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Where is Gandhi? Where is Mandela?
So, Dan Weisman is Mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore. That about sums it up for many, I suspect, on both the left and right in this country. Truth be told, I’ve been there myself although after a time, it leaves me with a sour taste in my throat, all bile and venom. Still, it usually gets some energetic attention and as night follows day, when applied properly, anger can often serve as a catalyst for constructive change.
Steve Jobs was right, of course, when he told Rupert Murdock that he was behind the times, suggesting that instead of an axis of ‘left or right’ (an outdated paradigm, to be sure), we have been operating on a ‘constructive or destructive axis. Trouble is, too few people see that and instead cling to old perceptions, further fueling their own abrogation for meaningful resolutions towards positive change.
I watched Alan Simpson, Erskine Bowles and Warren Buffet in an interview recently where they discussed the economy—about how perilously close it/we are to heading off the cliff unless substantial and dramatic changes are made, not the least of which is honesty, not positional posturing. Cities are filing bankruptcy, over a 1,400 U.S. citizens have revoked their citizenship to avoid taxes, and banking schemes and fraud continue to be the news of the day.
Then I read another article about Paul Krugman getting in a tiff with someone from CNN. We really don’t have time for this finger pointing and pettiness, although it may be unavoidable if we have reached a point of no return and truly have to hit bottom before Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again, if in fact at all. The media is a mess, certainly biased, nearly all outlets, the government seems to be inert, incapable of constructive anything, and the economy, while suffering from a slim recovery, still staggers under the weight of powerful insiders controlling the gears.
So what’s a person to do? Well, leadership seems to be the siren call, at least in part, for what we need. So say both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’. For my money, the likes of Ghandi and Mandela serve as powerful examples, although there are others. Yet, part of what is called for is leadership from many other institutions such as the media, commerce, industry and most importantly, US.
That’s US not U.S. although it’s where we live and what this is all about. Who of us has the courage to go inside and take account for our own participation in this messy mess; the mess of our own participation in neglect, personal self-interest, of turning our backs on the greatest democratic experiment in human history? We are they. They are us, even the ones we can’t see. We are our leaders, even the hidden string-pullers. I don’t say this to blame any of us for in no way am I exempt. Instead, we need to be honest, truly, and take both individual and collective responsibility. A problem shared is a problem transcended, though not immediately and not all in like kind; each according to his ability, each according to his means.
If everyone examines their own head, heart, conscience and sense of duty – as opposed to self-interest – individual and collective responsibility to and for each other, things can be changed. There clearly is corruption, lies being told and manipulation of power, a government broke (financially and functionally), a society becoming unhinged. In a way, it is beginning to feel no different than I imagine the cover-up of Sandusky by Penn State officials turning a blind eye must have felt, because what was valued more than anything else was winning no matter the cost to others, no matter the pain.
America cannot afford the politics of destruction, socially, economically, or politically; that is unless it has to ‘hit bottom’ before it can be reconstructed into something greater. The clash of humanities’ levels, while certainly evolutionary, can also be dangerous, not that the sky is falling or anything. There are, however, so very many warning signs.
Just like Sandusky, Penn State, HSBC Bank, LIBOR, exclusionary new voting laws, astronomical debt, too much American off-shore money, complicity by both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ playing destructive games for what? To win? To win what? A football game of an unregulated Wall Street? Smaller government where police and firefighters are paid minimum wage? As Ghandi so wisely said, Be The Change. This will involve different actions for different people, depending on various skills and capabilities yet change we must, constructively not destructively.
Either that or we will all have to meet each other on the way down, or worse, at the cliff’s bottom.
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TOM CHINO RULES!!! Del Mar Fairgrounds Board St. Valentine's Day Massacre..Shame on the Bashar Al-Assads on the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board...
ON THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF TOM CHINO, A FIGHTER FOR FULL DISCLOSURE OF DEL MAR FAIRGROUNDS MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES AND END TO UNETHICAL PRACTICES.
(Photo above: Tom Chino, r, with Trey Foshee, one of the many celebrity chefs who flock to his Rancho Santa Fe farm for world renowned fruits and produce.)
We don't follow the machinations of the 22nd District Agricultural Association District AKA Del Mar Fairgrounds, Board due to its longstanding record of corruption and below-board dealings with no public oversight allowed. Don't care because it is a cesspool of personal gain for some of those so-called protectors of the public interest and, frankly, the 99 percent, have been powerless in this case to date.
This nine-member board controls a megamillion dollar enterprise including use of the facilities by the San Diego County Fair, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racetrack as well as ownership of golf, equestrian and exhibition facilities. The Fairgrounds alone is valued at more than $120 million. Directors are appointed by the governor to four year terms and don't get paid, above the table anyway.
However, we did note with interest and great enthusiasm a deus ex machina thrown in the mix by Gov. Jerry Brown last year to try to right the listing Fairgrounds ship. And that was Tom Chino, probably the most stand-up, forthright guy on this or any other planet. Chino is a guy who fights for you and me, and that's not even going into his world-class, renowned vegetable farm and farm stand.
Highly educated, and motivated by his devotion to our community, Chino had his work cut out for him as he went to battle for us against the power of the entrenched 22nd District Agricultural Association District management and enablers on the Board. He tried to let some sunshine into this board's obscenely private dealings and quasi-public meetings. (That group has so much liigation they discuss behind closed doors it would be ludicrous, if it were not obscene.)
Chino let everybody know about state investigations that revealed what everybody knew but could not say aloud: Board members allowed Fairgrounds employees to be paid for unused vacation time. Board members, their friends and associates, received lots of free fair passes and perks, as well as who knows what else in the form of influence peddling and sundry as-yet undisclosed activites.
For all Tom Chino's defense of you and me against the special interests that have controlled Fairgrounds management for years, all he got was hassles and even implied legal threats over absolutely nothing, i.e. consulting his personal attorney on a Fairgrounds issue. That attorney represented the San Dieguito Joint Powers Authority, which was suing the Fairgrounds over creepy and unpopular expansion demands. Oh, snap.
The Chino family has a long history of standing for the people around here. Losing Tom Chino from the Fairgrounds Board is a sad day for us, but who can blame him. He was like the Free Syrian Army against Bashar Al-Assad's thugs. They may have all the weapons -- for now -- but Chino has something more powerful on his side -- The Truth.
SHAME ON THE FAIRGROUNDS BOARD. Show your solidarity for Tom Chino. Visit Chino Farm today and power to the people.
Tale of two Garrick's: RSF GOP Assemblyman stung by Bee for DUI yet perseveres (somehow)
Editorial: Lawmakers who break our laws shouldn't get a break
Californians should expect their lawmakers to not only make laws, but follow them. Lately, several in the Legislature have been accused of serious breaches – a trend that is generating far too little alarm in the Capitol.
In October, Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, a Democrat from Castro Valley, was arrested on suspicion of felony grand theft. She has pleaded not guilty to stealing $2,500 in clothing from a San Francisco department store, claiming she absentmindedly stepped outside with merchandise while taking a cellphone call.
Then, on Wednesday, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican from Twin Peaks, was cited on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded .45-caliber handgun into Ontario International Airport.He faces a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, and could face larger fines from the Transportation Security Administration.
We're sorry. If you are unaware you are carrying a loaded gun, you shouldn't be carrying one in the first place.
Donnelly is also being less than forthright about whether he had a concealed weapons permit. San Bernardino County officials say they have no record of such a permit. Donnelly needs to answer the question: Did he have a permit or not?
Garrick pleaded no contest to the DUI charge, losing his license for four months. Hayashi and Donnelly will have their day in court.
Yet regardless of outcomes, these recent arrests raise questions about whether authorities are giving California lawmakers preferential treatment.
When Garrick was pulled over, the California Highway Patrol cited and released him, allowing the lawmaker to avoid a night in jail – the usual outcome for misdemeanor DUI suspects. Donnelly also avoided arrest and jail, unlike Shaun Rogers, a Cleveland Browns nose tackle, who was taken to jail in 2010 after the TSA found a handgun in his carry-on bag at an Ohio airport.
Lawmakers who drive drunk, take merchandise out of stores or bring a loaded gun into airports shouldn't be treated lightly.
If authorities want to deter normal citizens from breaking laws, they should set an example with lawmakers who take oaths to uphold them.
Rosalie Cushman: Predicting The Past - Reflections of 2011...
I couldn’t help but laugh at Dan Weisman’s latest posting about his “occupation” of the Crosby Estate. Then, of course, I cried. Several times this past year I’ve recalled a statement made by one of my Boston University professor’s claiming, “You will turn out to be much like your parents; more than you can even believe now”. I thought he was nuts! This was in the early 70’s, on the heels of Kent State, demonstrations against the Viet Nam War, post-MLK and Robert Kennedy assassinations and all that upheaval that signified some pretty dramatic shifts in American Society.
Or so we thought.
Being a political junkie, with occasional episodes of recovery at best, I’ve been following many events and discussions throughout the year, much of which has focused either on the economy and/or the Republican primary process, along with changes in the world at large. I have sustained shock and disbelief often, followed by lurching uncontrollably between disgust, shame, excitement, and boredom. At one point, I actually heard Howard Fineman of Huffington Post say we boomers are “greedy and selfish”, even owning the description like a grownup for himself, not proudly, mind you, just maturely. This was in the context of the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement which, of course, has morphed into a new phase.
Fineman’s depiction and acknowledgement of ‘our boomer generation’ behavior, of course, is accurate in many ways, though not all. I liked his honesty but also chafed at the mirror he held up to some of what we have certainly done to ourselves as a society. I like it in part because of the exposure of the whole ‘victim-perpetrator- theme being played out in America today. He suggests it will only serve us when we own up to our own role in it; own up to our own participation in choosing one or the other to identify with. It is what grown-ups need to be about, after all; ownership and accountability. The 1% and the 99%, each, have much to learn from the other, not the least of which is to look the other squarely in the face while taking responsibility for their own participation. This naturally includes my own game-playing as well. No one is off the hook; no one exempt.
When I think back to the early stirrings of the Arab Spring, I am reminded of parallels within all societies that undergo upheaval and change. Sometimes that change is consequent to economic conditions. Sometimes that change is due to political repression. Sometimes it is due to rapid industrialization/modernization, and sometimes it is due to wild disparity between classes of people. In today’s globalization, there is something new operating that adds enormous benefit but incredible tension to the mix as well: technology. Yes, it’s been discussed re the power of Twitter, Facebook, rapid internet communications and cell/video phones that can expose events differently from how change was represented in the past.
I’ve heard NYT columnist Tom Friedman discuss his recent examination of where we are as a nation, the crossroads we find ourselves in, in his recent book, “That Used to Be Us”. Our dilemma is not hopeless, he says. However, reasonable solutions are time-sensitive and all the desire in the world to ignore or minimize the crossroads we huddle in right now while national and global events accelerate past us ensures failure, albeit at a snail’s pace. Yes, we can fail slowly, and may be doing just that, while others race by us.
Remarkably, I’ve met and known two emigrants; one Czech, who survived WWII and the Holocaust; the other a Chinese-Korean who survived the Korean War as a child. In each case, their fierce determination to adapt has been startling. It sounds like such an obvious conclusion to draw yet we’d be well advised to pay closer attention to not just why others have come to America but how and what they’ve done to change themselves as part of the process of adaptation. Often, their changes have been subtle but equally often, profound.
Yes, they survived. Yes, they learned strategies on overcoming starvation, poverty and displacement. But hidden in their very survival is their astonishing adaptation to new circumstances, a new set of events including people, language, cultures and economies. What’s more, each man can be an example as an individual to the group as a whole. For it is where we find America – indeed, the world – in currently. Context is everything. These two men know this even without articulating it. They know it in their heart and in their gut. Context requires innovation and new thought on many levels.
America has yet to fully understand our new context internally, let alone, globally, or at least many Americans have yet to do that. Friedman understands that all too well. Fineman and many others do too. The passing of Steve Jobs even, has cast a light on this very fact also, though more obliquely. At the end of the day/year we cannot ‘tweak’ our way out of this contextual paradigm shift by modifying old ideas just enough to avoid risk. The risk for us is in not taking greater risk itself. Not for the mere sake of it, but for the necessity of thinking differently because our context has changed.
Economist Paul Krugman suggested early on that the initial capital infusion was too small. He was so very right, as other economists have now corroborated. Elizabeth Warren, run out of Washington by Wall Street’s elite because she ‘risked’ exposing some of their practices, will likely return but from a different vantage point as an elected official, and legitimately so. Finally, what the 1% knows that the 99% hasn’t caught onto is that if the ‘light’ of video/phones, FB, Twitter etc. ever exposed their back room manipulations in any massive way like distorted pictures of street protests do, the jig would be up for them. I give you Enron. Believe me, there’s more Enron behavior operating in the shadows, some of it legal, though hardly ethical (and certainly not practical). We just cannot see it all; only some of the disastrous ‘results’.
But all of this discussion is not to blame anyone. Instead, it is to hold all of us accountable: the 1% and the 99%. I happen to like Capitalism. There are many fine and integrous companies in America. I also like government. (I never saw a tax cut put out a fire!!) What I don’t like is greed, bloat and excess on either side. None of those qualities will ever serve us. Blame will never serve us. Accountability will serve us though, and must. Any ‘position’ one takes always operates within a context and America’s context has changed. We all need to see that, truly see that, and mature individually and behave as a nation accordingly. If we don’t, we will shrivel and shrink from the promise that heretofore has propelled America forward.
San Diego County District Attorney Jeff Dort Snubs Family Court Crime Victims
Just received a copy of a phone message left by Jeff Dort to a crime victim from family court. The victim had funds stolen by her attorney, Patricia Gregory, over two years ago.
Gregory admitted to stealing money from a "Trust" (no play on words) account, from two client/victims. There could be more but there is no investigation. The known amount Gregory admitted to is over $100,000.00. However, Dort's message only sparked more questions.
But the Patricia Gregory case - now going on two plus years, is interesting on another level. As is revealed by the accompanying video, it's the victims who are doing the legwork. It's the crime victims who are supplying the information, almost like unpaid staff of the District Attorney's office.
However, the District Attorney has not subpoenaed a single record.
Instead, the DA continues to ask the victims who have steadfastly provided evidence, for more evidence. How much more is needed when the thief admits guilt I'm not sure. DAs don't return calls.
How DA inaction benefits criminals
The case could have been filed immediately after Patricia Gregory's signed a statement admitting she took the money. After the State Bar ordered Gregory inactive in 2011 (although she continued to keep her website active in spite of the State Bar's request to remove it from the internet) and accepted new clients, then the DA could have added a "Crime, bail, Crime" charge which would qualify Gregory for more prison time. Oh wait. Scratch that. More on that later.
DA's holding pattern
Still, after two years of what can realistically be referred to as a non-investigation, District Attorney Jeff Dort rejected the case. The money remains gone. The thief admitted guilt and - nothing. This is same Jeff Dort who prosecuted personal injury attorney David G. Ronquillo for stealing from clients under similar circumstances.
In the Ronquillo case Judge Charles Rogers said Ronquillo would be eligible for about eight years of prison time, but would likely receive probation.
San Diego judges aren't real fond of sentencing attorneys to prison. It's a clubby kind of thing.
Other ways the DA aids criminals
The victims are aware given the non-responsiveness of the DA, coupled with the DA's philosophy of dealing with crimes after the State Bar deals with Administrative issues, the Statute of Limitations is approaching.
Thus the phone message featured on the video ended with Dort wishing the crime victim a nice weekend.
One other thing. We've heard Patricia Gregory used to work for the County.
Child Support enforcement.
VISTA CONGRESSMAN DARRELL ISSA’S DOUBLE STANDARD MARCHES ON...
Darrell Issa continues this week to apply a wildly different standard of disclosure to himself as compared to the Obama Administration. Issa's request for a wide-ranging document release from the Department of Homeland Security concerned alleged politicizing of FOIA requests didn't devlier what he was looking for, so he's now refocusing and expanding the request. As the Hill reports, Issa is asking for copies of e-mails between key White House officials. He is also seeking a series of interviews with top-level staff at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as part of his probe into the Obama administration’s transparency.
Last week, Issa requested that 180 agencies send him records showing how fast they respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. He also asked the agencies to explain why some FOIA requests are delayed more than others.
Using the issue as cover, Issa recently called for in-depth tracking of all people and organizations that submit Freedom of Information Act requests. Ostensibly intended by Issa as a way to avoid politicizing the process, it would provide a shocking amount of tracking information to the federal government, and is part of a broader trend by Issa to chill dissent and citizen oversight.
In lodging a complaint over Homeland Security's responsiveness, Issa wrote:, Issa wrote:
"This directive is inconsistent with your pledge to identify and produce documents expeditiously, and it raises questions about the Department's commitment to the President's effort to create an 'unprecedented level of openness in government."
The tone and content of this objection is particularly odd, however, given that Issa himself has consistently rejected such calls for openness out of his own office. He has declined to publicly post the letter he sent to industry groups and conservative think tanks soliciting agenda items for the Oversight Committee. He has resisted releasing the responses he's gotten from the letter, agreeing only to release them in mid-February with spin added by his office and leaving CREW to seek the letters on their own. Odd that, if Issa is sincerely concerned about transparency as a way to address concerns of politicizing government, he would be so deeply opposed to being open about his own dealings.
Further, Issa's concerns about alleged politicizing of government doesn't seem to fit with his angry response to President Obama's suggestion that Congress make its lobbyist ties public. Rather than welcome the opportunity for citizens to have more information about who's influencing their elected officials, Issa turned bitterly defensive. He lashed out at Obama for not being perfect either, and tried his best to make the case for lobbyist confidentiality. If Issa is concerned about politicizing the process and wanting more transparency, it's odd that he would attack even the notion of improved lobbyist disclosure.
If Darrell Issa is serious about a more open, less political government, he needs to provide the model himself. He can't just talk the talk, criticizing the Obama administration for not being responsive enough to him specifically- he has to walk the walk by taking ownership of his own actions and applying the same standards to his own office. He owes it to the country and his constituents.
Got Rid of Gaddafi...SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET RID OF DEADBEAT SOLANA BEACH CITY MANAGER DAVID OTT???
We are tired of these career bureaucrats bleeding taxpayers dry. This isn't a Tea Party position, but a progressive Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News opinion.
There are plenty of slings and arrows to cast at the numerous despicable North County and San Diego political officials and sycophants but that's for another day. Today, we bring you the worst of the worst, a most despicable thief of the public funds for his own greed and aggrandizement.
DAVID OTT. Past, present and future Solana Beach city manager. Really, the only people making out better through greedy subterfuge are the 100 Rancho Santa Fe "farmers" receiving federal farm subsidies even though, obviously, they are not farmers and the few who do have "farms" use them as tax dodges.
But back to ODD: Listen to the tale of his take:
"David Ott, who also served for years as the city's public safety director, officially retired from his city manager post in December and began collecting a pension of roughly $13,500 per month.
However, he still works under contract as Solana Beach's interim city manager, earning roughly $78 per hour in addition to a monthly cellphone allowance of $50 and car allowance of $450."
Ott continues to serve as interim city manager and no search for a permanent replacement is yet under way. He said last week he doesn't know exactly how many hours he has billed the city under his contract, but it's less than 960 hours, which is considered full-time employment by the California Public Employees' Retirement System and would jeopardize his retirement.
More backstory, compiled from sources:
An email criticizing Ott's pension and pay arrangement was recently sent to several news agencies. It accused Ott of using his years as a public safety employee to receive a higher pension.
Ott said allegations he spiked his pension are untrue, but he acknowledged that his pension is unique because he held several positions in the city.
He said he believes the recent criticism is coming from firefighters who were unhappy with pension reform and worried about the potential for staff cuts in the Fire Department.
Solana Beach is working to close a nearly $700,000 budget shortfall in the current fiscal year. Proposed cuts include leaving two city administrative positions open to save nearly $300,000; reducing the amount of work scheduled to be done on the city's general plan to save $310,500; and cuts to various city departments totaling $153,700.
OTT GETS ON THE PUBLIC GRAVY TRAIN
Ott was hired by the city in 2003 as its director of public safety and fire chief. He said Thursday that he also served as the city's assistant city manager, before he was hired as city manager in 2006.
From 2006 to 2009, Ott retained his post as fire chief in addition to serving as the city manager and public safety director.
During those three years, Ott said his retirement was calculated using formulas for both regular government employees and public safety employees.
According to the city, 75 percent of his retirement was calculated using a "2.5 percent at 55" formula and 25 percent was calculated using the public safety workers' formula "3 percent at 50."
Government employees' retirements are calculated using a percentage of their highest annual salaries (2.5 or 3 percent here), multiplied by the number of years they worked, for up to 30 years of service.
When Ott retired in December, his annual salary was $180,250.
"I didn't spike my pension, I got promoted," Ott said.
YEAH RIGHT. GET RID OF OTT TODAY. Over and sold-out...
CONSIDER THE ECONOMY AGAIN!
A couple months ago I shared a few simple thoughts on innovation, mostly from a business perspective. I’d like to add something at this stage that could incorporate both (yes, I know I’m suggesting some sort of cooperation here) the public and private sectors, innocent that I am!
A million years ago, after graduating from college my first job out of the chute was to administer one of the early Workfare programs in the nation for a county in Iowa. At its core, it required anyone on Welfare (that was not disabled) to work to continue receiving their checks. The goal was to gradually transition them into the workplace, with the government paying their salary while the person ‘worked’ at a ‘for-profit business’. After some period of time, the recipient would be hired by the business, thereby getting the individual off Welfare. While not everyone placed was permanently hired, many people were.
Well, why not do something like that now? Why not take all the people that are currently on unemployment and require them to work to keep getting unemployment? They would be placed in a business environment for say, six months with the government continuing their ‘paycheck’ – which is an unemployment check, while the business paid for insurance, say, or got a modest tax credit in some way for ‘hiring’ an unemployed person. After six months, or less if mutually agreed upon, the business then would hire the person for a regular salary, and said business would get a tax credit (let’s pretend it’s a big fat tax credit), and person X is off unemployment.
The jig would be that the business had to keep the new employee (who has already been time-tested, by the way) on their payroll for say, twelve months to get the big fat tax credit. And keep in mind they've already 'tested the person's ability and gotten a 'free employee' for six months!! Everybody wins. Doesn’t everybody win?? If there is some rule or legislation that needs to be changed to accommodate this, for crying out loud, let’s just do it. I mean, how hard can this be?
It is staggering, staggering, all of the “yes we can’t’s” going around on both sides!! I, for one, am bone tired of the nah, nah, nah’s and I know I’m not alone in this. While there is lots of blame to go around for our current economic quagmire, it is time we stop screeching and start raising some creative thought; generate some new/old ideas to try. So what if they fail. What on earth do we think is happening right now?
And some ideas will succeed. My guess is there are other innovative ideas wedding the public and private sectors, not to mention drawing on some traditional ideas that did work in the late 30’s and 40’s for both the private industry and in the government sector. If we don’t do something pretty quick, the ‘have’s and the have-not’s’ will all morph into ‘have-not’s’ because no one will be left to buy what the current ‘have’s’ even produce!
There are lots of 'infastructure' ideas being bandied about and WPA style projects, too, that could be tied to a 'work requirement' to receive unemployment compensation. I'm sure there are other robust ideas floating around out there, some of which need not increase a deficit dramatically, and can also stimulate businesses to hire people at a 'reduced' cost, at least for a time.
The cacophony of nay-sayers need not drown out promising solutions. After all, as Roosevelt so wisely said, "we have nothing to fear but fear itself". And fear will bankrupt America for sure.
@Bonnie Russell...Allison Morelli -- The follow up: What was the 'Today Show' thinking?
In response to Allison Morelli's interview with Matt Lauer on the TODAY SHOW, I wrote "Why My Psycho Ex Wife was not about free speech" examining the many reasons why the interview missed the obvious.
Someone sent it to Allison and she contacted me. I subsequently learned in the five hours TODAY Show free-lance producers spent with Ms. Morelli, much which was very important didn't air. Turns out the Today Show piece was worse than most could have imagined.
That the Psycho Ex-Wife did not solely slam Allison Morelli. The site also featured posts that were highly critical of both boys. Criticism that will not be repeated here. That was not featured in any part of the interview regarding a court system that is supposed to oversee the best interests of the children.
Morelli runs a website called Mrcustodycoach.com where he "advises" members paying a monthly fee for "custody coaching" services starting as low as $29.00/month. (Sane people are likely to immediately demand a refund.)
Also not mentioned
Allison learned of the blog from her two kids....one of whom is now annoyed she read it.
But wait - there's more! (Also not mentioned)
The initial blog wasn't "My Psycho Ex Wife." Spoiler Alert!
No, the original free spew hate was created by Misty Weaver-Ostinato, Anthony's girlfriend, as far back as 2004 or 2005.
Misty's initial hatred for Allison erupted via divorcingforever.blogspot.com...which apparently Misty created to express her feelings about her extra-marital affair....with a another man. Sometime later she met Anthony Morelli and they've been together since. (It is not clear whether Misty ever divorced).
However, once Misty and Anthony hooked up Misty's attention was diverted to focus on Allison.
divorcingforever.blogspot.com remains current, but private.
Some entries before it went private are below:
"Entering the Real World" Misty wrote: "We will have to work out how Mr. M will get paid so as not to give 50% of every fucking dollar we own to Psycho Mom. We have no problem with child support, but she isn't getting her fat grubby litle hands on my empire."
(Misty works in personal training, search engine optimization, selling house plans...whatever works in this economy.)
Misty's not overweight. Apparently Allison has consumed her.
Feb. 24 2005: By Misty: "Psycho Mom can die. Maybe I shouldn't print that for all to read, but really. She's a fucking psycho whore."
May, 2005: "That bitch deserves to fry in hell. Psycho Mom decided to go Pro Se (to save money of course, the cheap idiot) so I hope they bury her"
The above represents some of the nicer entries. More recent ones amp up the hate.
Also Not mentioned
No mention during the Today Show interview of guns and wishes for Allison's suicide.
No mention during the Today Show concerning the now seven year steady drip of toxic hate not seriously addressed in the interview, by the evaluator, or that the judge is giving Allison former husband and his venomous girlfriend, four extra months to decide to change their ways.
The interview concentrated instead, on Anthony Morelli's right of free speech.
But wait, there's more! Also Not mentioned
The latest evaluation (they're been four - Allison's fine) produced a report that moderately criticized Anthony Morelli - but not enough to result in any kind of change to encourage Mr. Morelli to change his behavior. In short, the latest evaluation produced - nothing. No parenting consequences.
So I interviewed Allison. Click on it, here.
The rest of the interview is on-line. However, as I wrote yesterday, media mostly misses the mark in family court. That's why Familylawcourts.com exists as a cheat-sheet for those who would like to know how the courts work?
The shame being what's happening to Allison Morelli and her two sons isn't really parental alienation, although clearly it's partly that. Allison confided seven years of hate has negatively impacted their attitude towards her.
But the shame is all three have had to endure year seven of full-on, outright hatred. Which continues.
None of this was any part of the Today Show interview.
With coverage like that, it's easy to understand why the public still (mistakenly) believes family court is about the best interests of the children.
Bonnie Russell On: Dumanis’ continued reluctance to prosecute inactive attorney P. Gregory...
But first, a brief history on internet crime
A decade ago, then San Francisco columnist Reynolds Holding, wrote The State Bar should Crack Down on California Lawyers” in a column featuring one of California’s worst attorneys, Ron Lais. The column stated State Bar response to client complaints was sluggish at best, considering the bar had ten years worth of complaints regarding the Ron Lais "performed." Eventually though, the State Bar forced Lais’ resignation, until he paid his now former clients restitution.
Lais promptly filed bankruptcy, which immediately discharged the State Bar’s restitution order. Lais then promptly incorporated Child Custody Legal Network and continued offering legal services online as an International Child Custody Consultant, (and sued me four times for warning potential victims not to use him). The Orange County DA charged Lais with double-digit felony counts regarding the Unauthorized Practice of Law online, and Lais went to prison for a while. (He's now out and touting himself as an International Law Professor on Twitter.)
But Lais got me thinking as the problem of non-attorneys or former attorneys practicing on-line has increased. Most recently in San Diego. But at least there is some good news.
The first being the State Bar is now acting a little quicker, and the second being an easy solution to prevent the public from being duped online by former attorneys with a cash and moral problem. More on that later, as the original problem remains.
San Diego’s blind eye to unscrupulous, former attorneys
San Diego North County family law attorney Patricia Gregory is now listed on the State Bar site Ordered Inactive – Not Eligible to Practice Law.”
The back story is Gregory had dipped her hands into the trust account of her client, Luwain Ng, to the tune of 80k. Gregory later admitted the money was gone and made arrangements to repay Ng.
Plans went awry. Nine months later Ng had still not been paid in full. Eventually Ng complains to the State Bar. This prompts Gregory to fire a snarky email to Ng in which Gregory advises she will discontinue interest payments, before ading as if she was somehow a victim,
“If you wanted to punish me you have succeeded. I am destroyed. You have a $20,000.00, a ridiculously low legal bill and my obligation to pay $80,000.00. I have nothing. Seems a bit unfair, no? But you did get your revenge. Hope it was sweet.”
Gregory’s website remains active, announcing: CARLSBAD DIVORCE ATTORNEY representing clients in divorce, custody, support, and domestic violence cases in San Diego County.
The solution to protect the public from those who practice law on-line who shouldn’t, was well received by the State Bar president after it popped into my head last week. He suggested I mention it to a State Bar prosecutor, who also seemed to like it. (The prosecutor's email after our conversation indicated he forwarded my suggestion to the intake office.)
As it now stands, since Patricia Gregory refuses to remove her website from the Internet in spite of the State Bar’s repeated requests, Gregory is likely going to face additional charges.
(Interestingly, Gregory's legal website remains in full working order - including the claim: “She currently teaches graduate level courses in Business Law and Ethics”). However, a second problem slipped to the forefront.
The second problem being District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' tolerance for white-collar crime
In spite of a request from Patricia Gregory’s former client to charge Gregory, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis refuses to prosecute. Or say why she won't. This is puzzling as the case is very straight-forward. Gregory admitted to her 80k raid on Ng's account; and Ng provided much in the way of proof along with her request DA Dumanis charge her.
Sound of crickets chirping.
Calls to the DAs office remain unreturned.
The silence of San Diego's District Attorney is problematic as Bonnie Dumanis has spent an enormous amount of tax payer dollars in an unsuccessful effort to have her perceived stalker tried and convicted for writing what Dumanis considered a threatening letter. This would be months after declining to prosecute Diana Gonzalez’ husband, after he kidnapped and raped Gonzalez. After which Diana was found butchered to death in a college bathroom. (Diana’s husband promptly disappeared).
Additionally, after Dumanis’ alleged stalker was acquitted in Riverside County, Bonnie Dumanis received 24/7 law enforcement security for herself. She then spent time and energy maneuvering to have the guy prosecuted in federal court at additional taxpayer expense.
The jury deadlocked.
Unfortunately the public receives no such service from San Diego’s current DA and mayoral candidate for a relatively easy-to-prove, white collar crime.
Meanwhile I just received an invitation to join Bonnie for a day at the races on August 28. I wonder if I should bet on whether Bonnie answers my questions if I go.
BOYCOTT THE CITY OF DEL MAR! City's disgraceful parking ticket scam and medical pot harassment stinks! Do not patronize...
Two developments, and revelations, involving the city of Del Mar this week points to more than political incompetency on the part of its political leaders. It also points to moral turpitude.
BOYCOTT DEL MAR. This is the only way to get through to these misguided leaders and some of their supporters.
These two developments are linked by the utterly morally corrupt nature of misguided political agendas. Unfortunately, the entire city of Del Mar is involved in this in a way. And in another way, this is a case of misguided political peons refusing to do what's right rather than something they believe will help them politically.
It's all about MONEY. And stupidity. Surprise.
#1. It was revealed that the city of Del Mar gets more operating funds from PARKING TICKETS than any city in San Diego County and most cities statewide. Almost 4 percent of the city's annual budget came from traffic fines, of which 91 percent were parking fines. That was $653,730, more than Solana Beach, Coronado, Santee and Lemon Grove combined. Only SEVEN of 412 California cities had higher traffic ticket percentages for total city revenues.
#2. City of Del Mar's enlightened leaders decided to take some of their ripped-off-from-you-and-me parking ticket revenue, turned around and sued the the Coast's only medical marijuana dispensary, the 1105 Cooperative, providing comfort and hope for local residents who otherwise must drive to other communities. Despite the wishes of California voters, Del Mar leadership feels it is is best to mess with a legitimate tax-paying business while fostering an illegitimate one in the form of parking ticket scams.
Del Mar leaders are a disgrace. The city is a disgrace.
With the exception of the 1105 Cooperative, we call for a total boycott off all Del Mar activities except for activities at the Fairgrounds. You know, the cool place city of Del Mar leaders claimed they were going to purchase, and used YOUR parking ticket scam dollars to finance a costly exploraion effort.
Merchants or residents who don't want the boycott should put pressure on their so-called leaders to cut back the parking ticket sam program by at least HALF and to end IMMEDIATELY the inhumane attempt to impose their misguided misbegotten woefully poor morals on a worthy and medically helpful service.
For more about the Del Mar medicinal marijuana store visit: http://1105coop.com/
The 1105 Cooperative is a patient-centric licensed cooperative in compliance with California Prop 215 & SB 420.
Rosalie Cushman Considers: Politics, The Economy, And Evolution...
Now I’m no economist but it does seem to me that the globalization of economies is evolutionary in nature and, as a consequence of ‘natural selection’, is unavoidable though not without obvious and potent risks. Much like the game of chess, the dilemma comes in recognizing where one is positioned, what is the new and burgeoning context now operating and how does one maneuver at either micro or macro levels within the evolutionary process so that the ‘survival of the fittest’ doesn’t kill off the individual household, let alone a nation.
It is uncanny that as a writer I have some interesting and diverse clients, from the Galapagos Islands to sheltering corporations in Mexico, with other topics thrown in the mix. In the rarefied air of the Rancho Santa Fe community and its larger San Diego backdrop a couple of thoughts have surfaced. And while they may be insufficient or unoriginal, they seem to be compelling nuggets of truth.
First, without recognizing we’re in yet another paradigm shift, we are at risk of losing the innovative edge that has been our historical legacy as a country and an economy. Yes, yes, the debate rages on about outsourcing, not to mention the ‘raising taxes and/or bailout’ issues. The list continues with ‘should there be draconian budget cuts, how do we manage massive debt, the privatization of education, social security’ etc. Then there’s the real need and possible partial remedy of yet more government spending if we renovate and beef up infrastructures in America like roads, bridges and high speed rail.
These are legitimate and important discussions to have but they beg the question of more pressing innovation all too often in nearly every single category. Innovation can occur at every level of course and must, yet it is often viewed in isolation or increments, all too often leaving decision-makers defaulting to old strategies that have failed. It also is far more difficult to envision turning a very large ship around and therefore frightening. Yet, this process is necessarily part of the equation and difficult as it is, we’d better get serious about stepping up to the ‘innovation nation’ plate. Failing to do so, we operate at our peril.
Yet, some innovative examples have been making news lately as evidenced in Walmart, Target, and other mega stores who will be downsizing some of their space, building smaller ‘mom and pop’ type stores. They’ve clearly got some of the idea I’m talking about. And of course, why stop there. How about Walmart pop-up stores in empty storefront spaces? Or how about undertaking more creative and unusual co-branding opportunities? The Panera chain is an additional example of yet another innovative idea. They have opened up several restaurants recently where customers pay what they feel the food is worth. They have become hugely popular and are profitable with the potential of greater growth to come.
It’s not to say all ideas will pay off but true innovation is always about experimentation and what do some of these companies have to lose if they’re already struggling? Or even for businesses not struggling, by having a new vision they can create new job opportunities grafting differing financial models that could be duplicated by others.
The tanking of Greece’s economy with Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy right behind them serve as a cautionary tale for all economies of the world, including the US. Does it really make sense to borrow more money to pay a debt on what you’ve already borrowed? It’s not just about a socialist or capitalism regime. It’s not as simple as buying ‘made in America’ even. It’s about recognizing the inter-related and evolutionary process of the global economic system that has changed whereby all economic players, from China, to Mexico, to the EU, to the barbershop down the street must benefit not only themselves, but everyone by innovation – on every level.
We can’t afford to think in old ways when innovation is as critical as it is today. More importantly, the only way we get to ‘equity’ with third world countries becoming 2nd and 1st world industries is by facilitating each other’s growth. Wages in America have been shrinking. Conversely, wages in places like China and Mexico will have to slowly rise. It’s a fundamental principle to have a balanced economic ‘world organism’. Anything less is unhealthy and in the long term, won’t survive.
The second thought worming its way through my skull is this: viciously blaming either side for all the organic change that is part of economic, political, human, institutional, or governmental life has got to stop. First of all, it’s really boring, counterproductive, and juvenile. Second, moralistic finger wagging and blame just keeps us stuck. It’s not to say some ‘bad apples’ shouldn’t be held accountable for faulty decisions. They should, and rightfully so. Yet, Enron is such an exquisite example of accountability with ‘the smartest men in the room’ ultimately doing themselves in by their own greedy implosion. They systematically fell on their own sword and at the end of the day, if someone like Goldman Sachs can’t function without more bailouts ‘nature’ should and will take care of it one way or the other.
Could catastrophe trickle down to individuals if this were to happen? Of course. Do we have a responsibility to help those who are lest able to help themselves? Absolutely. However, discerning that responsibility at every level is critical and vitriolic tut-tutting just clouds the issue when it’s instead essential to identify and implement more mature error corrections. It is a nasty and pointless business, blame. All it does is keep us victimizing ourselves.
So while I’m concerned about the global economy, America’s financial woes and, of course, my own, I am hopeful and optimistic as well. Nature takes care of itself, at every level and in all realms. The evolutionary process is not confined to reptiles and plants and mammals. One of the greater challenges for humankind is getting out of the way of our own egoic mental notion of controlling it all, or thinking we can use old practices in new paradigms. We need to use our intellect, operate less emotionally with conscious participation and stewardship instead. Serious governmental, technological, service and manufacturing innovation is the vanguard of that process.
Bonnie Russell Observes: In San Diego's mayoral race the war on women continues...
Turning our attention from the east coast and Congressman Wiener, we attempted to learn how disposable San Diego women might remain based on a question we asked representatives of each mayoral candidate last Thursday.
Specifically, each was asked: "Do you support family court judges using GPS with Victim Notification devices in Family Court?" Representatives were told we would be checking responses over the weekend and publishing on Monday.
At first blush a State Family Court might not seem to be a city council or mayoral problem. At second blush however, it ties in significantly, since everything begins with San Diego Police; which given the spate of San Diego police officer related sex crime arrests, is a problem.
Keeping in mind the San Diego City Council has mostly been quiet during what appears to be an ongoing police scandal, the inquiry is also timely given the murder rate of women trying to leave relationships.
(Despite of being kidnapped and raped by her estranged husband, DA Bonnie Dumanis refused to prosecute. Gonzalez was murdered shortly afterward, it is suspected by her husband. Who then disappeared.
Credits: Family photo)
In the case of Councilmember DeMaio we left a voice mail. But we communicated with representatives of each candidate - including Senator Christine Kehoe, who has not yet filed for office, but has formed an exploratory committee. To each we described the problem just as we had on October 19, 2010, during the public comment section of a City Council meeting. At that time we alerted the council San Diego women are paying taxes for police services the police refuse to provide when reporting inter-family crimes. Click here for that video clip.
San Diego women attempting to report physical or sexual attacks from family members expect responding officers to ask if weapons were involved, or to be shown bruises or other forms of evidence. Instead, officer response is to inquire if the women are going through a divorce or custody battle.
If the response is affirmative, San Diego police will not act. No reports will be made. Instead, officers will suggest women go to Family Court and "get a restraining order." If the crime is against a child, the officers will suggest a request "Supervised visitation" for the attacker.
Since most people are unaware the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, police aren't mandated to enforce Civil restraining orders - and since Family Court is considered a civil court; this is not helpful.
Separately, police failure to begin the process is what kept a child molester free and molesting for five years while Joyce Murphy repeatedly asked the the police and Family Court for relief. To no avail. Eventually Joyce broke down and ran with her daughter. She was caught and prosecuted by Bonnie Dumanis. After this news clip aired, however, Joyce's ex husband, who had been awarded full custody, was only arrested after making one mistake. He molested two girls from intact families, who then told their parents, who immediately called and received police services.
But prior his mistake, Joyce was enduring a five year "sentence" of supervised visitation by Family Court judge DeAnn Salcido knowing her former husband continued to molest other people's children. With impunity.
Supervised visitation is also problematic
As noted in Line One of the, California Judicial Council Form Number FL341(A) for Supervisd Visitation which clearly states:
"1. Evidence has been presented in support of a request that the contact with the (Petitioner) or (Respondent) with the children be supervised based on allegations of: abduction of the child(ren), Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Domestic violence: etc.,"
this Family Court form decriminalizes crime. Kidnapping becomes "abduction," battery, is "domestic violence" and sexual molesting, becomes the softer sounding "abuse." This form keeps cases which should be in criminal court in Family Court. As the stats reflect, often with deadly results.
The above explains why all mayoral candidates were asked if they supported Family Court judges ordering GPS with Victim Notification as an enhancement to any restraining orders they might make, also necessary as the Family Justice Center's Lt. Lori Lunhow telephoned us last year to inform us the Family Justice Center is not interested in real-time GPS.
Women victims however, are. Because GPS with real monitoring, (not "tracking") means in real-time,and in time enough for women to vacate the area, a GPS monitoring staff member would notify them ahead of time as soon as the restrained person began to violate the court ordered stay-away distance. That means for the first time,
Technology is available for judges to craft an Effective restraining order.
With this technology women no longer have to remain the sitting ducks they have been. Click on any of the news clips, here. All devices featured could be used in Family Court if it wasn't for one thing.
Indifference at every level of government
Although each of the devices featured in the news clips could be adapted for family court and greatly reduce family murders, as seen here, the reality is San Diego Family Court judges don't have the same concern for victim litigants requesting their help as victims do with San Diego's Criminal Court judges. Family Court judges refuse to use the technology.
Responses to our query were as follows:
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis: No response. No mention of the safety of women, her costly prosecution of Cynthia Sommers or the now dead, Diana Gonzalez. whose husband Dumanis "declined" to prosecute, then refused to explain. Also no mention of her defense of Deputy Lowell Bruce, who shot his wife in the face, killing her. Dumanis petitioned for another judge because she thought the Deputy's judge made a harsh comment about the deputy, a Los Colinas Women's Detention Center guard. Likewise there was no mention of her boycott of two other judges, as reported in the Voice of San Diego.
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher: No response. Assemblyman Fletcher's representative indicated he was very busy. We advised his representative we had been calling Fletcher's office about this particular issue with family court since before the John Gardner trial. We noted on Sunday Assemblyman Fletcher participated in...
Bonnie Russell Observes: Tax Lady Roni Deutch Missing from late night TV...
Missing from San Diego's late-night TV's cacophony of "buy this, trust me" ads, is none other than The Tax Lady, Roni Deutch, who has been order to stop running her commercials. Courthouse News reports the Attorney General wants Deutch jailed because according to documents filed,
No time for television it seems. The documents claim Deutch has all but turned into herself into a one woman, 24 hour shredding machine. According to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Deutch has shredded 2.1 million documents needed to prosecute her.
Back in 2006 Deutch agreed to pay some of her New York clients.
However, California residents remain at risk as Deutch's firm grossed 25 million last year.
Deutch claims she has a good reputation with the Better Business Bureau, (which says a lot about the Better Business Bureau.)
However, when telephoned the Tax Lady's "New Client" representative said while her law firm is not accepting new clients right now,they are referring them to other professionals. The representative named the Juceam Group.
When pressed, the operator claimed she didn't know anything about the Juceam Group, including whether they were located in California or not. Further checking reveals the owner is Scott Juceam, who describes himself as a motivational speaker and business consultant/owner. The Juceam Group's Corporate Headquarters is 5484 Dewey Drive, Suite 235, Fair Oaks, CA 95628
In an unrelated case, Scott's daughter Hannah Rose, died tragically as a toddler. The nanny, who was not in the country legally, was acquitted of killing the child, Hannah Rose.
Scott Juceam then created the Hannah Rose Foundation, which is not registered as a non-profit with the state of California.
Scott's Twitter account. "Protectakid" flacks his IRS expertise and Roni Deutch is listed as partnering with him on the site.
Rosalie Cushman Considers: Bees Know Best at Oceanside's Prince of Peace Abbey
BEES KNOW BEST
So I went to the Monastery recently to get away from it all. I’ve done this before, having visited several around the United States over the last 20 years. My recent visit happens to have been in our own backyard, so to speak – Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside. For me, the peacefulness and mysticism experienced while visiting these places seems so natural, as in part of nature. It seems so obvious that humankind is meant to respond to our own rhythms and that of our surroundings without dramatically messing up the planet, instead enjoying both bounty and beauty that is plentiful.
During my stay I ate well (too well!), slept well, meditated well, walked well, along with enjoying some interesting conversations with both brothers and visitors alike. One of the monks, Brother Blaise Heuke, is a beekeeper, and has harvested honey for nearly 40 years, with a 10 year lapse in production. At its height, Brother Blaise was extracting 100 gallons of honey a week, which is substantial. He told me that “a few years ago his bees began to die off, leaving me nothing. The honey flow stopped and the bees all died,” he said chagrinned.
Initially Brother Blaise was perplexed but was determined to get to the bottom of the problem. This took some time while he initiated many adjustments to the hives he had built and tinkered with the placement of them. Originally, the hives were situated behind workshops at the rear of the Abbey’s property on the crest of the hill. In time he began to connect bee demise with the presence of four cell phone towers that had been built on the Monastery grounds near Camp Pendleton and became suspicious.
At first “I gave no notice to the towers since there could be other things that cause bees to die, such as bug spray,” he continued. But after giving it more thought “I decided to move my bees to a different location. I used my cell phone to help locate a ‘safe spot’”. The ‘safe spot’ consisted of no cell phone reception, of course, and he moved his hives away from the electromagnetic fields of the towers. Over time the bees “came back” and so did the honey.
Now Queen Bees are incredibly prolific. One Queen Bee will lay approximately 2000 eggs a day. Drone (seasonal male) bees and 20,000 to 40,000 Worker bees turn that into enormous amounts of honey in the comb cells. The Workers collect nectar from flowers, return to the hive, work together and regurgitate the nectar into the cells and ‘whallah’ – honey is produced. Actually, there are a few more steps than this but you’ve got the picture.
Electromagnetic fields are another story. They are also part of nature. However, not all ‘parts of nature’ are supposed to co-exist in the same neighborhood of massive electromagnetic ‘loads’, as it were. Since Brother Blaise’s insightful experimenting more than a decade ago, numerous studies have been conducted around the globe as others began to notice a problem. The bee population in the US and the UK has decreased by nearly half in the last 30 years, proportionally coinciding with the increase in cell phone usage. Scientists have discovered that bees actually become disoriented when ‘under the influence of cellular transmission’. The frequency confuses them causing them to leave the hive. Essentially, their own internal ‘radar’ is tampered with by the electromagnetic fields of cell phone usage, sort of like a natural ‘jamming’ that occurs.
Does Brother Blaise advocate getting rid of cell phones and towers? No. What he does suggest is that mankind needs to be more mindful of the nature that instructs us and accommodate it. We are stewards of all life and all is intricately related. After all, it has been known for centuries that besides the delicious honey they produce, bees play an essential role in our eco system by pollinating our agriculture, fueling the very food we humans depend on for survival.
After earlier watching some honey he extracted from the cones, filtered through a centrifuge, Brother Blaise sent me home with some honey. It is astonishingly fresh, sweet, uncontaminated and pure. The Abbey’s gift shop sells it to the public. Brother Blaise also sells his ‘used wax’ to Del Mar’s beeswax candle company, sometimes for hundreds of dollars. So besides a much needed respite for a few days, I learned about honey production, electromagnetic interference that is deleterious to bees in the form of cell phones and towers, and about wisdom gained from the simplest sources.
For additional information on bees, visit http://inhabitat.com/its-official-cell-phones-are-killing-bees/ . Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside is located high on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, 650 Benet Hill Rd, Oceanside, CA 92058. Brother Blaise Heuke has lived there since 1959. The bees preceded his arrival; he is their most ardent advocate and care-taker. In his own words: “I can speak out against them (the cell towers) since I won’t lose my job and I have no money invested” –one way or another.
Rosalie Cushman Considers: The Other End Of Motherhood - companion piece...
(Editor's Note: Part One is below, or follow this link: http://ahharsfnews.com/2011/05/04/mothers.)
It is wondrous to have a child. I have never had any event, any course of action that has affected me so deeply, so profoundly as to have a child. The early years are thrilling. It is a kind of intoxication. Oddly, after you have been at it for a few years and it has taken hold of you, it necessarily shuts you off from something inside. You will give up a part of yourself only half realizing this until it is too late. Then, something will happen—your child will become a teenager, then an adult, and you will have to pivot, to catch up with them. And you will notice they have left.
Oh, not the kind of geographical leaving; that’s the easy part. That kind of leaving is obvious. The hard leaving is the cold, critical eye they will turn on you severing the tie that once bound you together. It is a kind of amputation, and like phantom pain from a severed limb, it mysteriously remains painful even without the limb’s viewing. Oddly still, I have awareness I’ve committed this very act myself with my own mother; but like with my son now, was oblivious to her hurt, reckless even, not giving one serious damn even if I did catch her occasionally wince when she looked my way.
It is remarkable how only now, as my adult son thrashes his emotional wreckage towards me, that I recall my callousness at an earlier age. It generates a kind of sorrow that has consumed me at times, at least until it has had its way leaving me spent. Only later can I pick myself up, dusting myself off with the knowledge I gave it the best go I could while being only partly conscious of what I was doing, and only half the time at that – half of a half or so it seems. After all, my principle role model was the very woman who raised me, stiff and aloof, loving me certainly in her own big way even, but leaving that verbalization at the barn door from rural Midwestern America from where she came, where nurturing is for the weak and love is to be left unsaid, acted on profoundly but never directly expressed.
I look at other mothers, friends of mine, and conclude a similar process is in play albeit with different hues and cries and temperaments altogether, but knowing I’m hardly alone in this critical amputation gig. How strange it is indeed for me to take comfort in the clan quality of motherhood, creating its own bond altogether, but surely I must.
Clannishness and one more thing; a big thing! For when the cancer comes or the heart attack, I will squint pointing my head in the direction of my mother, remembering her exit as I march towards mine. I will know it has all been worth it. I will know that even through losing my child in a way, I have gained something of my own. I will see that there is a kind of awareness that has occurred – a consequence of human soulful spin-off that has extended me somehow, expanded me. It is indescribable and sweet even in the face of pain imagined. Undoubtedly, there is a divinity I can smell as well as a freedom I can taste. There has been no other experience I have had as powerful as motherhood; no other event as enlightening.
Without a doubt to be a mother is to be a shepherd. To be a good mother is to leave the lamb its freedom. To be a great mother is to await their eventual gaze back towards you, assured of their return whether it is inside or out of time.
Rosalie Cushman Considers - MOTHERS...
You have pulled me back to you for some yet unknown reason and on this last day by your bedside, I’m getting ready to cycle back on my own elliptical trip to motherhood away from you. I cannot say, dear mommy, that I feel more sadness – at least not at this moment. In fact, in many ways, I feel far less. I don’t know exactly why. It may be because I keep my feelings at bay – a necessary adaptation to being in your presence. It may be because I have felt so many emotions, often in extreme or potent fashion, that there’s just less sad left to feel.
Or it may be because I accept the whole process of your dying – your timeline, your needs – surrendering in a far better way to the inevitable lack of control that I have rebelled against for so many months. I suppose too somehow my crying, wailing, and wallowing in my own muck and mire just seems less appropriate and out of place in the face of your ongoing dignity with which you approach your own death.
Remarkably, it seems mystifying to me that you could be expressing dignity in the face of Cancer and Alzheimers, with dirty wet diapers and bibs, your straight, white hair flying wildly behind you on the pillow as you continue to hold on fiercely to two teddy bears from your youngest and eldest daughter.
Yet somehow you preserve yourself with just that: a serene quality that comes from somewhere else, a not-of-this-earth kind of thing. You release love and life entirely, attaching only temporary meaning to the props and decorations that identify you now as my mother. Actually, it almost seems as if you are trying to say to me through these scenes, “Do not weep so…this ultimately is a much smaller thing than you think, dear daughter, this seemingly unattractive way I die.”
It’s as if you radiate questions like ‘what sort of compassion would you have exercised for someone not so personally attached to you had you not seen me drool, heard me jabber nonsense, seen me lie in my own waste.’
From where I sit, it feels as if you offer yourself up yet one more time, sharing infinite lessons of love and light to all around you. At least that’s what I see when I get outside of just the ‘you’ I know as my mother. For I watch the delicate yet sturdy expressions of love and compassion as your nurses tenderly touch your face while giving you your medicine, stroking the sides of your throat, urging you to swallow your morphine to reduce your physical pain.
I watch your caretakers feed you cereal, adjust your head on the pillow, turn your body to prevent bedsores, all the while talking words of affection, encouragement, and humor. You are not their mother, yet you are comforted just the same through kindnesses springing from an impersonal source being loved into death like I imagine you were once loved into life.
And ultimately, I am struck not be the sadness of watching your earth life leak out of your very specific body I identify as my mother. Rather, I am struck by all the expressions of a still, small voice behind each act of caring extended, as each person responds to the soul dignity you miraculously emit like radar, invisible in its source, yet manifested so visibly in each literal caress.
I am awed by the energy of it all, driving each act I only later come to name as Love. Ironically, I care less and less about the specific vehicle of what seems like a terminal condition – the Alzheimers and Cancer eating away at your thin, frail body, with my previous interpretations of despair and tragedy all but gone, at least for the moment.
For in the end I gradually catch the faint but increasing whiff of your gift: that you keep your human heart beating for not just me but for all your daughters as well, trying to communicate for as long as you can make it so, how much you really loved us. And while the details of our lives together continue to silently fall away, what remains of your final yet everlasting act of love – to crawl up onto your own personal cross, arms outstretched towards infinity as if to say “I love you this much….”
….and months later, with tears streaming down my cheeks you have moved on, resurrected to another place of grace, with the giver of the gift who moves us all to acts beyond our human capacity. And I am breathless and stalled momentarily in my human loss of your steady face, eyes that once beamed, missing your example, and your effort.
Yet, I continue on even though I’m at a different stage of suffering, one which sometimes sends me reeling. I somehow manage because of what was given to me – that final act of love that you so graciously expressed. I manage because I know that you have been redeemed in parallel fashion much as you redeemed me. Without any doubt your effort to send one final message through the dignity and effort of your dying process thunders a love so loud it is unmistakable – a love given through great suffering only to soar and transform.
And I am grateful beyond words.
San Diego City Council Refuses To Hold Police Chief Accountable
Perhaps Mayor Sanders - San Diego's former top cop and in his "strong mayor" capacity will lend a steadying hand in continuing the status quo. This means until the council acts, San Diego women and children aren't safe.
Facts demonstrate a long-time problem
Although long-time San Diego police officer Art Arevalous (photo far left) kept women's underwear in his locker, and long-time San Diego police Sgt, and "Officer of the Year" Ken Davis (photo above in suit) is going to trial for stalking, and Art Perea (photo above) resigned over a rape charge, not a single media report to date backtracks to why San Diego women aren't safe.
City Council inaction
Back in 2005, when former attorney Ron Lais emailed "I will hunt you down" (Lais was upset I'd featured him as a con artist, and was actively helping the DA make a successful case against him), I attempted to report his threat, including, recording the exchange. Officers arrived at my home but were very reluctant to make a criminal report.
Instead I was repeatedly questioned as to a relationship with Lais, and when a second one officer noticed the recording equipment, the conversation stopped. The officers refused to complete the report until the recording stopped. When their demands were not met, both officers left.
"I support the officers decision to not make a police report while you were recording."
Which prompted another police chief to quip, "Where is it codified the police can work in private?"
When Lansdowne's comments were reported to the City Council in a televised meeting it was to blank stares all around. Absolutely no action was taken.
Nor did anything happen when the council was advised again in 2010 of police officers ongoing refusal to make criminal reports.
Silence is golden
Five arrests of San Diego police officers in 45 days and dead silence from Mayor Sanders. Dead silence from San Diego's City Council, which have long ago should taken steps for Police Chief Lansdowne to step down. Especially after Chief Lansdowne in a televised interview identified criminal charges as "mistakes."
The problems also applies to women crime victims forced to remain in Family Court.
As the news clip demonstrates, San Diego police refuse to provide services, pedophiles remain free to molest other people's children.
Family Court - where crime stays
The continued lack of consistent media coverage in San Diego's busiest court, few remember the victims who repeatedly begged for help...but were told by police to "get a restraining order in family court." These women are dead now, but remembered by name.
Unless and until the city council decides to act to protect half the population, now and in the foreseeable future San Diego women have no reason whatsoever to expect they will be safe. As such, San Diegans will continue paying taxes for police services the police continue refusing to provide.
Apparently with full knowledge and cooperation of San Diego's city council and mayor.
Freed killer looking for love in all the wrong places on Match.com
Match.com recently changed its policy for sex offenders. A Hollywood producer was attacked by Alan Wurtzel, a convicted sex offender with convictions stemming from women he met on-line. I’d sent the below to the attorney representing the attacked Hollywood producer along with a network news guy. My note opened with:
“I’ll see your convicted rapist and raise you a triple-murderer, since freed, who is looking for love on Match.”
Just in case you wondered – on-line dating sites make about 850 million per year.
So it's not like they couldn't afford to conduct checks.
This lack of - oh, everything worked very well for awhile for convicted killer, Abraham Fortune; a man looking for love.
Fortune has been looking for his soul mate on Match.com, Yahoo Personals, and a bunch of other sites, too.
He's had a lot of time to search since selling his motorcycle shop, along with enough money to render himself attractive.
My guess is Abraham uploaded a nice, photo-shopped picture of himself on all of the site he's registered.
Below is one that isn't. Because the State of Texas doesn't photo-shop.
According to Texas Department of Criminal Justice records, Abraham Fortune was convicted of killing two people in 1970.
He served less than 11 years.
And while the San Francisco Chronicle reported Fortune killed two people, The San Antonio Express named three.
Including a four year old child.
One more thing. Abraham Fortune used to be Michael Paprskar. He was Paprskar when he killed the child and sentenced to die in the electric chair.
According to the San Antonio Express:
“A more deliberate, cold-blooded murder of an inoffensive child ... would be hard to imagine,” a federal appeals court judge wrote in 1980. Paprskar thought he had been sold “bad heroin,” the judge wrote.
(Separately, Fortune pleaded guilty to heroin possession in 1983; the charge was dismissed after he served about five years' probation.)
Paprskar was sentenced to die in the electric chair for the child's murder, but the sentence later was reversed because items seized during a warrantless search hadn't been suppressed. He never was retried, but he pleaded guilty to the two other murders and received concurrent 20-year sentences, though it appears he served less than 14 years.
Oh. Just one more thing. Fortune/Paprskar is awaiting a new trial after he shot someone else at his former motorcycle shop.
Back to love!
According to the Chronicle, Abraham Fortune/Michael Paprskar wrote he "loathed betrayal, meanness, duplicity."
He didn’t mention his multiple murders. Or dual identities. Last, and this is just a minor point - he also lied about his age.
Naturally, given Fortune's/Paprskar's temper, I began to wonder how quickly he would shoot anyone he felt was mean. Or committed (at least in his mind) a "betrayal."
But as bad as Fortune/Paprskar is, please also consider another guy. Dave Evans. A "good" guy. Now Evans hasn't killed anyone, much less, three people. And I'm reasonably sure he only has one identity.
But check out Evan's attitude towards women. Because Dave Evans runs a dating blog site.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.
"We're dealing with a lot of people who lack those street smarts," said Dave Evans, editor of Online Dating Post, a blog about the business.
"They assume the site does everything. People say, 'I thought everybody on here was supposed to be legitimate.'
What rock did you crawl out from? Every single dating Web site out there has child molesters and murderers," he said.
I've often joked for some people, being on OS probably constitutes a parole violation, But jeez...this is way over the top.
So, just as a reminder: Ladies, Moms, and Dads...remember;
On-line dating sites do not conduct background checks for killers.
One last thing.
A friend of mine once worked at one of San Diego’s brick-and-motar, "Let us find your soulmate" relationship businesses which essentially, sells romance. They've been sued several times, but their chi-chi office remains located in an upscale area of the county.
This particular company brags about conducting background checks.
My friend quit the relationship business the day one guy's credit card worked. He had plenty of money - but he also had a prison record for child molesting.
However, since he was out of prison, had money, and his credit score was good, as far as the dating agency was concerned he was good to go.
They signed him up.
So much for the background check.
What happened to my friend?
She's fine. She switched to selling on-line legal advertising.
HYPERLINK "http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/27/BUMQ1E4L3M.DTL&tsp=1" San Francisco Chronicle
HYPERLINK "http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/bye-bye_to_an_sa_biker_landmark_96613164.html?showFullArticle=y" San Antonio Express News
Robert Doisneau’s “The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville,”*
This picture was widely referred to as the most romantic. The model, (I thought it was spontaneous, too) later sued for royalties.
As long as family court judges continue putting woman at risk, real-time monitoring GPS with victim notification is their only recourse.
Although local news media has widely reported the arrest of five, long-time veteran San Diego police officers on charges ranging from sexual battery to rape; not reported is the background of Judge Lisa Schall's refusal to issue a permanent restraining order for a thirteen year female San Diego Police officer against her former lover, Sgt. Ken Davis, a 23 year San Diego Police Department veteran, who didn't take the break-up well and threatened to kill her.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled police officers are not mandated to enforce restraining orders.
San Diego police made arrangements for the female officer to hide out in a safe house. The question is, why should she have to hide?
Background of Judge Lisa Schall
Judge Lisa Schall has been twice disciplined by the California Commission on Judicial Performance. Once for inappropriately jailing a woman for five days, and once for driving the wrong way on a freeway, after her DUI arrest.
What seems clear is Judge Schall is at best, unfamiliar with Battered Women's Syndrome. A lack of awareness remains a top-down kind of problem. Former governor Gray Davis likewise was also uneducated in this area. It wasn't until Arnold Schwarzengger was voted in in a recall of Davis that BWS was successfully used by defense attorneys in parole matters.
What is unclear is whether Judge Lisa Schall and other judges unaware, has an interest in educating themselves to the reality of Battered Women's Syndrome.
However, to protect women until judges are educated, attorneys for the female officer should request GPS with Victim Notification. As long as family court judges continue putting woman at risk, real-time monitoring GPS with victim notification is their only recourse. Unfortunately, the City of San Diego shows zero interest in protecting half the population.
Rosalie Cushman Considers: Growing Up Into My Self...
First, while I have certainly had my struggles in several repetitive areas of life, it is astounding to me how many blessings I’ve had that remain to this day. I’ve learned so much about life and living from so many people and experiences. Occasionally, my life has been populated with meeting large numbers of famous people, with a far smaller number of family and intimate friends going a good distance with me on my life’s potent journey.
I’ve met or known a fair amount of writers from Steve Allen, to Dean Koontz, to Dr. Neal Barnard, to Jane Smiley. These are very big names indeed and there are many more, too numerous to mention. Remarkably, while moments of awe have nearly always initially mesmerized me when meeting these individuals, in short order I’ve been lucky often to see just how much of a human being lies underneath these worldly accomplishments. For a time I’ve had a dream to be ‘just like them’; to set the world on fire with some sort of creative piece, puffing out my chest with a ‘look at me’ kind of inflation that so many of them also suffer from. Yet that inflation often hides a tender and wounded heart.
Oddly – and I’ll lay claims to the fact that this has been denied me – I seem to not want their worldly prizes anymore, or not in the same way certainly. How on earth could this even be? Yet, there comes a time in a life when your perspective gets changed, when you no longer see your life or the living of it from the same perspective. One of the authors along the way I also met was the astronaut, Gene Cernan. He was the “last man on the moon” with a book by the same title. In his book, he has pictures of the earth he took while up there, tromping around on that reflective piece of rock.
I think of his book now, but mostly of his perspective: to reflect back on where you ‘come from’, from a life being lived, what it’s true worth is, what it means and, most importantly, what might be truly gleaned from its evolution around the sun’s revolutions. One time when I was whining to a very successful creative advertising friend about my lack of money and ‘worldly goods’ he just turned to me and said, “You have things money cannot buy”. And, while his words seemed so tepid and trite at the time, I sniffed out the truth of them even through my thinning anger.
I know a Pulitzer Prize does not account for how someone lives their life from the heart. I know walking on the moon does not do it either. These acts in and of themselves, while of course hugely noteworthy, do not reveal the deepest truth of a person. I have another friend who owns several casinos, has been wildly successful in business. His personal life has been very much a mixed bag, messy and painful at times, with pockets of love he flees uncontrollably from. Yet, I find myself still responding to some indescribable aspect of him that is visible in the glint of his eye, the impulse I see unbidden and nearly uncontained at times, to reach out to others. It is the same for all of us. He has his own things to ‘learn’ from his life and only he can discern what they might be.
Recently, I watched “The Social Network”, a story about the founder of Facebook. Now, I’m here to tell you, he has made enormous contributions to humankind. Globally! He’s a zillionaire, yes. I’ll give him all the respect due for this astonishing accomplishment. Has he satisfied his deepest yearnings of the heart? Only he can know that, yet it is all we are ever really here for anyway. He remains very young and will likely have much more time to unbury himself from the living grave he has made for himself. He invented Facebook – a tool to connect with others. Remarkably, he does not yet seem to know what the connection is for. To know another, to connect from the heart, to throw out the ‘world rules’ of definition of one’s self and elevate our true definition for us to act upon is what the living is for. It is for Loving. Facebook guy wanted the girl but for ego, not his heart. Jeesh. Raise your hand all of you who’ve ever gone down this road! He is so not alone, although extreme in his example. He is so ‘us’! I know of which I speak, I married (and mercifully, divorced) a trophy husband.
For the Buddha, the connection was enlightenment with the divine source of life. For Mother Theresa, it was living and giving compassion from the heart to any and all in need as they lay ‘dying’. For Nelson Mandela, unearthing his true being took 27 years in a jail cell, operating from love and forgiveness before he went on to liberate a nation. But years don’t count. They really don’t. Intentions and purpose do, however long it takes, however many lifetimes. These folks may be large examples but they reflect our own individual internal struggles.
Yes, while my ‘worldly goals’ may be recontextualizing themselves in unexpected fashion, my mantra pasted on the mirror remains with the same question: ‘what do I want to be accountable for on my deathbed?’ Today it strikes me principally, as the following: to know the Truth of myself and live from it, not as the world sees it, but as I know it to be. This includes identifying what happiness is, what lovingness is (as opposed to doingness), and what forgiveness is. What’s more, each of these qualities are necessarily undergoing scrutiny and re-definition at this time.
If I were to be hit by a bus tomorrow and exit the planet, I will have known my intention to try, to focus on these qualities are the only things worth accounting for. What’s more, my life has revealed the most enormous blessings, unfolding in front of my face with me all too often, scampering past them. Yet, in these later years, I reflect back on their enormity. Touching another, connecting on that indefinable level that some call ‘spirit’ (I’ll call it where we really ‘live’) has informed me to know, to remember the core of what life means in all its expressions. From the beggar in Calcutta, to the last man on the moon, I have been blessed with an ineffable gift of witnessing an essential connection, however intermittent and fleeting at times. It is everything and it is most certainly, the richest of all blessings.
I know the Truth of these experiences. They are painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, in the notes of Mozart, and on the interior chamber of my heart. And for however long that heart continues to beat out its impulse to know ‘thyself’ and connect it with others, I will remain committed to what it holds most dear.
Tracy EmblemTakes on Nukes: America Should Reconsider its Bail-out of the Nuclear Power Industry...
However, in 2009, Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee unveiled his blueprint to build 100 nuclear power plants within the next 20 years. Even with the nuclear power plant crisis unfolding in Japan, the senator insists that nuclear energy is safe and continues to call on the federal government to guarantee loans for nuclear power plants with tax payer dollars.
According to the Institute for Southern Studies, the nuclear industry has spent at least $640 million lobbying during the last decade.
Although there are several deep budget cuts proposed for social and environmental programs, President Obama has budgeted another $36 billion dollars in loan guarantees even though the nuclear industry should be seeking private marketplace financing for new construction. This amounts to a bailout for the nuclear industry.
The federal guarantees were first authorized by Congress in 2005. The New York Times reports that "a one-sentence provision" was buried in the energy bill and inserted without debate at the urging of the nuclear power industry, making nuclear plants classified as clean energy and eligible for tens of billions of dollars in government loan guarantees.
Apparently the lessons learned from the 1986 Chernobyl power plant reactor meltdown that caused the worst nuclear accident in history were forgotten. In the United States in 1979, we almost had a partial meltdown at Three Mile Island but the reactor was brought under control just in time.
With the meltdown of nuclear reactors in Japan, our government leaders, charged with protecting the health and safety of our citizens, should carefully evaluate the risks of nuclear power plants.
No matter how the industry spins it, nuclear power is not safe and will never be until the waste problem is solved. Thirty years later, we have not solved the dilemma of storing nuclear waste or the problem of what to do with the weapons-grade plutonium. It only takes about 18 pounds of plutonium to build a nuclear weapon.
In the United States, more than 60,000 metric tons of nuclear waste is stored in temporary storage facilities at 131 civilian and military sites around the country. The current storage solutions are only expected to last 100 years, while nuclear waste can remain lethal for 100,000 years or more. The government has no long term plan to store the waste and insure the waste does not remain an environmental hazard.
We must also consider the weapons proliferation risk in an age of transnational terrorism in addition to the risk of an environmental accident. These are just some reasons why we must adopt alternative renewable energy standards and use renewable energy sources rather than build 100 more nuclear power plants.
In the United States, a conservative solution is to invest in clean energy sources that do not pose risks inherent in nuclear energy production and storage. These sources include creating bio-energy from plant matter or animal waste. For example, in Northern California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and BioEnergy Solutions are building an innovative bio-gas project in Fresno County to deliver renewable natural gas derived from animal waste, reducing the carbon footprint at its source.
In San Diego, San Diego Gas and Electric Company has announced a partnership in a wind project on the Campo reservation using renewable energy. This month SDG&E also announced a 25-year contract to generate solar energy from a proposed 1,057-acre solar energy facility near El Centro which would create almost 300 construction jobs in a two-year period.
Rather than subsidizing nuclear power plants or off-shore drilling, an alternative approach is needed. Using concentrated solar energy we could power the entire United States annually. The public already owns the right-away along the state and interstate highways. It does not take a lot of imagination to conceive of a solar-electric array 100 feet wide and 100 miles long, or any number of miles. Since the highways pass through cities that need electricity we would have connectivity where every American could see their tax dollars at work.
While those in favor of building nuclear power plants argue that nuclear energy is inexpensive, they have not factored in the costs and risks associated with the building and maintenance of storage facilities for the nuclear waste or the cost to our people's health and the environment if there is a problem with the nuclear reactors. If they had to factor in the cost of insurance to pay for these risks, nuclear energy would not be inexpensive.
America should have vision. Consequently, the United States should consider phasing out its nuclear power plants over the next generation and begin investing in other safer renewable energy sources. We can lead the world in clean energy technology.
Rosalie Cushman Considers: Japan's Catastrophe levels life in tsunami's wake...The view from Olivenhain.
The earthquake and resultant Tsunami in Japan is a leveler like all catastrophic events. It creates instant equality, prompting those experiencing it to reevaluate life in an instant. Some recognize the animal instinct, and fast, and act on staying alive with tenacity. Some surrender to the inevitable ‘cause of their passing’ into death. Still others who survive make immediate decisions to help another in the most astounding ways.
Or not. One thing is certain: nothing in the physical world is as potentially catalytic on a personal level as this kind of catastrophe. The instantaneous choices some will be forced to make will reveal themselves to themselves. It is their impulse and actions that speak to meaning and value like nothing in the physical world: no bank account, title, position, or lack thereof. Not one thing!
My son was in the Tsunami in Thailand some years back, and survived. His story is harrowing of which I only know a small portion. Even with time’s passing, he speaks little of it although its impact on him is telling. I know he and his girlfriend, along with another couple, were all on a dive boat. The boat capsized and they all went into the water. Lots of chaos amid the debris was all around them, along with other bodies, some dead, some alive.
The shortest version is they remained in the water until being rescued and, once on shore, helped resuscitate some. Others would not be brought back to life. They found several people on shore who were separated from family members, lost in the immediate aftermath, unknown as to their whereabouts or if they were even alive. None of us non-tsunami witnesses can ever know this overwhelm-ment. Nor, can we know what instant decisions any of those surviving were called to make, let alone its emotional toll.
It was only last year my son told me while after being capsized , they tried to hold a 7-year old boy aloft on a piece of debris. He was severely injured and bleeding badly. Several of them were treading water, keeping the boy suspended, while trying to stay afloat themselves.
There is far more story here, not to mention all that followed even after they made it to shore. Suffice it to say, they and anyone else faced with having to make hair-trigger decisions of a similar nature, are confronted with not just the animal instinct to survive, but more importantly, a higher Self – that part of each of us that identifies what we value and hold in our hearts as having the greater meaning.
Sometimes it becomes ‘shall I save myself at the expense of another?’ Shall I help another if it costs me my own life? Or, shall I let another ‘suffer’ even if it looks like they will likely live but under horrific conditions, bleeding and maimed, emotionally ravaged while I get to ‘higher ground?’
What any of us live for, and what any of us humans are willing to die for, is always individually determined. Yet for some, the decision is made in a collective context, potent and powerful, staggering in its very proportion to what we believe ourselves to even be. Natural disasters are the great equalizers and true tests – far more so than any man-made war – as to what an individual truly values.
There will likely be many tested now and in the days to come, in Japan and elsewhere, affected by the quake and its resultant Tsunami. Some will come to see there is no physicality that compares to the connectedness with a fellow soul that they will experience as profoundly.
Others may miss the point. One thing is certain – all will receive equal opportunity to re-evaluate what life and living means to them, either in the immediate moment or later on. Some will come to know its depths. Others will have less capacity to understand it in those terms. For all of us witnesses, we have yet another opportunity to look inside ourselves, to see what we value to the greatest degree--- to the degree we are willing or able.
To be continued…..
Del Mar's Preston Vorlicek Sez: Fairgrounds purchase a 'Game Changer' for Del Mar
While many people have been talking about the possible benefits of such a purchase (local/regional control), few people have been talking about the financial details and implications of such a purchase. Fortunately, the 22nd District Agricultural Association (DAA) has provided us the latest audited financial statements for the years of 2007, 2008 and 2009. Management discussion and extensive financial details are provided in the statements. I have offered to send the actual report to anyone who is interested (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).