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Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Parable of the Wounded Frog

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon: I’ve begun work on my memoirs, “Reflections on My Kidnapped Life,” a combination of written and videotaped commentary.

I plan to open with my take on The Parable of the Boiled Frog.

The familiar story posits that a frog plunged into a pan of very hot water will immediately leap out to safety, but if the same frog is placed into a pan of water that is heated slowly, the frog will stay put and eventually be boiled alive.

I see the story played out with three changed circumstances: The first is that the water will never boil; the second is that the frog suffered a mortal wound before it was thrust into the pan; the third is that the wound is invisible to most observers.

In my version, the temperature of the water, even the fact that the frog is in the water, the water itself, is irrelevant to the frog.

The frog understands that the water will not likely get either so cold or so hot as to kill him.

The frog realizes that he has the brains, the strength and the survival skills to endure for a very long time. Whether he is in the water or not makes no difference to the frog.

The frog knows that he is dying of the Wound.

The frog’s friends and observers note that the frog is treading water and that the water temperature is reasonable.

Everyone, after all, has his or her own moments in the water, in the pan, on the stove.

Over the past fourteen years, the frog’s water has been sometimes colder and sometimes warmer. Only the Wound has been constant.

The frog has been in the water for so long, in fact, that observers see the frog always in terms of the water, only in terms of the water.

Sometimes friends cast food, theater tickets or irrelevant though well-meant advice into the water, but the dying frog faces the Wound alone.

This is The Parable of the Wounded Frog.

(ver 9/19/09)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Vicki Walker's Parole Board appointment supported

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

Governor Kulongoski appointed Vicki Walker to chair the Oregon Parole Board, drawing some criticism to both officials and to the board itself.

This appointment is good for the People of Oregon. The Governor has placed the right person, capable of making Oregon safer on both a case by case basis and as broad public policy, in the right place, where she can do exactly that.

It is Vicki Walker's personal qualities and family history that make this appointment extraordinary.

I worked in the Oregon Senate for six years (2003-2008) and witnessed Senator Walker speaking in committee and on the senate floor countless times, perhaps most passionately over the issues that people find most difficult to talk about, relating to sex crimes and child abuse, family and shame.

Like her or her voting record or not, this lady is brimming with courage and determination and she has many other qualities and key experience that make her eminently well qualified to chair the Parole Board.

Vicki has already announced what her standards will be in language that every person coming before the Board will be able to understand: Do not bring any disciplinary writeups if you want to get out early. The standard is high. Do not attempt to blow smoke at the Parole Board. She won't take any nonsense from anybody, understands the fine details and her case notes will be precise.

This credibility has enormous value, as nearly everyone incarcerated will eventually be coming out. Most inmates will understand that clarity and focus will be rewarded; placing the public at risk will keep you where you are.

Oregon is not gaining a bureaucrat with this appointment. We are putting in place a real person who can make a real difference in recidivism, making every community in the state a safer place for all.

Governor Kulongoski made the right move here.