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Poisonous Parenting for July

Pam saw the same news story I did, and had the same thoughts. Right in my back yard, a mother had four dead babies in and around her house.

Investigators were trying to determine Tuesday why a woman accused of causing her baby to be stillborn had bruises on her body when she was found bleeding last week.

Police say Christy Freeman, 37, had bruises on her legs, stomach and forearm. She told police she was not pregnant, but changed her story to say she had given birth to a deformed baby, calling it “gloopity glop.”

A 26-week-old male fetus was found wrapped in a bloody towel under her bathroom sink.

Freeman was being held without bond Tuesday, as investigators continued to excavate the grounds at her home in a search that has turned up four tiny sets of remains, including the 26-week-old male fetus.

There are a whole host of issues we could talk about here, the on that occurred to me was the same one that occurred to Pam.

Of course, the fundamentalists are more concerned about whether gays can adopt or foster children, not whether all children are safe and cared for, regardless of the caregiver’s orientation.

As I’ve said previously, the logic is that while being heterosexual doesn’t automatically make you a good parent, it makes you a better candidate for parenthood than a gay person, because you can’t be gay and be a good parent no matter what the research says. After all, gay parenthood is an inherently selfish and abusive act. So lately, as e I come across stories about some of those heterosexuals who are supposedly better suited for parenthood than I am, I’ve saved them, so I can study them to figure out what these parents are doing that I’m not. Here’s what I gathered last month.

I should have learned from that heterosexual couple in Georgia to just leave my kid in the car while I have dinner, go shopping, etc.

A 1-year-old boy was found dead Wednesday in a locked car in temperatures approaching 100 degrees in Orofino, Idaho. The boy?s stepgrandmother was charged, the authorities said. The sweltering temperatures in Idaho were part of a heat wave sweeping parts of the West. In St. George, Utah, temperatures hit 111 by 1:30 p.m., a day after a nearby weather sensor recorded an unofficial reading of 118, which would top the state?s record of 117 set in St. George in 1985. Around Las Vegas, where temperatures reached 109 degrees before 1 p.m., transformers were overheating and causing fires, said Scott Allison with the Clark County Fire Department. In Phoenix the high temperature was 115.

Here’s I’ve been giving my kid the occasional kiss on the cheek, when I could have bitten an ear off instead.

A man accused of biting off the lip and ear of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty Thursday and was ordered held without bail.

Bryan James, 34, was charged with assault and battery upon a child causing substantial bodily injuries. Police said the attack left the girl so mutilated doctors could not fully repair the damage.

The child’s mother, Jessica Silveria, 26, pleaded not guilty to permitting substantial injuries to a child under 14 and intimidation of a witness. She was also ordered held without bail.

The girl lost the upper part of her lip and her ear was so mutilated that surgery could not return it to its natural state. The child also suffered other human bites on her body, New Bedford police Capt. Richard Spirlet said.

“She’s small, brown hair, brown eyes — great smile,” the child’s father, Eric Offley, said outside the courthouse. “You know, now that’s taken away from her.”

Plus, my kid’s already behind developmentally. He’s four and hasn’t had his first drunken police chase yet.

Police who chased a car for miles along a highway at speeds up to 100 mph said the driver was drunk, hardly a rarity in this resort town. But there was more: When they looked inside the flipped vehicle with guns drawn, they found an 11-year-old girl at the wheel.

“You go up there thinking it’s a felon you’re dealing with,” assistant police Chief Greg Duck said.

The girl, who was slightly injured in the crash, is now charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident. Duck said she sideswiped another vehicle during the roughly 8-mile chase.

And here this girl’s already catching up to Lindsey Lohan, at the tender age of 11.

He hasn’t even had his first exorcism yet.

Officers responding to a report of an exorcism on a young girl found her grandfather choking her and used stun guns to subdue the man, who later died, authorities said Sunday.

The 3-year-old girl and her mother, who was also in the room during the struggle between 49-year-old Ronald Marquez and officers, were hospitalized, police said. Their condition was unavailable.

…”The purpose was to release demons from this very young child,” said Sgt. Joel Tranter.

Officers arrived at the house Saturday and entered when they heard screaming coming from a bedroom, Tranter said.

A bed had been pushed up against the door; the officers pushed it open a few inches and saw Marquez choking his bloodied granddaughter, who was crying in pain and gasping, Tranter said.

A bloody, naked 19-year-old woman who police later determined to be Marquez’s daughter and the girl’s mother was in the room, chanting “something that was religious in nature,” Tranter said.

Demons? Awwww, crap. I hadn’t even thought about the demons yet, lousy parent that I am.

It get’s worse. I’ve been letting my kid ride in his car seat, instead of in the trunk.

A D.C. man has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment charges in a Massachusetts court after being accused of forcing his two daughters into the trunk of his car.

Michael Fekete faces child endangerment charges following the alleged incident Sunday afternoon in Foxborough.

Authorities said it happened outside a nursing home where the girls were visiting their grandmother. Police said witnesses reported seeing Fekete stuff the 9- and 11-year-old girls into the trunk, then let them out and put them in the back seat.

It wasn’t clear how long the children were in the trunk. Temperatures were about 93 degrees in the area.

Fekete’s attorney said the kids asked to be put in the trunk.

Damn. My kid has asked to wait in the car before, but I insisted on taking him inside with me. Every time.

Well, maybe I can make up for it when I drive him to his first gang fight.

Mothers have lied, spun elaborate alibis and hidden evidence for their gang-member sons. But investigators say Eva Daley went to murderous lengths.

Daley, 30, drove her 14-year-old son and six other members of the Latin Marijuana Smokers gang to a skate park to kill a 13-year-old boy they had a grudge against, police say. The boy, Jose “Bobby” Cano, was stabbed to death.

…Daley and the seven teenagers were charged with murder in the June 26 slaying near the squalid skate park in this port city of 462,000 about 25 miles south of Los Angeles.

Daley was jailed on $1 million bail and pleaded not guilty Tuesday. The teens, ages 14 to 17, face hearings to determine whether they will be tried as adults. Police said at least three more juveniles are being sought.

…Police said Daley knew her son and the others planned to kill Cano.

“She wasn’t taking them there to play in the park,” Officer Jackie Bezart said.

And I guess giving your child Xanax makes death go down a little easier.

Investigators found testosterone, painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs in the body of professional wrestler Chris Benoit, who killed his wife and son last month before hanging himself in his Atlanta home, a medical examiner said Tuesday.

Dr. Kris Sperry, Georgia’s chief medical examiner, said the body of Benoit’s wife, Nancy, also contained painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs.

Sperry said it’s likely the Benoits’ 7-year-old son, Daniel, was sedated at the time he was murdered, because a high level of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax was found in the boy’s system.

Xanax is not normally prescribed for children, Sperry said.

Of course, our house isn’t nearly filthy enough, and our son hasn’t gotten his first firearm yet. So, that’s probably why he hasn’t shot us in the face, yet.

A 13-year-old girl used a shotgun to fatally shoot her father in the head early Monday in a home overrun with animals and filth, police said.

The girl told investigators she used a 12-gauge shotgun to shoot 34-year-old Matthew Booth in the face while he was in bed, according to a police affidavit.

A police complaint did not identify a motive in the killing, but her mother, Michelle Fazek, who was separated from Booth, said she had complained several times to county child welfare officials that her daughter and her brother, 14, were living in squalor and that her daughter had been abused.

“I just want to see her,” Fazek said. “She must be so scared.”

… The house in Elizabeth Township, about 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh was in deplorable condition, police said.

“They had a number of animals, dogs, cats and rabbits. They hadn’t cleaned up after them,” said James Morton, assistant superintendent of Allegheny County Police. The two-story frame house had dirty, peeling white siding, and a downstairs window was boarded up.

Matthew Booth’s neighbor Suzanne Gruber told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the girl had told her she had killed her father because she “just couldn’t take it any more.” Gruber said the girl also told her she had been abused.

Crap. We just vacuumed yesterday. Oh well, at least I hadn’t loaded the dishwasher yet.

Plus I sent my kid out in clean clothes today. Never thought about tying him up and letting him soil himself.

They were often handcuffed, tethered together with plastic ties and allowed to soil themselves, investigators say. They had scars on their wrists. Some had burns.

None appeared to have more than a fourth-grade education, not even the adults in their 20s. All were starving.

In all, nine teenagers and young adults were held like prisoners in Judith Leekin’s home in what appeared to be a decades-long scheme to line her pockets with the government payments she received for adopting and raising them, police say.

… According to authorities, she was unemployed and lived off the monthly stipends provided by child welfare authorities in New York. She owned at least two homes and several cars. The adopted children said they had never seen a doctor or a dentist and had not been allowed to attend school or even leave the house.

“These people have not received any formal education in the time they’ve been with her,” Bartal said. “At times when they were restricted with handcuffs or zip ties, during the night, they soiled themselves because they weren’t permitted to go to the bathroom.”

They were fed only noodles, and “they would have eventually starved to death,” Bartal said.

The 18-year-old told police Leekin threatened to cut her head off if she told anyone what was happening, authorities said.

“Was there any kind of emotional attachment? Yes, it was fear,” Bartal said.

And here I am working for a living. Plus my kid runs to greet me every evening when I get home.

So, I’ve learned a lot in the past month from people who are inherently better suited for parenthood than me because they’re not gay. To be fair, though, not all heterosexual parents meet this standard. Like Derek Fisher, who left a professional basketball career to take care of his sick daughter.

The Utah Jazz agreed to release guard Derek Fisher from his contract Monday so he can concentrate on finding the best care for his 11-month-old daughter, who has cancer in her left eye.

Fisher said he wants to live in one of the six or seven cities being considered for Tatum’s care.

He didn’t rule out playing for another NBA team but emphasized that his daughter’s health is his No. 1 priority.

“Life for me outweighs the game of basketball,” Fisher told reporters after flying from New York to meet with Jazz owner Larry H. Miller and other team executives.

“When it comes to decisions related to them,” he said of his family, “I do what’s best.”

… In May, his daughter was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancerous tumor in her left eye. The danger is that it could spread to her brain or the rest of her body.

Fisher at times fought exhaustion trying to balance basketball and his daughter’s welfare. He spent a day at a New York hospital in May, then flew to Utah for a Western Conference semifinal game against Golden State.

Of course, I’d do the same thing if my kid were sick. It’s what any good parent would do. (Though I’m not sure how it jibes with of the above.) And Fisher deserves cred for stepping up. But the reality is that doing the same thing would actually not make me a good parent, because I’m a gay parent, which is inherently and irredeemably selfish and abusive.

Any doubts I may have had about that are erased when I consider the story Dana covered earlier, about the lesbian mom who can’t get visitation rights and has stopped fighting her “ex-lesbian” partner for the right to see their daughter.

Earlier this year, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that an estranged lesbian partner does not have visitation rights of her ex-partner’s child simply because the two shared parenting duties while they were together. The plaintiff in the Jones v. Barlow case says she has no plans to appeal to the nation’s highest court.

“My fear is that it would just cause a bigger problem,” says Keri Jones. “The federal court is not swayed toward our side. Just imagine what it did on the local level to the families below me. Having that kind of ruling on a national level would be horrific. The whole thing is probably just not a good idea.”

Jones says she is also concerned about the effect any further legal battles would have on the child she calls her daughter. Others involved in similar situations are already feeling the fallout of Jones v. Barlow. Gina Herrera and her ex-partner had nearly agreed upon a visitation schedule when the court rendered its decision. Herrera’s ex then took visitation of their child away, despite a contract to protect Herrera’s rights that was drawn up prior to the birth of the child. Herrera hopes the court will decide in her favor.

Funny, isn’t it. You can fail to do all that the parents above did, and instead give your child nothing but care and love. But at the end of the day, your not a fit parent. You’re not even a “real” parent. Despite what Utah’s Chief Justice said

The Utah Chief Justice dissented from the February ruling, however, writing ?While this case is, in part, about parental rights, it is also about whether children in nontraditional families, with nontraditional but nonetheless real parents, are entitled to have their interests addressed just as if they had been born into traditional families.?

Except that they’re not. At least not in Utah.

So, when I hear talk about “strengthening families” ? whether from White House proclamations or Democratic leadership ? I’ll just keep asking when and how that’s going to apply to ours.

My Administration is committed to strengthening American families by supporting Federal, State, and faith-based and community programs that promote healthy marriages and responsible parenting.

I know the president and his base don’t include our families in that. And if we want our friends to include in their promises to strengthen families, we gotta keep reminding them. Every chance we get.

Crossposted from The Republic of T.

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