I just finished the Chris Hedges piece on Daniel Hale, the brave young man held in containment, a federal prison with limited communication, and zero treatment for his PTSD.
Hale, a 34-year-old former Air Force signals intelligence analyst, is serving a 45 month prison sentence, following his conviction under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified documents about the U.S. military’s drone assassination program and its high civilian death toll. The documents are believed to be the source material for “The Drone Papers” published by The Intercept, on October 15, 2015.
These documents revealed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations drone airstrikes killed more than 200 people — of which only 35 were the intended targets. According to the documents, over one five-month period of the operation, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”
Here you go, the interview Hedges did of Hale’s lawyer:
And, my comments this morning, August 1, since I like to flare up the Scheer Post middlings:
Ahh, the heroes in America are many times locked up, locked down, locked in, locked backwards. As we can see, Hale was in it for the money, as he was another one of those millions of aimless youth, American youth, but also modern youth, culled by the monsters of capitalism and consumerism and pay pay pay for any sort of forward “success.”
Judges! What human stain. I doubt many readers of Scheer Post have dealt with them, but I have, as a case manager for homeless folk, with outstanding tickets and fines, warrants for their arrests for not paying fines (tickets) tied to loitering or trespassing, etc. Then those monster judges in rape trials. Or, just the dude with Tim DeChristopher, who protested BLM land lease sales by holding up Bidder 70 sign during a bidding event. The judge said, “If you would have been contrite and admitted the error of your ways, I would have given you six weeks, time served.” Instead, two years in federal prison. This is the thuggery of American injustice. Imagine that, homeless people in jail for unpaid bills.
Debtors prison on steroids.
Ahh, old people who poured fake blood on missiles, hell, throw the book at them. Put them in prison so they can die.
Here, female radicals — you want to see injustice from long ago up to now?
And so it comes down for Hale and millions like him that Faustian bargain. Do things for the shekel, and in this predatory dog-eat-dog,, king-of-the-hill society, oh, you’ll do almost anything to survive and thrive.
I taught at several colleges, English, writing, rhetoric, where drone programs are hailed as the next great thing. Young women and men taking those classes. All the bells and whistles and toys. This is the sickness of modern society. Drone in Israel, drones in Turkey, drones in Yemen, drones in USA, drones in Canada, drones in Ukraine, drones in Russia.
I know it is tangential, but look at Biden then, ’93, and now. Mister Expand the Death Penalty 57 different new ways. Listen to his thuggery, his inarticulate way, that old Ivy League stupidity, and another loser killer with a worthless law degree. He relishes putting predators in prison.
These are the monsters, those who need sterilization, who need to go the way of the Dodo.
The USA is no different than Midnight Express . . . Black Site USA! Despicabable as the general population does selfie’s overlooking a cliff where fellow AmeriKKKans slide off in a storm.
You know, Hale, the drone kid, the one who blew the whistle on the murdering of civilians by the USA, under the auspices of the great male-female-LGBT soldiering on for criminal capitalism. He was featured prominently in the award-winning documentary National Bird, a film about whistleblowers in the US drone program.
I reference Tim DeChristopher, Bidder 70.
“Have you ever read Franz Kafka’s The Trial?”
That is the first thing that Patrick Shea, a member of jailed climate activist Tim DeChristopher’s legal defense team, says to me when I call him this morning to ask him about reports that DeChristopher has been pulled out of his minimum security camp at Herlong federal prison in California and thrown into isolated confinement in an 8 x 10-foot cell. His latest crime? Sending an email to a colleague with a “threat” to give back a $25,000 donation to his legal defense fund because DeChristopher, one of the most principled people I have ever encountered, discovered that his donor was exporting U.S. manufacturing jobs. (source)
Amazing people, these young men, for sure. But, the reality is young men have not only slipped through the cracks, but the cracks — decent real hands on education, community engagement mentoring, outside land love, male and female rendezvous bonding, hiking, growing, playing schools, ending the violent images, the crap on TV, the smart deadly phone crap, the hard porn, the war porn, intergenerational learning, mentoring, engaged within community boards, planning, politics — were created by accident and intentionally through the United States of Lies, Propaganda, War, Terror.
I saw beginning before my college teaching in 1983 how men in school, many of them, just did not get along. Not all of them, but since 1983, there have been studies on the great American Male Quit. There are recruitment tricks and white papers and studies on getting men back into school, back into liberal arts, back into engaged learning within multidisciplinary and multigenerational and both sexes learning.
This is not male bonding:
Tyler Durden On Adverstising: “Advertising Has Us Chasing Cars And Clothes, Working Jobs We Hate So We Can Buy Shit We Don’t Need.”
Here other quotes from Chuck Palenick’s book:
“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
“You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways.”
“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
“The things you used to own, now they own you.”
“Today is the sort of day where the sun only comes up to humiliate you.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
So, from the neoliberal, pro-Democratic Party, Chronical of Higher Education, several latest articles ringing the emergency bell on the men failing in college:
“No, the Boys Are Not Doing Just Fine: Men trail women from grade school through college. That’s a real problem.”
Gender gaps in higher education do not appear out of nowhere. To a large extent they reflect the disparities in the K-12 education system. Girls outperform boys at every stage, and in almost every subject. According to my analysis, two-thirds of the students graduating high school with a GPA in the top 10 percent of the distribution are female. The ratio is reversed at the bottom. (Source)
“The Problem Nobody’s Talking About: Men have trailed women in degree completion for decades. Why aren’t colleges doing anything?”
For decades now, men have trailed women in college completion. Barely 40 percent of men earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, compared with just over half of women, federal data show. Even fewer Black and Hispanic men graduate on time — 21 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
But the pandemic, which has led to a disproportionate enrollment decline among male students, is expected to deepen the divide. Nationwide, male enrollment has fallen 8.6 percent over the past two years, while female enrollment has dropped by 6.5 percent, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. There were nearly three million more women enrolled in college this spring than men. (source)
Here, one of the images in this story: Oscar Joya, here at the ice-cream shop where he’s worked since 2018, has dropped out of the U. of Washington twice.
It is complicated, and of course, toxic masculinity is real and overblown at the same time, and we know the toxic Hillary Clinton laughing at a world leader being murdered with a knife poked up his rectum. Gaddhfi. And the four dress-earing women running the top military offensive weapons companies. You get the picture, that there are so many mean, wrong, dangerous women.
My own work in education as an educator, then in sustainability circles and then in social work has seen me come face to face with damaged women, damaged straight and bi-sexual and queer women who had come after me for being male. Being too, well, my voice, too deep. Absurdity and dangerous until we have crises in education and social work and nursing and foster care and day care. No men, or few. And then the men are resentful, zip up their lips when microaggressions and macro-aggressions rule the day.
I never zip my mouth, and when someone declares, “this is a safe place,” I sort of believe them. I have been fired for advocating adults with developmental disabilities, foster youth in programs supporting them from 16 to 21, and alas, from other gigs. My work in education as been part-time, precarious, and so when no classes are given to me the proceeding semester or quarter, I have been fired.
“Your voice is too male . . . you have a real male worldview . . . your experiences seem to be almost macho . . . you have no idea how women respond to a male colleague . . . . “
So, we have men and women, boys and girls, who never see male workers in social work, medicine, education. My K12 sub jobs included youth telling me that I was the first “boy teacher we have had . . . . Can you be our teacher?”
Now, there are ways to nuance the information here from the above article:
“Men arrive with the attitude that college is about partying, competitive heterosexual sex, not preparing for academics, and breaking the rules,” he said.
Colleges also come in for their share of the blame, with critics accusing them of creating environments that are hostile to young men. They argue that a focus on gender equity and sexual-assault prevention has led to the censoring of speech deemed “politically incorrect,” and to the treatment of young men as predators.
“I feel that college is not geared toward us,” said Thomas Efrem, a junior at the University of Washington who is part of the Brotherhood Initiative. “There’s a lot of rhetoric against the patriarchy — I get it, but it feels like people point the finger at us.”
Efrem said that when he tries to challenge the conventional wisdom around issues related to gender equality, offering research to support his points, professors and students shut him down.
“There’s a lot of narrative pushing, and I don’t like that,” he said.
Colleges have also come under fire for offering programs and seminars — some student-driven — aimed at freeing young men from the pressures and constraints of traditional masculinity, often referred to as “toxic masculinity.” To college’s conservative critics, such training amounts to emasculation, an attempt to “reprogram” college-aged men to behave more like college-aged women.
But the idea is to not throw out of hand these comments. These are perceptions, feelings, and these men’s points of view. As educators, we should embrace a lot of things, many of which run counter to our own thinking, philosophy, lives, and backgrounds.
Below is my piece for September’s Newport News Times tied to those goofy “the month of [blank] is national [blank] commemoration month.”
It dips into that arena of Intergenerational love and thinking and duty. I also talk about men, too. Working these small-town newspaper essays demands I balance and know my audience. There will not be another Paul Haeder reading my stuff, so I have to pull back on the radicalness that we all should have been embracing from cradle to cradle. Truly. I can’t really expose the double- and triple-standards of the people I have worked with, locally, where I was fired and where I had to quit because of unprofessional, mean-as-cuss, limited-thinking females. I’ve written about those experiences all over the place, including here, Dissident Voice, LA Progressive and even Hormones Matter: Check out the three-part series on my case management hell and Planned Parenthood-Seattle here.
For now, a peak into small-town Newport/Lincoln County/Waldport/Yachats/Lincoln City:
National Intergenerational Month — Talking about Trees
September’s here, the month that brings in Fall. Looking at the national holiday list for September, I notice over 30 “themes” celebrated or commemorated. Here are just a few:
- National Hispanic Heritage
- Childhood Obesity
- Childhood Cancer
- Pain Awareness
Diving into that intergenerational theme, I realize I’ve been intently interfacing with people decades younger than I am. In Waldport, Portland, Spokane, Seattle, and Alaska, I have talked with people thirty and forty years my junior.
I have deep conversations with some of the houseless rough sleepers in Waldport: guys that are in their thirties who have taken to life outside the “norms” of job, home, roots. Much of what I have discovered is trauma piled onto each individual since childhood. I hearken to Dr. Gabor Mate:
“From early infancy, it appears that our ability to regulate emotional states depends upon the experience of feeling that a significant person in our life is simultaneously experiencing a similar state of mind.” (documentary, “The Wisdom of Trauma”).
I’ve met one young guy at a Newport pharmacy who had dreams of being a marine biologist but whose poor health limited that aspiration.
I’ve got a book out, “Coastal People inside a Deep Dive,” featuring amazing Lincoln County folk from my column at Oregon Coast Today. Many of those I featured were both old and young, and every age in between.
Every day I meet amazing young people in various stages of their wonderful evolutions. Many are living with complex PTSD. Others are working through financial strain. Each conversation with someone younger than I takes me to their spiritual home.
Listening is important in today’s age. Many old timers say in the old days we listened more, engaged more with people outside our socio-economic and cultural-ethnic backgrounds.
I’ve had deep conversations with Chuck Ellard who runs Newport’s Pacific Digital printing. I’ve written about him, and he is featured in the Coastal People book. He’s in his late thirties, just had a son, and moved from Logsden to Seal Rock. He sees himself as a vital member of the community, assisting individuals with their framing needs or getting printing huge jobs from the Lincoln County School District.
A young woman who is working in a five and dime tells me of her dreams of being a writer, and wants to major in literature at U of O. A single parent’s health issues forced her to help pay the bills, so she is in a holding pattern working 50 hours a week. She has a real grace in this derailed point in her life.
I’ve been spending a few hours with a “tree man,” an arborist. Tyler Muth is from Waldport, went to school here, and now this 29-year-old has his own tree service business. He is tall and lanky. Think of a bearded young Brad Pitt.
Muth likes climbing trees. He respects the tree and encourages people to keep healthy trees.
He uses ropes to climb and small chain saws and handsaws. He knows the species of trees, and he is studying for certification through the International Society of Arboriculture.
We talk about Tyler’s years trying to make it as a pro surfer. He likes hitting waves, and he’s surfed up and down the Pacific Coast. He first competed when he was 12.
His business, Dr. Hingewood, allows for some free surf time. He’s worked in construction, and he even did a stint for a mobile slaughter house killing and dressing cows. He tired of that job, as he says it got to him: “I don’t like killing animals. I don’t own a gun. I even had a hard time last week killing a fish.”
He’s done some gnarly jobs, up in big timber, and those cuts are dangerous. He knows his back cuts (the third and final cut made on the opposite side of the notch). His business’ name, Dr. Hingewood, ties into how the portion of a tree left uncut – the hinge — can control the direction of the fall.
We talk about family, and he isn’t married and says doesn’t want children. “My freedom and lifestyle would make it difficult to raise a child. I like my freedom to just pick up and go surfing.”
He’s a businessman with a contractor’s license, and he says he has challenges keeping guys on payroll since many just pick up and take off for other gigs, like building wind turbines or commercial fishing.
He is a self-described tree nerd. I’ve written many stories about arborists, urban forestry programs and the value of trees in places like Spokane and Seattle. Out here, Tyler works with mostly private customers, usually with nuisance trees.
We both look up at the aging cypress on the neighbor’s property overhanging my wife and my backyard. He sees the canopy, the architecture of the tree, the hidden deadwood and fossilized wood in the middle of the trunk.
That sky — those crows, the giant unruly evergreen, blue herons squawking – gets Tyler and I talking. He’s an easy-going man with keen sense of follow- through. I listen; he listens. He tells me about the time a 14-foot great white shark “sort of just appeared” under him while he was surfing off the Oregon coast.
This is the kind of intergenerational discourse we all need. We talk about how men struggle to communicate and to know themselves.
Tyler goes about life with an even keel, he says, and while he isn’t blind to the world, he tells me that he is not so engaged in huge political debates.
“I keep busy. I love trees.” He relishes climbing, figuring out what to cut, and how to get that cut wood down without breaking a patio or his own neck. We both interject our “almost broke my neck” stories. This is intergenerational communication at its best, looking up at a 100-year-old busted up cypr
Daniel Hale: “I am here to answer for my own crimes and not that of another person,” he said at his sentencing. “And it would appear that I am here today to answer for the crime of stealing papers, for which I expect to spend some portion of my life in prison. But what I am really here for is having stolen something that was never mine to take: precious human life. For which I was well-compensated and given a medal. I couldn’t keep living in a world in which people pretended things weren’t happening that were. My consequential decision to share classified information about the drone program with the public was a gesture not taken lightly, nor one I would have taken at all if I believed such a decision had the possibility of harming anyone but myself. I acted not for the sake of self-aggrandizement but that I might some day humbly ask forgiveness.” (source)
After his sentencing on Tuesday July 26, 2011, Tim Dechristopher gave a 35 minute statement to the judge. Grist has published the entire statement on their website, here is an excerpt:
Thank you for the opportunity to speak before the court. When I first met Mr. Manross, the sentencing officer who prepared the presentence report, he explained that it was essentially his job to “get to know me.” He said he had to get to know who I really was and why I did what I did in order to decide what kind of sentence was appropriate. I was struck by the fact that he was the first person in this courthouse to call me by my first name, or even really look me in the eye. I appreciate this opportunity to speak openly to you for the first time. I’m not here asking for your mercy, but I am here asking that you know me.
Mr. Huber has leveled a lot of character attacks at me, many of which are contrary to Mr. Manross’s report. While reading Mr. Huber’s critiques of my character and my integrity, as well as his assumptions about my motivations, I was reminded that Mr. Huber and I have never had a conversation. Over the two and half years of this prosecution, he has never asked me any of the questions that he makes assumptions about in the government’s report. Apparently, Mr. Huber has never considered it his job to get to know me, and yet he is quite willing to disregard the opinions of the one person who does see that as his job.
There are alternating characterizations that Mr. Huber would like you to believe about me. In one paragraph, the government claims I “played out the parts of accuser, jury, and judge as he determined the fate of the oil and gas lease auction and its intended participants that day.” In the very next paragraph, they claim, “It was not the defendant’s crimes that effected such a change.” Mr. Huber would lead you to believe that I’m either a dangerous criminal who holds the oil and gas industry in the palm of my hand, or I’m just an incompetent child who didn’t affect the outcome of anything. As evidenced by the continued back and forth of contradictory arguments in the government’s memorandum, they’re not quite sure which of those extreme caricatures I am, but they are certain that I am nothing in between. Rather than the job of getting to know me, it seems Mr. Huber prefers the job of fitting me into whatever extreme characterization is most politically expedient at the moment.
In nearly every paragraph, the government’s memorandum uses the words lie, lied, lying, liar. It makes me want to thank whatever clerk edited out the words “pants on fire.” Their report doesn’t mention the fact that at the auction in question, the first person who asked me what I was doing there was Agent Dan Love. And I told him very clearly that I was there to stand in the way of an illegitimate auction that threatened my future. I proceeded to answer all of his questions openly and honestly, and have done so to this day when speaking about that auction in any forum, including this courtroom. The entire basis for the false statements charge that I was convicted of was the fact that I wrote my real name and address on a form that included the words “bona fide bidder.” When I sat there on the witness stand, Mr. Romney asked me if I ever had any intention of being a bona fide bidder. I responded by asking Mr. Romney to clarify what “bona fide bidder” meant in this context. Mr. Romney then withdrew the question and moved on to the next subject. On that right there is the entire basis for the government’s repeated attacks on my integrity. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff, your honor.
Mr. Huber also makes grand assumptions about my level of respect for the rule of law. The government claims a long prison sentence is necessary to counteract the political statements I’ve made and promote a respect for the law. The only evidence provided for my lack of respect for the law is political statements that I’ve made in public forums. Again, the government doesn’t mention my actions in regard to the drastic restrictions that were put upon my defense in this courtroom. My political disagreements with the court about the proper role of a jury in the legal system are probably well known. I’ve given several public speeches and interviews about how the jury system was established and how it has evolved to its current state. Outside of this courtroom, I’ve made my views clear that I agree with the founding fathers that juries should be the conscience of the community and a defense against legislative tyranny. I even went so far as to organize a book study group that read about the history of jury nullification. Some of the participants in that book group later began passing out leaflets to the public about jury rights, as is their right. Mr. Huber was apparently so outraged by this that he made the slanderous accusations that I tried to taint the jury. He didn’t specify the extra number of months that I should spend in prison for the heinous activity of holding a book group at the Unitarian Church and quoting Thomas Jefferson in public, but he says you should have “little tolerance for this behavior.”
But here is the important point that Mr. Huber would rather ignore. Despite my strong disagreements with the court about the Constitutional basis for the limits on my defense, while I was in this courtroom I respected the authority of the court. Whether I agreed with them or not, I abided by the restrictions that you put on me and my legal team. I never attempted to “taint” the jury, as Mr. Huber claimed, by sharing any of the relevant facts about the auction in question that the court had decided were off limits. I didn’t burst out and tell the jury that I successfully raised the down payment and offered it to the BLM. I didn’t let the jury know that the auction was later reversed because it was illegitimate in the first place. To this day I still think I should have had the right to do so, but disagreement with the law should not be confused with disrespect for the law.