Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Scarlett!!

It's official...she's 3. I got back from New York just in time.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Raleigh wages war against...disposals

For those living in Raleigh, they will be faced with a new law making it a crime to repair or buy a garbage disposal. That's right, the thing in your sink that chews up bits of food (and the occasional spoon). There's a hefty fine of $25,000 a day if you break the rule, which will be enforced by the boys in blue collars, plumbers. It just seems kind of silly for the capital city to ban disposals. What are the rules where you live?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We went to the movies

I think it was last summer when we took Scarlett to see Shrek the Third. Since then, every time we drive past the movie theater she says, "Remember when we went to see Shrek and had popcorn?" Well, when we heard that Horton Hears a Who was coming, we made plans to attend. So Saturday morning we loaded up with some friends and surprised Scarlett by taking her to see the movie...and we had popcorn! She sat in my lap the entire movie and munched away. About halfway through, she turned to me and said, "Mommy, I like Horton." It was great fun.

Go see the movie...we all liked it. Oh, and I especially like the reference to the extremely controlling kangaroo "pouch-schooling" her kid.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oh, Sally self-righteous

So here's a letter from a high school student to Sally Kern, the politician from Oklahoma who so adamantly hates homosexuals. Ms. Kern discussed how early childhood education has been put into place in order to bring the gay agenda to two year olds. She also stated that homosexuals were more of a threat to this country than terrorist and (a step further in the idiot direction) Islam. Google her if you want to hear it in your own words...she's not worth the hyperlink.

Rep Kern:

On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would've likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn't live up to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worst than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you'll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.

As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they've been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there's never a day in school that has went by when I haven't heard the word **** slung at someone. I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They've already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. Afterall, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I wish you could've met my mom. Maybe she could've guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won't be there. So I'll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don't want to be here for that. I just can't go through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me. Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.



Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's the closest thing we have to a parental license

Friday, Mar. 07, 2008

Criminalizing Home Schoolers

Parents of the approximately 200,000 home-schooled children in California are reeling from the possibility that they may have to shutter their classrooms — and go back to school themselves — if they want to continue teaching their own kids. On Feb. 28, Judge H. Walter Croskey of the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles ruled that children ages six to 18 may be taught only by credentialed teachers in public or private schools — or at home by Mom and Dad, but only if they have a teaching degree. Citing state law that goes back to the early 1950s, Croskey declared that "California courts have held that under provisions in the Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children." Furthermore, the judge wrote, if instructors teach without credentials they will be subject to criminal action.

This news raised a furor among home schooling advocates, including government officials. "Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children," Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement today. "Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will." "It's kind of scary," says Julie Beth Lamb, an Oakdale, California, parent who, with no teaching credentials, has taught her four children for 15 years. "If that ruling is held up, this would make us one of the most restrictive states in the nation."

The debacle originated with a suit over child abuse. One of the eight children of Philip and Mary Long, a Los Angeles couple, had filed a complaint of abuse and neglect with the L.A. Department of Children and Family Services. The agency determined that the Long children were being home schooled, taught by their uncredentialed mother while officially enrolled in independent study at Sunland Christian School. The DCFS then turned to the courts to mandate that the children attend public school so that teachers might spot evidence of abuse (a charge the parents deny). A juvenile court, however, determined that the Longs had a constitutional right to home school their children. The DCFS appealed and the case landed in Croskey's appellate court.

For years, the state of California has allowed parents to home school as long as they file papers to create a private school and hire a tutor with credentials or if their child participates in an independent study program through a credentialed school. In evaluating the Long case, however, Judge Croskey found that state law forbade any home schooling that was not taught by a credentialed teacher and that what California had been allowing was, in his judicial opinion, illegal. In 1953, another appellate court ruled against home-schooling parents who didn't want to adhere to California's compulsory education laws, which require kids between six and 18 to attend a credentialed school. The current case is most likely to be appealed to California's Supreme Court.

"We weren't trying to change the law on home schooling," says Leslie Heimov of the Children's Law Center, which represents the Long children involved in the case. "The law is accurate — it hasn't changed since the 1950s." She says the Center does not even have an opinion on home schooling. They just wanted to do what was best for the children represented in the case.

The fact that this sweeping ruling has sprung from such an individualized case is what has most outraged home schooling advocates. "Public schools are not a solution to the problem of child abuse," says Leslie Buchanan, president of the HomeSchool Association of California. Jack O'Connell, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction — the equivalent of a department of education — now faces the potential crisis of dealing with tens of thousands of truants. Does he know what will happen next? "I honestly don't know," O'Connell says, adding that his department is reviewing the case. "There is some angst in the field."

Friday, March 7, 2008


It is a painful reality when you can't achieve all that you believed. I've always tried, regardless (and maybe because) of humble beginnings, to do as many things as possible. There isn't a stopping point on the achievement scale. Recently I've learned that my abilities don't necessarily match my convictions.

Or maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself...rejection is never easy.

The Stones were wrong.