Friday, July 31, 2015

Graphic, horrifying details emerge about extent of Jon and Kate Plus 8 editor's child pornography collection

According to North Carolina court documents obtained by, 'Jon and Kate Plus 8' and Duggar editor William Blankinship, who was arrested in 2011 and convicted on two counts of second-degree felony sexual exploitation of a child, had a disturbing collection of child pornography in his possession.

Blankinship is currently serving probation and is in compliance with his 48 month probation terms, including registering as a sex offender, according to North Carolina public records. Contrary to many reports, it is not our understanding Blankinship's plea deal ever included prison time. Rather, just probation.

Warning, the following new details about Blankinship's pornography collection are extremely graphic and disturbing. In an unprecedented move at this blog, they have been obscured by a black background for those who wish to scroll by and not see them. If you would like to read the following, please highlight this passage in order to more easily read it.

The Raleigh resident’s pedophilia collection of images and videos included: *Begin highlighting*

One photo centered on a 1 to 3-year-old girl with “ejaculate” around her vaginal area. In a second picture, a 2 to 4-year-old girl laid on her back, legs spread open, with an adult male’s penis touching her vagina. A third image featured a 4 to 7-year-old female being anally penetrated by an adult male, her hands tied with duct tape. The father and grandfather even possessed a 9-minute video of an adult male having oral and vaginal sex with two 7-11 year old girls.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recap: Couples Therapy episode 10: This ring is a promise to give you another ring, later, at some point. Eventually. Unless we break up.

I'm still playing catch-up on some recaps I haven't done yet and I thought I would start with a really old one, the last episode of  Couples Therapy that I never got around to! Enjoy!

Last time on Couples Therapy. The producers set up a dating profile for Farrah, who promptly became the first woman to ever stump Neil Clark Warren.

There's no box to check on eHarmony for sociopath, which is why one should be cautious when browsing other's profiles. No one can believe Kelsey is still with that pig Wu-Tang much less willing to breathe the same air as him.

Since we've talked so much about regional accents and I find them interesting, I would say that Jon and Liz's regional Northeastern accent is what I would consider pretty typical of the area. It's heavy on the R's and W's, with some nasal notes, and hints of blackberry. Or is that my glass of wine?

Dr. Jenn says everyone has done a lot of work in therapy and that we're nearing the end of the program. Out of curiosity I wonder how much time each couple spends in therapy throughout the show.

Jon and Liz are hanging out again with Taylor and John out back. Jon laughs as he says he's talked to his mom about masturbation. Well, uh, that must be one understanding and progressive mother! Kelsey says she doesn't masturbate, and the other women seem horrified. You don't masturbate???

What? It's work for a woman to masturbate. It requires props, usually, and sometimes charged batteries. Many of us really could take it or leave it, am I right ladies? And, this is about as close to talking about sex as I've ever gotten on this blog. I think it just isn't proper for a good God fearing mumu-wearing lady and her crocs to discuss the bedroom, and I am all right with that!

Lol, Liz says she felt bad for Kelsey, wanted to give her something (a prop, she means?) and send her to a room for five hours somewhere.

Five hours??? Good grief, do you know how productive I could be with five hours? I could do my entire taxes for the year in less time. See, this is what I mean. Female masturbation is work and hardly efficient! John says the mask is coming off Liz. Sure is.

Taylor too claims to be quite the mastermind when it comes to female masturbation. Ew.

Taylor's daughter Kennedy arrives. She's about seven. She's a gorgeous child and looks a lot like her dad. John says Kennedy is a real handful. I bet Taylor probably just spoils her, which is natural when you're parenting a child whose other parent recently died. And also natural when you're a self-absorbed bimbo. They take her out to breakfast.

Kennedy walks all over Taylor and John, talking back and copping a constant attitude, and Taylor's helpless to deal with her. The kid won't even pick something to order off a wonderful menu and is throwing silverware. Yeesh, kids really turn Lord of the Flies right quick when adults let them do whatever the hell they want, it's kind of creepy. Taylor needs help with this and Dr. Jenn knows it.

Back at the ranch, I just realized for the first time I think Taylor's John might be wearing a toupee. How 1992. They see Kennedy off with I guess her nanny. Taylor at least knows her problem with Kennedy is just setting boundaries and that she just wants to take her to Disneyland because her dad died. I get that, and it's really sad, but her dad will be dead for the rest of Kennedy's life and at some point she needs to start having a normal childhood.

Taylor kind of reminds me of Kate the way she talks so negatively about her own child, calling her a tyrant. That seems rather nasty to say about your child even if it's true. Plus, she's a tyrant because Taylor won't parent her, so that's Taylor's fault. John says he's been reluctant to step up and parent Kennedy because he's worried she'll resent it. I think John needs to stop making excuses. This is not a situation where Kennedy has a loving and available father who lives twenty minutes away and John can just fill the role of Mom's nice friend. Her dad is dead and John is the only father she has now. He needs to parent her. Taylor's sure not going to do it.

Well, Dr. Jenn has some rather generous spin on this whole situation, saying that Kennedy acting out so wildly in front of Taylor just means they're bonded. Lol, yes, sure, that's what it is. Thank goodness she has a "but" here, in that Taylor gives her absolutely no structure or expectations or "focused" time with her. Dr. Jenn recommends they spend twenty minutes a day together where Kennedy gets to direct their play.

I completely agree with Jenn that not taking charge of Kennedy is going to create a highly anxious child. That is 100% true. Kids this age crave a parent to give them structure, to say no, to be firm at times--no matter how much they look like they're having a ball running their own show.

John is tearing up and saying this is so very important for Taylor and Kennedy. I like him well enough. He seems sincere.

Jon and Liz are walking back inside and I have no idea what they're talking about, but Jon says something about how he wouldn't be mad at her. They approach Kelsey with a present which is revealed to be the cutest little purple vibrator. Did I just call a vibrator cute?

Kelsey seems to enjoy the joke. Lol, the lesbians are looking on in the doorway saying a woman's body is something to be explored and nurtured. Haha, they are the best.

Jon is cracking up saying Kelsey will always remember he and Liz got her her first vibrator. Hehe, Jon can be a goof.

Woo-hoo, it's Farrah time! Dr. Jenn's going to analyze video footage of a date she had last night. Awesome, love it.

Hey, this guy is cute, if you're into guys who wear scarfs. Oh, he lives with his mom.

Well, I don't blame Farrah for blinking over that.

You can tell Farrah is trying so hard to act like how a normal caring person acts, saying she's sorry about his sick grandma and that it's too bad he and his son's mother couldn't make it work. Her eyes betray that not only is she not sorry but she doesn't even understand sorry, but she gets an A for effort.

I hate when people say "you guys'es." God, it's just a terrible butchering.

Whoa, date's going south fast. They haven't even gotten their waters yet and this guy launches into some long thing about how bitches are just as bad as guys these days. And, now we know why he's single.

Flashback to a string of bad dates. Help. Hehe, even Dr. Jenn is cracking up, this is just....bad. It's, what can I say. You get what you pay for, bitches. Let's get back to this awful date.

The guy brings up that Farrah is from Chatsworth and then starts laughing. Is it sad I know exactly what he is laughing about before he ever explains? I guess it's because I'm local. Chatsworth is well known as the porn capital of the world. All the porno is shot there, and if you choose to live there, which is actually a fine choice as it's a very nice (though way too hot) valley community, you will probably be subjected to a lot of teasing the rest of your time there because Americans still snicker over porn like children. Must be our conservative pilgrim roots. Initially I was sure this date was going to say something really douchey like so you do porn for a living? But to my surprise he says that he used to work in Chatsworth, as a receptionist at a sub-studio of Playboy and even got to go to the mansion once. What the F?!!

I think it's kind of funny Farrah is so horrified by this, having done a sex tape, but I don't know, there's something about this that is universally shocking even if you've done porn yourself. I don't care if all you did was staple contracts together and stamp COPY on them, you worked at a porn studio! What a terrible, terrible date. Like a date that gets you to shut down your profile forever and change your phone number date. Poor Dr. Jenn, and she did try so hard to set her up. I don't think Farrah should waste a second of energy being angry over this douche. It was just a bad date, could have happened to anyone. He looks normal aside from that scarf, who could have predicted this?

The guy actually wants her to call him. Dr. Jenn can't stop laughing over that. She said Farrah stayed too long on this date. Yeah, really, I woulda been out of there around about the time he was discussing living with his mother. Hehe, I love Dr. Jenn so much. Dr. Jenn said Farrah worked too hard on the date. She needs to chill. Yes. Also I think Farrah is more awkward than a 14 year old at their first school dance. It's hard to watch.

"You have to say 'ouch' when someone hurts you," says Dr. Jenn profoundly. Shakespeare couldn't have put it better.

Kelsey tells Wu-Tang she wants to forgive him. Dr. Jenn says they've broken up. It's been so long I don't really recall that was official. But I'm glad to hear that.

Naturally Wu-Tang is being the pig that he is and blaming this all on Kelsey. Kelsey calls him out and says had they never come here he wouldn't have told her about that other woman. Wu-Tang then says he forgives her.

Ha, Kelsey's face! You forgive me??? Oh, hell no! She throws something at his chest, looks like a piece of cardboard or something.

Kelsey and Wu-Tang meet one last time with Dr. Jenn. Dr. Jenn says they've both grown a lot. I think that's true for Kelsey but that's quite a stretch for Wu-Tang. He seems as nasty as ever. Wu-Tang still wants to be friends. Quite frankly, I think Kelsey should never see this guy again. He's not just a bad boyfriend. He's a bad person.

Dr. Jenn seems to think maybe they shouldn't have contact, at least for a year anyway. Kelsey, sadly, thinks she's probably open to catching up with him now and again on the phone at some point, asking how he is doing. Ugh. Let it go.

Kelsey said she knows now she needs a man who is emotionally available. Well yeah, that's always a good quality to have in a relationship.

Day 22. The lesbians, the most normal and well-adjusted couple here (take that, Duggars), are outside being cute and talking about cute things like making a bucket list together. One of them says I have one and I've already done something, fall in love. They kiss. Oh gosh, that's sweet.

Jon heads to a jewelry store. He wants to get a ring for Liz that represents a turning point in the relationship.

He meets up with Liz at Cafe Fiore, a delicious casual Italian restaurant in Woodland Hills.

Jon gives Liz one of those speeches that is sounding like it's leading up to a proposal. He keeps telling the cameras he hopes Liz doesn't think this is that kind of ring. Yipe, I don't think a guy should ever get a girl a ring before marriage unless it's thee ring. Of course any woman would think this is it.

Liz opens the box with a little ring and Jon says this is his promise he will get engaged to her. Lol, is he sixteen? What the hell? Well, at least Liz is into rings, her fingers are full of them, so I guess in light of that this makes a little more sense. She likes rings I guess.

Liz reminds me of a tom boy who never grew up. She refuses to cry. She says Jon will be her "best buddy" forever and is a wonderful person. She could picture herself with him forever. As we know now, it wasn't meant to be.

The music selections continue to be top notch. This time they're playing Back to You by Twin Forks. Great one. I love the exposure shows like this can give to relative unknowns.

They all meet Dr. Jenn at a pier to go on a steamboat cruise for dinner. Oh, I love that. Fun. Dr. Jenn says she's proud of them. She wants them to go down the table and toast each other. Ha, who's Farrah gonna toast. "Herself!" Dr. Jenn says. Lol.

Ugh, poor Kelsey has to toast that pig. She is far too generous with him, praising his honesty. Yeah, he was finally very honest about that ho-bag he has been seeing behind her back all this time. Wu-Tang says he knows they'll be friends.

Farrah's happy she found the strength to better herself.

Jon says he loves Liz and they learned a lot. Liz says she's thankful for him and glad they got to share this experience together. They were a nice enough couple. They kiss. Even though it eventually didn't work out, this seems like one of those relationships where no one is ever going to regret their time together. I think some relationships are about finding your forever spouse, others are more about finding yourself. This was the latter.

Sada says she's grateful and wants to be the person Whitney deserves. Whitney says it's been a rocky road but they're dedicated to their marriage. I just love them. Anyone who is still bigoted enough to try to stop a beautiful relationship like this should STFU and turn into a spotted toad forever.

Taylor cries and says she loves John, he makes her feel safe and protected. She sounds needy. John stands up to give his speech. I think it's nice for a man to stand when he's saying something important to the woman he loves. He hands Taylor over some papers.

"Is this a prenup?" Taylor quips. Hehe, she's funny at times. And, all joking aside, get a prenup, Taylor!

Aww, it's adoption paperwork for Kennedy! Oh, gosh, I'm gonna cry! John, you're all right, bud.

Dr. Jenn says Whitney and Sada developed better communication skills. Jon has learned how to be more assertive. I have to say she hit the nail on the head with Jon. Good for her for seeing it. Taylor has learned to move past the trauma of her first marriage. Farrah is a sociopath and there's nothing I can do for her, Dr. Jenn says, throwing up her hands. Hehe, just kidding, she says Farrah's discovered love and acceptance for herself. Yes, sure, that's what happened.

Well, Dr. Jenn believes everyone can find love. Even Farrah? How optimistic of her!

Well, it's the end. It's been an eclectic cast this season and the recaps were a lot of fun. I like Dr. Jenn and I think she's sincere, albeit a savvy businesswoman. It's interesting watching it now knowing that Jon and Liz eventually split, but I don't think his time with her was a waste and I think they both benefited from spending time with Dr. Jenn. I wish he and his new relationship the best of luck.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

TLC cancels '19 Kids and Counting'

After more than a month in limbo, the network decides to officially axe the popular show and says it's committed to educating the public about sexual abuse.

"We spent the past month and a half in thoughtful consideration about what is the best way forward here. It's no secret that '19 Kids and Counting' was a really, really hit show. But we have some other great shows, both on the air and in the pipeline.
"  Marjorie Kaplan, group president of TLC, Animal Planet and Velocity networks.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Recap: G'Day from Australia!

I hope everyone will indulge me in a brief hiatus from our usual posts to do one of my "recaps", this time about my own reality, my visit to the Australia Zoo last week. My reason for doing such a personal recap is because there is a pretty strong connection to our chatter on this blog and this zoo. Number one, Kate Plus 8 filmed some episodes of the show in Australia and had their own spin on what goes on at the zoo which may not have been entirely accurate. Secondly, Bindi Irwin is probably Australia's most exploited child, even attracting attention from legislatures there who are concerned about her welfare, and for that reason alone I think it's interesting to keep up with what that family is up to.

And I guess a third reason is I think you'll enjoy hearing about this as I enjoyed my day there.

I won't bore you with the long details about how I ended up in Australia. The short version is I was given a wonderful opportunity to work here for a couple weeks, an opportunity which also included some leisure time such as a visit to the Great Barrier Reef and a stay on a cattle station, and I couldn't pass that up. This was one of those right place and right time things that came my way and makes me feel very lucky and appreciative. 

So last week I stepped on that 14 hour flight out of LAX bound for Sydney with several other colleagues. I'm not going to lie, that flight was brutal, but there were lots of new movies to watch and enough episodes of Veep to have me giggling a good two-thirds of the way across the Pacific. ("How much would I love to speak my mind on this campaign  Can you imagine if I did that? 'Mississippi is chock full of assholes, I don't trust the Chinese, and I gotta tell you something. I'm not going to be able to pass a single piece of legislation that's really going to make any fuck of a difference in your life.' How's that for a campaign platform?") Going back, the flight was more than an hour shorter which was a difference you could feel. Every hour counts when it's that long I guess.

After a few days recovering from our jet lag in Sydney, where not me but some of us were unfortunately vomiting for a few days (airplane food, we decided) we headed up on a short flight to Brisbane, near where the Australia Zoo is located. We made our home base in the gorgeous seaside surfer town of Caloundra, which hosts an old ship wreck the S.S. Dicky that is probably the most beautiful thing you will ever see at sunrise. A few of us managed to get up to witness it two days in a row. This was the prettier of the two mornings though both were spectacular. 

We planned almost an entire free day at the zoo and nearby koala hospital, and hit the ground as soon as it opened at 10 a.m. the day after we arrived in Caloundra.

My first impressions of the zoo was that it was extremely clean, very large, and quite classy. There was very little that was tacky about it as some attractions like this tend to be. It is of course heavy on Steve, with his photo plastered pretty much everywhere, but the heir apparent Bindi is everywhere too. Overlooking a croc infested creek there's Bindi's treehouse, which you can look at but not actually go up in, and coming later this year is something called Bindi's island. None of us bothered to figure out what that was about. A lot of people were commenting that Robert, her younger brother, is hardly anywhere. Neither is Terri for that matter. The marketing team knows what sells, and that's Steve and Bindi. Some remarked that they felt bad for Robert, who perhaps might feel like he plays second fiddle to his sister and dad. (I suppose it's also possible Robert doesn't want to be a part of this, though I doubt it.)

In the morning we wandered from exhibit to exhibit, just checking out whatever was nearby. We saw the crocs, several different birds, and snakes. They had camels you could ride and a sleepy tiger you could get your photo taken with, which I believe is the same one Kate got her photo taken with. It was kind of funny to see three zookeepers in there with the tiger, the people just sitting there on the ground hanging out like it was the most normal thing in the world. We speculated the tiger might be drugged, but I hope not. We saw koalas, one with a little baby riding on her mommy's back that was ridiculously adorable. Zookeepers were everywhere in the zoo, answering questions and often bringing the animals out of the enclosures for a closer look. We saw one worker actually walking a perfectly content wombat like you might a dog.

They were moving him for some reason. I asked if that's how they always move them and they said yes. Well, that seems more humane than sedating it and throwing it in a crate, as long as it's happy to walk with you.

I have to say I was impressed with the zookeepers. Most of them were very young, enthusiastic, and had the most nurturing touch with the animals. I watched one young woman remove a dozing koala from a tree with such a gentle hand, like a mother might wake up their sleeping toddler. There are also many areas of the zoo that are hands on and encourage you to touch and pet the animals, which Steve Irwin was so big on (and at times, criticized for) and there was always someone nearby to monitor everyone and make sure the animals were okay. I heard a few zookeepers speak up and ask people to step back when they felt the animal was getting too crowded, but I never saw the animals themselves act uncomfortable. The spirit of Steve and how he believed we should interact with wildlife, whether you agree, carries on. 

Now to what I imagine the zoo would consider its highlights. They have a huge enclosed area with a bunch of little kangaroos ranging from about three to five feet tall. They just hop around of their own accord and are perfectly tame around people. We bought some feed and went in and hand fed them. 

It was really fun and the roos had such personalities. I have a hysterical selfie with one where he looks like a silly kid photobombing me. Some of them had babies in their pouches and I saw them kicking in there like a human fetus kicks his mother. Someone else in my group saw one poke a little head out but sadly I missed that. I took a lot of photos in there and I didn't have to approach a roo, they would approach me and mug for my camera. I felt very much at ease in that exhibit. 

There is another similar roo feeding area with a different breed of kangaroos. I think it was Red Kangaroos. They were just as outgoing, but because we stopped by that later they were pretty full and not interested in eating. After that our group all took a turn holding a koala.

It was like holding a sleepy toddler, they were adorable and clung to you instantly. It was very special. I said they looked like sleepy babies, others said they looked like sleepy drunks. Whichever you prefer!

At noon we gathered in the "Crocoseum" for the croc show.

I imagine the show we saw was similar to what was shown on Kate Plus 8. This part was probably the least enjoyable for me. There was a lot of teasing of the crocs with bait and even trainers to get them to come out of the water or do certain things. Shades of Sea World. I did enjoy the birds, who flew very close to our heads.

Australians in general I've found to be honest, inviting, and curious. They also love to tease and laugh and when I asked some zoo staff where the "restroom" was they burst into giggles and said, "Restroom! You don't rest in it!" They just call it "the toilet" there and thought the Americans and their Americanisms were good fun. Which reminds me, the Australians we were with remembered it was the Fourth of July, which none of us expected them to (after all, most of us don't have the first clue what their holidays are or when), and made us a beautiful flag cake. I think most of us cried when they brought that out, it was just so kind.

It was fairly crowded at the zoo the day we went, although to be fair it was the first day of winter break for Australian school children, so it's hard to judge what it would look like on a regular day. The winter weather was beautiful, in the high 60's, with just a light shower in the morning we barely noticed because we were so absorbed in hanging out with the roos.

Australians are also chatty and love to tell you what they think if you ask. They don't have some idea that they best not say what they think to strangers out of politeness, as some cultures do, including to some extent our own. They are my sort of people! I had chatted up several of them throughout the trip and found out some interesting dirt about Terri. I met someone who knew Steve and said he was just as he was on TV and that everyone loved him, but that most people were not too keen on Terri. He found her to be standoffish and was never able to form any kind of friendship with her as he did Steve. I found myself wondering exactly what Steve saw in Terri, since everyone describes him as so genuine, and she as, frankly, a hot mess. Australians are very aware of the criticism of the Irwins and it makes them uncomfortable. The zoo has been struggling even before Steve's death, and the turning point as one Australian thought, was when Steve held baby Robert near a croc. He said from that moment on they never recovered.

Terri is estranged from Steve's father and he has washed his hands of the zoo, however under Australian law he apparently still has access to and sees Bindi and Robert. The zoo staff is, according to those I talked to, quite concerned about Terri's handling of the zoo's finances. This I had heard in the press, too.

Many locals were also vocal that they didn't like the zoo either, in particular the way you are allowed to touch and hold some of the animals. They said if you encountered a kangaroo or koala in the wild (which I did, incidentally, at about 11 o'clock at night I ran into three roos bigger than me--although that's another story!) you should quietly walk way around it or they'll claw your eyes out. I quietly walked around the three I saw! Way around.

At the end of the day a zoo is a zoo and I don't find them particularly necessary, but if you must have a zoo, they did as good of a job as you can with it. I give them credit for getting rid of some of the most exploitive exhibits, like the elephants, even if it were more for financial reasons, and for taking care to hire a staff that treats these animals like their own children. I also know many people who had a stake in the zoo have lines they won't cross. For instance, Steve Irwin's father has been very vocal about his disgust with Sea World. I've been to Sea World San Diego as well and I never felt the level of comfort there that I did at the Australia Zoo. This zoo has its issues, but it was not Sea World.

After a nice lunch in a big food court near the Crocoseum we headed over to the Koala Hospital, which is just a short walk over on the other side of the parking lot.

Here is where my heart just swelled. This is a real living working hospital that takes in injured animals and restores them to health. Many are released back to the wild. If they cannot return safely to the wild they are absorbed into the zoo or go to other good homes. They have it all open for viewing with huge glass windows, and some of the vets were working right at that moment on a sea turtle. You can see in the photo a great example of the gentle, loving touch of the vets. One of the doctors was actually soothingly rubbing the turtle's back. I don't know if a sick turtle responds to a back rub, but it's worth a try. 

The vets came over to the windows to talk to us and show us the turtle up close.

When we were there they were treating several animals including a koala who shattered his pelvis when he was hit by a car. He was doing well enough to rest in a little tree they had set up for him. You could see little shaved spots on his tiny back where they had been working on him. The turtle was suffering from excess air in its body and shell. Apparently a defense mechanism when turtles are injured is to retain excess air, however too much can kill them. There is treatment for it that can help it get better. They did not know how he was injured but guessed maybe a boat.

I'd love to see the zoo focus much more on this rehabilitation, but I suppose the other exhibits help fund this great work. We asked ahead of time if the hospital needed anything, and they said they could use office supplies like post its and pens, and that they could always use new or gently used towels. Well, my group delivered, and brought over from the U.S. with us the motherload pile of supplies you see here in front of one of the vets. I'm very proud of these Americans.

All in all it was a wonderful day, I learned so much, and we all felt so good about being able to help out the hospital with supplies. 

Thank you everyone for your patience while I've been absent from the blog. I'm glad I'm able to share with you some of the cool things I did while you were stuck on the same post! Australia may be a progressive country but it could use some work when it comes to its wifi! It's nonexistent in many places and slow as all get out in most others. Incidentally, one of the few times we had really good wifi was at the zoo (thank you, Terri, for that), but of course when that happened we were too busy seeing the zoo to be online much. Thanks again all you blokes and g'day!