Jessica Ridgeway's killer was the product of divorce. I find that significant and a little scary. My kids are products of divorce. However, their mother is completely out of the picture and hasn't had any contact with us for over 2 years. There is no constant battling over custody or child support or anything else. My ex had the decency to just go away and let us get on with our lives. That makes a huge difference.
Divorces used to be much
harder to get. When kids are involved, divorces should still be hard to
get. It's complicated when abuse is factored in, but when that's not an
issue my opinion is that whoever files for divorce should have to just
walk away - no custody, no alimony, no property settlement. Nothing. You
want a divorce? Fine. Just go. The kids will still suffer but at least
they won't be shuttled back and forth for visits with a non-custodial
parent. They won't become pawns in a power struggle between bitter
Marriage is a big deal. It should be treated like a
big deal. It's not the same thing as "going out" or "going steady" or
I never thought my ex-wife was a model of anything
particularly good, but I have to give her credit. For whatever reason
she decided to do it, when she left she just left. She is at least a
model of what anyone who wants a divorce should be willing to do.
Not sure what caused two boys to kill Autumn Pasquale,
but I commend their mother for turning them in. We need more mothers
like Mrs. Saunders who figured out that her two sons were murderers
because she actually checked their Facebook pages. Go figure. Mrs.
Saunders deserves a parenting award.
Interestingly, I found myself slightly unsympathetic with the mother of two toddlers who were apparently killed by their nanny in
NYC. I know. I'm a horrible person. But, I just have a very hard time
working up a tear for someone who posts something like this in their
family blog about a trip to visit their nanny's family:
"We met Josie's amazing familia!!! And the Dominican Republic is a wonderful country!!," she wrote.
"Familia?" And, lay off the damn exclamation points. Not only can you
afford a nanny, you can fly to the Dominican Republic to meet her
family? How nice for you.
It's not totally my fault. The article included
a bunch of ancillary details which make the mother out to be a rich
bitch. For starters, the fact that this family has a nanny. Also that
they live in an apartment near Central Park which presumably rents for
around $10,000 per month. (I guess that's affordable for a general
manager at CNBC. For me, $10k is damn near 12 months worth of mortgage
payments.) Evidently the mom here spent her days writing a couple of
blogs (one family, one cooking) and teaching art classes. Perhaps she
wouldn't have needed a nanny if she spent her time being a mom. . . I
know. I already admitted that I'm a horrible person.
I feel a
little guilty about feeling this way. Still, it's the way I do feel. I
would not say I hate rich people. But, they are simply not sympathetic
characters. Say what you will about wealth bringing its own problems or
money not being everything or whatever. Wah. First world problems. The
fact is being rich makes life a lot easier. Rich people may still be
people with feelings and emotions, but when bad stuff happens to them
it's pretty easy to assume that they'll figure out some way to deal with
On a completely unrelated note, there's this story
from Memphis - armpit of Middle America. I'm never surprised to
read that something stupid, horrible, or criminal has happened in
Memphis, but this one did jump out at me if only because it's an extreme
example of what I've seen elsewhere. Is it any wonder our schools
produce illiterate students who can't speak standard English when
schools hire illiterate teachers?
a story about a "teacher" (or someone being paid as a teacher) in
trouble over FB posts. Nothing sexy. Just some ranting about kids in her
class and their parents. Now, I want to go on record saying that I tend
to agree with her views - to some extent. She goes a bit over the top
when she starts talking about shooting people. But, that's not where I
have a problem. What I have a problem with is - well - here, read it for
"If another parent tell [sic] me it's my job to teach their children, it's gonna be po po time."
Or, "They didn't bother nobody else when I got through with them."
you don't see the problem here, just stop reading now. You're not going
to appreciate anything else I have to say. Call me what you will. I
don't want anybody teaching my kids who uses the term "po po" in
conversation. I realize this is a FB post. I don't care. If this is how
you speak and write in your personal life, this is probably how you
speak and write in the classroom. If that's how you speak and write in
the classroom, you have no business being in a classroom because you
are, for all intents and purposes, illiterate.
It may get worse. Here's a quote from a Memphis city school commissioner addressing the teacher's comments:
major employer will tell you on the front end now, ‘We checking your
Facebook page. We know what you're saying on Twitter,'" said Whalum.
going to allow for the possibility that he was inaccurately quoted or
that "We checking. . . " was just a typo where the "'re" was omitted. I
suspect otherwise, though.
Don't jump to the hairbrained
conclusion that I'm just making thinly veiled racist remarks. The
principal at my kids' school says "skedoo" for "schedule" and I think he
is also a complete dumbass who shouldn't be in a classroom (though he
does seem to be an effective principal). He's as white as can be. This
isn't about race or culture. It's about making sure teachers can speak
and write properly. That's something that can be done fairly cheaply and without a lot of high-tech digital gadgetry.