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We will not avoid them as a regular thing until there is federal gun and bullet control legislation. We also need to acknowlede why such bills do not pass in Congress beyond the obvious huge amounts of money the National Rifle Association and all its allies pour into the treasure chests of congressmen (and use to lambast them). We are not a nation of hunters.  The overwhelming number of US people live in cities, and do not hunt. What they do do is feel fear. Fear -- of the "Other" -- promoted by the state, in US international space it becomes paranoid in regulatory behavior and random searches of people, with little food available to the average person (as there are only fast food outlets against super-expensive clubs behind black-glass walls). Such until such time as we begin to identify and see ourselves in one another and provide for one another: how about ...

But we can cut down.

This would protect our right to life, our liberty and yes our pursuits of happiness.

The link will take you to the life of Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015)

How we resolved issues ...

There is a comfort in the strength of love;
'Twill make a thing endurable, which else
Would break the heart ... " -- Wordsworth

Dear friends and whoever reads this blog,

This coming Saturday is October 3rd:  Jim would have been 67. Tuesday is October 6th:  we would have been married 46 years, together 47. And on October 9th, 2013 he died. I've had these dates on my mind and been getting confused on what today's date is.

In the last year of his life, the last fall, November 2012

Since Izzy and I took a trip to Belgium, and then returned to England, Devonshire, and Cornwall last week (10 days and nights),  I've been remembering how Jim and I resolved issues, and specifically one about travel.

I've never liked traveling. A couple of months after we met, around Christmas time I took a trip to Germany and France, arduous for me, an ordeal, yet I saw much (in Germany wonderful towns and churches, Berlin, none of which I'll ever see again) and stayed in Paris so long I began to talk in French and caught myself beginning to think in the language as I read it. When I returned finally to Leeds, having lost track of the days and dates, desperate to cross the channel and come back to him, he stood at my door and asked me the usual question (which is not a question, but a demand for a yes), Did you have a good time? and I said, I went, how much strength do you think I have?

In our first years we had no money to go anywhere. We did manage England once for a week in the summer of 1977 because his father was dying of lung cancer -- to see his father and mother. We stayed with them; so it was the fare and one trip by car to Glastonbury as I recall (and Arthurian sites). Jim showed his ability to drive on the left and we paid for but one night away from his parents' home in Southampton.

But otherwise we stayed home in Manhattan; we'd divide his salary say for 3 weeks into 4 (he'd take a third unpaid week) and spend it all in New York City going out. About the later 1980s we began to have the wherewithal to go places and suddenly he wanted to go; he had this scheme that we take two children in a car and just drive out to the world. In 1974 we had done just that when there were two of us only and had a magical time. But we were easy to please. I was adamently against this scheme to produce misery. So he said I needed to think of a place, and needed to make arrangements with him. I looked at him and went back to whatever I was going.

He kept this up and then began to insist. So, not being able to take pressure from him, I locked myself in the bathroom. He saw me do it and came over and asked what was I doing? I said I was never coming out, ever -- (in the spirit of Austen's Mary Crawford using the word never) -- but would consider emerging if he would promise to leave me alone about holidays and vacations. "Leave me be" and I'll come out. He said, "Ellen, I'm not knocking down this door." I remember how patiently he said that. I said, "You don't need to. I'll just sit here. You can't fit in through the window as it's too high and narrow." Some time went by. It was not too considerable. He came back and said, "all right, I will leave you alone about arrrangements, plans, and I will make arrangements and plans, but you have to agree to go. I want to go away sometimes."  I thought about it, and said, "Okay. I'll come out and go where you want just as long as we have a place to go to. And leave me be about it."  He agreed. I opened the door and came out.

He had won, sort of. I would go, and where he wanted, but I would go if certain terms were met and I was not asked to do something I could not cope with.

That summer he rented a house from a man in his office; it was somewhere in Maryland where people go regularly for vacations. We stayed about a week; there were  beaches, boardwalks, amusement parks and all the rest of it. It didn't cost very much but we were going to very hot places places invented for tourists to buy junk, sometimes noisy, the food usually bad. The happiest moment was on Lewes beach, a quiet place, meant for local people and the one nice thing I remember is a ferry ride over to Cape May on a very rainy day. He must've been as bored mostly as I was for the next year he took us to Italy for 5 weeks, renting an apartment for us in Rome.

And so we began to travel. That first one he had made a couple of mistakes, like trying to rent a car weeks ahead; he relied on connections too strongly (as Izzy and I did this past 10 days -- our first time out together, where I and she made the arrangements together). Slowly over the years we learned how to do it, what we liked -- Landmark Trust places, eating in mostly, and by 2000 or so I had gotten to the point where I looked forward, well almost to these trips. We had good times: Bath, the Gatehouse in Devonshire, a clock tower in Lympton, all over England, to London and environs, twice to France.

Hampstead Heath -- sent by Sixtine

We went away with our daughters too. But a few years ago he began to tire or be reluctant to go far or too often. He worried about our lack of money to cover the next possible 20-30 years.  Ironic, now.

To return to how we resolved issues. One of us would do something that we could not get past, something that required one of us give in, make a compromise.  One of us would do something that was the equivalent of setting a date in court where when the date comes you cannot avoid it, so you do something before. We didn't discuss the issue. We never discussed what upsurges in me that makes me so intensely love the (false -- I know it's false) security and familiar surroundings and routine of home. Often the issue was something like that, some upwelling leading to a stance or a decision one of us wanted to stick to, that went deep with one of us and would have caused trauma between or to one of us had we to tried to reach its core by talk. Just like when we would know the other was doing something that might be dangerous or hurt or ill-advised, and we didn't pry into why or try to stop one another. Maybe he did try to stop me once in a while. I had a job offer for a full-time job in a community college; he thought the money lousy, the number and kind of courses awful and just threw the letter of acceptance out, tore it up. But he knew that I wouldn't mind. We knew how far we could go. And usually we let one another be. We didn't hurt one another, didn't cause emotional pain beyond what was the urgent compelling passion underlying the dispute or need. I think most of the time he sort of won. We did what he wanted, but on terms I could endure.

The words he composed for the top of the urn that sits on my mantelpiece.

I'm rereading the first two Poldark novels once again, and I've come across twice now where after Demelza and Ross marry, she says to him, Ross leave me be. And he does. And she most of the time does not try to control his decisions; she may react afterward directly passionately out of her inner core but it's aftermath coping with what is.

Friends, readers,

It was only 3 years ago all NYC turned out on May Day for a tremendous celebratory assertion on behalf of the right for all of us to have decent living conditions, a living wage for every single person and/or family and friend group on this earth, health care, humane living spaces appropriate to human communities.  For liberty: the right not to be murdered in your house from the sky because you are in some powerful group's way to make a huge profit, to gain power to inflict what you want, not to be driven from your home ("no one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark")

A friend on our Trollope19thCStudies listserv (Yahoo) said this evening:

The song was inspired by a speechby Rose Schneiderman, immigrant, radical, labor and feminist leader. The song is especially associated with the successful strike by women textile workers in Lawrence, MA, in 1912. It's partly based on a poem by James Oppenheim and has been recorded numerous times and around the globe. Rose Schneiderman:

"What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist — the right to life and the sun and music and art. You have nothing that the humblest worker has not a right to have also. The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too. Help, you women of privilege, give her the ballot to fight with."  It's a suffragette song too. The images the person who put the YouTube together are remarkable.

I spent my day at work at home with my pussycats.

Miss Drake
Mornings are the worst. I wake when it's still dark and don't get out of bed because I've not slept enough to be sure to be rested lest I get into a traffic accident.  Bad memories, the need for endurance for the day ahead, mistakes I made this week, missing him: widowhood after nearly 2 years is unspeakable, unwritable. The situation, that of a widow, a product of the way our society groups, gets together & stays apart, puts the loss steadily and endlessly before me. Very very very sad.

My cats help as they are there, cuddled up, making affectionate gestures (nudging, licking, pressing bodies against mine, looking up at me). When light begins to fill the room, I get up and usually put food in the cats' bowls, fill their water bowl, have a cup of juice and put on the computer. Interacting with who is there as friend, acquaintance, story, helps bring me out of myself. I watched this video on the Trollope facebook page:

Then I read obituaries for Oliver Sacks, who began his professional life as a neurologist.

There was a particularly fine account of him and his work in The Guardian. It's effective and accurate because unlike most others, criticism of Sacks is there: Jim was one of those who suggested Sacks's work encouraged "freak voyeurism." The Guardian omits (as do all the obituaries I read) that later in life, in recent NYRB essays, he wrote eloqently and movingly against the closing of asylums as a great cruelty; inadequate as they were, treatments sometimes counterproductive in the extreme, the person was not turned into the streets if a relative did not take them. I have seen up close what life is like for those on the streets.

He was a good man, but what could he do against a profession which encourages to join it people with no empathy for the troubled, depressed, disabled. He himself became [physically diseased by the cancer epidemic a few years ago, had chemotherapy (and perhaps an operation, and then it returned about a year ago; I remember reading his account of
the extraordinary tortures he endured: he put himself through wildly nightmare surgeries to prolong life. He had been so pro low-tech (life's little ironies Thomas Hardy called this sort of thing). Spacks came from an older tolerant and open time. I read his essays as they came out, and assigned two of his books to students, Migraine (the best book ever written on headaches) once, and Seeing Voices (on the history of deafness) several times.

Here he was in 1986:

Odd as it may seem to some of the few people who read this blog, this kind of very early morning makes me more able to get through what I plan each day to occupy it.Then there's breakfast, tidying up, then answer letters, post a big, fix a blog I did the night before (if I did one); and them, having carried over a week-long or more set of goals, each day around 10 on face-book put new set of routs to follow (locked down, for no one to see except me).  These don't alter much sometimes. Read, write, listen to books nowadays, watch movie, go out to do something that is said to be my life.  Follow my routs just as DuMaurier writes she followed hers.

Until late at night, when I am back at my desk (usually for quite a time), and I turn to a movie (or movies), and after rely on a strong pill to put me back to deep sleep, not oblivion, but near enough, and another 6 hours are got through.

Wake to darkness. my cats again and morning again. Morning and mourning are homonyms. Writing and fixing this helped me yesterday night and this afternoon.

Miss Drake
This long aching summer
draws to a close
Three of them now

Sara Sittig, By the Sea

The drug industry has done terrible harm in the US -- leading to heroin addiction among other things. A new acquaintance of mine has shown me that pill and drug-dispensing for mental and social trouble is not ubiquitous in France. Here in the US the great solution is to hand out powerful medications which eventually can hurt people badly by many more things than mere addiction (I'm being ironic).

I read a good article about a book on military psychiatry in Times Literary Supplement the other week: it seems that as the diagnosis of PTSD was invented and spread and cost a lot of money someone came up with the absurd idea that the way to get rid of a trauma was to relive it. This idea has spread throughout the psychiatric industry: I came across it in Kaiser several times. You can't swim, well have a parent throw you in. At last this is being repudiated in the military as the damage is seen. Not at Kaiser though.

A friend sent me this article in the New York Times whose value is that it acknowledges some people's grief goes on for a very long time. I don't see it acknowledged except among those who have been bereaved. Even those who don't grieve for long will notice those who have been similarly hurt and observe this reality. But few others or if they do they never write of it. I shall connect it to the failure of the psychiatry industry -- by the way the fully certificated "doctor" makes 6 figure sums a year, beginning with the number 3.

Complicated grief.

On its specific content: I agree with the person who declaimed against pathologizing common human emotions. Normal/abnormal are judging words. One of the two people who ran the group therapy I was in the spring before this past (so one year and 4 months ago) said there was a bell curve. In the center a large proportion of people take different lengths of time to do whatever is meant by recover/feel better &c; on one side is a percentage who "get over it" quickly (within a year say) and on the other a percentage who don't.

I note the story does not tell us what are the techniques of helping "complicated grief" except instead of 6 weeks of group sessions there are 16. Also that at the end we are assured the woman is fine now -- "gotten over it." The extreme of a woman never going out or picking up a phone loads the argument too is a loaded example, false the way depression is usually described as a catatonic state. I go out all the time, talk to and engage with (sometimes to my detriment as this past week on WWTTA) people a lot.

In a way it's an absurd category. Complicated grief as if anything in human life is simple. This is complicated because it doesn't yield to quick solutions -- i.e., the model being drugs, pills.

So, to connecting the above with the self-enrichening psychiatry industry (a branch of the people now making huge sums on the cancer epidemic): I am a depressive person and last week was made angry (that's the word) when I visited the psychiatrist assigned to my case. I had been told I had to visit him now since a year had gone by since the last visit and I would not get my sleeping pills (that's not true I now know from him) unless I showed up. I should have remembered that in fact he orders them into a local pharmacy as the Kaiser Pharmacy has refused to renew them as often as I need to take one pill each night.

Why angry? Indeed embittered?  Unless you pay big sums and know someone who can recommend an analyst psychiatrist today the only thing such people do is prescribe pills and write down on your record labels naming what they think is your "disorder" and how they surmise you are doing. This time under "recurrent episodes" (his term for my grief) there was "in full remission" because I didn't tell him anything. Since I've learned how the DMV can get into your records (and many other agencies) I've decided to say nothing as the man doesn't help me at all except these pills.
I no longer want to tell him or any of them at Kaiser about me as since the DMV incident I've learned that gov't agencies demand to see the whole of my files even if the law supposedly says they are not allowed to.

Here is a whole profession of people making big sums, who could be trained (I suppose) to help people and they simply refuse. All they will do is offer you body-altering chemicals. It was worse than a long waste of time -- 40 minutes there and back, 25 minutes in his office -- because it is angering/embittering when I see him. Not at him individually so much but at what I remember psychiatry once was and what it is today. Years ago for a year and one half I saw a man who talked with me about my troubles and life -- twice a month and he helped. This man is a pill dispenser and his questions prescripted. I can't even object to some of what he says lest he stop prescribing these pills. He grated on me when he had (to my mind the temerity to suggest I stop my glass(es) of wine at night and in the next breathe was offering me powerful anti-depressive pills. He's seen me at most 7 times in his life and would change me chemically (does he know if these medications are carcinogens? doubtless he'd be sure they are not), but objects to my mode of relaxation. I did say something to that, told him he was a puritan. Of course with his degree he thinks he knows so much more than I.  I sensed his condescension and laughter at me. But said nothing to this. Sessions are risky, and you must not tell the "doctor" what you think of what he has said and done, for then you might not get the pill you do need. Like when you are in hospital, don't offend people who have the power to hurt you

Small sculpture seen at a local art museum, modelled on Snoopy holding Woodstock in his arms -- Trinka Roeckelein's Taking Shape: Bunny and Bird

At the Haven where I went for a year and a half I found help: three people. I never learned  what were their degrees, one was I think a psychiatrist doing decent pro-bono work once a week. She was the finest help as we talked of deeper problems. A man who seemed to be there becuase his partner-wife of 12 years died some years ago of cancer and he found some compensation in running groups and helping others. An ex-English teacher in high schools in Canada. Finally, Charlie, a specialist in grief, who followed the mode of giving advice about the here and now.  I sent the place $400 altogether (2 separate checks). These 3 individuals were paid nothing; their work unsung, unacknowleged publicly. The Haven is located in an old house behind a church in Arlington, appropriately called "Hope" Lutheran.
Miss Drake
In my view, Christopher Hedges has it accurately.

Hedges doesn't sufficiently emphasize how attitudes towards prostitutes will make this change into a license for destroying women. When prostitutes are murdered nothing much is done (nowadays reminding me of how black people and immigrants are in the US murdered with impunity).

Here is a fuller argument from a blog I wrote years ago for Hedges' point of view on the grounds of women's experience

In the US today state gov't after state gov't are falling all over themselves defunding Planned Parenthood. I know from personal experience that planned parenthood provides a host of needed services for women, yes for contraception, and whatever other problems a young woman might encounter for her reproductive system, but also psychological help, primary general care.

Then there is the eruption of instituionalized slavery for girls; rape academies. See Frontline.

From Connie Simons:

Who says men don' regard women as biodegradable?

Miss Drake
I recommend watching this Amy Goodman interview of Ta Nehisi-Coates on DemocracyNow.org. She is absurdly reverential at moments, almost folding her hands, but her stance is preferable to the cheap shots Cornel West has taken:


He is eloquent about his book but as a reciprocal reaction to his real candour, I found myself aware how much further along at least in talk are black people as a group as opposed to women. He may not be able to do anything about the plunder and cruelty of whites to black people so he has to go to Paris to live to protect his son while being a person in the literary journalistic world, but he he can talk about it, can speak truth about the terrors of being black, the senseless murder and destruction that goes on, the system that supports and fosters this among mainsream decent left people who are not asleep (as in his Atlantic article about how black people have been prevented from accumulating money or property, demanding reparations).

Feminists can't or aren't. Coates says that black men and woman walk in fear of their body being killed. Everyone might agree that's wrong - though a huge number of people will carry on imprisoning, murdering and allowing others to murder black people. There was actually a Ku Klux Klan rally on the steps of the South Carolina statehouse when the confederate flag came down. They sported swastikas. That meant that they will carry on murdering even if they don't have a flag there anymore.

But people don't agree that a woman's body is her own and men have no right to it, society has no right to make it have children, no right to demand it shape itself to please men or be frail -- legislation passed everyday to invade women's bodies, refuse these bodies help. The supreme court says people have a religious right to do this. The problem here is (as with black people) it's not just the laws that forbid the worst of behavior (which is nonetheless practiced) but customs of all sorts, the types of things Coates says he experienced growing up.

Well as girl and then young woman I found the continual demand for sex was seen as fine and manly; the word "bluestocking" is so fearful because it's connotations are a woman who doesn't look at men, children, sex as necessary to her life; the librarian and her books is impugned. There are many issues which swirl around this, like anorexia (where it's fine to torture women to get them to eat), to being fat (if that's what your body is), and therefore humliated, so many swirl around sex even if they are expressed from the point of view of how the attitudes towards women's bodies affects their career possibilities.

A woman can't write fully making the case she wants in an essay unless it's done through irony (not saying the thing you want to) or at a high level of generality, because few will sympathize if you come down to particulars.

Miss Drake

P.S. The title of his book did make me think of how Trollope often presents the self against society, where the self is vindicated. Perhaps this shows I read too much Trollope. I used to see real parallels between Trollope as he presents himself in his Anglo-Irish early phase of writing and Baldwin's tale of his first years as a writer.
Dear friends and readers,

I've not posted about Greece as yet. So here is a long compendium of thought, information, reading.  I am with the Greek people and how they have been made the flotsam and jetsam those who have the reigns of power have used, abused -- going back to 1948 when the US and its allies overthrew an elected social democracy, they have endured the usual tyrannies of the one of capitalist-military and religious-dominated regimes of the globe, they did finally get to elect a truly representative gov't. And that gov't doesn't want huge numbers of its voters to starve, to be without work, or to live impoverished minimal lives.

From a friend:

I too have such sympathy for the Greek people, none of whom, I imagine, asked for this nightmare. I wouldn't want, like the Greeks, to have unemployed adult children living at home with no prospects, and I wouldn't want to be scouring trash cans for food or worrying about being hungry or having to go to the hospital in Turkey--what a situation for these people. In a humane world, this would be at the center of people's thinking and concern, but obviously that is not the case.

Of course to make the persuasive argument in the public media will not do by just talking to what one would suppose would be the empathy of others. Those who talk from prestigious pulpits identify with the regimes, and their instruments, the EU, though this time the IMF has sided much more with the Greek gov't.  After WW2 the US supported the rebuilding of Germany by in 1953 cancelling half their debt (just cancelling it) and giving the Germans 30 years to repay the rest. But there was real fear of socialism then.

On my small WomenWritersAcrosstheAges listserv at Yahoo, we've had extended exchanges and a few of the people have posted informative and insightful essays. So here are a few:

From The Nation by the economist Robert Reich on the role of Goldman Sachs and wall street in the Greek crisis. He doesn’t say Greece is blameless, but he does highlight “predatory” lending. Moreover, there is a connection to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the problems American cities and states are facing. This is becoming a global problem and one that leaves the people more and more vulnerable. I have also read similar points on the key players in different articles. I’d say definitely worth reading.


That a single currency, the euro was always a bad idea: how can you have a single currency across different national borders when the people within them have such different interests? and within these states the differing groups? it was a dream concocted by neolibertarians: Krugman in the New York Times


The New York Times on July 15, 2015


The German point of view: Here are a few links showing the various facets and sides of the argument:



More conversation:

"The Greeks were urged to take on more debt than they can repay, which vis our group discussion of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, is what the US has consistently done in Latin America--crippling those countries so the US can go in and essentially deny them sovereignty, which is what is happening in Greece. I wonder how the Greeks in charge were personally threatened. No one talks about how Greece, as I understand it, is basically laundering the "loans" so that they can go back to the creditors--the Greek people aren't seeing the money. Hedges had a good, if frightening, piece about how what is happening in Greece happening here"

A French philosophical and historical perspective:


On the story of the little immigrant Palestinian girl who was lucky enough to have Merkel visit her, and now can stay in Germany, I did not know before that the EU tries to control immigration within the countries that belong to it too.


I don't have any articles to hand, and thus will sound vague and not produce an argument but will say generally the US behavior to its immigrant population has been truly shameful. It is the US who together with various juntas over the past 30 years led to the thug regimes whose violence, especially through the reaction of steely violent repression (the "war on drugs") fleeing an intolerable situation. When they get here, they are imprisoned if they are captured and mistreated -- especially women and children. Thousands of them really fit the definition of political refugee.

A specific case: read and listen to this one on the finding of mass graves in Texas and what lies behind it:

I'd call the situation for immigrants, minorities and people in vulnerable neighborhoods are in an emergency state:
At this point it seems to me police in many areas of the US can kill with impunity and for a couple of decades now this kind of training has been instituted. For all the fanfare of the US attorney general saying she is investigating a particular case, and the courage of one black district attorney in Baltimore inditing a group of police who murdered a man physically (beat his spine in) to death, all around the US these acts of killing occur each week. Last week a black young woman was taken into custody who was known to be a activist inditing the police. She made a wrong turn at a sign. Two days later it was announced she killed herself. There is a video, short, aural of her protest when her head was shoved to the ground and hit hard.

As to immigrants, the situation in Latin America is terrifying, not to omit the poverty. Across the southern and west US houses of detention -- prisons -- have been set up and children and women systematically sent back. While they are in the US they live in horrible conditions; they are cut off from public scrutiny because the majority of such places appear to be privatized.

The obscenity named Trump is running for president and he thinks to win by having huge sums at his disposal and saying outrageous things he thinks the stupidest rabbid Republicans are lured by. That will get him the primaries -- he thinks  His most recent statement was a sneer at McCain because McCain spent Vietnam in a prison camp; Trump himself got 4 deferrals but that's okay it seems; he didn't pretend to be a "hero."  Hero is a macho male who murders and beats up people, the biggest bully on the block. Last week he was impugning immigrants -- the women are whores, and the children are diseased. This is regularly reported not just on Fox but mainstream channels.

The truth though is we are all greeks now (the Puero Rican people are now being preesured) and potentially immigrants and vulnerable people in the streets:


The unanswerable truth which is only seen as a reaction and occurs in many different kinds of situations so not that usable is that if people with the power to do something don't like the results of whatever it is they are doing, they stop doing it.
The people in power and those who put them there have had at least 3 decades now to see the results of austerity, supply economics or whatever you want to call this destruction of social programs (and the jobs they create all round), supports (pension and health care systems), basic means of coping in the world (education, public information and communication, transportation).
They are glad to do it but don't openly admit it. They find euphemisms which boil down to what a cartoonist used to call "building one's character."  The cartoonist showed it as nonsense easily enough.
It seems in the 19th century some gov'ts in central places lost their nerve and feared revolution; after WW2 the capitalist left standing feared communism or socialism would spread. Now there is no alternative they think to capitalism and they back that idea up with ferocious military might and prisons.

Thatcher said in the 1980s when all these new assaults began (in the US with Ronald Reagon destroying the Air Traffic Controllers Union and firing everyone successfully) that "there is no such thing as society." Since Jim's death I have become aware of how obscene even is Thatcher's statement. It has an apparent truthfulness that falls down at the slightest examination. Where do sidewalks come from if there is no society?
Miss Drake

As photographed by Christina Pabst

Dear Friends and Readers,

The summer issue of the Women's Review of Books, first article was on Pollitt's new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, reviewed by Marlene Fried, Pollitt's argument is we must reframe the way people are pressured into thinking about abortion.

Abortion is a social good; seen in its full human setting, it's not a tragedy, a social or necessary evil; ending an unwanted pregnancy is a common, and should be seen as a normal event, part of the reproductive lives of women. No one really believes a human being is there at conception, if they did, they would be upset when a zygote is lost, feel just as bad about embryos being lost as people in a burning building. It's religious and other authority figures who want to control women who insist on this shaming, stigmatizing, silencing. The silence is the worst part of it as that keeps us this idea of self-loathing, the surroundings that make the woman feel some terrible thing has happened. The dominance of men in sexual relationships prevents them from preventing pregnancy. The concern should be the woman -- is this fiction about a fetus? no. That no one should have the right to use her body against her will or control it.

This silence is aided by the pro-choice people who label themselvses in a cowardly manner too: the comeback was quick, a baby is not a choice. What the pro-choice people have not replied is a pregnancy is not a baby; it's a condition of a woman's body whose full potential is 6-7 months later a baby plus all the things a baby might cause to happen. In the 1970s the pro-choice movement was complacent and defensive; now it tolerates restrictions and all the falsifying rhetoric that goes with these.

Anti-abortion restrictions are not just in reality compulsory pregnancies for women, but death for many. I would haved died in 1976 had I not been in a British hospital where when my second miscarriage threatened my life because i was hemmorhaging I had not been given an abortion and then a D&C. See my The story of an abortion to save my life, and an Irish woman's death in horrific pain and blood. Not irrelevant Badinter's argument about how very recent ideas about motherhood undermine women.

Miss Drake
Dear friends and readers,

Bernie Sanders at Wisconsin igniting crowd on what is extremism.

I used LiveJournal in 2008 and again in 2012 to post comments and reactions and information about the presidential campaigns.I mean to do so here again. I am supporting (have sent money) and will vote for Sanders for the presidential primary if he is on the Virginia ballot and will vote for him if he should be the democratic candidate; if he does not manage this, I will vote for Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign if she is the candidate, but I would prefer Bernie Sanders. I'd like to see Elizabeth Warren run in 2020 if one of the Republican crooks wins. Read Chris Lehmann's account of their corrupt financing, what truly semi-criminal their behavior has been in the past (from the LRB for June 18, 2015)

Tonight I want to record that at long last I have come across someone who wants to make central to the coming campaign as an igniting issue the horrific increase in the percentage of people dying and suffering unspeakably from cancer and the treatments physicians subject their patients to painful operations, maiming and mutiliation for the rest of what life they get, nauseating life-threatening chemotherapy which may have an adverse reaction as the doctor has no idea if it will produce a yet worse reaction or no,

Ralph Nader in the Progressive Populist (July 1-15, 2015, p 19) writing an open letter-column to Bernie Sanders and his team and followers: after saying Sanders "must take on Hillary's" positions, Nader outlined what Sanders needs especially to give visibility to:

1) the massive preventable silent violence inflicted on tens of thousands undefended Americans through

a. Occupational trauma (terrible work conditions, low pay, no benefits)'
b. Disease (from working conditions or where the person lives or what they eat)

2) hospital induced infections and medical malpractice;

3) deadly side effects of over-used or dangerous medicines,toxic, cancer-producing pollution,and product defects.

Thousands are dying preventable deaths, say Nader. He includes children without good food, decent medical care and schools.

Sanders, Nader says, stands for and presents a national program to renovate and expand the US public facilities and services and infrasstructure; globalization didn't just happen, it was the result of corporations moving jobs overseas where they get workers so cheaply, not to omit natural resources of those countries relatively inexpensively; breaking up the big banks the US taxpayer bailed out (and their investors); he is against the TTP with its secret circumvention rules and destruction of Net Neutrality; the regressive tax system. On Sanders's record crowd in Wisconsin today.

Nader wants Sanders to add to his agenda Nos 1-3. Me too.

Tom Thomas, Northern River, 1915

Here is James Earl Jones reading Frederick Douglass's speech: what to the slave is the 4th of July

Nader does not mention race specifically, and I read that Sanders avoids this as a central concern. Sanders must bring it in. It is the idea that welfare, social programs, social services, gov't jobs go to African-Americans that is the stalking horse for destroying these essential pillars of middle class life for us all.

The dominant narrative in the media right now is deeply anti-racist but there is another narrative going on and (unlike say what the federal gov't might do against say environmentalist demonstrations, socialist wouldn't dare), it seems little is being done. What reports are there? where?

If the confederate flag did not stand for violent racism (domestic terrorism) why do the Ku Klux Klan to demonstrate their liberty need to be masked: I presume I don't have to translate this: the 18th there is going to be a demonstration by these people. The supreme court has redefined bigotry as religious liberty; money as speech ...


The count of black churches in several states being burnt down goes up each day.

Miss Drake

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