"A citizen in United States should never expect to gain justice through the judicial system. The system is so corrupted that in the rare case when justice prevails, it is not because of, but it is in spite of, the system.” Rosemarie Jackowski
We are posting this call to action today because a kind and decent woman needs your help. Rosemarie Jackowski is a 68-year-old grandmother/Air Force Veteran/writer/anti-war activist and an advocacy journalist living in Vermont.
"On March 20, 2003, I participated in a peaceful protest against the war. I was arrested, incarcerated, handcuffed, booked, fingerprinted, photographed, arraigned, tried, convicted and sentenced. My conviction is currently under Appeal in the Vermont State Supreme Court. Courtroom procedure allows the condemned the Right of Allocution. This was the first time that I was allowed to speak freely and openly to the court. Below are my words, as I spoke them, to Judge David Suntag, in Vermont District Court, in Bennington, Vt., on October 7, 2004."
The idea of a jury steamrolling a grandmother for committing an act of civil disobedience is, unfortunately, not very surprising in America’s current political climate. BUT… That is not subject of today’s appeal to you. The current injustice facing this amicable woman has to do with her actions as a plaintiff stemming from a traffic accident in Vermont in the year 2000. While waiting in a line of traffic she was rear ended by a loaded logging truck. Many eyewitnesses reported the truck driver was “distracted” by some young ladies on the roadside and clearly the negligent party in the accident. It would seem like a straightforward case but for the fact that the truck was owned and operated by the state of Vermont. It gets worse. It has taken FIVE YEARS for the government to even begin her deposition.
I urge you to read the horrific details of this matter in her recent article:
Being deposed by a government lawyer for a case where the State is the defendant is, no doubt, a rough ride. It would seem that the State of Vermont had an intimidation card up its sleeve when the lawyer’s questions began to stray far from the case at hand into the realm of Rosemarie’s political beliefs and very personal life. An excerpt from The Deposition:
"The big day arrived. I was taken into a small, windowless room in the state’s attorney’s office complex. I looked around. There was a one-way mirror opposite to where I was seated. There were some metal bookshelves with black garbage bags on them. It reminded me of Abu Ghraib.
I was told to raise my right hand and was sworn in. Then the interrogation by an assistant to the state attorney general began. She asked questions about my political activities… questions about my political writings. She had copied all of them from the Internet and waved them about with great emotion. She seemed excited by the fact that some of my articles had appeared on a web site that has a four-letter word in its name. Obviously, she thought that this would embarrass me. It did not. I calmly explained to her that I do not have a web site and I have no control over what name other people give to their web sites. I don’t know if she believed me or not.
Then the interrogation got even more interesting. She asked questions about my sex life. She asked questions about my marriage that had ended 35 years prior. Then she started to ask detailed questions about the fact that I had been the victim of a brutal rape. The rape, which is irrelevant to this case, had occurred 40, yes 40, years ago during a time when I was working in Florida. By now, it had become very clear to me what was happening. There was no doubt in my mind that this was an attempt to intimidate me."
Whether or not you agree with Rosemarie’s political beliefs they should not hold any bearing in her case against a State-owned trucking company that had caused her much physical anguish and financial devastation. As for the exceptionally private matters of sexual assault or divorce- the representative of the State of Vermont has gone too far! This is not the progressive State that I have read about over the years. This is brutal.
We are appealing to you, dear reader, to take a few moments to write to one or all of the people listed below and join us in demanding a fair and equitable conclusion to this rather straightforward case of negligence on the part of an employee of the State of Vermont. The harassment and obfuscation by the assistant to the state attorney general and the dragging out of this otherwise uncomplicated matter are Justice delayed and Justice denied.
A susinct sentence or two is all we ask. If you are a Blogger we would ask that you perhaps utilize your own space to help spread this appeal with your own article or a link back to this one. Thank you very much.
It is not the end of the world-just the end of Canada as a progressive beacon to free thinkers around the world. Who would have thought that the politically obtuse in this country admired the political rancour and fundamentalist hate agenda in the USA so much that they would vote to have the same kind of socially regressive Neoconservative government here?
There are some dark days ahead for socially progressive thinkers in Canada. While there is no argument that Paul Martin made a dog’s breakfast of the Prime Minister's office, seeing Harper as a viable federal leader takes a far greater leap of the imagination.
The boost from every media outlet in the country crowning Harper two weeks before the election was no doubt a definitive factor in the voting decisions of all the mushheads in this country who form their political choices based on flyers, TV ads and the media's perspective.
A large portion of the credit for Harper’s win goes to our dismal corporate media for crowning the Neocons pre-election, and creating the mood of acceptability for the unacceptable by promoting disproportionate (almost seemingly fabricated) poll results as inevitable fact.
Even the media outlets tagged as “socialist” by the Neocons in Canada were vigorously promoting the “change” meme while touting the lopsided (and ridiculously inaccurate) polls and swaying the votes of the politically obtuse eater/breeders in Canada who essentially know nothing about politics and the social differences between progressives (notice I didn’t say Liberals) and the new Reform/ Alliance/Regressive Conservative government. The desire to "get with a winner" among the not so politically astute cannot be underestimated, especially when the media is promoting a victor long before a ballot is cast.
The questionable corporate media are still today touting “new polls” that are explaining why they ceded Harper the PMO in every “news” item well before the election. Harper's new haircut had apparently dissolved his “Alberta firewall” separatist hatred of everybody east of Calgary (and the “culture of defeat” in the Atlantic provinces). The man who stated that “Canada should drop bilingualism” and that homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice” was suddenly Quebec’s best friend. It was as though Harper were carrying a hypno-toad in his back pocket that was set on the podium every time a camera rolled. There was no Brian Mulroney, Reform Western Separatist Alliance, Air Bus corruption scandal, or forcing of the GST onto the Canadian Public,(back when the conservatives still had “progressive” tacked on the front of their moniker like a deer head on a pickup truck.)
The Neoconservatives were suddenly the new populist dragon slayers who were going to liberate the great unwashed from this evil GST tax (incrementally over the arrogant presumption that they will retain power for FIVE YEARS).
No, the media just smiled and gleefully parroted all of Harper’s “populist” Pollyanna promises without questioning how it would balance with the pricey new militarization of Canada, the dispensing of $1,200 annual “breeder welfare cheques” in lieu of a child care program, and tax cuts for the monster house and SUV crowd. Their campaign of endless (and mathematically flawed) promises was so full of sugar and handouts that nobody stopped to question how tax cuts (massive corporate and minor public) and token money handouts would be paid for. (Wait and see what social programs are sliced once the Liberal surplus is spent, suckers).
The Neocons tucked all of their fundamentalist bigots, (“the world is 6000 thousand years old” and "God hates Fags" crowd) into spider holes where the media could not find them - very clever indeed. The media stopped questioning where the true faces of the party were hiding. It just didn’t matter anymore when there was so much fawning over the brilliance of the campaign to be done. Peter MacKay let the mask slip telling Alexa McDonough to “go back to her knitting” in a typical display of the right wing attitude toward powerful women. The media let it slide. It was just a good ol’ boy having some fun with the girls.
Meanwhile the Liberals ran a sloppy and visionless campaign. Their attempt to recycle their 2004 campaign was a disaster because the Neocons were slick enough to pre-emptively tell the electorate ad nauseam that their very real fear of the Neocon fundamentalist agenda never existed. It was all merely Liberal “fear and smear”. The media was all over every inch of the Liberals shaky and occasionally silly campaign and with unending vigilance reported every hiccup and miscue.
Then suddenly out of nowhere but in the middle of the election campaign, those paragons of virtue the RCMP announced they were investigating a “leak” over income trust decisions. Go ask somebody on the street what they think about the “income trust scandal” and get back to me if you find anybody who even knows what it is.
Doesn’t matter; the media was all over it like flies on turd. It was just more corruption accusation to piece together with the Quebec scandal. Let’s see how the media follows up on it now that their predetermined winners have taken office. Never ones to question the dubious and damaging timing of this announcement, I’m certain our pliant media hacks will tuck the fact that this “scandal” that so needed to be blown up during the campaign has gone nowhere. But golly it sure did hurt the flailing Liberal campaign.
It seemed as though the campaigns had two distinctively separate degrees of coverage. While the Liberals were under the microscope in every venue, the Neocons received nothing but giggling schoolgirl praise for their slick aural assaults from a worshipful media.
Turns out the "wave of Tory Blue" that the media repeatedly touted with such overwhelming certainty was just a media creation. Even after the prematurely press-anointed party won their slim minority (and oh, surprise the Liberals weren’t decimated like all of those methodically reported polls predicted), the compliant media was still too busy applauding to criticize the rumblings of Neocon arrogance.
"The West has wanted in, the West is in now." (Harper victory speech) Of course by “West” you can read Alberta. This statement should fill any federalist progressive with appropriate foreboding. While I agree that the West has always needed stronger representation in Ottawa, could you imagine a leader from the East saying: "Ha ha, the East rules Canada!" ?
It is the beginning of the stark divisiveness that will come from an oil company run government that has nothing but spite for Eastern Canada, especially Hogtown. Of course, our corporate media has ignored this amazingly divisive statement entirely.
Having spent their entire time in opposition doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but trying to force an election, these arrogant Neoconservative prigs are now demanding compliance and cooperation from all other parties in the forwarding of their socially regressive neoconservative agenda.
Of course progressives are up against the wall - because after having an unnecessary and very costly winter election foisted upon us by the naked ambitions of the Neocons, the politically obtuse ‘vote where the media tells me to vote’ crowd will balk at any non-confidence motion against the Neoconservative agenda that includes tasty Cheney/Bush style nuggets like:
-American missiles on Canadian soil/coast and in space as parts of the American “missile defence” bubble that would allow the American neocons to further convince their gullible followers that they could continue with impunity to arrogantly invade and mass murder in foreign nations that do not bow to their corporate desires (or those of their 51st state Israel) without ever worrying about those “rogue state nukes” penetrating their military industrial White Elephant.
-The fundamentalist religious agenda of returning gays and lesbians back to their second-class status in Canadian society while getting a handle on all those uppity women who wish to choose how their reproductive habits are conducted (In defiance of the "Lord").
-The militarization and deeper integration of Canada into the American imperial crusades/occupations, with unquestioning support of Holy Israeli State Terrorism against everybody else in the Middle East.
The list is long and frightening and I’m sure we’ll all have to deal with it soon.
The fake Liberals ( Martin and Graham) started us down the long and expensive (in terms of tax dollars and human lives) occupation of Afghanistan as an adjunct of America’s Operation Enduring Orwell. Canada needs to get the hell out of this occupation, as it is no peacekeeping mission at all, but rather an American war of aggression and occupation against a nation that has done NOTHING to Canada. I’ll speak of this in my next post, as it is a significant black eye for Canada to be working directly under American command in a foreign theatre where mass murder, brutal torture, and many varied war crimes are systemic and widespread.
The true nature of the war and occupation in Afghanistan must be debated publicly and quickly because under the Neocons we are only going to sink deeper into the "graveyard of empires" without any real legitimate reason for all of the killing and media-ignored war crimes. Time for the NDP to stop talking about being progressive and start being progressive. to be continued...
Captain Canada? "As recently as May, 2003, he called Canada's support of multiculturalism a "weak nation strategy," and called for Canada to replace the "soft power" of persuasive diplomacy and peacekeeping with "hard military power" in the service of continental security. He said that "the time had come" to recognize that the US has unprecedented global power to use its military might to "advance free democratic order." Maude Barlow
year of the dog... You could read the amazing sites on my blogroll or you could sleep. This year will be better – unless you make it worse. I am counting on you. you know what love is. Happy best super year, babies.