Monday, July 12, 2004

Canadian Couple Jailed for Beating Sons

OSHAWA, Ontario (AP) - A Canadian couple who pleaded guilty to charges they beat and sometimes put their two adopted sons in a cage were sentenced Monday to nine months in jail.

The sentencing judge said the stepparents behavior was cruel, demeaning and damaging.

"Both accused share equal responsibility as parents," Judge Donald Halikowski said. "Both failed."

The couple, who pleaded guilty in January and had been free on bail, were jailed after the sentencing.

The boys were toddlers when they were taken in by the couple, their aunt and uncle.

The woman, 43, and man, 51, pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and failure to provide the necessities of life. They cannot be named to protect the identities of the boys, now 17 and 18.

The boys were taken from their home in Blackstock three years ago after a tip from a relative.

Investigators who visited the ramshackle, two-story farmhouse, said one boy was found in a makeshift cage that was strapped to a wall and padlocked.

Although they were allowed to go school, officials said the boys were often tied to their beds and sometimes handcuffed and beaten. They were also not allowed to use the toilet and forced to wear diapers.

"... failure to provide the necessities of life."

I wonder what necessities of life they forgot.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

Just saw the film, and decided to write out my thoughts before they became less immediate. I have problems with the film, like remembering how to spell Fahrenheit. Moore made some good points, but was too - I'm not sure. Manipulative? Heavy-handed? Yes, propaganda can only be fought by the same, but to point out how the "enemy" has used emotion to manipulate people, and then have a mother crying about her son who died fighting in Iraq is the same thing. But probably inevitable. One can only fight rhetoric with more of the same, in the end. Words, words, words. Pictures, pictures, pictures. But this will not bring back the dead, will not offer any justification for lives lost, with not console or explain anything, nor really.

Perhaps, in the end, the person I felt saddest for was, obscurely, myself. Or, in terms of self-interest, not that obscure. I watched the mother cry on the screen, and part of my noted her sorrow, part of me was moved, and another part noted it was probably the part of the film with the most impact. However, the largest part of me said "He joined an army. Armies fight wars. He died. It was a risk he had been willing to take. And that is that. If it had not been your son, you would never have cried, never wondered, never blamed." But it happens, and you need someone to blame. So Bush is blamed. Rightly, in this case, but I'm not sure it *matters* if it was right, or wrong. We always blame others, we seldom blame ourselves.

I understood Abu Gharib at a new level ,as well. As Moore pointed out, it is the poor who join the army, the poor who fight and die in this. The backbone of a nation. Defending it? Hardly. It's a job, they're paid, and they do it. But there is pride, as well, somewhere, and when that pride is tarnished, when trust is broken - then you get frustration, taken out on innocent people who are frustrated at you. No one understands how they came to be where they are, and no one sees any way out. So, violence. Met with violence. Anger with anger, fear with fear. Not right, no, but in a war there is seldom any right.

But, as I walked home, annoyed at the movie for appealing to emotion while understanding that, in the end, that is all anything can really appeal to, I wondered if George W. Bush really new what he was setting in motion, really planned this, really let it happen at some level. And, if so, I wondered if he could sleep at night. And I thought of soldiers, earning money for college and driving by corpses, and I realized that he can, and likely does. Humans are very adaptable creatures. Sometimes, I wonder if that is really a good thing. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like if we did not forget what had gone before. And I know I will sleep tonight, and soon. And that it will be a normal sleep. And I hate myself for that - but perhaps not enough. And in the end there is no one else to blame or hate, just the eyes that stare back at each of us from the mirror, and "whys" we dare not answer, for fear it would all come crashing down.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Two Poems

Todays poems from the fun I am having over on xanga doing a poem a day for the month of July. They're both from today (July 2nd)

Private Thoughts (#2 of 31)

(July 2004)

Waking things inside me.

Mute, I dare not name.

"What beautiful eyes she has,"

They say, "with flecks in them."

They don't know

My eyes are broken

And they're all fractured pieces,

Each one of them a dozen people

Judging me with their perfect eyes.

My voice, unheard buzzing

In the back of my throat,

Like a frog stuck.

I long to hide from them

Or rip out all their normal eyes

And hide in the darkness

Of their delicious screams.

And you laugh without laughing

Because you see it

And because you know

I will do nothing

As I do nothing

Every night

When you open the door.

I don't even

cry anymore.

I knew

(July 2004)

I knew it

Was over

When you told me

That you loved me

But I had forgotten

Your name.