Riley Speaks

"all i have is a voice" ~ w.h. auden


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And Then There Were Three – DaddyOFive and the abuse allegations

Let’s begin with some wonderful news – Rose (the biological mother of Cody and Emma) has been given emergency custody over her two children. Cody and Emma have been removed from the toxic home they were in.

The channel is supposedly a family channel of fun pranks and hilarious jokes. But I would NEVER want any child, in fact any adult, to watch these videos. It broke my heart to watch them even in clips. My heart broke for these kids and the hell that their lives must be. This is not an easy thing to write about, but I’m beyond mad. I’m beyond upset and watching the videos makes me wonder how anyone can sit there and watch them. How can anyone be silent?

People are still arguing whether the children are abused or whether it was fake. If it was fake, what kind of sick, sadistic person would write a script about your kids slapping one another, and throwing iPads at another, and hurting each other. Why would you want that to be your channel? Have you no pride? You would think an honest person would see these allegations and think, “look, we made a mistake, we notice now that we were treating our children wrong and are going to get help”. Instead, they brag about having social services investigate them already – and they passed, but that’s easy enough to do. In the first “explanation” video to tell people there is no abuse going on, you can see Cody – the main victim of all of the abuse – move his eyes as he is denying the abuse allegations. And having kids being asked by the person abusing them if they’re being abused is ridiculous. Of course they’re going to say no – they’re terrified of him. Why would they say “oh yeah they are hurting us and I don’t like it” when the dad will a) cut it out, and b) most likely play another “prank” on them?

Now the main reason I am now invested in this and hope for the best is the fact that the mother – Cody and Emma’s biological mother – Rose was denied custody of her kids after Mike took them away in ill circumstances. The judge/courts determined a mother with bipolar was not able to take care of kids. From a video posted on Rose’s channel, we can see how happy and ecstatic the kids are for life. They look like they are surrounded by love, their eyes are full of light and their faces are bright. It’s a stark comparison to now, they are clearly terrified of Mike and are petrified of what he’s going to do if they “disobey” him. It must be a nightmare for them living in that house, and all because the mother was apparently unable to raise the kids. She had been doing a fine job until they were taken from her by Mike for what she believed was a six month period. To make matters worse, Mike is living with – as are the children – a lady named Heather (who has three children of her own). Heather has a previous record of second degree assault. In the state of Maryland (where Baltimore is situated), second degree assault is defined as someone causing serious bodily harm to another being. Now I’m sure each person differs, but I consider myself to place children at the top of the human pyramid. Children are the highest of society and the ones that deserve our utmost respect and care. So personally, if I were to have two kids of my own, then miraculously meet the love of my life, then find out they have an assault charge on them, I would not take my children anywhere near them. Regardless of what the circumstances – if it were self defense it would not be charged as assault – if they can hurt an adult, or another human being, then they will not be going near my kids. It’s just logical. The “EhBeeFamily” brings forth what a loving family on YouTube means, it means that the kids are not used for profit, that their sanity and their dignity is not sacrificed for some money.

This whole situation brings forth the point that we need to be more vigilant as a society for our children. Cody’s teachers had noticed he was self-harming by scratching at his skin to make it bleed. Instead of contacting the schools guidance counselor, the school wrote it on a note to the father which resulted in the Cody being shamed by Mike. People have been watching this family for a while, the channel had some 700,000 subscribers. Why had no one spoken up before now? Why were those around the family silent? In New Zealand specifically, child abuse is a very real and very huge epidemic among our society. The biggest thing we as citizens of the country can do is raise questions. Step in for the kids when they have no voice.

Abuse is not just physical. It is a broad spectrum of things and it’s so important that people realise this. People need to be made aware of different means of abuse and how they are shown in children’s actions. We need to start asking questions and making things known. CYFs and any other child protective service would (or should) rather look into an allegation that holds no truth, than have a child not be saved because no one wanted to bother them. Better safe than sorry is not a statement made for fun. It is a truth that we need to remember. Better safe than another statistic to add to our growing rate.


If you, or anyone you know, is being abused, you can get help at these places:

USA:

General

Child Help

NEW ZEALAND:

2Shine

Are You Ok?

Parent Help – for parents that are seeking help on parenting techniques

AUSTRALIA:

1800Respect

ReachOut Info

And of course your local emergency number.


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Old vs. New: Why Raising the Retirement Age Shouldn’t Be A Topic…

If you’re even remotely up-to-date with New Zealand news, you’ll know there has been talk about raising the superannuation age. It currently sits at 65, but one party wants to raise it to 67 by 2040.

National leader Bill English confirmed on that if National were to be re-elected they would indeed raise the superannuation age to 67. Other leaders have come out in opposition and said they would not raise the age above the already standing 65 years.

Why is it a bad idea to raise the retirement age? Shouldn’t we promote continued working among those healthy enough to do so? Yes we should. We already do. The superannuation is available to those 65+, meaning those that are healthy and willing to work past 65 years can. But that those who are in pain, worn out, or just don’t want to work into their old age can retire. Raising the age would mean that people are staying in their jobs. We already have an issue with youth unemployment, mostly due to lack of job opportunities. If we don’t take out what we are putting in (i.e, we add workers without any leaving) then we end up with no job openings for those entering the fields. A reason our youth find it so hard to get a job is because their are no openings because the older generations are having to work longer to meet requirements of the superannuation. The reason Bill English doesn’t see this as an issue is because he believes youth are high on the job drug users unable to pass drug tests. He claims the youth are druggies at fault for the unemployment rates. He refuses to acknowledge that the elderly having to wait longer (67 years) to be eligible for the superannuation will have hazardous effects on the youth employment.

Yes our average life span is increasing, but he’s forgetting that the youth are what see the life increase. If we can’t provide New Zealand youth with steady employment, how are they meant to pay for groceries? How are they meant to afford medications they need to stay healthy? While our life span may be the highest it’s been, it can fall too. It’s not ever a set-in-stone age. If we don’t nurture and protect our youth then they won’t be around as long as today’s generation. We have children in poverty – New Zealand is notorious for it’s high poverty among first world countries. We have taken care of our elderly, we need to begin to take care of our children. Raising the superannuation age will not benefit our children and youth at all – in fact it will hinder them most. No longer will their grandparents be able to look after them and spent time with the kids, they will be too busy having to work. Kids won’t be able to spend an afternoon at Nan’s because she’ll be in the office.

Bill English (and National) are very much like my parents – they believe that the youth are lazy and the reason they don’t get a job or can’t buy a house is because they’re too lazy. Forgetting that they did not have to pay for tertiary study. Forgetting that they did not have the housing market of 2017…a house that would have cost them 350,000$ in 1999, will now cost anywhere upwards of 500,000$. They live in a very bubble world where everything is exactly how it was back then. I get that they worked hard and have done enough, but what on earth does raising the superannuation have to do with them working hard? If that was your argument wouldn’t you want to lower it? Let them have more time relaxing in retirement?

Give our youth  the employment opportunities you’re so ready to give to the elderly. They have had a good run, a long run. Pretend, for a moment, you give a damn about our children and their futures.


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I’ll Pee on Your Face if That Makes It Better – Trump is an a**hole.

I wish the title weren’t so vulgar and angry but I’m tired. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what other human right the dickwad has taken away each day. I’m so goddamned tired of the hate he breads by making things “legal” or “illegal”. It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever witnessed and I own two cats that are dumb as heck. I can’t believe that someone can be so cruel…so full of hate. I’ve learned today that he is a far worse human being than I ever imagined anyone to be – even the devil himself wouldn’t be this cruel.

In May of 2016, Barack Obama – then US President Obama (please come back!) – administration made federal guidelines that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their chosen identity. Obama let these students be who they were, he realised that nothing made a difference where the person pees. No one wants to pee in public any way.

If transgender youth can be attacked for being who they are why can’t I hit a nazi (no I will not capitalise that, autocorrect) or a white boy wearing a “make america great again” hat? It’s the same deal – except one of these three groups isn’t hurting anyone. I would be more terrified to pee in a bathroom with a trump supporter in it than a transgender person. Why? Transgender people aren’t killing, spreading, and promoting hate. They aren’t taking away humans rights and woman’s rights. They aren’t pulling apart families and sending people – living breathing humans – back into war zones. They just wanna get rid of the goddamned water they drank earlier for f*cks sake.

His whole ploy was to create jobs. That was his focus and his main goal if elected. You want to know what jobs he’s created? Hospitals will see more fight related injuries among transgender, black, mexican, latino, hispanic, muslim, islamic, lesbian, gay, and other minority groups being beaten by bullies. The hospital walls will see more suicide attempts because of bullying. I bet his supporters didn’t think these were the jobs he meant. Wake up Bob, he doesn’t give a shit about you and your suburban family with soccer on the weekends. He has an agenda and you were simply a pawn that will be sacrificed among the play. Hurry up – wake up and realise this, then join the resistance.

And yet people STILL stand by it. They still support him and wear their hats and shirts and crap not even made in the USA as if it were something to be proud of – a badge of honour. I hope you still feel pride when your neighbour weeps for their dead child because you wouldn’t let her pee in the girls toilet. Or when your boss comes to work beaten and bruised because they had the ‘audacity’ to be black. Or Muslim. Or a woman. Or gay. I hope you still feel pride when your own child looks at you with eyes full of innocence and trust as you spread hate and pain. I hope you still feel so goddamned proud when you are standing among a mass grave. Because, at this rate, you inevitably will. I hope you still feel proud when he screws you over. He never cared about you I just wish you could have seen that before November.

Is this my most aggressive and vulgar post yet? Yes. Will it be my last? God I hope so. But at the rate this presidency is progressing…this is as tame as it will ever be again. I am mad, and I am not going to be sorry for it. I have every right to be angry. These kids, people, and humans deserve more than what they have. They are supposed to be protected. My heart aches when I think of all those that fought so hard to get where we are, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Martin Luther King Jr, and so many more seeing the hell that has become the US. My heart aches when I know how alone these transgender youth may feel seeing trump supporters yelling slurs and ready for a fight. My heart aches because I cannot hide them all in my home and give them the acceptance and love they deserve. I am broken, and tired, and exhausted of feeling the same pain each day as I see the world trump is creating. But I am not going to stop. We are not going to stop.

“Nevertheless, she persisted”


If you are a transgender student, or even just a transgender human being existing in this hateful world, please know you are not alone. Please know that there are people on your side and fighting for you. Do not give up. You deserve to live and you deserve to be given human rights. I am so sorry for the way this has gone down, but it’s not nearly over. We will fight for your rights once again and we will make sure you are loved and treated with the respect and dignity every human deserves.


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How Does Hatred Rise to Power?

We have seen this rise before. We have seen a man with an agenda, a false agenda, come into power and have the nations hanging onto the words like gospel. World War II, Hitlers “claim to fame”, was one of the most shocking instances where power and desperation proved fatal.

We are seeing the same signs arise with America’s new supposed leader. Will Donald ever reach the heights and genocide numbers that Hitler did? I don’t believe so. The technology of today is far advanced and gives the world a better look into what is happening. We as humans have evolved too. We are beginning to question everything we are told. While I do believe damage will be done, and lives will be lost, I don’t believe it will be on the scale of World War II.

How does someone so horrible and mean become crowned a hero to many? Do the imitations, slurs, and derogatory words mean nothing or are they blinded by the falsehood of promises? Probably both. I want to believe it’s solely the former but these past few months have shown me some people are still bred among hatred and believe that hate is the way through.

People want an answer for why their jobs are disappearing. Why are so many people getting laid off and losing jobs? Donald claims it’s the immigrants, but they are in the same boat. What is it really? It’s not a simple answer but he’s provided a simple answer and that’s what the people love. Even if it’s wrong.

People are out here asking “well who took our jobs? Where have our jobs gone?” Donald said the immigrants did. But they didn’t. They are not responsible for the decline in job openings and opportunities. You want to know who took the jobs? The technology we created. We’ve been fortunate enough to create computers small enough to fit in our pockets but with that means we have created technology that can outsmart and outperform us as humans. While it’s exciting and new and revolutionary, it also poses a problem for us as humans. It means we now have technology that does twice the work, for half the price of as a human.

And on top of this, people and companies have gotten greedy. They are raising prices so their pockets get bigger. People EXACTLY like Donald and his friends – his cabinet full of rich, white, men. They sit idly by as their pockets grow and yours shrink. It’s not a simple answer to who took our jobs and why we are struggling to survive. But we want a simple answer. We want someone to blame. Donald provided that – albeit false – and the people ate it up.

It’s exactly what we saw in World War II, people wanted to know who had caused the problems they were facing and there was no answer. There was not a simple answer but the people wanted one. Hitler provided one . It was a lie, it was false, but it was someone to blame – nothing else mattered. They couldn’t have cared less WHO created the problem, Hitler could have said anyone. But Hitler had an agenda, and the people wanted a person to hang.

Just like today. We want someone to blame but don’t want to admit it’s just what happens when we grow as a world. What happens when we progress with technology. And we definitely don’t want to admit we are being cheated by others. So we believe the lie. We believe it because it’s simple and it’s convenient.

People would sit in history class learning about the second world war, thinking ‘how the hell could they let this happen?’ ‘how did they let a man with such hatred come to power?’ Well look around you. We are in the same position. We have let a man of hatred come to power. He has an agenda other than helping the people. We are at the beginnings of World War II. You asked yourself how it could happen, how could they be so naive? Ask yourself now, how could we be so naive? How did we let a man of hatred come into power? How the hell did we let our worst moments of history become a repeat performance?

People wanted an answer to an unanswerable question. People wanted answers and someone with an agenda of hate provided them. We must learn from our past and our history. We cannot let hatred win.


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We Are All Immigrants.

On the 27th of January, american president Trump made a law that refused entry to the United States from seven countries if they were not 100% american residents. The law was created as part of his attempts to stop immigrants from coming into America. It resulted in many people that had been citizens of America being denied entry back into the states.

The law was a direct attack on the Muslim faith and those that are Muslim. All seven countries have Muslim as it’s predominant religion. The idea is that stopping immigrants, specifically Muslims, will decrease the amount of terrorist attacks within the United States. What it does not take into account is that no terrorist attacks have been made by Muslim people. All seven countries that are denied entry have never killed ANY american citizens.

The idea that he can only keep certain religions out is very dictatorial. And what makes Muslim’s the target for this ban? Who got to decide that? Why not Christians? Do you know how many Christians have killed american citizens? A lot. Dylan Roof – a mass murderer and perpetrator of the Charleston shooting – was a “devout christian”. Jim David Adkisson was a christian too, he shot at innocent children. Timothy McVeigh, the notorious Oklahoma City bomber, was a christian. And yet a Muslim has never killed any american citizens…

I am devastated by the idea that the president believes he can dictate what religion is good and what religion is bad when he is denying the fact that his own religion is “worse” in terms of killings. I am devastated by the fact that many people were held up in airports for hours on end and refused entry back to the place they call home. Where their children and husband live, where their life is. My heart breaks for those that were put into that position for no reason other than pure hatred and greed of power.

But the real message of this is not my pain and anger over a certain man. It is to remind us all that we are all immigrants. We have all come and sought refuge or home in another country that was not ours. I am an immigrant. I am a European living in a Maori country. My people (Europeans) migrated to New Zealand from Europe. That makes me an immigrant in my own homeland. Humble yourself. Realise that everyone has migrated from somewhere else. We are all immigrants. It’s what makes our countries so great. It’s what allows cultures to adapt, and people to be more diverse. It’s important. Immigrants are important.

Please, it’s so important that you show love and appreciation to these people that are targeted by the new president. It’s beyond important. They have seen enough hate and felt enough pain. Show them that the world is not all bad, that there is still some good left. Don’t let hate win. Be the light in the dark. Love one another and be kind to your neighbour. It really is that simple, but we forget. We forget how easy it is to say “hey look man, I am proud you practice your religion even when you have every reason to be discouraged.” We don’t say enough the kind thoughts we think. So do it. If you think something nice, say it. Even if you think it sounds silly, or cheesy, or boring – it matters. It may be the only good thing they hear that day. Be kind and spread love not hate.

 


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It’s Not Okay.

20th January…the third Friday of the year…the most horrific of them all (and we had a Friday 13th already).

It is the day supposed President elect Donalda Trumpet gets sworn in. We watch as Barack Obama has to leave the oval office for the last time. Our hope of pushing forward is leaving with him.

To those that are scared sh*tless, I understand. I’m scared and I live on the other side of the world. I’m terrified for you. I’m terrified for the immigrants that face the fear of being deported back to a land that is destroyed. I’m terrified for the blacks, Latinos, and other coloured groups that will face racism beyond anything we’ve seen.

When you elect a tyrant, a mean and racist man, you allow hate to prevail. People voted for him with the prayer that they would be able to hate on specific groups of people. That’s what’s horrible about this election. We have seen how many people hate minority groups. We have been shown that the citizens of U.S do not care for disabled people. What should have been the end of his campaign was nothing but a stepping stone. We have seen that the citizens of the U.S do not care for woman – wanting to destroy their rights, the people of colour – being called rapists and other horrid unjustifiable things, and the LQBTQ+ community. Hate won out this election and it’s not okay.

Many voted because he promised to send the immigrants back to other countries. He promised job opportunities that will not exist. Immigrants are not stealing your jobs. We are stealing them from ourselves. We have created an excess of technology that complete the job at a lower cost – forcing many people out of jobs. There was no ONE group to blame. People wanted an answer, even if it was wrong. And Trumpet provided one. Remind you of another time in history?

It is an eerily similar election to that of Hitler. There is nothing that will compare to the holocaust, but this election is headed there. Fortunately with technology and the worlds ability to be aware of the situation in America, I predict Trumpet will not get far in the likes of Hitler’s regime. Other countries will force America to rethink their elected presidential choices. But the fact that we are in this place yet again proves that we are facing hard times ahead.

Sexual assault victims/survivors must watch a man known to think woman are his entitlement and a man with multiple assault claims under his name, woman are forced to watch him for four years. It’s not okay. I weep for these woman (and men) that have been through this and now have to watch a man known for sexual assault change their rights. They have to live with the knowledge that those that voted for him don’t care about woman (and men) being attacked. And they shouldn’t have to. None of this election is okay.

To anyone in the U.S, these next four years are about surviving. About making it through. Do not fear if progress is not made – if it is then what an accomplishment! But progress most likely will not happen in these next four years. You may see rights we’ve fought for be taken away. I want to say it’s okay, but it’s not. It sucks. But you will make it through. You have to. There is a fight on the other side of these four years that we need you for. There is a revolution growing and you are going to be apart of it.

If you need to remove religious items for the safety of your own life, your God will understand. It does not mean you believe any less, it does not make you a sinner or a pariah among your faith. This world is far worse than any God would have ever imagined it to get and people have deterred further from humanity. It is about keeping you safe and alive so that in four years from now – or earlier! – you are here to fight.

To those woman, men, and children that are taking to the citities around them in protest, bless you. You are the strength that so many of us are pulling from. I know many people felt alone after the news, seeing the solidarity proves no one is alone. Thank you.

It is okay to be upset. For all those saying “it’s just an election, you don’t need to cry” well aren’t they lucky? They don’t have to face the fear of losing their family, they don’t have to face the fear of having their medical insurance destroyed, they don’t have to face the fear of walking down the street terrified for their life. They are lucky. But they are wrong. It is not just an election, it is not just a loss of a vote. It is a hateful man being put in a place of power that can (and will) destroy minorities out of pure hatred. Nothing more. And it’s not okay.


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Why I Will Never Be As Happy As I Was When I Was A Kid…

That’s not to say I won’t have happy years ahead, in fact I see many happy years when I am older and settling down maybe with a family, maybe on my own. But my happiest, peak of it all, purest moments are gone. I look at photos of my childhood and I see a child so in love with the world. A child that holds trust in the world and believes that good people exist and bad people are just made up in the stories read to me. By about age seven I had seen and heard of enough bad things to know that the world could be kind, but the people were not.

img_0965I was always a quizzical child – questions being asked by my peers now, I posed as a child. This is not a humble brag, this is a factor in my loss of trust in the world. I was always asking questions and wanting answers, and when my questions where “why is the sun bright?” they held answers. The sun is bright because it’s a star burning due to it’s nuclear fusion (or some other scientific answer). But when I grew a little older, maybe age seven or eight, my questions became philosophical. Why do people do bad things? Why are some bad things excused and others punished? What is right and what is wrong? Who gets to decide that? No one had answers for me. No one had the answers themselves but they didn’t seem to mind. They went about life like it didn’t matter. How could these fundamental facts not matter? They are what makes humans function the way they do. And so my quest for answers began too early. I never really enjoyed things. There were always questions to follow and wonders that never ended.

I remember asking my babysitter at the time if they ever wondered what their life would be like if they were in the place of someone else. Would they still like the same foods? Would they still believe the same things? When you became someone else did everything about your personality change too? And my babysitter thought I was crazy. I remember her tone and I instantly knew these questions weren’t meant to be asked. She said she didn’t know, she didn’t care. Maybe it was her fault, maybe it was mine. Maybe the world is just a horrible place and no one is to blame. But that day was like a knife to my heart and I decided that day to never ask those kinds of questions again. I stopped asking her, held her hand and skipped merrily to the store. It still bubbled inside me though. The question. Still does. But at least now I’m old enough to know that circumstances create personalities. So if you were born in their life, yes, your personality would be different. Maybe you would still hold parts of it, but ultimately you would not be yourself.

My life from then became a big series of unanswered questions that were never even asked. I stopped questioning everything. Did everything that I was told, and stuffed the questions so far down in me that I hoped never to see them again. All the wonder and pure enjoyment from childhood was gone before I even really began. I was having an existential crisis at age five, six, seven – I still am. The one question that

I will never have answers for is the one I keep asking. Why. Why was I the one who had to IMG_0888.JPGhave such philosophical thoughts as a child? Why didn’t I get to enjoy it like others did? Why was I always pondering the greater life? Why me? I’m sure some other kid out there would have been a much better candidate. Maybe a scientist who would have discovered why we exist the way we do. Instead, it was me. A small kid who had no idea what to do, and only wanted to please everyone around her.

I definitely feel cheated from my childhood, but at the same time it was the happiest – albeit shortest – moments of my life. When people talk about their childhood they can mean anywhere from birth until thirteen. When I talk about my childhood, I mean from birth until six. After that I didn’t feel much like a child. I had too big of questions, too much unanswered. I was a kid facing questions adults face today. No wonder I didn’t feel like a kid. If you asked me at the time I would have told you I did. I thought everyone felt like this. I thought these were questions every kid had. Until I grew older and realised that they weren’t. Whether they hadn’t cared or whether they just hadn’t thought about it didn’t matter. The fact is I was a child having adult thoughts and I never got to have questions that had answers. It wasn’t fair. It still isn’t.