Bit(ch) 17: A Fucking Plastic Water Bottle?

But as the rally was winding down and most of the protesters were leaving the area, someone among the dozens still in the streets hurled a plastic water bottle at police.

Helmeted officers, some with heavy weapons and dogs, suddenly emerged in force. They ordered the remaining protesters to leave and chased down those who resisted as more bottles were thrown. Police later said they arrested 47 people and seized several loaded firearms, but no gunshots were fired.

Police arrest dozens overnight in Ferguson as prosecutors prepare case for grand jury. Reuters/The Raw Story, 8/20/14.

A plastic bottle is not a weapon, especially if thrown at someone wearing a helmet who’s heavily armed, nor does “more bottles” justify 47 arrests or dogs. This is still disproportionate response. Plastic bottles and rocks are not the same as Molotov cocktails or tear gas or rubber bullets or MRAPs.

Gregory McRae already is imprisoned for burning the body of Henry Glover – who was shot by another officer days after the 2005 storm.

…McRae’s lawyer says in court filings seeking leniency that McRae was suffering emotionally from the storm’s carnage when he burned the body. He also says McRae did not know Glover had been shot by another officer and didn’t realize he might be covering up a crime.

Ex-cop who burned body post-Katrina seeks leniency. KNOE.com, 8/15/14.

And post-Katrina/Floods “stress” is no excuse for burning a body, regardless of whose it was or where it was or when it was. There is no excuse.

Period.

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“But every time you show your face/Somebody dies, man”

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You Can Record Police + the Five-O App

It’s Perfectly Legal To Film The Cops. HuffPo, 8/13/14.

“There are First Amendment protections for people photographing and recording in public,” Mickey Osterreicher, an attorney with the National Press Photographers Association, told The Huffington Post. According to Osterreicher, as long as you don’t get in their way, it’s perfectly legal to take photos and videos of police officers everywhere in the United States.

o-VIDEO-POLICE-570

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS DEVELOP APP TO DOCUMENT POLICE BRUTALITY. Madame Noire, 8/15/14.

To change the dynamic between law enforcement and communities, Caleb Christian, a 14-year-old Georgia high school freshman created an app that will allow citizens to rate and leave reviews of their police districts. Named Five-O, Christian along with his two sisters programmed the app so citizens can input details of every interaction they have with the police officers they encounter.

For Harriet reports, the app allows for citizens to rate individual police officers based on their professionalism. The app review allows for “citizens to store the details of each encounter with law enforcement; this provides convenient access to critical information needed for legal action or commendation.”

The app debuts on the 18th for iOS and Android. This video is way too long, though. And too loud.

I hope it works. As Michelle Alexander posted on Facebook, “WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING IS NOT WORKING.”

what we have been doing is not working

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National Moment of Silence: NOLA 6PM

6pm tonight/Thursday, Lafayette Square

National Moment of Silence Against Police Brutality New Orleans

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Another Pontchartrain Expressway Rousting

Homeless given 3 days to leave encampment under Pontchartrain Expressway. nola.com, 8/12/14.

The city, along with a coalition of homeless organizations, will be going out over the next several days assessing each person’s needs.

There are currently enough temporary shelter beds available to house the 140 people who are living in the encampment, Parent said. Most people will be directed to the New Orleans Mission, the Salvation Army, Ozanam Inn and Covenant House.

People who have significant physical and mental health disabilities will be placed in permanent supportive housing while others from out of town could be eligible to receive bus tickets home through the Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans.

…Many of the people in the encampment have stayed at various shelters but most of the facilities have time limitations on how long people can stay unless they have permanent employment or are enrolled in a social services program such as drug rehabilitation.

People come back because they need Somewhere. Rousting cleans up the area but doesn’t solve the problem, especially for the hard-to-place like sex offenders [but too many "sex" "offenders" in LA are easy-to-harass sex workers]. Do we really want to be the kind of city/country where a fire or a breakup puts people on the street for months? Or a few shelter nights here and there? Oh, wait, we are that place.

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Bit(ch) 17: But Where’s the Fucking Original?

Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. – Colette

I love the quote but…

There are versions of this quote all over the Internet but if a book of Colette’s called Casual Chance was published anywhere in 1964, I can’t find any trace that that book exists. Not in university and public libraries, not in Google searches which are generally blogs and personal dot-coms repeating the quote in similar words or the same words as the website or blog or Tumblr that person got it from but no Casual Chance by Colette in any year. I haven’t found “Casual Chance” listed in other books by Colette or in bibliographies either, though there have been a lot of reprints and rehashes of her work so it is possible I missed something. I’m not that pain-addled to not know how to search for a book or a quote or a collection of particular words. It’s people “quoting” each other, borrowing from each other without anyone checking the first appearance for accuracy or truth.

But if it’s not Colette, if it’s just a sloppy pick-up game on the Internet, I hate people and their weak-willed stupidity even more than I already did.

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Bit(ch) 16: “vagina”

Vollmann’s most important artistic influences are Gauguin and what he described as the “power colors” of Native American art. His other inescapable influence is the female body. The majority of Vollmann’s visual art centers upon women generally and geishas, sex workers, and those he calls “goddesses” specifically. Usually they are nude. From where I was standing I counted at least two dozen vaginas, their fleshy machinery painstakingly drawn and then painted over with a delicate red slash. Vollmann uses live models, so every vagina within sight is currently out there right now, wandering the world.

Tom Bissell. You Are Now Entering the Demented Kingdom of William T. Vollmann. The New Republic, 7/22/14.

All following links are NSFW.

By the end of that paragraph I was gnashing my teeth. “Vagina”? You mean the birth canal? Or is “vulvathe word he couldn’t find? Or labia? Inner or outer? Or the clitoris? Or the clitoral hood? And do these labia reflect the wide variety of labia formations and clitoral hood permutations? Because rarely does one pussy look exactly like the next. Or is it all one composite “vagina” like from a blur of gynecology CME videos?

“delicate red slash”?

The rest of the Vollman article, though, was fascinating.

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“increasingly hostile environment for chronic pain patients and the physicians who strive to treat them”

In the summer of 2012, the Finance Committee of the U.S. Senate announced that it was initiating an investigation of the financial connections between certain major pharmaceutical manufacturers of prescription pain medications and experts in pain medicine, organizations that issue professional guidelines for the prescribing of such medications, and advocacy groups for patients with pain. The primary motivating factor for the investigation appears to be the prescription drug abuse epidemic alluded to in the introduction to this article and. more particularly, the suspicion that financial support of professional organizations in the field of pain medicine and their thought leaders has skewed practice guidelines, model policies, and even articles in peer-reviewed publications toward promotion of increased prescribing of opioid analgesics. The focus of the media accounts of this announcement was almost exclusively on those who acquire and misuse prescription pain medications and the injury and death that often follow from abuse of these medications. The plight of the many patients who receive and benefit significantly from these medications appeared as at best an afterthought and secondary consideration. For all of the reasons reviewed in this article, we now find ourselves in an increasingly hostile environment for chronic pain patients and the physicians who strive to treat them. More than ever, these patients are at risk that our society will revert to past prejudices against those who must rely on opioids for pain relief and functional improvement, and there is also a risk that our society will revert to a re-emergence of the opiophobia that plagued the health professions not so very long ago. The vulnerability of those afflicted with significant and persistent pain demands that medicine and society proceed with great caution in erecting barriers between conscientious physicians and their patients.

Finally, our criticisms of opioid contracts and the universal precautions approach ultimately do not depend on any substantive view of the propriety of opioid analgesics. That is to say, even if one maintains that the public health problem of prescription drug abuse sufficiently justifies curtailment of the use of opioid analgesics, it remains an open question whether the use of opioid contracts is ethically justified as a means to that end. Our position here is that regardless of one’s perspective on the merits of the end, the universal use of opioid contracts is ethically dubious and should be scaled back if not abandoned entirely.

2014. Goldberg, D. & Rich, B. Pharmacovigilence and the plight of chronic pain patients: in pursuit of a realistic and responsible ethic of care. Indiana Health Law Review, 11 Ind. Health L. Rev. 83: 16.

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“Revealed: the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces”

Revealed: the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces. The Telegraph, 7/22/14.

There is no justification, no excuse, no rationale.

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Bit(ch) 15: “They had me on Morphine and OxyContin for a while…”

Kylie “Tee” Toponce. Why Marijuana Works Better Than Opiates to Control Pain. AlterNet, 5/9/14.

“It started with a snowboarding accident; my knee got really messed up. They had me on Morphine and OxyContin for a while, but eventually the prescriptions ran out. As soon as they stopped giving me a legitimate source, I got into the underground scene,” says Randall*. “I was pronounced legally dead once, but I still didn’t clean up. My eight-year addiction didn’t stop until it eventually landed me behind bars.”

CDC. Policy Impact: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses: What’s the Issue? http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/

Fucking “Randall”—acute pain and he gets motherfucking morphine and Oxy as first choice pain meds? Come on! Morphine? Who’s this quack and why won’t he give me some fucking morphine?

Cases like Randall’s are not uncommon; roughly 6 percent of people who take legitimately-prescribed opiates try heroine within ten years.

How A Big Drug Company Inadvertently Got Americans Hooked On Heroin. HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/24/heroin-epidemic_n_4790898.html

“not uncommon”? “Not rare” is 6%? Out of 100%, 6% is “not uncommon.” WTMF? This means that 94% of the time, people given prescriptions for Oxycontin and its relatives do not become “Randalls.” Out of 100 people, only 6 are Randalls. What about us 94 Percenters?

I agree that “125,000 [overdose deaths] in the last decade,” about 1250 per year, is alarming. If MADD’s statistics are accurate “28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes” every day, about 10,220 a year. Cigarette smoking leads to “480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.” I’m not saying the overdoses aren’t significant or that nothing should be done about the increase in opiate-related overdoses and rising rates of heroin use and overdose deaths, but I am complaining about the whiff of hysteria I smell every time opiates or pain medications are mentioned. Should caution be applied? Yes. Unlike in fucking “Randall’s” case. Should patients on opiates be educated and, if at risk, screened? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that 1 prescription of Lortab or even Oxycontin will create an opiate addict or will inevitably lead to junkie status and overdose death because…I’ve never quite found the reason why when those at most risk to die of opiate overdoses are “35 to 54 years of age,…white or Native American,…on Medicaid,…living in a rural area.” Other groups also are at risk but if doctors don’t screen or educate their patients on how to properly and safely use pain medications, why use the outliers to punish the 94%? Because that obviously has not worked.

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