I now know four people who have had gastric bypass surgery. With due sympathy, I have to say that I'm just as happy if people keep their revelations about their surgical experiences to themselves. Recently, I had the dis-pleasure of eating lunch with a woman who regaled us with the gory details of how they had cut her stomach in half, the way she ended up in the hospital on a feeding tube when she totally lost the ability to eat, and other such charming matters. It was so much fun to watch her cut her lunch meat into quarters and nibble up a whole slice over the half hour or so we spent eating, which is what you have to do when your stomach is the size of a plum. Try enjoying your meal in the face of that!
Yet another lesson in how women are not supposed to enjoy life! She was showing what an obedient daughter of the patriarchy she was, because she was willing to suffer this kind of punishment, and not only that, to drag other women into her weight loss hell.
There's a lot of talk in the media these days about people's physical appearance. The fact is, that for most of us, once we are no longer young we're just sort of fugly. We clean up OK. With expensive clothes and a decent haircut, I'm at least presentable! But men do not fall all over me or try to inspect my legs or cleavage any more. Thank god! The freedom I feel is tremendous. The kind of approach to aging seen in these ads from Dove beauty products does not really make me feel better; I think they're selling hope. The idea that stray men will go on lusting after me, for instance. Ridiculous! The whole HRT thing was (mostly) about that. Doris Lessing covers this topic very well in her novel, The Summer before the Dark. She describes her heroine as walking by a construction site and not being looked at or whistled at by the workers. She is so piqued at being ignored that she has an impulse to lift up her skirt and show them her goods. The skanky, fetid 70's atmosphere this novel evokes, which I remember so well, no longer exists.
Hawai'i — A convicted murderer from O'ahu who was released from prison
now has been charged with sexually assaulting a girl Sunday evening in
a Pepe'ekeo church.
Island police yesterday said Peter Bailey, 49, had taken the girl to
the church for choir practice, and while at the church allegedly
assaulted the girl several times at about 8:30 p.m.
family member of the girl who went to the church saw the assaults and
ran for help, police were told. Other family members went to the church
and detained Bailey until police arrived, police said.
You can see from the picture that they "detained" him rather thoroughly. Peter did computer and general office work up at Kulani Correctional Facility in the education department when I was teaching there. I never trusted him. He simply oozed dishonesty. My instincts were very strong on that, as were the instincts of my boss and others who worked with him. I had bad feelings about him that were confirmed when I asked my boss what he had done and she told me that he had murdered a young woman. Peter was always talking about god and family values and what women should do and what men should do and how children should behave. He put Christian messages on all the screen savers. He was a control freak, too, and always on about neatness and cleanliness. A creepy guy, in other words but the kind who could convince some of his goodness. It is just as the man who prosecuted him, Keith Kanashiro, says. He should never have been let out. He did not even belong in a minimum security prison like Kulani among men who could be rehabilitated and where he was a flight risk. Well, he will never get out of prison again, that's for sure. And at least he did not kill anyone this time. But I tell you: all I saw when I looked at him, no matter how he tried to charm me, was a man who had taken the life of a 17 year old girl. What a headache these clever psychopaths are. Pulling their cons on kind hearted people who maybe are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, if you know what I mean, or very young and naive girls. Prey.
Bailey was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole
for the murder of a 17-year-old girl in 1979, and the paroling
authority initially set his minimum sentence at 35 years.
a new parole panel in 1990 reduced Bailey's minimum term to 25 years,
said Hawai'i Paroling Authority Acting Administrator Max Otani. In
1995, parole officials again reconsidered Bailey's minimum term, and
reduced it to 20 years.
"Bailey, 49, was finally granted parole in early 2003 after his fifth request to the parole board for release, Otani said...
Honoulu City Prosecutor Peter Carlysle says,
there is so much pressure on the system to release people coming from
all corners that the likes of Peter Bailey are being let out
prematurely, then that's a system that needs to be re-evaluated at all
terms, including the concept of basically giving everybody another
chance,' he said. 'This guy didn't deserve another chance. His victim
certainly didn't get another chance.'
We in Hawaii who work with prisoners know that many offenders, perhaps even most, deserve another chance. This ain't the Mainland, But when someone like Peter Bailey, who doesn't deserve another chance, re-offends, the whole criminal justice system gets called into question. Prosecutors like Carlysle and Kanishiro knew he belonged in prison for the rest of his life, but he obviously was able to convince some lesser lights that he should go free.
Comments I'm reading already are calling for Peter Bailey's head. Update: The Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Don't miss the comments for their "local" flavor.
I just got a mailer from Mazie Hirono, with a list of her accomplishments so far in the U.S. Congress as Representative from my district in Hawaii.
Voted over 500 times. Voted to... End the war in Iraq ( H.R. 1591) Increase funds for the Community Oriented Policing Services program (H.R. 1700) Make it easier for workers to organize (H.R. 800) Increase health care funding and outreach programs for service members and veterans (H.R. 67 and H.R. 1538)
Introduced Bills: legislation that would... Honer Patsy T. Mink and Title IX (H. Res. 406) Help Filipino families reunify (H.R. 1287) Study the feasibility of creating national parks in Ka'u on the Big Island and the North Maui Coast (H.R. 1798 and H.R. 2618)
Worked on important issues: co-sponsored over 250 bills that would... Reduce prescription drug costs under Medicare (H.R. 4) Extend the Hawaiian Home Ownership Opportunity Act (H.R. 835) Combat global warming (H.R. 1500 and H.R. 620) Increase access to Head Start (H.R. 1429) Reduce college costs (H.R. 5)
Submitted over 100 funding requests for Hawaii projects, such as... Expanding James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge Cleaning up the dump in Bellows Air Force Base Providing additional resources for Hawaii's public schools Building a mass transit system on Oahu and a bus system on the Big Island
Note that there is nothing earth-shaking here, but everything she does works in the direction of peace, prosperity, a clean environment, and equity. Of course her top priority is ending the war, as she stated when she ran for office. I am sure that Nancy Pelosi's record would look similar, which is why I agree with Brandon that Cindy Sheehan should not be challenging Pelosi in the primary and running for her seat. This is too much like the proverbial liberal shootout (first, you get in a circle...). We need to take on our enemies, not our friends. But as a legislator, Pelosi, like Hirono, can't let other matters slide while she's working to end the war. It's the same as housekeeping. You have to fix those meals and do that wash, no matter what's happening.
We have to back her and other liberals, not subvert them.
Yes, we have fascism lurking on our doorstep, with its demands for perpetual war and subordination to its monomaniacal agenda, and it is frightening. Still, we have to fight the degradation of American life on every front and proclaim our belief in gradualism and the rule of law. We can look to Germany as an example of what happens if the people do not wholeheartedly support democracy. If the democrats and liberals had stood up and defended parliamentary democracy during the Weimar period, Germany might have avoided becoming a fascist state. As it was, the communists and the fascists fought it out and the fascists won. Liberalism will always look weak and wishy-washy in comparison to the extremes. Pelosi, like Hirono, is a liberal. She just does her job, and I think that she is admirable. If I get indignant, that's fine. I'm not in her position. She represents a large constituency and needs to be responsive to the needs and desires of this ongoing democracy at both the local and the national level. Sheehan has got the big issue, the Iraq War, in her sights. She does her job best by sticking to her last, not attacking a workhorse legislator like Pelosi. Now if Pelosi would like to introduce Articles of Impeachment, that would be grand. If Sheehan forces her hand on that, that could be good. But it would not be good to destroy Pelosi's political career.
"...the actual act of inflicting
intense physical and psychological pain on another human being can
never be "normalized." People who do it regularly aren't banal. They're
malevolent. Torturers aren't ordinary people. Ordinary people,
recruited into torture squads, may participate once or twice. But
they'll soon crack from the sheer nonordinary horror of what they're
doing. But the distant
acceptance of torture--well, that's a different matter. Those of us who
believe (reluctantly, of course; after all, we're good, decent, moral
people, aren't we?) that sometimes torture--or, rather, "enhanced
interrogation"--is necessary for our security are indulging in evil of
the banal kind.
Hannah Arendt developed the idea of the "banality of evil" to describe Nazis like Eichmann, who never personally harmed people, who in fact were sickened by atrocities but looked upon them as "necessary" actions against enemies of the state. "Maiden" believes that Arendt's notion of ordinariness has been overused. On reflection, I have to agree with him/her. We need to be clear on this topic. Torturers are not "like us." They are sick. Let us not "relativize" their behavior or imagine that we would be capable of such things ourselves. Do read this excellent blog; Maiden clarifies issues so well and is a highly skilled writer. Related to this: I'm trying to unravel
complex notions regarding the widespread atrocities of the
Nazis. Atrocities were well accepted by most Germans as necessary to protect
the Volk from alien elements: Jews, Gypsies, gays and Lesbians, Communists, feminists, and so on. The role of ordinary people in this evil is disputed. How and to what extent did everyday Germans participate in torture and murder?