The End of Arkansas’s Killing Spree?

In reality, we are all fighting for our lives.

This evening, Kenneth Williams is scheduled for execution in Arkansas because its supply of a key execution drug is set to expire, a drug never meant to kill, but relax, similar to Valium. The pharmaceutical company who makes the drug refuses to issue more for the purpose of killing. In fact, originally Arkansas lied and said they wanted the drug for strictly medical purposes.

The family of the man that Williams killed is pleading for clemency. So often, states killing the guilty and innocent say this creates closure for grieving families. Does one death necessitate the need for another? Are we still living by the doctrine of the Old Testament? Apparently, the family of the man Williams killed does not want to live by that doctrine.

The West Memphis three witch hunt must not be forgotten. I was a pediatric nurse practitioner for over a decade. We dealt with child abuse and child sexual abuse cases weekly. Each instance, the children were abused by a parent, step parent or grandparent, boyfriend, uncle, or aunt. The legal system in the town I worked in was well schooled in child abuse cases. That was because the head of pediatrics, or the Pediatric Guru, as we called him, took the legal system under his tutelage and told them what to look for. Children are coming to us from other areas were not as fortunate.

The Arkansas legal system didn’t even consider the parents or step parents as murderers in the case of the three eight year olds boys.

We celebrate the Pediatric Guru’s 90th birthday this weekend. I am going to give him the Paradise Lost Trilogy which tells the full story of the WM3.  (The West Memphis 3). The stories of the murders and botched prosecution (persecution) would fascinate him.

Capital punishment has no place in a society that claims to be civil or humane. Nor does war or the patriarchy. Look no further than Trump’s cabinet. They want to kill us all, stripping healthcare, the social safety net and building the war machine.

In reality, we are all fighting for our lives.

Damien Echoles and  Lorrie Davis on Charlie Rose.

That Shalt Not Kill

Johnny Depp is a non-Capitol Punishment Activist

As stated on my seventh blog post, Arkansas is getting ready to execute eight death row inmates in ten days because the pharmacology to kill them is going to expire. These executions are going to occur at the end of April.

Johnny Depp joined several former death row inmates in protest of these scheduled executions in Arkansas. He spoke before signs that said “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” and “End The Death Penalty.”

Damien Echols, former Arkansas death row inmate, said, “I don’t believe the death penalty can be called justice.”

Amnesty International says, “If Arkansas goes forward with #8in10Executions, it will be a blot on Arkansas and America.”

Arkansa Governor Hutchinson of Arkansas has a laissez-faire attitude about the situation that only he can change. Or the voters can vote him out after his first term in office. It’s as if an “eye for an eye” and not “thou shall not kill” along with “love one another” is the mantra of so-called Christians in Arkansas and America.

What happened to the message of love and nonviolence of Jesus Christ, Pope Francis, Dorothy  Day and Mother Theresa? This is Holy Week, after all. That goes for you, @realDonaldTrump, as you continue to drop bombs on innocent people.

Damien Echols credits Johnny Depp for saving his life. Here they are both making their case against the death penalty.

Intercepted by The Mother Of All Bombs

The Mother Of All Bombs Killed Women and Children and Radicalized Untold Numbers To Join Isis.

Investigative Journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars and Black Water, has a new Podcast totally worth subscribing to. The name of the podcast is Intercepted.

This week, Jeremy dedicated the whole hour to the Syria crisis. It starts out with Brian Williams drooling over America’s “beautiful weapons.” These media shills are not asking for evidence for why the  bombing of Syria is necessary. Brian Williams is proof positive of that missed opportunity.

Jeremy interviewed Dennis Kucinich. Dennis explained his trip to Syria with Tulsi Gabbart, congresswoman from Hawaii, and an earlier visit Dennis made to Syria to speak with Bashar al-Assad. Presently, Tulsi is the only congressperson to ask for research into the reasons to bomb Syria. Suddenly, the Corporate Democrats are siding with Trump after vilifying him for weeks leading up to the Tomahawk strike. Now these same democrats have dropped the “Russia Russia Russia” neo- McCarthy narrative.

Jeremy also interviewed a Syrian man who lived with his family in Canada prior to the 911 attacks. After 911, he was kidnapped and detained at a US airport, taken back to Syria, where he was tortured by Assad’s Agents.

Asked if there should be a regime change in Syria, his answer was double edged: he both opposes Assad, and the US Intervention. 

Now that Trump is emboldened by his popular Tomahawk cruise missile attack, he dropped the so-called “Mother Of All Bombs” on what the Trump administration wants you all to believe is an Isis target in Afghanistan. This just happened today. 

As usual, the media elites are frothing at the mouth. Has the world gone mad?

Josh Fox, anti-fracking activist and filmmaker, said this bomb is in reality a carpet bomb, “designed to inflict massive casualties.”

Here is Josh and Tim Black discussing this crime against humanity, as well as Josh’s new film, on the Tim Black At Night Show:

The Tim Black Show

Broken Carpenter and Tim Black at DNC in Philly.

I love Independent Media. I outlined all the shows I love on another blog post. I no longer watch CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. However, even Fox covered Bernie Sanders more in the primary than CNN or MSNBC combined. We cancelled our cable after the Democratic Convention. I also left the Democratic Party at that time.

Last night’s Freedom Friday Show, created by Tim Black of Tim Black TV dot com, was one I had the opportunity to watch. I texted my friend Lori to watch, too. I will post the show at the end of this post.

Naturally, the topic throughout the night was Syria, and people’s various perspectives on the situation. Each person offered a different take, and there were many callers last night. 

Tim offers a gift to his supporters and listeners with all his shows, but Freedom Friday in particular is a sounding board for people who could easily fall into a deep depression over the state of the world, if not for this venue for expression. The only thing Tim requires is: No Hate Speech. If a caller resorts to this, Tim immediately cuts them off.

Tim delivers short videos on the news of the day each day. On Monday nights, Tim and HA Goodman present “No Sell Outs.” Tuesday and Thursday nights, Tim interviews progressives who make a difference in the American political sphere. Freedom Friday is a culmination of everything he presented throughout that week. 

Tim exudes an aura of goodwill and honesty. Sometimes what he has to say is painful, but he is a truth teller, as he often says about his approach to politics, and life itself. 

Here is a repeat of last night’s show:


Death Penalty Politics

We need ethical guidelines in order to live sanely.

Why is the death penalty still an agreed upon torture and punishment method for American prisoners?

I heard a news story this morning on NPR about states finding lethal injection to be unconstitutional and are backing off from using it. Although death penalty laws are on the books in thirty-one states, only five carried out executions last year.

Arkansas has always been on the forefront of killing more people on death row than any other state. Now Arkansas is planning to kill as many as eight on death row before the state’s supply of lethal injection expires later this month.

Some pharmacies are flat out refusing to provide these lethal drug combinations. Kudos to them. 

If lethal injection is unconstitutional, what makes the electric chair, hanging, or firing squad a better alternative? Believe it or not, law makers are considering these alternatives with a straight face because these methods still remain legal in their  states. 

On another topic, kudos to Ron Paul for standing up and questioning  whether Bashar al- Assad was responsible for the recent chemical explosions killing untold numbers of people. Paul doubts Assad is responsible, because of a number of factors explained in this article. The neocons want war and regime change in Syria and will go to any lengths to oust Assad. The Neocons are moving in. I doubt Trump has the guts to stand up to them, thus breaking yet another campaign promise. Many people I know who voted for Trump did so thinking he would adapt noninterventionist policies.

In the correspondence between Thomas Merton and Albert Camu, they agreed on this: the societal propaganda for Capitol Punishment justifies and mirrors the drive to wage war. The last statement says everything about the values and ethics of our society.

Pope Francis says there is no excuse for Capital Punishment –or war–for that matter. He also said the only true purpose for prison needs to be strictly for rehabilitation and education, not punishment.

He said thou shall not kill applies to both the innocent and the guilty.

This is why I avoid any overtures to serve on jury duty. Who am I to play God with people’s lives?

“We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation. Fear and anger can make us vindictive and abusive, unjust and unfair, until we all suffer from the absence of mercy and we condemn ourselves as much as we victimize others. The closer we get to mass incarceration and extreme levels of punishment, the more I believe it’s necessary to recognize that we all need mercy, we all need justice, and-perhaps-we all need some measure of unmerited grace.”

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Check out my companion blog, Prayer Prescriptions. Today’s post is called, Capturing The Essence.

Spirituality and Politics

The Old Growth Brown Locust, Along The River Bank.

Those who have been or are engaged in spiritual community are not traditionally into politics. Those who are engaged in politics are not likely to call themselves spiritual. This is a broad generalization, but something I’ve observed over the years.

People are often given the advice to drop the news altogether, and I am likely to agree, if by news they mean mainstream media, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN.

As mentioned previously, I get my news from independent media, which by any account, lacks a spiritual perspective, perhaps because the news itself is devoid of empathy of compassion.

As I was growing up, our household was into spiritual studies, while also engaging in left wing political activism. These two activities rarely merged. They were mutually exclusive.

We have reached a spiritual crisis in America. The rate of heart disease has skyrocketed in part because people have shut down their ability to accept and love one another, or themselves.

The high fat American diet plays a major role in heart disease, as well as a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise.

I just resurrected my old blog Prayer Prescriptions. As much as I am able, I will post on both blogs and link them heart to heart. Politics and matters of the spirit benefit from prayer, meditation and a contemplative daily life.

Each day is an opportunity to begin anew: to laugh, love and grasp the beauty that everywhere surrounds us. 

Throughout the day, let us remember to say special prayers for the people affected by the chemical poisoning in Syria. Their pain is our pain. Their liberation is also ours.

May the benevolent spirits make the journey between worlds a fearless one.

On Peace Amen

Loving vs the State of Virginia

The Lovings had an amazing and enduring Love Story.
     When I was growing up, my mother told me and my siblings that all the Lovings in America and throughout the world are related. William E. Loving was my grandfather. When he and my grandmother divorced, he moved back to Virginia.
     I thought my mother was an only child, but W.E. Loving went on to have seven more children, a total of eight.
     I met the youngest of W.E.’s children in the 1990’s. Her husband was doing the Loving genealogy, and they wanted to meet me. So we had a reunion in Lancaster, PA.
     Some years later, I became aware of Loving vs the State Of Virginia, of the profound love story between Mildred and Richard Loving.
     They were first arrested in 1958 for the then crime of interracial marriage, outlawed in Virginia. They exiled to Washington DC  and fought to bring their case to the Supreme Court. They succeeded. And they won.
     This case set a precedent for striking down the Defense Of Marriage Act, or DOMA, making marriage between LGBT couples legal. The ACLU was strategic in winning both cases, bringing both to the Supreme Court.
     I recently became a member of the ACLU. It’s the least I can do, under the present circumstances gripping America. We have many battles to fight, and the ACLU has always been on the right side of history. May they continue to wage peace and speak truth to power, as is their way. May we the people support their efforts.
     Another interesting Loving tidbit: Robert Duvall played my great great grandfather, Oliver Loving,  in the mini-series, Lonesome Dove. Names were changed to protect the not so innocent. Lonesome Dove spiced the characters up. I doubt Oliver Loving was as colorful a character as Augustus McCrae–or was he? Thanks to the creative imagination, I can pretend he was.

Ignoring Politics? Is It Possible? Or Wise?

Seek For That Which Makes You Strong.
     Is it wise to ignore politics altogether?
     We survived the 2016 elections, in that we are still breathing. Please remember to breathe deeply and mindfully.
     I predict the CIA and mainstream media are colluding against Donald Trump in the name of Russia, Russia, Russia.
     As mentioned in Day #2 of this blog, Ray McGovern came to town, ex CIA operative, now anti-war activist. In the question and answer period, I asked him to elaborate on the Russia mania being disseminated by Main Stream Media and the Corporate Democrats.
     He smiled and said he can imagine Hillary and her team at the Democratic National Convention, after Wikileaks revealed the theft of the election from Bernie Sanders.
     He said they had to blame someone, so the Russia narrative was born.
     Wikileaks also revealed in the Podesta emails how Trump was elevated by the press and The Hillary campaign, thinking the people would naturally vote for Hillary over Trump who presented himself in a hideous manner. Hillary was so confident in this maneuver she stopped campaigning. She did continue raising money from her corporate donors in the Hamptons, however.
     Ray McGovern said if Bernie would have been given the nomination, which was rightfully his, Bernie would have beaten Trump 11/16.
     Here is Ray McGovern and HA Goodman on a recent Crosstalk about the Russia Mania:

     General Michael Flynn is asking for immunity from the FBI in exchange for his recent communication with a Russian Diplomat. Later on today, reportedly the immunity was denied.
     Many of us have given up on Mainstream Media. They feed the frenzy of fear and propaganda the powers that be want you to believe.
     I may not agree with everything these outlets publish, but I respect all of them. And there are many more.
     Independent Media allows me to continue absorbing the news. Twitter is one of my favorites, too, because all of my independent media favorites flash across my timeline. All of these outlets were formally for Bernie Sanders. Many sprung up in response to the strong progressive voice of the Sanders campaign.
     It is up to me to spiritualized the news and in turn, spiritualized my life. I refuse to ignore the state of our union and our planet. We must tune into the life forces overseeing the Universe and we must pray for peace and healing, first of all, within, through prayer and meditation.  The outer world will evolve accordingly.

Waking Up

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
     I was meditating to one of Diana Lang’s meditations on sound cloud, and something she said struck me.
     She said sometimes a person goes to sleep because miracles, like birth or death are not appearing in that person’s experience.
     Then I thought about all the births I am privileged and have been privileged to attend these last 15 years.
     I am saddened to see nurses who become jaded by these experiences: birth, the joy of communing with patients, death, the miracle of life in all its gory details.
     Why do I continue doing what I do? Birth confronts the great mystery of life. Where do these beings come from, what will their lives be like? How will these beings survive all the sorrows and joys in this lifetime?
     In reality, each of us lives many lifetimes in this seemingly one lifetime we find ourselves in now.
     Who I was a 20 is now a figment of my imagination.
     Yet my soul remains changeless, eternal and intact.
     “Your own Self-realization
is the greatest service you
can render the world.”
–Ramana Maharshi
     This is the key to living the great mystery of birth, death and everything in between.
     Who am I? Who are you?
     The answer to these questions heals our separation with the great divine intelligence who created everything we see, experience and love in this reality.
     Don’t allow politics or Trump or human suffering separate you from the Love always available with each breath of appreciation.
     Seek self-realization for the good of the world.

Meditate Simplify Pray

When politics gets you down, meditate-with your dog,
     I’ve been immersing myself in the works of Wayne W Dyer. One thing he repeated over and over again is when you contemplate the conditions you think are missing in your life, it’s like saying God’s plan for you has missed the mark, as if you presume to know better than god/goddess, the higher power, the unseen force that steers the ship.
     What frequency are you generating in your life? If you make a concerted effort to plug into the divine frequency that created everything, you automatically will go from an ordinary to an extraordinary consciousness experience.
     See goodness and beauty everywhere, by first of all seeing goodness and beauty inside your own soul. Drop the dualities. See the unity in everything. Hear the silence which is the sound of God, because by meditating on our divine creator at all times, profound silence results. That is God.
     When the dualities of the world, of war, of politics becomes overwhelming, turn to the inner worlds.
     Depend on the spark of creation that motivates your creativity and originality.
     Listen to the music that harmonizes the soul. Meditate, simplify and pray.
     Tune into the energy that is radiating vibrations everywhere. Choose those that make you feel joyful and productive.
     What are people around you talking about? Do not accept or agree with it when people emphasize what is missing in their lives. You’ll be doing both of you a favor.
     Hang out in nature. Commune with the animals. They are our harmony barometers. Be in silence and meditate with them. My dog Ulysses would make a beeline to the meditation room every day. Now my dog Pearlie is doing the same thing.
     If we taught every child how to meditate, in as little as one generation, there wouldn’t be any more war. That is with the Dalai Lama says, and I firmly know this to be true.
     Let go and surrender to the truth of your existence.