Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some peoples' kids

Proverbs 13:24:  He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. The Birthday Girl (Part 2 of 2)

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Righting wrongs...healing hurts...restoring justice; it's hard work and serious business.

This is the first of a series of articles in which I'll be focusing on the restorative justice game..and the people, parties and players who happened to snag the spider's attention.

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2011 General Assembly preview: 
Lee bill brought 'restorative justice'
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In 2008, Pete Lee helped author a bill that set into statute a style of therapy for juvenile criminals and their victims that some people find radical. It’s called “restorative justice,” and it involves bringing offenders face-to-face with their victims.
Lee, a Democrat and now a newly elected state representative, said restorative justice drives home to an offender the consequences of his or her actions, and, in turn, can help relieve a victim’s anger and grief. This year, Lee wants to make restorative justice available to adult offenders.
Restorative justice can have incredible effects, said Lee, citing the case of Sandy Eversole.
In July 2009, Eversole was informed by police that her son, David, had been killed in a drunk driving accident. He had gotten into a friend’s car at a late-night party. The friend was driving more than 100 miles per hour on Garden of the Gods Road when he tried to make a right turn and clipped a median. The car spun out of control and rolled several times, Eversole said.
David was thrown from the car, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver suffered a black eye.
“We hated (him),” Eversole said. “We wanted him dead.”
Eversole and her family agreed to try a restorative justice session.
Eversole, her two sons, and her daughter-in-law confronted the driver, who said he hated himself for what he’d done.
By the end of the session, each of Eversole’s family members hugged him, and every one of them was in tears.
Lee said that restorative justice has been used by Manitou Springs for more than a decade. He said he thinks it could reduce recidivism and bring  peace to everyone involved in a case.
Eversole, meanwhile, has become a fierce advocate for restorative justice. She’s spoken at law conferences, to attorneys and judges alike, and said she’ll testify at the Capitol as soon as Lee’s bill comes up in front of a committee.

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As the lead-in story evidences, restorative justice was instrumental in helping Ms. Eversole heal from the death of her son.  The death of one's child -- I don't know, but I would think we'd all agree -- we're talking HELLA HARM.  

So, if restorative justice helped that family heal from that kind of harm, it would stand to reason that multitudes of people could find peace and healing from a whole host of f-ed up situations:  burglary...home invasion...molestation...stalking...just take a look-see:


To be perfectly honest with you, I noticed myself feeling increasingly victimized just watching this silly shit.

I'm not sure if it was my old-fashioned parents and their old-school brand of child rearin'...or just all that wholesome, black-and-white television what taught me early that, when begging pardon, it's only right and  proper to come holding one's hat in one's hand.  But then again, maybe it was just indicative of how much simpler times were back in my old neighborhood of Jurassic Park, Mayberry, U.S.A.

Is it that in my old age I've become a snobby, judgmental, old fuddy-duddy?  Because back in my day, this young man's sneakers, jeans and backward cap were not considered proper mercy-seekin' attire...and call me Rip Van Winkle, but I think it's still true that slouching is disrespectful.  

If the victim's goal was to make the offender feel bad, her arrows seemed to bounce right off the daft boy's head...either that or he's mildly deaf... or it's also possible that he couldn't care less.  Gotta hand it to the big, militant-looking black chick, though, who managed to gaze beyond the boy's indifferent front and glimpse all the kid's hurts and hopes and dreams.  Like a true peace-warrior princess, she graciously offered to let the little thief work off the value of the stuff he stole by doing some odd jobs in and around her home -- because  everyone deserves a second chance...right?  

Ah; well.  Maybe it's just the acting in these videos that's got me down...they were all just actors, weren't they..and all the world's a stage?  Surely, when these morality plays are really going downthe participants are far more serious and sincere, and the results far more meaningful and restorative...right?...Shirley??


Well...what are you waiting for, silly...don't just stand there  -- Let's Roll Up Our Sleeves, Sit Down, and Talk This Thing Out!  

Under the watchful eye of a highly-qualified mediator (preferred providers will have obtained a degree in Peacekeeping, Peacemaking and/or Peace Education from a recognized and accredited United Nations Institute of Higher Learning), the victim will gently scold the offender, who will in turn mumble an apology; during this time of rich and rewarding dialogue, the victim will learn some of the sad variables that combined and caused the whippersnapper to take the low road and get off track; the victim may also come to recognize his/her own actions and/or omissions that may have invited the offense.  After verbal apologies have been exhausted, the offender should present the victim with a monetary apology contract to artificially trigger the start of the healing infusions having long been proven to relieve all sorts of irritations.  The restorative justice session is considered a success when the victim is finally able to shake off the chains of her/her "victimization."  In a room full of sighed relief and crocodile tears, old hurts are healed, and bygones are let go:  voilĂ  -- Justice...Restored.

Let's consider a case of attempted rape:  clothes often speak volumes without saying a word; it's also been said that "you can't rape the willing." So, there are times when ya gotta wonder..why would any "victim" wear revealing clothing  except to actively seek out the sexual attentions of others?  A hem-line above the knee??  Come on, let's be real:  that's sensual, that's seduction, that's solicitation, that's sexthat's consent, friends...which is a far cry from rape.

From there, it's just a hop, skip and a jump to "thank goodness -- it could have been so much worse" contemplations.  The perp then explains how, in his culture, if a woman isn't wearing a burqua, then she's a prostitute; he then humbly apologizes for failing to pay the whore for his/her services, and offers to throw him/her a few extra bucks -- case closed.  The victim will come to realize that the poor guy was probably just cold, broke and lonely...and made the understandable error of mistaking the victim for a slattern offering comfort -- poor guy!

Just to be clear:  the boy who threatened the girls with the knife after being struck in his soft little head by a wadded-up piece of paper is not the bully; the two girls are the bullies...and the boy is the nitwit who caved under the pressure of all that bullying.  Hey, what can I say, a kid can only take so much.

(free-style rant begins now)

Is it too much to ask that the offender at least  feign some remorse at some point, just for appearance's sake, or am I being too demanding?  Because I don't see any remorse, not in any of these restorative justice instructional videos.

I can only imagine spending a couple of hours around a small table with a brat and beatnik...trying to word my "Hey, You -- You Victimized Me" lecture carefully enough so that the text-message-addled mind of today's troubled teen can process...and possibly...nay, hopefully, provide a small indication that the birdbrain understands s/he did the wrong thing, regrets it and sincerely desires to make things right.  Falling short of that, I might be tempted to knock over the table in my haste to wring the sloucher's neck.

As far as I'm concerned, if I ever agree to participate in this kind of peacemaking circle, then the crime committed had better have been minor enough for me to feel that a kid standing in the middle wearing a suit or a dress and a tear-stained face, blubberin' "I'm sorry" was a case of justice served; if the apology didn't seem sincere enough to me, I feel I should at least be given an opportunity to throw rotten tomatoes at the youngster...and maybe at his parents as well.  Otherwise, as a victim, I'd probably feel like I'd just been robbed a second time by a bunch of peace-lovin', fad-followin', flower children prone to hallucinate that anything less than love is hate, and anything less than peace is war. 

Certainly, nagging a child's conscience is challenge enough with one's own little rascal(s)...a task made even harrier since in restorative justice, the knucklehead in question is someone else's kid who you may not slap, yell at, pull the hair of or ground for a month.  

Thumbnail image for Christopher Blackstone.jpgYou may be asking yourself:  "Is restorative justice for me?"  Well, sure...RJ is for everyone.  For example, local and misunderstood misogynist, Christopher Blackstone,  might reap some restorative justice rewards and experience some internal healing...and I'm sure his ex-girlfriend is looking forward to the day when she can share with him how she felt after learning he'd stomped her puppy to death on Christmas Eve as punishment for not answering his calls or texts...and he can share with her all the ways she pushed him to it.

Where did all of this come from?  All I can think is that we as a society have watched so many episodes of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich...we've all seen the cathartic effect of being able to cat fight with the homewrecker who slept with your husband...we've all seen the expressions of relief when a line of seated Casanovas all find out they "are NOT the father" -- now, we want that same type of confrontation for ourselves, only not in front of a national private, with a few specially selected participants.  The persons facilitating this nonsense must be able to earn at least as much as Jerry Springer or Maury Povich.  Oh, yeah, NO CAT FIGHTING ALLOWED.  

Restorative justice has been such a wild success in the classrooms that the experts agree:  it's not just for kids anymore; soon, all of us will have the opportunity to address issues of crime and punishment by talking and sitting and talking and sharing and talking and writing and talking and planning and talking about everybody's feelings -- to be honest, it makes me feel all funny inside just thinking about talking about all of it; thanks for letting me sit and talk and rant and talk and share my feelings on this with you.



Consider the mother whose sassy youngster just called her "a bitch."  The "peacebreaker" parent's first impulse might be to instantly deliver a smart slap to the child's face, and hope not to have to deliver another.  But peacemakers know that it's never, ever ok to strike a child...and besides, who wants to risk catching a child abuse case?  

For manifold reasons, parents cannot or will not bring themselves to discipline their precious young'uns...their confidence in their own parenting skills and rights shamelessly eroded by a bunch of liberal elitists with college degrees, utopian dreams, and social science experiments without number...these experts, ready to take the reins from the hapless parents and show everybody how childrearin' is really done.

Folks...what I'm about to say might seem quaint and unpolished, perhaps even a little backwards and harsh...but:

maybe justice wouldn't even need restoring -- indeed, perhaps it would still be intact -- if one or both parents had taken the time to teach their child self-control, etiquette, common courtesy, and the difference between right and wrong...reinforcing these day-to-day lessons with love and appropriate disciplinary measures. 

Why is it rational and reasonable for secular humanist eggheads to believe that their Utopia is attainable...but people with a faith in God, Heaven and the Bible are superstitious simpletons?

Listen:  a swift swat on the diaper-swaddled butt of a toddler does not child abuse make; indeed, it just might be an ounce of prevention that's worth more than ten pounds of restorative justice cure.  Smart parents and anyone with a shred of common sense understands that the pain is not the point of spanking -- but grabbing a little kid's attention and impressing upon that child the importance of minding his mom or dad IS.

No offense, but my husband, Fred Flintstone, and I, his wife Wilma, have managed to raise our kids to be loving, smart AND obedient without ANY of this touchy, feely and CERTAINLY PRICEY commie crap.  And to be perfectly honest, we did it without any religious stuff, as well.


1.  Their mom and dad are married.
2.  Discipline has been consistently administered, appropriate to the age and offense.
3.  Too much time in front of a monitor is not permitted  (TV, Computer, X-Box, Playstation).


The Ten Commandments
even if you're an atheist...aren't numbers 5 through 10 pretty decent guidelines for life?
  • 1.       You shall have no other gods before me
  • 2.       You shall not make for yourself an idol
  • 3.       Do not take the name of the Lord in vain
  • 4.       Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
  • 5.       Honor your father and mother
  • 6.       You shall not kill
  • 7.       You shall not commit adultery
  • 8.       You shall not steal
  • 9.       You shall not bear false witness
  • 10.   You shall not covet

(next up:  Sanford E. "Pete" Lee, Giving Tree Montessori, and other Peacekeeping Fun)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

No smoking

I can't explain it, all, but I just *quit*, simply *quit*, like magic and without any plan or forethought...and I just feel so great and happy about it, I just wanted to share it with you again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


and to think the highest form of flattery i usually get is of the "nice ass" variety...

i've never been so flattered
tears to my eyes
thank you so much pikespeakocean
rock on, my friend.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Eight Questions

the spider stops to contemplate 
upon these questions numbered eight

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Mark Barna of The Gazette
8.  Since "The Pulpit" is much, MUCH more about gay than God, why does the Gazette continue to permit GLBT-lovin' God-bashin' Barna to title his column as such?  I mean, just imagine if I had a column called "The Gay Pagan" and all I ever wrote about was religion...?

Better yet, with a typing speed of 125 WPM and plenty skill, why doesn't the Gazette hire me as either their education or religion writer, and allow Mark to focus on his expertise?  Or is it that they only allow bland white liberal atheist males to write irreverently for them (with a couple of token liberal blacks of mediocre talent tossed in here and there for flava)?

7.  Why wouldn't anyone vote Lisa Czelatdko over Mike Merrifield?

6.  Why when it was "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" did everyone tell me anyway?


5. Who killed Jocelyn Sandberg?  Why doesn't anyone in the GLBT "community" seem to wonder, remember, or even care about that anymore -- or are they all too busy adopting, enlisting, and gittin' hitched?

4. With regard to local politico and mountain runner Jan Tanner...that both her married surname Tanner and maiden surname Jorgensen family crests plainly depict three blackamoors heads  is no mere coincidence and of much significance; obviously, there's something these folks are trying to keep within the family;   besides pizza, historically, what is the Tanner-Jorgensen family business?  

3.  Wazzup at America the Beautiful Park, wazzup with every single person or entity involved with its creation, and what is its significance with regard to the Southern Delivery System?

The dark and light eyes of Horus,
depicted to the left by the Drake Power Plant/America the Beautiful Park geoglyph,
and depicted to the right by Marilyn Manson


2.  I have written about the manifold reasons that I have an especial familiarity with suicide; I apologize in advance if I upset and/or offend anyone with the following question...but with all of the strong-mayor stuff, and changes to City Council, and changes to Memorial Hospital...isn't it possible that Dr. Ted Eastburn's death only appeared to be a suicide?  He was a great man, one who would have received my vote for mayor; just days before his death, he lunched with Richard Skorman...and I'm curious if the Doctor mentioned anything about running for mayor at that time?

1.  Whether calling ourselves conservatives, liberals, Progressives, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Partiers, communists, socialists, capitalists, fascists, fabians or we as Americans understand or have any clue where we're going as a nation, as a people and as a world?  Do we really want to go there?  Since it's all foretold in the Bible, is it stupid to pray evenso, that we find the fortitude to work together and turn the tide?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Happy New Year all, hoping you all had a good one.

You know, many, many, many years ago -- I'd say 22 at least -- I was minoring in classical voice at CSU by day and by night, singing the blues and smoking inside this and that bar; some days and nights were better than others...

...but the New Year Eve I'm thinking of did not have me operating at *prime*.

Ennyhoo, I have always been a huge Led Zeppelin fan, and I was up on-stage at a bar called The Sports Page...drunkenly butchering a Zep song that under any other circumstances I'd have known every little nuance....and a kindly bar person clapped and stepped up to the mike and thanked me, "That was Spydra, ladies and gentlemen, give her a hand..."

...and as I basked in the smattering of drunken applause and proceeded to exit the stage, my heel caught the mike cord, and I kid you not, all:  I fell off the stage in front of everyone that night ~face, right onto my face, like you see in cartoons and stuff.

I guess I got to my feet and managed to stand; what little bits and pieces of the night I remembered only came to mind whenever I rubbed the big bruise on my forehead the following day.  

I also lost my purse and my keys that night, something I guess that didn't come to light until I was trying to enter my apartment; my date that night was so anxious to part ways with me that he broke a window pane in order to help get me inside.

When I awoke that morning after having passed out on the sofa, there was a light dusting of snow on my face, and I was SO hung over, I will never, ever forget how I felt that morning; seasick and dying.

They found my purse at the bar, with half of my money and cigarettes still inside of it...but I had to call a cab to go to the bar and get it and *bring* it to me, for I was so, so sick...and too sick to stand...and the very thought of those cigarettes caused me to turn several shades of green.

Ah, the good old days.

I think of that story from time to time, but especially any time I see a bottle of champagne -- which I did this weekend; I think it's so amazing that I managed to stop drinking and getting drunk like an idiot, and every once in a while I can actually enjoy a few drinks without going completely insane.

Just one example of what a difference 22 years can make; here's another:

I am so pleased and ASTONISHED to announce that I QUIT SMOKING A WEEK AGO...this despite the fact that my husband has been sitting next to me, smoking.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE???  I have been smoking for 27 years, ever since my husband smoked my first cigarette with me when we were 15 years old!!!  WHAT IN THE WORLD!!??

I am like, so totally, completely amazed.  This is no mere new year's resolution, friends; I KNOW THAT I QUIT SMOKING. 

I feel like flippin' SUPERWOMAN, y'all....WONDERWOMAN....SPIDERWOMAN.

Anyway, if you haven't already seen this movie called "Slumdog Millionaire", I highly recommend it; it's not what motivated me to quit smoking, but I watched it at the same time this unexplained, unexpected, utterly unbelievable metamorphosis was taking place with me, so I kind of associate it with magic and destiny, the greatness of God, and INCREDIBLE PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION; indeed, it instantly became my favorite any rate, if you get a chance and want to see a very inspiring, exciting, sweet, excellent movie, CHECK IT OUT (no nudity; I recommend it to and for ANYONE, except for maybe kids eight and under; there are a couple of intense scenes of violence).

No doubt 2011 will have good mixed with bad, but I know that at least for me, there's already been a vastly different start to the new year...and I can only believe it's certain to be a memorable year for us all.

Thanks for your support, and God bless; I'll do my best to make you proud...and if nothing else, better informed and aware...

love you -- xoxo