Friday, October 21, 2011

It isn't that I'm incapable of feeling rage or vengeful thoughts, but sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Today when I heard that Colonel Gidafe was shot, then dragged somewhere, then driven to a town which had suffered much during the Libyan war so people could have their pictures taken with his dead body I just felt sad.

I don't like rulers or dictators who murder or torture their own people. This includes Colonel Gidafe, Sadam Hussein, their sons who behave like them, Or the practice of water boarding, which has been ruled to Be torture. It's true we haven't tortured as many people as dictators in other nations. But our government has sent people Away to Be Tortured. And what about All of our "allies" who have killed untold numbers and tortured untold numbers of their Own people with weapons and money our tax dollars and our government have provided? There was General Mont Rios in Guatemala, General Pinochet in Chile, there is Saudi Arabia, the former Shah's secret police in Iran, and we supported both Sadam Hussein and Manuel Noriega of Iraq and Panama, respectively, at one time. Why was the man convicted of the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbe Scotland set free? (spelling isn't too horrible, since haven't read most of these names in Braille) I just don't seem to take joy in the killing of anyone.

I am against the death penalty because of the way it is unfairly enforced against people of color and the poor. But sometimes the onnly time people will say, "yes, I did it" is when threatened with death. What I would much Rather see is quick, sure, punishment, separating first time offenders from career criminals, And a program where certain organizations, with a prisoner's permission, take charge of that prisoner's parole or of that prisoner Instead of imprisonment. This could be a church, temple, tribe, etc.

I am told that the Cherokee used to have villages of Sanctuary, and that if a criminal lived long enough to reach one, that person A, couldn't be harmed if B, he/she agreed to submit to village laws and undergo a year of ceremonial training and healing. If such a person did all that was asked for a year, that person was then free to leave and could Not legally be harmed.

Today, with the intense damage done to so many children, I think it might take longer than a year, by the time someone reaches juvenile detention or prison. But I would like to see some alternatives to our overcrowded prisons tried. And I would like to see possession or growing of small amounts of marijuana decriminalized, made Legal. This would Help empty prisons and hopefully aid in saving the lives of our human relatives in Mexico. They don't deserve what our demand for illegal drugs is doing to them!

There must be help for victims of violent crimes and heavy duty restrictions placed on repeat offenders. But although I think there are exceptions to every rule, I don't think I am smart enough to know them. I just don't like "regime change" instituted by murder.

I would rather have seen Colonel Gidafe tried in the ICC (International Criminal Court) than shot and draged away by fighters for the Transitional Government "presumably to a hospital" according to the news, which also did the report about people wanting their pictures taken with his body.

I am not so clear as some Buddhists who say No Capital Punishment for Any Reason. But I have serious objections to it in our country and in our foreign policy.

Heard something else interesting in the news. The ACLU has confronted the FBI on its training of agents in counter-terrorism for stereotyping Muslims. The FBI is reviewing its training, but one thing taught to agents is or was, "Arabs don't think of time as linear, so they can't think in certain ways and this is a weakness." I couldn't Believe it! In the 1980's in Oklahoma I was taught that Cherokees don't see time as linear,
and so are incapable of abstract thought. Some professors at the nearest branch of the University of Oklahoma nearest to where I was living had a saying, "The higher the blood quantum (of Native blood) the lower the grade." meaning that the more Native blood a person had, the less capable that person would be of achieving a high grade. And expectations like That don't influence Decisions?

Not all Muslims are Arab, not all Arabs are Muslims, and some terrorists, like Timothy McVey aren't Muslim at all. Some aren't Arab, either. It is an awfully Simple view of the world to say that this group thinks this way and that group isn't capable of achieving a high goal.

Yes, there Are some generalities, traditional Native peoples tend to see land, the people, animals, and plants, sharing the land with water and stones and sky as a whole inseparable unit. But this Doesn't mean they cannot understand what a mining company wants, they may just Disagree.

But to generalize about a whole group as to their way of thinking or their thought capacities seems to be over the top! If Native people in general are incapable of abstract thought, like Cherokees were and probably are still said to be, how did they create accurate calendars, invent the Concept of Zero, develop sacred geometry, corresponding with specific times of year, and build pyramids, develop etching with acid before Europeans, and contribute just over Half of the world's current food crops? Sounds a bit abstract to me, whether or Not it's Linear.

Anyway, the news was heavy today, I'm tired and I ramble. But to me it all seems interconnected. Oh dear, do I lack the ability to understand linear time? What weaknesses and what strengths wojuld that give me?

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