Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
If you're a horseperson you may be thinking about getting your mount in shape after a long winter of relative inactivity.
But how about yourself?
If you're "partners" with your horse it means an equal investment of time and energy. "You do the work, and I'll take the credit" isn't much of a "partnership."
I'm recovering from couple injuries.
Some on the outside.
Some on the inside.
The bottom line is that I've taken on some useless stress-induced weight and I have to drop it.
As I was going over my training plan, it struck me that you might benefit from some of these ideas, too. So I'll share one or two.
This one is a really important exercise.
In fact, you should do these even if you don't do a damn thing else.
It will limber and strengthen your lower body AND improve your cardio fitness when you do them fast and hard. You should master these before you attempt any weighted squats.
This video is a pretty good tutorial for a beginner.
One thing I like to do differently, is to keep my hands in the direct rein position, extending my arms when I go down, bringing them in when I come up --- yup: like a jockey.
If you make these a part of your routine, you'll be glad you did.
Spanish Judges Rule Case on US Torture Can Continue
CCR Hails Major Victory for Accountability
NEW YORK - February 25 - In response to news that the full panel of Judges of the Audencia Nacional (Spain’s High Court) rejected a Spanish prosecutor’s effort to stop an investigation into the role of US officials for torture on Guantanamo, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has submitted many papers in this and a related case in Spain, released the following statement:
This is a monumental decision that will enable a Spanish judge to continue a case on the “authorized and systematic plan of torture and ill treatment” by U.S. officials at Guantanamo. Geoffrey Miller, the former commanding officer at Guantánamo, has already been implicated, and the case will surely move up the chain of command. Since the U.S. government has not only failed to investigate the illegal actions of its own officials and, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, also sought to interfere in the Spanish judicial process and stop the case from proceeding, this will be the first real investigation of the U.S. torture program. This is a victory for accountability and a blow against impunity. The Center for Constitutional Rights applauds the Spanish courts for not bowing to political pressure and for undertaking what may be the most important investigation in decades.
For more information and filings related to the Spanish cases, both the above torture case and the Bush 6 case looking into the role of the lawyers in the torture program, visit the Spanish case page on the Center for Constitutional Rights web site.
CCR has also filed cases against Donald Rumsfeld in Germany and France, and, on February 7, released a Bush Torture Indictment under the Convention Against Torture in advance of the former president’s planned trip to Switzerland which was cancelled to avoid possible legal action. The Bush Torture Indictment stands ready to be tailored to the specific laws of any of the 147 signatory countries to the Convention Against Torture where he may travel. CCR’s partner in these cases is the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
It's a disgrace that Spain is doing what WE should be doing.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I don't generally have much good to say about the cops.
They brutalize innocent people, apparently, just because they can.
And then they lie about it.
The "good cops" that are supposed to be out there clam up instead of turning the "bad apples" in.
When they're not tasering children, beating up old ladies, or shooting puppies, they're gassing, beating and arresting honest citizens for nothing more than exercising their Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
They're completely out of control and a grand disgrace.
When I hear that some cops have stepped up to honor their oath and do the right thing, I'm both amazed and honor-bound to salute them.
If the reports are true, cops at the Wisconsin protests have refused an order to clear out the demonstrators --- AND have joined the protest.
I really, really, REALLY want to believe this.
But if it is true, my hat's off to those cops.
Maybe it'll prompt some others to dust off that old "protect and serve" slogan.
Wouldn't that be great?
Friday, February 25, 2011
"Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of free speech to free men from bondage of irrational fears. . . Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. . . "
Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis
Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech at George Washington University yesterday condemning governments that arrest protestors and do not allow free expression - and lauding freedom of speech on the Internet - 71-year-old military veteran Ray McGovern was grabbed from the audience in plain view of her by police and an unidentified official in plain clothes and hustled out of the building and, according to McGovern and his supporters, was “brutalized and left bleeding in jail.”
What McGovern did was simply remain standing silently in the audience and turned his back on her as Secretary Clinton began her speech.
That was it.
McGovern, a veteran Army officer who also worked as a C.I.A. analyst for 27 years, was wearing Veterans for Peace t-shirt.
Blind-sided by security officers who pounced upon him, McGovern remarked, as he was hauled out the door, "So this is America?"
I was just about to ask the same thing.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Sang this one, myself, a time or two.
I regret that the theme still applies.
Thought we'd have the world all straightened out by now.
Evidently, there's still a thing or two left to be done.
I dedicate this post to my long-lost brother and friend Joe Scarf, wherever he may be.
Friday, February 18, 2011
If you're one of those folks who thinks it's just a few "bad apples" who make all those "good" cops look bad, here's a little something to consider:
According to the 3rd Quarter Report of The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project, police officers committed sexual assaults at a rate of 79 per 100,000 law enforcement personnel. That rate is well over twice the rate of the general public at 28.7 per 100,000.
If you have any sense at all, the fact that rapists seem to be highly concentrated among a group of armed individuals who have the authority to detain and arrest other individuals, should be more than a little alarming.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The winter of our discontent has not yet been made glorious summer.
But the sun is warmer.
The mercury shows signs of creeping up out of the bowels of thermometer hell.
Spring seems less a theoretical possibility now, and more of an inevitability.
The cycle will bring birdsongs and sweet grass
long, languid days
a sheen of sweat on the soul's bronzed skin
the welcome scent of freedom
like a lover's breath hot against your cheek.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Right now, I’m dealing with some things that involve maladministration and misconduct on the part of some local elected officials, and it’s made me realize why we have dishonesty and corruption at the national level: it’s because we tolerate it at the local level.
It seems that everyone with any authority at all, right down to the dog-catcher, fancies himself a feudal lord, a strutting little Il Duce.
In his book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, Eric Fromm discusses the sado-masochistic character structure and how it presents amongst bureaucrats in a hierarchy wherein everyone is a brazen bully to all those UNDER himself, and a simpering sycophant to all those ABOVE himself. It’s the thing we condemn chickens for, but no one does it better or more malevolently than homo kissasstus.
So here’s the thing.
This system doesn’t just need a little tinkering.
It’s rotten right down to the core.
We need a NEW system.
And I suspect we’ll have to build it from the local level on up.
That means getting involved in local politics and holding these petty tyrants accountable.
Not a pleasant prospect, I know.
But it’s either that or let the psychopaths go on running the show.
And we can see where that’s gotten us.
Now where did I put that rope......?
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Dolly before Thrive
Dolly 44 days later
My old partner was looking a little ribby so I've been feeding him Thrive, plus plenty of hay, of course, for the last month or so. Looks like he's put some extra meat over those ribs, and the farrier commented that his feet looked particularly good at this last trim.
I just wanted to share this information, because it looks like this is pretty good stuff.
Here's the link for more info.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Tonight I'm overwhelmed with relief and joy for the success of my brothers and sisters in Egypt.
Their courage and determination appears to have won the day.
Part of me feels like singing a chorus of "Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead."
But part of me grieves for those pro-democracy protesters who were murdered during the course of the struggle.
Everyone everywhere who has ever fought for freedom is proud of the example set by the Egyptian People these recent days.
Meanwhile, back here in the "land of the free and the home of the brave," Obama's neo-fascist circle-jerk is pushing to extend the Patriot Act, and looking for ways to "tighten security" apparently not content until everyone is subjected to a full body-cavity search every time they get on a plane, a train, or a bus.
What's wrong with this picture?