Pure Silence

Awaking to aural emptiness is one of the most stunning experiences. In this past week, I have twice been in this space and it brings a restful delight that I wish to attempt to express to you. When one’s ear has nothing to focus on, when molecules are not vibrating and tickling the ear drum, one can feel at peace in an automatic meditative state. It causes me to stop and do nothing because anything I do, even the slightest movement, will disturb the resting molecules to create a sound of some sort.

The most common sound in my apartment up here on the hill is a refrigerator hum. It kicks in a couple of times per hour for about 10-12 minutes and seems incredibly loud to me for it being a new refrigerator. But I realized that it’s only loud because sometimes it’s the only sound in the apartment. Oh, and this is a studio apartment which means that I live closer to it than many home dwellers whose kitchens are in a completely separated space from other rooms in the house. Though I am an audio engineer, musician, and composer or maybe because of it, I treasure having no sound as an amazing aural treat. I can focus on breathing and then on the tiny disturbances that enter the space one by one: a car driving on the winding road below; a tweet of a morning bird awaking in the thick fog; a plane flying overhead (so rare since the pandemic began); my fingers tapping on the laptop keyboard.

I am reminded of the Persian poet and Sufi master, Rūmī, who wrote many poems about silence in his sixty-six years of living in the 13th Century. Before I search for a couple of quotes to share here, I found something of interest to our current time: Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī was born in Balkh, in present-day Afghanistan. I shudder for a moment.

This silence, this moment, every moment,
if it’s genuinely inside you,
brings what you need.

Live in silence.

Rūmī

While researching, the refrigerator kicked into a buzzing hum and I also briefly heard the snapping and cracking of ice. I heard the wing flaps of three birds, but no chirps, songs or tweets.

On a Saturday morning before 8a, not a soul stirs up here on the peaks save for 2 cars that have driven by. In the thick of the fog, they are heard and not seen.

Let me sit here,
on the threshold of two worlds.
Lost in the eloquence of silence.

Rūmī

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April? April was my last post here?

My goodness! Summer is nearly here and my last post was in April! THAT is just how busy buried I became with a boatload of bedraggled busy-ness. Woof. I’m sure glad THAT is over! Now, it’s time for a bit of a respite from the grind and here I find myself alone again with you. Thank you for sifting through my thoughts here as there are so many all jumbled up inside my weary brain.

TODAY: oysters! Yes! I’m taking a ride just a wee bit up the coast to a wonderful place that serves a delightful plethora of sea creatures to eat. I’m sorry sea creatures. I love you so. I thank you in advance for giving your life (unwillingly, I know) to my horrific human food desires. I should be ashamed as I shlurp you up like Jabba the Hut, but I won’t be. I’ll be transfixed on your tasty tidbits of the sea.

Early mornings in the skypad are going to be so lovely this summer. I’m not going anywhere save for a few trips out to the cousins in the Sierra Foothills. Oh, and a few concerts here and there to give my live sound students some real life, hands-on training to perfect the sound at a show. They learned an entire semester of sound reinforcement remotely without ever being able to touch a piece of the gear in our awesome department. Alas, it’s time to use one’s digits to make sound happen. BACK to the skypad summer: the view is divine when the sun is not obscured by Karl the Fog. Summer in SF, you may remember, is one of the coldest summers in the U.S. – blustery wet winds tear through the SF neighborhoods practically ripping your clothes off of you as you traverse the hills on foot. The top of Twin Peaks is no stranger to this crazy wind. Yeah, the photo below is from a week or so ago in May. That’s what it looks like. You can FEEL the wind in the picture, right?

So, when the fog hits and the view becomes that of the inside of an eggshell and no longer downtown SF and the Bay, then here I will be…writing.

And I’ll be composing too.

And I’ll be recording thoughts like this one.

Until soon.

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The Bounty of Being

I sit on the balcony in the warmth of the sun soaking up as much of her rays that I can fit into 10-minutes before the long work day begins. I feel like a rechargeable battery at 60% revving up to get to 100 in order to provide the energy needed to do everything and more. A light wind tickles my face like the virtual fingertips playing with my imagination in a dream last night.

The most beautiful high-pitched togetherness of 40-plus new birds flit by out on the horizon over SF. Their birdsong is new to my ears. Huzzah! I see them briefly as a giant wisp of dots. Who has arrived in the Bay Area today? They are so small and well-grouped, flying high over SF heading towards the north. Are they Wilson’s Warblers flying up from the south on their 2100-mile journey north? They dart left, right, all together in sync.

Next a dragonfly crosses my balcony! What is this perfect 10-minutes I have to juice up my essence? It seems everyone is flying by to say hello! And finally, as I start to close the sliding glass door after a human with a loud blower blows my aural airspace and I head in for retreat from the distorted molecular vibrations (those are most assuredly the worst of all “gardening” devices – ugh), I see a sweet moth has landed on the outside of the window. She’s peeping me in the apt trying to see what’s up in the life of Dana for today.

Hello, little moth. Thank you for planting yourself in my space this day.

Breathe deep and have a fabulous day.

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Radical Dana divided by Wonderment = the Square Root of Pi

Sometimes a day that doesn’t start out right can end up on the opposite axis jumping into a positive polarity in a blink. Such was my Thursday, March 25th that began with morning and early afternoon misconnection thwarting my planned progress for the day. I found myself at the mercy of the digital gods and merely let go without a panic in an “Oh, well–Orwell moment,” if you will. The good news is that it moved into a human, avian, music, and food connection rather quickly by 4p.

I met my inspired friend, @yoko_okay, for a meal that was designated to help me write a scene in my first novella, “Abra Imagining,” a work that now includes us both in collaboration. The meal, we thought, would make for some necessary inspiration for a chapter in which the dialog revolves around the passing of sumptuous Senegalese food. This visit had been on our minds for some time and we were finally indulging ourselves. We decided to meet at 4p when Bissap Baobab opens according to Yelp! and the restaurant’s own website. I parked and walked to the address on 15th St in Oakland and as I approached, I saw prodigious effort outside in the form of building a wide parklet for outdoor seating in a somewhat nascent stage with 2 people standing in front of the entrance to the restaurant observing. I inquired if I could go in. I was told that they would not be open until April 8th! Hmmm, that was odd because everywhere on the web pointed to them being open even an article from Sept 2020 extolling the wonders of the re-opening of the distinctive West African cuisine and vibe served there.

I told them I had driven all the way from San Francisco to eat there and several web sites including their own and Yelp! gave the information that were open for dinner at 4p. I was polite, but had that disappointed “awwww” in my voice. They looked at each other and one said to the other, “Oooh, it’s already starting…a good omen.” Then the other said, “I better look at the website and Yelp! to make changes.” So, I said, “See in you April then,” and bid them good luck. I continued down the street towards the corner when I saw my pal @yoko_okay dismounting from her bike shouting, “Dana!” in an “over here” sort of voice. I walked toward her smiling, but who can tell in full mask protective regalia? As I got closer, I delivered the bummer news, “Guess what? They are closed until April 8th.” She looked dismayed, “No fucking way.” We had both checked the web and are pretty thorough researchers, so this seemed impossible. I was already over the disappointment as I scoured the area for a plan B.

The cutest little restaurant called PINTOH Thai Street Food beckoned from 20 or so yards away from the corner on Franklin St. It had three brightly covered tables each with 2 chairs and heat lamps though at that point they were not necessary as the sun shone brightly on the tables and chairs. “Let’s check that out,” I offered. I approached the front door where they had protective plexiglass set up through which one could order. “Hi, there. Can we see a menu?” I inquired. We were handed two and the person gestured for us to sit where we like outside. “Please sit where you like and we will be right out.”

The next hour or so was like living in a dream before a year ago when everything was shut tight like a clam with a diver poking about it. We were treated to supreme service by a sweet crew of staff bringing out delicious dishes of fried pork belly with sticky rice accompanied with a delectable spicy chili sauce and a plate of chicken, large shrimp, cashews, and pineapple over rice with a light flavorful sauce. It was all preceded by a colorful Lychee Ice Tea adorned with a pink umbrella and 2 skewered lychees and a sparkling water with a fresh lemon circle floating inside. These sat upon a floral oilcloth pulled tightly around the table which gave the entire experience a festive vibe. Ahhh, dining again. I’ve eaten take-out on occasion during this blasted pandemic, but have not sat down to a meal anywhere (except for at home and I’m usually standing) for a year. Wow.

And then…

The lovely day could not escape just yet, I brought a steel tongue drum and a ukulele to brighten the early evening with some creativity should my buddy indulge me. We stuffed her bike in the back seat of my car and drove to the sunny side of Lake Merritt to find a spot to set up the little table I brought (for the drum), and we laid out a blanket on the grass. It was a beautiful spot with plenty of sun still high in the sky. What transpired was pure magic. It began with @yoko_okay playing with her mini glass globe in the sunlight and noticed her image inside it was upside-down.

It wasn’t long into my little banging around to re-familiarize myself with this little “spaceship” as one passerby called it that @Yoko_okay discovered a hummingbird perched on the light wire just beyond and above where we were hanging. The sweet little one seemed to be interested and hung out for a while as we jumped up to take notice. I had already started to record the drum with my Shure MV88+ mic system connected to my phone. It was still going as we jumped around in excitement as the Hummingbird took flight and we watched the path it took in an area around us. We squealed with delight as we watched it fly up, down, stop for a sip on a flower, fly to another barren tree branch, then off across the street and over a house!

The top of the tree spells YK!
@yoko_okay’s initials are YK and that’s what this magic tree spells at the top.

We recorded several more sequences that I have cobbled together in a little soundscape that includes @yoko_okay jamming on a cool tongue drum riff. Go ahead and click here to listen as you read on…

My talented artist friend then proceeded to draw me sitting with the tongue drum in my lap, and in 4-minutes (timed) she whipped this out:

YK called the Tongue Drum a “Giant M&M.”

We hung out for a bit more lounging on the lake until one moment a disabled man with a cute little dog on a leash was flying by and got himself caught on something and crashed in the bushes near us. I hopped up to help him and grab the leash of his wee pooch who was not trying to run away (thank goodness). I wrote about this experience earlier as it brought home some family memories for me. As the sun started to sink beyond the buildings on downtown Oakland, the familiar chill of shade settled in and we hopped up to split.

Almost the end…

This is where I do a solid for my incredibly gifted artist/musician friend @yoko_okay because I was floored and am honored to discover she featured me in one of her #dailydrawings on her Patreon page which I know you will want to support and check out along with the other fantastic links to her work here. And you may as well take a listen to this song she wrote and recorded with her songwriting partner Dibson T. Hoffweiler titled “Flight of the Hummingbird” waaaay before this day.

That post was inspired by a few pictures she took of me holding her drawing and the magic of Thursyay, 3/25/2021.

Lastly, I have been so inspired by my talented friend, I wrote a little ditty for her a month or so ago after seeing a hilarious Bitmoji of two of her flying around in a hotdog. So, have a great April coming and I will peace out to y’all with this last listen.

@yoko_okay drew this little Square Root of Dana (aka: Radical Dana) logo

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Counting the Crunched Cargo Container Ships

Many floating behemoths sit in the San Francisco Bay before my eyes, not docked. I see the same cargo company names and at first thought they were coming and going, but no. They have come and are sitting idle. One of my colleagues told me that his wife is in the wine shipping business and they have a ton of wine sitting out in the Bay. T’would be a rewarding time to be a pirate! (Oh my goodness, no. I kid! I would never!)

The ones I see the most: MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company–home headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland), Hapag Lloyd (a global organization originating in Hamburg, Germany), For several months, a continuing back-up of ships await the California ports to allow them to dock. A backlog holds everything up because the pandemic has caused everyone who can to buy a lot of things. Many if not most of the things come from overseas and those things are sitting on ships that if one could boat over or swim to in order to pick up one’s goods, one would. (Or so say the business owners who await their stock.)

Here is one story from freightwaves.

Here is another.

The ongoing 5th grader who lives inside of me giggled at this next bit:

Reefer Cargo? TeeHee

SO, in case you’re waiting for something in California, now you know why. That is all.

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What A Difference A Needle Makes

I just got pricked over at Oakland Coliseum in the most stellar and organized FEMA rollout of the vaccine. Everything was as smooth as the best concert or sporting event you’ve attended where every moment just worked out as it should from the parking lot to the show to your exit home. I went from the middle of SF out to Oakland in 20-minutes (no traffic on this beautiful Sunday afternoon) and had my first fun with finding the best freeway entrance to take me east from the new pad atop a hill. THAT was fun. I’m now a Central Freeway girl which has my car cascading down Portola, through the Castro, inner Mission, and then on to Highway 80. People watching! Something that just doesn’t happen when en route to the highway from the Sunset.

But, I digress. I had a couple of my buds texting me along the way helping me figure out exactly where to get off the freeway and which lane to perfectly set myself up in (both had already been vaccinated there). It was easier than ordering take-out. This entire operation was wonderful and I don’t say such things lightly about going and getting my arm stuck with a needle. As soon as I started making my way around the myriad orange pylons that have been organized to keep everything flowing (SO WELL), I started to tear up. I realized that THIS is what we have all been waiting for! We have ALL been through so much in all of this, and we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Each fatigues-clad FEMA member along the way was helpful and kind and were happy to shout hello back when I waved at them.

I had my ID ready and my scan code appointment from an email they sent. (They send a text message too.) I was swiftly ushered through and suddenly arrived at the tents with the 7 different stations in a row with at least 15 different columns across. So, they were vaccinating a LOT of people in short amount of time. A sweet, young Asian woman approached my window and had everything ready, just verifying my date of birth verbally as she checked my ID. Then, just as quick as a wink, she swabbed my left arm and as I awaited a pinch, she said, “All right then.” I couldn’t believe I didn’t feel a THING.

I told her that I felt nothing and thanked her for being so awesome. She said, “Thank you for saying that. Some people are really freaked out.” I told her that I had never been so excited to receive a shot in my entire life. Since the car in front of me was taking a while, we chatted further. She asked if I’m a teacher and asked where I teach. I told her City College of San Francisco. Then she asked what I teach. When I told her that I’m an audio engineer and I teach various classes in sound including live sound, editing, recording studio, etc. She exclaimed: “My boyfriend is really into that! He’s been recording himself and turned our closet into his personal studio. He put all of this foam on the wall. Is that a good idea?” I told her that leaving some squares of the wall without treatment is best to give it a more natural sound. If you cover all of it, it sounds too dry and a bit dark. She thanked me again and I gave her my card to give to him. Tell him to come to take a class or two with us. I’m sure it will make his recordings sound better to have some help.

The lady in the front was finished and we bid adieu. (I think she was one of the scared ones that come in for their shot.) We had to rest in the parking lot for 10-15-minutes to be sure we weren’t having any reactions. On my fast drive home, several songs came on the radio that made me feel that my deceased mom and brother were with me. First, Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door,” which had me tearing as I sang the song aloud with the windows down. I used the various versions of this song for my mom’s video tribute I made for the family back in 2010 and had parts of each version crossfading into the next as pictures of her floated past. The next song that came up was CSN “Teach Your Children.” THAT was a song my brother Bill and I sung a lot when I was a kid. My mom would harmonize sometimes too so that all three of us had our three-part harmony in tune. I started crying a little deeper. I miss them both and felt them holding me on the car ride home.

Vaccinated D (Shot One: Pfizer)

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Sadly, It’s All Canceled

I played the role of desktop traveller over the summer and found myself in the midst of a dream to visit La Paz in hopes of a possible retirement location. I met several amazingly helpful expats living there beckoning me to come and learn of the beauty and wonders of the capital of Baja California Sur. I will admit that the Sea of Cortez is a big draw for me. I love open water swimming. I imagined myself snorkeling amidst the whale sharks, dolphins, and myriad other marine life.

Yesterday, I awoke to the grim reality that I must cancel my Thanksgiving week and 58th birthday week plans since the coronavirus is soaring in Los Angeles, Baja California Sur, and Mexico City–the three places I would be traveling through and to on 11/22.

I canceled the flights. I canceled the hotel. I am lucky that I have my health and I do not have a family member nor friend who has died from Covid. So, this is just an inconvenience. I know I’m doing the safest thing for myself and others I would have come into contact with. Since I’ve been so careful up until this point, why take the chance and refute the request of my Governor?

I’m sad as I was looking forward to getting away to a new place. I’m sad because I doubt that I’ll be able to do the longer trip I was planning there at the end of December to drive in and stay for 6-weeks or so. Since I’ll be teaching remotely again, I figured I could really check it out then. But alas, with this failed administration doing anything to mitigate the spread (in fact, doing the opposite and encouraging more spread) and a state that has been very careful (especially where I live in the Bay Area), I must remain home and travel through my spaceship–my computer, iPad, and smartphone.

Desktop Traveller – coming to a computer near you…

I wrote this song about it.

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So Many Goodbyes

I am up quite early on a Friday mourning. It’s now 5:53 a.m., but I’ve been awake since 3. Lately I fall asleep earlier and earlier as the days wear me down to a curlycue nugget by 9 pm. The daily onslaught of news via push notifications from some of my favorite online magazines and newspapers fills my soul with a pablum of crazy. It is exhausting.

What remains to learn about a country enthralled with guns, war, and hatred? Roughly 1/3rd of the American population seethes with everyday anger. For what? It’s usually not based on anything real, but rather made up conspiracy theories aimed to fill peoples minds with unabashed acrimony. I’m tired of living in a nightmare of a mashup of “Beavis and Butthead” with “Tomorrow Never Dies.” (Remember the eighteenth James Bond film from 1997?)

This is why I endeavor to leave the country of my birth as soon as I can set myself up properly to do so. I think it would be more interesting to read about the madness from afar, say from about 1000 miles away. I endeavor to embark on a year or two of research before I fully say Adios, Au revoir, Magandang bye, Adeus, Ahoj, Bless, Aloha, Ha det, Proshchay, Zàijiàn.

First stop: a year in La Paz, Baja California Sur, in an attempt to see if this one right off the bat is the one. This coastal capital of Baja sits on the delightful Sea of Cortez which is home to a plethora of marine life and is a protected body of water on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Go ahead. Follow the links. I know you might not come back, but I promise what you read will make you happy because you’ll dive into a world of contentment. Isn’t that what reading and desktop traveling is all about?

A Sea Lion in the Sea of Cortez

خداحافظ
A Whale Shark and school of fish in the Sea of Cortez

Tạm biệt
Humboldt Squid in the Sea of Cortez
Bayartai
Sea Turtle in the Sea of Cortez
Alavidā

Wouldn’t you like to live in an area once known as the “aquarium of the world” for awhile?



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My Mom Would Have Liked This Post

borrowed from Rust En Geluk

A Beacon of Light

A surreal image of a happy place I hold in my heart wishing we could all get along.

This short catch-up will segue into a longer diatribe that follows, written on the Fourth of July, 2020. Much has transpired since then, so I’ll add more about every day here first.

Covid Times – 2020. San Francisco

I’m proud to write that we have done a remarkable job here with the pandemic largely due to our city and state leaders taking this seriously well before the rest of the country. And to this day, September 26, 2020 – we are all (mostly) still wearing masks, social distancing, and following protocols. Our death toll has been quite low – as of Sept 23rd, 101 dead San Franciscans. That’s IT. My college closed before the state mandate since the city mandate struck us first. We were all home by March 12th, teaching our courses remotely. You might find this interesting: Why SF has the lowest COVID-19 death rate of any other major city.

I have been watching the same man in the same outfit show up to serve tennis balls to no one on the other side of the court for months. It feels a bit like Groundhog’s Day as he comes to the court at 7a every morning. He hits a couple dozen balls across, then walks to the other side, collects them all, and repeats. I’m quite certain that this, for him, is exactly what a swim in the Bay is for me: a total reset. I have only managed to get through these past many months of Covid, Trumpocalypse, fires, bad air, a day that was night all day (no sun, no light), teaching hands-on, technical courses fully online, myriad Zooms, and so much more.

As I type this, lots of people are enjoying a perfect-weather Saturday in SF. After weeks of fires and smoke, the air has been clear for the past 7-days and everyone wants to be OUTSIDE. I can hear people at the corner bar that has built an outdoor parklet for people to imbibe outside while maintaining some semblance of social distancing. I can hear the creaky swings across the street beyond the tennis court with the slow, sing-song sway of two tones. Children playing, dogs out on walks with their masked human families, friends sitting together on blankets on the grass. It almost feels NORMAL for a minute, save for the masks covering smiles. Do you still smile under your mask? I do.

We must keep smiling and pushing to make this country a place of love, harmony, and peace. Yes, I live in a bubble here in the Bay Area. It’s a beautiful bubble and I hope we can spread this bubble across the continent. It’s a good life and worth every penny. And quite frankly there is enough damn money in this nation to fix the broken souls who do not have this. We need a plan that seeks to help others. America has been trying for decades in a hit-and-miss (mostly miss) to fix its problems. That is, up until 2016. That’s when everything snapped into a thousand tiny pieces so that the treasury could be sucked up into the giant bag of the 45th President, his family, and his GOP sycophants.

From the Fourth of July – 2020. U.S.

First, let me alert you that this page today contains my rant on the current state of affairs in the U.S. If you’d like to skip to something pretty and filled with love and light, try here, DanaJae.com.

I’ve never liked this holiday. It only celebrates what is white in America. It’s an ugly non-inclusive celebration of “rockets red glare.” ugh.

What do we do in the wake of the most evil administration and GOP sycophants we have known in the history of our American political experience? What is it about THIS TIME in our American history that one of two political parties acts not of and for the people, but entirely for their own self-interest at the mouth of a carnival barker, wanna-be dictator, schooled by the Russian autocrat in how to topple our democracy? And what of this ghastly AG Barr working overtime to strip the DOJ of any and all justice removing honest attorneys whose jobs are to uncover the truth in the stinking, steaming, scheming swamp of the 45th President? Norms, protocols, rules-of-conduct have been heaved out the window with the Constitution tossed into a Drumpster fire. The White House, soaked in racism, needs a new name. Some have been calling it The People’s House. HOW IS THIS COUP d’ETAT HAPPENING RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES AND THERE SEEMS TO BE NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT as we watch our hard-earned tax dollars support the antics of the bloviating rapist in the WH? People say “Vote.” I simply can’t imagine where America will be in September, let alone November. Give this thieves den until Jan. 20, 2021 and there will be nothing left.

“I see dead people.”

Broken Curriculum

Never mind what the FOUNDERS would think. SCREW THAT and THEM! Most of us were taught total fabrications about the history of the U.S. This country was founded with racism sewn into the fabric of the flag. The early 1600s brought European immigrants to America and they decimated the people who were here before us. The myth of Thanksgiving has us believing that the Pilgrims mingled joyfully with the Native Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of learning the native way, the white colonists destroy the native culture, stole their land, and sent them to remote corners of the country to reservations. They signed treaties to honor sacred native land, but then decided to renege and do as they pleased. Case in point, Mount F’ing Rushmore and the white supremacist who carved the faces of four presidents on the sacred mountain.

Heinous act – white people seeking their freedom by derailing the freedom of brown people who were already here.

Not to be outdone in the ravaging of the Native American population, the founding fathers and early white settlers cruelly killed the spirit of Africans brought here against their will and worked them to death to build white wealth. Ugh. ENOUGH of the freaking founding fathers already! I thought I had a solid education from my Junior High and High School in San Diego, but my mouth was agape most of the time in Leon F. Litwack‘s U.S. History course at UC Berkeley in 1981 when, in my sophomore year there, I learned the reality of our heinous, whitewashed past.

Present Day

Many other countries around the globe are in the midst of massive protests to join the Untied States in the #BlackLivesMatter rallying cry though nearly all of us also suffer from a continuing uptick in people testing positive for COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths. The pandemic has magnified tenfold our global unrest and horrifying health disparities. The chasm of inequality has reached 212-degrees and people are rightly furious. It’s easy to understand how these gargantuan issues have swirled together in a perfect storm to ignite the need for big changes. The earth has been given a healthy and heartening release from the human debilitating expansion as we have been on lockdown. This human pause has been just long enough for us to see what happens when Gaia is free of our pestilent destruction of the planet. Will we change to keep her from dying completely beneath our treading feet? As long as the white patriarch remains empowered to continue the global climate debacle, it seems we will just feel an inkling of what it could be if we worked toward goals such as the recent EU Climate Law.

Conspiracy Theories Central: The Trumplestiltskein people are filled with them. They unroll one after another with the Narcissist-in-Thief and his attempt to control media networks with his messaging. The conspiracies are so completely asinine that the majority of us who actually think for ourselves and research bogus claims to prove their invalidity can’t believe some of the utterances from people’s mouths. A few Floridians seem to have one last week’s Darwin Awards with this one: Florida Residents Angry over new Coronavirus Mask Rule. [Stupidity warning. Swallow any liquids you have in your mouth as you watch this.]

Systemic

Here’s a brief rundown of what systemic means to me with regard to a host of societal ills in America (all heinous actions). It begins with the storybook myth of religious tolerance. This country was founded by a bunch of white people from an imperialist nation seeking refuge in a new land. When they arrived, however, there were people already here: the Native Americans (who did not call themselves such) who had their own spiritual belief system that was shunted by the whites seeking their own freedom from religious persecution. Christianity and “In God We Trust” became the call of the immigrants whose generations of children now claim the U.S. as “ours.” It’s a stolen nation.

So, let’s do a collage of horror outlining the various ways people of color have been trampled in these “Untied” States. Emancipation Proclamation signed January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” But it took two-and-a-half years for slaves in Texas to find out about it: Juneteenth. The denying of rights for African Americans remained for decades in the Jim Crow Laws. And on and on it went: Brown vs. Board of Education, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act all in attempts to give rights to African Americans to be able to enjoy the same freedoms as whites. But also within these attempts, the KuKluxKlan, the racist hate crimes of Wilmington, NC in 1898 and the massacre of blacks in Tulsa, OK in 1921. During these times, more and more Confederate statues were erected around the south as last as the 1980s! The 1980s!!!! What country erects statues of traitors to the nation? These are ugly men who fought in a bloody civil war AGAINST America and they stand tall in many southern cities. This is systemic racism. The KKK infiltrating police departments across the nation is systemic racism. Denying children an education about the real history of America is systemic racism. And finally, when the nation elected a black president to TWO terms, he was thwarted from any kind of nonpartisan successes because a southern racist leading the Senate vowed to say “no” to anything he proposed. He could only make any significant achievements (aside from Obamacare when the Dems controlled the House and the Senate) by executive order. The GOP have played ugly partisanship for long enough. They have hitched their hopes to a racist president who succeeded Obama as the 45th and must be shooed out of the White House in 2020. He is a walking prince of darkness who (along with his administration) has ushered in an era of pain, death, and economic disaster for America.

July Fourth – a day of mourning

Try these on for size if you have not yet read them: A People’s History of the United States written by Howard Zinn and this one also by Zinn, A Young People’s History of the United States – Columbus to the War on Terror.

Americans deserve to know the truth.

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Nerve Endings

borrowed from Rust En Geluk

A Beacon of Light from a Hill I Shall Climb (in order to assuage the deep mourning)

First, let me alert you that this page today contains my rant on the current state of affairs in the U.S. If you’d like to skip to something pretty and filled with love and light, try here, DanaJae.com.

I’ve never liked this holiday. It only celebrates what is white in America. It’s an ugly non-inclusive celebration of “rockets red glare.” ugh.

What do we do in the wake of the most evil administration and GOP sycophants we have known in the history of our American political experience? What is it about THIS TIME in our American history that one of two political parties acts not of and for the people, but entirely for their own self-interest at the mouth of a carnival barker, wanna-be dictator, schooled by the Russian autocrat in how to topple our democracy? And what of this ghastly AG Barr working overtime to strip the DOJ of any and all justice removing honest attorneys whose jobs are to uncover the truth in the stinking, steaming, scheming swamp of the 45th President? Norms, protocols, rules-of-conduct have been heaved out the window with the Constitution tossed into a Drumpster fire. The White House, soaked in racism, needs a new name. Some have been calling it The People’s House. HOW IS THIS COUP d’ETAT HAPPENING RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES AND THERE SEEMS TO BE NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT as we watch our hard-earned tax dollars support the antics of the bloviating rapist in the WH? People say “Vote.” I simply can’t imagine where America will be in September, let alone November. Give this thieves den until Jan. 20, 2021 and there will be nothing left.

“I see dead people.”

Broken Curriculum

Never mind what the FOUNDERS would think. SCREW THAT and THEM! Most of us were taught total fabrications about the history of the U.S. This country was founded with racism sewn into the fabric of the flag. The early 1600s brought European immigrants to America and they decimated the people who were here before us. The myth of Thanksgiving has us believing that the Pilgrims mingled joyfully with the Native Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of learning the native way, the white colonists destroy the native culture, stole their land, and sent them to remote corners of the country to reservations. They signed treaties to honor sacred native land, but then decided to renege and do as they pleased. Case in point, Mount F’ing Rushmore and the white supremacist who carved the faces of four presidents on the sacred mountain.

Heinous act – white people seeking their freedom by derailing the freedom of brown people who were already here.

Not to be outdone in the ravaging of the Native American population, the founding fathers and early white settlers cruelly killed the spirit of Africans brought here against their will and worked them to death to build white wealth. Ugh. ENOUGH of the freaking founding fathers already! I thought I had a solid education from my Junior High and High School in San Diego, but my mouth was agape most of the time in Leon F. Litwack‘s U.S. History course at UC Berkeley in 1981 when, in my sophomore year there, I learned the reality of our heinous, whitewashed past.

Present Day

Many other countries around the globe are in the midst of massive protests to join the Untied States in the #BlackLivesMatter rallying cry though nearly all of us also suffer from a continuing uptick in people testing positive for COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths. The pandemic has magnified tenfold our global unrest and horrifying health disparities. The chasm of inequality has reached 212-degrees and people are rightly furious. It’s easy to understand how these gargantuan issues have swirled together in a perfect storm to ignite the need for big changes. The earth has been given a healthy and heartening release from the human debilitating expansion as we have been on lockdown. This human pause has been just long enough for us to see what happens when Gaia is free of our pestilent destruction of the planet. Will we change to keep her from dying completely beneath our treading feet? As long as the white patriarch remains empowered to continue the global climate debacle, it seems we will just feel an inkling of what it could be if we worked toward goals such as the recent EU Climate Law.

Conspiracy Theories Central: The Trumplestiltskein people are filled with them. They unroll one after another with the Narcissist-in-Thief and his attempt to control media networks with his messaging. The conspiracies are so completely asinine that the majority of us who actually think for ourselves and research bogus claims to prove their invalidity can’t believe some of the utterances from people’s mouths. A few Floridians seem to have one last week’s Darwin Awards with this one: Florida Residents Angry over new Coronavirus Mask Rule. [Stupidity warning. Swallow any liquids you have in your mouth as you watch this.]

Systemic

Here’s a brief rundown of what systemic means to me with regard to a host of societal ills in America (all heinous actions). It begins with the storybook myth of religious tolerance. This country was founded by a bunch of white people from an imperialist nation seeking refuge in a new land. When they arrived, however, there were people already here: the Native Americans (who did not call themselves such) who had their own spiritual belief system that was shunted by the whites seeking their own freedom from religious persecution. Christianity and “In God We Trust” became the call of the immigrants whose generations of children now claim the U.S. as “ours.” It’s a stolen nation.

So, let’s do a collage of horror outlining the various ways people of color have been trampled in these “Untied” States. Emancipation Proclamation signed January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” But it took two-and-a-half years for slaves in Texas to find out about it: Juneteenth. The denying of rights for African Americans remained for decades in the Jim Crow Laws. And on and on it went: Brown vs. Board of Education, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act all in attempts to give rights to African Americans to be able to enjoy the same freedoms as whites. But also within these attempts, the KuKluxKlan, the racist hate crimes of Wilmington, NC in 1898 and the massacre of blacks in Tulsa, OK in 1921. During these times, more and more Confederate statues were erected around the south as last as the 1980s! The 1980s!!!! What country erects statues of traitors to the nation? These are ugly men who fought in a bloody civil war AGAINST America and they stand tall in many southern cities. This is systemic racism. The KKK infiltrating police departments across the nation is systemic racism. Denying children an education about the real history of America is systemic racism. And finally, when the nation elected a black president to TWO terms, he was thwarted from any kind of nonpartisan successes because a southern racist leading the Senate vowed to say “no” to anything he proposed. He could only make any significant achievements (aside from Obamacare when the Dems controlled the House and the Senate) by executive order. The GOP have played ugly partisanship for long enough. They have hitched their hopes to a racist president who succeeded Obama as the 45th and must be shooed out of the White House in 2020. He is a walking prince of darkness who (along with his administration) has ushered in an era of pain, death, and economic disaster for America.

July Fourth – a day of mourning

Try these on for size if you have not yet read them: A People’s History of the United States written by Howard Zinn and this one also by Zinn, A Young People’s History of the United States – Columbus to the War on Terror.

Americans deserve to know the truth.

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