All posts for the month March, 2022

A Little Poem

Published March 31, 2022 by Nan Mykel


On the farm, at five, I remember

both realising and regretting

that no one else could share

my experience, that each of us

is separate.  I still regret it.


As a youth, at bedtime, I would

sometimes hold one arm up

in the air for minutes. Any

involuntary movement of my arm

might be by God.


One day while in college I

had a flash, a “knowing” that we

are all together in our dreams.

Hungry for connection, I still hope

for something to be true.


Nan March 2022




Published March 28, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Where are their families?  All dead?  Is there a family fold they have all been banished from?  Do their families even know where they are?  Did they commit the unforgivable some time in the past?  Stone hearts, theirs’ or theirs’?  Love is warm, we are all human but not necessarily humane.   Image purchased at a yard sale  many years ago.


Published March 25, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Marty Levine March 15, 2022

This is not a pleasant story to write. I want so much to return to a time when I saw Israel as a place of comfort, wherein the words of Israeli Author AB Yehoshua, I could be a “full Jew.” But I cannot pay the price for that return, a price that requires accepting that as a Jew in the eyes of the Israeli government I am superior to my Palestinian brothers and that I am entitled to live by a separate set of rules and ignore the subjugation of my neighbors. But it is a story that needs to be written about a reality that cannot be ignored or excused.

A month ago I wrote about supporters of Israel, including many progressives, who screamed when Amnesty International (AI) dared, with open eyes, to look “at Israel’s practice of land acquisition and its control of Palestinian life, finding that (bold added for emphasis) “in the course of establishing Israel as a Jewish state in 1948, its leaders were responsible for the mass expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages in what amounted to ethnic cleansing….They chose to coerce Palestinians into enclaves within the State of Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip…They have appropriated the vast majority of Palestinian land and natural resources….They have introduced laws, policies, and practices that systematically and cruelly discriminate against Palestinians…”

There were howls protest that AI’s conclusion that this pattern of behavior met the definition of Apartheid and that Israel had committed crimes against humanity ignored the reality of Israel as a multi-ethnic Democracy existing in a politically difficult area. AI’s work and those who have tried to amplify its impact were labeled as anti-Semitic. In defense of Israeli policy, their supporters often point out that non-Jews comprise 20% of Israel’s citizenry, vote in national elections and that Palestinian parties hold seats in the Knesset and are part of the current governing coalition as proof that Palestinian rights are respected and that there is none of the systematic discrimination that is Apartheid.

Their arguments ignore the reality of the millions of Palestinians living as non-citizens under a separate system of law outside the borders of the state and in exile. But we do not need to look further than the chambers of the Israeli Knesset to see just how wrong they are and how on target AI’s research is.

As described recently by Haaretz, “In 2002, during the second intifada, the cabinet suspended naturalization for West Bank Palestinians married to Israelis, citing security reasons. One year later, the cabinet resolution was extended as a temporary provision that was renewed each year. After a few years, its scope was expanded to include residents or nationals of “hostile states” – Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.”

Year by year for almost 20 years it was extended. Long after the Intifada had faded away and the supposed security threat was but historical memory, the Israeli government thought it was important to treat its Palestinian citizens differently. Two years ago, the Knesset could not agree on another extension and its bigotry was no longer the law of the land; Palestinian Israelis would now be able to bring their spouses legally into their Israeli homes and reunite their families.

But this was not to be. The Minister responsible for managing this policy refused to change anything and would not have her department issue needed permits, continuing the once legal policy without any legal basis. The Knesset, with a Palestinian Party now being a member of the ruling coalition and with enough seats to prevent an updated version of this law to pass, would not come to the Minister’s rescue and legalize her illegal actions. It seemed only to be a matter of time before Israel’s vaunted court system would force the recalcitrant Minister to do her duty and follow the law.

But wait, there is more to this story.

Allowing Palestinian Israelis to have the same rights as their Jewish neighbors was too much for too many Jewish Israelis. Just days ago, Jewish members of the Knesset’s ruling coalition joined with Jewish members of the opposition to pass a new law reinstating the discriminatory, dare I say Apartheid, policy. Palestinian coalition partners, partners whose votes had allowed them to form the government they now controlled, were ignored to again make bigotry legal.

And those supporting this law were clear that concerns about security were only screens to soften the reality of their objective. In this action, Israel showed that the words of its former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were spot on, “Israel is not a state of all its citizens… [but rather] the nation-state of the Jewish people and only them.”

As reported by Reuters, “Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said in an interview published…in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that ‘we don’t need to mince words, the law also has demographic reasons…The law wants to reduce the motivation for immigration to Israel…for demographic reasons. It is meant to prevent a creeping right of return…”  According to Haaretz, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid had been even clearer when he “told his…Knesset colleagues: ‘We don’t need to hide from the substance of the Citizenship Law. It’s one of the tools aimed at ensuring a Jewish majority in Israel.’”

And those “demographic concerns” are that the number of Palestinians would increase, threatening the power of Jewish Israelis. “’ The State of Israel is Jewish and so it will remain,’ said Simcha Rothman of the far-right Religious Zionism party, a member of the opposition…’Today, God willing, Israel’s defensive shield will be significantly strengthened…there is a national struggle here over the Land of Israel, and we shouldn’t have to give a private individual the possibility of bringing more people here.’”

Amnesty International’s four years of research is crystallized in this new law. Their conclusion that almost “all of Israel’s civilian administration and military authorities, as well as governmental and quasi-governmental institutions, participate in the enforcement of the system of apartheid against Palestinians…” is starkly spotlighted by this recent Knesset action. Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel are not equal. Palestinians, only because their religion is different, are held  to different standards in order to ensure a Jewish majority.  For Israel, this is more critical than equality under the law. Is that not the definition of apartheid?

Why did Nan think the situation with Israel was improving? — She had read in the ny times today the headline that 

“Israel will host a historic summit this weekend with top Arab and U.S. Diplomats, in a sign of how quick Middle Eastern alliances are shifting.”  It announced that “the high-level meeting on Sunday and Monday, which would have been unimaginable half a decade ago, will include he top diplomats from the United Sttates, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.”


The New York Times

Personal update (it lives)–Interesting reblog

Published March 25, 2022 by Nan Mykel

I enjoyed reading…

Catxman's Cradle

I’m vacating my home for the day because of the pest control spraying going on. It involves spraying during the afternoon, then absence for 4 hours afterwards.

I’m still weak and sick and feeling like shit. A couple of days ago I coughed so hard it felt like I sprung a hernia. Right now I can kind of feel its presence. Did I get a hernia? Who knows?

I spent a lot of yesterday in the blow zone of my standing fan. I really enjoyed the feel of the wind and the sounds of the motorized fan.

It’s been cold in Vancouver the last couple days, with intermissions of genuine warmth. The warmth comes from transparent skies, clear skies … Every day it gets warm and I’m outside, I make a beeline for the Seymour/Helmcken-area public park. Kiddies are always at play there in the central part of it. Yesterday…

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A Little Hate Never Hurt Anyone? Wrong…

Published March 24, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Credit…Matthew Busch for The New York Times

The New York Times reported 9 mass shootings in the U.S. this past week.  What’s Going on?  WHY?

David Leonhardt wrote,  “The closest thing that I have heard to a persuasive answer comes from history. Criminologists and historians who have studied past crime waves — like Gary LaFreeRichard Rosenfeld and Randolph Roth — point out that they often occur when people are feeling frustrated with society, government and their fellow citizens. This frustration can feed a breakdown in societal norms and a rise in what the sociologist Émile Durkheim called anomie.

When I joined the state prison system as a psychologist, women went through training with the men.  The men did their thing and also some of the women. But some of the women burst into tears after firing a pistol at the bull’s eye.  It ws so violent! When it came my turn I asked to be allowed to cry first and not shoot…

And today, while preparing this blog, I read that Ohio’s House and Senate have  joined twenty-two other states that require no training or license  to carry concealed weapons.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Why in the world would anyone vote for that, especially during a period of unruly unrest in society?  Wink wink.  Of course we all know the answer to that: dark money.

And why?  Because it’s legal.  And why is it legal?  Because In 2010 a ruling in Citizens United  vs. The Federal Election Commission Board  held for the first time that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates for elected office.  Because of the Citizens United decision, corporations and the superrich have even more influence over our elected officials.  Those who stand up against corporations face the prospect of huge funding against them in thr next election.

Simply by threatening to spenf an enormous amount of money, corporate lobbyists such as the NRA have unprecedented leverage over elected officials.  The only way out of this situaation is through an amendment to the constitution.  A group of concerned citizens are working toward The Democracy for All Amendment which would establish that corporations and the superrich do not have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited sums of money to corrupt our elections.

More than 5 million people have already expressed their strong opposition to the original Citizens United decision by signing petitions,  and twenty-two states and more than 800 cities and towns have passed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment.  More on this movement to return elections to the people can be found at



A Smidge of a Worthy Excerpt

Published March 24, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Neela Chakravartula, Managing Attorney at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS):   Since its inception, Title 42 has been as illegal as it is cruel. Earlier this month, an appeals court handed down a decision in our class action lawsuit which affirmed what we know to be true: Expelling asylum seekers to places where they face persecution or torture violates our laws and treaty obligations. The Biden administration knows this. The administration also knows that every day Title 42 remains intact, Black and brown families, children, and adults are placed in harm’s way. Two years of Title 42 is two years too long. It is beyond time for the Biden administration to end its racist Title 42 policy, restart asylum at the border, and welcome all people seeking safety with dignity.”  

For more see Melanie Nathan’s blog….

Image: Pixabay

We All Need a Good Nap….

Published March 24, 2022 by Nan Mykel
Image:  Pixabay
….And to wake up fully rested and amazed at our nightmares:  Truckers funded with dark money angrily circling Washington, D.C.?  Something about birds not being real?  A Jan. 6 rioter taking refuge in Belarus?  Nine mass shootings over the weekend?  One in five Americans believing there is a microchip in the covid vaccine?  Putin angry at Swarzenegger?  Megan Markle a robot?  And…a rise in gun sales in the U.S., where there is already more than one firearm per person, and some states don’t require a license to carry,  and rumors that Democrats are running child sex rings, even devouring babies, while politicians suggest censorship, cancelling public schools, criticize academic freedom, and don’t even “say gay…”
Oh, Please!  What was that former question–What Would Jesus Do? And is it true that he married Magdalene?







Published March 17, 2022 by Nan Mykel

THINK BACK–Did the milk of human kindness ever rreally flow in our veins?

IF SO,  How did it dry up?

MUST HAVE HAPPENED during child rearing?

AND How can we get it back again?

MAYBE it was all a wish-fulfillment dream…

IMAGE:  Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia › museums › peter-pa…


Bearing Witness, Asking for More…

Published March 15, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Yes yes yes…


Photo by cottonbro on

I am sitting in my comfortable warm home, a sliver of sunlight illuminating the papers on my desk, the sounds outside confined to the occasional passing car and disparate birdsongs.

I am writing one day before the US Congress will hear an impassioned speech delivered by the individual who has morphed—almost before our eyes—from an inexperienced young leader into a giant of a man. The term “Churchillian” has been widely used to describe Volodymyr Zelensky, and it does not seem overblown.

The strength, the courage, the persistence go well beyond inspiring—lifting his own people and many millions more. Rarely do we see with such clarity a public depiction of the times calling on the man—and the man seizing the moment.

I haven’t written much about this war. I didn’t feel I had anything to say that hadn’t been well said by others. And truly, after…

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