Ruben Um Nyobè was murdered in Cameroon in 1958 on this day.
I highly recommend listening to Blick Bassy’s album ‘1958’ to commemorate this event. He has an amazing, plangent, energetic, enfolding kinda voice, a suitable memorial.
Ruben Um Nyobè was murdered in Cameroon in 1958 on this day.
I highly recommend listening to Blick Bassy’s album ‘1958’ to commemorate this event. He has an amazing, plangent, energetic, enfolding kinda voice, a suitable memorial.
So my doc pronounced herself pleased at my progress and wants to see me in another two weeks. The long acting seems to be working well and apart from a few hours of nausea and the whirlies at the start, no side effects – no dizziness when I stand, for example. Still no appointment for the dementia base line, which is annoying for reasons that I shall not publicly relate.
I was getting migraine symptoms a couple of days back but they’ve lifted. Also on the new formulation I’m sleeping like WHOA that was another 8 hours, holy crap. I’m likin’ that.
Jeffrey Epstein the accused child rapist has apparently killed himself via hanging in prison. I simply cannot believe that someone as wealthy, well-connected and narcissistic as Mr. Epstein would do that, so I have to assume that one of his wealthy ‘friends’ made it happen. After all, he can implicate an heir to the throne of England in his rapey business; there are plenty of people who’d be pleased by this turn of events, who could pay for it to happen.
Of course the autopsy won’t show anything but what needs to be seen. This is absolutely horrible news for justice. And FUCK the people running that jail.
FUCK ICE FOR ARRESTING THOSE 600 PEOPLE IN MISSISSIPPI. The man who owns the plant deliberately hired illegals and then had ICE make them disappear when they sued him for wage fraud! So school kids lose their parents so a fucking rich asshole doesn’t have to pay the wages he owes.
DO I REALLY WANT TO GO TO THE US IN JANUARY.
I’m a white tourist, it would be foolish to think there’s a really big problem for me.
Katie says (she bought me brekky this am) that narcs kill themselves all the time, it’s called ‘the last decision’.
The world is now awash in land acknowledgments. The Aussie one at the end of many TV productions sounds like it went through a glass-cutter:
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
See, in my conception of the local Indigenous practices, they don’t own land. They’re in a permanent (in planetary existence timescales) and precious relationship with their land and their language and their people, and to call the land part of the relationship ownership is everything that’s wrong with colonialism in a single sentence.
I see that acknowledgment as shown above and I feel a gaping lack.
(However I urge you to look up how the word ‘country’ is used in English by many Indigenous people living in Australia, because it’s beautiful and resonant.)
As of 2019, this is my land acknowledgement:
I acknowledge that nothing short of complete restitution of Indigenous lands across this Earth will do.
I acknowledge that reparations for the land, war crimes, genocide, language extinction; theft, despoliation and destruction of great works of art and cultural centred-ness; as well as yet unknown-to-science damages to Indigenous people caused by sequelae from these events, are due in full measure, and I hate that capitalism is going to make that reparation virtually impossible even if it completely fails, as I hope it does.
I will hold up Indigenous rights and ask Indigenous persons no rude questions, tell no rude lies about them, and may study but co-opt none of their spiritual or artistic practices for praise or pay.
I will pay Indigenous editors to read my fiction, some of which is already published, but which needs to be vetted by someone without my biases, so that it may be changed, and changed again if need be; the future comes on fast.
This land, the land I live on, belongs in the human care of Coast Salish people, nations among whom made their own agreements, under their own systems of justice and negotiation. I hope to keep living here, after it’s been released from colonial bondage and theirs in the sense that they may be in their traditional relationship with this land, without colonial interference. I hope to live here when the sign at the city limits comes down and there are no longer any artificial colonial barriers between any of the lands here.
I’m a settler here. My descendants will most likely be settlers. I will never go through the farce of ‘owning’ land under the stamp of the Province of British Columbia again or indeed anywhere in what is now called Canada, and I encourage my children to do likewise. I am unemployed and cannot pay the rent I owe to any local nation, but I acknowledge that I owe it and may be called upon to pay it some other way.
It’s a .38 special for me, thanks. Fits my hand and my accuracy is good. Menfolks had fun too. 65 bucks poorer, I emerged.
Today I have a 30 year old child. WITAF???
Dallas. Black mens’ names. Grief and rage.
This is what I’m doing about it.
A man has been arrested for entering Qatar with (and candidly, this is really hard to believe) in excess of 12 kilos of bacon packed in his ass. I’m not going to link to the site, but it shows a picture of the customs officials standing in front of the packaged bacon like it was a pile of seized cocaine. Also, it looks like 4 kilos of bacon to me, but what do I know.
He was selected for special inspection because he appeared ‘nervous and sweaty’. I am amazed he wasn’t ‘ruptured and lifeless’.
In other news the World Health Organization advises you to avoid any bacon which might make it onto the Qatari black market.
Apart from a bunch of stuff healthwise that I’m not going to talk about because EW GROSS, yesterday was awesome. I wrote 1200 words, watched a bunch of world class soccer, drank beer and stayed the hell out of the sun.
Today Jeff and I are going to do a schlep, and then I’m going to lie around waiting for Mike to take me to the beach so I can at least get in one Wreck Day this year. Alex had HIS first Wreck Day yesterday and Katie nearly spavined herself on the stairs but he loved it and no sun burn. Yay. Hope it’s kiteable, Mike always likes that.
Still no word on when C. (Mike’s buddy) can come home from the US. She already had a work visa here, Las Migras in this country are underfunded fools. A buddy has been waiting 3 years to bring his wife from the Phillippines! Cazart.
The court decisions in the States are blowing up my social media feeds. More work remains. I’m not going to colourize my facebook picture; I’ve got all the goddamned ribbons, medals, encomia and thank you letters I want from the work I have done for equality and if people don’t know where I stand they don’t care enough to pay attention. Also, I’m not an American and we’ve been able to marry like that for a decade now.
One of Joni Mitchell’s former squeezes has let slip that the aneurysm has blown out her ability to talk. I figure if she recovers enough to hold a paint brush she’ll be fine. She’ll certainly be getting the best care.
Back to making lists and getting dressed. I am going to have another good day, I can feel it. Tomorrow, when I’m sore from the stairs, that’s something else.
A few recommendations of my own:
Read the 94 recommendations.
Which of these recommendations can you action in your own life?
In your church?
At your workplace?
In your buying habits?
Do you know where the nearest Friendship Centre is? Locate it.
Do you know what languages the First Nations in your area speak?
If you have internet access, research and follow a First Nations activist on social media.
Visit your local library and borrow and read books by First Nations authors which can be fiction, poetry, memoir, non-fiction, academic.
Donate money to a First Nations cause.
Read the Indian Act.
If you have access, watch a youtube video google “youtube testimony residential schools”.
Go to a powwow. Dance your ass off.
Purchase and display art by aboriginal artists.
Examine your speech for racist terms and expunge them.
Listen to First Nations music.
Learn how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in a local First Nations language.
Support First Nations people by attending peaceful protests.
Learn the traditional territorial boundaries of First Nations people.
Read about the laws, traditions and spiritual beliefs of First Nations people in your area.
If you have school aged children, ensure that they learn age appropriate materials about the residential schools.
I took extensive notes.
Christine Lowe opened things up by saying that in healthy communities we acknowledge the harm that comes to victims of violence, and that victimes need to be helped with their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. Strong relationships make social justice possible.
She made a joke about the podium. When they were finalizing planning they realized they had no podium, and they had no money to buy or rent one. So they called the police. The Victoria PD supplied the podium.
This donation by the police meant that we were looking at their logo the entire time, but it also meant that it was a place where cops and SJWs could work together, and that made me happy.
There was a territorial acknowledgement, and Elder May made a blessing that set the tone for the day. A little rambling, heart-piercingly beautiful, compassionate. When she sang I started weeping. The contrast of her speaking voice and her singing voice was so acute it made me sit up. Her song was wordless and filled with yearning for justice and peace.
Then the Deputy Minister for Justiceland Wanamaker got up and gave a canned f*cking empty speech with about as much inflection and heart as one gets from a Grade 7 kid giving her first address. As a libertarian-inflected feminist, I was enraged to the point I nearly booed when she tried to make political hay out of taking 5 million dollars from civil forfeiture – forgot we had that in Canada, right? right? and earmarking it for prevention of violence against women. Really don’t like that. I could go on at great length about why I was pissed, but instead I stink eyed her until she left. She may be a king hell accomplished career bureaucrat, and we should be thankful that somebody of her dignity spoke to us, but I came away wanting to coach her on public speaking and liberty both. Please don’t think that the 8 Domestic Violence Units which have been set up across BC with the money are bad things. I don’t. One thing I will credit her with is saying ‘all genders’; this is phrasing I wish more politicians would adopt, since it doesn’t other trans* and intersex people, or people who are distinctly possessing identifiable bits but are not gender normative, and it includes two-spirited.
Frank Elsner. Chief of Police in Victoria since January 2014. Man, I wish, you have NO IDEA HOW I WISH, that brO could have been in the auditorium when he spoke. He worked the room, greeting and speaking with many, many people. Fine, a cop can have good social skills, in fact let’s hope she does. As he was introduced, it was obvious that he is highly intelligent and has multiple degrees from real universities. He’s been chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which means he’s been exposed to best (and worst) practices across the planet, and let’s face it the last decade has seen some impressive advances in community policing.
He said, “Why talk about community health in terms of policing?” Essentially good policing is part of what makes a healthy community. As a cop he was appalled to arrest three generations of criminals. The boys weren’t born bad; intervention and options are required to turn lives around.
He mandated a different approach to street prostitution. Instead of throwing them in the jug, a group of women were streamed toward social workers. Picture their astonishment when the first problem most of them had was that they had no picture ID. Childcare, job training and housing were also issues. Address them, and women can get off the street. He made it sound simple, but the key is collaboration among a large group of people across half a dozen Ministries and social agencies. When you get seven women out of the life, you are reducing human suffering in them, their children and their grandchildren, is the point.
Then he said the thing that would have made brO happiest. He said the police must be accountable to the people they serve for everything they do, even when it hurts the police institutionally and personally. The reactive model of policing is no longer tenable; police have to earn and show respect in the community they serve.
He also mentioned that cops need to be better educated and trained (yay, maybe that one dingus will finally learn how to give evidence in traffic court) and that their own mental health MUST be factored into the equation; police need like all people to be treated with respect for the sad duties they take on, on behalf of all of us, and that if we just keep expecting cops to suck it up they will snap. So he wants to look after the well being of the people in his department and not just expect them to stand tall and be stoic.
My applause at the end of his talk was very genuinely enthusiastic, as was Paul’s.
Then Dr. Martin Broken Leg got up.
1. Dude’s funny.
2. Dude’s a survivor.
3. Dude’s hella smart.
With effortless humour, fluency, clarity and logic, he walked us through what it’s like to live in Aboriginal culture, both sides of the border (he is Lakota, adopted into the Raven clan on Haida Gwaii and man you shoulda seen his button decorated black vest with the most beeeyootiful appliquéd silver raven on the back, I admired it in person.)
One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids went to residential schools until 94 when the last one closed. Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids have gone into care since the mid fifties.
The ACE studies (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can provide some light.
If a child is exposed to addictions, abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and neglect, you will get social impairment, health risks, disease, disability and early death.
There are other sources of trauma to FN kids. Federal laws, provincial policies, residential schools, the institutions of the churches, poverty, sub standard housing, poor nutrition and lack of healthy practices, lower opportunities for education and employment.
Oppression comes in many forms. Social microaggressions, the way people look at you and talk to you and make assumptions about you. Systems don’t make place for you and your cultural folkways. The professional people who are supposed to help you don’t necessarily respect you and don’t expect you to improve; and then of course there’s internalized racism and the numbness that comes when you realize that you’re worthless; you don’t need to see 1200 missing women on tv to realize that there’s not a lot of respect for FN women, let alone men.
He recommended Rupert Ross’s Criminal Conduct and Colonialization and Dr. Paulette Regan’s Unsettling the Settler Within.
Traumatized people show it. They show it by abusing their children, committing suicide, legal trouble and incarceration, early death, violence and addictions.
If you’re working with traumatized people the question to ask is not What’s Wrong with You!? it’s What Happened to You?
In 2012 the Gladue decision brought into sentencing the ability of the judge to inquire as to childhood trauma before jail time.
Subsequently a 19 year old aboriginal man was arrested for assaulting (I remember this story) a Coast Mountain bus driver. At sentencing it was learned that he had been in 28 foster homes between 4 and 18. He didn’t get jail time, he got counselling, and the howls from white people who said BUT HE ISN’T BEING PUNISHED were very loud. And pointless. Jail wouldn’t help.
FN people need to:
See your own and your inherited pain (he called it the dark shadow that lies across every aspect of aboriginal life.)
Know and express your own suffering.
Self-critique and move toward self-improvement (away from victimhood toward self-actualization)
Reclaim aboriginal spirtuality, community and culture ESPECIALLY LANGUAGE (my comment because it is a road map back to the way the land spoke to your ancestors.)
Non-aboriginal people need to work on:
Self-reflection, to lose their white innocence (I had no idea FN children were experimented on, I had no idea that three percent of the residential school kids never came home, I had no idea that the Indian Act didn’t let FN women vote until the 1960s.)
Accept the historical violence, from the Beothuk to Akwesasne.
Admit the full equality of Aboriginal people and ways. That’s the tough one. We’ve been acculturated to believe that European ways are superior, and it ain’t necessarily so.
Remember that the 1948 UN definition of genocide COVERS THE SITUATION OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS.
Broken Leg then talked about the four stages of forgiveness, as outlined in Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving, which he wrote with his daughter Mpho.
Young people, to be resilient, must be valued enough by their culture to be taught
Then I went to a breakout session on suicide prevention in young people “This do in memory of me” for Kaitlin Schmidt, whose plaque we put up in the Gazebo of Remembrance on Thursday night.
Almost 4000 people kill themselves in Canada every year. A lot of them are young people. Accidents involving brain injury, suicide and cancer are one two three for cause of death in folks under 25.
It’s okay to ask somebody if they are thinking of harming themselves or killing themselves, but there is a big but.
You have to say that you have seen a change in behaviour first. This marks you as somebody observant and caring. If they are suicidal but deny it you have marked yourself as a safe person to talk to later. (I find it unlikely that I will ever be that blue again but I know EXACTLY who among my friends I can go to, and that in itself is wonderful.) If they aren’t suicidal they can explain why they’ve been wearing nothing but sweat pants for two weeks and are giving away all their stuff.
Since kids have smart phones, there’s been a lot of work on apps that help kids manage their moods. Links below.
I found it very interesting that the presenter, Renata Hindle, said that in two hundred 80 minute presentations in BC to Grade 8 and Grade 10 kids, precisely one class wouldn’t go with the guided meditation, and that dozens of kids have told her they wished they knew about it earlier. Funnily enough, we teach meditation at a number of points in the UU religious education curriculum. Cause we be all about raising resilient kids yo.
Then there was a very challenging talk on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Men process sexual trauma differently than women.
Gender role conditioning to not seek help, to suck it up, to be tough and stoic, mean that help is not sought and the trauma plays out in all aspects of the survivor’s life.
They don’t have the social permission of women to ask for help, to admit to needing it.
When they do seek help, there is a deluge of stuffed-down emotions which occurs at the commencement of the counselling.
Societal and internalized homophobia (offenders normally being men) can cloud the survivor’s ability to see their own victimization. Womanizing is often a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.
Often, they can fear that they will prey on children (this was brilliantly depicted, as an aside, as part of Bunchy’s story in Showtime’s Ray Donovan.)
Something that never occurred to me was that as boys arrive at puberty, they have the ability to be physically aroused by damned near anything. This is used by perps to show to the boy that he ‘must have enjoyed it.’ ew ew ew.
5 – 6% of boys who’ve been molested go on to offend.
BUT 95% of offenders were abused.
Those are horrible statistics. And we’re doing a shitty job as a culture of helping men who’ve been sexually abused as children. I am going to investigate the group helping men here in town.
As an aside, she said that male survivors are very likely to espouse conspiracy theories, because their essential feeling of safety has been destroyed. They have seen the shadowy forces of evil and want everybody to be as frightened as they once were.
This made me realize that someone close to me is probably a survivor. I have had to come to a personal adjustment of my thinking patterns.
Sobriety is virtually impossible for survivors who haven’t had counselling for the trauma.
Survivors get in fights, they are medicated heavily, many have difficulty keeping sober and binge or drink steadily, they dress in a fashion that tells people ‘KEEP THE **** AWAY FROM ME”, they don’t come to family events and cause scenes or sit in the corner and drink, and they are job avoidant or can’t keep a job due to ongoing issues with disrespect and authority.
I didn’t take notes.
Reena Virk’s parents made a presentation about what it was like, and how the reconciliation with one of their daughter’s killers went.
I cried a lot.
Then they started talking about the Bible, which was less moving, and Paul and I anthem sprinted to the ferry, where we made the 5 o’clock. There was a circular rainbow in Active Pass, and I saw a fur seal.
I am very sore today because merely standing triggers my pelvis pain to the point where I drag both my feet. Also, Paul very efficiently tricked me into mowing the back lawn, so I was really, really sore by the time I was done. 2.0 hours on the cpap – keep forgetting to put the mask back on.
I wrote this in my notebook over a rather lavishly irrigated lunch yesterday. I went to the rally, which was triggered by this. As is my custom, I did a square search count of the crowd. It was never fewer than a hundred people and swelled to 150 around 11 am. Knowing that we were gathered in 20 cities across Canada (including Saint John’s NFLD, where it was ass freezing cold and blowing snow) made me very proud. And sore, as I mentioned. I am going to pick up another one of those mini-chairs from Lee Valley, I simply cannot stand for an hour and a half without problems.
So I was angry when I wrote this. I am still angry, but it’s the quiet, smoldering kind.
April 2, unceded Coastal Salish land.
Canada is the kind of country where a sex trade worker deserves to die for being a sex trade worker. If she’s indigenous, and ‘somehow’ ends up with an 11 inch stab wound in her vagina, a vagina which is paraded through the courtroom in a specimen jar in a grotesque parody of a ceremonial object, she had it coming. Somehow the fact that a misogynistic piece of sh*t named Bradley Barton murdered her in a drunken stupor gets dropped from the equation, and he left the trial a free man.
I’ve been angry at the Canada ‘justice’ system before. Lots. But I don’t normally get off my ass to protest.
Cindy Gladue did not deserve to die.
She didn’t get justice.
Her children and her family and loved ones did not get justice.
I am enraged that Cindy Gladue and her 1200 and counting indigenous sisters are being treated by the justice ‘shitstem’ as entirely disposable human refuse. The UN has asked Canada to investigate. Harper says it isn’t even on his radar.
F*CK THIS RACIST SEXIST ENTIRELY HORSESH*T SYSTEM.
It’s gotta come down.
Let it come down.
With unity of purpose and steel in our veins, let us BRING IT DOWN.
There were 150 of us in front of the Courthouse yesterday. We were FN and white and mixed and ‘other’. We were men and women and children. We wept and drummed and sang and screamed our disappointment and anger that indigenous lives are so entirely devoid of justice, or even its prospect or possibility.
Justice for Cindy Gladue.
Hi, friends, and some relatives. This is what I did today. (Thursday November 29th)
Up Burnaby Mountain to The Protest
Just go! I thought as I tried to find information about where to go, how much walking, what to expect. Just show support by arriving … somewhere. But Burnaby Mountain covers a large area, and if I went up it the way I knew, up to SFU, the only satisfaction I might have would be that I tried. Not much support for the protest against Kinder Morgan.
After much trial and error I found a map. Park near Curtis and Ayrshire, and just head UP, and UP, on a paved walkway, across Burnaby Mountain Parkway, and UP a little further to an information tent where you are told where the action is.
I saw Karl Perrin [of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver] at the tent. I had heard he was arrested the day before. Was he out already?
The drilling had moved, and the gathering was now down a very steep deeply muddy path, slippery, winding, intersected by thick roots and unexpected holes. People said it took 10 to 15 minutes to get to the gathering. It took me at least 30 minutes of hanging on to branches, tree trunks, people. The demographic was young. A guy tore a dead tree limb from the ground and handed it to me for a walking stick. Everyone wanted to help.
I could hear drumming: the First Nation presence. Speakers. Singing of an adaptation of We Shall Overcome.
Sliding, slipping, holding on, I reached a place where I could see the yellow ribbon. To go past that meant arrest. Gentle arrest it seemed. The police were friendly.
Someone was speaking. She was telling of her arrest the day before. The police carried her to a van. Solidarity Notes had been singing, and some of them were arrested at the same time. There was singing in the van. Singing again in the room they were taken to, and yet again in individual cells. Kraft dinner was provided. She signed a statement. I gather that at that point they were released, with trial was set for January 12th. That was it. I could have done that! But what would the arrest mean? Would one then be a “person of interest”? Well, if I could interpret it as interest in not having oil pipelines, in avoiding oil, that would be all right with me.
I headed back up the trail. Home to wash my mud soaked shoes and pants. Home to warm up.
PLEASE NOTE COPYRIGHT FOR THE ABOVE POST BELONGS TO MARILYN MEDEN
Sexism takedown. Funny military story.
Poop is Coming – to infinity and beyond. Ad astra per fecula!
Mindblowing investigation into how our nervous system could help with infectious disease diagnosis.
Paul and Katie are going to come get me to go …. stroller shopping. That money the fOlks gave me for just such a purpose will now be used….
I am feeling much better today. I have apparently been shortlisted for a job, and am just waiting to hear back. Coconut oil is a healing balm.
Also, I made cake!
This interview was assembled by Lorraine Murphy, an internet colleague.