19 Oct 2017 Revisiting the subject of Zero Population Growth (ZPG) via Dan Brown’s book Inferno

Hello to you.  It’s Thursday evening here as I write to you.  I spent a lot of today sleeping, just haven’t been feeling very well.  I limited the time I spent outside today.  I was out there trying to get some Vitamin D and  I found I didn’t like the taste of the air on my lips.  I got an upset stomach too.  They have been flying over my house quite a bit the past few days, spraying whatever it is they are spraying down on everyone.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s drugs lol.  Sometimes I will see flashes of light afterwards….wonder if that is the silver in their sky cocktail floating down.  Sometimes I will find shiny silver drops on the leaves of the trees and plants in our yard after such operations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_modification.   I’ve resigned to myself that there is little to anything I can do about it short of building a air-tight bio-dome over our house and never going anywhere beyond it!

This picture is from 8 June 2016 but it could have been taken today. Same thing going on.

I decided to get my cake fix today and baked my Mom’s Red Devil Chocolate Cake recipe.  It’s one of my absolute favorites and doesn’t require any eggs to make.  Here’s the recipe if you would like to try it!

Mom’s Easy Red Devils Food Cake

3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar (can adjust), 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 2 tsp soda, 1 tsp salt.  Mix and then add:

2 cups cold water, 1 cup oil, 2 TBSP white vinegar, 2 tsp vanilla extract.  Mix and put in 9 x13 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Cupcakes: 15-20 minutes.

(I now realize the irony of the two books – one is for children and the other is exploring a world with a lot less of them!)

The books I picked up yesterday at Half Price Book in Burleson TX

19 Oct 2017 – drawing out what I’m reading in Dan Brown’s Inferno book. The goal of the books antagonist? To reduce the world population to a mere 4 billion….

Source: Internet
Diagram from Dan Brown’s book Inferno about population growth and tasking of this growth on the Earth’s resources

As I mentioned a couple of blogs ago, I purchased Dan Brown’s Inferno to read and am slowly working through it.  One of the subjects in this book, a very sobering one,  is a subject that I used to be quite passionate about some years ago, zero population growth (zpg).

When I was on active duty, we had something called the Air Assistance Fund which was an annual fundraiser for charity (http://afassistancefund.org/).   Once a year we could take a look at available charities and choose the ones we wanted to send part of our paycheck to.   One of the organizations I often chose to donate to was an organization called Zero Population Growth which is now known as Population Connection: http://www.populationconnection.org/ –

America’s Voice for Population Stabilization

Since 1968, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG) has been America’s voice for population stabilization. We are the largest grassroots population organization in the United States—we have over 500,000 members, supporters, and participating educators!

Population Connection works to ensure that every woman around the world who wants to delay or end childbearing has access to the health services and contraceptive supplies she needs in order to do so.

So what does it mean to have zero population growth?

  1. Zeropopulationgrowth, sometimes abbreviated ZPG (also called the replacement level of fertility), is a condition of demographic balance where the number of people in a specified population neither grows nor declines, considered as a social aim by some.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_population_growth

I understood back then and I am recently reminded while reading Dan’s book, that population growth cannot continue at an unchecked rate. We and the other creatures who share this earth with us are already beginning to feel the strain of what a booming human population does to any corner of earth it settles on.

I also understand that it is not entirely population growth that we need to be concerned with.

It is paramount to properly manage any and all of our natural resources which we have not….which we currently do not….at least not with sort of consistency the world over.  We live in a world of planned obsolescence whether it be a human being or a plastic toy.  We are now living in a world where our oceans, drinking water, air and food sources are made up of more plastic particles than anything else.  It is a world sewn together by leadership devoid of sensible priorities or any sort of long-term vision.   Sadly those who are responsible for the lion’s share of creating this dysfunctional world model, and I hate to break it to you, that includes you and me for drinking the slick advertisers Kool-aid,  aren’t going to be around to truly suffer the punishment they have imposed on all those who will remain.

There have been times I wish I had brought a child or two into this world.  This always becomes a fleeting regret.  All I have to do is look at what I have lived through and what it’s like even as we are here in 2017!  It’s different faces and places but pretty much the same crap we’ve been dealing with since the 13th century and before!  The big difference now, there are even more of us to be at the business of it!  I am glad for my hypothetical children that I chose not to bring them here.

Couple of interesting quotes from Dan’s book:

“Ozone depletion, lack of water, and pollution are not the disease—they are the symptoms. The disease is overpopulation. And unless we face world population head-on, we are doing nothing more than sticking a Band-Aid on a fast-growing cancerous tumor.”
Dan Brown, Inferno https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/overpopulation

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. – Bertrand Zobrist”
Read more at http://www.metriber.com/books/best-quotes-from-dan-browns-inferno/#O8Tlvg3zFtqP1hel.99

 

 

 

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18 Oct 2017 Craving cake and Rainbow baby (poem and drawing)

Hello to you.  How are you?  There isn’t much of me these days…..just mostly mush going on upstairs as of late.  Oh and there is the most dreaded of human conditions…my reoccurring craving for white cake with lots of frosting!   This happens to me every once and awhile!   I resisted the great temptation of going to our bakery called Cakes down the street while Kyle was sleeping today to get some.  One time I had such a craving while were still living in Delaware.  What did Kyle do?  He brought me home a gigantic, multi-layered German chocolate cake that cured me for several months for want of cake!

(this is a white cake I baked earlier this year after finally succumbing to one of my white cake craving attacks lol!)

What the cake looked like after I baked it.

So my creativity flow has been about a sputter since we started with the night shift endeavor but I did manage to draw this strange little being this evening.  I started out with a big pink blob for a head and then it came to me this would be a person with blue butterfly wings for ears and things just went from there lol.

18 Oct 2017 – the drawing started with the silly thought of a baby with ears of a blue butterfly and I just went with it!

Then as I was sitting down to write tonight and share this drawing,  the term rainbow baby came to my mind.  The first time I heard this term was when Kyle and I went to Parkway Park here in town on Memorial Day this year.  When we got to the park that day, there was a older woman in the parking lot with a baby dressed in rainbow colors….her name was Ariel Era.  She said Ariel was a rainbow baby.  I didn’t know what that meant at the time but I thought it must be beautiful.  Ariel certainly was!  I was wearing a bracelet I had made with a rainbow theme and as is customary for me, I took it off my wrist and gave it to Ariel’s Grandma and asked her if she would give it to Ariel someday.   Kyle said to me, “Sometimes someone has to watch the baby.”  Which resonated with me very deeply.  My Grandma used to take care of me when I was Ariel’s age too!

I never chose to have human children, but I know from being a “pet mom”, how much loss of this kind can hurt!

So what exactly is a rainbow baby?

A rainbow baby is a baby born after a couple experiences miscarriage or still birth. It’s called that because you can’t have a rainbow without a storm. And after the storm of pregnancy loss, a beautiful rainbow (child) breaks through the clouds to bring happiness.

28 April 2017 – My Little Pony Rainbow Dash as seen through a faceted glass “eye”.

A little poem from me for babies like Ariel:

Baby after the storm

Brings multi-colored light

And Mother’s heart is made again warm

Tears of sorrow no more, now only joy

Be it the glowing bundle

A girl or a boy

Clouds give way to sun and laughter

Mommy, Daddy and babies

Live happily ever after!

 

 

16 Oct 2017 Victoria

Hello to you.  It’s evening here as I write to you.  I hope this finds you well.  So far I’m doing well with my goal of observing the news headlines but refraining from becoming emotionally antagonized by them.  Cutting Facebook out of my life for the past couple of weeks has really helped me in this endeavor as well!  I am trying to consciously “rewire” my brain and behavior patterns about this and so far, so good.

Kyle and I finished The Living and The Dead on Sunday and decided to give another period piece available for watching on Amazon, Victoria, a try.  No regrets!  We adored Jenna Coleman in Dr. Who as companion Clara Oswald, and are equally smitten with her fantastic portrayal of young Queen Victoria in this wonderful series.  Tonight we just got to the part where the young queen falls for Prince Albert.  Who would think a man cutting his clothes to place  rose corsage next to his chest could be so romantic…steamy even?!   Apparently such a thing really happened!

Source Internet – Prince Albert and Queen Victoria

http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/708773/Victoria-Prince-Albert-rip-shirt-Jenna-Coleman-Tom-Hughes-Daisy-Goodwin-ITV

“Speaking at a recent screening of the fourth and fifth installments of the ratings hit, which follows the courtship and marriage of Victoria and Prince Albert, Daisy told media including Express.co.uk: “One of my favorite moments in episode four is when Albert cuts the hole in his shirt and puts the corsage in.

“It’s something that might have come from my fevered imagination, but actually no. It was actually true, I read it in an account of their first meeting. So it might have come from someone else’s fevered imagination. ”

VICTORIA PREMIERE TRAILER

My drawing today, “door in the sun”

 

16 Oct 2017 Detour to Keene

Hello to you, how are you doing? I have been feeling disconnected the past couple of days and it’s probably just the difficulty I am having synchronizing to Kyle working night shift. I really had hoped he wouldn’t get this shift again. He’s the infamous “low man on the totem pole” and one of the youngest people they have there, so he gets night shift.

Yesterday we took advantage of our time together to make a trip to Burleson. We wanted to see if Half Price Books had anything for me and to pick up an inexpensive pair of slip on shoes for Kyle to wear at work. Since we’ve been here, Burleson has become our favorite town. Pretty much everything we ever need is there and we don’t venture much further unless I have an appointment or we absolutely have to! Driving here in our part of the state is one word – awful. Thank you Burleson for being wonderful!

So I dug around in Half Price Books for quite awhile to try and find something to read. I almost bought a book called The Particle Zoo (https://www.amazon.com/Particle-Zoo-Search-Fundamental-Reality/dp/1784298670/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508160429&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Particle+Zoo)  but decided to put it back.  I may return to get that one at some point. There were several other books that caught my interest, as if often the case when you go into a treasury of a store like this. I ended up with two. A book of children’s poems, “Favorite Poems Old and New” Selected by Helen Ferris and Illustrated by Leonard Wisegard and “Inferno” by Dan Brown.

I had sent Kyle into Academy Sports to find the shoes but all he found was either way too expensive, uncomfortable or a decent price but none in his size. We tried Kohl’s and it was the same story. Ultimately we found what we wanted in the new 5 and Below Store lol. What we have figured out when it comes to buying shoes, it really doesn’t matter where you buy them, they are all the same. They are not made to last. The price for them seems to be driven by the cost of the name of the store selling…or how much they are paying for rent lol! We have paid $60 for shoes that last less than a year and $5 for shoes we are still wearing. Shoes are definitely one of the things in our world made with planned obsolescence. It’s been so long since I’ve had a great pair of shoes!

After standing in line at yet another store that has 5 checkout lanes but only one or two people to run an entire store (comic Sebastian pops in my head, “Has there ever been 5 cashiers at this store?!!), our “public meter” was pinged. We headed home. We seemed to be well on our way until all the sudden break lights happened and the inevitable crawl and lane changing crap people do with their impatience at being obstructed by some sort of inconvenience.

We decided to get off I-35 and take a detour through Keene.

It was a much more scenic and peaceful drive going this way. We enjoyed the more relaxed pace, talking to each other about random things and taking in the fallish looking trees on either side of the road. This is Texas, so we don’t get a real fall. The kind with brilliantly colored leaves and all that – the fall I miss from childhood or from when we lived on the east coast.

It wasn’t until we got into Keene and Kyle mentioned it, that I fully realized what we went through in this town 3 years ago. It was almost a week to the day (19 Oct 2014), my friend Suzan Michelle Mize Sullivan died at the Town Hall Estates (http://www.americanreligious.org/town_hall_estates_keene.html).

As we drove by the building, so many memories flashed through my mind! Kyle and I had never been through something like this – losing our friend the way we did! We both felt so utterly and completely powerless to stop what happened to her! What we experienced of her life and death has become for us a prime example to us of how awful the “system” can be.

It’s not all tears for our friend Suzan, (we called her Michelle) though.

As I look across the street these days, at the house she and Carroll shared, I think she’d be so happy! People she loved so much (her oldest son, his wife and grandkids), gave her entire life for, are living there now and continuing to make the place home. I don’t see her in my minds eye or dreams like I used to. I am hoping this year will be free of any broken glassware or other strange occurrences in our house as the anniversary of her death nears.  I hope she is at peace wherever she decided her heaven was to be!  I will always miss her.

https://saymber.com/2015/10/19/19-oct-2015-the-last-blue-bowl-a-visit-from-a-lost-friend/ – a bit about what I’m referring to with strange happenings when the anniversary of Suzan’s leaving us nears.

Sometimes detours aren’t simply detours…..are you paying attention?  Is the traffic jam and your choice to find a path around it just mere coincidence?  

A sampling of poems from the poetry book:

 

A Book – poem by Emily Dickinson

There is no frigate like a book

To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take

Without oppress of toil;

How frugal is the chariot

That bears a human soul!

 

Fireflies – poem by Carolyn Hall

Little lamps of the dusk,

You fly low and gold

When the summer evening

Start to unfold.

So that all the insects,

Now, before you pass,

Will have light to see by,

Undressing in the grass.

But when the night has flowered,

Little lamps agleam,

You fly over treetops

Following a dream.

Men wonder from their windows

That a firefly goes so far –

They do not know your longing

To be a shooting star.

 

 

 

15 Oct 2017 My Grandparents, being a Polar Bear (dreams) and The Two Bears (poem by Carolyn Wells)

Hello to you.  How are you this morning?  It’s morning here as I write.  We had rain last night so the pictures I drew yesterday have been lifted up to fly with the gray ships and on the wings of the large swirl of birds that greeted the dogs and I when we went out this morning.

14 Oct 2017 – woman I drew last night before calling it a day. She kind of looks like actress Gillian Anderson to me (X-files)

It’s cooler and feels like fall.  Kyle and I are talking about going to see if Half Price Books can help me with my craving for interesting words telling stories printed on pages and bound…aka a book…you remember what those are right?!  (wink).  Unfortunately, most of the books on my wish list are expensive and not for entertainment, of the non-fictional nature.  I will have to see what happens….see who finds me seeking them in the world of print.

So I have been sleeping really well the past couple of nights and am so grateful.  The cooler weather definitely helps.  With this rest has come almost a non-stop stream of dream.  There were two that stuck with me from last nights travels.

The first one was about being someone, I think my Grandma Schmidt or may be me much older.  Whoever I was talked about  not believing she was 80 years old, she didn’t feel like she was.  She showed me where they lived and it was a dump lol.  A building being held together with strips of white cloth and tape (kind of like how it feels our house is being held together sometimes lol).  I remember walking and talking with a man who looked like my Grandpa Elias Schmidt as a young man.  I remember singing karaoke.  I couldn’t remember all the words but sang really well!

http://hdm.wikia.com/wiki/Iorek_Byrnison
Iorek Byrnison – was a panserbjørn and the king of Svalbard. He was a great friend and comrade to both Lyra Silvertongue and Lee Scoresby.

The other dream was about being part of a polar bear family….actually being a polar bear.  We were traveling on sheets of ice over water and down streams.  A lot of running and sliding!  It was snowy white every where but lots of sun.  It was very liberating to travel this way.  What’s funny is before I drifted off to sleep, I heard a man’s voice say, “remember, I can be anything or anyone.”   Why not a polar bear?!  God is in all creation.

To close…time to get breakfast on and enjoy the remaining time we have before work begins again.  I found this poem and it made me smile, so fanciful, playful and silly!  I really enjoyed it.  I hope you do too.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-two-bears/

The Two Bears – Poem by Carolyn Wells

Prince Curlilocks remarked one day
To Princess Dimplecheek,
‘I haven’t had a real good play
For more than ‘most a week.’

Said Princess Dimplecheek, ‘My dear,
Your majesty forgets–
This morning we played grenadier
With grandpa’s epaulets.

‘And yesterday we sailed to Spain–
We both were pirates bold,
And braved the wild and raging main
To seek for hidden gold.’

‘True,’ said the prince; ‘I mind me well–
Right hardily we fought,
And stormed a massive citadel
To gain the prize we sought.

‘But if your ladyship agrees,
Methinks we’ll go upstairs
And build a waste of arctic seas,
And we’ll be polar bears.’

‘Yes, if you’ll promise not to bite,’
Fair Dimplecheek replied,
Already half-way up the flight,
His highness by her side.

‘Princess, on that far window-seat,
Go, sit thee down and wait,
While I ask nursie for a sheet,
Or maybe six or eight.’

A pile of sheets his highness brought.
‘Dear princess, pray take these;
Although our path with danger’s fraught,
We’ll reach the polar seas.’

Two furry rugs his lordship bore,
Two pairs of mittens white;
He threw them on the nursery floor
And shouted with delight.

He spread those sheets–the funny boy–
O’er table, floor, and chair.
‘Princess,’ said he, ‘don’t you enjoy
This frosty, bracing air?

‘These snowy sheets are fields of ice,
This is an iceberg grim.’
‘Yes, dear, I think it’s very nice,’
She said, and smiled at him.

And then they donned the rugs of fur,
The mittens, too, they wore;
And Curlilocks remarked to her,
‘Now you must roar and roar.’

Dimplecheek looked out from the cowl
Formed by her furry rug.
‘I’m ‘fraid of bears that only growl–
I like the kind that hug.’

 

14 Oct 2017 Blue butterflies, Sky Dog (drawings) and Blue Butterfly Day (Robert Frost poem)

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May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish blessing

 

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/blue-butterfly-day-2/

Blue-Butterfly Day – Poem by Robert Frost

It is blue-butterfly day here in spring,
And with these sky-flakes down in flurry on flurry
There is more unmixed color on the wing
Than flowers will show for days unless they hurry.

But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.

*Hope your having a wonderful day wherever and whenever you are.

13 Oct 2017 Mustard Seed

Hello to you this Friday evening.  I hope you’ve had a good day from whatever point in your timeline you are at when you visit here.  I know it’s weird for me to talk like that to you but that’s how I think of this blog.  It’s a connection point between multiple dimensions.  Mainly mine and yours.  I think of each of us as walking, talking….living and breathing dimensions all overlapping each other.

The example I always use to illustrate this concept is thinking of when Kyle goes to work and I am here.  Unless I tell him what happened here while he was gone, he has no way of knowing what actually happened.  Unless he tells me what happens at his work, I have no way of knowing that either.  Even when we are both here at home,  even sitting in the same room, we are still recording unique perceptions of reality into our memory.   We are worlds within worlds!

Todays drawings weren’t spectacular but lead me to a particular passage from the Bible I’ve always thought was beautiful; the one about having faith as small as a mustard seed.

Matthew 17:20New International Version (NIV)

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

There are certain passages from the Bible, that even if I no longer participate in organized religion, have always resonated with me.  This particular passage is just such a one.  Revisiting passages like these gives me strength during times when I need it the most.  For me, that is what the Bible or any sacred text ought to be used for.  A resource to help, not a weapon to harm.

I hope that through all these billions of lines of wires, cables, electrical signals, dirt, ocean and sky….through all that is between my dimension and yours that this post helps make the moment you are in just a little better.

*I found this video to share, thought it might be interesting to you.  I didn’t know that Canada was the largest grower of mustard seed!

From a Tiny Mustard Seed

Published on Jan 29, 2015

Ever wondered where mustard comes from? Follow the production of mustard from seeding to harvesting.
Learn more about mustard at http://www.saskmustard.com.

*I found myself craving rhyme tonight and wanting more of the coolness of fall we got a brief taste of the other day.  It was 93 degrees here today!  Anyhew, I looked at several poems before finding this one.  I chose it because it spoke to me for some reason.  If you go to the actual site, you can hear each of the poems read out loud either by a person or computer  person.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/autumn-friends-2/

Autumn Friends – Poem by Sandra Fowler

If one could bridge the distance with a word,
A journey would become a pilgrimage.
Elegant letters slant across the page.
My leaf has found a home upon your coat.

My kind critic, I think it is our fate
To meet in stanzas of my poetry.
Simile and metaphor must be our bond
Until autumn blows one of us away.

Our rare rapport is irreplaceable.
Old moods glimmer on sills like fallen stars.
My little leaf says thank you every day.
It comforts me to know it traveled safe.

‘With my compliments to Mukund Dave for
all his eloquent reviews’

 

 

12 Oct 2017 Remember why you are here (today’s drawings and message)

Hello to you.  Just a quick note with the chalk drawings I did out back today.  The weather is still very nice here.  My thoughts are with the folks in California and any corner of this globe needing help…some glimmer of hope today.   Lots of folks are having hard times.   I hope you are doing your best to shine your light wherever you can.  Keep your lamplights burning!

*the featured drawing is based on a dream I had once about flying around a huge tree with two other men.  Then we were standing on a geometric shaped building made of glass and I left the other two by flying away.

11 Oct 2017 Today’s Youth are Depressed, Here’s Why (Thoughty2, You tube), THIS is Why The Sumerians are NOT Taught in School – Sumerian Tablets – Lost Ancient Civilization (Bright Insight, You tube) and Evening Star (Poem by Edgar Allen Poe)

Hello to you.  It’s 9:28 pm on this Wednesday evening.  How are you?  I’m doing better after Kyle and I were able to talk with our neighbor about the fence, dog and poop situation this evening.  Sounds like chicken wire will be the solution until we can all afford to replace the fence entirely.  Works for me!  It made me feel better to be able to apologize for the outburst this morning and get things sorted out.  All he heard was yelling and wasn’t sure what was going on.  It had been bugging me all day!  I don’t like being mad at people or having unresolved conflict with people.

So this evening Kyle and I were able to squeeze in part of another episode of the Living and Dead BBC One program…make it last as long as we can lol.  We also did our You tube channels scan for stuff to watch and came across this very insightful video from the Thoughty2 channel about why the youth of today are having so much trouble with depression.  It ties in nicely to the links I shared on my previous post today about Smartphones and their effect on young people’s mental health/self esteem and suicide related issues.   This video addresses a lot of things people may have not considered when making harsh judgements about young people of the past couple of generations.

Today’s Youth Are Depressed, Here’s Why…

Thoughty2

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir – Are You Lost In The World Like Me? (Official Video) – this little film sums it all up so well….so sad but true.

This is a video I saw yesterday that was very interesting to me too.  It inspired the chalk drawing I did of the Sumerian and the Reaper.  I have found the story of the Sumerians quite fascinating and kind of crossed paths with some of their history, specifically their language of the cuneiform, when I was trying to get some closure on the character Vanessa Ives from the show Penny Dreadful: https://saymber.com/2016/09/20/20-sept-2016-vanessa-ives-of-penny-dreadful-and-lilith-cuneiform-sumerian-language-finding-mementos-of-your-past-revisiting-harsh-lessons-of-farm-life-and-death-as-a-city-girl/

THIS is Why The Sumerians are NOT Taught in School – Sumerian Tablets – Lost Ancient Civilization

Bright Insight

Published on Oct 5, 2017

How is it possible that the Sumerian’s ONLY get 1-3 Sentences in the Textbooks? The world’s FIRST human civilization that dates back 6,000 years, that created our modern system of time, the calendar, writing, agriculture, and everything else is not required learning in school. This video outlines what the Sumerian tablets/records.

Here to close…this beautiful poem by Edgar Allen Poe that I have never read before:

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/evening-star/

Evening Star – Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

‘Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro’ the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
‘Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold- too cold for me-
There pass’d, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light.

Sending hugs, love, hope and all the good I can muster through the wires to you…..please do pass it along 🙂 

10 Oct 2017 Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it never happened (Mike Ditka comment: “There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of”

*10/10/2017 9:29 pm after thinking about this post, I decided to come back to it and edit some things, added a couple pictures and changed the title.  I have changed my “tone” a smidge because I know it’s a turn-off to my regular readers and sadly, the people I wish would see this sort of post and learn something will probably never even know it exists.  I know this goes both ways.  I know there are many things I haven’t taken the time to read that are written by people in total opposition to my perspective.  We generally, by nature, don’t go looking to read things that don’t resonate with who we are.   May be that’s part of the problem.  May be that is something I need to tackle for myself personally to help me to broaden my perspective on things!

Hello to you.  It’s Tuesday evening.  I see now that our President is getting his ego massaged by the media and owners from the NFL, he’s decided taking away their tax exempt status would be a good idea…you know….to punish the players.  I’ve never understood why they had it to begin with but not in the context of trying to punish players specifically.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-says-us-should-change-tax-law-to-punish-nfl/ar-AAtfjt3?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Trump says US should change tax law to punish NFL

And then this….

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/mike-ditka-on-protests-there-has-been-no-oppression-in-past-100-years/ar-AAtfsDd?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Mike Ditka is unhappy with the protests that have gone on during the national anthem dating back to last year, and the legendary NFL coach has perhaps the most mind-boggling view on the topic of anyone we have heard.

In an interview with Jim Gray of Westwood One Sports on Monday, Ditka said he agrees with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that any player who kneels during the national anthem should not be allowed to play. In fact, Ditka doesn’t understand why players are protesting. As far as he’s concerned, there has been no oppression in the United States in the past century.

“All of sudden it has become a big deal now about oppression. There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of,” Ditka said. “Now maybe I’m not watching it as carefully as other people. I think that the opportunity is there for everybody race, religion, creed, color, nationality, if you want to work, if you want to try, you want to put effort into yourself, you can accomplish anything.

“We’ve watched that through the history of our country. People rise to the top and became very influential people in our country by doing the right things.”

We don’t want to get into a detailed discussion about U.S. history, but Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Schools were still segregated prior to 1954. We could go on and on and on, but anyone who says oppression doesn’t exist in this country is misguided.

Ditka said he has no problem with people protesting, but he doesn’t think the football field is the appropriate venue.

“Is this the stage for this? If you want to protest, you have a right to do that,” Ditka said. “But I think you are a professional athlete and you have an obligation to the game. I think you have to respect the game, and that’s what I think is the most important thing. I don’t see a lot of respect for the game. I just see respect for their own individual opinions.”

There are plenty of people who share Ditka’s old-school mentality, and we have even seen one head coach implement a policy the 77-year-old would agree with. But saying there has been no oppression in the past 100 years is just asinine.

http://www.blackpast.org/timelines/african-american-history-timeline-1900-2000 – the past 100 years of specifically Black History

The statements Mr. Ditka made here make him appear to be a very ignorant person.  On this timeline I’ve linked, you can see in the past 100 years there were many advances and firsts for people of color but there are also many examples of just how much more difficult it has been for people of color in this country than for whites.

I honestly don’t think we have found balance on this issue for any “side” but having public figures like Mr. Ditka  denial of 100 years of history littered with oppression, crime, abuse, murder and discrimination is not helping the conversation.  His comments are yet another example illustrating how even if a group of people are living an identical reality, their perception of it will not always reflect the truth of their shared reality.  Perception is a wicked thing especially when it comes to the hot button issues we are facing today like equality for minorities, women and the LGTBQ community.   His   comments are also a great current example of what I mentioned before in a previous blog about people lacking the ability to empathize with others.  His attitude reflects one I see quote often in people from his generation  and that is if it didn’t happen to be personally, if I don’t remember it happening, it never happened.   

Well I will step up, and affirm oppression has happened and is still happening to people of color.  It happened and is still happening to women, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community.  

Here are just a few documents I have that my Grandma Becker made sure to give to the family so we would know and be proud of our part in history — fighting for equality for all people.

I wish my Grandpa Becker, a former pastor who was actually a part of the 100 years dismissed as oppression free, was still here to talk to people like Mr. Ditka and share what it was like for him and two other men to drive down to Mississippi to help people of color register to vote.  This during a time when others doing similar things were murdered for doing it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Chaney,_Goodman,_and_Schwerner

Freedom Summer Murders

The murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, also known as the Freedom Summer murders, the Mississippi civil rights workers’ murders or the Mississippi Burning murders, involved three activists that were abducted and murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi in June 1964 during the Civil Rights Movement. The victims were Andrew Goodman and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi. All three were associated with the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and its member organization the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). They had been working with the Freedom Summer campaign by attempting to register African Americans in Mississippi to vote. This registration effort was a part of contesting over 70 years of laws and practices that supported a systematic policy of disenfranchisement of potential black voters by several southern states that began in 1890.

The three men had traveled from Meridian, Mississippi, to the community of Longdale to talk with congregation members at a church that had been burned. The trio was thereafter arrested following a traffic stop outside Philadelphia, Mississippi, for speeding, escorted to the local jail and held for a number of hours.[1] As the three left town in their car, they were followed by law enforcement and others. Before leaving Neshoba County their car was pulled over and all three were abducted, driven to another location, and shot at close range. The three men’s bodies were then transported to an earthen dam where they were buried.[1]

The disappearance of the three men was initially investigated as a missing persons case. The civil rights workers’ burnt-out car was found near a swamp three days after their disappearance.[2][3] An extensive search of the area was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), local and state authorities, and four hundred United States Navy sailors.[4] The three men’s bodies were only discovered two months later thanks to a tip-off. During the investigation it emerged that members of the local White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office and the Philadelphia, Mississippi Police Department were involved in the incident.[1]

The murder of the activists sparked national outrage and an extensive federal investigation, filed as Mississippi Burning (MIBURN), which later became the title of a 1988 film loosely based on the events. After the state government refused to prosecute, in 1967 the United States federal government charged 18 individuals with civil rights violations. Seven were convicted and received relatively minor sentences for their actions. Outrage over the activists’ disappearances helped gain passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[5]

Forty-one years after the murders took place, one perpetrator, Edgar Ray Killen, was charged by the state of Mississippi for his part in the crimes. He was convicted of three counts of manslaughter in 2005 and is serving a 60 year sentence.[6] On June 20, 2016, federal and state authorities officially closed the case and dispensed with the possibility of further prosecution.

This is a picture of my Grandpa Harold Becker with a young black man whose name I do not have on the winter my Mother died.

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