Category Archives: Defies Categories

The Political Significance of this Cannot be Understated

but it has entertainment value, so…

Thanks to Mary for passing this one on

My ISP has jumped to Word Press.  I don’t like it, but unless I want to do a lot of code work, I am now stuck with the look of Word Press.  I am not sure the old look was the Good, but I was used to it.  Not sure if Word Press is Bad or Ugly, you can help me decide.  Don’t like that changey thing, I guess.

This may be what the black bloc needs:  Ukes!  and Accordions.

Open versus Closed Societies

Let’s assume that a person really wanted to understand a foreign philosophy, a different way of setting up a society.  If that was the case, I would recommend listening to Suzanne Guerlac talk about the philosophy of Henri Bergson.  Thinking in Time

This is a dense program, but Suzanne is articulate and the interviewer asks probing intelligent questions, so if you have an hour where you really want to listen closely, I heartily recommend this program.  It is especially powerful when Suzanne starts talking about how the evolution from a closed society to an open society is not an easy evolutionary transition, that Bergson thought it would take some sort of fundamental change in way of being to occur.  Imagining that sort of thing is difficult.  Yet those moments occur.  Think Solidarity in Poland.  Think the fall of the USSR, the sudden destruction of the Berlin Wall.  In those moments, I suspect that an open society emerged, however briefly, before a closed society reasserted itself.  Fits and starts.  Evolution and change may not be orderly.

So, open societies.  What would that look like?  Listen hard to Guerlac’s discussion of love and livingness as something new, not love that arises with an object that is loved by a subject who loves, but when love arises in reference to all living things.  Pretty amorphous stuff.  And for those of you who need a lot of structure, this is not going to be your cup of vegan broth.  But if you want to stretch a bit, and you want to commit the energy, I think this program will stretch you.

Against the Grain appears to be a wildly intelligent program.   My friend Gar Lipow is the latest guest.  Gar is talking about climate change and economic exploitation.   Suzanne is so last week.

If you make it through the Open Society talk and thinking in time ala Bergson, and you want to think more about open societies, you could check out the mp3s at Audio Anarchy  .  The Anarchy Tension series is a good place to start if you have an open mind.  You may come to the conclusion that this is simple utopian sophistry, that might be true, but it may also be true that if/when an open society emerges, this could be one of the ways that it will happen.  This might be the shapeless shape of a certain kind of open society.

See some of you there.

Join Us Tomorrow Night at Traditions to Grieve

 

 

Thanks to Drew Hendricks for sending a link and this sad news.

No justice for the Corrie family today at Court.

Join us on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Traditions Cafe

300 Fifth in Olympia for a videoconference call with Craig and Cindy.

Rachel’s Foundation is here.

Information about the Traditions event on Wednesday night is here.

 

 

A demonstrator holds a poster depicting activist Rachel Corrie outside the Haifa district court, after the ruling in a civil case August 28, 2012. REUTERS-Amir Cohen

 

Craig (L) and Cindy, the parents of Rachel Corrie, arrive at Haifa district court before the verdict in a civil case August 28, 2012. REUTERS-Amir Cohen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undated file photo of 23-year-old American Rachel Corrie, who was killed in Rafah in southern Gaza Strip March 16, 2003. REUTERS-Str

  By Allyn Fisher-Ilan

 

HAIFA, Israel | Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:39am EDT

(Reuters) – An Israeli court on Tuesday cleared Israel’s military of any blame for the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza.

Corrie’s family had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter in March 2003, launching a civil case in the northern city of Haifa after a military investigation found the army was not responsible. 

Judge Oded Gershon said the death was a “regrettable accident” and invoked a clause that absolved the army because the incident had happened during a war-time situation.

“She did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done,” he told a packed courtroom.

Corrie, from Olympia, Washington, had joined a small group of international activists trying to stop the Israeli army from demolishing houses in the southern Gaza town of Rafah during the height of a Palestinian uprising.

Her friends said she was wearing a bright orange vest at the time of the incident and was standing on a mound of earth, but had lost her footing as the bulldozer advanced. The driver said he had not seen her and did not hear the cries to stop.

Corrie’s mother, Cindy, denounced the verdict and accused the court of looking to shield the military from justice.

“I believe that this was a bad day not only for our family but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, the rule of law and also for the country of Israel,” she told reporters.

The family said it would appeal the ruling.

 Read the whole article at Reuters.

Who Deserves Sympathy?

 

 

 

I came across this article today and wanted to pass it on with some thoughts about sexual orientation and sympathy. We live in a pretty competitive world these days.  Social darwinism is probably better understood and more influential than the complexities of Darwin’s natural selection and evolution even though there is good reason to spend time trying to understand Darwin’s ideas and little reason to spend time on Ayn Rand’s economic romanticism. 

So, James Cantor asks, do pedophiles deserve sympathy?  If you are willing to set aside all of your punitive media and cultural programming and consider Cantor’s work, you have my respect.  I have thought about the subject of sexual orientation long and hard for a variety of reasons.  I have considered the idea that just as most folks are sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex, some other folks are sexually attracted to members of their own sex.  I can accept that.  It’s not my experience, but is our own experience the yardstick by which everything in the universe must be measured?

I have read and tried to increase my understanding of transgender life.  As a boy now trapped in an old man’s body, I can imagine how it might feel to have the experience of being a girl trapped in a boy’s body or vice versa.  Decades of volunteer work in sexual assault response and domestic violence work have sensitized me to some extent to a wide range of human orientation and experience. 

Catch the movies: Boys Don’t Cry or the documentary The Brandon Teena Story if you don’t understand this situation at all. 

Maybe you just need to stretch a little to build sympathy and understanding of human sexuality and orientation.

Well, most of us would need to stretch a lot to build sympathy and understanding of human sexuality and orientation if the obscure object of desire (thanks to Luis Bunuel for his work) was age-inappropriate.  Sexual attraction to children is really hard to comprehend for most of us, and if you can’t comprehend it, it’s going to be really hard to build sympathy for folks whose sexual orientation may include attraction to children. 

Cantor asks a good question here.  A question that leads to questions about our prison-industrial complex, about our ability to imagine and support folks whose very brain structure may criminalize them.  If you can, try to imagine the number of folks out in the community who are pedophiles, but not child molesters in Cantor’s important definition. 

I have always had sympathy for gay guys who are so deeply in the closet that they marry a woman who does not perceive that their sexual orientation is intellectually constructed, not innate (and I do believe that orientation and our internal experience of ourselves are male or female is innate). I also have sympathy for the gal in this situation who may eventually have a bad time if/when their spouse decides that they can no longer fool themselves about their sexual orientation. 

Cantor challenges me to consider the plight of pedophiles who are in lifetime of resisting their sexual attraction to children. That has to be struggle.  I hope we can do more to help these folks in their struggle and in that process, become better human beings ourselves, and protect our children and grandchildren. 

Do pedophiles deserve sympathy?

 

By James Cantor, Special to CNN

updated 10:32 PM EDT, Thu June 21, 2012

 

A convicted child molester on the roof of a prison in Dresden, Germany.

 

A convicted child molester on the roof of a prison in Dresden, Germany.

 

 

 

Editor’s note: James Cantor, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, is a psychologist and senior scientist at the Sexual Behaviors Clinic of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. He is editor in chief of “Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment” and blogs at Sexology Today.

(CNN) — One cannot choose to not be a pedophile, but one can choose to not be a child molester.

As details of the accusations of sexual abuse emerged from the Jerry Sandusky trial, and as the public looks on with horror, a central element to the case that has received scant attention is pedophilia itself.

“Pedophilia” was long used as a synonym for “child molestation,” and both were often seen as psychological failures of self-control. Child molesters were thought to be acting out their own histories of abuses, reacting to fears of adult relationships, or manifesting a symptom that might be resolved in psychotherapy, after which they would no longer be pedophilic.

 

James Cantor

James Cantor

Recently, however, a number of studies have starting changing that view. It appears that one can be born with a brain predisposed to experience sexual arousal in response to children.

 Read the whole article?

 

 

A few thoughts on Obama’s accomplishments

I know that there are folks who think Obama has done a lot of good, I am just not one of them. I believe that ACA is a sellout to industry that I think will be gutted by the SCOTUS or repealed by a reactionary Congress, it was not the revolution to Medicare for Everyone that is needed. DADT is gone at long last, Obama’s justice department is no longer defending DOMA (is that audacious?).  Baby steps in the right direction. Courtesy Washington Liberals

But, those baby steps are dwarfed by Obama’s increased use of drone attacks outside of war zones, his embrace of the War on Terror which knows no boundaries or limits, and now, the assassination of an American citizen by drone attack. Make no mistake, this is an impeachable offense, a high crime. A crime that Obama is unlikely to held accountable for, but it is a high crime, an awful precedent, a betrayal of our 5th Amendment right to due process. I am no fan of the Osama bin Laden assassination. I see nothing to celebrate in assassinations. In a human sense, a moral sense, there is no difference between the presidential assassination of bin Laden and the presidential assassination of al-Awlaki, but there are some constitutional differences that scholars may parse if they are so inclined.

We are now holding a handful of meaningless constitutional rights. Read’em and weep.

Happy Monday to all.

The Oly 2 Step – Step 2, let’s make it safe, shall we?

So, therPants on Dogs!e is lots of discussion about how scary it is downtown.  It’s not just dirty, with houseless people urinating on the sidewalks, it’s just downright scary!!

It has been pretty clear for generations (and especially in the past decade) that the First Amendment right to assemble and petition for redress of grievance and to exercise free speech is just too inconvenient to remain on the books.  Just look at the pedestrian interference  ordinance.  If the right to assemble for any reason interferes with the ability of a suburban shopper to come downtown and empty their wallet at a place like the Alpine Experience (just an example) instead of enjoying the homogenous shopping experience at Cabela’s or Walmart, then the first amendment is dispensable.  Scotto Bear - wiki commons, is this legal?

The first amendment is archaic.  The updated, if unofficial primary civil right appears to be the absolute right to shop in a safe and sterile environment.  So, Amendment One – get out of the way.

So, aside from the fear that accrues from running into a strange looking person downtown, why don’t we make the downtown really safe by scuttling Amendment Two as well?

wiki commons - courtesy michaelpughWouldn’t we all feel safer if we knew when we head out to go shopping downtown that we are not going to be sharing the sidewalk with folks packing heat?   Why is the Olympia City Council so timid.  Dump the second amendment and let’s get the fourth out of the way as well.

Come on, let’s make the downtown really safe.  Let’s outlaw any firearms in the downtown core and give the police blanket authority to conduct patdowns for weapons.

I want pants on dogs that are over twenty pounds as well.  Some of these animals are just indecent.  What’s up with that?

wiki commons - courtesy beat 768

These guys also should not be allowed downtown unless they promise to turn the volume down and act in a civilized manner.

Sister Jackie Hudson Needs our Help

June 10th update.  I understand that Jackie continues to be weak and is being released to return to Washington State for medical care.

June 5 Update:  Jackie was evaluated at the hospital and is well enough to remain at the prison at this time.  Thank you to all who called or emailed on Jackie’s behalf.
One consequence of the prison state is throwaway people.  A related consequence is institutional medical neglect.  A system that devalues people is not disposed to providing basic health care.
The US is a failed state with regard to its systems and policies of incarceration.

Best to all,

Mike
Still no medical care for Sister Jackie Hudson as far as we can determine. Read message below from Leonard at Ground Zero Center.

Important Note:  In between my emails please check in at the Disarm Now Plowshares Blog as I am posted brief updates there as I receive any new information to share.

Friends,

This has been, and continues to be, a difficult time for all of us who know and love Sr. Jackie Hudson.  First – Please know that there is an extraordinary convergence of people, including lawyers and physicians who are working virtually 24/7 on Jackie’s behalf.  As of this moment none of us has had direct contact with Jackie, and so we cannot confirm her present health status.  That having been said, here is what we know.

Since Sr. Carol Gilbert, who is also at Irwin County Detention Center, informed us (on May 29th) of Jackie’s severe chest pain and that nothing was being done for her medical condition, Joe Power-Drutis immediately set a process in motion to secure her transportation to a hospital to reserve proper medical care.  He contacted everyone possible, and engaged 2 physicians and 3 attorneys to engage directly with the prison staff.  The prison has been completely uncooperative, only saying that Jackie “was being taken care of.”  She is evidently in the prison medical facility (God only knows what that is like!!!).

At one point there was an indication that Jackie may have been transported to the local hospital and then returned to the jail.  However, a followup conversation with staff at the local hospital confirmed that Jackie has not been admitted there, and he staff indicated that theirs is the only hospital in the area.  There is absolutely no evidence that Jackie has been sent anywhere for proper medical evaluation.

The prison medical facility, as far as I know, is ill equipped to evaluate or treat Jackie’s possible medical condition and experts (MDs) agree that based on her presentation to prison medical staff, she should have been immediately transported to a hospital emergency facility for a thorough cardiac work-up.

Based on all the information we have received it appears that her treatment since her chest pain began, even beyond her basic medical needs, has been substandard and inhumane.

The legal team working on Jackie’s behalf includes Bill Quigley, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Anabel Dwyer, lawyer and international human rights expert; and Blake Kramer, Tacoma-based attorney who has been deeply involved in defending the Disarm Now Plowshares.  I understand that the legal team is currently working every possible angle, and one involves getting the Judge for the Y-12 trial, which was the reason for Jackie’s current imprisonment, to order her release/transport to the hospital.

Another major concern and an egregious disregard for the rule of law is prison’s refusal to allow Jackie’s right to legal counsel.  Jackie’s court-appointed attorney, Brad Henry, found out at the jail that the Warden told all the staff at the jail that no information was to be given out about Jackie, including her appointed council. The prison is stonewalling every step of the way.

Beyond the obvious moral and ethical implications of the prison’s treatment of Jackie Hudson, it is evident that she is being deprived of her Constitutional rights as well as essential human rights.  This on top of Jackie’s very real status as a Prisoner of Conscience, quite literally a political prisoner in a nation that flouts both national law and international humanitarian law and then imprisons those who follow their conscience and the law to speak and act out to call on our nation to uphold these laws.

This maltreatment must not stand.  The people operating Irwin County Detention Center, a private, for profit prison, must be held accountable for their actions.  If this is how they treat Jackie, someone with a broad base of support,  I can only imagine the mistreatment of a vast number of prisoners who have no one to advocate on their behalf.  What of the forgotten???

Besides the work being done by this dedicated group to whom I’ve referred, many of you out there are working on Jackie’s behalf, and for this I thank you all!  We evidently flooded the prison phone line with calls, and I have no doubt that this has had an impact.  They know we are watching!  I have contacted the ACLU of Georgia, asking them to act on Jackie’s behalf.  We are working on alerting media locally(Georgia), regionally and nationally to Jackie’s plight, and will also be contacting members of Congress to act on her behalf.

What can you do to help Jackie?  For one thing, we can continue to call, fax and/or email the prison to let them know we are watching and demand that they send Jackie to the hospital.  The phone number is 229-468-4121. You may get a recorded message during some hours. There is also an email listed: info@irwincdc.com.   Fax is 229-468-4186  Additional phone numbers: Warden Barbara Walrath – warden of Irwin County Detention Center, 229-468-4120, Dr. Howard C. McMahan – Medical Director of Irwin County Detention Center, 229-468-5177If you get into a message system, LEAVE A MESSAGE! 

 

Here are some suggested talking points:

Sr. Jackie Hudson, who is in your care and for whom you are responsible, has had intense heart pain, which began Saturday afternoon.  She is being obstinately denied proper medical care.  Her symptoms suggest that she may have one or more occluded coronary arteries.  If this is the case, her heart, as a muscle, will progressively worsen in the hours and days to come.

Jackie must be taken to an emergency room immediately.  The Emergency Department at the Irwin County Hospital verifies that Sr. Jackie has not been taken to their hospital, and that there is no other local hospital to which she might have been taken.  They Emergency Department has been in contact with the ICDC to no avail.

Such treatment constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and  if Sister Jackie is not moved to an emergency room immediately and suffers any negative medical consequences as a result I will hold Michael Croft Enterprises, operator of ICDC and in particular Warden Barbara Walrath and Medical Director Howard C. McMahon personally responsible.Those supporting Jackie Hudson must have direct access to her and her physicians so they know her whereabouts, her condition and her treatment.  These people include: Sue Ablao, Sr. Jackie’s housemate at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Poulsbo, WA; Frank Hudson, Sr. Jackie’s brother; Sister Nathalie Meyer O.P., provincial of the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Sr. Jackie’s religious order; and Brad Henry, Jackie’s attorney.

Send an email to (or call) any news media contacts you have, or even if you don’t have any you email the newsroom (look them up in the contacts section of that newspaper’s Website).

I understand that the Koinonia Partners community in Americus, Georgia, is planning a vigil at the prison tomorrow.

As I stay focused on dear Jackie’s immediate needs I find myself also focusing on a much broader issue.  Here is a person with so much support from so many wonderful people.  And yet, there is a huge percentage of the U.S. prison population (with the largest incarceration rate in the world) for whom there is no support.  What becomes of these forgotten prisoners when they become ill???  We will take up that issue once we get Jackie taken care of!!!

One last thing before I close; an excerpt from something by Liz McAllister and Chrissy Nesbitt of the Jonah House community that I find quite pertinent today:

Thanks to all who have offered to help in so many ways.  As bad as this all is, Jackie is surrounded by such a wonderful, loving community, and I can imagine that this knowledge is deeply embedded in Jackie’s heart and mind, and that it is a great comfort to her.

Peace,

Leonard