Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dekia Mattox Update

An update to this post...from the JS Online:

A social worker from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare investigated an abuse complaint about baby Dekia Mattox just seven weeks before authorities say she was killed by a homeless drug addict in a filthy, cold home, according to a statement released Wednesday by the state Department of Children and Families.

The bureau's Nov. 4 investigation - which stated "the home was in order," contained food, had a well-heated bedroom for the baby and contained no evidence of drug use stands in sharp contrast to the medical examiner's report, filed shortly after the baby's death Dec. 26.

According to the medical examiner, the dilapidated cottage in the 2700 block of N. Richards St. had two broken windows and was heated by three space heaters. Knives were found on the floor of nearly every room. The bathroom contained a leaking toilet and a broken sink. Dirty dishes filled the kitchen sink. Investigators found empty liquor bottles and beer cans, piles of dirty clothes, discarded baby bottles and little food.

"Do I think something dramatically changed in the home? Clearly that's the case," said Arlene Happach, director of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. "I don't have a clear explanation for it."

Further, Dekia's aunt, the woman who authorities say left the baby in the care of her drug-addicted boyfriend, was a licensed foster parent, the department confirmed.

The sole complaint about the baby came to the bureau's hotline Nov. 3, according to a summary from Department of Children and Families. A caller said the baby had scratches, cuts, cigarette burns and a knot on her face. The caller said there was no heat and no stove in the house. There was a portable crib in the house, the caller said, but the baby could not sleep there because it was filled with dirty clothes. The caller also said both Coleman and Diamond Mattox were drug users.

The following day, Nov. 4, a social worker met with the family inside the home. She examined the baby and found no bumps, scratches or bruises, Happach said. "There was food, diapers, plenty of formula," Happach said. "She saw no drug paraphernalia, no knives, nothing like that. What she saw at the time wasn't alarming in any way. The baby was alert, laughing, smiling, interacting with mom."

The child welfare case was closed.

Social workers who investigate abuse complaints do not routinely check with the police to find out about prior calls to an address, Happach said. If they had, they would have learned Milwaukee police had previously been called to the house to investigate complaints of drug dealing and misuse of 911, according to police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz.

Neighbors said the house was a trouble spot and was known to be a drug house.

I call bullsh*t!! There is no way...that the house went from a "well heated" home with "no evidence of drug use" to a broken down, unheated drug house in seven weeks. There is evidence of that by the police involvement with this home.

The bureau says "I don't have a clear explanation for it". Well, it's clear to me that there are one of two explanations. Either A) The social worker didn't actually go to the home and lied on the report, or B) The social worker DID go to the home and lied on the report. Either way, a baby is now dead.

I am so FREAKING sick and tired of the social workers who clearly fail the system and are not held accountable. Don't get me wrong - I know there are plenty of good, caring people working in the system. Unfortunately, one bad apple can spoil the bunch, and those are the ones we hear about once a tragedy occurs.

Granted, I don't know all the details yet. However, by the looks of things, there are MANY who should be held accountable for Dekia's death, from the addict who killed her, to the aunt who left her with the addict, to the 15 year old mother who was "gone for days" to the social worker who clearly dropped the ball. They should all pay a price.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Tragedy

From JS Online

Darius Woodley, a drug-addled homeless man who police say was left in charge of 6-month-old Dekia Mattox in a filthy, barely heated Milwaukee cottage, was charged Tuesday with killing the baby and stuffing her body between a couple of mattresses.

The state-run Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare was involved with Dekia's family, which was the subject of an ongoing investigation, said Erika Monroe-Kane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families. The DCF, which runs the Milwaukee bureau, is preparing a report that will outline the bureau's involvement, she said.

"The death of baby Dekia is a tragic one, and our thoughts are with those that loved her," Monroe-Kane said.

According to the complaint and a medical examiner's report:Mattox left the child with the aunt, Sharon D. Coleman, 48, on Christmas Eve in a cottage the three shared with Coleman's boyfriend, Willie McElroy, 39. The cottage, a dilapidated structure that neighbors said was a drug house, is behind a house in the 2700 block of N. Richards St.

Around midnight Christmas Day, Coleman left the baby with McElroy and Woodley while she went out with another man. McElroy told police he and Woodley, 36, had spent most of Christmas Day robbing stores and using the proceeds to buy drugs. He said the two smoked marijuana laced with crack, snorted heroin and drank beer.v Coleman, McElroy said, was gone for hours, and the baby began to cry.

McElroy said he left the baby with Woodley while he went searching for Coleman, once at 2 a.m. Saturday and again sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m. McElroy told police he stopped to buy $10 worth of crack and then returned to the cottage, which was heated by three space heaters. The temperature on the main floor was 40 degrees. Knives were found on the floor of nearly every room. The bathroom contained a leaking toilet and a broken sink. Dirty dishes filled the kitchen sink. Investigators found empty liquor bottles and beer cans, piles of dirty clothes, discarded baby bottles and little food.

When McElroy returned to the house the second time, he found Woodley passed out on a bed but did not see Dekia. McElroy woke up Woodley and began searching the house for the baby. According to the complaint, McElroy looked in a bedroom where he found "a hump in the mattress." He lifted the mattress and found Dekia's body. The child was not breathing.

McElroy said he gave the baby to Woodley, who said, "Man, I didn't mean to do that."

Where to begin?? This is a tragedy of epic proportions. A 15 year old mother. A drug house. Knives on the floor. Homeless drug addicts. Did that child ever stand a chance?

What I would like to know is why was this family the subject of an "ongoing investigation"??? Why the hell didn't they get that baby out of there post haste?? You have an infant living in an abandoned building (love the "cottage" euphemism) with no heat, most likely no hot water, and you're investigating??? For the love of all that is holy, WHAT is there to investigate?

I will be following this to see what the child welfare bureau has to say about their involvement. As sad as it is to say, given the family conditions and the history of the child welfare bureau in Milwaukee, death may have been a better option than life for this poor innocent.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here's wishing all of you a very safe and blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Get Real!

Although not the point of this article, this just pisses me off...

Vick won the Ed Block Courage Award, voted on by his teammates on the Philadelphia Eagles, after the once-disgraced star quarterback returned to the league after spending 18 months in a federal prison for his role in a dogfighting ring.

"It means a great deal to me," Vick said Wednesday. "I was voted unanimously by my teammates. They know what I've been through. I've been through a lot. It's been great to come back and have an opportunity to play and be with a great group of guys. I'm just ecstatic about that and I enjoy every day."

The Ed Block Award honors players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Each of the 32 NFL teams selects a recipient.

"I've overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can handle or bear," Vick said. "You ask certain people to walk through my shoes, they probably couldn't do. Probably 95 percent of the people in this world because nobody had to endure what I've been through, situations I've been put in, situations I put myself in and decisions I have made, whether they have been good or bad.

"There's always consequences behind certain things and repercussions behind them, too. And then you have to wake up every day and face the world, whether they perceive you in the right perspective, it's a totally different outlook on you. You have to be strong, believe in yourself, be optimistic. That's what I've been able to do. That's what I display."

Are you KIDDING me??? This asshole made horrible decisions, participated in the mutilation, torture and killing of dogs, and this is what comes out the other side??

DUDE - get a clue. Take a look at the real world. YOU probably couldn't endure what 95% of people are going through. Everyday folks are suffering out here...some losing homes, some losing jobs, some trying to figure out which bill to pay this month and which can be put off till next month. What you endured?? YOU put yourself into that situation. By the way, whatever you had to "endure" doesn't come CLOSE to what those dogs had to endure.

Pssssst...Hey want to see REAL courage, start with this.


Monday, December 21, 2009

It's inevitable!

Totally swiped from Fred!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I've always had an issue with people who abuse those who are unable to protect themselves, particularly children, the elderly and animals. Which is why this pisses me off...

Maybe it was nine lives, but one feline is lucky to be alive after he was found with his paws glued to a Minnesota interstate, reported.

A couple saw the cat on the side of the road and thought it had been injured by a car, the reported. But the cat was stuck, though its paw pads were ripped off by the glue when the couple removed him from the road, the site reported.

Members of animal adoption organization, Second Chance Rescue, expressed outrage at the treatment of the cat, which has been named Timothy.

"It's a mouth dropper because you are just like are you kidding me? But they did it," Rosey Quinn, member of Second Chance Rescue, told

Timothy is currently with a foster family as he recovers. Second Chance members say he may be up for adoption eventually.

Seriously??? Why would someone do something so cruel? For grins & giggles?? What kind of jackass would think this sort of thing is funny? I have cats, and I'll admit I sometimes do things that make them look foolish, but NEVER would I think to do anything that would hurt ANY animal.

The scary thing is that any person whose twisted mind would think of something like this is capable of much worse.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

An Even Better Thank You!

To get a better take on Bloody Brunch, you MUST read this! Thanks Sara - you're awesome!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A HUGE Thank you

Okay, you may or may not have noticed my relative absence lately. I've been just a tad bit busy. Doing what, you ask?? Well, I'll tell you! I mentioned in this post that I was helping organize an event called Bloody Brunch. You can read much more about Bloody Brunch here. Well my friends - the event was on Sunday, and it was a HUGE success!!! We raised well over $1,000 to be split between the Blood Centers of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Hemophelia Foundation, and collected five HUGE boxes of toys for Toys for Tots.

So I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers. We had soooo many people who selflessly gave their Sunday afternoon to help make this happen.

Here's our Toys for Tots Marine and our volunteer Santa Claus!!

I also want to give kudos to Stack'd Burger Bar. The manager and staff did an absolutely outstanding job. They diligently worked with us prior to the event, and I couldn't have asked for a better staff to handle the 150 or so people that showed up on the day of the event.

You guys did an EXCELLENT job!!
I'd also like to express my appreciation for all of the local business who donated items for our silent auction and/or swag bags. It was your donations that made this whole thing happen!! Check out the swag bags!!

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank everyone who came out to support our event. In these economic times, I can't tell you how much it means that y'all were so generous in your donations. I think just about everyone who walked through the doors brought at LEAST one toy...many brought more than that. I was, and still am, overwhelmed by the donations we received, both monetarily and with the toys. I can't say enough about how awesome y'all are. I wish I had a chance to chat with more of you, but we were busy little elves!!!
This was a lot of hard work, some sweat and yes, even some tears in organizing this, but the result was MORE than worth it. The charities will benefit, and more importantly (in my eyes anyway), hundreds of children will have a smile on Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On Grief and Twitter

From Florida Today...
MERRITT ISLAND — A child’s jumbled train tracks and a toppled plastic dinosaur lie on the floor by the Ross family’s Christmas tree, left behind by 2-year-old Bryson before he drowned in the family’s swimming pool Monday evening.

But it’s what has been happening on the Internet that has people talking about the tragedy and what is acceptable in today’s world of instant communication and tell-all messaging.

Bryson’s mother, Shellie Ross, posted on about his accident a half-hour after she called paramedics — and then was attacked by strangers nationwide in follow-up tweets and blogs for doing so.

Social media experts said Ross did nothing wrong. Her friends call the 37-year-old a caring, devoted mom.

On Monday, as usual, she tweeted throughout the day about what was going on in her life, including decorating the family’s Christmas tree with breakable ornaments — despite having a 2-year-old in a house they had just moved into on Dec. 1. At 5:22 p.m. Monday, she tweeted about the rare fog that rolled over Brevard County as she worked in her chicken coop.

According to 9-1-1 records, a phone call from Ross came in at 5:38 p.m. that she had found her son at the bottom of their screened-in swimming pool.

She posted a tweet at 6:12 p.m.: “Please pray like never before, my 2 yr old fell in the pool.” That was followed five hours later with “remembering my million dollar baby” and photos of a smiling Bryson. Those posts and pictures have since been removed from her Twitter account. There is nothing in Ross’ posts that indicate she was on the computer or cell phone at the time of the tragedy. It is unclear what Ross was doing between 5:22 p.m., when she tweeted, and 5:38 p.m., when she called for help. In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, Ross wrote, “I was outside with him and it took two seconds for him to slip away.” The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office called it an accidental drowning.

Once Ross posted her call for prayers, Twitter users started weighing in with words of support, as well as comments and questions about the boy’s fate and Ross’ Twittering to friends, family and strangers at such a difficult time.

But social media specialists said criticism of Ross is unfair, noting that she’s simply tech-savvy and using a familiar way to communicate. They added that it’s inappropriate to question her actions at such a horrible time in her life.

Madison McGraw, who does not know the Ross family, tweeted about the incident and also posted an item on her blog titled “Mom Tweets While Son Drowns.” “The person that I have compassion for is her son — who might still be alive if (Ross) interacted with her son like she interacted with people on Twitter,” McGraw wrote. “To me, that shows the repercussions for social media gone awry.”

Asked by FLORIDA TODAY if she thought it was appropriate to attack a woman she doesn’t know who just lost her son, McGraw responded, “If she didn’t want questions raised at such a painful time, perhaps she shouldn’t have tweeted immediately after her child died. A child is dead because (of) his mother’s infatuation with Twitter.”

Unlike McGraw, Shari Keating knows Ross and considers her a friend. They met via blog and social networking conferences. Keating spent Monday night at the Ross home comforting her before Ross’ husband, Steve, arrived from out of town. Steve Ross is a sergeant stationed at Patrick Air Force Base.Keating called Ross a fantastic mother who is devoted to her children. Ross has two other sons, 18-year-old Cody and 11-year-old Kris.“To judge her, I think, is appalling,” Keating said. “You have to realize that blogging is a community.”

Peter Post, great-grandson of etiquette expert Emily Post and director of the Vermont-based Emily Post Institute, agreed. He called McGraw’s comment “horrendous in its implications.”“I’m not sure this is the appropriate time or place to be chastising anyone,” he said.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am a twitterholic. I LOVE Twitter. It's great for getting breaking news before any other outlet. It's a fabulous marketing tool. But above all, it IS a community. I have TONS of new acquaintances, and have made several very good friends via Twitter. When we had to put one of our cats down, I mentioned it on Twitter. The outpouring of support was amazing. We all share happy news, bad news, and just the mundane goings on at that particular moment. Shoot - my tweeps (twitter people) know more about my day than my husband!!!

That being said, there are also things I don't share on Twitter. If something is very personal to me, usually bad news, and I want support I do one of a few things. I'll pick up the phone. I'll send an email. Or, using twitter, I'll send a DM (direct message) to specific people. I believe that there are some things that shouldn't be broadcast. But...BUT...that's me.

Since I follow Ms. Ross on Twitter, I watched this whole thing go down. I'll admit, my first thought, after saying a prayer, was "Why the hell is she tweeting at a time like this?" But people use Twitter in many different ways, so it's not for me to judge. I think the comments that Ms. McGraw made were so far over the line, they were in the next county. Who is she to jump to that kind of conclusion? How in the world does she know what was going on at that time? Sad as it may be, perhaps this is the only community Ms. Ross has.

I guess there's no real point to this post, except to say that unless we've walked a mile in another person's shoes, we shouldn't judge. Would I have tweeted at a time like that? I can almost guarantee the answer to that is no. But that's me. What I do know is this family is suffering a terrible loss during the holidays, and I'll be praying for them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Chadcast: Global Warming

Hello my friends! I know I've been absent, and I will explain in another post. In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to The Chadcast. Some of you may have seen my reviews on The Chadcast here and here.

There are many times that I add my commentary to what Chad has said. This is not one of those times. In this podcast, Chad takes on global warming. Quite simply, I have nothing to add...he says it all. Go on - take a listen...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

MIke Huckabee Explains

Note I said explains, not excuses. From Newsmax:

I take full responsibility for my actions of nine years ago. I acted on the facts presented to me in 2000. If I could have possibly known what Clemmons would do nine years later, I obviously would have made a different decision. But if the same file was presented to me today, I would have likely made the same decision.
Each state is different, but in Arkansas, a governor doesn’t initiate a parole—the Post Prison Transfer Board does after it conducts a thorough review of an inmate’s file and request. The board then makes a recommendation to the governor, who decides to grant or deny.
If the decision is made to grant any form of clemency (the broad term for a commutation or a full pardon), the governor gives notice of intent and the file is sent to the prosecutor, judge, law enforcement officials, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State as well as to the news media. A period of 30 days is then started for there to be public input as well as response from the above named officials. At the end of the public response period, the final decision is rendered.
Between 1,000 and 1,200 requests for some form of clemency came to my desk each and every one of the 10 ½ years I was governor. Ninety-two percent of the time, I denied the requests. When I did grant them, it was usually based on the recommendation of at least five of the members of the PPTB, with consideration given to the input from public officials.
Maurice Clemmons was 16 years old when he was charged with burglary and robbery. He was sentenced to a total of 108 years based on the way in which the sentences were stacked. For the crimes he committed and the age at which he committed the crimes, it was dramatically outside the norm for sentencing. The PPTB recommended in 2000 by a 5-0 vote for his sentence to be commuted. He had served 11 years of his sentence. A pardon would have set him free and cleared his record. A commutation to “time served” would have set him free and released him from any parole reporting. As per the recommendation, I commuted his sentence to the term of 47 years, still a long sentence for the type of crime he had committed, but it would make him parole eligible. It would not parole him, as governors do not have that power in Arkansas. He would have to separately apply for parole and meet the criteria for that.
Despite news reports to the contrary, the only record of public response to the notice to commute was from the trial judge, who recommended the commendation in concert with the board. There were letters of support, but no record of letters of opposition. Following the commutation, he met the criteria for parole and was paroled to supervision in late 2000. When he violated terms of his parole by participating in additional crimes, he was returned to prison and should have stayed there. For reasons only the prosecutor can explain, charges were not brought forth in a timely way and the prosecutor ended up dropping the charges, allowing him to leave prison and return to supervised parole.
He moved to Washington state and had intermittent criminal activity that increased in violence and frequency. He was allowed to post bail in Washington state and while on bail from there committed the unspeakable acts of murdering four valiant police officers. I can’t explain why he wasn’t prosecuted properly for the parole violations or why he was allowed to make bail in Washington state and not incarcerated earlier for crimes committed there.
I wish his file had never crossed my desk, but it did. The decision I made is one that I now wish were different, but I could only look backwards at his case, not forward. None of this is of any comfort to the families of these police officers nor should it be. Their loss is senseless. No words or deeds by anyone will bring them back to their loved ones. Our system is not perfect and neither are those responsible for administering it.
The system and those of us who are supposed to make sure it works sometimes fail. In this case, we clearly did.

Now I'm not a big Huckabee fan, but if the facts were as he presents them, I doubt any of us would have done anything different. Huckabee's role in this is, in my opinion, minor. The failure of the system went WELL beyond his actions. It's easy to look back now that we know what this animal has done and point fingers, but in this case, the fingers need to be pointed at many, many people, not just Mike Huckabee.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I truly have a lot to be thankful for. My family, my friends, my health, my job, and the list goes on and on.

I'd also like to take a moment to thank all of you men and women in the military who cannot be with their families for your service. It's because of brave folks like you that I can sit in my home, hang by the fire and visit with my family. It's because of our servicemen and women that I can express my opinions on this blog or elsewhere without fear of retribution and/or persecution.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Absolutely Outrageous!!!


This seriously pisses me off!

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told

The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called a captain's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Neal Puckett, an attorney representing McCabe, told Fox News the SEALs are being charged for allegedly giving the detainee a “punch in the gut.”

“I don’t know how they’re going to bring this detainee to the United States and give us our constitutional right to confrontation in the courtroom,” Puckett said. “But again, we have terrorists getting their constitutional rights in New York City, but I suspect that they’re going to deny these SEALs their right to confrontation in a military courtroom in Virginia.”

United States Central Command declined to discuss the detainee, but a legal source told that the detainee was turned over to Iraqi authorities, to whom he made the abuse complaints. He was then returned to American custody. The SEAL leader reported the charge up the chain of command, and an investigation ensued.

The source said intelligence briefings provided to the SEALs stated that "Objective Amber" planned the 2004 Fallujah ambush, and "they had been tracking this guy for some time."

The Fallujah atrocity came to symbolize the brutality of the enemy in Iraq and the degree to which a homegrown insurgency was extending its grip over Iraq.

The four Blackwater agents were transporting supplies for a catering company when they were ambushed and killed by gunfire and grenades. Insurgents burned the bodies and dragged them through the city. They hanged two of the bodies on a bridge over the Euphrates River for the world press to photograph.

Intelligence sources identified Abed as the ringleader, but he had evaded capture until September.
Are you FUCKING kidding me??? This piece of human excrement is the mastermind behind atrocities that go beyond all comprehension, and because he gets a widdle biddy bloody lip, our service men are being criminally charged??? What the HELL is wrong with people?? I am simply aghast that these men, who are overseas fighting for OUR freedom, and managed to capture a "most wanted" terrorist, can possibly be criminally charged for DOING THEIR JOBS!!! Goddamit!!! How the fuck are we supposed to fight the war on terror when the men and women who are fighting for this country can't even do the job for which they signed on? Punched in the gut? Bloody lip?? Let's revisit what this piece of shit masterminded, shall we?
I truly fear the direction this country is going.

The four Blackwater agents were transporting supplies for a catering company when they were ambushed and killed by gunfire and grenades. Insurgents burned the bodies and dragged them through the city. They hanged two of the bodies on a bridge over the Euphrates River for the world press to photographed

H/T Ol' Broad


Great post from Badger Blogger. Thanks Patrick - I guess it really did matter.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Am So Blessed

As I have mentioned, I've been crazy busy lately. In fact, the last few months have just been...nuts. I've been getting things done that need to get done and moving on to the next thing. The problem with that is that I've been doing, but not taking the time for thinking or feeling anything about what it is I'm doing.

For instance, I introduced you to the Elder in this post. He found me, we talked, and the next thing you know I'm hopping on a plane. Got to the airport, rented a car and finally found the hotel. It wasn't until we got to the hotel room, unpacked and settled in that it really hit me what I was doing!! Holy Crap!!! I was going to, in essence, "meet" my biological son. Yes, I had been in contact, but I was going to meet the young man he had become. And his wife?? THAT'S when I got really nervous!!

That's the way things have been going lately. Things will happen, things will get accomplished, what needs to get done will get done, and only later will I really stop to think. Which leads me to the reason I am writing this post.

I had been in contact with the Elder's mom periodically throughout the years. She is a very cool lady. In fact, I remember thinking that had she not been my son's mother, I would've liked to hang with her! In any case, since I've reconnected with him, I've reconnected with her too. She emailed me the other day about a change in the Elder's graduation date. I inquired as to whether she was going down for it. Now, mind you, I was considering going but again, I didn't want to step on any familial toes. She emailed back stating that she was going and would love it if I came too. Cool, I thought. That makes me happy. I really wanted to go, and I'm glad that I have her blessing.

I was away this weekend and it gave me plenty of time to unwind and just "be", without being obliged to "do". And that's when it hit me. Like a brick. There is every chance that when my biological son graduates from basic training, the family supporting him will consist of his wife, their new baby, his mother, his father, and his biological mother. How cool is that?? And how incredibly lucky am I that all those years ago, I chose such fine, fine people to entrust with the life of my son? People who are more than willing to let me be a part of that family? At first I thought of it as having another family...I now think of it as just expanding my family.

Yes, I am truly blessed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Where is Chris?

Soooo…I have been a very bad blogger. Here I start this blog, and then I don’t post. For that, I apologize to my loyal readers (all 3 of you). Why have I not been blogging you ask? Well, I have been cuh-razy busy!!

I have a child who has the flu, another mean...a husband who has a back injury, a job that’s about ready to kill me lately, and oh yeah – there’s also the matter of this other business I’m trying to start. So I got to thinking. What can I do in all my spare time? And I thought some more. I thought “Chris, you lazy piece of sh*t, it’s the holiday season. Get UP off your ass and do something that will benefit the greater good!” So I did. I was kindly invited by media/social networking mavens (and friends) Sara and Amy to help with their cause. And what, pray tell, would that cause be?? Well, take a gander!

Now, before you get all atwitter (I'm sorry, I simply could NOT resist that one), this event is for EVERYONE. You don't have to be on twitter. Hell - you don't have to know anything about social networking. The point of this is having fun while donating to good causes. The toys donated are going to Toys for Tots, and 100% of the money collected from the silent auction will benefit the Blood Centers of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Hemophelia Foundation. It's kid friendly...there will be free pictures with Santa.

So come one, come all, to THE holiday extravaganza of the season!! For current updates on the event, visit
P.S. If you would make a tax deductible donation for the silent auction, shoot me an email at ckrumen "at" gmail "dot" com. Not only will it benefit a great cause, but it will definitely put you on Santa's "good" list! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This story makes me weep

Charles A. Avey used a necktie Sunday to strangle his stepson, 14-year-old Cody Reetz of Grafton, as payback to the boy's mother for reporting to police that he had beaten her with a hammer, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Avey, 37, was charged Tuesday with first-degree intentional homicide in Washington County Circuit Court.
"This was a savage act," Washington County District Attorney Todd Martens said in court. "And it was committed against a family member."

More than a dozen of Reetz's relatives sat silently in the courtroom Tuesday watching Avey. Some cried and shared a box of tissue.

The criminal complaint says Avey used a second necktie to tie the boy's neck to an armrest inside an Oldsmobile minivan, then hid Reetz's body under clothing and a backpack. He killed the boy inside the minivan while it was parked at a Germantown Wal-Mart, the complaint says, and left the lot with a friend shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday.

Avey had called the friend from a Jackson gas station about 30 minutes before killing the boy to request a ride from the Germantown parking lot, the complaint says.

The friend arrived at Wal-Mart about 4:20 p.m. Sunday, and Avey got into her car several minutes later, the complaint says. He asked to be driven to the van so that he could make sure it was locked.

Avey rode to Grafton with the friend and observed police waiting for him outside his apartment. He then called his ex-wife, Krista Avey, and asked her to pick him up at a Piggly Wiggly in Jackson because his van had run out of gas.

She arrived with the three children they had together prior to their divorce, but Avey asked her to take them to her home because he wanted to talk.

Avey later requested to be driven to a West Bend cemetery to view his mother's grave. Once there, Avey confessed to his ex-wife that he had killed Reetz, the complaint says.

Nearly five hours before the boy's body was found in the minivan Sunday, Avey's current wife, Trista Avey, went to Grafton police with a relative and reported that her husband repeatedly struck her with a hammer Nov. 8.

The criminal complaint says the two were arguing that day in their Grafton apartment when Avey began strangling her with his hands and pounded her head, arms and back with a hammer. The woman's delay of one week in reporting the attack shows there was a "climate of intimidation in the household," Martens said Tuesday.

After reporting the crime Sunday, Trista Avey told officers that her son, Reetz - an eighth grader at Grafton's John Long Middle School - was with the suspect that afternoon.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

This is so wrong on so many levels. First, the obvious. What kind of monster can so callously snuff the life out of a 14 year old boy? And for what? To "get back" at the mother? Seriously?? Are there really people out there who are so cold and so callous that they can actually take the life of a child to "get back" at someone?? I know - foolish question. Unfortunately, this happens all to often.

But...BUT...what about the mother?? She is reporting that this POS beat her with a hammer, yet she allows her son to be alone with same said person?? I don't know about you, but if someone were beating me up, and yes, I've been there before, I would NOT let any child of mine stay alone with him. He OBVIOUSLY has a violent temper, and to leave a child alone with this animal while you are reporting the very same animal to the police?? Somethin' ain't right with that.

And yes...I know she's grieving. I won't take away from that, however I wouldn't be heartbroken if she was charged with, at the minimum, reckless endangerment. I'm sorry folks, but in this case, her lack of common sense was criminal, and was, if not a proximate cause, at least contributing factor in the murder of this innocent boy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Quite Impressed

One of my pet peeves is people who don't own up to being wrong or having a change of opinion. If you make a mistake or change your mind, own it. We're all human, we all make mistakes and/or change our minds. There's nothing wrong with that.

Which is why this so impressed me...

If you have been reading us for any length of time, you know that we used to make fun of “Dubya” nearly every day…parroting the same comedic bits we heard in our Democrat circles, where Bush is still, to this day, lampooned as a chimp, a bumbling idiot, and a poor, clumsy public speaker.

Oh, how we RAILED against Bush in 2000…and how we RAILED against the surge in support Bush received post-9/11 when he went to Ground Zero and stood there with his bullhorn in the ruins on that hideous day.

We were convinced that ANYONE who was president would have done what Bush did, and would have set that right tone of leadership in the wake of that disaster. President Gore, President Perot, President Nader, you name it. ANYONE, we assumed, would have filled that role perfectly.

Well, we told you before how much the current president, Dr. Utopia, made us realize just how wrong we were about Bush. We shudder to think that Dr. Utopia would have done post-9/11. He would have not gone there with a bullhorn and struck that right tone. More likely than not, he would have been his usual fey, apologetic self and waxed professorially about how evil America is and how justified Muslims are for attacking us, with a sidebar on how good the attacks were because they would humble us.

Honestly, we don’t think President Gore would have been much better that day. The world needed George W. Bush, his bullhorn, and his indominable spirit that day…and we will forever be grateful to this man for that.

As we will always be grateful for what George and Laura Bush did this week, with no media attention, when they very quietly went to Ft. Hood and met personally with the families of the victims of this terrorist attack.


The Bushes went and met privately with these families for HOURS, hugging them, holding them, comforting them.

If there are any of you out there with any connection at all to the Bushes, we implore you to give them our thanks…you tell them that a bunch of gay Hillary guys in Boystown, Chicago were wrong about the Bushes…and are deeply, deeply sorry for any jokes we told about them in the past, any bad thoughts we had about these good, good people.

You may be as surprised by this as we are ourselves, but from this day forward George W. and Laura Bush are now on the same list for us as the Clintons, Geraldine Ferraro, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and the other political figures we keep in our hearts and never allow anyone to badmouth.

Criticize their policies academically and intelligently and discuss the Bush presidency in historical and political terms…but you mess with the Bushes personally and, from this day forward, you’ll answer to us.
Read the rest here.

Now, some of you may know that I lean a wee bit to the right of center. I also have a lot of friends who lean (or tip or fall) to the left of center. But...BUT...I revel in good FRIENDLY debate. I'm more than willing to listen to their views as long as they are talking and not preaching. My friends are more than willing to listen to my point of view as long as I am talking and not preaching. Sometimes my mind can be changed on some points. Sometimes theirs can. And I'm okay with that. The point is that we all need to be open to new ideas, opinions, what have you.

Now, the point of this post is NOT that I think that these bloggers are correct in their opinion. My point is I'm quite impressed that these left leaning, former Bush bashing bloggers had the balls to publish the fact they changed thier minds about the former President and First Lady. That took a lot of guts. Regardless of my opinion on the content, I appreciate honesty.

To y'all at HillBuzz I have only one thing to say. Oscar. Foxtrot. Sierra.

H/T James T.

Help Wanted

This ad was placed in several newspapers across Wisconsin. Click to enlarge and look at section 140

Yup - that describes our current governor perfectly!!

Scott Walker for Governor!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cheddarsphere Christmas Party!!!

Our Cheddarsphere Christmas this year party will be on Sunday, January the 3rd, from 2pm until whenever at Papa's Social Club, 7718 W. Burleigh Milwaukee .

Just like last year we'll be collecting predictions from the attendees for the coming year. (Hopefully we'll do better than last year!)

The Packers will be facing the Cardinals on the big screens. (Hopefully the game will matter in some way)

Since it was so popular last year, we'll be doing a white elephant gift exchange this again. Participation is optional, buy a gift valued at no more than $5, wrap it and bring it with you to the party. Everyone who brings a gift will throw their name in a hat and then you draw and pick a gift at random. (Gift exchange to commence at halftime of the Packer game)

Just like every year this is a NON PARTISAN CHRISTMAS PARTY, all are welcome, blog authors and blog readers, those who comment and those who hide in the weeds.

Bloggers, please do what you do best, spread the word.

If you will be attending PLEASE leave a comment so we can give the bar an idea of how many people will be coming along.

(Completely copied and pasted from Fred!)

Happy Veterans Day

A very heartfelt thank you to all the veterans out there. You are the true American Heroes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blog Roll

Hey y'all - as I said in my first post, I'm a little slow to redecorate around here. Shoot - I've lived in my current home for 8 years and still don't have living room furniture!! Anyway, I am slowly but surely working on my blogroll, so please don't get offended if your name isn't up yet. It will be!! If you think I'm forgetting about you, shoot me the name of your blog - either I really have forgotten, or I just don't like you! ;-) I jest. It's just that this old brain can sometimes be quite forgetful. Thanks for your patience, and I hope you're enjoying this little foray into the blogosphere!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Elder

I made mention of the Elder in this post So, who is the Elder? He is the young soldier that I reference in the title to my blog. He is also my biological son.

You see, 19 ½ years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Due to my circumstances at the time, I knew that the only way this child would have a shot at a decent, normal life was if I placed him for adoption. So I did. He was placed with a wonderful couple and through the years, we kept in touch and visited periodically. However, life can get in the way, and it did. By this time I was married and had a child of my own (hereinafter referred to as “the Boy”) I believe that the last time I saw the Elder, he was about 12 years old. The last time I was in touch with his parents was when he was around 15 years old.

Fast forward to late September, 2009. I was doing my thing on facebook and noticed that I had a friend request. Imagine my shock when I saw his name!! Naturally, I accepted the request and went straight to his profile to see what he’s been up to.

He’s joined the Army (yesssssss – couldn’t be prouder!).

He’s been married for over a year (whoa, what?!).

They are expecting a baby in January (HUH?????)

Mind you, I was remembering the 12 year old child, not the adult he had become. Soooo, after picking my jaw up off the floor, I sent him a message. From that time on, we communicated on a daily basis. We got to know each other. He asked some pretty damned tough questions. Now, I must tell you that I’ve always been honest when he’s asked questions, but those were the questions of a child. These were the questions of a young man. Some of those questions were rather brutal, as were some of my answers. Two weeks later Dear Friend and I were on a plane and headed to Georgia to see him and meet his wife (hereinafter referred to as “TSC”).

I won’t get into the details of the visit – perhaps in another post. Suffice it to say that it went better than I could have ever dreamed. TSC is an absolute doll, and the Elder is quite a fine young man. When I was visiting, I ran the idea of this blog past him, and he thought it was a great idea. He said that he would keep in touch, but I also realize that his family is his first priority. We continued to communicate on a daily basis until Tuesday, October 27…the day before heading off to boot camp. I keep in touch with TSC regularly, as she has become quite special to me. And that, my friends, is the story of the Elder.

BTW – HUGE shout out to his parents, T & B…you did a helluva job. Thank you.

Ft. Hood

Swiped from Ol' Broad

Thursday, November 5, 2009


The Ft. Hood shooter, and so far it looks like there is only one, is alive and in stable condition. However, the death toll IS 12.

My Heart Hurts

Disclaimer: I came home from work and went straight to the computer, so I am unaware of any updates to this story at this time.

When I first heard of the shooting, all I heard was "army base" and "south". My heart dropped to my feet because, you see, the Elder is at Ft. Benning. (more on him in a separate post) So it is with a small modicum of shame that I admit I felt some relief when I heard Ft. Hood. There - I admit it. After that brief rollercoaster, I was fully devastated.

11 dead. 31 wounded. What's that you say? 12 dead? Not on this blog, my friends. You see, I am of the firm belief that any POS who goes on a shooting rampage is not in any way worthy of being counted in a death toll that he himself created. The death toll is for the VICTIMS, in my humble opinion. I felt that way about Columbine, Virginia Tech, and any other horrific tragedy in which the one(s) responsible are counted in the death toll. And that's all I will say about the shooter(s) at this time because a) this is about the victims, and b) as tempting as it is, and as much as I'm using every ounce of self-control I have, I will NOT post a rant based on pure speculation. Once more facts are in, the rant will come.

In any case, I want to offer my heartfelt prayers to the fallen, the wounded, the family and friends of all involved, and the community as a whole. My God's peace offer you some measure of comfort in the midst of this tragedy.


A very special birthday wish to a lady who is one in a million (thank God) She's one of the sweetest, snarkiest, smart-assiest conservatives I know!! She also sucks at the slot machines! :) Happy Birthday Ol' Broad!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Anniversary - Of Sorts

Wow!! November 4. Remember last November 4? Election Day? That is a day that, if I could, I would forget. However, I get a daily reminder...yes, that's the day the American public elected a man who had no experience running anything to run our country. How's that workin' out for ya, folks?

But...BUT...there is one saving grace from that day. The bloggers. You see, up to that point I had been reading blogs for a couple of years. Some fun stuff, but mostly conservative blogs. Eventually I started commenting on some of them. I had, in the past, read about this gathering these bloggers have called Drinking Right. It takes place on the second Tuesday of each month, except in November, 2008, the bloggers were having a special Election Night Drinking Right.

Now - disclaimer. I'm a very shy person (no comments from the peanut gallery please). Behind a keyboard, it's all good. In person, I'm horribly shy. HOWEVER, that was a very important election and I wanted to be with people of like mind, even if I hadn't met them. VERY out of the box for me. But I went.

That night I met Chad, Jimi, Egg, AB, Nick, Fred, Patrick, Peter, and many more. It's all been downhill since!! I kid. I'm proud to call these folks friends. Through them I met others, and next thing you know, I have a whole new network of friends! Soon after that date I started squatting on other blogs, and eventually - voila!! This place was born.

November 4, 2008 was, in my opinion, the day this country started going to hell in a handbasket. November 4, 2008 also, in my opinion, opened up a whole new world for me. Thanks for welcoming me into the fold guys!!!

Welcome!! C'mon In!

Welcome to my new home! Let me begin by saying that I just moved here and I'm certain there will be some redecorating in the future, so please be patient with the appearance of my abode.

If you're reading this, I'm assuming it's because you've probably read my ramblings here, here, once in awhile here, or way back when, perhaps even here. Maybe you know me from Twitter or Facebook. Whew!! I certainly do get around blogosphere/internet, don't I??

After almost a year of squatting at other folk's sites and after some gentle (and not so gentle) nudging, I've decided to get a home of my own. Sure - I'll still post some rants on other blogs, but I needed a place to call my own. Somewhere to post random things that run through this crazy head of mine.

So - sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!! I don't know where it will take us, but I'm sure it will be...interesting. Yeah, that's it - interesting.

Y'all come back now, y'hear??