Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm never moving out!

  If you want to see two parents squirm in conflict, let their 17 year old son tell them this.  A coworker recently told me that he is considering selling his house soon as he was just given that threat.  I laughed with him, but noticed a certain haunted look in his eyes.  Then I read this article: (http://moneyland.time.com/2011/09/26/suburban-ghetto-poverty-rates-soar-in-suburbia/)


For well over half a century, the American dream has typically centered on life in the suburbs. A move to the idyllic suburbs—picket fences, sidewalks, cul-de-sacs, the whole deal—has traditionally signified success, a move up the economic ladder. Lately, however, the ‘burbs host millions more residents living below the poverty level than do America’s “poor” inner cities, and poverty rates in suburbia are rising faster than any other residential setting.
According to the Brookings Institution’s recent analysis of Census data, poverty rates rose all over the U.S. during the recession era: From 2007 to 2010, poverty rates increased in 79 of the 100 largest metro areas, and median household income decreased in 82 of the 100 largest metro areas.
But one type of area in particular—the prototypical American suburb—has gotten poorer quicker, and that’s been the trend even before the financial collapse of 2007. The Brookings report states:


A combination of factors including overall population growth, job decentralization, aging of housing, immigration, region-wide economic decline, and policies to promote mobility of low-income households led increasing shares of the poor to inhabit suburbs over the decade. From 2000 to 2010, the number of poor individuals in major-metro suburbs grew 53 percent, compared to 23 percent in cities.


Overall, urban residents are still far more likely to be poor than their counterparts in suburbia: The poverty rate in U.S. cities in 2010 stood at 20.9% in cities, compared to 11.4% in the suburbs.


But the suburbs are catching up in the race to the bottom, and there are currently more suburban residents than city dwellers living below the poverty level. Per CNN Money’s story about the Brookings Institution’s analysis, there were 15.4 million suburbanites living in poverty in 2010, compared to 12.7 million living below the poverty level in cities. Whereas poverty levels rose 11.5% from 2009 to 2010 in the suburbs, they inched up 5% in cities.


From 2000 to 2010, the poor populations skyrocketed in the outskirts of many cities: The Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, and Milwaukee areas are among the 16 spots around the country where the number of suburban residents below the poverty level more than doubled during the decade. During the recent years of economic strife (2007 to 2010), the U.S. suburbs added 3.4 million poor, compared to 2 million more poor people in cities.


  Now, the irony, of course, comes from a great many once "lower income" families who have lived in the poor neighborhoods and such, struggling for years to find that so-called American Dream as they say "oh you poor little rich kid".  And, in an odd sense, it does make a person pause for a moment.  But, consider:
  This trend of seeing the higher educated and better socially placed, for lack of better words, people struggling in this generation could be a hallmark for the whole middle and lower class income brackets to thin into real starving poverty.  Why, well, it really comes down to a line from the 70's, maybe 60's, referring to us as Starship Earth.  You see, we are all in this together.
  I am single, have had some breaks in my life, and so I guess I live at a middle income.  My coworkers range from being similarly blessed to one now homeless.  I have a worker new to us who came from a job making twice what I do only to now be happily working for minimum wage.  And, as we in this economic environment repeatedly tighten our belts, we buy fewer widgets, gadgets, and gizmo's.  We find ways of keeping our vehicles longer, of going out to dinner less often, and of vacations spent at home.  This, I think, is a rolling issue, evolving into a consumer less likely to buy the frivolity of last generation.  That, oddly,rolls into fewer dollars for people employed in those fields, who then spend less to make their ends meet, which..... you get my point.
  That greed is considered a sin is no surprise.  It focuses on only the self, forgetting the community around and the people near by.  Further, it is not something that comes to a positive conclusion but seems to only breed a continuing starvation and need for more greed in that original person as well as those he/she begins to infect.  And yet, that is the economic focus as of late.  As the rich starve the underclass, so very focused on their right as (ahem) "job creators" (?), they seem to forget that the very backs that carried them to their mansions are being broken and losing the ability to carry further.
  So, as silly as it sounds to bemoan the sinking position of the "middle class", America needs that very diversity and market driving force of an economically multi-strata populace. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Who is this woman? Someone to watch.

video

Ma and Pa G.O.P.

I saw this and it just had to be posted. 
You might be a conservative if…


1: You’re irate over the president taking so many vacation days on the taxpayer’s dime (61 thus far), but you thought George W. Bush earned every minute of his leisure time (196 days at the same point in his presidency).

2: You’re happy with your 40 hour work week, paid vacations and company-provided healthcare, but you’re strongly anti-union, because those commies haven’t done anything for you lately.

3: You strongly support the First Amendment and it’s guarantee of religious freedom to all, but you don’t think Muslims have a right to build an Islamic Community Center in Manhattan.

4: You believe Ronald Reagan was a devout Christian, even though he hated going to church, but any president who spends twenty years going to the same Trinity United Church in Chicago must be a Muslim.

5: You believe when a Republican governor creates a healthcare package with an individual mandate for everyone in his state, that’s a good idea. But when a Democratic president does it, suddenly it’s unconstitutional.

6: You’re so enthused about demonstrating your Second Amendment rights, you can think of no finer place to brandish your pistol in public than at a presidential rally.

7: You believe Bill Clinton was responsible for Osama bin Laden’s escape ten years ago, but thankfully George W. Bush caught up with him and killed him in Pakistan.

8: You believe in putting American jobs first, except when president Obama rescued 1.5 million GM and Chrysler autoworkers, because that was socialism.

9: It angers you that you can’t communicate with the Mexican busboy at your local Olive Garden, but when you took a vacation to San Francisco’s Chinatown, you thought it’s quaint that so many Chinese-Americans are holding fast to their traditional language. Because that’s America!

10: You deny that the lunatic who tried to murder Gaby Giffords was a conservative, even though he targeted a Jewish, pro-choice, pro gay rights, Democratic Congresswoman.

11: You thought it was perfectly normal that every president in history had an untethered right to raise the debt ceiling when warranted, but when Obama asked the GOP held congress to do it, you thought it only natural that it be tied to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Usery

What is the definition of usery? 
  Oh, I know, you literalists and lawyers out there will tell me that I'm misspelling the word, that in definition it doesn't even apply here.  But, that word seems to fit for me.
  In life we have trade-offs.  For instance; at my work, I have the expectation that folks will come in to do good quality work and for that I will ensure the best environment I am able to manage.  In the end, we receive a paycheck and we all go home to put the beans on the table. 
  In that above example, I don't care if they are white, black, hispanic, oriental, martian, vulcan, or even heterosexual.  (The government requires a green card for all martians.)  All I ask: be on time, do good work, and treat your fellow worker with humor and respect.  Because, you see, we are making widgets, little plastic pieces of whatever.  The very things that are outside of their necessary attributes for making widgets - which don't play a part in doing their job - are of no concern to me.
  If I were to begin demanding a portion of their lives having little to do with the job be an assumption, there-in making their employment conditional upon continuing that assumption, I'd be a fool.  All I care about is that they show on time, do good quality work, treat their fellow workers with respect.  Well, I try not to be a fool ... and I'm occasionally successful.
  So, what is DADT?  It is that very thing that would make me a fool.  It says that my worker, who shows up on time, does good quality work, respects his coworkers, is only acceptable if I can maintain the assumption that some tertiary aspect is as all should be.  It says that his work and he are of no value to me outside the continuity of that assumption, which has nothing to do with the job.
 People say that the gay and the straight can't share a living space.  That the gay will hit on the straight, that the straight will beat up the gay, that it will be a morale problem.  But, guess what?  The story was the similar about allowing black and white soldiers to serve together.  Seems to be a non issue, now.
  People say that we need our military to be a shining example of the country as it goes into the battle zone and stands a sentinel and a monument to the country.  And yet, they have no idea that what is really shown is a willingness to devalue life, contribution, excellence, loyalty and strength for an image that is unreal.
  It is my understanding that the concept of DADT has ended.  At the moment, I'd like to hold that out as a hope and be happy.  I know little of it as I'm not in the military nor ever have been the citizen soldier.  But, I sure hope it is a good sign for a country far too willing to judge and hold a grudge. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

We spoke of this before, but an update...

Hi Friends;

  I was looking over some old posts and wondered what happened to this boy.  Here is the story, and though it is old, it contains some information I didn't know.
  There are some things I've highlighted.  I think you can imagine my thoughts, so I won't beat the horse.  I can't help but to wonder about it all sometimes.  It's often depressing to realize the depths we sink.
  This type of stuff hurts to think about.  All we can do is love who we have with us for the moment.




Gingerich sentenced to 25 years in prison

Updated: Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011, 7:19 PM EST

Published : Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011, 2:56 PM EST

WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) - A 12-year-old Kosciusko County boy has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the killing of the stepfather of one of his friends.

Today a judge sentenced Paul Gingerich to 30 years with the last five to be served on probation.


Back on April 20th of last year, Colt Lundy and Gingerich shot Phillip Danner, 49, in his home in Cromwell. Danner was shot four times and died in the home. Danner is Lundy's stepfather.

During the setencing hearing Tuesday Gingerich said, "I'm sorry for what happened to Mr. Danner. I'm sorry for what the family had to go through. I did wrong and I'm ready to [take responsibility] for my actions."

It was also recommended that Gingerich take part in the Youth Incarcerated as an Adult program at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. That is the same place Lundy currently is, according to Gingerich's attorney William Cohen.

Gingerich will also get credit for at least 250 days he's already been in jail. Cohen argued Gingerich should get credit for 258 days, saying Gingerich was detained in Illinois on April 21. Prosecutor Steven Hearn said Gingerich was detained, but wasn't technically arrested until April 29.

In September of 2010, a Kosciusko Circuit Court judge accepted Colt Lundy's plea deal and sentenced him to 30 years with the last five years of the sentence suspended. Lundy will serve that time on probation. The judge added that he's recommending to the Indiana Department of Corrections that Lundy be in the youth offender program in the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility until age 18. Lundy will also get credit for the 152 days he's already been in the Kosciusko County Jail.

Lundy pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in exchange for dropping the murder and aiding in murder charges.

New Details from Court:

Judge Rex Reed started the sentencing hearing Tuesday by saying he's reviewed letters from both sides, arguing for the approprite sentence for Paul Henry Gingerich, 12.

In November, Gingerich pleaded guilty to conspiracy to committ murder in exchange for dropping a murder and aiding in murder charge.

In court, Gingerich's father, Paul Gingerich, asked Judge Reed to give his son the minimum sentence. He had requested to give his statement to the judge in person in court rathar than write a letter as others did.

Paul Gingerich Sr. said he is grieving for the Danner family and for his son, whom with he can't rough-house or play ball any more. He asked for Judge Reed to consider his son's age.

"I know what he did ws wrong, but he should be punished as a child. Children follow. They do what they're told. They do not have the moral compass we do," he said in court.

He also cited religion as the center of a moral compass. Several religions, he said, recognize children are different from adults.

"We as adult must make decisions based on morals, not the law. The law of the land changes, not God's law," he said.

Gingerich's attorneys also argued that the boy should be sentenced to the minimum 20 years and that the sentence be carried out in a juvenile facility.

Fred Franco Jr., one of Gingerich's attorneys, said that while the court may have judged his client as an adult, he's still a boy. Gingerich, he said, had never been in trouble before.

"No one knows why he did what he did. Even Paul Henry can't tell you. Why he listened to Colt Lundy no one knows," Franco said.

Franco shed light on new statments Lundy had given to prosecutors after he had been sentenced. In those statements, Franco said Lundy said he had to kill his stepfather because he wanted his divorced parents to get back together again. That wouldn't be possible if Danner was involved. Franco added that Lundy said he had run away from home several times and Danner always brought him back. Lundy said in his statement that he didn't want Danner to bring him back again, Franco said in court.

"Paul didn't know Mr. Danner. This plan was initiated and carried forth by Colt," Franco said.

Franco argued that Gingerich and two other 12-year-old boys were bullied to be involved.

"The boys were afraid of Colt. Colt used to shoot the boys with BB guns," he said in court.

One 12-year-old boy was just a witness but didn't run away with the other three. The other 12-year-old stood watch outside the house and left with Lundy and Gingerich. He stayed in the juvenile system and has already finished serving six months in a juvenile facility.

Gingerich's parents had recently divorced and Franco said Gingerich also wanted to run away.

"All he wanted to do was run away. He made the biggest mistake of his life and he'll pay for it," Franco said.

Gingerich's other attorney, William Cohen, also argued that Lundy is more to blame than Gingerich.

"It was Colt's idea. Colt got the guns. Colt fired first. It was Colt's shot that killed Phillip Danner," Cohen said. "[Paul Gingerich] is a good boy at heart. This young man would not have formulated a plan to kill someone."

Cohen's arguments, however, focused

on asking Judge Reed to recommend Gingerich be placed in a juvenile facility.

"I bet he's the youngest person in Indiana to go to an adult prison. It will be another tragedy to send a 12-year-old boy to adult prison where his safety would be in question," Cohen said. "He would come out so much worse than if he were to go to a juvenile facility."

A psychologist, Dr. Stephen Ross, did an evaluation on Gingerich. Cohen said those results found that Gingerich was a "normal young boy, not a sociopath."

Kosciusko County Prosecutor Steven Hearn said while he wasn't going to respond to every argument the defense made, it didn't mean he agrees with them.

"Nobody remembers when we fist learn you don't take someone's property or hurt them," Hearn said. "Those are core moral values. Paul Henry didn't come from a deprived family. They had core values and I can't believe he didn't know core values and didn't know them at a young age."

He went on to say that there was no real justice or punishment to be had in this case. Justice, he said, is a moral right.

"There is no right in this case. There is nothing anyone can do to correct the wrong to Phillip Dnner," Hearn said.

Punishment, he said, is to correct someone's behavior.

"I don't think this will happen again, so we can't do that either. Whatever sentence the court renders, it's not our place to be happy or unhappy about it. We trust in the State of Indiana," Hearn said.

Details of the Crime:

Police said Danner was shot multiple times: once in the eye, once in the wrist and twice in the chest. Police testimony said Lundy, Paul Gingerich, 12, and another 12-year-old had planned for weeks to kill Danner and go to Arizona to sell T-shirts to "drug people."

Lundy and Gingerich each fired two shots at Danner. Kosciusko County Detective Jonathan Tyler has testified Lundy talked about his plan to kill Danner with several boys on a playground in their neighborhood on April 20. Lundy then went back to his home and got Danner's revolver and semi-automatic handgun.

After Lundy gave a signal, Gingerich, and another 12-year-old boy came into the Lundy house. Tyler said Gingerich went into the home through Lundy's bedroom window and Lundy gave Gingerich the handgun. Tyler continued saying Lundy and Gingerich then went into the living room and sat on the couch and a chair waiting for Danner to come to the doorway between the kitchen and living room. When Danner did, Tyler said both boys fired two shots.

After they fired the guns, Tyler said Lundy and Gingerich went to the front door where the other boy was outside to show him what had happened. Lundy then packed clothes, food, ammunition and fire arms and later that night the three boys left in Danner's car to go to Arizona.

The police investigation stated that there is no evidence of abuse between Danner and Lundy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I saw these pics and they made me think...

 ...about our perspectives...
 ...our beliefs in the possible, and the impossible...
 ...our need to make order of a thing that needs no ordering from us...
...and our need to make things conform to our understandings.

  The worst thing we can do as a people is to look up into the sky and no longer wonder, dream, or try to understand.  Believing we have all the answers necessary for our lives is a self imposed lobatomy, shutting off the aspect of being human that is so incredible:  the desire to understand and the joy of wonder.
  Some time back, in an art appreciation course that I really didn't appreciate, the instructor gave me my one and only A in that course for a paper on a local artists painting.  It was abstract, colorful, and had a great deal of movement.  The assignment:  "what does this picture mean to you?"   I took a cop out on this and wrote "I don't know.  It has me captivated and looking into it for what's behind the brush stroke, and yet I no more than think I've got an answer then I find it slipping away into other questions".    The thing was, I had no idea what I was supposed to write and so I wrote the first things off the top of my head. 
  It's now close to 25 years later and I think back on that picture and the response I gave.  I never understood why I got an A, but I didn't complain.  I still see that picture in my mind at times, and I still have no idea what the artist was trying to convey.  What I do hope, now that I've grown to understand life just a bit better, is that I wouldn't try.  Seeking to look beyond the brush strokes is wonderful, seeking to parrot someone else's understanding is a cop out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Peace?

video

and, a very touching song by Ronan Parke at http://www.milkboys.org/article/jar-of-hearts/ 
see it now while still available.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The institutionalized and politically acceptable face of hate.

Hello Friends,

  I was just perusing "The Price of Hate", a blog I link to via Billy Lucas's shoes picture.  I was watching a video there, specifically this story:  http://thepriceofhate.blogspot.com/2010/11/aiden-rivera-schaeff.html  and I began to think on not only the price of hate, as the blog title mentions, but the manner in which the focus and source of hate seems to be changing.  And, it all stemmed from the vid in which Ava said "no one seemed to care" that this wonderful young man had become so desperate to escape the hate that he chose suicide.
  Politicians were typically known for not wishing to alienate any group lest they lose whatever votes could come from that group.  Lately, things sure seem to be changing.  And, I wonder if this change is not so much due to the politician, or the people he is trying to persuade to vote for him.  One thing that has really stood out over the last three years:  there are a whole lot of people who see President Obama first and foremost as a black man in the White House and feel a great deal of offense at this.  I heard a joke the other day that Air Force One now has curb feelers and spinners.  I thought what would be funny is for the President to embrace these jokes and do just that, but too many wouldn't get the joke.
  Another form of hate that is blatant, and yet hidden in the "focus on the family" bullshit, is the DOMA and other such prejudiced rants.  To blame the gay community for the downgrade of America seems to place a great deal of power in the hands of a fairly outcast group.  As an adult, struggling with my own "ok'ness", this has been felt.  I cannot imagine the manner in which the teens deal with it.  For that matter, perhaps better.
  So, here we are, an America of the Free, as long as you are hetero christian.  The funny thing is, the phrase "yearning to be free..." seems to have no impact on how some will treat others in their own bid to express thier "freedom", including the institutionalized and politicized prejudice and bondage of those that don't fall into lockstep with their same vision of "freedom". 

So, for the record, you republicans and tea baggers:  you aren't fooling God.  Stop the hate in His name.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Daddy's Pride and Joy


Four friends, who hadn't seen each other in 30 years, reunited
at a party....



After several drinks, one of the men had to use the rest room.


Those who remained talked about their kids.

The first guy said, 'My son is my pride and joy.
He started working at a successful company at the bottom of
the barrel.
He studied Economics and Business Administration and soon
began to climb the corporate ladder and now he's the

president of the company. He became so rich that he gave his

best friend a top of the line Mercedes for his birthday.'

The second guy said, 'Darn, that's terrific! My son is also my

pride and joy. He started working for a big airline, then went

to flight school to become a pilot.
Eventually he became a partner in the company, where he
owns the majority of its assets He's so rich that he gave his

best friend a brand new jet for his birthday.'


The third man said: 'Well, that's terrific! My son studied in the
best universities and became an engineer. Then he started his

own construction company and is now a multimillionaire...

He also gave away something very nice and expensive to his

best friend for his birthday: A 30,000 square foot mansion.'


The three friends congratulated each other just as the fourth returned
from the restroom and asked:

'What are all the congratulations for?'



One of the three said: 'We were talking about the pride we feel

for the successes of our sons...


What about your son?'


The fourth man replied: 'My son is gay and makes a living
dancing as a stripper at a nightclub.'


The three friends said: 'What a shame... What a
disappointment.'

The fourth man replied: 'No, I'm not ashamed. He's my son

and I love him..

And he hasn't done too bad either. His birthday was two weeks

ago, and he received a beautiful 30,000 square foot mansion, a brand

new jet and a top of the line Mercedes from his three boyfriends.'



reposted with permission fromThe Dave From 1952
 http://thedavefrom52.blogspot.com/2011/09/daddys-pride-and-joy.html

Friday, September 2, 2011

A very brave man Dances.

Hello Friends;

  There are those in this world who stand up, and in the midst of handling their own issues, their own trials and struggles, declare themselves ok.  They are ok to be them, and it really doesn't matter if Sister Beulah Betterthanyou (yes, that was a music reference to this) and all the others in the front row of the First Self Righteous Church approve or not.  From my little closet, I applaud you Chaz, and I thank you for having the great courage to stand.  In your strength do I find courage for myself to stand, and that is a rare gift to give another....and I'm angry that there are those who would steal that gift.
  The incredible irony of these fools who would thump their Bibles and declare Chaz wrong for even being alive is that, having the surgery, Chaz is now 'heterosexual'.  Isn't that what these Tools want?
  The sad truth is that these wolves claiming to be sheep in God's pasture who go about condemning and screaming about "Christian Values" seem to forget that Jesus, the very Christ in "Christian" only had one moment in which he became angry and lashed out at the people:  when the Temple of God was being used by moneylenders.  Yep, using God's House as a profit center and affiliating oneself with Him as some sort of cosigner for the misdeed is what truly angered Christ.
  Since Christ's other messages were of love for fellow man and love for God, not judgement, not 'standing in the doorway' and declaring who may enter heaven and who may not, I would say that Chaz will be welcomed into Heaven...... and yes, I understand that some do not believe this religion, but bear with me..... and held in Christ's loving arms, and those who would condemn the man for being himself would find a different sort of response from on high.

Chaz;  I hope you Dance