Living in the Space Between Cultures

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

During my hiatus from publishing the things I write every day, I decided to repost something I wrote for a friend’s blog, Deconstructing Myths, more than two years ago. Although Jeff Nguyen Eckert took a hiatus from blogging a while ago, I remain grateful for his help when I first began. His powerful insights and poetry still offer me inspiration.

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My first memory as a child is so clear in my mind even though experts in brain development say it is not possible. It was my first Christmas. A February baby born on the cusp of Pisces and Aquarius, I lay in my crib as the winter sun streamed through the window. My mother and father stood on opposite sides of my crib, arguing. The personal pain and insecurities that led to their argument were so clear to me. But more compelling were the strengths…

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The Rise and Fall of the Red Delicious apple

Now we understand why Red Delicious apples taste like cardboard…in a stupid, shortsighted goal of making the “perfect” looking apple, the taste, nutrition and God only knows what health benefits have been engineered out.

They wanted to make the apples last longer in storage.  That, to me, says that they engineered the enzymes out of the apple, because enzymes are basically what make food spoil.  BUT — and this is important — enzymes are needed by the body in order to digest and use the vitamins and nutrients of the food.  They also give us energy — think about that when you feel like lead after a meal that consists of processed food without enzymes…

As I was reading this report, I thought of my Dad, whom ate an apple every day.  I’ve continued that tradition, but eating organic Gala apples.  The problem is that the information on their nutrient content versus hybridized (or worse — Genetically Modified apples) is not readily available.  At least, it wasn’t while doing a quick search–and that’s probably on purpose as Monsanto, Syngenta, and other mega corporations that keep telling us that there is no difference between GMO food and heirloom food…don’t want that information readily available.

 

 

 

In passing…

It’s been 55-60 degrees here for a few nice springlike days, and I was walking in the beautiful sunshine…

…as I pass by a church parking lot, they posted signs saying: “No roller skating, skateboards, etc.”.

I had to resist the urge to get a magic marker and write: “I bet Jesus wouldn’t mind them skating and skateboarding…”   Heh.

Yeah, I know, some irresponsible skateboarders damaged property in the past, but a few bad apples shouldn’t ruin it for everybody…

 

Women Defying Barriers

I found this video when looking up 5 Broken Cameras.  Guy Davidi is one of the producers of the documentary–it is a poignant look at Palestinian and Israeli women trying to get past their prejudices and fear towards peace.  But the video says sooo much more.

It’s very hard to break away from prejudice.  You’ll be thought of as a traitor by family, friends, and community, as both the Israeli and Palestinian women discovered–being called sluts and collaborators.  But they want to coexist badly enough that they stuck their necks out to try to move towards it by educating one another.

This video also features the rape crisis centers, where women can find support from other women.

In this rape culture, women who are raped are likely to be blamed for that rape by not only men, but by women, as well.  They are likely to downplay the rape– especially if it is date rape or spousal rape.

They degrade other women right along with the men.  Indeed, in the university I was at, I remember a terrible practice by one of the sororities.  The girls were talking about an initiation where the initiate was made to stand either naked or in her bra and panties while the other women took magic markers and drew circles around her “fat”.

My thoughts to the blog of a few days ago about infiltration of rape crisis centers popped in my head…

For some women, this will be the first time that they have experienced support from other women.  They have sought help and perhaps found the barriers are down.  It is a safe place in a society that has erected so many barriers to validation of women’s pain and camaraderie that is absent, but only in the most superficial ways.

So my instincts are telling me that my hunch is correct:  for those that degrade women and view them as beneath them, a rape crisis or domestic violence center is a threat.  It is a place where, if it is run well, women will begin to see that they are not responsible for another’s actions.  They will begin to see that not all women will betray them.  They will begin the long journey of healing their spiritual wounds.

Students of Prof. Tracy at FAU speak out

Story here.

What happened to James Tracy highlights all that is wrong with education from kindergarten clear through college and the country, as well:

  1. Silencing dissenters.  James Tracy has a right to his opinion, especially when he can back that up with a sound theory.  There are enough facts disputing that this actually happened to question the official narrative.  The school being closed due to asbestos and other environmental hazards is a huge clue.
  2. Not only silencing dissent, but causing people who dissent to lose their means of providing for themselves.
  3. Denying the exchange of ideas through education.
  4. Denying students their voice and  influence of their own educations.

The Communications major is especially dear to my heart, so I understand the gravity of removing Prof. Tracy from a position where he could have any influence to the students, and therefore inspiring them to think critically about what information is spoonfed to them and always check facts and other sources of information to get at the truth.

The blog about the Israeli influence on academics and the discussion of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict here.     came to mind as I was reading about the students of Tracy.  This gangstalking was to quell dissent.  As I said in the previous blog, in the 60s, students were engaged with their educations and actively debated topics with their professors and other students.  This was one of the things that I looked forward to when I began my college education.  I was sorely disappointed at how they had changed the active role of students to passive roles.  Classes were mostly formatted to be lectures in huge halls that discouraged active debate and exchange of ideas.

Of the few small classes I had, when the instructor allowed debate and exchange of ideas, it was an enriching experience.  One of the topics that got heated was one debate on a current protest of students in the middle of campus.  They were protesting the use of sweatshops to produce the university’s official sportswear and clothing sold on campus.  They had pitched tents and went on a fast.  One of the students in the class was openly laughing about how she and her friends put up grills next to the protesters, and grilled steaks.  She thought it was a riot and also, more dangerously, thought that the protesters had no right to protest.  Her hostility towards them was palpable.

I was just beginning my journey and I believe I was vegetarian at that time (but went back to eating meat after being advised that I needed to), and I remember saying something about the sweatshops, but it escapes me at the moment.  I do remember a few times getting into shouting matches with one of my kids about buying clothing made by someone being paid $1 per day.    This is another thing about education — I probably would never had been exposed to the information about sweatshops had it not been for not only the official education — but the ripple effect of intelligent, thoughtful people coming together and exchanging ideas inside and outside of the classroom.

Here is an update to 5 broken cameras:

Removing Tracy from his position speaks more to his impact.  If he were a sheep, and blindly followed what was spoonfed by the Military Industrial Complex media, he would not only still have his position, but would likely be rewarded financially for going along with the haux, as the talking heads whom have sold their souls have…

This is why you should always question scientific findings

(hat tip Mike the Mad Biologist)  Story here.

From this report, we know:

  1. Scientists will lie.
  2. Scientists can and do skew their findings towards results that are favorable towards the corporations funding their research.
  3. Scientists who speak the truth can be targets, and if it goes far enough, gangstalking as this scientist found out when he and his students were barred from the chemistry building, he was made the target of a fraud investigation, and the rumors degrading his reputation were so bad that he was continually asked to prove that he did not steal what research he had done.

My Research Dean promptly forbid me from submitting any publications. I had to spend two months making the case to legal counsel and the research integrity officer to establish that I had the right to publish. (The letter eventually appeared in JACS.)

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My reputation was destroyed within the institution. I have been investigated by the NSF for grant fraud based on a trumped up charge over a memo that contained a clerical error. The charges were dismissed the same day federal agents came to NCSU to investigate, but I still had to endure the interrogation by two persistent agents who were trying to get a confession.  I was investigated in secret at NCSU for supposedly taping meetings without permission; I did not do this, but I could not defend myself since the allegation was kept secret.

Perhaps gangstalking is not the proper word, but when so many come together to destroy someone, gangstalking came to mind….especially the secrecy part. This is against the 6th Amendment:

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Further down, the question is asked how he would handle the whistleblower process.

I think the question is misdirection.  It should be asking why the hell are corporations funding research, when universities used to be funded by the government so that research was somewhat independent? (Although now, with revolving doors from gov’t to corporations would probably lead to the same pay to play.)  Integrity and morality have taken “the last train for the coast…”