Windchime Walker

Windchime Walker <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Is anyone else feeling more than a little pleased to see March end? What a long cold winter! And I'm not just talking about the weather. Somehow the approach of April with its promise of green grass, leafy trees, blooming flowers and shirtsleeve temperatures might, just might, bring a smile to people's faces.

Have you noticed that people don't smile much anymore? Look at their faces as they drive down the street in their SUVs, minivans, trucks and the occasional passenger car, cell phones pressed to their ears. Not a smile to be seen. I don't know if this is true in other countries, but it's certainly true in the U.S. Makes sense, if you think about it. What do they have to smile about?

Their country is in the process of utterly destroying an ancient civilization, and taking with it the lives of tens of thousands of human beings--Iraqi, American, British, Spanish, Australian and others. And for what? Well, the reason changes day by day, depending on what part of Bush & Co.'s foreign policy has taken the latest hit by former insiders. And here at home? Job losses at an all-time high, although you'd never know it if you believe the doctored-up stats put forth by Karl Rove & Friends. Of course, any policy-maker who says fast-food jobs fall under the category of "manufacturing jobs" has a lot to answer for. And what about the federal deficit? More zeros there than I can count. Who will end up paying for this mess? Our children, our children's children, our children's children's children, and the seven generations beyond.

By the way, how did he DO it? How did Bush go from a surplus to the largest deficit in the history of our country, and all in a mere three and not-quite-a-half years? Amazing. Then there's our health care, or lack thereof. Schools with pink slips flying like confetti and programs being slashed like we were entering the Dark Ages. And I haven't even mentioned the environment. This planet we call home that has been sold to the highest campaign donor with its oil rigs, mining shafts, industrial pollution, clear-cut logging. You name it.

It's hard to stay upbeat with all this going on. Even though it looks like their house of cards is finally beginning to fall around their power-crazed ears, it's still hard to look ahead without shuddering.

But spring...

Fresh, new, always unexpected, green shoots pushing out of dead-looking ground, then the wonder of flowers in bloom, birdsong at dawn, squirrels scooting here and there, bare trees with fuzzy branches, longer days, sun that warms, robins dangling worms from their beaks, honks of geese flying north like arrows in the sky, grass greening before your eyes, gentle rain that raises musky scents from the earth, smiles on people's faces.

Well, there was certainly a smile on my face tonight as I swam my laps. After five sessons of exercising at the gym, I noticed significantly more strength in my arms and flexibility in my legs. Those leg swings are definitely helping me extend my legs in more of a flutter kick. And that work with weights is already giving my shoulders more strength and power. I could rotate them faster and with greater ease than ever. Sure do LOVE seeing gains instead of the losses that living with MS can bring your way. My own personal spring (rebirth) here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Able-bodied Or Other-Abled 

After a good workout at the gym today (supervised by Matt, my personal trainer), I wrote the following pantoum poem. If you're interested in knowing more about this form of poetry, you can check it out on my Journal Pantoum Poems web page.


My body tired from exercise
I sit in the soft glow of health
Grateful for muscles that work
Abs, gluts and delts that strain

I sit in the soft glow of health
Recalling marathons run and century rides biked
Abs, gluts and delts that strain
Whether able-bodied or other-abled

Recalling marathons run and century rides biked
I know today's workout is as good as any
Whether able-bodied or other-abled
I give it my all

I know today's workout is as good as any
Grateful for muscles that work
I give it my all
My body tired from exercise

Patricia Lay-Dorsey
Detroit, Michigan
March 30, 2004

Monday, March 29, 2004

My Blogspot support angel 

I am the most relieved and grateful right now that I can remember. A Blogspot support person--who will go nameless just in case s/he did something the Google management might not like--responded immediately to my email complaining about the ads Google had been plastering on my blog in recent weeks. You know the ones. So totally against EVERYTHING I believe in that, even with the disclaimer I'd posted, it would literally make me sick to my stomach to look at my own blog.

Anyway, this support angel--and I don't use that word lightly--recognized the intensity of my reaction and has upgraded me to an ad-free site, even though that is not currently an option on Blogspot.

No longer am I advertising the military-industrial complex I abhor. No longer am I part of a campaign to re-elect the worst president in the history of our country. No longer am I associated with those hateful folks who think there's something "wrong", "abnormal" or "sinful" about my gay/lesbian/bi-sexual/transgender friends.

This nameless support angel has given me back my sense of integrity, the treasure I hold most dear.

So, to return to an earlier era...Yes, Virginia, there are real live human beings behind those "contact us by email for support" buttons! Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear you-know-who.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Accepting praise 

How do you handle praise? I'm not entirely comfortable with it myself. When someone praises me, I always wait for the other shoe to drop. In other words, praise doesn't feel altogether safe. Seems to me when I was praised as a child, the next words often brought me down to size. Mom was worried I'd get a "swelled head."

So when I started reading my friend Dorothy's blog entry for today, and saw the title --"Who is Patricia?"--my stomach sank at the same time that a smile crossed my face. As I read her glowing account of her friend Patricia, my head bowed and I had to stop. At least until I could catch my breath. Now, I know that Dorothy is safe, that she won't say anything to "cut me down to size" after she's praised me, but old habits die hard.

After I'd made my way through the entire entry--with several breaks--I felt seen, heard and valued in a deep and profound way. It was like hearing the eulogy at my funeral. But my physical response was mixed: a blush on my face and tears in my eyes.

Dorothy certainly is a dear friend, and if I were ever to try to write about her, it would be hard to find the words. To my mind, having Dorothy Walters on earth during these turbulent times is a sign that the Divine exists and gives us all that we need. For without Dorothy and her transcendent spirit, I don't know where we would be.

Disability and Fitness 

My March 11th entry--"Bulldog Or Beetle"--spoke of my determination to regain strength and tone through working with a personal trainer at a gym, and to get rid of my belly by changing my eating habits. Since that time I've lost 8 lbs. by simply reducing my food intake and sticking with Middle Eastern food (which I love) and salads. And this week--Tuesday and Friday--I worked with Matt, the personal trainer at our local gym.

By the way, working out at a gym is a bit different for me than for most folks. Since I rarely walk anymore and spend most of my waking hours in a scooter/wheelchair, Matt had to come up with exercises that would challenge but not overwhelm me. He developed a program of five different exercises for me to try: 1) standing leg swings, to lengthen and strengthen my groin muscles that tighten up in wheelchair users whose legs are always bent; 2) standing squats designed to strengthen my quads, gluts and knees, while stretching my achilles tendons; 3) push-ups against the bar that also stretch my achilles tendon, while strengthening my shoulders and arms; 4) sitting arm pulls with an 8 lb. weight to strengthen my shoulder and back muscles, hands, biceps, and help me correct my posture; 5) roll-downs and pull-ups using the resistance of an 8 lb. weight, an exercise that strengthens my upper body and stomach muscles. Both Matt and I felt pretty great about our first session together on Tuesday.

But Friday went even better. I tripled the number of times I did each exercise and added two extra weights to the cable for the roll downs and pull ups. Talk about feeling great! Matt and I now have a standing appointment at 1 PM on Tuesdays, and I intend to go and work out on my own other days of the week. With my two nights of swimming laps (a half mile of the free style each time), working out at the gym on the alternate days, and watching my food intake, I am certain I'll be experiencing my body in new and wonderful ways.

Just because I'm disabled doesn't mean I can't be fit.

Friday, March 26, 2004

On the slippery slopes of freedom 

Does anyone else feel the cold winds of fascism blowing in their American faces these days? All it takes is a cursory knowledge of history to see the step-by-step implementation of tighter and tighter controls over what is said/not said, taught/not taught, reported/not reported, allowed/disallowed in this so-called "free" country of ours. The following email that I received today from the well-respected American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) chills me to the bone. Please note the use of innocuous-seeming language, as in "International Studies Advisory Board." Don't be fooled. This is not an "advisory" board, it is a "censoring" and "hiring/firing" board of hand-picked representatives of the Bush administration's undeclared Domestic War On Arabs. Please voice your opposition to this serious threat to academic freedom, and take the actions recommended by the ADC. We are standing on an already slippery slope and cannot afford to lose any more ground.

Academic Freedom Under Attack by Pipes and Big Brother

Take Action!
Contact Senate to Oppose Creation of Government Oversight Board to Monitor International Studies Programs.

Join ADC in our effort to stop this infringement of academic freedom. This board poses a serious threat to the independence of America's universities, professors, and students--especially in Middle East Studies.

The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) asks members, supporters, academics, students, universities and all Americans who care about academic freedom to contact your Senator and especially members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to express your opposition to the creation of an International Studies Advisory Board which could be part of the Education Reauthorization Act now being drafted by the Committee.

Language coming out of the House and soon to be considered by the Senate calls for the creation of such an advisory board. This board, which would have at least two appointees representing national security agencies, would oversee curricula, course materials, and even the hiring of faculty at institutions that accept federal government money for international studies. While all area studies programs-Asian, African, European, Latin American-will be affected, the current target of this legislative effort is Middle East studies.

This advisory board is being supported by think tanks and self-appointed campus watchdog Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch that want to stifle academic debate in institutions across our nation.

Ironically this push to narrowly define the scope of American international studies programs comes at the same time that our policy is to demand reform and diversity of foreign governments in their educational systems and textbooks. If we expect an arena of academic freedom and openness in other countries, why not our own?

This movement to politicize the content of what is taught at our universities is incompatible with the cherished American values of free speech and inquiry. Please join ADC in stopping the creation of the International Advisory Board.

Last year, in the House of Representatives, the Subcommittee on Select Education held a hearing on bias in international studies programs. The bill, H.R. 3077, the International Studies in Higher Education Act of 2003 was first discussed at this hearing.

The Congressional hearing was the culmination of work by conservative think tanks and self-appointed campus watchdog organizations, like Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch. ADC and other civil rights groups had already been outraged by the Bush Administration's nomination of Pipes to a position at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Mr. Pipes has been on record as opposing peace efforts in the Middle East and making racist remarks about Arabs and Muslims. After ADC and other groups worked to inform the members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of Pipes' statements and convictions, several of the Committee's Senator's expressed opposition to his nomination. To override Congressional opposition and faced with increasing public outcry, President Bush was forced to make a recess appointment of Pipes to USIP.

During the hearing some witnesses, portrayed academic institutions, particularly area studies programs, as hotbeds for anti-American sentiment. According to Stanley Kurtz, a witness at the hearing and research fellow at the Hoover Institution, "Title VI-funded programs in Middle East Studies (and other area studies) tend to purvey extreme and one-sided criticisms of American foreign policy." Proponents of the bill proposed the creation of an advisory board that has the final word on curricula taught at Title VI institutions, course materials assigned in class, and even the faculty who are hired in institutions that accept Title VI funding.

H.R. 3077 passed through Committee and on the House floor with but a few rumblings and misgivings about academic freedom by Members of Congress. This bill, and all others coming out of the House of Representatives concerning higher education reauthorization, will be rolled into one bill for consideration by the Senate early this year.

It is expected that the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing on the larger issues within the Education Reauthorization bill; however, a hearing on this specific bill or the issue of the International Advisory Board is not expected before floor consideration in the Senate.

The Congressional intention of Title VI funding was to create a program to support international area studies and foreign language programs; thus preparing an educated American workforce that can bring skills in language and area expertise to jobs in service to the American government and military. The very purpose of this program is to create a pool of experts to respond to the shifting foreign policy needs of our country. To politicize the nation's international studies programs at the policy whims of different administrations is counterproductive to the intent of Congress.

At this most critical time when as a country and as a people we need to know all sides of a conflict to bring forth a secure nation and a just foreign policy, those who seek this knowledge are being labeled by this bill and this movement as insufficiently patriotic. This measure threatens to suppress dialogue. Such intellectual intimidation also serves to cut off avenues for exploring possibilities of peace. This attempt to politicize the content of what is taught at our universities is incompatible with the cherished American values of free speech and inquiry.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Misleading Ads 

I find it ludicrous that the current Google ad at the top of my blog is "Build a Stronger America: Support the RNC and the President's Compassionate Conservative agenda."


Just what all my posts are about--let's re-elect (OK, elect for the first time) the Prez 'cause he's so darn compassionate. "Com-passion", to suffer with. Does anyone imagine for one minute that this man named George suffers with one single solitary soul? OK, maybe he suffers with Karl Rove, Cheney and Rummy when things go bad like they have this week.

Don't you just LOVE Richard Clarke?!! This man is dynamite...and very effective. You know how you can tell? By the immediate and below-the-belt attacks the White House (Yeh, Condi, I'm talking about you, dear) has made against him. Dazzling display of fear-based pyrotechnics! But does it stop Clarke from speaking his truth? Hell, no. This man is on a role, a role we desperately need. TRUTH amidst the lies. Powerful stuff.

By the way, I know the ads at the top of my blog are generated by keywords not content. So what will be next--"Truth not lies: GWB is your man!"? Too bad computers can't handle sarcasm...

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Truth About Iraq 

How I wish every single solitary American would read Riverbend's March 20, 2004 entry on her blog, "Baghdad Burning". March 20, 2004, the one year anniversary of the night Bush Jr's preemptive war on Iraq began. How I wish the media and press worldwide would publish her words. But I wonder if it would it make any difference? Do people want to know the truth?

Probably not. Americans, anyway, much prefer to hear that the Iraqi people are better off than before, that all their schools and services are running better now that we have "liberated" them from a murderous dictator.

So why does an educated, obviously mature young Iraqi woman say things are worse in her country than ever before? Why does everything she writes have the ring of truth while US press and media accounts sound like a made-for-TV movie?

And why does no one want to hear the truth?

Bush Allows Gays To Be Fired For Being Gay 

In times like these, often the only comfort is history. Where it seems as though the Bush administration can act with impunity, history says otherwise. Tyrannical governments never last; they always destroy themselves. May Bush's fall come sooner rather than later.

Today's "Daily Mislead"--an email service to which you can subscribe online--reports the following:


Despite President Bush's pledge that homosexuals "ought to have the same rights" (1) as all other people, his Administration this week ruled that homosexuals can now be fired from the federal workforce because of their sexual orientation.

According to the Federal Times, the president's appointee at the Office of Special Counsel ruled that federal employees will now "have no recourse if they are fired or demoted simply for being gay." (2) While the Bush Administration says it is legally prohibited from firing a person for their conduct, they have the legal right to fire or demote someone based on their sexual orientation. To carry out the directive, the White House has begun removing information from government websites about sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. (3)

Not only does the new directive contradict the president's own promise to treat homosexuals as equals under the law, but it also contradicts what the Administration told Congress. As noted in a bipartisan letter from four Senators to the Administration, "During the confirmation process [of the
president's appointee], you assured us that you were committed to protecting federal employees against unlawful discrimination related to their sexual orientation." (4)

1. Debates, 10/11/2000.
2. "OSC to study whether bias law covers gays", Federal Times, 03/15/2004
3. "Gay Rights Information Taken Off Site", Washington Post, 02/18/2004
4. "Special Counsel Under Scrutiny", Washington Post, 02/23/2004

Visit for more about Bush Administration distortion.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

My Weekend of Peace Marches 

On this first day of spring, I took the most uncomfortably cold scooter ride of the year. Spring in Michigan! Part of the problem was that I was out on the streets from 5-7 PM, instead of earlier in the day. The other problem was scooting two miles home into the teeth of a strong, cold north wind. BRRRRRR!

But the purpose of my scoot was worth all the discomfort. I had scooted two miles from our house to join our local peace group for a March of Remembrance on this first anniversary weekend of the start of Bush's preemptive war against Iraq.

Carol Bendure and Mary Read, co-founders of Pointes For Peace, have done a remarkable job of gathering an active and committed group of people who "Still Say No To War" here in this politically conservative residential community. Tonight was their first march (as far as I know), but they've now sponsored eight Peace Talks that have drawn between 100-400 people, and the group still meets every Sunday night at a local coffee house to informally discuss world events.

Today we gathered at 6 PM and Carol began by introducing the focus of the march, which was to remember all those around the world who have died violent deaths in wars, terrorist attacks and military occupations during the past year. She asked that we march in single file and in silence. Then Nancy Combs and her daughter Susannah, led us in two peace songs. I'd estimate there were 50 of us ready to march close to a mile on this cold, cold evening. I admire every one of them.

My other activity today was also peace-oriented: to create a photo/journal page of yesterday's "The World Still Says No To War!" march and rally in Ann Arbor. I finished it five minutes before I left for today's peace march. I think I'm all "peaced out" for now!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Silenced no more: Rabih Haddad's story 

It is said "The truth will set you free." Well, my brother Rabih Haddad has been free since July from the unjust detention he suffered for 19 months under the watchful eye of US Attorney General John Ashcroft and his US Patriot Act. Free in body. Free to be reunited with his wife Salma and their four children. Free to begin to get on with his life in Lebanon, the country of his birth but not necessarily his choice of a place to live now.

But was he truly free? Was Rabih Haddad, volunteer Iman, global humanitarian, poet and teacher, free as long as his good name and the name of the Global Relief Foundation, which he co-founded in 1992, were publicly slandered by US government officials and media across the globe? Was he free knowing that his name and that of his humanitarian organization were linked--with no evidence ever being shown--to terrorists? Would YOU feel free under these circumstances?

So today is a BIG DAY in the life of Rabih Haddad and all who know, love and respect him as an exemplary human being, a man of spiritual depth, gentle compassion, and the highest of principles. For today the truth has FINALLY come out, the truth about how the US government had nothing on him but an expired visa, the truth that the US government used him--and thousands of Muslim men like him--as scapegoats in their fear-driven "War on Terrorism."

Thanks to the far-sighted courage of a Detroit weekly newspaper, The Metro Times, and the exceptional commitment of a journalist/editor, Ann Mullen, the truth about Rabih Haddad is out there for all to see. You can read her exclusive interview--"Haddad Breaks His Silence"--online. To see the headline and lead photo of Rabih standing on his balcony in Beirut, go the Metro Times home page.

This is a long article but one that is worth reading carefully. It is the first time I've seen published in the mainstream press, the nefarious schemes that masquerade as justice in post-9/11 America. This story of what happened to Rabih is just the tip of the iceberg, but it's a beginning. Hopefully the wire services will pick it up so the truth will circle the globe.

As Salma said the first time we met in that crowded immigration court waiting room on December 19, 2001, "May the truth come out." Well, thanks to Ann Mullen and the Metro Times, it finally has.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Bush and the Environment 

After a conversation with Tim, the former high school teacher and swim coach who lifeguards at the pool where I swim two nights a week, I suddenly saw why the American people are so vulnerable to a man like Bush. Tim, and I'd guess a majority of people in this country, are optimists who can't stand hearing "depressing" things. Because they're good, they want to believe everyone else is too. They want to believe George W. Bush when he says things are getting better. They want to believe CNN when they report that Iraq is better off now than before the war. They want to believe their leaders, period.

So how does a realist like me get through to them? Non-confrontationally, for starters. And, perhaps, simply getting out the truth in whatever way I can. For me, that is through the internet.

So this morning I began. I put up a brand new blog called "Bush and the Environment", because I feel this essential aspect of the Bush Presidency has been ignored. The content will be the daily email updates I receive from BushGreenwatch,with occasional related articles from other sources.

My hope is that when voters see the threat to our planet that President George W. Bush has been, continues to be, and will be in the future, they will think long and hard before they give him another four years in office.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

A New Blogger 

What could be more fun than surprising a friend with a gift you know they want but never expected to receive! That happened to me on Saturday and I am still aglow with delight. The friend is my dearest San Francisco sister, Dorothy Walters, and the gift is her very own blog, "Kundalini Splendor", all up and running (and ready for any changes she wants to make).

The idea came to me as I sat in our sunny living room Saturday afternoon trying to warm up after a very chilly scoot. I was reading Mary Ford-Grabowski's new anthology, "Woman Prayers", in which Dorothy has a number of poems. When I came to one of them, a light went on in my head and I saw, for the first time, what I could give my talented friend for her birthday on March 17. And it would be a gift to her readers as well.

For years, we've talked about Dorothy having a web site in which to share her poems and reflections. She'd always said she wanted one of my photos of a rose to be on her home page. We'd talked about it, but things had not gone beyond talk, at least not until yesterday.

Dorothy is an exceptional poet, right up there with Mary Oliver in my opinion. Since we met in 1997, she's had two books published: the first, "Marrow Of Flame", is a collection of her poems of the spiritual journey; and the second, "Unmasking The Rose", is a record of her Kundalini initiation. And now she's a blogger!

When you read this excerpt from an email I just received from her, you'll see why I can't stop smiling:

Dearest wonderful, marvelous, brilliant, generous Patricia--
OH, oh, oh--how fabulous this moment is. I am sitting here basking in the knowledge that I am now an actual, bona fide blogger, that the dream is now an actuality, that at last I am "on line" (or something like that.) Thank you, thank you, thank you Patricia. This is indeed one of the best gifts ever, and I will do everything in my power to learn how it works. With your help--who knows? Maybe the moon is next, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.
...Nothing this big has happened to me since I won the local beauty contest at age 3 (I was Miss Chevrolet, no less.) ...
Much, much love,

Friday, March 12, 2004

Who Is the Enemy? (Part 2) 

And now we have a first-hand account of what it is like to be a prisoner in the U.S. hellhole at Quantanamo Bay. My Hell in Camp X-Ray by Jamal al-Harith, a British captive who was released three days ago, was just published today in the Daily Mirror of London/UK.

If you think I spoke too harshly about our U.S. troops being turned into "monsters" in Iraq, try reading Bro. Jamal al-Harith's description of how he and other captives were--and certainly still are--being treated by U.S. military personnel in Camp X-Ray. And don't forget that the 600 men and boys (aged 11 and up) being held there have no rights under law, no consultations with lawyers, no charges against them, no oversight by the international community, and no idea how long they will continue to be held captive or if they will be put to death. No wonder there are so many suicides. The only way Jamal got out was because he and the other British captives were becoming a political embarrassment to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

During these weeks when large numbers of Americans remember the torture and murder of the founder of their religion, how can they sleep at night knowing they're doing the same, and much worse, to men and boys, many of whom are as innocent of wrong-doing as the man they profess to follow. In particular, how can George W. Bush call himself religious while his hands drip with the blood of these men and boys in Quantanamo Bay? That is a real mystery.

Who Is the Enemy? 

As the one year anniversary approaches on March 20 of the start of Bush's preemptive war on Iraq, it is well to listen to the voices of Iraqi individuals who have managed to survive.

As you know if you regularly read this blog, Riverbend's voice is one I listen to with deep respect and attention. Her Baghdad Burning blog entry for today, called "Spring", is a must for those who want to know what life is really like for the people of Iraq. After you read it, ask yourself,

Is this the voice of a woman who feels liberated and grateful to the U.S. occupying army and its puppet governing council of exiles? Or is this the voice of a woman whose life has been disrupted beyond repair?

Riverbend is more tolerant than I. She is probably so used to atrocities that she can no longer waste her precious energy feeling the outrage they deserve. But for me, the thought of U.S. troops bagging the heads of innocent men--one elderly--tying them up, dragging them off to god-knows where, throwing them in a barn-like place for days while they routinely kick, scream at and curse them, and then letting them out only after they'd paid their captors $300 a person, makes me want to throw up.

Then these same troops will return home and develop symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a result of the horrible things they did to these men and to countless other Iraqi men, not to mention women and children. They'll go to their local VA Hospital and insist on receiving medical benefits because of their bad dreams and rotten memories.

Do we know we are creating a generation of monsters? U.S. born-and-bred monsters. So who is the enemy?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Bulldog Or Beetle 

I called myself a bulldog today and my friend Sooz, who had brought over homemade lentil soup for lunch, said I should come up with another analogy. I asked what she'd recommend. She said maybe the scarab beetle who pushes dung up the hill with its head. I wasn't sure that was a better analogy, but whether a bulldog or a dung-pushing beetle, what I am is determined. And when I get determined, things happen.

I think of the morning I woke up and decided smoking looked ugly. I quit and never looked back. Or the day ten years later when the Detroit/Windsor International Marathon (26.2 miles) route first went by our house. That day in October 1978, I decided I'd be among the runners the following year. And I was. I also vowed that I would start training the very next day so I could finish the race with a smile on my face. And I did. For two years in a row I finished with a smile on my face. Then there was the day four years ago when I got in the pool and discovered I could no longer swim a stroke. I took water aerobics classes twice a week for the entire summer so I could regain my swimming abilities. By the end of that summer I swam four lengths of the pool. Yesterday I swam a half a mile, as I do every Monday and Wednesday in the winter. In the summer I generally swim laps every other day.

And now I am determined to: 1) get rid of this belly I've had for far too long; and 2) tone and strengthen my body--especially my legs--by working out at a gym. I came to this decision on Monday, March 1 and have stayed true to it for eleven days. By watching what I eat, my belly is already looking smaller, and today I had my evaluation with Matt, the personal trainer at our local gym. What a good feeling it is to be taking care of my body in this way!

Matt is going to be the perfect fellow for the job. He asked all the right questions, never once fell into a pity-place, and already had me trying different exercises designed to strengthen my leg muscles. I can even use them at home. And although he'd explained earlier that he would not be able to take me on as a client--he's head trainer of this gym and is practically booked solid--today he said he would like to work with me because he wants to learn. Before we start our regular appointments--Tuesday, March 23, is the first--he plans to study up on MS at the medical library and by talking to some physicians with whom he trained. By the way, this gym is a block away from Ed's office, and on my favorite scooting route. Although I scooted through damp, cold snow to get there, nothing was going to stop me today.

The hill may be high and the load stinky, but I'll meet you at the top.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Occasionally success is accompanied by public acclaim, but usually it is hidden, often known only to you. I experienced a success today that gratified me deeply, and I was perfectly happy to remain behind the scenes.

As regular readers of my online journal know, every August I travel across the state to attend the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. This icon of Womyn's Culture is one week out of every year when thousands of womyn from across the globe live together, camp out under the stars, sing, dance, drum, enjoy concerts, attend workshops, and experience ourselves in ways that can only happen on the Land, 650 acres of forests and meadows about 20 miles inland from Lake Michigan. This summer will be my 10th and the Festival's 29th year.

There is also a Michigan Womyn's Music Festival web site and an online bulletin board. On the bulletin board, March arrives with great fanfare because it is the traditional date that the web site unveils the list of performers and intensive workshops for the coming August. This March raised even more interest than usual because, for the first time in years, the entire web site was redesigned with more photos and information than ever. A new thread was posted on the bulletin board by one of the web designers, asking our opinion of their efforts. Every one of the postings gave the newly-designed site rave reviews, that is until I posted my assessment.

As beautiful and user-friendly as I found the redesigned site to be, I was deeply disappointed to find a complete lack of photos of womyn from DART, the camping area for womyn with disabilities. There were no wheelchairs, crutches, walkers or scooters pictured on any page of the site, even the one devoted to "DART Info & Registration." I found this totally unacceptable. So, on Saturday, I added the following post to the BB:

The new design is stunning and I want to commend all who worked so hard to make the MWMF web site so beautiful and user-friendly. But I have one concern, and it is a big one.

I have looked at every photo on every page and am deeply disappointed to see a very important segment of our Michigan community missing from view. It is a large group of womyn who are used to being marginalized and invisible in the mainstream world, but NOT here in our own world--the Michigan world--where we have always felt seen and valued. It is our differently-abled womyn, the womyn who call DART our home.
There is not one photo that shows a womon on crutches, in a wheelchair, using a walker, or driving a scooter. We are not even seen on the page that gives information about DART. On that page, there is only one picture and it is of a worker tacking down the carpet on which our wheeled sisters ride.

Sorry to bring such a downer to this thread but as a DART camper for 10 years this summer, I have to say it as I see it. And not simply for myself, but for all my sisters out there, many of whom may be contemplating coming to Festival for the first time and would be anxious to see evidence on the web site that Michigan IS for all womyn, no matter what their abilities. They need to see us beautiful womyn on wheels, using crutches and walkers out there under the stars, dancing up a storm, leading workshops, hanging out playing cards, enjoying dinner in our kitchen tent. Just BEING THERE.

Please put us back in the picture!


I also invited the web designers to use any photos from my MWMF photo/journals from 2001-2003.

On Monday I received a personal email from the principal festival organizer asking permission to use two of my photos. Of course I said "Yes", but I recommended she replace one of her choices with another. Today I received another personal email, this time from one of the BB users. In it she offered her support and told me she'd just seen a new picture on the "Tips For First Timers" page, one showing a womon in a wheelchair watching as a sister put up a tent. That was my photo of Roseannah and Valerie helping put up my tent last August (the photo I'd recommended they use). I then checked the "DART Info & Registration" page and was pleased to see another of my photos accompanying the text, the picture I'd taken of "my street" in the DART camping area last August. You can see these photos by going to Festival Site Information and clicking on the two pages mentioned above.

Four days after I'd posted my concern, it was addressed and rectified. Don't I wish the mainstream culture would be so quick to respond!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The Pentagon's Secret Scream 

Staying informed is not for sissies. Now I know why the U.S. Navy has been blowing out the eardrums of whales in the depths of the ocean. Must have been testing the new weapons that the Marines are taking into Iraq this month.

Does no one in the Pentagon or White House consider how these "non-lethal" weapons will enrage an already enraged people? Do they not realize that when they set off one of these ear-blasters, it will affect EVERYONE in the area, not just the so-called "rioters"? What about children and babies, the sick and elderly?

And we wonder why they hate us.

The Pentagon's Secret Scream
By William M. Arkin
The Los Angeles Times

Monday 08 March 2004

Sonic devices that can inflict pain--or even permanent deafness--are being deployed.

SOUTH POMFRET, Vt.--Marines arriving in Iraq this month as part of a massive troop rotation will bring with them a high-tech weapon never before used in combat--or in peacekeeping. The device is a powerful megaphone the size of a satellite dish that can deliver recorded warnings in Arabic and, on command, emit a piercing tone so excruciating to humans, its boosters say, that it causes crowds to disperse, clears buildings and repels intruders.

"[For] most people, even if they plug their ears, [the device] will produce the equivalent of an instant migraine," says Woody Norris, chairman of American Technology Corp., the San Diego firm that produces the weapon. "It will knock [some people] on their knees."

American Technology says its new product "is designed to determine intent, change behavior and support various rules of engagement." The company is careful in its public relations not to refer to the megaphone as a weapon, or to dwell on the debilitating pain American forces will be able to deliver with it. The military has been equally reticent on the subject.

And that's a problem. The new sound weapon might, in some scenarios, save lives. It might provide a good alternative to lethal force in riot situations, as its proponents assert. But the U.S. is making a huge mistake by trying to quietly deploy a new pain-inducing weapon without first airing all of the legal, policy and human rights issues associated with it.

This is a weapon unlike any other used by the military, and it is certain to provoke public outcry and the conspiracy theories that often greet new U.S. military technology. If the military feels that its new-style weaponry brings something important to the battlefield, and if testing has shown it to be safe, then why not make our reasoning--and research--transparent to the world?

Nonlethal weapons have been promoted by a small circle of boosters for nearly 15 years as something increasingly necessary for the U.S. military in its growing peacekeeping, urban-combat and force-protection missions. Some of the weaponry championed by the group, like rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and, more recently, electromuscular disruptive devices, or Tasers, has already been deployed.

But the more exotic weapons--including acoustic, laser, and high-powered microwave devices--have not until now been fielded, held up by legal and ethical questions. Despite intense lobbying, over the years the Pentagon leadership has been skeptical of such "wonder weapons." In 1995, then-Secretary of Defense William Perry decided to ban Pentagon development of nonlethal laser weapons intended to permanently blind. His decision led to a subsequent international ban.

So shouldn't we have a similar discussion about high-intensity sound, which can cause permanent hearing loss or even cellular damage? The new megaphone being deployed to Iraq can operate at 145 decibels at 300 yards, according to American Technology, well above the normal threshold for pain. The company posits a scenario in which Al Qaeda terrorists would run screaming from caves after being subjected to a blast of high-decibel sound from the devices, their hands covering their ears. But in Baghdad or other Iraqi towns, where there are crowds and buildings, the sick and elderly, as well as children, are likely to be in the weapon's range.

Proponents of nonlethal weapons argue that pain and hearing loss, if they were to occur, are certainly preferable to death, which is always possible when lethal force is applied. But this argument ignores realities on the ground. Last week, as I watched televised images of angry Iraqis pelting U.S. soldiers with rocks when they arrived to assist those injured in suicide bombings at mosques, I couldn't help but wonder whether the presence of a sound weapon to disperse those crowds would just escalate hostilities.

Last month, the Council on Foreign Relations issued a task force report on nonlethal weapons, arguing that their widespread availability might have helped in the immediate post-combat period in Iraq to reduce looting and sabotage. The council threw its weight behind greater investment in these technologies partly based on a Joint Chiefs of Staff "mission needs statement" signed last December. "U.S. military forces lack the ability to engage targets located where the application of lethal [weapon fire] would be counterproductive to overall campaign objectives," the Joint Chiefs concluded.

The Council on Foreign Relations recognized that the effect of nonlethal weapons is mostly "psychological--persuading people that they would much rather be someplace else, or on our side rather than opposing U.S. military forces." It warned that "television coverage of encounters involving [nonlethal weapons] can still be repugnant, and it would be desirable to provide reliable information to minimize unwarranted criticism."

Yet after paying lip service to the very psychological and political fallout that could result from the employment of novel technologies like acoustic weapons or high-powered microwaves, the council task force urged that prototype nonlethal weapons--that is, weapons just like American Technology's new sound weapon--"be placed with our operating forces" to test their efficacy and create greater demand among combat commanders.

Is actual combat in a foreign country the appropriate place to test a new weapon? Apparently, we are about to find out.


William M. Arkin is a military affairs analyst who writes regularly for Opinion.

Monday, March 08, 2004

International Women's Day 2004 

International Women's Day. I'm having a hard time celebrating today; it feels more like a day of mourning. Remembering my sisters around the world who suffer war, rape, fear, hunger, poverty, loss of their men, loss of freedom, loss of education and jobs, family abuse. Sorry to be such a downer, but these things are staring me in the face.

The women in Afghanistan whose "liberation" from the Taliban looks much different through their eyes:

"Rule of the Rapists: Britain and the US Said War On Afghanistan Would Liberate Women. We Are Still Waiting", by Mariam Rawi, published in the Guardian/ UK, on February 12, 2004.

"For More Afghan Women, Immolation Is Escape", by Carlotta Gall, published in today's New York Times, March 8, 2004.

The women of Iraq whose "liberation" from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein looks like this:

"An Empty Sort of Freedom: Saddam Was No Defender of Women, But They Have Faced New Miseries and More Violence Since He Fell", by Houzan Mahmoud, published in today's Guardian/UK, March 8, 2004.

"On International Women's Day, Iraqi Women Have Little To Celebrate", by Medea Benjamin, published today on, March 8, 2004

"As U.S. Detains Iraqis, Families Plea For News", by Jeffrey Gettleman in yesterday's New York Times, March 7, 2004.

Baghdad Is Burning, a blog kept by an Iraqi woman who goes by the name Riverbend. Especially relevant is an entry called "Will Work For Food...", Sunday, August 24, 2004.

And in our own country, the U.S., where the job situation is becoming more dire by the month. For instance, the following statistics showed up in an article--"New Job Numbers Dog the Bush Campaign"--published in The Dallas Morning News, March 5, 2004:

American payrolls grew by just 21,000 jobs last month, far less than the 125,000 to 145,000 analysts were expecting and hoping for. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 5.6 percent with 8.1 million people out of work. But 392,000 people dropped out of the labor market, many of them presumed to have lost hope of finding work.

...The economy shed 3,000 manufacturing jobs since January and 2.7 million since February 2001.

Don't you guess a lot of the workers who lost those jobs, and those who dropped out of the labor market after giving up trying to find jobs, were women? And how many of them were single moms, trying to raise kids on their own?

Where I needed to be today was in front of the White House with the women of Code Pink, chanting and carrying banners that said, "Women Say: Fire Bush!", and "2.4 Million Jobs Lost; Pink Slip Bush."

Take Action for Haiti 

* * * * *


Click on the following link to send an e-mail to your local and national media outlets urging them to cover this important story:

After you click on the link, simply follow the easy-to-understand instructions. You will first enter your zip code and press "go." You will be taken to a list of
media outlets. You can select the media outlets you want to send to and then choose "compose a message." You can then add your customized message (if you would like) and send the email.
* * * * *


March 7, 2004

A delegation from the United States has arrived in the Central African Republic to meet with overthrown Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. President Aristide was taken involuntarily to the Central African Republic following a U.S. coup d'etat on February 28. The group was granted visas on Thursday and Friday and departed the United States on Friday evening.

The delegation includes Kim Ives from the Haiti Support Network, and Johnnie Stevens and Sara Flounders from the International Action Center. Ives, Flounders and Stevens are representing former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Also on the delegation are Brian Concannon, acting in the capacity of President Aristide's lawyer; and Katherine Kean, a friend of President Aristide.

Kim Ives, a personal friend of Jean-Bertrand and Mildred Aristide, said "This morning, the delegation went to the Palace of the Renaissance, the presidential compound where President Aristide is being held." Mr. Ives had spoken to the Foreign Minister on Thursday to inform him that the delegation was coming to the Central African Republic to meet with President Aristide.

"We were stopped at the gates by a guard who contacted a Central African Republic official inside the building. A representative of the Central African Republic came out to speak with us," Ives reported. "We asked to go in to visit President Aristide and were told we could not. We asked if he could come out to see us, and we were told no. We asked if we could send in a note or our phone number, and we were told no. The official then told us that he had spoken with the Minister of Defense and that Aristide was not allowed to receive visitors."

Mr. Ives also reported that he placed a call to the cell phone that the Aristides have been using to place calls to their friends, attorneys and the media. "Mildred Aristide answered the phone. I said, 'Hello Mildred, this is Kim Ives, we are here.' At that point, the phone line went dead. We have tried to call many times since then but there has been no answer."

Brian Concannon is also a member of the delegation, acting in the capacity of President Aristide's attorney. Standing outside the gates of the compound where President Aristide is being held, Mr. Concannon requested to meet with President Aristide alone for a consultation. This was also denied.

"The world has been told that President Aristide is free to come and go, and that he has simply chosen not to leave," said Sara Flounders of the International Action Center. "The fact that our delegation has been denied all forms of contact with President Aristide confirms, in fact, that he is being kept under lock and key, at this point not even able to communicate by phone."

"The U.S. and French governments chose to take Aristide to the Central African Republic, a formerly colonized and impoverished country," said Johnnie Stevens of the International Action Center. "The Central African Republic, similar to many formerly colonized countries in Africa and around the world, has been isolated and underdeveloped because of the past policies of France, the U.S. and other colonial and neo-colonial powers. The U.S. and France should be paying reparations to the Central African Republic."


Email circulated by:
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism

Washington 202-544-3389
New York 212-633-6646

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Kerry...Yes, But 

As many of you know, for the past three years I've been an "anyone but Bush for president in 2004" kind of person. I still am. That said, it now looks like that "anyone"--Senator John Kerry--is only barely better than Bush, at least in the area of foreign policy.

Of course, we all know that the Senator from Massachusetts voted for the War Act in November 2002 and has been trying to justify it ever since. His disingenuous claim that he "believed" the President that Saddam Hussein had WMDs is ludicrous. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knew that was a lie, especially a US Senator who had access to top secret information for months (actually, years) ahead of time. Millions of folks like me who got all their not-so-secret information from the Internet saw this Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Powell WMD scare for what it was: a lie calculated to play on Americans' fears of being attacked again.

You don't have to be a psychologist or a cultural anthropologist to recognize the symptoms of a societal Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in this country since 9/11. That is why President Bush uses the "T" (terrorism) word so liberally in all his speeches. It is--and was--why Cheney and Bush continue to link Saddam Hussein with Al-Qaeda and 9/11, even after international experts have shown that no such link ever existed. Yes, Bush has occasionally said publicly that Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, but do you see these statements quoted on the front pages of US newspapers or hear them on Fox News? Not likely. There's nothing like fear to keep a people malleable.

I'm afraid the probable Democratic candidate, John Kerry, plays much the same game. Not just about Iraq either. Let's look at Israel.

In last week's Democratic presidential candidates' debate in New York, Senator Kerry was the first to answer the question, "Is the barrier Israel is building in the West Bank a wall or a fence?"

"A fence. Israel needs it to be secure, because Israel has no partner to negotiate peace.", said Senator Kerry. Edwards was right behind him. As Ira Chernus writes in his eye-opening article, "Kerry and Edwards Recite Israeli Mantra":

"No partner." "No partner." It's the mantra that the Israeli government whipped up over three years ago, in one of the great PR ploys of our time. They convinced much of the world that Yasir Arafat had no interest in negotiating with Israel, that he had become "irrelevant."

Arafat was and still is the only Palestinian leader with the credibility among his own people to negotiate peace with Israel. He was and is ready to embrace a peace plan that he could take to his people without being laughed out of office.

Once the Israelis and Americans ruled him out, it was easy for them to say, "No partner for peace," because it was true. The Israelis conveniently forget to point out that they themselves made it true, very intentionally.

The "no partner" mantra is a litmus test for supporters of the Sharon government's policies. Kerry and Edwards were breathlessly eager to show that they pass the test.

There's more. I've just finished reading a long article, "Kerry's Foreign Policy Record Suggests Few Differences With Bush", by Steven Zunes, professor of Politics and chair of the Peace & Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco. I heard Zunes speak in San Francisco and know him to be a respected Middle Eastern Studies expert.

The following paragraphs give some idea of the depth of Kerry's support of Israel's anti-Palestinian policies, present and past:

Indeed, perhaps the most telling examples of Kerry's neo-conservative world view is his outspoken support of the government of right-wing Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, annually voting to send billions of dollars worth of taxpayer money to support Sharon's occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands seized in the 1967 war. Even as the Israeli prime minister continues to reject calls by Palestinian leaders for a resumption of peace talks, Kerry insists that it is the Palestinian leadership which is responsible for the conflict while Sharon is "a leader who can take steps for peace."

Despite the UN Charter forbidding countries from expanding their territory by force and the passage, with U.S. support, of a series of UN Security Council resolutions calling on Israel to rescind its unilateral annexation of occupied Arab East Jerusalem and surrounding areas, Kerry has long fought for U.S. recognition of the Israeli conquest. He even attacked the senior Bush Administration from the right when it raised concerns regarding the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, going on record, paradoxically, that "such concerns inhibit and complicate the search for a lasting peace in the region." He was also critical of the senior Bush Administration's refusal to veto UN Security Council resolutions upholding the Fourth Geneva Conventions and other international legal principles regarding Israeli colonization efforts in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Kerry's extreme anti-Palestinian positions have bordered on pathological. In 1988, when the PLO which administered the health system in Palestinian refugee camps serving hundreds of thousands of people and already had observer status at the United Nations sought to join the UN's World Health Organization, Kerry backed legislation that would have ceased all U.S. funding to the WHO or any other UN entity that allowed for full Palestinian membership. Given that the United States then provided for a full one-quarter of the WHO's budget, such a cutoff would have had a disastrous impact on vaccination efforts, oral re-hydration programs, AIDS prevention, and other vital WHO work in developing countries.

These are just a few of the examples Zunes gives in his article. As I say, the article is long, but I think it's worth reading. If Kerry DOES become president, I'd just as soon know ahead of time what to expect.

So, knowing what I know about John Kerry, how will I vote on November 2nd? As of now, I will probably hold my nose and vote Democratic. At least, in addition to Bush, we'll get rid of Cheney, Rove, Perle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft. I won't be voting FOR, but AGAINST. My guess is there'll be lots of us out there doing just that.

Of course what we really need is a complete overhaul of the entire US political and electoral system. If this is democracy, it doesn't deserve to be exported anyplace. Would that we could start over and try again.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Ice Music 

Ice Music. That's what I heard today. And wind. That's what I felt.

How can I help you hear and feel what I heard and felt? I can show you pictures--photos #1, #2--of the ice that made the music, and I can show you beach grasses and a flag blowing in the wind, but that doesn't do it. It was tactile and aural...visual only secondarily. For much of the time, I stood beside the lake, face to the wind, holding tightly to the guard rail, eyes closed, listening to the music. The sound was like a giant rain stick filled with shards of glass. Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. Light, crystal-clear notes heard above the shush, shush, shush of wind-wiped waves.

For this was a real wind. 40-45 MPH. Strong enough to tip over a semi-truck (but not hurt the driver) on the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, eleven miles south of where I stood. That guard rail was my lifeline. I wouldn't have dared let go. It was THRILLING!!!!

I feel most alive in wind. That's why I wanted to go out for a scoot today. That and the fact that they were predicting highs of 70 degrees F! For this was not a cold wind, but a warm one coming out of the south. No coat, no hat, no scarf, no mittens, just a sweater over my dress. And tomorrow's forecast? Snow flurries!

But nothing can stop spring now that it's started. The birds know it, the trees know it, the plants know it. And I know it. That's why I'm still smiling 10 hours later.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

King George I and II 

A reader has emailed to ask me why in the world the U.S. would want to overthrow Aristide if Haiti has no natural resources we want and no strategic location for our ever-increasing military bases.

I ask, why did George Senior arrange for the CIA to overthrow democratically-elected President Aristide in 1991? Or to fast forward to the present, how did rebel forces in Haiti get hold of sophisticated weapons that the U.S. military just "happened" to take to the Dominican Republic (next door to Haiti) last year? The whole thing stinks to high heaven, and with good reason. George W. Bush has gathered around him some of the same players used by his Daddy to take down Aristide 13 years ago.

Remind you of anything? This is what happens when you let a Dynasty take over a country. Haiti, Iraq...same old, same old. As I say, it stinks.

But don't take my word for it, read it from the Latin American expert where I got these little-known facts. Check out Jeffrey Sach's article, "From His First Day In Office, Bush Was Ousting Aristide" that was published in today's Los Angeles Times.

Hey, when you're a King, it doesn't matter how small or poor the country you annex. If its leader doesn't bow when you say bow, they're out of there.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Why They Had To Crush Aristide 

I repeat what I said yesterday: Do not believe what you read and hear in the mainstream news. Dig deeper and you will find that what happened to Aristide, Haiti's democratically elected president, is another chapter in the onging saga of American imperialism. You will not read or hear this in any American newspaper, but you will find it said clearly on alternative web sites and by international news services that speak their mind (rather than the minds of their corporate advertisers). For instance, check out "Why They Had To Crush Aristide" by Peter Hallward, published in today's Guardian/UK.

Whether Chalabi in Iraq or Philippe in Haiti, just take a good long look at the calibre of persons the U.S. chooses to support in their unending "regime changes." Convicted criminals every one.

I feel a personal connection with Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In the early '90s I heard him speak and met him here in Detroit. This man touched me deeply. His sincerity, idealism, concern for his people and commitment to non-violence was exceptional. He made me think of Nelson Mandala. I don't care what the New York Times says, there is no way Jean-Bertrand Aristide could have changed so dramatically as to have become totally unrecognizable in ten short years. I'm sure he's made mistakes, but I also trust that, in his core, he is still who he was a decade ago.

Don't believe the media. They are bought and paid for by the highest bidder. Lies masquerade as truth, and what you see is NOT what you get. The internet is our best tool for finding the truth. Use it well.

Monday, March 01, 2004

American Coup Ousts Aristide 

The facts are not as they are being reported in Haiti. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! has heard from multiple sources that Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by the U.S., flown to the Central African Republic, and is being held in a hotel room under guard by military troops. "Tell the world, it is a coup!", he says.

One of the sources is U.S. Congressmember Maxine Waters who received a phone call directly from President Aristide at 9 AM EST today. The transcript of Amy Goodman's radio interview with Congressmember Waters can be found by clicking on President Aristide Says 'I Was kidnapped', 'Tell the World It is a Coup'

Why am I not surprised.

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