thoughts asunder

wish i may
i might
make a wish upon a star tonight..

i'm brooke. a short, fatish, bisexual, feminist, pacifist, very-liberal activist. i have 4 cats. and 2 computers, 2 kayaks, 1 masters degree, multiple backpacks, and way too many books. i live in the most beautiful eugene, oregon. i'm currently disabled due to treatment resistant severe depression. i've been blogging since election day of 2000. i'm born and raised in the mountains of southwestern virginia. i could join the daughters of the american revolution, i don't think they'd like me cause i hear they like to throw tea parties instead of rallies and revolutions.

lane co. bill of rights defense committee (lcbordc) ~
bill of rights defense committee ~ chel ~ lisa ~ carrie ~ cinnamon


Saturday, July 19
oh goddess.

i thought about it a couple of times today (friday). but it kept slipping my mind. the ashes of my grandparents- mary draper and alfred foster robertshaw were interred today at st. mary's episcopal church in portsmouth, rhode island.

my dad and stepmom were there, my aunt and her family, my uncle and his family. my brother and i were the only ones not there. i debated about whether to go or not, but just couldn't afford to be away from eugene for so long (i'd have combined it with my upcoming trip home).

it feels like the official end of childhood. both of my grandmothers gone, one grandfather left. but this, baba and grandad.. i have my grandmother's first name, my grandfather's last name.. i've been brooke since i was popped out. but a number of years back i decided to start including the m. as part of my name on everything possible. it was because i wanted that initial to be there, that though i don't want to be called mary, i want the fact that i am not just brooke r. to be recognized, i want the full existance of my name to be known, i want to pay tribute to my grandmother through carrying the m. on everything from my ymca card to my passport. my grandmother was never mary either. she was dede all her life.

so today, friday, marked a final good-bye in our family. i love my grandparents very much, and it is truly sinking in that they are really gone, in this world, permanently. i wasn't in touch as much as i'd have liked to be in their last years.. i only hope they died knowing how much i loved them. how grateful i am to have been born into their family. how proud i am of the people they were, the kids they raised, the love they gave to their grandchildren.

my best memories from my childhood come from that big house in wild rose shores in annapolis, md., sailing on the fat tiger and then the grenadine on the severn river and the chesapeake bay. swimming in the strange's pool. christmases and summers. sitting at the bar in the kitchen with my aunt and uncle around, poker games with my brother and cousin down in the grenadine, uno games with all of us, heated political discussions that i barely understood but knew the importance of, finally getting to be a big girl and when i went to their house getting to sleep in my aunts old room, my grandfather holding me tight and only holding tighter as i gleefully struggled to be let go- me knowing in the recesses of my mind that was one of the ways he showed his love and that fact coming to the forefront of my mind as i entered adulthood and sitting on his lap was no longer. yes. i was blessed by the generousity and love of the two of them towards me, my brother, my cousins.

bye for now baba and grandad. i love you.

posted by brooke at 1:05 AM

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Friday, July 18
and have i mentioned what else is pure evil? the cat box. i hate it i hate it i hate it.

i've got a busy weekend. tommorrow is the hemp fest, at which i'll be tabling for the lcbordc, sunday dennis kucinich will be speaking at the u of o, i'll be tabling for the lcbordc before he speaks (btw, i have in no way decided that he's the man, i don't know much about him and i want to hear what he has to say... but BTW everyone, Howard Dean is *NOT* for gay marriage, he likes the whole "civil union" thing- which really doesn't do much except to attempt to placate the queer community about the issue), and monday i'm headed south to roseburg to listen, and help in any way i can, to a workshop that the lcbordc's fearless leaders are putting on to help them organize their own bordc. tuesday is all clear, wednesday is all clear until i leave for the airport.

i've got a lot to do to get ready for this trip east, but i've got a lot of work to do here. i'm attempting to set up in moveable type but i can't get the thing to recognize my < TD > tag. *** HELLO *** < td > stuff < / td > < td > more stuff which is supposed to be NEXT to stuff < / td >.. and i still have pflag. *agh* i feel like i've gotten nothing done this week.

posted by brooke at 11:44 PM

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okay. here's what i've decided. eating is just plain evil. yes. i wish i could just pop a little pill with the right number of calories that would keep me full so i would never ever have to worry about cooking again. yes, in my attempt to deal with this weight gain, in my attempt to deal with with this nausea that my extremely high stress level causes, in my attempt to keep myself from not being bored, in my attempt to have to deal with the ickiness that i feel in changing my diet from one filled with starches, sugars and carbs to one that is filled with protein, vitamins, and fiber, i have come to the conclusion that cooking and food are huge pains in the ass. i hate going to the store, i hate contemplating what i'd like to have to eat over what i have the energy to make over what i can afford. just give me a pill. i'll pop it in the morning with my thyroid and my iron (maybe with the pill i won't have to pop the iron) and then i'll go about my day with no worries, less trips to the store, and hopefully a lot more money in my pocket for important things-- like books and trips back to greece.

posted by brooke at 9:21 PM

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Thursday, July 17
i'm watching a program on holocaust denial on opb. they show pictures of the bodies of the dead. i want to reach into my television and hold each and everyone, and comfort them as they pass into the world beyond. and i see the pictures of those being deported and i want to gently take their hands and lead them away to safety. i want them to know how cared about they are, how 60 years later there are people who care that they exist, who wish they could take the fear off their faces.

the holocaust is past. but each time i sit down to read a story, each time i watch a television program, i want to be able to reach into time and stop it.

how could they have looked into the faces of the innocent, the terrified, the eyes of wonder of how this could be happening and do what they did to them? how is it that humans can be so inhuman? how can humans not care to such degrees?

posted by brooke at 11:39 PM

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oh dear goddess. in 1 week i'll be on a plane, headed back east. i still have no idea what i'm going to do about transportation to and from portland.

i am starting to look forward to the trip. i think i'll be able to get a lot done, a lot read. i'm going to pick up "terrorism and the constitution" and print out all the safe and free series from the aclu. i'm also going to hunt down the inspector general's report about the illegal detainments that the leader of our group recommended reading.

i've just spent the last 2 evenings cutting and pasting from the vermont and alaska anti-upa resolutions to create a possible oregon resolution and a possible other city in oregon resolution. its been interesting work. i'm learning about the format of resolutions, the difference between a whereas and a resolved. and just now i went through the oregon revised statutes to find the exact sections that we refer to in two of our resolves. its good stuff, and i have to admit it would be way cool if a resolution i helped to work on got passed through the state legislature.

i spent all day monday installing moveable type onto our site so that it can be much easier to update. and now that i've got night time wind going i think i'm going to work on the template. i think i'm a bit manic. but that'll change right quick. with loneliness comes unmanicness.

i found out today some bad news and good news from my doc. the bad news is that she's been dropped from being a preferred provider of blue cross blue shield of oregon. that way pisses me off. all providers should be equal. i adore this woman, she works hard, she cares more about patients than the buck. she's not one of those doctors with lots of money, she's not rich. she's made a making money sacrafice in order to practice medicine with a decent heart. there aren't a lot of docs around like that anymore. and last week i told her about the usa patriot act and how it affects medical records and she wanted more information, so i brought it. and today i told her about us going to springfield and she said she'd tell her friends who live there about whats happening, and then i told her about us going to the state and she said she'd do what she could to help. she even wanted to read a larger document i had on the patriot act. she really cares.

the good news i heard from my doc was that she's one step closer to being able to participate in a study for a new anti-depressant. re: she'll have patients on this new drug. she told me about the drug and it sounds promising. it will be awhile before she finds out, but i've got some renewed hope. as she said to me today, when i asked about a drug--- because i would so much like a pill to help me stay lifted, i would so much like some help-- she reminded me that i've been through them all. so, maybe.. just maybe this new drug could help. its promising. we also talked about if she doesn't get accepted to the study we'll see about getting me the drug somehow. i've got a good case for asking for it.

and on that note, its late.

posted by brooke at 12:05 AM

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Monday, July 14
some people are just incredibly rude.

posted by brooke at 3:05 PM

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Sunday, July 13
max is getting better. he got one of those "no lick" collars on friday. he managed to be able to lick. and it made him miserable. so today i took it off. he should be able to take care of himself. i'd rather him lick than be as depressed as he is with the collar on. i'd rather him lick than not eat or drink. as soon as i took it off he took off outside as happy as can be. his leg might look incredibly gross, but he's happy. thats all i care about. anyways, he's being pumped up with big time antibiotics so he can't develop too bad of an infection.

i need to finish the outline for the pflag site. i've been putting it off. i don't know why. its way overdue. this lcbordc stuff is incredibly interesting. today we had 4 hour meeting where we talked about the state resolution we'd like to get passed. i learned a lot. and i am part of the committee to help develop the wording for the statewide resolution. thats incredibly great. i'm way excited. i'm reading vermont's, hawai'i's, alaska's and 5 oregon resolutions. i want to have a better idea of what some folks have said. plus we can draw from what some states have said. today i learned the difference between a whereas and a therefor in a resolution.

anyhow. in 2 weeks i'll be at nags head, nc-- just 50 feet from the beach. even though it will be with family and rather stressful, it will still be a good time. there is an air hockey table in the house, and we've our own gang plank over the dune to the beach. its been over 5 years since i've gone swimming in a warm natural body of water. i miss it.

i'll leave you with this article from truthout:

    Your Medical Privacy
    By Jennifer Van Bergen
    t r u t h o u t | Report

    Monday 19 May 2003

    All across America, medical providers and pharmacists are requesting clients sign a form that acknowledges the client has read the provider’s privacy policies. Most providers claim they continue to protect your privacy. Do they?

    There are two answers to that question and they are both “Not really.” The first “not really” answer comes under the law that requires medical providers to give you their privacy policy to acknowledge. The second “not really” involves the PATRIOT Act.

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) establishes a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the “Privacy Rule” promulgated as part of HIPAA, provides patients “with access to their medical records and more control over how their personal health information is used and disclosed.” HHS states that the new standards “represent a uniform, federal floor of privacy protections for consumers across the country.” The Privacy Rule does not preempt any state law that requires more privacy. It merely provides a bottom-line standard.

    This is a good idea. However, unfortunately, the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not really protect your privacy very much at all. While doctors, medical facilities, and pharmacies might really intend to protect your records from unwanted intrusions, there are numerous exemptions which allow disclosure without your authorization. For example, “covered entities may use and disclose protected health information without individual authorization as required by law (including statute, regulation, or court orders).” More specifically, “covered entities may disclose protected health information to law enforcement officials for law enforcement purposes” related to certain kinds of criminal investigations. This makes some sense. Furthermore, criminal investigations must adhere to strict constitutional standards, such as probable cause to obtain a warrant, and so on.

    Yet, there are other exemptions that show the lie behind the notion of privacy protection in the HIPAA Privacy Rule. For example, your supposedly protected health information is subject to disclosure without your authorization for research or for “essential government functions.” Research may include “any systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” Essential government functions may include “assuring proper execution of a military missions [and] conducting intelligence and national security activities.” Even “determining eligibility for or conducting enrollment in certain government benefit programs” creates an exemption.

    Thus, within the HIPAA Privacy Rule, the exemptions are numerous and broad enough to create concern. Of at least equal concern is the fact that under HIPAA, medical providers are incorrectly informing their patients (and having them put their signatures to it) that the privacy of their health records is protected. When someone comes along who challenges that assertion, the Good Samaritan is viewed with suspicion. In the current climate and under current laws which already threaten many civil liberties, this creates even greater cause for concern.

    Finally, it is not commonly known that your medical records are subject to the same provision of the USA PATRIOT Act that requires libraries to give federal law enforcement your computer usage and book borrowing information upon request without telling you. Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act does not just apply to libraries. It applies to any records kept by a third party, including medical records. Thus, if federal law enforcement requested your medical records, your doctor would have to provide them and would not be able to tell you. HIPAA protection is utterly without teeth in this circumstance.

    The problem with the PATRIOT Act’s intrusion into your medical records is that those records can be obtained by any FBI agent without probable cause that you are involved in any criminal activity at all. The agent need only certify that he seeks the records for a foreign intelligence investigation and the judge must rubber stamp the request.

    What all this comes down to is that your medical privacy is not protected, despite HIPAA’s good intentions. The ACLU is considering how best to inform medical providers about the PATRIOT Act’s effect on medical privacy. At the very least, every medical office and pharmacy should post a notice like those posted in libraries that inform clients that under the PATRIOT Act, the medical provider would have to divulge your private medical records if federal law enforcement asked.

    What can you do? Tell your doctors about Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Bring them a print-out from one of the links below. Ask them to post a notice to their patients.

    © t r u t h o u t 2003

posted by brooke at 10:02 PM

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