Archive for

November, 2005



…and just one more little thing


if you’re checkin’ us out you know about the lil’ jesuit dude, uh, alex…

i just want you to know how lucky tennessee is to have this new york city boy down here … i mean really lucky!

this is the first time that tcask ever applied for a jesuit volunteer to work in our office… and i knew nothing about how to identify the person we needed from the pool of possible volunteers … i mean i’ve had years of management experience with kinko’s and hr experience in offices but this is kinda different, ferreal…

so the jv corps south sent me alex’s application and he looks great on paper (almost all of the applicants will) … and we talked for over an hour – it was more of a talk than an interview really …

and in the end we both contacted the office and said “yes” to whether or not we’d work together …

but i’ll tell ya, this is a very unique office, issue and environment to work in … this is in no way shape or form a service delivery agency, it is an organizer’s gig … and alex had interned for assemblyperson benjamin in ny, organized for the afl-cio, been involved with soa watch for years, and organized students for kucinich on his binghamton campus …

perhaps alex really chose us moreso than i chose him and than god…

or perhaps, and the irony won’t be lost on everyone here, it was divine intervention that sent this hard-working, spirited, morally upright human being down here … not to me (she doesn’t have the time to fool around with worrying about me) but to tennessee …

when you say your prayers tonight in tennessee (or elsewhere) keep young master alex (and his family) in yer heart … we are blessed …

peace out – <3

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

psssssst…come here, lemme share a little sumpin with ya’…

shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…be very, very quiet…

that’s good – okay … so check this out – this office has been all a-titter with activity over the past 2 months, seriously, like never before … things have been happening so fast that it’s a very good thing that we have a strategic sense of things and a vision of what we’re doing and why to get to abolition here in tennessee …

a very good thing indeed … and what are we doing so much of??? systematic, strategic outreach and relationship building …

come again???

systematic, strategic outreach and relationship building …

so what’s the big whoop about this???

well, most of our legislative partners just don’t get it … god bless their little hearts! alex and i were in a meeting this week with these partners and they are VERY good people, bright, passionate, intensely committed, and very skilled … But, they have an insider mentality …

we talked about a lobby day for “justice” that would be, say in march … and either alex or i shared what we’ve been doing – targeting the legislative districts of judiciary committee members, writing letters to who we need to work with in the districts to be successful, following up with phone calls, setting meetings and/or presentations, and traveling to these districts to meet people and follow through with the process, face-to-face, inside the district, of grassroots relationship building…

almost as a chorus we were asked, “great! how long will you do that?” … with the question being 2, 3 months???

alex said, “for the next 3 years we’ll be doing that…”

that’s what we do – somebody has to do it – somebody has to mobilize constituents, brand new active constituents who have never spoken on this issue before – somebody has to be the outsiders who understand what the insiders do even if they don’t get what we do and how it makes their work ON THIS ISSUE possible…

that’s all, this is in no way, shape or form a rant … just thought i’d share with you … I’m only saying…

<3

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be very dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

FUSE

Today, after much printing, stamping, cursing, reprinting etc. We are finally sending out the initial mailing for the FUSE (Families United to Stop Executions) program. The FUSE program is designed to empower family members of those on death row to advocate for themselves in the political sphere for an end to the death penalty. All to often, we hear that the death penalty is for the victims’ families, but we ignore the fact that the death penalty creates an entire new family of victims. Whenever a loved one is killed, be it by an individual or the state, they leave a family grieving an traumatized. Sadly, our society ignores the grief of family members of the executed, somehow feeling that, since their family members “deserved it” (whatever that means) their grief is somehow less valid, their pain less intense. These families are stigmatized as the families of murderers (who has ever heard the phrase “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”?) and then are told that they are not allowed to grieve.

FUSE hopes to take some small part in righting this situation. This program, inspired by programs like No Silence No Shame from Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights (MVFHR) will provide a safe space for families to come together, support eachother and speak out. These true victims of the death penalty will be able to move beyond the victimization inflicted on them by society and make their voices heard to their neighbors, the state, and their elected representatives, ending their silence to stop the violence. The initial mailing is going out to death row to ask the inmates to provide contact information for their family members who might be interested. It is an honor for me to be a part of this effort. I believe that these voices are the ones that the people of Tennessee need to hear to understand the truth of capital punishment.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile malfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Legislation

The biggest part of our work here at TCASK is, without a doubt, our outreach and organizing activities. We are a grassroots organization and most of our work, therefore has to be at the grassroots level. And I love the work, even if it does necessitate my sleeping on couches and traveling 14 hours to Austin and the like. However, in the end we organize to affect policy change. And policy change has to come from legislators, and so we have to do at least a little lobbying and working with legislators. Fortunately we don’t have to do it alone.

Yesterday we had a meeting with a number of organizations who are ready to partner with us to work to pass a moratorium and study bill in the Tennessee General Assembly. We met with members of the Catholic Public Policy Commission, The American Civil Liberties Union, the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. TCASK has almost no lobbying experience or expertise (we have a tiny staff and concentrate on education, organizing and outreach) so it is a pleasure to be able to cooperate with organizations who have been lobbying on a number of issues for years and have to contacts and knowledge that we can’t succeed without.

It’s also exciting to see what a broad range of organizations care about capital punishment. From Catholics to mental illness advocates to lawyers, more and more people are seeing the serious injustice in the Tennessee death penalty system.

Of course, in the end, legislators listen to their constituents, and that is why we’re generally out there talking to folks all around the state. I’ve often spoken to legislators who say, even when they agree with us on the issues around the moratorium, that it is just not politically safe in their districts to cast any vote that can be seen as being against the death penalty, even if it is only to make sure that the system is fair and not executing innocent people. So we have to all contact out legislators and tell them that we support the moratorium and study. When they get enough phone calls, emails, letters, and visits they’ll start to see that they may even gain support by voting for fairness and equal access to justice.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

On the Road and On the Couch

This past one was a pretty exciting one for me and for TCASK. In part because I got to sleep on one of the most, if not the most, comfortable couches yet discovered by man. In another part, this weekend was exciting because the aforementioned couch was in the parish hall of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church which is in Giles County. What is so exciting about Giles County? one might ask. Giles County is the district of Assemblymember Joe Fowlkes, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. As if that wasn’t important enough, Giles is also included in the district of Senator Doug Jackson, the vice-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Suffice it to say, any bill dealing with the death penalty, such as the one we hope to introduce in January, will have to pass through Giles County. Which brings us back to my couch.

In my first week at TCASK, back in the end of August, Randy and I had set up an outreach program to make contacts in legislative districts that I target at the beginning of every week. And my very first outreach letters went to churches in Giles County. Now, two months later, those letters were finally bearing fruit. In my two and a half day tour I was able to speak to three different church groups, meet separately with four other ministers, and meet with the president and campus minister of Martin Methodist College, and with the publisher and editor of the local newspaper. Additionally, I spent Saturday afternoon walking around downtown Pulaski looking for small businesses that were open and wound up with 6 new moratorium petitions. So it was a great weekend.

There are a few particular highlights that I’d like to share. First of all, I was inspired on Sunday morning by the reception I received at Immaculate Conception. I was asked to address the Confirmation class before mass and then speak to a gathering of about 25 parishioners after mass. The response was overwhelming (see a previous post on speaking to faith communities). This incredible congregation on the spot formed a subcommittee of about a dozen people to work on the death penalty and has already formed concrete plans to pass a moratorium resolution in their parish in a month, so let’s all give a shout out to Immaculate Conception. If we could get that kind of energy out of every church, we’d have this death penalty licked in no time. The congregation seems to have just been waiting for someone to come along and ask them to get involved. I’m sure that there are more congregations like this one all over Tennessee that are just waiting for one of us in the abolition movement to come up to them, provide them with inspiration, and ask them to be involved. Every poll done in the last fifty years has found that the South is the most church-going section of America. One of the things that I’ve noticed in my time here is how much more willing people in Tennessee are to invoke the Bible than people from up North. And all too often we view this Christian culture as an impediment to progressive movements. That is a mistake. The people who describe themselves as religious have an abiding belief in the sanctity of life and in God’s power of judgment. They know that Jesus referred to caring for the poor more often than almost anything else. They know that their God is a God of justice, who clearly would oppose the executions of the innocent. It’s time that we ask for their help, because we all have an awful lot to learn from one another. At least that’s what I learned in meeting after meeting this weekend.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be very dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

OLD NEWS

So, I’m a little behind the times, because the NCADP conference happened over a week ago now, but I wanted to share a little more about it, particularly some fun pictures of the 10 PEOPLE from the Tennessee abolition community (one of the highest state contingents at the conference! So here we go:

One of the nice parts of the conference for me was getting to meet other Jesuit Volunteers, to my right is Martin Caver ( a JV working with People of Faith against the Death Penalty based in North Carolina) Justin (to my left) is an Episcopal volunteer, but we won’t hold it against him : ). He’s with PFADP as well. We met a guy who gives ghost tours and explored a “haunted hotel” in our down time before the conference got started. We didn’t find any ghosts, but we did get some mints and squishy baseballs. Virginia also has a brethren volunteer. I think the abolition movement is starting to get with the program and get us religious volunteers. You get a full time staffer for about a third or a quarter of what one would regularly cost.

One of the highlights of the conference was a march to the Texas Governor’s mansion to demand an end to capital punishment in a state that is basically the capital of our system of death (Texas has executed 351 people since 1982, more than a third of all executions in America). I’m proud to say that TCASK members played a part in the March, and I’m even prouder to see that TCASK members were out in front on the issue of mental illness. The facts surrounding executing the mentally ill are pretty disturbing. 25% of inmates on America’s death rows suffer from severe mental illness. In Tennessee, we are facing a hard execution date for Gregory Thompson, a severely mentally ill man, who has been awaiting death for twenty years for a crime that he committed during a schizophrenic hallucination. More and more people are coming to realize that our society, instead of treating the mentally ill, is increasing turning to incarceration. Above you can see TCASK members Ginger Eades, Stacy Rector, and Amy Staples on the steps of the Governor’s mansion.

Of course it wasn’t all fun and protesting! There were plenty of serious workshops, plenary sessions and informational literature. Maybe just as important were the opportunities to meet, network, and learn from other people doing this work around the country. Below you see a serious work of my building strategic relationships with Equal Justice USA.

It was a great conference. It resulted in this blog, 10 Tennesseans coming away inspired, and one happy Jesuit Volunteer. Onward to Abolition!

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile malfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

travel works…

resolutions matter…

we’ve been stuck on 93 in tennessee for some time … because we’ve not been on the road, because chapters haven’t recruited a resolution team, because inertia is a formidable challenge…

but that’s history … in memphis on wednesday we obtained 4 resolutions and in giles county over the weekend we gathered 6 more … that’s 10 in 5 short days … all because we were out organizing … now we’re over 100 and we’re snipping at the tail of ohio

so travel works – get out of your office, get out of your home, get out of your classroom and go where the people are…

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be very much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

A new intro to communities of faith

This weekend I was in Pulaski, Giles County. I spoke to a number of people and groups but with two in particular I began my talks with a new introduction, in part inspired by a speaker at the NCADP conference. I spoke to the men’s group at a Methodist church and to about 25 members of the County’s one Catholic church. I started out with a biblical quiz.
“Does anyone know what the fifth commandment says?”
as people glance around nervously and the minister/ deacon looks about knowingly, I give a little hint, “It’s the first of the ‘thou shalt not’ commandments.”
Fairly shortly, a member of the audience comes up with “Thou shalt not kill.”
“Is that what everyone thinks? Is that what the commandment says?”
Heads slowly nod.
“You probably expect that I began with this because I’m going to tell you that right there, in His initial statement of law, God tells us that all killing is wrong. I believe that, but the problem is, that that isn’t what the commandment says. Literally translated, it reads, ‘thou shalt not murder’ and I don’t want to start off on false theological footing. The ten commandments don’t forbid killing, they forbid murder.”
Some heads nod in agreement, some people smile, happy to know that they are not about to receive a moral lecture.
“Does anyone know what the official cause of death is when a person is executed?”
Heads shake all around the room. This is hardly common knowledge, certainly not in church groups in rural Tennessee.
“It reads homicide. Murder.”
I wish that I had a picture of the faces of people when they hear this fact. There is shock, there is a little disbelief (though mostly with the state and not with me). I think people feel that they’ve been lied to and suddenly they are really ready to listen and to hear. The fact that the state itself admits that what we are doing is murdering someone strikes right to the moral center of people. Even when we are prepared to execute a person, I think we are not ready to look at the ugly truth of it. It’s why we paralyze a person with the first injection before pumping the poison into them. Seeing people’s reaction to this fact reminds me that the vast majority of us, even those who “support” capital punishment, are shocked by violence and particularly by the act of killing. It’s that understanding that makes me believe that eventually the death penalty will be abolished.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be very dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.