Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fishing in Baja

Dear friends,
I had a wonderful time fishing with Sebastian and Andy, in Baja. We have been to the hotel, Spa Buenavista, on the East Cape, on the Sea of Cortez, about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, about 5 times over the last 20 years. Pat and her daughter Jenn went with us just before she went to Afghanistan, and we also went the first time with my parents, just before my dad died in 1994, when the boys were very little. It was a new experience to be there with such grown-up young men-- Sebastian brought his friend Josh, who also loves to spear fish. Andy came from San Diego, where he has been staying with a friend this summer. One of the hardest things for me at this time is to convince my sons that each of them have the right to respect for different beliefs and ways of doing things-- we are all so critical, and we are sure we are "right". I want them to both find themselves with room in the world, and able to be good brothers, even with such widely different viewpoints. Andy will always be on the creative-artistic side, and Sebastian will probably always want to do something very useful in the world, and mainstream in content. Andy brought some bauble-goggles, and there was a lady there who was the daughter of a Parisian couturier, who gave him a lot of credit and positive feedback for his fashion-sense. On the other side, there were some very experienced technical fishermen, who were very helpful to Sebastian, and impressed with his spear-fishing skills, and enjoying his and Josh's fun company. There were people from Australia, Canada, France, Switzerland and Germany this time, but not so many Americans. Of course we were there 1 week after their big fishing competition, the Bisbee, which draws fishermen from all over the USA, so that may be part of the reason for a slow week.
I love being able to swim in warm water, and there is a small reef with a jetty about a 1/2 mile down the beach-- a perfect distance to swim and then be able to snorkel, then come back again. I was able to see the fish, and they are so beautiful, swimming suddenly into view and out into the blue-green haze again. Like coke-bottle glass, the color of the water; and when the yellow-tail school of fish flash into view it is just so beautiful!
We went fishing on a boat one day, and Sebastian caught a beautiful Dorado. These fish are gorgeous; aquamarine and deep teal blue on the top, then iridescent fading to yellow on the underside. They fight hard also! We ate it for dinner, and it was scrumptious!
Every day we had fresh fish ceviche, which is like pickled fish with salsa; and cooked fish fixed various ways. The cooks are very good, and it is a blessing to me that I don't have to do anything== and they feed us! :)
The hotel is built on a hot springs, with safe drinking water, and the hot water bubbles up in the ocean floor as you swim, which is wonderful. The water is very refreshing, but warm. When it is so hot outside, the pool water is almost too warm for comfort, but in the winter it is lovely.
I read a lot-- the biography of the great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, and all the cruel changes she lived through from before the Russian revolution through to her death in 1966. The harrowing Stalin era was so awful. I have loved her poetry, although I can't read it in the original Russian. I have always been intrigued that she was a devoted follower of Pushkin, and also used Russian fairytales and folklore in her work.
I also read a great book called The Emigrants, by Sebald. This book is wonderfully written, beautifully written-- it was called a masterpiece by the great critic Susan Sonntag. I highly recommend it. It covers the whole century in Western Europe, that the Akhmatova book covers in Russia. It is amazing to think about what that whole century entails, and how people's lives were before and during and after those big wars, WWI and WWII.
It was so great to sleep, take siestas, swim slowly in the pool at night before bed. I had forgotten how to live at that lovely more humane pace. I am especially grateful to not have had to see a tv for a whole week, and no news. It was great. I feel terrible about the outcome of our local special election. Without John Laird winning, I feel hopeless that the budget in our state will ever be solved. I just read that more and more Americans are being what I consider to be falsely informed by Fox news, and turned against the President and the efforts to reform the laws holding the corporations in check. It is a dismal time to be getting old, and to be losing the energy to keep fighting for better laws. It totally feels like the time before WWI in my thoughts-- so I am very afraid of escalation of hatred and fear at Iran, and pro-war activities, instead of beefed-up diplomacy. "when will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?"
Still, it was so good to have that 1 week of a kinder, gentler vacation time, and time with both my sons!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Terrorist Sentenced

Dear friends,
I loved the opinion written by Justice Young. Please see the entire thing below. But also, I put in bold the paragraph I think deserves to be circulated widely, as widely as possible. Unfortunately, facebook will not let me post it because it is too long. I may post it in 2 parts. Love, martina

Shoe Bomber Sentenced

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

Did you know his trial is over?
Did you know he was sentenced?
Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV or Radio?
Didn't think so.!!!
Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am at war with your country.'

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

Judge Young: 'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal. '

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America .. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need more judges like Judge Young . Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.

Please SEND this----so that everyone has a chance to read it.