Google+ Badge

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nightmares of an abducted child, Terri Horman and the Casey Anthony trial

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

Some minutes after I woke from the nightmare this morning, I wrote some lines while the memory was still fresh. I’ve had several hundred of these since my four children disappeared into Utah in a Mormon abduction more than fifteen years ago, but there was something about this one that felt different, and it took some time for me to put it together….

This, I came to realize, was the first nightmare to trouble my sleep since the conclusion of the Casey Anthony trial, the young mother who couldn’t find the time to report the disappearance of her 3-year-old daughter Kaylee, whose skeletal remains were found months later, her lips and nose duct-taped shut, packed into a plastic bag and dumped by the side of the road.

What was different about this dream was that where my ex-wife Gina Foulk was in it, she had that emotionless Casey Anthony/Terri Horman demeanor, was indifferent to the fact that a small child was missing, although clearly unhappy with the inconvenience resulting, and aggravated at the notion that she might be thought somehow lacking in her role as a mother, an epic of pathological self-absorption….

Nicole Kidman had that look, too, in two of her movie roles: To Die For, and The Others. She was a dead ringer for my ex in those movies, almost like she’d studied scenes from our lives, watched home movies, in preparing for her parts.

Seeing the images of Kaylee Anthony over the course of the search, arrest and trial was always painful for me, and I never lingered on any of them or the horror story itself, but it was always there, has been there since July 2008, when Kaylee’s grandmother contacted the police and the media took an interest….

I saw my baby girl in every one of those pictures of Kaylee Anthony…so many memories triggered…Allie was a week past her eighth birthday on the day the Mormons took her away from the father who loved her, and set her on a path of three Mormon stepdads in three states. Memories of her early childhood were still very fresh.

These are the lines I wrote earlier this morning:

“Nightmares of an abducted child...struck early this morning....

“Sometimes they are focused on a single child, sometimes all four...

“This one was about Allie, missing with her mother for days in the dream, and I was reporting this to the police, over and over...feeling all the shock and horror...over and over...desperate...talking to the police, over and over...then I woke up, exhausted...and the nightmare is real....”

In actual fact, when my four children disappeared from Oregon in February 1996, they were driven more or less directly although by a circuitous route to the home of Mormon zealots Chris and Kory Wright, somewhere in the mountains east of Ogden, Utah, who had been in on planning the abduction for months beforehand.

While all of their friends were in school and safe at home, the Mormons were shuttling my children from place to place, knowing that they were violating a joint custody order that had been in place for five years, which is a serious felony, worth five years in prison, but infrequently and very poorly enforced.

The statute of limitations expires on these crimes after three years, even if the child is not recovered. Try to make some sense of that reality….

My children never recovered from the trauma academically or emotionally; and, of course, Aaron is dead, left behind ill and alone in that crappy little Mormon town on the edge of the desert, Payson Utah….

Years later, after many fruitless online searches, one panned out… I located kidnapper Kory Wright right here, where he works at Columbia Ultimate in Vancouver:

I counted coup….

But today my thoughts are still buffeted by this most recent nightmare…and that look in these eyes….

…the look of pathological self-absorption, epic…. You would never know there was a child in distress from these people.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

On America's Foreign Wars and the Debt Limit Ceiling

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

Over the past several years, as news of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have mostly faded to the back pages, the American public has largely forgotten that wars cost vast sums of money and have bankrupted countless empires, nations and regimes since the dawn of civilization.

Since the federal government does not keep a bottomless pot of money on hand with which to finance its foreign wars, those expenses must be covered either by raising taxes or borrowing money, or both.

Congress created the debt ceiling in 1917 with the Second Liberty Bond Act, which helped finance the U.S. entry into World War I.

The debt ceiling was raised each year of World War II, but the Korean War was mostly paid for with higher taxes.

Ronald Reagan, patron saint of the selfish and shortsighted, canonized by the religious right, the unread, and the Fox-fed talk-radio masses, raised the federal debt ceiling eighteen times during his two terms, tripling the nation’s debt in the process.

Reagan outspent the Soviets into oblivion to end the Cold War, but borrowing the funds to do so had an enormous long-term cost, as has maintaining the worldwide military empire created during that period to the present day.

Gross debt in nominal dollars quadrupled during the Reagan and Bush presidencies from 1980 to 1992, and the net public debt quintupled in nominal terms during their twelve years in power.

George H.W. Bush continued the Reagan legacy, raising the debt ceiling nine more times in just four years, driving the Iraqis out of Kuwait, but leaving Saddam Hussein in power, and setting the stage for the catastrophic presidency of his lesser, intellectually ungifted son.

Bumbling George W. Bush, the lesser brain of the Bush/Cheney Co-Presidency,
began squandering the federal budget surplus he had inherited from President Clinton almost immediately after his appointment to the top job by his father’s Supreme Court in early 2000.

By the time the carnival ride came to an inglorious end eight years later, Bush/Cheney had raised the debt ceiling seven times, leaving the nation
engulfed in two wars on the far side of the globe and the economy plunging over the precipice…without finding either Osama bin Laden or WMDs, I might add….

Indeed, on the night of their 2004 re-election, “The Decider” gloated that he and Cheney had accumulated a great deal of political capital, and that he was going to spend all of it, which he proceeded to do, leading the nation, and the American Empire with it, to economic collapse.

Between March 1962 and April 2008, Congress altered the debt ceiling 69 times, not without ideological and partisan arguments, but never on the multi-trillion dollar scale of Bush and Cheney.

Now we are deep in the crisis Bush/Cheney created, a product of unbridled arrogance and Texas swagger, and the logical result of initiating distant wars with no real plan on how to pay for them beyond borrowing the money from China.

I remember them selling the invasion of Iraq to the American people with the ludicrous claim that Iraqi oil revenues would pay for the war, and we would be in and out of there before you know it.

Small wonder that they stand silent today, and not a soul in the nation looks to Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld for advice on any matter at all, having left us with the mother of all turds-in-the-pocket and a firm push on the downward slide.