Wednesday, April 30, 2008

God invented medicine for a reason!

It seems that the Polygamists are not the only religious group who are facing legal issues related to their faith.
By now most have heard about the shocking and preventable death of 11-year-old Madeline Neumann in Weston, Wisconsin. Madeline's health had been deteriorating rapidly for almost a month due to Type 1 Diabetes, although her parents did not know this because they refused to take her in to see a doctor. She stopped breathing on their couch after being in a coma for several days.
The Neumanns never considered taking Madeline in because they believe that illness is a test of faith and a spiritual attack that must be healed through prayer. This is a belief shared by Christian Scientists, although the Neumanns were not part of an organized faith and practiced these beliefs in solitude.

Weston community coverage
Image Hosted by

Here are my problems with the Neumann's actions, and why I believe they should be charged and given some time in their daughter's death:
  • If religion covered human sacrifice, would we have to say that that is OK? There is a line where religious freedoms are involved, especially when it involves making these decisions for underage children (likewise for the polygamy case)
  • The Neumanns watched their daughter's health worsen with prayer, but still believed it would work- even after she was dead
  • God invented medicine for a reason! If he really thought it was the girl's time (which is what they believe if a death does occur), she would have been taken in some other way.
  • If these people don't believe in medical practice or drugs why on EARTH does their business involve selling a mind-altering substance (caffeine, they run a coffee shop). Does anyone else think this seems a bit hypocritical?
  • Everyone has sinned against their religion before- why could the Neumanns not choose this crucial time to do so? Ignorance of her diabetes is NOT an excuse, because it is their fault they didn't know.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Milwaukee college students and the people who prey upon them financially

I really think that certain people and institutions in Milwaukee view the students of UW-Milwaukee as spoiled young adults who will get Mommy and Daddy to get them out of any financial mess that occurs. But that is just not the case- and they need to stop preying on us financially.

These are a few of the culprits: 
  • Parking on Campus: It is impossible to park on campus for free without the worry of receiving a ticket. People often have to stay on campus longer than the 1 or 2 hour signs allow, and as a result many students rack up a hefty parking ticket debt. As a result, many students lose their car. Sadly, nothing will ever be done by the city because this is the income they rely on.
  • Theft: Crime is already high in Milwaukee, but robbers and muggers target college students because they know we have computers, iPods, etc. They also know that the houses in the area are old and easy to break into, and rarely ever have security monitors.
  • Increased evictions for too many tenants: Police are focusing more than ever on ridding tenants over the 3-person limit. Fines are also increased for landlords who allow this, and they are becoming more cautious about doing so. 
  • Slumlords: Many students are not getting security deposits back when they should, and landlords are not taking care of their units properly.
  • Raised fines for party and drinking violations: The fines are larger than ever before, and already broke students are not able to pay forcing them into debt.
When will enough be enough- and why is it that the bigger problem seems to be the city itself that is  draining our resources? They are targeting people who really aren't doing anything wrong and increasing poverty among Milwaukee residents. Sadly, this is one of the very reasons the robbers feel they have the right to do what they do. 

Here is an old article I found insisting that students are bad for the area...and maybe also forgetting to look at the fact that we are people too. Shame. 

Texas Polygamist Sect Update

I just wanted to mention that since writing about the raid of the Texas Polygamist ranch it is said that this is the largest child custody case in history. 460 children were taken from their mothers and administered DNA tests. It will be a very long process to finally decide what will happen with the children.

My question is: are the mothers really to blame? Isn't this a case of some extreme brainwashing tactics by jailed prophet Warren Jeffs? He must've been really good if they are still following his word when he is behind bars. And what about the women who are glad to be rescued from this life? 

Pregnant teenagers were discovered on the ranch as well as teens who already mothered children.

These children are being taken from everything they know and should at least have their mothers back- hopefully with social services supervising and giving some good counseling. I really hope the court makes the right decision, but it's definitely going to be a tough one. 

Monday, April 14, 2008

The crime that everyone gets away with

So I live in Milwaukee. And there is crime here just like there is in any other major city. Shootings, attacks, mugging, vandalism, theft. I want to talk about theft.

After living in this city for three years, it just feels like cops around here are just about useless! Now I know this is a strong opinion to just blurt out there like that, but I can't help but feel this way after what I have personally been through and what I've seen others go through.

Theft. It's the crime that almost everyone gets away with in Milwaukee. The fact of the matter is that the cops can't catch them, and that is because they don't even try. Tons of houses get broken into on campus every year by some punk who thinks they deserve to own the stuff that other people worked for. But the theft that is by now quite obviously an organized crime is the theft of car stereos.

Just a few days ago, my car window was smashed for the second time and a second stereo was taken (the face was even removed from the stereo, but let me tell you now: THAT IS NOT ENOUGH). I also know many, many people that has happened to in Milwaukee, and the sad fact is that the people that have replaced my car window (twice now) say they see dozens and dozens of this exact same thing EVERY DAY.

It could be the people who don't call in and report where the theft is going on- but I know for a fact where I've gotten robbed is a target spot. The lot is littered with glass. Would it not be worth tax payers' time to catch the people that are involved in this obviously organized crime? We are talking about 400 dollars worth of damage so they can make a quick 30 bucks a pop...these people are obviously no strangers to crime or to putting aside any remnants of a conscience.

Meanwhile cops are wasting all their time bothering the college students- the ones who actually have a conscience- about things like noise violations, having one too many people living in a house, and underage drinking. Did you know, officer, that right now you could be working on something that benefits the community? But it seems they are working for the paycheck and not the city- however they can give the most tickets is what they are going to do.

Almost all college students in this city are no stranger to getting robbed, mugged, or conned. I hear stories all the time. Last year, my purse was stolen and my credit card was used. It would be easy to catch these people via the store's security camera but all this city does is tell you to fill out a police report. Shame.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Big Love or Big Problems?

Recently, a secret polygamous sect in Texas was raided and children were taken from their mothers due to a call authorities received from a 16-year-old who claimed she was in an abusive marriage to a 50-year-old man.

Coincidentally, I led a discussion on polygamous mormons and their way of life just weeks before news of this incident broke. The HBO show 'Big Love' and recent arrest of polygamous leader Warren Jeffs brought the secret religion into the spotlight, and many unsettling factors of the polygamous life came to light. 

I think that it is not the practice of plural marriage that is the problem, but the lifestyle polygamist's practice that should be outlawed. If there were a way to do so. 

Maybe there are some that could truly be happy in a marriage that involves one man marrying multiple wives. Maybe it can work and you do become one big happy family, like in the show. Better chances are it's not going to work, even if it is a marriage outside of the infamous Polygamist sects. But trust me, I'm not signing up for either any time soon. 
Here are the common problems: 
  1. The prophets. Prophets have always believed themselves to be gods, and because of this they believe that they have the right to force their followers into marriages. In many cases, these marriages are with girls as young as 13, and to relatives.
  2. As soon as these young girls are married, they are expected to procreate. At 13. Pregnant teen mothers were found all over the recently raided sect. 
  3. Women and children are often put through abuse for not submitting to their husbands, or to be "put in their place". And I'm talking all kinds of abuse...from emotional to sexual. One woman talked about the abuse of listening to her husband have sexual relations in the next room-with her sister. Girls have been beaten severely for trying to resist their marriage arrangements. Children of the raided sect were found denied of nutrition and reported being locked in closets for hours. This list goes on.
  4. It is all about the men. Children often feel a lack of fathering, women feel a lack of attention. These men are marrying up as many of them as they can, because the doctrine says only then can they become gods. Wow, I can benefit myself on earth and become a god if I'm a Polygamous Mormon? You can't lose! If you're a man. 
  5. The men can lose. If the prophet decides a man is competition or not suitable for marriage, the prophet excommunicates them from the community. Forever.
These are some of the big problems...but there are more, and plenty of them. The law says that polygamists will not be prosecuted until they break other rules. Sadly, they are, and far too many of them.
This is not a gay marriage issue, because it really does not matter whether plural marriage be legalized or not. What does matter is the abuse, the negligence, and the manipulation. 

This is a documentary I watched featuring ex-Polygamists and their stories. After seeing it, it becomes difficult to defend the lifestyle, if you had any doubts at all.