Saturday, August 29, 2015

What's Happening in Canada???

Anyone paying attention to attacks on civil liberties around??? It's happening here and in other countries as well.  Some latest skirmishes have been up in Canada.

It's been covered that Canada passed a measure hostile to privacy - and dissent.  And it's not without challengers!

But recently, as the Canadian election season unfolds, there are two items of note.

One, a flap over the Margaret Atwood "hair" article.  The article was "disappeared" then reappeared - with some sentences missing.  Some online versions only show the "censored" version, but there is a full cached version here.  It really is a good read. Be sure not to miss the last four paragraphs!

Two, a scientist was actually put on leave for writing and performing an anti-Harper protest song.   The video is viewable at the article.  It's worth watching.  It's spirited and I find protest music quite refreshing in today's climate!

Are our eyes open to see what it going on?  Isn't it becoming clear that dissent is being squashed in many ways, large and small?  Doesn't that concern us?  Protest and dissent are supposedly cherished freedoms.  Citizens shouldn't be punished for speaking their minds!!!

In an article about the Ramos/Trump press conference flap, Glenn Greenwald wrote:  "Ultimately, demands for “neutrality” and “objectivity” are little more than rules designed to shield those with the greatest power from meaningful challenge." (you can read the article here)  Isn't that what journalists and citizens are SUPPOSED to do?  Isn't that WHY we have such things as Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Assembly?  What kind of governments and societies are taking shape if such challenges are quashed?

It's time that, with open eyes, we stand together to oppose assaults on protest, dissent, and our civil liberties.  We must do that if we want a better future for ourselves, our families and future generations.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to Blogging...

Hello - well, I thought if SOMEONE would let me know I should keep on blogging, that I would.  Someone did ------ and thank you, JH !!!  The new post is right below this one.

But I'd STILL LOVE to hear from more readers.  It would mean so much to hear that this is serving some purpose, and as I've said, it DOES get lonely "talking to an empty room."  Also, I really would love to hear from readers - what's going on with you and your reactions to the issues around us.  Comments can be anonymous and no, I don't bite...

So do consider letting me and other readers hear a bit from you.  It might even be fun...

P. S. Anyone notice the new background?  A bit simpler and also more grown-up, I think.

This Concerns ALL of Us (With an Update)

Sadly, it seems that almost every day there is some new case of police abuse, including the killing of unarmed persons, often of color, often poor.  The case of Sandra Bland is certainly one case, one that should not have happened; no matter from which angle one chooses to view it.  May she rest in peace and may her family somehow find the strength and comfort to continue on.  The case of Jonathan Ferrell is another.  Here is an article about one juror's view of the recent mistrial. UPDATE:  The death of mentally-ill Jamycheal Mitchell in VA, who was jailed for months for stealing $5.00 worth of groceries, has just been reported in an article at The Guardian.  One commenter suggested e-mailing the mayor of Portsmouth, VA to demand a full investigation  (mayor@portsmouthva(dot)gov).

Seeing this unfold, I have firmly believed that this should concern each one of us.  Although African-Americans may be disproportionately affected now, unfortunately, some signs show that it may not stop there.  Already, the mentally ill are also disproportionately affected by police violence.

Around Father's Day back in June, one of the C-Spans had a program commemorating the anniversary of James Baldwin's debate with William Buckley at the Oxford Union.  Although I'm not always totally with Baldwin, he certainly makes some good points.  He also has some very interesting and some even prescient things to say in an article recently reprinted and brought up by a fellow TI'er:  this interview.  

Following that C-Span show encouraged me to look further online, I found this, from his essay called "Nothing Personal."  I don't really care for a lot of the essay, but this one part really seems to speak to what we're going through today:

"If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then, very soon, no one in that society is safe. The forces thus released in the people can never be held in check, but run their devouring course, destroying the very foundations which it was imagined they would save. But we are unbelievably ignorant concerning what goes on in our country--to say nothing of what goes on in the rest of the world--and appear to have become too timid to question what we are told."

In other words: Black Lives Matter, yes,and we should all be concerned with that because --- ultimately we all may be affected.  The forces affecting you today may be aimed at me tomorrow.  We need to build bridges between us all, not negating the struggles of African-Americans with law-enforcement, but by recognizing the truth that we need to look out for one another both for altruistic concern and for future self-interest.

Rev. Chris Hedges has made this point in a great essay which is certainly worth reading.

I'm tired of reading the horrible stories of police abuse, of the killing of unarmed persons, often of color.  We need to confront the way policing is done, decreasing its militarization for one thing. We need to confront other abuses in the legal system.  We need to confront systemic and institutional racism.  We need to confront economic and societal injustices that cut across many lines.  And we must do this TOGETHER.

Remember:  "Divided = Conquered, But United = Empowered!"

Monday, August 10, 2015


I think it's clear my blogs need to go on hiatus.  I am very sad about this.  I have put quite a bit of effort into them, into giving information, addressing issues, doing poetry, fiction, visuals, and sometimesjust trying to have a bit of fun.

However, I am not receiving much, if any, support.  I have practically begged for comments, but it's extremely rare to get any response.  Thank you to all who have commented, but special thanks and blessings to tomeshew and tombrownsschooldaze ----- your comments helped me hang in for as long as I have.

I have NOT asked for donations.  Just a comment or some word of acknowledgment or encouragement once in a while.  That's all.  However, since support isn't coming, I'm concluding that at this time, it's just not worthwhile to continue.  I'm just too disheartened and discouraged.

Will I actively blog again?  I don't know right now.  There's always a lot to share, but talking to an empty room for too long is really dispiriting.