About the Little Boys

A few long time readers have asked, and I haven’t answered because I haven’t been sure what to say. I still am not sure what to say.

The barest bones: Their mother made some horrible choices that put them in an untenable situation. We kept the boys for the holidays the year before we moved here, and then scraped together the funds to get the family into their own apartment and get the power turned on. Their mom had a job. The boys had less and less interest in seeing us or spending time with us and she never contacted us at all.
We moved here. A few months after we got here she was not working and quit paying the rent or the bills. Our deposits (on rent and utilities) are gone, which, honestly, we knew would happen but it’s not something I’m overjoyed about anyway. Worse, they were evicted and the oldest boy called our oldest girl and was asking when we were coming back.

You can insert a world of heart-ache and tears here. The mother did want us to give her another place to live, but we cannot do that and don’t think it would help her anyway.

They have moved to another state and are staying with a relative. Both the HM and I are still in touch with the oldest boy via social media. He’s not happy.

Add more heart-ache and tears.

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Crossing the Street in the Philippines

I should say, rather, crossing the street in Davao. I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere in the country. I know this. There are, I am told, laws about jay-walking. They are almost never enforced. Periodically there will be a kind of a crackdown and in that case there will be an announcement, word of mouth will spread the announcement and people will be more careful. But mostly, this is how it works:

I am told that a couple years ago all of the children in one of the lower classes missed the same question on an American normed standardized test- whether they were American or not. The question was: Where do you cross the street?

You stand wherever it is you need to cross the street, corners are favored, particularly the busier the road and possibly if there are streetlights you would go to the corner, but otherwise, they are not required. You look for, not exactly a gap in traffic, but a vehicle that will have time to stop when you cross the road. You do not wait for traffic to stop! That is important. You don’t wait for them to stop, you just look for the gap you trust will give them time to stop. Then you hold up your hand facing the driver you wish to stop for you while simultaneously getting some quick eye contact as you go ahead and step into the road and through the traffic in a very slightly bowed posture, and you cross the street- that arm up, or rather out, most of the time. It doesn’t have to be over your head. Your arm could be bent at the elbow. It’s a gesture of thanks, supplication, acknowledgement, intention, I am not exactly sure which of these or maybe all of them. What it is not, is a command. Your hand out, head slightly bowed and feet moving through, traffic will stop. Nobody will honk at you for crossing the street without a crosswalk. (if you are walking down the road sometimes a motorcyclist or driver *behind* you will give a quick tap to the horn, not in anger or disdain, but to let you know of his presence so you can move over to the side of the road and make sure you’re safe).

If you have a child like the Cherub, slower and clearly unable to help it, sometimes a driver in the front might even maneuver a bit diagonally so as to block passing cars (not always, just sometimes), or another bystander will step out to hold up a hand for traffic for you, since both hands may be occupied with keeping your Cherub upright and on the move.

NOw, this may take you only to the middle of the road- traffic coming the other direction will not stop until you get to the halfway point. A couple of times, not often, but on very, very busy traffic days, I’ve had to stand in the middle of the road another minute or so before I feel confidant about stopping traffic with just my supplicatory hand.

Here’s the other thing that amazes me- if there are puddles in the road, you will *not* be splashed. There is a short stretch of the busy main road we have to walk between school and home where there is no sidewalk. We have to walk on the road. There are often deep puddles there because of the nearly daily rains and the bad drainage. I braced myself the first dozen times we had to walk there, expecting to be sprayed by the wake of passing traffic. They slow down and swerve a bit to avoid the puddles when there are pedestrians nearby.

Now think about what this means for people who move from here to any country with western style traffic laws and patterns.
And think about what it means for standardized testing at international schools.

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Justice Dep’t Admits IRS Improperly Targeted Conservatives

The same people who thought it made perfect sense that Lois Lerner pleaded the fifth for something that Obama claimed was limited to a small office in Ohio have their fingers in their ears over this. The IRS has apologized. Lois Lerner has a pension for life and never had to tell the truth about her crimes in office. Obama used the IRS to go after his political enemies for purely ideological reasons. This is why we need a wrecking ball. This is our government, and this should not be possible, not ever again. A complicit media covered for Obama weaponizing government against groups who merely wanted honest, legal, voting.

And this:
“While Eric Holder was U.S. attorney general, the Justice Department allowed prosecutors to strike agreements compelling big companies to give money to outside groups not connected to their cases to meet settlement burdens. Republican lawmakers long have decried those payments as a “slush fund” that boosted liberal groups, and the Trump DOJ ended the practice earlier this year.

But internal Justice Department emails released Tuesday by Goodlatte indicated that not only were officials involved in determining what organizations would get the money, but also Justice Department officials may have intervened to make sure the settlements didn’t go to conservative groups.”

BTW, Trump ended the corrupt practice, one of several of his accomplishments in his short time in office (Gorsuch is another. Not being Hilary is still my favourite).

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Did Obama use Bergdahl as ‘wag the dog’ to distract from appalling failures of Veteran’s hospitals?

Bergdahl deserted his comrades, his unit, his post in 2009. Those he abandoned were not allowed to tell the truth. Years later, Obama claimed he needed to be rescued because of signfiicant health issues, although Bergdahl walked on his own two feet (unlike one of the men who searched for him who is now permanently confined to a wheelchair) and no significant health issues have ever been reported outside of Obama’s vague claims.

So what really changed?

“In late 2014, the Obama administration was reeling from growing national outrage over proof that veterans were dying because of mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Word of the Bergdahl rescue conveniently changed the news cycle’s focus. Sergeant Bergdahl was rescued under the pretense that his health was deteriorating to a critical level. He made the trip back to the U.S. on his own feet, and no serious health issues have since been reported.

Sergeant Bergdahl’s return to the U.S. resembled a well-orchestrated public relations campaign, complete with presidential Rose Garden ceremony and National Security Advisor Susan Rice telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on June 2, 2014, that Sergeant Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction.” This prompted fury among those who knew the truth.

On the other side of the aisle, a chorus of senior leaders including Sen. John McCain and then presidential candidate Donald Trump denounced the decision to trade five high-level Taliban leaders for one low-ranking deserter. Some critics of Mr. Trump have since expressed concern over his campaign statements that called for Sergeant Bergdahl to be held accountable for those who lost their lives trying to find him. Those critics’ concerns ring political to many who remain affected personally or professionally by Sergeant Bergdahl’s actions.”

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Did I say wrecking ball? I did.

So, this is the latest cover of Time:

And the really delicious part of this is that they meant it to sting rather than to be red meat for Trump voters, and for people like me, who couldn’t bring ourselves to vote for Trump but who accept that he is the natural, predictable result of, and necessary remedy to, our politicians for the last fifty years or so.

I have explained this over and over to my friends who so kindly like to tell me that anybody who voted for Trump or who doesn’t object to him loudly enough are rape supporters and white supremacists or at best, stupid idiots who think Trump is going to be a Christian conservative.

None of the above, cupcakes. None of the above. Many of those who voted for Trump or who don’t mind him are looking for a wrecking ball. That the left now thinks this is an indictment rather than a high five, you got what you hoped for, is delightful irony.

It bothered me at first, when my alleged friends lobbed those accusations, but then I looked at their track record for being correct about political issues, and it’s pretty abysmal.

(I said Trump was a wrecking ball and that was a good thing on October 1, and previously in March of 2016. Okay, I quoted Douglas Wilson calling Trump a wrecking ball, but I’ve used it since. incidentally, so far I’m pleased to see that I was wrong about the Trump presidency. I am disappointed we are still fighting overseas, but I am happy about Gorsuch and his historic level of cuts in the regulatory stranglehold that D.C. loves)

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