Archive for November, 2011

Dumpster fruits and vegetables

Dumpster fruits and vegetables by Crane-Station on flickr, taken in the Spring.

African Grey Parrot

African Grey Parrot Nikko by CraneStation on flickr.

I am fascinated with all things social engineering from the 1950s, and especially the 1960s, because I am at an age where I remember the exact playground I was standing on when I learned that Bobby was killed.

Today I looked up the Instructional Video titled Dining Together-1950, and then I did a little editing, to bring that video up-to-date.

This is a story of a holiday and home living in a declining economy. Helping make ready a celebration Diving dumpsters is part of the fun life for many people today. Especially for one of the nicest days of the year – Thanksgiving. There is happiness in the air, and the smell of turkey thankfulness and gratitude, even though people are struggling. Mmmmm, that does look good. Thanksgiving is a day for the best of everything. And friends our parrot invited to dinner.

We remember the pilgrims had only rough tables on which to serve the first Thanksgiving feast,
yet it was shared with friendy indians [not quite sure what to say here]

It is good to share a holiday with friends dumpster with other poor people. And it is good to have friends a parrot who likes to come to live in our home. Good manners parrots make people happy, and good [parrot] table manners make eating together a happy time. We are thankful for our home [and our parrot] and our happy meal. We are glad we have a good parrot table manners and know whereat to do with a napkin, how to use scrape the bird feathers off of a spoon first in and eating soup easily, without noise.

It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey [or a delicious ham steak with glaze from a dumpster]. We know mother knows how to cook it, and father knows how to carve it. It is fine to sit-up and watch it being carved. You would know this is a holiday plate.

At the first Thanksgiving dinner the indians didn’t eat turkey with a fork, but it is easy to learn to use one the right way to take small mouthfuls. And how to butter and eat bread in small bites so we never have to talk with food in our mouth. It is good to have learned to chew with lips closed and know when to take a drink. Good table manners keep our meals happy meals and those who eat with us happy. Learning to use a knife the right way takes practice, yet each time we do it becomes easier.

What to do? with a knife and fork even when finished using them is part of eating well. Holidays are days to Be glad, and all good manners are ways to make people glad. We like to offer help, or to help when asked. It is nice to talk with others, and to know when to wait and listen. We are glad to eat neatly without … [?] Holidays are fun. And it is good to be part of a celebration, it is fine to have learned so much, and to have so much in hour home to make holiday celebrations happy. Now could you wish for more? The End.

We are so blessed today to have had a delicious and nutritious meal. Our scavenged meal was a wonderful gift for which we are so very fortunate and thankful. We wish that there was a way, so that every person could eat a delicious and nutritious meal on this day.

Depression/The Blues

Depression/The Blues by Joana Roja under Creative Commons on flickr.

The holiday season is generally a time to rejoice, be thankful and count the many blessings, large and small, that we have. For many people who suffer from depression, however, the joyful season can actually magnify feelings of emptiness and decreased self-worth.

For people who may be experiencing depression, I would like to share some suggestions.

A Mayo Clinic article.

Do the best you can. (perfection is not attainable)
Give yourself the gift of positive self talk (don’t repeat negative message from the past that are not true)
Truly believe in yourself, including your goodness and self-worth
Accept that life is not perfect. Injustices and suffering occur. It is normal at times to feel angry and to grieve. Get help on how to manage these feelings.

The CDC reports a 6.6% rate of depression among adults. Co-existing conditions that can exacerbate depression include: obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma [2,3], arthritis, and cancer [3]) and among those with unhealthy behaviors (e.g., smoking, physical inactivity, and binge drinking [2])

On the last note in the paragraph above, binge drinking will not drown any sorrows. All of the sorrows will still be present, with a hangover to boot. Alcohol is a depressant. Speaking from experience I would rather be sad and sober and dealing with the transient sadness, than sick and ashamed because of uncontrolled drinking.

That said, Psychology Today has ten suggestions:

1. Keep your expectations balanced.

2. Don’t try to do too much.

3. Don’t isolate.

4. Don’t overspend.

5. It’s appropriate to mourn if you’re separated from or have lost loved ones.

6. Many people suffer depression due to a lack of sunlight because of shorter days and bad weather.

7. Watch your diet and remember to exercise.

8. Be aware of the Post Holiday Syndrome.

9. Plan ahead.

10. Learn forgiveness and acceptance.

If you tend toward a baseline of depression (like I do), The Psychology Today article elaborates on the ten suggestions; click on the link if you are interested in learning more. If you are a person who has experienced tragedy or loss during the holiday season, please reach out to someone. I find that if the ‘someone’ is anonymous, it is easier for me to open up. The bottom line is, no one is alone.

What works for me is to identify and be thankful for the many blessings that I do have, and then bundle up in some warm clothing and go for a peaceful walk in the woods. I also find music to be very helpful.

I would like to wish everyone a peaceful and gratifying holiday.

PS: When all else fails you can try some Sad, Sad Larry:

This article is written by Masoninblue and published full text here with permission.

Author’s note: This diary is part of the Frog Gravy legal case and will be posted in three parts beginning today and ending on Thursday, which is Thanksgiving. In this part I explain basic pretrial legal procedure that is common in criminal cases. Specifically, I explain suppression hearings, which most of you probably have heard about, but might not know some of the finer details. This information will be helpful to understanding the incredibly bizarre events that followed; events that will be the subject of the next two parts. Now, get comfortable, buckle your sealtbelt, and get ready for your ride down the rabbit hole.

If you have not already done so, I recommend you watch the embedded video, in which a 16-year-old white girl is ordered to stand trial for murder as a 300-pound black man, to get yourself in the proper frame of mind. And, now here is The Curious Case of the Three Suppression Orders

The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. The exclusionary rule prohibits the prosecution from using evidence against a defendant, if that evidence was seized by police in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

A suppression hearing is a pretrial hearing in which a defendant asks the court to suppress evidence that the prosecution intends to introduce at trial against the defendant. If the court grants the request and orders the evidence suppressed, the prosecution is prohibited from introducing it or referring to it during the trial.

Suppression hearings are held before trial to resolve legal issues relating to the admissibility of evidence allegedly seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment, because in many cases, especially drug cases, the prosecution would be unable to try the case, if the court were to order the evidence suppressed. If that were to happen, the prosecution would be forced to dismiss the case and there would be no need for a trial.

Normally, a court issues a written order granting or denying the motion to suppress and sets forth findings of fact and conclusions of law that support the order. Findings of fact, as the term implies, are findings regarding what happened. They are the facts of the case upon which the conclusions of law must be based.

For example, let us suppose that Archie testified that a traffic light was green and Gillian testified that it was red. Whether the light was green or red would be a disputed fact and the judge would have to find as fact one or the other. If both witnesses agreed that the light was red, that would be an undisputed fact and the judge would have to find as fact that the light was red.

Normally, there is only one suppression order and it is entered before the scheduled trial date. Usually, the prevailing party drafts the order and provides opposing counsel with a copy. If opposing counsel agrees to the proposed order, the trial court will enter it as an agreed order without a hearing, unless the judge wants to change something. When that happens, the judge will schedule a hearing to finalize the order. The prosecutor, defense counsel, and the defendant appear for the hearing, hash out their differences, and the judge makes a final ruling. In other words, the process is transparent and ex parte contact with the judge (by one lawyer without the other present) is prohibited.

When suppression orders are appealed, the appellate courts review challenged findings of fact to determine if they are “clearly erroneous.” That is, unsupported by any evidence. Appellate courts uniformly refuse to second-guess a trial court’s challenged finding of fact, as long as there is some evidence to support it, even if the appellate judges might personally disagree with the trial court. Their reluctance to second-guess the trial court is based on the well-founded notion that they are not in as good a position to judge witness credibility since they were not present when the witness testified.

Conclusions of law are reviewed de novo. That is, they are reviewed anew without any deference to the trial court.

Crane-Station’s lawyer filed a motion, which is a formal request, to suppress all of the evidence seized by police after she was pulled over while driving down the highway and arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Her lawyer argued for suppression on the grounds that:

1. The stop violated the Fourth Amendment because police pulled her over without a reasonable suspicion to believe that she had committed, was committing, or was about to commit a crime; and even if they did have a reasonable suspicion;

2. The subsequent arrest violated the Fourth Amendment because police lacked probable cause to believe that she had committed a crime.
The suppression hearing took place on November 27, 2006. Only one witness testified, Deputy Eddie McGuire of the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department.

We have already recounted his testimony in some detail and will not repeat it here, except to briefly summarize and note that there were no disputed facts, since he was the only witness who testified. Therefore, it should have been relatively easy for a sentient being, especially an educated judge who took an oath to uphold the Constitution and impartially follow the law, to come up with a set of findings of fact that were supported by the evidence.

Alas, it was not to be.

To be continued

Pepper Spray Can Cop vs. Mt. Rushmore

photo by electricspacegirl on flickr under creative commons

by eyeliam under Creative Commons on flickr:



My versions. Inspired by:

from this:

Also by eyeliam:



My versions. Inspired by:

from this:

by bigiain under Creative Commons on flickr:

Lt John Pike - The Pepper Spraying Cop

Lt John Pike – The Pepper Spraying Cop

To ensure the safety of that child, I’m going to have to pepper spray him!

from under creative commons on flickr:

Davis Occupy pepper spray cop Lt. John Pike now a meme (imagery may offend)

Davis Occupy pepper spray cop Lt. John Pike now a meme (imagery may offend)

We must keep our communities safe! Don’t mess around. Build your own backyard Justice Shed today:

If you drive past the Letty Owings Center in Northeast Portland, Oregon, you may mistake the house for any other vintage neighborhood home. However, for the women and their babies residing there, the home is the beginning of a new life.

Co-founded in 1989 by retired English teacher Letty Owings and tireless advocate Nancy Anderson, the Letty Owings Center is a treatment center that is unique, in providing both long-term addiction treatment and living skills to pregnant women and women with children.

Mothers in the community mentor mothers at the center. Mothers in the center learn to cook, plan meals, clean house, and engage the children in age-appropriate play. Here is the website.

As of this writing, the Letty Owings Center has changed so many lives for the better that the second generation, the children, are themselves becoming advocates. Take a look at this:

Central City Concern employees work

collaboratively with inter and intra agency partners on the provision
of services needed in all life domains to promote recovery and self sufficiency, and ensuring services are
delivered in accordance to organizational policies and procedures, ASAM criteria, ISSRS, county, state
and federal contract requirements, and other pertinent standards.

We need more programs such as this. Co-founder Nancy Anderson, who has dedicated her life to changing lives, has made a substantial difference directly in the lives of more than 1000 women who would otherwise be locked up or dead, and also in the lives of the children, who would likely become motherless, or themselves addicted, incarcerated or dead.

Letty Owings, who is now elderly, voices concern about the center. Funding cuts may mean that the center will someday be closed. If that happens, many of the clients, totally without resources, may likely be reincarcerated, separated from their children or worse. Letty states, “How would this save any money?”

Put simply, the Central City Concern Letty Owings Center is a home of hope and documented mutli-generational success. It is a wonderful alternative to incarceration and cyclic multi-generational incarceration that is so known to be fraught with recidivism and tragedy.

If you live in the Portland area, please take a moment to learn more about the Central City Concern Letty Owings Center and join six-year-old Zoe in supporting it.

note: Letty Owings is my mother. She is not only larger in life to me. She has been a mother and teacher to many. Letty grew up in poverty, on a farm in Missouri. At age 12, she left home to pursue her education. She is the most amazing teacher I have ever had in my life.

She taught at Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego for many years, the best years of my life. To this day we reminisce. The world was different back then.

Rose, heart balloons and crane

Rose and heart balloons by Crane-Station on flickr. Jail art: colored pencil, ink and magazine ink.

In the end of The Red Balloon, the balloons all come to the boy, and take him away.

note: Frog gravy is a nonfiction incarceration account.

KCIW PeWee Valley women’s prison, mid-Spring, 2009.

What beauty! The sky is filled with hot air balloons. A festival of piloted spinnakers with magnificent colors and patterns. A parade in the air!

We are locked down. Because we contaminate the air. Razor wire and balloons will never mix.

There, in the air, are colorful symbols of freedom, of innocence lost, of escape. From maddness and war and inhumanity and pain.

So close I can read the letters, of corporate-sponsored inflated symbols. Symbols of a life I once had but lost. Of failure I can almost retrieve and take back.

I step into the store of my mind and say, “Put this on my insanity tab.”

Comes the reply: “Your credit is good with us.”

I pay and enjoy the ride in the Red Balloon.