Why does a US congressman have access to Tim DeChristopher’s emails? Who really wants Bidder 70 in solitary confinement? Why?

It’s been a strange morning here where spring has apparently sprung right into summer: herons nesting in residential area, magnolia blooms come and gone, rose bushes budding and balmy warm winds.  It seems things are just a wee bit out of sync in the natural scheme of things.  But one early morning email made it even stranger because of the news it carried regarding environmental activist Tim DeChristopher being placed in solitary confinement via the demand of an unidentifed US congressman.  Apparently one of DeChristopher’s emails disturbed the mental health of some congressman because of content regarding some financial matters discussed regarding a contributor to his own legal fund.  Now why does a US congressman get to request the solitary confinement of a political prisoner in a minimum security prison based on the content of their email concerning the business practices of a contributor to his defence fund?  Why has this elected US congressman remained unidentified? Who is this person? What right do they have to dictate the practices of a prison in California regarding a low risk prisoner? Why does Tim DeChristopher’s concerns about who funds his legal defence concern any US congressman?  Who gave any congressman the right to wield political influence in such a manner? Whose money is behind this harassment of DeChristopher? What is the incognito congressperson soo threatened by in Tim DeChristopher’s email? Personally I have no specific answers. But–as this seems to center on a discussion of business practices, values, a legal defence and the only thing respected in the USA aka MONEY– my imagination is having a free-for-all this morning with this news.  Btw, this little chess move on the prison political game board was covered by Democracy Now! in headlines for March 28, 2012. I suspect the alternative press  may begin racketballing the item as soon as they get their heads out of their symbolic hoodies over the senseless murder of young Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Now, since I’ve been following Tim DeChristopher’s journey ever since learning about his gig as Bidder 70 at an illegal land auction of oil and gas leases—wait–there’s that special special word ‘oil’–oops—yes, DeChristopher upset the oil carts of some oil people by throwing a monkey wrench in their plans to acquire public lands on the cheap during an illegal federal auction. Do I really need to write anything more? Hmm? Do I?

Yes I do. I need to share the request of Peaceful Uprising asking for support for Tim DeChristopher to be removed from solitary confinement.  What is going on in America?  For more information about Tim DeChrisptopher aka Bidder 70 http://www.peacefuluprising.org/tim-dechristopher

and Peaceful Uprising visit http://www.peacefuluprising.org/

Also see Democracy Now!’s coverage of DeChristopher  www.democracynow.org

President Obama is earnestly ignoring number 9 on Jeff Goodell’s Rolling Stone list of “10 things to do for the environment”–“pardon Tim DeChristopher.”

Apparently putting Tim DeChrisptoher in prison for protecting America’s environment from illegal oil development leases is not enough for some people. They want in him in solitary confinement to further restrict his communication with the rest of the world beyond Herlong Prison. Why?

Oh the tea kettle is whistling–time for a chat with George Orwell.

The following is copied directly from Peaceful Uprising:

In response to Tim’s transfer into isolated confinement, we’re asking you to please take a few moments to call the following contacts (or whomever you have time to call from this list) and ask that:

“Tim DeChristopher inmate #16156-081 be immediately removed from the Special Housing Unit (SHU) and placed back in the Minimum Security Camp at FCI Herlong.”

If you’d like to say more, here are a few key talking points we suggest:

  • Moving Tim DeChristopher to SHU based on the complaint of an unidentified Congressman doesn’t make sense. Why is Congress intervening in one inmates detention status, anyway?
  • Keeping inmates in isolated confinement for an indefinite amount of time awaiting a hearing is not humane and is not acceptable.
  • *FOR CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS* If they are your congressperson, tell them about the situation, [read here] and ask them if they know who ordered the transfer, and that you’d like them to take a look into it and get back to you promptly. Ask them why Congress is taking such an interest in the emails of one inmate. Tell them that Tim is a nonviolent offender who was wrongly charged and convicted to begin with, and was placed in a minimum security camp because he posed no threat to anyone. If you have time, mention that an oil and gas company owned by William Koch was recently found to have conspired to defeat a BLM oil and gas lease auction, but was merely fined, while Tim sits in isolated confinement after being charged with two felonies. If you call Jason Chaffetz, ask him to launch an investigation in his oversight committee.

FCI Herlong

530-827-8000

Richard B. Ives, WARDEN

 Eloisa DeBruler, Public Information Officer

BOP Central Office

202-307-3198
Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr.

United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and

Homeland Security Congressional Members:

PRIORITY CONGRESSIONAL CALLS:

Jim Sensenbrenner, WI, Chairman of Subcommittee
(202) 225-5101
Louie Gohmert, TX, Vice Chairman of Subcommittee
(202) 225-3035
Jason Chaffetz, UT
(202) 225-7751
(801) 851-2500

OTHER MEMBERS:

Bob Goodlatte, VA
(202) 225-5431
Sandy Adams, FL
(202) 225-2706
Dan Lundgren, CA
(202) 225-5716
Mark Amodei, NV
(202) 225-6155
Randy Forbes, VA
(202) 225 – 6365
Bobbi Scott, VA
(202) 225-8351
Ted Poe, TX
(202) 225-6565
Steve Cohen, TN
(202) 225-3265
Timothy Griffin, AK
(202) 225-2506
Hank Johnson, GA
(202) 225-1605
Tom Marino, PA
(202) 225-3731
Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico
(202) 225-2615
Trey Gowdy, SC
(202) 225-6030
Judi Chu, CA
(202) 225-5464
Ted Deutch, FL
(202) 225-3001
Shelia Jackson Lee, TX
(202) 225-3816
Michael Quigley, IL
(202) 225-4061

Are you worried yet?  I am.

Full Literacy USA? Oh the joys of education.

Lately there has been much more talk of privatizing education in the USA.  Every time I hear about ‘more charter schools’ I laugh very very cynically. We’ve had charter schools in the Kansas City Metro. I’m not a fan. They’ve haven’t improved anything. They have cost a lot though. As for running schools like businesses—REALITY CHECK—these are children we’re talking about not PROFIT agendas. Plus, look where big business has taken the economy. More cynical laughter is in order.  So here are my thoughts based on experience with the end products of the public school system. Perhaps a fundamental  problem is that it is a ‘system’ and learning and teaching are more than any ‘system’.

So–here’s an old rant with an update.

I’ve had it up to ‘here’ and way beyond with folks bewailing the quality of public education in the States. No one seems to know what to do to improve this mess except to demand more tests. More tests will not improve education on any level. It cannot work. It does not work. Never has and never will. Test taking has nothing to do with real learning.  I say toss the whole test taking industry into the trash bin immediately.  If I had my way grades would also zoom into the trash bin. Why? Because they’re just ‘grades’ and they do not accurately measure learning either. Either someone ‘learns’ or they do not. Learning cannot be forced. IF something has been really ‘learned’ then it can be applied/used/put into motion by the ‘student’. 

Based on experience, I know of a few things that DO work when it comes to improving the petri dish that is classroom education.  Consider this my ‘gift’ of the season:

~~Optimal student to teacher ration is 1 teacher for every 14 students. This is NOT a newsflash–it’s well-known and been documented plenty. 

~~Oh yeah, an invested teacher can do a lot with 14 students. And 14 students can get a lot from a teacher who wants to teach.  A teacher who wants to teach might be described as someone who wants to engage students–not keep them at an intellectual taser’s length distance. With 14 students’ in a class, a teacher has not just the time but the mental wherewithal to address each as individuals.

~~Textbooks need to ‘go’ away.  Why employ a textbook when there are so many BETTER books to use for teaching? Yes, this means a teacher would have to search out tomes that would best serve their teaching goals–rather than have some textbook dictate what’s on the mental menu every single day of the school experience. Yes, this is ‘work’ –but it is work that pays off for both the teacher and their students. Everyone’s ‘mind’ can be engaged in material that is appealing and fresh.

~~Speaking of ‘fresh’–what the hell is with teachers who use the same material, the same lesson plans, the same approaches year after year after year? They’ve got to be bored to death mentally. I’ve heard many say they are bored to death by doing the same material the same way time  and time again. Guess what–a teacher’s BOREDOM is conveyed to their students who are in turn bored and then see no reason to actively engage with the teacher or subject.  IF a teacher doesn’t like teaching, doesn’t like their subject, doesn’t like students then they ought to NOT be teachers. If they’re bored they need to get ‘un-bored’ or depart the classroom.

~~Teaching ought to be an engagement in the act of discovery. This involves embarking on a quest to explore, question, and think independently. Often this throws out the bath water of  absolute right answers. (No–this does NOT mean that one plus one no longer equals two in math. Although in an alternate reality it might…) In the words of Northrup Frye, one strives to “educate the imagination” so that it can creatively address all sorts of ‘questions’ until suitable responses are discovered.

~~More than a daily ‘lecture’ ought to go on in any classroom.  Dialogue is very useful for exploring thoughts and new concepts.  Arrangement of students desks/chairs so that they have eye contact with each other and the teacher encourages dialogue.

~~Oh yes, there is a useful ‘rule’ to employ in regard to ‘dialogue’/communication/communication  –distinguish between what a person ‘says’ and the person themself when debate/arguing/disputes arise. It is one thing to say, “That is a silly answer.” It is another to say, “You’re a silly idiot.”  Mutual respect goes a long way to developing positive communication. People can’t all like each other– but they can all respect each other.

~~Yes, schools are stuffed full of students with terrible home lives.  Social issues abound. What are the causes of these social issues? My take is that our culture is bankrupt–it has nothing to offer but the goal of consuming as much as possible. Nothing is valued  except money.  

Oh and I really like the way this blogger wrote about Bolivia achieving FULL Literacy in three years. Yes folks, the poorest country in South America apparently has more interest in full literacy for its entire population than the richest country in the world. lhttp://nuestrosricos.blogspot.com/2008/12/bolivia-achieves-full-literacy.html

Gee, wouldn’t want our young ones reading and comprehending “1984” by George Orwell, now would we? Things could get very uncomfortable if they did.

Click on the book cover to visit Trespass Magazine’s piece on Political Novels.  

Oh let’s have a little Mose for some musical release….

Ode to the Oil Gods

Which circle of Dante’s Hell are we living in?

Will the Tea Party make a Citizen’s Arrest?

Can  the  “Drill Baby Drill Lady” do a Mr. Clean job in the Gulf?

Al Gore will surely help her with the chore.

Hey Hollywood—got an oil flow disaster script on the fast track yet?

Oh and all the stories/image the Coast Guard is preventing from being shown.

No journalists allowed within 65 feet.

Where is that First Amendment hiding?

Perhaps in George Orwell’s grave.

Got kicked off the Deep Horizon.

 BP brings oil to you and me.

BP drills holes in the seas.

All for money.

Everything  is expendable.

Ode to the Oil Gods.

Enquiring Minds want to know how oil rain will make their grass grow.

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