Kelly Thomas: Whatever you do to the least of my brothers…

January 13, 2014

A jury in Santa Ana has found two former murderous sadistic evil foul inhumane vile despicable former police officers totally in the right for beating a mentally ill homeless man to death as he begged for his father and for his life. Here is the film:

There are only so many words one can drag from the vocabulary to describe how horrific this crime was, and how equally vile and despicable the jury is for endorsing such a brutal act of senseless, cruel and depraved violence.

I do not care to read beyond the headline. Instead, I would like to picture Kelly as he was in life:

Kelly Thomas under flickr, attribution creative commons

To Kelly’s Father, and Mother, Ron and Kathy, and to Kelly’s extended family, my husband and I and countless others who read this are heartbroken. We want you to know that we are so so sorry. We are also absolutely furious. How does one accept the unacceptable? We do not know. But just because some verdict happened somehow in our broken court system means nothing in a system outside of the courts and inside our hearts, that we consider to be one of humanity, and that is what matters.

posted by Crane-Staion

Decorah Eagles 2014 Livecam

January 9, 2014

The Decorah Eagles camera is back, after being offline for nearly a year! This morning, I was pleased to actually see one of the eagles, doing some ‘housekeeping’ in the nest. Raptor Resource Project says:

Welcome to Decorah Eagle Cam your one stop for live streams, videos and alerts for the amazing saga of the Decorah eagles. For those of you new to the craze, the birth of 3 eaglets has been witnessed live by millions and become a viral internet phenomenon.

Through the genius of the Raptor Resource Project a 24 hour webcam has been placed so that the world may watch the growth and lives of a family of bald eagles. We here at Decorah Eagle Cam have embraced this amazing opportunity and have put together content from across the world wide web in one place for your convenience. In addition, we have set up a system of alerts to let you know when the real action takes place.

Please have a look around the site and enjoy!

Also, on YouTube is this recent video:

Dec 26, 2013
12/26/2013 10:23 AM CST Edited video, 5 minutes.Long fly in. More nesturations going on. Laying in nest bowl and scraping.

posted by Crane-Station

NFL’s Record Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injuries

January 8, 2014

posted by Crane-Station

Former National Football League players have reached a 914 million dollar settlement with the NFL for traumatic brain injuries. The settlement proposal is subject to court approval.

Description of this YouTube:

Once a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and a Super Bowl champion, Terry Tautolo has spent his retirement from football in and out of homelessness. His family and friends blame his tragic decline and battle with substance abuse on the multiple concussions he sustained during his 9-year NFL career

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden or violent blow to the head and affects nearly 1.5 million people each year in the US. While TBI can be mild and many recover, it can also cause permanent disability or death. The average football player player takes 1500 to 2000 hits to the head, and the more than 2000 players who joined in the suit are claiming that the NFL concealed information linking football-related injuries to long-term brain damage. A collision between two players in this (violent) sport results in incredible force.

The NFL vehemently denies that it willfully concealed the reality of what was happening to players exposed to head trauma, lest it lose fans and profit. Star linebacker Junior Seau a former player who experienced serious TBI complications, committed suicide. He is not alone. NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself.

The proposed settlement agreement to be presented in Federal Court for signing details:

The amount includes $675 million to compensate players for a specified list of injuries, $75 million for medical tests, $10 million for educational programs promoting player safety and injury prevention specifically in youth football and $4 million for administrative expenses related to class notices. The NFL also agreed to pay an additional $37.5 million if needed for players plus attorney’s fees of $112.5 million, according to papers filed in federal court in Philadelphia on Monday. A judge previously calculated the deal at $765 million.

Traumatic brain injury can also happen to service members exposed to the shock of an explosion. No shrapnel has to enter the head to cause these injuries; they are caused by the shock wave of a blast.

The leading causes of TBI in the US are falls and motor vehicle accidents. In the general population (ie, non-military and professional sports), TBI mostly affects people over 75, due to falls, and people 17- 25, due to accidents.


cross-posted at Firedoglake/MyFDL

Tony Seibert Tribute

January 8, 2014

Tony Seibert was an amazing person. Unfortunately today (January 7, 2014) an avalanche in the East Vail Chutes took his life and hurt three others. I loved every moment I spent around Tony and so did his friends and family. He was always so uplifting and caring for others. You will be greatly missed Tony and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
May you Rest in Peace

Tony Seibert, grandson of Vail’s founder, was tragically killed in an avalanche at Vail yesterday. He was an incredible skier.

Just two weeks ago, he rescued a skier from there was an unrelated avalanche in the East Vail Chutes backcountry Errata, updated accordingly:

Just before Christmas, there were two separate skier-triggered slides in the East Vail Chutes. One of them was captured in a harrowing video posted on YouTube that depicted a man quickly rescuing his brother, who was buried in snow up to his neck.
Before today’s fatality the last avalanche-related death in the East Vail Chutes occurred in 2008 when two people were killed in separate slides just four days apart. There have been five more fatalities in that area dating back to 1986, according to published reports.

posted by Crane-Station

To be or not to be

January 2, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year to everyone!

I have been following developments in the Jahi McMath tragedy in Oakland. She is the 13-yaear-old girl who went to the hospital last Friday to have her tonsils removed. She went into cardiac arrest in the recovery room after the surgery. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful. The medical staff pronounced her dead after determining that she had no electrical activity in her brain or brain stem. But for vehement objections from her mother, the medical staff would have disconnected Jahi from the ventilator and transferred her body to a funeral home to be prepared for burial.

Pursuant to a court order obtained by her mother, Jahi will remain attached to the ventilator and receive nourishment by tube until January 7th, unless her mother finds a hospital willing to accept her before that deadline. If no hospital agrees to take her because she is brain-dead and/or her family cannot afford to pay for her long term care, the court will have to decide whether to accept the decision by the medical staff and dissolve his order or find some other solution.

The case presents several interesting issues for us to consider. I am going to start with the end-of-life issue today and reserve discussion of other issues for a later time.

We used to determine whether someone had died by checking for a pulse. No pulse meant the person was dead or soon would be, unless we restarted the heart. First responders and others trained in emergency medicine use electric paddles to shock and restart the heart. If paddles are unavailable, they will place the palm of one hand over the back of the other and alternately press down with both hands against the flexible breastbone directly above the heart and then release the pressure allowing the bone to return to its normal position. Repetition of this process mimmicks a beating heart and it can circulate sufficient oxygenated blood to the brain and back to the lungs to prevent or minimize damage to brain tissue.

Sometimes a heart will restart on its own after a person has been declared dead. For example,I recall reading a story within the last month or so about a man in Brazil who sat up in his coffin during his funeral and demanded to know why people were attempting to bury him alive. This provoked a rather awkward moment of silence as people attempted to figure out who was playing whom.

Doctors now believe that death inevitably results when the brain is deprived of the oxygen that it needs to continue functioning. They would explain the apparent miracle that people witnessed at the man’s funeral as a practical joke or an erroneous interpretation of insufficient data or flawed data recorded improperly. They would opine that the brain must have been alive when the person was declared dead.

Absence of a detectable heartbeat could mean that a person is dead, but a final decision should be delayed until doctors determine whether any brain activity is present. The brain will not regenerate dead cells. Therefore, absence of brain activity is a more reliable indicator of death than an absence of heartbeat.

As we know from the Terry Schiavo case, a brain-dead person can be kept alive indefinitely by hooking them up to a ventilator and feeding them nutrients through a tube. I question the wisdom of a decision to use a machine to extend a life indefinitely knowing that the person will remain in a persistent vegetative state without regaining consciousness until the machine is turned off.

I understand and sympathize with Jahi’s parents. Despite a persistent and shameful record of 100,000 preventable deaths in our nation’s hospitals each year, I do not believe any parent would have foreseen that their child would die following a routine surgery in a hospital to remove tonsils. Shock, dismay, stunned disbelief, and rage probably would overwhelm capacity to reason.

I think I would cling to hope as her mother has done.

Easier for us to see that prolonging her brain-dead child’s life under these circumstances is magical thinking that will not bring her back. Moreover, creating an opportunity for a miracle to happen by extending her life with a machine is irresponsible Frankenstein behavior.

No matter how much it may hurt, sometimes you have to say goodbye and let a loved one go.

Jahi’s mother made some serious allegations of misconduct against the hospital that I am not going to discuss, except to say that I believe the anesthesiologist may be liable for her death. Res ipsa loquitur.

I also have not discussed the cost of indefinitely prolonging Jahi’s life and who will have to pay for it.

Jahi’s case has provided us with a wonderful opportunity for context in considering and discussing end-of-life decisions regarding yyour child. They are gut-wrenching and no answer can fully satisfy.

Although the Terri Schiavo Foundation has offered to assist Jahi’s family, no decision that must be made at the intersection of a brain-dead child and the cost of extending her life in a permanent vegetative state is going to be easy to make.

Should an insurance company, the patient or the patient’s medical professional decide when to disconnect the patient from life support.

What would you do, if Jahi were your child?

Would you sign a DNR (i.e., do not resuscitate)

What role, if any should religious faith play in the decision?

Who should bear the cost of paying for long term care on a vent?

Should rich and poor receive different care or should it be the same?

I do not believe the right-wing hate machine will involve itself in this matter since they place little value on the life of a child with black skin.

CNN is reporting that Jahi’s famiy:

“Together with our team of experts, Terri’s Network believes Jahi’s case is representative of a very deep problem within the U.S. healthcare system — particularly those issues surrounding the deaths of patients within the confines of hospital corporations, which have a vested financial interest in discontinuing life,” the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network said in a prepared statement.

The organization said it has been overseeing the efforts of several groups to help get Jahi transferred out of Children’s Hospital Oakland and brought “to a safe place.”

Read more:

The Man Who Never Cried (short film)

December 25, 2013

And All Through the House

December 25, 2013

by Crane-Station

Old Barn  Oakland County MI

Image by Rodney Campbell on flickr

Letty Owings, age 88, recalls how a rural German Evangelical farming community in Missouri observed Christmas during the Great Depression.

And All Through the House

In the 1930s I lived in the rural Missouri countryside in a farming community of Evangelical Germans. The community was small and the people came over to this country quite a long time ago in the 19th century, but they hung onto their language and traditions. We spoke low German in the home, and there was a strict division of work, between the men and the women. This is how we observed Christmas.

The cutting of the tree was my mother’s task, but I went with her. We picked a scrub cedar in the woods, and my mother would get the ax on Christmas Eve, and cut the tree. The snow was deep on that day. The tree fit on top of the dining room table. We decorated the tree with the same decorations year after year that my mother saved in a closet: bells, icicles and tinsel. The tinsel was always a bit tarnished because it was metal. The decorations came from before I was born, and there was a star for the top of the tree.

My mother used the same cloth on the table each year, and she set the table with the same bluebird dinner plates. She and my dad put something on the plate, usually a few pieces of hard candy from the church, maybe a few nuts. Gifts were placed on top of the plates. Nothing was wrapped.

We burned wood in the stove. We had two wood stoves. Even though coal was cheap and plentiful, we didn’t use it for heating. Mom wouldn’t burn coal because it was dirty. Since coal burned hotter, they used it in the church and the school, so you saw the coal dust in those places. People kept talking about how the REA (Rural Electrification Administration) was going to come to us with electricity but they never did. It’s just as well because as it was we were blowing our lamps out early to preserve coal oil for the lamps, so you can imagine nobody had enough money to pay for electricity.

Impulse did not figure into our lives, things were the way they were. There were gradations of poverty with some better and some worse, but we never saw things in comparison, because we had nothing to compare ourselves to. We didn’t have money to subscribe to a newspaper, for example, but we were careful to save the occasional issue of Arthur Capper’s newspaper that made its way into the house, because we could stuff it around the cracks of the doors and windows, and it made lovely insulation.

On Christmas morning my dad got up very early and milked the cow, fed the animals, and put hay in the manger. Then, he came in and started the fire in the kitchen and made cornbread. When he and my mother had put the gifts on the plates and the cornbread was ready, he would call. We raced downstairs. There were three kids, and my parents carefully hid things ahead of time. They pretended not to know what the gifts were, even though they did, and they always showed great anticipation and excitement. We prayed, ate, and talked. On this particular year my sister got a scarf, my brother got socks (the men always got socks), and I got a doll. Her name was Pearly, and since my mom wouldn’t let me take her to the hay loft, I rocked her all day, inside. I still have Pearly, to this day.

On Christmas night, we went to church. The church had a Christmas program. We sang songs in English- Silent Night, and Joy to the World– and we got a sack of candy to take home. The men sat on one side, and the women on the other, although when I was little I sat with my dad on the mens’ side. The women covered their heads. My mother made our clothes out of feed sacks on a treadle sewing machine; she had a dress for church and my dad wore overalls.

The Germans celebrated a second Christmas day on the 26th. That was also a holiday. We lived three miles to the nearest kin by road, but the walk through the field was a mile. My uncle and aunt had three little boys, and on this day Uncle Jake took to the snowy field and made his way to our house. He brought me a Christmas present, wrapped in paper, from the three boys. The gift was a nickel. That may sound silly today, but it was a great sacrifice for them.

Loreena Mckennitt – Dickens Dublin


Also, from Rome this morning:

Christmas Message and Urbi et Orbi Blessing

CHRISTMAS 2013 Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Pope Francis states in part:

Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fueling hatred and vengeance. Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering, and to enable the parties in conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid.


Grant peace, dear Child, to the Central African Republic, often forgotten and overlooked. Yet you, Lord, forget no one! And you also want to bring peace to that land, torn apart by a spiral of violence and poverty, where so many people are homeless, lacking water, food and the bare necessities of life. Foster social harmony in South Sudan, where current tensions have already caused too many victims and are threatening peaceful coexistence in that young state.

Prince of Peace, in every place turn hearts aside from violence and inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue. Look upon Nigeria, rent by constant attacks which do not spare the innocent and defenseless. Bless the land where you chose to come into the world, and grant a favourable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of violence.

cross-posted at Firedoglake/MyFDL


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