A Look Back at Bad Decisions, Climate Change, George Carlin & Calls for Action

Tewa Women United honors Kathy Sanchez, Democracy Now knocks it out of the park in a gripping full hour report, a preview of Retake’s 2018 general election strategy, plus links to last week’s reports.

This Labor Day we want to offer kudos and thanks to the unions and patriots who have fought for the rights of workers in the US and throughout the world. It says a lot about how we have devolved as a culture that unions are so often demonized as a ‘special interest’ when they have been on the forefront of fights for social, racial, gender and economic justice for over a century. Next time you have a weekend or a paid vacation or a retirement check, thank them.

Democracy Now! Grand Slam Coverage. We watch Democracy Now! as often as possible and many of you either watch or listen on KSFR. Amy Goodman and her team always deliver a penetrating, albeit often depressing report, often focusing on issues not covered in mainstream media. But last Friday’s report was about the most powerful I have seen in a long, long time for several reasons.

First, she focused the entire hour on an issue where I am ashamed to acknowledge I knew little about–the Moroccan decades long occupation of Western Sahara.  Second, the report itself was a harrowing, suspenseful report as Amy Goodman and crew had to practically sneak into the country, past security and then evade security as they met with and filmed interviews with extraordinarily courageous activists. Goodman was the first foreign correspondent in Western Sahara in over a decade and she spent four days completing the report. I thought so much of it, i provided the entire show at the bottom of this post. Sit back and enjoy what real journalism looks like.

Retake’s General Election Strategy. Retake’s primary election campaign was to unseat Rodello and Trujillo from the Roundhouse and Lovejoy, and Jones from the PRC. Mission accomplished. But now it is Labor Day and time to get serious about the general election. So look for a post Tuesday or Wednesday with information on a selection of races where we feel your canvassing, calls, and/or contributions can have the biggest impact. I have long said that voting is making choices about the political environment in which you want to exist in the future. It is NOT about who you like most personally and it might be about supporting candidates who are disappointing or flawed in some ways, but are far, far better than the alternative. So look for our 2018 General Election Strategy, coming Tuesday or Wednesday, it will include a brief description of the race and preferred candidate, along with contact information for each campaign and suggestions as to what that specific candidate needs most.

During the month of September, TEWA Women United is celebrating the birthday of one of their beloveds, Elder Kathy Sanchez! Retake Our Democracy hopes you will pay tribute to her heroic life by making a contribution in her honor.
Elder Kathy (Wan Povi), from San Ildefonso Pueblo, is a founding member of Tewa Women United, former executive director of the organization, and now serves as elder and program manager for our Environmental Health and Justice Program. She is also a member of TWU’s SaYain / Circle of Grandmothers.  Elder Kathy has dedicated her life to working on culture, the environment, and social change. September 1 was her birthday!
Tewa Women United’s founding in 1989 – nearly 30 years ago – was very much the collective effort of a number of powerful Native women. At the same time, TWU has been deeply informed and inspired by Wan Povi’s heart and vision, and would not be the organization it is today without her.
Over the years you’ve probably seen Elder Kathy offering her presence at countless gatherings, rallies, and convocations. She’s organized with rural and indigenous women at the UN Committee on the Status of Women, testified at New Mexico public hearings on Los Alamos National Lab’s devastating impact on health and environment, and so much more.
Elder Kathy is also a gifted and innovative teacher. She developed the Two Butterfly Model (or two-world harmony model) and has shared it with Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and organizations since the early 1980s. According to her daughter, Corrine,
The Butterfly Model is based on the image of the butterfly which to Tewa people signifies transformation, mobility, vulnerability, and power to impact the multi-verse because of and despite its delicacy…. The model continues to serve as the foundational philosophical model for TWU because it discusses our wholeness of being, using identity, language, and spirituality as a strength that leads to our mobility (fluidity) in changing and challenging times.
Two more of Elder Kathy’s innovative contributions to TWU’s work are Trauma Rocks, an experiential process to identify and heal generational trauma, and the Gathering for Mother Earth. This annual event, started by Elder Kathy in 1996, is now organized by a coalition of organizations (including TWU) as a celebration of cultural ways to share love and gratitude for Mother Earth. The gathering offers the community an opportunity to come together for eco-systemic revival and revolution.
Every once in awhile Retake asks you to make a contribution for a good cause. We can’t think of a better one the TWU.

The Week in Review

A look back at last week’s posts, plus at the bottom of the post, a tremendous video from Democracy Now!

How Does a Bad Idea Almost Get City Approval?  Plus Coverage of a New Effort to Double San Juan Basin Drilling and Georg Carlin at His Best

Wednesday, Aug. 29. Right now, we have a chance to stop yet another gas & oil affront, the doubling of the number of oil drilling operations allowable in the San Juan Basin (info and contact info provided). This post also included a different spin on the City Council deliberations (until 1:15am) on a proposed housing development. Is it time to revise our building codes? Not a sexy topic, but when most building codes and zoning regs were drafted in the 50’s and 60’s to promote urban sprawl and with climate change not even a concept, perhaps our city staff could better regulate development with better regs and codes. And surprise, there is a national center providing tools to do just that. The post also includes the memorable George Carlin and his timely commentary on ‘stuff.’

“Rarely in Human History Have So Many Things Gone So Badly Wrong in So Short a Time”

Saturday, Sept. 1. And while there is no doubt we face daunting challenges and a shortage of time, rarely has there been a greater need to transition to a just, sustainable economy. And rarely have there been so many minds, organizations and communities focused upon making that transition. In Saturday’s blog, we explore how and provide 5 minutes of George Carlin on “Stuff.”  Also a call to action for the City Council meeting on Wednesday with information on what was at stake at that meeting.

Click here to read the full post.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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