Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some women shouldn't be mothers.

There is nothing better than a caring, reasonable, compassionate parent for a child. And nothing worse than a bad one. Two news articles caught my attention and both deal with crappy mothers. The kind of mothers that make me cringe when I think of them. I’m not sure these parents are legally abusive, I have no evidence that they are. But they are lousy examples of what it means to be a decent human being and they are the kind of people who shouldn’t be within 50 yards of children.

I will start with the worst of the two. This woman, in my opinion, is evil. She is immoral and rotten as a human being and decent people ought to shun her. If I had married this woman I would have divorced her. If I were her parents I would have cut out of the will. If I were the neighbors I would have nothing but contempt for her. She acted in a malicously cruel way to torment a young girl who lived down the street from her. This woman is Lori Drew of Dardenne Prairie, Missouri. The child she targeted for his campaign of emotional torture was a 13-year-old girl named Megan Meier.

Megan had trouble fitting in with the “popular” students. She was too chubby and was teased because of it. Her parents put her in a private school and things changed for Megan. She made friends, lost the excess weight and was happy. With her new friends she stopped hanging around with her old school pals including the daughter of Lori Drew.

Lori Drew knew a lot about Megan Meier. She knew she had been plagued by depression and was taking medication for it. She also knew that Megan had a page at MySpace. And she decided to use that information against the child. One friend of Drew’s recounted: “Lori laughed about it” and said that Drew and her daughter “were going to mess with Megan.”

Lori Drew knew the quickest way to emotionally devastate a young teenage girl is through the romance department. So she invented a boy named Josh Evans. Josh was supposedly 16 and found Megan through her MySpace page. He became her friend and expressed interest in her. They flirted by email for weeks. And when Megan was besotted with this fictional boy Drew lowered the boom on her. Megan suddenly received an abusive tirade from “Josh” telling her that he wanted nothing to do with her because she mistreated her friends. It appears to me that Lori Drew was upset because Megan stopped hanging out with her daughter after she transferred schools. This pathetic example of a mother decided to teach her daughter how to hurt people to get revenge on them for slighting you.

Josh’s page had picked up numerous “friends” along the way who apparently also thought he was real. And they were roped into the attack on Megan. Megan was receiving vicious emails and retreated to her bedroom upset.

Her mother sensed something wasn’t right and went looking for her. She was in her closet where she had hung herself. The paramedics tried to save the young girl’s life but couldn’t. While they were trying Lori Drew was on the phone to the neighbor who knew about her harassment plan warning the woman to “keep her mouth shut”.

The police say there are no charges that can filed because no law was broken that they know of. Lori Drew claims she doesn’t feel guilty because she claims Megan had tried to kill herself before. First, that apparently isn’t true. Second, if it were true that only makes what Drew did even more contemptible. What sort of creature is this and what sort of example is she setting for her daughter?

The local city council passed an ordinance against cyber-harassment. But the mayor said it was mild compared to what the residents of the town wanted to do to Lori Drew. I can understand that.

My second example of a shitty mother is a religious bigoted shrew from Escondido, California named Joy Stutz. Before I get into the rantings of Ms. Stutz let me clarify something regarding discrimination.

I think discrimination, unless it is violent or coercive in some manner, is basically individuals choosing with whom they wish to associate. I believe that freedom of association means the freedom to not associate. On some rare occasions that make sense. In most cases it doesn’t make sense. The discriminating individual is just a bigot in my view and worthy of our displeasure and contempt but not worthy of legal sanction. I think we ought to be free to discriminate against bigots. Not only should we be free to discriminate against them but I think it is the decent thing to do -- to impose private sanctions against individuals for their viciousness.

But the right to discriminate applies only to entirely private entities and individuals. Those individuals targeted by the bigots must be free to avoid giving unwilling support to the organization or individual. If the local grocery store is owned by a Klan member I can drive to the next closest store instead.

Government is inherently coercive. It operates with a “legal” monopoly to engage in force against the citizens. You have no choice whether or not to fund it. The money is taken from you coercively. And while I happen to think that most of it ought to be abolished entirely I do believe, that while it exists, it has no right to discriminate against specific groups of people.

An apartment complex can say “no children” as far as I am concerned. But a school system can’t exclude Jews, blacks, Catholics, etc. A hair stylists ought to be free refuse to do the hair of anyone they dislike. But the police are not free to deny protection to individuals merely because they have religious beliefs which the officers dislike. The right to discriminate does not apply to any government entity.

And that is what has Joy Stutz upset. She wants government to discriminate. She wants the coercive apparatus of the state to subject students at school to differing criteria based on Stutz’s personal religious beliefs. Joy Stutz is free to believe anything she wants no matter how absurd, abhorrent, or ridiculous. It is a right which she exercises to the maximum. But her right to be a bigoted moron does not mean the school system has that right.

I say she is bigoted and a moron. The evidence speaks for itself. First, her bigotry. She is upset because in California the school system is not allowed to discriminate against students because of their sexual orientation. In other words the school can’t deny a student the same rights of all the other students merely because the student might be gay or bisexual. Because this sort of discrimination by a government body is illegal Stutz wants parents to keep their kids home for two days to protest. She wants the state to be able to discriminate against gay students. That is bigotry. That Stutz suffers from religious delusions that inspire her hatred doesn’t change the fact that she is a bigot. Motivation is irrelevant.

Now for the moronic part. Stutz says that treating gay students the same as straight students is indoctrination. “We don’t want our children to be indoctrinated in the homosexual agenda in the schools.” She says that removing bigotry from the schools means “they are taking away... the family’s right to raise their children according to their own family values.”

Ms. Stutz is free to teach her values to her unfortunate children. She can even dress them up in sheets and take them off to a family picnic where they toast marshmallows over a flaming cross. She can religiously lobotomize her own children but she has no right to impose that sort of intolerance on the educational system. Stutz is not nearly as bad as Drew but she is a crappy mother. I don’t think bigots can be good parents because what they teach their children is inhumane and indecent. But being a crappy parent doesn’t mean they have done anything criminal.

My view is easy to understand. When people express bigoted positions decent people ought to speak up and protest. We should defend the right of idiots to be idiotic. But we must not confuse defending the right to being indecent with defending the indecency. Mel Gibson has the right to hate Jews but no decent person ought to support Gibson. The League of the South has the right to engage in their promotion of a white Christian republic in the Bible-belt. But no decent individual, certainly no decent libertarian, ought to be associated with them. David Duke has the right to hate gays, Jews, blacks and whoever but no respectable individual will have anything but contempt for that old bigot.

Libertarians ought to defend the rights of the people who are fringe and disgusting and unpleasant. But defending their right to be such should never be confused with the defending their disgusting and unpleasant beliefs. The anti-immigrant crowd have the right to dislike Mexicans if they want and I have the right to give them the finger when they do. So I will defend your right to hate and I will hate you for doing so. In the meantime Lori Drew and Joy Stutz are my winners for the Britney Spears Mothering Award.

Labels: ,