Friday, September 30, 2016

Alerts for Awareness

Greetings once again.  It just seems as though there are so many things to keep track of.  Here are a few alerts that should command our attention.  We need to shine light on what's happening, good and bad.  Knowledge and awareness are crucial for us to come together to progress. Don't get caught napping! Get a clue and clue in others as well!  Let's turn now to those alerts.  And if there are alerts or concerns you'd like to share, please feel free to do so in comments.

  • The ongoing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)  We have posted here about the way the peaceful protesters there (often calling themselves 'water protectors' have been treated.  The latest - riot police blocked exit of a public road to peaceful, praying protesters.  Militarized polie made around 21 arrests.  Here is coverage from the independent news outlet, Unicorn Riot.  You might also want to read their experience regarding what they believe to be censorship of their coverage of the protests.  And BTW, has there been coverage of the situation Amy Goodman is having with the arrest warrant issued by that infamous ND county?  I don't believe The Intercept has written anything a out this. Why, I can't understand, because Jeremy Scahill used to work for her. And they're always harping about challenges to Freedom of the Press.  FOR SHAME, TIOne outlet who did have her on following the warrant being issued was Tavis Smiley!

I hope that some readers will view this in time, for there is a call for a global meditation in support of the water protectors and protests against the DAPL.  It is scheduled for tomorrow, 10/1/2016 -- at 3 p.m. EDT/ 12 Pacific (or whatever the corresponding time is in your zone).  Praying and sending supportive vibes is certainly a good idea!

  • Ongoing challenges to filming police The Intercept still has some good reporting.  Here's an article detailing how an Arkansas State Rep. was arrested for --- filming police!  An ACLU analyst says such arrests are becoming less common, but the cases listed and a judicial ruling in PA now under appeal make a point that there is still room for improvement.
  •  Another drone strike which killed civilians  Yes, quite soon after one strike, here's another which killed at this point it seems, 15 civilians.  Will this ever end?  Can we stop the killing already?
Well, good readers, that might give you something to think about over the weekend.

If you found this post of value or any of the other posts here, please comment and/or share!  Thanks.

Monday, September 26, 2016

If Paul Revere Were to Ride Today...

Just suppose, just for a moment, that the events of the Revolutionary War period would be happening today.  And suppose Mr. Revere were to ride and give warning...

Paul Revere got into his convertible, started the engine and began his ride.  He picked up the bullhorn he had stored in the seat next to him and yelled into it: "The British are coming! The British are coming!"

The first person he rode by never looked up from texting on his smartphone.
The second person observed: "You know, he really should just start a hashtag."
The third person said to the fourth person: "Oh, I just don't want to even think about anything political."
The fourth person replied: "I know, if it doesn't impact my daily life, I just don't care."
The fifth person responded, "Oh, he's just being alarmist, anyway."
The sixth person said to the seventh person, "Hey, did you catch 'Survival Nation' last night?"
The seventh person replied: "Oh yes, and wasn't that blowout between Larry and Harry something?"

And somewhere, George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of the Founding Fathers - and Founding Mothers - must be crying.

If you enjoyed this or any other post here, please comment an/or share! Thanks!

Related Post:   Now, What Would THEY Say?


Friday, September 23, 2016

Think Causes Not Just Symptons 2

Greetings again.  Even though I try to remain at least somewhat optimistic, it is certainly a real chore to go through the news these days.  Yes, sometimes I feel as though I'm viewing a train wreck; stunned, but still unable to look away.

In a previous post (link below), I outlined some thoughts about the underlying causes of some of the problem we face.  Isn't it common sense to look for underlying causes and think of ways to address those, rather than continually just treating symptoms?  We very much need to do this, and to do really do some critical thinking if we are to work toward any real solutions.  So here are some thoughts:

One underlying cause is definitely greed and corporatism.  I feel that is so evident in two major stories currently in the news.  One is the scandal over Mylan tremendously hiking the price of its Epi-pen.  They are showing no regard for the people, yes people, this will impact financially and health-wise.  Another instance is of the reaction to the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  Despite concerns over environmental issues and concerns over the total lack of respect given to Native American sacred sites, cultural heritage and sovereignty, peaceful protesters are still given a very rough time.  I visited the site of the ND county (to find out where to e-mail a note of criticism) and was stunned to see all over their home page, link after link of negative stories about the protesters.  One has to wonder who these county officials are looking out for: is it really the people and the environs, or is it the corporate interests behind this nefarious project?  These are just two examples, and there would not be enough time to list all one could find.  It should be clear to everyone that the influence of big money in so many areas is keeping most of us from having the influence WE should be having!

Another underlying cause is depersonalization.  One example that comes first to my mind is those awful automated phone systems.  Sometimes, for something quick, they may not be too bad.  But I find that systems where you're continually asked to speak to the machine, question after question, strike me as demeaning.  The excuse always is, well, we have so many customers or callers. FINE, PEOPLE NEED WORK, HIRE MORE CUSTOMER SERVICE WORKERS! Then I've seen some commercials: there was one for a car rental service, I believe where the actor went past reps to his car, going on about an app so you wouldn't even have to talk to a human if you don't want to... and there is a new one, something about if you don't want to keep interacting with people in your car... What is this?  Is this a subtle, or not so subtle message that human contact should be avoided if possible?  How can we come together (which we so need to do) and solve problems if we keep avoiding each other?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Today - International Day of Peace 2016

Greetings on this International Day of Peace.  One can only hope our prayers for Peace will be heard; that peaceful vibes will be felt around the world.

The past few years, I've posted an original poem for/about Peace.  And this year I'm continuing that tradition.  The poem this year is inspired by the 2016 theme: "Building Blocks for Peace."  And since it turned out that my new graphic seemed to go well with that theme, I will include it here again as well.

And now to the offerings for this year:

Building Blocks For Peace 


Peace is built one block at a time
The world is waiting for yours
Form the sides from finest wood
Season them, sand them,
Join them securely,
Apply a finish to the surfaces
That will withstand seasons of trial
From natural or man-made forces
Carry it to the collection as carefully as you would a dove
Leave your contribution with a prayer for its use
In building Peace
From a solid foundation of these supportive blocks
There is a space waiting just for yours,
Since we need Peace now,
We need Peace forever

My original graphic - 'Collage for Peace'

If you enjoyed this post - or any other post, please comment and/or share.  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

International Day of Peace is Almost Here!

Greetings again.  The annual International Day of Peace is almost here.  Don't forget to somehow honor Peace on Wed., Sept. 21!  One good idea is to join in the moment of silence/meditation at 12 Noon in each time zone around the world.

To get us ready, here's a great Scripture verse (which I think ANYONE might be able to relate to), and one of my own original graphics.

The Scripture verse is James 3:18 : "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."

And now the graphic (which might seem to fit in with this year's theme):

My original graphic - 'Collage for Peace'

Friday, September 16, 2016

Alert - Both Protesters and Journalists Under Threat (Updated)

I wasn't going to post again quite this soon, but I got an alert in my e-mail that journalists covering the protests at the DAPL have been charged.

Here's a link to a story about this at Amy Goodman's Democracy Now site.  I e-mailed the County Commissioner Chair and the county's State's Attorney to protest.  And their site ----- the front page - was mostly very negative headline links about protesters.  Horrible.

Here's also a report at The Guardian.

 Another interesting bit of reporting on this is found at FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)

Please folks, wake up.  We need to join together and demand that ideals such as Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Assembly - the right to peacefully protest - are honored ---- IN PRACTICE!  We need journalists to really do the jobs of informing us, holding decision makers accountable, and calling folks out who are not respecting what should be our rights.

UPDATE:  DAPL Protesters are still being unfairly treated, it seems.  I found this report (and video)Am not real familiar with the source, but it's certainly worth considering and looking into.  We need to stand together

 And please, if you find this or any post of value, please comment and/or share.  Thanks!

Related Post:  Total Disrepect

Thursday, September 15, 2016

International Day of Peace - Next Week!

Next week, on Sept. 21, the U. N. will again sponsor the International Day of Peace. Everyone is encouraged to participate by doing things such as holding events, creating artistic works, praying and/or meditating for Peace on Earth.  They have a theme each year and this year's is "Building Blocks For Peace."

I have often done a "series" of posts leading up to the observance, so I think I'll continue doing that this year.  To lead off, let me point you to an old post I don't believe too many saw.

Making Peace is Like...

I hope it proves stimulating.

Related Posts:  You can check out all my posts labeled 'peace' by clicking that (or tapping in mobile?) in the tag cloud.

If you enjoy that or any post, please comment and/or share.  Thanks.

Friday, September 9, 2016

This is Chilling and Frightening

Greetings -

When I visited The Guardian online a few hours ago, I was so aghast.  One of the lead protesters of the situation in Ferguson, MO has been founded murdered and the circumstances are just horrific. They are now mourning Darren Seals.  Please read the story.

What is especially troubling is that this may not be the only such crime.  From the article:
"Local activists were also troubled by the parallels between Seals’ death and the 2014 murder of 20-year-old Deandre Joshua, who was shot and left in a burning car on the same night a grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s death. In all, according to one activist’s count, five other men in the St Louis area have been shot and left in burning cars since 2014"   A St. Louis Co. Police spokesperson said the dep't did not feel there were connections.  But how can one help but wonder if these are not more than mere coincidences.  Connected or not, the effect on the local community must be frightening and chilling.

I'm not sure I'd agree with with Mr. Seals on many things, being an ardent feminist and also one who believes in LGBT rights.   But I think we all can appreciate what he did as a person committed to his community and committed to working toward positive change.

We NEED people to keep doing that sort of work.  So we NEED to make sure that the rights of protesters, dissenters, activists are fully safeguarded.  We must assure that they are not held to ridicule or their views simply marginalized. We must assure that they are not subject to violence or their lives put in danger because of their beliefs or activism.

We need to continually remind ourselves that a seminal event in the Founding of our country was a little PROTEST called the Boston Tea Party.  Let us not have our Founders look down on us in shame for not protecting this right.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Total Disrespect

Greetings!  I know this is a holiday weekend, but I have to post about this. I hope some will pay attention!

The company trying to do the Dakota Access Pipeline has a security outfit that used dogs and pepper spray against peaceful protesters. 

At the article, there was one tweet that said they started digging the day after sacred sites were found.  There is also a report about this at Democracy Now ---  a link to that site is on the nav bar on right ----- or wherever in a mobile version (not having a smartphone, I'm not sure!).

This is so obviously a case of total disrespect by the company and "public officials"  (I use quotes because I wonder just who these officials are looking out for!) for our civil liberties, for our resources (more in a moment) and for Native American heritage and sacred sites.

As far as respecting our natural resources, here's an article that ought to cause outrage if disrespect of civil liberties and Native American Heritage hasn't caused that emotion yet.  The oil this project supposedly will tap was touted as being for domestic use.  But as Lee Fang at The Intercept reports, that just might not be (totally) so...  Oh, wouldn't it be nice for our decision makers to: a) look out for OUR interests and b) start being TRUTH tellers.

We should all stand with the protesters and demand this project be halted - permanently!!! 

BTW, how do you good readers like the new look?  And the little intro "images?"

If you liked this post, please share and/or comment!