Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Road Less Traveled

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart, The holy tree is growing there; From joy the holy branches start, And all the trembling flowers they bear.

-William Butler Yeats

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Each day of our lives is a gift to be savored and the choice is ours alone. The earth, all of the earth, is evolving. Birthing pains are hard and well, painful. So much sadness, so much wrongness in our lives. What can I, one little soul do to make it better, to help?

The answer is simply to make your choice, each day, to see love, to see the beauty in our world. A constant battle is waging for your soul my friend, and up to you to choose the path of love.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This is as I, will dream it to be...

I saw the horses that carried the souls of those who thought they were sick and dying ride into the clouds their tails streaming behind them...and as they began to touch the darkness beyond the clouds their tails and manes became as brilliant multicolored fire, with their hoofbeats becoming a deafening roar...then I heard the laughter of the children they had once been rise above the sounds...and they called "look oh brothers and sisters, truely the weight of the illusion is lifted from us"...and the ramuda of lights became so many as to not be countable, streaking across the heavens so brghtly that even the sun could not dim their brightness...

Then I saw the elders sitting in the circles of the world, saying "what must we do to stop the suffering?" and into their circles the Owl flew to rest on the centerpole of the lodge. Many said "It is the Owl, great mystery is upon us", while others said "It is the Owl, disaster is near", and while still others said "It is the Owl, someone will be plucked from the illusion"... Then the Owl spoke, and as he did the smoke in the lodges began to churn and become two, side by side pictures of what was to come. "I am Owl, the watcher of all dreams, and I have a message. Both of these paths are possible, but only one will be chosen"...In the smoke shapes formed events, on one side was the decimation of a planet and its peoples...Wars fought with clubs and sticks and even humans feasting on others as all other food became tainted with the foulness of the wars. Disease and pain were rampant, as was cruelty and suffering...

In the other smoke was a planet of plenty and Spirit where it's peoples created all they needed as easily as thinking it, where creation was honored and life within the illusion was recognized as a step, not a destination. The animals had voices and the people heard and understood their wisdom, and the Spirits of those who had left the illusion gave wisdom to those still within. In this illusion the trappings of time were recognized as simple reminders to live to the fullest, and they held no fear for those there. Again the Owl spoke. "If you would live in the first world, you have only to continue as you are. The prophesied times are upon you, and you have chosen to dream this lesson into your world... But, if you would live in the second world, you have only to rechoose your dream. Once chosen, it will change the path of the prophesies, and your intent in every action will create the new illusion..."

I saw the elders in the circles begin to choose, some in the first direction, others in the other, until all had made the choice, and while I could not understand why any would choose the first, I knew that Creator had a reason for the choice. Then all at once I saw the very fabric of the illusion multiply into two, not as one and a new one, but two old ones that were close together. They merged and the rules of creation changed, where each could manifest their destiny according to their chosen intent, with a single thought...And once again they split into two, the two illusions mirroring the events of the smoke shapes. I stood in a lodge in the second illusion, as I had chosen, with the other elders that had done the same. The Owl slowly looked at us all once more, and flew off... We stepped out of the lodge to see a bright sky full of fiery horses thundering across the sky, and riding all upon them were the Spirits of those who had thought they were sick or dying, each flaming with energy and health so intense, that the sun grew brighter from their energy as they passed...and as we listened above the sound of our own joyous hearts, we could plainly hear their voices sounding like children reborn, as they flew overhead ... and laughed...

This is as I saw it, this is as it was. This is as I, will dream it to be...

- Mitakuye dysasin ... nake nula waun -

Saturday, October 14, 2006

As a Little Child

Verily I say unto you
Shall not receive
the kingdom of God
as a little child
he shall not
enter therein
Mark 10:15

All of us children are born natural mystics. Then someone (TPTB as they are called on the internet), someone takes us and molds us into logical adult robot vegetables. Just like this song –

Supertramp--The Logical Song

When I was young, it seemed that life
was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the
birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully
watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I
could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical.

are times when all the world's asleep,
the questions run too deep
such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.

Now watch
what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,
liberal, fanatical,
Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're
acceptable, respecable, presentable, a vegtable!

At night,
when all the world's asleep,
the questions run so deep
for such a simple
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it
sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.

But something wonderful has happened to me. I’ve thrown off my logical thinking cap and I have become a “child” again. I giggle to myself all throughout the day as I find magic and hidden secrets everywhere. And hidden beneath that bible verse above is exactly what Jesus was trying to say to us.

Some of my most beloved “childrens” books now become deeper, richer and more wonderful. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Narnia Link

Children enter a “magical” hidden world through an old wardrobe. I’m giggling with glee as I write this. That magical world is all around you, it’s hidden. But you can find it if you search for it as a “child”.

And even Harry Potter, as the story begins, Harry is clueless and lives in a “muggles” world. A very sad world indeed. But then Harry is whisked away and discovers hidden in plain sight are portals to worlds full of magic and discovers that he himself is “magical”.

I’ll be writing later about some of the magical worlds I have discovered hidden in plain sight. But for now my “muggles” world is calling me back.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Music, Life, and Good Vibrations

Music/Good Vibrations

'Many say that life entered the human body by the help of music, but the truth is that life itself is music.' Hafiz (Persian Sufi poet)

is a bird that feels dawn breaking
and sings while it is still dark

"SOUND" NUTRITION: Will Music Eliminate World Hunger? - Edith Kermit Roosevelt

Tomorrow's food and fuel may be supplied by plants on a diet of music and spray of hormones, chelated amino acids and trace minerals. That's the vision of Plant Scientist Dan Carlson, who foresees a Jack-in-the-Beanstalk world with gigantic flora feeding the multitudes and replenishing the earth's supply of life-giving oxygen.

"I believe that birds act as scouts for nature," he says. "Their songs act as a harmonic trigger in the spring time, breaking the dormancy in the seeds just as sound tape opens up the plant's potential for growth. The same relationship comes to mind when birds migrate from their habitats in the fall of the year. Then plants go into dormancy.

"Crickets with their chirping play the same role in causing night plants to grow," he goes on to say. "And we now experience the consequences of decreasing the number of different harmonic resonators in the decline of our forests."

Well, it's taken me forever to get the "guts" to start posting on here again. I've been surfing and reading and learning. It's been quite a wonderful journey.

I had become quite inhibited because I had ran across so many on the web, that I call "intellectual elites". They sneer at my little old views of enlightment. I felt inferior in some way, and ashamed in some way of who I am.

But I realize that I am just as important as anyone else. However I interpret the universe and the boundless love therein, is fine.

And who knows, in my own little way perhaps my song might be beautiful.

I'm ready to sing some more. Slightly off tune, and off kilter, but that's ok.

Jackson Brown – Lawyers in Love
His words couldn’t be more appropriate today

I can't keep up with what's been going on
I think my heart must just be slowing down
Among the human beings in their designer jeans
Am i the only one who hears the screams
And the strangled cries of lawyers in love

God sends his spaceships to america, the beautiful
They land at six o'clock and there we are, the dutiful
Eating from tv trays, tuned into to happy days

Waiting for world war iii while jesus slaves
To the mating calls of lawyers in love

Last night i watched the news from washington, the capitol
The russians escaped while we weren't watching them, like russians will
Now we've got all this room, we've even got the moon
And i hear the u.s.s.r. will be open soon
As vacation land for lawyers in love

As if i really didn't understand
That i was just another part of their plan
I went off looking for the promise
Believing in the motherland
And from the comfort of a dreamer's bed
And the safety of my own head
I went on speaking of the future
While other people fought and bled
The kid i was when i first left home
Was looking for his freedom and a life of his own
But the freedom that he found wasn't quite as sweet
When the truth was known
I have prayed for america
I was made for america
It's in my blood and in my bones
By the dawn's early light
By all i know is right
We're going to reap what we have sown

As if freedom was a question of might
As if loyalty was black and white
You hear people say it all the time-
"my country wrong or right"
I want to know what that's got to do

With what it takes to find out what's true
With everyone from the president on down
Trying to keep it from you

The thing i wonder about the dads and moms
Who send their sons to the vietnams
Will they really think their way of life
Has been protected as the next war comes?
I have prayed for america
I was made for america
Her shining dream plays in my mind
By the rockets red glare
A generation's blank stare
We better wake her up this time

The kid i was when i first left home
Was looking for his freedom and a life of his own
But the freedom that he found wasn't quite as sweet
When the truth was known
I have prayed for america
I was made for america
I can't let go till she comes around
Until the land of the free
Is awake and can see
And until her conscience has been found

How long will it take to find the higher power moving in me?

Power in the insect
Power in the sea
Power in the snow falling silently
Power in the blossom
Power in the stone
Power in the song being sung alone
Power in the wheatfield
Power in the rain
Power in the sunlight and the hurricane
Power in the silence
Power in the flame
Power in the sound of the lover's name
The power of the sunrise and the power of a prayer released
On the edge of my country, i pray for the ones with the least

Hunger in the midnight, hunger at the stroke of noon
Hunger in the banquet, hunger in the bride and groom
Hunger on the tv, hunger on the printed page
And there's a god-sized hunger underneath the questions of the age
And an absence of light
In the deepening night
Where i wait for the sun
Looking east

It’s always darkest before the dawn. Keep the faith.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Justice for Martin and Gina

Martin’s Story
Martin Anderson 14, who was convicted of joy riding in his grandmother's Jeep, entered the Panama City boot camp Jan. 5. He died hours after a group of guards punched and kneed him. Video of Martin's Beating

His death is under investigation by a Tampa-based special prosecutor appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush, and federal prosecutors are looking into the case as well .

State Sen. Tony Hill, a Jacksonville Democrat who has helped spearhead efforts by the state's legislative black caucus to hold guards accountable in the youth's death, called for ''justice'' in the case Thursday from the floor of the Senate, saying the teen was ``viciously murdered.''

Florida's juvenile justice chief says there was little he could have done to intervene in the aggressive use of force on kids at a juvenile boot camp, prompting a lawmaker to question his honesty.

The state's juvenile-justice chief said Tuesday he didn't step in to stop what appeared to be excessive use of force at a Panama City juvenile boot camp for three years for two reasons: He was unaware of 180 use-of-force reports from the camp, and his hands were tied because the sheriff who ran the camp was an elected official separate from his agency.

Anthony Schembri, secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice, made his comments in response to a story Sunday in The Miami Herald detailing how teens were manhandled for minor infractions -- for simply shrugging, smiling or smirking.

Schembri said that the rules at sheriff-run camps have long been more hands-on than the rules governing any other juvenile detention facility.

''They're not constrained to follow them. They have a higher system. They're an elected official. They discipline their own people. I discipline my people. They discipline their people, and they should be doing that when they use excessive force,'' Schembri said.

``I would have handled those cases a lot different, and I have.''

Schembri's statement provoked an instant rebuke from state Rep. Gus Barreiro, the Miami Beach Republican who chairs a criminal justice budget committee that funds DJJ.

''There's nothing he says that's credible anymore,'' Barreiro said, referring to misstatements Schembri has made, particularly in the case of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson's death on Jan. 6 after he was beaten by guards at the Bay Boot Camp in Panama City.

''He's the head of this agency, these kids are in his care,'' Barreiro said.

``For him not to take responsibility is a surprise. The sheriffs are on contract with DJJ, so Schembri's still in charge.''

Schembri and Barreiro began clashing late last year when Barreiro's committee lambasted DJJ for placing a severely developmentally disabled child with a sexual offender, who allegedly changed the disabled child's diapers and raped him as well.

During an Oct. 20 committee meeting, Schembri told lawmakers he was vehemently opposed to the use of excessive force on kids and that, as the man in charge, he was going to fix problems and own up to them.

He also said he ''fired'' 300 employees for using excessive force -- a number that he now says is closer to 60.


According to The Miami Herald's review of the Bay Boot Camp's use-of-force reports, 173 of the 180 incidents were deemed ''appropriate'' by administrators.


Of the seven others, four were unresolved and three were found inappropriate.

''That was a ticking time bomb: 180 incidents of use of force,'' Barreiro said.

Minor offenses at camp brought beatings
A smile, a mumble and other forms of nonviolent behavior resulted in force against teenage boys at a Florida sheriff's boot camp, a Miami Herald investigation found

Views vary on how to keep juveniles' behavior in line
The teenage boys smiled, they shrugged and they smirked. They spoke without permission or they refused to speak at all.

That's all it took for the boys at the Bay County Sheriff's Office Boot Camp to provoke a swift and painful response from their guards. Even crying and ''whimpering'' brought harsh discipline.

The scenes were repeated over and over, 180 times over the past three years, at the juvenile boot camp in Panama City, according to Florida Department of Juvenile Justice records obtained by The Miami Herald under the state's public-records law.

In only eight of the 180 instances documented since January 2003 were the teenagers described as hitting guards, fighting with other youths, threatening to escape or trying to harm themselves.

The documents -- use-of-force reports written by the guards themselves -- show that the overwhelming majority of the youths were subjected to ''takedowns,'' hammer-fist blows and ''knee strikes'' for:

• Being unwilling or unable to perform rigorous exercises.

• Exercising without sufficient ``motivation.''

• Being ''insolent'' with guards.

• Speaking without permission.

• ``Breathing heavily.''

• ''Tensing'' themselves.

Boys were physically ''restrained'' for furrowing their brows, mumbling or gritting their teeth. On Christmas Day 2004, one boy was disciplined for smiling.




Their punishments: knees jabbed forcefully into their thighs, hammer-fist punches to the arms, wrist twisting, and being wrestled to the ground. Another common tactic was the use of ''pressure points,'' in which guards used their thumbs to cause pain by pressing on sensitive areas behind the youths' ears or under their chins.

''I . . . observed offender become still and his breathing become shallow and I felt him tense his right arm. . . . I then applied a knee strike to his left thigh area,'' a sergeant wrote after one episode on Feb. 23, 2005.

In many of the cases, the guards used the tactics despite written orders by Department of Juvenile Justice chief Anthony Schembri, who in June 2004 banned the use of physical force except in extreme situations.




Juvenile justice experts who reviewed the documents at The Miami Herald's request said the treatment of the youths was unjustifiable.

''What you have there is an administratively approved, systematic pattern of torturing children,'' said Ron Davidson, director of mental health policy in the psychiatry department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who studied the 180 reports. Davidson has reviewed nearly 400 group homes, mental hospitals and juvenile justice facilities for the U.S. Department of Justice, the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services and other agencies.

Waylon Graham, a Panama City attorney for the camp's second-highest-ranking officer, Lt. Charles Helms, defends the actions of the guards, saying they behaved exactly as DJJ and Sheriff's Office administrators expected of them, and never intended to harm the youths in their custody.

''They were tightly supervised,'' Graham said. ``Everything was videotaped there. There were no rogue drill sergeants out of control. To be blunt, some of those kids showed up at the boot camp mean as hell, after they'd been rejected by alternative programs. This was kind of the end of the line.''

A computer analysis of the boot camp use-of-force reports -- which were redacted by the state to exclude the youths' names for privacy reasons -- shows that all but seven of the 180 incidents were declared ''appropriate'' by the camp's administrators. Three were found to have been inappropriate, and four were left unresolved.

Among the unresolved cases: the Jan. 6 death of Martin Lee Anderson, who was punched, kneed and choked by several guards when he said he couldn't breathe and couldn't run more laps. Martin's death remains under investigation by a special prosecutor in Tampa appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush.

The physical punishments meted out at the camp were well known to officials at the DJJ. All of the use-of-force reports were faxed to DJJ headquarters in Tallahassee for review, and there is no record of DJJ officials ever objecting to the boot camp's methods for dealing with uncooperative detainees.

''Whoever read those reports has to share the blame -- and there is blame,'' said retired Miami-Dade Juvenile Judge Tom Petersen, who also reviewed the use-of-force reports for The Miami Herald. ``The fact that this went on, and went on for years, makes it so much worse.''

A spokeswoman for Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Since Martin's death, the Sheriff's Office has declined to discuss the camp, citing state and federal investigations into the teenager's death. The camp is closing down Thursday, although all of the youthful offenders have already been released or moved to other DJJ facilities.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office Boot Camp opened in 1994, as the state tried to cope with a series of violent, well-publicized crimes by teens. Some of the mayhem had been directed at tourists, the state's economic lifeblood.

The theoretical underpinning of the boot camp programs, all run by county sheriffs, was that troubled youths needed strong discipline and an outlet for limitless energy, as well as successful adult role models to emulate.

But at some point, academic experts say, many of the camps became all ''tough'' and no ``love.''

There has been one coverup after another, with Sheriff McKeithen saying that Martin died of a sickle cell blood disorder. If it were not for the outrage of the black community and marches held by the Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev Jesse Jackson, Martin would be just another statistic that was silently put to rest.

Meanwhile, there now could be a witness in the case, should it go forward at Justice (there will also be a civil suit, which a state legislator has vowed to pass an item having the state fund beyond Florida's $200,000 liability cap.) From the Tallahassee Democrat:

Local woman says son told her 'they killed that boy'
By Stephen D. Price

A Tallahassee mother said Tuesday her 14-year-old son was in juvenile boot camp with Martin Lee Anderson, and he described what guards did to Anderson as "murder."

That revelation came the same day Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen announced he would close the county's boot camp where guards struck 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson.

"I feel really bad for this lady and every other child that doesn't deserve this type of treatment," said Shauna Manning, referring to Anderson's mother, Gina Jones. "That's why I'm here, to speak out on behalf of her child." ...

... Manning visited her son, Aaron Swartz, at the Bay County boot camp three days after Anderson's incident with the guards, she said Tuesday in the law office of Tallahassee attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents Anderson's family.

"He said they killed that boy," Manning said.

She said her son told her guards had pegged Anderson for a troublemaker when he first arrived at the camp because he wore braids. The day the incident occurred, Anderson was being cooperative and had run 15 laps of the 16-lap run he was required to do, until he began having breathing problems.

The guards then confronted Anderson, Manning said her son told her, and began hitting him.

Manning's son was later transferred to another boot camp.
Manning's son also has alleged that his asthma was ignored by doctors at the camp,and he complained about authorities at the camp forcing ammonia capsules up his nose, and using restraint and "pressure" techniques similar to those seen on the security videotape that captured the preamble to Anderson's death.

There's also this from the SP Times story above, regarding medical examiner Charles Siebert:

... When Siebert concluded Martin died of natural causes, he was practicing without a medical license. His license expired Jan. 31 and he did not renew it - until Tuesday.

He renewed it in person in Tallahassee, said Doc Kokol, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health. Siebert will be fined $385 for practicing without a license for a month.

First-time offenders like Siebert generally aren't disciplined further, Kokol said. Fewer than 3 percent of physicians whose licenses must be renewed fail to do so in an average year, Kokol said.

The teen's family is challenging his report, though they have not said how they will do so.

Options include filing a complaint with the state Medical Examiners Commission and asking an independent pathologist to review the files, photographs and slides that Siebert made during the autopsy. The family also could exhume the body for a new autopsy.

"We haven't ruled anything out," said Crump, the attorney.

The Medical Examiners Commission looks to see "if something was just blatantly overlooked, or somebody had drawn the wrong conclusions," said Stephen Nelson, commission chairman and Polk County's medical examiner.
Let's open all this up. And we'll see then whether Florida's boot camp program, now just four camps strong, is really worth saving.

Martin’s name will appear atop a new state measure intended to protect other kids from a similar fate.

The state House of Representatives voted unanimously Thursday to shut down the state's remaining military-style boot camps for juvenile delinquents, calling the budget item the ''Martin Lee Anderson Act.'' The provision replaces them with programs that stress education, counseling and aftercare.

Gina’s Story

In a town the size of Canton, South Dakota, population 3,195, plenty of people knew that 14-year-old Gina Score liked to steal things.

She stole Press-N-Go fingernails worth $2.99 from the ShopKo in Sioux Falls, stole four Beanie Babies from Brower's Gifts and Collectibles in Canton, stole $60 from a sleepover girlfriend, even stole candles from her Lutheran church. Outwardly, Gina didn't seem troubled -- she babysat for neighbors, wrote cute poems, and smiled radiantly for pictures. But she confided to social workers what they surely guessed: Kids can be cruel to eighth grade girls who weigh 224 pounds. Sometimes Gina cried herself to sleep.

Supported by her parents, Gina endured years of programs and punishments intended to change her behavior: community service, individual and family counseling, group care, house arrest, fines, restitution, probation, juvenile detention. Nothing really worked. Finally, in June of last year, after yet another parole violation, a judge placed Gina in state custody until age 21 and sent her to a military-style boot camp for teenage girls located at the State Training School in Plankinton.

Like boot camps in two dozen other states, the Plankinton boot camp and a counterpart for boys in the town of Custer were set up to treat children like military recruits. Kids were forced to rise before dawn, perform rigorous exercises, and march like soldiers. Phone calls and visits from parents were prohibited for the first month, and the slightest rules violations were met with swift punishment. As in many other states, the South Dakota boot camps were part of a political campaign by a tough-on-crime governor; Bill Janklow, a popular Republican and ex-Marine now in his fourth term, promoted them as a commonsense solution to juvenile crime. Despite widespread abuses at boot camps from Florida to California, many politicians and frustrated parents have found salvation in the camps' simple goal: to reduce troubled teenagers to their emotional core, back to frightened children, so that their minds will open long enough to imagine a life without drugs, crime, and self-hatred. As a boot camp warden from Texas explains, "We want to turn their lives upside down."

Five days after Gina Score arrived in Plankinton, she and 15 other girls from Cottage B began a mandatory 2.6-mile jog at about 6:30 a.m. on the gravel roads outside Plankinton's razor-wire fences. What happened that morning is detailed in medical reports and eyewitness accounts by inmates and staff members at the boot camp. The girls trotted past sprawling farms of corn and soybeans and a small community cemetery; but it's doubtful that Gina appreciated the pastoral scenery. She must have been panicked. Gina was severely overweight and "hated to run," as her mother later recalled. The temperature and humidity were both around 70 and climbing.

Within a block or two, Gina started lagging behind. As the girls reached each corner of the rectangular route, where they were allowed to rest briefly and drink water, they waited for Gina to catch up. Two youth counselors repeatedly shouted for Gina to keep moving, sometimes interlocking their arms with hers just to keep her going forward down the dusty roads. At roughly 7:45, after the other girls had reached the front gates, Gina staggered and collapsed 500 feet from the finish. Several girls tried to help her up, but staff members, believing one inmate who said Gina had acted this way before at a halfway house, were convinced they had a "behavior problem."

"Quit faking!" several girls recall a supervisor shouting. "You're embarrassing us." Everyone knew the boot camp credo: Quitting Is Not an Option. When four girls encircled Gina to give her shade, counselors ordered them to back away.

A staff nurse who checked on Gina at 8:05 said her vital signs were normal and that she was simply hyperventilating. An hour later, Gina struggled to her feet and began slowly walking back to her cottage. A few hundred feet later, within sight of her air-conditioned cottage, she collapsed again. Her eyes were dilated, her skin pale, her lips purple. She urinated on herself and began frothing at the mouth. Her eyes rolled back in her head. Even when a farmer's manure truck rumbled down the road beside her, Gina didn't budge. The staff still thought she was faking; several girls recall them laughing and telling jokes as Gina lay on the ground. The camp's director came out to assess the situation, but he told the staff to "wait out" Gina, so no one called for an ambulance.

"I was crying," says Christi Battis, a former inmate. "All the girls were crying. ... How could she be faking it when she was pale blue and wasn't even brushing the flies off her?"

Finally, at 10:47, three hours after Gina collapsed, two physicians happened by and ordered that an ambulance be called. Six minutes later, paramedics were giving Gina oxygen, but on the way to the hospital, her heart stopped. In the emergency room they sent chilled IV fluids through Gina's rigid body and packed her in ice, but a rectal thermometer peaked at 108 -- the highest it would go. Internally, she had literally begun to cook. With her organs shutting down, repeated attempts to restart her heart were futile. At 12:39 p.m., Gina was declared dead. "It was," said emergency room physician Jerome Howe, "the worst case of heatstroke I've ever seen."

Gina Score's death shocked the sensibilities of South Dakotans, who trusted state-run boot camps to protect and educate troubled children as well as straighten them out. But for those familiar with the juvenile justice system nationwide, the scandal was simply the latest outrage in a decade-long tale of abuse at boot camps. There are currently an estimated 4,000 kids in approximately 50 military-style camps nationwide. At least half a dozen children have died in detention, and numerous state and federal investigations have concluded that hundreds of others have been subjected to physical and emotional abuse.

On a muggy July morning, 14-year-old Gina Score collapsed during a forced run at South Dakota's boot camp for girls.

She lay on the ground for three hours before dying of heatstroke.

In the 16 months since Score's death raised questions about juvenile
boot camps across the country, the girls' boot camp at Plankinton has
been dismantled. The legislature has set up an office to monitor juvenile corrections, and lawmakers have given a legislative panel authority to periodically review juvenile programs.

But some say state boot camps remain deeply flawed. On Monday, a federal judge was scheduled to hold a hearing on a proposed settlement of a lawsuit between the State Training School where Score collapsed and the Washington, D.C.-based Youth Law Center, which seeks to monitor the boys' boot camp in Plankinton, an eastern South Dakota farm town.

''I think in the long run kids in these facilities will be protected, they'll be safer and hopefully will come out better in the sense of not being abused while there,'' said Youth Law Center staff attorney Marc Schindler.

Score's parents have also filed a lawsuit, set to go to trial early next year. Lawsuit documents quote state Attorney General Mark Barnett as saying the state was responsible for the girl's death because of the way the boot camp staff treated her.

''We killed her,'' he said.

Gov. Bill Janklow, who credits three years in the U.S. Marines with turning his life around, called five years ago for boot camps as a way to teach teen-age offenders the discipline and other skills needed to set them straight.

The Republican governor has blamed ''rogue employees'' for Score's death and other problems.

But Democratic House Minority Leader Pat Haley said the problem is widespread.

''What was put together here was a routinely abusive system,'' said Haley, a former prison guard. ''It wasn't rogue employees. It was the system.''

Score was sent to the camp in July 1999 after stealing a bike, skipping school and shoplifting. Two days into the program, the 5-foot-4, 226-pound girl joined other girls on a 2.7-mile required run.

She collapsed near the end, and staff members left her on the ground because they thought she was faking. A nurse at the scene later said she didn't recognize the girl's symptoms as heat exhaustion.

Investigators said the temperature had reached 77 degrees in 81 percent humidity by the time an ambulance was called. Score's temperature reached at least 108 degrees, the maximum a thermometer could record.

Two staff members were acquitted on child abuse charges in the death and other problems, including making girls run in shackles until their ankles bled.

Today, South Dakota judges send fewer juveniles to state facilities, partly because of what some judges described as caution after Score's death.

A report this year by the Koch Crime Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Topeka, Kan., found about 50 boot camps across the nation, not counting those run by the National Guard. That's down from 60 several years ago, says Jerry Wells, the institute's director.

Boot camps' physical exercise requirements and sometimes untrained staff can be dangerous, says Doris MacKenzie, professor of criminology at the University of Maryland. On the other hand, studies indicate both staff and juveniles in boot camps have more positive attitudes than those in traditional juvenile corrections programs, she said.

''The attitudes in many of the camps are very supportive,'' she said.
''There seems to be a very caring relationship.''

But she said studies show boot camps are no better than traditional programs in preventing juveniles from getting into trouble after release.

Wells said tragedies such as Score's death should be expected when boot camps are run by untrained staffs.

''The surprise to me was that it was a surprise, because it was a recipe for disaster,'' he said.

The proposed settlement in the Youth Law Center lawsuit would limit the use of straints and isolation cells and require mental health treatment, education programs and staff training in addition to monitoring.

Janklow says he continues to get letters from parents who say their children's lives have been set straight by boot camps. He won't comment on the lawsuits until they are settled.

Gina Score's parents, David and Viola, have refused to talk publicly in recent months, but said a year ago that they were devastated.

''The state should never abuse a child,'' Viola Score said.

Camp Fear

Read more about Gina’s story at above link.

And the most frightening aspect of all is the recently privatized or for profit juvenile detention centers set up across the country. Many of these are run by a large for profit prison company CCA. Read more about the abuses of this company here Juvenile Crime Pays

All of us are responsible for Gina and Martin's deaths. We paid for them with our tax dollars. Don't you agree that it's time we starting being better citizens and paid more attention to what is being done in our names.

Thursday, March 16, 2006



Angels must be confused by war.
Both sides praying for protection,
yet someone always gets hurt.
Someone dies.
Someone cries so deep
they lose their watery state.

Angels must be confused by war.
Who can they help?
Who can they clarify?
Whose mercy do they cast to the merciless?
No modest scream can be heard.
No stainless pain can be felt.
All is clear to angels
except in war.

When I awoke to this truth
it was from a dream I had last night.
I saw two angels conversing in a field
of children's spirits rising like silver smoke.
The angels were fighting among themselves
about which side was right
and which was wrong.
Who started the conflict?

Suddenly, the angels stilled themselves
like a stalled pendulum,
and they shed their compassion
to the rising smoke
of souls who bore the watermark of war.
They turned to me with those eyes
from God's library,
and all the pieces fallen
were raised in unison,
coupled like the breath
of flames in a holy furnace.

Nothing in war comes to destruction,
but the illusion of separateness.
I heard this spoken so clearly I could only
write it down like a forged signature.
I remember the compassion,
mountainous, proportioned for the universe.
I think a tiny fleck still sticks to me
like gossamer threads
from a spider's web.

And now, when I think of war,
I flick these threads to all the universe
hoping they stick on others as they did me.
Knitting angels and animals
to the filamental grace of compassion.
The reticulum of our skyward home.


I am listening for a sound beyond sound
that stalks the nightland of my dreams,
entering rooms of fossil-light
so ancient they are swarmed by truth.

I am listening for a sound beyond us
that travels the spine's
invisible ladder to the orphic library.
Where rebel books revel in the unremitting light.
Printed in gray, tiny words with quicksand depth
embroidered with such care they
render spirit a ghost, and God,
a telescope turned backwards upon itself
dreaming us awake.

Never-blooming thoughts surround me
like a regatta of crewless ships.
I listen leopard-like,
canting off the quarantine of bodies
sickened by the monsoon of still hearts.
There is certain magic
in the heartbeat which crowds the sound I seek,
but it is still underneath the beating I wish to go.
Underneath the sound of all things
huddled against the tracking dishes
that turn their heads to the sound of stars.

I am listening for a sound unwound,
so vacant it stares straight with the purity to peer
into the black madness of time
sowing visions that oscillate in our wombs
bearing radiant forms as the substrate of our form.

When I look to the compass needle
I see a blade of humility
bent to a force waylaid like wild rain
channeled in sewer pipes.
Running underground
in concrete canals that quiver,
laughing up at us as though we were lost
in the sky-world with no channel for our ride.

I am listening for a sound
in your voice,
past the scrub terrain of your door
where my ear is listening on the other side.
Beneath your heart where words go awkward
and light consumes the delicate construction of mingled lives.
I can only listen for the sound I know is there,
glittering in that unpronounceable, stateless state
quarried of limbs so innocent
they mend the flesh of hearts.

The beautiful words above are poems found hidden in Chambers deep within the earth and left for us to discover and understand now.

If you are not familiar with Wingmakers and their message here is a little snip from the background story of the original Wingmaker's Site

In 1972, in a remote section of northern New Mexico, a group of hikers discovered an unusual artifact and pictographs within an obscure canyon. An archeologist from the University of New Mexico analyzed the artifact and searched the area where it was discovered, but found no signs that a prehistoric culture had established any permanent site in the canyon. It was presumed that a nomadic, Native American Indian tribe had occasionally used the canyon as a temporary settlement and had left behind a few artifacts of their presence as a consequence.

There were, however, two very puzzling questions. All but one of the artifacts could be dated to the 8th century AD. The exception, known as the "compass" artifact, appeared to be an unusual form of technology, and was found among more typical artifacts like pottery and simple tools. The compass was covered in strange hieroglyphic symbols, some of which were also found on the pottery. Secondly, the pictographs that were found in the area had inexplicably appeared, and they were strikingly different than any of the other native petroglyphs or rock art found in the southwest or the entire continent for that matter.

Because of these two anomalies, the artifacts and the entire project quickly became the property of the US government, or more specifically, the National Security Agency. It was decided that these artifacts might suggest a pre-historical, extraterrestrial presence on earth, and that the NSA had the appropriate agenda and wherewithal to initiate a full-scale, scientific expedition to determine the nature and significance of the site.

The painting illustrated above is from Chamber 5. Here is a link for Paintings Chamber 1 – 23. Paintings

Should you choose to explore the WingMakers website, please be aware that the current website at has been changed in a number of ways from its original form. The WingMakers story there has been seriously distorted to the point of being disinformation. Fortunately, the WingMakers website in its original form can still be accessed from the original WingMakers home page at Ancient Arrow

This original WingMakers home page and all of its links are part of the original, uncorrupted website, and not linked to or from the current home page or any of its links. To explore how the WingMakers website has changed over time, you can use the Internet Archive

to access a succession of past versions of the website since its earliest days by clicking here

(the first entry should be Jan. 1999—always check date in the top address bar, as it sometimes rolls to a much newer version). For further information on how the website has been changed and corrupted, contact the site where this original Wingmakers information is hosted at I Want to Know

If you found this WingMakers essay to be meaningful, you may appreciate two other inspirational writings. The first is a concise, two-page essay on what’s happening in the world and what we can do about it. Titled Building a Brighter Future, this compelling summary is available at Brighter Future

The second is an inspiring essay titled Simple Keys to a Fuller Life available at Keys to Life

Wingmakers - Shifting Paradigms of Consciousness

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Exit Door Leads In

I haven’t written anything on here in quite some time. Life has lots of noise and lots of doorways that lead nowhere. It’s so easy to get lost and lose yourself.

I’ve been searching all over the internet to find the way, the quick fix, the door that will lead me back to that incredible moment of heaven that I experienced. And then I ran across an old article, a biography about one of my favorite authors, Philip K. Dick.

If you are not a sci-fiction fan you may have never heard of him. But if you like movies, you might be amazed at how many of his books have been turned into movies; Bladerunner and Total Recall are just two that I can think of at the moment. Many of his works mirror the world we live in today. I just finished reading “Radio Free Albemuth” this weekend, and it’s all about mind control and nationalistic thinking. I won’t spoil the ending for you, in case you’ve never read it and want to. But it ends on a note of hope.

One of his short stories that has never seen the light of day was written for the very anti-establishment, psychedelic, tripping, early Rolling Stone Magazine. It is simply called “The Exit Door Leads In”.

And nothing could be more important today than for all of us to open and find the secret door that will lead us all back to the Garden of Eden. We hold the key.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Love Day

What if God was one of us?

If God had a name,
What would it be,
And would you call it to His face
If you were faced with Him
And all His glory?
What would you ask if
You had just one question?

If God had a face,
What would it look like
And would you wanna see
If seeing meant you would have to believe
In things like Heaven
And in Jesus and the Saints
And all the Prophets?

What if God was one of us;
Just a slob like one of us;
Just a stranger on a bus
Tryin' to make His way home?

Lyrics by Joan Osborne

I have been troubled lately, troubled as to how I am supposed to love “everybody”. Why that just doesn’t seem possible. I’m supposed to love that guy blasting his rap music so loud that I have to roll up my windows, I’m supposed to love that woman who shoves me out of the way so she can get on the train first, love that person who cut me off in traffic and then flipped me the bird. I just can’t do it God.

And then I remembered the lyrics to this song. It was released in 1995 and had a catchy tune that caught my ear right away. Then when I heard the words, it just floored me.

And then I woke up this morning remembering them.

If each and every one of us, on each and every day were told that God was here among us, but it was up to us to figure out who he/she was. Why you bet I would love that guy with his rap music, I would love that woman shoving me and I would even love that person flipping me the bird.

Because what if they were God? I sure would want God to know that I loved him/her now wouldn’t I?

And you know what?

Now, I know,


And I am too.

And the truth is, it is all about love. Love for all.

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there
can be no more hurt, only more love."
~Mother Teresa

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
~Albert Einstein

May you have a Valentine's Day filled with love, love for yourself and all.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Blue child

I picked this picture because that is the exact shade of blue that my daughter decided to color her hair when she was 14. I can still remember being in Sally Beauty Supply and having her running up to me with a box of blue hair dye. I was appalled, no way, no way are you dying your hair that color. Everyone will make fun of you. She threw a 2 year old tantrum and fell on the floor crying. Deciding that this was one battle that wasn’t worth all this war, I relented and gave in. She ended up with “psychic blue” hair and was instantly recognizable for blocks. She sang in the choir, and I still remember cringing in my seat in the audience as she sang her heart out, with that vivid, bright blue hair standing out like a beacon.

In the movie “Hildago” Viggo Mortensen's character was called by his Native American Mother “Blue Child”. He is a child of a new heart and a new view of the world. He can see farther and deeper. These children see deep into the future and the past. It is a great movie
Link to movie

Many of you may have heard of the coming of the “Indigo Children”.

“The Indigo phenomenon has been recognized as one of the most exciting changes in human nature ever documented in society. The Indigo label describes the energy pattern of human behavior which exists in over 95% of the children born in the last few years … This phenomenon is happening globally and eventually the Indigos will replace all other colors. As small children, Indigo’s are easy to recognize by their unusually large, clear eyes. Extremely bright, precocious children with an amazing memory and a strong desire to live instinctively, these children of the next millennium are sensitive, gifted souls with an evolved consciousness who have come here to help change the vibrations of our lives and create one land, one globe and one species. They are our bridge to the future”

My youngest, born in 1984 is one of these children. She was a gift to me on my 37th birthday. I constantly tell her that she is the best birthday present I have ever had, and she is. She is a beautiful child born with a heart so big that it amazes even me. She struggled through the tortuous structured school criteria. When she was in 3rd grade I was summoned to school and told that she needed to be placed in Special Ed classes and her teacher was convinced that she had ADD and needed to be put on drugs. I struggled mightily with this, here were all these ‘educated” people convincing me that all she needed was a pill. And that she was flawed.

She wasn’t flawed. They were. I relented and took her to a child psychologist. And God intervened and we met one of his angels. After numerous tests, I was told by this angel that I had a precious gift. She didn’t need drugs; she just needed our patience and understanding. I willingly gave it. It was a battle all through the school years but I won and so did my child. It took her 5 years instead of 4 to get through high school but she did. She was labeled as having a “math” disability. She believed it.

So we focused on what made her happy and her eyes light up. And that was animals and nature. She has an uncanny ability to heal any sick or injured animal. And over the years our home has been full of them. We presently have 4 dogs, 4 birds, 2 fish tanks and a guinea pig. She has brought home more injured birds, rabbits, squirrels than I can remember. She healed them all and released them. Funny thing is they all still come back to see her. One spring a little chickadee with a missing foot was tossed out of the nest. She found him; hand fed him and then released him that summer. He still lives on our front porch in a nest box she made. He has raised several generations of babies and never leaves. She calls him “Cheep” and he adores her.

My math disability child has now entered college and has decided that God has sent her here to save the earth and all of its animals. She is majoring in Environmental Science. And all of her required classes meant lots of math, and lots of science. I was so afraid for her, afraid that she would fail and it would break her heart. But my “flawed” “math disabled” child has made the Dean’s List every year. She has a perfect, flawless grade point average.

And there is no doubt in my mind, or my heart that she will help save this earth and our friends, the animals. God has sent his special “blue” angels here to help all of us.

She is my gift. And I am so full of love and gratitude that my heart is filled to bursting.

And in these terrible times of doubt, fear and pain, all one has to do is look at these children and see the beauty of their souls. Hope is all around us.

If you would like to read more about Indigo Children I recommend Spirit of Maat’s articles here: Indigo Children

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Coal Holders

We Are The Coal Holders

Ever since the beginning, there's always been the guy who’s job it was to carry the last hot coal. (Remember?)

See, when the tribe moved on, someone had to carry the last hot coal to start up the next fire at the next campsite. They needed this fire to cook with, sleep near, talk and sing around. Now, many of these coal-holders, over time, became folk singers.

Later on, some went electric. Some even became rock and roll singers, punkers and rappers. Hey, different tribes, different instruments. But the job itself has never changed.

My dad was one of these guys. And a lot of his songs were pretty damned hot!

We are Woody’s coal-holders. We do this to keep our present day tribe warm, fed, and informed.

Sometimes it gets real cold out there (Have you noticed?) and it seems like a chilly wind is just going to blow us all off the map.

A lot of people are feeling the effects of the chill; no food, no shelter, no singing, no rights. And other people are chilling inside; no warmth, no joy, no song, no tribe.

Coal-holders are real important right now!

They will be the ones who will make it possible to build the next fire. They will be the ones to serve up our next hot meal or our next warm talk. And though it seems that there are no bonfires burning just yet, I do feel that things are warming up!

- Nora Guthrie and everyone here!

Do you think God created the universe and then just disappeared? God speaks to us every minute of every day. Most of us are listening to so much background noise that we don’t hear him at all. In the recent tragedy involving coal miners, God was all over the place. 13 miners trapped, 12 lost their lives and 1 survived. Go look up 12 around 1 on the internet. How many disciples including Jesus were there? The 12 who lost their lives spent their last minutes writing letters to their families and loved ones. Letters of faith and love. “I’ll see you on the other side” – “It’s just like going to sleep”. Coal miners are the backbone of this country. They are the real Americans, the ones who work hard at dangerous jobs. And they have been victims of heinous “big business” tycoons who have treated them worse than dirt. But they survived and continue to bring that coal up from the depths of the earth. They are some of the most heroic people in this land. And sometimes they reach for the stars like Homer Hickam

God wants us to know that he is always with us, and to remember that “We are the Coal Holders”. And the world needs us now, light up your fire, get that coal hot, sing it out to the world. Sing it!

In the words of Woody Guthrie -


It’s after my work tired and weary, I lay down to rest my eyes,
I see this world change in a whirlwind and heaven flies down from the skies;
I see rising up from my wreckage, cities and mansions so bright
I see my friends eyes and their faces lit up with a bright shining light.

I walk through the sunshiny factory where dresses and shirts are both clean;
A brother and sister are singing at work as they watch all the wheels;
No smudge clouds of smoke hid my valley, my sight it is clear for miles;
The mountains are all dancing happy, the trees are waving me smiles.

There are no sickly faces about me, the children are healthy and gay;
Not one homeless soul is around me, not lost, nor cripple, nor lame;
The street laid in finest of plastics, the atom is laboring as well;
No airships are crashing here by me, no dead ones in burning hotels.

No fast cars collide nor turn over, no death curve along my new road;
No cheaters, no gamblers, no robbers, no graveyard, no prisons, no jails;
No gasbombs, no brass knucks, no billies, no battles ‘tween worker and boss;
No patrolman, no officer, policeman, to ride into crowds on his horse.

The last labor battles are ended, they’re shown on the screen and the page;
The workhand is happy at building his world like the play on his stage;
Profiteers are gone and forgotten, except in my history and book,
My friends all have jobs here in heaven and sing as I stand here and look.

I am sawing the finest made fiddle, I am touching the richest skin drum;
I am blowing the sweetest of woodwinds and blowing the deepest of horns;
I dance to my music I’m making, and the world joins in with my dance;
Science and hope cures the fevers, not one grain is blowing by chance.

Every hand works in hand with the other, and not for power nor greed;
Every hand works to its fullest ability and is paid in its deepest of need;
No cancer, no tuberculosis, no paralysis nor asylums are here
No bowery, nor skid row of homeless, no eye that is blinded by tears.

If you can only see with me this vision of heaven I dreamed,
Then you can take new faith in working with comrades and friends
And when I woke up from my sleeping and looked down my raggedy street,
I go back to work with my vision and I drink down the bitter and sweet.

I know as you hear such a dream, friend, you will not pass it along;
I do not expect you to sing it as I do, nor to sing such a curious song;
I wrote down this song for my own self, and sing it now to my own soul,
But if you’ll sing songs of your dreamings, then you will reap treasures untold.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, Row, Row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream……….

Anne Sexton : Life into Art

A story, a story!
(Let it go. Let it come.)
I was stamped out like a Plymouth fender
into this world.
First came the crib
with its glacial bars.
Then dolls
and the devotion to their plastic mouths.
Then there was school,
the little straight rows of chairs,
blotting my name over and over,
but undersea all the time,
a stranger whose elbows wouldn't work.
Then there was life
with its cruel houses
and people who seldom touched -
though touch is all-
but I grew,
like a pig in a trenchcoat I grew,
and then there were many strange apparitions,
the nagging rain, the sun turning into poison
and all of that, saws working through my heart,
but I grew, I grew,
and God was there like an island I had not rowed to,
still ignorant of Him, my arms and my legs worked,
and I grew, I grew,
I wore rubies and bought tomatoes
and now, in my middle age,
about nineteen in the head I'd say,
I am rowing, I am rowing
though the oarlocks stick and are rusty
and the sea blinks and rolls
like a worried eyeball,
but I am rowing, I am rowing,
though the wind pushes me back
and I know that that island will not be perfect,
it will have the flaws of life,
the absurdities of the dinner table,
but there will be a door
and I will open it
and I will get rid of the rat inside of me,
the gnawing pestilential rat.
God will take it was his two hands
and embrace it.

As the African says:
This is my tale which I have told,
if it be sweet, if it be not sweet,
take somewhere else and let some return to me.
This story ends with me still rowing.

- "Rowing" by Anne Sexton, from The Awful Rowing Towards God

This rowing is very hard. Just when I think I have everything figured out. I realize I don't. And then the hardest part is I realize I am all alone. I can't bring anybody with me. I have to row this boat all alone.

I have been hitting my daughters over the head with all the wonderful new things I have discovered. Filled with enlightment and joy, I just want them to get on the boat with me. Go here, read this, listen to this. A shock to realize that they weren't listening at all. Then I had a vision of my little girl self patiently nodding my head to my mother who loved and strived her whole life to be what she thought God wanted her to be, and tried to make me come with her. My eyes glazed over, my ears grew plugs. Nodding my head, yes mother dear. But the whole time not listening at all. And I realize now that I can't make my daughters get in the boat with me. Only I can row, and row, and row.

It's lonely.

And now I realize, my mother was too.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Are you Alive?

Santa brought me a very unexpected gift this Christmas. He helped me find the hidden doorways to the secret of my very own being.

I discovered that I was asleep, and a journey has begun. A journey to discover my heart.

Just like Jules Verne in a Journey to the Center of the Earth. I have embarked on a journey to the center of me. Into my own earth or heart.

And with each new day I feel more alive than I ever have. I feel the earth and stars as they move. I feel myself dancing with them in this lovely game of life.

Each day brings me more magical discoveries. Old things become new treasures that I find along the way. I collect books and I become so attached to them that I find it hard to part with any of them.

One that I have kept and treasured for many years is "Dandelion Wine" by Ray Bradbury. How wonderful to go back and find this treasure, and read it now with new eyes. Here is a link to someone who says it much better than I ever could. Link