May 26th, 2009


Remember Those With Shattered Minds

This article points out that not everyone wounded in battle has visible injuries.

Memorial Day: Let Us Not Overlook Those Wounded in Spirit
The Washington Post: "Today the country is supposed to honor the fallen of all its wars. But 'fallen' is a word for inscriptions and oratory - it doesn't really convey what happens to those caught up in the ghastly business of warfare and subject to all the horrors inflicted by flying metal, high explosives and machines made for destruction. Nor does it quite encompass what happened to many of those who served day after day in constant danger and surrounded by death. They lost something in the country's wars - but not a limb or eyesight or the ability to walk or any essential physical capability. What was lost was a view of life as having meaning, order, security, purpose."

As a society, we are responsible for those who have expended their well-being for our sake, whether the result is damage to the body, mind, or spirit.

Catching You Up: Mammothfail and Beyond

For those of you who don't read LJ over the weekend, you might want to double back and read my post "Mammothfail and Beyond." It's up to 62 comments so far. It begins with pointers to a case where an author's novel setting raised questions of racism. Then it goes into some of my considerations about the story I'm currently writing and its context, exploring racial dynamics by adding a sentient nonhuman species to the antebellum South.

Fieldhaven Flowers and Fruit 5-26-09

More rain has arrived. Most of the mowable yard has been mowed at least once, though. Now we're trying to remove some of the brush from places that need extra work before they can be mowed.

Near end of bloom: violets, black raspberries, poppies, honeysuckle, iris

Full bloom: rugosa roses (dark pink and white), red clover, wild strawberries, chives, comfrey, petunias, marigolds, blue lobelia, pansies, torenia, moss rose, snapdragons, zinnias, blackberries, white peonies, multiflora rose

Beginning bloom: million bells, white clover

Green fruit: pie cherries, wild strawberries, saskatoon serviceberry, Criterion apple, mulberry, black raspberry, gold currant, rugosa roses

The rugosa roses produce an abundance of large orange-red hips.

Some of the herbs are getting big enough to pick. When I cut the grass around the wagonwheel garden, I took the oregano that had grown out of bounds and hung it to dry. Also, I saw the first fireflies here last night.

Would you like to see for yourself? Camera update is...
Current donors: </a></b></a>browngirl
Camera funds raised: $11
Remaining: $14

Hard Things

Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently?

Judge Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Today I got this notice from MoveOn about President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court. While it's nice to see a woman of color nominated, I am most impressed with one of her practical qualifications: she has served several different roles in the justice system.

Today, President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the next
U.S. Supreme Court justice. Of course, the Right is already fighting against
her confirmation--so we need to get the facts out about her impressive
qualifications and background.

Below is a list of 10 key things about Sonia Sotomayor that you might not
know. Can you check it out and send it to 10 friends today? If each of us
forwards the list, we can start to get the word out about Judge Sotomayor,
and help to ensure that she gets a speedy and fair confirmation process.

Ten Things To Know About Judge Sonia Sotomayor

1. Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the
bench than any Supreme Court justice in 100 years. Over her three-decade
career, she has served in a wide variety of legal roles, including as a
prosecutor, litigator, and judge.

2. Judge Sotomayor is a trailblazer. She was the first Latina to serve on
the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was the youngest member
of the court when appointed to the District Court for the Southern District
of New York. If confirmed, she will be the first Hispanic to sit on the
U.S. Supreme Court.

3. While on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has consistently protected the
rights of working Americans, ruling in favor of health benefits and fair
wages for workers in several cases.

4. Judge Sotomayor has shown strong support for First Amendment rights,
including in cases of religious expression and the rights to assembly
and free speech.

5. Judge Sotomayor has a strong record on civil rights cases, ruling for
plaintiffs who had been discriminated against based on disability, sex
and race.

6. Judge Sotomayor embodies the American dream. Born to Puerto Rican
parents, she grew up in a South Bronx housing project and was raised from
age nine by a single mother, excelling in school and working her way to
graduate summa cum laude from Princeton University and to become an
editor of the Law Journal at Yale Law School.

7. In 1995, Judge Sotomayor "saved baseball" when she stopped the owners
from illegally changing their bargaining agreement with the players,
thereby ending the longest professional sports walk-out in history.

8. Judge Sotomayor ruled in favor of the environment in a case of
protecting aquatic life in the vicinity of power plants in 2007, a
decision that was overturned by the Roberts Supreme Court.

9. In 1992, Judge Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate without
opposition after being appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush.

10. Judge Sotomayor is a widely respected legal figure, having been
described as " outstanding colleague with a keen legal mind,"
"highly qualified for any position in which wisdom, intelligence, collegiality
and good character would be assets," and "a role model of aspiration,
discipline, commitment, intellectual prowess and integrity."

Judge Sotomayor is an historic, uniquely qualified nominee to the Supreme
Court. Let's get the word out and make sure we get a prompt, fair
confirmation on her nomination.

Thanks for all you do,

--Nita, Kat, Daniel, Ilyse and the rest of the team

Sources for each of the 10 things:

1. White House Statement, May 26, 2009.

2. White House Statement, May 26, 2009.

3. Cases: Archie v. Grand Cent. Partnership, 997 F. Supp. 504 (S.D.N.Y.
1998) and Marcella v. Capital Dist. Physicians' Health Plan, Inc., 293
F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 2002).

4. Cases: Flamer v. White Plains, 841 F. Supp. 1365 (S.D.N.Y. 1993), Ford
v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 382 (2d Cir. 2003), and Campos v. Coughlin, 854 F.
Supp. 194 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).

5a. "Sotomayor's Notable Court Opinions and Articles," The New York Times,
May 26, 2009.

5b. Cases: Bartlett v. N.Y. State Board, 970 F. Supp. 1094 (S.D.N.Y.
1997), Greenbaum v. Svenska Hendelsbanken, 67 F.Supp.2d 228 (S.D.N.Y.
1999), Raniola v. Bratton, 243 F.3d 610 (2d Cir. 2001), and Gant v.
Wallingford Board of Education, 195 F.3d 134 (2d Cir. 1999).

6. "Sonia Sotomayor: 10 Things You Should Know," The Huffington Post,
May 26, 2009.

7. "How Sotomayor 'Saved' Baseball," Time, May 26, 2009.

8. "Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases," CNN, May 26, 2009.

9. "Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases," CNN, May 26, 2009.

10a. Judge Richard C. Wesley, a George W. Bush appointee to the Second

10b. "Sotomayor is Highly Qualified," The Wall Street Journal, May 9,

10c. Honorary Degree Citation, Pace University School of Law, 2003