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Juge Johnson:

May 24, 2015

Judith Johnson

Juge Johnson (in the middle) aboard the Aurelia sailing from New Jersey to Le Havre

Juge Johnson (in the middle) aboard the Aurelia sailing from New Jersey to Le Havre

January 12, 2015 11:09 pm 

HUDSON FALLS — Judith Johnson, 71, passed away Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, while at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Judith was raised in Hudson Falls. She was the daughter of the late William and Regina Bilodeau.
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Judith earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University in 1966 and completed a Certificate of Study at the Sorburrne.

In 1999, Judith retired from New York State Audit and Control Division. She specialized in fraud and abuse in Medicaid. During her 34-year career, she received numerous awards and recognition. She worked in the New York City Office for more than 25 years before completing her career in Albany and then returned to her childhood home in Hudson Falls.

Judith’s passions were Paris, the arts and cooking. While in New York City, she opened a restaurant, Lion D’ORR, in Brooklyn. The restaurant was well-known for wonderful French cuisine and neighborhood charm. Judith also loved to paint, and enjoyed the warmth of friendship and good conversation over a glass of wine.

She was a world traveler, making frequent trips to Paris and other European countries, as well as within the United States. She served on the leaders of the Feeder Canal Alliance and the Hudson River Music Hall. Her passion for all kinds of music made her not only a board member of the Hudson River Music Hall, but also a benefactor, a friend and a beloved member of its “family.” She loved and was loved by its board, its volunteers, its regulars, patrons and musicians. She brought, to all who knew her, laughter, new experiences, opinions, class and food, food, food!

Her charm, grace, generous spirit and passion for life will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Judith is survived by many loving friends.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, at Carleton Funeral Home Inc., 68 Main St. in Hudson Falls.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, at St. Mary’s/St. Paul’s Church, on the park in Hudson Falls, with the Rev. Thomas Babiuch, pastor, officiating.

The Rite of Committal will take place in the spring at Union Cemetery in Fort Edward.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be made by visiting http://www.carletonfuneralhome.net.

Rob Prince Retires From Teaching.

May 21, 2015
Rob Prince, Coal Creek Canyon, September, 1974

Rob Prince, Coal Creek Canyon, September, 1974

I was looking for an early picture of me in a classroom. Could find none. It appears that I never took “a selfie” when teaching, a real shame. This one is from September, 1974, early in my teaching career. It says “Coal Creek Canyon” which I guess it is where was taken. I started teaching in September, 1966 in Tunis, am finishing now, in late May, 2015 in Denver. Nice run. Tunis, Sousse, Red Rocks Community College, Metropolitan State College of Denver, University of Denver (where I finished up). Today the department – the Under Graduate International Studies Program at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies – is throwing me an retirement party. 4:30-6 at Cherrington Hall. It was nice of them to organize this. If any of you are nearby, stop by.

Dying To Get Into Europe: Europe’s Self-Imposed Migration Crisis (2)

May 17, 2015
Mediterranean Migrants Missing at Sea - May 15, 2015

Mediterranean Migrants Missing at Sea – May 15, 2015

(Note: This article appeared at Foreign Policy In Focus)

1

For the second time in less than five years, European nations, backed by NATO are considering military intervention against Libya, this time to squash the illicit migrant passage across the Mediterranean. Having shattered the Libyan national political and social body through its 2011 NATO military intervention “for humanitarian” purposes, the European countries, once again, using a slightly different pretext, appear on the verge of performance, this time to counter the burgeoning flow of migrants from Libya’s shores across the Mediterranean to Europe. Having messed up royally in its Libyan policy once leaving the country essentrially a shattered state, more and more, Europe appears to be building on its tradition of failure a second time. As in the past, this time, large portions of European public opinion are cheering them on.

The United Nations estimates that at least 60,000 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean to Europe illegally this year – 50% more than last year at this time. Of that number close to 2000 have died, mostly from drowning. Last year some 650,000 people sought political asylum in Europe; of those, In all more than 220,000 refugees were picked up trying to cross the Mediterranean. this year even more are expected. Speaking last month to a special meeting of the European Commission to address the humanitarian crisis, European Council President and Polish political figure, Donald Tusk noted, “Let me be clear, Europe did not cause this tragedy.” Actually, this statement leaves a good deal to be desired, to put it mildly. To the contrary Europe bares a great deal of responsibility both for having caused the crisis through its long term role in the economic strangulation of Africa and the Middle East and its failure – its complete failure – to offer any serious suggestions or proposals as to how to counter what amounts to a growing societal collapse in both regions.

Underlining the contrast between the recent outpouring of sympathy in France for the 12 victims of the “Charlie Hebo” attacks with the several thousand African and Middle Eastern migrants recently drowning in the Mediterranean the Financial Times noted:

When 12 people were murdered by terrorists in the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris earlier this year, more than 2 million came out on to the streets of France to demonstrate in sympathy and protest. It seems unlikely that there will be a similar outpouring of public emotion in response to the deaths of hundreds of would-be migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean over the weekend as they attempted to cross into Europe.

Other than the fact that the number of migrant victims, this year alone is already in the thousands, not hundreds, this statement by FT columnist Gideon Rachman places European priorities, or lack there of, quite nicely. Read more…

One Bullet – a song about Gettysburg by Garnet Rogers

May 11, 2015

Dead at Gettysburg

Garnet Rogers – One Bullet

– A Song about the Battle of Gettysburg –

One Bullet

The rain is soaking to my shoulders
Falling soft upon the leaves,
Falling on these silent soldiers
Who hide beneath the forest eaves.

I can see it in their faces
All the strain and all the fear,
Months of war has etched their traces
On the boys who huddle here.

Our leaders order us as cattle
And beat our plowshares into swords,
Thus we gird our young for battle
And fill their minds with empty words.

Not for those who give the orders
Any place in this charade,
Safe behind their chartered borders
Not for them the grim parade.

Knuckles whitening, faces paling
Hope that withers with the dark
Hands that falter, courage failing
Waiting for the cannon’s bark.

For yesterday I sent their brothers
Scrambling up this hill to die,
The day before that, were the others.
Who yet on the meadow lie.

I watched them as the battle closes
Amidst the carnage and the din,
Seen their wounds like deadly roses
Blooming crimson on their skin.

I’ve heard them coughing as they stumble
I’ve heard their moaning as they lie,
Heard frightened prayer turn to mumbles,
And final silence as they die.

The dead lie in their awkward slumber,
Having answered glory’s call.
Lying scattered beyond number
Piled like cordwood by the wall.

And as for me I’m sick of sending
These frightened boys to butchery,
I swear that when this day is over,
There’ll be one bullet left for me.

Dying To Get Into Europe: Europe’s Self-Imposed Migration Crisis (1)

May 10, 2015
Migrant ship off coast of Lampedusa, Italian island in the Mediterranean

Migrant ship off coast of Lampedusa, Italian island in the Mediterranean

(Note: This article appeared at Foreign Policy In Focus)

A Maltese member of parliament, one Joseph Muscat told the BBC: “What is happening now is of epic proportions. If Europe, if the global community continues to turn a blind eye… we will all be judged in the same way that history has judged Europe when it turned a blind eye to the genocide of this century and last century.”

1.

A continued tightening and militarization 0f European immigration policy – not unlike that implemented in the United States towards it southern neighbors – along with 35 years of World Bank-IMF economic domination/strangulation of Africa have mixed into a toxic cocktail of death and suffering from the growing number of people – men, women, children – trying to escape a dangerous and empty present and a future with no end in sight of war, repression, economic and political collapse in both the MENA countries (Middle East and North Africa) and Africa.

Tens of thousands just pick up and try to reach Europe where they hope to find salvation. They walk across the Sahara from the Cameroon, Mali, Somalia and Southern Sudan to the North African coast or die trying. They leave Syria and Iraq any way they can, by foot through Turkey, by sea to Cyprus and from there hopefully to Europe. But as their overland options have narrowed due to increased security at the Bulgarian and Greek borders and within Turkey itself, migrants increasingly take their chances at sea, trying to cross the Mediterranean to what they hope will be salvation of more often not is simply another version of purgatory.

While Europe’s immigrant crisis is not new – it has been going on for decades and has been the subject of moving films, studies, reports for the past quarter century at least, since the collapse of Communism – the crisis has swelled in the past few years to even more unwieldy – and inhumane – proportions. Conflicts in Syria, Mali, the collapse of Khadaffi’s government in Libya as a result of the NATO-led invasion, along with conflicts of longer duration (Eritrea, Somali) have aggravated an already desperate, and from a European viewpoint, shameful situation. Add to this the deepening public hostility in European countries to immigration that has triggered an increasingly repressive and hostile legal framework and the explosive brew is complete. Read more…

The Pinkville Massacre – My Lai, Vietnam. March 16, 1968

May 3, 2015
Vietnam - young victims of  a US bombing raid

Vietnam – young victims of a US bombing raid

The rewriting of the War In Vietnam

Shortly after the war in Vietnam ended ignominiously for the United States on April 30, 1975, the efforts to rewrite the history of the war began here in the United States in large measure to sanitize what was a horrific genocidal blood bath of one people, the Vietnamese, by another, the United States. One of the key episodes in this rescripting of history was the trial of Lieutenant  William Calley, the officer in charge of “Charlie Company” – the company that had committed the war crimes of killing an entire Vietnamese village, which the Americans referred to as “Pinkville” but the proper name of which was My Lai, this on March 16, 1968. U.S. intelligence – which these days has difficulty discerning an Afghan or Pakistani wedding party from a band of Al Qaeda or Taliban – had determined that My Lai was a village that supported the rebels, the “Viet Cong” as they were called here in the U.S. media. This too proved to be “a mistake.” The village was neutral. And even it was wasn’t…

As the story of the massacre broke in the U.S. media, substantiated by a U.S. Army investigation, Lieutenant Calley was – of 45 military personnel implicated in having committed cold-blooded murder – the only one indicted or tried. Although found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, after serving three days in prison, Calley was pardoned by President Nixon and sentenced to house arrest. Three years later he was free on parole. Calley’s case made the country realize what the war was about, the outright slaughter of a people – some sources familiar with the war suggest as many as four million Vietnamese lost their lives from 1962 – 1975, the U.S. chapter in that war. The goal in killing so many, destroying so much was to make the price of Vietnamese freedom too high, too painful to pay, to inflict untold suffering to bring the Vietnamese into line with American dictates, or failing to do that, to come close to destroying the country. To convict Calley of war crimes, really was to convict the whole of the United States – and most especially its ruling elite – the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon Administrations – of war crimes. It was the kind of self-indictment which, the greatest world power of the time, simply could not endure. And so Calley was found guilty, slapped on the hands so to speak and let go. Read more…

First Ferguson, Now Baltimore…Just The Beginning?

April 28, 2015
tags:
Baltimore - Reminder of social movements past

Baltimore – Reminder of social movements past

On Baltimore

Once upon a time, about a half century ago, when I was boiling with anger about what my country was doing in a foreign land – the carpet bombing of Cambodia – and ready in moment of uncontrolled anger to blindly strike out “at the system” (I had my own plans at the time) two friends, both dead and gone – but still with me in spirit – brought me to my senses (to the degree that it was possible) and reminded me of the basics: all politics, in the end, is controlled rage. Never forgot that lesson, and as a result, scrapped my plans to set fire to the 18th green of a local country club by igniting a can of gasoline.

It was a personal turning point and I might add – something of an insight. Without the rage – rage against injustice, inequality, bigotry, militarism, frankly there is no movement. Social movements are born in rage. But without the control – which translates into a vision and a program – that rage goes nowhere – it is like a balloon, first blown up and then released in a room – it goes around with no particular direction until it runs out of air, goes poof and falls to the ground, its energy dissipated, wasted. Read more…

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