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"BE ASHAMED TO DIE UNTIL YOU HAVE WON SOME VICTORY FOR HUMANITY"

"Who would believe that a democratic government would pursue for eight decades a failed policy that produced tens of millions of victims and trillions of dollars of illicit profits for drug dealers, cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, increased crime and destroyed inner cities, fostered widespread corruption and violations of human rights and all with no success in achieving the stated and unattainable objective of a drugfree America. " Milton Friedman, Winner of 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize For Economic Science


There's nothing pretty about opiate addiction. Heroin, the U.S.'s most commonly abused opiate, offers a euphoric rush, then drowsy mindlessness that lasts maybe six hours, followed by a crashing craving that lasts maybe forever.

Addicts run the risk of death if they inject a bad dose, or HIV if they share a needle with the wrong junkie. A heroin habit can cost hundreds of dollars a day, a tab that's hard to cover when one is high and wasted. The drug drains society of billions in costs for crime, hospital care, incarceration, foster care, injuries, and death.

In the U.S., some 800,000 people are chronically addicted to heroin, and a growing number are becoming addicted to OxyContin, another synthetic opiate. There are also an unknown number of weekend warriors, trying to get along on the edge of addiction.

In the scheme of national health tragedies, this may not seem like a lot of people, but the pain and hopelessness for addicts, their families, and society cries out for compassion and a national solution.

For 40 years, methadone has offered one such hope, but its power to help addicts has been challenged almost continuously. It is controversial and carries its own dark stigma.

A synthetic opiate, methadone can control the dull roar of pain. It blocks the brain's opiate receptors and can curb craving for heroin or morphine without offering the intense, short-lived blast of euphoria and drowsiness that comes with other opiates.

A narcotic painkiller, methadone was first synthesized by German chemists just before World War II in a search for a nonaddictive painkiller. When used by heroin or morphine addicts, methadone fills the m-opioid receptors in the brain, essentially taking the place of those opiates and negating their influence. Methadone is longer lasting than heroin, allowing 24 to 36 hours before it must be retaken, rather than six hours between a heroin fix. It can be taken orally, breaking an addict's pattern of injection, and it produces a weak "high" that disappears with longer treatment, as does the intense craving for more.

Several of these properties were noticed in the late 1940s, and methadone began being used to help detoxify heroin and morphine addicts who were  trying to kick the habit. Withdrawal from methadone is tough but less painful than withdrawal from other opiates.

A series of studies in the mid-1960s at Rockefeller University in New York City, led by Vincent Dole and his colleague and wife, Marie Nyswander, found that methadone could also be a viable maintenance treatment to keep addicts off heroin and give them a fighting chance to function in society. The researchers were looking for a way to curb the growing opiate addiction plaguing New York City.

"They looked at a small group of people with long histories of addiction," says Joycelyn Woods, president of the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates and a neuropsychologist. "They tried treating them with different levels of morphine, but the subjects just sat there day after day watching TV and waiting for their next shot. Nothing happened.

"When everything else failed, they switched the subjects to methadone. They raised the dose higher than that used to detoxify addicts, and after about two weeks, the addicts began to behave differently. One guy had been a tradesman and wanted to rejoin his union and go back to work; another guy suddenly started painting furiously; a third one wanted to get a high school degree. They weren't sitting in front of the TV anymore. It was like they picked up their lives where they left off years ago," Woods says.

But staying heroin-free is not easy. Woods says withdrawal from long-term heroin use--even with methadone to smooth the path--fails most of the time. In all, she estimates that there are about 250,000 U.S. addicts on methadone.

But there is a strong stigma in the U.S. against drug users, especially heroin addicts. Woods ticks off many examples of judges ordering addicts off methadone as part of probation, doctors refusing to treat addicts, and communities blocking clinics from their neighborhoods.

About one-third of addicts have mental health problems, she says, but they are frequently told to get off methadone as a condition for treatment at a mental health facility. "They are given a choice of 'treat my addiction or treat my mental illness.' Heck of a choice for people like these who have been pretty beaten up by life."

Governments should be encouraging medical treatment with methadone, not trying to get people off the drug, says Robert Newman, a physician and international leader in addiction treatment. Such treatment should be done where possible by a private physician and should usually last a patient's lifetime, he says, adding that opiate addiction is a medical condition for which there is no known cure.

At best, he says, heroin addicts in the U.S. are treated in large, government-approved, centralized clinics, and doctors and clinicians face a host of government restrictions.

And 80% of U.S. heroin addicts lack access to methadone treatment facilities, he says.

The U.S., he continues, should follow the U.K., France, Switzerland, Croatia, Australia, Canada, and other countries and ease access to methadone, expand its use by encouraging private physicians to provide medical treatment for opiate addiction, and address addiction as a solvable national problem.—JEFF JOHNSON

Reference:  Chemical and Engineering News 2005

Did you know that in 2004 a woman in Tazewell County, Virginia had her parole revoked and was sent back to prison because--against Judge's orders - she was using Methadone to keep her cravings for Oxycontin under control. It had been legally prescribed for her and recommended by her Primary Care Physician?

Methadone is an approved treatment for "Addiction." There are alot of people who believe methadone is substituting one drug for anotherWrong!  Methadone is not a substitute for opioids, or any other short-acting opioid and does not affect individuals in the same way.  Methadone does not create a pleasurable or euphoric feeling; rather it relieves physiological opioid cravings and is generally chosen by opioid-dependent individuals.  

Methadone normalizes the body's metabolic and hormonal functioning  that was impaired by the use of heroin and other opioids.  It is a corrective, not a curative treatment.  Unlike the disruptive nature of short-acting chemicals on the brain, methadone has long-acting properties that provide metabolic stability.  

Methadone creates the physical stability that allows female menses to return to normal cycles after its disruption from from opioid abuse.

Methadone allows embryos and fetuses to develop a safe and stable metabolic environment instead of experiencing withdrawal from opioids every six hours due to the mother's use.

Moreover, in 1997, the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel found the following concerning methadone treatment:  "Of various treatments available, methadone maintenance treatment, combined with attention to medical, psychiatric, and socio-economic issues, as well as drug counseling, has the highest probability of being effective.  

"Methadone has been widely used to treat opioid dependence for the past forty years.  Methadone stops heroin cravings, the leading cause of relapse, and blocks the painful effects  of heroin withdrawal.  Wherein heroin destablizes the brain, methadone helps stabilize it.

Let's love ourselves.  Let's make July -love our body month. Let's try and see it as   a temple unto God.

Let's try feeding our bodies
with nutritional food. Let's try not using any harmful drugs. 

Let's be a model for our own children - children learn what they live.

Let's accept ourselves with unconditional love.  Let's
realize we are special- each one of us are different. We all have a special gift to offer the world.

Let's not be afraid to ask for help when we need help. No
one is perfect except  some think they are.

To thine ownself be true!!!
 Shakespeare

 To thine ownself be true.     ---Shakespeare

"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." -- Albert Einstein 


Being required to attend a clinic multiple times per week is often difficult under the best of circumstances, but having to balance such attendance requirements with the their condition in secret. Patients are often forced to concoct humiliating explanations for their unusual schedules".

"The clinics are generally not permitted to adapt to special needs of individuals. How can you expect patients to hold jobs and the responsibility that is often associated, especially jobs that require traveling and unscheduled activities? This is a tremendous problem. While we tell patients that they have a disease, and that methadone is a medication like any other, they can't reveal their status because of the widespread stigma! I've had patients who've told their employers that they had cancer and had to go for chemotherapy, rather than reveal they were receiving responsibilities of a job or a family can be close to impossible, especially when there is a need to maintain methadone."


A patient comes into the emergency room of a community hospital on a snowy winter day. He is the head of a company and he has broken his ankle on the street. He is in pain and is waiting in the admitting area. The resident says to him 'What medications do you take?' This is a routine question, right?

But not for a methadone patient. He answers "I'm on this for blood pressure and this for cholesterol," and then he needs to make the decision – "Do I disclose that I'm on methadone or not?" He decides to tell the doctor.

The first reaction, especially outside of an urban area reflects the fact that the staff has never even seen a person on methadone, and haven't the vaguest idea what it is. And the typical response is "Methadone ?"

"What are you doing on methadone? You don't look like an addict."  He answers," I've been on methadone 25 years, I'm on 60mg. I'm in this very special program for stable individuals with a long-term record of absti- nence from all illicit substances."  But they don't have any idea what the 'special program' is, so it's meaningless.

And the patient says "Listen, I'm just in a lot of pain with this broken ankle; could I get something for the pain?'' And now the doctor thinks, " Well, methadone's an opiate, that's what we use for pain – he shouldn't be in pain. Obviously, this is an "addict" who's drug seeking."

"He's just trying to get opiates from me."  The doctor may even yell out, "We've got  an  "addict" in room five with a leg injury."  And then this man who is a big time executive is reduced to "an addict in room five." Sure he wants Demerol and  he needs it, but he'll be lucky if he even gets Tylenol.

"When these things happen over and over again, eventually the person says 'I'm not going to tell them – I'm much better off that way.' Because if he doesn't tell them, then he's Mr. X; he's a patient with insurance to be catered to. He's treated the way he deserves to be treated, and the way all patients deserve – and expect – to be treated, except those receiving methadone maintenance."

The Ultimate Price for Stigma

"Stigmatization of methadone maintenance can be a threat to more than one's ego or livelihood. It can be deadly. Overdoses take the lives of those who have shied away from maintenance, or dropped out of treatment,  because of the ignorance and contempt with which they've been treated.  Infectious diseases are transmitted by users unable to stop injecting heroin and unwilling to subject themselves to the prejudice associated with methadone."

The Truth About
 The War On
 Drugs "              
   History Lesson

This excellent article goes hand-in-hand with the one I wrote called, "The Truth
About The War On Drugs", but I think it drives the point home even better than I did.

It never ceases to amaze me that people will admit Prohibition was a mistake, but
that that the War On Drugs isn't.

I'm  going   to  add  my  little  tidbit:  Harry  Browne  writes  that  before  the
current drug bans, there were no drug gang wars because there were no drug

gangs.  The real reason there were no drug gangs is because there were no
drug  profits  to  be  had.  If  a  nine-year-old girl could buy heroin across the
counter in a pharmacy at a low price, there was no motive to smuggle heroin
and urge your  school  kids  to buy  it.    Let's  all allow for a universal, "DUH!"
here, shall we?

Carl F. Worden


 Harry Browne/ February 4 2005

> Few people are aware that before World War I, a 9-year-old girl could walk
into a drug store and buy heroin.

> That's right - heroin. She didn't need  a doctor's  prescription or a note  from     
her parents. She could buy it right off the shelf.  Bayer. . . and other large drug
companies sold heroin as a pain-reliever and sedative in measured doses - just the way aspirin is sold today.

> Cocaine, opium, and marijuana were readily available as well.  No Drug Enforce-ment Agency, no undercover cops, no  Parents  and no  Anti-Drug commercials Just  people going about their own business in whatever way they chose.

> Seeing today's never-ending crisis of teenagers using drugs, youcan imagine   how bad it must have been when there were no laws to stop  children - or adults -from using drugs.  But, in fact, there was no drug crisis at all. A few people were addicted to heroin or cocaine, just as a  few  people today are addicted to sleeping pills or Big Macs, but there was no national uproar about it.

Such people, if they wanted to break their habits, could freely consult doctors
without fear of being sent to prison.

There were no black-market drug dealers preying on school children.  There
were no gang wars over drug profits,because there were no drug gangs.  After all, who would buy dangerous drugs from a gangster at outrageous prices, when  he could buy safe drugs made by a reputable drug company at modest prices?

Americans got a taste of what a Drug War might be like when they endorsed
the 18th Amendment invoking alcohol Prohibition in 1919. The result was gang
warfare, people dying from drinking bathtub gin, corruption in police depart-ments, and  non-violent citizens sent to prison for indulging in a vice that was
strictly personal. Most Americans rejoiced when Prohibition was repealed in 1933. The chances of them supporting another such Constitutional amendment within
the next 50 years were slim to none.

So the federal government didn't dare try amending the Constitution when politi-
cians and bureaucrats decided to reinstate all the trappings of Prohibition in a
new Drug War. This War, That Will Never End, was begun in stages, probably
starting with the rarely-enforced Harrison Act of 1914.
 

In my recollection, the Drug War as we know it today began during the 1960s,
moved into second and third gears during the Nixon administration of 1969-1974,
and shifted into overdrive during the Reagan administration of 1981-1989.

The Drug War has been easily the greatest cause of violent crime in American   history: Gangs fighting over monopoly territories, children killed in drive-by   shootings, families in the inner city living with the constant sound of gunfire       outside their doors, police killing innocent people in misguided drug raids,        crooked cops helping to spread poisonous drugs, non-violent citizens sent to       prison to be terrorized by violent prisoners - none of which would exist in the absence of the federal drug laws.

There is nothing that could make our cities safer than repealing the drug laws- all
of them.

Does the idea of heroin, cocaine, and opium being sold over the counter sound too ludicrous to be true?  You can check it out for yourself.  A marvelous website, maintained by the University of Buffalo's Addiction Research Unit, shows the actual labels and ads from patent medicines of the 19th and early-20th centuries. You can see the claims made, the ingredients used, and  the acceptance of what so many Americans fear today.

That era of innocence didn't end because America was threatened by drug crisis. It was ended in the traditional way-by politicians looking for new worlds to conquer, politicians having no interest in examining dispassionately the chaos they cause, and who will never face a single personal consequence for the lives that they have ruined.


Contacts:  Patrick Swiney
154406 G79
100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023 Wife: Sherry Swiney
Director of the PATRICK Crusade P.A.T.R.I.C.K web site: 
http://www.patrickcrusade.org
 

BACKGROUND:

Patrick Swiney was a police officer in Alabama who tried to expose corruption in his department.  The result?  He was set up for on murder charge.  He was invited to a bar by another cop, drank a beer loaded with a 'mickey' and woke up sitting in a vehicle with a shotgun across his lap.  Inside the house, two people were dead. He was railroaded into the system and all efforts to prove his innocence has been blocked by the system. His wife has spent years getting all the new forensic tests done that prove Patrick is no murderer, but all efforts to get the case reheard has gone nowhere. Instead the prison has tried to kill him with isolation etc knowing Patrick now has a bad heart. The behavior in the following account is not legal in Iraq and it certainly isn't legal in America, although it is rampant all over the country. (PS. If there is a lawyer out there who can help Patrick get his case reheard please contact him or his wife.) 

Kay Lee

 A PLEA FOR HELP

By Patrick Swiney
154406 G79
100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023

Dear Friends & Family Around The World,

On behalf of humanity, I come to you with a plea for help.  You are all aware of the prisoner abuse in Iraq by the U.S. Military.  The entire world was outraged.  Most all of you are also aware of the massive prisoner abuses in U.S. prisons.  The major difference: the abuses here in the U.S. are far, far greater (even murder) as compared to what the world witnessed in Iraq.  I ask all the world, WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

Yesterday at this U.S./Alabama prison, a prisoner (Charles Agee, 47) was brutally murdered – beaten to death by prison guards.  This prisoner was a mental patient, handcuffed, hands behind his back, plus tied with bed sheets then continually beaten until he fell to the floor – all life completely gone.

A completely helpless man: beaten to Death.  I welcome you to: America the BeautifulWe simply export our Terrorism!

According to a witness, the deputy warden here (Nunley) immediately tried to cover this up: Murder!  But according to the same witness, when the warden himself arrived: Mr. Stephen Bullard, he demanded absolute Truth.  This is most rare for an Alabama State Official.

My concern is that a cover up shall indeed take place, maybe from the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. I ask that you not allow this to happen.  Your efforts could actually be the beginning of the end for these thugs they call officers.

I have “personally” witnessed several beatings here myself.  Every single one: Unprovoked!  One guard even bragged to me after breaking his unbreakable stick on a guy who was lying on the floor, submissive and harmless.  He stated to me: “I’m not bragging.  Yeah – he broke my stick, but I broke his leg.”  THAT is the mentality in Alabama Prisons – so sad, but so, so True! 

But where the hell is the Worldwide Outrage?  Does anyone out there care?  Murders are not all that unusual in Alabama Prisons.  Of course they cover up their evil deeds calling it over-dose, suicide, and a few other things like: Falling.  But should Truth be exposed it would be simple and clear Murder!  “Business as usual”

It is my opinion that the time has come for all these atrocities to stop.  That shall
be impossible without the help and support of the World Community.  The Attorney General of this state is a major part of the Problem!  Not a solution.  He supports crime committed by state agents.  The Governor of Alabama is either a party to these crimes, or just ignores them when we complain to Federal Officials, FBI, U.S. Attorney or any part of the U.S. Department of Justice.  It’s as if your pleas for help enters a black hole and goes into another universe, never to be seen or heard of again.  Our “only” hope is for the rest of the World to cry out in: Rage!!!

A few months ago, I was called to the shift commander’s office of this prison.  Upon arrival, Lt. Bartley started waving two envelopes in my face stating: “The deputy warden (Nunley) told me to tell you that he had better not find these (waving the envelopes) in the possession of any other Inmate, or you had better not – ever attempt to get anything like this in here again!”  It turns out that the envelopes contained copies of my article: Too Late To Debate??? http://www.patrickcrusade.org/debate.htm  After reading my article you can clearly see that my life could be in great peril just for speaking out, exposing: Truth!

Things are done in Alabama Prisons, they make bogus charges, then lock you up in an isolation cell, that’s where they do their “real dirty” work – away from all witnesses – so should I get locked up, you all shall know!  And in the event that I’m found dead in one of their isolation cells, in no way could it be called suicide.  It will be: Murder!  Assassination!  Make no mistake about that – secret chambers of torture and death.

One of the guards that took part in the murder of this helpless mental patient yesterday is notorious for his violence and beating prisoners.  He even brags about it telling us all, “You had better check my record” meaning: record of beating prisoners.  I was a witness to that, plus to his fits of violent rage.  One inmate wrote a letter of complaint on this violent guard recently.  Neither he nor anyone else ever heard a word from his letter.  It should have been a wake up call for anyone who actually cared.  A digitized copy of his letter shall follow via email.

We are most blessed to have one of the leading pathologists this nation has to offer as a member of the Patrick Crusade.org, Dr. Glenn Larkin,  I feel certain that Dr. Larkin will secure a copy of the autopsy report of this murder victim and examine the report carefully.  Hopefully, Dr. Larkin will post his findings and evaluation to our website.  If so – if what I hear is correct – this finding shall be heart-breaking: an awful-painful death.  Some of you may not wish to know the torture involved – shocking!

I would like to ask all of you to spread this Truth far and wide, especially to all the International Broadcasters, including Al-Jazeera T.V.; also to French T.V. and the most prestigious BBC. 

The telephones have been turned off in here – which confirms guilt!  Plus, I suppose they think they can suppress the truth that way.  I never said they were bright – just down bright Evil!

Many thousands of souls would greatly appreciate any and all kinds of help you could give in spreading the Truth.  You shall also be receiving even more information from people who have actually been here.  I look to my friends and family all across the world for help.  Without help, we are doomed in this Alabama Pit of Hell.

Most respectfully, I am
Patrick Swiney Submitted by Kay Lee
kaylee1@charter.net
2683 Rockcliff Rd. SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
404-212-0690

"We have been tamed, like a wild stallion, broken, saddled and corralled, robbed of the freedom to roam  America's plains.

 Now faithful and obedient to our wicked masters, unwilling to take action, unwilling to resist and revolt, much like the Declaration of Independence asks us to do in Times Of Tyranny.

Instead being complacent In life, entertained by bread and circus, uncaring  for our future, Ignorant to our present, blind to the destruction of America being perpretated by those In power. 

We are like zoo animals, encased, depressed, controlled, comditioned, defeated."  -Anonymous    ....


Then all humans are naturally and inherently in violation of current drug laws.    And since the human body is the means of transportation of a scheduled drug, it  is subject to forfeiture.  In other words, according to US law, all human beings are criminals and subject to arrest and forfeiture of their bodies. ===Bill Allyn

Several persistent researchers finally have proof for a theory they have held for over a  decade, despite dissent from the larger scientific communityMorphine occurs  naturally  in the human brain.   

Most scientists have been skeptical of the claim, saying previously studied samples  were likely contaminated with morphine molecules.  But a paper published in the September 21 issue of the Proceedings of The National Academy  of Sciences  seems to put the question to rest.

Meinhart Zenk and his colleagues at Martin-Luther University-Halle-Wittenburg in Germany found that human cells grown in a dish synthesized morphine

"Without doubt, human cells can produce the alkaloid morphine, " Zenk wrote in his paper. "The studies presented here serve as a platform for the exploration of the function  of the 'endogenous morphine' in the neurosciences and immuno-sciences." 

In other studies, researchers had found trace amounts of morphine and other animal  tissues, but only a handful of believers thought morphine occurred naturally in the brain.   Most assumed it came from foods like hay, lettuce, milk, and rabbit feed that contain the chemical.

If Zenk's paper finally convinces scientists that morphine is as natural a presence in the brain as serotonin or dopamine.  It will open new doors for looking at the treatment of pain, addiction and other health issues, said George Stefano, director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.

Stefano also has a paper coming out in the October 5 Neuroendocrinology Letters showing that animal neural tissue can synthesize morphine.

Instead of pumping patients full of morphine .Stefani said, doctors could give a morphine precursor --a molecule that would set off a chain reaction, eventually-activating morphine production in the brain.  Stefano, who has championed the existence of morphine in the brain for years, published proof of such a precursor, called reticuline, in the journal Molecular Brain Research.

The approach could circumvent dependency because it would increase an individual's own morphine levels instead of replacing natural morphine with a synthetic version. Similarly, a drug called levodopa, a precursor, to dopamine, is commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease. 

The discovery could also explain why some people are more susceptible to addiction--they may have a morphine deficiency.  "All of a sudden," Stefano said "(morphine-deficient individuals) take this compound (and) it really makes them feel not   only good but normal.

A morphine deficiency could also be the cause of some chronic pain, Stefano said.  

The researchers believe morphine is created by neurons in the brain, but much about the production remains mysterious.  They found morphine in the limbic   center, which is involved with emotions.        

"That puts this new signaling molecule in a very crucial part of the brain, " Stefano said.  "If morphine is there, it's involved with subjective thinking..".    

Stefano hopes that the realization that morphine is endogenous (meaning it's produced within an organism) will lessen morphine's association with abuse, and increase the amount of research on naturally occurring morphine.  With only about 15 scientists concentrating on endogenous morphine , progress is slow going.

"In science, painstaking trial and error are big part of your life," he said "but it's much harder when most people don't believe you."   

By Kristen Philipkoski      

   AN EYE OPENER!!!!     

SEX WITH DRUG ADDICT IS LIKELY TO LEAD TO DISEASE

DEAR ABBY: I just read your response to "Nameless in a Red State," who asked if she could become addicted to drugs by having sex with an addict.

You were correct to point out that it's important she stay away from people who
addicted to drugs if she wants to stay clean. I work in a methadone clinic. My clients know they have to be careful who their friends are. It is very easy to start using drugs again while in treatment if you're spending time around people who are using.

I was, however, disappointed that you didn't mention that having sex with a drug addict is a recipe for getting Auto Immune Disease and many other sex-ually transmitted diseases.  (I call it the gift that keeps on giving.) People must remember that when they have unprotected  sex with someone, they are also having sex with everyone that person has had sex with. Latex condoms are the best defense against sexually transmitted diseases.

R.N.  

DEAR R.N.: I'm sorry you were disappointed that my answer didn't go far enough; however, the woman's question was, "Can I become addicted to drugs by having sex with an addict?"  I answered her question factually and specific-ally.

I also heard from a physician who felt I should have elaborated further.  Read on:

DEAR ABBY: In your reply to the writer, you failed to mention the dangerous complications of such behavior,infection with potentially fatal diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or AutoImmune Disease.  There is a high incidence of these diseases among drug addicts because of the sharing of contaminated
needles, and they can also be transmitted through sexual relations.

- -- ALEXANDER N. ZINN, M.D., WINNETKA, CALIF.

DEAR DR. ZINN: Your letter makes me wonder how many lives could be saved if clean-needle exchange programs were available in every city. Thank you for clarifying my answer.

MAP posted-by: Beth


All my life people have taken a ride on my soul.  I've  tried through them to fill the emptiness inside. 
"Free  tokens,"  I advertised, cranking up my carousel with people jumping on, off, on laughing  as they reached for the ring of my sanity ...Then the machinebroke, I looked for a mechanic to fix me, but everyone had gone....So....I closed for repairs.      Deborah Shrira 
    


The women were innocent and defenseless.  And at the end of the night, they were barely alive.  Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the thirty-three women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."

The beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging  for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.  They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her cold out.  Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. 

Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the "Night Of Terror" on November 15, 1917, when the warden at The  Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the   right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail.  Their food - all of it colorless slop-was infested with worms.  . . .When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat  and poured liquid until she vomited.  She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So refresh my memory.  Some women won't vote this year because--why exactly ?  We have carpool duties?  We have to get to work?  Our vote doesn't matter?  It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of  Home  Box Office's  new movie  "Iron Jawed Angels".  It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say.  I am ashamed to say I needed a reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion.  But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more role.

Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.  Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend, Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the Home box office movie,too. When she walked by my desk to talk, she looked angry.She was with herself. "One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie," she said.  "What would those women think of the way I use--or don't use ---my right to vote?  All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did not seek to learn."

The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to  her "all over again."  

Home Box Office will run the movie periodically before releasing it on video and DVD.  I wish all history, social studies, and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunko night, too, and anywhere else women gather.I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing,but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare her, Alice Paul, insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. It is inspiring to watch the Doctor refuse.  Alice Paul was strong, he said and brave.  That didn't make her crazy.  The Doctor admonished the men:

"COURAGE IN WOMEN IS OFTEN ACCEPTED AS INSANITY."

.      


       The right to vote is an important civil right in a democracy as well as a civic responsibility, and yet many persons who have been convicted of a crime do not know whether they are eligible to vote.   For both federal and state elections, the right to vote is controlled by the law of the state in which we live.  . . . Some states restrict the right to vote for persons who have been convicted of a crime. . . . This article is intended to help you determine whether you are eligible to vote in the state in which you live, and if so, what steps you must take to be permitted to vote.

What law governs whether my felony conviction limits my rights to vote?   

The impact of a criminal conviction on the right to vote varies widely from state to state. Whether you can vote after being convicted of a crime is determined by the state which   you live in, not the state in which you were convicted.

Can I vote while I am incarcerated in Georgia?  

If you are a resident in Georgia, you may not vote while you are incarcerated as a result of a felony conviction.  If you are a resident of another state who is temporarily incarcerated in Georgia, you may be able to vote by absentee ballot in your home state.  You need to consult the law of your home state regarding both criminal convictions  and absentee ballots to see if this is a possibility.

I have been released from incarceration.  How do I restore my right to vote?  

In Georgia, the right to vote is automatically restored upon satisfactory completion of imprisonment, probation and parole. Upon final discharge of all aspects of your sentence, your right to vote is automatically restored, and you can register to vote.

What if my conviction was for a federal crime?   

Georgia applies the same rules whether you were convicted of a federal or a state crime.

What if I was convicted in another state?

The same rules apply for Georgia voters even if the conviction occurred in another state.

What are Georgians other voter registration requirements?

To vote in Georgia, you must be :1) A citizen of the United States 2 ) A legal resident of Georgia and of the county in which you wish to vote  3) At least 18 years of age by the Election Day 4) You also must not be judicially determined to be mentally incompetent.

When do I need to register to vote?

The deadline for registration is usually the fifth Monday prior to an election date.

Where do I go to register?

Mail-in registration forms are available at your County Board of Registrars office as well many public libraries, public assistance offices, recruitment offices, schools and other government offices.

You can also register to vote when you are receiving services at Department of Public Safety Driver's License Posts.  "Motor Voter" registration is offered  when you renew or apply for your driver's license.  Registration may also be available at other state service agencies.  Contact the County Board of Registrars office near you to find out which service agencies provide voter registration.

You may e-mail your request for a voter registration form to: sosweb@sos.state.ga.us  

If you believe you are eligible to vote and encounter difficulty registering, please contact the Elections Division of the Georgia Secretary of State: 

Office of the Secretary, Elections Division, Suite 1104 West Tower, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA  30334-1505  (404)-656-2871(voice)  (404)-651-9531 (fax)

I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can something and because I cannot do everything ; I will not refuse to do the something I can do. 

The article below was sent in from one of our members.  I really appreciate you sending it in. I tremendously enjoyed the writing besides we are finally getting responses from members.  I am very proud to post your article Kay Lee.  Thank you. The Director®

People where are you now? Don't you care about your sons and daughters? Don't You know we need you now? We can't  fight alone against this monster." Kay Lee paraphrasing John Kay


I am a devoted mother and grandmother who is as confused as I've ever been in all my sixty years.

I thought our children were killing and being killed in foreign lands. so that the countries we are "liberating" could be free.  But now I see the men behind the men In Washington have assured themselves control of the Iraqi media, military, laws, and so forth. ..  and only those men will be able to send Iraq's citizens to war!  I'm really confused what those men's concept of freedom and liberation is.

Can someone please explain how we can promote Freedom abroad or tout Liberty at home when everything is being manipulated by a relative handful of men, who have shown absolutely no regard for Truth, no respect for our Constitution,nor any concern for the Freedom and Welfare of our own people?

I don't understand why these men, who are obviously playing a monopoly game with the world as their board and a get-out-jail-free card, can send our children to "rescue" other countries when our own tortured country has lost favor with the entire planet for the decisions made by those same game players.  Can someone  explain that to me?

When the backlash of hypocrisy comes around, it is we the people and our own children who suffer, while the players and their families run for the safety of their bunkers. Yet we are expected to willingly let them use our children as disposal game pieces?

Can you make me understand why. . .  if the men misrepresenting us really want America to survive then, why would they use a "many - times - failed policy" like prohibition against their fellow countrymen? Why would they turn citizen against citizen in a war on the home front that causes more damage than the drugs they purport to save our children--but don't?

Can you tell me why, if they want us to be strong, would they make enough laws to fill United States prisons with more of our sons and daughters than any other nation?  Why would they resist abortion, deny the morning after pill, then throw our flawed children into their dehumanizing prisons at the slightest provocation?  And why would they send all the children who survived the pitfalls on the home- front into undignified and ignoble battles in foreign lands?

I'm frightened of putting so much control in the hands of these men who unfalter-ingly go against everything a Mother teaches her children about respect, truth, responsibility, forgiveness and mercy. Yet, we're expected now to encourage our babies to pledge service, not to the ideal of freedom,but to the few who bought it?

It seems true that if what they were doing was right, they wouldn't need control of the schools and control of the media and control of the churches.

Is  Washington  about to reinstate the draft so they can expand their battlefields. We are a patriotic people.  If what they were doing was right, they wouldn't need the draft to puff up their armies. They wouldn't be so desperate to get their hands on the babies  we give birth to.

Are our babies to go to bed hungry, forego medical care we can no longer afford, be given inadequate educations, raised by the parents who love them only to be given into the military, social and economic servitude of those pampered and protected men?

There must surely be others as confused by the conflict of their words and the results if their actions as I am. There must be others who want  to stop them from ripping our children from our arms , putting a gun in their innocent hands and demanding they go kill someone, all in the name of the same freedom that should allow us and our children to just say NO.

I am  not a baby-making factory, my children are not wartime fodder and I do not plan to bury them in Arlington Cemetery.  My loyalties lie first with my God, then my children and neighbors, and my constitution third.  I feel no ill- will to the people of the world.  I also feel no loyalty to rich men in fancy suits with silver tongues.  They have never owned responsibility, accepted accountability, nor have they been soaked with the blood of the dead.They leave all that to our children.

I am crying out to the women and the men who support them,the mothers and the fathers, the world needs you now.  There are men in Washington who would wage wars at home and wars abroad, leaving the bodies of our offspring. . .  in the dust without a second glance.

Someone must begin to nurture the world and its wounded children and blinded eyes before those men in Washington take away our God-given need to hold the children we birth.  Can't we band together to protect our children from the chaos and destruction of men like them?  If not us, who?    

It's just as Margaret Sanger said, "A free race cannot be born of slave mothers."  Please visit http://www.wonpr.org to see how you can begin to really protect the children. Contact Jean Marlowe (jean@wonpr.org) for more information on the mothers' efforts.  

Written and Compiled: Deborah Shrira       Updated:  September 2007

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