City of Colorado Springs: Homelessness and Poverty

Tree Guard in Stratton Open Space

Tree Guard

September 3, 2015

Honorable Mayor Suthers and City Council Members,

I understand your dilemma with regard to the issue of people displaying themselves in what you have deemed as inappropriate places and in inappropriate manner.

It saddens me to see our beautiful city streets filled with poverty and homelessness. No one in our nation or the world should be living in such a manner! We the people have been lazy. You only have to look at our voting records and the state of so much dis-ease in the world to see how little involvement citizens have taken in governing ourselves better.

It is everyone’s job, not just yours to find positive and long term solutions to homelessness and poverty.  We are not alone in this struggle. Our entire nation struggles with this scourge on our planet. Now, our city has an incredible opportunity. We can become a beacon in this endeavor; if we all put our heads together and take time.

I believe you could postpone acting on ORD 9.2.112 and give the citizens, businesses and organizations of Colorado Springs an opportunity and time to assist you in coming up with more positive and long term solutions.

I have a few idea:

  1. Lets get our community businesses (Home Depot for instance) and people who have graciously contributed to Habitat for Humanity to rise to this emergency by creating more housing for the homeless.
  2. Lets began a City of Colorado Springs Work program which many of the homeless could fill; With this creative effort our tax dollars would be spent to give people pride and encouragement. Good will goes a very long way to keeping peace and justice!  Much more so than jail and fines.

These kinds of ideas are what is needed. Ideas which bring positive and long term solutions. I want to live in a city that shines and is a beacon for other cities. Colorado Springs can be that city if our focus and attention address the root causes of poverty and homelessness.

Thank you,

Gail Black

Limbo Dancing and Raising the Bar!

grass fedIt’s happening folks! Humanity is raising its’ consciousness bar, our dollars are talking and businesses are paying attention.

Due to our technological advancement, we can mobilize, organize, and connect with more people faster than ever! The information we are sharing is making an enormous impact on our culture. Good changes are occurring. We are ‘walking our talk’. A couple of recent events:

Thanks to Investor Demands, Wendy’s Will No Longer Be Slinging Soda to Kids

Wow! Maybe ‘kids’ can slow down. Who knows what will happen when they do…and who the heck are these ‘investors’, I want to shake their hands’.

“Wendy’s  joins McDonald’s, Subway, Chipotle, Arby’s, and Panera as the newest quick-serve restaurant to remove soda from its kids’ menu.”

‘Hat’s off’! Bravo! Good work! Well done! Brilliant!

Dude, They Found Your Carnitas: Chipotle Solves Its Pork Crisis

“Thanks to Niman Ranch’s emergency supply of humanely raised hogs, the meat will be returning to your burrito shortly.”

I don’t eat pork, just can’t. However, Chipotle is deffinately marching to its’ on kind of business drum…personally I’m excited about their ‘beat’. Who knows what else Chipotle has in mind. I’ve  a suspicion. You’re going to see more and more ‘Organic farmers’ at their doors! I’d also like to know more about Niman Ranch’s pork farm. I want to say thank you for rearing his pigs humanely and find out where else he sales his humanely raised pork.

We’re discovering and educating ourselves faster than ever about the good stuff. Our dollars are having a huge voice. It’s a language all industry understand and our dollars are changing our businesses.

It’s our ability to mobilize and organize and to get information out about these changes which are raising our bar on the kind of food we want.  Whether it’s a  ‘consciousness shift’ or for some other reason. It’s incredible to witness.

Hats off to all you ‘nerds’ for creating this technology!

The organic industry, and it is an industry, has a different consciousness, it’s an industry about sustaining the world with nourishing and growing without non-toxic chemicals, rearing healthy and happy livestock. Want a fun job and lasting job. Become an ‘organic’ anything it’s a sustaining and growing industry, growing faster than any other food industry!

Industry may not listen to just one of us, but when we put our voices together, we will be heard. Oh, one more ‘hats off’ Here’s to all the ‘tree huggers’ who never give up!

Happy Tree Hugging Trails!

 

My Dream

Once upon a time we reproduced to shun extinction. Now we must stop reproduction for the same reason.My Dream

is that we be more realistic about how many humans our world can sustain. Do we need to continually manipulate nature to support a population who seem to believe there is no boundaries to how many people our world can sustain?  Are the consequences we are witnessing not enough evidence of our mis-guided nature? Introducing poisons’ into the world to manipulate agriculture and feed an over-populated world; when you think about it, it’s a craziness.

My dream is that we are more thoughtful in our approach to bringing more and more humans to the the planet.

Is sex a form of entertainment? Is your only claim to fame having a baby…then our world is doomed! The challenges our children face are greater than what we adults in our mis-guided actions can presently correct. It’s appalling that we would bring more children here; believing life will be better for them and they can correct our mistakes. Is it fair to bring children into a world which is bursting at the seam and scrambling to sustain an already over-populated world which is continually at war, with systems of government who work for the rich? Governments who view it’s population as mere resources and pawns and care so little that every society has poverty and suffering…and its’ citizens say, ‘It’s okay that we have poverty and suffering, it’s always been this way’!

is that our development stops creeping in on wildlife habitat; that we continually expand spaces which acknowledge our inter-connectedness with nature and wildlife. My dream is for spaces that celebrate this connectedness; exciting and joyful places; places where bird songs, babbling brooks and the wind through the trees supply much of the entertainment we crave. Am I delusional?

My dream is that Offices’ of Economic Development and Public Finance around the world offer environmental incentives which have an extremely high tax break for people and business who want to move here and NOT drain or poison our resources, employee locally; and not destroy wildlife and natural habitats. Wildlife does not understand the ‘concrete jungle’ that keeps crumbling the land.

My dream is that all governments make education (free for everyone) and infrastructure (including agriculture) their priorities.

My dream is that everyone accepts their responsibility as a steward to our planet and understands what being a steward means: Setting aside our ‘wanting’ to look at what is ‘needed’.

 

Is this a crazy dream?

 

What Love is Like

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Love is finding and taking time to feel your body and give it what it needs to perform optimally. Love is taking time to know yourself. Love is finding and taking time to know yourself; discovering the fundamental truths of creation, evolution and involution of the world. Love is making and taking time to understand everything. I caught myself counting numbers and not feeling, I stopped right away.

The Power and Politics Behind What We Eat

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The more I read about pet food; the more I learn about human food and how the two are connected; which in turn brings me to the power and politics behind what we eat…and, more importantly three simple things you and I can do to make positive  changes! 

This story does not have a pretty beginning and is scary…however, I’ve fond that facing my fear does something amazing; I find myself feeling confident and strong. I love this kind of experience and keep coming back for more! So hang onto your hat and join me in facing some ugly and distasteful things that go on with our food. Think of it as ‘life and death’! And, we get be the hero of the story.

Ever wonder where dead animals go? Probably not. I didn’t until I started looking at why some pet foods were being recalled. I decided to be brave and go deep into the ‘why’. Don’t bury your head. We can get through this together and I promise there is a ray of hope at the end.

The classified ad read:

Help Wanted: person to operate bobcat mini-dozer; loading ‘raw material’ into a 10-foot-deep stainless-steel pit; operate giant auger-grinder.

Looking for work? Does this sound like your kind of job? You discover at the bottom of this ‘stainless-steel pit, a giant auger-grinder begins to turn and you hear popping bones and squeezing flesh. This is a gruesome nightmare! Who does this kind of job? I’ve been trying to find out the job title for the person who does this job. In one recent article I read these jobs are held by: Bandanna-masked men; undocumented workers from Mexico doing a dirty job that no one else wants to do. I wonder where these jobs are, what kind of pay …and where these ‘raw materials’ come from.

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The Most Fascinating and Fantastic Machine in Existence: Invisible in Education

What is this ‘machine’? Any guesses? Hang on to your hat. It’s not what you think.

The mechanization of the ‘human body’ sounds cold and calculated to me; which I am not. I don’t like referring to my body as a machine. Nor does my Tai Chi Master. However, much of the scientific world does:

“The human body is the most fascinating and fantastic machine in existence. No one understands all of its many mysteries; and no single source can do justice to its many parts.” –  Education World

How can this be true in the 21st Century?

This being said, why the heck can’t I find any Human Body System curriculum  in the ‘New Standards for a New Generation K-12 Science Education‘? I looked and looked to find reference to ‘Human Body System’ education in these Standards from the ‘National Science Standards’ and could find nothing. Why, when no one seems to understand all of its many mysteries; and no single source can do justice to its many parts, is there no Human Body System curriculum in the National Science Standards?  Why have we ignored our ancient scholars? They believed to ‘Know Thyself’ was important enough to carve the  message in stone over the mythical tomb of Apollo ! These ancient sages surmised that to ‘Know Thyself’ creates a rippling effect:

“Self-knowledge is all-encompassing. What is learned on one scale of experience can be applied to all scales. It is the highest form of knowledge, surpassing all other knowledge. Self-knowledge is also timeless, which means that what is gained in one era, benefits all subsequent generations.” 

A teacher friend said I could quote her ‘anonymously:

Learning about our bodies and how they work is one of the most important things we can learn in science class. I think I’ve learned more about it once I needed to understand how my body was malfunctioning (and that of my friends & family). There’s no standard that addresses “you are what you eat.” I wish I could create lessons about “stop eating processed foods because….” or “an acidic body, cancer, and you” or “there’s wheat flour and sugar in everything you eat” or “eat organic or else.” You get the jist, I’m sure. Our 7th graders have been studying the different systems in our body this semester, but it really is just an intro-level. I was lucky enough to be given a lot of control over the curriculum teaching in bush Alaska so during biology I emphasized (read-spent more time on) the human body systems.”

Her 7th grade class gets ‘just an ‘intro-level’ reference to the Human Body System! Ask your child how many joints are in her/his hand. Or, do you know? I didn’t until I took Tai Chi. Knowing so little about the human body, is there any wonder there is ever increasing suffering and disease in the world? What else can we expect when the Human Body System is invisible or just a footnote in our educational institutions! Oh, you say education about our bodies should be left up to the parents? Really? The majority of parents have not been educated about their bodies. Talking about ones body in my household was ‘Taboo’, and I suspect it was the same in most households.

What’s Nipping at Your Heals?

helicopter1 horsesThere’s so many different things that can be nipping at our heals. For me, it’s animals on the run, furry little beasts that share my home, a friend with cancer, another friend who says I should write a book, Tai Chi, holidays, and how to juggle it all.

It’s 5 degrees. My terrier is unprepared for the cold and doesn’t have the proper coat. He’s perched on his crate and looks longingly at the birds and squirrels who feed out the window. I let them (my golden too) walk a block to the mail box and before we return to the house the terrier is already limping. I ordered him a winter coat and now think he needs booties as well. Now when I let them out there back in a flash…I think they get it.

My friend has really bad cancer. Her doctor says she should get her ‘affairs in order’. So I wonder how do we approach this with her. I go to sleep at night thinking how I would cope with such a task…not to mention the knowledge that I’ve little time left. I’m not sure what my friend has or has not done. My head goes reeling and I know there is no way I can imagine how she feels. Real or Not Real? The difference is mind boggling. There is a ‘team’ of friends who are coming together to support her in whatever way we can. Another friend says we should do a conference call and make a list of what needs to happen and who can do what. I think it’s a very good idea. Perhaps there is already a list out there. I shall see. Turns out there are hundreds of lists of things to do before one dies. Here’s one link

My friend Carol says I should write a book. I can almost count on one hand the number of people who read at The Way of Animals. I might say The Way of Animals is a book. There’s a title, content is listed; however, the content is apparently not compelling. Not slick enough. Not intriguing enough. Not ‘fast and furious’ enough. No fantasy. Where’s the ‘matrix’? Perhaps the characters could stand some embellishment. Ah, that does seem to be the ticket. Fantastic heroes and villains who leap off the page! Not a bad idea…it’s certainly worked for others. I could call it fiction! Does anyone since a ‘comic book’ in the making? This guy is one of my favorites. How cute is he? He represents the 1% of the 1% who control our world!

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Now all I need to do is to go through the different articles and create characters. How fun is this? Anyone want to join the search? If so, ‘Subscribe’ (top right) and let me know. This may or may not be the correct approach, I’m sure someone, probably many someones, have written books on the proper approach to writing a book. However, I don’t want to spend my time there. I’d rather just write and create characters.

Now what was the focus of this ‘post’ about? Well, I started out explaining the ‘nipping’ at my heals. We’ve all got things nipping. Want to share some of what’s nipping at your heels?

Happy Trails!

Understanding Climate, Catastrophic Consequences and Changes

Earth boyClimate seems like such a complicated issue…or do we make it so simply to keep from taking the appropriate steps to correct our behavior. Catastrophic consequences to humanities bad choices is leaving the worlds population with options we would rather not consider. However, we must not only consider, we must act now!

“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” – Mark Twain

It is way past time in developing a World Policy for cleaning up human kinds mess…isn’t that the function of the ‘Climate Talks’? Though it may be inconvenient and costly, the world’s population has to ‘bite the bullet’. Each country, according to their ‘tons of co2 emissions’ pays! Heavy $ fines per ton…which would lessen as we clean up our act. We could also create ‘heavy $ incentives’ for those who reach certain levels! It’s really pretty simple. However, as always the ‘power players’, those with the greatest impact and who would receive the heaviest fines are not willing to create such a plan! No surprise there.

“Rising global temperatures lead to other changes around the world, such as stronger hurricanes, melting glaciers, and the loss of wildlife habitats. That’s because the Earth’s air, water, and land are all related to one another and to the climate.” –  Climate Concepts, a Students Guide to Global Climate Change

We all bought into this mess, so we all have to clean it up!!!! Nobody seems to want to pay for their mistakes and take responsibility for climate deterioration. It really is ‘simple’. We all live here, we all must be responsible stewards of the planet. Anything else is trying to skip around the truth!

“The best discoveries we make are when we step out of our comfort zones.” – Erin Pettit, Global Warming: NG Live!: Erin Pettit: Glaciers on the Run

Breaking down and identifying who holds the most responsibility is fairly simple. We have more than enough data to do so. Some will pay more for their part, others will pay less. We can also create rewards or incentives, jobs and a budget for people all over the world to help make these changes happen.

WE are ‘already there’ (past the point of no return). We’ve all witnessed the consequences of our actions. We’ve already opened that door and it can not be closed. The best we can do is understand, take what we have learned and do differently; adjust to the changes already occurring and minimize further destruction by stopping what isn’t working!  WE act now or, what’s the saying, continue to ‘bite off our nose despite our face’!

Happy Trail Cleaning!

Americans Just Wanta Have Fun!

“The American public does not want to be uplifted, ennobled–it wants to be amused.”

Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935). novelist. social worker. and teacher

Alice was a poet, journalist and political activist. And, some sort of visionary, from where I stand. She was among the first generation born free in the south after the Civil War, she was one of the prominent African Americans involved in the artistic flourishing of the Harlem Renaissance. Alice and I have much in common. She knew what many of us are aware of…I wonder what she would think if she were here today?

Who doesn’t want to escape? You work hard all day, at a job you’re not crazy about; for a boss who doesn’t appreciate how brilliant you are; then you come home too exhausted to cook; so you through an empty of anything nutritious excuse for food into a microwave; which kills any remaining nutrition; or you open up a carton of ice cream hoping to stop that ineffable hunger you just can’t seem to reach!

Even when you are aware of the diabolical account of how four Anglo-American agribusiness giants plan world domination by patenting life forms to gain worldwide control of our food supply and our lives; remnants of how we controlled the Indians’ comes to mind, ‘destroy their food and you control their destiny’! Dealing with all this reality is just too darn daunting! Isn’t it?

A recent New York Times article reports; “The average American spends more on entertainment than on gasoline, household furnishings and clothing and nearly the same amount as spent on dining out, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” It’s been estimated by the Twentieth Century Fund that Americans spend 40 billion dollars per year for total recreation expenditures in the United States.  Personally, I believe that’s a conservative figure and agree with Alice; we’re on an ‘amusement ride and we don’t want to get off’‘. I also believe that keeping the population entertained is high on the list for those few men who control all our lives. Contemplating this, I tear myself away from a recorded segment of  ‘American Idol’!  Me, I’m just another would be victim. But I will not go quietly!

William Engdahl’s book ‘Seeds of Destruction’  is a diabolical account of how four Anglo-American agribusiness giants plan world domination by patenting life forms (GMOs) to gain worldwide control of our food supply and our lives. This review is in three in-depth parts. Part I was published and is available on this web site.

Today, government subsidies for agriculture in the industrialized nations of North America, Western Europe and East Asia (Japan and South Korea) is over a Billion Dollars a Day! Did I mention this is just the subsidies. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that the organic farmer is not the recipient of any of these dollars. You might ask why; inquiring minds want to know…including mine.

I’ve just ordered the ‘Seeds of Destruction’ and am excited to get it in my hands. It will be interesting to see if the book reveals some correlation between what I discovered during my 10 years in Washington.

I’m interested in what our great leaders and writers in the past thought about our country and the direction we took and are taking. President Woodrow Wilson made a disturbing statement; what’s more disturbing is knowing what to do with the knowledge that The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men”. President Woodrow Wilson said upon reflecting on the passage of the Federal Reserve Act.

“I am a most unhappy man, I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominate men”

And then President Thomas Jefferson said:

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

Sometimes I feel like drowning myself in ‘fun’. I don’t want to face the realities I dig up. But then the fun gets to feel so shallow and empty. What should I be doing with my time? What do I have the energy to do with my time? The majority of us are under paid and work long hours just to barely get by. The majority of us are so under-nourished we don’t have the energy to complain, much less the fortitude to make a change. And then there’s this emptiness inside, and no entertainment and nothing we eat seems to satisfy it!

Entertainment sometimes gives a true picture of what is really going on in government and what some of our politicians think about those of us who voice our opinions and disagreements. For instance:

Francis steps onto the street and encounters an irate screaming citizen the police have handcuffed to a light pole and says; “Nobody can hear you, nobody cares about you, nothing will come of your screaming, why don’t you let these nice gentlemen take you home.” 

House of Cards, Season 1, Episode 2 at 4:29 minutes

A Planet of Super Beings

As a young girl, I experienced leaving my body on a daily basis. It was scary. I would lay in my bed and look down at myself. I could fly through the window and travel through the sky by some miracle I could not understand. My mission was to save lives. I was afraid to tell anyone about my adventures, I did not know how to explain what was happening. As I grew older, I experienced these episodes less and less.

I went to many different churches when I was a young girl. My mother encouraged me to explore them all. Who was this Jesus Christ they were talking about?  All the churches agreed he was an extraordinary and wonderful human being.

I wanted to believe what they said. However, truth be known, I followed the girls and boys I liked to the churches they attended and listened more to my heart than the words being said.

As a young girl, I was susceptible to anything and everything, weren’t we all?  My heart opened freely. I felt a kinship with the spirit of this God they talked about. I liked the ‘goodness and ‘mercy’ the churches talked about. The path to ‘Kingdom Come’ was a clear and bright trail that I wanted to travel. Jesus Christ was a leader I could follow. He knew the way and I was going to follow in his footsteps. I surrendered. I gave myself up and was baptized (maybe more than once). I wanted to lap up those Jesus powers. It was like ‘Science Fiction’!  I was captivated.

I wonder. Did Jesus fully understand his power? I think not. I Imagine he was, just as I am when I get in touch with my power, it’s scary. Getting in touch with my true nature frightens me. Don’t get too close; for what in the world will I do with such power? Marianne Williamson says it best:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

I believe Jesus was an ordinary human being; just like you and me. He lived in a time that was unadulterated. His essence was pure.  Unadulterated. No impurities altered his physical, mental or spiritual body. Jesus exemplified the true nature of who we are! Human beings had the capacity to be ‘Godlike’. Human beings were closer to their true nature than at any time in our history. Did he stumble into being a leader?

“He never intended to start a church or a new religion. He did not understand himself to be the divine Son of God; rather, he saw himself as the “Son of [hu]Man[ity]” or an “average Joe.” Not only did he not start a church, but he also joined the reform movement of John the Baptizer (aka John the Baptist), who was a popular and charismatic Jewish prophet.” –  Truthdig

All this digging into who Jesus was and what message he conveyed is a prelude to who we are: we are a ‘Planet of Super Beings‘. This is the ‘image of God’ we are made!  As soon as we accept our destiny we will become who we are meant to be.  As soon as we understand that our essence, our social consciousness, and our physical being are being manipulated, we will have the power to decide to make the choice of becoming the ‘image of God’ we are meant to be. 

The well-being of our Planetary home and all life is at stake. One only has to look around and witness what’s happening to our planet and all its inhabitants. The changes needed today will go beyond much of what we have loved and coveted.

Until we set a new model for governing in place…the guy living in the Whitehouse and everyone else in government; Republicans, Democrats, doesn’t matter what party, they operate from a system of governing which is obsolete and does not meet the needs of our Planetary home or it’s inhabitants. Our economic system must be turned on its head. We have to install persons in governing with the desire to operate our planet with its critical systems and well-being at the heart.

Kate Raworth outlines a model for governing which is based on our Planetary home, well-being and our planet’s critical systems. We need humans like her in government. People like her in a powerful position could turn the world leaders to govern in a similar manner! Watch the video, do as she asks. Spread the video. https://youtu.be/1BHOflzxPjI

We have a couple of choices when it comes to change;  do as Kate suggests or keep traveling the trail of dissolution and destruction. The choice we make will reshape our planet into a flourishing and vibrate home…or, continue chomping away at the heals of our world, leaving a sick, dying and fearful world.

 Happy Doughnut Economy trails!