will brady's ruminations
Rude Awakening |
At 315 in the morning Bruce awoke with a jolt, called out and asked if I was alright | I'd fallen asleep on the couch and his yell woke me up | He said he heard a thud, as if I'd bumped against the dining room table, or knocked something over | So I began to look about the house | Nothing |
Finally, I looked outside | I saw what appeared to be the top of a car facing the house from the road | There were two other cars (one red, one black) and a group of people milling about, looking at the flipped over car | "Call 911
" Bruce says | I do | Although it seems a long time, two cruisers ~and the volunteer emergency crew~ arrive in just under 4 minutes | They start immediately tending to an injured woman, who'd crawled out of a broken window from the tipped over Ford Explorer | Luckily, the injuries did not appear to be serious |
!" I thought to myself [though "kids" these days, to me, are people under age 30] I later learned that, even though all of these kids had cell phones, none of them called the police | They did call a friend with another SUV who'd arrived only a minute or so before the troopers, backed his vehicle up to the other car, and appeared to be trying to figure out how to up-end the thing |
I heard one of the troopers say to another that he knew one of the kids had left from a single car accident a couple of weeks ago, only to later call it in | After the ambulance left, and the police sent the others on their way, one of the troopers and I found a smashed champagne bottle tossed into the bushes | In a bag, under a bush, were a couple of empty prescription vials, labelled, so one could see what had been in them, as well as the young woman's ATM card and checkbook | In the back seat of the car, empty beer bottles |
In listening to the addresses given to the questioning troopers, the manner of dress, the relative value of the vehicles, it quckly became evident that these were children of privilege | Not wealthy, mind you, but clearly from pampered lives |
Two of the kids at the accident scene were busily talking one another out of riding with the accident victim in the ambulance (which she'd requested) | "But she's my friend..." "Listen, I don't want to be a dick or anything, but I don't think you should get involved. Her folks will go to the hospital... | How do you think you'd get home from there? Besides, I've got to go to work at 7...
" | All of them unwilling to inconvenience themselves from getting home and, hopefully, not get arrested for drunk driving | When they were allowed to leave, they all drove in the direction away from the hospital |
Fortunate for them the town has a dedicated crew of volunteer firemen and rescue personnel, who did show up and ~asking no recompense~ came to the aid of the girl while her friends couldn't wait to get out of there |
By the way, the guy who "...didn't want to be a dick..." is the one standing to the right of the fire crew wearing green baggy shorts and a grey hoody |
ECONOMIC TREASON || DRUG CARTELS
U.S HOUSE MEMBERS BENEFIT FROM $10 BILLION TOBACCO BUYOUT
| From an AP Wire
A handful of Congressmen have managed to personally profit from a measure they helped push through the House to pay tobacco farmers to give up a Depression-era federal program to bolster prices |
Rep. Bill Jenkins (Rep.-Tennessee) would get an estimated $39,600 | His wife, Kathryn, an additional $14,500
Only 462 individuals or groups will become instant Millionaires as a result of this Congressional Buyout. Click here to see if you are one of them |
Jenkins chairs the House subcommittee that deals with tobacco farming | He helped draft the $9.6 billion farmer buyout approved by the House last month as part of a broad corporate tax bill.
Rep. Bobby R. Etheridge (Dem.-North Carolina) would get about $30,900
"I grew up on a farm, growing tobacco," Etheridge said. It's sort of like a part of our heritage." He added that he saw no reason he should have divested himself of his tobacco interest |
Rep. Lincoln Davis (Dem.-Tennessee), owns with his brother a farm on which tobacco is grown. A spokesman for Davis said only the congressman's brother, Ceifer Davis, would get money | It's estimated the brother would get $29,700.
Rep. Edward Whitfield (Rep.-Kentucky.) His mother owns a small amount of tobacco quota. She would get less than $1,000
Rep. A.B. "Ben" Chandler (Dem.-Kentucky) also disclosed that some of his relatives would benefit, although he did not say who they were or how much they would gain.
The proposal would pay farmers to exit the federal system that sets price and production controls on U.S. leaf. Farmers would have to give up their tobacco allotments, which limit how much they can sell each year.
Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group
, said lawmakers should have announced how much money they would receive under the buyout plan when the House took up the proposal.
Some of the lawmakers' tobacco holdings were first reported on Thursday by the National Journal, a politics and government weekly.
The Senate also has passed a corporate tax bill, but without a tobacco buyout. Lawmakers hope to merge the two bills when they return in September from a five-week recess.
SOURCE: Agribusiness Examiner
NOTES: Responding to an inquiry from Jenkins last year, House ethics officials said he did not have to abstain from voting on or sponsoring legislation dealing with tobacco just because he owned a government quota | A lawmaker would have to abstain from legislating only on a matter that "would impact the member in a direct and distinct manner rather than merely as a member of a class," according to a letter Jenkins received from ethics officials | Nonetheless, there is the appearance of a conflict of interest, said Larry Noble, head of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics | Noble said the problem with lawmakers' sponsoring or supporting "a bill that will enrich them or their family is that it's really impossible to tell whether they're doing it for self-interest or for their constituents."
Opponents change tunes as it suits them
| An analysis of the Senate vote
defeating King George's call for a Constitutional Amendment shows that when the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] was pushed through eight years ago the proponents favored it because DOMA preserved State's Rights to decide on municipal authority on marriage | This go-round, the argument was that Federal law ought to trump states' rights laws |
Proponents further argued this time that passing DOMA then was "flawed" and "unconstitutional" | Won't get any arguement from me on that one |
Legal analyst Joanna Grossman
notes that other flawed arguements were similarly raised when legislators wanted to ban divorce
[back in the 19th and early 20th Centuries] |
My guess is that one could also look at the laws about racial intermingling, or Miscegenation
| However you cut it, bigotry is bigotry, no matter what curtain of self-righteous ire with which one wraps oneself |
For more on the origins of racially motivated hate law, check out Ernst Miller's comments from 27 February 2004 at The Anti-Miscegenation Amendment or check out the story of the Miscegenation Pamphlet at African American Registry
Kerry "Soft" on Capitalism
| From Redguard's Blog
, another perspective, avowed neo-Bolshevik | He's certainly not in the "Anyone but Bush" camp, though I'm not certain who he think's has a chance against Dubya's Election-smashing + mowing machine |
Follow the link to Workers' World for a clearer glimpse on Redguard's POV
ARROGANCE OF POWER
Citizens Arrested for Criticizing Bush
| Really! | Why not just send them to Guantanamo? | The "crime"? Wearing anti-Bush T-shirts to the president’s Fourth of July appearance | From the West Virgina Gazette | There's more...
Charges Dropped | A judge Thursday dismissed trespassing charges because city ordinances do not apply to Statehouse grounds | Assistant City Attorney Deloris Martin said she advised the judge that the officers had no authority to charge Nicole and Jeff Rank with trespassing under the city's ordinances |
for the full story...
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, a Republican, said the officers who made the arrest acted under the direction of the Secret Service | "The officers are in a bind here," Jones said. A phone call to the Secret Service's Charleston office was not immediately returned |
WISDOM OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS
The Dangers of Mob Rule
are clearly one of the reasons why the USA's Founding Fathers exempted the Supreme Court
Justices from time-limited, and elected postions | A recent blurb on Turnspit Daily
succinctly puts this into its perpective | On the surface, the read is about gay marriage, but keep reading...
v-- pix credit Fred Stein
Strange, strong ironies here
| "Bastille Day is rooted in the history of the birth of the French Republic and commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a state prison that symbolized the absolutism of the monarchy | The day represents the success of the revolution and the struggle against oppression
The Storming of the Bastille represented "...proof that power no longer resided in the King as God's representative, but in the people
| And we, today, are increasingly threatned with usurpers agressively engaged in re-establishing a new monarchy, of sorts | Perhaps every bit as oppressive as those of old |
Now, after a protracted ideological revolution, those same usurpers call to rein in terrorism while laying the foundation for a new Reign of Terror, with themselves at the helm and may God be with you if you resist! | Oh how times have changed |
At the same time, one might take solace in ~ knowing history ~ the reigns of terror that have held sway in the latter days of human history can and often do, get swept down with an equally swift ferocity |
There are those today who increasingly believe that, in 1789 "...the French had the right idea...
" when it comes to reparations for the guilty | That is to say ~"...off with their heads
..." | a premise not practical in application, but not out of line where some stand philosophically |
But we don't know the outcomes for thses times | Future historicans have yet to write that chapter |
Fred Stein's photos
taken during the Nazi occupation of Paris during the 1930s, also provide a poignant connection to another period of time which, not unlike the present, was fraught with tension and similarities | Not that I'm calling any one a Nazi, mind you | Others more lucid than I have already done that |
FOOTNOTES: 1- www.francelegends.com/ | 2- Hightower Trail's paen to Bastille Day
Came across another blog written by a psychiatric social worker
, name of John Strain | Lives in Louisiana | Recently, he wrote a heartfelt account of a [perhaps] typical day where he works | The scenario rings true | "Bestiality
," he called it, and he proceeded to explain the circumstances | It prompted me to respond thusly:
My own job is that of advocate and grievance investigator at a psychiatric facility. The latter part allows, as I've occasionally said, "for everybody to hate me at one time or another" Staff for questioning their accuracy or authority; patients who mistakenly assume that my findings will always side with them, but that doesn't always happen.
Your exaspiration turned to empathetic response rings true. On more occasions than I care to recall, I've been summoned back into one of the buildings to interview witnesses to some troubling even that just occurred; or to just hear out someone who the nursing staff prays will calm down before the end of the shift.
Thankfully, I come home to someone else who ~usually~ is understanding about the unpredictability of my work schedule. That source of solace at home helps make the difficult moments bearable.
I will share one story, of a man who grieved after another man punched him in the face. he said it happened without any forwarning, and further noted that he was punished by being sent to his room for an hour or so while nothing occured to his assailant.
As I usually do, I asked if there were any other details he might want to tell me that I did not yet know. he replied negative.
What turned out was that the grievant, on a take-out dinner night, stole a pizza the other man had ordered and paid for, ran off into some secluded area on the grounds, and had almost eaten the entire pizza before he was found and brought back to his ward.
Once back on the ward, the man who's pizza was stone rapidly came up to him and, in a quick one-two action. punched my grievant in the face | Not surprisingly, an uproar ensued |
He got sent to his room to cool down while staff addressed the matter of the other man assaulting him. That man, incidentally, was placed in restraints, only to be released after he'd calmed down. The ostensible victim remained in his room because he stayed by his room door yelling down the hall about how staff was so unfair to him and that he'd make them pay him back for this infringement on his right to roam about freely.
He never did pay for the pizza, except, perhaps, for the receipt of a knuckle sandwich. Not the appropriate form of recompense but... I trust you get the picture.
That said, people constantly ask when I'm going to write a book about what I hear. And that's where a whole 'nother set of values come into play. Namely, protecting people from having to hear their embarassing moments relived again and again. Confidentiality strictures, one might surmise, but it's more than that. It's the act of helping troubled souls have a bit of dignity to their lives.
Thanks, John, for your blog entries. As you can see, I've now linked to them from here.
NOTE: I know it may seem odd that I block quote my own writing, but, in fact, it first got posted on his site, so I'm quoting from elsewhere | As to his comments? Well, they are every bit as long-winded as mine | YOu ought to go see John's comments directly | After that, visit his blog, every bit as varied in content as mine, though much more personal in approach | Articulate, at that! |
We possess the technology to bring about great and incredible changes on Earth | It is our decision to make ~ as a race of beings ~ just what the nature of those changes might be | We could apply our planet's raw data of knowledge to show how to adequately provide for all ~ or we could choose that illusion that says "only a few may have, the rest must suffer or die!
" | In my estimate, only the first option is viable ~ this is the way to survival |
Such a way calls for culling strength in the ability to adapt | It calls for trust, openness and ~ when necessary ~ the ability to be honest however painful that sometimes might be |
Further, it calls for compassion, vision, tact, determination and the ability to make a quick decision when required | We need, now, to rekindle the spirit of inquiry | Creative endeavor must be encouraged and extolled | The Tyrrany of boredom and indifference must be overcome |
Finally, it's important to retain a good sense of humor, and to know how to positively direct one's sense of rage into constructive action |
We are here at the good graces of the Almighty | We must love the treaures of the Earth so they not be taken from us for being poor caretakers of its riches |
MENTAL HEALTH || DUE PROCESS PROTECTIONS
Back on rondak.org
it's been months, quite literally, since I've gone an updated anything | Not good! | But I've finally begun to correct that | Mainly by making new page formats to work with | Make the whole thing easier |
Next step, then, is to update the pages and what more logical start than something that I can use both personally and at work | Therefore, the first update is a page on due process protections
in a mental health care setting | [something that, evidently, the chap staring out to the left of this, doesn't seem to enjoy
The only other page I've completed, thus far, is a template for the section's opening page
| And while few things on this page are actually working, as yet, it gives you a good idea as to what the section will speak to, namely, mental patients' rights | For those interested, you can save the link URL to the second one, that way you'll have the miniportal to my mental health/patients' rights section of rondak.org |
Feeback appreciated, even if it isn't even at beta test stage, so to speak |
ATROCITIES|| IRAQ QUAGMIRE
I've yet to see the following in the Hartford Courant
but allegations about US Troops detaining Iraqi children have begun surfacing | Ted Rall, while expressing initial disbelief, catalogs a growing number of reports about mistreatment and abuse of Iraqi children
at the hands of the occupying forces | Brought to light in Der Spiegel, here's an English translation
of early reports |
OTHER RESOURCES: Information Clearinghouse | Space Coast Web [the latter of whom brought this to my attention]
The "Pineapple bush"
in our front yard is clearly an anomaly | While I've seen mention of the species as growing in Illinois, what I've been able to locate mostly comes from south of us | Much farther south | Known also as "Sweetshrub," "Spice bush" and "Strawberry Tree" it
goes by the Latin name of Calycanthus floridus
| Sites where it's listed include South Carolina
, West Virginia
| Said to live in "mostly in rich, deciduous woods along stream banks and other moist places
" makes it thus explainable that ours roots above the channelized "stream" that flows part of the year from our dirt-floored basement |
Two points of interest: (1) One source noted that "An alkaloid ...in the seed ...reported [as] toxic to cattle ...but not usually eaten.
" and (2) the variety of flower colors
^-- pix credit: © 2004/Bill McClain | Illinois Dept of Natural Resources
A text reference was listed at the South Carolina Site: John Kartesz' A Synonymized Checklist of the Vascular Flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (1994, 2nd edition, 2 vols., Timber Press: Portland)
One final credit: Thanks to Tom who sent me the first real clue in my search|
As a follow-up to my own screed about treason and sedition, the erstwhile Billmon's Whiskey Bar offers a thoughtful, and cautious rationale for postponing elections
in the event of a terrorist attack | I'm not certain I buy it, but it warrants consideration nonetheless |
Still ...the question remaions, and looms large, WHO
would be entrusted with the decision to postpone them? | and [my concern] how long a gap before they are held?
COMMITTING TREASON or is it SEDITION?
Vetting nixing elections
| Uh huh! | the crime of helping your country's enemies or attempting to illegally remove its government
| It's acknowledged here
, and here
| Let's hope to God this is no Weimar Republic
| From the Newsweek article:
Ridge's department last week asked the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to analyze what legal steps would be needed to permit the postponement of the election were an attack to take place. Justice was specifically asked to review a recent letter to Ridge from DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Soaries noted that, while a primary election in New York on September 11, 2001, was quickly suspended by that state's Board of Elections after the attacks that morning, "the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election."
There's good reason for that lack of authority | For unlike kingdoms, ours is a democratic republic, the "king" replaced, effectively, by the polity ~the public citizenry | And if you endanger the life of that public, that polity, you have, in essence, endangered the life of "the king" | Individuals
entrusted in leadership offices and roles are but symbolic [ubercitizens, perhaps] and the role they play is intended that those in this stead are removable from office | The election process is the manner by which this is conducted | To terminate the process is to, effectively, to willfully subvert expression of the intent and will of the populace | effectively, is then, and Act of Treason... or at the very least, an Act of Sedition |
Contact your legislator
] [US House of Representatives
] to express your concerns about this | Do it NOW! |
for more see: sedition
TRAVEL/PARIS || FORBIDDEN DELIGHTS
It's always a delight
to be able to do something you oughn't | Well, as such, the transgression was peripheral | Captured this pix from one of the windows in a room filled with Monets, Manets, Vuillard, Reniors, and other French Impressionists while touring the Musee d'Orsay
in Paris well night a year and a half ago |
So why bother putting it on display now? | Well, really it's more for Dierdre, Phin and David, who right now are spending the month in Paris' 7th arrondissement | I miss 'em and I'm irrationally jealous that they are there | Ah well |
It's also becuase I realized tonight I put the image up last year intending to share it, but never got to put it to use |
I'd also done a sketch of this site, but from another floor in the Musee, all the while being warily eyed by a guard from the other side of the room |
TRAVEL || ADIRONDACKS
| No, I never ate at the Mickey D's you see here | Was only interested in the sunset, and hadn't expected I'd be able to quickly get to some other spot to capture it in time | Hence... an unintended advert for a place I don't typically trade with |
The ride was at the tail end of a trip to North River and a day spent almost alone at 13th lake | A day, in fact, typical of how I'd probably spend much of my time had I an unlimited travel budget and lots of free time | Riding aimlessly about, stopping to take photos, do water sketches, and get into abstruse conversations with total strangers | My idea of a good time | Not only is it relaxing, such endeavors can be immensely creative, ripe for future memories, occasionally ribald and erotic [though unexpected, that ~ and certainly not during that sojourn
] ...almost always allowing me to
walk away the better for the experience |
hungry by the time I got back to camp | Had a hearty meal of smoked apple-cured bacon, oatmeal with sweet jelly and chamomile tea | Not good in the carbs department, perhaps, but tasty and filling nevertheless |
^-- pix credit: UC Davis Health Journal | click on the image for a brief note about chamomile's restorative properties
The Center for Constitutional Rights
[CCR] has posted the Pentagon report entitled "Detainee Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism
" | It had been drafted 6 march 2003 and immediately sheilded by none other than Donald Rumsfield | Now declassified, thanks to the 9/11 Commission, it postulates early on why some believd that Al Qedia and Taliban (and who knew whom else) were "exempted" from the protocols of the Geneva Convention prohibiting torture during questioning | Basically, members of these groups were neither signatories of the document nor were their groups recognized as governments, per se |
Hell, using that logic, I don't know anybody who fits these categories |
Anways, The document, some 52 pages in length, probably warrants having on hand for reference, just in case the usurpers of the democratic republic decide to censor them from online | And just in case you think this is implausible, keep in mind that many syncophants behind Bush, Inc have already floated their belief that they can cancel the elections if there is a terrorist attack | I presume this includes one that the Bushies would facilitate |
CCR has the document on its website as an Adobe pdf file | It's over 6meg in size and if you don't have DSL or cable modem it takes at least 25 minutes to download | Anyway, that link is: http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/PentagonReportMarch.pdf
ABOUT CCR: Website blurb: "CCR stands up for the proposition that the dignity and physical integrity of all human beings is inviolable. We keep tabs on government misconduct; hold corporations accountable; fight for international human rights and for racial, social, and economic justice" | The focus of the organization, started in 1.... is in the following areas: Government Misconduct | Racial Social and Economic Justice | Cuba Travel Project | International Human Rights | September 11th | Corporate Accountability |
ABOUT EXECUTIVE ORDERS: Executive Orders + Laws relating to National Emergencies
From Executive Order l2333 | "The President has the power to seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, call reserve forces amounting to 2 1/2 million men to duty, institute martial law, seize and control all means of transportation, regulate all private enterprise, restrict travel, and in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all Americans..."
| According to Blogshares this blog you are reading
has a [hypothetical] market value of $42.19 per share as of today | Don't know how this is calculated, mind you, but it's amusing |
| The north side of our house is expansive, but inaccessible to us without walking around the entire building | So after years of passing food out the side window, we're seeing about having French doors put on that side so we can get in and out easier |
There are some other advantages, as well | This will bring a whole lot more natural light into the dakest room in the house, and shall make it easier for friends who have difficulty walking to enter more directly |
Now all we have to do is get the Historic District Commission to approve it | Those who know me may wonder ~ well, so what, aren't you the Chair of that group? | The answer to that is this means nothing when it comes to getting my request reviewed |
picture manipulated in adobe photoshop |