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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want all to thrive in

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

But it was. And it is.

In the bright but cool lot at the truck repair shop this morning I met a small older brown man bundled in dark blue thick sweats & winter coat with matching hat pulled low over his ears & forehead, who strode across the asphalt to shine a near toothless smile as he thanked me for welcoming refugees and my heart broke again into a thousand little slivers.

"I escaped death" he declares softly, dark eyes staring into mine, as he tells me the country he fled, his home, his life, almost 50 years ago, was bombed by the u.s. more times than we bombed both Germany & Japan combined.

Every 8 minutes 24 hours every day for 9 fuckin years we bombed this tiny country and I choke out how sorry I am we did this to him, to his land, to his people, and his kindness wells up as he rushes to emphatically assure me it wasn't me.

I could tell him I didn't know, I was young, I thought it was Viet Nam and maybe later (or earlier) it was Cambodia. But I didn't know until much later, maybe a few years ago.

But here we are, bombing the hell out of at least seven countries, a couple for the last 17 years. And here we are, deposing democratically-elected leaders, backing military coups, installing ruthless dictators as 7000 refugees flee our u.s. policy-fueled violence of their land to face more u.s. policy-fueled violence on our border. And here we are making weapons and military training our number one export around the world.

And we know, we all know.

I shake my head and mumble, my country, into his deep kind eyes as  I want to hold him and hug him and throw myself at his feet and tell him how deeply sorry I am and as he continues to wave at my truck and claim it wasn't me.

But it was. And it is. All of us who reap the benefits of hegemony, world domination & exploitation, war every year of our existence but 17.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Oh no, broken toe!

Things are NOT going as planned these past 2 days.

First of all, yesterday morning my 20 minute oil change took 2.5 hours.

Then when I went to do a few last minute updates on my camper, I attempted to shut the back roll up door & the cable hinge tore out of the bottom corner where the wood rotten & the iron bolts rusted 2 almost nothing.

We worked for the next 7, that's right SEVEN hours trying 2 fix (in the rain & into the dark) that damn cable - unsuccessfully....grrrr

Now, this a.m., completing last minute tasks before dashing out the door to meet folks who are donating goods for me to bring to the border, I step on something in my small cubby and trip over my grandchild's bike & break my toe...

So I'm sitting in the emergency room with a pair of crutches, xrayed & waiting for the doc to fix my toe so I can head out to the southern California border.

Please be patient with me & my injured toe. Soooooooo sorry for any inconvenience- I truly wish I could have prevented this.

It's my clutch foot!!!! Grrrrrrr & my toe is bent at a very odd angle. I did try to bandage my 2 toes together but it was too painful.

I will keep you posted with details of Plan B!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

What I learned thus far #2

I've decided to track my journey from the Bay to Chula Vista/San Diego/Tijuana under the "What I Learned Thus Far #.... heading.

So today I was on an orientation call (finafuckinly) with the awesome Sanctuary Caravan people! They are the group that is calling for spending 40 days and 40 nights at the least. I've responded to that call. Check them out if you want to learn more.

This is what I learned: there are at least 6,000 refugees waiting at the border in Tijuana to be processed for asylum. U.S. immigration officials are basically refusing to process them - which is illegal under international law and immoral under humanitarian procedures.

Officials are requiring people to que up to take a number, then they are 'informing' people when their number is drawn through a whatsapp channel. Do you fuckin believe it? First of all, you have to have a phone; and second of all you have to know how to use whatsapp; and lastly you have to have fuckin electricity to charge your phone.

If you don't hear your number called or don't have a cell phone, etc., you miss your chance.

Since this caravan arrived, the number of people being processed daily is as few as zero, and the most people process during a single day was 53. So you know it will take months and months to process just the folks on this caravan. In the meantime, other folks are arriving every day from other countries as well as Honduras.

Last month, Tijuana had as much rain in two and a half weeks that they normally get in an entire year. The rain storms flooded the refugee camp that was within walking/shouting distance of the border, and turned the ground into mounds of mud.

The Tijuana government then moved the camp to another location about ten miles away. The good thing about this camp site is that there is a cement floor so no more mud but cement is harder to sleep on let alone to put tents up on.

In addition to the camp, there are about 2000 to 2500 more refugees around the city sleeping in shelters or homes citizens of Tijuana have opened up to them, or in tents or churches.

The downtown Tijuana area has been 'cleansed' by police as they've decided the abundance of refugees, weakened and sickened by their time fleeing across countries, is not good for tourism.

40 days and 40 nights! Come to Tijuana and/or San Diego!

Sunday, December 09, 2018

What I learned thus far

When I first heard of the massive movement of human beings fleeing Honduras on foot, wrenching themselves from not just possessions and community but too often from even children or parents or spouses, forging across unimaginably harsh terrain with no REI outfittings, trudging over mountains and through foreign countries, their numbers swelling like the convergence of streams into a mighty river, I thought we HAVE to be at the border for whenever these newcomers seeking safety arrive.

And that was before I heard tRump’s hostile, violent response ordering thousands of our armed military troops-trained-to-kill-humans to intercept these refugees and then to incarcerate them, should they survive.

Tonight I attended the first organized meeting where the general public was invited to A People’s Assembly for Migrant Caravan Solidarity. How inspiring and righteous is that? And because I live in the SF Bay Area, hundreds of concerned and committed people showed up, filling the entire huge hall, seats and standing room alike!

So this is what I gleaned from tonight that increased my understanding of what is happening currently.

Remember Manuel Zelaya? 2009 and yet another Obama war-hawk-mongering blow! I guess Zelaya in and of himself isn’t so memorable. What we need to remember is that we, the u.s.ofa., backed a military coup lead by a man we trained at the SOA (School of Assassins) deposing a democratically-elected president in Honduras.

The other thing to remember is  the same old story: this Honduran president was slowly moving some tiny bits of wealth from the few on the top to those on the bottom. We know how the rich tolerate any ‘sharing’ of ‘their’ wealth: wealth they stole from the very people who they refuse to share with and even violently punish if those stolen from attempt to retrieve any little thing for themselves.

But even more unconscionably to the u.s. and those wealthy individuals in power, Zelaya was calling for a referendum to re-write their constitution: a constitution that was crafted and imposed during the early 1980’s under yet another u.s.-military backed dictator.

Thus the spark that began the absolute necessity for human beings to flee for their very lives from their very own country.

We in this country MUST understand that refugees are fleeing u.s.ofa. foreign policy, u.s.ofa. wars, u.s.ofa. greed. And those of us who understand this, must help our fellow citizens see this truth.

Let me pause here because I want to acknowledge that our foreign policy that impacts so heavily negatively on Central America, did NOT begin in 2009 but in the mid 1800’s and our first military attack on Honduras was in 1903, then 1907, 1911, 1912, 1917, 1919, 1924…and on and on. You can figure it out yourself. And even farther back, we merely followed in the footsteps of the other european countries like spain and england and france as Honduras was not even a country in the before white colonization and genocide: which is why Indigenous people of these countries correct our border 'language' as the border crossed them, they didn’t cross the border.

The other major thing we must understand is the gang and drug ‘issues’ that incite the spark into a raging flame that is burning out of control. First of all, because Clinton wanted to be seen “hard on drugs” i.e. on Black and brown and poor white people, and with the passage of the horrendous three strikes ‘law’, these young men here ended up incarcerated in maximum security prisons.

We all must know that the purpose of prison is to destroy a human being. These incarcerated young men have been turned into violent gang members – not the military or police kind of gang that legally kill – but the everyday member of society gang that ‘illegally’ also kills with impunity.

These incarcerated men were given the opportunity to be released from jail IF they agreed to be deported. And they were deported, landing not only in Mexico but in Honduras, El Salvador, even Guatemala.

So we provided military-trained killers as well as maximum security prison-trained killers to flood Central America along with our huge cache of weaponry and military hardware.

Then let’s examine the “drug trafficking” bit of these gangs. Who in the world is buying/paying for the drugs that these gangs are so violently obtaining and trafficking? It is not the Honduran mother and child fleeing for their lives nor the struggling merchant or farmer: it is those addicted or recreational drug users in the u.s.

So why do we not see the blame and hold accountable our own country’s insatiable need for these ‘illegal’ drugs that is driving the violence and total destruction of the people of other countries?

I hope this clarifies more of what is happening and why at our ‘border’. I hope you will stop life as usual and commit to action NOW:

·          to end our u.s.ofa. policy of incarceration of refugees
·         to dismantle ICE and armed border patrol
·         to end the flow of ‘legal’ and illegal weapons from our weapon manufacturers/corporations not only into Central America but all over the world
·         to sponsor a refugee so they can be released from prison
·         to go to the border to dialogue with our soldiers, police, vigilantes
·         to provide support services at the border, not ‘just’ to refugees but to those valiant souls with their feet on the ground every day fighting for justice for these victims of u.s. policy and war
·          to contribute funds – daily, weekly, as often as possible – to assist with this humanitarian aid for this huge anti-humanitarian crisis.

When I leave for the border, I will try to keep sharing on this blog and page.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

To the border...

I'm heading to the border in a week, this time the CA/Baja, MX border. I'm collecting supplies for refugees and for volunteers and workers plus I repainted the back of my truck. I always have mixed feelings cause I love every version, every message I paint on the back and regret having to cover it over and paint yet another...but such is life!

 This is for the border, for the haters, the greedy, and for making the connections! Here it is:

fnished missive
in progress
what i had to cover up....tearz

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Anti-racist racism

I've been to a couple of anti-racism workshops lately where it seems that some of the vocal anti-racist white womxxn actually put down the work and actions of the anti-racist white womxxn who came before them.

And to make it even more 'confusing', these are the womxxn who, when encouraging other white womxxn to just take the plunge and try their best to confront racism, to not worry about whether there's a 'right' or 'wrong' way, that we will all make mistakes but the important thing is to try, will then turn around and criticize those white womxxn who have stood up in the past and point out how wrong their anti-racist actions were.

What is also totally missing from this conversation is the criticism of all the multitude of white womxxn who at the same time these anti-racist white womxxn were fucking up, have never stood up or worse, even felt motivated or obligated to stand up.

We can't have it both ways: we can't claim the important thing is to try, and then hold superior attitudes about the ways in which we have tried or do try.

It's the same underpinning of superiority and inferiority flowing through this way of seeing and acting, the same opportunity to feel superior or point out the inferior stance of others that directs all the isms.

It is something we need to recognize and fight as anti-racist white womxxn. I certainly don't agree with all the strategies of other white womxxn and can even identify the unaddressed racism in those strategies. But I'm also filled with gratitude and pride that these womxxn have tried and continue to try, that we all work together to grow and dismantle this legacy we carry around with us consciously and unconsciously.

That we love and forgive each other for our shortcomings and that we are open and willing to risk everything to conquer racism and exist in the world as anti-racists!

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Putting a spell on him

I have to fly incognito as I'm a family member of an employee so I get to fly free - but only corporate logos on clothes allowed, no Black Womxxn's Lives Matter, or Smash Patriarchy logos on my shirts! Plus I can't engage in conversation that might get reported to the higher-ups, conversations I often engage in.

So when I flew home today, I had to wait until exiting the plane to attempt to involve the young man, who when he strolled down the narrow isle and seated himself a row ahead but on the right of me, inspired a future vision of my grandchild: he was tall, muscular, deep earth brown with a hint of sunrise, and a tapered mohawk topped by a few errant tiny dreds and with shaved to the skin sides v-ing around to the back of his neck. My first impression of his backpack was military but his haircut countered that until we were leaving the plane - me right behind him - and I indeed saw the military insignia dangling from his pack.

As we were walking away from the gate - out of earshot from the airline employees - I asked him if he was military. He smiled proudly (until I said, 'oh serving our corporations!') affirming my fears. I point to his head and ask "even with that hair cut?" He tells me he's on furlough but when I question how fast his hair grows, he admits he's been on furlough a couple months now.

I shake my head and ask him to resign from the military. He stops and we begin to talk in earnest. He denies that he's in the military to kill people, telling me most soldiers never shoot a gun, and besides the military is about helping people, not hurting them.

I tell him of course he has to believe the military is helping people, or he wouldn't be a part of the military and their hurting of people.

But of course I tell him the military is about helping, yeah, helping our corporations to the countries' wealth, using him and young men like him to enforce with violence our domination of their resources. After much protesting, he finally admits he has seen instances where the military has been used to guard places where corporations are extracting oil or mining. But he's not in the military for this purpose.

He talks about how he's not doing anything for the military or corporations or even the public like me. His eyes start shining and a dreamy look passes over his face as he describes his buddies and how he'd do ANYTHING for them, including die and/or kill for them - as they would do for him.

I tell him again, of course - and the military has had centuries to figure out how to exploit that loyalty and comradeship into directing him and his buddies into doing horrific, awful, immoral things - things they'd never even consider doing if a 'buddy's' life wasn't at risk.

He complains that outside the military, he did and cannot find that kind of feeling of camaraderie and support he gets from his military buddies. I ask him if he doesn't think he'd feel that closeness if he's working to end police violence or for food justice in impoverished communities? But no, it's the adrenaline that comes from a life-threatening or life-taking scenario that floats his boat.   

He told me I had no idea what kind of 'bad' people existed in the world and I told him I'm a womon, a mother, a grandmother, a lesbian - of COURSE I know how bad men are. And I know of all the personal violence I've faced in this country, I've never used a gun to defend myself but I've used my words and my brain and my heart.

He is stuck on the 'protect' concept, not giving an inch on his belief that he is protecting us, his buddies, our country. Period. He insists if he saw someone who was trying to hurt me, his natural instinct would be to protect me.

I remember watching that Basic Instinct movie, and when armed police were aiming rifles at the gorillas, the man's basic instinct was to grab a gun and shoot back. My basic instinct was to yell at the men with rifles and order them not to shoot as I was putting my body between them and the gorillas.

Puleeze. Not 'protecting' but going off on a rampage with an excuse to kill.

I say okay, so if you see someone breaking into my home, coming into my home, you would stand up and fight to the death?

Once he declares that intention, I ask him if he doesn't think those men that he sees as "bad" are not doing that very thing when they see him and his buddies entering his country, taking over his resources, raping the womxxn of his country, are they not just doing what he claims he would do?

He flatly refuses to equate his invasion of another country with someone breaking into my home but even more: his defense of my things the same as those 'bad' men's defense of their things.

So now we've spent more than an hour talking when he brings up the issue of 'defense'. I'm so glad. I ask him okay, if our military is for defense, when was the first time we sent our military off this continent to 'defend' our country? He knows this is a 'trick' question and doesn't want to answer - doesn't know what the answer is, but by this time he knows it's not the simple information he's had before he had the pleasure of running into me.

I ask him what his country of origin is. He tells me Dominican Republic. Oy. I ask him if he knows when the Dominican Republic was conquered and colonized. He says he doesn't know, maybe in the 30's.

Are you fuckin kidding me? I don't say but my heart wrenches as query him further: are you talking Trujillo, the dictator we kept in power until the 60's?

He admits he's not up on the past so much. Not so much....hmmmmm. I tell him his country was split in two by the very military he's being used by today to split other people's countries into two.

I look into his beautiful black eyes as deeply as I can and tell him that after our conversation, he has to know that he is the force behind allowing our country to dominate and exploit the whole world. He wants me to go talk to parents and to warn youth about the dangers of limiting their choices: it's their fault, society's fault, he had no other choice but to join the military.

I tell him HE is the one who needs to be in the schools, talking with parents, doing counter-recruitment. HE is the one who needs to show young men how to not succumb to the propaganda of the military gang and the thrill of legal violence against others.

I try to point out his other choices, but they don't involve the thrill of killing or being able to kill. We cycle back to that, my knowledge that the purpose of the military is to train men to kill and his belief that he is protecting his buddies from all the bad people in the world who want to harm them.

He finally brings up god - are you fuckin kidding me? Again, I don't say that but I know that's on my face, how can it not be. He says only god will judge him and I tell him right now god does NOT want him to kill. He claims god wants him to protect me from attack. I tell him the ONLY way to protect anyone is through love, not violence.

He says the other guy is starting it. Like hell - I do say - the other guy is not in this country or bombing this country. I'm quoting the bible all thru this part of the god exchange - turning the other cheek, doing good to those who would harm you, thou shall not kill. He shrugs those off until I tell him "Son, I KNOW god does not want you to kill or harm anyone. You have to quit that institution whose purpose is to harm people and life on the planet, the planet you believe god created."

In the end of our conversation, I just keep repeating "god does NOT want you to kill". He shakes his head and offers his hand but I open my arms and we embrace. I tell him I care about him and this violent racist patriarchal institution is not the future for him. "You will know that one day very soon" I throw at his retreating back. He looks over his shoulder and smiles sadly at me.

Maybe not soon, but I put a spell on him!

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Maybe not yet, but he will...

Returning from my grandson's soccer game way out in the boonies, my daughter stops at a yard sale. I'm wearing my "Don't Want Refugees? STOP MAKING THEM! END u.s.ofa. WARS".

One of the older white women running the sale approaches me in order to study my shirt and figure out exactly what it says. She might think it says "I don't want refugees" because she starts talking about the border and the horrible things that are happening down there.

I agree and tell her I just returned from the Arizona/Mexico border where it is estimated now that over 7000 womxxn, children, and men fleeing to the u.s. have been murdered by border patrol, vigilantes, or the military or have died of exposure, starvation, dehydration or minor illnesses untreated.

"But don't you think they should stay out of our country?" she mumbles plaintively. I tell her I was just at a Kroger super store and all that piles and piles and piles of shit, doesn't it bother her in the wee little bit that we have so fuckin much and are so unwilling to share with those that have so very little?

It makes me sick.

"But they'll come over here and cut off our heads."

Are you fuckin kidding me. I tell her we're the ones who've killed 32 people today in Syria, mostly womxxn and children but men as well, dropping our bombs. It is obvious she doesn't consider this on the same violent par as getting one's head cut off.

Then she admits to me that her son is not just in the military but is a navy fuckin seal. She rants about how proud of him he is and what a fine job he's doing in service of our country.

Service of our corporations, I correct but after I say of course, she HAS to believe that or she would never allow her sons to go to another country to hurt someone else's sons now would she?

Now I'm just at this yard sale to help my daughter find towels and sheets she needs for her home. But of course, I'm also working.

She denies that our military is about killing or about protecting our corporations' right to exploit other people and countries.

I step closer to her and ask if she's a christian. She doesn't answer me but her face twists so I ask her again "are you a christian?"

She gets even paler and tells me she is proud of her son and she knows he's doing a great job and he intends to return home and make a career of the military.

I ask her if she knows that 25 young men and some womxxn are killing THEMSELVES EVERY DAY when they return from this great job you believe your son is doing?

"I'm proud of him", she insists, "and I support everything he decides to do."

"Even killing another human being?" I demand to know.

She steps back and tells me that her son hasn't killed anyone.

I'm incredulous and I'm sure she knows it. I say "maybe not yet, but he will."

She turns and flees out of the room.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

More ‘regrets’ of white womxxn!

Another older white womon strides determinately toward me and I think I can tell by her step what she’s about to say: the shame she feels voting for tRump and the confidence she feels finally seeing the truth.

She doesn’t disappoint. I tell her she’s part of a growing group of older white womxxn who have recently had the blinders at least lowered if not removed. She nods grimly and claims she listened to her husband and voted in conjunction with him.

His recent death has liberated her. She momentarily appears confused and almost lost, like a dementia patient wondering how the hell she got here. But she speaks with the painful knowledge of the early morning risers.

I ask her what in particular led to her seeing the truth. She looks at me as if I’m the demented one so I hastily explain again that I’ve met so many white womxxn who formerly voted for tRump but now regret that vote.

She bitterly tells me she believed tRump cared more about her than Hillary did; that tRump cared more about everyone. Now she is filled with disgust listening to his hatred and not just against womxxn but against refugees (altho she says immigrants) and Black and brown people. Plus she’s aware of his attack on clean air, clean water, protections of National Parks.

She HATES fracking and with both arms, she sweeps large arcs to point out the thousands of fracking wells burning huge flames into the night sky. “Do you smell that?” she demands? The air stinks here and the rumble of trucks never ceases.

I ask her about the people of the area, if they are engaging in actions. She shakes her head vigorously, telling me about Balmorhea, the state park that has been closed since May under the excuse of ‘structural damage’ to the spring-fed swimming pool. “We all know this damage is not due to age or use but to earthquakes we all feel and the hammering into the land by apache oil. And get this,” she continues with a sneer, “apache has VOLUNTEERED to pay for fixing the pool. Do you think they would have volunteered if they thought we couldn’t prove it’s their reckless disregard for our springs that has caused this damage?”

I tell her I share her pain and disgust. I was in Balmorhea in 2015/2016 after Standing Rock and when there were only about 2 fracking sites but thousands threatened and helped set up the protest water protector camp less than a mile from the springs. The local people didn’t feel strong enough to prevent further fracking – even though there already was a fracking site ‘spill’ but instead wanted to focus on recording what the oil companies were doing.

The result is thousands of sites and irreparable damage to the natural springs and habitat of the area.

So sad.

The silencing of anti-womxxn men with the voice of the fetus!

So I’ve been quite successful lately in silencing white men who approach me with their anti-womxxn stance. Some of the time they walk up to me and confess, as they sweep long arms in pained confusion toward the missives on my truck, they just don’t understand how I can stand for everyone’s rights but the unborn child.

Ha! I tell them as they bristle with indignation, :Of course you can’t understand, you are a man." Then I pointedly demand to know: “When has a fetus ever spoken to you?” Or sometimes I ask “Have you heard the voice of a fetus? I have! Of course I have, as has every other womon on the planet!”

They all seem to get the same lopsided grin on their faces, shuffling their feet in uncomfortable silence as they consider this or more likely consider how they are going to claim they too have heard the voice of a fetus. Remember, these are the men who claim to hear the voice of an entity that does not exist in human form so they have little ground to challenge me on hearing the voice of someone taking physical shape.

I don’t give them long before I grasp hold of my womb and declare that the fetus speaks to me – and to all womxxn. “Do you know what the fetus says?”

Before they get a chance to regroup, I tell them. “She says ‘Mama, don’t bring me into the world if you cannot afford to provide for me!’ And ‘Mama, don’t bring me into the world if you cannot protect me and ensure that you have the time and energy and resources to take care of me.’ And ‘Mama, I can wait until you are willing and able to make me the center of your universe before you bring me into this world!’”

Men do not hear the voice of a fetus as we do so they need to shut up and listen to womxxn’s voices.