Tuesday, July 19, 2016



A poetic musing...


She calls her brothers each night
Just hearing their voices reassures,
But the ease to her anxiety is only temporary
Requiring the next day's call for another dose of talk therapy
A daily ritual,
Not a response to news of a natural disaster
Or buzz about some mechanical mishap
A daily ritual,
A reminder that she cannot take for granted
The casual ease some others feel
And that her eyes have seen
The grieving of some victims of violence
Can be haunted by a focus on lack of perfection
A daily ritual
For nerves must be quieted for sound sleep
Imagine yourself with such an ongoing routine
As a continuing cycle of wellness calls
(That is, if you have not such a ritual already)
Now, imagine a more desirable one in its place

Read the article which inspired this here.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Images - and Stories - of Shame Updated

I'm continually floored.  How can we, supposedly a free society, condone the militarstic over repponse to peaceful protests?  WE MUST ALL CONDEMN IT!

I first saw the report on the police over respose to recent protests at Common Dreams.  I was shocked, but if you've been following things (including some blog posts here) about the increasingly militaristic tone of policing, I guess it shouldn't be surprising.

THEN, another story, this one at The Intercept,  details some more abuses.  If you haven't seen the now famous picture of Ms. Ieshia Evans, obviously no threat, being arrested by cops in full riot gear (this was in Baton Rouge, LA), you need to.  Read about riot police storming a lady's yard to arrest protesters - where she had given them premission to be (also in Baton Rouge)!  Read about the protester arrested while giving an interview (in Rochester, NY).  We should all be outraged about this truly thuggish behavior on the part of those who should be serving and protecting US (guess we need to wonder who they are now serving and protecting).

I e-mailed the police chief in Rochester to express my dismay, and will work on some phone calls to Baton Rouge tomorrow.  I will update if I receive any responses (not likely, though).

Folks, are you not yet alarmed about the way policing is being militarized?  Are you not yet alarmed at the attack on protest and dissent?  Are you not alarmed and awake to the dangers to our democracy (or what SHOULD be a democracy)?  Well, if not, the alarms are sounding.  WAKE UP!!!


I e-mailed Rochester PD and called Baton Rouge PD.  Seemed to just be getting runarounds.  So I called the mayoral offices of both cities and expressed my concerns and told them the actions toward the protesters were making their cities look bad.  I don't know if telling that to some receptionist helps in any way (that's all we seem to encounter if we want to give feedback - that or some automated phone message box or an e-mail form that may or not be read...), but at least I'm trying.  If anyone is interested, the phone numbers are:

Baton Rouge, LA  Mayor's office:  225-389-3100
Rochester, NY  Mayor's office: 585-428-7045
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Friday, July 8, 2016

Human Lives Matter

I think everyone is saddened by the tragedy in Dallas.  It's a horrible taking of lives.  And one unfortunate thing about the situation is that it may take focus away from the epidemic of killings, abuse and over-militarization by police.

Speaking of over-militaristic policing, it has come out that a "killer robot" was used to kill the suspected shooter. I hope that others find this VERY alarming.  In the article, several experts raise various concerns.  To me, this thought from Marjorie Cohn,  Professor Emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, sums things up nicely :

"Police cannot use deadly force unless there's an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury to them or other people. If the suspect was holed up in a parking garage and there was nobody in immediate danger from him, the police could have waited him out. They should have arrested him and brought him to trial," Cohn said. "Due process is not just enshrined in our constitution, it's also enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the U.S. has ratified, making it part of U.S. law."

We had better start being pro-active.  We have drones - so far only striking overseas but could it happen here?  We have robots which can activate water canons --- and for the first time it seems in the U. S., apply deadly force.  That better concern us and we had better stop being in denial.  This trend of LE being judge, jury AND exctutioner runs counter to what we say the U.S. should be about. We had better start demanding that HUMAN LIVES MATTER, and that technology be used to serve us, be accountable to THE PEOPLE, and used in accourdance with our civil and human rights and the rule of law.

Too Much Deja Vu

Too Much Deja Vu

Too much deja vu
Two more fatalities
Playbook we've seen before,
Way too often
Where is the lesson learned?
For after marches, studies, settlements,
After tears and red-faced bitterness,
After too little accountability and progress,
We are confronted with two more senseless tragedies
Which indict us as they ask:
When will this end?
... Rest in Peace, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile