so poorly mishandled.

These two things would convict the two of them.Even though no forensic lab in the World accepts this kind of contaminated DNA as both are way below even considering as accurate DNA standards anywhere in the World.Every forensic Scientist knows to change their gloves after touching each piece of evidence but they did not do so, as pictures showed that all of their gloves were filthy. Instead of wearing the disposable plastic gloves, they chose to wear white cloth gloves. Everything was highly transferred and contaminated,due to the absorbency of these gloves,and as a result of not changing gloves with each piece of evidence.

Amanda also showered and tracked the blood of the victim, Meredith Kercher, she later discovered on the bathroom rug, into her room with her wet feet. This along with all the forensic evidence they collected was so contaminated that no forensic laboratory would ever accept this type of DNA, either.None of the evidence after the first day even came close to qualifying in any lab in the World.

As all of we women know, when washing a knife, we will sometimes pick up a knife, while hanging onto the handle, and simply wipe off the blade and put it back in the drawer.Even if Amanda’s finger prints were not highly contaminated she would have finger prints as well as blood smears in her own apt. 4 women living together, all would have blood smears, as a result of their periods or just cutting themselves while slicing or cooking, as is fairly typical around any home or apartment.

The prosecutor in this case was found guilty of misuse of his office in another case separate from Amanda’s and kept setting the bar lower and lower on the DNA evidence and then would announce that it was uncontaminated when not a single lab in the World would have even looked at this evidence, since after the first day when they found neither Amanda’s or Raeffele’s DNA, none of the DNA, was anything but sub par to any standards set in the International forensic labs, and would never be acceptable.

They were denied lawyers and Amanda did not understand the language. When they demanded that she imagine or speculate how the murder may have happened, she had no choice, because they had kept them up for hours and even hit her on the head with books so she co-operated. The room was reportedly, filled with policemen, When she tried to speculate they accepted it as her confession and she was given 26 years with Raeffaele given 25 years both for murder.

Thanks to one judge saying.” something was not right with the DNA evidence and they needed to hear them on appeal,” she and Raeffaele won the attention of this judge on appeal and have been acquitted of murder by two judges and a jury. Appeals are all automatic in Italy just as they are in the United States. Amanda will be released and coming back to Seattle where she grew up; it is also the area that never gave up hope for her or wavered on their support of her innocence.

Yellow journalism entered the picture in both Perugia as well as Britain, and since it was Halloween,and the District Attorney was bent towards thinking in terms of the Occult, witches and satan worship, along with corruption and gossip would be speculated on as far as Amanda and Raeffaelle were concern.

Amanda, when encouraged to think in terms of the occult, would involve another person with her speculation and for that she has been fined and served the time. Sadly the same people interrogating her and Raeffaelle are experienced with interrogating the mafia and Amanda was only 20 years of age and still quite naive, along with not understanding the language.

All kinds of false information along with corruption would surround this case. Also the attitude that all American women are loose or whores would be intermingled with the case that would lead to gossip of sex games gone awry. The “Foxy Knoxy” stories coming out of Brittain, along with what was being confused with Amanda’s own behavior as to bewilderment, which all innocent people would most likely express, would also add to the stories being told.

The sad thing is they had a simple robbery that led to rape and murder with the clean DNA, collected the next day, and if Guede was not pressured to include both Amanda and Raeffaele, even though neither were there, this case would have been settled almost 4 years ago. The Meredith Kercher family could have begun their grieving almost immediately.Sadly there will now always be those who believe Amanda and Raeffaele, who are entirely innocent, are suspect.

To the Italian judge, who questioned this case and to the jury who found contaminated DNA unacceptable, we say,”Thank You! To all who put in dedication, money,sweat equity,had to deal with insults, and believed in the innocence of Amanda and Raeffaele,in this case, I salute You! I feel your joy and celebrate with you. I was hopeful 14 months ago that a higher power than these mere men would set both Amanda and Raeffaele free, but not until today could we dare say, “Welcome Home Amanda and Raeffaele!”

The world, who has both followed this case and brought pressure on those involved,as well as believed in the innocence of these two College kids, is delighted that the Italian justice system did work, eventually, in this case. My apology to all Italians and your Court system, for doubting that it would.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Kercher family, who have suffered unmercifully and who will always have to live with unnecessary questions, and to Amanda and Raeffaele, and their loved ones who have had to suffer unjustly, and will always have to live with a cloud over their head, because of the misguided path chosen by the DA, in this case, and Judges who bought into it.

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