I am in the process of revamping my website, so please bear with me as I process the changes. The links on the left are now active; I am working on
the links on the right. I am reworking my website so it can have a more active article center panel...
Seattle Police assault unarmed protesters, including Kirsten Anderberg, at the LEIU protests in Seattle, June 8, 2003
MAY DAY HUMAN RIGHTS PROTESTS IN SEATTLE AND PDX TOMORROW (May 1, 2013) - LET IT BE KNOWN THAT ALL SEATTLE POLICE ON DUTY TOMORROW MUST ID THEMSELVES WHEN ASKED AND
MUST WEAR A 24 PT NAME TAG ON THEIR
OUTERMOST LAYER OF CLOTHING AT ALL TIMES ( You can get a copy of this code, Seattle Muni Code 3.28.130, by clicking on this link.)
Police in Seattle are gearing up to go riot and beat up anarchists and protesters tomorrow in downtown Seattle for the May Day protests. I have been illegally assaulted by cowardly unidentified Seattle Police in protests in Seattle and they are a grotesque bunch of blundering violent idiots. Good luck out there on the streets tomorrow Seattle protesters. I am with you in spirit. Throw the gas canisters back behind police lines if you need to to protect innocent unarmed citizens from harm while exerting their First Amendment Rights (bring heavy gloves). Bring your swimming goggles to protect your eyes and bandanas soaked in vinegar kept in baggies to put over your mouth for pepper spray. MILK OF MAGNESIA will help if put on places burned with pepper spray, even eyes. Wear long sleeves and pants and shoes. Cover all skin possible. A cut off sleeve from a t-shirt makes a quick and effective black bloc mask. Bring cameras and take as many pictures as possible of violent police. Bring paper and pencils and give them out to protesters to take notes of numbers on helmets, police badge numbers, etc. I have seen Seattle Police violate the law and brutalize unarmed nonviolent citizens in Seattle's streets so often that I understand fully those cops are just biting at the bit to get down there and kick some protester ass tomorrow. PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
TEACHERS: NOT EVERYONE IS A GROUP PLAYER
Teachers need to understand that group assignments can cause incredible stress on some students. Not all respond positively to group assignments and those
students deserve some choice in their learning styles. There are many reasons students can hate group assignments ranging from the dread of trying to get "picked" for a team to the
stress of not being graded on your own work. Students who resist group work may find it so stressful that they quit and/or disengage. Teachers need to be aware that group assignments are not a one-size-fits-all situation for the wide range of temperaments present in students.
Corral Canyon in Malibu, CA leads to the Pacific Ocean...
Foothills and Canyons are Shorelines of Land
The foothills of Southern CA are a shoreline between valleys and mountains. The base of these foothills always contain footpaths that have served humans and animals throughout history. At that edge, where land uplifts from the valley floor, life changes. Instead of the terrain of river beds and flat valleys, canyons emerge like tide pool rocks. And water plays as much a part here, in these canyons, as it does in ocean tides. Water melts the foothills, literally, and all buildings directly below them, or built on the foothill slopes themselves, commonly risk mudslide damages. As I write this article, as a matter of fact, there are evacuations throughout Santa Barbara, as wildfires roar through the canyons surrounding that area. Areas that suffer fires, later are more prone to mudslides, it is all a perfect circle. Floods are also common on valley floors and throughout canyons; all water trying to get to the sea. Water on the earth's surface created the canyons and the valley floors of the Southern CA terrain, but something just as powerful underneath the earth has uplifted, tilted, and folded this land as well.
Woods on Vashon Island, WA (Photo: K. Anderberg 2004)
Is It Safe for Women to Go into Nature Alone?
"I love Nature partly because she is not man, but a retreat from him. None of his institutions control or pervade her. There a different kind of right prevails. In her midst I can be glad with an entire gladness. If this world were all man, I could not stretch myself, I should lose all hope. He is constraining, she is freedom to me. He makes me wish for another world. She makes me content with this." - Henry David Thoreau, January 3, 1853
I like to be alone in nature. Yet I am constantly told that is not safe. I am warned to take someone with me on every hike. Yet part of why I like going into nature is to get away from humans. I do not want to have to take a human chaperone with me every time I go into nature. That ruins it, to be blunt. I don't want to hear a human voice out there, I want to hear the stunning whisk of silence, I want to hear birds and frogs, not another human. Sometimes I will be watching a gorgeous sunset at the beach and all of a sudden two Chatty Cathys will walk by and for a few minutes I have to endure a he said-she said gossip narration until they trail out of sight again. It is a rude awakening from humans that interrupts my communing with nature often, thus getting away from humans, alone into the wild of nature, really is appealing to me. Yet, as I have said, I am constantly told this is not a safe behavior. My son bought me a cell phone partly because he did not like the idea that I would drive off into canyons and go into nature alone. Yet, cell phones don't work deep in those canyons, ironically, and perhaps, thankfully, so.
"Do yourself a favor, educate your mind..." - Stevie Wonder
I have been involved with activism to help stop homelessness for decades. The following is an article I wrote on the topic a few years back...
(Photo taken by K. Anderberg, Downtown Seattle, WA., 2007)
Homelessness and the Privilege of Privacy
When I've been homeless, the hardest part has been the lack of privacy. The *privilege of privacy* is something many take for granted, but for those of us who have experienced homelessness firsthand, privacy becomes a mindset, rather than a physical reality. And that fortress of privacy within one's *mind* adds to the wide chasm between the housed and the homeless, often making homeless people seem "crazy" to housed folks. And when one has been forced to make *mental* doors that shut, since physical doors to shut for safety are nonexistent, it is as if there is a change to one's soul.
Discipline and Punishment in Prisons, Schools, and Labor
Foucault details how torture was previously based on physical fear and "collective horror," with images branded upon the psyches of all the spectators to torture. The progression Foucault describes in punishment was a move to punishment now being based on a "lesson," and legally prescribed punishments for crimes with elemental standards. Foucault then also says this "gentler" punishment would then make possible "in society an inversion of the traditional discourse of crime," meaning there needed to be a proactive move to "extinguish the dubious glory of the criminal." (It is interesting to look at modern society's current glorification of "thug life," and "gangsta rap," as well as old school classics such as Ice-T's "Cop Killer" in this context.) Foucault says the discipline movement wanted to "silence the adventures of the great criminals celebrated in the almanacs, broadsheets, and popular tales," and that these then must be replaced in the public conscience by the recording and publicity of the punishment of these criminals so "the crime can no longer appear as anything but misfortune and the criminal as an enemy who must be re-educated into social life."
Miriamma Carson, Amazing Midwife
Women helping other women deliver babies is as old as humanity. It makes sense. So why do mainstream doctors and hospitals act like midwifery is some radical, dangerous, medically-irresponsible quackery? In Scandanavia, the UK, and the Netherlands, female midwifery is a thriving occupation. Yet in America, it has been constructively outlawed as a profession, for 100 years. While I was in labor, during my home birth, I actually asked the midwives, "Are you sure this is okay to do at home, and not in a hospital?" They said, "Kirsten, think about it. THIS is the way women birthed for thousands of years before doctors and hospitals." That made sense, but I had to ask, due to my years of American medical brainwashing.
Nettles have many medicinal uses...
Nettles, Nettles, Everywhere!
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) grow like weeds in the woods where I live in the Pacific Northwest (Washington State, USA). Spring is the time to collect the top 6-8 inches of stinging nettles before they flower. You can dry them for later use, or make fresh oil or vinegar infusions, tinctures, hair tonics, herbal drinks, etc. Nettles have been used for centuries in medicines, cosmetics, dyes, teas, and also as an edible, calcium-rich green, like spinach.
Women Street Performers and Sexual Safety
Everyone agrees street performing, or "busking," is hard work. Someone once said about acting, that they do not pay you for the acting, they pay you for the waiting around. That is true in busking, too. Performing talent is about 30% of a good street act. The ability to persevere under harsh conditions, to battle police and merchants over air space, to assert free speech rights at every corner as they are questioned, to spontaneously gather and hold a crowd, and to keep up with hecklers, makes the profession a die-hard one, at best. You spend little time on musical rehearsal, as compared to holding your place in line for a good spot, or "pitch," and then defending that pitch from police when they show up to shut you down. Street performing is not for the weak. And being a solo woman street performer has extra unseen entanglements, due to societal gender stereotypes.
To learn something - you must seek it out.
To know something - you must write it.
To master something - you must teach it.
This sculpture of adult and child whales at Seattle Center artfully uses the lawn as the sea...
"I don't know what weapons will be used in WWIII, but I do know WWIV will be fought with spears and clubs!" -
American "Insane Asylum" History: Giving Names To Numbered Graves
In 1997, an ex-mental hospital patient and activist, Pat Deegan, was walking her dog on the property of the then closed Danvers State Mental Hospital, located 30 minutes north of Boston. (Danvers State Hospital opened in 1878, and has been closed since the early 1990's). She came upon an overgrown, abandoned cemetery, with only numbers on small round markers. Soon she found a second overgrown cemetery of numbered markers. (It was estimated there was about 40 years of overgrowth covering the cemeteries). Pat soon began facilitating slide shows of what she had seen, as well as organizing ex-patients for field trips and action.