Sunday, August 26, 2007

Children at Risk

"And a little child shall lead them." Some of the horrible news bytes regarding the reprehensible treatment of children drifted across the nation's airwaves this past week. Don't get me wrong, they didn't receive as much airplay as did animal cruelty cases but they received an eighth the time so I guess that is progress. Is it just me or should some people simply be barred from reproducing because they are too selfish, irresponsible, or flat unable to care for a young child in a way that would promote stability and happiness and a productive future for this child? I fully understand that children are most at risk in our society and any civilized culture and democratic government must step in to help save "at risk" kids but can't we recoup from shabby parents the costs associated with their irresponsibility?

Too many times children come along as the result of an adults sexual greed and the cesspool of moral relativism promoting this accepted behavior in our society costs all of us dearly but usually no more than it costs the future of a child. If the taxpaying public must take over for the physical, emotional, and psychological development of the child the ignorant parent(s) should be required to pay us back the FDR way. I want to see them cleaning public toilets, removing weeds and debris from public canals with a shovel and rake, or perhaps spit-shining public sidewalks and roadways with a bucket and brush. These activities have to take place on their time and their dime and not ours.

How many times have you heard the story of a child being seriously injured or dying as the result of being left inside of a vehicle strapped tightly into their seat on a hot July afternoon? The news quote usually reads like this, "I forgot that he or she was in the car." You have to have the most selfish nature in the entire solar system to sputter this ignorant response to law enforcement and emergency response personnel as they remove the lifeless form of a child from an environment that you were responsible to provide them care in. That child strapped into that seat was your only REAL responsibility that day and you forgot? Drag these stupid deadbeats and parental impostors from the scene of the CRIME and lock them into a tanning bed with my aftermarket bacon-curing thermostat attached and see how you feel after about three hours. If you make it you might learn a lesson and if you don't you didn't deserve any better.

How about the guy giving the 10 month old girl a bath. She balked at having water poured over her head to finish the bathing process so he put her in a clothes dryer, shut the door, and turned it on. In cases this obvious the police, neighbors, or any passersby that could ascertain the facts this easily should be allowed by law to proceed with the following steps.

1. Take copious notes during the interview process with this animal. His responses will probably sound something like this, "Ah, yeah I wanted to wash the soap out of her hair but she cried and I couldn't get her hair dry so I thought the dryer must work."

2. Nod in agreement to affirm that you in fact understand his logic from that intellectual perspective and that he must have been at wit's end having been stumped and stymied by a 10 month old baby.

3. Tell him you'd like to move the interview process to a garage, storage shed, or barn as applicable to your particular situation and crush his skull with the largest shovel or blunt instrument at your disposal. Continue until he is no longer able to decide why he put a 10 month old baby in a clothes dryer. If you are unable to decide as to a proper disposal of a worthless carcass, transport it to Michael Vick's pit bull kennels as I'm sure those dogs haven't eaten in awhile.

The terrible predator (Couey) in Florida that terrorized, raped and buried Jessica Lunsford alive was sentenced to death in court this past week. He admitted to doing what he did but as is our process in this slow and skeptical criminal justice system in America, he may live out his natural life in a prison cell wasting our resources so that he can be fed, clothed, and sheltered while his state-appointed attorneys bilk the American taxpayer for more money in his defense during an appeals process. Quite a system, right? At any rate, when a lifelong predator and scumbag does not contest the state's allegations against him, save us some money and give the family some closure post haste. After the judge verbally advises Couey that he has been sentenced to death as Couey stares blankly with that stupid and lifeless expression, a well-oiled trap door opens beneath his chair. The drop occurs so fast the last image television cameras capture is his hair standing straight up as he plunges into the depths. Waiting for him at the bottom of his fall is a very soft, comfortable, and cushy air bag. Just when he thinks that he's survived this treacherous fall, two gates above him and to the side open and bury him with tons of earth excavated from the very yard where he buried Jessica alive. His well-deserved screams are muffled by the pungent dirt choking him into oblivion. "An eye for an eye." The older I get the more I enjoy rereading the Old Testament.

Monday, August 13, 2007

An Old Family Photograph

This blog entry goes out to my Aunt Vonnie over in Circle with my sincerest apologies for not blogging in the recent past. For those of you interested in the identities besides Vonnie and me, her children are on my grandmother's knee and directly in front of her right knee while Aunt Judy's children are situated upon my grandfather's right knee and directly in front of it. The cute little blond guy on Grandpa's left knee is the author composing this piece. I am not sure why my gaze seems to be drifting somewhere out into space but I'm either developing my now current fear of crowds or more than likely I just committed a "doodle" in my snappy polyester leisure pants that my mother had so much fondness for. Dear God I was always dressed like Bobo the circus monkey as a child but mother always reminds me that it was "stylish" in those days. Combine my pants with that bowl haircut and I make the perfect poster boy for a tour guide of the upper Appalachians and its numerous banjo festivals. Do take note of the cowboy boots because THAT would make grandpa proud. He was as western and bronc tough as it gets so I think the boots gave me the pass to crawl aboard his knee. He would have preferred we wear western snap shirts though.
Check out my grandmother's menacing stare directed towards Melissa Marie in her infant state. Grandma had little patience for screaming grandchildren until they reached their teenage years. There is a photo of her holding each of her grand kids with this look and thank God for her that child protective services was in its infancy stages during those years. I think she commonly locked several of us under the age of 8 away in a basement at times because quite frankly it simply drove her nuts. It still shocks me that little Melissa is a grown up mother herself with two great kids of her own. It is a little sad that Melissa's kids are well-behaved because Melissa and brother Ross certainly weren't. In high school Ross was the smartest guy I knew and always the guy in control at parties and other gatherings of miscreant behavior. Ross never lost control or poise; he simply watched and laughed as others did. Their sister LeeAnn was always sweet and just enough older than me that I don't remember many of her mischievous deeds as a youngster.
Next to me on Grandpa's right knee is my cousin Jeff. He too appears to be intellectually enthralled with the moment and cannot wait to scamper away from the picture. Annette is the auburn-haired girl in front of Grandpa's right knee. She is the oldest of the grand kids and as I remember the best behaved and certainly the most poised and quiet. This photo must have been snapped only a month or two before the birth of Jeff and Annette's sister Jody. Jody and Melissa are in the same class and we must have just missed her for this picture. My sister Tara was a year from coming into the picture as well. It seemed like a kid producing competition for a couple of years. Can you imagine Grandma's mood if she had to hold two infants on her lap? I believe that's a photo that may have never happened. Ross would have to sit near me and a physical altercation surely would have commenced. We are in the same graduating class as well but take note of my far superior level of class and sophistication. Ross is wearing a diaper with no pants on! How embarrassing! Even more sad for Vonnie is the fact that Ross still moves through public like that to this day. If you ever gaze upon a lean cowboy astride a dusty sorrel in the Deer Lodge valley and note that the rider is well outfitted except for a pair of Wranglers gone amiss, that's my cousin Ross. Don't bother telling him he's not wearing pants because we think he likes it that way.
Later (in the 80's) Uncle Tom and LeRoy's kids came along. Tom had three boys and LeRoy a girl and boy respectively. If Grandma had to manage this bunch at one time I'll guarantee you you'd see a bevy of Keystone Light cans littering the floor as the edge was taken off. My Mom and Dad added a little chimp (Brittany) in 1983 and Aunt Judy added Trevor around 1989.
Grandpa passed in 1984 and Grandma in March 2007. It's interesting to look at this old photograph with nostalgia and even more interesting to look at the lives and history of those in the picture complete with each individuals progression through the years. We are a close family and I would dare to say closer than a lot of families I've observed over the years. As I grow older it becomes more important to me and I'm grateful for all of them. I just wish we could get Ross to put some pants on in public!