Review Of The Night Train

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This is a gripping, gritty account of truth as fiction. It disproves the theory that truth is stranger than fiction and teaches a new lesson. Fiction tells the truth more truthfully than the truth.

I wrote my own book detailing my abusive childhood as narrative nonfiction and have developed a reputation of being an expert on abuse. I was leery when someone suggested this book, doubting the value a fiction book would bring to this subject. The person who suggested it was right, and I was totally wrong.

The basic premise of The Night Train is abuse, and it most certainly will hurt your heart as you read it, but the child abuse part of the book is remarkably subtle. Understated might be a better word, but with that understatement Carl reveals his genius.

The book covers all the emotions I endured as a severely abused child with absolute clarity. Emotions like the despair of being abused by one parent, who seems to revel in your misery, as the other parent who sees the beatings blames you for the injuries that will not allow you to get up from the floor. Do not forget the deep shame and soul smothering abuse perpetrated by bullies. As you struggle to survive each day those around you recognize the fact that you are defeated, and like other animals they attack relentlessly as if trying to eradicate the weak and wounded. Also, the teachers and other people in positions of authority are equally cruel as they struggle to ignore something they see, but which is a thing they have no control over. For a lack of any other solution the abused shoulders the shame and blame, turning school, church  and other venues that are traditionally considered safe havens for children into unimaginable hells that are extensions of the hell waiting at home.

Carl carefully paints all this pain into this extraordinary work of fiction with seamless effort. Suggesting that he too has a deep personal relationship with abuse, I expect he is a fellow survivor and commend him for lending his heart to such a cause.

The book, while threaded with the important facets of child abuse is not actually centered or more aptly a slave to that subject. It is the story of Jayrod Nash, a young boy who although being abused still has the dreams that all children have. The book might be more accurately portrayed as a great train adventure. Once again Carl proves his worth as a writer and covers the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Jayrod as he embarks on a journey meant to not only save himself, but a journey that will allow him to survive his childhood while developing skills that will allow him to survive his manhood.

Every young boy dreams of a life on the rails of America, you will most certainly enjoy reading about Jayrod’s American odyssey. I too decided to take to the rails at the age of ten, but chickened out. I lived that fantasy vicariously through Jayrod and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. This is what writing is about, thank you for allowing me to take such a wonderful journey.

My own abuse ended with the death of my abuser, Jayrod escapes in a much different way. The book does have a happy ending, one that will allow Carl to write a sequel about Jayrod’s struggle as he grows. It will be a story of spending dozens of years or an entire lifetime to overcome what it took less than a decade to create.

I have no idea if Carl plans such a book or is aware of its potential, but I’m here to whisper it into his ear. “Hey Carl you could write a kick butt sequel to this.”

Would I read this book again? In a heartbeat, if not for an unusually busy week I would have read it in one setting. I read three books a week while commuting on trains. I think that qualifies me to give a pretty fair account of books with the exception of my own. After struggling through half of Moby Dick, I removed my book marker to keep it from killing itself, closed the book and immediately turned and gave it to someone on the train, I didn’t dare give it someone I knew. Ten pages into a William Faulkner book, I took it back to the library to keep myself from killing myself. I devoured The Night Train. I can’t wait to read further works by Carl, one of the newest budding Mississippi writers.

Charles Bukowski, Kennesaw And The Million March Against Child Abuse.

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Sometimes a writer feels as if he is an arrow being shot from such a remote dimension that no one can see where he is coming from. Like a sailor shouting warnings to his comrades against a gale that will not allow a single syllable to be understood amid the violence of the storm. Like a mountain climber after a trail collapse whose only option is to continue to climb toward insanity before being able to descend to safely.

On Monday, April 21, 2013 I will participate in the Million March Against Child Abuse with the Fort Lauderdale, Florida group. The hopes are that millions will participate, in different cities and towns from around the nation. I live in Miami and even though we have over 5.5 million residents I will need to drive an hour north to join the group in Fort Lauderdale. I have learned that one voice is a frail thing barely discernible above the calamities of life, but a group of voices has a fair chance of demanding attention.

I have learned that individuals can pull off atrocities, like bombing a marathon and become media darlings, but that the ten children beaten to death in America each day can never become anyone’s darlings. It has become common practice in America to give attention to the detractors and to ignore the heroes and in most cases the victims. Join us on Monday as we loose our arrows from a dark remote location into the light of a seemingly unconcerned world.

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Charles Bukowski

“They thought I had guts, they were wrong, I was only afraid of more important things.”

“Take a writer away from his typewriter and all you have left is the sickness which started him typing in the beginning.” Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski was an American writer/poet, born in Germany in 1920. He was a heavy drinking womanizer who has been called one of the most prolific and prophetic producer of prose of the last century. He has been described as a misogynist, a fatalist and his work is said to be saturated with defeatism. His work is infused with the literal and figurative profanity of our world. As with many of us who were abused he spent his entire life as an outsider trying desperately not to look or fit in. His work is unabridged unedited truth, truths which many will always refuse to believe.

He was severely physically abused by his father with a razor strop for most of his young life. He has been known to credit his father and that abuse for his becoming a writer, stating that his father taught him two valuable things about life, those two things, pain and truth and the ability to express and embrace both.

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Kennesaw Taylor

I too must acknowledge my abusers role in my success as a writer, as a father and ultimately as a man. Jack Cooper was a monster, but his monstrous behavior molded me into the caring man I would eventually become. One can never truly embrace heaven if he has never experienced hell. One can never truly embrace life if he has never experienced death. One can never recognize the spark of love in an eye if he has never stared into the maddened eye of hatred.

So, as Charles, known as Hank, continued to sling his arrows into the darkened abyss from some dimension unknown to the average man, those of the Million March Against Child Abuse and I will also continue to sling unacceptable truths from our own little corner of reality. We will shout into the darkened world, our truth, our knowledge and the nightmares of ten children who will today slip away into hell, watching as a loving fist repeatedly descend to end their young innocent lives.

“The truth is not popular, and those who utter it are enemies of us all.”

Kennesaw Taylor

I suggest you turn away quickly you’re in danger of understanding something that shakes up your perfect little world. This story is rated DMT damned unpopular truth.

Severely Malnourished Child leads To Abuse Charges

Child Abuse

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A North Miami Beach mother and father have been arrested and charged with child abuse after their severely malnourished child was found naked in the street.

Police said the child had jumped from the rear window of his house in the 14-hundred block of NE 152 Street, to escape his abusers on Saturday night.

The child, who is nine-years-old, was said to have the body of a much younger child, according to North Miami Beach Police.

When the child was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, it was discovered he only weighed 35 pounds, or roughly the size of a 3 – 5 year old child.

“He looks like he came from Auschwitz,” said juvenile court Judge Cindy Lederman. “This does not happen in a month.”

Police said the child’s hands and feet were so swollen from lack of food and that the child told hospital staff that he had not eaten in roughly three days.

North Miami Beach Police arrested Marsee “Redd” Strong, 34, and charged her with two counts of aggravated abuse and neglect of a child.

In addition, Edward Bailey, 39, was arrested for his alleged part in the case and faces two counts of aggravated abuse and child neglect.

According to police, Strong admitted to failing to protect her child from others and “not properly supervising him and getting him medical treatment in a timely manner;” but denied physically abusing the kid. She did not dispute that bruising covered most of the child’s body.

Bailey told police that he didn’t abuse his son, but “allows other to do so without his intervention.”

Bailey also said he noticed the child’s small stature and abuse, but didn’t take him to get medical treatment.

After an appearance in bond court, the boy’s mother was held on $65,000 bond. The father was held on $60,000 bond.

Neighbors were stunned to hear about the charges.

“I was surprised. I was shocked. I didn’t even know what to say when the police were here and the mother was standing on the corner and then I heard the child had jumped out of the window and ran down the street naked,” said Mary Williams.

Willie Mitchell said he never saw any problems with his neighbors.

“I always seen a lovely family with the kids happy around their mother.”

Another neighbor said she knew the boy had a severe eating disorder.

The victim is one of six children living in the home. The investigation has also revealed that the parents have a history of involvement with the Department of Children and Families.

An uncle, Joseph Lee, stepped forward in and asked to care for the boy’s five siblings.

“I’m looking for words to express how I feel,” Lee said in court. “I was not aware. You try to do everything you can. I asked her about him. She told me he was fine.”

According to a social worker, DCF had been monitoring the boy because he had refused to eat and “self-mutilated himself and his own skin.”

“There was food in the house,” the social worker said. “But there was no neglect. He just refused to eat.”

But, Judge Lederman said there was gross negligence and appointed a guardian to take care of the children and ordered medical tests for all of the children in the home.

Judge Lederman said this was “one of the worst cases I’ve seen. This looks like a neon sign. The abuse should have been obvious.”

Lederman ordered a thorough investigation and expected a full report by the next custody hearing on February 8th.

The North Miami Beach Police Department and the DCF continue to investigate the incident and the family.

CREDITS:  CBS MIAMI Reporting Peter D’Oench

 

Can I count on you, can the kids count on you?

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MACA is a non-partisan, grass roots, nationwide effort, to UNITE ALL Child Advocates together in solidarity on April 22, 2013 for peaceful demonstrations against child abuse and crimes against children in the U.S.
Description
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  We seek to raise awareness of and ask for tougher sentencing for violent crimes against children in the U.S.
Statistics on crimes against children each year in the U.S. are staggering, sobering and should compel EVERY adult, parent, father, uncle, son, grandfather and all mothers, aunts, daughters, grandmothers and women to be moved to do something… NOW.  At a recent Washington Congressional hearing in June, 2011, experts believe nearly 10 children die each day from abuse. NCANDS, the national database for crimes against children, didn’t receive data from 3 states in their latest report!  States are NOT mandated to report child fatalities as a result of CAN or any type of abuse whether fatal or not!  We are NOT seeking to create more bureaucracy, but rather, demanding our lawmakers begin to protect our children through stiffer sentencing for child abuse, including mandatory life without parole for violent crimes such as child rape and murder. Unlike many diseases, child abuse is a willful act and 100% preventable through TOUGHER law enforcement and education.  We MUST let our nation and lawmakers know that Americans will NO LONGER tolerate inadequate laws and light sentencing.  Now is the time and we need YOUR HELP on April 22, 2013.
Register to walk by CONTACTING YOUR CITY’S FB PAGE,  IF YOU WISH TO LEAD OR CO-LEAD A CITY,  send your PHONE#, COMPLETE NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS & CITY: MACACoordinator@gmail.com  all registrations MUST BE COMPLETE. MACAcoordinator@gmail.com
All Leads get full support and given step by step instructions and items you need.  You simply send emails with the press release and flyer for your city to the media and organizations in your city.  Co-leads assist with emails.
To be taken to a list of cities and Facebook page’s click here (Please remember that not all cities have a facebook page up yet.) : https://sites.google.com/site/mmacamarches/home
Your city/town is not on the list? You can be our lead for your town! please register with MacaCoordinator@gmail.com and we will get in touch with you and send you all the instructions on what to do.
There cannot be ANY kind of fundraising going on at ANY walk throughout the entire nation. NO MONEY EXCHANGES HANDS AT OUR WALKS. If anyone involved with the walk in your city is fundraising, asking for donations, having contests with money or asking for money for anything EXCEPT our MACA shirts (which are $20), DO NOT give it to them and promptly write us a message here. Businesses and organizations CAN donate goods/services, this is NOT considered fundraising. If you are unsure please ASK us!***   ALL of our walks across the nation need to be unified and stay on track. These walks are the most important thing! Our children need our voice!
If you would like more information about MACA please see our notes section.

Tucker Teacher Sentenced To 30 Years For Sex Crimes

Almarcus Dewayne Thomas, the Tucker math teacher convicted of multiple sex crimes, was sentenced this week to 30 years, 20 of which he will spend behind bars.

Thomas, 43, was arrested a year ago after the Internet Crimes Against  Children  (ICAC) Unit investigated him for alleged sexual activity with a 15-year-old female student at Tucker Middle School.

He pleaded guilty to multiple counts, including child  molestation, statutory rape, sexual battery and invasion of privacy.

“These alleged crimes involve a man who preyed on a minor while in a  position of authority and respect as an educator,” DeKalb County  District Attorney Robert James said in a statement. “This plea reflects  the acts of a monster who molested, abuse and took advantage of women  and children in DeKalb County. We hope this begins the healing process  for all individuals and families affected by these heinous crimes.

Credits: TUCKER PATCH

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How Disasters and Trauma Can Affect Children’s Empathy

The researchers at OHSU analyzed 11 studies that evaluated the effectiveness  of child abuse and neglect prevention programs or interventions that took place  in clinics — such as meetings with a social worker, for example. They gave  parents questionnaires that assessed such risk factors as substance abuse,  depression, stress and attitudes  toward physical punishment — as well as noting whether parents were concerned  that their child may have been physically or sexually abused. Doctors discussed  the risk factors with parents and referred them to social workers if needed.  After three years, researchers found that parents who took part in risk  assessments and received social work referrals, if necessary, had decreased  incidences of abuse, fewer reports to Child Protective Services (CPS) and  better adherence to immunization schedules.

But the studies’ results were not persuasive enough to warrant new  recommendations for physicians, says Dr. Heidi Nelson, senior author of the  study analysis published in Annals of Internal Medicine and a research  professor in medical informatics, clinical epidemiology and medicine at OHSU. “This is not about identifying kids who are being abused,” says Nelson. “This is  about determining if a family in front of me is at risk for abuse in the  future.”

A major challenge with determining who is at risk for child abuse is how — and to whom — to pose questions. If the parents who bring a child to a check-up  are mistreating that child, says Grossman, it’s not likely they will volunteer  that information. “You are potentially asking the perpetrators if there is a  problem,” he says.

While evidence underpinning the effectiveness of screening questions is  scanty, home visits seem to have had more success. Last year, a study in the Journal of the American Medical  Association (JAMA) found that home visits can cut child maltreatment cases  by up to half. States determine eligibility for home visits in different  ways, but poor moms, single moms, homeless moms, teen moms and those with a  history of domestic violence typically top the list. Home visitors serve as a  sounding board and support system, educating moms about normal infant behavior,  cautioning them against shaking crying babies and offering suggestions for  stress relief and interacting with their babies. Parenting can be overwhelming  even for educated, well-to-do women, but those who are less fortunate stand to  benefit even more from having someone help them navigate the challenges of  child-rearing. In fact, when researchers evaluated the effect of home  visitations, they found that those babies whose families were visited by nurses  were less likely to die of all causes by age 9 than other children. Some studies  showed that children who benefited from home visits had less contact with CPS  and fewer trips to the hospital.

But other studies on home visits have shown mixed results, leading the task  force to stop short of issuing a blanket recommendation for primary-care clinics  across the U.S to adopt the program for families they perceive to be at risk. “It’s one thing to say that it’s a good idea, but it’s another to say that we  have definite proof,” says Nelson.

The task force last took up this issue in 2004; it will take another look at  any new studies that have emerged five years from now to see if things have  changed. In the meantime, for the next 30 days the public is welcome to submit comments on the task force’s preliminary  recommendations. “We are looking to see if we missed any key pieces of  evidence,” says Grossman.

Credits: http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/23/child-abuse-why-its-so-hard-to-determine-whos-at-risk/#ixzz2JUcdo28r

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