Happy New Year!

Swiss German: E Guets Nois! 
German: Frohes Neues Jahr! 
French: Bonne Annee!

Dharmachakra Mudra

Dharmachakra in Sanskrit means 'Wheel of Dharma'. This mudra symbolizes one of the most important moments in the life of Buddha, the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park at Sarnath. This event is often referred to as the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma.
In this mudra the thumb and index finger of both hands touch at their tips to form a circle. This circle represents the Wheel of Dharma, or in metaphysical terms, the union of method and wisdom.
The three remaining fingers of the two hands remain extended. These fingers are themselves rich in symbolic significance:
The three extended fingers of the right hand represent the three vehicles of the Buddha's teachings, namely:
  • The middle finger represents the 'hearers' of the teachings
  • The ring finger represents the 'solitary realizers'
  • The Little finger represents the Mahayana or 'Great Vehicle'.
The three extended fingers of the left hand symbolize the Three Jewels of Buddhism, namely, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Significantly, in this mudra, the hands are held in front of the heart, symbolizing that these teachings are straight from the Buddha's heart.
This mudra is displayed by the first Dhyani Buddha Vairochana. Each of the Five Dhyani Buddhas is associated with a specific human delusion, and it is believed that they help mortal beings in overcoming them. Thus, Vairochana is believed to transform the delusion of ignorance into the wisdom of reality. By displaying the Dharmachakra mudra, he thus helps adepts in bringing about this transition


I ran in to a couple the other day and learned that they no longer use the exclusive spa facility where I had seen them so often because membership price went up from $350 to $650/not per year, but per month!

Instead this couple, Republicans that no doubt oppose "Obamacare", joined a regular spa on cost of Medicaid! American tax dollars benefiting the needy?


I could not bear leaving my pups behind, leaving them home alone, when I know how much they like to be out and about, so I took them along on what is our local tradition, a walk up Canyon Road, lit up pretty in the traditional way with faralitos, tiny tea candles placed on dirt in brown paper lunch bags. Those little lights line the streets, the walls and the roofs and make for a festive atmosphere. Small bonfires attract crowds that once inebriated enough will burst in to Christmas songs and merriment.

With an early start before dark, I encountered no Christmas carolers, none, but did come upon three drummers banging out a Samba rhythm to the disbelief of a roaming, ever growing crowd.  They left a wide comfortable trail behind that was easy to follow for my pups, my little guy in ever more danger of getting stepped upon, of which he stayed blissfully unawares.

We did see some vibrant passionate art work by a Canadian woman painter, a delight. Some art galleries chose to stay open for the occasion and offered welcome relief from a fairly cold night. (It made me long for a Russian fur hat, coat and muff. I used to own a silvery fur coat I had bought second hand and then had a hat and muff made for me by my dear friend.) We did taste some sweets and cider. Some folks stopped to say hi, some hugged even though they were strangers and many smiled and more wanted to say hi to the four-legged ones. Sorry, I got no photos to share from our walk. A camera would have been way too much to use in that crowd with my furry companions on lead and challenging road conditions. The photos included I took very recently with Christmas in mind.)

Luscious Low Light

There is a kind of luck that's not much more than being in the right place at the right time, a kind of inspiration that's not much more than doing the right thing in the right way, and both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment.
Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts

Occupy Santa Fe Woes

After my attendance of our most recent GA, I kinda realized I was having trouble. In two full months now of involvement with the Occupy movement, I have not yet been able to express my concerns and contribute positively to the shaping of a still amorphous agglomeration of individuals in to an effective group of activists.

Yes, about 8 weeks ago I was able to influence the route of Occupy Santa Fe's march away from a narrow downtown street where it likely would have obstructed local business and created ill will, to a more visible path along a major flow of traffic through town. But as regards such obvious things of prime importance such as a good working, practical on-line presence, nope, no can do. No matter my posts on our various sites, no matter my mention to individual folks, no go. The Media working group concerned itself with big plans for video and radio transmissions, but seems to neglect the actual trouble with a smattering of sites: Facebook group and - page and - working group sites, plus additional two (no, not one, but two) sites for campers (with barely a post related to camp.) Then there is a rarely used website in existence that features working group sites not updated most in over a month, e-mail lists with their round robin plethora of e-mails ad absurdum and most recently a new yahoo group. These are only the sites I know of, there likely are more. All this makes efforts of organization cumbersome and dysfunctional and leaves newcomers at a loss of where to go for  their information and contributions. Why a central site is not a priority is beyond me. Why an updated agenda is not a priority is beyond me too. Why easy access to sites with capability of interaction is not encouraged, so as to create notices of events and to make efforts to let people know about plans and to inform about the progress of working groups is way beyond me.

Is it burn out already? My god-dess, we got a long road ahead of us if we are committed to the work of real change, rather then small change. I have been suckered in to what is called a Facilitation Work Group. The idea is to create templates to serve as basis for efficient facilitation of General Assemblies (GA) as well as training manuals for facilitators. The desire was to follow, but not imitate Occupy Wall Street procedures so as to serve our much smaller community. The benefit of trained facilitation has been obvious at every GA where such were amiss. Trouble is we got bogged down in minutia that I am afraid will stifle, rather then further the process of decision making in General Assemblies.

Odd that while I am normally shy and avoid the lime light, I have felt inspired, involved and committed with Occupy Santa Fe from the get-go. So facilitation seemed like  an arena I might be of use. I can be impartial, I have professional training to stay in an observer role and I have skills to follow process. I wish though I had better leading skills. I seem unable to really get my ideas across effectively and that is very frustrating to me. I guess it is my learning edge. I hope over time I will do better.

To my mind regular marches, preferably after lunch when families would be free to join in, would have kept us visible in the public eye. Instead we got buried in a part of our public park frequented mainly by transients and homeless folks. Others drive by, maybe notice the camp and at best wonder why. The Native American transient populace seemed to have laid claim to the real estate now occupied. They would get drunk and then belligerent and in this way would exhaust the campers in a seeming endless struggle to preserve their safe boundaries, their peace of mind and their sleep.

Of course my Cancer nature would find other means, more immediate ones, of being of service. I scored a whole chicken at the Farmers Market and made it in to chicken soup, my first one from scratch from a whole bird. (Reaching in to that bird to retrieve the innards was not as scary as I had imagined.) I  brought the steaming hot pot over to camp by 9 p.m. for something warm to eat during the cold night. I did got rave reviews and that felt very rewarding. But I also have brought over a pot of rice and lentils that then I had to discover hidden away, uneaten by the next day, what a turn off. Someone had made the decision that pancakes did not go well with brown rice. The whole pot with warm ready to eat food, made in part with vegetables from the adjacent community garden gone to waste, not to talk of the energy it had taken to make it.
 While these and similar struggles have been going on at Occupation sites across the globe and while many sites have been forcefully terminated, the spirit of resistance only will grow stronger forced underground. While for now less in the public eye, much does happen in working groups and there is no doubt a deep commitment for real change (rather then small change) by many fed up individuals.
An idea whose time has come can not be ignored. 
But the growing pains are many.

Magic Light

Magic Does Happen

Opportunities can arise so unexpectedly, I need reminders. Last night I was able to attend a public event, a lecture and panel discussion of interest, simply because I had whiled for an extended moment on an inviting bench outside the independent bookstore across from my home. Mind you I often visit this cozy alternative bookstore, but rarely have I ever sat outside it. Well, a woman joined me, we got to talking, to giggling, to sharing little intimacies, personal tidbits, and finally to exchange numbers. Few days later I was unexpectedly invited, by that very same woman, to a public event that commanded a great turn out of our alternative minded community. Among folks I had not seen in ages, I enjoyed myself tremendously. Magic happens, most often unexpectedly. If it can happen in one arena, it can happen in another. I want to keep an open mind - and heart as regards my next steps in to my future. The world can change at a moment's notice. Doors may appear to open suddenly when they may have been  available to us all along. We live in a multi-faceted, exciting universe that pulsates with possibilities. Trick is to keep eyes, hearts and minds open and available to the opportunities.

Post Ecliptic Dream

Wide awake at 3:45 a.m., just at the start of the lunar eclipse, I watched the event some on-line until sleep beckoned again. That is when I dreamed of teasing one tiny, pink, giggly mouse, by rolling it across my bed. Delighted this little creature, on it's back, pink paws extended, cute little belly exposed, seemed to giggle and laugh it's head off, just like my Sumo-boy might. 

Is my subconscious inviting me to lighten up? Mind you I am scared of mice and outside of my dreams I would never attempt to join any one of them in play. No doubt those lovers of rodents and all things alive will judge me lacking in one of life's major source of enjoyments. I woke not light, but heavy hearted, and the mood seems to want to persist.

The Cultivation Of A Sense Of Abundance

6 a.m. I am having breakfast inside my cozy warm home, while temperatures dipped down low to two degrees outside. I had one pancake, topped with cranberry sauce of my own making (sweetened with tangerine juice and just a dash of cayenne pepper for heat) garnished with juicy, plump fresh blackberries, and accompanied by one cup of strong, sweet, espresso made to taste richer with a dash of nutmeg, ginger and a sip of vanilla. Food that nourished not only the body, but also the soul.

Meanwhile our occupiers spent the night out in tents, in frigid temperatures.

I am worried, but plan to make a pot of rice and lentils in curry for them. 

Update: The occupiers assured me they were o.k., cold, but not too bad. Worst seems to be crawling out of their warm sleeping bags and in to the cold. I did bring them a steaming hot pot of brown rice, mixed in with curried vegetables, but no lentils, did not realize I was out. Walked over there with pups on lead in one hand and metal basket with steaming pot in other hand. Promptly lost my felt hat and had to retrace my steps all the way back to camp again where my Sumo-boy spotted my beloved hat sitting, despite the gusty winds, right there on the trail, hooray! 

Shadow Play

... for what is inferior or even worthless 
belongs to me as my Shadow 
and gives me substance and mass.  
How can I be substantial if I fail to cast a Shadow?
I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole ...
C. G. Jung

Tom, Traveler and Banjo Player

Only two days in town, Tom may be staying a few more days before moving on. For tonight, Tom will be heading to the Occupy encampment. This kid (at some point anyone under thirty seems to be still a kid) has been on the road for 6 years (since 21 years old.) Tom is a musician who lugs around a banjo (and a fiddle?) His musical roots come from Ska, but while he grew up  in Vegas, NV, surrounded by Rastas, he never became one himself. 

I think Tom looks cute despite, or maybe because of his eccentric style. Tom uses a mineral oil based salve for styling his moustache (or Zwirbelbart, Schnurrbart.) Was this style not fashionable in the eighteen hundreds? I believe Wilhelm Bush, the German poet, writer and painter wore a similar look. Tom was hanging out on the plaza as I was walking by with my pups. One of the advantages of getting older is the freedom to talk to any stranger at most any time and place. Tom was a delight, I wish him well, happy trails!

Update: As of Saturday December 3. Tom is still at the camp which experienced first snow a little bit more then a sprinkle, last night. Thankfully the forecast for an outright serious storm did not manifest, not so far, but currently the snow is falling and I hope they all stay safe and warm enough.

Occupy Santa Fe

 Occupy Santa Fe got a tipi, hooray!
Garrick Beck, Rainbow Elder, donated his sacred tipi.
It was set up in a beautiful ceremony.
Native American drums resounded from within
as I left the site just after the sun had set.

One delightful happy camper.

 One guy, one gal and one dog.
At sunset, outside the kitchen.

She said it made her feel weird to be photographed,
that did not deter her from smiling.
She graciously consented to having her photos taken,
from left and right. I did not get a chance to talk to her yet.

On Fire

may god give you the grace never to sell yourself short.
the grace to risk something big,
for something good.
the grace to know that the world is now too dangerous for anything but truth,
and too small for anything but love.
may god take your minds and think through them.
may god take your lips and speak through them,
and may god take your hearts,
and set them on fire.

Written by William Coffin and adapted by Stephen Shoemaker

Proposal to OWS from Michael Moore

I am offering Michael Moore's proposal to OWS below as food for contemplation and discussion. The time has come for real change, the change so many of us have been wanting for a long time. Go to his website, link on the bottom, to find a long list of intelligent, thoughtful comments that expand on his ideas. Who said that Occupy was vague and unfocused?

10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore

1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).

2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.

3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.

4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.

5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.

6. Reorder our nation's spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.

7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.

8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.

9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can't run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)

10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:

    a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by
1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process;
2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed;
3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout;
4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth;
5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

    b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.

    c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a "second bill of rights" as proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.

Let me know what you think. Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (@OccupyWallSt.org). Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don't have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.

We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we've been hoping for, waiting for. If it's going to happen it has to happen now. Don't sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.

If you need more inspiration watch a panel with Michael Moore and Naomi Klein as regards a move from outrage to hope. 

A few of my notes on Mike's proposal:

#2 Penalties seem unrealistic to me, but maybe an import tax so that outsourcing simply looses profitability? 

#5 If the Crash of 2008 is to be investigated, then surely Bush's and cronies crimes on humanity ought to be. The South African Truth and Justice model might serve us better then any demand for legal justice.

#6 Yes to the realignment of our values to peaceful co-existence rather then dominion over the world. Bring back foreign troops, close bases around the world, stop the wars, defund the Pentagon. This ought to be up on top of any list of demands.

#7 A single-payer, universal health care system for all that takes away control from the pharmaceutical - and health insurance industries is an absolute essential priority.

#10 Money has got to go out of politics. Votes can not be bought. Corporations are not people and can not be allowed to hold rights like citizens. I like the simple idea of moving voting days to weekends for increased voter participation. Why has nobody ever thought of that. We do know of the importance of paper ballots, that's a no-brainer. I would support compulsory voting. Citizens ought to not just have the right, but carry the burden of responsibility to vote.

What is not mentioned is the ridiculous war on drugs and incarceration of many non-violent low level drug offenders in privately run prisons. Legalize dope already and stop the criminalization of a whole segment of our population. Instead use the money now used in senseless war on dope to offer opportunities for education, jobs and quality of life, so drugs are not the first answer to a challenging existence. Prisons ought to protect society and should not be run for profit, that inevitably will create a form of slavery.

Your thoughts on these matters are welcome, feel free to offer your comments and thanks for taking the time to consider these very serious issues.

The Place NOT to be - WALMART!

- Research has shown Walmart pays an average wage of just $8.81/hour for their sales associates.
- Walmart is the world's largest private employer, with more then 21 million employees 
   (14 million associates in the US alone.)
- Despite the economy, Walmart continues to be profitable with 16.4 billion in net income for fiscal 2010.
- CEO  Mike Duke's compensation in 2010 was 18.7 million
- Walmart has been consistently anti-union.
- Walmart pays nothing ($0.00) in state corporate taxes in New Mexico
- For every dollar spent in a locally owned business, 45 cents stay within our Santa Fe economy.
- For every dollar spent in a non-local business, only 13 cents stay in our community.
- Locally owned business recycle a higher percentage of profits back into the local economy.
- Two major chains, when compared with local businesses, gave 75% less to charities than locally    
  owned businesses.

I have avoided Walmart for decades, but I will admit that many items can not be found from a local source, much less for a competitive price. So, if you do decide to shop at Walmart, at least do so not blindly, but know the facts, know the high cost of cheap shopping. (The above info was taken from  a Walmart Fact sheet off the internet.)

Our upcoming legislative session is the place to finally plug those corporate loopholes as regards  fair taxation and in so doing give local businesses a fair chance and the local economy a boost.

Finally the holidays are about people, not things. No need to shop 'til you drop. Just say no!

Show Me The Place - Leonard Cohen

  Show Me The Place by leonardcohen


Why do I support the Occupy Movement? Because it is time!

I absolutely hate US war mongering along with corporate driven mainstream media's underreporting of the peace protests. I am so fed up with the cowboy mentality that brought so much devastation with no repercussions to the instigators, Bush, Cheney and cohorts. Sadly these days this is continued by our US government, ironically by our Nobel Peace Price winning President Barack Obama, who must have sanctioned the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Unforgivable for our President, a lawyer, to not have made every effort to apprehend and to have brought before an international court of justice  Osama Bin Laden.

I hate US simple mindedness, of which George Bush will forever serve as poster child. It allowed for Bush to be elected twice, no matter any deceit, he got a lot of votes. This made America the laughing stock of the world. On top Bush got away with it all. No repercussions, except for a few countries (Spain and Canada, maybe others) ready to arrest him if he so much as touches their ground.

I hate US expansionism, no doubt pushed by corporate greed. We are given bogus reasons for invading and manipulating sovereign countries, even when the world knew Saddam had not been involved with 9/11 and we the US were begged to wait for the special report on Saddam's nuclear capabilities and intentions. We can not allow this same mistake, as some like to put it, or deceit, as others see it, to happen again with Iran!

"Military spending, found in the Department of Defense and other departments, has increased dramatically during each year that George W. Bush and Barack Obama have been president, roughly doubling during the past decade... both as measured in real dollars and as a percentage share of discretionary spending. Military and related “security” spending is now at over $1 trillion per year and comprises well over half of federal discretionary spending. It is also very nearly equal to the military spending of all other nations on earth combined. Ending our two most costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan before the 2013 fiscal year budget would save $1.8 trillion, as compared with ending those wars on the currently planned schedule, with savings of $108 billion per year." The 99% Deficit Proposal

I hate to see all those funds go in to war mongering and useless defensive strategies when the American people are suffering and living in 3. world conditions already.  Brown University estimates that our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan have cost 236,000 lives and $4 trillion. My state of residence for the last quarter century holds the 14th highest position of food insecurity. Kids go to bed hungry, here in the US! I want to see America close bases all around the world and especially in Germany, but instead it was announced the other day that expansionism will be continued now with bases in Australia, supposedly to keep an eye on China. "Today, we know that the "American way of life" – the model that the rest of the world is meant to aspire towards – has resulted in 400 people owning the wealth of half of the population of the United States." Arundhati Roy

While President Obama got elected under the premises of offering change, what we got is small change rather then real change. A mandate for the poor to get health insurance will bolster the insurance industries on cost of those that can afford it least. Nothing but universal health insurance will do. President Obama, while he admitted in an ideal world that would be best, never fought for us, the 99% of Americans.

One of the most egregious acts against the 99% may well come from the Superior Court's decision of having awarded corporations personhood along with an ability of unlimited funding to causes of their choice. This effectively has undermined our current democracy of one person - one vote, to one where those with the funds will be able to buy their votes, not in small part through deceptive and rigged, right wing media. (Why anyone would pay attention though to propaganda by either party, especially before an election is beyond me.) I shudder at all the wasted money thrown down this media monster machine in an endless frenzy of attempted manipulation. Meanwhile real people with real bellies and real mouths and real eyes go hungry, homeless and do not receive the medical care they need, or get it too late. (Check on the stories on We Are The 99%, they are heart breaking.) "Somewhere along the way, capitalism reduced the idea of justice to mean just "human rights." Arundhati Roy

As regards taxation, I am not in the camp that simply believes the rich should pay for the poor. What I  do want is fair taxation that no longer allows corporations and individuals to use legal loopholes for tax evasion purposes. "Closing corporate tax loopholes would return the fair share of taxes paid by corporations to the funding of government. Declining corporate taxation is another prime factor in increasing ...deficits. Corporate income taxes have fallen from roughly 4.8% of GDP in the 1950s to only 1.8% of GDP over the past decade. Ending just two large breaks, deferral of overseas revenue and accelerated depreciation would raise about $114 billion over a decade. The Treasury Department lists $365 billion in corporate tax breaks being gifted annually — that’s $3.65 trillion over the next 10 years. Due to tax loopholes, corporations pay record low tax rates — they actually pay 21% on average. Indeed, a recent report by Citizens for Tax Justice found that Wells Fargo received $18 billion in tax breaks, while both Verizon and General Electric paid negative taxes. Earlier Citizens for Tax Justice reported that 12 major companies which together made $171 billion in profits from 2008-2010 paid a negative $2.5 billion in taxes, thanks to $62 billion in tax subsidies." The 99% Deficit Proposal

There is too the world of lobbyists I personally have little experience with, but somehow understand the need for reform as there is an urgent need as well in the area of finance and banking regulations.

The Occupy movement has only just begun to scratch the surface, but tapped in to an outrage that is profound and will last and will be transformed only with real change.  Global occupation sites have shown the world that it is time and that we, the 99 percent, are willing to go to great length toward global justice.

Cutie Patoutie

Sumo stares at me intently.
"Your are leaving without me?"
Yes, I am off to protest
and stand at a busy intersection
not too safe a place for doggies, sorry.

My Experience with Occupy

I want to explore still why I am so attracted to the Occupy movement, like I take to it like a Mermaid to water. But the influx of information, opinions and happenings are overwhelming. On top I feel like I ought to present a masterly dissertation in favor of the Occupy movement. But I am conflicted like with most anything and things keep on changing.  Even while I was writing my post 11.11.11 describing the progress of our local encampment, the fire department had been checking out the site and had ordered the disuse of propane, leaving the kitchen stranded for the weekend, well kinda. Charcoal grills that are part of the park are o.k. to use and of course the community came to assistance.

On my way home from the encampment through the Farmers Market on Saturday, I managed to score a whole chicken and proceeded to cook my very first chicken soup from a whole bird. I was scared to reach inside and deal with the innards, but my fear was unfounded, all was wrapped in plastic and much appreciated by my pups, but not our Pretty Kitty, he is a finicky eater for sure. I was ready to deliver the goods, a pot of steaming hot soup with vegetables from the community garden across the encampment, on my bike at night, but got a response from my post on-line and got a ride, appreciated in frigid winter temperatures. The feedback next day was glowing "the best soup ever" despite little salt and spice since some of the campers can not tolerate such and our "Chef" had suffered a stroke. Tough to camp out in winter temperatures after a stroke, but he insists it to be his choice. There would be beds and warm meals at the shelter, but he prefers to be an essential part at our occupation site.

The very next day one crotchety, senior part time camper told me that he wished I would do something on my visits to camp. We seem to have a lot of those senior, sinewy, seemingly uptight guys in our local occupation movement. I have been walking my pups to the occupation site and through the park twice daily most days now since the site at my nearby park got occupied. It is a good way to get a feel for things, relay some information and offer a helping hand where needed.

I want to state that I did not vote for establishing an encampment, I abstained, because I knew I would not be an occupier and because I am not convinced that the freedom to assembly includes the freedom to create tent cities in public places. 

There are those that abhor the mere mention of such doubts and want those voices to shut up and go someplace else. I find that offensive and unacceptable. Americans really seem to be unable to tolerate dissent. One dear senior expressed a wish for those homeless occupiers to get pocket money for cigarettes and time off, maybe to hang out in a warm coffee shop. While his desire no doubt came from his heart and his experience spending nights at the site, I find it wholly unacceptable to pay protesters. I always object to providing anyone with their drug of choice, be that cigarettes, alcohol, dope or donuts. My senior buddy stomped off upon hearing my remark, somewhat flippant I admit, and we have not communicated since.

At such times it is good to go back to basics, do what's in front, take the next step. Despite having caught a cold during our last General Assembly and despite my doubts about the legitimacy of a tent city in an urban environment, I took to the street with my erasable bulletin board the morning after the unnecessarily forceful clearing of the People's Park, the Occupy Wall Street encampment. I was mostly standing alone! Campers did not feel like it! There were never as many as even a dozen protesters in the main intersection where our protest were to be held, announced on line while the destruction of OWS still was in full progress! A movement that can not mobilize at a moment's notice seems to me is not a movement! Movement or not, I believe we are the 99%, maybe 99.99%! I might take to the streets, or rather side walks alone, because it is time!

I object to police brutality, to the devious secrecy of the military style police action, and to the thrashing of personal property including the public library, all hauled off in dump trucks (60 out of 5000 books do not restore what must have been an outstanding library donated in part by Pattie Smith.) If you have not done so yet, feel free to place your objections with Major Bloomberg by calling 1 212 639 9675.

We can not eradicate an idea whose time has come!

99 Versus 1 Percent

11.17.11, Noon: MoveOn coordinated civic action,
locally, across from Whole Foods,
near our Occupy Santa Fe encampment.


It has been now over a full month of involvement for me with the Occupy movement. All along I have been feeling a need to express why I felt such an immediate attraction and got actively involved locally as soon as I discovered our first camp across Bank of America, erected on impulse, after that first successful demonstration on October 8th. Unlike my more usual reluctance to join any one group, I have been feeling compelled to stand up and be counted, so to say, and to do my part in speaking out and taking a stand against our global and local, social and economic injustices.

Lacking proper gear and equipment for camping in winter temperatures, I have no inclination of joining our encampment as an occupier. My passion is for the causes (there are so many) rather then the occupation. But if it takes an occupation to join a global movement for justice then I am all for supporting those that are willing to occupy. 

This said, I am in awe on what Occupy Santa Fe has managed to accomplish in such a short time. As I mentioned in an earlier post, besides a circle of about 25 tents, the kitchen got moved in to the bigger tent and got organized with the help of two welcome shelves, what a difference. The rotating crew puts out three warm  and delicious meals a day, despite challenges of accessing clean running water (frozen during frigid nights.) A third generator, now encased in straw bale to dampen the noise, supports meetings at the big tent with light and heat at night. Two solar panels got set up and are working, able to juice up computers and cell phones. Various working groups have been busy and teach-ins already happened and continue to do so, including today.

Yet there is trouble, here locally, like there is at occupation sites world wide, challenged by the winter season in particular, and for us locally by part of our population that is homeless, addicted, sometimes psychotic and on occasion violent. So despite great achievements the occupation has been seriously put in to question. Discussions will be had in these next few days. Should we give up the encampment and move somewhere indoors? There are no easy answers. I will keep you posted. Come back if you care to find out.

to be continued

Occupy Santa Fe

Occupy Santa Fe has grown to now feature two generators, two solar panels, a media tent, a good size tent used by the kitchen, and since this morning a large tent to accommodate good sized groups of activists for general assemblies, teach-ins and working groups. A circle of individual and community tents fill in a good size circle that is the occupation site. We are lucky to have bathrooms available near by along with 2 outhouses placed by order of our Major.

Occupy Santa Fe now has a website that features forums and the various working groups anyone can participate in, once signed in with WordPress. Of course Occupy Santa Fe can be found on facebook, twitter and also on flickr.

As of yesterday Occupy Santa Fe raised $2500. There is now an account with Del Norte Credit Union.

Tomorrow Occupy Santa Fe will partake in a nation wide action "Move Your Money". For that purpose a protest will be held in front of Bank of America and Wells Fargo on St. Michael's Drive, starting 9 in the morning. If you have not yet moved your money out of the major banks and are not yet motivated to do so, you may check on these 10 reasons to get inspired. If you have moved your money already, like I did ages ago, fed up with the treatment I got, still show up at a demonstration near you and lend your body to a worthy cause.
 This action will be followed by teach-ins and trainings, check the Events page for details.

Today's Tidbits

"Because you kept your progressive mouth shut, I am gonna leave you a tip" my client proclaimed today. I know he was happy to leave with a lot less pain then he arrived. One has got to love those charming customers that are able to keep a sense of humor. We laughed heartily and yes, I did not engage in a conversation about my new 'Occupy Santa Fe'  bumper sticker, he of course noticed, nor about the Canadians hoping to arrest former President Bush during his visit, same as the French and Spainiards threatened.
Meanwhile our Occupy Santa Fe Encampment has grown to a full circle of tents, a beautiful sight to behold. I picked a humongous amount of greens, mainly Mustard and a little bit left over Kale from the Community Garden right across from the camp. I felt justified by the prognosis of imminent snow, hard to believe with weather warm enough to be out and about in a summer dress. I managed to stir fry all the greens and  mix them in with a whole pot of millet. I packed that and 12 hard boiled eggs  on to my bike and brought it all back to camp, just in time for dinner - a good feeling.

The Occupiers took it upon themselves to clean the bathrooms, a welcome service to the community. The street folks have been out in force it seems at the park with police nowhere in sight. The occupiers take turns in keeping watch during the night, a prudent thing to do. Some horror stories surfaced of folks entangled with families and alcohol. The Occupiers will have to hold a fine balance as regards their role  and boundaries at the encampment with the street folks that have been occupying our park all along.