Learning From the Abuse and Death of Jaxon “Jax” Burnette

Jax Burnette

“If the sound of happy children is grating on your ears, I don’t think it’s the children who need to be adjusted.”
― Stefan Molyneux

They say a picture shows a thousand words and the picture below certainly does when it comes to the horrifying tragedy that is child abuse.

Jaxon “Jax” James Burnette

The death of Jaxon”Jax” Burnette was one of those horrid incidents that transcends much of the current political and cultural climate.  People really – and rightfully so – think child abuse is horrible.  People were worked up.  Groups were created dedicated to getting justice for Jax.  So to that that end Facebook groups, comment sections, and all the rest shrieked in anger.

After that it died out – with a few shrieks here and there.  So in this aftermath we need to do some serious adult talk time among ourselves and ask, “What have we learned?”

Probably not much.  In fact, we will probably see this same story again, people will express their noble outrage, and then it is back to the grind. (I understand, I have a life as well.)

If there’s anything I’ve realized over the last few years, it’s that the desire to burn someone at the stake or throw tomatoes at the criminal in stocks has never gone away – regardless of how educated, enlightened, or progressive we have gotten.

We have this ravenous unquenchable desire – almost on the level that fuels our sex, survival, and hunger drives – to be able to point at “villains” and in the process allow us to feel better about ourselves.

“At least I’m not like that guy!”

We need to shame, pass judgement, and feel above them.  Now in the case of Jaxon, those of us who aren’t abusing children are better than those who are not – at least on a moral level. However if we aren’t careful, we could easily be brought down low to their level.  Most people don’t like the idea of that, so they remain perched in their high moral ivory towers.

They writhe with righteous anger and indignation, call for the abusive parents to be taken out an shot, and spout about how shocked they are that something this terrible could happen.  Almost reminds you of how people change their Facebook profile to flag stripes of whatever country suffered yet another terrorist attack. Then they forget all about it.

It should make you question how much they actually care vs how much they wish to be perceived as people who do in their contrived sermons of indignation.  A dirty little secret is that most people don’t truly care.

 

The Mob Isn’t Really Interested in Preventing Child Abuse

The mob – righteous this time in their outrage – entirely missed the underlying factors which created the situations that led to the horrible tragedy that happened to Jax.  No one wants to attempt to understand what was happening to his parents because they fear it will be misconstrued as excusing their vile behavior.

Most of the tips, hotlines, and advice out there are for AFTER-THE-FACT instead of focusing on early stages. It’s similar on how always focus on “healing” the patient, but never on the preventative care to help avoid the injuries, diseases, or conditions in the first place.

Raising awareness about child abuse is useless if we aren’t doing “real talk” with people close to us who have young kids as well.  Because of the danger of social media shame mobs that could cost you your job and future prospects, no one who is about to snap from the pressure and lack of sleep will reach out for advice.

They don’t want to be shamed, nor admit that it’s much harder then they EVER thought it would be or that they had those horrid thoughts in moments of sleep deprived anguish.  If we can’t talk about it without the worry of someone reporting them to CPS, then many of these stories will repeat.

Something I’m now just finding out is that no matter what you do, kids still cry – especially infants and toddlers. If you’ve done everything possible, just let them be.  You aren’t a bad parent.   Instead of trying to be super hero parents, we need to encourage those around us to take a step back when stressed. If you have to put your screaming infant in a car seat in the bathroom for 15 minutes and turn the fan on, so be it.

That stepping back is key to stopping yourself from starting down the dark path to child abuse. Preventing yourself from getting to that path can’t be understated. Just like in Fargo, you can avoid that final woodchipper death by never getting in bed with devious criminals in the first place.

 

The Tragedies

When our second son Nehemiah was born, the hospital made us watch 3 videos about proper care for your infant before my wife could be released. One thing that came up was the case of Jaxon “Jax” Burnette

In conversation about it, a nurse told us that Missouri – where our second son was born when we lived there – had the most incidents of child abuse.  Sure enough in 2013 alone, there were over 61,000 reported cases in Missouri of which 31 died.  Most of the children were all under 4 years old – which is the stage where the most work, patience, and energy is required by parents.

(Note this is not a dig at “Fly-over country” or anyone from the South in particular.  The child abuse epidemic is widespread.) 

Dig back and harrowing stories pop up. Tons of other cases of shocking child abuse.  I’m not talking about spanking a tantrum raging 5 year old or a mother slapping a disrespectful teen, I’m referring to REAL child abuse. Story after story. Some of the ones listed below were the ones that stood out most to me.

  • A 10 year old girl down to 32 pounds, locked into a closet wallowing in her own excrement in a modern day vicious twist on Cinderella. In contrast,  her two sisters were well fed and cared for.
  • A mom beats her 17 month old girl to death and tries to pass it off as death from a spider bite. The terrible bruises around the neck, face, and the rest of the body would undermine her story to the point the police chief said it looked the girl had been in a car accident.
  • In Springfield MO – where me and my wife currently live – a 7 year old boy and 2 year old girl were starved, beaten, tied to chairs, and thrown down stairs. “The toddler was so malnourished, hair was falling out. She had scratches and cuts all over her body. Her feet swollen causing her toes to turn blue.”    How did it get that far?
  • A 37 year old woman sodomizes and rapes a two old boy, while having her boyfriend video tape it.  Obviously this goes way beyond physical child abuse.  The boy will be scarred deeply for life.
  • A 17 year old babysitter burned a 8 month old baby girl with a curling iron. Blisters were on her head, bottom of her feet, and all over her legs. To top it off, the babysitter then said the mom burned the baby girl further with the iron to shut her up.

What do all these cases have in common when you read through them?  How did they ever get to this point? 

“SCREW CHILDREN! That’s the mantra of the world. Instead of burying them with a national debt, shoving them in shitty schools, drugging them if they don’t comply, hitting them, yelling at them, indoctrinating them with religion and statism and patriotism and military worship, what if we just did what was right for them? The whole world is built on “screw children”, and if we changed that, this would be an alien planet to us.” – Stefan Molyneux

A lack of patience, self control, and selfishness.  

Unfortunately, the millennial generation in particular – of which I am a member – is often too busy or consider our futures to unpredictable and unstable to have kids. Some still end up remaining a burden, even after they grow out of their infant stage – an indictment of our selfish culture that excuses it’s loathing for children by contrived hysterics about not throwing more money into education.  (The home environment, not their school is where stability must be established.)

Still, despite various precautions babies happen planned or not.  Thing is they either are born to parents often just one parent these days who don’t really want them, don’t want to adapt their lifestyle for them, or can’t be bothered to have the patience that those first few years of a child’s life demand in high volumes.

So what do we do about it besides shrieking and going back to our normal lives later?

Step Out Of The Shadows

We need to encourage those who are struggling as first-time parents without support to come out of the shadows and to open up.  People will always judge, but plenty of us have or are still in the shoes of those who are new parents that are susceptible to “snapping”. Maybe part of it is pride holding them back from wanting to admit it to themselves.

New parents need to know that they can take a break for a moment.  Leave the room for 20 minutes. Hug each other.  Call a friend on the phone for support.  Maybe even leave the car seat, bassinet, or port-a-crib in the bathroom with the fan on for a bit.

Frustration and Anger are powerful emotions.

Even those of us with the best self-control need to realize we are human and we have to step back at those key moments where you honestly just want to punch the wall, throw the bassinet across the room, or curse the day your child was born.

Step back.  Realize what’s happening. Take a break. Yes, in case people try to misconstrue what I’m saying, child abuse is terrible and wrong. Let’s get to the root to help stop it before it bubbles to the surface.

I’ll give you a personal example from months back when my son was an infant.  I had this logical desire to “fix” the situation and rational methodology to do it.  Of course I forgot as I often do that babies sometimes will cry regardless of what we do.

It’s part of being a baby.  (Start letting them self-sooth from a young age or they might not be able to sleep with you rocking them to sleep!)

I can recall being in a frustrated and utterly exhausted state.  I shouted “Shut up!” at one of my boys. I’m pretty sure I threw an expletive in there.

Moments later after the frustration had been released, I’ll felt quite bad for yelling.  What was it going to do? What were the implications in the future if I was setting an example for them from their earliest years that yelling was how you dealt with frustration?

“They are only babies”, I’ll realize again for the umpteenth time moments later.   Just a few days before that,  I was so agonized by my three month old son Nehemiah loudly and incessantly crying that I simply picked him up, put him in our bed, propped him on some blankets, turned on the fan to drown out noise, closed the door, and went into the other room to get away from it.

Eventually he fell asleep.

Plenty of people will think admissions such as this make you a monster. They don’t.  If said people were honest themselves for once instead of trying to virtue signal some kind of moral high-ground to scold the rest of us from, they’d finally look in the mirror and see the truth for what it is.

None of this stuff comes from out of nowhere. It bubbles. It nags at you. It builds to the point where you are ready to explode.  Well, we need to slowly twist the cap off. Recognizing you have a problem – as they say – is the first step to leaving that stage of denial.

We’ve become a society who doesn’t want to admit weakness because there are plenty of people who only seek your demise or exposing your pain for the rest of the world to judge.

Seeking Support In The Right Places

I’m trying to avoid being political with this post, but I’ll mention one detail.  A close friend of mine mentions how Trump never apologizes for wrongdoing. I suppose he has a point.  However, considering the current cultural and political climate, would you apologize?

“Just apologize,” they say.  Why then does it seem an apology is never enough?  In today’s polarized social media climate, unlucky targets either have to resign from their job, close their business, or much worse.


Side notes:  Whatever you do – DONT post on social media the inner real thoughts you are having at the moment.  People will go after you, despite having similar thoughts themselves in the past. Also DO NOT go to social services.  I hate to say it but government employees and even hospital staff can’t be trusted.

You just never know if someone with a grudge will falsely accuse you or try to make your life hell.  If some bored pranksters on the internet can figure out where you live and send prostitutes and pizza to your house, people with access to your private record can wreck havoc.  Play it safe. 


People don’t seem to want an apology. They want mob justice and vengeance in order to signal their participation in the fervor.  Few things are deemed as bad as todays popular “ists” and isms”, but child abuse is one of them – as is the potential to become the one doing it.

Go seek the help, advice, aid, and support of people who really know you. Go talk to your close friends and family and tell them what’s going through your mind and how you feel like snapping sometimes. They’ve been through it and they can help guide you past it.

They actually care about you and you want you to become the best parent you can be.  Of course they care about your kids and want the best for them, just as you do.

So much of the terrible stories of child abuse we see today all over the news can be pre-empted early.   Let’s encourage people to realize and get the support they need earlier rather than later.

The tough early years of no sleep will pass.  Right now its already being replaced with a new challenge for me and my wife; the constant requirement to watch them as our oldest Julius runs fast and grabs anything he can, and our youngest Nehemiah crawls.

Now we have to be more aware. Just the other day my youngest was trying to eat the rather large crumbs and food – a choking hazard for an 8 month old – left behind moments before my oldest son.

In fact my oldest now knows what “No” means and he either throws himself, gets angry, hits you, or all of the above. Yes, there is a difference between discipline and punishment.We now undertake this new adventure.

Godspeed for all you parents out there.  Support and help is there.

 

 

How Mass Data Creates Scripted Social Interactions In Daily Life

Ever wonder why half the people you talk to when you want to buy something sound like they are reading off a script? It’s because we are.  When I answer yet another mind-numbing phone call at the call center I work at, I have SCRIPTED responses to people regardless of their questions or what they want.

Often, most of these agents have no idea actually solve your problems because all customer service cubicle clones are half-assed sales agents per company orders. They’ll read some scripted utterances off the call flow, and if they are doing their job description, pitch all the products the company has to offer. Forget the actual customer service part.  Usually it’s done poorly because it’s hard to sell to people when they are flipping out that their bill is wrong or that their internet doesn’t work. Still if you don’t pitch, you’ll see the back door of shame peons.

Remember hearing that word “Recommend”? 

It’s the most powerful word in sales, and 80% of the time that you’ll hear it, the buffoonish liars using it don’t know their head from their ass about what they are recommending.

Yet consumer sheeple fall for it all the time. Why is that?

Must follow script.

Because Experts recommend, and people who “Recommend” must be experts. In Weimerica, experts are the modern priests to always be trusted. They whisper directly to the American gods of pills, shitty products, terrible parenting advice, and diagnosing curious kids full of energy with ADHD.  The equivalent skepticism showed toward those religious Sky god believers has yet to be applied to our priestly expert class. Hypocrites, the lot of  you.

We ask mandatory “discovery questions”, and regardless if you have TV or want a landline phone – most people don’t – we will be sure to “Recommend” and “suggest” that people get that triple play package, even if all they wanted was internet.  My favorite rebuttal that they use is that if you call 911, they will know where you are right away.

Sounds like a great reason to pay 30$ + whatever phone tax there is.  That’s assuming we get past the numerous amount of customers who are set on cutting the cord and replacing cable with Sling, prime, Netflix, or a host of online options.   I can only appeal to a customer’s inner escapism so much to overcome the, “I’m not at home enough to watch TV.”

But back to that call flow, because if we don’t, we aren’t following the call flow – and that’s a diabolical naughty.

In a shocking twist, even if our sales numbers are insane, the company doesn’t care if we aren’t following that magical flow they invested time and money in perfecting. 

Saying that call center scripts are harming your company would be like saying that smoking is bad for your health.

This call flow that must be followed because millions were spent by the company I work for paying data analysts to examine how to trick that extra 5% of people into getting a landline.  Even our attempts to “connect” with our customers are superficial, bordering on soul sucking.  The interaction starts with the following drudgery literally anyone can do and that’s the damn point. For instance:

Thank you for calling **********!  My name is __________.  How can I help you set up your services today?

Assume the sale.  The first lesson in sales.

Once again my name is  ______________. Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”

I’m reveling in pleasure over here. I don’t know you, but I’m thrilled to talk to you. I’m your friend, not some random sales person. Feel at ease.  You can buy products from me. You know you want to.

May I have a phone number that we can use to reach with information about your ********** services?

Notice that last word? Services. If you give it, we can spam you with calls later – assuming an order is placed.  It’s dressed up in perfect legal speak.  Like everything else. We are a litigious cursed society filled with lawyers looking to make a buck either on the lawsuit or consulting basis to avoid said lawsuit. Brilliant.  My personal favorite that I have to read off  EVERY DAMN order is:

Can I use the phone number you provided for marketing related information and messages including updates about your installation appointment?

95% of the time this works. If I thrown in a “In case we get disconnected”, its basically 100%. Then again, my vendor’s client doesn’t like that because it gives a bad implication about our service.  What a joke.

We are speaking in riddles and people only solve the part of that riddle that we allow them.  Purposeful misdirect. We are magicians of the illusion. A handful of times people don’t want to give out their numbers because they are only shopping and ruining my numbers – pun intended.  Besides that, this statistical manipulation of the human psyche works wonders. It’s disturbing if you think about it deeply.

That last part of the statement is perfect. It gets you  to focus on the upcoming service you are about to get and not the fact we are going to send you lots of mail. It’s again perfect from a legal stand point, and I’m sure whatever part of the budget they blew on that precise wording has to be followed to the letter.  Can’t have that money go to waste with all the job slashing these days.

The irony is that sales is one of the few jobs you can’t automate away.  If your products sucks in comparison to the competition, silver tongued devils will be needed to ease your worries and present it in just the right way to overcome your objections.

 

Robots can’t rebuttal based on the customers needs – yet.  Corporate still tries to tell to pitch on “Value” which translated without bullshit = “Our products sucks compared to competitiion and is more expensive.”  Again, you might be able to put the right spin on shit, but its still often shit.

Everything and everyone is a damned statistic when it comes to that shit.

People automatically assume manipulation is a bad thing.  If it is, everyone is doing it all the time – specifically all those corporations and governments no one really likes. Every sales agent is being slowly converted into a PR spokesperson, complete with stripping your personality away.

Anytime you buy anything off the phone, a script must be followed to provide the barely legal spin on what the product is supposed to do.  Phrases like Up to“,as much as“, and “enjoy” grab your attention away from the rest of the underhanded mind trickery that is occurring.

Imagine doing this everyday for at least 8 hours.

Your sanity starts to degrade. I don’t even necessarily dread going to work, but answering the next call and saying the same thing – again. Humans weren’t meant to be robotic automatons, but we are a liability for corporations in that finely tuned machine.  You just  never know what we might tweet next, let alone say in confidence. Hell, we don’t even know where all this data gathering itself is gonna lead!

I received a reject from our esteemed quality department where call center agents who are rejects go to feel good about themselves and trip on a limited power high.  Apparently me joking with a customer about their internet speeds being so fast they should rent some to their neighbors for a monthly fee was “unprofessional”.

So much for connecting with your customer.

Humor must be eliminated, as should actual human connection. That call shouldn’t last over 15 minutes, regardless of what has to be covered in disclosures for quality purposes.  What I find fascinating is that so many of the big wigs and head honcho managers haven’t been agents, let alone spent time on the sales floor taking floods of calls.

Despite this they still dictate what should be said and what we can say.  Half the sales techniques I used to use were essentially banned because my vendor’s employers thought that it gave off the wrong implications.  Placing a pending order – a sales floor staple – gone because some number crunching high up types want to tweak those percentages.

Big data cant analyze those variables. Neither cant the scripts we are supposed to ramble in accordance with. But hey, as long as we cover those legal bases and do some pseudo connections with our customers?

Well, this ended up being a rant.

Bad Habits Start Young – My Teeth Really Hurt

No, its not that bad

THE PAIN!!!! It’s hurts so damn bad.

Severe tooth pain makes you want to perform unsupervised amputations. Crying and screaming while rolling around in your bed now seem more probable. You don’t even care about the same – so much so that you are that close to using that pair of pliers. To hell with all the blood you will need to clean off your baisch floor.

Because of bad habits as a kid, and did I have a lot of bad ones – like rarely taking care of my teeth, let alone brushing them,  my mouth is filled with various cavities and now two broken teeth just waiting to act up.  I have a few teeth extracted and it looks like more will follow.

Thursday night was bad, but I snuggled up under my blankets, and slept off the pain.  Friday night I was not shown such mercy and no amount of Ibuprofen was going to make that pain go away.  I was going to need something stronger. More on that in a second.

Cavities and broken teeth don’t make you go, “Oh that’s beautiful!”.  Good people recoil in shock and horror at such nastiness.  You now know why I never show my teeth when I smile.  Seriously, I don’t show my teeth unless I’m drunk and I’m not aware that my pearly yellows are exposed to shocked onlookers.

A previous dentist actually thought I was doing drugs because of the amount of cavities. I can remember her saying, “Cmon, what is it? Meth?” Nope, just rarely brushed teeth that stand to make you a considerable fortune. No, I’m not a meth head, tobacco chewing addict from the Appalachians and I don’t intend to give that impression off smiling with a toothless grin.

Why can’t getting dental work done – that expensive stuff like root canals, crowns, etc have a similar approach you’d find at a hospital.   There, even if you can’t pay and have no insurance, they still treat you. Sure you’re medical bills will be insane and your credit will be screwed for life, but that flashy smile will land you a gig showing others their teeth just aren’t white enough.

Like most millennials, I should blame my bigoted ist and ism parents who don’t check their privilege enough – specifically my mom.  Well, it’s not her fault. She tried and I just got lazy.  Maybe I wasn’t disciplined enough for my bad hygiene, but hindsight is hindsight.

Over the last 3 days the pain I mentioned has  been excruciating. I couldn’t even sleep at a point. I now understand why people commit suicide – something I have no intention of doing. The pain can be that terrible.

Currently, I have a cracked tooth as well as an impacted and decaying wisdom tooth that causes terrible pain for the left side of my mouth.  I’m rough and tough and wait these things out, but Saturday it was too much.  I went to the ER, got a referral for a dentist, and got some Percocets which I’m currently on right now.

Tuesday came around and I got that extraction. Now I’m on hydrocodone to manage the pain of it.  The older wizened dentist extracted my wisdom tooth in about 3 minutes after he shot my mouth full of lidocaine or whatever it is.

Honestly with my teeth having been killing me these last few days, I’m still lucky.  How’s that?

My mom is staying with us for about two months to help us out with our two sons.  Them being 10 and  1/2months  apart is the primary reason.  I’m lucky I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to do a feeding for our 6 week old son Nehemiah  with my teeth in such pain I can barely stand.

My sons should never feel this pain. I won’t let them.  From a young age I’ll make sure they are brushing thoroughly so they never have a mouth as ramshod with cavities as their old man.

For years I’ve pushed off my dental issues – usually due to a lack of money or dental insurance to pay for it, but I didn’t bother to use mouthwash daily and be brushing constantly to stave off even worse dental wrath.

Don’t be like me kids.  Watch those horrific cavity videos and recoil in fear and horror at those google images. IT can happen to you!  Except you won’t get pregnant and die. Lessons must be learned.

1. Discipline from a young age forms good habits

2. Don’t relent. Your kids will thank you when their teeth aren’t killing them every night.

 

– Tales from a cavity survivor in pain.

The Chicago Meetup with Mike Cernovich And What I Learned.

About a week and a half ago, I had the privilege of interacting with Mike Cernovich  from Danger & Play in person at a meetup he held in Chicago.  I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the train all the way down to the City – specifically Union Station and then hike my way to the Godfrey Hotel where the meetup was at. (Note I’m at the Fox Lake station which is the start of the line so I literally have to ride all the way to end of the line.)

I had never heard of the place before which was about a 30 minute walk from Union Station. The Godfrey Hotel was draped in the aesthetics of modern decor.  It felt rather more comfortable then fancy.  (I should have taken some pictures besides the two I did of Mike and co.) Needless to it had the flavor and semblance of a restaurant/bar, but I still felt like I was on a rooftop loft – perfect atmosphere.

Seriously, look at this place. I feel poor.

There wasn’t necessarily any organized agenda besides getting us to meet other like minded people and network.  Those of us there talked amongst ourselves as well as with Mike about every different topic under the sun. If you weren’t there, you really missed out. That as well as good food and the amount of Sangria that kept pouring forth onto our table.

Something that can’t be stressed enough is how down to earth Mike was.  People – SJWs in particular – might not realize how humble he actually is.   When I was chatting with him there was something he said that really sticks with me about how to deal with past mistakes made online,

“You’re right.  See what I write in the future.”

Hopefully my memory serves me correct for that quote, but that was in regards to having made statements, tweets, ect in the past that we wish we hadn’t.   When this happens the responsible thing to do is to own that history and demonstrate by what you write in the present and future who you are and what you stand for. People are afraid to admit past mistake, and with the internet nowadays I can understand why.  As Mike would say, “Own Your Name.”

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However, the mistakes are there. You can’t really bury them. You must simply admit them and move on. This has nothing to do with apologizing to SJWs – merely that if there are mistakes in your past – you simply acknowledge them and move on.  Alas, you do not back down.

I think this is something Mike realized through #GamerGate.  He is not technically a gamer and has criticized them to some extent before, but he realized the importance of what #GamerGate is to that is  has become the most recent struggle in the culture  wars.

Mike has realized that people are afraid to speak up. To show their disagreement and insist that they as gamers are not dead.  Some of those in Gamergate might not be willing to risk speaking out, but Mike is that champion who is willing to do such themselves and can stand up to the SJW onslaught and twitter mobs.

I must admit, sometimes I lack motivation like a gazelle lacks the ability to escape a lion. It sucks. However, I can’t make excuses as it doesn’t actually solve anything – no matter how valid the excuses may be, the situation has not changed.  Something I’ve realized; surround yourself with motivated and passionate people and you will start to become motivated yourself.   Iron sharpens Iron.