Browsed by
Tag: children

Nancy Nord – oh please

Nancy Nord – oh please

Nancy A. Nord was nominated by President George W. Bush to be a commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for a term that expires in October of 2012. The CPSC is supposed to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. You know, lead. Things like that.

Nord is also the president of Executive Women in Government, a nonprofit professional women’s organization. Sorry, women.

In two different letters, Nancy Nord has asked lawmakers not to approve legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and increase its ever more pathetic staff. She opposes increasing the maximum penalties for safety violations. She opposes making it easier for the government to make public reports of faulty products. She opposed protecting industry whistle-blowers. And of course she opposes prosecuting executives of companies that willfully violate laws.

Hello? Anyone home in America?

The agency has suffered from a steady decline in its budget and staffing in recent years. Its staff numbers about 420, about half its size in the 1980s. It has only one full-time employee to test toys. And 15 inspectors are assigned to police all imports of consumer products under the agency’s supervision, a marketplace that last year was valued at $614 billion.

I am ashamed to share a syllable of my name with Nancy Nord. My mother’s name is Nancy, too. I haven’t felt this bad since people started asking me if I was related to OJ Simpson because of a character he played. Sorry, children.

The very direction of North – what Nord means – is blasting its winds in her general direction.

Anyone who doesn’t think the agency needs more resources “does not understand the gravity of the situation and does not understand the concerns that America’s parents have for the safety of their children,” Pelosi said.

Government Bad. Corporations Good. Yar yar.

Family values? Children’s safety?

Lead, good. Whistleblowers bad.

Good government? Promote the general welfare?

Bah. We don’t need your stinkin’ children.

New Video on Jehovah’s Witnesses

New Video on Jehovah’s Witnesses

I posted a little while ago about the little boy who couldn’t see a future for himself outside of the JWs. All Jehovah’s Witness children grow up this way.

Watch this short new video to get a sense of the kind of message that all JWs – even children – hear ad nauseum. Notice the way non-JWs are presented, and the image of God that they create.

There is no room for love, compassion, or grace in this message.

I’ve heard Jehovah’s Witnesses trying to claim that the Watchtower Society never gave the 1975 date for Armageddon. They did – I remember it – and this video proves it. “Stay alive ’til 75” was something I heard a lot as a kid. People made all sorts of decisions based on this false prophecy, and when 1975 came and went, a lot of people left. There has been a fair bit of historical revisionism since that time, as there has been for other dates that had been given.

This is the kind of discourse I grew up hearing all the time. I thought that I would never graduate from High School before the end of this wicked system of things happened and all the other people were destroyed and the New Order on a paradise earth (full of unified Jehovah’s Witnesses) would begin.

JWs believe that you have to be in the organization to survive the Great Tribulation. They make noises these days about God being the only one to judge, but no JW really believes that. They hear differently all their lives, and they know about the “theocratic war strategy” of lying to the satanic public.

JWs imagine the Last Days vividly – and often – and most would never have the courage to leave the organization, just in case it really is “the Truth.”

Ex-JWs might enjoy the background music on this, including the “From House to House” Sambo remix.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH86vaycH58%20[/youtube]

(Thanks to JB, JME, and Amanda)

More videos about Jehovah’s Witnesses (or resonant with exJWs):



Misplaced Priorities and the Return of the Repressed

Misplaced Priorities and the Return of the Repressed

Republican Culture of Corruption: 2007 So Far is a pretty good list – see any themes?

On this Larry Craig scandal in particular, I’m struck again by how destructive it is when people cannot accept themselves for who they are. There is a strange doubling of the personality. People talk about hypocrisy, but it’s worse than that. It’s worse because it’s a deeper problem than just “not walking the talk.”

People who share the traits that you find irritating in yourself are the most irritating of all, aren’t they? I have a nervous giggle sometimes. I used to have to meditate on Scully from X-Files before giving lectures so that I could be professional about it. If I was around someone else who also giggled when they were nervous, it would be an almost unbearable experience. Even now, when the laughter is a softer thing (it morphed away from the Woody Woodpecker/Horshack sound of my childhood) it is still incredibly irritating to me from time to time – and probably to other people, too. I’ve tried to come to terms with this part of me that I personally find so unattractive. I’m still working on accepting it – and I’ve found the more I accept it, the less intrusive and harsh it becomes – and the less it bothers me when others do the same thing. The more I hated it, the worse it became.

I’ve never understood why sexuality seems to be the most important hot-button issue to so many Americans. We’re a schizophrenic culture in that way – Puritan, and yet… the guests on Jerry Springer. When we have a more realistic and healthier view of sexuality, things are better all around. If you track the relationships between power, religion and sexuality…. more on that another time.

Suffice to say, when you deeply reject part of yourself, the part of you that is rejected becomes more and more important – and darker and more looming. I’m familiar with this dynamic in another way too – it’s a really big problem among Jehovah’s Witnesses. More people are disfellowshipped because of sexual behavior than for any other reason, and at the same time domestic abuse and pedophilia are in some ways hidden and protected. It says a lot about the dynamics of belief-systems and their effects on real people.

It’s interesting that so many high-profile “virtuous” people split out to a seamy side. Jungian therapy would be a good thing… get creative about self-integration.

It’s really no big surprise to me that some of the people who are most focused on being anti-gay are actually repressed homosexuals. And it’s no surprise that some of the big “family values” people are so fond of prostitutes. The more stake you have in appearing to be something you can’t really ever be, the more that the parts of you that you can’t accept come back to haunt you – and it’s always in a darker and darker guise. The return of the repressed.

Larry Craig insists he’s not gay. It’s implausible, I think, but it’s also a measure of how deeply he rejects himself that he takes such an unwise strategy. On the other hand, it really bothers me that he’s being railroaded not because of criminal behavior, but because of sexual behavior. I find it disturbing that homosexual behavior becomes an automatic witch hunt, and all the joking I see is in very poor taste. Is this really what elections should be about anyway? Look at all of the other issues in the list I linked at the beginning.

It really bothered me at the time that Mark Foley could be claimed to have lost the election for the Republicans – not the war? economic policy? any of the other important issues?

Moms mobilize because their children are exposed to lead paint on their Chinese import toys. Good – great – we need mobilized moms! How about holding this government responsible for cutting the funding for the inspectors? What about the issue of child labor in China? Only American kids matter, then?

People in Atlanta have gotten really, really worked up about Michael Vick’s actions. Yeah, he’s a thug. I wish more American athletes were less like pond scum. Yeah, it’s terrible how the dogs were mistreated. But do we see this reaction to American torture policies? Should we put dogs in the cells so that Americans will care?

Americans are exhibiting more and more hysteria and mob behaviors.

We will only get what we deserve if we can’t stop and think and get our priorities straight.

On Angels

On Angels

Children’s views on angels.

I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold.
~Gregory, 5

Everybody’s got it all wrong. Angels don’t wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it.
~Olive, 9

It’s not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to heaven, and then there’s still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.
~Matthew, 9

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else.
~Mitchell, 7

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he’s not much good for science.
~Henry, 8

Angels don’t eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!
~Jack, 6

Angels talk all the way while they’re flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead.
~Daniel, 9

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there’s a tornado.
~Reagan, 10

Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter.
~Sara, 6

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who’s a very good carpenter.
~Jared, 8

All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn’t go for it.
~Antonio, 9

My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.
~Katelynn, 9

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don’t make the animals get better, they help the child get over it.
~Vicki, 8

What I don’t get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.
~Sarah, 7

This email meme was sent by Jacque (thank you!). Haven’t found the source, so I don’t know if any real children ever said these things. Still, these are awfully cute.

Mean, Loathsome Individuals

Mean, Loathsome Individuals

These people – yes, that’s the perjorative phrase “these people” – fill me with bewilderment, disgust and just plain old loathing.

Baby used as a weapon:
In Erie, Pennsylvania, a month-old baby was critically injured when anti-mom Chytoria Graham (27) “allegedly” swung the baby through the air to strike her boyfriend – with her baby – in a domestic dispute. The baby suffers from a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain. Four other children were removed from the home.

Torture of an animal, terrorizing children:
Here in Atlanta, Joshua (17) and Justin Moulder (18) “are alleged to have” bound a puppy with duct tape, then doused her with paint and baked her in an oven at a community center of Englewood Manor Apartments. Then they enticed neighborhood children in to the center to see the dead puppy. Then they threatened to kill the children if they told anyone.

This one is a little more subtle:

Another Georgia Fanatic Wants to Ban Books from School:
Loganville anti-mom Laura Mallory is using every available means to insist that Harry Potter books are banned from all Gwinnett County public schools. She has gone over the head of the Gwinnett school board and presented the case to the state Board of Education. Mallory can still appeal to Gwinnett County Superior Court if this goes against her. She should sit down with the author J. K. Rowling and hear how the first book was written, so that she could develop a working definition of momhood.

Gwinnett County Taxpayer Cost: More than $4,000 – not counting staff time – and rising. MacBeth is next, and the Wizard of Oz, and the Narnia books, and most fairy tales, and….

Mallory is actually being taken seriously in her view that Harry Potter books represent an organised attempt to indoctrinate children in the Wicca religion. “I surely don’t want them indoctrinated into a religion whose practices are evil,” says Mallory.

An evangelical Wiccan conspiracy, yet. Now I’ve heard everything.

Now, what evil practices would those be again? And – oh, let me guess – what’s your religion? Don’t get me started on definitions of “evil practices,” just read some books on history or world economics (unless those aren’t allowed in your house either?).

How about this? You could always be a parent and monitor what your children are allowed to read (under your very limited ideas about acceptable education, literature and religion).

Keep your dour hands off our libraries and schools.

Harry Potter is fantasy literature. Fantasy literature is not identical to pagan belief or practice, Wiccan or otherwise.

If your kids are not able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, then they have bigger problems than an embarrassing mother. Yes, I know, a lot of people have problems distinguishing between fantasy and reality, but let’s just assume there’s a remedy here. You could start with Pilgrim’s Progress, for example (assuming that simple allegory and metaphor aren’t too traumatic for you).

I was raised in a Jehovah’s Witness household, but even my parents did not forbid me to read fantasy. I read Watchtower publications, sure, but I also read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and Secret Garden and A Wind in the Door and The Magician’s Nephew (Narnia) and The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Dune books, and anything else I could get my hands on.

My love of imaginative and challenging works of fiction enabled me to grow and to thrive in ways that would have been impossible otherwise. Oh, and by the way, serious readers rarely have problems passing standardized tests. You learn a lot by osmosis.

Deny quality reading experiences to children at your peril!

I’m going to assume that I know your political party. I’m speculating that if times were just the slightest bit different, you’d be first in line to stone someone to death, first in line to hang a woman accused of witchcraft.

You’re a literalist, more concerned with rules than wisdom or understanding. Wave the flag, sieg heil, whatever.

You’re no better than a puppy torturer or a baby-thrower. You have the same basic lack of empathy, the same disregard for others.

You’re yet another symptom of the decline of our freedom and democracy, our literacy, our wisdom – and yes, our spirituality. The losses that we have sustained in these areas represent a clear and present danger to our country.

I know that there is some way of understanding how people can be twisted up in the ways that these people are, but I simply don’t have what it takes to try to understand right now (Lord, give me compassion…. but not yet.)

I spit in your general direction, you mean, vile, loathsome people.

Bring Mister Rogers Back to Atlanta

Bring Mister Rogers Back to Atlanta

I try to pay attention to recurring thoughts, and I’ve been having thoughts of Fred Rogers for the last few months. Why, I ask myself, am I thinking of “Mister Rogers” – and why now? I don’t often get haunted by thoughts, and I thought I had better listen to myself and find out what it was that I should do about it. I thought – “maybe I’ll watch the show with Ben later on and figure it out.” So I went online to find out when it aired here, only to discover that neither of the public television channels here in Atlanta carry Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood anymore.

Would you join with me to ask Atlanta Stations to carry the show?

Contact WPBA-TV Channel 30 Public Broadcasting Atlanta
General Comments & Television Programming Schedule- Karen Bell
Educational Services Manager, Atlanta Public Schools – Bernice McLean, 678-686-0321

Contact GPB – Channel 8 Georgia Public Broadcasting
General Email
Director GPB Education, Mike Nixon
Education Program Schedule Questions
(404) 685-2649 (Atlanta area) 1-888-501-8960, Ext. 2649 (Toll-free)

Check to see if Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is shown on your PBS station.

I well remember how much those lessons in navigating feelings meant to me. Fred Rogers was a true gem. His kindness was clearly genuine, and he knew how to speak – his very slow pace forced you to listen. When Rogers pretty much single-handedly saved the funding for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting years ago, his testimony gave even Senator Pastori goosebumps. Rogers’ death in spring of 2003 made front-page news all over the country. The Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas summed it up: “Goodbye, neighbor — Mister Rogers was the real thing, on or off the air.”

Jack Dominic, chief operating officer of PBS station WCET in Cincinnati, sent this message to executives at other PBS stations:

A group of about 30 preschool kids marched about five blocks from their school to our studios with a banner expressing their love for Mr. Rogers. The faces of these kids, their innocence, their potential was such a fitting tribute to Fred Rogers, and more than enough for us to remember why we are in this business.

I think his work provides an enormous public service. The messages of kindness and acceptance and understanding and self-affirmation are sorely needed in this city – and across the nation. Obviously, it would be great for a new show to pick up where he left off, but I’ve seen all the shows and it doesn’t exist yet.

I think that children (and possibly adults!) would still respond to this show, and more so than some others that are on now. I know that the show airs on several other stations, and I would like to see it back on here too.

I would like my son and his friends to grow up with these messages of care so that they, and their generation, might help to heal our nation.

Here is Fred Rogers’ goodbye – Bring back Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Recent Posts: