Standing Rock, part 1 – warning: mushy contents

Standing Rock:  Day 1 November 22nd

I found another woman who is also driving, and we are leaving later today in her school bus for Standing Rock. That means I will have to fly back, because I have to see to the final settlement of an eviction case involving three families with young children.  I also have an interpreting job on the 29th that I can’t miss. The plane tickets are very expensive (about $500), so I am hoping someone will be driving back and I can get a ride…

 November 22nd: We are finally heading to Standing Rock on a small hippie school bus and we prayed our way out of Berkeley and smudged both the bus inside and out and each other. We hope to drive straight through…

November 23rd: Morning has broken like the first morning…


November 23rd: When I in awesome wonder consider how the world thy hands have made…

When it was my turn to drive I kept singing spirituals and religious songs, and getting choked up…


November 23rd: This was earlier in the day as we were driving through Nevada and the sky and the mountains were so beautiful that for once I was speechless. Tonight we had to stop in Salt Lake City, Utah, because there was a sudden snow storm. We were told temperatures were dropping in our next stop at Evanston, Wyoming and the traffic was horrendous. People, especially the drivers of big rigs, were speeding through the highway and covering our windshield with snow and rain. We had hoped to arrive early tomorrow but now we will likely be there in the late evening. Except for the stress of not sleeping properly for a couple of days, this is a wonderful trip. I am a great lover of mountain landscapes, and the mountains here are stunning.


November 25th, National Genocide Day, also known as Thanksgiving:

Yesterday Elizabeth’s cousin Cindy brought us Thanksgiving dinner and we had a wonderful time not just because everything was delicious but because they had collected donations and made these wonderful things and were willing to share and spend some time in the messy school bus we have been driving. We are now maybe 3 hours away. We had to stop again to sleep last night because it was too cold.


November 26, 2016

When we pulled into camp, even though I had promised I would not cry, I began to sob wildly and extravagantly.  There are thousands of people, hundreds of tents and other types of buildings, and smiles and friendliness and an amazing array of human beings, gathered in incredible solidarity.  I have carried Jim’s ashes with me, hoping to have a small ceremony.  He would have been here, and still is, even if in another dimension.  I do have to return soon, because of other commitments, but I will be back soon.

November 27, 2016

I am in the Ramada at Bismarck, North Dakota, maybe 4 miles from the airport where I will fly back home tomorrow at eight in the morning, because I have a meeting on Monday with a landlord who was evicting all his tenants and I will be there to ensure he keeps up with the terms of a settlement agreement.

Last night I slept under the stars with my two subzero sleeping bags one inside the other. I meditated using the Silva Method to warm myself up, and prayed for some time asking for guidance. I woke up at 1 in the morning incredibly warm. I had pulled off one of my ponchos during my sleep as well as my hat and gloves, and I never was able to find them. One of my traveling mates, Andrea Prichett, who had provided much needed support during the trip, had put a heavy-duty tarp over my sleeping space and helped me put together the sleeping bags. We had spent time during the drive telling stories about her time in Africa and listening to her play beautiful songs; I am grateful for her practical and emotional support and her amazing soul.

To be able to commune with the heavens in a detoxifying body (I was doing a water fast) and to hear in the background the flute and the voices of native singers is a truly spiritual experience, and I came to bring supplies and to help, but most of all to pray… I had answered a call for religious people to come pray, and yesterday at orientation they talked about this being prayerful spiritual resistance.

At first light a young woman from Israel who was at the camp woke me up to make sure I was all right. I had slept, twice, very well (how could you not sleep well when you are listening to the lullaby of native flute and voices…) and even though parts of one of the sleeping bags were wet and icy, and one of my ponchos was wet, I was very comfortable and felt no cold whatsoever.

I decided to get up and greet the sun and the new day, and because I had decided to fast as part of my prayer for guidance, I did not have to worry about getting something to eat. We have been asked to give back more than we took from our brothers and sisters.

I walked around camp and met some wonderful young people including Aaron Hackett and Rob who teach permaculture and survival skills at the Living Earth School in Virginia. Many others had slept under the stars as I did, and Aaron, for example, talked to me about having taken a six week course from the man known as Wim the Ice Man.  I signed up for that today, because I want to be self-sufficient when I return for a longer stay at Standing Rock.  Mind you, I am not happy about the cold showers… but I have always been interested in self-sufficiency. I tried to share survival skills many years ago with my children during camping trips to places in New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Most of the people in our modern society are so accustomed to prepackaged life that they would not make it in the event of a disaster…

I had obtained donations of about a hundred pounds of dried beans, also rice, tuna, peanut butter and other good staples, as well as diapers. I had gone into a Walmart for the first time in more than a dozen years when we had to stop because of a sudden snow storm and had bought a small propane heater, additional subzero sleeping bag and ugly men’s boots I could wear with heavy socks. The workers at Walmart are always very nice even if the owners are not. It was difficult to purchase things there but these were things I was planning to donate and I didn’t have my own car. So it was a situation of one cause against the other and I donate to Our Walmart on a monthly basis, to change the living conditions of the workers for the largest and most brutal employer in the world.

The orientation that morning was amazing. I want to express my gratitude for the careful sharing of needed information. The official site for the Oceti Sakowin Camp where we arrived is, and you can obtain historical information as well as lists of needed/wanted items. During orientation we covered the seven Lakota values, which are prayer, respect, compassion, honesty, generosity, humility and wisdom.

There is a desperate need of volunteers, particularly before the 5th of December, when the Army Corps of Engineers has announced eviction of the main camp. Since this is treaty land, it is incredible that our First Nations are once again being violently dispossessed. (The Army Corps of Engineers has apparently rescinded their threat, but now the Governor of North Dakota is pursuing the same “remedy,” citing similar reasons, including inclement weather.  It would be wonderful if he would prevent the local highly militarized police and guards from attacking our peaceful protesters…)

The amazing thing about the people at the camp is the generosity and kindness found almost everywhere. I was particularly impressed by the young people, who speak knowledgeably about the unbridled capitalism (and corporatism) and consumerism in our society. I feel the same sense of hope I felt during Occupy Oakland, even if I agreed with the request of our Ohlone brothers and sisters to change the name to Decolonize Oakland.

With regard to the people attending, there were indigenous people native to the area and also people from other lands. There were elders such as myself and others who were much older, and there was an attitude of complete respect for those elders, as they have the wisdom from a long life.

I am so grateful to so many, including Jennifer, a new Argentinian friend who lives in San Diego and who actually drove me to the airport in Bismarck. She gave me her seat during orientation and we spoke about many things, including shamanism.

I am returning to the Bay Area but will head back out in my car by the second of December with more supplies, and hope to stay for two or three weeks. I will stop in New Mexico to see my widowed friend and then head out again.

Later I will speak about a conversation I had with Andrea, who teaches history, about Valley Forge and the simmering of what became the first US Army. I truly believe we are at a crucial time for the planet, and this gathering of over three hundred indigenous nations and thousands of allies of every race, color, creed, national origin and sexual or gender orientation is an amazing occurrence in these otherwise dark times of an ever more brutal corporate empire.

We were asked to take no pictures or videos, and there is almost no internet connection at camp, but the inner pictures and feelings I am bringing back are life-changing.

Peace to you all! (I am going to carry around a curse jar so I can make donations anytime I curse, which seems to be so much a part of my being…) Cursing is also a no-no at camp, because of the negative violent context in a peaceful place of spiritual resistance… (On the curse jar, I already have $8.00 in it.  I will either stop cursing or go bankrupt…)

Silvia out, with abrazos and namastés to go around.

P.S.  November 27, 2016: Fidel Castro Ruz, presente

I found out about his death in the cab/shuttle that took me to the Ramada before I left for Hayward from Bismarck. My driver was a Pakistani with strong opinions about U.S. interventions in so many countries, including most recently Syria, Iraq, Libya and too many others to mention. I met el comandante three times as a child and have a vivid remembrance of his warmth and larger-than-life persona. I remember at 9 being accidentally stepped on by what seemed to me his huge foot at Santa María beach and being picked up so he could smile, hug me and apologize. He smelled like my father, of strong Cuban cigar. Years later, although not a smoker, I would smoke my first Cohiba and remember. As in Proust’s “À la recherche du temps perdu,” so many times a smell or taste has brought back another lifetime…

I have spent years identifying myself as “cubana pero no gusana.” I do so again today. I shudder at the Miami scenery, at the refusal to remember the persistent and shameful occupation of our land by the United States, at the deep-seated racism and the retelling of lost property, some of it a made-up memory. The exile has produced monstrosities such as the Menéndez brothers, convicted of slaughtering their wealthy parents out of pure unadulterated of greed.

For me, I think of el comandante as a hero who incredibly survived hundreds of assassination attempts at the hands of the CIA and who helped a small nation in the Caribbean survive a punishing embargo for over half a century, becoming a beacon of freedom for many countries the world over. Despite mistakes and continuing economic problems fueled by the United States, Cuba’s literacy rates and delivery of health care far surpasses those of the United States. This was largely fueled by the leadership of Fidel Castro Ruz. Fidel Castro Ruz, ¡presente!


Charismatic leader of the revolution and president of Cuba who bestrode the world stage for half a century
Posted in Lakota values, making a difference, moral protest, peace and love, solidarity, the dismissal of non-white cultures, the exploitation of indigenous peoples, US imperialism, water rights | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Leaving for Standing Rock! / ¡Nos vamos para Standing Rock!

This is yet another bilingual post… Este es de nuevo un artículo bilingüe.  Please share/ por favor compartan.  

First of all, thank you to everyone who donated; my car is almost full, as is my heart. /Primero que nada, gracias a todos los que donaron; mi auto y mi corazón ya casi están llenos… 

I have found a young driving partner, and will be leaving by the end of the 21st for Standing Rock!  I will use the tent I bought for Occupy (Decolonize) Oakland and take supplies which I have been gathering for several days.  Thank you to the wonderful artist Andrée Thompson, who donated a lot of very warm coats and jackets and talked to Micah! / He encontrado un compañero joven y nos iremos a fines del 21 para llegar a Standing Rock.  Utilizaré la tienda de campaña que compré para Occupy Oakland, y llevaremos suministros que he estado recopilando en estos días.  Gracias a la maravillosa ceramista y artista Andrée Thompson, que donó un montón de abrigos y chalecos calientes y convenció a Micah. 


I decided I needed to go to Standing Rock when one of  the elders asked that people of faith go pray… Because I seem to be mired in anger lately, what with the theft of the elections by the Democratic Party and the current problems with the elected candidate, as well as my problems with homelessness, poverty and immigration issues, both in the Bay Area and in the world, I had thought a retreat would be a good thing to do at this time.  / Decidí irme a Standing Rock cuando uno de los ancianos pidió que las personas de fe religiosa fueran a orar…  Dado que estoy atascada en la rabia en estos días, ya sea por el robo de las elecciones por el Partido Demócrata y los problemas actuales con el candidato electo, al igual que mis problemas con temas del desamparo de tantos, la pobreza y la inmigración, tanto en el área de la Bahía como en el mundo, pensé que tal vez un retiro sería algo bueno en estos momentos.

I also know that environmentalists are in the top list of victims worldwide, as we remember from the murder of environmental indigenous Lenca activist Berta Isabel Cáceres in Honduras, when she led her people to defend the waters of the Gualcarque River. / También sé que los activistas del medio ambiente están al tope de la lista de víctimas en todo el mundo, como recordamos del asesinato de la activista del medio ambiente Berta Isabel Cáceres en Honduras, cuando dirigió a su gente a defender las aguas del río Gualcarque.This one came home with me

So I go with an open heart to pray and to stand with my brothers and sisters, and to do whatever is asked of me. / De manera que me voy con el corazón abierto a rezar y a estar de pie con mis hermanos y hermanas, y a hacer lo que se me pida.


As some of you I was raised a Catholic and at the age of 14 I participated in a liberation theology retreat in the Dominican Republic and it changed my life forever. I am a member of the Johrei Fellowship, a Unitarian Universalist, and a member of the Unity Church of Christianity (Metaphysical Christianity). I am also a student of Buddhism and a student of Judaism, particularly since I am Semitic on my father’s side. / Como algunos de ustedes saben, fui criada católica y a la edad de 14 años particié en un retiro de la teología de la liberación en la República Dominicana y eso cambió mi vida para siempre.  Soy miembro de la sociedad de Johrei, miembro de la iglesia Unitaria Universalista, y miembro de la iglesia Unity de la Cristiandad (la cristiandad metafísica).  También soy estudiante del budismo y del judaísmo, en particular dado que vengo de descendencia semita por parte de mi padre.Dominican Republic invasion (Picture of US invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 – foto de la invasión de la Rep. Dominicana por los EE.UU. en 1965)

I have been a part of the Christian/Catholic left since I discovered it existed, and I have spent five decades doing the work of spiritual and political revolution in the United States and abroad. I am studying for the priesthood because I have felt the calling for the ministry for five decades and because the Catholic Church forbids women’s ordination. It is an issue of patriarchy and misogyny, which I can fight best by being ordained. / He sido parte de la izquierda cristiana o católica desde que descubrí su existencia, y me he pasado cinco décadas haciendo el trabajo de revolución espiritual y política en los Estados Unidos y en el extranjero.  Estoy estudiando para el ministerio porque he sentido esa vocación durante cinco décadas y porque la iglesia  católica prohíbe la ordenación de las mujeres.  Es un problema de patriarcado y misoginia, contra el que puedo  luchar al ser ordenada.Gracias a la vida

I also have been working for years on the issues in our planet fought by Yeshua or Isa, the man from Nazareth, with regard to empire and poverty and the love of all beings, no exceptions. I choose to work in the belly of the beast, as many of my ancestors did, because it is the best way to fight. / Llevo muchos años trabajando en los problemas de nuestro planeta por los que luchó Yeshuá o Issa, el hombre de Nazaret, con relaciación al imperio y la pobreza y el amor a todos los seres, sin excepciones.  He decido pelear en las entrañas del monstruo, como hicieron muchos de mis antecesores, porque es la mejor forma de luchar.  
Interpreting for Father Roy SOAW Nov. 2011
Posted in environmental justice, justice, la depredación del medio ambiente, moral protest, peace and love, the exploitation of indigenous peoples, US imperialism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ongoing racism and oppression – El racismo y la opresión constantes

Magic BernieThis is yet another bilingual post… Este es otro artículo bilingüe.
SO!!! Don’t come telling me to kiss and make up, to pretend I am not angry, to ‘come together’ with my oppressors. I have been trying to write an article for weeks about ongoing racism and oppression, and I am so angry that I haven’t made any headway. I don’t want to lose whatever friends I have left, but the truth is I continue to experience racism and white privilege everywhere I go. I have been asked, when introducing myself with my combined last name of Brandon and Pérez, whether I was Puerto Rican and on welfare… I have been dismissed as just another Pérez far too many times… I have been told, even, that “I don’t understand.”  Recently, someone told me that if I belonged to one of the ostracized minorities, I could understand… (I suppose being a latina doesn’t count…) / ¡¡¡De modo que… !!! No vengan a decirme que nos demos besitos y nos hagamos amiguitos, que finja que no estoy enojada, que me “una” a mis opresores. He estado tratando de escribir un artículo durante semanas sobre el racismo y la opresión en curso, y estoy tan enojada que no he avanzado. No quiero perder a los amigos que me quedan, pero la verdad es que sigo sufriendo el racismo y el privilegio blanco en todas partes. Me han preguntado, al presentarme con mi apellido combinado de Brandon y Pérez, si yo era puertorriqueña y estaba recibiendo ayuda del gobierno… Me han tildado de una Pérez cualquiera muchas veces … Me han dicho, incluso , que “no entiendo”. Recientemente, alguien me dijo que si yo perteneciera a una de las minorías marginadas, podría entender … (supongo que ser latina no cuenta …).

What don’t I understand? That those who rule believe we have no rights except as wage slaves? When a young woman writes recently that “I don’t understand benefiting from privilege and how sad that is,” I love that I have my fourth homeless family living in my garage, because they were unlawfully evicted by a city called “the Heart of the Bay” which has lost its heart. I love it that I had to drive an 83-year-old widow in my aging car to New Mexico after she sustained an unlawful eviction started by her stepchildren, after TWENTY NINE YEARS OF MARRIAGE! / ¿Qué es lo que no entiendo? ¿Que los que gobiernan creen que no tenemos más derechos que los esclavos a sueldo? Cuando una joven me escribe recientemente que “no entiendo el beneficiarme de los privilegios y lo triste que es”, me encanta que tengo a mi cuarta familia sin hogar viviendo en mi garaje, porque fueron desalojados ilegalmente por una ciudad llamada “el corazón de la Bahía” que ha perdido su corazón. Me encanta que tuve que conducir a una viuda de 83 años de edad en mi coche viejo a Nuevo México después de que ella sufrió un desalojo ilegal iniciado por sus hijastros, ¡después de VEINTE Y NUEVE AÑOS DE MATRIMONIO!

Am I too angry? Yep. But I would say, more than angry, I am outraged, and it’s moral outrage.    How horrible it will be for those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness into light and light into darkness, who turn what is bitter into something sweet and what is sweet into something bitter. Isaiah 5:20  / ¿Estoy demasiado enojada? Es verdad. Pero yo diría, más que enojada, estoy indignada, y es indignación moral. ¡Qué horrible será para los que llaman mal al bien y al bien al mal, que convierten las tinieblas en luz y la luz en tinieblas, que convierten lo amargo en algo dulce y lo dulce en algo amargo. Isaías 5:20

People of faith use the bible and biblical writings to excuse atrocities.  We have an epidemic of poverty and economic inequality in this country of ours which should provoke instant outrage in any person of faith.  Yet our Congresspeople, who call themselves “Christians” or believers or whatever they call themselves, are constantly enacting legislation (or refusing to do so) in complete disregard of their brothers and sisters who are not wealthy, or who are living from paycheck to paycheck, or who are ill and uninsured, or undocumented, or (you can fill in the blanks here).  Legislators in fact  refuse to help the poor.  / La gente de fe usa la Biblia y los escritos bíblicos para excusar las atrocidades. Tenemos una epidemia de pobreza y desigualdad económica en nuestro país, la cual debería provocar una indignación inmediata en cualquier persona de fe. Sin embargo, nuestros congresistas, que se llaman a sí mismos “cristianos” o creyentes o lo que sea que se llaman, están constantemente promulgando leyes (o se niegan a hacerlo) con total desprecio de sus hermanos y hermanas que no son ricos o que viven de sueldo a sueldo , o que están enfermos y sin seguro, o indocumentados, o (aquí puede llenar los espacios en blanco ). De hecho, los legisladores se niegan a ayudar a los pobres.

Someone, a conservative Baptist, told me recently that the line from the story in the Bible repeated in three of the Gospels where Jesus is anointed by a woman with costly ointment while at Bethany, means that we need do nothing about poverty, and that good deeds are worthless.  The ointment is criticized by the disciples, and Jesus rebukes them by saying that she has done a good deed, preparing him for burial, and “For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”   But that pesky saying is always footnoted, and the footnote points to Deuteronomy 15:11, in other words, Jesus was quoting from the Torah. And Deut. 15:11 in fact says: “Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you:  ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy in your land.’ /Alguien, un bautista conservador, me dijo recientemente que la línea de la historia en la Biblia que se repite en tres de los Evangelios donde Jesús es ungido por una mujer con un ungüento costoso mientras se encontraba en Betania, significa que no necesitamos hacer nada acerca de la pobreza, y que los actos buenos son inútiles. El ungüento es criticado por los discípulos, y Jesús los reprende diciendo que ella ha hecho una buena acción, preparándolo para el entierro, y “Porque siempre tienen a los pobres consigo, pero no siempre me tendrán“. Pero ese comentario fastidioso siempre lleva una nota a pie de página, y la nota de pie de página señala a Deuteronomio 15:11, en otras palabras, Jesús estaba citando la Torá. Y Deut. 15:11 dice, en efecto: “Como nunca dejará de haber necesitados en la tierra, yo les mando:” Abran su mano al pobre y necesitado de su tierra’


The Die-in in front of the White House this is what love isgI would like to be a sweeter person and not curse or care so much, but I have been involved in the gutter of government and politics and society for too long. I am sick and tired, and that’s the truth. It doesn’t mean I won’t continue to fight the fight, because it’s part of my makeup and I can no more stop doing this than I can stop breathing./ Me gustaría ser una persona más dulce y no decir tantas malas palabras o preocuparme tanto, pero he estado involucrada en el tugurio del gobierno y de la política y de la sociedad por demasiado tiempo. Estoy harta y agotada, y esa es la verdad. No significa que no seguiré peleando, porque es parte de lo que soy y no puedo dejar de hacerlo al igual que no puedo dejar de respirar.

But stop with all the calls for unity… I am united with the people, not with those who are abusing us all, and having a good laugh while they go about it. Many of the posts on my blog start with, or end with, WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE? Why didn’t all the folks, kids, elders who marched through the streets in city after city yesterday, march down the street and protest vehemently when Bernie Sanders got thrown under the bus? Had the DNC, the mass media, and the bloated and corrupt Democratic Party system not thrown Bernie under the bus and stolen the election, we would now be getting ready for the inauguration of Senator Sanders.  Instead, they decided pell-mell that it would be Hillary.  WHY?  And more importantly, HOW DARE YOU ALL sob now, when you participated in this miscarriage of justice and of elections by NOT protesting, by telling those of us who were grieving to get over it?    How you feel now, as if you were living a nightmare, is how I have been feeling, how all of us who worked for Bernie’s election were feeling, since California was declared for Hillary by the mass media BEFORE the primary… Since our Attorney General, who was supposed to be impartial, actively campaigned for her… since people blamed Wikileaks and the Russians and the Martians for the leaks, rather than blame the dynamic duo, whose nasty deeds had all come to the light of day… / Pero basta con todos los llamamientos a la unidad … Estoy unida con el pueblo, no con los que nos abusan a todos, y se echan una buena risotada mientras lo hacen. Muchos de los artículos de mi blog comienzan o terminan con, ¿DÓNDE ESTÁ LA INDIGNACIÓN? ¿Por qué todas las personas, niños, ancianos que marcharon por las calles de ciudad tras ciudad ayer, no marcharon por la calle y protestaron con vehemencia cuando Bernie Sanders fue arrojado a la acera? Si el DNC, los medios de comunicación y el sistema del Partido Demócrata inflado y corrupto no hubieran arrojado a Bernie a la acera y no se hubieran robado las elecciones, ahora nos estaríamos preparando para la inauguración del Senador Sanders. En su lugar, decidieron atropelladamente que sería Hillary. ¿POR QUÉ? Y lo más importante, ¿cómo se atreven todos ustedes a llorar ahora, cuando participaron en este aborto de la justicia y de las elecciones al NO protestar, diciéndonos a aquellos de nosotros que estábamos afligidos que teníamos que superarlo? Cómo se sienten ahora, como si estuvieran viviendo una pesadilla, es como me he estado sintiendo, cómo todos nosotros que trabajamos para elegir a Bernie nos sentimos, luego de que California fue declarada por los medios masivos de comunicación para Hillary ANTES de la primaria … El Fiscal General, que se suponía que era imparcial, activamente hizo campaña por ella … ya que la gente culpó a Wikileaks y a los rusos y a los marcianos por las revelaciones, en lugar de culpar al dúo dinámico, cuyos actos infames habían salido a la luz del día.
This one came home with meThose of you moaning now were supporters of Hillary.  Hillary Clinton and her benighted husband who used their white and political privilege to harm people of color, working families, and immigrants, among many, and who exported their stuff all over the Américas, supported and advanced the mass imprisonment-for-profit system, the bankruptcy reform act which gutted bankruptcy relief so credit card companies and lenders could get richer, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum and very very much ad nauseam. Remember the coup in Honduras?  Berta Isabel Cáceres, before she was murdered, accused Hillary of her role in coup.  / Aquellos de ustedes que se quejan ahora fueron partidarios de Hillary. Hillary Clinton y su ignorante esposo, que usaron su privilegio blanco y político para dañar a personas de color, a familias trabajadoras e inmigrantes, entre muchos otros, y que exportaron sus cosas por todas las Américas, apoyaron y avanzaron el sistema masivo de prisiones por lucro, la reforma de la ley de quiebra que destripó el alivio de bancarrota para que las compañías de tarjetas de crédito y los prestamistas pudieran hacerse más ricos, etcétera, etcétera, ad infinitum y muy, muy ad nauseam. ¿Recuerdan el golpe de estado en Honduras? Berta Isabel Cáceres, antes de ser asesinada, acusó a Hillary por su papel en el golpe.

Anyone remember the sacking and destruction of Haiti? There are Clinton doings in Haiti … The Foundation was one of the first to visit Haiti, but it led to their enrichment and the impoverishment of the Haitians.  ¿Alguien recuerda el saqueo y la destrucción de Haití? Hay hechos de los Clinton en Haití … La Fundación fue una de las primeras en visitar Haití, pero eso llevó a su enriquecimiento y al empobrecimiento de los haitianos.

So please, spare me your excuses, I am not interested, and I am not buying. /

Así que por favor, quédense con sus excusas, no estoy interesada, y no estoy comprando nada.
Posted in discipline, electoral corruption, establishment politics, exhaustion, Hillary Clinton imperialist, indifference, justice, moral protest, righteous anger, societal apathy, the dismissal of non-white cultures, US imperialism, widows and orphans | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The silver lining to the bad news and the worse news: el filo de plata en las noticias malas y las peores

We are the mediaI recently posted a commentary on the Pavlov reflex, which is how we seem to run elections in the United States.  We have been well trained by our corporate masters, including, in particular, the mass corporate media, to salivate at the drop of a slogan, whether it be as consumers or as voters.  The saying that “a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth,” attributed to Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, seems to be the essence of the Pavlovian system used to have citizens turned into consumers, into desperate voters, and into raving masses ready to do violence.

Hace poco compartí un comentario sobre el reflejo de Pavlov, que aparentemente utilizamos para llevar a cabo las elecciones en los Estados Unidos.  Hemos sido muy bien entrenados por nuestros amos corporativos, y en particular por los medios de comunicación corporativos, y se nos sale la baba en cuanto oímos una consigna, ya sea como consumidores o como votantes.  El dicho de que “una mentira que se repite mil veces se convierte en la verdad,” atribuído al ministro de propaganda de Hitler,  Joseph Goebbels, parecería ser la esencia del sistema de Pavlov utilizado para que los ciudadanos se conviertan en consumidores, en votantes desesperados, y en masas delirantes listas para cometer la violencia.

Guantanamo 1In the United States we have excused atrocities untold against the rest of the world, which most people choose not even to acknowledge.  We have devastated entire populations and countries and environments; we are, after all, Empire, and we are in this to subdue and to conquer, the devil take the hindmost.  We are not, as members of a country, or should not be, spectators, but rather we should be actors, in other words, we should take whatever steps are necessary to change our country  and our world.  If we have children, we are doubly constrained to do this; it is their world that we must be certain to make a more just and equitable, peaceful place to live.  What better heritage can we bequeath to them?

En los Estados Unidos hemos excusado atrocidades sin nombre contra el resto del mundo, y la mayor parte de la gente ha decidido ni siquiera reconocerlas.  Hemos devastado pueblos y países y ambientes entero; después de todo, somos el Imperio, y estamos en este jelengue para dominar y conquistar, y sálvese quien pueda.  No somos, como miembros de una nación, o al menos no deberíamos ser espectadores, sino actores, es decir, tendríamos que tomar los pasos necesarios para cambiar nuestra nación y nuestro mundo.  Si tenemos hijos, tenemos una obligación doble de hacerlo; es el mundo de ellos el que tendremos que asegurarnos sea un lugar más justo y equitativo, más lleno de paz para poder vivir como es debido.  ¿Qué mejor herencia podemos dejarles?

Hillary belicoseI am ecstatic that Hillary Clinton did not win the election, and I will leave you to go through my other writings on this topic, which are many.  She is a menace who has accomplished and carried out what Donald Trump has only threatened.  And she conspired with the Democratic Party, the mass media and the DNC to steal the elections from my chosen candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders.  Her crimes, even if she hasn’t been indicted or convicted because of her huge corporate support, are legion.

Estoy ecstática de emoción de que Hillary Clinton no haya ganado las elecciones, y los dejo con la tarea de leer las otras cosas que he escrito sobre este tema, que son muchas.  Ella constitute una amenaza que ha logrado y llevado a cabo lo que Donald Trump solamente ha amenazado hacer.  Y conspiró con el Partido Demócrata, con los medios de comunicación corporativos, y con el comite nacional del Partido Demócrata, para robarle las elecciones a mi candidato, el senador Bernie Sanders.  Sus crímenes, aunque no haya sido acusada o condenada debido a su apoyo corporativo gigantesco, no tienen fin.

I am horrified that Donald Trump has won the election, but I wrote many months ago that a vote for Hillary would be, in effect, a vote for Donald Trump.  Guess what?  Sadly, I was right.  The country was more disgusted with Hillary’s antics than with Trump’s, and for some of us, voting for her was unthinkable and still is.

Estoy horrorizada de que Donald Trump haya ganado las elecciones, pero hace meses escribí que un voto para Hillary en efecto sería un voto para Donald Trump.  Y parece, desafortunadamente, que yo tenía razón.  La nación estaba más disgustada con las payasadas de Hillary que con las bufonadas de Trump, y para algunos de nosotros, el votar por ella no era posible, y sigue siéndolo.

mlk_riversideWhat it will take for us to change this country and by extension, the world? We must  go to work every day to change the small and the large policies that victimize our brothers and sisters of color and our working class and immigrant families. This would include things such as supporting an end to the Dakota pipeline and all free trade treaties, which are only excuses for corporations to make money at the expense of the poor and disenfranchised. The United States government has victimized countries and peoples since it was established. It is time to put an end to unbridled capitalism, militarism and imperialism, not to mention racism and white privilege.  Dr. King said  in his speech in April of 1967  that  he was “disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism.”

¿Qué será necesario para que cambiemos a este país, y por extensión, al mundo?  Tendremos que salir día a día para cambiar las políticas pequeñas y grandes que hacen víctimas de nuestros hermanos y hermanas de color y de nuestra clase obrera y de nuestras familias inmigrantes.  Esto incluiría apoyar la clausura del gasoducto en Dakota y de todos los tratados dizque de libre comercio, que son simplemente excusas para que las corporaciones se enriquezcan a expensas del los pobres y desamparados.  El gobierno de los Estados Unidos ha provocado víctimas de países y pueblos desde su establecimiento.  Es hora de ponerle fin al capitalismo desbocado, al militarismo e imperialismo, sin dejar de preocuparnos del racismo y del privilegio de los de raza blanca.  El doctor Martin Luther King dijo en su discurso de abril de 1967 que estaba “desencantado con nuestro fracaso en lidiar de forma positiva y directa con los males triples del racismo, la explotación económica y el militarismo.” 

What is next?  As Joe Hill wrote to Bill Haywood before his execution, don’t waste time mourning, organize!  We came through eight years of an unelected president who did untold harm to the country and to the planet, and whose family were supporters of Hitler (I refer, of course, to the not lamented GWB).  We elected our first black president and had him toe the corporate line and deport more people than any number of presidents put together, and who is still refusing to take action to protect indigenous people, property, water rights and treaties!

¿Qué vendrá luego?  Como le escribió Joe Hill a Bill Haywood antes de ser ejecutado, ¡no pierdan tiempo con el luto, organícense! Hemos sobrevivido ocho años con un presidente que nunca fue elegido y que le hizo daño indecible al país y al planeta, y cuya familia apoyaba a Hitler (me refiero, por supuesto, a George W. Bush, nunca lamentado).  Elegimos a nuestro primer presidente de raza negra y lo vimos cumplir con la línea corporativa, y deportar a más personas que un sinnúmero de presidente, un presidente que ¡sigue evitando tomar medidas para proteger a los pueblos indígenas, su propiedad, sus derechos al agua y sus tratados!

We can do this.  We must resist, and we will resist!  We have had centuries of practice.

Podemos hacer esto.  Tenemos que resistirnos, ¡ y resistiremos!  Hemos tenido siglos de práctica.

Posted in discipline, el amor y la paz, el capitalismo racista, el fascismo moderno en los EE.UU., electoral corruption, endless war, establishment politics, Hillary Clinton imperialist, immigrants' rights, imperial discipline, indifference, justice, la corrupción de las elecciones, la depredación del medio ambiente, las actitudes belicosas de Hillary Clinton, las multinacionales arrasadoras, los derechos de los inmigrantes, los tratados de libre comercio, making a difference, moral protest, societal apathy, the dismissal of non-white cultures, the exploitation of indigenous peoples, US imperialism, water rights, worker exploitation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Last bilingual post on the Pavlov syndrome – último artículo bilingüe sobre el síndrome de Pavlov (translation provided mañana)

Pavlovian or classical conditioning refers to a learning procedure in which a biologically potent stimulus (the greater evil, a/k/a Donald Trump, or el Donald) is paired with a previously neutral stimulus (elections). It also refers to the learning process that results from this pairing, through which the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response (voting for Hillary Clinton) that is usually similar to the one elicited by the potent stimulus. This was studied in detail by Ivan Pavlov through experiments with dogs.

El Donald was a lifelong Democrat until 2009 and after a rather long conversation with fellow pervert William (“a/k/a” El Bill) Jefferson Clinton, he announced his candidacy as a Republican, and then proceeded to do a reality show impersonation of a candidate, making wilder and more ridiculous pronouncements by the minute in order NOT to be elected.  However, because of the ongoing problems with human nature, he has run a very tight race with La Clinton, or La Hillary, because of the aforesaid Pavlov reflex.

All of you lovely people who are voting or have voted for La Hillary are salivating like the Canis studied by our friend Pavlov (another Russian!) and you will forgive me for telling you that a) if La Hillary is elected or crowned, and b) declares war on Russia or c) bombs someplace within 100 days of her term and d) sacks Social Security and any other number of sundry disasters, you are NOT to complain, here on Facebook or elsewhere.  You stood still while the DNC cheated and tore apart the electoral process, continued with business as usual, and you have shown that you salivate whenever you are properly stimulated, à la Pavlov, by the corporate mass media.  I, in the meantime, have cast my vote for the Green Party, and when the country finishes going to hell or we are in the throes of another war, don’t come to me to complain.

This has been a public service message and a test of the emergency broadcast system.  Silvia out.


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America is not a country (to be translated)


Having read a post on Putin and the Russians, I find that I must respond.  You may notice that I have been silent on many topics, having spent three weeks without internet in New Mexico, and recently having returned from the bi-national encounter in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, México, where I visited the site of the murder by a US border patrol agent of the young man (age 16) known as José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, shot ten (10) times over the border by a border patrol agent.  Two of the Mexicans I interviewed in Nogales (Sonora, México) at the site of the shooting this past Monday stated that if it had happened the other way, that a young US man had been killed by a stray shot across the border, the US would have declared an international incident and would have bombarded México. Remember Fallujah?


I find it disturbing that the US government and military hierarchy continue to demean Russia and accuse Vladimir Putin, its current president, for activities that the US has long performed.  As a long-time and proud socialist, I find this hypocrisy to be boundless.   


1.  The United States of America government and military hierarchy bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima, unleashing massive horror and permanent destruction upon a population for no reason that can be fathomed.  The first attack took place on August 6th and immediately killed 80,000 people; the second attack, three days later, coming after the devastation of the first one, killed another 40,000 people. Tens of thousands died later from radiation exposure.  If there was no excusing the bombing of Hiroshima, the bombing of Nagasaki was sheer and unadulterated cruelty and imperial excess.


2.  The U.S. government and military hierarchy have continuously used depleted uranium in its military weaponry, and left our veterans and the people in those regions to suffer its consequences.


3.  The U.S. government and military hierarchy have kept up a system that led to the abuses in prisons such as Abu Ghraib.  Although always speaking of ‘rogue’ performers, investigation of the facts has led to the indictment that these abuses were encouraged and condoned by the military hierarchy.


4.  The U.S. government and military hierarchy have allowed the Zionist lobby to poison the minds and intent of our people and our government officials in order to hide the ongoing abuses in Gaza, the largest open-air prison in the world.


5.  The U.S. government and military hierarchy have kept countless individuals imprisoned in Guantánamo, most of whom have never been charged with a crime.  Most have been tortured and abused, provided no medical care or improper care, and are still waiting for release despite promises of return home.


6.  The U.S. government and military hierarchy have perpetuated crimes against immigrants who are forced to flee their lands which we have laid waste to, making it impossible for people to survive.  Many of these are children.

Many of the returning “felons” that officials speak about have committed the “felony” of returning to the U.S. to be with their children, since returning after deportation now constitutes a felony punishable by a long term in a federal prison.

7. The U.S. government and military hierarchy have been training torturers in schools run both by Israeli forces and by US instructors at schools such as the School of the Americas (now the Institute for Western Cooperation), who then go back and torture and kill their own citizens.  See, for example, the story of the killing of US nuns, priests, their housekeeper and her daughter, and Oscar Arnulfo Romero, martyr, assassinated by a graduate of the US run SOA while celebrating mass in El Salvador, and recently beatified by Pope Francis in May of last year.  See, for example,

8. During the Vietnam War, which should never have been undertaken, the U.S. government and military hierarchy committed atrocities such as the My Lai massacre, in which most of a small hamlet were murdered in cold blood.  As a long-time member of Veterans for Peace, and the former wife of a United States soldier who was sent to Thailand and Cambodia, I have been told again and again that My Lai was not at all an isolated incident.

If Russia has committed atrocities, it was Russia and its soldiers who stopped Hitler’s armies at great loss to their people.  I refuse to speak about the “bullying” Putin when the U.S. government and military hierarchy regularly bullies anyone and everyone who refuses to follow it in brutality.

Kindly wake up and smell the carrion.  Kindly refuse to listen to the ongoing barrage of lies and excuses.  There is no excuse for imperial oppression, for war brutalities, for the use of nuclear weapons, for the laying waste of the planet. There is no excuse for the desecration of sacred lands in Dakota in the name of profit, for the ongoing mercenary raping of our Mother, the planet Gaia.

In righteous anger, as a follower of the subversive Jew Isa or Yeshua, I sign off, hoping that you will all join me to set things to rights.

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Judy Balch Liteky, ¡presente!

Judy Liteky, presenteToday I went to a service celebrating the life of our wonderful Judy Balch Liteky, a woman who graced so many lives with her compassion and her activism.  It occurred to me that she achieved what has lately eluded me, activism without all-consuming rage.  I have put my own ordination on hold because my confrontations with entrenched power, locally and nationally and even abroad, have put a strident note in my discourse; I am always lately either crying or screaming like a madwoman. 

 Judy was someone whose love for all people was profound and immense; whose inner calm permeated whatever she did.  The service today at St. Cyprian’s in San Francisco was one filled with stories and tears and joy, because she lived the kind of life most people only dream of, not in the modern sense of ‘affluence’ or ‘things’ but in the sense of the reading today by the prophet Micah:  to do justice, love fiercely, and walk humbly with your God.  This Judy did with every breath in her body.  That is the life well lived, everything else, to paraphrase Hillel the Elder, is commentary. 

 I wrote what I share below a little over three years ago, when I was seeking consolation from my own all-consuming grief at the death of my husband.   In the sayings of the Tao, “the way to greater light leads through the darkness.”  I remember years ago when we were fighting the invasion of Iraq, having someone remind me that the darkest moment of the night comes just before the dawn…  So I share it because I am also seeking wu wei or action “in harmony with the hidden power that drives the planet and the cosmos,” which was so much a part of Judy’s life and work, and also  ahimsa, which is kindness and non-violence towards all living things. 


Ahimsa and wu wei

The way to greater light leads through the darkness.

Going ahead feels like falling back.

The even path seems rugged and hilly,

the highest power a yielding valley.

(Tao 47)

Thomas Merton explains in “The Way of Chuang Tzu” that wu wei is action “in harmony with the hidden power that drives the planet and the cosmos.”

Be good to those who are good

and to those who are not.

For goodness increases goodness.


Have faith in those who are faithful

And in those who are not.

For faith brings greater faith;

and goodness and faith build peace.

(Tao 49)

Ghandi was inspired by the principle of ahimsa, which means kindness and non-violence towards all living things and believes that all are connected.  Violence, whether verbal or physical, always brings more violence.  We only have to look at what is happening to our planet today…

Nothing on earth

is more gentle and yielding than water,

yet nothing is stronger.

When it confronts a wall of stone,

gentleness overcomes hardness;

the power of water prevails.

(Tao 78)


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