January was a hard month for many across the Northern hemisphere. Floods and tornadoes plagued 3 continents. Eventually, an out of season Hurricane appeared in the Atlantic, they named him Alex.
At one point the North Pole's temperature was warmer than for some of us on the main land. Chicago registered minus 26 Degrees windchill.
[caption id="attachment_47106" align="aligncenter" width="630"] Climate Change[/caption]
A friend was on a train from Virginia to Washington State and reported on the terrible weather she encountered across the American continent. A Snow storm covered 14 States, killed 24 people and parked 1400 planes.
My grandson Malcolm ( His story was featured in the January newsletter) drove for hours in feet of snow to take his daughter to the northern part of Michigan. Thanks to SKYPE I was able to go along like a back seat driver. I played with my 2-year old great granddaughter Skylar and occasionally helped watch the road. Malcolm is in the process of relocating to be closer to family.
Speaking of Michigan.... Finally Flint is going to get some help with the lead-poisoned water. Malcolm explained the mechanics of that disaster to me; Rachel Maddow and Michael Moore and now President Obama picked up the torch and hopefully something will get done. How can a city in our country poison the people..... guess?!.... MONEY!
There were many Earthquakes around the Ring of Fire and we, here in the Great North West were plagued with 1,000's of tremors in a couple of weeks.
[caption id="attachment_47107" align="aligncenter" width="630"] Earthquakes[/caption]
While everyone was busy recovering from the holidays and different festivities around the globe, Poland passed a law which, when implemented, has ALL Media reports passing through government screening. Everything will be censored and in many places countries are falling into old habits.
My grandson (I have 5 grandsons) Sirius came to assist me with some errands. While in town we decided to stop for a burger. The place is a little on the edge of town but icy or not we stopped in to eat. I have been in Olympia for 50 years and enjoy teaching the young ones the history of the town as much as I have experienced and witnessed it. I was unable to remember how old the Cafe was and asked the waitress. She did not know but was able to inform me new owners had acquired the place a couple of years back. In the 70's I was very involved with Race Relations in the area. Do to my skin color I was free to move about and reported on places which had racial bias towards minority patrons.
When the waitress notified me who the new owners were I regretted having stopped there, especially since because of my report their previous restaurant was put on an OFF LIMITS for Military personnel. By now all Caucasian guests had left and I stopped at the lady's room on my way to the cash register. In plain site was a $20. I picked it up and confronted the waitress about the possibility of her having deliberately placed it there. She blushed and put it in her pocket rather than the cash register. I explained to my grandson how I thought the country was going backwards in reference to race-relations.
Sweden is in the process of eliminating ALL cash.
I also showed him some of my new posts which came in on my Social Network while we were out. There were several versions of this painting. Several different ethnic groups had curtailed it to their own circumstances. It is sad to see the world reversing into the old racism I encountered when first arriving 50 years ago.
In order to relax I make it a point to watch a “HAPPY” movie before turning in to sleep.
I started to watch what I thought was a movie from the 40's. It turned out to be a Film/Documentary about Hermann Wilhelm Göring …. the right hand of Hitler... and his baby Brother, who was a great humanitarian and saved many lives during the Nazi Era. I wanted to turn it off; I do not like anything connected to that era and just as I was about to push stop was a scene which caught my interest. The brothers were arguing about all the things Hermann wanted to implement. Before his brother could raise any objection Hermann said: “ Don;t worry, no-one is STUPID enough to elect me!” He WAS elected. After the death of millions he was sentenced to death. He committed suicide before his execution was able to take place.......
I watched all current debates in order to be able to make a fair judgment if asked what I think about our Elections. In MR Trump's own words: “I am tired of being politically correct”. When there is a possibility for a future President to be 86'd from certain civilized countries, including England....we are in a bit of trouble with the world. I watched Mr Trump...watched several months.. I go from Comedian to Bully to Hitler. He talks and talks..... everything is HATEFUL and Racist.... what are the policies... free tickets to free talks. Many of us may be in trouble for speaking so freely, at one point.
My grandson in Law Carlos became an American, Congratulations!
[caption id="attachment_47109" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Getting American citizenship[/caption]
While all this HOOPLA with the election is taking place we had some good news! The agreement with IRAN was implemented. President Obama, along with several other Nations accomplished what was put in place several months ago AND there was a added bonus. 5 Americans were released from an Iranian prison and are on their way home as we speak.
I have often wondered how we manage to get our citizens out of foreign prisons when we have so many people of foreign Nationality in our prisons. The world is watching as we mismanage our own prison system.
While on the subject of prisons..... some of us are hoping for this President to pardon Leonard Peltier this time so he can spend just a little time with his family before going home to his ancestors. He is so ill and so many people have fought for his freedom for so many years to no avail.
Florida's criminal justice system has fallen into a mess of our own making.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision last week finding serious flaws in Florida’s death penalty sentencing procedures. Suddenly, there’s considerable uncertainty about the sentences imposed on the 368 condemned prisoners on Death Row. Except for the absolute certainty that their lawyers are about to flood Florida courts with petitions demanding reconsideration of their cases. And that even more time and money and paper and patience will be devoured by Florida’s death penalty process.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fred-grimm/article55317590.html#storylink=cpy
Karen has been a Long Distance friend of mine long before Facebook and MySpace. 20 years maybe? She lives in Sydney, Australia. I'd like to share a letter I got from her with you:
Hi Lilian, thanks for sharing it….xx
January 18, 2016.
Dear Governor Scott,
I am an Australian citizen who has visited your lovely state of Florida many times with my family. We have spent a lot of tourist dollars enjoying the theme parks, seaside resorts and the cosmopolitan vibe of Miami.
However, it really bothers me that Florida has the highest rate of death row exonerations in the USA. This indicates that there are imperfections in the legal system. It also suggests that there are likely to be many more innocent or wrongfully convicted people remaining on death row in Florida.
Governor Scott- you are in the unique position to grant clemency to condemned capital prisoners, which places an enormous legal and moral responsibility upon your shoulders. The possibility of executing an innocent man must weigh heavily upon anyone granted the awful authority to decide whether a fellow human being lives or dies.
My interest in the process of capital punishment in Florida is very personal because I have been a friend of Michael Lambrix for nearly 16 years. I have studied his case and am appalled that his clemency appeal, which exposed all kinds of irregularities in his case, was dismissed. Because of procedural bars, many of these irregularities have never been presented in a court.
Michael Lambrix was offered a lesser sentence on two occasions, but refused, trusting that the legal system would eventually recognize his innocence. However, now he sits in a cell on death watch, awaiting his execution which you sanctioned.
There is something very wrong with a legal system which allowed a man to be condemned to death by a jury majority rather than a unanimous jury. There is something wrong with a system which refused to let a capital defendant testify during his trial. And there is something terribly wrong with a system that doesn’t allow errors to be rectified because of procedural bars which to the layman, are technicalities preventing mitigating evidence from being presented because of time constraints.
The Lambrix case has been marred by many procedural bars which have prevented him from pursuing his claims of innocence. No doubt you are aware of these claims, as are many people around the world who have been following his case.
Michael Lambrix has been in prison for almost 33 years, 32 of them in solitary confinement on death row. This makes him one of the longest serving death row prisoners in the country. If executing a man who has already served 32 years in solitary confinement is not ‘heinous, atrocious and cruel’, I don’t know what is. Had he accepted the proffered plea bargains he would have been a free man, enjoying his grandchildren and golden years.
Sir, the Lambrix case is very complex and deserves full review. The power of life or death is in your hands and you have the responsibility of making sure that an innocent man is not executed. The recent Hurst decision also creates doubts about the future of the death penalty itself, and it would be morally repugnant to execute Mr Lambrix during this period of uncertainty. Not only is it morally repugnant, but the governor who signs the death warrants risks being judged by history as a mass murderer himself.
Please don’t let this proceed to execution. Please do not allow Florida to be eternally tainted by the execution of an innocent man especially now that the death penalty could be rescinded.
That man’s name is Michael Lambrix, a son, a brother, a father of 3, a grandfather of 6 and a friend of many people around the world.
Suppose we did slip into the future without knowing it, it would be so advisable to pay attention who and what we associate our-selves with. It would appear we are about to repeat what this planet has experienced before. I can only imagine what the Captain of a passing spaceship comes up with as to how to fix our amnesia and decides to save this planet, because that is what it will take. Intervention! Aliens! HURRY!
Rainbow over Seattle taken from Bainbridge Island and posted by KOMO.
Love and Light
Here is a segment of the Rachel Maddow Show, which may prove my point