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

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?

 

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

Ineffable Hunger: A Driving Force for Discovery

Rocky Mountain Trail

I listened as the teacher said to the young boy. “We each have a destiny; fulfilling this destiny is our purpose.”

Do you understand what this teacher meant? Are you on the road to fulfilling your destiny? Or, has the road become dark and your path uncertain? Have you reached what seems to be an ‘impassable juncture’? If you feel yourself at this juncture…this is where you dig deep into your heart; you call on ‘something for which there seems to be no proof’.

“Nobody else knows your reason for being. You do. Your bliss guides you to it. When you follow your bliss, when you follow your path to joy, your conversation is of joy, your feelings are of joy — you’re right on the path of that which you intended when you came forth into this physical body.”

– Abraham Hicks

I like what Abraham says: it’s encouraging. However, if you are really in a crunch…like reached the bottom of the pit or that impassable juncture, it would seem difficult to just jump up and feel that inner light. If we could all reach it so easily…well, we and the world would definitely be very different.

Reason For Being

How do we reach this ‘purpose or destiny?’ How do we find that ‘light’ we supposedly brought with us into our body at the very beginning’? Since stepping back in time is not an option for me. My journey to finding  away out of what seems to be an ‘impassable juncture’ at times is by taking responsibility for my well being. I’ve discovered there is ‘no quick fix’! I’ll say this again: there is no quick fix! If you believe the pharmaceutical industry will develop a pill to insure your well being and help you on your path to fulling your purpose; you’re delusional!

What works for me…and I imagine for many, is to go to a quiet place. Ideally a place where there is no electricity. Surrounding oneself with running water, trees, nature sounds. Get out of the static…the cities are full of static and crazy makers: television is the number one culprit. I’m so grateful television was not around when I grew up. Entertainment was an outside event! I ran in the woods on a daily basis.

Nature is the best medicine. A walk in the woods is free and easy.  One step after the other will lead to waking up the heart and freeing your inner light. Find or create some ‘quiet’. Having a place where your mind can be still is crucial. When your environment is quiet, your mind can take a breath and empty out all the static buildup. Take long deep breaths; hear the birds twittering in the trees; water; rustling leaves. The wind blowing through pine trees sounds like an ocean. Did you know it takes a tree 24 hours to take a breath! Imagine! Take some slow and deep easy breaths. Sit, close your eyes.

If you can do this on a daily basis or as often as you can, you will feel joy and peace enter into your being. For me there is no doubt. I’m proof positive. I feel Joy and Peace everyday. Humans can not do without nature. The more we separate ourselves from nature the less fulfilled we become. There is no substitute. Nothing is more positive. Nothing brings more joy. Nothing brings more peace. See it. Feel it.  Believe it.

As I continue to do this: inner light, peace and joy fills my heart and illuminates the path I have been seeking; the path helps to fill my ‘ineffable hunger’. What better purpose? What better destiny?

Happy Trails!