Category Archives: Happening in the World

Gun Safety for Kids

Late last week a news article was on my FaceBook feed.  I can’t find it now or I’d post it here.  It talked about and showed clips of a place that is teaching kids gun safety.  The location looked a lot like an indoor gun range with classrooms.

My dad had guns and would go hunting.  He taught us gun safety at home. First rule is always assume the weapon is loaded and Never point it at another person.

Something in the video bothered me.  It took me til today to figure out the problem.

In the video, the target the kids are shooting at is a human silhouette, not concentric circles.

This class is not teaching gun safety, it’s teaching children to point guns at people and pull the trigger. The very opposite of the first rule I was taught.

Of course more people will be shot and killed, children are learning to shoot and kill people in gun safety class. And that saddens me.

 

Advertisements

A Quiet Protest at Home

hunt county tomatos

Volunteer Texas Wild Hunt county tomatoes

I stand for peace.

I stand for the same rights for all people.

I stand for the children and the widows and the homeless.

I stand for differences bring not only OK but celebrated.

I stand for choices

And I do it at home.

Each time I …

play music,

work in my garden,

say hello to my neighbors,

try a new recipe

taking all this to the library and teaching people it’s OK to drop and pick it back up.  I take it to the community garden and work and say, “Here’s an easy plant to grow.” or “Here’s a native tomato. It’s little but it packs a lot of flavor. And this year the tomato plants in my back yard are all volunteers. They grew on their own.”

And like a ripple in a pond, the effects of my protest will continue to spread and change lives.

Quite and peacefully.

 

Touching History

Sunday, I met Dolores Huerta. I took my grand-daughter to a screening of ‘Dolores’, a documentary about the work Dolores did for the Farm workers union. Not only for, but in creating it.

She made history even if she never makes it in the history books. My grand-daughter and I were able to say hello, thank you and take a picture.

And I’d like to think we picked up the baton in away.  Not to say that what we have done to this point isn’t relevant. Sunday was a moment in time for reflection and intention. We, too, are a part of history, even if we never make it to the history books.

Yesterday, I had lunch with someone who, until we sat down, I did not know she is helping organize a march.  I told her if she needed help with phone calls, I could do that.

And stand in prayer

  • For the leaders
  • For the people
  • for the now
  • for the future

And with Dolores say, “Si, Se Puede!”

What history will you be making?

Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta

On Women Speaking Up

I recently read this article on Taylor Hirth. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8557036/taylor-hirth-gang-rape-independence-missouri/

It appears her case wasn’t investigated as thoroughly as it could have been. She also felt that she was the one under investigation.  How rapes are handled, viewed and dismissed is largely the reason women do not speak up.

Look at other allegations such as those against Bill Cosby.  Once someone spoke up, others gained the courage to do so as well.

In the article, Taylor, who is a victim’s advocate, asks, “How, having gone through what I went through and am still going through, can I still encourage women to report?”

I would reply, especially since she has gone through the same thing, she can encourage the women AND let them know it is a difficult journey.  If Taylor hadn’t reported, the evidence would not have been in the system and her child’s endangerment would not be one of the charges against these men.

Who am I to say to speak up?

I was sexually assaulted at a public swimming pool.  A neighbor boy grabbed me from behind in the pool and twisted my nipple.  Of course I screamed and fought to be let go.

The life guard and the boy had and verbal exchange, all the while the boy continued to hurt me. He told the guard I wanted it.  He only let go when he was ready. I didn’t want it. I didn’t even know he was at the pool.

I already knew to stay away from him and his younger brother. When they first moved in, the younger boy and another neighbor girl exchanged words.  He knocked her down and kicked her in the chest.

When the girl went to tell his mother, I among a few other neighbor girls who had witnessed the exchange, went with her. The mother’s reply to the report was, “boys will be boys.”

We girls had grown up that boys don’t hit girls.  These boys lived by a different set of rules.

So nothing happened of consequence afterwards.

Except I didn’t go to the pool any longer. And until today, I’ve never spoken of what happened.

If we, who have been attacked do not speak up, the perpetrators will continue to go free without consequence to treat others in the same way. It is a long and hard journey but what type of world do we want for ourselves, for others and our children?

An Example of Grace

Recently Grace Parker, reported missing, was found dismembered. A horrific story unfolds as days go by. Her adopted mother and boyfriend accused of what has happened to Grace.

And then I read some details of who Grace was. People have stepped forward and shared that Grace made friends at school with others who didn’t have many friends.  She told those friends the people at home are mean.

Lately, I’ve been chewing on what does one do in the face of bullies. There are those type of bullies that will back down when confronted, but  there are those bullies that will do what they do and more damage is done.

Grace dealt with her situation as best she could. She didn’t let the mean people dampen who she was.  She choose to be kind and reach out to others.

I will do that as well.  I will stand up to the bullies by living my life well.  I will reach out to those around me and seek to make a difference where I can. I choose to be kind, regardless of what others are choosing to do. And I thank Grace for being an example of a way to stay strong and true to oneself in the face of adversity.

Grace, may you rest in peace.

They Said the Titanic was Unsinkable, and the Pipeline Unbreakable

The company building the Dakota Access PipeLine(DAPL) has repetitively made assurances that there will be no spill from their efforts.  They dismiss the protesters concerns and have called for local and federal law enforcement in assistance to remove the obstruction to their plans to move forward no matter what.

However, in 1988 near Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania Ashland spill occurred, in 2010 BP spilled oil in the Gulf Coast, in 2013 there were spills in Arkansas(Mayflower) and in a field near Bismark North Dakota. This oil spill in the land covered the equivalent of 7 football fields.

In October of this year, 2016, spills occurred in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

And still this company stands with the comments that their pipeline won’t spill.  If that is true, wouldn’t it behoove them to sell their special pipes to these other oil companies that do no seem able to keep oil from contaminating the land and waterways of America?

Is the Federal government tracking the viability of these areas that have been compromised?  How is the water for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia since the spill in 1988?  These are the states that reports show were impacted by the spill.

How is the water in the Gulf? When was the last time the water and wildlife tested?

Today, I am calling my Federal representatives both in Congress and Senate to ask HR5979 at their local office. This is the Energy and Water Research integration Act.  The one created in 2007 HR5189 requires a plan.  I’m going to ask where to get a copy.

Find out who your representatives are http://whoismyrepresentative.com.

I’m also going to contact EPA Donna Downing at 202-566-2428 and Army Corps of Engineers Stacey Jensen at 202-761-5856 both are listed in the EPA waters of the US Rule documentation.  I will update this page if these contacts have changed.

Instead of repeating that their pipeline won’t break which is unrealistic bearing that other pipelines have failed, offer a plan for containment and clean up would be more reassuring as well as more believable.

Why is George Zimmerman Still at Large?

We need to change the law.

In 2005, George Zimmerman assaulted an undercover police officer.  Charges were dropped when he entered an anger management program.

In 2012, George Zimmerman shot an killed an unarmed minor, Trayvon Martin . He was acquitted of second degree murder. We take his word that he feared for his life.

In 2013, 2015 and 2016 police were called out for domestic and public disturbances involving Mr. Zimmerman.

In 2014 Mr. Zimmerman was in an altercation with Matthew Apperson who has received a sentence of 20 years in prison for attempted second-degree murder. We take Mr. Zimmerman’s word over Mr. Apperson’s word.

Has Mr. Zimmerman completed the 2005 anger management program? Why were the charges of this early if not first encounter dropped?  Wouldn’t it have been better to tie the completion of the program to probation? At the least, can’t we have Mr. Zimmerman attend anger management classes again?

As long as George Zimmerman is out walking the streets, there will be reports of some kind of violence. When will he be held accountable for his actions? And others like him?

 

The Hope of a Baby and a Bud

If I am not careful, my thoughts will turn to all the ways the world will end, zombies, aliens, terrorists, elections and epidemics both health and monetary vie for the top spot.  It is a bad day when they all happen simultaneously. I think why even try? What’s the point?

And then, I will get distracted by a video interview of the mother who just had a baby at the Dakota pipeline protest encampment.  Baby girl slept peacefully throughout the interview.

Or, I will check on my plants and see that the stick of hydrangea I have on my kitchen counter has sprouted leaf buds.

Babies and plants are not too worried about all the disaster I play in out in my head.  They are doing what they do best. And that they are, gives me hope.

They are the reason to try.  They are the point. I won’t just hold on to the hope, I’ll pass it around. Won’t you do likewise?

I Will Stand for Victim of Incest

It is reported that a judge up north has given a father who committed incest a lighter sentence because the mother and grandmother asked for leniency because he has two sons. These two women made written statements that the sons would be devastated if they did not have their father in their lives.

And because no one stood for the daughter the judge complied.

I will stand for the daughter. I will say that I will not lightly look at what has been done to her by her father and say it is less devastating than the boys loosing their father.

I will say she deserves to have justice.  To be told what was done to her was wrong. No man should be allowed to touch her in the way her father did. She should have resources available to her to heal from this as well as not to have to live in the same household and risk further harm.

She has a right to live fully and reach her full potential as a human being.

And I see in other reports that there are many others who think and feel as I do.  I hope she gets the message that there are those who care and care deeply.

Mercy for a Judge Who Showed None

http://www.africanamerica.org/topic/pa-judge-sentenced-to-28-years-for-selling-black-teens-to-prison

This article states the defense attorneys asked for mercy for ‘he will forever be unjustly branded as the ‘Kids for Cash’ judge’

Unjustly branded? The man was convicted.  He did take money and send kids to prison. He paying for his actions by going to prison himself.

Which he didn’t show to the youth of his community when he passed judgement on them.

If this leader of the community wanted to be remembered for something other than profiting from his position, he should have made other choices.

People, when and if you are ever tempted to do something in secret, behind closed doors, think about what will happen if this action comes to light and the doors are opened wide for all to see.

Or you too will be asking your defense attorneys to request mercy on crimes you have committed.