Friday, July 31, 2020

The Nouns: The School Closet (Anyone Want Zucchini?)

So if you've been following me on Facebook, you know I have a huge garden that, if not contained by a [deer] fence, could probably take over Riverton, Wyoming's entire North Main. I'm convinced that the zucchini and cucumbers alone could do it. In expectation of a hot weekend, I'm watering in the morning and the evening...the coolest times of the day. Mornings are best, because in the evening, the bugs come out and I never know which one of them are hungry for human flesh. Haven't seen a murder hornet yet, but...at this point, I'm sure that if it bit me, I'd know!

I've learned a lot more about gardening this year, thanks to not only my avid gardening gurus and friends, but...my own father. I've learned so much from him, that much about gardening and farming is about the wisdom derived from, not just trial and error, but...patience.

Patience. What a virtue! Where many are running around with their hands in the air, convinced that the "sky is falling"...there are still many who have seen worse times, worse diseases/viruses, worse economic instability, worse injustices.

I now live in my Grandparents' home. Albert and Doris Lund. Survivors of the Depression Era, they weathered many of the storms and trials (literal and figurative) of their time. There were no laptops, no cell phones, no Internet. Cars were a luxury for many. So was a television set. No Netflix, no YouTube, no XBox.

 In our home, we had what my Mom called the "School Closet". A closet filled to the very top shelf with toys, books, puzzles, games, cards, blocks, tiles, musical instruments, tools, matchbox cars, crafts, crayons, paints, paper, etc. This Closet became my escape on so many occasions. Even when my brother and I were in trouble and/or grounded (which was a LOT of the time, LOL!)...the School Closet was never off limits. It was the one place we could go to satisfy our imaginations...calm our fears...play without boundaries. Might think that being "grounded" in our home was not so bad! LOL

Now in my Third Life, I can most certainly get caught up in a lot of drama and issues, at work and in the community. I get on Facebook and can laugh, shed a tear, roll my eyes, get my dander up on politics, social issues, etc. But I also think about what is now in my own "School Closet" and very much try to fill my mind with The Nouns that resonate within me. Not persuaded or influenced by outside forces, but a true refuge that shuts out all of the noise.

I know. This might all sound a bit naive and fairytale-ish. But if you knew the kind of life I had to live to get here, now...you might think twice. Because I've seen, felt and have experienced a lot of ugly, and who wouldn't want to escape and create a School Closet? A place where you and your mind and imagination rules. A place where you're not judged by the color of your skin, race, gender, spirituality or class. A place where you're "grounded". A place where you can be you.

I hate Election Years. It's a time where political parties are trying to persuade and tell you how to think and move. I know that the word "hate" is a very strong word to use, but...I do use it (pretty much) every four years. Everyone has a bandwagon and an agenda. Everyone has a PR/Marketing plan to bait and lure. Everyone has their own "thing" where they try to influence and solidify their own "base" and masses.

Me? I'm not a "sheeple". Lately, I pretty much configure myself to the "Island of Misfit Toys" when it comes to Election Day. Both parties - the Left and the Right - have become absolutely and fundamentally ridiculous. Those who cannot see this, I feel sorry for. For those of us in the Middle (Moderates), we bear (and have had to accept) the burden of "Balance". It's really not fair, but...what, in the grand scheme of life...ever is?!

The "Dog and Pony Show" aside...I think of my Grandparents. Out here, in the rural towns of Wyoming, no one really thought - on a daily basis - how things might pan out. They were just workin' to make a livin'. Trial and error. The powers-that-be  "above heads" may be in control, but...we all have our own "School Closets" to escape to. To read and ponder. To think and discuss. To shed the present "musts" and "have to''s...and dream of the "might be".

Lately, I've been binge-watching "Star Trek, The Next Generation". I had followed and watched it religiously in its time, but...I'm watching every episode again. What a brilliant series...where money/currency has no worth...where race, color, gender or religion has no power/control...where a mixed crew goes into the galaxies of the Universe "where no one has gone before". After I watch each episode, I wonder: Why does it take a science-fictional TV series for us to finally understand?

You might believe in Jesus; you might believe in Allah. You might believe in the Great Spirit...in the gods/goddesses...or any other Entity, and I completely respect that. But so many terrible things have been done and said in the name of Jesus and Allah. So many "gods" and Nouns throughout history have plundered and destroyed. So much hate, so many beliefs in lies and half-truths have been programmed into the human heart and mind, that it takes a Power greater than religion or tradition to overcome them...and that Power is: Love.

Love can cause a rise and fall. It can both build and crumble empires. It can heal. It is patient...and it is kind. For those who try it out, it can change their lives. For those who choose otherwise, the chaos and destruction continues. It's crazy that a tiny virus created such a chaotic paradigm shift in attitudes and behaviors. I wish that Love could have done that long ago.

My own "School Closet" is filled with a lot of Love. But I admit, my patience is running a bit low these days. So when I start feeling that overwhelming anxiety because of all the negativity and noise, I find a calming refuge in the beauty of a sunrise or sunset...a blue sky filled with clouds of all shapes and sizes...the smell of rain in the air...a garden filled with vegetables...a pot filled with flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors. The sound of birds in the morning. It all brings me back to "me" again. Grounds me...heals me.

What do you fill your "School Closet" with?

(That said...anyone want zucchini?) 🤣

Sunday, July 19, 2020

History Lessons: Reunions

Well, it's been a few weeks since writing...a lot has happened and has been going on in good ol' Fremont County, WY this month, despite the "'Rona". Dubois Friday Night Rodeos are still goin' on. Fourth of July happened with a "pirate parade" in downtown Lander (what pirates have to do with Independence Day, I have no idea, but yo, ho, ho and a bottle 'o rum and I suppose it's legit...I don't know, I was in Casper for a BBQ and fireworks). If Johnny Depp had shown up in full Captain Jack, I probably would've cancelled everything and made it Destination Lander. 😉

July 11 was Riverton Happy Days. This event was planned, prepped and executed within a month's time, and I am so very glad to have been a part of that committee, as I've met some very awesome, beautiful key people here in Riverton. I'm still so very bad with names, but I'm happy to say that quite a few have helped me get up to speed on the community's "dynamics". As with most small towns, there is always a certain level of political, business and social issues that might create a few bottlenecks, but for the most part, I have been very impressed by the strength and community spirit that really hasn't budged since I left over 35 years ago. Back in action, I am proud to call Riverton my home. It has and always will be home.

This weekend was the 2020 Riverton High School All Class Reunion. as well as my own Class of 1985 reunion BBQ. Busy weekend, and I'm so sorry to those I couldn't stay to chat with and reminisce, but I figured that my role was to step back and take photos for the sake of memories. So I was doing the "back and forth" thing...buying food...taking photos...prepping food...taking photos...close my eyes for a second's nap...taking photos...etc. I've now ended up with probably 500+ photos to sift through.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I don't do well in crowds. I have a certain level of anxiety that kicks in. Only I know when it does and it sets off the "red flag" alarm. Remember, I have Three Wolves...the Extrovert inside of me wants to get out and be social...the Introvert longs to be in her pajamas, comfy on the back deck watching the sun set/rise with a nice cup of coffee...and the Wolf in the middle must be a cat! LOL

I do think a lot depends on the people who presently surround me. I have several Circles of friends I thoroughly enjoy because I have a past AND present connection with them. However...there are those I didn't connect with in my Past, and they are still not in my Present. Yes, we often share our lives online...on Facebook or other social media...but it's not the same as being face to face, and "dealing". Being in my Third Life, the "ghosts" of my First and Second Lives seem quite foreign to me now...and I learned this weekend that some have really never left high school. For those I encountered, all of my Wolves just felt this strange and utter feeling of pity...and I suddenly realized why most of my classmates don't attend reunions.

So I leave, and go where I'm wanted and needed, and that's okay. Sure, I might be rustled from time to time, and then for some reason (I don't know, maybe it's just how deal with that kind of shit these days)...I'm actually quite good, because I know that those who have stuck with me through my First, Second and Third Lives will always have my back, no matter where we are in the World...and that's a great feeling to have! You know who you are...and I love you.

It's my brother's birthday today. It's also his daughter's birthday (my niece)..and it's also the birthday of my grand-daughter, Alivia. My Facebook's cover page reads a Mark Twain quote: "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why."

Those of you who have found out why have my greatest respect.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

History Lessons: We The People - Our Independence Day

I had an awesome Independence Day with my "family" in Casper. A steak BBQ (cooked to perfection) with the most awesome potato salad...chips and dip...strawberry shortcake for dessert...and, of course, a 4th of July in Wyoming wouldn't be complete with out fireworks/firecrackers! These are the things memories are made of...past and present! I felt like a kid again...lighting fireworks in the street, watching the teens light fireworks for the first time (yep, we were "those neighbors", LOL!). Makes me so happy to be living back home. 

Independence Day means a lot to me as an individual with a mixed heritage, both Native and Immigrant. Every year I ponder upon whether or not America has become the kind of country our Founding Fathers would've truly wanted it to be, and I often hesitate to answer that...because their very dream of "a Perfect Union" seems to have become more of a nightmare these days, and it saddens me.

Election years always complicate things for me as a Moderate voter, and as I drove back home from Casper to Riverton, my thoughts turned to that very hope and vision our Founding Fathers had. The monarchical rules and laws that were broken...the aristocracies and politics that were born and escalated...the blood that was spilled...the prices that were paid. I think of the very opening line of the Declaration of Independence: "We The People..." and I stop right there.

We...the People.

What kind of "People" have we become? Where are our consciences, our minds, our hearts? Have we forgotten our histories so much that we deny and rewrite history to our own liking? Are we so focused on trade, power and the almighty dollar that we forget that so much has always been thrust upon the weary backs of those who have and still are paying the price?

We talk about slavery as if it's non-existent...but it most certainly is not. It is, and has always been, alive and well. We are all slaves! We are not free...we are all still bound to the gods of money, greed, power and control. Those at top still care nothing about those who dwell within the prisons of "the bottom line". Problem is, we've just accepted it...downright "Stockholm Syndrome"-accustomed to it. Those who fight for true liberty and freedom are ridiculed or silenced. Those who are blinded by it, gravitate towards it for the sake of their own survival. As human beings for tens of thousands of years, we do have this innermost desire for peace; however, the hope and vision of our ancestors and forefathers has become a mere illusion.

But we still celebrate holidays and Solstices...birthdays and anniversaries. Why? Because of our Conservative or Liberal party affiliations? No. Because our skin is red, yellow, black or white? No. Because religious traditions, doctrines and beliefs dictate that we must? Still, no.

We do it because it comes down one thing: Hope.

We hope for something better. We hope for future generations, that they'll do it better than we did. In our pursuits of life, liberty and happiness, we hope for a better peace and prosperity for all of our tomorrows.

Have we failed? Yes...so many times. But is there still Hope?

Ah yes, there's always Hope! The other day, I was thinking about "do overs". If I could "do over" a few things in my own life, would I? To tell the truth, I'm not entirely sure. Some things, yes. Others? No...because I experienced valuable lessons on my Journey that I may not have learned otherwise. However, no matter what...it has always been The Nouns - the People, places and things - that I allowed into my life, yet also had to let go in order to learn those valuable lessons...in order to form a more Perfect Union of my own heart, mind, body and soul.

What if America could push the "reset" button? Do overs? How would we do it different than our Founding Fathers? Would we allow people to divide into political, economical or social parties? Tories and Whigs? Conservatives and Liberals? The Haves and the Have Nots? The Christians and the "Non-Believers"? Would all lives matter? Would we allow any type of slavery, in any way, shape or form?

In the grand scheme of things, how necessary have these divisions been in achieving [some sort of bizarre, chaotic] "balance"...and just how has that been working for us? Yeah, not so great.

United we stand; divided we fall...and great will be the Fall. We let so many little things divide us...whether we should or shouldn't wear a mask...whether we vote our party...whether we're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, Pagan......whether we're straight or gay, red, yellow, black or white...whether we eat meat or are vegans...whether we are rich, poor or middle class. Etc. etc. If all humanity were wiped out by aliens in huge spaceships, or by a tiny virus invisible to the naked eye...what would it all mean, in the grand scheme of things?

I'm just going to leave that question out there for you to answer, and on that note, I will end today's blog post with a quote in the movie by "President Whitmore" (Bill Pullman) from the movie "Independence Day":

"Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.

Mankind.That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom.

Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive!

Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Coffee With A View: "How Was Your Day, Dear?"

This next post comes from a friend I met many years ago, and, like many I've met along the way on my Journey, we've kept in touch solely on Facebook. I read his posts often because of his sarcastically-amusing sagacity that generates a depth very well worth the thought and consideration. I am most privileged to introduce him here on Coffee Pong, and hope that someday soon we'll be able meet again over the best java in Reno.

And now, I give you: Reno J. Dinero!

______

"How was your day, Dear?" I don't even have one of those at my house. In one sense, it makes answering all the more easier:

"Challenging."

For those of you who might not know (or even care) my business is entertainment. More specifically, business management of union labor for entertainment, conventions, special events, etc.

I have been in this business for almost all of my adult life. I have managed production for arenas. I have been a Technical Director for a university theatre; I toured as a Stage and Production Manager. I now am the Business Agent for IATSE Local 363 "The Mighty #363" in Reno, NV. I started in this business loading trucks at the Lawlor Events Center for $3.38hr. in 1983. I have done television, movies, live sporting events including two Super Bowl pre-game shows and Thanksgiving Day at the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI, with Third Eye Blind. That was the first live televised performance at halftime of an NFL game, other than at the Super Bowl, by a major artist ever.

In all that time, and in many different capacities, I have seen a lot of things... but I have never seen anything like this. Period.

Our industry was shut down March 17, 2020, like no other.

Coincidentally, that was the day my Mom passed away. Suffice it to say, I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. But there are many days from my life that hold that same distinction. Both good and bad.

Right now, I have 300+ people sitting on the sidelines unable to work. There are countless numbers of my friends and colleagues around the world who are at home instead of being out on tour. Performers, production folks, ticket takers, CEO's, truck drivers, from top to bottom our industry has been affected like no other. We need large crowds, large working groups, many of us are in the high risk groups for COVID-19. Devastating doesn't even begin to crack the meter as to where we find ourselves today. Tomorrow? My crystal ball is on PAU as well. No one has an answer for us.

I understand my business. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I know what it takes to be successful for just about any production you can imagine.

After 36 years in the business, like anyone who has been in their chosen field for that long, I kinda am getting the hang of things. I understand.

What I don't understand is all of you civilians out there who have become contrary. You fight about everything. Wouldn't matter who was in office, or popular in culture, which team is hot; you argue vehemently about trivial pursuits daily.

This is not public discourse. This is not standing up for civil liberties. This is not exercising your right to assemble or free speech. This is ignorance. Willful ignorance.

You talk about shooting each other. You argue whether to mask or not to mask. You rage at a percieved hoax or question each other's validity in the facts of your arguements. All the while, situations have gotten way beyond what's acceptable or should be acceptable. You lash out at those that oppose your viewpoint, or worse, take violent action against them. You riot. You damage innocent businesses. You steal. Then, you leave. It's out of control...and it's got to stop. Or be stopped.

Because the only thing I see stopped right now is my people. My industry. Your entertainment. Get it together. Think about someone besides yourself for a change. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. We have no time for sidetracks, if you want to ever return to seeing concerts or the Super Bowl or anything entertainment-related, ever again as you knew it, start doing. Or you can kiss that and "How was your day, Dear?" goodbye. This ain't about your or my day. This is about us our existence.

Reno J. Dinero


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Coffee With A View: Make No Excuses, and Rise Above

So today's "Coffee With A View" comes from an exchange on a childhood friend's Facebook wall. Let me tell you a bit about Cody...
  There are several people in my lifetime that I have admired because of their astonishing beauty. Cody is one of them. I've known her since grade school, and one of my fondest memories was when we partnered up for Mr. Breen's photography "class". I think I still have some old black-and-white photos from that...I don't know, I'd have to dig through some boxes. I know I have a few...

  When you're a kid growing up in a small town in one of the most sparsely-populated states in the Union, you are [or at least, appear to be] wild and care-free. That lasts for a time, and then, as a teen, it's the age-old story. You feel awkward, geeki-ish...hope to find some sort of "acceptance" in some sort of clique or crowd. I've always been a music nerd, so along the way, it was inevitable that our "crowds" would separate. But also along that difficult "Teenage Wasteland" way, there were those who would gossip, backbite, look down their noses at me...be a total and complete bitch to me. I very well know I was the brunt of not all, but some of it...however, there were a choice few in high school who never did that. Cody was one of them.

   Being back home now, some things have changed, but I've run into just a few local "Riverton Lifers" who think they're still back in high school, suspended in time. The thing that is most refreshing for me is to see classmates all over the country, all over the world...living their own Journey...the rises and falls, the falls and rises. The trials, challenges and tribulations. The losses accounted for, but the amazing wisdom and strength gained.

  Cody is one of them...and I thank her for, still...after all these years, being a part of my life.

Cody:

"So sad that this great country is literally destroying itself. Now we want to rewrite history on top of it. I'm sorry, but every single American has the same opportunities upon birth. It's up to each and every individual to grab that American dream and take flight. It doesn't matter what color your skin is, or even what social class you're reared in. Make no excuses and rise above. I want PEACE above all else."

Carol:

I was just listening to a song that had the phrase, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride..." I didn't understand how profound that phrase was until I read your post. I believe it takes a lot of work to make that "American Dream" come true. Unfortunately, we have several generations who have been raised to believe that they can just get a free ride on the work horses. At the same time, there are those who have been raised in privilege (regardless of race) saying: "Let them eat cake." and have no clue or understanding as to what it means to be homeless, destitute and looked down on because of the color of their skin. Myself? I feel as if I've lived a thousand lifetimes in my meager [almost] 54 years, and Life has always come down to choice. Decide what you want to do, and what kind of person you want to be...and then do the work to achieve it. No one else is going to do it for you...and there is no shame in asking for help, as long as the goals and objectives of the Dream is clear to both giver and receiver. Two (or more) heads are better than one!

 But to "force" our government(s) and work horses to continually give and give without oversight and responsibility is insane and it only sucks the Life out of everyone! Then it's no longer a dream, it's a nightmare. Also...where are the corporate churches and "ministries" that take and take tithes and offerings...for what, a "feel good" sermon, inspiring music and pat on the head? The poor are still among us...and according to Jesus, always will be (John 12)...so what wisdom does the poor have to impart? I think it would behoove us all to at least finally listen and understand. Thanks for letting me comment...Miss ya!


Sunday, June 7, 2020

History Lessons: "The Ways" - A Paradigm Shift

I own about 45 coffee mugs, but today...I chose this mug for a reason. Not because I wanted to make a statement that the cup is mostly white and the base is black. Not because white is on top and black is on the bottom. I chose this mug because what I am going to put into this mug is going to be one of the most delicious cups of freshly-ground, brown-roasted coffee, with a bit of sweetness and half-and-half to start my Sunday morning with joy. Those who have visited my home know I have "'mugs of many colors." 

On the tail of my last post, I've had some time to ponder on solutions. In order to do this, I've had to go back and really think about where it all went wrong...go back in my own "time machine" and not grieve over what was or has been...but hope for what could be.

Many tribes, cultures and religions have a Genesis story. A story or legend of "how it all began", be it a story to tell children when they ask, a spiritual response to ease a troubled mind, or a question to spark an adventurous journey. Eventually, facts and truths are uncovered and emerge that either coincide with what we've believed all along, or put us in a rut of denial for our own comfort and, yes...survival.

Whatever you believe about humankind's Genesis...there was a point in time where "we" (humans) became aware of Powers greater than our own selves. A tornado, a hurricane, a volcano would indicate that Something...the "gods"...were angry with us, that we did something wrong. We would try to appease these gods with offerings, tithes and sacrifices. We would worship in fear, huddle in refuge.

Thousands of years go by, and in that time, other "Powers" evolve. Acquisition. Commerce. Greed. Hierarchical classes and regimes...which evoked battles and wars that resulted in great suffering for the masses. There were no considerations for civilian casualties (to use military jargon, "collateral damage"). Pillage, plunder and destroy (often in the name or names of Diety), and those who survived would be in servitude to those Powers That Be. All races, cultures and religions are guilty of this.

Eventually, so much bloodshed and violence gave rise to Revolution. I think of the French Revolution and the American Revolution off the top of my head, but there have been many renowned revolutionaries who have made history...however, many will and may never be known in humankind's chronicled history. Nevertheless, they all fought for truth and justice...only to be suppressed and silenced by the Powers That Be.

I love Marvel and DC movies. I'm no comic book collector, but when I was a kid, I did watch Saturday morning cartoons with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. The Justice League! I even had a blue blanket "cape" that I'd safety-pin together and run around the house and yard. All I lacked was that golden lasso! Wonder Woman was one of my heroes. Why? Because I admired her power and strength in a world of men.

As children, we grow up in our families and households, knowing some, but little truths about the world outside of our little Petri dishes. We believed what were taught because we believed and trusted those who taught us. We've prayed to distinctive "Powers That Be", because that is what the history of humankind programmed us to think and do. But now, in an Information Age...we are short-circuiting because the ways that the "Powers that Be" have been doing things are no longer working. The "Christian Way". The "Jihad Way". The "Indian Way". The "Republican" or "Democrat" Ways.

We are at the cusp of a great Paradigm Shift of "The Ways". How will this all pan out?

At the core of every human being is the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. Even if you've been in horrible, abusive situations, you "know" and "feel" what is right and what is wrong...and if you chose "wrong" to simply survive in your environment, who could blame you? You were a child! It's not your fault. I myself was in a situation where I thought it would be better to die than to live. I didn't know who my "friends" were. I didn't know who I could trust. But I knew what was right and wrong, so I started trusting my heart, mind and soul, and made decisions in my life where the Journey would eventually lead me home.

Some think I've become Atheist. Not true. Some think I need to be "saved" (again). Not true. Some think I'm a "fence-dweller", a "coward", "milquetoast", " ...because politically, I'm a Moderate, neither left nor right. If categorizing me as such helps you sleep at night, then at this point, I hope it gives you insomnia. Because for me, it's not about politics anymore. True love has always been my answer to hate. Too many...in my own history, and human history...have taken advantage of that love and have minimized it, twisted it and have nearly destroyed it and my faith in humanity. Can you blame me, or those who feel the same?

I made a promise to myself that I would "Be good (don't be bad). Be nice (don't be mean). Be strong. (Rise to the challenges.)" I'm certainly not perfect by anyone's definition, but that is my "religion", and it gives me hope in a world that continually insists on the "definition of insanity". It all comes down on how we are and will BE. Not because or our race, culture, religion or species...but how we are to each other as creatures that crawl upon the same Planet.

This Paradigm Shift...this Revolution...is now the epic battle between good and evil. Between what is right and what is wrong. This is a challenge for the "Powers That Be" to finally have to deal with. I actually feel a [tiny] bit sorry for all of the "leaders" of the world right now. The weight of wrong decisions have finally caught up with us all, and it's not a pretty sight.

If they had only studied their history lessons...






Saturday, June 6, 2020

Coffee With A View: The Time Is Now

Hello, Coffee Pongers! I love to read my friends' Facebook posts on current issues and events. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I don't...

I recently posted a Candace Owens video on my own Facebook wall, and didn't expect anyone to comment or message me about it (a hot topic). It's been very tough being a Moderate these days. But my beautiful friend, fellow musician, and thoughtful writer, Lisa Montes, recently posted something on her own Facebook wall that sparked a response, and I wanted to share it with you all this weekend.

Thank you, Lisa, for putting up with my rants du jour! I love and respect the heck outta you, too!

____________________________________________________

Lisa:
"Trump... Candace Owens... people praising and supporting both...

I am disappointed with both because of how they choose to speak about important human values and humanity issues (often times with great callousness and condemnation towards populations and people, and seeds of prejudice or words that elicit that in others,) and I am disappointed with those that praise them and praise people like them who choose division over unity.

Everyone has the right to their opinion and beliefs, yes. And this is mine.

So many people just missing the point about true injustice and the history of racism and inequality and brutality that has lived and breathed and been acted upon for years upon years and is perpetuated and encouraged by people like these public figures with their words 😔... and then inevitably domino effect trickles down and is spread by those who support and believe in the same words these two speak... whether intentionally or not, it spreads. I just can’t...😢

-----

Carol:

"The problems ARE on both left and right, and there is so much the public does not see! Murder is a horrible thing. Rioting and destroying is a horrible thing. Injustice is a horrible thing. The White House "Resident" is the worst one ever. I agree and disagree with Candace Owen on some things, but one thing I do agree about is stark REALITY.

Races and cultures cry "Injustice!" and march, riot and murder...yet there is a truth that no one wants to deal with, and that is: Too many do not look inward. Too many use "injustice" as an excuse and not a spark for solutions. Too many watch Corporate media for their position on prejudice and racism. On the Wind River Reservation, I tend to observe those who are silent more than those who are in protest. Why? Because I know of the horrors every single DAY that our EMTs and Paramedics are called to...Native AND White! The media doesn't actually "see" the abused babies and children. The media doesn't actually "see" how women are treated by drunk, high Native [and white!) men with fists, knives and guns. No, they can only speculate and empathize. Then the media spins and influences, left or right to appease their advertising bases; the public blindly swallows their pills.

The public and voters DO choose the wrong people to put on pedestals! Several.bad apples...even just ONE...can ruin it entirely for EVERYONE. How are true, solid solutions supposed to be put into play when African Americans ignore the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr.? When Native Americans ignore the wisdom of their ancestral chiefs and their Elders who actually experienced abuse and injustice, first-hand? When Native American Tribal Councils themselves reek with alcohol, drugs and corruption? When so many white folks glorify a "Resident" that openly embraces a Nazi-like character [and] "values"?

No...it's not about what is unjust. It is about what is TRUE! And no one wants to deal with the TRUTH and admit they very well may be a part of the problem than the solution. That's why we are where we are, time and time again...in protest, riots and murder. That's why the problems of injustice never get solved. No one wants to look in the mirror and say, "Am I a part of the problem or the solution...and what is the best approach to SOLVING the problems and contributing to the solutions?" Because we don't vote for leaders who are true and just! Because no one actually reads and studies their voter handbooks, they just get on bandwagons and blindly follow their party choices. They are easily persuaded by corporate media and some random Facebook posts. Marching and rioting has been historically proven to be UNproductive. Not a solution anymore. It has been proven to make things worse; not better. I'd rather actively focus more on those who bringing peaceful, positive solutions and make a difference for the cause of [what has apparently become a matter of] human survival. They are out there. (Thanks for letting me rant on your page!)"

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Lisa:

I hear you and I respect you.

I think you speak and feel the emotions of so many of us who are frustrated in so many areas of what is happening in the world and to people.

And you’re right, there is a lot many of us don’t see or have access to so we may miss a portion or half of the story or miss it entirely if it’s not put in our focus.


Frustrations produce anger, and if used correctly anger produces desire for change and action - hopefully in the positive sense.


I think precisely because so many are ready for change and vision and justice in all these different areas, we are all expressing ourselves and taking the actions we see best to use.
Are our efforts always fruitful? Perhaps not always in the way we wish, but they are efforts and first steps, and they are evoking discussions and thoughts and actions towards positive change.


People who don’t feel heard or seen...want to be heard, seen, and counted when decisions are being made on their behalf or that affect them and others. So efforts are now being made by many in all ways and methods and directions to make that happen.


These are challenging times and if we are being completely honest with ourselves they always have been challenging times... we simply have not done the intrinsic and external work to truly always learn from them and make change. The time is now.