Author Archive for



17
Oct
14

please help us buy a pickup truck

50 gmc

No, this isn’t the one. It would cost too much money because it’s my age and classified as an antique, just like me. I posted this picture just to get your attention.

The truth of the matter is we have no idea which make and model we will be shopping for. It will be determined entirely by how much money we can raise within a month or so. I have driven very little since the stroke (and that suits me fine), so the truck will be registered in Alex’s name.

This is also part of a strategy I have—a theory really—for keeping Alex engaged with Estrella Vista. None of us likes being compelled to do anything or be anywhere against our free will, and I believe that a secret to keeping Alex here is to provide the means of his escaping anytime he wants to. He has spent enough of his life a prisoner—but no more. Chances are, he’ll mainly use the truck to go into town to get supplies and make friends there (and nearby)… but I could be surprised (though I don’t think so).

Anyway, having a pickup truck will make it possible for a great many tasks to be completed at Estrella Vista, and this productivity will add to Alex’s satisfaction and minimize his frustration.

I have my good friend Allison, an engineer who works at the Firestone test track in Fort Stockton, keeping her eyes peeled for a good deal and a reliable, economical vehicle. She called last week and told me about a Chevy pickup that is Alex’s age, and its owner is asking $2,000. That struck me as a stiff price for a 25-year-old truck, but I guess it depends on its condition… and it does give you the beginning of an idea of what vehicles out here are going for.

We’re in no great rush, though. We need to raise the cash first before we’re really in the market. We’re doing this without debt and living within our means.

If you’d like to help with Alex’s truck, you can earmark your gift for his benefit.

donate hands

To make a contribution to the Redemption Project, please use the link at the top of this page or click here. Thank you!

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Groove of the Day

Listen to Rodney Carrington performing “Pickup Truck”

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PS: Alex got an eye exam and ordered his new glasses when we made our trip to Alpine on Tuesday. I’ll ask Alex to take a selfie to post for your benefit when the new specs arrive. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

I also got some good news on the same trip: my doctor said the reason I have been so unsteady on my feet and sleeping so much may be that it is time to reduce my blood pressure medication. He eliminated one drug and halved the dosage of a second. I already feel much better.

So maybe Alex will have to list me on his insurance as a second driver!

16
Oct
14

a nation addicted

chemistry

Prescribed Drugs Kill

by Bonnie Young

America is always shocked, bewildered and then angry when a child kills his/her parents. The media goes into a frenzy every time a shooter takes multiple lives. We all wonder why these things happen? Why do these people escape the notice of neighbors, teachers, co-workers and even medical professionals? The truth is they don’t.

The American public has been programmed to seek “the magic pill”, through suggestive advertising and the focus of the medical community on symptoms instead of life changing cures. We are told that if you aren’t quite “feeling like yourself”, there is a pill that will make it better. Our friends talk about their medications, it comes up in workplace conversation and drug companies are allowed to advertise, promote and challenge you to ask your doctor about the benefits of their product. As a result of these fabrications and misconceptions Americans have become addicted, if not to the pharmaceutical itself, to the idea that we should always feel at our best.

The majority of addicts are not in prisons but in our communities because the drugs that they are dependent on are legal, publicly accepted and widely prescribed. Some of these drugs may also be the cause of the walking time bombs that go off in the form of mass shootings and other violent disasters involving children, teens and adults in our cities. The travesty in all of this is that the medical community. drug companies and the FDA are completely aware of these potential dangers and have done little to address the problem. While we hear about the teen who was diagnosed as having mental problems, we are not told of the drug cocktail prescribed to try and help him to “act normally”. We think that the mentally ill person who just committed that terrible crime was not under medical supervision and he/she committed the terrible act because they were mentally ill. We think that the mentally ill person was probably “too far gone” and needed to be institutionalized. We hear about a person who committed suicide and we shake our heads thinking that they lost the battle with their illness.

Let us deal with the term “mentally ill” first.  This is from the website of Mental Health America.

What is mental illness?

A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.

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There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders.  Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.

Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological. Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.

According to the first sentences of the description we could all be classified mentally ill because of the life events we have endured.  Lost your job of 10 years and can’t find comparable employment?  Is this leaving you anxious, depressed, hopeless?  Do you spend most of the day staring out the window instead of doing your chores, interacting with your family or taking a walk?  You are mentally ill.  Yet these life events are something every single one of us experience (or something like it) in the course of our years on earth.  There are wonderful professionals who help by listening, encouraging and motivating individuals.  They help develop action plans, changes in habits and encourage and applaud every little victory.  More often than necessary professionals prescribe drugs to help these individuals get through those little bumps in life….just until they can get back on track.  The same holds true with our children.  Ask any parent who has dealt with a teenager and they will tell you that those years are more difficult that the terrible two’s and three’s.  Teenage kids have mood swings, they rebel, they talk back, they argue, they ignore their responsibilities in favor of hanging with friends and they make questionable decisions.  There are professionals that help parents deal with this time of raging hormones by prescribing medications “just until they get through this phase”.

The most dangerous of all this information is that the drugs often prescribed for these life events have lethal and debilitating side effects and consequences.  Even more important they have been prescribed for our children without clinical trials, without medical research and we have paid a very high price.  The death of our children.

Most of America is aware of the Columbine Shooting that happened in Colorado in 1999.  Many were horrified by the scenes unfolding on their television sets as police surrounded a school that was under attack by shooters.  America was equally shocked by the revelation that the shooters were boys and members of that school.  What was never widely publicized was the connection between that day and prescription drugs.

Between 1988 when Prozac was approved and 2006, there were 46 incidents of school violence involving 48 children and adolescents. Of these, 38% were reported in media, websites or books to be taking psychiatric drugs or were withdrawing from them at the time of their shooting spree. The relationship of psychiatric drugs in the remaining incidents of violence has not been publicly disclosed or the person’s records are sealed. Frequently, antidepressants were implicated.

1999

April: In Idaho, 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.

April: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting spree in their Columbine, Colorado school, killing 13 and wounding 23. CCHR and others pressured to have the Coroner re-test the teens’ blood for psychiatric drugs. The Coroner subsequently confirmed that Harris’ blood contained a therapeutic dose of the SSRI antidepressant, Luvox. Clinical trials showed that 4% of children taking the drug experienced mania, a condition known to result in violent behavior. Colorado State Rep. Penn Pfiffner, chaired a hearing on the possible connection of violent behavior and psychotropic drugs, stating, “There is enough coincidence and enough professional opinion from legitimate scientists to cause us to raise the issue and to ask further questions.” “If we’re only interested in debating gun laws and metal detectors,” said Pfiffner, “then we as legislators aren’t doing our job.”

May: CCHR produced a White Paper “Psychiatry and The Creation of Senseless Violence” detailing examples of psychiatric-drug induced crime and medical studies proving that such drugs precipitate murderous acts. More than 10,000 copies of the report were distributed to legislators, educators and media in the US.

May: Kelly Patricia O’Meara, a former Congressional staff who was writing for Washington Times’ Insight Magazine wrote a story based on CCHR’s and her own research, titled “Guns and Doses.” It showed the common link between high-school shootings and psychiatric drugs.

2000

March 1: Matthew Smith, aged 14, died of a heart attack after being prescribed Ritalin for several years. A Michigan coroner determined that his heart showed clear signs of the small blood vessel damage caused by stimulants, concluding that he had died from the long-term use of Ritalin. Matthew was forced onto the drug through his school, with the parents threatened with charges of medical and education neglect if they refused to put him on the drug. Psychiatrists at the time dismissed the coroner’s findings. [See January 5, 2006 entry on warnings the FDA eventually issued, more than 40 years after Ritalin had been on the market.]

2001

May 25: An Australian judge blamed an SSRI for turning a peaceful, law abiding man, David Hawkins, into a violent killer. Judge Barry O’Keefe of the New South Wales Supreme Court said that had Mr. Hawkins not taken the antidepressant, “it is overwhelmingly probable that Mrs. Hawkins would not have been killed….”

June: A Wyoming jury awarded $8 million to the relatives of a man, Donald Schell, who went on a shooting rampage after taking Paxil and killed his wife, daughter, granddaughter and himself. The jury determined that the drug was 80% responsible for the killing spree. (excerpts from Citizens Commission on Human Rights)

You can read the full report from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights on the testimonies, clinical studies, reports and hearings concerning the documented dangers of drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Ritalin and others. Not only are the drugs dangerous when the patient is taking the drug but the effects of withdrawal from the medication can be equally as dangerous.  It was also finally admitted that there was no lab test available to prove a chemical imbalance in the brain causing any mental disorder. It was all a marketing hoax. (see the closing quote).

Most outrageous of all is the extremes with which drug companies, medical institutions and even our government have kept this information from being widely distributed to the public. The public has been submitted to the pain and loss from violent outbursts but has not been made aware that it’s own actions (or inaction) may very well be the cause. We have and continue to give very dangerous drugs to our children. We have questioned the increase of depression, suicidal behavior, the increase of violence, the increase of obsessive behaviors such as cutting and eating disorders that have become all too familiar in our youth. The answer may well come in the form of drug treatment given to children and our own lack of connection to each other as people.

What are we too expect? We are a nation that looks for the quick fix for everything from depression to weak knees to sore muscles and a lack of energy. We don’t exercise, eat right, sleep well and we don’t connect with others, the very things that promote wellness in people. We don’t take the time to educate, direct and listen to each other….we certainly don’t have the time to do it with a teenager who is trying to figure out the world.

We need to take a good hard look at ourselves, our decisions, our lack of knowledge and our ability to be deceived by pharmaceutical companies (the modern day snake oil salesman). Then we need to ask the most difficult question: Who is ultimately responsible for Columbine, Virginia Tech and others?

These kids were under the supervision of adults who trusted medical professionals. These kids were under the jurisdiction of their parents and doctors and ultimately had to take (or in some cases, refuse to take) mind-altering drugs with known side effects that destroyed their lives and the lives of others. We are the responsible adults, and our children have payed the price for our ignorance with their very lives. It is time to stand against drug companies for our children.

Then we need to figure out how we are going to correct the damage caused to families, to the lives of the children who have been sentenced to dwell in cages for the rest of their lives, and to the communities who have witnessed these tragedies. We need accountability from the professionals and the drug companies who cared more about profits than our children. We allowed this to happen through our ignorance and it is time we acted responsibly to fix it. Only by repairing the harm can we truly heal and become stronger.

In 2005, the APA’s president, Stephen Sharfstein and other psychiatrists were forced to admit there is no lab test to prove a chemical imbalance in the brain causing any “mental disorder.” The marketing hoax was finally exposed but by then 30 million Americans were taking the drugs. In January 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine vindicated CCHR when a study it published revealed the effectiveness of antidepressants had been exaggerated and that many negative studies of the drugs were never published. In fact, the drugs are no more effective than taking placebo (dummy pill).

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Bonnie Young is a minister in Colorado, and passionate about this and related issues. Her son was caught up in a sensational crime and as a juvenile he was railroaded into prison for 68 years. She has website, “FreeJonny,” which I encourage you to visit.

schoolshooters1

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Groove of the Day

Listen to The Music performing “Drugs”

15
Oct
14

this way before

tristen kurilla

Yesterday as the news hit the Internet and airwaves, readers were outraged by Pennsylvania’s decision to charge 10-year-old Tristen Kurilla as an adult in the death of 90-year-old Helen Novak. According to the boy, Ms. Novak (a resident at the boy’s grandfather’s house, which he was visiting) yelled at him for entering her room to ask a question, angering the boy, and triggering his unpremeditated assault on her with a cane and his fists.

There is obviously more to this story than is now known, but the fact remains that Pennsylvania law gives prosecutors no choice but to charge anyone who commits murder, regardless of age, as an adult. Defense attorneys must petition the courts to re-charge the young person as a juvenile if they hope for the state to deal with the child in a rational way. But as we have seen in the case of 11-year-old Jordan Brown, publicity and politics can make this petitioning move problematic, to say the least.

More than five years after the event, Jordan is still incarcerated by Pennsylvania for two murders of which he has not been convicted and is most assuredly innocent (his conviction by a juvenile court has been vacated by the Superior Court in Pittsburgh, but through legal maneuvering by the state prosecutor, his present legal status is in limbo due to a pending ruling, and inaction, by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court).

There are a number of things which are extremely troubling about Pennsylvania’s approach to juveniles charged with murder.

First, the traditional protections generally afforded juveniles are not available to young people accused of murder. In Jordan’s case, as with Tristen’s, the identities of children are plastered all over the media, as are their back stories. Normally, the identities of children charged with other crimes are not disclosed to the public. This exception with regard to the act of murder ensures that the child’s identity will be forever linked with the act, regardless of circumstances, guilt or innocence.

Second, even though Tristen’s attorney has announced that he will seek bail, there is a question based on Jordan Brown’s experience whether bail is even available under the circumstances and Pennsylvania law. To my knowledge, it is not.

Third, regardless of innocence or guilt, Pennsylvania law prevents any child accused of murder being dealt with in a constructive way. As long as he maintains his innocence, Pennsylvania has denied Jordan any services which permit the state’s unjust acts being addressed for Jordan in a therapeutic way.

It is a bad, stupid statute and the Pennsylvania State Legislature must reform it immediately. Under pressure from the Philadelphia district attorney’s office (arguably the worst in the country), it was enacted as a knee-jerk reaction to Philadelphia’s perceived youth gang problem. As we are seeing, it is being applied in Pennsylvania to non-youth-gang-related cases and it must stop.

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Groove of the Day

 Listen to Jimmy Ruffin performing “I’ve Passed This Way Before”

14
Oct
14

the kings of the courtroom

Whoops… sorry for the late post! Alex and I went to Alpine today and forgot to push the button before we left. So we got back at 10:00 pm and are just now taking care of business…

prosecutor

How prosecutors came to dominate the criminal justice system

October 4, 2014, The Economist

Cameron Todd Willinghham was accused of murdering his daughters in 1991 by setting fire to the family house. The main evidence against him was a forensic report on the fire, later shown to be bunk, and the testimony of a jailhouse informant who claimed to have heard him confess. He was executed in 2004.

The snitch who sent him to his death had been told that robbery charges pending against him would be reduced to a lesser offense if he co-operated. After the trial the prosecutor denied that any such deal had been struck, but a handwritten note discovered last year by the Innocence Project, a pressure group, suggests otherwise. In taped interviews, extracts of which were published by the Washington Post, the informant said he lied in court in return for efforts by the prosecutor to secure a reduced sentence and—amazingly—financial support from a local rancher.

A study by Northwestern University Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions found that 46% of documented wrongful capital convictions between 1973 and 2004 could be traced to false testimony by snitches—making them the leading cause of wrongful convictions in death-penalty cases. The Innocence Project keeps a database of Americans convicted of serious crimes but then exonerated by DNA evidence. Of the 318 it lists, 57 involved informants—and 30 of the convicted had entered a guilty plea.

“The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty and reputation than any other person in America,” said Robert Jackson, the attorney-general, in 1940. As the current attorney-general, Eric Holder, prepares to stand down, American prosecutors are more powerful than ever before.

Several legal changes have empowered them. The first is the explosion of plea bargaining, where a suspect agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge if the more serious charges against him are dropped. Plea bargains were unobtainable in the early years of American justice. But today more than 95% of cases end in such deals and thus are never brought to trial.

The pressure to plead guilty

Jed Rakoff, a district judge in New York, thinks it unlikely that 95% of defendants are guilty. Of the 2.4m Americans behind bars, he thinks it possible that “thousands, perhaps tens of thousands” confessed despite being innocent. One reason they might do so is because harsh, mandatory-minimum sentencing rules can make such a choice rational. Rather than risk a trial and a 30-year sentence, some cop a plea and accept a much shorter one.

In such negotiations prosecutors “hold all the marbles”, says Alexandra Natapoff of Loyola Law School. Mandatory sentencing laws prevent judges from taking into account all the circumstances of a case and exercising discretion over the punishment. Instead, its severity depends largely on the charges the prosecutor chooses to file. In complex white-collar cases, they can threaten to count each e-mail as a separate case of wire fraud. In drugs cases they can choose how much of the stash the dealer’s sidekick is responsible for. That gives them huge bargaining power. In Florida 4-14g of heroin gets you a minimum of three years in prison; 28g or more gets you 25 years.

In 1996 police found a safe in Stephanie George’s house containing 500g of cocaine. She said it belonged to her ex-boyfriend, who had the key and admitted that it was his. Prosecutors could have charged Ms George with a minor offense: she was obviously too broke to be a drug kingpin. Instead they charged her for everything in the safe, as well as everything her ex-boyfriend had recently sold—and for obstruction of justice because she denied all knowledge of his dealings. She received a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Her ex-boyfriend received a lighter penalty because he testified that he had paid her to let him use her house to store drugs. Ms George was released in April, after 17 years, only because Barack Obama commuted her sentence.

Under Mr Holder the federal mandatory-minimum regime has been softened for non-violent drug offenses. But this has only curbed the power of federal prosecutors, not state ones, and only somewhat.

Another change that empowers prosecutors is the proliferation of incomprehensible new laws. This gives prosecutors more room for interpretation and encourages them to overcharge defendants in order to bully them into plea deals, says Harvey Silverglate, a defense lawyer. Since the financial crisis, says Alex Kozinski, a judge, prosecutors have been more tempted to pore over statutes looking for ways to stretch them so that this or that activity can be construed as illegal. “That’s not how criminal law is supposed to work. It should be clear what is illegal,” he says.

The same threats and incentives that push the innocent to plead guilty also drive many suspects to testify against others. Deals with “co-operating witnesses”, once rare, have grown common. In federal cases an estimated 25-30% of defendants offer some form of co-operation, and around half of those receive some credit for it. The proportion is double that in drug cases. Most federal cases are resolved using the actual or anticipated testimony of co-operating defendants.

Co-operator testimony often sways juries because snitches are seen as having first-hand knowledge of the pattern of criminal activity. But snitches hoping to avoid draconian jail terms may sometimes be tempted to compose rather than merely to sing.

Sing or suffer

It is not unusual for a co-operator to have 15 or 20 long meetings with agents and prosecutors. It is hard to know what goes on in these sessions because they are not recorded. Participants take notes but do not have to write down everything that is said; nor do they have to share all their notes with the defense. The time that co-operators and their handlers spend alone is a “black hole”, says a prosecutor quoted in “Snitch: Informants, Cooperators and the Corruption of Justice”, by Ethan Brown.

Co-operators have become more common in corporate cases since the Justice Department started bringing in more lawyers experienced in dealing with organized crime. Business cases typically involve mountains of hard-to-fathom documents and turn not on actions but intent. Often, the only way to convince a jury that the defendant knew a transaction was dodgy is to have a former colleague say so.

A common way to recruit co-operators is to name lots of a defendant’s colleagues as “unindicted co-conspirators”. (In the Enron fraud case there were 114.) An unindicted co-conspirator can be indicted at any moment; his lawyer will therefore usually advise him, at the very least, not to annoy the prosecutor by helping the defense.

prosecutor conductingIn 2009 James Treacy, a former executive of Monster Worldwide, an employment website, was convicted of illegally manipulating (or “backdating”) stock options and handed a two-year sentence. He blames “slanted” testimony by former colleagues turned co-operators. After his release, one of them asked to meet him. Over lunch she tearfully “described the government’s intimidation tactics,” he says. “Some were almost comical: broken chairs to sit in; investigators flashing their holstered guns; and long, miserable hours of ‘good cop, bad cop’ routines, with few water or bathroom breaks. Other techniques were more serious. Prosecutors played the innuendo game, suggesting an indictment if the witness did not co-operate.”

Mr Treacy has an axe to grind, but he is not alone in arguing that the system encourages embellishment, or in believing that some prosecutors overstep the mark because they hope to parlay courtroom victories into lucrative partnerships at law firms or platforms to run for public office.

Co-operators feature extensively in insider-trading cases. James Fleishman, a former manager at Primary Global Research, was first approached by FBI agents to help them ensnare his superiors. When he refused to co-operate, insisting he knew of no illegal activity, he became a target himself. His conviction rested on co-operation from two former clients who had been put under immense pressure to be helpful to prosecutors. (They told one they would seek to have him jailed for 50 years if he declined their offer.) In a self-published book, Mr Fleishman argues that the testimony of both was littered with fabrications, including phone conversations that never took place. The co-operators got probation. Mr Fleishman was jailed for 30 months.

There is no way to confirm Mr Fleishman’s version of events. There was, however, an intriguing moment at his trial. During cross-examination Mr Fleishman’s lawyer complained that his opposing number was mouthing words to a co-operating witness who appeared to be going off-script. The prosecutor’s response was: “If I did that, and I’m not disputing what he said…I’m sorry.”

It is not clear how often prosecutors themselves break the rules. According to a report by the Project on Government Oversight, an investigative outfit, compiled from data obtained from freedom of information requests, an internal-affairs office at the Department of Justice identified more than 650 instances of prosecutors violating the profession’s rules and ethical standards between 2002 and 2013. More than 400 of these were “at the more severe end of the scale”. The Justice Department argues that this level of misconduct is modest given the thousands of cases it handles.

Judge Kozinski worries, however, that there is “an epidemic” of Brady violations—when exculpatory evidence is hidden from defense lawyers by prosecutors. For example, in 2008 Ted Stevens, a senator from Alaska, was found guilty of corruption eight days before an election, which he narrowly lost. Afterwards, prosecutors were found to have withheld evidence that might have helped the defense. Mr Stevens’s conviction was vacated, but he died in a plane crash in 2010.

Prosecutors enjoy strong protections against criminal sanction and private litigation. Even in egregious cases, punishments are often little more than a slap on the wrist. Mr Stevens’s prosecutors, for example, were suspended from their jobs for 15 to 40 days, a penalty that was overturned on procedural grounds. Ken Anderson, a prosecutor who hid the existence of a bloody bandana that linked someone other than the defendant to a 1986 murder, was convicted of withholding evidence in 2013 but spent only five days behind bars—one for every five years served by the convicted defendant, Michael Morton.

Disquiet over prosecutorial power is growing. Several states now require third-party corroboration of a co-operator’s version of events or have barred testimony by co-operators with drug or mental-health problems. Judge Rakoff proposes two reforms: scrapping mandatory-minimum sentences and reducing the prosecutor’s role in plea-bargaining—for instance by bringing in a magistrate judge to act as a broker. He nevertheless sees the use of co-operators as a “necessary evil”, though many other countries frown upon it.

Prosecutors’ groups have urged Mr Holder not to push for softer mandatory-minimum sentences, arguing that these “are a critical tool in persuading defendants to co-operate”. Some defend the status quo on grounds of pragmatism: without co-operation deals and plea bargains, they argue, the system would buckle under the weight of extra trials. This week Jerry Brown, California’s governor, vetoed a bill that would have allowed judges to inform juries if prosecutors knowingly withhold exculpatory evidence.

Most prosecutors are hard-working, honest and modestly paid. But they have accumulated so much power that abuse is inevitable. As Jackson put it all those years ago: “While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts with malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst.”

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Groove of the Day

Listen to Shinedown performing “Bully”

 

13
Oct
14

selfless hero

palos hills plane crash

A small Beechcraft airplane crashed last night in suburban Chicago after taking off from Midway airport. All three people aboard were killed, none of them has been publicly identified, but already the pilot (and maybe the others, too) are being shown to have exhibited remarkable behavior in their final moments.

Reports are being made that the aircraft was piloted in circles until an open space could be identified in the densely-populated suburb of Palos Hills. It crashed in a small field in a heavy residential area but did not hit any homes. No one on the ground was hurt.

What kind of presence of mind, what kind of personal character, must the pilot have had to show such concern for the welfare of anonymous people on the ground?

When the dead are identified, the pilot must be recognized for his extraordinary selflessness in a situation in which few of us would measure up to such standards of humanity.

According to the FAA’s website, the plane is registered to Arc Aviation LLC, based in Lawrence KS.

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Groove of the Day

Listen to Gladys Knight and the Pips performing “Hero (The Wind Beneath My Wings)”

12
Oct
14

tristan und isolde

tristan and isolde cropped

A little romance today from one of the greatest love stories ever told.

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Groove of the Day

Listen to Arturo Toscanini performing the Prelude and Liebestod from Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”

11
Oct
14

fly on the wall

fly_on_wall_by_peach

I hope you’ll permit me to vent.

One of the trade-offs of having an extended season of warm weather is that our fly season appears to go on forever. And the last few days have been just terrible, fly-wise. The presence of the little black (biting) beasts have been driving Alex and me NUTS.

Killing flies has been our principle activity over the last few days. The floor is littered with the carcasses of dead flies, and more than one flyswatter has been shattered. It is almost bad enough that we’re both wishing we had screens on the windows, though I imagine that screens would do a better job of keeping the pests in (rather than keeping them out).

There has been so much news on the radio over the last few days about the Ebola crisis, I wonder if flies aren’t responsible for the spread of the disease? They’re malevolent enough that it wouldn’t surprise me.

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Groove of the Day

Listen to XTC performing “Fly on the Wall”




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