Andy Jones, Poet Laureate of Davis, told the City Council just what they could do with their MRAP toy that just happened to turn up in the Davis police department's inventory. Go read and listen to his poem, then return and read our story:
then come back here and find out (below) what they did instead of taking his good advice.
"The blood jet is poetry, there is no stopping it." — Sylvia Plath
Pepper spray anyone?
Flowers for MRAP
[The Davis MRAP is well out of reach now, safely barned in Woodland where it can do no harm, right? Our thanks to Andy Jones for showing us that poetry can slug it out with the benches at City Hall as much as in trenches and on the beaches of Occupy. —- eds.]
Not to worry Davis City Council -- your tank is not tanked.
Fresh from caving to public demand, the Davis Police Chief and City Council need not fear losing their capability to bust up student path-blocking, insurgent quad uprisings or Earth Day threats to public safety.
It appears the good folks of nearby Woodland stand ready to step into the breach that threatened to leave Davis unprotected from a major military assault on its undefended shores. Officials there have generously offered the much maligned MRAP a good home and can assure the people of Davis, "We are ready to assist you with our newly acquired MRAP and promise to keep it safe, fueled and ready to go at a moment's notice."
"For a hefty fee and a single phone call, the Woodland Intercity Threat Abatement Force (ITAF) can be mustered at a moment's notice and be on your campus doorstep in less than fifteen minutes."
"Yes, we know," they added, "But considering the general markup on military arms sales, we think you'll find our hourly rental fees for an MRAP to be quite reasonable*."
[*batteries and driver sold separately.]
SAINT or SINNER?
Benny Bufano, "St. Francis of the Guns"
The Canonization of a Myth
Tempest cum teapot brewing over canonizaion of Junipero Serra.
The Z doesn't much care what the Catholic Church wishes to do inside its own enclaves and with its own processes. None of anybody else's business as far as we can tell. However, since there is a bit of gloss over the actuality of life under the padres and their string of misson beads over California, this might be a good time to mention it.
Does any one recall getting more than a paragraph or two in their social studies textbooks on the founding the California missions? Even then, only a quick image of smiling children and cherub'd padres watching their flocks. I don't. But it wasn't until I delved into the matter that I discovered the ommissions were of quite deliberate.
In the two poems being offered in this Z edition, one is about a truly heroic member of the expedition that founding missions of Alta Californio. Doesn anyone know the name "Sebastian Tarabal"? It was well-established in the official Spanish records of the 19th c. as one of the most important figures in the exploration of the west and southwest United states.
Then, by order of successive Spanish governor's, that name was erased from the record. Strange, since we ought to know that name. Tarabal was almost singly responsible for opening the now familiar trails to the west and the early settlement of California by its southern routes and, in particular the establishment of the early Spanish missions.
In good omoiyari fashion, we thought it appropriate to include two songs that recall those times and people of the historic west and southwest in a little more realistic and less mythologized way than the one church might prefer.
Again, we have no quarrel with the church and what myths chooses chooses to embrace. But history, well that seems due a little more respect than halos and hossannas.
February 6,2015 (Hawai'i Herald)
Dishonoring a house of honor.
"There are a few bad apples purporting to represent veterans, active military and the legitimate organizations they belong to. They are nothing more than self-appointed censors and thugs who will stop at nothing to prevent speech, publication, or exhibit of anything which does not agree with their own distorted views of history. They only dishonor our veterans, active military and the legitimate organizations that serve them.
They also give the impression to others that it is the whole of American veterans and service men and women who support such censorship and would prohibit contrary points of view, undo our Constitutional protections and overthrow the very freedoms so many fought and died to protect.
The following announcement from the Japanese Kyodo News, was reprinted along with my commentary in the Hawai'i Herald on February 6th. It is just one instance of others mistakenly assuming that it is all veterans and military organizations that support such censorship and a preference of Americans to get incomplete and distorted views of their own history.
I wrote the following commentary to correct that mistaken impression in this one instance. The task of actually rooting out and exposing this handfull of rogue ex-military and non-military vigilantes remains one that our veterans and service people must do for themselves.
It's an in-house matter and needs to be taken care of there. I do have confidence, sooner or later, that will be done. People who have paid such a high price for gaining honor don't easily yield it when they become fully aware that they are being dishonored.
Hawai'i Herald, Jan 16, 2015:
[Kyodo News Announcement 2-6-15:]
PLANS FOR D.C. HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI EXHIBIT PROMPT COMMENT
Commentary Special reprinted from The Hawai'i Herald: [our commentary follows this reprint of the Kyodo announcement - ed.]
[Hawai'i Herald] Editor's note: The following item from Kyodo News Service, "Hiroshima, Nagasaki Plan A-Bomb Exhibition in Washington," was published in the Jan. 16, 2015, edition of the Herald. It caught the eye of Red Slider in Sacramento, Calif., who shares his perspective on the planned exhibition in this feedback commentary. Slider is editor and steward of the online publication,
The Sacramento Z Newspaper (www.saczee.com).
HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI PLAN A-BOMB EXHIBITION IN WASHINGTON
HIROSHIMA - The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki hope to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of their cities in World War II by holding an exhibition in Washington, D.C.
If realized, the exhibit will be the first of its kind in 20 years in the U.S. Officials said the cities are considering introducing the voices of atomic bomb survivors and displaying belongings of the victims.
Since 1995, the two cities have cosponsored Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb exhibitions in 15 countries, including such nuclear powers as the United States, Russia and Britain, and other nations that are actively trying to abolish nuclear weapons.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are hoping to hold the exhibit sometime between summer and autumn at American University in Washington, D.C., which hosted the 1995 exhibition. The exhibition was to have been held at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum featuring materials related to the atomic bombings. However, the venue was canceled due to strong opposition from U.S. war veterans.
Former Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka, who spoke at the 1995 exhibit, said feelings have changed under President Barack Obama, who has advocated for a world free of nuclear weapons.
"Although the justification of the atomic bombings probably persists in the United States, we have to convey (the survivors') long-lasting sufferings and criminality of using nuclear weapons," said Hiraoka, who is now 87 years old.
The U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and on Nagasaki on Aug. 9 in 1945.
Commentary by Red Slider,
The Sacramento Z,
To: Hawai'i Herald, Karleen Chinen, editor / 2-16-15:
Dear Hawai'i Herald,
Thank you so much for including the announcement about plans by the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to hold a major exhibit in Washington, D.C., to educate the public about the tragic belief that the world can continue to try to settle arguments with other nations through violence and war - especially nuclear war. It is long overdue that such realities, terrible as they are, be brought out from the shadows and into the light of day. Without knowing that side of the story and what it really means to be a victim of such precipitous moments in history, there can be no way to end that history. It continues to fester and recreates itself sometime in the future.
It was understandable if those who suffered the consequences of those bombings were stunned and shocked into silence. The hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) responded to the horror in the only way they could - with self-appointed shame and silence. In the face of what could not be changed, gaman (enduring hardship in silence) was their only option, the only possible way that dignity and honor could be preserved. They had been punished for something. And though it was not of their making, anything other than silent assent was unthinkable. They would bear their suffering with dignity. At least that much was possible.
But gaman is only honorable for as long as nothing can be changed, as long as speaking out cannot alter the course of what has been. That is no longer the case. There is something of such monumental importance in the events of August 1945 that silence can only aid and abet. What must be avoided at all costs - a repeat of those days of horror - is precisely what is at stake. And so gaman must give way to something else, something more compelling and more obligating.
(continued on page 5...)
THIS IS AFTER TWO COL SECTION