Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hard Winter

Hard Winter

I know that the account below doesn't compare in the least to what many veterans are going through.  It doesn't compare to being a new amputee in a Boston hospital.  And it doesn't compare to garment factory fires or building collapses.

I was talking with my sister who is a year and a half older.  She had a couple of muscle injuries and someone asked her if she didn't think it was just middle age.  Her reply was, "Yah, but it was all so Quick!"  I totally identify!

Trigger warning:  If you have ever been seriously bitten by a dog you may want to skim or skip my account of being bitten, though it wasn't serious enough to need invasive medical treatment.  If you have had rabies shots in the abdomen (I escaped that fate) you might not want to read my account of a seven shot series.

Hard Winter

Last Dec. I fell, injuring my back.  While taking codeine and muscle relaxers I forgot the dog's heartworm meds.  So I will pay for another test next month.

I couldn't walk the dog and when a friend did the dog was allowed to roll in something truly Foul.  My friend has enough sinus trouble that it was just an unpleasant smell.  I nearly threw up!

When lifting a Flailing and writhing  48 pound dog over the side of the tub to bathe him I heard a pop and something in between my ribs hurt so bad I just kept kneeling by the tub, gasping for breath.  But I bathed the dog as best I could and got rid of Most of the stench!

I couldn't sleep on one side, it hurt to cough, laugh, sneeze, etc.  No point in going to the Dr.  They really can't do anything for even a broken rib and I didn't think it was as bad as that.

After several weeks it was beginning to heal and the canary's cage really needed cleaning.  As I was scrubbing out the tray from the bottom of his cage I heard that same Pop sound again and the same place hurt, making it hard to breathe.  NO More scrubbing out Anything in the bathtub, where it is most easy to clean the cage!

It is still very sore.

The weather has been alternating between too hot for a normal April and Cold and raining, drizzling and occasionally snowing a bit for weeks.

Advil (the cheap version) has become a daily friend.

The cat has been sick so that when he uses the litter box I want nose plugs!  And because I can't afford a $400 to $500 medical work-up we keep messing around with buying differing kinds of food, giving him health gut bacteria, dosing him for a month with liquid antibiotics, and canned food.  When a cat doesn't want to be found by his deaf-blind owner he Isn't found.  I had to keep coming up with new ways to trick him, which I mostly Didn't enjoy, in order to medicate him.  I am Very thankful to my sighted hearing friends who took part in helping me find him when they came by! 

I am also Very thankful that my cat is very Good about taking meds. Once he is caught.

A week ago from yesterday I was on my way, in my own yard, to the compost can, which is closed, using my cane.  As I was carrying a covered compost container which I would have to open and dump, after opening the compost can, I wasn't sure I could handle the dog on his leash, so I used my cane.  A neighbor's dog must have been frightened by my cane, though I never contacted it (thouched it with the cane).  So it bit me and ran away.  When I yelled that somebody had better come and get their dog out of my yard because I had just been bitten the neighbors who I could hear talking went dead silent.  Nice, huh? 

If someone had come to talk with me I would have asked if the dog's shots were up to date.  If I believed the "Yes" I would have probably heard I would have just goine inside and cleaned the wound and that would have been the end of it.  If I didn't believe them I would have gone to the ER. And that would have been the end of it.  But that "hiding from the blind person" crap Really pissed me off!

I could tell I had puncture wounds when I went inside and cleaned the wound on my calf myself becaused it Burned. 

When I was young rabies was a major problem here and it still remains a problem, though not a major one.  No cases of rabies this year in my county.

I honestly wasn't sure what to do.  I was SO Angry!  I called the non-emergency number for the police to ask and was immediately transferred to Animal Control.  The officer there said that since I couldn't visually identify the dog or prove whose mutt (my word, not his) had bitten me I should go to the ER. And have a Dr. talk with me about rabies shots, oh joy!  So I did.

After cleaning the wound several times the Dr. recommended rabies shots. He stated that there were three levels of risk in assessing whether someone should take the shots.  If a dog who could be proved to have its vaccinations up to date had bitten me then the risk was low and I just needed to take an antibiotic to prevent bacterial infection.  If vaccination records could not be traced to a veterinarian the risk was medium.  If the dog was a feral dog or if I were bitten by a skunk or other wild life the risk was high and not taking the shots would Definitely be against medical advise.

The Dr. stated that since I couldn't identify the dog visually or prove where it had come from he would recommend the shots.  I had no idea whether the dog was born in this county or came from a place where rabies was a more significant problem.  All I knew was that the dog had gotten into my fenced back yard.

I asked if there was any treatment once a person began developing symptoms of rabies.  The Dr. said no, not really.  I asked how many shots and where they would be given.  The Dr. went to check.

When I was a kid we lived in the country and my father worked in town.  We had rabid skunks.  People from Springfield and other small towns would drive out into the sticks and dump their unwanted dogs, so the dogs couldn't find their way home.  Those dogs who survived packed up to hunt better.  I remember running inside with my sister who is sighted while my mother got a gun and shot skunks which chased us, (not normal behavior) or dogs who were obviously sick and chasing us.  I took seriously those Westerns in which someone was bitten by a rabid animal and tied to a tree at their own request to die.  Those and the stories of 14 anti-rabies shots in the stomach, the pain and the mass of bruises a person's abdomen became were my horror movies.

When the Dr. came back to say the shots weren't given in the stomach anymore and there would be seven, not 14, I agreed to take them.

I got one in the thigh which hurt the worst at the time, one in each upper hip, and one in the arm on the side of the bite.  The only shot I have Ever had which hurt worse was when we had an outbreak of hepatitis B at the school for the blind.  Everybody got a shot.

After those four shots I almost remembered what it was like to not be able to sit down for a week.  I felt like I'd been in a fight and Definitely Lost! The nurse apologized for the pain but said the medicine was very thick and not easy to push through the needle.  It made little sore lumps which stayed sore for several days.

On Monday I was back for another shot in the arm, then again yesterday.  Only one more shot to go next Saturday, Yeah!

I didn't write about this earlier because I was too scared and couldn't stop cringing each time I heard a neighboring dog yapping.  I think I know whose dog bit me but have no proof.  The dogs of those neighbors have gotten in my yard before and tried to attack both my dog, who was tied near the garden where I was working, and a friend who was working with me.

I hate feeling vulnerable and try Hard to live so I'm not, to the extent possible.  On the other hand, if I stopped doing everything which scared me I'd never get out of bed.

There are many things to be Thankful for in my experience.  First, the dog bite didn't require stitches, plastic surgery, or other serious medical intervention!  Second, I did Not have to take 14 shots in the stomach.  As much as those suckers hurt I can't Imagine what they would feel like in the Stomach!  I was put on antibiotics which have made me queasy and when I told the Dr. that when I took the drug he prescribed I couldn't leave the bathroom he advised me to eat yogurt each time I took a pill.  This has helped tremendously!  The antibiotic cleared up a low grade ear infection I did not even know I had.  And I was bitten Before the Mo. State Legislature took away my Medicaid!  They're going to try and do it again this Summer, Instead of Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which they could do with Federal funds.  I hate the attitudes around here, Often!

The Sunday after the bite and four shots I helped de-sod the new garden spot.  I had the Wonderful help of a friend from our Buddhist group or Sangha.  It hurt, but when you are disabled and you have help, you Work!

The garden was set up in too shady a spot last year and has to be completely moved.  Right now we are more than caught up from the drought of the last two years, a blessing.  The ground is too muddy to work, so I'm glad we did it when we could.

The weather has kept old injuries to my back and ribs sore and my stomach has been queasy.  But today was my Last antibiotid, Yeah!

Sometimes, even when I know my problems are Much less than so Many other people, it is hard to be thankful just for the horrid things which Didn't happen.  Still, I try.  I just don't always Feel thankful when I Think and Know I should.

One Great thing which happened is my purchase of some Fair Trade beads and items to use in decorating One-of-a-Kind doll outfits!  I am Really looking forward to being creative with these things! 


Monday, April 22, 2013

Some You Win, Some You Fight

The unaltered plants of Earth belong to all of Her peoples.  I am Sick of drug companies thinking they own the tissues of our bodies to use in experimental research, Withoutt asking our permission Before we have surgery.  And if they think they own individual, unaltered human genes and all of the unaltered Plant Kingdom too, then I don't know what to call it but obscene.

Cherokees and many other traditions say that plants either chose to be medicine for humans or that the Creator gave us plants to heal our bodies and minds.  Causing poor people suffering for profit is what this second message below looks like to me.

But, some we win and this Must also be recognized in order to keep trying!

Have you heard the good news?
ConocoPhillips announced last week that it will be cancelling its 2014 Arctic drilling
We think it's super important to get the word out about this decision. Can you help
us spread the word by sharing on Facebook?
Click here to share the good news with your friends on Facebook.
Thanks for all you do,
Angus and the team at
 SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations
accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
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, and like us on
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Nestlé is claiming that it owns a natural cure that's been used for over 1,000 years
Tell Nestlé to stop trying to patent the natural cure-all, nigella sativa.
Sign the petition
Share on Facebook.

Nigella sativa -- more commonly known as fennel flower -- has been used as a cure-all
remedy for over a thousand years. It treats everything from vomiting to fevers to
skin diseases, and has been widely available in impoverished communities across the
Middle East and Asia.
But now Nestlé is claiming to own it, and filing patent claims around the world to
try and take control over the natural cure of the fennel flower and turn it into
a costly private drug.
Tell Nestlé: Stop trying to patent a natural cure!
In a paper published last year, Nestlé scientists claimed to “discover” what much
of the world has known for millennia: that nigella sativa extract could be used for
“nutritional interventions in humans with food allergy”.
But instead of creating an artificial substitute, or fighting to make sure the remedy
was widely available,
Nestlé is attempting to create a nigella sativa monopoly and gain the ability to
sue anyone using it without
Nestlé’s permission
. Nestlé has filed patent applications -- which are currently pending -- around the
Prior to Nestlé's outlandish patent claim,
researchers in developing nations such as Egypt and Pakistan had already published
studies on the same curative powers Nestlé is claiming as its own.
 And Nestlé has done this before -- in 2011, it tried to claim credit for using cow’s
milk as a laxative, despite the fact that such knowledge had been in Indian medical
texts for a thousand years.
Don’t let Nestlé turn a traditional cure into a corporate cash cow.
This isn't surprising, considering Nestle has a long track record of not caring about
ethics. After all, this is the corporation that poisoned its milk with melamine,
purchases cocoa from plantations that use child slave labor, and launched a breast
milk substitute campaign in the 1970s that contributed to the suffering and deaths
of thousands of babies from poor communities.
But we also know that
Nestlé is sensitive to public outcry, and that it's been beaten at the patent game
 If we act fast, we can put enough pressure on Nestlé to get it to drop its patent
plans before they harm anyone -- but if we want any chance at affecting Nestlé's
decision, we have to speak out now, while its patent claims are still under review.
Thanks for all you do,
Melanie, Claiborne and the team at
More Information:
Business Standard:
Nestle claims patent on medical use of black cumin or kalaunji
, 4, April, 2013
Third World Network (PDF):
Food giant Nestlé claims to have invented stomach soothing use of habbat al-barakah (Nigella sativa)
, 6 July, 2012
 SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations
accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
You can follow us on
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

This is Ridiculous!

No background checks for known domestic abusers, mentally ill people and those convicted of violent crimes?  I intend to remember when the next elections come!  No banning of high capacity magazines, (many bullets) WHY?

Equality at a Higher Freqency
Ultraviolet: Equality at a Higher Frequency
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Your message:
Shame on the Senate
Shame on all 45 Senators--including 4 Democrats--who just voted against requiring
background checks for gun purchases--something 90% of Americans support. Four months
after the Newtown massacre, they are still kowtowing to the gun lobby instead of
protecting our kids and families.
Make sure that they know what they did is shameful, and we'll hold them accountable.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Confusion About this Case

Confusion About This Story

First, the article quoted below has an obvious biass.  But Second, NPR did Not cover the story fully.

No mention was made of the father's service in Iraq, or the fact that he has, according to the story below from a Native website, been fighting for custody of his child for three years.

I don't know what is true, but this story makes NO mention of the father's termination of parental rights, as NPR did.  

The story below alleges that the child's mother told no one that her daughter, Veronica, had a Cherokee father.  NPR also made no mention of this.

I apologize for My mistake, this child is three, not two years old, and she is a girl, named Veronica.

By the time a child is three much of her/his personality is set.  Couldn't a custody arrangement be worked out where Veronica's father could visit whenever he wished and she might spend Summers in Oklahoma with her people?

I fully support the Indian Child Welfare Act.  But I also support the right of a child not to have her life ripped apart at age three.

In reviewing this act I hope the Supreme Court will uphold this law, but take into consider what is best for a single child and many more children who are caught in her situation.

 – The US Supreme Court announced on Friday its decision to review "Adoptive Couple
v. Baby Girl" may prove to become a test of the Indian Child Welfare Act that was
passed by Congress in 1978 due to the large number of American Indian children that
were removed from their homes.
Cherokee Baby Girl
Cherokee Baby Girl v. US Supreme Court
At issue is the custodial preference of a three-year old Cherokee girl who was illegally
adopted by a South Carolina couple at birth. According to court documents, the natural
mother, who is non-Native concealed the fact that the baby was American Indian.
The father, Dusten Brown, and the child's mother never married even they were engaged
prior to the birth of the child. The engagement was broken off and Brown was deployed
to Iraq where he earned a Bronze Medal. Brown is a tribal citizen of the Cherokee
Nation of Oklahoma.
For a span of time Brown was unaware his child was put up for adoption. It was discovered
that the adoption papers never disclosed Brown was a tribal citizen.
Upon his return from active duty, Brown went to court seeking custody of Veronica,
using the Indian Child Welfare Act. He won in court.
Last summer, the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision that
granted custody to the Cherokee father in a 73 page decision.
The National Indian Child Welfare Association issued the following statement on Friday:
In response to the decision of the United States Supreme Court to review Adoptive
Couple v. Baby Girl:
Today the United States Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari in the
v. Baby Girl case where a couple in South Carolina unlawfully attempted to adopt
an American Indian child, Veronica, in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act
(ICWA). Veronica's loving father, Dusten Brown, is a decorated Iraq war veteran who
has been fighting for custody of his daughter since learning of the proposed adoption
while trying to honor his responsibilities to his country while in military service.
The questionable practice of placing American Indian and Alaska Native children away
from their extended families and communities persists today as illustrated by this
Today's decision only reaffirms the National Indian Child Welfare Association's commitment
to continue working with our partners and our broad coalition of supporters to demand
full compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
We are confident that as the United States Supreme Court delves more deeply into
this case they will uphold this important law and that Baby Veronica will remain
with her loving father and extended family in Oklahoma.
The US Supreme Court did not have hear to this case, but did so because of its national
implications according to Matthew Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law and Policy
Center at Michigan State University College of Law.
“It didn't have to, but it decided that it's an important enough case with national
implications that it would review it. And since about 70 percent of cases it hears
it reverses, it stands to reason that most grants are made with an eye toward reversing
the lower court,”
commented Fletcher.
posted January 5, 2013 8:50 am est"

If you want to read a human version of this story (a story Like this, involving Indian Child Welfare Act) I recommend Barbara Kingsolver's book "The Bean Trees" followed by "Pigs in Heaven".

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Indian Child Welfare Act

Indian Child Welfare Act

According to the NPR report, if I understand correctly, it went like this.

A child was born to a Cherokee dad and a non-Native mom.  The couple was not married, the father was stationed at a military base and the mother dated him.  Both parents terminated their legal rights to free the child for adoption.

What Should have happened, according to the Indian Child Welfare Act passed in the 1970's, is this child should First have been offered to a Qualified Cherokee relative or a qualifying family of Cherokee people.  This is my understanding of the Indian Child Welfare Act, not what the NPR story said.

The father had been stationed in S. Carolina, according to the NPR story.  Qualla Boundary is a Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina. So did Anyone Look in Either S. or N. Carolina for a qualified Cherokee family to adopt this child?  Did anyone look in Oklahoma where more than twenty thousand Cherokee people still live?  Or was it a question of money?

In a story NPR ran Last year the Governor of South Dakota said the adoption of Native children by white families was an important source of income for his state.  How is this different than selling children?

The story I heard today concerned a  child who  was adopted by a non-Native couple and has lived with them for two years.

Now the case was said by NPR to be "about the Indian Child Welfare Act" as the Supreme Court hears a case in which the father is suing the adoptive couple for the child he gave away.

I think the case is about the Non-Enforcement of the Indian Child Welfare Act and I wish NPR would follow the money trail of the state burocracy in this case!

The last resort provided for in the Indian Child Welfare Act, as I understand it, is that a child shall be placed with a qualifying adoptive family of a different Native tribe.  So, there were no Cherokee,  Lummi(also called Catawba) , (a S. Carolina tribe)  Choctaw (in Mississippi) Chickasaw, or Muskhogee families qualified to adopt this child in either the South or Oklahoma?  Their were no qualified Seminole or Mikosukee families in Florida who would be qualified to adopt him?  I don't believe it.

This doesn't look like a case "about the Indian Child Welfare Act" to me.  It looks like a case of Non-Compliance with that act.

What a pit to put a two year-old in, lose your culture, language and syllabary as well as a differing way of understanding life, or loose the only parents you have ever known.

A white friend said to me that it was a "no brainer" the child shouldn't be subjected to the cruelty of removal from the only parents ever known.  While I need to look up the history of this case and I also think it would be a cruelty to take this child from his home, I don't think it's a "no brainer."

Has the father who gave up his child two years ago been suiing to have that child placed in a Native home ever since, Under the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act?  Does S. Carolina get Federal funds for adoption of a Native child to a non-Native family in the same state?  Why wasn't this law Complied with?  Would an out-of-state Native family adopting this child have meant a loss of revenue for S. Carolina?

What's Really going on, Besides poverty being mistaken for abuse or neglect and Native kids being given to non-Native families?


Children Need Our Help

While I certainly am against the exploitation of children I can see situations in which a fourteen year-old might be needed to work to help keep a poor family alive.  But because there is no guarantee of safety for such a child I do support this proposed bill in India.

Walk Free: The Movement to End Modern Slavery
* You are receiving this message because you took action on
 urging the Indian Parliament to end enslavement of Indian children. *
Dear ,
Thank you for urging the Indian Parliament to pass the Child and Adolescent Labour
Abolition Bill to ban the employment of children up to 14 years old.
Will you take a moment to forward the message below to 3 of your friends asking them
to show their support and put an end to the enslavement of millions of Indian children?
Thank you,
The Walk Free Team
urging them to end the enslavement of Indian children.
Last year, politicians in India passed up on the chance to protect millions of children
from the nightmare of modern slavery. The Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill
would prohibit the employment of children up until 14 years of age and yet, the Indian
Parliament failed to put it to a vote during its session last December.
Every day that this bill is delayed, the children of India remain at risk of being
bought and sold to work in unimaginable conditions of sex slavery, bonded labour
and domestic servitude.
Child rights groups in India and the rest of the world have called on the Indian
Parliament to prioritise the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill but we need
your help to build massive public pressure that leaders in India cannot ignore.
Join me in telling Indian politicians to immediately pass the Child and Adolescent
Labour Abolition Bill.
Thank you,
Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world's
greatest evils: Modern slavery.
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A 15-year-old girl was raped by four young men who posted pictures of the assault online and bullied her until she committed suicide. I'm calling for an investigation into why Rehtaeh's rapists were never arrested.
Sign Sherri's Petition
Teresa —
Trigger warning: this email contains information about sexual assault that may be
upsetting to survivors.
My friend Leah's daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, was a great kid. She loved art, had a
huge heart, she always fought for the underdog, animals and human. But everything
changed one horrible night in November of 2011. Rehtaeh went over to a friend's house,
and there, she was raped by four young men.
The young men posted pictures of the assault on Facebook and emailed them around
their school. They bullied Rehtaeh relentlessly; they called her a slut. She was
only 15.
Last week, Rehtaeh killed herself. She couldn't take the pain anymore.
Local investigators in Canada, where Rehtaeh lived, looked into Rehtaeh's assault
for a year.
They said it came down to a "he-said, she-said" situation and never filed charges
even though thousands of people had seen photos of the assault.
The authorities refused to get justice for Rehtaeh, and that is not acceptable. I started a petition on calling for an investigation into why the police didn't take meaningful action for Retaeh. Will you click here to sign?
It seems like every time on the news, I'm seeing another horrible story of a young
girl being raped and then blamed for what happened to her. And it's devastating.
But I'm also seeing something else: People are fighting back. They're standing up
to say this is wrong, and it has to change.
In India, thousands of signatures on a petition contributed to ensuring
speedy trials of 6 young men accused of a gang rape in Delhi. In America, dozens
of petitions sprang up around the rape of a young girl in Steubenville, Ohio, calling
for fair coverage from CNN and for the coach who defended the rapists to be fired.
People all over the world are demanding that authorities take rape seriously: punish
those responsible and stop calling victims sluts. I won't stop fighting until we
get justice for Rehtaeh. If thousands of people not just in Canada, but all over
the world, sign my petition, I know Canadian authorities will see that writing this
off as "he-said, she-said" is not an option anymore.
Click here to sign my petition for an investigation into why the police didn't arrest the four young men who raped Rehtaeh, posted photos of the assault on the internet, and bullied her until she took her own life.
Thank you for standing with Rehtaeh.
Sherri Bain
Halifax, Canada
Sign Sherri's Petition
: - 216 W 104th St., #130 - New York, NY 10025. USA
This kind of foulness Must be stopped!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Politics of Insane, Sex, and Race

The Politics of Ridiculous, Sex, and Race.

When I get messages like this I do believe there are ridiculous prosecutions which should Never take place.  No problem believing in the ridiculous.  But I have to wonder if I'm being given all of the facts.

I have never heard of the people involved with this petition.  So I'm Not trying to harm any of them.  The mother in question wasn't drunk, or they would have charged her with "Driving Under the Influence" wouldn't they?  Even in this case I don't think prison would help.

Did she have any history of child abuse, or is this as insane as it seems?  I signed the petition, (what good does prison do anyone if this was an accident?)  but I always hope I'm getting the relevant facts.
A young mom is being threatened with jail after her two young children died in a car accident in a Colorado snowstorm. Ask the DA to drop charges against Jamie Dowling.
Sign Bernadette's Petition
On March 9, young mom Jamie Dowling was driving her two small kids, Landyn and Raylee,
on a snowy stretch of Colorado highway. Jamie was driving slowly, and her kids were
safely buckled in, but the roads were bad. Jamie hit a patch of ice, her car careened
into another lane, and she was hit by oncoming traffic. Jamie was a nurse, and she
tried to save her kids' lives, but she couldn't. Landyn and Raylee both died that
Now the local District Attorney is charging Jamie with two counts of "careless driving
resulting in death," threatening to send a grieving mom to jail.
My parents live right near the spot of the crash -- so close that they heard the
accident happen. In fact, my stepdad was the first person on the scene, 20 minutes
before the ambulance arrived. When he got there, he said Jamie was trying to revive
her son, who was already dead. My stepdad had to pry Landyn out of Jamie's arms just
to get Jamie out of the car.
Jamie Dowling has already been through a horrible, unimaginable ordeal in losing her children in a car accident. I started a petition on asking District Attorney Dan Hotsenpiller to drop his charges against Jamie. Will you click here to sign?
Jamie still struggles everyday to move forward from the death of her children. Landyn
was 5, he loved cows and horses. Raylee was just 2, her favorite color was pink,
and she thought everything should have sparkles. Jamie had moved her family from
Texas to Colorado just a week before the accident, and the whole family was excited
for a new start.
My parents were there for the worst moment of Jamie's life, watching her struggle
to save her children even though they were already gone.
We don't understand why the DA is insisting on dragging out Jamie's nightmare; it
doesn't make any sense to us.
 But we were there for Jamie that day, and we're going to keep standing with her
I know other petitions on have prompted District Attorneys to drop unfair
charges before -- I hope that if thousands of people sign my petition, DA Hotsenpiller
will end his senseless prosecution of Jamie Dowling.
Click here to sign my petition demanding that DA Dan Hotsenpiller stop prosecuting grieving mom Jamie Dowling.
Thank you,
Bernadette Bifano
Leadville, CO
Sign Bernadette's Petition

Mailing Address:
- 216 W 104th St., #130 - New York, NY 10025. USA

Sometimes we win!

Reebok just fired Rick Ross--the rapper who brags about raping a woman on his new
Can you sign the thank you card?
click here
Click Here
YOU just dealt a big blow to rape culture.
Thanks to 100,000 UltraViolet members and our allies who spoke out, Reebok just ended
their endorsement deal with Rick Ross
, the rapper who brags about raping a woman on his recent single. The 90,000 petition
signatures, 10,000 phone calls, 2,000 tweets, the letter signed by 500 rape survivors,
and the nearly 100 people who rallied at Reebok's New York City flagship store sent
a clear message: we won't stand for a company that rewards rape.
And Reebok listened. In fact they issued a strong statement, saying "We are very
disappointed [Ross] has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this
issue or an appropriate level of remorse."
When a company does the right thing, it's important that we thank them
--so we're going to send them a thank you card, signed by thousands of UltraViolet
members. We'll also send the card to the press to help Reebok get good publicity
for taking a stand against rape.
Can you sign the card?
Sign the thank you card to Reebok.
This isn't just a blow to Rick Ross--it's going to have an impact on how companies
like Reebok choose their spokespeople in the future.
We showed companies all over the US--and all over the world--that rewarding rape
is not just wrong, it's a bad marketing strategy.
After Todd Akin, Rick Ross, Steubenville, and far too many similar stories, it's
clear we have a lot of work to do together to end rape culture. But right now, we
need to take a moment to thank Reebok, and show companies everywhere that if they
stand up for women, it will pay off.
 Can you sign the thank you card?
Sign the card.
Thanks for speaking out,
Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Malinda, and Karin, the UltraViolet team
The Scoop: Reebok drops Rick Ross
, Boston Herald, April 12, 2013
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Then sometimes we Hope to win.  The fact that a former prosecuter is in on this petition makes me hopeful.
I was a prosecutor in a case that used race-based testimony to sentence Duane Buck to death. Now, I'm calling for the state of Texas to spare his life and grant him a fair sentence.
Sign My Petition
In 1997, I was one of the prosecutors in a court case that used race-based testimony
to sentence to death Duane Buck, who's black.
At the time, I was an Assistant District Attorney in Harris County, Texas and Mr.
Buck was being tried for murder. During the trial, an "expert" witness named
Dr. Walter Quijano was permitted to testify that being black increases the likelihood
of 'future dangerousness'.
 That testimony in part led to the jury sentencing Mr. Buck to death.
Mr. Buck committed a terrible crime and deserves to be punished, but
he does not deserve to be sentenced to death because of the color of his skin.
That's why I started a petition on calling on Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson to allow Duane Buck a resentencing hearing so he can serve a sentence based on his crime and not his race. Click here to sign my petition now.
Three years after Mr. Buck's trial, the Texas Attorney General actually promised
that he'd get a new, fair sentencing hearing. This was along with six other men who
were sentenced unfairly because of similar testimonies in their own trials.
Those six other men have received their hearings, but not Mr. Buck.
I started my petition in the hopes that District Attorney Anderson will act to make
sure that our justice system is not tainted by unconstitutional considerations of
race -- and that begins by having a new, color-blind sentencing hearing for Duane
Please click here to sign my petition now, calling on District Attorney Mike Anderson to grant Duane Buck a resentencing hearing.
Thank you.
Linda Geffin
Senior Assistant County Attorney
Houston, Texas
Sign My Petition

Address: · 216 W 104th St., #130 · New York, NY 10025

But then we are discussing Texas government.

And last but not least, the Earth we all need to live.  People need jobs, no question.  If our Federal Government gave green energy startup companies the subsidies it gives big oil there would Be more Jobs and we could Lead the world instead of waiting to buy alternative fuels from India, China, or Brazil.

Big Oil has used every trick in the book to stop images of last week’s devastating
Exxon tar sands spill from leaking out -- but a few courageous investigators have
managed to sneak photos out anyway.
If enough of us chip in $3 or more, we can
plaster the DC Metro with the leaked images and make sure State Department employees
deciding the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline see
 what’s really at stake when they make their decision this month.
Please Donate

Last week, an Exxon pipeline ruptured and
an entire neighborhood was blanketed in thick, toxic tar sands crude.
But no major media outlets have been able to cover the story in-depth, because Exxon
has used every trick up its sleeve to keep its environmental catastrophe out of the
Exxon convinced the FAA to institute a no-fly zone
 overhead to stop information from leaking out,
threatened a reporter with arrest
, and is accused of
paying off local law enforcement
 to harass independent investigators.
The oil industry is deeply invested in preventing coverage of the leak. It knows
that in these images, it has a PR disaster on its hands. If the public sees them,
Big Oil is worried we will connect the dots between these spills and the proposed
Keystone XL
 pipeline that’s up for approval right now. If approved, the pipeline would traverse
thousands of miles of backyards and watershed,
carrying millions of gallons of the very same tar sands crude
 that spilled last week.
Oil executives are lying awake at night,
worrying that people will see the powerful images
 leaking out of Mayflower, Arkansas -- of crude-soaked backyards and men in hazmat
suits power washing tar sands into storm drains --
and turn against the Keystone XL pipeline for good.
Let’s make sure Big Oil’s grand plan backfires, by
getting those leaked images in front of the very people who Big Oil is most worried
will see them -- State Department employees
 who could stop the Keystone XL pipeline from even happening.
Can you chip in $3 to plaster leaked images of the Exxon disaster all over the Washington Metro station used by State Department employees? The ads will make it impossible to forget the real danger of pipelines while they’re deciding the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline.
There remains one way to stop the Keystone XL,
 and regular State Department employees are key to the strategy. If we can get the
State Department to
 reject the northern tier of the pipeline due to its devastating environmental impact
, then the northern tier will never be built, carbon emissions could be reduced,
we could prevent the “game over for the climate” predicted by a NASA scientist, and
communities along the path of the pipeline will be saved from experiencing what Mayflower
residents are living with today.
Right now, the State Department is
inundated with comments from people across the country as it contemplates approving
or rejecting the KXL pipeline
. These tens of thousands of comments are being reviewed by mid-level State Department
officials, who have heard over and over the dangers this pipeline poses -- including
the near inevitability of a massive oil spill in a backyard or watershed. But what
we could show
 the awful impact of a tar sands spill
Imagine these State Department officials getting off the subway at the Foggy Bottom
subway stop, just down the road from their office.
The first thing they see before heading up to work
, and the last thing they see leaving the office at night,
are images of the Mayflower disaster
, lakes coated in tar sands, and a community laid to waste, looking like a post-apocalyptic
disaster zone.
If we can
blanket the Metro station by the State Department with these images that Exxon has
worked so hard to suppress
, then when it’s time to make that critical decision on whether to move forward with
KXL or leave it in the dust,
the first thing that will come to mind for employees are the images of the devastation
 that tar sands leaks will create across the entire path of the KXL pipeline.
Click here to chip in $3, or whatever you can afford, to make sure the State Department employees deciding KXL’s fate have all the information about what the inevitable tar sands pipeline leaks really look like.
Exxon’s obfuscation and evasion is hardly a surprise. Indeed,
it’s all part of Big Oil’s tried and true playbook for spills like this
. Every time one of these spills happens, the oil company’s PR team shifts into high
gear, evading questions about everything from the quantity of oil spilled to the
impact on the environment to the potential health effects experienced by communities
years after the cleanup is “complete”.
Over the decades of experience with spills -- including
four other oil spills in North America in the past two weeks alone
 -- Big Oil has gotten very, very good at making sure people don’t connect the dots
between each spill and each new pipeline project. But we’re getting better too. Independent
investigators have
snuck past Exxon’s hired guards and flown through the no-fly zone
, and they are leaking out jarring images of the spill and its consequences.
One thing that’s clear from investigators’ reports: The entire
community is in chaos
 -- dozens of people have been evacuated to hotels for the foreseeable future, and
hundreds of people just outside the evacuation zone report experiencing vomiting,
dizziness, burning throats and the
persistent stench of tar sands
. The heavy crude is being
power-washed off driveways and into the storm drains
, ultimately pooling in wetlands critical to local wildlife during mating season.
Exxon has played the game very, very well. Just days after the Mayflower spill,
Exxon received an award for its "comprehensive commitment to safety excellence"
 from the National Safety Council. Exxon's clean image comes from covering up the
horrific realities of spills like this -- but we're going to blast its PR machine
wide open by bringing pictures of the spill to the last place that Exxon wants them
to be seen: right in front of State Department employees deciding the Keystone XL
Let’s get the images of the Arkansas tar sands spill in front of the bureaucrats deciding the fate of communities in the path of KXL. If we’re successful, we could save those communities from suffering like Mayflower is now.
The fight against KXL has been led by many brave allies -- from Native American and
First Nations allies, to a wide range of environmental groups. It’s also involved
individual people like Julia Trigg Crawford, who members contributed
$50,000 to so she could fight a legal battle against Big Oil’s shady maneuvering
to build the KXL across her land without her permission.
It’s taken all of us together to delay the pipeline this long
, make it a huge issue in the media, and give us a real fighting shot at stopping
it for good.
We’ve now seen the danger we face by using fossil fuel to power our lives. We’ve
seen the reality of transporting toxic crude across thousands of miles of our backyards.
we now know the future we have to look forward to again and again if the State Department
allows the Keystone XL pipeline to go through as planned
. So let’s make sure State Department employees see the reality of these spills before
they make a decision that’ll affect our planet’s entire future.
Thanks for standing up against the Keystone XL,
Kaytee, Taren, Angus and the rest of us
 SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations
accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
You can follow us on
, and like us on
Was this email forwarded to you?
Click here
 to add yourself to SumOfUs. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What the Body Says

What the Body Says

Just before Christmas I was rushing to get everything done.  I had a fight with the 45 MPH wind over whether the storm door was going to open or not and fell.  I had to do gentle stretching, taking muscle relaxers and codeine for about a month.

  Then a friend let the dog roll in something disgusting and brought him home.  I almost hurled so had to give him a bath. In the process of lifting his 48 flailing pounds into the tub,  I pulled a muscle associated with ribs and it was hard to breathe, lay down comfortably, or move easily for three weeks.

In March I caught a nasty stomach virus which put me out of commission for most of a week.  I hadn't been that ill in some time and had forgotten how Bad it feels.

I have been working nonstop, chopping sod so I can move the whole damned garden, or sewing every spare moment.  I used to be able to dig with a space and rip Bermuda grass out of the soil, saving the dirt for the garden, for three to five hours at a time.  Now after about two hours I get tired, go in and clean up to do housework and sew.  Yesterday I was cleaning the tray to the canary's cage in the bathtub and leaned wrong, somehow, pulling that same muscle associated with ribs again.

Last night as I struggled to find a way to lay down which hurt least, I remembered what a friend said after my first fall back in Dec. 2012.  "Seems like the universe is telling you to slow down, doesn't it?"

Last night I Vowed to slow down.  It doesn't matter what I Want to do or think I Should get done.  What matters is, my body Cannot do what it used to do.  I Must slow down and things will get done when and if they get done.

I would be happy working at my sewing, creating unique things for dolls, purchasing items made by people with disabilities from around the world and selling them, reading and writing.

If the garden had been put in the right place Last year, I would certainly plant it.  But foolishly agreeing with a young first time gardener that she'd be here to help with the work this year, I let her set it up, with my contribution of work and money, in too shaded a spot.  I figured she would learn from the experience.  WRONG!  She is now a long distance trucker and if I want to grow food to eat and share, the whole damned thing has to be done Again!  And I am Tired of being hurt!  So, maybe I'll just buy another set of black plastic contractor bags and kill out the grass in another spot, seeding the previous spot, once the good dirt we bought  has been removed, with fescue or some other hardy grass.  For that matter, the Bermuda grass will probably fill it in before long.  My body is Definitely saying Slow Down!  And I will, though I feel sad about it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Politics and Personal

An ExxonMobil pipeline spewed tens of thousands of barrels of tar sands oil last
, covering an Arkansas town with toxic crude. Now it's refusing to share information
that could protect the people affected.
Tell ExxonMobil to release all the information about the spill.
Sign the petition

This past weekend, an ExxonMobil pipeline carrying nearly 100,000 barrels of toxic
tar sands crude spewed into Mayflower, Arkansas.
Yards are flooded in black crude, a river of toxic oil flows down the street
, and the nearby fishing lake is covered in black grease. Families have been evacuated,
nobody knows what the dangers to the community are
, or even how much oil has been spilled. Why? Because Exxon’s not talking.
Let’s hold
ExxonMobil accountable for this spill by demanding it release all the information
on this spill
 -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- while the images of play sets and driveways
overrun with crude oil are still in the public eye.
Exxon: We want to know the truth.
Tell ExxonMobil to release information about the tens of thousands barrels of crude spilled in Arkansas.
ExxonMobil is controlling the no-fly zone over the spill site
 that the federal government put in place to keep news helicopters from capturing
images of the disaster. ExxonMobil is being so secretive because it wants people
to believe that pipelines like this are perfectly safe and pose no threat to people
or the planet. But this
catastrophe in Arkansas foreshadows a future reality for
 anyone who lives along the thousands of miles of pipeline being considered for approval
by the U.S. government.
Right now, ExxonMobil and other oil companies are
lobbying furiously for the Keystone XL
, a massive pipeline stretching across the North America that will
transport enough toxic tar to be "game over" for the planet.
 If approved, the Keystone XL will be carrying even more of the same hard-to-clean-up
toxic crude that spilled in Arkansas.
The last thing ExxonMobil and its ilk want is to tell us the truth about its dirty
business while legislators are making such a high-stakes decision on the Keystone
XL. It knows that
if we can use this spill in Arkansas to show the world the reality of these pipelines,
we may be able to stop the Keystone XL in its tracks.
 And it is especially vulnerable to public pressure right now, since images of backyards
covered in its tar sands crude are leaking out and going viral on Facebook.
Tell ExxonMobil to release all the information it has on the massive pipeline spill.
Together, we can expose the reality for people in the path of the crude spill, help
show the public that the pipelines that ExxonMobil and other major companies haven't
started construction on yet are unsafe too, and hopefully
stop future pipelines in their tracks entirely.
Thanks for all you do,
Angus, Kaytee, and the team at
More Information:
Exxon Mobil pipeline leaks ‘a few thousand’ barrels of crude oil in Arkansas.
 Washington Post. March 31st, 2013
Exxon controls skies over Arkansas oil spill.
 Salon. April 4th, 2013.
 SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations
accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
You can follow us on
, and like us on
Was this email forwarded to you?
Click here
 to add yourself to SumOfUs.

I would want to know the health risks my family was exposed to!  Tar sands oil is Nasty stuff.

Trigger Warning:  If you have been sexually abused the following may distress you.  But we Need action.
The following concerns a rappper who has a single out glorifying drug use and his rape of a woman. 

More than 70,000 people have signed the petition asking Reebok to drop their endorsement
deal with Rick Ross, but they haven't responded.
If we all call them today and demand that they stop promoting rape and fire Rick
Ross, we'll send them a message that they can't ignore.
Can you call?
Reebok Headquarters - 781-401-5000
click here
Click Here

Reebok still thinks that rape sells shoes. More than 70,000 UltraViolet members have
signed the petition demanding they end their endorsement deal with Rick Ross, who
raps about drugging and raping on his new single.
 They’ve been called out in the press all week--including in the Associated Press,
Entertainment Weekly, and New York City's Hot 97 hip hop radio station.
Every day that Reebok remains silent is another day that they send a message that
raping a woman is not just okay, but even cool.
But with all the press coverage, we know they’re feeling the heat. And today, UltraViolet
members and our partners, including NOW NYC, are delivering the petition with all
70,000 signatures to Reebok's flagship store in New York City.
Dozens of protesters wearing athletic gear will be there to protest Reebok's Rick
Ross endorsement, and major media outlets, including the
New York Daily News
, will be covering it.
Now, we need to show them that people all over the country are still outraged and
that the bad publicity won't stop until they fire Rick Ross.
 If we can flood their corporate office with phone calls today, we'll show them that
ignoring this problem isn't going to make it go away.
Can you call Reebok and tell them to stop promoting rape and drop Rick Ross--otherwise
you won't be buying Reeboks anymore?
Here's where to call:
Reebok Headquarters - 781-401-5000
please report your call here
, so we can track our progress together.
Reebok's Rick Ross endorsement isn’t just offensive, it's dangerous. His lyrics aren't
vague--he clearly and proudly brags that he drugged and raped a woman who was not
capable of consent.
By rewarding Ross with a lucrative endorsement deal, Reebok is promoting rape culture
and glorifying rape.
 This is a dangerous message to send the boys and young men that Reebok markets to.
Rick Ross has been called out for his lyrics in publications ranging from
Ebony4 to the Washington Post,5
 and Reebok has been taking heat on Twitter all week. Even celebrities like legendary
actress Pam Grier
6 and rapper Talib Kweli7
 are speaking out, so we know Reebok's feeling the pressure.
But Reebok doesn’t just market to young men--they also have a major marketing effort
aimed at women consumers.
If we can show them that their Rick Ross endorsement is turning customers--both men
and women--away from their products, they'll have to rethink their marketing strategy
and fire Ross.
 Please call today and tell Reebok to stop promoting rape and drop Rick Ross.
Thanks for speaking out,
Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Malinda and Karin, the Ultraviolet team
Rick Ross Thinks Rape Is a Punchline
, Ebony, March 26, 2013
Rapper Rick Ross Explains Lyrics On 'U.O.E.N.O.'
, NPR, April 1, 2013
Rick Ross Responds to Date-Rape Lyric Controversy, Petition Launched Demanding Reebok Drop Rapper as Spokesman
, Entertainment Weekly, March 29, 2013
, Hot 97, March 29, 2013
Rick Ross Thinks Rape Is a Punchline
, Ebony, March 26, 2013
4. Ibid.
Bigger than Rick Ross: an industry that glorifies rape and drug culture
, Washington Post, March 29, 2103
Pam Grier on Twitter
, March 28, 2013
Talib Kweli Calls Rick Ross 'A Misguided 40-Year-Old'
, Vibe, April 3, 2013
Reebok Women
 on Facebook
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Copy of email sent to my Buddhist group or Sangha.

Dear Sangha,
I have been very deeply saddened over the years about Buddhist monks and other Buddhists
participating in war against Sri Lanka's Tamil people.  With Burmeses government
complicity it seems that Buddhist people in that country are engaging in violence
against a minority people.
I know this situation is more complex than it looks.  The government of Myanmar is
still committing violence against Buddhist citizens as well.  Also, many people are
being forced from their lands to make room for investors from other countries.
I cannot say what I would do if the lives of my children were endangered by immediate
threats from a government.  But I do think it is reasonable to ask that this violence
be investigated.  Many Muslem and Buddhist people have in the past co-existed without
violence against one another.  I pray this situation will return.
----- Original Message -----
Rachel, U.S. Campaign for Burma
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 8:37 AM
 Demand Obama investigate the Burmese government's role in violence & impunity!
Demand Obama investigate the Burmese government's role in violence & impunity!
Dear Teresa,
Tell President Obama that we demand an international investigation into the Burmese government's role in the escalating violence against minority Muslims.
The recent
 in central Burma
has displaced
12,000 people and left
over 40 people dead. Police officers failed to control the mobs and in
some cases
 the violence. The most sacred responsibility of a state is to protect its people.
But the failure of public authorities to intervene in the extreme anti-Muslim violence
in Meiktila township, Mandalay Division that erupted on March 20th demonstrates the
government's continuing complicity in violence against not only the Rohingya, but
also the Kachin and the
 mine protestors.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Human R
ights in Burma
 reports of direct government involvement in acts of violence. He also reported many
incidents "where the military, police and other civilian law enforcement forces have
been standing by while atrocities have been committed before their very eyes." But
instead of investigating government complicity, President Thein Sein
 to use military force to stop the violence. President Thein Sein's willingness to
employ force is ironic in light of his systematic unwillingness to pursue justice
and accountability for those already implicated in unjust actions against people
across Burma.
The Burmese government rarely sees value in restraint and is predisposed to use
 violence to control violence - a tactic that results in further impunity and injustice,
which in turn fuels more violence. Impunity and shameless disrespect for the rule
of law should no longer be tolerated by the international community. In order to
attain peace, people in Burma need justice and accountability from their government,
not imposed states of emergency and threats of military force.
Take action and ask President Obama to push for justice and accountability in Burma.
USCB's joint
Letter to President Obama regarding his trip to Burma
, along with earlier Special Rapporteur's
, predicted that the crisis in Arakan
 State would spread across Burma if the international community did not pressure
the Burmese government to pursue justice and accountability. Indeed, President Obama
sent the wrong message when he lifted the US investment ban a mere twelve hours after
President Thein Sein said that the
"only solution"
 to the Rohingya crisis is to deport the Rohingya and/or put them all into camps.
latest victims
 of the government's failure to recognize the rule of law are 13 boys who died when
anti-Muslim actors in Rangoon set ablaze a Muslim school. Instead of immediately
condemning the attack and pursuing justice, authorities at first intentionally and
 the fire to an electrical accident.
Please join with us in demanding that President Obama calls for an international investigation into the Burmese government's complicity in escalating violence against minority Muslims, Kachin, and protestors.
 Like ourselves, the people of Burma deserve justice and accountability.
In solidarity,
Rachel Wagley, USCB

Personal. At the end of March I was Fortunate enough to be able to buy some lamb.  This doesn't happen every year.  I had a fun time cooking for my sister and her boy friend.  It is also true that lamb, and lamb stew, spicy and hot, was something Ann and I shared as a special treat.  I still miss her when something nice or funny happens, and I miss her help with gardening, (which she loved) too.

On a much less important level, I miss fry bread to dip into the stew.  But white flour and grease are helping to kill Native people, so I don't make it anymore.

April is a hard month.  Once again, the Mo. State Legislature is talking about throwing poor children and blind people of my income group Off of the Medicaid roles.  They Could Expand Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act, (Obama Care) but don't trust the Feds. To pay for the expansion as promised.  So they're cutting the budget as usual, by cutting the poor.

I need to pay for seeds and get the garden ready, and "" is supposed to launch later this month.

It's hard not to feel depressed when I open up my mailbox and find emails like the above.

I voted in a recent local election and learned that, 1.  My absentee ballot had to be in by 7:00 P.M. on election day.  It used to be midnight.  So I gave my healthcare aide, who probably Needs Medicaid, time to drop it off at the courthouse.  It was rejected because she wasn't a first degree blood relative.  I did not know about this rule either.  I was told when I called that the county couldn't be held responsible if someone messed with my ballot.  This Assumes that a relative wouldn't do such a thing to a person who might need an absentee ballot for reasons of disability.  Bit Assumption, I think.

From now on I will mail the ballot in as I have in the past.  Anyone can take it to the Post Office for me. 

My checks were sent back to the supplier by the Post Office, I don't know why, as they were addressed correctly.

All of these are minor annoyances when compared to losing Medicaid.  Or when compared to the issues above.  But there is a lot to do in April.

When I sew I listen to audio books.  I Finally found a copy of "I Rigoberta Menchu" done by a wonderful organization which worked for twenty years to make available to print disabled people books by:  women of color, the LBGTQ community, and accepted articles by people like me in their newsletter.  But the reading is painful and heavy.  The local library (which brings audio and print books as needed to people who can't get there from here) brought Salmon Rushdie's new book, about his life during the fatwa against him.

When I first tried to read "The Satanic Verses" I quickly learned that I was too ignorant of the cultures and religions involved to  understand it well.  But with the author's explanation of the book in his newest work, I might try again.

This newest book, too, is hard going.  Time for some fluff?  Problem is, both of these books must be returned quickly to their libraries or origin.

Time to take a walk outside on this lovely day!  That always helps.