Fort Defiance, AZ — What elected officials fear = opposition to SB 2109. Gee, I wonder why. Not.

Click image designed by Donovan Pete to use as cover on facebook.
Regarding Fort Defiance meeting to discuss SB 2109:
Posted on Navajo Truth SB 2109 facebook page along with the photos, links, observations and thoughts of many other people.  http://www.facebook.com/#!/navajotruth

via Bonnie Jean Canyon:
The police presence at the Fort Defiance meeting was intense and intimidating. This was mentioned by more than one person when the public was allowed to address the NNVP and other officials. I feel it was uncalled for and excessive. Im still trying to figure out why they also needed 2 or 3 fire trucks and also 3-4 ambulances? They must know already just how strongly the people are opposed to this? All the emergency response vehicals took up so much space it was very difficult to find parking. There was a pretty good turn out but it was after 5 that people started showing up even though the meeting started at 4 and Im assuming its because most work until 5. They ran out of chairs and many remained standing for most of the meeting. I feel the power point slide show they presented was meant to sell the bill more than it was to educate and inform. The people present strongly opposed the bill and many who wished to voice their concerns and ask questions were not allowed to speak. I was very happy to see young people in attendence including 2 that came all the way from Phoenix to speak and also a student from Dine College. At least 3 people spoke up towards the end and called out to the NNVP that they had not been allowed to speak. Once again proof that more forums are needed and also that more time should have been given to the public to speak and ask questions. It seems that most feel, that despite the claims of all the uncertainties of letigation, most would rather continue the fight for water claims in court than to waive them and settle.

 

Photo from Renaldo Chapman–on Navajo Truth SB 2109 facebook–Security at Fort Defiance meeting.

 

For some insight into the land, people, history and political economics involved in this issue consider this article at – Izilwane –Connecting the human animal to theglobal ecosystem

“Belonging to the Land,  Part One: The Elders of Black Mesa” by Zoe Kransey

http://www.izilwane.org/belonging-to-the-land-part-one-the-elders-of-black-mesa.html

“Part Two: Big Mountain”

http://www.izilwane.org/belonging-to-the-land-part-two.html

“Part Three: We’re Still Here.”

http://www.izilwane.org/belonging-to-the-land-part-three-were-still-here.html

 

Our Water Rights has a hard copy letter writing campaign underway. For information on SB 2109 and HR 4067,  and the addresses for snail mail visit www.ourwaterrights.org

SignOn.org petition to Stop SB 2109  http://signon.org/sign/tell-arizona-senators.fb9?source=s.fb&r_by=4272644

 

 

note: This  information, quotes, photos, etc has been posted with prior permission-agreement with Navajo Truth in order to share information.

 

 

 

Protect Mother Earth, Stop SB 2109, Protect Sacred Sites, No Racism, No Foreclosures, et. al. March Rally Flagstaff, AZ April 28, 2012, 3 pm

Click poster for more images at Navajo Truth SB 2109 on facebook.

Now this is what an alliance looks like. Take note of all the interconnected issues and groups involved in this event. Some people are getting together for mutual support. Something tells me this sort of bridge building is not taught in The Huppenthal Mind Control School Plan. But taking an axe to the Ethnic Studies programs in the state of Arizona sure might have thrown some serious fuel on this bonfire. Protecting Mother Earth is everyone’s common ground. Unless, of course, you’re McCain, Kyl, a Bush, BP, Shell, Chevron, Trans-Canada, Canadian PM Harper, Kinder-Morgan, Enbridge, Palin — whatever will it take to wake these folks up? Oil spills inside their homes? Mandatory gas masks for everyone? Water rationing?
Not in Arizona? Then spread the news cause I don’t think this rally will be aired on CNN, ABC, NBC or Fox news unless it’s a 5 second soundbite IF the police crack open some pepper spray.

Cloud Man pens more White Clay

 White Clay

 
There were two bars in the hamlet.
I like the word Hamlet.
It cleans up the place nicely,
There was Jumping Eagles.
And
There was Stabler’s
Just two bars.
To survive a Saturday night there
Was do-able,
It was dangerous and not.
It is more dangerous now.
I never saw anyone close to dying
Now I do
Back then death was sudden
I had two friends die Sudden
A half mile from the HAMLET.
Sad ass joke to be or not to be.
But if I was there they were laughing
Laughing as they slammed into the other car.
Only nine died that day
.
.
Cloud Man
 

What’s your choice–gasoline or waterfalls?

These videos from Bruce Parry’s Arctic series on the Tar Sands offer a certain perspective on the Tar Sands oil issue for everyone. Some folks may not appreciate some of the content. But people do seem to speak for themselves–including the woman who “hasn’t read the script.” Questions are raised about ethics, responsibility and our relationships to the land and water and the lacks thereof. No solutions are presented. But it’s clear that every person who drives a vehicle plays a role in the oil industry’s continuing existence. We need to get our minds out of the boxes of conventional thinking if we’re really going to save Earth and create a sustainable future worth living on the only planet we have. We need to do more than just stop another Keystone Pipeline from being constructed across America. We need to shut down the Tar Sands completely. We need to implement alternative energy sources and create new means of transportation that are not dependent on oil. This needs to happen today–not 5, 25 or 50 years from now. We have the knowledge. Do we have the will?

Patricia Gualinga Montalvo of Sarayaku, Ecuador speaks about The Living Forest, Laws, Oil Companies, International Allies and The Rights of Mother Earth. Translation provided.

Painted Hills, Grey @ eva wojcik

 Earth Day musing:   Yes, that little dark streak near the top is a human.  We are much like ants on Earth.  Unfortunately in many ways we’re lethal ants destroying everything in our path.

For those of you suffering from limited attention spans please do not let the length of this video deter you from hearing Patricia’s speech given at the Indigenous Environmental Network Conference on the Rights of Mother Earth Restoring Indigenous Life Ways of Responsibility and Respect.  There are several important things well worth learning in her speech and replies to questions. One very significant element is how a village of 1,200 has developed international alliances for support of all kinds.  I think it’s an art many others need to foster in their own communities.  We need to make the most of our common ground in order to protect Earth.  Respect, support, communication, tolerance for our differences  are not easy to acquire.  If the only thing we have in common is a love for Mother Earth–then we better make the most of it.  Unlike the Nature Conservancy I think we need to do a great deal more than enjoy picnics outside in order to ‘celebrate’ Earth Day.  The Tar Sands operation is just one hard harsh reality  we need to face head on.  Now, when it’s possible to picnic on the Tar Sands site then that would be something to celebrate indeed. We’re a long long way from that picnic. Presently I don’t think we’d be welcome at the Tar Sands site unless our baskets contained a few tons of solid gold currency.

Pachamama Alliance on fb  https://www.facebook.com/PachamamaAlliance

Pachamama Alliance website  http://pachamama.org/

“ME” by Cloudman

Cloudman, guest poet, shares “ME” – a poem that references the infamous Nebraska town of Whiteclay where selling alcohol to the Lakota  is the raison de existence.
.
.
.
                            ME
Once again White Clay memories walk in,
I was sitting by the shade of Howard’s store,
Watching as Elders came for a drive to buy,
From Howard
Lakota words on the side of his store,
Advertising food,
This White Clay is another memory,
On another day
I awoke one morning surrounded by
Federal marshals and F.B.I’s
Asking who I was What I was
Even then my identity was in question
Now I ask who am I What am
These years later when White Clay
Is more known then I
.
Cloudman
.
.
.
Link to Wikipedia regarding White Clay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Ridge,_Nebraska
From Wikipedia:

Soon after the territory entered the public domain, a trading post was set up to sell alcohol to the Lakota, and merchants have continued to do so since. In 2010, its four beer stores sold an estimated 4.9 million 12-ounce cans of beer, an average of over 13,000 cans per day, for gross sales of 3 million dollars.[1] They have no place to consume beer on site, and it is not supposed to be drunk on the streets, but there are often inebriated customers sprawled around Whiteclay. John Yellow Bird King, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, says that tribal members bring alcohol illegally back from Whiteclay and “90 percent of criminal cases in the court system” are alcohol-related.[5] Beer is sold almost exclusively to residents from the reservation, as the nearest big city is two hours to the north.[5] According to Mary Frances Berry, the 10-year chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Whiteclay can be said to exist only to sell beer to the Oglala Lakota.[6]

Victor Clarke, the owner of Arrowhead Foods, a grocery store in Whiteclay that does not sell alcohol, said he “did more than a million dollars in business last year, with an entirely Native American clientele.”[2] As the reservation has no banks and few stores, its residents spend most of their money in Nebraska border towns, for regular needs as well as alcohol. The beer stores in Whiteclay cash welfare and tax refund checks for the Oglala Lakota, taking a 3 percent commission.[5]

McCain’s form letter response speaks for itself. I think the message between the lines is: “I don’t want to discuss SB 2109!”

 “. . . protecting the chief economic drivers in the area.”

Senator John McCain clearly has “deep concerns for Arizona’s water resources” –as  his office’s form letter reply indicates.  I get the sense that McCain — and the folks who contend with his official email service–don’t want to discuss SB 2109 at all.  Hmm, maybe we should all shut up and let him and Senator Jon Kyl (no reply yet) do as they damn well please.  Nawwww, where would be the fun in that? Eh? (sarcasm).

Below is a direct copy and paste of the contents of a form letter reply I received today from Senator John McCain in reply to my emailed request to Stop SB 2109.  Note there is NO mention nor reference to SB 2109, no reference to the Little Colorado River, no reference to Navajo and Hopi water rights issues. This is a form letter that politely ignores an important issue by focusing on water supply in general.

I’m very curious if anyone else has received this same letter or different versions of it in response to their emails regarding SB 2109.

And about those economic drivers–please do tell us more, Senator McCain. We wouldn’t want to mis-connect those dots.  Do those include coal mines? Golf course developers? Snowbirds from the chilly northern parts of the states? Or ???  Inquiring minds do so want to know the details.

Any suggestions on how to reply to this reply? I’m open to all ideas.

 

April 19, 2012

 

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concern for the future of Arizona’s water resources. I appreciate knowing your views on this serious matter.

For several consecutive years, the State of Arizona and much of the western United States has experienced abnormally dry weather. Several years of below-average precipitation and snowfall has decreased the water levels in our lakes, rivers and streams. Lingering drought conditions have made Arizona’s ability to maximize water capacity difficult. Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the nation’s two largest man-made reservoirs, are at 57% and 65% capacity.

As you know, Arizona’s water is a precious resource in Arizona’s arid desert climate, the lack of which could widely affect economic prosperity and environment. I believe Arizona can overcome the challenges of long-term drought with proper statewide planning, water conservation, and science-based collaboration. I support the efforts of state leaders to develop and implement a state-wide drought management plan that promotes water conservation in both rural and urban communities.

Arizona’s state groundwater code, the Groundwater Management Act of 1980, has been heralded as innovative and proactive law to address serious overdrafting of underground aquifers. However, according to the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), groundwater continues to be mined within at least three designated Active Management Areas while water demands continue to increase. The state water code is a framework that will need to be expanded by state legislators to provide the tools necessary to the state and local agencies to effectively manage available water supplies over the long term.

In many watersheds and rural areas in Arizona, water conservation measures will not be sufficient to bring demand in balance with available supply. I have learned firsthand of the extent of groundwater overdrafts in the Sierra Vista subwatershed where the Upper San Pedro Partnership is spearheading the effort on collaborative, science-based water management to protect the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and serve Ft. Huachuca and the neighboring communities. This program has brought into clear focus the need for change in state and local water and building codes to significantly reduce water demands and groundwater overdrafts to prevent the last free-flowing river in the Southwest from running dry, as well as protecting the chief economic drivers in the area. There is a great deal more work to be done over time to meet these water goals but it is an approach that should be considered for other watersheds throughout the state.

Please be assured of my deep concern for Arizona’s water resources. Do not hesitate to contact me again on this or any other issue.

Sincerely, John McCain United States Senator

JM/ds

 

If you would like to contact Senator McCain here is the link to the online email form. Be sure to click “YES” at the very bottom of the page to request a response/reply as the default is set on “NO”. http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

Phone and Fax numbers for McCain:

            Phoenix Office:

2201 East Camelback Road Suite 115 Phoenix, AZ 85016 Main: (602) 952-2410 Fax: (602) 952-8702

  • Prescott Office:

    122 North Cortez Street Suite 108 Prescott, AZ 86301 Main: (928) 445-0833 Fax: (928) 445-8594

  • Tucson Office:

    407 West Congress Street Suite 103 Tucson, AZ 85701 Main: (520) 670-6334 Fax: (520) 670-6637

  • Washington Office:

    241 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Main: (202) 224-2235 Fax: (202) 228-2862

 

 

Reading hell = SB 2109 — Let’s rant!

RANT ALERT!  Forewarning–feel free to skip the first paragraph vent if you’re easily offended by ranting that does not bother with being politically correct. Thank you for your patience, forbearance and understanding.

Ever find your patience dramatically challenged by the inability to read or comprehend the written text? Sometimes this is the result of a language barrier. Sometimes it’s the result of fatigue.  Sometimes it’s the result of a cultural divide.  Sometimes it’s the result of misunderstanding a word or phrase. Sometimes it’s just plain poor reading comprehension skills. Sometimes it results from psychological triggers unexpectedly being set off by a word or phrase. Sometimes it’s just plain ignorance. Sometimes it’s the result of stupidity–yes stupidity for lack of a more accurate politically correct word.  Sometimes it’s the result of a mental or physical illness (I suspect my brother’s inability to comprehend simple rational concepts in English is the result of the former rather than the later impairment as he seems to be functioning on the physical level. But I could be wrong about this conclusion.  A coin flip could decide the issue better than I. But it won’t stop me from sending him a visit from a straightjacket brigade when I have the funds to do so.)  Sometimes it’s the result of a cunning plan to mislead and dissuade folks from realizing one’s intentions. Sometimes it’s just the nature of legal documents.  I could go on with these “Sometimes” but I will spare you such speculations. But do feel free to share your own insights and expand my perspective by doing so.

Oh and let me attempt to make one thing very clear— I do NOT support passage of SB 2109.    Second clarification: Links are to petitions to STOP SB 2109– NOT in support of it.   Are we all chill now?  If this is in any way still unclear– polite and civil requests for clarification will be politely and civilly answered to the best of my ability to do so.

The following is basically a list of some items of interest regarding the continuing saga of SB 2109 which involves a deviously ambiguously constructed senate bill introduced by Senator Jon Kyl and Senator John McCain of Arizona.  Reading the full text of the bill might drive you over the edge with its definitions and legalese language.  Have your favorite painkiller/food comfort readily available as you explore the contents.  I needed two rounds of ibuprofen, more coffee than normally consumed and a quantity of dark chocolate that I will not divulge in order to wade through the damn thing.  Yes, I do believe it was written to be confusing and hard to understand–deliberately.  That’s right deliberately written for difficult reading. And that makes the easily comprehensible sections even more suspect in my paranoid brainpan.  Gee, there’s a reason for writing that way–usually it’s to hide things in plain sight.  O yes, asses need to be covered legally and writing such as this is great for covering asses like McCain and Kyl.  I am so glad I am NOT a journalist with aspirations of total objectivity.  I’d fail utterly as I am well aware of my limitations in this regard.  But I’m not a reporter or journalist—soooooo ON with this blog show!

Virtual comfort food compliments of Yi-Ching Lin photography at http://yichinglin.com/2012/04/12/sweet-potato-pie/  Beware– Yi-Ching has a flare for food photos.

Follow whatever catches your interest. Thank you for visiting my blogcasa.

Following excerpt from Anne Minard’s article at Indian Country Today Media Network. In depth piece  complete with decent map and some  very wishy-washy verbal moves by the likes of Stanley Pollack. Gee, I wonder what motivates folks to write hard to comprehend legislature? Could it be in order to make it harder for people to comprehend and therefore oppose such legislation? OO never! (sarcasm).

Senator Kyl acknowledges in a public video  about the bill that, “Legally, the Navajo Nation and Hopi tribe may assert  claims to larger quantities of water [than are outlined in the settlement] but … they do not have the means to make use of those supplies in a safe and  productive manner. “

Becenti disputes that. “In reality we do have a lot of water projects that we  were talking about 30 years ago,” he said. “But every time we approach the  United States government to approve them, they won’t.”

And Jihan Gearon, executive director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition, says  the provisions that help shore up the future of the Navajo Generating Station  are a direct affront to her group’s efforts to build renewable energy capacity  across the reservation.

“As an organization, our goal is to shut down the Navajo Generating Station  and transition to renewable energy development,” she said. The settlement, on  the other hand, appears to be “part of this big strategy to keep the Navajo  Generating Station going at the lowest possible cost. These things that they’re  stipulating have nothing to do with who should be offered which water. Instead,  they support unsustainable development that’s happening in northern Arizona

Read more:http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/04/14/little-colorado-water-rights-bill-met-with-protests-from-navajo-and-hopi-communities-108320 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/04/14/little-colorado-water-rights-bill-met-with-protests-from-navajo-and-hopi-communities-108320#ixzz1sPGN2xcx

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/04/14/little-colorado-water-rights-bill-met-with-protests-from-navajo-and-hopi-communities-108320

Link to petition at change.org U.S. Senate Remove S 2109 from consideration. This petition currently has 7,794 signatures of 10,000 goal.

http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-senate-remove-s-2109-from-consideration

Link to full text of SB 2109 Navajo-Hope Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s2109/text

Link to the Native News Network http://www.nativenewsnetwork.com/  and link to Senate Bill 2109 Seeks to Extinguish Navajo Hopi Water Rigths by Ed Beccenti http://www.nativenewsnetwork.com/senate-bill-2109-seeks-to-extinguish-navajo-and-hopi-water-rights.html

Link to Native News Network on Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/navajotruth/posts/388536937846648#!/nativenewsnetwork

Via Native News Network: People being turned away from meeting at Tuba City Charter Hall due to room for only 200 inside. Speakers were set up outside for those not able to enter.  Click photo to visit Native News Network site. Apparently people were told to ask questions only in Navajo and some were not allowed to ask questions.

From National Native News:

The following is the schedule of public forums on the Little Colorado River Water Rights. All meetings are scheduled at 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the respective location indicated.

  • April 17   Greyhills High School Auditorium, Tuba City
  • April 18   Pinon High School Auditorium, Pinon
  • April 19   Ganado Chapter House, Ganado
  • April 20   Oak Springs Chapter House, Oak Springs
  • April 24   Leupp Chapter House, Leupp
  • April 25   Teesto Chapter House, Teesto
  • April 26   Fort Defiance Chapter House, Fort Defiance

Take note that there are 110 Navajo communities–not just these 7 picked for meetings.

If you click on the colored sections of the map at the right of the page it will pull up the communities in each area – http://www.nndcd.org/

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/road-trips/navajo-hopi-arizona-map/

Navajo Nation link for Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_Nation

Navajo Nation Government site link   http://www.navajo-nsn.gov/   Go on visit and put faces with some names.

Climate Connections’ link to KPFK Earth segment with Jihn Gearon, Director of Black Mesa Water Coalition  http://climate-connections.org/2012/04/12/kpfk-earth-segment-jihan-gearon-director-of-black-mesa-water-coalition-on-proposed-arizona-legislation-that-will-have-drastic-effects-on-native-lands-and-the-region/ 

Beyond the Mesas link for Hopi statements http://beyondthemesas.com/tag/hopi/

O I am so sorry if we’re NOT having fun yet.  Some days just don’t cooperate.  Virtual self face slap is in order as I am now annoying myself…….

Please do let me know if any links are broken or not working. Thank you.

Now I need one of those sweet potato yum yums. I don’t deserve it. Just want one.

Rain + Poetry = Navajo Water Songs

Dine’ poet Luci Tapahonso’s “Dust Precedes the Rain” seems appropriate for both a tip of the cyber hat to April as National Poetry Month –and to focus on the joys of water, especially rain–water that falls from the sky.

“The water from the sink is no good for making pottery.

It just ruins it,” my children’s Acoma grandmother would say.

Thereafter she sent the kids to replace the full bowls of rainwater

that had filled since it began to rain.

Her son said that when he was a child, the rain smelled

and tasted so good–he and other kids played outside,

laughing and running around–and they stopped once in a while to lick

the cool adobe walls . The sides of the smooth houses were

fragrant and nurturing. From atop the mesa at Acoma Pueblo,

it is possible to see almost seventy miles in each direction.

 

It is the same on the reservations surrounding Phoenix.

Long before the rains come, the gentle desert wind

carries the scent of rain, wild plants flutter anxiously,

and pets frolic, acting silly. To the west, the thunderheads

loom dark and full. Thin waves of dust precede the rain,

rolling tumbleweeds and bits of paper, and the children run and skip,

allowing the wind to push them along. They yell and laugh.

The lilting sounds ae carried eastward by the blowing slants

of rain–their laughs and shouts  caught in the leaves of sturdy trees.

They linger in the crevices of small hills and arroyos

and finally swirl into the slopes of the purple mountains nearby.

 

It must have been the same when the Hohokamiki lived here

where the expressway crosses over. The children played

in the dust- charged breezes, shouting and running in circles,

and when the rains began, they paused, their faces turned upward

to taste the cool clean rain.

 

Their quiet gratitude for brimming pots of water remains

now in the crumbling re-buried walls fo their small homes.

The still concentration with which they painted pottery

remains in the small toys and tiny woven sandals that are unearthed:

their spirits remain in the dry grains of dirt

that were dug up by shovels, backhoes, and bulldozers.

 

This is evident in the persistence of the bright wild plants

that push their way out of the dry ground.

This is evident in the new growth that springs up

along the arroyos and streams following sudden rains.

This is evident in the island of peaceful silence

that the museum cradles amid the city’s frenzy.

This is evident in the restless energy of the busloads

of children who visit the old homes of the Hohokamiki today.

They recognize the old history that is theirs.

They recognize the old history that is ours.

@Luci Tapahonso, “Dust Precedes the Rain” from Blue Horses Rush In, University of Arizona Press

Link for Luci Tapahonso at University of Arizona:

http://www.ais.arizona.edu/people/luci-tapahonso

Child of Water  video uploaded by outtayourbackpack, Camille Manybeads sings.

Refresh Mother Earth with the Black Mesa Water Coalition, yá’át’ééh

Video by Paper Rocket Productions LLC

Please meet some of the people who form the Black Mesa Water Coalition. Roberto Nutlouis and others attended the Indigenous Environmental Network Conference on the Rights of Mother Earth in April.  They’re deep into water issues in Navajo and Hopi Country and creating Green businesses to support their traditional communities working to develop sustainable economies. Since they are a part of these communities they have a vested interest in their future.  We are all a part of the community of Earth. So we are all connected. We are all related.

Learn more on Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/#!/blackmesawc/info

Have you kissed Mother Earth today?

Link to Navajo language page http://library.thinkquest.org/J002073F/thinkquest/Language.htm

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