Arizona, Guns, Violence, and My 2 Cents

January 12, 2011 on 12:06 pm | In Personal, Political Musings |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

The headlines for the past week have been consumed by stories about the tragic shootings that took place in Tucson where Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was meeting constituents at a Safeway supermarket. Within a matter of moments the left-leaning blogosphere and the liberal talking heads were instantly playing “The Blame Game” and everyone from The Tea Party to Sarah Palin to their counterparts – the right-leaning blogosphere and the neocon talking heads – were easy targets. And, in the usual knee-jerk reactionary way in which things are done by Washington bureaucrats and political bottom feeders there were new bills being drafted to respond to tragedy.

Headlines proclaimed plans for new gun control bills, new bills limiting the capacity of magazines, new bills restricting your right to be armed within a certain distance of some government officials, a bill “condemning” the actions of Jared Lee Loughner, the accused shooter… the list goes and and will continue to grow. Other headlines proclaim disdain and disgust over the “heated rhetoric” surrounding politics of late, with talk of “revolution” and “taking up arms” being popular phrases to latch onto. Of course, if you allow yourself to fall into the false left vs. right paradigm that the elites and the media use to control most people by restraining and limiting the way in which they think about issues then you may likely land on one of these two sides and follow the instructions given by the cheerleaders appointed to herd the sheep for your chosen “side” – the Maddow/Olbermann/DailyKOS crowd or the Beck/Limbaugh/RedState crowd respectively. But if you step away from the phony division and you look at the big picture with a little bit of analytical detachment and take a little time to consider what you see, you might get a different point of view.

That is what I tried to do. I rarely post to my blog, so when I do you can bet I usually took some time to consider what I wanted to write before posting. So here are the things that I am seeing from all sides and my take on it. These are merely my opinions, so take them as just that and nothing more.

  1. All the condemnation of “violent rhetoric” from the idealogues on the left seems very empty and hypocritical considering the amount of times I’ve heard them calling for retaliation in kind against their right wing counterparts. Violence is not the exclusive property of left OR right – the both can and do use it with equal willingness and disregard for their fellow man when it suits them while condemning such acts when it is politically expedient to do so. The hypocrisy is sickening.
  2. Republicans and Democrats alike are now going on and on about how distrusting the government is paranoid and delusional – a kind of illness – just like the apparent mental illness of the accused shooter. And of course we can’t let mentally ill people have guns, but who can we trust to make those diagnoses accurately without wrongly denying citizens their Natural Rights to defend themselves? Medicine has already become overly-politicized and mental health is no exception. In this case, I defer to Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it.”
  3. With all this talk about “violence against government,” why isn’t anyone talking about Government violence against its citizens?!? Every week you read about SWAT teams kicking in the wrong door and terrorizing children and retirees, IRS agents confiscating at gunpoint the equipment business people need to ensure their livelihoods, and people being stripped of their freedom for years for victimless “crimes” like smoking a naturally occurring plant substance. Did they think people would take this sort of mistreatment forever?

You see, the root of the problem as I see isn’t that people – even those who shouldn’t have access to them – can get guns and it certainly doesn’t matter if those guns hold 6 rounds or 30 rounds. Guns do not MAKE people violent. It isn’t that people are using the same sort of rhetoric that’s been used since the founding of this country because sane and rational people do not engage in violence because someone suggested they do it.

The problem is no different than we all dealt with in grade school – the playground bully who gets whatever he or she wants through coercion, intimidation, and violence never learns to stop using those tactics unless someone – or better still many someones at the same time – all agree to not allow those tactics to work on them anymore. To stop a bully, you must STAND UP to a bully. And that, dear reader, is what our Leviathan State has become. If you want to see a text book definition of a bully in action, simply watch any government agency impose itself upon the American people. So some people have had enough, and it’s no surprise that some people have come unhinged and started to snap. Now don’t try to put words into my mouth and say that I’m excusing the actions of Loughner, or McVeigh, or anyone else! How many times have we all thought about what we would _like_ to do to the bully that tormented us as children – playing those fantasies of mayhem and sometimes even murder out in our minds knowing that we would never REALLY act upon them? For most of us, the _thoughts_ are our way of processing and dealing with those feelings and it is ultimately healthy and cathartic for us to play out in our mind what we would never dream of in reality. But some people have a tenuous grip on the difference between what is only in their mind and the real world and watching Loughner’s YouTube videos suggest he was such a person. Congresswoman Gifford likely never bullied anyone, but she was one of the faces that _REPRESENTED_ the biggest and most brutal of all bullies, Government.

I offer a modest proposal:

When government stops dealing with us citizens by violent and confrontational means, I am confident that most of us citizens will gladly return the favor.

So “What’s going on with Dave?” you might ask.. or “Why I’m not an Atheist Anymore…” (Reposted from a Facebook Note originally written August, 2009)

June 21, 2010 on 12:06 am | In General, Personal |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

(Reposted from a Facebook Note originally written August, 2009 – includes updates/corrections)
Well, I have friends (new and old), co-workers, and family asking me lots of questions about everything that’s going on. I haven’t updated my blog at davideasterly.com/blog/ for a long time and there has been a LOT happening of late. So I’m just going to put it all out here for everyone to see and leave it at that.

First, I’ll address the health stuff. I’ve had migraine headaches pretty much my entire adult life. They used to be infrequent – one or two a year for a long time. But over the last year or so they have increased in frequency, severity, and duration. Right now I’m having one or two every week rather than every year and they have also significantly increased in both duration and severity. They’re absolutely, cripplingly debilitating and I’ve been working with my doctor to try to get some relief. It’s been affecting my work, my band, and most importantly my family life. For example, when my teenage son Robert was up for his summer visit I had a migraine so bad that I lost the greater part of a day that could have been spent visiting with him. And when I have one of these headaches, the least bit of light is brutally painful so rather than me helping my wonderful wife Carrie with the raising of our little boy Kash or helping around the house, they wind up having to take care of me and things that need to be done get left by the wayside. I hate the idea of having to depend on someone else to take care of me when I’m supposed to be looking out for them. These fucking headaches are ruining my life and if they were something I could grab hold of, I would throttle the life out of them without mercy.

But there’s been progress! My doctor prescribed an MRI scan of my head before choosing a specific treatment path and the MRI came back with no abnormalities. That means no aneurism, no tumors, no other reasons to worry about life-threatening illness. My doctor had previously prescribed a pain reliever for the interim until the MRI came back and now that it has (i.e. results have come back – ed.) she has prescribed a migraine-specific medication (Imitrex, I think?) (Imitrex was correct. – ed.) and we’ll see how that works. In the meantime, if I’m a little grumpy or you see me wearing sunglasses inside, you probably know what’s going on, now. Anyway, that’s what’s going on with my health. So thanks for all the kind words, notes, and prayers. I’m very blessed to have such awesome, wonderful, caring friends and family. I love the whole bloody lot of ya.
(UPDATE – A combination of medications HAS been very effective in reducing the frequency and severity of the attacks. They still happen but they are far less severe than at the time of the original post. – ed.)

That brings me to the second major point – and it involves one of the most profound changes in my entire adult life. For MANY years – way more than a decade – I have been an open and vocal atheist. I was not always an atheist, as some of you know. If you read my last note I did on Facebook back in February (at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=49701807033&1&index=0), you’ll see a few things… Especially with numbers 23 and 24. I’ll quote them here for convenience:

23) I’m an atheist not because I wanted to be but because I was dragged kicking and screaming to the realization that all the stuff I had believed growing up was based on lies. I went from being a bible-readin’, devout pentecostal fundamentalist Christian at the age of 16 to reluctant atheist around the time I turned 30.

24) If I were to take up a new religion, I think I’d want to worship the Norse pantheon like Thor and Odin. That way, battle and drinking mead would be tax-deductible acts of worship!

So let me break it down for you if you care enough to still be reading this far down…

I’ve always felt like I had a spiritual side and I thought in my youth that christianity was the answer to my spiritual needs because I didn’t KNOW there was any alternative. Of course I was aware of the existence of Judaism, Buddhism, Shinto, and so on but I was raised being told those were “wrong” and that anyone that didn’t believe in and submit to the “one god” was really going to burn in this miserable place called Hell. But as I got older I found myself turned off by people who “put on” on “took off” their religion as a matter of convenience. Their faith was a pastime, not a lifestyle. I saw far too much of that hypocrisy and it drove me away from christianity and the church. The jealous nature (no room for anything BUT this one god) and the contradictory message of a “loving” god who would also knowingly send people to this burning, torturous pit with this ex-angel named Lucifer who was now called “The Devil” seemed irreconcilable with what I felt deep inside to be right. But then again, torture has seemed to always hold a special appeal for the god of (and the descendants of) Abraham – jews, muslims, and christians. But I digress… I’m wandering far off my point here.

The contradictions, the lack of any answers better than “it’s god’s will” to the difficult questions, and the hypocrisy of so many of its adherents drove me not only away from church but to the position of agnostic and ultimately to atheism. But all the while I felt a void in my life and I was in a spiritual wasteland, starving for some sort of fulfillment that was nowhere to be found.

And so I spent many years “in the desert,” if you’ll forgive the borrowed phrase. I still had a very specific set of values that were important to me. I still felt inclined towards conservatism, but with a definite lean towards social tolerance (which I had been incorrectly programmed to believe meant “liberalism”) and libertarian philosophy. I still believed in family, honesty, hard work, decency to my fellow man, morality, honor, and justice. And I didn’t need the threat of a fiery hell or the promise of an eternal paradise in the afterlife to want to adhere to those values. And I will admit I have had far too many failings in adhering to those values at time but I own my failures as openly as I do my successes.

But I was still in the desert and I had a gnawing emptiness that I couldn’t figure out how to fill. In February when I wrote that earlier note, I thought I was joking when I wrote ” If I were to take up a new religion, I think I’d want to worship the Norse pantheon like Thor and Odin.” At the time, I had NO IDEA that anyone ANYWHERE still practiced that ancient religion! But I began to grow curious about HOW to revive that faith – where to learn more of the way it was practiced in antiquity. Lo and behold, I found that not only was that particular faith NOT dead, but it was a growing and vibrant community!!

I sincerely believe now that even though I thought I was being a little “tongue in cheek” in that earlier note, before I knew Asatru existed I was feeling the call of the Gods of my forefathers.

I read and I researched and the more I learned the greater my curiosity grew. Then I saw that some people that claimed to practice that religion were also racial separatists, neo-nazis, and other undesirable scum. I was DEEPLY disheartened. Then I came across a group called the Asatru Folk Assembly at http://www.runestone.org/. Here were people who explained that not all people who worship Odin and the other Gods and Goddesses were racists, and they DENOUNCE racism and its adherents. They explained that the ancient practitioners of this faith intermarried with, traded with, and otherwise associated with peoples of ALL races and faiths. The racists, the neo-nazis, and the “aryan nation” types that claimed Odinism as their faith were just like the pretenders that drove me away from christianity all those years ago! And to compound the relief, I came to understand that the true “Aryans” were “Proto-Indo-Europeans,” a.k.a. PERSIANS! If anything, they should be worshiping the gods of the ancient Persians (the modern day Iranians) and NOT the Gods of the ancient Norse/Germanic peoples. So I contacted some folks from the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) and I had many a lengthy email conversation with several folks, but especially with Cat and Mike Ellis.

My questions answered, my worries addressed with answers FAR BETTER than “it must be god’s will,” and with the understanding that I was undertaking a huge new set of obligations, I cast of the old skepticism and doubt of atheism, walked outside, declared myself a free man descended of noble ancestors who more than a millennium ago had honored and worshiped the Gods and Goddesses of Asgard and Vanaheim — The Aesir and The Vanir. I proudly claimed my heritage and my birthright as a son of these Elder Kin, and swore an oath to live my life by the examples they had given in their own actions, and the wisdom contained in the lore of the people of pre-christian Northern Europe. I became an Asatruar – a believer in Asatru, which mean “belief in/true to the Aesir.”

So if you were wondering what was with all the “Hail Odin!” and the Thor’s Hammer and the axe around my neck and such, now you know. I reconstruct to the best of my ability the way my ancient ancestors worshiped before christianity was spread into the Northlands.

So to dispel the myths, lies, and misconceptions that the clueless will likely disseminate, here are a few points:

* Astruar practice the native polytheistic Heathenism that was indigenous to Northern Europe in much the same way that Native Americans still practice THEIR native Heathenistic religion. Not only are we NOT devil worshipers, we don’t even believe in the existence of a “devil.” Christianity is a native religion for people of the Middle East, and I have no familial tie to the desert peoples of the Arab lands.

* Asatruar are not racist, separatists, nazis, aryan nation, or anything remotely similar. People who hold those views that claim to be Asatru or Odinists are no different than the christians who hold those views – hypocrites and liars.

* Nobody converted me to Asatru. Nobody knocked on my door, left an annoying pamphlet on my windshield, or a placed tract hidden inside a book I bought at the store. I will never try to push my faith on someone else and I expect the same courtesy in return.

* My Gods and Goddesses accept me as I am. I don’t need “saving” or “redemption” because there is nothing wrong with me (or you, for that matter!) to make me subservient to anyone, including any deities. My Gods expect me to be honorable and decent and moral. Heathen does not mean “without morals.” They expect me to stand on my own two feet and be a man, not a slave – especially not to them.

* I believe in what we call “The Nine Noble Virtues,” which are Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industry, Self-Reliance, and Perseverance. This was fundamentally the same as my personal code of conduct before I ever found Asatru. I believe these values resonated with me because they are deeply hereditary.

* We don’t have a “Bible,” so to speak. We have many different sources from which we try to learn more about the Gods, including the Lore as recorded in the Sagas, the Eddas, and I especially rely upon the Havamal as I’ve begun my journey into a broader, more spiritual life.

If someone has questions about my awakening into the Folk Way of my Ancestors, I will be happy to answer questions to the best of my ability. But I must admit that I am a neophyte in this way of life (I don’t like calling it a religion because it’s so much more than that!) so there are many things I am still learning. If someone doesn’t like that I have found this new and wonderful thing to fill the spiritual void in my life because it IS so very different from what most people practice, I understand. But the problem lies with that person and not with me. I will not treat anyone differently from the way I always have. If you change towards me, then you must look within yourself to find the reason. If you cannot accept this “new and improved” Dave, the loss is yours. I will still respect those around me that are christian, catholic, protestant, mormon, atheist, agnostic, or pastafarian as I always have. You do not have to reciprocate but if you fail to, it will be a sign to me that perhaps I made a poor choice in befriending you. We have a concept that many people would relate to “karma” called Orlay (örlög), and we create it through our actions and or choices we make. I do not wish to entangle my örlög with the intolerant any more than I wish to entangle it with other evil.

I love my family, my friends, and those who have been there for me throughout the years. I do not wish this to sever me from ANYONE, but if it does then it will not be my choice. I am still the same old me I was before writing this missive. I have simply “come home” to what was ALWAYS waiting for me – the faith of my revered ancient Ancestors. If you see me differently, I hope it is for the better rather than the contrary.

With love and respect,
Dave

How So-Called Government Regulation “Works”

May 19, 2010 on 1:04 am | In General, Political Musings |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

From a Facebook conversation with a dear friend who happens to be a pro-government liberal, I tried to explain why government regulation never really delivers on the promises to protect consumers, make things better, and make corporations accountable. I know the language is a bit rough, but I hope I made myself clear.

Dave Easterly –
So… let’s say just for the sake of argument that you and I agree _COMPLETELY_ on the utter shittiness of the human race and its complete lack of moral rectitude. And therefore in the absence of a restraining force to prevent them from raping and pillaging and plundering the asses, villages, and treasuries respectively of every other human around them that people will act in the greediest and most foully evil way possible. Doesn’t sound far from the truth, right?

NOW! We have a conundrum because we have very limited possible options here for people to be protected. Let’s say that your suggested approach is option number one.
1) Let the government be responsible for protecting everyone from those in a position to take advantage of them.

Sounds okay to you, right? But wait… Isn’t government made up of… people? Those same greedy animals that are searching for ways to exploit and f**k over every other animal they can find? And now you’ve given them something NEW! You have given them +POWER+!! And they LIKE having it.

So here come the evil business men in their suits and ties to meet with the government bureaucrats in THEIR suits and ties who are given the power to “regulate” them. They meet in fancy buildings with marble floors and nice wooden furniture that’s been paid for by The Mundanes… the plebeian untouchable caste of which you and I are a part. In their fancy buildings we paid for (and after 5:00 in the titty bars and whorehouses where you and I are STILL footing the bill) these people in suits find ways to make their mutually-beneficial arrangements that get called “regulation” which ultimately just ensures that those paying the best bribes and kickbacks get the most favorable advantages in their quest to f**k you and me. Oh, they’ll tell us it’s “for our own good” and “to protect the common man,” but that’s just political theater for the news cameras. Government is even LESS honest and trustworthy and those they’re supposed to “regulate” and the “regulators” usually become the enforcers of the will of the “regulated” rather than protectors of Joe Citizen.

Can I make this any clearer?

Does that about sum it up?

Why to buy a GOOD hard drive rather than a cheap one:

March 13, 2009 on 8:51 am | In All Things Geeky, General |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

From the folks at Intel: enterprise_class_versus_desktop_class_hard_drives_.pdf.

Bottom line – If your business data isn’t important, go ahead and get that $99 terabyte drive. If it matters, be ready to spend quite a bit more.
You get what you paid for. There are good reasons why a Land Cruiser costs more than a Yaris, even though they’re both Toyotas. Why don’t people get that when it comes to hard drives?

In Praise of Red State Fascism

February 20, 2009 on 1:51 pm | In General, Political Musings |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

A letter ran in the local paper praising the same legislation that has made S. Hartgen a nationwide laughing stock. That letter appears here:
This was the response I wrote.

So if Hartgen’s bill were to become law, can I say that I felt annoyed, terrified, threatened, intimidated, harassed, and offended by the comments of the anti-Constitution and anti-Liberty comments of people I disagree with and have the State on my side? If someone threatens me or libels me, there are already laws to deal with it. I’d much rather have the freedom to simply click “Delete” on an email or instant message or click “Back” to navigate away from a comment that offended me and know that others have the same freedom than to rely on the State to “protect” me from what other people think.

It always gets my goat how hyprocritical some so-called “conservatives” are, getting up in arms when something “offends” their delicate little sensibilities by not being in 100% agreement with their narrow world view. They p**s and moan when a few gay rights activists picket a TV station and persuade them not to show a program that spends an entire hour talking about how gays are all going to burn for eternity and how they’re all evil, perverted predators. And yet these self-proclaimed “conservatives” would use the exact same tactics to prevent the broadcast of an opposing viewpoint like that those same people should have the rights and protections of marriage. And then they get upset when their goose-stepping, jack-booted authoritarianism gets called out for what it really is. Well, I have two words for these kinds of people: “STOP IT.” Stop calling yourselves “conservative” because you and your “Limbaugh Leninism” and your “Coulter Totalitarianism” are the very ANTITHESIS of real Conservatism. You don’t _deserve_ the adjective and you’ve distorted and stained that good word with your putrid stench. Stop calling yourselves conservatives and start being honest with yourselves and the world. ANYONE that would support any bill like this isn’t a conservative. You don’t have a right not to be offended by what’s on TV, the phone, or the Internet. You DO have a right to change the channel, hang up, or click to a different site and that is all a decent and mature human being SHOULD need.
Hartgen and his sycophants need to simply grow up and stop crying if their little feelings get hurt.

Again, I doubt it will make it through the filters at the local Ministry of Truth, but we’ll see.

Stephen Hartgen: Is he Idaho’s “new” Larry Craig?

February 6, 2009 on 1:22 am | In All Things Geeky, General, Political Musings |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

It certainly looks that way… Larry Craig was a huge embarrassment to the Idaho GOP, and as a freshman legislator Hartgen has already ignited nationwide disgust and outrage, but both of these are probably outweighed by outright mockery at how clueless Hartgen (and by association, the Idaho Republican Party) really is.

People that know me know that I’ve considered myself a Republican my entire life until I got acquainted with the Twin Falls County GOP. If they are what it means to be a Republican, then I know I’m certainly NOT one. I guess non-theistic conservative libertarianism just doesn’t have a place in their little clique as far as they’re concerned, and that’s fine with me because the majority of them are people I wouldn’t want to sit down with at the same table anyway. But among ALL of them, I must admit that Hartgen was always the one who epitomized all the wretched and disgusting traits that I found morally and personally reprehensible – even worse than Grant Loebs, and that’s saying a lot.

It seems that when videos of the Twin Falls County GOP convention found their way to YouTube and some anonymous commenter made some very immature and inappropriate comments it hurt Hartgen’s little feelings. What shocked me about the whole thing was how, aside from a few choice expletives, the comment really reminded me of the kinds of things that I had always heard coming out of Hartgen’s mouth about the Ron Paul paleoconservatives that were getting involved with the local party. But I suppose that Hartgen, being the sort of fellow that he is, felt that he should be entitled to protection from having his delicate sensibilities offended. In all honesty, I think _THAT_ is where this whole thing started, but that’s only my speculation based on what I’ve seen and heard from this tax-leeching big-government neoconservative Jacobin New Englander during the time that I was attending the Twin Falls County GOP meetings.

So is he Idaho’s new national embarassment a la Larry “Wide Stance” Craig? Well, it took Craig YEARS in office to become a laughing stock and Hartgen managed to do it in much shorter order. And Craig could actually show some integrity and still come clean and admit his lifestyle, renounce all his past anti-gay rhetoric and voting records, and reclaim some credibility as a human being. I think it’s already too late for Hartgen because he can’t gain any credibility if he were to renounce his own love of big, invasive government, authoritarianism, and all the other traits that make Hartgen one of the most disappointing examples ever of what we send to our Capitol to “represent” us. It would be too little, too late and there’s pretty much no way it could ever seem genuine.

(BTW, I know this is old news [from December] but it had been sticking in my craw and I finally had to just get it off my chest.)

All I can say is… OMFG

February 3, 2009 on 9:42 am | In General, Political Musings, Videos |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

Maybe NOW some of my Obamaphile friends will start to get why I’m always talking about why the Federal Reserve, bailouts, “stimulus” plans, and Leviathan government are bad…

The Passing of a Legend and a Hero

January 16, 2009 on 11:48 am | In All Things Geeky, General, Videos |
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Patrick McGoohan – the man who defied authoritarianism and stood steadfastly for the importance of the individual in the classic TV Series “The Prisoner” – is dead. McGoohan was 80 years old and leaves behind his wife of 57 years, 3 daughters, several grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

And, just like his character in “The Prisoner,” he always refused to be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. He was a free man. And he will be sorely missed.

A young and dashing Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner Poster

See this documentary for more details:

Blast from the Past…

January 14, 2009 on 2:32 pm | In General, Music, Personal |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Jerome put this little gem on classmates.com… I don’t know whether to hug him or kill him. Either one would be difficult considering he’s a couple of thousand miles away. Brings back memories, though… that was my very first kit of Ludwigs. They were later stolen and sold by a “friend” in Alabama who turned out to be an utter douchebag. Ah, the memories….

Jerome and me circa 1988 with my very first set of Ludwigs

The Christmas Day Tragedy

January 7, 2009 on 2:33 am | In General, Personal, Political Musings |
This post is utterly devoid of comments. :(

So I think it’s safe to say pretty much everyone knows about the events that happened just North of here on Christmas day… An 11 year old girl named Sage and her 12 year old brother Bear were sent walking in the middle of a snow storm 10 miles to their mother’s house after their father and uncle got their car stuck in a snow drift. The temperature when they set out on the 10 mile hike was in the mid-20s with a wind chill in the low single digits. They found the boy about 11 hours later in a rest area bathroom about 5 miles from where he and his sister started walking, delirious and suffering from hypothermia. A few hours later his dying sister was found partially buried in snow. She had turned back after a couple of miles and wanted to go back to the car but her brother wanted to press on so they went separate ways. The father and the uncle got the car unstuck and did what anyone would expect them to do… They turned around and went back home rather than going after the kids to pick them up and drive them the rest of the way to their mother’s or make sure they had arrived safely. Then after finding out they hadn’t made it to their mother’s they waited another FIVE HOURS to call for help.
Oh? That _ISN’T_ what you would have expected?!? Here is the timeline as reported by our local fish wrapper…

A timeline to tragedy

Dec. 25

9 a.m. – Vehicle became stuck in a snowdrift along West Magic Road, less than a mile from the Idaho Highway 75 turnoff, according to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office.

10:30 to 11 a.m. – Children start walking, according to their uncle and passenger, Kenneth Quintana.

12 to 1 p.m. – The vehicle is unstuck, according to Quintana.

1 to 2 p.m. – Children’s mom, JoLeta Jenks, calls Aragon saying kids haven’t arrived, according to Quintana. Aragon and Quintana drive back to where the children began walking and go on foot to look for them, according to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office.

7 p.m. – A friend of Jenks calls police saying the kids are missing. A Blaine County deputy and a snow plow head out to look for the kids, but they too become stuck after hitting a snow drift and slide off the road, according to the BCSO.

8:30 p.m. – Blaine County Search and Rescue set up on West Magic Road, one mile from the Highway 75, with one vehicle and two snowmobile teams, according to the BCSO.

Also, Quintana says he and Aragon stop their search for the children and meet up with police.

9:50 p.m. – The male child, Bear Aragon, is found in a Bureau of Land Management bathroom, near the intersection of West Magic Road and the Magic Dam Road in Camas County, 4.5 miles from where he began walking. He had hypothermia and was wearing only long underwear, having discarded his jacket, pants and shoes.

10:20 p.m. – Search dogs are deployed to look for the female child, Sage Aragon. The plan was to search from where Bear Aragon was found, back east towards Highway 75, after the boy told authorities he and his sister split up and she walked back to her dad’s car.

Dec. 26

2 a.m. – Sage is found unconscious and hypothermic next to a barbed wire fence on the south side of West Magic Road, mostly covered in snow and barely visible. She was wearing a down coat, black shirt, pajama pants and snow boots, according to the BCSO.

4:15 a.m. – Sage is pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, according to the BCSO.

They also finally arrested the worthless uncle who was an accessory to this cruel act of murderous neglect. Just coincidentally, he was also busted with meth. Whodathunkit?

Now I’m never one to advocate the intervention of government in family affairs, BUT… When an agency exists – whose sole purpose it seems is to destroy families and wreck lives with an efficiency and prolificacy that may only be rivaled by the state-sponsored terrorist organization know as the IRS – that goes by the Orwellian name of “The Department of Health and Welfare” fails as COMPLETELY and UTTERLY as they did for Sage and Bear then one of two things clearly needs to happen. Either we abolish this worthless farce of an agency and send its tax-feeding reprobate “employees” in search of gainful work doing something OTHER than wrecking decent families while ignoring to the utter disinterest of those they’re supposed to “protect” reports of neglect that I suspect they received in abundance about this messed up family OR the public needs to DEMAND accountability for this agency to ignore the warning signs about families like this one that put their drugs or drinking or whatever before the well-being of their children.

Here’s what I had to say in the comments section of the local bird cage liner’s website after the arrest of the worthless and equally culpable uncle:

So has anyone at the Times News or the prosecutor’s office checked to see if there have been reports about neglect with Health & Welfare about these children? I would almost GUARANTEE that there’s a file as thick as business end of a Louisville Slugger of reports from teachers or others more concerned about the well-being of these children than their biological tissue contributors (i.e. people not worthy of being called “parents”). It is sad and unfortunate that these poor children had to be born to “parents” without enough sense to know that you don’t send a child out in an Idaho winter storm wearing nothing warmer than PAJAMA PANTS. We all know that the most likely reason they didn’t care enough to go FORWARD and make sure the children arrived safely at their destination was that there was something far more “important” (at least to them) waiting at home for the two men in that car, we just don’t know if it was in a bottle, a pipe, or a pill. I wonder when the last time this “good employee” passed a drug test was? Being in jail is too good for these people. I say jack up the jail and put them UNDER it.

We’ll see tomorrow if they actually pass it through their censors…

(UPDATE: As expected, my comment didn’t make it through the censors even though several later comments WERE posted.)

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