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Kaci Hickox has a good case. She’s asymptomatic, with the exception of the “anger induced fever” she had when she arrived at Newark Liberty International airport upon arriving from Sierra Leone. She believes that her quarantine is unjust and unwarranted. Unjust, likely. Unwarranted? That’s another question.

pedaling with compassion..

pedaling with compassion..

There is no Federal quarantine in place for people returning from the Ebola hot zones in West Africa (that is if you ignore the soldiers who are in fact being quarantined); no law, hence what will they enforce? We can argue all day and probably into several weeks to be honest whether or not it makes sense to impose such quarantine. But there are quite a few conflicting opinions on the transmissibility of this virus, and even its incubation period. Sorry, that’s a fact. I haven’t seen anything from the CDC that says with 100% certainty that they know A; How long it takes before a person starts to show symptoms; B, what those symptoms are going to be as some people don’t show a fever; C, how little of the virus needs to be in their blood stream before it actually shows up in the test to find it; and D; How the hell it’s transmitted anyway.

Just this morning the CDC admits that the virus can be transmitted in an air-borne fashion. Oh they’re doing their best not to say it’s spread that way, but when they tell you that yes, people sneeze and produce droplets of the virus, well one can assume that means it’s airborne. They’ve also told us that you can’t get it from sitting on a bus, but you can transmit in when you’re sitting on the bus. Then of course, they tell us that we are alarmists for avoiding the damned bus anyway. They want us to be in a panic over man-made global warming which hasn’t occurred for the last 20 years, but let’s all be nonchalant about a virus that has a fatality rate of anywhere from 25-90%. I get it. Hop in your Prius and head for the nearest bowling alley.

Let’s not forget our bowling fanatic patient, Dr. Crag Spencer, who showed no symptoms when he arrived at JFK and tests detected no trace of the virus. It appears that the test is flawed; quite possibly there was too little of the virus in his system to be detectable. Apparently, enough to eventually make him sick and fully symptomatic. Our hero then goes about town, living life to the fullest, rides subways, busses, eating in public restaurants, exposing who knows how many people. And lied about it afterwards. Doctors without ethics had no comment.

So if our altruistic friend from New York showed no symptoms, tested negative and still eventually came down with the virus, why would any rational person assume that hanging out with Kaci would be a great idea? Each person is a unique organism; who knows how long she may be symptom free. Does she really want her rights to hang out at her local pizza joint in Fort Kent to trump the welfare of the family sitting at the table after her? Well of course she does. Her compassion only goes so far; she’ll treat the dying anywhere in the world as long as we stroke her ego for her “dedication to humanity”, the good soul that she is. Now however, it’s every man (or nurse), for themselves.

Good luck to the State of Maine trying to keep her confined; this should make for great entertainment. I don’t see how the government succeeds here without some type of law or emergency declaration in place that gives them the legal authority to restrict her movements. Sorry, but my belief in her constitutional rights supports her ambition to be a selfish bitch. I don’t care how many people she treated or how long she went there; Doctors without Borders should be the first organization to punish her. Yep, fire her ass. Or at least get ready to send another group of compassionate medical providers to the small town of Fort Kent. The lack of common sense or decency displayed by Hickox and Spencer isn’t really doing your organization any favors. I’m sure that there are thousands of professionals who are motivated by their concern for humanity, not the notoriety. These two don’t fit that description I’m sorry to say.

So let her out. Send her to the Fort Kent quickie mart, or the local bowl-a-rama. Let her live, set her free. But make it clear that she will be held criminally and financially liable for anyone she may infect. The good people of Fort Kent will do their best to avoid her, now and quite possibly for years to come. Don’t think that they don’t know what type of person she really is.

And she probably expected a parade.


She was beaten with a broomstick.  She was beaten with a belt.  She was held and savaged for two days in April, eventually being taken to the woods by her abuser to dig her own grave.  Somehow, she managed to survive and when Robert Robinson was arrested for her ordeal, she cooperated with the Maine authorities and the Kennebec Country District attorney, making several appointments at the attorney’s office.  Then something changed.  She failed to show up for a meeting in September.  She was uncooperative and missing.  She was unsuccessfully served with multiple subpoenas to appear at in court.  Finally, she was located and arrested, held for 17 hours as a material witness then released on $5,000 bail to ensure she showed up for Robinsons’ trial. The trial of the man who gave her the shovel to dig her own grave.

Should we hit her with a gavel or a broomstick?

Should we hit her with a gavel or a broomstick?

Fear or remorse?  It is common for abused women to feel both.  Often, they are emotionally damaged enough to believe that they are somehow, in some way responsible for the behavior of the animal who raises his fist, or belt, or broomstick against her.  Fear of being left alone.  Fear of retribution.  Fears that maybe those of us who are not in the cycle of abuse cannot grasp or rationalize.  Fear that sometimes keeps them chained until he finishes what he started and the shovel is put to use.

I am mixed on this.  I have seen the cycle up close.  Paper means nothing and a protection order usually ends up on the floor covered in the victim’s blood.  Abusers are rarely held pending trial.  You can’t legally hold her against her will any more than he could, even if it is in her best interest.  But once the wheels of justice are in motion, can she just walk away?  At that point, is she not just another “hostile” witness who needs to be compelled to testify against someone who surely needs to be taken off the streets?

There are twists here, like there are in most cases.  After his arrest, Robinson reached out to her by phone and letter.  Does one assume he called to wish her well? She even agreed to meet with Robinson’s attorney, William Baghdoyen, who confirmed the meeting.  Then she went silent.  She even confided to home care providers that she was going to disappear for a while. And she did.

So we are left with an abuser, a man with a violent criminal past who was out on bail, a witness who is his victim out on bail and a justice system and community wondering if charging her to make her appear at trial was the right thing to do.  How much more do we need to traumatize her?  Or, if we do not traumatize her and he walks, how long will it take before he finishes what he started or moves on to another victim entirely?  Whose best interest should we serve?

At the very least here, someone needs to explain to me why Robinson and his attorney are not in jail for witness tampering.  If Robinson kills again, can we hold this attorney liable, as an accomplice?  Surely he’s interested in “justice” for his abuser client, but does justice allow for letting the wolf back into the pen, free and unfettered to prey at will?  And what penalty is there for those who hold open the door to that pen, whether they have the coveted title of attorney or not?

After all the soul searching is done, after the trial, let’s hope the sentence he receives truly serves the best interest of society.  He was already a man with a violent past.  Let’s not let him walk out in 5 years toward an even more violent future.  That way, maybe we won’t have to traumatize another battered woman for her own good.


Like most people in New England, the case surrounding missing child Ayla Reynolds has me heartbroken, frustrated and quite angry. I normally tend towards assuming innocence until proven guilty, but I can’t help feel that most of us know who is responsible for Ayla’s disappearance.  The three individuals in the home on Violette street on December 16th have only two story options for that night; Ayla was not in the home that evening and had gone missing well before, and at least one of them knew where she was; Or she was in fact there that evening and at least one, more probably all of them, know what happened to her. At the very least, the one individual who was the most responsible for her, failed miserably to ensure her welfare. More likely than not, he contributed directly to whatever misfortune she suffered.

Late at night when I’m drifting off to sleep, my mind replays my daughters’ voices, a playback of whatever conversations we may have had during the day that concerned or amused me enough to implant them into my memory. Something as simple as my youngest struggling through giggles to tell me a joke she heard on the bus, or my eldest telling me what career she has planned for her future.  Sometimes if I’m over-tired or just worried, I may drift off into uneasy sleep and a father’s fears in the guise of a nightmare creep in, forcing me to watch helplessly as one of them experiences some distress, tearing at my heart until I wake to shake it off.  Even then, I’ll hear their voices in my head as clear as if they were on the edge of the bed looking to me for help.

Does Justin DiPietro hear the echoes of little Ayla in his mind at all? Does he listen, or try to push the voice down into some dark abyss, muffled by guilt and self-loathing? What is she saying Justin? Is she saying “I love you Daddy”? Is she saying “I’m Frightened” or “I’m cold”? Maybe “Daddy, come get me”?

Maybe you just need to focus to hear it Justin.  Are you listening?  Maybe you should just try to recall the last time you heard her voice, maybe that’ll give it some clarity. What did she say the last time you saw your daughter alive? Was it “Good night Daddy”? Or was it “no, daddy, no, please”?

Listen carefully Justin. And get used to her voice. It’s now the soundtrack to a miserable existence.


I was watching the news intently, looking for any updates on little Ayla Reynolds of Waterville Maine who went missing from the care of her father the week before Christmas. The offer of a $30,000 reward for information leading to her return was pushed aside by the news of the discovery of the remains of little Aliahna Lemmon in Indiana. Missing since December 22nd, Aliahna was bludgeoned to death with a brick and dismembered by her baby sitter. It’s getting hard to be the optimist, hoping 20-month old Ayla will escape a horrific fate of her own. In all of the conversations and articles on either case, you’ll find someone asking “why.” I’m beyond asking why. I’m interested in “what now?”

Daddy knows....

Think of all the “whys” for a moment; Why would a 20 month old toddler get up from her bed in the middle of a dark Maine night, walk downstairs through a home she was unfamiliar with, quietly open and close the door and walk away into the frigid night wearing only her footie pajamas emblazoned with “Daddy’s Princess” across the front, as Ayla’s father would have us believe. Why would Aliahna’s mother put her and her two younger siblings in the care of a “family friend” for a week while she was sick, instead of family? Why would this family friend not inform her that there were at least 15 sex offenders living in the trailer park she was dropping her children off at? Why indeed? Why would someone kill a child?

Placed with a caring friend...

There are varied reasons for asking why. We are all so numbed by the murder of our most vulnerable that sometimes why is the only thing we can process. Some people are just morbidly curious, still others are convinced that if we just understood their motives or pathologies that we might be able to rehabilitate or possibly prevent other such troubled souls from feeding on our young in the future. This is what concerns me about “why.” Why often leads to “it wasn’t their fault; they couldn’t help themselves, they had a tough life as a child,” all the rest. I personally don’t need to know why. The asking almost begs for an excuse of the act.

I would rather know “what now?” As in, there were several adults in the home the night Ayla disappeared as her father Justin DiPietro had described. What now? Simple, lock them all up until she is found. Too draconian, I know. But someone knows something, and waiting until concerned citizens cough up enough money to convince others to do the right thing just irritates the hell out of me. And what do we do with Michael Plumadore, who confessed to killing Aliahna and dismembering her with a hacksaw? Let him plead insanity, give him 3 hots, a cot, some cable TV, and a taxpayer funded library maybe? This bastard will never leave a psych ward, let alone get into “general population” where he at least belongs. He really needs to see the business end of a legal needle.

So what now? Do we start enforcing the death penalty for child rape or murder? Do we chain our children to the couch because we cannot protect them beyond our own doors?  What does that do for those who are killed by the actions or neglect of their own self-absorbed sorry excuse for parents?

We need courage; “Why” does not even require an answer.  “What now” requires us to act.  It is time.


What words would adequately capture the depravity of an individual that could take the life of a child and leave the small, lifeless body under an old blanket at the end of a dirt road in rural Maine?  What pain and suffering did this young child endure, not only in the last hours of his life, but for the greater part of it? As sad as it is to imagine, I have to assume that his premature death was at the hands of someone who was supposed to love him, someone he loved and trusted and it was the culmination of a history of abuse that will wrench at our hearts in the days to come.

I don’t arrive at this supposition lightly.  It’s been 3 days since they found his small body and they have yet to identify him.  Worse, no one has claimed him, nor reported him missing.  No aunts, no uncles?  No grandparents, no mother, father or stepparent?  Did no one love this child?  Authorities are doing what they can to identity him, creating computer images to help generate leads, describing his clothes right down to his “Lightning McQueen” sneakers.   We’re told he was 3 feet, 8 inches tall, weighed 45 pounds, had blue eyes and dirty blonde hair.

He still had his baby teeth.

Who is this child? Please don't let him be buried as John Doe.

I hope they identify him quickly so we can say our prayers for him and call him something other than a little John Doe as we must now.  Even though God knows very well whom we’re talking about.

And I hope that sooner than later, we can find out what kind of human takes the life of a 4-year-old child and dumps the body on a muddy, rural dirt road as if it was so much refuse.  Identify the monsters that walk among us as quickly as possible.  And punish them accordingly.

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