Friday, November 30, 2007

Compliance and Deadly Force

Back in 2005 there was a story about a bipolar guy that was shot and killed on a plane for acting "weird". I believe that this was one of the first times that I lost all hope for this country and realized that most of the "left blogosphere" was not much better than the rest of the brainwashed country. I had a different blog then. I wrote how horrible this was and how stupid the air marshals had been. I was pretty sure that most compassionate people would understand how fucked up it was to shoot a mentally ill person in cold blood after the wife tried to tell them over and over that her husband was bipolar. But, instead, that day I found myself facing the fact that most of my readers that I had formed a relation with were not that compassionate when it came to the mentally ill.

That day I realized that yet again I was on my own. There were a handful of people who were compassionate, but the overwhelming majority agreed that taking out a gun and shooting this man was the "safest" option. Obviously, to me, that day it was clear that most people still see mental illness as a crime. Kill what we don't understand!

To understand what this has to do with anything and why I am bringing this up two years later, I will have to give you some background information. My sister is schizophrenic. Right now she is in the care of my parents, but I am all too aware of the fact that one day they will not be able to care for her anymore. It has already been basically established that the torch will be passed onto me. I have no problem with that other than the fact that it scares the hell out of me.

See, my parents live in a small town where everyone knows that my sister is sick. Everyone knows everyone and the police know who she is and what to expect. I, on the other hand, move around a lot. I live in larger cities where no one knows you. I am a military spouse and I move a lot. That brings me to the airplane story. I was thinking about this the other day and came to the realization that I would never be able to take her on a plane. If she were to live with me, I would not be able to take a plane to visit my parents. I may be living thousands of miles away and I would have to take a car because I cannot trust that my sister would be safe. I cannot say with certainty that she would not be shot and killed for being different.

But it is more than flying. If I am in a place with fascist police, I could never feel comfortable taking her anywhere. She acts "weird", she doesn't "fit in", and she doesn't comply with social norms. Every time I hear a story about a mentally ill person being tasered because they were acting strange or not complying, I get sick. What if that were my sister? What if I took her out in public and she started to freak out? What if the police ignored my pleas that she is sick? What if they ignored me when I said she is harmless? She is not a violent person, she is schizophrenic plus she is a little slow. She would not understand what they were saying to her or wanting her to do.

So, I guess the point is that the next time you hear a story about a mentally ill person who is tasered or shot because they were acting"strange", try to imagine it was your sibling or parent or child. Try to imagine how helpless you would feel knowing that there are only a handful of people that understand mental illness and have compassion for those least among us who are all too unaware of the ugly world that we live in.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kucinich Update

From the Kucinich campaign:

Our nation faces a crisis, yet its leaders, and the candidates
campaigning for the Presidency, refuse to acknowledge or address
it in any substantive way.
That's why it's time for: A DIALOGUE FOR DEMOCRACY.

This Thursday, November 29, Democratic Presidential Candidate
Dennis Kucinich will host an unprecedented "Dialogue for
Democracy" forum that will be streamed LIVE on the Internet at Along with invited guests, Dennis will bring
this crisis to the attention of the nation and the world so we
can better understand what's wrong, and, more importantly, what
we can do about it. The first segment of the LIVE broadcast
begins at 11 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m. The LIVE forum will
resume at 5 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I was hoping for major political changes this past year. It seemed like my last hope. In a few months, I will begin packing all my things in preparation for another big change. What is coming is unknown really, since I will not know where I am headed and what I am in for until right before it happens. At this point, I just know that I am leaving sometime in the next six months. Where to I am unsure.

My life is going to change dramatically. I am not looking forward to this change. The thoughts of what's to come are worrisome to say the least. I will be making a major change in my life in the midst of the upcoming elections. What happens in these elections will have a direct impact on my very future. I have no expectations that the electorate will do what is sensible. Actually, I am preparing for the worse. Don't be surprised if my depression comes out in my writing as Spring draws closer.

This post may seem strange, but I have been dealing with this looming change by myself for awhile now. I have known that this time would come. It is not something that has just sprung up. But with each passing month, reality sets in. What the hell have I got myself into? It has been a fun couple of years pretending to be the wife of a civilian and not of a military officer. Those days are coming to an end. Soon the sun sets on this short era of my life and a new era begins. One I can't help thinking will be a dark era. An era filled with regret and depression. But, who cares right? Everyone else can do what they want. Go shopping, don't worry, start more wars, have a grand old time while others suffer, right?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Garden Update

Here's the garden as of yesterday. The peas are blooming and we have more tatsoi than we know what to do with. But, everything is doing great despite the fact that it dropped down to 29 degrees the other night. A few weeks ago, I decided to give them a blanket of straw and they have been fine on the few nights that the temperature has dropped.

Compare to a month ago.

Late Happy Turkey Day

Monday, November 19, 2007

Great Minds

Dennis Kucinich
by Gore Vidal

I asked a dedicated liberal his impression of Kucinich; he wondered if Kucinich was too slight to lead a nation of truly fat folk. I pointed out that he has the same physical stature as James Madison, as well as a Madisonian commitment to our 1789 Constitution; he is also farsighted, as demonstrated by his resolute opposition to Bush's cries for ever more funding for the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More to the point, in October 2002 he opposed the notion of a war then being debated. For those of us at home and in harm's way from disease, he co-wrote HR 676, a bill that would insure all of us within Medicare, just as if we were citizens of a truly civilized nation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Town Hall meeting on the Tubes

The New Constitutional Convention
with Congressman Dennis Kucinich!
Wednesday, November 14

Go to to watch.

From a Kucinich campaign e-mail:

The New Constitutional Convention Initiative will include a a series of nationally
broadcast discussions (via that seek to accomplish three outcomes:

1. Outline the ongoing assaults on the Constitution.
2. An educational component / civics lesson to clarify the intent of the framers and
provide a foundation for understanding the ongoing assaults on the Constitution .
3. Discuss in detail what can be done collectively and individually to restore crucial
constitutional principles.
4. Provide a venue which will lead to a coordinated and sustained national effort to
renew the Constitution and restore accountability in government.

The New Constitutional Convention Initiative will hold a national conference call each
week for the next 10 weeks - culminating in a major event at the end of January.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What are rising oil prices doing to the rest of the world?

Oil price rise causes global shift in wealth

"High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone."

The winners in this financial cluster-fuck are Venezuela, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Argentina. The losers are the US, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, and China. Breaking even are Britian and continental Europe.

Conditions for doing well seem to center around either being a net oil exporter with a stable political environment or around reducing total petro-product usage to compensate for rising prices. Doing poorly appears to result from taking environmentally stupid positions as an importing nation or being a producing nation without the political infrastructure necessary to develop the country in a financially sound manner. Britain produces what it needs and continental Europe has been cushioned against rising oil prices by a severely weakened dollar against the Euro.

The surprising details in the article make it well worth reading. I suspect at some point America will be forced to acknowledge that it is no longer a sole global hyper-power, but would be in a better position if it claimed status as first among equals or something like that. A reinvention of the American psyche in that manner might better posture us to deal with emerging issues in the global political sphere.

We will, I suspect, lose the ability to economically bully people as the dollar falls and markets here generally drop. We are also not convincing as a military bully after Afghanistan and Iraq have shown the impotence of a small fast professional military in dealing with popular uprisings in urban settings. All we have left is the ability to talk to people in a sincere and conciliatory fashion, working together to achieve a common end. I hope someone in charge realizes that we don't hold all the cards anymore before it's too late.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Week Review

In case you missed it:

1. Mukasey may still have a fighting chance at the Attorney General spot despite his dictatorial tendencies and his refusal to verbalize that water-boarding is torture. And despite the fact that retired JAGs* have come out and said what everyone already knows: "Water-boarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal."

*These are not just some JAGs, these were the JAGs. The difference is important.

2. Project Censored has come out with it's Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008. If you want to stay informed, you have to check out the stories on this list. While it is a long read, it is definitely worth the time.

3. Rep. Kucinich has introduced a resolution to impeach VP Cheney.* While this is not the first proposal he has made, he has said that he is going to continue to push this one regardless of the opposition he receives. I believe this man deserves some acknowledgment for standing up for what is right from the beginning.

*This is a link to a Youtube video

4. And on a lesser note, put here for it's absurdity, the FBI has been sifting through grocery purchases to try to bag them a terrorist. (pun intended) But seriously, the FBI has reached a new low by trying to find "Iranian terrorists" by following the sells of falafel. Firedoglake has the details.

5. To not just pick on the FBI, I figured I would include the CIA for their own tax payer wasting absurdity. Check out the ridiculousness here at this fresh new up and coming blog:
Guys from Area 51

And that is it for this week in review.
However, I wanted to note that I have been having intermittent internet problems that have been keeping me offline more than I would care for. What the hell am I paying for again? Anyway, enjoy.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Reason #999 Why I Suck at Blogging

Sorry for the hiatus. All last week I had terrible debilitating migraines. When I get migraines, I cannot look at this computer screen. But, thankfully, those are gone. However, as soon as the migraines passed, I didn't have time to jump right back into blogging.

See, my loving husband has coerced me into accompanying him to a ball. Yes, a ball. I am not a frilly woman. I hate dresses and makeup and all of the hoopla that goes along with it. I hate shopping and malls and department stores, etc. So, it has been hell for me to spend much of this past week there looking for a dress and shoes and makeup and accessories.

I finally managed to pick out the perfect lipstick to go with my gown. Then, the next day, I read about high lead content in women's lipstick on Tom Paine. I searched the site that was linked to and found my exact lipstick on the list of lipsticks with high lead content. My luck I guess. Now I have a choice of buying a different brand and hoping that it is not full of lead too (unlikely) or wearing the poisonous lipstick one night and throwing it in the trash afterwards. Unfortunately, at this point, option two is more likely. In case you don't click on the other link here it is again:
E. coli conservatism in the makeup kit

(You didn't think I would write a post that had nothing to do with politics did you?)

But, on a lighter note: I realized this week that I suck, I mean absolutely suck, at walking in heels. If I don't break my neck Saturday, I will call the night a success.