New Z Column:
"DayStream" & ever changing reactions to mainstream reality. What begins with our morning coffee, like a fresh flowing stream, may not be the same tomorrow or the next time you step into it. You can go downstream to see what went, if you missed it:
February 19, 2015 (heard via NPR)
This day in 1942 marks the anniversary of Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066
American's of Japanese descent suffered this cruel injustice with a silent dignity and honor - gaman. It is good to see many exhibits around the country re-connecting us with this history so that we may all reconnect and reflect on this shameful episode in in U.S. history.
Sacramento has its own exhibit at The California Museum at 10th & 'O' Streets. The Z suggests all of us check it out.
But that, alone, isn't really good enough. The Z believes we won't really be on track to heal these or other wounds of injustice inflicted on all kinds of victims of injustice — wrongful imprisonment, lynching, mob violence, state-sponsored cruelty, and more — indignities which a few have suffered on behalf of us all. That moment, I believe, will be marked by the creation of a national monument honoring all who have suffered such injustices.
You editor proposed such a monument in a Change.org Petition that might stand for our acknowledgement and determination that such events will never be repeated. In an earlier proposal I also considered that such a monument might serve as a place where every school child would have to visit, see and reflect upon as a routine requirement for high school graduation.
February 17/18, 2015 (Sac Bee , A4/A6)
CA Cities Waiting to Die
...or at least get themselves seriously mangled, burned and littered with bodies and toxic goo. That's the reality of all this "emergency preparation", "safer tank cars", "Federal Transportation regulation" smoke-screen, back room palaver with the oil and railroad industries over "safety" for shipments of Bakken crude and other dangerous, volatile materials through our communities.
It's going to happen here, BIG TIME. And the 'reality' of the Sac Bee and our politicians is to bury the matter, as if the W.Va. explosion was unrelated to California schemes for putting us all in harm's way. We dare say, if it had been a story about a fire in a trash can in the parking lot of the Kings Arena, it would have been frontpage news with a huge photo. Count on it.
That's their reality, the one they keep shoving into our heads as the only possible reality Well, The Sacramento Z gave them another reality four months ago. One which would give our communities 100% safety without stopping the trains. You can read in our November frontpage 'OIL TRAINS' story
Has The Z heard a word in response from any of our public officials, or the Bee since we printed the story and unmasked the charade our "safety-talk" really is? No, not a word. Not a a single acknowledgement from a public official, not a line of print in the Bee or elsewhere. Obviously, their conversation doesn't have room, time (or profit?) from a real solution-set to oil train catastrophes. They're much too busy counting campaign contributions and advertising revenues.
February 16,2015 (Atlantic Monthly via FB)
THE WAR RPTS:
This in from the Atlantic Monthly:
"WHAT ISIS REALLY WANTS"
One of the better perspectives, in our opinion, on the script the current Theater of Pain is writing for us. We differ a little on a small inferrential point, that ISIS extremists aren't "psychopaths". They are. Perverse, psycho-sexually twisted and disturbed individuals. The fact they they are embedded in 7th century religious barbarism doesn't let them off that hook. The Atlantic article is still a first-class example of where the truth doesn't quite fit into our politically correct boxes of how we'd like to portray it. Excellent and educative. Check it out.
February 12,2015 (Bee, A1)
There you go again
Looks like we're toe up to doing it again—war drums and all that jazz.
The bad news is: Well we don't have to go over that again. It's all too familiar.
The good news is: It is a necessary and justified undertaking, granted that the western powers have long prepared the ground in which such barbaric impulses could foment and take root. The good news is that a decidely swift and surgical response to remove the likes of isis/boko*... and their ilk will remove a few very dangerous, sociopathic and psycho-sexually disturbed individuals. Whatever the argument, there is no place for them on this planet.
The worst news is: Red Slider is posting another one of his poems. "War Memorial" We're not happy about that either, but it does speak directly to the subject - eds.
DayStream -New & Hot:
November 23, 2014
Wringing in the Homeless
"what community, what society could be so deranged, so degenerate, as to deny its own kind a place to stand, sit or even lay down on the earth?"
The Sacramento News & Review gave a pretty fair account of the latest attempt by the city to pretend to care about the homeless. Reporter Brooke Purves ( SN&R, 11/20/14) covered most of the bases, including mention of some of the goodies included in this season's "homeless relocation" package that appear to be both sensitive and useful. But, at the end of the day, it is a load of crap, and most of us know that. This city doesn't care a whit about the homeless and its policies and enforcements are little more than "move along" sticks meant to rid us of "noxious litter", because that is all the homeless are to those in control. Officially, there are the usual hand-wringing speeches to be made of course, especially when someone like Oprah shines a national
Our Not-So-Grand Juries
Where the sun don't shine—
Lessons from Ferguson:
If events of the past weeks serve only as a flashpoint in the wars of racist authority and the passions of a besieged people demanding to be free, then one of the most important and powerful instruments we have for the preservation of our democracy, one designed to insure it remains in the hands of the people, is likely to be lost entirely.
For the past century our grand jury system has been in a phase of devolution, some of its considerable powers neglected or forgotten, others deliberately compromised or removed until only a shell remains of its once formidable assurance that justice in America would be fair and equal, and all Americans protected from its excesses.
Currently, most adult Americans, even those... generally well-informed about their government and its activities, know little about grand juries.
— Susan Brenner
It should come as no surprise that a grand jury can only be as knowledgeable about its own purposes and powers as the ordinary citizens in the local community from which its membership is drawn. The layperson character of a grand jury was historically intended to make this body as generally responsive to the community as it can be, aware of local issues of greatest concern and need of attention, and charged with keeping their district as safe and accommodating for all its citizens as is humanly possible.
If the people of our communities are ignorant about the roles, functions and historical purposes of the grand jury, as the quote above by professor Susan Brenner suggests in her paper published in the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law in 1995 (" "The Voice Of The Community"), then it follows that grand juries will be equally ignorant about the nature of their responsibilities and how to discharge them. Such ignorance has serious consequences for every American.
It also means that grand juries will have a tendency to rely upon others to tell them how to go about doing their job. The remedy, however, is not to become more dependent on others for that information , but rather to become more educated and less ignorant.
As the events of the past few weeks in Ferguson and New York reveal, the focus has been almost entirely on specifics such as racism, police conduct, and to a lesser extent the manipulations of prosecutors' offices and their managment of grand juries.
Little attention has been given, during these days of shame, to the grand jury system itself. Yet a public more educated on the subject would have quickly realized that the grand juries themselves, had they been vigorous, independent and fully empowered institutions, not only might have responded more properly in deciding the matters put before them, but might have prevented them from happening in the first place.
For example, grand juries have long possessed the power to act on their own initiative. There is nothing to prevent them from working proactively in examining the sources of conflict and discord in their communities. Nor do they require the permission of prosecutors or other public officials to do so. Yet two of the primary instruments for doing this, presentment and investigative initiative, have fallen to neglect or been constrained by prosecutors who would much prefer grand juries be passive entities, acting only in ways preferred and prescribed by their own offices.
in United States v Williams [SC 1992], "the Williams court held that the grand jury is a distinct entity, an institution not "assigned...to any of the branches described in the first three Articles' of the United States Constitution."
That observation by the Supreme court is absolutely critical to the success of our grand jury system. For grand juries are not only responsible for looking after the health and safety of our communities, but equally charged with insuring that the insitutions of government do not themselves become the source of threats to the well-being of the communities they are sworn to protect.
This proposal was narrowly drawn for a national monument to the victims of lynching in deference to the fact that people generally find it easier to concentrate on one idea at a time. Nothing in it, however, prevents expanding the concept to include many other groups who also suffered injustice, whether by mob mentality or officially sanctioned violence and abuses of power. — red slider
You may support this proposal by signing and sharing our Monument Petition
To the President of the United States, The White House, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. President,
I have been inspired to suggest this undertaking after viewing a work by the great American sculptor, Isamu Noguchi. In his 1934 statue of a lynched man, titled "Death", the work so enobled its subject victim at the same time it exposed the tragedy of its theme that I could not help but realize this wound still lies deep in the American psyche and calls for repair. As a Japanese-American, Mr. Noguchi himself suffered numerous forms of intolerance, not least the racial slurs and slander which his first exhibition of the work at the Rose Marie Harriman Galleries in 1935 called forth from a critic with devastating impact.
I believe, Mr. President, it would be fitting in this first year of the new millennia, that we begin by putting behind us this grim reminder of an age when people succumbed to such expressions of intolerance and violent policy. But, I think we can only do so if we forthrightly acknowledge the victims and their families, many of whom will forever remain nameless, of this cruel moment of shame. Lynching is a wound which still cries to be healed. I propose our government help us to do so by soliciting a fitting national monument and grounds that will at last give this invisible group of America's 'disappeared' a visible sign of acknowledgement and a place where their memory may come home to rest.
Red Slider, poet.