Wild Days…

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On The Beat Box: Rena Jones – Transmigration

I tweaked my shoulder, elbow and arm muscles on a customer site yesterday. The arm is not much use at this point. Argh. Ibuprofen is keeping it calmed down. I came in from the site, Mary put a hot water bottle on, and I fell asleep for 3 hours. It seemed to calm it down, but it has been putting me off balance a bit.

Some nice stuff today, so dive in! I hope you enjoy,

Gwyllm

On The Menu:

The Links

Who Shall Deliver Me?

Ekova!

The War on Drugs Is Really a War on Minorities

Poetry: More of William Allingham

Art: Fernand Edmond Jean Marie Khnopff

Fernand Edmond Jean Marie Khnopff (September 12, 1858 – November 12, 1921) was a Belgian symbolist painter.

He was raised in Bruges and went to law school in Brussels. He quickly dropped out and enrolled in l’academie des beaux art; Xavier Mellery was his main tutor.

During a trip to Paris in 1877 he was greatly influenced by Delacroix and the Pre-Raphaelites.

In 1883 he was one of the founders of the “Groupe des XX”. Although not a very open man and a rather secluded personality, he already achieved cult status during his life.

Acknowledged and accepted, he received the Order of Leopold. His sister was one of his favorite subjects. His most famous painting is probably The Caress.

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The Links:

Ear Bones Suggest Prehistoric Aquatics

Rare Semi-Identical Twins Discovered

The Antikythera Mechanism

Scientific evidence suggests Puerto Rican woman is an Extraterrestrial-Human hybrid

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WHO SHALL DELIVER ME?

God strengthen me to bear myself;

That heaviest weight of all to bear,

Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;

I lock my door and bar them out

The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,

And bar them out; but who shall wall

Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,

And start self-purged upon the race

That all must run ! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,

And start with lightened heart upon

The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,

This coward with pathetic voice

Who craves for ease and rest and joys

Myself, arch-traitor to mysel ;

My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,

My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,

Can roll the strangling load from me

Break off the yoke and set me free

-Christina Rossetti

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From Peter….

Ekova!

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The War on Drugs Is Really a War on Minorities

By Arianna Huffington

here is a subject being forgotten in the 2008 Democratic race for the White House.

While all the major candidates are vying for the black and Latino vote, they are completely ignoring one of the most pressing issues affecting those constituencies: the failed “war on drugs” — a war that has morphed into a war on people of color.

Consider this: According to a 2006 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but they account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Or consider this: The U.S. has 260,000 people in state prisons on nonviolent drug charges; 183,200 (more than 70%) of them are black or Latino.

Such facts have been bandied about for years. But our politicians have consistently failed to take action on what has become yet another third rail of American politics, a subject to be avoided at all costs by elected officials who fear being incinerated on contact for being soft on crime.

Perhaps you hoped this would change during a spirited Democratic presidential primary? Unfortunately, a quick search of the top Democratic hopefuls’ websites reveals that not one of them — not Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, not John Edwards, not Joe Biden, not Chris Dodd, not Bill Richardson — even mentions the drug war, let alone offers any solutions.

The silence coming from Clinton and Obama is particularly deafening.

Obama has written eloquently about his own struggle with drugs but has not addressed the tragic effect the war on drugs is having on African American communities.

As for Clinton, she flew into Selma, Ala., to reinforce her image as the wife of the black community’s most beloved politician and has made much of her plan to attract female voters, but she has ignored the suffering of poor, black women right in her own backyard.

Located down the road from her Chappaqua, N.Y., home are two prisons housing female inmates, Taconic and Bedford. Forty-eight percent of the women in Taconic are there for nonviolent drug offenses; 78% of those in the prison are African American or Latino.

And Bedford, the state’s only maximum-security prison for women, is home to some of the worst victims of New York’s draconian Rockefeller-era drug laws — mothers and grandmothers whose first brush with the law resulted in their being locked away for 15 years or more on nonviolent drug charges.

Yet even though these prisons are so nearby, Clinton has turned a blind eye to the plight of the women locked away there, notably refusing to speak out on their behalf.

Avoidance of this issue comes at a very stiff price (and not just the more than $50 billion a year we’re spending on the failed drug war). The toll is paid in shattered families, devastated inner cities and wasted lives (with no apologies for using that term).

During the 10 years I’ve been writing about the injustice of the drug war, I’ve repeatedly watched as politicians paid lip service to the problem but then ducked as the sickening status quo claimed more victims. In California, of the 171,000 inmates jamming the state’s wildly overcrowded prisons, 36,000 are nonviolent drug offenders.

I remember in 1999 asking Dan Bartlett, then the campaign spokesman for candidate George W. Bush, about Bush’s position on the outrageous disparity between the sentences meted out for possession of crack cocaine and those given for possession of powder cocaine — a disparity that has helped fill U.S. prisons with black low-level drug users (80% of sentenced crack defendants are black). Federal sentencing guidelines dictate that judges impose the same five-year prison sentence for possession of five grams of crack or 500 grams of powder cocaine.

“The different sentencing for crack cocaine and powder cocaine is something that there’s no doubt needs to be addressed,” Bartlett told me. But in the more than six years since Bush and Bartlett moved into the White House, the problem has gone unaddressed. No doubt about it.

Maybe the president will suddenly wake up and decide to take on the issue five days before he leaves office. That’s what Bill Clinton did, writing a 2001 New York Times Op-Ed article in which he trumpeted the need to “immediately reduce the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences” — conveniently ignoring the fact that he had the power to solve it for eight years and did nothing.

When it mattered, he maintained an imperial silence. Then, when it didn’t, he became Captain Courageous. And he lamented the failures of our drug policy as though he had been an innocent bystander rather than the chief executive (indeed, the prison population doubled on his watch).

The injustice is so egregious that a conservative senator, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), is now leading the charge in Congress to ease crack sentences. “I believe that as a matter of law enforcement and good public policy, crack cocaine sentences are too heavy and can’t be justified,” he said. “People don’t want us to be soft on crime, but I think we ought to make the law more rational.”

There’s a talking point Hillary and Obama should adopt. It’s both the right thing and the smart thing. Because of disenfranchisement statutes, large numbers of black men who were convicted of drug crimes are ineligible to vote, even those who have fully paid their debt to society.

A 2000 study found that 1.4 million African American men — 13% of the total black male population — were unable to vote in the 2000 election because of state laws barring felons access to the polls. In Florida, one in three black men is permanently disqualified from voting. Think that might have made a difference in the 2000 race? Our shortsighted drug laws have become the 21st century manifestation of Jim Crow.

Shouldn’t this be an issue Democratic presidential candidates deem worthy of their attention?

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Poetry: More of William Allingham...

Olian Harp

What is it that is gone, we fancied ours?

Oh what is lost that never may be told?—

We stray all afternoon, and we may grieve

Until the perfect closing of the night.

Listen to us, thou gray Autumnal Eve,

Whose part is silence. At thy verge the clouds

Are broken into melancholy gold;

The waifs of Autumn and the feeble flow’rs

Glimmer along our woodlands in wet light;

Within thy shadow thou dost weave the shrouds

Of joy and great adventure, waxing cold,

Which once, or so it seemed, were full of might.

Some power it was, that lives not with us now,

A thought we had, but could not, could not hold.

O sweetly, swiftly pass’d:—air sings and murmurs;

Green leaves are gathering on the dewy bough;

O sadly, swiftly pass’d:—air sighs and mutters;

Red leaves are dropping on the rainy mould.

Then comes the snow, unfeatured, vast, and white.

O what is gone from us, we fancied ours?—

The Maids of Elfin-Mere

When the spinning-room was here

Came Three Damsels, clothed in white,

With their spindles every night;

One and Two and three fair Maidens,

Spinning to a pulsing cadence,

Singing songs of Elfin-Mere;

Till the eleventh hour was toll’d,

Then departed through the wold.

Years ago, and years ago;

And the tall reeds sigh as the wind doth blow.

Three white Lilies, calm and clear,

And they were loved by every one;

Most of all, the Pastor’s Son,

Listening to their gentle singing,

Felt his heart go from him, clinging

Round these Maids of Elfin-Mere.

Sued each night to make them stay,

Sadden’d when they went away.

Years ago, and years ago;

And the tall reeds sigh as the wind doth blow.

Hands that shook with love and fear

Dared put back the village clock,—

Flew the spindle, turn’d the rock,

Flow’d the song with subtle rounding,

Till the false ‘eleven’ was sounding;

Then these Maids of Elfin-Mere

Swiftly, softly, left the room,

Like three doves on snowy plume.

Years ago, and years ago;

And the tall reeds sigh as the wind doth blow.

One that night who wander’d near

Heard lamentings by the shore,

Saw at dawn three stains of gore

In the waters fade and dwindle.

Never more with song and spindle

Saw we Maids of Elfin-Mere,

The Pastor’s Son did pine and die;

Because true love should never lie.

Years ago, and years ago;

And the tall reeds sigh as the wind doth blow.

Twilight Voices

Now, at the hour when ignorant mortals

Drowse in the shade of their whirling sphere,

Heaven and Hell from invisible portals

Breathing comfort and ghastly fear,

Voices I hear;

I hear strange voices, flitting, calling,

Wavering by on the dusky blast,—

‘Come, let us go, for the night is falling;

Come, let us go, for the day is past!’

Troops of joys are they, now departed?

Winged hopes that no longer stay?

Guardian spirits grown weary-hearted?

Powers that have linger’d their latest day?

What do they say?

What do they sing? I hear them calling,

Whispering, gathering, flying fast,—

‘Come, come, for the night is falling;

Come, come, for the day is past!’

Sing they to me?—’Thy taper’s wasted;

Mortal, thy sands of life run low;

Thine hours like a flock of birds have hasted:

Time is ending;—we go, we go.’

Sing they so?

Mystical voices, floating, calling;

Dim farewells—the last, the last?

Come, come away, the night is falling;

‘Come, come away, the day is past.’

See, I am ready, Twilight voices!

Child of the spirit-world am I;

How should I fear you? my soul rejoices,

O speak plainer! O draw nigh!

Fain would I fly!

Tell me your message, Ye who are calling

Out of the dimness vague and vast;

Lift me, take me,—the night is falling;

Quick, let us go,—the day is past.

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