Tumors and Tuition.

You’ll notice I haven’t been posting much lately. I may not be posting much for the rest of the year. Infuriatingly, I can’t tell you why just yet. There’s a contract, which I haven’t yet signed. There’s a clause that allows the whole thing to implode right up until the approval of a certain deliverable. In the meantime I work on spec, on faith, and under embargo. My email backlog builds up (sorry, anyone who’s recently sent me monograph-long missives calling for monograph-length responses; it ain’t likely to happen). So while I haven’t had much time to post lately— and while I’ll probably be plugging in the ol’ e-mail autoresponder before too long (maybe even by the time you read this)— I’m gonna break silence just long enough to do something I almost never do. I’m going to shill for funds.

Not for me, though.

You might recognize the name Donna Dunlap. She’s posted the occasional comment to the ‘crawl, but her real claim to fame is that she sat on the Michigan jury that convicted me of Asking Questions back in 2010. She voted to convict— which admittedly sucked— because she felt compelled to abide by an unjust law. But having done that, she spoke out publicly on my behalf. She wrote a letter to the judge supporting me; she stood at my side during sentencing.

That sucked even more. It cost Donna her job, and nearly cost her her house. It netted her an extended campaign of police harassment and false arrest and legal bills that went on for at least a year (and might be going on to this day, for all I know). She never buckled. She is, for all the oxymoronic implications of the term, a decent and honorable Human Being.

I’m not shilling for her either, though.

Donna recently reached out to me on behalf of a friend of hers, Carrie Weiss-Silverman. Carrie has Stage 3 lung cancer— meaning you can’t really call it lung cancer any more. It’s in her lymphatic system, which basically serves as a highway to every other part of the body. I leave it to you to connect those spreading, asymmetric dots.

Yet I’m not even shilling for her.

The person I’m shilling for is Carrie’s son, Parker. Parker is in his first semester at Western Michigan University. His mom has grown preoccupied with distractions like radiation, and chemotherapy, and having to care for two other children while having rampant tumors burned and poisoned out of her. I’m told she’s having a really tough time getting $2,500 together to cover her son’s tuition for the fall semester. (Actually tuition costs way more than that, but Parker has a scholarship to make up the difference.)

Donna’s trying to help Carrie out on that front. (I told you: decent. Honorable.) She’s set up a GoFundme account to try and raise the necessary funds. If you have issues[1] with GoFundMe, Donna can also process donations through her Paypal account at dldnativeblend@yahoo.com. (This is the route that I have taken.)

$2,500. Per-capita that’s pretty trivial, spread out across the folks who read the ‘crawl. If everyone who visits this site on an average day chipped in five bucks, we’d blow past that benchmark before lunchtime. And speaking from my own limited-but-intimate experience, let me just say that if there’s one thing Michigan could do with a lot more of, it’s educated citizens.

It’s one semester’s tuition for one kid. It’s not going to save the rain forest or stop global warming or even land a tar-sands-creme pie in Stephen Harper’s face during his next campaign stop. It’s a small cause. But I think it’s a worthy one.

You have the data. Do what you will.


[1] I know I do. Their so-called “Privacy Policy” reserves the right to sell out user data to “governmental agencies or other companies” when “permitted or required by law”— which means they’ll fuck you over not just when explicitly subpoenaed, but also when they damn well feel like it. GoFundme can GoFuckThemselves.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Monday September 21 2015at 06:09 am , filed under misc . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

33 Responses to “Tumors and Tuition.”

  1. It cost Donna her job, and nearly cost her her house. It netted her an extended campaign of police harassment and false arrest and legal bills that went on for at least a year (and might be going on to this day, for all I know).

    what in the fuck is wrong with that country

  2. Seconding what Peter said. Know all of those folks and they make up one of those redeeming factors that make the place less effed up.

    @Nestor

    I frequently have trouble knowing where to begin with answering that question. Think it mostly begins {or returns} with WWII and the Cold War, gains steam with formation of ALEC in the 70s and the Reagan tax cuts in the 80s, gets sealed with titanium chains after 9/11.

  3. To everyone that reads and contributes to Parker, Thank you. You have restored my faith in the kindness of strangers. I love my friend Carrie dearly, and I would really like to be able to have her in my life for a bit longer. My motives are selfish. I do not want to endure the pain of losing her, or watch the pain of her children and her husband, or watch her wither away and stand by idle knowing that there was something I could do but didn’t. It all comes back to MY feelings, My emotions. These are selfish motivations.

    Peter, you are too kind. I did no more or no less than what I felt was a moral obligation. If it’s broke, fix it. Do what you can to correct a problem. Don’t sit by, stagnant, and bitch about how it should be different. Motivate yourself into action to rectify a situation. I gained as much as I lost due to the Ordeal at the Border. I found a good person that I refer to as a friend. Life gets no better, my dear sir. I could lose everything material in this world, and my heart would remain strong and I would have a smile on my face because I am surrounded by people who truly give a shit. Period.

    Thank you, everyone, once again. Life is wonderful, and hopefully my dear friend Carrie will make it through all this with another, few but far between, educated son here in the fine state of Michigan. Chi miigwech!

  4. I agree about GoFundMe, but also I dumped PayPal years ago. Is there any other way I could get my $5 to them?

  5. Nestor: what in the fuck is wrong with that country

    A fanatical belief in just-world and unfeathered capitalism, that really hit the fan once the cold war “was won”.

  6. Well said, Proud Injun.

  7. unfeathered capitalism

    I think you meant “unfettered” but “unfeathered capitalism” paints an fortuitous image of a plucked eagle that would make an interesting symbol…

  8. Terry,

    Terry, I can process an order through my website, http://www.nativeblendllc.com. The lowest I can get it to is $6 if you order a tea infuser. If you want to go that route, it will be processed through Stripe.

  9. Greg L,

    Thank you, Greg

  10. Chipped in a $20 via paypal

  11. I chipped in a $20 via Paypal

  12. oge,

    Thank you, Oge. I received verification. It’s truly appreciated!

  13. I put in $10. Good luck!

  14. guildenstern42,

    Thank you so very much. The outpouring of compassion from Peter’s readers is overwhelming! We’re well on our way to taking care of Parker’s tuition, and I owe it all to you folks. My deepest thanks!

  15. > It cost Donna her job, and nearly cost her her house. It netted her
    > an extended campaign of police harassment and false arrest and
    > legal bills that went on for at least a year (and might be going on
    > to this day, for all I know).

    Is Donna’s part of that story public? Why were the police going after her? It might have been posted here but I didn’t read everything back then.

  16. Proud Injun,

    I hope someone has introduced you to the term “Jury nullification” since the trial. This is something that should be taught in grade school. No blame going your way, you did what you thought best, but there is a better way.

    Very sorry to hear about your friend. My Father and stepfather both had stage 3+? lung cancer, not fun. Fortunately, and I do mean that, my dad waited too long to go to the doctor about it. He died before they could even start treatment. My stepdad went earlier, did chemo and lived through 3-4 years of absolute hell. I never lived with him so I wasn’t too close but it put my Mom through hell just watching him die like that. I would want to go quick, both for me any my family. Note to all: DON’T SMOKE!!!

    If I get a chance I’ll throw some cash her sons way too.

  17. Proud Injun,

    Can I include a note saying just keep the money, no shipment needed?

    Terry

  18. rseek,

    They accused her and her son of conspiring with another young man for robbing a check cashing place a year and a day after the “bridge Incident.” Later anytime anything went wrong in the neighborhood.

    The experience was horrific and a wonder that there were no fatalities so bizarre was the police behavior. Here’s a good example we know of where DHS sicced local police on privacy activist and librarians:

    http://privacysos.org/node/1822

    We were told fusion centers were for terrorism and emergencies. Anytime you hand power a tool it will get ussd.

  19. rseek,

    I spoke out publicly in letters to the editor in the local paper. They basically told a glorified story that made Peter sound like he attacked the guards, that he was purposely missing court dates, and that he was an evil human being that needed to spend the rest of his life in prison. I’m exaggerating, of course, but the paper was a very slanted view of the incident , not unbiased at all. After speaking out , strange things began to happen in my personal life that were, shall we say, unpleasant and rather humiliating.

  20. Terry,

    No note necessary. I process all orders, and I don’t sell many infusers, so I’ll catch it. Miigwech!

  21. livens,

    Thank you for your kind words. I’m an optimist, and hoping for the best.

    Learned of jury nullification AFTER the fact. Seems to me that for justice to be truly blind, jury nullification should be part of the instructions to the jury before deliberations. It is a right that the jury has, yet it’s not discussed in court. That should really be changed, but I don’t see it happening.

  22. Done. Good cause.

  23. Ann Gunning,

    Thank you very much, Ann! The contribution is really appreciated!

  24. Everything in this post is ridiculous. From the border incident via harassment to needing $2500 to keep your kid in school on top of a scholarship. As if kids of poor parents doesn’t deserve an education.

    A small contribution via paypal. For standing up.

  25. Markus2,

    Thank you so much! Little bits add up to a substantial amount, so even little bits are greatly appreciated, Marcus2.

  26. When fellow knights in the crusade against windmills asks one can but give a small contribution. One question, what is the kid studying?
    I hope it works out for both of them.

    The secret project sounds intriguing I hope it pans out.

  27. Quell,

    He’s in his first semester for a degree in travel and tourism. He’s a very charismatic young man, and will excel in whatever direction he decides to veer in in that field. He’s also studying French because of our close proximity to our northern neighbors. Bright kid, possible bright future. He’s devastated by the current situation, yet maintaining a 4.0 GPA despite the uncertainty of his future.

    I just thought I would add that Parker is just 17 years old. Exceptional young man.

  28. Done.
    Best of luck to Carrie and Parker land down under.

  29. Done. Thanks for taking the time Peter. Good luck Donna and best wishes to Carrie and Parker.

  30. Deckard,

    Thank you so very much, Deckard. We’re well on our way. As an update, Parker, who works as a front desk receptionist at the university, has been awarded the employee of the month! Gotta love that kid!

  31. $20 to the paypal –

  32. add another $20 via paypal to the total

  33. Sorry for the late response. Was out of town for our annual subsistence hunt to the reservation. I really love getting away from technology and getting back to the basics of survival and the great outdoors for ten days a year. Anyway…

    Thank you Peter Lorraine and Resonant for your generosity. We’re almost to our goal, due to folks like you. Chi Miigwech!