Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just out! A newly revised and expanded version of Alec's art criticism book.

Alec sent this out today:
My newly revised and expanded version of As If Art Matters is now available from The book is twice as big as the original version - expanded from 64 to 113 pages - with a lot of new reviews and some of the older reviews and essays expanded and updated.

As If Art Matters is my book of art criticism including selected reviews of regional, national and international artists that I have written for Art Access, the Weekly Volcano and other publications over the years.
For more information, see As If Art Matters on or go to ClaytonWorks Publishing for information on that book and his three novels.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Riot and wrong

Alec writes for and is the copy editor for The Weekly Volcano. He wrote me, "It's about time someone in the media did a fair and non-hysterical story on the so-call Evergreen riots." and sent me a link to this article about my alma matter The Evergreen State College:
Unless you live under a rock or outside the blogosphere of Western Washington, you are no doubt aware that the Feb. 14 Dead Prez concert at The Evergreen State College ended with a Thurston County Sheriff’s patrol car flipped onto its roof with the windows smashed out and several witty slogans spray painted on it. Sheriff’s Lt. Christopher Mealy said four patrol cars were damaged at an estimated cost of $35,000 to $50,000. Since then, a storm of rhetoric has been issued by the Sheriff’s Department, the college, and every hippie and conservative with access to the Internet. Evergreen has banned concerts indefinitely, too. Most accounts, however, have suspiciously ignored the circumstance and events leading up to the riot.
Read all of Riot and wrong
The real story behind the Evergreen Riot
by Owen Taylor ~ Feb 28, 2008
EVERGREEN RIOT: Kaylen Williams reflects on his Valentine’s Day life massacre.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

seizures again

I had three seizures on Tuesday afternoon and was in the emergency room for four hours, and then I was sent home. I know I felt it coming on and called Alec, but then I don't remember anything until yesterday afternoon. Alec says they told him I have pneumonia too. I'm still recovering and dealing with the weird after effects of the seizures. I have a call in to my neurologist but he's out today. Oh and I still have vertigo too - since last July.

Monday, March 24, 2008

On Obama, Wright, and Race in America

My new friend Jackie, who has been commenting on my blog writes in her blog THINGS according to me:

When it comes to honesty about race, we Americans are experts at bandaging over wounds, plugging our ears, and avoiding the 3000 lb elephant in the room.
Rev. Wright is accused of racism. They had to sift through hundreds of hours of tape to find those angry emotional snippets. Monica and I have seen and heard dozens of his sermons and never saw any hint of racism. Far from it. We saw no sign of a crack pot or nut case or hate-monger either. His messages are full of hope and self determination and lots of humor. Wright is blatently honest and in your face and emotional and in the tradition of the Black church excitable. And there are those rare reckless statements. Absolutely.
Sometimes you vent with your family. Trinity Church is Wright's family.
While I understand where Rev. Wright gets these particular attitudes, I don't agree with them, anymore than Barack does.
Understanding is not agreeing.
I am not a Rev. Wright apologist nor will I cite his accomplishments in the areas of health, education, economics, youth or HIV/AIDS and GLBT issues in his community. I just hope people judge this man by his deeds, not by politically motivated snippets.
My litmus test is always GLBT issues.
I have personally heard many Jeremiah Wright sermons on this subject and he is very up front about how he feels about GLBT people in the world and in the church.

In a sermon Monica and I heard, he said "Some of these ministers try to shrink God down to the size of a tiny little shrimp and put him in a tiny little box and it stinks to high heaven. HPGB is all they want to do. That's High Praising and Gay Bashing."
Please read all of Jackie's Obama, Wright, and Race in America

Thank you, Jackie.

An update on my ear ...

I saw the surgeon at UW Medical Center last Friday and wanted to post something here for those of you who are waiting for news.

He said the MRI showed no tumor and I don't need surgery. yay!

He said the tests showed a lot of scarring in my inner ear, probably due to all the surgeries... I said "What surgeries?" and he said he thought I must have had a lot of them as a kid. No. Oh, well then its scarring from the infections.

Anyway, the tests for balance show that of 'the three legs of the balance stool' which he explained as the inner ear, eyesight, and physical body such as legs - two of my three legs are out of whack - my inner ear because of that scarring, and my eyesight. I knew that the balance tests were checking my eyes among other things. As I have mentioned to friends the tests were odd almost like something almost out of Clockwork Orange.

So the thing now is that he said I need to get some physical therapy to retrain my brain not to be dizzy. I'm going to contact the local ear doc to find someone local so I don't need to go to Seattle or Tacoma for that.

Meet the White Man Who Inspired Wright's Controversial Sermon

Meet the man who inspired Reverend Jeremiah Wright's now famous tirade about America's foreign policy inciting the terrorist attacks of September 11.

His name is Ambassador Edward Peck. And he is a retired, white, career U.S. diplomat who served 32-years in the U.S. Foreign Service and was chief of the U.S. mission to Iraq under Jimmy Carter -- hardly the black-rage image with which Wright has been stigmatized.
"Violence begets violence," Wright said, "hatred begets hatred, and terrorism begets terrorism."

And then he concluded by putting the comments on Peck's shoulders: "A white ambassador said that yall, not a black militant, not a reverend who preaches about racism, an ambassador whose eyes are wide open and is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice... the ambassador said that the people we have wounded don't have the military capability we have, but they do have individuals who are willing to die and take thousands with them... let me stop my faith footnote right there."
Read the article and watch Reverend Wright's sermon in the video
Meet the White Man Who Inspired Wright's Controversial Sermon
by Sam Stein ~ Huffington Post (posted on Alternet) ~ March 22, 2008

Listen to all of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial 9/11 sermon 35:56 minutes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another thing for me to rant on ... regarding The Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.

The assumption put forth in much of the mainstream media I have seen of late is that white Americans are offended by what The Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. said in his sermon. You know, the one they show clips from on the news - the one Barack Obama spoke about in his recent speech on race and politics in America.

Not only was I not offended by what Rev. Wright said in what I heard so far, and I haven't heard much yet - but I agreed with what I heard him say. I understand his outrage as much as I am able to as a white American woman. And I was glad that Senator Obama did not apologize for him.

Is Rev. Wright anti-American because he criticizes American policies and says they cause many problems and are the legitimate reasons that some people hate us?

Then so am I.

However as I pointed out yesterday in A bit of a rant with the article "Advise and Dissent" by David Greenberg, good comes from dissent.

Dissent, opposition and protest is a right of being an American.
And not speaking out is wrong and makes us complicit with evil.

Do we live in a racist society? Hell yes. Did our government do things in this world that have caused people in other places to hate our country? Yes of course it did. Do I think that it is okay for them to fly airplanes into our World Trade Center buildings in New York City? No, of course not. But then neither do I think it was okay for us to use that as a reason to attack Iraq!

Here are some excellent articles and essays related to Reverend Wright being targeted by far right radical conservatives and much of mainstream media:


The White Preacher Double Standard: How Hagee, Parsley and the Rest Get Away with Everything
If the disparity in coverage isn't racist, then what is it?
Read: The White Preacher Double Standard: How Hagee, Parsley and the Rest Get Away with Everything
by Cenk Uygur, co-host of The Young Turks ~ Huffington Post ~ March 19, 2008


Is America Too Racist for a Black President?
Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign has been attracting a lot of early attention. His pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., says while the Democrats are ready for more faith, America may not be ready for a black president.
SPIEGEL: That sounds different from what Obama wrote in his book. He wrote that faith should return to the center of both private and public life. Should he ever become president, what would that mean?

Wright: From what I know of Barack -- from what he has written, from his speeches and from the life I know he has lived -- faith in public life does not mean that God tells you to bomb another country or to go get Saddam Hussein. Faith in public life means that every child, regardless of their religious belief, should have health care. That every child should be able to go to school based on the intelligence they have not only the ability of their parents to pay. Because my faith saying I can bomb Iraq is the same as your faith saying you can take over a passenger plane and fly it into the World Trade Center.
Read: Is America Too Racist for a Black President?
An interview conducted by Marc Hujer ~ Spiegel Online, Germany ~ March 13, 2007


Read these two excellent essays posted on the blog of Skeptical Brotha, "a black, 30 something political junkie residing somewhere in the Carolina’s."

Demonizing Barack: The enduring racist double standard


Obama’s Pastor Speaks Out
A letter from Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jodi Kantor of The New York Times,written on March 11, 2007


Quote from the article: McCain's Church Hates America, Clinton's Friends Do Too -- But Let's Get the Black Guy (Or Not?)
But fair is fair. So where are the clips of me in Falwell's pulpit (back in the early 1980s before I dropped out of the evangelical movement) preaching to five thousand cheering white fundamentalists while I shouted; "God hates America for the murder of the unborn! We should be destroyed!"

When my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- and I were the guests of Jerry Falwell at Liberty Baptist College, Falwell said to us quite casually and seriously, while speaking of the "homosexual problem," that: "If I had a dog that did what they do I take it out and shoot it." And when it came to saying God was damning America he and Pat Robertson sided with the 9/11 hijackers by saying the terrorist's actions served America right and were God's punishment. Yet John McCain went to Liberty Baptist College and spoke for Falwell, in order to "mend fences" with the Religious Right. He said he no longer believed that Falwell was "an agent of intolerance." And Rudy Giuliani gladly accepted Robertson's endorsement. So much for the Republican "mainstream."

Fair is fair. So where are the clips -- playing incessantly next to Hillary Clinton's picture -- of her antiwar friends and Bill Clinton's fellow draft dodger members of the New Left, cursing and damning America during Vietnam War protests and since? The company that Bill and Hillary kept in the late 1960s through the 1970s was defined by damning America and sometimes by rooting for the North Vietnamese. Anti-American spewing also came from left wing white preachers. Read the fiery sermons of the late Episcopal bishop of New York Paul Moore, Jr. who raged against America.
Read: McCain's Church Hates America, Clinton's Friends Do Too -- But Let's Get the Black Guy (Or Not?)
by Frank Schaeffer ~ Huffington Post ~ March 18, 2008

Frank Schaeffer is author of CRAZY FOR GOD-How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It.
He is the son of religious right leader Francis Schaeffer.


Also important, and more critical of Barack Obama:

Read If Obama can throw his pastor under the bus, what will he do to us?
by Rev Irene Monroe ~ The Bilerico Project ~ March 19, 2008

and Re: "If Obama can throw his pastor under the bus, what will he do to us?"
also by Rev Irene Monroe ~ The Bilerico Project ~ March 20, 2008

Also read the comments to her essays. Its a complex issue - as
many are.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Veterans for Peace to Host Peace Rally in Olympia on Saturday morning



Date: 3/17/08

Dennis Mills at 360. 867.1487 - Email:
Jim James at 360.480.5957 - Email:

Veterans for Peace to Host Peace Rally

Olympia, WA - To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the bombing of Baghdad, Veterans for Peace Chapter 109 will host a rally in downtown Olympia to demonstrate the community's frustration with the ongoing war, occupation and U.S. casualties, which are nearing 4,000. "Each new death of a soldier or civilian was some mother's child." - Dennis W. Mills, PhD - U.S. Army 1966-69.

Members of the community will gather from 10:30 am to 12:00 noon on Saturday March 22nd, from the 4th Avenue Bridge in Olympia down to Percival Landing, bearing signs and stories to share. Supported by Operation Democracy Olympia, Thurston County Progressive Network, and many other individuals, businesses and organizations, this family-friendly event will prove to be compelling.

"Support the troops, cut funding for the war, use the money to bring them home now, and take care of them when they get here!" a simply stated, but powerful summary of the purpose of the Veterans For Peace, which can be found on their website at

Donations for Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will be gratefully accepted.

A bit of a rant

There are some things I wanted to point out because of things I heard on the news today.

One was on the news on television this morning. I think it was someone on Good Morning America but I don't know who the man was who was speaking.

Anyway, he was talking about Barack Obama's speech yesterday A More Perfect Union in Philadelphia, PA about race and politics in America. By the way, it was a great speech.

So the guy said something to the effect that what Barack Obama said was geared for upper class people, and that working class people probably wouldn't understand it.

Hello?! The amount of money a person has, their education level, the job they do, the place they live in, etc. has NOTHING to do with it. Working class people and poor people can be just as savvy, astute and able to 'get it' - if not more so. What you said was insulting whomever you are.


Another thing, again it was on the morning news today, this time on a radio station and I don't know who was speaking. But its something I have heard a lot.

The comment was that some people have been against this war since the day we invaded Iraq five years ago today. Well, there were many of us who were against this action long before that and said something about it.

Here is a good article on the good that comes from dissent: Advise and Dissent - How anti-war protest movements have made the U.S. stronger.
by David Greenberg
~ Slate ~ March 26, 2003


One more bone to pick - still. I'm really tired of hearing news folks saying things like, "There were anti-war protesters on one side, and across the street were people who support the troops."

Being against the war does not mean we don't support the troops.

Hello again?! We support the troops. We want them home safe, out of this illegal horrid action.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Winter Soldiers on 'Democracy Now'

The winter soldier testimony has been ignored by virtually all mainstream media.

It seems that a decision has been made that the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq is now back-page news, and that dissent by Iraq war veterans against US occupation isn't news at all.

However 'Democracy Now' is featuring the winter soldier testimony all week long.
US veterans gathered in Maryland this past weekend to testify at Winter Soldier, an eyewitness indictment of atrocities committed by US troops during the ongoing occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers spoke of free-fire zones, the shootings and beatings of innocent civilians, racism at the highest levels of the military, sexual harassment and assault within the military, and the torturing of prisoners. While the corporate media ignored the story, we broadcast their voices.
Please send the link out widely
Winter Soldier: US Vets, Active-Duty Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan Testify About the Horrors of War

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Winter soldiers and war stories

Winter Soldier: America Must Hear These Vets' Stories
If America listens to what they say, the war would be over tomorrow.

I missed the Winter Soldier Investigation in 1971. At the time I was married to a vet who desperately wanted to put his war behind him - and he wanted me to help him do it. We were supposed to pretend it had never happened. It didn't work.

Daniel refused to talk about Vietnam. "Talk to your old lady? No fucking way," his friend Bobby Lanz shot back when I said I thought that maybe Daniel wouldn't have killed himself if I had been able to get him to talk about whatever it was that was causing him such pain. "With other vets, you can say, 'shit man, I did all this horrible stuff. You're not going to believe the stuff I did', and someone who has been there will say, 'Yeah, so did I, so did we all.' But with your woman? You start to talk about having fucked some folks up bad, doing awful things, killing people, maybe, and she starts to cry and you don't go there again. You think, Fuck me, man, I don't need to hurt her. This is psychological abuse, so I am going to shut up."

Maybe I wouldn't have understood. Completely. But not knowing was far worse. For decades, I took responsibility for his death. I thought it was my fault. And even if I hadn't been able to understand exactly what he was talking about, I would have understood that he was in a kind of lethal pain. Whether it was that he thought he deserved to die or that he deserved to be put out of his misery, either way, execution or euthanasia, I would have understood that he had been injured in the war. And I would have known where to focus my grief and my rage.
Read Winter Soldier: America Must Hear These Vets' Stories
by Penny Coleman ~ AlterNet ~ March 15, 2008

Penny Coleman is the widow of a Vietnam Veteran who took his own life after coming home. Her latest book, Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide and the Lessons of War, was released on Memorial Day, 2006.

Her website is FLASHBACK - Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide, and the Lessons of War.


War hits home at reading of troops’ stories
One by one, the stories came tumbling down from a starkly lit stage in downtown Tacoma.

Stories of heartache, homesickness and humor. The kinds of stories only troops who have seen battle, and families who have waited for them to return home, can tell.

Washington, D.C., author Andrew Carroll and the National Endowment for the Arts collected thousands of pages of those stories in letters, e-mails and journals written by military service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Carroll compiled them, along with messages from military families, into the 2006 book, “Operation Homecoming.”

On Saturday, South Sound actors Anders Bolang, Megan Cooper, Aaron Jacobs and Drew Shannon brought the words to life, along with the words of local troops and family members that were collected and edited by Tacoma’s Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

The one-day performance was the first for a new script Carroll has edited from the book.
Read War hits home at reading of troops’ stories
by Debbie Cafazzo ~ The News Tribune - Tacoma, WA ~ March 16, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Article: "Sometimes I think about how everything is just handed to Black people and I want to vote for Clinton"

From Clinton finance committee member and former VP candidate Geraldine Ferarro:

If Obama was a white man, he would not be
in this position. And if he was a woman (of any
color) he would not be in this position. He
happens to be very lucky to be who he is.
And the country is caught up in the concept.

And if Obama were gay, he wouldn't be in this position. And if he were a transman, he wouldn't be in this position. And if he were seropositive, he wouldn't be in this position. And if he were actually Muslim, he wouldn't be in this position. And if he were in a pederastic relationship with a law school student, he wouldn't be in this position. And if he were working class, he wouldn't be in this position. And if he were....
Read all of Sometimes I think about how everything is just handed to Black people and I want to vote for Clinton
by Alex Blaze ~ March 10, 2008 ~ Bilerico Project

Back for a balance test.

Well, Alec and I drive back to Seattle this morning for my appointment at UW Medical Center for the dizziness and balance testing which was put off last month when we went up and found out the balance machine(s) were broken. The tests are: Videonystagmography (VNG), the Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP), and Rotary Chair Testing (RCT).

This should be interesting. The tests sound very weird.

Since they take about three hours, Alec is going to hang out with Noel who luckily is off today.

Then we go back on the 20th so I can see the doctor again and find out the results of these and the MRI.

I hope there will be some good news. I'm getting tired of saying I'm dizzy and busy, and I have lost most of the hearing in my right ear.

This has been going on since July 2007 and its getting old.