Truth on FOX Noise?

I’m amazed. FOX Noise actually let someone say that the happenings in Wisconsin are only about busting unions, not balancing a budget.

A real Kochsucker

If Harry Baals can be honest about how to pronounce his last name, so can the Koch brothers. At least that would help make sense of this story.

In a phone conversation that a prankster recorded, Republican Governor Scott Walker suggested he hoped to lure to the Capitol the 14 Democratic Senators who fled to Illinois to stall his proposed legislation, which they say will cripple the unions.

A transcript of the call, posted on a website, also showed Walker had said he had “thought about” hiring outside agitators to disrupt the two weeks of demonstrations by thousands of union members against the bill.

In the call, Walker believed he was speaking with billionaire conservative David Koch. Walker’s campaign received $43,000 last year from the Political Action Committee of Koch Industries, owned by Koch and his family. Koch is known for contributions to conservative causes.

You got that? If you’re middle class and only willing to help solve the, ya know, real problems of Wisconsin, not the ideological ones, Walker won’t talk to you. But if you’ve got billions of dollars and want nothing more than to see victory for FREEEEEEEDDOOOOOOMMM!!!!11!!!, then sure, he’s all ears.

Oh. And by “freedom” I mean “greedy fucking corporate whims”.

Protecting Killers

I wrote some time ago about Leilani and Dale Neumann. They thought it appropriate to only pray for their diabetic daughter. They did not take her to get diagnosed, and when her health became grave, they continued in their quest to neglect her. They deserve to be put in prison; they have other children, not to mention the fact that not convicting them would encourage more parents to neglect their children through the meaninglessness of prayer.

Well, there’s good news and bad news. They were convicted earlier this year. Unfortunately, despite the fact that a jury decided these people were guilty of second-degree reckless homicide, the judge gave them a slap on the wrist. He sentenced them to 6 months in prison with 10 years of probation. The 6 months will be served over the course of 6 years – just one month a year. Compare this to the maximum they could have received – 25 years each – and it’s obvious that justice has not been served.

There are two mitigating factors to be noted, neither of which had a legal bearing on this particular case. The first is that Wisconsin is one of 30 states that protect faith-healing monsters. The law did not apply in this case. However, it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t a factor in sentencing. Second, the judge took pity on this couple because of their religion. He gave them an unfounded respect for their wacky and dangerous beliefs. Prayer will cure diabetes as well as it will restore an amputee’s leg.

The above link to their sentencing also cites similar sentence lengths for other, far less offensive crimes.

Russell J. Wozniak Jr. and Jennifer Ann Wozniak, of Chippewa Falls, Wis., received basically the same sentence as the Neumanns for, the criminal complaint said, allowing their 2-year-old to wander around covered in vomit and wearing a full diaper.

It’s absurd to pretend that the death of Kara Neumann is at all equal to what the Wozniak’s did. They had a child in a bad situation. So did the Neumanns. The difference is that the Wozniak’s child is still alive.

Then there are similar cases with differing sentences.

Then there are the parents of Alex Washburn. The 22-month-old died after hitting his head at home in Cross Lanes, W.Va. His parents, Elizabeth Dawn Thornton and Christopher Steven Washburn, said the boy fell a lot and hit his head on the corner of a table and his chin on a toilet. They apologized for not seeking medical help and agreed to terminate their parental rights to their other children, handing over custody to the state. “I wish I did seek medical treatment for my son faster,” Washburn told the court. “That will definitely be with me for the rest of my life.” The court sentenced both parents to three to 15 years in prison.

There are two differences here with the Neumanns. First, religion was not a factor for Thornton’s and Washburn’s actions. Second, Washburn was remorseful. He did not believe what he did was right; he recognized the evil in his actions. In contrast, here is a quote from Neumann.

If I in a moment of crisis and in a moment of time, I went to anyone else but the Lord, it would not have been favorable to God,

Here he has defended his inhumane actions. That should be unacceptable to anyone of rationality. Here is another quote (found in sentencing link).

I am guilty of trusting my Lord’s wisdom completely. . . . Guilty of asking for heavenly intervention. Guilty of following Jesus Christ when the whole world does not understand. Guilty of obeying my God.

As if his lack of regret about his cruelty was not enough, his wife feels the same.

I do not regret trusting truly in the Lord for my daughter’s health.

Really read that. This woman does not regret acting in a way that resulted in her daughter’s avoidable death. If you’re a parent reading this, ask yourself if you could ever say such a horrible thing. Ask yourself if you would ever be proud of behaving in a way that resulted in the death of your child.

Speaking of which…

Speaking of the tendency of believers to avoid responsibility for their actions, Dale Neumann is nearing the end of his trial with the jury currently deliberating.

“If I in a moment of crisis and in a moment of time, I went to anyone else but the Lord, it would not have been favorable to God,” Neumann said.

I wish I could find the better quotes I came across earlier today. Neumann wants to be acquitted of the charges because he really believed in his religion. No, he couldn’t have called a doctor for a relatively simple remedy to the problem. The audacity! That would be an affront to his particular, cultural god. It is merely his deeply held belief which deserves condemnation for being horribly wrong, not him. Christ.

I just hope Wisconsin juries know when they’re getting the wool pulled over their eyes. This guy is a danger to society directly as a result of the (especially) wacky religious views he and many others hold. Prayer does not heal. That is a lie, perhaps a delusion at best.

Family only prays for daughter; daughter dies

A wholly ignorant couple did nothing but uselessly pray for their daughter. God’s apparent response was, as has often been the case, murder.

Kara Neumann, 11, had grown so weak that she could not walk or speak. Her parents, who believe that God alone has the ability to heal the sick, prayed for her recovery but did not take her to a doctor.

After an aunt from California called the sheriff’s department here, frantically pleading that the sick child be rescued, an ambulance arrived at the Neumann’s rural home on the outskirts of Wausau and rushed Kara to the hospital. She was pronounced dead on arrival.

The county coroner ruled that she had died from diabetic ketoacidosis resulting from undiagnosed and untreated juvenile diabetes. The condition occurs when the body fails to produce insulin, which leads to severe dehydration and impairment of muscle, lung and heart function.

People like the aunt of this little girl should be praised as heroes. Her actions were unfortunately too late, but they were done with rationality and unselfishness. The parents of this little girl, on the other hand, acted without regard to reason and sensibilities. Rather than care for their daughter, they endangered her in a selfish effort to ensure themselves a place in the fictional land of heaven. People like that should be shunned from society. They are nothing but socially irresponsible. Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that there are those who actually support such stupid actions.

A link from the site, helptheneumanns.com, asserts that the couple is being persecuted and “charged with the crime of praying.” The site also allows people to contribute to a legal fund for the Neumanns.

The Neumanns are not being “charged with the crime of praying”. They have all the freedom they could possibly desire to pray, as should be the case. What they are being charged with is the crime of indirectly causing their child’s death when they should have known better and known enough to take proper action. They do not have the freedom to be negligent parents. It just so happens their negligence came in the form of prayer.

Hopefully the other three children the article mentions the Neumanns having will not be subjected to possible death as a result of such poor parenting.

Chris Goebel, 30, a shipping department worker for a window maker, said many people in the area felt strongly that the parents should be punished.

“That little girl wasn’t old enough to make the decision about going to a doctor,” Mr. Goebel said. “And now, because some religious extremists went too far, she’s gone.”

This quote pretty much nails down the issue. These people are religious extremists. They have no right torturing their children by withholding medical care. Their actions deserve severe punishment. More importantly, their actions deserve to be recognized as activity which is to be derided and condemned as fundamentally ignorant and harmful.