The holidays are more than blue for some of us. The word blue doesn’t begin to cover the feeling that can be a tipping point for so many. People can’t “snap out of it” and making a loved one or friend feel guilty over something that can’t be just “jollied” out of, though well meaning, only makes things worse.
So, instead of the usual Holiday yammering from me- I’m just giving you this phone number. It may mean many more holidays for some of us.
“get by with a little help from our friends”
By Sherry Pasquarello,WWH/CJE –
“Texas approves textbooks with Moses as Founding Father”
Yes, Texas approved putting Moses in our kid’s history books as the basis for our countries foundation written by the founding fathers. Never mind that it isn’t true. It doesn’t matter that a lot of the founders were Deists AND that they were smart enough and had more than one example in their recent history of the dangers in the merging of church and state.
No, let’s get to the heart of the matter here- keep in mind that Texas schoolbooks are by in large, the nation’s textbooks. Once you teach a child something it sticks. There are still older adults out there that believe the cherry tree tale about George Washington. Things that are taught in grade schools, even high schools tend to stick in some corner of the mind. Just like being brought up in a religion, the nuns had a saying about “give us your children and they will be ours (the churchs) for life”. That holds true for every faith. Even those folks that leave a religion hold a teeny bit of fear or doubt about that choice for most of their lives. There are others that have gone to war and worse for that faith that was taught in childhood.
So to me, any religion getting a foothold in the minds of our nation’s children is not only anti- American and insulting to all of us it’s downright dangerous. It’s teaching the melding of church and state.
Our forefathers knew the dangers in that and we can see it for ourselves in the Middle East. This textbook thing is not some inconsequential matter.
Let them know that you are on to them- before a generation is indoctrinated.
Religion belongs at home.
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | News Report –
On November 10, leading Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh, 67, was jailed after being found “guilty” of immigration fraud.
The US government claims Odeh lied on an immigration application when she said she had never been arrested, convicted or imprisoned.
Odeh is accused of concealing that she was charged by the Israeli military with bombing a supermarket when she was 22.
The charge is based on a “confession” obtained by rape and torture at the hands of members of the Israeli military (IDF) more than 40 years ago. Odeh, who moved to the United States in 1995 and serves as the associate director of the Chicago Arab American Action Network (AAAN), was alleged to have “confessed” to the bombing charges imposed by the Israeli military court.
“It was clearly not a fair trial,” Odeh’s lawyer Michael Deutsch, with the People’s Law Office, in Chicago, told Truthout. “The entire defense was gutted by the court’s rulings.
He [Judge Gershwin Drain] refused to allow her PTSD defense, would not let her expert testify, nor even allow the defendant in her own testimony to mention torture, or her innocence, or the lack of fairness of the Israeli military courts.”
Truthout previously reported how Odeh, along with 500 other Palestinians, was arrested at the age of 22 by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during a massive security sweep following the 1967 war and occupation of the West Bank.
At the time, as now, many Palestinians who were detained by the IDF were later charged with crimes they did not commit to justify their detention. Odeh was charged with bombing a supermarket. While in prison, she was tortured with electrical shock and raped with batons. read more…
I really expected the Keystone Pipeline to be passed. I’m glad that it wasn’t, but I thought it was a done deal no matter who fought against it. The fact that it didn’t has me wondering about what is going on in the backrooms and the boardrooms.
Being a realist I wonder what was agreed on to secure that no vote. We probably will never know. For now, I will celebrate.
Even more interesting is the threat of Executive action on some really divisive matters. Oh I have my fingers crossed that this is a definite plan for these last two years of this Presidency. If he gives the majority of us solutions to much needed questions by either orders or vetoes on immigration and climate change and many others; including the Keystone pipeline- that the Republicans will bring back once they are the majority in both houses, he will secure that his legacy is mostly a good one. Oh I’d love to see the Koch brothers reaction to the President figuratively smacking down their plans and those of the other robber barons in their circle.
I guess in due time we will all see. It will be interesting. I hope our President and some of the spineless Democrats do the right thing.
By Chris Hedges,truthdig.com – Tomas Young was shot and paralyzed below his waist in Iraq in April 2004 when he and about 20 other U.S. soldiers were ambushed while riding in the back of an Army truck. He died of his wounds Nov. 10, 2014, at the age of 34. His final months were marked by a desperate battle to ward off the horrific pain that wracked his broken body and by the callous indifference of a government that saw him as part of the disposable human fodder required for war.
Young wrote a poignant open letter to Bush and Cheney on the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. He knew that they, along with other idiotic cheerleaders for the war, were responsible for his paralysis and coming death.
Young, who had been in Iraq only five days at the time of the 2004 attack, was hit by two bullets. One struck a knee and the other cut his spinal cord. He was already confined to his bed when I visited him in March 2013 in Kansas City. He was unable to feed himself. He was taking some 30 pills a day. His partly paralyzed body had suffered a second shock in March 2008 when a blood clot formed in his right arm (which bore a color tattoo of a character from Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”). He was taken to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Kansas City, Mo., given the blood thinner Coumadin and released. The VA took him off Coumadin a month later. The clot migrated to one of his lungs. He suffered a massive pulmonary embolism and went into a coma. When he awoke in the hospital his speech was slurred. He had lost nearly all his upper-body mobility and short-term memory. He began suffering terrible pain in his abdomen. His colon was surgically removed in an effort to mitigate the abdominal pain. He was fitted with a colostomy bag. The pain disappeared for a few days and then returned. He could not hold down most foods, even when they were pureed. The doctors dilated his stomach. He could eat only soup and oatmeal. And then he went on a feeding tube.
Young hung on as long as he could. Now he is gone. He understood what the masters of war had done to him, how he had been used and turned into human refuse. He was one of the first veterans to protest against the Iraq War. Planning to kill himself by cutting off his feeding tube, he wrote a poignant open “Last Letter” to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in March of 2013 on the 10th anniversary of the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He knew that Bush and Cheney, along with other idiotic cheerleaders for the war, including my old employer The New York Times, were responsible for his paralysis and coming death. After issuing the letter Young changed his mind about committing suicide, saying he wanted to have more time with his wife, Claudia Cuellar, who dedicated her life to his care. Young and Cuellar knew he did not have long. The couple would move from Kansas City to Portland, Ore., and then to Seattle, where Young died.
Veterans Affairs over the last eight months of Young’s life reduced his pain medication, charging he had become an addict. It was a decision that thrust him into a wilderness of agony. Young’s existence became a constant battle with the VA. He suffered excruciating “breakthrough pain.” The VA was indifferent. It cut his 30-day supply of pain medication to seven days. Young, when the pills did not arrive on time, might as well have been nailed to a cross. Cuellar, in an exchange of several emails with me since Young’s death, remembered hearing her husband on the phone one day pleading with a VA doctor and finally saying: “So you mean to tell me it is better for me to live in pain than die on pain medicine in this disabled state?” At night, she said, he would moan and cry out.
“It was a battle of wills,” Cuellar told me in one of the emails. “We were losing. Our whole time in Portland was spent dealing with trying to get what we needed to be at home and comfortable and pain free. THAT’S ALL WE WANTED, TO BE HOME AND PAIN FREE, to enjoy whatever time we had left.”
Last month they moved from Portland to Seattle. They would be closer to a good spinal cord injury unit. Also, Washington was one of the states that had legalized marijuana, which Young used extensively.
The local weather gurus say snow is coming. My snow shovel is somewhere in the shed. The temps are dropping like a rock this week! So it’s time to remember to start checking on any elderly or shut-ins that you might know. It’s also a good idea to put out some shelter for feral cats. There are plenty of ideas for wintering the cats, on-line. I saw a great one this week that uses cheap Styrofoam ice chests. Remember, that salt can injure your dog’s paws if you are walking them in the snow.
Me? I’m pretty much of a recluse in good weather. In the winter I might as well go full out hermit anymore. Luckily, I don’t mind it but think about your elderly family members and ask if they’d like to go to the movies or shopping or just spend a few hours talking and sharing a cup of tea or coffee and some cookies (cookies are ALWAYS a good thing).
Oh, and tis the season for envelopes full of pleading for donations. I’m still getting them addressed to my mother (who always had her own place to live, mind you and who died more than a few years ago) how they got my address is still a mystery. Anyway, don’t let them make you feel as if you aren’t doing enough. It’s a great time of the year for guilt. I had to learn to pick a few charities and just throw the rest of the mailings away. Check to make sure your elderly family members aren’t skimping on their monthly needs to write checks to every mailing they receive. Check too, to be sure they are sending money to a legitimate charity. If I believed in a hell I’d say there’s got to be a special place there just for scam artists that use a legitimate need for their lies and greed!
Lastly, enjoy the coming season and be sure to make good memories.