Monday, October 31, 2011

GSA's in America - who's really causing the problems?

Posted by Amanda Goad, LGBT Project at 1:35pm (10/06/11) LGBT Youth & Schools, Student Speech

http://www.aclu.org/blog/project/lgbt-rights


Tennessee Principal's Reaction to GSA T-Shirt Raises the Question: Who's Really Causing the Disruption Here?

Chris Sigler is a senior at Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee. It's a tradition among Sequoyah students to get friends' signatures on a keepsake T-shirt, so in past years Chris has done that on a shirt labeled "California" and one with the name of his favorite band. This year, Chris decided to make a shirt that would send a message about an issue that's important to him: the proposed Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at Sequoyah.



Chris is not gay himself, but he has friends who are. Most of them have suffered bullying at Sequoyah, and some of them have considered suicide. Chris himself regularly gets called things like "fag," "queer," and "pussy" by other students just for his support of his gay friends. So it's important to him that all students at the school have a safe place to go to talk about bullying and how to fight homophobia. The U.S. Department of Education agrees with Chris that GSAs, and other student-initiated clubs bringing together gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and straight youth, are a great way to combat bullying and help all students feel safe and welcome at school. And the federal Equal Access Act protects students' right to form GSAs at public schools like Chris's.

The Sequoyah High School GSA should have been a done deal by now…if it weren't for the principal, Maurice Moser. When they circulated a petition to show support for the GSA and got over 150 signatures, students say Moser banned petitions about the GSA at the school. Then, when Chris and two other students put together an application for school recognition of the GSA, Moser wouldn't even take it from them because they hadn't named a faculty sponsor. At least three teachers have expressed interest in sponsoring the GSA but then changed their minds after meeting with Moser about it. We've read that Moser has admitted that in the past, when other clubs needed sponsors, he helped them out – but this time he refused to help.

Chris wrote "Gay Straight Alliance: We've Got Your Back" on a T-shirt and wore it to school last Tuesday and Friday. Dozens of classmates signed. But Friday morning, Moser told Chris that he could choose either to turn his shirt inside out, change shirts, or get suspended. Chris ignored that, because he knew his shirt was fine under the Sequoyah dress code. Later, Moser charged into Chris's economics class, interrupted the students in the middle of taking a test, and ordered everyone except Chris to leave. What happened next is a matter for the criminal justice system. But putting aside the assault and battery allegations against Moser, it's unconstitutional and totally inappropriate for a high school student to be punished for speaking his mind peacefully through the words on a T-shirt. The Supreme Court says that students can express whatever ideas they want through their clothing as long as they don't cause a "substantial disruption," and it sounds like the only person causing a substantial disruption at Sequoyah last week was Moser.

The ACLU of Tennessee and the ACLU's LGBT Project wrote a letter to the Monroe County Director of Schools, Moser's boss, on Tuesday. We asked the school district to confirm that it will, going forward, honor students' constitutional rights to free speech and free expression. If we have to, we are prepared to go to court to protect Sequoyah students' First Amendment rights. Meanwhile, the ACLU of Tennessee is asking concerned members of the public to contact the school district seeking a promise that any teacher who steps up to sponsor the GSA won't face retaliation. We look forward to hearing that a courageous teacher has done so, which under Moser's own rules should allow recognition of the GSA, so that Chris and his classmates can get together over lunch to talk about LGBT issues with the school's blessing.

Happy Halloween!



Ok, I've now missed on all three, but you get my point.  Have a wonderful dentist day!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A blog post/story I believe valuable

Hi Friends;
  I have had some trouble sleeping tonight, though as I write this I'm feeling ready to try again.  In my insomnia inspired snooping and exploring, I came across this wonderful blog and a story that really caught my heart. 
  The author is Davie Magill, and he is 16-17.  I believe this story so well written and heart wrenching.  I have written and deleted numerous paragraphs, finally deciding to simply let his story say it all.

 http://youarenotaloneuk.blogspot.com/2011/04/johnny.html#comments

-randy

pps:  I was unable to make comment to the blog.  If any of you are able, please let the author know that I am so very sorrowful for his loss.  It is truly a lesson for us all.

2nd Try for these darn Halloween Cartoons






Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Boo!

Do we really need anti-bully laws?

video

So?  Is it necessary to add anti-bullying laws to the state books?  Some, like this baffoon, http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/09/19/322730/ca-christian-coalition-bullying/ believe that the bully is just a part of growing up.  And, he's right.  Bullies are a part of growing up.  And, dealing with the bully in childhood teaches us how to deal with the bully in adult life.  The Christian Coalition is quite correct in stating that these things happen.  There is evil in the world, and passing laws to curb evil is not likely to change that.
 
Where are the teachers?!?  Where are the police?!?  Where are the authorities?!? 

  I can hear the questions screaming from your minds.  But, I tell you, they were there.  Oh, you don't see them?  If we look closely at this video, we notice that there are a number of people standing about, waiting on this to occur.  And, given the presumption that most didn't know, we see that even still there was no one standing up to stop this event from happening.
  But, those are students, you say.  Those are other kids.  Those aren't adults.  Those aren't the police.

  Well, that, my friends, is the role of bullies in the world.  Lost you, didn't I.  Sorry.  Here, let's try again....Mister Newman of the above link is quite correct, the Christian Coalition is quite correct.  Yep, they are.  Bullies are part of the world.  Evil is here.  And, no law, no rule, no little piece of paper is going to change that.  You see, the Christians...the REAL Christians, knew that.  That was the point of Christ....the laws of the Old Testament weren't actually working.   

  You're still not getting me, are you.  Ok....here's the end point:  The laws are "we the people".  The police are "we the people..".  The teachers are "We The People..."  And, WE THE PEOPLE OF THAT CLASSROOM SAT THERE AND WATCHED THAT HAPPEN.

Sorry.  Got off my philosophical post a bit.  My great friend tells me "the only thing necessary for evil to succeed in this world is for good people to do nothing".  That bully....he needs his come-uppance.  It will come, and life will likely put one right to the nads for him sometime soon.  The real shame, the real crime, was committed by those other kids who stood there and did nothing while another was attacked, beaten, unable to defend himself.  They lost the opportunity to stop evil.  They don't understand that the love and morality, the decency and the very pursuit  of a real adult in a real civilization  is not to simply sit by and allow the evil of the world to invade.  The definition of  a real man is to stand up and say 'NO'.  The bully is a bully.  He just is.  The others are the ones who need to be suspended.  And, the school administration needs to be expelled.  They are the ones who committed the greatest crime in failing to teach this very necessary lesson.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What do they mean...


 Coming back to the post of yesterday.....  I have been wondering about symbols and words and the things that people live, love, hope and die to create and maintain.  A great example is the current day icon of Steve Jobs.  How will one who has had his hands on the very growth of the technological age be viewed in years to come?  What would change if his legacy, his very name-sake items, become obsolete and trash due to some sort of odd snafu that really has nothing to do with him?  Will his image then be one only to bring about negativity?
  I think on the beginnings of the Republican party.  A party once created in the fight against slavery and seperation, now seems to be one that would consider it again.  Would they?  Of course not.  Their image, though... that is another story.  And, similarly, look at how corporations have divided the populous of the country and seem to be creating a life of their own.  Religions, what should be a safe haven, are repeatedly being subjected to the baser drives of their leadership. 
  Where is this all going to lead us in the future?  What sort of preperation do we consider? 

My post yesterday was not about Nazis.  It was not about the atrocities they committed.  It was about the symbols they took to show themselves one way and created a whole new definition for that symbol.  It was  lead by the previous post about how we judge a book by our expectations....and how those very expectations can so easily change over time.

  What strikes me lately is that we are in a cultural shift where the news of things from around the world effects our daily lives.  Who cheered when learning of M. Quadaffi's death?  Who shrugged?  But we all knew.  How is it that we can know these things?  What forms do our minds put upon the information we learn from around the world?
  What concerns me is not that we have a world news hour, but that we as a creature have a tendency to lump information into mangeable chunks.  Those chunks often have a label on the front, and can be difficult to change.  If we are not careful we allow the symbols of media smart people to manipulate our thinking and very important things can be decimated behind the scenes with our seeming support.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A rose by any other name...


Bear with me, folks....I'm trying to make a point here. 

The word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit svastika - "su" meaning "good," "asti" meaning "to be," and "ka" as a suffix.
Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.
Even in the early twentieth century, the swastika was still a symbol with positive connotations. For instance, the swastika was a common decoration that often adorned cigarette cases, postcards, coins, and buildings. During World War I, the swastika could even be found on the shoulder patches of the American 45th Division and on the Finnish air force until after World War II.
http://history1900s.about.com/cs/swastika/a/swastikahistory.htm

  Ok, shock effect over.  Here is my point:

  Some time back, a DJ from my one time home town lost his job for using what has become known as the "n-word".  His context was in a following comment conversation in which he noted that all groups have some "lower class" who seem to have their own name and culture within that race, even sometimes taking on that designation like armor.  He noted the white folks have the so-called "trailer trash" and/or "red necks", the Mexicans/Latin Americans have..., and the black folks have....    So, in the process of making a point, he found that - perhaps like me - he'd just offended some people without having any intention of doing so.  He lost his job.
  In the recent past, there was a cowboy phrase "you'd better smile when you say that".  And, that particular phrase has been taken to higher and higher circles, finding a position in the way we see each other and the manner in which we deal with other cultures and countries.  Our politically correct culture, our simplicity of politics that have little concern with taking one man's rights so that another can be comfortable, and in the process of it all having the temerity to not only lie to each other but to prefer it to the ugly truth.  The words are precise, polite, but the intent...
  So, now we actually come to my point of the post:  Intent.  There is a great field of psychology and even into other fields centering on Symbology.  What do symbols mean?  What sort of importance do they hold in the culture?  Do some symbols change over time?   And, the answer to that last is Of Course!  Of course the symbols change because the importance to the people seeing that symbol differs by distance and experience.  For instance, the symbol I used above for catching all of our attentions will have an effect on my friend Miles and on Nikki that is likely much greater than upon myself,  and  incredibly different to a person of the prior century.
  So what?  you say.  Well, this:  the video below really brought this to my thoughts last night.  Our looks create a 'judging the book by its cover' phenomenon, but so do our words.  We hear the words - of our politicians, our preachers, our neighbors, and even ourselves - but do we really hear the intent.
  A rose smells just as sweet because it is a rose.  It is what it is.
      Truth.  It isn't because it is a flower.  This to the right is also a flower, and just as the rose, it is what it is....and it stinks like you wouldn't believe.  Pretty, interesting, colorful....and gives a stench of rotten meat.  And, unless it is trying to present itself as a rose, it is just fine being its own creation.      The truth of this is that it is what it is.  That doesn't make it bad, it doesn't make it good.  It just is.  It is my hope in life that I can be so wise as to look at one presenting itself as a rose and hear correctly the buzz of the bumble bee or the bottle fly.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A bit of cuddly love...

Please watch until the end.

video

Kind of deep, huh.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The sky is black!

Of course, it's night time, and the sun has slipped over the horizon, but the context really isn't all that exciting, is it?   Let's be dramatic and proclaim that the sun is gone and the sky is black.  Oh woe!

  Ok, I'll be kind and let you in on the issues that precipitated my little philosophical rant of the day.  I read a story on Milkboys....(here)... in which a pastor again calls homosexuality a sin.  Now, I know that there are some who come here and do not agree with me about God, and that's ok.  But for the record, I believe.  We all get an opinion, this is mine.

  The following was difficult for me to put into something clear and that makes sense without writing a novel in the process.  So, please forgive some leaps where I don't explain out the reasoning so well.  I'm basically trying to make a point...I would be happy to debate in another forum.

  So, a part of the life of Randy that some of you don't know is that at one point I took theology classes.  It was a time of self exploration for me, and I found a great deal of myself in that time.  But, as I was raised a Christian, if not always acting in that belief, I did have a cultural background that helped me to understand the odd curves associated with putting words down to describe what very few have had the opportunity to meet.  And, in that, I guess it's like trying to describe a symphony to someone who is deaf; the context just isn't there.  I understand that, and have come to forgive those who have tried.
  The vid on Milkboys talks about the best used scripture to denounce homosexuality.  And, like my first statement, it requires just a bit of context.  First, the story of Paul...who had to be struck blind by God to get his attention.  He was a lawyer, a bit zealous (in current speak) to be sure, riding herd on a bunch of men who took up Christian slaying as a hobby.  So, knocking him off his ass and blind is likely the only option God had.  You see, Paul thought he was already doing the work God would have him do, as a devout Jew.  Sound familiar with some of our current pulpit pounders? 
  What these Bible thumpers don't tell you is that Paul felt that the body was such a temple that the use of prostitutes was not acceptable.  And, yes, many were using them then.  There were the normal prostitutes we are familiar with still, and there were some who were what they called temple prostitutes, who were used without regard for the cost to the person.  It was just sex, and the rationale was that the giving of the body in such a way directed the prostitute closer to heaven.  
  So, Paul spoke about the use of sex outside the relationship, the couplehood.  He spoke about adultery, fornication, use of prostitution, etc., all of which take place outside a committed relationship.  Hmmm...you never really hear about this part of the scripture, do you?
  There are a great number of pastors and preachers, haters and professional hypocrites, and even some who are quite sincere...all telling us that homosexuality is bad because Paul said so right here.  What they are missing is that Paul was screaming at the top of his lungs that placing anything above God was the problem.  Preachers and believers of the time were justifying all sorts of things in error, still living their old lives despite their profession of belief, and putting those priorities above their relationship with God. 
  So, for clarification...the use of 1Corinthians6:9-11 to denounce homosexuality is out of context. 

I admit to being a bit in the dark...

video
Hello friends;
  This whole "Occupy Wall Street" thing is extraordinarily interesting to me.  The protests of the 60's were beyond my time, and the only things really being protested in my generation were the demise of parachute pants and 'member's only' jackets.  What can I say, the 80's were weird.
  So, when we listen to the news broadcasts and we realize that this is the very heart and soul of America, it is even more interesting to see the modern day royalty be offended by the protests.  Even more interesting to see the paid mouthpieces of the establishment spin this into a coalition of punks rather than a sincere effort to end a very unfair practice. 
  I wonder how callous the powers be that they forget such outcries were the first words of this baby nation, and how that ended.  I can't believe an armed revolution is in the works, but it surely would be interesting to see what happens when the power structure continues to refuse to listen and address these folks concerns.
  Maybe it's time for a real third party in this country.  What do you think?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's not so far

Oh, my child, you just don't see.  The road is before you, one day you'll be free.  I know you feel pain and shame, fear that binds, and you think the only way out is to die.  But that despair, little one, is one hundred percent lie.
  Oh, my child, you just don't see.  We root for you every day, wanting you to believe.  I'd carry the weight for you, I'l share your load.  But the butterfly must struggle to fly or never be so bold. 
  There is going to be pain, struggle and some loss.  But the life you will gain is worth every cost.  Just don't despair, your journey is but begun.  Don't give up, you've nearly won.


Dedicated to all who feel they just can't go live anymore.  We love you.  Hold on.

-randy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Need fulfillment

Hi Friends;

  My mind has been wandering down some odd paths today, but you're used to that.  What I've been thinking on is how our fundamental needs are fulfilled.
  There are some very straight forward needs that all of us have.  Maslow spoke of these, and indicated that fulfillment of them was necessary to advance our thoughts and goals into higher realms.  And, in the most part, our cultures encourage the business community to fill these needs.  For instance, if you are hungry, we have restaurants.  Sleepy - motels.  If you seek entertainment - cinemas and clubs.  If you are needing health care - doctors.  Churches, museums, pharmacies....etc.  The point is that all of these services for one's needs are simply provided in the community.  And yet, aside from all of these professionally administered services, there still exists a very fundamental part of each of us that typically requires some form of expression:  Sex.
  Sex is such a basic and common need, present in all creatures, and yet is deemed a dirty, illegal business.  Where every other common need has institutions in the community to address them, we are left to fumble on our own, or with other often just as inexperienced and ignorant, in the pursuit of this need.  And, I wonder why.
  Most likely, I guess it is morality.  But what are morals but an expression of a culture's values, no more iron-clad than any other culture's values and really not necessarily based on what is logical or rational.  And yet, most cultures are quite pragmatic, maintaining that which works and discarding those things that do not - to a certain degree.  So why is it that such a basic need as sex has been relegated to the back room, the dark closet, the "unspoken"?  If a culture is rational and focuses on what is necessary, wouldn't that include a healthy open approach to sex just as other needs are fulfilled in the community?
  Where does this thought come from, I bet you wonder...or not. Well, I guess I've been somewhat open about my own slow understanding of my orientation and how it is currently lacking in expression.  And, I've thought about the role sex plays in our culture.  I can't help but to wonder if my life would change for the better by being able to procure sexual expression the same way I procure groceries, gasoline, etc.  And, I wonder what sort of changes a more open sexual environment would make on the culture's offenders?  Would the concept of "gay marriage" be so difficult for some to accept?  And, how would young people view themselves if they weren't hampered with overhanging concerns about their sexuality?
  Would we have fewer problems if there were stores offering this service as easily attained as bread and milk?  Or, would we find a whole host of new problems?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I found this fascinating....and just a bit cruel

video

A site you must go see

Hi Friends;
  I just wanted to send you off to see a wonderful site:  http://tomfury.tumblr.com/

He has a wonderful eclectic panapoly of pictures.....hope you like the site.

randy.

I don't know what these are.


How does one bottle something like this?

Huh?

Please notice the originator.

oops

Dammit!  You see what happens when the condom breaks.  "Oh, there's nothing wrong with sex before marriage," you say.  And, "Oh, they won't let us get married anyway," you say.  Well look at this young man now.  Look at him!  Who's going to pay for this child?

Dang kids, anyway.

http://lovethesepics.blogspot.com/2011/10/i-think-these-might-be-fakes.html

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I want you...



I guess the real question becomes:  is war necessary, really?

The essence of life.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The people speak

video
  Ending the issue with "Na na naa - na, Na na naa - na, Hey Hey Hey Goodbye", Geraldo and his foxy friends were chased from the "Occupy Wall Street" gathering.  Why?  Said quite clearly and emphatically by the protesters:  Fox lies.  Now, how does one misunderstand that?
  Bill O'rielly, exemplifies the concept of "selective hearing" when referring to this protest as "anti capitalism".   Fox, ever the bastian of bull, the epitome of about me, the billionaire bootlicker, seems to think that the people who are protesting the loss of the American Dream are simply poor sports.  They refer to the protesters as anti-American, socialists, and I would bet "rapscallions" was used at least once, but have no problem in standing up for the so called "Tea Party", who garner their moniker from the riot protesting the government working against its very citizens.  Fox, once again, seems to embrace hypocrisy.  You have to wonder if they are even aware of their duplicity?
  The frightening thing:  it likely won't matter.  The people who are at the top, thieving, raping, pillaging and plundering from the comfort of their ivory tower,  have no concern over the little people in the streets.  Frankly, that's where they've put many already and feel no compunction about adding to the list.
   http://www.gotchamediablog.com/

Friday, October 7, 2011

What is really unreal


found via google image search
There was a really interesting discussion on Milkboys recently.  (here)  It would appear that Japan is increasing the concepts of abuse to include what was refered to as Manga in the article. 
  Like most reasonably computer literate individuals, I am aware of the anime drawings.  They do have the tendency to go a wide degree of situations and characterizations.  I'm not really into it myself, guess I just missed the "comic book bug" that many have.  So, I guess there is a degree of "whatever" to my response to something like this, until I begin to think deeper on the subject.
  The problem that many people have with the anime stuff is that there is an element, a style of content for some, that depicts sex with seemingly underage people.  It is that type of anime that Japan is referring to as "child abuse".  As you can imagine, there are some who agree, there are some who disagree.
  In the end, my concern really comes by the concepts used to fight the issue.  Referring to the drawings and cgi as "child abuse" and therefore needing to be addressed in the same ways as pornography and assault seems to stretch the bounds of reality a bit.  I'd rather stay out of the concept of abuse for the moment and focus on fiction.
  Now, a cartoon, by definition, is fiction.  It may be based upon fact, I guess, but it does not capture a real likeness nor is it an image of a real person.  So, I think it fair to say it is fiction.  Unreal.  A non person.  Fake.  Imagination.  Fantasy.  Thought.  Do I go on?  And yet, this very definition is ignored and the image declared abuse, imparting a reality that doesn't seem warranted. 
  Does this become a thought crime, handled by the thought police?
  What is the difference between a doodle and a crime?
  Is Michaelangelo's David now to be considered pornography?
  What about written stories?  Are they open to this?

The classification of such images as abuse will have little real effect on me.  It is the end of this that scares me.  If we decry one fiction to be abusive, what's next. 

What are your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homosexuality - Religion - God

Is your religion separating you from God?  Sent to us from Scottie....thanks Scottie :)

How can it be fair to say I can't be saved by God if I'm gay?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/oct/05/god-gay-christian-bible?newsfeed=true


 Please click on the link to read this well thought out post.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A fight that wears me to the bone

Hello Friends;
  One of the difficulties with blogging is trying to make one's blog postings relevant and interesting.  Some like to post a lot, some like to pick and choose, and others like me are still finding our way.  You see, when I sit down and write about an issue, I become immersed into it and quite emotionally involved.  I would never make a good journalist as I'd quickly go batty....er.  So, how does all of this come from me to you today?  Well, a confluence of emails have forced me out of the lazyboy - chair and description - and say some things strong upon my mind.

  The first email is one you have likely seen on Scotties blog.  Our wonderful friend Miles sent this to us in concern, from half-way across the world, of the way that we Americans handle "justice".  His concerns are well founded.  I have included the information from QS2 that Miles sent me, and below that my response to Miles after looking some things up on (dtm)

This is TJ Tremble as he was aged 14. He committed a murder. He was sentenced to “Death in prison” never to be released. He was tried as an adult. Needless to say he did not get to vote like an adult, drive like an adult, drink like an adult or anything else like an adult for the very obvious and simple reason that he was NOT AN ADULT.
There are only two countries in the UN who have not signed up to stopping this sort of sentencing madness. One of them is Somalia.


He is one of many.

Hi Miles;



I am sad to say that I did look up not only the picture but the story of TJ. As you may know, he was charged with the killing of his step father and mother, using a gun, and stealing a car.
He was originally found on the side of the road, intoxicated but stable, with the car in the ditch. He was questioned, aged determined, and ownership of the vehicle determined....upon which the owners, the step father/mother, were found dead of a .22 calibre shot to the head. He was read his miranda, his parents were notified and his room searched. The parents found a ride to the station, and were able to send a message to "come clean" through the officers but were not allowed to speak with the kid. He was questioned without his parents, his attorney, and under the influence of alcohol. Further, it is reported that he was 14.5 years old, but only an 8th grade education, which indicates some being held back in school and therefore we can think about a lesser intelligence as a further factor.


Now for the good news: He has been granted another trial through the assistance of a place called EJI (Equal Justice Initiative) in that the confession should be thrown out.


Michigan has no death penalty. Unfortunately, there is no parole for murder, so he is literally sentenced to die in prison. A long, slow lingering death.
 The irony:  While Michigan no longer sells cigarettes to prisoners, when they still did so, the "men" under the age of 18 who were sentenced as adults, we not allowed to purchase cigarettes.  Why?  Too young.  You have to be 18 to understand the effect of cigarettes and make that decision. 

  You may recall my posts regarding Paul Gingrich. 
This is the picture of Paul as he is being led from the trial after sentencing.  He is 12.  He has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.  A twelve-year old boy tried and sentenced as an adult.  This was in northern Indiana.  Interestingly, just across the border, in Michigan, a 21 year old woman is expecting to do about 6-years for killing her child.  So, a child who allegedly killed an adult gets 25+ years, an adult who kills a child gets 6.  I don't get it.
 
  Melissa, who surely has difficulty getting her wings to fit neatly into her wardrobe, told me about Paul, and she also told me about another boy being given up to the holy grail of prosecutorial aspirations.  Please meet Christian Fernandez.  He is an 11-yr. old 6th grader, who has no understanding of the machinations going now.  I've been so sad to hear this boy's story, and it begins with a mother only 12 years older than he is.  Yep, do the math.
  http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-06-06/news/29648541_1_toddler-bunk-bed-florida-boy
  The story against him is that, left alone with a two-year old brother, he somehow assaulted the little one which, two days later, resulted in death.  The question, of course, is what would have happened if the child was not left with another child, or if the parent had been a parent, further, if the parent had taken the little one to the hospital instead of "wiping his face and putting ice on his head".  
  Well, as you can tell by that poorly worded paragraph, I'm a bit rattled by the enormity of this.  Melissa is working toward another petition and included a link for me to share with you all.    Please click on Petition to go to that. (Petition)
  Now for some good news.  Thank goodness.  Does everyone remember Jordan Brown? 

I'm going to let Melissa tell you in the words that she used to tell me....
 
Randy,

How are you doing? I thought about you and figured I would send you an update. The latest on Jordan is that he is awaiting a trial in juvenile court. Three media sources in PA have petitioned the judge to have an open hearing (juvenile cases are closed to the public in PA) and the judge denied their request. They appealed to the Superior Court and so his trial is delayed for two months. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing - opening the trial to the media. If there is corruption in Lawrence County, like I suspect there is, an open trial is best. It's a tough call. The delay could last up to two months while the other court makes a decision.

  So, if you didn't catch that, Jordan, who was 11 at the time of his arrest and incarceration....close to three years ago now, and still not tried or convicted, is going to be tried as a juvenile.  And why is that surprising...he's a kid!  But, you have no idea the fight that went into getting the courts to see him as one.  All you who signed his petition can be glad knowing that your efforts were successful!  Thank You!!!

  So, what a post, huh.  It's hard to keep the attention focused on it all, and even harder to not allow oneself to become exhausted with the enormity of this trend of treating children as adults at a whim.  I expressed similar to Melissa, and her response was incredibly encouraging.  I'd like to post that below...hope you don't mind Melissa.

Randy,
Some days it is easier to fight these things than other days. Sometimes I have a really bad day and I step back, take a day or two off, and then come back to it. There are a lot of hateful and angry people out there and that makes this kind of work very difficult. But there are a lot of good and kind people out there too - people who want to fix these injustices but don't know how.


I don't know that there is really a choice when it comes to keeping at a fight like this. The kids who get hurt by our justice system really have no voice. I am one of those people who believes that if we see something evil, or see something that is happening that is wrong, we have an obligation to stand up against it. If we do nothing then we are accomplices. I don't want to be an accomplice. I don't want to wait for someone else to do something. I can't fix the world, but I can slowly work toward making it just a tiny bit better...even if it is just by touching a few people's lives. You know, Jordan's case got moved to juvenile court. That's a win. There were so many battles along the way to even get to that point, but that taught me that people CAN make a real difference. Had Jordan been tried in adult court it would have sent the message to prosecutors that doing something like that to an 11 year old is ok. The same goes for Cristian. If I can't get Cristian's case moved I can raise as much awareness as possible so that when he does get his trial it will just take one juror for a mistrial or acquittal.


I know how you feel...I know how reading the news and seeing the injustices and the duplicity in terms of how one person is treated one way and another is treated another gets you down. I have those days too. Sometimes I have those weeks. But if we ignore it and we do nothing it will only get worse. Meaningful change doesn't happen overnight but I believe with every part of my being that change CAN happen.
Melissa
  My friends, please note the links on the right.  Please care just a bit longer.  Melissa's words have really encouraged me to keep on keeping on.  I hope they encourage you, too.