Friday, August 28, 2009

Burrs Under My Saddle

California's Healthy Families Program

I read an article this morning that talked about some of the changes that they're hoping to make to the Healthy Families Program so that they can maintain enough funding to not have to disenroll families from the program.

Even with the changes, this is a better health plan than my kids get through my employer (uh, the State of California).

Further, even if I was making my full salary (repeat: from the State of California), my kids would still qualify for this program.

Moreover, the monthly premiums would be less than what I pay now.

Not to begrudge those who have need of the program, but am I the only one who sees this as truly jacked up?

The State of California can't even take care of the families of its own employees as well as it can... Well... everyone else's kids.

The Jaycee Lee Duggard fallout

I'm not going to link to any specific
article, because they're all rounding the same themes.

There is so much flak directed at the police officers who failed to find her and the police officers who responded to calls to the house but "did nothing".

I have yet to see a report from a neighbor who said "Yes, I saw Jaycee, I reported it to the police, they came out and still did nothing." Neighbors have said they thought "something was up" and a couple have mentioned seeing the little girls, and, yes, there were reports to the police that there seemed to be something weird going on in that house, but nobody, nobody, had enough information to give to the police to allow them to get a warrant to search the premises. Nobody was able to give the police specific enough information to allow them to look in the right places to find what was going on.

(Technically, as The Jackass was on parole, there would be no search warrant required to conduct a full search of the premises.)

The news reports that I have seen have all but stated that "the compound" was in a separate part of the yard, that it was separated from the main yard, and that any normal person would have assumed the visible part of the yard was all there was.

If you, as the neighbor, living next to this house 24 hours a day for how many years haven't noticed anything going on that is so disturbing or unusual as to prompt vigilant action, what the heck do you expect a police officer, who, by the way, still have rules they have to follow, whether or not the subject is on parole, to find?

This is redirectioning of guilt, plain and simple.

Get over it!

It's not the fault of the police any more than it's your fault.

Like the
Girl in the Box or that case from Germany, sometimes there's just no way of knowing what your neighbors are truly up to.

The Jaycee Lee Duggard fallout - Take Two

I ordinarily don't listen to radio that involves talking, which always makes the morning commute particularly trying because most radio stations have a talk-heavy morning show. I spend a lot of time flipping channels. Sometimes, though, I end up catching some of the talk before I flip again to the next station.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this morning one of the local stations was talking with an "expert" about child safety. Because nobody wants their child stolen and consigned to living in a tent in a back yard for 18 years (or worse), and everyone wants to feel like there's something they can do to prevent this from happening to their child.

Like, somehow the Probyns didn't do enough to protect Jaycee. As though, if only they had done something different, something more, Jaycee would never have been stolen.

Almost as if the Probyns just weren't good enough parents, because, surely, there was something more they could have done to have kept their daughter safe.

But guess what?

Here's the big, ugly truth that nobody wants to admit is true:

Sometimes there's nothing more you can do.

(Here's another little tidbit nobody likes to admit:
Megan's Law is useless.)

It doesn't matter how smart you raise your kids, how much you teach them self-defense, how often you check to see where the registered sex offenders are, there will always, always be stories like Jaycee's and
Polly's and there's not a damn thing you can do about short of keeping your children isolated from the world for the entirety of their lives.

That's not something people want to hear or admit. Parents don't want to hear about how, sometimes, all the "right" things were done and tragedy still struck. It's a normal reaction to find fault with the parenting of others because it makes us feel like our children are not in danger, like we would know what to do to save our children if the unthinkable happened.

Even when you do all the "right" things, sometimes all you're left with is hope & luck.


Wine Dog said...

In defense of the Antioch Police, that property is not located in downtown Antioch. It's out in a semi-rural area on the edge of town. Even the neighbors aren't really that close. It's a half acre parcel that he rents. Same ownership since 1979. Apparently the landlady never came around and said "WTF" either. That's the kind of area these sorts of whack jobs like.

Considering all the crap that the Antioch Police deal with, they did the best they could under the circumstances. And that 4th Amendment thing.

dolphyngyrl said...

That's totally my point.

Also, you can do a hell of a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking, but that doesn't mean anyone else would have done anything differently if they were actually there in the moment.