Friday, November 23, 2007

Shock School

This is one of those things I would rather not have to post, I would rather it didn't exist. But it does, and so do hundreds of other schools that might not use electricity, but use methods just as frightening and damaging. And until they cease to exist, it is our job to expose them. A big thanks to Mother Jones for exposing this one.

Rob Santana awoke terrified. He'd had that dream again, the one where silver wires ran under his shirt and into his pants, connecting to electrodes attached to his limbs and torso. Adults armed with surveillance cameras and remote-control activators watched his every move. One press of a button, and there was no telling where the shock would hit—his arm or leg or, worse, his stomach. All Rob knew was that the pain would be intense.

Every time he woke from this dream, it took him a few moments to remember that he was in his own bed, that there weren't electrodes locked to his skin, that he wasn't about to be shocked. It was no mystery where this recurring nightmare came from—not A Clockwork Orange or 1984, but the years he spent confined in America's most controversial "behavior modification" facility. More

Saturday, November 3, 2007

the "mess" in DC's parks

so I just picked up last weeks Washington Post's Sunday Outlook section which serves as an expanded weekend editorial. On the last page is a short editorial, couched by two large pictures, one dipicting "tourists" in Lafayette park in the middle of a bright sunny day, and the other "homeless" in Mcpherson Square on a dark winter night. The author of the editorial argues that DC needs to clean up it's parks. As the writer puts it,
After all, what self-respecting Washingtonians would want to subject themselves to walking through ill-managed, overgrown, dying squats of land sprinkled with a statue or two and a vagabond on every bench? It is a national disgrace taht the parks in Washington are such unbelievable messes.
so according to the author, the homeless are merely a part of an unbelievable mess. Furthermore, according to the author, the solution is a few landscape artists, and some cops to keep the homeless out. He is apparently embarrassed, not by the fact that there are homeless in "the world's most powerful nation." But that those homeless are visible in our parks. He ends the editorial with "Someone should stand up and fix our parks at once."

It is clear that he thinks only one group of people count as Washingtonians, and that everyone else doesn't even count as a human.