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 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.

 

 

 

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.

9 Oct 2017 In the moment, Poem (California on fire again) and revisiting the past (can be painful!)

9 Oct 2017 – drawing I did today…The Amnesiac’s. I was thinking about how it seems like we keep forgetting things that are important.

Hello to you.  It’s Monday evening as I start to write to you.  How was the day you just lived today?  How are you doing in this moment?  What is everything in your “now?”  For me it’s drinking coffee that is a tad bitter but I’ll keep drinking it because I don’t want to waste it.  Link and Spot are on edge because I was just outside and rang the doorbell like an asshole after walking Kyle out and looking for gecko’s….only found one.  Ever since we put up the new siding…less gecko’s.  May is meowling again about who knows what and it drives me crazy….sounds like a baby crying.  Almost impossible for me to ignore her even if I try.  I am in no physical pain, comfortable temperature and there is an annoying smudge on my glasses again.  I hear the random pinging of raindrops on our metal siding which is a good thing.  I’m grateful for this moment I am in and grateful to have this cyber place in which to express my random “stuff.”  I’m grateful for whoever you are reading this, for your taking a moment from your busy world to visit me.

I have some quiet time to myself so this is going to be long lol.  I’ve finally resolved to myself that brevity is never going to be my thing lol!  If you don’t have time right now, please come back when you can.  There is something for you here. 

Yeah…..so I wrote this little poem today.  It’s not positive, complicated or even very eloquent….just one of those poems that started to come in while I was doing something else and I jotted it down.  Then I saw on the news later that California is burning even more so than normal…..sigh.  (http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/09/us/california-fires/index.htmlFast-moving wildfires kill 10, spur evacuations in Northern California By Ralph Ellis, Joe Sterling, Paul P. Murphy and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Updated 7:48 PM ET, Mon October 9, 2017)

9 Oct 2017 – Jackie Wygant poem

I hate you

You hate me

I hate me

So it goes

Through our family tree

Barren seed in fallow soil

A life

Of blood, sweat and toil

Where is the love we once knew?

Is it only ember and ash now

Against the darkening red, white and blue?

It’s weird sometimes the random things that I will pick up and they end up in poems, writings and my art.  Guess that’s the way it’s always worked for me.

Today I found something out about myself.  It’s now not an easy thing for me to look at pictures from the past….just as bad as reading my old journals.

Kyle was sleeping and the internet was off so I decided to take a trip down memory lane and look at some old photos from 2009 when we still lived in Newark DE and some since we’ve been here.  This turned me into a mass of sobbing wet tears.  What happened that really set me off was I saw video I had taken of our kitty Amber when she was still here and our Spot during one of the visits from the squirrel.  The furniture in our house was different.  We still had the pergola which the squirrel has sorely missed since its removal.  We still had our old back fence!  In just a short little video I saw how much time had gone by and all that was changed….missing.

5-march-2015-my-sunbeam-kitty-amber-alvarado-tx

Part of my current resentment at our remaining cat May is May has never loved me like Amber did and she’s still alive and Amber isn’t!  It’s so hard for me to get over that!  Amber was the kind of cat that was more like a dog than a cat in her personality and behavior.  She got that way after we got our cocker spaniel Sam.  She was smart enough to figure out that if she was going to get any time with me she had to become more like a dog.  So she did!  Amber was a big part of my heart.  I used to hold her when she’d come visit me on the toilet and just hold her and start crying I loved her so much.

Yeah…..but I think Amber has found her ways, through perhaps the ashes we spread about the yard, to find her way back to me.  Whether it be a positive or negative insect interaction…..sometimes it seems very personal lol.  Like a fragment of Amber making herself known to me whether it be a fire ant bite or a butterfly randomly flittering through my hair.  Amber isn’t the Amber I knew….she’s much more and that comforts me some.  It’s just when I go back looking for what she was and isn’t anymore that hurts so bad.

What happened to me today reminds me that we must be careful going back for what we have lost.  We can be reminded how much it hurts that we can never get any of it back.  Even if we can get something back from our past,  it can never be exactly as it was.  Kind of like it was for me after joining the military and going home to visit.  I wasn’t the same person even if the people and places I left behind were much the same.  Going backwards on anything can sometimes open wounds that had finally closed.  I am reminded of this today.  Sometimes I go back to things better left in the past.

I don’t want to forget the past ever happened.  I don’t want to forget the people, animals, places and things that made me the me I am now.  I just really had it hit me today looking at those old pictures and videos that I don’t want to emotionally torture myself in my present with facts  and parts of history that are fixed….set….unchangeable.

There will never be another cat exactly like Amber in my life.  There will never be the exact version of any other person, animal, place or thing that I loved after they have left this physical world or been destroyed.  For as long as I live and can retain my memory, they will exist in my mind, heart and even my soul.  Even fragments of their existence, rejoined with the energy God of my understanding, will remain in the air, the water, the food, my sleeping and waking world …but they will never be them again.  They are part of my past and I cannot get them back again!

This was taken during a visit to the San Francisco CA Zoo in *cough* Nov 1987! The note on the wall behind me, “This bench is reserved for primates only” is appropriate lol!

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/William_Beebe – the first time I saw this was when I visited the San Francisco Zoo:

The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living beings breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.

  • The Bird (1906)

I feel like my little blurp here could be a bit of a cautionary tale of the direction I see us going in this country….in this world.  I see a fading mass of people trying to take those newer on the scene kicking and screaming back to the caves by the hair without Wi-Fi.  Why?  I think, speaking as someone who can be averse to change, because it’s comfortable, it’s safe, it’s familiar, it makes them feel like they have control over something and it means not having to change.  This world is changing so fast!

This is an ironic observation as I live in a world of people who seem to thrive on change and new external stimulation!  Kyle and I notice this especially with video games and how the industry seems to have such a hard time “feeding” gamers with new content.  As soon as new content is released, people eat through it like a bag of chocolate and get pissed and act like addicts going through withdrawal waiting for their next “hit.”

We want change but we want to control the how, where, when, why and what of it happening.   For many, and this is the case for myself, not having any sort of input or control over changes like those coming from our government,  that affect me and those I love,  has left me feeling quite powerless and angry.

I  cannot really get to mad at my parents, teachers and other role models in my life for all the dirty secrets I’ve found out about my country and the world since my growing up years.  I’m finding out from personal experience that history is a contextual thing.  It’s also a matter of perception…your experiences, your background, your family, your education shape your perception of the world and how you live in it.

Depending on where you are in time and what you know at that time, determines how you live in that segment of history.  What was acceptable behavior for white people in the context of history going on during the time of slavery isn’t what should be going on in our current times in the context of modern history….why? Because we know better!  My parents and all the teachers through my life probably didn’t know or realize half the things that have come to light in our current times.  Now we do know what was and is still yet going on.  Are we as a world going to just keep revisiting and repeating the past or finally let go, let God and move the fuck on?!!

I think we have a lot of people in this world who feel powerless in our times.  So they are clinging on to whatever they can to give them some sense of stability…certainty.  Many are choosing to hold on to history, be it positive or negative, to have some sort of certainty, identity, purpose and meaning .  I am living in a country that makes it seem like you have to go on America’s Got Talent or something to be worth a shit…to have value.  If you have ever watched that show, you have seen the lengths people will go to be worth something.  They will nearly kill themselves!  It feels like you have to “be something, someone or connected to something or someone” in order to have any sort of self-esteem.

People are still not being taught how to light their own fire inside.  They are still being taught in every conceivable way that they must seek their value and worth outside of themselves – other people, places and especially things.  It’s a lie perpetuated all the way back to the first real fire I think!

Anyhew….

Kyle and I watched this tonight and I thought John did a really good job on this very sensitive subject in our country – confederate monuments.  I didn’t know that a large majority of monuments in our country that depict Confederate themes were erected decades after the Civil War was over, meant to be the middle finger of sorts towards minorities and many were dedicated by members of the KKK!  I think these statues should be put preserved, as John suggests here.  I think they should definitely be put in museums with background information and historical context provided.  I think destroying the statues would be not much better than what everyone has gotten upset about ISIS doing.  It isn’t a good idea to erase history…especially history we really shouldn’t repeat!  I feel like people should be able to choose to go to a museum and view them versus not having a choice about being subjected to them in sometimes unavoidable public places.

Confederacy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

 

We can only go forward and through….that’s the only way to survive the callous master that is Time.

 

7 Oct 2017 Angels with paws (service dogs help Las Vegas shooting victims) and drawings

Hello to you this Saturday afternoon.  I hope this finds you doing well.  I wanted to share this wonderful story from the folks at Today about what I and so many others who share their lives with dogs or cats already know – they are healers!  To me they are angels with paws.  I think  what the folks from Lutheran Church Charities did by bringing these dogs to folks trying to heal inside as well as out after the mass shooting in Las Vegas is just a beautiful and loving thing to do!  There is a reason dog spelled backwards is God.  Our Sammy was one of the first to show me here on earth God’s love….no judgement, no boundaries, no limits….just pure unconditional love.

Me with our cocker spaniel Sammy on 25 Dec 2009. He passed away 27 April 2011.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/paws-on-the-ground-comfort-dogs-bring-much-needed-love-to-las-vegas/ar-AAt1zyL?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Paws on the ground: Comfort dogs bring much-needed love to Las Vegas

Ethan Sacks
For many scarred by seeing the carnage inflicted in the Las Vegas mass shooting, a little comfort came courtesy of man’s best friend.

 Nineteen trained golden retrievers from across the country padded their way to Las Vegas this week courtesy of Lutheran Church Charities to provide comfort for those affected by the attack, which left 59 dead, more than 500 wounded, and thousands of families and friends emotionally devastated.
But even those who survived the carnage at the Route 91 Harvest festival without physical wounds desperately needed that nuzzle — like Sunrise Hospital director of guest services Tracy Szymanski, who is still persevering through her job despite having been in the crowd Sunday night.

“I came straight to the hospital from the venue at 10:30 at night, still wearing my concert clothes, because I knew there were things I could do to help the families,” Szymanski told TODAY. “It was a sigh of relief when the first dogs arrived Monday morning, because I knew the cavalry had arrived.

“I felt I had help at a time when I felt helpless.”

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations.© LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs’/Facebook LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations. The comfort dogs, along with their 30 human handlers, are part of the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs unit — veterans used to having their “paws on the ground” after disasters, natural or otherwise.

The unit’s canine caregivers brought survivors some solace after the Sandy Hook shootings, and more recently, provided comfort to parts of Texas and Florida hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

And even amidst all the horror of the Las Vegas shooting, it’s amazing to see how quickly these four-legged pros can spread smiles, LCC president Tim Hetzner told TODAY.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations.

© LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs’/Facebook LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations. “Dogs are non-judgmental, they don’t take notes and are comfortable to talk to,” Hetzner, who oversaw the Las Vegas mission, said.

“A key part of healing in any crisis or disaster is to be able to talk about (the trauma), and people find it easier to do that with dogs.”

Those dogs — including one, Lois, who is based in Las Vegas and a regular visitor at the Sunrise Hospital — have been busy. “Because of the magnitude of this event, just about everybody who lives in Las Vegas has been affected,” said Hetzner.

Besides working with survivors and grieving families, the comfort dogs visited a high school where several students were injured in the shooting, hotel workers helping victims’ families, and traumatized first responders.

They have also visited the coroner’s office, both to support victims’ loved ones and staffers wading in such overwhelming grief.

It’s extremely emotional work for the dogs.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations.

© LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs’/Facebook LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations. “The dogs have an ability to tell when someone is suffering, so after working with them for a few hours, we take their service vest off, pull a ball out let them run around and be dogs for an hour,” said Hetzner. “These are golden retrievers, they like to retrieve. That’s how they work off their stress.”

The current team is being flown out Friday to be replaced by a new, rested crop that will stay through the beginning of next week.

“They come up to you and get dog hair all over you, and then just nuzzle up to you and put a smile on your face,” said Szymanski. “Every morning, as the person who supervises their visits at the hospital, I get to get my first dose.”

“It helps me process everything.”

My father-in-law gave Kyle and I this after Sammy passed away. It is so true!

 

 

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