A little common sense for those who seem slow on the uptake.
Have you seen this?
“Peter Hansen, New Hampshire Lawmaker, Calls Women ‘Vaginas’ In Email To Colleagues”!?!
Good. Then I don’t feel bad about referring to men as “dicks”!
What a f@%$*^&g prat!
Life After Death is the second book by former death row inmate Damien Echols. The first book, Almost Home, was released in 2005 and had such a small printing that I cannot find a copy in my price range!
Back in 1993, Damien, along with Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., still boys themselves, were accused, tried and sentenced in the brutal killings of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, AR.
I became acquainted with the case late, when I first saw the 1996 HBO documentary ‘Paradise Lost’ probably sometime in 1999. I was immediately aghast. It was beyond obvious in my opinion that the three accused, dubbed the West Memphis 3, were the victims of what was essentially a lynch mob. A horrific crime was committed against the innocent and the police needed someone – anyone – to pin it on, to appease the local outrage. Damien was zeroed in on because he was different. In the small, church-going community anyone who stuck out was an easy target and a young man who liked heavy metal music and wore mostly black – in the community’s eyes – was surely a member of a satanic cult.
It may seem crazy to make such an unlikely leap but this is exactly what happened. People were so upset and the atmosphere so charged with hysteria that this conclusion was made. And it was made with no evidence what so ever.
It is funny to go back and watch the first Paradise Lost because Damien seems so cocky. But he was young and still idealistic. He says he acted that way because he had complete confidence that there was no way anyone could convict an innocent person. That faith was shattered very quickly and a form of innocence was lost forever.
Since my initial exposure to the case I became rabid about getting more information. I read the book Devil’s Knot, concerning the case and have watched the two Paradise Lost sequels that were produced. I became a frequent visitor to the website WM3.org, dedicated to their cause.
Even though I was not in a position to contribute much in the way of donations, I feel I provided moral support if nothing else. I exposed my friends to the case and wound up enlisting others. However, there were many people who came out on the side of the WM3 including Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines and Johnny Depp.
On August 29th, 2011 Death Row inmate Damien Echols and life without parole inmates Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr entered an Alford Plea and were immediately released. The thing that doesn’t make sense is that the Alford Plea involves pleading guilty to the charges while maintaining innocence. From my understanding the purpose of this is to release the state from any wrong doing, meaning they will not be able to sue to state of Arkansas for wrongful imprisonment. And I firmly believe that the state would not have accepted this bargain if they truly believed these boys- now men – had murdered and mutilated three little boys. And I am not the only one (roughly 5:25 in the video below).
The West Memphis 3 website is still up and active, now trying to get their names cleared. It is a wonderful source for anyone who is interested in the facts and/or supporting the cause.
I was riveted by Life After Death in one of those morbid, watching-a-train-wreck kind of ways. I was fascinated by Echols life prior to imprisonment, an area in which I had no previous knowledge. But his descriptions of life behind bars is just as compelling. I have no idea how he is capable of taking all this chaos and discussing it so calmly.
I do not want to go into too much detail, as I do not wish to rob a reader of the absolute roller coaster of events.
However, I will say that through strong adversity has blossomed a beautiful soul. I find his strength staggering and I feel honored to have stood behind him and his friends for so long and I don’t plan to stop now. I wish them endless happiness although I know they deserve so much more after the hell they have suffered.
Almost every form of media – due to medical advances in many cases – has become more aware. From magazines and TV to the Internet you can find all sorts of information regarding symptoms and signs of our growing list of diseases and ways to die.
Now do not get me wrong, it is good to be aware and keep your health and well-being in mind while going about your life. The areas that spark fear are coming from reliable people. People we trust. Like Web MD, news channels and Dr. Oz.
I just got back from a stay at my Mom’s house where this bizarre thing called “cable” exists. (Me? The only thing I get is a blue screen.) Anyway, one of the things she liked to watch was the Dr. Oz show. He covers some great topics including nutrition and exercise routines. The problem is that every other show is a new way to die. “You may be dying right now and not even know it!!” (Note: not an actual quote.)
For example, I was woken up at 5 AM this morning with really bad neck pain and a migraine. The first thing I thought was, “Oh, God. I’m having a stroke!” The only reason I would ever have thought this was due to an episode of Dr. Oz! He had a couple of young women on to discuss the signs and symptoms of a stroke that we tend to overlook and the signs that are different for just women. Now, under normal circumstances this information is good to have. But with the prevalent state of fear we have it morphs into being hypochondria. So instead of thinking, “Man, I must have slept wrong,” it has become “Dear God, I’m having a stroke!”
We experience the same thing with news sources. All those lunatics out there that are shooting, knifing and running over people. And you know what, it could just be your neighbor!
Then we do it to ourselves, too!! Due to the sky-high costs of medical care in this country we have bred a special hypochondriac – the self-diagnoser. Admit it, we’ve all done it at least once. We have the flu with some unusual headache pain so we hop on the Internet and go to Web MD. We type in our list of symptoms – and BOOM – we are dying of brain cancer. Got to love this one. We ignore the ones that say “flu” and “migraine” – all we can see is that damn brain cancer! Just the fact that it is on the list, good Lord!!
So all in all, there seems to me to be a very fine balance between knowledge and hysteria. Maybe as we have evolved into such a technology-based world that we can no longer separate ourselves from the knowledge that is bombarding us 24/7.
Anyway, food for thought. Kissy, kissy, snog, snog
Voting season is upon us once again and although I don’t do a lot of political posts, I felt I should do one now.
I would like to start by saying that if you are not already registered to vote, do it now. Voting is important and it is one of the ways we get to have our voices heard. And as so many people have pointed out prior to me, if you don’t vote, you don’t get to bitch. Basically, this means that if it is not important enough to you to go to a polling place every few years, then you are in no position to complain about the government.
I know someone who does not vote and I asked one time why that was. Their reply was that they have never found anyone worth voting for. My reply was that there are plenty of people to vote against. Now, I can see their point. Long gone are the days of Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. I have a feeling we may never encounter another candidate of their caliber again. But is that any reason to sit back and watch things disintegrate as a passive observer?
My point in bringing this up is that we are in the midst of a crucial competition for the presidency of this country. On the one hand, we have a candidate who is trying to repair eight years of disaster upon disaster. His progress has been slower than I would have liked but at least there is movement in the right direction.
Then on the other hand, we have a candidate who not only looks out for himself and his kind (the uber-rich) he wants to send this country marching backward into the 19th century – where women have no voice and no rights and the little guy is filthy, poor and hungry in the streets.
It is important to me as a woman and a student of history not to go back to those days. But even if those nightmarish days were upon us once again, one thing this country has always stood for is separation of church and state. So how can any American with a fifth grader’s understanding of the Constitution allow a man who adamantly believes that he has magic underwear run this country and to do so according to those beliefs? Now, don’t get me wrong. You are allowed to believe whatever you choose. But you are not allowed to impose it on the entire country. If Obama follows a religion I couldn’t tell you what it was as it – rightfully so – rarely comes up.
The last point I would like to bring up is that the Obamas are human. They eat out and take their dog Christmas shopping at PetsMart. Meanwhile, Romney cannot understand why you are not allowed to roll down the windows in an airplane; and he cannot even visit our closest ally without insulting them.
You do not need to be a Mensa member to figure this one out.
Kissy, kissy, snog, snog