Friday, September 6, 2013

My Two Cents ...

I have been trying for more than a week to produce a coherent blog post regarding some of the things going on in my world, both directly and indirectly. Each time I have begun writing, my concentration shifts and I get lost in what can only be considered a tangent. That is not how I wanted this entry to read. I have walked away from the computer many times only to come back and try again to convey how I feel about the things running through my mind. Maybe in this moment in time, today, I can get them written down and still have you be able to make sense of my thoughts.

This past week has been full. It's been from one end of the emotional spectrum to the opposite. Thankfully we weathered the rocky places and came out none the worse for wear. I'm loving my life right now and I have to say it is so much more peaceful than it was just a few short weeks ago.

Here at home, things are good. Jimmy is finally getting some decent miles which makes the paychecks work better for paying the monthly bills, while at the same time allowing the savings account to grow. North Carolina said his child support is paid off, but we got a letter from Vermont saying he still owes. I don't understand how there can be two different amounts, especially since Vermont sent a total amount past due to NC for the employer to deduct from the paycheck every two weeks. Jimmy says it's because VT charges a fee when the payment is late, again, how can it be late when it's coming out of the paycheck?? Anyway, it *should* be completely paid in about 6 weeks... I hope.

Things with Tanya are about the same, so far. There is still plenty of drama surrounding the separation and custody agreement, but today she was required by the court to attend a class on *parenting apart* and then an introduction to the custody mediation process. The latest is that Ed has vocalized he doesn't have to attend either of these things because he already went through the parenting apart in the case concerning his son from another mother. Tanya's papers form the court says he does, we will see what happens when she gets home. Also he has flat out told everyone who will listen that he isn't going to the mediation and will demand to go *straight to trial*. Foolish man, there is NO trial in custody and divorce proceedings, just the attorneys and a judge. Whatever, just one more way he's trying to make everyone think he is intelligent and knows more than even Tanya's attorney. As well as be in control of the situation. That is his whole problem with this, he isn't in control and he can't stand it.

My classes at Ashford are going well. For a while I was disillusioned and seriously thought about quitting... for a number of reasons. With the increase in interest rates, my student loan debt is going to be pretty much overwhelming. I did know before I enrolled I'd have debt, just didn't realize how much. And then I looked at my core classes required for the degree program and felt I wouldn't have enough information to proceed with the hope of practicing alternate medicine. I almost transferred to another college, but their program is only an associates degree and I need a bachelor's to get into the masters/graduate program I want in herbal medicine. So I'm staying at Ashford. Currently my classes are going towards one of the minors in Political Science, I'm really enjoying these classes and feel I'm learning quite a bit about our government. And I'm still carrying a 3.97 GPA.

Here's where things get a bit more intense. Over on Facebook and here in the blogging world there has been quite the ruckus about plagiarism and copyright infringement. A week or so ago, I was sent a link to a blog written about someone who had apparently done quite a bit of both plagiarism and copyright infringement on a FB page and in numerous blogs he wrote over the course of the years. After reading the blog, I posted a link to it on One Million Pagans, not to malign the person in question, but with the sole intention of sharing information. For that action, some of this person's friends and supporters came to the One Million Pagans page and reported it for harassment, thus causing my posting abilities to both my personal page and the pages I own and manage to be suspended for 12 hours. With a warning that IF I ever did something like this in the future, I would lose my FB pages and profile completely.

Before I go any farther, I'd like to clarify something here. I have my own reasons for not supporting Edward Menten and his Facebook page Confessions of Crafty Witches which have NOTHING to do with the accusations levied against him for copyright infringement and plagiarism. And as a matter of fact, my issues with him came a few months before any of this behavior was brought to light. I would also like to clarify, I had NO knowledge of the person, persons or *team* that wrote the blog Stop IP Theft (which has of this writing been removed from the blogosphere. I've since found out who the authors were/are, and if I HAD known who wrote it I would not have shared it or helped to promote their hate campaign).

Once word got around that I had had my posting abilities suspended, and some other information came to light about EM, another entry was posted on the now missing blog Stop IP Theft linking back to a brief PSA blog I wrote letting everyone know why I hadn't been on Facebook the day before. First off, I wasn't associated with the Stop IP Theft blog, and secondly no one was polite enough to ASK me if they could hitch my horse to their wagon. Maybe not copyright infringement, but RUDE just the same. When I found I had been linked I chose to send that PSA to the draft folder. Boy did I catch hell for that. Let me be the first to inform you, this is MY blog, and if for any reason you want to use my information or link back to a post the smart thing would be to ask before you include me in anything. At. ALL. I will remove anything I do not want attached to nastiness and what many consider (I'm right there with them, more on this later) a vendetta that got way out of control.

On Wednesday, Magaly over at Pagan Culture (YES, I DO have permission to link to her blog) did an online *interview* with Edward Menten to make sure we all knew both sides of the story. As a result there have been a LOT of angry words spoken, people have removed friends and it's gotten very nasty. NASTY doesn't even cover it. Some have even gone so far as to give ultimatums to the people on their friends list with a deadline for either un-liking the page in question or run the risk of being unfriended by these people. WTF is that about and who made you God? I get that YOU may not want to support a page that has been accused of plagiarism, but where do you get off telling other people who and what they can do? Haven't you ever heard of free will???

There are also people who feel they are justified in their efforts to find and report plagiarism, it's like they are a dog with a bone. But no one can explain to me or the others who have also asked what gives these individuals the right to seek out copyright infringement or plagiarism? Who commissioned them into the internet police department? Is this their new job? If so who hired them? And if not then please explain to me why it is SO important to them to make it their business to dig in someone else's trash?? Cause that's all they are doing, dumpster diving at its best.

I've been following the actions and reactions from some of the people who have either been involved in the big middle of the situation or who were on hand to give their support to guide EM in the proper manner of posting things on his FB page. And each of these well known Pagans have taken a LOT of crap from people who were calling for the crucifixion of someone they felt justified in condemning. Even though these same set of *judges* have numerous times stated they have proof of their attempts to contact EM in a civilized manner, none of this proof has been produced when asked for. Making demands on a person or calling them out in a public forum is not the way to get the results you may be looking for. Or were you looking for all the attention this has generated? Either way, even though EM has apologized in a public forum, both in his interview with Magaly, on his FB page for CoCW, AND on live radio with Christian Day, it seems there are those who are waiting with baited breath for him to screw up even the tiniest bit so you can be justified in saying "see, I told you so, he wasn't sincere and we knew he was looking for his one minute of fame".

To this I say shame on you. You who consider yourselves to be above scrutiny, above reproach, up there on your pedestal. The things you have said and done are the exact definition and examples of bullying. And no matter how many people tell you you are doing a good job, no matter how many messages you may get telling you thanks for thinking of the artists, and no matter how you try to justify your actions, it is still a witch hunt and a vendetta against someone you consider unworthy of you and your circle of friends.

Remember that old adage from your parents or even grand parents about people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones? Yeah, I do...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cleaning the Blogs or Making Sure I'm not Caught by the Copyright Police

I went through every blog I've written to make sure I gave attribution where it was needed and removed those things I could not find either the artist or author for. I do not want to be the next victim of the self imposed copyright/plagiarism police.

Seriously, this is just ridiculous... get a job, get a hobby or get laid.