Monday, July 28, 2014

Kiev Destroys Evidence at MH-17 Crash Site

De Telegraaf (link in Dutch): Ukraine Army is to gain control of MH-17 crash scene and obliterate evidence of Kiev's involvement.

Was this part of the plan? To set up Russia as the Evil One, I'm sure, with USA approval. The tragedy is that those wonderful people who lost their lives on MH17 have become geopolitical pawns.

Even Jaap van Deurzen, RTL-reporter, has to acknowledge Kiev's efforts to destroy evidence now...(Link in Dutch),

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Story Poem

Here's story poem by Louie Clay, founder of Integrity, a writer and teacher from Alabama, who I've had the privilege to meet on several occasions.
Read the story. It's about youth, fathers and sons, mentoring, tolerance, and respect. But mostly it's about Respect. I still think America's best writers are from the South. Louie's story has a Southern Feel, in the vein of Eudora Welty's short stories and Truman Capote's stories of his youth. Please read it.

 Going Fishing

"Mister Crier wants to take you fishing,"
Dad said, but I knew better than to say I'd go.
"He's living with a woman and they're not married,
and he swears a lot," I pouted.
As a Baptist 8-year-old in Alabama in 1944
I guessed those facts would carry weight for deacon Dad.

Dad said only, "You've been listening to gossips, son."

Actually on my own I'd heard Mister Crier
laughing and swearing when he and other house painters
loaded the new paint cans, brushes, and turpentine
into their old rattle-traps parked
in the alley behind Dad's hardware store.

True, I learned about the woman,
--who was really no woman, but a 16-year-old girl--
when I eavesdropped on women playing Canasta with Mother.
"And Crier's at least 40!" they'd hissed.
"Jim Crier is a good man," Dad said,
"and he puts on no airs.
When a poor widow's roof needs fixing,
Jim Crier fixes it for free,
and when he's fixed all he can afford,
he goes to other house painters and carpenters
and tells them 'It's your turn.'

"Mister Crier is a good friend to me,
I can't be a good friend back
if I insist that he try to be like me.

"He wants to be nice to you, son, and
I hope you will go fishing with him.
You will enjoy it."

I wanted to complain some more,
"Mister Crier has a beat-up old Dodge!" or
"Mister Crier lives in the last house
on the good side of town!"
but I realized I'd used up my bigger thunder,
and it had gotten me nowhere.
As a proper little sissy boy in the making,
I wondered what to do.

And I went.

Not whole-heartedly, but I went.

I liked Mister Crier's beat-up old Dodge.
It had a radio in it and ours didn't.
Mister Crier brought a huge thermos of hot chocolate,
some deviled eggs, and several kinds of sandwiches.
Maybe his girlfriend made them. I didn't ask.
I didn't really want to know.

He took me to a lake I had never seen, in a state park.
I caught several bream, and he cheered me each time.

Mister Crier didn't say much about himself
but seemed interested in what I had to say.
I probably talked forever,
especially about school and the war.

I remember little else, except Dad.
He knew that he could show me a much bigger world
without having to leave the county.

— Louie Clay

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Did Police Attack a Man on a Hospital Stretcher?

Three police officers from Brussels are under investigation following a violent incident in the Sint-Pieters Hospital in the capital. The officers including a woman PC stand accused of maltreating a man who was manacled to a stretcher.
And no doubt they're being paid while on leave during the "investigation." I've seen first hand how police wrongdoing and abuse has lead to a breach of trust in other cities where I've lived. Will the "investigation" result in an exoneration, a white wash? Too often that is the case. If not, then the police officers should publicly apologise, pay restitution to the man (not from some police slush fund), and return the Euros they "earned" while on leave.


I don't understand this selfie obsession some people have. I think they have short memories or are too young to know what used to be before this fancy technology. It's as if they've invented something new. But they haven't. Years ago people would use a timer or remote button thingie on their camera to do the same thing. Also to include themselves in a group shot. The fun part was starting the timer and rushing to get in the picture. Now everything has to be picture techperfect, even if it's crappy selfie. A friend thinks it's an antidote to lonliness. Maybe. Ever since the creation of the Daguerreotype, people wanted to have a visual record of themselves, to commemorate a time and place (I am!). Last week when my sister-in-law, my visiting Dutch cousin, and I went into the city for the day, we saw a lot of folks taking selfies - group family shots, mostly - at each of the Ground Zero memorial waterfall holes. Now everything has to be picture techperfect, even if it's crappy selfie.

Vermont Gas Continues to Exploit Ratepayers to Finance Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Expansion

Are you a Vermont Gas customer and don't want to spend $122 million to expand fossil fuel infrastructure? This pipeline is being financed by the public - current Vermont Gas ratepayers - but does not benefit the people of Vermont. Vermont Gas continues to exploit ratepayers to finance fossil fuel infrastructure expansion in the face of ever-growing economic and ecological crisis. A $35.6 million cost increase is simply unacceptable. This project is not in the public good. Tell the Public Service Board that a 40% cost increase justifies a new evaluation of the permit: sign the petition here.