Monday, July 28, 2003


Astounding sunset tonight, just the right density of cloud cover. The winds aloft were moving due east, slow but steady enough to paint pictures in the sky for a long time. I swear I saw Jimi Hendrix smoking a joint and then a few minutes later a perfect blue circle of sky formed right over my head, ringed with fat fiery pink clouds shooting orange God light.

I'm so lucky to have this stoop. I live 2 blocks from Main Street but there's a good quarter acre of open land in front of it. Most of it is really well lanscaped parking lots with a raised municipal greenway blocking the north end. To the west, behind the fancy condos is about 7 acres of swamp. I get a lot of birds. I've even seen a rabbit in my parking lot. Tonight the short tail swallows were showing off, looking like little black Stealth planes vying for the sky with the Cessnas and Pipers reluctantly landing at the local airport at the end of the sunset run. I call it the country of lovely downtown Noho.

My mockingbird and my erstwhile suitor, were absent for the first time in days. Come to to think of it, I always saw them both at the same time. One would inevitably show up after the other. I saw a female courting the bird yesterday,
maybe they both found more suitable mates.



They released the Department of Justice prison statistics today. I find it horrifying that 1 out of every 143 people in this country is in jail. We have almost 2,200,000 prisoners, almost 50% of the growth of the federal population and 25% of the entire penal system, are non-violent drug war prisoners. At the state and local level, our prisons are bursting with inmates and busting budgets. This at a time when our educational system and our entire economy is in shambles. I was thinking today of the Pledge of Allegiance I recited to the flag every day in school for 12 years. I could hardly remember the words:

I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I've been in an international discussion lately on whether America is still the greatest country in the world. When I was a little girl, I remember reciting that with pride and believing in it. I wish I still could.



Free speech is the foundation of a representational democracy and here in my own Baystate, Steve Drury is making some noise at the Gardner public access station. Seems the local cranky Yankees on the Commission are not too keen on airing Jim Pillsbury's videos on the real facts about cannabis. Jim has just surfaced on my radar screen, but I do like his style. I have a feeling we're going to meet before it's all over.

I'm giving him the quote of the day:

We're all labeled in some way," he said. "So I don't mind having my name associated with drug reform.



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