July 20, 2011 archive

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

mishima‘s news digest 6 In The Morning will be on hiatus

These featured articles-

special features-

The continuing coverage of the world’s most watched and controversial cycling event, Le Tour de France.

Join us on Tuesday for Le Tour 2011- Stage 18 at 8:00 AM EDT.

This is an Open Thread

The Beautiful and the Damned

The Beautiful and the Damned

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC, July, 2011

Striking Prisoners Denied Proper Medical Care

TheMomCat and I have been persuaded by long time contributor davidseth’s advocacy to support the California Prisoner’s Hunger Strike (commonly called the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike, though it has spread to other institutions).

What that means for you as readers and contributors is that we’ll be featuring pieces related to the strike as often as we can, even if there is some duplication in content and information.  This doesn’t mean that we’re uninterested in other subjects, but if you have something you’d care to add on the topic we certainly encourage you to do so.

It’s with that in mind I’d like to direct your attention to this post from FDL contributor Kevin Gosztola, who, with Jeff Kaye (Valtin), is now covering the civil liberties/justice/war crime beat (emptywheel and bmaz are now at www.emptywheel.net).

Pelican Bay Prisoner Hunger Strike: Prison Staff Not Following Medical Protocol

By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake

Tuesday July 19, 2011 11:33 am

Prisoners engaged in a hunger strike at Pelican Bay supermax prison have been on strike for more than fifteen days now.  With a growing group of supporters on the outside, the strike against solitary confinement and other conditions in the prison has spread to at least thirteen other prisons. But, those providing support for the prisoners are concerned about the deteriorating physical conditions of the prisoners and whether the prison will be able to provide the prisoners with proper medical care.

Carol Strickman, staff attorney for Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and staff to the mediation team representing the hunger strikers, reports medical protocol is not being followed. They are supposed to be doing “daily assessments after two days and that includes weighing, physical condition, emotional condition, vital signs (such as blood pressure) and hydration status.

Scales for weighing prisoners are not synchronized and sometimes the prison staff weighs prisoners with chains and sometimes without chains. So, the accuracy of information is questionable right now. Additionally, the doctors are supposed to be performing physical exams. Strickman reports, instead of providing physical exams, “The medical staff is doing what I have been told are called drive-by exams, where they stand outside the door with no physical contact and just ask if people are okay, which is basically saying, ‘Are you alive?'”

Strickman further reports “medications are being eliminated entirely or reduced.” Multivitamins and salt tablets were to be provided to prisoners. Prisoners were given a sheet of medical advice on what to do during the strike. Yet, none of the prisoners have been provided with any tablets.

“Many of these prisoners are older and have pre-existing conditions such as advanced lymphoma, congestive heart failure, hypertensive disease, debilitating muscle disease and so on,” Strickman explains. “So for all these reasons every day the situation is becoming more critical.”

News of deterioration of prisoners’ health may lead one to suggest that is what a prisoner gets for engaging in hunger striking or prisoner resistance activity. That may be true, but there is a callousness and inhumanity to such a statement. The prisoners have five core demands and, according to Molly Porzig, Critical Resistance representative in the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition, they are asking for “incredibly standard” and “basic” adjustments to prison policy.

I hope this is resolved soon and without permanent damage to the striker’s health.


The Hare Brained Hypnotist

Secret Sites In Somalia

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Obama Doctrine: Drones, Targeted Killings and Secret Prisons

The Bush Doctrine was that the world was our battlefield-we were at liberty to carry out drone attacks and unlawful interrogations throughout the world. But many Americans may be surprised to discover that far from fading away with the former president, these policies have in fact expanded and intensified under President Obama.

As The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill explained on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Obama has succeeded in normalizing and legitimizing these policies that were considered illegal in the extreme only a few years ago. Recounting his recent investigation of increasing CIA involvement in counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, Scahill says we have to decide, “are we a country that operates under the rule of law or do we believe we’re emperors who can wage war on the world?”

Obama contradicts his own executive order that supposedly closed these CIA sites and ended rendition. He is doing it without the same scrutiny or criticism from his supporters, giving him a pass for embracing and expanding the same policies for which we loudly condemned Bush and Cheney. I won’t give these Obama supporters the dignity of calling them the left, because they have gone over to the darkest side of the right.

H/T Naomi Klein via Twitter

Day 20: Support The California Prisoners’ Hunger Strike!


(Note: This is my third essay in support of the California prisoners on hunger strike.  The first is here.  The second is here.  OPOL’s wonderful treatment of the situation is here.  The take away: California prisoners on hunger strike for almost 3 weeks have requested your support in their struggle to end long term, 23 hour a day solitary confinement in California’s Special Housing Units.  I urge you to support their struggle to be free from torture.)

Today is day 20 of the prison hunger strike.   This may be the most significant act of prisoner resistance in 40 years, since the Attica Uprising in 1971.

On This Day In History July 20

While mishima is on hiatus, I will be cross posting some of our daily and weekly features from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

July 20 is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 164 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1881, Sitting Bull surrenders.

Five years after General George A. Custer’s infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S. Army, which promises amnesty for him and his followers. Sitting Bull had been a major leader in the 1876 Sioux uprising that resulted in the death of Custer and 264 of his men at Little Bighorn. Pursued by the U.S. Army after the Indian victory, he escaped to Canada with his followers.


Hunger and cold eventually forced Sitting Bull, his family, and nearly 200 other Sioux in his band to return to the United States and surrender on July 19, 1881. Sitting Bull had his young son Crow Foot surrender his rifle to the commanding officer of Fort Buford. He told the soldiers that he wished to regard them and the white race as friends. Two weeks later, Sitting Bull and his band were transferred to Fort Yates, the military post located adjacent to the Standing Rock Agency.

Arriving with 185 people, Sitting Bull and his band were kept separate from the other Hunkpapa gathered at the agency. Army officials were concerned that the famed chief would stir up trouble among the recently surrendered northern bands. On August 26, 1881, he was visited by census taker William T. Selwyn who counted twelve people in the Hunkpapa leader’s immediate family. Forty-one families, totaling 195 people, were recorded in Sitting Bull’s band. The military decided to transfer him and his band to Fort Randall, to be held as prisoners of war. Loaded onto a steamboat, Sitting Bull’s band, now totaling 172 people, were sent down the Missouri River to Fort Randall. There they spent the next 20 months. They were allowed to return to the Standing Rock Agency in May 1883.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

I recognized him then; that is, I finally comprehended what I had known but had never been able to formulate: he had always been complete. He had finished the work of becoming himself, long before any of us could even imagine such a feat was possible.

–Aleksandar Hemon

Art Glass 7

Total Stupidiy

Well, I am stupid!  I thought that the girl loved me, but I was just fascinated.  My heart is just about gone.  We DID hold hands and DID kiss night before last, but that was it.

I am done to the core, and if I do not post anything here for a while it is not your fault, but mine.  I am extremely depressed that I was to stupid to think that an 18 year old mother, and her two year old daughter, would want an old man like me to be her lover and her daughter’s father.

I am not just silly, I AM STUPID.

Late Night Karaoke

Big Daddy

Big Daddy2

Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, July 7, 2011

Countdown with Keith Olbermann

If you do not get Current TV you can watch Keith here:

Watch live video from CURRENT TV LIVE Countdown Olbermann on www.justin.tv

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