EMAIL PAGE ONE
FIFTY-SEVEN, MARCH 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)
Re: COLUMN 55
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 20:31:50 -0600
From: Mitch Myers <email@example.com>
To: "Al Aronowitz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was sitting alone in my favorite coffee house the other day, enjoying a
nice hot cappuccino and reading a fairly good book when I spied an old
acquaintance of mine, Adam Coil, walking through the door. I hadn't seen
Adam in several months and immediately called his name, motioning for him to
come over and join me at my table. As he smiled and headed across the room
towards me, I painfully recalled the last time we had been together. It had
been around Christmas time when a few mutual friends and I expressed some
very grave concerns to Adam about his then-obvious state of depression. I
hadn't called him since that day and felt more than a little bad that I
hadn't stayed in touch. Anyway, he sat down and we quickly exchanged the
obligatory pleasantries. He seemed to be in excellent spirits and after a
fair bit of small talk and a couple more cappuccinos, I carefully brought up
his dark mood of the previous winter. "Yeah Adam, we were all kinda worried
about you last year." I said cautiously. "None of us could ever
seeing you so down." Adam stared at me strangely for what felt like quite
long time. It appeared as if he were trying to decide whether or not to tell
me something important. Finally, he spoke. "Y'know, I was down. I was so
down that I was about ready to pull the plug". "What do you
mean?" I asked,
almost dreading to hear the answer to my own question. He stared at me again
for an even longer period of time. "You know what I mean," he said
"I was going to kill myself. I had been absolutely miserable for months
as much as I tried, I just couldn't get over the break up with my old
girlfriend. It had been almost a year and I was still crying like a baby
every day. I couldn't bring myself to talk to anyone about it and I called
in sick to work so much that I finally lost my job." Adam's frank
left me somewhat speechless. I mumbled something about me always being there
for him and how glad I was that he had found an alternative to suicide.
seem fine now." I said tentatively. "How'd you manage to get through
This time Adam displayed little ambivalence in telling me his story. He
seemed almost smug as he leaned forward to confide in me. "It's a funny
thing, actually. I think it was March or maybe April, I can't remember
which. I hadn't left my house in well over a week and couldn't have been
more depressed. I was crying so much that my vision was constantly blurry. I
couldn't even read or watch the TV. Finally, I just couldn't take it
anymore. It wasn't as if I really wanted to die, I just couldn't stand the
pain. I had already bought a gun and was completely prepared to blow my
brains out. Still, I was scared. I thought that maybe I should try talking
to someone at least once before I killed myself, so I dialed some toll free
crisis intervention number I had scribbled down on a piece of paper after
hearing their ad on the radio. Somebody answered the phone and said
"Hotline" and I immediately began to spill my guts. I was in the
explaining how I had become a total shut-in and couldn't stop thinking about
my old girlfriend when the guy stopped me in mid-sentence and asked if I was
over 18. I told him that I was indeed well over 18 and needed to talk to
someone right away. I said that I was in desperate shape and if I couldn't
talk to their best available representative immediately I was liable to
shoot myself in the head. There was a short pause on the line and then I was
transferred directly to some woman. She sounded experienced and very
patient, so I began to tell her my problems.
I went on and on about how lonely and miserable I was and how I hadn't even
been able to go out on a single date since my break-up. After two or three
if I could give her a credit card number. I was totally surprised. I was
sure that I had dialed a toll-free hotline and was in the middle of baring
my soul to this person when all of a sudden she wants my credit card? I
began to get even more upset and was just about to hang up on her. Then I
decided, screw it- if this talk doesn't help me right away I'm going to kill
myself anyway so who cares how much they try to charge me? I gave the woman
my credit card and she immediately starts back in asking me all about
myself. I was amazed. She acted like there had been no break in our
discussion at all. She was very warm, empathic and surprisingly reassuring.
She listened to me as I cried and told me not to worry about a thing. She
promised that she was going to make me feel a whole lot better before we
finished our talk. Her voice was incredibly soothing and it practically had
me hypnotized. I don't know exactly how long it took me to realize that I
had inadvertently called a sex-line. Of course by this time I was way too
into what she was saying to me to even consider hanging up. So I
...y'know...I finished what I had started." Adam shrugged his shoulders and
grinned at me sheepishly. "Damn if I didn't find the will to live after
that. As a matter of fact, I've been talking to the same woman once a week
ever since and I feel better than I have in ages."
glanced up at the clock on the wall and said, "Wow, look at the time. I
have to run. I was just coming in here to get a coffee to go before heading
over to my softball game downtown. Listen, it was great running into you.
I'll try to call you real soon and we'll get together again and hang out. I
really gotta go." Adam Coil threw a few dollars down on the table and was
out the door in a flash before I could say another word. I looked blankly
around the coffeehouse, sipped at my cold cappuccino, and tried in vain to
resume reading my damn book.
* * *
ON DUMB DUMBYA’S COUP D’ETAT
Verse from history-Thanks ABQ
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 22:10:33 -0600
From: jo grant <email@example.com>
olden times, it could be decades before major events were cast
But The Great 2000 Election Controversy
is so big that a
bunch of all-star poets have come out of retirement to quickly set
the story to rhyme.
starters, history buff Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Listen, my children, don't dare ignore,
actions of Bush and Gore
In early November, the year ought-ought,
Hard to believe the mess they wrought.
Two billion bucks of campaign bounty
All came down to Palm Beach County.
What result could have been horrider
Than the situation we found in Florider?
Britain's Edward Lear's limerick is lighter:
There once was a U.S. election
That called for some expert detection -
How thousands of pollers
Could become two-holers
Like outhouses of recollection.
I regret to admit that all
What I learned at Electoral
So tell me please, though I hate to troubya,
Will the winner be Al, or will it be Dubya?
Noyes rhythmically rumbles:
And still of an autumn night they say, with the
White House on the line,
When the campaign's a ghostly galleon and both
candidates cry, "'Tis mine!"
When the road is a ribbon of ballots,
all within easy reach,
A highwayman comes riding,
A highwayman comes riding, and punches two holes
Seuss takes a look at election officials:
I cannot count them in a box
I cannot count them with a fox
I cannot count them by computer
I will not with a Roto-Rooter
I cannot count them card-by-card
I will not 'cause it's way too hard
I cannot count them on my fingers
I will not while suspicion lingers.
I'll leave the country in a jam -
I can't count ballots, Sam-I-Am.
finally, Clement Moore adopts a holiday theme:
the month before Christmas, when all through
All the plaintiffs made stirring bad ballot reports.
Which leaves the problem:
Perhaps the best way to stop complaints that are
Start over again, with the Iowa caucuses.
Defend Democracy, Count Every Vote! Every Vote Must Be Counted!
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2000 02:02:39 -0500
Democracy, Count Every Vote! Every Vote Must Be Counted!
Incredible! Miami Hearld study: Gore
Won - Election Hi-Jacked!
Florida Ballot Spoilage Likelier For Blacks
By John Mintz and Dan Keating - Washington Post Staff Writers
Response from Marilyn Clements - Thanks for email, but who is
Miami Hearld study: Gore Won -
Crowell forwarded the following story from the Sunday
Miami Herald, Dec. 03, 2000]
THE VOTE WERE FLAWLESS...
would have had the edge in glitch-free Florida balloting,
based on a Herald analysis
ANABELLE de GALE, LILA ARZUA AND CURTIS MORGAN
no one had ever heard of hanging chads, if the butterfly
ballot had never flown, if no voter had bungled in the booth, who
would have won Florida and the presidency of the United States?
a race so tight, it may never be known for certain. But a
Herald-commissioned analysis of voting patterns in each of the
state's 5,885 precincts suggests that Florida likely would have
gone to Al Gore -- by a slim 23,000 votes -- rather than George
W. Bush, the officially certified victor by the wispy margin of
2000 The Miami Herald and wire service sources. All Rights
Ballot Spoilage Likelier For Blacks
John Mintz and Dan Keating
Post Staff Writers
December 3, 2000; Page A01
Democratic and African American neighborhoods in Florida
lost many more presidential votes than other areas because of
outmoded voting machines and rampant confusion about ballots, a
precinct-by-precinct analysis by The Washington Post shows.
many as one in three ballots in black sections of
Jacksonville, for example, did not count in the presidential
contest. That was four times as many as in white precincts
elsewhere in mostly Republican Duval County.
to the Post analysis, in Miami-Dade County precincts
where fewer than 30 percent of the voters are black, about 3
percent of ballots did not register a vote for president. In
precincts where more than 70 percent of the voters are African
American, it was nearly 10 percent.
patterns have helped fuel questions in the black community
about whether the vote was fair on Election Day. A number of
African American leaders say faulty ballot machines and long
lines at polling places sowed confusion among many black voters
and ended up
nullifying many of their votes.
to Texas Gov. George W. Bush say the kinds of errors
Florida voters made are typical of elections across the nation.
President Gore, by contrast, has placed allegations
concerning disqualified black votes at the center of his appeal
to hold recounts in Miami-Dade County, and he is making his case
with rhetoric reminiscent of civil rights struggles. Democrats
say the errors suggest a manual recount of ballots would show
that Gore won Florida.
computer analysis of election returns suggests there were
anomalies in the Florida vote, particularly in African American
areas. The more black and Democratic a precinct, the more likely
it was to suffer high rates of invalidated votes....
writer Thomas B. Edsall contributed to this report.
Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company
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Re: GORE, GREENS & NADER
know who you are, but I appreciate the items you put on the
e-mail. [portside (the left side in nautical parlance) is a news,
discussion and debate service of the Committees of Correspondence
for Democracy and Socialism. It aims to provide varied material
of interest to people on the left.]
spent yesterday doing some reflecting about our days in
Seattle last year and what has happened in the year since. I was
startled to find myself counting up all the signs of change.
Yesterday's New York Times had three important stories. One was
about the anniversary of "Seattle", a very friendly article! Two
extensive front page stories were about the tremendous organizing
going on all over Europe around "mad cow disease" and the
response to genetically altered foods and the scientist in India
who has defied the intellectual property rules of the WTO and
created pharmaceutical drugs, all kinds of drugs, but
particularly AIDS drugs for 1/50th of the cost of drugs in the
U.S. India seems to be standing behind him. Now it will be up to
the desperate countries that need these drugs to see if they can
defy the WTO rules. The last thing that happened was mail from
Nebraska. Nebraska farmers are organizing themselves to do Fair
Trade just like the fair trade in coffee. They are organizing
cooperatively, the way farmers used to do it during the
thanks for your mailings.
ARE WE IN CHINA?
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 19:00:14 -0500
SAY WE WERE IN CHINA
Feigon is a professor of Chinese history at Colby College.)
a sinologist I can't help but think that if the events of election eve
transpired not in the United States but in a place like China, voters
viewers would not have been surprised by the results. As confusing as
appear to Americans, the explanation would have seemed obvious
used to a more authoritarian tradition of leaders: The Bush family
family's background. George W. Bush's father is not just the
president of the United States but also the one-time head of the CIA.
secretary of defense in Bush's administration, Dick Cheney was
for the National Security Agency, a spook organization more
than the Central Intelligence Agency. Jeb Bush, the Republican
brother and governor of Florida, spent years living and working
America, where elections routinely have been manipulated by
remember what happened on the evening of the election. Every television
called Florida for Gore about 8 p.m. The Bush camp quickly
arguing the returns from absentee ballots and rural counties
might yet be
different from what the networks had declared. Jeb Bush, we
was on the phone with Florida desperately trying to find extra
of us wondered: "What was Jeb Bush doing? The votes have already been
the votes the Bush people had predicted suddenly began to appear. By 2
networks were calling the election for Bush. In a twist that many
might be able to appreciate, this result was also not to remain in
long. If clever operatives had fiddled with the election returns
want the predictions to change back and forth a few times so it
like the problem had been caused by the experts at the networks
someone playing with the results? The focus on uncounted and
use ballots in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties
would be the
perfect smokescreen to keep the attention off chicanery
the state. Couldn't this explain why the Bush side didn't want
Vice President Al Gore's offer of a statewide recount, even when
in their interest to do so?
"Nah," I think. "These kind of things don't happen in
the sinologist voice in the back of my head keeps working. If this were
would look for indications that the family had used their spook
to manipulate other events. Didn't someone do a pretty good job
George W. Bush's absenteeism from his National Guard duty? For
record of his drunk-driving conviction remained suppressed. He
even got out
of the rehab program everyone convicted of drunk driving in the
Maine was supposed to attend.
also that supposedly determinative first presidential debate.
before this debate, videotapes of George W.'s preparation sessions
arrived in the office of Gore's debate coach. Rather than run the
appearing tainted, the coach removed himself from Gore's debate
Gore's performance suffered. The story was that a disaffected
the Bush camp probably sent the tapes, but the person still hasn't
this doesn't add up to a hill of beans. This isn't China. Only someone
would even think about how after the elder George Bush lived in
China in the
1970s, he restarted a previously dead-end political career.
Even I won't
make anything of the fact that not long after that his once
nothing elder son made a fortune, got elected governor and then
candidate for the presidency. It's a good thing we don't live in
where all this would be looked on with suspicion.
MORE DIRT ABOUT ONE OF DUMB DUMBYA'S
Keith Hunter [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 10:01 PM
Subject: Request for Senate Inquiry of Gale Norton
Re: Request for Senate Inquiry of
To the United States Senate and Interested American People:
am writing in regards to the upcoming confirmation hearings of Gale Norton for
the Cabinet position of Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI) of the
United States. I have deliberated
long and hard, and had many discussions with those close to me, regarding what I
am releasing due to concerns of retaliation from Gale Norton and members of the
Republican Party in the State of Colorado.
I am on parole from the State of Colorado and the content of this
information concerns my experiences and knowledge of Gale Norton derived from
the time I was incarcerated in the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC).
Myself and others endured severe repercussions from the State of Colorado
when the substance of what I am about to divulge was originally released and
contested in state and federal courts and political processes, and due to this
experience the reality of retaliatory actions by Gale Norton and her political
allies are not unfounded.
experience with Gale Norton began when she was first elected as the Attorney
General for the State of Colorado. At
the time I was a plaintiff and a class representative in a United States
District Court case, Nolasco v. Romer, which had been filed in the United States
District Court in Colorado by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the
ACLU National Prison Project from Washington DC.
I was also a law clerk in the Legal Access Program operating under the
Ramos Consent Decree, a previous class action settlement in prison conditions in
Colorado in the U. S. District Court Colorado, as well as being an Inmate
Representative pursuant to the Marioneaux Consent Decree also from the U. S.
District Court Colorado. In 1992
the Colorado Supreme Court determined that I was qualified to testify as an
expert witness in Colorado prison and parole
is my belief that the actions and policies of Gale Norton's tenure and reign of
the Colorado Attorney General's Office and that office's relationship to the
issues litigated and settlement processes on behalf of the State of Colorado are
germane to the consideration of her confirmation as Secretary of the Department
of Interior. Based upon my
observation and experience of Gale Norton's operation of the Attorney General's
Office of the State of Colorado, I believe it imperative that her confirmation
to this highly responsible position of trust and duties be denied.
This letter is intended to be demonstrative but not exhaustive and these
incidents (as well as similar incidents) are recorded in public and agency
records and in files of cases which I had first hand participation in, was
personally aware of, and/or witnessed. I
am willing to assist in any manner in to faciliate gathering this documentation
of what I am submitting for your review.
Norton's Office denied that it is cruel and unusual punishment to
handcuff prisoners naked to the bars of their cells and use stun guns to
testicles for "behavior modification".
Gale Norton's office refused to
comply with discovery orders and withheld documentation which showed this
practice existed and it was only after obtaining confidential documents and
releasing this information to the Aspen Times which printed this information
was the sadistic practice ended. Gale
Norton's Office was totally and
completely aware of this practice and publicly and in court denied that it
existed and/or in the alternative that it was constitutionally protected
activities for the State of Colorado. Although
this practice of police
brutality was documented by the State of Colorado's own documents there were
suspensions or other disciplinary or criminal actions taken by
Gale Norton's Office.
the phase immediately before the trial was set before the US District
Court in Colorado on the Nolasco case the CDOC, in consultation with Gale
Norton's Office, opened the Limon Correctional Facility which was
statutorily mandated to be operated as a Level III facility. However, to
avoid contempt of court proceedings pending before the US District Court for
non-compliance with the Ramos Consent Decree, the CDOC opened Limon
prematurely and operated this facility in violation of statutory staffing
requirements and as a Level IV facility. Gale
Norton's Office defended
these actions of statutory violations of the CDOC and the result was a total
lockdown of the facility following an incident provoked by the DOC which was
then attempted to be depicted as a racial riot by the CDOC and AG office
public relations. During the
following six months five prisoners died in
in my capacity as an individual, Inmate Representative, and Law Clerk I filed a
petition into the Colorado Supreme Court requesting application of a new statute
created for Conflict and Dispute Resolution. The very day I filed this action the CDOC was actively
engaged in the literal beatings of
numerous prisoners, at least one of which suffered a paralyzed face as a result
of being brutalized in his cell. The
Director of Legal Affairs, working for the
Attorney General Gale Norton, instructed the contract attorney I was working for
to fire me from my job for the "unauthorized" filing of a petition
seeking redress from the courts. This
contract attorney refused to fire me based upon the position that the right to
petition the courts for redress of grievances was a constitutionally protected
right and that it was illegal for the State of Colorado to censor prisoner
petitions to the court seeking relief. This
attorney was immediately fired by the Gale Norton's Attorney General's Office.
attorney was further instructed that to obtain her contract payment that she had
to obtain a list of all names and confidential legal assistance case details of
all prisoners that were accessing the Legal Access Program.
I was instructed to supply such information and when I refused to comply
due to attorney client/privileges being breached between the Attorney General's
Office and inmates accessing the law library this attorney's payment was
withheld and she had to file a civil action against the State of Colorado to
receive her payment. I was
scheduled to testify in this case since it was my refusal to submit a list of
names and confidential materials which triggered this retaliation by Gale
Norton's Office. On the day I was
being interviewed in pre-trial preparations two weeks before the trial was to
begin Gale Norton's Office settled the case.
A whistleblowers audit four years following this sequence of events made
the findings that the State of Colorado had knowingly violated statutory
requirements for security ratings and staffing levels.
Gale Norton's Office was fully participatory in and actively engaged in a
prevent public knowledge, judicial review, and/or knowledgeable and possible
corrective legislative action.
Secretary of the DOI is responsible for law enforcement activities of federal
agencies such as the BLM, National Park Service, and the Bureau of Indian
Affairs (BIA). Censorship and
retaliation against licensed attorneys, obstructing access to constitutionally
protected avenues of redress, and
documented instances of police brutality which were never prosecuted or
investigated by her office, is not appropriate for appointment to head the DOI.
Norton's Office denied that it was deliberately indifferent for a prisoner who
had major back surgery, who was then moved back to prison from the state
hospital four days after surgery and denied any and all antibiotics and other
medications which had been prescribed by state hospital doctors, who then
suffered to the extent that it required a Federal Court Order to have the
prisoner taken to the doctor, which then state hospital doctor stated that had
it not been for the court order the prisoner would have died from blood
Norton's Office denied it was a constitutional right for adequate health care
delivery of medical and dental services from a delivery system which was
staffed and implemented for 540 individuals which had grown to serve over 1200
with no increase in space, equipment, or medical staffing. Waiting lists of over one year were common for routine and
emergency dental care, instances of broken bones being X-rayed by dental X-ray
machines, and a marked increase in rates of TB exposures were documented from
state records. Gale Norton's Office
not only denied this violated constitutional and state obligations and/or
medical standards, but obstructed justice and corrective action by refusing to
comply with discovery orders and defended DOC employees destroying and hiding
evidence to prevent solutions to this grossly inadequate health care issue.
Norton's Office denied that it was deliberately indifferent for a State Hospital
Doctor to prescribe treatment based the doctor's reliance upon state
documents of medical services provided by the DOC which were knowingly not being
provided by the DOC and ultimately Gale Norton's Office. Gale Norton's Office
admitted said equipment existed but not accessible due to not being staffed, but
no notification or other arrangements were made to return the prisoner to the
State Hospital where treatment could have been made available for a degenerative
crippling arthritic condition. The
Doctor at the State Hospital testified
that had he known the DOC was not able to provide the care prescribed the
patient would have been provided the necessary care at the State Hospital.
this information, Gale Norton's Office persisted in denial of the medical
treatment needed and maintained the position that the patient had no right to
access adequate medical care although that care was funded by statute from
legislative intent that such care be provided demonstrated by the purchase of
said medical equipment and funding for trained medical staff to operate such
internal "whistleblower" audit three years following this incident
showed the State of Colorado was deliberately operating in violation of
statutory staffing requirements with no accountability for non-compliance with
statutory staffing levels. Although Gale Norton's Office was totally aware of
this situation prior to the audit, absolutely no action was taken by her office
and in fact her office vigorously defended against all attempts to enforce
adequate staffing and adequate health care delivery.
Secretary of the Department of Interior is responsible for oversight of the BIA,
which include delivery of Indian Health Services, and as such Gale Norton's
demonstrated positions regarding adequate health care delivery is an
endangerment to the health and lives of Indian People who depend upon IHS for
health care services.
Norton's Office denied that the State of Colorado had any legal obligation to
cease practices of dumping raw untreated sewage into Rifle Creek from the Rifle
Correctional Center into the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Rifle Creek
Wildlife Refuge. In a
separate incident, Gale Norton's Office denied that the State of Colorado had
any legal obligation to cease practices of dumping raw sewage and open pit
dumping of toxic materials onto the drainage of the Arkansas River from the
Buena Vista Correctional Facility. Gale
Norton's Office's position was that the State of Colorado had no compliance
obligations to any local, state, or federal laws based such laws being
inapplicable to state owned
properties and/or facilities.
it was proven by independent local community citizens of the State of Colorado
that the sewage discharges were in fact routine, and that the State of
Colorado had failed to operate sewage treatment facilities with licensed
qualified technicians, no actions were taken by Gale Norton's Office to correct
situations and in fact her office obstructed at every opportunity any and all
investigations which could have led to the Colorado General Assembly having
evidence to base legislative funding to correct the environmental damages being
done by the State of Colorado.
part of the duties of the Secretary of Interior, advising Congress of facts and
information pertinent to Congressional actions is required.
Gale Norton has
proven, in many instances, where she used her position of trust as Attorney
General of Colorado to obstruct investigations and fact findings which were
critical to the Colorado General Assembly being able to make responsible and
fully informed decisions. Based
upon her office's practices and actions, Gale
Norton's obstruction of information in regards to environmental damages is a
detriment not only to the environment, but to the abilities of elected
representatives to be able to make timely, knowledgeable, and relevant decisions
the law making process.
American Freedom of Religion and Sacred Site Protection
1991 the Colorado General Assembly unanimously passed legislation granting
"freedom of religion" to Native American prisoners.
The internal opposition
state employees to the use of traditional spiritual practices was immense, and
period of negotiations between representatives of the Native American Spiritual
Community and the State of Colorado began.
Norton's Office totally refused to investigate or take action on numerous
documented instances of racial and religious discrimination by State of Colorado
employees. Gale Norton's Office
investigations into the "disappearance" of a legislative appropriation
which was to go toward establishing the affirmative obligation of the State of
Colorado encountered by passing of this state statute, later reflected by the
United States Congress Act in regards to the Restoration of Native American
Religious Freedom and Protection Act. Gale
Norton's Office defended the bulldozing of a sweat lodge by the State of
Secretary of Interior among Gale Norton's duties will be the oversight of the
BIA as well as Public Lands which contain Sacred Site designation for
Indian Tribes. Gale Norton has
demonstrated her indifference to Native American Religious Freedom and her
defense of racial and religious discrimination practices by governmental
employees. Gale Norton's
appointment to this position is a detriment to the rights to freedom of
religion, protection from racial discrimination, and protection of sacred sites.
also realize that what I offer here may be judged by the fact that I myself was
in prison. I daily live with the
prejudice that comes from many in regards to how prisons and crime are viewed in
this society. I have presented
nothing in this release that cannot be verified by existing documents and
credible witnesses outside of the prison system.
those who would hold my being incarcerated as a reason to not further
investigate Gale Norton's confirmation as Secretary of the Department of
Interior I can state that being in prison allowed me to see things from a unique
perspective, one in which it became more profound as to remembering that we all
have a very important role as members of a larger community, the community not
only of People, but our community of belonging to the Earth.
Being denied access to hear a baby laugh, to hear a puppy bark, or to
even see the sky to hear a bird or to feel the wind for months at a time brings
an appreciation that would not be as significant to those that had never
loss of such
things as many take for granted. And
for many, access to the political process to affect change and to influence the
course of our collective community is something that is also taken for granted.
But because we take these things for granted does not mean we can ignore
our duty and obligations as members of our collective community to prevent more
harm from being done when we know by our silence these potential harms are
possibly enhanced and/or allowed to occur.
have come to a place where we no longer imprison our potentials as national and
world community by accepting our helplessness about the conditions of human
beings and the treatment we accept towards our lands and waters.
We are obligated to change our destructive behaviors towards each other
as human beings and our relationship to the land, water, and air.
Our survival and future as community depends upon our present decisions
and choices before us all, and at this point in time you as the elected Senators
are being called upon to make such a decision as is before you with Gale Norton,
and ultimately with the members of the community called the United States.
Norton supports and defends governmental abuses towards human beings, land and
water. Somewhere this has to end,
and it partially ends in the political
process of our law makers being fully informed on issues before congressional
and legislative bodies, a process in which Gale Norton has repeatedly sabotaged
obstructed in her job as Attorney General.
And this destruction of human dignity and the earth we depend upon
partially ends when the retaliation and
fear tactics of people such as Gale Norton is challenged and made known.
am willing to stand up and do my part as a member of our community to provide
that our future generations have a safe home to live in, both in terms of
environmental and human rights and dignity.
And I ask you, the elected Senators and members of our national
community, to do the same and give serious
to the relationship between what I have presented to you the candidate for the
position of the Secretary of the Department of Interior, a position entailing
law enforcement, medical care. protection of lands and waters, and obligations
to honor American Indian traditions, practices, and sacred sites.
The denial and obstruction of any of these aspects is an
and denial of these rights to all rights and beliefs.
I hold my two year old Makah Indian grand-daughter in my lap as I contemplate
sending this document. I think of
my new life I have been given,
the many blessings that have come that once I could only dream of and pray for
and at times gave up hope believing would come.
I contemplate how much I have come to love my freedom and my new life and
how real the potential for retaliation is from Gale Norton and her political
allies. And I think of how my heart
will be broken if I am returned to prison for the words I release here and
question my responsibilities towards the people who love me and are concerned of
what may occur. But is there
freedom without truth? And is true
freedom lost or given away when people such as Gale Norton are able to
incarcerate truth with
I hold this innocent child in my arms and hear her sweet "grandpa"
being said to me, I know she trusts me. She trusts me to protect her from things
that are "hot" and from falling and hurting herself.
She trusts me to teach her words and how to relate to people and the
world around her. And although she
doesn't say it, I know she trusts me to do what I can to give to her and her
children a home and future of hope, of realized potentials, and a world that is
not scarred with continued destruction of human rights and environment. And
although she doesn't say it, she is trusting in you too as are all our children
trusting in us all to do what is right, what is honorable, and what is needed to
respectfully ask the United States Senate and the American People to now do your
part to prevent Gale Norton's patterns of destruction from becoming a
practice such as she demonstrated as the Attorney General of the State of
Colorado. Our people, our land, our
waters, and our collective ways of life
best this country has to offer. It
is an honor to be able to participate in our national political process and I
thank you for the consideration of what I have presented.
P.O Box 482
Neah Bay, WA 98357
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