Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keepin' it real

I’ve already expressed my unending admiration for Charlie Bobbitt; now, I have to say how much my heart is gladdened by the presence of Al Loma on the board. Though he’s no stranger to public service and education, he is new to the District 11 board of educators…and really, I feel for him: it must feel a lot like being a stranger in a strange land.

Loma recently faltered at a meeting and used the term “trailer trash.” I suppose it’s not the most flattering of terms, and figured someone would jump on him for it. Of course someone did, and last night, Loma did something I’ve never seen or heard any other district bigwig do – apologize...or in any way even acknowledge a misstep.

Acknowledging his error, Loma assured that he meant no offense. Describing some of the everyday hardships encountered by many of the participants in his drug and alcohol program, as well as his own humble background, Loma became moved and had to pause; he went on to explain that his intention when in using the term was to convey an understanding of the everyday struggles of those less fortunate; he’s been there, he’s done that, he’s broken through to the other side, and keepin’ it real; indeed, his is the sort of simpatico the likes of which the entire board, save Charlie Bobbitt, are completely bereft and would benefit much from acquiring.

“Spydra, Spydra,” I can hear you say, “aren’t you being a little insensitive to your anonymous partner in poverty?” I know it’s easy probably easy to imagine the injured party, a miffed trailer-dweller with delicate sensitivities. I’m more inclined, though, to believe the complainer was more likely an indirect member of the District 11 Figurehead Majority - a 2Cool4U Clique alum, maybe, or perhaps one of the Purple Packet Pals. Of one thing I’m fairly certain: it’s probably a safe bet whoever lodged the complaint has never set foot in a trailer and wouldn’t be caught dead seen in one…but saw an perfect opportunity to throw an opportune PC punch.

Have you ever lived in a trailer? I have, and alluded to it before. A week after the birth of our third child, we lost our beloved Cragmoor home to foreclosure. In searching for a place to live, my husband and I made the grave mistake of buying a trailer and moving it from Falcon to Stratmoor Valley. We didn’t know anything about trailers or trailer parks, and made every blunder that could be made: we didn’t know Stratmoor Valley was hell on earth, didn’t know we needed all kinds of permits, didn’t know we’d have no utilities until the trailer was leveled, didn’t know how to level a trailer…didn’t know anyone who did know, not realizing we were getting ripped off by several people who didn’t.

The pressure of it all got to my husband, who up and left me there alone with the kids; they eventually went to stay with my parents, my sister, my best friend…leaving me there alone with our 18-year-old cat, in the dark and silent dead of winter…no electricity, no running water, no heat and no light, save for the pot-bellied wood stove that sat in the corner.

I spent evenings picking up sticks and wood to burn, and would break apart my own furniture to toss on the fire in an effort to keep it going. Once a week, the neighbors in back of me would allow me to run a hose through my window and fill up the bathtub with water; I’d boil that water so I could clean and do laundry, and at regular intervals, fill a bucket with water in order to flush the toilets. There were a few people in that dead-end place who would occasionally allow me the luxury of a hot shower; but more preferred to help themselves to our belongings the moment I wasn’t paying full attention.

I did not think that I would survive that lonely ordeal…many times I feared my cat and I would both freeze to death. I nearly set the sofa on fire trying to stay warm with a propane heater; another time, I determined to torch the damned trailer with my cat and myself inside…part of a desperate plan to permanently escape that giant icebox and end my torment.

In the end, our landlady evicted us…locked us out and denied us an opportunity to recover our belongings. What she didn’t keep for herself, she spitefully destroyed before tossing into the gigantic roll-off dumpster she’d rented. We lost everything we owned…my wedding dress, official documents, our yearbooks and family photographs – everything we owned.

And that’s how I spent the winter of 2004.

No one would know that story unless I told them, or unless they’d known me at that dreadful time when every day I struggled to go on living; if one of those yesteryear people walked up behind me and gruffly greeted me by saying “What up, trailer trash ho?” chances are our eyes would meet and we’d burst out laughing before hugging and taking time to catch up. On this, Al and I are most assuredly simpatico.

As by now you all know, I developed my District 11 fixation eleven months ago, when they smashed through and shut down schools and shook up the education of thousands of kids. At that time, I still believed that somebody’s mama could sock it to the D11 PTA…still believed in writing a letter to the editor and calling up my congressman.

I was never really a Jan Fan; always felt she wore a mask and had been primed what to do and say, always discerned that she really couldn’t care less. While I remain disgruntled by her hypocrisy and dishonesty, it’s her masochistic streak that provides me with the most entertainment – why else would she so often make herself such an easy target of my blistering ridicule?

The rest of the Board are just as fake as Mrs. Tanner, only a lot more dull and far less amusing. And I would truly be remiss in neglecting to mention my friends in Admin, whose faults and foibles would fill a book all their own. If I had to compare them to any one group of people I’ve known, it’s the clique of cruel boys and girls who were popular in the sixth grade at Audubon Elementary a gazillion years ago – and I mean spitting image.

But up there on Board Row there are two in whom I placed my trust and turned to in good faith regarding Adams Elementary and the Jan Tanner matter. I believed in them and all their assurances. At first, when I’d find them speaking out of both sides of their mouths, I’d make up excuses, trying to convince myself they were mostly honest and of good virtue. But it became clear as time went on that both were well practiced in and comfortable with the many subtle ways of guile. Today, we remain gracious when we meet, but no longer do they look me in the eye; instead, they smile and shake my hand, gazing at my face somewhere around my eyebrows; we share some words of no consequence before drifting away…all the while knowing that promises were broken, and honor forever tarnished.

I imagine they both must recognize their own contributions to my ever-declining opinion of the District…but then again, maybe they don’t. I always try to remember the good and the bad, always strive to be forgiving…which is why I’ve gone relatively easy on them, still making up excuses for them…perhaps ‘twas a senior moment, or short-term memory disorder, or temporary amnesia that caused them to forget…anything but that they never really cared, don’t care and plain won’t ever care…no, no, anything but that.

I’ve overlooked so many forked tongues…listened to so many lies, and looked into the faces of so many liars that it actually hurts; hurts to know how fake it all is and how fake they all are…overlooked so many liars; the image I long fancied as the world of government and politics is so different from its ugly reality; I am become jaded.

In my mind, Al’s innocent slip of the lip was, is, and will always be eclipsed by Glenn and Jan’s intricate construct…and for the superintendent to find Loma’s lapse sufficient cause for a good scolding sure seems like a lot more than what Jan was made to endure. She has never publicly said a single, solitary word about any of it…instead, feeding the story through the nib of Sue McMilin’s bland pen.

I love how Charlie Bobbitt asks questions, and always says what he thinks…even when Two-Left Feet Strand tries to step all over him. And I for one appreciated the sincerity and symbol of Loma’s apology: it’s good for the heathens to finally have a man with faith in God sitting up there to temper all that pride, arrogance and greed; I pray for his continued strength as he finds his balance in that den full of vipers. Al and Charlie are the only ones up there who bear any meaningful resemblance to decent human beings with integrity and compassion, conscience and heart.

And Al, in case the anonymous complainer doesn’t take you up on your offer for lunch, I’d love to go – you know how to reach me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lullaby

Was searching for a lullaby for my daughter last night and came across this...I hope you like it as much as we did.


get this song for FREE here

http://www.reneeandjeremy.com/ 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wanly Redux

Since we have two kids in District 11 schools, many's the time that advertisements for Small Smiles Dental Clinic were sent home.  Small Smiles is within walking distance of our home, which seemed like a plus, since our family doesn't own a car. Because I had a job interview, my husband walked our four children (16, 12, 4, 3) to their appointment - the very first visit to the dentist for the two youngest. The "babies" were excited, and a little nervous - but I'd assured them they had nothing to fear.

My husband checked them in, and the receptionist told him it was Small Smiles' practice to have parents wait in the waiting room while the kids went back. So he did. Neither of us had any reason to think anything would happen beyond a cursory check-up, cleaning, a free toothbrush, mini-tube of Crest and some of those chewable red tablets dentists give kids to help teach them about plaque. Even if a cavity was found in their mouths, they're called "baby teeth" right? They'd soon fall out.

I was already home when they returned a few hours later; my husband carried our 4 year old inside and set him down on the sofa. I immediately saw that his lips were puffy and swollen, with flecks of dried blood here and there...and he looked utterly dazed. "Come here, Ben, show Mama what the dentist did," I said, smiling wanly. He looked at me with haunted eyes, shook his head 'no' wordlessly, then zombie-walked into our coat closet and promptly fell asleep on the small pile of coats that the teenagers are always too lazy to hang - like a scared, injured cat!

Alarmed, I asked my husband what happened - he told me the dentist said he'd found a cavity and found it necessary to perform A ROOT CANAL AND CROWN PROCEDURE ON OUR 4-YEAR-OLD SON'S FRONT TOOTH! The only accurate description of what happened next is "matriarchal melt-down!"

I called and spoke to reception, dental technicians, x-ray technicians, and the dentist himself, demanding to know why the kids had to go back without their parent(s), why hadn't my husband been informed of the procedure beforehand, and what on earth could have justified such major work to be done on a small child!? The line of DDS BS that proceeded forth held few answers - they did make mention, however, that our son had been scared and struggled throughout the procedure.

I couldn't even bring myself to begin to wonder what that meant. We all felt so bad. It was at least three days later before our son stopped acting traumatized; he never spoke of it, and claims now not to remember. He remains, however, terrified at the thought of going to the dentist.

Six months later, I was watching TV with my 16 year old son. Flipping through the channels, we saw that 20/20 had a feature on Small Smiles that night; without a word, we knew what we'd be watching...sorta - as much as one can see, that is, when THEY'RE COVERING THEIR EYES IN SHOCK, HORROR AND DISBELIEF! At that moment, there was no guise of "tough-guy teen" or "unshakeable mom"...for we both wept openly at what we saw.






Of course we NEVER took ANY of our kids there again...though every so often, still receive phone calls and postcards reminding us of our last visit and exhorting us to schedule another. I shudder whenever I see the name on the caller i.d.

Typing this for you now, I wept along with my husband at the very recollection of it. We love our kids So Much...and will NEVER stop blaming ourselves for what we now know must have taken place; indeed, I shrink to think of it...and on bad days when I do, my heart, mind and soul become shrouded in a pall of dread for our children, ourselves and all of humanity.






It’s not like I don’t know the difference between good and bad dental care, ya know; we haven't always poor. But we are now - what are poor people to do? Oftentimes, the only way poor people can get anywhere is to walk…and so the powers that be shut down walkable neighborhood schools in low-income areas - to save money; they close nearby community centers and sports complexes in low-income areas - to save money; they eliminate bus routes in low-income neighborhoods…to save 30 seconds - and some money.

Now to discover - again, and as always - the ever-present, insatiable District 11 and their greedy hands, caked and filthy with blood, shoved into the screaming mouth of my terrified child!?!?!?!?! An advertising agreement with Small Smiles, indeed!! The District somehow profited from my son’s first visit to the dentist; once again, has reaped rewards from the suffering and oppression of MY children??? Reprehensible...digusting...contemptible:  It. Sickens. Me.  SICKENS ME!!!  And so my family is stuck with Haunt Elementary and Dr. Mengele of Ghetto Dental?? Well, no offense, but we’ll pass!  


DENVER - The practice of strapping children to boards in dental offices will be restricted, a state board decided Wednesday. Starting Jan. 1, 2005, kids can't be restrained on "papoose boards" unless a dentist has considered all other less-restrictive attempts to manage the child's behavior. The rules also say if boards are used, the dentist must document, in the patient's record, the reason for the use.
Too bad the district's advertising never mentioned this; our gentle Ben was held down by the dental assistants and strapped down to a papoose board and God only knows what else in Spring 2008!  To show my good will and desire for truth in advertising, however, here’s a more accurate ad campaign I’ve drawn up at no charge for Small Smiles and their partners-in-crime, District 11 Business Services; you are free to use it on whatever advertising needs may arise! 

Not to sound greedy, but…if there’s a class action suit we can join, SIGN US UP!  We'd just LOVE to make a load of money the easy way - off of the blood, sweat and tears of our helpless child - and maybe then my Ben could enjoy the same educational opportunities, dental care, swimmin' pools and lunch-room pizza as Jan Tanner's Ben.  Jan can definitely attest that class action is the way to go; retaining counsel and suing for educational or medical malpractice isn't something everyone can afford, after all, and frankly, WHO KNOWS WHAT TYPES OF ATTORNEYS ARE WITHIN MY WALKING DISTANCE?


Just to show what a racket all of this is: not a dime of Small Smiles’ $24 million settlement goes to any of the tortured victims, but goes rather to the notorious kidjackers at the Department of Human Services/Child Protection!  If I'm not mistaken, DHS partners with the District to provide education services at the Spring Creek juvenile detention center - no doubt the District does all it can to funnel kids into that profit-making bonanza.  Like in "Monsters, Inc.," it’s really too bad DHS and the District can’t figure out a way to earn money for each scream of terror, and/or charge “abusive” parents for each teardrop shed whilst trying to pull their kids back from the iron trap of DHS "protective custody" – it would make that $24 mill look like CHUMP CHANGE.


Snakes...leeches:  the love of money is the root of ALL evil...these liars and thieves come in every age, shape, size, color, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, credit and tax bracket.  And yet these hypocrites all sit around pretending to throw money at "society's problems" and ruminate on why Johnny can’t read, is clueless, lazy and obese?? Smart – very smart!  Maybe some Progressive Philosopher can solve these problems:  quick, I've hear John "Valedictorian" Gudvangen recently put the finishing touches on his new curriculum "Sweatin' to the Accordion - Alphabet Songs and Sight Words" and needs some poor kids to try it out on!!!  If it's pointless, costly and doesn't work...oh well, no harm, no foul!

We are told to trust our professionals; have faith that our doctors will do no harm, our cops will serve and protect; our pizza will be there in 30 minutes or it’s free, our elected officials are all just in it “for the kidsssss” and that no child will be left behind – ALL LIES, TOLD BY SHAMELESS LIARS. My fellow Coloradans, this is what the rest of the population can look forward to under socialized medicine – under socialism in general.   Even given the example from Massachusetts, I fear most of us have forgotten the past ...the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Uprising, how the Nazi's stormed in and took over, etc., and because we've forgotten history, we are doomed to repeat it!!!  I'm going to be doing a little less writing from here on out; probably going to be posting video and documents to help remind us all of that past, so that we may all know better what the very near future may actually hold.

Though the price of the screams of my son was too steep, even the oil of your greed and ruthlessness brings forth blessings; for it’s caused you to let slip your mask and finally reveal to me your true face: it is hideous. I give up on trying to re-open Adams Elementary; it's not gonna happen, I can see that now.  The more I think about it, the District isn't even worthy of trying to teach my children to count to ten; I’m glad now that my two youngest are not and likely will never attend your schools! How fortunate am I to count myself among the last of the old school! This is not the same Colorado Springs, we are not the same people, and you are not the same school district nor will you ever be again! Fake, phony counterfeits; you clowns could never have taught me to write like I do today; to be sure, I write circles around every single one of you, and your half-stepping non-vocabulary-teaching teachers and useless learning resource technicians and all of your mumbo-jumbo education professionals. The plain and simple truth is that without any classroom training whatsoever, I’m confident in a classroom I could garner more respect and hold the attention more capably and raptly than most of your longest-tenured teachers.

Learning of the District's connection to the Small Smiles matter has been for me the ultimate betrayal, and sent me into a complete tailspin; shock and sadness have become leaden weights in my gut, distracting me with wave after wave of discordant thoughts...I could write forever, and there still wouldn't be any words, no words at all, to describe the cacophony of fury blazing and blaring through my head!!!  Like Elin Woods, upon finding out goody-two-shoes Tiger is not merely a run of the mill cheatah, but an extraordinary, tasteless philanderer who revels in "unsafe" sex with countless plain-faced, flabby tramps...not nearly as beautiful as his wife and mother of his two children.  I hope she used the five-iron.



Be aware, my friends; beware!! Be not meek like sheep; be ever watchful of the wolf! NEVER let yourselves be lied to like this and NEVER ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Except

Let me say first that my mom is from Holland, I speak Dutch fluently and German fairly well…my mother’s family helped hide Jews from the Nazis, the Holocaust really happened, and Hitler jokes aren’t funny.

Except for this one.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Talking to a wall

August 23, 2009


Dear Mrs. Noyes,

I opened your July 28, 2009 letter much like I open a book – undecidedly, and with a vague sort of anticipation – and read it deliberately…absorbing each word utterly: my eyes narrowed with the passing of every sentence. An assortment of potential acidic and acerbic retorts filled my head like helium in a balloon, until: a single sharp flash of recognition as I took in the signature line – Judy Noyes – popped by the pin of your pen.

The hands of time stood still, then spun wildly backwards a full quarter of a century. The sublime Kathryn Eastburn was correct when she once reckoned your name “possibly more familiar to many in Colorado Springs than most people’s neighbors' or children's school teachers.’” While your knowledge of me is framed entirely in the context of my original letter, mine of you is decidedly more robust. So please, allow me to properly introduce myself.

The Chinook Bookstore opened eight years before my birth, and was a fixture of my youth – particularly those heady days at Palmer High School, where my husband and I met and fell in love. We still cherish those stolen moments when we’d stroll hand-in-hand through Acacia Park, grab a brownie from Canterbury Cheese or an ├ęclair from the Agora Mall bakery…then float into the Chinook to peruse its many tomes. As was true with Hibbard’s, Levine’s and Michelle’s, the news of the Chinook’s closing hit me like a bitter-sweet sucker punch.

Indeed, “one of the important and desirable elements of public art is the stimulation of discussion,” and at the risk of seeming disingenuous, please believe that I am simply delighted by this unintended discussion with you; regardless of this matter’s outcome, your letter is already tucked safely away in my “keepsakes” folder; thank you for taking time to respond to my rant.

I’ve enjoyed and looked forward to the annual Art On The Streets exhibit since it first opened eleven years ago – smiling at the whimsical, puzzling over the obscure; wondering at the beautiful – and this year was like the previous ten. As always, each piece I saw was in one way or another a delight unto my eyes –

– then came that moment, when I first caught sight of her bow from the corner of my eye…glimpsed, like a ghost ship out on the horizon. “Why, those are just reeds,” I remember telling myself, blinking…doubting the clarity of my vision. For an unsteady moment, sound and time and I simply stopped. A cold, invisible hand reached out and took hold of the silver chain I wear around my neck and began pulling me; mesmerized, as though in a dream, my feet moved of their own accord. My head became dizzy with the dreadful dawning of inescapable recognition; evenso, I audibly caught my breath when I saw it: a centuries-old reflection of me, caught in the jagged shards of a terrible, bronze and blood-stained mirror. My ears roared with a silent screaming and tears stung in my eyes – I stumbled back into the present…seasick and disbelieving.

Shaken, I dropped everything at that moment to research the art, artist, subject and exhibit, and my investigation was nothing, if not thorough; but the awful shocking cruelty of the devils in these details left me stunned, bewildered, and outraged. I was still reeling when I wrote – and then sent – that first furious letter; and while I remain unsettled by the wave that rises up within me whenever I think of it, it’s plain that the angry tenor of my letter distorted its intended message. Please: pardon me my tempestuousness.

You and I – we are strangers living in parallel worlds; and at the same time, we are kindred, with similar experiences and mutual concerns for tomorrow. Mostly, I believe we both share a curious and very real sort of love and loyalty for the city of Colorado Springs.

For nearly half a century, the Chinook and Palmer looked into each other’s faces from across the park, and shared memories; perchance you recall these events from the 1983-84 school year:

• A group of Native Americans took offense to Palmer’s mascot Eaglebeak, with whom the school ultimately parted ways. I was a cheerleader that year, and felt this was so much ado about nothing at all – but changed my mind once I learned that, after the Cowboys had smoked peace pipes with the Indians, they’d turned and gifted them with pox-riddled ponchos. Better awareness of Native American history rendered me better able to appreciate Native American sensitivities.

• I played the role of Rheba, young black housemaid to the wealthy, wacky Sycamore family in the fall production of You Can’t Take it With You; a young white actor named Chris Brown portrayed Rheba’s black boyfriend Donald. Strangely importuned that Mr. Brown actually look brown – like me, presumably – the director, Beth Eply, cast him in black-face…a decision that was roundly panned, and detracted from the entire production.

• That spring, spray-paint wielding pranksters homed in on the beloved sculpture of General William Jackson Palmer astride his horse – and “un-gelded” the gelding. The proper authority hastily rectified this assault upon the public decency…yet remains aloof to the traffic hazard the sculpture presents in the intersection of Nevada and Platte Avenues, where it’s stood for over a century.

Fast-forward to the present.

Though his work is often moody and hard to describe, Michael Brohman is clearly a master sculptor; and though I maintain Journey is a sharp departure from the light-hearted and indefinable pieces of all the Art On the Streets that preceded it, it is only the unfortunate setting that offends me and keeps me from designating it a masterpiece. Yes, yes, YES as a monument acknowledging the blood, sweat and tears shed by untold millions over 500 years of slavery; Yes – even across the street at the old court house, which is now a museum! But come, now: Journey, as a “depiction of liberty, justice and freedom,” is stationed appropriately in front of the county court house?

Well, I beg to differ.

Simply put: in our known history, the enormity and inhumanity of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade is comparable only to the Jewish Holocaust; the terrible truth of its lasting legacy made plain in present-day state and federal incarceration statistics; and when one incorporates the ghosts of 5,000 lynchings – often on the very courthouse steps – the magnitude of a haunting such as this requires careful deliberation and deference.

My father is a black man from the savannahs of Georgia, and my mother is a white woman from the Netherlands; my husband, also a native, is white, and three of our four children appear to be white. I tell you these things so that you’ll know me more fully; not as an angry extremist or back-East elitist, but as I am: a home-grown, home-spun, home-town Air Force brat and former patron, who learned to write in the schools of District #11, and was raised at the foot of that changeless and ever-changing mountain.

Though my Dutch forebears were the very initiators and innovators of the slave trade, I do not blame my mother for the sins of her fathers; but if she were to suddenly begin sporting a charm bracelet of miniature bronze people hanging by their necks, I’d wonder as to her deeper meaning. And so it is with Journey: that a slave ship – constructed of more than 1,000 bronze people – sits at the entrance of the Terry R. Harris Judicial Complex, right in the center of my hometown – why, I wouldn’t even believe it if I hadn’t already seen it with my own eyes! Like my conspiracy accusation and Massa declaration, to me this is in preposterously bad taste; and attempts to defend this gaffe go beyond the absurd and enter the realm of the tacky. I could only be more astonished if Michelle’s re-opened and began selling chocolate fudge penises at Easter time!

I know you once objected to the customary prayer at the start of city council meetings, so I hope that you’ll not be similarly offended by this prayer of my own: I pray that I’ve restated my case well enough, and that you’ll put down these pages better able to see things from a different perspective, adequately moved to provide remedy to this easily correctible and pardonable oversight.

In conclusion: even if mine is the only complaint you receive about the court house setting of Journey – I remain unable to reconcile it within myself, and find this error enough to diminish everything else about it: the art, the artist, the exhibition, the exhibitor; Mr. Harris and the court house; and the forgotten horrors of an experience so sanitized and silenced by the centuries, few are ever able to really appreciate the sorrow and sacrifice of those enslaved millions; indeed, I am diminished by it – moreover, my home town, the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the United States of America, is diminished by the insensitivity of this sculpture’s current installation.

Borrowing from the abolitionist William Wilberforce, “having heard all of this you may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.” Whatever the outcome: I hope that you might also keep this blue forget-me-not – pressed, perhaps, between the pages of some old and weighty book – if only for the sake of remembering the occasion when you and I agreed to disagree.

- Spydra

http://www.withoutsanctuary.org/main.html

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Agenda

The agenda used to be posted online *well* in advance of the weekly Board meeting - typically posted online the Friday before the meeting.

For the past several weeks, the agenda HAS NOT been posted on the district website in advance of the meeting, and indeed, IT AIN'T UP THERE RIGHT NOW. WHY NOT? It's free, after all...

Same goes for the "podcast" - why isn't it available until after the minutes for the last meeting have been approved? I want to see the podcast simulcast.

The Board so often demonstrates itself to be a bunch of cowards and control freaks - it's a little sickening, really.

And somebody please turn up the heat in the Boardroom, so Jan can STOP WEARING THOSE UGLY FINGERLESS THINGS.

Dreaming...

I went inside the Adams building last night.

The lights were on in the center of the building, but shut off along each of its three corridors; the blinds were open in each window, however, and daylight spilled across the floors of each of its rooms. Everything was spotless and bright, with colorful pictures painted by kids hung all along the walls.

I walked the halls slowly, examining the artwork thoughtfully…pausing and smiling occasionally. In a few of the rooms was a teacher addressing small groups of parents. As I made my way to the far end of the building, I remember seeing quiet faces of every race, listening attentively as the teacher explained classroom curricula.

The lights were off in the library, but sunlight streamed in through a sort of skylight. I moved silently along the rows and rows and shelves of books, unsure of which was ghost - the library or I. Running my finger along the bindings, brushing off a light dust, glimpsing some of the titles - I suddenly felt like skipping, giddy and heady; felt like spinning in a slow motion arabesque, the dust sparkling in the sunlight all around me, like tiny, twirling coins of silver and gold.


I felt supremely, utterly happy.

Leaving the library, I walked toward the office. The door leading to the pricipal was slightly ajar, and I pushed it open. Sitting at the desk was a Latina Linda Hunt-Stone, hair jet black. She turned to me. “Hello,” we said.

I started. “I can’t believe the building is open; is school actually back in session at Adams?”

“Yes,” said she, to my amazement.

“W-when…how…why…,” I sputtered.

Then, she told me about the charter school that would be occupying the building. “You mean STAR Academy,” I asked…but she said “No,” and began telling me about some crazy-sounding program. I remember thinking, “Huh? How unfair!” But then another part of me was just like “WHO CARES – school’s in at Adams again!!!”

And I didn’t want to wake up…I didn’t want to wake up…

But I’m awake now.

Of course I care – STAR Academy has asked for the past year to utilize all or a portion of the Adams building – with the District ignoring them in a way that can only be described as maddening. STAR has as strong a program as any other District 11 charter school – and anyone claiming otherwise, please explain the following document:

Charter School State Waivers Comparison-1


For whatever reason, the District does not want to see the STAR program succeed, flaunting the law, and denying STAR use of a perfectly good school building; in the meantime, the District is basically trashing the Adams building and – I’m sorry – pissing this parent off to no end.

District 11, I beg you:

GROW A SOUL! GROW A CONSCIENCE! DIG AROUND FOR EVERY RARE SHRED OF DECENCY YOU MIGHT HAVE, AND ALLOW STAR ACADEMY TO UTILIZE THE ADAMS BUILDING! DO THE RIGHT THING FOR STAR ACADEMY, FOR THE ADAMS NEIGHBORHOOD, AND FOR OUR KIDS! RE-OPEN ADAMS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dear Santa...

(ok, this really is the final update, all: 
 look for the text in yellow...also, new pics and videos; enjoy!)

Dear Santa,

Seasons Greetings! How are you? I hope life is treating you well at the North Pole, and that you’re feeling jolly. I’m jolly-ish and doing well. Thank you for the wonderful and thoughtful presents you brought us this Christmas, and the comfortable time spent amongst family and friends.

I do wonder though, Santa: is your crystal ball thing still working properly, or did it also go digital? This is somewhat off topic, but I much preferred the ssshhhhh static to the weird skip-skip-skipping of the digital "upgrade.” And what’s up with the time delay between the same analog and digital broadcast…with digital lagging as much as ten seconds behind the analog? Santa, do look further into this, if you would, it could explain why you might have missed or overlooked some things this year.

Santa, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but last year I was exceptionally good - for goodness’ sake alone – trying always to be thoughtful and unselfish. I did not skim, conceal or lie about my day-to-day doings. Nevertheless, I have noticed there are some bad boys and girls who for a long time have and continue to be extra bad – and it seems you continue to reward them. Forgive me if I’m too forward, Santa, but aren’t they supposed to receive lumps of coal? And if the haughty naughty receive niceties, oughtn’t the nice receive even nicer ones?

I don’t mean to complain, Santa; just trying to make some sense of it all. Whether it was something I wanted, badly needed, felt sure I’d merited, or simply wished in a whimsical instant, you didn’t bring them, though they were all well within reason, and most, absolutely free and of benefit to more than just myself. Hence, I'm writing this letter now and sending it to you early, in the hope that we’ll be more on the same page, same time next year.

I have questions, Santa…ones I’ve asked for nigh a year, yet remain unanswered. Because I suspect your crystal ball thing is malfunctioning, I don’t really expect the answers to come from you; rather, I hope that as you read through this letter, you might begin asking these questions yourself.

Why was DPMD, LLC dissolved three days after I established this blog?

In case you’ve forgotten, DPMD, LLC provided pizza to District 11 since 2002. This partnership – involving Carl Tanner, Mark Tanner, and Tony Mand, the self-titled “King of Pizza” who’s managed by some miracle to pull himself from the jaws of bankruptcy three (3) times. was hastily dissolved within three days of my inaugural post. Why, Santa?

Why did Cheezer’s and Inflated Dough receive weekly payments from the district?
State law requires all districts to post their registers online, and right now, that would include July - December 2008, January – June 2009, and July - December 2009. This version of the District check register contains all of the data from July 2008 through June 2009; the account numbers are explained in excellent detail here. I noticed the links for the registry have been removed from the District’s Financial Transparency page; I trust, however, it will soon be made available; I’ll check back regularly and alert you when it is.

I’m actually ok with the one register I do have; after all, too many numbers could cause me to suffer some sort of attack. Aware of that risk, I evenso continue to while away countless hours…sorting the data this way and filtering it that; indeed, the register remains a constant object of my rapt fascination. And to think Glenn Gustafson wondered if anyone would even bother to look for this information, much less understand it.

Who is Sanford E. “Pete” Lee?


Colorado State Senate-hopeful Pete Lee has been a somewhat nebulous entity for quite some time. Like Jan, his benign background hardly seems to warrant the mounds of credit he’s given. This long time member of the District Advisability and Accountability Committee (DAAC),  didn't even live within District boundaries until very recently. 


As best I can tell, he's an attorney with an expertise in small business incorporation, and has helped draft some legislation at the state level. When Lee was the registered agent for Inflated Dough, his address was listed as 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 1100 (the Alamo Corporate Center) as part of what looks to be some sort of attorney clearinghouse. In addition to founding the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council (PPRJC) with wife Lynn, he is the registered agent for a local Montessori school, a snow mobile operation near Monarch Ski Resort, Showcraft, Inc. and a lesser-known entity, Showcraft Construction.   

The first time the term “restorative justice” was explained to me, I said right away that it was just a newfangled term for “tell the nice lady how sorry you are.” I said it sounded like some rich person’s kid got into trouble with the law, and now wants to form a charitable foundation designed to help rich kids get out of jail free by having them perform a public service; something menial and beneath them, I imagine…such as rake a lawn or pick up trash…considered border-line cruel and unusual punishment, I’m sure, for the rich kids.  As I understand it, Lee’s son was a student at the Bijou Alternative School, which makes me feel even more certain about the veracity of my conclusion; and while this organization has enjoyed promotion as a worthy cause in the liberal media and news outlets, the good things they’ve all said are copied verbatim from the PPRJC website itself.

Imagine how hard it must be and unnatural it must feel for some spoiled rich kid to apologize. Heck, it must be a lot like learning a foreign language to them! The only thing this goes to show is that some wealthy kids are so clueless, it never even occurs to them to feel one way or the other about anything they say or do without receiving special training and/or tutoring.  Think, too, of their even wealthier parents studiously perusing their Restorative Justice text books: “‘Sorry’ Isn’t A Four-Letter Word”; “Apologies for Dummies”; “Well, Excuuuuuse Me: Saying ‘Sorry’ Sincerely.”

And the wealthy elitists insinuate that the poor are empty-headed? Seems to me that lack of common sense is a serious debilitation that strikes without regard to take-home pay. Heck…the District loves nothing more than throwing good money after bad: perhaps plans call for the construction of the new Mea Culpa Magnet School of Innovative Apology on the city’s northeast side.  

Come on, Santa…people actually get paid for this? People actually donate money towards this?? This is not rocket science, Santa, this is old-fashioned common sense! It's what every good boy and girl was once taught back in the days when kids still occasionally read aloud from the Bible in class, and when parents and teachers alike agreed that an appropriate response to backtalk was the expedient application of a ruler to the back of one's hand!

I'm not at all advocating abuse, Santa, you know that...but honestly: aren’t there times when your elves are misbehaving, or your reindeer are involved in noisy horseplay, and a well-placed smack on the arse is the fastest and most effective means of getting them to sit still and stop making all of that confounded racket??

Santa, these parents spared the rod; now they're surprised to find they've spoiled the child? Just an observation, but perhaps if you'd given these poor little rich kids lumps of coal long ago, they'd have learned while their butts were still protected by the padding of their diapers that actions have consequences...rather than taking expensive “say ‘sorry’ like you mean it” lessons to save their butts now!

This especially tickles me:

RJ in the Pews: Intended especially for the faith based community, the application of restorative practices and principles in the church setting will be discussed. Restorative practices have proven valuable in assisting people to build their capacity and willingness to confront the harms they have caused or experienced. Churches have been leaders in the creative and effective application of restorative principles to heal harm, makes things right, and create community.

How laughably presumptuous; the church has been teaching restorative justice a lot longer than the PPRJC's been around, that's for sure.  Ever hear of this?

"forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"

No?  Well it's this thing called the Lord's Prayer...it can be found in that one book you may have heard about once or twice...the Bible.  Why do liberals always think they thought up a good idea first?  Why are they always so ready to re-invent the wheel?  Why do they approve of the church if it agrees to teach apology the restorative justice way, but reject and seek to destroy the church if it teaches apology the biblical way? Why do heathens get to have it any way they want it whenever they feel like it, Santa...or does it simply come with the territory of wavering orientations and anything-goes natures?

Why the pretense that Jan is a selfless friend of public education?


I’m sorry, Santa, but since when are lawsuits friendly?  How is someone who files suit against Colorado’s public education system considered one of its advocates?  Jan was a plaintiff in a successful anti-charter lawsuit in 2002, in which she claimed charters would deny her child educational opportunities. Santa, you know as well as I that Jan's son was poised to graduate from high school at the time…and that he was certainly afforded every educational opportunity that money can buy! I presume he’s pretty brainy as well, since he attends the Colorado School of Mines – so why did Tanner even care about charter schools that would primarily benefit struggling,low-income students??

Again, claiming that her child was unfairly denied educational opportunities, Jan’s good buddy Karen Teja actually filed a successful lawsuit against District 11 and yet still managed to sit on its Board! Does this mean that anyone wishing to become a director on the Board of Educators need simply file suit and they’re in? Because my children really are being unfairly denied educational opportunities – can’t we jump on the gravy train, too? Because Santa, as the people in the photograph below can likely attest…what’s not to like about gravy?





Tanner was Teja’s campaign manager, and Teja was Tom Strand’s campaign manager; Linda Elliott was Tanner's campaign manager and *is* Pete Lee's campaign manager.  Jan Tanner and Tom Strand are both board members on Pete's PPRJC.  Santa, what are all the connections here; do the very same people who back Jan Tanner’s political aspirations also back Tom Strand and Pete Lee?  With this in mind, perhaps we should all start judging these people by the company they keep!!


Why didn't Jan disclose her contract with the district?

In light of her position as the District's legislative liaison and her expertise in policy governance®, it is reasonable to presume she was well aware of Colorado election rules and laws. She simply had to have known that her position as treasurer for her husband’s pizza enterprise and their lucrative contract with the District posed a significant conflict of interest once she became treasurer for the District. 

According to Glenn Gustafson, Tanner apparently signed some kind of disclosure statement in 2007, tacit acknowledgement that the potential for conflict exists.  But once again, apparently all of these wise guys have forgotten that a disclosure statement form can be found on and must be filed with the Secretary of State.  Or am I the only one who knows how to look up this information, Santa?  To date, Jan has yet to file any type of disclosure and/or conflict of interest statement with the Secretary of State.  When I spoke with the El Paso County District Attorney's office, Santa, I was told that such a failure to do so by an elected official is a criminal misdemeanor.


Think of how restorative justice might have benefited Charles Wingate! Or is restorative justice only for financially fortunate Caucasians? Why is everyone letting Jan slide on this; could it be the mountains of cash upon which she sits – not just her own, but that of a wealthy GLBT contingent, along with funding from the Progressive Majority?

Can Jan walk the Restorative Justice walk?

When the Board announced in February 2009 that it would close eight elementary schools around the city, I was moved to attend my very first ever Board meeting to address the seven of them.  I told them that their plan was hasty and ill-conceived, and cautioned that if they moved forward to close the schools...and particularly Adams...despite all of the public outcry and protest (not the least of which was mine)...well, I stood there and looked them in their eyes and "promised" that I would "expose" them.


I had no idea what I even meant when I uttered those words...but uttered them...and the Board yawned.  I tried to warn them, Santa, and they did it anyway.  I wonder if they ever wish now that they'd simply waited...or even reversed the decision.  As I see it, if Adams was open, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this now; and if Adams were to re-open, or STAR Academy allowed to occupy part of the Adams building...well, that too could cause Spydra to walk away from the web.

Here's one more opportunity for an out, and I announce this promise now like I announced it then - publicly:  if Jan Tanner truly believes that this - restorative justice - really matters and is of true benefit, she’ll look me right in my eight eyes and say (a bit hoarsely), “I prithee, Goody Spydra, and do beg your pardon; but please, won't you accept this trifle as a token of my contrition, for actions most unseemly?" Then, she’d unfurl the Proclamation to Re-Open Adams Elementary and sign it with a fancy feather-pen flourish...or alternatively, just hand me a check for ten percent of the $160,000 she made off the District over the 2008-2009 school year; trumpeters would herald, and with that, the slate would be clean, and bygones gone by.  

Let’s return to the ten percent restitution scenario: that would mean $16,000 - just for the 2008-2009 school year!  Do you realize what that amount of money would mean to me an my family? We could pay off all of our debt, purchase my dream car (pictured; seats six, sells for $500) – why, we could get back and forth from a job...what a luxury, especially now that they've stopped bus service for those low-income people who need a job most!  I could finally get myself a pair of prescription glasses and be able to see.  I could get the "d" key on my laptop repaired (have any of you any idea how often the letter "d" is used?!?).  I could get 2010 pages for my day planner.  I could buy my daughter a bus pass to get to and from school, since the district won't allow her to ride the bus that goes right past our house each day, and put braces on her beautiful smile… and still have enough left over for closing costs on a modest house. 


Whereas Jan probably spent $16,000 on her fingerless gloves!

Santa, restorative justice from Jan Tanner is win-win-win:
"   enabling Jan to publicly demonstrate her modern progressivism, while still upholding the venerated orthodox socialist ideal of wealth more fairly shared; 
"   providing friend Lee with another success testimonial to display on his Restorative Justice website; and, 
"   yanking my family out of poverty in a New York minute!


How and why was Jan involved in the Gay/Straight Alliance lawsuit against Palmer High School?

The earliest mention I have found of Jan and the District was her involvement in the Gay/Straight Alliance matter, which was the catalyst for all of this impossible, nonsensical “inclusion” crap in the city of Colorado Springs.  This lawsuit cost $250,000!  To paraphrase the document I reviewed regarding this matter, loosely organized student groups/clubs have always been around in the form of cliques – well, Santa...ya don't say!  Why stop there, Santa? 

Why not establish the Confuse Our Youth (C.O.Y.) Club? Christian/Satanic Co-op? Young Androgynists? How about the NAMBLA Scouts? Kommunist Kids Klub? Future Grifters of America Club? Keep 'em-Separated Society? The I-Hate-My-Parents Club? How about the Emo Cutters Club? Proud-To-Be-What’s-Wrong-With-America Club? Say No to Abstinence Club? Teen Moms Club? Middle-Class Haters Club? The Up-Is-Down Club? Children Drinking Liberally? How about the Me-Myself-And-I Club? The 2-4-Me-1-4-U Club? Just-My-Kid Club? Having-Our-Pizza-And-Eating-It-Too club? Elite-Teen Utopians? Santa, I could go on and on and on!!!

How Much Community Service is Too Much?

Tami Hasling really had a lot of nerve insinuating that Al Loma was stretching himself too thin by sitting on the STAR Academy Board coincident with his tenure on the Board of Educators; what gall to advise him to "pick one thing and do it well."  She oughtn't dish out advice she and her best friend Jan Tanner can't themselves follow!


From a CASB publication:

Jan Tanner was elected to the Colorado Springs School District 11 Board of Education in 2006 and has held the position of Board Treasurer since 2004.

·       Chairman of the Audit Advisory Committee (HAHAHAHA!)
·       Board representative to the Coalition for a Thorough and Uniform Colorado Public Education System
·       Board liaison to the Calendar Committee
·       Board liaison to the Policy Subcommittee
·       Member of the Math/Science Magnet Committee
·       Member of the Continuous Quality Improvement Team
·       Member of the Colorado PTA Board of Directors
·       Member of the Colorado PTA Legislative Committee
·       Colorado PTA Convention workshop presenter.

In addition to volunteering in her school district, she has hosted exchange students and volunteers annually with the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent.

Reason for desiring to serve on the CASB Board of Directors:

“My interest in excellent public education has led me to learn about effective school boards. School boards need to take advantage of resources available in order to govern well. We have a very valuable resource in CASB, and I want to ensure that CASB has good representation from all areas of the state, continue excellent communication with boards, and promote the association.”

WOW.  When you add sitting on CASB and the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council and marching in the Pride Parade, it's a wonder Jan has any time to keep books for her husband's pizza monopoly!


Why long time, no see, CASB?
Santa, CASB is an organization harder to believe in than even you yourself!  They recently held what was billed as their 69th annual convention at the Broadmoor, though they didn’t organize until 1988. Questions were raised; were the decision-makers for Colorado's schools wise to hold such a holiday extravaganza, in light of the ominous predictions for our economy and rash of clumsy school closures?  CASB's president answered, assuring that the whole thing was done on the cheap...thanks to the deep discounts they enjoy as a result of their 40-year relationship with the Broadmoor Again, how is this possible, when CASB came into existence only 21 years ago?  

 According to their website, CASB provides:

Then Santa...how good can CASB be?  They apparently never advised Jan that the law requires her to divulge the details of her pizza contract; all of that policy governance training must not have sunk in.  And to be very honest with you, I am troubled to think of CASB's involvement with any of the superintendent drama we've suffered over the years.  


The District already spends a goodly amount on a wide array of lawyers, law firms, legal fees and settlements; what does CASB do that's different, or substantially value-added?  What follows is the truth about Colorado School Associations, Santa...and I hardly even need to say a word:

·   Colorado Association of School Boards
·   Colorado Association of School Executives
·   Colorado Association of School Nurses
·   Colorado Association of School Business Officials
·   Colorado Association of School district Energy Managers
·   Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care
·   Colorado School Counselor Association
·   Colorado Association of School Librarians
·   Colorado Association of School Business Officers
·   Colorado School Plant Managers Association
·   Colorado Association of School Resource Managers
·   Colorado Education Association
·   Colorado Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers
·   Colorado Association of Science Teachers
·   Colorado Association of Superintendents' Assistants

That's what came up when I performed this internet inquiry:  "colorado association of school"...so, I'll only make token reference to these similar associations:

·   Association of Education Service Agencies
·   Cooperative Educational Services Advisory Council
·   Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies.

Okay, Santa? Mr. President, I move that this is a bunch of malarkey!!  What do ANY of these organizations get accomplished?  Be for real, Santa...aren't they all just supper clubs with fancy-sounding names for people with an all-consuming desire to belong to something...ANYTHING?  Layer upon layer of pseudo-government bureaucracy...it's truly bewildering.  This was a very clarifying exercise for me...and illustrated in vivid detail the hazardous, long-term effects of having too many student group/clubs in high school:  those silly kids eventually grow up, ya know - oftentimes into silly, self-important adults; nothing ever changes and the cycle is self-sustaining.  How very, very, very redundant...this needless, shameless, in-your-face waste.

Santa, I can see no compelling reason for the district's CASB membership - none.  One would expect to hear plenty of voices shouting to justify the $20,000 annual expense for membership and dues - certainly CASB’s former president John Gudvangen – yet there has been no response whatsoever to CASB having been called out in what seems plainly to be a lie.  

Apparently, there's some conflict within CASB about whether it's right or wrong for one of its board members to actively stump for a campaigning politician:

Election-year Politics, the Colorado Ballot, and the 2009 Legislature
(CASB) Executive Director Ken DeLay and Director of Government Relations Julie George led a discussion as to the November elections and the implications for CASB and Colorado school districts. For the record, Pam Suckla does not endorse candidates nor has she formally endorsed Jill Brake

Hrrrmmmm...well, if Suckla doesn’t – or oughtn’t  then why does Tanner? To be perfectly plain, Santa...I'm not even sure who all of these people are - but I trust none of them due to their association with Tanner; any person affiliated with Tanner or Lee is immediately suspect.


Why does Jan pretend to be a commoner?

Don't be fooled by her frequent frumpiness, Santa - Mrs. Tanner is not your ordinary Colorado Springs soccer mom, and hers is no mom-n-pop pizza shoppe.  Her husband owns or has an interest in most of the Domino’s Pizzas in Southern Colorado...and that's A LOT of dough, inflated or otherwise! What about her enviro-car…it looks hella expensive...and must feel something like driving an electric green spaceship to and from all of her volunteer gigs! 


To be perfectly plain, I think Jan’s slummin’ it here in her $200,000 Colorado home. Tell the truth, Santa: Jan’s middle name is Cash, isn't it?  Behind closed doors, she picks cheese from her teeth using toothpicks made of tightly-rolled $20s, doesn't she; indeed, I’m surprised we haven’t seen her leave the ladies room with a hundred dollar bill stuck to the bottom of her shoe!  Santa, does Jan use money for toilet paper, Santa, because WE JUST RAN OUT!

(Note:  Under separate cover, I'll provide you with a short segment that'll help you understand all the reasons why I believe these things, Santa.)

Why drink liberally – ever?

Santa, I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I have a special aversion for alcohol. As a member of the Drinking Liberally club, Jan doesn’t; anI’ve heard that Sandra Mann doesn’t either. Might these two have formed an alliance based upon mutual interests? Are Long Islands the reason for Mann’s weaving back and forth across her Republican party lines, and why she nominated Tanner for Vice President of the Board?



Conveniently absent in situations requiring a 2/3 majority vote, and vaguely reminiscent of yesterday’s teletype machine, Mann has proven herself to be a reliable – if somewhat ethereal – district talking head. At times, I can see that she really is trying hard to act natural…but she’s positively transparent, and it always seems like she might start laughing after she finishes reading her script. Tanner should give her some acting pointers.

No-ELLiots?

I really like the way Craig Cox explains the involvement of John and Linda Elliott. Lots of excellent questions raised, and none answered.


What fashion statement is Jan trying to make?

Santa, one would think Jan had enough money to buy herself an iota of style and a smidgen of taste - please to explain the awful "pizza blouse" she wore to November 30, 2009 Board meeting where she said goodbye to her compadres Tami and John, and hello to LuAnn and Al?  I TOLD YOU IT LOOKED LIKE SHE DROPPED AN ENTIRE PIZZA PIE ON THE FRONT OF HER BLOUSE - WAS I LYING??


Further, Santa, is Out the new In? Or is Jan sporting interplanetary fashions from the future? What happened to the fingers of her gloves – did they run back to their home in 1980? Is she a cougar trendsetta ala Madonna and Posh Spice? Or are her fingerless gloves utilitarian, allowing her to keep counting all that money and still keep her hands warm?






For Pete’s sake, Santa – Jan’s in her mid-fifties; does she also wear Jelly bracelets and ponytail hair ties? What if she starts wearing her underpanties on the outside of her slacks...or, Heaven forbid, borrows the Emperor’s new clothes? Santa, I’m scared - please help prepare me for the preposterous!



What’s in it for Jan?
I guess, Santa, I'd just like to know what’s really in it for Jan? Her kid’s been out of school for the better half of a decade; further, it appears Ben Tanner is an only-child – which is not a slam against only-children, because my husband is an only-child, nor is it a slam on their parents…but unlike me, Santa, Jan’s keen interest in public education isn’t motivated by the needs of her child(ren), nor, apparently, by the needs of my children. Why does any of this even matter to a rich empty nester who graduated from high school 40 years ago?

So, Santa, what then is Jan’s motivation? It can’t be ordinary altruism - you must already know this, as you’re practically Altruism’s patron saint. But consider the difference between your own volunteerism and Jan’s; look at how hardyou work, to give back so much! In stark contrast, Santa…what actual work does Jan do, really? Indeed, it’s hardly working…and her oodles of “public service” seem only for her own gain and that of her elitist comrades and/or partners in running.  

Other than money, what justifies Tanner’s elitism?

You know, Santa...I used to run; so what?  Do these people think they're better than the rest of us because their calves are toned?  What makes Jan think she’s so good? What justifies her nonchalant elitism? Is it her rote memorization and fast talkin’ recitation skills? Her portfolio and pedigree…or just her perky personality and pepperoni pizza combo? Is Jan really a nice girl, Santa? Because I get the impression that she’s decidedly more of the haughty naughty sort; why do you keep rewarding her, when what she really deserves are two lumps of coal? Granted, you know if she’s been sleeping, you know if she’s awake; but would you know if she was secretly padding her bras with cash?

Hmmm…Introducing, The Inflated Dough MoollahBra© - guaranteed to add a full cup size and change your tax bracket, or your money back.


Santa, I realize that I probably sound envious; I am. Jan has so much, and I have so little. I will work on my covetousness. But I still feel that Jan’s mean, and the Queen of Green. You know…my husband made the astute observation that plants are “green” – tell the truth, Santa…is Jan Tanner some kind of a progressive plant? Aren’t they also called noxious weeds?


Who does Jan Tanner think she is? More importantly, who is Jan Tanner?

My final questions, Santa:

  • Why does Charlie Bobbitt seem to have more integrity in his little finger than the rest of the D11 school board does collectively?
  • Why have we as taxpayers become so complacently credulous, and willing to accept such obnoxiousness and mendacity from our elected officials?
  • When did America lose its outrage?
  • Is a mind still a terrible thing to waste?
  • Is gay really the new black? 
  • Do you like the way Adam Lambert sings? 
  • When did the Springs go from being Intolerant Colorado to the Rocky Mountain Gay Escape?
  • When did Socialists become Progressives?
  • How did commie become cool?
  • When will Christianity officially become criminal?
  • Will humans worship lightning once they digi-volve into Transformers?
  • Will going to hell in a hand basket hurt?
  • Will Jan also go to hell via hand basket, or does she get to take the family yacht?
  • You know how "dog" is "God" spelled backwards?  Does it ever bother you that the names “Santa” and “Satan” are so similar? 

Santa, when I say I’m doing something “for the kids” I don’t mean taking the ones I found wandering lost in the forest, putting them in a cage inside my gingerbread house, and fattening them up on pizza; you and I both know that good people do not feed off of children. A complete answer to these questions is all I want. I hope you will bear these things in mind, and be more fair next year in determining who's been naughty and who's been nice!

Sorry this is such a long letter, Santa. Thank you in advance for your time and attention to…and my best regards to your two loyal elves Rastus and Manuel.

Your friend,

Spydra