red sky at morning

Whatever side on which a person comes down on the matter of the medical procedure de rigueur, the matter of freedom eclipses all concerns in this moment. In light of the president’s statements yesterday, every US citizen should have freedom alarm bells going off, and it’s a five alarm situation.

Those alarm bells have been ringing quite some time now, but these latest edicts directly challenge our responsibilities as citizens. It is time to speak up and stand for freedom – if not for ourselves, at least for the children who will inherit a free country or not.

Call them “emergency rules” or executive orders, “mandates” are not the language of freedom. “Mandates” that affect one’s control of their own body, by force, no less, are the antithesis of freedom. “Mandates” that create favored and discriminated classes in our society are not about freedom. “Mandates” that unduly benefit certain actors who are also relieved of any liability speak directly to corruption, not freedom.

Funny how we used to speak of laws and democratic process, but today it’s just “mandates” as if that’s a thing in a democratic country.

It’s not like we couldn’t see this coming. Twenty years after the events of September 11 saw the Patriot Act hustled through, the door was opened and freedoms have been crumbling ever since.

In the last year alone, censorship – never the hallmark of a free country – has become blatant and broad, and served to obscure data, analysis, and discourse.

Such manipulation has already succeeded in creating a class that scoffs with derision at their fellow man or woman’s rights if their views are not compatible, openly viewing them as stupid or uninformed or undeserving. Such a lack of compassion, vision, or even instinctive self-preservation has not been nurtured with the ideals of freedom, nor by those who would champion our freedom. Sadly, this class, too, who would shut down both choice and discourse, will fall victim to “mandates” of other stripes if they are allowed to proceed apace today.

Today’s concern is not about a pandemic or a medication — this much has become obvious even in the context of our data-suppressed environment. No, today’s concern is about control. 

For every citizen, today’s concern should be whether we have the courage and the love of country and our fellow beings to stand for freedom. And in standing for freedom, by the way, we also choose life and health.

It’s time to wake up and to speak up. Stand for freedom.

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Stand for Freedom

on a labor day

It’s a spooky town. The breath of its deep darkness hangs in the air. Walking these quiet streets, I can feel the rage and torment, the lostness and grief of the men who struggled with their lives for bread and liquor and their place on earth, the bruised women who toiled with terror and hope and despair, the dreamless children who walked the rail in their dirty clothes.

The place seeps perhaps not with their ghosts, but with emotions so intense they linger through the years in the shadows of the looming houses, those vulgar homes too big for common sense, the ones the workers never stepped inside. But those terrible feelings, they permeate the very streets, wash the entire town with a laughing anger, in a final futile conquest of this place. 

Because they own it. They own this town, the specters of that otherwise pointless life-or-death struggle. They are gone and utterly forgotten, but they have an icy grip on this place and they wring it, wring it, choking it with that rage they cannot purge. 

And so inside the quiet rooms of the mansions, in the alleys behind, on the corners of the trendy little main drag, the desperation plays out still. No lessons learned, this labor day, the money still changes hands while a baffled earth looks on. The drugs and the alcohol somehow ensure the clock gets punched, while others tread the mill in their trance. They wake up to breathe another day, the vague sense that something different could exist still somehow pushing the blood through their veins. But there, in the distance, the rumble of the train, soon the whistle blows. Like I said, it’s a spooky town.

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Stand for Freedom

the tall man

The tall man walked into her dream clearly unaware he was in her personal space. 

He looked around for a moment then headed toward an outlet in the wall where a cord was plugged in. She watched him stroll right up and simply pull the plug. 

She rushed in and told him no, no that has to be plugged in there. She took it from him and plugged it back in. 

He apologized and proceeded to go about moving other things around.

Soon, another person arrived loaded down with various items. The tall man helped to unload it all into the space, smiling and chatting pleasantly all the while. The other person came and went several times, each time bringing a load which the tall man carefully dispositioned in the space. It was a seemingly miscellaneous collection of items, most of which seemed to be old or used.

The tall man went about his activities in her space as she looked on. She finally struck up a conversation with the tall man, who turned out to be very easygoing and congenial.

She couldn’t help but wonder who he was. He seemed quite intelligent but never really gave a clue about his profession or background. Still, he seemed to know everything about all the items being delivered into the space, and showed no interest in everything that she already kept there.

She asked the tall man to tell her about some of the things being delivered, which he was only too happy to do, in great detail.

They wandered off chatting. Distracted by the tall man’s steady banter, she didn’t notice as he casually pulled the plug again and turned off the lights as they walked out the door. She never for a moment thought where it was she was going, or that she might be leaving her space behind. 

Still talking, with a smile on his face, he gently closed the door behind them. She never even noticed the soft click of the lock as they headed down the path. The tall man clearly knew the way.

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Stand for Freedom

tax dollars at work, yeah

Yesterday, the US Food and Drug Administration granted approval of one of the C-19 pharmaceuticals for persons 16 years and up. For those who are paying attention, this does not exactly provide warm fuzzies. 

Perhaps most concerning is the abandonment of protocols and transparency. Right out of the gate, the approval was based on only six months of data, about a year and a half before clinical studies could even be complete. 

Conducting studies assumes we care about the data, but this approval provided no visible data, no review of the data, nor a rigorous discussion of said data. The FDA abandoned its own protocol to hold a formal advisory committee meeting on the topic, conveniently avoiding scrutiny and discussion. (In fact, that committee only met twice this year, on Feb. 26 to consider the J & J EUA, and on June 10 to discuss pediatric use.)

Bear in mind, that discussion would have centered on the drugmaker’s own clinical study.

According to the FDA, “More than half of the clinical trial participants were followed for safety outcomes for at least four months after the second dose. Overall, approximately 12,000 recipients have been followed for at least six months.” This, when the original cohort in the study was 44,000. Some of those trial participants gone missing include the control group, in an obvious corruption of ‘science’, since placebo participants eventually took the drug under study.

This aggressive push to approval is hard to fathom especially in light of the truly disconcerting numbers in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System database. The lack of explanation or insight or basic follow-up on the historically high numbers, including the shocking number of deaths, cannot simply be ignored. One cannot wave the numbers away implying it’s all just a coincidence without any forthcoming, honest follow-up. Unless, I suppose, you’re the FDA and media relying on a complacent public.

Speaking of public, yesterday’s approval also brushed off the long-standing protocol of a public hearing. Such lack of transparency and dissing of the public and democratic values is consistent with what Harvard experts deduced about corporate capture of federal regulatory bodies.

All that aside, why the big rush anyway? Despite assertions to the contrary, this hasty, cloaked approval will do nothing to coerce the vaccine-hesitant. In fact, the secrecy, haste, and refusal to openly broach developing data provokes further concern in that group and others. The landscape of suppression, censorship, and propaganda does not encourage trust either.

The big rush does, however, pave the way for further and broader mandates. Strangely, this full court press comes in the context of increasing data that instead suggest caution and a closer look.

Health aside, this blasé corruption of process bears implications about our governance which should concern any citizen. Blindly finding comfort in this approval is misplaced trust. We should expect and demand better.

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Stand for Freedom

creativity is a need

When the words don’t want to come, I soon discover that my other creative endeavors are stymied, too. 

When I feel a block in my writing, I think to myself, “I need to stitch,” or, “I need to paint.” I gather my materials, feeling assured that the project will kickstart my writing again, only to find myself staring at my supplies. I find I’m stuck in that area, too.

The muse does not discriminate. If I am feeling resistance to writing, it’s creative resistance across the board. And this is a problem. Creativity is a need, not a want, in my world.

Fortunately, I have learned a few things from such moments. I don’t know how others do it, but they work for me.

Discipline. The thing about writing, for me, is you just do it. You just show up and start. It might be a rough start, but you generally get into gear at some point.

Running/walking outside. Probably the biggest single source of activated inspiration in my life. Meditation in motion, in nature, rain or shine. Goes hand in hand with discipline.

Nature. Just getting out in it always nurtures:  breathing the air, feeling the sunshine or wind, noticing all the colors, scents, and sensations.

Permission #1. Importantly, I must give myself permission to be creative, affirming that it is a legitimate and desirable activity for which I am perfectly qualified. I wrote a little about this topic here as well.

Permission #2. Every now and then, I also realize I need to step away for a moment because something is percolating. In those times, it is best to let go and allow the space. Good time to go for a run, huh?

Pretty simple stuff, but it works for me. Maybe you have some tricks of your own?

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Stand for Freedom

awaken

crickets chirping.
a bird’s clear note.
a star-filled sky
slowly giving way
to the sun 
spilling pink into the horizon
reaching toward
ever more blue.
trees standing in silhouette
until the light infuses
every growing thing
and the air
whispers everything awake.
these, at least, are truth.

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Stand for Freedom

ours

We belong in this world.
We are the elk standing silent in the mountains
we are the wolf treading the darkness
the polar bear crossing the tundra
the geese winging the skies
the person walking the trail
the whale plying the oceans
the honeybee tasting the nectar.
We, we are the ones that belong here.

We belong in this world
and the world belongs to us,
not to governments or institutions or corporations,
it belongs to us.
And when those constructs
fail to serve, and worse, destroy,
we need to remember
who we are.
This world is ours.

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Stand for freedom