Archive for December, 2013

31
Dec
13

under the wire

$5000 banknote

$5 banknote

I would be remiss if I did not remind you, on this final day of the year, that the Redemption Project needs your support if you are in a position to make any end-of-year gifts.

If you are in the United States, gifts made through our fiscal agent, the Juvenile Law Society of Denver CO, are fully tax deductible. If you are from anywhere else in the world, I honestly don’t have a clue about tax deductibility. But saving on taxes is not why you give, anyway.

Asking for money is never a desired task, but it is necessary. The needs of our sponsored youth may seem endless, as is your generosity. For your past support, I thank you. But I by no means wish to appear thankless as I ask, once again, for you to open your purse strings and hearts to these kids who rely on the constancy of your help.

I heard this last weekend from Chris Brown, Jordan’s dad, asking for us to step up our support for his son. Jordan is still languishing in prison, despite the fact that he has won every legal appeal and, in the eyes of Pennsylvania law, is innocent. Yet the state refuses to admit that it has held him in confinement for five formative years while it has been playing its game of official C.Y.A. and the politics of avoiding a public admission that it has stolen the youth of an innocent boy. And the final insult of the situation is this: Chris has been compelled to pay Pennsylvania $500 per month in “child support” for the privilege of being legally abused. Chris is dog-tired and is sick of being perpetually broke. He is asking for our help in seeing to the needs of his son and I, of course, agreed. Stay tuned.

I heard a few days ago from Austin Eversole who told me that his family has further curtailed his support. With less money being put onto his books, he must forgo the small pleasures that make his life behind bars bearable: soap, toothpaste, extra food, postage stamps, etc. I learned that just $50 per month could make all the difference. And though he didn’t ask, I offered. He gratefully accepted. So his monthly support commences in January.

Alex King was just sprung loose from state confinement yesterday, but his needs have by no means come to an end. Over the holidays, a well-known attorney on the national scene contacted me to learn how he could help financially with Alex’s education. Alex is a natural-born student and very intelligent, so this man knows a good investment when he sees it. There are many other people standing in line, too, who have offered to help Alex in some way. We need to get it organized when the dust settles after his prison release.

I could go on, but I won’t. The needs of every young person are different, but their satisfaction depends on you.

Thank you for everything you have—and will—make possible.

donate hands

To make a contribution to the Redemption Project, please visit the link at the top of this page or click here.

۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to Livingston Taylor performing “The Thank You Song”

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new years eve 3

PS:  Party hearty tonight, but please consider making a gift before the year is out. Think about it. By giving up the cost of just one drink, you can make a big difference in a kid’s life.

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30
Dec
13

at last

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Alex King tcr

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FREE at last!

He called last night, one last call from captivity. He borrowed a digital watch, he has his MP3 player, a cup of coffee, and the longest night of his life commenced.

At 7:20 am central time this morning, the state of Florida relinquished its hooks in Alex King and released him from Holmes Correctional Institution in Bonifay FL. His ever-loyal friend and foster-mother Kathryn Medico was present for Alex’s liberation, the first moment he has been truly free since the age of 12. He will spend his first moments and days of freedom with the Medico family in Jacksonville FL, after which he will decide what comes next.

This is only the conclusion of but one chapter in his life; now it is the beginning of a new life of opportunities, which are only going to gradually unfold now that he is free to pursue anything he may wish to choose.

Nobody is under the illusion that life will be perfect for Alex from here on out. But at least it will be his to live from now on.

Congratulations to Alex on this happy day!

۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to The Traveling Wilburys performing “Congratulations”

29
Dec
13

bad dad

Is there any doubt that some people shouldn’t be allowed within 100 feet of children, let alone parent them? Is there any question that parricide is frequently deserved? Is there any justice in the fact that it is the children who suffer most in these situations, and the parents are allowed to get off easy?

This morning one of my readers sent me this link to an episode of The Oprah Show which illustrates these questions.

Imagine what it would be like to be locked inside a closet 2 feet square, your body wrapped in a wire fence and bound by chains like an animal for hours—even days—at a time. You aren’t given any food. You’re 6 years old, and your parents have done this to you.

The father, Joseph Moss, served only 2 years’ jail time. He should have served more. Where he is now and whether he has been held accountable by society is not reported on the Internet (or at least I was unable to find it). Nor is whatever has happened to the evil step-mother, Carmen, who probably had more to do with the abuse of the little boy than has been explained. She, too, was let off by the Indiana courts with a mere slap on the wrist.

The boy, Clayton Moss, appears to have done a better job of forgiveness and moving on than can be expected of those of us who are just hearing this story now. I applaud his resiliency and example. He has much to teach us about our human potential and deriving strength from misfortune.

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Groove of the Day

Listen to Tanya Tucker performing “Strong Enough To Bend”

28
Dec
13

boogie woogie

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۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to the King Oliver Orchestra performing “Boogie Woogie”

27
Dec
13

dry well

Dried_well

It is now the time for patience, for waiting for the demise of 2013—the hardest year in recent memory, not only for me but for many of the people I know. The next year promises to be better, if only that it is unimaginable that the next year could be any harder than the year which is drawing to a close.

I am hemorrhaging money on fuel right now because this is the coldest and darkest time of the year. Propane and gasoline, the essentials for warmth and electricity, are the most expensive items in my monthly budget.

Now the attorney for Carlos Lundy, Colt’s dad, has finally legally served me with a summons in his bogus lawsuit. The sheriff’s deputy has just left the property. What Carlos is attempting to accomplish through his suit is anybody’s guess. I own absolutely nothing he can attach, so he is already pumping a dry well.

He is claiming that he has suffered “loss to his reputation, shame, mortification, and injury to his feelings,”  as well as “hatred, contempt, ridicule, and obloquy” by my “negligently, recklessly, and maliciously” publishing a criminal record which in good faith I believed (and still believe) to be true. Carlos is claiming that the Indiana State Police denied him renewal of a gun permit because I published this information—as if my post should matter to the police, who presumably have all sorts of official sources for information upon which to base their decisions. He is asking for a judgment of one million dollars in the same jurisdiction that sentenced a 12-year-old to thirty years in adult prison.

Dream on.

If Carlos is held in low regard, it is because he raised a murderer who bullied two other little kids into participating in his foul deed so the kids could run off to Arizona where Carlos was supposedly living at the time. If Carlos is seeking to silence me and anything I should say about him, this is the wrong way to go about it. A lawsuit is a very public method of filing his grievances against me and opening up a can of worms he may never be able to reseal again.

I have nothing to lose. I have trouble enough staying warm and generating the power to run my computer. Paying Carlos anything is out of the question now and in the future. Does he really think I will remain quiet about this matter if he persists in seeking alleged damages or reprisals?

Bullying may have worked for his son, but it won’t work on me.

We will have to remain patient and see how this little drama plays out in the coming year. I have absolutely nothing to fear.

۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to the Warblers performing “Echoes from the Bottom of a Dry Well”

26
Dec
13

dining with the dahmers

ronny

It had just been a joke, I thought, that my new local friends had jested (like Hannibal Lector) that they were pleased to be “having Dan for Christmas dinner.” I had said upon my arrival that the arm was here, ready for the frying pan, but the hostess said she would prefer a thigh.

I had thought it was purely a joke until, at dinner, the hostess’ son told me he had freaked out some of the younger guys at work by convincing them he was, indeed, a cannibal. It was believable, I suppose. He was big and scarey, and he did work weekends as one of the most feared bouncers in a hardscrabble Navy town. When his old refrigerator turned off, it did sound like someone was inside trying to kick their way out.

I still thought it was a joke until the end of dinner and I saw that a .22 caliber pistol had been sitting on the table next to my friend though the whole meal.

You meet the strangest people out here on the desert to make your friends.

۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to Sarah Vaughn performing “All Of Me”

25
Dec
13

merry christmas

nativity da vinci 1

There is a purely astronomical explanation of the nativity story (Zeitgeist – The Movie), and some historians have asserted that the Biblical story of Christ is a piece of Roman propaganda (Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus by Joseph Atwill) that was published as a contemporaneous companion to Flavius Josephus’ history The War of the Jews (ca. 75 c.e.).

However, I choose to honor the Christ story because it presents an ideal for living that would make this world a better place if only more people lived up to the Christian model. I myself am not a literal believer, but as I explained to a young person who was attempting to convert me to his Christian faith in a late-night session at Estrella Vista, my beliefs do not prevent me from living a more Christ-like life. I can adopt Christian ideals without believing in Christ as an historical figure.

Isn’t that the bottom-line anyway? The alternative is hypocrisy. Christ’s teachings can be most briefly summarized as the love of God and love of one’s neighbor. If one does not act in a consistently loving way towards others, the term “Christian” is merely a label, and one that lacks basic integrity.

So whatever your beliefs, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing “The First Noel”