DESECRATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES

For at least over two hundred years cemeteries of African Americans have been desecrated in every way imaginable.  In the 1800’s medical students would rob the graves of recently buried Blacks to use the corpses for dissection study.  I suspect that this went on well afterwards also, with grave robbers digging up and selling corpses.  It was not enough for Whites to torment Blacks throughout their lives, so it seems, so the final atrocities of taking bodies and ruining graveyards was the final act of attempted genocide.

Of course the most common desecration over time has been the “easy pickings” of destroying headstones or otherwise vandalizing them.  White boys with rifles no doubt used headstones as targets in rural areas.

However, so-called “gentrification” and the expansion of commerce into older areas of towns and cities has done the greatest damage.  The construction of roads and utilities directly impacts these cemeteries.  I have a friend who right now is dealing with such an abomination, and is seeking legal redress.

While I personally will be cremated and my remains not placed in a cemetery, I have a great respect for the feelings of families of any “race” regarding their attachment to such places of “final rest.”  My late wife and her parents and relatives are interred in a major urban cemetery, and my parents remains and those of my grandparents and other ancestors lay within an old country cemetery.  I would be heartbroken if these were vandalized or disturbed.  That African American “places” have been perpetually treated as either targets of extended racism or treated as “invisible” to the powers of modernity I find anti-humanistic on every level.

Here are a few links should you have further interest in this topic:

Freedman’s Cemetery Has a History as Complicated as its Buried Members

https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/disgraced-desecrated-disturbed-urban-cemeteries/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/27/gentrification-is-erasing-black-cemeteries-and-with-it-black-history

Hidden in plain sight: Cemeteries and civil rights

 

 

When DEMS Win the Senate in 2020!

Regardless of the outcome of the impeachment of BMT (Bottomless Moral Turpitude…..aka, that which occupies the Oval Office) OR the POTUS election, unless the Dems take the Senate and oust ol’ Mitch, 

this is what the skies will look like until that happens……

storm

Without the Senate being won and brought back into the realm of governance FOR THE PEOPLE, the Country will face four more years of stagnation and confusion.  If Mitch remains in control, he will continue to sit on every bill that the House passes, just as he is today.  Sure, a Dem POTUS can use administration edicts, but you can bet those will be challenged in courts all the way to the SCOTUS, and with Trump having already stacked the deck in US courts around the country, progress FOR THE PEOPLE will continue to be stymied.

WE MUST TAKE BACK THE SENATE IN 2020 !!!

A Most Wonderful “Thing”: IMPERMANENCE

As a child of the country, I had the opportunity to roam, explore and interact with nature.  One favorite, yet fleeting, past time was finding dandelion blooms, open and ready for the next breeze.  To pluck a stem and then gently blow on the bloom and see the seeds carry away in the breeze so carefree was perfectly synchronous with my feeling at that time, as a boy…..carefree and changing daily, letting my next idea move me to the next idea and activity, my mind open and being filled with learning.  I only lived in the moment, this moment, and the last and the next were just flickers of the film of my living.

Fortunately dandelions grow just about every where, rural and urban, but I wonder how many children today experience that almost mystical moment of blowing on such ethereal blooms to become one with nature and observe this signal of impermanence? Seeds to be carried by the breeze, perhaps close, perhaps very far, finding a tiny place on the Earth to await just the right amount of rain and sun to sprout to begin the cycle once again.   The cycle of life, the cycle that permeates every bit of space within our bodies, within our consciousness, in every organism and throughout the entire physical universe.

All things change.  This is one of the core axioms of all Eastern spirituality, a point totally missed (sadyly) by Western religions (at least as practiced today).

If we just pause a bit, and consider, the relationships we have with Everyone and Everything at this moment is not what it was yesterday, and really even a moment ago.  It is easier for us to perceive over time, facilitated as memory – that construct that our brain facilitates with its divine algorithms – and we see changes in how we interact with our children, with our lovers, with everyone we know, and then meeting knew people, even our spectrum of relationships itself changes.  To be opposed to such social change is to stagnate and begin to die within…..but count on impermanence to move even the worst person to another “place.”  Nothing can defy impermanence.  To live and move through this life we must embrace impermanence.

While impermanence is the nature of the universe itself, and is the only constant in the universe, we have within the ability to nurture and create an attitude of LOVE that also can be a “constant.”  Learning to LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY penetrates all states of compounded change in our relationships.  It is not an easy thing to do at times, but if cultivated, increases the light on our own paths, and will brighten the light of those we love and illuminate our worlds.

Buddha’s last words –  more or less (there are various translations and interpretations of those last words, of course) –  were:  everything changes; and strive to free yourselves.

So he was just reminding his monks of the impermanence of all, and that they needed each to free themselves from the cycle of existence (in accordance with Buddhist view).

While I as a Buddhist continue to explore the teachings,  the simplest thing to accept is the fact of impermanence.  I have found in my life that to be open to impermanence, to welcome and embrace it is to become one with Living.

What I have found in doing so is…. less suffering, greater vitality in relationships, dampening of ego, a knowing that I can create my world and change things for the better, all by realizing there is this wonderful aspect “thing” of impermanence that creates the space to make things better in the next moment.

So have an increasingly wonderful impermanent day!

 

 

 

“YOU’RE LIKE A BABY…..”

I loved this from from Neytiri, scolding Jake Sully.  But I also loved the “I see you” lines.  Both are highly loaded with deep connotations, and I dig deep stuff!

But what I am writing about today has to do with our human consciousness.  We truly are “babies” in the scheme of what we may become one day, and very likely within the multi-dimensional universe(s) that in my belief system is the One Mind, or ultimate Consciousness.

With all of our theories and experimental data today we really just have a hat full of puzzle pieces.  We don’t even really know for sure much  of anything about even our own self-awareness, our human consciousness, how it relates to the physical universe – including our own bodies – or how each of our individual consciousness and that of the animal and perhaps plant kingdom generates the physical presence we apprehend in space/time.  There are many theories, many long equations, and endless papers and books written as we attempt to bring together cosmology, quantum theory and the elusive “consciousness.”

So, we really are babes in the woods generated by our own mind.

Probably most people do not give much if any thought to why they perceive what they do.  However, many do, including myself.  It has become my hobby of sorts, trying to put together all the research and theories and speculation of others, so I can generate my own insight that “makes sense” to me.  Sort of following my intellectual bliss.  Were I smart enough to be a scientist I am afraid I would just get bogged down in the details, so it is fun to just be able to “belly surf” all this information.

It’s funny how most of us just take for granted that what we apprehend around us is “the way it actually is.”  Really we apprehend only what our senses and converters bring to our brain, mostly in the interest of natural self preservation.  But were we able to add to our senses, to “see” other forms of radiation for instance, or astral auras, or who knows what, the world that we would create would be so much different than what we now see.  But then our little brains would be overloaded with input, and likely just fry.

I got to thinking this morning about “what cat’s see” and “what dog’s see.”  Researchers seem to think they know, but I doubt they really do.  They can only externally  “see” how animals behavior responds, plus research of brain activity and so forth.  But they don’t really know what the animal sees or hears or the sum total of the full picture that is generated in the animal’s brain.  Of course we don’t even know if dogs and cats have self-awareness, although we do know they behave as if they have feelings that we humans identify with.  It seems all we can do is assess to what extent dogs, cats, and other animals respond in comparison to our own information processing.  But is it valid to make such a comparison?

By the way, sequels to Avatar are coming out! Can’t wait!!

“War, What is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing!”

(Title from the song “War” by Edwin Star, 1970)

Last evening I watched the last episode of the series “Vietname in HD,” ….on Amazon Prime videos.  I had been intending to watch this production for a while, but each time shied away, because by in large I knew already what I would see.  Or so I thought…..turns out I learned a lot, but was left continuing to shake my head at the horrible mistake Washington made in taking us into that quagmire.

I did not go to Vietnam, and I do thank the Creator Power every day for that.  I could have, but I think it was solely a matter of timing that kept me Stateside.  As I was off to pilot training in the USAF in 1969, the US had begun to pull back as Nixon’s plan was to withdraw most of our forces and hand the war over to the South Vietnamese forces entirely.  I quit pilot training (subject of a prior blog post – March 15, 2019) mid-way through the program and at the time fully expected orders for Vietnam, but as I said, with the decision to turn down our involvement, instead I was assigned to a nuclear missile base in North Dakota (a few guys I knew there who had been to Vietnam joked they would go back to get away from Minot…..but I knew they were kidding).

So I have always carried both a “thank God I didn’t have to go” and a sense of some guilt in having not gone.  I did not raise my hand then to say “I want to go to Vietnam,” and truthfully that was the last thing I desired at the time.  I was in the military voluntarily, home safe, while boys younger than I were being shot and blown to pieces, drafted and cast into the pit of gloom and doom.

While no war should be compared to another, Vietnam was HELL.  Each war is totally unique except that human beings suffer in all wars, and it’s usually the younger warriors who bear the brunt, except for civilians who suffer as much or more than combatants……”collateral damage” in “military speak.”  In Vietnam our “boys” endured month after month what in other wars might occur over days or a few weeks.  Most were draftees, and were ripped from their lives back home and sent to pass through Hell for a year or more.  The memorials around the Country attest to the price these men and women paid.

https://www.militaryfactory.com/vietnam/casualties.asp

Since the war, so many have continued to suffer in so many ways, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially……and like all our veterans of war, taking their own lives at a rate much higher than the norm.  So when you see an older man on the street or corner, with a Vietnam Vet cap or other such identification, believe me, he deserves whatever you can give him……to hell with ads that say don’t help street people!  Odds are this man saw things at the age of 19-22 almost daily that would make you vomit on the sidewalk if you witnessed it.

I was one leaders of the anti-war movement in North Texas in the early 2000’s…..and I am much more “proud” of that than my service time.  We used to sing the song “War” in our protest marches, to a lot of applause.

If you are not familiar with the various veterans organizations, here are a few links (of various “persuasions”):

http://vetsdayindallas.org/linksmvets.htm

https://www.ivaw.org/

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/

http://www.vvaw.org/

Today the only reason I could recommend the military to a young person is if they had very limited “other” choices in life.  Apparently very few young Americans are inclined to join, which has many consequences on various levels, mostly bad:

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2017/10/12/top-recruiter-just-136000-out-of-33-million-young-americans-would-join-the-army/

Since Vietnam the US has continued to insert our might into various parts of the world, all in the name of “democracy,” when matter of factly, it is usually only about control of resources or other economic factors that mostly maintain the wealth of the  1% of this Country.  Whether it was our little wars in Central America that contributed to the mass influx of those fleeing their homes now, trying to escape the horrors of life there, or the major f_** up of Iraq, resulting in ISIL, and all the other mess of that region, Americans at large need to wake up to Dwight Eisenhower’s caveat about the military-industrial complex…….when weapons are a major industry, they have to be sold and used.   See, “Lord of War,” the movie.

ANOTHER DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE

Funny thing since I retired last year after my 50 year career in engineering:  I discovered the joy of owning my entire day, instead of often going to sleep thinking about some problem at the office, then awakening with a jerk at 3 am with even more things about that problem and quickly sending myself an email to read when I got to work.  Occasionally though I got the insight needed to solve the problem, but the point here is that the “problem” was really not my problem, it was my client’s or employer’s really, and they had bought my peace as an exchange for their extracting a solution out of my mind.

Nowadays each morning I follow a routine, not one forced on me, but one that is attuned to my natural flow.  This gets me through part of the morning, and thereafter I can choose and pick from my menu, albeit a limited one….sort of like an in-flight menu….as to how I allocate time until it’s movie time (every evening).

All this informs that we each need to ask the question way, way before we reach “retirement” age, is this what I enjoy doing each day?  If not, one needs to figure out a way to change that situation, even if radical alteration of one’s life is the only real solution.  If one needs to get to another part of the Country to get the job you enjoy, then do it.  It may come with pain, but in time it will work out or other windows will open.

Living at times requires bold moves.  Find your bliss.  Don’t wait until the mythical retirement to find your own “day in the life of Joe.

If You Want to Know What “Whiteness” Really Is – Check out First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas

If the reader doesn’t already know what “whiteness” is,  I will trust your curiosity will motivate you to do some research on the web.  I am not referring to the “how white a white bed sheet is,” if you need a clue.

If there is a bastion of whiteness in America today, one such would be white evangelical churches, and FBC of Dallas ranks at the top:   a current pastor who fully supports Trump, and a prior pastor who for some 50 years railed against integration.  Therefore, I will extend the rubric of whiteness to just plain ol’ racism in this case.

One of the mega churches in Dallas, one that Billy Graham had his membership in although he didn’t live in Texas, this church was founded in the mid-1800’s, and its members no doubt represented the mainstream and City leaders through the last 150 years.  And, let’s keep in mind Dallas had the largest KKK membership in the Nation during the 1920’s, routinely beating, and lynching Blacks.  What a history to be proud of.

Is it a mystery that Blacks who have attended and joined such white evangelical churches have left them in droves in recent times, given these churches NEVER condemn any atrocity or policy that is inflicted on African Americans and people of color…. for instance, police murdering black and brown men and women seemingly at will and almost never being indicted?  One black woman’s story I read, said Whites in her big white church didn’t even know the name Travon Martin, while she herself was losing sleep about the boy’s murder; however, I conjecture these same people knew the name Colin Kaepernick!

If there ever was a more non-Christian group of people on Earth than white evangelicals, I would not even want to know who really.  Like I said recently in a post, I believe in multiverses, and the consciousness of these people are definitely not in my universe.

99% of evangelicals polled say they support Trump, even now, with all the EVIL he continues to sew throughout the world.  How can that be?  Has to be another universe.