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View Diary: (UPDATED-Screed is DOWN!)Thank You, Pat Robertson! (200 comments)

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  •  This is the poem, btw (26+ / 0-)

    If I was a bird
    I would be the color blue
    For all the nights
    I sat and cried over you
    I was back in the day
    I’m sad to say
    A bird in a cage
    But I don’t have
    No more rage
    My heart is right here
    On this page
    I know now
    why the caged bird sings
    It’s because
    she found her wings
    And learned that she don’t need you
    To give her anything
    I won’t wait for you
    To write the next chapter
    I can give myself
    My own Happy Ever After

    This was a girl (her name was Reese) with a 5th grade education, who was told she was mentally retarded.

    The only thing I did was fix the spelling errors.

    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
    Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

    by SwedishJewfish on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 06:06:33 PM PDT

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    •  Damn, that's potent (12+ / 0-)

      Any idea what ever became of her?  If not, I hope she finds your book one day and sees the impact she had on you.

      •  No, unfortunately (13+ / 0-)

        I ran away from the group home, I never even got to say goodbye to her. It's something that kind of haunts me. I've tried finding her on Facebook and Myspace but I only know her first name, and that might have actually been a nickname.

        I hope she ended up OK-she would be about 23 years old now. I hope she finds the book-I wrote a lot about her. She is someone I will never forget.

        The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
        Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

        by SwedishJewfish on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 07:21:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ever seen "The Lives of Others"? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roxine, SallyCat, SwedishJewfish

          AKA "Das Leben der Anderen" - I won't give the plot away, but I think the ending may give you some hope. ;-)

          For anyone who hasn't seen that, BTW, I highly recommend it - it's a very powerful movie.

          •  I will definitely find it and watch - Please check (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SallyCat

            your KosMail - Unless you already have and are just ignoring me  In that case, I will sick Rebecca on you...hahaha

            "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley

            by Roxine on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:46:51 AM PDT

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          •  Haven't, but I'll check it out (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SallyCat, Roxine, JVolvo

            Rachel Lloyd, who runs GEMS (a facility and advocacy group for children who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation) produced a documentary called "Very Young Girls", which is available on Youtube. It's one of the most powerful movies I've seen-one of the girls (the first girl that get's interviewed, if you watch it) reminds me so much of Reese it gives me goosebumps.

            The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
            Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

            by SwedishJewfish on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:50:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  This is what makes me so mad about (10+ / 0-)

      our society. Yeah, it's the people in communities, who have bought into the church message and 'pass it on' to whoever they judge to be sinners. Often they know themselves to be sinners under the church definition, because we ALL are sinners. So why do they turn to children who have very few positives and a whole lot of negatives in their lives, and add to the misery?

      I can't believe they haven't been where you and I have. Begging Jesus to save me, before I murdered both kids and committed suicide in the worst days of December from SAD when I lived in AK. I figured out how to stop myself, using the list of stuff to try. And I DAMN WELL REFUSED TO GIVE GOD  OR JESUS CREDIT FOR MY STOPPING. As I was later told by a proselytizing minister I should.  If God/Jesus waited to that point, when it was clear in my mind where the action came from, too fucking bad, so sad.

      So these are often folks who don't have all that much faith. A lot of us become convinced that the talkers and shouters are mostly trying to convince themselves. The believers roll up their sleeves and do stuff. Not all of it the best for the person receiving, at least well intended.

      My friend (who is a lawyer) and has exclusively defended CA death row inmates for ~ 20 years, told me that long ago, that the common denominator of those inmates especially was layers of child abuse. One of the ones whose sentence was changed to life (not one of his) had become a well known artist (water color) whose works brought in very good prices.

      Trayvon's murder, the Penn State expose of sexual abuse in America, the LGBT and other school bullying, how many have no health or dental care, the increase in number of children in poverty and going hungry in spite of school food programs and food stamps; the cutting of school programs and teachers - is revealing that we only give fake lip service to the importance of children to the future of the country.

      SJ, if you  have some insight on what would break this cycle, I would love to hear it. The bs about the war on Christianity and how the country is being punished by God because we are not all devout Christians is a total mind block on how big a role they have played in creating this horror. They have the microphones, they use them at max volume as much of 24/7 as they can get away with, they have so many ways to spread the word about sinning and hell, there is no way a child can grow up in this country and NOT have heard it all by 5.

      I am really looking forward to what you have been working on.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 07:25:21 PM PDT

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      •  Trayvon.... (7+ / 0-)

        Oh lord...that child broke my heart in a million pieces. I heard that recording of the 911 tape, and I heard him screaming and I just lost my mind. I can't remember the last time I cried like that.

        And what kills me is that just like Penn State, it takes something like this to make us pay attention? Young black men are killed like dogs in the street, locked up and thrown away, told every day that they are nothing but criminals.

        And I fear that like the Penn State victims, Trayvonn is going to be forgotten very quickly. We are going to turn this into an argument about gun control, and then it just turns into a political football that the two sides toss around, and then it's just way too convenient to make it about that and not the fact that we are throwing away children, and teaching them that their lives are disposable.

        I wish I had more insight into how to make it stop. The only thing I can offer is we need to find the commonalities between all of us. Let's just be frank about it- this is a problem that is perpetuated, for the most part, by powerful white men. They are terrified of losing that power-and they know that they can only keep it if everyone else-women, children, poor people, minorities, gays, etc.-under their control. And they do that through shame and coercion, and sewing the seeds of discontent. They "culture war" actually plays to their benefit. It fragments the central issue and distracts from the real problem.

        I did just read an amazing book-"Trauma & Recovery" by Judith Herman. She puts considerable emphasis on the commonalities between victims of political oppression, child abuse survivors, combat veterans-basically, all victims of organized violence. One of the most insightful things she says is this, in her introduction:

        The knowledge of horrible events periodically intrudes into public awareness butis rarely retained for long. Denial, repression, and dissociation operate on a social as well as an individual level. The study of psychological trauma has an “underground”history. Like traumatized people, we have been cut off from the knowledge of our past.Like traumatized people, we need to understand the past in order to reclaim the present and the future

        To study psychological trauma is to come face to face both with human vulnerability in the natural world and with the capacity for evil in human nature. To study psychological trauma means bearing witness to horrible events. When the events are natural disasters or “acts of God,” those who bear witness sympathize readily with the victim. But when the traumatic events are of human design, those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. It is morally impossible to remain neutral in this conflict. The bystander is forced to take sides.It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil.The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering. Leo Eitinger, a psychiatrist who has studied survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, describes the cruel conflict of interest between victim and bystander: “War and victims are something the community wants to forget; a veil of oblivion is drawn over everything painful and unpleasant. We find the two sides face to face; on one side the victims who perhaps wish to forget but cannot, andon the other all those with strong, often unconscious motives who very intensely both wish to forget and succeed in doing so. The contrast . . . is frequently very painful for both sides. The weakest one . . . remains the losing party in this silent and unequal dialogue

        The perpetrator’s arguments prove irresistible when the bystander faces them in isolation. Without a supportive social environment, the bystander usually succumbs to the temptation to look the other way. This is true even when the victim is an idealized and valued member of society. Soldiers in every war, even those who have been regarded as heroes, complain bitterly that no one wants to know the real truth about war.When the victim is already devalued (a woman, a child), she may find that the most traumatic events of her life take place outside the realm of socially validated reality. Her experience becomes unspeakable

        To hold traumatic reality in consciousness requires a social context that affirms and protects the victim and that joins victim and witness in a common alliance. For the individual victim, this social context is created by relationships with friends, lovers, and family. For the larger society, the social context is created by political movements that give voice to the disempowered.

        Really, that's about as insightful as it gets, IMO.

        The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
        Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

        by SwedishJewfish on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:04:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh lord, I should never post this late at night (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SallyCat

          after taking ambien. That was almost illegible. My apologies.

          The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
          Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

          by SwedishJewfish on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:12:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, more because you may (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SwedishJewfish, peachcreek, SallyCat

            delay the effects of the ambien. The comment was very good and I really appreciate the reference and quote from the book. I will have to put it on my overloaded reading list, anyway.

            Hope the ambien worked well.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:18:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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