Comment: Reforms Leading to a High Reduction in Maine´s SC-Population

Francis sent a comment to Haunted by Memories`Ghosts: Good News:

“After about a year and a half, Maine’s Department of Corrections Commissioner, Joseph Ponte, ushered in reforms leading to a 70 percent reduction in Maine’s solitary confinement population.  He has justified such changes by explaining that using solitary confinement is less effective at keeping both prisoners and prison personnel safe.  Not only have the reforms worked, the changes have led to increased savings.  Maine’s success is now a model for states around the country. “

Thank You, Francis; I love news like this!

Thank You for Viewing some of my Blogs!

This blog got about 5,900 views in 2012.

Humansinshadow

 

This blog got about 5,900 views in 2012.

inprisonedWoman

 

This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012

Incaseofinnocence

Thank You and with hope that I could give some informations You can use for bring some more light unto Humans in Shadow, Inprisoned Women, in Case of Innocence and Children in prison.

Wishing You all a good New Year, not a “wonderful”, but a year full of power to serve others.

Annamaria

Effort to Return Hopi Artifacts Stirs Questions

http://www.sott.net/article/255351-Effort-to-return-Hopi-artifacts-stirs-questions

 

Effort to return Hopi artifacts stirs questions

Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic Sat, 29 Dec 2012 15:16 CST ©

The Arizona Republic Dozens of arrowheads were among the more than 600 items recovered by archaeologists from an ancient Sinagua grave near Flagstaff, Ariz.; those sacred items and remains of a man nicknamed “the Magician” reportedly were repatriated to the Hopi Tribe in secret proceedings. Phoenix — On an unknown date at an unidentified location, the U.S. government turned over a collection of undisclosed Sinagua artifacts to anonymous members of the Hopi Tribe for unspecified disposition. The mysterious proceedings this fall involved an archaeological treasure trove and a substantial expenditure of tax dollars. Yet virtually everything about it remains secret under a federal law known as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA. The 1990 law enables Indian tribes to reclaim ancestral remains and sacred objects that were unearthed from native burial sites by scientists or looters. Along with supplemental statutes, it also authorizes U.S. agencies to conceal virtually all details of those transactions. The recent Hopi event involved archaeological digs from Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff. When The Arizona Republic sought a description of the repatriated items and an accounting of federal money spent, the government repeatedly answered, “Our intent is to honor the tribe’s request, made in consultation, not to disclose information.” The secrecy and phrasing hint at an underlying controversy that has festered since the repatriation act was adopted. For Native Americans, the repatriation of remains and funerary objects is a matter of justice – the return of sacred possessions that were dug up, defiled and displayed for decades in violation of tribal beliefs and human rights. To this day, activists are pushing to expand the law in the name of privacy, religious freedom and tribal sovereignty. Conversely, for some archaeologists and anthropologists, the loss of ancient artifacts represents a scientific sacrilege – disposal of objects that may be irreplaceable in understanding human history and cultures. Most researchers no longer defend the excavation of Indian burial sites, and few will publicly criticize the repatriation act because to do so would jeopardize their professional careers. But, privately, the repatriation of relics that were unearthed decades ago continues to raise questions of academic freedom, political correctness and the public’s right to know. Officials at the Museum of Northern Arizona, which housed at least some of the bones and artifacts returned to the Hopis this year, cooperated with the repatriation and declined to discuss the Sinagua collection. The non-profit museum sponsored many of the area archaeological digs years ago and remains a repository for artifacts. Kelley Hays-Gilpin, anthropology curator, said that those items were the property of the federal government and that only a fraction of the museum’s collection was lost. “It’s not like we’re getting emptied out,” she said. Still, records and sources indicate that items claimed by the Hopis included one of the most scientifically important burial subjects ever found in the Southwest – and perhaps one of the most sacred of Hopi ancestors. He is known as the Magician, and his remains were accompanied by a unique archaeological bounty. Swallower of Sticks The man was buried at a place known as the Ridge Ruin, about 20 miles outside Flagstaff, in an unremarkable house of stone and clay. He remained there, undisturbed, for 800 years. Then, in the late 1930s, John C. McGregor, an archaeologist at the Museum of Northern Arizona, uncovered the skeleton, along with more than 600 carefully placed funerary objects: ornate jewelry, baskets, cutting blades, mountain-lion teeth, shells, a pointy cap made of beads and, as a final offering, 420 arrows. McGregor found what he called “the most outstanding decorative basket that has ever been found in the Southwest,” featuring 1,500 carefully cut pieces of turquoise as well as rows of other stones and rodent teeth. Many items, such as an exotic macaw corpse, were from distant lands. Some researchers suggested that the man of about 40 was a traveling Aztec merchant, or pochteca. But Hopis who assisted and consulted McGregor said many of the objects were associated with ancient tribal skills such as shape-shifting, combating witchcraft and controlling weather or warfare. For example, they said 13 wooden pointers, laid over the remains, were used in a sort of sword-swallowing feat of magic by members of a warrior society. They called the man Moochiwimi, or Swallower of Sticks. In a 1943 article for the American Philosophical Society, McGregor wrote that the Magician comprised “the richest burial ever reported in the Southwest.” Others described it as “The King Tut of Northern Arizona.” To this day, the Magician remains a subject of research and conjecture. Michael O’Hara, a professor at Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change, wrote about him last year in a paper for the Society for American Archaeology. O’Hara disputed the theory that ceremonial items reflected wealth, suggesting instead that the interment of ritual objects helped mourners reorder their social unit after the loss of a key figure. O’Hara, who did not respond to interview requests, wrote that the Magician represents a “spectacular and wholly unique” archaeological find that provides “unparalleled insights into the social roles present in Sinagua society.” The Hopi way Even today, Hopi tribal structure is based on a network of social groups, each with specialized responsibilities, skills and secret rituals stemming from spiritual beliefs. Religious practices are considered so sacred that the secrets are not even shared among various societies. No Hopi who was contacted for this story would comment. That deep sense of privacy is exemplified in a “Protocol for Research and Publication” posted on the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office website. The protocol prohibits archaeological, anthropological or historical work – even news stories – without permission, and authorizes censorship of information deemed sensitive or thought to misrepresent the Hopi way. Twenty-two years ago, Congress adopted the repatriation act with support from most major archaeology and anthropology associations. The Heard Museum in Phoenix spearheaded recommendations. The law established a process for Native Americans to reclaim bones, burial relics and other items of “cultural patrimony” that were collected by scientists or stolen by looters. Scores of museums and federal agencies are required to create lists of remains or sacred objects and determine whether those items are affiliated with modern indigenous groups. Inventories are supposed to be published in the Federal Register. Nationwide, nearly 179,000 whole or partial corpses have been identified, with nearly 13,000 of those returned to tribes. More than two-thirds of the remains have not been linked to modern tribes. In addition, museums and federal agencies have listed about 2 million funerary or sacred objects. Roughly 176,000 of those have been turned over to tribes. Since 1996, the National NAGPRA Program has issued more than $500,000 in grants to the Hopi Tribe for repatriation. The federal program is managed by Sherry Hutt, who served for years as a Maricopa County Superior Court judge. Hutt, who also prosecuted artifact looters as an assistant U.S. attorney in Phoenix, said the law gives indigenous people a tool to regain items that were rightfully theirs. To put it in context, she said, imagine if someone wanted to dig up your parents for a new roadway: Who should decide what is done with the remains? “Really, what NAGPRA says is Native Americans are just like everybody else – no more, no less,” Hutt said. “It does not say you can’t do science. What it says is: ‘These are not your personal property.’” Destroying history? Resistance from some scientists is hardly new. In an essay published 15 years ago, Grinnell College (Iowa) anthropologist John Whittaker discussed a great divide between researchers and Native Americans. Whittaker opened with a stanza from the Indian protest song, “Here Come the Anthros,” by the late Sioux musician Floyd Red Crow Westerman: The Anthros keep on digging our sacred ceremonial sites As if there’s nothing wrong and education gives them the right. But the more they keep on digging, the less they really see, ‘Cause they got no respect, for you or for me. Whittaker offered a response, without rhymes: “He wants me to leave it alone; I want to excavate it and learn from it. He wants control to be in Indian hands; I regard it as a human heritage that belongs to all. … I am interested in his opinions about the past; he doesn’t think I have anything to say to him.” Whittaker, who declined to comment for this story, argued in his essay that science honors the dead by studying their lives and adding historical understanding to present-day cultures. He wrote that NAGPRA is “subtly racist” and “disastrous for archaeology” because it makes research politically incorrect while wiping out the chance to learn from previous finds. “The laws have resulted in the destruction by reburial of vast amounts of archaeological evidence,” he said. Other prominent researchers have made similar points in litigation against NAGPRA, arguing that ancient remains in North America go back 11,000 years or more and, in some cases, have no cultural or genetic ties with modern Indians. In a famous suit known as the Kennewick Man case, two archaeologists at the Smithsonian Institution and a University of Arizona professor were among eight plaintiffs who blocked the transfer of a 9,000-year-old skeleton to tribes in Washington state. A federal judge ruled there was no evidence tying the remains to contemporary cultures or people, so scientists were entitled to conduct research under another law, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. C. Vance Haynes Jr., a professor emeritus of anthropology and geology at the University of Arizona, said he consulted with a Hopi colleague before signing on as plaintiff in the Kennewick case. “He told me, ‘You know, Vance, we’re not all one Indian. There are a lot of us who want to know where we came from, and about our past.’” Haynes specializes in the roughly 13,000-year-old Clovis culture, among the earliest humans in North America. “NAGPRA is a very important law,” he said. “But, when it comes to sites more than 4,000 years old, we need to be able to study. … Our whole mission is to increase knowledge.” Cleone Hawkinson, an anthropologist and president of a group known as Friends of America’s Past, said federal policy discriminates in favor of Native Americans and thwarts the quest to fathom human development. “NAGPRA is a narrow law, unfairly administered,” said Hawkinson, who assisted plaintiffs in the Kennewick case. “Factual understanding of the past is distorted when a limited group is singled out as rightful ‘owners’ of all of prehistory and scientific inquiry is prohibited to evaluate their claims.” Stolen remains James Riding In, an American Indian studies scholar at Arizona State University, said indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere were victimized by grave-digging in the name of science and are only now able to let forebears rest in peace. “The dead are not resources belonging to an invading culture,” he said. “The problem is that archaeologists and anthropologists stole those remains and created those issues.” There is not a homogeneous Indian perspective on death or afterlife but scores of different beliefs, Riding In said. Some may welcome archaeological inquiry, he said, but many view the excavation and removal of corpses as taboo. Riding In said his people, the Pawnees, are among the latter: “There’s still a spirit associated with those remains. The only purpose for disturbing the dead (in Pawnee culture) is to do harm to the living through witchcraft.” Riding In, who has participated in a number of repatriation events, said bones and artifacts are usually reburied either where they were unearthed or in an ancestral homeland. He said that archaeology and anthropology sometimes help Native people learn about the past or verify sacred sites or objects but that modern science also denigrates their beliefs as fairy tales. Tribes have a right to privacy in reclaiming the ancients, regardless of tax dollars expended, Riding In and others said. “It is a sovereignty issue that allows Indians to determine what happens to their deceased. … It should be respected,” he said. Since NAGPRA was adopted, remains from more than 1,200 humans have been claimed by Arizona tribes in about 40 repatriation events. John McClelland, NAGPRA coordinator at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, said he got no official word that Hopis took possession of the Magician, but there were rumors. He added that the event apparently included additional Sinagua items that had been housed at the museum in Tucson.

McClelland said that NAGPRA is a fact of life and that most contemporary archaeologists respect the sensitivity of living people even if they regret the vanishing of scientific materials that might yield new information about their forebears. “It’s true, there is a loss,” he said. “Basically, that’s the reality these days. … The bottom line is it’s a matter of human rights and Native American rights.”

Reforms Leading to High Reduction in Maine`s SCPopulation

curi56:

Comment, important sent by e-mail from Francis:

After about a year and a half, Maine’s Department of Corrections Commissioner, Joseph Ponte, ushered in reforms leading to a 70 percent reduction in Maine’s solitary confinement population.  He has justified such changes by explaining that using solitary confinement is less effective at keeping both prisoners and prison personnel safe.  Not only have the reforms worked, the changes have led to increased savings.  Maine’s success is now a model for states around the country. 

Originally posted on Children in Prison WHY THEY ARE THERE?:

 

Cover of "Education of a Felon: A Memoir&...

Cover of Education of a Felon: A Memoir

http://solitarywatch.com/2012/12/30/voices-from-solitary-haunted-by-memorys-ghosts/#more-7485

Voices from Solitary:

Haunted by Memory’s Ghosts December 30, 2012 By Voices from Solitary Leave a Comment The following account comes from our faithful reader Alan CYA #65085. He recalls time spent, more than 40 years ago, in a juvenile jail in California–and a Christmas spent in solitary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.” — Oscar Wilde, “De Profundis,” 1897 One of the biggest ironies in my life is that after years of incarceration, I opened my business a block away from two large jails and a halfway house. Since 1987, I have worked…

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The Deep Wound of Wounded Knee

The Deep Wound of Wounded Knee.

The Deep Wound of Wounded Knee

By Johnny Barber

December 29, 2012 “Information Clearing House” – December 29th marks the 122nd anniversary of the Massacre at Wounded Knee. It is a story that remains fresh in the lives of many indigenous peoples across America. Each generation is taught to never forget.

In 1891, reviewing the history leading up to the massacre, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Thomas Morgan said,

“It is hard to overestimate the magnitude of the calamity which happened to the Sioux people by the sudden disappearance of the buffalo. The boundless range was to be abandoned for the circumscribed reservation, and abundance of plenty to be supplanted by limited and decreasing government subsistence and supplies. Under these circumstances it is not in human nature not to be discontented and restless, even turbulent and violent.”

Commissioner Morgan was not empathetic about the plight of the indigenous people. He was just stating facts. One year prior to the massacre, in Oct 1889, he issued a policy paper stating his convictions regarding the native population.
 

“The Indians must conform to “the white man’s ways,” peaceably if they will, forcibly if they must. They must adjust themselves to their environment, and conform their mode of living substantially to our civilization. This civilization may not be the best possible, but it is the best the Indians can get. They cannot escape it, and must either conform to it or be crushed by it. The tribal relations should be broken up, socialism destroyed, and the family and the autonomy of the individual substituted.”

The Wounded Knee Massacre is still commonly depicted as a “battle” that no one can be blamed for, but if blame is assigned it is always made clear that a Lakota fired the first shot. This is the justification for all that followed. A century after the murders, Congress issued an apology, expressing “deep regret” for the events on that day in 1890 when upwards of 370 men, women, and children were gunned down as they fled for their lives. But the Wounded Knee Massacre was not an anomaly, nor was it an accident. Wounded Knee is the entire history of indigenous peoples relationship with Imperialism made manifest in a single event.
 

“I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.” Black Elk.
 

The ancestors of the victims commemorate the massacre in order to honor those who have fallen and to foster healing of their still devastated communities. The ancestors of the perpetrators ignore inflicting the wound and the wound festers.
 

From Wounded Knee, where just days after the massacre a young newspaper editor named Frank Baum (later to become famous for the children’s story “The Wizard of Oz”) opined, “The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.“
 

To Vietnam, where Lyndon Johnson’s call to win hearts and minds of the civilian population was corrupted by GI’s to, “When you have them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow.”
 

To Iraq, where Madeline Albright was asked if the deaths of ½ million children during sanctions was worth it, she replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”
 

To Gaza, where Dov Weisglass said, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”
 

To Iran where a new sanctions regime is in place and the state department claims, “The sanctions are beginning to bite,” and dozens of places in between, the wound festers.
 

In each case, the power with the superior military claims that the occupied and oppressed are dangerous and threaten the very existence of the state, even as the state starves the population, restricts their every move and denies them the most basic rights under the guise of “security”.  All attempts by the “enemy” to seek peace are ignored or derided as “lies” while the theft of land and/or resources continue unabated. Each time the oppressed demand their rights or dare to strike back against their oppressors, the oppressor claims that the people are motivated by hate and seek the annihilation of the state. Negotiations are viewed as a sign of weakness and are rarely pursued unless they can be used as a tool to further oppression. The oppressors continually talk about “pursuing peace” as they systematically destroy any and all opposition.
 

We kill by starvation, we kill by denying medicine, and we kill by isolation. When that doesn’t silence dissent of the “malcontents” we do not hesitate to kill with bullets and bombs. Remember Commissioner Morgan’s words, “This civilization may not be the best possible, but it is the best they can get. They cannot escape it, and must either conform to it or be crushed by it.”
 

One day we too will be crushed by this flawed concept of civilization.
 

The Dahiya doctrine is a military strategy in which the Israeli army deliberately targets civilian infrastructure as a means of inducing suffering on the civilian population, making it so difficult to survive that fighting back or resisting occupation are no longer practical, thereby establishing deterrence. The doctrine is named after a southern suburb in Beirut with large apartment blocks. Israeli bombs flattened the entire neighborhood during the 2006 Lebanon War. But this doctrine is not a modern strategy for controlling populations. Nor is putting the people of Gaza on a “diet” new- subjugating an entire population through a combination of poverty, malnutrition, a struggle over limited resources, and violence is the American way, adopted by our closest allies, (and “the only democracy in the Middle East,” with the “most moral army in the world,”) the Israelis.
 

Dec 27th marks the 4th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Cast Lead, (the name derives from a popular Hannukah children’s song about a dreidel made from cast lead.) During this attack on Gaza, 1,417 people were killed (330 children), 4336 were wounded. 6,400 homes were destroyed. Hospitals, mosques, the power plant, and the sewage system were deliberately targeted.
 

Israel accuses Hamas of war crimes for shooting rockets without guidance systems indiscriminately into Israel. Israeli officials claim that “Hamas hides behind civilians” as a justification to bomb civilian population centers and infrastructure. Killing civilians in Gaza using precision munitions, is a war crime, no matter who is hiding behind them.

After the recent killing of 20 children in a Newtown, Connecticut grade school, President Obama, wiping tears from his eyes said,

“This is our first task — caring for our children.  It’s our first job.  If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right.  That’s how, as a society, we will be judged. And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations?“

The just completed eight-day Israeli operation against Gaza called the Pillar of Cloud (The name is derived from a Biblical passage) saw three generations of the al-Dalu family wiped out in a single bombing, including 4 children between the ages of 1 and 7 years old. The surviving son does not speak of surrender, relinquishing the families land, or disappearing. He demands justice. His tears are mixed with fury. Can he be blamed?

As the ceasefire went in to effect there was one consistent message from the people of Gaza. We are here. This is our home. We will never leave. They will have to kill every one of us.

Upon cessation of the bombing, our Congress immediately voted to replenish Israel’s bombs and munitions in order for Israel to “protect itself”. The wound festers.

In his speech the President went on to say,

“If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.” 

Wounded Knee has not disappeared. The Lakota people remain. Gaza has not disappeared. The Palestinian people remain. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia people grieve for the loss of their children. The violence wrought upon them in our name continues.  If we can take one step to save another child, we have an obligation to try.

Johnny Barber has traveled to Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza & Afghanistan to bear witness and document the suffering of people who are affected by war. www.oneBrightpearl-jb.blogspot.com

Syria Faces Humanitarian Catastrophe

Syria Faces Humanitarian Catastrophe.

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Syria Faces Humanitarian Catastrophe

By Bill Van Auken

December 29, 2012 “WSWS” –  After two years of escalating civil war, the people of Syria confront a humanitarian catastrophe, with an estimated four million people—roughly 20 percent of the population—lacking adequate food and shelter. Hundreds of thousands have left for refugee camps in neighboring countries, and as many as three million are displaced within Syria itself.

The United Nations reported Tuesday that its relief operations have been compelled to cut food rations provided to 1.5 million Syrians because of dwindling resources and rising demand.

“The humanitarian community in Syria is struggling,” said UN relief official John Ging. “People are losing hope because they just see more violence on the horizon, they just see deterioration.”

“It’s becoming more and more difficult just to do the very basic things to help people to survive,” said Ging, who is director of operations at the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Conditions have grown increasingly desperate as the Syrian winter sets in, and many families are living in tents or unheated dwellings without adequate clothing.

“As the Syrian conflict drags on, shelters are filling up, support systems are breaking down, savings are running out and violence is engulfing an increasing number of communities,” the UN news service IRIN reported. “As a result refuge is increasingly hard to find for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing violence, some of them zigzagging across the country in search of safety—often in vain.”

The crisis of Syria’s health care system, which previously was one of the most effective in the region, is especially acute. According to the World Health Organization, the fighting has partly or completely destroyed half of the country’s 88 public hospitals and 186 of its 1,919 local health care centers.

Particularly devastating has been the attack on Syria’s pharmaceutical industry, which previously met 90 percent of the country’s need for drugs. The industry is now down to barely one third of its previous production, with factories in many cases having been targeted by the Western-backed rebels for attack and looting. “Other factories are struggling to import raw materials due to sanctions imposed on Syria by Western countries,” IRIN reports.

The British daily Guardian Thursday carried a report from a correspondent in Aleppo detailing the extent of the looting, which it said “has become a way of life” for the so-called rebels. “‘Spoils’ have now become the main drive for many units as battalion commanders seek to increase their power.”

The report quoted a pharmacist who explained why he was running out of penicillin. The “rebels” had seized a pharmaceutical company’s warehouse in Aleppo and then re-sold its contents, shipping all of the drugs out of the city.

“I went to the warehouse to tell them they had no right to the medicine and that it should be given to the people and not re-sold,” the pharmacist said. “They detained me and said they would break both my legs if I ever went back.”

Basic medicines have become unavailable, and the price for drugs that are available has risen so steeply as to place them out of the reach of most of the population. The result is that people are dying from chronic conditions that could otherwise be treated.

Elizabeth Hoff, the WHO’s representative in Syria, reported that insulin is no longer available in many areas and that insulin pens that public health centers previously provided to some 40,000 diabetic children have run out, forcing them to resort to more painful and difficult methods.

Meanwhile, as a result of the fighting, access to medical care has been sharply curtailed. “Many doctors have left the country,” a recent WHO report stated, noting that “over 50 percent of the medical doctors have left Homs.”

“In Damascus, Aleppo and Homs at least 70 percent of the health providers live in rural areas and therefore frequently cannot access their work place due to irregular public transportation, blocked and unsafe roads with an increasing number of military check points, snipers and the unpredictable occurrence of street fights,” the report added.

The UN recently announced that it is launching its biggest ever fundraising drive for relief in Syria, with a target of $1.5 billion. The problem, however, is that existing appeals have raised less than half of their targets.

The United States, Britain, France and the monarchical regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar are all stepping up their aid to the rebels.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he will seek approval at an upcoming European Union meeting for a lifting of the arms embargo on Syria to allow the UK to directly arm the anti-Assad militias. While Washington has publicly claimed it is not providing weapons, it has set up a CIA station on the Turkish-Syrian border to coordinate the flow of arms from the reactionary Gulf states, the bulk of which have gone to Islamist forces, including those linked to Al Qaeda.

Washington and its allies routinely invoke supposed humanitarian and democratic concerns to justify their fomenting of a sectarian-based civil war and the devastation of Syrian society for the purpose of installing a regime more aligned with US geo-strategic interests. Yet none of them have shown any inclination to devote resources to aid the millions who have been left homeless, hungry, sick and wounded as a result of this predatory military intervention.

Copyright © 1998-2012 World Socialist Web Site

See also -  Syrian rebels sidetracked by scramble for spoils of war: Looting, feuds and divided loyalties threaten to destroy unity of fighters as war enters new phase

Originally posted on The Free:

Free Jeremy HammondOn the evening of March 5th, 2012, more than a dozen federal law-enforcement officers broke down the door of a small brick house on the southwest side of Chicago and arrested Jeremy Hammond, a 27-year-old anarchist and computer hacker. Six feet tall and lanky, dressed in a purple T-shirt and cool trousers – a signature style one of his female friends.

He’s now facing life imprisonment, under a biased Judge whose husband was one of his victims.

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Originally posted on LEARN FROM NATURE:

Chehaw

Chehaw (Photo credit: The Suss-Man (Mike))

Boy Scouts bring a positive experience of ‘boy and beast’….. Albany Herald and Children & Nature report.

Okay, so I’m a Boy Scout Leader – therefore biased! NAEEUK also commends good connections…    

A smile, a laugh, other kids and time outside enjoying activities and nature all can rate as awesome to children and their parents.

#That’s what Patti Sumner said as her son Jordan did his best to imitate the slithering tongue of a bald python at the Nature Camp for Children with Special Needs that was conducted Saturday at Chehaw.

#t” />

#“Awesome. It is just so good for children with special needs to get outside,” Sumner, of Worth County, said. “And it is good to have something to do that parents can see the children enjoying.”

#Sumner heard about the camp from friends who sent her…

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Casus Diane Downs: after 3 decades in prison she maintains her innocence..

Aug-17-2012 13:39printcomments

Diane Downs: Child Killer or Victim of Injustice?

Tim King Salem-News.com

Incarcerated for nearly 30 years, Downs maintains her innocence and a look at the case explains why.

Diane Downs then and now
Diane Downs then and now

(SALEM) – Here’s the first question: what kind of person would set out to Murder their own children, deny the crime, and then choose to spend the rest of their natural life in prison rather than simply admitting they did it and being released?

The second question is, what has happened in Oregon’s courts to make facts become less than what they are? Jurisprudence is at the root of justice and the United States is a nation that treasures this concept, but I seriously question whether it is alive and well in this northwest state.

Let’s get this out of the way; I am a journalist who has explored several convictions in the state of Oregon that I believe are false. One is Frank Gable; the man convicted in the Murder of former Oregon Corrections Chief Michael Francke, and another is a young African-American man from Eugene, Oregon, Darryl Sky Walker, who was convicted for killing a fellow university student; a Portland judge’s son, even though another suspect bragged over throwing the fatal blow. Another is the man serving 19 years for Sex Abuse in a case that DNA proves impossible, his name is Terrence Kimble. Another is the former prison guard, William Coleman, who faced 40 years on false charges at one point, but was found not guilty of Oregon’s charges by a unanimous jury verdict. His real ‘crime’ was blowing the whistle on racist hate crimes while employed at the state prison. …

Please, read Tom King´s article there…

and please, let Diane go home; a family is waiting there with great destiny to live with her, in her elder days!

Annals of Human Rights

Hellhole

Whole article here: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/090330fa_fact_gawande#ixzz1MUEfYSxM

The United States holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement. Is this torture?

by Atul Gawande March 30, 2009

  •  
  • Human beings are social creatures. We are social not just in the trivial sense that we like company, and not just in the obvious sense that we each depend on others. We are social in a more elemental way: simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people. …