Monday, April 30, 2007

Okay, I'll Take His Brother!

Via The Splatter Zone and MSNBC comes this story with a happy ending. Guys, are we really this interchangeable?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Leadership and courage

Maggie's Farm connects us to this tale of courage and leadership by a high school student in a Wal Mart parking lot.

A Sting On the Perpetrators of the Latest Fraud

The Classical Values blog has photos to show that the honey bees have not vanished.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sauntering Among the Flowers







Hanging out with Linebacker Dude, who is actually getting a tiny bit of appreciation for flowers. Since I won't let him pick them, he tries to blow them, like a dandelion gone to seed. Actually, his favorite thing to do is to wander (saunter, MizzE?) out into the middle of the street to see if I am really correct that the cars will hit him.

It Was Worth A Try!


Today was a special day for our foster daughter, Viola, whom we call Vi Vi. Her relatives arranged for her to be baptised. However, soon after she got home, five-year-old Greg announced, "Dad, the baptism didn't help Vi Vi; she is still hitting people!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Difficult Times

My family has been going through hell for the last week. It all started a couple of months ago, when my stepson, who will be eighteen in August, came to my wife with a request. He told her that he wanted to get some help for the intense anger he felt toward his biological father. My wife, Colleen, made an appointment with a therapist.

In the very first therapy session my stepson gave the therapist details of sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse he and his two siblings had suffered while living with his father. Colleen had been driving weekly from Steamboat Springs, Colorado across two very high mountain passes to her job as a school psychologist in a rural mountain county just west of the Denver metro area. The three small children were left at home with their father, while she supported the family. Colleen and I were married eight and one-half years ago. Her marriage to the children's father ended after an incident in which her first husband was convicted of false imprisonment of Colleen (not allowing her to go to the aid of her crying daughter), (until she whacked him with a hair dryer and got free of him and took the three children to a shelter).

My stepson told his therapist that his father would instruct him to fondle his toddler sister while father watched. In the second therapy session, the therapist and my stepson called the authorities in Steamboat Springs to report this sick S.O.B.

However, my stepson still had more he wanted to get off his chest. He confessed to his therapist that when he was fifteen and his sister was thirteen, he persuaded her to engage in some mutual touching of private parts. Both were fully clothed. He has apparently been experiencing tremendous guilt and shame, and needed to tell someone. It happened only that one time.

The therapist immediately reported my stepson to the police and social services, and demanded that my stepson resign his positon as lifeguard. My stepson has been a lifeguard for over one year. On two separate occasions he has saved the life of a child (two different children). He is very proud of that. He had decided to pursue a career in law enforcement, because he likes protecting people. This lifeguard job is the second job he has held. The other was at a bagel restaurant. In that job he got up at five a.m. to make bagels, and loved the responsibilities involved in the job, as he does the lifeguard job.

The other demand made by the therapist was that my stepson not be allowed to return to our home until the investigation was completed by police and social services. So, for the last six days and nights, my wife has been staying with him in a motel that is costing us an arm and a leg.

His next step is to undergo a "risk assessment," to determine whether he is a low, medium, or high risk to the community. As I understand it, the risk assessment is like a very thorough psychological evaluation. The police detective will file his report to the D.A., who will decide whether to file criminal charges against my stepson. His sister has no memory of the incident that he shared with his therapist. We will be getting therapy for her, too.

My wife is utterly devastated by this whole experience. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us to make wise decisions in the best interest of all of our children.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This Can't Be Good

Ann Althouse links to this New York Times article alleging that our honey bees are vanishing.

Monday, April 23, 2007

White Privilege!

The University of Denver, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Metropolitan State College, Regis University, the Gay and Lesbian Fund, along with several other sponsors, have just concluded a three day conference in Colorado Springs on White Privilege! Among other things, the conference addressed religion and other systems of privilege/oppression.

A Confederacy of Asswipes?

The New Editor links to a story in the Washington Post about some of the more rabid members of the Global Warming religion. Sheryl Crow wants to restrict the amount of toilet paper you will be allowed to use to one square per trip to the restroom.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Cold-Blooded Killer

Here is a New York Times story that gives some details I had not seen about the Virgina Tech killer, whose name I will not mention in my blog.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

New Beginnings On Saturday






More tulips and more gold alyssum showed up today.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Our ACLU Culture Combines With Our Corrosive Passivity

One of the most insightful things I have heard or read so far in the aftermath of the spree by the murdering punk in Virginia was uttered this morning by Bill O'Reilly on the Laura Ingraham radio show. O'Reilly laments the "ACLU Culture," whereby the individual evil person's rights are protected, but the rest of us are at risk. Mark Steyn speaks of our corrosive passivity. A deadly combination!

Today's New Blooms




Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A New Kid On The Block




This little male kid was born this morning. Five-year-old Greg is his owner, and he has named the little fellow "Noisemaker." Noisemaker is a Boer goat. Can you believe how big he is on day one?

Counting Rings


Jon and I decided to go across the street and count the rings on one of the trees that was destroyed. I counted forty-nine rings. Forty-nine years of growing destroyed in one afternoon.

Spring Flowers Still Sprouting



Blue daisy-like flowers growing amidst soon-to-be orange poppies. Purple flowers I dug up from a nearby creek and transplanted a couple of years ago. They will soon be commanding center stage in the curbside garden on the north side of the house.

"Candy!"

Back from visit with greatgrandmother. When we told Dude about visit with grandma, he said, "Candy!" Sure enough, she had a ziplock bag of cookies, and he went to her. When the visit was over he again came running at me full speed with an ear-to-ear grin.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Steyn and Coulter Get In Last Words On the Imus Firings.

As one might expect, Mark Steyn and Ann Coulter each have unique takes on the Don Imus firing; both use humor effectively.

Of Victims and Virtues

Michael Barone is one of my favorite authors. He has written a piece today at Real Clear Politics. It is absolutely the best writing I have ever read from Barone.

Meanwhile, Gagdad Bob today posts about victimhood, too. He, as always, has some unique perspectives on the subject. These two posts complement each other nicely.

Our sincere prayers for all of the people who were truly victims of unspeakable evil at Virginia Tech University.

Destruction





More new life sprouting and blooming. But across the street workmen are cutting down two majestic and magnificent alanthus trees, otherwise known as tree of heaven. Can you see the man high up in the tree? Most of this tree had already been cut down before I took the picture of the workman in the tree. The picture at the top shows the "progress" that had been made by 4:30 in the afternoon.

When I asked why they were cutting down these wonderful trees, they said, "Orders." The orders came from the woman who owns a rental agency. Since the renters allowed the trees to reproduce too thickly, she ordered that the two parent trees be cut down as well as all the baby trees. The trees were not sick; they were so healthy they were reproducing like, well, like alanthus trees! It just makes me ill. The next thing on the agenda is to spread herbicides all over the large property!

Alas, we can now see the half-underground house owned by the rednecks, who have been foreclosed on, after losing out to the yuppies in court. And, we'll have more sunshine, since the trees were directly east of us.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Feelings Versus Accomplishments

Today in kindergarten five-year-old Greg was supposed to fill in the blank with the word "hug." Here's the sentence. When someone is sad, give them a ____ to make them feel better. Greg's word? "job". I guess we are just not putting enough emphasis on feelings. Can you tell whether we are Democrats or Republicans?

The Puppies and Their Mama Find Homes



It is a beautiful Spring day. People are starting to come to buy the puppies. While they look at the puppies, mama dog finds a warm, cozy place where she can also get some nutrition!

The Secret To Happiness

The morning is still fresh, and five-year-old Greg has made a discovery. With great enthusiasm he announces, "The microwave is an oven! You can set the timer just like on the other oven!"

If you can get excited about discovering truth, no matter how small, you are well on your way to a happy life!

The Fine Art of Politics


I listened closely to an interview today by Peter Boyles with former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb. Webb is a master politician, who knows what to say to get reelected again and again. On illegal immigration, he says with deep sincerity, "We need tougher restrictions at the border." In the next breath he says, "We should not have policies that discriminate against an individual because of his ethnicity." That way, he can get the Hispanic vote and do absolutely nothing about the individual who is here illegally and committing crimes. Because of his tough talk about border restrictions, he also gets the votes of other voters. I guess that is the fine art of politics!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Whom Shall We Follow?


Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald makes some good points in writing about the Imus controversy. He points out that Imus has for many years been tearing down people with his humor, yet that has not stopped a long parade of luminaries from appearing regularly on his show. The list includes John McCain, John Kerry, Tom Brokaw, Joseph Biden, Chris Matthews, and Tim Russert. To quote Pitts directly,
Don Imus ought to be ashamed of himself, but no more so than Kerry, Matthews, Brokaw, Biden and anybody else who lacked the wit to understand that the willingness to offend in and of itself represents neither courage nor authenticity. The question is, what are you offending for? If you are pushing boundaries, what are you pushing them toward?

It is painfully clear that Imus was pushing toward nothing, unless you count the gratification of his own ego and misanthropy.

What's sad isn't that he was willing to lead in that direction. What's sad is that so many of us were willing to follow.



So, if we are going to be followers, whom shall we follow? George Will writes in the Washington Post about a man whose courage, determination, and class still stand out sixty years after he became the first black man to be allowed to play baseball in the major leagues. Will points out that
Robinson changed sensibilities, which led to changed laws, which in turn accelerated changes in sensibilities.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson's middle name was homage to the president who said "speak softly and carry a big stick." Robinson's deeds spoke loudly. His stick weighed 34 ounces, which was enough.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Going Around In Circles



My energies are going to tax preparation, so the pack has not expended anywhere near as much energy as they could have if I had not been so preoccupied. Therefore, let's play "Ring Around The Rosie, A Pocket Full Of Posies." Here are the vertical and horizontal results.

The Use of Language


After being gone all morning, I walk into the house around noon. Three-year-old Sara greets me, then asks, "Dad, can I have another popsicle?" I respond, "How many have you had?" She answers, "Well, I haven't had five!"

What do you think? A career in politics maybe?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Blood In The Water

Now that Don Imus has been fired, the media is all abuzz about what is racism. Did you see the O'Reilly program the other night when O'Reilly's producer confronted Joanne Ostrow, the t.v. columnist for the Denver Post? Ostrow accused O'Reilly of "spewing racist bile" because he uses the term "illegal alien." Ostrow claimed superiority because she uses the term "undocumented worker," although now some of her older columns have been dug up in which she used the term "illegal immigrant." The term "alien" is the traditional term that has been used for decades. Recently, however, there have been movies about aliens, and those give the term a new popular meaning. Oh, and by the way, they are often not "undocumented;" very often these individuals who illegally come in to the United States have forged documents in their possessions.

Of course, the left, as personified by Ostrow and the Denver Post, love to group people together under politically correct terms invented by the left. Seeing people as individuals on a case by case basis just does not occur to them. When they refuse to face facts, such as the fact that cities like Denver have a sanctuary policy for all "residents," they resort to calling people who do not use their politically correct terms "racists."

One local talk radio program host, Peter Boyles, says that the politically correct leftists now see "blood in the water," as a result of their victory in getting Don Imus fired. The Denver Post and The Rocky Mountain News are supposedly rivals competing against each other. Yet, today both papers prominently featured the same column by "guest" commenter Bill Menezes. I have never seen both papers feature the same column before in the 37 years I have been reading both papers, so I would say that Boyles is correct in saying that they must see blood in the waters, meaning that they want to piggyback on the Imus firing and get some local scalps, and Menezes cast the net broadly, including local talk radio hosts Dan Caplis, Jon Caldera, Bob Newman and Boyles as people who use "falsehoods and ethnic smears" on their programs.

I do not always agree with Pete Boyles, but I listen to him regularly because I know he is a fearless searcher for truth, as are Caldera, Newman and Caplis. I applaud Bill O'Reilly for not just lying down under the politically correct runaway train. O'Reilly is doing the right thing in pursuing people like Ostrow and exposing them for what they are: people who throw around terms like "racist" when they cannot back up their own positions with facts. It is time for Boyles, Caldera, Caplis, and Newman to fight back like O'Reilly. The claims made by Mr. Menezes are completely unsubstantiated libel. I doubt if he will have the courage to come on those programs and make his false allegations face-to-face.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Homeschooling is a Crime?


As regular readers probably know, I homeschool five of our kids. We use an online curriculum that I believe is very strong and comprehensive. You can imagine my horror when I read this at Bizzy Blog.

The teachers unions in Colorado do not like the growing popularity of online schools, and the politicians they control are trying to come up with ways to penalize parents who make the choice to homeschool.

The left is in control in Germany, and it is in Colorado, too. And what about our Congress?

The World Net Daily article from which this photo of a German student was first shown, says there are over forty other families facing court charges in Germany. This girl's parents are allowed to visit her one day a week, while she remains in custody, after being taken from her home by fifteen swat team officers in front of her shocked parents.

The Real Battleground

Wow! What a storm has been created by the reacton to the stupid attempt at humor by Don Imus. The best thing I have read on the subject is by Jason Whitlock, a black sportswriter for the Kansas City Star. What follows is a highlight from that post, but do read it all here.

I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?

When Imus does any of that, call me and I’ll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you’re not looking to be made a victim.

No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.


Once again, the best writing in America is often being done on the nation's sports pages.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Human Services, Get Your S... Together!

Today was scheduled to be therapy day for Linebacker Dude. Both his occupational therapist and his speech therapist arrived on time at 9:30. Just then the phone rang. It was the Dude's case aide, wanting to know if I could have him to the Human Services Department for a visit with his birthmother by 10:30. "No!" I shouted.

The department is thirty minutes away. The therapy had been scheduled for weeks. The mother abandoned him six months ago so she could "use," then she was sent to prison on a parole violation. Now she is demanding a visit with no notice to the foster parents or therapists. Dude is severely behind where he should be on all tests given to him by the two therapists. It is going to take a lot of work. The mother is living with her grandmother. The grandmother has a scheduled visit next Wednesday.

I asked if the mother could come in with the grandmother. The case aide said no. I asked if she would mind if I called the caseworker. She asked me if I would call the caseworker! I told her I would be glad to do so. I called the caseworker and left her a message that contained no ambiguities.

Monday, April 09, 2007

We Learn More About Obama


This picture of Obama with Louis Farrakan was taken in 1985, when the two of them paid a visit to someone they greatly admired, Libya's dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Via Seeds and Hammers

Humble, Confident, Vertical


Did you happen to catch any of the interviews with Zach Johnson, the winner of the 2007 Masters Golf Tournament? How refreshing it was to see such a humble, yet confident man give credit to all the people who have helped him and to his Lord Jesus, whose presence he felt throughout the day!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Are We Going Overboard On Protecting Kids?

L.J. Williamson writes an article today in the Denver Post that to me is very thought-provoking. She asks if our protectiveness toward our children is being done at the expense of our children being able to learn what they need to learn in order to become productive adults. Here are some quotes from the article.
Which scenario should provoke more panic: the possibility that your child might become one of the approximately 100 children who are kidnapped by strangers each year, or one of the country's 58 million overweight adults?
In 1972, 87 percent of children who lived within a mile of school walked or biked daily; today, just 13 percent of children get to school under their own power, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a significant parallel, before 1980, only 5 percent of children were obese; today that figure has tripled, says the CDC.

Our hyper-anxiety about the safety of children is creating a society in which any outdoor activity that doesn't take place under the supervision of a coach or a "psychomotor activities" mandate from the state is too risky to attempt.


What do you think?

Easter Festivities Update


Jon put together this lovely centerpiece for our Easter meal. It consists of candy eggs, jelly beans, croussants, pieces of cereal, and strawberries.

Meanwhile, we hear cheerful singing in the upstairs bedroom where Linebacker Dude was laid to rest, er,uh, I mean, put down for an early nap. We check. We see something brown smeared all over the room, and we immediately think poop. That would be discouraging, because we thought we had that problem "licked." Alas, no poop this time, just vomit from eating mouthful after mouthful of Easter candy.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Twas The Night Before Easter...



If it is Easter, then we must have a new dress. Even more importantly, we must place our sunglasses just so on the top of the head. Then, it is time for a little bonding with foster brother. The woman on t.v. is someone named Julie Andrews, and she is singing about climbing every mountain and fording every stream.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Truth-Avoiders

The court appoints a lawyer (Guardian ad Litem) to make recommendations as to what might be in Linebacker Dude's "best interests." She comes to see him at our house today. She is showing him a picture book of animals. He is able to say "orsey" for horsey, but when it comes to the lion, he says something unintelligible. She immediately develops a theory that his birthmother (who is Caucasion) must have taught him Swahili (Get it? A lion, Africa, Swahili)!

We, however, think that his inability to talk might be related to being born to a drug-using prostitute who left him in day care "where I knew he would be safe," when she knew she was going to "use." The combination of being born with drugs in his system, growing up neglected and abandoned, seems to us a more likely explanation than Swahili.

The mom supposedly got out of prison yesterday, so we will soon meet the Swahili teacher. Here's the ideology of those who run the child welfare system: birthmothers good; birthfathers, treatment centers, prisons, foster parents bad. Children are all angels. We must just understand them, and let them direct us! Birthmothers must just be given a chance. Even though they have years of history of abandoning and neglecting children, we must just believe them when they say that they "love" their children. We must provide them with taxpayer-funded drug treatment, housing, subsidized transportation and welfare.

Coming up with theories is easy. It is the perfect job for a lazy person. Parenting takes work. Living with at least one other person takes work. Staying in some degree of good physical shape takes work. Looking problems straight in the eye takes work. If you want to turn your head and avoid seeing truth, you can.

Another Beginning To Another Day In The Life Of Foster Parents


Colleen is off with one of the older children to a very early therapy appointment. I'm upstairs with Linebacker Dude and "Vi-Vi". Dude is done with his early morning bath in the upstairs bathroom, dressed, and ready to go. He darts downstairs to wake up three other kids. Do I chase after him, or pick up Vi-Vi and carry her with me? She does the almost-two-year-old thing and runs away from me, so I make my first mistake of the day: I chase after Linebacker Dude to try to prevent him from waking up the other kids. I catch him, but it is too late; he has awakened the other three. Then I hear crying from upstairs. I run up the stairs, and there is Vi-Vi, sitting in Linebacker Dude's bathwater happily drinking her bottle of milk.

A New Day!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Don't Tell My Wife, But I 'm Getting to Like This Little Dude!









It was a cool, cloudy late afternon walk with my little buddy. I didn't have much luck getting him to respond to "No!" as we walked along a street, but we enjoyed our time together. I love his spunk! Unfortunately, he has never found adults to be worth listening to or obeying. He has made some progress, but still does things that are unusual (sticking his hands in the toilet and tasting the urine if someone forgets to flush it).

His mom is being released from prison today, so we will be entering a new phase, as she comes to live with her grandmother and begins visits with her son. She will have to get a job, take some parenting classes, do well on her visits with him, show proof of being drug free, and eventually get a place of her own. She will be able to hoodwink the caseworker, who has done nothing in the six weeks he has been in our home,but perhaps not the Guardian ad Litem, a lawyer appointed to tell the court what she believes is in the best interests of the child.

The Guardian ad Litem is coming to visit him tomorrow, and he also gets his weekly speech therapy tomorrow. He also gets two sessions of occupational therapy each week. The occupational therapist focuses on his skill levels. She says he is already one full year behind in "receptive language" for example, when an adult tries to protect him by telling him, "No!"

If it does not work out with his mom (she has already had her parental rights terminated on some older children), then he will be available for adoption. If we adopt him, he will be the starting middle linebacker for the Denver Broncos in 2027...guaranteed! He is an absolute natural.