tolerance and apathy

Paul Gingerich has just left, and I find myself regretting his departure and the loss of his company. I can’t really explain it, but we are the best of friends. He says he will be back for a longer visit with his wife and children. In the meantime, I am becoming accustomed once again to living alone.

I wish I could report something definitive about his son Paul Henry; in the month of April there will be Paul Henry’s all-important court hearing and a visit with his doctors, which will determine his immediate legal status and health prognosis. Right now, these are both questions with unknown outcomes.

The only thing that has saved you from a nothing-post today is that my sister has forwarded the following editorial to me from the Tawas City MI newspaper (a town of just over 2,000 on the banks of Lake Huron). It’s better than nothing and voices the limbo which so many of us feel.



“Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.”

~ Aristotle


I am going back to sleep this morning to catch up on my equanimity.



Groove of the Day

Listen to Advanced Art performing “No Answers, No Solutions”


Weather Report

54° Cloudy and Rain




4 Responses to “tolerance and apathy”

  1. March 9, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Dan, please keep us updated with any new information on Paul Henry, be it legal status, health, future plans or whatever. What you (and Paul) feel comfortable sharing, of course. I know how both the doctors’ findings and judge’s ruling are crucial and will not even ask for your personal expectations on either. Will just hope for the best, which is for Paul Henry to once again come back home. He’s already 6 years overdue. Realistical or not, I so wish that Paul will visit you with ALL of his children this year. It’s time for the real healing to begin, for everyone involved. Yes, I do realize Paul Henry will surely face many obstacles in life and will probably be judged by everyone he meets but hey – aren’t we all?

  2. 2 Willow54
    March 9, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    First I hope the visit from Paul Henry’s father was positive. I sense your frustration at the lack of definite direction in Paul Henry’s case. I share your frustration, but it is at the lack of realism in some of the comments posted here and in other places.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have given and continue to give my moral support to the young man and I honestly wish him only the best outcome, but the law is a blunt instrument and, in spite of all the emotive language surrounding his treatment at the hands of the law, it will continue to treat him just the same as anyone else who has committed the same crime.

    I’m sure we all want Paul Henry released at the earliest opportunity, but, and this is where the reality check comes in, wherever else he goes when he is eventually paroled from prison, it will almost certainly not be home to his immediate family. Parole conditions are by necessity very strict. It is a given that he will be on a drug and alcohol ban. He will most probably have travel restrictions and be under some kind of curfew, which involves wearing a GPS tag, and he will be banned from any contact with the victims’ family or their relatives, all of which means, most likely he will be unable to live in the same area he did before or keep up daily contact with his family.

    It is common for parolees to be housed in hostel accommodation where they can be easily supervised by their parole officers, and Paul Henry will no doubt be no different. At best he may be able to live at a designated address – maybe even at your place, if that’s what he decides, or is allowed to do by the authorities. This is the reality of the life Paul Henry would face for the foreseeable future, should he be granted parole at the forthcoming court hearing in April. People should understand this. The 30 year sentence will stand one way or the other.

    Even after he leaves the prison gates behind, the parole will last until the full sentence expires. His decision made at twelve years old is going to affect his life for many years to come, and we can only hope that he is able to work around all the parole restrictions to maintain positive contact with his family and make something of his future life in spite of all the obstacles that will be in his path.

  3. 3 CT
    March 16, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    I think that Paul committed a crime and rightly needed to be punished for it however if he is let out by the time of his hearing in April he will have served 6 years and that to me is a right amount of time with supervision for a few years afterwards. One needs to think about the victims also they must be suffering my cousin is 12 and he knows right from wrong and if he were involved I would feel that a sentence similar to Paul’s is fair.

    • March 18, 2016 at 5:34 am

      Paul Henry and Colt did do something very wrong and at some point it was their own decision to do it and they must, for sure, suffer some consequences. My problems with it all are: 1) Children were treated as adults. 2) Their punishment has nothing to do with trying to “fix” them or help them, but simply to crush their souls. 3) The real responsibility is shared, but Paul Henry and Colt are the only ones paying. They were obviously kids with issues. With Colt, I would say long-term and with Paul Henry short-term. But there is no mechanism in place to identify and help these kids. They are simply left to deal with very adult issues with their non-adult brains. And when they snap, those who are truly responsible, those who actually let it all happen, are never even identified let alone punished. It’s the kids. And kids are punished as adults for basically not being able to handle things like adults (are expected to) and for making just one impulsive, teenage mistake. Because, even if they (Colt) had been planning it for months, I believe the decision to actually fire at Phillip Danner was only made in their brains at that exact moment (and with no real comprehension of the act) . With adults, it happens when they start planning because we don’t “just do” things like kids. And if our collective goal is to reform 12 and 15 year old kids, 6-12 months is plenty of some supervision and therapy time, surrounded with people who truly care about them. Because they both knew they had made a mistake even before Phillip fell, even if they tried running away from it (we all do). I believe what this punishment is doing to both Paul Henry and Colt is making them unable to function in the real world and increasing the chances of them making more wrong decisions. Their only chance is if they were good kids before going to prison.

      I don’t think we can say what reality of the April event is because we don’t truly know what’s been going on in that prison in the past 6 years. How well has Paul Henry behaved during all that time? How many times did he “lose it”? The last we even so a picture of him was when he was 16, I believe. And there were no clear conditions for him to meet, it’s arbitrary. But the law does say the judge indeed has all options at his disposal, including release. And while I don’t really expect the first case ever to be the best possible (if it’s just about the law, why wouldn’t I expect it?), I do hope that Paul Henry will for sure be allowed to leave the prison and live among general population. Get a chance for good education and be allowed to travel out of state/country at least by the time he’s 21.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: