December 3, 2016 at 8:01 pm (environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, issues, journalism, Lakota, Native Americans, nature, people, politics, random, Standing Rock Reservation, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: #NoDAPL, Chris Turley, Dakota Access Pipeline, FreeRedFawn, Hwy 1806, interview, Jordan, North Dakota, R.W. James, Red Dawn, Red Fawn, Standing Rock, TYT, Uprising TV, videos, violence, Water Protectors
#NoDAPL #WaterIsLife #HonorTheEarth
A few news items you may have missed on the evening news. Actually unless you’re following independent alternate news media you would have missed all of this entirely.
When Water Protects try to unblock Hwy 1806 the Dakota Access Pipeline POLICE get nasty.
TYT‘s Jordan interviews Red Dawn–sister of Red Fawn
Chris Turley’s update Dec. 3.
I think these postcards all pretty much speak for themselves. No ranting from me at the moment.
(aside: any ads appearing here do so via wordpress and have no connection whatsoever to moi. thank you for visiting my blogcasa.)
January 7, 2014 at 9:15 pm (contemplation, culture, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, issues, journalism, life, living, people, poetry, politics, random, thinking, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: Afghanistan, Amensty International USA, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, Downton Abbey, exploring interconnectedness, gang rape, human rights, India, Indigenous, Issues, journalism, Maze of Injustice, news, poem, poetry, rape, RAWA, Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan, sexual violence, speeches, The Invisible War, thinking, Tomdispatch, vent, victim, violence, We Will Not Be Silent, women, YouTube
Today is one of those days. You know the sort. One of those days where you start off loaded with positive intentions that quickly are buried under the murky weight of dark news information freely flowing from one edge of the cyber swamp to another. Haiku was on my mind at dawn. Something about the crisp cold snow seemed sensible for a few brief lines. Then I got online and hit Democracy Now! for some news. I know better than to start every day off with Amy Goodman’s “War and Peace Report”. For mental health reasons, I try to switch it up for different times of the day after the livestream broadcast. Some days it’s better to read the transcripts rather than listen. Real news can be very disheartening. I don’t know how the news staff of this independent news venue manages day in and day out to thrive on a steady diet of The Dark Side of Humanity–without perky blonde cleavage or airy breathless reading of text monitors. Seriously. Actual journalism work is not for the faint of heart.
A report on the death of another gang rape victim in India lingered long after I moved on to other online tasks. I thought it was disheartening enough to learn that a woman is raped in India every 11 minutes–until I learned that there’s a rape every 6 minutes in the United States. These numbers maybe be skewed because so many rapes go unreported. Violence against women has been on my mind lately. It’s hard to avoid–fans of Downton Abbey will even get a taste of it. Yes, I watched ahead via online venues. In real life, things for the women of Afghanistan are at about the worst ever. So much for all the USA lip service paid to making life better for women and girls. Not so far in the back of my mind loiters the question: What is wrong with all the people who rape women, children and men? Are they born-hard wired to engage in such violence or are they made by their environments? Maybe they’re nature’s form of human predators for our species? I’m not sure. Before I forget, The Invisible War aired on PBS–again. It’s an expose about the rape epidemic in the military. Ladies, I know it’s tempting for some to enlist for economic reasons like supporting your family or college funds–but do so knowing the risks you’re taking by hitching a money ride with the armed forces on any front. Take note, men aren’t escaping the sexual violence either, they’re also targets. I’ve had conversations with people who say that rape has always been a part of war. Hmm, hard to dent that fact. But, how does that explain military people raping the men and women in their own ranks? Is that a by-product of military training people to kill, torture and rape other people who they’re taught to view as non-humans? Possibly. What’s going to happen when the rapists return home? Are they going to cease engaging in violent sexual crimes?
Well, this is now very far afield from haiku about biting frost. Or is it?
Amy Goodman — We Will Not Be Silent
Democracy Now! YouTube channel
Tomdispatch from January 2013
The Invisible War trailer
Maze of Injustice–The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA–pdf file. This is the size of a small book complete with very informative end notes.
Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan ~ RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women’s rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.
so goes the snow haiku
down the rabbit holes deep
sleep? dream of chances snow blowing
news blues blow off vent
cyber waves serenity
mind fields boom! boom! boom!
November 22, 2013 at 2:10 am (culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, films, Indigenous People, issues, journalism, Lakota, life, living, movies, Native Americans, people, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: abortion, Amnesty International, Canada, Cecilia Fire Thunder, choices, film, human rights, independent, Independent Lens, Indigenous, Indigenous women, Issues, Lakota, law, Matthew L. M. Fletcher, Maze of Injustice, Native Americans, people, Pine Ridge Reservation, rape, sexual violence, South Dakota, Stolen Sisters, Turtle Talk, violence, women, Young Lakota
Heads up, documentary film, Young Lakota to air on Independent Lens on November 25, 2013.
I am wondering how in-depth this documentary will delve into the ongoing issues facing young Lakota –especially young Lakota women. From the trailer it appears to address at some level the sexual violence endured by many Indigenous women. I’ve provided links to two very important documents created by Amnesty International. Depending on your awareness of the issues they may or may not prove to be very disturbing reading. I think they’re required reading for anyone entering into a serious discussion of violence, abortion, and sexual issues concerning Indigenous women–and all others as well.
I discovered this information about the film via a post by Matthew L. M. Fletcher on Turtle Talk http://turtletalk.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/young-lakota-documentary-to-premiere-on-pbs-independent-lens-nov-25/
As I could not get the video on the link via TT to work properly I ventured to the tubes of you for an alternative which is posted here. I’ve included the links cited on Turtle Talk as well.
Three young people living in the Pine Ridge Reservation try to forge a better future. When the first female President of Oglala Lakota defies a South Dakota law criminalizing abortion by vowing to build a women’s clinic in their sovereign territory, the three young tribe members are faced with difficult choices
Young Lakota website http://younglakota.tumblr.com/
Racialicious : http://www.racialicious.com/2013/11/19/young-lakota-premieres-nov-25-on-independent-lens/
10 .m. EST, Monday, Nov. 25, on PBS’s Independent Lens. The film chronicles Tribal President Cecelia Fire Thunder’s challenge to a proposed abortion ban in South Dakota, and the political awakening she inspires in Sunny Clifford, a young Lakota woman living on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Young Lakota was an Official Selection at the Big Sky Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, the American Indian Film Festival, and won Best Documentary at Cine Las Americas and the Smithsonian Showcase.
Maze of Injustice: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA. (Note: Depending on your PC the PDF file may load fast or slow, but it will load–or so we hope.) This is not reading for the faint of heart. Report by Amnesty International.
Stolen Sisters, Canada, A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada (Also not reading for the faint of heart.)
October 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm (art, culture, education, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, humor, Independent film, Indigenous People, journalism, life, Native Americans, random, satire, Uncategorized)
Tags: 'bad indians', 1491s, abuse, Christopher Columbus, Columbus Day, culture, education, exploitation, film, genocide, greed, healing, history, humor, Indigenous, inspiration, Issues, journalism, languarge, love, Manifest Destiny, news, poem, poetry, protest, rape, reality check, RT, Ryan Red Corn, Taino, The Big Picture, To the Indigenous Woman, video, violence, woman, women
It’s 14, October, 2013. Some people are celebrating what might be called a myth or a lie of epic proportions about a fellow named Christopher Columbus. Shall we discuss irony? Manifest Destiny? Greed? The profit motive? Slavery? Genocide? Rape? Murder? Torture? Yeah, the man did it all according to his own words and those of his companions. So what exactly is being celebrated? I’m at a loss–unless it’s an extremely sanitized delusional story, because the truth would scare the pants off all the little children if it were told in classrooms. Oh but excuse me, schools are not supposed to be about truth or reality. Nor are books. Certainly not poetry. so what. Here’s some historical truth, some current ugly reality and some poetry that deals with both.
Oops, “Reality Check.”
To the Indigenous Woman – A poem by the 1491s (short version)
Bad Indians, a poem by Ryan Red Corn
was told by those old ones
that every song has a special time and a place where its sang
this is our song
and this our time
they used to say the only good indian is a dead indian
i must be a no good at being indian
cuz I feel alive and kicking
we are the bastard reject children of manifest destiny
the offspring of fornicating aimsters
raised by our grandparents who told us
not to confuse being warriors with gangsters
the edward curtis groupies get jazzed by anyone fitting the bill
and America gets jazzed by every Bury My Heart at Walmart film
here i stand before you
this crowd of nations
this life of sanctions
an awkward patience
like five hundred BIA buildings vs. a fathers’ unfiltered hate
right next to the IHS building with a two and a half week wait.
a cinderblock battlefield where few are left standing
and the people its failing, its’ marginalized estate.
i am armed to the teeth with words from the ivory tower
and those good indians told me its borrowed power if…
if i talk loud enough
if i talk clear enough
that i would be heard
that for some talking is singing
that for some singing is praying
but i guess that depends on who is doing the talking
and i guess that depends on who is doing the listening
…so understand me in english,
you have been robbed of your tongues
the taproot of thought
in the middle of resisting
the language got caught
and she only shows her face during ceremony
like she’s ashamed of her scars
like what she has to say is never really heard. at all.
and the violence she knows is enough to never sing again
but i killed the cameraman and stripped him of his lense.
i photographed the body and asked him to forgive.
forgive me as i cut out your tongue
forgive me as i put you in this powdered wig
forgive me when i put your body in a museum
forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
the balls of your forefathers will be traded for whiskey
to fuel the molotov cocktails to be tossed at your cities
and the breasts of your mothers severed and bloody
will be sold to the freak show for the revelers money
your children will witness their whole world collapse
as kidnapped siblings must erase names off maps
so forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
i was taught better than that
i have more respect than that
there is no history book with my story
there is no newspaper to give me my glory
because no one has heard this language in years
cept kokopelli, dream catchers and a trail of beers
my voice is a small pox blanket
that spreads like fire on the prairie
infecting both fist and hatchet
in the spirit of fucking crazy
Lest you get the wrong idea with all this negative press, let’s end on a positive note from “all my relations”:
Indigenous Love Words Project
We asked one simple question: How do you say, “I Love You”, in your Indigenous language?
This is a crowd-sourced project organized by The 1491s. All footage was submitted by fans and supporters from throughout the world.
We say thank you to all those who submitted videos!! We are working on a succinct credits list, to be posted here, soon!!!!
Music Credit: “Kodi Track” by Frank Waln – https://soundcloud.com/f_waln_35/fran…
July 7, 2013 at 8:27 pm (art, culture, education, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Independent film, journalism, life, movies, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: 2013, Award Winner, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, film, Forest Whitaker, Fruitvale Station, gun, history, Independent film, July 12, life, Michael B. Jordan, movies, opening, Oscar Grant, police, Sundance, Theaters, trailer, video, violence
Fruitvale Station will be shown NO-where near where I reside. If you see the film please share your thoughts by leaving a comment. Thanks. I did view a show about the making of the movie. It looks damn good. This is an important film for all the very serious issues it raises about living and dying in America based on ‘who’ you are on so many levels. Folks, we’ve got some major problems even if you’re not seeing them in your neck of the quickly vanishing woods.
Fruitvale Station is the story of Oscar Grant who was shot dead by BART police on New Year’s Day 2009.
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.
May 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm (creative writing, culture, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, history, humor, Indigenous People, life, literary fiction, movies, Native Americans, poetry, publishing, random, satire, Writing)
Tags: Alexie, anger, black humor, book review, books, boy, Business of Fancydancing, culture, dark comedy, education, family, father, fiction, Flight, foster children, grief, history, humor, identity, Indian, Indian Child Welfare Act, Indians, Irish, life, Native Americans, novel, random, reading, reviews, science fiction, Sherman, teenager, time travel, violence, Zits
Hehehehehehe. Okay, if you have no appreciation of dark humor stop reading right now and stay far away from Flight–far far away. Got it? I’m warning you. This is no sweet flight of fancy tome. Our hero is an angry fifteen year old male of Irish and Indian origin with some serious grief and father issues–among other things. Now sit back and sip your hot tea, latte or bloody mary and think about a young man who refers to himself as Zits. If you can’t relate then it’s probably in your best interests–and mine (yes, I do fear homicidal repercussions from unhappy readers)–to go nowhere near this particular Sherman Alexie book. That said, last night I stayed up very late reading Flight via flashlight outside on the front porch–much to the dismay of anyone who had their doors or windows open to receive my hooting laughter when I turned to page 146. Some folks do not find boiled birdies funny–and I do understand that such minds exist. On the other hand, there are minds, such as mine and apparently Alexie’s, which find self boiled birdies absolutely hilarious–especially in the context of a potentially violent encounter between a homeless Indian man and the usual well-heeled white dude. If by some means, like using your local public library, you garner a copy of Flight you too will be in serious need of comic relief by the time you turn to page 146. Though, hopefully, you’ll have found other darkly comic things to chuckle loudly about before page 146. But you’ll also have encountered several incidents of mayhem, murder and molestation along the way. The lives of foster children are not all filled with sugar mommies and daddies. Nor do many events in American history since 1492 recount pleasant Thanksgiving din dins between Europeans and Indigenous folks.
Ever wonder how to diffuse the building anger of teenager? Well, Sherman Alexie offers one way–history lessons of the “not me” and the “me?!” variety. Yep, direct confrontations of some dark sad truths of reality provide the fodder for the adolescent mind to chew heartily on and time travel, complete with out-of-body experiences, is the medium. From the Battle of the Little Bighorn to the grief ridden friendly skies of a private flight instructor Alexie takes us on a journey through history. Along the way he’ll shred your heart, sew it back together without anesthesia, and then shove it back into your chest. You’re going to need every last piece of humor to endure the operation. If you’re not laughing when Harry Potter takes a swan dive–then you might be dead and gone. Or you’ve abandoned Alexie’s exploration of time travelling adventures as an instruction manuel. Each episode serves as a short story with ethical issues galore. FBI agent Hank Storm may not get your heartstrings trembling–but Gus, Bow Boy and Small Saint could very well lay you flat on the floor demolishing an extra-large box of kleenex–or soaking an extra-large cotton hanky.
Zits experiences violence in many forms via his out-of-body time travelling–and this makes him seriously consider his pains of loss, abandonment and identity. Children NEED fathers–preferably decent men who care about their welfare. That lacking, one must find family where one can. Sometimes the concept of ‘family’ has not a damned thing to do with genetics and biology. It’s got to do with who gives a damn.
I’ve been a fan of Alexie’s work ever since reading his collection of poems and short stories The Business of Fancydancing. Yes, there’s a film by that title too– and it’s a great film. But–it was the text that had me wanting to scream and laugh from one page to the next. Ever felt bushwhacked by a writer? Well that’s how I felt while reading The Business of Fancydancing. It was great. Disturbing at times, but great nonetheless. I will never forget the story of the man, Eve and the post office. Hell, I’ve never entered a post office since and not thought of the story. The same holds true for Flight. It will not numb or bore you to tears. Not sure you can relate yet? Okay, who has had bad acne? Raise your hands now.
The Official Website of Sherman Alexie–be forewarned–it’s a tad off kilter: http://www.fallsapart.com/
April 24, 2012 at 4:16 am (creative writing, culture, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, random, Writing)
Tags: bars, Cloud Man, Cloudman, creative writing, culture, death, drinking, history, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Nebraska, people, Pine Ridge Reservation, poem, poet, poetry, random, violence, White Clay, Whiteclay, Writing
There were two bars in the hamlet.
I like the word Hamlet.
It cleans up the place nicely,
There was Jumping Eagles.
There was Stabler’s
Just two bars.
To survive a Saturday night there
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
February 15, 2011 at 12:44 am (culture, ethics, Indigenous People, journalism, life, Native Americans, photography, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Adrian Lam, Amnesty International, Angela MacDougall, Canada, crime, culture, Indigenous, Issues, Marlene George, media, murder, Native America Calling, Native Americans, Native Voice 1, news, photographer, photography, radio, Stolen Sisters, talk radio, Vancouver, violence, women
On Tuesday 15 February 2011 Native America Calling will broadcast a radio talk show regarding Missing and Murdered Women in Vancouver. The third annual Stolen Sisters Memorial March was held on February 13. Heads up, we’re not talking about 5 or 6 women who have gone MIA. There are nearly 600 Indigenous women on the list compiled by the Native Women’s Association. Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest is just one of several high kill zones for Indigenous women along the Canada/United States border and the Mexico/United States border. Hundreds of unsolved murders and disappearances of Indigenous women go unsolved, seldom reported in the mainstream media, and ignored by the general population. Amnesty International has investigated this continuing violence against Indigenous women. The question arises of what if these women were white and middle class? Would there then be widespread awareness and public outcry for all the crime prevention units to produce some serious results for ending this murder industry? I don’t know.
At any rate, Native America Calling’s show will include Angela MacDougall (director of Battered Women Support Services) and Marlene George who organized the annual march. The show is broadcast live 1-2 pm Eastern Time–and will be available online afterwards. The show streams live online.
For Amnesty International’s report: A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women In Canada:
Click photo to see more images by Adrian Lam, Time Colonist
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