“Mama, Mama, I can’t breathe…”

“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Oh my God! Mama! Mama! Mama!! Mama!!”

I’ve started and stopped several posts in the last few days; lighthearted words and pics about my garden, about the Angels, about a hawk feather I found and uncharacteristically and unselfishly gifted to a friend (I hoard stuff like that and RARELY am able to let them go) but I’ve been following the George Floyd trial, and it seems almost callous and lacking of any human empathy NOT to talk about what happened last May.

I am not a POC. I have never been arrested. I’ve had a couple of mild encounters with the police during my life– most of them were because I needed their help and protection, not because I had committed a crime of any sort.

I feel it’s my obligation as a human to place myself in the shoes of those who have been harrassed, targeted, even murdered because the color of their skin contributed to the way they were treated by law enforcement. In my opinion, it’s something we all need to do. I have so much respect for the heroic bystanders who stayed to document and memorialize what they saw, who tried to help, who called the police to report what they saw.

There are those people who say it’s too ugly or too painful to watch the video of George Floyd crying out while being slowly and deliberately (ALLEGEDLY) murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes–while his coworkers watched and did nothing to intervene and prevent his death. They watched him DIE. We watched him die. I don’t even care what he did…so he ALLEGEDLY paid for a purchase with counterfeit money? I don’t care whether or not he was under the influence of drugs. That’s not the point, that’s diverting attention away from the real crime.

To those people, I will look straight in your eyes and tell you it’s our duty to watch.

Don’t turn away. Don’t turn away in denial of truth.

It’s the same way a certain segment of society turns away when there’s factual evidence of animal torture and abuse, child abuse, or those who still refuse to acknowledge the evidence of German concentration camps.

Say his name. Watch the video. Be upset. Be traumatized but don’t be silent. DO SOMETHING. Take your own videos. Don’t ignore it. We have an obligation to make things right. For George Floyd. For Breonna Taylor. FOR ALL OF THEM.

Watch The Blinding of Isaac Woodard on PBS.

I DARE you to keep your eyes and ears open and NOT do something to protect our fellow humans.

What if it were your son or daughter? Hmmm? How would you feel?

I wonder what the answer is. Peeling back the layers of racism, I wonder where all the hatred came from and why it’s persisted and become so pervasive. When will it all end? How many more people will die like George Floyd?

Disintegration

Piece by piece, it’s coming apart. Disintegrating. The demolition has been a long, slow process.

The Encina Power Station, located between Agua Hedionda Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean, opened in 1954 and was decommissioned in 2018. The stack was erected years later in 1978.

I remember when the stack was decorated for the holidays with bright and colorful lights, but they stopped doing that a long time ago.

Even so, It’s been a welcoming beacon and landmark to let us know we’re getting close to home sweet home.

Here’s what’s going to take its place…“The Carlsbad Energy Center will be built behind the present location of the Encina Power Station, and will add two new smokestacks with solely industrial purposes. Each smokestack will tower over 100 feet tall and add something the citizens of Carlsbad will have no choice in beautifying. One smokestack with a historic past and a potential for a brilliant future will be replaced by two ten-story towers to serve the new power plant. Meanwhile, neither the City of Carlsbad nor NRG have any concrete plans in place for what will happen after plant is destroyed.”
(From http://www.savethecarlsbadstack.com)

As usual, most of Carlsbad’s elected officials have failed to include the desires of the community in the planning process.

These unfiltered, unedited photos were taken yesterday at about 5:15 p.m. just as the sun was heading toward the horizon. I think it’s this lack of light along with the streaky clouds that account for the hazy, almost sepia-toned quality.

Fire in Carlsbad!

UPDATE: Forty-nine-year-old transient, Dawn Ann Crawford, was arrested for causing this and other fires in Carlsbad.
________________________________________________________________

What a day!

On this auspicious January 20, 2021 when we welcomed President BIden and Vice President Harris along with their beautiful families, the weather here was warm and super windy.

I saw a notice on PulsePoint that there was a vegetation fire down the street from me. Hmmm, I thought to myself, should I go see what it’s all about?

And then I saw another alert for another fire just a couple blocks from the first one and then all hell broke loose around here with the sound of sirens and fire engines and police cars speeding down my street.

I didn’t even change my clothes. I was wearing old animal print leggings and a “Someone at Yale loves you” t-shirt. My hair was in a messy bun and I was wearing my glasses, but I couldn’t resist being nosy, so I got my good camera and jumped in the car.

Streets were already blocked off and homeowners were being evacuated so I had to turn around and find my secret pathways (not gonna tell). I was able to get super close and take incredible video and photos.

A couple structures were slightly damaged but I had to leave after the planes dropped fire retardant because it was hard to breathe.

I don’t have official confirmation but off the record, I heard it was arson.

All the firefighters and the police did an absolutely amazing job. Many thanks to Cal Fire, Vista Fire Department, San Marcos Fire Department, San Diego Fire Department, and Encinitas Fire Department.

If not for their heroic efforts, this entire neighborhood would have burned up.

Here’s my raw video and a bunch of photos:

And a few videos:

Out of Darkness

The last five years have been a collective dark night of the soul for this country as well as for many people who have endured their own somber and murky life experiences.

We were collectively ravaged by a malignant sociopathic narcissist. By all rights, in 2016 Hillary Clinton should have been our president; there’s no argument that she won three million more votes, but because of our weird system of the Electoral College process, for whatever reason it didn’t turn out that way.

Ultimately she conceded, not by inciting riots and insurrection, but in a super classy way. However, she knew. She KNEW. And so did I.

Today we’re witnessing the tortuous climb out of the depths of hell, reaching toward light out of darkness.

Do you think I’m being melodramatic?

I don’t. We’ve all witnessed an absolute decline in humanity, of empathy, of compassion, of civility, and now, the universe is setting things right.

The kaleidoscope shifted just a bit, but enough.

Part of President Biden’s inaugural speech:
“Our better angels have always prevailed”

As above, so below.

Did you know that a good friend of mine recently died from Covid-19? He was only fifty-two years old and in good health. It was a mere three weeks from the first day he felt sick to the day he died in hospital in a medically induced coma on a ventilator and dialysis. I went to RiteAid for a sympathy card and noticed that all those racks were empty. There were a lot of birthday and anniversary cards, but slot after slot of folded pieces of paper designed to express our care and concern were empty. EMPTY. I went to another store and another and found the same scenario. That’s when it really hit me. There are so many deaths, now 400,000 — that we can’t keep up with the demand for condolence cards.

Witnessing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take the oaths of office as President and Vice President will once again allow us to feel proud of being Americans. We’ll have rational humans in charge again. Thank goodness.

I regret not being able to see and hear Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Namaste and I’ll end this with the great and beautiful Lady Gaga singing The National Anthem

Insurrection/Treason/Sedition

Everyone is asking, “What can we do?”

In my opinion, impeaching again and successfully this time would be a start, that’s for sure, along with #25th Amendment.

I’ve been saying this for four years. tRump never should have been elected, no matter how it happened. He brought out from the sewer every single horrible thing about this country.

Soon, but not soon enough, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be President and Vice President.

Image may contain: 2 people, text that says 'THE MOTHER CKER! IMPEACH'
Best President and First Lady-Barack and Michelle Obama.

From Sea to Shining Sea

January 6, 2021

Today is a day that will live in infamy.

I thought I was going to watch Judge Judy; instead there’s coverage of a coup in DC, our seat of democracy–on the day we were to join both Houses and formally count the results of our election, another step in the process to January 20 where we inaugurate Joe Biden as President.

On the steps of the Capitol, on the Senate floor; shots fired, vandalism, violence. Nothing less than domestic terrorism.

Unbelievable.

It seems as if Capitol Police were apparently complicit in allowing these activities, taking selfies with the criminals, allowing them access to the Capitol.

This piece of shit president and his attempted coup will go down in history as the darkest hour in America’s 250 years of democracy. He called for a rally of his idiotic followers on this day, he stoked the fires of hatred and violence, he told the crowd to use force to change election results.

Today’s attempted coup began with Trump saying to the crowd: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” and then telling them to head to the Capitol to give Republican lawmakers the message.

Like President Biden said, “This is sedition. This is insurrection. Enough is enough is enough.”

Senator Duckworth said they are planning to resume the symbolic vote count as soon as Capitol is secured. Democracy will not be bullied!

Trump needs to be immediately removed from office and arrested for sedition and insurrection.

This is the day after Georgia saved our country by electing Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Thank goodness for Stacey Abrams. She is truly a national treasure.

Are you watching?

Decency, Integrity, Honor

From Dan Rather: “This is a win for decency and democracy. A new chapter in American history begins today.”

I’m writing this with tears in my eyes. It’s a very emotional time for us. We’ve been holding our breath for four years and can finally exhale.

We can breathe now.

The nightmare really is over. The planets have aligned.

Decency, integrity, and honor has been restored to the people’s White House.

The United States of America has been saved.

Democracy is back on track.

It’s OFFICIAL. They called it.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will take over the helm and repair the damage of the last four years.

We are finally seeing the healing light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.

No fighting, no lawsuits, no rioting by his racist cultists can change the outcome. It’s a mathematical impossibility for them. In addition to winning the popular votes, at this time Electoral College votes are 284-214.

We have been led out of the heart of darkness.

I think we’re gonna shut down our street and have a socially distanced block party.

Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com

How are y’all going to celebrate?

#democracyrising

The Storm has Passed

The nightmare of the last four years is almost over!

While the election hasn’t been officially called for Joe Biden as of 6:00 a.m. today, November 6, 2020, I have faith that it’s just a matter of time. The terrible black cloud we’ve been living under here in the United States for the last four years is dissipating, and there’s now HOPE on the horizon.

Democracy has been saved.

After we celebrate, we need to fix the Supreme Court and restore women’s right to choose what happens to our own bodies and hurry to repair the damage to our wildlife and our climate and our pristine wilderness. Get rid of the Electoral College!

Maybe the worst part of the last four years is the knowledge that there is still so much systemic racism here. It’s like a certain segment of society can’t get over the fact that the Civil War is over. Equal means EQUAL, no matter the color of our skin or religion, or whom you choose to love. It’s obvious there needs to be a lot more education. Racism and fascism shouldn’t be tolerated.

I’m here in California and we voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, but I want to take the time to express my appreciation to Georgia’s Stacey Abrams for tirelessly working to uphold honor and decency and integrity and to fight the good fight for all of us.

My parting words for that failed reality show sociopath… “YOU’RE FIRED!”

Here’s a few words from the late great John Lewis that seem especially appropriate right about now:

“About fifteen of us children were outside my aunt Seneva’s house, playing in her dirt yard. The sky began clouding over, the wind started picking up, lightning flashed far off in the distance, and suddenly I wasn’t thinking about playing anymore; I was terrified…Aunt Seneva was the only adult around, and as the sky blackened and the wind grew stronger, she herded us all inside.Her house was not the biggest place around, and it seemed even smaller with so many children squeezed inside. Small and surprisingly quiet. All of the shouting and laughter that had been going on earlier, outside, had stopped. The wind was howling now, and the house was starting to shake. We were scared. Even Aunt Seneva was scared.And then it got worse. Now the house was beginning to sway. The wood plank flooring beneath us began to bend. And then, a corner of the room started lifting up.I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. None of us could. This storm was actually pulling the house toward the sky. With us inside it.That was when Aunt Seneva told us to clasp hands. Line up and hold hands, she said, and we did as we were told. Then she had us walk as a group toward the corner of the room that was rising. From the kitchen to the front of the house we walked, the wind screaming outside, sheets of rain beating on the tin roof. Then we walked back in the other direction, as another end of the house began to lift.And so it went, back and forth, fifteen children walking with the wind, holding that trembling house down with the weight of our small bodies.More than half a century has passed since that day, and it has struck me more than once over those many years that our society is not unlike the children in that house, rocked again and again by the winds of one storm or another, the walls around us seeming at times as if they might fly apart.It seemed that way in the 1960s, at the height of the civil rights movement, when America itself felt as if it might burst at the seams—so much tension, so many storms. But the people of conscience never left the house. They never ran away. They stayed, they came together and they did the best they could, clasping hands and moving toward the corner of the house that was the weakest.And then another corner would lift, and we would go there.And eventually, inevitably, the storm would settle, and the house would still stand.But we knew another storm would come, and we would have to do it all over again.And we did.And we still do, all of us. You and I. Children holding hands, walking with the wind. . . . “

A Tragedy: WOLVES DELISTED

As if 2020 couldn’t be any worse with Covid, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and oh, I don’t know, simply the death of our entire DEMOCRACY, THIS happened and I am truly distraught…

From my friend, Jamie Rappaport Clark, President of Defenders of Wildlife:

It’s a sudden and tragic end to what should have been one of the great wildlife comeback stories of all time. Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially stripped gray wolves in the lower 48 states of their federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

This ruthless decision leaves gray wolves at the mercy of states, some with increasingly hostile anti-wolf policies – even some where we’ve already seen wolves slaughtered. This isn’t over.

We’re taking this administration to court to defend gray wolves fighting for their lives. Will you help?  

Wolves need your help today. Please make your emergency donation to help fight back to save the lives of wolves and other imperiled animals!

We cannot and will not allow wolves to be abandoned, and their recovery to be cut off after decades of work.  Wolves occupy only 10% of their former range and need continued federal protection to fully recover. There are still vast areas of suitable habitat in the lower 48 states where wolves have not recovered, including Colorado. 

As recently as last year, a wolf spotted in Colorado brought a spark of optimism for the future of wolves in the Southern Rockies.  That hope could now be smashed. Delisting wolves is the wrong move at the wrong time. We’ve already seen a wave of violence as some anti-wolf states have allowed even more barbaric methods to trap, shoot and kill gray wolves – and things could get a lot worse for these wolves without our help. 
Give to Save Wolves
We’ll never stop fighting against anti-wolf extremists and politicians working to turn back the clock on wolf recovery. Today’s setback isn’t the end of the gray wolf story. 

If you agree, please consider pitching in to keep up efforts to save these wolves and protect them across their historic habitat.

Thanks for your compassion and your steadfast support for the wildlife we love.

On a personal note, I’ve been fighting to save and protect wolves pretty much my whole life and while we rejoiced when wolves were originally placed on the endangered species list, it didn’t stop the senseless murder of wolves and their families.

Check out some of my other wolf-related posts:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/11/26/saving-wolves/
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/09/26/actress-jessica-lange-is-amazing-her-letter-in-defense-of-wolves/
https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/03/12/the-sad-song-of-the-wolf/

Help Protect Orcas

https://www.southwhidbeyrecord.com/life/hope-dwindles-as-resident-orcas-disappear/
Time for a post and a plea about animals.
Defenders of Wildlife needs our help to protect southern resident orcas!
Stop a proposal that could allow serious harm to over two thirds of the entire southern resident population of endangered orcas.

A proposed rule from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) would allow Naval sonar activities in the Northwest Training and Testing area to seriously harass up to 51 of these orcas (68% of the entire population!), putting the recovery and even survival of this population in jeopardySouthern resident orcas are still struggling to survive and recover – we can’t let this population go extinct on our watch!

Take a stand: Tell the NMFS to reduce the danger sonar activities pose to the survival of southern resident orcas!

Orcas are the largest member of the dolphin family, and just like their smaller cousins, orcas depend on echolocation to find prey and to communicate with other pod members. With so few salmon left, it’s essential that we reduce underwater noise as much as possible to make it easier for orcas to find the food they need to survive.The ear-splitting shrieks of the sonar can make life nearly impossible for these majestic and vulnerable animals. 

These sonar activities can disrupt critical natural behaviors like feeding, nursing, surfacing, migration and more. These orcas already face dire threats from pollution, collapsing food supplies and climate change. They’re fighting for their lives – but if the NMFS approves this sonar disruption, it could be the threat that pushes them over the brink.

Tell NMFS not to approve the incidental take rule on southern resident orcas in the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area!

Time is running out to save these magnificent whales. Given this population’s already critically endangered status, we need to do all we can to help these orcas – including protecting them from disruptive sonar activity!

That’s a lot of exclamation points, but I love Defenders of Wildlife and hope you’ll help them save the southern resident orcas!!

P.S. For some crazy reason, WordPress is inserting unwanted horizontal lines in my post and I can’t delete them. I give up trying. WP, you baffle me.