Contents

Survivor's Notebook

The Dog & Pony Show

Trump Clinton Debate

Politicians are excellent actors. Are these two friends or enemies? While we are distracted by their performance, life goes on.

If you think of yourself as a person who cares and wants better for yourself, your community or humanity, you have certainly attended the dog and pony show more than once. A lot of effort is put into the appearance of things to bring people out. Maybe it will be advertised as a meeting of the minds or a solution-based event. Maybe celebrities will come and talk. Maybe a panel discussion will be held, giving the audienc
e a chance to question the “experts”. Many in attendance attend to feel like they are a part of something important, with the potential to bring something positive into their lives.

Trump Clinton shake handsWe as human beings are facing many problems. When we have problems, we seek solutions. Our dilemma has been that we are often called to attention by people who claim to have answers to our problems. When we take the time to hear what they have to say, however glamourous their presentation is, we still go home with our problems and no closer to solving them.

Continue reading The Dog & Pony Show

Survivor's Notebook

Spiritual Revolution

Bois Caiman Ceremony

A depiction of the Bois Caiman Ceremony

On the island now called Hispaniola, where Columbus first landed over 500 years ago, was the French colony called Saint Dominique. In the chaos of the French Revolution, which began in 1789, an extensive network of Maroons, enslaved Blacks and “freed” Blacks launched a rebellion in 1791. In a ceremony known as Bois-Caiman, the leaders of the rebellion made a spiritual pact to support their cause. Days later, on the 25th of August, 50,000 captives rose up and destroyed the plantations. Around 1500 plantations, about 25% of all plantations on the island, went up in flames in one night. The smoke from the inferno could be seen from as far away as the Bahamas. Smoke and ash obscured the sun while saturating the air and sea. The Haitian Revolution had begun.

Continue reading Spiritual Revolution

Survivor's Notebook

Irresponsible Leaders

ResignRahm

Protestors in Chicago call for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel following murders by Chicago Police.

With the passing of another 4th of July, we have reached 240 years since the Declaration of Independence. Behind the nationwide fanfare of fireworks and cookouts is a celebration of the USA’s history and independence from Britain. Lately, this observance has been met with increasing cynicism as the promises of freedom, justice and equality made by the founding fathers have never been realized by the majority of Americans and actually seem to be getting farther from reach as the years go by. The finger-pointing and scapegoating fuels a never-ending cycle of hatred and antagonism amongst the population. Meanwhile, most of the politicians in the middle of it all skillfully deny their responsibility.

Continue reading Irresponsible Leaders

Cover Story

Survivor’s Notebook: Climate Change & COP21

U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) is welcomed by French President Francois Hollande (R) and (L to R) French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal, French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius, President-designate of COP21, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, as he arrives for the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann - RTX1WFXF

Leaders of governments responsible for destroying the world meet in Paris to discuss Climate Change in 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE: a term that represents possibly the biggest threat to human survival. Ironically, this threat is also seemingly the result of human activities. Scientists and environmentalists have been reporting that the global temperature has been at a historic high and as these temperatures continue to rise, increasingly catastrophic events will follow. They predict that melting ice caps will lead to rising sea levels, coastal cities and islands will submerge under water and so on. Amid these concerns, the governments of the countries responsible for this destruction have begun to meet as they pretend that they plan to do something about the problem. However, traditional wisdom states that “the one who betrayed you yesterday will not save you today.”

Continue reading Survivor’s Notebook: Climate Change & COP21

Cover Story

Indigenous Resistance

Wixarixa woman with baby

Wixarixa woman and baby

Indigenous: a word commonly used to describe people who live in nature somewhere far away from us, people who have somehow missed the boat of modernization. We envision “Indians” in feathered headdresses or forest people who live in jungles wearing only loincloths, or bush people living in mud huts. We may imagine such people as part of the decor for exotic tourist destinations, but if we try to imagine ourselves living like them, most of us will find it difficult.

As hard as it may be for some of us to imagine, we only have to go back a few hundred years in human history to find a time when virtually the whole humanity fit the description of indigenous. Our recent tendency to consider “indigenous” populations to be interesting because they are “diverse” and “different” needs to be reexamined. If people called indigenous are simply living the same way humans always have, as expressions of nature, living in harmony with nature, then it is us, the modern people, who are now different. But what makes us different? What makes the lifestyles of our Ancestors unthinkable to us? If our Ancestors lived in harmony with nature and understood themselves to be expressions of nature, by saying we’re different is just to say that we have disconnected ourselves from our place of origin. The only difference exists in our minds and our mentalities.

Continue reading Indigenous Resistance