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monicaangela On August - 22 - 2014

bay window

As I sit here in a tiny alcove off the kitchen of my home staring out of a large bay window into the distance, having my first cup of coffee and just chilling as some in my neighborhood might say I begin to think of the events that are occurring in the world today.

I did not know James Foley personally, I did not know Michael Brown personally, and I did not know Officer Darren Wilson personally. I don’t know any of the protesters in Ferguson Missouri personally and I don’t know any of the members of ISIS personally, but these people have come into my life of late, and as I sit here grieving for some, being angry at others, I begin to realize just how much of an effect this is having on me.

Yesterday I got into a heated discussion with a friend over the events taking place in Israel/Gaza, so that also lingers in the back of my mind as I stare out into what I consider a beautiful garden. I get up early, so I have an opportunity to watch the daylight begin to brighten my yard, making objects I could not see a few minutes ago visible now. I marvel at the peace and tranquility. It is almost as though something in my mind expected to see something other than a peaceful garden, with trees , shrubbery, manicured grass and flowers, some flowers already open and ready to experience the onslaught of butterflies and bees that come to feed, and the glorious life giving sun that will make them stand to attention. The sprinklers were on, but have long since shut down, so everything although not wet is still as though it has had its morning shower, bright, shiny and ready for the day.

My mind goes back to my discussion with my friend, the discussion I told you about earlier and I continue to think of something he said, it just won’t leave my mind. His statement was “Is Israel creating recruits for ISIS?”  “Are the police creating animosity and ill will toward themselves?”  “Will the actions of the police in Ferguson and around the country cause citizens to become militant?” Very good questions I answered. I’ll tell you what I think, I said. I believe Israel is creating resentment and could be encouraging Palestinians to look more favorably upon the militant arm of Hamas.

Why do I say this?  Let me tell you. I say this because of what happened to James Foley. James Foley? My friend asks what he has to do with this. My answer to him was the following: We were discussing how horrible it was that James Foley had died in such a horrible way in the hands of ISIS. We  agreed on how horrible it was and how horrible it must have been for his parents and those that saw his execution on video. Neither of us has watched the video, and my personal opinion is that I will never intentionally seek out the video to watch it. I continued with my theory. Think about this I said, if we both feel this upset about a man we did not know personally, if we are saying to each other how horrible it was and what action should be taken against this group because of what they did, what might the people of Gaza be thinking?

During decades in Gaza and the West Bank human beings have watched their children blown to pieces in front of their very eyes. Children have watched their parents blown up, grandparents mutilated by Israeli bombs, they have watched their pets be slaughtered, their homes be leveled to the ground, and that during an outbreak of hostility. Once the hostility is over they get to go back to occupation where their daily lives are restricted by Israeli troops who guard checkpoints so that they cannot move freely, they cannot fish the Mediterranean pass the two mile Israeli blockade.  This limits their livelihood and their ability to care for themselves and their families. They cannot bring in supplies medical, or any other type without the permission of Israel, their very sustenance, their daily bread is rationed by Israel so to speak, their land is confiscated by Israel, and settlements are built on the confiscated land preventing them from ever returning to land that they once owned. So yes I do see Israel creating recruits for Hamas.

And yes, we can’t forget those Hamas militants, the ones who fire rockets into Israel causing anxiety and unrest. That does not in my opinion help alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians, it only gives Israel an excuse to continue to do what I believe they have had in mind since they arrived in the Middle East….carve out a nation of their own and like the immigrants to the U.S. did, eliminate as many of the original people who were living there when they came, or control them to a point where their very existence is no longer a problem and does not prevent them from reaching their goal.

My friend laughed and said, you know  I could say the very same thing about Ferguson MO. The people are restricted in their movement by the police; they are captured in a section of town that allows high police visibility which monitors their every move. They have little to no representation in local government; there are a lot of similarities in that manner. No, the police are not bombing their neighborhoods yet, but it appears they have them just as corralled and controlled as the people in Gaza. And, to add insult to injury, it appears they are just as violent and condescending as the Israelis appear to be toward the Palestinians.

So what do you think we could do in this country to alleviate the problems minorities are having with the police and politicians I asked? We thought about this for a moment, kicked around a few things that we later realized would not/could not work, and dropped the subject.  So now I am back on my window seat, I’m on my second cup of coffee and have decided to ask the members of PlanetPOV to help answer the question for us, or at least give us some ideas on the topic.

Can we as individuals and groups brainstorm this issue? Can we as citizens of this nation have an influence on policies that could help to alleviate some of the pain/strife that we see in this nation? Should we be trying to make this country/this world a better place or should we just be spectators, observers and reporters, who watch the events taking place comment on them how wonderful or how horrible, how unjust, or how just etc., and then go on back to our daily lives?  We are citizens, we are human beings, what can we/should we be doing? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Written by monicaangela

Love, Peace, and Happiness, these are matters of importance to me. My desire is that the Earth and all within her will eventually have the opportunity to enjoy these emotions incessantly.

59 Responses so far.

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  1. James Michael Brodie says:

    Michael Brown was no angel. He made a lot of mistakes. Not a hardened criminal, but he was a handful. He also was on a path that might put him in a better direction — enrolling in a trade school to learn a skill that could put him in a position to support himself and be a productive member of society. He had problems and he had promise. His last mistake cost him his life. And now parents must bury a child.

    Darren Wilson was also a troubled youth. His mother had been convicted of stealing anf forgery in 2001. He made a few bad choices, including a couple of minor thefts. Then he grew up, grew out of that, joined the police force. He came up in a department that had some issues, including a fellow officer who was fired for a wrongful shooting, and others who got busted on corruption charges. By all reports, he managed to sidestep all of that and have a solid career.

    When Michael and Darren met, perhaps for the first time, Michael had grabbed a handful of cigars and frorced his way out of a convenience store, shoving the owner aside. Darren saw a jaywalker and attempted to pull him over.

    A few moments later…

    We never know how a person’s life will turn out. This is not a time to celebrate a death. Any death of a young person should be seen as tragedy. I have taught in the inner city. Seen some bad kids. Some went on to be like Darren. Some did not live long enough to become anything other than a heartbreak for their parents.

    Problems and promise…

    • monicaangela says:

      Darren Wilson was no angel either Michael, and definitely not someone who should have taken the life of a child in the manner that he did. I’m sure that if we had all of the information on his background published we would find out that he probably was a handful also when he was 18 years old, as was most of us if you would ask our parents.

      It is wonderful that Darren Wilson did not have someone end his life before he had the opportunity to try to make a change for the better. You do realize that Michael Brown was ready to enter college so that he could improve his situation as well.

      You don’t have to work in an inner city school to see bad kids, I taught in public schools for a few years before a became an administrator and remained an administrator for 18 years in a public school. Assistant Principal’s get to see all of the discipline problems that are housed in a school. I dealt with many, and the majority of the children I had to discipline were from upper middle class families. Some minorities, some not. So let’s not be too quick when it comes to judging children we do not know personally and in that same vein, let’s not be too quick to honor this police officer who we also do not know personally. A man who took the life of a child and didn’t even bother to fill out a report afterwards can’t be all good IMHO.

      I’m left thinking about your article regarding your incident with the police. I wonder if something had happened during that incident that day, something that may have resulted in your death, how you would have been painted as a person, as a human being. Would they have said. James M. Brodie was no angel, so what we did during that routine traffic stop is a result of what he did in the past…his attitude was bad. Or would they have said, this was an angel, we killed him because we are eager to use deadly force whether we have to or not. Think about that for a minute.

    • Nirek says:

      Brodie , even if he was not an outstanding citizen, he didn’t deserve to be shot dead in the street and left there four hours.

  2. RSGmusic says:

    Hello again MA

    Some of the reasons that people fear the police is that the see or know they have a gun.
    People rarely understand another culture and again fear what they have heard. Example African america are violent and in some part criminals.

    IN a gun culture that we have the police always have to worry about people no matter what have them even with in their own race. Of course the same culture means they accept guns carried by their own race.

    The second amendment is centered around the above paragraph.

    You second amendment rights not advertised

    You have the right TO get shoot at first
    You have the right TO get injured or paralyzed first.
    You have the right to die first. That will end your love a gun!!
    You have the right to miss second and injure or kill another innocent and get sued for millions and become financial ruined.
    You do not have the right to protect other people in pubic, on their lands or in their businesses unless asked or paid.
    Look if tour home criminals are not going to rob you!!!
    A neighbor is more likely to come and steal your gun.

    You are not the police!! But they are trained and many our the gun guys that make up the police force.

    Stay alive and do not draw.

    The actual idea. is the police should learn to back away if possible. on minor crimes but not leave or do not get out of the vehicle just follow. Calling for backup is not a crime and the time may solve the problem because you can determine if they have a gun with the time provided Also they should be taught to shoot legs and shoulders and arms to protect them with out killing the suspected criminal. See protect and serve posted to you earlier.

    • monicaangela says:

      I agree 100% with what you have written here RSGmusic. I agree with the post you left for me earlier. I see you have really given this some thought. Congress should begin crafting different legislation that pertains to the education and training of police officers IMHO. I also agree that to protect and serve somehow does not go along with what appears to be the accepted rule of the police nowadays, protect yourself at all cost….shoot to kill not to disable the threat. Speak respectfully, and don’t shout orders in the superior method most police officers use when speaking with minorities or someone they feel is of lesser socioeconomic value. Yes, these things we can definitely add to our list of what we can do to help stop the conflict between the police and minority communities. Thank you for your heartfelt response. Hope to hear from you through email soon. :)

      • RSGmusic says:

        HI monicaangle, Thanks for the kind words and i hope this does some good.

        Hey you still want to hear that music?
        use.
        https://soundcloud.com/userghost

        then pick/play the (little white lies)
        A comment box appears. You can write your address i need to send you the songs. then press the red heart button.

        THis message box is private no one but me can read it.

        long life!

  3. monicaangela says:

    I know what you mean Kalima. I used to give lectures and also dictated letters etc., for my secretary when I was a school administrator. I often used devices to record my thoughts, at one time I even used a Dictaphone so that I wouldn’t have to take the time to write down everything I needed my secretary to type up.

    I don’t know why I haven’t thought of using a device to record my thoughts when they come through my mind like the waters that flow over Niagara or Victoria, I have plenty of small recording devices, I probably just need to replace the batteries and I’ll be ready. :)

    • Kalima says:

      Well let’s just say that if I didn’t use it for shopping lists, we would never have anything to eat, and it’s hubby’s job to replace the batteries in this house because I can never take the covers off or see what is plus or minus. I call that teamwork. 😉

      Now I suppose I should start the lunch with the things I did remember to buy.

      Before I forget, and I will, did you catch this on Thursday’s MB?

      —-

      This is simply wonderful! Well worth the time to watch.
      ————

      ‘Who Speaks Wukchumni?’

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/opinion/who-speaks-wukchumni.html

      • monicaangela says:

        I did miss that Kalima, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I will have to start spending more time with the Morning Blog. My relatives, some of them speak Cibecue, a language spoken by Western Apaches. I have never learned the language even though I have had cousins that tried to teach it to me when I was younger. Now in my old age, maybe that might be something I should take an interest in.

        It is amazing how the woman in that video took the time and had such pride and passion for her native tongue. What dedication, 7 years to write that dictionary to try to save the language, not so much for posterity, even though that is what it will be used for, but because it appears she had something driving her, something that would not let her give up the task. You are correct, the video is simply wonderful and well worth watching. Much of my time and donations that I give go to rehabilitation of native men and women who have become addicted to drugs and alcohol, now I believe I will seek out efforts such as this one and try to be of service to those who are dedicated to improving the understanding of native people and recording languages, ideologies, and such much more from the first peoples of this land that IMHO or priceless and can be very useful in bringing the people of this nation together.

        • Kalima says:

          I’m glad that you were able to watch it, it was so inspirational. With so many languages dying or gone already all over the world, her need, drive and determination to finish her task with the dictionary she had started seven years earlier, brought endless respect and tears to my eyes. A truly wonderful woman with a dream to keep the language, culture and history of her tribe alive. Kudos to her and her family who helped and stood by her.

          Such an incredible and meaningful journey.

  4. RSGmusic says:

    The police.
    Remember protect and serve.

    Well it works on both sides.

    If you have broken the law for the police the protect part is you get to have a trial and brought in ALIVE.

    The serve part is you Serve your crime in jail or service for the community.

    live long and prosper!!

    • monicaangela says:

      I will take that statement as a suggestion that we petition the government for a change in the tactics of the police. I take it to mean that you are stating that no police officer should be above the law so if a police officer breaks the law that officer should also be arrested, taken into custody, given a trial, and if he is found guilty should serve time in jail.

      It is also for any citizen that commits a crime, he/she should be protected from police brutality, should be brought in alive arraigned, given a trial and if found guilty should have the opportunity to serve his/her time. I also think that a person who has served his/her time should leave prison with a clean slate, should not be robbed of their right to vote, and should not be legally denied employment.

      • RSGmusic says:

        Agreed MA you interpreted just right.

        the clean slate was a good add on.

        A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not been created yet.

  5. Kalima says:

    Wonderful first post, monicaangela.

    I can’t give you much advice on what to do to change things in your own country, I don’t live there, except to say that people who are aware of what is really going on should try to inform others they meet, and tell that before they vote, research the history of the people they are voting for to see what issues are important to them.

    As for world issues, we can write and petition leaders of countries to do the right thing about injustice happening in their own countries and other countries. In the last 8 years I can’t even count the number of petitions I have signed that were a success and changed the lives of so many people who were suffering. In most places you can start your own petitions too. There are many but the ones with the most power are Avaaz, Change.org, One (World Hunger)and Causes.

    To do something directly to help the Palestinians in Gaza, there are organisations already on the ground helping, like ANERA and Avaaz who use donations directly for the needs of the people at any given time.

    We can’t all roll up our sleeves and go to the many places around the world where people are are suffering, but we can continue to speak out against the injustice against our fellow human beings by passing on information, talking about it here or on other sites, contacting politicians and governments, and whenever possible, donating whatever we can to aid organisations who actually have people helping in those countries.

    It’s a rewarding feeling when months after you have signed something along with thousands or hundreds of thousands of other people from so many different countries around the world, you receive notification about the offending law that was causing suffering to millions, being struck down to improve important issues that have affected far too many for far too long.

    As I always say, every bit helps, and the worst thing we can do is to stop caring, to stop talking, or believing that we can’t make a difference. I believe we can.

    • monicaangela says:

      First let me say thank you Kalima….I struggled with this, my first post as an author here at PP. I had vowed at one time that I would not write an article, but would leave that to those who appear to have a better handle on the English language and who can express themselves in ways that I thought I couldn’t. I have never been a coward, and usually don’t try to make excuses to talk myself out of things…why I did it here I don’t know. I’m glad I took the plunge, I’ve received so many wonderful compliments from everyone so far, I’m humbled…I keep saying to myself “maybe I can write down my thoughts and be understood.” LOL

      Anyway, back to your wonderful suggestions. I agree, getting out information regarding elections and voting should be among the first things we as citizens and you also as an interested party should do. Just because you don’t live in this country doesn’t mean you can’t help to correct some of the problems we have. As a matter of fact, the problems we have here are in some cases universal, things that effect the entire world. Maybe we can gain an international following and have people from around the world join us in this effort.

      I love the idea of petitioning our government and governments abroad. Can we do that as a group? Can we organize the users of PP and begin to ask the members here to support causes we all agree are worth supporting. I don’t mean we all have to do this financially, but those of us who can could after brainstorming with other members decide which causes we should support as a group and donate as a unit. United I believe we would carry more weight. As an organization PP or with some other name, we could possibly make a huge difference and possibly improve the lives of human beings and all else on the planet, including the environment.

      We could maybe use the VOX POPULI feature for brainstorming or just write articles asking for suggestions as I have done, in this article. Tally the information we get and decide that way. I believe PP could be used for much more than we use it for and together under the auspices of this wonderful vehicle you guys have created we could begin to, united, start to tackle some of the issues we so passionately discuss on a daily basis here…not just talk, not just suggest, but actually begin to take action. I feel that would be wonderful…What do you think?

      • Kalima says:

        My pleasure, monicaangela.

        Years ago we had and still have a category called “Take Action”. You can find it under categories on the far right of your screen. At that time there were quite a few members who suggested causes and things that could be done to change things in Washington, the problem was that after a time people were just not that committed because they led busy lives, or lost interest because it wasn’t moving fast enough.

        We can’t demand that all of our members should become involved in something, but we can sign and start petitions to try to make that change. I suggested Avaaz for instance because they have over 38 million members all over the globe, and therefore their efforts are far reaching and to the highest levels in government. You can start petitions there too.

        You can suggest it on Vox and continue to write articles about issues that you are passionate about to see how many people have the time it takes to become involved.

        Here is the link to “Take Action”.

        http://planetpov.com/category/take-action/grow-info/

        • monicaangela says:

          Excellent Kalima…I have spent much time perusing the site, but haven’t really spent much time in that section. That makes this even better, the wheel has been invented, so now there is no need to reinvent it…I guess it’s just a matter of getting the wheel back on PP, greasing the axle, and allowing it to become useful again. I will try my best to accomplish this feat, I know you will help. I will also suggest this on Vox…this is wonderful..thank you, I knew there was a way to capture the energy here and funnel it in what we all could decide is the right direction.

          • Kalima says:

            My pleasure, it will be good to see it back in use again. In the 5 years of The Planet, we really do have quite a history of passionate and caring people trying to make a difference.

            Look forward to helping with all that I can.

            See you soon.

      • Monica, you write well, as anybody who speaks from the heart does! That’s what makes good writing. No pretense, no imitation (or intimidation), just your true voice.

        A favorite writer of mine, Christopher Hitchens, who taught creative writing for a time used to tell his students, find your own voice. Write as you speak. And always be honest.

        I understand your hesitation. I too felt the same way before writing my first article. I’m more comfortable writing poetry, but I can somewhat hide in poems, although they do come from the heart, or at times, some mysterious place that I can’t name.

        You are a very intelligent lady, with vast life experience. Just get out of your own way and write well and truly! Which you have done here! 😎

        As this pen I write with pumps ink to the point

        so that I may move this alphabet around,

        my heart pumps life onto this page.

        Through pen and ink,

        we bridge the abyss

        between heart and soul.

        KT

        • Nirek says:

          KT, I second your post! Monica is a very special person with a great heart and intellect.

        • monicaangela says:

          Talking about inspiration!!! This means more to me than you might think. I guess everybody is nervous their first try.

          It’s easy to reply to comments, although I do most of my own writing there, I can easily borrow from the intellect of someone else to make my point. It is a bit scary when you only have your own thoughts for material. I will continue to keep trying now that I have gained approval.

          Who knows, maybe one day I will devise some poetry that I can share with everyone. I also love poetry as I may have told you in one of my comments here on PP. I have lots of ideas that circle around in my head, usually when I am beginning my day seated behind my Bay window. I am going to start taking paper and pencil with me in the mornings and try jotting down some of those recurring thoughts that continue to return to my mind from time to time as though they are anxious to get out of a prison I have locked them in. Thank you for the poetry, the encouragement, and above all the friendship.

          • Kalima says:

            Oh absolutely, monicaangela. Pencil and paper have been my constant companions since I was a small child. Write everything down, and at some point you will be able to use it.

            Now when writing becomes too difficult at times, I record my thoughts. Sometimes, they even make me laugh at a later date. :)

            • Nirek says:

              Monica, Kalima has great ideas. Small recorders? I never thought of them. But they may not cost too much today.
              That is “brainstorming” and it works!

            • Kalima says:

              These recording devices are so small now, you can fit them anywhere. Mine is just a little bit wider than a pen.

              If you are anything like me, my thoughts fly through my head like the Shinkansen bullet train, and sometimes you don’t have time to pick up a pen and paper before they have gone. In my case, often gone for good, so recording is safer in my opinion. Have fun. :)

            • monicaangela says:

              Great idea, never thought of dictating my thoughts, that would probably be even better, that way I could continue to enjoy my coffee, enjoy the sun coming up and the morning and not have to disrupt one of my favority pleasures by stopping to put pencil to paper. Excellent idea. Thanks again Kalima.

          • My pleasure Monica.

            Ralph W. Emerson once wrote;

            “Do not allow yourself to die, while the music still resides within you.”

            Wise man, that Ralph! 😎

            • RSGmusic says:

              Yes KillgoreTrout it is a fine way saying.

              It is said:
              ” that music touches everyone in someway or another. the tricky part is to listen and learn from the lyrics.

              That goes for the composer also.

              In my music instrumentals they do have words in the melodies and lead expressions.
              The title give you a clue what to think of in your mind.

              A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not been created yet.

            • monicaangela says:

              Love that quote KT, I have to agree Emerson was a wise man and a wonderful Poet.

  6. choicelady says:

    As an admirer of author William Kent Krueger who writes what ostensibly are mysteries but are deep reflections on the human condition, I borrow a theme he has used. One of his characters, Henry, is a shaman, a miden, a wise man who is Ojibwe (in English).

    In crises he reminds his friends and family that there are two wolves that live in each of us. One is fear and all the angry and hateful thoughts and deeds. The other is love and all the positive and affirming thoughts and deeds.

    Which one survives and wins?

    The one we feed.

    • monicaangela says:

      Excellent comment choicelady,

      I remember that, The Tale of Two Wolves, being taught to me when I was still in grade school:

      A Tale Of Two Wolves

      ONE EVENING, AN ELDERLY
      CHEROKEE BRAVE TOLD HIS
      GRANDSON ABOUT A BATTLE THAT
      GOES ON INSIDE PEOPLE.

      HE SAID “MY SON, THE BATTLE IS
      BETWEEN TWO ‘WOLVES’ INSIDE US ALL.
      ONE IS EVIL. IT IS ANGER,
      ENVY, JEALOUSY, SORROW,
      REGRET, GREED, ARROGANCE,
      SELF-PITY, GUILT, RESENTMENT,
      INFERIORITY, LIES, FALSE PRIDE,
      SUPERIORITY, AND EGO.

      THE OTHER IS GOOD.
      IT IS JOY, PEACE LOVE, HOPE SERENITY,
      HUMILITY, KINDNESS, BENEVOLENCE,
      EMPATHY, GENEROSITY,
      TRUTH, COMPASSION AND FAITH.”

      THE GRANDSON THOUGHT ABOUT
      IT FOR A MINUTE AND THEN ASKED
      HIS GRANDFATHER:

      “WHICH WOLF WINS?…”

      THE OLD CHEROKEE SIMPLY REPLIED,
      “THE ONE THAT YOU FEED”

      I remember many tales that would be foreign to most who read this post so I won’t repeat them. Most were regarding respect for the earth, and respect for each other as human beings. Some involved the use of councils where people, men, women, and children met to try to resolve the issues of the day. This has stayed with me, and I continue to try to in every way I can gain understanding through interaction with others.

      Thank you for your well thought out response. How can we work together to try to influence the feeding of the correct wolf in ourselves and others?

      • choicelady says:

        Since this is attributed to every First Nations group, I suspect it has traveled for generations.

        It is powerful, and it’s what we must learn -- feed the correct wolf.

      • RSGmusic says:

        Hi monicaangle.

        Yea thanks for that post. Being party Native american Indian ( Arapaho ) it does move me.

        saying of the ( Child of nature )

        “Mother nature is all things at once, good, neutral and bad. The spirit with in you may have all. You do choose which ones you use. For it it this that makes the person you are.”

        A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not been created yet.

        live Long and prosper!!

        • RSGmusic says:

          Hi MA had to go to this comment to answer.

          Yes i will give you some idea’s ON this article or your new one.

          right now i have to think off some good ones.

          A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not been created yet.

        • monicaangela says:

          You’re welcome RSGmusic,

          I also have origninal people heritage (Apache)my grandfather taught me many words of wisdom before he passed, my aunts and uncles and cousins are still to this day some of the wisest people I know.

          Live long and prosper is actually a Jewish saying made popular by Dr. Spock in star trek. Are you also of Jewish heritage?

          • RSGmusic says:

            HI MA

            Glad to Hear you are a native indian in part.

            Ya i am a star trek fan.

            NO i am not part Jewish but they are fine people.

            My mother is Italian. My grand father was full blooded Native america.

            will all the friendship we both have my wife and I. Peace is the way.

            • monicaangela says:

              Very interesting, my grandfather, my moms dad was full blooded Native American, Apache. May you an your wife live long lives filled with peace, love, joy and happiness surrounded by many friends. Please count me as one of those friends. :)

    • Hey stranger! That was excellent!

  7. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    Hi..I read your post earlier today. It is complex. It is rich. I wanted to think about it. Having done so, here is what I have to offer.

    The common thread running through your post, running through the several narratives you present is how corrupting the culture of violence is.

    I was taken back to an essay I read several year ago and spent quite a bit of time finding it.

    Here it is: http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/activities/essay_cultureofpeace.htm

    GANDHI -- From Culture of Violence to Culture of Peace
    by Devavrat N. Pathak

    AND A PIVOTAL PARAGRAPH:

    As long as man lives on this Earth, Gandhi will be remembered as the first to have thought of non-violence as a governing idea of society. For Gandhi the present day society was imperfect in several ways. According to him, it is based on violence and continues to practise violence in almost all spheres of life. His perception was based not merely upon intellectual analysis, but also on the basis of his sensitivity. Someone has rightly said that he thought with his heart. Gandhi’s definition of Violence had a wide connotation. For him anything that smacked of exploitation was violence. Man’s exploitation of man, woman and the child as well as that of nature are all different instances of violence. Among the various manifestations of violence one could name alarming disparities in incomes, overdevelopment and underdevelopment, denial of basic needs, corruption, criminalization, communalism and consumerism. Unless they are mitigated one could never think of a peaceful society. A non-violent society of his dreams had to be a society that has no trace of exploitation. Gandhi’s non-violence was not a negative principle. It had a positive connotation and far reaching implications.

    Gandhi’s approach to non-violence places him as a farsighted, sensitive and perceptive man of peace. Modem peace researchers who have contributed to the idea of direct and indirect violence and particularly structural violence find Gandhi as an equally original contributor to the thinking of peace research. The concept of structural violence is a product of social relationships of exploitation. Viewed from this angle, the control exercised by an imperial power is a classic case of structural violence, the British domination over India being one of them. The fight that Gandhi carried on against it was a non-violent fight against violence. Gandhi’s concept of non-violence, therefore, stands for a society where there is no exploitation. This is far from the popular ideas about violence and non-violence consisting and embracing the narrow area of physical assault causing injuries. If Gandhi stood for peace and non-violence then obviously there was no place for violence of any type in his society. Both, actor- oriented direct violence i.e. wars and the system oriented structural violence involving exploitation were ruled out in Gandhi’s nonviolent society.

    ….the rest of the essay is just as admirable…AND THAT IS WHAT I HAVE TO OFFER.

    [img][/img]

    • RSGmusic says:

      Hi Murph. Yes i like your link. Gandhi was a very special man.
      practice and theory of issues.

      Yes they are very good qualities.
      Thanks for your post.

      These same qualities are the basis of music in its pure form usually done in instruments or leads section of a song that has vocals

      saying of the ( Child of nature )

      “Mother nature is all things at once, good, neutral and bad. The spirit with in you may have all. You do choose which ones you use. For it it this that makes the person you are.”

      A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not been created yet.

      long life in the peace of your mind.

    • monicaangela says:

      This was an excellent essay Murph. I especially liked this part: Gandhi’s singular outstanding virtue lies in the fact that he always attempted a synthesis between theory and practice, between thought and work. For him a thought or theory had no meaning unless it was translated into practice.

      This is what my article is all about. How do we change from our role as spectators and commentators and actually begin to practice what we preach. There are many of us on this site, so why can’t we begin to unite our theories, devise a way to put what our conclusions might be into practice as a unit and thereby do as Ghandi did.

      Thanks for your response, this gives me a lot to think about. I do practice the theories of Ghandi in my neighborhood and in my city. I would like to find a way to harness the energy I see here and use that energy to improve upon methods I can use to serve the people of this nation. Any further ideas?

  8. Nirek says:

    Excellent article Monica! Outstanding, actually. You write with passion and clarity. All I can do is say I agree with you. I kinda wish I could get my thoughts down as clearly as you do yours.

    • monicaangela says:

      Thank you Nirek, that means a lot coming from you. You are the one that gave me the courage to decide to write an article. I wouldn’t worry about wanting to get your thoughts down as clearly as you say I get mine down. I believe you already do that. You are inspirational to say the least. I have learned a lot from you since I have been here at PlanetPOV. I would hope that we, all of the members here, can eventually begin brainstorming regarding the issues of today and possible solutions.

      • Nirek says:

        Monica, if we are brainstorming we need to list ideas no matter how silly they may sound.

        I think we need to talk with each other instead of yelling at the other guy.

        Stay cool and really listen to the other side.

        • monicaangela says:

          Great idea Nirek, I have started a list of the suggestions being put forward here. Later after

          I have taken them all into consideration I will write an article describing what we have come up with and how I believe we can work together to move forward.

          Thanks again, that was a great idea, and, you are correct; no answer is too silly to make the list. Also too, yelling at each other rather than listening to what each one has to say is not a good idea if we really intend to try to understand where we as individuals are coming from.

  9. monicaangela says:

    More than excellent comment and response KT, this is the reaction I wished to provoke, these are the ideas I wished that we all could discuss. As I read your comment I started to think of reasons why we have such a short memory in this nation, something you suggested in your comment.

    I believe we can place much of the blame for that short memory on the media. So we need to do something about the media and the huge corporations that run them.

    I realize that much of the nation, mainly the middle class and the poor are busy struggling trying to get ahead, trying to educate, feed, and clothe their children, pay for daily expenses, etc. So in order to alleviate some of the suffering of the poor and middle class I believe we need to tackle the problem of income inequality, corporate greed, and capitalistic vulturous acts that are legally allowed by our government by the rich against the middle class and the poor.

    The spiritual and moral sickness you speak of I believe is caused by our yet unsettled history. It is caused by our refusal to tell the truth about our history in this nation and abroad, it is caused by our refusal to realize the fact that the system was created by slave owners who did not believe any person other than a white man had value. Yes, as you say education is the key, but also the TRUTH, as the old folks say, “the truth will set you free.” So how do we go about researching the truth and letting the chips fall where they may without creating animosity between the races?

    The drug war we know through education and a look back through history has been a war on minority communities orchestrated mostly by the Reagan administration. That man did more harm to this nation than many care to admit.

    Federal and state government has a long history of contracting out specific services to private firms, including medical services, food preparation, vocational training, and inmate transportation. The 1980’s, though, ushered in a new era of prison privatization. With a burgeoning prison population resulting from the War on Drugs and increased use of incarceration, prison overcrowding and rising costs became increasingly problematic for local, state, and federal governments. In response to this expanding criminal justice system, private business interests saw an opportunity for expansion, and consequently, private-sector involvement in prisons moved from the simple contracting of services to contracting for the complete management and operation of entire prisons. Again, we can thank Reagan for this, but not only Reagan. The prison privatization boom began in the 1980’s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling like hotcakes. So we see that regardless of political affiliation, this is systemic. Created by our government, an act I believe has since the 1800’s at the end of slavery existed for the reason of controlling yet again, minorities.

    You are more than correct about keeping major events in the forefront..I still can’t figure out how we accomplish that though. I laugh everyday when I see how the media will present a piece on ISIS, the war in GAZA, the problems with the banks and how the Bank of America and other banks are paying billions of dollars in fines for what can only be called criminal acts, and then this all followed up by that much more important news event……The Ice water challenge for ALS. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that is a worthy cause, and the funds are needed, but the media has a way of presenting it along with such horrible news as Journalist killed by ISIS and without taking an extra breath…Guess who just accepted the Ice water challenge?

    What has allowed our politicians and legislatures to be corrupted by money? We have, us, we the people of the U.S. who no longer speak with each other in our communities, in our neighborhoods, not even those that live in Apartment building. I talked with a woman this morning who confessed to me the fact that she has been living in the same apartment complex for 18 years and doesn’t even know the last name of her next door neighbor. We really need to promote unity in our communities, we need to start devising a way to have events that force neighbors and others to meet, and converse about community affairs. I remember years ago when I was young, the community I lived in had so many civic affairs for the community it wasn’t funny. Women had their clubs, men had their Friday evening games, cards, athletics, you name it. There were what we called socials where women and men and teens were allowed to display their culinary skills, farmers compared and showed off their crops and their livestock, it was a time when the community would get together and hold these events, and it wasn’t one event for the whites, one for the blacks, one for the Hispanics, etc., it was all together, and generally a great time was had by all, including the police who were there as members of the community and not as an adversarial force. How do we get that back?

    The Sisyphean challenge can begin here. There are many wonderful people on this site, people who can come together and begin to discuss the issues, and try to come up with solutions to our problems. If we can’t do it here, it probably can’t be done anywhere. So how do we organize and begin the arduous task?

    • RSGmusic says:

      HI MA really good article and this post was even better.

      in the middle east they have been fighting for thousand of yrs almost non stop.

      ON the music, if you tried again it did not come thru. Your system may not be able to communicate with AOL e-mail.

      OH i did what you said and asked. Well you should submit a request to the help desk as saying ok we can do this.
      Then they can send me a notice with your addrss that does not appear on planet pov.
      It will be like the message that comes to me on aol email, someone has answered my post.

      I hope this helps!

      Sayings From ( The Child of Nature )

      ” Life is full of sounds and those sounds can be musical. The trick is to listen closely.”

      ” A gift from the giver is made by the giver.
      A gift from the receiver is made by the receiver.”

      The two gifts made may be of different values but it matters not in the exchange.

      long life!

      The CD called ( sailing of life emotions ) is pretty good.
      Arid on Guitars
      Gary on bass
      Steve on drums
      and your truly on keyboards/synthesizers and some rhythm guitar.

      Perhaps some day you will hear them via email.

      • monicaangela says:

        I sent an email to admin requesting you be given my email address, you should be receiving it soon I hope. :)

        • RSGmusic says:

          OK thanks MA, Not yet on the email but it will appear soon i think.

          I wrote in another reply a secret way to do this from the stream at Soundcloud . NO one but me can every see it.
          here it is again.

          use.
          https://soundcloud.com/userghost

          then pick/play the (little white lies)
          A comment box appears. You can write your address i need to send you the songs. then press the red heart button.

          THis message box is private no one but me can read it.

          peace is always the way

  10. Hey Monica! First, let me say that your article is very well written. I know you are very passionate about recent events, and most likely all the not so recent events that involve injustice, violence, suffering, imprisonment…etc.

    Some tough questions you ask. People deal with these matters in different ways. Some people only concern themselves with matters in their lives that directly effect them and their families. It’s not that they are heartless or unfeeling toward the suffering of others, but many of them feel they have their hands full, just trying to support families and maintain steady jobs, stay out of debt, save money for college education (or pay off the loans they themselves received). I would say these people are in the majority of all people.

    Then you have people who actively work to improve the lives of others, their communities, their states and countries. I think these people are in the minority of all people.

    For those who wish to take an active part in trying make the world a better place, it is said that such efforts must begin locally and spread out from there.

    As Americans who want to change the wrongs happening in our own country, we can petition our government to write laws that will truly have positive results. We can sign petitions to get rid of unjust laws and harmful practices. We can vote.

    America is in trouble, and I think serious trouble. We suffer from a spiritual and moral sickness that spreads through our nation like a cancer. One of the biggest catalyst that enables such a cancer to spread is complacency.

    America manufactures complacency, and is quite good at doing so. The media, movies, video games, music, fiction novels, drugs, food, style trends and so on. All these things help take our minds off of matters we’d rather not think about.

    We talked about education being key to any lasting change, just yesterday, I believe. Our educational systems in this country are in very poor shape. Our children must have a good, founding education. They must be taught how our government works, the fundamentals of reading and writing and critical thinking. They need good foundations in math and science. We need to stop warehousing our children and stop teaching them how to pass standardized tests and actually teach them how to learn. They are literally our future as a nation.

    We can no longer just let major events run the 24/7 news cycle for a few weeks and then move on, acting like nothing happened to begin with. The people of this country have short memories.

    I think one way to help bring about change is to not just let major injustices and terrible events get tossed in the dust bin of history. We must stop forgetting and moving on to something new, with every shift in the prevailing winds. We must keep hammering away, making people remember, until wrongs are set right.

    Our entire law enforcement structure, it’s methods of policing and training, need to change drastically. We need to get back to having a much more positive police/community interaction. People in communities must feel like the police in their communities are a part of that community. The police should not be anonymous thugs who people don’t know, or don’t know the people they are assigned to protect. Police need to learn to work WITH the community, not against it.

    This absolute failure known as the war on drugs has to come to an end. This atmosphere of mistrust and fear must be gotten rid of. More attention must be paid to drug treatment instead of treating addicts like criminals. Nobody with a serious drug addiction should be imprisoned. That is simply a medieval attitude and practice.

    We need to make for profit prisons illegal. Incarcerating people, for profit is beyond immoral, it is criminal and must be outlawed.

    Sentencing laws for drug possession must be drastically overhauled. We must put an end to maximum minimum sentencing for drug crimes.

    It’s not that we lack the means to make these essential changes. It’s like we don’t have good ideas. Our political and legislative machinery is corrupted by money. Big money interests usually win the day. We have elected leaders that are concerned more about reelection than actually doing the jobs they were elected to do. We have lawyers and judges who are more concerned about personal career advancement than the actual laws themselves.

    Those who care, those who want to change what is wrong and make it right face a Sysifian challenge. Slowly, day after day, pushing a massive boulder up a steep incline, inch, by inch, where no end to the incline is in sight. I think it takes rare individuals to willingly take on such an arduous task. How do we convince others to join in the work?

    • monicaangela says:

      Oops!! Thank you for the compliment regarding my post. I made a mistake and made my reply to your comment in the box below your comment instead of under your comment. Please read my comment above in reply. Sorry about that. 😉


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