McDonald’s french fries are doused with extremely toxic chemical to kill aphids that cause discoloration


McDonald’s french fries are doused with extremely toxic chemical to kill aphids that cause discoloration


by: Daniel Barker

(NaturalNews) If you’ve ever wondered how McDonald’s manages to make its french fries look so “appealingly” consistent in color, the answer is likely to make you never want to eat them again.

It turns out that the reason the fast food giant is able to serve fries that look almost unnaturally perfect has to do with the fact that they use a very unnatural and toxic chemical to achieve the desired result.

Best-selling food author and activist Michael Pollan has revealed the secret behind Mickey D french fries’ uniform unblemished appearance, and it’s not appealing at all.

In the YouTube video below, Pollan describes the process:

As Pollan explains, McDonald’s uses only one type of potato to make their fries – a variety called Russet Burbank.

Russet Burbanks are longer than the average potato, which enables McDonald’s to sell, as Pollan notes, “red boxes with a little bouquet of very long [fries].”

The fast food corporation’s choice of potatoes is understandable from a marketing point of view, but there’s a lot more to the story. …

Although Russet Burbank potatoes enable McDonald’s to produce attractive-looking long fries, the variety has an inherent “defect.” Russet Burbanks are very susceptible to a condition known as “net necrosis,” which causes a brown discoloration inside the potato.

Net necrosis is caused by aphids, and since McDonald’s will not buy potatoes with net necrosis, farmers use a toxic pesticide called Monitor to eliminate them from potato fields.

According to Pollan, Monitor is so toxic that, “farmers won’t venture outside into their fields for five days after they spray.”

After harvesting, the potatoes are stored in huge, stadium-sized sheds, where they can “off-gas” for six weeks before they are “edible.”

How toxic is Monitor pesticide?

Monitor is one of several pesticide products on the market that contain the active ingredient called methamidophos.

So, just how toxic is methamidophos?


“Methamidophos is a highly toxic, highly regulated systemic and residual organophosphate insecticide … Its health effects are consistent with all organophosphates, and result in the inhibition of the enzyme cholinesterase which disrupts normal transmission of nerve impulses. Because of its toxicity, it is highly regulated throughout the world. …

“Methamidophos is highly toxic via all routes of exposure. It has been found to have negative effects on reproductive effects including one study [which] found decreased sperm levels in men … .”

Sort of makes those nice little “bouquets” of golden fries in the red boxes sound a bit less appealing, doesn’t it? Unless, of course, you’re looking for a cheap method of birth control and don’t mind the accompanying nervous system damage.

All joking aside, no one should be eating McDonald’s fries (or any other of the uniformly unhealthy products Mickey D sells, for that matter).

Kicking the fast food addiction

Pollan goes on to describe McDonald’s use of unhealthy amounts of sugar, salt and fat in its products to make them more addictive. He points out that the fast food industry uses made-up terms such as “cravability” and “snackability” as euphemisms for their addictive qualities.

As an illustration of how unhealthy these fast food products are, Pollan notes that, “even poor women who cook have healthier diets than wealthy women who don’t.”

In other words, virtually anything cooked at home is healthier than the garbage-disguised-as-food that McDonald’s and other fast food purveyors serve to the public.

If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle and not fall victim to obesity, diabetes and outright poisoning from toxic chemicals, you must first kick the fast food addiction that so many Americans suffer from.

Once you get in the habit of eating fresh, organic foods, and begin noticing the difference (not only in your physical health but also in the superior flavor of such foods), you’ll wonder why you ever ate fast food to begin with.


Learn more: - by F. Kaskais


by: Daniel Barker

(NaturalNews) If you’ve ever wondered how McDonald’s manages to make its french fries look so “appealingly” consistent in color, the answer is likely to make you never want to eat them again.

It turns out that the reason the fast food giant is able to serve fries that look almost unnaturally perfect has to do with the fact that they use a very unnatural and toxic chemical to achieve the desired result.

Best-selling food author and activist Michael Pollan has revealed the secret behind Mickey D french fries’ uniform unblemished appearance, and it’s not appealing at all.

In the YouTube video below, Pollan describes the process:

As Pollan explains, McDonald’s uses only one type of potato to make their fries – a variety called Russet Burbank.

Russet Burbanks are longer than the average potato, which enables McDonald’s to sell, as Pollan notes, “red boxes with a…

View original post 505 more words

Corporation Literally Served Inmates Trash

shutterstock_145645000 Credit: Shutterstock

The Fifth Column

shutterstock_145645000 Credit: Shutterstock

This is about a contractor that got caught.  How many other prison contractors around the country use the same despicable practice?

Think Progress

Two weeks ago Progress Michigan uncovered emails revealing that a prison food provider served cakes nibbled on by rats to inmates. They’ve now discovered that employees from this same food vendor, Aramark, served inmates at another facility an equally unsavory meal: garbage.
In an email exchange between the company’s general manager, Sigfried Linder, and the state’s Department of Corrections, Linder admitted that prisoners at Saginaw Correctional Facility were served food that was previously thrown in the trash. “Mr. Chisolm discarded the left-overs from the line before the last half unit was in the chow hall. He then realized that there were more inmates to serve so he rinsed them off, reheated them in the oven and instructed the inmates to serve them,” read one email. “They refused, so he…

View original post 288 more words

New York City Police Officer Shoots And Kills Unarmed Black Man For Using Stairs In Building

New York City Police Officer Shoots And Kills Unarmed Black Man For Using Stairs In Building


BLivestrauerkerze thank you for sharing!!!

akai gurley

Akai Gurley | no attribution

Addicting Info

A New York City police officer fatally shot an unarmed black man Thursday evening after the man and his girlfriend opted to take the stairs instead of the elevator in the woman’s apartment building. The couple encountered two police officers in the dimly lit stairwell as they approached the woman’s floor. One of the officers already had his gun drawn while in the stairwell and shot the man, 28-year-old Akai Gurley, once in the chest as the couple came upon the officers. The officer who killed Gurley has been identified as Peter Liang, a rookie officer who was on a probationary assignment patrolling a housing project.

Michelle Butler, Gurley’s girlfriend, recounted the tragic event to the New York Daily News.

“They didn’t identify themselves,” said Butler, 27, who began dating Gurley in January 2011. “No nothing. They didn’t give no explanation. They just pulled a gun and shot him in the chest.”

The terrified couple ran down to the fifth floor before Gurley collapsed in a pool of blood. Butler, who was standing alongside her boyfriend when he was hit, recalled their frantic final moments together as she begged Gurley to keep fighting.

“Yo, you OK? Talk to me!” she recalled shouting. “He wasn’t saying nothing. That was the last thing I said to him.”

Butler said the officers never came down to check on the mortally wounded man, and medical help was only sent after she banged on a neighbor’s door for help.

NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton held a press conference Friday morning to discuss the shooting incident. He stated that it was “an unfortunate tragedy” and said that it appeared to be “an accidental discharge” of the officer’s weapon. Bratton also pointed out that the building had seen two robberies and four assaults recently, perhaps providing cover to the officer regarding why his weapon was drawn as he entered the stairwell.

DNAinfo, a news website covering New York and Chicago neighborhoods, provided the following tweets from the press conference.

Based on the evidence and the police commissioner’s statements, Gurley was killed for no other reason than being a black man walking up some stairs in a building that had recently witnessed crimes. A nervous police officer had his gun out and as soon as he encountered Gurley, the officer shot first without hesitation. Due to this natural inclination to be prepared to shoot at a moment’s notice, a totally innocent man is dead.

While this may just be an unfortunate “circumstance of events,” it further validates the feeling among the black community that people of color are unfairly treated and targeted by law enforcement. In a September article, Mother Jones provided data from the CDC showing that over the past 40 years, blacks have been four times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than whites. While that disparity shrank last decade, Mother Jones also revealed that over the same time period, the FBI’s stats still showed a 4-to-1 disparity in the rate of justifiable homicides between the two races.

H/t: Ted

                                           I AM GRIEVING; DEEPLY GRIEVING

Are Child Abusers Sexually Attracted to Submissiveness? Assessment of Sex-Related Cognition With the Implicit Association Test.

Sex Abuse. 2014 Jul 29. pii: 1079063214544330. [Epub ahead of print]

Are Child Abusers Sexually Attracted to Submissiveness? Assessment of Sex-Related Cognition With the Implicit Association Test.

Author information

  • 1Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Forensic Psychiatric Center de Kijvelanden, Poortugaal, The Netherlands
  • 2Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • 3Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
  • 4Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Forensic Psychiatric Center de Kijvelanden, Poortugaal, The Netherlands.
  • 5Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
  • 6Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Child sexual abuse is associated with social anxiety, low self-esteem, and intimacy deficits. This, in combination with the core belief of a dangerous world, might suggest that child abusers are sexually attracted to submissiveness. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) was used to examine this hypothesis. Results indicated that child abusers have a stronger sexual preference for submissiveness than rapists, although there were no differences between child abusers and non-sexual offenders. Multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed that submissive-sexy associations have incremental value over child-sex associations in differentiating child abusers from other offenders. The predictive value of both implicit associations was explored by correlating IAT scores with measures for recidivism risk, aggression, and interpersonal anxiety. Child abusers with stronger child-sex associations reported higher levels of interpersonal anxiety and hostility. More research on implicit cognition in sex offenders is required for a better understanding of what these and similar implicit measures are exactly measuring and what role implicit cognition may play in sexual offending.

© The Author(s) 2014.


Implicit Association Test (IAT); child abusers; sexual interest; submissive

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher] please, read this link, too



Take action: Protests around the world respond to assault on Palestine

Protests are being organized in cities around the world to respond to the ongoing assault on Palestine and the Palestinian people, including the murders of Palestinians (including 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, murdered brutally by Israeli settlers), the bombing of Gaza and the killing of over 1800 Palestinians by occupation forces, the mass arrests of over 1900, and the raids, attacks, tear-gassing, invasions and closure that Palestinians are being subjected to. If a rally you know of is not listed, please use this form or email to have it posted!

List your protest here

Upcoming protests (prior protests moved below upcoming events):

Amiens, France
Saturday, August 9
3:00 PM
Gare d’Amiens

Bordeaux, France
Saturday, August 9
3:00 PM
La Victoire
More info:

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
Saturday, August 9
12:00 PM

How Can We Destroy Love?

How Can We Destroy Love?.

How Can We Destroy Love?

By Robert J. Burrowes

August 07, 2014 “ICH” –  Love is a serious problem in our world. There is too much of it. So I want to explain how we can destroy it systematically. If we can destroy love completely, we can destroy life on Earth.

But first, what is love?

In essence, love is a feeling. It is not something you experience as a thought, although a thought might arise from the feeling. Love precipitates a certain type of behavior. This might include showing someone that we care about them deeply. Often, it means taking action that demonstrates our love. Perhaps even that we are willing to make concessions or sacrifices for their benefit. Depending on the context, love might be accompanied by some companion feelings such as compassion, empathy and sympathy.

The problem with love is that it might incline us to act with genuine concern for others. In fact, we might act as if someone else or others in general are as important as are we. And if we did that, it would ruin our chances of getting as much as we can for ourselves at the expense of those around us.

So how can we destroy love?

The best way is to terrorize a child. How? The most effective way to terrorize a child is to do what parents ordinarily do in the belief that we need to ‘socialize’ children in the ways of their society. This involves inflicting what I have called ‘invisible’ violence as well as ‘utterly invisible’ violence on children throughout their childhoods so that they become obedient and easily controlled slaves. For a thorough elaboration of this point, see ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’

So what is ‘invisible’ violence? Here are a few examples from my list of more than 200: blaming, condemning, insulting, mocking, embarrassing, shaming, humiliating, taunting, goading, guilt-tripping, deceiving, lying to, bribing, blackmailing, moralizing with and/or judging a child.

And what is ‘utterly invisible’ violence? It is deliberate interference in the expression of the child’s feelings and the behavioral responses naturally generated by these feelings (including when these feelings and behaviours arise in response to our visible or ‘invisible’ violence). This ‘utterly invisible’ violence occurs when we ignore, comfort, reassure, distract, laugh at, ridicule, scream at, hit, restrain or punish a child who is crying, scared, angry or otherwise expressing and/or acting on their feelings. When we do this, our unconscious message to the child is clear: ‘Don’t feel and act on your feelings, unless they are happy or loving ones, or I will terrorize you until you stop!’

If you terrorize a child in this way they will become fearful of listening to their feelings. Moreover, as they lose their courage to fight back against your violence, they will accumulate feelings of self-hatred as well. However, without a safe opportunity to feel this fear and self-hatred in order to release them, the fear and self-hatred will be suppressed below their conscious awareness. And given the extraordinarily unpleasant nature of these feelings – who wants to feel like a coward and to hate themselves? – the fear and self-hatred will be projected as fear of and hatred for ‘socially legitimized victim groups’: depending on the social context, this will usually be people of other racial or religious groups.

This projected fear and self-hatred is most readily observed in the behavior of political leaders such as US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who are so obviously terrified and devoid of self-love and, hence, the capacity to love others that killing people, including children, is the intended and routine outcome of their military violence.

The projected fear and self-hatred of corporate figures like Bill Gates, the Walton family (of Walmart) and their fellow billionaires and millionaires is also readily observed. Again, devoid of love for themselves, they cannot feel love, compassion, empathy or sympathy for those 50,000 people in Africa, Asia and Central/South America who are starved to death each day because of corporate capitalism’s control of the distribution of the world’s resources to maximize their corporate profits and personal wealth, often at the expense of their heavily exploited employees as well.

In stark contrast to the individuals mentioned above, the self-love and, therefore, love for others is obvious in the behavior of people like Noam Chomsky, Mairead Maguire, Chandra Muzaffar and Kathy Kelly who devote their lives to articulating and acting on the nonviolent truth.

If you want your child to love themselves and others, it is essential that you do not terrorize them into doing what you want (or you must let them have their feelings about your violence if, occasionally, you do terrorize them). If you love your child, let them behave in accordance with their own feelings, not yours. That is what evolution intended. It had a few billion years to work it out.

If you like, you can listen to a song by Anita McKone that highlights the importance of feelings: And here’s another song that highlights the meaning of love:

If you wish to join the worldwide movement to nurture love and end all violence, you are welcome to sign online ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’

Self-love is true love. The individual who does not truly love themselves cannot love another. 

Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’

His email address is – and his website is at

APD Shootings Protest Turns Violent; Police Unload Tear Gas and Make Arrests

APD Shootings Protest Turns Violent; Police Unload Tear Gas and Make Arrests

Joe Wright
Activist PostAlbuquerque citizens seem to have had enough of their increasingly violent police department and are beginning to take to the streets. The Albuquerque Police Department has even had its acronym changed by many to mean Another Person Dead.The long-standing dissatisfaction has reached a crescendo after the blatant execution of a homeless man that was passed off as justified by police chief Gordon Eden. You can see the video here and judge for yourself whether proper force was used in this case of “illegal camping.”As reported by Lily Dane, protests began in earnest shortly after:

On March 25, citizens marched through the streets of downtown Albuquerque to APD headquarters to protest the shooting of Boyd and others shot by APD officers. At least 1,000 people attended, including a number of elected officials, including State Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, and City Councilor Rey Garduno. (Source)

Added evidence for their outrage was provided just hours after this protest when another man was killed in suspicious circumstances. As detailed in the video and transcript below, a crowd numbered in the hundreds gathered on Sunday that may have been spurred on by a message from hacktivist group Anonymous. This latest gathering led to the first violent confrontation between protesters and police.It is important to keep in mind that the recent spate of APD shootings comes amid a police culture that is leaning toward becoming more confrontational and violent with its citizens. As Lily Dane also reported,

Incidents have occurred with enough frequency in the state to trigger a Department of Justice investigation that launched in 2012 and is still ongoing.

The state’s police forces have become infamous for shooting at minivans full of kids and for their penchant for Roswellian anal-probing of suspects.

Yet, the man who designs the training programs for the state’s police departments doesn’t see a problem. In fact, he has instituted a curriculum that puts LESS restraint on officers in deciding when to use deadly force. (Source)

These details should be taken into account, as there is some question about the make-up of the protesters and whether there were some who appeared to not be part of the original group. This wouldn’t be the first time that police have planted agents provocateur to justify any violence directed toward peaceful protest. Given the track record of the APD, such tactics can’t be discounted.

Video transcript with additional links provided below:

by Jamal Andress

The citizens of Albuquerque have expressed dissatisfaction with the city’s police department in the past, but Sunday that discontent came to a breaking point.

“Where’s Mayor Berry? … We demand to be heard!”

“It became increasingly tense, increasingly violent.”

“They’ve taken to the streets, blocked off traffic on I-25 all while shouting things like ‘killer’ at police in riot gear.”

The people of Albuquerque are protesting what they consider excessive force by the city’s police department over the past few years.

The protest took place in about a two-mile stretch, protesters would walk back and forth from downtown to the edge of the University of New Mexico. Though the protest began peacefully, it slowly became more and more chaotic as the day went on.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry described the protest Sunday night as, “mayhem” and went on to say, “We respected their rights to protest, obviously, but what it appears we have at this time is individuals who weren’t connected necessarily with the original protest. They’ve taken it far beyond a normal protest.” (emphasis added)

According to the Albuquerque Journal, before the day was over APD had thrown more than two dozen cans of tear gas and arrested at least a half dozen protesters.

The city began its spiral toward mayhem in mid-March when police shot a homeless camper named James Boyd.

Along with investigating the shooting death of Boyd, the FBI launched a civil rights probe more than a year ago into the APD to determine the validity of the excessive force allegations.

Much of the scrutiny for the department comes from these staggering numbers. In a town of less than 600,000 people, the Albuquerque police have been involved in 37 shootings, 23 of which were fatal, since 2010.

After the shooting of Boyd, hacktivist group Anonymous posted this video urging the citizens of Albuquerque to protest.

“APD, you now have the full attention of ‘Anonymous.’ To the citizens of Albuquerque, it’s time to organize.”

“Grab your cannons and point them at police websites.”

Sunday, the APD website did endure a cyber attack and was down most of the day, though it’s still unclear if a member of Anonymous was the cause.



Nicht länger untätig – Idle no more Eine kanadische Protestbewegung

Indianische Aktivisten und Umweltschützer protestieren gegen ein Gesetz, das der kanadischen Regierung ungehinderten Zugriff auf indianisches Land ermöglicht, um dort Resourcen zu plündern. Wieder einmal werden Verträge gebrochen, wieder einmal wird das  Land zur Beute für den energiehungrigen kanadischen Staat.

Stand: 08.03.2014

Am 14. Dezember 2012 verabschiedete der kanadische Staat im Eiltempo das Gesetz Bill C-45. Die Bill C 45 ermöglicht Unternehmen Zugang zu bisher nicht erschlossenen Energiequellen, indem das Gesetz vertragliche Rechte der indianischen Nationen in Bezug auf das eigene Land sowie Umweltschutz und Selbstbestimmungsrechte der First Nations aushebelt und stattdessen die ungehinderte Rohstofferschließung in diesen Territorien ermöglicht.  Ein beachtlicher Anteil der begehrten Bodenschätze, Gold, Holz, und vor allem Ölvorkommen, befindet sich auf indianischem Land.

“We can´t be idle no more”

Sylvia Mc Adam, indianische Aktivistin

Sylvia McAdam ist eine der Frauen, die “Idle no more“, mitbegründet hat. Idle no More, das heißt auf Deutsch: nicht länger untätig sein. Und ist der Name für eine kraftvolle Bewegung, die für Gegenwind sorgt und aufbegehrt gegen das Gesetz Bill C 45. Sylvia Mc Adam stammt aus der Nēhiyaw Nation, auf Englisch Cree genannt.  Als Juristin überblickt sie sehr genau die politischen und ökologischen Implikationen diese Gesetzes. Und entschloß sich, Widerstand dagegen zu organisieren.

“Letztes Jahr war ich dabei, ein Buch zu schreiben. In einem Kapitel geht es ums Land. Das weckte in mir viele Kindheitserinnerungen: an  kristallklares Wasser, an Wälder und Wildnis. Und mich packte der Wunsch, heimzukehren und dort an dem Kapitel zu arbeiten. Das tat ich. Ich packte und ging zurück aufs Land. Zu den Flüssen, zu unseren Jagdgebieten. Doch was ich vorfand, erschütterte mich. Die Bäche waren ausgetrocknet, das Land wurde beackert, der Wald wurde in einem immensen Ausmaß abgeholzt”

Sylvia Mac Adam, Cree

Eben noch bei Facebook und jetzt teilen wir Kanda unter uns auf

Sylvia McAdam und BR-Autorin Sonja John | Bild: BR / Sonja John

Sylvia Mc Adam und BR-Autorin Sonja John

Als Sylvia sich in den Wald aufmachte, um auf ihrem vertraglich reservierten Land eine Jagdhütte zu errichten und andere Indigene dazu aufrief, gleiches zu tun, stellte sie die neue gesetzlich hergestellte Fremdbestimmung durch die kanadische Regierung in Frage. Das besondere Verhältnis zwischen First Nations und dem kanadischen Staat gründet auf internationalen Verträgen. Die Anerkennung ihrer Rechte und die Aufrechterhaltung dieses besonderen Verhältnisses gehören seither zu den Forderungen von Indigenen und prägen die Kernforderung von Idle No More.

Eine Bewegung vor allem von Frauen

“Idle no more” ist eine Bewegung, die nicht nur, aber vor allem von Frauen getragen wird,  die 2012 begannen, sich miteinander zu vernetzen. Nur zwei von ihnen kannten sich vorher persönlich, tauschten sich zunächst in einem Chatroom über die Folgen der Bill C-45 aus.

“Und dann sagten wir uns: Wieso nicht ein nationaler Aktionstag? Dabei hatten wir von Aktivismus keine Ahnung. Aber wir riefen für den 10. Dezember 2012 einen nationalen Aktionstag aus. Daraufhin haben uns so viele Menschen kontaktiert. Wir fragten, wer uns helfen kann. Und auf einmal hatten wir Torri Cress aus Toronto, Darla Goodwin aus British Columbia. Wir hatten Janice und Tania. All die Leute aus Alberta und Ottowa. Und in Winnipeg hatten wir Nina, die dort zur Uni geht. All diese Menschen folgten unserem Aufruf, größtenteils Frauen. Am 10. Dezember waren wir selbst überrascht: Eben noch bei Facebook und nun teilten wir Kanada unter uns auf”

Sylvia Mc Adam, Cree

Koloniale Unterdrückung

“idle no more” – Vernetzung gegen die Plünderung des Landes

Idle No More argumentiert, dass mit dem Gesetz  Bill C-45 die kolonialen Eroberungsfeldzüge des einstigen Siedlerstaates fortgesetzt werden, denn schon die  Gründung und der Aufstieg Kanadas gründen auf der Enteignung der First Nations und deren Vertreibung. Mit den Gesetzesänderungen wird die moderne Landbesetzung wesentlich vereinfacht. Idle No More kritisiert die kapitalistische Landzerstörung sowie die Attitüde der manifest destiny , die Selbstverständlichkeit, mit der sich die Weißen die Welt und andere Völker Untertan machen.

Das Land bewahrt die Traditionen und das kulturelle Erbe

Land ist für indigene Gemeinschaften essentiell und bei weitem mehr als rein materielle Ressource, es ist kultureller Besitz, dessen man sich immer wieder rückversichert, in Form von Geschichten, durch religiöse Zeremonien. So bestärkt man  im Lauf jahrhundertelanger Verbundenheit die eigene Identität als Zugehörigkeit zu genau diesem Stück Land. Ein Angriff auf indigenes Land ist daher auch immer ein Angriff auf indigene Identität.

“Ich sprach mit den Ältesten. Und sie sagten zu mir: In Zeiten der Krise gibt es ein Gesetz, das die Frauen aussprechen. Dieses Gesetz heißt Notawamissouin. Notawamissouin bedeutet die Kinder verteidigen. Und nicht nur indigene Kinder, sondern alle Kinder. Und es reicht noch weiter. Du musst auch die Kinder der Tiere verteidigen und die der Pflanzen. Und dieses Gesetz ist heilig. Es ist friedlich. Es ist ein Gebet nicht nur für die jetzige Generation, sondern auch für die sieben Generationen, die uns folgen werden.”

Sylvia Mc Adam, Cree

Voices from Solitary: Welcome to the SHU. Don´t forget Humans in Shadow, often in very, very deep shadow…

Voices from Solitary: Welcome to the SHU –

elmira 3Karl ChuJoy is currently serving three years in solitary confinement in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) of Elmira Correctional Facility in upstate New York, for possessing a laptop computer. He writes in a letter to Solitary Watch:

“I’ve been incarcerated since I was fifteen (15) years old.

I am now thirty-six (36)…I’m halfway through these three (3) years [in the SHU]. I’ve been in SHU before, quite a few times. But this is the first time in five (5) years. My introduction to SHU began when I was sixteen (16) years old, in 1993. I’ve since learned to sidestep the bullshit in prison and stay out of trouble (but can you really pass up a laptop in prison? Come on, think about it).” The following are further excerpts from his letter. He welcomes letters at the following address: Karl ChuJoy, #94-A-5418, Elmira Correctional Facility, PO Box 500, Elmira, New York 14902-0500. –James Ridgeway

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Being alone is totally different than being lonely. Being alone signifies being physically apart from others. Being lonely is complete a state of mind: “feeling” alone. The latter holds all of the negative aspects of solitude. In the SHU this feeling is magnified exponentially due to the constricted lack of freedom and relative lack of brain-stimulating activities.

Mail is manna from heaven. When I hear the squeak, squeal and rumble of the mail-cart being pushed down the gallery, I start saying to myself, “You’re not getting any mail, so don’t even expect it. Nobody knows you anymore. No one wrote, so stop it!” Then, as the cart squeaks and squeals and rumbles a bit louder as it gets closer, I’ll jump off the cot and start pacing. Then I’ll squat in front of one of my spiders (the SHU Prisoner’s Loyal Pet) and I’ll start talking to it (you talk to your pets, too, don’t you?!) I’ll say, “Come on! Hope with me that we get a piece of mail. Come on! If you hope with me then we’re guaranteed a letter,” and I’ll do a little fist pump. I get real animated. I won’t do it everyday, though. It becomes a quotidien ritual when I haven’t received a letter in a month or more, because I’ll start to worry. Only my mother and sister write to me, once a month usually…

Literary media is the lifeblood of a sane mind in the SHU. Reading makes on think outside the box. National Geographic Magazine is my Travelocity, my trips to the Museum of Natural History, my Smithsonian, my MOMA and the Louvre, my trips to the Bronx Zoo and Sea World; GQ is my afternoon window-shopping stroll down 5th Avenue;…Popular Mechanics and Scientific American are my brain snacks–I was super excited when it was announced that circumstantial evidence was detected of the existence of the Higgs boson particle. Will I be able to open a wormhole in my call and go on a furlough one day? Quantum mechanics offers infinite possibilities, so I’ll keep my antennas up!

Book! Books! Book! A man in SHU lives on books as much as on food (and they taste better). Non-fiction has the potential to feed one’s knowledge pool. Fictoin has the potential to feed one’s empathy. Two different parts of the brain. Both necessary to build a fecund mind. I cannot say enough about books, my friends. I love books. I LOVE books. Books are my teachers, my guides, my companions. They enrich me with new [to me] concepts and ideas to digest. They take me to other worlds, lands, times, realities, life experiences. They introduce me to characters who become close friends….And my companions take me out of the SHU almost completely. Only my physical self is locked in a cell with the chaos around me. My spirit is elsewhere, walking through the woods, living vicariously, a silent partner. When I return, dusk may have turned to dawn and sometimes I’ll be surprised/confused when breakfast is being served. That’s the magic of books: they are teleportation machines for the spirit.

For the uninitiated in society who want to know somewhat how the SHU experience feels: go to your bathroom and lock yourself in there (a regular 10′ x 6′ sized bathroom, not a mansion sized one). Then truly imagine being locked in there for days, weeks, months…years–with no way to get out. All your meals are slid under the door. You don’t see anyone, but you hear others. Although, you wish you didn’t…

Because all day, and parts of the night, you are being assaulted by the deafening sounds of others yelling at each other to be overheard, chess players shouting numbers a hundred feet apart from each other, others screaming the foulest profanities and threats at each other for ten hours non-stop to emerge the victor in the argument/mouthfight. The worst are the ones who scream at the top of their lungs at 2 AM, 3 AM, 5 AM, as if they’re on fire just ’cause they’re assholes, and others who growl-yell-scream as if they’re transforming into werewolves of battling a demonic entity in their cell at 2 or 3 in the morning, while others start barking like large dogs. Yes, actually barking for a minute at a time…like a Rottweiler. You can wake up and really believe you died in your sleep and you’re in hell. But nope…you’re just in the SHU. Welcome.

US judge approves force-feeding California inmates

English: A suffragette on a hunger strike bein...
English: A suffragette on a hunger strike being forcibly fed with a nasal tube (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US judge approves force-feeding California inmates
— Aug. 19 8:20 PM EDT

California Prisons Hunger Strike

SACRAMENTO, Calif.Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Only some lines:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge approved a request from California and federal officials on Monday to force-feed inmates if necessary as a statewide prison hunger strike entered its seventh week.

Officials say they fear for the welfare of nearly 70 inmates who have refused all prison-issued meals since the strike began July 8 over the holding of gang leaders and other violent inmates in solitary confinement that can last for decades….

Four prisons have the units: Pelican Bay in Crescent City, Corcoran, California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi and California State Prison-Sacramento. ….

The highest-ranking gang leaders are held in what is known as the “short corridor” at Pelican Bay. Four leaders of rival white supremacist, black and enemy Latino gangs have formed an alliance to promote the hunger strike in a bid to force an end to the isolation units….