Monday, April 21, 2008

The Good, the Bad, & the Ribbiting

The top picture shows one of my favorite things -- a lighted block of crystal with figures of a frog, a lily pad, and a dragonfly inside, and also a silver chain with a little green frog pendant. The second picture is of some of my glass (et cetera) menagerie of frogs. I love frogs. Frogs are good. They all sit on various shelves, doing nothing but looking cute and making me grin when I see them. We should all be so lucky, yes? We all need grins, and the talismans to bring them on. The windchimes are from my bathroom, where the frogs make a melodious and soothing din whenever a breeze catches them and sets them in motion. Rrrrribbit. I am so envious of people who have live frogs in their yards, because I have none. I don't know whether it's a question of geography or demographics, but I wish I had little green squatters in my back yard.

There's something else I want to talk about today that has nothing to do with frogs. It isn't cute, either, nor is it soothing or comforting. "It" is the government raid on the allegedly polygamous faux-LDS compound in El Dorado, Texas. I'm sure we've all seen the news footage by now and are well aware that most of the residents of the compound look like extras from Little House on the Prairie and the women with their American Gothic hairdos speak and behave like Stepford Wives. They do look different, yes, but as far as I know, American citizens still have the right to look different, speak differently, practice different religions, go without makeup and trendy hairstyles, yada-yada.

The raid was allegedly launched due to a 911 call from a 16-year-old girl at the compound reporting child abuse. That excuse should have raised some eyebrows because, really, how would a girl in a strictly controlled community with no access to TV, cell phones, Internet, etc., have placed a 911 call from a cell phone? Now the information emerges that the original call was a hoax from a woman with no connection to the compound. Yeah, sure.

Based on the ubiquitous premise that "it was all about the children," the raid took place as the government no doubt wished all along and all of the children were removed and placed in the state's custody pending court proceedings. Now a judge has ordered DNA testing on all the children and their parents in order to ascertain which children belong to whom. The first thing that strikes me about this is that on the basis of one dubious call (which later turned out to be a hoax -- if it was ever made at all), all of the community's children were removed. Suppose my neighbor three or four houses down was reported for child abuse. On what possible grounds could authorities sweep through my neighborhood and remove all of the children from every family? By what criteria is the Constitution circumvented when it suits certain ad hoc purposes? It's a Brave New World, isn't it? Secondly, there are innocent people sitting in jails all over the country right now for want of a DNA test, but the government is going to conduct DNA testing for purposes of establishing familial links in one tiny community? Why?

We've seen these sorts of draconian raids before, at places like Waco and Ruby Ridge. I've never had any inclination to join a cult or live any type of alternative lifestyle but, as a U.S. citizen, don't I have the right to do so if I so choose? If somebody is committing child abuse, by all means arrest them -- but only them. If someone is engaging in polygamy and/or bigamy, arrest them if there's incontrovertible proof. But what is the rationale for sending in SWAT teams to shut down an entire community based on the actions of a few and haul every last kid off to foster care? I really don't get this, and I think I'd be afraid of myself if I ever did get it.

Yeah, there was a full moon last night. Big. And bad. Ask me how pleased I am about that. Or not. Grrrrrr. Yeah, I'm babbling today. I know. But I, by God, do it pretty well. I can babble on all the way to Babylon if I have to.

So, shall we gawk at a few Words Gone Wild? Oh, come on. TWISTED LINGUISTICS roped them in. We might as well see what we can do with them -- "we" meaning "you," because I have no earthly idea.

plaxe of empolyment


Roxan said...

There's something creepy about the women in the compound. While I understand what you are saying, I have to say I find the whole business of them running back to the ranch a bit unsettling. I'd be there close as I could be to my kids. Out of all the women I only heard one say she loved her children.
I feel sorry for the women and the children. The men sit around doing nothing while they take the welfare checks these women get and hide behind their skirts.
Authorities are saying there is evidence of under aged pregnancies among the girls in the compound.

afgan-a blanket crocheted without an "H" hook.

VE said...

I called 911 on my neighbors. I definitely saw my neighbor putting his extra trash in my half empty garbage can last week. I'm sure based on that they are into polygamy, swinging, and keeping illegal exotic pets...

Bilbo said...

This is a tough batch today...

afgan - can't beat Roxan on this one!

peddleds - sorry, drawing a blank, here.

enviroment - an okay place to live, but you need iron supplements.

familites - single-parent or no-children families.

whierd - really spun up, but not sure why.

didn'y - vacationed in The Big Apple.

egnored - paid no attention to breakfast.

plaxe of empolyment - where this fellow is likely to remain working for a long time, considering what his resume must look like.

Charles said...

Nothing like violating constitutional rights. I just wonder how many more can these kids have violated? If the feds are right, then the families are responsible for it, and if the families are right then the feds are. The kids are losing either way. I hate when kids are abused. I hate when anybody is abused (except when I see abusers get abused.)

Kanrei said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kanrei said...

The delete was me

afgan- after again

peddleds- the feet of a Zeppelin fan

enviroment- a virus' environment

familites- a fatality in the family

whierd- where its weird

egnored-ignoring that egret

Serena Joy said...

Oh, I agree with you, Roxan, that the whole "Stepford" air about the women is very creepy. That kind of life certainly isn't for me. I just don't think authorities have any business going into these communities, cults or not, and rooting them out by force.

Great catch on "afgan.":)

Good job, VE. Now that the ball is in play, Lord knows what evidence the cops will manufacture, er, uncover. Why, they could be ... Baptists! Or artists or writers or hikers or some other kind of non-conformists.:-)

LOL at your list today, Bilbo. Good ones! I'm especially fond of "familites" and "plaxe of empolyment" -- which I am much relieved to learn isn't some kind of do-it-yourself polyp surgery by axe.:D

I don't like seeing anyone abused, either, Charles. In this particular case, if the evidence supports that any of the children were abused, then there should be charges and punishments. I think justice should always be pursued in a Constitutional manner, though.:)

The delete was me

S'okay, Kan. Today's list was hard, but you did a good job with them. I now know to stay out of whierd enviroments.:D

puerileuwaite said...

Well if Jim Morrison can endorse frogs, then I suppose you can count me in.

Mona said...

Serena, You know I love froggies...

My glass menagerie consists of a family of Giraffes, a family of rooster and roosteress ( I hate the other word they use for her) a family if bunnies, a whole herd of various sized deer, and a family of horses.
& I also have a ship in a bottle and an array of decanters of various colors & sizes ( the smallest can fit into my palm)

I had no idea that stepford wives really existed...

Skunkfeathers said...

- tally me banana...daylight come and me want to make sense...
- tal and man is clear enough, but the rest depends on what your definition of 'is' is...
- Yodaspeak for "tall he is, yes yes..urm..hehe.."
- it means something other than them thar...

I have a frog joke or two. Later ;)

Serena Joy said...

Excellent, Puggy.:)

Your glass menagerie sounds great, Mona. I have a few elephants, dogs, pigs, chickens, and cats in mine. I definitely need a giraffe, though.:)

LOL, Skunk. And -- Daaaay-o. Bring on the frog jokes; I know I'll love 'em.:)

G-Man said...

Just don't croak on me Serena Joy!!!

Serena Joy said...

I won't if you won't, G.:D