To Bree

Congratulations on being invited to give keynote speech!

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Does Anyone Have News About Bree?

I understand that Bree Newsome and her friend had a court hearing on Monday.  Were the charges against them dropped? Did the judge issue a gag order?  I can’t find any information  on what happened at the hearing.

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The Confederate Flag Comes Down in SC

I just read that lawmakers in South Carolina have voted to remove the confederate flag from public spaces, and the bill is sure to be signed by the governor.  It’s a victory that took too long, but we can still celebrate.  Now we need to make sure the charges against Bree Newsome are dropped.

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Don’t You Dare Call Me Anti-Semitic

I’ve said this before, and I will say it again:

The government of Israel is not entitled to crush the human rights of Palestinians in its pursuit of some Zionist’s dream of the perfect Israeli state.

This statement does not make me anti-Semitic, so don’t you dare try to pin that label on me.

The statement means I believe in human rights. It means I believe the Palestinians are human. It means I abhor the militant Zionism that has violated the rights of Palestinians for over sixty years.

With the rest of the world, I have watched while Palestinian land has melted away like patches of snow in the sun. Soon, the little puddles left will evaporate, letting militant Zionists warp history to fit the fable that the modern state of Israel was founded on a “land with no people.”

It’s odd how this land with no people contained stone houses where successive generations of Palestinians lived without interruption for five hundred years before the state of Israel was established.  How much of the world heard the sound of large stones crashing down when those houses were bulldozed by monolithic Caterpillar (made in the USA) earthmovers?

Of course, everyone heard the sound of small stones hitting ground near the feet of armored Israeli soldiers carrying automatic weapons. Flung by angry Palestinian youth, these small stones were presented to the world as a symbol of unprovoked aggression, while the government of Israel hid the provocation behind news blackouts and censored reports.

Then the sound of stones hitting ground morphed into the sound of explosives launched from the Palestinian side of a wall cutting through Palestinian land. Maybe we wouldn’t be listening to the sound of explosives if we had paid more attention to the sound of stones.

Let me repeat:

The government of Israel is not entitled to violate the rights of Palestinians in its pursuit of the perfect Israeli state.

This statement does not make me anti-Semitic, so don’t you dare pin that label on me.

In my association with the peace community, I have worked with a diverse group of people. Many of those people are Jews. Some of them go to temple, some attend Unitarian services, some eschew religious observances in favor of secular activism. I don’t try to keep track, any more than I keep track of the religious habits of the Episcopalians, Buddhists, Quakers, Muslims, Catholics, atheists, Methodists, or secular humanists in the peace community.

Some Jews serve the Peace and Justice Center on the board of directors. Some produce regular musical events to raise funds that help defray the center’s operating costs. One volunteer is a self-described anarchist (non-violent) who can lecture on the history of the labor movement at the drop of a hat. Another teamed up with her friends from Central America to produce a monthly bilingual film series (Spanish films with English subtitles or vice versa) offered to the surrounding community for free.

One center volunteer used her time there to work with a stressed-out, mentally ill man whose behavior can scare people, teaching him to lower his voice and speak slowly and clearly, so he can communicate successfully and fit in with the group.

Another stepped in to help defend her friend’s god-daughter against a trumped-up charge of felony kidnapping during a child custody fight. This saint spent a mind-boggling amount of time and personal resources, recruiting and housing a pro-bono attorney, and organizing a little army of supporters to attend hearings and write letters in the years-long struggle to get the criminal case dismissed so the god-daughter could go with her family back to the life they had built in Mexico.

There are other Jews in that peace community, probably more than I know, since I don’t make a habit of asking people about their religion or race or cultural heritage. That information is revealed in the natural course of working together on events and issues. By the way, many of the Jews I know speak out eloquently for the rights of the Palestinian people. I’ve worked with these people, and they are my friends. So don’t try to pin the label of anti-Semitism on me.

A few years ago, a member of the peace community went to the Middle East with a delegation to observe conditions in Gaza. When she returned, she told us what she had seen, and gave us copies of her report to a citizen hearing. I haven’t tried yet to obtain her permission to quote that report, but back then what she told us prompted me to write a short poem “On Gaza Soil,” which ends with a statement some people might see as overly provocative. The poem was printed as a newspaper letter-to-the editor a few years ago. I’ve added it to this website on another page.

Let me say this again: the government of Israel is not entitled to crush the lives of Palestinians in its pursuit of some Zionist’s dream of the perfect Israeli state. This statement is not anti-Semitic; it is pro-human rights.

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If Evil Wants to be Forgiven

If evil wants to be forgiven,

the first thing it must do

is stop being evil.

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The Heart Breaks

Again, peaceful people are slaughtered simply because some twisted soul didn’t like the way they look.

When are we going to stop allowing guns to be placed in the hands of people whose minds are so filled with the vomit of hate that they view evil as a badge of honor?

When will it be more difficult to get a gun than it is to get a driver’s license?

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Breathing While Black

Last week, I exchanged emails with a friend I worked with at the Peace Resource Center in Seaside.

A spiritual man, Akin served as board member, office volunteer, and curator of the center’s art gallery. He brought in a series of delightful exhibits by local artists to cover both long walls at the center. Akin told me he is still on the board of directors, but recently handed over the curating duties to another volunteer, and is using his volunteer time to spread the word about the murder of black men by police.

I’ve seen and read news reports about such tragedies that occurred earlier this year, but I don’t know much about the issue overall, so I asked Akin if he could send me information. He gave me his permission to quote his email messages in this blog post.

Akin posts on FaceBook. You can find his page under “James Miller (Akin)”
Hi Deanne,
I recently turned over the curating of the Art Gallery to a new board member. I have just finished helping the last artists on my schedule. I attend board meetings but I no longer do office duty.

I actually took a leave from the board in January to focus on #blacklivesmatter and the murders of black men by police. I had the opportunity to meet/hear Dr. Cornel West at CSUMB in April. Part of his speech dealt with how to maintain dignity in the midst of chaos. I’m reading his latest book titled Black Prophetic Fire (In dialogue with and edited by Christa Buschendorf.). He explores the genius of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells and others.

Please check my Facebook page ( James Miller ) as I post info on the acquittal of the policemen in Cleveland who, after a high speed chase involving many police cars, stopped a homeless black man and woman who were said to have been driving in the early morning looking for drugs.

The police began firing into the sides of the cars when the only officer charged jumped on the hood ( in Rambo style ) and pumped 47 rounds into the window shield, killing the passengers numerous times. He claims to have no recall of the event. He was acquitted.

Also in Cleveland, Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy was murdered by a cop who responded to a 911 call where the person said a young black boy was waving a gun in a park and that it was probably a toy gun. The cop pulled up and, within 2 seconds, fired into the boy’s chest.

Google: Black men killed by police within the past 3 years. Amazing stories, many revealing that the victims probably suffered some form of mental illness. All were shot in the upper body indicating no intent to maim or disable the person, just shoot them like any other animal.

So far, in the U.S., police have a nearly 100% acquittal rate in the murders of mostly unarmed black men.


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New Book Available

My fifth novel, Beyond the Aisles of Waln, is now available for purchase on my website .     In other words, the cubish pursuit has landed, so I can return to refining the orbish segments I most recently registered with the copyright office months ago, continuing  the saga that began with a story I copyrighted back in 2011.

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Wonder of wonders!

On Sept. 25 the Sacramento Bee published a brief item “U.S. to pay Navajo Nation millions to settle claims.”   The U.S. government is finally going to compensate the Navajo Nation for its mismanagement of Navajo funds and natural resources.  The article does not mention if some of the funds are to compensate the families of uranium miners (see post of Sept 14).  So I don’t know whether this answers one of my questions or not. But it’s a start.

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Print on Demand mind games

Interesting.  Just saw that two used copies of my book Vaporous Night from the Translight Trilogy are for sale on Amazon at $111.80 and $118.00, one from Germany and the other from the UK.  Each of those prices is over twice the total income I’ve ever received from sales of any paperbacks or ebooks I’ve had for sale on Amazon or CreateSpace (The Translight Trilogy, Senders of Shaula, and my book of poetry.)  Should I say “curiouser and curiouser” as I navigate the rabbit hole? Or is this an example mind games from the Twilight Zone?

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