most all of my poems from 1998-May, 2012 available in ebook form through lulu.com for iBook, Nook, and Kobo
Oppression screams loudly speaking to the black, the white, the red, the yellow
Speaking loudly to the one that grabs them all, disabled, differently abled
All the same, all the same. Disabled and seen as less than whole,
Treated like children, inside screams aloud. Begging/not begging for a voice
For a chance to spread the word of community overlooked, of discarded
Power, rights discounted, seen as less of import. I’m not trying to distort the
Message and the retorts I have seen, felt and dealt with. Brain injured and scarred
White and privileged, privilege distorted and contorted to pity misplaced.
Pity handed to any who are different, who sound different, who are scarred, human
Beings the same, energetic beings, watching, listening, communicating, experiencing.
All the same, all the same, love and anger, I pity the unblemished for loss of sight.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.
Drawing nigh on lease of evils, unwanted but for utility’s sake.
It is not worth the blemished mark of evils survived. A better way,
A simpler way, must be found. Immediate pleasure, the folly of a race.
The race misplaced of its own accord, a place of ego fancy and arrogance.
Sated ego, is filled with useless junk, ceaselessly hungry…
More is the pity, every time one turns. Unfulfilled, unhappy, wanting.
Mindful dreams, a thought filled fancy, inside is where presence lay waiting.
Riding high, one in a symbiosis, one with all, no separation, no partitions.
Life lived abundantly, without want of refuse, is what we all seek.
Sought without knowing, that burning inside, “there must be more to life”.
Hope salted with a silent frustration, hope for others but more for myself.
The vision is alive, the living, breathing beast of thought.
That ever present hope for a future without, locked in my realm of thought,
My magnum opus, my work of art, the tapestry of my life.
President Obama has requested $263 million to pay for a federal response to keep peace in Ferguson. The town is roiled by protests since a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting unarmed teen Michael Brown to death.
The money will supposedly be used for body cameras and more training for law enforcement. Of course the amount the federal government has spent purchasing tanks and other military-grade equipment for police departments dwarfs that amount, $4.3 billion, according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes the federal government to pay to arm local police departments like they’re fighting in Fallujah. Perhaps Obama should instead suggest a little of that funding go into greater accountability for police departments.
Indicting Ham Sandwiches
What many people fail to understand about the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson is just how unusual it is. A decision not to indict simply means Wilson won’t stand trial for killing Brown. Less than one percent of grand jury cases don’t move to trial. As Wikipedia states, “New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler was famously quoted by Tom Wolfe in The Bonfire of the Vanities that ‘a grand jury would ‘indict a ham sandwich,’ if that’s what you wanted.’” That is, unless it’s a cop. As FiveThirtyEight reported, “According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.”
Cases involving police shootings, however, appear to be an exception. As my colleague Reuben Fischer-Baum has written, we don’t have good data on officer-involved killings. But newspaper accounts suggest, grand juries frequently decline to indict law-enforcement officials.
A recent Houston Chronicle investigation found that “police have been nearly immune from criminal charges in shootings” in Houston and other large cities in recent years. In Harris County, Texas, for example, grand juries haven’t indicted a Houston police officer since 2004; in Dallas, grand juries reviewed 81 shootings between 2008 and 2012 and returned just one indictment. Separate research by Bowling Green State University criminologist Philip Stinson has found that officers are rarely charged in on-duty killings, although it didn’t look at grand jury indictments specifically.
While police departments have been legally required to track how many people their officers kill every year for decades, no one has enforced that law. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. The first thing that Obama should do, if he wants to materially change law enforcement for the better, is create real consequences for police departments to obey the law and track their killings. Why are we spending billions to better arm police departments but spending zero dollars to make sure they’re not improperly killing American citizens?
And the evidence is mounting that that’s exactly what’s happening. In July a New York police officer choked 43-year-old father-of-six Eric Garner to death. He was being arrested on suspicion of selling illegal, untaxed cigarettes. Last month, an officer in Cleveland, Ohio shot a 12-year-old boy to death for playing with a toy gun. In May, a Wisconsin SWAT team threw a flash-bang grenade 19-month-old Bou Bou’s crib. He was put in a medically induced coma and suffered third-degree burns.
NBC News is reporting that President Obama publicly rejected calls to stop buying military-grade equipment for police departments. “The White House instead defended a Pentagon initiative that sends excess military equipment, including Humvees, to local police departments.”
But perhaps the most pressing issue for police reform is getting police and the National Guard in Ferguson to do their jobs. The New York Times is reporting that officers and guardspeople are currently only protecting police headquarters and government buildings, while allowing local businesses and homes to burn.
Body cameras and more training are a place to start, for sure. But the bigger issue, which President Obama seems unable, or unwilling, to grasp, is that there are two standards of transparency, accountability, and justice in this country. There’s one, for citizens and one for police officers. This fundamental problem is compounded with deadly, military-style equipment used to protect police officers and kill civilians.
The impulse to empathize with police officers, who put their lives on the line to serve and protect, is understandable. But despite what we see in shows, and what officers say, it’s never been less dangerous to be a cop. Now it’s time to focus on accountability. Until police officers can reasonably expect to be called to account for who they kill and why, we need to put a stop to arming them like soldiers.
just because something, well documented and consistantly verified, sounds untrue and doesn’t agree with your instilled belief system, by no means makes it any less true nor does it make you an expert in the field of that science or whatever. The gall and arrogance of some people is flabbergasting! So arrogant and scared to say “I don’t know, let’s find out”. They would rather say “A goat farmer found it out centuries ago, there is no need for this science bullshit, I have my text book full of slavery, misogyny,incest, pedophilia, it works perfectly! just ignore about 95% of it… that part doesn’t count because no rational being living in the 21st century would ever believe in that part… but the parts I was directed to by the preacher.. those parts are true and infallible!”