Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Not again!

I am saddened beyond belief. Another idiot couldn't keep himself and his impulses in check and now five little Amish girls are dead.

What did they do to deserve to die?

Nothing. They were alive, and for the sicko who snuffed their lives, that was enough.

I know it is popular, in some circles, to ridicule the Amish and their lifestyle. There are many Amish in the part of Ontario where I live, and I can tell you that they are wonderful people who want nothing other than to be left alone, to live their lives according to their values and beliefs. In other words, in the only way that really counts, they are exactly like the rest of us.

I know that this latest butchery wasn't really about wreaking havoc on little Amish girls. Any other, helpless little girls would likely have served as well. When any innocent children die, it is sad, disgusting, infuriating.

I have known Amish families. I have dined with them. They are kind and helpful. They are people of their word. They are honest, dependable, and self-sufficient. The Amish community in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, where the massacre took place, must wonder why the outside world has intruded on theirs in such a brutal fashion. I feel for the families of the little girls.

What is our world coming to?


  1. I want to respond with something profound. But, I am unable to do so. As a teacher, as a parent, as a citizen of Earth, there is no justification of such an act. I don't know why, or how, such craziness keeps being created. Am I not doing enough in my part of the world to assuage the hurt? Or, in the face of such insanity, are we all rendered helpless. I don't know.

  2. p.s. I just found an interesting view on this very subject from Cal. Teacher guy. (www.californiateacherguy.blogspot.com) You may be interested to read his thoughts.

  3. You're right, Bellezza, the californiateacherguy nailed the Amish attitude perfectly. Thanks for the reference.

  4. I share your sadness over the deaths of these innocent children. I live in upstate NY and we have some Amish and Mennonite farmers nearby - the nicest folks. We bought our dog from a Mennonite breeder a few years back - our boys (8 & 14) were so curious about their lifestyle and beliefs after we visited their farm. It was a good learning experience for the whole family.

    My heart aches for their community. I wonder why The Whacko chose that particular school - perhaps he felt it would be easier to overwhelm them.....

  5. I, too, want to respond with something profound, but like Bellezza I am at a loss. My heart breaks for the families. I am so weary of all the senseless killing.

  6. It is Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I will likely go riding with my brother. When we ride, we often pass over (with permission) farmland that abuts his land and that is owned by Amish families. We stop to purchase from them delicious pies and other baked goods. They come to my brother's home when they need to use a telephone. Sometimes, they engage in sharecropping arrangements with him. They are nice people.

    I guess this is not really about that the girls were Amish, necessarily, it would have been as much of a tragedy had they been Presbyterian, Catholic, or atheist. It is just especially sad to see that the sickness and evil in the larger world even intrudes into their sheltered microcosm.

  7. Hopefully the perpetrator of this slaughter of innocents will be punished, but judging from how the mulleted mealy-mouths are already closing ranks and concocting rationalizations, the ACLUnatics and other leftists will probably get the dirtbag off "scot free".
    Once whatever is coming has finally passed, perhaps we will be able to look back honestly and see that sparing the rod and spoon-feeding Ritalin was a mind-bogglingly stupid decision that had to result in people who get their self-control out of a pill bottle are going to come unglued some day.
    And this is the result.
    And a whole, new bumper-crop of such Ritalin babies are going to be expected to pay your Social Security.
    Think they can deal with it?

  8. Galt.. I have to point something out and I'm not trying to challenge your comment, not really.

    You mention rationalization and then insinuate a prediction about the ritalin-generation. If you accept that these children are drugged and will react, then you must see a correlation between environment and chemistry and the actions that you predict will be negative.

    Where is the difference in the perpetrator?

    I think he ought to be punished/rehabilitated (if possible), absolutely. But, I think we need to find the causes and the sources, as well as the sentence.

    Yes, ritalin-withdrawl causes flares of temper and anxiety. Ceasing dosage has made me screaming angry, smashing frying pans on the counter (extremely uncharacteristic).

    I wholeheartedly disagree with the pervasive overperscribing of ritalin to children, who really just need their learning modalities assessed and perhaps the teaching styles modified and perhaps their recreation outlets reinvented and perhaps even some neurolinguistic pathway therapy.

    There are so many ways in which to create our newest generation to be more nurturing and responsible, social and productive.

    And, in taking inventory on our village raising a child.. I have to say that either ritalin and such methods are negative or they don't matter, such as this perpetrators background - either it had an influence or it didn't, but you admit that there may be effects perpetrated on the individual by their parents or society that can lead to serious consequence.

    I am not defending his actions. I am saying we need to examine the question of where do we begin to solve the problem? Blame doesn't do it. We blame him. He can blame his actions on his upbringing. Children are dead regardless. Others can use abuse or addictions as excuses, valid or not.

    When harm comes to our children by way of angry or sick people we should recognize the system that breeds them, like you have indirectly, and take measures to change it.

    I suppose what I am saying is that there are always areas that need accounting for and we must have people that do this and work as advocates and who determine causes and effects.

    And, in having said all this, I have to admit that I take Dexedrine. And, tonight, during my three hour mentally strenuous and taxing exam, I connected all the dots, because I could see them so easily. Being an adult, it would take me much longer to retrain my mind and time-constraints what they are, I use a drug. And, I predict with certainty that I will never kill my child or exhibit any other anti-social behaviour.

    But, being a sister to a now grown ritalin-kid and a mother to a non-ritalin kid with what would be label attention deficit symptoms and the ex-girlfriend of a severe ADD personality who wasn't on ritalin and the friend of an MS suffer who is and the teacher's aide to many who were and shouldn't have been, I defend the generation subjected to ritalin, only by saying that it's their parents, their exposure to 6-8 hours a day to television and their diapered-toddlers seated at the computer that leads to these troubles.. just another symptom of our culture.

    Just like violent media. Just like instant-gratification. Just like sexually explicit advertising. Just like low personal parental intimacy and interaction with the children. Just like guns. Just like the man who shot these girls. Just like some of the causes to his affect.

    How do we contribute to our sick society? We are all guilty in ways. None of us here pulled the trigger. And, we probably never will. But, for increasing violence such as these acts, we need to observe and identify the source, an action that is sometimes misinterpreted as rationalizing.

    Correlations do not always constitute cause, but they can.

  9. ps.. I am not saying that there always is a system that breeds these people. Psychopaths are born, not bred. And we are each, when it comes down to it, personally and socially responsibile. But, we are also, each, responsible for other persons and for our society.

    k - I'm done. ;)

  10. I am no expert on Ritalin or on any of the disorders thatseemed to have been absent when I was a kid but which now appear to be epidemic. I personally think that a lot of the problems arise because of diet (it seems I remember a study done in Great Britain some years ago) and by, to use Penny's words from her comment "low personal parental intimacy and interaction with the children."

    I think that if you park kids in front of a TV or a videogame for hours on end it can't be good. They need interaction with their parents and means in which to strtch their imaginations and tax themselves mentally.

    These are all thorny problems, none with easy solutions. However, Galt is right in how he describes the approach our assorted poohbahs take to dealing with any problem: "concocting rationalizations."