May 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm (art, culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, life, movies, music, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: art, Cloud Atlas, entertainment, film, films, movie, movies, review, trailer, video
Having seen a few great, some very good, and many just good films lately and over the course of time, I can honestly say that Cloud Atlas completely blows every other film totally out of the water for sheer creativity in actualizing the potential of films for depth of narrative, visual beauty, acting and scope of vision. It’s a truly beautiful film on multiple levels. If you have not yet seen Cloud Atlas then do yourself a huge favor and make time to view it as soon as possible. It’s lengthy, complex, involved and demands complete attention. I would love to comment extensively but that might limit your own acts of exploration and discovery while engaged with this piece of artistry. Yes, this is Film As Art and it’s quite incredibly spectacular!
Not yet interested?
Did you love The Matrix?
Are you a fan of Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant? Imagine each playing multiple roles in multiple storylines which are all interconnected.
How open is your mind?
May 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm (culture, ethics, history, Independent film, life, movies, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: blogs, crime, culture, documentary, film, Indpendent film, men, random, rant, rape, society, The Invisible War, US Military, values, vent, violence, women
Okay, I surrender to the ghost in this machine and refuse to fight the edit blog post battle any further today. While I’ve narrowed down the search for causes of earlier frustrations in blogland to this specific computer at my end, the reasons for such remain elusive. So instead of trying to force the program to do its editing duty properly, I’m just going to yap in this post instead.
Yes, it’s been very quiet in my blogcasa since round one of “Breakfast Special.” I confess that I’ve been wondering if further courses of “Breakfast Special” might be of interest to anyone wandering by. Would anyone care to put in an order?
Frankly I think I’ve ranted, vented and held forth over time on most items broiling in my brainpan. Yet when Dirk Kirby’s documentary “The Invisible War” aired on my local PBS station via Independent Lens last night it supplied some motivational electro-shock therapy which prompted my earlier attempt at a blog post regarding the rape epidemic in the U.S. Military. I’d been aware of this issue for several years, but had no idea of the current ongoing scope and depth of the issue until viewing Kirby’s film. While I’m aware that the violent crime of rape is widespread, under-reported and under prosecuted in America, I’d had not any idea just how callous the entire U.S. Military’s attitude is towards the crime in its own ranks. Is this a logical consequence of the innate nature of the military itself as a vehicle for training people for combat that requires the death and destruction of other humans? Perhaps it is.
If so, why would any parent who puts forth the effort to raise children to be decent, caring, intelligent adults ever encourage their children to enlist in any military force? Why would parents want to have their children destroyed by a system which does not value human life?
I am at a loss for any rational answers to those questions and the host of others I have in regard to the specific issue of rape in the military and the institution in general. It appears that being an “officer and a gentleman” is nothing more than illusion created by smart uniformed propaganda images.
Rape outrages many people when news of it surfaces in the media. The rapes of women in India have garnered world-wide attention. People are appalled by rapes of children. Rape is recognized as a war crime. No one seems to condone rape. Yet it is a widespread violent crime which knows no social, political, economic nor religious boundaries.
Does the U.S. Military view the victims of rape within its ranks as simple collateral damage that is an acceptable byproduct of their own culture of acceptable violence?
Is this just a military problem or is it a human nature problem? If it’s human nature working out its dark side then what does it say about US?
Considering the recent issues regarding the Violence Against Women Act I wonder if we live in a culture which somehow deviously nurtures the act of rape.
Such is the current state of my brainpan stew. This is more or less the gist of the content which inexplicably vanished from my earlier post when I hit the “Publish” earlier today.
Anyone have any answers?
May 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm (culture, ethics, history, Independent film, journalism, life, movies, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: crime, culture, ethics, film, Independent Lens, Kirby Dick, men, miltary, movie, PBS, poltitics, random, rape, The Invisible War, training, values, violence, women
PBS Independent Lens –The Invisible War–
Due to technical difficulties some content is currently MIA.
April 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm (art, buddhism, education, environment, exploring interconnectedness, life, nature, photography, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: art, buddhism, chemicals, culture, education, environment, exploring, film, interconnectedness, life, link, nature, PBS, photography, plants, random, Science, video, What Plants Talk About
Okay, I’m not the most sociable human at the present time so I’ve not been playing much in blogland. While I’m not about to commence running rampant from blogcasa to blogcasa, I really want to share this recent Nature program with anyone interested in the interconnectedness of all things. What Plants Talk About offers some incredible insights into the living Earth we call home. I think it also serves as a huge positive statement regarding why we MUST preserve the ‘natural’ environment widely and learn to re-integrate our human species with our plant and animal relations quickly in order to ensure our own survival. If we don’t, I suspect we may find Earth less than welcoming of our continued presence. Mother Nature will find a way to deal with us as hostile creatures and create a new healthy balance. No, I’m not kidding.
The full episode of What Plants Talk About is currently available for viewing http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/what-plants-talk-about/video-full-episode/8243/
It is very well worth an hour of your time to watch and learn what’s going on with all the leafy green things above and below ground. This is a very accessible program about some serious science. It’s also features beautiful photographic film work.
February 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm (Uncategorized)
Tags: "Water", Black Hills, Clean Water Alliance, CWA, donations, environment, film, FLOW, Heartland Film Society, investors, March 2, meeting, money, movie, permit, politics, Powertech, Powertech exposed, Rapid City, Rural Dakota Action, South Dakota, uranium mining, witness
Okay, here are a few information items from the Black Hills Clean Water Alliance of South Dakota regarding their ongoing effort to stop uranium mining in the Black Hills by Powertech. Take note that donations of ANY amount are requested by the Clean Water Alliance in order to enable the hiring of expert witnesses concerning the dangers of uranium mining. There is a link to an expert example. Take note that Powertech (p.31) wants water for FREE. Now if anyone else is using water we pay for it. Why should a uranium mining company get water at no charge? Oh and NO accountability or responsibility for any environmental damages either. What do I know? Not much. But Lilias Jarding of CWA knows a thing or two:
Last Friday, we had the prehearing on Powertech’s application for two water permits and a ground water discharge permit (to spray waste water on the ground). The good news is that the actual hearing on the applications before the state Water Management Board will not occur the week of March 18. It will be postponed, which gives us more time to prepare.
However, hiring the experts we need for the hearings costs money — lots of money. Our experts will talk specifically about how Powertech’s proposed project would damage groundwater and the land. We have to have experts to oppose Powertech’s applications effectively. We know who we want to hire, and it will cost over $15,000. So we need both small and large donations to help us raise that money.
We also need general operating funds. Clean Water Alliance is an all-volunteer organization, so your donations go directly to work against uranium mining in the Black Hills region. Every bit helps. Please give what you can.
Please CLICK HERE TO DONATE and pass this message along to others who might be willing to help.
Your support is gratefully received.
For anyone who hasn’t seen them, here is the link to the comments by Dr. Robert Moran on the draft Supplemental Impact Statement prepared by Powertech. These are the type of comments we would like our experts to do for the water permits hearing. And this is why we are raising money –
The next Heartland Film Society screening will be “Flow” on Monday February 25, 2013. It will be at the Elks Theatre in Rapid City at 7 pm. Admission is $7.00. The screening is co-sponsored by the Black Hills Chapter of Dakota Rural Action. The film is about water and how important it is to protect it from corporations, both in the U.S. and internationally. It documents how local grassroots organizing can be effective. There will be a panel discussion afterwards with Debra White Plume, Bruce Ellison, and Becky Leas. They will be discussing the proposed uranium mining by Powertech in the Southern Black Hills.
Please come out and support this very important event. Bring a friend or three. Thank you very much. Clay and Mary Ellen Uptain and your Heartland Film Society Committee. http://heartlandfilm.wordpress.com/
The next Clean Water Alliance meeting will be held on Saturday, March 2, at 10:00 a.m. We’ll be meeting at Seattle’s Best coffeeshop’s meeting room again, as the library is not available. The coffeeshop is located at the corner of 6th Street and St. Joseph Street — on the first floor of the Alex Johnson Hotel in downtown Rapid City.
See you there!
Another reprieve for Powertech –
Powertech to raise $1.5 million from secret “strategic” investors
Posted February 18, 2013
Once again, Powertech CEO Dick Clement has saved the Canadian penny stock company from bankruptcy by convincing “strategic” investors to buy up to 15 million shares for $0.10 each, according to a February 12 news release.
The unidentified strategic investors would purchase units consisting of one common share of Powertech and one share purchase warrant. One warrant entitles the investor to purchase one additional share for $0.20 for a period of three years.
The gross proceeds of the proposed private placement are only $1.5 million, but would allow Powertech to survive for another four months, assuming a cash burn rate of $400,000 per month.
Unlike financial investors who invest solely to realize a return on their investment, strategic investors are typically operating companies in the same or similar industries that seek to create synergies with their investments.
Strategic investors often expect to assume a degree of control over the investee company, and in many cases intend to acquire the company.
Since Powertech is in the midst of seeking multiple federal and state permits for the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine, one would think that the disclosure of the potential future management of the company would be of interest to affected landowners, regulators, and investors.
But in typical fashion, Powertech has chosen to conceal the identities of the strategic investors.
Interestingly, Powertech has changed the description of the company that appears at the end of its news releases. After repeated challenges on this website to provide supporting evidence, Powertech has removed the following statement from its news releases:
“The Company’s key personnel have over 200 years of experience in the uranium industry throughout the United States, and have permitted more than a dozen in-situ operations for production.”
The February 12 news release includes the new language:
‘The Company’s key personnel have in-situ uranium experience throughout the United States and worldwide.”
News release – “Powertech Announces Private Placement” – Powertech Uranium Corp. – February 12, 2013 (P
February 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm (creative writing, culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, Lakota, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, politics, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: 1973, American Book Award, Amnesty International, Before Columbus Foundation, Book, Brave Bird, civil rights, girls, history, Indigenous, Lakota, Lakota Woman, Mary Crow Dog, Maze of Injustice, memoir, random, review, Rosebud, South Dakota, teenagers, Trail of Broken Treaties, women, Wounded Knee, Writing
Young Indigenous women are some of the most invisible and unrepresented people on Earth. That is one reason to read Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog, nowBrave Bird, with Richard Erdoes even though it was published in 1990. Another reason is that it won the American Book Award in 1991. Yet another reason is for the insight it provides into some of the tough issues young women on reservations continue to confront: violence, rape, alcoholism, drug abuse, racism, exploitation, poor education, grinding poverty. This is not a calm, quiet memoir of a certain time and place written by a woman looking back in nostalgia with some polite veneer of wisdom gained by mature hindsight. Lakota Woman offers the perspective of a very candid, blunt spoken, tough, and passionate young woman who makes no apologies for anything. This is a woman who now knows who she is, where she came from, and why. Part of her story includes giving birth to her first child during the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 after refusing to leave in spite of the increasing danger. While Lakota Woman does not offer any in-depth analysis of the American Indian Movement, the Trail of Broken Treaties or the Native American Church, it does offer a no punches pulled, first person female perspective based on direct experiences with all of them– a young Lakota female perspective seldom encountered in the mainstream American culture.
I am a iyeska, a breed, that’s what the white kids used to call me. When I grew bigger they stopped calling me that, because it would get them a bloody nose. I am a small woman, not much over five feet tall, but I can hold my own in a fight, and in a free-for-all with honkies I can become rather ornery and do real damage. I have white blood in me. Often I have wished to be able to purge it out of me. As a young girl I used to look at myself in the mirror, trying to find a clue as to who and what I was. My face is very Indian, and so are my eyes and my hair, but my skin is very light. Always I waited for the summer, for the prairie sun, the Badlands sun, to tan me and make me into a real skin. (p.9)
Such are the words of Mary Brave Bird of the Brule Tribe from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Consider the memoirs current teenaged women of Rosebud, Pine Ridge, Standing Rock and the Cheyenne River Reservations might share–if anyone dared put them into print. Lakota Woman might offend some, might make some very uncomfortable, and distress others. It certainly won’t bore anyone. It definitely offers a great deal to think about regarding women, culture, family, history, spirituality, politics, and values.
Mary Crow Dog/Brave Bird online http://marycrowdog.com/index.html
Wikipedia list of American Book Awards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Book_Award
American Book Awards – Before Columbus Foundation http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/about-bcf.html
Maze of Injustice, the failure to protect Indigenous Women from sexual violence in the USA, PDF file of Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf Perhaps this report offers one explanation for the legistative difficulties faced by the VAWA. Why would non-Native men want to start allowing arrest and prosecution of the non-Native men who rape Indigenous women on reservations? No rocket science required.
February 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm (art, culture, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, Independent film, Indigenous People, life, movies, nature, photography, politics, Uncategorized)
Tags: "Water", alternative energy, Canada, climate change, David, documentary, ducks, Eco Watch, Energy, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, film, First Nations, fish, Glaciers, health, independent, Independent film, Lavallee, mining, movie, natural law, nature, Oil, ponds, random, rivers, safety, tailings, Tar Sands, values, video, White Water Black Gold, Wind turbines, wolves
View entire film on Eco Watch http://ecowatch.org/2013/white-water-black-gold/
Eco Watch featured David Lavallee’s very accessible film White Water, Black Gold and I could not resist sharing after viewing it online. It does more than bring the toxic waste of Canada’s Tar Sands into view because it also presents some clean green alternatives that are already being successfully utilized not just in Germany, but ironically in Canada as well. What are the rest of us waiting for? For the Big Oil Companies to milk out all the profits possible while creating waste toxic waste dumps that destroy fresh water all living things depend upon for life? We cannot drink oil. Oil cannot make food crops grow. Plants need water. No wheat crop means no bread.
Make no mistake that Big Oil and corporations like Monsanto do not comprehend the situation despite their public relations denial spins. They do indeed and they want to use it to serve their own ends. There are reasons that Monsanto wants to patent all seeds for their own profit. There are reasons some Americans are NOT allowed to “catch” rainwater in barrels for gardening. The reasons are profits for those who want to control all the natural resources that are basic to all forms of life. If ducks could pay taxes then they’d be taxed for swimming in ponds. Deer would be taxed for eating plants. Wolves would be taxed just for being alive. I suspect the predatory human population feels an innate threat from wolves who don’t care for domestication by humans as dogs do. Wolves don’t need or want us humans. I don’t wonder why not. Perhaps it’s their independence which has set off the curent war on their very existence in the states. Could be. Wolves don’t give a damn about the corporate human economy. They’re bound only by the laws of nature. Oh, come to think of it, so are humans. Because in the end–it will be natural law which decides the survival of our species. It’s about time we all came to terms with that reality. Denial will not change outcome.
Gee, it appears I’ve gotten off the Tar Sands water usage and energy alternatives track of White Water, Black Gold. It may appear so. But since everything is connected–and we are all ‘related’–then I haven’t really gone off track. I’ve just followed a stream of thought. Continuing downstream . . . .
What this boils down to is values. Yes, what do we value? Our lives? All living things? Clean air? Clean water? Oil? Gas? Our oil dependent modes of transportation? What matters most to each of us? Why should each of us consider such questions? Because we’re the ones who will either change our ways for the betterment of all living things or we won’t. Whatever the politicians and corporations do amounts to their choices. We are responsible for ours, what we think, what we do, what we say. Does the state of the Earth reflect our values or those of someone else? Positive change is possible. We can make it. We may have to work very hard for it though. What are we waiting for?
I think we need to do more than get the President of the United States to shut down the Keystone Pipeline. The Tar Sands in Canada need to be shut down. Big Oil needs to be shut down everywhere. It’s time for a healthy change.
For more Tar Sands, Keystone and environmental news from Eco Watch http://ecowatch.org/2013/white-water-black-gold/
February 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm (art, culture, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, life, nature, photography, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: art, Black Hills, Black HIlls Wild Horse Sanctuary, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, February 2013, Free To Run, Heart of Gold, horses, Hot Springs, music, mustangs, nature, news, Niel Young, photography, rescue, Sanctuary, South Dakota, video, wild
Heart of Gold ~ Neil Young live 1971
Most of us enjoy some positive news to break up the monotony of all the negative malarky–don’t we? The following update from the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary offers a glimpse of what humans can do to help our animal relatives. In this case it’s Mustangs. It’s a labor of love to give wild animals the opportunity to live and thrive in a world which currently seems to be all about destroying nature in so many ways.
SAFE HAVEN FOR STARVING MUSTANGS
Saturday was a busy day at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. For the past three weeks the Sanctuary has been host for several horses that were recently rescued by local authorities. We allowed these horses time to rest and regain their strength before it was time for them to move onto new lives.
As part of our mission to provide freedom for unadoptable wild horses, we are devoted to giving unwanted horses a “quality of life”. We are proud to have served as temporary hosts for these horses.
Truck and Trailers
Trucks and trailers lined up near the corrals in preparation to receive their precious cargo and take them to their new homes.
Time to load
After being sorted it was time to load the horses onto the trailers. The horses seemed to know better things awaited them down the road. Everyone loaded calmly and quietly in preparation for the ride to a better life.
Is hay served on this ride?
Noses and faces peek out of the trailer as everyone is secured for the ride.
Down the road..
To new lives! The owners anxiously wait as the trucks leave the Sanctuary.
We have six horses still waiting for their turn to begin new lives. This coming Saturday will be the day for them. Some of their “horsey friends” have left them and they seem unsure of what to do or where to be. We continue to provide clean water and hay as they grow stronger daily. Soon they will be in the hands of caring new owners.
Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary
Won’t you help us continue to help Mustangs in Peril?
Hot Springs, SD. 57747
February 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm (creative writing, culture, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, humor, life, literary fiction, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: "Water", 2013, Alaska, Alexis M. Smith, Book, creative writing, culture, entertainment, fiction, Glaciers, life, literary fiction, love, Middle East, novel, Oil, Oregon, Portland, publishing, random, review, Tin House, Tin House Books, war, World Book Night, Writing
Hmm, it’s Sensual Saturday and sometimes that means a musical posting. Tell you what, if you click the link to Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith there’s music at the other end via the video playing on the novel’s homepage. Music covered now, okay? Now for those of you searching for something sensual for your Saturday there’s this lovely little novel just stuffed full of stories of scopes large and small. Alexis M. Smith has inked a wickedly sweet little tome with an expanse far beyond its 174 pocket-sized pages. Some folks might be inclined to savor this book tidbit by tiny tidbit over a week’s time. Some other folks, like myself, may savor it whole in the course of a single day of word craft pleasure-seeking. While there’s nothing erotic about Smith’s Tin House Books publication, her prose elicits a certain sort of response some of us experience when stimulated by wordcraft so easy-going that one has no sense of any effort on the writer’s part at all. Glaciers reads like gently flowing stream water encountering a rapid or two along the way to keep you on your toes.
So what’s it about? Love, longing, the past, the future, Amsterdam, war, families, Portland, storytelling, Alaska and glaciers of several sorts. Smith writes about a young woman, a young man, a library, and a war. Yet another anti-war book of the most subtle yet most earnest kind.
Her eyes close, and she begins to drift. She thinks of these things: Spoke and the war; the oil in Alaska and the oil in the Middle East’ the glaciers melting’ and the water that connects them all. the glaciers will melt and the water will rise. Everything will be washed though. All the young lovers in their hats and party dresses. All the plane trees and the elms. All the tall houses. All the narrow brick lanes and city squares. Glaciers take the cities, cities take the architecture, the architecture takes the bodies. (p. 151)
Glaciers melt. Glaciers are melting. Keep in mind ever-expanding scopes.
What postcards are you saving? Why?
Alexis M. Smith http://alexismsmith.com/
Tin House Books http://www.tinhouse.com/home
Take note: I discovered this literary delight via World Book Night 2013–it’s one of the selections for the free books being given away. What a wonderful reading gift! http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/books/2013
« Older entries